A few days ago, an idea popped up; to pick each season’s best and worst anime. But opinions differ and so, your Senpai has finally decided to take off his mask, to reveal.. yes, another mask! But a more unique one this time. Because now you get to see each of the three Senpai pick his favorite and most hated anime of each season. Each of us have decided on Pseudonyms to make things fun. Let’s get going then, onward with Summer 2016’s Best & Worst.
Best of the Season: Alderamin on the Sky
To start off I had no idea about the novel nor did I see any hype regarding the show. The only thing that caught my eye was the interesting synopsis and the fact that this show was being produced by Madhouse. As the season comes to a close I must say, this is the best show I have seen this season.
I really liked how they took their time to build up the story. It was on point. They did not rush it or stretch it unnecessarily. Second thing that caught my attention was the plot twists. I genuinely felt that they could not have been executed any better. The show has its fair share of drawbacks. The most noticeable one would be the blunder they successfully pulled off in the visual department. The characters basically have the same face more or less with different body structures and hair color. They do not remotely resemble their novel counterpart. But if I have to compare it to the other good shows of the season say for example Orange or ReLife, the positive sides of the show more than enough make up for the drawbacks. I definitely won’t hesitate to say that this is my pick for the best show of the season
Runner Up: Relife
I really didn’t want to pick two anime for the best position so I picked Alderamin on the Sky. But to be frank ReLife is every bit as deserving of the title of ‘Anime of the Season’. I went with Alderamin for the complex nature of the show and the element of surprise it has to offer unlike the more straight forward and predictable nature of ‘Relife’.
The show showcased how fascinating a Slice of Life anime can be if they are executed correctly. The show offered almost everything without necessarily overdoing it. The show had some great comic moments. It was difficult to hold back my laughter during those scenes. But the comic moments didn’t get dragged too long which would have probably made people label it as a comedy show. The show had bits of romance but it was not cheesy nor does it give you the cringe. The show had some sad turn of events too. When I look back, I can’t help but be amazed at what an amazing job they did and keep in mind it was a short show. Take a look at some of the other 12/13 episode shows of recent times. Very few shows actually have the ability to pull a great story off like Relife did. The artwork was exquisite. I could hardly differentiate the artwork of the anime from the manga counterpart.
Worst of the Season: Berserk (2016)
A Berserk anime is always a recipe for disaster. The 1997 adaptation was a true masterpiece. However, considering the detailed nature of the artwork and the amount of violence and bloodshed the manga has to offer, it was always going to be a daunting task for any Anime Studio to replicate the charisma of this epic manga. Till this date I will never realize how they pulled off the 1997 adaptation. Now let’s get back to the actual topic. Why did Berserk 2016 suck so bad?
To start off they totally ignored the Lost Children Arc, which many people may, and highly likely, will describe as the 2nd best arc of the manga. When I started watching the show I saw abomination that was created by putting some Conviction Arc, some bits of Black Swordsman Arc and some fillers. The music was terrible. I do not necessarily agree that the artwork is bad. It is different for sure but you can get used to it. Ajin successfully pulled off CGI animation, so I beg to differ that a show is bad just because it used CGI animation. Many people may ask, “What about Masou Gakuen HxH? Is Berserk 2016 even worse than Masou Gakuen?” Well, at least Masou Gakuen provided us with some great fanservice. Berserk 2016 couldn’t pull that one off either. One piece of advice for Miura Sensei, not everyone reads manga. Some people directly go for the anime. Please do not bother with anymore Berserk anime. The manga is a classic and by making lower than bottom tier adaptation like Berserk 2016 is doing nothing but tarnishing the image of the manga which is nothing short of a masterpiece.
Best of the Season: Re:ZERO
“Re:ZERO at the top? But it’s not even this season’s anime.” I know, but then again, seeing as how it continued till the end of this season and even kept its place in the weekly top lists, I cannot but acknowledge it.
Re:ZERO, the way it started, felt like another KonoSuba. But the differences were quick to follow. Being summoned in a different world may not always be so easy going a thing as depicted in KonoSuba, or at least that’s the initial idea Re:ZERO was laying out. Subaru’s power seemed like a copy of the American film, “Edge of Tomorrow.” But even with that, and the initial lack of hype, the anime picked itself up and carried onwards.
While KonoSuba never became much of a comparison to it, Erased (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi) was definitely one anime people compared it to, and Re:ZERO defeated that one as well. By the end of the anime, everyone who is anyone were fighting for the best waifu.
Now, on to a more focused reasoning. Re:ZERO shows a good amount of character development and a level of friendzone you’ll never forget (it’s true). Subaru and Rem particularly, are shown to develop much greater than the rest of the characters. It reached a point where people screamed to let Subaru have some power for once, but that did not happen. Subaru conquered all of it with what he had, his own mental strength and of course, the help of his friends. On the other hand, Rem has turned into an icon for the show even. She has shown much character development and an understanding towards Subaru that no one else has.
Re:ZERO ended each and every episode on a cliff hanger, or a suspenseful situation if you will. This created an expectation and excitement for each of its new episodes. But I must admit, Re:ZERO isn’t all good either. Emilia, even though being the main character, shows little character development. Beatrice is nowhere to be seen during one of the latter arcs where her disappearance made no sense. Side characters showed little to no character development and some didn’t even get enough screen time. By that logic, Emilia is more of a side character than Rem. But it all juggles and when put back in place, Re:ZERO is still an amazing anime and one that I’ll eagerly await another season of.
And with that, I vote Re:ZERO, best of the season. Of course, I can’t help but mention Alderamin on the Sky as well, seeing as both Lazy and Angry Senpai have chosen that as their best of the season; and I must also confess that I haven’t seen that one yet, so this might just be fanboyism. Oh well.
Runner Up: Mob Psycho 100
Proving mangaka ONE is no one hit wonder, Mob Psycho 100 hypes up the season. Of course I must admit, it didn’t do as good as One Punch Man, but then again, it didn’t do any worse either.
Like One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 is an anime with an OP main character, namely Mob. Mob is a psychic with powers that surpass seemingly everyone who is anyone, and yet he is not willing to use these powers for his own gain. With similar traits the show moved forward but shone in a light of its own. Unlike Saitama who does the hero thing as a hobby, Mob is extremely protective of his family and loved ones, especially his younger brother, and is willing to do anything to protect them. Unlike most anime where we don’t see enough character development, most of the main characters show a reasonably good amount of character development in Mob Psycho 100.
Mob Psycho 100 is, in a word, extreme entertainment (or was that two?). It’s not your typical shounen and the OPM feel is visible, but the difference is even more visible. If I didn’t include Re:ZERO in this season, Mob Psycho 100 would have probably taken the top spot for me. Sorry, I’m a shounen lover, especially when a shounen is not a typical one. That aside, Mob Psycho 100 features good art (what!?), yes, good art. Compared to the source manga, the art in the anime is much improved. It’s necessary for the art to be like this to bring out the comedic vibe of the show, and it’s evident that the studio responsible for animating the anime, Bones, did a wonderful job of improving the art style while keeping the original art style intact.
If you’re still wondering if you’ll be disappointed after watching this, let me tell you, you’re wrong. Just don’t expect OPM from Mob and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Worst of the Season: Taboo Tattoo
Let me hate on this anime one more time (one more? Where did I last hate on it? Check out my First Impression of this anime) for the sake of this article. The title was bad, the plot was bad, the animation (excluding the fighting scenes) was bad, and the story’s direction was a total crap.
Taboo Tattoo could’ve been much more, so much more. The potential was there and it was nipped in the bud. Honestly speaking, Masou Gakuen HxH was probably just as worse, but I chose Taboo Tattoo because of how its potential was destroyed. Let’s talk a bit on that potential since I don’t want to repeat the same things from my first impression of it.
Taboo Tattoo deals with embedded tattoos containing ancient and secret powers. Our protagonist has a childish sense of justice and is even more childish in his decisions. For a power battle, a character that grasps everything a bit quicker and has a more mature mindset is a loved scenario. There was no need to force the comedy into the show, the tattoos were enough of a thing to take the show forward, had they been used in a proper manner. The dark animation ruined the mood. You can’t just put light hearted scenes in a dark animation, it just doesn’t work that way. My mind is expecting suspense and I get a load of shitty comedy; that doesn’t do any better than just mocking my attention. And here I hear they’re even hinting at a second season of this shit.
Leaving what has been and what could’ve been behind, Taboo Tattoo is still just as ugly as I depicted it in my First Impression. I might even watch Masou Gakuen ShitXShit for the sake of censored hentai, but I just can’t tolerate Taboo Tattoo. Peace!
Best of the Season: Alderamin on the Sky
One of the main reasons I was attracted to this anime was because of its genre. Being a fan of military, action and war related anime I was generally drawn to this show. But since it had the fantasy and adventure tag to it, I went into to it expecting something like GATE. What I found was completely different and much less lighthearted than GATE and that just made it a whole lot better.
