Below are 2 lists (S-league and A-league, S being better than A) which make up ALL the anime that I watched in 2013 which aired in 2013. They are ranked in terms of how much I enjoyed them. So the rankings are a relative indication of which anime I think is better than another ONLY in the sense that I can come up with reasons why I enjoyed some anime more than another. Different people may enjoy different anime for different reasons, I’m not gonna detail why/what I enjoyed/did not enjoy about each anime on these lists, so just take from these rankings what you will. =P Also ALL the anime listed below are available via Crunchyroll.com.
Flowers of Evil gets top for being bold, cold and ruthless. Samurai Flamenco was a pleasant surprise. It’s like a meta-superhero anime, and it does a brilliant job of commenting on social justice, heroes, idols and such, while balancing comedy, tragedy and action.
Roughly 47 of the currently 86 episodes of Space Brothers aired in 2013, and it still packs both comedic and emotional punches, with down-to-earth, memorable characters in realistic settings, dealing with realistic problems.
Chihayafuru commits to its card-game premise in an amazing way. I remember having a minor quibble while watching it that the card matches were being drawn out. Each match is framed with such intensity and a focus on characters’ psyche which can be taken as a good or bad thing. Ippo is my replacement for Chihayafuru, xD. It’s also a sports anime, but is about boxing. Having not watched an Ippo anime before or been exposed to any sports anime other than Chihayafuru , I was eager to get my feet wet in another sports anime, and it is great so far!
Genshiken is one of the first I’ve seen do the “anime/manga club” thing well. It is really smart about its humor. My only quibble is that it doesn’t make full use of its huge cast, but the story it tells in 12 episodes is fairly succinct and well done.
Silver Spoon is a coming of age story. It does a good job of looking at agriculture in a fun way, and making us more aware of how much we take from nature in living our lives.
I had a hard time placing TWGOK3 between the S-league and A-league. Like Genshiken and Samurai Flamenco, it is really smart about its humor. Despite this I still found some of the supernatural elements a bit silly. It pulls a huge reversal near the end which really deepens/darkens Keima’s character and his role. Yamishibai did some crazy stuff in such short time (4 minute episodes). The sound, voice and art work is spot on, and had me in chills each week.
Watamote’s anti-social/socially-anxious protagonist should strike a chord with geeks everywhere. There’s a little Tomoko in all of us isn’t there? I found myself swaying between sympathizing with her and being angry with her. It hits on teenage social issues in a fresh, fun ironic, cynical way. I also had a hard time placing Watamote. If I were to make further changes, I might switch TWGOK and Watamote for Genshiken and Silver Spoon respectively.* (see final note)
Kill la Kill and Attack on Titan were both pretty enjoyable, but I don’t think they did enough with the ideas they were exploring, and tended to be showy. Zetsuen no Tempest and Eccentric Family suffered from cases of the ‘moving mouths’ syndrome. Tempest had some neat ideas with time travel, 2 god-like trees, magic, murder etc. Eccentric Family also had some nice themes of family and nature, but it ended up feeling kind of shallow, while Tempest didn’t really integrate everything well enough.
In no particular order, these are anime which aired in 2013, which I did not have time to watch, but wish I did get around to watching. I have no doubt that these anime would shake up the rankings quite a bit.
If you want more of my thoughts on Flowers of Evil, Nagi no Asukara and Kill la Kill, check out their discussion threads. Also I commented on some of the anime on these lists in previous blogs, feel free to check those out too (blog on Flowers of Evil, blog on Space Brothers). =P
Remember these rankings only indicate relative enjoyment. I took something unique away from each of the anime listed above. As always thanks for reading, it was fun considering the anime I watched this past year in a relatively holistic way. Feel free to leave a comment with any thoughts on the above anime or other anime recommendations!
Also feedback on this blog’s format are much appreciated (length, style, picture use). I tried to be brief with my comments, but I had also considered splitting this into 3 blogs. Otherwise, merry Christmas, happy New Year and good luck to everyone in the upcoming year! =)
Here are pictures of my rough rankings. Haha, I guess if you really want, you can cross-reference these pics with the final rankings, but don’t read into them too much. Also the reason I considered MAL ratings (what I ranked each anime on Myanimelist) is because I only rate anime after I watch all the episodes, and after giving it some thought. So looking at my ratings helps me remember what I did/did not enjoy about that anime.
The more I think about it, the more I want to shift around the ratings. =P So I will say that the rankings which I feel a little uncomfortable with are S4-7 (Chihaya, Ippo, Genshiken, Silver) and A1+3 (TWGOK + Watamote). Which just means I’m not sure which I enjoyed more, since they are all so great in their own ways! xD.. and ties are no fun. :P