Now that 2013 is officially over, it’s time for our yearly foray into annoying everyone with our crappy opinions, the Best of Anime 2013 post! As with last year this post is a collaboration between the writers who watched the most series this year (and who didn’t say “Not it!” quickly enough), Zephyr and Stilts (that’s me!). We each watched upwards to…I don’t know, a lot of anime this past year, so while I can’t promise you we’ll be totally objective (such a thing is impossible), at least we’ll be well-informed about whatever we’re wrong about.
Continuing from last year, there are numerous categories in the following areas: Production, Miscellaneous (fun stuff), Genre, and Notable Others. We’ve also added a few new categories, including Best Short and Best Category Defying (also known as the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Memorial Award, though only by me). For most of these Zephyr and I came to an agreement, but when it came to our Best Anime and Best OVA/Movie picks we just said screw it and did them individually…and as a bonus, we allowed any interested writers to include their picks as well! (You can find a list of all 2013 shows watched by participating writers here, to give a little context on our choices). Also included at the end are the final results of the Reader’s Choice Poll.
Disclaimer: As always, disclaimers abound. Please keep in mind that “best” is subjective. What’s best for us isn’t necessarily best for you, and that’s okay. This list shouldn’t be taken as some kind of inviolable truth, but rather the opinions of two guys who watched a lot of anime and then argued about it for about eight hours until a list appeared. Naturally our choices will be influenced by our own tastes, experiences, and personal impressions. Before you go bashing one of our choices, please make sure you’ve at least seen it and know where we’re coming from. Finally, all we ask is that you respect our opinions, just like we respect yours. Thank you.
Disclaimer #2: The choices in this post are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of all Random Curiosity writers. They are solely the opinions of myself (Stilts) and Zephyr, save for where otherwise noted. Also, bare in mind that when two people come together to talk about matters of taste, the results can be a bit wonky. Though we agreed on many categories, sometimes both of us felt strongly about a nominee and one of us had to bow to the other’s choice. These picks are reflective of the two of us as a group, not necessarily each of us independently. Thank you for your understanding.
Note: For a show to be considered, it has to have met the requirements outlined in the Reader’s Choice Poll. For OVAs/movies, the additional requirement is that it’s been either released on BD/DVD so that viewers outside of Japan have had a chance to watch it.
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.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Truth be told, each of the series listed here made a case for winning this category. Railgun S was noted for its striking visual upgrade to the Sisters’ Arc, KamiNai provided scenery porn worth dying for, Prisma Illya gave things more of a CG blend, and Zetsuen no Tempest gave its magical elements the pizzazz they deserved. A choice had to be made though, and it was Suisei no Gargantia that came out as the ultimate winner. With its clean-cut style, sharp-lines, vivid colors, and an impressive array of hand-drawn art, Gargantia delivered great animation from the get-go and kept it up throughout its run. Huge (and immensely detailed) shots of the Gargantia fleet highlighted the series’ animation prowess, which were complemented by spectacular views of an ocean-covered Earth, along with a mystifying dance that was every bit as mesmerizing as it was controversial.
Honorable Mentions: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Zetsuen no Tempest
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.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Traditionally one of the hardest categories to judge, the choice for best story ended up much easier this time around. That’s not to say that there weren’t a plethora of great stories this year–there were plenty–but when you properly adapt an award-winning novel, few things can come close. Shin Sekai Yori comes in as the no-doubt winner, powered by a mature story with immense depth, shocking plot twists, and spectacular developments. Horror, supernatural, drama, and Sci-Fi elements blend seamlessly to give a dark take on what it means to be human, challenging viewers to think about its double edged nature while not shying away from controversial topics such as homosexuality and genocide. Thought-provoking to the end, Shin Sekai Yori didn’t hesitate to take risks and gave viewers an unrivaled experience that will be remembered for years to come. This was a demonstration of the heights anime can reach as a storytelling medium.
Honorable Mentions: Uchouten Kazoku, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Gin no Saji, Zetsuen no Tempest, Little Busters! ~Refrain~
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.
Excerpt by Zephyr
After composing a laundry list of memorable soundtracks over the past few years, Sawano Hiroyuki finally lands in the winner’s circle with his work in Shingeki no Kyojin. Powered by epic themes that keep the adrenaline rush going for days and his trademark vocal inserts, this was a true Sawano soundtrack through and through–endlessly repeatable and equally memorable. No one else who could have crafted a more fitting soundtrack for a series such as this, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to say his work played a part in the series’ success. It has to be noted that last year’s winner Kato Tatsuya also made it onto this year’s list due to his impressive work with Prisma Illya. With both of him and Sawano actively composing music, I wouldn’t be surprised if we end up seeing their names again here next year. That’s just the kind of quality and consistency they bring to the table.
Honorable Mentions: Iwashiro Taro – Suisei no Gargantia, Kato Tatsuya – Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya, Kanno Yuugo – PSYCHO-PASS
|Opening & Ending Sequence|
Whether for its originality or ability to showcase what a series has to offer, opening sequences are always fun to watch. We tend to look forward to new ones and the songs that will be featured in them, and sometimes get a glimpse at what’s coming up in the show too (for better or worse). Here, the focus is on the sequence itself, even though the song may play a part in making it memorable.
Unlike opening sequences, endings don’t strive to draw the viewer in and get them psyched up about the episode that’s coming up. Instead, they’re an outro to what you’ve just seen and may highlight a specific aspect/emotion of the series, though sometimes they’re completely irrelevant to the actual story and are just an outlet for sheer fun/comedic value. Whichever the case, there are certain sequences that we enjoyed more than others.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Could there be anything else? Endlessly remixed and amusingly fitting no matter what you used it for, Guren no Yumiya takes the cake as the easy pick for this category. Linked Horizon just scores the jackpot here, and there were few things more appropriate for the series than the progressive metal style they bought with this theme. The lyrics were a perfect representation of the Shingeki universe’s circumstances, and the sequence itself was chock full of budget-blowing animation to boot. The slow motion demonstration of the 3D gear in action was just superb, and having dozens of soldiers fly through the air gave the sequence a climactic finish that set the atmosphere for the beginning of each episode. This was a sequence I never got tired of watching, and it’s unlikely anyone will be forgetting it anytime soon–especially if you spend time on YouTube.
Honorable Mentions: Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san OP, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo OP1, Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? OP, PSYCHO-PASS OP2
Excerpt by Stilts
It’s impossible for me to separate a song from the context in which it belongs, and how an ED is used is as important as its sequence or sound. What elevates Days of Dash above the rest is how it was used and how well it fit the tone of its series. J.C.Staff’s old trick of starting the ED before the episode has finished was used to maximum effect, until just hearing the opening bars were enough to send chills down my spine. Days of Dash embodies everything Sakurasou sought to convey, from the struggle and pain, the relentless drive, and the audacity to reach for one’s dreams no matter the odds. This song has become my anthem if anything ever has, and the last scene where it played in the series runs through my head every time I hear it play. There were a number of other excellent EDs this year, and some had better sequences, but none were wielded so well or cut so deeply as Days of Dash.
Honorable Mentions: PSYCHO-PASS ED1, Aoki Hagane Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ ED1, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi ED, Shin Sekai Yori ED1
With the sequences covered, the attention is now on the actual songs. Insert songs are also up for consideration, with the only real criteria being that it’s something we never got tired of listening to. There’s no bearing on if it was created specifically for a series or even if the series was any good, we’re simply picking some of our favorite songs that were featured in an anime.
Excerpt by Stilts
Last year this was one of the hardest categories to agree upon, but this time agreement came easily when our winner was first suggested. Kotonoha no Niwa was a beautiful movie, and it was helped immensely by its soundtrack, with Hata Motohiro’s “Rain” being the best of them all. It’s beautiful and mournful, melancholy and uplifting, and it fits its story well. I think I’ve listened to it at least once every week since I first heard it play, and I’m sure there will be many more to come. As usual there were so many songs that deserve honorable mentions that we completely abandoned trying to agree and just added two more songs that we loved each.
Honorable Mentions: “Shape My Story” by Yano Anna (Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu OP), “RE:I AM” by Aimer (Gundam Unicorn Episode 06 ED), “Little Busters! ~TV animation ver.~” by Rita (Little Busters! OP), “White Album” by Yonezawa Madoka (White Album 2 Insert)
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…
Excerpt by Zephyr
Occasionally a character comes along that deserves this award despite possessing a multitude of flaws. In fact, it’s their flaws and their ability to live with and overcome them that makes them worthy, and Shin Sekai Yori’s Watanabe Saki was a perfect example. She was delicate, sensitive, and emotional to a fault. She made mistakes and wasn’t the strongest fighter. Yet despite losing close friends and almost dying multiple times herself, she continued on. With tears in her eyes and every reason to give up, she tripped and stumbled her way through one obstacle after another. It was never a pretty sight, but she willed herself to the goal with her efforts, and into the hearts of viewers while she was at it. Shin Sekai Yori was an award-winning tale about humanity, and Saki was the centerpiece of it all. Like humanity, she was flawed but full of potential, and it’s the realization of that potential amidst brutal circumstances that powers her to her victory in this category.
Honorable Mentions: Benten (Uchouten Kazoku), Kuroki Tomoko (WataMote), Fuwa Aika (Zetsuen no Tempest), Joseph Joestar (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure), Natsume Kyousuke (Little Busters!), Hikigaya Hachiman (OreGairu)
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.
Excerpt by Stilts
Kaji Yuki had a busy year. You’re probably thinking of his role as Eren in Shingeki no Kyojin, but that was just the tip of the iceberg for 2013. From the psychotic child Q-vier (Kakumeiki Valvrave), the unsure hero Alibaba (Magi), the cool pretty boy Felix (Unbreakable Machine-Doll, and the happy pervert Youto (HenNeko) – not to mention the far more badass pervert Hyoudou Issei (High School DxD)…he’s good at playing the pervert – the breadth and variety of Kaji Yuki’s work this year was impressive. Some may have a bad taste in their mouth from previous roles, but remember that you should hate the character, not the actor, because any actor that can go from Q-vier to Issei is doing something right. Rounding out our honorable mentions are Ohsaka Ryota with leading roles in Blood Lad and Hataraku Maou-sama!, Sakurai Takahiro for Makishima of Psycho-Pass and Yasaburou of Uchouten Kazoku (among many others), and Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, who damn near won the award for his role as Sorata in Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo alone.
Honorable Mentions: Ohsaka Ryota, Matsuoka Yoshitsugu, Sakurai Takahiro
Excerpt by Stilts
This was a breakout year for Taneda Risa. From Xenovia (High School DxD) to Watanabe Saki (Shin Sekai Yori) to Yukari (Yuyushiki) to Aya (Kinmosa) to Kuriyama Mirai (Kyoukai no Kanata), she was in a major role every season, and she played them well. More impressive was the variety of voices she used to bring her characters to life; out of all the seiyuu I heard this year, Taneda Risa was the one I was most frequently surprised to find voicing a character. “Wow, that was her? I never would have guessed!” Such is the power of a talented seiyuu. Honorable mentions go to Mimori Suzuko, who had an excellent year with roles like Umi of Love Live!, Shion of GJ-bu, Kanzashi of Infinite Stratos, and Myuseru of Outbreak Company, while veterans Noto Mamiko and Hanazawa Kana round out our honorable mentions by consistently doing good work every single year. Special kudos go to Noto-sama for stepping outside of her normal roles to play dangerous, powerful, and even perverted characters. They were all a treat to listen to.
Honorable Mentions: Mimori Suzuko, Noto Mamiko, Hanazawa Kana
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.
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.
“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.
Excerpt by Stilts
This was a banner year for traps, as dubious of an honor as that is. From cross dressers so convincing they’re prettier than most girls to the return of last year’s winner, who doesn’t even need a skirt to make you feel confused, it was a hard decision to make…or it would have been, if one trap hadn’t stood head and shoulders above all the others, and that trap was Gasper. In the best tradition of Hastur the High School DxD team weren’t even pretending Gasper was the least bit masculine, not with Sakura Ayane voicing him in full kawaii girl voice. He wore the girl’s uniform better than most girls, spent time as a damsel in distress, and was even featured in eyecatches like all the haremettes. Hastur made a good case for a repeat victory, and the return of both Genshiken’s Kenjirou Hata and Minami-ke’s Mako-chan gave him a run for his money, but none could match the new kid in the cute skirt.
Honorable Mentions: Hastur (Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W), Kenjirou Hata (Genshiken Nidaime), Mako-chan (Minami-ke Tadaima)
In the genre section, the goal is to pick the series of the year for their respective classes. These are pretty much the series that brought their A-game to the table and are viable candidates for our best anime of the year.
First up is a new category, Best Short. Shorts tend to get a bad rap. Where once they were mostly low-budget productions not worth your time, nowadays many shorts are of very high quality, with stories and situations exceedingly well-suited to their short run times. This category is for any series with a run time of less 15 minutes or less that defied the stereotype and gave us a good show.
Excerpt by Stilts
This was a great year for shorts, with a lot of high-quality series that challenged the assumption that shorts are cheap and crappy. Mainly belonging to the wider slice-of-life and comedy genres, it was hard to compare them because so many were good in their own ways, but the nod goes to Yama no Susume for combining atmosphere with character development. Explaining the atmosphere is easy – a warm, growing, fuwa-fuwa atmosphere permeated the entire show, and made for a relaxing watch. But if that were all then Aiura would win – and it nearly did. It was Yama no Susume’s fidelity to its mountain climbing premise and the character arc of protagonist Aoi that proved you can fit a character-driven story into a short runtime. Honorable mentions also go to Muromi-san and Senyu., both of which were frequently hilarious, with Senyu. even adding in a surprisingly touching story at the very end.
Honorable Mentions: Aiura, Senyu., Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
Action, action, and more action! The action genre ranges anywhere from shounen-crazed series to war-filled mecha shows. For battles, choreography plays a huge role, so that was definitely taken into consideration.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Looking back on the year, there were quite a few action series, and good ones at that. Put them all together and there was plenty of ass kicking to go around, and probably enough explosions to cover the Earth a hundred times over. It’s only fitting that this category has a lot of honorable mentions, even if all of them end up losing out to the indomitable action beast that was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Every bit as over the top as it was bizarre, this was an adventure filled with fisticuffs, god-slaying, monster-pulverizing, vampire-trashing action. In fact, there was so much action that it carried over multiple generations, bringing with it epic machine guns on top of already flashy ripple techniques. With apologies to the other series listed on this category, there just wasn’t any action series better than JoJo this year, which was helped in part by an old-fashioned style we just don’t see much of anymore.
Honorable Mentions: Shingeki no Kyojin, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S, Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince, Kakumeiki Valvrave, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya
Emotion-filled romance at its finest. The relationship between characters and the emotions involved are the appeal, and the main criteria for selecting a series here. A sentimental story is always good, with tear-jerking scenes being a plus. This is the series that had the best romantic mood from the character interactions to the big confession.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Ignored by many due to sharing its name with its (ultimately unrelated) cousin, White Album 2 rises to the top of this category as a diamond in the rough. Powered by an emotionally riveting love triangle, White Album 2 was a story of how fated encounters don’t always end up well, how the best of intentions may only do more harm, and how there’s no substitute for real life experience. This was a story where three people met, tried to fight against the impossible, and hurt themselves more in the process. And what a story it was! White Album 2 was an example of the best this genre has to offer and a standard by which serious romances should follow. There’s no impossibly dense main character here, no straight forward happy tale of romance. This was a whirlwind of emotions and a testament to what an actual romance typically is – unpredictable and filled with a mixture of good and bad. And best of all? This was a series where you knew what was coming long before it happened, and it didn’t matter. There might have been a dearth of romances this year, but this more than made up for it. Did I mention that this was only the introductory chapter?
Honorable Mentions: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen
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.
Excerpt by Stilts
It took a while to build. Little Busters! started out slow, and after the first few episodes some people were condemning J.C.Staff for ruining the latest Key adaptation. For those of you who said that, know this: you should have held on. It built slow because the fast punch isn’t nearly so devastating as the freight train slamming into your soul. By the time Refrain rolled around it had built up a head of steam, and when all the emotions finally came crashing down, I wept. I wept unabashedly for two whole episodes, so potent was the drama unfolding on the screen. There were many great dramas this year, with Uchouten Kazoku almost winning for a similarly slow build up and an emotional gut punch on Episode 8, but only one show pulled us in so deeply only to rip our hearts out with friendship and love. It made every minute that proceeded it worth it many times over.
Honorable Mentions: Uchouten Kazoku, White Album 2, Shin Sekai Yori, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Zetsuen no Tempest
When it comes to science fiction, a futuristic world with advanced technology, robots, space travel, and superhuman abilities is the usual connotation. However, that’s not the only setting that fits this genre. Sometimes all a series has to do is play up a single sci-fi aspect and do it well to go down as an excellent sci-fi series.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Like the Action category, this year was a good one for Sci-Fi, and all the series here were noted for their unique take on the genre. Despite the strong contenders, all of them end up playing second fiddle to Shin Sekai Yori, which revolved around people who possessed the ability to use “cantus.” Essentially the ability to manipulate and create things with their minds, this was a power that stretched the limits of human imagination—a vital part of any Sci-Fi story. Notably, it was key to the series’ award winning premise as well playing an integral part in past events dating back centuries and the characters’ everyday lives in the present. This was a series that just breathed Sci-Fi, and was made even better by the fact that it didn’t shy away from the more controversial aspects of people having such powers.
