It’s that time of year again! Time for me to make sure everyone knows without a doubt which anime I enjoyed and didn’t the most that aired in 2016. Keep in mind a few rules: 1. If a show aired over multiple seasons I will talk about it in its concluding season, this includes shows like Gintama° that aired for 4 seasons with only 1 in 2016. Split-cour shows will be talked about in each season they aired. If I finished episode 1 a show will be talked about even if that’s as far as I got. I also won’t be counting movies or other products like Shelter, they must be a series consisting of at least 5 episodes that aired either weekly or biweekly. This is to make it easier for me to write and no matter how mind blowing Shelter was, I don’t feel right comparing it to shows that had 3 months to win me over. Now let’s get started!
Active Raid: Probably the biggest disappointment of the season for me. Character designs by Shun Saeki who does the art for the Food Wars! manga, Code Geass director and a few cast members I quite like (including Ari Ozawa as lead) but it just went nowhere and was really boring.
Aokana: Four Rhythm Across the Blue: This was a fun series that I thought was fun but not the greatest. I enjoyed the sport of Flying Circus as well as most of the characters though.
BBK/BRNK: Fairly typical shounen type series that I enjoyed but it requires a second season to full enjoy so I’ll hold my thoughts until that airs.
Dagashi Kashi: A series I really enjoyed. I loved the characters, the comedy and how it made learning about Japanese snacks fun. This is a series I want to continue just because I want more of the characters which is actually quite rare for me.
ERASED: I went really in-depth in my review so if you want to see why I think this series is painfully average you should read that. There’s not much I can say in a couple sentences though.
Gintama°: I spent a lot of late last year and most of this year catching up on Gintama and while a new season is about to start airing this was the latest at the time and it was pretty enjoyable. I watched it right after the previous seasons and still thought it was great.
Haikyuu!! 2: I loved this! I watched both seasons in a little over a month which was quite surprising considering I’m not much of a sports fan. While volleyball is the only sport I’ve ever somewhat tried getting into it’s still not something I normally cared about.
Haruchika: I liked Sound! Euphonium a lot last year so I thought this would be a not as good but enjoyable version, I ended up being quite surprised with it not only being almost nothing like Euphonium but also one of the more enjoyable shows I watched this season.
KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!: How have you been on the internet anime community (assuming since you’re reading this) and haven’t watched this? I ended up binge watching the series afterwards and loved every moment! Here’s to season 2 being just as good!
Myriad Colors Phantom World: This was probably the worst KyoAni show I’ve finished but I thought it was fun. The story was a total mess (when it was actually brought up) and KyoAni’s usual visual flair just couldn’t save it.
Ojisan and Marshmallow: One of the best shorts I’ve ever seen. It actually works an overarching story which is somewhat unique for both shorts and slice-of-life anime.
Ooya-san wa Shishunki!: This was fun but not very memorable (glad I’m writing this at the end up the season instead of year like last year!). I liked the Komari-san characters making cameos in an episode and even now that’s all I really remember.
Osomatsu-san: I probably should have written about this last season since I dropped it at episode 6 but consistency I guess? I thought the first three episodes were really funny (especially all the references in episode 1 that got the studio in trouble) but other than that it got pretty stale for me. Gag series need a strong pull to keep me an Osomatsu-san just didn’t.
Teekyuu 7: It’s more Teekyuu.
Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle: Lerche decided to make an Asterisk War for that series’ off season but it was even more boring and put Ari Ozawa in a supporting role instead of main so I dropped it (although gave it 3 episodes since I had more trust in Lerche than A-1 to make a good anime).
Best: KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!. I went back and forth between this and Dagashi Kashi before settling. Konosuba never once had a point of me wanting to go do something else while Dagashi Kashi did have dud scenes (and the entirety of episode 1) which made my choice fairly easy after considering that.
Worst: Active Raid. What made this lower than Osomatsu or UBC or the forgettable Ooya-san (besides me being more lenient on shorts) was I had hype going in while the others not much. Sure I’ve loved pretty much everything else I’ve seen from Lerche and Osomatsu had that great start but Active Raid had staff that I’ve loved works from in the past and the voice work was the only thing I’d consider up to the standards I held anyone to.
And you Thought There was Never a Girl Online?: Picked up because of the name expecting some fun time waster but I ended up getting a pretty enjoyable series. It’s not amazing by any stretch of the word but I looked forward to watching it each week.
Anne-Happy: I watch a lot of cute girls doing cute things shows so I found this quite boring as it had an interesting set-up but did nothing with it. You could have put the episodes in almost any other CGDCT show and it would have fit. The characters were all stereotyped too and there were much better shows in the genre to watch this season even.
Bakuon!!: K-On meets bikes. I already went over how much this series borrows from K-On! although it was still enjoyable. The character designs were pretty bad and voices could have been better but I don’t have any major complaints.
