Posted by AidanAK47 on 22 January 2017 with categories: Yearly Summaries

Considering how 2016 has been in other areas, in regards to anime it wasn’t that bad. But let us not dwell anymore than we have to on the past year and get the show on the road.

 

The Worst

Worst Show

Aidan: Occultic;Nine

This is one of those shows which baffles me on just how it was even made. There can be good reason as to why some truly terrible anime were made. Production troubles, over ambition, lacking studio experience, poor source material…but this is an example where the only explanation I can think of as to why it turned out so terrible is the sheer incompetence of the writer and director.  I am long tired of speaking about this show so I will just round this up. Horrible direction that speeds up exposition to make it look like an episode of Bakemonogatari and even be visually nasuationing. A story which makes no sense and has a huge middle portion which is entirely pointless. No likeable characters and a girl with a chest so big that it rivals that of Mina from Air Master but the difference being that Mina’s huge knockers are meant as a joke when Ryouko’s are supposed to be attractive. This show is horrible, horrible trash and hope these two never work in this industry ever again.

Runner up: Musaigen no Phantom World(For killing the last bit of respect I had for KyoAni)

 

Mario: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

And with this Kabaneri takes the crown jewels. Well, first off, I don’t really mind popcorn action flicks, to put it another way I can endure it but what turn me off the most is when those shows take themselves too seriously. This one had this problem and then some. The action is over the top, which is fine, but then moments like pregnant-woman-turn-zombie got stabbed deliberately by “our people” just to prove the point (that doesn’t matter who you were before, when you got bitten by the zombie your humanity is over), it became rather tasteless. The plot itself is full of holes and overpowered characters that the more you think about it, the more it falls apart. In the second half the show did fall apart and it became exactly a train-wreck. For runner-up, let give a big round of applause to Occultic;Nine for its utmost intention to keep confusing us and make us feel uncomfortable till the very end. I’m not as pissed off about it as Aidan of course, but really this show was a mess which made very little sense.

Runner up: Occultic;Nine

 

Biggest Disappointment

Aidan: Erased

It is a point to be made that just because a show is disappointing, does not mean that it’s bad. Erased is by no means a bad show but it did manage to build peoples hopes to the degree that before the shows end people were declaring it a masterpiece. I offer this to Erased as I expected Berserk to disappoint but Erased I was well on my way to declaring one of my all time favorites. It really is evidence as to how much an ending can effect a show as while watching it the show manages to capture you but when all’s said and done and you look back, you realise the journey wasn’t as special as it was promising. Erased’s biggest crime is delivering a well done character drama when it was gearing the audience up for a mystery thriller. Thus I can fault the show for that, even if the end product was still good in it’s own right.

Runner Up: Berserk(2016)

 

Mario: Berserk (2016)

Arguably one of the most anticipated title last year, coming off from a 10 years plus high-regarded anime and even more prestigious (but endlessness) manga from Kentaro Miura. The long wait from us fans was not satisfied though, as the way the show handled the source material was just wrong. First the use of CGI animation failed miserably here, as the effect the CGI has was jarring and clunky and immediately took your attention away from the story. Then the pacing was off and the story was very newcomer-unfriendly. This series achieved something that I thought was impossible for Berserk: that maybe the manga isn’t that  special all of us fans hyped up to be: maybe it’s just a story about the killing, revenge and all ugly natures of human and nothing else. Second place goes to Joker Game that it started out incredibly solid for the first two episodes, then the episodic nature really killed the show as it became predictable (guess who will win in the end?), the stories that crammed up into single episode resulted in pretty much half-baked outcomes.

Runner up: Joker Game

 

HelghastKillzone: Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

As the writer who covered this show over the spring 2016 season, I remember buying into the hype and singing its praises for the first half of the show before it fell off a cliff in its second half. With the same staff behind Attack on Titan, it had the animation, action, setting and music to potentially become the anime of the year but veered off into a shitty direction with the introduction of the main antagonist. To this day, I would recommend the first seven episodes as the shining example of what anime has to offer in the action department but its latter half is something to be avoided at all costs. My only solace is that the series is reseted by the end of the finale and that the recently announced second season will have a clean start.

Runner up: Dimension W

Worst First Episode

Aidan: Berserk (2016)

In this episode you could hear the crying of Berserk fans worldwide at the PS2 level CGI and confusing direction of this episode. While the rest of the series improved somewhat, this episode served to temper the expectations of fans to an absolute low. Part of the reason was this episode needed to skip a large amount of source material while bridging the gap between the Golden age arc and the new arc. The end result was less than graceful. From the janky animation and fast pace this episode let Berserk fans know that the anime they have been waiting for is not this. SO for crushing the hopes and dreams of a fanbase, cheers to you Berserk(2016)

Runner Up: Divine Gate and Big Order

 

Mario: Masou Gakuen HxH

I have to hand this prize to Masou Gakuen HxH because the very existence of this show is to please the eyes of the audience, which means the joke is on us. The sad fact of it all was that the show was selling well in its season, which in turns explain why many shows like this keep surfacing. The story is just a bunch of set-ups for our MC to fondle the girls, and there’s a football team who waiting in line for the guy. Shows like this are the reason why most of us burning out of anime. Second worst episode goes to First Love Monster for its creepy visual of teenager-faced boys in short pants and act like primary school (because they are primary school students). I know the show aware of its own ridiculous but it doesn’t help if the show does nothing but relies heavily on it.

Runner up: First Love Monster

 

Worst Character

Aidan: Biba Amatori – Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

I will be blunt in that I didn’t like Kabaneri right from the start. I felt that it really was only a matter of time before the show slipped up and became something terrible. However up until halfway I could have deemed it mindless popcorn entertainment and it was held in high regard by viewers. However now I am certain most would agree that the show fell apart and I am willing to bet that if you asked them what point the show went off the rails they would answer that it was the introduction of Biba Amatori. It’s one thing to be a bad character and quite another to be a character so bad that they drag public opinion and the shows overall quality into the ground. Biba was the antagonist Kabaneri never asked for and never needed. From his Sephiroth wannabe design to his motivation that essentially boils down to daddy issues, this man with a personality of a plank managed to make the show all about him and in turn kill any entertainment value it once had.

Runner Up: Ryouka Narusawa – Occultic;Nine

 

Mario: Mitsumune – Mayoiga

Maybe Mitsumune is the lead character that we deserved to have in Mayoiga. For a show that was uncertain about a lot of things, be it their plot, their themes or the characters in dire situation themselves, Mitsumune still stands out as our useless lead, driven by his hormone and keep spouting nonsense all the time. That is fine though since the majority cast of Mayoiga spouting nonsense anyway, but the way he walks side to side with his mascot… well I mean his dark side was so anticlimactic and absurd that it was on a whole other level. For second worst characters I’m going to hand the prize to the whole D-Agency members, for being deliberately plain and without any personal traits that it’s hard to tell one from another, and for having superhero traits that they handle the situations like finger snapping.

Runner up: D-Agency spy members

 

General Categories

Best First Episode

Aidan: 91 Days

From episode one 91 Days had me ready to embrace it wholeheartedly. Looking back on the series I was a little let down by it but I remember how excited this first episode got me. It was like Baccano came back to rock us all over again. This episode did echo baccano quite a bit but had a serious tone which made it all the more dazzling. It was something different, something new yet old in another sense. It’s a pity it never quite reached the potential shown in this episode but i got to say that was a great way to kick off the series.

Runner Up: Kiznaiver

 

Mario: Erased

As much as Flip Flappers moved me the most throughout its first episode, Erased for me achieved something incredible on its first episode: it’s widely accessible. Seriously, this first episode did so many things right and hold so much ground that I imagined majority of anime fans who watched it are guaranteed to enjoy it. It had the mystery plot that will make mainstream fans excited, it had a personal unsuccessfully manga career storyline that will move someone who looking for personal story like myself. It had that supernatural “rewind” twist that will make most otaku fan crazy. And it ended in one hell of a cliffhanger. It’s a shame that the last third of the show was a letdown. But this was the only first episode that I was dread for the remaining days of that week waiting for its second episode.

Runner up: Flip Flappers

 

Best Single Episode

Aidan: Re:Zero (Episode 15)

You know what I am really tired of? People comparing Re:Zero to Sword Art Online. It never made sense to me and just seems like a kneejerk response no matter how I looked at it. I certainly don’t think this show doesn’t have flaws but these people are just using hyperbole to extremes. Putting aside that the shows quite literally have nothing in common and the story which people often cite as the source of their displeasure, it’s clear a lot of love went into this show. It had fantastic direction, a great soundtrack, pretty good animation with some of the people who worked on One Punch Man and some truly standout performances from the voice actors. Compare that to SAO which boasts Yuki Kajura’s laziest soundtrack, passable animation and on top of being a bad anime is even a bad adaption. No really, believe it or not the first volume of SAO was actually decent. Rest of the volumes after than were terrible but that first volume actually had me excited for the anime when it was announced. For in the entire show here is where the difference in presentation lies between this and SAO. There are few anime episodes which execute a tragedy quite as perfectly as this and it has an ending which could be considered outright cinematic.  To anyone who claims that Re:Zero has no value whatsoever, I point to this episode and say “You are wrong.”

 

Mario: Flip Flappers (episode 6)

Let me put it this way, if I ever going to make my own anime or movie, I’d like my movie end up just like this. It tackled many themes that I personally interested in: the blurred line between dream and reality, the dualism of our characters and the identity theme. Moreover, this episode was emotionally charged that the more I watched, the more I fall my head over heel. This episode was Flip Flappers at their strongest and most creative (not a slight judgement since Flip Flappers is full of inventive ideas) and that 20-minutes was one of the highlights of any medium out of last year. Come really close behind it was Re:Zero episode 15 that elevated the show from being “good” into “great” territory. This was not the first time we see the dead of Subaru and the pain he had to endure before his “comeback”, but this episode was the first time we see the real weight of what he had suffered, as well as the hopelessness of the situation that break his soul apart. The rest of the series the show never peaked that moments again, but I’m glad that we always have this episode.

