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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 2, 2013 at 11:17 pmtomoyostar

    Hotarubi no Mori e was really good. Sad to see it wasn’t mentioned :(

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:10 amronbb

      I like it a lot, too — it’s one that is so subtle but can tug your heartstrings big time. It’s simply beautiful.

  • January 2, 2013 at 11:17 pmnagi

    Now I’m really curious what this Jinrui show is (haven’t watched it yet). It was mentioned on several comments here so maybe it should have won the Most Underappreciated award?

    • January 3, 2013 at 9:36 pmDango_Warrior

      It’s more popular than Tsuritama, I think. And it got a bit of audience due to the weirdness of the 1st arc (the next ones aren’t very weird). It’s really good and I think it’s not that underappreciated. It’s not in any awards though because it’s very unique and would be quite hard to put in any of the unless it wins AOTY. The arcs are also very different from each other which is big reason why it’s hard to classify. There are constants in the show though. There is always excellent satire. Watashi or Sweets-chan (the smart, pessimistic and sarcastic, lazy, charming heroine) is always on screen. And the arcs always end with (varying levels of) emotional impact.
      And if you’re wondering how different the arcs are from each other. The 1st arc has a lot of excellent comedy and weirdness. The 2nd arc parodies some things. The 3rd uses anthromorphism to create a good (not very but) emotional story. The 4th is a mystery that ends with the best worst pun of the year. The next 2 episodes are episodic and focuses on excellent world building. The last arc is the main character’s backstory. Despite that though, it would still feel like you’re watching the same show.

      lol that was quite long. But Jinrui is my AOTY (honorable mention: Chihayafuru), so yeah…

  • January 2, 2013 at 11:31 pmLightnDark

    Having made a “Best of Anime” post myself (shameless plug), I’m quite glad that majority of RC picks (both post/poll) aligns with my own. Instead of squabbling over who deserved to win what (which I’m sure the writers themselves had their fair share of), I’ll be doing an analysis on the post+poll results, and pointing out whatever “interesting” tidbits that I find.

    Addition of Fantasy Genre – Great addition here, I felt that there was something missing within the genres but didn’t really know what it was.
    Number of titles mentioned (excluding OVAs/Movies, and yes I counted) – 47
    Titles mentioned count (once per category, only 4 and above listed):
    Aquarion EVOL – 11 (lol)
    Fate/Zero – 7
    AnoNatsu – 5
    Rinne no Lagrange – 5
    Persona 4 – 4
    Mirai Nikki – 4
    AKB0048 – 4
    Guilty Crown – 4
    Campione! – 4
    Nisemonogatari – 4

    Stuff that caught my attention:
    NakaImo counting as Mystery..seems legit?
    Fan-service – Not quite the winner I was expecting since I really thought the more conventional ecchi shows would win. Out of every single category this is the one that I disagree with the most. Granted, ecchi and fan-service are similar but not exactly the same, but still. The main focus of Nisemon was arguably never on the fan-service, so how about the shows whose selling point is on the fan-service?
    Biggest Disappointment – I dunno but I felt K bombed quite hard, and given the amount of controversy SAO received, deserves a mention too.

    Polls: Assuming each person utilizes their full 5 votes, the results should hence be multiplied by x5 to accurately reflect the %, explanation below.

    Fate/Zero – 9.69% (48.45%, meaning almost half of the voters chose this as 1 of their choices)
    Sword Art Online – 8.32% (41.6%)
    Hyouka – 5.52% (27.6%)
    Nisemonogatari – 3.77% (18.85%)
    Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai – 3.68% (18.4%)

    Stuff that should be mentioned:
    Fate/Zero wins polls – Just according to keikaku. Keikaku means plan.
    SAO – Don’t underestimate the power of its fanbase..or should I say fanboys? Despite it placing 2nd in the polls, SAO has only 1 mention to its name in the entire post (which is about the poll results themselves, lol.
    GC – Placed 11th, someone/a group of people has been working hard..or maybe they felt it was a good comedy? (Seriously this joke needs to die)
    Horizon – Placed 20th, wow despite its “popularity” this one placed so much lower than I had expected
    Aquarion EVOL – Placed 23th So, this is the biggest ? that I have in my head right now. The writers seem to favour Aq EVOL very highly, going so far as to give it a total of 11 mentions across the various categories, am I missing out something here? Even the grand prize winner F/Z only managed 7 mentions.

    Closing thoughts:
    A subjective list will always be fire and foremost, subjective (hi Aq EVOL). Even though I disagree with a small minority of the choices, the majority of them are actually “justifiable”, or rather “oh I can see why you picked this”. Anyway I think I have rambled on for too much, hope this analysis was helpful.

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:42 amJonz

      Rather than Guilty Crown, I felt Aquarion Evol is more disappointing….

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:54 amjoshspeagle

      You mentioned an explanation for multiplying the percentage by 5, but I didn’t see one or missed it. It might be obvious to some, but here goes (I tried to be really explicit):

      % here = votes/total votes
      With 5 votes per person, if you assume every person used all 5 votes total votes = 5*total voters
      Since you actually want a new % based on votes/voter, you divide the total number of votes by 5, and so the new % = votes/voters = votes/(total votes/5) = 5*votes/total votes = 5*original %.

      The only problem here is the assumption that everyone used all 5 votes. I’m not sure if the writers have the data per person, but that’d be an easy point to lay to rest if they did. I’d also be interested to see the stats.
      There’s also the possibility they listed the votes per person, and we really were being dumb about this ;)

    • January 3, 2013 at 9:17 amShin

      I thought that Aquarion EVOL was quite fun to watch. The way it ended just felt like it was lacking something though. I don’t know what it was but perhaps too much harking back on the old series and too much love, guts, and fate and all. Not sure if it was because I never watched the original but I couldn’t really get into things at the end.

      I think that Hyouka probably deserved honorable mention for best anime more than EVOL.

  • January 2, 2013 at 11:58 pm-.-

    When some series is widely enjoy meaning it isn’t truly that bad as some hater trying to mindlessly explain how the fanbase is everything to the popularity

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:08 amDandosM

    Ultimately, I respect the decision to pick P4 over Hyouka for best mystery. Hyouka wasn’t necessarily about the mysteries in each episode/arc, as much as it was about how it used those relatively mundane mysteries to grow the characters and make some really moving statements about friendships, human relationships, and growing up. For that, I’d actually argue that Hyouka also deserved an Honorable Mention for Slice of Life.

    Also, Hyouka’s art was spectacular, in a tranquil sort of way: Very good/consistent animation quality, beautiful depictions of natural light, clever employment of thematic visual cues/symbolism, and some engaging illustration sequences for the various mysteries. Definitely deserved an Honorable Mention for animation.

    • January 3, 2013 at 9:59 amdustShadow

      I completely agree.

      While tastes may differ, ignoring Hyouka in Best Animation (and Sakamichi in Best Soundtrack for that matter) is a blatant oversight. The writers are of course free to prefer action-oriented shows, as shown by their Best Anime-list, but Hyouka set a new animation standard for high school-shows and should be acknowledged for that.

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:41 amRigelin

      I think it was definitely a close race between Hyouka and Fate/Zero for animation quality. You could argue that Zero had a better chance to show off its animation quality with action scenes, but a counterargument could be made for Hyouka. Because of the lack of action or movement, the studio was able to focus on the fluidity and every last detail.

      In the end it’s neck and neck between the two. I would still say Zero edges out though only because IMO it had the tougher job. Animating beautiful and fluid fight scenes seems a lot more difficult to me than 4 high school student talking in a room. Or animating a thousand soldiers in a barren desert. I will admit though that the festival arc in Hyouka was very well-done.

      Still Saber’s noble phantasm, the golden particles rising to meet her sword, was far too amazing for me to not note it’s animation quality.

      • January 10, 2013 at 9:16 pmAll Fiction

        Don’t discount the difficulty of drawing cute girls. 1mm off on the angle of the face and the effect is ruined. Botticelli, da Vinci and KyoAni. The tradition of drawing moe girls is long and storied.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:35 amNitro

    LOVE the To Love-Ru: Darkness honorable mention for fanservice, haha! It could have been so much more…

    I’d like to see some comments on its story though. It’s got a surprisingly good (and I don’t just mean relatively good, i mean ACTUALLY good), for a show that sells itself on relentless fanservice. What’s more, it doesn’t even take its own fanservice seriously anymore! I just like it so much gosh I want a second season gosh

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:52 amKevin Yamagata

      White rays, white rays everywhere…

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:54 amNitro

      i left out the word “plot” oh my god

      PLOT

      IT’S GOT A GOOD PLOT

      STORY

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:47 amBushido

    With all due respect, I think “best animation” should be replaced with “best overall visual”. Yeah, those are different and the latter would take art direction, design, background, and many other things to consideration. Anime like K looks pretty visually, but its animation is average at best with several nice scenes. I believe some other anime (Hyouka, Chuunibyou, Nisemonogatari, and Horizon are what I know, but there are more here and there) deserve Honorable Mention for animation, if we are supposed to take animation as what it is.

    • January 4, 2013 at 4:55 ammegalith

      Agreed. They should just make another segment for that. It’s one of the few details that makes me shrug really hard.

      Here’s to hoping the staff members read this.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:48 amShuA

    Just calm down people, just like the writers said these are their own opinions, not reflective opinion of the readers
    And again, there are too many complaints about SAO, which I find really annoying these days. Although I’m neutral (not hater and not fan), I could say SAO is not as bad or as good as people said. It’s just people expectations were really high after watching the first and second episode (maybe) and due to the LN popularity. There are some good points like the setting, animation and soundtrack but the story is just decent at best and the characters development are done badly. I don’t think SAO deserves all the hate, although I must agree it’s pretty overrated (I see some thumbs down coming just because of this statement….)
    Moving from SAO, I want to thank Moomba, Zephyr and Stilts for making this great list. Although there are many points which I have different opinions, your effort is really appreciated. Like I said there are some which I disagree and these are my opinions
    -Hyouka should won the best animation or at least included in honorable mentions. Reason? just like what Macron one mentioned in the first page
    -I prefer Guilty Crown than Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon (Best Soundtrack)
    -The choice for the best song is the most disappointing pick for me. Binbougami ga “Make My Day!” is a good song, but there are many songs which are better imo last year. Honorable mentions are disappointing too….
    -I won’t complain with the picks for the best character and Seiyuu, pretty good choice and it’s a really subjective opinion
    -For best romance, there was no great romance anime last year in my list and Ano Natsu de Matteru is “only” good. but It’s an ok choice
    -Hyouka should won best mystery for many reasons
    -Jinrui should be added to underappreciated list and compeletely agree on Girls und Panzer win the exceeded expectations
    Btw, my anime of the year is Hyouka. Fate/Zero is great, but I don’t know why I couldn’t connect with the character and the story.
    And the anime which win the reader’s choice are more appropriate to be viewed as the most popular and favorites, not the best anime. Many people should understand this and do not force their opinions and think that their opinions are the best
    Great choices overall
    Let’s move to 2013~

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:54 amRigelin

      Well I just feel like SAO is just really easy for haters to pick on, and so they do. But you said it correctly, it certainly isn’t better than Fate/Zero but it’s not as bad as the haters would make it seem. The character development was done horribly as I said on page 1. They definitely could’ve made this an amazing anime had they executed correctly.

      And Hyouka should, at the least, be on honorable mentions. I still think Fate/Zero wins though since it had tougher job. Sure Zero’s action scenes allowed it to show off, but Hyouka’s lack of action allowed them to focus on detail, lighting, and symbolism. Zero also was tasked with animating a plethora of settings while Hyouka’s setting was mainly town and high school.

