Let’s be real for a minute (about some feel-good anime).
Life can be an absolute slog sometimes. You know that feeling, when you’re peppered with so much stress and panic, you fear that your head might spontaneously combust. And unless you intend to direct all of that goop at your most hated rival, it’s an awful vibe.
Fortunately, you have a whimsical reprieve at your disposal, and its name is anime. Release yourself from the rigours of a tiresome day by firing up your favourite show, equipping yourself with comfort food (mine is just a bowl of aioli, don’t judge), and chillin’ like a villain.
May we suggest some particularly mirthful feel-good anime options? This assortment of positivity is sure to lift your spirits, and after a few episodes, you’ll be ready to tackle whatever fate throws at you tomorrow. You can pace yourself, friend, because the only speed limit we deal with here is smiles per hour.
My Senpai is Annoying
Futaba Igarashi is a spectacular ball of energy condensed into a diminutive package. She’s diligent, ambitious and determined, and wants nothing more than to ascend the corporate ladder. Her workplace mentor Harumi Takeda, despite his good nature, unwittingly undermines her at almost every turn. He’s twice her size and at least twenty times as confident, which all goes towards creating an even greater presence.
Ugh, sometimes it’s not fun being the little one. Especially a little one with a cute little fang.
The term ‘slice of life’ has rarely been so succinctly encapsulated as it is in My Senpai is Annoying. Here, we see an existence not unlike our own, rife with its own humble challenges and setbacks. We can associate with an amiable character like Igarashi, whose grounded, congeneric routine is defined not only by the tasks she must rise to, but the bonds that are forged along the way.
At all times, she feels as though she has to put in more effort just to be taken seriously by her peers, not only in the workplace but in her day to day life. Sound familiar? Even if you haven’t experienced this directly, it’s easy to comprehend just how frustrating it can be.
This feel-good anime window into the realities of office life is such a breath of fresh air, admirably championing the idea that the most interesting stories can often be those that mirror authentic circumstances. The small things — no, that’s not a jab at you Igarashi! — are just as significant.
The Vampire Dies in No Time
What is a vampire? A miserable little pile of… sand!
It’s tricky trying to describe an anime like this; one that is so magnificently quirky and really demands you watch it yourself to better understand. We’ll do our best, because articles generally don’t work very well without words. Feel free to submit your own interpretive dance, should you find the urge.
That said, you can glean quite a lot from the title itself. True to its claim, the sinister vampire Draluc has a tendency to die with even the slightest provocation. Glancing blow? It’ll prove lethal. Tripping over furniture? Yeah, that’ll do it. Say something mean? That hurts!! …Literally. He dead.
His only saving grace is being otherwise immortal, able to then come back to life with injuries no worse than a bruised ego. When he crosses paths with the fabled vampire hunter Ronaldo, their duel is over within seconds, leading them to surmise that a partnership could prove more lucrative than repeated homicide.
Armed only with the essentials — his coffin, his collection of gaming consoles, and his armadillo named John, and I must emphasise, his armadillo named John — Draluc has to adjust to the freewheeling lifestyle of vampire hunting on the fly. It soon becomes apparent that there are other agendas to be dealt with, even more dreadful than squaring up against the hordes of the undead; the harrowing pressures of commitment. Suna!!
The Vampire Dies in No Time is unbridled slapstick silliness that is constantly injecting more and more chaotic ingredients into the mix, allies and revenants alike. It is frenetic, bizarre, irreverent, and a feel-good anime in the best way possible. As you will learn, there is more than one variety of vampire lurking out there, even more unorthodox and disturbing than old Dral himself.
And finally, the opening theme by Jun Fukuyama is a hot damned bop that will get your bones a’boogeyin’.
It is not a stretch to say that Obey Me! is capable of enrapturing you within its opening scene. The seven demon brothers are quickly established, expounded and highlighted, immediately laying its cards on the table and showing you what kind of madness you’re in for.
And gosh, we love it so.
