Greetings everyone. We did it, made it to the last month of the year! And you know what that means right?
That’s right time to go through the top 2016 anime by yours truly! There will be no long winded explanations as to why just my overview of the shows and what I liked about them (more or less).
Given my own downplay of the anime fandom nowadays I do this with enthusiasm as even if I’m getting out of it or to be precise, waning of interest due to how it’s going with dumb fanservice and generic plotlines/characters, I still like it for what it is.
So here is my top animes!!
*Let’s do this weebs!*
Sailor Moon Crystal: Infinity (Season 3)
That’s right everyone I begin with the legendary Sailor Moon! This anime get’s named for due to how universal this show is, especially with how backlash of the last “2 seasons” of Crystal flopped to the ground like a frog jumping from a desk splattering it’s remains on the ground (gross I know, sorry).
Season 3 comes in bringing knew animation by the likes of “Pretty Cure” animators making the characters appear less “womanly” to more “typical pretty anime girls” that still retain the emotion of dramatic or sad moments.
Taking place a little after the end of R, the Senshi face off against a new enemy known as the Death Busters. Now this isn’t the typical enemies from the original enemy stealing “pure heart crystals” to get the talismans to get granted the [Holy Grail] to speed up the coming apocalypse. It’s science gone loco as humans to even small animals get turned into funky looking shadow monsters slightly known as [Daimon].
The Death Busters in this incarnation, and original story, are trying to find a foothold of making the earth another planet for the alien life form known as Master Pharaoh 90 and Mistress 9.
The Senshi are soon flung into battles with dealing with this new threat, sporting better transformation phases through the use of animation and not CGI and brand spanking new attacks that were never used in the 90’s anime.
We are also introduced to the fan favorite Outer Senshi, by the names of Sailor Uranus, Haruka Tenoh and Sailor Neptune, Michiru Kaioh along with the re-introduction of Sailor Pluto, who winds up reincarnated into the 21st century as a normal woman with the name Setsuna Meioh. Granted how the flow of reincarnation works in iffy given during the time of the 2nd season she died so are we to believe that there was a second Setsuna Meioh living out her human life unmolested until she died in R? I mean not HARD to believe but just asking.
The Infinity season spawned 12 episodes which were handled correctly in the sparse time of daily life, action sequence, plot progression and some development between some of the characters.
I noticed that the Uranus/Neptune love was pretty much put on the back burner to get to the main plot which I don’t mind as due to few scenes we can tell they have a loving relationship which no one is opposed to; have you seen the imagery that Naoko Takeuchi ever done with them?
Sailor Saturn story is one of the major highlights in this season as it’s mostly the same but how she is brought to the forefront when the [Talisman’s] of the three Outer Guardians are brought together to bring about the end. The intensity which was seen resonated well when I watched more so than in season 3’s 90’s anime.
Despite the bad guys only getting one punched quickly in this series it was good seeing them have some oomph for their attacks instead of relying on “monsters of the day” showing they shouldn’t be underestimated.
Opening song “In Love with The New Moon” took a minute for me to enjoy as it just didn’t have that spice like “Moonlight Dentsu” that I was used too or even the American dubbed “Sailor Moon” theme back in the day. However after a couple of retries I grew to like it and find it passable. There are 3 pieces of the opening sung by different singers so take a listen.
The first ending song “Eternal Eternity” is sung by the seiryuu of the characters Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune in a beautiful melody and moving lyrics showing their relationship full blast to easy interpret they do love each other.
The 2nd ending song is sung by Chibi Usa, called “Otome no Susume” (Maiden’s Advice) which I was never expecting as Sailor Moon had a tendency to never change up the songs and stick with the one they got. FYI we the fans had to wait 3 whole season in the original anime to get one of the best “Tuxedo Mirage” in the entire show. This one is upbeat and shows Chibi Usa’s feelings of learning to be a Sailor Guardian and even of growing up to do her best no matter what happens.
The take away 3rd ending song is “Eternity Brings Us Together” sung by none other than Tuxedo Mask! I will say this the song left half of the female fan population pregnant with the sound and showed guys that he’s actually worthy of being a cool character with his devotion for Usagi along with silencing fan fics of the typical “he betrays Usagi and hooks up with another “better” anime character from a different show”. I’ll admit it took me 10 tries to stop listening to that song! (LOL).
