Once again, it's that time as another season of anime has finished up, and for me that means going into sports journalism mode and doing another edition of Winners and Losers. Like always, this season had its fair share of studs and duds, companies that got a leg up and companies that took a step back, things that produced great results and things not so much, as well as types of fans who got their fill of the type of shows they love and others not so much. In any case, here are the winners and losers from the summer 2016 season. Much like before, I'll use a combination of my personal opinions and the general consensus opinions of others from various different forums and blogs to decide the winners and losers based on my judgment seeing that I didn't watch everything that I am talking about.

WINNER: Dub fans
Those who watch and love dubs got a lot of great news from English-speaking front this season. There is Funimation bringing out their biggest season yet for broadcast dubs, Crunchyroll is now going to dub shows as they enter the physical media market, and Aniplex is starting to dub more of their shows. Funimation brought out a total of 15 shows with broadcast dubs as their previous high was 10. When they first tired to tackle that many broadcast dubs, they were unprepared for it. So after scaling back a bit, they produced a bunch of broadcast dubs this season, and this time they came out with mostly satisfactory results all-around. Then there's Crunchyroll getting to do dubs for shows like Kabaneri and Yamada-kun as they understood the importance of dubbing to entice buyers. Previously, they handled distribution through Discotek and didn't do any dubbing of shows with the exception of Free!, which required to have the Funimation cast back to do the first season. And then there's Aniplex bringing out dubs for Charlotte, Asterisk War, God Eater, and Erased when in the past, there was a solid chance those titles would be sub-only releases. So in all, dub fans got a huge gift this season.

LOSER: Berserk fans
The Berserk manga is so bloody awesome, and the original TV series did justice to it for the duration of the series. However, it ended when all hell broke loose and it certainly left fans wanting more of this show. Many years later, more Berserk would come, but instead of a continuation, it ended up being a remake of the TV series through a movie trilogy. And now, it finally has a proper continuation with this new series. But fans were disappointed once again as the CG animation is just totally ugly and an eye sore. Not to mention, the story is out of character and discordant with the original series leading to a massive disappointment. However, there's still hope that things will get better in the second cour seeing that the storytelling has slowly improved, though still not able to dismiss the ugly animation. While ugly animation doesn't necessarily break a show (as an example, Mob Psycho 100 was animated to remain faithful to the manga resulting in something ugly, but ugly with a purpose), that was totally uncalled for in this show.

WINNER: Crunchyroll
Crunchyroll's hot streak continues, and now that they have joined forces with Funimation that they get to put a lot of their shows on their streaming service. They were already rolling with their large catalog that includes some of the season's best titles. And then they took things to the next level by getting into the home video business after previously handing everything over to Discotek, while producing dubs for those shows. But now, they are taking things to the next level feeding off fan support and everything to produce an even greater anime experience. In all, Crunchyroll totally gets it and is taking the next step towards the best thing that can possibly be offered together with Funimation.

WINNER: Funimation
Likewise, Funimation also ended up being big winners this season as a result of their partnership with Crunchyroll. They were already winners as they rebounded with a strong showing after last season's disappointing catalog where they blew their budget on My Hero Academia, while Kadokawa and Amazon locked them out of a number of quality titles. But with the Crunchyroll deal, they are now in position to dub a good number of their titles and put them on their streaming service. Not to mention, their summer season catalog includes 21 shows, 15 of them that get broadcast dubs. Among them, not only did they get D. Gray-Man Hallow, but they also did a broadcast dub for it while picking up the remainder of the original D. Gray-Man series that wasn't licensed with plans to dub it. So in all, Funimation did quite a lot of great things this season.

LOSER: Sentai
The big loser in the Crunchyroll and Funimation partnership is Sentai as those two are getting the lion's share of the licenses pretty much reducing them to a Discotek-like role in releasing gems that time had forgotten. Well, not completely, but it looks like they are moving into that territory given their dwindling collection of licenses of the more profitable simulcasts and recent stuff. As for their catalog for this season, Sentai has Food Wars, Fate/Illya 3rei!!, and Momokuri, which is far less than what they are used to bringing out. At least they are dubbing a lot more stuff.

