For this, I’m nicking a question from the Aniblogger Coalition and then running with it. I am an expert in neither of the genres in question (heck, I haven’t even watched Hibike!), but if I can conjure about 1000 words based on one question, I must have something to say on this…


  1. What are those abbreviations in the title?
  2. What should the article (a/an/the) be for the abbreviations SoL and CGDCT?
  3. What’s different between CGDCT and SoL?
  4. What about Cute Boys Doing Cute Things?

  1. What are those abbreviations in the title?

SoL refers to “slice of life”, a type of show where the point of the plot is to just chill. They’re also known as iyashikei, or “healing”, anime, and are often epitomised by my favourite of the genre (unfortunately?) Aria the Animation and its sequel series.

CGDCT shows are “cute girls doing cute things” shows – it’s meant to be a subgenre of the SoL genre, but not every SoL is a CGDCT which is probably why there should be a distinction between the two in the first place. The conceit of these shows is to have a bunch of the aforementioned people do stuff that people might find boring. However, since this is a subculture where anything can be dressed for success, CGDCT shows appeal to the niche that likes doing whatever appeal is sold as well as appealing to the people who like cute girls. The example that’s often pointed to in this subgenre is “cute girls playing music in a band”, K-On!.

  1. What should the article (a/an/the) be for the abbreviations SoL and CGDCT?

This is a strange one – people were arguing whether Recovery of an MMO Junkie should have had the “an” in it in fall 2017. Admittedly, I’m just a stickler for these sorts of things, so I hold no authority here. However, the argument for MMO Junkie from my perspective was that “MMO” started with the sound “emm”. In much the same way, SoL would get “an” (due to “ess”) and CGDCT would be “a” (due to “C”).

  1. What’s different between CGDCT and SoL?

The argument Irina brings up in the podcast is Hibike! Euphonium vs K-On!, and that’s why I needed the definitions. I think the marketing and demographic is how the two are separated.

CGDCT always relies on its girls and its niche appeal to be the main sellers, like I explained earlier. Often there’s nothing but girls in CGDCT. Admittedly, some of the points brought up in the podcast also hold some validity – CGDCT shows are “feel good” shows with no real “aim” and thus often lack drama of any sort. In Hibike!, the aim is to go to a big national competition and there is drama, therefore making it a band show but not a CGDCT show. Conversely, YuruCamp this season has shown nothing but girls so far (aside from a guy who runs a campsite, but nobody’s going to remember him, and the narrator, who no one’s going to acknowledge).

Also, CGDCT often run in seinen-oriented magazines which focus on cute girls like Manga Time Kirara whereas SoL can be in anything from Comico (all-ages, all-demographics web “magazine”) to your standard seinen magazine like Comic Flapper due to the fact no magazine outright specialises in this genre.

SoL focuses on the aimlessness of life, and can contain a few characters of other genders as well (hence their wider spread in magazines). For instance, Aria has male characters that are of more narrative significance than YuruCamp’s male characters like Woody and Al, even though the girls are the ones in the spotlight more often than not and are considered their main draw, at least from their promotional material.

  1. What about Cute Boys Doing Cute Things?

There are some shows in winter 2018’s offerings that look like “cute boys doing cute things” but even if people categorise them as such, unfortunately due to the double standard, this subgenre doesn’t actually seem to exist in any capacity. It’s a shame too, since I could specialise in that genre! 

Let’s look at winter 2018 and why they don’t qualify:

  • a lot just don’t qualify due to an excessive focus on drama from episode 1, like Gakuen Babysitters and Sanrio Boys. The former also has Inomata – a girl – as a recurring character, as hinted by the OP.
  • Dame x Pri is a reverse harem already, so it can’t qualify for CBDCT automatically by that conceit. Also Ani is the one we “get into the head space” of, which automatically dismisses it.
  • Idolish7 holds a lot of drama for its shiny idol exterior, and only fans of the game really seemed to know that going in (due to the reverse harem set-up between protagonist Tsumugi and the boys). By episode 3, however, it does show its real self.
  • With Miira no Kaikata (How to Keep a Mummy), we’re getting closer but there’s a girl hinted to be in the cast from the OP and promotional material.
  • I think the closest match to what can qualify as CBDCT is Zoku Touken Ranbu Hanamaru, because despite the cool things the boys (and men) can do as swords brought to life, they only do said cool things occasionally and for only about half the episode, if ever at all – in episode 3, there were only cute antics, for example. There is drama, but with Yamatonokami Yasusada gone, there hasn’t been much (if at all) unless the boys decide to go training or go on battles while Yamatonokami is away, because the show’s real protagonists are Kashuu and Yamatonokami. The cast is so large, it’s a major challenge to characterise them all and that does suck, but…

…y’know what? I’ll save my excessive love on Touken Ranbu Hanamaru for another post. I was planning to do that anyway. That’ll have to wait for a bit though, because I have 2 Wednesdays blocked out for content I’ve written previously…

So what do you think about any of these issues? Should we even be looking for a line between SoL and CGDCT shows?





