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#1
Aug 9, 9:24 PM

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According to the best source in Internet, Wikipedia, Slice Of Life describes the depiction of mundane experiences in art and entertainment. In theater it refers to naturalism, while in literary parlance it is a narrative technique in which a seemingly arbitrary sequence of events in a character's life is presented, often lacking plot development, conflict and exposition, and often having an open ending.

[in anime]

Robin E. Brenner's 2007 book "Understanding manga and anime" holds that in anime and manga, "slice of life" is a genre that is more akin to melodrama than drama, bordering on absurd due to the large numbers of dramatic and comedic events in very short spans. Themes usually range from teen coming-of-age, interpersonal relationships, family, romance, to fantasy and science fiction.

do you agree with this? if not, what is an appropriate definition for this genre?

what is an anime that can be called slice of life by some people, but it is actually not a sol anime? like something that can be confused to be sol but it is is something else. it might have sol elements but it is not the foucsed here. Of course, depanding on your definition of the genere this question can be not good question.

i wanted to talk about this because i have no clear understanding of the word itself. It feels like the word can be thrown at any show just because. I want to understand, and maybe there is someone like me who will have better understanding of this subject by your help.
 
#2
Aug 9, 9:30 PM

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Slice of life isn't an easily definable genre, heck calling it a genre is a stretch in itself. It shares characteristics with other pseudo genres like Shounen (believe it or not it's not an actual genre) in that you mostly have to go with your gut feeling when defining what is or is not under the banner of slice of life.

I'd say the definition is a mix of the two that you showed us, with "arbitrary sequence of events" and "having an open ending" being two main things that most SOL shows have. The themes that Brenner talks about being associated with SOL are accurate. His comment on how there are a large number of dramatic and comedic events happening in the show is true, but it's for the sake of the viewer because watching someone's uneventful daily routine is boring.
 
#3
Aug 9, 9:47 PM

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SOL is simplie a slice of life as name implied, part of daily life, instead overraching plot narrative...
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#4
Aug 9, 9:48 PM
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Slice of life aspects are in lots of shows. It's like sometimes I just wanna see the protagonists live their lives and just chill. It's nice
 
#5
Aug 9, 10:07 PM

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you want to talk about kawaii lolis growing up? I'm fine with that

 
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Aug 9, 10:07 PM

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_Ako_ said:
you want to talk about kawaii lolis growing up? I'm fine with that



strongly agree strongly agree strongly agree
 
#7
Aug 9, 10:29 PM

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I think its wrong to attribute melodrama to slice of life in anime, since there's plenty of slice of life anime that stray away from that. Instead I would attribute that to the medium of anime itself, since expressions are naturally more exaggerated and emotional compared to live action. Plus in the current anime meta, the more melodramatic subgenre of SoL, cute girls doing cute things, ends up at the forefront rather then their more mellow alternatives.
 
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Aug 9, 10:56 PM

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Isn't every anime just a "slice" of someone's life?

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#9
Aug 9, 11:08 PM

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CatSoul said:
Isn't every anime just a "slice" of someone's life?



shows like devilman crybaby are slice of lifes instead of one life. so no. not very anime is sol
 
Aug 10, 1:30 AM

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going by mal definition https://myanimelist.net/info.php?go=genre
Slice of Life - Anime with no clear central plot. This type of anime tends to be naturalistic and mainly focuses around the main characters and their everyday lives. Often there will be some philosophical perspectives regarding love, relationships, life etc. tied into the anime. The overall typical moods for this type of anime are cheery and carefree, in other words, it is your "feel-good" kind of anime. Some anime that are under the slice of life genre are: Ichigo Mashimaro, Fruits Basket, Aria the Natural, Honey and Clover, and Piano.


i think "no central plot" and "everyday lives" is the keywords
 
Aug 10, 2:08 AM

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Robin E. Brenner's 2007 book "Understanding manga and anime" holds that in anime and manga, "slice of life" is a genre that is more akin to melodrama than drama, bordering on absurd due to the large numbers of dramatic and comedic events in very short spans. Themes usually range from teen coming-of-age, interpersonal relationships, family, romance, to fantasy and science fiction.

Wow, this Brenner guy watched like 10 animes and someone told him that the melodramatic one is considered slice of life. ;)))

There are very few purely slice of life or daily life titles. Usually those are only components combined with other stuff like drama, comedy, both or whatever.
For example Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is adventure, mystery, sci-fi, slice of life, iyashikei, comedy, drama, surrealism and postapocalypse.
 