The anime does suffer at times when it comes to getting close up on the character’s faces making their irises look cross eyed or wonky and there are two episodes (that I saw) were slow which makes me skip half of it or just skip it all together.
I tweeted about this show a lot in 13 weeks of spring and enjoyed it a lot! I give this season a solid 8.5 out of 10 for plot/story/music/animation along with entertainment.
Ushio and Tora (Season 2)
Ushio and Tora was another series I enjoyed despite being the continuation of the winter line up where it left you hanging of the fate over Ushio and Tora as a whole.
This season was only 12 episodes but they were flipping amazing!! It got everything established from the characters, plot and the action was awesome!
Ushio and Tora’s adventures continue as the coming and fated battle with Hakumen, whose powers have grown immensely. With allies falling to the forgetting the duo in attempt to break the male protag’s spirit and free it from the barrier, Ushio learns about the fate of his beloved mother along with the true origins of Ushio. Asuko also gets major development in her plot development over her love for Ushio and vise versa making it seem star crossed along with Mayuko, whose origins are expanded on and making her one of the shows strong support.
The other would be female heroines that were shown in the first season also add to the show’s intrigue and even the Beast Spear has development that is unexpected.
I won’t go into extreme detail with this anime but I highly suggest checking it out, especially the first season to get context and not get confused. The animation is cool even if their faces can get too intense to the point you find yourself squinting or hurting your head.
Opening and Ending theme have a heavy metal genre which actually got my blood pumping to the ending of the story.
FYI there was an OVA in the 90’s showing some brief stories of the characters which are based of some of the episodes in the 2 seasons so if you are an anime junkie I suggest checking them out as well.
I give Ushio and Tora (both seasons) an 8 out of 10!
Rin-Ne (Season 2)
Another show that was carried over from the previous winter line up, Rinne continues the adventures of Sakura, Rinne, Rokumon, Tsubasa and Ageha in a swarm of slapstick, romantic elements and other episodes full of interesting fun or meh episodes.
While some episodes were entertaining with the misunderstandings if Rinne and Sakura will ever hook-up some episodes shows that despite the characters being good, they have bad traits which can be irksome.
I am happy to report that the season expands more on other characters than Rinne and Sakura and introduces more to the overall story in either one shot episodes to bring them back on a later date.
I did lose interest half way and forget to watch it but once I was able to buckle down they were decent and passable. Opening and ending themes were interesting with the first ending song of season 2 being my favorite.
Rumiko Takahashi’s series is good if you miss her like Ranma 1/2 or Inuyasha as the character designs are used in this series. Sometimes I say to myself “hey isn’t that Shampoo?”
Episodes count is decent so take this one in small bites.
I give Rin-Ne season 2 a 7 out of 10.
Anne Happy is the story about a group of girls cursed with being unlucky in various ways that require them to take a class in finding a way to get happy in life due to their unfortunate circumstances at an elite school. It’s a moe-slice of life/school setting for the most part.
Four characters, the lovable moe-cheek MC, Anne, the tsundere, level-headed black haired Ruri, the fragile big boobed glasses wearing Botan that winds up hurt over picking up a pencil (an example), the bossy “2nd” tsundere lost girl Hibiki with some crush on the very quiet, magnet for any animal Ren who isn’t afraid to land a falcon punch on her childhood friend Hibiki when she gets out of hand follows their exploits in trying to find their own happiness.
Episodes are a total of 12 and my goodness this was a gem of a show! I for one don’t do much of the moe nonsense as a rule to to the fandom of sexualing moe like girls at times so finding out these characters are fleshed out was something.
True they have their cutesy moments but Ruri, my favorite one in this show, kept me going and the other characters grew on me too showing that I have a lot to learn by judging by appearance.
Opening and ending songs were good with the former being my favorite.
If you enjoy moe, slice of life and good feels then this is the show for you! I give Anne Happy an 8 out of 10.
The show I just can’t get into but watched due to the ending theme songs! Asterisk War is nothing but generic action, lame characters, fake feels, harem/typical plot and OP nonsense trying to maintain some semblance of a “entertaining” show.
