The first time i wrote a ‘best manga/anime of 2013 (http://katmic.blogspot.com/2013/03/top-five-anime-and-manga-of-2013-so-far.html)’ blog post, it was sometime in February, and i remember thinking that it was a little early to talk about the best anything of 2013, not when the year was just beginning. I considered postponing such a blog post until a few months later when a considerable amount of material had passed before my eyes. But i changed my mind and realized that the reason i wanted to rank the anime and manga material i had encountered so far so early in the year was because it was that early in the year. IN other words i was curious as to how that list would change with time.
Given the fact that we are at just about the half way point in the year, it seems like a good time to take stock of all the manga and anime material i have seen so far and determine which of them was the most superior. I should elucidate that by ‘best manga and anime of 2013 so far’ i am not referring to manga and anime that was released in 2013, even though it is included, merely anime and manga that i have watched since the year began as far as my slightly poor memory is concerned.
I should also point out that my list of best five manga does not include Naruto and one piece because i watch rather than read these two series and as such i could not say where exactly they fall.
Anyway, my ranking is as such:
BEST ANIME SERIES OF 2013 SO FAR---
1. Shingeki no kyojin-
Basic Premise--- Attack on titan takes place in the kind of world i would never want to live in, where giant beings called titans have for hundreds of years hunted the human race to near extinction. Naked, seemingly mindless and violent, requiring no sustenance to survive but instead feasting on humanity for no discernable purpose, humanity has had to adapt to the
I am going to call SNK a blockbuster, not in the holly wood sense though, simply referring to the fact that this anime busted my mind open when i first watched it three weeks ago. If you have not watched SNK you have not watched a
Rating: 10/5, i do not care what other anime comes out this year, it will not be better than this show. Exceeded expectations several times over. I am hooked. I want this anime now.
2. Suisei no Gargantia-
Basic Premise---Ensign Ledo operates as one of humanity's soldiers in the front line of the fight against the Hidiazu, vile alien beings hell bent on destroying man’s colonies scattered through out space. Ledo, as with his comrades, was manufactured in a wholly changed and evolved society for the sole purpose of fighting the Hidiazu; however an accident sends him hurtling across galaxies to the lost
The world that Ledo finds is a wholly different one from his own, one where the earth is largely covered by water with all remainders of man’s old advanced civilization buried beneath and the race’s existence continuing to live upon water vessels. It is on one such vessel, Gargantia, a collection of several vessels, that Ledo finds himself stranded, unable to contact home and unable to find the meaning of his life in a world that is largely peaceful and not in need of the kind of
I found this show to be peculiar in that i did not expect to enjoy it. Or rather i didn’t realize that i was enjoying it and was viewing it more casually than anything, until i got to the end and wanted more. This show makes little sense to me because i cannot really pin it down. I am never sure which direction it will take. The initial minutes of the first episode will deceive you into thinking that this is an action series, revolving around giant robots fighting aliens. That is not true. This is mostly drama. Basically imagine you have a giant robot with the power to annihilate entire countries with ease, and you had spend your entire life in constant battle against a vicious alien race. Then you found yourself in a backward villagewhere their is literally no sight of aliens, or really any enemies that could be considered a threat. It is literally one day of normal life after another, trying to catch food, dealing with the harvest and all that. That is what this series is. Ledo though human is on a planet that he no longer understands, with value systems that make no sense, with a race of man that operates with a mindset that makes little sense to him. The simple idea that they care for the disabled shocks him. Where he is from if you are of no use to society and are lacking in anyway, both physically and mentally, you are eliminated.
Rating: 5/5; another one of Gen Urobuchi’s masterpieces, this is a fun little show. The cultural topics and points it tackles are fascinating to watch, especially in the context created. I do not know why but i really liked this show, besides SNK, it is my favorite show of the year so far. I like the subtle yet intriguing character development, and the musical scores are superb, along some impressive animation sequences.
