Summer Successes and Slip-Ups: Summer 2016 Anime Recap

Friday, October 14, 2016

As the summer season ends, I have to state my thoughts. This was, after all, the first season I've ever watched all the way through.

I'll be ranking the top three animes as well as giving out other awards and recognitions to the animes I liked the most. This means that, of course, there will be repeats. If you want a quick review of all the animes I've watched this summer, don't forget to check out my mid-seaosn recap. I went over the animes I was watching and the ones I wasn't. I might even write a few short reviews on the animes that impacted me the most this season on a different post. But until then, let's review the season.

Top 3

Mob Psycho 100
Honestly. I am so surprised. This anime was crazy amazing. The animation style stuck out. I haven't seen anything like it before. The main character Mob was so unlike any other main character. He was cute in a quirky way. And he definitely didn't have the charisma of a typical super-superpowered guy. He was humble about it. It was...refreshing. One (The original webcomic's writer) continues to defy the current standards of anime with amazing characters who are kind and caring. He breaks the conventional norms in a way that makes me realize how wrong anime is sometimes. We have bishounen boys, and, while I do love a nice Free-esque, six pack, we take people such as Mob and Saitama for granted. Definitely a 5/5. 

Okay. I admit, I didn't watch this until the summer. It is technically a spring anime that is 20+ episodes long. But I wasn't interested. It seemed like another fish out of water anime. But it isn't. Subaru isn't the most likable character. He goes through an amazing character arc. And it's not just him. Rem is fantastic too. (Ehem...Best Girl in the house.) She's so kind and loving. She cares for Subaru and Ram. Her love is open and vast. I know she'd never let Subaru get hurt. This anime had vivid colors and unforgettable OPs. The story was a little boring in the middle, but the beginning and ending were awe-inspiring. It's a new take on the reincarnation story. (Unlike ERASED and its take with Revival.) I want to see another season of this. After there is more light novel/manga material.

This is another anime that surprised me. It was so moving. I wanted it to be a yuri anime, but, instead, I got a new take on friendship. And I'm not upset by the lack of yuri. Teko and Pikari's story of acceptance and love is just fantastic. The colorful world underwater takes my breath away. And Teko changes too. She starts out demure and shy, but she turns into a mildly confident person. She begins the process of coming out of her shell. I want to see more of her. I want to see her dive with Pikari. But, currently, I know that Teko's starting an amazing, life-changing journey.

Best Story

I can't be the only one who doesn't particularly like episodic animes. Orange is one of the only animes of this season with a non-episodic arc. All the events in this anime are leading up to Kakeru's death, or near-death experience. We know it's going to happen. But the journey between Point A and Point B is what the story is about. We follow a typical high school journey, but there are unexpected bumps. And, truly, as someone who hasn't read the manga, that twist in the middle was not expected.

Best Male Character

Natsuki Subaru: Re:Zero
Subaru, as stated before, has an amazing change. He's snarky at first. Even a little cocky. But he sheds this self-absorbed exterior and lets his inner strength shine. He does care for people. Deeply. And Re:Zero is the story of him realizing how far he'll go for the people he loves.

Kageyama Shigeo: Mob Psycho 100
Kageyama Shigeo or Mob is amazing. He's unassuming. You'd never realized the amazing power within. Honestly, I was surprised how much I liked him. He's so quiet; if I went to his school, I'd never notice him. (I can't say the same for his brother, though.) He is truly kind. I'm happy we have an anime about a different sort of main character, one who isn't in the spotlight often. Because, often, the best heroes are the ones we don't even know about.

Best Female Character

Rem: Re:Zero
Rem is Best Girl. Honestly. She's so sweet and so kind. She seems aloof at first, but then you realize she's just an adorable puff ball of puff and sweetness. With a mace. (Not Mace. But A mace. The medieval weapon.) I would love to meet Rem in real life. She loves so deeply. She fights in Subaru's honor even after being ---------ed. (Fill in your blank. Though, this is a correct answer.)

