Anime · End Of Year

Izzy Stars’ Animes of 2016 (Part 1)

And the EOY bonanza continues with the best part, anime. Part 1 of it. Mostly light on spoilers for all of these animes but be careful and especially so if you want to watch a show but don’t want to know any real details about it before you start.

I should stress just how much anime has meant to me this year. I watched 8 animes in 2015, given about half the year to do so. I watched one anime in full before this. I have 26 anime TV shows that I watched over the entirety of this year, old and new. I have spent a lot of time falling in love with this medium (MEDIUM NOT A GENRE KLAXON), embracing the often weird and hilarious plots, getting attached to well-drawn animated characters, and so I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how I’m going to write this particular post and sum it all up. And I’ve decided I’m going to go for a highly competitive rank – seriously, all of the top 15 shows in this list I would class as incredible entertainment and most of the rest are no slouch either.

I’m also going to do separate tallies for my all-time anime rank and ranking only anime who actually aired new episodes in 2016. And I’m going to say little things about the music and which are the best characters before talking about it as a whole. And probably most of interest to anyone who’s not into anime, I’m going to give each show a rating that I’m tentatively calling, a Tentacle Rating. What that actually means is that it’s a sliding scale on how weird and/or steeped in Japanese culture the show actually is, meaning how accessible it may be to Western audiences who aren’t into anime like myself. 0/10 and the anime in question could probably be remade as a Western TV series with basically no changes and become a huge Western hit. 10/10 and the show is probably sporting all kinds of unusual Japanese culture barriers and probably does have actual tentacles somewhere in its plot. It’s about this time that I should probably reiterate that this list contains no hentai. Because I don’t watch that shit.

To show you how it’s actually going to work, I’m going to do The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya, one of my favourite anime series of all time, the first one I ever watched in full and consequently the only one that hasn’t received this EOY treatment from me as I only started including anime in 2015 when it was clear it was going to be a big part of my watching habits. I recently rewatched this and its accompanying film, The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya for December and I loved it just as much as the first time.

The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya

Anime Rank: #2 in All Time

Genre: Sci-fi/slice-of-life/uncategorizable

Tentacle Rating: 5/10 – It certainly has some weird parts to it but nothing that really outdoes a sci-fi show from the West, the 5 points are mostly from the actions of Haruhi being a bit sketchy morally in some episodes. The Japanese culture notes are pretty accessible, this was one of the biggest animes of the 00s after all.

Music: Very incredible music. You should be familiar with Super Driver, something that I think, after re-examining, is my favourite anime opening of all time. The lyrics are inspiring (‘we’ve never experienced it so let’s go do it’ is the theme), its sonically brilliant and it’s exciting. There’s also Boken Desho Desho, the sweet first opening, the anime ending that became a meme dance at one point, Hare Hare Yukai, and even the second ending song Tomare! brings me to chills. And that’s not all, during one episode and one I think is incredibly important for Haruhi’s character development, she fills in for a school band and sings the full version of GOD KNOWS which is probably one of the best anime songs ever created through having incredible guitar and is, I believe, currently the record-holder for ‘most Youtube views on an anime song’.

Best Girl Characters: There’s five main ones and it’s so hard to choose a favourite, even discounting recurring favourites like Ryoko Asakura, who once adorned my forum and Skype pics for absolutely ages and Tsuruya, who has green hair and is just incredibly weird. Kyon, the main guy, is one of the most sarcastic and funny characters I’ve ever seen in a TV show, Yuki Nagato has also often been in my avatars and I’m sort of planning to put her back there soon, she has incredible powers and it’s always amazing whenever she speaks. And then there’s Haruhi herself. Probably one of the most complicated and discussed anime characters, she’s a complete ass to everyone around her and yet she’s only trying to make the world more fun and you see a lot of growth from her over the course of the series. Albeit it’s growth of her learning to slowly become a decent person but still, it’s a lot of progression.

