As I do at the end of each season, it’s time for me to look back at what I have been watching and hand out arbitrary awards based on my own personal preferences. It’s been a fairly jam-packed season of anime this autumn, with a whole plethora of different shows for me to take into consideration for this post.
Talking of the plethora of shows, here they are:
- Brave Witches
- Dragon Ball Super
- FLIP FLAPPERS
- Girlish number
- Izetta: The Last Witch
- JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
- Long Riders!
- Lostorage incited WIXOSS
- MAGIC OF STELLA
- Magical Girl Raising Project
- Maho Girls PreCure!
- Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara Second Season
- Matoi the Sacred Slayer
- One Piece
- Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars
- Scorching Ping Pong Girls
- Show By Rock!!#
- Sound! Euphonium 2
- ViVid Strike!
As you can see, there’s some ridiculousness sprinkled in with some tragedy, whilst not forgetting plenty of comedy and competition. Actually, the title with ‘bizarre’ in its title may not be the most bizarre anime this season…
Anyway, back on topic, there’ll potentially be spoilers for any of the shows listed above. With that in mind, let’s start this award ceremony.
Best Opening Theme
“Gospel of the Throttle 狂奔 REMIX Ver.” by Minutes Til Midnight
The opening theme for Drifters is something I really quite enjoy – I just feel that it matches the tone of the show so well, and the visuals we see during the opening give us a glimpse of what to expect. It’s just a shame that there’s a handful of episodes that forego playing it…
Runners-up: “Great Days” by Karen Aoki, Daisuke Hasegawa (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable); “DREAMxSCRAMBLE!” by AiRI (Keijo!!!!!!!!)
Adventures in Pure Illusion
Whenever Papika and Cocona ventured into the world of Pure Illusion, it was always a treat to see what would be in store for us. The different versions of Pure Illusion meant we never knew what FLIP FLAPPERS had in store for us next, and as such the show managed to cover different genres.
Throw on top of that the relationship between Cocona and Papika, as well as Cocona’s development and some incredible animation, FLIP FLAPPERS was pure joy.
Runners-up: Drifter‘s historical figures fighting in a fantasy land; Magical girl survival game (Magical Girl Raising Project)
There’s been so many great protagonists this season, and picking a single one has proven to be rather difficult. However, I’ve chosen Magical Girl Raising Project‘s Ripple – the fact she’s a ninja magical girl made me fall in love with her design when I first saw her.
Ripple has a great relationship with fellow magical girl Top Speed, and is also one of the few characters who believes a magical girl should be a force for good. Her ability to have anything she throws always hit its target also makes her a formidable foe in combat.
Runners-up: Papika (FLIP FLAPPERS); Nozomi Kaminashi (Keijo!!!!!!!!)
Out of the 16 magical girls forced to take part in the survival game, none is more efficient than Swim Swim. It begun with a dream in which she was told any girl can become a princess, and from there things snowballed and she became the most ruthless competitor. If your favourite character died in the show, then it was likely at the hands of this magical girl. She also happens to be a little girl when not in magical girl form.
Runners-up: Yoshikage Kira (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable); The Black King (Drifters)
Best Female Character
I have a whole host of female characters to choose from, and many of them present compelling arguments as to why they should win this award. However, I can only choose one, and I think anyone who can imitate Gilgamesh’s Noble Phantasm deserves some recognition – just replace the weapons with backsides.
I wish we could’ve seen Kazane win at least one Keijo match though. She has perhaps the most ridiculous ability in a show full of ridiculous abilities, but victory manages to elude her.
Runners-up: Papika (FLIP FLAPPERS); Ripple (Magical Girl Raising Project)
Best Male Character
In a series about people who possess supernatural powers called Stands, Hayato is a normal schoolboy. However, he discovers his father is actually serial killer Yoshikage Kira and even tries to make a move against him. Even when it seems that Yoshikage’s stand Killer Queen has decided fate with its Bites the Dust ability, Hayato is able to subvert that and set up a confrontation between Yoshikage Kira and Josuke Higashikata. The stunts that Hayato pulls off against part 4’s antagonist are certainly worthy of praise.
