I have conducted a thorough analysis of anime from the year 2016. The primary purpose of this analysis is to identify works which have artistic merit, and to classify the nature of that artistic merit. Secondarily, my intent here is to rank the works in terms of their superiority in various categories. This will allow for comparison with other surveys of 2016 anime. This analysis is an expression of my own personal opinions and did not involve input from anyone else. I did this for my own intellectual and personal satisfaction, but I also hope that others may find it interesting or useful. At the very least, maybe this will generate some interesting discussion. Additionally, if you're looking for anime to watch, you can peruse through the specific categories I've provided to identify works that are likely to suit your tastes.
Only anime which started airing in 2016 are considered here. Meaning that anime for which the first season aired before 2016 are not considered (ex. neither Hibike Euphonium nor Love Live are candidates here). The considered anime are evaluated on the basis of all seasons that have aired (not just the first season in 2016). Movies are not included unless they are related to a TV anime (ex. Bungou Stray Dogs). I am conducting reviews for other years using this same system. Annual reviews are typically done as soon as the year ends, but I believe my methodology here is superior for conducting reviews of years retrospectively. Furthermore, classifying the year's best works only by season/genre I find is an ineffective method for identifying meritorious works, so I've included more-specific categories.
Categories and their results are listed below. Winning titles for each category are separated by commas, with the superior titles being listed first. For the genre categories I've provided two answers (the winning title followed by the runner up). However, polls for anime of the season and anime of the year typically list many top candidates in their results, so I've followed a similar procedure with my results here. For the anime of the season and year results, I've listed the top 5 candidates in order of superiority, with the winning title listed first and the progressively lesser titles listed afterwards.
Regarding the genre results, there are a couple important details:
Note: titles are classified by their superiority with respect to the stated genre alone, not overall quality (for example: x anime is a Post too long. Click here to view the full text.