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The Best of Anime 2012

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Now that 2012 is over, it’s time for our yearly diversion into the ranking of things, the Best of Anime 2012 post! This year we’re doing things a little different, not the least because it’s not Divine’s name at the top of this post. As with the season previews, where once one man was enough, now multiple writers are teaming up. Divine was legendary for completing upwards to 3/4ths of the anime airing in a year by himself, which left him uniquely able to identify the best that year had to offer. Alas, his hiatus from blogging also hit his time for watching anime, so the three active writers who watched the most anime this past year are stepping in to take up the torch.

This post is a collaboration between Moomba, Zephyr, and myself (Stilts), with each of us having watched something like 50-70 series each. There’s overlap there, but also a lot of shows that only one or two of us have seen, which means that together, we’ve seen most of what aired in 2012, and can speak with something like authority on what was good and what was less so. Special thanks goes to Stereoman for taking care of all the images for us.

Continuing from last year, there are numerous categories in the following areas: Production, Miscellaneous (fun stuff), Genre, and Notable Others. This year, we also added a new category (Fantasy), and added our names next to what each contributing writer wrote. Included at the end are the final results to the Reader’s Choice Poll.

 

Disclaimer: As always, disclaimers abound! Please keep in mind that “best” is subjective. What’s best for us isn’t necessarily best for you, and that’s okay. This list shouldn’t be taken as some kind of inviolable truth, but rather the opinions of three guys after a lot of anime watching and about eight hours of arguing, which are naturally influenced by our own tastes, experiences, and personal impressions. Before you go bashing one of our choices, please make sure that you’ve at least seen it and know where we’re coming from. Finally, all we ask is that you respect our opinions, just like we respect yours. Thank you.

Disclaimer #2: The choices in this post are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of all RandomC writers. They are solely the opinions of Moomba, Zephyr, and I (Stilts), and no one else. Also, bare in mind that when three people come together to talk about matters of taste, the results can be a bit wonky. Though we agreed on a lot of categories, sometimes one of us felt strongly about a nominee, only to be overruled by the other two. These choices are reflective of the three of us as a group, not necessarily each of us independently. Thank you for your understanding.

Note: For a show to be considered, it has to have met the requirements outlined in the Reader’s Choice Poll. For OVAs/movies, the additional requirement is that it’s been either released on BD/DVD so that viewers outside of Japan have had a chance to watch it.

 


Production


Animation

Visuals and fluid movement. It’s all about the quality of what we see on screen and what impressed us the most. Any lack of consistency due to poor outsourcing should be taken into account, as we’re trying to think of the most jaw-dropping series across the board. To a certain degree, character designs and overall art style fall into this category too.

Animation

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For many, the Kara no Kyoukai movies are regarded as pinnacles of animation quality, and for them, Ufotable is a name synonymous with consistency and high production values—the same qualities they bought to Fate/Zero. With animation more on par with a movie, there’s no doubt that this was the series that made many jaws drop week after week. There’s just no denying that the visual aspect of the series played a large part in Fate/Zero’s enjoyment, as who could forget the magnificent scene with Saber’s Excalibur (see the picture to the left), Iskandar’s Ionioi Hetairoi, or Gilgamesh in all his golden glory? Granted, some may find fault with the fact that pretty much all of the animation was CG rather than hand-drawn, but it doesn’t change the bottom line. In terms of overall animation and visual appeal/impact, Fate/Zero was this year’s best.

Honorable Mentions: Black Rock Shooter, Aquarion EVOL, K

 

Story

As the somewhat polar opposite to what’s on the surface, here we’re looking at depth and what captivated us from start to finish. You don’t need amazing visuals to tell a good story, so it’s about the original material (if any) and the screenwriter’s adaptation of it here. Good cliffhangers that keep you on the edge of your seat week after week suggest the series is doing something right, whereas filler-esque showings don’t.

Story

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Many of these categories were particularly hard to judge, and story was amongst the hardest. The enjoyment of stories – how much they grip you – is such a subjective thing. Tsuritama and Ano Natsu de Matteru were just barely ousted by Mirai Nikki, which took the top spot based on how easily it kept us on the edge of our seats every single week as we waited to see what craziness it would come out with next, and how well the original material was adapted from the manga. With its endless twists and turns, character progression, and minor deconstructions of extensively used anime tropes, it just barely manages to edge out the competition.

Honorable Mentions: Ano Natsu de Matteru, Tsuritama

 

Soundtrack

What would a series be without the music to help set the mood and tone? A good soundtrack enhances the power and emotions behind scenes in such a way that you start associating imagery with the music unconsciously, regardless of whether it’s cheery, inspiring, or heartfelt. Lasting impressions say a lot, plus it just has to sound good too.

Soundtrack

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While I’d like to claim that this category was close, it really wasn’t. Katou Tatsyua’s soundtrack for Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II was a masterpiece which easily stands at the forefront of 2012 anime soundtracks. Eureka Seven AO and Guilty Crown were solid contenders, but neither could match the sheer variety and skilful writing of Horizon II. Just as Kawakami Minoru is known to be extremely passionate about his work, Katou Tatsuya exhibits a similar devotion to the musical side. It is partially thanks to this music that Horizon II can produce such emotionally captivating moments. ‘Save you from anything’ is quite possibly the highlight of the soundtrack, both musically, and in its connections to the anime itself.

Honorable Mentions: Nakamura Koji – Eureka Seven AO, Takaki Hiroshi – AKB0048, Sawano Hiroyuki – Guilty Crown

Listen to our favorite Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II tracks ▼

 

Opening & Ending Sequence

Whether for its originality or ability to showcase what a series has to offer, opening sequences are always fun to watch. We tend to look forward to new ones and the songs that will be featured in them, and sometimes get a glimpse at what’s coming up in the show too (for better or worse). Here, the focus is on the sequence itself, even though the song may play a part in making it memorable.

Unlike opening sequences, endings don’t strive to draw the viewer in and get them psyched up about the episode that’s coming up. Instead, they’re an outro to what you’ve just seen and may highlight a specific aspect/emotion of the series. Sometimes, they’re completely irrelevant to actual story and are just an outlet for sheer fun/comedic value. Whichever the case, there are certain sequences that we enjoyed more than others.

Nisemonogatari OP3
High School DxD ED

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To me, a good OP comes down to distilling the essence of a series (or arc) in a creative and compelling way, and no OP managed to do that quite as well as Nisemonogatari’s Platinum Disco. For one, it’s super cute, with both the music and Iguchi Yuka’s singing rivaling Bakemonogatari’s Ren’ai Circulation in its ability to instantly give you diabetes. Yet there’s depth here as well. Minimalistic backgrounds are used to focus the eye on Tsukihi’s dancing, while her constantly changing hair lengths (sometimes even happening mid-movement) hint at something important about her character. The imagery is subtle but potent, from Tsukihi sitting in Araragi’s mouth to her dancing without the top half of her body. Plus, it’s just damn fun to watch as well! This was a very close category, but special note should be given Mirai Nikki’s first OP for some truly amazing foreshadowing.

Honorable Mentions: Rinne no Lagrange OP, Mirai Nikki OP1, Aquarion EVOL OP1, Guilty Crown OP1

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I’m not entirely sure I even need to explain why High School DxD wins this one. It has everything you could possibly want from a show of its type. Not only does it contain the distilled essence of what a fan-service ED should be, with each of the female characters positively dripping with sexuality as they dance and move, but the song (StylipS’ ‘STUDY x STUDY’) and tone perfectly match the show. The animation is also above average, and the card theme actually fits in with the general themes – in which all characters are modeled on chess pieces. While the subtle imagery of the AKB0048 ED was beautiful, the high-octane Joshiraku ED was a joy to watch, and the art in the Aquarion EVOL ED was truly breathtaking, there was never really any question which ED from 2012 would be taking the top spot.

