2013… The end of the Season!

Image provided by Danbooru

With the conclusion of Saki: Zenkoku-hen, this anime season is over and now this blog will move on to 2014. Without further ado, let’s begin with the 2013 anime review. BTW, this post commemorates the 35th Anniversary of the Gundam Series. You’ll have to remember that the classic Universal Century is the best! And also, I’m planning to blog “Gochuumon Wa Usagi Desu Ka” because I’m a sucker for 4-koma titles from Houbunsha’s Manga Time Kirara lineup.

Please note that this post is my personal review for 2013, which covers from April 5, 2013 to April 7, 2014. While it’s gonna be the same as last time when I did the 2012 review, I just changed a few sections here and there.

01. Best Spring Anime in 2013…
– Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince (Winner)
– Shingeki no Kyojin (Runner-up)

Despite having both Valvrave and Gargantia airing in Spring 2013, Majestic Prince is the winner in my book because I can describe it as a classic real-robot anime. And although it was animated by Dogakobo which is a rare thing for a company who made some slice-of-life shows like Yuruyuri and GJ-bu, they did a great job when it comes to the mecha scenes which stands out from the rest, using CGI of course.

As for Shingeki no Kyojin, despite the beautiful scenery, soundtrack, as well as the characters, I put it as runner-up because the plot move slowly. Maybe it’s just me seeing the Recon (or Survey) Corps being stuck to square one after countless failures like recapturing the Shiganshina District and apprehending Annie Leonhart. But hey, you don’t mind the pacing of the story when you got characters from the Survey Corps like Levi, Mikasa, and Eren fighting like badasses!

02. Best Summer Anime in 2013…
– Watashi ga Motenai no wa dō Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (Winner)
– Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi (Runner-up)

With so many anime series aired in Summer, I’ll have to pick two series: WataMote in first, KamiNai in second.

Watching WataMote reminds me of those earlier anime series done by SILVER LINK like BakaTest and C³, which is a good thing because it’s deranged and funny at the same time. Heck, Mokocchi is so funny (along with her expressions) that you can relate to her plight as not being popular. Even I can relate to that girl.

KamiNai, on the other hand, will remind you of Highschool of the Dead minus the fanservice. Unlike HSOTD, it has unique characters and beautiful scenery… lots and lots of beautiful scenery that you’ll forgot that the characters are in a zombie apocalypse. Heck, even the gorgeous soundtrack detracts away from the chaos of the undead.

03. Best Fall Anime in 2013… (Also crowned “Best overall anime series in 2013…”)
– Log Horizon and Kill La Kill (Co-Winners)

I have to say that without a doubt, both Log Horizon and Kill La Kill is describe not only the best fall anime in 2013, but the best overall.

Sure, Log Horizon and Kill La Kill are two different anime series in terms of genre and studio, as well as handling explicit content where the former is somewhat kid-friendly while the latter screams extreme fanservice. But the way they handle their respective series, it doesn’t lose the experience when watching both of them, not to mention having memorable moments from beginning to end.

No doubt that both Satelight and Studio Trigger handled their series pretty well, and they deserve a praise for their amazing work. Let’s hope that Satelight will continue doing Log Horizon next fall with the help of Mamare Touno, while Studio Trigger will do their best when they’ll make a new anime series based on a light novel.

04. Best Winter Anime in 2013…
– Sakura Trick (Winner)
– No-Rin (Runner-up)

Ah Sakura Trick… It’s the only Winter 2013 anime that deserve a winner. From start to finish, everything is oozes with yuri undertones just with kisses alone, which is a good thing since Studio DEEN doesn’t shy away from making yuri anime like MariMite. Oh, and it’s not just oozing with yuri, but its artwork and animation resembles Hidamari Sketch, so it’s a double-win for this Houbunsha title.

No-Rin, like Watamote, reminds me of watching those earlier SILVER LINK shows. While it’s slightly deranged thanks to Becky-sensei, it’s colorful with lots of references that you’ll forget that you’re watching an idol/agriculture anime.

05. Best anime sequel in 2013…
– Little Busters! ~Refrain~ (Winner)
– Symphogear G (Runner-up)

If you’re thinking that J.C.Staff doesn’t deserve to adapt a visual novel from Key, then you’re wrong when they made a sequel to Little Busters!

Despite having 13 episodes, J.C.Staff did a great job on finishing it, and it was pretty good in terms of resolving issues with some of the characters from the show. After all, Little Busters! is a product from Key, so it’s given for J.C.Staff to conclude it on a higher note.

Likewise, Symphogear G improves over the first season in terms of animation and plot. In fact, I bet that King Records wants Symphogear to be the next Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha series, so it’s a given that Satelight bring their best to make Symphogear into a successful franchise.

06. Most overrated anime in 2013…
– Shingeki no Kyojin (Winner)
– Kill La Kill (Runner-up)

When it comes to over-anticipation, these two series are very much hyped thanks to the fans. Both Shingeki no Kyojin and Kill La Kill have similar background: They’re created by newcomer animation companies like WIT STUDIO and Studio Trigger, respectively. The soundtrack for both series are composed by Hiroyuki Sawano, who is best known for Gundam Unicorn, Ao no Exorcist, and Guilty Crown. And both shows are so popular that they got memes.

But, the biggest winner for the most overrated anime in 2013 is none other than Shingeki no Kyojin. That’s right, Shingeki no Kyojin got more praise in the mainstream thanks to Sound Horizon (or Linked Horizon), whose opening theme propelled Shingeki no Kyojin to greater heights. Heck, “Guren no Yumiya” was even featured in last year’s Kouhaku Uta Gassen, but sadly there’s no titans attacking them during Linked Horizon’s performance.

As for Kill La Kill, Studio Trigger delivered their expectations from the fans, which then become a successful anime series from the staff that brought Gurren Lagaan.

