Sunday Select: 7 Best Anime Series of 2016

Welcome to this week’s Sunday Select Sevens. Here is a list of my 7 favorite anime series that aired in 2016. This doesn’t include series that began in the previous year and carried over. Anime films and OVAs aren’t included, either. It’s important to note that these are ranked in order of least to greatest personal enjoyment, and not based on overall quality of the production. Anyway, here is the list. Please enjoy!

7. Re: Zero / Starting Life in Another World from Zero

Personal Enjoyment: 7/10

Pros: An anime of great overall quality (art, music, etc.), with a compelling, thrilling story and unforgettable characters. Plenty of fantasy and magic and other isekai features. Lots of death, suffering, and violence, if you like seeing that in anime (I do). There’s now a decent English Dub streaming on Crunchyroll, though the Japanese audio is still a bit better.

Cons: No explanation (in the anime) for Subaru’s ability/curse. Subaru is one of the most annoying main characters in any anime, and never improves. The romance pairing that many were hoping for did not happen. There’s intense death and violence that some call edgy or pointless. Betelguese, a villain in the second half, was supposed to be disturbing, but he’s so over-the-top I can’t take him seriously. He makes me laugh.

6. 91 Days

Personal Enjoyment: 7/10

Pros: A historical anime based on the time of the Prohibition, when alcohol was banned in the U.S. It’s a captivating, exciting revenge story that’s well-made and enjoyable in most major areas (art, music, action, etc.)

Cons: Though it has some action scenes, there are times when the story can seem too slow or boring. Characters and different “families” are difficult to keep track of without paying close attention. I like the subdued colors, but for many, that was also a factor in making it look uninteresting. Personally, I also like the vague story conclusion, but I can see how it could be very irritating depending on what you were expecting for the finale.

5. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku / Magical Girl Raising Project

Personal Enjoyment: 7/10

Pros: A dark mahou shoujo show with adorable, bad-ass, and memorable characters, great music, and fantastic art-style and action sequences. It makes a good thriller and contains many fights and gruesome death and violence.

Cons: Overall, to be honest, this show is the definition of edgy: it features lots of death, violence, and disturbing content, along with extremely cute and sexy character designs, to directly pander to weird people like me who like edgy shit. If you don’t mind the pandering, it’s a fine show up to the conclusion, which is anti-climactic, rushed, and too convenient.

Warning: last I checked, what was on Crunchyroll was an awful censored version that cuts out half the violence. I would buy the Blue Rays or find a different streaming site.

4. Mob Psycho 100

Personal Enjoyment: 8/10

Pros: A well-made anime with unique, colorful, and creative art-style and animation, good comedy, lots of shounen-style action and fights, supernatural elements and psychic powers, and some interesting exploration of the relationship of Mob and his brother Ritsu. Main character Mob is sweet and kind but also not cowardly or weak. Reigen is hilarious.

Cons: It really screams “shounen” which for some may be a big plus, but for me is sickeningly common and just kind of silly. For instance, there faction of evil villains who are evil for no real reason and fight against the hero psychics like Mob. While there is the tiniest bit of character psychology, the point of the show is visually stunning action along with silly comedy, so if you expected something more revolutionary or profound with regards to story or themes, you won’t find it here.

3. Saiki Kusuo no Psy-nan / The Disastrous Life of Saiki K

Personal Enjoyment: 8/10

Pros: Hilarious comedy including absurdist humor, situational humor, ironic humor, funny character gags, goofiness, and parody. Awesome OP main character with psychic abilities. The show also has a pretty good dub!

Cons: Despite being about a psychic who can beat any threat, this show is a school /slice-of-life comedy with no point other than to make you laugh. And even that won’t work if you don’t like silly and absurd humor. Repeated gags can get old quickly.

2. Bungou Stray Dogs/ Literary Stray Dogs

Personal Enjoyment: 9/10

Pros: Characters based on real-life authors of literature, many references to their works, some great little mysteries, good action scenes, captivating fantasy and supernatural abilities, unique art-style, fun music, and just the right mix of serious story and comedy.

Cons: An unusually structured story that might be off-putting, with too many characters to keep track of if it’s your first time watching.

1. Boku Dake ga Inai Machi / Erased

Personal Enjoyment: 9/10

Pros: Wonderful art, astounding music, great voice-acting, a good thriller story, memorable and relatable characters, and supernatural time-travel.

Cons: If you’re expecting an in-depth mystery, you’ll be disappointed. Most people can figure out who the “bad guy” is by episode 5. Main character’s convenient ability is never explained. Content contains disturbing elements including child abuse and attempted murder of children. A lot of people don’t like the conclusion, but I think it’s great.

For reading my work today, thank you sincerely! Come visit me again soon!


(All images were found by searching the web and I don’t own any of them.)

8 thoughts on “Sunday Select: 7 Best Anime Series of 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s