Including shorts, I watched 60 shows to full completion from 2015’s seasonal anime this year! Just wow, guys! I had such a great time doing it this year, too! A huge thank you to my best friend for helping me choose what shows to watch and talking about them with me each week! For it being my first official year of watching simulcast shows, I saw A LOT of decent anime! But now it’s time to crown my Favorite Ten of the Year!
(Favorite, meaning; which personally affected me, stood out the most, was the most fun for me to watch personally. This is by no means a non-biased account of the “best shows of the year”. XD)
Interesting Note: outside of 10th and 9th place, every single one of these shows I have given a full five star rating as I enjoyed them and found that excellent to deserve it!
At this point, I really don’t care that the show had such a terrible…stopping point, or that the animation quality took a huge dip during the second half. Honestly, Nicolas Brown, Worick, and Alex, and their story of humanity, redemption, and deceit was one of my favorite parts of the Summer Season! I’m still really happy to have been introduced to the characters and their world. I’m now reading the manga, and its rare for an anime to convince me to give their original source material a try. I even have a mini wall-scroll of the main three characters on my wall as I speak. So, this is truly a personal favorite anime that just slides in at 10th place of all the anime I saw this year!
9. Death Parade
Death Parade was one of the early shows in my seasonal-watching that got me hooked on watching a show weekly, so it has some personal meaning to me in that sense. When it ended I predicted it would be in my top shows of the year, and I was right! I thought Death Parade executed the weekly adventures incredibly well and each new set of characters it brought in were well fleshed out and made understandable by the end of each twenty-five minute episodes. The life-and-death situations put in contrasts with unique game pieces and fancy upscale clothing and settings created a fascinating atmosphere for tales of humanity to be told; and I loved almost every second of it!
8. Sound! Euphonium
Sound! Euphonium was not only one of the most gorgeous looking anime of the year that I saw, it also delivered a strong representation of school band competitions and all the work and heartache that goes into them. I adored the realistic, steady paced feel; it was incredibly engaging to me for a slice-of-life story. I enjoyed the large scope of characters– the drama was delicious for me! And I don’t know about you, but I found Sound! Euphonium’s characters had the BEST eye animation of the year. I still remember that about it, half a year after its ending! Overall, was an amazing music/school/slice-of-life anime and one I can’t wait to see the story continue in its upcoming sequel!
With one of the most misleading premiere episodes of the entire year, School-Live! threw moe girls and school life into a contrasting world of a zombie apocalypse and mental illness AND WOW IT WAS GOOD. This created a zombie survival tale more gripping than AMC’s The Walking Dead, of which I’m a huge fan of, so that says a lot in my book. School-Live! proved that contrasts can create powerful storytelling that effectively twists heartstrings and creates genuine suspense. I was completely involved as the story progressed. A lot of the awesome things in School-Live! delve into spoiler territory, so all I will say now is just. go. watch it.
6. Blood Blockade Battlefront
Kekkai Sensen is it’s much shorter name, but either way: GUYS. This was awesome, oh my gosh, you guys! Oh my gosh! Featuring a world where New York meets fantasy and superpowers, Kekkai Sensen did so much right. I think visually, it’s one of my very favorites of the year in terms to animation, style, atmosphere, character designs and sound. It was truly stunning! I loved the great balance the show kept between the crazy escapades, fantastic humor, and the quieter character moments; I truly knew who everyone was by the end of it all! I would give anything to go live in the world of Kekkai Sensen and safely experience its many adventures in person! Overall, a crazy ride and a definite must-watch in my book!
I watched Parasyte weekly as it was released, and it gets to slip into the top ten of the entire year despite having started in 2014. I can still clearly remember over a year later from its original airing time the incredible SUSPENSE it left me in each week. The show got me hooked on simulcast viewing in general. While in general I love horror and suspenseful stories anyway, Parasyte shined because of its wonderful characters. Izumi-kun and Migi made one of the best “forced-into-it” teams of the year and their story was completely wrapped up with no cliffhangers or cop-out endings! Not only am I personally grateful for it getting me into simulcast endings, but I also have a personal attachment to Izumi-kun and his girl friend Satomi. They’re easily one of my very favorite couples of the whole year! Horror and suspense has never been so good!