I’m also going to liberally quote from anime youtuber Gigguk, who’s probably the best anime youtuber out there, from his ‘If Anime Descriptions were Accurate’ video, because I just can’t resist his style of writing and I often hope it’s rubbing off on me:

It’s like an anime set in Nazi Germany, except Hitler wasn’t just a ruthless dictator, but a hyperactive twat as well. And Nazi Germany was a highschool. And there were time travellers, espers and aliens and a sarcastic git monologuing about it every 5 seconds. Scratch that, it’s nothing like Nazi Germany. Except the Hitler part.

The Melancholy Of Haruhi Suzumiya is a genre-fluid show that attempts to parody and catch off-guard all of the anime tropes that were pervading the anime world in the mid-00s. By being so successful, it spawned an entirely new load of anime tropes for slice-of-life mixed with sci-fi shows. There is a lot of intrigue, a lot of danger, but it is mostly a group of friends having fun in the weirdest possible ways while protecting the world from earth-shattering events. The first and second season intertwine in a chronological order that has a number of arc based plots where lots of serious stuff happens (there’s two big ones in Melancholy, more sci-fi based, and Sigh, which is more character based and sorts out Haruhi) but there’s also more experimental episodes outside of that. Like Someday In The Rain, a story entirely about basically nothing but the characters talking. Or Endless Eight, the same episode repeated eight times (with a Groundhog Day-like plot, mind you) where you can show your endurance. Or The Adventures of Mikuru Asahina, the first episode I saw, a completely bizarre venture about an anime being as shit as it possibly can and therefore being awesome. Or just some normal episodes of normal sci-fi events happening. As you do. The interactions between the characters as they weave their way through such great plots is what endears it to me and that’s before we even get to the movie, The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya. The movie on its own is a great reason to watch this series (as you need to watch at least part of the series to understand the plot of the movie sadly) as it’s one of my favourite movies ever. I may have mentioned it a few times in the movie forum even. Unlike the 20 minute long anime, it’s a huge, nearly 3 hour long epic that involves time travel, parallel worlds and big dilemmas about the premise of the entire series. It also basically concludes all of the character development necessary. Nevertheless, ever since it aired in 2010, the anime world has been pining for a season 3 that hasn’t materialised yet. There’s material out there so I hope they do it eventually, until then, this is some of the best TV I’ve ever seen.

Anyway, onto the actual list of anime. Starting with the worst:

26. Hundred

Anime Rank: #35 in all time, #9 in shows airing in 2016

Genre: “Sci-fi” (but really harem)

Tentacle Rating: 7/10 – I really don’t know what’s going on with all the big ass weapons and the vibe of a high-school being the first line of defense against humanity. Not to mention the little sister character who seems weirdly into the MC (main character) and your standard inappropriate misunderstandings that lead to boob grabbing, and well, everyone is weirdly into the MC despite him being so bland I have no clue what his name is and I don’t care to look it up. Because it’s that sort of show.

Music: In an unusual twist, I found the OP annoying and don’t remember anything about any other music.

Best Girl Characters: Only one stood out as being worthwhile. Emilia Crossfade (silver-haired girl in that pic) was fairly interesting because she pretended to be a boy at first, albeit with a paper-thin disguise only the MC couldn’t see through, and still couldn’t see through when I stopped watching. Shame I started watching at the same time an anime that was far better that ALSO contained a silver-haired girl called Emilia that I really liked. Sorry Crossfade.

If you can’t tell, Hundred is BAD. The only anime on here where I couldn’t and didn’t want to make it to the end. In fact I made it all of three episodes. It’s far worse than its western show with a similar name, it’s often been called ‘the show called Hundred because you’ve seen 99 shows like it already’. In fact I only picked it up because I’d heard that it was generic and I was feeling like I wanted to test how fun generic anime could be, seeing as I like most anime tropes in general shows. I did not like this. The stupidity of the main character not realising his best friend who is getting all embarrassed about changing in front of him and has a high voice isn’t actually a boy was just mind-boggling, the plot was set in some future place with machines and mechas and everyone has a special weapon they call their ‘Hundred’ (which has no numerical value, to mess with me even further), there was a student council president who was a stuck up bitch, there was nothing new brought to the table with it and I bailed out as soon as I was sure I didn’t want to watch any more. I pretty much included it here to prove I don’t like all anime.

