Slice of life

Slice of life is the depiction of mundane experiences in art and entertainment.[1] In theater it refers to naturalism, while in literary parlance it is a narrative technique in which a seemingly arbitrary sequence of events in a character's life is presented, often lacking plot development, conflict and exposition, and often having an open ending.

Film and theater

In theatrical parlance, the term slice of life refers to a naturalistic representation of real life, sometimes used as an adjective, as in "a play with 'slice of life' dialogue". The term originated between 1890 and 1895 as a calque from the French phrase tranche de vie, credited to the French playwright Jean Jullien (1854–1919).[2]

Jullien introduced the term not long after a staging of his play The Serenade, as noted by Wayne S. Turney in his essay "Notes on Naturalism in the Theatre":

The Serenade was introduced by the Théâtre Libre in 1887. It is a prime example of rosserie, that is, plays dealing with corrupt, morally bankrupt characters who seem to be respectable, "smiling, smiling, damned villains..." Jullien gave us the famous apothegm defining naturalism in his The Living Theatre (1892): "A play is a slice of life put onstage with art." He goes on to say that "...our purpose is not to create laughter, but thought." He felt that the story of a play does not end with the curtain which is, he says, "only an arbitrary interruption of the action which leaves the spectator free to speculate about what goes on beyond your expectation..."[3]

During the 1950s, the phrase was commonly used in critical reviews of live television dramas, notably teleplays by JP Miller, Paddy Chayefsky,[4] and Reginald Rose.[5] At that time, it was sometimes used synonymously with the pejorative term kitchen sink realism adopted from British films and theatre.


In literary parlance, the term "slice of life" refers to a storytelling technique that presents a seemingly arbitrary sample of a character's life, which often lacks a coherent plot, conflict, or ending.[6] The story may have little plot progress and often has no exposition, conflict, or dénouement, but rather has an open ending. A work that focuses on minute and faithful reproduction of some bit of reality, without selection, organization, or judgment and that every smallest detail is presented with scientific fidelity is an example of the "slice of life" novel.[7] This is demonstrated in the case of Guy de Maupassant's novel A Woman's Life, which told the story of a woman who transferred an unreturned love for her husband into a pathological affection for her son.[8]

In the United States, slice-of-life stories were particularly given emphasis by the Chicago school at the end of the 19th century, a period when the novel and social sciences became different systems of discourse.[9] These produced literary texts by researcher-authors that were written to represent the subject's stories and sentiment-free social realism using the language of ordinary people.[9] It formed part of the late 19th- and early 20th-century naturalism in literature, which was inspired by the adaptation of principles and methods of social sciences such as the Darwinian view of nature.[10] The movement was an extension of realism, presenting the faithful representation of reality without moral judgment.[10] Some authors, particularly playwrights, used it by focusing on the "underbelly of life" to expose social ills and repressive social codes with the aim of shocking the audience so that they call for social reform.[11]

Japanese animation and comics

Robin E. Brenner's 2007 book "Understanding manga and anime" holds that in anime and manga, "slice of life" is a genre that is more akin to melodrama than drama, bordering on absurd due to the large numbers of dramatic and comedic events in very short spans. This genre claims a large section of the Japanese manga market and usually focuses on school, which is the most dominant force in young people's lives, including their interpersonal relationships both in and out of their families.[12] Themes usually range from teen coming-of-age, interpersonal relationships, family, romance, to fantasy and science fiction.[12] A common trait in slice of life anime and manga is their emphasis on seasonality or procedures. Settings of the narratives would often include cafes and restaurants and also introduce specific trends or groups, which are often coming from society's outsiders.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Jewell, Elizabeth J. & Abate, Frank R. (editors) (September 2001). "Slice of Life". The New Oxford American Dictionary (First ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511227-X.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ "Slice of life". Random House Unabridged Dictionary. 2006.
  3. ^ Turney, Wayne S. "Notes on Naturalism in the Theatre". Archived from the original on 2008-05-14.
  4. ^ Gottfried, Martin. All His Jazz, Da Capo, 2003.
  5. ^ Dowler, Kevin. "Reginald Rose". Museum of Broadcast Communications.
  6. ^ Stuart Eddy Baker (2002). Bernard Shaw's remarkable religion: a faith that fits the facts. University Press of Florida. pp. 83–84.
  7. ^ Walcutt, Charles (1966). American Literary Naturalism, a Divided Stream. St. Paul, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 21. ISBN 9780816658855.
  8. ^ Lehan, Richard (2005). Realism and Naturalism: The Novel in an Age of Transition. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 193. ISBN 0299208702.
  9. ^ a b Denzin, Norman; Lincoln, Yvonna (2005). The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. p. 16. ISBN 0761927573.
  10. ^ a b Augustyn, Adam (2010). American Literature from the 1850s to 1945. New York: Britannica Educational Publishing. p. 71. ISBN 9781615302345.
  11. ^ Downs, William; Wright, Lou Anne; Ramsey, Erik (2016). The Art of Theatre: Then and Now. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. p. 372. ISBN 9781305954700.
  12. ^ a b c Brenner, Robin (2007). Understanding Manga and Anime. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 112. ISBN 9781591583325.

