The Best Anime of Summer 2015
WHEW! It's hot outside, isn't it? You know what keeps me cool? Anime! OK, and I guess an air conditioner helps. As the fall creeps up on us, and everyone goes back to school, enjoy the best that the Summer season had to offer.
Doumo, Ninja Slayer! We meet again. Ninja Slayer made a lot of anime fans mad. It's an ugly show, for sure, but it's also a great action-comedy. It's a mash-up of the cheapest animation techniques of the 70s-90s. Nearly everyone on the show is some sort of ninja, and they have to greet one another before horribly murdering each other. They call some ninjitsu techniques "karate." It's totally ridiculous, and totally worth watching.
For a show that's not prone to crazy twists and plot developments, Durarara!! still excites and entertains me. With an ever-growing cast (Izaya has family? What the hell??) Durarara!! doesn't seem to be crushed under the weight of its own story. It's funny that Izaya has, from my eye, the greatest character development this season. I have learned to see where he's coming from, but also hate his guts twice as much as I used to!
The Heroic Legend of Arslan
I am not one to watch shows about warfare in the times of horses and warfare. I could not resist the pull of Arslan. The Heroic Legend of Arslan is about a young prince who is driven from his home by a force who wishes to take the throne. With his parents both at the mercy of these invaders, Arslan has to gather an army to take back his home. The Heroic Legend of Arslan is riveting. There is all this plotting and scheming and hard decisions put on the shoulders of a child. It's not only about talking. Nearly every episode has some action in it, and it can be very brutal. I can see why the story has been adapted again and again.
I can't Understand what My Husband is Saying
Previously on I Can't Understand what My Husband is Saying, our married couple have reached a very big milestone in their lives. Their big life change isn't really focused on until the end of the season, but that's fine. I'm just here for the characters' otaku Vs. normal person relationship and the people who are part of their wedded life.
My Love Story!!
I can't stop laughing. I don't think there's been a ho-hum episode of My Love Story!! The anime is about a high school boy who thinks he's going to always be unlucky in love. He's a giant mass of a high school student who isn't all that bright who finds out that a very tiny girl loves him. Tagging along is his life-long, unfazed, handsome friend. If you haven't watched My Love Story!! yet, please, please catch up! This one of the best romantic comedy anime of ALL TIME. I am so serious.
If Umaru was my sister, I would throw her out on the street. She's incredibly lazy, annoying, and spends money like it's nothing. Her closeted otaku hijinks are funny, so I forgive her. I'm just glad that she's not my little sister. I would hang with her, though, because she's into nearly everything I am when I'm in my gluttonous geek mode. I don't rank it among the best because it's basically the same gimmick over and over again. This isn't a show looking to pursue depth.
Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There
Never have I seen the Modern Japanese defense force portrayed in such a way. There are many anime which involve the Japanese Self Defense Force, but in Gate, they are wickedly badass. In Gate, a fantasy realm meets the real world, and it's not a friendly encounter. In the battle between magic and technology, technology shreds all these fantasy beings to pieces, very easily. I'm enjoying Gate quite a lot, but I found myself giving other shows priority over it. That's what sticks it in the runners-up category.
I don't know if anyone else likes them as much as I do, but I have kept and watched so many short episode shows. Wakako-zake came to Crunchyroll so late, but I gave it a shot anyway. It's so awesome! The episodes are about 2 minutes in length, but the content speaks to me greatly. I don't drink alcohol, but I can relate (as can any of us) to tying food to good memories, or eating a certain food when you're in a certain mood. It's a comforting, funny little show about a working woman who likes to enjoy something to eat after work.
The Best of the Summer
Shimoneta: A Boring World Where the Concept of Dirty Jokes Doesn't Exist
Anime can be dirty. I mean really dirty- and I'm not even talking about hentai. When looking at this season's Monster Musume and My Wife is the Student Council President, the level of objectionable sexual content is through the roof! Have you ever heard of an anime that focuses more on dirty words than naughty animation? Shimoneta takes place in a reality where all sexual content has been cracked down on and forbidden. You cannot even speak or write without being busted by authorities.
How can you rebel against that? With a super cell phone your dad gave to you, of course! Also, put underwear on your face and wear nothing but a sheet as a costume. Mmm-hmm. It's a crazy show, full of a ton of profane stuff. There is a lot of censoring in this show, but it is still funny with all the asterisks and conveniently blocked naughty bits. Shimoneta is not as "mature" as the other ecchi shows this season, but it is the funniest.
School live is a delightful moe show about four students who decide to create a club about staying in school all the time! No, there's nothing else special about it. There's nothing sinister going on outside the school walls. The desks are piled up around the staircase for no reason in particular. Uh, look! The show even has an adorable puppy as a mascot! Everything's going to by okay!
Don't forget the period! Perhaps this is an unfortunately named show, but that doesn't matter to me. Gangsta. is good, no matter what you want it to be called. Gangsta. is a show about fucked up people doing fucked up things in a fucked up environment. That's the easiest explanation I can give. The protagonists are Worrick and Nicholas, two killers for hire who live in Ergastulum. Ergastulum is not a nice place at all. They then meet Alex, a prostitute who isn't exactly having a great time either.
Nicholas is a Tag, which is a person who can dish out more carnage and perform physical feats that most men cant. There are others in Ergastulum like him, and that's where most of our conflict jumps off. Gangsta. is the Black Lagoon or Jormungand of 2015. It's gritty and real, but it takes liberties with realism at certain times. The show is not for everyone, but I like anime that show how desperate of a struggle the main character had to go though before making it to where they are.
Rampo Kitan: A Game of Laplace
Rampo Kitan is psycho. It's great to not dig too deep into what an anime is about before you see it, because I expected this to be fairly dry detective fare. Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace does not take itself very seriously. It has some dark humor, it breaks the fourth wall a little bit, and some of the cases are presented in the style of a stage play. Rampo Kitan is based on Japan's famous mystery writer, a man who went under the pen name Edogawa Rampo.
The mystery solvers in Rampo Kitan are based on the characters from Rampo's books, only anime-fied. The main detective is a Holmes-esque young genius who crushes up medicine. The first case we see him on pushes him into the life of an androgynous high school student who finds no joy in anything other than solving murders. I had not heard of Edogawa Rampo before this, but I'm happy that his work has inspired such a watchable anime.
Rokka no Yuusha: Braves of the Six Flowers
Rokka no Yuusha is not what I expected it to be. Not at all. Rokka no Yuusha: Braves of the Six Flowers seems to be about a group of chosen people gathering together to face an ancient evil. What it really turns out to be is the group fighting amongst each other once they learn that one Brave is a traitor. So who is it? Is it the homeless-looking guy who fights like a cat? Is it the girl who has no reservations about killing anyone for even the smallest perceived slight? Is it the young woman who is admittedly a Brave-killer? That mystery makes Rokka no Yuusha more captivating than most anime. I love that I can't determine where this show is going. The possibilities for what the climax of Braves of the Six Flowers will look like are wide open.
Ushio and Tora
A killer rock tune is definitely the way to start your anime. Ushio and Tora is yet another anime that is based on a decades-old manga, and it's yet another hit! I loved (for the most part) Parasyte, and I love The Heroic Legend of Arslan. Ushio and Tora scratches the InuYasha itch for me. I want to see humans and less-than-evil demons fighting other demons. On top of that, Ushio and Tora has an emotional side to it that is very welcome.
That's it for the summer! There are anime that did not make it to these lists, but that's not to say they were bad. I don't think there were any anime this season that were downright horrendous, but they simply aren't worth writing about. If you have any rebuttals or questions, feel free to comment!