Honorable Mentions: Aquarion EVOL ED1, AKB0048 ED, Joshiraku ED

Watch Honorable Mentions ▼

Song

With the sequences covered, the attention is now on the actual songs. Insert songs are also up for consideration, with the only real criteria being that it’s something that we never got tired of listening to. There’s no bearing on if it was created specifically for a series or even if the series was any good, as we’re simply picking some of our favorite songs that were featured in an anime.

“Make My Day!” by Piko (Binbougami ga! OP)

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This was undoubtedly the hardest category to come to any kind of agreement on, but the one song that struck enough chords in our collectively warped minds was Piko’s addition to the sleeper-comedy Binbougami Ga! It’s light, it’s peppy, and it’s fun, and actually quite impressive when you realize it’s sung by a guy. But my astonishment at his prodigious talents aside, it’s the fact that I keep listening to this song time and time again – and I’m not alone in this! – that gives it the win. For our other picks, we couldn’t come to anything like an agreement, so each of us just picked one. Look at those genres…J-pop, rock, and a Russian wartime folk song. What variety!

Honorable Mentions: “Vidro Moyou” by Yanagi Nagi (Ano Natsu de Matteru ED), “Katyusha” by Kanemoto Hisako & Uesaka Sumire (Girls und Panzer Insert), “NO PLACE LIKE A STAGE” by GRANRODEO (Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Insert)

Listen to Honorable Mentions ▼

 


Miscellaneous


Character

Branching away from strictly picking series and focusing on some specifics is the idea behind the miscellaneous section. The first one is our favorite character, who won his or her way into our hearts for whatever reason. The criteria here is somewhat loose, but with numerous options in a single series, multiplied by almost a hundred in the past year, it’s actually quite difficult to pick one above all others. Be that as it may…

Character

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Was there ever any doubt? Okay, maybe there was, as one could make an argument for all of characters we’ve listed for this category. Each of them made a tremendous impact on their respective series, and every one of them undoubtedly possessed a unique personality that separated them from the crowd. In the end however, there’s just no stopping Iskandar from winning. He is King of Conquerors after all, and he gets what he wants. You know, the man with an entire army of Servants and past heroes following him beyond the grave? The epitome of manliness and the biggest bro one could ever have? The one whose definition of what it means to be a King dominated the Banquet of Kings? Heck, he probably owned the piece of land you’re standing on at some point in time! Really, how many characters can you say did everything Iskander did, and had so much fun doing it? Exactly. Fate/Zero might be over, but I won’t be forgetting Iskandar anytime soon.

Honorable Mentions: Koko Hekmatyar (Jormungand), Yamano Remon (Ano Natsu de Matteru), Otonashi Io (Acchi Kocchi), Kyouno Madoka (Rinne no Lagrange)

 

Seiyuu

As the natural extension of characters, the seiyuu who voiced and gave them life deserve some attention. A character’s appeal can change drastically depending on the voice behind it, so we’re here to highlight those whose acting we enjoyed time and time again. A variety of roles tends to showcase a seiyuu’s talent better, but sometimes all it takes is one unforgettable role to get our pick. Below are our favorite male and female seiyuu this past year.

Male Seiyuu

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Namikawa Daisuke has had quite a few high profile roles over the course of his career. 2012 was no different in that regard, though the number of high profile roles increased from 2011. Namikawa steals the show here because of the sheer number of emotions he managed to stir across his various roles. He stole our hearts as Schrade in Aquarion EVOL, he brought us humour as Motoharu in Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, he played the king as Yu in Persona 4 the ANIMATION, and with Rider at his side, he made Fate/Zero. Without him filling these roles, several other categories may have come out with very different winners!

Honorable Mentions: Uchiyama Kouki, Mamoru Miyano

Female Seiyuu

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In the end, Kayano Ai emerged the victor because of two things: an impressive body of work, and remarkable acting range. You’re probably thinking of her major roles as Mikono in Aquarion EVOL and Inori in Guilty Crown, but those weren’t the ones that won it for her. No, it was the range she exhibited between characters like the perky alien Muginami (Rinne no Lagrange), the strict tsundere Mayaka (Hyouka), and the cheerful best friend Saori (Garupan). She was also in Ano Natsu, Medaka Box, and Natsuiro Kiseki, voicing many different types of characters, and always doing it well.

Honorable Mentions: Asumi Kana, Ishihara Kaori, Sawashiro Miyuki

 

Plot Twist

This is the replacement for the category previously known as “Biggest Shocks”. We’re looking for a sudden unexpected turn of events in the story that caught us off guard and delivered sheer shock value. It’s that “WTF” moment that has people talking about it for the next few days, regardless of whether or not anyone found it agreeable. Below are the plot twists we have in mind.

Show Plot Twist ▼

 

Death

This may be part of a plot twist or something you see coming a mile away, but we’re concerned about the impact the death has on the story and us as viewers. Well-executed screenplay leading up to it may play a big part, but there are also cases where a character dies so suddenly that we’re left in complete disbelief. In both cases, it’s the lingering impression we’re basing our selection on.

Show Death Picks ▼

 

Trap

“It’s a trap!” and by that we mean a guy cross-dressing as a remarkably cute-looking girl. Gender bender is also acceptable since we’re simply looking for the character who gave off a disturbingly unsettling feeling with how well they portrayed the opposite sex. In short, the character who managed to deceive others (and us!) into thinking they’re actually a cute girl, if even only for a moment.

Trap

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Looking at Hastur’s (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san) character design alone, you would be hard pressed to realize he’s a boy. Long hair, cute expressions, irrepressible innocence, an instant attachment to the main (male) character…why, he’s even voiced by Kugimiya Rie! If it weren’t for the fact that every single character treats him like a boy, I’d be denying it even to this day. But no, the joke is only on us, along with the conflicting feelings that arise whenever Hastur is on screen. This year also saw Mix’s male form in Mixy, but since she was technically male at the time, I’m not sure (s)he counts as a trap at all (even if (s)he was still confusing). Then there was Naoto, who was certainly boyishly cute, but never really fooled anyone…or at least, not more than once. Hastur!!

Honorable Mentions: Mixy (Aquarion EVOL), Shirogane Naoto (Persona 4 the ANIMATION)

 


Genre


Action

In the genre section, the goal is to pick the series of the year for their respective classes. These are pretty much the series that brought their A-game to the table and are viable candidates for our best anime of the year. First up is action, which ranges from shounen-crazed series to war-filled mecha shows. For battles, choreography plays a huge role so that was definitely taken into consideration.

Action

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Without a doubt, every series mentioned in this category had plenty of action, which played critical roles in the respective series’ enjoyment. When push comes to shove though, the other two series just don’t hold a candle to Aquarion EVOL, whose middle name (if it had one) would be “Action.” Fueled by ridiculously over the top fights and backed by superb animation and epic vocals to boot, there just wasn’t much to challenge the quality, sheer number, and memorability of the action scenes Aquarion EVOL provided. The Mugen punches, Moonlight Requiems, various Unions (NENSHIN! GATTAI! GO AQUARION!) are all things that people won’t forget for a long time, nor will they forget the excitement and adrenaline rush every fight provided. Heck, just talking about it makes me want to watch some of its great action sequences again!

