So, 2015, eh? You guys realize that we are now officially in the future, a future that Back to the Future got mostly correct. Well, except for the self-lacing shoes… and the food hydrator… and the Cubs winning the World Series. Why the hell don’t I have a flying car and a hoverboard?!!!
As for anime: This year was a fairly decent year and it easily beats out last year in terms of decent anime. Wanna know why? I’ll give you 10 reasons why 2014 was garbage:
- poopa (That’s pupa)
- Magical Borefare (That’s Magical Warfare)
- No Gamers with a Life (That’s No Game, No Life)
- Attack on Lolis (That’s Black Bullet)
- Mahoukrap (That’s The Irregular at Magic High School)
- Super AIDS Online II (That’s Sword Art Online II)
- Akame the Edge! (That’s Akame ga Kill!)
- GlASSlip (pretty self-explanatory)
- Aldnoah.0% chance of ever surpassing Gundam (That’s Aldnoah.Zero)
- Crass Ange (That’s Cross Ange).
OK, the latter two ended in 2015, but started in 2014. Honestly, if we can go any lower than 2014, then I’d be really surprised.
Winter 2015 Season: Off the heels of a surprisingly good Fall 2014 season came a surprisingly good Winter season. Two good season in a row; I’ll be damned. It was an exact repeat of the Fall 2014: Two surprises (Maria the Virgin Witch and Yurikuma Arashi), two disappointments (The first part of Durarara!!×2 and Rolling Girls), and one big steamy pile of shite (the second part of Aldnoah.Zero), It was a very solid season, and it’s a surprise, considering Winter seasons aren’t usually very good. So don’t be surprised if half of the list consists of shows that aired during that season. [Grade: B+]
Spring 2015 Season: And from a suprisingly good Winter season came a weak Spring. And I think the reason was that I was either watching the wrong shows *cough*DanMachi* or a couple of shows that I was looking forward to were massive letdowns (Nagato Yuki-chan and Rin-Ne). At least Jojo, Blood Blockade, SNAFU Too!, and Sidonia kept me entertained. [Grade: D+]
Summer 2015 Season: Well, although I was right not to expect much of anything, I did find this season better than Spring, but not much. Granted a few of the shows were good (Snow White, Gatchaman Crowds and Symphogear), and some were bad (Overlord, God Eater, and Chaos Dragon), but there were a very fair amount of average shows, that and some of the bad weighing down everything. Better than last year’s Summer (and Spring and Winter). At least Durarara!!×2 recovered. Still better than last year’s summer. [Grade: C]
Fall 2015 Season: One-Punch Man and Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans. That’s about it. To Hell with everything else. [Grade: D-]
Loved Characters [Male]
Nyanta (Log Horizon 2)
Kei Shirogane/Shiroe (Log Horizon 2)
William Massachusetts (Log Horizon 2)
Ral (Gundam Build Fighters Try)
Joseph Joestar (JJBA: Stardust Crusaders)
Dio Brando/DIO Joestar (JJBA: Stardust Crusaders)
Zenyatta/Oingo (JJBA: Stardust Crusaders)
Daniel J. D’Arby (JJBA: Stardust Crusaders)
Seiichi Kinoshita (Shirobako)
Izaya Orihara (Durarara!!×2)
Shizuo Heiwajima (Durarara!!×2)
Life Sexy (Yurikuma Arashi)
Decim (Death Parade)
Joseph (Maria the Virgin Witch)
Hachiman Hikigaya (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!)
Beerus (DBZ: Resurrection ‘F’ + Dragon Ball Super)
Piccolo (DBZ: Resurrection ‘F’ + Dragon Ball Super)
Tien Shinhan (DBZ: Resurrection ‘F’ + Dragon Ball Super)
Mr. Satan/Mark/Hercule (Dragon Ball Super)
Zapp Renfro (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
Amagroff Luozontam Ouv Lee Nej (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
Silver Karasu/Kagi Tanaka (Ninja Slayer)
Genjurou Kazanari (Symphogear GX)
Doctor Ver/John Wayne Vercingetorix (Symphogear GX)
Chairman Kurihara (Prison School)
Berg Katze (Gatchaman Crowds insight)
Levi (Attack on Titan: Junior High)
Erwin Smith (Attack on Titan: Junior High)
Roman Valstov (Comet Lucifer)
Mikazuki Augus (Gundam IBO)
Saitama (One-Punch Man)
Boros (One-Punch Man)
Loved Characters [Female]
Akatsuki (Log Horizon 2)
Roe 2 (Log Horizon 2)
Makoto Kino/Sailor Jupiter (Sailor Moon Crystal)
Fumina Hoshino (Gundam Build Fighters Try)
Aoi Miyamori (Shirobako)
Erika Yano (Shirobako)
Ryoko Tamiya/Reiko Tamura (Parasyte)
Lulu Yurigasaki (Yurikuma Arashi)
Black-haired Woman/Chiyuki (Death Parade)
Maria (Maria the Virgin Witch)
Ezekiel (Maria the Virgin Witch)
Leopard/Doronjo (Yatterman Night)
Ruri Hijiribe (Durarara!!×2)
Yukino Yukinoshita (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!)
