If you've seen a slice of life anime, there's a good chance you've also dabbled in iyashikei anime. These anime can be about anything, and they tend to be slow-paced and peaceful – the complete opposite of action anime. Their stories meander as they draw viewers into their worlds, giving them a relaxed, joyful feeling. Iyashikei anime are meant to help audiences momentarily put aside their troubles and remember to appreciate the small delights of life.
So put aside your worries, and enjoy these cozy iyashikei shows about polar bears who run cafes, groups of friends who love each other, and more.
Malevolent spirits hound Takashi Natsume, a boy who owns a "Book of Friends" that grants him control over the yokai, or Japanese demons, whose names are listed inside. He decides to make things right by releasing as many names as possible and freeing the yokai.
What follows are a series of heartwarming stories where Natsume finds allies, meets new yokai, and tries to find the one thing he truly wants: somewhere to belong. There are moments where this anime will make you extremely sad, but it always heals the wounds it inflicts.
Barakamon is one of the more plot-heavy iyashikei anime, but its intricate story doesn't make it too intense for viewers. When Seishuu Handa punches a calligraphy appraiser in the face for harshly critiquing his work, his father sends him to live on a rural island for some self-reflection.
On the island, he learns to live life at a slower pace, and becomes a calmer, less anxious person. The show focuses on Handa's emotional growth, allowing the audience to heal along with him.
Mushishi is a bit darker than the typical iyashikei series. Ginko is a mushishi, which means he's in charge of solving problems created by mushi, mysterious creatures that serve as the elemental building blocks of life. Sometimes, these problems can be quite serious, but at other times, they're neutral or even positive. No matter the mood or plot, the animation is gorgeous and captivating.
Rin Shima loves going camping alone in the winter, but when she meets the clueless and bubbly Nadeshiko, her solitude is interrupted. Fortunately, it's not a bad thing, because the girls end up enjoying camping together, and they bring other friends along for the adventure. This is a relaxing show about cute girls enjoying an unusual hobby, as well as a fun, low-key way to learn about camping.