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2015 Anime Recap - What I Watched

2015 Anime Recap - What I Watched

So Kotaku published a list of the best anime for 2015. There were some caveats – it had to have finished before the end of the year and something else (read the list). I am not hardcore into anime, but I’ve learned in 2015 that there are all kinds, not just the tentacle rape, look at her panties anime. In fact, for me 2015 may be the year of anime. So I thought I’d share some of the anime I watched and liked.

1. Attack on Titan (AOT)

I actually watched this in 2014. It was the first anime since Appleseed that pulled me in, and Appleseed was a movie that I haven’t watched since, so I’m guessing I didn’t like it THAT much. I’ve watched Attack on Titan a couple of times. I’ll admit, it was a little slow in parts, but the story had me from 15 minutes into the first episode. It’s exciting, tragic, interesting, and enigmatic. I am excited to see where the story goes, as it’s not finished yet.

Assessment: Solid B+. It’s horrifically violent but still a good time. You will have a shit ton of questions and zero answers but it’s a fun ride.

2. Sword Art Online (SAO) Season 1

I’m not quite sure what got me watching SAO, but I’m glad it did. The first 14 episodes are a solid story. The premise is that there’s this new, immersive video game that was just released. Everyone who logged in finds out that they are stuck in the game until they beat the final boss. The kick – if you die in game, you die in real life. The second kick – you hope someone puts you on a feeding tube and life support because if they forcibly remove your headgear, you die. These aren’t spoilers – this information is from episode one. I highly recommend episodes 1-14, especially if you like playing MMOs. When you stop at 14, it’ll leave you with a cliffhanger ending. This is a good thing, so stop watching. I know there are 11 more episodes in the season. Fuck ‘em. Stop watching.

So I knew you weren’t going to listen. You kept watching, didn’t you? This is some spoiler laden shit, so if you want the SAO surprise, stop reading. In fact, here’s a breakdown of how I watched that season.

Episode 1: Oh that's messed up! Wow.

Episodes 2-7: Man, this is good and fun! I'm digging this.

Episodes 8-13: I'm not sure how they're going to stretch this out for another 12 episodes, but ok.

Episode 14: Oh.

Episode 15: WTF just happened?

Episode 16: Effing fairies? Really? And what's up with his sister/cousin/whatever. Is this an incest story?

Episode 17: What is up with all the T&A? I feel like I'm watching a completely different anime.

Episode 18: Are they fucking with me? Did they fucking damsel Asuna? Seriously? Is this the same series?

Episodes 19-25: Hatewatching. Serious hatewatching. This is a different writing team, right? They had to have changed the writers because damn. *checks wikipedia* Nope. That series just went to shit within a season. It was like Heroes season 2, anime style.

Assessment:

Episodes 1-14: B+. Interesting story, strong narrative. Fun to watch.

Episodes 15-25: F-. Solid waste of time unless you need some hatred to fuel you. Gratuitous and inferred nudity as well as a stupid amount of over-sexualization of female characters. And rape threats. Lots and lots of rape threats.

3. Nana

Nana was my first introduction to romantic/drama anime. It’s about 2 women named Nana who meet on a train to Tokyo. One is following a man, the other is pursuing her dream to be a rockstar, like her ex-boyfriend. It is all about the relationships, complete with make-ups and break-ups, and a kick-ass soundtrack because rock bands. It also follows the success and downfalls of the two women as their life paths converge. It’ll tug at your heartstrings – a LOT. And it’s not finished. The author never finished the manga and even the manga that was completed wasn’t animated. So you can get a little more of the story from the manga but it just stops without any real end or resolution…kinda like life.

Assessment: A-. This shit made me tear up more than once and I really liked the characters. I’ve already re-watched some episodes and downloaded the soundtrack. I recommend.

4. Tokyo Ghoul

I really liked Tokyo Ghoul even though that shit made a minimum of sense. That’s not true. It was an interesting story about a society where man eating ghouls are real but a bunch of self hating ghouls have decided to learn to live without fresh kills. It has your classic good that thinks it’s evil vs evil that thinks it’s good vs evil evil…and that’s pretty much the story. There are some AWESOME sequences and beautiful art but it is graphically violent, so if violence isn’t your thing, you may want to skip.

Ultimately, I watched it with the understanding that it’s a story about learning to live with our demons and seeing the different ways people either succumb or fight or find peace.  Or it’s about man-eating demons trying to survive. Depends on my mood.

Assessment: B. Very violent and at times makes no sense, but ultimately an interesting journey. Also, the end lack clear resolution, so beware.

5. One Punch Man

This anime just came out this year about an overpowered superhero. I’ve seen people writing about how the anime is kind of a spoof of other anime with overpowered characters, but I don’t watch enough anime to understand that. I did enjoy it with the notable exception of Superalloy Darkshine, a shitty ass, racist character who serves as the sole Black character in the show. But, if I can stop flinching at that, I really enjoyed the show.

Assessment: B+. Violent, overpowered, fun.

What’s Next

I’m currently midway through a couple of other anime – the extremely problematic Elfin Lied and the deeply disturbing Death Parade. I’m also working through a list of anime that some women I deeply respect have recommended. We’ll see if I get to those.

Please note: My ratings are just how I feel about the anime. There are no real metrics here, although once I rate enough, I may develop some.  

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