Top 10 Best Anime I Viewed in 2017


Please note that this is not a Top 10 Best Anime of 2017 list. Rather, this is a list of the best anime I watched in 2017, as in it doesn’t have to have aired in 2017 to make it, only that I had to have finished (a majority of) it in 2017.

Last year, I detailed my so-called “Anime renaissance” with the statement that I watched a whole lot more anime in 2016 than 2015. In 2017, it didn’t feel like I watched that much anime, yet according to MALGraph, I watched way more anime this year than last year; I even rivaled anime viewed in 2014, which was probably my most active year in the medium. What’s also notable is that I watched quite a bit of good anime this year. Lots of titles that boosted my average rating per anime, though I may have become more selective in my old age. Without further delay, the ten best anime I viewed this year. (more…)

Top 10 Worst Anime I Viewed in 2016


Please note that this is notTop 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)


My score: 4/10
My full thoughts.

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.

#9: Kiznaiver


My score: 4/10
My full thoughts.

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.

#8: ReLIFE

relife 4

My score: 4/10
My full thoughts.

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 OnlineNo 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


My score: 3/10
My full thoughts.

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

gatchaman crowds 1

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

oda nobuna 1

My score: 3/10
My full thoughts.

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


My score: 2.5/10
My “full” thoughts.

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?

#3: Campione!


My score: 2/10
My full thoughts.

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.

#2: Akikan!


My score: 1/10
My full “thoughts.”

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!”

Clothes Called Fat 1

#1: Eiken: Eikenbu yori Ai wo Komete


My score: 1/10
My “full” thoughts.

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.

Top 10 Best Anime I Viewed in 2016


Please note that this is notTop 10 Best 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 best 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.

2016 was a bit of an anime renaissance for me, as since 2012, I had been watching less and less total anime yearly up until now. With a little over sixty different titles firmly planted within my brain, I decided to pick out ten of the ones I felt topped all others in terms of objective quality and subjective enjoyment. While I include both criteria, this isn’t necessarily a be-all, know-all in terms of what I consider to be the best of the best, as this list is a personal one. Also note that every pick on this list will be anime I’ve already covered on my blog, so I will link my thoughts/reviews along with them.

#10: Michiko to Hatchin

michiko to hatchin 1

My score: 7/10
My full thoughts.

Looking back on the anime I viewed this year, I was slightly surprised as to how much I actually like this anime compared to most. If one were to ask me if Michiko to Hatchin would’ve made this list before last week, I probably would’ve said “No.” Turns out, I’ve seen a lot of mediocre titles this year, so Michiko to Hatchin makes it based on process of elimination. Don’t get me wrong, though. The anime is a good one.

While the premise of two polar opposites traveling together to a mutual goal isn’t far-fetched, the degree of chemistry between the main characters more than makes up for the story’s lack of originality. Not only that, but I really enjoyed the steady progression and the pacing of the journey they set upon, which feels like they’ve traveled a long way for a long time. The feeling of time passing and the two growing into their ending states is genuine and relatable, even in the most inopportune of times. I also really enjoyed the hostility and the cruelty of the outside world that suits the hard-nosed Michiko and proves difficult to manage for the young Hatchin. This kind of atmosphere makes for a creatively unfamiliar anime setting.

One of the few flaws here is the excess of side characters that appear only to cause empathy and drive random, one-episode plots that the characters have to go through as observers. Should the anime have focused less on these aspects, it probably would’ve fared better on this list. As it is now, however, is still a decent watch and definitely recommended for those looking for anime with a different cultural setting.

#9: Umi Monogatari: Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto

umi monogatari 1

My score: 7/10
My full thoughts.

I genuinely don’t understand the flak that this anime receives on most ani-databases. I went into this anime expecting cringey fun, but I left in a confused state of bliss. I liked the anime. A lot. A lot more than most, even. This anime is ranked within the 4,000’s on MyAnimeList!

For whatever reason, the aspects that most anime within the same genre try to incorporate into their stories—magical girls, the power of friendship and family, the perspective of good and evil—works tremendously well in Umi Monogatari. One could say that this title is good at meeting the standards set by typical storytelling basics, which is amazing because most anime flub up on one or two aspects, at least.  It isn’t anything spectacular, but it does everything it tries to do in such a charming way that I can’t help but give it a decent score. It helps when I like the characters, too.

