Top 20 Seasonal Anime of 2016

Starting a new decade gives us the perfect opportunity to have a look at the previous decade’s worth of anime. Starting with the year 2010, we will go through the top 5 anime of each season for each year.

Top 5 anime of Winter 2016

1 Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo! / KonoSuba: God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!

  • Episodes: 10
  • Studios: Studio Deen
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Magic, Parody, Supernatural

Synopsis

After dying a laughable and pathetic death on his way back from buying a game, high school student and recluse Kazuma Satou finds himself sitting before a beautiful but obnoxious goddess named Aqua. She provides the NEET with two options: continue on to heaven or reincarnate in every gamer’s dream—a real fantasy world! Choosing to start a new life, Kazuma is quickly tasked with defeating a Demon King who is terrorizing villages. But before he goes, he can choose one item of any kind to aid him in his quest, and the future hero selects Aqua. But Kazuma has made a grave mistake—Aqua is completely useless!

Unfortunately, their troubles don’t end here; it turns out that living in such a world is far different from how it plays out in a game. Instead of going on a thrilling adventure, the duo must first work to pay for their living expenses. Indeed, their misfortunes have only just begun!

2 Boku Dake ga Inai Machi / ERASED

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: A-1 Pictures
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Mystery, Psychological, Supernatural, Seinen

Synopsis
When tragedy is about to strike, Satoru Fujinuma finds himself sent back several minutes before the accident occurs. The detached, 29-year-old manga artist has taken advantage of this powerful yet mysterious phenomenon, which he calls “Revival,” to save many lives.

However, when he is wrongfully accused of murdering someone close to him, Satoru is sent back to the past once again, but this time to 1988, 18 years in the past. Soon, he realizes that the murder may be connected to the abduction and killing of one of his classmates, the solitary and mysterious Kayo Hinazuki, that took place when he was a child. This is his chance to make things right.

Boku dake ga Inai Machi follows Satoru in his mission to uncover what truly transpired 18 years ago and prevent the death of his classmate while protecting those he cares about in the present.

3 Hai to Gensou no Grimgar / Grimgar: Ashes and Illusions

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: A-1 Pictures
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Synopsis

Fear, survival, instinct. Thrown into a foreign land with nothing but hazy memories and the knowledge of their name, they can feel only these three emotions resonating deep within their souls. A group of strangers is given no other choice than to accept the only paying job in this game-like world—the role of a soldier in the Reserve Army—and eliminate anything that threatens the peace in their new world, Grimgar.

When all of the stronger candidates join together, those left behind must create a party together to survive: Manato, a charismatic leader and priest; Haruhiro, a nervous thief; Yume, a cheerful hunter; Shihoru, a shy mage; Mogzo, a kind warrior; and Ranta, a rowdy dark knight. Despite its resemblance to one, this is no game—there are no redos or respawns; it is kill or be killed.

It is now up to this ragtag group of unlikely fighters to survive together in a world where life and death are separated only by a fine line.

4 Musaigen no Phantom World / Myriad Colors Phantom World

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: Kyoto Animation
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Fantasy, Slice of Life, Supernatural

Synopsis

Phantoms: supernatural entities such as ghosts or youkai that, until recently, were thought to be superstition. However, when a virus that infects the brain spreads throughout society, people’s perception of the world changes as the mythical beings are revealed to have been living alongside humanity the entire time. This virus has also affected those of the next generation significantly, allowing them to develop special abilities that they can use to fight against dangerous phantoms.

Haruhiko Ichijou and Mai Kawakami are two of those that were granted such power as Haruhiko wields the ability to summon and seal phantoms through drawings while Mai imbues the power of the elements into martial arts. Together, along with the friendly phantom Ruru, they form Team E of Hosea Academy which is dedicated to dealing with these often mischievous beings. In a world where the real and surreal intertwine, Musaigen no Phantom World follows the adventures of a group of friends as they handle the everyday troubles caused by phantoms.

5 Saijaku Muhai no Bahamut / Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Lerche
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Action, Harem, Supernatural, Romance, Ecchi, Fantasy, Mecha, School

Synopsis
Lux, a former prince of an empire named Arcadia that was overthrown via a rebellion five years earlier, accidentally trespasses in a female dormitory’s bathing area, sees the kingdom’s new princess Lisesharte naked, incurring her wrath. Lisesharte then challenges Lux to a Drag-Ride duel. Drag-Rides are ancient armored mechanical weapons that have been excavated from ruins all around the world. Lux used to be called the strongest Drag-Knight, but now he’s known as the “undefeated weakest” Drag-Knight because he will absolutely not attack in battle. After his duel with Lisesharte, Lux ends up attending the female-only academy that trains royals to be Drag-Knights.

