(Preliminary but I probably won't change it) Top 10
1: Hyouka: KyoAni's best show... well, maybe second to K-On!!. It's really damn close though. Special mention to 11.5, not only because it'll annoy duckroll, but because I think it was the turning point of the show that elevates it beyond... well, meer anime.
2: AnoNatsu: If not for Hyouka, this probably would have been number one for being the most complete television experience I've seen in anime this year. As a RomCom, it's nothing special, but as 12 episodes strung together, it just works magnificently. There are no wasted episodes, no overly complicated relationship diagrams... just good characters in a good story. Also, Kanna-tears is my favourite thing this year.
3: K-On! Movie: There are two ways to milk a franchise through films - Rebuild of Evangelion and the K-On! movie. Here's a movie that milks the franchise not once, by being a movie that is not based on any manga material, but twice by being set in London and having a home release during the London Olympics and serves as fanservice for the franchise's hardcore fans. Yet, far from feeling extraneous, the Yamada/Yoshida combo gives us a story that fits in with the original theme raised in the second season and lets us revisit the characters one final time. Tamako Market will be grand.
4: Space Battleship Yamato 2199: This show singlehandedly restored my faith in Science Fiction. All it took was for a series to throwback to the stories of old. Of course, there are a lot of flaws that I'm willing to forgive - genderbending an original character to create an unnecessary triangle and having a lot of anime fanservice, but the core idea of the show is great and pleases the part of my brain that loves military science fiction stories. And hey, there are no Cylons with a PLAN or anything this time around!
5: Nisemonogatari: Anime David Mamet. As a series thematically about lying and putting on false faces, having all of the conflicts resolved through fast paced dialog is almost pornographic for me. I really would be happy if these were audiobooks/radio dramas, because that's all I would need. I'm looking forward to going through the Bakemonogatari commentaries this year.
6: Tsuritama: Another favourite of mine from this year. It had a fun soundtrack and was probably the most visually expressive thing I've seen this year, with a tight story about four bros being bros and expressing :cosmic nakamaism through fishing. Also, moe grandmas.
7: Polar Bear Cafe: The show doesn't do anything special as a comedy, but it is basically anime comfort food. It has to make my list.
8: Smile Precure: I couldn't get into Heartcatch or Suite, but Smile was with is simple optimism and great cast of characters hooked me pretty much after the team was assembled. As someone watching a show that is clearly meant for little girls, I can now sympathize with "Bronies". Although I don't think I'll ever be as (publicly) emotionally invested in Precure as some of these Bronies are with MLP. lol
9: Jormungand: This is one of my two intellectual picks. The directing and art is so pedestrian that I almost don't want to recommend it, but the actual writing of the show is good enough to make the show rise above its average underpinnings. Quite frankly, this is the technothriller war story that Kojima wishes he could tell but doesn't have that talent to do so. Maybe I should give most of the credit to the mangaka though... but having not read the book, I have no idea if the directors/writers added their own spin to the manga or not. Also, Koko is a fabulously fun character and her weird little theme song (Koko is loco!) is hilarious.
10: Suki-itte Ii na yo: This is another intellectual pick, since I probably enjoy this show more for what I think it represents more than what it actually is in reality. It is probably the only time I will ever see stretch marks in an anime, let alone in ANY TV show, and for having a serious arc on body image and self-esteem issues, I feel like I need to recognize it somehow. Yes, the middle parts of the show are painfully shoujo, but the parts that aren't shoujo deal with themes of alienation and isolation that doesn't necessarily rely on being saved by a man.
(And yes, if this was a live action show, I probably wouldn't give it a second thought. But hey, anime has such low standards that anything that rises above expectation is enough to catch me off guard).
Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhh I can't think of anything else to cut so this has to be #11: Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb - What is there to say? Hidamari is Shaft's best franchise, hands down. I have no idea if the 4koma is still going, but there's clearly enough room for one more season.
