The Chuuni Corner

Anime reviews, Chuunibyou, and other writings

Category: Winter 2015

Banjo’s Top 10 Winter 2015 Anime

Who reigns supreme this Winter 2015?

Who reigns supreme this Winter 2015?

This arrives way later than I expected it to!

Having finally completed and reviewed every anime that I set out to watch at the start of the Winter 2015 season, this list can now come into fruition. There were a lot of contenders — more than 25 in total — but only the best of the best can arrive at the forefront.

Looking at the season as a whole, it’s actually pretty astounding to realize just how lucky we are, as an audience, when it comes to the medium we love so much. The diversity, the ideas, the passion; it’s present everywhere you look. I’m not one to shy away from harping on anime — see Isuca, Tokyo Ghoul Root A, and Juuou Mujin no Fafnir for examples — but even these lowly ones showcase the incredible range anime has in its repertoire. This time around, there are shows involving lesbians of the dragon and bear variety; shows that induce sadness through song and relaxation through dinner; and even some that go meta in their own, respective ways. It was an interesting season, one that proved that anime is, and always will be, amazingly unique.

Before diving into the list, it’s important to know two ideas. First, that I am an advocate of an anime “counting” in the season in which it completed. Meaning, whether it’s fantastic or not, something like Assassination Classroom has no place here. On the opposite end, anime such as Log Horizon 2nd Season do have a shot since it concluded in Winter 2015 despite starting the season prior. So, if you don’t see Parasyte — The Maxim here on my list, that means I either didn’t see it or it wasn’t good enough to make it (it’s the latter!).

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 last season, follow this link to my Winter 2015 Reviews page!

With all of the introductions, formalities, and rules out of the way, it’s time to get to my Top 10 Winter 2015 Anime!

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Review/discussion about: Samurai Warriors

Samurai, warriors, but no heart

Samurai, warriors, but no heart

My younger brother is a pretty cool guy. Funny, too. But obviously not as awesome or hilarious as I am – it’s the “Law of Older Brothers” or something like that. Being brothers, we understand each other pretty well due to the unique relationship that we share. We agree on subjects, but we also bicker and quarrel whenever we see fit. Yet, at the end of the day, despite the arguments that we might have, I know that we are always looking out for one another. Because he’s not just my family but my baby bro. Samurai Warriors sets its sights on a tale of two brothers that ultimately fails at nearly everything that it tries.

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Review/discussion about: Kamisama Kiss 2nd Season

No more loneliness

No more loneliness

I’m thankful to have both of my grandmothers still alive. One, though, lives in a nursing home. She has bad ankles, memory loss, and internal issues that prevent her from living a normal, “everyday” life in the home she’s always known. My wonderful mother always visits her, not just because that’s her own mom, but because it helps to defeat something that is an unfortunate byproduct. And that’s loneliness. We all experience it at some point; it’s a strange feeling that causes a longing for companionship of any kind, be it a close friend, a dear lover, or a thoughtful family member. Yet it’s really easy to cure. You can visit them personally like my mom, or you can call to talk, send a text, or even mail a letter to show that somebody out there is looking out for them. No matter the size of the gesture itself, simply “being” there for another person in there time of need has a profoundly, positive impact on his or her life. This is the idea that Kamisama Hajimemashita 2nd Season works with, presenting an anime that at least doesn’t make you feel lonely.

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Review/discussion about: Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!

No love for these

No love for these “magical girls”

Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!, contrary to its name, showcases a lot of hate, or at the minimum, dislike. Be it those around you or a pair of chopsticks, the show demonstrates that people often have those aspects of life that somehow seem to rub us the wrong way. Personally speaking, I’m not too fond of the Beatles’ music. Their style just doesn’t do anything for me. But where negative emotions are found, there is always positive thinking just around the corner. That is, if nothing else, the show provides us with the message that “all you need is love.”

