Returning to Anime? The Best Anime Series of 2016 That You Missed

Been away from anime for awhile? We understand. You go out and have your life, anime will always be waiting for you when you come back. They always come back. If you are finally coming back and stopped watching sometime in or before 2016, here are all the best anime series that you missed and definitely should go back and watch.




My Hero Academia

Since he was a child, Izuku Midoriya has wanted nothing more than to manifest a quirk, a newly discovered super power that some people develop, so that he can be a hero. Unfortunately, he was not one of those lucky few. One day, Izuku meets the number one hero and his personal idol, All Might. All Might’s quirk is a unique ability that can be inherited, and he has chosen Izuku to be his successor.

My Hero Academia is one of those series that is seeping out of the anime sphere and even attracting non-anime fans. This is likely because it is about western-inspired super heroes, but it doesn’t fall into the same tropes that make western superheroes kind of boring. Everything in My Hero Academia is bright and energetic with a wide array of powers in a wide array of characters.

Re:Zero

When Subaru Natsuki goes out for a midnight snack run, he suddenly finds himself transported to another world. As a bewildered teen in a land of swords and magic, he wanders around and ends up attacked by thugs. After being saved by a mysterious woman, he agrees to help her get back something that was stolen. Unfortunately, it ends in both their deaths. With his dying breath, he finds that he possesses the power of revival, escaping his death by the repeating the last few hours.

Re:Zero is an isekai probably done as best as one can do it. It is your typical isekai as in some nobody is brought to a new world and given a special power, but then they add on a big heap of suffering and a world whose plot doesn’t seem to revolve around that main character. Aside from the waifu wars that it spawned, it was probably the level of darkness that made this show so beloved.

Erased

Recently the detached struggling manga artist Satoru Fujinuma finds himself going back in time just minutes before tragedy strikes around him. He has saved many lives with this power of “Revival,” but when he is wrongly accused of murdering someone close to him, Fujinuma finds himself sent back to his childhood. As he discovers the recent death in his life is somehow connected the kidnap-murder of three of his classmates, this time he may be able to use his power to save more than just one life, easing his past regrets in the process.

Erased is a mystery show of the best caliber. It is one that grabs you and doesn’t let go until the end. There is nothing better than a mystery that leaves you guessing, but also so excited for the next episode to see what happens next. The juxtaposition between super dark moments of murder and child abuse combined with a plot that also has to do with changing the regrets of your past is really what makes it so addicting.

Yuri On Ice

After a crushing defeat at the Grand Prix finale, Yuuri Katsuki returns home no longer as Japan’s most promising figure skater. With his window for skating success closing, he assesses his options. After a video of Yuuri doing a performing a routine by five-time world champion Victor Nikiforov goes viral, he suddenly finds the champion on his doorstep, offering to be Yuuri’s mentor.

An anime about figure skating only really appeals to a certain type of fan, and it became obvious there were a few shounen ai vibes to this show. Yet, they played it coy and it took awhile before they fully played their hand. They did a nicely realistic shounen ai show that is also completely accessible to sports anime fans as well as slice of life anime fans.

Bungou Stray Dogs

The orphanage that Atsushi Nakajima has been living at has been recently plagued by a tiger that only he can see. Blaming him for the incident, they kick him out. Now homeless, he wanders the streets until he meets the eccentric Osamu Dazai and saves him from drowning. As it turns out, Dazai is a supernatural detective and agrees to help him solve the mystery.

So it takes historical Japanese authors as characters and puts them in a supernatural detective agency. Even if you are not a sucker for historical characters or literary references, this one poses as a good mystery show as well.

Mob Psycho 100

Kageyama Shigeo, otherwise known as Mob, is a young psychic with the ability to lift objects with his mind. Despite having this incredible power, he just wants to become friends with Tsubomi, a girl in his class. Due to negative reactions to his psychic abilities in the past, he now tries to keep them in check.

It is definitely possible to be put off by the acquired taste that is this art style, but you are doing yourself a disservice by skipping it if you like visually stunning action anime. The fights are nicely original and well animated, but it doesn’t necessarily fall into the fight of the week style that comes with action anime either.

Konosuba

On his way back from buying a new game, Kazuma Satou died a pathetic death. However, he awakens before the Goddess Aqua who gives him two choices: go to heaven or reincarnate into an actual fantasy world. Naturally, the gamer picks the fantasy world. Now Kazuma must deal with defeating an evil demon king, useless party members, and paying living expenses.

Konosuba came out just at the right time where there was a growing handful of isekai shows, but we were mot absolutely so fucking sick of them like most of the anime community is right now. It is an isekai anime, but where everyone is just absolutely terrible at being adventurers. It is an excellent comedy anime that adds some levity to a genre that can be incredibly bland and take itself too seriously.

ReLife

Arata Kaizaki is an unemployed 27-year-old that has thus far been living with the financial support of his parents and part-time jobs. After leaving his first job after only three months, he has not been able to find proper work. However, after a night of drinking with his friends, he meets a mysterious man that offers a drunk Arata a pill that will turn him 17 again so that he can redo a year of his youth, all expenses paid. Will Arata find what he needs to live a happy life after one year in high school again?

You got regrets? Who doesn’t. It comes with being older. This is a show that is about an older person that has been mentally wrecked by life, but being rehabilitated by going back to high school. It’s filled with those nice, touching moments of youth as seen through the eyes of an older person.

