Spring has sprung, the flowers are in bloom, and the grass is no longer dead and under a foot of snow! It is the springtime that reminds us that it’s not horrible to be outside and feel the sun warm our newly exposed skin. However, while being outside is nice, you can’t be out there all the time. For those times when you are stuck inside though, there is always anime. Not many anime series have a great emphasis on being outdoors, but some series downright celebrate it. Some anime series make the great outdoor central to the plot while others just excel at showing off all that green scenery. If you are looking for anime that reminds you to not watch anime and to get outside sometimes, then give these recommendations a try.
Encouragement of the Climb
Life is like climbing a mountain. You overcome obstacles and do a little better as you reach the next milestone. Encouragement of the Climb is about girls overcoming their various life obstacles, but also about mountain climbing. Though it is a short episode series, it displays beautiful mountain scenery that is only enhanced by its cute girl main characters.
Although many anime series love to show off Japan’s oceanscape in the form of the bikini-laden beach episode. Amanchu is not that. While it is prone to moments of bikinis, Amanchu is about the gorgeous underwater scenery porn that is going on. This series is about a club and its building passion for diving, and it is beautiful. You’ll never find a more beautifully animated anime by the ocean. Even the ocean in real life doesn’t look this good.
Laid-Back Camp is an anime series about camping, and what makes camping so beloved is that it slows you down and makes you appreciate the scenery. Although it takes place in the winter, it showcases how beautiful nature can be even if it is cold. If you have ever experienced living in a mountainous area in the winter, this series accurately captures those feelings that you can never quite articulate.
Looking past (or embracing) Tsuritama’s alien-based completely odd plot, it is, in essence, an anime series about sea fishing. Taking place on a small island, you get some excellent scenic views of both the ocean and the island surrounded by it. The atmosphere of the series is endlessly serene, the scenery is beautifully animated, and the plot is weird enough so that it is never boring.
Mushishi is an anime series that doesn’t really have a powerful linear plot, but rather it has a main character on a quest. In this series, Ginko travels around studying Mushi, which are basically small spirits. They can not only affect people, but they can also affect nature. Not only do you get quite a few nature-oriented stories in this series, but even if it is focusing on the people, there are always some wildly detailed and beautiful natural back drops. Furthermore, because the main character travels, you get to experience a number of locales.
Non Non Biyori
At a glance, Non Non Biyori is about cute girls doing cute things to chase the boredom away. This is often a common plot for nature-oriented series. However, you will note that the series has a strong emphasis on its rural setting. It is simple, beautiful, and peaceful. It is this atmosphere that is important to the series, which is probably why the first episode starts off with a solid two minutes of nature sounds and rural scenery.
From the New World
I personally recommend watching From the New World for the plot alone, but it also comes with some wildly imaginative and detailed landscapes. As the series is set in a post-apocalyptic world, long after the apocalyptic event, you have grand naturescapes interspersed with simple villages and ruins from our modern world long reclaimed by nature. This means there is a lot to discover for the curious young children in the show, and all that nature makes the world feel vast and unknown to even the audience.
The whole plot of Barakamon is about a high-strung artist being sent to a rural island to chill out a bit. While much of the series is actually set in the small village, there are scenes in which they head out into nature. While the landscape aren’t as beautifully detailed as some other shows, Barakamon does highly remind people the relaxing effect that getting away from modern society can have.
It is the job of any tour guide to make an area seem magical, and that is exactly what the girls in Aria do. The series takes place on a water-logged fantasy version of Mars, so it is quite literally a whole new world to explore. While the series has other things going on, first and foremost it is about showing off the beautiful Venice-inspired city via the canals.
Kino’s Journey focuses on the classic tale of self-discovery via a good old-fashioned road trip. Thought-provoking and imaginative, Kino’s Journey is an introspective wonder. However, you don’t get that introspection from nowhere. Sometimes things happen in the cities that bring it about, but everyone knows that most of the time a road trip is just about you and the wide, wild, open road.
Natsume’s Book of Friends
A slice of life series doesn’t get as many seasons as Natsume’s Book of Friends has by being bad. However, while it focuses on the supernatural storyline, often spirits and nature go hand in hand. The small town setting of Natsume’s Book of Friends means that there is tons of nature about, something which lends to its relaxed feel.
Princess Mononoke or Pretty Much Any Studio Ghibli Movie
If you watch almost any Studio Ghibli movie, you will find that there are many obvious environmental themes within. That is why many of these movies also have a heavy focus on nature in some way as well. Even Spirited Away, which takes place in a bathhouse, has environmental themes via Haku the river spirit. We don’t normally recommend movies (at least not often) but if you really want to see nature beautifully celebrated (or defended), have yourself a Studio Ghibli marathon.
Did we miss any more anime series that celebrate the great outdoors? Let us know in the comments section below.
Founder of Recommend Me Anime. Combine 5 years of freelance writing with 15 years of anime fandom, and the result is a site that is (hopefully) more interesting to browse than your average news and episode recap anime site.