Honorable Mentions: Suisei no Gargantia, PSYCHO-PASS, Shingeki no Kyojin, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S
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.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Typically a category where the winner is either a great horror or thriller, both Shingeki no Kyojin and Shin Sekai Yori come in as shows that buck the trend by providing both. In the end though, Shingeki wins due to its Titan-oriented story. What could be worse than living in fear of multi-story tall creatures randomly peering in your windows and eating all your friends and family? With an insane diversity of creepy faces, Titans are things nightmares are made of–all of which made it all the more thrilling when they were hunted down. In this respect it was more of an old-fashioned thriller more than a psychological one, but that doesn’t change the fact it was thrilling, because there are few things better than the overhead view of a soldier flying through the city with his 3D maneuver gear. Oh how much budget must have been blown on those scenes!
Honorable Mentions: Shin Sekai Yori, DANGANRONPA: Kibo no Gakuen to Zetsubo no Kokosei
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.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Like last year, 2013 didn’t provide much in terms of mysteries. That didn’t mean that there weren’t good additions to the genre however, and one mystery ended up particularly good. By that, we mean the “Secret of the World.” Set up in its original run and finally culminating in this past season’s Little Busters! ~Refrain~, this was a mystery that hung around for over two dozen episodes, occasionally disappearing and reappearing when we least expected it. It taunted us with red herrings and subtle hints, giving viewers the general feeling that something wasn’t quite right while holding the actual secret until the very end. And what a secret it was. No matter what you thought about the original series, the fact is that Refrain was a spectacular piece of storytelling, and its mystery elements were a big reason why. This was a mystery whose revelation sucker punched you when you least expected it, turned the entire series upside down, and was something whose emotional impact made it an easy winner for this category.
Honorable Mentions: Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi, Zetsuen no Tempest
Where science fiction seeks to explain the remarkable happenings of its universe via technology and logic, fantasy is less concerned with that. Wizards, dragons, and Tolkien-esque adventures are what usually come to mind, but those aren’t mandatory. As long as the focus is less on what makes the world tick and more on using magic and wonder to tell a story, it’s probably a fantasy tale you’re looking at.
Excerpt by Zephyr
Considering that its previous iteration won last year, it’s only fitting that Monogatari Series: Second Season takes home the trophy this year as well, albeit barely. Zetsuen no Tempest gave the series a good run for its fantasy money, but in the end there are few things quite like Monogatari. Hailing back to its fantasy-themed foundations, oddities (and some other category-defying critters) were out in full force this time, and the witty banter was as good as ever. New characters came in to make things even more fun, which combined with an increased focus on a few older characters–I’m looking at you Kaiki–to make this yet another great addition to Shaft’s Monogatari adaptations. There’s not much else to say here. Monogatari’s a fabulously unique modern fantasy and Shaft was the one studio capable of bringing out the series’ full potential. They did, and we got this year’s best fantasy as a result.
Honorable Mentions: Zetsuen no Tempest, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Outbreak Company, Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi
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.
Excerpt by Stilts
Comedy is one of the most subjective forms of art, so in this your mileage may vary, but to me no show was as consistently and uproariously funny as Outbreak Company. In truth it wasn’t just a comedy, with poignant moments, dramatic face offs, and a deep plot that didn’t have enough time to fully come to the fore. When it came to comedy though, it truly shined like no other. It did parody, and it did parody right, showing a great deal of self-awareness for the medium it was so lovingly ribbing. Its timing was superb, with a deft use of silence and of not explaining the joke adding to the hilarity. It was even lovingly self-deprecating, poking fun at its seiyuu and its own staff in search of another laugh. But above all else Outbreak Company was the show that most frequently had me laughing out loud, and for a comedy there is no better compliment than that.
Honorable Mentions: Hataraku Maou-sama!, Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. Z, Noucome
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.
Excerpt by Stilts
This was quite the crowded category, but one sequel shined above the rest for imbuing extra depth into the harem concept. A dense male protagonist is nothing new, but how often is it justified? In Kodaka we got exactly that, and Haganai’s second season was where this became clear. It’s not that he didn’t know, it’s that he didn’t want to know, and the questions this raises – not to mention the warped view of friendship he and the other Rinjin-bu share – made for a surprisingly deep ride. On top of that Haganai continued to be laugh out loud funny, all the girls were still interesting and cute, and it left us on a cliffhanger that leaves me yearning for a Season 3 even now. A large crop of heavily abbreviated light novel adaptations make up our honorable mentions, with all of them sporting fairly strong male leads, plenty of interesting girls, and at least a laugh or five every episode.
|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.
Excerpt by Stilts
GJ-bu is pure, unabashed slice-of-life, and it does it well. It had a nice laid-back atmosphere, and the skits each episode offered up were almost always good for a laugh or a smile, but to me it was the characters that really sold it. Feisty club president Mao, her domestic little sister Megumi, cool chess prodigy Shion, and the mysteriously animal-like Kirara were all delightful to watch in their own ways, and they were helped by leading man Kyoro, whose Ore Man bits never ceased to make me smile. What I really liked was how they kept adding in characters and elements, adding new GJ-bu members (Tama-chan), introducing new jokes (Kyoro’s hair brushing skills, Mori-san’s twirls, the imoutos), and generally striving to keep things fresh by never resting on their laurels. Capping the series off a surprisingly touching graduation ceremony, GJ-bu does everything right and takes home the gold. But I still encourage you to take a look at all of our honorable mentions, because each one was good enough to win the award in most other years.
Honorable Mentions: Yuyushiki, Gingitsune, Love Lab, Servant x Service
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.
Excerpt by Stilts
If you eat nothing but cake, you’ll get sick of cake; that’s how I feel about fanservice. As a flavoring it can be exemplary, and you can even have a big old piece once in a while and enjoy it mightily, but when fanservice takes over the show it’s all the worse for it. YuShibu was not that show. It had plenty of fanservice, and it was enjoyable – Asread spared no expense in animating this series, and it shows in every scene. What made it great was that there was always something else going on. It had a plot, it had comedy, it had likable characters, and all of these served to make the fanservice even more enjoyable. Free! nearly grabbed this award thanks to its thoroughly justified fanservice – why come up with contrived reasons for your characters to be half-naked when they need to be half-naked as a matter of course? – and High School DxD and the rest clocked in with the usual plentiful fanservice, but for my money YuShibu does it best by using fanservice to enhance the experience rather than trying to make it carry the whole thing.
Honorable Mentions: Free!, High School DxD NEW, Senran Kagura, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride
Also known as the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita Memorial Award, this is the category for those shows that deserve to be on this list, even if we don’t have a clue where they should go. Many series cross into multiple genres, which is why you see shows being featured in multiple categories in this section. These series defy genre. They twist and squirm, evading our attempts to label them and are just themselves, as well as good. This is the category for shows that deserve recognition, even if we aren’t rightly sure what they were.
Excerpt by Stilts
Kyousougiga was one hell of a ride. Stylish, confusing, and heartfelt, I can’t say I always knew what was going on, but I enjoyed the entire crazy experience. When I watched the original OVA I thought it was a ridiculous action series, and it had that, but additional time revealed a story with more depth. This was a tale of family, a family made of humans, demons, and gods, with the fate of all thirteen worlds hanging in the balance of their explosive reunion. It had style, it had panache, and at the very end it made me want to give my own family a hug. Kyousougiga shows what a family ought to be, even if the very laws of time and space stand in the way. It defies categorization, but it’s everything anime should aspire to be, and it warmed my heart to the very end.
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.
Excerpt by Stilts
While there are many anime that are fun to watch, rarer are those that make you learn, and even rarer still are those that approach their topic with the honesty and authenticity of someone who has stood in the character’s shoes. Arakawa Hiromu’s Gin no Saji is one such story. Coming from an author who lived the agricultural life, it approaches the idea of raising animals for meat with neither judgement nor moralizing, instead merely offering up the question and letting us decide how we feel about it along with the characters. It doesn’t take the easy way out, it doesn’t claim to have the answers, and instead focuses on asking the right questions. Gin no Saji will make you consider facets of morality you may never have considered before, and it also has a well-paced plot, likable and commendable characters, and a deeply unsure protagonist who nevertheless keeps struggling against his past and in search of the man he wants to be. Honorable mentions go to Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, whose uncommon atmosphere belies powerful characters and a riveting plot, Blood Lad for being a solid story all the way through, and Uchouten Kazoku for being one of the most deftly told stories all year.
Honorable Mentions: Blood Lad, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Uchouten Kazoku
The pitfall of excessive hype and anticipation for anything is the disappointment that results when things don’t meet expectations. With regards to anime, this is doubly true when a series has precedent established by its original and a sequel falls incomparably short. At times it’s only a small letdown, but sometimes we’re left wondering what we did to deserve sitting through it. We’re not looking for the worst series of the year here, but the biggest disparity between expectations going in and way the series turned out.
Excerpt by Zephyr
With a great apocalyptic backdrop and a superb animation from GoHands at the ready, Coppelion was a series many had high expectations for. When done right, such premises yield some of the best stories and characters, and this was a series that could have been one of the better entries of the year. Sadly, it ended up as one of the worst. With terribly executed developments, forced drama, forgettable characters, and a laundry list of moments that required immense suspension of disbelief, the only constants Coppelion had were animation quality and its propensity to disappoint. Characters would cry for no reason (or didn’t evoke any emotional response when they did), complex topics ended up being shallow and uninteresting, and glaring inconsistencies plagued the show throughout. It takes a lot to get me riled up about a show, and Coppelion managed to do just that. It’s a good thing I dropped coverage of the series early, because it just got worse from there. Interestingly enough, this was just one of three fall series mentioned in this category.
Honorable Mentions: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (particularly the ending), Kyoukai no Kanata (& KyoAni this year in general), Infinite Stratos 2
Naturally, there’s the exact opposite of the above, where we go into a series with low or little-to-no expectations and it turns out much better than we anticipated. This could easily be considered finding diamonds in the rough, which is only possible if you tend to give new shows the benefit of the doubt. Our picks here don’t necessarily mean they’re blockbuster hits in disguise, but that the disparity between expectations and the actual series goes in the favorable direction.
Excerpt by Stilts
One shouldn’t judge a show by its art style, but most of us do. When I heard about Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ I was trying to cut back on how many shows I was watching, so I said “CG? Not even going to bother.” I’m glad I did. After Zephyr and others vouched for how good it was I checked it out, and wow, what a ride! Epic naval battles with tons of explosions and tactical brawls that made every week exciting were the rule, but they still took time to explore what it means to be human and put plenty of characterization into allies and antagonists alike. And that CG I was so worried about? Sometimes it’s hard to remember how far CGI has come, because after half of the first episode I was comfortable with it, and I’ve come to enjoy how vivid and active CGI can allow the characters to be. Our four honorable mentions are excellent as well, so I encourage you to check them out. They’re far better than you probably expected.
Honorable Mentions: Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu, YuuShibu, Outbreak Company, Zetsuen no Tempest
|Best Anime 2013|
The be-all, end-all of the year. This pick is always a hotbed of controversy, so here’s the exact criteria we used to make it: if we were to meet an anime fan for the first time and they were to ask us to recommend a show that aired in 2013, what would it be? Without knowing the person’s tastes, we would naturally default to the show that did the most things right, one that had wide appeal and deserved it, that had superb animation and told its story well, and above all else, that we enjoyed. The winner of this category should be a high anticipation show that supremely deserved it, or a dark horse that blew everyone out of the water. This is subjective as hell, but you can find a list of our best picks below. For your reference, we also compiled a list of shows watched by each writer this past year.
Stilts: The most important elements in an anime to me are emotion and execution, and each of my selections reflect this. Hataraku Maou-sama! and Outbreak Company are some of the most well-executed anime I’ve ever seen in a while, with every move they made advancing their plots, developing their characters, and giving me a damn good time every week. Sakurasou makes my list for emotion, because while it was certainly flawed, the passionate striving of would-be artists positively sings to a would-be author like me. Little Busters! ~Refrain~ earns a mention for emotion as well, because any show that can make me cry for two straight episodes is something I’ll remember for a long time to come, whereas Shingeki no Kyojin is featured for an evocative world and some extremely chilling moments, though pacing and character problems kept it from the top spot. In the end though, it’s the show that brought both execution and emotion that gets the gold. No other show this year melded nearly flawless execution with powerful emotions that drew me in and socked me in the gut, leaving me crying in sadness and elation. Uchouten Kazoku is, simply put, a superbly well-told story from start to finish, and that’s why it’s my top anime of 2013.
Honorable Mentions: Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Shingeki no Kyojin, Little Busters! ~Refrain~, Outbreak Company
Zephyr: Masterpieces come once in a blue moon. If you’re lucky you’ll get a handful in a given year. If not, you’ll only get one. In 2013, there were a lot of good series, but few reached the top-tiers of “great” and “masterpiece.” In fact, only one reached the latter this year, and that was Shin Sekai Yori. With an award-winning source material, Shin Sekai Yori was a series that came in with high expectations and still managed to exceed them. It was just that good, mixing ambition and a bit of controversy to form a captivating story that showcased the potential of anime as a storytelling medium. Powered by plot twists that often left viewers in shock and a great cast of characters that made you fear for their lives, this was a great example of superb content meeting perfect execution. To top things off, it did all of this with a limited budget–that’s how risky its ideas were–making Shin Sekai Yori a series that really beat the odds in terms of being animated in the first place. It’s just a pity it didn’t have any commercial success, because this was exactly the kind of series anime needs more of.
Honorable Mentions: Little Busters! ~Refrain~, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Shingeki no Kyojin, Zetsuen no Tempest
Takaii: GJ-bu, Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~, OreShura, Hataraku Maou-sama!, Little Busters! ~Refrain~
|Best OVA/Movie 2013|
The same as above, except for the not-regularly-broadcasted offerings. These aren’t covered very often on the site, but we’ve each had the pleasure of watching enough to find some that really caught our eyes.
Stilts: Mournful and yet uplifting, optimistic and yet sad, Kotonoha no Niwa mixes emotions aplenty among the remarkable visuals it paints on the screen. It’s not a big story – in fact, it’s quite a simple one – but it’s told with the expertly minimalist skill that’s a hallmark of Shinkai Makoto. In no time at all I felt for the characters, it transported me entirely into their world and sunk me into their problems, and the visuals…oh my, the visuals! Never have I seen such a beautiful garden, such sparkling leaves, such wondrous rippling water; it’s as our own Guardian Enzo said, “more real than real”. I didn’t watch a lot of movies or OVAs this past year, so perhaps there was one that could have beaten this one out, but I think it would have been hard pressed to make the cut. To me, Kotonoha no Niwa set the bar very high.
Honorable Mentions: Little Witch Academia
Zephyr: When you have film legends in Hosoda Mamoru and Shinkai Makoto both releasing films in the same year, you know it’s going to be a good year for this category. And it was. Powered by masterpieces of storytelling and stunning animation that redefined the term “scenery porn,” this was arguably the best year for movies/OVAs in recent memory. Among all these elites though, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki takes the cake easily as my pick. A two-hour masterpiece, this was Hosoda at his best. It may not have had the kind of animation Kotonoha no Niwa had, but it did have a story unlike any other. When it comes to anime the concept of parenthood is something that’s rarely touched on, and anime parents are frequently missing altogether. Not in this film. Hosoda intentionally centers Ookami’s story on the challenges parents face (especially single parents) while raising their kids, and it’s a masterstroke of storytelling that pulls on the emotional heartstrings. This was a story that gave you the best mother ever to grace the big screen and a tale of maturation, overcoming challenges, and the realization of one’s identity. Overflowing with layers of subtlety, there were just few films that were done better, and it’s no wonder Hosoda has the reputation he does.
Honorable Mentions: Kotonoha no Niwa, Steins;Gate – Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu, Nekomonogatari (Kuro), Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home, Little Witch Academia
Takaii: Steins;Gate – Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu, Death Billiards, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! OVA
|Reader’s Choice – Favorite Anime 2013|
Your choice for 2013. With everyone allowed to pick up to five series, we have a pretty nice spread of results. In exchange for finding out if there was one series that everyone would’ve picked with a single vote, we have a much better idea of the other ones you enjoyed. The top choice is still pretty unquestionable though, since it was good enough to make it into the majority of your top 5 picks.
