Best Anime of 2013
To close the curtain on 2013, here’s my list of top 10 best anime for the year. I have chosen from titles that finished airing in 2013.
10. Shingeki no Kyoujin
Humanity’s last stand against a common, bigger, and barbaric threat has never been as dramatic. Shingeki is a loyal adaptation of its ongoing manga counterpart which may have made the anime predictable to its manga readers. The art style has been a mirror copy of the original material but the execution and choreography of battles were simply brilliant. Hiroyuki Sawano’s music, ranging from percussion-heavy orchestral performance to a solo piano, synchronized well in each scene.
9. Little Busters! Refrain
“The Little Busters. Not many groups of friends can pull of such wonderful idiocy.”
This is nothing like your normal school-life anime. With a “fated time” and “secret of the world” to discover, as well as the heart-wrenching main plot, it’s easy to fall in love with Little Busters. This second season concludes the first that has introduced and gathered all the main characters together. The ending may not be as satisfactory given the journey it took to get there but as they say, all’s well that ends well.
8. Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon
Everyday life in an agricultural school gives identity to Hiromu Arakawa’s Gin no Saji. Real-life lessons about meat processing and the like are truly educational and so does Yugo Hachiken’s path to self-discovery. Amidst people who have determined what they want to do in life, whether they wanted to or not, wouldn’t it make you try a little harder too?
7. Chihayafuru 2
Chihayafuru continuously weaves Japanese poetry hundreds of years past with a modern story of friendship and dreams. The lead cast grew with the addition of 2 new members for the Misuzawa Karuta Club. Our main characters, particularly Taichi, were able to break through their personal barriers and were slowly discovering what their potentials truly are. This season took a lot of time in the karuta competition, focusing on the less important battles, which was one of this season’s downsides. The romance clearly tipped to one side too. However, the open ending will make anyone anticipate a third season.
6. Suisei no Gargantia
A futuristic coming-of-age series that is thought-provoking with Gen Urobochi on the script and an eye-candy thanks to Production I.G. What else will the story have in store for the announced second season?
5. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
School-life and self-discovery is an enjoyable combination if executed properly as Sakurasou has done. Characters showed that we won’t always get what we want just because we tried hard the first time. We fail even if we tried harder the second time. But it doesn’t mean we have to give up on the third. An inspiring and light-hearted series to look out for.
Script and characters are undoubtedly Monogatari’s strength. Amongst the heroines, the antihero will become a very likable character in this season. Plot twists and revelations abound too. And while some stories have tear-jerker endings, the last will definitely urge viewers to seek some form of vengeance.
3. Zetsuen no Tempest
A story of revenge that ends with a happy ending. Zetsuen no Tempest pays homage to Shakespeare’s The Tempest and Hamlet. Similar to Shakespearean works, beneath a tragic story is an enchanting romance. And while characters and script are inspired by these two plays, they remain unique and carve a new identity and ending of their own. The theatrical feel of the entire series was taken to another level with the Russian State Symphony Orchestra performing its soundtrack.
2. Hataraku Maou-sama
The demon king and the hero have always had an antagonistic relationship and Maou-sama showed us that the two can actually work together. It’s amazing how a one-cour series could establish the characters so well at the same time deliver a very solid plot. The comedy was not forced and executed pretty well that no episode ends without a laugh or two. Maou-sama definitely needs another season.
1. Shin Sekai Yori
Despair from the eyes of 5 children. The dark side of humans has been fully explored by Shin Sekai Yori. A brilliant storytelling shifting from present to past at timely moments brought suspense and thrill to the fore. The soundtrack is menacingly beautiful and complemented the atmosphere of the series. And after all the darkness it has shown, the series still ends with optimism and hope.
Other Titles Seen: Amnesia, Arata Kangatari, Blood Lad, Cuticle Tantei Inaba, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, Devil Survivor 2 The Animation, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Ilya, Free!, Galilei Donna, Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou, Ginga Kikutai Majestic Prince, Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibu, Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko, Infinite Stratos 2, Kakumeki Valvrave, Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai: Megami-hen, Kamisama no Inai no Nichiyoubi, Karneval, Kyoukai no Kanata, Little Busters!, Machine Doll wa Kizutsukanai, Magi, Makai Ouji: Devils and Realists, Maouyuu Maou Yuusha, Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuro Sou Desu Yo?, Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru, Outbreak Company, RDG: Red Data Girl, Robotics;Notes, Rozen Maiden (2013), Senyuu, ServantxService, Super Seisyun Brothers, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S, Uchouten Kazoku, Uta no☆Prince-sama♪ Maji Love 2000%
Specials/OVAs/Movies Seen: Chihayafuru OVA, Detective Conan Movie 17: Private Eye in the Distant Sea, Hal, Kotonoha no Niwa, Kuroko no Basket OVA, Steins;Gate: Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu, Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Rebellion
The anime you picked other than Chihayafuru would definitely end up in my top 10, though maybe a slightly different order. I wouldn’t pick are the ones I haven’t watched (Tempest and Little Busters) either so for those three spots I’d probably throw in Servant x Service, Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi, and Tamayura ~more aggressive~.