      For instance, Zero had to animate the magic ball of mercury stopping all the bullets, the collapse of a hotel, Iskandar’s noble phantasm, Caster’s monster, and Saber’s golden noble phantasm.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:05 amKevin

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:04 pmStöt

      Wow, that’s a lot of downvotes you’ve got. Anyway, why people disagree with you, in case you haven’t figured out: Kirito. Overpowered, overnice and often stupid. If a main character is that bland and boring, your show is going to suffer.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:18 ammike

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:36 amNgai

    Jinrui’s ED probably had the best song for me as well as being an awesome ED showing the rise and fall of humanity. That said, <3 Highschool DxD *watches in HD*.

    What made me most sad was actually how little anime I saw that was mentioned. I completely skipped on Fate/Zero because of not wanting to commit to watching season 1, as I had only started watching anime since the beginning of 2012; I had spent some time watching classics but actually, highschool dxd marked my first following of present seasonal anime. After that, I only picked up a decent number of series in the second half of 2012.

    Just need to determine what to watch from 2013 without destroying my life time wise…

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:58 amRigelin

      Code Geass, Death Note, and Clannad are must watches!

      • January 4, 2013 at 6:29 amNgai

        been meaning to watch Code Geass for a long time. I watched clannad and death note already :) It was a pretty productive year :P

        http://myanimelist.net/animelist/transcendent12

        ignore the random hentai titles :P I was “bored”…

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:19 pmStöt

      Don’t be sad, be overjoyed! It means that however much you loved 2012, there’s more, better and tastier goodies still unexperienced!

      Jinrui was a good show, for sure. From this year alone I would recommend
      1.Ano natsu
      2.Shin sekai yori (despite not being finished)
      3. Chihayafuru
      4. Tonari
      5. Ginga e kickoff!
      6. Sakamichi No Apollon
      7. Nazo No Kanojo X
      8. Space Bros
      9. Kokoro Connect

      That pretty much covers all genres except ecchi, but with a heavy focus on Drama

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:46 amchad28

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:09 amNatsuLaSommer

    The best anime of 2012 is kyoukai senjou no horizon II and you know it. at least for me. but i havn’t watched fate/zero, so i can’t tell if it’s good. Have to watch it this year^^

    • January 3, 2013 at 4:12 amMike

      “But I havent watched fate/zero”

      Your arguement is invalid.

      • January 3, 2013 at 5:42 amjunglepenguin

        In that case, the only argument that is valid is one that comes from a person who has seen every single piece of animation produced by Japan in the past year?

        Your argument is invalid.

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:57 amD

        They don’t have to watch everything. He’s just saying you should watch the BEST anime before making a comment.

      • January 3, 2013 at 7:30 amjunglepenguin

        So much for freedom of expression.

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:38 pmLibelula

        @D
        That is, of course, complete nonsense. And I really wonder who those 8 people were, that obviously didnt realize that.
        Your thinking is circular. You cant say: “No you dont have to watch EVERY series do decide which one is best.” (Here I want to stress again, that you STILL DONT KNOW which one is going to be the best). And in the next moment you say: “Not all, you just need to watch the BEST.”
        So let me sum this up: To decide which one is best, you just need to watch the best series. Uhm…
        Who was it again, that wanted to make the decision? You, or someone else?
        I really dont mind people liking comments about opinions, about good or bad shows, but liking something that is obviously contradicting itself, is weird.
        I know of course such a comment might happen if you’re too big a fanboy, and dont consider other opinions to be valid. But, come on people, this you might tolerate, but “liking” is something else…

      • January 4, 2013 at 8:28 pmD

        @Libelula
        I wouldn’t have said that if Fate/Zero hadn’t won the Reader’s Poll and RandomC’s choice for Best Anime. I was just talking about the opinion of the majority when I said “Best”. It wasn’t a matter of personal preference.
        I just had enough of people going on their own crusades against other people without even spending time to get to know where they’re coming from.

        randomc.net/2013/01/02/the-best-of-anime-2012/comment-page-1/#comment-919621
        Comments like these, “Fate/Zero is overrated. Sword Art Online is the true anime of the year.” beg the question of whether the plot of F/Z was even understood.

        http://randomc.net/2013/01/02/the-best-of-anime-2012/comment-page-2/#comment-920154
        “(i cant say anything bad about Fate/Zero because i haven’t watched it)”
        Much like this.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:16 amCorin

    Mmh. Reading this list at the very least made me realize just how much that ending and certain characters poisoned me against that series – the music was indeed a consistent high point, and one of the best this year. Personally I still wouldn’t put it anywhere near the top of any other list, though.

    And yes, that includes the ‘biggest disappointment’ list. Nothing deserves that more than SAO, to my mind. Although I suppose that’s because Guilty Crown never actually sounded that interesting to me. (Hard to be disappointed when you didn’t expect much, eh?) Romance I’d put Natsuyuki over AnoNatsu, although that might also be because I found the last episode of the latter to be a blatant narrative copout.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:17 amCorin

      Err. The first paragraph is talking about Aquarion EVOL. Don’t know how I actually forgot to include that. -_-

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:16 amYalvyn

    Thank god it’s not SAO.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:25 amvirox

    Hyouka hasn’t even gotten a honorable mention in “Best animation”? Are you kidding?

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:35 amhoiut

      It is only one of the most beautiful (scenic) and well animated (fluid) works Kyoto Animation has ever produced.

    • January 3, 2013 at 7:04 amvane

      I was also thinking about it… despite being opinions of staff and from what I saw of Hyouka reviews posted here, I believe that few of them saw this anime. I respect the different opinions of the staff, but when I saw Aquarion EVOL in this list… Well, I watched this anime until the end, the OST is beautiful, but the plot was horrible and it was the biggest disappointment this year… so, I’m not taking this post very seriously, sorry.

    • January 4, 2013 at 1:53 ammegalith

      It seems that all of the shows are listed under the action genre.

      I kinda get the feeling that the appreciation for animation was mainly based on effects and action sequences.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:29 amRockmanshii

    #120: Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream, 2 votes
    I don’t know who’s the other person who voted for it but I’ll remember you forever.
    Of this life, I HAVE NOT A SINGLE REGRET!

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:32 amLaughingMan

    Alright! I absolutely loved Fate/Zero so seeing it win RC’s anime of the year for 2012 as well as the reader’s choice award really makes me happy! Also, the Code Geass OVA is still on my backlog so I should probably get to it, lol.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:55 amLaughingMan

      Also as a side note, I’m happy to see that a good amount of people on RandomC still like the Bleach anime. Considering the length of the series and how long its been around as well as its bad pacing in the story, its amazing to see that it’s ranked 38 out of the 132 shows of this year. Bleach isn’t a perfect series, but in my opinion its a solid series that will remain as one of my favorite anime/manga series of all time. I’m sure that many would agree that out of all the Big 3 (One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach) that Bleach definitely got the best anime adaptation. Hope the final arc gets an anime adaptation.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:56 amEspada

    i have mixed feelings with this years Best of Anime
    but oh well big thumbs up for the bloggers and lets have another great year of anime~

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:11 amEspada

      Best OVA – Code Geass? it was only episode 1 and its now the best OVA? newfags/fujoshit are strong i guess
      Biggest Disappointment – Guilty Crown? more like EVOL
      EVOL? Action? lol oh well maybe we have a different perception of what action is
      Plot Twist/Story – Mirai Nikki?
      Romance…… Tonari well be my best romance for this year

      SAO top 2? casuals

      no honorable mention for Bleach? oh well cant blame you.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:58 amRollingBoulder

    Did any of the authors even watch Kyousogiga?
    Disappointing…

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:00 amhoiut

    I agree F/Z has excellent animation in general. Some of the CG is a bit out of place, and gradient lighting effects provide more illusion of polish above the solid core artwork, but the amount of still frames is still nothing to gloss over.

    K’s first episode and a few fight scenes were absolutely stunning (much of this was due to the light filters and recycled backgrounds, however). The drop in animation quality in some of the middle episodes (talking heads, recycled pans, etc) is noticeable, as well as the fact that no episode even approached the first’s quality.

    EVOL had some nice space vistas and pretty CG flashes during battles, but otherwise it has what I’d consider standard fare animation — incredibly generic character designs, less-than-stellar “indoor” backgrounds, and fluidity wasn’t anything to write home about (it had its ups and downs).

    No argument with BRS. The out-of-place-looking CG is a very Good Thing(TM) for this surreal, highly metaphoric trip into the sub-/unconscious of its troubled characters. The simple character designs lend themselves extraordinarily well to what the story has in store for them.

    But none of these series even remotely approaches the consistent, absurdly vivid, continuously animated, breathtakingly fluid animation Hyouka offers in *every single episode*. The shocking amount of energy and humanity in every meticulously rendered gesture, no matter how subtle, shines through so well they ironically cease to be specifically noted by the viewer (this actually serves to reward the meticulously observant viewer who DOES try to pay attention to all of it, in providing clues to many of the mysteries).

    Yep, Hyouka’s animation was so unfailingly, unflinchingly superb that it at time ceased to be a spectacle and became a window into its world, a direct conduit into the lives of the characters as they subtly commanded the screen — and our attention. This masterful work of art pervades every shift, awkward repositioning, fiddling with hair, every one of the countless fully animated background characters, the exquisite technical detail (objects, props, devices, backdrops), and one of the most vividly florid, yet not the slightest bit overbearing, OP’s I’ve seen in years. Incidentally, Hyouka is one of the very few series which can boast OP-like quality throughout its run. It is also the only anime that maintained cinema-level production levels throughout its run (F/Z gets honorable mention there from me).

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:10 amSwarz

      Haah….Someone who understands what animation is.

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:22 pmsharkbait23

      What a beautiful tribute to Hyouka. Thank you.

    • January 4, 2013 at 1:50 ammegalith

      Yeah it’s sad that Hyouka went under the radar. IMO it managed to depict a very lively School Festival of such scale.

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:10 amselma

    best soundtrack to me was fate zero and sakamichi no apollon seriously the music is your only cjoices i don’t understand WTF aquarion evol ending more memorable than sakamichi no apollon !

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:19 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    Aquarion EVOL should have been at least gotten an Honorable Mention for biggest disappointment. The sequel actually destroyed the original Aquarion by turning Apollo into a freaking dog in his past life.

    Though Guilty Crown as an Anime failed, Supercell delivered. People are probably not used to Koeda’s voice/style, but My Dearest’s lyrics is probably the best one for the past few seasons. I’m also looking forward on how both Chelly and Koeda matures, though I think Chelly is way way better as of now. But I’m still hoping Ryo and Nagi would collaborate again.

    Hyouka for best animation and mystery. Who couldn’t resist those butterflies while Chitanda’s glittering eyes mesmerize both you and Oreki?

    Anyway, great list. Though after reading this I’ve realized that animes are getting duller as the time flies by. Most awards could have gone either way, the only thing that was locked was Guilty Crown as the biggest disappointment. New animes for this new season doesn’t seem to excite fans that much anymore. To be honest, the only anime I’m looking forward this season is Ore no Kanojo.

    Cheers!

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:02 amKleenexGhost

      I can understand that. Personally Evol was a big disappointment to me while the first half was solid it went downhill during the second. half. It also undermined the original with unnecessary trolling, like the dog plot tiwst. A lot of potential but it failed to really do anything with it.

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:21 amselma

    aquarion evol ! seriously well i enjoyed it too ( some parts the ending is an abomination) bu the reason i think it shoudln’t receive any honors is the fact that it relies on clichés ok there is some weird in it but not the good type. well as long as shows like sword art online and accel world will continue to be so popular we will get less shows like tsuritama, sakamichi no apollon and natsuyuki rendez vous

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:26 amewok40k

    2012 is definitely definitely a year to remember, and not for the Mayan apocalypse craziness… So many quality shows and definitely rebound of anime power!

