Recently a customer posted a question on our Facebook page asking if there were any “realistic” anime series, which seemed like an interesting topic to write about here. Anime is often a place where impossible things happen, where Magical Girls transform at just the right moment in order to save the day (or the universe) and nondescript generic males are surrounded by of gorgeous 2D females dedicated to making him happy for no reason. But how about shows that are closer to the reality most of us live in? Some examples of more down-to-earth anime stories might include Hanasaku Iroha, the tale of a girl who finds her place in life through hard work at her grandmother’s Japanese inn, or the outstanding Emma: A Victorian Romance, about a maid in 19th century England who falls in love with a man above her station. Another show that impressed fans for its realism was Toradora! — I love the part where Taiga and Ryuji try to elope, but of course life never really works like that, and they have to make other plans. Often stories can be realistic to the point of causing pain, for example the wartime tale of Grave of the Fireflies, or the beautiful 5 Centimeters per Second, about the gap between a boy’s dreams and the real world. Genshiken is another amazing work that accurately portrays life in a university otaku club, which I recommend highly. Finally there’s the currently running Bunny Drop, the tale of thirty-year-old Daikichi, who becomes the guardian of Rin, the illegitimate daughter of his deceased grandfather, and the many touching hardships the two of them face together.
Bunny Drop is an example of a realistic anime series.