External links

A Gentle Breeze in the Village

A Gentle Breeze in the Village, also known as Tennen Kokekkō (天然コケッコー, lit. "Natural Cock-a-doodle-doo"), is a Japanese slice of life shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Fusako Kuramochi, serialized in the magazine Chorus from 1994 to 2000. The manga won the 20th Kodansha Manga Award in 1996.

It was made into a movie in 2007, directed by Nobuhiro Yamashita and starring Kaho. It was released on July 24, 2007.

A Slice of Life (1954 film)

A Slice of Life (Italian: Tempi nostri, French: Quelques pas dans la vie, also known as The Anatomy of Love) is a 1954 Italian comedy film directed by Alessandro Blasetti and Paul Paviot.

American Splendor

American Splendor is a series of autobiographical comic books written by Harvey Pekar and drawn by a variety of artists. The first issue was published in 1976 and the most recent in September 2008, with publication occurring at irregular intervals. Publishers have been, at various times, Harvey Pekar himself, Dark Horse Comics, and DC Comics.The comics have been adapted into a film of the same name and a number of theatrical productions.


Asahinagu (あさひなぐ) is an ongoing Japanese slice of life sports seinen manga series written and illustrated by Ai Kozaki, published by Shogakukan. It revolves around the life of a timid girl who joins a naginata club to improve herself. It is serialized in Big Comic Spirits magazine and has been compiled into twenty-four volumes. It was adapted into a 2017 stage play and a live action film, both of which starred many cast members from the Nogizaka46 idol group.

Barairo no Ashita

Barairo no Ashita (バラ色の明日, lit. "Rose-Colored Tomorrow") is a Japanese slice of life romance shōjo manga series written and illustrated by Ryo Ikuemi and serialized by Shueisha on Bessatsu Margaret magazine. It has five volumes, the first published on 13 September 1997 and the last on 15 August 1999.

Between Friends (comics)

Between Friends is an internationally syndicated comic strip written by Canadian Sandra Bell-Lundy. The comic strips appear in more than 175 newspapers in ten countries around the world. Three middle-aged professional women and the problems that they face in their lives are the main focus throughout the comic strip series. Initially, Maeve, Susan, and Kimberly were all childless, but Susan and Kimberly are now mothers. Between Friends initially appeared in the St. Catharines Standard in May 1990, and was syndicated by King Features in February 1994.Bell-Lundy's original artwork used for the strips was displayed at Artway Gallery in Brampton, Ontario, in 2009.


Chimpui (チンプイ, Chinpui) is a Japanese manga created by Fujiko F. Fujio in 1985. It tells the story of two cute aliens that come to Earth to find the girl who will marry their prince of planet Mahl. It was subsequently adapted into an anime television series.

Doga Kobo

Doga Kobo, Inc. (株式会社動画工房, Kabushiki-gaisha Dōga Kōbō, literally "Video Factory") is a Japanese animation studio formed by former Toei Animation members Hideo Furusawa and Megumu Ishiguro, located in Nerima, Tokyo, Japan. The studio was established on July 11, 1973 and has been involved in the production of a large amount of anime over the years. Although after big commercial success of their adaptation of Koihime Musō and especially YuruYuri, most of their works was somehow associated with moe or yuri, this studio is also known for more "ordinary" romantic shows like Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun, Plastic Memories, and Tada Never Falls in Love, the last two of which were also their original projects.

Edge City

Edge City is an American syndicated comic strip created by the husband and wife team of Terry and Patty LaBan. The couple teams to write the strips with Terry handling the art. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, the strip debuted in 2000 and ended on January 2, 2016.

