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

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

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


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

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

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




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.

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

Honorable Mentions: Black Rock Shooter, Aquarion EVOL, K



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.

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

Honorable Mentions: Ano Natsu de Matteru, Tsuritama



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.

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

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

Listen to our favorite Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II tracks ▼


Opening & Ending Sequence

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

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

[flv:Nisemonogatari_OP3.mp4 355 200] Nisemonogatari OP3
[flv:High_School_DxD_ED.mp4 355 200] High School DxD ED

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

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

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

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

Watch Honorable Mentions ▼


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

[flv:Best%20of%20Anime%202012/Piko_Make_My_Day_PV.mp4 Best%20of%20Anime%202012/Piko_Make_My_Day_PV.jpg 480 270] “Make My Day!” by Piko (Binbougami ga! OP)

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

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

Listen to Honorable Mentions ▼




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…

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

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



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.

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

Honorable Mentions: Uchiyama Kouki, Mamoru Miyano

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

Honorable Mentions: Asumi Kana, Ishihara Kaori, Sawashiro Miyuki


Plot Twist

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

Show Plot Twist ▼



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 ▼



“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.

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

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




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

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

Honorable Mentions: Jormungand, Fate/Zero



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

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

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



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.

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

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



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

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

Honorable Mentions: Rinne no Lagrange, Aquarion EVOL, AKB0048



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.

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

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



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.

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

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



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

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

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



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.

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

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


Romantic Comedy

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

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

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


Slice of Life

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

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

Honorable Mentions: TARI TARI, Natsuiro Kiseki



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.

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

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


Notable Others

Most Underappreciated

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

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

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


Biggest Disappointment

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

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


Exceeded Expectations

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

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

Honorable Mentions: Binbougami ga!


And Finally…

, Hyouka

Best Anime 2012

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

Excerpt by

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

Honorable Mentions: Aquarion EVOL, Nisemonogatari, Jormungand


Best OVA/Movie 2012

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

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

Honorable Mentions: Gundam Unicorn


Reader’s Choice – Favorite Anime 2012

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

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

Excerpt by

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


Reader’s Choice – Favorite OVA/Movie 2012

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

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

Excerpt by

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


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


    1. I wouldn’t say terrible. I’m not sure what went wrong, but the story after ep 14 was horrid. They had ruined their beautiful setting. Not to mention the meaning or intentions of the creators seemed half-assed. Like what was it all for? Just so he can make a castle in the sky. Weak.

      But I did fall in love with everything before that so I wouldn’t say it’s terrible. Was the shift in the source material or was that anime original? All I could say though is that they had it going and ruined it. Had they taken the first 14 episodes, expanded it to 25 episodes and revised it; it’d be amazing.

      For instance ep. 3 with Show Spoiler ▼

      The characters after her too, Silica and Lisbeth, were strong characters that could’ve used more episodes. Instead I saw SAO form characters I love and got rid of them in one episode. Klein also could’ve used his own episode.

      Lastly, SAO was good at being anti-climactic. I felt the author was extremely good at forming epic scenarios but when it came to an ending he took a ****. The duel between Kirito and the Guild master for instance. Or the last boss fight. Who else thought “Holy crap” when they saw that boss, only to be disappointed with the battle? Oh man so much potential wasted.

      1. But could there really be a satisfying answer as to why Kayaba made SAO and trapped people inside it? For someone who created the tech for VR and designed the game it’s probably the most coherent answer one could expect. Would a motivation like Sugou’s have been better?

        To me, it is essentially a meaning of life question.

      2. At the start I had thought it was because he wanted to play God. Make his own world with his rules, and kinda toy with peoples lives. I mean he killed how many people? If he wanted to build a castle in the sky he could’ve done it without killing off thousands.

        I had guessed he was the KoB guild master so I thought perhaps he wanted to be a leader. Have power and people under his command.

        Something like that would’ve been much better than what SAO gave us, IMO.

      3. A lot of SAO plot holes and faults were unique to the anime (especially in ALO arc) and weren’t the fault of the LN author. EP14 and 24 were really poorly executed. The LN’s ending for both arcs flowed better and made more sense. SAO LN is currently quite fragmented so the animator did a good job for most of it. It is said the author plans to rewrite SAO into more progressive novel.

        The ALO (Fairy Dance) arc would be better if it was animated as a second season (i.e. 2 one cour should instead of 1 two cour show). A one cour break would have allowed the viewers to forget enough about Asuna so Sugu can better establish herself as the main heroine in this arc. Instead, the animation was rushed and the story fell apart. A few parts of Fairy Dance were cut from the anime which further contributed to this arc’s demise.

        It would be nice to see GGO and Mother Rosario getting animated as OVA by another studio. If they ever make another SAO TV series, I’d much rather it be Alicization but I doubt it will ever happen.
        Show Spoiler ▼

        While there are better anime in 2012, I think SAO was still one of the better one.

      4. He wanted to make Aincrad a “real” place. This further enabled him to watch how people would react to Aincrad as if it were real, where death exists. I would have to imagine that the VR helms killing people were largely a preventive measure to stop the authorities from removing them or tampering with them, which seems to have worked outside of the initial wave of deaths.

        IMO, there is no satisfying answer to why someone would trap people in a life or death game which was responsible for hundreds or thousands of human lives lost. If you made an anime about any of history’s largest butchers, and had a scene at the end where you asked them why they did what they did, it would come off as ridiculous.

      5. Who else thought “Holy crap” when they saw that boss, only to be disappointed with the battle?

        What battle? All I saw ware a few deaths, then the end of the boss’s life. Next to no battle there!

    2. I wouldn’t say it was a terrible show. It was pretty good up to the point when ALO was introduced. Now that half was horrible. I could never really accept the character design with the pointy ears.

    3. Agreed, terrible show. It was a great concept ruined by a writer who simply wasn’t up to the task of exploring it properly. A lot of people like to hedge by saying that the first 14 episodes were good. Well, no, that’s just not true. All of the (2? Maybe 3?) good episodes the show had did indeed take place during the first half, but MOST of the first half was still boring girl of the week filler. And let’s not forget (no matter how much we may wish to) that the Yui subplot happened in the first half as well. So, yes, the first half was better than the second half, but the second half didn’t exactly set that bar very high, now did it? It would have taken a deliberate effort for the first half to be worse than the second.

      Fate/Zero may not have been perfect but it’s definitely far more deserving and I’m glad it won over some of the other fan favorites.

