Top 10 Anime of 2015

Top 10 Anime of 2015

2015, for me, personally, was quite a formidable year. After all, it's this year that I made the decision to start this blog. And honestly, quite a lot of things have happened in my life over the course of the past 10 months or so. It's been hectic, painful, frustrating, overwhelming, amazing, enlightning and blissful all at the same time time.
And despite all the harsh things that happened, I am glad that I was able to bear witness to all the spectacular things life offered me. I am glad I was able to meet all the wonderful people and do all the things that I did which all resulted in a breathtaking experience for me. I am glad I was able to live through another year of my life. I'm feeling grateful, a little overwhelmed and a tad bit sentimental (I have my youthful age of 21 to blame for that). I just want to thank all my readers for being with me this year. Thank You all!
Now, let's talk about anime in 2015.

2015 was a year of hype and reboots, with shows like Gintama, DBZ, Ushio to Tora & Osomatsu-san returning from the grave and shows like Charlotte, DanMachi, Fate Stay/Night Unlimited Blade Works, & One Punch Man gathering a lot of hype. It was a year of anime changing hands (Gintama & Disappearance of Nagato Yuki-chan) & giant studios failing (ufotable @ God Eater) or shutting down altogether (Manglobe @ Gangsta.). A lot of mistakes were made and there was a lot of disappointment associated with that. When some good anime with potential fell flat on their face, when an episode wasn't there on time, when the animation quality deteriorated so much that it was painful to watch; quality-wise, 2015 wasn't that great. But seeing the amount of anime that came out this year (over 150 or so), that drop in quality is to be expected. 

Without further ado, let's get into the top 10 anime of 2015 (in my opinion). I had to do a lot work to put this together which involved listing all the anime that came out in 2015 (about 150 or so) with their respective studios and directors, reading all the plot synopsis for the ones that I didn't watch, narrowing them down to about 40 titles, binge watching almost all of them while writing my thoughts on them (which took me about two months), and then finally compiling a top 10. And I still feel like I have left out some stuff. So, if you don't see your favourite anime here, please, feel free to leave a comment below. I'd love to hear about your top 10 of 2015.

Note : Since, I'm not particularly a fan of sports anime, you won't see the popular sports anime titles like Haikyuu, Kuroko no Basuke etc. Also, this list does not include the two cour anime that started in 2014 but ended in 2015. So, no Shigatsu, Parasyte, Shirobako, Akatsuki no Yona etc.

#10 : Assassination Classroom

Episode Count : 22
Studio : Lerche
Director : Seiji Kishi
Genre : Action, Comedy, School, Shounen

A strange creature that looks like a yellow octopus appears out of nowhere, nearly destroys the moon, and decides to teach a random class of some random school in Japan. Now, if the students can't assassinate the guy till they graduate, he'll destroy the Earth. Aided by the Government with a supply of anti-alien ammunition, assassins and combat instructors, the students try to assassinate their teacher as they learn what 9+10 is.

This concept is so out of the ordinary that one can't help but wonder what the series would be like. And while there is always a certain amount of 'darkness' associated with the act of assassination, the way Assassination Classroom manages to play around it is certainly commendable. The series stays mostly on the comedy side and doesn't get serious unless necessary, which creates a nice balance and makes it a pleasure to watch. While the series touches upon the methodology of teaching, it doesn't take the usual idealistic approach of achieving perfection as a keystone in education, instead stays on the "school should be fun" side. Because of the huge cast of the anime, the characters do take a hit but that number helps when they come up with some creative ways to assassinate Koro-sensei. Overall, it's a funny & entertaining series.

#9 : Junketsu no Maria
Episode Count : 12
Studio : Production I.G
Director : Gorō Taniguchi
Genre : Comedy, Fantasy, Historical, Magic, Seinen

You're the most powerful witch living during the Hundred Years' War in France. Battles and bloodshed every other day makes you unhappy. How good it would be if you could stop all the wars and bring peace to the world? You've got magic, why not summon dragons and other mythical beasts on the battlefield to stop the war and scare the shit out of everyone? So, you start stopping wars one after the other. But one day you're going on the usual routine of saving people and The friggin Archangel Michael comes down from heaven to stop you saying that you should stop meddling with the war! What do you do? Is your act of stopping wars wrong? After all, the heavens are supposed to be always right.

Junketsu no Maria is an intereting series that tries its best to tackle this issue of right and wrong when it comes to war, peace and human nature, and how religion ties into all of it. The good thing is that the series manages to do that without getting too preachy. Despite all the virgin sex jokes and the comedy, the show had me hooked with all the questions it constantly raised on the topic of war and the hypocrisy of humans. The only downside, a slightly big one, is that it opted for the cliche cop out happy ending, which left a really bad taste in my mouth. Still, I'm glad that it tried to deal with such a topic and I really appreciate the effort it made. It's surely not for everyone, but it is certainly worth watching if you've ever found yourself wondering about right, wrong, war and everything that's wrong with the way the world is.