Runner up: Re:Zero (episode 15)

 

Most Pleasant Surprise

Aidan: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

In preparation for the season preview I read the manga adaption of KonoSuba and i really was not impressed with it. Perhaps I should have gone for the light novel first but if it’s a choice between manga and light novel I feel manga is easier to get an idea of what a show is like. I wasn’t expecting much from it and yet KonoSuba managed to be one of the few anime to make me laugh out loud. Perhaps Deen works some magic on it(Though they seemed as surprised as anyone that this took off) or maybe the kudos belong to the director but whatever was done made this a joy to watch. I sincerely hope they can keep whatever it is they are doing going in the sequel.

Runner up: Girlish Number

 

Mario: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Certainly upon the first few episodes no one would had guessed this show is a deeply personal story about grief and adjusting your life to a new environment from the very bottom. For an “isekai” show Grimgar is distinctively more of slice-of-life approach than actual fantasy show, and the fight is often messy; but that was exactly the point. Grimgar is by no mean a great show but I didn’t expect it to be that personal; and personal storytelling is always fine by my book. In second place, Alderamin on the Sky takes the cake as I have no expectation of it whatsoever before it aired, and yet afterwards its worldbuilding, its strong leads and its warfare tactics that constantly keep me engaging throughout its run. You can argue that Madhouse has passed its glory stage but they are still pretty much reliable when it comes to keeping the spirits of the source material up. Special shout out for Ikta and Yatori for being the best pair that actually doesn’t involve any romantic feeling whatsoever.

Runner up: Alderamin on the Sky

 

Best Original Anime

Aidan: Flip Flappers

When I saw the trailer for Flip Flappers I had a feeling there was more to it that meets the eye. I was certainly glad to be right on that as it proved itself one of the most solid offerings of 2016. Beautifully bright colourful animation with story reminiscent of FLCL and very tiny bit of evangelion. Flip Flappers is a story that looks simple on the surface but has the depth to allow viewers to dive deeper and find more meaning. It made for one of the most enjoyable and interesting shows for the year for me.

Runner up: Girlish Number

 

Mario: Thunderbolt Fantasy

For the record, this was an extremely great year for original anime as even lesser original shows still manage to impress: Girlish Number, Kiznaiver, Bubuki Buranki, 91 Days, etc. but in the end this is an obvious pick; Thunderbolt Fantasy; for the reasons that you would never find another original-wuxia anime for another lifetime (well, unless Chinese animation take over anime), let alone puppetry one; and the story is actually solid and entertaining on top of all that. It would be hard pressed but this is one of the most refreshing experience I’ve ever had watching anime. Flip Flappers comes close as second as the show break many rules of how normal anime should be and kept us guessing what the show really was about for like half of its airtime.

Runner up: Flip Flappers

 

Best Studio

Aidan: Studio DEEN(Haven’t you heard? I’m Sakamoto, KonoSuba, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju)

People sure love to hate on Deen. I have always had a soft spot for them as while they may not always succeed, they try damnit. They have made some remarkable anime in the past but sadly due to their lacking animation and infamous Fate/Stay Adaption they have gained the reputation of being a lower tier studio. So it was quite satisfying to see them manage to create two of the best anime comedies in a long time and a fantastic anime drama this year. Succeeding to a degree that people said in disbelief that Deen of all people, was saving anime.

Runner up: Studio Bones(My Hero Academia, Bungou Stray Dogs, Mob Psycho 100)

 

Mario: Bones (My Hero Academia, Bungou Stray Dogs, Mob Psycho 100)

Bones was the big winner in 2016, as 3 of their original shows were three of the best production values in its respective seasons (Did I mention you that the best thing in Bungou Stray Dogs was its visual?). All these shows were brimming with creative visuals and in some case the best animation you would ever get this year. Their sequel series, ranged from Snow White with Red Hair 2 to Concrete Revolutio 2, had a very solid execution and production values as well. Second place is Studio Deen as the show released as much hit shows as its bad shows, but the great shows were so great that I can forgive them for First Love Monster or Reikenzan

Runner up: Studio DEEN (Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuo, KonoSuba, I’m Sakamoto)

 

Most Promising Studio

Aidan: 3Hz (Dimension W, Flip Flappers)

3Hz has certainly caught my attention this year. Dimension W at least showed they have the chops but needed better source material. Then when given free reign with an original work by the name of Flip Flappers they really showed what they could do. Anime adaptions may be the safest route to success in this industry but it is important to note that some of the greatest anime is anime original. 3Hz have the talent to create some truly great works and I think that as long as they don’t misstep too hard, they could be a real force to be reckoned with. I for one am looking forward to their next original work.

Runner up: Shuka (Durarara kitsu, 91 Days, Natsume Yuujinchou go)

 

Mario: Sanzigen (Bubuki/Buranki)

The main reason I give this prize to Sanzigen is how the studio actually make me feel optimistic about the future of adapting full CGI into anime. While this year we encountered many unsuccessfully attempt of using full CGI (Berserk and Ajin are prime examples), the animation in this show was put into good use. Even the character designs are attractive and distinctive (If you looked closely the characters actually glowed during some of the night action set-pieces). The actions themselves are all fast-paced and entertaining. If future CGI anime gonna be like this, I’ll be happy for the state of future anime. With mildly-successful Dimension W and the creative Flip Flappers, the new studio 3Hz deserved to have a special mention here as well.

Runner up: 3Hz (Dimension W, Flip Flappers)

 

Best Opening

Aidan: “Great Days” – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 4 Opening 3

I think I wasn’t the only one to be turned away by Jojo Stardust Crusaders lacking mid point as it is pretty surprising for this opening to not be a contender in the Crunchyroll awards. I don’t blame them as while the last episodes of Stardust redeemed part 3 somewhat, that middle portion was a real drag. I do recommend people power through it as Diamond is unbreakable is a real return to form for Jojo. But moving on, Jojo likely has the strongest lineup of openings for any shounen show out there and part 4 is no exception. Any of the three openings of part 4 could take this place but I think Great Days is just the best pairing of visuals and song. This whole opening just is brimming with style and gets you in the perfect mood to enjoy another outrageously fun episode of Jojo. But what makes this opening special is the alteration they make during the last few episodes which is just pure ingenious.

Runner Up: “Gospel of the Throttle” – Drifters

 

Mario: “History Maker”- Yuri!! On Ice

Simple yet elegant, at the same time tell you exactly what this show is about, while demonstrating the unique appeals of figure skating and above all just mesmerizing to watch. What more could you ask for? Also, the song fits the animation so well that it felt like the characters dancing around that theme song. In second place, Kiznaiver made a great riff-off of “Take on Me” with a confident take on the psychedelic visual; that OP could work well as a standalone music video for all I care.

Runner up: “Lay Your Hands on Me” – Kiznaiver

 

Best Ending

Aidan: “I want you” – Jojo’s Bizarre adventure Part 4

This and Flip Flappers ending are more or less on the same level for me and it is true that I choose this more to give it some attention seeing as Mario covered Flip Flappers below. Does that mean this ending is inferior, absolutely not. Jojo’s endings always went against the norm by choosing western classic songs instead of just using JPOP and this song by savage garden captures the feel of Jojo part 4’s more easy going atmosphere. In part 4 there are no end of the world stakes though not losing in the utter ridiculous spectacle of previous parts and the story is more about Joutarou and his friends encountering strange happenings in the town of Morioh. The ending itself isn’t impressive animation wise as it is for the most part still images. But the zoom effect and the optical illusion nature make it a much more interesting ending than most other shows. plus after amping things up to 11 and beyond, this chill ending is perfect for winding down .

Runner Up: “Flip Flap Flip Flap” – Flip Flappers

 

Mario: “Flip Flap Flip Flap” – Flip Flappers

I must admit unlike the OPs, I don’t really give much thoughts to the EDs because as long as the episodes end I just click “close” and move on. To say that this year had 2 outstanding EDs that kept me intrigued. The top is Flip Flappers. Apart from the very appealing fairytale-inspired flipbook, the music is really addictive. The art style has a charming effect and at times dark designs that fit perfectly with the theme of adventures in the series. Seeing Cocona and Papika having more fun together is also a pleasure to watch. Seriously, we need more of that fairy tale settings like this one. The second place went to the equally impressive brushstroke works from Mob Psycho 100 following Reigen before he met Mob. Both these EDs are totally unique but more impressively, all that elevate the themes of the shows very neatly.

Runner up: “Refrain Boy” – Mob Psycho 100

 

Genres

Best Comedy

Aidan: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

I never expected to enjoy this show as much as I did. As a premise the story is simple but excels at comedic timing and how the characters play off each other. It’s admittedly dumb fun but I often find myself with a dopey grin by episodes end which is helped by a nicely calming ending theme. The voice actors certainly sound like they are enjoying themselves and the second season so far has me still grinning ear to ear. Just hope they gave it more than ten episodes this time. You did right Deen? Right?

Runner Up: Sakamoto desu ka, Keijo!!!!!!

 

Mario: The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.

There were only 3 comedy series that I enjoyed the most last year. Some moments of Konosuba made me laugh so hard that my belly hurts but other moments I rolled my eyes for how terrible and unfunny those situations were. Keijo, while I agree was more akin to sports than comedy, its fan-service tendency and its dead-pan delivery of those butt skills were something to behold. At the top of my list is The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, as its sketch comedy ensures its quick pace delivered the jokes and short enough for these jokes to never stay out its welcome. The cast is all paper-thin stereotypes, which actually fits to the overall parody nature of the series. Like Sakamoto, Saiki is a overpowered lead with no single weakness; unlike Sakamoto, he actually grows bit by bit towards the end.

Runner up: Keijo!!!!!!!!!

 

Best Action

Aidan: Keijo!!!!!!!!!

Controversial choice likely but I actually had difficulty with this catagory. Drifters didn’t quite match up in terms of quality. Mob Psycho 100 isn’t what I would consider an action anime as it’s not the primary focus of the story. Hero Academia was a bit too standard shounen for my liking and Ushio to Tora was too lacking in terms of animation. Vivid Strike was actually a strong contender because a magical girl kickboxing story worked far better than I expected but unfortunately the animation couldn’t give the story the justice it needed. Looking over the seasons of this year it was actually hard to pin down a action series suitable for this award. Then I thought of Keijo and it fit the catagory well. So the hell with it, this utter ridiculous show about girls fighting each other with boobs and butts gets this award. After all Keijo has all the trademarks of a standard shounen battle anime and it more or less treats itself like one. It is that serious nature that just makes it hilarious when the action starts. It’s the sort of juvenile humor that most would think they were above but you can’t help but crack a smile as a character unleashes attacks like perky pied piper and Gate of Bootylan. Sure it’s hardly dignified but as Doc Brown said in Back to the future: ”Well, I figured, what the hell.”

