Best of 2013

Every so often when we get through each year of 4 seasons of anime, people often focus on how so many shows have always disappointed them and that this is the hallmark of anime dropping quality. In this cynical view that overshadows every thing else, we often don’t remind ourselves how there have been really good shows that have come out in this particular year. These will be separated into categories that will go through best characters, artistic achievement, specific show genres, and show overall through runners-up and the winner. Also, the characters that are contending have to be new ones that have not been in any show in the past. So let us go through this journey with Gonzo!

Best Art

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Winner: Monogatari Second Season

With the talent behind Shaft’s artistic direction, Monogatari Series: Second Season proves once and for all that the series has not lost steam in its brilliant art design. If only the writing had this same level of praise for me.

Runner up #1: Date A Live

Made by the same person who did the art for the Neptunia games, Date a Live strikes a cord with the cute and beautiful colorful designs of its characters. I’d still watch the sequel to it just for the art style alone, and for Tohka-chan of course.

Runner up #2: Hentai Ouji no Warawanai Neko

Thanks to the bold new talented of artist Kantoku, this is but one of the great debuts that has come out in anime art and I hope that there will be more coming from this man.

Runner up #3: Non Non Biyori

Drawn with pure realism and beauty from the gorgeous backgrounds and bold character designs that feel all the more human while at the same time still inheriting moe aspects to them that work well with each other.

Honorable Mentions: Suisei no Gargantia, Highschool DxD New, Hataraku Maou-sama, and Boku wa Tomodachi NEXT.

Best Animation

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Winner: Gatchaman Crowds

A great unique art style to go with the fluid animation to all of the action sequences makes for a wondrous ride. So much visual flair is to be seen from Gatchaman Crowds and I’m hoping that they will definitely keep this up for the sequel and throughout.

Runner up #1: Uchouten Kazoku

Imaginative is one word to describe this show’s animation. From its unique implementation of the seamless Tanuki transformations to the abstract images that pops up every so often give Uchouten Kazoku its own unique identity from other shows this year.

Runner up #2: Kyousou Giga

Similar to Uchouten Kazoku, but in ways to where it’s a lot more abstract in the world it portrays with its animation from the distinct colors that engulf the world of Kyousou Giga that makes it the most distinctive show to have come out in the Fall 2013 season.

Honorable Mentions: Highschool DxD, Suisei no Gargantia, Railgun S, and Monogatari Series: Second Season.

Best Male Character

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Winner: Yasaburou Shimogamo – Uchouten Kazoku

Great protagonists need to be charismatic and can hold the show on their own and Yasaburou fits that description perfectly. The amusing dialogue that makes him quite witty to the show’s great writing makes him a joy to watch and likable to where you want to root with him til the end. The schoolgirl outfit trap scene definitely helps to his credit.

Runner up #1: Youto Yokodera – Hentai Ouji no Warawanai Neko

Perverted leads have since become a running joke in-of-themselves from being mostly bland and weak to their archetypes and become unlikable because it. Fortunately there are still many like our runner-up Youto to destroy that stereotype along with Tomoki from Otoshimono and Issei from Highschool DxD. Youto’s extremely likable personality and hilarious attempts at trying to justify his perverted ways definitely secures his position at being one of the best at his profession.

Runner up #2: Sadao Maou – Hataraku Maou-sama

Blasphemous humor is always welcome to brighten my day with laughter and amusement. Sadao manages to make hell a nice place to chill with his extremely well-rounded personality and well-written dialogue that provides an extremely humorous aura around the show’s characters, Sadao being the one with the most of that great charisma.

Honorable Mentions: Rui Ninomiya, Yugo Haciken, Hachiman Hikigaya, and Ledo.

Best Female Character

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Winner: Tomoko – Watamote

Chances are very high that we’ve met someone like Tomoko, but we’ve most likely been in Tomoko’s shoes as well. Her wild antics of trying to be popular might strike a nerve for some people but for me it just makes her an absolute blast to follow her around in her marvelous journey. It does strongly help that the voice actress does an amazing job at giving the voice she needed in order to perfectly capture her psychotic personality.

Runner up #1: Emi Yusa – Hataraku Maou-sama!

The great archetype of a strong female lead, Emi Yusa manages to provide just as many laughs as the rest of the characters while still maintaining a sense of independence and courage from becoming a generic female character of her stature.

Runner up #2: Hajime Ichinose – Gatchaman Crowds

I know many people say that they despise her, for reasons that I cannot fathom at all, but for the sake of my opinion, Hajime is what made Gatchaman an absolute blast to watch. Her energetic and optimistic personality gives an extremely lovable aura around her that gives the show a charming sense of humor. Without her, I don’t think Gatchaman would’ve had the same praise that I’ve given it now.