LOSER: NIS America
NISA has been pretty quiet on the anime front as they just haven't been putting anything out. From all indications, they are pulling the plug on releasing anime on physical media based on their actions, and seeing Love Live Sunshine going to Funimation is further reason to believe that. Not to mention, they didn't acknowledge their anime catalog at AX all going to show that they are just going to focus on games. This company took on a unique business strategy to go after well-received shows with limited marketability, and their strategy is only sustainable for so long. While NISA hasn't stated their intent to pull out of the anime market, their actions suggest that they are. Only time will tell if that is really true as they have there is the third season of Yuru Yuri and the fifth season of Natsume's Book of Friends that don't have a home at this time due to TV Tokyo's policy of not allowing licenses to be announced until it is time for the shows to be released.

WINNER: Slice of Life Shows
This season was full of slice of life shows, and some of them are among the best of the season. While there's always a lot of them in every season, this season has several high quality ones, more so than in a typical season. The high quality slice of life shows this season are Orange, New Game!, Sweetness and Lightning, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., This Art Club Has a Problem!, Amanchu!, ReLife, and Love Live! Sunshine!!.

LOSER: Sports Anime
Once again, sports anime got the short end of the stick. At least there were actually sports shows this time around as opposed to the spring when that genre had a giant goose egg. But none of them proved to be memorable or worth watching. Sports shows generally have a high hit percentage as there are specific rules that have to be followed if something from the genre is going to be animated, at least in the traditional sense. The sports shows this season are Cheer Boys!!, Days, and Battery, and out of those three only Cheer Boys was at least halfway decent. Battery just had a poorly constructed story while Days was pretty slow and boring to watch. While Cheer Boys won't be mistaken for one of those masterfully crafted sports anime, that show at least has some good things going for it. That's going to change for sure in the fall as the third Haikyuu season is among the most highly-anticipated sports shows this season, while All Out, Yuri on Ice, Long Riders, and Ping Pong Girls all look promising in a sense.

WINNER: TMS Entertainment
What a season it was for TMS as this longtime studio had been in a bit of a slump lately seeing that their animation quality is nothing to brag about compared to the likes of other studios like Madhouse, A-1 Picture, and the studio created by former employees of the company in Ufotable. But this season has changed that perception in a big way. This season, they brought out ReLife, Sweetness and Lightning, D. Gray-Man Hallow, and Orange (co-produced with Telecom), and they are among the best shows of the season. In particular, it goes to show that it doesn't take over-the-top animation to make lots of great things much like with how Kotori's cooking just needs to be good enough to make Tsumugi happy rather than to be a world-class chef like the students at Totsuki Academy aim to be. This season, TMS went far and beyond that to make this their best season ever. Heck, I might even go as far as to say that TMS had the best single season of any studio, but that's something that I'll have to spend a lot of time figuring out.

LOSER: Production IMS
While the difference in their names between TMS and IMS is just one letter, the results couldn't be any more different as while TMS was a stud, IMS was a dud. This company was formed from former members of AIC, which produced lots of great shows in the past. But this season was pretty disastrous for them. There's the second season of Active Raid, and while I didn't watch it, the first season was pretty bad and I can't imagine this season being much better. Then what really puts IMS in the loser's circle is Hybrid x Heart: Magias Academy Ataraxia. Everything about the show is bad, and it got purged off one station when TVQ felt that this show's fanservice was too much for TV. When something like that happens, you know that they made a mess of things. So to put things in perspective, IMS produced a fanservicey disaster and a dull sequel to a dull show, which is not going to get it done.

WINNER: J.C. Staff
While J.C. Staff had a mixed bag this season, it was more positive than negative this season, and one of those shows includes one of the season's best. This season, JC has Food Wars! The Second Plate, The Disastrous Life of Saiki K., Amanchu!, and Taboo Tattoo, and having four shows is a pretty big deal. Food Wars! continues to be a masterpiece like the first season is, while Saiki Kusuo is very hilarious. Amanchu continues to do everything that made Aria the great show it is even if it doesn't do everything right. However, they did have a gigantic dud in Taboo Tattoo as while it started off well, the show went downhill pretty quickly, and things just hit below rock bottom when all is said and done. In any case, three out of four is really good seeing that one of them is a masterpiece while the other two hits are very entertaining and satisfying, which more than make up for the stinker of a show.

