Anime used to be filled with stories about the chosen ones doing all they can in order to achieve larger-than-life objectives. From magical girls to monster-slaying pirates, anime became the place where we can witness extraordinary characters doing extraordinary things.
However, there’s a new trend in the anime world recently that is sort of the opposite of all of those fantastical things. We see tons of stories about ordinary people doing whatever it is that they love. And when done right, this type of anime is so enjoyable to watch. Not only that, most of these shows are quite informative as well. With that in mind, here are 5 informative anime about people doing what they love.
5. Yuru Camp (Laid-Back Camp)
As the name suggests, laid-back camp is a relaxing story about a bunch of high school girls visiting various campsites, in a laid-back manner. The story is presented mainly from two perspectives, a solo camper, and a group camper. That way, we as the viewers get to see what it is like to camp with either option. Camping as a group one can be a lot of fun, but it can also turn into a big hassle. And if you want to go solo, it is extremely economical, practical, and relaxing, but it can be quite lonely as well.
Unlike the other anime in this list that has other, deeper stories surrounding the main activities, there’s really no other subtext to this anime. From start to finish, it is an anime about the joy of camping. That is also the reason why Laid-back camp can provide much more thorough information about its activity, even more so than the other entries in this list. From picking the basic and most appropriate equipment to visiting some of the best campsites in Japan, there’s a wealth of valuable knowledge in this anime.
4. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend)
The story of Saekano revolves around creating video games. Tomoya Aki is a gamer otaku and has been dreaming about making his own game for a long time, specifically a genre of game called Visual Novel. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the skills necessary to create something as complex as a video game.
So he decided to be the director and the producer, and ask other people to help him out on the other aspects of the story. He asks an upperclassman, who is a well-known novelist, to write the script for the game. He asked an artist friend to create the illustration for the game. He asked a classmate to be the main voice actress for the game. And finally, Tomoya asks his childhood friend to compose the score for the game.
Saekano is presented as a Harem anime, but at its core, it is a story about a group of people who use their skills to achieve a common goal, which is crafting great video games. Through this anime, we get to see every facet of creating a visual novel through the lens of an indie developer. From the development to the marketing of the game, Saekano delivers it to the viewers in an interesting and engaging manner.
3. Eizouken ni wa Te wo Dasu na! (Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!)
Eizouken is an anime about three high school girls who are part of The Video Society club (Eizouken!). They are avid anime fans and want nothing more than to create their own original anime. But similar to video games in Saekano, anime is a project that requires different skill sets. As it happened, the three of them are good at certain things and therefore can cover different parts of the process.
Midori Asakusa has a clear vision of what the story would be, and she is also great at creating imaginary worlds, so she becomes the director and the background artist. Tsubame Mizusaki is always interested in anatomy and dynamic motion and she also has great attention to detail, so she is responsible for the key animations. Meanwhile, Sayaka Kanamori is a problem solver that can always find opportunities in hidden places, so she becomes the producer. Later on, they will also work together with other people, such as amateur voice actors and fanatic audiophiles to complete their project.
Eizouken! shows the fun and difficult process of creating an anime. There are other anime that focus solely on this topic, such as Shirobako. But most of them are about people who work in the anime industry. Eizouken!, however, is about a group of friends pouring everything they have into their passion project, and that is what makes it so exciting and inspiring to watch.
2. Runway de Waratte (Smile Down the Runway)
Ikuto Tsumura is a boy who dreams to be a fashion designer despite coming from a poor family. Chiyuki Fujito is a girl who dreams to have a career as a fashion model despite being short. There are so many challenges and obstacles in their way, but both of these high schoolers keep on working hard to make their dream come true.
Rather than the process of creating the clothes themselves, Smile Down the Runway focuses more on the world of the fashion industry. Or at least what the industry looks like in Japan. In a way, it is a chance to get a behind the scene glimpse into the industry.
For Ikuto, we see the grueling life of being an assistant for a famous fashion designer, the chaotic situation during a fashion show, etc. For Chiyuki, we see how difficult it is for models to market themselves and get a job, the taxing lifestyle that they have to live through in order to survive in this ruthless industry, etc. Smile Down the Runway manages to seamlessly blend an inspiring story with a fascinating look into the fashion industry.
1. Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (My Dress-Up Darling)
From Camping to Fashion, all of the previous titles manage to unveil the curtain behind their respective field. However, My Dress-Up Darling tops them all for simply giving us an insider look into something that is rarely explored in anime despite being such a popular subculture and so tightly related to the world of anime itself. Cosplay.
The story is told through a happy-go-lucky high school girl called Marin Kitagawa who loves anime and video games, and her classmate, a shy boy named Wakana Gojo who wants to be a Hina doll maker just like his grandfather. Marin loves cosplay, but she can’t make the costume. Gojo doesn’t know anything about cosplay, but he is arguably one of the best dressmakers in his school.
So begin their journey into the world of cosplay as they explore all kinds of techniques to create costumes, make-up, and props, places to buy cosplay-related items, participate in cosplay events, meet fellow cosplayers, and so many other fun activities. The heartwarming romance between Marin and Gojo is also an incredible cherry on top.
The five titles in this list are some of the best samples of the kind of anime that you can watch to have a good time, while also providing you with insider information about certain topics at the same time. Not only that, but it can also inspire you to try a new hobby or a new activity that you might not have thought about before.
Do you know any other anime that deserves to be on this list? If so, don’t hesitate to tell us about it in the comment section below.