Every feel-good anime episode comes in bite-sized chunks, allowing you to revel in its uproarious absurdity before rapidly moving onto the next misadventure. It is a comedic tour de force that never takes itself seriously, and each character is very much their own unique beast.
Are you a fan of the vain Asmodeus? The opportunistic Mammon? Or the stoic Lucifer? They all offer something completely fresh and fascinating, and the episodic nature of this anime is like a shuffling of the deck every few minutes. Don’t be surprised if you choose a new favourite again and again and again.
As a cool added bonus, there is even audio commentary available recorded by the voice actors themselves, providing further insight into the method behind the meshugaas.
Obey Me! wears its otome origins on its sleeve with pride, and we as the viewers are rewarded with a gamut of buff, eccentric and altogether shallow demon bishounen. Indeed, this is the greatest reward of all. We will gladly obey you any day of the week, aniki.
Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S
We should all be made to feel special and important, and for dragons, it’s no different. Especially those who find themselves in the employ of unwitting BFFs.
Tohru is a vibrant, bubbly saurian who is eager to please, and will always do whatever she can to win Miss Kobayashi’s praise. Her skills include cooking, cleaning, greeting guests and murder. Sound wild? Yeah, we wouldn’t have expected a dragon to be adept as a greeter either.
The relationship between Miss Kobayashi and her mythical brood is heartwarming to watch unfold. She is a pragmatic realist, not exactly suited to the vivacious adulation of her new maid or her scaly kin, but she takes it in stride, trying earnestly to guide them through the peculiar world of humans.
And then, just when she believed she was getting her head around the situation, yet another wandering dragon happens upon her doorstep. What kind of power does Ilulu have, and will she use her strange techniques for harmony or chaos? Also, what is going on with her hands, I can’t even deal right now.
Though Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid S is a comedy at its core — and a dang funny one, for that matter — it is loaded with sentimental moments that truly resonate. It is quite genuine and sweet, even thought provoking. Risible as the premise may be, there’s something many of us would find relatable about the idea of trying to fit into the rigid structure of modern society.
Plus, some of us have tails that are totally delicious, and you should just try a little bite. Come on, don’t be such a prude…
MY Love STORY!!
Love can come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, it’s in the form of a cute, doting girl whose voice is enough to pierce your soul. Other times, it’s in the form of a VERY LARGE YOUNG MAN WHO CAN WILLINGLY DESTROY THINE ENEMIES AND YES ONLY CAPITAL LETTERS WILL SUFFICE FOR THIS ANALOGY.
Takeo Gouda is a mountainous high schooler whose persona has been defined by his imposing figure. His very visage strikes fear in the eyes of most, and any potential love interest is instead drawn towards his childhood friend, Makoto Sunakawa — who quickly shoots them down in a manner that ranges between blunt and brutal.
As his physique would suggest, Takeo can dispose of ne’er-do-wells with a single swipe, but he’s really just a loveable lug stifled by an inability to connect with the public. His chance meeting with Rinko Yamato looks to be proceeding much the same as usual, brushed to the sidelines while Suna receives the attention. So, he takes it in stride, devoting himself to becoming the perfect cheerleader. Unless…?
Honestly, MY Love STORY!! is a delight. Takeo is as likeable as a leading character can be, immediately defaulting to the assistance of others, and is just impossible not to get behind. Rinko, meanwhile, is kind and self-doubting, with several parallels to our gargantuan hero. It’s not uncommon for us to want the protagonists to win against dangerous odds, however there’s something quite special about feeling legitimately invested in them just winning at life.
As an aside, the way character’s thoughts are stylistically spoken through brief flashes of text is such a neat touch. So cleverly expressive, and you can take it in as much as you’d like.
So let’s take a deep breath. In, out… feel a little bit better? I sure do.
Funimation’s got your cruisy feel-good anime hookup and the beautiful community to match. Be sure to share your preferred feel-good titles, a few tips on unwinding, and a funny cat video if you’re so inclined. A jolly neko-chan always helps.