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Anime Vice's Top 2011 Anime

Some of the the site's top wiki editors and forum users weigh in on their personal favorites from 2011.

2011 was a great year for anime with many standout titles all throughout the seasons. From magical girl shows with a twist to sci-fi time traveling shenanigans to series about the ups and down of running an inn--there were some great titles for fans to enjoy that will be remembered for years. We've polled the community at large to take a look back at some of their favorite titles from the last twelve months in anime and the votes are in! Before we get to the lists I'd like to thank everyone who participated in this years list with a big shout out to member , who really helped a lot in reaching out to the community at large in the official thread, around the site, and on Twitter.

From the Anime Vice Community

Some of the the site's top wiki editors and forum users weigh in on their personal favorites from 2011.

Takashichea

Sket Dance
Sket Dance is about a trio of high school students (Bossun, Hime, and Switch) who are in a club called SKET Dan, whose mission is to help students with their problems. It's like the lite beer version of Gintama in an innocent school setting and most of the issues that students face stem from romance to helping set up a puppet show to solving crime and much more. Sket Dance is a humorous, slice of life adventure, and you'll love the unique characters and their little stories.
Beelzebub
Beelzebub centers around the unusual combination of a delinquent raising a demon baby to destroy humanity alongside a wet nurse. At first, Oga wants to give Beel away but as he has problems raising Beel and searches for the meanest and strongest, suitable parent for Beel, he bonds closer to Beel. Be prepared for a humorous misadventures of Beelzebub that is packed with zany fights.
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi
Since my exposure to yaoi is limited to Descendents of Darkness and Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi, this series is the only yaoi I've seen so far that isn't bloody and creepy. This series is also the only one I've seen besides Bakuman that deals with editing and publishing manga within an anime.
Blue Exorcist
I remember the first two episodes got me hooked, yet the ending did not hit home with me. Despite the religious references, Blue Exorcist is a comedic adventure about Rin who is going to school to become the best exorcist to kick Satan's ass. If you like demons and exorcists, Blue Exorcist is a good show to try.
Guilty Crown
This anime is about an ordinary teenage boy named Shu who gets caught in a war between GHQ and Funeral Parlor after meeting Inori, a beautiful pink haired egotist. Shu is not your typical hero as he's a wimp learning what goes on in war. Guilty Crown's morbid, chilling music and stunning visuals truly creates an apocalyptic world that captures the viewers and its unrequited romantic story between Shu, Gai, and Inori is captivating.

Destinyheroknight

Bunny Drop

This anime is a nice and normal Slice Of Life about a 30 years old nephew taking care of his 8 years old aunt (ok, it not that normal). This probably the best Slice Of Life anime out there.

Puella Magi Madoka★Magica
This anime is about magical girls with a twist. Madoka Magica has turned the Magical Girl genre completely on its side. It's no Sailor Moon!
The World God Only Knows
This anime is about a dating sim video game geek who likes 2D ladies instead of the 3D ones, if you know what I mean. This anime is really fun and funny and it makes fun of a lot of dating sim and anime tropes.

ZombiePie

Puella Magi Madoka★Magica
Visually stunning and an emotional roller-coaster. Madoka ends up being a show that includes everything I have been asking animated shows do for the last two or three years. Depict real consequences for character decisions that have long standing repercussions. Employing different animation styles to create a sense of being in an "alien/new" location. Plot twists that are actually surprising. Madoka ends up combining all of these good elements in a final product that I found to be extremely compelling.
Bunny Drop
As someone who has a low tolerance for blood and gore I often find myself gravitating towards shows like this. The charm...the cuteness...the characters and their interactions between each other just warmed my cold dark cynical heart. In fact I would give this show my "Made My Heart Grow Three Sizes in One Day Award." It's really that cute.
Tiger & Bunny
More than just a refreshing new twist on the mecha genre, it's a down right great show. Its purposeful use of idioms and tropes for comedic purposes made this show one of my most enjoyable comedic experiences this entire year. Also this show has the best use of Product Placement since Talladega Nights.
Steins;Gate
Who would have guessed that a Japanese exclusive Xbox 360 visual novel would have become what it is now. Steins;Gate does however inherit a lot of the problems that anime adaptions often encounter, but so long as you have some patience the wait is worthwhile. The show's slow and deliberate pace leads me to award it my "Best Show to Make a Sandwich to While Watching Award," because sandwiches and anime are a match made in heaven.

