Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Happy new year to everyone out there and as always we start the new year off by taking a last look at 2015 by naming the top 11 anime of that year. Why top 11? Because just like someone else I too like to go one step beyond. 2015 was definitely quality year for anime and today we honor that anime. Let’s started, these are the top 11 anime of 2015.
#11. Lupin the Third 2015
You all knew this anime was gonna be on the list. When I heard Lupin was getting an all new anime I was psyched and couldn’t wait to see my favorite thief go on more adventures. The anime does a good job capturing the nostalgia of the past seasons and still continues to remain loyal to the source material so it’s open to both newcomers and fans. The new character Rebecca is a nice addition to the show and she works off of Lupin quite well. The animation is also great. Once again it looks like a manga coming to life and it looks great here. It’s a fun light-hearted anime with dark moments that captures the glory of the original series and it’s a nice welcome back to the Lupin franchise. Check it out when you get the chance.
#10. Kekkai Sensen
From the created mind that gave us Trigun comes a new anime that breaks the norm and gives us something new and creative. After an unexplained supernatural event, New York becomes the living grounds of humans, monsters, and other magical beings all living together. But when you got so many combustible elements in an already combustible city trouble is bound to happen. After a mix up our main character Leo winds up joining Libra a group of supernatural beings whose job is to protect the city from crime and other evil entities before they’re unleashed upon the world. The show follows the adventures of Leo as he helps fight to protect the city while also trying to stay alive in a city that’s gone crazy. This was one of the more creative anime that came out this year. This whole anime is like what would happened if you combined the cool atmosphere of Cowboy Bebop with the insanity and nonsense of Panty and Stocking it’s one of the craziest things you’ll ever see. Every episode something is either exploding, crashing into something, or some sort of disaster that could potentially destroy the city if not the world and it always falls on our main characters to stop it. I do like how despite all of this insanity Leo doesn’t freak out over it if anything he sees all of this as just normal everyday life and keeps moving forward. The monsters and other supernatural spectacles in this series are also creative and fun to watch as are the fight scenes and stories they come up with. Every character has their own unique personality and fighting style that contributes to the team as well as the anime. You could honestly follow any of these characters around for a day and still get a kick out of them. The city still feels like New York only except of the craziness being in the shadows it’s now wide out in the open for everyone to see and accept that this is the city they live in now. While the ending to this anime may not have been as great as we would have hoped I still think the series was a great watch and really got me into the manga. If you’re looking for a creative, funny, and crazy anime that breaks the norm than check this anime out.
#9. Food Wars
Who would have thought a series about cooking would be so popular? Food Wars follows the story of a shounen boy named Souma who enrolls in the cooking school from Hell where he vows to overcome all the obstacles in his way, rise to the top, graduate, and become a better chef than his dad. You would think a series about cooking would be boring but no they actually do make it entertaining by using real dishes as well as introduce to us different types of cooking styles from all over the world. You can tell the author for this series has a good knowledge of food and knows what he’s writing about. The series introduces us to foodgasms which are done amazingly well in the anime thanks to the animation artist and a good list of characters who are well developed and fun to watch. The main character Souma is also a good lead as he’s already a talented chef but he’s not cocky or overconfident about his abilities. If anything it’s the people he faces that are cocky and overconfident about their abilities and think his cooking is nothing because he doesn’t come from a rich family like the other students. I like how whenever he wins it’s a believable win like he actually earns all of his victories not because he’s the main character and the plot demands it but because he actually sits down, comes up with the right recipe, cooks it, goes through trial and error and serves it. With a second season already announced and coming out sometime this year I think it’s safe to say that we can expect to see great things from this series. Also, don’t watch this anime on an empty stomach as it will make you hungry.
#8. Assassination Classroom
One of the most popular animes to come out this year. After a strange creature that can move at supersonic speed destroys the moon he threatens to destroy the Earth but he wants to give them a fighting a chance. He agrees to teach a class of middle school kids who will be tasked with killing him. But can they kill this strange creature who is slowly becoming the best teacher they’ve ever had? Yeah the setup for this series is strange but surprisingly they take the story very seriously but not too seriously as they poke fun at themselves and still give us an engaging story. Ironically, despite the show being about a group of kids trying to kill their teacher it takes the concept of murder and tries to use it as a moral instrument and even goes out of its way to discourage things such as murder with its characters. The characters are all pretty likable as this is a character driven show though the development of some characters could be done better. We get some funny moments among them but also some heart-warming moments as well as some action here and there with the students and a few teachers for that matter trying to kill this strange teacher and failing each time. If I had to name my favorite character it would have to be Koro-Sensei he’s just an all-around likable creature with lots of funny moments followed by Nagisa who kind of serves as the main character outside of Koro-sensei. He’s an interesting character plus it’s unique to have a trap character as your main lead and not be played for laughs. With the second anime starting I hope to see more character development, hopefully better animation, and more laughs and action.