Arrrrgggggggghhhh etc etc etc #12: One Off: I love this OVA, because it is both a SatoJun and it features Yu Kobayashi (as a :chet blonde Australian lol). Yeah, it's a commercial for Hondo bikes, but SatoJun makes the most of it and turns it into a short story about a girl who needs to learn to take risks and explore the world around her. Tamayura S2 is going to be so awesome.
Shows that might make my top ten but I can't really think of anything to bump in no particular order
Space Brothers: I love the concept but I feel it fails as an adaptation. It's why I love the movie anyway.
Chuu2: A nice show, but probably could have been better scripted.
Tari Tari: This should have been two cours.
Uta Koi: A very pleasant surprise show that showed some of the horrible sacrifices women had to make in Japan.
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimasta: It hits a lot of right notes for me; I probably liked it more than most here.
Saki: Side A: Moe-jong. Enough said.
Joshiraku: This makes me wish there was a final season of SZS more than anything else.
Tanken Driland: A pleasant fantasy show... if only it was licensed.
Sakurasou Pet na Kanajo: The first cour was fine, if not repetitive. I'm curious enough to see where it goes next season.
Tasogare Otome: Natsu no Arashi Season 3. Perhaps this should be my secret number 11?
Ginga e Kickoff: My favourite sport show of the year. Also, Yu Kobayashi.
Kintama (lol): If this was a real season, maybe it would have made my top ten.
Daily Lives of High School Boys: I think I liked the Yu Kobayashi segments more than the main show. lol
Amagami SS+: Rihoko gets the ending she deserves. Otherwise, fairly extraneous cash grab.
Kamisama Hajimemashita: A pleasant shoujo, arguably the best of the season. Also cheap as hell though.
Tonari no Kaibatsu-kun: If only Natsume was the main character.
Moretsu Pirates: Despite the horrible start and the stupid yuri/loli fanservice, this hit a lot of the right notes for the lapsed SyFy nerd in me. But, Space Battleship Yamato also came out this year so...
Rinne no Lagrange: The first season set up so many possibilities... until the second season came back and was stuck in Kamogawa yet again.
Girls und Panzer: I turned off my brain and enjoyed the :Yoshida and the fake 50s American rock song. I still don't get the fetshism though.
Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru: Probably would be my guilty pleasure of the season if it weren't for...
Oda Nobuna: Teehee. This show was so dumb, but you know what? Assassin's Creed 3 would have been better if it was about Connor fucking a genderbent Georgina Washington.
Moyashimon Returns: The Paris/France arc was fine, if not a little bit aimless. It was funny to see Japanese cynicism of France anyway.
Natsuiro Kiseki: I like this more than I should because of the :firehawk. Otherwise, there's no real reason to watch this show.
Kokoro Connect: This show had Inaba... so there's that?
Kids on the Slope: I'm sure there's a good story here... but when your secondary romance is better than your primary romance, you probably fucked up.
Kimi to Boku 2: This would be another :Yoshida pick... but honestly, I don't remember much about it.
Chihayafuru: This is a show that doesn't deserve its soundtrack. Arata > Taichi, etc, etc.
Natsume Yuujin-chou 4: The BL version of Kamisama Hajimemashita. lol I hope they make more anyway.
Dudu the Floatie
Both of these share the same concept - an toy comes alive and a wonderful adventure ensues. I really enjoyed both of these shorts... but as shorts, I couldn't justify putting them up.
Backlog award: Letter to Momo - yeah, I should watch it.
Why is SyFy bad award: Sword Art Online, Psycho Pass, Shin Sekai Yori, Eureka Seven AO. Although that would lead to...
Fuck Japan award: Sword Art Online. This is the worst show ever to have been produced by a culture. Take the solipsism of The Newsroom, the depravity of K-Town or any other reality show of that ilk, and the sad humanity exhibited exhibited in shows like Honey Boo Boo and you'd STILL get a show that is morally, ethically, and spiritually more justifiable than Sword Art Online. The bar has been set so low that I can even see merit in a show like OniAi. Fuck you SAO... just fuck you.
Last edited by firehawk12; 01-03-2013 at 04:36 AM.