With there being literally hundreds of anime series being pumped out each year now it is quite frankly just absolutely impossible to see every anime series made each year. There just isn’t enough hours in a day for it to be accomplished by humans, even those without jobs and other interests. As a result, dozens of shows slip through the cracks. Even on a service dedicated to anime such as Crunchyroll. You undoubtedly know of this year’s biggest hits even if you didn’t actually see them simply because so many other people saw them that it was difficult to avoid seeing them be discussed everywhere from Twitter to Anime News Network to Kotaku.

I’m referring to the ERASEDs and Konosubas, the Re:ZEROs and My Hero Academias, the Mob Psycho 100s and Kabaneri of the Iron Fortresses, and the Yuri!!! on ICEs and Keijo!!!!!!!!s of the year. The titles that drew in non-fans even, and subsequently the titles that absolutely dominated the nominations for Crunchyroll’s first ever Anime Awards. This, however, is not about them, but rather the shows that were overshadowed by them. Not all of the following shows are universally loved, but all were notable series in some form or another.


So, before we begin, an explanation of the rules. First up, it goes without saying, these shows had to both air at some point in 2016 and be streamed on Crunchyroll as of the creation of this article. Secondly, there’s sadly no way I can actually compile cold hard statistical facts regarding accurate viewer numbers, so these are basically based on the only metric I can find, the shows’ MyAnimeList viewer numbers(which, btw, are not the same as the total members number listed for each show, the viewer numbers I am working with are the total members number minus the amount of said members who are listed as “plan to watch”). Thirdly, eligibility was further limited to shows that had no more the 20% of the viewer numbers of the year’s most watched show. Which in this case was ERASED, meaning all of the following shows have 20% or less listed MAL viewers than ERASED did.

Hopefully that explained things well enough. Let’s get things started like always with the honorable mention.


How many watched it: Only 10% of ERASED’s viewership

Out of all the shows in this article, BBK/BRNK is most certainly the overall weakest in its execution. Even two cours wasn’t enough to contain the ambitions of this series, which absolutely needed at least one more cour just to help alleviate the pacing issues the show felt at times. There’s no real secret as to why so many people avoided this show either, as it was entirely done in 3D CGI animation, which is an automatic turnoff for most anime fans. Still, with more and more anime series being made completely or at least mostly in 3D CG, it is worth watching the shows that get the animation style the most “right”.


It still isn’t perfect, but Sanzigen, the studio behind BBK/BRNK and the also entirely made of 3D CG (and really freaking good (seriously it was my Anime of the Year for 2013)) Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova, is the king of the format. It also helps that the show features many gorgeously designed characters from the extremely talented artist Yusuke Kozaki, the artist who did the character designs for games like No More Heroes 1 and 2, and Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem: Fates.

Despite the many flaws BBK/BRNK had, I still thought it was an enjoyable watch, and if nothing else serves as the latest step in the evolution of an animation style.

#10 - Girlish Number

How many watched it: Only 7% of ERASED’s viewership

You would think the latest anime based on a light novel series from the author of the hit series My Teenage Romantic SNAFU would also be a hit. Apparently you would be wrong, as Girlish Number, the snarky, sarcasstic best friend to Shirobako, has flown extremely under the radar. The series follows a group of anime voice actors, many of whom are basically rookies, as they try to stay sane in the rather insane world of anime voice actors. The primary obstacle in their way being the show they are working on being just pure garbage, in no small part thanks to the lead producer of the anime.

The show often cuts deep with its commentary on the otaku media industry and the treatment of voice actors, but the real star of the show is just how real the characters are portrayed. Specifically their expressions and how they speak, especially how they spout off insults hidden under their breath. This is not a game changing series like the aforementioned Shirobako was, but it is still very entertaining, and there is just something frustratingly enjoyable about watching some of the jerks that make up the cast.

