Anime Power Rankings: Not the Hero Musani Deserves, But the Hero Musani Needs Right Now (Winter Week 9)

We’re in week 9 of the Winter anime season, and with nearly every series in APR contention set to end in a month (at least temporarily), now is when they all set themselves up for the final leg of the proverbial race. Who did themselves a favor by building up a compelling saga, and who whittled away great promise and good will? Let’s find out!

Rank Title Episode #1 Votes % of Ballots Change
1 Death Parade 9 17 63.8% up+1
2 Shirobako 21 12 66.0% up-1
3 Maria the Virgin Witch 8 3 36.2% 0
4 Durarara!!x2 9 2 31.9% up+4
5 Yona of the Dawn 21 4 21.3% up+8

On the cusp: Your Lie in April (1/23.4%), Garo (1/19.1%), JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (0/17.0%), Parasyte –the maxim- (0/25.5%)

Number of voters: 47

Number of full ballots (ranked 5): 37

Last time on APR

About the Anime Power Rankings

Yurikuma Arashi was on hiatus this week, so there was an opening for an enterprising title to jump up and grab its spot. But first, credit to Death Parade for breaking the stranglehold Shirobako has had on 1st place since week 2 this season. The second half of its 2-parter was explosively emotional, demonstrating how human lives are predominantly not ruled by logic and reason, and in turn showing the folly of casting moral judgment with the same ruler.

Maria the Virgin Witch provides meaty substance by really grinding its axe against Christian religious dogma, and Durarara!!x2 returns to the top 5 after leaving bouts of subpar animation behind and returning to the amoral chaos that made fans love it.

Rounding out the top 5 is Yona of the Dawn, making its first appearance on any APR post ever. The East Asian fantasy shoujo/political drama draws many parallels to 12 Kingdoms, an underappreciated gem from the early 2000s. It’s not how well you start that really matters but how well you finish, and Yona chose the best time to hit its peak.

Also, listen to my well-balanced RPG party lovely harem group of valued associates:

I can easily dismiss Death Parade as preachy. Melodramatic. Pessimistic. Cliched. Sexist, even. Even through its flaws, Death Parade always has something new and valuable to say about moral judgment because it never gives a straight answer, as it should not. Because the question it poses is impossible to answer clearly: are we even the least bit qualified or equipped to morally judge other humans? I wouldn’t know, and Death Parade would be the last to know, because this week’s episode further demonstrated how fundamentally broken this Arbiter system really is.

appropriant ( Perpetual Morning )

This week’s Death Parade was nasty, brutal, and incredibly unsubtle in regards to its criticism of humanity and how they should be judged. And it felt so good to watch it.

Mr. Flawfinder ( Standing On My Neck )

I loved how these two past episodes throws in all these twists and turns and still manages to be ambiguous on the shades of grey of these two people who killed. Even where they are sent to in the end is for the viewer to decide although it is implied that they both went into the void. Death Parade treats its audience like adults and that’s why I continue to love this show.

HelghastKillzone ( Sea Slugs )

Can anything stand up to Death Parade this week? A show spelling out its themes, or addressing them explicitly often makes for a weak experience. But sometimes, it lets everything build up, and we all know it’s building up, until it bursts out of the characters. It makes sense, it fits. It’s traumatic and cathartic. Just like the show, and the events it depicts.

Guy ( Geekorner-Geekulture )

I don’t think I enjoyed this episode as immensely as others did, and I didn’t find its resolution quite as satisfying as I expected. But it was still very strong, as most episodes of this show that aren’t focused on worldbuilding. Death Parade is a really unique story that I think has a lot of potential pull outside of anime fandom. My stepdad loves watching it with me!

Rose Bridges ( Rose’s Turn )

I was surprised at just how good this week’s Durarara was considering last week’s animation hiccup, but spending time getting all the characters spun up meant everyone colliding was all the more fun.

John Noel ( chaostangent )

Akatsuki no Yona 21. Beast Mode engaged.

Evirus ( Karmaburn )

Ironic. When I first watched Rurouni Kenshin, I thought the titular character was a chick. Yona giving people the “hitokiri” eyes is reopening that investigation.

Typical Idiot Fan ( The Nihon Review )

Yona punches up the ranks!

Yona punches up the ranks!



Anime Power Rankings loves to give you more of what you want, so here’s another bonus ranking of the best supporting characters of the season.

Best Supporting Characters: Tarou (Shirobako), Yun (Yona of the Dawn)

Runners Up: Ezekiel, Priapus, and Viv (Maria the Virgin Witch), Yano (Shirobako), Lulu (Yurikuma Arashi), Nagi Aiza (Your Lie in April)

Almost exactly 4 months ago Tarou ran away with the Most Hated Character “prize” on APR. What a turnaround for voters to go from actively hating him to, I wouldn’t say liking Tarou as a person, but liking the way he’s utilized.

And Yona fans, rejoice because it’s your week. Genius healer Yun reps the political fantasy drama shoujo again.