Bungo Stray Dogs: Wasn’t too sure what to except here but as I like writing (obviously) I decided to give it a shot and really enjoyed it (Lucy best character). I liked basing powers off of the author’s works and, at the time of writing this, I’m looking forward to the second half.
Flying Witch: A nice relaxing series that, surprisingly, wasn’t boring despite it being just following a family’s daily lives. There is also surprisingly little magic in a series with “witch” in the title. The soundtrack really made this series for me with one of my favourite of the season.
Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto: I picked up the manga on a whim and really liked it so of course I was excited by this series and lucky for me, it didn’t disappoint. This is probably also the first time I’ve seen an anime with most the source but not all under my belt as while the anime was airing the final volume had not released in English so I had yet to read it.
High School Fleet: From the first episode I really liked this show (which seemed like a unique opinion) and while the first few episodes were pretty repetitive I thought everything after that was great (especially the ending) and it ended up being one of my favourites of the season.
Joker Game: I love history (especially World War 2 and Cold War stuff) so seeing an anime based off spies in Japan during WW2 got me super excited but unfortunately the series ended up being super boring and I just couldn’t get myself to keep up and dropped it.
Kiznaiver: Before starting this the only Mari Okada show I had enjoyed was Anohana (which is one of my favourite anime of all time) with me not enjoying Nagiasu or Toradora (though I gave Nagiasu another shot and plan on doing the same with Toradora) and decided to give it a shot because of the promotion Crunchyroll was giving it. It ended up being one of my favourite shows this season so I’m glad I gave it a shot!
Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear: I can’t recall any series that was so great through the entire thing and the finale made me wish I had never picked it up. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great show I just wish they didn’t care about giving an ending like Flying Witch instead of making a crappy anime original that goes against what had been set-up of the character’s personality through the show.
The Lost Village: When the season started I had just finished Cage of Eden which I really liked (aside from the ending) and the synopsis invoked a similar feeling of a group of people being stranded in an uncharted area. This anime ended up being the train wreak situation for me where I just couldn’t look away. Some people enjoyed it but aside from music, I couldn’t find much to enjoy.
My Hero Academia: I’m a pretty big fan of the manga so I was looking forward to this just because I like seeing action in colour and moving more than black and white and still. While I wouldn’t call it bad the pacing kind of killed the series for me, it took way too long for anything to happen and once it did it took a while to progress. Again, not bad but slightly disappointing.
Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: If this show was just the first half repeated I probably would have considered it anime of the season but the second half is so dumb it pretty much ruins the show for me. While watching it felt like they added an antagonist because the writers realized “killing all the Kabane” wasn’t feasible so they needed some way to end the story.
Space Patrol Luluco: Trigger Cinematic Universe! While I had only watched Kill la Kill and Little Witch Academia (as well as was watching Kiznaiver) so I didn’t get all the references it was still a fun adventure following a girl’s first love.
Usakame: A longer, less funny Teekyuu.
Best: Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto.. I fell in love with this series when I picked up the first volume just after release and the anime didn’t disappoint. I can’t think of a single joke that just didn’t work and the series has weirdly overarching plot points (such as Sera never wearing clothes after the wasp incident) that make it feel even more like we’re just watching someone’s than random jokes with reoccurring characters like a lot of school-life comedies can feel.
Worst: Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear. Joker Game came close but the ending of Kumamiko going completely against what had been set-up of the characters (and not even being a good ending on top of that) made me have to put it here. At least Joker Game was obvious from the start and didn’t waste my time.
Active Raid Season 2: I dropped this after an episode. Not really sure why I even picked it up with S1 being my most disliked anime of winter but the fact Asami barely shows up and the show (at least with episode 1) was such a drastic change turned me off.
Amanchu: A nice relaxing series about a girl moving to a new town, making a friend and joining the diving club with her. The visuals are really nice to look at but I can’t imagine the girl’s uniforms being comfortable.
Food Wars: Second Plate: This season just didn’t do it for me. I’d say that it’s better than nothing but that’s about it. Hopefully if there’s a season 3 they’re able to get more episodes so it doesn’t feel as rushed.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance: I didn’t like this season as much as the previous. The shortness isn’t necessarily an issue but it ended on a “go read the source!” note while season 1 was more of a “it’s fine to end here but the story is clearly not done” done making me wish this season just never happened.
The High School Life of a Fudanshi: As someone who doesn’t read or watch a lot of BL I’m not sure why I watched a short about a straight guy who likes BL but I did. It was pretty good for what it was but I’m not sure I’d suggest anyone watch it. It will only take ~20 minutes to watch the series but there’s better shorts you could watch in that time.
Love Live! Sunshine!!: I’m a huge fan of the Love Live! franchise so I was excited to be with Aqours for most of their journey and being able to watch the anime as it aired was great. This series was basically a much better version of the first so what more could I ask for?
