Hey Kaushik here, to chime on my favorite shows from this past year. Now, don’t expect these to be in any order, and I’ve made sure to exclude series that are currently airing (sorry Kill la Kill!). The only order this list contains is that the very last show was my favorite show of the year. Let’s start things off then!
12. Minami-ke Tadaima
The fourth season of the Minami-ke series, this slice of life series takes a look at the daily and oftentimes hilarious lives of 3 sisters, Haruka, Kana, and Chiaki Minami. There’s quite the colorful cast of characters and as far as comedy slice of life shows goes, this series has been high quality. With a brief drop in season two, which was awful, Minami-ke is a consistently hilarious series!
11. Tamako Market – review
KyoAni’s first original show, Tamako Market is another slice of life show with a little more focus on the drama and comedy. It deals with the life of Tamako, a girl living her life in the Bunny Mountain shopping district. Her family runs a mochi shop, which she’s very much enthusiastic about, but one day some excitement finds its way into her life in the form of a fat bird named Dela. Where life goes from there, well you’ll just have to find out! The hints of romance combined with the likeable characters and good comedy made this a top show for me.
10. Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru – review
And our first hilariously long light novel title of the year, this series was surprisingly good. It’s about an antisocial young man, Hachiman, forced into a club where he has to help people. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the general gist of things. The characters felt a little bit more unique, even if the setting was tired. It’s a generic high school club shows, but I think the characters and their relationships make this show something more unique, and I quite liked it for that. As such, it’s earned its spot on this list!
9. Hataraku Maou-sama! (The Devil Is a Part-Timer!) – review
Another series based off a light novel series, this one is about a demon king banished from his world to the human world. Unfortunately, due to the lack of magic he’s unable to subjugate our world via his normal means, and so in order to make a living, he works in fast food. The story of a demon king working in fast food, the hilarity is just waiting to happen. Additionally there’s some action and a healthy dose of drama; this show has it all. Another great show from the year.
8. Suisei no Gargantia – review
The first mecha show on this list, but it’s difficult to consider this show a mecha series to me personally. Detailing the exploits of crashed “alien” ship onto a seafaring vessel on earth, the show starts out kind of complicated. The first several episodes of this show feel more like a slice of life series, with an interesting and quite gorgeous setting. In my opinion, the plot introduced in later episodes didn’t do the show any justice, but that didn’t diminish what I enjoyed about the earlier episodes. Another high quality series from the year 2013.
Yet another slice of life series from 2012, this one is your classic 3 girls living their life series. I can’t say this show offers too much over your other classic 3-4 girls moe slice of life shows, but I found the characters fairly entertaining, and that’s more or less all it takes for me to really enjoy a show like this. The settings and situations are simple, but this is one of those shows that just gets every little thing done pretty well, even if it is kind of generic, so it gets on the list too.
6. Kakumeiki Valvrave (Valvrave the Liberator)
Some of you might think this is a joke, but I promise there’s a reason for this. I’m not going to call this show good. It’s not. It’s not very good at all. In fact, the ending is terrible. But that’s not what brings me to this show. There are three things that attract me to this show. One, the mecha designs were really cool in my opinion, and as a mecha guy I really enjoyed that. Considering the relative lack of cool mecha otherwise this year, this is kind of a gimme. Point two, the music, particularly the opening themes for this show, were great. Both of them were duets by TM Revolution and Mizuki Nana, who work surprisingly well together. And thirdly, while this show may not have been very good, it was certainly a fun ride from beginning to… well right before the end. And for that, you have my support.
5. Love Lab
This is one of those shows I had expectations for at first. My expectations were shattered (in a bad way) relatively early on, but as I stuck with it I found that I enjoyed what it accomplished by the end. This show is about a couple of girls who establish a club that investigates love, and is mostly a comedy. There is a fair bit of drama here and there, but it’s handled decently well and over all I’d consider this a fun cute series for the year. Definitely an enjoyable watch.
4. Servant x Service
If you’ve seen the show Working!, this might seem familiar to you. It’s a very similar show in concept; where the workplace is the main setting for the show. Instead of a family restaurant though, this takes place at a government office. That doesn’t sound very interesting, but it’s actually quite funny. One thing I enjoy about this show more than I did Working! (though I did like both) is that the characters in this show are adults. As such, the dramatic portions are slightly less stupid and there are more clear-cut resolutions to issues, which I quite enjoyed.
3. Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon)
Another slice of life show, but instead of being about cute girls, it’s about a city boy coming to work at a farming school. The show is about his life as he adjusts to the farming life, his failures and his successes. It’s surprisingly more interesting than you’d think, and I definitely enjoyed it. It’s getting a second season soon as well, which I will be looking forward to.
2. Non Non Biyori – review
My first show from the most recent season, the fall season. This is another cute girl slice of life show, but the characters and setting is so cute I couldn’t help but include one more. I don’t know if it’s just the recent finish of the show, but this is probably my favorite slice of life show from this season, which is saying something since that’s practically all I watched. The characters are great, the humor is great, and some of the moments are just right. You’ll understand if you just give it a shot.
1. Kyoukai no Kanata – review
And my favorite show this season, Kyoukai no Kanata. This is one of those shows that hits all my particular likes. Glasses, cute girls, glasses, Kyoani, glasses, cool fights, and glasses. Mostly glasses. I like glasses. Anyway, this show was a great watch. The plot wasn’t the best, but the characters were stellar, the humor was spot-on, and the animation quality is of course standard Kyoani fare. That is to say, excellent. There isn’t much to dislike about this show. It even had what most Kyoani shows lack, some action, which I really enjoyed.
And those were my favorite shows from the past year. I will say that I felt 2013 was kind of weak in terms of anime for me, so my list is a bit repetitive. Hopefully 2014 is better!
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