The Josei’s Top 10 Anime of 2015: Part 2 (#1-5)

One last hurrah for the best and brightest of 2015.

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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: Winter 2015 Retrospective and Review

I’ve never been so sad to see the end of winter.

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Real talk, dear readers: This was the best anime season I’ve experienced since I started regularly watching simulcasts a few years ago, positively jam-packed with not only quality adaptations but also tremendous original works (a relative rarity these days). As a result, creating this list was torture, because there were simply too many great or good series, full of tightly woven plots, provocative themes, and captivating characters. So take the numbers with a grain of salt and, if you’re looking for a new show to watch, pay closer attention to the grades and premises.

I like to talk season trends in these retrospectives, and Winter saw a couple fascinating ones: Well-written female characters, and an exploration of binaries (male/female, life/death, Madonna/whore, geeky/sporty, etc.) and seemingly irreconcilable cultures and social groups. The top seven shows all feature diverse, layered lady protagonists; in five of those shows said protagonists are the main character; and two of them (Yurikuma Arashi and Maria the Virgin Witch) are overtly feminist works, portraying and challenging society’s expectations/treatment of women in both reality and fiction.

There’s a mess of complicated, morally gray, thought-provoking stuff here, but more impressive still, these ideas are generally paired with complex characters and compelling stories, leading to a gripping cocktail of the intellectual and the emotional, a winning combo of Dem Thinks and Dem Feels. In short, Winter was a damn good season, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it. Hit the jump for some spoiler-free mini-reviews, final grades, and Totally Arbitrary Rankings.

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Yurikuma Arashi Recap & Review: Episode 12 – “YURI KUMA ARASHI” (Finale)

Let’s go, Miss Kureha! To the outside world!

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I thought I’d start this with a spoiler-free review, for those of you scrolling past and wondering if you should give this strange little series a try. Hit the jump to read on, and I’ll let you know when the spoilers kick up again.

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Yurikuma Arashi Recap – Episode 10: “The Door to Friendship”

Bear hugs make everything better.

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This post is coming to you on holiday, two time zones and a primary laptop away from my usual writing location, which means I’m lacking both my reaction gif archive and a whole mess of available writing time. So while this post is still plenty long on account of all the Lulu (#BestBear), I do apologize if it’s a bit sparser (and lower on terrible puns) than usual.

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