It's no surprise that things feel pretty hopeless lately. We're living in trying times, and it can be difficult to keep your head up. Sometimes, you need an escape or a fun experience to keep your mind off of all the frustrating things you can't control. Luckily, there are a few anime series that are absolutely perfect for that.
They're usually referred to as "slice-of-life" anime, but aside from being a portal into these characters lives, these anime series are a celebration of just existing! If you love shows about "nothing," a la Seinfeld, you'll find plenty to enjoy in these heartwarming, sometimes surreal, shows. Kick back, relax, and find comfort in them. We could all use a lot more of it these days.
Lucky Star is a hilarious chronicle of four Japanese high schoolers just living their lives. Konata is a lazy otaku girl who loves video games, Kagami and Tsukasa are twins who are the complete opposites, and Miyuki is a sleepy, glasses-wearing cutie. All of them are adorable, and all of them have their own hilarious quirks. The show finds them navigating high school lives as they try and figure out the best way to eat a cornet pastry, study for tests, get part-time jobs, and enjoy summer vacation together. It's a carefree show with no overarching villainy or anything like that. Just fun, high school, and friends. And it's side-splittingly funny.
Azumanga Daioh is a classic series also following high schoolers: you've got the adorable little Chiyo who's a child prodigy, quiet Sakaki who loves animals, the spacy Osaka, doting Yomi, energetic and irritating Tomo, and sporty Kagura. Along with their equally strange teachers and classmates, they tackle culture festivals, athletic events, meeting Chiyo's "dad," and even going to the theme park. It's all cute, all the time, with a dash of surrealism thrown in for good measure, and a show that you won't soon forget.
Tanaka-san is Always Listless
Tanaka-san is Always Listless follows a sleepy, uncaring protagonist named Tanaka who can fall asleep just about anywhere. Luckily, his best friend Ohta will carry him to and from the locations he needs whenever he requires it. He's like a human Snorlax, and doesn't like to get involved in anything, and yet is the center of so much drama in the show and other hilarious situations you'll wonder how someone with such a drab personality has anything interesting happen to him. But it can and does, all the time. Again, there's no huge narrative going on here that needs unraveling, just silly fun that'll suck you in and help you forget your troubles.
This anime may literally be titled "My Ordinary Life," but it's anything but. Starring young girl Yuko Aioi and the cheerful Mio Naganohara as well as robot Nano Shinonome, this series features a girl professor, a talking cat named Mr. Sakamoto, and a showdown between a principal and a deer. The robot Nano wants to become a high school student, but she also doesn't want to be revealed to be an android while doing so. Meanwhile, Mio draws yaoi images of her crush and draws erotic manga. You never know what's going to happen in this madcap series, and that's why it's such an awesome watch. Problems? Nope. Not here.
This series, literally named Strawberry Marshmallow, follows a group of girls who we see enjoying birthday parties, meeting English classmates, finding part-time jobs, and trying to beat the summer heat. It's soft, relaxing, and often hilarious seeing as some of the girls tend to have their head in the clouds sometimes. If you're craving an analog to your own hangouts with friends, this is a great choice to get into, and it'll certainly be way less stressful than the actual world.