Runner up: Vivid Strike

 

Mario: Thunderbolt Fantasy

Give it up to a puppetry series to show you how an action show should be done, or to be more precise, how to reconstruct an action show. There are many twists and turns that it’s hard to even predict what ridiculous things they will throw at us next, the characters are all awesome swordsmen that they even start the fight way before the actual sword fight, and when the action kicks in it was always a joy to watch. Mob Psycho 100 rounded up in second place as it featured one of the most impressive action set-pieces we’ve encountered this year.

Runner up: Mob Psycho 100

 

Best Genre Defining

Aidan: 91 Days

91 Day’s wasn’t my anime of the year but it certainly did show how much of a box the anime industry has put itself in. I am tired of high school settings, of superpowered harem leads, of tsunderes, Kuuderes, yanderes, danderes, derederes and whatever anime writing 101 formula determines. Hayao Miyazaki once complained about how anime creators today only take inspiration from other anime and you know what, he’s right. Though he meant that they needed more real life experiences, I say there’s whole other genres of film, music and books to take inspiration from. 91 Days breaks convention by taking inspiration out of something most wouldn’t even dare to, a mafia drama. The end result didn’t quite live up to the potential it had but damn if this isn’t something the anime industry needs more of. Anime was birthed by taking American comics and working it into a brand new style. Thus people there is so much more that can be birthed within anime. Anime slasher flicks, anime Breaking Bad, anime 2001 A space odyssey and hitchhikers guide to galaxy. Screw your high schools and hormone driven teenagers, let’s start bringing in something refreshing.

Runner Up: Keijo!!!!!!!

 

Mario: Flip Flappers

You think this show is a magical girl show? Well, think again because apart from those girl transformations, Flip Flappers didn’t really have any other mahou shoujo elements. Instead, the show experiments with new genres throughout its run, from fairytales-inspired structures, the action Mad Max wasteland, the futurist sci-fi metropolis world, then the psychological horror the next, to the full-blown drama and romance at other times. No other show keeps defining the notion of one firm “genre” like Flip Flappers did. The runner up comes to Mayoiga, for how the show suggesting one thing but ended up being in the other side of the road. Sometimes I’m not even sure if Mayoiga know where it’s heading but we’re certainly never got what we wish for from the show, for better or for worse.

Runner up: Mayoiga

 

Best Shorts

Aidan: Shelter

I certainly remember a big fuss being kicked up about this short over the “Is it anime” fiasco that happened on Reddit but it wouldn’t be fair to leave 2016 without mentioning this little gem. It’s a short music video that hits fast and hits hard. Emotional manipulative, yes but in a way I really don’t mind. I say any show that fills you with a sense of hope by it’s end despite depressing subject matter is more than alright with me. With great animation, a catchy tune and a message that hits right to the heart. If you haven’t taken the time to watch Shelter I saw go watch it now. Seriously just put up a google search and you will find it. Only take a couple of minutes of your time to watch. It can really show just what an anime can do in a short space of time.

Runner Up: Space Patrol Luluco

 

Mario: Tabi Machi Late Show

Now, I want you all to give more shorts series a try, as not only shorts series are the best platform for young animators to experiment with their styles (think Luluco), but it’s also the perfect platform for something like this: a collection of quiet, heart-warming stories that have a very limited animation, even to shorts’ standard. Tabi Machi Late Show comprises of 4 episodes, each episode about 7 minutes long, so the whole thing would take only 30 minutes of your time. If you don’t have any better thing to do in half an hour then try it out. The show is storytelling at its simplest, yet it speaks the most directness and the emotions it evokes were one of the most real emotions I have experienced for quite awhile. Second place is Honobono Log; a show that also treasured everyday moments, the beauty of those quiet moments that we’ve almost been through all but never take a time to really notice.

Runner up: Honobono Log

 

Best Movie/OVA

Aidan: Opting out of this category as I didn’t have time to watch a lot of movies or OVAs.

 

Mario: Kizumonogatari 1 & 2

With this category, I’ll go for the DVD release and cinema screenings (hence Your Name is qualified) so basically I have a field of Miss Hokusai, Anthem of the Heart, Girl und Panzer the movie, Under the Dog, The Empire of Corpses, Harmony, Doukyuusei and Kizumonogatari. Considered I’m a die hard fan of Monogatari series, this might come as no surprise. But even without the series as my cornerstone, Kizumonogatari is strong enough to stand on its own, with its aesthetic and production values that are even stronger than the show. Your Name rounded up on my number two slot because frankly it’s still head and shoulder above the rest of the field.

Runner up: Your Name (for non-anime film: The Red Turtle)

 

Technical & Characters

Best Animation

Aidan: Mob Psycho 100

Well the crunchyroll awards botched this category so I think it’s only just to give Mob Psycho the award if fully earned. There really isn’t any compilation in regards to this as the animation of Mob Psycho 100 was something else entirely. Even I, a person not gone on the show can recognise the level of craftsmanship that went into all the movement. To take something as crude and simple as ONEs artstyle and transform it into a animation wonder is certainly a massive achievement. I hear that the animation fo Mob Psycho was made with the intent of topping One Punch Man in terms of animation. They may have succeeded at just that.

 

Mario: Mob Psycho 100

ONE, despite his great flair for storytelling, always has a rough and simple art designs. Bones transformed those qualities into its assets though as the animation in Mob Psycho 100 is dynamic and easily transforms to energetic style when it needed to be. The show is a showcase for many utterly amazing fight set-pieces as well. Yuri on Ice deserved a honourable mention here as all the skating sequences are gorgeous and entertaining.

Runner up: Yuri!! On Ice

 

Best Production Value

Aidan: Undecided

I can’t really put this down to one. Perhaps because I likely passed on the two of this year with likely the highest production values. That’s being Sound! Euphonium 2 and Tales of Zestira. KyoAni and Ufotable are generally where to go when it comes to quality. However I have no interest in KyoAni’s offering and no matter how pretty Tales of Zestira looks it’s doubtful to excuse the boring story of the game. Bones are another choice but Hero Academia didn’t really wow me on a technical standpoint. Mob Psycho is an obvious choice but it did still use ONE’s rather rough art style. Then there’s Kabinari of the Iron Fortress which emulated the designs of old style anime though did take it’s fair share of shortcuts. I will forfeit a right to an opinion on this.

 

Mario: Sound! Euphonium 2

The ridiculous attention to get every single detail as real as possible is something you don’t see very often in this platform. How they make all the musical piece correctly timed with accurate notes and correct hand and body’s positions were pure insane. Sound! Euphonium 2 is always gorgeous to look at, and there was no single dip in quality throughout its entirely run. In second place, of course Your Name took the spot. I know it’s not fair that usually a movie-quality is much better than a series, but Your Name’s whole production was so fantastic that it’s hard not to include it here

Runner up: Your Name

 

Best Background Art

Aidan: Your Name

I haven’t actually seen Your Name outside of screenshots and a small amount of trailers but it’s a film by Makoto Shinkai. if it’s one thing that Makoto does better than anything else it’s scenery porn so despite not seeing the product I am confident in handing this award to Your Name.

 

Mario: Your Name

Yes, Your Name took the top spot here as this is easily the show’s greatest strength. They nailed the atmosphere and the feel of those settings, from a quiet, vivid village life to a busy, exciting Tokyo’s area; even other landscapes (like the ruined village and the cave) have so much personality in them. Grimgar takes a second place. The settings in Grimgar is full of life and overly detailed and its watercolor background is something that I would love to see more.

Runner up: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

 

Best Character

Aidan: Rem – Re:Zero

Don’t give me that look. This girl is winning popularity polls all over the world and for very good reason. I am not enough of a contrarian to deny the simple truth. What makes her special is that in terms of design she isn’t all that noteworthy and is near identical to her twin sister. So this girl won over the hearts of the world not by taping a pair of basketballs to her chest or getting naked but through personality. Rem is caring, cute and likely the dream girl of any guy around. Also helps that she can kick serious ass with a morning star. You could argue that she is waifu bait but quite frankly if all waifu bait was as good as this I say bring it. I like this character far more than I actually should.

Runner up: Also Rem

 

Mario: Rei Kiriyama (3-gatsu no Lion)

Here goes to some of the most well-written high school protagonists in recent years, both Rei Kiriyama and Kumiko Oumae have given a lot of development to deal with, and the results made them feel almost like real characters. The top spot goes to Rei. The way 3-gatsu no Lion keeps dig deeper into his inner thoughts, consistently challenge his perspective with everyone around him. At one time we saw him bed-sicken for few days, didn’t want to trouble anyone, but he doesn’t realize that there are still people around who care about his wellbeing. Other time, he claimed that he chose shogi as a mean to survive, but it hurts like hell when he loses. His thoughts might be depressing and dark at times that’s a beauty of writing complex characters. Second place is a fierce fight between Lovepon… (I kid, I kid) and Kumiko. Kumiko likewise had grown tremendously in the latter half of the season, from a timid girl who doesn’t want to get into other’s affairs to a girl who emotionally honest, and best of all that progression feels very naturalistic as it draws gradually from the understanding of the characters themselves.

Runner up: Kumiko Oumae (Sound! Euphonium 2)

 

Best Cast

Aidan: Jojo Bizarre Adventure Part 4 Diamonds are unbreakable

Jojo part 4 took a much more easygoing approach to it’s story so it’s a great thing that the cast is the strongest lineup of characters in a Jojo yet. Josuke doesn’t beat out the best jojo(Joseph) but he’s still a pretty fun character with a very interesting stand power. The villain of the series Kira may be the best villain to grace the series to date so the fact that he lost the best villain award in the crunchyroll awards to Erased villain…well that fills me with utter rage. But enough on that. The side characters are all equally interesting with their own stands and quirks. By the end of the series the town of moriah is filled with such likeable and strange characters that it could rival Durarara’s Ikebukuro. When looking at the story of Jojo part 4 it doesn’t seem like much but it was the characters that truly made it my second favorite Jojo part to date.

