2016 was my first full year of watching anime simulcasts. I’d dabbled here and there before that, but this was the first full year I was all-in on anime.
Now last year, I did an anime award post, but the majority of shows that made that list (for better or worse) were shows I watched out of curiosity, whereas this year the number of shows has increased a ton, as I watched a lot of shows I normally wouldn’t have given the light of day.
So with that being said, this is the 2016 Radical Anime Awards! The nominees are the winners of each respective season in that category.
“Golden Life” by AKINO with bless4 – Active Raid
“Limit” by LUNA SEA – Endride
“Signal” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure – 91 Days
“Ashita no Tsubasa” by Yoko Ishida – Brave Witches
I said it back in the spring when I awarded Endride’s OP, it’s the song that had quite possibly the most grating vocals I have ever heard. The first bit just kills my ears and I was not happy that I had to hear it again just to remember how bad each of these four songs were. The other four aren’t great either, but in the case of Endride, holy shit is this song cancer for your ears.
Luck & Logic
Winner: Taboo Tattoo
Out of all the shows that won, Taboo Tattoo in my opinion is guilty the most of having a non-sensical story that completely took me out of the experience. It also gains extra points because I finished the show, so I got the full “story” that the writers wanted to show. Honestly the award really should’ve gone to Bloodivores, as I literally have no idea what it is still, but Taboo Tattoo being a show I actually finished, I can say it’s the worst out of them all, because I saw it all and all of it was pure garbage. It’s literally a show of good fights and lots of ecchi and yuri.
Winner: Big Order
This was a show that was in my Top 5 for a good chunk of the spring season. Big Order was turning into a badass over-the-top random crazy shit kind of anime and I was loving it from Episode 3 onwards. Then the last few episodes started to show up and it’s like they picked up the train and threw it off the rails themselves. Nothing made sense anymore, the focus left the fun characters and moved onto the most boring characters and the “villains” were the most uninteresting people ever. For being one of my favourites for a period of time and then completely taking that experience away from me, Big Order easily wins the award this year.
Worst Male Character
Hiiragi Nono – Bubuki Buranki
Dirk Eberwein – Asterisk War: Season 2
Matthew Tetojirichi – Alderamin on the Sky
Azuma Kazuki – Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin
Winner: Dirk Eberwein
Hiiragi is annoying as fuck, Matthew and Azuma just don’t matter. But Dirk from Asterisk War is a pointless, annoying fat piece of shit that offers nothing to the plot, fails miserably as a “villain” and is just such a bad character that he has what at the time I called “X-Pac Heat” which is a wrestling term the fans use for someone they don’t hate because he’s a bad guy, they hate him because they just don’t want to see him on their TV screen anymore. If Asterisk War does come out with a third season, I’m not going to be watching to see Dirk get his comeuppance, I’d rather he just not return next season.
Worst Female Character
Irina Avalon – AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue
Sena Hoshimiya – Big Order
Colette – Kono Bijutsubu ni wa Mondai ga Aru!
Koyori Tsumujikaze – Scorching Ping Pong Girls
Winner: Sena Hoshimiya
Sena is the reason that Big Order went from one of my favourites to one of the worst. She for the first half of the entire anime was a fragile, innocent girl who had a disease and either spent all her time in a wheelchair or a hospital bed. Then in the second half, she’s suddenly this diabolical, cunning, evil girl whose motivations are explained as loosely as a noose made out of cotton candy. The show just expects us to accept this random and sudden change in Sena and just go along with it. But Big Order wasn’t counting on someone like me to have the balls to drop the show with literally one episode left. Fuck Sena.
