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Halex

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Best Animes From 2016

I only included the animes I have watched from these years. I'm not including Sequels when quality declines or when the story started in previous years. I am including Sequels where it makes sense to keep watching, in order to complete the story.
1 Ajin: Demi-Human

Ajin: Demi-Human

Ajin: Demi-Human - Watching Guide

Many characters have had the power of immortality and regeneration over the years, but none have taken it to the extreme Ajin takes it, the way they fight is at a completely different level. This show is great for the action and suspense (expect lots of violence & gore), there is also good character development at least for the main protagonist.

The main antagonist is one of the best I have seen, it's very charismatic despite being a psychopath that thrives in violence. It kind of reminds me of Hannibal Lecter in that sense. The line between good & evil can get very blurry throughout the story.

Another good aspect of the show is how the powers are introduced through practical experimentation and observation, they are not just thrown out as Deux ex Machina, instead, they follow the rules of their world and are explain in logical but simple analogies.

The animation is CG but not completely awful, at times it looks very realistic except for facial expressions, the movements are kind of rotoscopic, but the quality drops in some scenes, where the movement looks awkward and unrealistic. Nevertheless, the fighting scenes are the best part of the show, I found them very engaging.

'First, let me talk about what people usually complain about, the animation. As you can see I gave it a 9/10 instead of a low score. This is because I think this 3D animation style is a refreshing change to the normal 2D animation style. True, it's a bit lacking and I think it's because of the time required to do it in 3D rather than 2D. It gets better later on though. I myself thought it was disappointing at the beginning however after 13 episodes I have gotten used to it and trust me, It's not worth dropping the show just because of the animation style.

I find the story very realistic and the main character, though wimpy and unknowledgeable about Ajin's power, grows and develops his skill. He has a cold personality and a lack of a sense of justice as he views everything happening to people elsewhere as 'unrelated'. Despite his lack of heroism, I think it brings more charm to him as a character rather than a classic wimpy but heroic character. 

Satou is probably my favorite character. Despite his 'calm' look that an old person usually posses, he is the most BADASS character ever.' -NaomiEX

'Okay look, this anime does have a very unique animation style but you would be doing a huge injustice to yourself as anime fans if you missed this one for one reason. This is by far the best anime of the year for me. And an absolute must watch for all Horror/Action fans. There is a second season too so there's that too! ENJOY!' -Zangetsu92

The dub is great!

2 Ajin: Demi-Human 2nd Season

Ajin: Demi-Human 2nd Season

Continuation of the story.

3 My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia

My Hero Academia - Watching Guide

This is basically the equivalent of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in anime, showcasing the same kind of humor and action.

Superpowers are appropriately called Quirks, and as such, they are particular for each character, with many looking goofy and useless. But this is where the author's writing shines, as no matter how goofy or useless they look, each character proves that their Quirks are useful depending on how they 'choose' to use them. An obvious allegory that defines this series' central theme.

In that regard, there is a lot of focus on critical thinking in order to define & develop your personal abilities, and this is done by placing the characters in difficult situations where they try different things, from different points of view. So the concepts are explained through actions, not info-dumping. You could say that this series tries to build character, confidence, analytical & critical thinking; while implicity asking What makes you unique? and What kind of abilities do you have? I definitely would have loved to have a show like this when I was 8-10 years old.

It also pays attention to strategies & tactics and how to combine each other's abilities to work in a team that is more powerful than individuals, and how this is a power in itself that everyone can acquire. These strategies & tactics are explained and exemplified during the action sequences.

Although the story is simple and the outcome may be predictable, it still has plenty of surprises along the way. Things don't go the way you expect most of the time.

Character development is also very good, even the villains are developed and trained to gain more powerful strategies. Unlike other Shounens, the emphasis is not only on physical power but also on mind & spirit. I cannot name another shounen where so many characters are smart, and I have seen lots of anime, if this is not innovation I don't know what it is. Even hot-headed impulsive characters prove to be smart.

You are bound to identify with your favorite characters and there are plenty to choose from. New characters are constantly being introduced, each with their own values, points of view, goals, and backstories.

The animation is quite good, with a style somehow similar to American Comics, as the author himself is a Comic book fan, so there is no surprise there. They use lots of wide-angle camera angles and dramatic compositions that look good even when they are static frames. The fights are very dynamic but it's easy to follow the action. They can get very bloody at times, it's rare to see characters dying, but it does happen.

The music is an excellent choice through the series, mostly energetic fun rock songs for intros/outros & background. The voice actors do a great job in both subs & dubs. The dub is excellent and I highly recommend it so you can focus on the action.

'Not only I've devoured episode after episode but I did it more than once, in the company of different friends that were forced to glue their butts to the sofa and watch, to make sure they also witness this glorious anime. None of then regretted.

This is a smart shounen. There's no chosen one - the protagonist is flawed and grows as he learns, along with many other characters who are as important as him. They have clear motivations, they are smart, they build strategies to defeat obstacles. The fantastic elements are limited by rules, so it's easy to understand when something goes beyond the norm even in a world of superheroes. The villains grow along with the heroes and they are legitimately menacing. Since its a school setting, power growth is expected, so it feels natural. Also, the arc's challenge is not always a villain to be defeated, so it makes this story of teenagers becoming heroes way more believable.' -Kevlarthian

I was quite surprised to find a lot of criticism on the reviews. In my opinion, they seem quite cynical comparisons that often misses the point of this show, the audience, and makes unfair comparisons to other shows. Quite often I see it compared to One-Punch Man, but that didn't even cross my mind, other than both shows are about Superheroes, they really have nothing in common. For starters, My Hero Academia is Shounen, while One-Punch Man is Seinen and a Satire. It would seem obvious to me that if you want to see something Seinen, then don't try to watch shows labeled Shounen!

