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The Best of Anime 2013

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Now that 2013 is officially over, it’s time for our yearly foray into annoying everyone with our crappy opinions, the Best of Anime 2013 post! As with last year this post is a collaboration between the writers who watched the most series this year (and who didn’t say “Not it!” quickly enough), Zephyr and Stilts (that’s me!). We each watched upwards to…I don’t know, a lot of anime this past year, so while I can’t promise you we’ll be totally objective (such a thing is impossible), at least we’ll be well-informed about whatever we’re wrong about.

Continuing from last year, there are numerous categories in the following areas: Production, Miscellaneous (fun stuff), Genre, and Notable Others. We’ve also added a few new categories, including Best Short and Best Category Defying (also known as the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Memorial Award, though only by me). For most of these Zephyr and I came to an agreement, but when it came to our Best Anime and Best OVA/Movie picks we just said screw it and did them individually…and as a bonus, we allowed any interested writers to include their picks as well! (You can find a list of all 2013 shows watched by participating writers here, to give a little context on our choices). Also included at the end are the final results of 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 two guys who watched a lot of anime and then argued about it for about eight hours until a list appeared. Naturally our choices will be influenced by our own tastes, experiences, and personal impressions. Before you go bashing one of our choices, please make sure 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 Random Curiosity writers. They are solely the opinions of myself (Stilts) and Zephyr, save for where otherwise noted. Also, bare in mind that when two people come together to talk about matters of taste, the results can be a bit wonky. Though we agreed on many categories, sometimes both of us felt strongly about a nominee and one of us had to bow to the other’s choice. These picks are reflective of the two 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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Truth be told, each of the series listed here made a case for winning this category. Railgun S was noted for its striking visual upgrade to the Sisters’ Arc, KamiNai provided scenery porn worth dying for, Prisma Illya gave things more of a CG blend, and Zetsuen no Tempest gave its magical elements the pizzazz they deserved. A choice had to be made though, and it was Suisei no Gargantia that came out as the ultimate winner. With its clean-cut style, sharp-lines, vivid colors, and an impressive array of hand-drawn art, Gargantia delivered great animation from the get-go and kept it up throughout its run. Huge (and immensely detailed) shots of the Gargantia fleet highlighted the series’ animation prowess, which were complemented by spectacular views of an ocean-covered Earth, along with a mystifying dance that was every bit as mesmerizing as it was controversial.

Honorable Mentions: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Zetsuen no Tempest

 

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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Traditionally one of the hardest categories to judge, the choice for best story ended up much easier this time around. That’s not to say that there weren’t a plethora of great stories this year–there were plenty–but when you properly adapt an award-winning novel, few things can come close. Shin Sekai Yori comes in as the no-doubt winner, powered by a mature story with immense depth, shocking plot twists, and spectacular developments. Horror, supernatural, drama, and Sci-Fi elements blend seamlessly to give a dark take on what it means to be human, challenging viewers to think about its double edged nature while not shying away from controversial topics such as homosexuality and genocide. Thought-provoking to the end, Shin Sekai Yori didn’t hesitate to take risks and gave viewers an unrivaled experience that will be remembered for years to come. This was a demonstration of the heights anime can reach as a storytelling medium.

Honorable Mentions: Uchouten Kazoku, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Gin no Saji, Zetsuen no Tempest, Little Busters! ~Refrain~

 

 

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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After composing a laundry list of memorable soundtracks over the past few years, Sawano Hiroyuki finally lands in the winner’s circle with his work in Shingeki no Kyojin. Powered by epic themes that keep the adrenaline rush going for days and his trademark vocal inserts, this was a true Sawano soundtrack through and through–endlessly repeatable and equally memorable. No one else who could have crafted a more fitting soundtrack for a series such as this, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say his work played a part in the series’ success. It has to be noted that last year’s winner Kato Tatsuya also made it onto this year’s list due to his impressive work with Prisma Illya. With both of him and Sawano actively composing music, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing their names again here next year. That’s just the kind of quality and consistency they bring to the table.

Honorable Mentions: Iwashiro Taro – Suisei no Gargantia, Kato Tatsuya – Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, Kanno Yuugo – PSYCHO-PASS

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, though sometimes they’re completely irrelevant to the 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.

Shingeki no Kyojin OP1
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo ED1

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Could there be anything else? Endlessly remixed and amusingly fitting no matter what you used it for, Guren no Yumiya takes the cake as the easy pick for this category. Linked Horizon just scores the jackpot here, and there were few things more appropriate for the series than the progressive metal style they bought with this theme. The lyrics were a perfect representation of the Shingeki universe’s circumstances, and the sequence itself was chock full of budget-blowing animation to boot. The slow motion demonstration of the 3D gear in action was just superb, and having dozens of soldiers fly through the air gave the sequence a climactic finish that set the atmosphere for the beginning of each episode. This was a sequence I never got tired of watching, and it’s unlikely anyone will be forgetting it anytime soon–especially if you spend time on YouTube.

Honorable Mentions: Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san OP, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo OP1, Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? OP, PSYCHO-PASS OP2

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It’s impossible for me to separate a song from the context in which it belongs, and how an ED is used is as important as its sequence or sound. What elevates Days of Dash above the rest is how it was used and how well it fit the tone of its series. J.C.Staff’s old trick of starting the ED before the episode has finished was used to maximum effect, until just hearing the opening bars were enough to send chills down my spine. Days of Dash embodies everything Sakurasou sought to convey, from the struggle and pain, the relentless drive, and the audacity to reach for one’s dreams no matter the odds. This song has become my anthem if anything ever has, and the last scene where it played in the series runs through my head every time I hear it play. There were a number of other excellent EDs this year, and some had better sequences, but none were wielded so well or cut so deeply as Days of Dash.

Honorable Mentions: PSYCHO-PASS ED1, Aoki Hagane Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ ED1, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi ED, Shin Sekai Yori ED1

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 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, we’re simply picking some of our favorite songs that were featured in an anime.

“Rain” by Hata Motohiro (Kotonoha no Niwa)

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Last year this was one of the hardest categories to agree upon, but this time agreement came easily when our winner was first suggested. Kotonoha no Niwa was a beautiful movie, and it was helped immensely by its soundtrack, with Hata Motohiro’s “Rain” being the best of them all. It’s beautiful and mournful, melancholy and uplifting, and it fits its story well. I think I’ve listened to it at least once every week since I first heard it play, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. As usual there were so many songs that deserve honorable mentions that we completely abandoned trying to agree and just added two more songs that we loved each.

Honorable Mentions: “Shape My Story” by Yano Anna (Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu OP), “RE:I AM” by Aimer (Gundam Unicorn Episode 06 ED), “Little Busters! ~TV animation ver.~” by Rita (Little Busters! OP), “White Album” by Yonezawa Madoka (White Album 2 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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Occasionally a character comes along that deserves this award despite possessing a multitude of flaws. In fact, it’s their flaws and their ability to live with and overcome them that makes them worthy, and Shin Sekai Yori’s Watanabe Saki was a perfect example. She was delicate, sensitive, and emotional to a fault. She made mistakes and wasn’t the strongest fighter. Yet despite losing close friends and almost dying multiple times herself, she continued on. With tears in her eyes and every reason to give up, she tripped and stumbled her way through one obstacle after another. It was never a pretty sight, but she willed herself to the goal with her efforts, and into the hearts of viewers while she was at it. Shin Sekai Yori was an award-winning tale about humanity, and Saki was the centerpiece of it all. Like humanity, she was flawed but full of potential, and it’s the realization of that potential amidst brutal circumstances that powers her to her victory in this category.

Honorable Mentions: Benten (Uchouten Kazoku), Kuroki Tomoko (WataMote), Fuwa Aika (Zetsuen no Tempest), Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), Natsume Kyousuke (Little Busters!), Hikigaya Hachiman (OreGairu)

 

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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Kaji Yuki had a busy year. You’re probably thinking of his role as Eren in Shingeki no Kyojin, but that was just the tip of the iceberg for 2013. From the psychotic child Q-vier (Kakumeiki Valvrave), the unsure hero Alibaba (Magi), the cool pretty boy Felix (Unbreakable Machine-Doll, and the happy pervert Youto (HenNeko) – not to mention the far more badass pervert Hyoudou Issei (High School DxD)…he’s good at playing the pervert – the breadth and variety of Kaji Yuki’s work this year was impressive. Some may have a bad taste in their mouth from previous roles, but remember that you should hate the character, not the actor, because any actor that can go from Q-vier to Issei is doing something right. Rounding out our honorable mentions are Ohsaka Ryota with leading roles in Blood Lad and Hataraku Maou-sama!, Sakurai Takahiro for Makishima of Psycho-Pass and Yasaburou of Uchouten Kazoku (among many others), and Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, who damn near won the award for his role as Sorata in Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo alone.

Honorable Mentions: Ohsaka Ryota, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Sakurai Takahiro

Female Seiyuu

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This was a breakout year for Taneda Risa. From Xenovia (High School DxD) to Watanabe Saki (Shin Sekai Yori) to Yukari (Yuyushiki) to Aya (Kinmosa) to Kuriyama Mirai (Kyoukai no Kanata), she was in a major role every season, and she played them well. More impressive was the variety of voices she used to bring her characters to life; out of all the seiyuu I heard this year, Taneda Risa was the one I was most frequently surprised to find voicing a character. “Wow, that was her? I never would have guessed!” Such is the power of a talented seiyuu. Honorable mentions go to Mimori Suzuko, who had an excellent year with roles like Umi of Love Live!, Shion of GJ-bu, Kanzashi of Infinite Stratos, and Myuseru of Outbreak Company, while veterans Noto Mamiko and Hanazawa Kana round out our honorable mentions by consistently doing good work every single year. Special kudos go to Noto-sama for stepping outside of her normal roles to play dangerous, powerful, and even perverted characters. They were all a treat to listen to.

