Some “animeniacs” base their overall thoughts on a year of media based on the reception from the majority. Others base it on personal perception and a third group on quality. I am part of the second group, which is why I say 2015 was a good year in anime for me. Since a bunch of new fans joined us this year I will explain how I pick which shows were my favorites for each year:
1: I do not pay attention to whether the show got critical acclaim or not.
2: I do not pay attention to the number of fellow “animeniacs” who liked or disliked the show.
3: My picks are not based on whether the shows were well written or structured as those are usually subjective opinions. The shows mentioned I personally enjoyed more than others.
4: The picks are based on shows I watched. There were others I picked that I could not finish but will try to do so in 2016.
Now here is my list of shows from unsatisfying to most satisfying.
Rolling Girls: It looked pretty with its creative locales and bright colors, the action scenes were vintage turbo shounen anime insanity and the soundtrack was nice. The problem was that I could not get myself to care about anything that was going on. There was a yuri ship but it did not do much for me either.
Punch Line: The girls were hot. Other than that it was another one of those Cerebus syndrome shows that did it in a way I disapproved. Also the big reveal in the middle did not build up to much…and I am not referring to the identity of the masked boy.
Cross Ange: One of the few shows I gave a second chance because the people praising it were unexpected. It was not as bad as I initially thought. The lesbians were taken seriously (Hilda best character), the mech vs dragon and other stuff action was glorious and of course the yuri (sans the one scene in episode 2) was delicious. Ange was cool but her relationship with tusk was nothing special and the baddies were irredeemable bastards. As for the Code GEASS parallels I heard from some…okie dokie. I’ll take your word for it.
Himouto! Umaru-chan: Very funny stuff from Umaru herself and her journey of forming a legitimate posse while still keeping her otaku nature secret. The show also gifted me with the wonderful lasses Kirie, Sylphynford and Onii-chan’s boss.
Show By Rock!!: A combination of Girls Club, Boys Club and kickass music. The first half was awesome and while the second half was also enjoyable I felt something was missing and it’s not just the drop in CyaReto goodness. Hopefully the sequel will crank up what made the premiere show enjoyable.
Koufuku Graffiti: Softcore food porn starring ambiguously gay cousins. Add a touch of importance of familial bonds and the love of cooking with a pinch of SHAFT-tilting and you got yourself a fun filled recipe, provided the viewer has years of experience watching Girls Club shows.
Kantai Collection: Same reason I enjoyed Strike Witches but this time featuring ship girls rather than plane girls. Girls are cute and sexy, fun to watch and badass in their battles against the Abyssal. The one gripe I had was that the cast was so big not everyone got a chance to shine but that will hopefully be rectified in the sequel.
Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku: Bless you Eruna Ichinomiya for being one of the coolest and most entertaining lesbian protagonists I have ever seen. Your show was pretty good too but clearly your greatness was the show’s main draw for me.
Re-Kan!: A cute and heartwarming show centering around the relationship between the living and the departed. It is not the most exciting show out there but it has an undeniable charm to it that gave it a special place in my heart. Also a show that does the shipping of the main couple for me deserves major brownie points.
Sore ga Seiyuu!: A show exploring the ins and outs of the life of a voice actor in Japan that has elements that could be applied to ones in other countries. Very interesting stuff and detractors who call it a SHIROBAKO ripoff or inferior are exaggerating as this covers a different field and has a different aura to it, making comparisons unfair. It is its own entity and did its job quite well.
The Idolm@ster – Cinderella Girls: This one got a lot of flack from both diehard “Im@s OG” and overall idol fans for having too much drama and there being too much focus on the New Generations group of Uzuki, Mio and Rin. Personally this group clicked with me more than OG did. I also got more emotionally attached to CG. I do agree that there were too many girls outside of the main 14, 15 if we count Rika, who hardly got to do anything and were featured solely for fanservice cameos (Not the ecchi kind).
Ore Monogatari: It is difficult for me to explain precisely what I look for in het-romance anime but the ones here got me right where it counts and I could not control my mad respect for Takeo and Suna (The ultimate broskis) and my squees for Ringo (Takeo and Ringo were so adorable and touching). So much win!
One-Punch Man: A mix of fun and serious superhero shows covering topics in these kinds of stories that are not often brought up. While I enjoyed the fun aspects more than the serious ones, said serious ones were very interesting to see play out. The last quarter in particular was insanely awesome and I want more of this series in animated form. Oh and the OP kicks serious ass.
