12 Days of Moe – Day 5: Iyashikei
For this post, I want to talk about iyashikei anime, which is a term often overlapped with moe.
Iyashikei means healing, and with that, the term becomes quite self-explanatory. Healing anime are soothing shows to watch after perhaps a stressful day. These anime are often more slow-paced, but aims to give viewers a sense of relaxation and catharsis.
Moe anime are always relaxing and soothing, because of a few elements — cute girls doing cute things and their character-driven humor, and this is why it’s often overlapped with iyashikei. Bear in mind that iyashikei isn’t completely synonymous with moe either, considering there are often non-moe healing anime too like Mushishi, Barakamon and so on.
Other than characters and dynamics though, another big part of what makes an anime “healing” is definitely the world and atmosphere. Aria is especially “healing” because of how escapist, fantastical the world of Neo-Venezia is. Non Non Biyori is also extremely good in this department by retreating back into the rural lifestyle, far away from the busy metropolitan lives. After all, what better way to heal than to immerse yourself into such inviting settings? All these anime are quite literally butterflies for my cold, hard soul.
But despite so, it’s no exaggeration to say that while moe and iyashikei isn’t completely synonymous, moe definitely played a big role in iyashikei nonetheless. Arguably, a majority of moe anime can be regarded as healing anime as well especially with the cute, fun and bonding way the characters interact with each other, the character-driven humor and if it’s available, a fantastical, immersive world as an icing of the cake.
That’s right, although moe anime are often criticized for the lack of plot or drama, that’s not the point as moe anime aims to heal, not dramatize.
Moe is the king of feel-good anime.