A week or two ago, my friend sent me a gigantic list of all the shows that aired this year to ask me which ones were my favorites. It was cool to look back and see all the stuff that had aired, since I hadn’t really done it before. I was a bit surprised to find that my opinion and feelings on a couple shows had changed quite substantially in just the span of a few months, and actually had a hard time picking out instant favorites without going through and typing out some of my thoughts for each of them. Although my initial pass was a bit disjointed, I decided to compiled my comments, polish them a little bit, add in some links/references, and then upload them here! And that’s the story of this list.
As for the format, all titles are underlined, with the entries I found particularly keen or memorable (for whatever reason) bolded. These shows were then ranked with *s (from 0-3, the more the better). I tried to include ones that finished airing this year (not every series I finished this year), but I might have missed some, so let me know if something isn’t there that should be. I also tried to list them in alphabetical order.
Eh. Haru was annoying for a while (the angsty teenager thing), but finally got a bit better. Nomi was kinda ridiculous. Chiyu didn’t really work for me. Kuroyukihime was the bomb. Like SAO (oh Reki Kawahara), the world was interesting, but not fleshed out nearly as much as I would have wanted. Lots of the general grievances I had towards the show are similar to the ones I had towards SAO (especially with worldbuilding).
I was particularly fond of Acchi Kocchi (as was windyturnip). Loved the absurd humor and easygoing style. Also Tsumiki :3
Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
Refreshing having an alpha-male lead who actually knew what he was doing.
A decent follow-up to Amagami SS, but it couldn’t compare to the magic of the original show. Most importantly though, Rihoko finally got some! F yea.
Ano Natsu de Matteru
I don’t know how this became a thing, because it was not only excruciatingly slow, but pretty bad. I admit, the supporting cast was quite good, but with a main couple as dull as Kaito and Ichika, I just couldn’t deal with it. If we’re going with shows that start with “Ano”, I’d prefer Ano Hana over Ano Natsu anyday (although some might disagree)
This was incredible. Horror moe should seriously become a new thing.
I enjoyed it. Very Gintama-esque, of course, and a nice blend of comedy and seriousness.
Black Rock Shooter
Gahhhhhh. I admire how they tried to throw some themes in there, but seriously all I cared about was fight scenes. The rest was garbage.
Terrible. Saizo was supposed to be the strongest person since ever, and he just gets trampled on repeatedly.
Saw the OVAs, didn’t care much for them. Didn’t continue the actual series.
Campione! Matsurowanu Kamigami to Kami Koroshi no Maou
THE KISSING SCENES I TELL YOU.
Chitose Get You!!
It wasn’t a bad way to waste 5 minutes a week.
**Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
KyoAni at it’s finest. I also really empathize with this type of thing, so I was a bit partial to it to begin with.
Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai
This one was weird. I originally was a huge fan because Ryousuke was absolutely ridiculous in his eros, but then suddenly he wasn’t a manly ero-god anymore and the show got mega-serious…and I got really confused. I did like the art style by the end though.
Dusk Maiden of Amnesia
Again, conflicted. I enjoyed Yuuko (and the direction compared to the manga), but would’ve liked this show much more if Teiichi hadn’t been a little girl all the time.
Speaks for itself.
Two words: Gasai Yuno. I swear she gave me a yandere fetish (similar to how Haruhi gave me a tsundere one). The show was absolutely ridiculous and awesome. The only problem I had was with Yuki being a carbon copy of Shinji on so many levels, but that pales in comparison to the show as a whole.
Not a good waste of 5 minutes. At least, I didn’t find it that funny.
No description needed.
The parodies were just too much. Nyaruko was adorable, but I got bored.
High School DxD
Another example of a perverted main who became a wimp and a crybaby.
This two-episode OVA series was iffy. Then I read the source material – infinitely better than that borderline hentai garbage.
Another KyoAni masterpiece.
An interesting and entertaining take on war, weapons, and violence.
I thought the drama was a bit (well, a lot) overdone, but I agreed a lot with the messages it was trying to convey (even if it sort’ve beat us over the head with them). I also had a thing for Inaban, so there was that too.
