30 Anime Review – PART 1

The Culture Cove 30 Anime Review

So, we’ve made it. Just over three months have passed since the first awards of this kind – our 15 Anime Review – and now we have another fifteen shows ready to challenge! How many awards can they steal from their predecessors on this blog, though? Lets find out!

First of all, here are the new fifteen shows competing for the awards:

Is it Wrong to Try to Pick up Girls in a Dungeon? / Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (including S2) / Shiro Bako / The World God Only Knows / Your Lie in April / God Eater / Say “I Love You” / Anohana / Tanaka-kun is Always Listless / Nisekoi / Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress / The Lost Village / No Game No Life / Kiznaiver / Toradora

You can check out all of the original fifteen in our 15 Anime Review, but these are the winners which the new fifteen will be trying to topple here:

Durarara / Sword Art Online / Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works / Steins;Gate / Attack on Titan / Blue Exorcist / Akame Ga Kill / Tokyo Ghoul

To check out reviews for any and all of these shows, check out our subcategory ‘Anime’ available on the left-hand side for desktop, and at the bottom of the page for mobiles!

Anyway, onto the first award!

DurararaCoolest Anime – Durarara!!
Durarara retains its position as the coolest anime I’ve ever seen. With its incredible mix of down-to-earth and fantasy, in both the people and the story, this is a show that often creates awesome moments so naturally. an incredibly slick show that verges on ironic without ever delving into it, this was a clear winner the first time and a clear winner this time.

Akame Ga Kill deserves a notable mention in this category for its awesome fight scenes and toungue-in-cheek style that is mixed with substance. While they may have been unable to challenge Durarara, new shows Code Geass as Kiznaiver deserve mentions in this category, the former for its incredibly cool lead-character (who will be mentioned later) and the latter – similarly to Akame Ga Kill – for its mix of serious and comedy aspects.

No Game No Life Sora and ShiroMost Stereotypical Anime – No Game No Life
This award goes to the anime which is the most like what people imagine anime is. Last time it went to Sword Art Online, but in 30 Anime Review this award goes to No Game No Life!

Surrounded by games, starring a loud-mouthed boy and including lots of sexual connotations involving people who look way too young, this is probably exactly what people who don’t watch anime expect it to all be about! It’s also a really good show, I should add.

Your Lie in April | Winner | Most Mature AnimeMost Mature Anime – Your Lie in April
This is a new award for 30 Anime Review, and almost works as a counterweight to the award above, as if to say ‘anime doesn’t have to be like that if you don’t want it to be’. Your Lie in April is an incredibly sophisticated anime that would appeal to people of all ages and intellect. A true and heartfelt story with realistic and natural characters, I would recommend this to everyone, but it would be a particularly great example of a more mature side of anime.

Another notable mention in this category is Anohana, which is also very natural and has a similarly true and heartfelt story.

Rin Tohsaka | Winner | Best Female LeadBest Female Lead – Rin Tohsaka: Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works
Another retention from the 15 Anime Review, Rin remains the best female lead I’ve seen in anime. We mentioned in the 15 Anime Review about how anime seems to have a real problem with creating really good and deep female leads, and that still holds true fifteen shows later. However, Rin is still a worthy winner thanks to her strong demeanour and the way she grows as the series goes on, slowly lowering her shield to reveal her true self to people close to her. A great character to watch.

A notable mention from the most recent fifteen would be Aoi Miyamori from Shirobako, who is a very natural and relatable character. Also worth a mention is Maya from Occult Academy, who is really good to watch despite not being the deepest of leads.

Lelouch Lamperouge | Winner - Best Male LeadBest Male Lead – Lelouch Lamperouge: Code Geass
Like with Female Lead above, this is another category that failed to have many contenders in 15 anime review. Anime is great at making wacky and exciting side-characters – as you’ll see in a moment – but fails to deliver strong, deep and emotional leads. However, this award has been saved by someone who is comfortably the most exciting male lead I’ve ever seen in anime: Lelouch Lamperouge.