Earlier in the year I made a vocal opinion on this show as “being a beginner’s way for anime viewers” if you don’t want your anime full of “themes/symbolisms” or decent story in general.
Again I say this only made the list due to me mucking through this carry over season from 2015. I only loved the ending songs and that’s that. Nothing can be said.
5 out of 10 and that’s me being nice and not giving it a 3.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
One of the unexpected animes I watched on Amazon Prime. This is from the same creators of Attack On Titan but Iron Fortress has more depth to it then I expected.
I wasn’t planning on watching due to hype but tried it out and I shut up immediately.
Pretty much the dead rise in this steam punk Japan like setting where vampires known as [Kabene} run rampant and any fear of one being turned are shot on sight.
Our main character, Ikoma gets turned into some vampire/zombie thing and winds up stopping the process from getting to his brain by cutting off the circulation by wearing a contraption over his arm with a “nail-pike gun” attached. When people learn of his half-vampire like status he is met with distrust and animosity but with some of the main and supporting cast of characters he is able to travel with them to get to a designated point while battling the undead and getting stronger in the process.
He is met by the female lead Muimei who is just like him [Kabaneri] ones who don’t get turned completely and maintain their humanity despite having bloodlust and sleeping when expanding their energy in fighting. She is the one that shows Ikoma the gist and helping out the people in an iron train. She’s the the typical emotionless girl with humanity in her which is a strong fanbase for the fandom.
We also have Ayame, second lead female who governs the people of the series and resembles Sakura Shinguji from [Sakura Wars] in my opinion that uses a steam powered bow (only once dammit!!!) and has an aura of elegance and refinement on her. She is Relena Peacecraft meets said character from the series mentioned. Despite not fighting she holds lots of sway in keeping the peace and internal politics.
Her loyal follower Kurusu, typical militant series dude that seems like an asshole but is actually pretty cool and uses a sword. Strict and stubborn he also learns to eventually accept Ikoma and Muimei as allies when shit hits the fan in the latter part of the series.
Themes of identity, paranoia, friendship are shown in this series which I enjoyed a lot while the opening and ending songs were awesome. The ending holds a special place with me due to how it sounds.
Plot is decent with the characters holding their own with development. Some Shonen elements are shown but what does one expect in this kind of series? Animation is also good and had no problems.
12 episodes make this series which is cool overall. I give this show an 8 out of 10, watch it if you are missing Attack On Titan until season 2.
The strong fan following known as Re:Zero!!! A sleeper hit that took everyone by storm!
If you have heard of “Eternal Recurrence” by Friedrich Niche than that sums of up this series in a nutshell or as another form of explanation “Groundhogs Day” with Bill Murray from the 90’s.
The story follows a 17 year old named Subaru, a somewhat NEET that finds himself in a fantasy world, any anime fan’s wet dream. He is quick-witted but known to push himself hard, reckless and stubborn which forms him to be the most tragic character and prove himself as a main character in the course of the series.
After winding up in a precarious situation with a bunch of thugs in an alley and foolishly thinking he’s invincible by kicking their ass for a few moments finds himself way over his head before being saved by a beautiful girl with long silver hair…
The mysterious girl by the name of Emilia and he, Subaru fates are intertwined as his story is met by a gruesome end…to wind up respawned at the same point where he arrived! After another disastrous attempt at figuring out what’s going on Subaru soon finds out he comes back to life before the point of death to figure out a way to survive and keep Emilia alive.
And through lots of grit he is able to make it to the next point but history will soon repeat in even far more gruesome ways as Subaru will have to find a way out of each situation with a “check point” attached to his life to continue living in this world, win the girl of his dreams and live it out over and over again to figure out the why of the situation.
ReZero is a surprise smash which I enjoyed. At first I thought this would be a typical anime like the rest but one thing Rezero is good at is making you question where the story goes from the point where Subaru messed up. The emotional upheaval of continuing an event through the eyes of our MC can be heart aching due to as an audience we are suffering right along with him wondering “will he live this week?”.
