Last year I posted my first #AniMay post talking about the last 11 anime I watched. Since I enjoyed a break from writing about gaming, I thought I’d revisit the topic again this year. I haven’t watched as much anime over the past 12 months as I did the year before, and I’ve actually only just seen enough to feature in this post – but unfortunately, I don’t feel like this list is as strong as last year’s. This is mainly due to the fact that me and my boyfriend have had a preference to watch films instead, therefore limiting our anime time.
11. Asobi Asobase
I’d seen various short clips of Asobi Asobase online which led to an interest in the series. Although it was crazy, fun and pretty ridiculous, each episode was basically a compilation of short clips about three girls becoming friends over the misunderstanding of Olivia being able to speak English. I don’t feel like I’ve come away with anything memorable about this series other than this is probably the only series that features its own post-credit hand-puppet show…
10. Say “I Love You”!
I watched Say “I Love You”! after reading the manga. The plot revolves around Mei (a loner who keeps to herself) and Yamato (the most popular boy in school) as he pursues her, trying to encourage her to open up to people and make friends as their relationship blossoms. Although I enjoyed the majority of the manga, the anime didn’t really hold up to my expectations. Firstly, the anime doesn’t cover the entire series of the manga which leaves it hanging a little as well as some events being left out that would’ve been good to include. I also feel like a lot of the emotion was left out or meddled with right from the get go with a lot of details being changed. If you’re familiar with both versions then you’ll see what I mean, but even so, I can’t recommend this anime whether you’re a fan of the series or not.
9. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU
I hate to say it, but I honestly can’t remember much about My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. Hachiman Hikigaya is determined to live out his high school days in solitude which ultimately changes when he is forced to join the Services Club, a club that helps resolve other students’ problems. Although I remember liking the anime at the time, there’s nothing especially memorable going on. I can certainly relate to Hachiman as a character, (he reminded me much of Oreki from Hyouka) however, the other two main characters played off of the generic rom-com tropes and weren’t all that interesting. I’ve heard series 2 is better than the first, but I’m in no huge rush to see it just yet.
After hearing a few recommendations for Another, I decided to watch it over the Hallowe’en period. Despite hearing good things, I didn’t think there was anything particularly special about it. Kouichi Sakakibara transfers to Yomiyama’s class 3-3 but notices something strange about the students as well as seeming to be the only one capable of seeing a mysterious girl. For the majority of the series, very little was going on and although the atmosphere building deserves some credit, it wasn’t enough to solely carry the mystery. It relied quite heavily on very generic horror tropes (hospitals, creepy dolls, etc.) and felt a little silly in places. At least now I know where the umbrella meme comes from.
7. Ouran Highschool Host Club
“Kiss, Kiss, Fall in Love!” Ouran High School Host Club came to me at a time when I really needed it. Follow Haruhi, a scholarship student studying at a wealthy high school. After accidentally breaking a high value antique, Haruhi works as the Host Club’s (6 male students hosting tea parties for female students) errand boy – only to reveal she’s actually female and is great at interacting with the female clients. Its light-hearted, fluffy comedic approach can’t help but brighten your mood, but looking back on the series with a critical eye; it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be given the amount of praise I’ve heard, especially for a 26 episode series.
6. Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai
This was on my watchlist for quite some time. I didn’t really know what to expect at first, but Rascal Does Not Dream of Bunny Girl Senpai turned out to be a bit of a mystery evolving around “Adolescence Syndrome” with an emotional twist that you don’t see coming. Although it was a decent slice of life anime with supernatural elements, it’s not the best I’ve seen as the whole synopsis was wrapped up within the first few episodes, leading the plot to stray. The animation was pretty and the mix of characters included worked well together, definitely getting better towards the end.
5. Is The Order A Rabbit?
Is The Order A Rabbit? is a cute, fun and simple anime that follows Cocoa as she starts life in a new town while studying, taking up residency at the Rabbit House café. Here, she befriends the owner’s granddaughter and begins to settle in, making new friends and learning how to work in the café. The art style was cute with some very scenic locations set within a quaint European town. While this anime doesn’t offer much in the way of a plot, it’s strong themes of friendship and sisterhood create a wholesome experience full of laughs, coffee and rabbits.
4. Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth
Placing Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth at number 4 surely shows the lack of good anime I’ve seen this year. Having recently played the Code: Realize visual novels, I decided to watch the anime for a comparison (as I always do whenever the option is available). The story follows Cardia (a girl with a poisonous body) as she is kidnapped by the British army and ‘stolen’ by Gentleman Thief, Arsene Lupin, who believes she can help with his mission. I was actually quite impressed with how all 4 additional story routes were condensed into Lupin’s main route during the earlier chapters, but I did feel a little saddened to see some events towards the end being toned down or changed altogether. For some reason, the animation was especially poor at the beginning, but did strangely seem to improve as the series progressed. Having the original voice cast was a huge positive, and due to my love of the cast and a progressive story – filled with both mysteries and action – I can’t help but give it a slightly biased rating. Saying that, I’d highly recommend the Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth visual novel over the anime if you’re interested.
3. Hakuoki: Dawn of the Shinsengumi
Here we are again with another Hakuoki entry. My previous AniMay post saw the rating of the 2 seasons following the Hakuoki visual novels, “Kyoto Winds” and “Edo Blossoms“. This series was a little different as it is set before the events of the visual novels and previous series, telling the story of Ibuki as he is ‘saved’ by the Roshigumi’s leader, Serizawa and brought back to the (future) Shinsengumi compound. This series tells the story of the formation of the Shinsengumi, sees the introduction to ‘The Water of Life’ and touches on some of the characters backstories which is only briefly mentioned within the visual novels. As a huge Hakuoki fan, I felt like this series filled in a few slight gaps in the story and it was good to know more about Serizawa’s impact on rise of the Shinsengumi.
2. My Love Story!!
As far as slice of life, romantic comedies go, My Love Story!! will take some beating – I didn’t want it to end. Takeo saves Yamato from a groper on the train and instantly falls in love, but due to his tall, muscular appearance, which often comes across as scary, he believes she has fallen for his best friend, Suna (the most popular guy amongst girls) instead. I saw a few similarities to Say “I Love You”! in this anime, but this was far superior with a much more likeable cast and stronger plot. I loved the friendship between Takeo and Suna, especially when Suna opens up as the anime progresses and the way he accepts Yamato into their friendship is endearing. I wish I had a friend like Suna.
I’ve been wanting to watch K-On! for ages but been unable to find a place to stream it. I ended up buying the series on DVD instead and I’m so glad I did! The story begins with Yui trying to find a club to join as she starts high school. She stumbles upon the Light Music Club and takes a passing interest, only to find out that it requires being able to play an instrument. The club needs a fourth member in order to keep running, and after persuading Yui to join despite her being unable to play, she decides to stay and learn the guitar. As someone who works with guitars and used to be in a band in my teens, I found this very relatable in so many ways. Generally, I find plots involving music to carry a lot of false information, but this was very well written – I especially liked the part when Azusa pointed out that Yui’s guitar had a thick neck and was way too heavy for her (not many people would consider this when buying their first guitar, like Yui who chose it – a Gibson Les Paul – because she thought it was cute). The songs were catchy, the character design was great and the story was really strong considering it revolves around a school club. I’m looking forward to watching series 2!
Let me know your thoughts if you’ve seen any of these anime!
Thanks for reading.