My Top 10 (and Worst 5) Anime of 2013Posted: January 13, 2014
Last year I struggled quite a bit when coming up with my top ten, not because there were so many good shows, but because there was a lack of them. A few times I actually considered making it a top five list instead, but I ended up going through with ten shows in the end.
This year, on the other hand, was difficult for the correct reason. There are a lot of shows I feel deserve a spot in my top ten but I just couldn’t fit them in, but that is sort of the point of making a top ten, isn’t it? If it’s easy to pick them then what’s even the point?
The rule is the same, simple one as usual: the show needed to end at some point in 2013. That means shows that are still airing are not eligible (though I’m sure plenty of people will still ask “WHERE’S KILL LA KILL?!”), but shows that started in late 2012 and didn’t finish until 2013 are eligible. With that in mind, let’s get this list started, shall we?
#10 – Valvrave the Liberator
The show was split into two different “seasons”, but they both aired in the same year, so this award really just goes to the show as a whole. Valvrave was a crazy ride: it was unpredictable 90% of the time, it got itself into some dumb controversy with viewers in the first half, it started killing off main characters like crazy in the second, you really had no idea what you were in for. The show occasionally had it’s stupid moments, but the insane ride of the show as a whole more than made up for those times.
Also HarutoxEru-Erufu forever.
#9 – Date A Live
Date A Live was probably my surprise of the year. I had no idea what to expect from it going in, but the first few minutes being filled with multiple panty shots didn’t exactly help it sell itself. However, the rest of the episode was alright, and the show ended up being an example of why I have my three-episode rule. Date A Live had some genuinely interesting story ideas, made me laugh out loud on quite a few occasions, was pretty damn suspenseful at times, and holy shit that soundtrack.
I’m not ashamed at all to admit the second season of Date A Live coming in Spring is one of the shows I’m most excited to see this year.
#8 – Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part III – Rebellion
I can’t say a whole lot about the movie since I’m still waiting until it gets a disc release before I start discussing spoilers, but this movie was a treat visually and mentally. I still remember the couple of hours after the movie ended that I pondered to myself about what I had just seen and the conversation about it I had with the friend I went to see it with. It certainly wasn’t a perfect movie, but it actually made me more invested in some of the characters than I was before, and that’s definitely worth praise.
#7 – Silver Spoon
Silver Spoon was a very simple show, but there’s nothing wrong with simple. It was very well-paced and the writing was top-notch, especially on the character front. As someone who’s never really been too invested in how various agricultural jobs work, I could really relate to Hachiken and his struggle to understand how, and possibly more importantly, why, these various tasks needed to be done.
#6 – Psycho-Pass
I may never get a review out for Psycho-Pass since I just couldn’t manage to get one written that I could personally approve of, but it doesn’t change the fact that I still really enjoyed the show. A dystopian future (or utopian, depending on your mindset) with some added cyberpunk? Sign me up! The show approached many different philosophical ideas, and while some were obvious and others subtle, they were presented in interesting ways. It’s a shame some people can’t enjoy shows covering more mature topics without claiming pretentiousness.
Plus Psycho-Pass had episode 11, which is still one of the best episodes of anime I have ever seen.
#5 – Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
A lot of people passed on Majestic Prince at the start due to the lackluster character designs, but those who stuck it out got a show that just got better and better. It was great to watch Team Rabbits grow up both as individuals and as a group, and the mech fights were awesome to watch too, seeing as they were done by Studio Orange. Those guys are absolutely determined to show that action scenes in CG can be awesome, and you know what? I’m all aboard that train.
#4 – Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic
The second season of Magi is currently airing, but the first season wrapped up earlier this year, and it was fantastic. It definitely took some liberties in regards to its source material, much to the dismay of those fans, but I actually didn’t mind the changes. In fact, some of the anime-original touches in the show ended up being my favorite parts. But regardless, Magi was a great show with one of the best casts I’ve seen in quite a long time.
