It seems that all I post on my blog these days is listsI've thought about writing other things, but gave up before starting each time - they just made me feel so listless.
Well, now that I've got that out of the way, here's my Top 12 anime of the whole year! And this time, I'm only ranking series that FINISHED this year, as opposed to shows that started this year as I did in the past. Expect a bit of overlap with as a result, though the second halves (and particularly the endings) of those Autumn anime really changed my opinions of most of them, hence the rule change this year.
Image by moxue qianxi - and no, it's not too late, 12 days of Christmas and all that~12:
What's not to like about Free!? Sure, the plot was about as basic as they get, but every week the series brought a smile to my face (though nothing topped my reaction to watching the ED for the first time). Fantastic character designs, brilliant animation, comedy, angst, decent pacingFree! had it all, and even ended well, which is more than I can say for some of the series higher up in the list! Makes me wish I could swim
Another fabulous Sunrise series featuring politics, mechs and magicit felt like Code Geass all over again, which isn't a bad thing! The first half of the series kept me on the edge of my seat with its plot twists (apart from the times I fell off my seat because they were so ridiculous), and ended on a cliffhanger that left me wanting more, while the second half kept the drama coming by killing off cast members left, right and centre. Too much of a guilty pleasure to rank any higher, however~
Take a demon lord bent on world conquest, and throw him into modern day Japanand after an episode or so of confusion, he fits in perfectly. That's what I loved most about Hataraku Maou-sama! - Sadao's determination to be the best fast food worker ever, Urushihara's love of the internet, and Ashiya's worries about their household budget, all hilarious. There were a few plot/action-focused episodes too, which were also good, but this was one show that I definitely watched for the comedy more than anything else.
Ranked 3rd in my Top 12 list for last year based on one of the best first halves of any anime I've ever watched, Zetsuen no Tempest is the perfect example of why I'm not including unfinished series anymore. I wouldn't say the second half was bad in any way, just distinctly average, but the comparison with those amazing early episodes made it seem disappointing nonetheless. I'd still recommend it though, if only for the crazy characters and amazing battles of wits!
Take an advanced mech pilot and throw him onto a low-tech ocean planetand things may have been a lot less awkward if he'd picked up the local lingo as quickly as Sadao. In this series though, the huge difference in beliefs and culture between Ledo and the inhabitants of the Gargantua was used to good effect in the plot department rather than for comedy, and made for great viewing. The mech's AI, Chamber, also stands out as one of my favourite characters of the year - not sure what that says for the human characters!
Chihayafuru ranks a couple of places higher than it did in my , and that's likely due to the huge amount of character development that took place in the series and a half since - I liked Chihaya a lot then, but I adore her and all the rest of Mizusawa Karuta Club's members now! The individual tournament episodes, where she continued to play despite the injury to her finger, even adapting her style to suit her left hand, were easily the highlight of the sequel for me.
Merely receiving an honourable mention last year, I feel I need to rank Robotics;Notes highly this time by way of apology. I enjoyed the series well enough, as my Winter weekly rankings prove (it only failed to make my Top 5 once), yet I always seem to underrate it or completely forget about it when discussing this year's anime online or with friends. I can only assume it's because I was expecting another Steins;Gate, and it wasn't *quite* that epicbut neither is anything else that aired this year.
The best series of the year not to make my 5 star listif only the ending hadn't been such a rushed, jumbled mess! Which is something that next year's sequel will hopefully sort out - either way I cannot wait for more! This series had tons of style, a diverse and well-developed cast, a good balance of action and comedy, and easily one of the best soundtracks of the year. A shame more people haven't seen it - even with the ending as it was, I'd highly recommend Gatchaman Crowds!
This didn't even get an honourable mention from me in 2012, and now it's in my Top 50 anime series of all time! Just what was I thinking back then? To be fair, the first half was very slow-paced; the early episodes did a very good job of building up a horrible sense of unease, despite the fact that not a lot happenedand that made the second half all the more epic. Easily my favourite horror anime in years, I'm getting chills just thinking about it
I said it several times while the series was airing, but I'll say it again: this series could have been written specifically for me. The humour was perfectly catered to my tastes, the subject matter was all things otaku, and then there was Hato-kun - sorry Chamber, there's at least one human character who has you beaten. No other series can claim to have outranked Attack on Titan two weeks in a row, either! Definitely made me laugh more than any other series this year.
Another returnee from my 2012 list, ranking three places higher than it did then, due to its strong second half that dominated my Winter season weekly rankings. As I said back then, the premise of a world governed by a system which can read your mental state, limit your career options and label you a criminal before you've even done anything wrong is a great setting for a storyI'm just glad this world hasn't gotten to that stage (yet). This is also getting a sequel in 2014, hopefully it'll do the first series justice.
And finally, my overall favourite series of the year:
Predictable? Very, but it's just that good a series. Never has any anime held the top spot in my weekly rankings for so long, and over two seasons as well! I do love a good high-budget action series, and if it's set in a medieval Europe-like world then even better! It's also been a while since I've seen any series talked about so often and with such enthusiasm, with many people on the forums I frequent saying that they discovered anime through Attack on Titan. Deserves the hype, in my opinion.HONOURABLE MENTIONS:GUILTY PLEASURES:
SERIES I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE WATCHED, BUT DIDN'T: