January 17, 2016
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Hello everyone! It’s been a while! Some of you may have noticed that I wasn’t able to join Sid in our season previews and roundups. 2015 has been quite challenging for me as I finished my graduate studies and changed jobs. However, I was still able to catch the most remarkable ones for this year.

And with that, I resume my yearly top 10 list of best anime. I have chosen from titles that finished airing in 2015.

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10. Charlotte

Disappearing from the view of a single person. Teleporting without control. Possessing another body for five seconds. Troublesome powers appeared among adolescents and the Student Council from Hoshinoumi Academy seek out the wielders before they are captured by scientists!

I fondly remembered Little Busters as the series went along. Elements like family love, amnesia, and powers are just some of the similarities between the two. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always a tear-jerker. It may not be easy to relate with the characters but once the right emotions are brought out, we just can’t help but sympathize. This may not be Jun Maeda’s best work but this is an original story worth a spot in my list this year.


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9. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works 2nd Season

A hero of justice has always been what Shirou Emiya wanted to be. However, he became one only to be betrayed by his very own ideals – he was a tool of slaughter to keep “humanity” from destroying itself. With blood-stained hands he took part in the Holy Grail War so he can kill his past self and erase the existence known as Hero Emiya.

This season of Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works took off right where the first one ended without explanation or transition from the previous one. This may not be very welcoming of new viewers of the franchise but it “forces” them to know the story first before starting this series. Long dialogues still persist in most of the episodes but battle scenes deliver the action that we all expect the series to.


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8. Ansatsu Kyoushitsu

Class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Junior High School has a special mission to assassinate their teacher. If they fail to do so before graduation, Koro-sensei will blow up the Earth like he has done with the moon. But with his max speed of Mach 20, will the students ever be able to kill their teacher on time?

It is not only a clash of weapons and tentacles but even education methodologies! Episodic for the most part, there is a strong overarching plot that connects the entire series. Coupled with an entertaining yet meaningful dialogue and considerably “real” characters, we couldn’t ask for a more well-balanced title than Ansatsu Kyoushitsu. And while the manga is still ongoing, the second season will hopefully help us catch up with the latest plot development.


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7. Working!!!

“The final objective was to go somewhere while holding hands!”

The best thing about this third season of Working is seeing all loose ends tied together for a totally satisfying end, despite the delayed telecast of its final episode. In a sense, there is the concept of moving forward for both the characters and the viewers themselves. Our favorite couples have sorted out their true feelings while others have accepted their realities and new roles. We are truly going to miss this lively bunch!


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6. Noragami Aragoto

Without wishes to grant or followers to honor them, a god’s life can be as fleeting as that of a human. Yato grants wishes for 5 yen so that one day he could build a shrine of his own.

Two major arcs comprise the second season of Noragami, each bringing us to a closer understanding about our main characters by revealing their past. The all-powerful war god Bishamonten faced the ugly truth that has warped her family and showed her true strength. Meeting the god of fortune Ebisu opened a new path for Yato who now wishes to make people happy. Yukine also grows from being a spoiled brat to a sacred vessel who can guide Yato. Will this story continue? There was no promise of a third season but the ending is inviting one, perhaps with more ground to cover from the ongoing manga.


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5. Kekkai Sensen

Hellsalem’s Lot – a city where this world and another intersect. Leonardo Watch crossed the border to this sealed city in search of the truth that perhaps only his all-seeing eye could see.

Overflowing with shounen action energy, Kekkai Sensen was one of my most anticipated series last Spring. From the characters, their antics, and battles, everything was crazily amazing! Even the music was perfect for this series, from the opening song down to the ending song, both topping the charts last year. Did I mention how beautiful the jazz-inspired BGMs are as well? This was my first time encountering a delay in the airing of their one-hour telecast of the last episode but it gave a satisfying end that was worth the wait.


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4. Akatsuki no Yona

A princess who knew nothing of the world beyond the castle walls that has sheltered her for 16 years. On the eve of her birthday, she loses her home, her father, and most of all her beloved cousin who had betrayed her for power. The creation myth that has founded the kingdom of Kouka slowly comes to life as Yona sought the power to live and protect.

The transformation from a frail and ignorant princess to a warrior with burning desire was breathtaking. A love bound by duty is painful yet beautiful. Rarely have I seen such a well-executed historical adventure that left me craving for more.


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3. Dungeon ni Deai o Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?

Once there was a boy who… wanted to pick up girls in a dungeon?

I have never seen a series with a more misleading title than this one! While indeed our main character, the newbie adventurer Bell Cranel, wanted to pick up girls in a dungeon, there is certainly more to this series than a possible harem trap. Bell is such a lovable character whose innocence and pure heart makes everyone want to protect him. The Little Rookie recognizes his weakness and desires to be strong so that one day he may stand beside the person he has admired. Danmachi reminds us that anything is possible to a person who dreams and works hard to reach it.


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2. One Punch Man

A hero for fun. The world’s strongest hero can defeat his enemies with a single punch. What made Saitama strong enough to end his battles with a punch? This is the mystery both heroes and villains alike want to discover.

I cannot even begin to pinpoint what made One Punch Man such a hit. Animating a top selling manga does not guarantee a top selling anime.


 

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1. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

His life has become as black and white as the keys of the piano. Arima Kousei was once a piano prodigy who disappeared from the stage after the death of his mother. Two years later, he is called back to the stage, led by the hand of violinist Kaori Miyazono.

Beautifully heartbreaking. I lost count of the times I cried while watching Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. It doesn’t even matter whether it’s the first or the nth time I am watching it. That is just how much the emotions and the music of Shigatsu resonate within me and perhaps the many others who have seen this title.


There you have it! Perhaps more than the technicalities such as animation, script, music, or characters, what matters most to me in selecting what I call my best titles for the year is the overall impression they have left me with. These 10 have surely left their mark and talking about them will always bring me fond memories to share.

Other Titles Seen: Akagami no Shirayukihime, Aldnoah Zero Season 2, Aoharu x Kikanjuu, Arslan Senki, Chaos Dragon, Dog Days”, Durarara!!x2 Ten, Gakusen Toshi Asterisk, Hibike! Euphonium, High School Star Musical, Houkago no Pleiades, Juuou Mujin no Fafnir, K: Return of Kings, Kamisama Hajimemashite Season 2, Kuroko no Basket Season 3, Owari no Seraph, Owari no Seraph: Nagoya Kessen-hen, Owarimonogatari, Plastic Memories, Rokka no Yuusha, Tokyo Ghoul Root A, Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love Revolutions

Titles Dropped: Absolute Duo, Classroom Crisis, Comet Lucifer, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ruu no Rondo, Dance with Devils, Denpa Kyoushi, Gate, Heavy Object, Isuca, Kyoukai no Rinne, Lance N’ Masques, Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace, Seiken Tsukai no World Break, Shoukugeki no Soma, Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider

Currently Watching: Akagami no Shirayukihime Season 2, Assassination Classroom Season 2, Boku dake ga Inai Machi, Bubuki Buranki, Digimon Adventure tri, Divine Gate, Durarara!!x2 Ketsu, God Eater, Hai to Gensou no Grimjar, Haikyuu!! Season 2, HaruChika, Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans, Luck & Logic, Prince of Stride Alternative

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