The year where I watched even less than the year where I watched about half as much as usual! Well, I still saw about the same number of really good shows, so it’s not as much of a loss as it sounds. Same disclaimer as last year, if you’re wondering why most everything is rated so highly, see this answer.

If you want detailed comments on each show, check the [Winter-Spring], [Summer], and [Fall] posts! I won’t be saying much here, just a sentence or two at most.

Standard disclaimer: Please note that I’m not a reviewer and these aren’t recommendations, so THIS IS NOT SPOILER FREE.

Completed Anime

#1 (tie) | Koufuku Graffiti

In a quote: “We usually look at memories as things to look back on, but we can look forward to making them too!”
Favorite character: Morino Kirin
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 12. From Ryou receiving her grandmother’s apron, to Kirin pointing out that memories aren’t just for the past, to Ryou belatedly realizing (after everyone else) that Kirin is moving in for her for good.
Overall score: 9.5 / 10

#1 (tie) | Gakkou Gurashi

In a quote: “Bye bye, Megu-nee.”
Favorite character: Sakura Megumi
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 11. Yuki stepping through the door that has been the mental and physical barrier separating her from the world.
Overall score: 9.5 / 10

#3 | THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls

In a quote: “The most important thing is whether they’re smiling or not. That is how I produce.”
Favorite character: Nitta Minami
Favorite episode/scene: It’s so difficult to choose, but I’ll say Episode 13. The girls pulling together to make the concert a success, juxtaposed against Minami’s despair at having overworked herself to the point of not being able to participate until the end. A beautiful end to the first cour while we waited for the second half to resume. The fact that it involved everyone gives it a slight edge over many of the fantastic episodes that dealt with various subsets of the cast.
Overall score: 9 / 10

#4 | Yuru Yuri San Hai!

In a quote: “I AM AHO”
Favorite character: Akaza Akari
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 7. Akari and Chinatsu’s date, with Chinatsu’s line to Akari, “Rehearsing is important, but the time we’re spending together is important too!”. It’s this moment bringing her so very close to self-awareness about her actual feelings that I thought my heart stopped.
Overall score: 9 / 10

#5 | Non Non Biyori Repeat

In a quote: Sometimes it’s the visuals that say the most.
Favorite character: Miyauchi Renge
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 10. Candy Shop helping Renge learn how to ride a bike, but any scene of those two bonding is worthy.
Overall score: 9 / 10

#6 (tie) | Hello!! Kin-iro Mosaic

Favorite character: Komichi Aya
Favorite episode/scene: Hm, maybe a scene from Episode 7? Really cute story with Karen explaining why Alice is her “hero”.
Overall score: 9 / 10

#6 (tie) | Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka??

Favorite character: Ujimatsu Chiya
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 7. Drunk Chino. It’s hard to choose one scene from a show that maintained a pretty consistent level of quality, without big dramatic peaks.
Overall score: 9 / 10

#8 | Yuri Kuma Arashi

In a quote: “Gao gao”
Favorite character: Yurigasaki Lulu
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 12. Yuri Kuma may have had its flaws, but everything came together beautifully in the remarkably good ending.
Overall score: 8 / 10

#9 | Senki Zesshou Symphogear GX: Believe in Justice and Hold a Determination to Fist.

In a quote: “(Carol re: Ver) He just showed up out of nowhere and won’t stop talking.”
Favorite character: Akatsuki Kirika & Tsukuyomi Shirabe (separating them would be absurd)
Favorite episode/scene: Every Kirika/Shirabe scene, EVERY SINGLE ONE. If I have to pick, Episode 5 with this exchange.
Overall score: 8 / 10

#10 | Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid

Favorite character: Takamachi Vivio (trying not to cheat and say Nanoha or Fate)
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 11. Einhart vs Corona.
Overall score: 8 / 10

#11 | Dog Days”

Favorite character: Rebecca Anderson
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 8. The entire Adele and Clarifier backstory was one of the best episodes of any show this year.
Overall score: 8 / 10

#12 | Log Horizon Second Season

Favorite character: Minori
Favorite episode/scene: The lone two-cour Fall 2014 title, so it’s been a while, hasn’t it? That makes remembering specific scenes quite difficult. I’ll cop out a little and say Minori’s role in the whole low-level party members arc. I remember there being some top tier stuff courtesy of her in those episodes, particularly some of her interactions with Touya.
Overall score: 7 / 10