I also see it compared to Naruto a lot, but for me, they are quite different shows in theme, focus, and setting. They share some similarities but many more differences, especially in setting, concept & execution of the show. This comparison seems to be more of a reference as to how much both shows have mainstream appeal.

'*Sigh* This series doesn't deserve the amount of hate it gets for being a superhero anime, I just want to say that yeah this is another superhero anime but it is still good, please don't get put off because of the theme as it is really good. And I've also had enough of people saying it's a rip-off of this series or that series, I enjoyed it and I think it is worth it. So this is about a world where everyone has superpowers (known as quirks) but our main character is part of the small percentage that doesn't but still wants to become a hero. He's constantly bullied about it but even so he still powers through everyday in his own way, when he meets his idol and he is given the chance to change is fate (but I won't spoil too much as that is the whole point of the anime).' -YuiYui

Overall, this show doesn't attempt to be something that is not, it's an honest shounen superhero anime, the closest comparison will be MCU (especially installments like Guardians of the GalaxySpiderman & Ant-Man where wacky powers/personalities, and comedy are an integral part of the show), not any other superhero anime up to this date. If you like MCU you'll probably enjoy this show, that's it. I recommend you try a few episodes and see if you enjoy it or not.

The dub is excellent for all seasons!

4 My Hero Academia 2

My Hero Academia 2

Continuation of the story.

5 My Hero Academia 3

My Hero Academia 3

Continuation of the story.

6 My Hero Academia 4

My Hero Academia 4

Continuation of the story.

7 My Hero Academia 5

My Hero Academia 5

Continuation of the story.

  • Although there are some major revelations for both the heroes and the villains, this season is average at best! It's just a very large training session introducing new characters with ridiculous powers and lacking the same quality of strategies, tactics, and intensity we have seen previously. In all honesty, it feels like filler material, probably caused for trying to extend the length of the series in a rush and without proper planning. A large portion is also devoted to recapping previous seasons. The whole season could have been done in just half the episodes to keep the proper pace of its story. So watch at your own leisure or wait to see if Season 6 can recuperate the quality that was lost here.
  • Unfortunately, because everything is canon and the recaps are mixed in the content, you cannot really skip whole episodes, you'll have to skip the boring parts as needed.
8 Alderamin on the Sky

Alderamin on the Sky

Despite the first scenes that make this show seem like some kind of fantasy adventure, this show is really about military tactics & strategy, which portray the hardships, atrocities, and insanity of war, along with their violence, gore, and emotional consequences. This is a hard show to watch as it shows young people going to war and dying for no cause other than the incompetence of their leaders. The show has some fantasy elements but they are downplayed. If you are not paying attention to the tactics and strategy, then this show may not be as entertaining for you, but that won't mean that you won't enjoy it for other means like the action and character development. Most characters are very likable. I definitely recommend you give it a try at least for the 2 first episodes to get a feel of the show.

'In conclusion: A well written story, likeable characters and refreshing art style.' -dragoon1104

The dub is ok.

9 91 Days

91 Days

This is one of the best gangster stories I have seen, not just in anime, but also in movies and TV. It's a classic revenge story and is executed very well with plenty of action, intrigues, strategies, killings & betrayals.

'91 Days is both intriguing and interesting. There is no 'hero' in this story - nobody has morals. It's just that some people are eviler than others. The show constantly shocks you and makes you uncomfortable with grotesque scenes, but moves the plot along perfectly. The anime follows a straightforward path of Avilio Bruno's revenge story, never straying too far from the main conflict. As it is set in the Prohibition Era of the United States, it is also mostly devoid of anime cliches.

The animation and fight scenes are also done really well. From escaping from a burning building to murdering the mafia heads, every scene has fantastic animation. The art style is very bleak, which helps give the show an even darker tone.

The soundtrack of the show is also amazing, playing very well with the action scenes.' -Perkiles

The dub is ok. Some accents in the dub are hard to understand and feel forced, they also change some lines of dialog, but overall is ok, I still prefer the sub.

10 Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-

Re:ZERO - Watching Guide

This show tries very hard to be different from the average 'Person in a Strange World' and/or 'Dark Fantasy' and do so by mixing elements new to these genres like the 'respawn to the last save point in a game', although these elements are NOT 'new ideas', it just happens that this is the first instance that they appear within an anime story, and they do succeed in taking the show in a new direction.

The execution is very good because they keep you guessing what would happen next and quickly debunk the most common theories based on what usually happens in these genres. It will probably be best you already watched lots of fantasy animes to really appreciate what this anime does, but that is not necessary for the overall enjoyment of the show.

Unfortunately, not everything is perfect, with the main character being at times so stupid and unable to learn. Given his age and everything that is happening to him, you would expect better reactions or a better approach to the problem. For example, in Ajin the protagonist experiments with his power to be able to fully utilize it, but here, the protagonist goes into tantrums that don't even seem appropriate for his age of 17th years old (even considering what's happening to him), making him look unrealistic, with a personality that quickly changes to fill a role within the story, making it feel forced. This is absolutely the biggest flaw of the show. The second may be that all other characters and events are pure stereotypes and the show does nothing to innovate in that aspect, leaving the show unbalanced.

