Movie Reviews

10 Slice-Of-Life Anime That Focus On Clubs

The slice-of-life genre continues to dominate the anime scene with the release of Bocchi The Rock! in late fall, encompassing the struggles of a highly introverted high school girl who found her passion in becoming a guitarist.

A hugely popular part of the humbling category are a slice-of-life anime focusing on clubs, like the outdoorsy Yuru Camp and the competitive swimming of Free! Though they are drastically different in countless ways, each concentrate on finding the right group of friends (or even rivals) and thoroughly enjoying mutual interests beside them. From classics like Ouran High School Host Club to the completely revolutionary Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!, these anime bring an amazing vibrancy to the common slice-of-life genre.

When Honoke Kousaka gets wind that her beloved Otonokizaka High School’s enrollment numbers are dropping and that the institution is planning to shut down after the current first-years graduate, she devises a plan to save the school, by forming an idol group. However, Honoka soon learns that assembling an idol group and rising to fame isn’t as easy as it looks.

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With her childhood friends Kotori and Umi by her side, Honoka creates the group and sets a goal to participate in the Love Live School Idol Festival, to attract students to Otonokizaka. Tackling obstacles such as the stubborn student council president and finding other members for the club, Honoka must act fast and with perseverance as her idol group trains to win the Love Live! Filled with both light-hearted, motivational songs, Love Live! School Idol Project is perfect for lovers of slice-of-life anime and music.

Experience solo camper Rin Shima finds nothing more relaxing than spending a couple of days out in the wilderness at Japan’s many camping grounds. One day after setting up camp near Mount Fuji, Rin happens upon the food-loving Nadeshiko Kagamihara, who accidentally missed the last train of the night and must take refuge with the other girl. There, the two become fast friends, coaxing the introverted girl out of her shell.

As one of the best cooking animes, Yuru Camp teaches its viewers about everything from making a wholesome meal while camping, to gathering wood and setting up tents. While overlooking tranquil views, Rin, Nadeshiko, and the rest of the camping club begin bonding over their love of getting away for a while. The anime showcases wonderful locations that easily fill the watcher with a yearning to relax by a fire with a good meal.

After watching a match of volleyball and admiring the interesting dynamic of the sport, Hinata Shouyou longs to become a professional volleyball player. The crushing defeat of his team in middle school by prodigy Tobio Kageyama lights a fire inside Hinata, causing him to enroll in Karasuno High, his favorite pro-volleyball player’s alma mater.

In an attempt to prove himself and his skills despite his short height, Hinata joins Karasuno’s volleyball club, where he finds his rival Tobio has also enrolled. Now on the same team, the mismatched pair must put aside their differences in pursuit of their joint dreams to leave a mark on the world of volleyball and bring glory to their school’s name. As the club members learn to work like a machine alongside one another, they bring an inspiring level of determination to the court, and to the heart of viewers.

The easily overlooked main character Akari Akaza, as well as her childhood friends Kyoko and Yui, start their middle school experience by forming a club of their own.

The girls of the amusement club never fail to find new and exciting ways of staying entertained, often alongside the members of the student council, who always end up sucked into their shenanigans. With no plot or seriousness in sight, the eccentric comedy is unpredictable to the point of sheer hilarity and even has some lovable LGBTQ+ characters that bring a wholesome feel to the otherwise chaotic anime.

Enrolling in Kitauji High in hopes of leaving behind her musical memories, Kumiko Oumae somehow ends up swindled by her new friends into being a part of the school’s band club, and once again playing the euphonium.

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Aiming to participate in the local Sunfest festival and make it to nationals, the band club practices its absolute hardest to achieve success together. In the meantime, Kumiko tries to prove herself despite being distracted by Reina Kousaka, an old bandmate she butted heads with. The instrumental symphonies and winding story of Hibike! Euphonium showcase the struggle of balancing school life with a wish for musical supremacy.

Known for having some of the best animations in anime, Free! follows passionate swimmer Haruka Nanase and his friends as they form the Iwatobi High School swim club, with an unquenchable thirst for winning.

As competition time draws near and the gang recruits more members, including Haruka’s past rival Rin, the team shoots to prove themselves by coming out on top of the tournament. Developing a tight bond between the five of them, the members surpass issues of finding their purpose, encouraging one another every step of the way. Seeing a team that loves what they do and each other so purely is a rare sight, and that is perfectly encapsulated in this anime.

While freshman Yui Hirasawa wonders about Sakuragaoka High School for a club to join, the girl stumbles upon the light music club, unaware that she should know how to play an instrument already. Finding this out, Yui almost leaves the club, until the members’ awesome playing convinces her to stay.

No longer threatened to be disbanded due to a lack of members, K-On! presents the light music club as they overcome hardships like stage fright and strive for instrumental proficiency. Centered around a group of girls that love making music together as they navigate their high school lives, the well-known series is chock-full of unique friendship dynamics and cute comedy that can make any anime fan smile.

With her eyes perpetually glued to her sketchbook, Midori Asakusa has dedicated her life to drawing soulful backgrounds and vibrant landscapes from her imagination, as well as the world around her.

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After Midori and her money-hungry yet logical best friend Kanamori run into a popular model with a love for depicting the human form, the three form the motion picture club. Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!‘s exceptional creativity and interesting approach to explaining the tedious, yet amazing process of animation makes it, unlike any other anime out there. As one of the few anime to accurately portray the awkwardness of adolescence and mix it with an undeniably self-accepting environment, Eizoken sets itself apart from other slice-of-life titles brilliantly.

Taking the sport of basketball and turning it into something of an intense martial art, Kuroko no Basket is arguably the best sports anime series, focusing on Seirin High’s extremely skilled basketball club.

When Kuroko and his team vow to become the Inter-high champions, they must go head-to-head against his former teammates from middle school, exhibiting how much his playing has improved. The team’s many dynamic partnerships and fantastical ways of dominating the court are used as a narrative to highlight the anime’s nail-biting-inducing games.

Ouran High School Host Club concentrates on the studious Haruhi Fujioka as she has a chance to meet with the host club, summed up of the school’s most attractive boys who wish to impress girls. Being startled, the girl accidentally breaks an expensive vase, which she must find a way to compensate for.

Mistaken for a boy herself, Haruhi is asked to become a member and entertain the girls of the school, alongside her flamboyant and attention-craving fellow host. The wildly entertaining and hilarious anime gives each character their time to shine to the brightest of their ability with unique character developments that counteract the many stereotypes present. The lovable show is regarded as a classic by a majority of western fans, one that will have viewers rooting for specific characters to get together in no time.

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