Honorable Mentions: Mimori Suzuko, Noto Mamiko, Hanazawa Kana

 

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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This was a banner year for traps, as dubious of an honor as that is. From cross dressers so convincing they’re prettier than most girls to the return of last year’s winner, who doesn’t even need a skirt to make you feel confused, it was a hard decision to make…or it would have been, if one trap hadn’t stood head and shoulders above all the others, and that trap was Gasper. In the best tradition of Hastur the High School DxD team weren’t even pretending Gasper was the least bit masculine, not with Sakura Ayane voicing him in full kawaii girl voice. He wore the girl’s uniform better than most girls, spent time as a damsel in distress, and was even featured in eyecatches like all the haremettes. Hastur made a good case for a repeat victory, and the return of both Genshiken’s Kenjirou Hata and Minami-ke’s Mako-chan gave him a run for his money, but none could match the new kid in the cute skirt.

Honorable Mentions: Hastur (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W), Kenjirou Hata (Genshiken Nidaime), Mako-chan (Minami-ke Tadaima)

 


Genre


Short

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 a new category, Best Short. Shorts tend to get a bad rap. Where once they were mostly low-budget productions not worth your time, nowadays many shorts are of very high quality, with stories and situations exceedingly well-suited to their short run times. This category is for any series with a run time of less 15 minutes or less that defied the stereotype and gave us a good show.

Best Short

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This was a great year for shorts, with a lot of high-quality series that challenged the assumption that shorts are cheap and crappy. Mainly belonging to the wider slice-of-life and comedy genres, it was hard to compare them because so many were good in their own ways, but the nod goes to Yama no Susume for combining atmosphere with character development. Explaining the atmosphere is easy – a warm, growing, fuwa-fuwa atmosphere permeated the entire show, and made for a relaxing watch. But if that were all then Aiura would win – and it nearly did. It was Yama no Susume’s fidelity to its mountain climbing premise and the character arc of protagonist Aoi that proved you can fit a character-driven story into a short runtime. Honorable mentions also go to Muromi-san and Senyu., both of which were frequently hilarious, with Senyu. even adding in a surprisingly touching story at the very end.

Honorable Mentions: Aiura, Senyu., Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san

 

Action

Action, action, and more action! The action genre ranges anywhere 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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Looking back on the year, there were quite a few action series, and good ones at that. Put them all together and there was plenty of ass kicking to go around, and probably enough explosions to cover the Earth a hundred times over. It’s only fitting that this category has a lot of honorable mentions, even if all of them end up losing out to the indomitable action beast that was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Every bit as over the top as it was bizarre, this was an adventure filled with fisticuffs, god-slaying, monster-pulverizing, vampire-trashing action. In fact, there was so much action that it carried over multiple generations, bringing with it epic machine guns on top of already flashy ripple techniques. With apologies to the other series listed on this category, there just wasn’t any action series better than JoJo this year, which was helped in part by an old-fashioned style we just don’t see much of anymore.

Honorable Mentions: Shingeki no Kyojin, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince, Kakumeiki Valvrave, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya

 

Romance

Emotion-filled romance at its finest. The relationship 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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Ignored by many due to sharing its name with its (ultimately unrelated) cousin, White Album 2 rises to the top of this category as a diamond in the rough. Powered by an emotionally riveting love triangle, White Album 2 was a story of how fated encounters don’t always end up well, how the best of intentions may only do more harm, and how there’s no substitute for real life experience. This was a story where three people met, tried to fight against the impossible, and hurt themselves more in the process. And what a story it was! White Album 2 was an example of the best this genre has to offer and a standard by which serious romances should follow. There’s no impossibly dense main character here, no straight forward happy tale of romance. This was a whirlwind of emotions and a testament to what an actual romance typically is – unpredictable and filled with a mixture of good and bad. And best of all? This was a series where you knew what was coming long before it happened, and it didn’t matter. There might have been a dearth of romances this year, but this more than made up for it. Did I mention that this was only the introductory chapter?

Honorable Mentions: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen

 

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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It took a while to build. Little Busters! started out slow, and after the first few episodes some people were condemning J.C.Staff for ruining the latest Key adaptation. For those of you who said that, know this: you should have held on. It built slow because the fast punch isn’t nearly so devastating as the freight train slamming into your soul. By the time Refrain rolled around it had built up a head of steam, and when all the emotions finally came crashing down, I wept. I wept unabashedly for two whole episodes, so potent was the drama unfolding on the screen. There were many great dramas this year, with Uchouten Kazoku almost winning for a similarly slow build up and an emotional gut punch on Episode 8, but only one show pulled us in so deeply only to rip our hearts out with friendship and love. It made every minute that proceeded it worth it many times over.

Honorable Mentions: Uchouten Kazoku, White Album 2, Shin Sekai Yori, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Zetsuen no Tempest

 

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, that’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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Like the Action category, this year was a good one for Sci-Fi, and all the series here were noted for their unique take on the genre. Despite the strong contenders, all of them end up playing second fiddle to Shin Sekai Yori, which revolved around people who possessed the ability to use “cantus.” Essentially the ability to manipulate and create things with their minds, this was a power that stretched the limits of human imagination—a vital part of any Sci-Fi story. Notably, it was key to the series’ award winning premise as well playing an integral part in past events dating back centuries and the characters’ everyday lives in the present. This was a series that just breathed Sci-Fi, and was made even better by the fact that it didn’t shy away from the more controversial aspects of people having such powers.

Honorable Mentions: Suisei no Gargantia, PSYCHO-PASS, Shingeki no Kyojin, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S

 

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

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Typically a category where the winner is either a great horror or thriller, both Shingeki no Kyojin and Shin Sekai Yori come in as shows that buck the trend by providing both. In the end though, Shingeki wins due to its Titan-oriented story. What could be worse than living in fear of multi-story tall creatures randomly peering in your windows and eating all your friends and family? With an insane diversity of creepy faces, Titans are things nightmares are made of–all of which made it all the more thrilling when they were hunted down. In this respect it was more of an old-fashioned thriller more than a psychological one, but that doesn’t change the fact it was thrilling, because there are few things better than the overhead view of a soldier flying through the city with his 3D maneuver gear. Oh how much budget must have been blown on those scenes!

Honorable Mentions: Shin Sekai Yori, DANGANRONPA: Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Kokosei

 

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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Like last year, 2013 didn’t provide much in terms of mysteries. That didn’t mean that there weren’t good additions to the genre however, and one mystery ended up particularly good. By that, we mean the “Secret of the World.” Set up in its original run and finally culminating in this past season’s Little Busters! ~Refrain~, this was a mystery that hung around for over two dozen episodes, occasionally disappearing and reappearing when we least expected it. It taunted us with red herrings and subtle hints, giving viewers the general feeling that something wasn’t quite right while holding the actual secret until the very end. And what a secret it was. No matter what you thought about the original series, the fact is that Refrain was a spectacular piece of storytelling, and its mystery elements were a big reason why. This was a mystery whose revelation sucker punched you when you least expected it, turned the entire series upside down, and was something whose emotional impact made it an easy winner for this category.

Honorable Mentions: Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Zetsuen no Tempest

 

Fantasy

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 and more on using magic and wonder to tell a story, it’s probably a fantasy tale you’re looking at.

Fantasy

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Considering that its previous iteration won last year, it’s only fitting that Monogatari Series: Second Season takes home the trophy this year as well, albeit barely. Zetsuen no Tempest gave the series a good run for its fantasy money, but in the end there are few things quite like Monogatari. Hailing back to its fantasy-themed foundations, oddities (and some other category-defying critters) were out in full force this time, and the witty banter was as good as ever. New characters came in to make things even more fun, which combined with an increased focus on a few older characters–I’m looking at you Kaiki–to make this yet another great addition to Shaft’s Monogatari adaptations. There’s not much else to say here. Monogatari’s a fabulously unique modern fantasy and Shaft was the one studio capable of bringing out the series’ full potential. They did, and we got this year’s best fantasy as a result.

Honorable Mentions: Zetsuen no Tempest, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Outbreak Company, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi

 

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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Comedy is one of the most subjective forms of art, so in this your mileage may vary, but to me no show was as consistently and uproariously funny as Outbreak Company. In truth it wasn’t just a comedy, with poignant moments, dramatic face offs, and a deep plot that didn’t have enough time to fully come to the fore. When it came to comedy though, it truly shined like no other. It did parody, and it did parody right, showing a great deal of self-awareness for the medium it was so lovingly ribbing. Its timing was superb, with a deft use of silence and of not explaining the joke adding to the hilarity. It was even lovingly self-deprecating, poking fun at its seiyuu and its own staff in search of another laugh. But above all else Outbreak Company was the show that most frequently had me laughing out loud, and for a comedy there is no better compliment than that.

Honorable Mentions: Hataraku Maou-sama!, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. Z, Noucome

 

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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This was quite the crowded category, but one sequel shined above the rest for imbuing extra depth into the harem concept. A dense male protagonist is nothing new, but how often is it justified? In Kodaka we got exactly that, and Haganai’s second season was where this became clear. It’s not that he didn’t know, it’s that he didn’t want to know, and the questions this raises – not to mention the warped view of friendship he and the other Rinjin-bu share – made for a surprisingly deep ride. On top of that Haganai continued to be laugh out loud funny, all the girls were still interesting and cute, and it left us on a cliffhanger that leaves me yearning for a Season 3 even now. A large crop of heavily abbreviated light novel adaptations make up our honorable mentions, with all of them sporting fairly strong male leads, plenty of interesting girls, and at least a laugh or five every episode.