Honorable Mentions: Benten, Suzuno Kamazuki, Tsukiko Tsukakashi, Maou, and Amy.

Best Sequel

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Winner: The World God Only Knows: Goddesses

This series has been a hallmark for so many people, including myself. While many fans might be devisive on how the show handled the source material, I still commend it for being a joyful experience that still captured the same kind of emotion and charm that I had when I read the manga. Even with some of the parts cut out, the scenes that the show adapted actually made the scenes even better from the talented voice acting and direction.

Runner up #1: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S

I had to watch the prequel to Railgun before I could watch this sequel due to friends begging me to watch it. While I did enjoy Railgun, I felt that some of the plot arcs didn’t pack enough flair even though the cast was enjoyable to watch. However, Railgun S improves from the sequel on almost all accounts due to the amazing plot arcs involving Misaka’s clones and the triumphant finale that made the experience fulfilling to conclude.

Runner up #2: Boku wa Tomodachi NEXT

Many would consider this series a guilty pleasure due to how it delivers fan service with girls in love with the same guy, but I would argue that Tomodachi is not like most harem/ecchi shows. With its sequel subtitled NEXT, it manages to incorporate more development into it’s characters while still maintaining pure charm thanks to it’s amazingly entertaining cast of characters.

Honorable Mentions: Highschool DxD New, Ro Kyu Bu SS, Monogatari Series: Second Season, and Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W.

Best Cast

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Winner: Hataraku Maou-sama Cast

With Yoko Hikasa, Nao Touyama, and newcomer Yuuki Ono on the casting for Maou-sama, it manages to make an already hilarious cast of characters even more hilarious with the charming voices of every talented voice actor that is a part of it.

Runner up #1: Hentai Ouji no Warawanai Neko Cast

The amazing duo Yui Ogura and Kaori Ishihara helps in bringing a lot of character to their roles from Yui’s soothing voice and Kaori’s energetic nature to Azuki Azusa. Yuki Kaji fits Youto’s role perfectly since he’s no stranger to perverted roles as of these past few years. Of course, nothing beats Yukari Tamura in the sexy voice department when she’s in more mature roles.

Runner up #2: Highschool DxD New Cast

It’s strange to have a sequel be a runner-up against all of the other shows that aren’t sequels, but I can’t help but applaud the cast even more due to their great chemistry. Even the new talents such as Risa Taneda provide even more material that make the sequel even more memorable than the prequel.

Honorable Mentions: Non Non Biyori, SNAFU, GJ-Bu, Boku wa Tomodachi NEXT.

Best Story

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Winner: Uchouten Kazoku

Stories detailing of betrayal and tragedy is a definite hard one to measure considering its history of the masters of those particular traits. Uchouten Kazoku is one such title that details its story with the personification of the characters and their developments to the rising climax that sets the mood for the entire show. At times it felt joyous and then it soon later skewed to brilliant melodrama that handles itself well with the strong writing to go with it. The story has definitely been the highlight for many people in 2013 and it definitely didn’t disappoint for me.

Runner up #1: The World God Only Knows: Goddesses

It holds up to its own without even thinking about the manga source material. Sure there might be a few rushed sequences that they pull of in order to keep it running smoothly but that didn’t taint the experience any more than it intended on doing.

Honorable Mentions: SNAFU and Railgun S.

Best Action Show

Gatchaman Crowds

Winner: Gatchaman Crowds

As said already about how the animation flows with the action, the action itself is extremely flashy and entertaining enough to warrant Gatchaman a clear winner in the action department for 2013.

Runner up #1: Railgun S

Due in part to its stellar well-directed fight sequences, Railgun S has taken it a step further in developing its fighting sequences with more strategy and energy to it. The implementation of the quantum physics to all of the girls’ powers are very well done in putting a lot of new ways of how unpredictable the action scenes are.

Runner up #2: Shingeki no Kyojin

Despite how many will say this had the best action out of the rest, I only put this as a runner-up on the assumption that the action sequences become a little too drawn out and don’t become as entertaining as before. But that still can’t take the tension out of the equation for the action to which there are plenty of it to be had in Titan.

Honorable Mentions: Highschool DxD New and Mondaiji-tachi.

Best Comedy/RomCom

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Winner: Hataraku Maou-sama!

Not only the best comedy of the year but the best one to have come out in recent memory in anime. The reason being in how the atmosphere feels more authentic and close-to-home for people like us who go through daily work on a daily basis and how it doesn’t tread into generic territory with bland stereotypical characters. Although this anime would’ve been perfect if it didn’t have any drama to its story at all.

