If you’ve been around the anime scene long enough, you’ll know that Fall and Winter have the best releases. And it makes perfect sense. The school year is finally over, students are going on break, and everyone has more time to watch more anime!
However, just because more series are being released doesn’t mean that all of them are good. Here’s a list of highlights from Fall 2016. (Everything else you can just ignore, lol.)
1. Yuri!!! On ICE
Genres: Comedy, Sports, Romance
Summary: 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.
Notes: There is a same sex relationship in this anime, so if you’re homophobic or just uncomfortable, feel free to ignore. If you don’t care that much, it’s still a really good, realistic sports anime.
2. 3-Gatsu no Lion
Genres: Slice of Life, Drama, Seinen
Summary: Rei Kiriyama is a 17-year-old boy who recently started living alone, financed by his salary as a professional Shogi player. Despite his independence, however, he’s yet to mature emotionally, and his problems continue to haunt him in his daily life. His relationship with his adoptive family is strained, and he has difficulties interacting with his fellow high school students. Meanwhile, his professional career has entered a slump. Burdened with the heavy expectations placed on him as the fifth to become pro in middle school, his wins and losses are fluctuating as his record and progression into the ranks begin to stagnate.
Acquainted with Rei are the three Kawamoto sisters: Akari, Hinata, and Momo. Unlike Rei, they live happily in their modest home, which they warmly welcome Rei into as if he were one of their own. Despite his reservations about becoming too close to the family, he frequently visits, interacting with them and receiving the kind of care and affection he never quite had while under his foster home.
Notes: An adaptation of a manga series authored by the same person who created Honey and Clover. I haven’t watched it, so I’ll quote fans of the series: “It is an under-rated masterpiece.”
3. Udon no Kuni no Kiniro Kemari
Genres: Slice of Life, Fantasy, Seinen
Summary: Souta Tawara is a web designer working in Tokyo. When he visits his family’s Udon place in his hometown Kagawa Prefecture, he discovers a young boy. Upon confronting the boy, Souta soon learns his secret and decides to quit his job in order to take care of the boy, Poko. The daily adventures of the two slowly enfold as Poco energetically navigates his way through Kagawa, the “Udon Kingdom,” along with Souta.
Notes: A simple and easy-going anime that kind of reminds me of Barakamon. Probably the adult babysitting a child dynamic thing. Can you already tell how heart-warming its going to be?
4. Fune wo Amu
Genres: Slice of Life, Drama
Summary: The publication of a new dictionary titled The Great Passage progresses. Mitsuya Majime, originally from publisher Genbu Shobo’s sales department, has been recruited by Kouhei Araki, a veteran editor of the dictionary department who is looking to retire soon. The dictionary department is known internally as the “money-eating insect,” but Mitsuya uses his perseverance and attachment to the words in order to become a great editor. Mitsuya, who has poor social skills, finds himself working with another man named Masashi Nishioka, who is able to express himself better.
Notes: Not everyone’s cup of tea since it is slow-paced and doesn’t exactly have an exciting premise. If you like this kind of thing, however, it can be very atmospheric and even inspiring to watch.
5. Watashi ga Motete Dousunda
Genres: Harem, Comedy, Romance, School, Shoujo
Summary: Kae Serinuma is a second year high schooler and an avid fujoshi who secretly ships her classmates, Igarashi-kun and Nanashima-kun. The death of her favorite anime character causes her to become stressed—and loses weight rapidly. Now that Serinuma has become an attractive girl to her classmates, her snarky kouhai Shinomiya-kun, and her senpai Mutsumi, how is she going to deal with them …with her constant BL-filled, fujoshi mind?!
Notes: Kind of a typical harem in many ways, but still entertaining to watch if just for the interesting fujoshi twist. (Also, is that GL I see?!)
6. Mahou Shoujo Ikusei Keikaku
Genres: Action, Supernatural, Thriller, Fantasy
Summary: A social game called The Magical Girl Raising Project allows one in tens of thousands of people to be a “magical girl” — possessing extraordinary physical capabilities and looks, as well as special magical powers that set them apart from the rest of the human race. But one day, in a district containing 16 magical girls, the administration announces that it must halve the number of magical girls to solve the problem of magical energy. At first, the 16 magical girls race to collect more “magical candy” than their competitors, but the rules quickly become twisted, and it quickly becomes a murderous battle for survival among them.
Notes: Everyone is thinking the same thing: “Is this Madoka Magica?” And according to some people, it certainly has that potential.