Wholesome anime, also known as iyashikei (literally meaning “healing”), is a genre which focuses on creating a relaxing experience for the viewer, often making their mood warm and fuzzy.
Bored of watching the same anime where the protagonist “has a dream of being someone big, while saving his friends and throwing everyone who stands in his/her way out of the window” ? Well, this is the genre for you!
The Wholesome genre consists of anime which generally are soothing, slow-pacing, and focus on creating a sense of relaxation and comfort for the viewer. Most of these anime generally fall under the “Slice-of-Life” category, having minimal conflict and focusing on the significant moments of the characters’ lives, unlike other action/drama packed series.
Even though not always present, the element of comedy is also included to create funny and “feel-good” moments.
Most Underrated Wholesome Anime:
With anime being such a humongous and popular medium, consisting of nearly every topic which is bound to attract otakus, the wholesome genre never fails to put a smile up on anyone’s face who take their time to explore the genre.
Enough chit-chat! Here are 15 most underrated wholesome anime that you should DEFINITELY watch:
15. Nyanko Days
Do you watch anime on a T.V while sitting on your couch, petting your cat? or maybe on your PC/ laptop, while your cat runs around everywhere? or maybe on your phone while your cat stares at you sitting on your chest? If it’s yes, this anime is for you!
Nyanko Days is a series revolving around Tomoko Konagai, a shy, high school student, who often struggles to make friends in her class. The thing which she DOES have, are her pet cats. You’ll NEVER get to see better chibi catgirl pets after watching the anime. As soon as Tomoko opens her door and you get to see those cats, you’ll be missing your heart (trust me… it happened to me as well).
This anime shows you the life of an ordinary high school girl, and the mesmerizing and wholesome moments she shares with her cats. Revolving around themes of friendship, companionship and how the presence of cats can bring joy to someone’s life, with occasional humor and comedic moments, this anime is definitely one of the most underrated wholesome anime out there.
The only downside in my opinion would be the short length of the episodes, but it doesn’t matter right? after all you get to witness the greatness of chibi catgirls!!!
14. Windy Tales
The story depicts the life of Nao, an 8th grader, and one of the only two members of a Digital Camera Club. It’s a mystery that she shoots nothing else but the skies and clouds. One day, she finds a cat on a rooftop where she usually shoots using her camera.
It’s a cat that knows how to manipulate the flow of a wind. Shocked to find a strange animal, Nao loses her footing and falls off from the rooftop!
This is an underrated wholesome anime about being a student in a world with wind-wielders and flying cats, Windy Tales reeks of iyashikei; beautiful landscapes, gentle breezes, photography and no pressure abound, but it takes a lot of the standard tropes in different directions. For one, it builds an iyashikei space within everyday life, rather than setting it in a post-apocalyptic world or on another planet.
As Nao becomes more involved with Ms. Isashiki and her friends, she learns about the existence of others with wind-manipulating abilities. Together, they explore the mystical aspects of the wind and its connection to nature and human emotions.
Windy Tales is known for its thoughtful atmosphere and it’s ability to infuse the supernatural element of magic into the ordinary. Wind in this anime symbolizes change and freedom as it is the element used to influence various events throughout the series, which makes this series really unique! Definitely one of the most underrated wholesome anime.
13. How to keep a Mummy
How to keep a Mummy, is an anime based on the manga of the same name by Kakeru Utsugi. The anime, which first aired in 2018, is known for it’s cute and heart-warming content, depicting the relationship between a human and other small creatures.
Before I tell you about this anime, let me warn you that watching this series might increase the chances of you developing Diabetes. Didn’t get it?(sighs) Well, you will once you watch this show!
How to keep a Mummy is a charming and relaxing anime for viewers of any age to watch. The anime follows Sora Kashiwagi, as he one day suddenly receives a mysterious package from his father. Inside that package was a tiny mummy, a miniature version of a mummy from ancient Egypt.
Despite being uncomfortable at first, Sora and Mii-kun (thats the name of the mummy.. cute right? even a buffed up bulldog seems cute when you name it “princess”) eventually get closer as Mii-kun turns out to be really cute and friendly.
How to keep a Mummy emphasizes the daily life of the characters and Sora’s interactions with his tiny friend, which often lead to funny and humorous moments. I’m saying this again, DO NOT blame me if you develop diabetes after watching this extremely wholesome yet underrated anime series.
