After long hours at work or school, watching anime is the perfect pastime for relaxation. Here are five series that will help you unwind.
While many viewers turn to anime for thrilling, action-packed plots, some fans are looking for content to simply unwind to after a long day. Often containing low-stakes and a simple plot, many anime are seen using nature or comedy to create easier viewing experiences.
As these anime offer viewers a means of escape from their busy lives, more and more are flocking to these relaxing series. Here are five calming and lighthearted anime that will help anyone relax and unwind after a hard day at work or school.
RELATED: 20 Years Later, Fruits Basket 2001’s Shojo Legacy Can’t Be Ignored
Mushishi is a peaceful and philosophical iyashikei anime known for calming its viewers. It stars the laid-back and easygoing Ginko, who lives in Japan during an imaginary time period roughly around the late 1800s. In this era, Mushi is the most primitive lifeform that can’t be seen or detected by most humans. However, a few can spot and interact with Mushi despite their light nature. Ginko is a Mushi Master who wanders the land to undo the damage Mushi cause to humans who aren’t aware of their existence.
Each episode focuses on a new story revolving around Ginko and Mushi. Since the anime doesn’t have an overarching plot, audiences don’t have to stress over cliffhangers or dissecting plot complexities. Instead, it follows Ginko around the beautiful and scenic nature that makes Mushishi widely considered the most relaxing anime of all time.
RELATED: RE-MAIN: Minato Faces a Difficult First Dive Back Into Water Polo
Fruits Basket (2001)
The original 2001 version of Fruits Basket has a fun and whimsical tone that offers a relaxing viewing experience. As a feel-good anime with plenty of lighthearted comedy, this adaptation is a lot lighter than its 2019 reboot. Tohru Honda’s childish and carefree behavior — despite her unfortunate circumstances — makes her character a breath of fresh air. With swoon-worthy romance and blossoming friendship, this story has a knack for making audiences smile. As Fruits Basket depicts the joy of adolescence, many viewers feel calm and relaxed after watching its likable characters.
RELATED: Laid-Back Camp Gets Super Sentimental In the Season 2 Finale
Laid-Back Camp is another nature-focused iyashikei anime with a simple plot and little conflict. The series stars Rin Shima, who goes camping alone by Lake Motosu near Mount Fuji. She soon meets another girl at the campsite and they form an Outdoor Activities Club comprised of five girls who love nature. Laid-Back Camp focuses on the joys of camping and eating with friends outdoors, offering viewers a relaxing escape without the hassle and dangers of real-life camping. With “laid-back” in its title, it’s no wonder this series makes the list.
While sports shonen isn’t the first genre that comes to mind for relaxation, Haikyuu!!’s low-stakes plot makes for an easy and passive viewing experience. Despite the excitement surrounding Karasuno High’s men’s volleyball team as they try to become the best in the league, the plot is simple and easy to follow. As the Crows soar to new heights, audiences are treated to lighthearted comedy and steady character development.
Haikyuu!! is a feel-good anime that focuses on the characters trying to improve themselves while also supporting each other, even if they’re from different teams. Given the anime’s fun, carefree tone, viewers don’t have to stress about complex mysteries or agonizing conflict. To top it off, the melody of volleyballs drumming and sneakers squeaking against the court is enough to make any viewer suddenly drift off to sleep.
RELATED: Sports Shonen Are Ridiculously Underrated
Flying Witch stars a teenage witch named Makoto who moves to the countryside to practice her magic, spending her days training under her relatives to become a full-fledged witch. While most witch series have complex and high-stakes plots, Makoto is simple-natured with plenty of free time.
While living on the farm, she often talks to her cat and flies around on her broom. Since she’s a nature witch, she takes up gardening which proves to be a relaxing hobby to watch. As Makoto wanders aimlessly around town and practices her nature witchcraft, audiences enjoy the soothing and peaceful journey along with her.
KEEP READING: Why the Fruits Basket Reboot Successfully Tops the Original
Miraculous: How the Future Ladybug & Cat Noir (Almost) Came to the Present
About The Author
C. M. Ramsburg
(43 Articles Published)
C. M. Ramsburg is an Anime Features Writer for CBR. She’s a lover of all things magical and fantastical, from anime to superheroes. She balances a busy schedule of binging anime, webtoons, and k-dramas. When she is not re-watching Naruto, you will find her writing fantasy novels or blogging. You can follow Caroline on Twitter at @cmramsburg
More From C. M. Ramsburg