Honorable Mentions: Jormungand, Fate/Zero

 

Romance

Emotion-filled romance at its finest. The relationships between characters and the emotions involved are the appeal, and the main criteria for selecting a series here. A sentimental story is always good, with tear-jerking scenes being a plus. This is the series that had the best romantic mood from the character interactions to the big confession.

Romance

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This was an extremely difficult category to decide on and there were a few shows that just barely missed making the cut for an honourable mention. Romance isn’t only about the pursuit, and while there were a few series in 2012 that dealt with what comes after, Ano Natsu de Matteru had some of the best execution I’ve seen in a long time. It was a very organic romance – one that was easy to empathise with, punctuated with all the unease and uncertainty of a first love. There were many hurdles, love triangles, tearful partings, and plenty of awkward moments, but in the end it was all worth it to witness Kaito and Ichika’s blossoming feelings, and the romantic turmoil of Kanna, Tetsurou, and Mio. The addition of some slightly unusual themes helped it stand out, but the icing on the cake came from the brilliance of its character interactions and the last few moments of the finale.

Honorable Mentions: Amagami SS+ plus, Inu x Boku SS, Natsuyuki Rendezvous

 

Drama

A lot of good series out there depict an emotion-filled story where the romance comes secondary, if at all. Strong depictions of friendship and in challenging situations can really draw a viewer into the story and start making them sympathize with the characters. It’s a bit of an all-encompassing genre, but only a handful of series really pull viewers in with their screenplay.

Drama

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No matter what your thoughts were regarding the series and how it ended, Sakamichi no Apollon had its share of dramatic moments—and well developed ones at that. A coming of age story, this was a story about life and all the drama it brings with it—a first love, rejection, the overcoming of obstacles, and the realization of one’s true self. To top things off, we got a love triangle, cultural clashes of music and familial values, and an exposition about the true meaning of friendship and its potential to be everlasting, even when life forces you apart. Combined together, Sakamichi was just everything a drama should be—a series with characters we fell for, rooted for to succeed, and with whom we bonded together as we witnessed both their successes and failures.

Honorable Mentions: Kokoro Connect (the drama even extended outside the show!), Chihayafuru, Natsuiro Kiseki

 

Sci-Fi

When it comes to science fiction, a futuristic world with advanced technology, robots, space travel, and superhuman abilities is the usual connotation; however, it’s not the only setting that fits this genre. Sometimes all a series has to do is play up a single sci-fi aspect and do it well to go down as an excellent sci-fi series.

Sci Fi

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As surely as the sun rises, each new year brings with it a new array of sci-fi/supernatural shows that make fans of the genre (like me) tingle with excitement. Looking back on 2012, this year was a good year for the genre, with many strong contenders vying for the prize. Despite the competition, there was no series that quite embodied the spirit of science fiction as well as Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II. Virtually everything about the world just oozes sci-fi, with flying ships home to entire countries and portable weapons of mass destruction maintaining the power balance. From the clothing they wear (even down to their shoes!) to the way they go about their daily lives, technology is the basis of everything. What’s better is that Horizon II possesses an immense amount of detail and goes to great lengths to explain all of these technologies, demonstrating that they’re not merely there for show, but are core aspects around which the series revolves and to which serious thought has been given.

Honorable Mentions: Rinne no Lagrange, Aquarion EVOL, AKB0048

 

Horror/Thriller

The best horror shows are those that incite visceral feelings of shock, fear, and pulse-pounding dread. Gore is not a necessity for this genre, as there’s always psychological thrillers that are just as gripping if not more. However, those that can provide both an unsettling atmosphere and a good scare are even better.

Horror Thriller

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A good thriller shocks, leaving you wide-eyed and aghast at what just enfolded on the screen. There were some great choices this year, but none so consistently left us floored as did Mirai Nikki. The story was gripping, with the near-constant threat of death casting an oppressive shroud over Yukiteru’s entire existence. Blood was used to great effect, as the brutal deaths (and ruinous experiences) of multiple characters were consistently shocking and unsettling. Most of all though, Mirai Nikki wins because of Yuno. The thought of a yandere love interest is what drew me to this show, and it did not disappoint. Watching Yuno was like trying to hug a rattlesnake – fine while she’s satisfied, but you just know she could snap any moment. And when she did…oh boy!

Honorable Mentions: Fate/Zero, Another, Black Rock Shooter

 

Mystery

Who doesn’t love a good mystery? Thought-provoking storylines that keep inquisitive viewers watching and speculating on where things are headed? Yes, please. They don’t necessarily have to have a horror element to them either, as all we’re looking for here is a blend of detective/crime fiction.

Mystery

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After the plethora of mystery shows in 2011, 2012 was rather a weak year for series of this type. Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! may have kept viewers puzzled right up until the final episode, but it was Persona 4 the ANIMATION that consistently delivered the more compelling mystery. Not only was the ultimate identity of the culprit foreshadowed in a subtle and fitting manner, but the numerous red herrings along the way continuously kept up the aura of uncertainty while never feeling as though they got in the way of the final reveal. Where some shows focus on minor mysteries, Persona 4 was about the grand mystery, and that’s what sets it apart in my book.

Honorable Mentions: Hyouka, Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, Tasogare Otome x Amnesia

 

Fantasy

Long lacking from this post, the fantasy genre finally sees its inclusion! Where science fiction seeks to explain the remarkable happenings of its universe via technology and logic, fantasy is less concerned with that. Wizards, dragons, and Tolkien-esque adventures are what usually come to mind, but those aren’t mandatory; as long as the focus is less on what makes the world tick as on using magic and wonder to tell a story, it may be a fantasy show you’re looking at.

Fantasy

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Perhaps it’s fair to say that by Nisemonogatari, fantasy was no-longer the primary focus of the -monogatari series. But while it may not be quite as prominent as it was in Bakemonogatari, its fantasy side is still extremely strong, bringing us compelling tales of various oddities. From vampires to phoenixes to onmyouji, Nisemonogatari combines the mythologies of various cultures into a single story laden with wordplay and some frequently stunning fights. Shaft’s unique style really works to bring out the unreal sense of the whole series, helping to contribute to the fantastical side all the more. DOG DAYS’ and Campione! were serious competitors for the top spot, both embodying the fantasy genre in a slightly more straightforward manner, but neither quite captured the underlying wonder Nisemonogatari was able to inspire.

Honorable Mentions: Campione!, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? OF THE DEAD, DOG DAYS’

 

Comedy

The ability to make you laugh until you cry. That’s probably the number one criteria when selecting a comedy of the year. From everything to sheer stupidity, quirky characters, and timely comedic pauses to perverted fun, elaborate setups, and witty jokes, it’s the lighthearted nature and humorous entertainment value of these series that we love.

Comedy

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Every once in a while, a series comes along that screams “genre masterpiece”, clearly going above and beyond typical shows of its type. This year, the comedy genre had its masterpiece in Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou. Powered by the likes of Sugita Tomokazu and Suzumura Kenichi, the series was just a riot, giving laughs with virtually every skit and leaving the audience in stitches by the end of each episode. Playing off of anime tropes (such as characters saying cool lines for the sake of saying them), even the most ordinary of situations were made hilarious. There just hasn’t been a series that provided such great (and consistent) laughs in quite some time. And you know what makes it even more notable? The studio behind this adaptation was Sunrise of all places!

Honorable Mentions: Binbougami ga!, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san, Yuruyuri ♪♪, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? OF THE DEAD

 

Romantic Comedy

The romantic comedy genre separates itself from the individual romance and comedy ones by teasing us with potential relationships but never quite settling on one. Instead, the enjoyment comes from the character interactions themselves, often — but not always — in harem-like scenarios.