    4. I think people tended to judge SAO based on what they wished it was rather than what it actually was. I assume a lot of people here played or have played an MMO and have some set of expectations of what of story consisting of characters trapped in an MMO should offer. The premise itself causes people to approach SAO differently than they would another scifi/fantasy series. I enjoyed SAO for what it was, however, I couldn’t help but dream about an alternative telling of the premise based on my own MMO experience.

      1. That’s exactly why people say it squandered the premise. Could have been one of the best fantasy-based stories ever. But what SAO really is, is a character story with a fantasy setting. But as an MMORPG player from the early 2000s, I think other people who partook in the genre at the time will agree that the community was the most important and redeeming part of those worlds. This is why both Kirito and Asuna agreed with Kayaba when he said he wished Aincrad existed somewhere.

    1. Maybe if you stopped caring about insects and animal life like fairies, and paid attention to baker soldiers, you wouldn’t have to cry yourself to sleep.
      (OOC: Jinrui is really good, most people just can’t comprehend it.)

    2. It would have at least gotten an honorable mention for a “Best Writing” category given the author being Tanaka Romeo. Or have gone somewhere in the production category since the studio and especially the director did a really good job adapting it.

    1. If there were a category for “Best Philosophical”, it’d definitely have won this year, I’ll tell you that. The weakness has been noted, and the team is keeping it in mind for next year. Wanderer below makes a good point of this.

      Personally though, it won “Best Philosophical/Statement on Humanity” in my eyes, if not explicitly mentioned. Just look at the title! 😛

      1. Indeed. While my statement below was phrased in a somewhat joking manner, I stand by the basic sentiment. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita was a fascinating and unique series that deserved a mention among the best series of the year. However, all the categories here are too… ordinary, and Jinrui is anything but ordinary. It doesn’t fit into any of them. There’s humor in it, but it isn’t a comedy. It’s technically set in the future, but there’s very little science fictiony content to it. Watashi is a marvelous bundle of narrative snark and cynicism and a magnificent character, but best character is incredibly subjective and is an almost impossible category to win.

        The things that Jinrui really excelled at, the parts that made it such a unique and interesting show that deserves a place among the best of the year, are things that don’t fit into any of the available categories. Philosophy and symbolism. The fact that none of the characters had real names. Watching a hundred time-looped versions of the main character make sweets for fairies after slipping on a banana peel countless times… once. Time paradogs.

        It defies categorization. And that, I believe, is why it isn’t listed here. Not because it isn’t worthy, but because the list of categories they were awarding prizes in simply wasn’t broad enough.

      2. I think there should be a “Special Award” category to give a shout out for an anime that doesn’t really fit any of the categories but still deserves a recognition like Jinrui.

        Or, you could indeed create a Philosophy/Statement on Humanity/Thought Provoker category, and Jinrui would win and Jormungand could be honorable mention among others.

    1. I’m not gonna rage, but I have to admit I did a double take on Mirai Nikki allegedly having a better story than Fate Zero despite FZ getting both best anime and readers choice for best anime.

      Also “Make My Day” over “Vidro Moyou”… Really? …Really?!

      A Shame Jinrui didn’t win anything especially as I personally feel it was funnier than Danshi Koukousei — but meh, to each his own.

      Lol — I don’t think anyone will contest Guilty Crown for biggest disappointment though… So much wasted potential…

    1. I was gonna complain about their taste, but then I saw the reader’s poll.

      In their defense, the choices were rather poor. It would suck if Fate/Zero won almost every category. This post would’ve been so different if it included the ongoing series of fall 2012.

      Also, fuck nisemonogatari.

  1. I think what made Guilty Crown especially fail was that it was supposedly dubbed as a successor to Code Geass. Because of that notion, there was quite a bit of hype and expectations for it. Unfortunately, even the first episode didn’t deliver.

    1. Haha maybe you’re right. I think Guilty Crown would’ve been 100x better if it had better characters; and by characters I mean the protagonist and heroine. I’m not sure what type of character they would have had to be, but I could just tell it had potential if the characters were good and the story wrapped around them rather than forming the characters around the story.

  2. How could (insert blogger name here) not say that (insert anime name here) wins every category! Rawr, hate, smash, rage-quit.

    And the very fact that Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita wasn’t even an honerable mention on any of your lists means that you needed to have invented a new category for it. It was simply too far outside such pale, outdated, inside-the-box, old-school methods of rating.

  3. Was a little dissapointed Another and chuunibyou didn’t get an award although i was happy to ano natsu get the romance award a suprisingly great series. also lmao at the biggest dissapointment award.

  4. Not going to lie that I had hoped Divine would write this, but after taking a look this is very well done as always. Nice job guys.

    Perhaps one of my only gripes would be in characters, where Mashima Taichi would be my favorite. Although I won’t lie, Iskandar is my second favorite; But I had hoped Taichi would make honorable mention at the least.

    My only other gripe is that sword art online isn’t mentioned enough. Although I hated the direction it took after ep 14, it still was worthy of some honorable mentions, especially with the wave of popularity it had in the anime community. I only say this so other people will take a look at SAO if they haven’t since I and I’m sure others use this post to find new anime to watch. However it’s second in the reader’s choice poll so it’s not all bad.

    Anyways good job and keep up the good work.

    1. I agree about SAO, it wasn’t mentioned enough. It should have at least been an honorable mention in ‘biggest disappointment’ or maybe a winner in ‘most overrated’ if there was such category.

  5. There is no such thing as good or bad taste. I think the picks here were excellent and the rationale very well written, even if I did not necessarily agree with all the choices.

  6. “When I first heard about Girls und Panzer, I made the same assumption that everyone else did”

    Bite your tongue. I, for one, thought the idea was the best thing the fall season had to offer when I first heard it. I feel so sorry for those that had to watch it first before you could understand the genius of it.

  7. Expected a stronger showing from Chuu2 and Hyouka, but these are all great. I knew Guilty Crown was going to be on there, and Tsuritama I really need to keep watching (didn’t mean to drop it, just had to catch up with the most recent shows).

  8. I’m happy RC and I agreed on Fate/Zero as the best 2012 anime. Other than that, almost none of my own AOTY picks matched RC’s and that makes me sad. The only thing we seemed to agree on was the Plot Twist (which I called Most Surprising Moment) category. I do feel like the mystery category was robbed, I liked Persona 4’s anime adaptation but man does it have problems.

  9. I’m surprised that Hyouka and Rinne no Lagrange didn’t come out on top in their respective categories but very pleased with the post as a whole. While I might not have agreed with some choices, a majority of what I favored were more often than not honorably mentioned and acknowledged so I’m not in the slightest bit disappointed.

    On another note, excellent collaboration between Zephyr, Moomba and Stilts. You guys did a wonderful job showing just why each decision felt like the right one even when I was hesitant to agree and there were even a few mentions that I had not considered watching or had no time for in the past but will certainly try now.

