Written by the Morbid Play Staff 27th December 2015
Well 2015 is drawing to a close so it’s time to look back at the animated offerings of year and choose which we found best. This years lineup has been a wide and varied bunch with everything from overpowered superheroes to battling teenage chefs. Let’s see what we at Morbid Play would choose as our highlights of year and let us know what you would choose as your best!
I usually wait till a full season’s out and I can’t see myself ever starting on the longer running ones like Fairy Tale, Bleach or the ludicrously lengthy One Piece (I lose interest eventually) and yet my choice for this year is right up there for one of the longest running ShonenJump Anime to this day.
What was initially something I threw on in the background had me fully committed and I couldn’t stop myself once I hit the ground running. No Anime bar a small few like Full Metal Alchemist, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Zetman have had me so invested. I was honestly surprised when in so little time I had passed the 100 episode milestone.
Despite Gintama’s episodic delivery the episodes are so great and varied that although you’re not forced to, you’ll want to invest a great deal of time. The more serious arcs like the Yagyu and my personal favourite the Benizakura arc will pull you in and have you marathoning for hours. Even before the longer arcs start becoming more frequent Gintama just knows how to pace itself, one episode will have you dying of laughter, the next reeling in tears. The show allows you to ride the highs in the epic action packed episodes then gives you just the right amount of time to cool down and enjoy the nearly perfect comedic moments that complement the serious arcs.
Simply put while most long running animes are infamous for their unimportant, bland or outright lacking ‘filler arcs’, Gintama embraces and weaves it’s mini arcs together with the episodic runs into pure gold. Gintama is a rollercoaster of laughs, feels, and awesomeness that only gets better in visuals, story and character development. I’ve only just covered a third of the current running but I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon and no other series has grabbed me this fast for this long.
I’ve always had a great interest in anime and I always have a finger on the pulse of the anime world so it’s easy for me to say that this has been a great year for anime. There have been some fantastic new series this year such as Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma and One Punch Man but for me the best was a continuation of an already great series.
As anyone who has read my NBA 2K16 review can tell I am a massive basketball fan so it’s no surprise that Kurokos Basketball appealed to me, combining two of my biggest passions into one adrenaline fueled slam dunk. Having finished it’s 3rd season this year it’s great that they managed to reach the lofty basket they put up in the past seasons.
No other anime has me literally rising off my seat in jubilation when Seirin, the focus team of the series, overcome an amazing opponent at the last second. The characters are all fantastic and each member of the team gets their moment in the sun but it’s the chemistry between the ace Taiga Kagami and the phantom sixth man Tetsuo Kuroko that really brings it to life.
Kurokos Basketball is by no means an accurate portrayal of the sport with a lot of the characters having near mystical abilities but because of this you never know what they are going to come up with next. The ending to this season alone was one of my favorite anime moments of all time and I hope that it can continue to rise up and deliver an emphatic dunk well into the future.
I’d also like to give a big shoutout to Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon? which might turn people off with it’s ridiculous name but is surprisingly excellent, RPG gaming fans should definitely give it a look. As mentioned at the start of my section I’d also like to recommend Food Wars for it’s over the top cooking battles and it’s slightly questionable fan service, definitely one for food fans.
2015 is the year that I really got back into Anime. I caught back up with Sword Art Online after a long hiatus, and discovered a bunch of new Anime that I'm now excited to see the continuation of (Why does the second season of No Game No Life have to be so far away!). But two particular series come to mind when I think of the best of the year.
One Punch Man was absolutely fantastic, and had the perfect blend of comedy, drama, a fantastic world with awesome characters and epic action. I'm highly anticipating the inevitable sequel, maybe Saitama will finally receive a challenging fight!
Even so, one series alone trumped One Punch Man, and anyone that knows me wouldn't be surprised in the slightest. There are few games, anime or any other form of media that I can claim to really, truly adore. Touhou, Fallout, and Metal Gear are the video games that come to mind, but the only anime or manga that I immediately think of is JoJos Bizzare Adventure. While not my favourite part of JoJos (Battle Tendency!), Stardust Crusaders has been epic. Even knowing fully what will happen in each episode, its amazed me how well the anime represents the manga. JoJos has such a distinctive style, and it has carried over brilliantly to animation. My only complaint is the lackluster, anticlimactic final battle, but this is something that's plagued Part 3 and was entirely expected. Even so, the final battle has some of the most iconic moments of JoJos, some of which people may recognize even without prior JoJos knowledge. The infamous steamroller scene and DIO's cry of ''WRYYYYY'' particularly come to mind.
JoJos has had a massive impact on other media. Benimaru from KOF is known in development as Polnareff to this day, and any time you hear a character mutter ''Yare Yare Daze'', its probably inspired by Jotaro's famous catchphrase. Stands as a concept have also inspired some awesome stuff, such as Zato-
So there you have it, our choices for the best anime of the year. Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments below with your selections. It’s been a wild ride for anime fans and here's hoping 2016 is just as wacky and wonderful for the world of Japanese animation!