25. Monster Musume (Everyday Life With Monster Girls)


Anime Rank: #34 in all time

Genre: “Slice-Of-Life” / Ecchi Harem

I think I need to invoke Gigguk here super early

*plays slow classical music* Every so often, there comes a show that breaks the pre-conceived norms and challenges your perception of the world. What is acceptable, what isn’t acceptable? Why is it that the rules of society are shaped the way they are, and how did social convention evolve to lead us to where we are now? These questions and more play an intricate part in understanding why we think the way we do. Which is why today, I present to you… Animals, you’d like to f***


Tentacle Rating: 15/10 – f*** it, we’re breaking the scale early. I trust you can understand why, it’s like the makers of this saw the previous weirdest show in existence and thought ‘Let’s try and one-up that’. Why am I even admitting I’ve watched this show to people I want to like and respect me? For self-depreciative comedy, Izzy, that’s why.

Music: Yeah, the opening for this one is rather good. It has a pretty great progression near the, ahem, climax of the opening and it showing the six girls in order several times over really appeals to my sense of order. And nothing else!

Best Girl Characters: Papi, the half-bird is rather cute (and produced what is simultaneously the show’s best and worst moment, serious NSFW warning but it is hilarious) and the er… spider-girl is surprisingly intelligent and calculating. So those two.

I kept seeing this in Crunchyroll adverts and kind of wanted to check it out. Like with Hundred, to see how I actually enjoyed it. And, despite its low position here, I actually finished it in a weekend, probably the fastest of any on this list. See, it’s not bad, it’s just middling. In quality. The main character is a disaster of a blandfest, his name could be anything and the only thing I like about that is that the girls all call him Darling so often the intention is probably that you forget his name. I have. But like… everything about the rest of it was… surprisingly okay. It’s a world where many different half-human people exist and they break up the weird thoughts you’re having and sexual innuendos with surprisingly mature plots about the struggle and discrimination half-spiders and half-snakes and half-birds and centaurs actually face in this world. And someone wants to kill the MC. But it’s mostly light-hearted fun. With a lot of ‘near-nudity’. So it’s also incredibly lewd. Shall we move swiftly on?

24. School Days


Anime Rank: #33 in all-time

Genre: Slice-Of-Life/Harem

Tentacle Rating: Either 6/10 or 8/10 depending on what you think the intention of this series was. If it was supposed to be a normal show that got way out of hand, then the latter. If it was intentional, it could be a pretty well-done dark horror but it’s still from a visual novel and it’s about high school teenagers getting it on with each other so…

Music: Pretty average really, there was barely any that I remember

Best Girl Characters: They’re all pretty awful people but I think Sekai was originally my favourite.

Gigguk:

Man f***s anything with a vagina, it doesn’t end well


That’s an understatement for one of the most infamous animes ever. But I won’t say anything about what actually happened except behind spoilers and I won’t even say the details behind those, so you can freely highlight if you don’t care about watching the entire show to get the shock of what happens at the end. Because I didn’t really know. And that made it kind of better for me. In fact once it had finished, I almost called it a masterpiece. Lots of people consider this the worst anime ever. It is several episodes of a guy turning from a normal high school kid into the most awful person ever as he sleeps with all the girls that are available to him and then ignores them while he moves onto the next one. So it is kind of a dark realistic look at what would literally happen if some of the wish fulfilment harem animes where tons of people want to sleep with you was actually taken advantage of by some bast*rd. And that last episode kind of made it all worth it. I did have to keep reevaluating it downwards though as there is so much that is dull and generic about it before you get to that. Incredibly unique anime, but unique for a lot of the wrong reasons.