The Top 5:
Excerpt by Stilts
Shingeki no Kyojin taking the top spot is no surprise, and I for one am pleased to see it there. Though not a perfect adaptation, the world of Shingeki is an evocative one, and its story was powerful. From the bone-crunching fear of the giggling, sickeningly moe Titans, to the unshakable resolve of Eren and the boundless skill of Mikasa and Levi, this is one of the shows I’ve been suggesting to my casual anime-watching friends, and they took to it nicely. Originals had a strong showing with PSYCHO-PASS, Valvrave, and Gargantia all making the Top 10, while nearly all of the other top-ranked adaptations made an appearance in my or Zephyr’s lists, with the others just barely missing the cut. I don’t know about you, but to me that says that RandomC readers must have really good taste!
|Reader’s Choice – Favorite OVA/Movie 2013|
Your OVA/Movie choice of 2013. As mentioned in the disclaimer above, the choices here were restricted to what’s been released on BD/DVD so that viewers outside of Japan have a chance of watching them and making an informed decision. It didn’t make sense to restrict such offerings to a small pool of voters this year and not have it up it for consideration in 2013, so if you wanted to vote for anything that premiered in theaters, you’ll get your chance next year.
The Top 5:
Excerpt by Zephyr
Finally, we have the reader’s choice for best OVA/Movie in Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu. Considering how beloved the original series was on RC, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Following closely behind was the Evangelion 3.0 movie, which was followed by the Nekomonogatari (Kuro) OVA, Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito 2 OVA, and the most recent episode of Gundam Unicorn. In general, the polls ended up about as expected, even though I was surprised that the Shinkai and Hosoda movies didn’t rank higher than they did. There was definitely more of a split on the votes here than in other years, with Steins;Gate garnering only 6.65% of the votes (no previous winner had under 7.87%). But even this ends up as expected considering the strength of the OVA/movie scene this year.
Now that 2013 is officially over and the awards are dolled out, I find myself looking back on the year with fondness. There were a lot of good shows in 2013 which I enjoyed a great deal, both to blog and to watch, but I say this with some caveats. I’m reminded of a few days ago when some of us writers got together to talk about the past year of anime, and about a question Enzo ended up posing. “What do you think this past year was lacking, execution or ambition?” he asked. To this I immediately replied “ambition”, and if there was anything I would change about this year, it was that.
This year there were a lot of extremely well-executed shows, shows that were animated, directed, acted, and told so well that you would swear they were made for the TV screen, even when they were adapted from something else. Yet we didn’t have as many standout series as we have in the past, and that’s something to pay attention to. For those who were willing to give many series the benefit of the doubt 2013 was undoubtedly an enjoyable year of anime, but for those who dabble in fewer series it may have felt lacking. I don’t know, I’m just guessing there. I watch a lot of anime.
Yet I remain optimistic for the future, because when you are producing anime as good as we saw this year, it’s only a small leap to go from making the same old thing to making true art, as some of the top series of 2013 did. I hope you’ll join me and the rest of Random Curiosity for another year of anime in 2014, as we find out whether it can best the year prior and bring us more series that positively shine. Get excited!
Thank you stilts/zephyr for choosing worthy AOTY. As for the readers… We’ll I suppose hype is might.
I love the picks. It’s the best picks I’ve ever seen in this site
Oh, damn. Dunno how it got here. Wasn’t meant as a reply
I do not agree hype is might, look what it did to Coppelion. Too much expectations that cannot be met.
Nah,it mostly is. I don’t think Coppelion was THAT hyped. At the very least,it doesn’t hold a candle on the truly hyped shows. What we should be grateful is the fact that the most hyped up show this year actually did a good job in meeting most viewers’s expectations.
Wtf, someone posted already? Do they even read the post before posting!?
Of course I do
Just so you know,
Shin Sekai Yori completely flopped in Japan.
(2012) **,587 新世界より
It’s one of those shows westerners love but Japanese hate,
kinda like Ergo Proxy.
hey man, don’t hate the messenger,
I’m just telling you what really happened.
I enjoyed SSY too.
Shin Sekai Yori flopped so bad that
its director Ishihama Masashi stopped working in anime afterwards.
I don’t know if it’s because he’s taking a break from anime
or because none of the anime production committees were willing to hire him in 2013.
It’s a pity really,
I loved R.O.D. and NHK so much.
(Ishihama was the animation character designer)
I’m not surprised. It’s not SAO after all (that’s not a compliment).
The sad thing is… like 95% of anime actually sold better than it so singling out a single show for doing so is… kind of pointless. Especially when there are far worse offenders.
They say anime was intended for Japanese viewers and it’s main target were Japanese viewers(which exceptions like Log Horizon). I guess that shows how much SSY failed to capture it’s intended audience.
If that were true then there would never be licenses overseas with subs and dubs in other languages. Space Dandy is even going to be simultaneously aired in English during the air in Japan for people overseas.
anime creators don’t care about western anime audiences during production.
this is because
1. the size of japan-only anime market is already large enough:
158 billion yen, roughly $1.58 billion U.S. just for the anime video,
604 billion yen, roughly $6 billion U.S. for character merchandise.
(I didn’t even include the music and publishing figures.)
http://on-msn.com/1awk1kn (**EDITED, SHORTENED IT FOR YOU)
2. The director/writer/producers don’t cater for foreign viewers,
but it’s not because they hate westerners or anything.
It’s more like they can’t, none of them speak the language, and
making the show for japanese market is already a formidable challenge by itself.
One of the few exceptions to this is Utena, (the director got involved in U.S. localizing)
but that’s about it.
Any foreign licensing is bit of an afterthought,
translations and dubs are done by local companies and there is no input from the original creators during the process.
It’s kinda like how French movie industry doesn’t cater for American audiences.
There are American viewers of subbed French movie, but it was never intended to do that
during the movie production.
crap i think i just broke randomc.net
I just said there are exceptions(like LH, where Touno Mamare said he got the idea after visiting 4chan).
SSY, though, isn’t an exception.
Shin Sekai Yori’s BD costs roughly $50 per volume (5000 yen. DVD costs even less.)
so you can imagine how pissed off the investors were
when it sold only 587 volumes.
$50 x 587 = $29350
for 6 months’ work of a production company,
and investors hate charity.
Watch: they’ll blame poor sales to pirates and fansubbing again…
This unfortunately is probably true.
Saying they expected it to sell was a PR move. No one expected it to sell, no one. It goes against everything the market is geared towards nowadays.
It was someone’s pet project. Someone wanted to see SSY animated, so they pulled strings and got it approved. And in turn we got the best adapation of anything in a while, precisely because it wasn’t trying to cater to the otaku so it could sell.
And Masashi has worked on Attack on Titan after Shin Sekai Yori, off the top of my head. No one’s going to completely drop him because one show sold bad. There would be no directors if that were the case, and PA Works would be operating out of a cardbox box.
Though his credentials post SSY are admittedly small. So perhaps there’s some truth to your claims.
I stand corrected.
Further research taught me he was involved in
Shingeki no Kyojin (2013) and Tokyo Ravens (2013).
As someone who just recently watched the entirety of Shinsekai Yori, I must say it totally deserves the spot. Though it had some flaws(awful CGI,art inconsistencies), it didn’t stop it from delivering a compelling story like you guys mentioned. Just wanna say I’m glad I gave it a try when I saw most folks have it on their five picks in the poll’s comment section. Here’s to hoping we’ll see more of shows like these in this year. The emotional ride is just something that will be remembered.
Yeah it’s really sad how SSY is so unappreciated in Japan. Well I’ve got to say that for you to watch SSY you’ll need to have patience and it’s not catered for everyone. The meaning of this show is deep and people don’t watch these type of anime often. I really hope more anime will be like this though, but it’s really rare…I love SSY, easily one of my top anime of all time
For adaptations, having low sales is not necessarily a sign of something being disliked. Adaptations are often used as marketing for source material which is why they will so often get 2 seasons even if the first one had terrible disk sales. Unless there is something striking about the visuals of the show or the way it is told, people end up buying the source material since it is significantly cheaper and tends to continue on from where the story left off. In the case of SSY being a novel, you could probably pick it up for $20-30 as opposed to paying ~$800 for it.
The Animation studio tends to suffer in this case in a way. While they receive a budget to create shows, an interview with nitroplus revealed that the majority of the animation studios profit comes from the disk sales. It is the part of the franchise they are most connected to after all.
Of course there are still adaptations that do bomb regardless like Aku no Hana, which didn’t receive a significant boost to its manga sales either.
Basically SSY could still have done well financially as series, you would just need to look at whether its novel got a sales boost from the adaptation
Most of the praise goes to the original novel here. The anime adaptation was often fighting its lack of budget with shaky directing.
Hm, I won’t say SSY isn’t popular with Japanese. The novel did well after all. I read bits of it & in hindsight, the anime really didn’t do it justice. It’s still amazing, of course! But maybe that’s one of the reasons.
It flopped because of the lack of fan service and touches of shounen-ai.
I’m wondering, do you happen to know how well SSY’s novels did in Japan? I doubt that they would pick up the anime if the novels didn’t do well, which leads me to believe that there is a chance it flopped because it didn’t rise up to the fan’s expectations. Even if this isn’t the case, I’m still interested in how well the novels did in Japan.
Did everyone forget Kaiba? Of course you guys did; that anime sold just as much as SSY.
I genuinely think that the people who buy BDs/DVDs have shit taste if they don’t even support one of the best adapted works of 2012-2013 with a story that isn’t, you know, juvenile.
Of course they have shit taste. Have you seen how many people bought Infinite Stratos 2? Too many.
IS2 is objectively terrible. Not Guilty Crown or SAO terrible, which is different, but completely and utterly terrible in just about every way.
And it sold.
i’m completely lost about their taste, i just began watching SSY and by god i just can’t believe it didn’t sell, i couldn’t stop watching it until finish even if i wanted to, it’s too enhancing
The choices line up pretty neatly with mine for the ones I’ve seen. Thanks for taking the time to give me another late night post to ponder and find new shows to add to my list 🙂
Sort of disappointed though you never included Non Non Biyori as a SoL mention, I personally found that to be one of the best SoL shows for 2013. Quite soothing and cute, not to mention easy to relate to for those who grew up in the country.
Anyway, decent list. I’m a bit surprised SSY gets a lot of love, but I won’t be complaining. If I can complain, maybe lacks of Oregairu and again, why not Saika as best trap??
Oregairu was one of those shows that for me, felt solid and touched upon some things that other shows wouldn’t, but as a result, it didn’t really fit into any of the categories above. It wasn’t exactly category defying either. It did get an HM in RomCom at least, and Hachiman got a mention in characters. Personally it was in my top 10-15, but we don’t go that far in terms of listing HM’s here with this post.
i was hoping hataraku maou sama would be in the top 3 because if you ask me that was the best anime of last year, but i’m still happy it still made the top 5 🙂 (here’s hoping for a second season)
I’m glad so many people enjoyed SSY and Psycho-Pass as much as I did. Those two in addition to Zetsuen no Tempest pretty much formed the perfect trifecta for me that season.
Love the picks, obviously I would change a few, but I don’t see a need to contest any of them. Great work guys!! I’ll be looking forward to what this year has in store for us! (P.S. I could see some of these picks were inspired by me/Babu/SeishunOtoko, right Zephyr? ;). )
I don’t think you understand how glad I am a certain overrated anime didn’t win anime of the year, definitely agree with the two that won though, as both series were outstanding. Thanks for writing this up guys! ^^
And I didn’t know Taneda Risa voiced Mirai… Definitely unexpected.
Good reads. Disappointed My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU didn’t make any of the writers’ list. It was such a nice play on romantic comedies
i agree that it was a very good romcom anime, but i still think it might be too much for it to make the writer’s top list, but it was definitely a very good show that i enjoyed throughout spring
It’s on Asobi’s list!
Was Oregairu even a “legit” romcom in a sense that there’s actual romance going on? Instead i was surprised that this show didn’t even make it into the “drama” category considering its strong character-driven story with lots of psychological flavor
Yes it was. There was definitely romance with Yui, but the romance with Yukina didn’t develop a big deal, or at least wasn’t obvious enough. It’s still a romcom.
It was just one of those shows that at least I felt didn’t quite fit into a category, which is why you don’t see much of a mention of it. We did watch it though, and generally did enjoy it, so… yeah. My previous reply above talks more about it.
Oregairu is just like Hachiman. It just sitting in the conner, doesn’t have much visual appealing, outstanding mind but never have enough attention
It was definitely a great anime that made me laugh a lot. Although I have to admit it got worse when it came close to the last episodes. The comedy dropped a big deal and the drama was sorta weird.
White OreGaIru is one of my favorite shows of 2013 I really don’t think it should rated too high. It’s certainly not a bad show but it’s main appeal is mostly Hachiman and there’s a limit to how much one character can do for a show. I put it as my 5th favorite(although it’s mostly tied up with my 6th and 7th picks) because I just went full subjective on it because 8-man is one of my favorite anime characters of the year.
Coppelion was more disappointing than Oreimo?!?!? Damn now I’m really glad I didn’t pick up that show.
¿Coppelion more dissapointing than IS2? ¿Really?
It was more disappointing, not worse. IS alrady put the bar very low the first time. IS2 and Diabolik Lovers are probably the worst shows this year.
IS 2 is more of a disappointment after everything they did with the 1st season
Coppelion had to much hype going into it. Story wise it wasn’t great but I still enjoyed the ride.
Keep in mind that “disappointment” is relative — expectations for Coppelion were much higher at the start of the season.
yeah… they killed the goddess blessing harem anime that is (err was) Charlotte 🙁 for that they deserve to be shot but the anime was already a mid-low expectation at best, so there’s not far to fall from ^_^ but expectations of coppelion were so high and it delivered so little – definitely the most ‘disappointing’
What makes Coppelion way more disappointing for me is the fact that it was delayed by two years because of Fukushima so you’d think they would have had plenty of time to address all of the show’s many, many flaws.
Wow, probably the first year since I started watching anime on a weekly basis that the Best Of Award was something I didn’t watch.
Although I’m glad that Kyousogiga and Silver Spoon got their due.
I thought Show Spoiler ▼
from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was a shoe-in for best death. :/
Episode 20 of Jojo was best episode of the year by a longshot.
Caesar Zeppeli’s Lonely Youth.
I do not agree with any of the picks. So…. who do I fight?
your inner demons.
I can agree with your list, quite a bit; I watched quite a lot of anime this year and I’m surprised I not only dropped Shin Sekai Yori, but didn’t bother picking up Uchouten Kazoku. I’ve heard only good things from those so zero argument there. My biggest issue with this list is how is it even possible that Sakurasou was even considered. That anime was almost as bad as Valvrave, if not worse in a lot of ways.
The majority of the plot was just teenage angst, and “the power of youth”; the scenes in which the issues climaxed were ridiculously cliche. The majority of the show’s popularity was in due part to the boring dandere main female protagonist who I can understand the story appeal of (however the story appeal gets a flat zero in execution considering she pretty much did absolutely nothing for most of the show). Meanwhile, the character who was actually genuinely appealing, kept the audience dangling with whether or not she was going to confess (which she never did); the rest of the story just had to do with the side characters (which only genkifemale was good) and how being an independent introvert is a bad thing because for some weird reason an irritating blonde girl will start harassing you and you’ll become the bad guy.
I could go on and on about how insane it is that Sakurasou is on a “top” anything list short of a “Top Most Irritating Anime to Follow When Airing” list.
Other than that, good list; the only thing I can agree upon is that Sakurasou’s first OP/ED and second ED were excellent tracks.
Wouldn’t teenagers (or early 20’s viewers) enjoy teen angst shows?
What’s wrong with Power of Youth?
Please don’t tell me you are displeased with romantic elements in anime.
Cliche still works just fine if the viewer is young and hasn’t watched too much anime yet.
Let the numbers speak for themselves.
(2012) *2,834 さくら荘のペットな彼女
(2013) *1,858 有頂天家族 (3巻/7巻)
Granted, Uchoten BD is not fully released at this time, but the sales numbers indicate
that there are more people or there will be a similar number of people
(when Uchouten BD is fully released)
who prefer Sakura Sou Pet over Uchouten.
You may not be be the majority here, so please don’t use phrases like
“how is it even possible” to disapprove of someone’s opinion that’s different from yours,
because it happened, for real, in real life.
On a side note, I loved Uchouten too.
I guess someone doesn’t like uchouten.
Just an fyi, but judging Sakurasou’s reception based on its sales isn’t a very good idea. It ended up getting screwed by nationalistic fags who damned it for changing the food Nanami was given when she was sick to a Korean dish.
You should watch Oregairu then
“Youth is a hoax. It’s evil.” – Hikihaya Hachiman
Being 32, I’ve got completely nothing against teenage angst and I loved Sakurasou. Now I wonder how old would have to be somebody who claims that teenage stuff is too naive for him to watch.
Hell, I’m all for teenage angst and power of youth; it’s good and entertaining a lot of the time. Personally, I like it; but as far as Sakurasou goes, it was ridiculously overdone and the show was pretty much 100% overbearing power of youth. It felt like one of those sub-par mid 90’s love comedies your girlfriend forces you to watch with her out of fear of castration.
