Katanagatari is a breath of fresh air in a year of very stale anime. It follows the story of Yasuri Shichika who is a descendant of a family that is known for mastering a form of the sword in which the individual is unable to use a sword and instead trains their body to become a sword. He meets a girl named Togame who persuades him to accompany her as they go on a quest to retrieve the 12 deviant swords, which are 12 swords that are infused with magical properties and were made by a legendary swordsmith known as Shikizaki Kiki.
The Good: My favorite aspect of this show was the slow pace that the story moved at. This may seem like a bad thing but too often shows provide you with characters and fail to develop them making them shallow and pointless. Much like Hajime no Ippo each of the owners of the 12 blades who Shichika have to fight have a unique story and those stories are told really well. As a result you care about most of the characters in this story even if you know their fate. There is also some great chemistry between Shichika and Togame that not only provides some great comic relief but also evolves as the story progresses. The other star of this show is its visual style. Anyone who has seen Bakemonogatari will instantly recognize the work of Nisio Isin at work here. The colors are bright and vibrant and characters look excellent. The fights themselves don't last long but are a joy to watch.
The Bad: While the story was great it did not end on a high note. The story went from focusing on character development to focusing on plot twists and as a result it becomes far to complicated for its own good. Also the show doesn't really pick up until episode 3 when Shichika's personality begins to be fleshed out. The other misstep was the audio which wasn't as strong as the visual experience and was kind of a letdown.
Although the show ends on a sour note Katanagatari is a gorgeous experience both visually and verbally that is a shining star in a dark year for anime.