The Best of Anime: 2013

oregairu

And so another year has come and gone, and it’s time for my anime year-end wrap-up. Just like last year, the rules are as follows:

1. My lists only include shows I have actually watched. I cannot speak to the quality of shows I didn’t watch, but chances are I never gave them a look-see for a reason. This rule will especially be true for the most disappointing shows since it’s not fair to categorize shows as being terrible – even if they actually are – when I’ve never seen them; hence the reason I don’t have a ‘worst of’ category.

2. A show needs to have ended in 2013, so any two cour (season) shows that started in 2013 but have continued into 2014 are ineligible.

In many ways, I’m rather thankful for that second rule because this latest season has a good number of great shows, so narrowing it down to a select few would have been difficult (and no, the soulless Kill la Kill is not one of those shows). Thankfully several of those shows were two cour and therefore extend into 2014. Of course, that will probably be problematic next year, but that’s an issue for another date.

So without further ado, make it so!

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The Best of Anime: 2012

nisemonogatari

Given that 2012 ended over a month ago, I figured I should probably strike while the iron is still reasonably lukewarm and do an end of year ‘best of’ for anime, especially given that the whole season wrap-up thing I had planned to make a regular feature went nowhere. Essentially I found that I couldn’t be bothered writing about all of the shows I had watched every three months since I tended to find that I had little to say about the ones I enjoyed, I couldn’t really find the motivation to write about the so-so shows and unfortunately I had the most to say about the shows I disliked, making for a very uneven and ranty wrap-up (yes, I am aware that I have issues).

Anyway, back to the main subject. The rules behind my picks are quite simple:

1. My lists only include shows I have actually watched. I cannot speak to the quality of shows I didn’t watch, but chances are I never gave them a look-see for a reason. This rule will especially be true for the most disappointing shows since it’s not fair to categorize shows as being terrible – even if they actually are – when I’ve never seen them; hence the reason I don’t have a ‘worst of’ category.

2. A show needs to have ended in 2012, so any two cour (season) shows that started in 2012 but have continued into 2013 are ineligible.

So with that said, here are the 2012 winners:

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Season Wrap-Up: Sankarea

I previously wrote about my obsession with Sankarea after the first episode had aired, so think of this as the follow-up to that post with my final impressions on the show.

Sankarea remained one of the better shows of the season, but my enthusiasm tapered off a bit in the second half along with some of what made the series great to begin with.

The thing that made the first half so well done was the pacing and direction. While we all knew this would be a show about a girl who becomes a zombie, it certainly took its time getting to that point by delaying the inevitable, introducing us to the characters and the setting, and most importantly, establishing the connection and burgeoning relationship between Rea Sanka and Chihiro Furuya and the issues they are dealing with on a daily bases. This was especially true for Rea, whose father’s obsessive and semi-incestuous nature is the driving point for her wishing for death or release in the first place. It wasn’t until about four or five episodes in that Rea died and became a zombie, which worked for the show because it then gave us a nice comparative glance at Rea’s two “lives” before and after her death. The pacing was spot on, the visuals were impressive, the tone was serious when necessary and light-hearted at the right moments, the lighting and artistic flairs were used to great effect, and there was a general sweetness to the interactions between Rea and Chihiro.

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