Runner up: Bubuki Buranki

 

Mario: flying witch

flying witch features some of the most harmonic and natural chemistry between the cast that I’ve ever seen in anime. They bounce off each other well and if you pair some two characters together they have some sort of unique interactions with each other. Take Chinatsu and Inuka for example and we have the back and forth conversations that are very rapidfire and deadpan. Take Nao and Chito-san and we can see how the cat toys with Nao but also care about her everytime she’s around. Those characters sure don’t grow a lot after 12 episodes, but they maintain an easy-going chemistry that so effortlessly but actually very hard to achieve. In the second place, the cast of 3-gatsu no Lion deserved an honorable mention as well. As 3-gatsu no Lion is a character-driven show, this result might come as no surprise; but there’s no denying that the cast in this show were given more depth with such honesty that it never feels forced or calculated and their chemistry is strong enough to actually carry the theme forward.

Runner up: 3-gatsu no Lion

 

Best Voice Acting

Aidan: Akira Ishida – Yakumo “Kikuhiko” Yuurakutai – Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

I still hold the opinion that as a viewer who does not know Japanese, I truly cannot judge the level of talent of a seiju. Still by looking at the demands a show like Rakugo puts on a voice actor I have to be amazed at the job Akira Ishida did with Yakumo. This voice actor played the character through every stage of that character’s life. From boyhood to elderly. Along with that he had to slowly progress Yakumo’s talent at Rakugo, from performing terribly to capturing the audience. If this show was ever by pure miracle picked up to be dubbed, I am not sure there’s a big enough paycheck for a English voice actor to take on such a ridiculously demanding role. Rakugo was a show that lived and died on the talent of it’s voice actors and out of them all Akira knocked it right out of the park. I don’t know Japanese but well done Akira. Well done.

Runner up: Rie Takahashi – Megumin (KonoSuba) and Emilia (Re:Zero)

 

Mario: Akira Ishida – Yakumo (Kikuhiko) (Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu)

I must admit that I made this category just to recognise Yakumo’s voice acting and in large, the entire cast of Rakugo show because that part is essentially one of the most important part in the show. In Rakugo, they have to perform the plays entirely by their voice-acting, sometimes Studio Deen goes so bold that they featured the cast performing the plays only, without any accompany visual but that decision paid off nicely. For second place, I’m tempting to put Kumiko’s Tomoyo Kurosawa up there for her plain but really on-point voice acting (even when Kumiko getting sick we can really hear her voice got swollen as well), but in the end I’ll give the runner up prize to the duo Aqua/ Megumin from KonoSuba because frankly they’re the heart and the soul (and the voice) of KonoSuba. You can hear them screaming from far back but you can also feel that they really enjoyed playing those characters. And sometimes that’s all you need to make it fun and memorable.

Runner up: Sora Amamiya/ Rie Takahashi – Aqua/Megumin (KonoSuba)

 

Top 10 anime of the year

Aidan

Besides the number one pick there is no real preference in the order of these anime and all can be easily moved around. Except number one.

10: 91 Days/ Mob Psycho 100

A tie for the bottom spot but I had difficulty choosing between these two. They are both shows with merit but Mob didn’t appeal that much to me personally and 91 Days disappointed me with it’s conclusion. However out of everything in 2016 these two shows are undeniably worth watching and remain among the most interesting titles of the year. Mob Psycho with it’s fantastic animation with a story exploring the use of absolute power within ordinary life. 91 Days for proving that anime can move away from high schools and still kick serious ass with style.

9: Ushio to Tora 2

I wonder how many people forgot about this series. I admit even I didn’t get around to watching it until another anime season had passed but it is rather sad to see this show get forgotten when shounen series are brought up this year. Ushio to Tora didn’t do anything new but what it did it did well and it managed to do the one thing that Shounen series almost never do. It had an conclusive ending. A pretty good ending at that and I admit that it’s so damn refreshing to have a shounen series where the hero finally defeats the big bad and saves the day instead of the usual “We shall do it someday in the future!” It’s by no means a masterpiece but upon finishing this series I felt satisfied. Animation could have been better and it didn’t deliver on the level of badass action promised by the openings but this series had some really great moments. It also boasts a great antagonist who is just as worthy of winning villain of the year.

 

8: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

I have already said more than enough about this series in the above sections so I will keep this short. It’s fun, it’s funny and a enjoyable time through and through.

 

7: Erased(Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)

As I stated before, Erased is a disappointing show but not a bad one. If there’s something I dislike about it then it’s that Yuki Kajura made a pretty low effort soundtrack for it that didn’t really fit the series at all. Other than that we have a series that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the majority of it’s run and ends fairly conclusively. Looking over it the journey can seem not as exciting as it was promising to be and the mystery that was obvious from the start. However it has some strong character drama and moments that can hit really hard. The scene with Kayo getting her first home cooked meal was one of the most emotional moments of 2016. There is a lot to like here and it’s certainly a show well worth checking out.

 

6: Danganronpa 3 The end of kibougamine Gakuen – Despair arc

I wonder how many people checked this out? This is an anime for the fans and fans alone as it does spoil the game’s plot. Though for the fans this acts as a pretty great conclusion to the stories of the previous games. This would be one of the few times I would highly advise not watching this dubbed as they decided to take huge liberties with the show much like the parody dub of Ghost Stories. It’s sad as the story of these anime, in particular Despair arc, is very good. Great even. There’s a lot of danganronpa fanservice and it’s a joy to see characters fully animated and some of the bigger mysteries of the games solved. The new characters also worked well though the animes didn’t really make much use out of Danganronpa’s highest strength, murder mystery. There are things that keep you guessing and some surprising revealations but the plot is for the most part straightforward. If you are a fan of the games I do highly recommend checking these out. However as previously stated, subbed. Not Dubbed.

 

5: Girlish Number

A while back we had an anime called Shirobako which did a great job on giving a inside look into how much work goes into the anime we consume on a regular basis. However while it was great at that, it’s presentation of the anime industry was rather idealistic as sure when you are a producer on a great anime with hard working individuals the anime industry is sunshine and rainbows. But what if you aren’t on the next big show? What if you happen to be working on a bargin bin light novel adaption with a trainwreck of a production schedule and a producer more interested in selling the voice actors as idols and embezzling the profits for himself? Girlish Number to me is the anti-Shirobako that was sorely needed. The cynical counterpart to point out some of the less pretty aspects of the anime industry. For you know, sometimes marketability is more important than talent, sometimes a production can be a soulless cash grab and sometimes workers just don’t give a fuck. Admittedly it’s not quite as critical of the industry as i would want it to be and focuses more on Watari’s strong suit, character drama, than pointing out the industry’s flaws. After Qualidea code this was a return to form for him and remains a solid entertaining show with interesting characters throughout.

 

4: Jojo Bizarre Adventure Part 4 Diamonds are unbreakable

Stardust crusaders waned my love for the Jojo Franchise for quite a while. I wasn’t sold on stands and I found the new characters to be rather lacking. I only found that it really started to redeem itself near it’s end. Stardust Crusaders took away my love for the series for a while and Diamonds are unbreakable brought it right on back. Now I want a part 5 adaption because this isn’t even the best that Jojo has to offer from what I hear. Part 4 has a better cast, better stand battles and quite frankly the strongest main villain the series has to date. Don’t get me wrong I love Dio, but Kira just has more layers as a villain which make him more interesting. The fight scenarios have gotten more clever and ridiculous.  The animation is significantly better than the previous parts. I say if you used to love Jojo but moved away from it like I did, I highly recommend giving it a second chance. Or at least jump ahead in Stardust to make it quickly to part 4. I think much like me you will find it’s charm come back full force.

 

3: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Quite frankly the best drama of the year exploring an artform practically unknown outside of Japan. Rakugo has strong characters with great development and growth throughout the series. It shows why these people love the art of Rakugo and how the advance of society threatens killing the art completely.  A tale of love, tragedy and the lives of men who can entertain an audience by just telling a story. One of the more underrated series of 2016 and well worth your time.

 

2: Flip Flappers

Magical girl series had a small revitalization thanks to Madoka but ultimately those chasing Madoka’s coattails failed to capture what made it a game changer. Filp Flappers decide to be it’s own thing and god I love it for that. The animation is energetic, the art bubbly and cute, and the plot simple on the surface but with the depth for those looking deeper. Animation was colourful and dynamic while the show touted some nice story elements about identity and adolescence. Certainly my pick for best original anime of 2016.

 

1: Re:Zero Life in another world

Don’t think I don’t know the reaction to this. Some are nodding saying “good” and others are likely shaking their heads in disappointment. Well it’s my list and if you ask me what series I enjoyed the most this year then Re:Zero is undoubtable it. Yes, I know it’s flawed but I don’t care. I know it has divided the anime community with it’s success that it leaves most critics unwilling to praise it. But people, I loved this show. That’s my opinion and quite frankly that is the only opinion that makes a difference for me. Look, even if the story is flawed and acts as a set up for a greater plot, it still resolved the conflicts within it’s arcs. The music is great and really heightens the feel of the series. The animation for battle scenes is awesome and it’s solid through the show. The direction is fantastic, really making pivotal scenes all the more compelling. I can think of several reasons why you might not like this show, maybe even hate it.  But I love his show and nothing comes close to the excitement I had waiting for each episode. I still get filled with glee every time a new translated chapter of the web novel is out.(I thank you dear sir.) I watched it twice over and still think it’s awesome. I love this show and If you have a problem with that then just fight me.

Mario

10: Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

This is a tight contest between Grimgar and 91 Days (along with Kiznaiver and Erased as a long shots) for this slot, but in the end I decided to go with show that I personally resonate to the most; so Grimgar took the cake. Grimgar isn’t a perfect show; far from it, namely its slow pacing and some irritating characters can put many viewers off; but for those strengths that the show deliver, they deliver so damn well with so much personality. The slice of life aspect, which is unusual for its RPG root, breathes a sense of life to its world settings. Moreover, the water-color background also helps making that world vivid and surprisingly detailed. But the best thing about this show was how the killing and the death does matter. It’s one of those rare shows that understand the grieving process and you can feel the pain lingers many for majority of the series. As such, Grimgar deserved to be in this top 10.

9: Fune wo Amu

noitaminA block has been very shaky lately, just look up there for the worst show I’ve seen this year, but Fune wo Amu was a return to form and demonstrated that there’s still a market for adult drama anime. The process of making dictionary doesn’t sound much interesting, but the show succeeded on follow an everyman spending years to make something worldwide. It’s also a show about connection, about people with different personalities can work together for the same passion projects. Furthermore, both the show and the dictionary (the Great Passage) is one of a way to connect the gap between what we want to express and what we actually express, between one person to another. It’s a delight to see show as dry and mature as this popped up every now and then; the show that tripped out all the spectacular over the top visuals to instead telling the story it wants to tell.

