Shadow’s Six – The Best Anime of Spring and Winter 2016

I know, I know… it’s September, we shouldn’t be talking about Spring anymore… but here we are. I’ve finally finished the last of my Spring and Winter anime reviews, so it’s time for us to do our semi-annual anime wrap-up!

Winter and Spring gave us a plethora of unremarkable anime, which has made it easy – for the most part – to recognize the gems among them. It’s easy to tell an amazing show when all you see is mediocrity, afterall. So what we have here are those standout shows. The ones that rose above the rest, cast off the cloak of mediocrity, and did something special.

Erased-Tree

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Anne-Happy – Happy Accident!

Tennomifune Academy, an elite and exclusive school that (mostly) only accepts the best athletes and the most adept academics. Our cast are characters who are not particularly exceptional at either, so they’re all a little surprised to be accepted into its esteemed ranks. Upon arriving at school, they’re placed in class 7 and advised that classes 1-3 will focus on scholastics, while 4-6 focus predominately on athletic accomplishment.

So what does class 7 focus on? Happiness.

AnneHappy-Cast1

You see, all of the members of class 7 have some form of notable misfortune, and Tennomifune Academy’s class 7 focuses on helping them overcome that so they can attain happiness. Anne-Happy follows 5 characters in Tennomifune’s ‘Happiness Class’ as they seek to come to terms with their misfortune.

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Kiznaiver – The Ties That Bind

Kiznaiver is the result of a pairing between Crunchyroll and Trigger. If you don’t recall who Trigger are, they’re the deranged minds that brought to us the glories of Kill la Kill. And they even brought the creepy twin-tailed girl back, but made her less evil… well, maybe. Given that, there are two things we can be sure of: Kiznaiver will be crazy, and its art style will be very unique.

"To think that someone would still call me eccentric!"

“To think that someone would still call me eccentric!”

Kiznaiver is about a group of High School students who are – against their will – bound together and forced to endure each other’s pain, among other strong sensations.  They find out that this has, apparently, been orchestrated by one of their classmates, Sonozaki Noriko. Noriko claims that the bond that has been forced upon them is an experiment to help bring about world peace by fostering connections through shared pain and suffering. A lofty goal, a strange method, and a weird premise: how much of any of these can we trust?

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Konosuba – Goddess Blessing on this Wacky Show

Kazuma Sato, a teenage boy who has been a shut-in for years, makes the decision to leave home to go buy something. Things immediately go horribly wrong for him, as he sees what he believes to be a girl about to be hit by a truck and tries to save her. After pushing her out of the way, he goes into shock thinking he’s going to be hit himself and dies.

When he wakes up, he is in a magical-looking place. He is sitting on a chair with a pretty girl in elaborate garb in front of him who claims to be a Goddess named Aqua. She tells him he’s died, and mocks him for how stupid the way he died was, and then offers him the chance to go to an RPG-esque fantasy world and slay the oppressive Devil King, and he can take one thing with him – a magical artifact, a useful skill, anything. After being goaded and insulted some more, he decides to take Aqua herself with him, much to her chagrin.

When they arrive, their absurd and crazy adventure begins…

Cast

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Actually, I Am… Still A Better Love Story Than Twilight

Actually, I Am… is a romantic comedy about Kuromine Asahi, a high school student whose defining characteristic is his pathetically inability to keep a secret. He’s referred to as ‘Open Book’, ‘Leaky Basket’, and other such terms… and is occasionally used by those who know him as a way of getting a real opinion on matters others might defer or refuse to comment on.

Which makes him the perfect protagonist to fall in love with a half-vampire who is permitted to attend school on the condition that nobody discover her secret…

Cover
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