Komachi Hikigaya (My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU Too!)
Chain Sumeragi (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
White/Mary Macbeth (Blood Blockade Battlefront)
Shinoa Hiragi (Seraph of the End)
Yamoto Koki (Ninja Slayer)
Tsumugi Shiraui (Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine)
Chris Yukine (Symphogear GX)
Miku Kohinata (Symphogear GX)
Hajime Ichinose (Gatchaman Crowds insight)
Utsutsu Miya (Gatchaman Crowds insight)
Hana Midorikawa (Prison School)
Shirayuki (Snow White with the Red Hair)
Fremy Speeddraw (Rokka)
Sucy Mambabarang (Little Witch Academia 2)
Amanda O’Neill (Little Witch Academia 2)
Anna Kushina (K: Return of Kings)
Sasha Braus (Attack on Titan: Junior High)
Hanji Zoe (Attack on Titan: Junior High)
Mosquito Girl (One-Punch Man)
Tatsumaki/Tornado of Terror (One-Punch Man)
Loved Characters [Gender Unknown]
Logicoma (Ghost in the Shell: AAA)
Top 10 Favorite Anime of 2015
#10: Prison School
Prison School is trash. And yet, the execution works because it’s one of those shows that is fully aware that it’s trash, and yet it doesn’t care. It just goes along with it. Normally, an ecchi show that is merely all fanservice is really just a really dumb show, and those suck. Prison School is not one of those shows. It’s actually, y’know, genius about almost everything about itself.
#9: Parasyte -the maxim-
I know I usually side with fun, mindless action shows, but I gave Parasyte the higher point. Wanna know why? Because it’s one of a few shows that offers intense action and actually succeed at delivering a message about the strengths and morality of humanity, all while taking itself as seriously as it needs to be without become overblown or ridiculous. That alone beats anything that just tries too hard only to fall flat. Even though it kinda faltered at the second half, but only just a bit, but I mostly blame that on the time it was originally published.
#8: Blood Blockade Battlefront
I pretty much walked into Blood Blockade Battlefront, expecting to be mildly entertained. What I did not expect was something with a great cast of characters and standalone-episodes that made it one of the most entertaining shows of this year. It’s the show that combines all of the best aspects of Trigun and Kyousougiga, and they meld in one stellar package. And man, that last episode was well worth the 3-month wait, unlike a certain other show that can’t keep up with its own schedule.
#7: Gatchaman Crowds insight
Looking back at my Top 10 of 2013, Gatchaman Crowds Season 1 had to get a few points knocked off after I became aware of a few issues. Although Gatchaman Crowds is a smart, well thought-out show, it had its problems, notably its production issues affecting the ending of the season. Its second season pretty much improved on its issues (as well as its ending), and honestly, I can say for certain that insight is an improvement over its first season. Second seasons being better than the first is never something I expect (usually they’re either on the same level, or worse than the first), but when they do, it’s a very good thing.
#6: Yurikuma Arashi
Now this is is were it gets good. If you’ve been following me, you might already know what to expect. To be fair, more than half of the anime on the list were basically on the same level, which made putting this list together very tough because I didn’t wanna do anymore ties. So I had to rank them based on how much of an impresson they left on me. Anyway, Yurikuma Arashi was actually one of the more deceptively and surprisingly good shows of the year. And this is coming from Kunihiko Ikuhara, a director that, outside of Sailor Moon S, I don’t follow, but if the rest of his works were as good as Yurikuma, it’s probably worth checking out. Great artisitc direction and meaningful themes makes it one of the most underrated titles of the year, and everyone knows that the underrated shows are always better than the popular ones.