Romantic Comedy

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There were quite a few good romantic comedies this year, though none quite managed to match the ridiculous antics of Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? OF THE DEAD. From the constant delusions of Yuu, the frequent fan-service, and a high calibre harem ranging from tsunderes to yanderes and everything in between, we got plenty of humorous romantic interactions to go around. Add in Ayumu’s unfortunate cross-dressing and the world’s sudden fascination with his arse, and there’s much in the way of regular comedy to be found as well! Let’s not forget about Ayumu’s success in getting every waitress at the maid cafe to turn dere for him – frequently risking life and limb in the process – which prove Korezon’s romcom bona fides all in one go.

Honorable Mentions: Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!, High School DxD, Campione!, Zero no Tsukaima F

 

Slice of Life

A laid-back series with no reliance on heavily gimmicky plot devices nor a constantly progressing storyline is what this genre stands for. The character interactions themselves in an otherwise “normal” setting are the highlight, along with any incidental humor that results from them. A lot of times, they’re just really cute and innocent happenings, and that’s exactly what makes a good slice of life series.

Slice of Life

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Fun characters, well-told jokes, a relaxing atmosphere, and a little bit of love–that’s what made Acchi Kocchi such a treat to watch. Some of my favorite parts were watching the “chaotic” Mayoi and Sakaki run amok, only to flounder hilariously on the immovable rocks that are Io and Tsumiki. Hime’s frequent nosebleeds also always got a laugh, unless I was too busy fangirling about Io and Tsumiki’s latest romantic moment, which were unfailingly cute and pleasantly frequent. But maybe the best part was the atmosphere. After a long day, Acchi Kocchi was like a warm blanket and a mug of hot chocolate – the perfect thing to relax and unwind with.

Honorable Mentions: TARI TARI, Natsuiro Kiseki

 

Fan-Service

While fan-service-filled affairs tend to go hand-in-hand with comedies, that’s not always the case. In addition, fan-service doesn’t only constitute breasts in your face, nor an abundance of needless upskirt shots. The only criteria here are character interactions suggestive of a sexual-related context, regardless of how revealing the scenes may actually be.

Fan Service

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You knew this would win, and that I would be the one to write about it. Nisemonogatari is practically the definition of artistically creative fan-service, with the titillation coming not from in-your-face boob-and-panty shots, but from artful wordplay, creative camera angles, and the forging of new sexual fetishes. Koyomi is so casually perverted (ex: groping Tsukihi, attacking Hachikuji) as to make watching his antics a treat, especially when some in his harem make it so easy (I’m looking at you, Kanbaru!). Mostly though, it was the infamous toothbrush scene that sealed the deal. Creating a new genre of ecchi, spawning a thousand fanarts, and making Japanese women feel seriously uncomfortable around the dental supply aisle? Easy pick.

Honorable Mentions: High School DxD, Campione!, To LOVE-Ru – Darkness

 


Notable Others


Most Underappreciated

There are numerous shows out there that people don’t watch or continue watching because they’re so fixated on what’s unanimously popular. We make a point of watching and covering series that tend to be overlooked, so this is intended to highlight the series that more people should have checked out but probably didn’t.

Underappreciated

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In a pick that should come as a surprise to very few, Tsuritama is our winner in the most underappreciated category. I don’t know what the exact reason was—perhaps due to its fishing tagline?—but this was one of those series that didn’t garner much attention in general. Dropped early by many and skipped over entirely by others, it’s a real pity, because Tsuritama ended up being one of the better series of the year. A great story about friendship (with a bit of sci-fi mixed in), this series was a great example of why you shouldn’t judge a series by its cover, and one that put some pretty big smiles on its viewer’s faces by the time it was all said and done. On the bright side, it seems like more and more people are starting to pick up this series and give it the attention it deserves, so if you haven’t done so yet, you should too.

Honorable Mentions: Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, AKB0048, Rinne no Lagrange

 

Biggest Disappointment

The pitfall of excessive hype and anticipation for anything is the disappointment that results when things don’t meet expectations. With regards to anime, this is doubly true when a series has precedence established by its original and a sequel falls incomparably short. At times it’s only a small letdown, but sometimes we’re left wondering what we did to deserve sitting through it. We’re not looking for the worst series of the year here, but the biggest disparity between expectations going in and way the series turned out.

Disappointment

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Guilty Crown will likely stand forever as a shining example of how to make a series seem fantastic, only to crash and burn. There are no honourable mentions here – nothing else even came remotely close to how far, and how hard, Guilty Crown fell. The biggest issue came from the repeatedly inconsistent writing. It almost felt as though there were multiple writers, each of whom was only given a few vague details between each episode. Several characters would change personalities on a weekly basis, plot elements were introduced with no purpose whatsoever, and many threads seemed to be outright forgotten. I think one of the lowest moments for me was when Shu explained to his friends that he needed to go save the terrorists from the government because they ‘believed in him’, and no objections were raised. It was at this point I realised the writers had absolutely no idea what was going on in their own story.

 

Exceeded Expectations

Naturally, there’s the exact opposite of the above, where we go into a series with low or little-to-no expectations and it turns out much better than we anticipated. This could easily be considered finding diamonds in the rough, which is only possible if you tend to give new shows the benefit of the doubt. My picks here don’t mean they’re blockbuster hits in disguise, but that the disparity between expectations and the actual series goes in the favorable direction.

Exceeded Expectations

Excerpt by

When I first heard about Girls und Panzer, I made the same assumption that everyone else did – “cute girls doing cute things, and this time it’s tanks. I wasn’t fond of Upotte, so pass!” Fortunately I didn’t listen to myself, because what a treat this turned out to be! It’s true, the girls are cute, and if you’re a tank otaku then you’ll be in heaven, but there’s so much more. Tank geekery is only indulged in when it explains things relevant to the story, and the battles are both tactically interesting and wonderfully animated. The story is also quite engaging, as the slice-of-life antics quickly gave way to tense battles and compelling cliffhangers, all set to a magnificent musical score. Combined with a cast of almost universally likable characters, this show is one you shouldn’t miss. Honourable mentions go to Binbougami Ga!, the sleeper-comedy that always brought the laughs, and was pretty touching as well.

Honorable Mentions: Binbougami ga!

 


And Finally…


Best Anime 2012

The be-all, end-all of the year. This pick is always a hotbed of controversy, so here’s the exact criteria we used to make it: if we were to meet an anime fan for the first time and they were to ask us to recommend a show that aired in 2012, what would it be? Without knowing the person’s tastes, we would naturally default to the show that did the most things right, one that had wide appeal and deserved it, that had superb animation and told its story well, and above all else, that we enjoyed. The winner of this category should be a high anticipation show that supremely deserved it, or a dark horse that blew everyone out of the water. This is subjective as hell, but here we go – our best anime of 2012 is…

Best Anime

Excerpt by

There are so many reasons this show deserves to be here. For one, it was animated beautifully. When I close my eyes, I can still see Saber’s blade sparkle with brilliant light, crimson blood splatter on the shattered ground, and a monster arise from the blasted depths. The fights were choreographed well, each one the clash of the mightiest of warriors doing everything they can to obtain victory—and their skills showed. The story was interesting too, though it was understandably hampered by its status as a prequel. Most of all though, it was the singular moments that blaze alight in my mind – the heroic deaths, atrocious betrayals, crumbling madness, dying innocence, and the fragile will to do whatever is necessary to win, even if it means destroying everyone and everything you love. Our honorable mentions each had great moments in their own right, which were stirring and funny and exciting to watch, but for the catharsis found in staring into the abyss and watching heroes fight for a fleeting dream in the darkness beyond, there was nothing quite like Fate/Zero. In the end, it set out to tell a story and it did it well, and in my mind, there can be no higher praise than that.