10 thoughts on “SoL vs. CGDCT

Add yours

    1. 1) I’ve tried recording myself, and I sound like a kid when I record myself. A kid with a cold maybe, but a kid nonetheless.
      2) I don’t know how to do that voice-changing thing Ply did.
      3) Privacy matters to me.
      For those reasons, I’m not going to join any podcasts. I am thinking of opening up collab opportunities once I hit a milestone though…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great post. I used to use the two interchangeably up until pretty recently, when I tried calling Sora yori mo Tooi Basho a slice of life and it felt wrong. I guess there was too much adventure there for it to feel like slice-of-life, despite its tone.


  2. Originally the question came from an earlier conversation where I was told Kobayashi and Gabriel DropOut were not “really” CGDCT shows despite being drawn in moe style and the latter being in a post apocalyptic all female universe. I was curious why. Personally I think it’s arbitrary. This said I always thought of the first season of Free! To be a CBDCT show. It really doesn’t adhere much to the classic Sports tropes

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 1. I agree with your definitions for the most part!
    2. That IS a strange thing to ponder. In my opinion, words that start with consonants should be preceded by “a” and not “an.”
    3. So drama is the deciding factor that distinguishes the two “genres” in your opinion. I have to admit, you make a lot of sense here. But since the point of SoL show is to be chill or “healing,” then the inclusion of meaningful drama that is palpable and extends beyond several episodes disqualifies a series from being SoL. In that case, then Hibike! is also not a SoL show. Of course, you made no argument in favor of it being such a series, but I just wanted to touch base and see if we agree in that regard at the least (but we do agree on Hibike! not being a “mere” CGDCT show).
    4. Solid reasoning. Can’t disagree with anything here.

    I do think there’s a fine line between CGDCT shows and SoL shows and you’ve done a great exploring said differences in this post. What a nice read!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, as I mentioned at the beginning I haven’t watched Hibike so I can’t vouch for the amount of drama in it – all I know is that there is /some/ drama in it from what I’ve seen around.

      Inevitably, without conflict, there is no show or plot so even if a show has drama, it can still be “chill” or “healing”…in my head, at least. Take ACCA, which is so chill its drama is mostly muted until a certain plot twist is revealed regarding Jean and Lotta (I’m not sure if you’ve seen ACCA, so I won’t say any more than that). However, because its central plot is a political uprising, it can’t really function as a political thriller, an SoL or a CGDCT show. It really is a blurry line for some of these shows…I guess that’s what I get for trying to write a full response post while the ideas are still simmering in my head.

      Thanks for reading.


      1. Mmm I’m aware you haven’t watched Hibike.

        And yes, I have seen ACCA so I’m aware of what you’re talking about (might be for the best to keep things vague so we don’t potentially spoil things for other readers, though) and I agree.

        But that’s why I tried to mention how “the inclusion of meaningful drama that is palpable and extends beyond several episodes disqualifies a series from being SoL” (I was so vague, however, that the line in question amounts to nonsense). What I was trying to say is what you have mentioned in your reply: every series needs conflict to some degree.

        What I failed to convey is my belief that the conflicts found in SoL and CGDCT shows are relatively small-scale and/or are typically resolved within a segment or episode. But if there’s an ongoing conflict, then it usually has something to do with the mindset of a character. I think most would consider Natsume Yuujinchou to count as a SoL show, for instance. And while most of the episodic conflicts are resolved neatly, the narrative for the series is character-driven as it essentially follows Natsume’s development as a person. This in itself is important, of course, but it can also still pass as a “healing anime.” As an example for CGDCT shows, Slow Start has Hana struggling to tell her friends that she’s a year behind them in school. The urgency of said conflict is debatable, but it continues to affect Hana thus far. Yet the series is primarily about girls being high school girls with the tension being an afterthought.
        In comparison ACCA’s conflict dominates the plot and is very much a big-deal. So, like you said, it’s not a SoL series (and certainly not a CGDCT series).

        It’s alright, I’m still trying to figure things out myself. It’s treacherous territory. Sorry if I stepped on any toes.

        It was my pleasure.

        Liked by 1 person

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