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The Best Anime of 2015


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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:29 pm Reply with quote
Alabaster Spectrum wrote:
By the way this might be a strange thing to say but one of the things I tire of most from anime is convoluted or [nigh] incomprehensible storytelling and droning pacing and how that just makes shows come across more typically as annoying as opposed to extra smart or clever.


I certainly had that reaction to Subite ga F which seemed more interested in conducting freshman philosophy lessons than telling a story. Moreover the story itself was unconvincing, particularly glossing over how spoiler[fifteen-year-old Shiki delivered her baby and raised it for fourteen years while locked in a room].

Quote:
Finally it was the worst ever for me and I'm pretty well on the verge of quitting anime altogether or at least following it seasonally unless I hear some good things about a particular show.

I'd agree that 2015 was among the weakest recent years. Having lived through the 2008-2012 slump in anime, I'm not about to stop watching altogether though. I don't think we'll ever see the burst of creativity and diversity that characterized the mid-2000's, but as long as I can find a couple of shows to watch each season that's all I can ask for.
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Ali07



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:59 pm Reply with quote
MaxSouth wrote:
I am surprised that Sound! Euphonium got double mention among reviewers, especially for animation. Dull mundane brownish slice of life setting did not allow artists to flourish, there is nothing much to praise.

And the story was dragging to start so slow that I did not survive past first few episodes; I could not bear nothing happening, all the cutesy small talk. You can only go through it if you cought the mood, and I was not able to.

I quite believe that closer to the middle of the series some actual events probably started to happen in this series, since otherwise it would not receive rating that high. I just was not able to have patience, apparently.

I very much agree with your middle paragraph, as it didn't seem like anything really started happening until around episode 9. I'm 100% certain that I would not have watched the whole series if I had done so while it was streaming week-to-week.

Others pushed me to continue the show, when I was ready to drop it after the 2nd episode. A job done much easier, as I had access to the whole series.

As for the animation. Well, animation wise, I think it's one of the best this year. So, clearly disagree with you on that.

I'm very much looking forward to the 2nd season, as I doubt that it will become a slog like the first 8-9 episodes were for this first season. I've not come across another show that, in my eyes, wastes around 2/3 of its episodes be loved by so many people...

On the discussion of "best" and "favourite", personally...they are things that I will never end up separating. If an anime was my favourite, then it is the best. Most of the shows I enjoy are ones where I loved the interaction between characters. I can over look sloppiness in other areas if the character interaction is to my liking.

While I have watched series that I've not really enjoyed all the way through, I can't really judge those series well. I'm already biased toward them. Sure, they could be considered the best anime, but if I don't enjoy it, it's not something I'll be devoting much thought towards once I've finished watching.

So, yes, my best will always be my favourites. Over time, I've gotten better at dropping shows I'm not enjoying. And, really, at the end of the day, anime is a hobby of mine due to enjoyment. I'm not in it to watch what should be the "best" anime out there, if I don't like the anime...

And, now having seen the end of some anime series of this season, I think I would have to amend my top 5 to include Chivalry of a Failed Knight. While it is open ended, I still loved the final episodes, and it gave me partial closure...which made me happy.
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relyat08



Joined: 20 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 6:27 pm Reply with quote
ChibiKangaroo wrote:
Key wrote:



Although I agree with you in concept, I don't think "execution" is a good choice of word here, since execution in the sense of "is it put together well and does it carry through with its timing, themes, etc." is something that critics look at very heavily.


Yea execution might not be the best word, but it kind of summed up what I was thinking the most succinctly. I guess I should have said something more along the lines of "execution that appeals to the broadest audience." Certainly, a show that might be considered more "high brow' or for a certain audience does have execution, but it is a different, and usually much more narrow type of execution that focuses more on themes, symbolism, historical accuracy, or other highly specific items that only certain audiences are attuned to. I guess I shouldn't categorize that as "not execution," but it is such a highly specific type of execution that it seems to be lacking in the more general sense of an entire animated production which includes many other things.