Even so, the show is very entertaining with a good amount of action and an astonishing amount of violence, gore, and deep dark moments that you would not initially expect given the light setting and cute character designs. In short, the show is good at surprising you, even if you are an avid viewer of fantasy anime, it's good at keeping the mystery of what would happen next, but not necessarily good on how to solve the puzzle, as you may come up with better approaches for that than the main protagonist, which is what frustrates many viewers and another source of bad reviews.

"Might I just say that the concept for this show was incredibly well done? At first I thought that the concept was going to be far too much like Stein's Gate and that it would not be original enough. No, this show is full of original ideas. How about the only power you have be dying and going back to a fixed point prior to your death? This power is explored in a brilliant way that makes for a very original story. There was one moment where I felt that the story was side lined for action but that is ok, some people just want to see a giant battle...

The animation is very well done. I really liked the character designs, the lack of focus on fan service was most refreshing. The characters are far better that way. The animation is pretty solid throughout and it also has some really good moments..." -Sailnir

The dub is good.

11 Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2

Continuation of the story.

12 Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2: Part II

Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World- Season 2: Part II

Continuation of the story.

13 Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash

Yet another fantasy anime, so how is this one different? what sets it apart? Well, in this show they deglamorize the setting, is it really all that great to be in a medieval world where you have to kill and risk your life in order to make money? In this show, the heroes start as plunderers of the dead, forced to live like that in order to make a living. Making a killing takes a more realistic and brutal approach as the corpses don't disappear in a gleam of light. Adventuring is treated as 'work' and the only option the protagonists have in order to survive in this world.

Unfortunately, around the middle of the story, they start to tone down these aspects that set them apart and start to get more like a typical RPG based anime, focusing more on the necessary aspects for creating a good party that is able to survive the hardships of this world. There is a lot of slice-of-life moments as well.

All secondary characters are highly stereotyped. The show also deliberately ignore other obvious aspects, like why they don't try to make a living in other ways, so this is certainly not a perfect show if you take it too seriously, it feels almost like they change their minds from making a statement or social critique, and then went into the direction of just making it entertaining. Watch it for the fun, but don't expect more than that, so I mostly recommend this for people that enjoy Fantasy-RPG-Games.

The animation is very good, most notably are the reflections of both light and shadows and the color palette. It has some beautiful backgrounds.

'Overall, Grimgar is a decently entertaining show. While the plot is slow at first it fully develops into something we really haven't seen recently in this genre. That being said if you like a faster paced story progression, or are looking for action this is not show for you... However, if you want a slightly different take on a story that is being told time and time again, look no further than Grimgar to try something different...' -ZamHalen

The dub is good.

14 ERASED

ERASED

This is advertised as a mystery series with some supernatural elements, but the mystery is not too big, and the supernatural powers are not the focus of the story. What is more important, is that this show tries to bring attention to the subjects of child abuse both inside the family and from child molesters. It subtly brings the question: Is it really necessary to have superpowers to stop this from happening? And then proposes different approaches that could potentially be implemented, while criticizing the system and people that turn their heads to what's going on.

The story may not be all smooth and elegant, but it definitely succeeds with the goal it has. The bonds created by the characters and their character development are perhaps, the best part of the show.

'One of the main reasons I managed to enjoy this show was because I did not watch it primarily as a mystery/thriller. The thriller aspect is good, always leaving me wanting to see more at the end of an episode but I will admit the mystery is not particularly strong. It's not too difficult to figure out who the killer is after a few episodes and I totally understand why some people might dislike this. Thing is, I instead watched this primarily as a progression of the character Satoru, from his rather bleak lifestyle as a struggling mangaka, regretting the fact he could have saved his fellow classmate and then being given the chance to correct that mistake and change things for the better. I found that the most important part of the show was his interactions with Kayo, attempting to become friends with this quiet girl as well as save her.

So, all in all, this was a great series that I had a lot of fun with. The mystery elements were rather weak but it was very good at keeping my excitement between episodes.

I can recommend this show, just be aware that if you watch this expecting a great mystery story you may (probably will) be disappointed.' -SpanglishJC

The dub is ok.

15 Big Fish & Begonia

Big Fish & Begonia

If you want something different to watch, look no further, this movie is quite amazing and original from concept to mythology, and to the personalities of the characters.

I was blown away by the journey, it has excellent world-building and an interesting philosophy which is presented as you get to know the characters and their world. It ponders many questions as you follow the plot, how far are you willing to go for the person you love? How much are you willing to compromise in order to fix your mistakes? What are the consequences?

The themes are about the soul, the cycle of life and death, trying to fix our mistakes at any cost without really thinking about the consequences and love. Love, in particular, is presented in many ways through different characters, from the love of a mother, to love at first sight, to childhood love, to sacrifice yourself for the one you love.

The animation is excellent and the creativity of the visuals really takes you into a dream-like world full of colors and fantasy, while the music does a great job of keeping everything flowing, immersing you into that world.

The characters are likable, there is not much time to develop them, but their choices do present us with opportunities to re-evaluate the consequences of what we do and how do we attain it. In this regard, I must warn you that the end-credit scene may be one of the most terrifying I have seen, despite the heart-warming nature of the film, I would love to see a sequel following the plot several years into the future.