    Again, amazing job. It certainly was a pretty phenomenal year.

  10. So glad Horizon got some awards. =D
    Recently rewatched the entire series, and hoping that we get a Season 3 coming soon. (And that Baka Tsuki translators would actually pay attention to that series.)

  11. Well no big surprises this year (I think the top 4 in the poll were easy to predict), which makes it for a good post :). I was scared that SAO might win the reader poll, but luckily the obvious choice for anime of the year prevailed in the end.

    Some additional random comments:

    – The Most Underappreciated award is by far my biggest disagreement. In my mind, the obvious pick is Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II. Extremely well received in Japan (5th highest selling for DVD/Blue Ray this year, after Nisemonogatari, Fate/Zero, SAO and Kuroko no Basuke), wins your Sci-Fi award, while being completely ignored in the West – it was heavily advertised on RC and only managed a 20th spot in the poll. It even gathered scornful posts on several western anime blogs. If that isn’t underappreciated…

    – Chihayafuru appears to be the biggest loser here on RC, both in the awards and the reader’s poll, considering how liked it was by other bloggers

    – … while Girls und Panzer is to me the most unexpected result out of the reader poll. Exceeded Expectations award (as I predicted), 7th best seller of the year despite stock shortages due to the unexpected popularity, and only ranks 26th on the poll? Really unexpected.

    1. I’d say you’ve misunderstood the meaning of “unappreciated”. For it to have received scorn would mean that the viewers would have decided to appreciate different aspects of the series, no? And you’ve mentioned how popular it is in Japan. Compared to that, Tsuritama, for how great a watch it was, still went right under the radar of many viewers.

      1. Well, I do agree with your point, but it is not true that Horizon is popular in Japan.
        Yes, the Blue ray sales are high. However the internet popularity is very low. Horizon is able to get its high sales because the small portion of people that enjoys it (a very high portion of the people that buy the novel also buy the blue-ray).

        Maybe it wasn’t the most unappreciated, but I do feel that it should of at least be in the honorable mentions.

        Other than that issue, I am very glad to see Horizon get some award this year.

  12. Aside from Girls Und Panzer (which I didn’t get time to watch), there are no surprises or disagreements in this list. here. Glad that Mirai Nikki got the appreciation it deserved, as that was the one I was most afraid would get the shaft.

      1. Its notoriety and wide acknowledgement is mostly due to the Koneko hypnobutt alone, although the rest of pole dancing only helped.

        You sound like a pole dancing is immoral when you said it’s not okay. There is nothing immoral or wrong about the act itself. Some people do like watching and some don’t. There is no physical contact whatsoever and it’s not even lapdancing or prostitution, which one may argue that it’s morally right or not.

      2. I’m not saying stripping and/or pole dancing is immoral, I’m saying the biggest part of that ED was basically 4 woman pole dancing (2 of them lolis) to generic j-pop song, and it won out against an ED like Aquarion’s that had entrancingly beautiful music. I mean, yeah, I hated the show itself, but Yoko Kanno really pulled off that song and the imagery was amazing.

        But then again, this is all just preference in the end. I wish there was a reader’s choice for the other categories.

      3. the OP/ED category incorporates animation in the final decision, and the ED for Aquarion Evol just didn’t have the animation to carry it.

        BUT OMG!! last week I jokingly wished for STUDY X STUDY to win best ED and today i opened up the link was was LMAO!!! XD you guys are awesome RC

  13. I would like to say i would speak for a whole lot of the GuP fans.

    But I won’t. I’m a drop in the bucket. If you look at our comments, they’re filled with either world of tanks antics, tank geekery, plot guessing, and so much more. I thought I would be the only one blogging the series. Especially since I’m a no-namer who started blogging primarily of my own interests (firearms, politics, cooking), so I was pleasantly surprised when Moomba started it.

    Now it isn’t Fate/Zero. It’s not SAO. I doubt it has such a large and vocal following. But I believed I had the most fun this year in RC on the various Girls und Panzer posts. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. Especially when you don’t watch any of the other shows because you wanna be different, but because they do not remotely interest you at all. The only thing that interested me this year was Upotte!!, the Strike Witches movie, Gundam UC and GuP, and GuP delivered more in my eyes than most of the offerings.

    I consider it my Anime Of The Year, due to it’s unique niche audience and well, show. A perfect storm of a series that had very good characters, and also existing in a crossroad that tied together many different things I have a great interest in.

    I might’ve said some blasphemous things there, but no matter, I’ll take the downvotes with pride.

    In essence: GuP is what kept me from dropping anime altogether this year.

  14. Yay! GuP get Exceeded Expectation Award 2012!

    Overall, I’m fine with the full list. Didn’t expect Acchi Kocchi to get SoL award, though. I’m thinking about Honeycomb or TT, but AK is still quite fine for me.

    Also, I giggled about KC drama comment XD

    Kevin Yamagata
    1. We all have to ration our votes. Just because Natsume gets a low vote count doesn’t mean it is not longer appreciated– it just means that people are trying to give other more original series a shot at the Best Anime honor. Unfortunately, there is only one “Best” spot. And that’s the way things go.

  15. To each his own~

    …Not gonna lie though: I didn’t expect it to win, but I’m upset that Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun didn’t even receive Honorable Mention in RomCom (or really, in any genre…)

    1. Agreed. I feel animes like Kuroko and Tonari got cheated since they don’t fit too well into the above categories, yet they’re still top animes.

      Kuroko was thrilling and Natsume of Tonari was simply amazing. So earnest, so cute.

  16. Very surprised to see that Hyouka failed to win the Mystery category. And it not even getting an honerable mention in the animation category is just bizarre. Fate/Zero is an extremely well-animated production to be sure, and it has a number of impressively animated scenes that are among the best i’ve seen in the past year. When you look at its overall animation quality though, it does still display a significant number of the usual animation shortcuts in many of the slower paced dialog scenes that make up much of its runtime.

    Comparing Fate/Zero and Hyouka, i would say that while Fate/Zero manages to shine brighter during its action sequences, Hyouka is easily the one that’s more consistantly well-animated throughout. Much of Hyouka’s animation prowess isn’t immediately obvious to the average anime fan, because it does not have many large action sequences to show off in, but when examined closely, you’ll notice that it has an outrageous level of detail in subtle movement of faces, hands and objects. Also compare Hyouka’s animation of background characters during the Culture Festival arc to your average anime TV series, and you’ll start to notice the difference.

