2016… The end of the Season!

Image courtesy via Pixiv

This post is brought you by Mikazuki Augus. While I’m gonna talk briefly regarding my picks for 2016 Anime Season, I had fun watching Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans… except for the ending of course!

01. Best Spring Anime in 2016…
– Kuromukuro (Winner)
– Kiznaiver (Runner-up)

So the winner for the Best Spring Anime is P.A.Works’ Kuromukuro because they did a surprising job on the mecha genre. I was surprised that it was actually understandable upon watching it.

But for the runner-up, I chose Kiznaiver because while it has stunning visuals, I feel that Studio Trigger needs to polish the story just a bit because it’s interesting to do a mystery genre anime.

02. Best Summer Anime in 2016…
– NEW GAME! (Winner)
– Mob Psycho 100 (Runner-up)

For Summer 2016, I chose NEW GAME! as the winner over Mob Psycho 100 because while it has a cute art-style courtesy from Dogakobo, NEW GAME! presents a positive yet realistic life of the video game industry. It’s grueling, but the characters are having fun making video games.

As for Mob Psycho 100, I place it as a runner-up because even though Bones recreated the surreal art-style from ONE’s manga, I feel that I wanna see more on the plot especially the nebulous evil organization which finally appeared on the last 2 or 3 episodes.

03. Best Fall Anime in 2016…
– Magical Girl Raising Project (Winner)
– Drifters (Runner-up)

While Fall 2016 is filled with heavy hitters like Sangatsu no Lion and Watashi ga Motete Dousunda, only two shows that I’ve selected as the winner and runner-up… and these two needed sequels.

I chose Magical Girl Raising Project as number one because it’s not just a deconstruction of the magical girl genre, but because Lerche handled well when it comes to suspense. On the other hand, Drifters was made second because while it has some stunning visuals and a good black comedy ala Kouta Hirano’s Hellsing, I feel that the world needs more explanation on why both Drifters and Ends are being treated as chess pieces by Murasaki and EASY, respectively.

04. Best Winter Anime in 2016…
– Kuzu no Honkai (Winner)
– Youjo Senki (Runner-up)

Finally, it’s time for Winter 2016 and for those who praised Kuzu no Honkai as one of the best, then congratulations because Lerche did an awesome job of adapting the most bitter love story from beginning to end. I have nothing to say about this.

As for Youjo Senki, Studio NUT did a great job on their first anime series, but I think it needs a sequel because the story is just getting started! I mean, Tanya Degurechaff wants to kill God or Being X for screwing her over!

05. Best anime sequel in 2016…
– Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen (Winner)
– Sound! Euphonium 2 and Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2 (Co Runner-ups)

However, Kuzu no Honkai would be trumped by Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu as the sequel becomes the number one of the best anime sequels in 2016. Studio DEEN did a magnificent job of closing the series out and I praise the whole cast like Tomokazu Seki and Akira Ishida for giving life to their respective characters, Yotarou and Yakumo Yurakutei.

As for both Sound! Euphonium 2 and Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2, they both look okay but both shows has some flaws. For Sound! Euphonium 2, I think Kyoto Animation made Asuka Tanaka’s mommy issues a bit longer to resolve. And as for Konosuba 2, I feel that having 10 episodes like the first season is a bit short.

06. Best spin-off anime in 2016…
– Love Live! Sunshine!! (Winner)
– ViVid Strike! (Runner-up)

For the best spin-off for 2016 Anime Season, I chose Love Live! Sunshine!! as 1st place while ViVid Strike! took 2nd.

Sure that ViVid Strike! brought back the grittiness of earlier Nanoha seasons, but I feel that Seven Arcs needs some polish on this spin-off. Heck, the ending feels a bit open and I was disappointed that the championship bout Fuuka Reventon and Einhart Stratos wasn’t shown.

But for Love Live! Sunshine!!, man I fell in love with the new group Aqours as Sunrise did a good job of fleshing out the members, not to mention putting more effort on the animated dance scenes than the previous two shows starring µ’s. Let’s hope that there’s more to come for Aqours and Love Live! Sunshine!! in the future!

07. Most overlooked anime in 2016…
– Active Raid -Mobile Assault Division, Unit 8- (Winner)
– Alderamin on the Sky (Runner-up)

When Active Raid was aired in January 2016, no one paid attention to this series. But when I watched both halves of the series, I feel that Active Raid needs more love because it not only gives shout-outs to the Metal Heroes series, but it’s Production IMS’ best titles in my opinion thanks in part with Code Geass director Goro Taniguchi. It has a good story, but it would be nice if Bandai pushed into promoting this series when it’s still airing!

Meanwhile for Alderamin on the Sky, it also needs more love because it not only has an interesting story, but the main characters are competent that they’re far better officers within the Katjvarna Empire. In fact, Chamille Kitra Katjvanmaninik wanted to change the corrupt empire from within, even as far as letting it crumble at the hands of the Kioka Republic who inherit Anarai Khan’s studies.

08. Sleeper hit anime in 2016…
– Girlish Number (Winner)
– Sakamoto desu ga? (Runner-up)

For the best sleeper hit anime in 2016, this award goes to Diomedia’s Girlish Number as they did a good job of showing the trials and tribulations of being a seiyuu. For those who watched Sore ga Seiyuu!, it’s similar to this show but Girlish Number adds more jab to the whole anime industry and its current trends. Yeah, I can’t help watching on how they almost derail an anime series.

