To entice you to read this post, here is a picture of two guys kissing from one of my favourite shows.
This post was actually really difficult to write, for a number of reasons.
Firstly and most obviously, I have been out travelling for the last fortnight or so and the Internet connection has been really spotty out here in the Philippines.
The other reason why I thought this post was hard to write is because I hate picking favourites, since I tend not to mentally rank anime.
But there’s no better way to tell others about your taste than to list your favourites, so without further ado, here is a short list of my top anime that aired this year:
One of the most common disclaimers for these kinds of lists is that they’re simply opinion. I’ve always thought hiding behind a disclaimer prevents you from saying anything meaningful about what the anime was trying to do and how it succeeded (or didn’t succeed, for that matter) in its intent.
But art really is a matter of perception, and at its best, watching anime becomes a journey of self-discovery. I’ve learned a lot about myself through watching anime this year, and my tastes have changed immensely as a result.
I don’t think I’m really all that different from other anime bloggers. In early 2013, I had tastes which were standard among discerning fans. Like many of them, I’m university-educated and I’ve had a strong background in western literature before coming to anime. (My taste in literature is very much classics-oriented.) Shinsekai Yori and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure were natural shoe-ins for this list, and their merits should go without saying.
What changed? I gradually became more immersed in otaku culture. I think my various posts on this blog track my evolving thoughts on the subject, so I don’t need to go over it all again here. Suffice it to say that without this grounding, I would never have appreciated OreGairu to the extent that I did. The most others appear to have said about it is that it succeeds as a narrative in spite of its otaku-isms, which is kind of a backhanded compliment that fails to give light novel subculture any credit.
Little Busters! and Sakurasou got onto the list because they addressed worries and concerns in my personal life. I’m still young, trying to find myself as a young adult, and both series managed to speak to my heart by first pandering to my inner otaku. They’re both very anime-ish anime, but I think it was those very charms that allowed me to accept their messages on more than an intellectual level. They made me laugh and they made me cry. By the end, I was enormously attached to the characters.
Speaking of characters, here were some of my favourites from this year:
Top 5 waifus:
5. Rika (Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai)
4. Nadeko (Monogatari)
3. Rin (Little Busters!)
2. Kuuko (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san)
Naturally, with my fetish for pink-haired girls, the top choice was obvious. Kuuko’s chemistry with Mahiro elevated her to waifu-tier in Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W and Rika also improved herself greatly with her general craziness in Haganai NEXT.
The real surprise, though, was Nadeko, whose development in the latest arcs of Monogatari took me completely off-guard. I went from completely apathetic about her to completely in love with her, but I can’t explain what happened without spoiling it. Those who’ve watched it should know what I mean, though. I really enjoyed writing her post for the 12 Days of Anime.
Top 5 husbandos:
5. Hiromi (Kyoukai no Kanata)
4. L-Elf (Valvrave the Liberator)
3. Hakuryuu (Magi)
2. Ledo (Suisei no Gargantia)
I like male characters who take themselves too seriously. I’m not sure why but it strikes me as endearing. These guys are all pretty much the same person, although some are angstier than others. Every fangirl knows that angsty guys are hot, though.
On that note, Free! was a disappointment to me, as someone who loves sport shows with gay subtext. It lacked the nuance in its characterisation that makes the cute guys shippable, though it had a decent sense of humour, its drama fell totally flat. The reactions to the show were pretty good, fortunately. It was fun pretending to ship myself with Rin, although as it turned out, he was quite the little bitch by the end.
As for the big blockbuster of the year, Attack on Titan, it certainly had its moments and I enjoyed the ride, but I wasn’t as in love with it as the mainstream fandom was. I’m sorry I could not have written more about it on my blog, but at least my friend uminohoshi gave it some of the attention I thought it deserved but lacked the interest to write.
Overall, I would describe 2013 as a year of disappointing sequels. OreImo, of course, was the biggest offender, but other series like Infinite Stratos, Chihayafuru and Kuroko no Basuke have not clicked with me as strongly as their original series did. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT was surprisingly an improvement, though, as was Monogatari: Second Season, so it wasn’t all that bad.
I enjoyed a lot of anime this year, and I think blogging about it really changed how I saw these shows for the better. While many of the anime I watched never fully connected with me, I was able to appreciate the medium as a whole a lot better, so I think I came through this somewhat mediocre year in anime very satisfied and confident in the potential of anime.