    The single most well-animated episode of anime in 2012 would however undoubtedly be episode 1 of K. Practically that entire episode consists of sakuga-level animation. The animation quality drops pretty rapidly in subsequent episodes though, to the point where only the fight sequences elevate it above your average production.

    Macron One
    1. I also feel that they dropped the ball by not awarding Hyouka with anything. I feel that P4 is Supernatural rather than Mystery genre. Not even a best ED mention.


      There’s a category that Hyouka would win by a landslide here. Horizon I won it in 2011.

      “Best Show with the Worst RandomC Coverage”

    2. Yepp. Hyouka should’ve won best mystery. It was more engaging and made you think about the mysteries yourself. Since it wasn’t supernatural you always tried to seek the answer, while P4 you didn’t try as hard since with supernatural things, anything could happen.

      Also KyoAni did an amazing job of fleshing out the emotions of the characters in Hyouka. I hold that anime as a prime example of great character development and good fleshing of emotions.

    3. Yes,my thoughts exactly. I thought it would definitely Win at least the title for one of these: Animation,Mystery or Slice of life.

      When I saw the title for the best animation was won by Fate-Zero,I thought Hyouka must atleast be in Honorable mentions. but sadly it wasn’t. I completely agree with “Macron One” on not having it mentioned at least in the honorable mentions being bizarre. That was top notch animation I saw on that anime. specially in showing character emotions and the detail in eyes,it was exceptional. I really can’t see why it’s not on honorable mentions at least. especially as above mentioned the animation in school festival arc and the last chapter was simply brilliant.
      Though many of you are under the impression that “Mystery” on hyouka cannot be considered as real mystery because it’s “Mysteries” are just on the same level as day to day activities still Isn’t it amazing how Hyouka turned those day to day happenings around us to mysteries while having Oreki solve them in the most exceptional way with his amazing thinking?If you ask me, when selecting a good mystery series you should not only consider the mystery itself but also the way it was solved. Which Hyouka does rather brilliantly. IMHO Hyouka did a way more better job in the category than Persona.
      I haven’t watched Acchi Kocchi so I don’t know how good of a slice of life anime it was. But again I think Hyouka at least be on the “honorable mentions” list. If I say so my self I’m not someone who would go out of his way to watch a slice of life series. I am someone who prefers action anime. But this anime always kept me wanting for more despite it being a slice of life series. Hyouka was at times serious,fun and at times it made me sad. To me,this was a damn good slice of life and the best anime this year after Fate-Zero.
      So all in all I completely agree it getting the award for the most under appreciated anime of the year by RandomC.

      Lastly,I would like to thank all of you guys at RandomC for bringing us the best reviews on anime for the past year. and wish you good luck with your future projects.

      P.s: forgot to tell you. HAPPY NEW YEAR!! XD

  17. Well, I was hoping to Kuroko no Basuke win something, cuz to me, it has the best =D… But I gueass Fate/Zero deserved it… It was from far one of the bests animes this season. 🙂

    So, good choices. 🙂

    1. I want Kuroko to win something, too. But season I was really incomplete. An there are other good sports anime that also deserve recognition this year. Perhaps a better timing for Kuroko would be when season II comes out with the rest of the Miracle Generation introduced.

      1. I said ‘based’ as in a historical figure used as a anime character.Btw good to know we can at least agree on a few things when it comes to anime Zephyr, even though it has to be someone at the level of Iskandar, King of Conquerors. 😛

  18. This year was a low anime year for me, not just because of the shows themselves, but because of changes in my life. I didn’t watch nearly as many series as I would have liked, preferring to read up on them here at RC.

    My favorite show of the year was, ironically, a show that RC dropped the ball on: Hyouka. I loved how laid back and unique it was. It reminded me of Suzumiya Haruhi; it had that kind of quirky logic that made it both entertaining and thought provoking. I’m glad to see my fellow readers felt the same.

    New Years resolution: watch more anime!

  19. Every year I more or less agree with RandomC’s list but this year… I pretty much dropped (or didn’t care to watch) 90% of the anime that are being shown in this year list. LOL.

      1. Haters tend to dominate forums more than lovers. No let me correct that. Haters against the mainstream tend to dominate forums.

        And Fate/Zero is certainly not overrated. But then again it’s just a matter of opinion

      2. First of all I’m not a SAO hater. I liked the LN, was waiting for the anime since the day I heard of it being animated. But I was disappointed by the anime(especially with animation and character design). So I only watched the first cour.

        But I don’t even think it deserves to be in the top three. Top 5? “maybe”. IMO top 3 would be. Hyouka,Fate-Zero and Nisemonogatari respectively.

  20. … Thank you nonetheless, RC team, for blogging your thoughts for the year that has passed, and for the three writers that took the time to create such a comprehensive post for the enjoyment of the RC community. Can’t say I agree with many things said up there, but hey, I’m just a reader looking to be entertained, and rest assured that I was more than satisfied in that aspect. Good job with this round-up of last year’s anime.

    Looking forward to the new year with RC.

    (And haters gonna hate.)

  21. Sword Art Online on second? Really? I had expected more from the readership here. While the show was enjoyable, it was riddled with plot holes and things that didn’t make much sense. It certainly does not deserve to be in a top 5 if you ask me…

    1. You can always do what I’ve chosen to do and assume that it only reached second because a majority of the votes stemmed from people trying to troll. Then again that might sound insulting to those who actually enjoyed the show and felt it deserving.

    2. Thing is, the poll is multiple choice. It’s not a bunch of people saying “This was my single favourite”, it was the cumulative result of people saying “My absolute favourite is this, and I also liked SAO.”

      If it was single-choice, I doubt SAO would have done any better than Top 10.

  22. I’m a little disappointed that another didn’t get the horror/thriller category, but it did get an honourable mention so I guess that’s good enough..

    I’m going to have to watch fate zero as it did so well on here. I was wondering though, is Fate stay night its prequel? sequel? should I watch fate stay night first? or last? and is fate stay night just as good? or… nah?

      1. So true. Watch Fate-Zero. But I don’t recommend you Fate stay-Night. Not even worth the time. It got on my nerves in every episode with a miserable pussy of a main character.

  23. …I actually can’t believe the top five this year. With the exceptions of Fate/Zero and Hyouka, the other three certainly don’t deserve to be there. Nisemonogatari and Sword Art Online over Tsuritama, Chihayafuru, and Sakamichi no Apollon? Really, guys? Sword Art Online is one of the worst anime in recent memory, and Nisemonogatari is Nisiosin gone too far, spewing his self-masturbatory dialogue all over the place. It doesn’t hold a candle to Bakemonogatari, and Nisiosin clearly needed to restrain himself. I think even he said he was surprised it ever got published.

