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Old December 24th, 2015 (1:16 PM). Edited December 24th, 2015 by derozio.
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derozio derozio is offline
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My longest post on the forum. By far. And this year, with all the great shows it brought, definitely deserves a post of this kind. I know nobody will read all of this but I really can't help myself. I love anime and I loved these shows. I can't praise them enough, y'know? :p

Note: Tbh I can fill this up with Gintama. Everywhere. Apart from Production Values I guess (since this time they're pretty bad). But yeah. But to keep my bias away, I'll limit myself to as less of Gintama here as possible. Also, the sub-par treatment that the anime has been receiving as of late has me feeling slightly salty tbh. That also has a lot to do with my omission of Gintama this year I guess. Despite the excellent and fantastic arc that's going on right now that blows ANYTHING else that came out this year outta the water.

With that out of the way, let's get to the meat of this post - my votes:

Best Story:


Winner(s): Noragami Aragoto, Haikyuu!! Second Season, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku.

Noragami stepped up its game big time with the second season. The story got much more focused and we got to learn a lot more about the characters that we've mostly just seen a little bit of in the first season. It utilizes the setup that season one served to be and ends up telling the tales of Bishamonten and Yato's past along with the Ebisu arc really well. Characters get depth, the story gets plenty of plot twists and it all makes for a very cohesive and well-written plot. Bravo! A major step up, definitely, from first season. Can't stress that enough.

Haikyuu!! is, well, Haikyuu!! I just have no words to describe this one. This is possibly one of my favorite anime in recent times. Story hasn't exactly stepped up from season one - it is just more of the same. But being more of the same isn't an issue at all if the story in question is already so goddamn good from the very beginning. Handles, generally speaking, training arcs and character interactions really well. New characters get introduced and are characterized really well and are incredibly lovable (see my best female vote!). But, most of all, they feel like real people. Unlike the comic book caricatures that were there in Kuroko's Basket, this has an air of realism with the way it treats its story and characters. Which makes it that much more deserving of praise. I can't praise this one enough. Every episode. Every single one. All of them put a wide smile on my face.

And, with that, we come to my favorite anime of this year. By far. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku. Yes, I wrote that name by memory. XD; Anyway, season two of Oregairu. Biggest goddamn step up from one season to another I've seen in a good amount of time. And with season one already being a really good show, this just ended up being truly spectacular in all the right ways. Things take a turn for the dramatic rather than sticking to more of the "dark but fun comedy" route that the first season took. While first season deals with the issues that other people bring to the members of the "Volunteer Club", this season focuses more on our trio and their own personal problems - their inner demons, if you will. There's still a slightly long arc that focuses on Hachiman helping his kouhai out with Student Council business and plenty of hilariousness (that council meeting guy with those hand gestures though XD) but the meat of the season definitely lies towards the end where all hell breaks loose and we end up witnessing our characters' struggle to "find something genuine". This is romantic comedy in a high school setting done right. A really, really well written series with some amazing dialogues by our MC Hikigaya Hachiman. His monologues, despite me being not a particularly big fan of monologues in general, are just so freakin' accurate and practical despite being drenched in negativity that you can't help but appreciate him as a character. The fact that all the other teenagers in the show are ones that have their own believable issues and are very lovable just helps the cause for this show. It treats the character relationships that it has established with a lot of love and care and ends up becoming something really special. At least it did for me.

It isn't just the story that was spectacular, though. I've more to talk about Oregairu S2. But more on that down below!

Best Production Values:


Winner(s): One Punch Man, Hibike Euphonium, Fate Stay Night UBW

These winners can actually be divided into three parts:

One Punch Man - Winner of the flashy action and fluid sakuga awards.
Consistently high quality animated fights. Very well choreographed and directed. Impressive usage of skills from different big name key animators.

Hibike Euphonium - Winner of consistently great animation AND art.
Background art and attention to detail is impeccable. And some really, really impressive sakuga.

Fate Stay Night UBW - Winner of "TV show that looks like movie budget stuff" award. XD;
Lots of fluid and flashy fights. While not quite as well choreographed as the fights in OPM (UBW I felt lacked imagination in certain sequences. First half didn't face this issue much. But we're talking about 2015's second part here which was slightly inferior in comparison in this aspect) nor as consistently great with its art as Hibike Euphonium, it was still really, really good looking overall. And the usage of CG for effect-work was possibly the highest quality work I've seen in anime as of yet. Props for that, ufotable!


Runner ups: Death Parade
Death Parade was also a very consistent show as far as production values go. And very high quality, at that. In fact, compared to any normal show out there, this was a very high quality effort that'd just blow most things away. Backgrounds were super impressive and it had this really amazing atmosphere that was built due to effective usage of atmospheric and highly detailed art. It just doesn't quite measure upto the stand outs that were the three shows mentioned above for me, though. It is very close but not quite there.

