EquitasInvictus (Level 15)

Another is shaping up to be an excellent horror anime. I absolutely loved the buildup leading to Episode 3's conclusion - that was perfect.
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EquitasInvictus' Top 5 Anime of the Year 2011

I haven't had the pleasure of seeing every anime series this year, but I can say for sure from the series I've watched that it has been an amazing year for anime series.

1. Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere

This was a sleeper hit for me, as the first episode made it seem like a far-fetched, alternate history science fiction trainwreck. I gave this series a second chance, though, and it gradually built up to be one of the most exciting and moving series I've watched this year. Beyond headliners Jun Fukuyama and Minori Chihara, the voice cast was absolutely perfect. With solid visuals, engaging action sequences, a well-realized alternate post-apocalyptic alternate history plot and a soundtrack I personally enjoyed, Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon holds a deserved spot on my list.

2. Fate/Zero

When I found out that this was going to be made by the Ufotable (who produced the Kara no Kyoukai film series which I adored) in conjunction with Type Moon, I knew this was going to be a contender off the bat. With high production quality, a great soundtrack and amazing, tense pacing for a visual novel adaptation, I'd say that Fate/Zero does not only top it's predecessor Fate/Stay Night adaptation but is among the overall top 5 anime series of 2011.

3. My Ordinary Life

Words cannot express the endearing amount of ridiculousness packaged in this single series. I don't think I've laughed so much from an anime since certain moments in Mitsudomoe. I would say that the greatest strength of this series is that it manages to take the most mundane, *ordinary* scenarios and practically blow them out of proportion. This was definitely the funniest anime for me this year.

4. Hanasaku Iroha

This is a beautiful anime series in every aspect. Between the stellar production quality and the amazing story it told, this anime pretty much sold me on a type of production I thought I'd never warm up to. The fact that it managed to draw me in when I had no interest coming in justifies it's spot on this list.

5. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Shaft has an unparalleled sense of style and storytelling that is hard to find in not only anime, but all kinds of media out there today. Under celebrated Shaft director Akiyuki Shinbo (responsible for Bakemonogatari among other great series) and featuring the cute character designs of Ume Aoki (he designed the Hidamari Sketch girls!) as well as writing by Gen Urobuchi (who wrote the infamous but thrilling Saya no Uta visual novel), it's unquestionable that the series featured an all-star crew. Even still, it managed to turn many initial nonbelievers who dismissed the magical girl quality of the series and drew them into a genre deconstruction unheard of since the original Neon Genesis Evangelion - becoming one of the most discussed anime this year and being my number one for 2011.

6. Anime Vice Yearly Best Of

As a recap, this would the be order of my top 5 list: 5. Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere 4. Fate/Zero 3. My Ordinary Life 2. Hanasaku Iroha 1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica

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