Hi everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve posted (more about the direction I plan on taking the blog at the end of this post), but my yearly anime awards are something that have to happen. I feel a little under-qualified this year to be posting one of these best-of’s because, frankly, I’ve developed a bad habit of watching the first 2 episodes of series and then stopping. Despite that, I can definitely make some judgement (desu no) calls based on what I have seen. I am only posting winners instead of runner-ups this year, except for in the overall series. In addition, only shows that have been completed this year will be considered (notable omission is Kill La Kill).
- Overall Series
- Action Series
- Comedy Series
- Drama Series
- Fantasy Series
- Sci-Fi/Mecha Series
- Adult (Seinen/Jousei) Series
- Opening Theme
- Ending Theme
- Biggest Surprise
- Biggest Disappointment
- Most Cliche
- Voice Actor
- Potential Bests, The Anime I Didn’t Get to this Year.
Attack on Titan
While I definitely believe that Attack on Titan, on the whole, is extremely overhyped and predictable, I think that it would probably be a sin not to concede that it is the best action series of the year. Attack on Titan began with the workings of a great series with phenomenal action scenes (potentially some of the best anime action I have ever seen). Its weakness lies only in the fact that its plot and plot devices are a lot more shallow than they potentially could have been. Bleach syndrome (obtaining the powers of your enemy) is a problem for me, especially when not done elegantly.
Anyway, Attack on Titan still had the best action this year, despite its other glaring flaws.
Frankly, I’m very much unqualified to be judging comedy in anime. It’s just not my thing. However, I’ve always liked the comedy in the Oreimo series and what I’ve seen of Oreimo 2 has been great (I do plan on finishing it, but more on that later). Also, Holy Angel Kamineko. From what I’ve heard from other reviewers (and people in general), the best comedy of the year is probably The Devil is a Part-timer, but I didn’t give that show a chance.
Even though I haven’t finished this series either, I’ve seen enough to know that this is absolutely drama city. That and it’s probably one of the darkest dramas I’ve ever seen. Don’t start watching this when you want to be happy or want to feel normal 1-2 days after.
Blast of Tempest
Starting in 2012, this show finished up in 2013 and counts. Honestly, Blast of Tempest is a really close contender for best show I’ve seen this year, period. I could go on and on (https://nixnao.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/zetsuen-no-tempest-blast-from-the-past/) about how great this show is, but the link pretty much sums up my thoughts. We’ll just say that I felt like this show was a roller-coaster worth riding.
While Psycho-Pass didn’t necessarily end the way I wanted it to (good thing there is a second season in the works), I believe that conceptually it was a great show. Sometimes it got a little far-fetched, but the dystopia presented is well-realized and very self aware.
Adult (Seinen/Jousei) Series:
Monogatari Series Second Season
Monogatari counts as a Seinen. I haven’t finished it. It still counts. Get over it – there will be a Monogatari series on each one of these year end reviews, regardless.
Runner-up: Blast of Tempest
Curveball! While I don’t think that the individual aspects of Gatchaman CROWDS are superior to the other series this year, I think that overall it is a better series than all of the rest. The plot is simple; the action isn’t always phenomenal; the science is fantasy. But what really makes this show outstanding is that it is just the definition of fun. Hajime is probably the most refreshing lead character in an anime for quite some time and she helps the show take off like the rocket it is. Watch this show if you are looking for something new and different – this show is pretty much the definition of what I look for in anime (and you should, too, you trope lover).
As I’ve previously mentioned, Blast of Tempest was great and one of the best shows I’ve seen this year.
Madoka Movie 3
I haven’t seen it, but it came out in October and it’s Madoka – so probably a safe bet.
Mirai Nikki Redial
I hear that this is the ending the series needed (and deserved, Batman). I haven’t seen it yet, but it looks promising.
Hajime – Gatchaman CROWDS
Not even close. Hajime’s odd speech, energy and animation make her the best character this year.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
While very inconsistent, the artwork in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was fabulous. The stuff (like above) was great, and who knew you could make shooting the top off of a coke bottle look cool?
Coda – Bloody Stream – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure OP 2
Okay, two Jojo back to back. Get over it, this song is awesome.
Aku no Hana’s Ending (Please don’t tell me who it is by. I never, ever want to know)
Most ending themes for me are forgettable. This one…is not.
Bird, Go? – Gatchaman CROWDS
The first scene in which Hajime does her Gatchaman thing is what hooked me on the show.
For her work in Railgun S, Vividred Operation and Mangirl…Who am I kidding? She is Hajime in Gatchaman Crowds. That is all that is required for this.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Honestly, I don’t know what initially drove me to watch Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. I’ve always thought it looked goofy (and it is), but I’m a huge fan now and can’t wait for them to potentially release the next season of the anime.
Suisei no Gargantia
Man did this show have potential. It was extremely disappointing to see that potential squandered and turned into a slice of life show with no powerful plot.
Okay, really, this should read “Most Cliched Despite Its Fandom Claiming It Isn’t”. The main problem I had with Attack on Titan is that it followed far too many tropes and, as such, was waaaaaay too predictable. Also, credits on the image go to the signature on the image. Google image search just gave me exactly what I was looking for here (with a search of only “Attack on Titan”), so I had to use it.
I will likely finish up the following this coming year (along with whatever episodes I have left of any of the above series):
- The Devil is a Part-timer
- Beyond the Boundary
- The Eccentric Family
Main thing is that all of these have too many comedy elements for me, but they have all been highly acclaimed.
As the new year starts, I plan on making several changes around the blog.
- I will no longer be doing waved first episode reviews. These are way too time-consuming and require me to write a bunch of stuff about shows I probably won’t continue watching. Instead, I plan on doing seasonal roundups after I have committed to one or more shows. Hopefully, it keeps me from feeling burdened by feeling the need to watch every anime in a season.
- As previously mentioned, (https://nixnao.wordpress.com/2013/07/20/summer-2013-anime-top-starters/) I will begin reviewing games shortly. This is going to take some time to set up a model and template for this, so I’m not sure when you should expect this. Maybe some time in the Spring?
- I plan on doing a full rework of the layout on the site (and potentially a name change to coincide with the broadening of the blog subject matter). That should happen sooner rather than later.
I hope everyone has a great new year, and hopefully now you have a few recommendations to work with! Also, why can’t we get a WYSIWYG editor on WordPress?