With the Autumn Anime Season drawing to a close and with the New Year rolling in relatively soon, I figured it’s time we took a look back on the best shows of the season.
Today on the Listless List, we’ll be taking a look at my personal Top 5 shows from the Autumn 2016 season.
As always, I’d love to hear your own favourites from the season, so feel free to share yours in the comments!
I’d also like to take the opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas! I hope you all have a wonderful time!
5. Bungou Stray Dogs Season 2
I arrived pretty late to the party with Bungou Stray Dogs. I didn’t watch the first season until this season started airing, but once I got around to it, I wound up enjoying it. I enjoyed it a whole lot actually, and it wound up becoming one of my favourite things from this year.
And while this season isn’t as strong as the first season, it’s still pretty darn great. The characters remain charming, memorable and entertaining, the super powers are still awesome and creative and the story, while rather bumpy in places, is still pretty solid and intriguing enough to have kept me invested to the end.
And just like with the first season, the visuals and directing were spot on, with everything looking flashy and cool, which was one of the first seasons strongest points.
However, there was no conclusive ending, meaning a continuation of some sort is definitely needed. It’s unlikely we’ll get a third season at this point, and it’s a real shame, because this story could really go to some interesting places otherwise.
But despite that, Bungou Stray Dogs Season 2 was pretty great. It was very entertaining and I hope that we do get that third season sometime in the future.
4. Flip Flappers
Flip Flappers was a pretty surreal and weird show that I honestly didn’t expect much from at all. My initial impressions of the show were something along the lines of: “it has pretty colours and trippy visuals” but as I got through the show, it wound up becoming something much more than that.
The show was initially a series of episodic and surreal adventures, but as it went on, it evolved into a fantastically structured story regarding ones own identity with themes of love and romance sprinkled throughout. And further adding to these narrative themes is some of the most incredibly well executed visual and metaphorical storytelling I’ve ever seen from Anime, which overall made Flip Flappers a real winner in my book.
The show was a little bit vague for too long and the penultimate episode generally wasn’t all that great, but overall, Flip Flappers was a solid show and one of the biggest surprises of the year.
3. March Comes in Like a Lion
March Comes in Like a Lion was yet another big surprise this year. As I’ve stated on this blog more times than I can count, I don’t particularly enjoy Slice of Life shows unless I strongly relate to them or unless they have some kind of unique hook that is interesting enough to keep my attention.
And March has both of these qualities. It focuses heavily on its main characters inner demons and his struggle with loneliness and depression and having to let those who care for him into his life. It’s a very sad and dreary, yet emotionally uplifting show that really stands out by handling its themes in a realistic and mature way.
Rei is one of the most complex and interesting characters of 2016, and really makes the show a compelling watch.
On top of its subject matter and narrative focus, the show is also incredibly well directed with some excellent visual metaphors and fantastic sound design. It works brilliantly, both as a compelling narrative piece and as a visual spectacle.
It’s also about Shogi. So there’s that too if you’re into that.
It’s a severely underrated show this year and one I’d recommend checking out.
2. Yuri!!! On Ice
I literally just finished this show an hour ago, and my god, was it great.
It seems this season is just filled with surprises, because I honestly shouldn’t have enjoyed Yuri!!! On Ice at all.
It’s a Sports show, and outside of Haikyuu!! and a few other exceptions, I don’t really like Sports shows at all. This is mostly due to the lack of any real, dramatic stakes. Most Sports shows take place in high school, where the characters losing doesn’t matter all that much since they’re still kids who know nothing of the professional world of their sport.
But Yuri!!! On Ice takes place in the professional world of figure skating, and it’s that one, teeny tiny fact that raises the stakes to a level I’m more comfortable with. Every success and failure feels like it has a lot more narrative weight and consequence because the characters are all competing at a professional level. They have reputations to uphold and their very careers and futures rely heavily upon their victory on the ice.
The show also focuses a great deal on its protagonist Yuri and his attempts to overcome his lack of self confidence and it’s executed brilliantly and realistically. I really grew to care about Yuri a lot over the course of the show, in a way unlike any other Sports Anime.
And the visuals were pretty great too. While it wasn’t always perfect, the animation was pretty superb and the skating sequences were gorgeous, fluid and just plain awesome and full of emotion and finesse.
The only thing that truly bothered me about the show was its sprinklings of implied romance between Yuri and Victor. While it is heavily implied through visual cues and suggestive dialogue that the two are in love and in a relationship, the show never outright confirms that they’ve made the leap into romantic territory. A lot of fans and even professional reviewers seem to have jumped to conclusions and are referring to them as a couple, but I don’t view them as such, and I’m disappointed that the show never made the leap by just going all out and making it a solid thing that actually happened.
It could’ve been an even more beautifully crafted and memorable series if it just dropped the suggestive charade and just admitted to what was really going on. Romance or no.
Despite that, the show was truly excellent and the biggest surprise of the year for me. I never thought I’d grow to love a show like Yuri!!! On Ice. Ever. It’s now become one of my favourites of the year and has earned a place in my top 50 shows. These are interesting times indeed.
1. Lostorage Incited WIXOSS
Selector Infected WIXOSS has a proud place in my Top 5 series of all time. It’s a 10/10 show for me. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve ever had the pleasure of watching, and it’s one of the deepest and most interesting character focused storylines I’ve ever witnessed from Anime.
And I’m happy to say that while Lostorage Incited WIXOSS isn’t quite as good as the original series, it’s still up there as a great psychological series with a well composed storyline and an excellent focus on the psychology of its characters.
The main narrative is gripping from start to finish, the characters are all pretty memorable, especially the two leads Suzuku and Chinatsu, and the series’ theme exploration and in depth look into its characters is some of the best stuff to come from 2016.
And man, is this show feelsy as hell. I was on the verge of tears at various points because it’s so darn tragic at times.
I honestly didn’t think J.C Staff would be able to make a worthy sequel to the original WIXOSS, but some how they managed to pull it off and created what is arguably the best show of the year.
And we might be getting a second season of this too?
Yes please. I’d love that.
What are your Top 5 Anime of the Autumn 2016 Season?
And once again, Merry Christmas everyone!