Slice of Life anime, if done right, provides calmness and relaxation. While there is no lack of series in this genre, only some can be regarded as good. Following that train of thought, an amazing slice of life anime is getting harder to come by as the seasons pass. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying most slice of life anime suck. We just mean that they don’t necessarily leave that big of an impression. This season, however, we are graced with a true slice of life masterpiece. We are referring to Shiroi Suna no Aquatope (The Aquatope on White Sand). Here are the things it did right.
A Colorful Cast
The story of The Aquatope on White Sand revolves around an aquarium in Okinawa that’s on the verge of closure. That being said, the true stars of the show are the staff, who despite the impending closure, refuse to quit. What makes this anime great is that the characters have a story to tell. Even the supporting characters have their own colorful past, motivation, or special reason as to why they just can’t let go of Gama Gama Aquarium.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the core of a slice of life anime is its cast. Slice of life, after all, banks on showcasing the beauty of day-to-day activities. If the characters are boring, then their usual activities will also be monotonous and boring. If this is the case, the series will logically be a sad attempt at storytelling. This is why The Aquatope on White Sand’s set of characters is great. Because of them, there’s barely any downtime. Something interesting but ordinary happens in every episode.
The reason slice of life anime are relaxing to watch is that nothing is being rushed. Be it the story, character development, or even the backstories, slice of life series tend to take their time laying out everything. Because of that, the viewers don’t have a hard time following and can also take their time digesting information. True enough, The Aquatope on White Sand is perfectly paced. It’s not rushed to the point that we can barely understand the complexity of what the characters have to offer, but it’s also not too slow to the point that it feels dragged and boring. As a result, we receive an anime that is both relaxing but also has a story to tell.
Just the Right Amount of Drama
While character quirks are a good starting point, they’re not enough to maintain the audience's attention for a whole season. In order to do that, another spice must be added. For The Aquatope on White Sand, that spice is drama. Don’t get us wrong. That extra spice doesn’t always have to be drama. It can be action, comedy, or even mystery. What’s important is not what that added element is, but rather how much of it is added.
The Aquatope on White Sand has a good amount of drama to make things interesting, but not too much that it becomes stressful. There are rarely any conflicts, and when it does have one, it still ends with the episode. Because of this, the series manages to stay true to the genre’s promise–proving a sweet and relaxing watching experience.
We here in Honey’s love a good slice of life anime, and The Aquatope on White Sand is easily one of our favorites. A good slice of life anime requires a good balance of entertainment and peacefulness. That is basically what this anime is all about–balance. From pacing to drama, it has nailed it perfectly. What baffles us is how this series is not getting much attention. If you haven’t picked this up yet, then you’re definitely missing out on one of the best, if not the best, anime this season.