12. The Yakuza’s Guide To Babysitting
Do you like wholesome and lighthearted moments? Do you like shows that make you want to protect and care for others, as if you were a guardian? This show is for you then!
The Yakuza’s Guide To Babysitting revolves around the Tooru and Yaeka duo. Tooru Kirishima is known far and wide in the underworld. Also known as “Demon of Sakuragi”, Tooru is not afraid to rely on violence whenever necessary. After nearly compromising a peace treaty, his boss tasks him with the MOST DANGEROUS job : Taking care of his seven year old daughter – Yaeka Sakuragi.
Revolving around the themes of friendship and self-discovery, the anime shows the many ways one can express their love to another, while the babysitting aspect is emphasizes the lighthearted and fun moments. Even though the anime seems to be sweet, there are moments when the atmosphere got quite a bit serious.
The series succeeded in depicting the somber moments related to Yaeka, it failed to depict the dark moments of Kirishima. While Yaeka’s backstory certainly wasn’t easy, Kirishima had to go through a LOT more when compared to her.
This anime is really fun and wholesome to watch, with some occasional dark moments (it’s the Yakuza we’re talking about). So if that’s what you are looking for? This is a MUST TRY.
11. Kiniro Mosaic
Kiniro Mosaic begins with Shinobu Omiya visiting England to study abroad. There, she becomes best friends with Alice, who, a few years later, goes to Japan to live and attend school with Shinobu in return.
Along with Alice, Shinobu is also reunited with her other friends from England: Karen Kujo (a stand user? Jotaro please explain), a half-British and half-Japanese girl; and two other British students, Aya Komichi and Yoko Inokuma.
Kiniro Mosaic tends to stick with a mostly plain looking art-style. In regards to the environments, the locations are generally rather typical, such as Shinobu’s house or the school grounds. While the character designs for Alice and Karen are the only notable ones, the chibi designs for everyone during the show once again elevate the cuteness exponentially.
The series is known for its character designs and gentle humor, depicting the joys of friendship and the excitement of making friends abroad. This anime is very wholesome and funny despite its repetitiveness. If you’re is looking for a show which makes you relaxed and smile profusely, then you need look no further than Kiniro Mosaic.
Tamayura is an anime and manga series created by Junichi Sato and the animation studio HAL Film Maker. The story revolves around Fuu Sawatari, a high school girl who has recently moved back to her hometown of Takehara, Hiroshima, where she spent her childhood and eventually meets with her old friends. One day, she rediscovers her late father’s old camera, a Rollei 35S (that’s ANTIQUE!), which motivates her to go for photography.
Fuu and her friends set out for a photographic adeventure, attending photography clubs, exploring the town and capturing the beauty of nature. Since Fuu’s love for photography becomes the central focus, the series depicts the power to preserve memorable moments through photography.
Tamayura has great storytelling and is bound to evoke nostalgia in you. It shows the beauty of finding memorable moments among life’s simple and everyday events. Character growth is significant as well as every character undergoes personal growth as they use photography to connect with their experiences.
From Grief to Confidence to Memories, Tamayura covers a lot of ground and has turned out to be one of my favorite underrated wholesome anime. So definitely give it a try!
9. Do it Yourself
Do it Yourself is an underrated wholesome anime based on the story of Yua Serufu, who in my opinion is the perfect candidate to be isekai-ed. She’s a careless and clumsy girl, getting into frequent accidents everyday (look at the image… she has a LOT more band-aids than what it seems).
Yua joins the Gata Gata Girls’ High School, or the “Gata Girls”, as she states in the beginning of the first episode. She then joins the “Do it Yourself” club, along with other members. In fact, if you look closely, “Yua Serufu” sounds like “Yourself”.
The show takes place at a time where cutting-edge technology means everything, with practically no one caring about old fashioned stuffs. This might make Yua’s DIY club obsolete as even the concept of human labor has started to become something of the past.
The tradition versus modernism theme isn’t just a clash of old vs new. It feels more relevant to real-life more than ever before.
In an anime where you get to see a girl living with a dog, a cat and a Pig with sunglasses! (he’s literally named “meat”). Do you need any other reason to watch the anime? GO WATCH IT !
