Tuesday’s Top 5: Female Characters from 2016

Tuesday's Top 5

2016 was a great year for anime and while I don’t really ever intend just to do a list of top 5 characters ever I kind of feel I can pick a favourite from a single year. Much like my reflections post, this one is entirely my own opinion so feel free to add your favourite females from 2016 in the comments below.

So how did I choose my top 5 female characters? Pretty much they played a significant role in their anime, were entertaining to watch, and, for whatever reason, memorable. They also had to be in an anime that aired at some point during 2016 (either continuing on from 2015, completely in 2016, or at least started before the end of 2016).

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions go to: Izetta (Izetta: The Last Witch) and Manami Okuda (Assassination Classroom Season 2).

Number 5: Ubukata Chikako (Days)


And before you ask ‘who’ she’s the female manager in Days who comes on board after first trying to convince Tsukamoto that it’s hopeless and he should just give up. While her screen time is fairly limited and she plays very much the angry girl (a lot), she’s actually a pivotal character for Tsukamoto when he’s at his lowest and is also the one who quietly assists when Kazuma and Tsukamoto have their near falling out. It’s what I like about her character. She’s there is most episodes doing what she needs to do and she doesn’t intrude on screen time for the same of it. Plus I like how we see her change from angry with the world and fairly pessimistic, to grudgingly accepting that hard work will work out for some, to genuinely hopeful even as she still holds on to her basic cynicism. I also love her ongoing relationship with Tsukamoto. She kind of takes on the tough older sister role and it works really well.

Number 4: Edna (Tales of Zestiria the X)


Even before this character ever made an appearance, fans of the game were going on and on about her. It kind of made me think she couldn’t possibly live up to that hype and then we met her. Admittedly her screen time in the anime is low but she was certainly one of the more interesting characters. Okay, I just love sarcasm and Edna nails a good sarcastic comment. She’s also one of the more interesting characters in the previews at the ends of episodes. All and all, definitely a fun character to watch and one I think Sorey needed given Alicia and Mikleo don’t exactly push him out of his comfort zone.

Number 3: Shirayuki (Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2)


This one should have been an obvious choice. I was already in love with this character after season 1 and season 2 just continued to show how amazing she is. Unlike season 1, Shirayuki faces some real danger in season 2 and she really manages to hold it together even while they show us her inner turmoil. Throw in progress in her friendship with Raj, her romance with Zen, and a bit of back story with her father and season 2 really helps round out her character and the world.

Number 2: Tomoe Hotaru (Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3)


It was hard narrowing down which of the Sailor Moon Crystal cast really left the largest impression. It came down to Chibi-Usa and Hotaru and when all is said and done Hotaru was the more interesting character. The tragic and frail girl that is befriended by Chibi-Usa we see a genuine friendship form between the pair before Hotaru’s body is forcibly overtaken. If that wasn’t enough, turns out she’s also Sailor Saturn and may very well destroy the world so the Outer Guardians are aiming to kill her before she gets the chance. A very memorable character and an awesomely powered one as well. Would have loved more of her in the series.

Number 1: Igsem Yatorishino (Alderamin on the Sky)


Fiery red haired beauty dual wielding swords on a battle field and able to keep a hopeless womanizer in check? Yatorishino is all kinds of impressive and the fact that she also has a personality and isn’t just a stoic yes-man soldier girl (though she can certainly play that role when needed) just makes her even more interesting. The best parts of Alderamin on the Sky came when Ikta and Yatori were on screen together as they perfectly complement each other and yet each of these characters has a personality by themselves. Besides, none of Ikta’s plans would have ever worked without her skill. He could do what he did because he knew that Yatori would have his back and he knew just how dangerous she could be.

That’s my list of top 5 female characters from 2016. Who were yours?