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:46 amAnonymous

    While I loved watchind Evol it should be praised so much.
    Besides Mirai Nikki is total shit and don’t deserve any praise. Acchi Kocchi shouldn’t even be mentioned, Tari Tari was miles better and actually had story.
    Hyouka is best anime of last year, fuck you for underestimating it.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:47 amAnonymous

      >While I loved watchind Evol it should be praised so much.
      While I loved watching Evol it shouldn’t be praised so much.
      I need to sleep.

    • January 3, 2013 at 9:29 amD

      Plot: Mirai Nikki > Aquarion Evol
      Slice of Life: Tari Tari > Acchi Kocchi

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:00 amInfinitas

    Thank you to all writers.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:05 amClwys

    For me the 2012 season was quite the disappointment for several reasons.

    First of, we just came from one of the strongest years for anime in quite a while. Just comparing the 2011 top five to the 2012 top five makes this obvious. Fate/Zero would most likely not make the 2011 top five, let alone the rest of 2012′s top shows. This, I feel, is also the main reason for the feelings of disparity between the RCwriters and the results of the poll. Because 2012 was a mediocre year, the poll illustrates not the best of 2012 but the most enjoyed of 2012. This explains the difference between what more critical viewers see (best) and what the more casual viewers see (enjoyment). For quality one had to dig deep and watch more niche and complicated (hello Horizon!) shows. The popular shows were enjoyable, but objectively nothing special under the hood.

    Secondly, there weren’t many (succesful) hyped shows this season. There was SAO, because of the LN and good start of Accel World, Guilty Crown, great premise, Fate/Zero, Urobutcher Gen nuff said, and Aquarion EVOL, sequel to a great parody show. And apart from Fate/Zero they all couldn’t live up to the hype and disappointed, not necesarrily as an enjoyable show, but more so from a critical point of view.

    But above all, much of the strongest shows of 2012 that do have the special combination of production value, story, captivation and enjoyment, are carrying over into 2013. For me shows like Sakurasou, Robotics, Psycho Pass, and especially Shin Sekai Yori, trump every other show for 2012. This bodes well for the 2013 season as it’s off to a great start, but leaves 2012 feeling lackluster.

    2012 was not a bad year, but nothing special either, none of the shows made my overall top 10 or recommended must watch anime lists.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:08 pmronbb

      Please allow me to disagree with you. I think 2012 is a good year. There were a number of high quality shows — that may or may not be picked or mentioned by the writers in the Best of Anime post — that had achieved to connect with the viewers intellectually and emotionally, if not at the same time giving aesthetic visual and engaging soundtrack. 2012 was also filled with chock full of creativity and experiments — there were shows produced for simply trying new things rather than commercial value or satisfying existing fanbase.

      Another point that was already pointed out by another commenter is that the result of the readers’ poll is quite different from previous years’. In my humble opinion, it’s more of a “my favourite” poll, instead of a “best in quality” — which is also fine with an open space like here…simply taking note of the shift and the evolution at RC.

      Having said that, I agree with you that Shin Sekai Yori, Psycho-Pass, and Robotics;Notes are great shows…I also love Uchuu Kyoudai a lot. Let’s hope that these shows will get high ranks — if not got picked by the writers…teehee — in 2013.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:09 amMike

    Fate/Zero and Mirai Nikki topping the charts as it should be. Let’s hope 2013 will bring us more of this and less Moe nonsense.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:17 amTingster013

    SAO not No. 1? Phew, good choice everyone. The anime literally become stupid after half-course. Fate/Zero is way better. Accel World should be higher, but the ending was bad.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:18 amvarnali

    well looking mention you got

    DxD for ending song of course this was going to pick for end song of the year look it all to “study study” on it wonder what s2 will be like to “study” on?

    ai kayano yea she keep getting more better & better give 2011 was breakout year & in 12s yea really got more to rise on to hear.

    mirai nikki story & twist oh boy those combine yea with horror-thrill with the YANDERE hello ready Funi dub on it all needed is english for YANDERE voice.

    acchi kocchi for slice life yea give whole konata a cat girl yea good watching wonder if make s2 of it?

    & yet DxD is mention but not top pick for F-service come on it was more oh YES YES YES on it wonder dub be like from Funi?

    girls panzer yea sleeper hit really wait for 2eps in march still we want more of it.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:02 amkanade_

    Seriously? SAO as 2nd place?

    I don’t know what to say… I expected more from RC community.

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:00 amLibelula

      ugh, so annoying

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:04 amKiiro

    I’m kinda sure that if shows carried over counted, the awards would have been pretty different, due to brilliant shows such as Psycho-Pass, Sakurasou and Uchuu Kyoudai.

    Really surprising that Hyouka didn’t win anything. And that Mirai Nikki took away so much awards. Considering the fact that KyoAni was much more active this year, it’s surprising that their shows didn’t make an honorable mention for animation quality.

    In the male seiyuu category, I would have given Yuichi Nakamura a run for my money. His performance this year in Hyouka, Natsuyuki Rendezvous and Guilty Crown was great. Not to mention his extremely different voice acting as a minor character in K.

    However, this is, a pretty good list. Some of the titles I haven’t tried, so I could take up some series here. Thanks Moomba, Stilts and Zephyr for making such a comprehensive list.

    Happy year of the snake everyone! 蛇年快乐!

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:12 amTheMoondoggie

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:47 amjunglepenguin

      “… Tsuritama… Sucked?”

      *Post disregarded*

      • January 3, 2013 at 5:53 amTheMoondoggie

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:02 amjunglepenguin

        I did so because I just wanted you to read that. Of course I’m affected. You just said that one of my favourite series from 2012 sucked. Did you not post because you were affected by people who were hating on Guilty Crown?

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:04 amTheMoondoggie

        Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • January 3, 2013 at 7:12 amjunglepenguin

        I was trying to imply that I would have considered the points you made, but your comment on Tsuritama made me feel that it wouldn’t have been worth my time. I didn’t intend to convince you anything, just as you didn’t intend to convince others that Guilty Crown isn’t crap and that the bunch of series you listed beats all others in terms of animation quality. (Or did I miss something here?)

        But let me try to convince you: Tsuritama is about brotherly friendship and camaraderie. The characters are unique and grow on you. The antics they get up to are cute and catchy, and you’ll find yourself shouting things out loud by the end of the series, trying to mimic the characters and hopefully enjoying yourself as much as they seem to be. Relationships are strained throughout the series, and especially so at the end, making for a climactic finale literally marked with explosions and a grand battle that present our main characters a well-nigh impossible obstacle to overcome. It leaves you with this wonderful sense of satisfaction at the end, as we see wills concreted and bonds strengthened, and you can’t help but feel all warm inside, a good feeling, and fans of the series will back me up on this.

      • January 3, 2013 at 9:25 amD

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bjK1K-AzLk
        If you don’t see the appeal in manly bromance fishing and this video, I won’t bother answering you to lighten up and live a little.

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:12 amSekai

      I do partly agree with you in that Guilty Crown should have had an honourable mention for Animation. Which, coincidentally, is one of the only aspects GC got right, along with that beautiful soundtrack.

      GC was not a good anime. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it, but just not in the way I was supposed to. I looked forward to it week after week just to see what silly direction it goes in next (and the soundtrack too, of course). GC failed to answer even the most mind-numbingly simple questions, a few of which I still remember from the very first episode: Why does Shuu love Inori (she’s an idol. So?). What on earth did Funeral Parlour even fight for? Vague answers like “Nippon” or “Freedom” aren’t actually answers. Of course, you probably don’t care and will continue claiming it’s somehow a masterpiece. Just don’t expect everyone else to see GC the same way.

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:27 amTheMoondoggie

        Why does Shuu love Inori (she’s an idol. So?).
        Shuu’s an Inori fan. He likes her from the start.

        What on earth did Funeral Parlour even fight for? Vague answers like “Nippon” or “Freedom” aren’t actually answers.
        That means your trying to look for something more than simple, which is?

        Of course, you probably don’t care and will continue claiming it’s somehow a masterpiece. Just don’t expect everyone else to see GC the same way.
        Not claiming it’s a masterpiece, but it’s a hell lot better than the other shows this year.

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:39 amDa5id

        Can we just put this shit to rest already? All the reasons people didn’t like it (and also why the show itself simply didn’t work as a narrative) were given in every single post of the blog itself. If you need refreshing, simply reread them to your heart’s content.

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:42 amTheMoondoggie

        Oh yeah… justified with nitpicking… Like that works. Just say it: “I hate it because it’s hyped.”

        Goddamn “critics”….

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:48 amDa5id

        Then why would I still love Fate/Zero? That was probably the only show that season and entire year that had more hype than Guilty Crown. The difference? Fate/Zero lived up to expectation. Hype does not make people hate, lack of results do.

        But if you’re fine with that excuse and refuse to look at the real issues this show had, I am sure as hell not going to stop you.

      • January 3, 2013 at 2:34 pmSekai

        Shuu’s an Inori fan. He likes her from the start.
        Of course he likes her, he’s a fan. I’m asking why he loves her, as the anime neither stated nor showed any reason at all. And liking someone’s music+looks isn’t love.

        That means your trying to look for something more than simple, which is?
        Not simple; concrete. People don’t fight for vague notions; they fight for things like “By fighting the empire my children will be safe/I’ll get my revenge” and so on. Otherwise I’d be justified to declare war on you for the sake of freedom, which makes no sense without context but is exactly what the anime did.

        “(You)hate it because it’s hyped.
        My favourite anime is Code Geass, so your ad hominem attack is not only dodging the issue; it’s plain wrong. Just because I enjoy an anime doesn’t mean I can’t accept obvious problems with it (especially with R2).

        Debating the issue further is most likely pointless until you learn to critically analyse media, which isn’t the same thing as hating/nitpicking.

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:43 amTheMoondoggie

        Oh good. Let’s critcally analyze anime like it’s a medium made for other than entertainment.

        I don’t know what you are trying to prove or achieve by doing that considering OUR opinions really don’t matter that much to the people who provides us anime. Is to make you look smart? At the expense of getting into an argument? Please get your priorities straight

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:57 amDa5id

        Who cares if the creators don’t care? The point of making a comment or written piece is to get feedback from other people, not just the creators. Sometimes it’s to find other likeminded individuals when you want help reinforcing your opinion. Or sometimes it’s to find differing points of view when you want to figure out the other side’s perspective. It’s not about making yourself look smart, it’s about information gathering and sharing. Sometimes an argument breaks out, but it’s the internet, where half of every conversation is an argument. At least at the end of the conversation, you’ve learned SOMETHING.

        But that’s just my perspective.

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:59 amDa5id

        Also, considering how much you badmouth Space Bros and Tsuritama, I don’t think you’re in much room to complain about people critically analyzing anime.

      • January 4, 2013 at 3:20 pmTheMoondoggie

        Whatever gave you the idea that I even exerted a huge amount of intellect for just saying honestly what I felt watching the show. It bores me. That’s it. Anime isn’t supposed to be a chore watching. It’s supposed to be fun. Being bland of any emotion like Space Bros is unforgivable.

      • January 5, 2013 at 12:06 amDa5id

        And therein lies the problem. You get on other people’s cases when they like what you find “unforgivable” and then complain when they can’t see the things you like about a different show. When someone doesn’t like the same thing as you or likes something you don’t, it doesn’t mean they’re trying to put up a front or trying to be smart. The only thing it DOES means is they have different tastes. Nothing more, nothing less. It really should not take that much effort to remember that.

