The NeoGAF Anime of the Year Awards 2013

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BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
Jan 19, 2007
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#1







Space Battleship Yamato 2199/Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 - 788 points

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Having reached the end of the series, I can say that this show embodies the spirit of science fiction that has long since been lost with the move to Post-Trek space opera and plot-drive soap-opera science fiction like Lost and BSG. As a remake/reboot, it respects the source material without being wedded to it, breathing life into a text that probably does not hold up 40 years after the fact. As a science fiction show, it doesn't try to trick or outsmart the reader by trying to come up with gimmick plot twists or reversals or otherwise completely unpredictable story beats in order to keep the reader guessing. It respects the reader enough to believe that she will be invested in the characters and the narrative as presented. The strength is in the storytelling, not in trying to create watercooler moments that have since become inane in science fiction stories.

I also believe that as a television series, it leverages the long form possibilities that a television series offers fairly well. Yes, there are cliffhangers, but no, they aren't major shocking twists. *Most* of the characters have a chance to become more than just their 70s archetypes, including the development of one of the more interesting "Sis-mances" between the two rival fighter pilots Melda and Yamamoto. The show even has time to do what seem like one-off episodes that evoke the old tempo of a Star Trek episode while still maintaining the urgency of their 1 year mission to save Earth.

If there are any caveats the show might have, it's that most people would have seen the show in its unedited and admittedly not-on-television format. It's the only way to watch the show, since a lot of it must have been butchered to fit a 22 minute time slot (complete with a new OP made to be more palatable for modern audiences), but I can give that a pass.
Ambitious, operatic, pensive, touching— Space Battleship Yamato 2199 is of a scale and breed rarely seen in modern anime. The story stakes itself in the plot of humanity and the impossible quest the crew of the Battleship Yamato must undertake. The narrative deftly teeters from character drama to galactic conflict at the drop of a coin. The personalities aboard the Yamato range from stoic to coniving, but none feel contrived or one-beat; relationships feel multi-faceted and organic. On the production side, Yamato takes it's predecessors design sensibility and retrofits it with a sleek, contemporary style. Character art and animation remains consistently clean and attractive, but manage to take a back seat to the beautiful backgrounds and their layout composition. From the bridge of the Yamato to the ground of an alien planet, every place feels real and lived in.

Kill la Kill - 517 points

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Entertainment mediums are first and foremost, obviously about entertainment. What better way is there to entertain than an unmitigated display of high energy! Kill la Kill is a show that has its roots in hot-blooded badassery, taking notes from the creator’s previous high energy shows, primarily the unopposed champion of the genre, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann! Serving as somewhat of a spiritual successor to TTGL, Kill la Kill maintains the same enthusiastic and over the top presentation of its predecessor, sometimes even going farther. In a spectactular fusion of good animation, directing and battle choreography, a good soundtrack with a few amazing and fitting tunes, a likable cast of larger than life characters, and an inspiring message telling people DON’T LOSE YOUR WAY, it’s easy to see why this is every bit worthy of the title anime of the year.

The Eccentric Family/Uchouten Kazoku - 500 points

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I used to consume anime like candy, but after I graduated college and began a new job my consumption declined. A lack of time in conjunction with lesser quality animes (though still great ones out there) left me viewing fewer and fewer until I hit a complete slump. Then came The Eccentric Family. It was love at first sight. The animation is gorgeous. The characters unique---not only in their style, but their personalities. I was a kid mesmerized about a world and characters so real I could see myself sitting with them, speaking with them. I'll never be skilled enough with words to describe how this show made me feel.
A consistently stunning urban fantasy, that gives light-hearted treatment to its compelling casts melancholy, some how without sacrificing emotional impact when it tries for it. Fun at reckless at times, but not without reflection, the show achieves a balance that most others fail to.
Nearly everything about this show from its cast of crazy characters to the wonderful art direction is full of charm. While very silly and energetic at times, this show proved to be very thoughtful and heartwarming with its themes of family values and enjoying life. It balances the crazy fantasy elements so well with the endearing (and at times tear-inducing) emotional moments.
A thoughtful, mature, joyous, heartrending, supremely well-directed magical realist urban fantasy that explores how different members of the same family come to grips with a shared loss and frustrates our value systems concerning the value of life, its relationship to the inevitability of death, and the priority given to human lives. The cast of endearing, complex characters, their highly-entertaining and witty interplay, rich and atmospheric art, and the wide gamut of emotion woven into the narrative easily make this my anime of the year.

Attack on Titan/Shingeki no Kyojin - 452 points

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The action alone would be enough to cement this as one of my all time favorites, but the drama, mystery and twists only elevate it further.
I like the intense emotional quality of the show and the action is very engaging. The mysteries surrounding the titans makes the show have alot of seeming depth.
A TRUE AND TRUE LESBIAN CHARACTER. THANK YOU.

