Fantasy is one of those genres that comes with certain expectations. Most traditionally, a main character in a fantasy land starts off living a normal life, then is thrust into an amazing adventure. However, when you mix the fantasy and slice of life genres, the main character starts off having a normal life in a fantasy land, and then just lives it. It is certainly not a plot for everyone, but if those soothing slice of life moments are your way to unwind, here are our anime recommendations for series that masterfully mix fantasy and slice of life.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid
Miss Kobayashi is a programmer that lives alone in her apartment. However, one day a giant green dragons ends up on her doorstep and transforms into a women in a maid outfit. Apparently Kobayashi had gotten drunk one night and ended up saving this dragon. Now, dragon Tooru intends to repay her debt through housework.
While the series takes place in our world, it is stuffed to the bursting full of dragons that came from another. However, while it has some of that “big action” energy at moments, it is used for silliness, and mostly it is just dragons enjoying the every day life of humans.
In this world, there exist Mushi, spirits that often exist with no purpose. However, these Mushi can affect the physical world in countless forms from diseases to more pleasant phenomenon. Why do these Mushi exist? That is the question that Ginko the Mushi-shi, a researcher on the phenomenon, asks himself as he travels the land investigating Mushi-related incidents.
Mushishi is essentially just episodic stories about the effects, both good and bad, that small spirits have on the world. The main character is a pretty neutral sort of person that allows for unbiased observation. It really allows the stories to shine and doesn’t get too caught up in developing characters.
The Ancient Magus’ Bride
After being abandoned by her family, Chise Hatori is a 16-year-old teenager without hope. In order to not have to worry about herself, she sells herself to slavers, only to be purchased by Magus Elias Ainsworth. There she is told she will become his apprentice and, in the future, his bride. Together they work together to build a relationship and work to control her own magus powers that will eventually result in her early death.
There is something bigger going on in Ancient Magus’ Bride, but the vast majority of the show is them either traveling and exploring magical places, or just hanging around the house and living their life. It creates a pretty interesting magical world, but not one where a hero has to slay a literal god every Thursday.
The Flying Witch
15-year-old Makoto Kowata is a witch, but her skills in it leave something to be desired. To further train her craft, she moves to rural Aomori, Japan to live with her cousins. This area, rich in nature, is the perfect place to commune with nature and hone her craft.
While the series takes place in modern Japan, it is a modern world where witches low-key exist. It places a strong emphasis on the natural world so of course a rural area would make their magic stronger. If you enjoy shows like Barakamon or Non Non Biyori because they take place out in the boonies and tell those sort of stories, this is much like that, but with a little actual magic.
Rakka is an amnesiac who only remembers emerging from her cocoon. She is born into the world as a Haibane, a group of young people who have small gray wings and halos. While she tries to live a normal life, there is much that the Haibane don’t know and must figure out..
While there is a bit of mystery and an overall air of melancholy about Haibane Renmei, the vast majority of the series is just a bunch of girls going about living. They examine some more ponderous things about their world as things go on, but even then, nothing happens in a very fast way.
Somali and the Forest Guardian
With humanity all but extinct after severe prosecution, the world is ruled over by spirits and all manner of strange creatures. One day, a golem that serves as guardian of the forest meets a young human girl. She has no memory of her parents, but the golem decides to at least seek out other humans to return her.
The entire story of Somali and the Forest Guardian is a journey, but not one filled with action. It is more a journey filled with characters and small stories that puts a spotlight on the special and parental-esque bond that is being formed in particular.
Ascendance of a Bookworm
Motosu Urano loves books. She recently got her librarian certification and was about to enter her dream job when an earthquake caused her to be crushed by her collection of books. She is reincarnated into a new world as the five year old daughter of a soldier. Unfortunately, in this world, books are reserved for the elite nobility. What do you do when you station does not afford you access to books? Make your own.
Isekai series that are about just living in another world and not being an action hero is the hot new thing, and it all started with this one that is about a book nerd trying to make books.
My Next Life as a Villainess
At eight years old, Katarina Claes, the only daughter of a duke, hits her head and suddenly remembers she was once a seventeen-year-old otaku that got isekai’d. She realizes that she is now in the world of Fortune Lover, the otome game that she had been playing before her death. Unfortunately, she is not the heroine, but rather the villainess who usually ends up dead or exiled at the end. As such, she endeavors to change her fate and avoid all doom flags.
On the same note as Ascendance of a Bookworm, here is an isekai show that is really just a school life show in another world. What is interesting about this particular one is that the main character gathers a harem of both boys and girls.
Restaurant to Another World
The nondescript Youshoku no Nekoya is a cafe that has been in business for 50 years. However, while it serves salarymen and other workers most of the week. On Saturdays, it closes down to the public in order to serve special guests, mythical creatures that come from another world looking for comforting cuisine.