Honorable Mentions: OreShura, OreGairu, HenNeko, Noucome

 

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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GJ-bu is pure, unabashed slice-of-life, and it does it well. It had a nice laid-back atmosphere, and the skits each episode offered up were almost always good for a laugh or a smile, but to me it was the characters that really sold it. Feisty club president Mao, her domestic little sister Megumi, cool chess prodigy Shion, and the mysteriously animal-like Kirara were all delightful to watch in their own ways, and they were helped by leading man Kyoro, whose Ore Man bits never ceased to make me smile. What I really liked was how they kept adding in characters and elements, adding new GJ-bu members (Tama-chan), introducing new jokes (Kyoro’s hair brushing skills, Mori-san’s twirls, the imoutos), and generally striving to keep things fresh by never resting on their laurels. Capping the series off a surprisingly touching graduation ceremony, GJ-bu does everything right and takes home the gold. But I still encourage you to take a look at all of our honorable mentions, because each one was good enough to win the award in most other years.

Honorable Mentions: Yuyushiki, Gingitsune, Love Lab, Servant x Service

 

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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If you eat nothing but cake, you’ll get sick of cake; that’s how I feel about fanservice. As a flavoring it can be exemplary, and you can even have a big old piece once in a while and enjoy it mightily, but when fanservice takes over the show it’s all the worse for it. YuShibu was not that show. It had plenty of fanservice, and it was enjoyable – Asread spared no expense in animating this series, and it shows in every scene. What made it great was that there was always something else going on. It had a plot, it had comedy, it had likable characters, and all of these served to make the fanservice even more enjoyable. Free! nearly grabbed this award thanks to its thoroughly justified fanservice – why come up with contrived reasons for your characters to be half-naked when they need to be half-naked as a matter of course? – and High School DxD and the rest clocked in with the usual plentiful fanservice, but for my money YuShibu does it best by using fanservice to enhance the experience rather than trying to make it carry the whole thing.

Honorable Mentions: Free!, High School DxD NEW, Senran Kagura, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride

 

Category Defying

Also known as the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Memorial Award, this is the category for those shows that deserve to be on this list, even if we don’t have a clue where they should go. Many series cross into multiple genres, which is why you see shows being featured in multiple categories in this section. These series defy genre. They twist and squirm, evading our attempts to label them and are just themselves, as well as good. This is the category for shows that deserve recognition, even if we aren’t rightly sure what they were.

Category Defying

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Kyousougiga was one hell of a ride. Stylish, confusing, and heartfelt, I can’t say I always knew what was going on, but I enjoyed the entire crazy experience. When I watched the original OVA I thought it was a ridiculous action series, and it had that, but additional time revealed a story with more depth. This was a tale of family, a family made of humans, demons, and gods, with the fate of all thirteen worlds hanging in the balance of their explosive reunion. It had style, it had panache, and at the very end it made me want to give my own family a hug. Kyousougiga shows what a family ought to be, even if the very laws of time and space stand in the way. It defies categorization, but it’s everything anime should aspire to be, and it warmed my heart to the very end.

 


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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While there are many anime that are fun to watch, rarer are those that make you learn, and even rarer still are those that approach their topic with the honesty and authenticity of someone who has stood in the character’s shoes. Arakawa Hiromu’s Gin no Saji is one such story. Coming from an author who lived the agricultural life, it approaches the idea of raising animals for meat with neither judgement nor moralizing, instead merely offering up the question and letting us decide how we feel about it along with the characters. It doesn’t take the easy way out, it doesn’t claim to have the answers, and instead focuses on asking the right questions. Gin no Saji will make you consider facets of morality you may never have considered before, and it also has a well-paced plot, likable and commendable characters, and a deeply unsure protagonist who nevertheless keeps struggling against his past and in search of the man he wants to be. Honorable mentions go to Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, whose uncommon atmosphere belies powerful characters and a riveting plot, Blood Lad for being a solid story all the way through, and Uchouten Kazoku for being one of the most deftly told stories all year.

Honorable Mentions: Blood Lad, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Uchouten Kazoku

 

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 precedent 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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With a great apocalyptic backdrop and a superb animation from GoHands at the ready, Coppelion was a series many had high expectations for. When done right, such premises yield some of the best stories and characters, and this was a series that could have been one of the better entries of the year. Sadly, it ended up as one of the worst. With terribly executed developments, forced drama, forgettable characters, and a laundry list of moments that required immense suspension of disbelief, the only constants Coppelion had were animation quality and its propensity to disappoint. Characters would cry for no reason (or didn’t evoke any emotional response when they did), complex topics ended up being shallow and uninteresting, and glaring inconsistencies plagued the show throughout. It takes a lot to get me riled up about a show, and Coppelion managed to do just that. It’s a good thing I dropped coverage of the series early, because it just got worse from there. Interestingly enough, this was just one of three fall series mentioned in this category.

Honorable Mentions: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (particularly the ending), Kyoukai no Kanata (& KyoAni this year in general), Infinite Stratos 2

 

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. Our picks here don’t necessarily mean they’re blockbuster hits in disguise, but that the disparity between expectations and the actual series goes in the favorable direction.

Exceeded

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One shouldn’t judge a show by its art style, but most of us do. When I heard about Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ I was trying to cut back on how many shows I was watching, so I said “CG? Not even going to bother.” I’m glad I did. After Zephyr and others vouched for how good it was I checked it out, and wow, what a ride! Epic naval battles with tons of explosions and tactical brawls that made every week exciting were the rule, but they still took time to explore what it means to be human and put plenty of characterization into allies and antagonists alike. And that CG I was so worried about? Sometimes it’s hard to remember how far CGI has come, because after half of the first episode I was comfortable with it, and I’ve come to enjoy how vivid and active CGI can allow the characters to be. Our four honorable mentions are excellent as well, so I encourage you to check them out. They’re far better than you probably expected.

Honorable Mentions: Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu, YuuShibu, Outbreak Company, Zetsuen no Tempest

 


And Finally…


Best Anime 2013

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 2013, 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 you can find a list of our best picks below. For your reference, we also compiled a list of shows watched by each writer this past year.

Stilts Best Anime

Stilts: The most important elements in an anime to me are emotion and execution, and each of my selections reflect this. Hataraku Maou-sama! and Outbreak Company are some of the most well-executed anime I’ve ever seen in a while, with every move they made advancing their plots, developing their characters, and giving me a damn good time every week. Sakurasou makes my list for emotion, because while it was certainly flawed, the passionate striving of would-be artists positively sings to a would-be author like me. Little Busters! ~Refrain~ earns a mention for emotion as well, because any show that can make me cry for two straight episodes is something I’ll remember for a long time to come, whereas Shingeki no Kyojin is featured for an evocative world and some extremely chilling moments, though pacing and character problems kept it from the top spot. In the end though, it’s the show that brought both execution and emotion that gets the gold. No other show this year melded nearly flawless execution with powerful emotions that drew me in and socked me in the gut, leaving me crying in sadness and elation. Uchouten Kazoku is, simply put, a superbly well-told story from start to finish, and that’s why it’s my top anime of 2013.

Honorable Mentions: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Shingeki no Kyojin, Little Busters! ~Refrain~, Outbreak Company

Zephyrs Best Anime

Zephyr: Masterpieces come once in a blue moon. If you’re lucky you’ll get a handful in a given year. If not, you’ll only get one. In 2013, there were a lot of good series, but few reached the top-tiers of “great” and “masterpiece.” In fact, only one reached the latter this year, and that was Shin Sekai Yori. With an award-winning source material, Shin Sekai Yori was a series that came in with high expectations and still managed to exceed them. It was just that good, mixing ambition and a bit of controversy to form a captivating story that showcased the potential of anime as a storytelling medium. Powered by plot twists that often left viewers in shock and a great cast of characters that made you fear for their lives, this was a great example of superb content meeting perfect execution. To top things off, it did all of this with a limited budget–that’s how risky its ideas were–making Shin Sekai Yori a series that really beat the odds in terms of being animated in the first place. It’s just a pity it didn’t have any commercial success, because this was exactly the kind of series anime needs more of.

Honorable Mentions: Little Busters! ~Refrain~, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Shingeki no Kyojin, Zetsuen no Tempest

Takaii: GJ-bu, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~, OreShura, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Little Busters! ~Refrain~
Guardian Enzo: Hunter X Hunter, Shin Sekai Yori, Kyousougiga, Ginga e Kickoff, Watamote
Asobi: Shin Sekai Yori, Kyousougiga, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Uchouten Kazoku, Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru.

 

Best OVA/Movie 2013

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.

Stilts Best Movie

Stilts: Mournful and yet uplifting, optimistic and yet sad, Kotonoha no Niwa mixes emotions aplenty among the remarkable visuals it paints on the screen. It’s not a big story – in fact, it’s quite a simple one – but it’s told with the expertly minimalist skill that’s a hallmark of Shinkai Makoto. In no time at all I felt for the characters, it transported me entirely into their world and sunk me into their problems, and the visuals…oh my, the visuals! Never have I seen such a beautiful garden, such sparkling leaves, such wondrous rippling water; it’s as our own Guardian Enzo said, “more real than real”. I didn’t watch a lot of movies or OVAs this past year, so perhaps there was one that could have beaten this one out, but I think it would have been hard pressed to make the cut. To me, Kotonoha no Niwa set the bar very high.

