The Top Anime of 2015

In my humble opinion, it’s always best the let the year sink in a little bit before making a list that declares the top anime of any given year. And so, that’s exactly what I’ve done—allowed my favorites of the year to pickle in an aging pot for a while before taking them out and shipping them off to be sold…err, sorry. Too much Harvest Moon these days. Anyways…

To see how things shook out during the year, check out my final rankings posts for each season.

Winter 2015 | Spring 2015 | Summer 2015 | Fall 2015

So, without further distraction, I present my top anime of 2015! Here’s the Best Girl of 2015 to kick things off!


Continue reading

Top Winter 2015 Anime: Final Ratings

It was a good season of anime. I realize I’m closing the season on a pretty small selection of shows and that a number of those shows are leftovers from the Fall 2014 season, but even so…this was a good season of anime. I don’t actually know what more to say beyond that. It was good, I really enjoyed it and felt blessed to be watching what I was watching quite a lot, and I’m sad many of these shows are over. And that’s that. Here are the best anime of Winter 2015. Are you ready, Koharu-chan?

[Management: I’ve decided to rename the “Best Animation” category the “Best Visual Aesthetic” category. The idea here is to condense character designs, background art, and general visual appearance into a single category. I’m not really qualified at this point to discuss the actual technical merits of animation, but I can at least tell you what I thought looked good. Additionally, the caption awards have morphed into something a bit different than “the was the best action” show; rather, they’re now more along the lines of “this show had the best romance/action/etc.”]

Your Lie in April

Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 24 [End]

Well, it wasn’t quite the ending I wanted for Akatsuki no Yona (ignoring the fact that I didn’t want any sort of ending), but it was still a nice comma in the longer sentence of the show, a catching of the breath, if you will, for a second season we tragically may never see. But let’s save the lamentations for later and simply enjoy what we have for now.

Akatsuki no Yona Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 23

I really, really, really don’t want this show to be over. If you take out the slower early stages of the Awa arc and the less-than-inspired feel of Su-won’s Earth Tribe tour, Akatsuki no Yona has basically been consistently excellent—and so the return to form in the last few episodes, but this episode specifically, has been glorious and joyful to watch. Last week’s episode was a quality offering in terms of an epic climax, but this week’s sort of cool down episode was emblematic of the elements of Akatsuki no Yona that made it my favorite show through most of Fall 2014.

Akatsuki no Yona Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 22

Let it never be said that Akatsuki no Yona can’t do cliffhangers when it wants to do them. I thought last week’s cliffhanger was bad. HA! Laughable! Child’s play! The easiest of easy modes compared to the cliffhanger Akatsuki no Yona dropped on us this week! I almost don’t want to review the other events of this episode and just talking about that, but I’m sure if I tried to do that now it would come out as a blast of incoherent ramblings—so let’s see what this episode had for us.

Akatsuki no Yona Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 21

Ah, good Akatsuki no Yona is back and it feel really great. The very, very, very slow-winding spool of the past few episodes is finally start to spin out, fast enough that the episode truly flew by, leaving me cursing when the ending credits rolled at the cliffhanger. Curse you, Akatsuki no Yona! You think you can slouch through three or four consecutive episodes and then suddenly ramp up your pace to the fastest it’s been all show & expect me to just go along with you? Well, I did, but I’m still a bit grouchy. But a good grouchy. Grrr.

Akatsuki no Yona Continue reading

Winter 2015 Midseason Report (Week 7)

But iblessall, you’re a week late! Hush, hush, I can do my midseason report whenever I feel like it! Also, shows are all over the place in terms of episode count this season, so this is as good a time as any (plus 13 doesn’t divide in half evenly anyways). Anyways, there are the anime I’m watching and what I think about them so far. Scores are a projected range for the final score of the show.


Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 20

Well, not my favorite episode of the show, following up an episode I also didn’t think was all that great. Akatsuki no Yona‘s had slow pacing throughout the show, but these recent episodes have slowed down the progression of events to a pace that is starting to work against my enjoyment of the show. I think I said this last week, but Yona‘s never been as good at externally motivated conflicts as it’s been at character-driven conflicts. We’re kind of in full plot mode right now, and the action is driving our characters, rather than the other way around.

Akatsuki no Yona Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 19

Well, maybe we won’t actually get to the final dragon before the end of the series. This episode stretched on a bit longer than I expected and, while I generally enjoyed it, Akatsuki no Yona‘s best moments don’t come from high stakes, life-threatening situations, but from the interpersonal relationships of its characters and their respective ways of seeing the world—and nowhere was this more evident than in the final scene between Hak and Yona.

Akatsuki no Yona Continue reading

Akatsuki no Yona, Episode 18

I think “Ties” was a good title for this episode, but I also felt like we spent a lot of time treading over thematic ground that was already covered last week. Jaeha, Ki-ja, and Hak all remain entrenched in their respective ideologies, although it was neat to see Jaeha and Ki-ja’s respective worldviews come into direct contact. Of more interest this episode was Yona herself, which is actually a focus Akatsuki no Yona hasn’t had in quite a while.

Akatsuki no Yona

Continue reading