Honorable Mentions: Aquarion EVOL, Nisemonogatari, Jormungand

 

Best OVA/Movie 2012

The same as above, except for the not-regularly-broadcasted offerings. These aren’t covered very often on the site, but we’ve each had the pleasure of watching enough to find some that really caught our eyes.

Best OVA Movie

Excerpt by

If you’d asked me a year ago whether or not I thought CODE GEASS: Boukoku no Akito was going to be our pick for the best OVA, I would’ve laughed. My hopes for it were not exactly high – it appeared to be no more than another attempt to cash in on the CODE GEASS franchise years after it ended. Yet, surprisingly enough, it managed to fully capture the spirit that made CODE GEASS so thoroughly enjoyable in the first place. By being typically fabulous, ridiculously absurd, and filled with thoroughly crazy characters, it managed to bring back some of the greatness that came from watching the original series. Even so, it was a very close category to judge, only just barely winning out over the fifth installment of Gundam Unicorn.

Honorable Mentions: Gundam Unicorn

 

Reader’s Choice – Favorite Anime 2012

Your choice for 2012. With everyone allowed to pick up to five series, we have a pretty nice spread of results. In exchange for finding out if there was one series that everyone would’ve picked with a single vote, we have a much better idea of the other ones you enjoyed. The top choice is still pretty unquestionable though, since it was good enough to make it into the majority of your top 5 picks.

Readers Choice Anime

The Top 5:
Fate/Zero – 2,900 (9.69%)
Sword Art Online – 2,488 (8.32%)
Hyouka – 1,652 (5.52%)
Nisemonogatari – 1,129 (3.77%)
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai – 1,101 (3.68%)
Total Number of Votes – 29,917
Here are the full results.

Excerpt by

Though we didn’t leave the poll open as long this year, we still got a good spread of results. Happily enough, our #1 pick ended up being the same as the reader’s once again, and two of our honourable mentions placed in the top 10, meaning that Moomba, Zephyr, and I are only somewhat weird. (Okay, that’s a lie. We’re very weird.) No one should be surprised to find Sword Art Online and Accel World in the top 10, because while they were very polarizing shows, they were also widely watched and widely enjoyed. KyoAni was also well represented with Hyouka and Chu2koi, which were sadly missing from most of this post due to their being good in many things, but not necessarily excelling in particular categories. The only major difference was us three placing Aquarion EVOL much higher than the poll did, but what can I say – we love us some crazy, over-the-top action, certain characters notwithstanding. I trust you’ll forgive us our oddity.

 

Reader’s Choice – Favorite OVA/Movie 2012

Your OVA/Movie choice of 2012. As mentioned in the disclaimer above, the choices here were restricted to what’s been released on BD/DVD so that viewers outside of Japan have a chance of watching them and making an informed decision. It didn’t make sense to restrict such offerings to a small pool of voters this year and not have it up it for consideration in 2013, so if you wanted to vote for anything that premiered in theaters, you’ll get your chance next year.

Readers Choice OVA Movie

The Top 5:
CODE GEASS Gaiden: Boukoku no Akito OVA – 1,387 (9.02%)
Steins;Gate Special – 1,220 (7.93%)
K-ON! Movie – 1,174 (7.63%)
Gundam Unicorn Episode 5 – 915 (5.95%)
FAIRY TAIL OVA – 510 (3.32%)
Total Number of Votes – 15,379
Here are the full results.

Excerpt by

Finally, your pick for best OVA/Movie: CODE Geass Gaiden: Boukoku no Akito. Coinciding with our own pick for this category, this was a win many probably saw coming. After all, the original series was immensely popular (and well-received) when it first aired, and given that OVA managed to capture the same atmosphere its parent story did, it’s no surprise it was similarly received. Notably though, many of the top picks this year weren’t particularly surprising when compared to their popularity and appeal—though Gundam Unicorn did rank slightly lower than anticipated.

 

As always, every year offers something different, and I (this is Stilts again) feel this past year was a lot better than some people give it credit for. While at first glance there didn’t seem to be any stand-out shows like last year’s Steins;Gate and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika, closer inspection revealed a great deal to enjoy. Personally, my anime anime watching habit ballooned considerably since joining RandomC, and though it’s occasionally a press on my time, I haven’t found myself regretting it yet. To echo Divine, I feel like those who were willing to give most series the benefit of the doubt probably found this to be an enjoyable year for anime, whereas those who weren’t willing to expand their horizons may have found it lacking. In 2013 I intend to keep delving into as many series as I can, and I know a number of my fellow writers will be doing the same, so here’s to another entertaining year from the world of anime, and here at RandomC. Kampai!

January 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm
538 comments »
  • January 4, 2013 at 4:18 pmFadingMoon

    Horizon soundtrack is good, but K’s soundtrack is also very good.

    If I had to pick between the two I would go with K’s soundtrack.

    • January 4, 2013 at 10:58 pmTai

      Aww. Don’t downvote to indicate whether you agree or disagree. Instead downvote if you think they shared an opinion without thoughtfulness. I respect your opinion and think K’s soundtrack is spectacular as well.

    • February 16, 2013 at 8:28 pmYuji

      I love K’s soundtrack, it’s fantastic! But it’s autor’s opinion, we’ve got no choice :)

  • January 4, 2013 at 6:24 pmNyangoro

    Can’t say I agree with all of these (especially considering that I don’t like Persona 4′s anime in any way, shape, or form), but you know, that’s just me.

    Personally, I’d say AotY is a fight between Jinrui, Lupin, Sakamichi, Natsuyuki, and possibly the Yorkshin arc of Hunter x Hunter if you want to count it.

    And I definitely prefer From up on Poppy Hill as the best movie of the year. I still hold that it’s the best thing Ghibli’s done since Spirited Away.

    Kinda surprised Hunter x Hunter, Sakamichi, Lupin, and any of Sagisu’s works this year don’t get a mention as far as soundtracks go. The difference in taste must be pretty extreme, because even those just scratch the surface of soundtracks this year that I’d rather listen to.

    • January 5, 2013 at 4:18 amLitho

      It’s just the majority demographic of this blog (reviewers and readers). Go to Enzo’s site and you’ll see a whole different list of “best of” anime, with many of your preferences listed. Different strokes.

    • January 5, 2013 at 7:45 amSekai

      Hunter X Hunter is still airing, so it can’t be included in the 2012 list.

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:10 pmDiyedas

    You kinda lost me at giving Aquarion Evol Best Action. Then again maybe the action was good, I just can’t remember too well. because the most I can remember is all the disappointments and crappy stuff that happened in the end. Plus all the great characters they screwed over.

    But you won me over again with Kore Wa Zombie, Acchi, and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou.

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:26 pm†Croos†

    I love reading the comments above me.
    They fuel me.
    I love it. <3

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:30 pmNoSicko

    Too many choices. Only 5 to pick. I agree with the poll results… in general.

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:40 pmHystericalPenguin

    Indeed, I’m aware of this list being subjective. There are some series that really deserved the seats that they’ve gotten (Nisemonogatari, NichiBros, Tsuritama, Fate/Zero), however the lack of Junrui wa Suitai Shimashita’s mentions somehow made this list gray. Maybe it would’ve been more acceptable in my part if it had taken either the Exceeded Expectations award or the Best Ending Sequence. Jinrui definitely needs to obtain more love.