#8 : Kamisama Hajimemashita Season 2
Episode Count : 12
Studio : TMS Entertainment
Director : Daichi Akitarou
Genre : Comedy, Demons, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo, Supernatural

Yeah, you read it right, #8 is a tie, between Kamisama Hajimemashita and Prison School. Both shows are worlds apart from each other so it was tough for me to rate/judge one above the other. So, they both share a spot (or maybe I'm just a sly bastard who wants to sneak one extra anime in the list).

I love Shoujo anime (don't judge me). I think the the portrayal of romance in Shoujo anime is phenomenally different than that of the usual romance we see in anime. In most romances, the girl is this fragile, powerless, helpless creature who always needs pampering and rescuing from the main character. And while the shoujo romances do basically the same thing, the character of the girl does not come out as powerless & helpless. The girls in shoujo romances are pretty strong and they make a lot of effort which makes the whole romance routine quite fascinating for me.

The seocnd season of Kamisama Hajimemashita continues the storyline from the first season, this time covering more of the deity business and advancing the romance from Tomoe's side as well. In case you have never watched Kamisama Hajimemashita, it's a rom-com with a very interesting setup. A highschool girl, Nanami, after getting kicked out from her home because his father ran away with all the debts on him, saves a man from a dog. The guy offers her his own home, but it turns out it was a shrine and now the girl is a local deity. So, she must deal with all the responsibilities of being a deity, while trying to tame/work with the familiar Tomoe, who used to be a fox demon. And then Nanami ends up falling in love with Tomoe.
It's a very light hearted and pleasant series. If you have a knack for shoujo anime, you've probably already watched this. In case you haven't, check it out.
As for someone who has never watched a shoujo anime, proceed with an open mind and be on the lookout for all the fluffy stuff (haha).

#8 : Prison School

Episode Count : 12
Studio : J.C. Staff
Director : Tsutomu Mizushima
Genre : Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, School, Seinen

I wasn't joking when I said this was the funniest anime of the Summer Season 2015. Prison School is one of those rare hardcore borderline obnoxious comedy shows that are able to make you laugh uncontrollably. While I would go ahead and say that this isn't the kind of comedy that everyone is going to find hilarious, if you have a sick sense of humour, this is gold! So, an all girls school allows boys to enroll for the first time but only 5 people make the cut. Now, 5 guys in an all girls boarding school, for the guys, the situation is nothing more than a blessing straight from the heavens. So, with all their dreams of having a harem and everything, they decide to start with the usual peeping routine but end up getting caught. Apparently, the school has a prison like building where the 5 guys are now confined to by the so called underground student council. And then begins all the hilarious events.

With its amusing cast of 5 male students, this show managed to leave a strong impression on me. I would always remember Gakutou as the lord and savior of all highschool boys. I really don't think I have to say much about this show. You would either find it obnoxious and hate it, or you will laugh your butt off watching it. There is no middle ground here.

#7 : Death Parade
Episode Count : 12
Studio : Madhouse
Director : Yuzuru Tachikawa
Genre : Game, Mystery, Psychological

Welcome to Quindecim, a mysterious place which looks like a bar where souls come in pairs to be judged whether they will be reincarnated or sent into the void. This bar is attented by white haired man named Decim who then asks the guests to play a game with their life on the line. Since, the people who come here don't know that they are dead they are tricked into playing these games one way or the other. While watching them play these games, Decim must judge these people. As a result, the show gets pretty intense sometimes.[That Opening Though!!!]

The word death in the title always makes one wonder what the show is about. Because death, is a very serious topic. After all, it marks the end of someone's life. While treading carefully on this rather dangerous and sensitive terrotory of morality, Death Parade manages to bring us an interesting perspective on the ever puzzling question of right or wrong, heaven or hell - the judgement of someone's life. While in some cases it is quite clear who goes to hell and who goes to heaven, sometimes it is quite difficult. This is what makes the show such an entertaining watch. The show has an out of the ordinary plot and manages to pull the viewer in with its narrative. Plus, Madhouse is doing the animation. What more do you want?

