So, 2016 has ended, and with its ending we have a chance to look back and examine all of the anime that came out this year. Now, 2016 actually ended a couple weeks ago, so I’ve decided to make it up to all you faithful readers out there by analyzing this year in the best possible way: By sorting my favorites into an numbered list, as well as having a quick look back at the Fall season.
“Why only the Fall season?” I hear you ask. Well, because I only wrote for this blog during that season.
So here’s the thing. Usually, my posts on here are directed towards people who already know what I’m talking about, those self-proclaimed “otaku” and anime junkies who keep up to date with the latest productions and headlines and just want to hear my opinions on them, no walkthrough necessary.
But writing with them in mind limits my audience, and for this 2016 recap, I want to be a little more inclusive. This article is for hardcore fans and anime newbies alike; those in the know can compare their year in anime to mine, while the casual watcher will be given an overview of everything I’ve seen from 2016 – one that, if I’m successful enough with this, will hopefully act as a guide to what I thought was and wasn’t worth watching.
I managed to finish just over 30 shows this year and give a shot to just shy of another 30 more. At a minimum, everything I watched at least one episode of has a name-drop below. Only the top 10 are properly ranked; the rest are categorized in groups sorted by how far I got through them (early drops, late drops, or completed/up to date), as well as what kind of impression they left on me. This will be a bit lengthy, so let’s just get right into it, starting at the very bottom with the immediately-dropped abominations and ending with the cream of the crop.
Hey, everybody, Yata here! Another year down, another Top 25 OPs list to show off! Personally, I found 2016 to be a bit of a weak year for stellar openings, but that just made the “moderately above average” crop even harder to sift through. So sift I did; I whipped up my first draft of this list back in October and spent the next three months re-arranging the hell out of it to the point of absurdity, eventually ending up with this. My criteria and ranking system remain the same as they’ve been for the last three years worth of these things. To recap:
The OP must have debuted in 2016. It can belong to a show that started before 2016 or one that will continue into 2017, but if the OP debuted in an airing season of 2016, it’s eligible for inclusion on this list.
If a show has multiple versions of what can be considered the same OP (different animation set to the same music or vice versa), only one will be included; any changes to the OP, if relevant to mention, will be noted in the blurb.
If a show has multiple completely different OPs, all of them are eligible as individual entries as long as they meet the above criteria.
It’s not a requirement that I’ve seen the corresponding series for each OP on this list, but obviously the ones I have seen (or am at least moderately familiar with) are much more likely to be included because I have a better grasp on what the contents of their OPs mean. This year, there were uncharacteristically 8 (a new personal record!) openings on here from shows I either didn’t watch at all or didn’t complete, so even if you’ve kept up with me throughout the year, there might still be some surprises in store for you below.
Unlike the many YouTube channels which rank openings mathematically and solely on their music, I rank these on a non-numerical, totally arbitrary combination of each one’s music, visuals, audiovisual sync, relevance to the show (when I’m able to discuss that), and my own personal enjoyment, with the most emphasis placed on whatever I feel each individual OP was trying to accomplish.
And just a reminder, these rankings are very loose apart from the top handful; there are several entries around the bubble which didn’t make the cut for me (see: Ajin, Flip Flappers, Mayoiga, Orange, Shirayuki S2, etc.), but that doesn’t mean I hated them – there’s just a lot of anime openings each year, guys. I have to draw the line somewhere. In that same vein, the exact numerical placement of each OP is mostly a matter of nitpicky preference, as anything outside the top 4 could have easily swapped places with any other openings in a 4 or 5 spot radius and still felt “right” to me.
And of course, try to remember that these rankings, like any evaluation of art, is massively subject to personal preferences. You are entitled to your opinion just as I am entitled to mine, and there’s nothing wrong with agreeing to disagree. I welcome discussion over this list (as long as it’s civil) and encourage you to comment, or, if you feel so inclined, post a rundown of your own. That’s “great justice,” as they say.
Anyway, with that explanation out of the way, let’s get this OP rumble started!