Basic Premise---A small village in the mountains is plagued by a noxious disease that, seemingly initially innocuous, soon starts reaping through the small community like death itself manifest
This anime blew my mind. The way it was paced, the constant surprises, the intriguing characters driving each mini plot within the major plot, they all contributed to make this one of best horror/mystery series i have ever come across. I watched this show over several weeks unlike SNK but that was because i wanted to savor each episode. Each and every episode of this anime felt, well, deep, never repetitive and always working to evolve the plot in one way or another. Basically impressive story telling skills and a plot that was written to be divisive in terms ripping the boundary between hero and villain apart.
Rating: 5/5, the anime looks good and the music is great; the series attempts to stand out with the design of the characters, especially the shiki. I like it
4. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica-
Basic premise---This one is a little hard to explain because i do not remember all the details. Basically this little ferret like creature can make one girl’s wish come true but they then have to become magical
Without giving too much away, i will say this; this is a magical girl series, it is also shoujo. I am not a fan of either. Yet Urobuchi took a normally fluffy genre and completely flipped it over its head, creating a series that is dark, and shows the ugly life of magical girls and the horrors they must deal with. I had some problems with it, specifically madoka herself, the primary protagonist, but in the end, it was a brilliant series, not the best i have ever seen, far from it, but most likely to go down as a classic. And unlike many people i actually liked the action scenes with the witches; they had an artistic look to them; the animation was great and the music creative.
Rating: 4/5, i recommend this to everyone, definitely worth the watch, no matter your interests with regards to the genre.
5. Psycho pass-
Rating: 5/5, really there is nothing much about this series that i can say. You simply have to see it yourself. It can best be described as CSI in the future. Really, it’s ridiculous how many of these shows are done by Gen Urobuchi.
--Devil survivor- The world will be destroyed in six days if the human race cannot fend of the attacks of the demonic horde executing an incursion against humanity and, more importantly, defeat six powerful creatures known as sempterion that will make an appearance within those final six days. The secret lies in an app called nicaea which endows those that download it with the ability to
Anyway, this show has shown quite a lot of potential. seven episodes in, i am not really sure what i think about it. While the premise seems interesting, there are flaws that have occurred in the execution of the story, and i am not a big fan of the cliché’ main character or his friends.
The villain/hero/villain, depending on whose side you fall has proven to be more interesting than the three primary protagonist. Devil survivor so far seems like a basic ‘monster summoning’ type series, but with a little more deaths than you would expect. The action is great and i love the effects. This isn’t an endless fight against demons. They have six days to win or the world ends. It doesn’t say that the demons will win or they will destroy the world, merely that if they cannot beat the demons, the world will end. It makes the situation all the more grim.
Rating: 3/5, i am waiting to see more to make my mind up.
N:B- Okay, so i wrote this two days ago and i have just finished watching some more devil survivor, which has changed my mind. This is more like number six than a notable mention; i still have a couple of issues with it but i would give it a 5/5 rating now.
--Legend of the legendary heroes- i am ambivalent about legendary heroes. On the one hand i know it is a pretty great show, with an impressive cast of well developed characters and an interesting story. Yet it is one anime that i feel that i have been watching for a very long time, never indulging in more than one episode each time i get down to watching it. It is almost like there is nothing encouraging me to watch it. It does not excite me the way other shows do, none the less i acknowledge that it is a good show. maybe once i move past the half way point, it will finally hook me; for now though it has not. None the less it is worth recommending.
BEST MANGA OF 2013 SO FAR-
1. Claymore- Claymore, claymore….i do not even know how to describe this manga other than the fact that it blew my mind this year. I dropped claymore last year around August, the idea being that i
Everything i wanted from claymore was delivered this year, at least as far as chapter 135 where i stopped. We finally wrapped up the battle between the reawakened former number ones and the ghosts and oh how it delivered, with several of the former number number ones awakening, not into awakened beings, but abyssal ones. The battles between these giants things was spectacular, the hair raising contest of speed between phantom Miria and the trio of awakened beings facing her was…i am getting excited just recalling these events, especially the moment when Miria realized the peril she and her friends were in, then realized that she had grown so strong that if she awakened she would become an abyssal one, long enough to rescue her friends before ending her own life lest she destroy everything. I loved the tension it created, the fact that these elite warriors were surviving second by second, barely.