The Lost Village
Masou Gakuen HxH
Tiger Mask W
Winner: Masou Gakuen HxH
I love ecchi content as much as the next person, but I know when to call a show nothing but ecchi and those are the bad ones. Masou Gakuen HxH is a prime example of that. The concept is dumb enough, the girls who wear power suits need sexual pleasure to recharge their batteries. They could’ve at least made it somewhat interesting and had decent fight sequences, maybe some comedy as well, but the show really just is filler leading up to the next scene where the protagonist has to sexually assault the three girls he’s tasked with “taking care of”. Oh my god this show is bad guys…
Best Opening Theme
“Genesis” by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION – Dimension W
“PUNCH☆MIND☆HAPPINESS” by Happy Clover – Anne Happy
“Kaze no Uta” by FLOW – Tales of Zestiria The X
“Rin! Rin! Hi! Hi!” by Hashiguchikanaderiya hugs The Super Ball – Nanbaka
Winner: Anne Happy
When Anne Happy won in the spring, I straight up said that it wasn’t the best song. But what the OP offered along with the music was a fantastic animation that really gave you an idea of the quirkiness, silliness and downright randomness of the show. The only other nominee that was close to capsulating what Anne Happy does in its OP was Nanbaka, but Anne Happy is just too damn good an OP. I can continue to watch the OP and have a massive smile on my face, hell when I listen to the song alone, I can visualize the animation as well, that’s how much it’s stuck in my head. It’s that damn good!
Best Art Direction
Tales of Zestiria The X
Winner: Tales of Zestiria The X
This was the easiest decision to make, the Tales anime is simply the most beautiful show I have ever watched and there’s nothing that comes close to it right now. Are there more unique kinds of anime out there? Sure, but the Tales show with its mesmerizing backgrounds and crisp battle scenes, it’s the show that I had the easiest time taking screencaps of when it came to just downright gorgeous shots.
Best Character Design
Bungo Stray Dogs
Out of the four nominees, Nanbaka easily has the most diverse and unique cast of characters in terms of their design. I said it in the fall awards post, there isn’t a single character in the show that looks at all similar to another. If you can remember the names of all the characters, there’s no way you can mix them up, they’re all so different from each other. The show could’ve done this but not look so great, but Nanbaka manages to both have a diverse cast of characters and have a gorgeous looking art direction. And come on, all the characters sparkle, they clearly must have the best character design, right?
Poco’s Udon World
A lot of you are probably going to be thinking “Holy shit! You didn’t pick Erased?!” and it’s for one simple reason. Erased didn’t leave me wanting more after it was over. Perhaps it’s because Planetarian was a much shorter series, but either way when I finished that short anime, I left wishing that it wasn’t anywhere near over (aside from my soul being crushed). I wanted to see more of the world, I wanted to see what was next for the protagonist and I somehow, I just wanted to see more of Yumemi. She was such a great character and added so much to the story and the curious plot of the show. I was enthralled with this anime.
Konosuba -God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World-
Winner: Anne Happy
All of these shows are worthy of winning this award, but in the end I picked the one that had me laughing the most, rather than laughing the hardest (which would’ve been Keijo!!!!!!!!). Anne Happy for me was a constant barrage of silly and random humour, not really giving me a chance to settle down and try to catch my breath. The jokes and random events that happen to these unlucky girls just doesn’t stop and because of that, I spent the most time with the show out of all four with a smile on my face and in stitches.
Most WTF?! Inducing Show
Winner: Flip Flappers
The Dagashi Kashi giant piece of food shoved into Hotaru’s mouth was…interesting. Big Order and Taboo Tattoo were over-the-top completely random fighting anime. But Flip Flappers was a show that I will continue to warn people about watching under the influence of well…anything! This show is one of the weirdest, trippiest shows I’ve ever watched, the things that happen in this show defy all logic (even for anime) and make you spend more time questioning what you’re watching than anything else. Generally though for Flip Flappers, that’s not a bad thing, in fact I think it’s the show’s strong points, just how weird and random it is. It’s a good kind of “WTF?!”, it’s an “Oh my god this is so weird! Yet so cool!” kind of show.
Phantasy Star Online 2 The Animation
My Wife is the Student Council President
Winner: My Wife is the Student Council President
I said it in the fall awards, this is such an easy pick because the show in itself is literally an anime that is one step away from being hentai. The other three shows have good ecchi and good nudity as well, but Okusama (short name in Japanese for the show) actually has bare breasts with nipples and bulges under pants along with a lot of groping, fondling, masturbation and dry humping. The show’s kind of cheating to win this award in a way, but for me I don’t have rules to follow, so the shows can cheat all they want!
