As the year comes to a close, it’s time to focus on the best and the worst Anime of 2013 along with some thoughts about 2013. (Image Source)
Top 5 Best Anime of 2013
1. Little Busters Refrain
As mentioned in the last post, I felt that JC Staff has done a great job for not only improving the production values, but also making the Refrain arc emotionally powerful while not having an awkward feeling transition from the dream world to the real world. Not only that, Yuiko’s arc is also another reason the sequel is better.
2. Suisei no Gargantia
While I don’t typically watch mecha shows, I still enjoyed this show quite a lot mostly because of the setting and the overall premise of Ledo and his robot, Chamber being on an unknown planet called Earth. While Urobuchi only work on part of the story, which can explain why this story isn’t as dark compared to Madoka, it still had some interesting moments that stood out to me such as Ledo discovering that the Hideauze are evolved humans. Not only that, the battle between Striker and Chamber looked great.
3. Hyperdimension Neptunia the Animation
Although I didn’t play any of the games before watching this, I really enjoyed this show mostly because of the female characters (which personifies video game consoles and video game makers). My favorite goddess is of course Noire/Black Heart.
Of course, the video game references such as the infamous Playstation Network hack of 2011, a Super Mario Bros themed theme park, Vert showing off the Kinect among other things were also enjoyable. Besides a few instances of drama such as the goddesses getting trapped and Yellow Heart beating up Neptune, the story is mostly light-hearted just like the games.
4. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT
Back in January of this year, I basically watched all 13 episodes of the prequel and there were a lot of things I liked. The main character wasn’t as weak-minded compared to other harem romantic comedy shows despite the fanservice consisting mostly of nudity. On the other hand, I felt that the sequel was a major improvement not because the animation improved a lot, but for the fact that Rika improved a lot, mostly through the help of the main character. She basically became the most enjoyable character in a short period of time. It makes me wonder if she would go crazy for Free considering that she is into Boy’s Love. :p
5. Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
I admit that I have a soft spot for magical girl shows and when I discovered this show, I had to watch it. While this is a more light-hearted spinoff of the Fate series where the Grail Wars didn’t happen, the idea of having magical girls face off servants to capture them in Class Cards was interesting. Not only that, Illya and Miyu were lovable characters not because of Illya’s maid fetish, but the fact that they make a good couple. Still, the fights, especially between Illya in her Archer from against Alter Saber looked awesome.
Love Live School Idol Project
Although I was unable to finish this by the end of the year, it’s still a very enjoyable idol show. I admire the effort Honoka is putting to make “Muse” the best idol group ever as it takes a lot of effort to sing, dance and impress the crowd at the same time.
As for the girl, I liked the most of them, particularly Maki because she has good taste in music when she said that idol pop music lacks depth (the same can be said about pop music these days). Even so, the music featured in this show at least sounds good and the animation for the performances looks great. Hopefully when the sequel airs next spring, it will be just as fabulous like the prequel.
Pokémon the Origin
I really enjoyed this take of Pokémon since it follows closely to the actual games even though it felt rushed. Not only that, Red was badass in the end.
Worst Anime of 2013
While there were some things that I liked about Amagami, the spiritual successor, Photo Kano was very disappointing as an Anime adaptation. Besides Haruka’s arc, they simply rushed through the other arcs and barely gave the other girls any character development. Overall, it felt like a poor man’s version of Amagami that wasted all of its potential.
Ore no Imouto 2
This show was a train wreck that can be seen 100 miles away. I felt disappointed mostly because Kyousuke throws away every redeeming aspect of himself and rejected every girl who would have made a better match for him just so he can choose his little sister. This makes me wonder if he is a masochist considering the amount of abuse he receives from his little sister while still having romantic feelings towards her. Even so, I still have to give them credit. At least they didn’t cop out compared to other shows and say that they are not blood related. Otherwise, I would be angry opposed to being disappointed.
Year in Review
Overall, 2013 was an interesting year despite my hyperthyroidism making its return due to an unhealthy diet. Even so, I think there are a lot of things I can do to diversify my content. To me, writing just about Anime can only get you so far and there are other mediums that fans also experience that are related such as visual novels, video games, light novels and manga. Not only that, I felt that I have been spending less time participating in the community due to the lack of time. Hopefully in 2014, I will fix that and try to become more active.
As I head into my 2nd semester of my master’s degree and getting closer to finishing it, what will lie ahead once I graduate and start working? I know one thing, although there will be less time to blog in the future, I’m not giving up since I still enjoy writing about Anime and even Japanese video games.
Lastly, while I didn’t write about my Japanese Self Study progress for this year, I’m finally wrapping my intermediate level studies with one lesson to go. I’m starting to understand more of the language compared to when I finished Beginner level. I felt that playing Japanese language video games without any translations give me a better feeling of how the language is actually used (besides the gender differences in Japanese, which is rarely used in real life). Of course, I got to play a good amount of games that never got released outside of Japan, so at least I got something special out of that. Next year, I plan on focusing my efforts on studying and taking the JPLT N4.
With that, I wish you a Happy New Years. I’ll see you in 2014!