Aug 10, 2:08 AM

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romagia said:


i think "no central plot" and "everyday lives" is the keywords


by central plot you mean plot right?
plot refers to the sequence of events inside a story which affect other events through the principle of cause and effect. if no, what is the definition in mal?

by that definion, nastume is not really a sol show since there is a plot. same with wolf children.
 
Aug 10, 2:23 AM

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You have a life, you take a slice, and there you have slice of life. Simple.
 
Aug 10, 2:37 AM

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to me slice of life is just an anime where there is not really a set goal and everything is just chill


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Aug 10, 2:53 AM

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alshu said:

There are very few purely slice of life or daily life titles. Usually those are only components combined with other stuff like drama, comedy, both or whatever.
For example Shoujo Shuumatsu Ryokou is adventure, mystery, sci-fi, slice of life, iyashikei, comedy, drama, surrealism and postapocalypse.

Do purely slice of life anime exist at all, however?

Iyashikei, drama, comedy, romance and etc. are not only genres, they are themes. Every scene in every anime has a theme, so it's pretty difficult to imagine a SOL sequence that doesn't have something attached to it: making laugh, making cry or feel distressed, showing love or affection, reflecting or lingering on a state of mind. Even the coldest and most lifeless depiction of routine would be about coldness and lifelessness, which fits a dramatic or reflective purpose (the need for a change in that lifestyle for instance).

My opinion of SOL is that it's not a genre but a narrative focus and choice. It's about what you put on screen, not your overall themes. And that of course affects the way these themes are delivered to the audience, which is why SOL shows tend to have a distinct pace and flavor, favouring observational narrative, embracing quietness and rejecting dramatic escalation. Not that every SOL is like that but it is a common feeling that most have.

I don't agree with Brenner either. Not only SOL shows are in no way obliged to overcompensate their lack of dramatic escalation through multiple fast moments of drama and comedy (a lot of them are pretty slow paced and linger their scenes on purpose), I don't even know where that definition of melodrama as "multiple fast moments of drama and comedy" came from.
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Aug 10, 3:04 AM

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I feel like slice of life is more character driven stories.
The character and their lives are more important than the actual plot.
 
Aug 10, 3:07 AM

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Hatred said:
to me slice of life is just an anime where there is not really a set goal and everything is just chill

so by that definition, natsume yojinshu and mushishi are not sol
 
Aug 10, 3:13 AM

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Huss said:
Hatred said:
to me slice of life is just an anime where there is not really a set goal and everything is just chill

so by that definition, natsume yojinshu and mushishi are not sol

The overall set goal of Mushishi is observing moments of its main character though, so it still looks perfectly slice of life if you ask me.

There are many SOL shows that have more narrative continuity and more of an end goal than Mushishi.
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Aug 10, 3:21 AM

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jal90 said:
Huss said:

so by that definition, natsume yojinshu and mushishi are not sol

The overall set goal of Mushishi is observing moments of its main character though, so it still looks perfectly slice of life if you ask me.

There are many SOL shows that have more narrative continuity and more of an end goal than Mushishi.


they are not chill shows tho. some episodes have some messed up stuff
 
Aug 10, 3:28 AM

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Huss said:
jal90 said:

The overall set goal of Mushishi is observing moments of its main character though, so it still looks perfectly slice of life if you ask me.

There are many SOL shows that have more narrative continuity and more of an end goal than Mushishi.


they are not chill shows tho. some episodes have some messed up stuff

Ah, you meant that. Then I agree, slice of life doesn't need to be chill.
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Aug 10, 5:06 AM

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Huss said:
Hatred said:
to me slice of life is just an anime where there is not really a set goal and everything is just chill

so by that definition, natsume yojinshu and mushishi are not sol


i guess not
i haven't watched mushishi so i wouldn't know
as for natsume,shitty anime in general


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Aug 10, 5:19 AM

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If slice of life were a Pokemon, it would be of the normal type.

That's the way I see it xD
 
Aug 10, 5:38 AM

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Slice of life involves usual activities done in their usual environment. It's like what they would usually do in a set of environment that they are familiar with.
 
