12 Best Slice of Life Anime Movies to Watch, Ranked

Best Slice of Life Anime Movies List
Image via Funimation

While it feels great to watch some action or fantasy anime with breathtaking visuals and a twist-filled script, if you have explored the genre of Slice of Life, you wouldn’t brush it off as usual. Slice of Life refers to the depiction of mundane real-life experiences, whether they be romance or personal life issues.

Although not quite obvious, the genre has been one of the most popularly visited among the anime fandom as they find comfort in these stories. While you may have watched a few Slice of Life anime without knowing, sometimes it’s harder to go through the entire season since they often are paced a little bit slow. So, to help you with that, we’ve compiled a list of the best Slice of Life anime movies that would take less time than the other anime shows.

12. Flavors of Youth

Flavors of Youth - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via CoMix Wave Films

You know when an anime film is filled with spectacular visuals; you know it is from CoMix Wave Films, which also animated Your Name, Weathering With You, and The Garden of Words. Flavors of Youth is a three-part anthology film, each with a duration of 26 minutes and deeply ingrained in the Chinese culture, which makes up for a perfect slice of life short anime movie.

While the first part follows a person named Xiao Ming, who contemplates the beauty of food and Chinese culture through his favorite noodles, the second one gives you a better understanding of the importance of family and relationships through the lens of the protagonist.

Whereas the third one follows three friends who end up following different paths due to the choices they made in life, which ultimately provides them with different lives. Every one of these stories makes us look back into our lives and reflect on the life we’ve leading, making it one of the best slice of life anime movies of all time.

11. Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via Signal.MD

Words Bubble Up Like Soda Pop is more of a relaxing story revolving around love and companionship as well as embracing one’s flaws without judging them. In the movie, Yui Sakura, a boy who only expresses himself well through haiku (a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables), ends up working as a part-timer at a welfare facility, where he meets Yuki Hoshino, who wants everyone to smile around her yet she refrains herself due to her teeth braces.

Related: Top 13 Super Sad Anime Movies You Won’t Regret Watching!

However, this interaction between the two and their desire to help a senile man named Fujiyama, who’s searching for his old vinyl record, allows them to realize the good things in their life while strengthening their bond. In a way, the movie is nothing different but a rather simple premise well executed. Combine that with spectacular animation and likable characters, and you have yourself a great slice of life Netflix anime film.

10. Lu Over the Wall

Lu Over the Wall - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via GKIDS

Lu Over the Wall is a heartwarming adventure you don’t want to miss unless you’re specifically not into slice-of-life anime movies, but that’s highly unlikely, given you’re here clearly searching for a good one. The film follows a young boy named Kai, who moves from Tokyo to a small fishing village and spends his days in annoyance.

However, when their classmates invite him to play the keyboard in their band, he finds a little mermaid named Lu, who can gain legs when hearing beats and make people dance to her songs. However, when a told prophecy brings problems to both Lu and Kai’s village, they must find a way to solve it.

Despite the film sounding like some sort of a violent horror movie, it is instead the opposite which mainly runs through music that is absolutely delightful to your years.

9. Hana-Saku Iroha: Home Sweet Home

Hana-Saku Iroha: Home Sweet Home - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via NIS American, Inc.

Looking over someone’s past through journals always gives great life lessons for the younger folk, and they always seem to point out the mistakes they had committed when they were young and how those changed them in the future.

In Hana-Saku Iroha: Home Sweet Home, Ohana finds herself in the same situation when she stumbles upon one of the Dendroku’s log books from the past. The logs recount the story of Ohano’s mother when she was roughly her age, and she learns about her mom after going through everything.

Well, the story is pretty much that, but it narrates everything through the lens of Ohano and makes us feel for the characters. While the ending could have used a bit more care, it was overall a beautiful slice of life anime film.

8. Okko’s Inn

Okko's Inn - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via GKIDS

Losing one’s parents at a very young age can be disheartening, and they have to carry the burden their whole life, but fortunately for the main character, Okko has a grandmother who takes care of her. Apparently, Okko moved to the countryside to live with her grandmother after her parents passed away in an accident.

However, her life completely takes a turn when she ends up living in her grandmother’s inn above spring waters and finds out there are welcoming spirits only she can sense. The movie is full of heartwarming moments as we learn more about Okko as the minutes pass, making it a great slice of life movie.

7. The Garden of Words

The Garden of Words - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via Sentai Filmworks

You never know how you will find your soulmate; it could happen at any unusual time or situation. In The Garden of Words, Takao decides to skip school in order to work on his sketches in a rainy garden, but it turns into a life-changing moment as he meets a beautiful older woman named Yukino.

