Foreword (by Kerberos)
2016 was an amazing year for anime. We had more unique and original shows than almost any year before, save perhaps 2007. Besides that, the variety across genres was staggering. There was literally something for everyone. As such, Sora Senpai, Yoda 313, Kuze and I decided to talk about the shows that made 2016 for us. Almost deliberately, very few show up on more than one of our lists. Yet at the same time all of these shows are supremely awesome in their own right. So it is with great pride that I present to you: SAKUGA CITY'S TOP TEN ANIME OF 2016 SPECTACULAR!!!!
2016 is coming to an end, but my god what a fantastic year for the anime industry. From heroes going back in time, to loser neets being transported to other worlds, New Heroes were born, new villains were revealed, and most importantly New Waifus were made!
...okay so maybe that last one was not so important to most people, but you cannot deny the fact that the amount of awesome Male and Female characters who debuted in 2016 have made an impact not only on the anime industry but on your life as well. (I certainly know it's affected mine) Well who are these characters? What anime are they from? Well I'm glad I have asked myself these fine questions because I will share with you, the fine people of Sakuga city my top FIVE anime from 2016! GET YOUR POPCORN READY!!!!
If you are interested in my full list of Top Ten Anime of 2016, and my Top 10 Males and Females of Fall 2016 and the whole year in 2016, feel free to follow my tumblr @Njotaku
Honorable mention: The Great Passage
Zexcs – 11 episodes
A riveting drama about a socially awkward man trying to better himself while creating a…dictionary… Now you may be asking yourself "Sora, really? An anime where some dude creates a dictionary? That sounds boring." I know, it sounds super boring, and in fact I could barely make it through the first episode, but the more I watched the more I could relate with Majime, and that is one of the great things I enjoy about anime. When a slice of life anime actually portrays situations where one might come across in life eventually, I appreciate the creator and the anime much more. If you're a shy, not so go getting, weird person Majime is definitely relatable. Well what about if you're outgoing and always trying to keep people's spirits up? Fret not because Nishioka Masashi, another main character, is highly relatable to people as well. Add in a great storyline, fantastic voice acting, top notch music, voice acting, and animation you really have yourself a fantastic anime. The reason why it is underrated is because it has gotten barely any push as an anime. I feel most people won't give it the time of day because it is not "popular". Do yourself a favor though give it a chance; I don't think you will be disappointed if you do.
#5: Konosuba – God’s Blessing On This Wonderful World!
DEEN – 10 episodes
Genre: Comedy, fantasy
Konosuba, wow what a Journey this anime was. At face value just another story of some teenager who finds himself transported to another world only to be met by a wide variety of female beauties. However this show is quite unlike many others of its ilk.
First let me start off with some negatives about this anime. The animation was sub-par at best. It had its great moments (mainly the fight scenes) but besides that it was not animated well. (The succubus episode in particular for those who have watched it). Aqua was the only character who gradually got on my nerves episode after episode after episode. How Kazuma let her get away with so much garbage blows my mind. She was literally the worst character in this anime.
Here are some positives though. The story is actually really well written. Kazuma starts off as a pathetic loser but gradually increases his skills as the anime goes on. It's pretty neat to watch because you can only hope that one day he won't be pretty useless or be a scumbag. Well those of us who have finished it know how Kazuma became at the end of season one. The comedy was done perfectly. While there were great comedic moments (Mainly consisting of Aqua being tortured, Megumin blowing things up, and Darkness enjoying being beat up) throughout the entire anime, there were also little things that made me laugh constantly. Such as; "Kazuma! Kazuma", "Yes I am Kazuma." Moments like that made me enjoy Konosuba a lot more.
The best thing to come out of Konosuba. Megumin. Literally the best character in this anime. Megumin is a Chuunibyou character except her personality is actually acceptable in this current world. While basically being useless Megumin makes up for it by being a hard worker (trying to control her magic) and trying to better herself not only for her sake but for Kazuma, Aqua, and Darkness' sake as well. She has also left me always thinking about her whenever I hear this word; EXPLOSION!!!!!!!!
#4: Bungou Stray Dogs
Bones – 24 episodes
Genre: action, supernatural, comedy
Just like Hamatora and Hamatora Re: I can basically sum up Bungou Stray Dogs as "X-men Detectives" Basically a bunch of super humans who solve crimes. The catch however ith this show is that the characters are named and modeled after famous writers. Also while both BSD and Hamatora both became pretty serious anime, I felt as though BSD was way more serious towards the end of season one and the second half of season two.
I honestly have nothing negative to say about this anime. I thoroughly enjoyed it all the way through. While Atsushi is the main character you get a good helping of the rest of the members for the Agency, their powers, and their stories as well. The villains aka the Mafia were straight awesome.
The music and animation we're fantastic as well. I thought both season’s openings and endings were some of the best of the year. The background music synced up really smooth with the fight scenes and just the animation in general.