This show is probably one of the very few anime of the season with a great overarching story and characterization. It has some of the most interesting character dynamics among the anime of this season. The story and characters are structured well and the main characters get enough back story for the audience to relate to the way they are at the point in time when the story takes place. The story itself is not so unique but the fact that it is thrown into a fantasy setting with a cast of unique characters is what sets it apart. It’s the story of two nations at war where the main character Ikta is somewhat persuaded into becoming what he never wanted to become, a soldier, due to hatred towards them and his inherent lazy nature. He believes that ‘Heroes die of overwork’, and so he wants to be ‘Lazy in the right way’. Thus the story’s plot is the rise of a lazy military tactical genius. But that is only scratching the surface. There is much more to it as you progress along the episodes.
The story, pace, development and the characters are the strongest points of Alderamin on the Sky. The music is great as well. The opening theme is probably one of my favorites of the season. The only thing I have complaints about, is the art. Being a Madhouse production, you can expect the animation to be great and colorful. But the character design is something you won’t expect from Madhouse. It is nothing like the original art of the source material. The characters all have almost the same face with different hair color. It’s so disappointing when compared to the source that it almost makes you feel Madhouse didn’t even take it seriously or had its interns do the art.
That said, all the good sides of the anime are more than enough to make up for the bad ones. The final episode left enough room for a continuation of the story yet it wrapped up its current story arc properly, giving the viewers a sense of satisfaction and enough reason to be excited for more. Overall Alderamin on the Sky left a far better and stronger impression on me than any other show of the season, and that is why I chose it as my best show of Summer 2016.
Runner Up: The Disastrous life of Saiki K
The Disastrous life of Saiki K is probably one of the funniest shows I have seen this year. I’m saying that even after considering Sakamoto Desu Ga. The Disastrous life of Saiki K is the story of a psychic boy who has all sorts of psychic and supernatural abilities starting from ESP to teleportation and even clairvoyance. His daily lives and the situations he faces due to his unorthodox group of ‘friends’ are the main focus of the show. Now I have read the manga and for once I am asserting that this anime has outdone the source material by a huge margin. This has happened mainly due to the amazing voice acting by the cast of the show. But the star of the show is definitely Hiroshi Kamiya who plays the part of the main character, Saiki Kusou. Famous for roles such as Araragi Koyomi (Monogatari Series), Orihara Izaya (Durarara!) and Yato (Noragami), he certainly brought his A-Game to this show and truly took it to another level.
The Disastrous life of Saiki K is a full on comedy show with 5 minutes long episodes airing 5 days a week. Though it’s more of a ‘short’ rather than a full length anime, it outshines most anime of its genre. At the end of the season it has left an everlasting impression on me and I still laugh my ass off even when I’m re-watching certain episodes. Honestly, it was hard to choose for me between The Disastrous life of Saiki K and Alderamin on the Sky for the best of the season but considering certain facts this show came out second by a negligible margin. The Disastrous life of Saiki K is a bag of laughter and I guarantee that you’ll love it, should you decide to try it out.
Worst of the Season: Masou Gakuen HxH
The Hatred is strong with this one. So I knew this was going to be bad even before starting it because it’s a typical light novel adaptation with ‘Ecchi, Harem and Mecha’ tags, and God knows we have had MORE THAN ENOUGH of these; but Masou Gakuen HxH takes it to a whole new level. The plot of the anime goes: The world is attacked by unknown alien, ‘mechs’ from a different dimension and only a few selected people are able to use ‘Heart Hybrid Gears’ (some sort of mecha suit that is the manifestation of their internal powers) to fight these aliens and save the planet. The main cast of fighters is a group of high school girls (how convenient!). The catch is their power runs out and they have to recharge their powers otherwise they might die. Enter Mr. Useless main protagonist whose ability is, Eros, the power of ‘Eroticism’ and the girls have to recharge their power by doing ‘lewd things’ with him. *Slow Claps*
Masou Gakuen HxH is full of overused clichés, bad writing and execution and boobs. It’s just BAD. Some of the boobs don’t even look like boobs. What makes me really furious is that these Infinite Stratos clones are getting dumber and worse by the season. Winter had ‘The Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle’, Spring had ‘Hundred’ and Summer had ‘Masou Gakuen HxH’; each one of them is even worse than the previous. These shows are SO bad that it’s like they are mocking the audience. And this offends me. A lot.
In my opinion Masou Gakuen HxH is just garbage. Utter garbage!
And that’s all for Summer 2016. What’s your best and worst of the season? Let us know in the comments section below.