Nine awards down, and so far each award has gone to a different series! Familiar names have been cropping up in the honourable mentions, but no show so far has managed to pull away from the rest in terms of award wins, which shows the strength of all the series we’ve reviewed here on The Culture Cove!
Yes, every show featured in the image above has been reviewed right here at The Culture Cove! To check out our reviews, just click the anime subsection on the left for desktop, or at the bottom of this page for mobiles!
Without further delay, here’s the heavyweight finale to our 52 Anime Review!
Best Action Series: Akame Ga Kill
As we mentioned in Part One, the action genre is our most watched genre her at The Culture Cove, so it goes without saying that the competition for this award was probably the fiercest out of the lot.
There’s a plethora of fantastic action series here, but I think the show that struck the best balance between pure blood-and-guts action and engaging story is Akame Ga Kill. Not only does this series stand toe-to-toe with the goriest, most violent of anime out there, it also marries it beautifully with a classically anime cheekiness that allows it to be both funny and dramatic in equal measure!
Fate/Zero and Bungou Stray Dogs were probably the closest shows to beating Akame Ga Kill, the former for its exciting action scenes and the latter for striking a similar balance to Akame. Black Lagoon also deserves a mention here for its action, and so does Tokyo Ghoul, which is a fantastic show but holds most of its strengths in the emotional dilemmas it poses as opposed to its action.
Best Comedy Series: Konosuba -God’s Blessing on this Wonderful World!-
Comedy is the cornerstone of anime, and while this might appear a more niche award than the category above, it’s worth noting that Akame Ga Kill – best action series – is actually a really funny show! However, while countless series have made us chuckle, none have done it as much as the awkwardly wonderful Konosuba!
Starring a less-than-useless group of adventurers, Konosuba is just a stream of back-chatting insults and ill-fated missions, and its below-average level of animation almost makes it even more funny! to do it over one series is one thing, but to then return and be able to keep going at the quality it was, that’s what’s won Konosuba this award.
There’s countless funny series in this 52, but special praise should go to Tanaka-kun is Always Listless, which won this award in the 30AR for its uniquely slow style and beautiful animation. Wagnaria and Assassination Classroom, both from the 22 reviewed since 30AR (alongside Konosuba), also deserve special mentions here.
Best Sci-Fi Series: Psycho Pass
A new award for 52AR, there was a lot of heated competition once more for this award. However, Psycho Pass is a deserved champion of the genre.
Not only is this a fantastic story – winner of our Best for a Western Audience Award in Part 1 – but it also has enough science-fiction to sink a spaceship! Futuristic dystopia, technological breakthroughs, futuristic weapons guided by a superior system that believes it’s saved humanity but has in fact enslaved it – it’s a series that will satisfy any hardcore sci-fi fan’s appetite.
A series that is seriously unlucky to not win this award is Code Geass, which, like Psycho Pass, combines a great storyline with a science-riddled world of sharp-edges and spacecraft. The only thing that stopped CG winning this was that Psycho Pass does sci-fi just a little bit stronger. Another show that deserves a special mention is Steins;Gate, a time-bending series that still feels unique, despite it being one of the first series I ever watched!
Best Drama: Your Lie in April
It won’t surprise you to hear that YLiA – winner of this award in 30AR, and winner of Most Mature Anime in Part 1 – is one of my favourite anime of all time. What sets this show apart from the great shows in this 52 is its plot, and its beautifully woven writing that wouldn’t look out of place in a novel, let alone Japanimation!
Of course, Your Lie in April isn’t the only dramatic story in this list. As mentioned in the award above, special praise should be given to Psycho Pass and Code Geass for their incredibly dramatic tales, and 2016 hit Re:Zero also deserves an honourable mention in this category for its incredibly well-made plot.
Best Fantasy Series: Re:Zero
Anime is the king of fantasy, but even the most fantastical world needs a compelling story. Re:Zero isn’t just a deep fantasy world, but has a story as complex and well-told as even the most serious of dramas. This dark, ‘time travel’ story fully deserves to be called an anime masterpiece, and is more than a deserved winner of this award.
A special mention should go to Konosuba here – while not containing such a deep plot, it certainly builds an exciting fantasy world. ‘Is it Wrong to Try and Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?’ also deserves a mention for similar reasons, while webseries RWBY also does a great job of creating a fantasy world ripe for exploring.
Best Animation: Anohana
This is always a hard one to choose, as animation comes in so many forms, and varies wildly depending on what type of show you’re creating. A show like teen rom-com Nisekoi – with its slightly childish mannerisms – has just as special animation as something like 90’s classic Cowboy Bebop, and then there’s the modern ‘super clean’ style that works perfectly in Shiro Bako. However, there is one show that will always stand out for me in terms of animation, and that’s Anohana.
Anohana combines some of the best elements of those mentioned above. The drawings have a soft, human quality that I’ve only seen recreated in Studio Ghibli works, but also has the sharp, childlike qualities of Nisekoi, and beautifully fluid animations a la Cowboy Bebop. The most important thing, though, is how perfectly it fits the material, helping to tell a mature teen story with grace.
Other notable mentions other than those above include Your Lie in April, with its beautifully detailed style, and the more recent Bungou Stray Dogs and its excellent use of character borders to create a sharp comic book style!
Best Mini-Series: TBC
Best Anime Series: TBC
I know, it’s like the Oscars without a Best Picture! Don’t worry, though, because coming up is our 52 Anime Ranking, our countdown of every single anime we’ve seen, all the way down to number one!
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