Overall, definitely watch if you want something mature to watch, if you like stories that make you think, or that make you dream. The film is slow-paced, but it's never boring as the plot is constantly moving and there is always something new and interesting to learn about their world.

'This movie blew me away. It's so beautiful both visually and story-wise. The world and story is complex, but it's still easy to follow along with what is happening and why. The character's are also great and memorable, and their relationship to each other are portrayed in a spectacular way. Why is no one talking about this masterpiece??' -YariMari

'Big Fish and Begonia is absolutely breathtaking to look at. The film is also rich with metaphorical imagery, particularly when talking about matters such as life and death...

Describing the plot, it's sort of a mixing pot of The Little Mermaid with shades of Spirited Away and Chinese mythology.' -JTurner82

The dub is excellent!

16 A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice

This is a good slice-of-life movie that deals with bullying & redemption for the most part and does a good job of exploring the issues and consequences that these acts have in life from both sides. It has excellent animation and sound but the story feels rushed at times, it seems this is because it should have been a series in order to adapt the full story of the manga, so they had to condense a lot of content to make it fit as a movie.

'Story: Realistic. Let's face it, we have people like Nishimiya around us. All of us don't do these things but sometimes we ridicule them, sometimes we ignore them (and ignoring them isn't doing anything good at all, too). The story of Koe no Katachi shows us how to understand people like them. There are only a few animes out there about deaf-mute people and this is a jewel that shows the reality about it: fitting in, being bullied, contemplating on life, thinking about ending one's own life, et cetera...' -muonsei

'In order to accomodate the demands of making a feature film, the storyline of A Silent Voice has been streamlined. The main arc revolving around Shoya and Shokko is largely intact, but to keep the film moving and focused a lot of the side arcs were drastically trimmed or removed (most notably Tomohiro's home-made movie. The movie arc was cut for the sake of the film, how meta is that?). Even with the cuts the movie clocks in at a solid 2hrs 10 minutes, so I can understand why the writers would be pragmatic and stick to just the necessary parts. As long as you go in realizing you'll be getting the 'movie version' of A Silent Voice you'll enjoy it.

Kyoto Animation on a movie budget. Need I say more? Well I probably should... The animation fludity is very solid, but this movie hits a home run on still images. The film goes for a pastel palette that gives it a very sweet and relaxing vibe without going overboard...' -PowerUpOrDie

The dub is good.

17 The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle

'This is a  fantasy drama film co-written and directed by Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit and produced by Toshio Suzuki from Japan. The film is a co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli, and tells the story of a man who becomes shipwrecked on a deserted island and meets a giant red female turtle.' -Wikipedia

The film has no dialogue, but that is not to say it is silent, as there are plenty of sounds from nature, music, and voices without words. This is pure visual storytelling that manages to blur the line between reality & fantasy in the most artistic way. There is a lot of symbolism, you can't be sure if what happens is an illusion or reality, as the events can be interpreted from different points of view, bringing you to different conclusions depending on what you choose to focus. There is no absolute answer. The closest thing I can think of is The Life of Pi, which shares the sea and a shipwreck as their common elements.

Although the story has slow pacing, there is never a dull moment in the film. The silence makes your mind wander in the themes it presents: What do we really need in order to have a happy fulfilled life? The cycle of life, the place of humans in nature, the need for civilization and social interaction, etc.

The art style is completely different from other Ghibli works, it's more realistic in the forms and shapes of the characters & backgrounds, but has kind of a watercolor texture, it feels like you are looking at the story moving in a painting.

This is a film that I would recommend to everyone to give it a try, although it is probably not for kids due to the lack of comedy and I doubt they'll understand the story, but who knows? With no dialog at all, it also breaks apart all language barriers.

18 Planetarian

Planetarian

This was a surprisingly good story that plays with nostalgia and makes you see the world from a different perspective, making you appreciate what we currently have by contrasting it with its dystopian world. But there is more than that, there is also the exploration of how a robot that never changes, can help us regain what we lost and many other ideas develop as you watch the series, which is short enough to not get repetitive or boring.

'A dystopian future, where mankind has destroyed itself through chemical, nuclear and killer robot warfare. A single man runs into an android while hiding from a squad of hunter robots. Sounds like a thriller movie, but ends up being a tale about human emotions amid decay and destruction. 

I read the VN beforehand and it was marvelous and I never thought they could create the same sense of innocence and sweet heart wrenching sorrow in only five episodes, but the creators nailed it. I advise anyone who want to experience a feels trip to watch it.' -redmind

The dub is very good.

19 Planetarian Movie: Hoshi no Hito

Planetarian Movie: Hoshi no Hito

Continuation of the story. This movie recaps the most important parts of the series, but I would still recommend watching the series first, as they have more detail and better pacing, then just skip the recaps in the movie.

The dub is good.

There is also an OVA that serves as a prequel, showing how the narrator Robot started working at the Planetarium before the world has been devastated. Most of this story has been shown already, is just pieced together, so it doesn't add anything new.

20 Mob Psycho 100

Mob Psycho 100

This is a fun and very entertaining series to watch from One, the same author of One Punch Man, and as such, they share a similar style, presentation, and character personalities. However this is not to say that this is a copy of One Punch Man, on the contrary, it feels fresh and is able to stand on its own as an original work.

