Why slice-of-life anime will never fade into oblivion

I am currently celebrating the gifts of a four-day weekend: aside from the regular weekend, there are also two consecutive holidays, thus the absence of classes. It has been quite some time since I have been able to enjoy free time such as this: because of the break, I have been able to pick up on my reading and watching anime.

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For the past two days I have read a book each day: I have read a collection of short stories by Leoncio Deriada, a prominent Filipino author, for the first day, and a collection of articles published in 1967 mulling over the future.

The articles, situated in the present, are pathetic, laughable, and preposterous. Ideas of ‘telemobility’ and ‘machinated man’ by the year 2000 are pretty funny, especially when viewed with the mindset of the present.

This is probably the reason why I like reading literature more than I do scientific articles. I have only read scientific articles whenever they are compiled into book form, and my experience as regards them have been pretty bad: I have written about The New Astronomy in the past; now I am writing about The Dynamics of Change. (I guess after 40 years nothing becomes dynamic anymore, even if it is change.) This may also be the same reason why I prefer watching slice-of-life anime series compared to futuristic ones.

Scientific articles, as evidenced by this collection, have material which are very evanescent and temporal. What was relevant at their time is no longer relevant at ours. Science evolves at a breakneck pace: this is one of the reasons why there are new editions of textbooks coming out every year (aside from the reason of money-making).

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I bought it because it looked cool: it was hardbound. It was very inexpensive, too.

‘Telemobility’ is no longer as relevant today. It is a staple of most people’s everyday life. However, being human remains to be highly relevant, and this is what literature (classical, primarily) has been doing for quite some time. Its subject is timeless as long as there is a single human being living in this world. Humanity may have been changed and molded into a different entity, but its core remains to be the same.

This is the reason why the plays of Sophocles still reverberate despite its age; this is also the reason why Maison Ikkoku remains to be one of the most highly-regarded anime of all time. I bet that even 20 years in the future, Honey and Clover will still possess its universal acclaim.

Times may change, and indeed they have. At its core, however, humanity remains the same. Love, friendship, struggle and pain will pervade humanity wherever he will go until the last ding-dong of death at the door of the last human denizen of the Earth singing his last (and only) death knell. And this is why slice-of-life anime, as well as literature, will endure and prevail.

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15 Responses to “Why slice-of-life anime will never fade into oblivion”

  1. lelangir Says:

    I can tell you’re not wearing a shirt in that picture, as usual.

  2. Michael Says:

    It’s about 36 degrees C in here. Of course I wasn’t wearing a t-shirt. :3

  3. RyanA Says:

    Cut the life in half, and show it to the world. Slice of life is amazing in various ways; it comes quite close to the art of doing nothing. Did you ever watch Cafe Lumiere? Very solid in that way (it’s a tribute to Yasujiru Ozu).

    It’s fun to see that slice of life, while in the middle of it as well.. it’s the little things we often enjoy 🙂 Cheers Mike!

  4. meganeshounen Says:

    Four day weekend… it’s only 3 days for me…

    Anyway, whenever I think of sci-fi novels, Clarke’s Third Rule comes to mind (the one about “technology sufficiently advanced becomes akin to magic itself”). Kinda scary that way.

    Also, I remember that people back in the 70’s (or was it the 80’s) thought that we’d be having flying cars by 2000. Then again…

    *looks at the SOARING (no pun) gas prices*

  5. Baka-Raptor Says:

    That’s you? I always assume these pics are the first ones you find on a Google image search.

  6. Michael Says:

    RyanA:

    Much of life, after all, is just nothing and doing nothing. I want to watch Tokyo Story one of these days. I heard (and read) that Ozu was a great director.

    meganeshounen:

    We always thought too ahead of ourselves. Right now, we’re still using oil, despite predictions to the contrary. But it’s all right. We shall endure.

    Baka-Raptor:

    Yes, that’s me. Of course, I was shielded from the book, and my upper body was also naked. It’s something you must do when you live in my place. 🙂

  7. Anirban Says:

    Your choices for slice of life anime/manga were spot on. I recently read Maison Ikkoku and its really good in a very timeless way.
    I have really enjoyed Honey and Clover too
    So what other manga or anime would you recommend?

  8. Michael Says:

    I have seen only few truly endearing slice-of-life anime, but if you haven’t seen the second season of Honey and Clover yet I suggest you watch that. I would also recommend the Ghibli film Ocean Waves, because it chronicles a tension between romance and friendship.

    I haven’t read many slife-of-life manga (at least, those that are plausible), but despite the premature termination I really thought Hatsukoi Limited was a very good work. I know that it contains ecchi, but I truly loved the resolution and the struggling development with regard to first loves. 🙂

  9. lelangir Says:

    Rejoice! This morning it’s in the low 70’s!

  10. Michael Says:

    Yeah, it was pretty cold this morning. Then again I had to deal with floods and a typhoon, so it all evened out.

  11. your site is utterly gay. hahaha. Says:

    i cannot sleep so i will comment on this post of yours.

    i love Honey and Clover but it isn’t my fave (i do not have a favorite because i’m not an otaku. ahem.) i dropped that four times before i finally decided to continue. what changed my mind was the episode where mayama was carrying yamada; yamada was confessing her feelings to mayama. she kept saying, “i love you; i love you; i love you…” but mayama, who was seemingly obdurate (haha. of course not), simply replied with “yes. yes. yes,” and finally he said, “thank you!”

    at that moment, my stoned heart shattered; and the pieces flew in the cold breeze like dust. “bring back my heart,” i kept screaming in silence. 🙁

    i beg to disagree with you regarding sophocle’s plays. the pagan gods and goddess has already “written” the life of oedipus even before his birth. everything is fated…

    life’s not like that; we choose our own destiny.

  12. your site is utterly gay. hahaha. Says:

    * have, i mean.

    yey! it means that i’m sleepy now…

    p.s. i cannot understand why a man like you is so attracted purple! your site is utterly gay. hahaha

  13. your site is utterly gay. hahaha. Says:

    *so attracted to purple

    omg. i messed up with this site. next time i will refrain from commenting when i am sleepy.

  14. Anime Lover Says:

    I found your blog on google Great Info and great anime lovers. I just added you to my Google News Reader 🙂 Keep up the good work. Looking forward to reading more from you in the future.

  15. kosze upominkowe Says:

    Thx for this article. Very good.

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