Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top 10 Anime Moments of 2015

Top 10 Anime Moments of 2015
Written by: ClayDragon & Shiggins

Following on from our Top 10 Anime Characters of 2015, we’re taking a look at the singular moments that made us laugh, cheer and cry this year. There were a number of memorable scenes this year, with a number of them easily becoming the defining moment for their respective series. As long as the scene in question aired this year, it’s fair game for this list.

Side note: Whilst we made an effort to watch lots of shows that started airing this year, we couldn’t see them all. So if there’s a moment that you think should be on this list but isn’t, then it’s probably because we never got around to watching it, as opposed to us not liking it.

As is this the case with many of these lists, SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned.

10.)        Meeting in the Snow (Nisekoi:) (Written by: ClayDragon)

Onodera is one of those Nisekoi characters that you just want to hug. Upon finding out that her crush Raku is planning on going to a different high school than her, she decides to apply for his school as well in the hopes that she’ll end up being able to spend more time with him – despite the fact that they’d never been able to say anything more than ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’ before. With this goal in mind, Onodera devotes all her time to studying in order to pass the school’s entrance exam.
Oh, just kiss already, dammit!!
Sadly, she ends up failing the exam despite her best efforts, and the realisation that she’ll never be able to see Raku again hits her hard. Utterly heartbroken, she sits alone on a park bench in the middle of winter, and is only broken out of her depression by the timely arrival of Raku himself. The two end up sitting together, and in what could be seen as a red-string-of-fate reference, Raku shares his scarf with her for a while. Just as the two are about to confess their feelings for each other, Onodera gets a phone call to say that she’s been admitted from the school’s waiting list. 
And they lived happily ever after...right? Please?
This is one of those scenes that almost perfectly encapsulates what the show’s about – heartwarming moments, a bit of humour, and a contrived coincidence that just so happens to stop Onodera from confessing. It shows us the exact moment when the relationship between Raku and Onodera upgraded from simple classmates to actual friends, and it’s a remarkably touching scene for both characters as they realise that they’ll be able to spend more time together after all.

9.)           Super Saiyan God (Dragon Ball Super) (Written by: ClayDragon)

First, there was the original Super Saiyan. Then, there was Super Saiyan 2. After that, there was Super Saiyan 3. And finally, in the canon film Battle of Gods, we were introduced to the next true stage of a Saiyan’s power – Super Saiyan God (no, Super Saiyan 4 does not count). And when we found out that Dragon Ball Super was going to adapt the most recent films, we were all curious as to how it would handle Goku’s transformation into a Saiyan powerful enough to go toe-to-toe with a genuine deity.
Sadly, this is the most useful that Gohan will be for a while.
Thankfully, it did not disappoint. At first, it’s just a standard case of some golden auras surrounding the five Saiyans (and Videl). But then the sweeping orchestral music starts up, the sky is covered in golden clouds, whirlpools form in the sea, and as everyone is covered in a blue light and a hole opens up in the sky, it finally happens. Goku steps forwards with his fancy red hair and confronts Beerus as a Super Saiyan God. 
It's strange how evil he looks with red eyes.
Let’s face it, this transformation was just amazing. The choir in the background, the golden sky – everything about this scene suggest someone ascending to godhood (which I suppose is exactly what happens). Whilst the original Super Saiyan transformation brought about lightning strikes and storm clouds, it’s a much more serene affair this time around, and it was good to see the Super Saiyan God transformation given the scope and weight that it deserved.

8.)           Reverse Counter (Nanatsu no Taizai) (Written by: Shiggins)

A series that I feel deserves far more recognition than it gets, Nanatsu no Taizai ended its first season with a bang. Although technically, the one bang was several bangs and whooshes and zaps all piled together to create a super-bang that ultimately destroyed the demonic villain Hendrickson who had transformed into a new evil being of hatred and was about to decimate the kingdom and everybody in it... but a bang it was!
The power of Christ kicks your ass!
I hope you were prepared for spoilers because this section is a bit of a big 'un. After spending a few episodes providing a sincere beatdown to the main characters, known as the Seven Deadly Sins, Hendrickson is seeming to be unstoppable. He's abandoned and betrayed all his allies, turned several of his minions into demonic monsters, transformed several times to become more and more like a demon from a more coloured version of Hell, and when all hope is lost, the season ends with Meliodas unleashing his final attack.
It's not fanservice! He's male!
It's another battle finale to a great series that I'm sure we've all seen before. Some are great, and others are crap. Nanatsu no Taizai gets the more positive ranking due to some resounding music, beautifully bright visual animation and by using a fairly ingenious method of involving every character within this climax. Nobody is left out and it's certainly enjoyable to watch a purple Satan get blown up by the light.