Production values are top-notch, especially in the animation, the fighting sequences with extreme wide angles and different perspectives, the music is superb and fits perfectly with the type of show. The story and messages are quite simple, this may be the weakest part but this show is entertaining, it does not attempt to be a psychological introspection nor a social critique, that is not what the show is about.

'The story is really interesting and never gets boring. While the art style is simple - it's phenomenally animated and fits the show. The music always fits the scene and is carefully left out in specific situations. It makes it seem like they put all their efforts into the anime and didn't slack off with any scene. I would rewatch it again and again and I would definitely recommend this anime to people who like watching anime with powers involved.' -peachyytea

The dub is excellent!

21 Mob Psycho 100 II

Mob Psycho 100 II

Continuation of the story.

22 Mob Psycho 100 II: The First Spirits and Such Company Trip - A Journey that Mends the Heart and Heals the Soul

Mob Psycho 100 II: The First Spirits and Such Company Trip - A Journey that Mends the Heart and Heals the Soul

Continuation of the story.

23 Rakshasa Street

Rakshasa Street

This was a surprisingly good anime and one of the best Donghuas (Chinese Animation) stories that I have seen so far.

The story is really divided into 2 timelines about the same characters, one in the present and one from the past that tells their backstory. They alternate from episode to episode beginning in the present in Episode 1 then to the past in Episode 2 and so on. The story was arranged in a way that reveals important information relevant to either present or past as you watch the episodes consecutively, hence the reason why it alternates between present & past rather than show each timeline as a whole.

My favorite was the backstory, which is darker in tone, with more thrills, and often leaves you wondering how they got from that to the present. While the present timeline has more comedic relief but also more shounen action. Both timelines converge at the end with an amazing revelation that wraps the Arc beautifully, really well written!

In addition to the excellent plot, the world-building is also very good with interesting character designs and a setting that although it still has plenty of cliches, also provides some originality that will distinguish this setting from other shows.

The animation is ok, but the quality is not consistent, they do give more importance to the action scenes and they do have a good sense of composition, but this is not an anime to watch for the eye candy.

The sound effects & music are good. The main theme is very good and plays repeatedly throughout the show. I think is a good complement for the mood of the story.

Overall, you should definitely give it a try, at least for the first 4 episodes so you can get a good feel for what's to come; it certainly surpassed my expectations as Donghuas usually have a very simple and careless story.

This anime deserves a Dub!

24 Drifters

Drifters

This is a series by the same author of Hellsing and as such it has striking similarities, especially in the personalities of some characters that seem to have reincarnated in this world. Unfortunately (at least for me), it also has the same bipolar style jumping from seriousness, violence & gore to caricature comedy interrupting the pace of the story. In a way, it seems like an extension of Hellsing, except that in this world, at least up to this point in the story, there are no vampires.

Although the setting and characters may not be all that original, I found the execution brilliant, from the way the story is told, the action during the fights, and the graphics that trap your attention in this world, you just can't avert your eyes from it. The music and sound effects help you to get immersed in this world as well.

The story is very simple, take over the world and for each character, they are basically doing the same things that they did in their original world, but now their skills and knowledge give them overwhelming power in this new world.

Really the best part of this show is the presentation, the visuals, and the action. If you like that blended with lots of violence and gore, then you should give this one a try.

'Despite the qualms I have with the story and characters, this is pulp action writing done well. We have a premise, we have excuses to fight and characters that like fighting and... go. That's broken up by moments of levity (which are childish and not particularly well done), as is required by this type of format, and there's nothing more to it. It's a decent ride, and the writing focuses on what the show is supposed to be about.' -Gzerble

'The animation is the strong point of this anime. The character design is great, the animation is sharp. Watching Toyo cut someones head off is always fun. I think the creators made an exceptional work in that deparment. They manage to capture the glomy atmosphere and the rather strait forward characters well. Evreything from the characters themselves to the scenery looked great. The movement looked organic. The fire and explostions were perfect. And the blood was really over the top but this really suit that show a lot.' -ofekaz

The dub was ok, there are many accents that seem rather forced, very similar to Hellsing dub.

25 Drifters Specials

Drifters Specials

Continuation of the story, Episodes 13 & 14 of Drifters.

These episodes have no action and barely move the story forward, they are just a bridge setting up the stage for the next season.

26 Drifters OVA

Drifters OVA

Continuation of the story, 'The Outlandish Knight,' is Episode 15 of the Drifters anime.

27 ReLIFE

ReLIFE

This was a good slice-of-life/comedy/romance, it has an interesting idea with the setting, which allows you to contrast life-decisions you made as a teen with the outcomes as an adult. However, because the location setting is a high school, the plot turns pretty predictable going through every cliche from the classroom to the festival. Despite knowing what's coming and being able to predict the outcome, I still enjoy the story as it has great execution, I'll also say in this regard that how predictable it could be, will depend on how many animes like this you have seen before.

'The story itself follows the classic archetype of highschool drama/comedy we saw many times already. The main character with his own share of troubles spends his time meddling with various problems of his schoolmates, helping them out to obtain their desired happiness. Some may say that they are fed up with this clichéd design, but it doesn't really bother me. The reason is that this show is really well-executed. There is a lot of both funny and sad moments in ReLIFE, but it doesn't ever cross the borders of becoming irritating...