#9 - Anne-Happy

How many watched it: Only 7% of ERASED’s viewership

There was a bit of an explosion of cute girls doing cute things shows this year. Unfortunately, for every hit show like say New Game!, there were two or three shows that kind of landed with a thud when it came to finding an audience. The best of this bunch by far was Anne-Happy, which somehow managed to take a cast with very specific one-joke character traits, and turned it into one of the funniest comedies of the entire year. It would be easy to assume they would quickly run out of ways to implement these same singular jokes, but they never did. Add onto that some of the funniest uses of cutaway gags as scene transitions I’ve seen in recent years, and you have the recipe for a true comedic gem.

#8 - Magical Girl Raising Project

How many watched it: Only 10% of ERASED’s viewership

What on the surface seems to be just another wannabe Madoka Magica ended up being more like Battle Royale: Magical Girl Edition. Once the deaths start coming, they don’t stop for the rest of the series. There isn’t an episode that doesn’t go by without at least one death once the games begin, with some episodes even managing to have multi-kills(hint, there are 12 episodes total, of which only I think 9 feature the actual death game, and there are 16 total magical girls).


The fights could get downright brutal, with some real downer deaths thrown in. The major issue, though, is the way the show is structured to deliver character development to most of the girls are literal death flags, as many of the girls die the very episode they get their character development in, taking a good chunk of the tension with them. Surprisingly the show winds up being more of a commentary on the grimdark magical girl shows that have had a boom in popularity after Madoka Magica than just simply being yet another Madoka clone.

#7 - The Morose Mononokean

How many watched it: Only 10% of ERASED’s viewership

The Morose Mononokean was one of the most surprisingly heartfelt shows of the year. While mostly comedic, the show would constantly shank viewers between the ribs with a blade made of feels when they least expected it. Despite the episodic feel to the show, there is a loose continuity that pays off in the end. It is also a rather low key show, as there is never any kind of end of the world threat, with the biggest stakes possible only being on a personal level for the characters. All and all, it is just a rather chill show, so if you want a nice, warm, fuzzy way to pass some time, give this show a shot.

#6 - Amanchu!

How many watched it: Only 8% of ERASED’s viewership

Now if we want to talk about shows that you can just watch and relax, no show on this list is better at that than Amanchu!. In fact I’d say the only better relax watch of the year was Flying Witch, which funnily enough shared many of the same staff and the same studio with Amanchu!. This show is a rather slow burn, even for a one cour show, as the entire season slowly builds to the finale, and then successfully manages to pay off the build up with one of my favorite sequences from the entire year. Also, the “muppet forms” in this show are far and away my favorite chibi forms I have ever seen in anime.

#5 - Alderamin on the Sky

How many watched it: Only 19% of ERASED’s viewership

So, fun fact. This is the show with the highest viewership percentage on this list. In fact this wouldn’t have even been eligible had I just gone with my original lazy plan of comparing total MAL members, but it does qualify under the metric I decided to go with because a full 1/4 of the show’s MAL members have it set to “plan to watch”, and damn it, they need to get on with it and watch the damn show, because it is damn good!


It seems at first like a typical fantasy light novel adaptation, but there are some things that Alderamin does that help set it apart. For starters, the battle scenes actually use god damn tactics. Maybe not incredibly fresh made from scratch strategies, but the mere fact that the characters actually properly plan and use tactics is something that can’t be overlooked or underappreciated. Another interesting wrinkle is that, like many fantasy series, there is an evil empire and a scrappy resistance trying to fight back. However, the twist in Alderamin is that our heroes belong to said evil empire, giving us a nice inside look at the people who make up the rank and file of said empire’s military. Shockingly, they aren’t all total dicks.

In a year with some just flat out amazing fantasy series, it is understandable how Alderamin got overlooked, but it is still disappointing, as this is one of the smarter series of the entire year.