4. Food Wars
WOW. Who knew a cooking school could be so….amazing, and intense, and fun, and…wow! So Food Wars ended up being extremely high on my list. It had amazing characters with great development and chemistry with each. It had cooking sequences more intense than most classic shounen action with real stakes and losses. Animated food and it’s science has never looked so good or been so involving–the entire culinary world in general in fact! I have a deep personal love and enjoyment for the culinary world anyway, but it was incredible to get to see it through the eyes of an anime like Food Wars! It is worth noting that lead character Souma is also one of the best shounen leads I’ve ever seen! I had ten thousands gallons of fun with Food Wars and I’M DYING FOR THE SEQUEL
3. One-Punch Man
Coming in during the last season of the year, One-Punch Man took all my preconceptions of the story (a guy who can defeat anyone with one punch….really?!) and with a single episode hit to my face, blew me out of the water! I love superheroes (a big Marvel fan hero, guys!) but wow, One-Punch Man is not like anything I’ve seen before! It’s over-the-top yet intimate enough for heart-tugging moments of emotion. It’s serious and dark when it needs to be but also hysterical with excellent comedic timing and visual comedy. Saitama, the man whose power leaves him bored with his job, is a hysterical and awesome addition to the throngs of my favorite superheroes, too! Packing one heck of a punch at the end of the year from animation to story to characters alike, my new favorite superhero tale slides in at third place for best of the year!
2. My Love Story!!
My Love Story!!, or Ore Monogatari, held the position of Number One on this list for most the year, which SAYS A LOT. Make no mistake, I. LOVED. THE. HECK. OUT OF THIS SHOW. I can’t remember the last time a show made me cry at the end of so many episodes! Emotional, sometimes sad, sometimes happy, yet always personal tears of just “Wow.” This a romance-comedy done right in my book. Fluffy yet emotionally resilient, often times insightful and deep, yet full of hysterical moments and extremely lovable characters. Takeo, Suna, and little Yamato are huge stand outs in the array of characters from 2015; lead character, the dense but incredibly lovable Takeo, could easily steal “Best Character” of the entire year! When it gets down to it, the best thing about this story is that it breaks tropes and ACTUALLY DELIVERS AN ACTUAL RELATIONSHIP AND ITS DEVELOPMENT FOR THE MAJORITY OF IT’S STORY. In the end, Ore Monogatari is one of the most personally moving shows for me this year, and by far the most incredibly sweet!
1. Prison School
As I said above, Ore Monogatari!! was marked for my number one show of the year since it began airing and it held the place till I started drafting this post. But here we are with Prison School wearing the crown instead…because, in the end, despite the emotional roller coaster, I think in five years, I will actually remember Prison School a lot better. So, it’s Number One of the year for me and there are so many reasons to list!
Frankly, this has to be one of the best cast of characters I’ve ever seen and had the pleasure of following each week in an anime. I didn’t just root for the boys in prison, I FELT LIKE I WAS ONE OF THEM. They were my bros and I was a bro too…and I’m not even a boy! They were all hysterical and memorable in their own right, though Gakuto is the man for me and my personal favorite–he could easily take character of the year for me. Prison School is also easily the most INTENSE and HYSTERICAL anime of the year! Just, wow: extremely entertaining, to say the least! Prison School also proved ecchi and fanservice never automatically equals “bad story telling”. Great character development, comedic timing, and writing can make anything golden, even a raunchy ecchi show!
Lastly, of all the anime I watched this year, this is the only one that spurred me on to COMPLETELY catch up with its original manga! (I got a poster of the five boys as well, because BROS.) While Prison School certainly isn’t for everyone, it was definitely the highlight and biggest surprise of the year to me, and it’ll be a LONG time before I forget it.
How about you? What was the best of 2015 for you? I hope to watch “Shirobako” and “Yona of the Dawn”, as I heard they were amazing as well; how many of you were hoping to see them make it on this list, or have them on yours? How many of your top ten match with mine, I’d love to compare notes! Did you have a number one pick of the year change like for me? Any that dropped out in favor of others? What’s your ultimate pick of the year…or is that just too hard to decide?