Of course, the number of nominees were numerous and varied, so here’s a bunch of the voters’ opinions:

Yun from Akatsuki no Yona is a great supporting character that stands out in a great cast. There are very few males like him in anime – guys that are formidable despite being physically weak, and proud of using other means to survive and advance in life.

Guardian Enzo ( Lost in America )

To my own amazement Taro is currently stealing my attention away from the rest of the cast in Shirobako. His brand of pig-headed ineptness has actually become really endearing when contrasted with Hiraoka’s active arseholery!

Caraniel ( Caraniel’s Ramblings )

All of Yona’s characters are pretty great but after the last two episodes where the genius bishounen crossdresses as a genius bishoujo to help look after Yona when they go undercover, he’s definitely the best side character in that show.

Fang-tan ( Loli Salad )

Anything Yun can do, you can do too!

Anything Yun can do, you can do too!

Tarou wins the award for That Bastard You Love to Hate.

vestenet ( Isn’t It Electrifying? )

As opposed to Hiraoka, That Bastard You Just Hate.

It may seem strange to list Tarou and Hiraoka, two of the most reviled characters of this season, but I think they’re both superb in filling the roles they’ve been given. Tarou is clearly incompetent and Hiraoka clearly isn’t a good person, but they’re both well written as the ways they grate on both the viewer and their coworkers comes from a very real place. Tarou’s managed to redeem himself somewhat in the second half in something of a lovable idiot role, and Hiraoka’s clearly a jerk but I also think he’s not beyond hope and can be reasoned with if you take the right angle with him.

Kelloggs ( Pedantic Perspective )

Kunogi-san from Shirobako for demonstrating the act of brushing teeth among other things.

ParticularlyPeeved ( Pedantic Perspective )

Technically, I believe that’s anime sign language for “invitation to incest”.

I didn’t expect to like Ezekiel much at first but recently I can’t help but feel for the little angel. Her gradual change of heart as she learns more about Maria has been great. Priapus the poor dickless incubus made for a good joke at first, but he too has received substantial development as a character. I just want to hug these two birds badly.

Eric McLeod ( Rose’s Turn )

Viv the English witch from “Maria” takes the win. She’s got a charismatic, take-charge personality, is instantly likable, and is a wonderful foil to Maria; especially when she’s complaining about Priapus’ lack of tackle.

Dustin ( Bakacast )

Nagi from Kimiuso. I like how she is a combination of Arima’s insecurities, The Girl in the Red Dress’ inspiration, and Kaori’s brilliance. I like that she does not necessarily desire career, fame, or fortune through music. I like that she feels human. Above all, I liked her episodes, and eventual performance.

A. Libellule ( Altair & Vega )

Despite Nagi’s role in the overall narrative being something of a wash, Nagi herself proved to be a surprisingly thoughtful, lucid, compelling, and sympathetic character. I’m a fan, even if she’s only a replacement for the One True Best Girl Emi.

iblessall ( Mage in a Barrel )

I have a soft spot for Kaede from Assassination Classroom, who pretty much only exists to ask the main character exposition questions but still manages to be endearing somehow.

navycherub ( Wideface )

Life Sexy’s “shabadado’s” have basically become my favourite part of every episode.

Artemis ( Otaku Lounge )

Kise (from Kuroko’s Basketball) because he is the best. I want a spinoff about him being stupid and getting put in his place by his boyfri– I mean Kasamatsu.

Chronolynx ( THAT Anime Blog )

Princess Lemrina (Aldnoah.Zero), who in many ways has been the pivot point of the show this season, with her internal conflicts and character development.

Chris Siebenmann ( Chris’s Personal Wiki )

I have to nominate Mochizuki Ran from Bonpati mainly because she’s not completely awful. She’s a nice friend character to accompany the protagonist Sayuri and serves to make the series seem like less of a harem show than it really is.

Emperor J ( Lower Mid-Table )

Vulcan (Cross Ange) – When your best character is a dog who wears air goggle’s on her head, then you know you’re watching a terrible show.

Reevothemusefan ( Reevothemusefan )

Minato Sakai from Gundam Build Fighters Try for being an amazing dork and for making my super robot loving heart flutter with TRYON 3.

Shinmaru ( The Cart Driver )

Davide Yamazaki and Shido both from Futurecard Buddyfight, these two easily raise the bar for best team of supporting antagonist s. Both hilarious jokesters with over the top hilarious antics. Team darkness masterminds ftw!

Trist ( Population GO )

I chose Mimuji and Roro (Shirobako). Maybe it’s cheating a bit because they are Miyamori’s personified thoughts/figments of mental psychosis, but I am pleased whenever they appear and will always remind me of the anime production episode of Paranoia Agent.

from Zero to Hero

Zero to Hero (just like that)

See you next chart time!

One Response to “Anime Power Rankings: Not the Hero Musani Deserves, But the Hero Musani Needs Right Now (Winter Week 9)”

  1. Yessss Yona finally in the top 5. After all those weeks last season of voting it #1, finally justice has been dealt. All hail Ao! (Although, side bar that Yona isn’t really like 12 Kingdoms much besides the fact that they’re low fantasy shoujo…)

    Huge cheers seeing Yun on the best side characters list, too.

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