Aug 142014

Okay, I’m gonna try to do my own best of list thingy by year now. There was once a time when I probably watched way more anime than Landon. That’s no longer the case in these last few years, so my pool of choices is gonna be relatively small and might include shows that aren’t necessarily GREAT, but hopefully at least decent. I also have this bad habit of not watching the final arc of shows. It’s kinda random. But I’ll still put a show up if it’s good and I watched most of it. Generally speaking, I don’t let the last episode put a damper on the entirety of a series for me. It’d have to botch things up or fail to deliver big time for an ending to affect my overall viewing experience.

So let’s dive in with 2012(-2013)

9) Kuromajo-san ga Toru!!
April 4, 2012 to July 11, 2012

An amusing kiddy show about a girl who accidentally summoned a witch and is forced to become said witch’s apprentice. This is the Doraemon of 2012. Except, y’know, nowhere near as mega popular as Doraemon.

Each episode is short and pretty amusing. It’s very much a children’s show, so it’s not particularly DEEP, but it’s amusing, and there’s just a teeny bit of meaness that separates it from other kiddy shows. Gyubid (the Doraemon analog), doesn’t always have Choco (the Nobita analog)’s best interest at heart. Half the time, she’s just being a mischievous bitch.

8) Joshiraku
July to September 2012
Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei Lite. That pretty much sums up Joshiraku. It has some good gags here and there, but generally speaking, it doesn’t have quite the edge of SZS. It’s still a decent anime for 2012, although it definitely wouldn’t hit my top 10 of all time. Worth a shot if you ain’t got nuthin’ else though.



7) Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki
January 8, 2012
A short gag-type show about a round cat. In addition to said round cat being cute, there’s also a proportionately large amount of gay animal rape, or something. Yeah, here’s another cute and amusing series. Like Kuromajo-san ga Toru!!, its short episode format makes the series easily digestible.



6) Smile PreCure!
February 5, 2012 to January 27, 2013
This year’s Pretty Cure has a vaguely fairy tail type theme. The main girl is Cure Happy, as in happy endings, and the baddies are a wolfman, oni and witch from the Bad End Kingdom. Other baddies join later, but these guys are the ones to start it off and the most identifiable with the series.

Now, Pretty Cure ain’t for everyone, and certainly, some seasons are less digestible than others. But Smile PreCure! is one of the better ones as it returns to the early days when there’s a little bit of genre-awareness going on. For instance, one of the Pretty Cures is named Cure Peace, and as part of her transformation pose thingy, she plays Rock-Paper-Scissors. One time she changed up her sequence, and it’s revealed that the baddie was playing along with her (he lost).

It’s a real saccharine series, but there’s a lot of amusing stuff, especially in the first dozen or so episodes. Pretty Cure series tend to stall after the first few episodes, and not pick up the ball until the end, but Smile PreCure! has a solid first dozen eps or so. Hey, there are worse anime to waste your time.

5) Zetman
April 2, 2012 to June 25, 2012
You know, I’ve seen the Zetman design for years and I’ve always liked it. Unlike Tiger & Bunny from the previous year, Zetman’s a somewhat more traditional superhero show.

I actually liked Zetman. I heard the reaction was lukewarm but I personally liked it well enough. It’s certainly better than the manga, since it compresses a lot of stuff whereas in the manga, it just went on and on and on to the point where they basically just talk gibberish at certain points.

The anime’s much tighter and although I feel like the ending needed to crescendo more, it was still pretty decent.

The thing with Zetman is, it starts off and you think it starts with an origin story, but then it gives you another origin story, and then stuff happens and by the end of the series, you realize the entire show’s an origin story.

While it’s not the ideal “traditional” school superhero anime, it’s one of the better attempts.

4) Thermae Romae
January 12, 2012 to January 26, 2012 (not inclusing OVAs etc, which you should get as well)
Ah, finally. Up to this point, it’s been “solid” shows. But now we’re in the “essential viewing” portion of our show. And Thermae Romae is certainly that.

The show’s about this Roman architect, way back in ancient Rome, who may or may not have been sucked into modern Japan, from whence he would steal ideas for his bathhouses.

The anime version has a lot of visual in-jokes from the production studio, but basically stays true to the manga. This was a series I highly anticipated and the anime did not disappoint.

Just go ahead and watch it, you barbarian scum.

3) Shirokuma Cafe
April 5, 2012 to March 28, 2013
Think Seinfeld, but with a Polar Bear, Panda, Penguin and Person.

This would probably rank higher were it not for the fact that it’s a full on 4 cour/one year series. There’s some 50 odd episodes and like any long running sitcom, it gets better as you watch it because running gags start to develop.

Shirokuma Cafe aka Polar Bear Cafe, starts off pretty much like a kid’s show, and it sorta stays that way. But yeah, it’s a nice show that gets legitimately awesome the more you watch because you become more and more invested in the characters.

It’s kinda like all those crappy “tea time” anime like K-On!! BUT actually good because it doesn’t have that “manufactured” feel and the conversations aren’t banal… well, technically, they ARE banal but banal in a way that works.

Again, it’s basically Seinfeld the anime, if Seinfeld had more universal appeal.

Unlike Thermae Romae, I wouldn’t say to go watch the whole thing RIGHT NOW, but not watching this series at some point is like being a Shakespearian actor and never having done Hamlet in your entire career.

2) Busou Shinki (TV)
October 4, 2012
Fuck you, I loved the Busou Shinki (TV) series. I waited eagerly for it every episode. The third ep was the obligatory creepy sexualized episode, but after that, it’s old(ish) school good fun.

Anyways, Busou Shinki (TV) is a series based on a toyline by Konami called Busou Shinki. There’s an OVA that’s meh, but the TV series is where it’s at.

Funnily enough, this TV series came at basically right after the end of the toyline and features some of the rarest and therefore most expensive figures as the main characters. It created renewed interest in the line but… well, the line was never revived. So the secondary market prices soared.

In any case, Busou Shinki (TV) was my favorite show of 2012. It’s not #1 on this list simply because it’s not the “best” show of 2012. This thing is basically like Bottle Fairies (2003) in that it’s about a group of toys doing stuff while their master/owner’s away.

1) Psycho-Pass
October 2012 to March 2013
What can I say? I dig shows that are “twisted”. And the first half of Psycho-Pass is certainly that, as the “good guys” track down various serial killers in a dystopian future. The second half’s where we get a longer arc/plot, and lotsa people seem to dig that more than the first half, which focused more on short but bloody cases.

Eh, to each their own. I personally loved the first half way more. I’m quite into the visceral.

So yeah, that’s all I’ve got to to say aboot this show. Catch it when you can.

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