Image Credit: wamochi
It’s time to get down to business in picking some needles out of a haystack. Overall, I’d say that this was a pretty weak year in terms of anime, but that isn’t to say there weren’t a handful of series that managed to stick out, in both a good and a bad way. This post will chronicles some of the series that managed to make some sort of impression on me this year — the good and the bad.
Based on categories ranging from most endearing to most loathed, the funniest to the unfunny, the best writing to the most obnoxious wish-fulfillment, etc. Obviously the selection’s only from the series I’ve bothered to watch, so feel free to suggest any gems that impressed you and I’ll gladly marathon them along with the rest of my backlog. I might even update this list, maybe.
Funniest of 2012: Joshiraku
The funniest anime this season, hands down. Expect no less from the mangaka that did Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei and Katte ni Kaizou, Kouji Kumeta. The humor’s very tongue-in-cheek, very black, very bizarre (not as much as Nichijou), and is quite, in fact, Japanese at times. Unless you’re somewhat knowledgeable about Japan (and by that I’m not referring to just watching anime), a lot of the jokes might fly right past your head. If you’re as much of a Japanophile as me, then it manages to be extremely hilarious.
Also, props to this series for being the contributor for my current ringtone. Call me “weaboo” all you want, I friggin’ love it.
Most Anticipated of 2012: Little Busters!
Does this need an explanation? I was anticipating this awesome visual novel to be animated not soon after Clannad ~After Story~ finished airing — from KyoAni no less, along with other titles we’re all desperately waiting for them to get around to. Unfortunately, they never did get around to it in the end.
Fortunately, J.C. Staff picked it up instead. While the “fortunately” may have made some of you J.C. haters cringe, I am completely satisfied with what they’ve done with it so far. Those of you that are currently enjoying the show but find nothing “awe-inspiring” about it so far or are watching it to find small reasons to hate it, wait until they get to the Refrain stuff where it supposedly gets extremely feely. Oh boy, will you eat your words like you did with Clannad ~After Story~. Don’t ever underestimate Jun Maeda in the feels department, less you unexpectedly get bit in the ass with depressing stuff.
HNNNNG of 2012: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
Oh my god, do I need to explain this? It’s a good show. But it’s still clear that Kyoto Animation spent tons and tons of money making Waifu: The Anime. If you hate the characters in the anime, I will subjectively say this: you have no soul.
Can’t wait for the OVA!
“Not for the Squeamish” of 2012: Another
The deaths in this anime were either extremely gruesome or were the cause of some of your body parts aching just by sheer imagination alone. Such cruel ways to die… this curse has a very sick sense of humor.
I have to say, thanks to this anime, never again will I go down the stairs with an umbrella or any sharp object. At the very least, I’ll slide an umbrella down the railing before I walk down. Things like pencils will definitely go inside a nice and safe container.
“Too Many Parodies” of 2012: Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
This show is literally jam-packed with so many parodies and references that you can tell how much of a geek I am just from the fact that I know where most of them came from.
The second series announced is called Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W (pronounce Double). Cookies to those who know what that’s supposed to be a reference of.
The Nichibro of 2012: Daily Lives of High School Boys
Out of the countless slice-of-life comedies that focus on a few girls doing nonsensical and pointless things — imagine one that takes common tropes from these types of anime and exaggerates them tenfold, making for a very side-splitting watch.
Only instead of girls, you get bros.
If you loved Nichijou, there’s a pretty high chance that you’ll end up loving the hell out of this.
Plot Armor of 2012: Sword Art Online
I’m going to say this right now, and hopefully I’ll never bring it up on this blog ever again.
I really disliked this show.
Don’t get me wrong. I tried to like it, I really did. In fact, I expected good things from this show from its first episode, which was awesome. But since then, every episode just got progressively worse and worse in terms of writing. Mostly because it became more and more apparent that the author relied heavily on the use of plot armor and ass-pulls to keep certain characters alive. And the main character? Kirito is too much of a Marty, or rather an Ace played to obnoxiously eye-rolling proportions, and his “personality” is far too plastic and uninteresting to make up for it, at least in the anime. From getting a whole sex chapter involving two years worth of semen, to getting married to the most beautiful girl in the game with little effort, to being viewed as godly hacker/computer wiz at a young age (because apparently being able to build a computer out of parts is unheard of…), to being so overpowered that he’s able to take out enemies a full party can’t take (Kirito > teamwork), to managing to be such a stud that even his relatives want a taste of him despite being a social recluse that only plays video games, Kirito oozes of “wish fulfillment model” for 14-year-old hormone-driven Reki Kawahara. Yes, I went there. At the point where the 10,000 people being put into this death game (in the end, for no real reason) took back seat to the love story between Kirito and Asuna, I was done with this anime.
Doesn’t help that, in an attempt to defend the anime’s lack of concise reasoning, light novel readers fervently try to use light novel explanations to explain vague points in the anime. The fact that it can’t stand on its own without the help of its source material just supports the argument that it’s a mediocre anime. I’m also not sure if the light novel series is to my liking either, especially since some of the “explantions” tend to sugarcoat plot armor with details that reek of plot armor (episode 14’s ass-pull). I’m not going to look down at someone for enjoying it, but so far a good chunk of the fandom seems to be the lovechildren of the Bleach and Naruto fanbase (the ‘tard sides of them). When it comes a time where it’s necessary to use the term “SAO-tard”… well, I don’t know.
“Why is this so popular” of 2012: Accel World
I didn’t get too far into this anime to make any real complaints about the plot like Sword Art Online, but I honestly didn’t like this show much either. Mind you, I didn’t hate it — I just found it so-so and not worth any interest in completing. But that leaves me questioning why it’s so popular, since I didn’t seem to detect any lasting appeal that would make it stand out enough to merit its popularity. Its speculated prequel (SAO), despite the glaring and obnoxious flaws, has aspects and gimmicks that are executed in a manner where I could see how it managed to gain the popularity that it did, within its audience of easily-captivated teens and tweens. I certainly wouldn’t describe it as “boring,” which Accel World kind of was. I just don’t see my 12-year old self being interested in it.
I guess it was the fights, which I admit were really well-done for what it is. Maybe I’m weird and it doesn’t take much to impressed the average person. ):
WHERE IS MY ANIMATED JINCHUU ARC of 2012: Rurouni Kenshin: Shin Kyoto Hen
I love Rurouni Kenshin. I love the OST, animation, and fight scenes in these OVA episodes. What I don’t like is that the anime writers just took one of the story’s arcs that already existed in anime-form and decided to ruin the story with its alterations. Apparently, when they said this was going to be ” the Kyoto arc from Misao’s POV”, they meant “change almost everything.” Really pissed me off, considering that I’ve been impatiently waiting for Studio Deen to animate the Jinchuu arc of the manga since god knows when (especially after the filler hell that killed the original anime series), and we get THIS instead.
It was still a great nostalgic ride, but I would have much preferred an entire reboot of the anime on TV, with the idea of Dragon Ball Kai in mind yet reanimating pre-existing material à la Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. New generation of fans would surely enjoy the awesome story and characterization of Rurouni Kenshin, and it would have guaranteed an animated Jinchuu arc… but alas.
Things I should probably marathon…
Sankarea, Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, Fate/Zero, To Love-Ru Darkness, Hellsing Ultimate