Clichés hamper the story quite a bit here, as would be expected from those going into it. I also didn’t care for the male love interest, who did all of absolutely nothing to earn any reason to be the object of affection for the female lead. I’m not sure he gets more than a few lines of dialogue the entire show. Somehow, Umi Monogatari manages to make these clichés tolerable at best, and even incorporates a smidgen of creativity within those clichés, which I thoroughly enjoyed. While the enveloping doubt of whether this anime is any good or not wreaks havoc in my mind, take it from me now, as of typing this at 11:49 A.M. Central U.S. Time on December 26th, 2016, that this anime is pretty good, and well worth the watch.

#8: Code Geass: Hangyaku no Lelouch (Season One)

code geass 1

My Score: 7/10
My full thoughts.

Fun fact: for the longest time, I refused to see this out of spite, due to a self-perceived imbalance of hype and quality regarding it. Ah, such is youth. I’ve learned since then that the passion of others shouldn’t drive you away from such things, but rather encourage you to check the subject out and craft your own opinion on it. Such is the case of Code Geass, one of a few beloved anime series I’ve had the pleasure of watching this year.

I do not think this series is perfect by any means, however the amount of dedication to concocting a formulated and efficient story of strategy and character drama is a tremendous draw to someone looking for something with a little more meat to chew on. I suppose the incorporation of the characters being in high school was a means of helping the audience ease into the political conflict. Still, the atmosphere and the pacing of the show was slow and unforgiving during this point, and a lot of characters here prove rather dull in the grand scheme of things.

Once the series starts rolling, it;s hard to take your eyes away. The final half of this series is pretty heavy-handed with all it tries to flesh out, providing a lot of different things to consider. I genuinely enjoy the effort to cover plotholes with every aspect of the story, whether it be Lelouch’s powers or C.C.’s origins. It makes it feel as though the story wants to be remembered as clean and stable. Of course, this could all be trampled within the second season, which I have yet to see. Pessimistic foretelling aside, Code Geass is a good view for anybody looking for something with a tad more thought behind the actions of its characters and ideals.

#7: Mawaru Penguindrum

penguindrum 1

My score: 7.5/10
My full thoughts.

There’s creativity in anime, and then there’s literal mindfucks. Ikuhara is a colorful madman and his stories are all the more entertaining for it. There are times when I feel he oversteps his bounds, but the fact that he’s willing to put so much enthusiasm and symbolism in his works at all shows how pretentious dedicated to his job he is, which is incredibly appreciated as a viewer.

Mawaru Penguindrum has a lot of what Ikuhara likes to do in his works, while also establishing things in a manner straightforward enough for most to understand. Keep in mind the “most,” as some are more than likely going to be lost at some point or another in this series. I certainly was, which was why I had to restart this anime from the beginning a few years after putting it on-hold sixteen episodes in. It’s unlike many other anime out there, aside from those already within Ikuhara’s library.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this anime to starting weebs, as it throws far too much at them. This is geared more towards, for lack of a better term, elitists who can appreciate the differences from standard anime and the symbolism of many different scenes shown within. It’s distinctive, absolutely, but whether or not it all makes any sense is up to you to decide. For me, it’s definitely enjoyable, but I wonder if everything’s really all there.

#6: Hanada Shounen-shi

hanada shounen-shi 3

My score: 7.5/10
My full thoughts.

I’m willing to admit outright that I don’t have a lot of older anime titles under my belt. Even so, I can definitely tell that Hanada Shounen-shi was going for the carefree, simplistic lifestyle and direction of older titles. More than that, though, the episodic nature of the show gives a sense of every day being an adventure, especially for the young hero Hanada, who has the ability to see spirits due to an accident prior to the show’s debut episode.

I really miss brats as main characters in stories. There’s something really charming about the main character being immature and learning from the different experiences happening around him. I love that sense of maturity and growth from those who obviously can’t handle the concept over a steady progression. In Hanada’s case, he’s a good-hearted kid, just stubborn and easily irritable, much like any kid. He holds the keys to how the story goes, and he rarely disappoints.