Best Soundtrack:


Winner(s): Tokyo Ghoul Root A, Shokugeki no Soma
Tokyo Ghoul, despite being a mukty show, has some amazing tracks to its credit. Really good stuff.
Shokugeki no Soma had a very fitting soundtrack. Although not many tracks are stand outs, all of the tracks are VERY, very well utilized in the show.

Best OP:


Winner(s): Brave Shine by Aimer [FSN UBW], Harumodoki by Nagi Yanagi [Oregairu Zoku], Overdrive by Hitomi Harada [Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid]

God, this was very tough. As seen by the number of runner ups, I had a hard time choosing these. I'm a big OP nerd and choosing 3 out of so many excellent choices this year was possibly the toughest job I had to do while compiling this list. Anyway, my reasonings:

Brave Shine is possibly one of the best combinations of "Sweet vocals + great animation" I've seen in recent times. The song is just eargasmic in nature with Aimer having solidified her place as one of my favorite artists with this. And animation, courtesy ufotable, never disappoints. Backs up the vocals with some truly spectacular visuals. Just amazing.

Harumodoki by Nagi Yanagi is like honey. I don't know what else to call it. Its like sweet delicious honey is being fed to you - her voice is so friggin diabetes-inducing it isn't even funny. XD; It is a really fitting song for the show and is just plain catchy as ****. And it is well animated, too.

Overdrive by Hitomi Harada is just...wow. I can't remember the last time I fell in love with a song from the very first beat. Those ****ing guitar riffs, holy ****.

I fell in love the very first second I heard this. Still haven't seen the anime tbh (shall do it soon, though!) but I just LOVE this song to death. Possibly the most played song on my playlist. Visuals accompanying it are definitely not as "amazing" as the song itself but they're pretty damn well done. Sasuga DxD studio <3; I'm listening to it as I type this, in fact.

Runner ups:
Kuchizuke Diamond by Beaver [Yamada Kun to 7-nin no Majo]
Speed to Masatsu by amazarashi [Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace]
Bravely You by Lia [Charlotte]
talking by KANA-BOON [Subete ga F ni Naru]

Kuchizuke Diamond is just super addictive and contains very simplistic but likable art. I really like the song a lot. But not quite as much as the ones mentioned above, lol.
Speed to Masatsu is an amazing OP track to an otherwise mukty anime, imo. amazarashi doesn't disappoint - I loved their ED in Tokyo Ghoul Root A!
Bravely You is just exquisitely animated and backed up by some good vocals by Lia. It is mostly the exquisite art and animation, though. Just pure, unadulterated eyecandy.
talking by KANA-BOON, on the other hand, is the opposite of Bravely You. The visuals are abstract but nothing really all that special. Serves the kind of show it is pretty well but nothing to write home about. But the song. Damn. One of the catchiest songs in recent times for me.

All excellent songs but I just like the first three slightly more haha.

Best ED:


Winner(s):
Spice by Tokyo Karankoron [Shokugeki no Soma]
Sugar Song to Bitter Step by Unison Square Garden [Kekkai Sensen]
Glorious Days by THREE LIGHTS DOWN KINGS [Gintama 2015]


Spice is downright the catchiest ED I've heard in a long time. It is super sweet and super fluffy. You just wanna keep on singing the song along with the vocals and I honestly have no words to express how friggin fantastic it is as a song. Possibly one of my favorite EDs of all time. Not just from this year.

Sugar Song to Bitter Step is another stand out. Exquisitely animated and with visuals oozing in personality, this is another ED that I adore. The song itself is also a very catchy one that just lingers long after you have finished any particular episode in your mind and you find yourself humming it out randomly haha. Similar to aforementioned Spice in that regard (catchy) but I prefer Spice as a song by a decent degree.

Glorious Days is just...fantastic. It is one of Gintama's best EDs for me. And Gintama has no lack of great EDs and OPs, lol. I really like the song AND the visuals that go along with it. Definitely THE song I'd associate with one of the best arcs in the series. Bandai Namco Pictures outdid themselves with this one. Despite the relatively mukty episode quality they've been letting out recently, this is definitely a stand out for me.

Runner Up(s):
L.L.L by MYTH & ROID [Overlord] - that yandere music was spectacular and a treat to my ears. <3;
Kisetsu wa Tsugitsugi Shindeiku by amazarashi [Tokyo Ghoul Root A] - an amazing ED to an otherwise abysmal show. I much prefer this song to the OP, too. Great stuff.

Best Male Character:


Winner(s): Hikigaya Hachiman [Oregairu Zoku.]

