As I try to (belatedly) finish this look back to 2016 as it relates to anime, there was one area that saw a considerable increase of renewed interest on my part and I can’t rightly finish without mentioning it – even though there isn’t a single “moment” I can point to.
In one of those funny timing things that happens every so often, I began rewatching Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou) this year. As I was nearing the end and wishing the end wasn’t so soon – one of 2016’s biggest pleasant surprises occurred – a fifth season of Natsume was announced for the Fall 2016 season.
I was elated. I was ecstatic.
I was worried.
Only a day or two-ish late 🙂 .
One of my favorite shows of 2016 was Re:Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:ZERO -Starting Life in Another World-) and it was good enough that I don’t mind writing out it’s full absurdly long title this one time. It was the closest thing to successfully replicate the tone and scope of Steins;Gate since Steins;Gate. And it rode that success all the way to being the second most finished anime series of 2016, according to MAL. So, there’s a good chance many reading this already know which scene I’m going to talk about before I continue. (I could choose something unexpected, so it might be best to continue reading, just in case.)
Even with my opinion of Bones thawing into something resembling positivity, I almost passed up My Hero Academia aka Boku no Hero Academia because it reminded me too much of Heroman. (I’m sorry if that name just made your gorge rise and doubly sorry if you had just been eating as you read that name.)
I don’t remember when I consciously decided to give My Hero Academia a chance; though, I have a feeling seeing the character designs mightily helped it’s cause.
At one point, if asked, I would have said that I wasn’t much of a shounen fan (the action series type that tend to get long anime adaptations).
I didn’t get into anime until I was well past the targeted age group, and, of the major long-running shounen anime series the only one I liked was Bleach and only until I realized the author had no clue how to tell a good story. Obviously, there were shounen series I liked but I figured they were the aberrations. Then Hunter x Hunter came along and provided a most compelling argument as to why I was wrong about shounen series (as well as the perceived weakness of longer series).
Though my feelings towards shounen series thawed, Hunter x Hunter provided an unreachable mark that no shounen series could approach, much less, equal or best. Actually, I’m not sure if I’ll ever see another anime, of any genre or demographic, that will raise the bar any higher than Hunter x Hunter, but, 2016 finally saw the conclusion of a shounen series that is a true worthy shounen follow-up to Hunter x Hunter. That show is Ushio and Tora.
It feels like an age has passed since I’ve last written something here to justify the “and anime with a little written SF thrown in blogger” part of the mental description I have for myself. Actually, it has been an Age since I last wrote here – meaning – just a few months ago, in September, was a time when Hillary was going to be the next President and now we’re living in a decidedly different future age. And just think, 2017 could turn out to be even more absurd than 2016. Thank goodness there will be Natsume Yuujinchou season 6 to turn to when 2017 gets too crazy.