Ajin

Immortal humans known as Ajin first appeared in Africa 17 years ago. While they were labeled a threat to mankind, to many they were just an infrequent news items. However, for Kei Nagai, a high schooler studying hard to be a doctor, he discovers he is an Ajin after being fatally hit by a car. Now on the run from the government that wants to imprison him, Kei must find a way to survive.

There are only a few shows where I can put up with this level of terrible CGI and Ajin is one of them. The whole premise is not only intriguing, but they made it more interesting to watch by making the main character so atypical of being a main character for much of the first season.

Drifters

While helping his uncle flee the battle of Sekigahara, Shimazu Toyohisa manages to mortally wound Ii Naomasa and halt his pursuit. Unfortunately, it was at the cost of his own life. As he tries futility to stumble home, Toyohisa finds himself transported to a long hallway full of doors, where a man named Murasaki sends him to a new world. In this world, he and other historical figures are known as Drifters and have been transported there for reasons yet to be discovered.

Created by the same author of Hellsing, people had certain expectations of Drifters, and it absolutely fills them. However, instead of vicious vampires and crazy priests, Drifters is filled with absolutely wild versions of historical characters. Joan of Arc became a insane pyromaniac in this new world after being burned, Nobunaga Oda remains a warlord despite not wanting to be in a leadership position, and there’s Hitler because of course there is. Essentially it tosses all these historical characters in and they wage glorious war.

Sweetness and Lightning

After the death of his wife, high school math teacher Kouhei Inuzuka is left to care for his young daughter, Tsumugi. He does his best, but his busy schedule and poor culinary skills limit them to eating convenience store food separately. However, one day, his daughter expresses an interest to eat together after talking to one of his students in the park, Kotori, who deeply enjoys food. He rushes over to the restaurant owned by the student’s mother, but she is not there. While Kotori tries her best to cook for them, her skills are lacking. However, together, Inuzuka-sensei, Tsumugi, and Kotori learn to expand their cooking skills.

There is a lot to love in Sweetness and Lightning if you are a slice of life fan. It is outwardly an anime about cooking and actually presents legitimate recipes for the food they make. However, it is also a show about parenthood with the main characters being a widower and his young child, whom he’s not quite sure how to raise. It is about food bringing people together and a father learning how to be a parent. As a quick side note, that child as the fluffiest hair in anime.

Dagashi Kashi

Kokonotsu Shikada has aspirations of becoming a manga artist, but his family wants him to take over their prestigious sweets shop. He refuses until one day a girl comes and wants to make his father work for her family’s corporation. He agrees, but only if she can convince Kokonotsu to take over the shop.

Candy! No, really. It’s a show about candy, making candy, and eating candy. Yet, what makes it a good show is that it drops this food knowledge on you, but also works to develop the characters as well as have some good comedic moments.

The Flying Witch

The rural area of Aomori maybe good farm land, but this bountiful land is also popular for Japan’s young witches to come and practice their craft. This is the case for Makoto Kowata, who has left her home in Yokohama to move to Aomori to live with her cousins, go to high school, and practice her magic.

Every anime season needs to have that chill show for people that just want to relax and watch something. The Flying Witch is one of those, but it managed to create such an intriguing world about witches and magic that is deeply rooted in nature as well. It’s not flashy spell slinging, but closer to Wicca culture that you would find today.

March Comes in Like a Lion

After becoming a professional Shogi player in middle school, Rei Kiriyama, now 17, has recently started to live on his own. However, while talented, many problems from his past continue to haunt him. Although he tries to push everyone away, he has recently started to bond with a family of three sisters that force Rei into their family as if he were their own.

Shogi is definitely not enticing a big crowd, but what made hordes fall in love with this show is everything else. The main character is severely depressed because his talent for shogi has caused everyone around him to ostracize him. Shogi contributes to a plot in a major way, but you definitely watch this show for the character stories and development.

Flip Flappers

Paprika and Cocona hold the keys to open the door where they can meet from their different times in a dimension called Pure Illusion. In this dimension, they search for the Shard of Mimi which is said to grant any wish. However, finding it will not be easy.

Do you like anime because of the art from of it? Well, Flip Flappers is for you then. There is a plot and the characters are actually really well-written, but the visuals in Flip Flapper are what make it a memorable series.

Kizanaiver

Katsuhira Agata is a quiet teen whose ability to feel pain has vanished. One day, he, his friend Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and bound together by the Kizuna System. While not physically connected, their pain is. Now if one party member is injured, they all feel it.

Kiznaiver is one of those shows that you get really into while watching it, then promptly forget about. It has these beautiful and bright visuals combined with super fluid animation that makes it amazing to watch, plus a Sense8-like plot minus the orgies.

Haven’t You Heard? I’m Sakamoto

Sophisticated, suave, and handsome, Sakamoto is perfect in every way. Unfortunately, his sheer perfection provokes everyone from his peers to his teachers to try to trip him up, but they just can’t manage it. However, they just might learn something about themselves along the way.

Sakamoto is just pure comedy and has a lot of meme-worthy visuals. Sure, it tries to wedge in those life lessons, but this show provides some genuinely good comedy if that is all you are looking for in a series.

Did we miss some good anime series from 2016 that didn’t make the list? Let returning anime fans know why in the comments section below.


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