Admittely, Sakurasou wasn’t a TERRIBLE anime; it was just a really irritating one full of overdone themes, annoying characters (and annoying “character development”) and was actually really awesome for the first 13 episodes. Then after that, it just became irritating to follow every week; with every character repeating the same mistakes and never improving until the big heartfelt finale which was I guess good if you like that kind of stuff. I felt it ended pretty well, but pretty much everything from episode 13 to the last episode was absolutely awful.
I’m less talking about Sakurasou being what it is, and more about how dumbfounding it is that it could be considered anime of the year by any stretch of the mind. Even I can say I enjoyed it for a time, but I still can say it was irritating as hell to watch past the first cour and felt similar to the downhill slope Sword Art Online had once it got past the Aincrad arc. It’s another case of a really promising and fun anime becoming irritating and overbearing and having one of the most overly defensive fanbases who think it can do no wrong. I’m personally glad the whole “Korean dish” controversy caused it to flop in Japan, even if that was a stupid reason for it to flop given the fact that 90% of the second cour was sheer, irritating melodramatic garbage.
It’s not a terrible anime, it was easily passable and at some points was genuinely fun to watch; but it was by no means at all anime of the year, or anime of it’s given seasons at all.
It was okay.
I agree, Nanami was the most interesting character in that series.
Main character made irritating remarks.
Kaji Yuuki? I may have to wear a mask to the next employee meeting at RC HQ… ;-P
A mask like this?
We all shall wear masks next time.
Haha,I was so expecting you to say something about that Enzo 😀
I think his best roles are in the shows you don’t usually watch. I know it’s hard to take him seriously so if he’s voicing a character in shows that aren’t meant to be taken seriously as a whole then he’s pretty good but in others like Shingeki? Not so much. The exception to this is definitely SSY where I’d say he did quite a good job as Satoru.
I was expecting Gargantia to score way higher, seeing it score behind valvrave is kind of insulting…… And my god so much content to read in this year’s Best Anime, thanks for the hard work ^^
Gosh, now I really got to
watchmarathon Shin Sekai Yori and Yama no Susume
/”Thanks Obama” meme
OTOH, I can
verywilling to bet that “Niji no Oto” is going to be on 2014 list…
I thought Coppelion was okay, but after the series ended. I was pretty much meh about it. I’m still gonna say that Infinite Stratos 2 was even worse then Coppelion.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure as the best action anime of 2013. Heck yeah, I approve of this all the way.
Yes, IS2 was worse than Coppelion.
Coppelion failed more expectations though, hence its achievement on the list.
Butthurt fanboys,get ready your pitchforks and torches,I’ve seen not just the worst anime of 2013 but also one the worst anime of all time. LET THE DOWNVOTES BEGIN!!!!!!!!
Show Spoiler ▼
yeah it was bad alright.
really, really bad-ass….
It was definitely BADASS,the 1993 OVA of course. XD
You have my support, furthermore JoJo will have another season… while I’m expecting second season for million of milles of better animes… this is live… so sad, so cruel.
Gilgamesh and this way of writing
Tay Eifong huh
…..because the batman is a symbol,he can be anyone and I’M THE GODDAMN BATMAN!
Batman isn’t skinny
I thought it was gonna be Zetsuen No Tempest..
Senran Kagura got an honorable mention for fanservice?
Well different tastes I suppose. I thought it was a waste of time since there was never any actual nudity so IMO shouldn’t even be considered. Too bad none of the staff covered Freezing Vibration despite the numerous requests back at the start of the Fall season. Even Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! was a better fanservice show than Senran Kagura and it was a sports anime…
Freezing Vibration also ended up being a truer adaption then the original Freezing anime as well. The amount of injected fanservice compared to the manga to sell it killed to story for me. >_<
PP tops SSY at reader’s choice…
HA! I knew it. But Shingeki? Can’t be helped: people love zombie apocalypse, or any apocalypse for that matter. The more despair and deaths the better.
Emos and edgy kids! Wryyyyyyyyyyy!
That’s said, this was a good year. Though I really just can’t agree with their choice of Exceed Expectations. It was disappointing it had to deviate from original material. IMO original content is really, really bad when there’s a lot of canon material to cover/can be covered.
As a manga reader initially, it’s regrettable to have the anime deviate from the manga. Though I can imagine it will end with no proper closure if the anime follow the manga.
Also, no mini Takaos makes me sad…
way too many ppl watched shingeki ;(
i thought IS 2 are definitely the flop of the year, it was a clear disappointment after everything they did in the 1st season
I’m also suprised that the Mizuki Nana and TM Revolution duets were not mentioned at all. My first reaction was “No! It’s too good to be true!”
now that you mentioned it, it’s definitely weird because for the very least it should get an honorable mention. i mean, it mizuki nana and TM combining together
There were plenty of good songs this year. Valvrave S1’s OP does tops my list, if you compare the full song with the full song of Shingeki, not just the anime’s OP version.
The anime’s OP version is good, really. The whole damn full version, however, would make the full version of the OP of Maoyuu sound like a masterpiece.
somehow, my last part of the sentence was deleted. Too good to be true when I first heard that they were collaborating was what I wanted to say.
It’s almost as if Non Non Biyori didn’t exist.
Of course I understand why there’s little point in actually blogging slice-of-life, because if an SoL show really were blogworthy then that of itself would probably be enough to disqualify it from that genre. And that goes even more so for iyashi-kei as a subgenre. But NNB was a very strong contender for my personal anime of the year. It was one of the very few shows this year that could make me laugh out loud, and yet on one occasion it reduced me to tears (if you’ve seen it, I’m sure you’ll know which bit). It had an elegiac quality too. “Old Japan” usually meets “new Japan” in a supernatural setting, but here the meeting is much more down-to-earth. Right from the beginning where the other children in ex-Tokyoite Hotaru’s new class don’t so much marvel that she has a house key, but that her house actually has locks, to the end where the children forage for food on a mountain owned by one of their families, this is a show that challenges established views of how modern society ought to work. Not that’s it’s neo-hippy eco-agitprop by any means, but at least it gives pause for thought.
Anyway, apart from that, it’s good to see SSY getting the praise it deserves for once. But the “Deaths” section??? Show Spoiler ▼
Yeah,I understand that this is subjective but when it doesn’t even get honorable mention and something way too plot heavy to be a SoL like Love Lab (though it is my favorite comedy of the year) gets one I start scratching my head.
Gatchaman Crowds didn’t win best soundtrack? Not even an honorable mention towards it? I’m sad, because the music in that anime is REALLY good. Definitely my number one soundtrack this year. 🙁
Thanks for your hard work everyone!
I can agree with most of the picks, especially those concerning Shin Sekai Yori as best story and anime of the year. No surprise about Shingeki winning in the readers’ poll; it truly deserves it. Also, glad to see White Album 2 getting the recognition it deserves, as well as Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio.
Lastly, both movie/ova awards were excellent picks; I wouldn’t be able to decide between the two.
My only “complain” is the fact that Yamato didn’t get muchh popularity. In my opinion, it was both a stellar sci-fi remake and an amazing show on it’s own, even if you are not familiar with the original series.
There’s really nothing to argue about here. It’s an all-around good list with plenty of categories and diversity.
Though for best seiyuu award, I’d have to go with Miki Shinichiro. He kicked ass this year as Gintaro and Kaiki.
And no love for JoJo and Kyousougiga in the Reader’s Choice award makes me sad.
Thanks for all the hard work(as always), guys. It was a great year of anime.
…also, you missed one last category. Worst Anime of 2013: Diabolik Lovers.
Not that I disagree, but seriously, is there any show with more fanservice than HS DxD? If it is almost porn!
I just agree with Comedy, Exceeded Expectation and (almost) Fantasy. Maybe too with romance and Movie with Kotonoha …
Opening and endings: pse… “Savior of Song” by Nano? “Preserved roses” by T.M. Revolution and cia? “Spirit Inspitation” by nothing craved into stone?
Song: “Silver Sky” by Nano (again) is not good enough?
I could spend all day here … But for the first time in years, as someone commented above mine, is the first time winning many series I have not seen / abandoned / not interested … and remain so.
It’s just my personal opinion, but I expected these results … and left me with a bad taste, however the effort is appreciated.
Thanks to Zephyr and Stilts for giving White Album 2 the recognition it deserved even with the specter of White Album 1 pulling the show down in terms of recognition that series really was one of the best Romances in terms of story and more especially in execution, in a long time. Hopefully we can get the continuation soon.
Yeah, I was really happy WA2 got recognized. I was a little sad only the first ep got blogged, especially once everything ramped up in the show, but this does make up for it 🙂
If only you were there when we live recorded Stilts catching up to the show.
Hahaha I’m sure that would have been interesting ^^ I remember commenting on one of Stilts posts that I was disappointed that WA2 wasn’t blogged here on RC, not complaining or anything of the sort, it was just that good in terms of this genre.
Little Busters Refrain won 3 categories?! Are you kidding me?!
Plot twist? Yeah, sure, why not. I can agree with that.
Drama? O’Right, you’re pushing it.
Mystery? Above Zetsuen no Tempest? SERIOUSLY???
And where’s the sports category? The action category was won by a series not even covered in RC?
Random Curiosity’s quality drop in 2013 was staggering. Late posts being the norm, empty apologies all over the place, inconsistent writing styles, posts sounding more like a youtube review instead of an episode review. You guys need to get your act together this year.
If it’s a constructive criticism then it’s great, but when it’s not, it’s just mean. The writers don’t owe you anything — they are volunteers. Also, what’s wrong if the writers’ tastes are not the same as yours?
I think the way a wrote is fair enough to anyone who doesn’t suffer from self-righteousness. And from what I wrote, it can be inferred my argument it’s not a matter of taste. Also, the writers not owing me anything is just stating the obvious.
Some reviews are really good. Others not so. I hope RC will adress this…
Again, subjective views are subjective views. It’s clear you didn’t like Refrain as much as the writers did, and that’s fine.
That said, the sports category was considered, but a fair amount of the sports anime we got (that we’re watching) are carrying over, so we scrapped it in the end because otherwise it’d be an extremely biased category with like, one show considered. Lol.
And, I would like to ask though, what’s wrong with a series winning that wasn’t covered? It’s not exactly like we cover everything. If anything, shouldn’t the reaction be something like… “Yes! It got recognition even though they didn’t manage to cover it?”
With respect to a series that wasn’t covered winning a award… Excuse my manners, but I’ll answer with another question: How any of you guys could not find the time (for whatever reason) to cover such a great show, good enough to actually win an award; yet you managed to find the time, and motivation, to cover shows you highly criticize and even “said” where tedious to cover, didn’t make it to honorable mentions, and even flat out dropped?
Please explain the thought process on that, because I don’t get it.
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure wasn’t even on the radar! Heck, should’ve you declared Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince the winner, and I would’ve kept quiet about it (and that show didn’t make it to my top 5 for the action category).
To quote you: “If anything, shouldn’t the reaction be something like… ‘Yes! It got recognition even though they didn’t manage to cover it?'”… Mmmm, I think a honorable mention would’ve been enough.
When I said my argument is not a matter of taste, I think it’s pretty clear I’m leaving subjectivity out of the picture. Can you honestly sit there and tell me with a straight face LBR was a better mystery than ZnT, PP, and others? If so, then what’s the purpose of taking people’s feed back into consideration if you’re just going to be subjective about it?
Like someone else said, you guys went overboard with LBR – and I’m calling BS on that.
I’ll go even further. Look at the honorable mentions for best anime. Can you really say Hataraku Maou-Sama! got a honorable mention ahead of say, Robotics;Notes?
Uchouten Kazoku got a honorable mention for most underappreciated, yet it won best anime? Can you see the incongruence there?
There were some choices I don’t agree with, yet I’m not giving you crap about it because at least a case can be made for those choices. Since 2005, this is the first time I’ve felt let down by The Best of Anime post. I could call it a small slip, but it reveals a lot about what’s been going on with RC as of lately.
Please explain the thought process on expecting us to know that shows will turn out “good” or “bad.” Also, it’s site policy not to pick-up shows mid-way. So by the time the first few episodes rolled by, picking it up was no longer an option. So let’s not go ahead and jump the gun here with assumptions on the situation circumstances here. There was no choice to pick it up. And no one knew it was going to be as good as it was when it first aired.
In regards to shows ending up tedious to cover, shows were occasionally dropped/swapped throughout more than any other of the previous years, so it’s not as if we’ve all stuck to the same shows even if we disliked them. I even personally dropped my first show in my nearly 2 years here this past season.
And are you leaving subjectivity out of the picture? By giving me examples of shows you believe were better, you’re clearly putting subjectivism into it. I clearly explained why I felt LBR got the award. If you don’t agree, again, then fine. I never said anything else aside from that. Let’s not put words or assumptions in my mouth. This goes for the general feeling where you call BS with too much LBR. Again, you’re fine to disagree. But it’s subjective, because you’re saying something else “deserved to win” more.
Going further, where’s Robotics;Notes even fit into this? It’s not mentioned in any of the honorable mentions at all.
Next, for Uchouten Kazoku, the pick for AOTY was Stilts’ subjective pick. Does this means it is exclusive of it being underappreciated amongst the general community? No. There is no incongruence there. Just because one writer thought it was the best does not mean it was any less under-appreciated by the general community based on comments, views, and overall discussion. That’s what the category definition says it is, and has always been.
And let’s not go trying to link an extremely subjective post with “the state of RC.” That’s one thing and this is another. Subjective views do not link to post timeliness or any of the issues you mentioned before. You cannot use something subjective from two writers to make a bigger point about the site, especially when the two writers behind this post are two of the most consistent ones in terms of post timeliness and overall coverage. Subjective posts like this do not represent much about the state of a site at all.
And if you really wanted to say it, our picks (especially our top picks) generally coincided with the viewers choice poll, so we are mostly in line with most of the viewers that come to this site. I’m also seeing a lot more comments this year than the last in regards to agreement. So if anything, our views are more reflective of our viewers than they have been in a while.
So let’s leave this post out of the “state of RC” stuff. If you want to talk about the state of RC, be my guest. I’d be more than willing to discuss it with you separately. Just don’t link it with a subjective post like this.
Well, obviously you can’t know before hand if a show will be good or bad. Mentioning the site’s policy would’ve been enough. Keep the snide remarks to yourself.
Do you know on what basis I regard a show as better or worse than another? No, you don’t. So how do you know I’m being subjective?… Let’s leave it at that. I’m not going to argue semantics.
Robotics;Notes not being mentioned anywhere at all is precisely what illustrates my point. Go back, read again, scratch it and substitute X for it.
The whole Uchouten Kazoku thing… Let me get this. The community is taken into account for The Most Underappreciated category, yet it is left out for The Best category? No incongruence there? One criterion for one, and a different one for another. Ok, fine.
The state of RC thing being linked… Did I singled out Stilts or you at any point? No, I didn’t. I always talked about “you guys” as a reference to the whole staff. You are the one making it personal. Do you realize what you did with your comment of being the most consistent and what not? Leave me out of it, because I’m not singling out anyone.
And this takes me no the next point. Yes, I can use something from two writers and make a bigger point about the site; because you are part of it. You make up an essential part of that team. Your actions reflects on the whole site. Just like an employee’s actions reflects on the whole company. Just like a member’s action reflects on the whole family. Just like a player’s actions reflects on the whole sports team. And so on.
So yes, subjective posts like this represents a lot about the state of the site; specially the most waited for, and dare I say, most important post of the year.
Your picks generally coincide with the viewers’… So what? I just made a tally, and about 60% of your choices coincide with mine. So what? Heck, with your season’s previews, RC pretty much dictates what I watch. And I made that choice because that’s how good I think RC is. So what? I don’t care about your ego.
Leave this post out of the “state of RC”? Sure. Make a post where we can all talk about it. Since it’s the beginning of the year you can even call it “the state of RC so far, and where are we heading”. In the mean time, I’ll bring up the subject wherever I see fit.
My initial post was very benign, and I wish to keep it that way. Feel free to have the final word, I’m not replying anymore. Thanks for your time Zephyr.
Very nice picks…and it’s interesting to see how my favourites are similar to yours. Thanks for the hard work and great job for pulling this together.
No award for Kaiki Deishuu? 2011>2012>2013 IMO. I hope we get better sets of anime this 2014! Thanks RandomC writers! :*
Well most of my favorites this year won something (even Highschool DxD LOL). A bit sad that OreGairu and Hataraku Maou-Sama! only got honorable mentions but I guess that just shows the strength of the other shows in their categories.
Anyways thankyou for your dedication to blogging anime over that past year and I hope we get to see more of it in 2014!
Hell yeah Steins;Gate! Also had a feeling Ars Nova would win the biggest surprise of the year! Kinda sad Bakuman 3 didn’t rank as good as I hoped, then again the fall season really was one of if not the best anime line up I’ve seen in decades! Especially seeing White Album 2 get in there. That was such a strong show and the music was great too of course. Shingeki no Kyojin was no surprise either since that’s a very great show like Sword Art Online did last year (also on another note, excited to see SAO II soon, probably expect to be one of the top animes of 2014!). Thanks so much guys for posting this up and awesome seeing all those votes.