23. New Game


Anime Rank: #31 in all time, #8 in anime airing in 2016

Genre: Slice-Of-Life

Tentacle Rating: 2/10 – Finally, something that looks like a normal show to have admitted to watching. To be fair, Monster Musume and School Days are two of the most infamous among even the anime community but it’s really relieving to get to something other people could know I’ve watched and don’t go ‘why did you watch that shit’. New Game has a lot in it about Japanese work culture which is the reason for the two points but it’s completely innocent and cute.

Music: I recall the OP for this one sounded incredibly like the one from School Live from last year, almost down to the same beats – yet they seem to have no apparent connection. It has some great trumpets.

Best Girl Characters: Aoba, the main character is a real cutie, and I also like the dour sarcastic Okinawan Umiko, for always thinking what I’m thinking.

Despite portraying the staff of a gaming company who are exclusively female, New Game is both an entry into the ‘cute girls doing cute things’ genre that I can just watch forever if the mood really takes me and a good look at Japanese workplace culture. Aoba is a new employee at this gaming company and they are making a new game for which she is going to be overworked and underpaid for but she has several friendly girl work colleagues to help her along and have a lot of fun, including sleeping in the office and spending your entire life at work, in order to make a long-awaited sequel to the game she loved as a kid. There’s a few lesbian undertones between a couple of characters but there’s not really much else to say, it’s just a bundle of positivity and that’s good enough for me most of the time. I did enjoy spending some time with this in October, and it was the first anime I wrote about on my blog. Decent but there’s so much good ahead of it. And the real good starts now.

22. Cowboy Bebop


Anime Rank: #30 in all-time

Genre: Sci-fi/space western/film noir A new genre unto itself

Tentacle Rating: 0/10 – it isn’t one of the world’s most popular and enduring anime for no reason, it could easily be American-made and very little would change. It’s kind of Citizen Kane + Star Trek + something else noir-y and western-y and space-rust-y. Like, this is the sort of anime I’d recommend to basically every TV-show watcher here because it could basically be sitting alongside X-Files or Twin Peaks in the classic stakes.

Music: A lot of people like the opening, steeped as it is in retro film sound but I’m not so keen on it myself

Best Girl Characters: Faye Valentine, obviously. And Edward is pretty crazy.

Cowboy Bebop.. it’s loved by nearly everyone and yet it’s very low on this list. I had a bit of trouble getting through it myself. There were several excellent episodes, don’t get me wrong, Jamming With Edward, Bohemian Rhapsody and My Funny Valentine spring to mind (the episode titles are pretty much all named after classic songs or a musical genre) but the episodic style didn’t leave me wanting more when the episode ended so I took ages to get through all the episodes. It’s something I feel will benefit from me rewatching knowing sort of what’s going to happen in each episode. And maybe watching the film. The characters are all very watchable, Spike is a lovely calculating maniac, Edward actually is a maniac, Jet is a cool straight man and Faye introduces a lot of necessary conflict to the show. And there’s definitely some excellence in there – if you’re a fan of film noir or realistic sci-fi there’s a lot to love here. It didn’t capture my attention as much as I wanted it to but it’s objectively very good. Just subjectively I have 21 less reputable shows I want to put ahead of it.

21. Bleach (season 1)


Anime Rank: #29 in all-time

Genre: Thriller Action Adventure Shonen

Tentacle Rating: 3/10, it’s one of the most popular animes in the west for a reason but it does have plenty of weird death and spirit world things going on.

Music: The opening to the first season, Asterisk by Orange Range is, despite me never hearing it originally, captures the early-mid 00s rock rap sound so effortlessly it feels so nostalgic. And kind of Gorillaz. So naturally I love it.

Best Girl Characters: Orihime, because I found out in the second episode that she’s the Leekspin girl. That site that has Ievan Polkka on repeat and an anime girl spinning a leek around like a clean version of… that other site. And she’s also pretty good in the show itself. Rukia and Chad are also pretty cool, to be fair. And the story’s only really just started so any of them could become great.