Hi and Lois

Hi and Lois is an American comic strip about a suburban family. Created by Mort Walker and illustrated by Dik Browne, it debuted on October 18, 1954, distributed by King Features Syndicate.


J.C.Staff Co., Ltd. (株式会社ジェー・シー・スタッフ, Kabushiki gaisha Jē Shī Sutaffu, J and C stand for "Japan Creative"), is a Japanese animation studio founded in January 1986 by Tomoyuki Miyata, who previously worked at Tatsunoko Production. The studio's first release was Yōtōden in 1987. They have produced several well-known anime series, such as Slayers, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Excel Saga, Alien Nine, Azumanga Daioh, Ikki Tōsen: Battle Vixens, Shingetsutan Tsukihime, Honey and Clover, Shakugan no Shana, The Familiar of Zero, Toradora!, A Certain Magical Index, A Certain Scientific Railgun, Date A Live, Maid Sama!, The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, and Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma. Since 2005, the majority of their works have been directed by Takashi Watanabe, Ken'ichi Kasai and Yoshiaki Iwasaki.

Jūhan Shuttai!

Jūhan Shuttai! (重版出来, Second Print Run Confirmed! or Sleepeeer Hit!) is an ongoing Japanese slice of life seinen manga series written and illustrated by Naoko Matsuda and serialized on Shogakukan's Monthly Big Comic Spirits magazine. Volume 1 was released on March 29, 2013 and 8 volumes have been published so far. The manga was adapted into a live-action television series in April 2016.

List of Gangan Comics manga franchises

Gangan (ガンガン, Gangan) is a manga imprint of Square Enix, formerly owned by Enix. It publishes manga in several magazines aimed at different reader demographic groups in the Japanese market. Its magazines are home to some popular manga series which were adapted into anime series, like Fullmetal Alchemist, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, Nabari no Ou, Inu x Boku SS, and Soul Eater. The comics are later collected in paperback volumes under brand names such as Gangan Comics (ガンガンコミックス, Gangan Komikkusu), Gangan Comics Joker (ガンガンコミックスJOKER, Gangan Komikkusu Jōkā) and Young Gangan Comics (ヤングガンガンコミックス, Yangu Gangan Komikkusu), which identify the magazine of serialisation. This list contains notable manga franchises published by Gangan.

List of slice of life anime

This is a list of slice of life anime.

Mainichi Kaasan

Mainichi Kaasan (毎日かあさん, Mainichi Kāsan, literally translated as "Daily Mother" and officially given the name "Kaasan: Mom's Life" by Crunchyroll) is the title of a short gag manga by Rieko Saibara which has been serialized in the Mainichi Shimbun morning edition since October 2002. In 2005, the manga, along with Jōkyō Monogatari, won Saibara the Short story Award at the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes. The anime television series adaptation ran from April 1, 2009, until March 25, 2012 on TV Tokyo, airing on Wednesday 7pm to 7:30pm. Titular Kaasan was voiced by Kumiko Mori. It was also adapted into a live-action film in 2011 starring Kyōko Koizumi.

Naisho no Tsubomi

Naisho no Tsubomi (ないしょのつぼみ, lit. Secret Tsubomi) is a Japanese slice of life romance shōjo manga series authored by Yū Yabūchi, and published by Shogakukan. 8 volumes were released in Japan, the last on April 27, 2012. An OVA anime for the series was released on April 24, 2008. A second OVA episode was released in June, 2008. The series received the 2009 Shogakukan Manga Award for children's manga. It was published in French by Delcourt. Sentai Filmworks released the OVA in North America in January 2018.

Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki

Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki (ポヨポヨ観察日記, Poyopoyo Observation Diary) is a Japanese manga series created by Rū Tatsuki about a spherical cat named Poyo and the family that adopts him. It was adapted into an anime television series in January 2012. The anime is available subtitled in English on Crunchyroll. A video game based on the series in which players raise Poyo was released in April 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS.

Super Seisyun Brothers

Super Seisyun Brothers (Japanese: SSB ―超青春姉弟s―, Hepburn: SSB ―Sūpā Seishun Burazāzu―) is a Japanese slice of life comedy manga series written and illustrated by Shin Shinmoto. An anime television series adaptation aired on TV Tokyo between September and December 2013.

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