Sad to see another chapter close but hey, there’s a lot more anime to come and who knows maybe we’ll get another awesome fall season again ;).
What is meant by “this year lacks ambition”? Is it that most anime play it safe by applying established profitable formulas?
Overall it’s probably true but I’ve seen plenty shows with more daring concepts like Watamote, Eccentric Family, Free and especially Flowers of Evil, an anime I would deem as a masterpiece due to the brilliance in thematic use, symbolism and every technical aspect. In a pool of generic anime it makes them stand out more.
Happy that Hataraku Maou-sama! and PSYCHO-PASS made it to top 5 in the reader list. Though expected SSY to do better.
Thanks for the year RC!!
I love that GJ-bu got its due, probably my favorite Slice of Life of all time.
Some good choices all around. Especially in regards to Shin Sekai Yori and GJ-bu.
I was saddened that Kaiki wasn’t even mentioned for Best Character though. Perfect Husbando stole the show in a cast of memorable characters this season.
Shin Sekai Yori & Uchouten Kazoku. I’m glad both of my favourites of the year were shared by our authors. I seriously think Uchouten is highly underrated (as already mentioned).
Honestly, I think the list is one of the better AOTY’s I’ve seen. I’ve been on RC since 2006 and this is one is well executed. Omni and Divine should be proud. My only slight criticism is the lack of PSYCHO-PASS in the post. You gave it some due diligence in the music categories, but having only one honorable mention outside of that is troublesome to me. PSYCHO-PASS was certainly more true to the spirit of what mystery is, with actual crimes, detectives, and an overarching Sherlockian villain, than Little Busters Refrain was, and, for the sake of diversity, LBR had already gotten plenty of spotlight in the post (Its a great drama but…). It’s clear you guys like to stretch the idea of “genre” for these posts, but maybe if you narrowed the scope of the genre winners, animes like LBR would give way to shows like PSYCHO-PASS or Zetsuen No Tempest.
In PSYCHO-PASS, Urobuchi Gen’s philosophical and sociological points were integrated in a way that made them tangible and understandable without becoming burdensome (a problem that many animes striving for seriousness fall into). The characters were refreshingly adult but still growing internally, and the questions raised about society had me and my friends debating for months. Not to mention, the show’s conclusion was open and yet satisfying (a truly difficult balance). Of course these are just my thoughts and I’m not trying to say PSYCHO-PASS was the best of the year (I agree with Zephyr about Shin Sekai Yori), but after going through the post I was most excited when I saw PSYCHO-PASS at least get second place in the reader poll. It provided me with some consolation. Thanks RC readers.
But again, thanks to the authors for this awesome post!
Mmm, I see where you’re coming from re: PSYCHO-PASS. The big thing for me was just I kind of felt like it was Sci-Fi first and foremost, and the rest of the elements people liked about it came from that, so it only showed up in the Sci-Fi category because of that.
But yeah, the thing about P-P is there was a lot more to it than just met the eye. It was also a really open reference to classic Sci-Fi sources (both Western films like Blade Runner, The Minority Report and Japanese films like the original Ghost in the Shell). As a Sci-Fi fan, that really hit the spot for me. The rest was just icing on the cake.
If it’s any consolation, I agree with you about the lack of Psycho-Pass wins. I think the problem when it comes to “categories” is that Psycho-Pass doesn’t stand out enough to win any of them. It’s got great mystery, sci-fi and even individual characters and story – but it’s not the BEST of the year. I think it deserves more honorable mentions, but that’s just a personal opinion as well.
I didn’t put up my favorites of the year, but if I did, Psycho-Pass would definitely be up there as AOTY worthy. It might not be deserving of a category win, but hell yes to being a great overall show… and it’s seen in the reader’s choice that people agree =)
Decent choice imo
But, the word “KyoAni in general” in the biggest disappointment category is really unnecessary. Just list all the KyoAni shows in that category if you want to rather than list KyoAni as a studio
My favorite anime wasn’t No.1!
“Honorable mentions go to Mimori Suzuko, who had an excellent year with roles like Umi of Love Live!, Shion of GJ-bu, Kanzashi of Infinite Stratos, and Myuseru of Outbreak Company”
Stilts you forgot her ending song in GJ-bu that one was a keeper.
Outbreak Company for best comedy, you know your stuff Stilts, you do.
In my opinion Oregai should win SoL arward. that’s anime is as real as it gets
After reading this post, I agree with the bulk of RC’s picks (at least of the animes I’ve watched and heard about).
I strongly agree with Shingeki no Kyojin for Soundtrack, White Album 2 for Romance, Kaji Yuki for Male Seiyu (ep21 of Shingeki no Kyojin, anyone?), Shingeki no Kyojin for Horror/Thriller, Monogatari Series 2nd Season for Fantasy (deserves the 2 years in a row win, and Gin no Saji for Underappreciated.
I would say personally I would have chose…
-Hataraku Maoh-sama should have won Comedy (Even when I felt the story itself being a little meh in the middle, it was still hilarious week after week)
-Oregairu for Exceeded Expectations (Thanks to a podcast where Kairi I think mentioned it, I started to watch and loved it– and this is coming from someone who isn’t into RomComs)
-Kaiki Deishuu for Character (Maybe it was because it was a short part of the end of the anime that he showed up that he was overlooked? Definitely lots of love in the RC posts and comments)
-Kami-nai for Animation (but then again it was mostly breathtaking scenery than being balanced with character animation I guess)
-Great Escape by Cinema Staff (Shingeki no Kyojin ED2) for ED theme (musical taste plays a part!)
With all that being said, it was a nice read of Zephyr and Stilts’ opinions here, as well as the AOTY picks from a couple other writers. I appreciate all the hardwork and time it takes to put this together, so thank you for your time and effort.
I really liked Zetsuen no Tempest a lot. Kind of sad that most awards I thought were going to Zetsuen went to Shin Sekai Yori and Little Busters.
Zetsuen is a classic 2nd or 3rd choice. It’s good, really good in fact, but it just doesn’t have that little extra something to put it above others. Though I can totally see giving it a bone by giving it the mystery of the year. I thought Psycho Pass and Zetsuen were very similar in this regard. Really good, but not good enough to be considered the best.
Thanks for the post, I enjoyed reading through it. I suppose I should pick up the Little Buster series and Shin Sekai Yori :3
With so many praise-worthy anime we had this year, it’s not a surprised to see other series winning in their respective categories. Even the giant, SnY, fell short of its expectations. Now I’m curious enough to watch Uchouten Kazoku and give the verdict myself.
PS. I regret watching White Album 2 as much as I regret the ending for the three of them. #manlytears
How the hell did Zetsuen no Tempest not get the mystery slot?
Damn the readers choice for anime of the year.
Shinsekai Yori or Psycho pass is the clear winner without a doubt.
Thanks alot Stilts for picking an anime that I haven’t watched yet as your Aoty. It’s not like my backlog isn’t already completely f*cking me up the a*s… (Though I figure I’ll probably be thanking you in the end, but that’s that and this is this)
Now for the more serious stuff
i.e. your favorite anime is sh*t, my tastes are clearly superior
Mostly choices I agree with. I’d pick Hataraku as Comedy of the year myself, and Oregairu was my romcom of the year, hands down, for starters. Loved the GJ-bu as SoL winner pick (That was actually the first show I watched Mimori Suzuko in, who’s climbing my favorite female seiyuu charts). White Album 2 was a no-brainer as romance. The best is yet to come still too, just as long as the production committee aren’t a group of douche bags and expect 15k, or something along those lines, or no sequel (Truth be told, they’d probably need two more 13 episode seasons to really do it justice so it really is a bit of an investment).
The exceeded expectations winner was a bit of a head scratcher for me though. Not because of what won, but what wasn’t even listed (and which I already mentioned). That, of course, being Hataraku Maou-sama. I don’t recall that having any hype whatsoever going into its anime adaptation.
Everything else was rather expected or I haven’t watched the winner and can’t comment on it.
Overall, a good list in my opinion. I doubt you’ll be receiving as much negative feedback as last year.
Why is Gin no Saji not on the Slice of Life category honorable mentions? And White Album 2 should be on a category about anime that haven’t been watched but once watched, watchers can’t stop (well, mostly)… Though not sure what category is that.
Probably a underwatched category.
Thank you very much for this list!:) I mostly agree
Biggest disappointment for me was BlazBlue: Alter Memory:
+ I’m a fan of the series since Calamity Trigger.
+ I love how ASW and Toshimichi Mori made one Hell of a story… in a fighting game.
+ I love the art of the game. Seriously, the sprites are nicely done in-game.
+ I like the characters.
+ I even like the English dub of the games.
Here’s where it falters…
– Calamity Trigger and Continuum Shift each take like at least 20 hours to get through the story mode with each character, not because you’re fighting a lot, but because there’s a lot, and I mean a LOT, of dialogues. A 13-episode long series isn’t gonna cut it.
– The events of Calamity Trigger were retold in Continuum Shift Extend. By “retold”, I mean “recapped” for people would didn’t play Calamity Trigger first. Basically, before being able to play CS’s story mode, you must complete a single, but lengthy chapter that tells the events of CT, but only from Ragna’s and Jin’s and Noel’s perspectives. That chapter alone could have been made into a 13-episode series.
– Calamity Trigger alone, if used like the first game’s structure with character chapters, should have been told as a 26-episode series, easily. People would have been introduced to the characters in a better way AND it could have added exclusive elements for the characters that were added in CS, Chrono Phantasma and even the light novels and mangas.
– Continuum Shift would have been better as a 26-episode series as well, again to cover each of the characters’ stories.
– As of now, Carl, Bang, Arakune, Litchi, Tao, Makoto, Valkenhayn, Platinum and Relius were barely developped; Carl and Bang got only 1 appearance each.
*spoilers alert, don’t click if you don’t want to be spoiled.*
Show Spoiler ▼
So yeah… for a project that Mori wanted to make so badly, he… kinda blew it.
Only thing that made the watch tolerable?
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Being a fan of Blazblue myself, I actually never expected it to be very good in the first place. One of the main things I kept hearing about Mori’s wish for an anime was that it was money issues that kept it from coming to fruition. That right there is a big warning sign for me.
Having finished it, I can safely say that budget issues were the main culprit in its inadequacy. The last two-and-a-half episodes were actually pretty well animated (Besides that completely lol worthy Devoured by Darkness) and, quite honestly, not too bad. Everything before that was below average to downright terrible. Especially that god awful hot spring episode.
One of the main things I disliked about it was Jin’s characterization. His relationship with Tsubaki is one of his few humanizing aspects to his character beyond “Nii-san!” and his constant harsh treatment of everyone and everything. They mostly had him treat her as a nuisance in the anime, very contradictory to how he was in the game. I still can’t believe they made him shoot f*cking ice cubes instead of swords in the first episode…
Another was the usage (or lack thereof) of Hakumen… just… why? Like, the most badass mofo in the entire game (before Azrael) and he gets like 5 minutes in the entire series.
I will admit, they did Hazama/Terumi justice though. Nakamura Yuuichi once again put out one of his best performances, just like the games. Particularly near the end.
But yes, like I said, budget issues were the main villain. They blew most of it on the last 2 episodes and Noel’s Bolverk summoning sequence and the rest was thrown to the wolves. They probably just spent the minimal possible, just so they could get an anime out there, rather than thrown together a quality product.
It’s the game adaptation curse. Same with valkyria chronicles anime. I’m always so excited for these adaptations because the games are fantastic but ultimately they are no where near as good and part of it is because the ep count and the amount of hours don’t add up properly (anime has no where near as much character depth because it has measly 13-26 ep to work with 20-30+ hours of material to cover).
Guess the only exception was Persona 4 The Animation. It followed the story pretty closely AND didn’t miss any important event. Sure, it had to be shortened, but it was to a reasonable degree.
Thanks for the link 🙂 a must watch 🙂
Wow… IMO, that is nothing short of impressive – done on a professional level. Thanks for the link.
best Romcom Is Haganai Next? why not Tamako Market? Tamako Market is a Romcom show like what you said at episode 5, isn’t it STILTS?
I agree with Zephyr Shinsekai Yori and Ookami Kodomo are my favs this year! Not to mention railgun, psycho pass, Uchouten Kazoku,Sakurasou and really, many many more~ Year 2013 was quite a good year of anime for me
I really have to agree that Shinsekai Yori really is the best anime of the year (and its my personal favorite) not only because of its mature and unique storyline with unexpected plot twists and shocking revelations, but also takes us to a journey by exploring and venturing into the seemingly tranquil world, with full of dark mysteries and dangers ahead.
As for soundtracks, I would prefer Free! soundtracks better. No offense, just my opinion.
The first episode of Shingeki no Kyojin gave me goosebumps and I was irresistibly drawn towards the manga. But as I read on, I got more and more frustrated at the MC for Show Spoiler ▼
I’m rather suprised that Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2177 didn’t get any mention in the lists. Also rather amused at how LB beat ZnT in mystery but whatever, this is meant to be subjective. Anyways, I’m glad SSY got some love despite its commercial flop in Japan. I’ll also consider finishing Uchuten Kazoku now (dropped it after ep1 before :P).
PS. Go Asobi for having OreGairu on list 😀
About SnK (not much of a spoiler but still…):
Show Spoiler ▼
GARGANTIA, yeah, I’ve watched them in TAGALOG DUBBED exclusively aired in Philippine TV EVER!!!!
Not really sure about Kaiki’s “death” in the “Best Deaths” category. How can you be sure Kaiki is dead? Gravely injured he seemed, and the scene closed with no one coming to his help. I’ve not read the novels, but the ending is still too open to conclude he’s dead to me.
It’s included with a kind of virtual asterisk. To be removed if we see anything else. Lol.
i thought mushibugyou will come at least as an honorable mention at most underapreciated.
That would required people watching the show long enough for Naa Hime to appear.
While I may not agree with all picks, for the most part I can understand why they were made. A lot of this (all?) is subjective anyway. A couple of things did strike me as a bit odd.
For Female Seiyuu, not so much disagreement with the choices, but rather I thought Satou Rina deserved honorable mention as well for her work voicing Misaka Mikoto in Railgun S. Her voice acting in episode 14’s “bridge scenes” was simply outstanding IMO. Very emotional and very believable. Hard to do both.
I’m surprised to see Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W receive honorable mention for “Best Comedy”. I watched the entire first season and thought it was pretty good. This season, however, missed the mark for me. I finished it, but it wasn’t anything I looked forward to by the end of the season. The show simply relied too much on the same jokes which got kind of old by mid-season. More frustrating was the lack of any real progression between the male lead and potential haremettes. Might have been more tolerable had the plot not be so insubstantial as well. It wasn’t as bad as another show which also stagnated in terms of the male lead and his relationship with the haremettes, but also wasn’t worthy of “honorable mention” IMO.
“Best Character” is definitely subjective, but for me Hachiman(Yahari/OreGairu) was the winner among a strong crowd. Maybe I’m suffering from male lead density overdose, but Hachiman was like a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale rom-com male lead role. A “dark knight” who fights with his words and intelligence rather than fists, often exposing the grim side of personal relationships. IMO, Hachiman is a great rom-com male lead, and one of my all-time favorites. I truly hope OreGairu gets a second season because the H-man was just starting to roll.
That brings me to my last item – “Exceeding Expectations”. Last year’s winner, IMO, was pretty clear. A lot people derided Girls und Panzer preseason and were genuinely surprised at how it turned out. I was “moderate” (neutral) going into the season, and it still greatly exceed my expectations. Shame that the final two episodes were delayed so it couldn’t be fully considered for other awards.
This year, I don’t think it’s as clear. The winner didn’t surprise me. I disagree, but that topic has been commented upon ad nauseam. What did surprise me was Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu receiving honorable mention while OreGairu did not. I remember people being quite skeptical that OreGairu was nothing more than a Haganai copy, possibly a bad one. Instead, IMO it clearly distinguished itself, and ended up as one of my favorite anime last year. JMO, but I wasn’t impressed with Stella. TBH, I dropped the show mid-season. It was OK, but just that. Perhaps many liked the show, but for me, for it to receive “honorable mention” would mean expectations were pretty much abysmal rather than “moderate” as stated by the RC Season Preview. Though perhaps not qualified for “honorable mention”, Mondai-Ji-tachi was another show that definitely exceeded my expectations.
All in all a pretty good year. Hopefully 2014 will be as good or better.
Uff, only 7 votes for Kotoura-san (one of them is mine), certainly not AOTY but it probably deserved better, if only for the 1st episode 🙂
while i agree that kotoura-san is good anime, but it’s a tough choice because there are many other anime that is better, so i can understand why kotoura-san didn’t get many vote
FWIW, I didn’t vote for Kotoura-san because I only had five votes. I agree that the first episode, the first 10-15 minutes really, was just killer. An incredibly emotion and memorable scene. Overall, I thought the show itself was pretty good, but it started to lose focus a bit towards the end. The “4-koma heritage” showing through a bit. In the end, for me, the first EP just wasn’t enough make it surpass five other shows I watched. Even so, I don’t think badly of Kotoura-san.