#13 | Durarara!! x2 Shou

Favorite character: Orihara Mairu & Orihara Kururi (they’re also a pair)
Favorite episode/scene: Let’s say Episode 2, Mairu flipping out on the girls who made the terrible mistake of bullying her. They had no idea what they were getting into. Or any Orihara sisters scene really.
Overall score: 7 / 10

#14 | Wakaba Girl

Favorite character: Tokita Moeko
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 4, Wakaba thinking a cordless landline is a cell phone.
Overall score: 7 / 10

#15 | Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku

Favorite character: Fujishiro Otone
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 8. Eruna and Otone’s adorable blushing tea party.
Overall score: 7 / 10

#16 | JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders 2nd Season

In a quote: “OH, SHIT!
Favorite character: Joseph Joestar
Favorite episode/scene: Hmmm, probably the D’Arby the Gambler fight?
Overall score: 6 / 10

#16 | Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka

Favorite character: Hestia
Favorite episode/scene: Episode 3, which is unfortunately where I felt the show peaked. Bell and Hestia working together against the monster provided exactly the kind of wonderfully written, intimate relationship I really wanted from the show, and more like that could have resulted in something pretty special.
Overall score: 6 / 10

#17 | Hibike! Euphonium

Overall score: 0 / 10; The single most negative experience I’ve had with a work of fiction. Even thinking about it for the 2 minutes it’s taking to put it on this list is upsetting. That’s all I want to say about it, and I’d rather not get into discussions “explaining” or “justifying” my feelings on this with anyone.

 

Dropped
Himouto! Umaru-chan (watched 7 of 12)
Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans (watched 5 of 25)
Subete ga F ni Naru: The Perfect Insider (watched 5 of 11)
Anitore! EX (watched 4 of 12)
Durarara!!x2 Ten (watched 1 of 12)
Robot Girls Z Plus (watched 1 of 6)

 

Miscellaneous Favorites
These are based on either non-sequels or new characters from returning shows.

Favorite Female Character
Sakura Megumi, Gakkou Gurashi! – Even excluding returning characters in direct sequels, which I always try to do in yearly lists, this was not easy. Megu-nee just barely gets the nod over Nitta Minami from THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls. Like I said last year, I have a hard time picking characters who work best in pairs, otherwise I’d be dying to list the relationship between Kirin and Ryou in Koufuku. Deremas also has some top tier honorable mentions in Ranko and Miku as well. But in the end it’s Megu-nee who evoked the strongest emotions from me among new characters this year.

Favorite Male Character
Producer, THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls – Gotta admit, after last year spoiled me with Rin this year was weak. But P-san was pretty good! I don’t put him on the same level as Animas P-san but he still improved a lot as the show went on, and like Animas P-san he was very good at getting involved when needed, and letting the girls do their own thing when he wasn’t the right one to intervene.

Favorite Couple
Machiko Ryou and Morino Kirin, Koufuku Graffiti – There’s a reason this show is at the top, and the warmth in the relationship between these two is at the heart of it. Because both characters are so well fleshed out, they edge out Nitta Minami and Anastasia from THE IDOLM@STER Cinderella Girls. Love Laika is incredible but character-wise Minami pulls a lot more weight than Anya so there’s more depth to Koufuku’s leading duo. Honorable mention to Kirika/Shirabe from Symphogear (I first saw G this year so it counts fr me) and the other Deremas couples (Riina/Miku, Kirari/Anzu, Rin/Uzuki).

Favorite OP/ED Sequence
Tokimeki Poporon♪, Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?? – I mean, this isn’t a surprise, right? It’s too cute for this world. [link].

But I’d actually reserve highest praise for the OP/EDs of Gakkou Gurashi! due to the constant changes on an almost weekly basis to reflect the changing nature of the story as it unfolded. It was absolutely brilliant at this, turning what’s usually a two static 90 second experiences book-ending a story into one of the most fascinating parks of the experience. I went through them side by side each week noting all the changes, and it was such good stuff.

Honorable mentions to Shiawase ni Tsuite Watashi ga Shitteiru Itsutsu no Houhou, Koufuku Graffiti [link], ExterminateSenki Zesshou Symphogear GX [link], and of course Ano Mori de MatteruYuri Kuma Arashi [link].