    And Chuunibyou was fun and cute, and KyoAni did a fantastic job. But top 5? Really?

    Just compare this year’s top 5 to last year’s top 5:

    Madoka Magica
    Usagi Drop

    All with merit and all deserving to be there. Random Curiosity’s audience has certainly changed in the span of one year. What happened?

    In any case, @ Random Curiosity’s bloggers: thanks for all your hard work this year, and these end of the year entries must have taken an incredible amount of time.

    1. Can’t agree more, and thanks for bringing up last year’s top 5 — it gives perspective and triggers the thought of why my jaw was dropped so much when reading the results. Regardless of the shift, kudos to the writers for their time.

    2. Perhaps it’s due to the absence of Divine? I’m not sure if I’m right but I feel a lot of people went from active visitors to only occasional after he left. And in the meanwhile visitors suiting the new writers has now come to the forefront.

      Great comment though, I certainly hadn’t thought about that.

      1. I actually think that 2012 is an awesome year — there were a lot of fantastic shows produced. However, my list of fantastic shows can be different from others’ and certainly the writers’. I used to agree more or less with the Best of Anime picks in the past but not very much this year. There were superb quality shows that didn’t get picked or mentioned — that’s okay. They can stay with my own top shows of year :). The merit is really in the effort of the writers to pull this together — they are like us and deserve to have their own subjective thoughts and favourites, too.

  24. Like a number of people, I wish I could have voted for more than 5. Deciding between some of them was just too tough.

    The only ones that I watched that I thought would rank higher were Girls und Panzer and Nazo no Konojo X, both of which probably had a strong split between those that liked them and those that didn’t. OTOH, Guilty Crown and Another surprised me by how high they ranked.

  25. I have to agree that Guilty Crown was quite a disappointment. Near the end I was trying to find one character I actually liked. I hated every single one of them for one reason or another. It’s hard to watch a show when you want everyone to lose.

    I’m also glad that Eureka Seven Ao was only mentioned for it’s soundtrack. I was worried given all the cheer-leading that show got on this site, but it appears that clearer heads prevailed.

    I’m looking forward to 2013. There were so many disappointing shows in 2012 that shouldn’t have been. Granted there were hidden gems like Binbougami Ga.

    The thing that shocks me most though is that there is no mention of Moretsu Space Pirates. Did everyone just forget about this show because it aired in the winter season? It was such an awesome show and a surprise for how good it was. Where’s the Pirate love?

    1. I had thought that it would at least receive an honorable mention for animation. I guess CG animation has finally found its place with viewers. CG mechas and explosions =(

    2. Another vote for Mouretsu Pirates. I initially had no interest in it but about 4 eps in something just told me to batch them and I did not regret it.

      Was very impressed by the world building and how much I liked the characters. Sad to see that it, much like Jinrui got passed over.

  26. Well, Highschool DxD ED gets its much deserved due. Bravo. Moomba.

    It’s easy to get to the knee-jerk reaction when it comes to “best of” something list, so the disclaimer that these lists are the three writers’ and their alone opinion can never be said enough. So I assume that a title anime for each category is of the corresponding writer’s choice and not necessarily all three’s top choice? I can only speculate that the other two writers’ top choices are mentioned under the “honorable mentions” if theirs are different from it.

    I don’t get how Guilty Crown is the biggest disappointment whereas SAO isn’t, but hey, SAO is fiercely defended as it had years to accumulate these fanboys/fangirls with the LNs whereas the former didn’t as it was a new project. They both failed miserably on meeting their full potentials and premises and turned into mumbling mess. At least the reader’s poll spared us the indignity of SAO being voted as the best of 2012.

    1. I’ve actually never read or knew about the LN’s of SAO until the anime came out and I still defend it. Of course you’re right when you say it had so much more potential as I stated in my above post. It’s just that what they did do right (like the first 14 eps) they did so well that I can ignore (well ignore is a bad word, maybe dismiss) what they did wrong.

      I feel this show is getting more hate for its bad turn than others just because the show had raised everyone’s expectations so high just to crash later.

      The Bigger they are, the harder they fall.

    2. lol thanks Stilts and everyone @ RC for the Highschool DxD ED award. I’m still laughing about it half an hour later XD

      as for an example of how much of a bitter disappointment Guilty Crown was, I freakin’ hate the show, but Kokuhaku is my currently my favorite anime song of all time!

      All they needed was a story, and they screwed us over

  27. I literally screamed when I saw Ano Natsu fer best romance (and the mention of its ED in best song). YES. and Fate/Zero totally deserves its awards, considering it was such a great show. Though i’m also sad that the existence of Chuu2koi and Hyouka were lacking in this list, both shows I immensely enjoyed. Kyoani had done us good (^.^). All in all, it was a good year and I can’t wait for more great years to come in RC!

  28. Hmm, I think I’ll watch Girls und Panzer after final 4 episodes of Kokoro Connect.

    “And you know what makes it even more notable? The studio behind this adaptation was Sunrise of all places!”
    I think it’s not surprising. Sunrise has experiences with Gintama after all.

  29. while I’m glad that Fate/Zero is the best anime of 2012,I’m slightly disappointed that RC readers made SOA the top 2. IMO,SOA is the most disappointing show of the year,the first half was decent despite not doing anything special or new but once they got to the second arc everything just falls apart with Kirito becoming Jesus,his sister wanting to bone him cos he ain’t her brother,the new villain is a perverted moron who wants to marry a comatose girl,and the threat of death was no longer around. At least in SOA first arc the characters knew that if they don’t try to find a way of escape,they probably will die in the game while in the second arc,the characters can simply log out from the game thus killing any tension

  30. I am very satisfied with this year’s results. My first and second picks (Fate & S.A.O.) ended up the same ranks as in the actual Reader’s Choice poll. My third, fourth, and fifth picks (Chihaya, Another, Mirai Nikki) ended up in the seventh, tenth, and ninth places. Comparing to my disappointment last year, this year is almost like a new year wish come true.

    Of course, with only five votes (which is already a great improvement from the old three-vote system), we all have to ration carefully. In my opinion, a grade-schooler-oriented anime like Kuromajo-san ga Tooru!! has no chance of making to the top 10. But I think it is actually a very excellent production in its own right. In my book, it qualifies as one of the most underappreciated animes of 2012.

    If there is any anime that I am glad that it gets a very low rank, it would be “Queen’s Blade Rebellion.” I am glad that it doesn’t even get a honorable mention in the fan service category. I really want cheaply produced soft porn like the Queen series to be forgotten so that the anime industry can be encouraged to focus on telling better stories and relying less on you-know-what.