This guy.
This ****ing guy.
Hachiman is easily the most lovable piece of turd I've ever had the pleasure to see.
And I say piece of lovable turd because he does act like a POS a lot of times to people around him. His negative outlook on life, his high defenses that prevent him from letting other people come close to him and his twisted approach towards problem solving make him a really unique character. But, at the end of the day, he's just a lovable brat that's facing issues in his teenage life. He's someone most people can relate to. Maybe our ideology isn't as twisted as his - we're definitely not spouting those super-amazing monologues in our minds in real life haha. But he's still someone you can empathize with and his development as a character is really believable and well realized. I cannot stress it enough - I friggin love this guy.
He's awesome.

Plus, while usually MCs in anime would either be eternal dorks and completely oblivious to the feelings of other people around him (hello, shounen protags who are oblivious to love), this guy at least has the brain to be aware of his surroundings. He might not show it but he understands all those subtle signs. That's another + in my book.

Best Female Character:


Winner(s): Hitoka Yachi [Haikyuu!! S2], Inui Hinako [Shokugeki no Soma], Yuigahama Yui [Oregairu Zoku.]

Yachi is possibly the most bubbly and fun character I've seen in recent times. Clumsy, dork and just plain awkward most of the time. But she's just so friggin honest and cute that it makes her insta-lovable. Her chemistry with the team, Hinata Shouyo in particular, is a treat to watch. Every single scene involving her ends up with me having a big friggin smile slapped on my face. That is definitely a sign of a great character. <3;

Inui Hinako is my girl. She's the cutest character ever. The most adorable character ever. No discussions on that front. She stole the show every time she appeared on screen in Shokugeki no Soma. Her comic timing and impressive VA-work just makes her the standout character for me this year. Despite a relatively meager screen time she received, she managed to have a lasting impression on me.

Yuigahama Yui - well, I've covered her under another category below. But I'll just go on to say it over here anyway, too - She's THE glue that sticks the trio together in Oregairu. Incredibly bubbly and a genki girl she may be, but she knows when she's supposed to put her foot down and take action. She's definitely won a fan in me this year with her antics in Oregairu S2.

Best Anime (Overall):


Winner(s): Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Zoku., Shokugeki no Soma, Prison School

I'll start off with Shokugeki and Prison School.

Shokugeki is a blast to watch. I love the characters, the shounen-style cook-offs and all the adorable girls in the show. The way it takes a premise as uninteresting-sounding and mundane as cooking and gives it a innovative spin to it to make it a pure-blooded battle shounen-esque series is just downright impressive. But that isn't all - it treats its characters with a lot of care and gives all of them decent time to shine. The main ones, Souma and Tadokoro, get plenty of limelight and their interactions are possibly some of the best I've seen in a while in a shounen. In fact, interactions between any two characters that you'd pick from this show is bound to be interesting. Because of the fact that it has a very colorful cast and it manages to make them all feel lively due to effective characterization.

The art is very well handled with the dishes themselves being standouts. They never fail to make them look mouthwatering. While the art definitely doesn't quite measure up to the manga counterpart (Shun Saeki's art is just orgasmic), it is still really high quality and JC Staff should be applauded for its efforts on this series. And despite early concerns about this series being very fanservice-dependent (due to first episode being a little high on the fanservice scene count), this series definitely does dial it down later and makes it so that the scenes, whenever they occur, are played for the comedy rather than to titillate. Not all characters end up being as well-fleshed out as Tadokoro but they serve their role well and don't feel flat at all.

Overall, an amazing series that ended on a really nice note. Special mention to Inui Hinako - she's the most adorable thing EVER. <3; Great characters, super-unique premise with a great twist, good OST, good art and some great food on display makes this one of my top anime of 2015.

Prison School.
This series is insane. IN-****ING-SANE.
I had no clue going into the series as to what kind of ride its gonna end up being. But damn.
It blew me away. Its plot is ridiculous, its characters are ridiculous, its jokes are ridiculous - everything about the series screams insanity. And, as a matter of fact, also makes it seem like one of those generic shows that are over-reliant on fanservice to sell itself to otakus who are just after the titties.

I won't deny that the "titty quotient" of this anime is pretty high. And perhaps its "ass quotient" is even higher. But that doesn't stop it from being one of the most ridiculously fun anime in recent times. Every single episode is filled to brim with ridiculous jokes and ridiculous antics by our equally insane protagonists. It is so over the top that it might just end up rubbing some people the wrong way but it definitely isn't ashamed to be as vulgar and just downright stupid as it can possibly be. XD;

This is pure entertainment. Unadulterated and pure. Fun.
The art is mighty impressive and the OST is well utilized. Jokes hit their spots all the goddamn time for me personally and I adore the characters. Most of them, at least. I love the girls in the student council. Aggressive as hell, yes, but sexy as **** too. <3; Overall, Prison School is definitely a winner in my books. The most entertaining anime of this year, possibly. Shimoneta would've had this crown had it not fizzled out towards the end, tbh.

