2016: Top 5 Anime

By the numbers, I watched a lot less anime and read a lot more manga in 2016 than I ever have before. I could say a lot about the manga I read (Paradise Residence and Salty Road were amazing in some very unique ways), but with anime, you get a complete product in about 3 months or less. So here’s what I watched and really enjoyed.

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Summer 2015 Watch List

Though I’m still crappy at getting research done and that’s not likely to change in the near future, I have a little more time to myself now and I’ve actually been able to keep up with the Summer season. I’m enjoying it a fair amount, so I just thought I’d put up a quick list of which anime I’m really enjoying at the moment.

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Midseason Update: This Summer in To Heart Quotes

I love To Heart: The Anime, straight up. I love it because of the anime, period; I’ve played only part of the game, avoided the blatant cash grab that was Remember My Memories, and straight-up ignored anything related to the name with a 2 next to it, because why would one take characters that good and replace them? I maintain that it is a rational love for a great product – it averaged 10k in an era where far fewer series did per year per total number shows produced, and is one of relatively few TV anime to boast a page on sakuga@wiki – but ultimately enjoying a series past a certain extent is an emotional thing. I’m not going to try to convince anyone else that they have to love it, but I am going to talk about it for a bit more before going to the season-summary capsules that motivated my latest rewatch/quote-mine experiment.

Anyway, there are so many scenes in this series are gravity-defyingly good. I could spend a whole column just listing them off, but that’s not this column’s angle, so I’m gonna keep it to two. First, there’s a linked pair of scenes from the first and last episode where characters resolve a bit of internal anxiety in a way that shows clearly on their faces in a surprisingly small number of frames:

And a scene where two amateur martial artists are fighting a bout that’s half even and half one-sided, but not decisively so:

The above were the two scenes I felt survived the pull out of context the best. As minimalistic as it was, To Heart was also a very visual show, and so finding quotes that worked for every show I’m watching this summer was a bit harder than grabbing those clips, but the show’s dialogue isn’t exactly shabby, just frequently dependent on context. That said, I was able to get enough to go by, so if you’re at all interested in a combination of quotes from a [phenomenal] 1999 show I love way too much and my opinions on a bunch of shows that are airing right now in September 2014, read on.

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Sell Me in 20 Minutes: Nobunaga Concerto

Nobunaga Concerto was rough around the edges, squeezing a few chapters worth of material into its intro episode and getting sloppy with some more proto-animatronic CG. But the material, a solid-gold story about a guy accidentally living out Oda Nobunaga’s weird destiny by mostly having people misinterpret his random actions as those of a calculating genius, shone nicely through all that. I expect to be watching it for at least 2 more weeks.