The ACAA this year was just as successful as last years (minus my hiccup with the late post; My apologies guys it wont happen again) That said the total number of bloggers who participated grew but the votes were less. This is because this year I forced every site to unanimously decide among its own members which shows they declared as a unit to be the best. This made my Job easier and theirs more interesting, or ferocious depending on how opinionated they were.
The Result was rather astounding and to be honest pretty impressive. Here are te shows your favourite Anime pundits have declared were the best that aired in 2012.
Girls Und Panzer
“This show knows perfectly what it is good at, and makes sure to pack every episode as full of those things as realistically possible. The action scenes are breathtaking, the use of CG top class, the setting and characters completely wacko. This is not just a moe show. Not that there’s shortage of moe for those interested, but Garupan never gets too caught up with just one thing, always ready with another trick when you let your guard down.”
“There are a lot of anime that have minor identity issues and they simply try too hard to explore different things. There are other anime that know what they are, but they try to hammer it in too hard. Garupan does neither of these. Garupan knows exactly what it is and it knows exactly what it needs to show to demonstrate its identity. It is probably the most consistent anime this year.”
“Girls und Panzer, to me, stands to become the next Strike Witches. Beautifully animated, beautifully built, and, maybe best of all, beautifully paced, Girls und Panzer just did everything so right. With a living world that takes itself just seriously enough, great characters that really shine whenever they’re onscreen, and exciting, compelling action that genuinely managed to get me out of my seat more than once”
Kimi To Boku (Season 2)
Studio: JC Staff
“Cute guys doing cute things. Thankfully, this season focused more on the romantic situations of our four boys rather than pointless things, so as a result I gave it more attention than I have accorded the first season. Kimi to Boku was absolutely refreshing. Also, there aren’t many stories out there that show the point of view of a boy in love.”
“Kimi to Boku may seem like a “cute boys doing cute things” series, which is partially true, but if you shrug it off like that you would be missing the entire romantic aspect. You see, Kimi to Boku actually handles the romance in a more mature way than many other anime. This alone is a reason to love it. Boys are also interesting to watch. What a crazy world we live in, huh?”
Mysterious Girlfriend X
Studio: Hoods Entertainment
“Yes a fanservice show is in my top 12 and im not a tad bit ashamed of it. Tasteful, Classy, Sexual innuendo mixed with a heartwarming love story and some comedy,I love MGX“
“Anyone who was able to tolerate the whole spit thing found themselves witnessing a delightful, albeit very unusual romance. Urabe is quite the tease and couple that with her struggling to overcome her own insecurities and the general mystery that surrounds her throughout the show, she lead us on one hell of a wild ride.”
The Top 12
12. Space Brothers
Studio: A1 Pictures
“It is just the story of people who’re trying to follow their dreams. Somehow, I found myself quite invested in their dreams. The characters are cute, and it’s easy to get attached to them, to all of them, even the ones who seem awful at first glance. This anime had been pretty much everything, sad, beautiful, funny, moving, hilarious and many more.”
“I didn’t think I would love it as much as I do now. Whether it is the characters, the idea of going to space, the music, whatever the case, I was impressed, and by either Ep 5 or 6 I became a fanboy. Space Brothers is such an awesome show, and this is a show that I would be looking to buy once it comes to the U.S.”
11.Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure
Studio: Tokyo MX
“It’s the reason why weekdays kill me deeply inside. Waiting for the new episode of Jojo during the week is comparable to a walk in the desert for little ol’ me. I’m also very satisfied with the current pacing of the series. It’s neither too fast or too slow, which gives us enough time to learn and appreciate the main characters of each arc.”
“I actually did not know it was possible to dislike JoJo until my brother told me he did not like it because it was too crazy.
I guess that’s fair enough.
JoJo is crazy.
There is no excellent overlying plot. Some of the dialogue is redundant and unnecessary and some lines are just corny, but…. it is a bucket full of fun.
JoJo is an adrenaline fueled adventure full of exaggerated poses, disturbing villains and exciting battles.”
“With fabulous poses, hotblooded fights with crazy conclusions, and characters named after classic rock bands, Jojo is a crazy and truly bizarre ride from its very beginning. You don’t watch Jojo because you eagerly anticipate how the plot develops, you watch it because you can’t wait to see what utterly insane thing the characters do next, whether it be shooting laser beams out of their eyes, cross-dressing to sneak into a Nazi base, or simply punching a man so hard he explodes into light.”
