Hooray for leaving things until the last minute~ I’ve not thought of an anime-related New Year’s resolution yet (procrastinated on that too~), so might go with ‘put more effort into blogging’ if I can’t think of anything better. 😛
Here are my Top 12 series of 2016, which was a good year for anime IMO! I mean, I say that every year, but in all likelihood I’d give up and find another hobby if there wasn’t anything decent amongst the 20+ series I pick up each season!
We start off with my #1 series of the Spring season, the only show in this list to have aired exclusively in that season. While I enjoyed this a lot while it was airing, mostly for the gorgeous animation and wonderful music, I look back at the plot and characters all these months later and realize that they don’t stand out much compared with the others on this list. Very much style over substance, but I like style, so here it is. I’ll almost certainly check out the recently announced sequel as well. 🙂
#4 in my Winter rankings. This one *might* have placed higher if it weren’t for the second season not being as good (yet, and in my opinion) – I tried not to be biased and rate this based on the first series alone, but that was a long time ago now! Great fight scenes and music, likable characters who suffered a lot, and a simple but gripping plot, this remains the only Gundam series that I’ve picked up and watched as it aired, without dropping it later (looking at you, Unicorn).
10: Flip Flappers
And so begins a short run of shows that just ended last week. Would these be on the list if they’d aired in Winter or Spring? Hard to tell, unfortunately! Like Kabaneri, a big part of Flip Flappers’ appeal for me were the high production values and general style of the series, but I also found the characters more likable, and the plot less generic, and it ended better… the list goes on, I think my 3rd fave Autumn series deserves a spot!
Drifters just beat Flip Flappers to #2 in my overall Autumn rankings a couple of weeks back (even if the post only went up yesterday, because I procrastinated~), so it wouldn’t make much sense to rate it lower now! Again, the great characters and style, the dark fantasy setting that I always love, and one of the best opening themes of the year surely would have stuck in my mind even a year later. Minus points for the uncertainty over how long I’ll have to wait for a sequel that may not wrap things up either.
Completing my Top 3 Autumn series is Part 4 of JJBA, which ranks in exactly the same place as last year’s Stardust Crusaders: Battle in Egypt. That is coincidental, I didn’t check up on last year’s rankings (let alone remember the order) until I copied the format for this one. 😛 The series also came 2nd in its debut Spring season, but dropped to 6th in the Summer due to the lack of a main villain for several weeks, which is the only complaint I have about this Part.
The highest rated non-sequel TV anime to have aired this year, according to Anime-Planet – I certainly enjoyed it, but it came a distant 3rd in my overall Winter rankings, after failing to take the #1 spot once all season. An interesting twist on the usual time travel/mystery series, with some great characters, animation and music; I did think the culprit was a bit obvious though…
6: 91 Days
My #1 series of the Summer season… based on average weekly rankings, at least. A simple tale of revenge, but in the refreshingly different setting of prohibition-era America, a time of corruption, dominated by rival mafia families. Main character Avilio didn’t say much, but I enjoyed his interactions with Nero nonetheless, and Fango was always entertaining. I feel the ending was a little weak though, so it’s no longer in my all-time Top 50 list.
5: GATE S2
Second in my Winter rankings, again this one feels so long ago that I could have sworn it aired in 2015! It only took the weekly #1 spot once due to tough competition, but never left the top 5, showing a rare level of consistency. A brutally dark fantasy series with some fantastic action scenes, it ticked a lot of the right boxes for me. The attempted assassination of Lelei, the imprisonment and rescue of Pina, and the fight against the Fire Dragon were highlights – no proper ending once again though!
This one might come as a surprise if you only follow my weekly rankings – Kuromukuro made a brief cameo half-way through the Spring season, a late addition to my lineup that I’d initially skipped. It ended the season in 4th, before I dropped it due to the knock-on effect the fansub delays were having on my blog posts. I did mention that it had some fantastic mech battles though, and those continued throughout the second half that I marathoned a few months back. Lovable characters, decent humour and a strong plot THAT ACTUALLY ENDED WELL left me with few negatives to comment on, so it’s time it got the recognition it deserves from me here. 😀
A cheaty 2-in-1 entry… in the same position as last year’s cheaty 2-in-1 entry. Another coincidence, I swear! And another surprise entry that failed to make my blog lineups in both the Winter and Autumn seasons, for the same fansub-related reasons as Kuromukuro. Both series have earned places in my all-time Top 50 anime list, thanks to the fascinating anti-hero lead in Nagai Kei, and equally great villain in Satou. Main negative was the animation – the same 3DCG we’ve come to expect from Polygon, though it didn’t look as good as Sidonia no Kishi in my opinion.
Ranked #1 back last Winter, this was the series that finally brought Durarara!!’s many complex interweaving plotlines to a close after six years. There was so much going on, and so many interesting characters who were involved in some or all of it, that I’m amazed Ketsu was able to wrap things up as well as it did, so I’ll forgive the slightly rushed feel and the occasional animation quality drops. The writing quality was superb – quite often I’ll look back on a series with fond memories of one or two characters, but with Durarara!!, that number is well into the double figures.
And finally, my overall favourite series of 2016 is…
Ranked way down at 6th in its debut Spring season, and (an admittedly VERY CLOSE) 2nd in the Summer, Re:Zero’s place in this list doesn’t make any sense if you judge things purely by the numbers. But most of the low weekly rankings that damaged its average were slow but necessary build-up episodes, for events that would eventually see it shoot up to 1st… and when Re:Zero was good, it was astronomically better than everything else, something that these rankings don’t take into account where one week’s #1 is scored the same as any other. Here’s yet another dark series with a fantasy setting, and time travel to boot – it has all the best things from GATE and Boku dake ga Inai Machi, but was far more shocking and less predictable than both. It also had Felix, enough said.
Series I probably should have watched this year, but didn’t:
3 – ReLIFE
‘Wait, I watched that?’ award for being truly forgettable:
3 – Divine Gate