If you enjoy the specific sub-genre of slice of life shows that are about food, then this one combines delicious food with creatures that come from other worlds to eat it.
I’ve Been Killing Slimes for 300 Years and Maxed Out My Level
Dying from overwork, Azusa Aizawa is allowed to reincarnate into a new world as a witch that will live forever. Wanting to never be overworked again, she leisurely kills slimes in order to pay for living expenses. However, this meager amount of XP stacks over 300 years of doing it, and she finds herself at max level. Fearing someone will try to thrust work upon her, she decides to try and hide her strength.
The entire plot of this isekai is the main character artfully avoiding any sort of work or responsibility. She was an overworked office lady in her previous life, and now she is an immortal on permanent vacation.
If it’s for My Daughter, I’d Even Defeat a Demon Lord
Despite his age, Dale is a skillful adventurer with quite the reputation for competence. However, one day while he was on a job, he finds a young devil girl, weak and malnourished, with a dead parent nearby. He decides to take her home and ultimately ends up adopting her. However, the question remains, why was she in the forest to begin with?
The hero of the anime is super OP strong, the little girl is a demon, but what they focus on is the parental story they have set up. It is cute, but there isn’t much substance beyond that.
The Eccentric Family
In modern Kyoto, tanuki and tengu have lived secretly among humans for years. Yasburou Shimogamo, the third son of a prominent tanuki family, spends his days dipping his toes into human culture through shape shifting and caring for an old Tengu. However, something plagues this family, the mysterious and grisly death of their father. One day, the threads start to unravel.
The Eccentric Family is a tale about the unseen supernatural world that is going on underneath the notice of our own. As you would expect, The Eccentric Family is indeed filled with eccentric and fun characters. There is also a greater mystery plot, but much of is still standard slice of life silliness.
Meddlesome Kitsune Senko-san
Nakano is a salaryman that works for a company that greatly exploits him. He returns to home each day exhausted, and one day, returns home to find an 800-year-old fox girl has invaded his home. She cooks, she cleans, and she states that she will heal his exhaustion with her occasionally questionable care.
In a similar vein to aforementioned Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, here is a story about an overworked office man who gets coddled by an ancient fox spirit at home. It’s a soothing comedy that can hit just right if you retreat to slice of life when you are stressed.
Young kitsune Yuzu has recently started her first job at a hot springs inn for spirits called Konohanatei. While she has no experience working at such a high class place, she has the help of the staff to help her get accustomed to it and her earnest and eager nature adds a special touch for many guests.
Essentially, they just took a standard slice of life plot about working somewhere and added in cute girls with animal ears. For some people, that’s all they wanted. It’s plenty cute and has some shoujo ai vibes at times.
A Centaur’s Life
Thanks to the different route taken by evolution, there are no humans in this world, only supernatural creatures. Himeno is a sweet and shy centaur girl who is in a class full of angels, devils, and beast people, but this is all normal in the world. Despite everything being supernatural, this is about Himeno’s completely normal life.
What if all those fantasy creatures lived lives like us modem human? That’s the plot. You also get to explore unique centaur problems, which is honestly the best thing about this still very enjoyable show.
Kemono no Souja Erin
In the small village in Ake lives Erin, a bright girl who spends her days with her mother Soyon who serves as a doctor to the empire’s Touda war-lizards. However, when the Grand Duke’s favorite lizard Kiba dies, Erin’s peace is shattered as her mother is arrested and suspected with its death. In an attempt to save her mother, Erin sets off on an epic adventure.
While Kemono no Souja Erin does have an overall story to it, the plot is more dramatic and less about action. Much of the time, it is just about living and building out the vast and interesting world. What is best about it is that you watch the main character grow up and see the world as both a child and an adult would see it.
The Saint’s Magic is Omnipotent
Sei, a young office worker, is summoned to a new world. However, the people who summoned her to banish dark magic from the world only meant to summon one person they would call Saint. Instead, they summoned two, and Sei discovers that they actually like the other girl better. Not really caring about that, she ends up making potions at a research institute using her newfound magic. Unfortunately, while she is unexpectedly talented at her work and happy doing it, she begins to think that she is indeed the Saint.
What I found funny about this series is in the beginning Sei was passed over in lieu for the younger, prettier woman. Then she was like, “well, what do I even do now?” which is just the plot of many a slice of life series. You follow her as she finds something she enjoys doing, and progressively gets surrounded by beautiful men that admire her while doing it very well.