8. Slow Start
Slow Start revolves around Hana Ichinose, a 17 year old girl, who for various reasons is starting her high school a year later than her other classmates. She is soon concerned about her “slow start” with respect to others, as soon as she joins high school. However, she quickly befriends three other girls: Tamate Momochi, Eiko Tokura, and Kamuri Sengoku.
Slow Start is the perfect combination of Fluff and Issues. Thinking in a practical way, just because someone made friends, doesn’t mean his/her anxiety vanishes.
It’s especially tough considering it’s not easy to simply tell others about your anxieties, as there always are people who’ll judge you. Even so, Hana navigates the ups and downs of high school life, forming close friendships and enjoying the typical experiences that come with being a high school student.
This anime does have a bit a ecchi and yuri content, but if you really like CGDCT shows, go for it! This anime is really wholesome and cruelly underrated, but it is definitely worth a watch!!
7. The Eccentric Family
Do you like shows which are unique, have beautiful aesthetics and great music? Well, look no further!
The story of The Eccentric Family is set in the city of Kyoto, where humans coexist with tanuki (raccoon dogs) and tengu (mythical bird-like creatures). The Shimogamo family is at the center of the story and is known for being eccentric, consisting of a mother and four childern.
This underrated wholesome anime follows the life of the family as they navigate through the city of Kyoto. It explores themes of family, tradition, and the coexistence of humans and mythical creatures. The three species exist in a clear hierarchy, it being Tengu > Humans > Tanuki. The interactions between these creatures in what makes the anime stand out as it seamlessly blends in aspects of fantasy into the world of the ordinary
The Eccentric Family has a unique storytelling, with characters which are extremely endearing and appealing (as any good wholesome slice of life anime should have), also providing an idea about the various complexities within a family and the mix of fantasy and reality. So if that’s what you’re looking for, try it out!!
6. Akebi’s Sailor Uniform
Akebi’s Sailor Uniform (Akebi-chan mo Sailor-fuku) is a Japanese manga and anime series created by Hiro and later adapted by CloverWorks. The show follows Akebi Komichi as she enters the all-girls middle school Roubai Academy. Growing up in the countryside, Akebi graduated from her elementary school in a class of one, so she’s looking forward to attending a school where it will actually be possible to make friends.
Ever since she was young, Akebi has always adored sailor uniforms, even going so far as to ask her mother to sew one if she succeeds in getting into her mother’s alma mater, Roubai Academy (why don’t schools allow them anymore?).
And thus, when she gets accepted into the prestigious school, Akebi is ecstatic. However, much to her surprise, the middle school no longer uses sailor uniforms as its dress code—making Komichi stand out from her classmates.
Akebi’s Sailor Uniform hits like a syringe of straight serotonin. It doesn’t really have much in terms of plot, but what it lacks there, it makes up for in absolutely gorgeous animation and characters and their personalities comparable to that of our main character, if not outshining her.
Even though the plot can be quite plain at times, the animation level of this series is really something to be in awe at. So if that’s the kind of anime you’re looking for, look no further!
First aired in 2005 based on a concept by Besame Mucho and brought to life by director Koji Masunari and the animation studio Brain’s Base, KamiChu! is a Japanese anime series that blends elements of slice-of-life, comedy, and fantasy.
The plot sounds rather simple. The story of KamiChu! revolves around Yurie Hitotsubashi, an average middle school student living in the city of Onomichi on Japan’s inland sea in the easygoing times of the 1980s. She spent her days worrying about exams and trying to get Kenji, the clueless boy she likes, to notice her (lucky him).
One day, Yurie awakens to discover that she has become a “kamichu,” a Shinto deity or goddess.Her friend Mitsuri used this opportunity to promote their family’s bankrupt Shinto Shrine, as Yurie could now perform various sorts of miracles. Throughout the series, Yurie experiences various adventures and encounters with her friends and the other gods and spirits who reside in Onomichi.
This anime, like Windy Tales (previously mentioned) has aspects of fantasy in it. Looking for an underrated wholesome anime, where the protagonist is a clumsy girl who suddenly gets powers of goddess? (that’s weirdly specific… I know you didn’t. But if you did, WHY?) This is your stop then!
