While I'm not overly familiar with the slice-of-life genre, Konohana Kitan is a bit different from the stories I've encountered in this genre. It can be dramatic at times, tackling topics such as death and the grief of loss. However, it doesn't get too heavy and is generally a lighthearted story. It strikes a good balance between light and dark. The story also regularly touches on philosophical topics, such as how we should interact with other people, finding meaning in life, coming to terms with our circumstances, and more. It does this in a simple and beautiful manner and avoids sounding pretentious.
The cast contains many
of the character archetypes you'll commonly find in slice-of-life (e.g., tsundere, tomboy, airhead, etc.). Unlike most other slice-of-life stories I've encountered, the main cast gets relatively well developed. We get details on their families, past experiences, and how those elements have shaped them. Additionally, we see a significant amount of growth from the two most notable characters, Yuzu and Satsuki. I think Yuzu is a particularly enjoyable and endearing character. She is a simple-minded airhead. However, these aspects of her personality are not presented in a negative manner, but rather serve to highlight her humility and innocence. Many of the lessons presented in this story are shown through her purity.
The art is great; detailed and expressive. One component of it that I liked is the tasteful way in which nudity is included (it's not excessive, usually around 3 panels per volume). I'm so used to the awkward manner in which erotic fanservice is forcefully inserted into anime/manga, that I was pleasantly surprised by the natural way in which this material is presented in Konohana Kitan. I would say it's artistic, not pornographic.
I think this manga is a gem and would highly recommend it.