2015 was actually a very good year for varied kinds of anime, we got all sorts of genres consistently throughout the year. We even got a major smash hit the likes of Attack on Titan in One Punch Man. The following list is comprised of anime I saw to completion and actually enjoyed a whole tonne, if a show is not on the list then I probably dropped it or didn’t watch it.
Tsukimonogatar/Owarimonogatari – 12
Another year another Monogatari, I’ll never tire of this franchise simply because its the only thing in the world like it, there’s absolutely nothing else like Monogatari out there and I dread the thought of it coming to an end. Tsukimonogatari was more fun and less serious than its predecessors and i enjoyed that. Sure it had the most copious amounts o fanservice and sleaze since Nisemonogatari but that’s not a negative at all, not in regards to this franchise atleast. I’m currently a few episodes into Owarimonogatari and that has the more serious deadpan tone we have become accustomed to. I’m very curious about the movies coming I hope they will live up to the unrealistic expectations we have come to bestow upon it.
Charlotte – 11
There was a considerable amount of hype for Charlotte when it was first announced late in 2014 and who could blame the community? It was an original PA Works show penned by Jun Maeda of Angel Beats and Clannad fame and directed by the same team that worked on Angel Beats. The show had immense potential and started out strong with some memorable characters and fancy animation that we have become quite accustomed to. The twists and turns in the second arc kept the show fresh and intriguing but the 3rd act completely peters off into the mundane and silly. Had it not been for the weak climax to the show, it would have ranked higher and left more of an impact on the community.
Durarara!! season 2 – 10
To say I was highly anticipating this would be the biggest understatement of the year. Durarara!! holds a special place in my heart, I have the figurines to prove it. The show started off a little bit slow but then when it did pick up it added a whole bunch of new colorful characters that made the show way more epic. Izaya was still Izaya and his antics kept the inner city of Ikebukuro alive. Durarara!! is just cool and has stayed cool, it wasn’t nearly as good as its stellar first season but the same spirit is present here and its fantastic.
Death Parade – 9
I saw this one very late into the year, I ignored it for whatever reason and I was a fool! Death Parade didn’t impress me with its visuals or technical aspects it was all in its themes. A sort of purgatory where your lifes deeds are presented to you and judged based on a bunch of mini-games you play. It raised many questions about the meaning of life, what it means to be human, the afterlife and even religion. Death Parade is a must watch for anyone interested in exploring these themes.
Fate Stay Night UBW season 2 – 8
I am still bitter about Illyasviel, yes it happens in all the main routes and I should be used to it by now but God damnit this one was the worst for sure. Its ufotable showing up everyone again with their fancy animation and brilliant battle sequences. The conclusion to Unlimited Blade Works was just as flashy and bombastic as I had imagined it would be and I can only thank the heavens for that.
Non Non Biyori repeat – 7
Non Non Biyori is the perfect show to explain why I love moe shows, its cute, mundane but not boring, slapstick but not ridiculous, funny and just overall very very soothing and relaxing. I didn’t give the first season its due because I didn’t see it in the year it was released so this is my chance to say season 1 was actually better than season 2 and look at how highly I’ve ranked the second season for comparisons sake. The show is like a cross between Yotsuba and Tamayura with a dash of Hanasaku Iroha in there. Its one of the few anime that you can watch with the whole family and thoroughly enjoy.
Working!!! – 6
Its been quite a journey for the staff at Wagnaria and the rest of the colorful cast of characters that embody this franchise. We’ve seen characters grow up, form relationships and even mature. This season was a very fitting and satisfying end to one of anime greatest comedies.
Hibike Euphonium – 5
Oh man, this show, it fills me with so many varying emotions and they aren’t all positive but in the end I believe that’s a good thing because its the desired effect. First of all this was by far the prettiest show I have ever seen, KyoAni pulled out all the stops on this one, they made it look gorgeous. I criticized the show earlier in the year for not having much
ambition and sometimes it felt that way until the very end. The sports anime like flow of the narrative is what really kept me watching and before I knew it I was so invested in the characters and their progression. Hibike Euphonium was one of my favourite dramas in 2015 because of how it dealt with its characters complex emotions towards the world and each other and yes that includes the bi-curious characters as well. I hope the second season is just as good and keeps the same tempo and feel of the first season.
Gakkou Gurashi – 4
I wrote about this show and why you should watch it. The shows opening episode works on shock value so if you are unaware of its plot don’t look it up just watch it for the full effect, if not then I can tell you that after the first few episodes the show tackles heavy subjects such as PTSD and escapism. It really doesn’t sugar coat anything and hits really hard, the show is not for the faint of heart for sure. Its finale made my eyes watery for a myriad of reasons but also because of how excellently executed the direction and cinematography of the show was. Watch Gakkou Gurashi its a unique experience you
are bound to never forget.
Gatchaman Crowds Insight – 3
I have wanted to write about Gatchaman Crowds for a couple of years now but have always felt a bit… under qualified or intimidated by the numerous number of themes and subjects that it tackles. On the surface the show is an artistic masterpiece all on its own. The art direction, the cinematography, dialogue, editing all of that is so unique and worth a 2000 word article alone. Its also worth noting that the visual aspect of the show is deliberately designed to be in service of the complex themes that it represents. Our heroine for example, Hajime an outlier in this world and in the way she tackles problems is a symbol of change and disruption to the norms of society. This is clearly laid out for us to see in the second season when her think bubble is colourless for the entirety of the show.
Gatchaman Crowds is a show about social politics, economics, social media and the effects it can have on a new generation and an old one. Gatchaman is a thinking mans anime that also happens to have sick EDM beats to bop to when the action goes down. Its the most stylish and consistent anime from 2015 and needs to be seen and dissected. And yes a Kenji Nakamumra show made my list again, the man can do no wrong and he seems to only be getting better.
Yuri Kuma Arashi – 2
The show that made me a Kunihiko Ikuhara fan after so many years of thinking whats the big deal anyway? Yuri Kuma aired at the perfect time for me, a time when I was/am at the height of my fight for inclusivity and representation. Yuri Kuma is a show about Stigma and segregation and what it does to society. I wrote about my theories on the show while it was still airing and they still ring true to this day. On the surface level Yuri Kuma is insufferably cute and colourful, aside from one or two gut wrenchingly dark and miserable episodes the show is great to look at. Ikuhara’s signature motifs are ever present here and they have only gotten better with time. I highly recommend this show to anyone who has a soft spot for drama and symbolism.
Shirobako season 2 – 1
Shirobako is one of the greatest anime ever made, right up there with the best of them. Its realistic but somewhat over exaggerated portrayal of the production of anime and the industry struck a harmonious chord with me. The cast of leading characters were
treated like real live human beings and went through real struggles that I could certainly find believable as a young adult. The passion that the characters possessed was mirrored by the passion that was clearly put into the production of the show. The call backs and “cameos” by real life anime industry people gave the show a level of gravitas and realism that only seeked to served the suspension of disbelief and enhance the immersion of the viewers.
Shirobako was excellent, it was borderline perfect from start to finish. I doubt we will ever get a show as good or as passionate as it for a very, very long time.