Hinamatsuri is a Japanese anime series based on the manga of the same name by Masao Ōtake. This underrated wholesome anime first aired in 2018 and is known for its unique blend of comedy, supernatural elements, and wholesome moments.
The show is based on the dynamic duo of Nitta and Hina. Nitta, a yakuza member who leads a relatively simple life, spots a strange metal capsule fall from the sky. That is where Hina comes in. Hina is a young, emotionless girl with psychic abilities. Even though her supernatural abilities, Hina lacks basic knowledge of the world. Nitta thus takes on the role of Hina’s guardian, which later leads to funny, heartwarming and wholesome moments.
Hinamatsuri is known for its distinctive and unpredictable sense of humor, which is unique, but might not be for everyone, and its ability to blend supernatural elements with the everyday lives of its characters. It offers everything a slice-of-life fan would want, consisting of a good plot and a combination of funny and heartwarming moments.
Even though this wholesome anime is often overlooked, I definitely wouldn’t want to be the person to miss out on this!
3. Skip and Loafer
Skip and Loafer is a manga series written and illustrated by Misaki Takamatsu, with its anime television series adaptation produced by P.A Works aired from April to June 2023. Without a doubt, it is one of the most wholesome anime to have aired recently, but was criminally underrated!
Mitsumi Iwakura is a sparkling high school student who moved from the outskirts of Ishikawa Prefecture to high school in Tokyo after graduating from junior high school. Mitsumi grew up in a depopulated area, with only eight students in her class.
Mitsumi’s headstrong focus on her future aspirations blinds her from the realities of big-city living as she gets spectacularly lost, but thanks to the curious guidance of a handsome yet kind boy named Shima, Mitsumi makes it to school. Her fast-paced start of the day broadcasts her eccentric character to the whole school as she vomits on her homeroom teacher after her schoolwide speech.
Skip and Loafer is complex but in a subtle way. Visually and aesthetically, it’s pleasing and calming. Being one of the most anticipated anime of Spring 2023, it is a MUST WATCH if you like wholesome romance anime.
2. Super Cub
Super Cub is a Japanese anime series based on the light novel of the same name by Tone Koken. The anime first aired in the spring 2021 season and is known for its lighthearted storytelling.
The story of Super Cub revolves around the life of Koguma, a high school student. Koguma is someone who goes through her day-to-day routine quietly, without showing any other interests. The starting of the series shows Koguma having no passion or other interests, but this all changes when she acquires a Honda Super Cub C50, a small motorbike.
The Super Cub now allows her to experience a newly found sense of freedom and adventure, as she explores her surroundings and embarks on journeys which previously seemed impossible for her. As she indulges herself into the world of motorbikes, she finds others who share the same passion as hers, thus getting new friends. Her outlook on life completely changes as the story proceeds.
This underrated wholesome anime shows how a simple hobby can change someone’s perspective on his/her life. Apart from the wholesome moments which this anime has to offer, it most importantly emphasizes the theme of “self-discovery”. This series is really unique on it’s own and definitely deserves a watch!
1. Hanamaru Kindergarten
Hanamaru Kindergarten takes place at, you guessed it (you didn’t), Hanamaru Kindergarten, where our protagonist Tsuchida Naozumi starts working as a Kindergarten teacher. Although young and slightly shy, Naozumi genuinely wants be a teacher and is dedicated to his job.
As Naozumi navigates the challenges of teaching the three energetic children, who are Sakura, Hiiragi and Koume, he also encounters the school’s staff, including the kind and energetic headmistress, Hanamaru, and the other fellow kindergarten teachers.
Since, the show revolves around kids, comedy won’t be missing. In fact, Hanamaru Kindergarten is widely known for it’s focus on humor arising from the innocent and funny actions of the children and the reactions of the adults.
This anime is bound to appeal to fans of comedy and wholesome slice of life anime, offering a beautiful glimpse into the world of kindergarten and the fun and memorable moments which are to follow, often making us viewers nostalgic.
Hanamura Kindergarten is very similar to Gakuen Babysitters, but instead, it’s more underrated. So ABSOLUTELY WATCH IT!
You read through all of that? Wow! You really must be a Die-Hard fan of such wholesome anime!! Make sure to check out the anime I listed and let me know in the comments below if you liked them!
Also, a small Suggestion… Kindly check if you developed diabetes (bad joke intensifies).