5 Most Heartwarming Moments in Anime Winter 2015

This winter was a good time to stay in, get some hot cocoa in your favorite mug, cozy up and beat the cold while watching some Anime. If you did, there were definitely some nice moments to fawn over, spread across a good amount of solid titles. I tried to narrow it down to the Top 5.

(Note, there are spoilers ahead in each show, so if you haven’t seen it, you might want to skip ahead first! )

1. Eriri and Tomoya make up (from Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata / Saekano)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 16, 2015 - Mar 27, 2015

Saenai Heroine no Sodatekata (also known as Saekano) is the type of show that openly invites Waifu wars and discussions of who is the best girl or not. Regardless of your stand, I really enjoyed the moment Eriri and Tomoya had during their spat. It starts off as Tomoya, in all manner of cheesiness, recreating a scene from one of their dating sims they played as kids. It starts of well enough but the two actually get into it a little bit more about some other issues in their past.

The way the scene resolves however gives us greater insight into their relationship as children, and what drives Eriri in particular as a creative mind. The fight started because Eriri didn’t feel like Tomoya was respecting her as a creator, and Tomoya not getting that she cares about what he thinks of her, and maybe less about being widely popular.

Whether they end up as a pairing in the upcoming second season remains to be seen, but either way, I loved this moment of getting insight into their relationship.


2. Ogasawara’s Armor (from Shirobako: Episode 16)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct 9, 2014 - Mar 26, 2015

One of the best things about Shirobako was how it used its side characters, and this is perhaps the best example. Rinko Ogasawara is an animator commonly referred to as ‘goth-loli-sama’ for her unique and intricate style of dress. Her friend and colleague, Yumi Iguchi is having trouble designing the characters for the new they’re both working on.

Ogasawara sees that she’s being overworked, and given no support, and marches up to the directors and asks them to let her breathe. This scene alone is heartwarming, but what really does me in is the scene where Ogasawara explains why she dresses like that. She was in the position as Iguchi, overworked and overwhelmed, without bosses that realized what she was going through, or in her case, simply didn’t care.

She adopts this style of dress as her armor, to make her feel confident and strong. Iguchi follows Ogasawara’s example and begins to dress up distinctively as well.


3. Hak and Yona in the Cave (from Akatsuki no Yona: Episode 24)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct 7, 2014 - Mar 24, 2015

The title of this entry makes it seems a bit steamier than it actually was. Rest assured, this was a big moment for Hak and Yona’s relationship in the show, and one that highlights their uniqueness as a potential pairing. Akatsuki no Yona is good at giving us emotional nuance, as opposed to cut and paste clichés.

Hak and Yona have a close and complex relationship, they’re childhood friends, but Hak always was romantically interested in her but was resigned to merely serve and protect her. Still acting as a guardian, Hak wants to keep her safe, yet is proud of the strength she develops, even though this means she’ll be in harm’s way. For Yona, Hak was a childhood friend, but everything she’s been through, he’s the only person left from her past life, and she wants to be able to protect Hak as he can protect her.

The moment in the cave emphasizes their relationships development. I loved particularly how Hak is motivated not by trying to selfishly take her away as his lover, but wants Yona to be seen by the entire kingdom for her strength. Hak loves Yona, but above all, respects her and cares for her not just in a romantic way, and I think this this makes their relationship so easy to care about.


4. Maria and the Village (from Junketsu no Maria / Maria the Virgin Witch: Episode 4)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: Jan 11, 2015 to Mar 29, 2015

I know the ending of this show was extremely heartwarming, but I want to take the time to point out a scene where it’s a little less obvious. This scene is important because it’s a big part of the build up to the character development, thematic interplay, and also the ending overall. Maria offered herbs to a village affected by the plague, but believing she’s a heretic, they angrily rejected her, hurting her in the process.

Unfortunately, they all passed away. It’s a sad story, but the silver lining is that Maria still comes back to honor and remember the villagers. The people, who cursed her, attacked her are the people she loves and cares about.

In a show where many characters argued over whether Maria acted simply out of selfish desire, or a true and noble purpose, was our first big hint and definitely helped make Maria into one of the best Characters of the Winter season


5. "I just got one step closer to my Dream" (from Shirobako: Episode 23)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: Oct 9, 2014 - Mar 26, 2015

When a show can have a slow, steady buildup and then nail the emotional release it’s something special. This was one of these moments. For the entire series Shizuka has always struggled the most out of any of the 5 main characters.

We felt like that might have been alleviated with the beginning of Shirobako’s second cour, but we’re left with Shizuka being the only one of the 5 main characters being left out of the production team. She’s lonely and isolated, but when the show needs a new VA last minute for a new character, Shizuka is the one to be there.

As so many times in Shirobako, art imitates life, and the lines Shizuka speak perfectly resonate to both her and Aoi Miyamori. Seeing Aoi burst into tears confirms what she feels and what the audience feels, pure joy that Zuka has made it, that she’s finding a way to pursue her passions.


Did any of these moments lift you from the cold, dark winter into a bright, happy place? Did I leave out a moment that spoke to you? Let us know in the comment section below! There’s always a lot of anime to go around and we want to know what you think should (or shouldn’t) be on this list. Make sure to sound off in the comments below!

CJL

Writer

Author: CJL

Long Islander who loves anime. Interested in politics, philosophy and also a huge fan of sports and video games. Just about any series can get me going if it’s done well. From cute girls doing cute things shows, to gritty-action or space-opera or mecha series. Comment on my articles, let’s get a conversation going.

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