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  • [ANIME] Year-end Review: Top Surprises of Anime 2015

    This year has been a year of nostalgia. We saw a lot of comeback series, including Gintama, Dragon Ball, Working!!, Hetalia, and Durarara!! We also saw a list of new anime adaptation of notable manga series like Ansatsu Kyoushitsu, Ore Monogatari, and Arslan Senki. We also had to bid goodbye to some of the series that made 2015 a little bit colorful – Aldnoah.Zero and Tokyo Ghoul. This year, we also learnt a few things about the anime industry from Shirobako and a day in the life of a seiyuu from Sore ga Seiyuu!

    We’ll be featuring some of the series that were quite a delight to watch even though, frankly speaking, this wasn’t under our radar. There are diamonds in the rough and things are actually more than what it seems.


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    death-parade

    [WINTER ANIME] Death Parade
    Cast: Tomoaki Maeno, Kouki Uchiyama, Asami Seto, Rumi Ookubo
    Date Aired: 10 Jan 2015
    Number of episodes : 12
    Summary: Welcome to Quindecim. This is no ordinary bar. Here at Quindecim, patrons of the bar are in for a game of life – literally, where they play games with the bartender, Decim(CV: Tomoaki Maeno), with their lives at stake.
    Why was it a surprise to watch?
    Honestly speaking, we didn’t see this one coming. Taking just a glimpse of the title oozes off an eerie and gloomy feeling. Who would want to watch a show that reminds us of death? As we delve into watching more from the series, we had a slight change of heart and our outlook changed. Albeit the series has that gloomy aura, the series would always leave an after thought. It made us remember what life truly is and what death would be like. They made us rethink about memento mori ( Not that horror movie!) – that we have to remember that we are living on borrowed time that we should make full use of it. It was quite an honest, thought-provoking series that takes a beating out of the heart.

    ore

    [SPRING ANIME] Ore Monogatari
    Cast: Megumi Han, Eguchi Takuya, Nobunaga Shimazaki
    Date Aired: 9 April 2015
    Number of episodes: 26
    Summary: This is no ordinary love story. This is not a story of a good looking guy finding love with a cute girl.No siree! This is a story of a not-so good looking guy with a big heart, and manages to find love out of the blue. This is a story of Takeo Gouda (CV:Eguchi Takuya), a high school student, who one day finds himself falling for a girl, Rinko Yamato(CV:Megumi Han) he rescued. Never had it occurred to him that there will come a day for him to fall in love with a girl and above all get his love reciprocated. This is his story..
    Why was it a surprise to watch?
    Talk about unconventional series! Have you heard of a cute girl falling in love with a brawny less handsome guy? ( Yes, I know there was such a novel called Densha Otoko, but this is totally on a different level with the handsome guy bumped as a secondary character in the series) We find a love blossoming out of the ordinary and their first meeting was anything but romantic.We see their relationship flourished and thank the stars that such coupling can actually happen in anime ( We hope that this too can happen in reality!). Well, at the end of the series, we think that everyone had pinned their hopes that the side character — that handsome best friend, Makoto Sunakawa (CV:Nobunaga Shimazaki), of the main character is going to get a girlfriend! Who does not want a happy ending for all the characters?
    charlotte
    [SUMMER ANIME] Charlotte
    Cast: Kouki Uchiyama, Ayane Sakura, Maaya Uchida
    Date Aired: 5 Jul 2015
    Number of episodes: 13
    Summary: Life can be as sweet if you’re Yuu Otosaka(CV:Kouki Uchiyama). You’re the guy who is at the top of the class, the most popular guy in school who gets to go out with the most popular girl in school, until one day, you got visited by a girl, Nao (CV:Ayane Sakura), who knows you’re dirty little secret. This is a story about metahumans, or people with unique ability, and how they cope in society. This is Charlotte.
    Why was it a surprise to watch?
    Week by week, there was an uppity on what surprise was to be expected next. (Fine!) It was only after a couple of episodes where it felt that way and it was not too sudden as there was a slow buildup of scenes. The characters’ back stories and main introduction got in the way for a couple of episodes. Well, as they say, only good things come to those who wait and Charlotte gave us just that.  We were taken aback on how things happened as the story progress, well, but knowing that this is a Jun Maeda production ( That same guy who brought you Clannad, Air, Angel beats! Yeah, that same guy who is known for nakige!), expect to bring in some tissues and sniffle your way as you watch the ending of this series.

    one-punch

    [AUTUMN ANIME] One Punch Man
    Cast:  Makoto Furukawa, Kaito Ishikawa
    Date Aired: 5 October 2015
    Number of Episodes : 12
    Summary: What if you trained so hard to the point of losing all your follicles in the head just to land a single, definitive punch that can defeat any evil – this story is just that! This story tells the tale of a simple man, Saitama (CV:Makoto Furukawa), who trained so hard that he lost all his hair. In his stringent training, he learned how to focus his energy and land a single punch to defeat his opponents! He now seeks to find stronger adversaries to defeat.
    Why was it a surprise to watch?
    My idea of a shounen action series is something like Dragon Ball, where the main protagonist gets to battle with the evil guy because this evil guy is threatening the whole world. This evil guy is a pure menace that everything on its path gets killed. Enter our hero, who will boldly defeat the evil dude and save the world, but first, he has to fail, he has to bounce back, recharge for power and finally eliminate the evil guy. Now, One Man Punch provides something else. Sure, there are these “bad” guys threatening the peaceful lives of humans. Sure, these “bad” guys are thinking of conquering the world. Enter our hero, just your average bald superhero, who with a single punch, kicks the bad guy out of the picture. What makes this story quite a surprise is the character of the main guy, Saitama. He’s a very average looking guy. He does not have the looks of Genos . He laments over his mistake of almost missing a big sale at the supermarket (see episode 3) as opposed to confronting his enemy who is just right in front of him. He couldn’t care less about the “bad” guys’ intentions as much being able to cut cost and save money for his expenditures.He was more concerned that a villain copied his look and was so distressed that he can be mistaken as a villain(episode 4). He is a simpleton and that his idea of becoming strong was just doing 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups , 100 squats and running 10km daily, which to him is just a routine workout. You would always encounter him with a blank face, and he couldn’t be bothered by things(Atta boy!) He is not your conventional superhero and he’s always full of surprises.

    Looking forward to what awaits us in 2016! Happy Holidays everyone!


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