#3: Erased – Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi
A-1 Pictures – 12 episodes
Genre: Drama, crime, mystery, seinen
Erased, wow what an emotional roller coaster this was. The story of a guy traveling back in time to solve a murder that occurred when he was just a child and saving the girl he fell in love with back then. Erased resulted in honestly one of the best heroes or the year in Satoru Fujinuma. It also resulted in one of the best moms not only in 2016 but in anime in general...also one of the very worst moms, but that's another story.
Erased seriously kept you on the edge of your seat every episode, not just with thrilling moments or suspense, but even through heartfelt moments, and painful realizations these characters go though.
The approach was done perfectly when you have an anime that takes place back in time. When you get an anime like that you have to figure "Well is the Main Character just going to be the best and do everything perfect?" Otherwise you won't know until the final episode if everything was done right or wrong. Erased does a fantastic job transitioning the story from the past to the present. The ending really wrapped up nicely (in some eyes), and the anime, even with all the hype was worth watching.
#2: Re:Zero – Starting Life in Another World
White Fox – 25 episodes
Genre: Action, fantasy
Honestly this was the best anime of the year, and one of the best anime I have seen in a very very long time. I understand it is not my number one, but my number one is also my favorite anime of 2016 and quite frankly is the second best anime of 2016, but I will get to that in a moment.
Natsuki Subaru, just like Kazuma from Konosuba seems like your average Neet being thrst into yet enother fantasy world. Except his deal is that he can come back...from death...Wait what? Oh yeah they basically throw you right into one hell of a moment in this anime, they were not playing around. Subaru literally is a useless human being; his only skill in this anime is dying and coming back to life. Now dying and coming back seems like it could be a positive right? I mean you can fix your mistakes and make up for anything you failed to do right? Well what about all the work you put into making relationships with someone? Or helping a child? Or befriending a beautiful half-elf? It's all meaningless if you hit that reset button. That's what most people failed to realize until much later in this anime...why Subaru acts the way he does sometimes and honestly you cannot blame him.
This anime had some of the best endings, plot wise, I have seen in a long time as well. Episode Seven, Fourteen, and Fifteen, the endings for these three specific ends was sheer brilliance.
It also had one of the best dialogue episodes I have ever seen in an anime as well. Episode eighteen. For those who have witnessed it I feel like this can be agreed on as well. Mainly because...well if you followed my Re:Zero posts in the New in Japan section, you would know why.
The characters. My oh my what an abundance of straight awesome characters. Males, females, Elves? Demons? Monsters? Jokers? Yeah sure why not this is a fantasy world we're in after all. It is not even a debate that this anime produced the best female in 2016. Even with Emilia being the main heroine Rems fierce nature followed by her nuturing nature fueled the hearts of her fans constantly. While Emilia was also cool we were able to witness some more awesome females such as Elsa, Ram, Beatrice (Betty), Felt, and Crusch. We were also able to meet the "lovable" Puck, and some awesome male characters such as Felix, Julius, Wilhelm, and Reinhard. Lest we forget Betelgeuse as well.
Honestly I have nothing negative to say about this anime, it was brutal at times, and it was wonderful at times. It's an anime where you can put multiple descriptions in the about section but that is what makes it even better.
TMS Entertainment – 13 episodes
Genre: High school slice of life
It's not every day you hear something like this, but it is the god's honest truth. This anime saved my life.
Yes, indeed, in fact I am currently writing a lengthy piece on how ReLife (and some other events) saved my life.
The reason why ReLife was my number one, and honestly was my favorite is because how relatable to real life it is. Not just for children, not just for adults but for everyone. It’s a story of a twenty seven year old man named Arata Kaizaki whose life got in a slump and is then offered the chance of a lifetime. A man offers to change his life around for the better but only if Arata takes a pill which transforms him back to a seventeen year old and agrees to re-attend high school for one year straight.
One of the many things that make this anime so great is that the struggles that Kaizaki goes through, even in his young form are relatable. His classmates, Ohga and Kairu, the high school drama that develops not only between those two but other students as well. Witnessing the struggle both emotionally and physically that these kids and adults go through really makes you think about what you are currently doing as well. The situations used in ReLife are situations that can happen in our everyday lives. The handling of these situations and eventually the final outcome is something we watch but when it would happen to us can we handle it the same way as these characters would?
I feel as though a lot of men in their late twenties who are struggling or trying to find their way in life can compare themselves to Kaizaki. I also feel that people who have a better feel for what they do and are trying hard can relate more to Yoake. Basically the list goes on and on and on. Onoya, Hishiro, Kairu, Ohga, Honoka, these characters are so well written it feels as if the author took them from the real world and just put them right into the anime world.
I have given Yayoi (Sou) Sensei so much credit as well. For ReLife to be her first manga and for it to be so successful. I am honestly grateful to her for creating what I believe is truly a Masterpiece.
