NBNRetrospective | The Top 50 Anime of 2006-2015 (Part Four)
Great anime doesn't always have to be the most exciting, although the ones with wall-to-wall action can often be the most rewarding for the eyes. Sometimes all an anime needs is a bunch of relatable characters, a warm setting, and enough of a plot to keep viewers tuned in. In rare cases, the concept doesn't have to make much sense, so long as the series promises to take its viewers on a rewarding ride throughout the show's run. Many types of anime, a huge chunk of sub-genres, and moods that can range from heart-pounding exciting to even serenely calm, all of which can be found in these Top 50 Anime of 2006-2015. With that being said, let's move onto the fourth part of our list!
WRITER'S NOTE: To qualify, the anime must have premiered between the years 2006 and 2015. New seasons of older anime will not be counted.
After punching a curator for criticizing his work, calligrapher Seishū Handa is sent to Gotō Island to both calm his nerves and rediscover his creative juices. There he meets the lively villagers, one of whom is the 7-year-old Naru, and through them finds both inspiration and -- surprisingly -- a lost part of himself. Barakamon is the type of anime that both makes you laugh wholeheartedly while cleansing your soul. Of course, it was the chemistry between the struggling artist and the innocent child that made this anime always entertaining.
19: The Devil is a Part-Timer
The fact that no one came up with this idea until light novelist Satoshi Wagahara did is quite shocking. Satan loses most of his powers, is kicked out of his kingdom in Ente Isla, gets transported to Earth, and is now working at a McDonald's knockoff. Like a crazed love child of Neil Gaiman and Kevin Smith, The Devil is a Part-Timer was a hoot and a holler to view, and with the Hero Emilia following behind the Satan's trail every time, it made the misadventures of this Lord of Darkness incredibly enjoyable. With general Alciel and fast-food coworker Chiho by his side, Satan sets out to conquer the world...but not before serving up a super-sized order of comedy and action.
18: Black Butler
Sebastian Michaelis is simply one hell of a butler, as he serves tragic character Ciel Phantomhive to his every wish. A wonderful mixture of drama, action, horror, and comedy, Black Butler brought out the very best of the Victorian era whilst uncovering some of its unflattering truths. From the incompetent house workers and an extremely girly fiancée to a cross-dressing chainsaw-wielding Grim Reaper, Black Butler balanced many anime genres to present both an unforgettable pairing and a story with so many unexpected twists & turns. Just make sure you take a cue from A-1 Pictures, and pretend the second season never happened, save for its fun OVAs.
17: Gugure! Kokkuri-san
A spirit is summoned by a young girl, whose doll-like mentality forces the fox demon to give a helping hand rather than curse her. Gugure! Kokkuri-san takes a very Japanese story with yokai and various other Shinto-inspired creatures, and injects it with some surprisingly Western-inspired humor that anyone can follow with ease. Whether it was watching young Kohina learn how to smile, Kokkuri-san attempt to save his balding head, or dealing with a drunk tanuki and impure dog spirit, Gugure! Kokkuri-san always called upon some of the funniest bits and some unexpected sweet moments to bring together a well-spirited comedy for any fan of animation to enjoy.
16: Ouran High School Host Club
When a student finds themselves breaking a host club's prized vase, they're forced to work off the debt by serving the ladies of Ouran Academy. It's when said student Haruhi Fujioka is revealed to be a girl when the rest of the Host Club does their best to hide her gender for the sake of good business and friendship. Ouran High School Host Club brought a new level of hilarity to the reverse-harem genre, along with some beautiful visuals, memorable characters, and heart-warming romance. Although we should probably wag a finger at this series for its introduction to the world of "shipping" in the anime fandom...
15: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Time travelers, espers, and UFOs. These are what Haruhi Suzumiya aspired to find in her SOS Brigade, but unbeknownst to her, her fellow club members already managed to fit that bill. Told from the perspective of classmate and reluctant club member Kyon, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya took the world by storm with its unconventional storytelling, satire of the moé genre, and sarcastic wit & humor. Inspiring fans everywhere (hell, why do you think Brigade is in our name?!), The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya was a prime example of an anime phenomenon that has yet to be repeated. However, let's do our best to forget about Endless Eight, okay?
Licensed by FUNimation
14: Eden of the East
Written, created, and directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), Eden of the East was a smorgasbord of genres brought together. One-third romantic comedy, one-third psychological mystery, and one-third deep character drama, the story of university student Saki Morimi and the enigmatic Akira Takizawa brought a Jason Bourne-level of mystique with its plot to save Japan. Given ¥10 billion to try and better their surroundings, Akira and the eleven other Seleção race against one other with their wits, wisdom, and sometimes combat knowledge to figure out who or what is behind this wild social experiment. Never a dull moment to spare, Eden of the East managed to present its fun, dark, and eye-opening tale with some smart writing and relatable characters.
13: Hayate the Combat Butler
A ¥150,000,000 debt, a closeted millionaire brat, a talking white tiger, and a narrator who berates every person onscreen. This is what Hayate Ayasaki has to deal with on a daily basis, and thankfully these moments always lead towards British comedy-leveled hilarity. Hayate the Combat Butler poked, prodded, and skewed every anime, film, and TV show it could get its hands on, bringing forth the right level of stupid comedy with a sprinkling of sweetness to make things right in the end. Whether it's in the Sanzenin mansion, school grounds, or even the hot Vegas desert, Hayate, Nagi, Maria, and the rest of the cast were always ready to present its viewers with a good dose of laughter at any shameless (or even shameful) cost.
12: Attack on Titan
You could dissect Attack on Titan as a metaphor for the hopelessness faced by our current generation, but let's be real: this is an anime about giants threatening humanity. The tragic childhood of Eren, Mikasa, and Armin leads the trio to join the Survey Corps, who are sworn to protect what's left of the human race from the monsters that roam around the walled cities. Action-packed, gruesome, and sometimes philosophical, Attack on Titan got even non-anime fans to tune in weekly to see what the fuss was all about, even if some of the series biggest questions were left (currently) unanswered.
11: Death Parade
A unique twist on afterlife reflection and soul judgment, Death Parade took two characters each week, and gave them a game of chance. Simple activities like darts, bowling, and Twister become fights for the right to live, only the participants know nothing of their current demise until later on. Never leaving the opportunity to second-guess its competitors, Death Parade played willingly with its audience while diving deeper into the mysteries of the world and the girl who's become the bartender Decim's right-hand person. And, of course, there's the show's entry to catchiest anime theme song ever...
Check back next week for the final part of this Top 50 anime countdown!