So if you take for example Yurikuma, the concept sounded pretty great to me and the ideas behind it are the type of thing that is meant to engage you intellectually. That is normally the type of thing I like. But when you watch the series, if you aren't in the specific target audience (like me), there is likely to be something lacking. You aren't getting a full, comprehensive anime story. So then you ask, could they still do those same themes and concepts but with a full, comprehensive anime story? My answer has to be yes. So then it seems like it was executed in a way that was lacking for the general audience, even though it might have been exactly what the targeted audience wanted.


I think maybe the word that you are looking for is presentation? Though I wouldn't say "lacking" in presentation either. Maybe lacking in how palatable that presentation is to the greatest number of people? I guess that's not much more concise than what you originally said though..

A show like the Monogatari series is another good example of that. The presentation is largely what has made it popular with its particular audience, even though at its base, it isn't that complex of a story. Because of that, it has a very devoted fan base, but doesn't have the potential to become a widespread hit like One Punch Man. If it was told in a different fashion, it might be more popular with a general audience, but would also probably lose a lot of its critical adoration.
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Jose Cruz



Joined: 20 Nov 2012
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:38 pm Reply with quote
My top 5 so far, haven't watched much of 2015 because I am not as hardcore animation fan these days:

1) Yuri Kuma Arashi
Great show with all the symbolism and atmosphere that characterizes Ikuhara's work, in fact, it's even better than Penguindrum in many way and closer yo Utena in style. Very entertaining as well with its subtle humor underneath many scenes. Its a great artistic achiement.

2) Nanoha ViVid
Yep, I loved this, much more than stuff like Blood Blockade Battlefront and Sound: Euphonium, which didn't hold my attention very well. This held my attention thanks for its combination of very vivid colors, super cute designs and costumes and showing off those little cute things violently beating each other. Yeah, that's Otaku Anime par excellence: moe + action.

3) Maria: The Virgin Witch
Incredible how well researched this show was. Reconstructing 15th century medieval Europe with great realism. Maria is a great character as well and the story was really well executed. I also liked the animation, it appeared pretty good for my eyes. The philosophical themes were very interesting for me as well.

4) Cute High Earth Defense Club!
Magical boy show. People complained that there wasn't a magical boy anime, well, now there is. Although it's obviously comedic: men dressed like that cannot be taken seriously. And the quality of each episode varies a lot, being episodic and hence distinct for most anime these days, it's a Sailor Moon satire made for older girls who grew up on that and want to watch some cute boys in action.

5) Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
A blockbuster series. I liked this way more than anybody else here apparently, it's flawed but my unrefined tastes are easier to satisfy than those of the ANN critics. I loved the state of the art animation and the battles were awesome displays. The chracters were rather bland but overall the show was a very satisfying emotional experience for me.
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CallumKeyblade



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:31 am Reply with quote
Love Live! The School Idol Movie would take my top spot if movies counted.

I only watched about 5 series all year? I'd rank them as...

1) My Love Story!!
Pretty rare for me to watch an anime of a manga I'm reading but I love the source material so much that I thought I would give it a try. Definitely didn't disappoint. It just makes me feel so happy.
2) Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
I really loved it at first but got a bit burnt out so took a long hiatus before watching the back half. A break revitalised my love for it & I really liked the ending.
3) Is the order a rabbit??
More of the same. Still nice and cute.
4) Plastic Memories
Started and ended well but not much of note in between.
5) UtaPri Revolutions
Wasn't great but still just about entertaining enough to keep me watching.

That was all I watched so being in my top 5 doesn't mean I necessarily think they're particularly great. It just means I watched it. I'd recommend the top 3 though.
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Ali07



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
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Location: Victoria, Australia
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:07 am Reply with quote
Finished watching OPM, and while I enjoyed it, clearly did not connect with me as much as it did with many others. Kind of didn't like the formula to the fights, very much Z Fighters and Goku for me. Saitama is some how delayed, but comes in and wins while the others struggle.

Still, had some good comedy, though it was hit and miss...and it did look good. Unsure if it'd make my top 10 for the year.