The revelations came in droves, with new mysteries being woven even as the old mysteries were unwrapped and finally unpackaged. We finally understood who yoma and claymore were, their relationship with each other and even got to see the descendants of both creatures in two breathtakingly drawn pages.
But none of that, not even the battle against the former number ones can compare to what happened back in the city. The stalemate between Clare, Priscilla and the destroyer was finally resolved and i think it was done brilliantly. It was one of those situations which didn’t seem to have a solution. Here we had the two most destructive forces in existence and they had somehow taken each other out, solving a problem no one had the answers to. And yet Clare is
I thought claymore peaked during the Priscilla destroyer incident, but it seems like with each new chapter, Nagi raises the stakes. I think i am so hyper about claymore because unlike regular single chapter readers, i read nearly 20 chapters of awesomeness in a go. We finally got to know the mystery behind the claymore’s chests, clare and raki finally met, and…just the fact that Clare finally came back into play after so long, seeing her release her yoki after 7 years, the reunion of the ghosts after what seems like forever…I LOVE THIS MANGA.
RATING: 7/5; Hands down the best manga i have read all year and i would be surprised if anything beat it. And i think i will stop before this runs on any longer than it was supposed to. Just writing about claymore has a tendency to me all excited.
2. Bleach- I am one of those people that has never been shy about disparaging Bleach. I mean, Kubo has made it a little too easy over the years to insult his work. But what bleach is doing so far, all i
I am not giving Kubo all the praises i would normally give him because i believe he has it easier than naruto or one piece because this is his last arc. So of course he doesn’t have to worry about the future, such as ensuring consistency in this arc with what’s coming up next and so on. He can just go crazy, and that is what he is dong. The story so far is amazing. I reached a point in bleach where i didn’t merely dislike it, i hated Ichigo as a main character. As far as i was concerned, Kubo’s determination to make it all about him ruined the series. Now however ichigo seems to have made a comeback as far as getting back into my good graces is concerned. Bleach is finally what it was long ago and should have been all this time; we have a great story that is completely unpredictable which is something bleach has always failed at; Kubo is actually giving a lot of the characters the stage to shine, and actually developing their stories. The action is, well, bleach has always done well in the action sector.
Rating:6/5; beach is on fire,completely exceeding my expectations. I actually have faith that things will only get better.
3. The Breaker: New waves- Breaker follows the story of Li shion and his attempt to not only survive and thrive in the ferocious world of Murim after his fortuitous encounter with the legen
This year breaker continued to prove why it is such a monster, with the story continuously taking twists and turns in the most unexpected ways. Here is what i will say about Breaker, if you think you know what is coming, you will most likely be wrong. The art is great, and the action is unparalleled. more surprising is how much story is injected into what should be mindless fighting.
Rating: 5/5; at 121 chapters, this manga is showing no signs of slowing down. Every time i think there isn’t much story left to tell, the manhwa does something new that i didn’t expect.
4. Witch hunter- In the story told in this manhwa, witches have declared war against humanity. More than two thirds of the world have fallen into chaos and destruction as a result. The witch hunter
The fact that i loved this manhwa this year has to do with the fact that i haven’t read it in ages. It has been on a break for a few years now, and only returned last year. And after reading 20 or so chapters a few weeks ago, i was reminded of how much i loved it. Few other works have art as unique as witch hunter. I just love how the people are drawn and the inventiveness with which each action is drawn, the imaginative characters and abilities…it is difficult to read this manhwa and not be blown away.
The manga this year was even more phenomenal mostly because we began digging into the mysteries surrounding the world. We finally began to understand who Guinevere (or Halloween as she was called), Tasha’s servant, was and why the round table knights and Merlin, a dubious member of witch hunter, wanted her so badly. Though this time Tasha was merely the side dish; Xing took these 20 chapters with the conclusion of his back story, the final collision with his two brothers Lee and Yue (wait, i am still confused about whether xing the witch hunter is actually xing or Yue, especially since its been a while since i read the back story chapters). The final chapter in the Bai long empire saga was refreshing. The four witches of the North south east and west have finally began to move with epic consequences, and Tasha seems to have made his decision between his loyal servant Guinevere and the witch hunter organization that is working with England to get him to relinquish her. I am impressed by how this manga gives equal attention to every character. Witch hunter reminds of one piece in that even if Tasha wasn’t the primary protagonist, anyone of several characters could feel the spot perfectly. Each is endowed with intriguing back stories, enough to run a manga plot successfully.
