Posts Tagged Favorites
Let’s start 2016 with a proper farewell to 2015. Before we look forward to another year of anime, we should look back on 2015 and reflect on what made it one of the best years of anime in recent memory. There were numerous anime and characters that were incredible, dazzling, brilliant sensational, influential, and monumental in 2015, and today, I want to take a moment to provide my thoughts and opinions on the 15 most significant anime and characters from this last year. Come, take a look and re-experience why the anime of 2015 are so remarkable and unforgettable.
12 Days of Anime (2015) – Day 2 – Speaking with Hiromi Katou, Character Design for Needless, at Sakuracon
Hiromi Katou is a gifted and experienced talent, having a successful career in the anime industry through a variety of roles. Among his notable accomplishments, he was the character designs for Guilty Crown, Kobato., and Hakkenden, the animation directors for Beck, Gunslinger Stratos, and Fantasia Doll, and a key animator for Death Note, Azumanga Daioh, Shingeki no Kyojin, and many more. However, his most distinguished achievement, to me at least, is that he was the character design for Needless, which you might guess from previous posts is my favorite anime. I was extremely fortunate that Hiromi Katou was invited as a guest for Sakuracon this year and made sure to visit his Q&A panel, so that I could ask him some questions regarding Needless. So, for Day 2 of my 12 Days of Anime, I’ll recall my time with Hiromi Katou and the answers he provided about his experience with Needless.
Every year, I recall my favorite anime openings and endings in my Final Review, selecting my very favorites from each of the four Season Reviews that settle at the end of each season. But, seeing as I haven’t published a Season Review since 2013 and given that there is no other time to document my favorite OPs/EDs of the year, I have reserved Day 3 of my 12 Days of Anime for 2015 for this lacking quality of mine. Of course, I won’t reveal my favorite OP and ED of the year just yet (that will be reserved for the Final Review of 2015), but here are some of my favorites that I would love to share with you. Now, please enjoy 8 of my Top 10 Openings and Endings for 2015.
It’s been 1 year, 3 months since Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?. It’s been 1 year, 6 months since Miss Monochrome, Non Non Biyori, and Noragami. It’s been 1 year, 9 months since Gatchaman Crowds and Monogatari Series Second Season. It’s been 2 years since Kamisama Kiss. It’s been 2 years, 3 months since Dog Days’ (S2). It’s been 2 years, 9 months since K and Sidoni no Kishi. It’s been 3 years since Yuru Yuri ♪♪ (S2). It’s been 3 years, 6 months since Working’!! (S2). It’s been 4 years, 6 months since Durarara!!. It’s been 5 years, 2 months since The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. It’s been 9 years since Utawarerumono, and it’s been 10 years since Soukyuu no Fafner: Dead Aggressor. I think it’s safe to say, with all of these anime franchises returning with TV broadcasts, that 2015 will be remembered as Year of the Sequels.
Plastic Memories is nowhere near my favorite anime of 2015, but it deserves recognition and praise for having one of the best anime endings of 2015… or rather, having an ending at all. Though, I never found myself genuinely invested in the characters, the story, or the setting (though I will make fun of the berserk zombie-bots at ultra-specific times whenever I have the chance), I want to highlight Plastic Memories in my 12 Days of Anime series because it had something I wish every anime had: a conclusion. Plastic Memories actually had an end to its story and its series… and not one of those bullshit anime endings where everything resets at the end. No, Plastic Memories had the courage to have a genuine finish, a final episode that left me feeling fulfilled and absolute, and above all, satisfied.
12 Days of Anime (2015) – Day 8 – Giving a Sequel a Chance (Even Though I Never Watched the Original)
Day 8 of my 12 Days of Anime has traditionally been reserved for recalling an experience in which I watch an anime that I normally wouldn’t watch. For reference, the four previous versions of my Day 8 posts have been:
- Giving a Bad Anime a Chance (Softenni, 2011)
- Giving a Forgotten Anime a Chance (Yuru Yuri, 2012)
- Giving a Disappointing Anime a Second Chance (Tamayura ~more aggressive~, 2013)
- Giving a Renowned Anime a Chance (Mushishi, 2014)
The posts all share a common theme in which I watch and enjoy an anime that usually would otherwise be rejected or dismissed due to my exclusion criteria for anime. Sometimes, I don’t watch an anime because it looks bad or because I forgot about. Other times, I don’t watch an anime because the first season was disappointing or I never got around to watching one of those anime classics. This year, I’m going to remember an experience where I watched the second season to an anime franchise without watching the first series or the movie in between TV broadcasts. Yes, I’ve never really done that before, jumping into a franchise in the middle of its run, but without the time or energy to catch up on the originals, this was my really my only chance to stay current with the anime while it aired. And in case you didn’t figure it out yet, either from the context of the post or the screenshot above, the anime is Soukyuu no Fafner – Dead Aggressor: Exodus.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the setting is my favorite aspect of anime. To me, it is the most significant attribute of an anime because the setting is the foundation for which the stories and characters are shaped and constructed, the ground from which they grow and progress. It is what provides the story and the characters with the appropriate tools, direction, and limitations for which we, as an audience, are able to watch, appreciate, and enjoy. And the setting is more than just a pretty backdrop, but one that defines the culture, society, technology, clothing, architecture, geography, climate, diet, and lives of the characters we love. As a result, I absolutely adore any anime with a captivating, distinctive, and inspired setting because of how it influences the story and the characters. And that brings me to Death Parade and the Quindecim, arguably my favorite setting in all of anime for 2015.