There’s a really great emphasis on acceptance in this anime, typically in the form of loss. Hanada Shounen-shi is usually a feel-good story within story arcs, with the occasional developmental episode focusing on those outside of the spirit realm. What I appreciate most about this series is how everyone feels alive, human, and entirely within their roles in society. Do you hate how goodie-goodie everyone is in anime now-a-days? I am. This anime has a good portion of people being snarky assholes and jokesters who enjoy beer, babes, and the material pleasures of life. Because a majority of people totally aren’t like that, right? And because they’re not, they’re automatically good people, yeah? More than anything, despite the fantasy elements attached, Hanada Shounen-shi feels real, which makes it a hell of a lot easier to empathize with.

#5: NHK ni Youkoso!

welcome to the nhk

My score: 8/10
My full thoughts.

Much like Hanada Shounen-shi, the protagonist to NHK ni Youkoso! is not your typical oblivious high school student. This anime focuses on NEET culture, and all that it entails. A wide variety of emotions exude from the situations that arise from this anime that it’s hard not to find the story so charming. Charmingly pitiful.

When one thinks of morals in anime, usually the trends are along the lines of “Don’t do bad. Believe in yourself. Friendship is good. Don’t ever choose a girl,” and the like. NHK ni Youkoso! offers a darker moral compass, as it shows the struggles that one deals with when they’ve become so wrapped up in their own deluded fantasies that they’ve become programmed to deny reality as they see fit. Such is the more extreme cases of NEEThood that the anime likes to embellish. The horrifying truth is that thousands, if not more suffer from this kind of lethargic, sometimes insane mindset that riddles them with a mix of guilt and self-loathing.

It’s dramatic, humorous, and somewhat sentimental. There’s a lot to love with this series and a lot more thought put forth to the nature of those with the mindset of our title character. At the end of the day, the viewer can make the experience all the more fulfilling by trying to place themselves within the lead’s shoes. While the show on its own is good enough, those fantastical fantasies give a sizzle to the metaphorical steak.

#4: Tsuritama

tsuritama 1

My score: 8/10
My full thoughts.

Why, yes. An anime about fishing and friendship. What makes you think this wouldn’t be within the Top 10?

While Ikuhara tries to hammer in every aesthetic mark of symbolism as humanly possible, Tsuritama has just enough to make this series feel both whimsically random and calculatingly intriguing. On the surface, a lot of what happens in the story makes zero sense and doesn’t manage to do anything for those looking for anything serious. Within the navy depths, crowded with fish and underwater specimens, there’s a story taking place here, one of traditional moral value and a little off-kilter humor to go along with it. A boy isn’t confident in himself, especially after moving from place to place all his life. What he needs is an alien to accompany him on a quest to catch fish. What?

I loved the creativity with visual cues and the absurdity of the progression of the plot. Sometimes it didn’t make sense while other times it didn’t seem warranted, but overall, the entertainment value for this show is sky-high. It has such a weird display of animation and running gags that I can’t help but find this anime adorable. Granted, the ending episodes strayed somewhat from this and became more of a typical “End it with a dramatic bang!” sort of deal, which is disappointing. Even so, the diversity of characters, situations, events, and an underlying structure to all of it makes Tsuritama both memorable and fantastic.

#3: Hyouge Mono

hyouge mono 4

My score: 8.5/10
My full thoughts.

Now we’re getting into the good stuff. Prepare yourself, kids.

Hyouge Mono is immensely likable, different, and incredibly unpredictable. Before last summer, I had never heard of it, nor have I ever seen or heard anyone make one mention of it. Ever. It was something that was completely new and unknown to me. It is also one of those rare “three-cours” that are spoken of only in myth. Truly, this was something that was going to take a lot of courage to go through with. I was feeling confident in myself, as I wanted something of a challenge during my Summer. I went in a man and came out an aestheticist.