#3 – Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 2000%
UtaPri is a complete juggernaut. It’s one of the most popular otome games of all time, the amount of copies the anime adaptation sells are right up there with other massively popular shows, and it’s still one of the funniest shows I’ve ever watched. I was actually worried that the second season wouldn’t be able to live up to the laughs that the first season gave me, but then the finale had a band sing on top of a dragon while it spewed flames into the audience and naked people spun in circles in space while talking about the glory of Happy Pulse. UtaPri is living testament that if you want to make a great dating sim and anime adaptation of it, you should just not take yourself seriously in the slightest.
It also helps to have Norio Wakamoto voice your principal.
#2 – Inferno Cop
Inferno Cop had next to no animation, a story that seemed to be made up as they went along, about four voice actors, and maybe three people on staff, yet it was still one of the best shows this year. Why? Because everyone knew full well what kind of show to make given these facts. It was short, it was hilarious, and it was unforgettable.
#1 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012)
Most people sell JoJo’s as “dumb fun”, but I’m not sure. There’s a very thin line between absurdity and stupidity, and Hirohiko Araki is a goddamn master of navigating that line. The story gets some seriously weird developments, but it manages to be both self-aware and completely confident in what’s doing at the same time. I can keep a straight face while people punch vampires with the power of sunlight. That is a feat. Let’s not forget the fight choreography that’s both simultaneously unpredictable and fucking awesome (and usually hilarious, too). Plus the show is just so damn stylish. Sometimes it goes a bit overboard with the color filters, but there’s no way you could mistake JoJo’s with any other show out there. And for being the most stylish, badass show to air last year, it deserves its spot at the top of my list.
So that’s what I thought were the ten best shows to air last year, however I believe it’s important to have balance in your life. So along with praising the good, let’s take some time to shun the bad.
Here are the five shows that sucked ass last year.
#5 – Blazblue: Alter Memory
You know the best way to introduce new people into a game’s story? By completely skipping the first game and just starting the story at the second. Don’t worry, it’s not like anyone needed to know any of the important backstory that was in the first game or anything.
#4 – Danganronpa: The Animation
A show where a bunch of walking stereotypes with no depth are blackmailed into maybe killing each other by the most annoying and unintimidating mascot ever created. Not only that, but it may have been the most lazy adaptation ever made. None of the game’s mechanics were even attempted to be translated into anime form, and the execution scenes that I was originally praising for at least being different and interesting artistically turn out to have been cutscenes blatantly ripped from the game itself. Quality effort, guys.
#3 – Amnesia
This is the part of the list where we start transitioning from shows that were awful to shows that were downright offensive. Amnesia‘s idea of what qualifies as boyfriend material was pretty damn awful, most of them treating her as some trophy rather than an actual person and occasionally making some frightful and unwanted sexual advances on her. Though the lead female herself wasn’t exactly all that great of a character either seeing how damn boring she was. I get the has amnesia, but she shows absolutely no emotionally reaction towards anything.
But what really takes the cake is when, in an act of “caring”, one of the boyfriend’s arcs has him locking her up in a cage to prevent her from going outside. You think this is the point where it’d show that he’s fucking disturbed and she should get the hell away, but instead she defends him. “He’s just doing this because he cares so much about me.” Go fuck yourself, Amnesia.
#2 – Diabolik Lovers
Of course any sexist argument I could hurl at Amnesia comes back tenfold for Diabolik Lovers. I only watched one episode of this show, and it may have been the most disturbing thing I have ever seen. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to have a chick go to a house full of rapist vampires, who then basically take turns raping her? It was… you know what, I don’t even want to talk about this show anymore, it makes me feel disgusting.
#1 – OreImo
Ahh, but what else could top this list other than the plague that is OreImo? Thanks a lot, OreImo. Thanks for proving that all you have to do is just vaguely disguise your shameless otaku pandering and people will lap you up like dogs. For showing that people care more about stupid Waifu Wars bullshit than shows that actually require you to think for more than half a second. For making 2013, one of the best years recently for anime, also one of the worst.
Thanks, OreImo. Thanks a fucking lot.