#4 - Poco’s Udon World

How many watched it: Only 6% of ERASED’s viewership

Interestingly, we follow up the show with the highest percentage on the list with the show with the lowest percentage. Unlike Alderamin, though, there’s really no excuse why Poco’s Udon World is such a low flying series. We weren’t exactly overflowing with shows about a grown man taking care of/befriending a small child, and all the other major examples of its genre like Barakamon, sweetness & lightning, and Usagi Drop are rather popular shows, at least popular for somewhat niche genre.


Poco’s Udon World is just straight up one of the best shows of the year, too, which makes its lack of popularity even sadder. It is a show that shows us just how much we change over time and how our values change. This is most evident in the main character, Souta, who just couldn’t wait to leave his quiet hometown for Tokyo as a teen, only as an adult to be extremely nostalgic for his old stomping grounds and finally recognizes the beauty of it. Poco’s Udon World is absolutely a show that young adults should be watching.

#3 - Mr. Osomatsu

How many watched it: Only 13% of ERASED’s viewership

So, this is just a prime example of how Japan and the West have different tastes when it comes to anime. Mr. Osomatsu exploded in Japan, becoming one of the biggest hits of the year, and quite possibly the biggest non-idol(male or female) anime property since freaking Attack on Titan in 2013. Across the pond, though, not even 50,000 MAL users have said they’ve seen it. Which is a damn shame, because this was the funniest comedy of the year. There were several episodes where I had to pause for several minutes just to stop laughing and finally catch my breath, only to repeat the cycle again a few minutes later. Mr. Osomatsu is a prime example of how you do a proper franchise revival, more companies, both in Japan and in other countries, need to take notes.

#2 - Flip Flappers

How many watched it: Only 8% of ERASED’s viewership

Ok, so, there’s still one episode left of this show as of the date this was written, so there is absolutely a chance things can still go tits up, but barring one of the most legendary final episode cockups in the history of anime, it is rather safe to say Flip Flappers is one of the best shows of the year. The show exploded out of the gates with a stunning display of colors and sakuga that only Mob Psycho 100 has topped this year. The, sadly few, fans of the show were enthralled with the show’s masterful use of show don’t tell storytelling and character development, letting the show’s visuals do the talking, as well as the sheer variety of episodes the show has put out, including one of the best pieces of anime horror yet.


What this has resulted in is a magical girl show that for many is their favorite one since Madoka. Now some people want to knock the show for being a magical girl rip off of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and while I can see some of the things they are coming from, at the end of the day, if you are going to rip off any show, intentionally or not, you could do far, far, far worse than EVA. Hell, EVA is probably one of the better ones you want to rip off, if I’m being honest. Either way, what Flip Flappers has been to me is a positive sign that not all magical girl shows these days need blood and dismemberment to be good. Even if the show’s once gorgeous animation has suffered greatly the last few weeks, the show’s writing still makes this an absolute must watch experience.

#1 - Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju

How many watched it: Only 13% of ERASED’s viewership

So, Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju is good, really, really god damn good. Nearly everyone who has seen it knows it is great. Hell, it is the only show on this list to have multiple nominations on Crunchyroll’s The Anime Awards, which considering how overwhelmingly brimming with popular shows that is, that says a lot about Rakugo’s quality that it has managed to overcome the vast popularity gap. Now, let’s be real, Rakugo’s going to unfortunately be murdered when The Anime Awards open their voting in January, because it basically is a popularity contest, and as you can see, Rakugo is not really that popular.


Sadly I think Rakugo is going to end up as one of the shows in the Mushi-Shi situation, a show that is really damn good that all (or at least most) of the anime critics and anime fans who think of themselves as “cultured” love. A show that people know is good, but still just haven’t seen, because...reasons. Perhaps it is fate that a show that devotes itself to showing both a time period and performance art almost never covered in anime has ended up being the biggest hidden gem of the entire year. Nevertheless, no other show this year was more deserving of being a hit, yet failed to attract an audience.

There you have it guys. My picks for the 10 best shows of the year on Crunchyroll that basically no one saw. So what about you guys? What are your favorite shows from the year that you are saddened by the lack of loving you think they deserve?