As for Studio DEEN’s Sakamoto desu ga?, I’d say that it’s the best stylish gag show that they offered in 2016! C’mon, everything that Sakamoto does is awesome!

09. Best Manga Time Kirara anime adaptation in 2016…
– NEW GAME! (Winner)
– Urara Meirochou (Runner-up)

This season saw five Manga Time Kirara anime adaptations from Spring to Winter. Of all the five show, only two were selected and that’s NEW GAME! and Urara Meirochou.

While NEW GAME! is the clear winner, I would like to focus on Urara Meirochou as J.C.Staff did a good job on adapting it. I have to say that Urara Meirochou has a nice art-style, a good selection of characters like Chiya and Kon Tatsumi, and it has an interesting setting that shows various Japanese divinations.

10. Best Noitamina anime series in 2016…
– Fune wo Amu (Winner)
– Kuzu no Honkai (Runner-up)

Moving onto the best Noitamina show in 2016 and while the 1st half was terrible, the 2nd half put Fuji TV timeslot back to prominence with Fune wo Amu and Kuzu no Honkai airing in Fall and Winter, respectively!

While both shows are impressive, I chose Fune wo Amu over Kuzu no Honkai is because of personal taste. I felt more related in Fune wo Amu than Kuzu no Honkai and not only that, but Kuzu no Honkai was just a bit cringy with the whole NTR thing.

11. Worst anime series in 2016…
– Big Order (Winner)
– B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious and Hand Shakers (Co Runner-ups)

And for the worst show in 2016, that belonged to Big Order as Kadokawa and Asread fucked up the adaptation by rushing the story into a 10-episode anime series. What are they thinking? They should have adapted Big Order into a two-cour series much like Mirai Nikki!

As for the two runner-ups, B-Project: Kodou*Ambitious and Hand Shakers felt worse for a good number of reasons. For B-Project, they introduced a number of plot elements in the last two episodes that I felt it was unnecessary. As for Hand Shakers, while GoHands did a good job on the visuals, but the plot was so stupid that it wasn’t resolved by the time the final episode aired.

12. “So bad, it’s good!” anime series in 2016…
– Mayoiga (Winner)
– Akiba’s Trip -The Animation- (Runner-up)

For the best show that’s so bad, it’s so freaking good that you might wanna laugh on how ridiculous the series is, that goes to Diomedia’s Mayoiga as it’s not only Diomedia’s original series which has a large cast of characters, but it’s laughable on how they’re being chased by their fears instead of conquering them and let’s not forget on how diverse the cast is, ranging from the deranged like Lovepon and Jack to just being funny like Hyouketsu no Judgeness.

As for the runner-up, Gonzo’s anime re-imagination of Akiba’s Trip is enjoyable with various shout-outs throughout the show. Oh, and let’s not forget about Tamotsu stripping various Bugged Ones on a daily basis even though Metrotica did little on conquering Akihabara until the last three episodes.

13. Most overhyped anime in 2016 that failed miserably…
– Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress (Winner)
– Macross Delta (Runner-up)

Just before I show the overall anime series in 2016, let’s briefly talk about two shows that are hyped as hell, but crashed and burned in the end. Both shows are amazing in the audio-visual department, but they sucked when it comes to story development.

Take Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress for instance as it’s the winner for one good reason why it sucked. Well, the arrival of Biba Amatori’s group has changed everything instead of having the rest of the cast surviving the zombie apocalypse. As for Macross Delta, I have to say that it was a step-up from AKB0048 but it hampered a lot of missed opportunities like Mirage Farina Jenius not being elevated to a serious love interests, as well as the Windermere Kingdom acting like medieval idiots instead of being sympathetic.

14. Best overall anime series in 2016…
– Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen (1st Place)
– NEW GAME! (2nd Place)
– Kuromukuro (3rd Place)

And now, we’ve finally arrived on which anime series is the best for the whole 2016 season. While P.A.Works made a great job on the mecha genre with Kuromukuro, as well as Dogakobo creating a stunning adaptation of NEW GAME! in which it’ll have another season, there’s one show that stands above the rest!

I would say congratulations to Studio DEEN’s Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen as it turned from a surprise hit back in Winter 2015 to a massive success that not only promotes rakugo, but also turned the studio’s fortune around after being the butt monkey when it comes to animation quality. The sequel truly shows the brilliance from its characters to the story of success, tragedy, and redemption.

Special Awards: Best animation company in 2016…
– Studio DEEN (Winner)
– Lerche (Runner-up)

And speaking of Studio DEEN, they’re the best animation company in 2016 for becoming one of the best instead of being mediocre, with shows like Sakamoto desu ga?, Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! 2, and Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu: Sukeroku Futatabi-hen.

Meanwhile for the runner-up, Lerche is picking up the pace with Magical Girl Raising Project and Kuzu no Honkai. Let’s hope that the studio can do better in 2017!

Image courtesy via Pixiv

And now, I conclude this post with a picture of both Yakumo and Sukeroku from Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. What a nice way to end the 2016 Anime Season!

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