It’s now been more than a year since I wrote this, so I figured I may as well publish it finally.
Winter 2015 was a good season. It wasn’t exactly legendary, but it produced a few great shows and was overall quite enjoyable. As usual, I don’t consider anime that began airing last season to be a part of this season, so those (Parasyte, for example) will not be counted.
10. Shinmai Maou no Testament
Alright, so this show wasn’t great, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it. It seems like a pretty basic story about demons and all that, and does at points fall into some of the genre’s tropes, but it manages to have some interesting, original points as well. The girls were cute and I think the music was pretty great too. To my surprise, it even had some great comedic moments. My only regret is that I didn’t wait until the BDs were out to watch it.
9. Tantei Kageki Milky Holmes TD
Sadly, this wasn’t a return to the glorious first two seasons of Milky Holmes. Still, it was much better than that bullshit spinoff series we got back in ’13. It kept me very entertained throughout and had a few great moments. Honestly, the plot wasn’t all that bad either. I hope that the original staff will return to the franchise and we’ll see a true season 3, but for now this does a fine job.
8. Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata
This show tried to be an intelligent deconstruction or whatever of harem anime, but it ended up just being a harem anime with a lot of fourth wall breaking. Nevertheless, it turned out to be pretty good. While I don’t think it came close to achieving what it set out to, I found it very enjoyable. I was kept interested the whole time, and the girls were cute too. Just let it be known that the main character has some of the worst taste I’ve ever seen. Sword Art Online? Anohana? Oreimo? Talk about overrated shit! (This was higher on the list before, but the lame non-ending brought it down).
7. Anime de Wakaru Shinryounaika
This is actually still airing until some indefinite point in the future, but so far it’s been a very enjoyable way to learn about some psychosomatic disorders. Not much else to say about this one, but definitely give it a shot if you have any interest in the subject.
6. Yoru no Yatterman
Note: I didn’t actually finish this yet because Cthuko is taking a million years to get their subtitles out.
The very latest in a line of 70’s Tatsunoko anime remakes (the others being Casshern and Gatchaman), Yoru no Yatterman spins the plot around and turns the bad guys into the good guys. Instead of saving the world like the Yatterman anime of the past, the Yattermen have become enforcers of some kind of evil fascist state. It really is interesting in that it mixes the style and antics of a children’s show with darker elements. Parts of it were weak, but overall I think it deserves a nice spot on the list here.
5. Junketsu no Maria
This was a fun show about the Unholy Virgin. Production I.G and the whole staff did a really good job on this. The historical accuracy in particular is surprising. Past that, though, the characters are splendid and the themes are pretty good too. Overall, it’s a really great show. Why isn’t it higher up, then? I just like the other ones better. I’d say that there’s no reason why this should be anything other than an essential.
The second season of Durarara isn’t really over yet, as we have two more cours to go over the next year, but this first third was pretty fantastic. It kept everything I loved about the first season, especially the intertwining plots and the character interaction. I’m honestly surprised that even though there are so many characters, none of them seem like they’re getting shafted or ignored. And most of all, they’re all fun to watch. My only issue with the new season of Durarara is that there’s been a seriously noticeable drop in production values, to the point where apparently they can’t afford to animate characters walking. Step it up, Brain’s Base.
3. Death Parade
Death Parade was executed almost perfectly. The premise was fantastic, for starters. The animation was stellar, the soundtrack beautifully composed, and the main characters were developed quite well. Of course, what prevents it from being any higher on the list is its shortcomings. The minor characters weren’t very interesting and their motivations were vague. The whole thing about “too many humans are dying” was just really stupid. Honestly, I would appreciate a second season to explain all the unexplained plot points. Of course, the anime would have much better if it just had two cours in the first place so they wouldn’t have had to rush that ending so much. In any case, it was a really good show and I would say that it’s another one of 2015’s essentials.
1. Yuri Kuma Arashi
As much as I love Koufuku Graffiti, the number one spot has to go to Yuri Kuma Arashi, the latest project from the legendary Kunihiko Ikuhara. The struggle between bears and lesbians and lesbian bears. It’s just fantastic. I don’t even want to explain further, just go watch it.
–Soukyuu no Fafner: Exodus
I didn’t watch this because nobody subbed it besides Crunchyroll, but I love the original series. So it was probably good.
–Kantai Collection: Kancolle (Episode 6)
This was a really fun episode, even though the rest of the show wasn’t very good. The Akatsuki-class ships are the best.
–Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-bu LOVE!
I didn’t watch this, but I heard that it was funny. Also, extra points just for the premise.
–JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
I haven’t been watching this either, but people like it so I guess it deserves a spot here.
–Last Season’s Leftovers
I know I said earlier that I wouldn’t include these, but Parasyte, Cross Ange, and Garo were really good.
I’m really annoyed that I watched these to completion.
–Aldnoah.Zero Second Season
Holy shit this was unbearable. I watched the last 6 episodes on 4x speed and didn’t feel like I missed anything interesting. Honestly, I kind of enjoyed the first season, but this was just awful.
–The iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls
This was really bad too. The characters were just so idiotic and unbelievable. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I didn’t like a single character. They need to stop making adaptations of crappy mobile games (except Bahamut, that was cool).
–Tokyo Ghoul Root A
This was another show that I actually enjoyed the first season of. I was just completely uninterested with this season. I hope Studio Pierrot stops making anime forever.
–Juuou Mujin no Fafnir
I didn’t watch this, but I heard it was really bad.
Don’t see a show that you feel should be on here somewhere? That means that either I didn’t watch it (Assassination Classroom fits in this category), or it was neither really good nor really bad.
Overall, the Winter 2015 season was good. I spent most of it at least two weeks behind (due to either fansubbers being slow or my own lack of time), but it was enjoyable nonetheless.