With all that was said and done about the best of year, there was definitely no shortage of useless rubbish to have come out in 2013. Most of the bad ones were just forgettable and mediocre but there have been some that have really insulted my intelligence too far that I could never give them the benefit of doubt that they would be on this list. Because you all know you’d love to see poor old Gonzo write about his tortured memories, I’ll give it to you all in full glory and spectacle. But don’t count on the latter too much.
Worst Art/Animation (decided put them together in this list)
Winner: Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio: Ars Nova
Proves once and for all that CG cannot hold on its own as a viable source for animation departments to spend their whole budget on. It can only be good in small little details to animation and what ARS Nova does to its art design and animation isn’t anything unique or spectacular whatsoever. Stiff character animations that don’t feel as natural than tradition cel animation or even hand-drawn for that matter severely cripples this turkey.
Runner up #1: Aku no Hana
This isn’t so much a critique on the art on the basis that the backgrounds do look gorgeous on many levels as it’s a critique on how atrocious the rotoscoping is. I’ve seen way better implementations of this animation technique that had better lip-syncing, actual facial expressions, and more fluid movements to the characters’ animations.
Runner up #2: Machine-Doll wa Kizutsukanai
Though this title didn’t really have terrible animations, there were a lot of instances where the CG really took a turn for the worst in showcasing trains and anything of that nature.
Honorable Mentions: N/A
Worst Male Character
Winner: Eren Yeager – Shingeki no Kyojin
I only speak hostility to this character on the simple grounds that Eren is a very vapid and bland character by the fact that he only has two expressions of emotion: Pissed off and screaming. Both of which could be argued by the fact that he’s in a world where those two emotions feel fitting but it doesn’t make him have any more depth than anyone else in the show. It may seem like an arbitrary reason to negatively compare him to almost every shounen protagonist that has existed but that’s what comes across when the writers just pick those most uninspired back-story for Eren.
Runner up #1: Armin Arlert – Shingeki no Kyojin
Almost the same reason Eren is up here, only this time Armin has only one expression on his face on almost every episode: Scared shitless.
Runner up #2: Toshihisa Manabe – Kotoura-san
If there was ever a main example of how many romance male leads can suffer through sheer annoyance and stupidity, this guy would fit perfectly. Though Ichika would also fit in that one too.
Honorable Mentions: All of the Male Characters in Free and ARS Nova, Takao Kusaga, Gintaro, and Kamiomi Tsukiyomi.
Worst Female Character
Winner: Mirai Kuriyama – Kyoukai no Kanata
What KyoAni always fail for me in almost every show they’ve done in the past is that almost all of their female leads are absolutely dry and completely devoid of any unique traits to them other than being cute. Being cute is fine and dandy but if you don’t back that up with any significant characteristic to them they might as well just be cardboard cut-outs and they once again did it with Mirai Kuriyama who’s the constant melodramatic female lead to try to spice up the otherwise mediocre story that tries too hard to become the next classic KyoAni show.
Runner up #1: Nanako Saeki – Aku no Hana
Oh boy, here comes the less-developed love interest of which we cannot even fathom how in the world Saeki suddenly falls in love with the male protagonist all of a sudden. As if it things never change with shows that can’t even develop the simplest things despite their pure intentions.
Runner up #2: Kanzashi Sarashiki – Infinite Stratos 2
Probably the most uninteresting character in the entirety of the season, or even the series in general. Definitely had one of the most dull plot arcs this series has ever done, if you can even call it one.
Honorable Mentions: All of the female characters in ARS Nova, Haru, and Yuu Naruse.
Winner: Infinite Stratos 2
I really did think that this was at least better than the prequel in the first few episodes despite its cliched nature. But then it started to nose dive pretty far into awfully written jokes and drama moments that any guy off the street could laugh at how unbelievably insipid it tries to make of them. The ending itself manages to be worst than the prequel which is a pretty monumental feat to achieve considering what many people who know me know how I felt about that atrocity.
Runner up #1: OreImo Season 2/Specials
There’s an inclination that the writers didn’t really know what to do with the story, or in this case writer since the show is following his adaptation. They didn’t know what to do with Kyousuke at all and his intentions on who he wants to be with that feels absolutely muddled and ham-handed. The specials take it a step further by treating the audience like idiots and just rush the whole plot in order to get it over and done.