My Plans for 2014
I checked out the winter 2014 previews and I have to say it seems like a great time to quit anime. That’s no real biggie, though, as I’ve been planning for a while to watch more older anime and to revisit some old favourites. I think I’ve gained a strong enough perspective on what the current anime trends are like from following anime for a year, and I would rather use my time now to watch more artistically important series. There’s a lot of good stuff I feel I’ve missed out on, so any and all recommendations are welcome!
I’ve also decided to spend more time reading light novels and playing visual novels. As for the light novel I’m translating, the poll results are in and it looks like I’ll be translating Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko. Thanks to all who voted. I’ll be beginning the project as soon as I get back from the Philippines.
Here are the results:
Anyway, Happy New Year, guys! What did you think of 2013? What was your favourite anime and who were your favourite characters?
Your list is rather different that what I looked from others, but so do I:
5. Kiniro Mosaic
It is the best slice of life anime of 2013. The quirky yet reasonably grounded humor is relieves my work stress easily. The character designs and interactions are cute enough to feel like hanging around them, but not to the point that it feels obnoxious and overly emphasized. The animation matches the characters like a glove. The only thing that it needs improvement is the volume balance between the good quality OST and the character voices. Still, for some reason it is not that much enjoyable despite its quality.
4. Danball Senki Wars
It is the best mechanical toy anime of 2013. For a children’s show, it does not shy to make a war allegory out of a seriously played children’s toy and later the morality of warfare out from the young characters. The characters are initially the most annoying of this year, but as the plot progresses, they improve alongside with their battle performance. The animation is as fluid as what expected from OLM with decent battle choreography that puts some anime for mature audiences (Kakumeiki Valvrave, I’m looking at you!) into shame. However, the epic OST and voice volumes balance still needs improvement while the character designs (especially the eyes) can look jarring at times.
3. Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
It is a decent mecha anime, second only to anime at the second place. The humor and the seriousness blend like a smoothie with the character designs and mecha abilities fit perfectly with that. The battle choreography is very high on stress, strategy, sensibility and slickness, something which rarely happens. The character interactions are reasonable at the right moments and making it feels closer towards actual real life. The majestic (pun intended) OST and voice volumes are balanced as well. However, it starts relatively weak with invisible buildup for several episodes.
2. Suisei no Gargantia
It is the best mecha anime of 2013. The animation is of very high clarity and detail, despite it causes roughness. Despite its slice of life style of narration, its philosophical depths left myself and many viewers food of thoughts that can lasts for months. The character designs fit their personalities like a glove and the interactions make sense most of the time. The mecha action is high on strategy, sensibility and slickness, but lack on stress except for the final battle, yet such choreography is well suited for its own. The superb OST and voice volume balance are terrible, though. There’s also some episodes which were weak and the way the philosophical depths are handled can be haphazard at times.
It is the best Idol anime of 2013. For some reason that I still can’t understand, this is the only anime that I enjoy every minute of it. For a little girl’s anime, despite its merchandise driven nature, it managed to give a partial illusion of being close to reality with the intense and enjoyable Idol work of diverse nature. Then there’s its mature writing that surpass similar anime for older audiences. The character designs are approachable with the interactions have the balance of amusement and seriousness. The music is well performed, but the OST and volume balance needs improvement. The animation and dance choreography, even in the beginning where it is weaker is smooth and fluid at the cost of clarity. It is the anime that get me into this hobby.
To me, 2013 is quite a good year for me, albeit with a very weak winter season. I somehow enjoyed most of the anime that I watched and dropped only 2 shows that I considered weak (Koroshiya-san: The Hired Gun and Saikyou Ginga Ultimate Zero: Battle Spirits). Even then, those two are good on their own right, just not enough for me to keep watching them.
Looking at the past is always a good thing as we don’t get obsessed with it. I even resumed watching PSYCHO-PASS yesterday and plan to finish it within a few days. Since that you asked for recommendations, I think I’ll recommend Suisei no Gargantia.