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:33 amTheMoondoggie

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      • January 3, 2013 at 8:17 amNitro

        nice opinions bro

      • January 3, 2013 at 8:18 amNitro

        i literally see this as nothing more than you throwing a childish tantrum because, for some reason, people like things that you don’t like, and you like things people don’t like (well big fucking surprise there)

      • January 4, 2013 at 1:48 amTingster013

        Woah, still too early for Haiti jokes…

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:22 amLaughingMan

      Are you trolling? Or are you just REALLY stupid?

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:01 amshadowalker

        or his tastes in anime are completely different from yours(or mine, for that matter).

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:49 amTheMoondoggie

        No shadow, let him. Let’s all pretend that Laughingman is pretty smart like how all them critics are pretending to be by nitpicking and critically analyzing anime for whatever reason they could come up with.

      • January 5, 2013 at 8:22 amSekai

        This was taken from animesuki forums, written by Reckoner, but I think it more or less captures the point of analysis of anime:

        I think any critical analysis of a show, if done in a more professional format, should be done in a way that helps people relate to your point of view.

        In this realm people should remove any and all bias possible in a viewing of a show. This means if you go into a shonen action anime for example, you are not going to all of a sudden start criticizing it heavily for playing out like a shonen action anime just because you don’t like shonen action anime. That type of reviewing is silly, and in the end, it’s just rather asinine. People who are hoping to get informed from said critical analysis are not going to learn anything other than they’ll probably hate it too if they dislike shounen action anime.

      • January 7, 2013 at 5:01 amTheMoondoggie

        Hello, I know that guy. Like he hates all anime. I never saw him post a single good thing to any anime. It’s better yet to be said that the guy thrive on negative.

        Please go find something that can be said to be as the true worth of critically analyzing anime and not a post by some damn troll excusing himself.

      • January 7, 2013 at 3:28 pmSekai

        *sigh*

        I don’t know anything about Reckoner, but I’m assuming that if s/he said that the sky is blue, you’d disagree?

        That’s exactly what you’re doing here by disregarding their points simply because you don’t like them (which is another example of a counter-productive ad homenim attack). You’ve yet to refute any point I’ve made and keep insulting my taste, and that of others, while ignoring any points you disagree with. Very bad debating right there.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:38 amlorenzo

    I’m disappointed by the lack of awards to Sakamichi no Apollon. I understand that most songs used in the soundtrack were mostly jazz classics, but I still think that Yoko Kanno did a damn good job adapting them. And the opening, guys! One of the best, if you ask me.
    I don’t know if it’s because none of the three writers who worked on this watched it, but seeing it didn’t even earn an honorable mention was a big letdown.
    And again, Sword Art Online in no. 2 and Sakamichi in no. 13? I can’t believe it. Sakamichi is only one of the shows I enjoyed during last year, but I think it deserved much more recognition.

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:49 amTrombe

      I know that feeling…(?)
      Even Jinrui is missing, at least the biggest surprise, it should have won something.
      (IMO)

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:51 amselma

      i totally agree with you especially for the opening i still listen to it continuously ! my favourite this year

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:53 amDa5id

      I think the probably the only notable flaw with Sakamichi was the pacing of adapting the material. It was basically 32x fast forwarding the entire story which made it seem a little rushed at times.

      Still though, disregarding that, it was a majorly underrated show. I would buy it when it comes out in the states, but Sentai Filmworks got their hands on it and they can’t dub worth a damn.

      • January 3, 2013 at 7:42 amlorenzo

        It would definitely have been better if it were a two-cour series. That’s also one of the reason it got little attention, as to a first glance, it probably got lost among the countless one-cour series out there. Too bad.

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:21 pmronbb

      Well, I am with you. I love Yoko Kanno and enjoyed the soundtrack of Sakamichi no Apollon a lot. I think Yoko-chan more than delivered what a musical show would give to its audience.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:43 amZero Hour 17

    It’s sad I’ll never be able to enjoy Fate/Zero. The ending of Fate Stay Night ruined that series for me and knowing thats how the story ends, I just can’t enjoy it.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:20 amKuroYume

      Which ending? There are three to choose from! Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, Heavens Feel. All three have quite different endings. If you didn’t like one of them, then just enjoy the rest. If you are talking about the abomination of an animation, most people reject/hate that adaptation too. If you have not already, read the visual novel! You will not be disappointed!

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:46 amSakana-chan

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:49 amjunglepenguin

      INB4 Downvote shitstorm

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:00 amZero Hour 17

        but his oppinion, his badly written oppinion, =fact though doesn’t it? why would people downvote?

      • January 3, 2013 at 6:04 amjunglepenguin

        Fact, huh…

        INB4 Another downvote shitstorm…

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:11 amZero Hour 17

      I was quite obviously pointing out that he thinks his oppinion=fact. lol for thinking I was serious.

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:38 amTrombe

      >SAO
      hahaha…

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:19 amLaughingMan

      It’s the bloggers of Randomc C’s opinion as to what THEY liked best. NOT YOU. This isn’t a popularity contest aside from the reader’s choice poll. Even if it was, it’s apparent that Fate/Zero is more popular anyway. Also, SAO would qualify more as Sci-Fi than fantasy, and Horizon won for that anyway. Also, I’m pretty sure Divine wouldn’t care much for SAO either. Everyone has different taste in anime. Deal with it.

      PS: You know that “Sakana” means “fish” right?

      • January 3, 2013 at 4:11 pmSakana-chan

        u know that at BEST ANIME every written must have at least watched 20 animes but since DIVINE LEFT his work to some co-workers it seems that EVEN READERS CHOICE was neglected…..

        U CAN’T PICK AN ANIME BASED only on your felling….LOOK AT WHO WIN BEST ENDING and see how low people can get picking only ecchi stuffed anime and putting best endings in mention zone..

        and to be serios…HOW CAN U DENY A SECOND PLACED ANIME chosen by readers and not at least award it with a mention????isn’t this akward

        ohh and I DID KNEW that sakana means fish….but i was thinking only at a big character not like ur name

      • January 3, 2013 at 8:31 pmjunglepenguin

        You don’t seem to understand. The reader’s choice was there for people like you to have your say, and the results show what the majority finds good. That shouldn’t change the opinions of the three writers producing this post. This write-up was their effort, not yours.

        I may not agree with their pick for best ending, but they’ve justified the reason for their pick. They haven’t awarded some series with titles I thought would have been sure winners, but they’ve also made valid points to back up their choices. Are they in any wrong? Should we be brushing off their effort like that? Should we force them to listen to our opinions and change “their” picks to “our” picks just to please us? And what’s this about bringing Divine into the picture? You’re showing quite a bit of disrespect to Divine and the people he has placed his trust in to run the site.

  • January 3, 2013 at 5:55 amSekai

    I can’t believe people voted for Guilty Crown over Sakamichi no Apollon and Jinrui!

    Also, a part of me dies everytime someone says the mystery wasn’t that good in Hyouka. I dislike the mysteries of most mystery shows because it always seems less of a mystery and more,”Just try and guess what the answer is. You wouldn’t be right in a million years!”. But Hyouka somehow made the mysteries relatable yet difficult, but not impossible, to solve; letting me feel like a flippin’ genius everytime I figured them out!

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:23 amWarheit

    Watched Guilty Crown for the animation hoping that with each episode the story would get better…
    What a waste.
    At least Egoist are good singers though

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:46 amTrombe

    Miyuki isn’t the best seiyuu of the year? What? And now Mirai Nikki is a good anime?
    Everything seems wrong, but I love you guys…
    >NakaImou
    >Mistery
    Seriously what!

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:59 amSeedStriker

    Rubbish, Rubbish, Rubbish! Whis list is way to biased (except for Guilty Crown being a deception and GuP as the sleeper. CG OVA only won because 1 silly ep that contributed nothing to the story and cheap hype, where as Unicorn at least covered part of a whole. This feels like Titanic vs LotR: FotR in the Academy Award – a total fiasco.
    Horizon winning in Sci-Fi against RnL? Sorry, but a myriad of nonsense characters and a story that could be explained in barely 2 eps (aka Sora no Otoshimono) don’t have nothing against Lagrange. Worst of all, defeating AKB0048 in music… And not even an honorable mention for SAO’s epic soundtrack. Total BS!
    And since Mirai Nikki’s second part fell apart Gundam AGE style, that’s another blunder in the list.
    Honorable mention in worst of the year: Chuu2 because it started as a funny series full of shennanigans that ended as a rather forgettable cheap drama with almost no redeeming features.
    Well, just an opinion…

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:28 amYX

      Huh? How can anyone explain Horizon story in 2 ep? It’s still not quite explained in LN after close to 10000 pages

    • January 3, 2013 at 9:09 amZero Hour 17

      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

      Right at the top of the page. Your oppinion isn’t more right than theirs

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:27 pmBushido

      The point of having a story with many episodes is because many stories can’t be explained in 2 eps. Unless you meant seasons, in which it’s really subjective.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:43 pmSekai

      The writers think that SAO’s soundtrack isn’t as impressive as Kajiura’s other scores, which I agree with. There were only two (both battle) tracks that I actually wanted to obtain straight after hearing them. The rest seem easily forgettable, but that’s just my opinion.

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:07 amWhat?

    How did Aquarion EVOL get honorable mention in this list for Animation (or anything for that matter). Animation? Since when does reusing footage from 2005 (its 2012 now) count as good animation, or still-framed talking, or any of the terrible QUALITY? The show was a lazily written (and terribly inconsistent, plot hole heavy, and degrading of its own characters), lazily animated piece of garbage with a great soundtrack and seiyuus.

    I’d like a qualitative list of how such a conclusions was reached against: Hyouka, Chyuu2, or a plethora of other shows that aired this past year which had vastly better and smoother animation regardless of the style they chose to follow.

    • January 3, 2013 at 7:10 amDa5id

      I’ll agree with you on the story, but pretty much all of the animation was new for that series. I can only recall a few actual instances of callback footage, and they were few and far between.

      • January 3, 2013 at 7:20 amWhat?

        They reused it heavily during the two “reveal” episodes, amounting to quite the chunk of time. That said, its only one of my contentions and is set besides my other issues with the animation in the show (they reused the cockpit footage a whole, whole, whole lot and the gattai footage). I just don’t see how it can be honorably mentioned where far better animated shows (we’re talking pure budget of animation here, regardless of the styles, and trying to be as objective as we can) such as Hyouka, which for as much as I found it boring was a gorgeous sight of color and fluid animation. Jinrui, stylistic and simplistic as it was, was also better animated.

        Animation comes down to fluidity, color use, frame usage, smoothness. These aren’t things I’d attribute to EVOL by any stretch.

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:19 amMi-Chan

    I loved Natsuyuki Rendezvous ending song, I actually thought it was very great, also Hyouka’s first opening.

    Thanks for the list though! I liked reading about each one of them :p Guilty Crown was great until the ending and the weird sister of Shu, but the show did pump my adneraline to a very dissapointing ending. Not because Inori was lost, but how the show.. became. It could have been made better.

    I hear alot of people mentioning Sword Art Online, so I’ll check it out. On a personal list though, the anime’s I watched this year and I thought I really liked them were: Tsuritama, Kamisama Hajemimashita, Hyouka, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Tonari no Kubiatsu-kin and Chihayafuru 1. Aquarion EVOl was nice and weird at the same time, so I don’t know where that goes. There’s animes I watched and liked so much until some point like Guilty Crown and Accel World.