8: Yuri!!! On Ice

To the surprise of everyone before the show aired, Yuri on Ice hit the jackpot with both its remarkable ice skating routines and the romance of our main leads. No, I’m aware the show’s writing wasn’t its forte, as it focused entirely on the performances of all the figure skaters that it had too little time to do anything else. Instead, the show made use the most of its performance to flesh out the performers, giving them characteristics and even their own little arcs to develop. Yuri and Victor deserved special attention for portraying a very positive homosexual relationship; and the routines, although repetitive, never failed to be spectacular. This show’s also a statement from one of the best working anime director right now, Sayo Yamamoto, as this one was a passion project that somehow managed to become a big hit.

7: 3-gatsu no Lion

3-gatsu no Lion biggest strength came from its understanding of its characters. Here in this show they consistently flesh out the main cast, dig deeper and deeper into the main’s train of thoughts and the result was some of the most emotionally effective moments I have seen this year. Then the show contrasted him with the warm-hearted, lovely atmostphere at the sister’s house and you are in for the house full of effective little moments. Shaft adapted this series with styles, turning all those dark and depressing thoughts from Rei with its striking and impressive sequences. The show’s handling of the lighter tones can be questionable at times, and Shaft’s distinctive style doesn’t usually fit with the show’s quiet themes; but the show still managed to give satisfying emotions to most of its little stories.

6: Mob Psycho 100

Contrary to the popular opinions here, I actually find Mob Psycho 100 a better adaptation out of ONE’s works. The animation actually made a great use of rough character designs to showcase one of the most stunning pieces of animation in years. But for me what surprised me the most was its writing that consistently draw out the insecurity of Mob and gave him a necessary triggers to develop. The cast’s likewise all were very well-constructed and each of them added their own color to the overall theme. Mob Psycho 100 is one of the most creative product I’ve seen this year, backed up by the strong development of the cast and surprisingly lots of hearts. I honestly couldn’t ask for more.

5: flying witch

flying witch is one of the best slice of life shows in recent years, bar none. The show takes a slow and deliberate pacing with a strong sense of atmosphere into a mundane countryside world. For a show about a witch adapting to her new hometown, the amount of actual magic was surprisingly low in numbers but when it happened, everything glowed with a sense of wonders. The cast was unified endearing and they have one of the most natural chemistry together this year. More impressively, the show did all that effortlessly to the point of perfection, but look underneath and you can see many little tiny details that keep adding up and made this little world so inviting and rich. In this laid-back world, sometimes we follow a cat for his daily routines, making a hamburger or eating cake in a witch’s café, or even taking a lazy afternoon’s nap.But whatever activities they throw us; flying witch is ultimately a celebration of everyday life’s joy, with a little touch of magic to create a sense of wonder that life and nature could bring to us.

4: Sound! Euphonium 2

The only continuous season on my top 10 list but it more than earned this spot as nothing can beat Sound! Euphonium 2 in terms of ambition and its actual execution. This season was a different kind of beast than the first one, focused more on several separated character’s arcs and many of the show’s highlights could very well be the highpoints of the whole year. That 10-minutes musical performance in its entire from episode 5 was phenomenal, as were the two main girls Kumiko and Asuka’s own developments. This show was also layered with smart visual motifs and sensitive direction that underscored little gestures and facial expressions more than outright dramatic sequences. Everything was handled with utmost care and frankly that obsessive amount of attention to get everything right is something that we might never witness again in other studios.

3: Thunderbolt Fantasy

“WHAT?? WHAT IS THIS PUPPETRY SHOW DOING HERE IN THIS TOP TEN?? THIS IS AN ANIME BLOGGG” You asked? But of course, I say. If anything, Thunderbolt Fantasy is a product that break the boundary on how anime should be and even what anime is. I must admit that I’m not really a fan of Gen Urobuchi; the way that I more respect him than actually love his writing, but everything he created for this little gem was a wonder. The characters all have their own unique personalities and are way over the top so it’s fun to see how their egos crashing with each other through campy dialogues and equally hilarious plot twists. Many of them have their own elegant gestures, unique costume designs and those static faces that weirdly fit the show so well. Those practical effects that you can only see in puppetry and stop motion were put into good use. Thunderbolt Fantasy remains the most ridiculous and entertaining piece of anime that you’ve encountered this year. Long live the anime!

2: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

Now, I consider these top 2 to be a league above the rest of the anime crop this 2016 year, modern masterpieces so to speak. Moreover, I’m extremely pleased that these two couldn’t be more contrasted in terms of its storytelling, themes and visual executions. At number 2 was Rakugo, as this is storytelling at its simplest, most elegant and most traditional. This show, at its essence, is the story about the art of storytelling, and everything in the show was constructed like a rakugo play itself. The show at times framed those characters in a staged play-like, and the execution, especially those rakugo themselves, was confident and overall extraordinary. Those characters fall amongst one of the most complex characters this year had to offer. But greatest thing of all, this show might give a much-deserved appreciation back to rakugo itself, as I see more and more people taken interest in rakugo based on this show. The show already feel like an install classic and we only reached the first half of the story. How awesome is that? What a wonderful thing that this show even existed at all.

1: Flip Flappers

Were there any doubt that this one will end up at number 1 on my list? Flip Flappers, in contrast to Rakugo, is a show that succeeded on bringing originality and inventive visual motifs to create its own world and run its own logic. On a surface, the show is an adventure that hop from one genre to another, at the same time overwhelm us with its heavily motifs, abstract visuals, vibrant imaginaries; strong use of colors and the plot that didn’t even attempt to make much sense. On second look, all those themes actually all pointed towards coming-of age theme of self-identity and self-worth. Those girls were all put in those weird “Illusion Worlds” and follow their own brand of logic that somehow managed to be emotionally charged but full of hopeful sentiments. The show is a constant adolescent journeys that make up from opposing force between the urge, freedom and emotional directness from Papika and compassion, responsibility, think before act quality from Cocona. Flip Flappers is animation in its purest form: a product that can only works well in animation medium. To sum it all up, God save the queen; superheroes save the world, and let the magic word “flip flapping” save the current state of anime.

16 Responses

  1. KaZuHiRo says:

    Wow! So much love for Flip Flappers! I gotta DL it now too!

  2. Islay says:

    I relly liked this list, there reasons for your opinions and it done so well.

    Mario Best op is the only one I disagree with its a good song, with stong visuals dont get me wrong, but the starting of the song is very weak and builds, it’s very hard to get hyped for it vs kiznivar which was far strong as an opening, while mob was just over the top in its quality i think both would of been better then yuri on ice, but thats just my to cents.

    p.s Flip flap was perfect pick as best ending thought, to calm you down after the crazyness that took place during the ep.

    Thank you for the list.

  3. evafan says:

    Nice post.

    Interesting to give KyoAni the “unloved child” treatment, to the point that you even didn’t watch Hibike! You sir are my new hero. I don’t like what they’ve been doing for a long time, so this post is refreshing to see.

    Also, ++ for Re:Zero and Flip Flappers. Initially I wanted to so drop RZ on the spot, but after ep13 RZ became my biggest anime surprise in all my history. My brain trembles! And FF, shame the series barely held together towards the end, but apart from that its the definition of anime. My fav. though was the dark yuri ep.

    I don’t usually watch OPs or EDs, but I really liked Flip Flappers ED. I also really liked Re:Zero ED. It was also often integrated in the last anime scenes, so I give it bonus points too.

    But the ED I liked the most is the one from Long Riders. So good. The series needs more love. I must say I actually looked forward to it every week more than to Flip Flappers, which I really do not want to admit to myself.

  4. Blue says:

    Can’t say I agree that Berserk is all just about the killing, revenge and ugliness of human nature, even though Conviction Arc is one of the darkest moments in the story (for good reason). Even throughout all the fear and suffering, you had Guts abandoning his quest for revenge over his love for Casca, several kind characters like Luca and Azan, and even the cowardly and weak Nina surviving, hoping to become a better, stronger and kinder person. There’s always that ray of hope in Berserk.

    That being said, I think the next arc they’ll be adapting offers a more “balanced” viewpoint of humanity and certain beliefs and knowledge that new characters bring in show that people in the world of Berserk have been led astray in a deliberate move to divorce them from true knowledge and power by dark forces (the God Hand). The Conviction hints at this too, but it’s far clearer in the next arc. Plus it’s my fave arc in the series, but I’m not confident the anime’ll be able to do it justice. Here’s hoping anyway.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      That’s exactly my point, Blue, as I considered this arc much more than just those deaths, decay and ugliness. Thanks god the show didn’t actually glorify the violence, but they didn’t dig deeper beyond all those grittiness either so the story loses its bite. It’s one thing to adapt something that don’t bring the spirit of the source, it’s another thing to be misfire so hard it actually brings down the source. Take that scene where Farnese nearly got raped by the possessed horse for example, the anime modified that sequence and the end result was far lesser in context but more disturbing in presentation, not in a good way of course.

      I still hope the next arc would be better, now that we at least are used to the CGI styles. It couldn’t get any worse, right?

      • Blue says:

        I definitely get you on that one SuperMario. I actually had the same thought as you lol, for a period, I was like “was the Conviction Arc really that good???” And yeah, the horse scene wasn’t good at all, more drawn out and even more ridiculous. A number of readers swear off Berserk after the Golden Age, and while I prefer the later stuff compared to Golden Age, I’d have a really hard time making a case for it based on the anime.

        I agree that a degree of context was missing in the anime because they cut out/change dialogue and scenes that provided context to characters and events (that’s not even counting Lost Children, just the parts they adapted), or just do it in a confusing manner.

        Then they’d dwell on scenes that weren’t that important (the horse, Nina’s spanking, etc.)The magazine that Berserk’s serialised in gave out supplementary material for new viewers and released several volumes for free for a time digitally, which says a lot really. The visuals were bad, the music and its placement didn’t mesh, it all felt amateur hour.

        Admittedly, I think Miura can be very blunt at times with his commentary (Mozgus) but the anime does the story no favours either. And yeah, it can’t get any worse, surely lol.