Mumen Rider is the real MVP.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:46 am Reply with quote
Personally my biggest problem with symbolism show is that they come from expectation. Human, we see pattern in everything, we look at cloud or piece of wood and we see stuff. It's the same things in shows, if we start looking for pattern we'll see tons of them. Because Yurikuma sold itself as pattern filled and meaningful people saw them in it, but I'm certain if you went into literally any anime with a similar animation budget you'd see just has much pattern and meaning in it. From what I understand some people watched Yurikuma and even saw the exact opposite of what was intended. This come back to the idea that you have to be the target audience, because otherwise it's a tons of random stuff that you can order in any way shape or form that you feel like, and the interpretation would work just as well.
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Alabaster Spectrum



Joined: 02 Sep 2015
Posts: 528
PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 7:26 pm Reply with quote
yuna49 wrote:
Alabaster Spectrum wrote:
By the way this might be a strange thing to say but one of the things I tire of most from anime is convoluted or [nigh] incomprehensible storytelling and droning pacing and how that just makes shows come across more typically as annoying as opposed to extra smart or clever.


I certainly had that reaction to Subite ga F which seemed more interested in conducting freshman philosophy lessons than telling a story. Moreover the story itself was unconvincing, particularly glossing over how spoiler[fifteen-year-old Shiki delivered her baby and raised it for fourteen years while locked in a room].

Quote:
Finally it was the worst ever for me and I'm pretty well on the verge of quitting anime altogether or at least following it seasonally unless I hear some good things about a particular show.

I'd agree that 2015 was among the weakest recent years. Having lived through the 2008-2012 slump in anime, I'm not about to stop watching altogether though. I don't think we'll ever see the burst of creativity and diversity that characterized the mid-2000's, but as long as I can find a couple of shows to watch each season that's all I can ask for.


If I were to summarize the last decade or so of anime it would probably go something like this:

2005 - Last year for the sort of old school approach and before the late night anime scene and light novel adaptations started to take off
2006- The start of a culture shift and the emergence of the late night anime scene with hit adaptations of light novels and visual novels like Haruhi and Kanon. Things would start to get a whole lot more specially otaku oriented from here on out
2007-2008 Transition years with a lot of interesting titles both of the old school (which I associate more with trying to appeal to a mainstream every day audience and focus on TV ratings) and the new school approaches (focus on collector otakus and more on disc and merchandise sales) that was about the last time you could see something like Macross, Gundam, Gurren Lagann but also things like Clannad and the like embraced as hits for their own reasons
2009-2010 Pretty much saw the phasing out of the old school approach and a really heavy emphasis on moe with shows like K-On and Bakemonogatari emerging as the major hits of the era. Not a great period for me, just not much that interested me coming out.
2011-2013 A bit of a pendulum swing back to less of a focus on moe and a return to good old fashioned storytelling and and allowance for darker themes and ideas in late night anime. I really though things were heading for a turnaround after the sluggish 2009-2010 period.


2014-2015 Just ech, this almost qualifies for it's own separate blurb. I really don't know what happened but the quality of originals took an extreme nose dive and all of a sudden it feels like there's more of a focus on crappy light novel titles (particularly of the "high school battle harem genre" and what I call "boring talky shows" like the Monogatari sequels) than ever before and that anime has suddenly become a mass production medium. A-1 Pictures and Aniplex in particular as a major industry leader really started to take things in an overwhelmingly otaku-centric direction as well and stepped up their production astronomically almost as if trying to drown anything else out by sheer volume, but where they used to have a lot of hits before that multiple kind of audiences could appreciate (thinking titles like Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Magi, Space Bros and Fullmetal Alchemist) it's like now it's all a lot of empty hype like Aldnoah Zero, Charlotte, Fate/Stay Night, Valvrave and Asterisk War. 2016 would have to be so much better and more like 2011-2013 for me to care anymore, but I'm just not seeing how that's going to happen with what's on the table yet.
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:00 pm Reply with quote
Alabaster Spectrum wrote:
2014-2015 Just ech, this almost qualifies for it's own separate blurb. I really don't know what happened but the quality of originals took an extreme nose dive and all of a sudden it feels like there's more of a focus on crappy light novel titles (particularly of the "high school battle harem genre" and what I call "boring talky shows" like the Monogatari sequels) than ever before and that anime has suddenly become a mass production medium. A-1 Pictures and Aniplex in particular as a major industry leader really started to take things in an overwhelmingly otaku-centric direction as well and stepped up their production astronomically almost as if trying to drown anything else out by sheer volume, but where they used to have a lot of hits before that multiple kind of audiences could appreciate (thinking titles like Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, Magi, Space Bros and Fullmetal Alchemist) it's like now it's all a lot of empty hype like Aldnoah Zero, Charlotte, Fate/Stay Night, Valvrave and Asterisk War. 2016 would have to be so much better and more like 2011-2013 for me to care anymore, but I'm just not seeing how that's going to happen with what's on the table yet.