#6 : Arslan Senki
Episode Count : 25
Studio : Liden Films & Sanzigen
Director : Noriyuki Abe
Genre : Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Historical, Supernatural

Arslan Senki would be the only show on this list that I would say I am really biased towards (like REALLY!!). The story is somewhat based on the classical Hero's journey monomyth. A naive prince who is shunned by his father and mother, has his world turned upside down when the Parsian army suffers a defeat at a battle. With the capital city now under control of the enemy, the prince must now venture into the far lands and gather an army to take back the throne. Since this is supposed to be an epic about a naive 14 year old prince turned into a great king later known as Arslan the Liberator, the main characters' characterization plays a crucial role. Arslan is a really soft and kind hearted person, and the fact that he wants to retain those traits till the end asks for some well done character development, which, sadly, wasn't handled as well as I had expected.

Since I recently finished the show, I haven't thought about the show in as much detail as the other shows on the list. Though, I still find it very interesting and entertaining. It does have its flaws and may not meet all the expectations of the elitists out there, it did the job for me. Yes, it wasn't able to create the serious environment it was trying to, but it did succeed in other things (which includes landing a horse on top of an elephant & how divine protection is a cheat code that lets you walk straight into a barrage of arrows and come out unscathed). Also, not the best animated series out there, but it is definitely worth a watch if you like watching fantasy epics. But remember, I'm really biased towards this.
I really hope that there are some character deaths in season two, else I'll be really mad.

#5 : Noragami Aragoto

Episode Count : 13
Studio : Bones
Director : Kotaro Tamura
Genre : Action, Adventure, Shounen, Supernatural

The second season following the stray delivery god yato focuses more on the serious side this time. In doing so, it seems to have abandoned that certain charm it carried before. Nonetheless, it was a lot better than all the other series that aired at the time so I'll toss my #5 spot for the Yatogami! (ha! I'm so clever) With a lot less annoying Yukine this time, Noragami covers two arcs in its one cour runtime. Both equally amazing, though slightly rushed (the second one really needed more time).

Despite being not as amazing as the first season, this season had a lot of good moments in it. I really wished the second arc alongwith Ebisu as a character to be more developed but I'm happy with what I got. And quite frankly, I like the direction in which this series is going, I just hope that they don't rush stuff in the next season as well. Studio Bones' animation is as amazing as ever.

#4 : Sidonia no Kishi Season 2
Episode Count : 12
Studio : Polygon Pictures
Director : Hiroyuki Seshita
Genre : Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Seinen, Space

Alien invaders, Mechas, giant space ships, explosions and more explosions. What could be better than that?
One day some alien species invade the Earth and humanity is forced to escape in several giant spaceships. The story follows Sidonia, a giant spaceship who has been on the run ever since. After enjoying a brief generation of peace, humanity's last hope is now in danger and our protagonist who was born playing the battle mech simulator, must give it his all to protect his home. But the roots of the problem go deeper than they seem. Why are the aliens chasing them in the first place? With some pretty interesting ideas like humans capable of photosynthesis and the strategically coordinated mecha fights, the series manages to bring a thrilling experience.

Most people don't know about Sidonia no Kishi as it was released after the famous Attack on Titan, and was labeled as a cheap CG infused knockoff of the series (which it isn't). Also, the series has pretty much everything in CG animation, which can be a turn off for some people. But not for me, I'm actually glad that they used CG animation for this. To me, it makes it seem much cooler, and the best part is that the mechas don't jump into hyperspace before attacking. It's a well coordinated, well animated, and nicely structured anime. Something you shouldn't be missing out on.

#3 : Fate Stay/Night Unlimited Blade Works
Episode Count : 12
Studio : ufotable
Director : Miura Takahiro
Genre : Action, Fantasy, Magic, Shounen, Supernatural

I am the bone of my hype
Ufotable is my body, Kalafina is my blood
I have created over a thousand fangasms
Unknown to Deen, nor known to budget
Have withstood years to hype many episodes
Yet the Fate route never will be adapted
So as I pray, Unlimited Hype Works

Throwing money at the screen has never looked this beautiful before! Turning an eroge into one of the most amazing action anime takes a heck load of money and work. And the whole Fate franchise done by ufotable shows the immense amount of work that must have gone into creating this action ballad. Compared to Fate/Zero, UBW falls short because of it's childish protagonists with their ideals and naivete but nonetheless, the series is just as breathtaking. I am not a big fan of how UBW went about it's storyline with Shirou bitching about his ideals, but the fact that this sets up the stage for the Heaven's Feel route makes me feel content with what I got. Don't get me wrong, the series is amazing. I wouldn't put it on the #3 spot if I hated it.

