There’s no better time to start watching an anime than as its first season is just getting started. This is definitely the case with Wave, Listen To Me! The series follows a young woman who’s been unlucky in love as she tries to figure out her love life and accidentally finds herself the host of a late-night radio talk show.
But there are lots of slice of life anime of similar kinds with focuses on relationships and funny gags, or jobs that are a little out there and different from everyday careers. Here are five reasons to check out Wave, Listen To Me! and five other anime to watch instead.
10 Start Watching: Fun Premise
The series follows a young woman named Koda who works in a curry restaurant. One night, she’s drunkenly complaining about her love life (or lack thereof), and she later hears her drunken rambles on a relationship radio talk show. It turns out the person she was complaining to works at the radio station. When she marches down there to give them a piece of her mind, they ask her if she wants her own show. The silliness and unlikeliness of this premise makes it seem like a very fun start to the series and something worth keeping up with.
9 Better Alternative: NANA
NANA is still pretty much the best-known shojo manga of all time in Japan, even though it’s been on hiatus for more than a decade. But the anime is a complete story and definitely worth checking out for viewers who like series about young women who are trying to find their way in the world and trying to find love along the way.
The series follows two young women, both named Nana, who meet on a train to Tokyo, where both are headed to start their new lives: one with dreams of making it big in a punk band, the other hoping to find love. It’s a sweet, sometimes melancholy love story as much about the relationship between the two women as it is about any of the men in their lives.
8 Start Watching: Great Jokes
Wave, Listen To Me! is a comedy anime with romance anime undertones. There are a ton of jokes and gags in the series, not to mention a lot of surreal hijinks that may or may not be actually happening. At one point, Koda fights a bear while trying to do a talk show. The series doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a refreshing change from the heavier slice of life anime that are often pretty somber.
7 Better Alternative: Beck
Beck is another series about a group of young people trying to make it in the world. Like NANA, Beck also involves a band trying to make it big. The characters had been in a band together when they were in high school, but had broken up.
Now they’re trying to get back together, and they get invited to go on a tour in the U.S., while relationship drama between the band members and the fact that they can’t find one of their band members makes things more difficult.
6 Start Watching: Animation
Wave, Listen To Me! boasts some pretty incredible animation. A lot of slice of life anime, while not necessarily badly animated, tend to feel a little lackluster compared to bigger, more action-oriented anime, since there isn’t quite as much of a need to make sure the animation is really solid. But Wave doesn’t seem to cut corners, and the animation is excellent. The focus on the way the characters move and the expressiveness of their faces really adds to the storytelling.
5 Better Alternative: Princess Jellyfish
Like Wave, Princess Jellyfish involves a young woman whose life ends up drastically changed by an unlikely circumstance. Tsukimi Kurashita is an unemployed otaku who’s obsessed with jellyfish. She lives in a building with a bunch of other women who also don’t work, and who are all obsessed with their own quirky thing.
Tsukimi meets Kuranosuke Koibuchi, the son of a politician who crossdresses. A romance begins to blossom between them, even as Tsukimi can’t decide if she can deal with the idea of being in a relationship at all. It’s a funny, quirky series that revolves around the weird little neighborhood Tsukimi lives in and the odd relationship she’s formed with Kuranosuke.
4 Start Watching: Great Songs
The theme music from Wave is very fun. The opening theme is by tacica, a band from Sapporo, where Wave takes place. The song, called “aranami,” is an upbeat rock tune that makes working in a radio station seem like the most fun and exciting thing possible. Along with the animation, it really gives the sense of a hectic, lively anime, which one might not assume about a slice of life anime about working in a radio station.
3 Better Alternative: Blade of the Immortal
Unlike every other suggested anime on this list, Blade of the Immortal is not a slice of life anime, and it is not at all interested in romance. However, the manga was created by the same mangaka who wrote and drew Wave, Listen To Me!, Hiroaki Samura.
Blade of the Immortal is a beloved samurai story about a samurai who cannot be wounded, thus rendering him pretty much undefeatable in battle. It’s a very different kind of story but worth checking out if interested in work by Samura.
2 Start Watching: Heartfelt
Wave does spend most of the series on extended gags and making jokes, which makes sense, since it’s a comedy anime. But it’s also a series about a young woman trying to understand her own self-worth and not feel put down by the fact that she hasn’t been successful in love. All the funny parts of the series aside, Wave is a sweet series about a young woman trying to find her place in the world and using her position to encourage others to do the same.
1 Better Alternative: Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War
Kaguya-Sama: Love is War has a pretty similar vibe to Wave. While it’s a high school anime and follows characters who are students, it’s also a romantic comedy. In the series, the two main characters, both members of the student council, like each other. But each thinks it would be admitting weakness to confess first. Cue a million hijinks in which each of them tries to get the other one to confess first. The series is also centered on gags and plays up extended jokes really well.
Wave, Listen To Me! is a fun slice of life anime, and there are some good reasons to watch it, and other shows you could watch instead.