    Last but not least, my sincere thanks to all Random Curiosity staff for a year’s hard work and a big finale with all those reviews and polling. It is guys like you who give me reasons to watch another 300 hours of anime in the upcoming year so that I can be an informed voter when it is that time again. (Ha!) Happy New Year, everyone!

  31. Lolz guys, what’s up with the “F you! My favorite Anime aren’t your favorite Anime, so your list is shit” So much hate over a piece of list that will be lost in the electric ocean in a 1-2 weeks of time… And by the way Fate/Zero won! SUCK ON IT GUYS! o(≧▽≦)o

    Immaturity aside, last year was a great year for Anime. Anime is really becoming more and more popular and fans are really increasing alot (lolz 2,488 votes for SAO ┐(-。ー;)┌ ) which is really great. Hopefully this year will be more awesome than last year.

  32. I say the biggest fail was Aquarion EVOL given at least Guilty Crown had no previous series it continued from to ruin it (but I admit, the action was good).

    Other than that very good list.

  33. I’m actually surprised that Mouretsu Space Pirates didn’t get a single “award” or a honorable mention. I thought you guys liked that show.

    Also, no honorable mention for Biggest Disappointment? Come on, let it out loose.

    I respect your opinions guys, but yeah… kinda sad that me favorite show didn’t even get noticed 🙁

    1. Mouretsu wasn’t put to voting when it was most remembered. It was mostly bad timing. If there were a Best CGI category, then I think Mouretsu would have been a strong contender.

      1. Well, here’s something I’ve noticed: “They are solely the opinions of Moomba, Zephyr, and I (Stilts), and no one else.”

        Verdant covered Bodacious Space Pirates here on RC, maybe the other 3 didn’t watch it, which brings me to my other point: why only 3 writers for this article? Shouldn’t all RC writers participate for this?

        Just asking…

  34. Yay! I’ve been looking forward to this list for awhile. Overall, I’m very happy with it. Since it is a list with a category system to it, a ton of notable series do get left out but I’ll just acknowledge it as a flaw in the system. (The reader’s poll definitely makes up for some of love Hyouka) I have my own personal Top 10 List on my humble little tumblr that i’ve included as a my website link, so anyone here can feel free to check it out. 😀

    I COMPLETELY agree with the choice for best OP! I have to admit that I forgot about it, but jeez it really is so great. It’s so mesmerizing to watch lol. I actually do like guilty crown’s OP1 too. Another one that I felt could have gone on there is Sakamichi no Apollon, the song fit the series so well and had such an original style to it. I also couldn’t agree more with Kayano Ai, she’s definitely my pick for this year as well. Her stand out performance to me was as Mayaka. And I’d say her voice alone saves Mei’s character in Sukitte il na Yo. If she used her Inori voice rather than her more Mayaka-y voice for it, it would have dried up the series seven more.

  35. I don’t entirely agree with the picks, but I can live with it.

    Also fellow anime fans, is it really true that we let Guilty Crown and Another place so high on the poll? o_o

    (I know, to each his own, but I find that fact a particularly bitter pill to swallow)

    ba dum tish
  36. Hmmm. To me, Hyouka is better than Persona4. Sure the mysteries weren’t over the top nor very impressive, but the execution per episode and how it was presented really gave it that perfect atmosphere of a ‘mystery’ series. Whereas Persona4 seem repetitive, not to mention Hyouka has gorgeous artwork. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy P4 as well, but it doesn’t even measure up at all.

    There are a lot of categories I don’t agree with, and I think many in the RC feel that way. But that’s the only one that stroke a cord on me. Also Chihayafuru is very unappreciative. At least it was an honorable mention. It is perhaps one of the animes I’m really excited for this Season. Seeing Guilty Crown being the biggest disappointment made me smile, but it was mention many times and also a top 10? Bad RC. Bad call. D<

  37. I’m glad that GuP won the exceeded expectations category, that’s the one I thought it deserved the most. Also happy it got an honorable mention for best song.

    I more or less agreed with most of the decisions though I do feel that SAO was overrated.

  38. I’m surprised that Aquarion EVOL didn’t do that well. Heck, I was going to vote for it but I forgot -_-. I guess that’s the effect of having new shows more fresh in your head =|

  39. As much as I liked Aquarion Evol, I wouldn’t say it was the best action show of 2012.

    The action for Evol was to me… I don’t want to call it subpar, but it never had me on the edge of my seat like the action in the original did. There were about three or five fights in Evol, including the finale, that I think were on par with the quality Sousei set. In terms of things I didn’t like about Evol action wise, Paradoxical Zoo getting the short end of the stick in terms of insert song usage, the Mugen Punch being hit hard by the Worf Effect, and Aquarion Gepard’s complete inability to win any fight got tiring after a while. Gepard has the distinction of being the only Aquarion form in the entire franchise to never win a single fight solo.

    Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, another Mecha production by Satelight, may have had lower quality animation but I think the fights were much better. And to be honest, it feels strange having to say that about a Real Robot show in comparison to a Super Robot show…

    I loved Daisuke Namikawa as Yu Narukami. His performance as Yu, and the character himself, was one of the best things to come out of Persona 4: The Animation.

    Iskandar was awesome, and very rarely do I see a character meet an end as gloriously as he did. I like to think that he would be happy with how things ultimately turned out, with Waver succeeding on his own and Saber being saved from her ideals by Shirou.

    High School DxD’s Ed is hands down one I’ll always remember, from the beautiful animation, to the great fanservice, and for just being interesting. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what TNK will do for the Ed of Season 2.

    1. Haha so true. I loved the first 14 episodes so much that my passion couldn’t be destroyed even after 11 episodes of $4!7. Or more like I’m in denial and only consider the Sword Art Online portion part of the SAO anime :P. ALfheim online is a different anime >.< haha jk

  40. Black Rock Shooter TV e Symphogear tem bom enredo!!!!!!!
    Estão como Melhores em Animes na categorias Ação e Fatos da Vida!

    Mas parabéns a Miyuki Sawahiro q fez a Ryoko Sakurai/Fine de Symphogear!

    Anthoni Vedovato
  41. Even though the story and main character development wnet downhill during the second part, I gotta give credit where credit is due, Evol did do well in the aspects of action, sci fi and surprisingly well with the supporting cast. Andy, Mix, Yunoha, Jin, Shrade all reallu likeable and handled well.

    P.S. Shrade was my favorite character btw.

  42. I like these “Best of” posts simply to see what I missed out on this year and what series I should marathon when I have the chance.
    Definitely going to check out Mirai Nikki and Girls und Panzer. Both sound very interesting.