An incredibly charismatic leader on the outside, and a struggling, lonely boy on the inside, I haven’t seen many characters in any category that are as memorable, exciting, and also as deep and conflicted as Lelouch. A truly excellent character, who I can imagine would present a huge challenge to any actor if this was ever made into a live-action movie.

Other notable mentions in this category include last time’s winner Okabe Rintarou from Steins;Gate, who is similarly quirky and extravagant on the outside but insecure on the inside, and also the title character from Tanaka-kun is Always Listless purely for his unique take on life.

Attack on Titan Mikasa Ackerman | Winner - Best Female Supporting CharacterBest Female Side-Character – Mikasa Ackerman: Attack on Titan
This was previously a shared award, but since time has passed my mind has swayed to one character over the other, and the beneficiary of my change in perception is Mikasa.

An excellent character that almost becomes the main character, Mikasa is one of those people who puts up a strong front but inside is a lot more complex than that. With an incredible motive that propels her through everything, Mikasa is someone who we, the anime watchers (I say this because people who read the manga may understand her more), feel like we know, yet at the same time there’s still a sense of mystery and awe surrounding her.

The person that Mikasa once shared this award with is Durarara’s Celty Sturlson. An excellent character with a blend of mystery and realism, she would also be a worthy winner of this award. There’s also a lot of other notable mentions in this category, which explains what I said earlier about anime’s tendency to save its best characters for side-roles. Other excellent female side-characters include Code Geass’ Kallen Stadtfeld, Anohana’s Naruko Anjou, Toradora’s Minori (all with red hair), Shiro from Deadman Wonderland and Touka from Tokyo Ghoul. So many good characters, so little time!

mephisto_pheles_21524-1Best Male Side-Character – Mephisto Pheles: Blue Exorcist
With very few notable MSCs emerging from the latest fifteen anime reviewed, this award is retained by the enigmatic Mephisto.

A case of making the best out of a bad situation, Mephisto is a highlight of what is a very average anime. Almost ironically charismatic, Mephisto is a character that literally sits back and enjoys the chaos that unfolds on his watch. He also never really picks a side – good or bad – instead enjoying floating around and just being the orchestrator. Also he has one of the simplest names ever, inspired by a demon from German folklore called Mephistopheles.

The only really notable mentions from the last fifteen anime reviewed both come from Kiznaiver – the ‘Immoral’ masochist Yoshiharu, and the loud and aggressive Tenga. Past that, Durarara deserves multiple mentions for inhibited characters such as Izaya and Walker, and there’s also a special mention for Tokyo Ghoul’s Juuzou Suzuya.

Akame Ga Kill | Winner - Best Character Set (C. Excaliburne)Best Character Set – Akame Ga Kill
Another retention from 15 Anime Review, this group of mercenaries is going to be tough to beat!

While not necessarily vital to the story, Akame Ga Kill would not be what it is (to me anyway) if it wasn’t for the array of fighters in the show. Everything from basic swordfighters to powerful tiger claws to magic make-up boxes is used in Akame, and each character has something of a unique colour to further distinguish themselves from each other. This is the type of show from which everyone will name a different favourite character – that, and the simple number of unique fighters, means Akame Ga Kill is a more than deserved recipient of this award.

Durarara is really unlucky to not win this award itself. Again, it possesses an array of unique characters that flood the show, but I just thought that the individuality of each character comes out clearer in Akame Ga Kill. Another deserved mention is RWBY, another fighting show with unique (if slightly one-dimensional) characters. There’s also a few from the most recent fifteen that at least deserve a mention, namely Kiznaiver for its colour and individuality of its characters, and Anohana for creating a real and honest group of friends.

So, with eight of the seventeen awards handed out, we have had five retentions from 15 Anime Review. No Game No Life has taken Sword Art Online off the honours list, and Code Geass has certainly made its presence felt, with one award and a handful of mentions.

Tokyo Ghoul’s name continues to pop up, but with no awards to its name as of yet, will it be able to hold onto its Best Mini Series title against some pretty strong opposition from the likes of No Game No Life and Tanaka-kun? And will anybody be able to topple Attack on Titan and win Best Anime? Find out in Part 2 next week!

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