I don’t particularly pay attention towards characters, but my favourite male characters are:
5. Naoe Kanetsugu from Gifuu Doudou!: Kanetsugu to Keiji
4. Yutaka Hasebe from Servant × Service
3. Kanbara Akihito from Kyokai No Kanata
2. Sena Arata from Danball Senki Wars
1. Ledo from Suisei no Gargantia
My favourite female characters (in terms of waifu material) are:
5. Yamagami Lucy (Abbr.) from Servant × Service
4. unknown secretary from Gundam Build Fighters
3. Kitaouji Sakura from Aikatsu!
2. Takanashi Otoha from Pretty Rhythm Rainbow Live
1. Madeline from Fantasista Doll
Hopefully 2014 would be a better year for both of us.
Hope you enjoy Psycho-Pass! I personally really enjoyed it and would have put it in the top 10 if I’d made this a top 10 list.
Oh man, your list really is the definition of off-beat! I didn’t get to watching three of the shows on your list, and I dropped Gargantia. Aikatsu, though, that’s a good show, and a I agreed with what you wrote about it. Despite idols not normally being my thing, I find it’s a nice show to relax to. It’s evolved into a really pleasant slice of life show. Hmm, perhaps one of these days I’ll write a post about it! Depends how the current season shapes up.
That reminds me: I’m planning to use my time next year to get into more children’s anime, since they’re really not represented on my blog at all. So I’d definitely listen to good recommendations on that front :)
Since that you need some recommendations on children’s anime. I’ll do my best with it:
1. Pretty Rhythm series (Aurora Dream, Dear My Future and Rainbow Live)
They are essentially Aikatsu! with ice skating as part of the performance. However, they are can be quite dramatic at times.
2. Danball Senki series (1st series, W and Wars)
The battle choreography are very good. The characters are relatable. But the 1st series and W have relatively weak story that serves as excuses for the battles.
3. Cardfight!! Vanguard (1st series, Asia Circuit-Hen & Link Joker-Hen)
The card battles are very strategic and made me interested in the card game itself. The characters are even related to the fights strongly. The plot might be weak, though, especially Asia Circuit-Hen.
Hopefully you’ll enjoy these shows as much as I do!
I’ve had my eye on Vanguard for ages, so your recommendation is the final push to get me to watch it. I’ll start on it as soon as I get back. Thank you!
(P.S. It’s 2014 over here. Hope you had a great New Year!?
Nice list! Shinsekai Yori and JoJo’s are actually next on my to-watch list for next year (like you, I also cringed at the Winter 2014 offerings- with the exception of Silver Spoon 2, none of the shows look particularly good).
Your Morgiana pic is so cute :) I approve.
Pervert Cat won? Yay!
My top five of the year:
5) Love Lab # If sleeper hits in anime exist, this series is it. Considering the source material was a 4-koma manga, this adaptation is nothing short of masterful. While the more serious plots dragged a bit, the characters always remained lovable, engaging and amusing. It seems weird to say, considering the name “Love Lab” took until the end of the series to pop up, but I wouldn’t like this series to be continued – what it delivered was beyond what could be expected and I feel anymore could ruin it.
4) Attack on Titan # Overhyped, but a decent series overall. If you can looks past its flaws (uninteresting lead, some Mary Sue-ish characters and pacing issues in the middle), what awaits is an exciting series about Steampunk Spidermen taking down giant monsters. What’s not to love?
3) Maoyuu Maou Bananapants # Great beginning, uneven middle, okay end. I’m not a big fan of high fantasy, so it was fun to see those kind of characters placed within “our” world. The characters were likable, shippable and made good use of their setup.
2) The World God Only Knows: Goddess Arc # I’m a fan of the manga, so I knew what was coming, but I loved the adaptation of the manga arc. If you even remotely liked the originals, you’ll probably like this. I personally found some areas better than the manga, specifically the ending of the arc, which felt all the more pressing when animated.
1) Rom-Com SNAFU # Never has a series filled my heart with such warm, creamy goodness. Feel good anime of the year, guys. I’ve always been a big fan of the “disturbed male” protagonist/narrator in fiction and this series did not fail to deliver on that front. The characters were majorly flawed and the narrative was interesting. Areas made me think, is that what really happened, or is that Hachiman’s interpretation? Could he have his love comedy if he just tried a little harder? Why do I feel the need to ship Hachiman with EVERYONE?!
After the series ended, I felt satisfied. Things could continue. I hope they do.
Keep note, I haven’t seen Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure in hopes that a Season 2, 3 and 18 will come along to adapt further into the manga. I will likely break my pledge to hold off on watching it in a moment of weakness. I have however, read a bit of the manga and loved it, so I wholeheartedly suggest this series to anyone who wants something different in a Shonen title.