The characters are not generic on the surface as each one Subaru meets is nicely fleshed out in the different continuums or check off points. Like when we are introduced to the most popular anime girl in the entire series, Rem, a demon girl with short blue hair and her twin sister (and my fav) Ram, a girl with short pink hair; two demon girls who are maids at Emilia’s home where Roswaal, a sponsor for Emila lives and Beatrice, a tsundere moe-chibi girl with a forlorn of knowledge. Puck is also introduced in the beginning of the series as being a guardian spirit to Emilia who holds a dark secret.
As the story continues we are soon held privy to what Emilia’s goal is; to become king of the country the story takes place in where it truly begins with 4 other candidates who make an impact with the story (who are females) by the name of Priscilla, an arrogant, haughty female with immense good luck, Crush, a woman of a strong warrior fortitude and military upbringing, Anastasia a little business tycoon that belies her strong beneficial mind and Felt, a blond urchin thief that appeared early in the series and is brought to be a candidate for kingsmanship and wants to dissolve the system into anarchism.
Another unknown being is also whispered about in the course of the series, Satella The Jealous Witch, that mysteriously resembles Emilia along with share her name with due to being a half-elf.
Though some hints are shown to be rules for Sabaru to follow with his ability “return from death” he must strictly go by not telling anyone of his gift or he’ll have a heart attack by unseen hands by the jealous witch or in a rare occurrence kills someone else. There is an “odor” he gives off that is the stench of the witch that monsters and Rem can sense from him.
There is no clue how or why he arrived in this strange world nor if he can ever return, the anime goes by the plot and character progression. The light novel or manga should give more info on the matter on the fabric of the fantasy world or even theories placed with certain characters.
What happens when you constantly die? Will you continue to struggle or will you succumb to despair and give up? Best to follow Subaru and see where his selfish, unthinking ways lead him.
ReZero is immensely good and I can’t speak highly enough from it. Watch the series once, wait a while then watch it again to make sure you got everything. The series goes for 25 episodes which is shocking as anime nowadays goes for 12.
For this show and the story/plot/character progression/animation/themes/songs and entertainment value I give Rezero a 9 out of 10.
Shokugeki no Soma (season 2)
Another come back for the surprising hit of Food Wars from season one, season 2 comes back with only 12 episodes. The plot is the same where we see the contestants from the previous season continue to the finale of the Autumn Election with Soma, Megumi, Alice, Takumi, Hisako, Ryo, Akira and Subaru to show off their culinary skills in one on one matches of a selected food; from sushi, ramen, hamburgers, desserts,etc.
Food Wars was an entertaining watch, while some episodes were lacking (especially at the end) it still can hold ground with being a good watch for old and new viewers. It has classic shonen quality mixed with food (and orgasms surprisingly enough).
I can’t really get into an explanation but give it a watch if you like cooking battles but not like in the form of [Fighting Foodons].
The plot/story/characters/music/themes are decent enough and I give the 2nd season a 7 out of 10.
An anime that takes place during Prohibition in a small town called Lawless in Illinois (which I mistook for Chicago due to the structure of the buildings and just assuming), 91 days isn’t your shonen-battle crazy, friendship hugging show. It has grit, grime, intrigue and a story that might be a typical gangster mafia tale but also has some heart.
Our main character is named Avilio, who is out for revenge over the loss of his family in a mafia like war by the Vanetti. Seven years later he returns to get close to the family that did his family in with his best friend and in order to get in they use homemade alcohol to sell to the family Avilio wants revenge on. He becomes a bodyguard and eventual confidant of the oldest son Vincent Vanetti.
Revenge isn’t easy as family honor, deception, hierarchy, anarchy and death become the building blocks of this cool and suave series which I highly recommend if you are getting burnt out of the generic anime nowadays.
I fell in love with the ending song “Rain or Shine” the melodies were perfect.
For entertainment value along with plot/story/characters/progression/music/themes I give 91 Days an 8 out of 10.
The Morose Mononokean
This show follows a teenager by the name of Hanae Ashiya as his mundane world is turned upside down when he one day discovers a small demon, a fuzz ball named Fuzzy, that attaches itself to him and drains him of his stamina. The thing is no one can see Fuzzy other than Hanae and another person by the name of Harutisuki Abeno, who is master to a place called Monokean (a living demon) that helps exorcise demons to the underworld.