07. Most overlooked anime in 2013…
– Wake Up, Girls! (Winner)
– WHITE ALBUM 2 (Runner-up)
– Gundam Build Fighters (Honorable Mention)

Despite its crappy animation, sometimes you need to hug Wake Up, Girls! Sure that it has potential to be great with character development, exploring the idol industry, as well as making WUG a tribute for the victims of the March 11 Tohoku Disaster, but it seems that Yamakan can’t do it more because of financial concern.

On one hand, WHITE ALBUM 2 is regarded as somewhat the best visual novel adaptation since Yosuga no Sora. Even though it was animated by Satelight, it seems that they won’t animate the closing chapter soon since they’re busy with Nobunaga: The Fool and the upcoming second season of Log Horizon. Other than Satelight being busy, the anime adaptation got little interest despite being better than Seven Arcs’ WHITE ALBUM.

Speaking of overlooked anime, Gundam Build Fighters deserve its honorable mention. Even though it was better than Gundam AGE, only a few would blog this series. I guess most of the anime blogosphere sees this as kid-friendly.

08. Sleeper-hit anime in 2013…
– Free! and Kiniro Mosaic (Co-Winners)
– Non Non Biyori (Honorable Mention)

What can I say… These two series became a sleeper-hit that they got another season.

First of all, It’s rare for Kyoto Animation (Well, it’s Animation DO) to do a light novel adaptation about sexy boys running a swim club. And you know what, despite the nay-sayers who are used to watching moe anime from KyoAni, it worked which is why Free! became a successful hit among new fans and BL lovers.

Kiniro Mosaic got its successful run because it’s not only sweet, but Studio Gokumi and the author of the manga does a great job when handling cultural exchange as seen in Episode 1. And also, you may thank Karen Kujo for her quirky and exciting personality.

By the way, I should mention Non Non Biyori as one of the sleeper hits in 2013. I’ll tell you why in the last category.

09. Worst anime series in 2013…
– Magical Warfare (Winner)
– Kimi no Iru Machi (Runner-up)
– Freezing Vibration (Honorable Mention)

This is a new section for the 2013 anime season review where I replaced the “Most disappointing anime series” category. Hence, I’ll be mentioning anime series that are flat-out worse.

When it comes to adaptation, you have to make it good as possible. But for Magical Warfare, its adaptation went downhill starting from the second half. Sure, its first half got off with a fast and shaky start and the staff is expected do it better on the second half, right? Not a chance because I have a gut feeling that Madhouse deliberately made it inferior to the upcoming Mahouka anime, which is a no-no for an animation company who did a good job adapting some light novels for 2013 such as Kami-sama no Inai Nichiyoubi.

On the other hand, Kimi no Iru Machi’s adaptation by Gonzo jump straight to the middle of the story instead of the beginning, not to mention that it’s short with 12 episodes to cram some of the stories from the manga. Gonzo can adopt KimiMachi up to 24 episodes if TV Tokyo allows it, but alas it didn’t happen.

BTW, I was going to put Freezing Vibration as one of the worst anime series in 2013. Then again given the the sequel has two worst episodes, an honorable mention is enough for Freezing Vibration.

10. Disappointing anime series in 2013…
– Kakumeiki Valvrave (Winner)
– Golden Time (Runner-up)

Before I end this review, here’s a new section dedicated for anime series that are good to watch, but disappointed when it comes to ending and resolving plot points.

Kakumeiki Valvrave takes the cake as the anime series that is disappointing in terms of resolving plot points like what happened to the epilogue and how did the Third Galactic Reich formed, as well as some other things like not having T.M.Revolution voicing a one-time character like in Gundam SEED and Gundam SEED Destiny.

Speaking of T.M.Revolution, I’ve realized that Valvrave is not about the crazy plot, nor the characters, and not even the mecha… It’s all about Mr. Nishkawa’s collaboration with Nana Mizuki, which is the reason why I watch this mecha anime series.

As for Golden Time, I have to say that it didn’t live to its predecessor Toradora! Sure that Golden Time is set in a college background and it has some moments, but the reason for not being great is the main characters Kouko Kaga and Banri Tada, which they went in decline in the second half of the anime series.

Oh yes, and as for the ending, despite being somewhat closer to the conclusion of the light novel, it wasn’t satisfying that you want it more. Maybe an OVA would make things better, but for now it’s leaves to be desired.

10. The anime series that I didn’t blog in 2013…
– Non Non Biyori (Winner)
– Outbreak Company and Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou (Runners-up)

Finally, I’m going to end this review with an anime series that I regret blogging it. Usually, I don’t blog series where a certain prolific voice actor is in it. But, I decided to retool this category. And besides, no matter what I run away, Takehito Koyasu is everywhere!

Anyways, the reason why Non Non Biyori is the number one anime that I didn’t blog is because I’m so busy in real-life during Fall 2013. And while I pick more than I can watch, I passed this slice-of-life anime, thinking that it would be another Hidamari Sketch or K-On! clone, one of the hallmarks of slice-of-life, yonkoma-based, manga adaptations from SHAFT and Kyoto Animation, respectively.

However, once I’ve watched this series in January 2014, I was stunned to see SILVER LINK, who are known for their deranged animation, can make this manga adaptation so beautiful. I feel like crying when watching the main quartet spending their daily lives at the countryside.

Afterwards, I’ve watched both Outbreak Company and Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou. While there is some coverage from Random Curiosity on the former, I regret on blogging the latter since this is Gonzo’s good anime they offered in 2013. Either way, I think both Outbreak Company and Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou won’t have a sequel while Non Non Biyori will have it.

Well anyway, it’s time to say goodbye to 2013 as we move on to 2014. And lastly, Happy Birthday Gundam Series!

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