Whenever you hear about anime, it’s inevitable that someone will bring up the big 3, Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach. I.e. fighting anime that have become huge in the West because they appeal to kids with time to watch anime and subsequently a generation has grown up with this as the anime they know. Bleach is the only one of those that has finished (Naruto might have finished this year I don’t know, I recall hearing something about a final last episode so maybe that’s not true anymore). It also seemed like the one I’d like the most as it seemed to be slightly more mature than the others. So at a time when I was very busy with essays, I was watching the first season of this to help me get through it. I stopped at the end of season 1 as it seemed a natural place to stop – as there are 14 or so seasons it’ll be quite a bit of work to carry it on but I do plan to pick it back up at some point or other. It’s a story about shinigami, the dead spirits of Japanese folklore, who get rid of bad spirits called Hollows and help people pass on to the next world. And Ichigo, the ginger protagonist is one of these and wields a huge sword and there are all kinds of powers behind the scenes and it seems like a lot is going down, the first season is him and his friends defending their school and neighbourhood from Hollows but the second season promises a gear change. Rather fun for what I watched and at least I have part of one of the big three under my belt now.


20. Fate/Stay Night (2006)

Anime Rank: #27 in all-timeGenre: Fantasy battle royale

Tentacle Rating: 7/10 – The tropes it takes from Western legends are presented in a rather unusual way, many of the magic abilities take form through tentacle shapes (instantly bumping this rating up no matter how magic and airy and wispy they are) and unlike its remakes and successors, this adaptation stays more true to the original visual novel’s mission of picking a romantic girl for Shirou, the main character, to end up with.

Music: I adore the music for this – it’s very ‘old-sounding’ stuff, with quiet themes that slowly get more powerful and fill the atmosphere of the story. It’s the best thing about this version of Fate/Stay Night. Kishi Ou No Hokori and Unmei No Yoru are emotional and magical sounding choral/instrumental pieces that just exude true beauty.

Best Girl Characters: There’s another Fate/Stay Night coming so I’ll expand more on the characters there but this version gives me a lot more Sakura and Rider and I appreciate that because both are good – I’m quite hyped for the upcoming Heaven’s Feel adaptation. Rin and Saber are of course excellent and Saber gets a lot as this is her route specifically, Shirou is just even more hot-headed and stupid than he is in the other version, as you can maybe tell from the image I’ve put in here. It’s a balance, but mostly it’s the same characters.

The Fate franchise. I’ve really fallen in love with it. Or at least its major anime adaptations. However the first two I watched were the more recent versions made by the anime studio Ufotable and this, made in 2006 by a less talented anime studio, is a bit of a runt of the franchise. It was big when it came out I’ve heard but it’s been surpassed. Exactly what it is requires some explaining. Fate/Stay Night was originally a visual novel that seems to have required the player to play it through three times, once on a route called ‘Fate’, the second time on a route called ‘Unlimited Blade Works’, and the third time on a route called ‘Heaven’s Feel’. Each told the same basic story in a different way with focus going to different characters while killing others off earlier in the run than they might have on other routes, it is a battle royale after all.

Now when they came to make this anime adaptation, they mainly adapted the Fate route, the first and most important, but included elements from the other two to create one story. This would have worked well if the popularity of Fate ended there, but it didn’t. A couple of years ago, an adaptation focusing solely on the Unlimited Blade Works part of Stay Night was released by Ufotable to follow up their successful prequel show of Fate/Zero. I of course watched these three, the two Stay Nights and Fate/Zero, in precisely the reverse order. Because I got mixed up and just went for the Fate/Stay Night that was on Crunchyroll not realising it would be the newer one. Or even that there was a newer one at the time. So eventually I came back and watched the original anime adaptation because I just wanted more Fate. Even though I’d heard it would be a bit bad.

The first few episodes were almost exactly the same, with minor differences, to the 2014 UBW adaptation. I nearly didn’t continue. But it diverged eventually and gave far more attention to Saber than the other adaptations had, which I like, as she’s fantastic. It’s hard to love Fate and not love Saber. And one episode about the middle, Tearing The Sky, gave me this wonderful visual image of her facing off against Rider and the sky lighting up in their colours of blue and purple and that was something that I didn’t get from UBW.