Have I mentioned how much it was a good decision for me to watch Shirobako? It is basically P.A. Works’ way of saying “Here’s a great anime about the realities and hardships about working in the Japanese animation industry. The people that work in it have to work hard to make their dreams come true. These people don’t dream success; they wake up and work hard at it. Also, sorry about Glasslip.” Anyway, Shirobako doesn’t sugarcoat anything about its subject and that’s what makes it great. If it fed you white lies, it probably wouldn’t be on this list, let alone this high. Like I said, it is a wake-up call for any future animators.
#4: Death Parade
What happens after you die? Do you go to Heaven or Hell? Will you be reincarnated, or be trapped into nothingness? Right off the bat, Death Parade asks these important questions and answers with “Twso guys walk into a bar in the afterlife, play a game and see for themselves what kind of person they truly are.” At the same time, the show begins to ask the mystery of whether or not the system it utilizes is right, the same question Psycho-Pass asked, and it is very heavy on it too. I pretty much walked into this show with no prior knowledge of Death Billiards, yet that did nothing to deter it being one of the better shows this year.
#3: One-Punch Man
Somehow when I thought my Top 6 anime was locked for the rest of the year. Then, One-Punch Man decided “Yeah? Well, screw that” and it unlocked my Top 6, and defied my expectations to that point that I had to rethink this entire list. You’d think that after seeing a bunch of overpowered self-insert blank slates not even bothering to actually struggle with their battles I’d be pessimistic towards this sort of thing, yet I enjoyed every second of this because Saitama is the complete antithesis of a Marty Stu. I’m glad I ignored all the hype surrounding this because I probably wouldn’t have enjoyed this much if I did.
#2: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
As much as I put down anime of 2014, at the same time, it was the same year I was introduced to JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and it became one of my favorite anime. This is pretty much the only recent shonen anime that I can get behind because of how extremely camp and over-the-top it is. And Stardust Crusaders is yet another badass entry in this incredible series, and pretty much sets the rest of the series on its way with the introduction of Stands. God damn, Hirohiko Araki is freaking genius when it comes to this sort of thing. If only you would just leave the dogs alone for once. Anyhoo, with Diamond is Unbreakable coming next Spring, the JoJo anime train ain’t stopping for anyone anytime soon. I thought Stardust Crusaders would be the one to take it all this year. But, nope. Something else won me over this time, much to my surprise…
OK. For real this time.
#1: Maria the Virgin Witch
I feel like I merely just scratched the surface when I spoke highly of Maria the Virgin Witch back in my Winter writeup. I watched through this twice and was completely surprised by how amazingly executed this show was from beginning to end, yet it was undermined by what it looked like at first glance. Like, where the hell did it come from?! It’s usually a good thing that an anime that I never expected to be good is better than good, especially when it has a main character whom I can consider a strong heroine, and I wouldn’t be saying that if I didn’t think so. Heck, this wouldn’t be my favorite anime this year if I didn’t think so. And I think it bears repeating that the underrated shows are always better than the popular ones. Anyhoo, the same director is helming next year’s Active Raid, so that’s something for me to look forward to.
Hated Characters [Male]
Inaho Kaizuka (Aldnoah.Zero)
Tusk (Cross Ange)
Embryo (Cross Ange)
Tarou Takanashi (Shirobako)
Mikaela Hyakuya (Seraph of the End)
Tohru Kazasumi (Gunslinger Stratos)
Bell Cranel (DanMachi)
Rapture (Ninja Slayer)
Satoru Suzuki/Momonga/Ains Ooal Gown (Overlord)
Ayato Amagiri (Asterisk War)
Souhei Saikawa (The Perfect Insider)
Hated Characters [Female]
Lemrina Vers Envers (Aldnoah.Zero)
Asseylum Vers Allusia (Aldnoah.Zero)
Angelise Ikaruga Misurugi (Cross Ange)
Kyoka Katagiri (Gunslinger Stratos)
Yuki Nagato (Nagato Yuki-chan)
Haruhi Suzumiya (Nagato Yuki-chan)
Neko (K: Return of Kings)
Aria H. Kanzaki (Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA)
Julis-Alexia van Riessfeld (Asterisk War)
Kirin Toudou (Asterisk War)
Bottom 10 Worst Anime of 2015
For awhile, I was split between whether this or Nagato Yuki-chan should go onto the Bottom 10 list. Then I realized that Nagato Yuki-chan had 4 episodes that didn’t bore me out of my skull and actually mattered in the long run. Rin-Ne was more boring than watching paint dry. And believe me, I’ve watched paint dry. It is not exciting at all!