Top anime of Spring 2016

1 Boku no Hero Academia / My Hero Academia

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: Bones
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, School, Shounen, Super Power

Synopsis
The appearance of “quirks,” newly discovered super powers, has been steadily increasing over the years, with 80 percent of humanity possessing various abilities from manipulation of elements to shapeshifting. This leaves the remainder of the world completely powerless, and Izuku Midoriya is one such individual.

Since he was a child, the ambitious middle schooler has wanted nothing more than to be a hero. Izuku’s unfair fate leaves him admiring heroes and taking notes on them whenever he can. But it seems that his persistence has borne some fruit: 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!

Enduring many months of gruelling training, Izuku enrols in UA High, a prestigious high school famous for its excellent hero training program, and this year’s freshmen look especially promising. With his bizarre but talented classmates and the looming threat of a villainous organization, Izuku will soon learn what it really means to be a hero.

2 Koutetsujou no Kabaneri / Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Wit Studio
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Action, Horror, Supernatural, Drama, Fantasy

Synopsis
The world is in the midst of the industrial revolution when horrific creatures emerge from a mysterious virus, ripping through the flesh of humans to sate their never-ending appetite. The only way to kill these beings, known as “Kabane,” is by destroying their steel-coated hearts. However, if bitten by one of these monsters, the victim is doomed to a fate worse than death, as the fallen rise once more to join the ranks of their fellow undead.

Only the most fortified of civilizations have survived this turmoil, as is the case with the island of Hinomoto, where mankind has created a massive wall to protect themselves from the endless hordes of Kabane. The only way into these giant fortresses is via heavily-armored trains, which are serviced and built by young men such as Ikoma. Having created a deadly weapon that he believes will easily pierce through the hearts of Kabane, Ikoma eagerly awaits the day when he will be able to fight using his new invention. Little does he know, however, that his chance will come much sooner than he expected.

3 Bungou Stray Dogs

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Bones
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Mystery, Seinen, Super Power, Supernatural

Synopsis
For weeks, Atsushi Nakajima’s orphanage has been plagued by a mystical tiger that only he seems to be aware of. Suspected to be behind the strange incidents, the 18-year-old is abruptly kicked out of the orphanage and left hungry, homeless, and wandering through the city.

While starving on a riverbank, Atsushi saves a rather eccentric man named Osamu Dazai from drowning. Whimsical suicide enthusiast and supernatural detective, Dazai has been investigating the same tiger that has been terrorizing the boy. Together with Dazai’s partner Doppo Kunikida, they solve the mystery, but its resolution leaves Atsushi in a tight spot. As various odd events take place, Atsushi is coerced into joining their firm of supernatural investigators, taking on unusual cases the police cannot handle, alongside his numerous enigmatic co-workers.

4 Kiznaiver

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Trigger
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance

Synopsis
Katsuhira Agata is a quiet and reserved teenage boy whose sense of pain has all but vanished. His friend, Chidori Takashiro, can only faintly remember the days before Katsuhira had undergone this profound change. Now, his muffled and complacent demeanour make Katsuhira a constant target for bullies, who exploit him for egregious sums of money. But their fists only just manage to make him blink, as even emotions are far from his grasp.

However, one-day Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and forced to join the Kizuna System as official “Kiznaivers.” Those taking part are connected through pain: if one member is injured, the others will feel an equal amount of agony. These individuals must become the lab rats and scapegoats of an incomplete system designed with world peace in mind. With their fates literally intertwined, the Kiznaivers must expose their true selves to each other, or risk failing much more than just the Kizuna System.

5 Netoge no Yome wa Onnanoko ja Nai to Omotta? / And you thought there is never a girl online?

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Project No.9
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Game, Comedy, Romance, Ecchi, School

Synopsis
After mustering up the courage to propose to a girl in an online game, naïve otaku Hideki “Rusian” Nishimura is devastated when she flat out rejects him. To make matters worse, the girl reveals that she is actually an older man in real life. With his dreams crushed and his heartbroken, Rusian comes to an abrupt decision in the midst of his raging fit: he will never trust another girl in an online game again.

Years later, Rusian is now in a guild with three other players, one of whom possesses a female avatar by the name of “Ako.” Ako is deeply in love with Rusian and wants to marry him. Although he entertains the possibility that she might be a guy, Rusian accepts her proposal, claiming that her gender doesn’t matter as long as she is cute in the game. However, after a discussion between guild members that led to all of them having an offline meeting, Rusian finds out that Ako, along with the other members, are not just girls, but also his schoolmates.

Top anime of Summer 2016

1 Mob Psycho 100

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Bones
  • Source: Web manga
  • Genres: Action, Slice of Life, Comedy, Supernatural

Synopsis
Eighth-grader Shigeo “Mob” Kageyama has tapped into his inner wellspring of psychic prowess at a young age. But the power quickly proves to be a liability when he realizes the potential danger in his skills. Choosing to suppress his power, Mob’s only present use for his ability is to impress his longtime crush, Tsubomi, who soon grows bored of the same tricks.

