Top Ten Anime of 2015

And so, another year of anime winds to its end. There have been surprises and disappointments this year, and my ultimate list doesn’t really look much like what I’d expected to find, but in the end, anime is anime. At the beginning of this year, I was looking forward to crowning two of 2014’s better series – Your Lie in April and Parasyte. Unfortunately, both of those shows kinda lost their way in their second halves, which was sad for everyone. Later on, at the year’s halfway point, I was again excited about my end-of-year list – I already had a good seven or eight shows I felt were top ten-worthy, and was beginning to think this would be a year to rival 2013. Unfortunately, the year’s second half only really gave me the last couple shows I needed, and so here I am, recognizing just enough shows to fill out a full list. This year didn’t end out quite as strong as I’d hoped, but ultimately I probably shouldn’t complain about any year that featured enough shows to fill a list plus honorable mentions.

And I actually do have an honorable mention, one I honestly feel a little bad not including on my list proper. Although not all its sequences were equally strong, Studio Khara’s Animator Expo definitely deserves a mention – you might have heard of it just because of Me! Me! Me!, but the whole thing is full of wonderful, creative little vignettes. If you’re interested in the visual potential of anime, or just want to see some cool short-form pieces, Animator Expo is a can’t-miss experience. The third season is still available online (here’s a particularly good one), so I’d definitely check that out. I should also probably mention One Punch Man, since I get the feeling not mentioning it means it will dominate the comments. Yes, I watched it, and no, I didn’t think it was that great. Strong animation, but everything outside of that felt pretty mediocre, and so you won’t see it here.

But that’s all preamble. You guys are here for the top shows, and top shows you will have – shows from a wide span of genres and creators, shows to thrill and shock and make you cry. Every year in anime brings new treasures, so let’s buckle in and run down the best in one more year of Japanese cartoons!

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Winter 2015 – First Impressions, Part One

The winter season has begun, meaning it’s once again time for my endless, soul-crushing adventure into the preview guide. Winters are fortunately kind of light relative to most seasons, and this winter in particular is completely dominated by sequels, so I won’t be approaching the back-breaking thirty episode flood of fall. There’s still plenty to cover though, and so I’ll be releasing my thoughts in installments.

Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

First off, here’s the link to the preview guide itself, where you can check out my condensed thoughts on all the shows so far. Blurbs I particularly recommend checking out would be Yuri Kuma Arashi, where I dig into some of the already-apparent symbolism (more of that available in my full episode post from yesterday), and Saekano, where I talk briefly about a recent anime trend I can’t friggin’ stand. My immediate scores for everything are included in the list below (yay, scores), and clicking on any title will jump you to that episode’s full post. Please enjoy!

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