The Fall 2016 anime season is now fully underway, and some shows have already emerged on the top tier. Mob Psycho 100, One Punch Man, and Attack on Titan, to begin with, are must-watch television for all anime fans. What’s great about the 2016 anime season is that there’s something to satisfy everybody’s particular tastes. Specifically, the two best anime of this season that can deliver to a range of anime fans is Kouta Hirano’s Drifters and Sayo Yamamoto’s Yuri!!! On Ice.
Kouta Hirano created Drifters in 2009. It’s a fantasy, alternate history manga/anime with dark animation. Shimazu Toyohisa is transported to a different world following the Battle of Sekigahara. He joins a group of other great warriors known as “Drifters,” who are engaged in this sort of civil war battle with another group of great warriors called the “Ends.” The show has an endless amount of gore and violence. You can almost always expect somebody to get their heads chopped off. But, the characters can be humorous at times — providing some type of release from the constant blood and fighting. The standout character is obviously Shimazu, whose bloodlust is reminiscent of Rurouni Kenshin, a swordsman who is often playful and fun, but get them into a battle and they will kill you with no remorse.
In fact, all the characters in the anime are a pleasure to watch, because they’re all based on real people. Shimazu Toyohisa was a real Japanese warrior who died at the Battle of Sekigahara. Some other notable characters that people might recognize is Hannibal the Conqueror, Butch Cassidy, Joan of Arc, Rasputin, and a whole host of others. If you love history, then it is really a delight to see these characters portrayed on the screen. They make reference to their real life histories and these histories have a way of affecting their relationship in the show. You might find yourself doing research on these people to better understand their motives, powers, and beliefs.
If blood and violence is not your thing, then Yuri!!! On Ice is the anime that you should be watching. Produced by MAPPA, directed by Sayo Yamamoto and written by Mitusuro Kubo, Yuri!!! On Ice is a sports anime focused on one of the more forgotten sports, figure skating. It follows a young, Japanese figure skater, Yuri Katsuki, as he competes to become the best figure skater in the world.
I know what you may be thinking, though. Why would anybody ever watch an anime about figure skating? Firstly, the animation is beautiful. There is a certain fluidity and softness to figure skating that the animators were able to nail perfectly. In fact, the anime has been praised in the figure skating community for how well the anime portrays the intricacies of figure skating. At the same time, the anime is just fun to watch. The opening and the ending matches the show perfectly as well and has the potential to be some of those songs from anime that people will remember. If you are still not convinced to watch the anime because you are hard set on violence and gore, then it is fine. But, if you are appreciative of a good story, with good characters and even better animation, then watch Yuri!!! On Ice.
There is still a lot of other anime to watch this season. Gundam and Bungou: Stray Dogs both return for a second season. One Piece is still going on and if you have since stopped watching Naruto, the anime has finally finished the last fight between Naruto and Sasuke. Obviously, we are still waiting for the big name anime to make their return, but both Drifters and Yuri!!! On Ice are definitely worth watching.