        (that was longer than expected!)

        • SuperMario SuperMario says:

          I assumed that you read our weekly coverage on Berserk but if you hadn’t then by all means read those posts. The writer who was covering Berserk (from episode 4) was a guest writer but he was a big fan of the manga Berserk so there was very informative to read. I swear reading his coverage was more rewarding than watching the episodes themselves. Give it a try Blue!

  5. Buchu says:

    Lost all respect for Kyonai yet loves Keijo and waifubait?

    This blog has been a walking corpse for some time. The low comment rate and the shoutbox being the admins messenger pretty much proves it.

    • SuperMario SuperMario says:

      I don’t see any of these as an issues in all honesty. We never intend to follow the success of psgels to begin with; we just here write what we want to write so the low comment rate don’t really effect us much. I’m open for any cristiam but calling the site a walking corpse (without a soul) is insentitive and a bit of an overstatement.

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      Question. Who even are you? I certainly don’t remember you from the glory days.

      Anyway I take it as a complement that this is the only thing you could bring up to criticize me. Your opinion has been taken under advisement.

  6. Haleth says:

    Lists like these are always fascinating, not least because they are so subjective. I think many of us forget that the implied “my”worst and best does not mean readers have to agree or disagree, though it’s fun to squee over faves with others as well as pass the brain bleach over those shows that weren’t worth the eyeball time and the memories. Jumping in just to leave an ad hominem attack (like that person did above) is rude and unwarranted.

    I say “subjective” because my own best would be, for many reasons, YOI. Not only because of its wonderful, healthy, normalized queer MAIN couple in a sports anime (usually the home of what Westerners would think of as queerbaiting, though culturally that’s not the right term). I think the writing was splendid because it was able to present us with wonderful character development for Yuuri as well as sketching out memorable characters (many of whom were superb foils and mirrors of Yuuri and Viktor) and fantastic skating. If you aren’t into skating or hoped the romance would dominate the show rather than be deeply entwined with the growth in skating and coaching skills, then I see why it might frustrate you.
    At most, I might have added an extra half-or-full episode, but we almost surely have a sequel of some kind coming, so any rushed feeling in the last ep is forgiven if TPTB allow the sequel to have a freer rein now that it’s proved itself as a genuine hit.

    YOI also deserves kudos for bringing back many anime fans. Over and over I heard of long-time anime fans who had left out of boredom, but came back because they loved this show. Moreover, this show did well because folks new to anime were blown over by the show’s excellence. And man are pro skaters having fun! They are having a rare old time watching, tweeting about it, cosplaying, imitating signature moves, and even appearing in the show. They have taken it to their hearts as the love letter it is.

    So many other things I Ilked:

    A round of applause to the exhausted staff who had 22(!!) ice skating programs (can’t wait to see the touched up version in the BDs!). I know ppl complained about the animation in ep5, but to me it made sense to ration the better skating animation to higher stakes events. MAPPA’s not a huge studio, either; so I think the creative team did well with the resources given them.

    A realistic depiction of an anxiety disorder. Yuuri isn’t cured by kisses, hugs, or twu wuv. He gets better with the help of others as well as his own actions, but his anxiety doesn’t magically vanish either. It helps him become a textbook case of the unreliable narrator, setting us up for that fantastic twist in ep 10, as well as the reminder in eps 11-12 that anxiety fosters emotional misunderstandings.

    Well, you are probably tired of my praise, but it’s really the most enjoyable anime I’ve watched in years. I’ve loved and admired other excellent shows in the interim like Mushi-shi and Natsume Yuujinchou, but nothing has sucked me in like YOI. Congrats to Kubo and Yamamoto and the whole creative team that gave me such a joyous experience during such an awful year.

  7. donhumberto says:

    ^^ I really liked Yuri on Ice too, but to be honest, for me the best part of it all was the huge success that will (hopefully) enable Mappa to continue being the most interesting new anime studio for the next few years at least
    As for the list, thanks a lot, guys! It’s been a nice read as usual although I have some minor quips:
    – I really couldn’t get into Flip Flappers. I tried several times but Papika was just too much for me. I’ve never liked this kind of super genki-obnoxious characters so that was a deal breaker for me… oh, well, at least it looked nice. (as for Re-Zero, let’s just say it wasn’t my thing and we shall leave it at that).
    – Kind of disappointed at the lukewarm response to 91 days. It was by far my number 1 and one of the best series of this decade for me (second only to Shin Sekai Yori). I also enjoyed inmensely Joker Game but I was kinda expecting a negative response. For some reason the anime blogosphere has been really negative to one of the best episodic series I’ve ever watched (I’d rate it up there with Mushishi and Kino no tabi). I guess people are not into realistic, mature anime anymore?

    – Also, kind of disappointed at the lack of Ajin (although in this case I can perfectly understand that maybe the CGI could have been a deal breaker for some). I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed it and how well written it was. Plus, it had the best villian of the year hands down (I’m talking about Sato, of course)
    – Kudos for bashing Kyonami. I think it’s a godawful studio and one of the big responsibles of the sorry state the anime industry is in right now. I mean, Have they ever made a series/film that is NOT about a high school club featuring moe girls?

    Well, overall I think 2016 was a good year anime-wise but still a far cry from the golden era (2003-2008 for me). I mean, there’s no way in hell we could get series like Monster, Texhnolyze or Le Chevalier d’eon now… oh, well, here´s to a great 2017 and hopefully we’ll have Psgels joining in for the best of the year next time!

Leave a Reply

CHANGE USERNAME
Amagi
I would have prefered it if the magical beings were weird looking instead of all of them being beautiful sameface humans. Also the special role of Chise and how everyone gets alured by her give me strong otome vibes and I am really not a fan of this gerne
Amagi
@Lenlo/KT same here. It's just that AMB can't come even close to Inu, Shuumatsu or Houseki. I am no a fan of the pacing and the rest is basically just fantasy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Was worried there for a moment thinking sangatsu no lion was ending next week, turns out season 2 is 22 episodes afterall.
Lenlo
Yeah KT, watching the two together has not come out favorably for AMB for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe it works better in hellsing and drifters moreso to both being goofball action shows.
KTravlos
A point on the chibi in AMB. I was thinking about shows were the chibi did not bother me, and Hellsing Ultimate and Drifters (newest episodes coming out), both had deformed/chibi segments. For some reason they did not bother me. I think ABM directors have bad timing with them.
KTravlos
I have to say Ichirou Inuyashiki is very cool. Like he is really a cool character. Also I am saddened to say it but watching AMB together with Inuyashuki does not work well for AMB
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Silver: There are sad moments certainly but plenty of humour.
Anonymous1639132
Man, I sure hope Ichirou Inuyashiki and Hiro Shishigami make out, everything is just building up to that
silver
I actually have only watched one or two episodes of this season of 3-gatsu, but its rising scores and rave reviews are making me really excited! I've only put it off because it's somewhat emotionally tiring for me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: Well, after the first season of 3-gatsu ended, I did skim ahead to this bullying arc so I already know this is going to be powerful, yet the anime still wow me over and over
Anonymous1637770
Also it can be tricky selecting a season sequel since some old series had like 50 to 100 episodes, what counted as a season then?
Anonymous1637770
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's more common in videogames (especially Capcom) than in other mediums. Megaman 2, RE 2, Street Fighter 2, Dino Crisis 2, Marvel vs. Capcom 2, etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Actually in a rarity, a sequel season is better than the first.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which makes my enjoyment of sangatsu so strange.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I generally do not like game/sports orientated shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
That you slightlySuper-erMario and superwooper!
Kaiser-Eoghan
And my reaction to the show is such, that I enjoyed it enough to make such a huge pot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Also I want Akari to be my mom and Hina is adorable without being annoyingly so and Kana Hanazawa is doing a good job voicing her.