7.)           Love Nectar (Shimoneta) (Written by: Shiggins)

You people had to see this coming. Probably the most infamous entry on this list, Shimoneta's “Love Nectar” set the internet aflame, with shock and awe as people were unsure whether they should howl with laughter or call their therapist after having a cry in the shower while eating whatever comfort food they have to hand... just so long as they aren't cookies.
Millie's Cookies shares either plummeted or skyrocketed after this scene.
 For those who aren't scarred yet, allow me to get to cutting. Shimoneta is a story about people who aren't used to the ways of perversion or sexuality, so lack basic education about what to do when turned on or romantically connected to someone. In the case of the precious student council president Anna, this lack of knowledge results in her trying to provide affection and love to her crush... through her own ‘love nectar’ cookies.
Yes. It's exactly what you think it is.
Although there are several scenes before and after that show Anna's break due to the power of lady-boners, the ‘love nectar’ inside the cookies is the true beginning of it all. It's hilarious, disturbing and a sign of many things to come. Bottles of her essence, literally ripping off zippers with her teeth, and threatening to stab her best friend out of a paranoid jealousy are just some of the treats you'll have in store for you if you watch this series, and it all begins with a simple gift from a yandere.

6.)           Wendy Activates Dragon Force (Fairy Tail) (Written by: Shiggins)

The newest anime adaptation of Fairy Tail has been very controversial. The animation changes are apparent and obvious, the amazing music from the last series is gone and been replaced with an acceptable score, and there a few changes to the overall story that the original anime would have never wasted time doing, such as somewhat censoring fanservice. However, none of these are a problem so long as the series still looks damn impressive when it counts. And as proven here, it most definitely is not a problem.
Sorry, this must be from Wendy's magical girl spinoff... oh wait.
We were really tempted to choose the battle of Silver and Gray, but seeing as how Wendy's Dragon Force is the ultimate culmination of her development, breaking down her past self completely and revealing the utterly new manifestation that is a strong and confident Wendy Marvell, we felt this was more appropriate. Her battle with Ezel in this form is cool on its own, but since it's the final nail in the coffin that was once her shyness, we just adore it.
I think we just found the next form of Pedobear.
Destroying the bomb that is Face might seem like a minor victory within the arc of Tartaros, but it was impressive nonetheless. Loads of fast-paced action, great effects (despite the anime being really fucking annoying these days and making all the colours faded... but that's a rant for another day), and some interesting transformations make this entire section definitely worth your precious time. It's not like you’ve got anything better to do.

5.)           Saitama’s Serious Punch (One Punch Man) (Written by: Shiggins)

Fuck you, One Punch Man. I wanted to hate your lack of story and shallow development, but you made it impossible! Someone gave you the greatest animation company in Japan, and some badass straight-shooting action that made everybody and their disappointed mothers cry out in satisfying ecstasy. In short, it's too awesome, especially given that it only has an average budget for only 12 episodes.
Where's a Keanu Reeves "whoa" when you need one?
The idea of fighting aliens for a big finale isn't exactly inventive, but then again, we don't watch One Punch Man to see unique philosophies or debatable arguments that will impact the way we look at life and ourselves. We watch it to see Saitama blow shit up! And after literally being punched into the moon, Saitama does just that.
"I'm a comedy character!"
Utter devastation of the highest order. It's nothing short of ravishing! Saitama's toughest opponent yet, who was able to actually damage Saitama to an interesting degree, could not withstand this punch. Not only does it defeat the alien king Boros, but it destroys him. It is a gorgeous sight, with the clouds parting and...and… do I even need to describe it? It's pure glory in artistic form! One. Fucking. Punch. Of glory!

4.)           Aligula Kidnaps Leo (Blood Blockade Battlefront) (Written by: Shiggins)

This damn series... It's too fucking good for... well, for its own good. So good in fact that it took much debate and arguing for us to come to a conclusion for what our BBB entry should be, and we're still not sure we can sleep at night due to the possibility we made some semblance of a mistake. Nevertheless, here is our final decision: Aligula's beautiful car smashing up Hellsalem’s Lot while she asks for... love stories!
Aligula at her finest... Wait, is it Aligula? Aligura? Alibaba?
Yes, while some would probably choose the glorious Ode to Joy moment or the boxing match, both featuring God's manliest gift Klaus, we went for something that's ironically simpler. Yes, the blindfolded one-eyed monstrosity riding a devastating truck and ordering her captive Leo to tell her stories about his past is surprisingly more simple than a werewolf man punching an alien-looking thing. See, we love this scene because it so easily captures what BBB is and what it's capable of. 
During this scene, we see Aligula tell Leo her own ‘tragic’ backstory of how she loved two men. Sadly, one was ugly and the other one had a crap personality, so she spliced them together horrifically and with brutal force to make a perfect man. Then they abandoned her! Those monsters! However, she's a romantic and wants Leo to talk, which results in him hinting about a currently blooming romance in the series that is just darling. Add in some hilarious editing and fast movements to go alongside the wonderful personalities on display here, and you have a scene that's as adorable as it is maniacal. Just like Blood Blockade Battlefront as a whole.

