As we celebrate our tenth anniversary on Beneath the Tangles, we want to take some time each month to look into the past, not only to commemorate our ten years, but also to see where we were and how far we’ve come as a site and collectively as anime fans. For most months this year, we’ll do that by looking back at a particular year and at the month corresponding to that year. For instance, we started this off by looking at January 2010. Today we throw back to July 2016.
TOP OF THE CHARTS: July 16, 2016
We’ll dive into anime a bit, but I want to us to look at what else was happening at this time in 2016. Here are the most popular songs, movies, and series on this day or during this week four years ago.
Top Selling Album
Number One Song
“One Dance” Drake feat. WizKid and Kyla
The Secret Life of Pets ($50.8 mil)
Most Watched TV Show
America’s Got Talent
CURRENT EVENTS: July 2016
Here’s what was happening in the world four years ago this month…
- Incidents of mass violence include a knife attack leading to 19 deaths in Japan and a truck attack which kills more than 80 in Nice, France.
- A priest is also killed in France during an ISIS terrorist situation.
- Theresa May is named Great Britain’s new Prime Minister.
- Hillary Clinton is nominated as the Democratic candidate for U.S. President.
- Oscar Pistorius is sentenced to six years in prison for murdering his wife.
- Pokemon Go becomes a worldwide phenomenon.
POPULAR ANIME IN 2016
A number of highly regarded anime premiered in 2016, some of which may be destined to be considered classics, including Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., and March Comes in Like a Lion. A couple of other shows that weren’t quite that highly acclaimed, but which we still enjoyed, were Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash and ReLIFE, while Mob Psycho 100 and ERASED achieved both popular and critical praise. KonoSuba and Yuri on Ice were also very popular series and continue to pump out movies and other sequel-type pieces.
If those were the main attractions in 2016, it would have been a fine year for anime, but a few others took it from “good” to perhaps great. On Facebook last week, we did conducted one in a summer-long series of polls in which we asked our readers to decide between two movies that came out in a given year, and 2016 came up with Your Name vs. A Silent Voice. There’s an argument to be made that these are the two most beloved anime movies of the entire decade, and they both came out the same year. Shinkai was finally able to break through with a story that was as fun as it was meaningful and emotional, and A Silent Voice was a successful adaptation of a critically acclaimed manga. If it was just for these two movies, 2016 would have been a banner year—but there were other reasons, as well.
Two of the decade’s most popular series had their premieres in 2016. Re:Zero, which is finally airing a second season, pushed isekai to new heights in popularity. The biggest series of all, though, was My Hero Academia, which has since become the successor to Naruto and other huge shounen series of the past. MHA has also been a wonderful link for those who might not traditionally watch anime, and has been praised for its storytelling even by those not normally enamored by long shounen action shows.
WHAT WE WERE BLOGGING
I had a lot of fun looking through our old blog posts for this year. Why? Because they were mostly brand new to me.
Last month, I mentioned how I left Beneath the Tangles on New Year’s Eve, 2015. 2016 was a year entirely without me. And as burned out as I was, I checked out completely. I have an aggregator I use through which I saw the titles of each of the posts that came up that year, but I rarely read them, as worn out as I was. Of course, it helped that I wasn’t worried about the site’s direction—with Japes, and later also with Kaze and Lex, it was in great hands. Writers like Emma, and Lynna posted frequently, with the latter sometimes doing the dreaded episodic posts (which stardf29 wrote as well); meanwhile, old-timers like R86 and Goldy continued to put out work. We also filled our months with excellent columns, including Annalyn’s Corner, Between the Panels, Examining Old School Anime, The Secret Stars of Anime, and Gaming with God. None of those remain now, but one column from 2016 is still going strong: Newman’s Nook, with MDRMN officially joining the staff about a week after I departed (filling the position of “older guy with kids”). JoshW also joined our staff, bringing a more diverse voice to the team.
With Japes and Kaze taking the lead, visual novels became more emphasized, and our recommendations pages started going up; Kaze also led our seasonal review posts. Two other fixtures began, with MDMRN starting the Anime March Madness tournament and the TangleCast officially launching, running weekly (HOW??) after replacing our original podcast. Staff also started a public Discord channel; we’ve since opened a different but still active server.
Looking back at all that happened, I’m a bit envious—I wish I had been a part! But I know that had I stayed, all these wonderful things would not have happened. God had a plan for the site and it required that I leave to make way for others to use their talent, energy, and skill to make Beneath the Tangles better.
But this story has another twist! I would be coming back the next year. We’ll finish off this series next month by revisiting that and all other things 2017.
I hope enjoyed this look into the recent past, both on a bigger, societal level and at Beneath the Tangles. We’ll keep up this throughout 2020. Read the other posts in this yearlong series. Featured illustration by 白丝少年(´・ω・`) (reprinted w/permission).