And whoever said it is right, the op/ed songs are worth listening to, for once I’m not skipping them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
At this point it feels as if by the end of the series I’ll come off it thinking that I don’t want to say goodbye to these characters.
I don’t think as of just yet it complete lives up to honey and clovers legacy though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never cared about Harunobu initially, but recent episodes have changed this.
Dull parts of the manga are easier to get through for me in the anime due to Shaft elevating the material with one of the better uses of their visual gimmicks.
Giving the series another chance, even though I won’t fully embrace the humour, it does now and then manage to make me laugh a little.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The bullying arc centering on Hina and the shows treatment of it is better than most anime bullying stories and has provided the most emotionally rewarding aspect of the show.
Characters that are assholes like Kyouko’s boyfriend, Kyouko herself I’m finding somewhat more sympathetic and want to see more to their personal drama.
Kaiser-Eoghan
However I do genuinely think that the series does a good job of allowing dramatic moments to creep up on the viewer, that early scene of Hina crying over her mother, Rei’s family flashbacks, Akari’s concerns about Hina/the stuff with her dad, all the scenes with Kyouko do carry an effective and solid dramatic weight to them.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel it starts very strong, making a great first impression, then kind of has these dull moments that make it sort of a slog at times to get through, unfortunately I have no interest in chess/shougi and no knowledge the show tries to give me is going to stick or allow me to embrace that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Through jumping back and forth between the anime and manga, I can say I have no caught up to where I will now watch March comes like a lion on a weekly basis.
Anonymous1636224
The blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki
Anonymous1636224
Mmmmmm the suffering of all those innocent people feeding his God boner, this is why I love Inuyashiki
Lenlo
Oh yeah, thats not a knock against it. Just noting they dont *need* much animation
SuperMario
Well, the nature of Mahoutsukai is slow-burned, so it makes sense they focus more on static, quiet moments
Lenlo
Was that blade 2022 thing supposed to be an example? Because I wasnt a fan. It was stylish sure, but difficult to follow.
Lenlo
Maho is a good looking show, I wouldnt call it a great animated show.
Lenlo
The issue for me is, theres just not alot being animated most of the time. Usually its a pretty slow moving anime, so most of its time is talking and still shots. It doesnt need alot of animation, so it doesnt have it.
Lenlo
@Niel, I think Mahoutsukai can have good animation when it wants to. Like the water viel in episode 10 looked good (Though im not sure how much of that was after effects)
Anonymous1635607
uhhh creepy
Anonymous1635589
the blood of the innocent will flow without end, mmmm this is why I love Inuyashiki so much
Amagi
I think the security is the same as here, it's just that Japanese people are less likely to rip stuff (correct me if I am wrong). It seems like ripped anime, manga and so on are basically always uploaded by Americans, Chinese people or someone else.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised heavens feel was camripped I thought security in japanese theatres was stronger.
Amagi
Yeah it's also screening in Germany, I will watch it in February, together with Heaven's Feel, Mutafukaz, Kimikoe and a few others.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*on Europa cinema
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nanoha new film to screen next February in the US, come in Europa license it for over here dammit....
Kaiser-Eoghan
Did have some down moments though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I guess contrasting Luke with his old self goes some way.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Saw the preview screening of the new star wars, still feel the new trilogy stands inbetween the originals and prequels, fufills its duty as a *** star blockbuster , some genuinely hilarious high camp moments, awful tokenism, Snoke is a shit villain, but two scenes with Luke actually have a pathos to them and I liked the chase/action scenes when they happened. Nobody cares about the acting/dialogue
AidanAK47
But there are times when it goes way too far and you can barely make out what is even supposed to be happening. Or characters go so off model that they are unrecognizable. It can be immersion breaking. Much like uncanny CGI.
AidanAK47
@Niel, I do agree that it's annoying to see people complain about animation when they clearly have no idea what they are talking about. Like those inbetween frame screenshot people. But I will say I appreciate on model characters more so than chaotic movement. When the off model stuff suits the tone of the scene like that blade runner part, then it's fine.
niel
I also don't want to see someone imply visual=animation for the hundredth time. Are people really that ignorant of the technical/artistic aspect of the media they consumed?
niel
It just depends on what works best in given scene and the aesthetic they want to go for. People can complain all they want about off-model stuff, but if they really only want that the they won't be getting nearly as much of those impactful scenes as there are now. So many of the ways people complain about it is really irking to me.
niel
normal/low action scenes is different from being on-model during the action sequences and just the ones that need some extra impact in general. https://youtu.be/rrZk9sSgRyQ?t=6m45s
niel
But that depends on the situation though. And I'd argue that being consistent and on-model during
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter/Niello/Mario: Ideally I want it both ways, fluid animation AND consistent model visuals, all the while never sacrificing choreography.
SuperMario
But really, who am I to say. I'm the dude who prefer beautiful shot composition myself
SuperMario
The same can be said with Shinkai's movies since he always prefers static, beautiful shot that people tend to overlook that his animation is quite poorly handled
Vonter
You're right, but art direction does alleviate limited animation, I mean the old Berserk anime, kinda has a lot of slideshow moments. MahoYome has nice backgrounds, and despite the samey faces, at the very least doesn't come from the same mold as other series. Still cutting corners with chibi segments is was a mistake.
SuperWooper
Is it any wonder that people prefer things to be static/on-model? They want to see characters who look consistent and familiar so they can relate to them.
Nie
MahoYome being the biggest offender of people getting triggered to any kind of statement about the show's animation not being good. And it's absurd because the show's animation really isn't great at all. It's good with distracting people with pretty pictures, but animation-wise it's still mediocre.
Nie
@SuperMario: Not much. Just stuff like "Art is part of the animation weather it's beautiful backgrounds or just amazing looking characters. It's not all about how they move. If it was, CG would be considered great animation" multiple times. I've just been finding myself being replied with these kinds of comment non-stop since the start of the season.
SuperMario
@Niello: What happened exactly, if you don't me asking?
Nielllo
If I hear someone says AMB has good animation one more tie I might actually lose it. It's amazing how people who apparently know nothing about it try to defend this and other people who don't know anything are actually supporting the guy.
Niello
So with Fate Apocrypha episode 22 out, I'm just now learning that people think webgen style is horrible and they prefer static scenes with pretty visual over actual quality animation. WTF. I can't comprehend this. Are casual people who watch animation in general really that oblivious to the art they have been watching?
Lenlo
Berserks Dynasty Warriors style game looked better. Also, Mahoutsukai should be up tonight/tomorrow. Turns out, Christmas is a busy time of year at this job.
Amagi
*worse
Amagi
Especially when you consider how good CGI can be by now, look at Houseki or Kado. But Berserk was the worst thing I saw in years, many scenes felt worst than sequences of PSX games
Amagi
@SuperMario: Same. I love Kon and also consider Paprika's OST as the best. @Lenlo: Me too. I honestly even enjoyed the movies but the new series was atrocious
Lenlo
HIRASAWAAAA! HAAAAAI YOOOOO.
I miss the 90s Berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was also quite fond of his soundtracks for Berserk. AIIIIIYE FORCES : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkYYYew8CUI
SuperMario
@Amagi: I'm a big fan of Kon so I've watched everything from his. Even bought a book about his works. About the soundtrack, I listened to them as well but not regularly, compare to pprika OST which I downloaded and listen to a lot
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although not completely a manga, Usagi yojimbo also has an anthro character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Millennium actress is partially inspired by the actress Setsuko Hara.
Amagi
@Kaiser-Eoghan: The anthro-animal manga is even a topseller as far as I know. Haven't looked into it yet, though. Maybe I will do so.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I am still hoping Dream Machine will happen some day. Kon died believing it would happen
Amagi
@SuperMario: Have you tried the other Kon movies like Millennium Actress once? Thought they were really good and Hirasawa is responsible for the OST there too. Or Paranoia Agent which was (IMO) very good as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nttSKBJ38k (OP)
Niello
Eoghan: Enjoy... ;)
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I haven't read this, its very strange to see a manga about full anthro animal characters: http://kissmanga.com/Manga/Beastars
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: So based on that I will try devil lady. Thanks.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: That'd be me who made that post. I thought dororon enma-kun was wonderfully ridiculous and Devilman gorishly entertaining, Shin Mazinger Z was probably some of the most fun I had with an anime, but violence jack took it way too far though so I guess I'm aquainted with nagai's work
Vonter
I don't remember who was looking for something noir in anime. I was looking among several series from Go Nagai. And watched some Devil Lady. I don't remember if noir is exclusively detective stories, but this anime, has those high contrast shadows, eerie music and is shot like some japanese horror movies I've seen. I don't know if it changes along the road but so far it's very suspenseful.
SuperMario
I only know him through his works in Berserk and Paprika but his music never fails to amaze me
Anonymous1626471
@Amagi: Ghost Bridge is my favourite. I just find it very calming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aeh5aJsxlbw
Amagi
Susumu Hirasawa is one of my favorite musicians/composers. I don't even know what kind of subgenre this is. There aren't any other music groups I know who do similar stuff
Nielllo
@Mario, Already saw that video before.
SuperMario
Check this out... I don't even know what the freaking instrument he's playing, but it's spellbound https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjalQjAomH0
Niello
Just when I thought Houseki no Kuni took the prize for best animation I was treated with Apocrypha. This week is amazing.
Niello
Big name animators all over. They really threw everything they've got here.
Niello
Woooooah! OMG Apocrypha ep 22 animation is sick! So that's why the animation in the first half of the show is so lackluster and basically just darn awful.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its not entirely odd to bring up Heydrich in relation to the occult either, apparently he was said to be part of some whackjob order.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hmmm, that girl from Dies irae, Anna Schwegln is aptly named, also shares her name with the last executed person for witchcraft, who was Bavarian German, which i'm told by an Austrian friend were particular right-est leaning politically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course unfortunately its often the opposite that happens, nothing is worse than an ending that ruins everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, how I love being surprised by something. That feeling where you''re watching something shakily held together, simply okay or good, then suddenly in the second half or last stretch your score of it goes massively up.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can kind of understand the wanting to go home and watch something easy mentality instead of challenging but even though I'm guilty of escapism, I'm tired somewhat of "sillier" stuff, its often enjoyable but its get overly reptitive and I wish I could find more philosophical/political/imaginative things.
Amagi
Yeah the show is great because of its theme, the setting and chemistry girls have as well as their (lack of) knowledge about basic human things. Each episode thematizes this in a different way but there isn't much you can talk or say about it when you already explained the topic in detail.
SuperMario
On the other hand, I don't have much to talk about Girls' Last Tour this week. It's still good, but with this episode I feel that I'm running out of concrete thig to say about the show
SuperMario
Haha both Houseki and 3-gatsu have a good showing this week. I have a lot of things to talk about Houseki in particular
Amagi
This week's Houseki is jurassic park
Amagi
*-ati - I think Netflix and so are at least giving a few new impulses which isn't too bad. I don't think the typical anime series will disappear because of that.
Amagi
At least in comparisation
Amagi
I think it's just sad how often I see wonderful series selling 500 BD/DVD or maybe even less. Most series don't sell more than 1500 or so and the rest is usually at ~3000-5000 which is still pretty low.
Amagi
Yeah, it's one of my pro-Netflix arguments as well. Another problem is that anime (not counting manga) only make money through dvd/bd sales since they air at night, whereas Netflix or daytime tv series don't depend on the latter so much and since anime BDs are so expensive the only ones who buy them are the more extreme fans.
AidanAK47
Might be in part due to the workaholic nature of their society that makes escapist fantasy and empty entertainment more appealing than usual. Ultimately these are the people anime is made for so opening up the markets gives more deserving shows a fighting chance.
Though that isn't to say that western taste is perfect either.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, That's part of the reason I think some westernation might be a good thing as from what I seen the Japanese have truly terrible taste in anime. Sales charts from Japan just make me shake my head.
Amagi
God, the preorder anime lists are atricious. The only one that seems to sell acceptable (around 6k) is Mahoyome. Series like Inuyashiki have 80 pre-orders so far, Shuumatsu Shoujo 977. Idol shows sell good of course, including that male/bishounen Idolmaster
AidanAK47
@Anon, I read it but kinda fell out due to it's releases being slow.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Actually if you check the manga recommendations section, you'll see there is a post about it here.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Yes, it was interesting to follow a story that dealt with a characters homosexuallity that was outside of the yaoi/yuri mould.
Anonymous1620968
Out of curiosity, has anyone on here read Shimanami Tasogare?
Niello
Where are we up to with Inuyashiki?
Lenlo
Well alright then. Episode 9 out of 11 and that happens. Was not expecting that
Lenlo
Ooo something happen this week? Im about to watch it
Kaiser-Eoghan
It feels just as rushed and awkward in the manga.
Amagi
I noticed this too
AidanAK47
Inuyashiki has balls of steel to pull that in this particular episode number.
Nielllo
Finally got around to reading Helck, and it looks like it's going to go into that pile of good-shounen-that-won't-ever-get-animated right alongside Psyren.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Imagine trying to buy the dvds of the show in public.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Gentle remind that the prism ilya movie is out and subbed.
AidanAK47
Still surprised the second and third seasons got dubbed.
AidanAK47
@Angel, I replied to one of your comments before but the rundown is no official word yet but maybe next year.
Angel
Or no? Someone please tell me!!
Angel
Going to happen?
Angel
Is fate/kaleid liner prisma☆illya 3rei dub
Amagi
I dislike it when manga bait me into reading due to the first chapter and end up being some very generic stuff afterwards. Nobody stays for B if he started something for A, authours should expect that.
Lenlo
Really, Juuni should stick with the 3D. That fight in ep 9 looked pretty good. 3D is clearly what they are good at
AidanAK47
@Niello, It's not Chatango. It's a plugin for wordpress called Wisechat.
SuperMario
@Niello: yeah, Juuni caught me off guard this week. The production of Juuni is unfortunately shaky, but well, strong writing can save the day
Niello
Btw is this chat still Chatango?
Niello
This week episode of Juini is surprisingly good compared to how the show usually is with its backstory. Although the part where Ox tries to explain to Tiger could definitely use some visual buff.
SuperWooper
in the future*
SuperWooper
Pretty cool that Juuni Taisen had that kind of emotional heft this week, though. Might be one of the 2017 shows I sample the in the future.
SuperWooper
I think the occasional comments with an episode title and nothing more come from people who mistake the shoutbox for a search bar.
SuperMario
@Anon1614688: juuni taisen... made me tearing up this week. Honestly didn't expect that. Damn you, Tiger
Anonymous1614688
juuni taisen
Amagi
Had some complaints regarding Children of Whales but the latest two episodes were pretty good.
Amagi
@Anon: You explained it better than me.
Anonymous1614307
Kaiser: I actually have the exact same opinion of Natsume and Mushishi. Both are excellent, but Natsume just does a great job with a small core cast and a very simple premise
Anonymous1614456
who likes naruto
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mushishi does have good stories, but it was always a manga I'd dip in and out of, on and off for years, never marathoning it, wheras Natsume was easier to read several chapters of in one go.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think its because Natsume has more pathos.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*more than
Natsume weirdly ended up becoming this comfort manga for me with a higher consistency rate .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will state that I hold the terrible opinion that I like Natsume Yujinchou than Mushishi but at the same time completely recognize that Mushishi is probably the more ambitious, better show.
Niello
So it becomes a cycle of "this is an interesting set up" (except that the new Kino isn't even good at that) and then they fucked up or Kino/Shizu fucked them up even more, then move on. Without the emphasis on philosophical nature of the set up they present like in the original Kino, there really isn't that much point to it.
Niello
With the new Kino it's more about messing people up, occassionally observing and hardly ever improving. The anwsers or solutions to the problem they present is never really talked about in a rational way.
SuperMario
@Anon1614318: maybe you should give the old Kino a try. What I don't like most about the new version of Kino is that both Kino and the new guy are sketched as hero. The old Kino manages the tone right as well. There were some really dark tales and most of them thought-provoking. Can't say the same for say...Country of Cooking
Anonymous1614318
I don't know, it might be interesting to actually dig deep into the differences between episodic series with this kind of style to see what works and what doesn't.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's a matter of the chapter they chose to adapt were not really the better ones but the ones where the protagonist is more of an active role. Not totally against that, but it feels like the protagonist is just OP all the time. At least with Mushishi Ginko isn't able to save everyone all the time.
Anonymous1614318
I guess it's supposed to be more allegorical, but most of the time the allegory is not really meaningful enough. I thought it would be more along the lines of Mushishi, which is kind of similar in setup, but better in most other ways.
Anonymous1614318
What keeps me sticking around are some of the nice background arts and generally pleasant use of color, but admittedly most of the episodes aren't really engaging in a meaningful way. Most of the time its just Kino/Shizu show up, find out town's gimmick, then save the day. I prefer the episodes where the townspeople are more than just flat background characters.
Anonymous1614318
It's interesting to see how this new Kino season is being received from folks who've already watched the original. This is my first real exposure to Kino, and I kind of like it, but even without watching the original, I share many of the same complaints Aidan and most of the others have.
Amagi
I am also kinda sad he's just some 2* servant in fgo, but his power is special and he's physically weak, so it's understandable.
Amagi
And again, Shakespeare is just great but the character is, sadly, kinda wasted here considering how much screentime he has.
Amagi
@Aidan: Yes. Plus, maybe more characterization or background for some servants. The anime would have that time without Sieg and his romance sub plot.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, Those being remove Sieg and more Shakespeare?
Total users: 26

