Top 5 Anime of Summer 2015

The Summer 2015 Anime Season has been quite a challenging one to critique. Shows that screamed promise from the start still manage to fall short, while shows that were not even on the radar, managed to impress.

With the season’s conclusion at hand, here are the top 5 shows that shouldn’t be missed.  Surprisingly enough, a solid mixture of idols, violence, military, comedy, and political intrigue.  Something for everyone and definitely nothing to be ignored.

5. iDOLM@STER: Cinderella Girls 2
Get the tissues ready, they aren’t holding back.

During its first season, Cinderella Girls slapped me silly with massive amounts of sugar, adorableness, and some tears. With the second season, Cinderella Girls cranks up the drama, dealing with surprisingly deep topics that are sure to have you either sobbing or rooting for the characters.

This is enabled by the arrival of a sort of reforming that is happening within the studio the girls are a part of. Projects are shut down, cut backs happen, and everything Producer has been working on comes into question. Profits versus smiles, individuality versus uniform, dreams versus reality. At the same time, as the girl seem separated by new assigned roles, friendships and bonds also become unstable.

e1gate134. GATE Thus the JSDF Fought There!
An expansive world that I want more of.

Without a doubt, GATE is one of the most promising new anime series to come out of the Summer season. Based off a Light Novel series, this series kicked off things in Summer, to return in Winter 2016. And I can’t wait for it to return.

That’s because GATE just oozes good writing. While at face value it looks like “otaku goes to fantasy world,” but then it disproves your preconceived notions with smart emphasis on the politics, war, and character design. All of the tropes you thought would be in your face are mostly non existent.

As Youji joins the Japanese military involvement in a world on the other side of a mysterious gate, you get a perspective of both the eyes on the ground forming bonds with natives of the lands, while also seeing the perspective of political leaders holding knives behind their backs at the prospect of unclaimed lands.  Check out our Podcast review to learn more!

castletowndandelionfeat3. Castle Town Dandelion
A surprise gem that had me eagerly awaiting each episode.

Every season needs some good laughs and heart. While Non Non Biyori Repeat is for sure a good choice, Castle Town Dandelion is a completely different breed. That’s not to say one is necessarily better than the other. Castle Town Dandelion excels in both characters, comedy, and cuteness. Providing tons of laughs while also managing to dish out some heartwarming stories at the same time.

The refreshing aspect is in it’s tendency to not overstretch its bounds.  It serves a modest helping of cuteness and comedy and then sneaks in character development and stories that are heartwarming.  While seeing Akane’s adorable embarrassment is definitely a plus, I found myself attaching to each character as they struggled for their father’s crown in their own way.  For their own reasons.  Check out our Written and Podcast review to learn more!

2. Gatchaman Crowds Insight
So much is happening, and it’s all clever.

When Summer 2015 kicked off, Insight captured my attention with its catchy opening.  I decided to get caught up with the first season and found myself immediately hooked.

Gatchman Crowds is definitely a departure from the original Gatchaman, but that’s okay.  It’s doing its own thing and it’s doing it incredibly well.  Modernizing itself and taking on tough (and maybe controversial) elements of the human mind and social experiments.  All while dumbfounding you at times with some odd elements of its world.  Despite how odd it is, it all comes together.  It comes together masterfully.

This is helped by a very colorful cast of characters that all seem to enhance the main plot in their own way.  Giving unique perspectives of each and every side of a oddly shaped coin.

e1schoollive111. School-Live
Truly clever writing in a cute but brutal package.

You can ignore it by calling “hype” or “overrated.” You can ignore it because it’s too “moe.” However that doesn’t stop School-Live from being a show that managed to do so many things right.  Evident by it’s cleverly written opening with more hidden messaging than you can shake a stick at.

It’s definitely a difficult show to discuss, which makes it hard to explain to people who are taking suggestions.  It just has spoilers written all over it.  Just know that it’s a show that involves adorable girls trapped in an apocalypse.  Beyond that is struggles with reality and loss while strengthening bonds of friendship and resolve.

It’s a show that shouldn’t be missed and has a lot of unique writing smarts that often get lost in anime.  I look forward to its later release, just because it’s a fun show to rewatch and look for the hidden messaging.  Check out our Podcast review to learn more!

There you have it!  The top 5 anime of the Summer 2015 season.  A handful of shows that I believe you should at least give a shot or stick with.  Of course it won’t match everyone’s list, but that’s what these sort of things are for.  Think of it as a friendly suggestion!  Watch, enjoy, and tell others!

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Co-Founder of OtakuSpirit.com and Co-Host of the OtakuSpirit Animecast. A huge fan of anime since the early 1990s, consuming over 800 shows. While he's late to the collecting scene, he's found a lot of joy in filling his DVD/Blu-ray collection as well as collecting figures. Once a week, he posts unboxing and feature videos on anime goods to YouTube.