Hello and welcome to Project Nitsuj. Happy new year to everyone out there. With 2016 coming to an end and the 2017 anime about to begin I think it’s only right to take a look back and name the top 11 from 2016. Why top 11? Because just like someone else I too like to go one step beyond. Let’s start the new year by taking a look at the past. These are the top 11 anime of 2016.
#11. Hai no Gensou no Grimgar
Thanks to SAO we’ve been seeing a lot of getting trap in virtual world animes. With so many of them out there it’s hard to be fresh and new to the genre. Well here comes Grimgar an anime that takes a different and more old school approach to the genre. For starters, the characters aren’t overpowered characters like in previous animes. Thanks to amnesia these characters believe that this is the world they’ve lived in forever and thus have to start from the bottom and work their way up. This anime doesn’t rush pass anything. We see all the difficulties and hardships the characters go through, we see how they each contribute to the team because of their different classes, how they handle the loss of one of their comrades, have difficulties fighting the easiest of enemies, and most importantly coming together as a team. It’s like watching a group of newbies play a game and them trying to come together to make this thing work. On top of that the animation is breath-taking. I like the hand drawn backgrounds, it really brings more realism to the world and makes it stand out more. If you’re looking for anime that places emphasize on its characters, doesn’t make them overpowered, and doesn’t rush pass their growth give this anime a watch.
I know what you’re thinking this anime is nothing but fanservice and yeah I won’t deny it. This anime is definitely about fanservice but at the same time it takes its story and characters very seriously. The anime tries hard to make it feel like a thrilling sports anime and they succeed for the most part. The anime is very aware of how ridiculous and out there it is and they take advantage of this by giving the characters moves that would defy the laws of physics and this actually leads to the success of the anime. When it’s time to do a race the animators really go all out in showcasing how intense these races are, how silly some of these moves can be, and how enjoyable and fun this series truly is. The characters are all good in this series and don’t feel like a copy of another character. Each character fights differently, has their chance in the spotlight and none of them are overpowered like in other sports animes where you have this one character blessed by the gods themselves to dominate this game. Keijo shows us that an anime doesn’t need to be deep and thought provoking to be great. You just need to be entertaining and have fun with what your doing and Keijo does that.
#9. Nejimaki Seirei Senki
One of Madhouse’s more overlooked animes of 2016. While Nejimaki was by no means an impressive anime there two very distinct factors that stand out for this anime. First, it’s attention to tactical warfare. Rather than go off and be an anime about war and the main character somehow creating a harem, it instead places a huge emphasize on tactical warfare showing us that war isn’t won by numbers or advanced technology but by the side who has the best tactics when confronting the enemy and pulling them off. The second is its outlook on war. The creator of this series had to be a fan of Valkyria Chronicles as a lot of the philosophies and outlook on war in this series are similar to the game. The main character holds a great detest for war and is unfortunately thrown into the frontlines of war where he constantly talks about how stupid and worthless it is but does everything in his power to save as many lives as he possibly can. Speaking of the main character he’s another good factor in this series. He has this lazy, laidback, calm, and cool attitude while also being a womanizer but in truth he’s a tactical genius who’s quick on his feet and makes due with everything he has at his disposal. Overlooked and deserving more attention, Nejimaki was definitely a hidden gem this past year.
If you’ve read my review of Konosuba you would know that I really did like this anime and can you blame me, it’s hilarious. Konosuba adds a whole new spin on the fantasy world genre. Instead of the main character going to a new world and gaining an amazing power to be this world’s savior, he instead gets stuck with a goddess who while powerful in her own right, causes him nothing but trouble. He gets stuck with party members who are almost useless and rather than go off on a quest to vanquish the demon king he spends most of his days trying to make ends meet. While Konosuba may not have really progressed much storywise there was no doubt every episode got a laugh out of you and you never felt bored watching it. Looking forward to the next season.
#7. Food Wars S2
Food Wars along with another anime on this list made a strong return this year. Continuing where the story left off, we do the Autumn Selection arc where Souma and the best of the 1st years face off against each other. What made this season very good was that it was able to tell its story through the cooking of its characters. We were able to understand who these characters were, what their mindset was, what they were like, their cooking styles, and we got to see some great food be cooked. The arc also led to a surprise ending. I won’t spoil it but let me just say I’m glad it happened as it leads to some good character development. While I’m a little mad it didn’t get 24 episodes like the first season I understand why and I look forward to watching the third season when it comes out.
#6. Assassination Classroom S2
Last year saw the end of Assassination Classroom both manga and anime wise. If you’ve read my review of Assassination Classroom you’ll know that this was a series I underestimated but after watching the anime have gained appreciation for its story, characters, morals, and philosophies on life so I’ll keep this one short and sweet. If you haven’t checked this series out yet definitely watch it, it will change your views of teachers and the idea of assassination.