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? OF THE DEAD
It made me laugh pretty hard, that’s for sure.
I can sum up my feelings about the show in two words: FUCK KOMARI. Every time she opens her mouth I have this urge to punch the screen. Other than her, I can tolerate the cast.
Magi – The Labyrinth of Magic
So far so good!
**Mysterious Girlfriend X
I really enjoyed the outlandish fetishes (please don’t tell me I’m the only one who found the scissors tan-line to be unbelievably hot). Huge fan of Urabe and the show in general, which actually was a really good showcase of the male adolescent psyche.
I’ll never be able to look at my toothbrush the same way again.
Onii-chan Dekedo Ai Sae Areba Kankei Nai yo ne
What a train wreck. Don’t put characterization and back-stories in the last 3 episodes! RAGE!!! Also, what a title.
*Papa no Iu Koto o Kikinasai!
Pleasantly surprised how decent this turned out, considering how easily it could’ve been terrible. Hina’s reaction in one of the later episodes especially broke my heart.
Recorder to Randoseru
Another decent use of 5 minutes. I did laugh at times.
Rinne no Lagrange
I was absolutely torn by this show. It was NGE yet at the same time a slice-of-life with leads who were “hunky dory”, deeply troubled, and frenemies at the same time…it was just so bizarre. And then they didn’t explain anything until a decent way through the 2nd season, which was a bit frustrating. So I didn’t really enjoy it in the end.
Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan – Shin Kyoto Hen
I was wondering what they were going to do with this OVA series, since Rurouni Kenshin is one of those iconic childhood shows I loved in childhood (and the subsequent OVAs I loved as a late-teen) but it turned out to essentially be a 2-hour recap of the Shishio arc. Which is fine, but nothing amazing.
***Sakamichi no Apollon
BROMANCE TO THE MAX. The drama was a bit intense at points, but the music was incredible.
I enjoyed the semi-serious take on the realities of having an undead girlfriend. Plus, what’s hotter than getting devoured alive by your girlfriend? Not much.
Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA
I always had a particular fondness for the humor of the original series (having a bunch of erotic puns, even if they’re based on Japanese, are funnier than pure gags most of the time), and these are pretty much an de-facto season 2. Good stuff.
Senhime Zesshou Symphogear
What a piece of grabage. I couldn’t even manage to laugh at how bad it was until the final episode, mostly because the in-show songs were just so grating for me.
Ok, technically this is still airing, but it’s been on for over half a year so I might as well include it. I absolutely love the show, partly because (well, probably entirely because) I love astronomy and space and all that jazz, and partly because it’s actually a really good show.
Sword Art Online
Everything that ever could be said already has been. My main gripes with the show in general I posted about already (see link in Accel World comments above).
**The Ambition of Oda Nobuna
This one took me by surprise, seeing as how bad most of these genderbending historical adaptations are. But it turned out to be quite good!
To Love-Ru: Darkness
The censoring was pretty impressive.
Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
I really enjoyed the Shizuku and Haru dynamic, but the extra drama was getting a bit much for me.
I wish I could like this show more. It was beautiful, but ultimately I (and actually the group I was watching it with) just couldn’t warm up to it. A very entertaining watch regardless.
Mostly the OP and the retro drawing style. The plot also wasn’t bad (coming from someone who hadn’t read the manga) – I enjoyed the crazed depiction of Kouga vs. Jin (and the concepts of justice it threw around). The ending is a separate issue.
I know I’m missing a couple shows from here that turned out to be quite good (e.g. Jinrui, Girls und Panzer, Chihayafuru), and hopefully I’ll manage to catch up to them…eventually.
If I had to rank the shows, my top picks would have to be (not including Space Brothers)…
- Sakamichi no Apollon
Honorable mentions go to Mysterious Girlfriend X, Chu2koi, and Future Diary.
If we’re going to add shows that were so bad they were great, we can add in:
And of course you can’t forget Guilty Crown or Sword Art Online.
Well, there goes the end of one year and the beginning of another. I can’t believe it’s wrapping up already, and I hope all you guys have a splendid new year filled with good anime, happiness, excitement, and all that other good stuff. :)