Anime Yearly Summaries

2016 Anime Summary

 

Personally, I hold 2016 year dear to my heart, given it was the year that I started blogging anime. So, from watching 3-4 shows per season in previous years I would watch around 14-15 shows (now, I retain a healthy meal course of around 10 shows per season) and probably watched more trash shows than necessary for the blog but you know what, I love every minute of it. Compared to my original top 10 list back in 2016, you can see that while the shows remain unchanged (just the #10 was replaced), the order has been shuffled around, futher reflect how ranking and criticism are not… you know… exact science. Anime films are absolute beasts in 2016, with the release of these following: Your Name, A Silent Voice, In this Corner of the World, Kizumonogatari and Doukyuusei. The success of Your Name and Yuri on Ice in particular are welcoming signs as they are passionate projects from one of the most talented anime directors working in the field right now.

Most Popular Show of 2016: Re:Zero

Re:Zero is now seen as one of the crowning example of isekai subgenre and I can see why. Although it follows the tropes of the genre with a main character who “happens” to have special abilities in another world, it goes beyond that and showing the real curse of having the ability. There’s a lot of suffering for Subaru as he dies and dies again and repeats the circle. And while it’s true that he can advance to the next stage once he clears the hurdles, the psychological effects of these horrible events clearly affect him. Hence, Re:Zero is at its best when it doesn’t offer an easy way out for Subaru. He’s in a bind and we can clearly feel his struggle. The show suffers, then, when sometimes he clears the stage a bit too convenient, and when it relies on tropes and anime humor. It’s still entertaining enough for me that I m looking for the second season nonetheless

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Anime Yearly Summaries

2017 Anime Summary

 

Overall, I consider 2017 an okay year in anime, it isn’t as solid as 2016, but the top 4 are absolute modern classics (well, 2 of them are sequels). 2017 is the year where we see the Hollywood embraces the medium by having 2 live-action remakes to classic anime Ghost in the Shell staring Scarlet Johansson and Death Note TV series to a devastating result. Fantasy-adventure anime had a typically strong year with the crowd-pleasing Little Witch Academia, Attack on Titan Second season, Made in Abyss, Shingeki no Bahamut: Virgin Soul and Kino’s Journey remake (which is considered more as Kino Journey‘s greatest hits). Romance has a pretty good showing as well, with the likes of tsuki ga kirei, Tsurezure Children, Just Because, Net-juu no Susume, Gamers and most notably the anti-romance Scums’ WishOn the flip side we see the brief comeback of imouto subgenre (Eromanga sensei and A Sister is All You Need), which for me is absolute cancer. Kemono Friends, an adaptation of the then-dysfunction mobile game, becomes a breakthrough hit and that was something that I can’t comprehend even to this day. 2017 is also the first year of the Crunchyroll Anime Awards where they championed Made in Abyss.

Most Popular Show of 2017: My Hero Academia 2

The first season of My Hero Academia might air a year before in 2016 with modest success, but it’s this season that the show really explodes in anime fandom and becomes one of the most popular franchises of this decade. It embraces the shounen tropes with the right amount of heart and incredible animation, resulting in a predictable but always entertaining watch. This second season is an apt example of its success, and of why I never truly embrace the series. It poses some interesting questions about the grey moral of becoming a hero and points out flaws within the current hero’s system, but then it falls back on these in many occasions for a more light-hearted and straight forward action set piece. The result is a ton of sakuga sequences that is impressive in its own right, but it sacrifices all the thematic complexity in the process.

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Anime, Anime Yearly Summaries, Yearly Summary

2018 Anime Summary

 

In general, I consider 2018 an underwhelming year. It sits there as the worst year of this decade for me. There are only three shows that crack the my Top 50 of the Decade, which is the lowest in any year. It has some solid shows, but none that breaks out as a modern classic. I suspect 2018 will be remembered as the year where Netflix original anime storms the mainstream. While I do have some reservations towards its models (never a fan of releasing the whole batch in one go, and I feel Netflix originals are a tad bit too retro, not in a good way), they do take risks and any platform that brings more exposure to anime is always welcome. 2018 is also a really strong year for comedy. Comedy that is plain silly (Grand Blue), comedy that makes you cry (Anzumatsuri), anti-humor comedy (Pop Team Epic)… this year has it all.

Most Popular Show of 2018: Violet Evergarden

I left the show feeling a bit torn about it. On one hand, the production is top notch and when the show hits right, it sweeps you right away. On the other hand, I don’t buy much of Violet’s central conflicts and the show has a tendency to go over-soapiness and try to explain too much, which I was never fond of. To be fair, Violet Evergarden has never known for its subtlety, its intent is always to pull as many punches as possible. Violet Evergarden, therefore, is at its strongest when it uses Violet as an observer, to put her as a background for side characters with their own struggles to find ways to overcome. When she stays in the spotlight, however, the amount of predictable development and cheesy moments always overwhelm the show’s own emotions. All in all, Violet Evergarden is a roller coaster of emotions, in more ways than one. It either sweeps you away with its grandeur approach, or it doesn’t (like myself). Despite my grumpy Violet Evergarden is still worth a watch, if only for the beautiful CG-animated mechanical hands of Violet.