Bah, stupid typo: “emotional” in 3rd sentence.
I disagree with LOTS of authors’ picks, yet I think this review is definitely very well-written and understandable. Good read, great AOTY there, it is easy to making recommendation and refering some titles to my friends with these lists.
Hope for more great read this year, and kudos for all authors, especially my fav, Stilts-san! =D
Nice list, this has been the least polarizing best anime list in years for me, really agree with the majority listed here, and nice diversity. Glad GJ Bu and Hagane no Arpeggio ~Ars Nova~ got mentions as they were my personal unexpected anime that exceeded my expectations and really enjoyed them (same for majestic prince). I would add that ghost in the shell arise and yamato remake as my personal top anime (though yamato was technically 2012)with the readers choices top 5 and Gargantia, tempest, AKB0048 S2, Kaze Tachinu, and chihayafuru 2 are my personal favs of the year.
Really with monogatari season 2, titans, Shin Sekai Yori, Phsyco Pass, tempest, little busters, Gargantia (especially the robot AI) it was a great year for great characters and stories.
I would also like to shout out to Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo and Valvare. I’m not the biggest fan of the former type of show but I did enjoy these. Also as much as valvare was trainwreck material and for a time I did hate season 1 I must say that the characters are fantastic. If anything I hope sunrise learned how to do more engaging characters from valvare in their future projects. I like their mecha shows but holy hell they need some work on their main cast a lot of the time. So really it was the characters that won me over in both these shows.
Also I too didn’t enjoy any KyoAni show. It’s like I’m checking them out by obligation from their past work.
Great list guys! Thank you for the hard work! I’m glad you noticed how many great female characters we got this year. Let’s hope we get some great male ones too this year 🙂
The only thing I would add would be the Shinsekai Yori OST as a honorable mention to the Best Soundtrack list. I remember the first time I heard the children’s choir in Kage No Denshouka Daiichibu – it sent chills down my spine!!! And having watched the whole series I cannot think of a more fitting theme for this series, especially considering the subject matter of the story.
Yay Pretty Rhythm got 4 votes, two more than last year. Some stuff I like I thought no one would vote for got votes too, like Aikatsu! and Gifuu Doudou.
Good luck with 2014 guys. Looking forward to read the posts.
It’s like nobody watched psycho pass..
I watched the first episode and was infuriated by the whole premise. Figured that the show would be bad for my blood pressure and end with me yelling politics at the screen, so dropped it.
because are not for kids like you who likes shhhhhhhhhhuuuuuuuuu pwaaaaaaaaa pinnnngggggggg things go stick to your SNK and go away from watching psycho pass
Well, tastes are different, but in general you picked nice shows. I’d just like to add two things:
– Imho Little Busters didn’t deserve so many mentions, it was just boring.
– Non Non Biyori really deserves a mention – either in Slice of Life and / or Exceeded Expectations. It is much better than you’d expect.
Thank you for the Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita award. i am still sadden that Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita was so overlooked last year
shock much…i konw coppelion will turn into a shity anime(just kidding)anime but most Underappreciated?? why? it should have been infinite startos but then that’s just me….
takaii, why u no have monogatari in your honorable mentions D:
at least i know i have superior taste than majority of the people visiting randomc
CAUSE I FEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL
Just for reference, since it was asked. The following is a comparison of the votes tallied by comments in the polls’ post versus their actual placement in the Reader’s Choice.
Show Name / Rankings from Comments (Comment Tally) / Actual (How many ranks off prediction)
1. Shinsekai Yori (61) –> 3rd (2 off)
2. Shingeki no Kyoujin (51) –> 1st (1 off)
3. Monogatari 2 (41) –> 4th (1 off)
4. Hataraku (39) –> 5th (1 off)
5. Psycho-Pass (38) –> 2nd (3 off)
6. Zetsuen no Tempest (36) –> Exact
7. Oregairu (28) –> 12th (5 off)
8. Sakurasou (23) –> 9th (1 off)
9. Chihayafuru 2 (21) –> 10th (1 off)
9. Gargantia (21) –> 8th (1 off)
The most important differences were too high position of Oregairu in the comments and too low of Valvrave. Thanks for the comparison! 🙂
Mmm, just note also that the # of votes turned out quite different ratio wise too.
Thank you for the list! It probably wasn’t easy to make the list, and I can’t agree/disagree with it much since I don’t watch a lot, but I trust that shows you guys think are good will really be good! 😛
I usually watch stuff only after someone tells me it’s good, so this list would help me a lot 😀 Thanks for the hard work! I’ll surely start watching some of these shows. I’m also very glad to see Jinrui wa suita shimashita be mentioned here 😀
It’s interesting how many of everyone’s top pics I missed out on. I’ll have to go and check out some of these shows I didn’t watch when they were airing. Not surprised that AOT is the top reader’s pick. I started watching and loved it, but made the mistake of reading ahead in the manga which killed any enthusiasm I had for the entire franchise.
My only gripe is that Yamato 2199 didn’t make anything, it was hands down my favorite show the entire year. The story was great, characters good, and the visuals simply fantastic with an amazing soundtrack to boot. Then again, it wasn’t covered here and the appeal is rather niche, so I’m not surprised it didn’t show up.
Thanks for all the work covering shows this year, looking forward to another one!
Personally, I’m much more satisfied with this AOTY compared to 2012. In any case, a giant thanks to all the writers. Keep up the good work!
I’m happy about the attention for SSY, certainly one of a kind. And though he’s won the seiyuu award in the past, shout-out to Miyano Mamoru for Berge-Katze in Gatchaman.
Not many choices I totally disagree with, and most of the ones I thought would win ended up being an honorable mention, but the fact that Gatchaman CROWDS got snubbed for best OST is almost criminal.
Also, it’s like Non Non Biyori and Yamato don’t exist, those two deserve to be somewhere.
On the viewer poll side of this, I can’t say I’m surprised that the show that got the most viewers won, but there are shows on that list which I would say are significantly better than Titan which are ridiculously underrepresented. Sometimes it helps to go on the road less traveled rather than following the hype, you might find something truly great.
Shingeki no doubt is the most popular, mainstream anime so not surprising it’s reader’s choice. But I’m willing to bet a lot of people who listed Shinsekai Yori or Monogatari in their top 5 probably put those 2 above Shingeki in their personal top 5. It’s just not as many people have seen Shinsekai Yori or Monogatari because they’re not as well known, promoted, or audience can’t appreciate a really good setting, story. Shame really but least they’re up there. Maybe instead of picking top 5, should also rank your top 5 and have a point system.
I think that’s quite true. SSY and Monogatari 2nd made it in my top 10 list(they would’ve made it in the top 5 but I’m very subjective when it comes to my top choices and even so they weren’t too far off) whereas I only gave Shingeki an honorable mention.
I tend to disagree with randomc’s picks, but this time they were pretty much the same as mine. Which is funny, because it’s still written by the same bloggers :p
since this is kind of a wrap up for 2013, I will take the time to thank all the writers of randomc for being here and you know, write reviews and stuff ^^
Mixed reactions to this list. There were a lot of things that you guys brought up and reminded me of. I expected Show Spoiler ▼
to win death of the the year, but your choice made a lot more sense. In fact, some of your choices were things that I forgot about. I’m surprised Psycho-Pass was kept off the list.
Dear RC writers:
Could you please do a best-of Sport anime section next year? Though a small genre, it is no less deserving.
~ A. Wanderer
Well said. Is definitely a major genre, especially this year with so many sports shows.
Looks like I need to give Outbreak Company a go. The loli put me off, but after reading this, it might be worth a shot.
Watching Aoki Hagane during New Years holiday was great. Really enjoyed it. After reading the manga, I think I can see how the manga fans might disagree with your choice there. Different expectations will give different results. I watched it for sci-fi naval combat, and ended up getting much more than I anticipated. In a good way of course.
Lastly, it’s kinda funny how I have no interest in the top 5 readers choice. They’re just not my cup of tea this year. Even though I loved Bakemonogatari, I just can’t get myself to watch the sequel somehow.
Yuyushiki not best Slice-of-Life!
I guess not everyone here isn’t into Japan word play.
Nantsutte tsuchatta + Zvyozdochka = PURE AWESOMENESS!!
No one will ever get understand the awesomeness Yuyushiki is.
And at put a honorable mention for
Kiniro Mosaic DESU~
as it was sold out
It’s interesting to see how in a readers poll for WORST series of 2013 on Anime News Network, Shingeki no Kyojin got 5th place. Of course, that’s ridiculous, but that just goes to show how a serie as this one is so popular that they a split fanbase will develop: one side that absolutely loathes it and the other side that considers it the best anime ever.
I’ve been a SnK manga reader since well before the anime (which I haven’t watched) was even announced, but it seriously, seriously bugs me how as soon as a series, especially a really good one like Snk, gets popular enough, a fanatical war between total, mindless haters and childish fanboys (and fangirls) breaks out. What about those that like it, but don’t consider it an all-time masterpiece, like me? They get crushed in between. And that’s happened all the time in the anime industry, from Evangelion to Code Geass to Madoka.
Frankly, I consider Psycho-Pass a better work than Snk; but apart from the objective content of each series, it also helps that Psycho-Pass doesn’t have such a fanatical opinion war surrounding it. Good thing there are still places like Random Curiosity, where you can read honest opinions, independent of hypes that should simply stay what they are: hypes, not extensions of the series itself.
I agree with a lot of your points and it’s something I thought a lot about while being a writer on RC – especially around “popular” anime that get a lot of hate just because. As someone that never watched a lot of anime (or at least Div’s definition of “a lot”), I always had a pretty laid back opinion of how to judge shows. Most of them were fair, and I didn’t really dislike any that I deemed worthy enough to even watch.
It’s not until I became a writer that I saw that a lot of the shows I usually enjoy or actually find worthy of being AOTY, are actually either a) hated by a lot of anime viewers or b) seen as overrated and therefore not as appreciated. Not to say that these people are WRONG; everyone is entitled to their own opinions. But I think that because these shows are so highly anticipated or popular, that any little slip, will make people hate it or think that it’s a disappointment. It’s a shame and I hate fueling the fire, but I like popular shows – I think they’re popular for a reason and it shouldn’t be overlooked just because it is what it is.
In the case of Shingeki, I definitely think it deserves the top spot for AOTY for Reader’s Choice. It’s because it’s able to appeal to regular anime watchers and non-anime watchers. Friends of mine that never regularly watch anime told ME to watch it >_> and that never happens. Personally I agree – Psycho-Pass is better imo, but I’m not offended in any way that more people enjoy SnK. I’m just sad when I see so many people hating on it as much as loving it.
Yeah, of course – like I said, it’s a matter of opinion whether PP or SnK deserved the top spot, it depends on personal tastes, but what I really find annoying is that sometimes I have the feel that I’m somehow being unfair to a popular series, because everyone is in a rage about it while I’m not, or, in the opposite case, that I like it simply because everyone else does, while maybe it’s not that great. It makes it hard to judge a series by yourself when everyone is screaming in your ears “It sucks!” or “It’s awesome!”
Thanks for the AOTY list as usual, RC bros! I think I find the list more agreeable than last year (although I have stalled SSY in 3rd episode to wait for the series end, I think I should continue ASAP), and this year is also a great year for anime overall.
I think this year follows consistent positive trend of quality, consistently bouncing back from what I consider disaster years (especially 2009-2010). However, one thing which I think is lacking is masterpiece (or as Stilts said: lack of ambition). Seeing that reader AOTY poll and writer AOTY poll is kinda different, I think it’s could be deducted that masterpiece (total success in popularity, quality and impact) is kinda not meet this year, and rather diverted to a lot of very-high quality shows for their genre.
Random things :
1. As much as I liked LB!Refrain, I have to admit that Refrain for mystery is a kind of weird choice lol (Not because it doesn’t has a great mystery, but simply because it’s not a show that place too many focus as a mystery. IMHO it kinda serves as a (brilliant) plot device for the drama.)
2. Still disappointed that WA2 is not covered in RC. I’m crossing my fingers for coverage of WA2 closing chapter when it airs someday (I hope it will happen).
3. Perfect picture for Outbreak Company. I think it’s the funniest gag in the show and one of the funniest that I watched in a long shot.
4. “In general, the polls ended up about as expected, even though I was surprised that the Shinkai and Hosoda movies didn’t rank higher than they did.” < Also very intrigued about this. I wonder if it's correlated to not enough people have watched Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki and Kotonoha no Niwa this year. That would be a waste of good movies!
Oh DAMN! Free! and Watamote BARELY got mentioned! And that’s a good thing to me.
You really hit me good on that Uchouten Kazoku as best anime of 2013. You won one more reader for that. Nevertheless, Titans was very good. Too bad the fandom has become naruto-like.
I always somewhat disagree with your inclusion of gender bender into the trap category. Trap is highly deceptive because there is immense danger lying underneath the trap’s clothes. Crossdressing is trap.
In gender bender, the body is 100% female. That is not a trap.
For example, the supreme twin tail goodness, “Ore, Twin Tail ni Narimasu”, is getting an anime, maybe airing this year. The main character is a boy who is transformed into the red haired girl in this picture: http://i.imgur.com/WxWXWvU.jpg.
We can properly wear our yuri goggles here, confident that the only protruding flesh we see is in the upper body.
Really happy with the winners this year.
Also, I think you guys should start doing best Anime Studio of the Year. Personally this year I think Production I.G went to town on everyone. With SnK, Gargantia and Psycho Pass. So if you ask me those guys should definitely get some credit.
Is it just me, or did Shin Sekai Yori own almost everything this year?
I disagree with just about everything except Best Soundtrack, Opening, Comedy, Horror/Thriller, Death, Fanservice and Category Defying. Dat Kyousougiga was definitely something else, gave me old school Gainax feels, or better yet Trigger feels.
I don’t remember Seiyuus by name, I only remember their voice and the characters with the same voice like every english dub that JYB does, but these VAs got a lot of vocal range and can do different voices so sometimes I can’t tell who is who.
How the hell is Saika not the best trap?! Didn’t even get a honorable mention, I call shenanigans!
SNK and Psycho Pass were both really bad. Lots of idiots voting I guess.
Noucome best comedy of the year by a mile. Definitely more so than apparently the best comedy of the year that is … Outbreak Company…
OC was a great series, don’t get me wrong I liked it, but it was a show with comedic elements, while Noucome was a through and through comedy (with romantic elements).
Gargantia got best animation? Sure its “artstyle” was nice, but in terms of actual animation there were much better shows. Yozakura Quartet had better animation(on a technical as well as aesthetical level) than Gargantia and every single one of your honorable mentions and it wasn’t even mentioned.
I completely disagree with Yuushibu’s fanservice enhancing the story/experience. It honestly did nothing of the sort and felt out of place and unecessary. The ONLY part the fanservie seemed relevant was the swimsuit part during the summer heat and using it to draw people in to sell things. If anything Highschool DxD takes my pick for that category. YuuShibu’s fanservice was distracting. DxD’s was welcomed.
but we didn’t really see anything new when it came to fanservice with DxD (with the exception of the OVAs) this season. It basically showed us what they did with the last season, if anything, even less effort put into fanservice due to the second season being more plot orientated. Hell, they just flashed boobs in our face for a few seconds an ep and thought it was good enough, Yu-Sibu provided diverse fanservice situations.
plus I wouldn’t say Free! was a disappointment, it was just for acquired tastes.
YuShibuu not only was a terrible show, it also had very sparce fanservice scenes.
DxD is by far the better pick. Which not only is hot as hell, it also had very good emotional moments.
This is probably one of the best coverages of the year I’ve seen, and I agree with a lot of the picks. My top show of the year, Watamote, only got honorable mentions (and why no Izumi Kitta among seiyuu!), but eh, at least Uchouten Kazoku, AoT, HataMaou and Monogatari did get top picks, and those were the others in my top five. While I agree this was a year of execution, not ambition, it is my opinion that both work equally well. While it’s nice on paper to have series that reinvent the wheel and stand out above all else, that brings major risks too, and too much ambition can cause those shows to crash more often than not. So building on the fundaments laid out by other shows to craft something masterfully executed is a perfectly valid tactic – hell, our species has grown to what we are because of it. And it worked, for me anyway, as I thought this anime-year was better than last year because of it. I have seen the sentiment pop up amongst people who watch fewer shows that they were dissapointed with this year’s anime, because there were less standout shows, but sorry to say it, it kind of feels like a lack of trying to me. If you’re getting serious about any medium it would do you well to dig into it and find the hidden gems hidden amongst the generic yourself, rather than letting others do it for you. Or maybe that’s just me. I always like it when a show I didn’t expect anything of ends up becoming one of my favourites in the season (see Mondaji, HataMaou, Uchouten Kazoku and Outbreak Company this year).
