With most of the series having reached their sixth episode this past week, we have now passed the half-mark of this year’s winter anime season. It has been said that 2016 will be a great year for anime and, so far, it certainly looks like it!
Here are the 5 winter anime that have stood out the most to us so far and that we totally recommend you to catch up on! (This list is in no order whatsoever).
ERASED (Boku Dake ga Inai Machi)
We dedicated a recommendation/article when this series had only released two episodes and if that doesn’t tell you how good and exciting ERASED is, I don’t know what will. ERASED already had a lot of hype before the anime came out, as the original source has been highly praised in Japan as one of the best manga to come out in 2015. The fact that the anime will reveal the end of the story before the manga only adds to the excitement of this mystery series. Definitely a contender for Anime of the Year!
Probably the most underrated and overlooked anime of the season. And it feels very strange to say this because Ajin was actually one of the most awaited series for this year (it got a huge advertising campaign in Japan!). However, CGI animation in still a huge deal for anime watchers and a lot of people decided not to even give the series chance after seeing the trailer. And it’s a shame really because many people have compared Ajin to Tokyo Ghoul, from the resemblance of the two main characters to the crude way in which human beings experiment on non-human creatures. If you don’t mind the CGI (which is actually not that bad), you’ll come to love this series for its likable characters, engaging plot and amazing OST.
Assassination Classroom (Season 2)
Assassination Classroom follows the same formula as its first season, offering comedic and heartwarming episodes only to take a sudden dark turn to remind us that, these kids are assassins and their teacher wants to destroy the Earth. I nearly put Durarara!!x2 Ketsu in the list instead of Assassination Classroom, but opted for the latter because the final episodes of the first season proved just how cool and badass this series can get. Besides, we’re approaching the date when Koro-sensei is supposed to destroy the planet!
One of the revelations of the season without a doubt. Viewers were instantly hooked on Kyouma’s personality and quickly named him ‘Badass of the Season’. Put him together with a kawaii female-robot and throw them in a futuristic setting with an extra dimension and you got yourself a pretty exciting anime. Even though some of the characters might seem a bit cliché (and they are), their backgrounds and the interactions among each other make it worth watching. Also, check out those movies from the opening!
Hai to Gensou no Grimgar
Yet another revelation of the season. I have mixed feelings about this series (which I’ll talk about in the final season review), but Grimgar has enough good qualities to deserve a place in this list. Aside from having what I believe to be the best character designs of this season, a high quality animation and a really good OST, Grimgar does a wonderful job at characterization. It’s strange to see a fantasy/alternate reality series that portrays characters so realistically when it comes to killing creatures or struggling to make living. The series is slow, veeeeeery slow and it features a lot of small talk, but the slow burn is proving to be worth it so far.
Special mentions to second seasons like Durarara!!x2 Ketsu and Snow White with the Red Hair, as well as fall leftovers like Haikyuu!!. Same thing goes for new series like the very talked about Dagashi Kashi or the running boys from Prince of Stride. The fact that these didn’t make it in our Top 5 is yet another sign of the high quality new series we are getting this season.