Star Crossed Anime Blog

5 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

Juuni Taisen – 11 [To Treat a Man to Beef From His Own Cow]

To the surprise of no one, Rat wins the race by breaking in the right place at the right time with the right weapon. This is by no mean a coincidence, because later on we learn about Rat’s real power: “Hundred Paths of Nezumi-chan”, in which he can see 100 various outcomes and thus picking […]

Mahoutsukai no Yome – 10 [We Live and Learn]

Welcome to week 10 of Mahoutsukai! Finally, oh so finally, we have are given some backstory on Elias! Our mysterious male(?) lead gets some explanation. We also get the start of a Chise only arc and finally some more information on Lindel. Lets jump in! As the main focus of this weeks episode, naturally I […]

Dies Irae – 09[A Mother’s Sins]

DIes Irae isn’t making this easy for the anime only watcher, as we get confused montages of Lisa’s backstory and oddly of a character whose relevance doesn’t come till a much later date. I would say it’s rather spoiler-ish if the info wasn’t presented in such a haphazard way that no one could really decode […]

Girls’ Last Tour – 10 [Train – Wavelength – Capture]

Girls’ Last Tour examines the concept of time and space this week, as the girls riding on a lonely moving train. The train design fits right in with this world: a long metal box that functions all by itself and contains many now-dysfunctional robots – corpses of the machines. Since last week we learnt that […]

Kino’s Journey -The Beautiful World- – 10[Kind Country]

Another remake of a story from the old series and while this one is adapted quite well, maybe even arguably better than the old version, it unfortunately lacks the same impact. The main problem comes back to the thing which ultimately holds back this season as a whole, story choice. For you see in the […]

Houseki no Kuni – 10 [Shiro]

This week proves to be the most action-packed episode Houseki has been offering so far and unconventionally, it’s Dia who takes the central stage at facing the most ridiculously overpowered Lunarian Titan to date. Well, I said “unconventionally”, but when the narration and the execution (the camera work, in particular) come together in such neat […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 22[Reunion and Farewell]

Breaking my usual routine today just to give an opinion on this episode but this episode made me feel compelled to get out my opinion. We have another action packed episode with three contestants out of the war and boy did they go out with a bang. Many will notice that the animation for this […]

Inuyashiki – 9 [Shihjuku People]

Welcome to another week of Inuyashiki! This week we have incredible sequences of terror, fearless Directors and death flags! Lets jump in. Obviously, the first thing we need to talk about this week is Hiro. A lot has happened in the few hours since Hiro attacked the Station. Interestingly, yet weirdly, Hiro has garnered a […]

Fate/Apocrypha – 21[Antares Snipe]

When Apocrypha slows down, it’s story shows it’s cracks. But when it’s an action showcase it actually becomes quite entertaining. The characters don’t have the time to be developed but they shine in combat when they clash, sometimes showing parts of themselves the series otherwise doesn’t allow for. Astolfo for one was actually useful for […]

Latest Reviews

The Reflection Review – 45/100

The superhero genre has been undergoing a surge in popularity in recent years. From the Marvel movies in the West to anime series like My Hero Academia in the East, super heroes are everywhere.  As such, for good or ill, it was inevitable that we would get a merging of the two. The Reflection is […]

Made in Abyss Review – 91/100

There are few series which can capture the mystery and wonder of a fantasy world as well as Made in Abyss. Their world is dangerous, brutal and unforgiving but beautiful, wondrous and exciting in it’s presentation. The story is of a ordinary girl called Riko and a mysterious cyborg boy called Regu traveling down the […]

Classroom of the Elite (Summer 2017) Review – 54/100

Here’s a perfect example of a Light Novel adaptation schlock that has some interesting concept but terrible presentation. Youkoso usually starts the episode with a thought-provoking philosophical quote, and then (in one episode in particular) they followed up with a boob shot. It sums up exactly how I feel about this show. In service for […]

18if (Summer 2017) Review – 68/100

Allow me to skip over the last episode coverage for this full review of 18if, since I was too underwhelmed by the finale to have anything concrete except pointing out how messy the ending was. The first thing you need to know about 18if is that it’s a multimedia project (along with a mobile game […]

Princess Principal (Summer 2017) Review – 82/100

Princess Principal has emerged as a true sleeper hit for this admittedly sloppy Summer Season. A joint project from indie studios that bring us my favorite anime of last year Flip Flappers (3Hz) and “better than it has any right to be” Girls und Panzer (Actas), Princess Principal records the missions of five cute spy […]

Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul Review 80/100

“Dance!” I have been a  reader of this blog for a long time. Indeed it would not be wrong to say that psgels and the current crop of writers have helped maintain my interest in anime for the last decade. So now here is my chance to give something back to this excellent blog. Shingeki […]

Katsugeki Touken Ranbu Review – 63/100

Every Anime season we the viewers are shown a number of adaptations, often made after Light or Visual Novels. It’s an already written story with an established base, a smart business decision. In recent years studios have also begun pulling from the Video Game market for their shows. Pieces like the Idolmaster series, Kantai Collection […]

Kakegurui Review – 61/100

This show is one that makes conventional reviewing difficult as your enjoyment of your series will likely determine on highly subjective factors. For if I was to put this under scrutiny on matters of f-plot, setting and characters then it will end up lacking in all categories. The plot is just watching Yumeko face members […]

Re:Creators – 22 [Re:CREATORS] – 75/100

There was never going to be a epic fight with every creation squaring off against the overpowered and invincible Altair. That possibility died when the creators threw the copycat of Blank at her only to have that plan backfire horribly. Besides, it wouldn’t have been a satisfying conclusion to Altair’s story to have her be […]