August 16, 2016

Anime Recommendations of Summer 2016!

Welcome to my Top 5 Recommended anime for Summer 2016! Hot days, long summers, and soul searching aside, I've based these 5 shows on the following criteria:
  • Character development and depth - Does this show give me the heebie jeebies at the sight of the protagonist's situations? Do characters outside of the protagonist develop and grow to contribute to a fantastic story?
  • Summer feeling - Not just warm weather, palm trees, and beach episodes, but also energetic characters, hype factor, and of course slice-of-life style relevance to the viewer's life come into play!
  • General enjoyability - Is "enjoyability" even a word? Regardless, we all watch anime to get different things out of it. Some watch for shounen excitement, others for moe anime girls. What makes a show enjoyable? Keep reading and find out!

Without further ado, here we go!

WARNING - Spoilers abound! I attempt to give you enough synopsis to understand the rating, but sometimes that means giving a little plot away. I would recommend reading if you have seen a PV and know the general synopsis of the show already!

1. RE:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu
MAL Score 8.76

RE:Zero follows protagonist Natsuki Subaru on a "journey" in a fantasy world... sounds familiar, right? Is that not 50% of every new anime to come out in the past few years?! Well, it is different this time as our protagonist has literal plot armor. He cannot die, more accurately he has a curse he calls "Return By Death" which allows him to restart after death, at arbitrary save points in time along his journey.

You would think this would lead to hilarious restarts and comical interludes. But that is further from the truth than you'd expect. RE:Zero has viewers on the edge of their seats waiting to see what happens to Subaru next, how he will attempt to right the wrongs of each iteration of himself, and see the growth of all characters involved in the process. While this show is an ongoing series and only technically counts for Summer 2016, it is a must-watch for anime fans, will likely become as popular as household names like Suzumiya Haruhi, and has as much character development, heart-stopping moments, and endearing characters as any of the top anime out there.

Character Development: 5/5
Summer Feeling: 3/5
General Enjoyability: 5/5

MAL Score 7.28

Diving, diving, diving! And you thought Free! was the best swimming anime out there. Amanchu! is really an experience. If you don't get a "It's Summer!" feeling out of this show, I don't know what is wrong with you. 

Pikari, the show's resident optimist and driving force (or rather, "diving force") brings her classmate Futaba into the world of diving and with it comes a slice-of-life show lauded as one of the many showcased "golden age of slice-of-life" shows of the past few years! If you plan on watching it, please don't expect psychological depth, but its definitely worth a watch in the summer!

Character Development: 3/5
Summer Feeling: 6/5 !!
General Enjoyability: 4/5

MAL Score 8.56

You can get whatever you want from whomever you'd like to get it from. Right now. At least that's how things work at Totsuki Academy, the most elite cooking school in Japan, and possibly the world. And the means of getting what you want is through "Shokugeki" or a "Food War" as the dubs call it. Whoever wins an Iron Chef style competition can claim whatever they'd like from the loser. 

This is the world that our skilled Shounen protagonist Yukihira Soma lives in. Season 2 ramps things up in the Autumn Elections, and the episodes are fast-paced and rewarding. There isn't much of a summer feeling or even any character development here (what do you expect from a cooking shounen series) but the payoff per episode is definitely top tier!

Character Development: 2/5
Summer Feeling: 3/5
General Enjoyability: 5/5

MAL Score 7.46

Ever wanted to be a game designer?! Work at the game company of your dreams to help bring the sequel to your childhood game to life?! Well, that is the premise of New Game! - you get a peek into the life of Suzukaze Aoba in her 18th year of life, as a character designer for her favorite Game company, "Eagle Jump". This slice-of-life show has hints of "Working!!" and "K-On!" everywhere. This is a sure-to-please show for those who like to make, play, and watch cute girls make games!!

Character Development: 3/5
Summer Feeling: 3/5
General Enjoyability: 5/5

5. Orange
MAL Score 8.05

Have you ever written a letter to your past self? How about a diary? If you have, I bet 80% of those who have wrote about their love life. But how would you react if the letter told you that you will fall in love and lose that love in 10 years time? That would be the conflicting situation that Naho is in.

This romance / drama / shoujo anime speaks to our nostalgia for high school romance and has hints of supernatural in the form of Naho's future diary entries. While each episode is well directed, the going can get pretty slow so the enjoyability factor is low. Otherwise, I highly recommend this for fans of the genre!

Character Development:5/5
Summer Feeling: 4/5
General Enjoyability: 3/5

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