Every generation, a demon lord rises and a hero is born to challenge them. However, as the chosen hero and her party are fighting the demon lord, she casts a spell that sets them adrift in time. They are transported to before the demon lord has risen and the hero is still in school. With their memories erased, they begin their training anew. However, the demon lord has also been transported and enrolls herself in school.
You can tell just by looking what sort of show this is. It is meant to be very, very cute and beyond that it is just a school life comedy. Aside from creating just the most twee waifus, they didn’t really do too much else.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
For as long as he can remember, Takashi Natsume has been chased by spirits, but recently he discovered that the reason was because his deceased grandmother had passed on to him her “Book of Friends,” a book containing all the spirits she had brought under her control. Now Natsume realizes that these spirits haunt him in hopes of gaining freedom. With few friends, no loving home, and constantly hunted by malicious spirits, Natsume looks for a place where he belongs.
If you enjoy your fantasy slice of life anime to be episodic in story and really quite long, then this is a must. It is one of the few shows on this list to have multiple seasons, and it explores tons of stories as the main character essentially just helps spirits with their very slice of life problems.
Interviews With Monster Girls
Although not completely common, Ajin, or demi-humans, have become a part of society. High school biology teacher Tetsuo Takahashi is increasingly interested in Ajin for research, but having never met one himself, he let it be. Well, he was going to give up, until he found out that not only are three students in his school demi’s, but a fellow teacher, too. As he sets up interviews with them, Tetsuo finds out that they have both human and demi problems to overcome.
This show dared to make the cutest possible vampire, the cutest dullahan, and a succubus that wasn’t just oozing pure lewdness, and went above and beyond expectations. It is a school life series with a main character that acts like a proper adult male and teacher, which is perhaps its biggest achievement.
After the Great War and her time in it came to an end, Violet Evergarden is adrift. Her purpose was once only battle, and now she must find a new one. After recovering from the loss of her arms, Violet takes up a job at the CH Postal Services. Here she transcribes people’s thoughts into what should be emotional letters. However, the “emotional” part seems to greatly escape her, but she aims to learn how to move people with words.
While the world in Violet Evergarden is more on the realistic side modeling ours after any of the World Wars, it is very clear it is a different world. There just aren’t any dragons flying around. Anyway, the series is known for two things – being eye-meltingly beautiful and heart-breakignly sad. It tells small arc stories that can cut you deep.
With parents that write light novels and draw eroge, Kanou Shinichi was born to be an otaku. One day, he finds himself transported to a fantasy world full of elves and dragons. In this world he is given a quest, not to fight monsters, but to become a moe missionary to teach everyone on the finer points of being an otaku.
While this is another isekai not about being a hero, it does lean on the harem side. The main character essentially gathers himself a small harem and teaches them about weeb things. If you don’t mind a bit of fan service, it isn’t a bad show.
Dragon Goes House-Hunting
Letty is a dragon, but because he failed to guard the nest, he is disowned by his parents. Not really being a particularly fierce dragon, he goes looking for a new home to hide away from the world. With the help of elf and real estate broker Dearia, Letty the dragon goes house hunting.
I’m just going to put it out there. I enjoyed the house hunting process when I bought my house, and this series is honestly probably for people who feel the same. It is essentially just throwing prospective properties at Letty and watching all the things that go wrong.
Wandering Witch: The Journey of Elaina
This is the story of a mage named Elaina who decided to travel the world. On her journey, she happens across many new friends, becoming a small part of each of their stories.
If you recall journey series like Kino’s Journey, this is much in the same vein, but with a magical witch. She travels around, she meets people, she becomes briefly entwined in their stories, then she goes elsewhere.
There is a bar located in Kyoto called Nobu. However, its front door leads to another world. In Nobu, they bring Japanese food and drink to the residents of another world.
If you scrolled past Restaurant to Another World, Isekai Izakaya is exactly the same. It is a short-episode series and the patrons are less fantastical, so it does seem like a lower quality version of Restaurant to Another World. However, if you were in it for the food, it has food.
Spice and Wolf
For generations, Holo was a revered wolf deity that helped the local wheat harvest in exchange for tribute. However, as the villagers become more self-sufficient, they no longer need or even believe in her anymore. During her annual festival, she sneaks into the cart of Kraft, a visiting merchant, hoping he will let her hitch a ride home.
As you watch the eventual relationship develop and explore the various world intrigues as the pair travels, Spice and Wolf will teach you more than you ever wanted to know about medieval economics.
Snow White With the Red Hair
Shirayuki is an herbalist that lives a normal life in the country of Tanbarun. However, when her beautiful red hair is noticed by the Prince Raji, he tries to make her his concubine. She then decides to cut her hair and flees into the forest. It is there she is rescued by the second Prince of neighboring Zen Wistalia. In order to repay her life debt to him, she sets her hopes on becoming the court herbalist in the capital of Clarines.
