The Josei’s Top 10 Anime of 2016: Part 2 (#1-5)

This year’s Top Five is so strong, it’s actually a Top Six.

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Did you miss out on Part 1? Fear not! You can click here for the year in review and the bottom half of the Top 10, including honorable mentions. Or, if you’re ready to check out the cream of the crop, you can hit the jump and read on for more.

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Glancing Upstream: Summer 2016 Retrospective and Review

Diving in for one last look at summer’s little treasures.

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The Fall season may be well under way, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take some time to bid fond farewell to our Summer standouts. After spending two weeks out of town and then writing a whole lotta final thoughts on orange and 91 Days, my schedule’s a mess right now (I haven’t even finished all of the shows on my summer watchlist), so this post will be shorter and more informal than usual so I can get it out before the Fall season overtakes me completely. Thanks in advance for your understanding!

As all that may suggest, Summer’s been pretty hectic on my end thanks to a second move, family events, new writing projects, and the aforementioned two-week trip, so maybe it’s no surprise that I gravitated toward lighter comedies and escapism this season. That said, there are still a trio of shows on this list that’ll punch you right in your feels pouch. Good thing you’ve got those other soothing shows to help ease the sting, eh?

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91 Days – Episode 12 (Series Finale & Review)

One more for the road.

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91 Days defies expectations one last time to bring us a finale that haunts and comforts in equal measures, and a conclusion as steeped in uncertainty as the series itself.  The more I think about it, the more I like it, and I can’t wait to talk about it with you.

First, though, let’s give any newcomers curious about this gangster drama a chance to decide if they wanna pick it up (hint: do it). We’ll start with a spoiler-free review and then move into the episode commentary. I’ll let you know when the shift happens, so scroll on for thoughts both overarching and focused.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

91 Days – Episodes 10-11: “Proof of Good Faith” & “All For Nothing”

All aboard the pain train!

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We’re looking down the barrel of our final episode, and as expected of a show that keeps using lines from Shakespearen tragedies as its episode titles, everything is collapsing right on schedule. Since the vacation put me a week behind, you’re getting a double whammy of commentary this week, and fresh off an Episode 10 rewatch, too! Everything is terrible! Let’s talk about it.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

91 Days – Episode 9: “Black and Deep Desires”

Clock’s ticking.

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For an episode that’s packed with big changes, this feels like the calm before the storm, giving our two main characters a chance to breathe, think, and chat in a way they haven’t in while. The moral ambiguity and tension are thick as ever (as 91 Days‘s beloved canted angles will attest), but there’s very much the sense that we’re moving into the final act of our bloody tale. Fitting, really, given that the Vanetti’s new playhouse is about to raise its curtains for the first time.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

91 Days – Episode 8: “Behind the Curtain”

Corteo makes it rain in more ways than one this week.

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It’s another episode of dense scheming and counter-scheming here on 91 Days, but as with recent weeks, the plot is a means to an end, less about what happens and more about how our main characters (re)act and what that tells us about them. Which isn’t to say that what happens isn’t well-paced, tightly narrated, sharply directed, and ridiculously tense–because h’oh man, is it ever. The sheer number of times I shouted at my monitor during “Behind the Curtain” is ample evidence of that.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!

91 Days – Episode 7: “A Poor Player”

All in the family…

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91 Days outdid itself this week, zeroing in on the Vanetti siblings in an episode packed to the rafters with layered characters, conflicts political and personal, and a tense, rapidfire chess match of scheming from the shadows. Most impressive of all? About half of it happens outside of the dialogue, through subtle (re)actions or off-screen entirely, leaving us with a snapshot of our cast that’s both dense and loaded with uncertainty.

Click here for the full post on Anime Evo!