 
Pre-2015 Shows Watched This Year
I was focused in my post on stuff that aired in 2015, but there’s a couple shows I caught for the first time this year:

selector infected/spread WIXOSS – Oh, this was really good. Not even guilty pleasure “trashy” good, just legitimately a good story with a really captivating cast. It’s totally melodramatic and exaggerated for sure, but in ways that never left me feeling like the creative team had lost control of the story. It’s in season two that it really comes together though. I give infected a 8 / 10 and spread a 9 / 10.

Kyousougiga – It was good! I dropped it back when it first aired because I found the first episode nigh unwatchable, but once it enters the story proper it’s a solid show with some very pretty visuals and a nice theme about what it means to be a family. I gave it a strong 8 / 10.

Shoujo Kakumei Utena – I genuinely think I watched this one ten years too late to really evaluate it properly. I fully understand what it is people get out of it, but I felt like the really clever bits were dragged down by what actually felt like a fairly standard (I know using that word sounds ridiculous but it feels appropriate in many ways!) heterosexual shoujo romance story at the core. Utena bounces from bad boy to bad boy, and while very interesting things are happening much of the time, I had a hard time connecting to Utena’s personal narrative for so much of the run. I tended to get my enjoyment from Nanami’s hijinks more than anything else, it’s gotta be said. The show’s aesthetic deserves the praise it gets, which is why it still feels like a unique experience, but I had too hard a time getting invested in the story to rate it as highly as everyone else does. For a less interestingly executed production it’d be a 6 or low 7, but the uniqueness of its presentation and respect for the fact that it was a lot more “revolutionary” at the time it first aired bumps that to a solid 7 / 10.
The movie is holy shit excellent though, and was far more in line with what I thought the TV series was going to be like. I give the movie an enthusiastic 9 / 10. I think it’s the one and only time I’ve liked a film adaptation more than the original TV series! It’s just soooo good, especially because I prefer to think of it as a sort of sequel rather than a retelling. And that works… if you kinda gloss over some details I’m more than happy to ignore in pursuit of my preferred reading, heh.

I also watched Senki Zesshou Symphogear G for the first time this year but I mentally lump it in with GX since I watched them together.

That’s it! Other than that I only watched 2015 shows and rewatched a few older ones: the first Idolmaster between seasons of Deremas, and then later in the year I rewatched K-ON! and have been slowly working through rewatching K-ON!! for the past few months. The next episode is episode 20 so it’s hard to prepare myself emotionally with the right mood for one of the absolute best episodes ever made.

I think that’s everything. The last thing I remember rewatching before those is Scrapped Princess, which technically I finished this year (January 1st!) but watched the bulk of in December 2014 when the BD box came out.

 
Final Comments
I didn’t have any 10/10s this year, which is a bit of a shame, but Koufuku Graffiti and Gakkou Gurashi! are surely just a sequel away from reaching it! …So it really sucks that neither one will ever get a sequel. =(

Definitely not a bad year, though. Just one that’s really reinforcing my desire to only stick to the handful of shows I really know I’ll like. It’s a shame 2016 looks to start off so terribly, but Spring shows promise.

8 Responses to “2015 Anime Watching Year in Review”

  1. AholePony says:

    Nice list! I can tell you really know what you like in anime. As someone that watches everything in search of those hidden gems I’d like to see people branch out a little more but I also understanding not wanting to waste time on shows you don’t/won’t like. I also love the genre that you prefer, do you watch many older shows? I’m always on the lookout for iyashikei/cute girls doing cute things anime that I may have missed/overlooked in the past. I only watched Ichigo Mashimaro for the first time last year. No idea how I missed that one ;-(

    • something something says:

      I used to watch 10-20 shows a season, so I actively moved away from the whole “branching-out” thing for a variety of reasons. Basically the small chance that something I’d really like is lurking in the mass of shows I choose to skip these days isn’t worth actually slogging through those shows, even if I had the time.

      I don’t go back and watch older shows, because I’ve seen everything I’m particularly interested in. I don’t have a real backlog. Older shows (especially if we mean really older, like 90s and before not just 2005 or whatever) also have problems with being less readily available, and when they are available, often having bad a/v quality of releases or poor subtitles. And I just find them less aesthetically appealing for the most part. There’s just too much going against them.

