Banjo’s Top 10 Fall 2015 Anime
Finally, Fall 2015 is done like dinner! For me, anyway.
Anime always gets me thinking (and I’ve had a lot of time this time). Obviously for my reviews and writings, but also about the medium in general. Like how I can take it for granted. I get to sit at home in my comfy chair while my computer streams animations created halfway across the globe.
Often times, I would never be able to experience the stories told. Like using bone-related knowledge to solve strange death-related cases or joining a school where the classy learn to become commoners. Going forward, I plan to be more grateful to the anime I watch — no matter how sweet or sour they may be.
To this end and on this day, I take a look back at the best of the best from Fall 2015. Eighteen anime showed up to fight for the title of “Best Anime of Fall 2015,” and, while ten have made a claim, only one walked away with it in its clutches.
Before diving into the list, it is important to know two ideas: what counts and the reasoning behind everything.
First, I am an advocate of an anime counting in the season in which it completed. Meaning, whether it is fantastic or not, something like Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans has no place here despite starting in Fall 2015. On the opposite end, an anime like Kekkai Sensen does have a shot since it concluded in Fall 2015 despite starting many seasons prior.
So, if you do not see Kekkai Sensen here on my list, that means I either did not see it or it was simply not good enough. (It’s neither!)
Second, each anime has a personalized review that demonstrates why it deserves to be here in the first place. Simply click on an anime’s name to be linked to its review to read my complete thoughts on it. For every review that I wrote for this season, follow this link to my Fall 2015 Reviews page!
With all of the introductions, formalities, and rules out of the way, it is time to get to my Top 10 Fall 2015 Anime!
Life can sometimes be a bit hectic. For the men and women and monsters of Kekkai Sensen, life can easily get downright crazy. Following Leonardo and the Libra gang, life’s unpredictability takes center stage alongside a zany cast of literal characters. The narrative contains a mishandled subplot, but the execution in its music and art cannot be denied. Suffice it to say that one does not need the All-Seeing Eyes of God to see its strengths.
In Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, the characters embrace ecchi to the extreme. On a remote island in the middle of nowhere, Mamori, Mirei, and the other women engage in sexual activity to unleash their latent powers. Despite the repetitive and contrived plot, the competent characters, the high-quality sound-work, and the attractive character designs make the anime more than what it at first appears to be. At the very least, the abundance of yuri content could make anyone experience their own Fusion Trans.
Humans have long worshiped gods, and, in Noragami Aragoto’s case, they have long served them, too. Returning for its second season, the anime continues to follow Yato, Hiyori, and Yukine as they deal with the tenuous relationship held between man and the heavens. While the art and animation remain relatively low, and certain events are frustrating to watch, the strong story arcs, the nice characters, and the wonderful music make this anime one worth giving an offer or two.
Junior high can be a tough time for a kid. Especially when massive, man-eating Titans roam the halls. Such is the case for Eren, Mikasa, and the other teenagers of Shingeki! Kyojin Chuugakkou. As a parody of its main series, the anime performs beautifully, recreating classic scenes and ideas for comedic purposes. The high-impact music and Mikasa in all her glory return as well. And though the characters are repetitive in nature, they continue to boost the parody that much more. A whole package so big no Wall could contain it.
Mysteries are a staple genre when it comes to stories, and, for Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider, a mystery becomes the perfect playground for the anime’s thoughts. The show tackles highly complex and extremely philosophical ideas — sometimes at too daring a level. Its focus on theory even takes away from the characters. Even so, these ideas make one really think which is something that not all anime can do. Combined with the interesting theme on questioning and answering, the intricate artistic direction, and the dance-like opening track, the anime stands strong. No “F’s,” ands, or buts about it.
Some heroes can fly. Some heroes can shoot fire. But only one hero can defeat his foes with just one punch. Saitama of One Punch Man is this hero, but his unparalleled strength has made a serious problem: He’s bored. Taking to heart a “hero-to-zero” theme, the anime combines nonchalant comedy and stellar animation to create many a funny and impressive scene. The characters may not change and the story may have some overt sequences. But that does not stop the bald-headed hero from (singularly) punching his way to victory.
Is the Order a Rabbit?? is admittedly a simple sequel of a show. Simplicity, however, does not mean the anime lacks strength. Indeed, its execution levels are evidenced by Cocoa, Chino, Rize, Chiya, and Syaro’s lovable cuteness and comedy. Plus, the show introduces a new character, uses a consistent maturity motif, and has arguably the best ending track of the season. Alongside the pretty art and welcomed moe, the bunnies, coffee, and happiness come together to make a tiny, funny treasure.
Superheroes are meant to fight for justice. But what is justice? Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou (the first season; not the second season) answers this question with formidable fashion. The narrative steeps itself in non-chronological ordering of events and interesting themes like morality and race. The characters are fleshed out for a first-half to a split-cour, wrapping themselves in that justice theme. And the art’s colors and design choices make the show feel like a stylistic comic book. Simply put, this one needs no justification.
Magical-action-ecchi-harem-comedy anime have a certain stigma attached to them, but Rakudai Kishi no Cavalry decided to fight back by presenting an anime filled with tons of execution. The characters maintain a theme on perseverance. The art shows off the battles, the music pumps up the audience. And romance, emotion, and adrenaline fill the narrative to the brim. While failure was in the title and in the expectations, the anime more than succeeded.
Earning the title of Best Anime of Fall 2015 is none other than Owarimonogatari. Once again, the series proves its dominance, showcasing interesting characters, a theme on relationships, and the series’ signature art. It also plays highly with symmetry (which I investigated in my essay Owarimonogatari, Symmetry, and Asymmetry). All of this says nothing of the clever writing, the bouts of comedy, and the awesome voice-acting performances. It’s no wonder that it turned out to be the best of the best this season.
And that is it! As always, I cannot thank everyone enough for reading my reviews and essays over the past several months. Be it a whole piece, a few paragraphs, or just a single word, I am and will always be eternally grateful. Your loving support is not lost on me.
Winter 2016, get ready! :3