    Nice to see Fate/Zero get the top spot, as it was something I really wanted to see when I finished watching F/SN years ago. Aside from F/Z, none of my top 5 matched the list.

    Nazo no Kanojo X and Tsuritama really do need more exposure. Nazo focused purely on a post-confession relationship, and a very unconventional one at that. It’s a shame most people are turned off by its initial premise (I know I was when I tried to read the manga). Exploring romance from a completely different direction makes it a real hidden gem. Most of all, the main heroine was exceptional and backed with a great and refreshing seiyuu.

  43. I can’t help but get annoyed that Kuroko no Basket didn’t win any category, nor did it get an honorable mention in anything. Sure, Fate/Zero is a great anime and I understand why it won a lot of categories, but Kuroko no Basket is a great anime too. Great characters, awesome story, and great sports action and drama. I feel a bit upset about it.

    Anyways, I really still don’t get why people hate GC. I haven’t watched it yet, but is it really that bad? Just asking.

  44. Just commenting to say thanks (again) and about how happy I am that Tsuritama was picked Most Underappreciated. 🙂 Wholly deserved. Great characters and a great story that fit in its run. Every week was like a dose of rainbows and sheer happiness. Seriously, I could go on but I’ll stop here. Hopefully, given this exposure, many people will give it another chance and a look.

    I also want to comment on the Hyouka being “snubbed” from the Mystery category in favor of Persona 4 (called it in IRC, yes!). This is my take, but Persona 4’s story was a mystery through and through. The entire series kept feeding us clues and leading us toward its conclusion, whereas Hyouka’s mysteries were a device to drive a character-centric story forward. Yes, Hyouka’s mysteries were interesting in a unique way, but if anything Hyouka seemed better fit for the Slice of Life category rather than a Mystery category.

  45. I’m really surprised to see so much hate for SAO on here, it wasn’t perfect but if you’ve read the novels then all the plot holes pretty much go completely away. Yes the anime did a very poor job explaining everything in certain parts but it’s still no where near bad.

    Regardless of what you think of the story or plot I’m really surprised it wasn’t mentioned for its Action at all, I thought the animation for all of the fight scenes were simply fantastic apparently I’m the only one.

    1. That’s the point. The anime adaptation leaves so many plotholes unexplained, unless you have to read through the LN. That’s one serious mistake of SAO, especially for me as non-LN reader…

      Kevin Yamagata
    2. Ehhh, I’m not a SAO hater (I like SAO) but Action is the LAST thing I’d credit it for. The animation quality of the action was downright atrocious.

      Most of the story…and LNs as a whole for that matter, rely primarily on human interactions and motivations. And unfortunately, ALO does a messy job of that even in the LN, which is why the Anime turned out like that.

    3. I agree that there are some overly extreme comments. On the other hand, if you think SAO is “OK”, “pretty good, but nothing spectacular” let alone simply don’t like it, your instantly labeled a “hater.”

      While I didn’t think SAO was “trash”, horrible”, etc., I didn’t think it was “great” or “the best/one of the best” show(s) of the year. It was pretty good though it didn’t live up to all the hype. Just to be clear, I’m talking about ep 1-12/first arc. I agree with Kevin Yamagata that reading the LN was almost required. In fact, after two episodes I did just that – read all of Volume 1 “Aincrad” before the next episode. Sorry, but while I thought it was good (better than the anime), I didn’t think it was great/epic/etc. Ultimately, I decided to move on – both in terms of the LN and skipping Season 2.

      The above is JMO, but that’s the point. Just because someone doesn’t like the anime or LN for valid reasons (i.e. not trolling), it doesn’t automatically make them a “hater” or render their opinion meaningless. It makes them someone who didn’t like the anime or LN. It’s no different for someone who honestly thinks SAO LN/anime is “great”, “the best of the year/one of the best ever”, etc. That’s just their opinion, and does not automatically make them a “mindless fanboy”. It works both ways.

  46. I have to laugh at F/Z and then SAO dominating the polls. Although there were a lot of good shows this year, this just puts into perspective that there weren’t really any great ones.

    Except Jinrui.

  47. I disagree with a number of the picks but most of them seem like valid opinions. I only have 2 complaints serious enough to bother mentioning. First: Best Slice of Life. Kimi to Boku doesn’t even get an honorable mention? Really? Second: Best Song, no Above Your Hand by Annabel even as an honorable mention? I’m not gonna say that differing opinions are WRONG because that would be silly but I’ll just say that anyone who doesn’t love that song strikes me as just shy of trustworthy.

    Personally I think Horizon should have won for best action scenes too for the sheer absurd spectacle of them but whatever.

  48. First – Good job by Stilts, Moomba & Zephyr. Appreciate the hard work on the presentation. Seriously, it was very nice to have links or samples for all the music awards. Lots of search time saved – thanks.

    Overall, there’s more I agree with than I had expected, though I wonder how much of that’s a function of a (very?) few select shows which clearly set themselves apart from the rest. Some random thoughts/comments:

    – I would add the Strike Witches Movie soundtrack to the Honorable Mention list. It’s quite good if you like/don’t mind classical music. I’m not ready to agree with Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II as the best soundtrack, but after listening to the tracks, it’s better than I expected & worth checking out.

    – For OP, I thought Oda Nobuna no Yabou’s was one of the best. Strong battle themed visuals interspersed with appropriate lighter moments which were well timed to fit the music. The song matched the video well – driving, yet still melodic enough for the lighter non-battle shots.

    – I agree 100% with Girls und Panzer as the best choice for Exceeded Expectations. It exceeded mine and I planned to watch it preseason. However, out of the entire year, there was only ONE more show which turned out significantly better than you thought it would? I expected GuP to “win” the category, but I also expected to see Oda Nobuna on the Honorable Mention list. Although Oda wasn’t “Anime of the Year” caliber by any means, I did find it consistently entertaining with a good balance of action, comedy and romance. Given Zanibas’ comments and overall positive review combined with “Girl und Panzer like” preseason expectations (i.e. very low), I think the show easily qualifies for Honorable Mention – more than Binbougami ga!.

    – I don’t (can’t?) dispute Guilty Crown as the year’s Biggest Disappointment. Still, NO “Honorable” Mention candidates? Not one other show fell significantly below your expectations? I can think of a few, but one stands out to me in particular. Given the tremendous amount of preseason buzz/hype, including “possibly the ‘Best Anime of the Year'” level expectations, I think Sword Art Online qualifies for “Honorable” Mention here. To be clear, I’m not making any comment as to SAO’s “overall grade” or ranking vs. other shows. However, after reading comments on RC elsewhere, I think it’s quite fair to say many SAO viewers were ultimately disappointed, and their expectations for the show unfulfilled.