On the whole it moved a lot slower and can’t focus on its plot as well as the later Fate adaptations do, so it is a lot lower. The visuals also don’t help it as well, I must say, being used to the incredible visual spectacle that is Unlimited Blade Works, this is quite a step down, even if it was probably good for 2006.

19. Pokémon (Indigo League + First Half Of Orange Islands – i.e. first 100 episodes)

Anime Rank: #26 in all-time

Genre: Pokémon/ fighting battle shonen

Tentacle Rating: 4/10 – Like, it is Pokémon but Pokésins has made me aware of some really questionable episodes, plus the entire enslaving animals to make them fight for you thing. If Pokémon wasn’t such a familiar thing this is what I’d give it.

Music: I trust we all know the Pokémon theme song. That’s quite good. There’s nothing else that I really think is amazing. I mean, a lot of the music was westernised for the dub. Side note: The only things I watch dub in are Cowboy Bebop, sometimes Haruhi, and this. Because it’s just far too hard to imagine Pokemon in Japanese voices now, although I did watch it in sub for the banned episodes.

Best Girl Characters: Brock is best girl. This is the truth. Ash and Misty are far too young and annoying to be likeable. In fact most of the fun with them I get is from snarking at Ash’s stupidity. Oh, and Team Rocket are all excellent characters. I always hope they win.

One more Gigguk quote? I do really like them:

Elemental cock fighting is legal and no one bats an eye. Join Ash Ketchum on his journey of never winning, never achieving his dreams and always falling short because that’s f***ing life, kids

 

One oversight I made in the Games section was that of Pokémon Go. I’d say that that’s because it’s a mobile game and I don’t tend to count those as games but that’d be far too snobby. Because I really enjoyed Pokémon Go for what it was in the summer. In that I’d never really gotten into a Pokémon game fully before and despite watching a few episodes and collecting a few stickers in my childhood, I didn’t have all that much to do with Pokémon. So I took the opportunity of briefly getting obsessed with catching pretend Psyducks and Goldeens in churches and on the beach, at the same time as I was mostly doing my dissertation, I used Pokémon episodes as a half coping mechanism, half wanting more of Pokémon. I got to episode 100 before my desire to watch any more ran out, but I enjoyed the show for what it was. The Youtube series of Pokésins really helped keep my interest going (to look out for the things that I guessed the host of that would notice ahead of time) and some episodes were pretty funny and enjoyable and yes, watching the first part of an old kid’s series was a pretty great part of my summer. And like, the episodes with Eevee and Gastly/Gengar and that one with the ridiculous exam were pretty funny.

18. Orange

Anime Rank: #24 in all time, #7 in anime airing in 2016

Genre: Romance shoujo with “time travel”

Tentacle Rating: 1/10 – Could be a romantic hit here. And it’s very clean and wholesome.

Music: I got rather into the OP, Hikari No Hahen, it has a beautiful lead-in riff and it’s fairly upbeat.

Best Girl Characters: Hagita is the sort of teenager I always wanted to be in my friendship group, he’s funny but always dry and deadpan. And he made this good watching. And Suwa was one of the more perfectly brilliant examples of a human I’ve seen in anime, a huge bro, kind etc. A rare example of multiple male characters being better than the female ones in anime – I wonder if the different intended audience had anything to do with this.

I largely watched Orange because it looked like an interesting shoujo and I wanted to watch one of those (in opposition to shonen, shoujo is anime that has their target audience set to girls instead of boys). Mainly for the time travel aspect. Which ended up being only a device to drive the love story and the explanation they finally gave for it at the end of the show was less than satisfactory “It’s like the Bermuda triangle, we send messages around the world, they go through the Bermuda triangle and end up with ourselves in Japan 10 years earlier but to be fair, the story didn’t need the time travel explained, so I didn’t really dwell on it and I’m more disappointed that they wasted time trying to explain it instead of just leaving it unexplained. The story itself? We have main character girl Naho who’s been afflicted with the disease of denseness that normally affects male main characters. She is very shy and unconfrontational as a teenager so at the age of 27 she and her friends have a lot of regrets, so she sends her past self a letter telling her what went wrong and how to fix it. Cryptically of course. And that was a fairly fun part of the show, as events came up and the young Naho had to struggle with what to do now she knows what will happen – although it seems she never reads ahead. The other fun part of the show was how nice and together the main friendship group was, really pleasant watching as they stick together through all the trials that come up.