  • January 4, 2013 at 10:27 pmwhee

    “Though we didn’t leave the poll open as long this year”
    that’s why i missed it… ;_;
    agh nisemono u needed to do better.

    Was Another in 2012 or 2011?

  • January 4, 2013 at 11:33 pmHomer

    I am very disappointed this year.
    There is no excitement in these story.

  • January 4, 2013 at 11:53 pmfoxglove212

    Wow, great job guys, I enjoyed reading your picks for all the different categories.

  • January 5, 2013 at 12:25 amScorps

    Very nice list! I don’t agree with Aquarion and Persona 4 being that good, but everything else is a very good choice, >in my opinion<. :)

    In P4's case maybe it's because I played the original game first. The way it was rushed felt kinda odd to me, but it was mostly how awkwardly the fights were delivered. In the game format it was a lot of fun, but I didn't expect them to be so unexciting as they were on the adaptation. Yes, the mystery is the best part to it, but the plot is something that is ready from the start, how they worked on it didn't live up to the game as an adaptation to my eyes.

    As for Aquarion, I really liked the first/second episode, but then I started disliking almost every character. Their personalities really got on my nerves, so I couldn't enjoy it. I'm okay with over the top shows and I know the action scenes were good, but sometimes the lame outcomes and overdramatism just didn't appeal to my tastes.

    By the way, I know some people will hate this, but I'll say it, Sword Art Online was only kinda good up to episode 14, and it even had some bad directed episodes and action scenes through this SAO arc. Then the Alfheim arc declined really badly. My opinion may be a little biased again, because I had read the Novel first and felt it failed to give off the awesome vibe the Novel did.
    You should add SAO to the category "most overrated shows of 2012". LOL

  • January 5, 2013 at 2:20 amAjira

    time went so fast without us noticed,i still felt best anime of 2011 released yesterday

  • January 5, 2013 at 3:09 amJigeharu

    I haven’t watched most of the anime in the list so I can’t argue with the results, but I like the way this year’s best of anime turned out.

    Random though: Maybe I’m just very orderly or something, but shouldn’t the total number of votes for the best anime’s be divided by 5 since each person got to pick 5? That would mean the percentages of people who voted for a specific anime will go up a lot…well that doesn’t change anything I guess.

  • January 5, 2013 at 10:01 amSoraNoKaze

    Can’t believe SAO got second in the reader’s poll. At least Fate Zero one has it deserves.

  • January 5, 2013 at 1:08 pmzeroyuki92

    I never complains about the best anime post every year although most of my opinions are different with Divine, but now…

    > Jinrui, not mentioned at all. Seriously?
    > Chuunibyou, although generating a ton of buzz online and gaining a lot of positive reviews, not mentioned at all.
    > Hyouka not mentioned at all in the animation category? I think nobody could argue that it’s the most detailed and the most fluid animation in the year… Seeing that it’s not even mentioned against shows that mostly boosted with only “visuals”

    And I can keep going about ranting,but I guess nobody will like a list full of complains. To be honest, I am quite disappointed with this year’s best, although maybe it’s only me hyper-reacting due to missing of some rather obvious choices, at least for nominations.

    I guess I have to say that I think next year would be better if:
    1. “Animation” category involves more actual “animation” criteria (movement details, fluidity, consistency, framerate, number of QUALITY animation) rather than visual, effects and impacts alone, or just separate best visual and best animation from the beginning.

    2. Special, unique awards for something that’s really good but can’t really fit into any category.

    3. Despite of only picking reviewers with the most number of anime watched, I think diversity of taste should be more considered.

    4. Random thoughts : How about some special place for short anime? :3

    I respect all of your choices in this poll guys, but as many people already mentioned in the comments section, there are some surprising choices in selecting (and not selecting) some choices that leading to thought of “there are some shows that didn’t get the minimal appreciation that they should got”. Best in the category are always more flexible to subjective value, but I think putting special mentions to some that has been known in excelling at some area won’t be hurt.

    Thank you, RC! I hope we will having a great year for anime in 2013!

    • January 10, 2013 at 7:38 pmCurry

      I could not agree more! I was shocked to see Fate/Zero as best animation, it’s all effects.

    • January 21, 2013 at 11:52 pmNelson II

      Damn right! I have been checking these posts for the past 3 years and so far I understood the reasons….

      Now, I am shocked.
      Hyouka is indeed the prettiest I have seen this year. It was just beautiful. The attention to detail and character animation was top notch! The OST was very very nice as well.
      Of all the shows I watched this year, Hyouka is the only one I never skipped the opening and ending (besides the 1st ed). It was perfection! XP

      Of course, we all have our own tastes and preferences.
      I just wanted the visitors of the site to see a different perspective if ever they see my post XD

      • January 26, 2013 at 9:30 pmdxb_blackwolf

        I agree that Hyouka has amazing animation but Chuunibyou was just as good and detailed. Neither is better than the other, they just have different styles. Hyouka zooms in a lot more.

  • January 5, 2013 at 3:18 pmlaaa

    Mouretsu Pirates why no1 rembered it? (wasnt it well made? to even honor it somewhere)
    BRS was my favorite
    and over all SOA was 25 % random 25 % average 25% good 25% kick ass
    F/Z was 100 % good 100% and 100% spoiler on ending //that is why I didnt even vote it cosz I vote for ending

  • January 5, 2013 at 6:34 pmEbisu

    I suppose Jinrui is your true underappreciated as it didn’t get a mention (its seiyuu Mai Nakahara did a superb job). And really I thought Girls und Panzer had good expectations before airing cause it would feature tanks. Mouretsu was well too. Ixion Saga was good as comedy. I suppose unfinished series like Hunterxhunter, Kingdom or Ginga e kick off with a long running will be left out of this kind of lists. Finally, “Make my day” was a perfect choice!

  • January 5, 2013 at 7:05 pmraitei_shourai

    Yay, I’m so happy Chihayafuru got in the top 10 of the poll. I wholeheartedly agree with the picks for Best Anime and Movie, good work everyone!

  • January 6, 2013 at 3:41 amlilipop

    Completely agree with Fate Zero & Code Geass OVA.

    I always told my friend “Get Fate Zero, you can’t go wrong with it. Fate Zero never disappoint.”
    ^_^

  • January 6, 2013 at 6:17 amFT5Havok

    I have a question for the fate people, is shirou going to end up with saber or not ? After everything is done. I’m so curious to know! Just finished watching FZ! xD

    • January 7, 2013 at 1:21 amd-LaN

      In the F/SN VN, it depends on which route you go. There are all together 3 route: Fate, UBW and Heaven Feel. There a LP of the VN so if you are interested, you can look it up. I believe its Fate route tht Saber and Shirou hook up. (I am still reading the prologue so I am not too sure abt it though)

      • January 15, 2013 at 11:18 pmAnonymous

        They only hook up in Rin’s route as an alternate choice.
        In Saber’s route, she leaves to her original time.
        Show Spoiler ▼

  • January 6, 2013 at 8:12 amAzure Vanguard

    I bet if kokoro connect released it’s last four episodes earlier, Himeko Inaba would have a place in the best characters this year.
    In my personal opinion only.

  • January 6, 2013 at 1:31 pmanon

    Wow, did the RC staff see the same Mirai Nikki?

    It is a story of a whiny emo shit MC getting his ass saved constantly by plot contrivances. ‘Deus ex machina’ is right. While the story is original, it is inconsistent and contorted with plot armor for the MC. The MC ruined this series. It’s too bad that an awesome character like Yuno is stuck with a worthless shit like MC.