      • AholePony says:

        I hear ya, you’ve been in the trenches haha. It’s only gotten harder these past few years to keep up if you desire to, so many series each season. As to older series, watching all of Saber Marionette J was a slog for me for many of the reasons you mentioned. Am I a completionist or a masochist? It gets harder to tell every year!

  2. something something says:

    I was focused in my post on stuff that aired in 2015, but there’s a couple shows I caught for the first time this year:

    selector infected/spread WIXOSS – Oh, this was really good. Not even guilty pleasure “trashy” good, just legitimately a good story with a really captivating cast. It’s totally melodramatic and exaggerated for sure, but in ways that never left me feeling like the creative team had lost control of the story. It’s in season two that it really comes together though. I give infected a 8 / 10 and spread a 9 / 10.

    Kyousougiga – It was good! I dropped it back when it first aired because I found the first episode nigh unwatchable, but once it enters the story proper it’s a solid show with some very pretty visuals and a nice theme about what it means to be a family. I gave it a strong 8 / 10.

    Shoujo Kakumei Utena – I genuinely think I watched this one ten years too late to really evaluate it properly. I fully understand what it is people get out of it, but I felt like the really clever bits were dragged down by what actually felt like a fairly standard (I know using that word sounds ridiculous but it feels appropriate in many ways!) heterosexual shoujo romance story at the core. Utena bounces from bad boy to bad boy, and while very interesting things are happening much of the time, I had a hard time connecting to Utena’s personal narrative for so much of the run. I tended to get my enjoyment from Nanami’s hijinks more than anything else, it’s gotta be said. The show’s aesthetic deserves the praise it gets, which is why it still feels like a unique experience, but I had too hard a time getting invested in the story to rate it as highly as everyone else does. For a less interestingly executed production it’d be a 6 or low 7, but the uniqueness of its presentation and respect for the fact that it was a lot more “revolutionary” at the time it first aired bumps that to a solid 7 / 10.
    The movie is holy shit excellent though, and it far more in line with what I thought the TV series was going to be like. I give the movie an enthusiastic 9 / 10. I think it’s the one and only time I’ve liked a film adaptation more than the original TV series! It’s just soooo good, especially because I prefer to think of it as a sort of sequel rather than a retelling. And that works… if you kinda gloss over some details I’m more than happy to ignore in pursuit of my preferred reading, heh.

    I also watched Senki Zesshou Symphogear G for the first time this year, right before I watched GX, but I lumped them together in my comments. Both G and GX got an 8.

    That’s it! Other than that I only watched 2015 shows and rewatched a few older ones: the first Idolmaster between the Deremas seasons, and then later in the year I rewatched K-ON! and am slowly working through a rewatch of K-ON!! now. The next episode is the one-of-the-best-episodes-ever (episode 20) and it’s hard to prepare myself emotionally with the right mood!

    I think that’s everything. The last thing I remember rewatching before those is Scrapped Princess, which technically I finished this year (January 1st!) but watched the bulk of in December 2014 when the BD box came out.

    I guess I’ll also append this comment to the post at the bottom.

    • AholePony says:

      All very good series! I guess I better watch Kyousougiga too, I also thought the 1st episode was bad and didn’t go further but everyone seems to love it just like Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita which I also plan to watch due to rave reviews. I loved Scrapped Princess, how was it upon rewatch, better than ever or has time been cruel to it? I’ve been debating a rewatch of that myself. I watch K-on almost every year, I know exactly what episode that is you’re puting off without looking it up lol. Be STRONG and watch it!

      • something something says:

        Kyousougiga isn’t as good as Jintai (although they’re very different) but it’s worth a watch, yes. That first episode just gave me nothing to hold on to, no way to care about the characters. But the rest of the show pulls that off nicely.

        Scrapped Princess held up very well. It didn’t feel quite as weighty as I remember it being the first time but the cast is still amazing.

        • AholePony says:

          Awesome, I just need to finish up my rewatch of Moyashimon and I can move on to those three! It’s always nice to have something planned ahead to watch.

  3. Chad says:

    Still a ZERO out of ten for Sound Euphonium? That’s usually only reserved for shows that have absolutely NO redeeming qualities.

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