Ranking 10 Shows from 2013

So hyped for Season 5…oh this is about anime isn’t it?

2013 was definitely a show filled with many shows of assorted variety. It probably says a lot that I can think of tons of shows of appalling quality yet struggle to come up with more than one show that I genuinely loved. Anyway, let’s rank these things and move on with out lives in 2014 because that’s truly for the better.

That's the longest death stare outside Arpeggio this year.
That’s the longest death stare outside Arpeggio this year.

10. Diabolik Lovers

Hard to believe this would be a show that would be one of the feminist anime of the year. Yui is just such a strong character who has to stand up to the nice vampires and their sometimes evil desires they have to overcome.

Parrots are the strongest beings in the universe.
Parrots are the strongest beings in the universe.

9. Robotics;Notes

This truly is the type of mecha show in the future. Plus, what fantastic romance between Aki and Kai. The deep conspiracy behind the show was also well-executed and really left things hanging until the very end. And that final mecha battle, wow.

Literally the worst ship in history.
Literally the worst ship in history.

8. Galilei Donna

That this show wrapped up with the most realistic procedural courtroom drama was impressive, but one can’t help but admire the fact they managed to work in time-travel in the plot in a most realistic way. This was also another show that had very impressive mecha, though the battles weren’t quite as good as those in Robotics;Notes

Kotoura just has so much fun in this series
Kotoura just has so much fun in this series

7. Kotoura-san

This story about a girl with the ability to read minds is one of the more light-hearted shows of the year. It’s the perfect healing anime in my opinion. The relationship between Kotoura and her mother is simply adorable, though Moritani is also there to do cute things as well. Simply charming.

Gargantia was filled with adult conversation.
Gargantia was filled with adult conversation.

6. Gargantia

Simply brilliant with the amount of robots hitting each other at the end of the show. I thought it was going to be some boring world-building exercise, but Gen bailed it out with his lessons on humanity being lectured to the audience by robots. It’s great awareness of the writers involved in this show to tell us about all of the things humans are about because being told that by other people simply wouldn’t work. Also the Hideauze creatures are simply moe.

Because plot, Ichika. Because plot.
Because plot, Ichika. Because plot.

5. Infinite Stratos 2

I was simply amazed by the amount of character development that went into Ichika. By the end, he was someone with an amazing level of empathy and understanding for the feelings of the girls around him. I was a little surprised that it abandoned the harem setup of the first season when he actually chose to ask one of the girls to date him early in the season. They all took it well though.

Well Daft Punk is playing at my house...
Well Daft Punk is playing at my house…

4. Psycho-Pass

Though Akane’s character is a bit weak, this was yet another feminist masterpiece from the mind of Gen Urobuchi. Each week he delivered a story based on many of the classic books that he had read and perfectly adapted it to the overall story of his comedy crime team solving mysteries. Be sure to look out for the special guest appearances of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo of Daft Punk. That was clearly the surprise of the year in anime.

I wish this was cute.
Why didn’t you get on the damn train? Whyyyyyyy?

3. Sakurasou

This was a rather impressive story of a bunch of kids trying to find work after high school and ultimately succeeding at it purely through luck except for the main character. Sorata never complains or gets upset even when the other people around him get job opportunities they completely deserve. Fortunately, he is willing and prepared to become a NEET in the future. I think that he did ultimately regret trying to bring that cat inside his original dorms though. It would have made a better story had he just left it alone.

Apparently one of those birds is actually a stealth bomber. I can't tell though.
Apparently one of those birds is actually a stealth bomber. I can’t tell though.

2. Coppelion

This is a completely realistic story of a bunch of girls trying to save people from a disaster ridden Tokyo. I was really surprised when they just came out and said there was a nuclear disaster that caused the city to become unlivable since it would seem rather un-PC. Regardless, there’s a nice level of detail and realism in the urban combat scenes and the sad fate of those stuck in the city is not as melodramatic as it could have been made. This was definitely the action series of the year.

1. Oreimo 2

The best romance anime of recent times did not disappoint in its second season. Kyousuke definitely plays a decisive role in moving forward the careers and romantic relationships of everyone involved. It’s sort of unfortunate that he doesn’t end up with anyone at the end, but at least it doesn’t fall into one of those imouto incest shows that are so popular these days. This show definitely deserves to be more popular around the world than the niche hit that it is.

