Sitting in front of the TV, just me & Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika. Just Monika.
Favourites of 2017
The Moment You Fall in Love
> A rather standard teenage romantic drama that none the less manages to tell a more complete love story in 60 minutes than many anime manage in four hours. Kemono Friends
> Two strangers find friendship & seek purpose in a setting that's somewhere between The Island of Dr Moreau, The Prisoner & Westworld.
The Laughing Salesman New
> Darkly ironic humour as a shadowy businessman gives seemingly deserving people an offer they can't refuse. Blame!
> Arguably Polygon's best Netflix Original yet as a village on the brink of collapse receives unexpected help from a man of few words. The Royal Tutor
> The good kind of bishoenen comedy where the protagonist is the main character & not merely a vessel through which the audience interact with the others. Tsugumomo
> A throwback slapstick sex comedy where a boy finds himself fighting evil manifestations with the help of a feisty loli spirit.
Netsuzou TRap -NTR-
> Heightened, lesbian melodrama that is faintly reminiscent of Manji (Masumura,1964); two girls struggle to come to terms with their feelings in a genre where love between girls is just practice. Pikotarou's Lullaby La La By
> Bedtime stories for a middle aged man. Uh! Internet meme.
Favourites of 2016:
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
> Perhaps best surmised as a combination of Floating Weeds (Ozu, 1959) & Blue (Ando, 2001), an accusation of murder leads to a story of the struggles of two Rakugo actors in post war Tokyo. Oshiete! Galko-chan
> Appearances deceive as the main character's bodily proportions soon reveal a show more concerned with the thoughts of teenage girls than the views of adult men. Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu.
> Soubi Yamamoto returns with another boys love story that's got a lot of heart & none of the sexual aggression that too often characterizes yaoi relationships. Pandora in the Crimson Shell
> Two lesbian androids on an island that looks like a pierced labia fight robots & fall in love. Momokuri
> A rom com so sweet you'll develop tooth decay while its main character learns that you can't have a real relationship if you refuse to take your partner off the pedestal you built for them.
Space Patrol Luluco
> An almost perfectly realised first love story takes on intergalactic proportions as Hiroyuki Imaisihi homages almost everything he's worked on since his Gainax days. ]Tonkatsu DJ Agetarou
> Though it perhaps lacks the ambition, it's probably closest anime has come to realising the teenage rockstar (or DJ in this case) fantasy since Beck (2004).
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE! LOVE!
> Second verse more or less the same as the first, but with enough variation to keep things as entertaining as the first season. Mob Psycho 100
> Instead of the usual special snowflake who wants to be normal until the first damsel needs saving, Mob seeks self-improvement while being confronted by those who can't see past the one thing they think makes them special. First Love Monster
> A rough first couple of episode ends up being a surprisingly entertaining comedy about adults acting like children to play children that look like adults. Takes a turn for the worse whenever it takes itself seriously, though. Ange Vierge
> A straightforward battle babe anime that somehow manages to stand out by virtue of how competently it executes the genre formula - something fewer anime seem able to.
Yuri on Ice
> An ambitious tale of love on & off the ice that is arguably guilty of trying to be too much in too short a space of time. Drifters
> Historical figures clash with fantasy creatures in an entertainingly violent action series hamstrung by a tiresomely puerile sense of humour. Chi's Sweet Adventure
> A cute cat does cute things cutely. Dream Festival!
> In a sea of forgettable idol shows, Dream Festival manages to stand out with its amusingly silly stage performances & engaging characters. Sengoku Choujuu Giga
> Historically themed improv comedy combines with side scrolling animation to produce one of the more original anime comedies in years. To Be Hero
> A triumphant return to TV anime for Shinichi Watanabe as a playboy toilet seat designer is sucked into the sewer & begins a vulgarity laden allegory for a mid-life crises as he struggles to confront his failings & reconnect with his teenage daughter before it's too late.
Favourites of 2015
Cute High Earth Defense Club LOVE!
> Beautiful boys bathe & battle bad guys, all the while questioning why they have to dress up as magical girls to do so. DRRR!! x2
> A flawed & at times quite ugly conclusion to DRRR!!, but at least they made the effort when few other franchises bother. JJBA: Stardust Crusaders - Egypt Arc
> JoJo at its simplest &, I'd argue, its best as the best ensemble of the series so far travel the world to finally bring an end to the conflict between the Joester's & Dio. Maria the Virgin Witch
> A bawdy comedy that manages to have more to say about war, religion & the role of women than many more serious series. Samurai Warriors
> Manly men being manly during a period of history that writes itself. Yuri Kuma Arashi
> A somewhat obtuse take on Frank Wedekind's Mine-HaHa (1903), Kunihiko Ikuhara's third original series offers social critique & lesbian bears.
> Arguably outstays its welcome, but few series can claim to be as gratuitously gross & yet as entertaining. Wakako-zake
> A woman drinking beer for three minutes shouldn't be this engaging.
> Cute dog does cute things, cutely. Lupin III (2015)
> A fine return to TV for one of the great anime franchises that will appeal to old fans while being as good a start point as any for newcomers. Miss Monochrome: The Animation 3
> The little idol series that could. Owarimonogatari
> Accepting at this point that the Monogatari series is just an assortment of short stories, these more mystery based ones are a welcome addition to a series. Peeping Life TV: Season 1??
> Peeping Life turns its improv comedy onto classic characters from Tezuka & Tatsunoko productions. Monster Strike
> Takes a while to settle into a groove, but once it does it's pretty fun.