The Flowers of Evil/Aku no Hana - 433 points

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The Flowers of Evil isn't my number one title because it's utterly perfect. It doesn't even represent the pinnacle of a particular kind of genre.

It stands alone as brave, radical experiment in telling a very grounded story about teenagers using unusual animation techniques. The rotoscoping, while occasionally distracting, lends the charatcters a beliveable level of movement and expression which, combined with stunningly beautfil backround art, an unsettling score and Western style cinematography all work together to create one of the most enjoyable oppressive works in anime. No show can crate the thick, rich and unpleasent feelings that this series dishes out.
Aku no Hana is the unsalable show, a disastrous commercial failure premised around a hateful love triangle between three maladjusted middle schoolers, featuring rotoscoped artwork that is, on a surface level, functionally ugly. But the things that make it worth watching, that give it its sickly beating heart, are the same that make it perhaps the best televised anime produced in the last decade: it is a suspense thriller lacking in mystery but bursting with tension and discomfort; an emotionally realistic portrayal of the iron grip of loneliness, and the consequent ways people cover for inner emptiness and misinterpret facets of themselves and their connections to others; a series set in a school where the characters are neither fetishized nor condescended to, but rather stripped to their core and revealed in ways both unpleasant and insightful.

From the New World/Shin Sekai Yori - 351 points

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This show. This show right here. I simply cannot remember the last time a series sucked me into its world and atmosphere the way this anime did. The setting/world is absolutely incredible, and the story being divided into three arcs of childhood, young adulthood, and adulthood all allow the characters to grow on you. The plot twists are entertaining and well done, and the music (if repetitive) is absolutely marvelous. And then you have the art design which, apart from a handful of questionably-directed episodes, is a display of rustic beauty.

Shin Sekai Yori pulled me into it like no other show has before. I genuinely felt the sense of defeat in the latter episodes when the series neared its climax. These characters man, seeing them grow the way you do really endears them to you, and the original suite of music adds an unbelievable weight to these already emotional scenes.

Moreover... I felt a total emptiness when SSY ended. It had taken me on such an emotional journey over the several months it aired that I felt like there was a void in my heart. I had become so invested in the story that I was incredibly sad and nearly brokenhearted that this show had ended because... well... we're just not going to see anything like it, perhaps ever again. It was an extremely ambitious project to adapt a novel like it did, and the show was not a very big financial success.

Nevertheless, I must nominate Shin Sekai Yori as my Anime of 2013 for how incredibly poignant a series it was. It drew its viewer into an alien yet familiar world and told a very heavy story that pulled heavily on your emotions. It's going to be one of my very favorite shows in any medium for years.

The Devil is a Part-Timer!/Hataraku Maou-sama! - 333 points

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A fun comedy with some good action here and there (but largely minimal), this show was a good break between some of the more serious, though-provoking stuff (and insane stuff) of the year. It may not make you laugh as much as me but I think there is enough here to warrant a watch.
What a surprise this anime was. The lovable cast, those funny moments, that crazy language, this anime certainly made me laugh.

Hunter x Hunter - 326 points

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Best anime! Best Shounen! Best characters! Best character development! Best animation! More shit goes on/gets done/is said in even the slowest episode that any other anime looks lazy in comparison. If anything saves anime it's this! Anyone who hasn't watched it has been wasting their time. Seriously your time would have been better served watching nothing but static on a tv if you haven been watching this. It's the thinking man's shounen.
There is no doubt in my mind about this placement. HxH stands atop my list because it is simply one of my favorite shows of ALL time. Everything you could ever want from a Shounen series (intriguing concepts/plot ideas, fun characters, cool villains, nice action), without the fillers. HxH is consistently great from start to "finish." As I get older, I feel more and more disconnected from series like Naruto and Bleach. But HxH I can always appreciate.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure - 315 points

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Finally a good anime adaption of JoJo adventures. The voice actors for pretty much every character were all fantastic, wonderfully camp performances. The show just oozes style and the sound design is fucking awesome, when people punch each other in the face, the exaggerated sound design really helps to make the impact of the fighting bring it to another level since the animation is a bit lacking.
This show has barely any animation budget, and it shows. Yet it’s still number one on my list, because even with substandard animation, there is so much love oozing out of every frame of the production that every single episode is a joy to watch. It is manly, and it is fabulous, and above all it is ENTERTAINMENT.

The source manga is literally decades old, and probably felt cheesy as hell even back then, but there’s a reason why it enjoys in its homeland perhaps the most enduring popularity of any manga. It embraces the cheese and makes it its own. It goes above and beyond. It’s just plain awesome.

