12 Days of Moe – Day 3: Slice of Life
Though as time goes on, I begun to watch more anime. I got myself acquainted with more genres and broaden my horizons, so to speak. And I have to say, slice of life has really grown on me over the years. It also may be that I’m a grown individual now as well, and while the kid in me desire cool shit like swords and explosions, the other part of me desire meaning in the mundane.
…which is exactly why slice of life is such a great genre. I remembered watching Wagnaria and thinking it’s a good slice of life show, but it’s not until the official end of the series that I finally considered it as something special, because really, that “payoff” is hard to beat.
I think for us consumers of media, it’s in our human nature to desire both developments and conclusions. Just like how we in real life may have gone through conclusive pages of our own lives (high school graduation, college graduation, entering the workforce, marriage, etc…); likewise we want our characters to develop, we want our favorite ships to set sail, we are cheering for them to move on with their lives. Just like our own lives, we also desire developments and conclusions in the pages of these characters’ everyday lives.
This is exactly why K-ON is such a great slice of life anime, it had an excellent conclusive end where the seniors of the keion-bu graduated from high school, and they performed one last time exclusively for Azusa in one of the most memorable, feels-inducing scene of the series. This is also why Aria is such a great series, the last few episodes of Origination is one of the greatest thing I have ever experienced, what with the main characters finally becoming Prima and how the more reliable Akari taking over Aria Company. All these does not happen overnight, but it’s through day after day, week after week of observing their journey. The reason why it’s such a gratifying experience to watch them “move on” with their lives is exactly because you are investing in their everyday lives from day one.
All these is why slice of life is such a great genre. Investing yourself in the daily lives of these characters are definitely good, but nothing can beat that final payoff. The greatest joy in slice of life is to not only see the journey of all these characters where they grow as person, but also you, the viewer, are also following the journey in it’s entirety. Because of that, it’s as if you know all these characters as your own friends.
To encapsulate my point in this post — slice of life is a good genre, -exactly- because of that potential final payoff somewhere down the line.