Ani-Blogger Choice Anime Awards: Top 12 Anime of 2012

Hello!
This is a list I made for the Ani-Blogger Choice Anime Awards that Kidd has been nice enough to organize.

I apologize for making another top anime list so soon after the previous one. I hope the fact that this list has 2 more entries and that it allows for anime that will continue into next year justifies another post.

Whenever I can, I am just going to copy over my justifications from the previous list because I am lazy.

Note: I actually wanted to include Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo on this list, but even though I downloaded the episodes, I never got to see the newer 6, so I am not including it. It is a shame, I am pretty sure it could have made this list. For now, just consider it to be an honorary 13th entry.

Sad Rice Grain

12. Fate/Zero

I will use this screenshot every opportunity I get.

I will use this screenshot every opportunity I get.

One of the reasons why I put F/Z down this low was because as great as the anime was, it didn’t quite measure up to the first season. I also know that a lot of other people are going to place this much higher up, so I don’t feel bad for placing it this far down.

11. Sengoku Collection

I am not including this image because of the cute girl and the great camera angle. Most certainly not!

The only reason this anime is this far down is because I watched a very small number of episodes and I chose to only watch the good episodes. Having said that, what little of it I saw was really, really good. I know that not all of the episodes are good, but even if the 5 episodes that I saw are the only good ones, they are good enough to earn a place on this list. That is how good they are.

I also really like the art style and character designs.

Sengoku Collection

10. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

I think I creeped her out.

I already said this in my 12 Days post, but I never finished Jinrui. Regardless of that though, I honestly do feel that this was a very, very good anime and it deserved most of the praise it got. It was wacky, crazy, funny, probably meaningful and featured Watashi, who probably wins the female lead of 2012 award.

9. Acchi Kocchi

Acchi Kocchi

Acchi Kocchi was cute, adorable and funny to. It was my “relaxing” anime of 2012. With every other series, I had to ponder if I really wanted to sit through some drama or serious plot development, but not Acchi Kocchi! I know that makes the anime sound dumb, and me dumber, but there is something special about an anime that accomplishes nothing but does so in a most entertaining fashion.

8. Tsuritama

Tsuritama

From its fabulous character animation to its great ensemble of characters, Tsuritama was a joy to watch. It had a few moments where it took itself too seriously and those were the worst moments. The show was best when it went with the waves and it did that often enough to earn a place on this list.

7. Binbougami-Ga

[gg]_Binbougami_ga!_-_02

This is probably the most controversial item on this list. It is not controversial because of a social justice felony, but simply because many people did not actually find this show to be funny.

I don’t really know why people thought Binbougami-Ga was not funny, but they are all wrong. This show was hilarious. I will admit that a good portion of the drama just did not work as well (though there were quite a few touching moments), but the sheer audacity of the jokes and Momiji’s various costumes made it all worthwhile.

6. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!

How many of your moe centers did this hit?

How many of your moe centers did this hit?

Chu2Koi was a great anime. The writers behind it knew about the moe centers located in the viewers bodies. They engineered fine-precision hnnnggg arrows to target said moe centers and scattered them throughout out the show (though they were in larger quantities during the first half).

And yet, I’d argue that Chu2Koi was a bit more than moe for the sake of moe.

If you stripped away all the moe, you’d only be left with a boy meets girl story and that is one that has been told since the beginning of human literature.

So, what was it that moved me in Chu2Koi?

It was the notion of Chuunibyou that hit home. I have always been of the opinion that adults are boring and that kids should never grow up (this is why I don’t drink coffee; only adults drink coffee). So, it was refreshing to see a show explore the ideas of childhood and how important it is to remain true to yourself even if society and everyone else scoffs at you for it.
Who cares about reality anyway? As long as you acknowledge that reality is a thing, you can just make your own!

(That previous statement sounds very dangerous and could make me look crazy. Oh well~)

5. Hotarubi no Mori e

Hotarubi no Mori e

I really, really want to move this one further up the list, but I probably shouldn’t. I only watched this like an hour before making this post, so I am still suffering from recency bias. On top of that, this is a singly 40-ish minute OVA. Art should be judged irrespective of its length, but it feels unfair to compare this to full length series that are more likely to accumulate problems due to their length.

Having said all of that, Hotarubi no Mori e is flawless.

I am not joking nor I am I exaggerating. Every scene, every little character movement, every little ambient detail, all of it is meticulously planned and there for a reason. But, simply looking at Hotarubi as a piece of animation is doing it a large disservice. This isn’t an anime you want to pick apart and ponder needlessly about. It is an anime you simply want to be basked in.

You want to bask in this anime’s warm, yellow glow. When that glow finally fades, you won’t be sad because it hurt your eyes, nor will you be sad because you got hooked, no you will be sad because the yellow light is gone and you aren’t sure if you will ever see it again.

