Whether you have a lot going on, or nothing at all, it’s ok to feel anxious at times. Of course, anxiety is not something anyone would want to feel, but if you’re not feeling well right now, or want to save these for a rainy day, here are 5 anime we think can help you ease your mind. Unlike those “relaxing anime where nothing happens”, the shows on this list have a lesson to teach and may help you feel calm or de-stress about those everyday situations that may be making you feel restless.
5. Violet Evergarden
With the animation alone, the series Violet Evergarden might relieve your anxiety. This stunningly beautiful world tells the tale of Violet, a girl who only knew war, and must now search for how to move on with her life after the war ends. A life where you only experienced tragedies of war can make you an emotional brick, and that’s sort of what was awaiting Violet until she lost the person she held dearest. He parted, leaving her beautiful words, however, Violet did not understand their meaning. Driven and determined to understand his final words, she sets her mind to becoming an Auto Memory Doll, a sort of writer well known for writing heartfelt letters. This story depicts a lot of emotions connected to love, motivation, and self-discovery that make it easy to connect and relate to Violet and the characters she writes letters for. Feeling that connection could help you feel valued and comforted during times of anxiety; whenever you are feeling anxious, try pouring your emotions into words in a letter like an Auto Memory Doll.
4. Amaama to Inazuma (Sweetness & Lightning)
This series is sweet and uplifting from the start thanks to the charismatic energy of littleTsumugi, the star of the show. This instant feel-good anime is about a widowed father and his five-year-old daughter learning how to take their life day by day, and find happiness meal after meal with the help of a friendly high school student. Although it might seem like a simple anime about home-cooked meals, it teaches you about responsible caring for the well-being of others, accepting help from those who want to give it, and how to cope with grief and struggles of parenting. Even with the plot’s darker undertones, Tsumigi’s precious smile will brighten up anyone’s day, and watching her grow throughout the series feels very rewarding as if we were there to help raise her with the dad. Not only that, you could even learn a thing or two about Japanese cooking, and maybe if you try cooking the recipes shown, it may become new yummy comfort food for you!
3. Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san (Shikimori's Not Just a Cutie)
Sometimes, a lot of misfortunes come all at the same time, making you feel like you’re the unluckiest person around. So many things going wrong so often make you worried, restless, and cursed and you feel like you’ll just keep getting hurt. This is exactly how Izumi felt every day before meeting Shikimori-san. Kawaii dake ja Nai Shikimori-san is a wholesome show about a young couple of high schoolers that just started dating.
Izumi is a sweet guy that unfortunately is followed by bad luck but his girlfriend Shikimori-san is always there to save him one way or another. Now, this show is not just a flip of the damsel in distress story, Shikimori-san needs Izumi as much as he needs her. No matter how much Izumi worries or feels depressed about his misfortune, Shikimori-san is there to lift him up, and he does the same to her when she’s feeling anxious and insecure about herself. These two are just a heartwarming couple that shows how important it is to have a healthy relationship with someone supportive and reliable as a romantic partner or friend that is willing to help us no matter how big or small our problems may seem.
2. Fruits Basket
For those who saw the first run of Fruits Basket in 2001, you already know that this is one of those big feels anime… but, how will a drama anime about an unbreakable curse help you cure your anxiety? Well friends, if you haven’t already heard, this series got a remake in 2019 that continues the series, and it gets way, way more wholesome than the 2001 story. For those who are new to the show, let us catch you up real quick.
The story is about Tooru, a teenage girl that just became an orphan after losing her mother to an accident. After feeling uncomfortable and unwelcomed in her remaining family’s home, and not wanting to be a burden on her only two friends, she opts to become homeless. However, the tent she was living at, which contained the only picture of her mom, got buried in a landslide. Noticing her situation, she is helped and homed by Yuki Souma, a fellow student with a family curse Tooru will soon discover. Promising to take the family secret to the grave, Tooru is now on a path that will change her life and impact the entire Souma family forever.
Tooru is like the Mother Teresa of anime girls. No matter how hard it gets for her or those around her, she is a beam of positivity, and her graciousness is contagious. This show has a vast array of characters of all personalities, all with issues and traumas that Tooru and her friends help resolve. In each character we’ll find a lesson to learn from to deal with our own anxiety, so be sure to give this show a chance!
1. Yoru no Kuni (Night World)
The anime Yoru no Kuni hits the number one on our list because it’s a short series with short episodes that really pack a punch. When you’re already not feeling good, something that can trigger anxiety is committing to a long show or stressing over not having enough time to watch anything. Luckily, these anime episodes last around 10 minutes each and there are only 3. The story centers around a girl who is anxious about a specific event happening in her life, and how during her restless nights, she slips into a world of darkness. Although it’s dark, the world is beautiful, and in this world, she meets an entity called Yoru that will guide her through the night and helps her understand what she’s feeling at that moment. Yoru no Kuni feels and looks like short bedtime stories that show you it’s ok to feel, and those feelings are valid and beautiful because they help you grow and shape the person you are or what to become. We’re pretty confident that this 30-minute show will change your perspective, and that Yoru’s lessons will stay with you too for a long time.
When we’re feeling irritable, it’s important to take a few steps back and have time to yourself. In those cases, we hope you can find a safe space in these anime series. Whether it was the wholesomeness of the scenes, something a character said, or the entire world of that show that made you feel better, we wish for that ease to stay with you permanently.
We hope you enjoyed the list, and that it helps you, a friend or family member to feel even a little bit more motivated to want to get better. If any of these shows made you feel reassured, helped you calm down in some way, or helped put something in your mind at rest, we invite you to come back to re-watch them as many times as you need.