...If you are wondering whether you should spend your time with ReLIFE, I can only recommend it. Trust me, you won't regret your decision.' -Moonhawk

'If you're a fan of romcoms then you will most likely enjoy this. The same can be said about drama too, however if you're a pure comedy fan and don't like the drama/romance aspect then you may want to steer clear of this. While the first few episodes will draw you in as it shifts genres you may feel thrown off, though there is the possibility that you'll become slightly attached to some of the characters and want to see more of them and their progression.

If you're a fan of the genre though then you should not give this one a miss. It may not be the best romcom of all time but it's an enjoyable ride all the same. You won't be disappointed.' -Mystotakun

The dub is very good.

28 ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen

ReLIFE: Kanketsu-hen

Continuation of the story.

29 Under the Dog

Under the Dog

This is a nice action-packed OVA that serves as a great intro into their world, I hope it gets made into a full series later on, this will definitely be a good 1st episode. The action sequences and animation are very good. Not much of the story is explained but enough is given to create mystery and interest in keep watching further development.

'Under the Dog was originally conceived in the late 1990s by Jirō Ishii, intended as a 26-episode series. When the project was resurrected, the team behind it chose to fund it through Kickstarter to retain creative freedom... Though the project was successfully funded, Creative Intelligence Arts and Kinema Citrus separated due to creative differences, and Kinema Citrus took full control. The split resulted in the replacement of some development staff...' -Wikipedia

'I love everything about it. The whole time I was watching it with interest and excitement. I dont have anything bad to say, exept that its 1 ep only. I want more of this. I didnt know what will happen after each scene unlike some animes. I love the animation style, the fighting and the story(not that there was a lot) but i like the way it was presented...' -DeViLLmAyCrY

30 Luger Code 1951

Luger Code 1951

This was a great introduction to the characters, the setting, and their world, definitely a good use of the short time of the OVA. The animation is very good. I hope it gets made into a series.

31 Izetta: The Last Witch

Izetta: The Last Witch

This is a reimagined World War II story with fictional countries, characters and in a world where the last Witch is revealed to still exist (although her powers are more akin to an Esper than a Witch). It is an interesting retelling of the war conflict, although it stays away from the prosecution of Jews and focuses only on the invading efforts of neighboring countries. Part of the show also focuses on espionage and intelligence.

On the bad parts of the show, there are also slice-of-life moments full of cliches and sappy dialog that seem quite out of place with the rest of the show. So this is not perfect as some character meetings are largely contrived to move the plot forward and the slice-of-life detracts from the seriousness of the show and fail to create the emotional connection with the characters due to using pure cliches for that. Even so, it's a notable effort to create something original and different from the norm and the animation if very good, especially on the action scenes. This show is quite underrated, I definitely recommend you give it a try.

'The themes are deep, choices aren't morally black and white, and the characters are thorn by having to choose the lesser of two evils. There are a rich variety of passionate emotions.

The anime shows how scary war can be, especially with greedy uncompromising conquerors. Finding more powerful weapons can make the battle deadlier for both sides. (Our world leaders actually agreed on rules to limit the cruelty of the bloodshed during wars.)

I like how the witch isn't all powerful, but has downsides and limits; you can feel her desperation to succeed. It's really engaging, one of the best series I've seen of fall 2016.' -TreeOfWolf

The dub is good.

32 Dimension W

Dimension W

This is a good sci-fi that deals with a subject that you don't see too often, which is dealing with the decisions you make in life. Have you ever wish you made a different decision in your life? How different your life would be if you take a different path? How about the other possibilities you had, but you didn't see at the time you made the decision? Would you regret your decisions and find a way to change them? Or would you accept their reality and live with the consequences? The show is not perfect though, some episodes seem just nonsense filler and don't express their ideas too well, but then it picks up with the action and the main theme. It helps that is a short show.

'The animation was high grade. It was the type of animation I really like. All the fight scenes are done excellently and even the moving around and facial expressions are done exceptionally. It's been a while since I've seen such exceptional animation that is completely the same throughout the whole anime...

Overall, This anime was excellent and well worth the watch for any futuristic or action anime fan. It also leaves on a fairly satisfying note... something many anime don't do lately. So give it a try. You'll be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.' -casandra29

The dub is very good.

33 Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

This is another show with excellent animation and action sequences, but where not everything makes sense in terms of the logic & story, with some events being forced, just to move the plot forward, however, if you like monster vs humans action stories you should still give this one a try. Just keep in mind that this is pure entertainment & the rule of cool, nothing more.

'I've heard complaints about how the plot is too dumb to really take seriously. It's a story about fighting zombies on a gigantic steampunk train, what exactly were you expecting? Tatami Galaxy? It's too much like Attack on Titan?...so if you want to claim it borrows from other works, get it in line. Steampunk samurai fight zombies in a B-movie that happens to be a 12-episode TV series, with a heaping helping of *EDGE*... The story is stupid, but an enjoyable, fast-paced stupid if that's what you're looking for.

The Japanese have a slang word: 'Bakakkoii', which means 'Stupid-Cool'. A combination of something that is both dumb and awesome. There's nothing deep about Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, don't think that just because a story swims in gore or has edgy moments it's somehow intelligent. And yet, I wasn't looking for intelligence here. I was here to get my action-junkie fix and look at cool things like steampunk locomotives. Kabaneri is what it is, take it or leave it.' -PowerUpOrDie

The dub is ok.

34 Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Movie: The Battle of Unato

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress Movie: The Battle of Unato

Continuation of the story.

