Nintendo’s Animal Crossing has an aesthetic and cozy gaming experience that’s captivated gamers since 2001. Every iteration, from the Game Cube edition to the current Switch version, has common themes like gardening, collecting fossils, fishing, designing houses, and befriending neighbors of varying personality types. The outdoors is always a huge part of the game; especially in the most recent edition, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where the player starts out as a camper on a remote island.
Cozy slice-of-life anime invokes the same feeling as playing a timeless sandbox game like Animal Crossing. The plots could be considered small, but they’re no less poignant. They have a strong focus on character development, and quaint settings give the viewer a sense of escape.
10 Lilliputian Hakumei and Mikochi Live Idyllic Lives In The Woods
Hakumei And Mikochi
The two mushroom-sized ladies of Hakumei and Mikochi live in an enchanted forest. The story revolves around their daily lives among the trees where they ride birds and bugs, collect berries, and make textiles.
The two main characters have a sweet design and distinctive personalities unique from each other; Mikochi is calm and genteel, and Hakumei is more of a firebrand. They both would fit in well in any Animal Crossing neighborhood – no doubt Fauna and Dierdre would be their instant friends. Maybe watching Mikochi and Hakumei making tools out of the surrounding materials will help the tool-crafting in New Horizons feel less like a grind.
Gan Gan Ganko-Chan
The whimsical comedy Gan Gan Ganko-chan features a boy who time travels into the future, landing in a world where humanity has gone extinct. The planet is populated by animals with human qualities – they wear clothes, walk upright, and farm their food.
The boy, Gen, stays in the Rustling Forest with the Ganko family. The episodes are short and sweet, detailing a life where Gen must get used to living in the forest without the things he’s used to, like electronic entertainment and fast food. The setting is full of magical woodland scenery and adorably designed characters.
8 Hinata Encourages Homebody Aoi To Take Up Mountaineering
Encouragement Of Climb
Aoi loves the idea of climbing great summits, but she’s held back by her fear of heights which began in her childhood in Encouragement of Climb. Aoi’s friend Hinata remembers when Aoi once loved to climb mountains, and coaches her into stepping out of her safe zone and pursuing the things she wants.
Encouragement of Climb‘s main themes involve friendship and pursuing hobbies with unabashed sincerity. Aoi and Hinata’s friend circle grows as they chase their climbing dreams. Like in Animal Crossing, the plot is of course about nature, but it’s also about making a community and broadening horizons.
7 Ohana Moves In With Her Grandmother And Begins To Work In A Hot Spring
Ohana Matsumae is a teenager who’s fallen on hard times and decides to live with her grandmother, who she hasn’t spoken to in a long time. Ohana’s grandmother owns a hot spring inn and Ohana begins working there. Work life is rocky at first when Ohana doesn’t exactly get along with the employees and customers, but she resolves to make the best of the situation.
Hanasaku Iroha is an unapologetically optimistic story about renewing family ties, taking pride in your endeavors, and learning to work with others. Hanasaku Iroha is simple but visually stunning, with valuable lessons about family and living a quiet, purposeful life.
6 Makoto Moves To A New Town To Study Witchcraft
Comfy and magical are the best descriptors for the show Flying Witch. Makoto is a young witch whose day-to-day is fairly average and peaceful…but for her magic training. Like in the beginning of every Animal Crossing game, the series starts off with Makoto moving to a new place to begin a new path.
Makoto spends her days casting spells and preparing potions alongside Chito, her black cat familiar. The storyline is slow, with the main focus being on Makoto’s internal journey and her everyday life as a witch.
5 Like Blathers, Hina Loves To Fish…And Is Terrified Of Bugs
Diary Of Our Days At The Breakwater
Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater is a series entirely about fishing. Hina is a girl whose family relocates from the city back to the countryside, and there she reconnects with an old friend named Natsumi. Both friends join their school’s recreational fishing club called Breakwater Club.
One of the most fun and relaxing elements of Animal Crossing is fishing the oceans and rivers, collecting specimens for Blathers and checking out what batch of fish every new season brings. Diary of Our Days at the Breakwater also represents fishing as a quaint and relaxing activity.
4 Borrower Arrietty Has A Dollhouse Built For Her
The Secret World Of Arrietty
Tiny Arrietty gives audiences a new appreciation for nature and everyday household objects as she sneaks through the house and garden in The Secret World of Arrietty. She and her family live off of items they borrow from regular-sized people.
The items in this movie, like the paperclip in Arrietty’s hair, the sugar cube that feeds her family for weeks, and the sewing pin she arms herself with, are a huge part of the plot and aesthetic. Arrietty also has a bedroom filled with plants and items she’s lovingly collected or built over the years, which would appeal to anyone who enjoys designing and modifying their rooms in Animal Crossing.
3 Polar Bear Cares For His Customers
Polar Bear Café
Polar Bear Café has a similar feeling to stepping into Brewster’s café, The Roost. Brewster is devoted to his work serving coffee, remaining open and brewing coffee all hours of the day in his café tucked away in the museum in New Horizons, or located in Town for New Leaf. He gets offended if people don’t properly enjoy their coffee, and Polar Bear embodies the sweeter version of that character.
Polar Bear serves both humans and animals in his café, making sure to offer only the best organic foods and beverages. Polar Bear is charismatic and a big fan of using puns, which Brewster would no doubt appreciate.
2 Mira And Ao Are Determined To Find Their Own Asteroid
Asteroid In Love
Asteroid In Love‘s protagonist Mira Konohata learned to love astronomy from an early age, and it’s her goal to one day discover an asteroid and name it after her fellow stargazer friend, Ao Manaka.
The two friends reconnect in high school when they both attend their school’s Astronomy Club, which has merged with the Geology Club. Now Mira and Ao observe the heavens and the earth, broadening their love of science. Fans of Animal Crossing who love the astronomer owl, Celeste would also enjoy this sweet story about two friends who chart the night sky.
1 Solitary Rin Branches Out And Camps With Friends
Laid Back Camp
Rin’s idea of a perfect vacation is camping, and she’s used to doing it by herself in Laid-Back Camp. When she comes across some lost campers that also go to her school, she lets them stay at her campsite where they keep warm by the fire and enjoy ramen together.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons starts out with the player camping on the island. Both the island store and resident services begin as tented areas, and soon grow into full scale buildings as the game progresses. A permanent campsite remains for island visitors, too. New Horizons and Laid-Back Camp have more in common than camping, however. Both the game and show feature beautiful vistas, and a cozy, friendly atmosphere.
NEXT: 10 Best Laid-Back Slice-Of-Life Anime Characters