    – The biggest surprise was seeing Hellsing OVA 09 at 28th in the reader survey. I didn’t expect it to win (posted as much), but I did think it would certainly be in the top 10, maybe even top 5. Hellsing 28th and To Love Ru Darkness 13th? I’ve watched both, and I fail to understand the reasoning behind that result unless it’s simply ecchi wins.

  49. I guess I better start watching fate stay night so I can move on to Fate Zero! Thank you RC writers for this great post! I hope 2013 would be as good as 2012 or even better ! xD

  50. Honestly I’m pretty disappointed in the reader’s choice…it was more like people picked what was the most popular, not what was the best quality . Why is Guilty Crown ranked above Sakamichi no Apollon and Tsuritama? That to me is just plain sad. And don’t even get me started about SAO…ლ(ಠ益ಠლ)

  51. I already expected that two animes my friend recommend to me (Sword Art Online & Guilty Crown) were two most boring and shitty animes of 2012. And he said they were the best animes of the year.

    I watched Sword Art Online from the beginning until the end, and yes, it was really overrated. I just can’t understand why a lot of people said Kirito and Asuna are the best couple, where I find them as the most boring characters of all animes I’ve watched. Heck, the only character in SAO which I liked was Lisbeth, and she got a very little screen time.

    Guilty Crown… i watched it only three first episodes and meh… i really didn’t like the main character, so i stopped watching it.

    Sorry for my poor English. I just want to express my opinion here.

  52. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita won nothing?! not even a honorable mention?! life IS unfair!!!!!! and it took me Jinrui winning nothing on an Anime bloggers website to realize that!

    (Just kidding ofcourse but Jinrui did deserve to win at least something…)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. I completely agree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  58. Surprised SAO didn’t get any honorable mentions. Although it slowed a bit down in the middle, it had one of the most compelling series introductions and great pacing overall. Many of the episodes were very well put together – even moreso than any of Fate/Zero’s.

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

  59. Oh well … some of choices here surprised me. Fate Zero unsurprisingly gets the number 1, though i wouldn’t place it in any of my top 10. For me Aquarion Evol is far more superior in every levels. The problem with Fatezero was, though it had the best character of of the year (Ryder), it also had the worst cast of characters. Saber, Kirutsugi, Kotomine, Lancer etc were so fucking boring to watch. If i had to choose the biggest disappointment of the year i had said Fate Zero Second core with that boring kirustsugi back-story burning 2 entire episodes. Thats maybe only my case.
    However, the biggest bullshit I can not understand is the credit SAO (watched 14 eps and dropped) is receiving without merit. The narration is so bad and so stupid that not worth talking about. Also, i would ve had fun with SAO if the anime had said it was a mere comedy and not fool me with that air of seriousness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        Your argument is invalid.

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

      3. @Libelula
        I wouldn’t have said that if Fate/Zero hadn’t won the Reader’s Poll and RandomC’s choice for Best Anime. I was just talking about the opinion of the majority when I said “Best”. It wasn’t a matter of personal preference.
        I just had enough of people going on their own crusades against other people without even spending time to get to know where they’re coming from.
        Comments like these, “Fate/Zero is overrated. Sword Art Online is the true anime of the year.” beg the question of whether the plot of F/Z was even understood.
        “(i cant say anything bad about Fate/Zero because i haven’t watched it)”
        Much like this.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      SAO top 2? casuals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


    The Story You Don't Know
    1. I can understand that. Personally Evol was a big disappointment to me while the first half was solid it went downhill during the second. half. It also undermined the original with unnecessary trolling, like the dog plot tiwst. A lot of potential but it failed to really do anything with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  70. well looking mention you got

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy year of the snake everyone! 蛇年快乐!

  72. I don’t really get you guys: Guilty Crown was good. I don’t get why you all hate anime that has hype. Is it because your own faves are overshadowed?

    And what’s with Fate/Zero getting best animation? Guilty Crown, Aquarion Evol and Black Rock Shooter tops all others in terms of animation.

    Underappreciated: Tsuritama… Isn’t because it sucked?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        But that’s just my perspective.

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

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

    2. Man, the more I looked at it the more it smelled cooked:

      Why is Dog Days at 56th? And Jormungand at 6th? Isn’t that supposed to be the other way round? And Kuroko no Basuke is better than Rinne no Lagrange? D:

      Just… OMG! If this is a disaster it would be worse than Haiti!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      4. *sigh*

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Zero Hour 17
    1. Which ending? There are three to choose from! Fate, Unlimited Blade Works, Heavens Feel. All three have quite different endings. If you didn’t like one of them, then just enjoy the rest. If you are talking about the abomination of an animation, most people reject/hate that adaptation too. If you have not already, read the visual novel! You will not be disappointed!



    ***even at category fantasy: NOT EVEN MENTION SAO?????????….UTTERLY FAIL
    getting disappointed year by year and wonder what kind of people are GETTING IN AND OUR OF RANDOM CURIOSITY……MISS DIVINE…..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      Zero Hour 17
    2. The writers think that SAO’s soundtrack isn’t as impressive as Kajiura’s other scores, which I agree with. There were only two (both battle) tracks that I actually wanted to obtain straight after hearing them. The rest seem easily forgettable, but that’s just my opinion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  83. Thanks for putting this up RC.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

        THIS is great animation which authors of the list didn’t even notice: +
        Show me a single scene in F/Z of that level, I dare you. Hyouka is full of stuff like that.

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

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

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

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

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

  87. Well, as much as there some things I would like to put up and shake my fist at ( Jinrui?, it’s uniqueness and quirkiness alone should get mentioned), I think it is a fair assessment of 2012’s anime and the variety of all the anime mentioned does signify a love and celebration for the genre.

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

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

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

      1. Why do you sound so worked up about this?

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

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

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

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

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

        Thanks for replying in a calmer manner.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  92. Blogger’s here in RC really hate Guilty Crown and SAO

    This was my choice

    Animation – Guilty Crown
    Story – Fate/Zero
    Soundtrack – Guilty Crown
    Opening Sequence – Guilty Crown OP1 or OP2
    Ending Sequence – Aquation EVOL ED1
    Song – Guilty Crown – BIOS
    Character – Kirito
    Action – Fate/Zero
    Romance – Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
    Drama – Kokoro Connect
    Sci-fi – Aquation EVOL
    Horror/Thriller – Another
    Mystery – Persona 4
    Fantasy – Sword Art Online
    Best Anime 2012 – Sword Art Online

    Cul Dud
  93. I want to highlight two points:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Animation : Fa