    Thing is, erm, how do I put this, I thought I watched those anime’s over 4 years ago x.x” I’m suprised they were from this year XD I feel so old ergh!
    Cheers,
    M

    • January 3, 2013 at 3:37 pmronbb

      Hey, I thought I was a weird one who liked the ending song of Natsuyuki Rendezvous…great to find someone sharing the same “like”. I also praised highly of the shows that you mentioned — Kamisama Hajimemashita, Hyouka, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun and Chihayafuru 1.

      I am not so much into the story and characters of GC and SAO…I guess I don’t know how to appreciate or don’t have enough suspension of disbelief…

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:45 amKleenexGhost

    Well you can’t please everyone. I didn’t agree with every award and nomination but I do see where they’re coming from and I do respect the opinions of Stilts, Zephyr and Moomba. We all have different tastes.

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:01 amInsodp

    I think there were better openings in 2012, personally liked the first opening for Sword Art Online, and we can´t rate the first opening of Psycho-Pass yet.

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:10 amrazz

    broskander shall forever be remembered

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:21 amYX

    Moretsu uchuu pirates is the hidden gem of the year

    • January 3, 2013 at 9:11 amTheory28

      ^ Totally agree. A shame this, Jinrui & Sakamichi didn’t place higher IMO

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:44 ammegalith

    I’d still pin LE2 as the biggest disappointment of 2012.

    Both storywise and QUALITY wise.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:42 pmcelebrinen

      Ginyoku no fam didn’t disappoint me because I guessed it would be horrible. Studio Gonzo should have never been resurrected.
      The horrible, annoying, deeply hateful Fam as MC was bad enough, the character assassination of most of the original cast was just wrong.
      It gives the Last Exile franchise a bad name.

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:57 amSakana-chan

    SAO hasen’t got a HONORABLE MENTION anywhere BUT at READERS CHOICE IT GOT SECOND PLACE….
    AKWARD ISN’T IT?

    • January 3, 2013 at 10:05 amLaughingMan

      Just because SAO is popular doesn’t mean it’s good. By that logic Twilight would be considered good. SAO itself isn’t too far off from Twilight’s level of bad writing.

  • January 3, 2013 at 9:06 amNaYa

    That toothbrush scene from Nisemonogatari was truly a historic moment. LOL
    I do love it when anime does ‘sexy’ right without the blatantly overused boob/panty shots… however weird it may be. XD

  • January 3, 2013 at 9:55 amjustin

    WHERE IS SAO????????????????????

    • January 4, 2013 at 2:13 amAnanas

      Stuck between Dakara H and Hagure Yuusha.

  • January 3, 2013 at 10:04 amAki-Chan

    Was actually suprised that Jinrui , K and Sukitte Ii Na Yo didn’t get any mentions….and I also find it strange that , asides from Natsuiro Kiseki and Another , nothing that I’ve watched in 2012 was even mentioned…
    But since this is supposed to be according to the views of the 3 writers only , I’ll let it go .

  • January 3, 2013 at 10:21 amSuperbCell

    Thanks for putting this up RC.

    Some things I would like to consider if not the best in the category, an honorable mention:
    Tonari – Enjoyed this even more than AnoNatsu. Though it might be quite unorthodox for a romance or romcom, this for me, deserves a mention.
    Hyouka – KyoAni isn’t all about moe, this deserves a feat in the animation department. Nuf said.
    Incestory – err Nisemono. Im glad Platinum Disco made it. Also that toothbrush scene that changed the definition of fan-service. Along with Hyouka, this also deserves a mention in the animation department. It really is one of those animes that gives off a very unique vibe.
    Chihayafuru – is quite underrated even though there’s the fan-base (TaichiTuesdays/WatayaWednesdays) but I still feel it needs more love (than tsuri)
    Action – Now this ‘genre’ needs a new definition.

    More than anything on the list that I (an unkown entity) would like to point out is GC. Though I will not argue that Guilty Crown is one of the biggest disappointment of the year, its music and art are nothing to loathe at. It might be shit compared to F/Z as a series, but for me its visual appeal is far better than this year’s best. The music is also good. Call me a supercellfag but I’m really biased when it comes to the ingenuity that is ryo. And the inserts too, are really good (βίος.) Like as zephyr said, you shouldn’t judge a series’ music by its story.

  • January 3, 2013 at 10:34 amKael

    Kids on the Slope doesn’t even get a mention in the soundtrack category? I can understand it not being your best pick, but it makes me wonder if you watched it :)

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:06 pmkondee

      I forgot to notice that. Should be noted since it’s a show where music is actually an integral part of the story. I guess jazz isn’t for everyone (⌐■_■).

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:01 amAndrew

    As well I do not watch anime as recommended, top 5 and the like.
    For example, I’ll never see Aquarion EVOL.
    But I’m happy for Acchi Kocchi, Ano Natsu de Matteru and Nisemonogatari.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:32 amJinzilla

    LOL, as expected quite a bit of disagreements and upsets. Personally, for me Fate/Zero is nowhere near top 5 for me and it makes me cringe when I see it at the top. But it’s cool that at least there’s one nomination that most of us(should all, really) we can all agree on that is Guilty Crown. It was definitely the anime biggest trainwreck of the year.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:38 amProgeusz

    This list is terrible. While some (two, three?) hardcore fans may argue that story in Mirai Nikki is any good (I’d say only Guilty Crown and Symphogear could rival it at being the worst, with Accel World and Sword Art Online standing whole league above them), it’s a fact that animation in Fate/Zero is nothing special. I doubt ufotable will be capable of producing animation as fluent as in Hyouka in next ten years. F/Z animation is just mediocre, maybe decent. KyoAni shows us what is really good animation and no other studio comes close to them (except movies of course, and even then not all of them). You want action show so things would be more fair? Guilty Crown is miles better. Not to mention CG in GC doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb which is the case in F/Z. Let’s not forget that Gouilty Crown had only three week break in the middle, not three months. There’s Horizon as well with multi-city-ship drifting among other things.
    Fate/Zero is great series, I’ll never say otherwise but its animation and QUALITY faces are pretty big issue. Excalibur scene doesn’t excuse abundance of talking heads or atrocious Kerry vs Kirei.
    When it comes to directing part of art, Nisemonogatari and Ano Natsu walk all over F/Z.

    No mention of Jinrui invalidates whole post. Considering it, I’m surprised you said anything about Lagrange or AKB0048. That’s not enough to redeem the list though.
    I haven’t watched Aquarion so I won’t take it against you, but truth be told I rarely saw very good non-ironical opinions about it.

    Why didn’t you count Hyouka, YuruYuri, Nichibros, PapaKiki, Chuuni, Kokoro, Apollon and many other shows as SoLs? Or did you really think that Acchi Kocchi, Tari Tari and Natsuiro Kiseki are better (imo first and latter surely aren’t even comparable in their wildest dreams)? Genre shouldn’t be a concern seeing how you put Nisemonogatari in fantasy.

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:16 pmRichard

      >F/Z animation is just mediocre, maybe decent.

      Why?

      • January 3, 2013 at 12:58 pmProgeusz

        Because there’s almost no non-CG animation, just talking heads* (sometimes QUALITY too) with still backgrounds taking up vast majority of series. And even this CG animation isn’t top-tier either. Guilty Crown’s CG is much more natural-looking. If you forget completely about looking well with hand drawn backgrounds, BRS arises (but chara design is really ugly there).
        *Nisemonogatari went around it with smart use of camera angles, perspectives, random screens etc.

        THIS is great animation which authors of the list didn’t even notice:
        http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/1825/1357207182717.gif + http://img6.imageshack.us/img6/6735/1349279894211.gif
        Show me a single scene in F/Z of that level, I dare you. Hyouka is full of stuff like that.

      • January 4, 2013 at 4:49 ammegalith

        I have to agree with Progeusz. I have yet to see anything of this level in F/Z.

    • January 3, 2013 at 5:03 pmAnanas

      I wanted to thank you for putting into words much of my thoughts.

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:54 pmthankonomics

      I feel the same way about the pick for animation quality. While I do agree with the RC writers that Fate/Zero was the overall best series for 2012, Hyouka was a real treat for the eyes. KyoAni did an excellent job. Even subtle actions looked so fluid.

    • January 4, 2013 at 3:59 amSakana-chan

      i totally agree with your words…..
      here i am trying for 3 days to get a full good reason from the writers why they have chosen such anime for some categories and why….because i went crazy when i saw WHO WON BEST ED and the so called REASON why it won….and i really saw some neglected animes being thrown aside but EVERYBODY CONTINUES to say that “IF IT IS THE WRITERS OPINION YOU SHOULDN’T THINK THAT YOURS BETTER or IF U LIKE SOMETHING THAT DOESN’T MEAN THAT EVERYBODY MUST HAVE IT YOUR WAY…” and so…i understand thta

      but my big problem is concerned about the readers choice poll…..i still dont get it…IF A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE chose 3 big animes as a top 3 then why doesn’t the writers consider why they have chosen it and at least award it wit something….many told me that if a writer doesn’t find it good enough than its only their opinion and they are not obligated to like what we like….(i totally understand that feeling) but here at BEST ANIME OF 2012 how CAN U TROW away an entire year when everybody watched animes every season and made a good picture of which anime was good and which not and when the poll starts, everybody agrees with best anime and suddenly you see that only few(unexpected animes that u saw they were mediocre or even good but not the best ) are placed at the top of the big categories (i cant say anything bad about Fate/Zero because i haven’t watched it) but im simply pointing on the other animes which made it in top 3(SAO;Hyouka)

      i still can’t sit down and see how big animes are giving just some credits when others are award it (for me i know which placed no.1 and best animation) but still….many still disagree with me saying that im wrong and i can’t say such words when writers have made some effort to make this post(that they have made this best anime based on their time spent on animes and finally they agreed on some bets ones; being made this best anime in order to the opinion of people) in other years best anime was much fair than this one………..i dont think that BEST ANIME MUST BE A 3 PEOPLE’S CHOICE and being put down so easily but a fair opinion of all anime watcher and a fair fight between the who can make it best anime of the year….

      • January 4, 2013 at 7:44 amjunglepenguin

        Are you really that desperate to see your picks win a bunch of virtual awards? You could always blog your own list somewhere else and give them the titles you want them to have. No one told you to beg and complain for a long as you did.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:48 amCrook

    I actually thought KoiChoco was kinda underestimated too. It did a relatively great job despite seeming like exactly the same harem story we’ve all seen 100 times.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:54 amkondee

    Well, as much as there some things I would like to put up and shake my fist at (Aww..no Jinrui?, it’s uniqueness and quirkiness alone should get mentioned), I think it is a fair assessment of 2012′s anime and the variety of all the anime mentioned does signify a love and celebration for the genre.

    Also, I believe F/Z’s music should be mentioned but that would probably take spot away from 2012′s other great soundtracks and gave too much of a bone to F/Z which got a bunch in categories including best anime(Hooray!). Still who can forget the epic tense music by Yuki Kajiura and Kalafina’s haunting choirs? I felt it should at least be mentioned in F/Z’s best anime paragraph since I felt it’s a major contributor to the atmosphere of F/Z.

    Still, I like this write up and while 2011 was a better year in my opinion, 2012 gave a good stock of anime for all types of fans.

    • January 3, 2013 at 12:08 pmProgeusz

      Who? People who are aware that best track of F/Z OST, The Battle is to the Strong, is just a remix of Madoka’s Magia and that there’s no Emiya remix in Kerry vs Kirei fight. It would still look awful but a least could get some great fitting music instead of extremely overused, to the point of causing “again…?” tBittS.

      • January 3, 2013 at 1:10 pmkondee

        Why do you sound so worked up about this?

        Pardon for being a philistine. Regardless, I am happy to have untrained eyes and ears because I enjoyed the production of F/Z regardless of what may be said about the soundtrack and ufotable’s animation. The climactic fight between Emiya and Kirei was definitely noticeable though but I don’t regret ufotable’s involvement with the series altogether or the soundtrack which I loved.