10. Natsume Yujinchou Shi
Studio: Brains Base
“Natsume Yuujinchou is one of those franchises I deeply treasure. When I stumbled upon the first season it really surprised me with how elegantly it handled the themes of loneliness and friendship.
This season is, simply put, a payoff to every longtime fan of the franchise. The heartwarming and equally sad story of a boy who can see spirits has finally come to an end.
It has been a beautiful journey I will forever call my own.”
“Natsume is one of my most favorite characters in all of anime, and the fourth season of this series continues to develop him slowly but surely. Each episode continued to deliver the heartwarming moments the fanbase has come to happily anticipate regardless.”
“I think its safe to say that Nisemonogatari definitely stood out this year. If you haven’t watched or heard of a certain scene involving a tooth cleaning apparatus, then I’ll leave you to go and watch it. Call it spill over appreciation from the prequel or just plain love for the Shinbo, SHAFT and NisiOisiN combo; this would be a time when a sequel doing what the prequel did is actually acceptable.”
“It is difficult to deny that the combination of Shinbou and Nishio Ishin has style.A rebel among its peers, Nisemonogatari tramples over some the medium’s favorite tropes and themes while remaining an otaku feast in other areas. Nisemonogatari gets on the list for its hot dialogue and the questions it asks about justice and morality.”
“Shaft and director Akiyuki Shinbo visually establish an even better looking -monogatari world to play in, and while Nisemono may lack Bakemono’s focused structure it does have a more interesting, unified theme.It can be weird, funny, sexy, and maybe at times even unsettling, but no matter what it’s always fascinating.”
8. Kids On The Slope
“We all knew a Josei show based in the 40’s with jazz themes directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and music composed by Yoko Kanno would be cool, what we didn’t know is that it would end up being one of the best bromance stories anime has ever told.The Jazz performances told the story in this show; no words were needed to convey the feelings of the characters once the music started playing. The love triangle formed between the friends was also interesting to see unfold”
“The chemistry between the central characters of Sentarou, Ritsuko and Kaoru really made this series a joy to watch. The highlight of the series however was the numerous jam sessions and essentially everything to do with jazz and its ability to bring people together.”
“It goes without saying that Sakamichi no Apollon was a contender for best anime of 2012 before it even aired.
Sakamichi was definitely one of the good ones this year. The setting and focus on Jazz music made it stand out from all your other slice-of-life series, with the music taking up much of the focus – duh. Another story of friendship, drama and romance done well in just 12 episodes.”
“Not once was I bored while viewing Sakamichi no Apollon. I remember every week, finding myself at the edge of my seat, and cursing the anime for being only twenty-three minutes long. What really took me in was the relationship between Kaoru and Sentaro, two boys who practically shared nothing in common and somehow, became friends. I admit, my fujoshi side had something to do with my interest in Sentaro and Kaoru, but trust me, it was tame this time.”
“One of the best anime dramas I’ve seen in a while. The music was absolutely amazing, and the bromance wasn’t too overbearing.”
“Kids on The Slope managed to be of consistent quality from start to finish, giving us some solid exploration into our main characters’s lives, and when the music did show up later in the series, it was pretty good. I ultimately will remember Kids on The Slope as commentary of an era with a different set of rules and regulations, and for what it was worth, it did it fairly well.”
“Sakamichi no Apollon thoroughly deserves to be my number 1 series of the year. The jazz sessions were fantastic, the characters all extremely likable, and the setting refreshingly different. The impromptu performance at the school festival in particular sticks out in my mind as THE most epic scene of any series this year.”
7. Bimbougami Ga
“Binbougami Ga is a wonderful series full of great humour and fascinating characters. The central duo of Ichiko and Momiji worked perfectly and provided a stable base that allowed the humour and other characters to flow and do their work. The humour was great as well, with numerous references to other anime and parts of Japanese culture. That Hanazawa Kana, a voice actor normally given the quiet roles in anime was able to bring out such a powerful voice for Ichiko became one of the highlights of the series for me and helped to demonstrate that she is capable of far more than her usual, slightly introverted roles.”
“Comedy has always been my favorite genre, let it be in anime or in other media. I don’t care how ridiculous or horrible the story is, as long as it’s hilarious. Binbougami was pretty much the case for me: A God of Misfortune chasing after a high school girl with high fortune? Guys, don’t tell me this wasn’t ridiculous.