Honorable Mentions: Little Witch Academia

Zephyrs Best Movie

Zephyr: When you have film legends in Hosoda Mamoru and Shinkai Makoto both releasing films in the same year, you know it’s going to be a good year for this category. And it was. Powered by masterpieces of storytelling and stunning animation that redefined the term “scenery porn,” this was arguably the best year for movies/OVAs in recent memory. Among all these elites though, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki takes the cake easily as my pick. A two-hour masterpiece, this was Hosoda at his best. It may not have had the kind of animation Kotonoha no Niwa had, but it did have a story unlike any other. When it comes to anime the concept of parenthood is something that’s rarely touched on, and anime parents are frequently missing altogether. Not in this film. Hosoda intentionally centers Ookami’s story on the challenges parents face (especially single parents) while raising their kids, and it’s a masterstroke of storytelling that pulls on the emotional heartstrings. This was a story that gave you the best mother ever to grace the big screen and a tale of maturation, overcoming challenges, and the realization of one’s identity. Overflowing with layers of subtlety, there were just few films that were done better, and it’s no wonder Hosoda has the reputation he does.

Honorable Mentions: Kotonoha no Niwa, Steins;Gate – Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu, Nekomonogatari (Kuro), Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home, Little Witch Academia

Takaii: Steins;Gate – Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu, Death Billiards, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! OVA
Guardian Enzo: Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, Kaguyahime no Monogatari, Kotonoha no Niwa, Aura: Maryuuinkouga Saigo no Tatakai
Asobi: Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, Kotonoha no Niwa, Steins;Gate – Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu

 

Reader’s Choice – Favorite Anime 2013

Your choice for 2013. 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 Best Anime

The Top 5:
Shingeki no Kyojin – 3,010 (9.85%)
PSYCHO-PASS – 1,760 (5.76%)
Shin Sekai Yori – 1,414 (4.63%)
Monogatari Series: Second Season – 1,313 (4.30%)
Hataraku Maou-sama! – 1,240 (4.06%)
Total Number of Votes – 30,563
Here are the full results.

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Shingeki no Kyojin taking the top spot is no surprise, and I for one am pleased to see it there. Though not a perfect adaptation, the world of Shingeki is an evocative one, and its story was powerful. From the bone-crunching fear of the giggling, sickeningly moe Titans, to the unshakable resolve of Eren and the boundless skill of Mikasa and Levi, this is one of the shows I’ve been suggesting to my casual anime-watching friends, and they took to it nicely. Originals had a strong showing with PSYCHO-PASS, Valvrave, and Gargantia all making the Top 10, while nearly all of the other top-ranked adaptations made an appearance in my or Zephyr’s lists, with the others just barely missing the cut. I don’t know about you, but to me that says that RandomC readers must have really good taste!

 

Reader’s Choice – Favorite OVA/Movie 2013

Your OVA/Movie choice of 2013. 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 Best Movie

The Top 5:
Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu – 1,213 (6.65%)
Evangelion 3.0 – 989 (5.42%)
Nekomonogatari (Kuro) OVA – 778 (4.27%)
Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 2 OVA – 682 (3.74%)
Gundam Unicorn Episode 6 – 655 (3.59%)
Total Number of Votes – 18,235
Here are the full results.

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Finally, we have the reader’s choice for best OVA/Movie in Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu. Considering how beloved the original series was on RC, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Following closely behind was the Evangelion 3.0 movie, which was followed by the Nekomonogatari (Kuro) OVA, Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 2 OVA, and the most recent episode of Gundam Unicorn. In general, the polls ended up about as expected, even though I was surprised that the Shinkai and Hosoda movies didn’t rank higher than they did. There was definitely more of a split on the votes here than in other years, with Steins;Gate garnering only 6.65% of the votes (no previous winner had under 7.87%). But even this ends up as expected considering the strength of the OVA/movie scene this year.



 

Now that 2013 is officially over and the awards are dolled out, I find myself looking back on the year with fondness. There were a lot of good shows in 2013 which I enjoyed a great deal, both to blog and to watch, but I say this with some caveats. I’m reminded of a few days ago when some of us writers got together to talk about the past year of anime, and about a question Enzo ended up posing. “What do you think this past year was lacking, execution or ambition?” he asked. To this I immediately replied “ambition”, and if there was anything I would change about this year, it was that.

This year there were a lot of extremely well-executed shows, shows that were animated, directed, acted, and told so well that you would swear they were made for the TV screen, even when they were adapted from something else. Yet we didn’t have as many standout series as we have in the past, and that’s something to pay attention to. For those who were willing to give many series the benefit of the doubt 2013 was undoubtedly an enjoyable year of anime, but for those who dabble in fewer series it may have felt lacking. I don’t know, I’m just guessing there. I watch a lot of anime.

Yet I remain optimistic for the future, because when you are producing anime as good as we saw this year, it’s only a small leap to go from making the same old thing to making true art, as some of the top series of 2013 did. I hope you’ll join me and the rest of Random Curiosity for another year of anime in 2014, as we find out whether it can best the year prior and bring us more series that positively shine. Get excited!

January 4, 2014 at 12:25 am
317 comments »
  • January 4, 2014 at 10:54 amYanDaMan

    I completely disagree with Yuushibu’s fanservice enhancing the story/experience. It honestly did nothing of the sort and felt out of place and unecessary. The ONLY part the fanservie seemed relevant was the swimsuit part during the summer heat and using it to draw people in to sell things. If anything Highschool DxD takes my pick for that category. YuuShibu’s fanservice was distracting. DxD’s was welcomed.

    • January 4, 2014 at 11:59 amSDFGS

      but we didn’t really see anything new when it came to fanservice with DxD (with the exception of the OVAs) this season. It basically showed us what they did with the last season, if anything, even less effort put into fanservice due to the second season being more plot orientated. Hell, they just flashed boobs in our face for a few seconds an ep and thought it was good enough, Yu-Sibu provided diverse fanservice situations.

      • January 4, 2014 at 12:01 pmSDFGS

        plus I wouldn’t say Free! was a disappointment, it was just for acquired tastes.

    • January 5, 2014 at 7:13 pmxRichard

      YuShibuu not only was a terrible show, it also had very sparce fanservice scenes.

      DxD is by far the better pick. Which not only is hot as hell, it also had very good emotional moments.

  • January 4, 2014 at 11:05 amDvalinn

    This is probably one of the best coverages of the year I’ve seen, and I agree with a lot of the picks. My top show of the year, Watamote, only got honorable mentions (and why no Izumi Kitta among seiyuu!), but eh, at least Uchouten Kazoku, AoT, HataMaou and Monogatari did get top picks, and those were the others in my top five. While I agree this was a year of execution, not ambition, it is my opinion that both work equally well. While it’s nice on paper to have series that reinvent the wheel and stand out above all else, that brings major risks too, and too much ambition can cause those shows to crash more often than not. So building on the fundaments laid out by other shows to craft something masterfully executed is a perfectly valid tactic – hell, our species has grown to what we are because of it. And it worked, for me anyway, as I thought this anime-year was better than last year because of it. I have seen the sentiment pop up amongst people who watch fewer shows that they were dissapointed with this year’s anime, because there were less standout shows, but sorry to say it, it kind of feels like a lack of trying to me. If you’re getting serious about any medium it would do you well to dig into it and find the hidden gems hidden amongst the generic yourself, rather than letting others do it for you. Or maybe that’s just me. I always like it when a show I didn’t expect anything of ends up becoming one of my favourites in the season (see Mondaji, HataMaou, Uchouten Kazoku and Outbreak Company this year).

    Now for the obligatory moaning about some picks – was Coppelion really that deserving? It wasn’t a good show, mind you, but worst of the year? Hell, where is Robotics;Notes in that list? At least the other bad shows (like KnK) didn’t make me waste half a year waiting for jack squat. And while I liked SSY, and I can agree on it being one of the best stories this year, one of the show’s biggest flaws was that I always though the characters were kind of weak in comparison to the world. Nothing about Saki stood out to me, certainly not compared to the other picks. And no Saika from Oregairu amongst the traps?! Shame on you! This blog is RUINED FOREVER!

    Ah well, opinions. But Arpeggio turned out actually pretty good, huh? Hmm, might as well give that show a chance. Didn’t see anything interesting in the first ep I watched, but I’ve been wrong before – I wrote off Garupan on its boring first episode too, and that was actually a nice surprise when I watched it earlier this year.

    Welp, onwards to 2014! With stuff like the Mouretsu Pirates movie, a second season of Mushishi, Gatchaman Crowds, Prisma Illya and who knows that else, and…a…second season…of SAO. Well, they can’t all be winners.

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:54 pmNoSicko

      I agree that Saika from Yahari should have been in the Traps list, but…

      substituting Coppelion with Robotics;Notes. That’s low.

  • January 4, 2014 at 11:44 amEH2

    I haven’t disagreed more with an award post before. I do admit that Garden of Words and Wolf Children are the highest quality of the year, I do admit Gargantia’s animation was top-notch and consistent to boot.

    But everything else… nope.

    And for the love of god, did people forget Full Metal Alchemist was good or something? Why is Silver Spoon “underappreciated”? It’s one of the few shows that deserves excellent marks this YEAR, the saving grace of noitaminA, and no one bothers watching it? It qualifies more as true slice-of-life than any of the shows listed on the “Best SOL” category (and it deserved WINNING IT, too)!

  • January 4, 2014 at 11:58 amVex

    Attack On Titan wasnt best this year?!? THE SHIT STORM IS COMING.

    • January 4, 2014 at 12:11 pmEH2

      Well it won reader’s choice, so at least there’s something. We could just say it’s a “Rotten Tomatoes effect” and calm the angry mobs with that.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:09 pmRukia

    Season two of SNK is going to be terrible. Read the manga lately? It has gone in the toilet.