        True, it may not be as perfect as I make it out to be but it is hardly worth nitpicking that much over (no offense intended).

      • January 3, 2013 at 1:19 pmProgeusz

        I’m just tired of seeing F/Z getting all the praise it doesn’t deserve in past 15 months. Fate/Zero excels in characters and story, not animation and music. Music is certainly well above average but saying it’s the best of 2012 seems like a stretch. Yuki Kajiura’s problem is that she’s rather repetitive.

      • January 3, 2013 at 1:36 pmkondee

        I can see your point. That can get vexing if the music and animation is getting more attention then the story and characters which I definitely agree Fate/Zero should be more well known for. I’m a little late in noticing Yuki Kajiura’s habits of reusing stuff (Not until Sword Art Online).

        I didn’t say the OST should be best of the year…just that it should mentioned (honorable mention or in the best anime paragraph) because it seemed memorable at least to me (probably helps because some tracks are associated with some of the most shocking and memorable parts of the story, sometimes the story can make the music seem better).

        Thanks for replying in a calmer manner.

      • January 3, 2013 at 1:50 pmProgeusz

        Yeah, sorry, I sometimes sound a little too offensive unintentionally. Honorable mention should be fine but Apollon deserves it much more in my opinion and randomc seems to limit the number to 2-4.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:06 pmDana

    Wish I had gotten a chance to vote. Tsuritama was AOTY IMHO. And how could I type “control-f” and find no reference to Natsume Yuujinchou?

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:07 pmEunichi

    Seems like I like the list more in LiA than this one (well, since it’s quite similar with my own). Yeah, it’s they’re opinion but I think some other notable and/or under-appreciated series deserves to have some honorable mentions like in the best animation and best story awards.

    Also for the best OVA, i think there are few that are better than Boukoku no Akito.

    Based from the top 5 most popular series of 2012 in RC, 2011′s are way better quality-wise which is quite ironic since 2012 has tons of better series than 2011.

  • January 3, 2013 at 12:31 pmEntrav

    Fairly similar to my choices as well. I need to catch up on Horizon…

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:14 pmPerlaNemesis

    Everyone in comments keeps saying that Hyouka should have been at least mentioned in Animation section (which I agree 100%), but it seems that nobody remembers Chuunibyou Demo Koi GaShitai. Just like Hyouka it was made by KyoAni and had awesome animation not only during slice of life sections but also showed that KyoAni can do awesome action scenes as well. Oh well, at least it was 5th in Reader’s Poll. ^^

    • January 3, 2013 at 1:27 pmProgeusz

      I think people just don’t want to sound like KyoAni fanboys so they choose the better title of two. Chuuni is still well above anything mentioned in that category.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:14 pmKonaChan

    LOL SWORD ART ONLINE!? IS THIS A JOKE?

    • January 3, 2013 at 4:52 pmKuntzy

      Your opinion is universal almighty one

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:26 pmfairx

    As long as Tsuritama on the list, I’m satisfied. Danshi koukousei are a plus. Need to dig old Fate and finally watch the new Fate to really appreciate 2012 best anime.. sigh~~

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:32 pmPepski

    I always check out season previews, since they are really nicely done, but best ofs always leave me in despair. And polls would bring Zetsubou-sensei to successful suicide attempt.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:39 pmCul Dud

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:32 pmDrift

      And no one cares :)

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:51 pmDa5id

      Besides your Sci-Fi, OP and Best of picks, this actually isn’t a bad list.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:20 pmTrombe

      Besides your whole opinion, this actually isn’t a bad list… Nah, actually it is.

    • January 4, 2013 at 5:51 pmMikioBo

      The biggest lol is Kirito for best character…

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:47 pmGiNoCo

    I want to highlight two points:

    First we need a best of the year female character Comparing Iksander and Koko ? duh!

    Second I love Garupan. However the rule that the anime must be finished to be considered is broken. There are still two episodes left on this series. So it should have been rated for 2013 awards. (unless that rule doesn’t apply anymore. Binbougami ga! Is the winner there ;)

    Good work even I don’t agree on some other points.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:07 pmyoblob

    There needs to be a sports category just so Kuroko no Basuke could win something. It was an awesome show and was definitely one of the best shows of the year for me.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:29 pmProgeusz

      Chihayafuru and Saki need more mentions too. Especially the first one.

      • January 3, 2013 at 3:39 pmSolara

        Chihayafuru is really one of the best I ever seen. To have that amazing animation quality to get you really excited about a simple boring game is mindblowing to me. They really make it so intense that you are so glue to the TV as you watch this.

      • January 3, 2013 at 4:39 pmProgeusz

        That’s why I love sports anime. Even if it’s boring to you in real life or video games, even if it’s something really strange, Japan will always find a way to make it extremely exciting. Even fishing in Tsuritama was interesting. While I’m at it, I’d like to recommend Hikaru no Go (manga, don’t know how anime compares) to everyone. Akagi, Kaiji and One Outs are more on psychological side. There’s also Saki if you aren’t afraid of cute girls doing epic things. No difference in enjoyment between manga and anime I think, probably anime is even better thanks to voices and music.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:09 pmkonkon

    No mention of Mimi to Boku 2. Step it up.

    • January 3, 2013 at 2:09 pmkonkon

      Kimi*

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:37 pmSolara

    How is it possible to NOT include Sakamichi no Apollon at least in the Soundtrack department?
    And how is it possible to NOT include Hyouka in the best Animation department? That right there baffles me beyond reason. I can’t comprehend it.

    It’s not about the fact that they didn’t win, sure everyone is entitle to their own opinions, but to NOT be mention? Seriously guys. Extremely disappointed.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:01 pmkyaawai

    Why are you even complaining that SAO didn’t get the title of “Best Anime of 2012?” As mentioned in the comments of the voting post, SAO is the most overrated anime of 2012. Yeah, it does have a good plot but it started to lose its magic when it began into the ALO phase.

    Whereas in Fate/Zero, every episode got me hyped, and I kept on asking for more definitely because of the cliffhangers and unexpected plot twists. And I have to agree about the animation, Type Moon did a very good job in comparison to Fate/ Stay Night.

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate SAO. I cried. at the ending of it, but not as much as I cried in some episodes of Fate/Zero.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:02 pmIcedTea

    I am disappointed.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:28 pmShrubbery

    ‘ there didn’t seem to be any stand-out shows like last year’s Steins;Gate and Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magika’ Yup true, but still an amazing year.

    Nice to see Hyouka score so high in the Reader’s Choice, I loved Hyouka, but it might not be for everyone. I have not seen Fate/Zero, so I can’t say if I agree with it being the best anime of this year, but since it’s also number 1 in the reader’s choice it probably is the best. Maybe I’ll have to chatch up in F/Z soon. quick question: do you need to watch the prequal or not?

    Also: too little love for Sankarea, it’s a nice series, so pick it up! :D

    • January 3, 2013 at 4:48 pmProgeusz

      There’s no prequel to Fate/Zero. Fate/Zero is prequel to Fate/Stay Night.
      You should read F/SN visual novel first and then watch F/Z anime or read F/Z light novel (I read only two pages of latter so I can’t really say much about it but that fragment Show Spoiler ▼

      was much better than scene in anime). F/SN anime is bad, don’t bother.
      Alternatively you could simply start with Fate/Zero, there shouldn’t be many problems with understanding the story.
      Probably the best route would be:
      1) Play F/SN VN
      2) Watch F/Z anime
      3) Read F/Z LN
      Why? It’s simple. You won’t enjoy anime as much if you watch it after reading LN but there will still be new stuff waiting for you if you read LN after watching anime, you’ll also know all the great voices.

    • January 3, 2013 at 4:50 pmProgeusz

      Why isn’t spoiler tag working? Could someone fix it? Thankfully it’s nothing big.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:56 pmAnanas

    Best animation :
    If Kyoani can’t win that one then I guess it’s time for them to retire. Or just do the same as everyone else.

    Best story :
    I can’t even be sarcastic about this one.

    Best action :
    BONES animators must be crying tears of blood for making the effort to do gorgeous hand draw mecha animation only to lose to some average CG.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:42 pmTrombe

      Oh dude but the mugen punch >: …

    • January 4, 2013 at 2:29 ammegalith

      Very poor choice really. I didn’t feel that F/Z and EVOL deserved that spot.

      If they wanted action. I’d go for E7 AO and Accel World.

  • January 3, 2013 at 4:58 pmDvalinn

    While some shows could have gotten a bit more attention (no mention of Jinrui? Could’ve been a dead ringer for underappreciated. As well as MGX, Mouretsu Pirates, Tonari no Kaibetsu-kun etc.) I do agree with a lot on this list. While Fate/Zero wasn’t my no. 1 show, it was in my top five and it winning best show of the year is justified. The Code Geass OVA was also way better than I expected, so I don’t mind that win either. And Rider for best character of the year, oh yeah!

    Also, I think that the lack of any real stand-out shows this year compared to the last one doesn’t mean much for the quality of anime this year (it was still good), but it does lead to a bigger variety in opinions. Every list I’ve seen has been wildly different, and what may be one’s favourite show may be a crap show in someone else’s eyes (I’ve gotten into discussion myself with someone who disliked Another as my no. 1 pick but put in SAO and Kokoro Connect himself) – there are hardly any universal shows nearly everyone agrees are good, and F/Z has been the only constant I’ve seen.

    Finally Guilty Crown for biggest dissapointment of the year…heh, that’s putting it nicely.

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:28 pmAnon-san

    Soundtrack: No sakamichi?
    Song: I know Vidro Moyou was as Honorable mention but it is definetely better than the meaningless and autotuned song piko sang on binbougami opening theme -.- (I love piko but .-.)
    romance: …AnoNatsu better than natsuyuki? seriously?
    seiyuu and action: lol aquarion
    I’ll asume this was made by a bunch of Aquarion Evol fanboys.

    Certainly dissapointed with the post… I used to love this yearly post because it pointed really good aspects of most of the animes of the year (I guess it was just that Divine and Omni had a wider repertoire and better tastes)

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:30 pmLegaia

    i can’t understand why crap like Aquarion evol could enter honorable mention of best anime list Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II shall fit more

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:40 pmMasterdango

    MOOMBA obviously has no ability to comprehend the story. As much as my perspective in anime in general is probably more limited, I am inclined to disagree as I have seen the series twice and found that the story is very clear. He obviously has no understanding of why Shu had a need to save his friends and by lazily describing the opposition as “terrorists” it makes it evident that he made no effort to analyze and understand the show’s characters. Also, Guilty Crown easily tops the other animes in its innovative and complex animation and perfectly orchestrated soundtrack

    • January 3, 2013 at 6:52 pmDa5id

      Why did Shu like Inori?

      • January 4, 2013 at 1:59 amMasterdango

        You know, I was glaring at your comment right now and it is clear that you were just unable to comprehend the reasons why their romance happened, which are painstakingly clear to me. Finding that reason requires an observation into Shu’s character; it seems likely that you were distracted from his significance and didn’t find this out.

        Look, I can get disliking the show – but when it becomes evident that both you and MOOMBA are possibly as blind as Shu was initially, I don’t look at your judgments with the least bit of belief or will to comprehend. Both of you seem as if you are just too lazy and too closed to have a decent look into the show and have any appreciation for what it evokes, what it portrays, and what it makes clear to us.

        I loathe people like you – the arrogant, high standards upperclassmen who think that they can grasp a clear understanding of things from day 1 and create judgments that many will accept without question for their significance.