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Review/discussion about: Rolling☆Girls

Needed more to get rolling

Needed more to get rolling

Growing up, kids always have dreams of what they want to become. A fire fighter, a police man, an astronaut; we all aspire to be something more. For me, it was a professional hockey goalie. In my mind, they’re the last line of defense who get all of the flak when a goal is let in but also all of the glory when that huge save is made. And while that dream of mine never came true, even as an adult, I still maintain that underlying principle: to be someone greater than who I am right now. For while you or I may be content with our current selves, as they say, “there is always room for improvement.” Rolling☆Girls uses this idea as its base, but the pretty visuals and varying soundtrack cannot make up for the plentiful errors elsewhere.

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Review/discussion about: Durarara!!x2 Shou

Multiplication won't and doesn't help here

Multiplication won’t and doesn’t help here

When I was a teenager, one of the things I got to do through the good graces of my education was “shadow” a doctor at a local hospital. “Shadowing” derives its name from the act of following someone around everywhere, like a shadow, looking on as he or she does what needs doing for learning purposes. In this case, it was a series of medical professionals in the emergency center. There, I got to see quite a few things: a broken baby’s arm, a cranial injury, and other sick patients. But the most important experience I had from all this? I discovered what I didn’t want to do. I wasn’t fit to be someone in the field of medicine, because it wasn’t “for” me. In other words, I didn’t belong in this area, and finding this out as early as I did is something I always look back fondly on. Durarara!!x2 Shou plays with the idea of “finding where you belong,” with a small twist, presenting the audience with an alright offering and nothing more.

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Review/discussion about: Nanatsu no Taizai

Sinning never felt so good

Sinning never felt so good

Everybody sins. You and me, friends and family, neighbors and strangers; nobody is averse to acting sinful. The severity, though, changes depending on the circumstance: a rogue thought doesn’t do much harm nor does a little bit of desire. But other, more malicious movements can harbor emotions with greater intent to maim. This is where atonement comes into play. For while sinning is bad, it’s the good we do to make up for our grievances that truly matters. Nanatsu no Taizai takes this idea to heart, crafting an anime that needs no forgiveness.

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Review/discussion about: Juuou Mujin no Fafnir

Unlimited in terribleness only

Unlimited in terribleness only

Juuou Mujin no Fafnir is an anime that places some emphasis on the ethereal entity known as memories. Memories aren’t facts learned or knowledge acquired; they’re events, precious happenings that we remember and look back on with glee. At least, the good ones. Because everyone has a couple of memories that really aren’t worth bringing back up. Imagine, then, if you had the capability to trade your memories for more power than you could ever dream of. Would you knowingly lose random memories to gain newfound strength? Or are they an invaluable part of your life that made you into the kind of person you are today? Fafnir doesn’t ask itself these questions. In fact, it should be forgotten as quickly as is humanly possible.

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Review/discussion about: Junketsu no Maria

Magic, virgins, and thinking

Magic, virgins, and thinking

Something that’s hard to do, no matter who you are, is change your way of thinking. It sounds simple enough, though, especially given the context. If you were raised to learn that one plus one equals three, it’s mathematically possible to prove you incorrectly and move your thinking from wrong to right. But what if it was something more esoteric? Perhaps you’ve always known that after dinner you should have three cookies, but somebody comes along and says no; that you should have four, not three, to whet your appetite. Are you right, or is the other person? But even more important, is there a different way to think? While Junketsu no Maria doesn’t deal with numbers or desserts, it’s this idea of changing one’s beliefs that makes it quite the interesting anime to see.

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Review/discussion about: Seiken Tsukai no World Break

Truly broken

Truly broken

Poetry is an interesting form of writing when you take a step back and appreciate what it does. It can be a beautiful piece about a long lost lover or a depressing description of the death of a family member. It can be anything it wants to be because it’s, well, poetry. Some do it for fun while others do it as a hobby. Others still base their entire careers on crafting words together in intricate ways – most music is composed of lyrics that are themselves poetry. But what if it was instead used for something a bit more avant-garde? Maybe, instead of just fighting with swords and spells, people fought with words, too? Seiken Tsukai no World Break does exactly this, and it is as ridiculous as it sounds.

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