Please note that this is not a Top 10 Worst Anime of 2016 list. I haven’t even watched enough anime from this year to meet the criteria for this list! Rather, this is a list of the worst anime I watched in 2016, as in it doesn’t have to have aired in 2016 to make it, only that I had to have finished (a majority of) it in 2016.
While the number of anime I watched this year had gone up tremendously from last year, there were still quite a few anime that marked a bad omen. Anime that hover within my subconscious and make me question why I still even put up with the medium. This list is comprised of the absolute worst I saw this year, and like my list of Best Anime, all of these picks will be anime I’ve already covered on the blog. That being the case, I will link my full thoughts to every pick, along with a structured rambling as to why, in general, the pick is so haunting to me.
#10: Kyou no 5 no 2 (TV)
Sometimes, optimistic expectations can lead you into a situation that ultimately isn’t worth your time. Such is the case with me and Kyou no 5 no 2, an anime I thought would be a carefree, psychological look at the maturation of male and female students residing in the same class. Of course, this took a turn for the worst, and I wound up being treated to middle schoolers providing far more fan service than any sort of insightful development.
That’s not to say the series was entirely so, as it dedicated a few scenes of the same amount of episodes to showing some sweet moments between characters. Some of the disaster of the anime was based on missed opportunity, as it had the makings in place for something along the lines of what I was expecting. Characters were occasionally sentimental to their peers, though the formula of the show derided any sort of lasting impression.
Show a weirdly sexual act disguised as an ordinary action. Make the male lead be an idiot. Have the classmates make fun of him for it. Rinse and repeat until the end of the series. It ends up as one-dimensional as can be, without a single serious attempt at fleshing out the characters to be anything than the role they’re given. It’s disappointing, but that’s what gives it a spot on the list.
I know of a few people who will disagree with this pick. However, I feel this series is a rather convoluted attempt at embellishing THE POWER OF EMOTIONS!
I certainly had high hopes for the show, as it is yet another original story from Trigger, who developed the infamous Kill la Kill. I felt the ambition present to provide a story with so many drastic opposites to be admirable; if only they had the time to do it skillfully. More than anything about Kiznaiver, the story is a mess of plotholes, bad pacing, and borderline angsty teenage drama that tries to do far too much without proper development from the cast. It comes across as pretentious and entirely ridiculous, especially the last episode.
It had a promising start, with a number of characters and their interactions being humorous and spontaneously witty. As the plot began to take hold of that same energy, unfortunately, it turned it into a far too serious, disingenuous waste of the title’s potential. I genuinely believe the title would’ve been far better had it been given more time to develop the characters and their relationships with one another rather than giving little, vague clues as to the weight of the experiment taking place and the corporation lurking in the shadows. There’s a lot to like here, but everything gets dragged down by the rushed ending and the overly dark mood of the second half.
There’s a large debate upon the quality of “Escapism” in anime. For those unaware, the type of “Escapism” being discussed is the manner of the main character being a down on their luck loser who conveniently is put into a position where they can use their relatively useless “skills” to their advantage. Notable examples of this include Sword Art Online, No Game No Life, and now ReLIFE. Some argue that this type of narrative too conveniently makes the title character “OP,” while other characters fall at their feet at the strength of their “OP-ness.” I’m more among this group of people, though I acknowledge the sort of enjoyment one could get out of this premise. ReLIFE is yet another example of escapism of, what I would argue, a very large kind.
Typically, the prospect of “fanfiction” in my posts is a negative connotation. I feel escapism too easily necessitates the main character in a positive light unnecessarily, deriding a lot of the development from conflict they could be receiving. In any case, ReLIFE has a lot of the negative aspects of escapism that I don’t care for, and when it plays out like any typical story in anime, it becomes less tolerable. The anime is actually highly rated on most ani-databases, which both confuses me and doesn’t surprise me. Escapism leads to a lot of juicy “what if” moments that a lot of viewers clamor for. For me, though, the shortcuts taken to get to those moments makes them feel hollow.