Ahem. Moving on, my only reason for watching Binbougami Ga was (You’ve guessed it) for the comedy.”
“Ok, ok, in addition to the hot female lead (Hi Sakura), it also featured lots of Jump parodying (Hi DBZ and Medaka Box), way too much dog abuse (or in the case of Inugami, that’s a good thing?), and even had some drama attached to it.”
Studio: A1 Pictures
“The last 4 episodes were awesome. In a stunner, that is what really saved the show for me, as they hit all of the right notes and concluded Tsuritama in a style that I can rest easy on. It never wavered in quality.”
“If you want to watch an anime that is quirky, well-written, well-executed, funny, and just straight-up enjoyable to watch, be sure to give this bright and colorful series a try. There’s fishing, aliens, wacky dances, catchy music, silly faces, and even a duck-themed organization of secret agents from India.”
“The colorful and bright visuals help well with the fishing aspect of the series, with the soundtrack and characters establishing its quirky nature. Towards the end I cheered with all my heart for our ragtag team of fishermen as they went to catch the craziest fish ever.”
“Tsuritama is another one of Kenji Nakamura’s genius titles that mix great art with unique and quirky narratives. It has Aliens, Secret Agents, Giant Water Dragons, Fishing and cute boys. Tsuritama really shines when its being comical and crazy.”
“I find it rather amazing how the anime was able to portray karuta in such a way that seemed like it was a competitive and intense game, despite the premise of the game itself being rather simple.
While the strongest players in the series do have some pretty unbelievable skills, this is not so much attributed to talent as it is to love for the game itself. Talent is still important though, but it seems like the series is focusing on the love for the game as a driving force to achieve much greater heights, which I thought was good.”
“Chihayafuru is…actually kind of a weird show. We all know of it as Josei, but it feels like a cross between Shoujo and Shounen. It’s so weird. How did it become so enjoyable?!? I can only blame the characters, the music, the Karuta, and the visuals. Yeah, I think that’s why I enjoyed it.”
“At its core Chihayafuru is about Chihaya’s goal for personal achievement all wrapped in a sports anime with romance and comedy themes about an obscure card game. The character growth and interaction in this show is second to none, I found myself personally invested in each and every single characters story and it managed to bring a few tears to my eyes on more than one occasion.”
4.Jinrui Wa Suitai Shimashita
Studio: AIC ASTA
“Perhaps the most colourful and quirky anime of the year, Jintai was my saviour for the god awful Summer 2012 season. Don’t let the cutesy fairies in the screen capture above fool you, this one isn’t what it seems to be on the surface. Dark comedy, satirical comments on almost everything you can think of, a great main character and beautiful animation. Jintai was probably the most original anime to come out of 2012.”
“Jintai had the best lead of the year, suicidal bread, biting social commentary, nihilistic faeries, lonely space probes, everything. It was touching when it wanted to be, ridiculous all the time. Jintai was an experience, unlike anything that came before it.”
“Jintai wins for managing to be serious and not serious at the same time. No one really expected that an anime with candy-loving Fairies would handle the topic of civilization without looking ridiculous.”
This, is one freaking amazing show. I started watching this with absolutely no expectations of it at all, and it just blew me away. Humor is everywhere, but it doesn’t get repetitive and boring. Every episode is really entertaining. Besides, the fairies are really cute (and their comments are really blunt and funny) so yes, give this a try. You won’t regret it.”
“Funniest anime of the year? Yes. Most thought-provoking anime of the year? Also yes. And to my great and pleasant surprise, it also turned out to be the most heartwarming anime of the year, thanks to the final arc in particular– and especially in the final moments of the series. There’s been very few stories that have ever resonated with me this much, and I can’t help but hope more people will watch this, laugh at the sheer insanity of it all, and recognize that beneath all the layers of piercing satire is a foundation that acknowledges just how resilient and sympathetic human beings truly can be.
Ani-bloggers are always hoping for something truly unique to finally come around and blow them away. This is that anime.”
3.Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
Studio: Kyoto Animation
“Sometimes it’s the simple stories that hit closest to home. Chuunibyo managed to spin a cute tale of growing up and dealing with some of the harsher realities of life. The fun of make believe really comes to life as we see the disillusions of these characters animated through their own eyes as they see it themselves.”
“Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!’s crazy, imaginative antics have made it one of the funniest (and most adorable) series of the year in my opinion. The grand, delusionally exaggerated and fantastically animated battle scenes were always fun to watch, and the shift from pure comedy to drama and romance in the second half of the series was also handled quite well.”
“A very original premise, beautiful art style, insightful plot points and kind, fun-loving characters give this series a serious charm that’s rarely seen in a romantic comedy.”
“Chu2Koi was a great anime. The writers behind it knew about the moe centers located in the viewers bodies. They engineered fine-precision hnnnggg arrows to target said moe centers and scattered them throughout out the show (though they were in larger quantities during the first half).
And yet, I’d argue that Chu2Koi was a bit more than moe for the sake of moe.”
Studio UFOtable’s work adapting the series was sensational, with each episode’s technical quality exceeding the last’s, and much of the difficulty in adapting the original text format was overcome spectacularly. The cast was both humanizing and larger than life, with every viewer finding at least one person to latch onto and experience the Holy Grail War with. Urobuchi’s darker take on Nasu’s world was what a lot of people wanted from the start, and I couldn’t have asked for a better anime adaptation. By the end, no matter what you may have thought of Fate/Zero, you have to agree that it was a hell of a ride.
“The whole anime was epic though, I really like magic battles. And, despite having already seen Fate/Stay Night and thus knowing who was supposed to be the winner of the previous great battle, the end managed to surprise me, even though the way it was handled could have been better.
I’ll still remember Fate/Zero as something I have enjoyed from start to finish.”
” I found all the characters fascinating (the “Byronic hero” protagonist Kiritsugu in particular), and I loved how many subplots the series managed to weave within such an intriguing, epic setting. The issues raised throughout the series were also very interesting to think about, and the dialogue is easily amongst the best I’ve ever heard in an anime.”
“This show just feels Grande, The characters are all pompous and self important and they sell it because they genuinely believe they are the most important people on the planet. The themes of the show are dark and the stakes are high. The animation is on par with some of the big budget movies being made today and the lines of dialogue are as pompous and conceited as the characters themselves. This show knows its the best and it doesn’t need to prove it either.”
2013 Anime Bloggers Choice Anime of the Year
“Enrapturing characters, an endless flow of intriguing conundrums and just enough tension to keep everyone on their toes means that we’ve finally been treated to a mystery series done right.”
“You know those anime you cannot stop thinking about? To me, Hyouka is just that. The more time passes, the more attached to it I become. I think it all comes down to the fact that I did not realize I loved Hyouka until it was about to end. Maybe it was not actually a case of not realizing it, but maybe that… I did not want to admit it.”
“This anime and the mysteries throughout the anime kept me fully entertained, and although the mysteries weren’t that good at the beginning, I thought it got really good as it progressed. Character development is amazing too, the four main characters each get a fair bit of character development, with some side characters getting theirs as well. Speaking of characters, each of the main characters are absolutely lovable
Besides, it’s KyoAni. Definitely one of the best.”
“How could I not forget the beauty that was Hyouka? Beautifully animated scenes, attaching characters who were more complex than we would imagine, and that little dash of magic used to transform a small mystery of everyday life into something much more dramatic, yes, Hyouka was fantastic. And I would gladly buy it if it ever comes in my country.”
“If compared to an athlete, Hyouka is a long-distance runner. After a slow start, the series picked up steam and sprinted towards the finish line, ending one the highest of notes. Not flashy like a sprinter, the long-distance run gets less attention until the final laps.
Kyoto Animation really do make some of the most aesthetically pleasing anime. Hyouka is the fruits of their labours for this year.”
“Hyouka’s appeal can be a mystery (see what I did?) at first. The setting, while beautifully animated, looks old and wooden, the “mysteries” are inconsequential, and the dialogue is thick and measured.
Hyouka takes what look like normal school anime staples on the surface (pool episode, the cultural festival, Valentine’s day) and turns them into character building opportunities, giving us deeper insight into their motivations and dreams. Mature but not cynical, Hyouka delivers its message with a subtle, understated beauty rarely found in television anime.”
Studio: Kyoto Animation
Thank you once again for everyone who participated. Here is to hoping 2013 will be just as diverse and brilliant as 2012.
See you guys next year.