The ending themes to this anime made it much more fun to watch. A different ending song for each episode is something I absolutely love. Also the fact you get a fun piece of art work during each ending as well was an awesome treat. Episode eleven especially had a fantastic piece.
Hishiro Chizuru...my god her smile...Her smile was one of the best parts of this anime. It seriously makes me laugh every time they show and, even as I am writing this I am laughing just thinking about it. This made the comedy even better. Simple comedy made this show hilarious. The amount of drama that would come into the mix was pretty severe at points, but it would always balance itself out in the end with quick wits and basically a character jokingly insulting another character.
#10: Taboo Tattoo
J.C.Staff - 12 episodes
Genre: Action, Comedy, Ecchi
A series about a teenaged martial artist with a tattoo that grants him super powers in order to aid a secret organization of super powered people in their fight against a dictatorial regime. This had excellent fight choreography reminiscent of say…The Matrix. Though its not all bullet time and wire fu. It has a great combination of super power action and martial arts. The story structure and pacing is a little frustrating but the overall presentation makes up for a lot
#9: 91 days
Shuka - 12 episodes
Genre: Drama, historical, crime, seinen
Set during the prohibition era in a fictitious American town it follows a guy who experience a horrible tragedy early in his life and follows the aftermath of said tragedy and how it impacts him. Dark, action packed and at times very emotional. This is a great show if you like gangster stories.
#8: Lostorage Incited WIXOSS
J.C.Staff - 12 episodes
Genre: Game, psychological
This card game series is a sequel with different rules and a new cast. This time following a female high schooler named Homura Suzuko as she become more and more involved in a a new cardagem with massive stakes. The show focused heavily on a conflict between friends. Every bit as tense and emotional as the original though different and unique in its own way.
#7: ERASED - Boku Dake Ga Inai Machi
A-1 Pictures - 12 episodes
Genre: drama, crime, mystery, seinen
A heartwarming story about a guy who jumps through time in order to save his friends through a series of events. As well as solve a decades old murder mystery. The premise really says it all. It’s got everything. Mystery, drama, friendship, love, time travel, you name it.
#6: The Asterisk War - 2nd Season
A-1 Pictures - 12 episodes
Genre: Action, fantasy, harem, hich school, supernatural
The setting here is a sword fighting academy for the super powered. The tournament grants any wish to the winner. For the the main guy this is to find out about the fate of his sister. For the main girl it’s to to save her country. What follows is a show full of cool action, awesome sci fi, lots of comedy and a bit of romance. .
#5: Brave Witches
Silver Link - 12 episodes
Genre: Action, military sci fi, ecchi, comedy
Another great sequel. Continuing the story of the original series Strike Witches. Brave otches is yet agai set in an alternate universe WWII where rather than the Germans, Aliens invaded Europe and it’s up to a bunch of super powered high school girls to stop them. This series follows a different squadron from the original though the the enemy, the alien race Neuroi continues to be a threat. Brave Witches capitalizes on everything that Strike Witches did well and maybe even made it better.
#4: Food Wars - The Second Plate
J.C.Staff - 13 episodes
Genre: Ecchi, shonen
A new round of cooking challenges awaits the studrnts of this exclusive cooking school. wildly entertaining and educational as it does show actually culinary techniques. What really makes this show so good and fun to watch is its comedy. It’s ecchi but not in a rom com kind of way. Really if you like tournament style shows and ecchi comedy you can’t go wrong with this one.
#3: show by rock 2
Bones - 12 episodes
Genre: Slice of life, comedy, music
Wait Yoda…an idol show? Yes but this idol show is about much more than just music. It’s about friendships and perseverance in the face of immense problems. Also it’s really cute and has vivid colors which makes it quite nice to look at. Unless you really hate idol shows I’d tell you to give it a try. You’ll be pleasantly surprised I’m sure.
#2: Flying Witch
J.C.Staff - 12 episodes
Genre: Slice of life, fantasy
A super cute slice of life show following a young girl who is learning to become a witch. Set in modern day Japan, this is not a harry potter type academy series. It follows a girl who is learning from her older sister and other mystically endowed characters in the city and countryside. What makes this show amazing is that it’s so soothing and sweet that time just seems to stop as you go along for the ride. Which is a ride I absolutely recommend everybody to take.
#1: Heavy Object
J.C.Staff - 24 episodes
Genre: Military sci fi, action
Heavy objects are super powered weapon spheres that can obliterate cities. Designed to stop endless conflicts. the objects are indestructible but a fearless team has discovered weaknesses and has been able to launch guerrilla offenses. However the assault team aren hardly seasoned vets. In fact they are basically rookies thrown into the conflict. This show has everything I love in anime and is just great all by itself. Fantastic echhi comedy, pseudo romcom antics and absolutel mind blowing action sequences. Therefor I feel it more than deserves the title of best anime of 2016.
Continued in part 2
Sakuga City's Best Anime of 2016!!! (part 1)
Four prominent members of the community count down their favourite shows of the year and what made these shows stand out for them.
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