EganTheVile1

Transformers Prime
Transformers Prime is a really good series in every aspect, though two of the kids can be a bit annoying.
Thundercats
I was amazed just how cool this series is considering the campy series it was based on. It is more enjoyable as an adult than the original was when I was a kid.
Dragon Ball Z Kai
The streamlined versions of the Saiyan, Namek, Android, and Cell sagas from Dragon Ball Z kai were a nice change from hours of, for lack of a better word, filler.

sickVisionz

Steins;Gate
I was prepared to write this series off when I heard that the creators of the Chaos;Head game, which became an anime that I hated, were the same team behind Steins;Gate. I decided to give it a shot when I read that White Fox, the animation studio behind Katanagatari aka my favorite 2010 series, was working on the anime adaption and I'm glad I did. I immediately fell in love with the characters and I'm a sucker for a good time travel story, and this series delivers one of the better ones that I've ever experienced.
Bleach
This year kicked off with the beginning of the end for Aizen Sousuke, my favorite character in the series and having read the manga, I wasn't sure if I'd even be watching Bleach this year. I'm glad I did. The reigai arc was some of the best Bleach I've ever seen. The animation was pretty awesome for a LOT of episodes and the Reigai storyline gave them an excuse excuse to mashup as many fanboy Shinigami vs Shinigami dream battles as they could shake a stick at. These episodes reminded me of why I fell in love with Bleach to begin with.
You and Me
You and Me really grabbed me. I've seen a lot of heartwarming shows starring school girls but this is the first I've seen that focused around school boys. The overall quality and characters of the series drew me in and the gender of the cast really made me relate to the characters on a personal level rather than the outside looking in perspective that I get with female characters.
Un-Go
This ended up being my toughest selection of all. I was deadlocked between including this or Hanasaku Iroha but at the end of the day I went with Un-Go because it completely gripped me and had me begging for more at the end of every episode. The combination of the intriguing history world the series takes place in, the characters, and the detective mystery that I'd liken to Death Note and Himitsu: The Revelation pushed it into Top 5 quality for me.
Bunny Drop
Every season we get capsule charts that offer a 2-3 sentence summary of upcoming anime. I'm usually upset at how "samey" everything is but Bunny Drop stood out from the crowd as something different. The series was touching, heart-warming, and more than exceeded my expectations. I'm very glad I checked this one out.

The Anime Vice Top 10 Anime of 2011

The list have been counted, votes tallied, and the final results are in. Without further ado I present to you the top ten anime of 2011 as decided by the community!

10. Beelzebub
10. Beelzebub
9. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
9. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
8. Hanasaku Iroha
8. Hanasaku Iroha
7. Tiger & Bunny
7. Tiger & Bunny
6. Mawaru Penguindrum
6. Mawaru Penguindrum
5. Sket Dance
5. Sket Dance
4. Fate/Zero
4. Fate/Zero
3. Bunny Drop
3. Bunny Drop
2. Steins;Gate
2. Steins;Gate
1. Puella Magi Madoka★Magica
1. Puella Magi Madoka★Magica

Well, 2011 is over and we're already in the thick of the 2012 anime premiers. What anime really stood out for you this past year? Let us know in the comments!

-William Taylor ( sickvisionz ) is lazy by nature, procrastinator by trade. You can also find him on Twitter @mrsickvisionz and check out what he does while procrastinating on Tumblr.

EquitasInvictuson Jan. 9, 2012 at 5:08 p.m.

I'm not surprised but am still extremely happy Puella Magi Madoka Magica got number 1. For everything it accomplished despite what was stacked against its success, it definitely deserves the spot.

I'm pleasantly surprised Fate/Zero made it to the top 5. Trivia for those interested: Gen Urobuchi wrote the original novel for and approves the scripts of the Fate/Zero anime and was also the main writer for Puella Magi Madoka Magica. So Gen Urobuchi was an MVP in our top lists.

I'm also happy P.A. Works' Hanasaku Iroha snagged a spot as well as Ano Hana. Despite actually not having the pleasure of watching the latter in its entirety I could tell from what I heard of it was a beautiful production.

Thanks for your work compiling all that!

EDIT: I just corrected my trivia about Gen Urobuchi. Fate/Zero is literally a novel on paper and not a visual novel. Fate/Stay Night is a visual novel that inspired the prequel novel whose anime is on the top 10 list.

buhssuhton Jan. 9, 2012 at 5:25 p.m.

YES, now AnimeVice has its own Top 10. Out of top 10, only show i watched are Tiger and Bunny and Bunny Drop. I really need to watch other shows.

sickVisionz moderator on Jan. 9, 2012 at 5:53 p.m.

A few little tidbits about the final 10:

The Top 3 were very close. Madoka always had a small cushion to fend off one or two high votes, but Steins and Bunny Drop were constantly trading places with each other. The bottom 6-14 was a super contentious area as well, possibly more so there were more titles and one more/less vote here and there would have radically altered numbers 6-10. Sket Dance, the one I didn't see coming, actually was pretty stable during tallying and always had a decent bit of space above and below it's spot.