This blurb has said next to nothing about ReLIFE at all. I apologize. The show is slightly nonsensical and entirely within the clichés set by anime laced with escapism. The characters range from one-dimensionally cute to irritatingly angsty (Kariu). There’s a lot left on the table in terms of logic, and the main character is picture-perfect model for escapism lead. And unlike the leads from Sword Art Online or No Game No Life, he exudes nothing that would show him to be any sort of loser in his past life, or winner in his new one. He essentially adds nothing to the plot while events happen around him because he’s the lightning rod for dramatic events. It’s horribly frustrating and I was elated to be done with the series when it ended. I didn’t have to wait long, though, as the entire season released in a single day. How convenient!
#7: Dragon Ball
It almost pains me to put this here, but it must be done. Dragon Ball has far, far too much bad to not be included on this list.
It is the anime that launched the legendary career of Akira Toriyama. It is the precursor to one of the most influential anime of all time, inspiring a number of different artists to fulfill their dreams. The spirit of adventure and creativity is definitely present, but not much else really makes the series worth watching in its entirety.
A large number of nagging complaints make this series nearly painful to watch—most notably the ferocious amount of filler and inconsequential events due to Goku’s overwhelming strength. The series very rarely ever becomes “good,” and once it reaches that point, one is already halfway through the series. Sifting through an ocean of bad isn’t normally worth a deserted island of decency. There are a number of things here that I loathe about shounen series, things that have inspired a lot of other shounen series to do things similarly. Thanks, Toriyama.
Despite the score, there’s a strange appreciation I have for the series that keeps it from being placed any lower on the list. Maybe it’s nostalgia or my innate love for creativity, but whatever it is, I can’t hold Dragon Ball to such contempt for long. It’s bad, absolutely, but it makes up for (some of) it with a lengthy amount of charm and flair. Cliché or not, they’re riveting to watch… normally.
#6: Gatchaman Crowds: Insight
My score: 3/10
Mu full thoughts (on both seasons).
The second season specifically, though the first season isn’t that great, either. Gatchaman Crowds: Insight is a bunch of interesting ideas spewed out in the most inopportune of ways. It’s intriguing with what it tries to do, but at the sake of the characters’ charm and any logical sense. While the first season essentially parades around the female lead like the second coming of Christ, the second sets her aside for an up-and-coming apprentice type… who is uninteresting.
The entire show feels unnecessary by the end. There isn’t really much of a point, as the vague interpretations of critical thinking is made kaput by slanting the argument one way. The main characters aren’t really important, slipping aside to let the side characters cause conflict. The arguments being made are simplistic in execution. Everything about the series, even the weirdly abstract visuals of their super forms, feel so lifeless that it hardly matters. It’s entirely unnecessary, while at the same time forcibly abrupt.
I’ve run out of things to say because it had that little impact on me. It’s forgettable.
#5: Oda Nobuna no Yabou
I mean, c’mon. What even is this?
A retelling of the famous Oda Nobunaga, except all important figures (fictional and otherwise) are hot, teenage girls. The reason I even decided to watch this is because it’s been something I’ve been curious about since the first Summer of Anime back in 2012. In hindsight, I should’ve known from the premise right away that the series is nothing but fan service fodder.
Not necessarily fan service in the form of skinship (though it is present), but the fact that all of the figures have to be attractive females, surrounding an oblivious male lead (who surprisingly chooses a girl). What even is the point? Not that I think an all-female cast in this type of setting is bad, but it smells too much like big businesses appealing to a certain demographic. It would be forgiven if the series were any good. Surprising some (but not myself), it isn’t.
Clichés abound and characters (all females) behaving in the most one-dimensional, archetypal ways. The tsundere, dandere, cute loli, kuudere, etc. Not to mention some characters have superpowers at their fingertips, making anything vaguely realistic feel stupid. The drama, the intrigue; all for naught thanks to the series bending reality to its own whim. I suppose one who complains about “realism” in a dimension where Oda Nobunaga is a cutie patootie is a lost cause, right?
Despite the arguments I may receive, I feel the series is plainly cliché and hampered by its obscene desire to flaunt the female body in every light. The sad part is, I actually enjoyed a few scenes from this anime, and felt had they continued that trend of showing the depth of the characters, it wouldn’t be so bad. They didn’t, so it is. Very much so.