    • January 4, 2014 at 12:11 pmEH2

      It seems SOMEONE didn’t like the plot twists.

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:55 amAnanas

      If they keep Araki at the helm it’s bound to get worse no matter what.

    • January 24, 2014 at 11:52 pmameko

      just don’t watch it and don’t recommend it to anyone. hope it gets a lot less viewers so viewer’s choice can be less influenced by amount of watchers.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:12 pmbriex

    My Best Tv Series : Railgun S (#11 in the poll)
    My Best Movie : Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (#17 in the poll)

    Oh well, I guess not many people have the same taste as mine. But that’s fine. Like you said Stilts, Best is Subjective.

    Lol at Minami-ke Tadaima being below Aku no Hana in the poll.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:16 pmShinshin

    Well, I agree with some picks, some aren’t right for me, but everyone has their own opinion, so just some little complaints and stuff:

    1) I am pretty surprised that Gin no Gaji got “most underappreciated” pick, since I was sure it’s quite popular series and one of the best this year, proven with 13th place on reader’s choice.
    2) For biggest disappointment sure ending of Oreimo gets 1st place and I am really sad for KyoAni, this wasn’t their year, hoping they will bring something better in 2014 (although I enjoyed Kyoukai no Kanata, ending was horrible, but other episodes were really fine).
    3) I don’t understand phenomenon of Hataraku Maou-sama, I really think it was decent show, especially shocking is 4th place on reader’s choice…

    For Best Anime, my TOP 5, I would go similar to reader’s choice, but:
    1) Monogatari Series
    2) Shinsekai Yori
    3) Psycho Pass
    4) Shingeki no Kyojin
    5) Zetsuen no Tempest

    Definitely better year for anime than 2012.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:19 pmThe Shizard

    For me 2013 was a year of low expectations shattered by great execution. Few shows made me really excited at first but so glad I watched them afterwards (ARS nova, Mao sama! Gin no saji, uchouten, Yahari Ore no Seishun, suisei no gargantia).

    And it marks the birth of the huge Shingeki fanbase…so much cosplay!
    But it’s to be expected with the first show in a while which has that awesomeness factor like Naruto, Bleach and SAO. And I for one am thankful for these shows because I notice it’s these kinds of shows that pull people into anime, like Naruto made me watch anime eight years ago. Let’s hope 2014 is another awesome anime year! YAHARRR!

    • January 4, 2014 at 7:51 pmMgMaster

      For me 2013 was a year of low expectations shattered by great execution. Few shows made me really excited at first but so glad I watched them afterwards

      It was the same for me. Literaly every season of the year barely had anything that I was really looking forward to by just checking a seasonal chart or PVs. Heck,3 of my top 5 shows(White Album 2,Hataraku! Maou-Sama and OreGaIru) were ones I had medium expectations at best for. I see it as a very good thing as it made me want to try out even more shows from now on.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:21 pmflap

    Sorry, but Miss Monochrome wins best ED hands down.

  • January 4, 2014 at 12:34 pmdxb_blackwolf

    I know you’re getting a lot of shit from old timers that think they remember the “glory days” of randomC. I just wanted to say that randomc is better than it ever was. A lot of shows covered with better writing. Ignore the hipsters and good luck with what you’re doing. Lists like these can’t please everyone. I personally really disagreed with your 2012 list, but I can’t see how you can please people better than with a list like this. Good job.

    • January 4, 2014 at 11:26 pmtheirs

      Every writer has their own style. Started reading this blog during OMNI’s Macross reviews. Had mixed feelings when Divine took over, but got used to his style. Other writers arrived with their own personal style of writing. It’s normal to prefer one over the other. The one thing that didn’t change is the fact that this is still quite an insightful blog.

      Hopefully they didn’t make that list to please everyone, but is really how they feel about those shows. That way, it’s easier to see if we missed something good or to agree to disagree. Personally speaking, they’re quite good at introducing me to something I might have missed. Though the first show they managed to get me to avoid was COPPELLION. Watched an episode on TV and ended up agreeing with Zephyr.

    • January 5, 2014 at 3:13 amflCer

      I started reading randomC back in high school when Omni first created this. Nearly 9 years after, reading back reminds me of the good old days, but I can confidently say the level of blogging has undoubtedly changed for the better.

      Blogging was a relatively new concept back in the old days, the quality and style has improved!

  • January 4, 2014 at 1:07 pmPinion

    Battleships won the war for me :3

  • January 4, 2014 at 1:10 pmYou know, for kids!

    I agree that comedy is the most subjective category. I liked the well executed comedy of Hataraku Maou-sama than the anime culture-referenced comedy of Outbreak. Also, all the entries for romantic comedy are light novels.

    Servant x Service wasn’t as good as Working, but I was fairly entertained with it. Some people are hating on Momoi for being fantastical in a slice of life setting, but I thought he was funny, his appearance aside.

    Gin no Saji was one of my favorites of the year. The storytelling isn’t that convoluted, and the characters aren’t too wishy-washy. Surprised it’s this underappreciated. Speaking of underappreciated, Kotonoha no Niwa ranked only 10th by readers.

    Not going to comment much about the disappointments, except I agree with OreImo. Also surprised you didn’t include Valvrave.

    I agree mostly with the Readers’ Choice for my favorites this year. My favorites would be Shingeki no Kyojin, Hataraku Maou-sama, Gin no Saji, Monogatari Series, Chihayafuru, Free, Zetsuen no Tempest, Suisei no Gargantia, Servant x Service, and Minami-ke.

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:33 pmYou know, for kids!

      Also, I’m disappointed that Hataraku Maou-sama and Zetsuen no Tempest didn’t win any categories despite being on honorable mentions.

  • January 4, 2014 at 1:37 pmJacked

    I’m really surprised Yahari blah blah blah didn’t win anything.

    But all the same, I’m fine with Haganai and GJ-bu being up there. Other than a lack of mecha (that I care for, at any rate), 2013 was a damn good year for me.

  • January 4, 2014 at 2:58 pmplushkin

    I’m sooo glad Eva didn’t win. Eva defenders keep saying stupid stuff like “it fits completely with the original series”, but my response has always been that in the context of the movies alone, you get such a huge tonal shift from the first 2 movies, you’d almost think you can sue anno for emotional whiplash.

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:08 pmautism202

    This list is fucking retarded

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:59 amAnanas

      Nowhere near the level of last year in that department.

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:08 pmNoZaku

    Seriously? Best trap? Just because you like anime doesn’t mean you have to act like a hardcore otaku.

  • January 4, 2014 at 3:37 pmzztop

    No mention of Valvrave’s 2 OPs, Preserved Roses and Kakumei Dualism?
    They were both anime and mainstream hits in Japan, and got a highly prized spot on Kohaku Uta Gassen!(together with Titan’s OP)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-keuURdCB-0

  • January 4, 2014 at 4:26 pmvane

    I agree with some choices… Shinsekai Yori, in my opinion too, was the best anime of 2013, a underrated anime. I like Shingeki no Kyojin but Shinsekai surpassed SnK.

    I think Shingeki no Kyojin was a great adaptation, the lately adaptations to anime has been disappointing for me, but I really enjoyed the adaptation of the Shingeki Kyojin.

    • January 4, 2014 at 6:28 pmWinnie

      I agree with you.

      ShinSekai Yori deserved its spot. It is the definition of a masterpiece.

      My top 3 2013 animes are:
      1. ShinSekai Yori
      2. Shingeki No Kyoujin
      3. Psycho-pass

      I hoped Shinsekai Yori would be 2nd in reader’s choice but it was too underrated. ;[ Oh well I hope people watch it now because you won’t regret it. You late-watchers are also very lucky because I had to wait patiently for each episode to come out. I also remember waiting and reloading the page just for the last episode and the wait paid off because the last episode blew my mind. It was that amazing!! Plus I’m very picky when it comes to anime.

      • January 29, 2014 at 1:27 pmSenri

        Frankly, I thought Shinsekai was boring. I watched it all, and throughout the entire series I couldn’t shake the feeling they were simply trying too hard to be deep.

  • January 4, 2014 at 4:37 pmZhinvu

    Great picks, team. 100% agreed with White Album 2 and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure getting recognized in their respective genres. I’m a little surprised with Gin no Saji being the Most Underappreciated because, on the contrary, I thought it was popular.

    On Best Comedy, my pick would be Love Lab and Noukome.

    On Best Opening, I definitely agree on Guren no Yumiya. My other picks for it would be White Album 2′s Todokanai Koi, and Monogatari Second Season’s Mousou Express (Nadeko) and Kogarashi Sentiment (Kaiki)

    On your Best Character category, I was thinking maybe there could been a best male and best female instead of just 1 main choice. Why? I guess because it would be interesting to hear what you’d have to say on why this specific guy and girl stood above the rest. With so many shows, I would agree it would be very hard to to choose just 1 favorite character, so might as well make it 2. If I had to choose:

    Best Male:
    - Kanda Sorata (Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo) – I’m tempted to put Kaiki Deishuu but decided on Kanda becauseShow Spoiler ▼

    Still though, I thought Kaiki was a great male character because of his personality.

    Best Female:
    - Maki Natsuo (Love Lab) – This was a tough choice with so many female leads, but Maki-san stood out for me because of her eccentricities. Timid ojou-sama types who are clueless about romance aren’t new, but Maki takes it to ridiculous levels with her insane logic on how to hook up with a guy. One of the reasons I’m tuned in to Love Lab is to see what crazy stunt is she going to pull next.

