What is an "iyashikei" anime?
Among the numerous genres and styles of anime - shoujo, shonen, seinen, josei, sports, action, horror, and so forth - exists the unique "iyashikei" genre. The Japanese word "iyashikei," is defined as "healing," or "soothing." Iyashikei anime are frequently referred to as "healing anime," or sometimes "therapeutic anime," but that doesn't mean that iyashikei anime deal with medical topics like Black Jack or Ray. Iyashikei anime are called "therapeutic" because they're the visual equivalent of aromatherapy. Iyashikei anime are calming, cathartic shows that allow viewers to relax and ease away stress and anxiety, leaving the viewer with a mellow, and sometimes nostalgic or melancholy mood.
More difficult than actually defining iyashikei anime is distinguishing what aren't iyashikei anime. Iyashikei anime are typically "slice of life" stories and series about nothing in particular, but not all "slice of life" anime are iyashikei, and shows about nothing in particular that present themselves in a witty or comical way, or particularly attempt to develop strong empathy between viewer and characters aren't iyashikei.