Mob Psycho 100: I also was bored with this after 1 episode. I originally dropped it but decided to give it another shot. The only real reason I finished was for Reigen as I was still bored through the entire thing. The visuals and soundtrack were good but if that’s all I cared about I’d go on Tumblr or Sakugaboru and looks up GIFs while listening to the soundtrack.
New Game: A fun little series that happens to take place in a game development office. I’m pretty neutral on this series as I had fun but I don’t feel like I’ll really remember anything about it come this time next year. Far worse cute girls shows around though.
Orange: One of my favourite manga but was probably stretched a little too thinly. The advantages of anime to manga really don’t do much for Orange and the manga’s art never takes a sudden turn for the worst so while I enjoyed it, I’d rather just read the manga.
Planetarian: 5 episodes made a kinetic novel I love into an anime I love. Admittedly, it’s hard to screw up such a short linear story (especially as a net anime without having to worry about TV time restrictions) but I don’t think that discredits David Production at all. Key’s post-apocalyptic story is one of my favourites so I’m really glad those who are unable to play the VN on Steam for whatever reason are able to get almost the same experience.
Re:Zero: I watched a few episodes because I have friends who were talking about how great it was (as well as the internet in general) but at episode 6 when a (I’m assuming) fairly major plot-twist happens and I didn’t care how it would turn out I decided I’m probably wasting my time watching it as I’m clearly not invested.
Regalia: The Three Sacred Stars: I was on the verge of this show for the first 3 episodes, then the broadcast got postponed and when it returned I couldn’t bring myself to rewatch but I felt it was necessary to continue as I couldn’t remember what happened all that well so I dropped it.
ReLIFE: This had an interesting release of all the episodes going up day 1 (which I think gave it a huge viewer boost in the west due to binge culture) and I ended up enjoying it so much I went and got caught up in the manga afterwards. On the surface it seems like a typical high school slice of life series but the main character being 28 but looking 18 to redo his senior year of high school adds some interesting twists and drama.
Rewrite: RERERERE so many Re’s! I really dislike this adaptation, it was rushed, confusing, and I almost wish it just wasn’t made. I actually liked a lot of the anime original content but the ending was garbage and I disliked them rushing through the character routes.
Sweetness & Lightning: Probably the cutest show of the season. I love food shows and father/daughter relationships are something I don’t see in anime a lot so that was two things going for it right away but the animation was pretty good as were the characters. Whoever decided to get actual children to voice the children needs a raise.
There’s a Problem With This Art Club!: a fun gag series about a problem art club. I like a lot of the voice cast and the jokes were usually funny but it wasn’t anything really standout.
Best: Love Live! Sunshine!!. Not only did it improve on the first series first season but was much better than pretty much anything else I’ve seen in a while. While episode 1 could have been improved by not trying to introduce all the characters, especially to just leave some like Kanan, Mari and Yoshiko until their proper episodes.
Worst: Rewrite. The advantage of doing an anime original story is not having to rush scenes from the source and being able to better work other parts for the anime medium compared to visual novel. SO WHY WOULD THEY CRAM IN A BUNCH OF SCENES FROM THE VISUAL NOVEL THAT ENDED UP ADDING NOTHING AND BEING CONFUSING?! If I wasn’t watching this with my sister I very much doubt I would have completed this.
BBK/BRNK: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy: While the first season didn’t really end properly this one didn’t feel like it needed to exist. The villain was generic, there were way too many new teams to keep track of and the amount of content felt like a movie would have been fine for wrapping up the story.
Bungo Stray Dogs 2: The backstory was so boring I couldn’t finish episode 3. It didn’t help there were long conversations were faces just didn’t exist or we were staring at the back of heads and there was never any movement. This isn’t what I watched BSD for.
The Disastrous Life of Saiki K.: This was probably the funniest show I watched all year. The series is basically a Gintama in modern day that never got serious which was great. The cast were all pretty typical anime characters but the stories and jokes played off them so well it didn’t really matter.
Fate/Grand Order –First Order- : I’ve only seen F/SN UBW and as this is based off a mobile game which is trying to entice Fate fans to spend money it has a lot of fan service to stuff like Fate/Zero. I found the opening kind of boring and poorly explained. I liked the action stuff and would be willing to watch a –Second Order- if it ever releases.
Flip Flappers: I went into this show not really sure what to expect but really enjoyed what I got. At times it feels like someone had a really amazing acid-trip and decided to share the feeling with the world and others it’s a heartwarming story. There’s some interesting imagery as well as interesting ideas for episodes.
