I made this blog expecting to frequently update it with my shitty opinions in hopes some people on the internet also had the same shitty opinions. Then I proceeded to ….. not do that. I don’t have any excuses. Have this short list about year-old anime instead!
Note* Only includes anime that ended in 2013. It’s Winter/Spring 2014 now, so anything still airing doesn’t count. I also wasn’t able to watch everything that aired, so I still have a few on my backlog. All scores are arbitrary as hell.
Number 10 – Zetsuen no Tempest
Winter 2013. 24 Episodes. Studio Bones. Action, Mystery, Magic, Psychological, Drama.
“Blast of Tempest” hits the ground running and stays pretty hot for most of its run. The Tree of Exodus is awakening and petrifying towns full of people. Building up to the mid-season climax involves a debate that has more tables turned than anything else I’ve seen in anime thus far. It was at that moment that I knew I really liked what this was trying to be. There are more than a few parallels to both Hamlet and The Tempest for which the show is named. What you’ll be asking yourself the entire time is which one the anime will lean on for its conclusion. If you’re familiar with either or both I’d say you can definitely find something to appreciate in this. If you’re not, stay for some NO-HOLDS-BARRED TREE ON TREE COMBAT.
7.8 trees punched out of 10
Number 9 – Suisei no Gargantia
Spring 2013. 13 Episodes. Production I.G. Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi.
Gargantia is an excellent fish out of water story that’s brilliantly animated and scored. A mech pilot becomes stranded on the long forgotten Earth and must adapt, perhaps discovering his society’s murky past along the way. The fact that the Urobutcher worked on the script is enough to warrant a watch. Given his prior work, there is always an air of tension concerning the ultimate fate of the characters. Will it all go to hell this episode? When will this character become broken beyond repair? All I can say is that I found the conclusion satisfying and very fitting for what the premise is.
8.1 squids gutted out of 10
Number 8 – Shingeki no Kyojin
Summer 2013. 25 Episodes. Wit Studio. Action, Drama, Fantasy.
The big one. This is what everyone was talking about last summer. I absolutely adored the first five episodes. There’s a section that drags and more than a few plot inconsistencies. None of that really takes away from what can only be called “an experience.” I could not allow myself to hit play unless I turned my bass all the way up. The soundtrack is what made all those “moments” so incredibly moving. Generally, this show is pretty hit or miss for people. It’s a hit for me simply because I really dig dual-wielding steampunk spider-men.
8.3 titans defeated out of 10
Number 7 – Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru
Spring 2013. 13 Episodes. Brains Base. Comedy, Romance, School.
I suppose calling this a deconstruction of the RomCom genre is apt. Hachiman “8man” Hikigaya is not the main character we deserved but the one we needed. Actual plot is pretty sparse but that’s the nature of the genre. What makes this shine is character commentary that truly does amaze. Our trio struggle with very real problems, although two of them are very far along the “jaded, next-to-window-sitting” scale. These characters struggle to mature in the best kind of way.
8.9 monologues spoken out of 10
Number 6 – Psycho-Pass
Winter 2013. 22 Episodes. Production I.G. Action, Sci-Fi.
The other Urobutcher show. This one is steeped in dystopian intellectual techno-babble. If you’re into that kind of thing then this is a stellar asset to the genre. This japanese city mitigates crime and decides career path based on your “psycho-pass” hue. Enforcers track down those whose hue has become clouded and have become a threat to society. It’s not GiTS level of deep just yet, which probably works in its favor. This is a very approachable show with really nice world-building. The main villain doesn’t even appear for half a dozen episodes. However, when he does, he’s everything you wanted and more. I think the villain is actually my favorite. He’ll be yours too if you have a morally grey compass.
9.2 humans murdered out of 10
Number 5 – Hataraku Maou-sama
Spring 2013. 13 Episodes. White Fox. Comedy, Demons, Fantasy.
My comedy of the year. The Demon Lord has to flee his realm because he’s losing the war and becomes trapped in the part-time working class of Japan. Instead of fighting massive armies, he now struggles with common essentials such as rent and food to survive. Reaction faces aplenty with an intriguing plot and romance. This had great dialogue and one of the most entertaining supporting characters in recent memory.
9.2 burgers flipped out of 10
Number 4 – GJ-bu
Winter 2013. 12 Episodes. Doga Kobo. Comedy, School, Slice of Life.
This is the hardest one to justify. I can’t exactly say why the good job club is great. It’s either just “great” or you’ll be bored to tears. The best I can do is to just say the bliss lies in the cathartic atmosphere. Sligtly deconstructs a SoL trope or two only to reconstruct it.
9.3 spiders saved out of 10
Number 3 – White Album 2
Fall 2013. 13 Episodes. Satelight. Drama, Music, Romance, Slice of Life.
There is no better romance this year or even the past ten years. Typically romance suffers from poor writing that betrays characters in lieu of “my perfect happy make you feel good ending.” Rest assured that these characters are deeply flawed and stay true to their flaws. They are some of the most “real” fictional beings there are. Terrible people. Great characters. Amazing show. Perfect romantic execution. I can’t believe I almost skipped it for having a “2” in the name.
10 hearts obliterated out of 10
Number 2 – Monogatari Series: Second Season
Fall 2013. 26 Episodes. Shaft. Comedy, Mystery, Romance, Supernatural.
My favorite anime of all time (yet). We continue the story of the MC we both need AND deserve Araragi Koyomi. Pointless to watch if you haven’t seen the prequels Bake, Nise, and Neko -monogatari. These come across as “condescending” to some and “fanservice-y” to others and that’s not completely false. I find how it handles these points of contempt to be incredibly clever. This is very dialogue heavy and if you don’t like the characters then you won’t have a good time. However, if you make it to this entry, chances are you already adore EVERY character. They’re equal parts entertaining, gorgeous, and satisfying. Not to mention the painstaking effort put into making every background wallpaper-worthy, this is truly a masterpiece. No wonder it prints money and is the hottest selling non-shounen anime since Evangelion.
10.000001 lolis kissed out of 10
Number 1 – Shinsekai yori
Winter 2013. 25 Episodes. A-1 Pictures. Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Supernatural.
Wait, how is this #1 if Monogatari is my favorite series? Well, there’s something to be said about experiencing something new and it being a complete package at the same time. There’s also the fact that I’m a sucker for super-intense-shit-hitting-the-fan in the first few minutes of something. This is a post-apocalyptic show with a human society struggling to keep from destroying itself. What SSY does is construct a world so interesting, so beautiful, and so terrifying that I just couldn’t bring myself to watch anything else at all for the days both during and after. It thoroughly exhausted me. You’ll find similarities to Huxley’s Brave New World if you’ve read it, but it’s not necessary in the slightest to get everything out of this show. There are themes of the nature of humanity, homosexuality, ethics, and nature to name but a few. The terror is instilled very methodically and eventually you’ll end up marathoning this without even realizing it. The suspense is so fine, the themes so poignant, the foreshadowing so subtle, the conclusion so brutally honest. You’re guaranteed to feel something. Never skip the amazing ending theme or we can’t be friends.(Btw, this is #2 on the all-time list)
10,000 feels felt out of 10
And that’s it! Thanks for reading. I like anime enough to write for an hour about it. Let me know if something struck your fancy and we can talk about it. I love doing that.