For anyone who likes massive lists of numbers and fairly clean spreadsheet design (because who doesn't, right?), here's the Google Doc.

MisterXon Jan. 9, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.

No surprises here.

SpikeSpiegel88on Jan. 9, 2012 at 6:57 p.m.

Excluding Bleach, which I left ages ago, I have not seen any of these and have to say don't feel very inclined to:S Bunny Drop looks like an easy chill watch so I'll defonatly check that one out..

AgentJon Jan. 9, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

It's times like this, where the best of lists come out, that I wish I was more devoted to one hobby or another. I'm watching Fate and Guilty Crown now, and will almost certainly see Madoka Magica and Tiger and Bunny at some point, but that leaves several seemingly worthy shows unwatched.

Lurkeroon Jan. 9, 2012 at 7:20 p.m.

There is not one new anime from 2011 that I was satisfied with. Even Tiger and Bunny was a letdown for me.

InfiniteGeasson Jan. 9, 2012 at 7:56 p.m.

I think Steins;Gate was better than Madoka, but that's just me.

EquitasInvictuson Jan. 9, 2012 at 7:59 p.m.

I just realized had a personal top list. That's a pleasant surprise!

EganTheVile1on Jan. 9, 2012 at 8:48 p.m.

If I knew I was going to be directly quoted from the PM nominations, I would have written more about the series I chose LOL, wow, honored I was a part of this

takashichea moderator is online on Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:12 p.m.

Thanks SickVisionZ for the honorable mention! I hope KuroNekoXIII would be proud of my Guilty Crown statement and my team for Beelzebub and Sket Dance statements. I should check out that top winner, Puella Magi Madoka★Magica. Also, Bunny Drop reminds me of Yotsuba.

Interestingly, Bunny Drop is quite popular among the mods. I seen Black Rose, Sparkly Kiss, Zombie Pie, and SickVisionZ voting for it.

@EquitasInvictus said:

I just realized had a personal top list. That's a pleasant surprise!

Agreed! I'm glad he got a chance to participate.

@AgentJ:

A fellow Guilty Crown fan? You should check out my pal Kuro's weekly reports and LordBane666's take on Guilty Crown. LordBane666 wrote a piece on Guilty Crown vs. Code Geass blog.

@sickVisionz:

Wow! Guilty Crown was two places away and Blue Exorcist is 2 places behind. Thanks for the data results. Next year, we'll get more people to vote since we had 38, right?

Black_Roseon Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:14 p.m.

Usagi Drop is there, I am happy.

takashichea moderator is online on Jan. 9, 2012 at 10:19 p.m.

Oh what's even more interesting, Rio Rainbow Gate is 51st place. We know why, check out this famous blog that made people remember it and all the laughs. :)

sora_thekey moderator on Jan. 9, 2012 at 11:57 p.m.

C or Bakuman didn't make the Top 10?! Gasp! What is this community watching then?!

Just kidding, this is a great end of the year list. I mean I root for a lot of those series!

takashichea moderator is online on Jan. 10, 2012 at 12:41 a.m.

@sora_thekey:

LOL. I forgot about Bakuman. It came in 26th place, so it's not that bad. The community loves magical girls more than boys aspiring to be great manga artists. I remember their Sket Dance collaboration was just mere fan service. I wrote that crossover blog with high hopes.

sora_thekey moderator on Jan. 10, 2012 at 12:58 a.m.

@takashichea: Yeah! I get that... Still! C-Control should've been up there! It's weird that I don't recognize Puella Magi Madoka★Magica. Steins;Gate is awesome thou and deserves that 2nd place.

EquitasInvictuson Jan. 10, 2012 at 1:07 a.m.

@sora_thekey: Probably because it's almost literally a year old; it was a Winter 2011 anime.

It's weird you can't recognize it, however. Around that time it ended up building such a huge following comparable to Code Geass. I was pretty active back then too and I was selling it mad hard - I had two separate blog posts about it after raving about it being the best Winter 2011 release and a 5-star review after it aired. It was pretty amazing.

Obsidian609on Jan. 10, 2012 at 1:29 a.m.

I am glad most of my favorites made the list.

Eyzon Jan. 10, 2012 at 2:51 a.m.

Nice original list!

Much more diversified than the Top 2011 movie list I saw on Screened/Top 2011 games on Giant Bomb! Lots of various genres covered^^

Glad to also see Thundercats in there XD

AssInAsson Jan. 10, 2012 at 3:50 a.m.

I loved Ano Hana and Bunny Drop, I'm glad they're high up on your lists. They're the best kind of animes for me, zero fanservice, complex characters, interesting subject matter, and slice-of-life that's emotional. I guess I should check out Stein's Gate and Madoka, huh?

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