Now for the obligatory moaning about some picks – was Coppelion really that deserving? It wasn’t a good show, mind you, but worst of the year? Hell, where is Robotics;Notes in that list? At least the other bad shows (like KnK) didn’t make me waste half a year waiting for jack squat. And while I liked SSY, and I can agree on it being one of the best stories this year, one of the show’s biggest flaws was that I always though the characters were kind of weak in comparison to the world. Nothing about Saki stood out to me, certainly not compared to the other picks. And no Saika from Oregairu amongst the traps?! Shame on you! This blog is RUINED FOREVER!
Ah well, opinions. But Arpeggio turned out actually pretty good, huh? Hmm, might as well give that show a chance. Didn’t see anything interesting in the first ep I watched, but I’ve been wrong before – I wrote off Garupan on its boring first episode too, and that was actually a nice surprise when I watched it earlier this year.
Welp, onwards to 2014! With stuff like the Mouretsu Pirates movie, a second season of Mushishi, Gatchaman Crowds, Prisma Illya and who knows that else, and…a…second season…of SAO. Well, they can’t all be winners.
I agree that Saika from Yahari should have been in the Traps list, but…
substituting Coppelion with Robotics;Notes. That’s low.
I haven’t disagreed more with an award post before. I do admit that Garden of Words and Wolf Children are the highest quality of the year, I do admit Gargantia’s animation was top-notch and consistent to boot.
But everything else… nope.
And for the love of god, did people forget Full Metal Alchemist was good or something? Why is Silver Spoon “underappreciated”? It’s one of the few shows that deserves excellent marks this YEAR, the saving grace of noitaminA, and no one bothers watching it? It qualifies more as true slice-of-life than any of the shows listed on the “Best SOL” category (and it deserved WINNING IT, too)!
Attack On Titan wasnt best this year?!? THE SHIT STORM IS COMING.
Well it won reader’s choice, so at least there’s something. We could just say it’s a “Rotten Tomatoes effect” and calm the angry mobs with that.
Season two of SNK is going to be terrible. Read the manga lately? It has gone in the toilet.
It seems SOMEONE didn’t like the plot twists.
If they keep Araki at the helm it’s bound to get worse no matter what.
just don’t watch it and don’t recommend it to anyone. hope it gets a lot less viewers so viewer’s choice can be less influenced by amount of watchers.
My Best Tv Series : Railgun S (#11 in the poll)
My Best Movie : Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki (#17 in the poll)
Oh well, I guess not many people have the same taste as mine. But that’s fine. Like you said Stilts, Best is Subjective.
Lol at Minami-ke Tadaima being below Aku no Hana in the poll.
Well, I agree with some picks, some aren’t right for me, but everyone has their own opinion, so just some little complaints and stuff:
1) I am pretty surprised that Gin no Gaji got “most underappreciated” pick, since I was sure it’s quite popular series and one of the best this year, proven with 13th place on reader’s choice.
2) For biggest disappointment sure ending of Oreimo gets 1st place and I am really sad for KyoAni, this wasn’t their year, hoping they will bring something better in 2014 (although I enjoyed Kyoukai no Kanata, ending was horrible, but other episodes were really fine).
3) I don’t understand phenomenon of Hataraku Maou-sama, I really think it was decent show, especially shocking is 4th place on reader’s choice…
For Best Anime, my TOP 5, I would go similar to reader’s choice, but:
1) Monogatari Series
2) Shinsekai Yori
3) Psycho Pass
4) Shingeki no Kyojin
5) Zetsuen no Tempest
Definitely better year for anime than 2012.
For me 2013 was a year of low expectations shattered by great execution. Few shows made me really excited at first but so glad I watched them afterwards (ARS nova, Mao sama! Gin no saji, uchouten, Yahari Ore no Seishun, suisei no gargantia).
And it marks the birth of the huge Shingeki fanbase…so much cosplay!
But it’s to be expected with the first show in a while which has that awesomeness factor like Naruto, Bleach and SAO. And I for one am thankful for these shows because I notice it’s these kinds of shows that pull people into anime, like Naruto made me watch anime eight years ago. Let’s hope 2014 is another awesome anime year! YAHARRR!
“For me 2013 was a year of low expectations shattered by great execution. Few shows made me really excited at first but so glad I watched them afterwards”
It was the same for me. Literaly every season of the year barely had anything that I was really looking forward to by just checking a seasonal chart or PVs. Heck,3 of my top 5 shows(White Album 2,Hataraku! Maou-Sama and OreGaIru) were ones I had medium expectations at best for. I see it as a very good thing as it made me want to try out even more shows from now on.
Sorry, but Miss Monochrome wins best ED hands down.
I know you’re getting a lot of shit from old timers that think they remember the “glory days” of randomC. I just wanted to say that randomc is better than it ever was. A lot of shows covered with better writing. Ignore the hipsters and good luck with what you’re doing. Lists like these can’t please everyone. I personally really disagreed with your 2012 list, but I can’t see how you can please people better than with a list like this. Good job.
Every writer has their own style. Started reading this blog during OMNI’s Macross reviews. Had mixed feelings when Divine took over, but got used to his style. Other writers arrived with their own personal style of writing. It’s normal to prefer one over the other. The one thing that didn’t change is the fact that this is still quite an insightful blog.
Hopefully they didn’t make that list to please everyone, but is really how they feel about those shows. That way, it’s easier to see if we missed something good or to agree to disagree. Personally speaking, they’re quite good at introducing me to something I might have missed. Though the first show they managed to get me to avoid was COPPELLION. Watched an episode on TV and ended up agreeing with Zephyr.
I started reading randomC back in high school when Omni first created this. Nearly 9 years after, reading back reminds me of the good old days, but I can confidently say the level of blogging has undoubtedly changed for the better.
Blogging was a relatively new concept back in the old days, the quality and style has improved!
Battleships won the war for me :3
I agree that comedy is the most subjective category. I liked the well executed comedy of Hataraku Maou-sama than the anime culture-referenced comedy of Outbreak. Also, all the entries for romantic comedy are light novels.
Servant x Service wasn’t as good as Working, but I was fairly entertained with it. Some people are hating on Momoi for being fantastical in a slice of life setting, but I thought he was funny, his appearance aside.
Gin no Saji was one of my favorites of the year. The storytelling isn’t that convoluted, and the characters aren’t too wishy-washy. Surprised it’s this underappreciated. Speaking of underappreciated, Kotonoha no Niwa ranked only 10th by readers.
Not going to comment much about the disappointments, except I agree with OreImo. Also surprised you didn’t include Valvrave.
I agree mostly with the Readers’ Choice for my favorites this year. My favorites would be Shingeki no Kyojin, Hataraku Maou-sama, Gin no Saji, Monogatari Series, Chihayafuru, Free, Zetsuen no Tempest, Suisei no Gargantia, Servant x Service, and Minami-ke.
Also, I’m disappointed that Hataraku Maou-sama and Zetsuen no Tempest didn’t win any categories despite being on honorable mentions.
I’m really surprised Yahari blah blah blah didn’t win anything.
But all the same, I’m fine with Haganai and GJ-bu being up there. Other than a lack of mecha (that I care for, at any rate), 2013 was a damn good year for me.
I’m sooo glad Eva didn’t win. Eva defenders keep saying stupid stuff like “it fits completely with the original series”, but my response has always been that in the context of the movies alone, you get such a huge tonal shift from the first 2 movies, you’d almost think you can sue anno for emotional whiplash.
This list is fucking retarded
Nowhere near the level of last year in that department.
Seriously? Best trap? Just because you like anime doesn’t mean you have to act like a hardcore otaku.
No mention of Valvrave’s 2 OPs, Preserved Roses and Kakumei Dualism?
They were both anime and mainstream hits in Japan, and got a highly prized spot on Kohaku Uta Gassen!(together with Titan’s OP)
I agree with some choices… Shinsekai Yori, in my opinion too, was the best anime of 2013, a underrated anime. I like Shingeki no Kyojin but Shinsekai surpassed SnK.
I think Shingeki no Kyojin was a great adaptation, the lately adaptations to anime has been disappointing for me, but I really enjoyed the adaptation of the Shingeki Kyojin.
I agree with you.
ShinSekai Yori deserved its spot. It is the definition of a masterpiece.
My top 3 2013 animes are:
1. ShinSekai Yori
2. Shingeki No Kyoujin
I hoped Shinsekai Yori would be 2nd in reader’s choice but it was too underrated. ;[ Oh well I hope people watch it now because you won’t regret it. You late-watchers are also very lucky because I had to wait patiently for each episode to come out. I also remember waiting and reloading the page just for the last episode and the wait paid off because the last episode blew my mind. It was that amazing!! Plus I’m very picky when it comes to anime.
Frankly, I thought Shinsekai was boring. I watched it all, and throughout the entire series I couldn’t shake the feeling they were simply trying too hard to be deep.
Great picks, team. 100% agreed with White Album 2 and Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure getting recognized in their respective genres. I’m a little surprised with Gin no Saji being the Most Underappreciated because, on the contrary, I thought it was popular.
On Best Comedy, my pick would be Love Lab and Noukome.
On Best Opening, I definitely agree on Guren no Yumiya. My other picks for it would be White Album 2’s Todokanai Koi, and Monogatari Second Season’s Mousou Express (Nadeko) and Kogarashi Sentiment (Kaiki)
On your Best Character category, I was thinking maybe there could been a best male and best female instead of just 1 main choice. Why? I guess because it would be interesting to hear what you’d have to say on why this specific guy and girl stood above the rest. With so many shows, I would agree it would be very hard to to choose just 1 favorite character, so might as well make it 2. If I had to choose:
– Kanda Sorata (Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo) – I’m tempted to put Kaiki Deishuu but decided on Kanda becauseShow Spoiler ▼
Still though, I thought Kaiki was a great male character because of his personality.
– Maki Natsuo (Love Lab) – This was a tough choice with so many female leads, but Maki-san stood out for me because of her eccentricities. Timid ojou-sama types who are clueless about romance aren’t new, but Maki takes it to ridiculous levels with her insane logic on how to hook up with a guy. One of the reasons I’m tuned in to Love Lab is to see what crazy stunt is she going to pull next.
As for special mentions, Shinichi Kano (Outbreak Company) for male, and Renge (Non Non Biyori) and Fino Bloodstone(Yuushibu) for female.
Also maybe a Best Couple would be nice. If I had to choose, it would be:
Ryuunosuke/Rita (Sakurasou no Pet no Kanojo),
Chihaya/Ichimiya and Hasebe/Lucy (Servant x Service)
Kazusa/Haruki (White Album 2)
Interesting to see the past few years’ results. Shingeki no Kyojin got the most percentage of votes (9.85%) since Bakemonogatari (11.40%) in 2009, more than FMA: Brotherhood (9.17%) in 2010, Steins;Gate (9.47%) in 2011, and Fate/Zero (9.69%) in 2012. Yet the second place Psycho-Pass got the least percentage (5.76%), compared to Clannad After Story (8.03%) in 2009, Angel Beats (8.35%) in 2010, Madoka (8.09%) in 2011, and SAO (8.32%) in 2012. Of course, this isn’t a scientific survey, but it seems there isn’t a definitive runner-up this time.
Not particularly surprisingly. Shingeki was just hands down one of the most popular shows in a long time. Cultural phenomenon and everything.
Like Zephyr said…when the pv appeared 80% of anime fans wanted to see it(most of them because of the impression at first sight or because they already read the manga)
but in cases like PYSCHO-PASS were most of the genres were exposed such as sci-fi, crime, or psychological many avoided those things…its like when u see an original animation everybody goes nuts but when u see an original plot some avoid these things…
ON SHORT ive noticed that every year there is an anime which blows everybodys minds..like a icon for each year, when u think of that year may say ‘ahh…year of FMA’
2013 Shingeki no Kyojin
2014 🙂 ????
2012 not surprisingly SOA did NOT make first place, considering how many ppl hate that show due to the male main chara. In contrast Fate Zero, best of 2012, was loved by everybody.
I am most disappoint that JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken and fairy tail did not do so well. Look at anidb.net and than you will finde ther real best animes of 2013:)
For sequence I would of probably added Mushibugyou OP 1 and for song my favorite of the season was Free! ED :3
I wouldn’t consider Muromi a short and I would also add Inferno Cop plus Cyclops Shoujo Saipu ;)and put Super Seisyun Brothers at the top (possibly).
I’m glad to see Ars Nova up there it was the Girls und Panzer of the year, both were fall too 😛
I missed Shinsekai Yori, I’m definitely going to have to check it out now.
I look forward to joining you guys this year Stilts 😀
I love “Days of Dash” from Sakurasou, but that ED was so last year, imo. I was like expecting KnK’s “Daisy” to be on the best ED category or Red Data Girl’s “Yokan”. But anyway’s, to each their own. I’m glad SSY got the best anime and best story for 2013 because it’s also my personal choice.
I think the deaths that impacted me the most this year were:
Majestic Prince: The Deaths of Randy and Patrick. Sure we knew Patrick was going to die because of the big death flag he threw up, but still the way he went, was just, shocking. I had to rewind that scene and watch. The same with Randy’s scene. He made sure he went out in a cool way.
Kakumeiki Valvrave: While I do agree with the deaths of Inuzuka and Yamada, I think there were a couple of other deaths that impacted me. First, the death of Aina. That was just…I actually cried. Then the death of all the students. I was just like…wow…I was speechless.
There were a couple of others this year that also caught my attention, but those were my top ones.
All in all, good list though 😀
I’m a bit surprised AoT didn’t get an honorable mention. I didn’t watch many of the honorable mentions TBH since I came into this season rather late but I thought the scenes where they were frickin’ flying on trees were amazing. Of course I know it’s not the best in animation. Maybe I should watch some of the others on the list…
And you know it was a shitty year for horror/thriller when Danganronpa made it as a honorable mention.
I’d just like to take a moment to sincerely thank you, RC writers, for putting so much work into writing this review of 2013 anime post, and for your regular coverage of anime, I know how much work you guys must have put into it and I love being able to read what other people think about anime! It is so awesome to be able to discuss anime with all of you guys (RC writers and readers)!
And just a side note everyone, of course the writers are going to be a little biased, they are human after all and we all have different tastes and opinions.
Thanks for being awesome everyone!
Everybody forgot Chamber’s “death” – for me that was the best death scene this year.
I don’t have a problem with the best death pick listed above, but Chamber’s final few lines were certainly among the best I’ve ever heard.
As you stated, I’m trying to keep in mind that “best” is subjective.
but I gotta say…
How is that Arpeggio’s ending got a honorable mention and not its opening?? Savior of Song is pure awesomeness!!!
glad to see shin sekai yori, shingeki and sakurasou in lots of categories I loved those anime.
and to me 2013 was a good anime year, well at least better than 2012 🙂
Glad to see kyousougiga, zetsuen no tempest, kamisama no inai, yahari even though some of em didn’t win(just honorable mention)
Kinda sad that there’s no senki der.. especially yukine as a cute char. lol jk
Overall it’s a good list
Thanks for your work as usual,RC team. I’ll definitely say it’s a good list,even though it hardly matches my own.
As for the reader’s choice: Looks like 2 out of my 5,Hataraku! Maou Sama and Psycho-Pass,made it there with Shin Sekai Yori and Monogatari Series: Second Season not being too far off either. I guess my tastes aren’t too different from the majority of RC’s readers,at least for this year.
agreed with most of the choices. I would put Free instead of Gargantia as best animation though (that water animation man). or nominate it for best ED song.
this is not fair !
life have never been fair
I read the post slowly and anxiously, fingers crossed in hopes of seeing my favorite anime of this year win some category, and there it was! I’ll be picking up a few series mentioned in this post, particularly Uchouten Kazoku and Gin no Saji.
Very happy you picked White Album 2 for best romance, I was also expecting it to win the most underappreciated category too.
Go pick up WA2 now guys! and Cheers for another good year at RandomC
Stilts, I am really glad you chose Uchouten Kazoku. It was a real masterpiece, really captivating and moving, and it seems that only a few people watched it. So thank you very much 🙂
I wouldn’t exactly call Hosoda Mamoru or Makoto Shinkai “film legends” IMO. Calling them with that term means putting them alongside some of the greatest directors in cinematic spectrum such as Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, Martin Scorsese, or Akira Kurosawa and frankly they still have miles to go to even be able to gain a smidgen of general recognition those “true legends” have gathered and honestly i don’t think it possible….
Even among the current movie makers i don’t think they hold up, David Fincher, Alfonso Cuaron, and the Coens all have churned out far better quality features and even comparing them ain’t funny -_-
By standards of current anime they are a total godsend but they don’t go far higher than that right now. Not currently.
the top vote result from raider choice best anime make me laugh
and Non Biyori down there @_@
I believe Kiniro Mosaic has been greatly underestimated, and nonchalantly dismissed upon noticing none of the writers even picked up this show to watch. For me, 2013 was lacking in the SoL department, with every show of the genre being mediocrely boring or a shallow attempt to repeat vastly cliché, formulaic story lines. Kiniro Mosaic fell under none of the aforementioned categories, taking a completely unique concept of ‘Japanese meets English’, and subsequently fashioning it into a series of ingenuous comedy shorts.