#4: Nagasarete Airantou
I didn’t say a lot about this one when I covered it during the last Summer of Anime, but everything about the premise gives you exactly what you need to know. A boy gets stranded on an island that’s completely devoid of males. Only females. Mostly young and attractive. Wonder how this was conceived? Hmm.
As is typical of the medium, the male lead is surrounded by a bunch of attractive women conveniently his age. He then spends about two-cours goofing around with them in a variety of different antics. Also note that the island gives birth to magical creatures and events, such as giant animals, ghosts, deep-sea dragons, among others. All of this in mind, is the show going to be to any degree serious? No? Good work. You know anime.
Except it is serious during the last few episodes, but we know as an audience that nothing will come of it because the power of sunshine, happiness, and rainbows devours all who think otherwise. It’s a stupid, stupid series with a number of different cutesy scenarios designed to entertain and slightly arouse the male demographic. The cast of females are all archetypes, and the male lead is, GET THIS, oblivious and pure-hearted. It’s almost like an accumulation of everything anime is negatively stereotyped for all wrapped up in a two-cour package of benign absurdity. The manga for this anime is still going to this day, and has been going for nearly fifteen years. Amazing, isn’t it?
God, this anime is disgusting.
It disgraces ancient mythology. It disgraces foreigners. It disgraces THE POWER OF EMOTIONS! It disgraces anime, period. Such a rushed, unguided mess of a story that has no idea what it wants to accomplish. Y’know, aside from sexual fan service.
All women fall for the guy because lol. The guy can unleash the powers of God because lol. The guy gets to make out with most female characters to “””collect information.””” Everything is so sneakily designed to cater to the horny male demographic that it genuinely disgusts me. It’s sickening, something so vapid and uninspired.
Please, just read my entry on the anime. I really don’t want to think more upon how little good this anime provides. I’m getting a headache just from looking at that gif out of the corners of my eyes.
“Hobbies are often a great way of meeting new people, but how could Kakeru Diachi, who collects rare juice cans, have ever suspected that he’d meet a fascinating new girl when he attempted to DRINK her? Naming her Melon, because she’s got great melon… soda, Kakeru quickly learns that she’s an Akikan—a beautiful girl who’s also a special can created to fight other Akikans in a strange experiment to determine what kind of container is better: steel or aluminum!
Will becoming involved in this ridiculously twisted research project gone amuck complicate Kakeru’s life incredibly? Of course it will, but because Melon’s steel body needs carbon dioxide to breathe, he’s now stuck with her since she’s too CO2 dependent! And when his wealthy, attractive, best childhood friend Najimi gets HER own aluminum Akikan, the trouble really begins!”
#1: Eiken: Eikenbu yori Ai wo Komete
Forget what I said about Campione!. This is a disgrace to anime.
Now, I’m sure some of you might be wondering, “Kapodaco, why put yourself through this when you obviously know it’s atrocious?” Glad you asked, because it’s dear time spent with my brother. Watching terrible anime and laughing at it. Quite cruel of us, I know, but it’s a hobby.
The pure, unabashed enthusiasm of sexual fan service in anime. Eiken has everything from boobs to butts to more boobs and boobs. Every situation has ’em. Every situation uses ’em. Females get naked. Have their boobies bounce and jiggle. Get squirted on by white liquids and chocolate and what-not. Eat bananas and other sorts of long, hard things. Constantly swim and sunbathe and participate in events that require less clothing. Hell, some women get naked for no reason! The passion for nudity is definitely one I can dig. Right, guys?
I mean, there’s no redeeming qualities at all. It’s Mars of Destruction levels of hilariously bad. Helter Skelter levels of hilariously bad. A two-episode OVA showing the standard of quality only anime is known for. It’s perfect. Everyone should watch it. In fact, disregard my full thoughts of it. It’s no longer part of this list. It’s better than Toradora!. Just watch it alone, or with someone who will appreciate the female body. It’s pretty bountiful, if you know what I mean.
The rating for these titles and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.