Tuesdays Top 5: Disappointments from 2016

Tuesday's Top 5

Having covered some of the best from 2016 I kind of felt I should look at the shows that weren’t necessarily bad but ended up being disappointing before I move on to non-2016 specific lists. Actually, this was probably the hardest list to write because there were just so many shows that had so much potential and they just never delivered. My selection criteria this week was that the show still had to be functional as a show (so probably not one of my worst of the year shows) but due to execution it just hasn’t pulled off what it might have aspired to be. Some of these shows are actually pretty good as they are, but they had the potential to be better. Obviously this is a highly subjective list so feel free to list your disappointments in the comments below.

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions go to: Trickster, 91 Days and Joker Game.

Number 5: Food Wars Season 2

Okay, I already know some people are going to dislike this choice but honestly I found this second season a severe let down. Individual moments in season 2 still capture some of the fun energy of season 1 but the competition just drags on and on and to be honest I’m just not that interested in watching continuous cook offs with some of my least favourite characters from the show. It would have been great to spend more time with the support cast and more time just having character moments rather than watching an endless array of food preparation (which I know is a petty complaint given it is a show about cooking).

Number 4: The Morose Mononokean

I’ll admit, my disappointment with this show was entirely my fault. Right from the start it reminded me of Natsume but never quite captured the magic Natsume had and the comparison didn’t do this show any favours. Going forward though this show didn’t really manage to create its own identity and seemed content with being watchable rather than ever really striving for more. Key moments of tension were deliberately wasted and the characters never really got fleshed out beyond a few hints that there were other stories to be told. All and all, this show has a cool premise, is really pretty, is perfectly pleasant and watchable but is equally pretty forgettable.

Number 3: Flip Flappers

I’m surprised as well that this is only number 3 but I guess the reason this didn’t disappoint me more on reflection is because I kind of predicted from the start that unless this show managed to pull everything together it was kind of going to be pretty but not a lot else. When that ultimately happened I was still disappointed but not surprised. Flip Flappers, the early episodes, is fun, energetic and visually stunning. Unfortunately, eventually they have to try to explain why anything is happening and then they feel the need to introduce an antagonist who serves no real purpose and seems to undermine a lot of what they had built in the series. While there are definitely worse shows out there, the way this ends I just don’t see the point in watching it.

Number 2: Izetta: The Last Witch

This one took me by surprise. I really expected this to be one of the shows I would recommend from 2016 after the first 2 episodes. Unfortunately from that point forward the show continued to slide into deep mediocrity. It wouldn’t be fair to say it actually becomes bad because if you compare it to something like Big Order or Taboo Tattoo, Izetta works as a narrative, is visually appealing, and has a range of semi-interesting characters who mostly serve their function. My disappointment again comes from my own expectations on the show but these were built by the first two episodes. It promised one thing and then stripped that away and gave us a watered down version of it. Also, I really didn’t like the introduced antagonist late in the series (so it has that in common with Flip Flappers).

Number 1: Kiznaiver

I really, really wanted to like Kiznaiver. A medical experiment on students to force them to share each others’ pain sounded like a great premise for a story. And there are some really good moments in Kiznaiver but the overall narrative kind of devolves into we should all make friends kind of thing and the experiment itself is mostly nonsense and serves no real purpose. Again, this anime is perfectly watchable and some people really enjoyed it, but I just kept wanting more from it than it was willing to give and so I finished this series deeply disappointed.

Those are my 5 biggest disappointments from 2016.

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Karandi James.


35 thoughts on “Tuesdays Top 5: Disappointments from 2016

  1. My sentiments exactly regarding Kiznaiver. One of the greatest things about original TV anime is that they can begin with the end in mind and build a narrative that fits the amount of time they’re given, but it really seems like this show bit off more than it could chew. Honoka gets some truly great development in her section, but characters like Hisomu or Chidori remain largely flat. Then you get to the show’s downright sloppy conclusion and you’re left wondering just how poorly planned this whole endeavor was. I still liked it a good deal, but the wasted potentially really stings.

    1. Yes, it is amazing how many not bad anime end up being disappointing because they could have so easily been great anime with just a little more thought. Thanks for the comment.

  2. I kind of enjoyed Shokugeki no Souma S2, but I guess I can relate to what you want to say. Unlike the first season, the second season was all about cooking and there was not much of a individual story in it. I also liked the point you made us aware of and that was the battle between some of the characters about whom we couldn’t care much about. (I hated the match between Alice and Ryo, it seemed like a way to borrow some time for me)

    1. Taken by itself, season 2 isn’t bad but compared to the fun and the wider range of activities (admittedly still cooking related) the cast get up to ins season 1 of Food Wars, season 2 just felt flat to me and I never really got over that.

  3. Somehow the average shows which had flubbed potential stings more than the truly terrible shows. Couldn’t agree more with your picks on this list.

  4. I can understand your disappointment with Kiznaiver. It had this nice mystery tone to it, and was very weird, but outside of a few peaks when it came to exploring some of the characters past, you honestly just stuck with it because it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t something to necessarily recommend or say it was the top of the year, or that season, but there would be no reason to just drop it.

    1. I think you hit the nail on the end. Visually it was kind of pretty and I loved the opening and the premise was kind of quirky and could have been interesting but it just kind of rolled along in the end and I wasn’t a big fan of the conclusion.

    1. If you like really pretty visuals and cute girls trying to find themselves you might enjoy it. Lots of people did. For me the narrative never comes together and the villain that is introduced toward the end seems to serve no real purpose other than to have a final battle so I wouldn’t really recommend it. My review on Flip Flappers should be out end of next week.