Also, Kill La Kill, Samurai Flamenco and Log Horizon hold promise so far (Log Horizon being my personal favourite of the three) and I’ll be continuing to watch them into next year.
The original stony cat from Pervert Cat.
Erin’s mother from Attack on Titan.
Sonoko from Detective Conan.
Jake the Dog from Adventure Time.
Keima Katsuragi from The World God Only Knows: Goddess Arc.
Your waifu is Keima. Damn! I should have put him on too!
I like your list. I enjoyed Love Lab while it aired and I also consider it one of the best “cute girls” show I’ve ever seen. I thought it wasn’t a 4koma and just a regular manga, though?
SNAFU is great. Would love to see more of it. At this point, I legit wouldn’t mind if it devolved into a romcom because I also ship Hachiman with everyone. (Confession: Iactuallywroteafanficshhhhh)
Anyway, Happy New Year! Hope you have a great 2014.
Don’t even ask, but mine is Mio.
Not a whole lot to say, but this caught my eye: “I’ve always thought hiding behind a disclaimer prevents you from saying anything meaningful about what the anime was trying to do and how it succeeded (or didn’t succeed, for that matter) in its intent.”
Spot on, bro. Kudos for giving that unpopular piece of advice.
Interesting and… I support you, you should watch older anime for a while. Everything will change (maybe) if you do that.
I didn’t think on my top 5, but Shinsekai Yori is there without a doubt.
Have a happy new year, Froggy-kun.
Not sure how would I pick a top five myself, the number’s too small in the first place xD Perhaps I would go something like this:
(In no particular order)
3. Outbreak Company
4. Gin no Saji
5. White Album 2 (oh man, the feels)
I would add Shinsekai Yori, Shingeki no Kyojin, Love Lab, Fate/kaleid, TWGOK Goddess Arc, Noukome, Nagi no Asukara (seems great from the few episodes I had watched) as honorable mentions, though it still feels like I’m missing a few. Oh, and also,
Gintama movie! It’s awesome xD
“I’ve also decided to spend more time reading light novels and playing visual novels.”
Oh? which VN’s in your backlog atm?^^
And indeed, Happy New Year to you too^^
Currently playing Utawarerumono, or was until I left. As for my backlog, it’s mostly otome games, just for a change of pace. They’re not nearly as horrendous as their anime adaptations suggest!
I like your list, too, btw, and I also thought the Gintama movie was really good. I had a great new years myself; hope it was the same for you.
Probably an all right anime year, but I ended up really busy in the summer, and then way too busy in the fall. Fell behind on all the shows and kind of stopped caring about trying to keep up with any of it… (And all my free time was spent writing that way-too-long light novel of mine… the draft is finally done though, so there’s that.)
I did get back to Little Busters at least the other day. Very cute show; didn’t exactly wow me by the end as I hoped but I still love all the characters.
Favorites of the year that I did get through are definitely From the New World and Watamote. Two shows that did things completely different and pulled it off nigh-perfectly. Zetsuen no Tempest will also hold a special place in my heart though. ;> And I really need to finish Valvrave, lol.
I’m trying to decide what I’ll do for 2014 in terms of aniblogging, since I’m pressed for time these days. In the past it’s something I’ve just done to pass the time and try to have fun with, but it just hasn’t been as enjoyable to me for almost a year now. I’d feel bad if I just quit entirely since I like to be connected with everyone in some way, but at the same time it’s kind of dreary to write post after post after post without anyone commenting on anything you have to say. There’s still Twitter of course, but I kind of got tired of that too, since it so often feels like a place just for people to complain about everything. Oh well, maybe I just need to manage my time better than I have. At the very least I don’t think I’ll really try to follow currently-airing shows for a while, seeing how I’ve accumulated such a backlog. Maybe just one show a season, if I do decide to keep blogging regularly. >_>
That’s a real shame to hear about your declining interest in aniblogging. It’s terribly easy to get burnt out writing episode reviews, so I think the first thing you need to do is reevaluate what’s fun about blogging and to try new things. Change up the format – write what YOU want to write. For me, the biggest fun in writing is the opportunity to reinvent a little bit of myself every time I put words to screen. Once you start to think of it as a chore, you lose that innocent thrill. So don’t lose heart. Take a break, think about what you love about anime and put that to words.
That’s the best advice I can give you.