Hidan no Aria AA: While the action scenes were hit and miss and the finale was not as epic as viewers had hoped, Akari and friends’ antics were so enjoyable, the yuri super obvious and the good battles made up for the not as good ones that I could not deny having enjoyed this show quite a bit.
The Moe Trifecta of “KiniGochiNon”: Yup. I’m cheating because I ranked GochiUsa 2, KinMoza 2 and Non Non 2 equally. That is because the three excelled in one area but were all wonderful. KinMoza 2 was gayer, Non Non 2 was more tranquil and serene and GochiUsa 2 was funnier.
Now for my top 7 most satisfying shows. These are in no particular order, simply the ones that fulfilled me.
Symphogear GX: While it felt repetitive at times it is tied with the first season as one of my favorites. It was more of the same but the villains were the best the series had by far, the fights were over the top as expected, the soundtrack blessed my ears as usual and some bonds were strengthened while others remained the same in a good way.
SHIROBAKO: Not only did the show go deeper than I expected an anime about making anime would go but it also introduced a large cast of characters with cool heroines, side characters and a douche I wanted to see get his very badly. Plus the first OP is one of my fav anime songs of 2015.
Hibike! Euphonium: While K-ON! remains one of my all time favorite Girls Club shows it was very nice seeing a show that actually focused on the highs and lows of being in a music club, or rather a band. Not only that but it also made a strong emphasis on the difference between doing it for fun and doing it for the gold. Not to mention no mercy was shown for characters who could not cut it due to time constraints. Oh yeah and there’s KumiRei but I don’t think many people know about this ship…no sirree bob.
Yuru Yuri 3: Not as random and crazy as past seasons but I still see this as the best season of the series’ TV run by far. Hopefully like the moe trifecta there will be another season as there’s still material to work with from what I heard. Chapter 94 anyone? Note: Thanks Mr Vampko.
Gakkou Gurashi: How much viewers enjoyed this show depends on how accepting they were of the fact the show’s a hybrid between the girls club and zombie apocalypse subgenres. Otherwise there would be viewers asking “When are the zombies coming back?”, which I know some viewers had that mentality throughout. Anyway for me it was a very unique girls club show where both sides of the hybrid delivered and tugged at my heartstrings many times. It was a show where the threats were taken seriously and the stakes were very high as doom loomed ever closer. Also my love for Shovelnator and Bunszai is undeniable.
Valkyrie Drive Mermaid: The controversy surrounding this show was nothing new for borderline hentai anime like this one. The main difference between the raunchiness of this show and Cross Ange’s was the latter didn’t show any nipples. Randomredneck said it best: “It’s softcore porn with a plot”. Pretty much. Even so it’s a good plot, the good girls were cool and the bad girls were not irredeemable but still very despicable. Apart from the infamous episode 4 illusion and the “Japan just can’t themselves” stupid fetish in the finale VDM was a no-holds barred lesbian goldmine and I loved most of it. I am happy a yuri show like this exists because sometimes I need more than soft yuri and yuri shows that do not raise the bar. Oh and a badass OP and fast ED is appreciated.
Yuri Kuma Arashi: For some a show easy to drop or discredit because it is difficult to follow, took a cerebus syndrome route (Though for this one it was expected and not out of nowhere) and it did not give them enough. For others such as I it is a show with an ultimately familiar love story but everything else being one of a kind, thus elevating its greatness to major heights. It’s a show filled to the brim with symbolism starring lesbians and bears that also discusses the difference between open-minded yuri fans and yuri purists (among other major topics) for Mocha-Sama’s sake! Oh and it rivaled Cross Ange and Valkyrie Drive in erotic lesbian goodness. SYMBOLIC YURI! I made jokes about the OP being so deliciously sensual it could encourage people to have sex. The ED’s chipper.
Now that I think about it, 2015 was a VERY active year for anime lesbians. They were unleashed so to speak.
#Yurikuma, #vdproject and #CrossAnge
And that’s it. All that is left is to ask viewers what their fav shows of 2015 were and wish the yuri nation a happy New Year filled with more yuri goodness of all media.
As for me, here’s to more happiness, yuri and performances from my (in my dreams) soul mate. The OG-Man can never have enough Aoi Yuuki performances.