    This is one of those rare series that pisses me off. It had such promise, only to be ruined by plot holes and an irritating MC. RC needs to save it’s credibility for a series without so many weaknesses.

  • January 6, 2013 at 6:32 pmDorian

    “Save its credibility”? Geezwizmurphymegatroids, seriously? So they picked and enjoyed something you didn’t. It just means they were probably willing to overlook what you weren’t. Deal with it and move on anon.

    Now then, pretty much how I thought the best of 2012 was going to go. Though I am a little surprised that the action category went to EVOL over Fate/Zero, but that’s probably because its for the action scenes and not the show itself.

    I’m kinda glad that some people don’t know about the well placed easter egg in HighschoolDxD’s ending. Its quite brilliant really. That’s what I loved about it. Well, that and the girls being all sexy. Hurray for season 2!

    Thanks again for the reviews for 2012 RC and hopefully for more in 2013!

  • January 6, 2013 at 6:56 pmtehjonel

    what? guilty crown only got honorable mention? seriously? the soundtrack was brilliant.

    • January 7, 2013 at 12:50 amDa5id

      Yeah, as much as I hate to admit it, the soundtrack was one of the things Guilty Crown got right. Maybe if they placed the honorable mentions by rank?

  • January 6, 2013 at 11:37 pmRyoushi

    Reader’s Choice – Favorite Anime 2012
    Oh Yeah! my Top 5 anime is all in :))

  • January 7, 2013 at 4:38 amBored

    The animes are getting worst nowadays…

  • January 7, 2013 at 10:37 amTanz

    When I first saw SAO’s screen in the background, I thought you guys actually put it as your best top 2012 anime and went “…/no/”

  • January 10, 2013 at 2:47 amOrevataf

    Thanks for another list this year, really useful!!
    Kokoro Connect should have won! Inaba <3 XD

  • January 10, 2013 at 5:02 pmSho

    I didn’t watch fate/zero, nor mirai nikki, gave up on Guilty Crown, taking Accel World instead of SAO, grab kyoani’s Hyouka and Chu2byou, Shaft’s Nisemonogatari, JC Staff’s Ano Natsu De Matteru and Sakurasou, Highschool DxD… and few more, well, my personal best anime would goes to Hyouka tho.

  • January 10, 2013 at 8:59 pmAll Fiction

    Chuunibyou was #1 for me by far. Entertaining story. Logical characters with depth. Meaningful ending. I loved it.

  • January 11, 2013 at 8:47 amKaka

    I am sorry to say but I think some of the best were totally left out of this list. One thing that bugs me the most is while Mirai Nikki got mentioned a few times, Jormungand/Hyouka/Jintai/Chuunibyou were barely mentioned. It kind of made me question where the bar was set for your ratings. If you see the anime production as a whole, [story, animation quality, sound track, seiyuu choices, etc] Jormungand/Hyouka/Jintai/Chuunibyou totally excelled in these areas, making a package with minimal flaws. Mirai Nikki is probably just average IMHO, somewhere around SAO. Admittedly, I did not watch many of the animes mentioned in this list, so I cannot argue about those. However, somehow this list feels less objective than that of previous best-of-anime’s to me. Hopefully, next year we will see a more well-rounded review.

  • January 11, 2013 at 8:35 pmjogre

    2012 was a bumper crop of good animes but this “best of” list hardly does justice to that fact.

  • January 12, 2013 at 7:42 amreich

    Acchi Kocchi in SOL was my only disagreement in this list. I didn’t like the characters that much except for Io and Tsumiki, so that could be why the jokes aren’t getting to me. Mayoi and Sakaki getting into trouble and even Hime’s nosebleed didn’t just do it for me, which comprises like most of the jokes. But i didn’t want to drop this, so i decided stick until the end, hoping that something good might happen. Sadly, nothing did.

    In the end, it was relaxing, but it was boring. NatsuKise takes SoL 2012 for me.

    Just my two cents.

  • January 15, 2013 at 9:20 pmA

    Can’t say I agreed with many of these and I’m using many loosely. None of the animes I thought should be on the list were on the list. And I’m seeing Mirai Nikki everywhere it shouldn’t be. I’m sorry, but this year didn’t really make it for me.

  • January 16, 2013 at 3:03 pmSu Ae

    I have to disagree with almost everything. This is so biased and wrong. This is the reason why I don’t like RC anymore.

    • January 20, 2013 at 5:26 amDa5id

      Care to go into more detail, chap?

    • March 29, 2013 at 7:25 amChrisNL

      Haha I have to agree with you, This best list was almost my worst list except for K and Arcana Familia or w/e. Fate zero had arty animation but that’s it, it had almost no story what so ever.
      The action, drama and romance winners were so dull and boring that they’re not even worth mentioning.
      Your biggest dissapointment was actually the best in this list togheter with Code geass, they both atleast had a good story with great visuals and good action, Guilty crowns character could’ve been better but it was quite good in the end.

      I could go on and on but this list is crap just as you said.

  • January 20, 2013 at 3:58 amjsmith

    Aquarion EVOL was one of the few shows that I dropped because it was so bad. Seeing it as an honorable mention for “best of 2012″ is beyond ridiculous imo, but to each their own. Well, at least Fate/zero won, which was very much deserved.

    And yeah, while SAO was a moderately fun watch, it’s easily the most overrated show of the year. This might surprise people but I actually enjoyed BTOOOM more (a show that I don’t see mentioned anywhere here).

    And no mention of Berserk anywhere? What’s up with that?

  • January 21, 2013 at 11:41 pmNelson II

    I really enjoyed Hyouka. I was really in between with Fate/Zero and Hyouka but I enjoyed Hyouka more.

    For comedy, I’d go with Gintama, KOre wa zombie or Binbougami ga. Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou was indeed VERY funny for the 1st 3 episodes but it flunked afterwards, IMO. Nichijou like that but was better, Funny at 1st then became the middle = “meh” (too much nano and hakase parts) then it redeemed itself. Very funny indeed, I was crying for crying out loud XD.

    Nisemonogatari was very good as well but was very disappointed with the toothbrush scene…VERY disappointed. It was so embarrasing to even watch.
    Mirai Nikki was indeed awesome though there were a few plot holes and I detest the idea of “rape” in an anime.

  • January 22, 2013 at 10:01 pmkuro

    aw man, I should have vote for hyouka instead of SAO, too bad I’ve just only watch hyouka recently

  • January 29, 2013 at 5:48 pmJel

    I can’t believe that Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Another got no mention in this post at all. Sakamichi no Apollon definitely should’ve went under under appreciated. Hyouka not winning any category? The list is opinionated, I know… but come on.

    • January 29, 2013 at 5:50 pmJel

      Lol jk, I need to read more closely. Just no mention of Another, that’s all.

  • January 29, 2013 at 9:26 pmKoolbreeze

    No mention of Nisemonogatari in animation?! WTH! Whatever you guys are smoking on must be some good stuff.

  • February 17, 2013 at 9:37 pmHachimikka

    I can’t believe the opening to Sakamichi no Apollon didn’t even make it onto the list for best op. The contents f the show aside, I’ve cried watching that opening a few times..

  • March 24, 2013 at 5:41 pmKaio

    Guilty Crown was amazing! The person who wrote the review of it on this website is a shounen sucker that can’t stand a sad story. Also, a top anime of the year that puts Mirai Nikki as best story really have some damn huge flaws.