Runner up #1: The World God Only Knows: Goddesses

The main reason for its great comedy is Keima Katsuragi and his fantastic presence on the show, that is all.

Runner up #2: Hentai Ouji no Warawanai Neko

Thanks to its light-hearted humor, Hentai Ouji reigns supreme as one of the funniest moe shows in 2013. Definitely hallmarks the talent of Yui Ogura and Kaori Ishihara as competent comedic leads and we certainly need them to appear together in more shows together.

Honorable Mentions: Boku wa Tomodachi NEXT, Highschool DxD New,  GJ-Bu, and SNAFU.

Best Slice of Life

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Winner: Non Non Biyori

Perfectly captures the essence of living in the country-side; even if you don’t live in the rural areas of Japan there’s still some really fantastic moments to be seen in Non Non Biyori to make you feel some nostalgia in your rural hometown.

Runner up #1: GJ-Bu

Sad that not everyone watched this underrated gem. The last two episodes themselves are worth going through the entirety of GJ-Bu to help build up the feeling of growing up in highschool and seeing your friends leave and never to see much of them as you used to.

Runner up #2: Watamote

In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a perfect show in showing what it’s really like in highschool in that it kind of shows it in an overzealous fashion. Metaphorically, however, it definitely pokes fun at general awkward moments that we’ve all had in school.

Honorable Mentions: SNAFU and Gin no Saji

Best Ecchi

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Winner: Highschool DxD New

The king of nipples is what I would say a great representation of Highschool DxD New and the series as a whole. What makes it the best out of the rest is from the brilliant art design that gives all of the women have very well proportioned bodies that compliment well to their figure. General ecchi jokes are a definite forerunner through the comedy but because of the pure likability of our characters, they work very well to the genre.

Runner up #1: Boku wa Tomodachi NEXT

To talk about the ecchi themes in Tomodachi NEXT, the art style is something that is truly commendable thanks to the great artistry of Buriki who should never retire anytime soon. Fan service is very tasteful and supplies great comedic moments that are extremely memorable from screaming in roller coasters to finding out traps in baths.

Runner up #2: Hentai Ouji no Warawanai Neko

Loli ecchi for perverts everywhere. Flat chests are supreme according to Hentai Ouji and I salute to the creators for thinking this one up for the ages.

Honorable Mentions: Ro Kyu Bu SS and Date a Live.

Best OVA of the Year

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Winner: Magical Star Kanon 100%

It has Kanon in it, so it’s automatically the superior OVA in my eyes.

Runner up #1: Ro Kyu Bu!: Tomoka no Ichigo Sundae

Tomoka blushing and perverted lobsters make for one hell of a hilarious OVA.

Best Anime of the Year

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Winner: The World God Only Knows: Goddesses

Some may call this a cop-out, but if they were a huge fan of the series as I am they would probably understand my reasoning for this. Most of it stems from the fact that this season is a clear indication that the series still has so much steam left after all these years and that impresses me greatly considering how most anime series generally lack in quality after each passing season. It still has everything that people and me adore the series for and made it even better: Great characters, hilarious comedy, surprisingly wonderful drama, and amazing animation gags.

Runner up #1: Hataraku Maou-sama!

As what hasn’t been said before in the past, Hataraku Maou-sama is a definite comedy classic from the director who made of all things Mirai Niki and Shuffle. If that isn’t a huge comeback, I don’t know what is.

Runner up #2: Uchouten Kazoku

Many would say this would be better since it has the better story and development than the two above, but I would argue I’ve enjoyed my time more with the ones above than this one. That still shouldn’t put down Uchouten Kazoku any further down and I’d definitely fully commend it for its unique style and innovative art style that distinguishes from most shows these days.

Honorable Mentions: Hentai Ouji no Warawanai Neko, Railgun S, Boku wa Tomodachi NEXT, and Non Non Biyori.

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4 thoughts on “Best of 2013

  1. Aleksei Edison

    First of all, good job on the post Gonzo!

    Despite my vitriolic and harsh personality, I do get generously excited when a friend writes a post, as it’s nice to get feedback in any form. There are times where I am not very serious, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t show respect where it’s deserved.

    Any who, I like the concept of writing a “best of” post first of all, and you are right about the negativity that surround critical takes on anime, so much so that people begin to forget the “entertainment” in “entertainment”.

    As far as your choices, it’s all pretty agreeable. If I was to dissect and cherry pick what you wrote and either use it against you or your opinions, well this would be more of a criticism, and less of a comment!

    Gahahaha. Glad to see you’re having fun, and I hope 2014 is as good to you as 2013 was in anime.

    -Aleksei

    Reply

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