#9: Is It Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon?
Was there any reason to watch this show? I don’t think so. And don’t even say it was to watch it for Hestia. Seriously, don’t There’s really nothing here except boobs. If you’re only watching a show for the sole purpose of one pair of boobs and not really giving a hoot about the rest, then perhaps you’re not really watching the rest of show to begin with.
#8: K: Return of Kings
I had a spot on the Bottom 10 list reserved for K: Return of Kings the second it was announced. Just goes to show that anyone can make something stylish and cool, but it takes actual talent to really give it some true substance. And actual talent is something that Studio GoHands has proven over the past few occasions that they obviously do not and will most likely never have. Their spot on my shitlist is well-deserved.
#7: God Eater
Don’t get me wrong, God Eater certainly looks good, but it really only did more harm than good to the production. All of these constant production delays killed all interest in this show. Even so, it’s just another case of “been there, done that.” Honestly, God Eater was nothing but one big complete waste of everyone’s time, even ufotable’s, and I don’t regret dropping it at all. I don’t care if it doesn’t finish until March, and I don’t think anyone else does, either. Worst anime production since Jiggly Jiggly Heaven.
#6: Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA
Just like K, Aria AA had a spot on the Bottom 10 list was reserved for it the second it was conceived. And for good reason as this was basically 12 episodes of literally nothing but awfulness, much like its parent series, only this one doesn’t have an annoying pink-haired shit. Let’s be real, there’s no need for Aria the Scarlet Ammo to be relevant in this day and age, and that includes this unneccesary spinoff.
It’s becoming clear that “YOU’RE IN THE GAME!” is the genre of anime that shows you don’t really need to put in that much effort in anything for any basement-dwelling male otaku to eat it up. Just make the main character an introverted loser who is awesome at video games. Overlord shows that. Let me know whenever a new .Hack// anime comes around and show these power fantasy shitstains how MMO anime is really done.
#4: Gunslinger Stratos the Animation
A-1 Pictures has a top spot on my shitlist for a very good reason, and junk like Gunslinger Stratos is going to ensure that that’s gonna stay that way for a very long time. It’s the same reason why I wanted A-1 to not touch the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney anime with a 10-foot pole. There was alot of promise with the concepts here and I bet the arcade game is really cool, but if you put all that in the wrong hands, you’re gonna have a bad time.
#3: Chaos Dragon
If it weren’t for the next two pieces of junk, Chaos Dragon would’ve been the worst anime of the year, but it takes the title of worst anime that started and ended in 2015. Like I said before, all these shows that try to be ultra-serious and grimdark tend to forget the #1 answer about what makes it actually work: Meaningful conflict; something that Chaos Dragon does not have and, as a result, will only get the eight deadly words from me.
#2: Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon
I don’t think I’ve seen such an anti-feminist, mean-spirited piece of junk in my life. Honestly, I don’t even understand how I even finished it, let alone got past the first third of the series, considering that every single person in this show are nothing but unlikable, hate-filled douchebags who are better off dead, which, unfortunately, didn’t happen. Shame on you, Sunrise; I know you’re better than this. And screw you, Mobile Suit Gundam SEED guy.
You know, Aniplex is gunning for a record on how many times they can piss me off this decade, because they’ve done it 4 times in a row. …Wait a sec, that’s the wrong image! *laughs* Whoops! Hang on a sec…
I’ve seen alot of shows drop the ball, but none of them this year dropped it harder than Aldnoah.Zero, a piece of overhyped trash with so much retarded writing that it’s an insult to mecha anime. The only decent character here, who does more good than harm and is trying to help someone he cares about, gets what for his efforts? Blamed for every single bad thing that has happened throughout the course of the series, including the stuff he wasn’t even involved in, and left to rot in Magneto’s plastic prison. Screw everyone in this show. Nothing but unlikable, idiotic douchebags who are better off dead, which, unfortunately, didn’t happen. “Bigger than Gundam” they said. Leave it to Aniplex to fail to deliver on their own hype.
Well, that just about wraps it for 2015. Have a nice Third Impact, everyone.