Kyouma/Mira – Dimension W
Hibiki/Ren – Anne Happy
Kou/Rin – New Game!
Finé/Izetta – Izetta, The Last Witch
Easily my favourite couple, whether they’re actually in love with each other or not, Kou and Rin from New Game! were just such a lovable duo throughout the entire show. They complete each other, they bring out the best in each other and whenever they’re together they also seem to bring the best out of others as well. There really isn’t any couple I watched this year in anime that I feel were better than these two.
…OKAY OKAY OKAY!!! I will also admit that a part of why I love this couple is due to the scene where Aoba finds both of them together with no pants on. There! Are you satisfied now! Sheesh!
Sexiest Female Character
Misaki Tobisawa – AOKANA: Four Rhythm Across The Blue
Claire Harvey – Hundred
Kar – Taboo Tattoo
Kinoa Ougi – Bubuki Buranki: Hoshi no Kyojin
Winner: Misaki Tobisawa
Each girl nominated for this award was fantastic, all of them some of the hottest girls I’ve seen in anime. Out of all of them though, Misaki wins because she’s the one that felt the most real and yet still had that extreme anime hotness that’s usually reserved for more unique and over-the-top designed female characters. She for the most part is a normal looking character, she has long black hair, dresses normally and for the most part acts normally. And yet she’s still one of the hottest girls I saw all season. For her to accomplish that next to a girl with crazy spiral hair and big boobs, easily the hottest samurai girl I’ve ever seen and a girl who found a way to make aquamarine hair with glasses and red leggings work, Misaki deserves the award on that principle alone.
Best Male Character
Shuusaku Matobai – Bubuki Buranki
Osamu Dazai – Bungo Stray Dogs
Ikta Solork – Alderamin on the Sky
Yoichi Suketaka Nasu – Drifters
Winner: Yoichi Suketaka Nasu
Honestly, this award was between Shuusaku and Yoichi. Osamu and Ikta are great characters, but the other two are just so iconic in their respective shows, Shuusaku owning the screen with his unique and chilling voice, Yoichi owning the screen because well…he’s a questionably male badass archer! I think Yoichi has to thank Kouta Hirano’s art style for really fleshing him out, I’m actually not sure if Yoichi would’ve been nearly as legendary to me in a different art direction. But regardless, Yoichi owns the show whenever he’s on and that’s so hard to do with the cast of characters he has to compete with in Drifters.
Best Female Character
Shizuru Taneomi – Bubuki Buranki
Chinatsu Kuramoto – Flying Witch
Hifumi Takimoto – New Game!
Momoko Hyakushiki – Nanbaka
Winner: Hifumi Takimoto
There’s no one I talked about more as a female character in anime than Hifumi. She was the iconic “Oh my god I want to give her a hug so bad!” kind of character, constantly adorable, her shyness made you love her more and more, she was absolutely gorgeous, there was just so much to love about her. And for her to stand out when I already had my eyes locked on Kou and Rin, that’s massive! She could be super cute, yet she could look badass. She could look very scared and then look so happy. For me, Hifumi was everything in one single character and I never stopped loving her while watching the show.
I could’ve awarded all four of these shows easily as my Show of the Year, but the award to me should be going to the anime that I watched that not only did I love on a 10/10 level, but the show that I looked forward to the most each week. That show out of the four, without a doubt was Erased, there is no show that I waited on bated breath for the next episode more. The moment an episode ended, I wanted the next one to be there, yet I had a week to wait. Erased also was a show that did something few shows do for me in anime, get me interested in a more serious, dramatic show. Generally speaking, my tastes in anime lean more to the goofy and comedic, but the well-written mystery of Erased was just so good that I couldn’t put it down, despite the fact it wasn’t very funny or happy. It was just that damn engaging, interesting and addicting. I imagine this being the best show overall on the majority of lists and I don’t disagree one bit with them. It’s the first time in a long time I actually agree with the mainstream on a popular show.
So that was the best of anime in 2016, thank you so much for reading! Don’t forget to put your own winners and thoughts in the comments below!
Here’s hoping 2017 has just as much, if not more fantastic anime!