Best Anime For De-Stressing – Danielle Keating

Us weebs/otakus/nerds/anime enthusiasts (or whatever you wish to call yourself) get excited over anime, but have you ever used it to calm down? I have, and it is the entertainment equivalent of taking a Xanax. Depending on what show you choose, the method can be quite effective. The following shows I suggest are lighthearted and upbeat, which can be just what we need after a long day of existence.

Lucky Star

So what’s it about?
I call Lucky Star the Seinfeld of anime. Why? It’s a slice of life about nothing, is meant to make the audience laugh, and is character-driven. This is a low-stress, relatable, and even mundane show, and I mean that in the best of ways. Lucky Star documents the high school lives of Kagami and Tsukasa Hiiragi, Miyuki Takara, and Konata Izumi (my favorite).

Why it’s good for de-stressing?
Lucky Star revolves around the universally understood premise of high school life. Half the first episode just talks about how the characters eat food (ex. How they grill onions during Korean barbeque, which end of a chocolate coronet they eat first, etc.). Since it is so uneventful and the character design is adorable, viewers have almost no chance of feeling riled up while watching it. Also, Konata Izumi is great and probably the most relatable character, for she is the weeb of the group. She commonly gets roasted for it, but there’s something so satisfying about seeing her play video games, watch anime, read manga, and then shake off any rude comments about it. Not only is she thick-skinned, she still manages to pass her classes and even work at a cosplay cafe. Maybe it’s just me, but there is something so great about seeing nerds make money off their interests.

Kirby of the Stars (Japanese)
Kirby Right Back at Ya! (English)

So what’s it about?
Kirby isn’t just a video game character! He’s also an anime character in a cute, but admittedly formulaic show. Many people may not find predictable plotlines interesting, but there is something quite relaxing about being over ninety percent sure of how the episode will end. Basically how every episode goes down is the King of Dreamland, DeDeDe, orders a monster from the HolyNightmare company to attack Kirby, Kirby uses his suckup copy power, then peace is restored.

Why it’s good for de-stressing?
Knowing that the main character is going to come out alive keeps you from hanging on the edge of your seat when you just feel like lying down. Nintendo’s Kirby series is cutesy and kid-friendly, which makes it hard to feel anxious while watching or playing it. Visually it’s precious, you have cute pink Kirby along with the almost as cute anime-exclusive characters Bun (sub)/Tuff (English) and Fumu (sub)/Tiff (English). Not only are Kirby’s co-stars easy on the eyes, none of the antagonists look frightening either, but there also’s soothing music at the start of nearly every episode, and it’s PG enough to watch with the little ones. Also, Meta Knight is in this show, and he alone is a reason to watch Kirby in either language.

Yokai Watch

So what’s it about?
This one is also formulaic and has been called a Pokemon ripoff, but that does not mean it has no entertainment value. Yokai Watch is an anime based on a game of the same title and shows the life of Nate Adams, a kid who finds yokai butler, Whisper in a capsule lying in the middle of the woods. After meeting Whisper, Nate then obtains the Yokai watch which allows him to see spirits. From here, the episodes basically go like this: something weird happens, it’s because of a yokai, Nate makes the yokai go away, and then Nate earns a Yokai medal, a device that lets him summon the spirits..

Why it’s good for de-stressing?
Again, predictability is calming. Not only is it calming, but it is also something of a slice of life show. The yokai in this anime do not do creepy stuff like make people’s heads spin around exorcist style or haunt old mansions, they cause everyday inconveniences. Among these inconveniences are forgetting things, doubting your answers during tests, and buying stupid things. There’s even a Yokai that makes people fart in class, which I find hilarious due to my sky-high levels of maturity.

Ghost Stories

So what’s it about?
All you dub haters hear me out; the English dub of Ghost Stories is freaking hilarious. Ghost Stories did not do well in Japan, so when they sold it to Funimation, they told them to do whatever they wanted as long as they kept the storyline and character names, and oh my god, is it glorious. This show has the same plot for nearly every episode, something shady is going on, the main characters find it’s connected to a ghost, and then stop said ghost. However, the jokes in each episode are new every time. Unlike Yokai Watch, you can’t watch this one with anyone under thirteen.

Why it’s good for de-stressing?
Laughing releases endorphins, which are hormones that make you feel good. However, only the English version of Ghost Stories will give you the jokes. Still would rather watch the sub? Here are some quotes from the show that cracked me up and might change your mind.

“I come from a long line of quasi-lesbian ghost killers! I’m not afraid of your ugly draggy ass!” (Episode 12)

“So I dragged my happy ass out in the pourin’ rain.” (Episode 9)

“Monsters only get evil people like Republicans and we’re not old enough to vote!” (Episode 1).

Even though I am a registered Republican, I still couldn’t help but laugh at that last line. Also, the conflict is relatively the same each time, but the jokes make up for it.

A suspenseful and dramatic anime is great, but it is not so great for when you need to unwind. The best things for watching to mellow out will have both humor and low stakes. Also, a bit of cuteness never hurts. This is my own personal list of chill-out anime, what anime do you guys watch after a long day?

Danielle Keating got her start in writing by authoring haiku poetry in a magazine titled Exchange Students Online. From there, she began writing and submitting more works and has over fifty publications and has completed three writing internships. Companies that feature her work include Friday Flash Fiction, Study Breaks, and Ricky’s Back Yard.


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