Daroki (Level 9)

And thanks to the fact that I could recognize a 40+ year old Yes song, I am officially old.
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2012 Short List - Best Anime

A reminder of the best anime series from 2012, so early series won't be left out (like Wandering Son on my list last year).

1. Chihayafuru

Could be disqualified since it started in 2011 and was a two course series. No series makes me look forward to 2013's anime crop more than the continuation which went from #5 on my list to an early contender to be on top of 2012's list. Pure brilliance and must watch material for anyone who has ever aspired to be great at anything.

2. Persona 4: The Animation

A long shot to be sure, it's pure fan service and those who are uninitiated might not get the full impact. Fortunately, I've played Persona 4: The Video Game, and the series hit the high notes with force.

3. Future Diary

An excellent series, but like P4A it's a longshot to make a list that needs to be pared down to 5 series unless last year's format is changed.

4. Bodacious Space Pirates

The series that single-handedly ruined Space Brothers for me. I likened Space Brothers (which will be mentioned here but not make this list, I know, a shame) to a Catholic mass where this seemed like a Baptist revival. I'll go where the fun and joy is, which was on the Bentenmaru with Marika.

5. Waiting in the Summer

Interesting anime which those that like Shoujo romance should seek out. I liked that they resolved issues instead of letting them build up. By resolving one issue, they'd create more and it gave the show something that most romance anime don't have, a sense of direction and momentum.

6. Another

Yes, it could be ridiculously heavy handed, but that moment in episode 6 still stands out as one of the greatest single moments of the entire year of anime. If you've seen it, you know what I mean.

7. Is this a Zombie? of the Dead

One of my favorite series of the year, as Ayumu's life becomes ever more bizarre by the passing day. Kore wa is absurd, brilliant, and something that needs to continue.

8. Fate/Zero

The final part of Fate/Zero seemed to take care of any issues I had with the first half. Incredible artistry, terrific music, and finally some resolution to this survival game as it rocketed towards conclusion. I was concerned that not knowing anything about the Fate universe this would be a bad starting point, and I'm glad I was wrong.

9. Accel World

It's something to consider, that the first episode of Accel World introduces enough amazing concepts that could launch a year of noitanimA series. It's too bad it became a shounen brawler instead of exploring those more deeply, but still something to look at for a moment.

10. Acchi Kocchi

This year's Ben-To. It probably won't make the list, but it's far better than it has any right being. Should be considered for the hopes that there's more hijinks with these characters in the future.

11. Sankarea

Another romance series that probably gets pushed out because of the strength of this season's romance series but should be looked at again before decisions need to be made.

12. Mysterious Girlfriend X

Should be considered at the least as a Steins;Gate winner for having the best voice acting job of any series this season. Urabe was brilliantly done and made even the ick-worthy aspects of the series watchable just to see what she was going to do next.

13. Jormungand

The closest thing this side of Black Lagoon, I enjoyed Jormungand for how crazy it was. Koko's a mesmerizing character and the moral ambiguity of the characters and what they were doing gives you some distance to just watch and enjoy the ride.

14. Kids on the Slope

Strong contender to be on top of the list, the music is the key here. Amazing attention to detail, incredible music, and moments where you're perfectly aligned with characters made Kids on the Slope one of the most memorable experiences of the year.

15. Sword Art Online

There's still a chance depending on how the rest of the series pans out, there's enough interesting things put in play here, much like Accel World, that seem like if they would just have some trust in their source material it could be something special.

16. Kokoro Connect

The best series in a weak summer season, the opening episodes are nothing special, but once Heartseed starts increasing the manipulation of the characters in the show, it goes to a very intersting place. It might not make the list since it feels like it should either do more or less than it is, and the resolutions are just a bit too clean, but in a weak season, it was a breath of fresh air.

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