I don’t have an ultimate favorite. There’ve been so many shows that I enjoyed during various seasons in my life. At some point, it was Rurouni Kenshin or Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Cowboy Bebop, and Samurai Champloo. Two years ago it was Attack on Titan and Psycho-Pass. Last year it was Noragami, Haikyuu!! and Knights of Sidonia.
I’ve been introduced to Fate/Stay and Kuroko no Basket, but they weren’t outstanding. I’ve also dropped shows halfway: Knights of Sidonia: Battle of Planet 9, Fate/Stay Night (Season 2), and Ranpo Kitan: Game of Laplace. Tokyo Ghoul was amazing, but Tokyo Ghoul √A was a bit underwhelming, though I managed to finish it.
So considering how good this fall season’s lineup has been for me, I’m going to list these as my top favorites:
1. Noragami Aragoto
The human-likeness of gods. The fickleness of man. The weight of our words. The errs of our ways. The bonds of our past. And a hope for a better future. With a good balance of humor and action in between.
At least, that’s how I’ve summed up Noragami as a series. It’s the only one where I’ve collected all 14 manga volumes. In Japanese.
How I so wish for this anime series to have an extended lifeline.
2. A Corpse is Buried Under Sakurako-san’s Feet (Sakurako-san no ashimoto ni wa shitai ga umatteiru)
A beautiful young adult with an obsession with bones. She dresses simply and has no airs about her, telling the facts as they are. She’s my kind of heroine after Tsunemori Akane of Psycho-Pass.
I don’t know how she ends up meeting her male teenage protagonist though. Perhaps it’s no accident that she was drawn to him because of his resemblance to her deceased younger brother. Or he was drawn to her weirdness. We haven’t reached that backstory yet. But he keeps her temper and tactlessness under control, while she introduces him to a world most kids don’t get to see, honing his detective skills in the process.
The character design and art direction are also gorgeous.
3. Haikyuu! Season 2
What makes volleyball a useful subject in an anime series? It’s not exactly soccer or basketball. But then again, I could ask the same for Ping Pong.
To me, it’s not so much about the game as much as it is watching the protagonists and his teammates grow together. What it means to overcome obstacles, and what it means to lose. More importantly, it’s being honest about your competitiveness and desire to win, but also making friends along the way.
I love how this series doesn’t make anyone an enemy. If anything, there’s always a character you can identify with. Especially Tsukishima.
Honorable mention: K: Return of Kings
I did not expect to like this show. I hated Season One. The plot was bad, the story was cheesy, and everything was just over-sexualized. So when Return of Kings was released, I watched episode one without giving it too much thought.
But as it turns out, the introductions of the green and grey kings have made the show much more interesting. Anna as the new red king has given the red clan a much kinder face, and Shiro has developed a stronger backbone. Way to go, GoHands.