As you would expect, there is the fairy tale story of a girl falling in love with a prince (and he falling in love with her), but the nice thing about this series is Shirayuki has goals and motivations aside from just swinging her baby lasso and catching herself a man. You watch her train and progress as an herbalist, though eventually the romance starts to take over.
There are many important questions in life – Which girl truly is best girl? What consists of the best fapping material? Are certain fetishes sexist? To answer these questions and more, intrepid adventurers visit brothel after brothel to find the answers and provide their unbiased reviews.
Infamous for its extreme lewdness, like it or not, this series does count as a fantasy slice of life. Essentially all the main characters are doing is prowling around and perving on fantasy girls. That is a slice of life, albeit a lewd slice.
The Devil is a Part-Timer
Right on the verge of taking over the world, evil Demon Lord Satan was foiled by the hero Emilia and was forced to retreat through a dimensional portal. He ends up in this world where he is without powers and without money. In order to pay his way, he gets a part-timer job slinging fast food.
You know you always wanted to watch a demon lord work at McDonald’s or see the great hero sent to slay him become a tired office lady.
Hataage! Kemono Michi
Shibata Genzo is both a professional wrestler and an animal lover. One day, he is summoned to another world by a princess. She makes the mistake of asking him to rid her kingdom of these evil beasts. Instead of doing that, Genzo suplexes her and heads off to start a monster pet shop.
What if you were summoned to another world to become a hero, but your said p-p-piledriver and went to opened a pet shop instead? It is a good slice of life show, but also a pretty underrated comedy.
Kakuriyo: Bed and Breakfast for Spirits
Since she was a child, Aoi could see spirits. After one day feeding a hungry spirit, she is whisked off to the hidden realm where an ogre states she will be his bride. It seems her grandfather sold her off to marry him in order to satisfy his debt. Instead, Aoi refuses and works off the debt owed in a bed and breakfast.
Not the first series about working at an inn in a fantasy land, but easily the best. Essentially a human girl goes to the spirit world after being promised to marry an ogre by her grandfather to satisfy his debts. Instead, she starts up a restaurant to pay off those debts. It’s part food anime and part reverse harem, but it is actually really quite alluring with its characters.
Princess Connect: Re:Dive
The main character is sent to a new world. Kokoro, a girl chosen to be the guardian of her lord travels to that specific location, told that she would find her lord. While teaching him of his new world, she meets several other companions and they decide to form a Gourmet Guild in search of delicious things to eat.
For being based off a gacha game, the anime was surprisingly more enjoyable than I thought it was going to be. There are cute waifus, yes, and the main character is unapologetically there to project yourself onto, yes, but it is also about them just hanging out and eating food. I can get behind that.
Sleepy Princess in the Demon Castle
In order to sow chaos and discord among the human kingdom, the Demon King Tasogare abducted the beloved human princess, Syalis. In an effort to rescue her, a mighty hero sets forth. Meanwhile, held in the demon castle, Princess Syalis discovers that being held captive is quite boring. She decides to sleep away her time awaiting rescue, but… She can’t sleep. Cheap bedding, insomnia, and demonic snores plague her as she tries to get a solid night’s sleep.
This sounds like the most bare bones plot, but they manage to pull it off extremely well. The series is just really about a captured princess trying to catch some good sleep. Doesn’t get much more slice of life than that. However, what you don’t expect is the amazing comedy it uses to keep you interested.
As Miss Beelzebub Likes
Myurin, skilled in realm administration, has been hired on in the Kingdom of Pandemonium where the fallen angels dwell. There he will be working with the feared Beelzebub, one of the seven princes of hell. However, he discovers that Beelzebub isn’t quite as fearsome. In fact, he is really a girl and is obsessed with fluffy things. So begins the tale of how Myurin learns that nothing is as it seems in this kingdom.
Everything about this series is meant to make demons seem cute, right down to the pastel color palate. It is how it sets itself apart from the other series that make Hell out to be a bureaucratic office.
Didn’t I Tell You to Make My Abilities Average in The Next Life?
Because of her exceptional abilities, Misato Kurihara never got to live a normal life. However, after her sudden death, she is offered reincarnation and one wish. Her wish is to have average abilities so that she can live an average life. Unfortunately, reincarnated as a noble’s daughter, she still has impressive magic ability. Determined to still have her normal life, she flees to a far away hunter school and attempts to hide her abilities.
The main character has everything she needs to be some great hero, but she just wants to have friends that aren’t intimidated by how great she is. So the series instead becomes about her trying to hold back and the comedy therein.
Do you have more anime recommendations for people looking for both fantasy and slice of life anime? Let fans know in the comments section below.