A Specific Type of Coming of Age...
So approximately six weeks ago after graduating from Uni, I finally entered “adult society” and began fully coming to grips with a life that involved working your ass off for 40hrs a week, money that somehow disappears as quickly as it appears and where the crappy mini games on your mobile phone suddenly become half the entertainment for the day.
Not really expecting anything that realistic (Because then it would be really boring) but I’m wondering if there are any coming of age type of anime that focus specifically on working life. Examples that I can think of include Clannad: After Story, Hanasaku Iroha, Ouji-san no Lamp, Planetes and Rainbow (but without the frequent sappy drama). Eden of the East had some of the best moments but it was mostly a backdrop for the weird mystery and naked NEET shenanigans and I’m looking for something more slice of life (Planetes is the type of show that still counts). This also means that I’m not looking for romance. Honey & Clover also had elements of what I’m looking for but only elements and it was mostly a coming of age romance rather than the coming of age working life that I’m searching for. That doesn’t mean it can’t have romance in it but I’d just rather that not be the focus. I'm also not interested in comedies. Mankind has Declined and Working!! are extremely funny but they're not really a coming of age working life type of anime.
There’s also another type of coming of age that I’m interested in and that’s a coming of age about politics. Eureka Seven AO is probably the only example I can think of where that’s the main focus but it’s also present in Planetes and Eden of the East. I’m not really looking for Mecha anime though and likewise with the previous request, I’m looking for something more slice of life. If Mecha shows are the only ones you can think of then go for it, but please definitely don’t recommend Mecha anime still stuck in a WW2 mindset, unless you think it’s really good (And bear in mind I don't even think Gundam Unicorn counts).
It’s not my preference but manga suggestions are fine too as long as it’s not ongoing (or at least has chapters translated more than once every blue moon).
My anime list is in my signiture. If you see anything in my Plan to Watch list that fits my criteria then please let me know.
Sorry if it seems like an annoyingly hard request but thanks in advance!
There aren't that many shows that I can think of about this stage of life, and most of them are comedies or have some comedic aspects. I'm going to list them anyway, and just let you choose.
Hanamaru Youchien might be the most relevant to your request except for its being a comedy. The main character is a young man fresh out of college who has chosen to become a kindergarten teacher. The show depicts his first year on the job. Every ED is different and some, like the tribute to Godard's À bout de souffle that ends episode seven, are remarkable.
The sequels to Nodame Cantabile are set in Europe as Chiaki starts off on his career as an aspiring young conductor. Nodame herself is still studying piano and dreams of one day performing with him on stage. You should watch the original first, though. To be honest, I was surprised not to find it in your list. There's a lot of comedy in Nodame but also some serious drama as the characters come to grips with moving on to their professional lives.
In Bartender, the main character has completed his apprenticeship with other master bartenders and begins his career in the Ginza bar known as Eden Hall. He's a bit older than you or Chiaki I think, maybe more in his mid-twenties. The show doesn't focus especially on his transition to a new stage in his career, though. It's more about the patrons and their reminiscences about past events in their lives. The live-action version of Bartender is closer to what you are looking for; it also has more of a romance between Ryuu and Miwa. There are occasional comic moments, but this is primarily a slice-of-life show with some drama.
Satou in Welcome to the NHK! is at the right time of life, but normal employment is not his thing. Some of the other characters like his high-school senpai, Kashiwa Hitomi, and iincho, Kobayashi Megumi, have jobs of one sort or another. Kashiwa is an earnest and unappreciated junior civil servant; Megumi tries to earn a living by joining a multi-level marketing scheme. NHK is putatively a comedy and has some funny scenes. As it progresses, though, the much darker side of the story begins to unfold.
Hataraki Man is a slice-of-life show centered on office life in a magazine publisher. The main character is female, though, and twenty-eight. She has been reasonably successful in her career, but might be hitting the glass ceiling. It's no longer on any trackers I can list here; look for subs by Arienai. Again there are both comedic and dramatic aspects.
I would also want to know more about this type of anime too. I watched REC which was amazingly and it became one of my favorite anime. The main characters are 20 and 23 (I think) and both of them are working/looking for work. One of the characters tries to become a seiyuu, and the behind the scenes aspect of it, even if only loosely presented, was very interesting to me!
I second Nodame Cantabile. Although you can argue it's more musical than slice of life, I enjoyed it as a slice of life.
An anime that's more romance than slice of life (but it has a nice mixture of both) is Itazura na Kiss. It's a very interesting anime because it feels "complete," following a romance from high school until graduation (first half) and beyond (second half). You should like it. It's really nothing like Honey & Clover if you ask me...
You might try Maison Ikkoku. It is a romantic comedy, but later seasons also deal with the difficulty of finding a job after graduation, and becoming a member of society that can support a family.
Bunny Drop might also be interesting to you.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
I remember watching the first episode of Hanamaru Youchien and thinking it was a lesser version of Working!! but i'll pick that up again. Nodame Cantabile is actually on my radar but I just never bothered to put it on my plan to watch list since it's already on my mental "Plan to watch every nnoitnima show" list. :Heh: I suppose I'll start with that one first.
I'll check out all the recommendations. I've already seen Usagi Drop and Welcome to the NHK though.
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