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Sunday, October 25, 2015

2015 Anime Wrapup:

Some fun stuff has changed since yesterday.  Non Non Biyori's manga resumed being translated.  Shinryaku! Ika Musume got a ton of new manga chapters translated.  Oreshura's volume 7 has been translated in full.

Owarimonogatari had a fantastic episode, to the point that I'm wondering if Bake-(etc)-monogatari isn't actually the best anime of all time.  I can wait for that conclusion once the entirety of the anime has come out all the way to the ending, which is still years from now though.

Utawarerumono had another classy fanservice episode that advanced plot and character all while showing off beautiful girl's bodies in an overall beautiful world.  You can't ask for more from a show.

Owari and Utaware are perfect representatives of great anime.  They are what great anime look like.  That's how great anime should make you feel while you're watching.  Heavy Object and Rakudai Kishii just don't live up to that standard.  They have good moments but they don't keep you immersed in a believable world.  It doesn't make sense that princess Stella would immediately fall in love with the first guy who ever beat her in battle.  Is she Shampoo from Ranma 1/2?  That was considered to be a comedy, Shampoo was supposed to be acting silly when she did that.  And yet Stella is to be taken seriously?  At least Shampoo had the excuse of being raised in that amazon warrior custom, so to her it was normal and natural.  What excuse does Stella have to essentially be that cave girl dragged by the hair by the nearest cave man to be raped and liking it?

As for Heavy Object, it's dumb that these guys who don't even want to fight end up keep fighting ridiculous odds in deadly battles and manage to survive against all odds again and again.  It's funny.  It's interesting, like solving a puzzle.  But it's not realistic or believable so it breaks immersion.  You're constantly just rolling your eyes instead of watching raptly as events unfold.  You barely have time to blink when you're watching Owari or Utaware.

Rakudai Kishii and Heavy Object will probably be good anime that I watch to the end, but they just don't have the right elements to become great anime.  Their central premises just don't make any coherent sense.  Neither of them is nearly as emotionally moving or beautiful as Danmachi was.

Utah and Florida State fell from the ranks of the undefeated.  However, the heroic underdogs are plowing forward undeterred.  Houston, Temple, Memphis and Toledo all won.  The historic underdogs TCU and Baylor are also undefeated.  Heck, historically speaking, Oklahoma State has never been worth much, and they're undefeated too.  There's a lot of football left but this seems like a special season for the little guys.

Now that Heavy Object and Rakudai Kishii are pretty much ruled out from reaching my rankings, the year in anime 2015 has reached crystal clear clarity.

How many great new anime series debuted in 2015?  5.
How many great anime series got additional content in 2015?  43.

The debutante number is lower than average, but the sequel content is right up there with the best of them.  I don't think this year measures up to the phenomenal performances of the last few years, but it's still well above average and light years beyond what was coming out say, pre-2003.  With all the sequels that have been recently announced and Rewrite getting an anime adaption, 2016 might well surpass 2015's already solid performance.  We can more or less put the bookend on this year of anime, but 2016 is a whole new year and a whole new world.  The #1 spot is still up for grabs.  Sort of like the current season of College Football.  :).

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