#5. Boku no Hero Academia
Following on the success of One Punch Man but having enough personality and story to keep itself separate and fresh from it. Once again we live in a world where superheroes are the norm and a young boy’s dreams come true when his hero takes him under his wing and gives him the power to be a hero himself. The whole anime feels like a passing of the torch from one generation to the next as we focus on a young generation of superheroes in training each with interesting personalities and powers that are outside your standard superpowers. I like the relationship between the main character and his hero and I like all the various characters and their superpowers and how each one is given a chance to shine and not be seen as just some background character. There’s a second season set to premiere this year and after reading the manga I’m looking forward to seeing how they animate what happens next.
#4. 91 Days
Have you ever wanted to see an anime version of the Godfather or the Sopranos? Well this anime is for you. Set in the prohibition years of America we focus on a young man trying to avenge the death of his family who were killed by the mob. What follows is a great tale of manipulation, murder, betrayal, mystery, drama, and intensity. You hang on everything that happens in this anime whether it be a simple conversation between the characters or an action scene where our main character acts out his plan for revenge by manipulating the people around him. The atmosphere of this anime is just great. You really do feel as if you’ve been transported into a Godfather movie and I hope we see more animes like this in the future.
#3. Mob Psycho 100
From the man who gave us One Punch Man comes his other project Mob. Unlike One Punch Man where the main character is overpowered and following his dreams, Mob is the story of a boy with physic powers just trying to live a normal life and using his powers for good. This anime is a coming of age story where our main character tries hard live out his life and better himself. I like how real they make Mob in this anime. Despite having physic powers he really does act like a boy his age. He has a crush on a girl who doesn’t pay attention to him and despite not really having any special attributes grade wise and athletic wise he does his best to better himself and you can’t help but admire and respect that kind of mindset. I also do like Reigen, this guy, if he wanted to could have used Mob for his own personal gain easily but instead he teaches Mob how to use his powers correctly and actually shows a great level of care and concern for Mob showing us that for him Mob is like his son or little brother. While he may be a con artist his relationship with Mob is real and he values it. Also, the animation. By God this was hands down the best animated show of the year. Bones did an incredible job with this animation. I honestly think they beat Madhouse in terms of animation this time around. While I still prefer One Punch Man over Mob I will admit that I really did like this series and I hope it gets a second season in the future. If One Punch Man can get a second season than anything’s possible.
#2. Re: Zero
This was a very tough choice between this anime and Mob but I decided to put this anime above Mob because it drew me in more. To be honest with you guys, I stopped watching Mob after the third episode and went back to finish it sometime in November. With Re: Zero, I literally stopped everything I was doing whenever an episode came out. Even when I was in the middle of watching another anime or working on a blog, I would stop and check out Re: Zero, that’s how invested I was in this series. Following along the same lines of Konosuba, Re: Zero is like the yin to Konosuba’s yang. It takes place in a fantasy world where the main character gets an interesting power but instead of it being a blessing, it’s actually a curse that at times has actually driven him insane and for good reason as he experiences death multiple times but gets reborn each time at a previous save point where he has his memories intact but everyone around him doesn’t. It’s like a darker version of Groundhog’s Day and he’s stuck in the loop until he can make a perfect run to the next save point. Shockingly what makes this anime so interesting to watch is the various mistakes he makes throughout the loop and you just sitting there going noooo~ you dumb fuck don’t do that and when he finally gets it right your happy for him. Re: Zero is by no means a masterpiece but it is an anime you get invested in and want to see what choices the main character will make next.
As always with this list, here are a few honorable mentions from 2016: Fune wo Amu, All Out, Yuri on Ice, Nanbaka, Bungou Stray Dogs, Shuumatsu no Izetta, Gate S2, Akagami no Shirayuki S2, Ajin, Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta?, Mayoiga, Kabaneri, Arslan Senki S2, Jojo Bizarre’s Adventure, Sakamoto desu ga?, Danganronpa, Asterisk Wars S2, Haikyuu S3, Masou Gakuen HxH, and Sailor Moon Crystal S3
And the number one anime of 2016 is. . .
From the man who gave us Hellsing Ultimate comes Kouta Hirano’s newest series. This anime has everything. Cool story, badass historical figures, bloody fight scenes, great animation, and good humor. This anime has it all. I enjoyed every moment of this anime, there was not a single moment that I found myself bored or confused with what’s going on. Coming out during a season that seemed pretty dull this anime came in and became the highlight of the Fall season and closed out the year with a bang. I love the interactions off of everyone in this anime and the designs of all the characters match up perfectly with their characters and how I always imagined they would look like. The fight scenes are intense and well done that my only complaint is that there weren’t more of them as I love seeing these guys fight and seeing the knowledge from different eras come together and work off each other. There is already talk of a second season in the works. When will that second season come out I do not know but it needs to come out soon because this series deserves it as does a lot of other animes I named on this list. Until then, I’ll have to satisfy my hunger by checking out the manga as I am now addicted to this series and can’t wait to see what happens next.
And that’s my list. Did I leave any of your favorite animes out? Let me know in the comments below. Thanks for reading, here’s to another good year, and I’ll see you next time on Project Nitsuj.
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