Animé Top Tens – Spring Season 2015

With the Spring season of anime now drawn to a close and the new releases of the Summer collection being just around the corner, I thought I’d take some time to write about my favourites from this year’s fantastic 2015 Spring anime collection. Anyway, without further ado…Top Ten Time!



“Your own feelings are the most important, when it comes to enjoying the interesting things in life. If you just follow what someone else says to do, or just do what you’re told, you won’t even be able to enjoy the things you like.”

Junichirou Kagami, Ultimate Otaku Teacher

10. Mikagura School Suite (Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku)

Mikagura School Suite

Based on a series of Vocaloid songs from the two-person unit “Last Note.”, Mikagura School Suite follows the adventures of Eruna Ichinomiya, a kind-hearted but often air-headed girl who spends her time playing Dating Sims and daydreaming about various relationships with girls she meets. After seeing the picture of a beautiful girl in a Mikagura School pamphlet, Eruna enrolls in the school in order to meet girl, believing their relationship to be fated. What she discovers is that everyone in the school belongs to a cultural club and fights in exciting battles using strange and vibrant powers.

As main characters go, Eruna Ichinomiya is one of the most interesting and probably the most eccentric on this entire list, not only does she live in a world that’s completely her own but she also manages to succeed in most of her endeavours despite her constant misunderstandings (and even when she doesn’t succeed, she brushes it off like nobody’s business). Without delving too far into the politics of anime, it’s also nice to see such a singular, powerful female main character without being a sidekick to a generic, overpowered guy.

9. Ninja Slayer From Animation

Ninja Slayer From Animation

This ONA (Original Net Animation) from the wondrous Studio Trigger sees an everyday salaryman named Kenji Fujikido possessed by a vengeful ninja spirit after his wife and child are killed in a war between two ninja factions. With the spirit Naraku Ninja now sharing his body, the two make their way around Neo Saitama eliminating any ninja associated with those who killed his family. If Kenji goes to far into his desire for blood, the ninja spirit inside him takes over, with devastating results.

At face value, the plot of this series doesn’t sound funny in the slightest but the story has plenty of humour, the fighting/death screams are pretty funny and the animation is hilariously strange. Each episode is only 13 minutes long so you can catch up pretty easily but the series itself will have a total of 26 episodes, so won’t end until Autumn 2015. While it’s undeniably not Trigger’s best work, it is a great little series and perfect when you fancy watching a bit of light, insane comedy.

8. Comical Psychosomatic Medicine (Anime de Wakaru Shinryounaika)

Comical Psychosomatic Medicine

Panic Attacks, Depression, Peeping Toms, Seasonal Affective Disorder and more; Comical Psychosomatic Medicine is a humorous series which looks at, explains and showcases various physical and psychological problems that people face in everyday life. With the help of Dr Ryou, Nurse Asuna and a small roster of other interesting and unique characters, we learn the ins and outs of psychosomatic medicine through the eyes of some not so professionals.

Now, the series description is a slightly off because even though the idea of the show is to provide information and instruction on whatever ails you, more often than not the episodes runs off on insane tangents, but that’s not to say the tangents aren’t hilariously interesting in their own right. Each episode runs at only 5 minutes long which means that even though the series is currently on 19 episodes (as of 21st Jun 2015), you can finish them all of in just under an hour and a half excluding the opening/ending sequences.

7. Ultimate Otaku Teacher (Denpa Kyoushi)

Ultimate Otaku Teacher

Have you ever heard of YD? Neither have I, but super-genius shut-in Junichirou Kagami is self-diagnosed with the affliction, claiming that he can only do what he Yearns to Do. Despite only wanting to collect figures and work on his anime blog, Kagami is forced, by his well-meaning but overly aggressive bat-wielding sister, into becoming a teacher for a local high school. He finds that he actually enjoys teaching, when it suits him, but after receiving a job offer from a mysterious white-haired girl, his life takes an even more challenging turn.

When I first starting this series, I was hesitant to watch past episode 1 because I thought the art/animation used in the series was pretty weak compared to quite a few other Spring anime series, but after sticking with it, the story won out and I’ve enjoyed every episode since. The plot is very character driven and each episode takes a “challenge to overcome of the week” approach but all in all this is a solid series with plenty of light humour and a nice slice-of-life feel.

6. Seraph of the End: Vampire Reign (Owari no Seraph)

Seraph of the End

A supernatural drama set in a world where everyone over the age of 13 is killed by an unknown virus; a horrific event which coincides with the sudden appearance of Vampires who swiftly dominate what is left of the dwindling human race, claiming them to be nothing more than livestock. After escaping the clutches of his supernatural captors, Yuuichirou “Yuu” Hyakuya is immediately confronted by the Vampire Extermination Squad lead by Guren Ichinose, who offers protection, a safe place to live and the chance to aid in the complete extermination of the Vampire race.

Vampires are old news when it comes to pop-culture and anime/manga, but Seraph of the End does a great job of introducing a cool, cruel and brutally elegant race of Vampires which I think has been lacking over the recent years. The story is well written and, at parts, actually leaves you guessing who are the real bad guys between the Humans and the Vampires but either way, Seraph of the End is a fantastic series with good voice acting and some lovely animation.

5. Plastic Memories

Plastic Memories

Our story begins in the near future, where robotics technology has advanced to the point where androids known as “Giftia” now have the ability to perfectly express human emotion. Giftia have the same capacity for memory and emotion as any normal human being, but have a lifespan of only 81,920 hours (which equates to about nine years and four months) and when the Giftia’s time is up, it is the job of the “Terminal Service” to go and retrieve it before their emotions and memories start to break down, leaving something far less human in its wake.