#7. Akagami no Shirayukihime
Yep, that’s right. I like romances, when they’re done correctly and this anime handles its romance and characters exceptionally well. You all already know how much I love the main character in this series but what about everything else in the series. Well it’s also good. I love the animation it really does feel like we’ve entered a whole new world. If anything the animation reminds me of early Disney movies. Hand-drawn with a lot of personality, effort and character put into it. I like the rest of the characters as well. Zen is pretty cool I like his relationship with Shirayuki and how it’s built on respect for her but slowly blossoms into love. I love both Shirayuki and Zen’s interactions not only off each other but with everyone else in the palace. For example, there’s this one scene where Zen tells his most trusted retainer that he kissed Shirayuki and his reaction is hilarious. It’s so spot on and totally conveys the reactions of everyone who watched the anime. It’s all believable and it’s funny at times to see their interactions off each other. But the best part is the romance between Shirayuki and Zen. Their romance is handled exceptionally well as you can tell the two really do love each other and whenever they’re on screen together you just can’t help but feel warm and happy seeing them. The two have great respect for each other, their positions, and want to be of help to each other in anyway possible without overstepping their boundaries. Another thing I like about this series is how independent Shirayuki is. She’s not some damsel in distress always needing help and depending on others. Whenever something’s opposing her she stands up to it herself. Hell, there are times in the series where she gets captured by someone and she just escapes on her own like it’s nothing. Zen is also cool in that he’s not that cliché prince character who acts like a knight in shining armor. He can be stubborn, clever, wise, clueless, and even looked down on by those beneath him but at the same time he’s well respected and admired by everyone he comes across. He even has his own little turmoil such as wondering if Shirayuki likes him for him or if she just likes him because he’s the prince and he demands that she likes him. I know My Love Story was seen as the fan favorite of the romance animes to come out this year but in my opinion Akagami no Shirayukihime was the better watch and I look forward to watching the second season.
Hands down the funniest anime of the year in my opinion. In a world where anything considered obscene and immoral has been outlawed our perverted female lead Ayame and her partner Tanukichi become ero terrorist in the hopes of teaching an ignorant world what being dirty is all about. The anime is just as funny as it sounds and the execution of its story is done amazingly well. This show has some of the funniest use of censorship and sex jokes that I have ever seen and is actually very smart with its message. In the show despite Ayame and Tanukichi being terrorist they’re not trying to destroy the social order of the world nor do they think it’s wrong. They just want to show the world that it’s okay to be dirty, it’s okay to tell sex jokes, and it’s okay to have sexual urges it just means you’re normal and human. If you don’t know all this stuff you won’t be able to tell the difference between love and lust and as a result, you’ll end up like Anna. What the anime is trying to tell us is that there needs to be a balance between the two factors and this anime gets its message across amazingly well while also making you laugh all the way. Hopefully this anime gets a second season in the year to come as it’s just so good. Plus, what other anime besides this teaches you how to make a sex toy at Japan’s most infamous pool? None.
Going into this anime I had some low expectations. At the time I hadn’t heard of the series and even after reading a synopsis of the series I still had low expectations for this anime. But after watching the first episode I was hyped for this series. In this series people from another world have attacked Japan on their own home soil and after the defense force stops the invasion they go into the world of their invaders and make them pay. The series can be described as modern military vs medieval magic which is a great idea and an idea I still can’t believe no one has done to this day. The main character is an otaku in his 30s who despite looking plain and non-threatening is actually a pretty badass dude who’s intelligent and brave. The people from the other world are also interesting. We got this loli demigod who’s OP and gets sexually aroused at the death of people, there’s an elf girl who’s in denial about the death of her father and still believes he’s alive, a very smart and cute mage girl, and a princess who has discovered the joys of yaoi. The fight scenes in this anime are great as it’s clear Japan has the advantage and if they wanted to could crush everyone in this world and take over this fantasy-like world but would much rather settle things peacefully. Animation wise it looks amazing some of the best I’ve seen as everything just looks so alive. With a second season along the way all I can is get ready because it’s gonna get dark.
#4. Arslan Senki
From the author of Fullmetal Alchemist comes Arslan Senki. While technically not her idea and rather a reboot of the series Arslan Senki follows the story of a young inexperienced prince trying to reclaim his kingdom from his enemies. When people first watched this show they instantly compared it to Akatsuki no Yona and yeah I did the same thing as well because it really does feel like Yona for boys. But despite this I think the series is still good that easily stands on its own. Arslan is a young child who really doesn’t know that much about the world but at the same time he’s willing to learn about it and from others around him. His development is good throughout the whole series as it never stops, each episode he keeps getting better and better as a character and as a leader. He cares about his kingdom and those who follow him, he tries to forge his own path in life rather than be like his father, and he views things from both the perspective of his allies and enemies. Truth be told he’s really not cut out for war but he still keeps pressing earning the trust and loyalty of those around him because of his kindness and sincerity. The action in this anime feels like an actual war is being fought and the strategies and actions done in each battle are freakin’ awesome to watch. I think the only fault this anime has is that it added in the supernatural element when it didn’t need to be added in. It really bought down the realistic nature the anime had created but despite that the anime is still a great watch with a good main character who keeps developing with each episode and many secondary and side characters who are all used effectively in the anime and have great characters. This is an anime series I hope gets a second season in the year to come.