While I at least somewhat agree with the rest (though I might quibble about exact break points) I find this paragraph to be quite off. "Empty hype" and "mass production medium" and "drown out anything else by sheer volume" are far from being applicable to just the last two years, nor do I think that they are particularly worse than any other two-year period in the last decade on that point. And while I'll agree that there has been a spike in a certain kind of show recently (the high school super-powered battle shows), it's not dramatically bigger than spikes we've seen in other types of shows in other time periods over the last 40 years; hell, '70s anime was far worse when it came to gluts of same-ness.

And I utterly disagree that the last two years haven't produced hits across the spectrum, covering a wide variety of target audiences and tastes. In fact, one could argue that some audiences which have been traditionally underserved have seen their biggest breakout in the past two years - especially fujoshi. Frankly, if you're not seeing the variety then you're not looking. Consider the variety in the series that have been hits to some degree this year:

Hyped-up Stylish Action - One-Punch Man, Blood Blockade Battlefront
Game-like Fantasy - Is Is Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?
Fantasy Grounded in History - Maria the Virgin Witch
Intellectual - Yurikuma Arashi, Death Parade
Nostalgia - Yatterman Night, Young Black Jack
"Clean" Romance - Snow White with the Read Hair, My Love Story!!
Male-Oriented Heavy Fan Service - several
Fujoshi-Oriented - several
Moe + Zombies - School-Live!
Moe + School Band - Sound Euphonium
Over-The-Top Exploitation - Prison School
Parody - Cute High Earth Defense Force LOVE
Classic Shonen - Ushio & Tora
Modern Military Fetish + Fantasy - GATE
Raunchy Satire - SHIMONETA
Mystery - Several, actually
Sports - Haikyuu!
Just Plain Weird - Punch Line

And there's a lot more which could be added to this, too, but I think this gets the point across.
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CrowLia



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PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:46 pm Reply with quote
@Key

Just out of curiosity, what's your basis for calling something a "hit"? Because Punchline sold like shit and pretty much nobody liked it, that's the last title I'd ever think of when talking about hits. Shimoneta seems to be relatively popular, but hardly enough to call it a hit, and also sold pretty badly (as opposed to, for example, School-Live that sold terribly but many people seem to have liked). Same with most of the mysteries: Ranpo Kitan received lukewarm reactions at most and Perfect Insider and Sakurako haven't been too popular either
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Key
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:04 am Reply with quote
Okay, so maybe I'm stretching on classifying some of those as "hits" (although it seems like some of them were more popular over here than in Japan), but the point still remains that there was no shortage of diversity this year despite the seeming glut of a particular type of show.
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sharkjack



Joined: 24 Oct 2015
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 23, 2015 10:12 am Reply with quote
5:JoJo's bizarre adventure
4: Maria the virgin witch
3:Noragami Aragoto
2: One Punch Man
1: Gatchaman C.R.O.W.D.S INSIGHT

I was expecting Gatchaman C.R.O.W.D.S to do poorly, but I also figured a mega poll like this would bring it higher than usual because controversial shows tend to do better in these than run of the mill shows that everyone agrees in in the top 10 but nobody puts in their top 5, so to see it all they way down in the lower 30's surprised me.