    As for special mentions, Shinichi Kano (Outbreak Company) for male, and Renge (Non Non Biyori) and Fino Bloodstone(Yuushibu) for female.

    Also maybe a Best Couple would be nice. If I had to choose, it would be:
    Ryuunosuke/Rita (Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo),
    Chihaya/Ichimiya and Hasebe/Lucy (Servant x Service)
    Kazusa/Haruki (White Album 2)

  • January 4, 2014 at 4:40 pmYou know, for kids!

    Interesting to see the past few years’ results. Shingeki no Kyojin got the most percentage of votes (9.85%) since Bakemonogatari (11.40%) in 2009, more than FMA: Brotherhood (9.17%) in 2010, Steins;Gate (9.47%) in 2011, and Fate/Zero (9.69%) in 2012. Yet the second place Psycho-Pass got the least percentage (5.76%), compared to Clannad After Story (8.03%) in 2009, Angel Beats (8.35%) in 2010, Madoka (8.09%) in 2011, and SAO (8.32%) in 2012. Of course, this isn’t a scientific survey, but it seems there isn’t a definitive runner-up this time.

    • January 5, 2014 at 7:56 amZephyr

      Not particularly surprisingly. Shingeki was just hands down one of the most popular shows in a long time. Cultural phenomenon and everything.

    • January 5, 2014 at 3:56 pmSakana-chan

      Like Zephyr said…when the pv appeared 80% of anime fans wanted to see it(most of them because of the impression at first sight or because they already read the manga)
      but in cases like PYSCHO-PASS were most of the genres were exposed such as sci-fi, crime, or psychological many avoided those things…its like when u see an original animation everybody goes nuts but when u see an original plot some avoid these things…

      ON SHORT ive noticed that every year there is an anime which blows everybodys minds..like a icon for each year, when u think of that year may say ‘ahh…year of FMA’
      2010 FMA
      2011 Steins;Gate
      2012 SwordArtOnline
      2013 Shingeki no Kyojin
      2014 :) ????

      • January 6, 2014 at 5:07 pmboingman

        2012 not surprisingly SOA did NOT make first place, considering how many ppl hate that show due to the male main chara. In contrast Fate Zero, best of 2012, was loved by everybody.

  • January 4, 2014 at 4:54 pmKira

    I am most disappoint that JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken and fairy tail did not do so well. Look at anidb.net and than you will finde ther real best animes of 2013:)

  • January 4, 2014 at 5:00 pmAggron

    For sequence I would of probably added Mushibugyou OP 1 and for song my favorite of the season was Free! ED :3

    I wouldn’t consider Muromi a short and I would also add Inferno Cop plus Cyclops Shoujo Saipu ;)and put Super Seisyun Brothers at the top (possibly).

    I’m glad to see Ars Nova up there it was the Girls und Panzer of the year, both were fall too :P

    I missed Shinsekai Yori, I’m definitely going to have to check it out now.

    I look forward to joining you guys this year Stilts :D

  • January 4, 2014 at 5:02 pmRie Sano

    I love “Days of Dash” from Sakurasou, but that ED was so last year, imo. I was like expecting KnK’s “Daisy” to be on the best ED category or Red Data Girl’s “Yokan”. But anyway’s, to each their own. I’m glad SSY got the best anime and best story for 2013 because it’s also my personal choice.

  • January 4, 2014 at 5:38 pmKirafirefly

    I think the deaths that impacted me the most this year were:

    Majestic Prince: The Deaths of Randy and Patrick. Sure we knew Patrick was going to die because of the big death flag he threw up, but still the way he went, was just, shocking. I had to rewind that scene and watch. The same with Randy’s scene. He made sure he went out in a cool way.

    Kakumeiki Valvrave: While I do agree with the deaths of Inuzuka and Yamada, I think there were a couple of other deaths that impacted me. First, the death of Aina. That was just…I actually cried. Then the death of all the students. I was just like…wow…I was speechless.

    There were a couple of others this year that also caught my attention, but those were my top ones.

    All in all, good list though :D

  • January 4, 2014 at 5:50 pmCaptain Pancakes

    I’m a bit surprised AoT didn’t get an honorable mention. I didn’t watch many of the honorable mentions TBH since I came into this season rather late but I thought the scenes where they were frickin’ flying on trees were amazing. Of course I know it’s not the best in animation. Maybe I should watch some of the others on the list…

    And you know it was a shitty year for horror/thriller when Danganronpa made it as a honorable mention.

  • January 4, 2014 at 6:17 pmHimJL

    I’d just like to take a moment to sincerely thank you, RC writers, for putting so much work into writing this review of 2013 anime post, and for your regular coverage of anime, I know how much work you guys must have put into it and I love being able to read what other people think about anime! It is so awesome to be able to discuss anime with all of you guys (RC writers and readers)!

    And just a side note everyone, of course the writers are going to be a little biased, they are human after all and we all have different tastes and opinions.

    Thanks for being awesome everyone!

  • January 4, 2014 at 6:32 pmKaZuHiRo

    Everybody forgot Chamber’s “death” – for me that was the best death scene this year.

    • January 4, 2014 at 7:02 pmTre

      I don’t have a problem with the best death pick listed above, but Chamber’s final few lines were certainly among the best I’ve ever heard.

  • January 4, 2014 at 6:57 pmMiharu~

    As you stated, I’m trying to keep in mind that “best” is subjective.
    but I gotta say…
    How is that Arpeggio’s ending got a honorable mention and not its opening?? Savior of Song is pure awesomeness!!!
    glad to see shin sekai yori, shingeki and sakurasou in lots of categories I loved those anime.
    and to me 2013 was a good anime year, well at least better than 2012 :)

  • January 4, 2014 at 7:09 pmricz

    Glad to see kyousougiga, zetsuen no tempest, kamisama no inai, yahari even though some of em didn’t win(just honorable mention)

    Kinda sad that there’s no senki der.. especially yukine as a cute char. lol jk

    Overall it’s a good list

  • January 4, 2014 at 8:03 pmMgMaster

    Thanks for your work as usual,RC team. I’ll definitely say it’s a good list,even though it hardly matches my own.

    As for the reader’s choice: Looks like 2 out of my 5,Hataraku! Maou Sama and Psycho-Pass,made it there with Shin Sekai Yori and Monogatari Series: Second Season not being too far off either. I guess my tastes aren’t too different from the majority of RC’s readers,at least for this year.

  • January 4, 2014 at 8:09 pmlondon

    agreed with most of the choices. I would put Free instead of Gargantia as best animation though (that water animation man). or nominate it for best ED song.

  • January 4, 2014 at 11:53 pmYukiko

    this is not fair !

    • January 5, 2014 at 1:09 amFortis

      life have never been fair

  • January 5, 2014 at 3:41 amflCer

    Ah RandomC!

    I read the post slowly and anxiously, fingers crossed in hopes of seeing my favorite anime of this year win some category, and there it was! I’ll be picking up a few series mentioned in this post, particularly Uchouten Kazoku and Gin no Saji.

    Very happy you picked White Album 2 for best romance, I was also expecting it to win the most underappreciated category too.

    Go pick up WA2 now guys! and Cheers for another good year at RandomC

  • January 5, 2014 at 5:28 amHara

    Stilts, I am really glad you chose Uchouten Kazoku. It was a real masterpiece, really captivating and moving, and it seems that only a few people watched it. So thank you very much :)

  • January 5, 2014 at 5:35 amKingofConquerors

    I wouldn’t exactly call Hosoda Mamoru or Makoto Shinkai “film legends” IMO. Calling them with that term means putting them alongside some of the greatest directors in cinematic spectrum such as Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, or Akira Kurosawa and frankly they still have miles to go to even be able to gain a smidgen of general recognition those “true legends” have gathered and honestly i don’t think it possible….

    Even among the current movie makers i don’t think they hold up, David Fincher, Alfonso Cuaron, and the Coens all have churned out far better quality features and even comparing them ain’t funny -_-

    By standards of current anime they are a total godsend but they don’t go far higher than that right now. Not currently.

  • January 5, 2014 at 5:44 amnutshell

    the top vote result from raider choice best anime make me laugh
    and Non Biyori down there @_@

  • January 5, 2014 at 6:23 amShanHaxx

    I believe Kiniro Mosaic has been greatly underestimated, and nonchalantly dismissed upon noticing none of the writers even picked up this show to watch. For me, 2013 was lacking in the SoL department, with every show of the genre being mediocrely boring or a shallow attempt to repeat vastly cliché, formulaic story lines. Kiniro Mosaic fell under none of the aforementioned categories, taking a completely unique concept of ‘Japanese meets English’, and subsequently fashioning it into a series of ingenuous comedy shorts.

    Though the 100% female cast is not a novel idea, it was effective for Kiniro Mosaic’s purpose as a purebred Slice of Life show, which is to say there were no implications of any serious romance at all. Each character was amusing in their own special way, and despite the fact that the spotlight did shine on Alice and Shinobu, no character was left as the third wheel (something I find common in SoL shows).

    There was linguistic comedy subtly, and brazenly implemented within every episode, something only Otaku fluent in English, or Japanese people well versed in English culture would understand. So I admit this show isn’t for everyone, but most people who frequent RandomC are Otaku fluent in English, so would be the target audience of Kiniro Mosaic.

    All in all, while I admired the efforts of GJ-bu, Yuyushiki and Love Lab in regards to being SoL shows, I felt no hesitation in naming Kiniro Mosaic as my favourite Slice of Life show in 2013, though I will admit British bias on my behalf.

    • January 5, 2014 at 8:31 pmKaZuHiRo

      You just described K-On!, Yuyushiki, Girls und Panzer, Sora no Woto and Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru.