Rating: 6/5 unparalleled in story telling, brilliant action scenes and the art is simply breath taking and unique like few other series.
N:B: at this point i thought i will stop to point out that number 2, 3 and 4 were all so ridiculously brilliant this year that i couldn’t really tell which of them was superior to the other. I thought that bleach clearly dominated them all, till i read breaker and realized that the manhwa still had more fuel in it to create more outrageously brilliant stories. Then i read witch hunter and for a while bleach and breaker paled in comparison to its madness. Now i realize that at least in my mind, they might all as well be number 2, which is why i am doing a best 8 manga rather than best five.
5. Monster- In this manga, doctor Tenma must face the fact that in using his skills to save the life of a little boy, he unleashed an evil the likes of which Europe has never faced. Now he tasks himself
Rating:5/5, i seriously recommend that EVERYONE read this manga. Despite the fact that the story is one of killers and psychopaths, well, killing, there is surprisingly very little unnecessary blood and gore, hence basically a safe story for any age (maybe).
6. The God of high School- This manhwa’s premise is ridiculously simple; a group of high school kids with incredible martial arts skills are fighting in a tournament in which the winner will have
GOH isn’t particularly deep, but it has actually has a compelling story.It is primarily character driven and has the best action i have ever seen drawn in a comic, even, as far as i am concerned, better than breaker. The artist seems to think in a way that other artists do not, and approaches action scenes with a unique set of angles.
Rating: 5/5, this manhwa is all about fighting. it is none the less far from mindless and highly entertaining.
7.Break Blade- Rygart is a young man that cannot use magic in a world where everyone can. He must negotiate peace between friends that have gone to war in a world where nations tend to rely on golems, giant robots controlled by magic, to deal with their grievances. The situation is worsened by his relationship with one of his best friends’ wife and queen of Krishna.
This manga is unique for me because i have never read mecha before. The art is great, exceptionally detailed; the story is one of love and loss and war and the consequences of greed, when those in power choose to reach for their own interests above the lives and safety of those citizens they swore to protect.
Rating: 4/5, i had trouble distinguishing characters and golems in battle. That made it a more difficult process to read this manga.
8. Nabara no Ou- The world of nabari, basically the shinobi world and the normal world have lived along side each other for centuries, never interacting outside of the shadows. The different villages have evolved over the years to meet the new challenges of the world, some transforming from actually villages into corporations but still
The story resolves around the hijustu, a powerful form of Kinjustu-sho, known as a powerful form of wisdom, containing all knowledge and so powerful that i can fulfill any wish and change the very shape of the world if asked to. To both protect the world from its destructive power once it was determined that they could no longer control it, as well as attempt to control it, the Hijustu was sealed off in human flesh. At the start of the story five of the former Hijustu hosts have died. some gave in to its temptations, asked for a wish, which they got but in the process unleashed the hijustu. Others were killed by rogue clans who wanted the hijustu,
Now the seventh host of the Hijustu finds himself in the midst of a great clash for the power held within his body. A rogue off shoot of another clan known as Kairoushou wishes to gain the Hijustu for its president, a charismatic international personality who believes he can contain its power within his body and use it to change the world for the better.
The fuuma clan will stop him while searching for a way to safely remove the Hijustu, which involves collecting all other clans' Kinjustu-shos. A select few will stop at nothing to make this fellow the king of Nabarai. This young man will either give into the Hijustu’s temptation, allow it to be removed or take the third option, master the use of the Hijutsu by mastering a new form of Kinjustu within which he can harness its powers.
I only picked this manga up because someone commented that while its starts off lazily, it becomes brilliant after 20 or so chapters. So far at chapter 22, i am impressed with what i see. The story has potential and is more than basic shinobi fights. It isn’t merely a matter of good vs. evil because there are technically no villains, merely differences of opinions with one high school teen stuck in the middle. The decisions he makes shape the story.
