Anime fans rejoice. 2016 has given us some fantastic shows to fawn over. Here, for this week’s edition of TVEnthusiast’s Top 10 Tuesday, are our picks for the best new anime of last year. Lets start things off by clarifying that this list represents new shows, rather than continuations, sequels, or remakes. That means no Gundam, and no Berserk. So lets get started.
Probably a controversial pick, Keijo is a fan-service anime about a sport in which bikini clad girls practice a form of sumo in which they can only use their breasts and butts. The series has been heavily criticized as misogynist and disgusting, I have even heard the term “no redeeming qualities” thrown around, which is a personal pet peeve of mine. To these critics I say only this, the series is aware of this, it is the point, Keijo is hilariously ridiculous, dripping stupidity and ridiculousness from every pore for our amusement.
09. My Hero Academia
My Hero Academia is Japan’s take on western superhero comic tropes with plenty of typical anime and manga tropes to fit the Japanese format. The series begins in a world in which most people extraordinary abilities called quirks, our protagonist Midoriya has no such quirk, which leads to him being bullied and teased. The lack of a quirk for Midoriya is particularly sad as he is an ardent fan of super heroes, he runs to every crime scene to take notes and bask in the glory of the objects of his affection. Things change for Midoriya, however, when his courage impresses the greatest hero of them all, All Might, and said hero promises to make Midoriya a super hero.
08. Space Patrol Luluco
This short form anime from the studio behind Kill la Kill is beautifully absurd, hilarious, and loaded with heart, as it tells the story of a young girl who finds herself drafted into the Space Patrol, and smitten with her no partner. Through the course of the series we meet Luluco, her classmates, her parents, her boss, and the boy she is in love with, as they endeavor to protect their home.
07. Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash
My old favorite genre of anime returns, a group of teens are transferred to another world and sent into service as adventurers, hunting monsters and exploring dungeons. What sets Grimgar apart is that our characters are not over powered heroes, and their adventures are not fun and light fantasies. No, our party of adventurers struggles in life or death battles with even the smallest foes, barely making enough to survive, as harsh realities stack upon their shoulders.
06. KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!
Yep, another transferred to another world anime, my favorite (no seriously, no sarcasm, it is my favorite). KonoSuba is a hilarious story about an adventurer who finds himself teamed with extraordinary partners to take on tasks like monster hunting and dungeon exploration. From an outside perspective our hero Satō is luckily in the company of 3 beautiful and capable female partners, but the comedy of the series is in how incapable his partners actually are. His Archpriest, Aqua, is actually a goddess, a lazy, entitled, and mostly useless goddess who uses her skill points for party tricks. His Mage, Megumin, knows the most powerful attack spell, explosion, unfortunately, it is the only spell she knows, and she can only use it once a day, at which point she has to be literally carried away. His Guard, Darkness, is a Crusader with a nearly indestructible body, but she has no skill in attacks, and only guards incoming attacks for her perverse masochism.
This series from the Creator of Hellsing, is yet another story about people transferred to a fantasy world. This time, our heroes are all famous figures from Earth history. These Drifters, as they are called, must face off against other figures from history called Ends, who wish to unite the demons and monsters of the world against the humans who oppressed them. The battle between Drifters and Ends is giant chess game between 2 beings who have the ability to bring people across dimensions to serve their side.
04. Alderamin on the Sky
Alderamin on the Sky is a fantasy series about a man who enrolls in military school alongside his childhood friend in order to fulfill a promise to her. Our hero, Ikta, is lazy, and just wants an easy job where he can read and pursue women. His friend, Yatorishino, is a sword wielder of unparalleled skill who is duty bound to her country by her family’s honor. Though Ikta is lazy and reluctant to fight, he is a man of science and supreme strategy. Ikta’s strategic skills are called into service after he saves a princess of the kingdom. Together with Yatorishino and his friends from military school, Ikta puts his mind to use in service of the princess he saved, and the “impossible” task she wants to accomplish.
03. Mob Psycho 100
From the creator of One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 follows Mob, perhaps the most powerful psychic in the world. If you know One Punch Man, then you have a good idea of what Mob Psycho 100 is, another deconstruction of shounen tropes featuring a vastly overpowered lead character who seems almost bored in the face of vast supernatural threats. Like One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100 is hilarious, captivating, and utterly addicting.
02. Re:Zero − Starting Life in Another World
YES, AGAIN, another series about a boy transferred to another world. This story has a twist though, at the heart of the structure of this story is a Groundhog’s Day-esque time-loop mechanic. Our hero, Subaru, wakes up when he dies, back to what could only be described as a save point. He has tasks to complete, and until he does he will keep reliving the same day, days, or weeks, only freed from the loop when he solves the problem at hand, at which point a new loop begins. Subaru quickly finds himself embroiled in a major political power struggle, a war between humanity and the forces of an evil witch, and a desperate need to protect a girl he has come to idolize.
By far the best anime of 2016, at least in my opinion, Erased, is the story of a man, Satoru, who has a déjà vu esque ability that allows him to correct a cosmic wrong by traveling back in time a few seconds after his opportunity escapes him. In that short time after his power activates, Satoru must figure out what is going to go wrong and stop it. After one such event lands him in the hospital, and his mother comes to take care of him, he encounters a threat from his past that send shim all the way back to his childhood, where he will have the opportunity to save 3 children from a serial killer who struck his hometown in his youth. The result is an emotional coming of age story with a fascinating time loop and an exploration of true sociopathic evil.
As always, this list represents the opinions of TVEnthusiast, and, as such, may not reflect your own favorites. If you agree or disagree with our list, tell us in our comments, and stay tuned to TVEnthusiast for more coverage of all of your favorite shows.