35 Kuromukuro

Kuromukuro

This is a modern show that has revitalized the mecha genre by adding elements of our era and a mix of genres and ideas. The animation is very good using CGI where it works best, like the mechas, vehicles, and buildings. This makes the fights very fluid with movements in a 3d space while keeping the characters and facial expressions looking best with 2d art.

The story ponders important questions and has a good mystery going on, but it never gets too dark, the show keeps things light and simple with the use of comedy. It's not a new story, it's just presented very well.

In the end, the show is not perfect, but it's definitely better than average.

'So far this anime doesn't seem to be grabbing a lot of viewers but the first six episodes have been good. Yes it's a mecha anime, but it has some nice twists and from my experience, is decently differenet from others...

One of my favorite things about this anime is the person in a strange world part. There are many ways of presenting this idea but the way this anime does it is the way I like. It's unknown whether or not the lead male comes from the past or another similar world (suggested in the sixth episode sort of) but he certainly isn't aqquainted with out modern world. Even though this is an action anime and all, there is a decent amount of focus on his confusion with the rules and objects of modern society. This is also a focus of much of the comedy. I don't like it when they have someone in an unfamilliar place and the character barely reacts to it.' -PurplePeopleEater

The dub is ok but definitely recommend the sub. Everyone in the dub sounds good except the main protagonist, who's forced voice sounds like he is talking to 5-year-olds.

36 Fate/Grand Order: First Order

Fate/Grand Order: First Order

Fate/Series Watching Guide

This is also based on a video game and apparently set many years in the future, in the same universe as Fate/Stay, although I'm not clear which iteration or if it will be an alternative/parallel universe altogether. It introduces new characters and they can time travel, so this has the potential to unify all the universes as different timelines, but I have no idea if it will go that way, however, some characters from the Fate/Stay Series have cameos.

I can see potential in this series but it hasn't been fully developed yet in anime format, so we will have to wait for the upcoming films & TV shows in order to see the quality.

This film is an adaptation of the game's prologue and therefore, just an introduction to the Fate/Grand Order universe.

The dub is ok.

37 March Comes in like a Lion

March Comes in like a Lion

First, let me say that I'm not fond of the slice-of-life genre and only like the ones that have something to say, teach you something about life, or introduce you to remarkable lives or characters, so shows where almost nothing happens are not my thing and my opinion is coming from this point of view.

If I have to guess, this show is made for people who like to cry and they use overdramatic situations to make this happen, but for myself, I just found this show depressing, with unrealistic characters, and situations that make them look like they are drowning in a glass of water. This is especially true for the first season, the second season does a much better job of introducing 'real-life' problems and character's conflicts are more believable overall. What really ties this show together are the incredible visualizations and art from Shaft, they add 'visual poetry' to the otherwise normal dialog and lame conflicts the characters' face. If it wasn't for the visuals I'll probably have dropped this show in a few episodes, it is just not my type of show, but I do appreciate the art. The music was good overall.

So, in my opinion, I found this show extremely overhyped and will only recommend to fans of slow slice-of-life, moe, drama, and the like. Here are other opinions that come from fans of those genres:

'The first thing when I saw “March Comes in Like a Lion” is a game anime about Shogi. But, it’s not really about the Japanese chess game. Instead, this anime is like a poetic. It describes the emotions of the main character and the perspective of other characters. The main protagonist, Rei Kiriyama, is a very complex character. On the way he is trying to get past various obstacles, this anime changed the slice of life genre into a unique story. Unlike such a genre in general, this show represented how dilemma mixes with feelings, experiences, and suffering. The same is true in the first minute of the first episode. This anime doesn’t require its narrative between characters but Rei’s content head describes every feeling of all characters.

Shaft studio really did well in this show making “March Comes in Like a Lion” has its own unique style. In contrast to the Shaft direction in general, which is not infrequently there was also a head tilt, the art is well-drawn and so amazing spectacular. It’s like a superior animation while trying to be audiovisual with a realist narrative. There are so many metaphors when it comes to it and that’s being said, the character designs are also unique.

“March Comes in Like a Lion” speaking through its narrative, through its feeling, deals with psychology, so that it becomes a unique slice of life show. I love everything about this anime regardless of the pacing was a bit slow and dull in some segments. The relationship between characters is well-development, realism, and the Shogi scene is really interesting to follow. It’s not really a slice of life show even for the manga readers or anime watchers, you would find it hard. There are many complexities of each character. However, it’s a show that presents it with such a breathtaking direction.' -ClubFoot

'I can see how from the first two or three episodes, people will either love this anime or hate it. In my opinion, this anime is best suited for more mature audiences that are patient with the plot development and enjoy character exploration. I personally think that the animation and sound were outstanding. Also, the characters have a lot to offer which makes it worthwhile to give this anime a chance. In short, I don’t think this anime is for everyone, but for those who can appreciate self-exploration and personal growth I think this is something worth watching.' -delolmo

The dub is good.

38 March Comes in like a Lion 2nd Season

March Comes in like a Lion 2nd Season

Continuation of the story and a much better season.

39 The Great Passage

The Great Passage

I'm amazed at the plethora of themes in anime, this time taking a closer look at the making of a dictionary for more than 14 years, but you only have to watch 11 episodes for that. Anime has a way to make every subject interesting, this time noting the attention to detail and the labor of love that is required for such an achievement. This show has plenty of slice-of-life moments, a slow-pace, and some romance (although this may be the weakest part of the show). The anime is not perfect though, there are plenty of cliche moments too, but there are also lots of wisdom and especially found interesting the point of view of each character in the show.

