So this year, I have watched 50 different anime shows in total. This total doesn’t count films and OVAs, as they are not generally part of a given season.
Still, since we’re at the end of the year, I’m going to share my top ten favourite shows of 2015. The rules for this list are simple – as long as it had new episodes air in 2015, it’s up for consideration. Of course, I have to have watched it as well – if your favourite show doesn’t make the list, then go and make your own – this is all my own personal opinion.
There’s been some incredible shows this year, so cutting that list down from 50 to 10 is going to be somewhat difficult… still, I’ve committed to it now.
To kick things off, how about a quick summary of what we had this year? Take a deep breath, and…
Mechs, exercising, armed detectives, an invincible alien teacher, lunch-stealing giants, scantily clad warriors, terrible CGI dragons, the return of a classic shonen villain, demons, magical girls, servants, the atmosphere, Japanese nationalism, more magical girls, erotic eating, a poor video game adaptation, AI girls, Engrish, a closet otaku girl, cafés, Stands, poorly animated school girls cooking, moe battleships, a schoolgirl who can’t refuse when asked a favour, a villain in glasses, even more magical girls, surrealism, school clubs with super-powered students, idols, a black and white idol (twice!), ridiculously animated ninjas, the countryside, pirates, superheroes, ghosts, a coming-of-age tale with an incredible soundtrack, zombies, voice actresses, anime production, rock and roll cat girls, a brass band, magical girls powered by music, an advert for Urawa City, Soul Eater with lesbians, a rich girl, an woman who enjoys good food, magical girls again, cute lesbians doing cute things and lesbian bears.
If you can identify what those 50 shows were from that list, kudos to you. For now, though, let’s just focus on on ten of them.
10:Non Non Biyori Repeat
Renge steals the show in the second season of this slice-of-life anime set out in the countryside. That’s fine by me, as I think Renge is a great character and seeing her interact with the other characters is great. Kind of a shame that Hotaru’s crush on Komari is barely acknowledged, though…
9: One Punch Man
Saitama has become bored with his life, as he can defeat any opponent with a single punch. However, he still desires to be a hero but gets no satisfaction from it. This is a send-up of superheroes in general, and is very entertaining. There’s a lot more to it than a hero who can defeat enemies with a single punch – seriously, just look at other Heroes’ reactions to Saitama climbing the ranks of the Hero Association, or even how the other Heroes act.
We got to see how anime is produced, in anime form with Shirobako. Turned out it makes for some surprisingly compelling viewing, and the people who work on anime have a lot on their plates. Definitely had some mighty fine moments of comedy, with a particular Street Fighter-inspired segment sticking firmly in mind.
7: YuruYuri Season 3
Arguably one of the funniest shows on this list. It’s the third season of cute girls doing cute things, and they definitely live up to the yuri part of that title.
Whilst there are less Chitose fantasies in this one, Ayano actually starts interacting with ‘TOSHINO KYOKO’ a lot more. Of course, the other pairings all get a look-in as well.
6: Yuri Kuma Arashi
Ah yes, a title that can be translated as ‘Lesbian Bear Storm’. It does take a few episodes to get into it, and things are just plain weird at first. However, that’s probably par for the course when you consider the creator was Kunihiko Ikuhara – regardless, this is a social commentary on same sex relationships in Japan and contains plenty of fanservice whilst being surprisingly engaging.
Just your average slice-of-life school club anime… well, it looks that way at first, but just wait for the twist at the end of that first episode. Or you know, just read a synopsis for it and spoil it straight away… if you haven’t watched it, try to go in completely blind. I strongly recommend this, and won’t say anything else to avoid potential spoilers.
4: Gatchaman Crowds insight
Are you one of those people who just goes with the flow? Well, Gatchaman Crowds insight is here to show you how that can be an extremely negative thing. Seriously, it’s all right to have your own opinion, even if you are in the minority. Of course, this anime gets into it deeper than that, and it’s well worth watching.
3: Log Horizon Season 2
Log Horizon continues to use MMORPG mechanics as part of its plot, and I think it integrates those things really well. It also helps that the soundtrack is really good – I’m a sucker for a good soundtrack. It may be a more cerebral anime, but Log Horizon does actually have some neat action scenes from time to time, too.
2: Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic
I love seeing English characters in anime, and I love hearing Engrish even more. What makes this even better is that all the characters are fun to watch, and with more focus on other characters, Hello!! Kiniro Mosaic is something I very much enjoy.
1: Symphogear GX
I’ve mentioned this before on my blog, but Symphogear is easily my favourite anime series of all time – so it shouldn’t be a shock to find it at number one here on my list. The characters grow even more over the course of the third season, and the soundtrack is just as amazing as ever. Not to mention how ridiculously over the top it can get from the start – the actions of three Symphogear users result in K2 becoming the world’s third highest mountain – and that’s just the beginning.
There we have it. My top ten of 2015, and if I look back at the list, I’m sure I’ll find a reason to be dissatisfied with it. It was hard working out the placements for everything, because everything on that list of mine was incredible to watch.
So, check out those shows if you’ve not seen them already, and with that, I’m done here. With the look back complete, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what 2016 has in store.