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Anime in America: The Best (and Worst) of 2013


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angelmcazares
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Joined: 23 Sep 2010
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Location: Iscandar

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:47 am Reply with quote
2013 was a good year for anime series. It was not a great year to me because there were no gems like Bunny Drop and Penguindrum, but there were plenty of high quality series worth revisiting and purchasing. To me the best anime series from 2013 were Flowers of Evil, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Monogatari Second Season, Genshiken Second Generation and Gingitsune. I also have liked what I have seen from Nagi no Asukara so far.

I agree with Carl's and Theron's picks in general lines. I especially like what you did with the duo of the year and scene of the year. And Theron, I agree 100% with you on your take on the Oreimo 2 OVA's.

I actually have a humble suggestion. Why don't you have 2 awards for series of the year. One award could be given to the (legally) simulcasted anime series of the year. The other award can be given to the best retail release of a series (you could also combine this award with the Best DVD/Blu-Ray Feature or Extra.

These are my awards for what I consider to be the most important in anime for R1:

SERIES OF THE YEAR (streaming): Flowers of Evil is to me the best tv series of 2013 because it was a thrilling experience from beginning to end. The story itself is not that espectacular, but the main characters are very appealing. The aesthetics were unusual, but I think it added to the immersion and suspense of the show.
Honorable mentions: Nagi no Asukara, Attack on Titan

CHARACTER OF THE YEAR: Sawa Nakamura is arguably the most important character of Flowers of Evil bbecause her mood and attitude shaped the direction of the series. Sawa did devilish things but it was a delight to see her misbehave and screw with Takao.
Honorable mentions: Benten, Erwin Smith

SURPRISE OF THE YEAR: The Devil is a Part-Timer's premise sounded stupid, but it actually worked wonderfully. Who knew that the basic same gag would work for 13 episodes. The characters were a blast, and I hope we see at least another season.
Honorable mentions: Outbreak Company, Maoyu

MOVIE OF THE YEAR: Wolf Children is a wonderful, heart warming movie about family and finding your place in the world.
Honorable mentions: none because I watched very few movies this year.

BEST RETAIL RELEASE OF A SERIES: Sword Art Online was an exciting but inconsistent anime, but the BD releases from Aniplex USA showed once again that there is a market in R1 for pricy, deluxe releases.
Honorable mentions: Penguindrum (volume 2), Patlabor (BD rereleases)


Last edited by angelmcazares on Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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drdr48



Joined: 16 Mar 2009
Posts: 356

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:55 am Reply with quote
Like I said before, my pick as the best anime of the year is From the New World.

It has been a long time since an anime made me think and feel the way this anime did.

I can't really tell you what so special about it and what's the story is about because that would be a huge spoiler.

JUST WATCH IT. That's all I'll say.
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RyanSaotome



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 4210
Location: Towson, Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:59 am Reply with quote
My top 5 anime in no order:

Little Busters ~Refrain~: Not a perfect adaption, but Refrain is my favorite ever story in the medium so just seeing it adapted to anime was more then enough to be one of if not my favorite anime of the year. I couldn't stop crying for the last few episodes especially.

Fate/Kaleid Prisma Illya: One of the best magical girl shows in a while, along with tons of Fate fanservice everywhere. It also had the 2nd best single episode of the year (after Refrains Ep 11) which was completely epic in every way.

Non Non Biyori: It was totally relaxing, great scenery, and just about as cute as anime can get. This is the gold standard that all moe/slice of life shows should strive for.

Monogatari 2nd Season: More of the same, but its still a great franchise. I loved the extra focus Shinobu got and the final arc was especially interesting.

Love Live: About as fun of an idol show as you can get... Lots of great music and dance numbers, the group relationship is really fun to watch and I was really invested in their success. Love Live shows just how good an idol show can be.


Last edited by RyanSaotome on Mon Jan 06, 2014 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total
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keith yatsuhashi



Joined: 26 Mar 2013
Posts: 11
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:01 pm Reply with quote
For me, it was Yamato 2199. LOVED it. Then again, Star Blazers was my gateway anime.
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sainta



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 906

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:01 pm Reply with quote
About Haruto's death while I found it very sad I felt it made the character too sad since he never managed to make up with Shoko, coexist (he had already surpassed his insecurity as a monster) or something like that. It even felt like an excuse to give us a sad moment because Marie had already lost all her memories once and started again from zero.

I get this feeling because the show loves killing nice characters while all guys who spent most of the season being jerks dodged karma without doing anything. Well, at least he went out with a smile.
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wandering-dreamer



Joined: 21 Jan 2008
Posts: 1709

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:07 pm Reply with quote
IIRC the lead singer in White Ash is in fact a guy and wowza I hadn't heard of Carl's pick for unlicensed gem either. I'll admit I don't keep up with movies as much as I do with tv series but I was completely thrown when I started reading the summary for it. Anime hyper

angelmcazares wrote:

I actually have a humble suggestion. Why don't you have 2 awards for series of the year. One award could be given to the (legally) simulcasted anime series of the year. The other award can be given to the best retail release of a series (you could also combine this award with the Best DVD/Blu-Ray Feature or Extra.