'This was unexpectedly amazing. Honestly, the first thing I thought when I read the synopsis was how boring and stupid it sounded. But since I had to watch it for ALG, I started it anyway. And I'm so glad I did.

While the story itself is pretty important, it's certainly not the main focus of Fune wo Amu. It's about the characters themselves. You gradually grow to love them all, even the side characters...

This is a beautiful series that is very easy to overlook, because seriously, who in their right minds watches an anime about making dictionaries? If you do get the chance though, I highly reccommend it, especially to slice of life fans.' -FullmetalDragon

This anime deserves a Dub!

40 Tabi Machi Late Show

Tabi Machi Late Show

This is a story-driven anime, however, it is animated like a slideshow fading from frame to frame while the narrator or characters tell the story. The quality of the drawings and styles changes constantly, but despite not having the best animation, the stories are very well told and meaningful. The stories do not relate to each other thematically nor through the characters, each chapter it's its own story, the last chapter tries to tie them down somehow but it really doesn't. The stories are all slice of life and they all have a lesson you can learn from and a feeling you can relate.

41 What Happens Before War

What Happens Before War

A good short explaining how war works and what we can do about it.

42 Kaze no Matasaburou (2016)

Kaze no Matasaburou (2016)

'Kaze no Matasaburō is a 1940 Japanese fantasy family drama, based on Kenji Miyazawa's 1934 short story of the same name.' -Wikipedia

This short OVA has excellent animation in a Studio Ghibli look-alike style and feel. The story is just a simple slice-of-life moment but remains entertaining due to engaging animation and music, this is really what sets the tone for the show and what makes it worth watching.

I'm not fond of slice-of-life but I still enjoy this one, so I would recommend to anyone who wants something simple and calm to watch.

43 Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

This anime was not for me, to begin, I'm the kind of person who values innovation over tradition, and probably the first one to rebel against and break any traditions I come across. So watching an anime that's all about maintaining tradition goes against my nature! 

I found the story dreadful with the limited choices the characters' had to live their lives, due to the time they lived and can only relish in the fact that I was born in this era.

I like slice-of-life that is about inspirational lives that teach you something, or remarkable lives that show you experiences that you couldn't get otherwise, and although this anime is very realistic, their lives are not very exciting to me and have personalities and flaws that are all too common to engage me with the story.

There is also the fact that are several stories within the story due to the nature of the show. But they are basically anecdotes of past golden days written for a different audience. I really couldn't relate to, I found them incredibly predictable and too simple to make an impression these days. The emotions that evoke in the audience who hears them seem exaggerated to me, not unrealistic, as I do believe the audience as portrayed in the story is what they would feel, but it's not the society I live in and therefore, nothing I can really relate to. Your experience may differ in this regard.

So why I'm including this anime on this list? I can still appreciate the art and the quality of the story, as I said, it's not for me, but that doesn't mean it's not a quality story and anime as shown in the ranking and good reviews. This will be one you just have to give it a chance and see if you like it or not but have to watch at least to the 2nd episode to make up your mind.

The animation of this show is very good, they have given special attention to even subtle facial expressions to convey emotion during the performances. It is extremely realistic and does take you to that time and place of old Japan (although I'm not sure how historically accurate it is?).

Here are some quotes from good reviews that can give you another point of view:

'I'm so glad I decided to watch this anime: it's one of the best I've seen - and not only recently, but ever. It puts together an unusual setting, an engrossing story, very good storytelling and compelling characters. Hats off to the creators and the studio for a job very well done indeed!

A warning to begin with: the first episode, about 50 minutes long, is a frame tale which sets the stage and introduces the main story that then kicks off starting from episode 2. I'm afraid it can be a bit tedious and off-putting as it starts from the end, so there are many things it's likely you won't understand and many innuendoes and undertones you will probably miss. As a matter of fact, I re-watched the first episode after having finished watching the series and I have to admit it made much more sense. Anyhow, it gives you the context in which the story unfolds.

The story starts in contemporary Japan and then it goes back to the 1940s, slowly working its way to the present again. It's set in the world of rakugo, a particular form of Japanese oral entertainment whereby the performer sits alone at the centre of a bare stage and narrates usually comedic pieces involving the dialogue between several characters; the artist can convey to the public the alternating and different characters only by using his voice, tone, facial expressions and the movements of the upper part of his body... it's also about the future of rakugo (or lack of it in a world where the forms of entertainment are constantly increasing), the direction in which it should be developed and the maintaining of its very old traditions. But above all, I would say that it's the psychological analysis of two very different people and their relationship.

Obviously it's a character-driven anime and the characters are all portrayed and developed exceptionally well and in a incredibly realistic way. They all have flaws, weakness and failings - but no facet striked me as out of place.

I found the music varied and well-executed. It perfectly highlighted what was going on in the single scenes. The voice acting is superb, it has to be when rakugo plays such an important part in the anime.

The animation is also of a high quality. Character designs, facial expressions, backgrounds, colours - no complaints about any of that.

In conclusion, it's an anime for adults I certainly recommend.' -haize78

This anime deserves a Dub!

44 Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Descending Stories: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu

Continuation of the story.

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