3.)           Chiyuki’s Choice (Death Parade) (Written by: ClayDragon)

If you were given the option to sacrifice a random person’s life in order to save your own, what would you do? Would you kill a person you’d likely never meet just so you could live? This is the choice Decim gives to Chiyuki in the final episode of Death Parade. After Chiyuki sees firsthand the impact her suicide had on her mother’s life, Decim gives her a button. Press it, and she will come back to life at the cost of someone else’s.
I was going to put a funny caption here, but that would just ruin everything about this moment.
Just as Chiyuki is about to go through with it, she remembers every soul she met since she first arrived in the afterlife and finds herself unable to press the button. Even though she’d never meet the person who she’d end up killing, that person would be important to someone, and this realisation pushes Chiyuki to ask Decim to press the button in her place. Not only does this cement Chiyuki’s development, but it forces Decim’s repressed emotions to the surface, causing him to break down in tears as he admits to Chiyuki that it was just a test to determine if she should be sent to heaven.
 Death Parade was never afraid to punch us right in the feels, and this moment took it to the logical conclusion. Seeing the usually-stoic Decim break down in tears due to the guilt he felt over deceiving his friend was heartbreaking, and the sight of Chiyuki comforting him as they both start crying made me tear up as well. It was the emotional climax that had been building up since the very first episode, and the payoff was worth every minute.

2.)           Yato Gets a Shrine (Noragami Aragoto) (Written by: ClayDragon)

Yato has long been portrayed as being rather greedy and ambitious when it comes to money, as he constantly proclaims that his goal is to become the most-worshipped god in Japan. Sadly, the main flaw in this plan is that very few humans even know he exists. Despite acting like his small number of followers doesn’t bother him that much, it becomes apparent in the second season of Noragami that he’s actually more troubled by this than he lets on.
"It's a bit too small to live in, though."
So it’s a wonderfully touching moment when Hiyori gives him a gift that turns out to be a shrine of his very own. Despite the fact that it’s tiny and obviously hand-made, the gesture is enough to bring Yato to tears as he realises that he has people who treasure him. The fact that Hiyori spent enough effort on it that her hands are covered in scratches and plasters only helps to make the gift even more special.
Yato has never really shown his vulnerable side before, so to see him start crying with joy was as unexpected as it was heartwarming. Whilst the shrine doesn’t mean much to Hiyori, it means the whole world to Yato, and he begins to treasure it above all else. It really shows how much Hiyori cares for Yato, and given that he’s been after a shrine for centuries, this wonderful moment is easily the signature scene for this season of Noragami.

1.)           Omnimon Appears (Digimon Adventure tri.) (Written by: ClayDragon)

This moment may not be particularly heartwarming or funny for the characters involved, but who cares? Since Omnimon first appeared in the Digimon Adventure movie back in 2000, he became an instant fan-favourite due to his cool design, sheer power, and general badassery. Fast forward 15 years, and we finally got to see him again in the first Digimon Adventure tri movie. And what a moment it was.
And zero fucks were given that day.
After a massive hole between the real world and the Digiworld opens up in the middle of a stadium, the Digidestined come face-to-face with Alphamon, one of the strongest Digimon out there. Despite their best efforts, Alphamon utterly beats the crap out of them without any effort until WarGreymon and MetalGarurumon DNA Digivolve into Omnimon, forcing him to fight for real. After giving us the battle we were all waiting for, Alphamon retreats back into the Digiworld, leaving behind a lot of rubble and a lot of happy Digimon fans. 
*Squeals like a little girl*
This entry is just nostalgia, pure and simple. But who cares? It was brilliant. When Digimon Adventure tri was first announced, a lot of people were sceptical, and rightly so. But the first movie laid any unease to rest, and Omnimon’s grand introduction was the icing on the cake. Gorgeously animated, beautifully scored, and epic in every way, this scene showed better than any other that Digimon was back with a bang.

Honourable Mentions:
Gintoki 'Assisting' With A Suicide (Gintama 2015)
Mikado Stabs Aoba (Durarara x2)
Final Ferris Wheel Ride (Plastic Memories)
Nao Cooks For Yuu (Charlotte)
Love Forever (Cute High Earth Defence Club LOVE!)
Is there a moment you feel we missed out? Or do you have any suggestions for another Top 10 list? Let us know in the comments below!
Really, this entire fight was awesome from start to finish.

Thanks for reading!

ClayDragon is currently studying Physics at university, and is constantly bewildered by it. The main method of contacting him is his Gmail account at claydragon.on@gmail.com. He has an ask.fm account at ask.fm/ClayDragon. When not playing games or reading, he can be found with his head in his hands whilst trying in vain to understand quantum physics. He remembers sleeping once, long ago.

Shiggins:[Admin]   .
Shiggins enjoys many strange forms of communication, especially those including cosplayers or presents or videos. However, until that wonderful day comes when people care enough to give him things for being him, you can contact him on his Skype; shigginsishere. He can also respond to you if you contact him through GMails at shigginsishere@gmail.com, and you can find out about him or ask him stuff on ask.fm/shigginsishere.

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