#2 : One Punch Man
Episode Count : 12
Studio : Madhouse
Director : Shingo Natsume
Genre : Action, Comedy, Parody, Seinen, Super Power, Supernatural

I'm really resisting this urge to leave the rest of this blank but I guess that would be rude.
One Punch Man is definitely the most hyped show of the year. It is evident from the fact that the fans flooded the IMDb website and upvoted the series to the no 1 spot (don't use IMDb to look for anime btw). What makes it so great? It's simple, yet an effective comedy. Plus it satisfies that otaku roleplay superhero fantasy (I'll talk more about it in my review of the series). With the animation giant Madhouse behind the scenes, the series manages to deliver its intended comedy parody-ish experience of the superhero/shounen genre. Everything happens for the sake of making Saitama look cool. There is a lot of action with loads of eye candy visuals accompanied by some epic soundtracks.

I'd use my "crappy" analogy here : Watching One Punch Man was like watching a colourful firework display while Madhouse throws $100 bills at your face. You just stand there, entraced by the beauty of all the colourful patterns in the sky as you feel the stiffness of those fresh dollar bills on your cheek, their sweet smell mixed with gunpowder smoke permeating throughout your body. And before you know it, it's already over. And then you go home and say to yourself, "maybe I'll come again next year." Point of the story? A firework display looks amazing and it's pretty exhilarating to watch, but that's all there is to it. It won't leave you with something to think about. And it won't change your life. It leaves a good memory behind. That's it. But then again, that's all you need.

#1 : Owarimonogatari
Episode Count : 12
Studio : Shaft
Director : Akiyuki Simbo
Genre : Comedy, Mystery, Supernatural

"ka ka, ka ka, ka ka ka ka."
The monogatari series is the prime example of how a big brawling mess of characters, diaglogues and narrative can be so entertaining to watch. With the most unique style of storytelling and direction, this series manages to always leave me in awe. On top of which, Shaft's unique animation style is like icing on a cake. If this series was made any other way, I would have definitely hated this. It's stupid, yet cleverly done.

I can go on and on about how this series is one of the best mystery harem action ecchi(?) supernatural series out there, but I think I have already written a lot on this post. So, this concludes my Top 10 anime list for the year 2015. Since, I'm a sly bastard who wants to include as much anime on this list as possible, I will now include two honorable mentions down below. So, enjoy!

Shokugeki no Souma

Episode Count : 24
Studio : J.C. Staff
Director : Yoshitomo Yonetani
Genre : Ecchi, School, Shounen

I am the Bone of my Skillet,
Steel is my Pan and Fire is my Oven,
I have cooked over a thousand meals,
Unknown to Fast Food, nor known to Instant Meals,
Have withstood heat to cook many dishes,
Yet this mouth will never eat anything,
So as I cook, Unlimited Food Works

"Unlimited Food Works", yeah, that's a suitable title for this cooking battle anime. It's a battle shounen through and through except that instead of slaying enemies, they take it out on food and the end result is just mouth watering. It's an anime about food, don't resist and just give into your primal intentions of enjoying this food porno. It exaggerates, takes things to ridiculous levels, but all is forgiven because it's food.

Subete ga F ni Naru

Episode Count : 11
Studio : A-1 Pictures
Director : Mamoru Kanbe
Genre : Mystery, Psychological

It's a rarity in anime that we get to see a dedicated full cour locked room mystery anime. And a really well done mystery on top of it. One that is actually believable and without any ridiculous asspulls. Subete ga F ni Naru does all of that at the expense of its main characters' personality. But maybe someone like that is needed to crack such a tough mystery. With its slightly cringeworthy pseudo(?) philosophical dialogue, this anime was able to keep me hooked plot twist after plot twist. The final deduction is quite brilliant and it will surely catch you off guard. A good watch for a mystery buff.

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January 5, 2016 at 3:47 AM delete

If you haven't seen them, I'd recommend you to watch some of my other favorites from the year: Hibike! Euphonium, Gatchaman Crowds insight, Oregairu. Zoku, Punchline, Durarara!!x2 and even Yuri Kuma Arashi by the end were all pretty great.

January 5, 2016 at 7:54 PM delete

Thanks for checking out the list. :D
I've watched Hibike!, it was lovely. I have a review of the series here as well.
I had my eyes on Yuri Kuma Arashi because of the director Ikuhara Kunihiko (Mawaru Penguindrum), but I read so many mixed reviews that I decided not to watch it. I'll get on it now that I have some free time :D
Thanks for the recommendations xD

March 18, 2016 at 7:57 PM delete

I'm currently following your list. I've watched arslan senki and I think our opinions is very common. Bhahahahaha! I thought I was the only one that ask for the characters' deaths .. It really pissed me off when there's no deaths on this anime. I think that is the only thing that lacks on this anime. --> sorry my english is bad. Ehehe

March 19, 2016 at 12:56 PM delete

I am glad you find my list useful :D :D
Yeah, Arslan Senki would be way more awesome if it was a little more darker. Let's see how it goes in season 2.

August 29, 2016 at 5:02 AM delete

omg thx 4 the list! <3