#3. Death Parade
I’ll be honest, when I saw the winter lineup for 2015 I was a little worried about the year to come because I didn’t see any anime that really stood out to me. But once I saw Death Parade I knew that 2015 was going to be a promising year. The anime offers a whole new and original idea on the afterlife and what happens to us. In this anime 2 people who die at roughly the same time wind up in a bar where the mysterious bartender and his assistant subject them to games where their true characters come out and the bartender decides if they’re worth reincarnating or if they should die permanently. Like I said before the idea of this anime is so new and original. Each episode introduces us to a new set of guest who come from different paths of life. No two guest are ever the same and each one is more different and complex than the other one and offers a fresh new take on life that you get interested in. It’s fascinating to see their true characters come out in the games and see what they’re willing to do just to have a chance to return to their lives. There’s also an assortment of side characters who also offer some different views of death and we even get the chance to explore a few of them to better understand what they’re like. This anime was definitely the early gems of 2015 and gave me hope that 2015 was gonna be a good year for anime.
#2. Prison School
Here’s another popular anime that came out in the summer. In fact, you could argue that this was the best anime of the summer. After an all-female school decides to go coed it’s 5 boys get in trouble for peeping and are thrown into the school prison where they are treated as prisoners by the underground student council who have plans to get the boys expelled from the school. The show has so many good elements to it. It’s funny, ecchi, suspenseful, has a legit story with characters you can get behind, and shows a good sense of comradery in the face of overwhelming odds. Like I said before the characters are all likable except for the council president who is a straight up bitch for no apparent reason. She hates boys and believes they’re all perverts because of her daddy issues of him being a pervert as well. Other than that she’s had little interaction with boys and doesn’t even try to get to know them she just seems them as evil boys tainting her beloved school. The guys are funny as hell. They keep you laughing each episode but there’s a strong comradery among them like no matter what happens they’re not gonna turn or sell each other out. The one drawback I think everyone has with this anime is that it’s weird and yeah I can’t deny that but it’s the good kind of weird and it shouldn’t stop you from watching this anime as there are all kinds of laughs and suspenseful moments that keep you entertained from beginning to end.
As always here are a few honorable mentions from 2015: Gangsta, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure season 2, Junketsu no Maria, Kantai Collection, Kuroko’s Basketball, Shinmai Maou no Testament, The Idolm@ster: Cinderella Girls, Tokyo Ghoul season 2, Yoru no Yatterman, Danmachi, Owari no Seraph, High School DxD Born, Fate/stay night season 2, Plastic Memories, Triage X, Punch Line, Grisaia no Rakuen, My Love Story, School Alive, Joukamachi no Dandelion, Monster Musume, Rokka no Yuusha, To Love-ru Darkness season 2, Ushio no Tora, K: Return of Kings, Is the order a rabbit season 2, Overlord, Noragami Aragoto, Shomin Sample, Rakudai Kishi no Eiyuutan, Taimadou Gakuen 35 Shiken Shoutai, and Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen.
And the obvious number one anime of 2015 is. . .
#1. One Punch Man
The hype was real! Going into this anime I seriously had my doubts about this series. I thought it was going to be boring. I mean, a hero who beats all of his opponents with one punch? Come on, that sounds boring. Well feel free to call me an idiot on that statement because it’s the exact opposite. Despite Saitama being able to beat all of his opponents with one punch they hype up each fight like this was the final boss to a video game making each fight exciting when it finally happens. The main character Saitama isn’t your run of the mill superhero. He doesn’t have a tragic backstory nor is he doing this out of a sense of responsibility, he’s doing this because this is what he wants to do and nothing else. Even when people tell him to stop he just ignores them and continues to do what he wants to do. That is my kind of hero. He’s also not very imposing as a hero as he just has the appearance of a plain bald guy and he doesn’t act at all like superhero, he acts like a regular everyday guy. The animation for this anime is amazing. Madhouse once again did their thing here. No scratch that, they went above and beyond their normal thing here. Madhouse has always delivered when it comes to animation but for this anime they just go all out here. Everything is just amazing from facial expressions, to the fight scenes, to camera angles, they just did everything right here. And the music is out of this world. In a year where we didn’t get many gems of anime this anime came out and restored everyone’s faith in anime re-sparking that excitement we get when watching an anime and reminding us just how great anime can be. Madhouse, I am begging you *gets on knees*. When the manga series gets more chapters out please give us a second season. I know you guys don’t normally do second seasons but for the sake of the fans for the sake of the anime community and for the sake of me give us a second season.
Well that’s my list. I hope you enjoyed, leave a comment and let me know what your favorite anime from 2015 was. Thanks for reading, happy new year, and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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