LOSER: A-1 Pictures
A-1 was on fire during the winter season and they had a decent showing in the spring. But for this season, they totally went down in flames as none of their shows were anything good. This season, they brought out Qualidea Code, B-Project, Seven Deadly Sins: Signs of the Holy War, and the continuing Ace Attorney, and A-1 got the golden sombrero (though in the case of Seven Deadly Sins, it had more to do with its length that it actually being crap). Ace Attorney continues to be atrocious, while Qualidea Code is cliched as hell combined with the shoestring budget for its animation, B-Project fails to tap into the stuff that made UtaPri so great in a genre with a high strikeout rate, and the only bright spot for this season is the Seven Deadly Sins special, and even so just being four episodes is nothing short of disappointing. While A-1 prides itself for its high standards for animation, this season they dropped the ball on that. In particular, Qualidea Code saw its animation quality take a nosedive as the first few episodes were nicely animated, but it seems to me that they blew their animation budget on those episodes and the rest of the show was well below their standards of animation, especially the ones involving the final battle where the color palette made it hard to see what was going on. Studios will have their ups and downs, but A-1 definitely was down this season.

WINNER: Sundays
The momentum from Re:Zero carries over to this season as Sundays owned the week once again. On that day, Tales of Zestiria the X, Heroic Legend of Arslan: Dust Storm Dance, Orange, The Morose Mononokean, Active Raid 2nd, and the Saiki Kusuo compilation episodes, that day was just loaded. Re:Zero and Orange are two of the best shows of the season, while Arslan continues to deliver, and Tales of Zestiria is just eye candy to make it stand out where others have just fizzled out. So in all, Sundays definitely ruled this season much like with the spring.

WINNER: Mondays
Lots of stuff ended up on Mondays this season as it ended up being unusually packed. This season's Monday shows are New Game! (which was originally on Tuesdays before Crunchyroll was able to air episodes based on its premiere AT-X airtime rather than the delayed Tokyo MX airtime), Mob Psycho 100, Sweetness and Lightning, Taboo Tattoo, D. Gray-Man Hallow, the Future arc of Danganronpa 3, and Puzzles and Dragons X (which would later be moved to Tuesdays), as well as the shorts Bananya and Show by Rock! Short! and a short episode of Saiki Kusuo. While Monday has more stuff than a regular weekday, this season it was just ridiculously packed. However, things are going to change quite a lot for this day come the fall as all of those shorts are going to be moving to Wednesdays.

LOSER: Thursdays
Thursdays had been on the short end of the stick way too many times ever since the big programming changes happened beginning with the Spring 2015 season with the Animeism block moving to Fridays and Noitamina slimming down to one show per season. The winter and spring seasons were great for this day fueled by great stuff on Fuji TV as the second AssClass season is a de facto Noitamina show that aired when the second Noitamina show would have in the past. But this season wasn't so kind to Thursdays. As usual, TBS shows that air on Thursdays in Japan air on a delay in America, but on a positive note this season, only Handa-kun was affected as This Art Club Has a Problem! aired on Thursdays, one of the rare instances that it happens. But that, and the Despair arc of Danganronpa were the only bright spots while everything else was disappointing for various reasons. Regalia was pulled from the air this season (and hopefully leading to a better product), which makes it a fall show, Kuromukuro won't be available until after the season thanks to its exclusive deal with Netflix, Battery didn't meet the standards that a sports anime is supposed to have, and the magical boys show sequel is pretty much more stupidity.

LOSER: Saturdays
Saturdays are supposed to be a huge day for anime, but this season it ended up being packed with a lot of duds. First, there's the Aniplex block that usually has a lot of high-profile shows in it, but this season it had three mediocre shows as Rewrite ended up being a disappointment given its Key roots, Qualidea Code is a generic-as-hell action show, and B-Project is a far inferior version of UtaPri. Then there's Ange Vierge that had way too much fanservice in the first episode to lead to a show many want no part of. Days is a disappointing sports shows that was pretty boring to watch. First Love Monster had potential, but it got too sexual (at least in words) for its own good. Then there's Ace Attorney that continues to suffer from the same problems VG adaptations tend to have, and Rin-ne continues to at least be entertaining, but nothing that screams must-see. The only bright spots are the Food Wars! sequel and Love Live! Sunshine!!, but Saturdays generally have a lot more great stuff than this, which is why that day of the week is a loser for this season.