Aug 10, 5:50 AM

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hazecloud said:
Slice of life involves usual activities done in their usual environment. It's like what they would usually do in a set of environment that they are familiar with.


by that definition mushishi and nastume are not sol
 
Aug 10, 5:58 AM

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Haven't seen natsume, but mushishi yes as it's his job to travel and help people in his daily life as a shaman. Every event is different problem that he tries to solve. The concept is the same, solving or uncovering mystery of mushi around the world.
 
Aug 10, 6:08 AM

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I just kinda take it literally. Slices of someone's life. It's more a narrative choice than a genre that necessarily has any specific common elements that define it. It's more about episodes being mostly self-contained and not directly interlocked with each other.

And as most things in life it's not a black and white thing either. There's different degrees of being self-contained as an episode. You don't need a complete absence of plot for slice of life either. Slice-of-life is just another element that can be added to a show and end up being more or less dominant, it doesn't have to be the one and only defining aspect of it. Most of the times it isn't.

Describing something solely as a slice-of-life show is always gonna be vague and unreliable. Usually for people to get an idea of what the show is like you're gonna have to add more information, like the setting, the kind of characters it follows (which can reach from pets to historical personalities) and the dominant subgenres (comedy? fantasy? sci-fi? drama? etc...) and stuff like that.


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Aug 10, 6:11 AM

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I'd assume a slice of life anime has a realistic setting, like school or the workplace. Anime usually has unrealisitc settings, like space or a fantasy world, or the future or something. But then again there are a lot of detective shows and dramas that can also be classified as having "realistic settings" with real people doing real world things but aren't categorised as slice of life.

I agree with the statement that slice of life is often incorrectly defined. I'd argue that the concept of "slice of life" is redundant in anime because even in most shows in this genre, situations are often exaggereated for comedic or dramatic effect anyway, which defeats the purpose of Wikipedia's definition.

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Aug 10, 6:22 AM

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Slice of life refers to a form of storytellling. A look into the lives of a group of people in a world that resembles ours, but cutting out the highlights and important interactions for the viewer.

Huss said:
Robin E. Brenner's 2007 book "Understanding manga and anime" holds that in anime and manga, "slice of life" is a genre that is more akin to melodrama than drama, bordering on absurd due to the large numbers of dramatic and comedic events in very short spans. Themes usually range from teen coming-of-age, interpersonal relationships, family, romance, to fantasy and science fiction.
Sounds like he watched 1 slice of life anime that happened to be a melodrama, and decided that was basically it. Then googled slice of life to see what other stuff popped up, before concluding these stuff were themes that were present in slice of lie anime.

I probably should read the book for better context, but I don't see why I should bother reading a book about people explaining what people find appealing in anime/manga.
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Aug 10, 6:49 AM
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Sorry if I sound like an idiot. For me the definition of a slice of life show has always been when the way a characters behave in and react to there environment has far more importance to the show then other features. Airing this season Harukana Receive could be argued as sol because it is simply a slice of the characters lives. That being said there is far more focus put on the romantic and comedic points of this show (and sports part, yes it's good) Where as shows like girls last tour and Lucky star are almost purely about the characters interacting with there environment without any direct goals.
 
Aug 10, 7:22 AM

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SoL is super melodramatic..... actually sometimes its just very dramatic and impressive, esp when the slices are shown without restraint, like in masterpieces claymore, champlee, blade of the immortal and shigurui
 
Aug 10, 7:33 AM

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jal90 said:

Do purely slice of life anime exist at all, however?

How about Sazae-san?
One can argue that it is nol only SOL/DL but I thunk it is the closest thing (and I never watched it).










 
Aug 10, 8:44 AM

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Its according to me a most peaceful and relaxing genere....
also one of my most watched....
 
Aug 10, 8:52 AM
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SOL is not only a genre it depicts the value,nature, and similarities of peoples.. If you ever find something hardship, fun of
your life similar to a anime, you will probably like it in सोने point may force to तो cry your heart out so my point is slice of life is not simply a genre but the depiction of life in various aspects
 
Aug 10, 9:20 AM

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Would The Amazing World of Gumball be considered slice of life?
 
Aug 10, 9:35 AM

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CatSoul said:
Isn't every anime just a "slice" of someone's life?



