There’s nothing like a stirring fight shonen anime to get the blood pumping. The tense battles, exciting stunts, high stakes and big explosions can excite anyone. Except, not everyone likes to be excited with booms, bangs and bangs.
Some prefer the gentler pace of one Slice of life anime, where the drama comes from setting, situations and character interactions. So, what can they do when they like the characters of a match showing anime but don’t want their loud bombast? They can check out these spin-offs instead!
5/5 Attack on Titan: Junior High
Hajime Isayama Attack on Titan was a sensation on its original release. It chronicled the efforts of Eren Yeager and his friends as they attempted to destroy the man-eating titans that threaten their city walls, along with some shocking revelations and bloody action along the way. So, how could Saki Nakagawa translate that into a slice of life comedy series? Quite simply, apparently, his manga and anime turned Eren and his friends into students at Attack Junior High.
Instead of seeking revenge for his mother’s death, he wants to avenge the loss of his lunch to the headmaster Colossal Titan. Instead of being the world’s most powerful soldier, Levi Ackerman is now the strongest student, capable of knocking out the Titans with one punch from a paper fan. It’s a more light-hearted variation for fans who need more parody in their lives.
The main line Full Metal Panic The series was about an undercover anti-terrorist agent Sōsuke Sagara who protected a hot-headed middle school student named Kaname Chidori by going undercover at her school. It had action, political intrigue and big mechs alongside high school yuks and romance. Some fans like both, while others like one side more than the other.
So, Kyoto Animation made Fumoffu! spin-off for those who liked the comedy more than the action. The series is technically set in the same universe, but it has little to no mention of the shonen drama or mechanics beyond the cute mascot Bonta-kun. It’s just Sōsuke and the gang dealing with love rivals, modeling for art projects, and keeping the rugby club going, among other similar shenanigans.
3/5 Soul Eater NOT!
Atsushi Ōkubo’s manga and subsequent anime followed three teams at the ‘Death Weapon Meister Academy’. Each tries to claim the souls of 99 evil people and a witch so they can upgrade their humanoid weapons into “death scythes” worthy of their headmaster Shinigami. Although its gothic appearance is softened by the shiny embellishments, it can still be a bit dark and brittle.
So, wrote Ōkubo Soul Eater NOT!, a comedy spin-off that focused on the people who can become the Meister’s weapons. Namely through the Normally Overcome Target (NOT) weapon Tsugumi Harudori and her Meister friends Meme and Anya, who each hope they will get to use her in weapon form. It’s a more grounded school adventure compared to the main series, although people transforming into weapons is still a strange concept.
2/5 DD Fist of the North Star
Fist of the North Star is basically Mad Max merged with Bruce Lee, as leader Kenshiro wanders through the post-apocalyptic wasteland and defeats his enemies through the power of Hokuto Shinken. Today, fans may be more aware of the show from occasional comedy scenes and Kenshiro’s signature catchphrase “Omae wa mou shindeiru” (“You’re already dead!”). It is one of the few cases where the Japanese phrase caught on more than the English translation.
The series has had some fun slice-of-life manga adaptations over the years, like one that reimagined the series as a TV drama. But only Kajios DD Fist of the North Star has been animated so far. It is set in an alternate universe where the apocalypse never happened. So Kenshiro and co get a job at a local convenience store, trying to outdo the businesses in the South Star district. Oddly, they’re all drawn as cute chibi characters, except for Yuria who is a more standard anime girl who’s about a foot or two taller than the others.
1/5 Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals
As one of Shonen Jumpits big 3, Naruto grew in scope as it went on. It was simple enough at first, like an outcast kid who has big dreams and tons of potential, but needs to learn how to hone his craft. Then it became a great epic involving death cults, malevolent spirits and gigantic battles. Even after the series passed the torch Boruto, it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, the comedy spinoff, Rock Lee & His Ninja Palsoffers a more fancy-free way to experience Naruto.
It follows popular supporting character Rock Lee in a chibi take Naruto Shippuden. The heavy plot and intricate connections are simplified into more enjoyable setups. Like Rock and Naruto using their skills to try to get the last cookie in a store, or Tenten getting jealous when Lee gets jealous of Naruto helping Sakura during training. If viewers like them when they’re funny, they can check out their serious side in the main series.
More: Slice of Life Anime Series That Are Underrated