  • January 5, 2014 at 8:14 amjohn

    Azuki Azusa best girl.

    • January 5, 2014 at 11:08 amGiorno Giovanna

    • January 6, 2014 at 8:48 amjohn

      WHY NO BEST GIRL AWARD!?!?!

  • January 5, 2014 at 9:52 amKaioshin Sama

    Zephyr had the more agreeable picks than Stilts in pretty much every single instance. Can’t say anything Stilts picked would have even been a consideration for me in most cases either way whereas Zephyr was either dead on or picked something that at least didn’t make me go WTF.

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:31 pmYou know, for kids!

      I think someone liked Outbreak Company too much.

  • January 5, 2014 at 10:27 amSakana-chan

    NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD THEN THIS “BEST OF ANIME”

    ALL OF THE BEST ANIME OF THE YEAR MAY IT BE FROM Stilts or Zephyr COULDN’T BE BETTER
    FINALLY SOME TRUE ANIMES ARE AWARDED FOR THEIR TRUE EFFORT
    NOT BECAUSE EVERYONE WATCHED SNK so the best anime is SNK
    BE SATISFIED WITH THE WINNERS OF BEST ANIME FROM READERS CHOICE DEAR MATES….

  • January 5, 2014 at 12:02 pmPerlaNemesis

    Strangely enough this year my own list of favorites would be practically the same as this one. ^^

  • January 5, 2014 at 1:10 pmLucas

    Estou decpcionado com a escolhas desse ano, little Busters para mim foi o melhor drama sem duvidas, mas a segunda temporada não foi tão misteriosa, Dangaronpa teve mais misterios, acho que era melhor nesse quisito do que Little Busters, Serio que Watamote e Noucome nem chegaram perto de serem a melhor comedia, me desculpem Staff mas Eu quase não ri com Outbreak foi um otimo anime, mas teve comedias melhores.Ainda continuo achando que a melhor ending é de Kamisama no Inai Nichiubbi, E serio que Yahari …. nao teve direito a nada??? Essa ultima temporada teve também romances muito bom como Nagi no Asakura, Kyoukai no Kanata, quetambém teve uma excelente abertura, teve Kimi Machi no meio do Ano, que teve uma trilha sonora incrivel…Kill la Kill foi bom também, fiquei decepcionado como alguns animes otimos nem foram mencionados…E ainda acho que devia ter um melhor anime de esporte, Kuroko no Basket ganharia de longe…

    • January 5, 2014 at 3:40 pmSakana-chan

      aaaahhh…ENGLISH?

      the only things that i understood was Kuroku no Basket, Kyoukai no Kanata, Little Busters AND OTHERS…

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:00 pmYou know, for kids!

      This looks Portuguese.

    • January 5, 2014 at 4:22 pmGiorno Giovanna

      “I’m disappointed with the choices this year, little busters for me was without doubt the best drama, but the second season was not as mysterious, Dangaronpa had more mysteries, I think this was better than Quisito Little Busters, which Watamote and Noucome or came close to being the best comedy, Staff excuse me but I hardly laughed at Outbreak was a great anime, but had comedies melhores.Ainda still think the best ending is the Kamisama Inai Nichiyoubi, and that seriously …. Yahari was not entitled to anything?? This last season also had very good novels like Nagi in Asakura, Kyoukai no Kanata, quetambém had an excellent opening Kimi Ga Iru Machi had in the middle of the year, we had an amazing soundtrack … Kill it Kill was good too disappointed as some animes otimos not been mentioned … And I think you should have a better sports anime, Kuroko in Basket win by far …”

      I’m not going to do anything besides copypaste google translate, even I can understand everything without knowing the language! Thanks, translation tools!

  • January 5, 2014 at 1:48 pmLegion

    I’m mildly disappointed that Hataraku didn’t win in any category; but at least it got quite a few honorable mentions.

  • January 5, 2014 at 5:03 pmGamma

    Wow! Yozakrua Quartet walks home with nothing! No honorable mention, not even Most Disappointed?

    Well, maybe they’ll get lucky on the Worst of 2014 list?

  • January 5, 2014 at 6:05 pmend3rr

    I am so damn glad, how well Shin Sekai yori did, it’s definitely one of those shows that really deserved alot more attention than it did!

  • January 5, 2014 at 7:39 pmxRichard

    This list in general is good. But it would be perfect if it weren’t for Sakurasou appearing way more than OreGairu, and the lack of both JoJo and Kyosougiga in other categories.

    Best picks: Most Underappreciated. Perfect.

    Worst pikc: Best ED. Super lazy pick. I can name 20 better EDs from 2013 better than Sakuracrap. At least 10 of these are unquestionably better endings.

    In no particular order:

    1 JoJo ED (Rundabout)
    2 Shinsekai Yori ED1
    3 Free! ED
    4 Attack on Titan ED1
    5 GJ-bu Shion’s ED
    6 OreShura ED (sung by one of the main girls)
    7 Hanagai NEXT ED (great character art and clever metaphorical visuals)
    8 White Album 2 ED
    9 PSYCHO-PASS ED1
    10 Kyousougiga ED
    11 Monogatari SS Koimonogatari ED
    12 Valvrave ED1 Boku ja nai
    13 Valvrave ED2 Soba ni Iru yo
    14 Watamote ED
    15 Umbreakable Machine-Doll Maware Maware
    16 Tamako Market ED Mawaru mawaru
    17 Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi ED
    18 Aku no Hana ED dear lord!
    19 Kyokai no Kanata ED
    20 Cuticle Tantei Inaba ED enka ending for fucks sake!

    • January 6, 2014 at 12:06 pmStöt

      The SSY ED1 gives me goosebumps every time. whereas that Days of dash is just… bland. I looked at the honourable mentions, and all of them topped Sakurasou’s shitty ED.

  • January 6, 2014 at 12:17 amThe Story You Don’t Know

    After looking at all the shows that won awards it kind of saddens me that as the years passed by, I haven’t seen any anime on the same caliber as Steins;Gate. Please someone, anyone! Please make a high quality masterpiece again ;_;

    • January 6, 2014 at 2:54 amGiorno Giovanna

      You really didn’t think there were shows on par with Steins;Gate in the whole year?

      Mushishi Zoku-Sho (Second Season) is coming out next April and is critically acclaimed to be one of the best anime.

      Mahouka is an anime coming out next year as well featuring Ayase and Kyousuke incest teasing and magical science, maybe you could give that a try.

      Obviously I’d be recommending Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders above all those, but hopefully you start realising that there are always masterpieces if you look enough.

      • January 6, 2014 at 10:14 pmThe Story You Don’t Know

        Are you John Titor, the time traveler? Both Mushishi S2 and Mahouka haven’t even been aired and add the fact that I was talking about the past, yet you claim those 2 are on par with S;G already. No matter how good Mushishi S1 is, you can’t compare Mushishi S2 to a classic like Steins;Gate simply because it haven’t been released… unless you really are a time traveler who knows that Mushishi S2 will be a bigger hit.

        As for Mahouka, I’ve read the LN and I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere near the level of Steins;Gate in terms of plot, characters, and mindfucks. Log Horizon is a lot more interesting TBH.

        El Psy Congroo.

  • January 6, 2014 at 3:09 amlaaa

    I feel like valvrave were really should be added to Underappreciated covering was full and probably current bloggers are not much of action fantasy fans
    may be I just feel like divine and omni had much more similar tastes to mine and I feel like I have got nothing to do here anymore
    Hmm there are some shows I have missed and seems they are really worth checking out

    Happy new year

    • January 6, 2014 at 3:11 amlaaa

      lol I ve written so many mistakes there then I wanted to correct ment covering got really poor on 2nd season but still full and 5th word is not needed
      Ahh I wana edit option

  • January 6, 2014 at 4:15 amSingerOfW

    Whoah, a lot of clean hits this year. I’m so glad many shows that deserved more attention here at RandomC got it in spades here (Kyousougiga, JoJo, GJbu, White Album 2, Gin no Saji). I also can’t object to SSY and Uchouten Kazoku being the best titles of the year, especially when compared to the fan favorites like SnK or PP. Basically, my only regrets about this deal are Gatchaman not getting an honorable mention for the OST and Inferno Cop not getting it for the Best Short (but yeah, since you guys were going for the “Shorts are not always cheap and crappy” angle, mentioning it would be just wrong).

    On a related note, I missed a lot of shows I wanted to watch this year, and it feels good to know that I actually didn’t miss that much of the good stuff.

  • January 6, 2014 at 4:43 amPeTdo

    hataraku maou sama is the best comedy hand down, out break company is second to that 4 me . otaku joke is too obvious

  • January 6, 2014 at 9:20 amyps

    Wow there is no Watamote in ‘Opening & Ending Sequence’…. big suprise….

  • January 6, 2014 at 9:29 amMatroid

    I am glad to see my favorites Zetsuen (6th), Suisei (8th), PSYCHO-PASS (2nd), and Shinsekai (3rd) to win the top 10 spots. Even longer running series such as Fairy Tail (25th) and Jojo’s (18th) made into the top 25. I feel particular happy for PSYCHO-PASS because it is not easy for an original story to win high ranks, and even harder when it’s beaten only by an adaptation of an immensely popular manga. (To take nothing from Kyojin [1st], I do think it is a well-made anime.)

