Not too long ago, I had a conversation with one of my uncles about films. We were watching Pixar’s Up at the time, and he said something that caused us to get into a (calm) argument.
“Animated stuff will never make for top-tier experiences.”
It is his belief that films like Schindler’s List and Rain Man will always be better than something like Toy Story or Finding Nemo — simply because the former are “real” while the latter aren’t.
Obviously, I disagreed.
How could I not? While the conversation was geared at computer-generated animation, my mind instantly went to anime. It’s the same principle. Yes, anime about giant, metal balls or high-school kids competing with hover boots may not be the next All About Eve. But anime has the capacity to tell intricate stories. The rationality to explore relatable characters. The ability to simply be downright fun.
I could not change his viewpoint (which I tried to do), but, through our small debate, I grew even more fond of this medium that I have come to adore so much.
So it is that, on this day, we look back on the Winter 2016 anime season to reflect on the best of the best, those that prove anime (and other animated media) can be and are top-tier experiences.
This time around, twenty-two anime showed up to fight for a spot. Ten succeeded, but only one claimed the title of Best Anime of Winter 2016.
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 Assassination Classroom Second Season has no place here despite starting in Winter 2016. On the opposite end, an anime like Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen does have a shot since it concluded in Winter 2016 despite starting the season prior.
Meaning, if you do not see Utawarerumono: Itsuwari no Kamen here on my list, that means I either did not see it or it was simply not good enough. (It’s the latter!)
I’m going to repeat this statement one more time: An anime counts if it completed in Winter 2016.
Some of my wonderful readers miss this important detail that I adhere to, so, now having said it twice, I get to call them goofballs should that happen again (here and forever after).
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 Winter 2016 Reviews page!
With all of the introductions, formalities, and rules out of the way, it is time to get to my Top 10 Winter 2016 Anime!