The Kidd’s Top 12 Anime of 2012
Just like last year here are my top anime picks of 2012, these are also my nominations for the 2012 version of the Anibloggers Choice Anime Awards.
12 -Sword Art Online
I seem to always be on the apologetic side of the blogosphere when it comes to these polarising shows. Last year I added Fractale to my list completely unironically and that brought me some flack, I have a feeling this might too. Sure I haven’t completed SAO yet but that doesn’t erase the fact that all the SAO Ive seen so far has been entertaining. Its not as good as I or we all thought it had the potential to be but its still good.
This is a show that makes the list simply because of its unique MMO in real life premise. The way the characters have to switch their mindsets from fantasy to real life survival in a world that is purely fantasy is fascinating to watch. I’d recommend SAO to any anime fan any day.
Natsuyuki’s first 5 episodes is the best anime of 2012. Just like Hanasaku Iroha last year the show delves into the meh zone after it loses touch with what its actually good at in the second half (Im never gonna let that HanaIro thing go am I). Im a sucker for Josei and Natsuyuki’s story about a middle aged widow falling in love with a much much younger man was something that was not only new to me but the anime fandom as a whole. The comedy kept the show light enough to watch during some of those dreary somber moments and the fantasy elements added something a little special to the mix too.
What do you get when you mix KyoAni with a lot of money trying to show off? You get Hyouka. Animation, animation, animation. Hyouka’s overarching storyline may not have been the stuff of Legend but the one off episodic mysteries are what kept me coming back for more. Id also be a fool to deny the fact that the character designs kept me watching. The boys were just as cute as the girls if not more. It was a good year for cute boys doing cute things.
9-Kimi to Boku Season 2
Speaking of cute boys doing cute things, I wrote a whole article about why this show is awesome and why we should all watch it so go read it!
8-Daily Lives of High School Boys
The show dubbed “NichiBros” by the twitter anime community pretty much sums up the show really well. It’s got the 4-Koma basic setup of comedy and unlike most failed attempts at the craft, NichiBros executes it superbly. This is the most hilarious show you will ever watch scene for scene. You can quote me on that.
More boys, boys everywhere. This is slowly starting to divulge into the creepy zone but indulge me I am a little bit fujoshi afterall. 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 but that’s not to say that the serious moments are bad they just don’t stand out as much. Tsuritama is probably the best noitaminA-ish show this year meaning it joins great company such as AnoHana and Fractale
6-Mysterious Girlfriend X
Oh look fanservice! Yes a fanservice show is in my top 12 and im not a tad bit ashamed of it. I also wrote a full article as to why I love MGX but here is a quick summary. Tasteful, Classy, Sexual innuendo mixed with a heartwarming love story and some comedy.
Easily the most heart warming show this year. Space Bros manages to capture that sense of empathy and hope in all of us no matter how varied our degrees of skepticism are on people’s dreams becoming a reality. The Tale of the two brothers journey to get into space turned out to be more entertaining and hilarious than any of us thought it would be. Its also the most accessible show this year, void of moe tropes or self referential jokes I could wager you can show this anime to anyone with taste and they are bound to enjoy it.
Remember how Bakemonogatari had an amazing mysterious plot and also had some of the cheekiest fanservicey camera angles but shockingly low production values? Well Nisemonogatari only has one of those things but somehow turned out to be better, and no it was not the low production values. Som bloggers called Nisemonogatari nothing but fancily animated smut and it’s hard to argue with them. However, that somehow made the show more appealing because it knew exactly what it wanted to do. The witty banter was still present and some of the deeper themes in the over arching narrating were still there but they were not the highlight this time and it was glorious.
3-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 animation during the musical performances was absolutely stellar, surpassing even some of the most iconic animated performances like those done in the Live Alive episode of Haruhi Suzumiya. 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. This show did a lot of things right and it made me a believer in Watanabe as a Director.
Eish what more can I say about this excellent anime that I haven’t already? I spoke about it to length on the Otaku in Review Podcast and also on a few articles I wrote about Josei. 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.
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.
The final 2 episodes are probably the best directed episodes in all of anime, well just behind the last two episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion at least. You know a show is great when the only character you can describe as being “the good guy” is pompous a-hole who wants to enslave the entire world.
Fate/Zero is a must see for any anime fan, a true masterpiece.