Top Five Anime of 2016

I’m late to this party, but better late than never!  In prior years, I’ve only ever named my favorite anime of the year, but couple of friends have requested a top five list.  The first four were easy, since they were the highest rated shows at four and a half stars.  Deciding which four star show should hold fifth place between four worthy contenders was far more difficult.  At the end of the list, the three which fell short will be listed as honorable mentions.

Concerned Luluco

Last year was excellent for anime, the only thing I regret about the shows last year is that none stood out as a classic.  In 2013 and 2014, I had at least one show rated five stars.  The year 2015, like this year, lacked a classic for my top fifty list.  But, this probably reflects my favored genres–action, adventure, fantasy, and samurai–not doing so well.

On to the top five of 2016!

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Random Thoughts on the Anime of Spring 2016

The past couple of years have introduced us to one solid season after another.  (It reminds me of the days where I despaired of the anime industry, which lead to posts like “Anime Spring Season 2012: Only Two Worthy Shows?“. Click on that if you want to read a really old post!) This season was no exception.  So, I limited myself to seven regular length shows lest I become overburdened.  (I’m not concerned about shorts taking up too much time.) See below for the shows which made the cut.  The shows are in no particular order.

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1) Space Patrol Luluco

The first two episodes greatly amused me, and I found myself surprised by the serious turn taken in the third episode.  Trigger is nothing if not creative, and I can’t wait to see how they meld the insane antics of this show with the more serious elements.  Fans of Kill la Kill will no doubt see similarities between Luluco and Mako Mankanshoku.  Having a Mako-ish character as the heroine ought to make for a very memorable short.

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Rating the Anime of Fall 2015

I’m a little late to the party, aren’t I?  To tell you the truth, my dear readers, I have not even settled on the shows I’m going to watch this season with the sole exception of Ojisan to Marshmallow, which is a very amusing short.  Feel free to give me your three favorite shows so far in the comments section below, and I promise to take a look at them.

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Looking back at the anime of Fall 2016, the high scores I awarded to the shows struck me.  Have I become even less critical than normal?  Then, your humble blogger realized that last season’s worst shows haven’t ended, and I decline to rate shows until I see the ending–unless Beneath the Tangles requires one of me.  So, let me talk about the worst shows of the past season before I get to the good stuff.

Worst wine pour in anime ever.

Worst wine pour in anime ever.  Is that ketchup?

8)  The Perfect Insider (aka Subete ga F ni Naru)

The fact that such a well constructed show finds itself at the bottom speaks volumes to how good the Fall 2015 was.  The Perfect Insider‘s problem was that it strove to appear erudition and merely became abstruse.  The philosophical queries at the show’s beginning drew me in, but the show became less about metaphysics and human nature and more about trying to learn the psychology of the killer, Dr. Shiki Magata.  One might claim that learning Dr. Magata’s psychology helps us understand philosophical ideas and human nature.  But, the usefulness of any philosophy we derive from a person’s psyche depends greatly on their sanity.  Dr. Magata has a few cards short of a full deck, is five cans short of a six pack, four quarters short of a dollar, and, in brief, is mad as a hatter.  Since insanity is based in pride and not in reality, one learns very little philosophy indeed.

Differing morals

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Summer Anime 2015: Collecting My Thoughts Ere the End

Usually, I try to write a post like this closer to mid-season.  A colleague at Beneath the Tangles reminded me that reviews of this season’s shows will be coming soon, so I better collect my thoughts, right?  I hope to write another post soon in the next few days on the older series which have taken up part of my leisure.

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1) Aoharu x Kikanjuu (aka Aoharu x Machinegun)

Overall, this show has struck me as above average with its fun and unusual characters and absorbing action sequences.  The most interesting moment for me thus far **Spoiler Alert** occurs when Midori, whom Aoharu had mistaken for a gentleman ere the Top Gun match, revels in crushing team Toy Gun.  He claims that losing in airsoft is worse than dying on the battlefield because one has to live with the humiliation of defeat.  Midori says that there is nothing else like being proclaimed dead and not dying.  Aoharu and her teammates are crushed by despair, because Midori’s team was the one team they hoped to vanquish.

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No Poor Choices: My Experience with Anime Summer 2015 Thus Far

How are my dear readers enjoying the new anime season?  On my side, I’m enjoying all my picks, though one show notably falls short of the rest in quality.  At any rate, these kinds of posts tend to run long, so let’s jump right into the anime.

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1) Aoharu x Machinegun

Here’s a lighthearted comedy with just enough seriousness to make the plot interesting.  The first episode featured our heroine, Hotaru Tachibana, being dragged into an airsoft team after picking a fight with an innocent host, who happens to be her neighbor.  The matches thus far have been quite suspenseful.  Even though the characters are not terribly original, the anime manages to immerse the viewer in their struggles and keeps the viewer eager to watch each new stage in our heroine’s journey.  Another plus is how much it reminds me of my favorite show of last year: Sabagebu!

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2) Gangsta!

For some reason, American mob films have never appealed to me; however, I’ve yet to run across a bad yakuza anime.  Curiously, of the shows Anime-Planet users recommend to fans of Gangsta!, I’ve seen all except Michiko to Hatchin and have enjoyed the rest.  Gangsta! sets itself apart from other yakuza anime in having better world building.  Only Gungrave comes close to it in this regard.  The heroes fascinate one by how they try to live in a world of violence and exploitation with some honor.  The sword vs. gun fights are utterly unrealistic, but most of the fights are very exciting.  However, fans who don’t like bloody violence, sexual situations (the show has eschewed explicit sex thus far), or nudity should give Gangsta! a wide berth.

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