We’re back! I hope all our American readers had a happy Thanksgiving, just as we attempted to with varying levels of success. Just like some leftovers can sit at the back of the fridge and go bad after a while, so too can anime outstay their welcome. With an exception or two, it’s bad show scrapping time, and Yata and Haru are here to bring to you a quick mid-season update on where things stand heading into the season’s final stretch. We hope you enjoy it!
And just like that, fall is finally here! This season marks the 2-year anniversary of us covering airing shows, which feels like a huge accomplishment in and of itself, but we know we can do more, especially with the relative decrease in our amount of content lately, which is why…
…I’d like to introduce Catche, For Great Justice’s first new writer! Covering our bases with some more action-focused series that have never been as up Yata or Haru’s alley (as well as Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure come mid-season), Catche is a pleasure to work with and we hope you guys enjoy the greater diversity in shows covered with the standard amount of snark you’ve come to expect from us.
And that means for the first time in over a year now, we once again have 3 writers in one article! With a whopping 22 shows under the lens this time, what stands out as our favorites this season? Read on to find out!
Seems weird to call this the end of summer when we’ve just now started October, but better late than never! Sure, neither of us have watched Re:Zero or Jojo’s, arguably the two most-talked about series this season, but that didn’t stop Yata from playing with his food (shows) or Haru from finally getting some words in about something – and it might not be what you’d expect. Whittled down to less than 10 entries, we’re wrapping up summer with quality over quantity, but that’s life sometimes. What show took Yata’s seasonal crown? What show did Haru manage to write about? And what’s next up on the FGJ agenda? Read on to find out below!
Hey everybody, Yata here. We’re halfway through the summer season, and since circumstances have left me going this one alone (a.k.a. Haru’s emptying his wallet at AnimeFest), instead of running through each show alphabetically the way we’ve always done, I’m gonna try something different.
That’s right, I’m ranking this mother lode of a season.
I’ll be keeping my thoughts as brief as I can with a summation of what each show I’m still watching is doing right, wrong, and how likely I think it will improve or fall apart from here accompanied by our standard out-of-10 score and an episode count status update. Hopefully you can dig this format, and if not, oh well, things will likely go right back to the old one next time. The season is mostly staying strong and there’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started!
The conversation went something like this: “Man, I’m fucking exhausted. Work’s killing me this week, but at least I somehow got through all these promising-looking premiers. What about you, bro?”
“…oh, we were supposed to publish the article this week? I’ll uh…I’ll see what I can do.”
Things have not been smooth lately in the lives of your critic buddies Yata and Harubro.
It might be the worst timing too, because although it may not look like it at first glance, this summer’s lineup has gotten off to one of the best overall starts in years. A combination of the shitty shows being so obviously shit they weren’t even worth a speculative watch and about half the good shows being way above average has left us with a stacked watchlist to try and stay up to date with and catch up on respectively. Yata’s here for the majority of this article and Haru’s done what he can to still include his thoughts on personal season highlight ReLIFE as well as Konobi. Aside from those two, there are still 13 other (mostly fantastic) shows to cover, so let’s get these first impressions rolling, eh?
It’s getting hot out there, and with the approach of summer, at long last Haru and Yata return to run down their belated (but complete) thoughts on any shows they’ve continued since the start of the spring season. It may have been a while, but many of this season’s offerings were consistent, which makes catching up with you all just a bit easier. What came out on top? What fell on its face? What stuck to a comfortable middle ground? Read on and find out on this update with For Great Justice!
Ah, spring. The season of budding flowers, warming weather, and…loads of shitty CG animation? That’s what the forecast has in store for this anime season at least. But under the massive heaps of awkwardly thrown-in 3D animation, there still exist anime worth people’s time! On this first impressions article, Yata tackles Attack on Trains, the return of Studio Trigger, a bunch of superhero thrillers, someone named Soy Latte, one of the worst shows he’s ever laid his eyes on, and so much more! Read on ahead to see which spring 2016 shows pass first impressions week on For Great Justice!