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:34 amDa5id

        You know what I don’t get? How you can make any sort of judgement about me based on my lack of appreciation for only one series. Because based upon what you’re saying, it seems that the only reason I seem arrogant or have high standards is because I don’t like one show. If you’re going to actually contest my opinion (say it with me now: OH-PIN-EE-ON), you should probably try with actual points other than “You just don’t get it, nyeh” and other ad hominems.

        And considering I watched the series just as many times as you say you have, it may just be possible you are simply seeing something in this story I am not. Maybe one day I’ll see that too.

      • January 4, 2013 at 2:53 amTheMoondoggie

        What? You don’t see it Da5id? You’re suppose to be smart! Nah I forgot: you’re just pretending to be one.

      • January 4, 2013 at 3:04 amDa5id

        Oh hey, difference in opinion means I’m an idiot. This is such a productive train of thought.

    • January 5, 2013 at 8:42 amSekai

      by lazily describing the opposition as “terrorists” it makes it evident that he made no effort to analyze and understand the show’s characters

      MOOMBA described them as terrorists because as far as Shu’s friends knew, they were terrorists. They’ve never had any reason to believe that Funeral Parlour is anything bur evil, yet they decided to assist Shu in helping these “terrorists” just because Shu said they believed in him. That’s just sloppy writing and characterisation.

      Anyway, I don’t think anyone’s claiming they’re right and you’re not. They’re just expressing their opinion and backing them up, as opposed to “you don’t see the awesomeness that I do!”. Perhaps we’re just short-sighted and simply lack a deeper perspective on the anime, but we’ll never know otherwise unless you actually try to back-up your points so that we can actually think,”Huh, never saw it that way before”.

      Believe it or not, you can change people’s minds. It just requires you to walk them through the reasoning you used to reach your conclusion. Simply stating a conclusion won’t change anyone’s minds, and simply reveals a reactionary, ill-thought out opinion such as “Gilty crown is teh shits, any1 who thinks diffrent is thick!!”

      • January 5, 2013 at 8:45 amSekai

        Crap, I just broke the italics!

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:56 pmHumjes

    because writer decided so

  • January 3, 2013 at 6:57 pmPants

    I’m really surprised by the lack of Chuunibyou here. It was the best show of the year in my opinion.

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:04 pmunknown2

    Natsuyuki didnt win Romance??? Time to watch Ano Natsu de Matteru.

    RC’s choice and reader’s choice were the same. Awesome. We are on the same page

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:13 pmNhelraios

    I was hoping Chuunibyou would at least get a mention in the Animation category, the animation particulary in the delusional scenes after they shout “Banishment” had me jaw dropping, it was just spectacular . Heck I thought KyoAni shows would be dominating the Animation category. Also quite a bit sad that the last season(I think) of Natsume Yuujinchou didn’t get a mention.

    I guess that was all my gripe? After all I didn’t watch that many shows this year so I can’t really comment on others. I might watch a few listed up there this season though since there’s not much shows that caught my interest in Winter Preview. Girls und Panzer and Jormungand seems to be taking a lot of praise, time to marathon these two first.

    Also a heads up, in the honorable mentions for ED sequence, pretty sure the Joshiraku ED(this damn ED is soooo catchy) title is “Nippon Egao Hyakkei” by Momokurotei Ichimon . “Oato ga Yoroshikutte…Yo!” by Goku-Rakujokai is the OP I think.

    And oh I think Fate/Zero deserved the Best of 2012.

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:23 pmKingofConquerors

    Thank you guys for assembling quite a diverse list….thus feature really made my day and turned out to be quite a refreshment after the finals…(finally it’s over!! Time to get some serious anime action!!!)

    That said, though, there are a handful of things i’d like to point out and make a gripe on (i do hope my complaint isn’t gonna be harsh)

    1.Lack of Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (i know this has been mentioned repeatedly, but i had to get this out) which i thought was probably one of the wittiest and cleverest series i’ve seen in the last two years…its dialogue and script were simply amazing, and proof that even the most pedestrian of animations could be redeemed by superior narrative. Every episode always packed a punch and a strand of ingenuity which made them stand out in their own ways….and contrary to other comedies, it didn’t rely on hysterical reactions or grandiose imageries for hilarity, (which is a fresh narrative innovation, in contrast with Binbougami ga!, Gintama, and Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou). Really, this series should get the double honor for the exceeded expectations award and The best comedy award for all i know…

    Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou would definitely make it into the honorable mention list, though…it mostly succeeded in doing its job, but there were still some misses here and there (episode 3 and 5 were especially quite flat quality-wise). But i still stand by my initial stance that Binbougami ga! shouldn’t get any love…(don’t get me wrong, it had its moments, but for all in all it was cliched as hell and the forced drama really bogged down the comedy and the pacing, they could have used all that duration to shove in as many gags as possible for pet’s sake)

    2.Really, Aquarion EVOL for a nod in the honorable mention list for the best anime award?….i thought it was within my top 5 worst series of the year (the other ones were, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Muv-Luv : Total Eclipse, Ozuma, and Btooom!), there were just so many flaws contained within it i couldn’t name them all, such as the needless Yaoi vibe between Scrade and the heroine’s brother, the badly executed ntr, the terribly conceived twists, and most of all how Kagura and the hero managed to hook up so easily, even after all that had happened….all in all, it was just a massive disappointment (especially after the fine first half, especially that episode 9 with that donut undertone)

    3. “Make my Day” was a nice and upbeat song perfectly suiting the theme of Binbougami ga!, but clearly given the vast amount of series u’ve watched this year u could have picked a better piece, Fate/Zero’s To The Beginning, Nisemonogatari’s and Ano Natsu’s vidrou Moyou i thought were vastly better

    4.Mirai Nikki for the best story was a dubious choice…it was gripping, and it did keep me at the edge of my seat, but of course everyone who has watched it knows it has a plot hole as big as the size of grand Canyon…i’ve always opined that a good story is a story capable of entertaining without even feeling cheap and mindless, but i guess we again differ in that tenet..(which is respectable since it’s the beauty of differences), but Fate/Zero’s tragic take on betrayal, vain hope and misery delineated in such a engagingly cruel storyline take the cake for me..

    5.Tasogare Otome x Amnesia is waayyyy too underrated, it’s not perfect in any way (it had its misses…episode 10 in particular was a wasted “experiment”), but damn was it engaging, mostly because of a “more than perfect” chemistry between Yuuko x Teichi (this pair and Kiritsugu x Irisviel are hands down the best couples of the year)…and i for one loved the ending (i couldn’t have hoped for a better ending, really, i thought it was the best ending of any anime in 2012[anyone who would like to have a discussion on this is more than welcome to have a word with me about it])

    6.Sawashiro Miyuki should get the best VA title IMO, she probably took the most roles this year (at least u gotta give her due respect for that), and her roles were also quite great. I gotta admit i’ve gotten quite bored of her at this point, but at least her handwork is worth some recognition

    7.As much as i hated Guilty Crown, you gotta admit it was quite snubbed in the best soundtrack award. Apart from its animation it was probably the strongest aspect of the series…( i downloaded the OST right away upon hearing BIOS), and Yuki Kajiura’s work in Fate/Zero should get a nod in the honorable mention list at least

    That said, though i’m still overjoyed that Fate/Zero got to be the anime of the year (what a masterful series), and Alexander The Great/Iskandar/Rider was undisputed numero uno for the best character award….

    and i’m seriously surprised Kuroko no Basuke only got to be at Number 17 in the polls (who isn’t), it’s truly a high-quality series, one crafted with superior direction and engaging music which elevated it above even its source material…and it maybe could feel single-toned, and by no means original, but it’s proof of a genre series done right…(more people should heed this series )

    Anyway, If the list go my way, then i guess….

    Animation : Fate/Zero

    Story : Fate/Zero

    Soundtrack : Fate/Zero

    Best OP : Platinum Disco (Nisemonogatari)

    Best ED : Study Study (High School DxD)

    Best Song : Vidrou Moyou – Nagi (Ano Natsu de Matteru

    Best Character : Rider/Alexander The Great/Iskandar (Fate/Zero) {is there any doubt?}

    Seiyuu (male) : Miyano Mamoru

    Seiyuu (female) : Sawashiro Miyuki

    Plot Twist : Show Spoiler ▼

    Death : Show Spoiler ▼

    Trap : Hastur (Haiyore Nyaruko-san)

    Best Action : Fate/Zero (undeniably)

    Best Romance : Tasogare Otome x Amnesia

    Best Drama : Sakamichi no Apollon

    Best Sci-Fi :

    Best Thriller : Mirai Nikki

    Best Mystery : Hyouka

    Best Fantasy : Fate/Zero

    Best Comedy : Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

    Best Romantic Comedy : Kore wa Zombie de suka of the dead

    Best Slice-of-life : Hyouka

    Best Fan-service : Nisemonogatari

    Most Under-appreciated : Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

    Exceeded Expectations : Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

    Biggest Disappointment : Sword Art Online (Having liked the l/n so much and all…)

    Best Anime of 2012 : Fate/Zero

    Best OVA/Movie of 2012 : From Up On Poppy Hill (which sadly didn’t make it into the poll)

    My top 10 of 2012 :
    1.Fate/Zero
    2.Sakamichi no Apollon
    3.Kuroko no Basuke
    4.Hyouka
    5.Nisemonogatari
    6.Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
    7.Mirai Nikki
    8.Tasogare Otome x Amnesia
    9.Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
    10.Jormungand

    Honorable Mentions : Tsuritama, Kokoro Connect, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou

    but once again, i still respect your valuation of this year’s anime, guys, i still wanna thank you for such a great work!!

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:23 pmD

      “Teichi x Yuuko and Kiritsugu x Irisviel.” Finally, someone who gets it.
      “Fate/Zero’s To The Beginning.”
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXrJ4OZN4eU
      It definitely is hard to match the passion that placed into the song and how it ties into the story of Fate/Zero regarding Kiritsugu’s struggle to become a better hero.
      What I don’t understand are people who give you a thumbs down for expressing and justifying your opinion. I think those same people are the ones that either look away due to the length of your post, or think that you’re biased for having a name that clearly represents a deep passion for Fate/Zero.
      They should really read your post if its the first case, or learn that not everyone shares the same interests as them honestly if its the latter.

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:43 pmdeathtogenericshows

    Seriously folks. What part of the 2 part disclaimer right below the thread title you don’t get? Can’t your eyes read those sequence of english alphabets and your brains comprehend their meaning?

    It’s one thing you post your own best list. Or simply saying that you disagree with the list.

    But about the 1/4 to half of these posts are these crown posters whining and screaming like spoilt children and calling the whole thread bullshit since he/she doesn’t agree (mostly he, face it. Women posters are more level headed, it seems. I wonder why? Could it be because they have to deal with more real BS in lives in general?). Could it be that most of these posters are, indeed, wait for it… children?? That would explain these ridiculously silly behaviors much better. Look, I in no way shy away from trashing stupid show in its own coverage and greatly annoy its fanboys/fangirls ( (i.e. my occasional involvement in SAO or K posts), but even then I don’t call the coverage or its writer bullshit.

    Why don’t you crowns try to read the disclaimer for a change? Try it. It even has nice red colored fonts to grab your attentions. Much more happiness, truth, beauty and wisdom will come to you that way.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:14 pmD

      I think you had a point until you brought up the “women deal with more real bullshit” thing.
      But agreed that people should really stop bitching about not understanding other people’s preferences.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:17 pmTomamato

      I was thinking the same thing.
      They made it very clear that this list is THEIR opinion. It’s not like they shoved it right into our faces and said “You all must think like this and approve the list!”