Related: 13 Greatest Action Anime Movies of All Time! [Best Recommendations] 

After a series of conversations, they form an odd relationship despite their age gap, but they soon come to learn that the moment they have right now might not last forever. If you find an entire two-hour or an hour-and-a-half movie long, The Garden of Words might just be what you need since it only spans for 46 minutes but makes sure to leave an everlasting impression with its heartbreaking yet beautiful story and mesmerizing animation.

6. Ride Your Wave

Ride Your Wave - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via GKIDS

Ride Your Wave is a heart-wrenching movie about two lovers who meet through an unexpected incident, which turns into a heart-warming take as the story progresses. Hinako, a surf-loving college student, falls in love with Minato, a handsome firefighter, after being rescued by him.

However, after a tragedy descends upon their relationship, she loses all hope in the world, but when she sings a song that reminds her of Minato, he surprisingly appears from the ocean. What mystery transpires between these two, and what tragedy could have taken place to turn their lives this way?

It is mostly about finding oneself when one loses their way, and the movie makes no mistake in conveying it. If you want something to bawl over your eyes or just want to witness a beautiful love story, the film is a great choice.

5. Whisper of the Heart

Whisper of the Heart - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via GKIDS/Disney Platform Distribution

Whisper of the Heart is a Studio Ghibli film that is just as inspiring and beautiful as other Hayao Miyazaki films. That explores the story of Shizuku, a girl who enjoys reading and writing poetry, but when she comes across a person named Seiji, who also shares a love for literature, she begins to listen to the whispers in her heart to chase the dreams of her own.

The shoujo element is as clear as day in the plot, but it leans more onto the heartfelt side rather than entirely focusing on the romance by giving us a hint of the message.

4. In This Corner of the World

In This Corner of the World - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via Shout! Factory

In This Corner of the World is a must-watch anime for anyone itching to watch a meaningful story filled with emotional and beautiful moments. The anime follows the story of Suzu, a young girl from Hiroshima who marries a person from a nearby city and struggles to settle in as the war goes on.

Related: Top 20 Best Anime Episodes of all Time!

Although her new life has given her many reasons to despair, including the cherished losses due to war, with the help of neighbors, she comes to find joy in everyday life. Apart from offering an emotional storyline, it also gives you a refreshing slice of life feeling, making it absolutely worth watching.

3. My Neighbor Totoro

My Neighbor Totoro - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via GKIDS/Disney Platform Distribution

When we were young, we all wanted to find a portal at the bottom of a tree bark that would lead us to a fantastical world filled with magical creatures and adventures. My Neighbor Totoro is an embodiment of such a concept, which follows Satsuki and her young sister Mei as they follow a small creature into the woods and find themselves in a fantasy world.

However, when Mei disappears inadvertently, things get complicated. Studio Ghibli’s classics have always been hailed for being the best in the business, and My Neighbor Totoro is undoubtedly one of them, with an exciting story and adorable characters, but what makes it worthwhile is its execution of slice of life plot even in such an intricate concept.

2. Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish

Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via Funimation

Josee, the Tiger, and the Fish is one of those rare anime movies where you connect with the characters deeply, as they’re pretty realistic and as flawed as every human being. The story is about Tsuneo, a young man who dreams of going abroad in order to make his art well-known and become a world-renowned artist but in the meanwhile, he gets a job to assist Josee, who, unfortunately, can’t walk and only moves in a wheelchair.

However, through his art, he takes her into wild imagination, which will provide her life with new inspiration, and likewise, he finds her extremely comfortable to be around. What has fate planned for both of them? If you watch anime solely for animation, you have it here, or for beautiful love stories, you have it here.

1. Wolf Children

Wolf Children - Slice of Life Anime Movies
Image via Funimation

Wolf Children is the best slice of life anime film to date, and nothing comes close to it because it contains the most beautiful message ever: the mother constantly struggles to keep her children safe no matter what.

Hana was a student with high aspirations, but she fell in love with a man who turned out to be a wolf, and they created a family. Unfortunately, he passed away, and to protect the kids from people, she moved to the countryside and began to raise them even though she got bruised and the future seemed hopeless.

The movie is mainly about this family who, despite living in a small village with literally not much money to survive, try to make their best out of the situation, with Hana doing everything possible.

Posted by
Hanumanth Reddy

Hanumanth is an enthusiastic author who enjoys writing about anime, movies, and TV shows and aims to share his optimistic views with his readers. His favorite franchise is Star Wars, and he aspires to be a Jedi in the future, but he vows not to fall on the dark side.