Naho: Orange
Honestly, I put Naho on this list because she's hesitant. I know that sounds strange, but it's true. She doesn't immediately act when she gets her letter. She doubts it. And that's what would happen in real life. No one would immediately trust a letter from your supposed 'future self'. No one. Her hesitance to react and hesitance to love Kakeru is what truly makes her stand out. She's not a typically, froofy shoujo girl. She's human.

Teko: Amanchu
Teko's character development is what I love about her, much like why I love Subaru. She starts out shy and standoffis (Seeing a trend?) And becomes this beautiful butterfly. (I'm kidding...maybe?) But she's such a sweet character. I love seeing her develop with Pikari. I love seeing her learn more about diving and life and living and fun. She might be mentally in Tokyo at first, but she moves to the ocean. (This is me trying to be funny.) 

Best Couple

Rem and Subaru: Re:Zero
Okay. These two aren't really together. But I count them as a couple. Rem loves Subaru unconditionally. Even if he doesn't love her. Subaru's love for Emilia doesn't waver. Ever. It's quite amazing. Rem would do anything for Subaru. And Subaru does know that. He loves Rem for that. Not romantically. But as friends. And that's just...amazing. 
Rem x Subaru FOREVER.

Teko and Pikari: Amanchu
Is it weird that I actually thought that Amanchu was a yuri diving anime at first? Because...that's what I wanted. What I got was a complex friendship that definitely surpasses yuri. Their friendship is amazing. I want what Teko and Pikari have. I want it. You never forget a friend like Pikari. Never. 

Ko and Rin: New Game
If anything's yuri, it's these two. They work so well together. There was one episode where they were basically playing out. I swear, the studio WANTS us to think they're a couple. Rin cares so much for Ko. And Ko might not see it. (She's kinda...daft in matters of the heart.) But she's loved. It's such a cute relationship. Relationship goals.

Best OP

This is such a peaceful anime. It makes me want to smile whenever I think about it. The OP does reflect that. It's a song that starts out tentative and cautious before diving right in. The animation that goes along with it is just breathtaking. I feel like I'm plunged into the ocean every time.

Mob Psycho 100
1. 2. 3. 4. 
The counting part of this OP is a bit confusing to most at first until you realize that the resounding 99 is when Mob is about to explode. Thankfully, we get enough scenes of Mob reaching his breaking point. This song pumps you up. Soon enough, you'll be singing along. Mostly to the counting parts. And the animation is confusing. It's as if you're on an acid trip, but the snapshots of the Body Building Club or Teru or Reigen eating takoyaki all up in the anime. So it's an interesting peek into the going-ons.

Okay. This is my guilty pleasure song. It's so cute and pop-y. I love it. Plus, the animation is pretty amazing. (Except for that one creepy part when we're ogling at the teacher's body. Not that she's not cute or anything. I just...feel awkward. She's a teacher. Geez.) I love the beginning when Usami is running with a paintbrush. Amazing. It really sums up what this anime is about: art and cute middle school kids doing cute things.

Best Art Style

I'll say it once. I'll say it twice. Mob Psycho 100 has a unique animation style ever. It's a different art style. I constantly complained...until I got used to it. It's flashy and constantly moving. It's so unique which makes it memorable. I won't forget Mob's 100% explosions. Or Teru's insane hair. Or...anything about the art. 

I love the colors. So much. And the realism. Subaru and Rem look fantastic. Not to forget Emilia or Puck. The entire anime is in this up-and-coming style which is focused on details and colors and just...ahhh. It's so amazing. I love this style. It's so good. 

Underappreciated Anime

Morose Mononokean
Okay. Truthfully, I loved watching this anime. It's cute and kinda lackluster, but Ashiya was such an interesting character. I loved how sweet he was, how compassionate. One of the few things I disliked, though, was the lack of character development. Fuzzy was cute and all, but that doesn't overshadow the lack of plot or character development. Cute but not amazing.

What was your favorite anime of the season? Who was your favorite character? 

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