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.
When anime franchises get rebooted, it’s fairly typical for the new staff to take it in a new direction and make something extra-special to celebrate the anniversary of a classic product. For examples of this done incredibly well, look no further than the 2012 Lupin III series or the 2009 Mazinger reboot. For the example of this done perfectly, take a gander at Kenji Nakamura’s take on the decades-old Gatchaman franchise and watch him take an already stellar skill set to a whole other level.
Meet the show with the year’s best villain, the year’s best protagonist, the year’s best two-person dialogue chain, the year’s most relevant-to-society themes, the year’s second-best opening (got Jaeger’d by the number one), the year’s best panda, and the best one-word BGM track in anime.
Meet Gatchaman Crowds.
Based on the formula it had followed thus far, I felt I had a pretty good idea of where Dangan Ronpa was going with its ending. I was wrong; the ending packed a genuine twist that flipped the premise on its head, tossing a bunch of huge endgame plusses for the show into the pot.
Sam: For a series based on a show from the 70s, this has been one of the most weird, newest, and most awesome series of this season.
This ending wasn’t exactly the stuff of legends, as it packed in a sequel hook and cut things a bit short. Still, it was a microcosm of the show and an enjoyable watch.
This episode had everything I liked about the show stuffed inside. What a great way to go out for what’s definitely been my favorite show of Spring 2013.
Well, Devil Survivor 2 is over now. That was a very standard cookbook ending, and only a few things happened that were really worth commenting on.
“I’m betting the aforementioned stab will cost Kadowaki a lot in the way of mental stability, so his next clash with Arata should be prime-time viewing. Bonus points if he butts in in the middle of a face-off between Arata and Yorunami.”
-Me, 6 days ago
Just wanted to point out that I got a prediction right for once. Added some enjoyment to an episode that was already good for other reasons.
I really wish Fuji and her giant boobs were out of the cast. They represent one very weak link on an otherwise strong chain of comedy. A jealous female friend isn’t out of the question in a comedic cast, but it kind of feels like she’s just an excuse for the show to not be worksafe.
Early on in this episode, it seemed like Hibiki was inching a bit closer towards the position of “win by default” protagonist – one whose ideals are upheld because he happens to be the one not to die off. Systematically killing off the supporting cast (even more of them this week) has served to increase his chances of winning without him doing anything. Kind of like how Russel Westbrook’s season-ending injury cleared the Western Conference field for the Spurs this year. However, it’d be a lie to say that Hibiki’s done nothing, and that’s not the only narrative surrounding him heading into the finale.