      I think its okay to post you don’t agree with the list. But people really do need to stop saying things like “this is rubbish” just because your opinion on anime doesn’t fit with the people of RC’s opinion (even though aquarion was rubbish and I have no idea why it is there in the honorable mention of best anime :P Seriously, not many anime can ruin a prequel!)

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:11 pmmelbelu

    to be honest,
    i really didnt like 2012 best of anime…..
    for me, it was a really dull year except for a couple of series.

    hyouka was nice as well as tasogare otome x amnesia , but for me both were kind of boring.
    jormungand, it wasnt my thing. to much killing, didnt like how the real story developed. the narration i felt it crude.

    evol, fate zero, sao……..i found it like 2012 pokemon. (in my opinion, taste…) . i dont want to hurt any hearts out there.

    nisemonogatari was increidable, beacuse it just hits me in my taste.

    mine fujiko, NO ONE HAS MENTION IT. it was BEAUTIFUL. music, animation, color, sense, theme, narration, characters. classic. it was my fav 2012 until, i watched fall season. this best of anime its okay beacuse they didnt consider fall season series (psycho pass, shin sekai, magi,etc…)

    i really like the tsuritama wining the underrated category , it was such a funny series, with great characters, great colors and dynamics….thumbs up for that.

    • January 3, 2013 at 8:31 pmMatroid

      I wonder how many people would have consciously avoided watching Mine Fujiko simply because they didn’t want to watch more of the same old Lupin III. All I can say is that the Lupin series has passed its prime.

    • January 4, 2013 at 9:35 amLitho

      Lupin III:Mine Fujiko was my standout anime of 2012 as well. It had the best art direction, the same likeable characters, only grittier and sleazier, and a storyline that never took itself too seriously. The soundtrack was ace (the jazz was better than Apollon). Even the comedy was good, mixing subtlety with black/satire.

  • January 3, 2013 at 8:29 pmTrombe

    In my heart Miyuki is the best seiyuu of the year… every year.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:00 pmAnimeKid

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:47 pmTheak

    because SAO is Gary Stu

  • January 4, 2013 at 1:57 amLynn

    Fate/Zero, number one. Somehow, the world seems to be alright again.

  • January 4, 2013 at 2:52 amd-LaN

    Oh man, the sh*tstorm downvotes is exactly why I don’t comment often over here anymore….. Scrap the system plz. Or do modification to it….. Also this is RC opinion not yours….

    GC & SAO got some pretty amazing “publicity” lol. The only way GC & SAO can save their face now is animating the GC: Lost Christmas VN and the Progressive series… I’ve seen quite some praise on Lost Christmas and i’ve read the Progressive LN1 (in chinese) and I personally think its pretty OK…. Which won’t be animated anytime soon. But those two series are pretty entertaining/enjoyable.

    Here some of my opinion:

    Plot Twist: Guilty Crown Show Spoiler ▼

    Honorable mention: Mirai Nikki one.
    GC seems to try really hard to beat PMMM for the amount of plot twist. And honestly, the WTF-ness its one of the things tht kept me coming back. Even though it did seem to borrow some idea frm NGE & RE5….

    Songs: crossing field
    Honorable mention: INNOCENCE, oath sign, key plus words
    These songs hold the records of “frequently played songs” even though other songs have replaced them now ^.^;

    Death: Show Spoiler ▼

    Honorable mentions: Show Spoiler ▼

    Comedy: Chunibyou demo koi ga Shitai!
    Honorable mention: P4Animation and tsuritama
    I dunno is tsuritama count as one… But I laugh quite a lot at these shows so it counts ryte?

    Drama: BRS
    Honorable mention: Kokoro Connect
    The amount drama in BRS is pretty something… Also can’t disagree abt the in and outside of the show drama of KoroCon :P

    Exceeded Expectation: Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
    Honorable mention: Hyouka
    DAT BREAD & CHICKEN. For Hyouka: I came for mysteries but I stay for the character development.

    • January 4, 2013 at 4:04 pmTrombe

      >GCfag detected.
      I’m sorry but no dude, no.

      • January 6, 2013 at 11:44 amd-LaN

        Did I ever go into excessive fanboy mode? NO. While I was impressed with the plot twist, I have to admit tht GC story is a mess. The ending could be better, some characters could’ve fleshed out better etc. But overall its a enjoyable show. Also, you might want to check out the GC:LC VN discussion at animesuki.

  • January 4, 2013 at 3:54 amNurul Fatin Nor Hazhar

    Seriously, I’m GUFFAWED while scrolling down, reading the comments. Many disagree for sure, some can relate to the choices made and a tiny went amok and just blatantly rant on and on.
    My take is that Fate/Zero got the title of Reader’s Choice because of the great impact it has, not to mention that Fate series really does well with it’s course as a Visual Light Novel.

    • January 4, 2013 at 7:36 amKuroYume

      “Visual Light Novel” More like “Visual Heavy Novel” at just over 800,000 words. The Lord of The Rings novels (all of them) came to just under 473k words. FYI: Light novel is a book. Visual novel is a game of sorts.

  • January 4, 2013 at 5:04 amKyzel

    I respectfully disagree about best death. Show Spoiler ▼

    Anyway, random shoutout to Takabe Ai (Agiri – Kill me Baby) <3 Also. Nothing at all for Chuuni? Oh well. *Downloads clean ED of DxD* <3

  • January 4, 2013 at 8:23 amnichibotsu-kaeru

    looking back on this last year of anime, it didn’t seem really that good for my self, but then again i watched about half as much as i did from the year before, but around 6 of your personal bests i didn’t even watch, i think the signs are obvious, i need to watch more good anime

  • January 4, 2013 at 10:02 amSeishun Otoko

    There was never really any question in my mind that Fate/Zero is my favorite anime in 2012 and needless to say, it’s gratifying to know the anime connoisseurs at RC hold the series in such high regards. Special thanks to the team for putting Tsuritma in the spotlight. There’s certainly a lot to praise in this series and I can’t think of another anime that deserves to win the most underappreciated category more than Tsuritama.

    Found this very interesting forum thread that compiles total average sales figures of animes and interestingly or maybe not surprisingly, the top spots for 2012 are pretty consistent with RC’s Reader’s Choice. Seems like anime fans, both Japanese and English-speaking, are somewhat on the same page and Fate/Zero deserves to be right up there with the very best. There’s also a separate compilation of the 2000-2012 best-selling animes for the number junkies like me and let’s just say, a job very well done by Shinbou sensei and gang at Shaft!

    2012’s Top 10: Nisemonogatari 60,526, Fate/Zero Second Season 45,804, Sword Art Online 39,462, Kuroko no Basuke 22,106, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II 19,995, Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! 14,458, Girls und Panzer 13,550, Inu x Boku SS 10,622, To Love-Ru Darkness 10,214, Gintama’ Enchousen 10,197

    Thanks again for the great post! Keep up the good work, you guys are mad awesome :3

    • January 4, 2013 at 11:15 amronbb

      Thanks for sharing. Just adding some numbers here… We had well over 120K views of last year’s Best of Anime post — more than 5 times of this year’s right now — but we have already got well over 400 comments while last year’s was 320. This is quite interesting — are we more vocal amongst ourselves now, is there a change in readership, were shows in 2012 better/worse than last year’s, or is this year’s Best of Anime post more controversial…? It probably would be a mix, but I am simply pondering…

    • January 4, 2013 at 2:10 pmselma

      waaa good news glad for GINTAMA the most hilarious show ever i agree tsuritama did not get the recognition it deserves

  • January 4, 2013 at 12:55 pmJason Isenberg

    Persona 4 made it up there pretty good. 19 on the list, though I found it to be more underrated. Sadly enough I just got into it after getting golden for the Vita. After every boss I faced I watched the episode just for that arc to see how accurate it was and to be honest I was surprised most of my choices in dialogue were in the show.

    Another surprise was Btooom, I enjoyed it. Loved the characters too. It has a very gloomy side to it but it felt more like a version of ‘The Condemned’ mixed with an anime and you only have explosives. It was a very underrated show to be honest. Can’t wait for the next season!

    Seeing F/Z there was no big surprise…even though I stopped half-way (didn’t nearly enjoy it as much as F/SN or the movie) I knew it was good just couldn’t really get into it. Pretty solid list this year. Can’t wait to see what the next monogatari show will do for us.

  • January 4, 2013 at 2:05 pmVoyager

    As a lot of people pointed out, including our beloved RC writers, there are many shows that were good or very good but didn’t make it in any category because while they were good at many things, there were other shows that excelled at just that one specific thing that is the title of each category.
    They still deserve a place in the “best anime in our hearts” award, so let’s combine some genres and mix stuff and make that place just for fun, because I would be sad to leave these shows fading away without giving them any tribute.

    Disclaimer: this list was done with a poll with exactly one voter, so it reflects the taste of not three, not two, but exactly one person. Take it in mind while downvoting this post! :)
    _________________________________________________________________

    Best “Humping Whales Animation” + “Everyday mistery” : … Hyouka
    Best “Daaww” + “RomDrama” : … Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai
    Best “Philosophical” + “WeirdCute” : … Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
    Best “ROFL” + “Touching” : … Binbougami ga!
    Best “Forced Drama” + “Derebaan!! <3 4TW" : … Kokoro Connect
    Best “Yuri” + “Maru” : … Rinne no Lagrange
    Best “Almost Exceeding expectations” + “Harem” : … Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
    Best “Unmentioned” + “Shounen FightService” : … Medaka Box
    Best “Cute ED” + “Short Episodes” : … Chitose Get you!! ED 1
    Best “MMORPG” + “Fan splitter” : … Sword Art Online
    _________________________________________________________________

    And then the Ecchi section!!

    Best “Soft Pxxn” + “I can’t see sxxt captain” : … To Love-Ru – Trouble: Darkness
    Best “Classic fanservice” + “Classic Harem” : … Zero no Tsukaima F
    Best “Badass pervert” + “Badassitude” : … Hagure Yuusha no Estetica
    _________________________________________________________________

    Miscellanea:

    Best “Didn’t finish in time” + “damn” : … Sakurasou no pet na kanojo, Honorable mention : Zetsuen no Tempest
    Best “Prequel destruction” + “Son I’m disappoint” : … Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Honorable mention : Aquarion EVOL
    _________________________________________________________________

    Aaand that’s it.
    I do agree for the most part with the actual winners and voted series, but looking back at the whole year in the end there were shows that managed to leave an impression as strong as the winner series. I’m sure every single one of us has a list like that in their mind. Don’t be sad if your favorite show didn’t win anything in the “official” RC anime awards, it DID win YOUR personal award and that is what really is important.
    Have fun the next year too!!

  • January 4, 2013 at 2:13 pmselma

    i call it right now the most underrated show of next year is gonna be jo jo’s bizarre adventure ! it ROCKS and it’s like no one is watching it ( dunno abt japan though i bet it’s different)GO WATCH JO JO people ! skip the first arc and get directly to the second though hh

  • January 4, 2013 at 2:42 pmSankaku

    I think no one is surprised that Fate/Zero got so much praise that it did. I mean is was amazingly animated, as you said, on par with Kara No Kyoukai and that is no small feat! Another thing that is not surprising is the readers reaction to Sword Art Online, because that series was much better than i personally expected. Those are actually the only “new” series I’ve watched this season. I’ve been mostly catching up with older shows, like Gosick and it is soooo good!

  • January 4, 2013 at 3:48 pmSilivious

    I lol @ the people that say Horizon didn’t deserve the soundtrack award and Sci-Fi…
    Have you even listened to the music from the series, or watched it? If you have, and STILL say that it didn’t deserve it, okay, fine. But if you’re just bashing it because you haven’t, then go on your way, lol, until you at least listen and watch.

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