In order to effectuate control on his skills, Mob enlists himself under the wing of Arataka Reigen, a con artist claiming to be a psychic, who exploits Mob’s powers for pocket change. Now, exorcising evil spirits on command has become a part of Mob’s daily, monotonous life. However, the psychic energy he exerts is barely the tip of the iceberg; if his vast potential and unrestrained emotions run berserk, a cataclysmic event that would render him completely unrecognizable will be triggered. The progression toward Mob’s explosion is rising and attempting to stop it is futile.

2 ReLIFE

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: TMS Entertainment
  • Source: Web manga
  • Genres: Slice of Life, Romance, School

Synopsis
Dismissed as a hopeless loser by those around him, 27-year-old Arata Kaizaki bounces around from one job to another after quitting his first company. His unremarkable existence takes a sharp turn when he meets Ryou Yoake, a member of the ReLife Research Institute, who offers Arata the opportunity to change his life for the better with the help of a mysterious pill. Taking it without a second thought, Arata awakens the next day to find that his appearance has reverted to that of a 17-year-old.

Arata soon learns that he is now the subject of a unique experiment and must attend high school as a transfer student for one year. Though he initially believes it will be a cinch due to his superior life experience, Arata is proven horribly wrong on his first day: he flunks all his tests, is completely out of shape, and can’t keep up with the new school policies that have cropped up in the last 10 years. Furthermore, Ryou has been assigned to observe him, bringing Arata endless annoyance. ReLIFE follows Arata’s struggle to adjust to his hectic new lifestyle and avoid repeating his past mistakes, all while slowly discovering more about his fellow classmates.

3 Orange

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: Telecom Animation Film
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Romance, School, Shoujo

Synopsis
Naho Takamiya’s first day of her sophomore year of high school is off to an uneasy start. After waking up late, she receives a strange letter addressed to her. However, the letter is from herself—10 years in the future! At first, Naho is sceptical of the note; yet, after witnessing several events described to take place, she realizes the letter really is from her 26-year-old self.

The note details that Naho’s future life is filled with regrets, and she hopes that her younger self can correct the mistakes that were made in the past. The letter also warns her to keep a close eye on the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse. Naho must be especially careful in making decisions involving him, as Kakeru is not around in the future. With the letter as her guide, Naho now has the power to protect Kakeru before she comes to regret it once more.

4 91 Days

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Shuka
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Action, Drama, Historical

Synopsis
As a child living in the town of Lawless, Angelo Lagusa has witnessed a tragedy: his parents and younger brother have been mercilessly slaughtered by the Vanetti mafia family. Losing everything he holds dear, he leaves both his name and hometown behind, adopting the new identity of Avilio Bruno.

Seven years later, Avilio finally has his chance for revenge when he receives a mysterious letter prompting him to return to Lawless. Obliging, he soon encounters the Vanetti don’s son, Nero, and seeks to befriend him using the skills he has quietly honed for years.

Set during the Prohibition era, 91 Days tells the story of Avilio’s dark, bloodstained path to vengeance, as he slowly ends each of the men involved in the killing of his family.

5 New Game!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Doga Kobo
  • Source: 4-koma manga
  • Genres: Game, Slice of Life, Comedy

Synopsis
Since childhood, Aoba Suzukaze has loved the Fairies Story game series, particularly the character designs. So when she graduates from high school, it is no surprise that she applies to work at Eagle Jump, the company responsible for making her favourite video game. On her first day, she is excited to learn that she will be working on a new instalment to the series: Fairies Story 3—and even more so under Kou Yagami, the lead character designer.

In their department are people who share the same passion for games. There is Yun Iijima, whose speciality is designing monsters; the shy Hifumi Takimoto, who prefers to communicate through instant messaging; Hajime Shinoda, an animation team member with an impressive figurine collection; Rin Tooyama, the orderly art director; Shizuku Hazuki, the game director who brings her cat to work; and Umiko Ahagon, the short-tempered head programmer.

New Game! follows Aoba and the others on their adventure through the ups and downs of game making, from making the perfect character design to fixing all the errors that will inevitably accumulate in the process.

Top anime of Autumn 2016

1 Drifters

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Hoods Drifters Studio
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Historical, Samurai, Fantasy, Seinen

Synopsis
At the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600, Toyohisa Shimazu is the rearguard for his retreating troops and is critically wounded when he suddenly finds himself in a modern, gleaming white hallway. Faced with only a stoic man named Murasaki and hundreds of doors on both sides, Toyohisa is pulled into the nearest door and into a world completely unlike his own.