17. Dusk Maiden Of Amnesia

Anime Rank: #22 in all-time

Genre: Comedy mystery supernatural romance (verging on horror at times)

Tentacle Rating: 5/10 – could work as a western show, has a few weird parts and characters being a bit ‘sexually liberal’, but all in all not too weird, not too normal

Music: The reason I watched this in the first place was of course because I got obsessed with the remix of Requiem, which will be making a major splash in my songs EOY. The original is great and emotional too. The opening also had a slightly creepy atmospheric J-pop-rock theme. So I liked that too.

Best Girl Characters: Yuuko Kanoe, the girl in the Requiem imagery, is easily the best character in here, she’s got a great personality and the story does revolve around her. That was a major strength of this. I could take or leave the rest of the characters and one of the other members of the cast is very annoying. Yuuko drives this show.

This is the anime that I watched first in the year after finishing Love Live, the last one I watched for my 2015 list, so it’s the one I’m having the hardest time remembering things about. But I definitely remember it was funny (due to Yuuko’s love of practical jokes) and creepy in pretty much equal measure. The main characters go to a school that has a huge rundown spooky wing (so you barely see anyone but the four main students) where a ghost was believed to have died years ago and the first thing that you see is that the main characters have started a school club to investigate paranormal happenings. The story is then about unravelling the mystery of the ghost. The best part I remember is the first half of the first episode where I, knowing nothing about the show, had the exact situation laid out to me in a few very memorable scenes to reveal that Yuuko is the ghost and it’s her story about her love with Teiichi that’s going to drive the rest of the show. When Requiem finally came on in the show itself I kind of broke down into tears. It’s not got the most standout plot overall but it’s a solid show.

16. ReLIFE

Anime Rank: #21 in all-time, #6 in anime airing in 2016

Genre: Slice-Of-Life with one element of science fiction, goes into drama

Tentacle Rating: 5/10 for the plot being ‘man in his 20s goes back to highschool looking like a teenager with this new drug’. Less dodgy than it sounds for a variety of reasons but I think that premise would need some altering if it were to be a non-anime thing.

Music: OP didn’t really stand out to me that much, I suppose it was alright. Similarity to Orange’s OP, in fact a lot of things about this anime and that were similar and I was watching them at the same time.

Best Girl Characters: Well the main character is pretty good as he’s suitably snarky although he’s not quite at Kyon level. Yoake is uncannily similar to Koizumi though, so I get creeped out by him in the same way. And An is a very fun character. Mostly a very pleasant cast.

ReLife comes at about the middle of my rank in pretty much all situations. It’s fairly middle-of-the-road as far as the shows I watch go, enjoyable plot with a good driver for the plot, something that I bet some people would like to see implemented, an experimental new drug that makes adults look ten years younger so that they can go back to high school and have a second chance to ‘get the grades they need’ to have a better life. Because they’ve hit rock bottom. The main character has, and he’s going to be a test subject for this new drug to make sure it works. When he joins school it turns out he underestimates how much work high school is and hijinks ensure as his experience of life matters and apathetic attitude clashes with the enthusiasm and bright young minds in the school. And this anime uses a really cool ‘funny face’ that the characters use when they’re being mischievous or banterous with each other that I find just brilliant. There is quite a lot of development for everyone as the series goes and it ends on a very positive and happy point. I didn’t race through it but I enjoyed what was there and the drama it turns out was a good warm-up for some of the new drama I was going to face.

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One thought on “Izzy Stars’ Animes of 2016 (Part 1)

  1. Good post and pick :D. I’ve watched bleach, dusk maiden and fate 06. There are fillers in bleach and they aren’t well good. I like dusked maiden. It was fun to watch.

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