    • May 27, 2013 at 12:39 amKoji

      mirai nikki is the best show ever……it should get more awards from the story, song, ost and many more……i like the plot twist as its explained everything that is vague from the beginning….it’s also make me sad to watch some of the characters died…..it also have a very good jokes…..the graphic and animation are the best……no flaw at all…..

  • March 30, 2013 at 3:54 amChrisNL

    How dafuq did fate zero become first, does the writer know of the concept story? apperantly not since fate zero had 0 story and was pure graphics, well at least it was better then K which was in my worst list togheter with arcana familia.

    I can probably name atleast 20 anime last year that were better then fate zero..

  • March 31, 2013 at 1:57 amKira

    How is Guilty Crown bad? The writer is dumb as shit. Guilty Crown shows how vulnerable even the main character can be. And how the different incidents can leave an impact on the characters which may affect their personality / things they do. The ending shows just that. Not everything is happy ever after.

    • March 31, 2013 at 2:12 amDa5id

      Usually when a story writer is dumb as shit, the story ends up very bad.

  • April 4, 2013 at 3:29 pmagr0n

    I’m glad Girls Und Panzer got on the list even though the final 2 episodes got pushed back to 2013.

    Hmmm… I haven’t seen alot of these I guess I have more for my list.

  • April 6, 2013 at 1:39 amChrisNL

    The writer of this must have a dull life watching all these boring anime..

  • April 6, 2013 at 9:20 amChompasaurus

    Why no Sword Art Online?

  • April 6, 2013 at 10:34 amMagoiichi

    Good picks except how the readers chose Sword Art Online as the second best anime of 2012 is beyond me LOL

  • April 7, 2013 at 5:20 amZen

    very beautiful site
    a entertainment without end in the manga´s word
    I like it

  • April 7, 2013 at 8:34 pmWakashimasu

    Best soundtrack: Angel Beats. Also made me cry the most

  • April 15, 2013 at 9:46 amHunter258

    I think you are kinda hating on Guilty Crown. Sure some personalities changed but come on it was a pretty fantastic anime. The soundtrack was decent. Story line…decent. All in all I loved it

  • April 19, 2013 at 6:35 amMangte

    Mirai Nikki OP was sick… I can’t believe it wasn’t mentioned

  • April 25, 2013 at 11:42 amDubs17

    I kinda have to disagree on the best anime with you but its my opinion. I really think that the best anime of 2012 is Sword Art Online

  • April 28, 2013 at 6:47 amWatchy

    I really don’t understand the stuff about Aquarion EVOL..
    It’s so much trash i couldn’t stand one episode and that’s the first time it ever happened to me with the countless number of animes i watched

    Also “Chuunibyou_demo_Koi_ga_Shitai!” was truly amazing and i’m surprised it’s not mentionned…

  • April 29, 2013 at 12:23 pmAnthony

    TOTALLY NOT AGREE WITH GUILTY CROWN BEING THE BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT! I MEAN COME ON YOU GUYS!THAT’S, AT MY OPINION THE BEST ANIME IN 2012 TILL NOW! IT HAS IT ALL:
    DRAMA
    ACTION
    ROMANCE
    IT’S HOLY AMAZING! >.<

  • May 1, 2013 at 6:21 amDaimyo

    The only good anime on here was fate/zero. This is why anime nowadays is all shit. Look at the best anime on here. If 2011 was a crap year, 2012 was a bullshit year. 2013 seems to be shaping up into an ass turd of ayear. You moe, kawaii loving cunts can’t resist girly looking anime with effeminate men. It seems to be only anime with the problem, studios adapt the worst manga/light novels, give them the lowest 12 episode budgets, milk them dry with merchandise and then move on to the next anime. All the while you suckers get fooled into thinking [insert new shit anime here] is God’s gift to the world of Japanese animation. It’s easy to see what these people are doing. None of them give a fuck about anime. The golden age of anime is over guys. Wake up people!

    • May 1, 2013 at 7:02 amSDFSDG

      I’m assuming you weren’t dropped on the head when you were a baby but instead thrown against a wall….

      • May 1, 2013 at 8:54 amjunglepenguin

        Or he could just have been born stupid?

        Wait, people still read this post?

  • May 4, 2013 at 9:11 amJoHn

    so how come Lupin didn’t even get a mention of any kind? I am really saddened by this because I think it was spectacular anime. Even if somewhat unconventional.

  • May 6, 2013 at 3:51 pmTheFuzzy27

    I guess I’m a little late here. I really liked Another, though the ending was a bit strange it was awesome. I also liked Natsume’s book of friends. Kore wa zombie desu ka was very entertaining. I have not seen many of these animes, but I cannot say I liked Mirai Nikki. I loved the 1st opening, but I guess the idea of the story isn’t appealing to me. I actually liked Guilty Crown. I honestly had no idea what the author of this post was talking about, but given I watched it a while ago, maybe I forgot. I remember that I liked it when I watched it and I was happy with the ending even though it was sad. I also liked the sound track or at least one song from the Berserk Golden Age movie by Hirasawa Susumu.

  • May 13, 2013 at 10:19 amScott

    Nice post which here’s overlap there, but also a lot of shows that only one or two of us have seen, which means that together, we’ve seen most of what aired in 2012, and can speak with something like authority on what was good and what was less so. Special thanks goes to Stereoman for taking care of all the images for us. Thanks a lot for posting.

  • May 15, 2013 at 3:41 amzeroomask

    Finally got around to seeing mirai nikki,a show praised by the writers of randomc for having a great story and being the best horror/thriller.
    So after finishing mirai nikki I’m just gonna ask 1 question
    “AM I WATCHING THE SAME SHOW AS THE WRITERS OF RANDOMC OR DOES MIRAI NIKKI SERIOUSLY SUCK”
    Honestly,mirai nikki is a giant turd of a show that is nowhere near good. Most of the characters were terrible,the story retarded as shit,and its nowhere near as scary or even thrilling as claim. Special mention must go to the whiny ass main character Yuki,who makes Shu Ouma look like freaking lelouch from cg.
    Also Aquarion Evol winning best action…..REALLY????? the action in Aquarion Evol was an incomprehensible and lame cgi mess for the most part,even the cgi battles in Macross Frontier look better than this and that came out when…2008.

  • May 17, 2013 at 9:33 amScott

    Nice post which where once one man was enough, now multiple writers are teaming up. Divine was legendary for completing upwards to 3/4ths of the anime airing in a year by himself, which left him uniquely able to identify the best that year had to offer. Alas, his hiatus from blogging. Thanks a lot for posting.

  • May 28, 2013 at 5:18 pmKinsey

    I’m very disappointed that Shinsekai Yori didn’t make it somewhere on this list. It was probably the most thought provoking anime I had seen in a while. It seems it went under everyone’s radar because I would have definitely picked it as the most suspenseful, best story and best soundtrack in an anime in 2012. It’s so under appreciated. More people should give it a chance.

    • June 26, 2013 at 8:59 pmZephyr

      Shin Sekai carried over, so it wasn’t part of the 2012 considerations. It’ll be part of 2013′s.

  • June 4, 2013 at 1:31 pmnorach

    very good list !!!
    so i’m not the only one who thinking that guilty crown was very annoying,,

    either the story nor the character just make me regret after watching it, especially the main character. at first he looks like a good person, then he toying people around him, but in the end he become a hero,,
    WHAT WAS THAT ???

    i don’t understand why people saying that guilty crown was great show.

    i think the real masterpiece in 2012 was SAO,,

    • June 9, 2013 at 2:49 amMIVD

      just shut up ….Sao is one of the most disappointing series of 2012 assface!!!!

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