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Greetings! 2016 so far has been an amazing year for anime. We have been presented a far range of genres and styles so far this year. As I have done before and as many people do on their blogs or YouTube channels, I am back with another top 10 list of anime from 2016 up to this point. This list encompasses anime which have aired in the first two seasons of 2016. This list does not include new series which have just started in recent weeks (though I do suspect that some will make the list once completed). Also I would like to note that this list is a ranking, but it is important to note that it was very difficult to put these series in any order since they are all great series. It’s a dead heat between most of these series for the spots so if a series is lower on the list then you would put, it is not a knock against the series at all. So without any further delay, here is my list!
Tanaka-Kun is Always Listless/The Flying Witch
Yes I know I have two series together here but both of these series really have fit a nice role in the anime lineup this year. Most of the series on this list in particular are either full of intense action or drama, these series are light, relaxing and just plain fun. In Tanaku-Kun, the art of being lazy is explored in a brilliantly dry fashion with a great cast of characters. In The Flying Witch you have more an innocent style of humor with a main character who is really likeable despite the well intended mistakes she makes. Both series are good viewing choices if you need to unwind after a long day.
This series about a group of Japanese spies during the early days of World War II was a fascinating watch.This series really intrigued me when I first started watching it and I wasn’t disappointed when I finished it. Anytime a series focuses on something other than school life, it gains bonus points. In addition, the series breaks another norm by focusing on one character at a time as they are in the process of completing various missions around the world. This series does a lot of things that are outside the norm and if you are looking for a good historical themed show- this is it.
Being a fan of Kill la Kill, I was certainly intrigued when I heard that Studio Trigger was doing a new series. Knowing that a series from them could go in any direction- I wasn’t sure what to expect.If you expect an insane and bombastic show like Kill la Kill, then Kiznaiver isn’t it. What we got was a pretty good show which touches upon a fascinating concept with a very diverse cast of characters. It is very dramatic and subtle in tone and it works great for a series with the concept is has. I watched this series after it completed and I’m glad I did as it does a great job of keeping you hooked. An overall good series which is worth spending an evening watching.
9). Dimension W
This series was a real surprise for me. The concept seemed cool enough but I was a bit concerned because we have seen plenty of futuristic shows before and many of them were quite average. This one however is not. Instead of a whiny teenager, we get a battle heartened soldier who is a real bad ass. We also get a story which really focused on the consequences of technology as a whole and what can happen if humans overstep their bounds.
8). Assassination Classroom Season 2
How can this series not be on a top ten list of this year? The concept alone had me hooked when season 1 aired and this series just executes the ideas it’s presents so well. At it’s core despite it’s very colorful “villian” in Koro-Sensei, the series is really about the students and their journey to overcome obstacles on their way to becoming adults. The series has a lot of charm to it, plenty of laughs, and some nice action sequences as well. It is one of the few series that I have seen which is not hindered by such a large cast of characters, in fact this one is helped by it. You get to see many of the students featured in their own episode and each learn a valuable lesson along the way. A great change of pace series compared to much of what has aired this year.
Guy gets trapped in a game world- gets surround by attractive ladies and is a super powered bad ass- pretty typical anime trope right? Konosuba takes these tropes and completely mocks them form start to finish. Our main character is just an average guy with pretty weak powers. The pretty girls who join him all have insane quirks and are for the most part useless in battle. While in most series the actions of the heroes gain them wealth and honor, everytime this group of characters tries to do something right they usually end either in trouble or with less money than they started. This is a hilarious take on the gaming genre of anime. Oh an by the way, Megumin is best girl, hands down.
The concept of time travel is a pretty common device in many forms of entertainment. Since there are so many instances of this theme being explored, it can be very easy to overlook a series because of the somewhat tired nature of it’s theme. Erased is not one of those overlooked series. Erased takes this idea and adds some new elements to elements to it plus has a nice amount of suspense, drama, and heartwarming moments. You find yourself rooting for the main character to succeed from start to finish and find great joy when does accomplish something towards his goal. With beautiful aesthetics as well, Erased does almost everything right.
5). My Hero Academia
While last year’s One Punch Man was a critique of many of the superhero tropes, My Hero Academia is really a love song to the wonders of super hero comics. The art style was still distinctly an anime style really also feels like something which would come from an American comic book. All Might is the ultimate American style hero. Midoriya is the definition of a fan boy who achieves his dream.The plot is engaging with a great mixture of action and characterization. This series is just an entertaining watch from start to finish and is must for any top 10 anime list for this year. I know it is lower than some of you may like but this is not because I have a negative view of this series, there is just a lot of competition among series this year.
4). Bungo Stray Dogs
When I saw previews for this this series, I was sold. With the entire cast based loosely off of literary authors both Japanese and Western origin, you have a very interesting idea here. This series had a cool concept, interesting characters and a pretty compelling plot. While I didn’t get many of the literary references, just the fact that there are literary references makes this series cool. Even if you don’t get the nods, the series is an entertaining ride from the first to last episode (which was made better by the immediate promise of a season 2 and the promise of more Western authors being introduced). In addition we get a break from the traditional school setting with an interesting mix of a modern setting with early 20th century vibes. I’m really looking forward to season 2 for this series.
3). Durarara x2
Why can’t Hollywood come up with an idea like this? When you mix various supernatural elements mix with a story about gangs and various people trying to find their place in the world, you get Durarara. Probably a surprise pick for many of you but I have always been amazed by how good this series is. The series came to it’s conclusion this year and the final arc was just insane. All of the sub plots and characters come together to give a great resolution to the story. We are left with an ending which was both conclusive and leaves open the possibility for additional story. This series was able to be complex, have an insanely large cast of characters, and an unusual feel and yet it all works nicely. This one fell under the radar a bit but in my mind it was one of the best of the year so far.
2).Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress
So Attack on Titan meets Steam Punk Japan and Zombies…I’m sold. This was a series which people either loved or hated and I loved it. While by no means perfect, this series does a lot of things right especially considering it’s short run.Very similar in tone to Attack on Titan, Kabaneri is a dark series which does a great job at keeping you at the edge of your seat. There are great characters including a male lead who isn’t the worst protagonist I’ve come across and Mumei who is one of the best characters of the year. The animation is gorgeous and the soundtrack is epic. It is a shame that it is only available on Amazon as this series is great. If you subscribe to Amazon video, this series is worth checking out.
1). Re:Zero- Starting Life In Another World
Was there any real surprise that this would be on the list? While this series is still airing, the ride has been amazing from the start. What could of been another cookie cutter guy gets trapped in a fantasy world series has turned into a suspenseful mind blowing series with a plot which will keep you guessing at every turn. In addition all of the characters from Emilia to Rem are incredible fleshed out. Everything works in this series just works period. If you haven’t checked this series out, I strongly recommend that you do as it certainly deserves all of the praise that people have given it.
This concludes my Top Anime List for the first half of 2016. So what were your favorites? Please comment below. If you enjoy the content of this blog and would like to kept up to date on news and new posts, please follow my Facebook page (Railgunfan75’s Geek Blog) and Twitter account (@Railgunfan75). So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off! See ya!