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Minami-ke, a slice of life anime

The slice of life category of story is a story that portrays a "cut-out" sequence of events in a character's life. It may or may not contain any plot progress and little character development, and often has no exposition, conflict, or dénouement, with an open ending. It usually tries to depict the everyday life of ordinary people, sometimes but rarely, with fantasy or science fiction elements involved. The term slice of life is actually a dead metaphor: it often seems as if the author had taken a knife and "cut out" a slice of the lives of some characters, without concern for narrative form. It is sometimes called tranche de vie, from the French.

Slice of life stories appear in books, TV shows, movies and video games. Lucky Star and Minami-ke are two examples of "slice of life" anime. Slice of life stories may either be dramatic or otherwise presented in a very serious nature, or may be used to help frame a comedic setting. Sports may be present in "slice of life" in a thematic form in order to advance the plot of the story.


Main article: Iyashikei Iyashikei (癒し系, lit. "healing type") is a sub-genre of the category, portraying anime and manga characters living out peaceful lives in calming environments, and is intended to have a healing effect on the audience. It was originated in the late seventies, but emerged as a distinct subgenre in 1995, in the wake of the Great Hanshin earthquake and the Tokyo subway sarin attack. The trauma suffered by the Japanese public provided "the emotional context for the emergence of calm as a lucrative and marketable feeling", and to which combined with the economic recession, would lead to what the scholar Paul Roquet calls the iyashi trend/healing boom.

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