Yahari Ore No Seishun Love Comedy Wa Machigatteiru Zoku.
Okay, let's start with the story. Mundane high school story? Nope. Nope nope nope. I mean, yeah, it is set in a high school setting but it revolves completely around the characters and steers clear of all the cliches associated with the said genre of, y'know, generic high school romcoms. It flips the premise on its head and ends up being a romantic comedy that isn't quite a romantic comedy at all.

Confused? Well, the first season was almost entirely devoid of any kind of romance. Even by the end of the first season, the main trio had just become a trio who you'd call friends. Romance was out of the question despite what the title might suggest. Comedy? Yeah, sure. You won't get your generic ecchi comedy or the slapstick variety here, though. What you'll get comprises of tons of sarcastic jabs at each other and other characters by the central duo of the show - Hikigaya Hachiman (henceforth called 8man cuz, y'know, Hachi - 8 ) and Yukinomuka Yukino - as well as witty jokes that are usually drenched in the same color as our MC 8man - the color of negativity. This is all true for the first season of the show, though.

Second Season still has those moments of silliness and those sarcastic jabs and all that made the first series so good. But it shifts the focus of the show more towards the dramatic side - it shows a much tighter focus on the characters and ends up being incredibly rewarding as an experience. It isn't a show that hands out the story and the inner feelings of the characters on a silver platter to you, though. The show is filled to brim with subtle details and character specific actions that imply their motivations and their thoughts. And, in a lot of instances, you'll actually find yourself confused by the statements uttered by these characters and that's because, being the teenagers they are, they themselves are quite confused about a lot of things in life. Their statements may not necessarily always make a lot of sense and may seem incomprehensible but, at the end of the day, you can't help but love them for how they're ultimately people with their hearts in the right place.

Yuigahama Yui definitely deserves a special mention here. She's the glue that binds the entire gang together. She's clumsy, she's not as intellectually gifted as Yukinomuka nor possesses the brains to engage in the super-sarcastic banter of the main duo but she's definitely the one who keeps things from crumbling apart. She's honest and really, really loves her friends and will go to any lengths to keep their group together. In fact, she's the one who ends up taking the initiative and pushes the other two to take actions throughout the course of this second season. She may speak incomprehensible rubbish at times but her incomprehensible rubbish ends up carrying a lot of weight when it can successfully clear the air in an otherwise tense atmosphere. She's just incredibly lovable and shines a lot this season. So yeah. I can't stress how much I love these characters on their journey to find "something genuine" and how amazingly well realized they are.

And I can't stress enough as to how well studio feel have adapted this show - every single scene is carefully handled and ends up being very very impactful. Scenes of particular importance have some really fluid and somewhat exaggerated animation that ends up really making those scenes shine. All in all, a really, really high quality offering here that is definitely a huge step up from the first season in terms of production values.

All in all, definitely THE anime of the year for me. And it, after it ended on a rather painful cliffhanger, managed to climb all the way up to #2 spot for my favorite anime of all time (behind only Gintama). That's definitely an achievement no matter how you look at it. And it deserves all the praise it can get. Fantastic show.

Runner Up(s): OnePunch Man
I LOVE this show. LOVE it. This show showed us how a studio can pump out some really high quality work with an average work with proper management of funds and time. Definitely one of the best shows I've seen in a good amount of time with some of the best fights I've ever had the pleasure of watching in anime throughout my entire anime-watching life so far haha. Madhouse outdid themselves with this one. This just slightly misses the mark for me, though. Compared to the other three winners, anyway.

Best Animation Studio this year:


Winner(s): Kyoto Animation (Hibike Euphonium), Madhouse (OnePunch Man and Death Parade), feel (Oregairu Zoku.)

Hibike Euphonium is an exquisite showcase of KyoAni's mastery over the art of animation. OPM and Death Parade are both amazingly animated shows with a lot of creative talent behind it that make them shine brightly among all the other shows out there - Madhouse this year was just plain fantastic. And studio feel deserves props for how amazingly they handled Oregairu - all those amazingly choreographed scenes and the consistently great art deserves all the praise it can get.

Best VA Performance:


Winner(s): Mamiko Noto as Inui Hinako, Tomokazu Sugita as Sakata Gintoki, Matsuki Miyu as Anna Nishikinomiya

Inui was the most adorable character of this year for me, hands down. And it is all thanks to how amazingly well her seiyuu had portrayed her. Just adorable. Mamiko Noto has a fan now thanks to this performance of hers. She already did amazingly well as Kuronuma Sawako in Kimi ni Todoke and this role was just another standout for me, personally.

Sugita is just Sugita. One of the best voice actors out there in my opinion and he's not missing a beat this year either.

Late Matsuki Miyu did a fantastic job with Anna. She definitely did go out with a bang and her role as Anna definitely was a high for me in the show. May her soul rest in piece - you can be proud of the work you did before you went, girl. I'm a fan and I shall remember you. :)
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