I guess, unless there’s a Truman Show anime lol. But SoL doesn’t have that literal of a definition. That’s said, I couldn’t come up with a good definition, after all, with anime/manga in the genre ranging for Nichijou to Horimiya to Flying Witches and more, it’s very hard to come up with something concrete (as the OP says)
 
Aug 10, 12:27 PM

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ta07 said:
Its according to me a most peaceful and relaxing genere....
also one of my most watched....


so mushishi and natsume arent sol by that definition
 
Aug 10, 12:31 PM

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Huss said:
ta07 said:
Its according to me a most peaceful and relaxing genere....
also one of my most watched....


so mushishi and natsume arent sol by that definition

i mean most of them are if you see generally you approach sol genere to calm yourself but ya there are some exceptions
 
Aug 10, 12:35 PM

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Witcher_sama said:
SOL is not only a genre it depicts the value,nature, and similarities of peoples.. If you ever find something hardship, fun of
your life similar to a anime, you will probably like it in सोने point may force to तो cry your heart out so my point is slice of life is not simply a genre but the depiction of life in various aspects

according to the best source on internet, google and Wikipedia:

genre is a style or category of art, music, or literature.
"the spy thriller is a very masculine genre"
synonyms: category, class, classification, categorization, group, grouping, bracket, head, heading, list, listing, set.

in more detailed definition:

Genre is any form or type of communication in any mode (written, spoken, digital, artistic, etc.) with socially-agreed upon conventions developed over time. Genre is most popularly known as a category of literature, music, or other forms of art or entertainment, whether written or spoken, audio or visual, based on some set of stylistic criteria, yet genres can be aesthetic, rhetorical, communicative, or functional. Genres form by conventions that change over time as cultures invent new genres and discontinue the use of old ones. Often, works fit into multiple genres by way of borrowing and recombining these conventions. Stand-alone texts, works, or pieces of communication may have individual styles, but genres are amalgams of these texts based on agreed-upon or socially inferred conventions. Some genres may have rigid, strictly adhered-to guidelines, while others may show great flexibility.

so yea, sol is genre. but since people really debates on what sol means, i dont think it can be clear. so i would say sol can be a genre.
 
Aug 10, 12:37 PM

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The whole idea of genre is kinda reductive. When there is a part of the story when the characters are going about there “normal” day I describe the scene as slice of life.
 
Aug 10, 1:08 PM

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ta07 said:
Huss said:


so mushishi and natsume arent sol by that definition

i mean most of them are if you see generally you approach sol genere to calm yourself but ya there are some exceptions
Subsonic Sparkle did a great video that detailed the subtypes of "slice of life," and how they differ. While there is a perception that one kind is "dominant," I don't think it's fair to apply a blanket case to everything that could be considered SoL.



On topic, if we go by Digibro's analysis of K-On, then slice of life can definitely have a "plot" (in the sense that things are not happening randomly, but in structured segments), but the use of episodic structure makes the plot become a very subtle element of the story that adds complexity to the overall work.
Modified by nep-nep, Aug 10, 1:17 PM
 
Aug 10, 1:14 PM

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I think you should PM anime database moderators for the best definition of slice of life because no one else can't explain how Megalo Box can be slice of life
 
Aug 10, 2:17 PM

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mhkr said:
I think you should PM anime database moderators for the best definition of slice of life because no one else can't explain how Megalo Box can be slice of life


i dislike talking to mods in general. i had some boring experiences with them so i don't feel motivated to message them
 
Aug 10, 2:19 PM

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sstein said:
Slice of life implies anything which doesn't has a overarching narrative, and hence generally depicts daily life as a central theme. It can be a comedy such as nichijou, or an artistic anime such as mushishi. The larger other conflicts it employees, the farther it moves from being SOL. Usagi drop is a SOL, Your lie in april isn't.


there is overarching narrative in usagi drop. another show that doesnt have overarching narrative is barakamon. it is my all time favorite sol. i think i disagree with u
 
Aug 10, 2:27 PM

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nep-nep said:
ta07 said:

i mean most of them are if you see generally you approach sol genere to calm yourself but ya there are some exceptions
Subsonic Sparkle did a great video that detailed the subtypes of "slice of life," and how they differ. While there is a perception that one kind is "dominant," I don't think it's fair to apply a blanket case to everything that could be considered SoL.



On topic, if we go by Digibro's analysis of K-On, then slice of life can definitely have a "plot" (in the sense that things are not happening randomly, but in structured segments), but the use of episodic structure makes the plot become a very subtle element of the story that adds complexity to the overall work.



so Slice of life can cover more than 3 or so areas in stories. hmmmmm i think the video was interesting. thank you for bringing it up to my attention. this made it better for me to understand.
 
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