Oooh, I like this idea as well, especially since there are so many shows coming out both on dvd and simulcast each year it might be worth it to highlight even more shows that way.
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st_owly
Get off my lawn!Get off my lawn!


Joined: 20 May 2008
Posts: 2986
Location: Edinburgh, UK

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:09 pm Reply with quote
Izumi Kitta as Tomoko was one of the most distinctive voice performances I've heard in a long time. She made that show.
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EighteenSky



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Nottingham, England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:17 pm Reply with quote
keith yatsuhashi wrote:
For me, it was Yamato 2199. LOVED it. Then again, Star Blazers was my gateway anime.

Yamato 2199 it was for me as well. Only series that came close to it were Robotics;Notes and Oregairu.

While I still don't understand the Guilty Pleasure award I actually found myself agreeing with a fair few of Carl and Theron's choices which I didn't expect.
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Funny how Theron gets the idea about Attack on Titan being the most popular show this year yet not the best and not living up to its entertainment value, but cannot wrap his head around Sword Art Online's quality being less than its popularity and not living up to its entertainment value.

EighteenSky wrote:
While I still don't understand the Guilty Pleasure award...


What's to not understand? Some shows offer great entertainment but aren't actually as good as their entertainment level suggests.
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Oneeyedjacks



Joined: 21 Dec 2009
Posts: 203

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:26 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
A Certain Scientific Railgun S (great job expanding the original Sisters arc, filler arc that starts out weak but ends up very solid)


I had the opposite feeling about the Railgun S filler arc. I thought it started out fairly ok, but got really dumb by that final episode when it decided to turn the stupid meter up to 11.


Last edited by Oneeyedjacks on Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Crystal



Joined: 03 Jun 2004
Posts: 257

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:30 pm Reply with quote
drdr48 wrote:
Like I said before, my pick as the best anime of the year is From the New World.

It has been a long time since an anime made me think and feel the way this anime did.

I can't really tell you what so special about it and what's the story is about because that would be a huge spoiler.

JUST WATCH IT. That's all I'll say.


DUDE! I totally agree! Wish that show got more attention. Want it to get a bilingual home video version as well . . .

I actually agree with a lot of the things on here! I really dug Watamote, Flowers of Evil and what I've seen of Kyosogiga & Eccentric Family as well. Nice to see the classroom scene mentioned.

Two of the VO performances listed here (Izumi Kitta as Tomoko and Luci Christian as Mirai) I also agree with! As well as Watamote's opening and Flower of Evil's ending song.

I think I was gonna assume I hadn't seen most of the stuff covered here, but actually watched a good chunk of it. Glad this list wasn't a popularity contest.
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walw6pK4Alo



Joined: 12 Mar 2008
Posts: 6985

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:38 pm Reply with quote
Guess I'd go with Yamato 2199 as well, since it did premier a good chunk in 2013. Better animation and updated art, as expected, but what really took me by surprise were the actual changes to characterization, story, tone, and focus. They also did well by adding in a ton new hot women to the crew and on the Gamilas side as well. As far as I'm concerned, you can ditch the 1974 series in favor of the new one. The old series only gets credit and mention for just being old and cool, but I'd far and away recommend the remake to any newcomers.

Biggest surprised of the year was how much I took a liking to Arpeggio of Blue Steel's use of CG animation. It was still a bit stilted, but it's a new world in anime if they can improve upon that further and get those character animations to smooth out.
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EighteenSky



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
Posts: 120
Location: Nottingham, England

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:46 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
EighteenSky wrote:
While I still don't understand the Guilty Pleasure award...


What's to not understand? Some shows offer great entertainment but aren't actually as good as their entertainment level suggests.

See I don't understand that view point, if something in the entertainment medium offers great entertainment for you then how can it not be good to you? Why would you feel guilt for something you enjoy? If you like something then it's good, that goes for anything music, books, films etc.
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RyanSaotome



Joined: 29 Mar 2011
Posts: 4210
Location: Towson, Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:49 pm Reply with quote
EighteenSky wrote:
While I still don't understand the Guilty Pleasure award I actually found myself agreeing with a fair few of Carl and Theron's choices which I didn't expect.


I've never understood it, either. I think people are just ashamed to admit they like shows other people don't or something? I feel if you like a show you should rate it as such instead of acting like you shouldn't like it.
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Gustave Archamp



Joined: 31 Dec 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Ever elusive Canada

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:57 pm Reply with quote
Eighteen, think of it this way.

I really liked "Dude, Where's my Car?" I know it is a horrible movie, and anyone who watches it can agree with me that it is horrendous. Yet, I found myself terribly amused by it. I might feel markedly less intelligent every time that I watch it, and I get dirty looks whenever I tell people that I enjoy the movie. As a result, I take it as my guilty pleasure. I usually like series/movies that are more thought-provoking, better written, and consistent in quality. I appreciate how terrible this movie is, but I enjoy it nonetheless.

If you need an anime reference that you could use as a jump off point, "Mad Bull 23," is another of my guilty pleasures. Please don't watch it.
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