    1. It kind of had to be. Early on I kind of hoped it would bring things together but by half way it was kind of clearly just a bit of a mess.

      1. I feel you on this. Flip Flappers had plenty of pieces in its puzzle at its start, but the picture that it assembled in the end just wasn’t all that pretty.

  5. Huh, I really liked Shokugeki no Soma S2 and Kiznaiver! The former recaptured what I loved about the series after the first season became unwieldy near its end. Kiznaiver, while not a perfect show by any means, had an intriguing thematic story and top-tier animation. Also, I know it didn’t make the list but I was way into 91 Days. I thought it was a great homage to classic gangster films.

    Flip Flappers and Izetta both disappointed me though. Flip Flappers had *such* a good start until it devolved into drivel in its second half. Izetta was pleasant enough to watch but it didn’t live up to its early episodes as well.

  6. Honestly, I was pretty disappointed in Drifters. Hellsing Ultimate (and the original Manga) is one of my favourite series of all time; an old classic from my early teenage years that I have very fond memories of and I expected Drifters to be something similar.

    While I enjoyed it, it didn’t live up to my expectations and I felt a little let down by the whole thing. So much so that I’ve yet to finish it.

    I was also pretty disappointed with Kabaneri. I expected a flawed, yet entertaining and energetic Attack on Titan clone and instead got a very boring one. I haven’t picked it back up in over a month now, yet I feel the need to finish it some time.

    And finally, I guess there was Bererk (2016). I enjoyed it. A lot more than other people did, but the new Anime completely butchered (no pun intended) Kentaro Miura’s artwork, which is arguably among the best drawn Manga art in existence. Seeing as the Manga is in my Tops, I was pretty disappointed by the adaptation, even if it did wind up being one of my favourites of the year. I hope the second season coming later this year cuts down the CGI and adapts things a little better, but I doubt it.

    As for your own picks, I personally loved Kiznaiver, but that was mostly for sentimental reasons that skewed my judgement of the show. If it weren’t for that, I’d probably write it off as a disappointment as well, but hey, it got lucky 😛

    1. Oh, and outside of series, the biggest disappointment of the year for me was Hunter x Hunter going back on hiatus after resuming from a 2 and a half year hiatus for only 10 chapters. Just when things started picking up again, bam! Hiatus.

      Also, World Trigger, Berserk and D. Gray Man (all favourites of mine) also got put on hiatus.

      It was a terrible year for me in terms of Manga.

    2. I still don’t know how I feel about Drifters. It seemed like my rating and opinion of it changed every episode. Sometimes it was a hell of a good time, and sometimes it was just kind of obnoxious.

    3. I’m more or less with you on Kabaneri. The first half is really good. Zombies, steampunk, trains, and lots of over the top action is just what I wanted from it. The second half, everything kind of falls apart. I can see what they were trying to do, but it never comes together, and creates a lot of confusion.

      So, kinda disappointed, but at the same time, kinda glad somebody tried to do something completely off the wall like this, even if it didn’t really come together at the end.

        1. No, they didn’t. I don’t argue that. It falls short of what it could have been by a pretty fair amount. Which is sad, but the way things go sometimes.

    4. Yes, I know some people would have said D Gray Man Hallow was a disappointment but I absolutely loved it (but I probably would have loved anything even vaguely D Gray Man like so it was kind of in the clear from the get go).
      Drifters and Kabaneri are two shows I really want to see but because of where they came out I haven’t had the chance yet. I will definitely be checking these out but both had such mixed receptions I don’t really know what I expect from them.

      1. I honestly wasn’t all that disappointed in D. Gray Man Hallow. It was a fantastic continuation and modern day realisation of the franchise and it covered a lot of material in its short time frame.

        My only complaint about Hallow would be the fact that it was only 13 episodes, but that’s hardly the shows fault and is more because the Mangaka only releases 4 chapters a year due to hiatuses. I’m worried we’ll never see the ending at this rate.

        You should absolutely check out both shows when you get access to them. They’re pretty fun and might be up your alley.

  7. I really enjoyed Kiznaiver, more than a lot of people did, but I definitely understand why it made your list. Its plot is kinda weird and directionless, and it didn’t really have time to flush out all of its ideas. It’s strange to see Flip Flappers on here, since it was my AOTY, but I can understand where you’re coming from. I know a lot of people didn’t like how it tried to establish a cohesive narrative towards the end, but I was actually really satisfied with how they wrapped it up (plus, it gave me a ton of fun stuff to analyze and dig into, and I’m a big fan of similar shows like FLCL, so naturally I enjoyed it).

    However, I totally agree with you about Izetta. That was one of the most disappointing shows I’ve seen in a while. Which is a shame, because as you pointed out, it seemed so promising in the first couple episodes. Personally, I think it was bad. Not appalling, but not just mediocre either. But that’s just me.

    1. Glad you enjoyed Flip Flappers. I know lots of people did end up enjoying it but I just kept wanting it to be something it wasn’t. That’s definitely my fault as the viewer but it did leave me disappointed.

    1. I really loved the first season of Food Wars but feel season 2 just didn’t deliver the same which is why it was a bit of a disappointment. Taken on its own, it wasn’t bad but I just never got the same enjoyment from it that I’d had in season 1.
      Thanks for the comment.

  8. Joker Game managed an honorable mention only! Woah, that was easily the worst thing I watched through in 2016. I agree with a good chunk of the list but some of the titles I’m skeptical about but I haven’t watched so couldn’t say really.

    1. I think it was because I didn’t expect anything from Joker Game going in so it didn’t really disappoint me. That’s probably the problem with this list is it entirely depended on my expectations going in as to whether I found it disappointing or not.

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