We at Ani-TAY have watched the hundreds of anime 2015 had to offer and are now here to present what we think were the best. This has been an amazing year for the industry, making it hard to narrow it down, but after collaborating between 24 of our most dedicated authors we’ve made a list that represents us as a whole.
Every anime on this list was a TV series that aired and finished in 2015. They are listed in no particular order.
Why It’s Here: One Punch Man is an incredibly original superhero story that has broken the bounds that bind many anime. It was one of the most fantastic anime of this year as it not only grasped the attention of the Ani-TAY community, but also the entire world. It sat as the number one TV show on IMDb for countless weeks, memes of Saitama have spread across the internet, and people who would never think to watch anime have taken on this show. It’s popularity is astounding, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it will sit in a special place in many of our hearts.
Written by Stanlick
Why It’s Here: Your Lie in April is the story of Kousei, a young pianist whose previous tragic loss has left him unable to perform as he finds himself incapable of hearing his own music whenever he does. However, his world suddenly takes on color when the beautiful and energetic violinist Kaori enters his life. Your Lie in April managed to capture the hearts of many of us on Ani-TAY because of its emotionally captivating story and the passion and drive of its characters both in performance and with each other. The combination of the wonderful story with the vivid art and amazing soundtrack of both classical and original music made for what was easily one of the best anime of 2015.
Written by Protonstorm
Why It’s Here: Non Non Biyori Repeat is a charming and peaceful series that follows four girls trying to keep themselves entertained in their rural Japanese town. Don’t let it’s calm exterior fool you though, as the series features some genuinely emotional episodes that put your heartstrings in a vice grip, as well as plenty of hilarious laugh out loud moments. The real star of the show, though, has to be the youngest member of the cast; Renge Miyauchi. Her pure, innocent sense of childhood wonder steals every scene she is in.
Written by Koda
Why It’s Here: For all the excellent horror and suspense that Parasyte - the maxim - provides it is the relationship between the two leads, the high school student, Shinichi, and the parasite that has replaced his right arm, Migi, that makes it one of the best shows of the year. With other parasites and humans being a threat to their existence, the friendship that is born from necessity between Shinichi and Migi is both tense and surprisingly touching. Madhouse was on a roll in 2015.
Written by Kristof
Why It’s Here: Part II of Stardust Crusaders steamrolled all expectations and delivered us an experience like no other. With its unique visual style, dramatic posing, and hilarious voice acting, JoJo was a delight to watch each week. There’s never a dull moment, and by the very end, you’ll be glad you got so close each of the Crusaders and… to DIO!
Written by Unimplied
Why it’s here: Shirobako is a rare look at how anime is made. Though it probably does sugarcoat a few things, it still gives a much more in-depth look than we have possibly ever seen in the medium itself. Another thing in Shirobako’s favor is it has some of the best female characters in a long time. A rather large chunk of the cast are well developed hard working women, with almost no fanservice in sight...in the show itself at least. The show was also shockingly emotional, with some genuinely tear-inducing moments. To put it bluntly, it rekt us in an adult way.
Written by Koda
Why It’s Here: SNAFU 2 is a wonderful mix of comedy and seriousness, with outstanding character relations that fuel a compelling drama about finding genuine friendships and being comfortable in your own skin. SNAFU 2 takes everything that was great about the first season and builds upon it in new ways, deepening your understanding of each character and making you more invested in the show. With a new studio and more funding than the original season, this show goes above and beyond in terms of narrative and character development, all with a beautiful new coat of paint on top. Many of us followed this show and picked one of the best girls, but Proton picked the best.
Written by Mael
Why It’s Here: The supernatural-saturated world of Blood Blockade Battlefront’s Hellsalems Lot is one of the most insane, creative and exhilarating shows this season. Stunningly directed, and containing Studio BONES’ excellent fluid animation, this is a show which oozes style, bringing the chaos of the setting and laying it before you as a feast for the eyes. BBB also manages to fill its engrossing world with tons of interesting characters that you will grow to love, and whom will make you cheer, laugh, cry and punch the air out of sheer joy. So grab a hamburger, and enjoy one of the most unconventional shows of the year.
Written by Krakken
Why It’s Here: Thoughtful, suspenseful, heavy, dark and also hopeful, are only a few out of all the words that I could pick to describe Death Parade. Produced by Madhouse, it certainly comes with a high pedigree, and it lives up to that. Boasting great animation, an excellent soundtrack (who can forget that crazy OP?) and believable, realistic human characters. When is it right to judge someone? Why is this person more worthy than the other? Was the judgement correct? These questions all tie into the overarching plot, which plays out episodically, and the satisfying ending that ties them up neatly is just icing on the already delicious cake.
Written by Ascendant
Why It’s Here: There’s nothing better than a love story that matches the couple together within the first few episodes. It alleviates the pain that would stem from drama and gives more time to focus on the happy moments. For that reason, Ore Monogatari grabbed our hearts and took off running. The show emphasizes the positives found in relationships and the fact that everyone is capable of love.
Written by Stanlick
Why it almost made it: As an action fantasy show, with a mature theme, fantastic characters and some more than unexpected twist along the way. This show another hit for young studio MAPPA, with a daring visual style, and fantastic soundtrack. unfortunately being a niche title means its appeal is limited to fans of darker comedies, and action fantasy shows.
Written by Ryoma Nagare
Why it almost made it: Food Wars set the bar high with its stunning visuals and abstract take on a shounen adventure. Many of us resonated with the characters and their motives and were drawn in by its endless fun. The show almost made the top ten list, but the fact that it literally cut off in the middle of an arc made it lose some points. Luckily it will be getting a second season soon enough. Also, you might have to pick and choose the people you recommend it to.
Written by Stanlick
Why it almost made it: Combining the outside appearance of your standard moe high school anime and a genuinely good horror story School-Live! was one of the year’s most unique shows. Having a likeable group of characters dealing with the aftermath of a zombie outbreak in their town and containing one of the best first episode twists from an anime in recent memory, School-Live! was a highlight of the summer season and narrowly misses out on a spot due to the sheer volume of well regarded shows on Ani-TAY this year.
Written by Kinksy
Why it almost made it: Gatchaman Crowds Insight is a sci-fi superhero series that takes a serious look at the kind of interconnected societies like the one we live in nowadays. As a result it is one of the finest examples of social commentary in anime. However, the series also has a few quirks to it that simultaneously makes it stand out from the crowd, while also making it a show not for everyone. For starters, it has an art style not seen anywhere else in anime that people either love or hate. On top of that, the lead character, Hajime Ichinose, is someone who can be off-putting to many people. Lastly, the show spends roughly ninety percent of its time with characters talking, which will definitely push away those who prefer a little more action in their anime.
Written by Koda
Why it almost made it: Following from last years Noragami, this show delivered strongly, with 2 action packed arcs, full of deeply moving emotional moments. The amount of texture added to this show’s world, and the growth of every character, made it one of the most consistent shows this year. unfortunately being an adaptation, the end while good and satisfying leaves you yearning for more, which is hardy this show’s fault.
Written by Ryoma Nagare
You’re reading Ani-TAY, the anime-focused portion of Kotaku’s community-run blog, Talk Amongst Yourselves. Ani-TAY is a non-professional blog whose writers love everything anime related. Click here to check us out.
Thank you to everyone that helped out.
You can contact me (Stanlick) by emailing me at email@example.com.