Now that that list of disappointments and completely bullshit descriptions is out of the way, you may note that I don’t do smarm all that well. Maybe I do actually. Maybe you, my lone reader will let me know if I do it well. You, my sole reader who inexplicably puts up with my boring ramblings may also want to know my real top 10 if you haven’t already understandably given up on me now.

10. Servant x Service

Finally, an office comedy I can get behind. Apart from the early seasons of 30 Rock anyway. I wasn’t an especially big fan of the main romance in the series since Lucy seems more naive than a puppy that is all too trusting of people. So the big reason this show cracked my top 10 was Chihaya’s relationship with Ichimiya which was conducted entirely on her terms but always with him in mind. Also, the development of Miyoshi from a fresh-faced college graduate in her first job to disgruntled government worker who gave no fucks at all was excellent. I can’t believe I dropped this one at first.

9. Yuyushiki

It’s just cute girls looking up things on the internet and having fun. It’s just done so well that I couldn’t help but smile through almost every episode. I think Yui was ultimately one of the year’s standout characters as well, but she simply wouldn’t work with out Yuzuko doing all the funny stuff that she does. Yukari is sort of the weak link in this show, but she contributes enough to the fun along with Mom-sensei. I actually wish what I could write what this show was about, but it’s about nothing.

genshiken205b8. Genshiken Nidaime

I was a little surprised by what this show turned out to be considering it just looked like how it would be a story of the transition of the club from male-centric to a fujoshi-centric show with the new group. Nope. Instead it went off in the direction of trying to find happiness for Madarame and helping him get over the fact that he would never be with Saki. I think Hato’s character is also interesting in a sense for the fact that he does seem to have dissociative personalities. I do think there was more that could have been done with the rest of the new characters since it felt like they were just sort of glossed over for the sake of building up Hato and Madarame.

Megumi can't read the mood7. GJ-bu

I couldn’t help but think that this was the show that ultimately nailed the formula of a high school club that does nothing to perfection. Kyouya turned out to be the perfect lone male character for this show because his character has a pure heart that is only slightly perverted. The girls in the clubs have their own eccentricities. I’ve already pointed out the Shion is the best girl of the group, but the rest of the group is fun character. Yes, even Tamaki who only eats Megumi’s food all the time. Plus, I can’t help but think that Kirara would be due to suffer a heart attack in her late 20s with that diet, but that’s not even relevant. The show worked well enough for the final farewell to have an emotional impact on me. Too few shows have that these days.

6. Outbreak Company

Yes, I know. This show does kind of make a hash of the transition to a deadly serious show, especially after just finishing filming a movie where Petrarca plays an awkward magical girl. What I did like about this was the way that it kind of bit the hand that is feeding it by basically saying there are short term gains to be made by spending government money on exporting culture only for it to then be overcome by native culture in the end. It’s a bit like the story of humanity for the last 2500 years compressed into a story about an otaku cultural minister.

Damn it, even Sena is copying Gareth Bale's shit goal celebration5. Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai Next

Tired of a main harem lead who pretty much does nothing and is rewarded for it? This looked to be about the same until Kodaka was forced to move by those around him. Even if the device ultimately proved to be Rika using telekinetic metal balls volleyed at him at high speed to get him to admit that he needed to make his feelings known for everyone else’s sake, I think the larger point was already made. There’s too much responsibility that is ultimately passed on in these harem shows for the sake of not offending one of the camps of fans. What we should really be pulling for is a true man of action that will pick a non-little sister character or do enough to truly justify the harem route.

twgoks312a4. The World God Only Knows: Goddess Arc

Keima is actually an incredibly deep character who is rather emotionally torn now both in the current manga arc and in this third season of the anime. Sure, it glossed over some of the stuff that happened between seasons, but I think the emotional impact of this season more than made up for that. Keima can’t be honest with his own feelings because of his grand mission, but he relies entirely on manipulating the feelings of others. The fact that Chihiro ultimately loses out is both gut-wrenching and a long-term reminder to Keima of what he could have had without being drawn into capturing souls or dealing with a massive devil conspiracy. I am incredibly interested to see what happens to his character in the end.

