Finally, it’s 2016, which means not only working on New Year’s resolutions, but it also means the beginning of a new season of anime. This Winter 2016 is full of new anime series, but it also has some carry-overs from the autumn 2015 season, as well as second seasons of anime that we may have not seen since earlier in 2015.
Personally, my list for this season is dominated by these second seasons, but there are one or two new anime that I would be interested in checking out too.
So, without further ado, here’s what we recommend for Winter 2016.
Durarara!!x2 Ketsu (The Third Arc)
Ikebukuro is engulfed in a spiral of confusion. A group of individuals, each carrying the weight of their own past, gathers at Shinra’s apartment, while in the city the Dollars, Yellow Scarves, and Saika contend for power. However, the situation takes a turn that no one could expect when Celty’s head is revealed to the public, as this tale approaches its conclusion (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
Durarara!! has been one of my favorite anime for a while now. The first season aired back in 2010, so I was pretty excited when I heard that there was going to be a three-part second season. Durarara!!x2 Ketsu is the third and final cours or part of the series, which is based on a light novel series by Ryohgo Narita.
If you haven’t seen the first season, I highly recommend starting there. The cast of characters is massive, with at least ten main characters and twenty or more supporting characters, so if you don’t start at the beginning, the long chain of events connecting the different characters won’t make any sense.
I think I especially like this series because of the large cast, which is fairly diverse, but I also enjoy it because not all of the characters are in middle school or high school. There are a lot of adult characters in this show, and that is something I’ve been craving in anime as of late.
Durarara!!x2 Ketsu will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Arslan Senki (The Heroic Legend of Arslan, Season 1, Part 2)
Arslan is the heir apparent of Pars, a strong nation that sits at the hear of the trade route connecting the East and the West. When the nation of Lusitania begins an invasion of Pars, the timid Arslan is confronted with battle for the first time. His worst anxieties are realized the Parsian army falls for a Lusitanian stratagem and are routed. He barely escapes with his life, thanks to the loyal and indomitable warrior Daryun. Together they will stand against the invasion and the cruelties of fate that are about to blow down on Pars (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I’ve actually written about The Heroic Legend of Arslan before for Girls in Capes, so it’s no surprise that the second part of the first season is on my recommendation list. The show is actually a reboot of a six-part OVA released between 1991 and 1995, and it was one of my favorite adventure-fantasy series from 2015, with Yona of the Dawn being my favorite.
Arslan has a lot to offer compared to the original series, with more complex characters, easier to understand scenes, and beautiful animation; however, I am still not satisfied with it’s lack of female characters and slightly sexualized portrayal of Farangis, one of the only women in the story.
The Heroic Legend of Arslan will be available to watch on Funimation.
Akagami no Shirayukihime, Season 2 (Snow White with the Red Hair, Season 2)
Shirayuki is a beautiful girl working as a medicine woman with red hair, a color that is considered very rare. When she is proposed and chased after by the prince of her country, she cuts her hair and runs away, only to meet Zen, the prince of a neighboring country. Finding respect for the young man, she decides to serve at his side as his court doctor (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
I must be honest and admit that I haven’t had a chance to watch the first season of Snow White with the Red Hair, but so far, I’ve heard mostly good things about it. At first blush, the redheaded main character, Shirayuki, reminds me a lot of Yona from Yona of the Dawn. The story is even similar in the fact that both Shirayuki and Yona take control of their own destinies rather than allow the men around them to control their lives. I also really like the European fairytale setting; it reminds me a little of Howl’s Moving Castle or Kiki’s Delivery Service.
Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2 will be available to watch on Funimation.
Boku dake ga Inai Machi (ERASED)
Satoru Fujinuma is a struggling manga artist who has the ability to turn back time and prevent deaths. When his mother is killed he turns back time to solve the mystery, but ends up back in elementary school, just before the disappearance of his classmate Kayo (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
ERASED is also a bit of a mystery for me. If you watch the trailer, it doesn’t tell you much, but based on the synopsis, I think that this anime has potential to be really interesting. It’s a murder mystery mixed with a sci-fi time travel element. It’s also based on a fantasy suspense seinen manga series written and illustrated by Kei Sanbe. Again, I’m craving anime about adults lately, so maybe that’s why this one also appeals to me as it is marketed to older boys and young men.
ERASED will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu
The year was 1970s. Fascinated by the performance of rakugo master Yakumo the 8th at a philanthropic show in a prison, delinquent Kyōji visited Yakumo immediately after serving his term, begging Yakumo to take him in as an apprentice. To his surprise, master Yakumo agreed without much hesitation, yet things progressed not quite as Kyōji expected (Plot Summary from Anime News Network).
Similar to ERASED, Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu is another anime that looks like it’s going to be about grownup characters dealing with grownup situations. It’s based on a manga series written and illustrated by Haruko Kumota and tells the story of an ex-convict turned into a traditional comic storyteller’s apprentice. It’s a josei series, which means that it’s geared toward young women and adults, so I am curious to see what the female characters in this show have to offer.
Update: Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu will be available to watch on Crunchyroll.
What simulcasts will you be watching this winter?
Rine Karr is an Anime Writer at Girls in Capes. She’s a writer and aspiring novelist by moonlight and a copyeditor by daylight. Rine loves good food, travel, and lots of fiction, especially novels, anime, manga, video games, and films. She’s also the Chief Copyeditor and an occasional contributor at Women Write About Comics.