Summer Anime Review: Top 20: Part 4

Part 4 of my Summer Anime Review is here with reviews for Captain Earth, Aldnoah.Zero, Zankyou no Terror, Barakamon, and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. If you missed it, you can read the previous parts of my summer anime review my clicking on these links.

Captain Earth
After most of the summer's series concluded, I had time to marathon Captain Earth, which started airing in the Spring and continued to the summer season, and thus it is counted among the summer series. Captain Earth is a series that left me conflicted. On one hand the plot has some sizable narrative flaws, yet on the other hand, it has some of the most compelling characters of any series this year, as well as the best animation. For better or worse, Captain Earth is a homage to classic mecha, and therefore it contains many of the tropes and clichés present in the genre, but the characters really resonated with me more than almost any other characters of the year, let alone the season. By the end, some of the illogical plot points seemed forgivable because I was so engrossed by the characters' conflict. A lot of people seem to hate the series, but if characters are more important to you than plot and mecha is one of your favorite genres, you will enjoy Captain Earth. For a more comprehensive review of the series, please check out my full review in the future.

Plot Summary: "One night right before summer vacation, Daiji Manatsu, a second-year in high school, sees a weird round rainbow floating in the sky above Seed Island (Shuushi/Tane Island) and ventures there alone. He has seen this rainbow before. With the memories of his father's mysterious death and an encounter of a mysterious boy and girl, Daiji arrives on the island while the alarm of a building labeled "Earth Engine" is going off. Someone asks him "Are you a captain?" just as robotic intruders from Uranus called "Kiltgang" arrive. The battle around the shining stars is about to begin."

Zankyou no Terror, or Terror in Resonance in English, was another standout best series from the onset of the summer. Shinichirō Watanabe returns to make a truly thrilling and hyper-realistic terrorist thriller, and even though the series is not always as smart as it thinks it is, it delivers in spades with an ending that makes the entire experience worth it. For my full thoughts, check out my full review here.

If you read my review of the first season of Aldnoah.Zero yesterday, you should know how much the series impressed, which should be no surprise considering the creative team behind the series. With the creative geniuses of Gen Urobuchi (Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass, Madoka Magica), Ei Aoki (Fate/Zero, Kara no Kyoukai, Ga-Rei Zero), and Hiroyuki Sawano (Attack on Titan, Kill la Kill) working on the series, Aldnoah.Zero was the one of the standout series of the summer from the start. Unexpectedly, the series is splitting its 24 episode run into two seasons with season two airing in January during the Winter season. The only way that I cannot recommend Aldnoah.Zero is that if you disliked Gen Urobuchi serious tone and focus on complex themes, then Aldnoah.Zero is not for you; otherwise watch it! If you want more details, be sure to read my full review by clicking here.

Barakamon is the most pleasant anime experience in years. With most slice-of-life series taking place in high school, and often featuring romance, Barakamon is a refreshing change of pace. It is about a guy in his early twenties and it another series that I watched because it was recommended by the AAA podcast. My full review of the series will be coming soon, but rest assured that you need to watch it. If you are still not convinced, watch the first episode from Funimation's official YouTube,  and if you video does not work in your country, check out the entire series over on KissAnime by clicking here.

If you read my review, it should be no surprise that Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, or Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun in English, is my pick for best series of the summer. After nearly skipping it, I decided to watch it because I had nothing better to do, and I am so glad that I did. By about the halfway mark of the summer season, it was clear that Gekkan was a top five of the summer, and by the end of the year it set itself apart from the pack. For what it is, a comedy, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun hits almost mark perfectly. There is nothing negative that I can say, except that comedy is subjective, and if you do not enjoy humor that ranges from clever jokes to smart satire to hilarious slapstick, without any fanservice or ecchi humor, then you might not like Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun. Otherwise, watch it, you should enjoy, and maybe love it. Read my full review for my complete thoughts of the series and why it is my favorite.

These are my favorite anime from the summer season. What are yours? Please comment below and let me know.

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