I honestly can’t describe the feelings I got after watching the OVA. It won’t just break your heart, nor will it simply warm it. It will do both, but only after building up your heart through love. It is heartbreaking, heartwarming and heartforming. This anime is really something special.

4. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure

JoJo dressup

I actually did not know it was possible to dislike JoJo until my brother told me he did not like it because it was too crazy.
I guess that’s fair enough.

JoJo is crazy.

There is no excellent overlying plot. Some of the dialogue is redundant and unnecessary and some lines are just corny, but…. it is a bucket full of fun.
JoJo is an adrenaline fueled adventure full of exaggerated poses, disturbing villains and exciting battles.

On top of that, the great soundtrack (especially the opening/ending) and excellent animation/artistic design bring everything together in an incredibly entertaining package.

3. Girls und Panzer

Girls und Panzer op

The only reason I am putting Garupan above JoJo is because it is a more consistent anime. In fact, in terms of consistency, it is probably the most consistent anime this year.

There are a lot of anime that have minor identity issues and they simply try too hard to explore different things. There are other anime that know what they are, but they try to hammer it in too hard. Garupan does neither of these. Garupan knows exactly what it is and it knows exactly what it needs to show to demonstrate its identity.

I talked a bit more about what makes Girls und Panzer good in my 12 Day Post on it.

All in all, Girls und Panzer is a great anime because it has many good things that just work well together.

2. Hyouka

Hyouka

I love Hyouka. It has become one of my all time favorite anime. Sure, Chitanda was annoying (at first anyway), but there was so much to like in Hyouka.

To start with, I really liked the “mystery” part of it. Sure, the mysteries did not involve dead people or ghosts, but that did not make them any less intriguing. They might have been simple and easy to figure out, but watching them unfold and uncovering all the details was a treat.

The other thing I really liked was watching the romance(?) unfold. Well, romance is a subjective term in this case because not a single kiss or hug had been exchanged by the end of the anime, but you’d have to be blind to have not noticed the romantic tension. And what great romantic tension it was! Especially between Fukabe and Mayaka. It was adorable.

The characters themselves were also really great (well, I’d understand if you are iffy on Chitanda, but the other 3 at least were awesome) and watching them overcome their issues felt just right. Characters in anime often have the tendency to have serious issues accompanied with major angst that results in brain hemorrhaging in the viewers. That wasn’t the case in Hyouka. The characters had issues that most young people encounter and these issues were never seriously antagonized over or anything.

It was lovely.

1. Daily Lives of High School Boys

Nichibros Pony

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t mind putting Hyouka here. I think both anime are more than worthy of being the best this year. Having said that I can only pick one, so Nichibros it is.

I have already talked about Nichibros in extensive detail, so I will keep this brief.

This anime was funny. The satire presented did such a great job that while complete enjoyment required some know how about the “cute girls doing cute things” trend, the comedy could stand on its own.

On top of all that, the anime had heart, it felt like a lot of effort and a love had been put into making it. I might be a bit naive in saying this, but I think the staff involved had a blast.

I to had a blast and that is why this show is number one on this list.

Thanks for reading.

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  1. #1 by AngryJellyfish on December 29, 2012 - 10:13 pm

    An interesting mix of shows.🙂

    I agree with you that Binbougami-ga! was hilarious most of the time, but it was the poor attempts at drama that meant it only got an honourable mention from me. For some reason though, Nichibros was almost completely lost on me… I think I laughed about twice over the course of its twelve episodes. Comedy is definitely more subjective than any other genre, so it’ll be interesting to see how series like these two fare in the final ACAA results.

    After reading all these lists, I feel I should definitely watch Hyouka. The only two people from my usual circles who watched it didn’t have many positive things to say about it, but it seems very popular in the blogosphere!

    • #2 by Reiseng on December 30, 2012 - 1:36 am

      Yeah, Binbougami-ga was not that great at drama. I thought some of the stuff it did with the friendship building was pretty cool, but it was truly at its best when it was just being funny.

      Nichibros is a bit of an acquired taste. I suppose you are more prone to liking it if you nostalgia hard about high school and if you are a big fan of platonic friendships between guys. (I found it to be really funny, but it was the general attitudes of the characters that I enjoyed the most.)

      I think most people have two problems with Hyouka:

      1. They don`t like the fact that the mysteries aren`t very mysterious.
      2. It takes a while to get going.

      So, if you are okay with a show that takes a while to get going, don’t mind mysteries that aren’t really large scale, and a show that focuses on characters instead of an overlying plot, then you will probably like Hyouka.

      I didn’t mind the standalone episodes of Hyouka, but it was the arcs (like the student festival arc) that people liked the most.

      Thanks for commenting.😛

  1. List of Lists in 2012 | Fnzna Side Dish
  2. AniBloggers Choice Anime Awards 2012: Winners | Kidds' Anime Blog

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