Plastic Memories is a series full of humour and also full of drama, making for an emotional rollercoaster of happy and sad between episodes. Part of the reason as to why the series has such a profound effect is because, while half of the main characters are androids, the emotions expressed by the characters/voice actors are entirely believable and the stunning animation only make it better. This series is very high-up on my must-watch list.

4. Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches (Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo)

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches

Ryuu Yamada is an average school misfit, avoided by most because of his aggressive looking demeanour, but when he trips and falls down a flight of stairs with Urara Shiraishi, a beautiful and intelligent classmate of his, the two end up switching bodies and dive headfirst into a secret hidden by the school about 7 extraordinary witches. After joining the Supernatural Studies Club in order to find out more about their situation, Yamada and Shiraishi start their search whilst making friends, getting into complicated situations, and learning more about each other in a very supernatural way.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches very nearly made it into the top 3 because it has a very nice balance of drama, humour and slice-of-life action to it but I feel like the story has been a little slow in parts so couldn’t justify putting it any higher on the list. One thing I will say which speaks to this series credit is that the animation studio Liden Films has only done 3 series before this (one of which was a series named Terraformars which was awful), so to make something as beautiful-looking and well scripted as this is one hell of an achievement on their part.

3. Punch Line

Punch Line

After thwarting a bus hijacking and saving the life of those on board, Yuuta Iridatsu’s soul is ejected out of his body and left to wander while someone else pilots his physical form. He is greeted by another spirit in the form of a white cat and told that a mysterious terrorist organisation is working to destroy the world! Iridatsu must find a way to help but he can only interact with objects and use his spirit-powers when around cinnamon. Another downside to his new intangible form is that if he sees panties twice in a row, he overloads with power and a meteor ends up destroying the world!

The description above sounds pretty crazy, and craziness is exactly what you’ll experience if you watch Punch Line. As a somewhat obvious warning, if you have a problem with ecchi-style anime/panties showing etc. then this will be a series to skip (and it’s definitely not for kids!). Behind the panties, cinnamon spirits and Earth destroying meteors, Punch Line actually has quite a smartly written story with twists and turns that rival some of the more serious anime, match that up with some kick-ass fight scenes complete with vivid and colourful animation and you’ve got all of the ingredients for an awesome, hilarious series.

2. Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? (Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka?)

DanMachi

In the fictitious world of Orario, people named Adventurers must traverse giant dungeons in order to fight trolls, magic wolves and titan-like minotaurs for the wealth and fame that comes with it all. To earn the title of Adventurer, you must join a Familia, a guild-like family run by a God or Goddess who bestows power to humans, allowing them to level up, increase their physical attributes and even gain the use of magic. The story follows Bell Cranel, the single human in the Hestia Familia who finds himself in way over his head when he is ambushed by a minotaur from the higher levels, only to be saved by a beautiful girl known as the Sword Princess.

One of the best things about this series is watching Bell grow; most shounen-style main characters fit into the “I WILL YELL TO GET STRONGER!” stereotype and Bell’s growth is similar but reflected in a much more careful way, explaining his increase in power stage by stage as opposed to just passing it off as main character syndrome. While the title may suggest him to be a bit of a ladies man, the reality is anything but; we follow the adventures of Bell as he finds his way through a dangerous world filled with magic and Gods, and yet despite all of the apparent danger, Bell seems to be most afraid when confronted with anyone of the opposite gender. Filled with smartly played characters with amazing voice actors, a fast-paced plot and some incredible powers, this series is a must watch for all who like action, adventure or magic.

1. Blood Blockade Battlefront (Kekkai Sensen)

Blood Blockade Battlefront

Some time ago, the city of New York started to collapse inwards as if falling into a giant hole, and from the abyss rose large, devilish creatures. A group of powerful Mages grouped together to seal the Great Collapse, but the damage was too vast to heal and the city became enveloped in a supernatural fog. Years later and hundreds of otherworldly species now live in the city (now called Hellsalem’s Lot), coinciding with humans in a place where anything and everything strange can, and probably will, happen. Our story follows Leonardo Watch, a photographer with the “All Seeing Eyes of God” who works for a secretive organisation known as Libra.

And at the end of it all we finally reach number 1! Blood Blockade Battlefront is, in my opinion, by far one of the best series to have popped up in recent years; the characters are hilarious, the plot is outlandish and best of all, the music is fantastic. Not only are the opening and endings songs great to listen to, but each one of the songs within the episodes sound cool and adds to the overall feel of the series. I’ve watched well over 250 anime series by this point but there are only 6 that I actually own on DVD. This series will definitely be added to my collection.

The anime is currently set to end on 12 episodes but the manga is on volume 10 and still ongoing which means there’s plenty of scope for a second series. Animated by the incredible Studio Bones (Soul Eater, Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Ouran High School Host Club), this series had me either laughing, crying or craving more at the end of every episode. Amazing characters, amazing animation, amazing soundtrack, amazing series all round.

The only downside that I can mention really for this series is that the 12th and final episode didn’t air on June 27th as planned, but has actually been delayed until October 3rd due to its runtime being over 30mins. UNACCEPTABLE!!!

So what do you think? We’d love to know your thoughts/Top Tens so have a think and let us know in the comments section below.


– Isaac

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