Though the 100% female cast is not a novel idea, it was effective for Kiniro Mosaic’s purpose as a purebred Slice of Life show, which is to say there were no implications of any serious romance at all. Each character was amusing in their own special way, and despite the fact that the spotlight did shine on Alice and Shinobu, no character was left as the third wheel (something I find common in SoL shows).
There was linguistic comedy subtly, and brazenly implemented within every episode, something only Otaku fluent in English, or Japanese people well versed in English culture would understand. So I admit this show isn’t for everyone, but most people who frequent RandomC are Otaku fluent in English, so would be the target audience of Kiniro Mosaic.
All in all, while I admired the efforts of GJ-bu, Yuyushiki and Love Lab in regards to being SoL shows, I felt no hesitation in naming Kiniro Mosaic as my favourite Slice of Life show in 2013, though I will admit British bias on my behalf.
You just described K-On!, Yuyushiki, Girls und Panzer, Sora no Woto and Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru.
Azuki Azusa best girl.
Azuki Azusa best girl.
WHY NO BEST GIRL AWARD!?!?!
Zephyr had the more agreeable picks than Stilts in pretty much every single instance. Can’t say anything Stilts picked would have even been a consideration for me in most cases either way whereas Zephyr was either dead on or picked something that at least didn’t make me go WTF.
I think someone liked Outbreak Company too much.
NEVER BEEN MORE PROUD THEN THIS “BEST OF ANIME”
ALL OF THE BEST ANIME OF THE YEAR MAY IT BE FROM Stilts or Zephyr COULDN’T BE BETTER
FINALLY SOME TRUE ANIMES ARE AWARDED FOR THEIR TRUE EFFORT
NOT BECAUSE EVERYONE WATCHED SNK so the best anime is SNK
BE SATISFIED WITH THE WINNERS OF BEST ANIME FROM READERS CHOICE DEAR MATES….
Strangely enough this year my own list of favorites would be practically the same as this one. ^^
Estou decpcionado com a escolhas desse ano, little Busters para mim foi o melhor drama sem duvidas, mas a segunda temporada não foi tão misteriosa, Dangaronpa teve mais misterios, acho que era melhor nesse quisito do que Little Busters, Serio que Watamote e Noucome nem chegaram perto de serem a melhor comedia, me desculpem Staff mas Eu quase não ri com Outbreak foi um otimo anime, mas teve comedias melhores.Ainda continuo achando que a melhor ending é de Kamisama no Inai Nichiubbi, E serio que Yahari …. nao teve direito a nada??? Essa ultima temporada teve também romances muito bom como Nagi no Asakura, Kyoukai no Kanata, quetambém teve uma excelente abertura, teve Kimi Machi no meio do Ano, que teve uma trilha sonora incrivel…Kill la Kill foi bom também, fiquei decepcionado como alguns animes otimos nem foram mencionados…E ainda acho que devia ter um melhor anime de esporte, Kuroko no Basket ganharia de longe…
the only things that i understood was Kuroku no Basket, Kyoukai no Kanata, Little Busters AND OTHERS…
This looks Portuguese.
“I’m disappointed with the choices this year, little busters for me was without doubt the best drama, but the second season was not as mysterious, Dangaronpa had more mysteries, I think this was better than Quisito Little Busters, which Watamote and Noucome or came close to being the best comedy, Staff excuse me but I hardly laughed at Outbreak was a great anime, but had comedies melhores.Ainda still think the best ending is the Kamisama Inai Nichiyoubi, and that seriously …. Yahari was not entitled to anything?? This last season also had very good novels like Nagi in Asakura, Kyoukai no Kanata, quetambém had an excellent opening Kimi Ga Iru Machi had in the middle of the year, we had an amazing soundtrack … Kill it Kill was good too disappointed as some animes otimos not been mentioned … And I think you should have a better sports anime, Kuroko in Basket win by far …”
I’m not going to do anything besides copypaste google translate, even I can understand everything without knowing the language! Thanks, translation tools!
I’m mildly disappointed that Hataraku didn’t win in any category; but at least it got quite a few honorable mentions.
Wow! Yozakrua Quartet walks home with nothing! No honorable mention, not even Most Disappointed?
Well, maybe they’ll get lucky on the Worst of 2014 list?
I am so damn glad, how well Shin Sekai yori did, it’s definitely one of those shows that really deserved alot more attention than it did!
This list in general is good. But it would be perfect if it weren’t for Sakurasou appearing way more than OreGairu, and the lack of both JoJo and Kyosougiga in other categories.
Best picks: Most Underappreciated. Perfect.
Worst pikc: Best ED. Super lazy pick. I can name 20 better EDs from 2013 better than Sakuracrap. At least 10 of these are unquestionably better endings.
In no particular order:
1 JoJo ED (Rundabout)
2 Shinsekai Yori ED1
3 Free! ED
4 Attack on Titan ED1
5 GJ-bu Shion’s ED
6 OreShura ED (sung by one of the main girls)
7 Hanagai NEXT ED (great character art and clever metaphorical visuals)
8 White Album 2 ED
9 PSYCHO-PASS ED1
10 Kyousougiga ED
11 Monogatari SS Koimonogatari ED
12 Valvrave ED1 Boku ja nai
13 Valvrave ED2 Soba ni Iru yo
14 Watamote ED
15 Umbreakable Machine-Doll Maware Maware
16 Tamako Market ED Mawaru mawaru
17 Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi ED
18 Aku no Hana ED dear lord!
19 Kyokai no Kanata ED
20 Cuticle Tantei Inaba ED enka ending for fucks sake!
The SSY ED1 gives me goosebumps every time. whereas that Days of dash is just… bland. I looked at the honourable mentions, and all of them topped Sakurasou’s shitty ED.
After looking at all the shows that won awards it kind of saddens me that as the years passed by, I haven’t seen any anime on the same caliber as Steins;Gate. Please someone, anyone! Please make a high quality masterpiece again ;_;
You really didn’t think there were shows on par with Steins;Gate in the whole year?
Mushishi Zoku-Sho (Second Season) is coming out next April and is critically acclaimed to be one of the best anime.
Mahouka is an anime coming out next year as well featuring Ayase and Kyousuke incest teasing and magical science, maybe you could give that a try.
Obviously I’d be recommending Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders above all those, but hopefully you start realising that there are always masterpieces if you look enough.
Are you John Titor, the time traveler? Both Mushishi S2 and Mahouka haven’t even been aired and add the fact that I was talking about the past, yet you claim those 2 are on par with S;G already. No matter how good Mushishi S1 is, you can’t compare Mushishi S2 to a classic like Steins;Gate simply because it haven’t been released… unless you really are a time traveler who knows that Mushishi S2 will be a bigger hit.
As for Mahouka, I’ve read the LN and I’m pretty sure it’s nowhere near the level of Steins;Gate in terms of plot, characters, and mindfucks. Log Horizon is a lot more interesting TBH.
El Psy Congroo.
I feel like valvrave were really should be added to Underappreciated covering was full and probably current bloggers are not much of action fantasy fans
may be I just feel like divine and omni had much more similar tastes to mine and I feel like I have got nothing to do here anymore
Hmm there are some shows I have missed and seems they are really worth checking out
Happy new year
lol I ve written so many mistakes there then I wanted to correct ment covering got really poor on 2nd season but still full and 5th word is not needed
Ahh I wana edit option
Whoah, a lot of clean hits this year. I’m so glad many shows that deserved more attention here at RandomC got it in spades here (Kyousougiga, JoJo, GJbu, White Album 2, Gin no Saji). I also can’t object to SSY and Uchouten Kazoku being the best titles of the year, especially when compared to the fan favorites like SnK or PP. Basically, my only regrets about this deal are Gatchaman not getting an honorable mention for the OST and Inferno Cop not getting it for the Best Short (but yeah, since you guys were going for the “Shorts are not always cheap and crappy” angle, mentioning it would be just wrong).
On a related note, I missed a lot of shows I wanted to watch this year, and it feels good to know that I actually didn’t miss that much of the good stuff.
hataraku maou sama is the best comedy hand down, out break company is second to that 4 me . otaku joke is too obvious
Wow there is no Watamote in ‘Opening & Ending Sequence’…. big suprise….
I am glad to see my favorites Zetsuen (6th), Suisei (8th), PSYCHO-PASS (2nd), and Shinsekai (3rd) to win the top 10 spots. Even longer running series such as Fairy Tail (25th) and Jojo’s (18th) made into the top 25. I feel particular happy for PSYCHO-PASS because it is not easy for an original story to win high ranks, and even harder when it’s beaten only by an adaptation of an immensely popular manga. (To take nothing from Kyojin [1st], I do think it is a well-made anime.)
I thought Coppelion (67th) was pretty good. The major premise was kind of flawed. (Why banged the hopes of the entire country on a handful of kids when the robot technology was so advanced?) Other than that, the gloomy drawing style was well executed and fitting for the story. However, the climax of the story was about delivering a baby. That gotta turn off a lot of young viewers, especially the males. I’m glad that Kotoura-san (126th) managed to get 7 votes given its short listing time during the voting period. It is probably one of the most underrated anime‘s this year. Finally, I thought the opening of Servant x Service (23rd) was one of the most creative this season. The “still pictures” kind of capture the stereotype of the work environment in a city hall. Yet the pictures were zoomed in and out in a rather playful manner that depict the comical nature of the story. I thought that was pretty clever.
This year has been brightened up by another year of outstanding service from all the writers at Random Curiosity. Just want to say thank you!
I think the ‘Popular Series’ menu above needs an item update.
i am really surprise non non biyori didn’t make it to slice of life, best slice of life in the years, gj bu will be second.
Best: Railgun S
Most fun to watch: Valvrave
Characters: Zetsuen no Tempest
OVA: SG: Fuka Ryouiki no Deja Vu
Story: Psycho Pass
Glad to see that my two favorite anime (Shin Sekai Yori and Shingeki no Kyojin) made the top position in both the author’s as well as reader’s polls.
Both were by no means perfect.
Shingeki no Kyojin had its lengths, particularly the Battle of Trost District/boulder arc, but hot damn those 3D gear maneuvers and that epic soundtrack!
Shin Sekai Yori had that one episode with a very weird art style that many, me included didn’t really appreciate, and Watanabe Saki made too many inexcusable mistakes for my taste, which is why I would have never voted for her in the best character poll but no other series constantly kept me on the edge of my seat.
1) A “Best villain” poll, which would have gone to Shin Sekai Yori’s Squealer (masterfully voiced by Namikawa Daisuke). “We are humans!”
2) Would be great if for future polls you could add some additional spoilers for the main text of the “Plot twist”/”death”-category, so that ppl have the chance to actually see what series you ware going to write about. If it’s a series I don’t know about, I’d rather not read it.
Looking forward to what 2014 has to offer. Two titles certainly will be very popular, namely SAO season 2 and ufotable’s Fate Stay Night (remake/HF?), though both will probably be at least two cour and only end 2015, meaning that some other series might win anime of the year 2014. Maybe “Log Horizon”? 🙂
Thanks for all the good work!
Ahhh Chihayafuru 2 at 10 pretty happy with that, good work people.
is there a chance for the readers to pick not only the best anime of the year but also Opening & Ending Sequence/ Action /Drama / Comedy /character/romance………….
I though that that Kyousiggia would fall under Fantasy, but regardless i glad you guys viewd it. Personally Kyousiggia gets my vote as the most under appreciated anime of 2013. Such a great story and wonderful characters yet I hardly meet anyone who’s even heard the name.
For me the show that defied all expectations was Majestic Prince. Really hope that series gets its second season.
For the best slice of life (i have seen Yuyushiki, Gingitsune, Love Lab, Servant x Service), i think Non Non Biyori deserve a place ^^ (try at least 3-4 episodes).
Started Shinsekai Yori, on episode 5. Dont see the masterpiece everyone is talking about…kinda boring in my opinion.
I am happy that Shin Sekai Yori came up on the list .. more times than I expected here.
& LOL the main character’s Seiyuus of SSY came out as both the male & female seiyuu of the year here.. (you guys forgot to mention Kaji Yuki’s role as Satoru)
I personally think of Monogatari S2 as this year’s best anime, but Shin Sekai Yori was great too so I am ok with this decision. Haven’t seen Uchouten Kazoku so I can’t say much about it.
The story is very nice. Action Romance Drama fantasy and comedy everything is nicely expressed. Very nice information.
Can’t believe that you’ve forgotten to include Saika (OreGaIru) on the traps list.
Plus no mention of Chihayafuru anywhere, that makes me sad. 🙁 Kana-chan is the best thing that happened to 2013. Maybe you could think about adding a ‘Best supporting character’ category next year?
And already calling it, F/SN remake will win AOTY for 2014.
Regarding White Album 2, do I have to watch White Album first to know the story ?
Am I the only one who didn’t enjoy Shinsekai Yori very much? Sure the whole concept was interesting and the plot and characters were well written but the anime just wasn’t very appealing to me.
Also I thought Watamote was a shoo-in for the Comedy section.
My TOP 5 Best Anime 2013
1 Senki Zesshou Symphogear G
2 Senran Kagura
3 Hyperdimension Neptunia
4 Highschool DxD New
5 Blazblue Alter Memory!
Im hope you like it!
where is HATARAKU MAO-SAMA?
Thanks for the lists and rankings, As always your insights on animes are most reliable. I always use them as reference to what animes i would watch. Although i watched most animes there and on the readers poll, I’m greatly disappointed in animes this year cause they are all bland and average. Although i can’t say for certain about kyojin and little busters cause i don’t plan on watching them ( I dropped kyojin manga before the anime and finished little busters vn before too).
YESSS!!! UCHOUTEN KAZOKU I always thought that show deserved alot of recognition. Maou-sama was a good pick, and Sakurasou…omg…that show I thought was amazing. Though after reading all of this, I realized Chihayafuru wasn’t even mentioned, and we all know that was an amazing show
Is it too much of a stretch to say that Hataraku Maou Sama! was the best of this year? At least it was for me. It had everything, great comedy, likeable characters and incredible execution. It may not had had the amazing plot of Shin Sekai Yori, the emotional impact of Uchouten Kaozoku, or the thrills of Attack on Titan, but it was very good at what it was suposed to be. And that is, being pretty darn enjoyable. Honorable mentions go to Shin Sekai Yori, Psycho-Pass, Silver Spoon, Uchouten Kaozoku and Attack on Titan.
Is it just me or is the last line a LoL reference?
So many people watch SnK, no doubt it’d be reader’s top…
Late post, but I’m surprised you didn’t mention any of the songs in Symphogear G!
I thought Shin Sekai was dull – the art style consisted of different shades of brown, the pacing was awful, and all of the characters were extremely boring. I really don’t understand why SSY rates so highly here. I’m glad the blu-ray sales are low for it.
I thought Shin Sekai was exciting — the art style consisted of realistic tones, the pacing was varied but perfect for each scene, and all of the characters were rich, complex, and extremely interesting. I know perfectly well why SSY rates so highly here. I’m disappointed the blu-ray sales are low for it.
You’re a bald faced liar if you think Saki of all people was “rich, complex, and extremely interesting”.
She was just extremely annoying for more than half the anime and I’m glad the blu-ray sales were low for it because she pretty much single handedly make me not like SSY as much as I could’ve.
That and the out of character homoerotic stuff that started happening during the timeskip. Along with offscreen character deaths.
The only good character in the entire anime was Squealer. He wasn’t a stereotypical annoying brat like the two survivors, nor was he clingy like the offscreen killed Maria and that friendzoned dude. He sure as hell wasn’t mysterious just for the sake of being mysterious like Shun was.
The Grandma was cool, I almost forgot about her. Saki’s parents can eat shit. That entire community can eat it.
Good read, however, SnK’s firts OP, Progressive Metal?! Really?! Man that’s so wrong, it’s Power Metal, sorry for being an asshat, but I won’t stand this kind of thing.
Did anyone else actually think about the world rules and plot while watching Shin Sekai Yori? After you go over the rules of the world and its creation, there are a lot of irreconcilable problems with the plot and the establishment of the society that make this show contradict itself in to many ways. I agree that it was beautiful and a nice change of pace to watch, but there were so many problems that I could never call this show a great show. I don’t want to spoil all of the problems in this thread, but next time you watch the show or think about it, just calmly go through what the major conflict is and what the show gave as information leading up to it (here’s looking at you ogres and slave society).
how in the hell kaiki from monogatari series did not won character of the year? i do watch shinsekai yori and i do like it, but kaiki it the biggest turn around of character we might ever see, i mean everyone hates him in nisemonogatari, but now, damn, i don’t understand how saki beat kaiki to best character of the year