Once Abeno is able to help Hanae with Fuzzy (who is another central player in the show that becomes attached to him and vise versa due to missing him later) Hanae has to pay off his debt by helping Abeno with his job.
With Hanane being very gentle but frantic with meeting the various demons and Abeno liking demons to humans more and being rude to his assistant, the two will prove to be a good team and balance out each other’s personalities as they help one demon after another, along with changing the minds of the demons that they help that humans are not all bad with the same thing with Hanae.
What captured me with this show is that it reminded me of another anime I enjoyed years ago called xxxHolic; it had the matchings and lore of the folklore of Japanese legends, minus the convoluted tale of destiny, sacrifice and shaping one’s inner self.
This is another show that went uncredited by the community but something I enjoyed. There is a total of 13 episodes. To be honest one episode had be balling like a baby due to it touched my heart in a way that I didn’t expect.
The pacing is decent along with didn’t feel shoved down my throat with the story. Characters are amusing and music nice to listen too.
I give this anime a 7 out of 10.
Magical Girl Raising Project
Okay what do I say about this? When I first saw the first episode of MGRP I thought it was a carbon copy of Madoka Magica with an innocent girl wanting to be a magical girl, gets her wish via a being through an app on the phone to help people and gather magical candies for each good deed.
Well I fucked up. I was wrong on the whole. Magical Girl Raising Project can get liked to said show of the tragic fate of Magical girls but it also stands on it’s own for the characters and massive themes of a Faustian contract and growing up (in a way).
Due to the limited amount of magic in the city where the story takes place and a total of 16 magical girls that made the same deal of using this app to become magical girls, they have to get enough candies to get the number to 8. If they don’t collect enough candies by the end of each term than they are killed. As the show progresses the stakes get high as some decide to go full blown anarchy and let’s just say it will be unexpected and bloody by the end of the show.
I tried to think who would get killed off but it is NEVER best to guess in this. I’d go into the characters but it’s best you learn for yourselves. I’ll say this much, the main character is named Snow White.
The characters you meet you will enjoy. Some are easy to determine if they are “bad” but to be honest when the lines get muddy it will be hard to say who is truly good or bad which makes this anime worth watching.
It makes you think which I like and with the ending theme song being far more catchy than that opening theme, it leaves me wanting and hoping this gets dubbed so I can watch it again.
I give Magical Girl Raising Project an 8.5 out of 10.
Poco’s Udon World
Finally an anime with no teenage protagonists but an actual 30 year old adult that reflects my life!!
When Sota Urawa returns to his rustic hometown after the death of his father, he goes to their old Udon restaurant where he chances upon a small, blond haired kid who is really a Tanuki spirit to his surprise. Through the course of the series Sota will learn of what it means to be a parent/older surrogate brother to the ever cheerful Poco learning human customs and having the mindset and build of a 3 or 4 year old. Along with ask himself what does he want out of life besides the job he picked right out of high school, which he’s good at.
Family, friendship, life lessons, regret play deep into this series of what it means to be a family. Does a family really have to be blood relations or can it be made with bonds and actions?
This show is another one I find speaks close to my heart as I can see myself as Sota with the way “life not going the way you want it to” and questioning what you want with it at the age of 30 due to majority are already married with kids or careers.
The last episode is actually on Saturday so the episode count will be 12. Watch this show if you want some good feels! If give Poco’s Udon World an 8 out of 10.
Here is some small shout outs of ones i have watched during the year as I blitz through these; Saint Seiya: Sanctuary, Dragon Ball Super (albeit with reluctance just skip to the Trunks arc) Our Home’s Fox Deity, RWBY season 4 (still ongoing), Wagnaria (a top fav of mine), WWW. Wagnaria, Yuri on Ice, Yugioh GX, Hunter x Hunter (I dropped out after Gon and Killua got out of the game world), Amagi Brilliant Park, Ceres Celestial Legend, Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE (Season 2), Digimon Adventure Tri (still ongoing), DNA^2, Ghost Stories (funny shit), Miss Machiko, My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU, Qualidea Code, Noragami, Psycho Pass the movie just to name a few.
And with that those are my recommendations of the year 2016 which I hope you enjoyed.
This is J signing off to work on some more blogs before the end of the year. Take care!
*To the next year of anime*