    I thought Coppelion (67th) was pretty good. The major premise was kind of flawed. (Why banged the hopes of the entire country on a handful of kids when the robot technology was so advanced?) Other than that, the gloomy drawing style was well executed and fitting for the story. However, the climax of the story was about delivering a baby. That gotta turn off a lot of young viewers, especially the males. I’m glad that Kotoura-san (126th) managed to get 7 votes given its short listing time during the voting period. It is probably one of the most underrated anime‘s this year. Finally, I thought the opening of Servant x Service (23rd) was one of the most creative this season. The “still pictures” kind of capture the stereotype of the work environment in a city hall. Yet the pictures were zoomed in and out in a rather playful manner that depict the comical nature of the story. I thought that was pretty clever.

    This year has been brightened up by another year of outstanding service from all the writers at Random Curiosity. Just want to say thank you!

  • January 6, 2014 at 9:55 amkabayongtao

    I think the ‘Popular Series’ menu above needs an item update.

  • January 6, 2014 at 11:40 amKaiserGrand

    i am really surprise non non biyori didn’t make it to slice of life, best slice of life in the years, gj bu will be second.

  • January 6, 2014 at 5:23 pmPearthefruit

    Best: Railgun S
    Favorite: SnK
    Most fun to watch: Valvrave
    Characters: Zetsuen no Tempest
    OVA: SG: Fuka Ryouiki no Deja Vu
    Story: Psycho Pass

  • January 6, 2014 at 5:35 pmboingman

    Glad to see that my two favorite anime (Shin Sekai Yori and Shingeki no Kyojin) made the top position in both the author’s as well as reader’s polls.
    Both were by no means perfect.

    Shingeki no Kyojin had its lengths, particularly the Battle of Trost District/boulder arc, but hot damn those 3D gear maneuvers and that epic soundtrack!

    Shin Sekai Yori had that one episode with a very weird art style that many, me included didn’t really appreciate, and Watanabe Saki made too many inexcusable mistakes for my taste, which is why I would have never voted for her in the best character poll but no other series constantly kept me on the edge of my seat.

    Suggestions:

    1) A “Best villain” poll, which would have gone to Shin Sekai Yori’s Squealer (masterfully voiced by Namikawa Daisuke). “We are humans!”
    2) Would be great if for future polls you could add some additional spoilers for the main text of the “Plot twist”/”death”-category, so that ppl have the chance to actually see what series you ware going to write about. If it’s a series I don’t know about, I’d rather not read it.

    Looking forward to what 2014 has to offer. Two titles certainly will be very popular, namely SAO season 2 and ufotable’s Fate Stay Night (remake/HF?), though both will probably be at least two cour and only end 2015, meaning that some other series might win anime of the year 2014. Maybe “Log Horizon”? :)

    Thanks for all the good work!

  • January 7, 2014 at 6:56 amNaughtyMassage

    Ahhh Chihayafuru 2 at 10 pretty happy with that, good work people.

  • January 7, 2014 at 8:40 amyps

    is there a chance for the readers to pick not only the best anime of the year but also Opening & Ending Sequence/ Action /Drama / Comedy /character/romance………….

  • January 7, 2014 at 12:08 pmZetatrain

    I though that that Kyousiggia would fall under Fantasy, but regardless i glad you guys viewd it. Personally Kyousiggia gets my vote as the most under appreciated anime of 2013. Such a great story and wonderful characters yet I hardly meet anyone who’s even heard the name.

    For me the show that defied all expectations was Majestic Prince. Really hope that series gets its second season.

  • January 7, 2014 at 1:10 pmTiDondake

    For the best slice of life (i have seen Yuyushiki, Gingitsune, Love Lab, Servant x Service), i think Non Non Biyori deserve a place ^^ (try at least 3-4 episodes).

  • January 8, 2014 at 3:49 amGmoney09

    Started Shinsekai Yori, on episode 5. Dont see the masterpiece everyone is talking about…kinda boring in my opinion.

  • January 8, 2014 at 4:08 pmEdgur

    I am happy that Shin Sekai Yori came up on the list .. more times than I expected here.
    & LOL the main character’s Seiyuus of SSY came out as both the male & female seiyuu of the year here.. (you guys forgot to mention Kaji Yuki’s role as Satoru)

  • January 9, 2014 at 1:48 pmLaughingMan

    I personally think of Monogatari S2 as this year’s best anime, but Shin Sekai Yori was great too so I am ok with this decision. Haven’t seen Uchouten Kazoku so I can’t say much about it.

  • January 10, 2014 at 1:59 amJackpot Slot Games

    The story is very nice. Action Romance Drama fantasy and comedy everything is nicely expressed. Very nice information.

  • January 10, 2014 at 9:28 amnagi

    Can’t believe that you’ve forgotten to include Saika (OreGaIru) on the traps list.

    Plus no mention of Chihayafuru anywhere, that makes me sad. :( Kana-chan is the best thing that happened to 2013. Maybe you could think about adding a ‘Best supporting character’ category next year?

    And already calling it, F/SN remake will win AOTY for 2014.

  • January 10, 2014 at 12:24 pmKevin

    Regarding White Album 2, do I have to watch White Album first to know the story ?

  • January 10, 2014 at 4:21 pmnemo

    Am I the only one who didn’t enjoy Shinsekai Yori very much? Sure the whole concept was interesting and the plot and characters were well written but the anime just wasn’t very appealing to me.

    Also I thought Watamote was a shoo-in for the Comedy section.

  • January 11, 2014 at 2:17 pmanthoni

    My TOP 5 Best Anime 2013

    1 Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
    2 Senran Kagura
    3 Hyperdimension Neptunia
    4 Highschool DxD New
    5 Blazblue Alter Memory!

    Im hope you like it!

  • January 14, 2014 at 11:07 pmbigo

    where is HATARAKU MAO-SAMA?

  • January 15, 2014 at 10:02 amAzumaryou

    Thanks for the lists and rankings, As always your insights on animes are most reliable. I always use them as reference to what animes i would watch. Although i watched most animes there and on the readers poll, I’m greatly disappointed in animes this year cause they are all bland and average. Although i can’t say for certain about kyojin and little busters cause i don’t plan on watching them ( I dropped kyojin manga before the anime and finished little busters vn before too).

  • January 21, 2014 at 6:41 pmfanz

    YESSS!!! UCHOUTEN KAZOKU I always thought that show deserved alot of recognition. Maou-sama was a good pick, and Sakurasou…omg…that show I thought was amazing. Though after reading all of this, I realized Chihayafuru wasn’t even mentioned, and we all know that was an amazing show

  • January 23, 2014 at 3:47 amLeon Maxwell

    Is it too much of a stretch to say that Hataraku Maou Sama! was the best of this year? At least it was for me. It had everything, great comedy, likeable characters and incredible execution. It may not had had the amazing plot of Shin Sekai Yori, the emotional impact of Uchouten Kaozoku, or the thrills of Attack on Titan, but it was very good at what it was suposed to be. And that is, being pretty darn enjoyable. Honorable mentions go to Shin Sekai Yori, Psycho-Pass, Silver Spoon, Uchouten Kaozoku and Attack on Titan.

  • January 24, 2014 at 11:27 pmameko

    Is it just me or is the last line a LoL reference?

    So many people watch SnK, no doubt it’d be reader’s top…

  • January 27, 2014 at 12:44 pmAnoBakaDesu

    Late post, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention any of the songs in Symphogear G!

  • January 29, 2014 at 1:35 pmSeirei

    I thought Shin Sekai was dull – the art style consisted of different shades of brown, the pacing was awful, and all of the characters were extremely boring. I really don’t understand why SSY rates so highly here. I’m glad the blu-ray sales are low for it.

    • January 29, 2014 at 4:55 pmhoiut

      I thought Shin Sekai was exciting — the art style consisted of realistic tones, the pacing was varied but perfect for each scene, and all of the characters were rich, complex, and extremely interesting. I know perfectly well why SSY rates so highly here. I’m disappointed the blu-ray sales are low for it.

      • January 30, 2014 at 8:34 amMagoiichi

        You’re a bald faced liar if you think Saki of all people was “rich, complex, and extremely interesting”.

        She was just extremely annoying for more than half the anime and I’m glad the blu-ray sales were low for it because she pretty much single handedly make me not like SSY as much as I could’ve.

        That and the out of character homoerotic stuff that started happening during the timeskip. Along with offscreen character deaths.

        The only good character in the entire anime was Squealer. He wasn’t a stereotypical annoying brat like the two survivors, nor was he clingy like the offscreen killed Maria and that friendzoned dude. He sure as hell wasn’t mysterious just for the sake of being mysterious like Shun was.

        The Grandma was cool, I almost forgot about her. Saki’s parents can eat shit. That entire community can eat it.

  • February 15, 2014 at 12:47 pmAlex-kun

    Good read, however, SnK’s firts OP, Progressive Metal?! Really?! Man that’s so wrong, it’s Power Metal, sorry for being an asshat, but I won’t stand this kind of thing.

  • March 25, 2014 at 9:08 amshirowillow

    Did anyone else actually think about the world rules and plot while watching Shin Sekai Yori? After you go over the rules of the world and its creation, there are a lot of irreconcilable problems with the plot and the establishment of the society that make this show contradict itself in to many ways. I agree that it was beautiful and a nice change of pace to watch, but there were so many problems that I could never call this show a great show. I don’t want to spoil all of the problems in this thread, but next time you watch the show or think about it, just calmly go through what the major conflict is and what the show gave as information leading up to it (here’s looking at you ogres and slave society).

  • June 4, 2014 at 10:34 amdanes256

    how in the hell kaiki from monogatari series did not won character of the year? i do watch shinsekai yori and i do like it, but kaiki it the biggest turn around of character we might ever see, i mean everyone hates him in nisemonogatari, but now, damn, i don’t understand how saki beat kaiki to best character of the year

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