2013 may have been a disappointing year in a number of media, but this year has been relatively good in terms of the many choices I had for this list. Without any further ado, here are my top 12 anime that premiered in 2013.
12. Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Come wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru (My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy)
This year was a big one for comedies, especially in anime. I am typically not into romantic comedies, especially the harem kind, but I will admit that this one caught my eye because of the weird nature of the main character. Kanade Amakusa has the curse of Absolute Choice, where he has to pick his actions from a randomly appearing drop-down menu, like in RPGs, making him a huge outcast. He gets his chance to change his fate when a woman falls from Heaven (literally) to give Kanade a set of missions from the big man upstairs.
11. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil is a Part-Timer) – review
I’m not going to lie, this is another series that made the list purely because the scenario in question is pure gold. A demon king escapes from an mystical island into modern-day Tokyo, followed by the woman who defeated him years ago. So what are they going to do? Live like human beings, of course, which leads the demon kings being gainfully employed at a McDonald’s knockoff. While I won’t say it’s the funniest I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly deserves to be on my top list of the year.
10. Gatchaman Crowds
Gatchaman is a mostly-beloved franchise from the 1970s which did make it to the United States, though mostly as reruns when I was a kid. The reason this show is on the list is because it’s not as straight forward as an alien or mechs anime — it has a little more depth to it and asks some interesting questions. It’s a short series and you don’t need to know much about the previous series to get into it, so check it out.
Murder, high school, and a creepy bear — what more could you possibly need in an anime? This anime is based on a video game and boy, does it look like it. It would have been higher on the list had the style of the animation not been so difficult to look at. Still, if you can power your way through it like I forced myself to, it’s actually an engaging and well-written mystery, one that will keep you guessing to the last student.
8. Tamako Market – review
There’s something to be said for making cutesy moe anime — if you make it too adorable, then it’s totally unwatchable. If you make them more grounded, it falls out of the genre which makes it a really boring anime. Tamako Market hits the sweet spot in terms of moe anime where it’s precious without being too overbearing. I found myself coming back episode after episode even though I knew the quality was less than great. That in and of itself earns it a slot on the roster.
7. Servant x Service
This entry and number 7 were tied for a long time but I think that Servant x Service is the tiniest bit better. Bureaucracy usually isn’t that all that exciting, those between this series and the K-drama Lie to Me, I’m starting to think that Asian civil servants have awesome lives. It’s funny, it’s very slice of life and it’s more adult than Tamako which is what really set it apart for me. Also the theme song is great.
There were lots of surprised in 2013, and the fact that this series was any good was one of them. Based off an animation test that was to never come to fruition, thus series about the boys on a high school swimming team has become a success. Many angry fans cried out when the animation company chose to make this instead of their typical feminine anime but looking at the results, I’m certainly glad the company went against their fans wishes and made this funny series.
5. Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon)
I have worked on a farm and let me tell you it’s neither fun nor easy. So when I heard the creator of Fullmetal Alchemist was making an anime about farming school, I was sure it was going to be a bit bizarre. In fact, it ended up being a funny and realistic look at what farming is — hard, gross, and really tiring. It’s great to see that Arakawa does have range behind that impressive talent of hers. Here’s hoping Silver Spoon continues on into a second season.
There’s a lot go high school series on this list, which is usually the case but it makes me wonder if I’ve started getting nostalgic for the good old days. Watamote clearly reminds me that no, high school was the worst and you should thank your lucky starts you’re free. I was personally the weird kid in my school so in a lot of way I can relate to Tomoko Kuroki even if I didn’t have a homeroom teacher telling me not to be so down and never called to ask my friends about their underwear.
3. Kill la Kill
The most outrageous stuff can sometimes be the best. Ryuko Matoi ends up a weird dictatorship-esque high school where the student council is in charge while trying to find out about her father’s murderer. If that wasn’t enough, the student council and Ryuko have sentient school uniforms that give them special power. Good art, better story, and a whole lot of questions. Did we really expect anything less from Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima after Gurren Lagann?
2. Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan)
If there’s one anime that exploded onto the scene, it would definitely be Shingeki no Kyojin. This anime based on the hit manga has everything: interesting characters, an engaging plot, cool villains, and a kick-ass theme song. While there has been no official announcement of a second season, fans are waited on baited breath just to see what’s inside that basement…or if we’ll ever get to it for that matter.
1. Kyoukai no Kanata – review
I didn’t know what this show was about. The clips I saw originally had dancing, maid outfits, bright red swords, so I was very confused as to the genre and subject matter of the series. The sheer multitude of post that showed up on my Tumblr was enough to convince me to at least watch the first episode. What I found was a supernatural-psychological-romantic-comedy-slice-of-life that really confused the hell out of me…and yet kept me coming back for more all the time. It has stellar animation, good music, interesting character, good conflicts — everything a great anime should have. If you’ll only see one anime on this list, make sure its this one.