[Iyashikei Anime Winter 2018] Like Anne Happy♪? Watch This!

If this latest season of anime has got you stressed or left you emotionally drained, the iyashikei genre always has some relaxing options that will soothe your strained nerves! Iyashikei anime are known to be healing series, designed to be more basic stories with little conflict so that viewers can take in the pure joys of the show. Yet some of these anime are more than just the “cute girls doing cute things” trope that many think overwhelms this genre. The laid-back nature of these series may not be for everyone, but they can provide a needed break from watching an intense show. Everyone needs to take a moment to relax once in a while!

About Anne Happy (Anne-Happy)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Apr. 2016 – June 2016

At Tennomifune Academy, every student is an elite student, excelling in their studies – that is, except for the Class 1-7, known as the “Happiness Class.” Comprised of the unfortunate, this class has been put together to help its students move past their struggles and find real joy. Three students find themselves placed in this class thanks to their own individual problems, whether it be bad luck, relationships or declining health. An Hanakoizumi, Ruri Hibarigaoka, and Botan Kumegawa must work through their own issues together with their fellow classmates. Will they be able to find the pure joy they seek?

Liked Anne Happy? Watch Slow Start!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan. 2018 – Mar. 2018

Hana Ichinose seems like a normal high school student in every way – at least, that’s what her classmates think. Though her classmates have no idea, Hana actually enrolled in high school a year late. She must find a way to catch up with her classmates without letting them know how far behind she is. An anime that is more than just “cute girls doing cute things,” Slow Start studies relationships in the form of a support system. Hana is a character we can all relate to, especially for those who have to deal with anxiety.

Hana’s journey is one of small victories over her day-to-day problems, as she makes progress toward overall improvement. With a supporting cast of realistic characters, Slow Start is a wholesome anime with an important story to tell.

Three Major Similarities Between Anne Happy and Slow Start

1. School Girls Finding Support

Both Anne Happy and Slow Start are anime that focus on a group of students who find support in their friendships with one another. The girls of Anne Happy have their own individual struggles, but being part of the Happiness class with their classmates helps them find their own personal happiness. Likewise, Hana finds support in her own school friends, even though they are not aware of the true nature of her situation. Their constant friendship is one of the few things that helps relieve Hana’s anxiety about her school struggles. Although this may sound a little cheesy, friendship truly is one of the most important things in these girls’ lives, powerful enough to get them through just about anything.

2. Protagonists Have Unusual Problems

An Hanakoizumi and Hana share a commonality other than their age and appearance – both girls have struggles that are rather unusual for most high school students their age! Though they seem to be regular high school girls, these characters have hidden struggles, ones that we as an audience might find unusual but can relate to on some level. An has bad luck, which has landed her in the Happiness class because of its drastic alterations on her life. Hana has been put in a unique situation, starting high school a year later than she was supposed to. The two girls may have different problems, but An and Hana are actually quite similar.

3. Art And Animation

One of the most important aspects of a true iyashikei anime is the beautiful art style that captivates its audience. It is this art style, combined with the plot and characters, which is able to provide a relaxing effect for viewers. Anne Happy has a light and colorful palette to match its characters and their journey to happiness, something that Slow Start matches, even though its plot may be different. These anime are enjoyable to watch, not just because of the story but because of the gorgeous animation!


Liked Anne Happy? Watch Sora yori mo Tooi Basho (A Place Further Than The Universe)!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Aired: Jan. 2018 – Mar. 2018

Shirase Kobuchizawa has been striving to collect enough money to travel to Antarctica since her mother disappeared. Despite the difficulty of raising money and doubt from everyone on all sides, Shirase will go through with her plans in order to search for her mother. Mari Tamaki has always dreamed of traveling beyond the reaches of the universe, but lacks the confidence to look past her limits. The two girls decide to reach for their dreams together, and with the excitable Hinata Miyake and quiet Yuzuki Shiraishi in tow, the girls embark on their journey to a place further than the universe!

Three Major Similarities Between Anne Happy and Sora yori mo Tooi Basho

1. Enigmatic Girls With Plenty Of Personality

Anne Happy focuses on the girls who are a part of the Happiness class, each with their own distinct personalities and struggles. Sora yori mo Tooi Basho also centers on a group of girls with their own dreams and individuality, giving each of the characters an opportunity to shine. Both anime delve into their character development in such a realistic fashion, allowing the girls to grow as they go on their journeys. As a result, both shows offer characters that are able to connect with their audience, even as they each have unique personalities from one another.

2. A Journey Toward Meaning

Similar to Anne Happy, Sora yori mo Tooi Basho takes the relaxing iyashikei genre and adds in deeper meaning to the anime plot. Shirase, Mari, Hinata and Yuzuki go on a physical journey to Antarctica, but they also embark on a more meaningful search for the beauty and joy behind life. In turn, the girls of the Happiness class are on their own individual journeys to overcome their own struggles. Each of the groups relies on the other characters to help them in their adventures, allowing their experiences to be shared. In a way, each of these stories could be considered a coming-of-age tale of sorts.

3. Unusual Settings With Realistic Problems

Sora yori mo Tooi Basho is certainly set in an unusual place, with the group of girls adventuring all the way down to Antarctica on their journey! However, Anne Happy may not seem to be as unusual a setting for An and her friends. While it is true that these girls attend a rather normal-seeming school, they are also a part of a unique class, the Happiness class, which is designed to help them in overcoming their personal problems. And no matter the place, both sets of characters have realistic emotions and struggles that the audience can relate to.

Final Thoughts

The classic iyashikei style found in Anne Happy is replicated in both Slow Start and Sora yori mo Tooi Basho. These three shows, despite their differences in appearance, share a soothing atmosphere, beautiful animation style and an integral deeper meaning found in each plotline. Any of these options would be an enjoyable watch!

We’ve spent a lot of time with these shows, so we might be a bit biased when we say that Sora yori mo Tooi Basho and Slow Start are some of our favorite anime from this season. But what do you think? Will you be giving either of these anime a chance? What is your favorite anime from the Winter 2018 season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Meghan May Dellinger

Writer

Author: Meghan May Dellinger

Konnichiwa! I'm a writer/daydreamer who gets a little lost along the path of life from time to time. I love watching anime and playing all kinds of video games - everything from RPGs to first-person shooters. I hope to be an author someday, but until then, I'll share my words with the world any way I can! I love making new friends, so don't be afraid to leave a comment!

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