Girlish Number: This show started as my favourite of the season (I watched the first episode 3 or 4 times before episode 2 aired) but it started running into issues I notice with some original anime: too many ideas, not enough time. Multi-episode arcs that had enough content to run at least 6 episodes were crammed into one or two, the second half of the show has little connection with the first half and Chitose went from a loveable, sarcastic bitch to a depressed, boring, washed-up has been (not literally) which also harmed my enjoyment.
Haikyu!! 3rd Season: I may not have enjoyed this as much as the previous season but it was still great fun. I wasn’t sure what to expect with a whole season focusing on one match but luckily it didn’t let down.
Izetta the Last Witch: A lot of people will agree this show went downhill pretty quick. While I’m in that camp I don’t think it went as low as a lot of people do and I do think it came back up later in the series. The fan service in the middle did feel a little out of place and the series itself felt like the writer couldn’t decide if they wanted to make a military, ecchi or magical girl anime and made an awkward combination of the 3.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable: I wasn’t too excited for this season as it was my least favourite part in the manga but something just clicked with me this time and I love it. This is a fairly different “adventure” as it stays in one town and focuses on how the Stand users of the town band together to stop a murderer who happens to be one of the greatest villains of all time.
Keijo!!!!!!!!: Enough exclamation marks? This show was surprisingly fun. I started expecting to have fun bashing it on Twitter but instead I had fun watching the characters and what kind of moves the mangaka pulled out of his ass (fitting). While a lot is still your typical sports anime, the comedy is top notch elevating the series.
Kiss Him Not me: I watch a lot of harem shows so a reverse harem seemed fun. While it was funny I don’t think I’d watch any future instalments or read the manga. Watching a harem’s main appeal is all the cute girls so when it’s guys (and one girl) it’s harder to ignore the bland cliché characters.
Lostorage Incited WIXOSS: I really liked the original WIXOSS series but too much changed for this series and it was also boring. The only advantage it really had was the characters were immediately more likeable than those in the first series but I doubt they’ll ever come close to the end.
Magic of Stella: There’s not much to talk about here. It’s a cute girls doing cute things show that had pretty good voice acting but nothing else to stand above the crowd.
My Wife is the Student Council President+: I’m not sure why I watched episode 1. I didn’t really like the first season and this was more of the same.
Nanbaka: What happened here? I was finding myself putting it off a lot since Tuesdays were busy for me then when I came back suddenly it wasn’t funny but all serious? I guess escaping from a prison and being caught can only be funny for so long and I’ve seen other shows like Gintama able to transition but it was just super boring here. I ended up just dropping it when I learned it wasn’t going back to the comedy.
Scorching Ping Pong Girls: I picked this up because I had nothing else to do the day it started and it was fun enough but the jokes started getting really old. One girl refers to girls by the type of panties they wear. Why? One girl has big boobs and wishes she didn’t. Man that’s funny and totally worth repeating multiple times an episode.
Sound Euphonium 2: Anyone who read my write-up from last year knows season one was one of my favourite shows of the year so needless to say I was really hyped for this. While it was still a great show I didn’t find it nearly as good as the previous season and I’m not sure why. Everything about the first season I loved is here so I’m not really sure why this one just didn’t click with me.
Teekyu 8: There was a lack of Teekyu this year and it was sad but this was Teekyu so it was good.
WWW.Working!!: I liked Working!! but this one was just boring. The characters weren’t as fun as the previous cast and I didn’t find the show as funny either.
Yuri!! on Ice: the reason this post was delayed because I wanted to finish this first. I really enjoyed this show but had 2 issues with it. 1. It focuses way too much on completive skating and we really if ever see practice or much bonding with the characters, something I like in stuff like Haikyu or Keijo!!!!!!!!. 2. I never really learned about figure skating, I have no idea what the difference is between a “lutz”, “toe loop” and “axle” compared to most other sports shows where I feel confident in my understanding of the sport.
Best: Flip Flappers. I had no idea what to expect getting into Flip Flappers and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I liked everything from the art style to the animation to the music to the characters. Everything. In my review I really had to nitpick to give negatives which I think is a great sign. I’m sad not a lot of people seemed to watch this and hope it picks up as time goes on.
Worst: Nanbaka. Not only was this show not all that funny from the start but when I decided to try getting back into it the show had completely changed to some serious show and I had no idea what it was trying to do. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t interesting I just didn’t care about anything.
Now time for my top 10 best and worst. Keep in mind: I won’t go over everything again because I’ve already written about each show at least once (if they were best/worst and I reviewed them that would be 4 times). Also remember just because a show made it as my best or worst from a season doesn’t mean it will make the overall list if other seasons had 10 that were so much better or worse. Without further ado, here we go!
10. The Lost Village
9. Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
8. Joker Game
7. Lostorage Incited WIXOSS
6. Active Raid
5. Active Raid 2
10. Haikyu!! 3rd Season
6. Dagashi Kashi
3. Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto.
2. Flip Flappers
1. Love Live! Sunshine!!