Japanese anime viewership has increased immensely during the pandemic. The comfort of escaping from the harshness of reality by watching colorful explosions and complex otherworldly stories were probably at the root of this. It made us feel less lonely through all-inclusive and relatable characters with pure mindsets. Anime soothed our soul and gave us motivation while our world was burning down. Unfortunately, although we have become more social now, due to recent non-human political events, we need emotional support more than ever. These 3 wholesome anime will surely give you hope for a better world.
3. The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Netflix / The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.
Many of you have probably seen Saiki K. before: his pink hair, green glasses, and antennae make him stand out. However, Saiki just wants to be an average guy so he used his psychic powers to manipulate the whole world to be born with colorful hair. This comedic anime is narrated by Saiki and is extremely fast paced to the point that sentences sound like one word. The story mainly revolves around Saiki’s love for coffee jelly, Nendou’s naive but good-hearted stupidity, and Kaido’s imaginative obsession with fighting against The Dark Reunion. Somehow they make the perfect friendship group by bringing out the best in each other and protecting each other.
It is difficult to hate any of the characters, even though they are sometimes cunning and act in the cringiest ways. But, because Saiki keeps talking condescendingly about them then suddenly praises them for being good humans – and they are so odd, it just makes you appreciate the craziness in all humans. It’s hilariously wholesome and comforting during confusing times.
2. Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
Aniplex / Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day
‘Anohana’ is definitely amongst the top 5 saddest anime of all time. It is filled with frustration, unsaid goodbyes and grief; but also loving friendships, closure, and embracing of differences. The story starts with Jinta skipping school and playing video games all day long. He suddenly starts imagining Menma, his childhood friend who passed away when they were young, but blames his hallucinations on the summer heat. As the days go by, he starts to unwillingly hang out with his childhood friends after many years. They realize that the hallucination is actually Menma’s ghost; however, only Jinta can see her. Being all together brings back complicated dynamics and exposes their guilt and trauma from Menma’s death.
Although this anime covers a lot of heavy topics, it lets the audience know that everyone makes mistakes but no one should be blamed for them. Every character is flawed but in the end they manage to empathize with each others’ experiences and make each other feel less lonely. Overall, the story is extremely wholesome because of the ending – which I will not spoil so you must watch it for yourself.
1. March Comes in Like a Lion
Netflix / March Comes in Like a Lion
I have never seen such a unique and mesmerizing artstyle in an anime before watching ‘March Comes in Like Lion’. The soft narration of Rei and the occasional shattering of reality described with harsh black and white colors, perfectly portray a depressed mind. This anime is about Rei, one of the few elite shogi players (a Japanese chess-like game). Getting into shogi was somewhat inevitable as his late father was a shogi master, and his adoptive father is also a professional shogi player. Ever since middle school, he had been living alone because of being abused by a member of his adoptive family. This way being a shogi player started to become a necessary part of Rei’s life rather than his passion.
However, an extremely loving family notice his loneliness and become determined to make him happy. They become his true family through their daily invitations to dinner and unconditional mental support for each other. This show made me cry almost every scene – not because it’s sad but because of how human it is. It can get quite lonely and hopeless sometimes, but we always need to accept kindness and value everything we have in our lives.
Cover Image: Gracia Dharma
Edited by: Hana Maurer