Looking at the list again I was pretty satisfied with what we got. One punch man was a great final show to close the year off with, Maria the virgin witch and chivalry of a failed knight were great suprises offering more than I would've expected, Noragami Aragoto and JoJo were fantastically solid and there's a bunch of runner ups for 5th place like Rokka no Yuusha, BBB, Yurikuma, Ushio and Tora, Haikyu and Baby steps that all had very different highs of stuff I love to see and best of all, I never really gave Death parade a shot, so now I get to go back and enjoy one of the universal top 5's of the year while the next set of shows makes its entrance. It was a pretty good year in anime for me.
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Spastic Minnow
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:55 pm Reply with quote
I guess I'm a bit late, but I always tend to make my "top ten" a bit late.

It was a really weak year for me, half filled with sequels.

Wagnaria!!3 --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating: Excellent
Best of 2015: #1 retroactively rating all previous seasons as "excellent" now that the finale special has done what so many comedy shows of this kind never do: Provided a perfect resolution. Everyone gets a fitting happy ending, the important couples are paired off, and as a viewer I was left very happy. Not to mention that the comedy never goes stale in this series. Funny from beginning to end.

Baby Steps
--My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Very good
Best of 2015: #2 Really love this character's story and the way the sports are, and aren't, the point, If it were a stronger year, it wouldn't get rated this high, but it' suspenseful (in it's way), sweet, and, and well told.

Owarimonogatari --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Very good
Best of 2015 #3: another yar,another great installment. Once it concludes, it might well all get bumped up to a materpiece as a whole. pieced out though, over many years, I keep thinking "what have I forgotten? where does this fit in?

Sound! Euphonium --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Very good
Best of 2015: #4 Kyo-Ani are the masters of slice of life goodness and following cute girls doing "Brass band" is a unique take on the theme. It's got great teen drama, bits of romance (with the slightest taste of yuri feelings) and it,of course, looks great.

Sanzoku no Musume Ronja
--My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Very good
Best of 2015 #5 Almost forgot this ended this year (I don't agree with categorizing a show by the year it starts in- This story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Better to judge it by it's end than it's middle). For a CG show, this look great, the character is super sweet and has just the right amount of spunk expected of a young Astrid Lindgren heroine. Nice to see that Ghibli can do good work without the movie budget. I hope they can do more.

Non Non Biyori Repeat --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Very good
Best of 2015: #6 More high quality comedy, sweetness and light

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Very good
Best of 2015 #7: This season did such a splendid job of deepening the difficult relationships of the core group and skillfully showed that there are no easy answers.

The is the first year I've had to include "good" anime in my top ten... and I have to do it three times. Well, I haven't watched a lot of the popular "best shows" because I didn't like the concepts or because they looked like shows that would work better as marathons

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Good
Best of 2015: #8 Not a great show but it shows a lot of promise as a show likely to have a sequel and improve even more.

Snow White with the Red Hair --My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Good
Best of 2015: #9 Not a great show but a nice little romance with a feminist fairy tale feel- although "snow white" is not really an apt comparison for the fairy tale story as shown. It also has a second half coming up that could help it out.

Beautiful Bones: Sakurako’s Investigation
--My ANN Encyclopedia Rating:Good
Best of 2015: #10 The mysteries in the show are mostly pretty weak- but the main character really captivates me and I'm very hopeful for a sequel.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:42 pm Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow wrote:
Sanzoku no Musume Ronja Almost forgot this ended this year (I don't agree with categorizing a show by the year it starts in- This story has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Better to judge it by it's end than it's middle).

Her mom was just the best. Every family needs a mom like that. Very Happy

I kind of agree about end vs beginning, but some series wouldn't get a look for a long time if it were done like that. I think if more than 5 episodes aired during the year, it should count, since some long running series remain exceptional year after year.
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Spastic Minnow
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 7:37 pm Reply with quote
When it's an either/or situation though (it can only be counted in one year because it is bisected by a year) I figure the ending period is when it should be counted.

Or, as you seem to be arguing for, be allowed to be counted both years. After all, they allow that with split cour shows. Snow White and GATE will be allowed on next year's lists because their first halves were separated by a season.

Fun Fact, one show on the mega list was actually entirely "released in 2014": Tsukimonogatari - all four episodes released on December 31, 2014
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