Reflections on Anime in 2016 – The Best and The Worst of the Year (in my opinion)


It’s the first day of the year so let’s look back at the year that was. I know that at the end of Summer I did my first reflection post looking back at the anime I’d watched and  I purposefully left D Gray Man and Sailor Moon Crystal 3 off the lists because nostalgia was strong with those two. But now we are at the end of the year and I’m not playing nice anymore. I’m giving my lists of top 10 best and worst for 2016 and finally the results from the reader’s poll.

My rules:

  • I need to have watched the whole series (or as much as has aired in 2016 – I know some of these are continuing on).
  • My judgement is entirely based on the entertainment I got out of watching the anime.
  • Feel free to suggest your own top 10 best or worst in the comments.

Starting from the best.

  1. Yuri on Ice
  2. D Gray Man Hallow
  3. Natsume Yuujinchou
  4. Assassination Classroom 2nd Season
  5. Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2
  6. March Comes in Like a Lion
  7. My Hero Academia
  8. Alderamin on the Sky
  9. Erased
  10. Sailor Moon Crystal 3

Yeah, I can’t believe it either but Yuri on Ice actually edged out D Gray Man Hallow on anime I enjoyed watching. Neither anime is perfect (and I’ll happily admit to the flaws in both) but when it came to pure enjoyment I couldn’t beat either of these and in terms of the anime I’ll rewatch the most from this year, these 2 are the top picks. So why Yuri over D Gray Man? D Gray Man Hallow always had the advantage of nostalgia, but if I take that away, while I would have still enjoyed Hallow (assuming it made sense) it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable as the viewing experience for Yuri. In terms of the anime I sat waiting to the minute for the episode release, Yuri on Ice definitely won out.

However, for everything you enjoy there is a show that you watch and wonder why. Once again, I know there are worse anime out there, but these are the anime I watched all the way through and really wonder why.

Starting from the worst.

  1. Taboo Tattoo
  2. Big Order
  3. Lost Village
  4. Hitorinoshita
  5. Divine Gate
  6. Dimension W
  7. Nazotokine
  8. Norn 9
  9. Undefeated Bahamut Chronicle
  10. Bloodivores

What was pleasantly surprising was how few of the Autumn season found their way onto this list. Mostly the shows I watched in Autumn were more boring than terrible (though I did avoid a few shows that I knew were going to end up in this category so they didn’t count on the having watched them criteria).


The Reader’s Poll

I was surprised by some of the results and not surprised by others. Probably the biggest issue is there were only 54 votes total so from a data point of view this probably isn’t the most valid survey. Anyway…

  1. Yuri on Ice (7 votes)
  2. Assassination Classroom 2 (6 votes)
  3. Mob Psycho 100 (6 votes)
  4. Tanaka-kun is Always Listless (5 votes)
  5. Bungo Stray Dogs (3 votes)
  6. Erased (3 votes)
  7. March Comes in Like a Lion (3 votes)
  8. Kiss Him Not Me (3 votes)
  9. Flip Flappers (3 votes)
  10. Grimgar of Fantasy of Ash (3 votes)

With that I say goodbye to 2016 and welcome in 2017 for a whole new year of watching anime.

By the way, over the next 4 weeks my Tuesday’s Top 5 post is going to do a recap of 2016. Top 5 Female Characters of 2016 is up first, followed by Top 5 Male Characters of 2016, Top 5 Visually Interesting Anime of 2016 and finally Top 5 Opening Themes of 2016. Then I will move on to something different but I felt January was a great time to recap the previous year.

Over to you: Which anime was your favourite or most hated from 2016?

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 Series Review

743b1abd76bc4fbe9b6df5427a0d08fb1459904360 full

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 Overview:

In Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3, Chibi-Usa is training as a sailor scout and a whole new threat has appeared before the scouts. That and the mysterious figures that may or may not be allies has Usagi all confused. Between fighting the forces of darkness, visions of the end of the world, and end of year exams, the scouts have their hands full.

Click here for more anime reviews.

Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 Review:

As always when writing about Sailor Moon anything, I’m going to preface this review by pointing out I am a fan of Sailor Moon. By default, I kind of love it and that means even when seeing the flaws in this show, I’m still going to love it. That and season 3 of Sailor Moon Crystal brings us the outer scouts and that can only be a good thing.

