I’m not a huge anime fan. (This review is not about anime, but this explains why I ever watched this show in the first place.) I’ll watch what floats to the top of the best of the best lists, and occasionally take a dip into the weirdness that lurks below the surface. Usually those dips make me recoil and avoid returning for a long time. Recently, however, I got tugged in by a couple of new slice-of-life genre anime series. I loved the echoes of a place I’d seen as though in a dream years ago. I loved the way the characters seemed like believable real people. I loved noticing the ways cultures differ and separate that are completely invisible in the fantastic and giant robot genres.
So when Atelier drifted by my Netflix recommendations, I thought I would give it a try. In addition to the slice-of-life Japan trend I was following, I enjoy giving Netflix brand Netflix series a try. There are hits and misses, but the very quality of that variety feels worth the effort. I didn’t even know there was a Netflix Japan.
Atelier is very slice of life, wonderfully so. While on its surface, Atelier is about a young woman’s first job being at a custom-made lingerie boutique, at its core, Atelier is about creativity, art, beauty, and the trials and tribulations of discovering and chasing one’s passion. And those are all things I really needed to hear about, so I’m ever so glad I discovered this show.
Despite having a tried and true coming-of-age theme, the secondary characters are what make the tale being told truly compelling, especially the enigmatic and intense boss, Mayumi Nanjo. The more we learn about her, the better the show gets.
Again, this isn’t going to be a broad recommend, because I can’t picture most people enjoying this kind of story. But I adored it. And if you’re looking for something with a softer pace and a heartfully beautiful story, this is it.