Rating: 3/5; great potential. I still do not know where it is going and i am still on the fence about whether it is as good as it is proclaimed to be. None the less i have been convinced to continue reading. And the art, which by the way can be considered to be rather unimpressive at the start gets better after 20 chapters, almost like the mangaka was still finding her bearings but has now found a comfortable position.
This one i recommend.
1. Assassination classroom- an alien creature arrives on the world stage, not only possessing the power to destroy the world but promising to do so in one year. This creature is also a teacher of a particularity troublesome classroom in a certain high school. The students in this class are tasked with killing this teacher within
It is because of manga like this that i am an anime and manga fan. Manga will take the dumbest ideas and morph them into gold. Assassination classroom i began reading last year and i can admit that it is indeed an incredible series, mostly because, based on that premise, you do not expect to find much in the manga. yet it is so entertaining, with a large cast of characters that the plot will slowly peal back with each passing arc. This is how i would describe this manga: think back to that old movie where Samuel L. Jackson goes into a chaotic class of delinquents and transforms them into model students, basically saving these young troubled minds from themselves. This is what Assassination classroom is.
Rating: 5/5; brilliant stuff, i recommend it highly, though i rarely grant it the kind of time i do other manga. I am not actually hooked by it yet.
2. One punch man- I am shocked by the fact that i am actually interested in this manga. I kept coming across the title on several anime sites this year and each time determined that it simply sounded like one of the most asinine manga i might ever come across. After coming across it most recently at [http://matbmangafreaks.blogspot.com/2013/06/new-manga-bookmark-list.html], i decided to finally give it a go, and for the first ten chapters, my original thoughts were
And i am not sure why. You have an eccentric hero that is so strong that he defeats all opponents with one punch. He at one point in his life decided to become a hero and fight evil. SO he trained so hard that he lost all his hair and became a great hero that no one actually knows of. He saves the world from the greater threats out their but because he doesn’t stand out, really the most basic hero you have ever seen, the credit goes to the other flashier personalities.
This manga can only be described as entertaining. And i am disturbed by how ridiculously drawn some of the chapters are. I have read four chapters so far that are basically anime waiting to be animated. The managaka has a way of wasting an entire chapter on a ten second portion of a fight, making it look so good and dynamic that the images in the comic look like they are moving. If you read this manga and think it is a little too silly, that is because the mangaka wants it to look like that, not because of any particular lack of talent.
Rating: 5/5; one punch man is one of those manga that shouldn’t be worth your time but it turns out to be entertaining.
--I am surprised by how much easier it was for me to do this ranking. The first time i tried to compile the best manga and anime i had watched in 2013, i had to first scribble everything down on paper and stare at it for a while, before figuring out what i thought was better.
This time however, things were obvious, almost like their was no question which was superior. Attack on Titan was obviously superior to anything and everything that i had come across anywhere. I had some problems with Madoka magica during its 12 episode run; psycho pass on the other hand was completely consistent, delivering a quality story from beginning to the end without, as far as i am concerned, slipping up unlike Madoka which, i believe, had a few misses. However when i thought of both shows in my head, it was clear that Magica was the superior show, without a doubt.
And in my mind Suisei no Gargantia dominated the rest of them, not in anyone field though, but simply being the kind of charming show i rarely come across.
As far as manga was concerned, when i thought about manga, claymore flashed in my mind. When i thought of best manga, claymore flashed even brighter. There was never any contest here. Same thing goes for bleach, breaker and witch hunter. They were all so brilliant and if claymore wasn’t, well, claymore, they might all share the number one spot. On a weekly basis, i have definitely enjoyed god of high school, but i was looking at Monster as a whole series, already completed and in that case, it was a clearly superior manga in terms of depth and quality to GOH.
Basically manga and anime so far has fallen into place without much resistance. What was good was clearly good and what was bad was bad. There was no jostling for places. And i can safely say that this year is turning out to be a great year for anime and manga. Now i just have to wait for Naruto to return on the 18th and improve my anime viewing experience.