Runners-up: Shimazu Toyohisa (Drifters); Future Trunks (Dragon Ball Super)
Best Cast of Characters
Magical Girl Raising Project
16 magical girls participate in a survival game, with a great variety of designs and personalities on offer her. We have the aforementioned ninja, but you also have a robot, a gunslinger and a witch. That’s just a few of them.
Each girl also fights for her own reasons, which gives us some benevolent magical girls, some malevolent and others who might not quite fit into either of those descriptions.
Runners-up: People of Morioh (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable); Keijo athletes (Keijo!!!!!!!!)
Tamaki is a daddy’s girl, who is a fan of hard-boiled shonen manga. She joins the SNS Club to be involved in making doujin games, and takes on the role of illustrator. It just happens that her taste in manga influences her art style, so she draws a lot of older men.
Runners-up: Yuzuka Hanami (Mahou Shoujo Nante Mouiidesukara Second Season); Cyan Hijirikawa (Show By Rock!!#)
Most Badass Character
One of many Drifters, Shimazu practically eats, sleeps and breathes battle. Even sent to a fantasy world, he is first to charge into battle in order to take the heads of his foes.
Runners-up: Jotaro Kujo (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable); Ripple (Magical Girl Raising Project)
Cocona and Papika
From the very beginning of FLIP FLAPPERS, Papika made it very clear that she loves Cocona. Cocona was more reluctant about it, but several trips to Pure Illusion (some involved Cocona coming to terms with her sexuality), Cocona grew to experience the same feelings for Papika. It is their love for each other that allows them to achieve super forms, and Cocona finally confesses that she loves Papika.
Runners-up: Izetta & Finé (Izetta: The Last Witch); Fuuka & Rinne (ViVid Strike!)
Ripple vs. Swim Swim
The final battle of Magical Girl Raising Project sees the ninja magical girl take on the most ruthlessly efficient characters in the series. Swim Swim caused a lot of ire throughout the series, and I’m sure many people were cheering for Ripple when she decided to go and fight Swim Swim.
Swim Swim possesses a rather powerful ability: she can swim through anything, effectively giving her a body made of water. Physical attacks are a no-go, so Ripple has to come up with something else in order to claim victory.
Runners-up: Fuuka vs. Rinne (ViVid Strike!); Papika vs. Cocona (FLIP FLAPPERS)
I adore the soundtrack for ViVid Strike!, with some really great tracks used during transformation sequences and the fights. We get some high octane stuff here, and we get music to match – stuff that is right up my street.
Runners-up: Show By Rock!!#; Matoi the Sacred Slayer
Magical Girl Raising Project
A final fight between Swim Swim and Ripple rounds of Magical Girl Raising Project, before Ripple and Snow White basically stick two fingers up to Fav and continue to be magical girls on their own terms. This was a conclusive ending, though I’d love to see the results of Snow White training under Ripple.
Runners-up: FLIP FLAPPERS; JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable
Best Ending Theme
“DREAMCATCHER” by nano
The ending theme for Magical Girl Raising Project begins with a line asking if you can see the light. Due to the nature of Magical Girl Raising Project, it wouldn’t be a surprise to discover that the light is actually an oncoming train…
As for the song itself, it really fits in well with the show’s tone, and makes it a perfect way to cap off an episode after the dramatic events unfold.
Runner-up: “FLIP FLAP FLIP FLAP” by TO-MAS feat. China (FLIP FLAPPERS); “Hikari Aru Basho e” by May’n (Izetta: The Last Witch)
A magical girl anime was always going to win this, and FLIP FLAPPERS just managed to edge out Magical Girl Raising Project as my favourite of the autumn season.
Papika and Cocona are both characters I adore, their magical girl transformations are great and the variety we get from the different worlds of Pure Illusion was fun. Throw in some incredible visual spectacles and beautiful animation, and you’ve got an anime series that I simply love.
Runners-up: Magical Girl Raising Project; ViVid Strike!
So there we have it. This season started with a witch involved in World War II, and finished with flip flapping. Along the way we had many magical girls, plenty of music and a few strange journeys – this particular season was one I found particularly enjoyable, and will miss the shows that have finished.
Well, with the awards done, might as well look forward to next season – which includes a dragon maid, a lazy angel and a magic school amongst the series that will start airing.