So let’s go with the simple plus/minus format.

Plus +

As I said, season 3 brings us Sailor Uranus and Neptune and also returns Pluto before we finally get to meet Sailor Saturn (and whether you are a fan or not, Sailor Saturn is fantastic). Early in the season Uranus and Neptune are really interesting however they slowly become generic background scouts with slightly stronger powers, however Pluto and Saturn manage to shine right through the final battle.

Minus –

The introduction of more scouts didn’t help the poor characterisation of the inner scouts. Jupiter has always been my favourite of the Sailor Scouts because of her tough exterior but sweet and caring side (as well as her super cool power). Jupiter in Crystal is nothing. As are all the scouts. They are background noise.

They exist only to have their attacks fail in this series and for Usagi to endlessly reiterate their names in poignant moments as if that will somehow help. (I’m being a bit mean to Ami who actually does get one cool moment when she transforms while flying out a window.) Honestly, the entire inner scout squad could have been removed from the series without any discernible impact on the plot or the development of our central characters.

Plus +

Usagi and Mamoru are adorable. For those who watched the original 90’s version of Sailor Moon, Serena and Darian just never clicked. They had these sweet and touching moments and then a whole bunch of ignore the other one or be rude to them and their entire relationship was more stated than felt.

Crystal has definitely fixed that flaw and you now see the couple they should be and the way they hold each other up is fantastic (even if Mamoru is still getting sidelined during the final fights and occasionally comes off a bit arrogant).

Minus –

The villains. Let’s be honest, at no point did we feel anything for any of the villains. The minions were flavour of the week and destroyed (few of them left any kind of impact visually or otherwise) and the mid-level henchmen sounded bad and then just kind of got brushed aside.

Even the big bads were talked up more than feeling like they were evil. Possibly the only real conflict that had any emotional punch in this episode was Hotaru’s fight to save Chibi-Usa’s soul.

Plus +

Chibi-Usa and Hotaru. If Crystal does nothing else, it has certainly made up for the appalling characterisation of Chibi-Usa from the original series. No longer the brat of the moment she now actually has a personality (and sometimes she is a brat but that is more in-tune with her being a kid rather than her only personality trait).

The combination of Chibi-Usa finding her way as a scout and Hotaru’s quiet determination against all odds is fantastic and if more of the series had focussed on this it could have been an extraordinary story (though it wouldn’t be Sailor Moon anymore).


Minus –

What is with all the purple? I get that it’s anime and aimed at a younger audience but why is everything evil purple? It isn’t scary or particularly effective and by the end of the series there is just a little too much purple. Although, you could possibly say that about the entirety of the series. Colours are chosen to reflect the moment rather than any kind of visual appeal and at times what you end up with is a mess of colours whereas at other times you end up with washed out backgrounds lacking in detail.

Plus +

It’s Sailor Moon. It’s the good guys (girls) fighting evil despite insurmountable odds and combining their feelings to save the day. It is everything Sailor Moon should be even if that doesn’t make it particularly new or outstanding.

Other thoughts?

I don’t like the new theme song. Okay, I haven’t liked any of the Crystal themes yet because nothing is going to beat the original sound track, but the season 3 theme is kind of nothing. It doesn’t inspire or get you particularly ready for the show. It just kind of bops along. Visually it is quite pretty though.

Where are Usagi’s parents in all this? I do believe there were several nights where she stayed with Mamoru and isn’t she in Junior High? He might not have parents around and Chibi-Usa might be from the future but Usagi has a family unit that would probably be concerned by their daughter hanging out with a high school guy.

Who is guarding the doorway through time is Pluto is running around on Earth? Just wondering.

If you haven’t watched it yet Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3 is available on Crunchyroll and AnimeLab.

Images from: Sailor Moon Crystal Season 3. Dir. C Kon. Toei Animation. 2016

Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James