And the arc that was covered in the anime adaptation in 2013, Part 2: Battle Tendency, is perhaps the greatest embodiment of these elements. It’s not my favourite of the series’ arcs (that would be Part 4), it doesn’t have the creative and complex Stand abilities that come to define the series in later Parts, and it doesn’t have the series’ most iconic villain, Dio, but what it does have is perhaps the series’ most entertaining protagonist in Joseph Joestar, and a beautifully-paced narrative that feels like just the right length, and wastes no time in cranking the “did somebody say AWESOME?!” factor up to maximum at every feasible opportunity.

Gundam Build Fighters - 282 points

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this is pretty much the current highlight of my week, media-consumption-wise at least. Infact, so much so that I normally end up watching it on my 'phone during my lunchbreak at work rather than having to suffer the wait until I get home.

Severed from having to do the double-faced thing of trying to tell a poignant or meaningful story about the horrors of war that's also trying to sell robot toys, the folks at Sunrise have found themselves able to actually concentrate on what makes Gundam entertaining - awesome looking robots partaking in super-cool battles - for the first time on TV since G-Gundam. The animation quality certainly helps with that too, as does the fact that the characters, whilst often broadly stereotypical, are kinda charming and entertaining to watch.

It also helps that, when they do choose to deliberately call back to actual Gundam, it's done with half it's tongue in it's cheek, and still doing it in a fashion which seems meaningful and injokey to those who've been around the franchise for a while, whilst not being exclusionary to those who haven't, or have it feeling like merely a token gesture. Also, having Kirara straight-up complain about having to watch a dozen shows which kind of don't make sense did a lot to win me over.
Though only half of the episodes have come to pass, Build Fighters is a strong series. I think it is definitely up there with Gundam Wing as the best Gundam Franchise around and that designation speaks volumes as to the sheer high adrenaline experience this is. Reiji and Sei are the best duo in mecha anime thus far, and their ability to understand each other, partner up and connect with each other in an extremely deep and personal level just never fails to make this enjoyable and entertaining. The soundtrack is one of the most varied in a series and every song is used smartly.








Wolf Children/Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki - 203 points

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Hosoda's best film to date. It's a very personal story that manages to be surprisingly expansive in the range of what it covers regarding motherhood, without losing on detail. The story itself is overly emotional, but it avoids becoming sappy mostly thanks to Hosoda's careful storytelling that knows when to get quiet and when to unleash the feels. It's all complemented by an extremely solid aesthetic that's in the same line as the other Hosoda films but with a higher level of polish. Special props to the snow sliding scene for being the best sequence of the entire year.

Little Witch Academia - 149 points

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Little Witch is just about everything that anime needs right now for mass appeal. It's bright, it's young, it's whimsical and the appeal of magic via the idea of fan service-less Harry Potter theme with witches really works. Trigger outdid themselves with this short that is a great introduction to anime for the young and an excellent piece for those of us who've had the pleasure of experiencing many western themed fantasy series in movies and books. A long running series might not be a good idea, but 26 episodes would make for a very very nice series that would undoubtedly take the airwaves and anime sections at stores (retail and digital) by storm.
I was repeatedly swept up in the sheer energy and joy on display in Trigger's short film produced for Anime Mirai. Repeat viewings always revealed new little treasures and flourishes. The tale of a witch student at a magical academy learning to believe in herself may be simple, but execution is everything. I get goosebumps every time I see her attempt that final Shiny Arc.

The Garden of Words/Kotonoha no Niwa - 48 points

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Makoto Shinkai's most mature piece to date. Garden of Words has a very poetic structure to the dialogue and story. The themed are a little too on the nose, but the gentle subtlety of how scenes are framed more than make up for it. Easily Shinkai's most beautiful animation to date, the film tells a very simple human story about how the connection between people regardless of age or background, can have a profound impact.
Absolutely stunning in its visual caliber, mixed in a perfect storm with amazing sound design and that familiar, bittersweet distance that resonates so deeply the entire 45 minutes (and a good dub cast, to boot), this is unmistakably a Shinkai work through and through. His exploration on the various meanings of that 'distance' that separates wandering hearts from each other continues here as he focuses on the distance of ages: a barrier that never shrinks and stands verboten to be spoken of. The pressures that are applied externally, the uncertainty that dwells within. While his storytelling can be a be bit lacking, overly dramatic and been-there-done-that when viewed in context of his other works, he still makes it a very powerful, stunning, heart-aching ride.






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Thanks to everyone who voted! Here's to another year of anime!
 