It’s beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. It’s slow at first. Very slow. It takes a while for things to kick in. When they do, though, the anime is an absolute blast to watch. It’s silly and fun, but serious in its political themes and wartime strategy. It has a lot of different themes going for it, whether character drama, political powers clashing, battles over land, honor and respect, and most importantly, aesthetics. The focus on aesthetics is a fascinating turn for the industry, and the humor that arises because of it is so ridiculous that it’s charming. A character will lay on their bed, dying of a wound to the chest, vocalizing their will and testament, only to have their most precious item be a wonderfully crafted, slightly torn old bowl that is practically useless. And when they speak of how wonderful it is, as the light shining from the window blankets the bowl’s craftsmanship, the eyes of the men in the room grow to the size of tennis rackets. Their lips quiver, their hands tighten, their faces cave into themselves. God help me, this is so stupid.

The amazing thing about this anime is that it perfectly blends that stupidity with genuinely likable and respectable characters, making the inevitability of death all the more heartbreaking. The triumphs of man for material pleasure is in full force here, and the changes made to structures and the value of various things changing from those who reside in power are interesting to keep note of. Hyouge Mono is also very good at poking fun at the recent trend of bigotry of humankind. Don’t agree with my political beliefs? Screw you. Don’t agree that black is the best color for this little bowl in the corner of my room? Screw you. It’s so strange how funny this is to me, but it is. The whole series is so whimsical in its approach to every aspect that it becomes all the more memorable for it. If only it was a little better paced when it started, or else this may have reached “Favorite” status.

#2: Shirobako

shirobako 1

My score: 9/10
My full thoughts.

What better way to appreciate anime than to watch an anime about making anime? Sounds riveting, don’t it? Luckily, it is. It’s absolutely vibrant in its execution, and not just in the way the anime is made, but with a sense of camaraderie with those who are employed to make that anime come to life. A quintessential love letter to the industry, in good times and bad, Shirobako is a wonderfully meta excuse to draw anime drawing anime.

The biggest strength here is character, as each of them has a specific role and personality partially due to it. The development of said characters is wonderful to watch from beginning to end, though admittedly not all receive equal treatment. Aside from this, characters are also uniquely written to be realistic in their situations, while retaining the entertainment required to be “characters” in a comedy/drama-ish kind of monstrosity. They have brains, heart, and girth the size of my Mt. Everest.

Something that is shown so prevalently in anime is passion; passion for whatever the situation calls for, though normally strength or determination. It’s become so widespread that this sense of passion has become second-nature to viewers, in that it may not feel as strong as it intends. Shirobako never has this problem, as the passion is brought forth at the most absolute precise of times. Rarely and surely, the motivation and upbeat charisma of the cast makes the show all the easier to cheer on, but only because they aren’t constantly throwing it in your face. One can’t be passionate all the time; it feels more special in small doses. Shirobako has all the right doses, like a good doctor. My heart is excited, but comfortable.

Much like the process of anime-making, Shirobako is a carefully crafted process of hard work and genuine love for the industry. I would tell anyone to go see this, but at this point, do I even need to?

#1: Dennou Coil

dennou coil 1

My score: 9.5/10
My “full” thoughts.

It takes a lot, it really does, to land on my “Favorite” list. Somehow, without any expectations, Dennou Coil managed to do just that without even trying.

In the spirit of remaining consistent, I still won’t say much about this anime, as infuriating as that may be to some. My only advice is to watch it. Immediately. There is a spirit of adventure, the charm of the characters, the trials of what life puts you through and the maturity to accept it that makes this series more than a simple “coming of age” story. It’s a magical, wonderful anime that is nearly flawless in my eyes, if not for a meandering couple of episodes near the halfway point. Any anime that can have me nearly in tears deserves as much praise as it can get from me subjectively.

I would definitely put this up there with any anime out there, whether it be movies from Studio Ghibli or top-rated anime such as Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood or Steins;Gate. It’s an accumulation of everything I want to find in a story (aside from a strong romance) and a good indication that the industry is still capable of making wonderful original stories. It’s without a doubt the best anime I saw this year and will likely hold its ground against competitors in the near future. Until then, Dennou Coil is a qualified masterpiece.

The rating for these titles and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.