by Peppersqueak, March 27, 2021
82

Howdy! I'm back with a new article, this time with the entire Slice of Life genre as a topic. I hope it helps explain some things and makes the genre more appealing, and most of all that you enjoy it. ( •̀ ω •́ )y


First of all: What is Slice of Life actually?


I have seen that question pop up multiple times and I can understand the general cluelessness about it. Some of you may or may not be familiar with the term since it is prominent in the manga and anime industry, however with dramas and movies it's slightly different. The answer Wikipedia in the category "Film and Theatre" gave me was this:

In theatrical parlance, the term slice of life refers to a naturalistic representation of real life.


Which I think almost hits the nail on the head. My personal explanation would be: 

"You take a cake of simple daily life, put some minimal decoration on it and take a slice."

(no pun but pun intended)



Because in the end, that's what it is. A simple but intriguing genre that, in my opinion, gets shoved way too often in the "boring" box.

But Slice of Life has a lot more to offer than an old man feeding birds in the park while lamenting about his pension. Actually, slice of life could be almost described as an umbrella term of sorts, it has a lot to offer, from popular hits to niche mini-series.

Disclaimer

Of course, I have my preferences when it comes to the dramas I picked for this article, please feel free to lookup more. Also, not all of the dramas/movies I listed have the slice-of-life tag. However, in my opinion, they are part of the genre!


Full course Dramas


Reply Series    

Genres: Friendship, Comedy, Romance, Life, Youth Drama, Family

Let's start it off with a bang. I think everybody has heard about the Reply trilogy by now. Either through hearsay or you actually watched some of it yourself.

If you like youth and family dramas with a touch of romance and retro elements, this trilogy is for you. I recommend them especially if you aren't too sure about the genre and tend to watch more popular dramas. 

Reply 1988 has the slice of life tag!






Genres: 
Comedy, Romance, Life, Drama, Medical
(No official slice of life tag)  
A Poem a Day

One of my absolute favorites I'm gonna advertise a bit for, hehe. A heartwarming romance that also sheds light on the medical staff behind the doctors, Physiotherapists! Adorned with a narration specked with superbly fitting poems.



Bite-sized Dramas


Genres: Drama, Documentary

Meikenchiku de Chushoku wo 

You are a fan of architecture and good food? Welcome to Meikenchiku. With a simple narrative, the characters visit a famous building ( aka  #MaidenBuildings) across Tokyo with a meal in between.

With the slice of life tag!


Genres: Friendship, Life, Drama, Sports

Our Baseball       

A heartfelt mini-series, depicting an amateur baseball match with different people, from all walks of life. It flawlessly connects the game and real-life problems the characters face. Highly recommend it even for total baseball noobs like myself. :)

With a slice of life tag!


Ojisan wa Kawaii Mono ga Osuki

 Genre: Comedy
(no official slice of life tag)

What to do if you are a savvy businessman but actually adore your favorite mascot PugTaro? With heart, charm, and beautiful friendships that unfold, this drama will tug your heart. Self-acceptance and self-expression do also play a big part in this drama, and that is also part of why I liked it. Face your inner fluffy nature!


Low Commitment


Higuma

Genre: Comedy

A story about a brown bear trying to make a living by catching salmon (say what now), but somehow life seems to not be on his side. Strange and ridiculous but utterly adorable, I recommend this for a change of pace or a rough day. Also, it gives an interesting mixture of secondhand embarrassment, relatability, and just a very interesting comedy factor. Why not watch a not so real, fluffy bear in his everyday life that just doesn't seem to right?

With a slice of life tag!







FLY! BOYS, FLY! Bokutachi, CA Hajimemashita

What if the 4 main leads actually wanted to be cabin attendants? A Genres: Business, Comedy, RomanceLife
refreshing special with a nice trope reversal. Also an interesting look into the training behind the jobs and every day of aerial crews.

With a slice of life tag!


Postmen in the Mountains
Genres: Drama, Family

A story about a father and his son, as the two march together through the mountains days on end, marking the last job of the father and the first of the son. A visually stunning movie that shows the beauty of nature and the relationship of the family.

With a slice of life tag!



Two Lights: Relumino

Genres: Romance, Life, Drama
(No official slice of life tag )




A simple but moving short film of two people meeting in a photography club. It shows the beauty of falling in love and the daily difficulties of being visually impaired.



Why I like Slice of Life


For me, I love it for all the things it lacks. 

-No overdramatic plot

- No sudden plot twists

- and no hustling action sequences. 

I think it's right in my comfort zone without making things mundane. It has a lot to offer plot and idea-wise but most of all, character and relationship-wise, and most of the time, the whole story and main leads' arc are actually relatable.

With a toned-down plot, the biggest challenge the genre faces is to make it lively. And for that, the characters need to be built extremely well. Because in the end, they carry the story and the relationship development. If they fail to do so, the whole narrative falls into a grey puddle of blandness. With that challenge, Slice of Life brings some fabulous stories and main characters to the table, which makes the genre, you guessed it, interesting.

Like in the title:

"The art is to make the ordinary extraordinary."

Basically, to make the little moments shine and give them something special. I walk away from a good slice of life drama with a certain fondness and a slight smile, or a thoughtfulness. Like hot chocolate on a cold day.

I hope at least some of you made it to the end of this almost essay-like article. I hope I gave you some insight and maybe courage to try one out again?

Also a big thanks to @LunarSkylar and @Kate who helped proofread my messy draft. (〃 ̄︶ ̄)人

Editors: BrightestStar (2nd editor)

slice of life recommendations genre introduction

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