Honorable Mentions: N/A
Winner: Aku no Hana
What many consider to be the least of the show’s problems from your average lay-person, I consider to be its downright downfall into laughable pretension. It’s the pure definition of seeing a show shoot itself in the foot in order to create something “unique” or “bizarre” just for the sake of doing so that fails on absolutely all levels of merit. To the train wreck development of each of the characters, the lack of chemistry to any of the interactions between individual, and the lackluster attempt at being psychological that achieves none of those qualities.
Runner up #1: ARS Nova
If you ever told me that ARS Nova ever had a plot, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. At least in terms of how absolutely horrible they even tell it from the incredible lack of exposition explaining what each of these events have to do with the main story line. And hey, they even put a beach service filler episode there for absolutely no reason but to wake up the audience after several hours of yawning.
Runner up #2: Coppelion
Suffers the same kinds of problems as ARS Nova does only in this case the plot is actually there but it’s utterly ludicrous to take seriously considering how poor they give most of the plot arcs any context to how they fit into the main storyline.
Honorable Mentions: Kyoukai no Kanata, Sekai de Ichiban, Date a Live, Sasami-san, and Shingeki no Kyojin.
Worst Action Show
Honestly, the action sequences were the most boring part of the show from the insipid drama parts thrown in-between these said sequences. Doesn’t help to the show’s credit that it hardly has any logical consistencies to how physics or biology works considering how people can survive any kind of close rushes of explosions or collisions with each passing minute.
Runner up #1: Infinite Stratos 2
In spite of its attempts at trying to throw mecha action into the mix of trite comedy, it doesn’t help at all to Infinite Stratos 2’s abysmally written story, or lack there-of.
Runner up #2: Kyouka no Kanata
Here’s an idea KyoAni, how about you actually develop your characters thoroughly and then we can actually sympathize with whatever anguish or drama that they’re facing through the majority of the shows? You’re brilliant artistry can only hold so much water for a short amount of time.
Honorable Mentions: Devil Survivor 2: The Animation
Many will claim that the serious moments were the worst parts of Sasami-san when it tried to make a story. I stand by the point-of-view that the comedy was virtually retched and unwatchable from its horrible attempts at trying to pull a sis-con relationship and trying to throw out any kind of bland ecchi jokes now and then.
Runner up #1: Kotoura-san
There was one point where I did find the awkward shifts of tone from serious drama and full-on comedy to be amusing, until I realized that that’s what most of the jokes of the show come down to. Not even going to mention the extremely awful attempts at trying to put in a weird perverted relationship between grandpa and grandchild…
Honorable Mentions: Tomako Market
Worst Slice of Life
Fangirls will undoubtedly try to find my address and murder me for this one, but it’s shows like this that make me ashamed to become a fan of anime. Not necessarily that I think Yaoi stuff should be banned from existence and big boobed women shows should be the norm but there could’ve a fine sense of humor to be found in Free but there’s none of that charm to be found in here.
Honorable Mentions: Tamako Market
When even a futa girl is not entertaining enough for me to enjoy this show, you know an ecchi has a huge flaw from warranting it any praise.
Runner up #1: Sekai de Ichiban
Had a promising premise, if only the fan service was actually fun to watch and not a pain to go through.
Honorable Mentions: Free
Winner: OreImo Sepcial
Obviously wanted to get the series over with to make something new, but man they couldn’t have made it conclude even worse than this. This has nothing to do with the fact that Ayase is the objectively right choice in this.
Honorable Mentions: N/A
Worst Anime of the Year
Had genuine high hopes for this from its premise, and yes even from looking at the schoolgirl outfits in the poster, that slowly turned into sour disappointment. With a story this grand, you need to make sure you know how to play your cards right into giving characters actual character. Nonsensical story that is all over the place with no sense of focus whatsoever. Its art of the background really does make you feel like you’re in a nuclear wasteland, but even that only lasts for so long.
Runner up #1: Sasami-san
Shaft and I have always had a love and hate relationship together. They either make some of the most intriguing and complex shows that could easily tread into generic territory or they’ll come up with the most exaggerated mess of shows that try too hard to either shock or invigorate its audience. Somehow they’ve managed to do both of these things but fail on both instead of one way to another.
Runner up #2: Aku no Hana
Normally, it’s usually me who’s not on the fence of going with the majority of opinion but with the case of Aku no Hana I can’t force myself to do so. I appreciate it’s intentions on building up a dark atmosphere in an otherwise dark story but the writing just falls flat on so many levels to the point where I can’t get engrossed to the story due in part to its atrocious dialogue writing and horrible development.
Honorable Mentions: ARS Nova, Free, Infinite Stratos 2, Kyoukai no Kanata, Sekai de Ichiban, and Koutara-san.