I’ll stick to being an “optimistic goofball who embraces his inner child”. It’s what makes me special…I guess. At least I’m also a university level peep.
All your fav shows are leftovers that I plan on picking up sometime. As for epiphany inducing shows…did I really have any this year? No. Oh well, laughs and pleasure over life reflections this yeear, I guess.
You’ve written a post about animeniacs and leftovers and how difficult it is for some to keep their word but I swear I’ll do my best to try. I need to get an Anime Network thingy now that I got a dish.
Hmmm, I think you have the right idea. If you go into every work of fiction wanting to experience an epiphany about yourself, you’ll just be miserable since most stories don’t work like that. I think that’s especially true as you get older. Nevertheless, learning isn’t just epiphanies; I think of it as a lifelong process where every anime counts towards discovering things about yourself. That’s the realisation I came to this year – that I don’t need to shut off my brain to enjoy a silly show.
Sorry for the philosophical tangent – your comment (and blog in general) got me thinking!
I don’t think much when picking shows to watch or enjoy. If the show caters to me (Meaning it has a female lead or is one of my top two genres) then I’ll watch it. If it ends up becoming a “Mainstream Sweetheart”, then I’d call usually that “dumb luck”, Madoka for example. If I end up learning something very important about life from the show I watched, that’s more of a bonus than a necessity.
Froggy-Kun, the point of all of these “top 5 anime of 2013” posts is to give me ideas for what I should watch next. How am I supposed to get any such ideas if I already have everything you mention?
I guess i’ll forgive you though because you’re pretty darned awesome. And these are the first Waifu/Husbando lists i’ve seen, so there’s that ^_^
In any case, I hope you have an awesome New Year and enjoy the upcoming set of anime as well!
I admit, I was rather lazy with this post and would have written proper recommendations for my list if I wasn’t travelling at the time. I know that’s no excuse for poor quality but hopefully Deadlight’s more thorough list covered the bases ;)
I was completely joking about being disappointed; I always enjoy finding out what everyone’s favorite picks are =)
The fact that I already had your favorites just means i’m more excited to watch them now!
I’m surprised to see so many bloggers liked Shinsekai Yori. Everyone I was following back when it aired pretty much hated it(or at least their writing made me think as much… several of them are praising it now that the show is over and I’m simply confused by that fact.) leaving me to wonder if I should go back and give it another shot now that I’ve seen who actually liked it. I will say that I am incredibly amused to see Shinsekai Yori and Sakurasou as the top two anime on a best of list. I can’t even explain why, something about those two shows appealing to entirely different crowds in general. You are breaking my stereotypes for anime bloggers!
Do you have any plan to blog about VNs? If you need a push in that direction I can tell you that I’ve found them to be worth a stupid amount of hits compared to anime.(and that is totally what matters right?) I wonder if you have any plans to play some of the more imouto centric titles? I would be very curious to hear your take on say Kana Imouto or A Profile.
I’m a week late to the party, but happy new year anyway!
Aww, no big deal about the late comment, as long as you accept my late reply!
I think the reason why Shinsekai Yori is getting such effusive praise from bloggers now that it’s ended is because it had such a strong ending. Personally, I loved it the whole way through, although it had rough patches that are more obvious if you watched it weekly. I recommend it, especially if you love books, since the story is told with a very literary style.
About VNs, I was planning to do a bit of commentary on them here and there, but rather than imoutos and eroge, I’ve been fixated on otome games and BL – how’s that for breaking the stereotypes? ;) But I’m totally up for recommendations of any kind, as long as I can squeeze in the time for them. Since I don’t plan to follow current season anime this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about broadening my horizons!
Hope you keep enjoying this blog when I finally return to writing for it :)
I happily stumbled to this homepage while searching for some worth-watching animes, and the first thing that caught my eyes were the first picture of two kissing bishounen <3 Which anime serie is that from? I wish you a happy 2014 with lots of fun-blogging ;)
The anime with the kissing bishonen is Shinsekai Yori. I highly recommend it! And thanks for the well wishes – I have some interesting thoughts about BL and pretty boys in anime that I’m looking forward to blogging about in the future. Hope you stick around!
What anime is the picture of the guys kissing from? My friends and I would like to know.
It’s from Shinsekai Yori. I think it’s a great show!
With the two guys kissing where are they from? I NEED TO KNOW
Shin Sekai Yori