Jul 3, 2012
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Can't say it was a terrible year for Anime, but certainly nothing outright amazing. Kill la Kill shows that you don't need to have a good story or interesting plot, just style, flair and fan service is enough to have people raving.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#10
Wow, I'm really surprised some of the shows which I voted for last year actually charted this year. It's impressive. I guess they might certainly be higher if everyone who wanted to vote for those shows actually did so in a single year instead of splitting the votes.

Either way, I'm glad the shows that deserve to win the top spots won! I didn't rig it! I swear! :D
 

SDBurton

World's #1 Cosmonaut Enthusiast
Jun 2, 2011
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Kill la Kill would've had it if it wasn't for the sudden surge of popularity with Yamato. Shame on all of you for not placing Kiniro Mosaic higher though!
 
Sep 30, 2009
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Aku no Hana should be higher, but at least it's in fifth place. The quotes about Attack on Titan are kind of lacking compared to the in-depth impressions on Space Battleship Yamato 2199, The Eccentric Family, From The New World, etc.
Kind of a commentary on how Attack on Titan is the show of choice for people who don't watch/like anime.
 
Sep 23, 2006
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#22
Man, 2013 must be really terrible if From the New world and Jojo from 2012 AOTY is in the 2013 ranks again. At least Hataraku Maou Sama made in the Top 10, Yamato won but not Attack on Titan.....I'm pleased with the results.
 
Aug 30, 2007
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#24
Gonna copy and paste what I said in the animethread

Didn't know people liked Eccentric Family that much. Personally I thought Kyousougiga was better, but whatevs. Monogatari out of top 10 :(

I'm fine with Yamato at 1 though! Super awesome show. KLK 2 is eehhh, I do like the show, but there are so many shows better than it. Log Horizon deserved to be in top 10 even with one cour shown so far :(


wow just realized 4 of my favorite shows are 11-14

c'mon
 

BGBW

Maturity, bitches.
Jan 19, 2007
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#25
Kill la Kill benefitted from a lot of votes. If you want I can include the vote tally in the breakdown (I removed it from the public spreadsheet to make it easier to read)
 
Aug 11, 2013
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#29
I wouldn't place Kill la Kill in my personal top 5. It's a spectacle to watch, but I just can't see all that much substance beneath the hyper-active delivery and flashy light-show shenanigans.

Since people were comparing Yamato to Galactic Heroes, I feel compelled to check it out.
 
Jun 7, 2004
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#34
Hunter x Hunter at 8 is way too low.
Isn't this the 4th year it's been on air? I think by now everyone who wanted to vote for it one year or another probably already has!

Kick-Heart got 0 points?
I think no one voted for it, and it's only on the list because BassForever put it as a dishonorable mention to shit on it. Lol.
 
Jan 27, 2009
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#35
Monogatari deserved better =/

And wow, I knew Yamato had a sudden surge of popularity, but I wasn't expecting it to win by such a huge margin. Am I going to have to actually watch this show at some point? >.> 26 episodes is quite a lot to backlog and it really doesn't look much like my kind of thing, but with this much praise...
 
Jan 13, 2011
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#36
I don't know what I find more disappointing, the lack of Servant x Service in the top 20 or Animated Gif: The Anime at number 4. Not that I should've expected anything different, now that I think about it...

Anyway, good list, I really should watch Yamato. Before the voting thread I didn't even know it existed, and I don't understand why.

Also, why is the trophy just a base?
 

darkside31337

Tomodachi wa Mahou
May 31, 2011
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#44
The placing of Kill la Kill is curious when one remembers all of the complaining about the show that has been seen. Oh, also, the fun part is Kill la Kill could take the AOTY award this year.
I hope it does. Show deserves it.
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And for once maybe I'll actually agree with the winner of the AOTY thread as I've disliked the last 3 completely.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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#45
Monogatari deserved better =/

And wow, I knew Yamato had a sudden surge of popularity, but I wasn't expecting it to win by such a huge margin. Am I going to have to actually watch this show at some point? >.> 26 episodes is quite a lot to backlog and it really doesn't look much like my kind of thing, but with this much praise...
If you even remotely like scifi it's recommended.

And yeah, disappointed Monogatari didn't break top10
 
Nov 15, 2012
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#46
Glad to see Uchouten at third. Now I don't know if it's good or bad that I never got around to making a series list because it would've had it being like 5 points short of getting its deserved #2 spot ;__;

Great presentation for the thread btw, props for that.
 
Jan 27, 2009
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#49
Isn't this the 4th year it's been on air? I think by now everyone who wanted to vote for it one year or another probably already has!
2013-2014 is when it's been covering the best arc of bestness, so if it ever deserves a high spot on the list it's in this year's or next year's results.
 
Nov 25, 2009
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#50
Kill la Kill has gotten away with murder placing that high - MURDER!

Which is much more than be said about the show itself!
 
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