I took in a lot of media in 2016. However, I don’t feel I did enough in terms of good content to justify separate lists for everything, I certainly didn’t play enough new video games in 2016 to put a Top 10 list together, that’s for sure. So I figured instead of forcing a list to appear, I’d mix everything together into one big “my favourite things from 2016” kind of list. So this includes, movies, anime, games and music. The only thing that isn’t on this list is television series, because I literally didn’t watch anything. I just don’t have the time to sit down and watch a Westworld or a Jessica Jones, I either watch anime every season, or I watch those shows. And I chose anime.
Anyways, let’s get to the list, shall we?
At best, the first two films in the revitalized Star Trek series were good, but neither of them had really resonated with me and didn’t have me fully enjoying the film. The third entry into the series, Star Trek Beyond however was so good, it far and well…beyond surpassed my expectations when I went in and saw the movie. The film didn’t feel like it was trying to capitalize on nostalgia with Star Trek fans, which I’m actually not really a part of. What this movie did, was just have a brand new story that sought out to find its own personality, rather than be like what you’d normally expect from a Star Trek film. And the movie also introduced me to Jaylah (pictured above), who I absolutely fell in love with during the film. She’s awesome…and has a great taste in music.
If you watched my extremely angry rant after just finishing the story, you’re probably a little surprised that this game has made the list. And yes, the story of the game really pissed me off and it’s baffling me every single day when I see that more people have finished it and absolutely loved it. But what I will always admit is that outside of the story, the game is an extremely memorable and enjoyable open world game that did almost everything right in that aspect. The game felt casual, light-hearted, full of life and laughter and the open world was so breathtaking, there was so much to do. I’ll say it again and again, away from the main story, especially towards the end, the game is absolutely fantastic and I enjoyed it every second of the way. Just don’t make me get on the boat to Altissia.
Now I know the beta was in 2015, but the official release of Overwatch came in 2016. Also, I didn’t start playing the full release either until late November. It took a while for me to finally start playing Overwatch, Destiny and Final Fantasy XV the main culprits for why, but once I started, holy hell have I been enjoying myself playing this game! No matter how many times it kicks my ass (granted there are times where I put the game down because of so many straight losses), I keep coming back for more. The characters are so unique and quirky, the gameplay is so smooth, there’s so much to love here and it’s not surprising to me that so many people are hooked on this game.
…Not to mention drawing and animating so much porn of it too…
I was worried about this film, not because I thought it would be bad, but because I wasn’t sure how I’d take the subject matter, as well as the approach taken with the film. I was afraid it might get a little too complex, a little too overbearing. Instead, I was mesmerized from the second the show started and I never took my eyes and full attention off of it. A fantastic cast in this film, a well-refined story that while still had a few complications to it, still served its purpose. But most of all, the film is just a marvel (pun intended) to watch for a CG standpoint, it’s incredible just how much the team accomplished, making this film so trippy and aesthetically striking to watch all the way through. Just please, for the love of god, don’t be under the influence watching this movie. You might snap.
There was very little in terms of music this year that really captured my attention. There were good albums, but there just weren’t any albums that really came out and grabbed me by the ears and pulled me along. However, Babymetal’s new album Metal Resistance managed to do just that. I already loved their debut album, but Metal Resistance really refined their sound and took on more Western influences. While I miss an entire album of weird, crazy tracks, there are some phenomenal heavy metal epics on this record, Karate and The One being my two favourites for sure.
If you told me that one of my favourite things all year was an anime with an equivalency of Dead or Alive‘s butt bumping mini game in the Xtreme series, I’d call you crazy. But Keijo!!!!!!!! far surpassed any expectations I could have put on it when being first introduced to the anime’s concept. It was my favourite show of the fall season in 2016, something I’m sure I’m in the minority in, but that’s how entertaining the show was for me. It has nothing to do with the tons of ecchi content in the show, it’s all about the unique and interesting characters, the actually well-crafted story of the show and then of course, the endless barrage of cleverly written humour and butt/boob puns. If you don’t take this show seriously and remove your SJW feminist bullshit attitude when watching this show, you will adore it. It transcends what it looks like it is, it’s far better than anyone ever gave it credit for and I will defend this show for years and years to come.
Speaking of things few people are defending, here’s Firewatch, an interactive story with an ending that everyone was absolutely disappointed by, to the point Mass Effect 3 nearly got a break. But what I will always tell people who are down on this game, is that instead of viewing this game for the ending you never got, look at it for the game you played through up until that point. It was a tremendously relaxing and enthralling story with two fantastic characters talking with each other as if it was just two normal people speaking to each other. That to me is what makes this game so damn memorable, it’s one of the closest experiences I’ve ever had in a video game that made me feel like I was playing something that made me believe it could be real. Everything felt legitimate, there was never a point where the immersion broke for me, the longer I played the game, the more lost I was in its world. It’s a far better game than most say it is, mostly because they’re all butthurt about the realistic and normalized ending.
I absolutely adored this film! I was so interested in this film, because I was mesmerized by the whole Edward Snowden character, but I just couldn’t get myself to read up on him and see what was going on through this whole situation. While I’m not taking the film as gospel, the film gave me a chance to at least get a frightening idea of what could have been going on within the NSA and all that public surveillance stuff. It’s a film that is so interesting to watch and yet scares the shit out of you with the possibility that someone is always watching you. Well, I guess I’m flattered that someone wants to watch me parade around my house in my underwear…
There is no anime this year that had my attention more than Erased. Other shows were the best at making me laugh and challenging my look on traditional anime, but Erased did something this year that no anime has done before: Lock me into a super serious anime. Generally speaking, the shows I tend to gravitate towards in terms of anime lean heavily towards the comedic and goofy side, but Erased is the polar opposite of that and usually those shows don’t keep my attention all the way through. But that’s just how good the writing and characters were, this year Erased was THE show that I waited with bated breath for the next episode to show up on Crunchyroll, it had me constantly guessing and questioning all the details I was seeing and in the end, somehow managed to have the villain I wasn’t expecting show up! That’s a rarity as well, I’m usually really good at figuring out plot points before they happen. So for being a many number of rarities, Erased is #2 on this list, only because nothing this year could compete with…
There are still times this year where I sit back and wonder how the hell we got this in 2016. It almost feels like a dream that we not only got a Deadpool film, but one that actually stayed within the confines of what the universe actually is. Violent as all hell, full of profanity and chalk full of fourth-wall breaking humour. No one could’ve played the merc with a mouth better than Ryan Reynolds and while the lack of notable characters beyond Colossus was disappointing, you never noticed it while watching the film. It’s also the only film this year that I’ve watched more than twice, in fact…I’ve watched this film this year over 10 times. And it continues to be one of the funniest films I watched, period. Hopefully the success of this film changes the traditional constructs of the film industry and allows more fictional material to be fleshed out properly rather than just being Hollywood-ified.
So that’s my best of 2016 list, thank you so much for reading! What a year 2016 has been, for better or worse, but at least there was a ton of content that I got to enjoy this year.
Let’s hope 2017 is even better!