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Animation - Anime, Anime, Anime Yearly Summaries

2019 Anime Summary

 

Yeah, I’m doing this too. As a whole, I consider 2019 a great year of anime, especially comes right after 2018 which I consider the worst year of the decade. It’s a year where many Anime Auteurs – some of the best working Anime directors today – helming original visions. Ikuhara, Shinichi Watanabe, Yuusa, Shinkai all have their original, passionate projects, and many manga classics like Vinland Saga and Kimetsu no Yaiba receive anime treatments. 2019 also saw many reboot from the 90s, early 00s decade with varying degrees of success, such as Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019), Fruits Basket (2019) and Blade of the Immortals. On the negative side, the amount of isekai escapism is at its peak, at least in terms of quantity and not for their quality. My format is gonna be this: look at the most Popular show of the year,  the most Underrated show, then some honorable mentions before I get to the top 10. Hope you enjoy the countdown.

Most Popular Show of 2019: Carole & Tuesday

If I have to give one definite quality of Carole & Tuesday, it’s “accessible”, for better or for worse. Streaming in Netflix with the majority of the audiences isn’t used to watching anime, I can see this show as a getaway to have a first dip of what modern anime is like. And there are many aspects of Carole & Tuesday to support that approach: the animation is expressive, the art styles are gorgeous and attentive to details, the plot is simple but inspirational, the leads are likeable enough and most of all, the music is well-produced – everything you would expect from the great master Shinichi Watanabe. On a flip side though, because the anime is too mainstream it unfortunately doesn’t have enough edge or depth. The titular characters Carole & Tuesday suffer from that the most. There is little to no conflict between them, and throughout its 2 cours runtime they often act like one, there is no personality to them at all. That is why the supporting cast is often more interesting than the leads themselves. Second, the story arcs remain quite simple and predictable, and it becomes clear that the show is more concentrated on the music than the story. All in all, with the gorgeous visual, crisp animation and the top-notch soundtrack, if you don’t expect too much of it, you’ll enjoy it as you go along the ride.

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Anime, Yearly Summary

2018 Anime Summary – Part 2: Individual Awards

Now we get to the second part of this 2018 Anime Summary. This can be seen as individual awards, where I will pick the Best, and the Worst, as well as Runner-Ups. It will divide as Individual awards, Production Awards and Character Awards. Get on board for a tour around the town now, shall we?

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Anime, Music, Yearly Summary

2018 Anime Summary – Part 1: Music

I must confess before getting into this part that I don’t have an ear for anime tunes and only recently, very recently that I’m actively checking out for anime songs and soundtracks. Now that I’m more familiar with anime songs and know some of the prominent artists in this medium, I want explore more, dig deeper and making this list to celebrate all the goodies of this past year. In regards to OPs and EDs, 2018 is another underwhelming year for me. Normally I can easily come up with more than 5 picks, but this year that number is a high bar. This year, however, produces one of my favorite soundtracks in years so I’m not looking back on it with bitter eyes. Whether it has distinctive visual, or great songs, or how these two are in perfect sync to each other, below are my favorite OPs of the year, in no particular order

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Anime, Yearly Summary

2018 Anime Summary – Overview

Happy new year, folks. I’m not beating around the bush here, these past few months I haven’t found much passion to write at all. I much prefer watching to writing and boy, did I watch a lot this past month. Although I can’t say that I love writing, I do want keep this blog as a logbook/ diary on what I had watched and what my opinions on shows/ films I watched at that given moment. It means that I’ll find new ways to keep you readers informed of what I watch during a month or so. On that end I’ll make a Movie/Show log every fortnight or so with a brief impression about them, and doing more seasonal reviews, bunk reviews instead of full reviews.

Towards that goal, this week will be about the comprehensive summary of 2018 in anime. In general, I consider 2018 an underwhelming year. It has many solid shows, but none breaks out as a modern classic for me. I suspect 2018 will be remembered as the year where Netflix original anime storms the mainstream. While I do have some reservations towards its models (never a fan of releasing the whole batch in one go, and I feel Netflix originals are a tad bit too retro, not in a good way), they do take risque and any platforms that brings more exposure to anime is always a welcome. 2018 is also a really strong year for comedy. Comedy that is plain silly (Grand Blue), comedy that makes you cry (Anzumatsuri), comedy that is too dry (Pop Team Epic)… this year has it all. Less idol shows this year compared to the last few years, but at the same time more hopeless isekai shows, imouto incest shows, shows adapted from mobile games and soft-core porn shows, 2018 sure leaves its mark boldly.

For the next few days, I will split the summary into 5 parts:

Part 1: My favorite 5 OPs, 5 EDs and 2 full songs of the year  Part 2: Several technical/characters/miscellaneous awards   Part 3: Genres shortlists and Awards   Part 4: Honorable Mentions and Top 10 shows of the year   Part 5: List and rank Anime Movies of 2018 (Note: at this moment I list 15 films – 5 watched, 5 more available, 5 non-available. I will post this part once I finish these 15 films in the shortlist.

Stay tune for the next day for Part 1 – my favorite tunes of the year