The strange land is populated by all manner of fantastical creatures, as well as warriors from different eras of Toyohisa’s world who were thought to be dead. Quickly befriending the infamous warlord Nobunaga Oda and the ancient archer Yoichi Suketaka Nasu, Toyohisa learns of the political unrest tearing through the continent. Furthermore, they have been summoned as “Drifters” to fight against the “Ends,” people who are responsible for the creation of the Orte Empire and are trying to annihilate the Drifters. As the Ends grow more powerful, so does the Empire’s persecution of elves and other demihumans. It is up to Toyohisa and his group of unconventional heroes to battle in a brand-new world war to help the Empire’s subjects while protecting the land to claim for themselves and challenging the Ends.

2 Nanbaka

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: Satelight
  • Source: Web manga
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama

Synopsis
Nanba is the world’s most formidable prison, built to incarcerate criminals who are too slippery to stay in ordinary confinement. The four inmates who occupy Cell 13 are particularly cunning on that behalf, having escaped every other prison with a perfect success rate. There is Juugo, a specialist in locks who has spent the majority of his life in prison; Uno, a gambler with great intuition; Nico, an otaku whose body reacts strangely to drugs; and Rock, a bruiser with a love for food. The daily shenanigans of the four prisoners always cause trouble for the building supervisor, Hajime Sugoroku, who desperately tries to prevent them from breaking out of Nanba.

Nanbaka follows the comedic, sparkle-filled exploits of these prisoners and their guards. From three square meals a day to sports festivals, prison life in Nanba isn’t actually that bad—and it is the closest these four have to a home.

3 Yuri!!! on Ice

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: MAPPA
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Comedy, Sports

Synopsis
Reeling from his crushing defeat at the Grand Prix Finale, Yuuri Katsuki, once Japan’s most promising figure skater, returns to his family home to assess his options for the future. At age 23, Yuuri’s window for success in skating is closing rapidly, and his love of pork cutlets and aptitude for gaining weight are not helping either.

However, Yuuri finds himself in the spotlight when a video of him performing a routine previously executed by five-time world champion, Victor Nikiforov, suddenly goes viral. In fact, Victor himself abruptly appears at Yuuri’s house and offers to be his mentor. As one of his biggest fans, Yuuri eagerly accepts, kicking off his journey to make it back onto the world stage. But the competition is fierce, as the rising star from Russia, Yuri Plisetsky, is relentlessly determined to defeat Yuuri and win back Victor’s tutelage.

4 3-gatsu no Lion / March comes in like a lion

  • Episodes: 22
  • Studios: Shaft
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Drama, Game, Seinen, Slice of Life

Synopsis
Having reached professional status in middle school, Rei Kiriyama is one of the few elite in the world of shogi. Due to this, he faces an enormous amount of pressure, both from the shogi community and his adoptive family. Seeking independence from his tense home life, he moves into an apartment in Tokyo. As a 17-year-old living on his own, Rei tends to take poor care of himself, and his reclusive personality ostracizes him from his peers in school and at the shogi hall.

However, not long after his arrival in Tokyo, Rei meets Akari, Hinata, and Momo Kawamoto, a trio of sisters living with their grandfather who owns a traditional wagashi shop. Akari, the oldest of the three girls, is determined to combat Rei’s loneliness and poorly sustained lifestyle with motherly hospitality. The Kawamoto sisters, coping with past tragedies, also share with Rei a unique familial bond that he has lacked for most of his life. As he struggles to maintain himself physically and mentally through his shogi career, Rei must learn how to interact with others and understand his own complex emotions.

5 Shuumatsu no Izetta / Izetta: The Last Witch

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Ajia-Do
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Action, Historical, Military

Synopsis
After Germania invaded a neighboring country in 1939, Europe spiraled into a devastating war. During the war, Germania set its sights on the weak alpine country of Elystadt. Boasting a far superior military and having achieved profuse success earlier in the war, it was expected that Germania would conquer Elystadt with ease.

Matters are only made worse for the small country when Germanian soldiers capture their princess, Ortfiné “Finé” Fredericka von Eylstadt, as she is heading to a crucial meeting with Britannia. Yet, when a concurrent Germanian transport mission goes awry, Izetta, the last witch alive, escapes. When she recognizes Princess Finé from her childhood, Izetta rescues her from the Germanian soldiers by making use of her magical abilities. Now reunited with the princess, Izetta pledges to protect Elystadt from Germania, and with the last surviving witch on their arsenal, Elystadt hopes to turn the tides against the imperialist war giant.

Which of these 2016 anime have you watched?

Top 100 anime of the decade allanimemagSeasonal anime of the decade posts

2010                 2011

2012                 2013

2014                 2015

2016                  2017

2018                 2019

 

*Write-ups sourced from MyAnimeList

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