So here I am kicking off my end of 2016 stuff. It would be an easy thing to just make a post of the top shows that aired this year and I will in a way, but I wanted to put my own spin on it. Starting off, I’m making a list of non-seasonal anime or older shows that I really enjoyed watching this year. I watched a lot of different older series, but these are my favorites out of the bunch.
I till have to think about how I am going to do seasonal stuff. Some shows lasted over a span of seasons so I need to know where to long spanning shows on my lists. I’ll figure it out at some point. Should be fun. Now on to the shows. These are not placed in any particular order.
Hunter x Hunter (2011)
I don’t know who was expecting this one, but I watched all 148 episodes of this in five weeks and I don’t regret it at all. At first it seemed like a basic battle shonen anime, but that point of view shifted as time went on. The first arc was essentially a tournament arc with a twist and Togashi has done that before with Yu Yu so that was old news. The next arc was a mafia arc with super powers, then there was a lost in a video game arc, and finally a humongous war arc with political ramifications and everything. Besides getting to know and love these characters, I really loved the diversity of settings and methods of storytelling that somehow merged together in this anime. These weren’t just arcs that came out of nowhere. Each one had its own lore, goals, stakes, and developments that were just fantastic. Add the characters, the arcs, and the animation that is better than the average battle shonen together and somehow you get this wonderful show. I would say that this show is something that a beginner to anime should watch because it shows some of the most popular genres in anime in a friendly manner.
Fist of the North Star
If I told you that watching this show was a totally unplanned thing, would you believe me? I mean, I only watched this anime at first because there was an insanely good sale on it and I like watching whatever disks I get. Despite all that, I can’t help but love this anime. This is a tale of Kenshiro, the successor of the North Star Fighting style, set in a world after a nuclear apocalypse. So, if you merge Mad Max and Bruce Lee films together, this is the fighting anime that you get and it’s an amazing ride. First the story was about revenge, but it became something that is so much more. It was also a tragedy, a spectacle, and a love story. This is the root of all battle shonen and you can tell because so many of them follow the story beats from this one. I haven’t seen the second season yet, but I highly recommend the first one hundred and nine episodes to everybody.
Rose of Versailles
This is an anime that I wanted to watch for a very long time. Ever since I heard many different anime reviewers and people on some facebook groups that I pay attention to praise it, I knew that this show would be for me. That assumption was absolutely correct. While I know that this anime was based on the French Revolution so I knew how it was going to end, the anime made me care about the situation more than any history book. You can see these characters talk, think and act in ways that make them real. The political ramifications of what was going on and Oscar’s character were the show’s greatest strength and Rose of Versailles was great because of them.
Serial Experiments Lain
This is yet another anime I wanted to watch for a long time. Mostly because I’ve seen most of Abe’s work and this was the only show of his I didn’t see yet. I can definitely say it didn’t dissapoint. This show’s perspective of people’s lives on the internet vs how they are in real life is beyond the time it aired. This show came out before the internet became completely mainstream and somehow it is somewhat accurate in those regards. The show can be a bit of a mind screw, but it’s a solid one that everybody should watch.
Once again, an anime that I wanted to watch for a long time. I won’t say anything now because I haven’t finished it yet and I want to save my thoughts for an inevitable review, but know that I like it a lot.