znt17a3. Zetsuen no Tempest

The only show that started in 2012 to crack my top 10 for the year. The second half of this show was marked by many surprises. The serious tone of Mahiro, Hakaze and Yoshino debating the logic of time travel as the world was heading to an end was replaced with a show that was at parts romantic comedy, superhero and surreal action. When the mastermind behind the whole show was revealed, it was one of the surprises of the year. Some credit should go to making it seem totally unexpected when Hakaze finally met Aika in the past and also for making excellent use of flashback in building up the relationship between Aika and Yoshino to make it understandable that he was in so much pain.

hsdxds208a2. High School DxD New

My second favorite show of the year is up here just for the way it raises a solid middle finger in the direction of subtlety and gets away with it. The hero Issei is even more perverted than ever, and because of how his power works that makes him stronger than ever. He’s at times reckless and bold, but that’s what makes him such an entertaining lead in the action portions of the show. When it comes to the all important perverted portions, though he is constantly cockblocked, he has the choice of four different girls in his high school club to choose from. It’s not because of him going through each girl’s route to eventually solve their major problem, but because Issei is so god damn honest and reliable. He puts in a shift with the limited talent that he does have so I find it great that his hard work pays off. That clay model of Rias that he shaped with his hands is not so much a sign of how perverted he is, but a sign of his loyalty and effort. Isn’t that what the modern shounen show should be about?

wa213a1. White Album 2

From the initial concert scene with spoilers for how the rest of the series would play out to the farewell at the airport, White Album 2 was a relentless emotional roller coaster. I’ve never been so focused on a show about a love triangle before, and I doubt I ever will be again. That it managed to keep my attention for a solid 12 episodes with little else going on speaks to how powerful the story at the center of the show worked for me. Haruki, Kazusa and Setsuna put me through an emotional trip back through the stupidity of youth and the hopeless optimism that comes from that age. Relationships get especially messy when there are more than 2 people involved and hoping everything will turn out fine by making actions without thinking has consequences. There is more to this story to come, but the way that everything from the concert to the final scene at the airport came together was just about perfect.

Since that’s not really enough, it you remember that I kept a running score on how each show turned out based on its average vote, this is how it turned out. I managed to vote in APR for 50 different shows and here they are 1 through 50 solely on average vote position. and as you can see it had absolutely no impact on where it ranked above.

Rank

Series

1

White Album 2

2

Hataraku Maou-sama!

3

The World God Only Knows S3

4

Outbreak Company

5

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

6

Yuyushiki

7

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

8

High School DxD New

9

CΒ³-bu

10

Zetsuen no Tempest

11

Noucome

12

Suisei no Gargantia

13

Photo Kano

14

Walkure Romanze

15

Genshiken Nidaime

16

Watamote

17

Oreshura

18

Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W

19

Non Non Biyori

20

Monogatari

21

Robotics;Notes

22

Oreimo 2

23

Date A Live

24

Senyuu.

25

Space Brothers

26

GJ-bu

27

Kiniro Mosaic

28

Muromi-san

29

Free!

30

Love Lab

31

Golden Time

32

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

33

Oregairu

34

Fate/kaleid Liner Prisma Illya

35

Coppelion

36

Miss Monochrome

37

IS: Infinite Stratos 2

38

Super Seisyun Brothers

39

Hayate no Gotoku! Cuties

40

Psycho-Pass

41

Senran Kagura

42

Minami-ke Tadaima

43

Servant x Service

44

Little Busters!

45

Aiura

46

Ishida to Asakura

47

Yuushibu

48

Uchouten Kazoku

49

Kotoura-san

50

Shingeki no Kyojin

3 thoughts on “Ranking 10 Shows from 2013”

  1. As usual, I haven’t seen most of what you listed so I can’t critique you for bad taste. (We always seem to watch very different shows for some reason…)

    Anyway, Gj-bu and Haganai S2 were wonderful. From what I have heard of it, I’d have probably thrown White Album 2 in my top 5 if I had watched it.

    Happy New Year EmperorJ!

    1. We obviously watch different shows because you have superior taste. Yes, you do need to watch White Album 2. Not because I recommend it, but because others have.

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