I’m liking this list thing, so let’s keep it going. Here are the top 5 anime that I watch in order to relax. These are the anime that I use to go to sleep or get through frustrating times.
#5: Acchi Kocchi
Acchi Kocchi or Place to Place is a pretty fun show about a group of 5 students doing random stuff. That’s really all there is to it, it’s just a really chill comedic show. While there is a romantic element to the show, you won’t find any drama. It’s just angle from which the gags are generated.
You don’t even need to start watching at episode 1. You can watch a little big of the first episode, and that should give you enough info on the recurring characters. After that, you can watch just about any episode at your leisure without any plot hole problems. Why? There is no plot. Overall, this show just wants to enjoy itself, and it’s a fun little watch in your spare time.
#4: Lucky Star
A lot of people I know told me that they found this show annoying. From the rapid opening, to the “squeaky” speech of the voice-actors, to the random bright colors, to the large-eyed character designs, people just found this show a pain to watch. The funny thing is, I noticed all of these things. However, none of them seemed to bother me as much as they bothered others. In fact, for the better part of a year, I would watch a few episodes of this show before I went to sleep in order to sleep more soundly. Guess what? It worked.
This is a prime example of what watching an anime for relaxation is. The people that were telling me that Lucky Star was terrible had watched it while taking it seriously. You shouldn’t think about it, or rather, you shouldn’t have to. With all of the shows in this list, it’s never a matter of whether specific features bother you, because that means you’re paying too much attention. If you want to watch anime in order to relax, let the anime do the work. Just sit back and take it all in. Artistic criticism is hard. Passive ingestion is easy.
#3: Azumanga Daioh
Imagine all of the members of Seinfeld were high school girls. Now, put them all in Japan. That’s Azumanga Daioh.
I know that calling this show the anime equivalent to Seinfeld is a hefty claim, but think about it. This is a show about literally nothing. All of these girls just go about their lives, absorbed in their own problems, of which there are plenty and all of them are petty trifles of the “first world” variety. The chemistry between characters is what makes these shows great.
I’d say the only difference is pacing. With American television, the gags have to come rapidly, in order to keep the attention of the audience. With Daioh, the pacing of the show feels like you’re wading in a pool of soggy bread. This adds to the almost narcoleptic nature of the viewing experience. I believe that the number of times I fell asleep while watching this was higher than the number of times I cried while watching Clannad: After Story. However, to be honest, I tried very hard not to cry, as I am a men, and male tears are a social taboo. Even on the internet. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the rules.
#2: Sketchbook: Full Color’s
This is show is an anime breeze. It flows in, swirls around for a bit, and then leaves. It doesn’t have a huge impact, nor does it leave a visible impression. However, the mood of the show does have a quite obvious effect on any viewer. This show is just so relaxed.
The weird thing is that it has a lot of characters with strange and interesting personalities. This show could very well have been a laugh-out-loud comedy romp. However, while the comedic elements are definitely present and used often, this show isn’t outrageous. The comedy plays more like an interlude between moments of silence and contemplation.
This show is calm and light, unerringly fluid. Sketchbook: Full Color’s is simple, sweet and soft. It’s just nice.
#1: Usagi Drop
What a great show! It works on so many levels: family drama, slice-of-life, adult-to-parent transformation etc. It hits the mark on all counts and does so beautifully. One of the things that makes this show great is the superb chemistry between Rin and Daikichi. They are definitely a match made in heaven and the playful comedy and tense emotion that supports their interplay is just perfect.
Overall, Usagi Drop is just a great show, and a rare case in recent times where the anime adaptation of a manga might actually have been better received than the manga itself.
So that’s it for now. Hope you liked the list. If you have any suggestions or ideas for alternate entries or have any other thoughts, just put them in the comments below. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!