Flying Witch is a rarity in anime in that it doesn’t try to do too much of anything.
It’s not especially dramatic, or over-the-top with its humor. It isn’t especially action-oriented, and it avoids getting too saccharine sweet.
The words most often associated with Flying Witch are “tranquil,” “serene,” “calming,” “relaxing,” and “comfortable.” Calling it a slice-of-life anime is somewhat appropriate, but there are certainly slice-of-life series that don’t fit any of the above adjectives.
This is the story of apprentice witch Makoto Kowata, who can use some simple, low-key magic and just hangs out with her cousins and their family out in the country. It’s a simple, enjoyable story, and unfortunately, it’s over now.
So if you still need a fix of anime that lets you chill out, slow down, and enjoy the simple things in life, here are a few options.
Non Non Biyori!
If you were looking for more adventures in rural Japan with a cute and lovable cast of characters, this should do it for you.
Granted, the cast here has a bit more quirk to it, and things get a little more spastic than they usually do in Flying Witch. The theme here is that a cast of five classmates – members of the only class in the only school in town – use their quirkiness and imaginations to pass the time in a tiny village where nothing happens.
It’s a bit more spastic than Flying Witch – but hey, basically everything is. Flying Witch is just that chill.
Swap out the rural town setting for an onsen (Japanese-style inn, usually hot springs are involved), and you basically have Hanasaku Iroha.
This is a great series about Ohana Matsumae, who goes to live with her grandmother – the owner of said onsen – after her mother skips town to avoid debt collectors. She ends up becoming a live-in worker at the onsen, making new friends while learning the ins and outs of running the family business.
Tanaka-kun is Always Listless
If you want to talk about an anime that’s relaxing and chilled out, this is basically the extreme version of that. The whole point, in fact, is that the titular character is actually a bit too chilled out.
This is a guy who falls asleep in the middle of a conversation and would probably continue to sleep through a bomb going off in the vicinity.
This lethargy is a different kind of feeling compared to Flying Witch, which revels in everyday joys. But both have a slow, relaxing pace as their centerpiece.
Kiki’s Delivery Service
It isn’t often I’ll suggest an anime movie as being similar to a series, but this is too close to ignore. This is literally an anime movie about a flying witch.
It’s also a classic from Studio Ghibli, so I don’t imagine this is your first time hearing about it. If you haven’t watched it yet, go watch it. And if you have, go watch it again. This is a piece of anime history.
On a related note, you could probably have replaced Kiki with Makoto, and this movie would have fit right in as an (long) episode of Flying Witch. So it definitely works as a suggestion here.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
Rural town, check. Supernatural elements, check. Relaxing atmosphere?
Well, Natsume is being pursued by yokai because his grandmother left him her “book of friends,” which contains all the spirits she brought under her control. Now Natsume is hassled by them constantly as they try to get Natsume to free them.
How they plan to do that is anybody’s guess. Natsume doesn’t understand how any of this works any better than they do. As a result, this is definitely more of a dramatic series than the lighthearted comedy Flying Witch is. But the slice-of-life themes are fully in play.
Here’s Re-Kan! in a nutshell.
“Hey guys, my name is Hibiki Amani, and I can see ghosts and stuff.”
“That’s cool. Let’s be friends and get ice cream!”
Okay, that might be oversimplifying just a tad. But the point is, nobody seems very bothered by this girl’s supernatural abilities. Everyone just sort of accepts it and moves on, much the same way they do with Makoto’s witch powers.
This is a brand-new series as of this summer, and while it removes any semblance of the supernatural from its premise, it does succeed at being relaxed and enjoyable.
And about scuba diving. We’ve replaced the “rural Japan” theme with “seaside Japan,” so so what we have here is a group of friends who love to scuba dive together. There are, of course, the usual school life comedy tropes going on, but ultimately, the hook that makes this different is the scuba diving.
If the manga is any indication, this may also feature a bit more relationship drama than Flying Witch. But we’ll see.
Witch Craft Works
Okay, so this is still about a witch, which is where the similarities end. Witch Craft Works is more action-oriented, than anything else on this list, but hey, maybe you’re just looking for witches. In which case here you go.
This is your typical story of “average high school student meets prettiest, all-around best girl in school.” Only in this case, that girl is also a witch, and she’s been protecting him from the shadows because he has some sort of immense hidden power that he’s completely unaware of.