My Top 10 Anime of 2012Posted: January 6, 2013
I was originally just going to put “Top 10 Anime of 2012” as the title, since it’s already obvious this list is just my opinion and such, but I caved and changed it because it made the title look better aesthetically. Two words followed by a number, then another two words followed by another number. Sweet.
The rules for this list are simple: the show needed to end at some point during 2012. Actually, that’s the only rule, but this means that shows could start in late 2011 as long as they continued into 2012. Oh, and only shows I actually watched can make the list, obviously.
So basically this is the ballot I sent in for the APR Best of 2012 voting. I just flipped the order they’re listed in and expanded a bit more on some of the reasons for picking a few of the shows. However, this is still ultimately just a list, so I’m still only giving about a sentence or two to explain why I picked each one.
#10 – Jormungand
I watched it for Koko. That’s honestly about it. Some of the shootouts were cool, especially in the second half, but the first half didn’t really seem to have any direction in regards to plot. It didn’t matter so much since Koko was a fun character to watch, but it’s still disappointing it took half the show for a solid narrative to kick in.
Also, I’ve heard the ending sucks, but I haven’t watched the last two episodes yet. Even if they do, this would still win tenth place because no other show I watched feels like it deserves a spot. Plus even with a bad ending, there’s still Koko, and she’s still loco.
#9 – Gakkatsu
A show that absolutely nobody watched except a few. While it was just a bunch of 5-minute shorts, they always debated the weirdest topics, often coming up with very strange conclusions. Just watching the leaps in logic was greatly entertaining, and the 5-minute length stopped each episode, and the show overall, from overstaying its welcome.
#8 – Inu x Boku SS
Most people who watched Inu x Boku SS didn’t like it because it introduced the whole “fantasy creatures” setting, but then never used it. It didn’t bother me, because I just enjoyed watching the characters themselves. Each character had just the right personality to bounce off each other in an entertaining and amusing way. The conversations were just fun to watch, and the humour was damn good at times. Especially whenever Kagerou showed up; he always stole the show.
#7 – Tsuritama
I enjoyed Tsuritama more than I expected to, which is probably because I didn’t have massive expectations for it to begin with. So I went in not expecting anything and got a story about fishing and friendship that was told surprisingly well. The show managed to mix together silly elements and tense, serious elements without feeling strange at all, which was really impressive. I mean come on, the finale is a bunch of guys trying to fish an alien out of the ocean so that they can stop the entire population of the island from breaking into dance. That sounds ridiculous just reading it, but the music combined with the characters and the directing managed to make the scene extremely intense.
But most of all, Tsuritama was charming, and honestly, that’s something a lot of shows seem to lack nowadays.
#6 – Joshiraku
It seems like most people don’t like dialogue in their shows for some reason. I’m not one of those people. Dialogue is a way to understand characters more. The way someone says something, their choice of words, all these factors and more let you get into the minds of the characters. Now, Joshiraku doesn’t necessarily do that, but it shows how dialogue is not something stiff, but rather organic. The conversations start in one place, and five minutes later, are in a completely different place. Like how one of their conversations start off being about the Tokyo Tower, but by the end they’re talking about the physical qualities of a fork. Yet the process of getting to that point was seamless. Now, Joshiraku may not be a total master of dialogue, but I still respect what it managed to do with it.
#5 – Kokoro Connect
As much crap as Kokoro Connect gets from people (which isn’t all that much actually, if you don’t count the whole scandal thing), it was really enjoyable to watch. I’m a sucker when it comes to philosophy, so even just briefly going over philosophical concepts is enough to hook me in. I also appreciated the clever choice of ability Heartseed put on them each time which helped them get over whatever their current problem was. Or perhaps what I should appreciate was how the show managed to work this supernatural problem into solving their normal ones? Either way, Kokoro Connect was still a very interesting show.
#4 – Fate/Zero
Despite an ending that left plenty to be desired, the show overall managed to live up to the epic that it was written to be. Heroes of history clashing with each other over a holy artifact of great power. A plot synopsis like that is honestly pretty hard to screw up. That’s why even with some characters that could stand to be more interesting, the execution of the plot itself is enough to carry the show the whole way through. And the movie-sized budget along with Yuki Kajiura’s music certainly helped, too.
#3 – Future Diary
Future Diary is just pure insanity for the sake of entertainment. Everything in the show is for the purpose of building excitement, and even manages to have some legitimately interesting character psychology and arcs. The show is just pure, unbridled fun. It’s psychological thriller at its best. Well, maybe not best, but still really damn good.
#2 – Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
I’ve always found Nyaruko-san so be a greatly entertaining show, even back when it was just flash shorts by DLE. It’s hard to pin down why I love the series so much. The references are certainly entertaining, but it’s probably mostly because of Nyaruko herself. She’s just so off-the-wall that it’s fun to watch. Combined with Mahiro not taking any of her shit, it makes for a fun twist on the usual RomCom cutout characters (mainly because the show gives the romance portion the middle finger).
#1 – Shakugan no Shana III (Final)
Haters gonna hate, etc. etc. Anybody who knows me by now also knows of my endless love for the Shana series. I used to preface all my praising for the series by saying I might be biased since it’s what got me in to anime, but screw that, Shana is a great series. I could rant how most complaints against it are dumb, but instead I’ll say that this final season was everything the series had been building up to. High stakes, large battles, a tough decision to figure out which side was in the right, it was all here. Characters put everything they had on the line in order to achieve what they deemed most important to them. Some failed and some succeeded, some succeeded but at a price, but everyone fought with strong ambition. It was not the fights themselves that were phenomenal, but how through the fights you could see the wills and mental conflicts of each character at work.
Plus, it’s not often a series can wrap up so many plot threads in a neat bow without feeling forced, which is exactly what Shana Final did.