2012: The Review

2012: The Review

Pixiv

Yup, it’s that time of the year again. Without further ado, my review of 2012′s anime.

The Best of 2012

Chihayafuru

2012: The Review

This was a show that I did not expect to enjoy but turned out to be one of the best things of late last year/early this year. What Chihayafuru did really well was to tell a compelling story that was also very character-centric, with just the right amount of drama to make it engaging. Season 2 will be starting this year as well, and I’m looking forward to enjoying the show again.

Moretsu Pirates

2012: The Review

Again, another show I did not held much hope for in the beginning. I mean, c’mon… female pirates in space? Yeah sure that sounds cool but… it turns out the show did deliver on the cool! I also liked how Moretsu embraced the cheese as well, with many a scene of Marika hamming up her role as the pirate captain of Bentenmaru. Oh, and who can forget that episode where she ropes all her classmates to help out… bedecked in all sorts of cosplay outfits. Understandably, this isn’t a show with much mass appeal, but Moretsu’s shameless adherence of the Rule of Cool really won me over.

Nisemonogatari

2012: The Review

Truthfully speaking, Nisemonogatari didn’t really manage to be better than it’s predecessor, Bakemonogatari, but it’s still the show with one of the funniest, sarcasm-laced commentary this year, no thanks to Araragi. Also, who can forget that toothbrush scene anytime soon? Ah, don’t forget Maaya Sakamoto’s awesome portrayal of Shinobu too. That laugh, seriously!

Ano Natsu de Matteru

2012: The Review

Ahhh the spiritual revival of the nostalgic Onegai series. Blessed with some of the best production quality this year, AnoNatsu managed to invoke the fun times of 2003 while injecting enough identity in itself to stand on its own. Truth be told, the drama between our main couple lost its luster quite fast, but that was more than made up with the side-characters providing enough drama to carry the show through the end.

Natsuiro Kiseki

2012: The Review

Another surprise of this year, Natsuiro Kiseki won me over with the character chemistry of the main cast, no doubt due in fact they are all voiced by members of seiyuu super-group, Sphere. It almost feels as if the four of them really have been long-time friends and brought that warmth over to the series for real. It was also helped that the show did not shy away from running with the premise of having a magical wish-granting rock, although in this case, it’s truly a lesson of “be careful what you wish for” :)

Tari Tari

2012: The Review

Yet another show that won me over with the strength of its character development and chemistry, and also restored my hope in P.A. Works after last year’s bungling of Hanasaku Iroha. Individually evaluated, the aspects of Tari Tari don’t really stand out much, but combined together, it was truly resulted in something much more than the sum of its parts. Combined together with some really good music, this was a show that slowly but surely won my heart over.

Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II

2012: The Review

Because fuck yeah more Kimi.

Nekomonogatari: Kuro

2012: The Review

Best New Year’s Eve ever. Thank you based SHAFT.

The Entertaining

Sword Art Online

2012: The Review

Possibly the biggest hit this year, but also one of the most flawed. Unfortunately, the anime treatment made the flaws of the series much more glaring instead of fixing them, but still, it provided with me half a year of fun. If only it had swapped studios with Accel World :(

Accel World

2012: The Review

Coming from the same lineage as SAO, Accel World in some ways is the opposite of SAO with a weak protagonist, strong supporting cast and a much better overall treatment in anime format. The amount of rage it generated still remains as one of the more entertaining aspects of the series.

Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou

2012: The Review

A refreshing take on comedy anime, Danshikou brings us the view from the other side of the gender by focusing on the boys rather than the girls. I have to say, the show truly elicited a good number of chuckles, especially when it took on the subject matter of boys dealing with girls.

Saki: Achiga-hen episode of Side A

2012: The Review

Not exactly the Saki sequel I’ve been hoping for since 2009, Achiga-hen brings the focus on another under-dog school in the Nationals. What made the show truly entertaining was finally seeing Saki’s legendary sister, Teru, in action, as well as expanding the focus on the other major contenders in the tournament as well. Toki totally stole the show in the end though.

Hyouka

2012: The Review

KyoAni’s best show of the year for me. Hyouka’s start really did not impress at all, but the school festival arc and subsequent ending episode made up for it. The “mysteries” are pretty damned terrible though.

Oda Nobuna no Yabou

2012: The Review

I’m not a huge fan of gender-bender historical fiction, but Oda Nobuna’s Ambition is the exception to the norm. Ballsy main character plus a well-thought out and plausible setting for a historical genderbent fiction won me over in the end.

Teekyuu

2012: The Review

As far as two minute animes go, Teekyuu is like the FMP! Fumoffu of them. It’s pretty damn amazing how much madness can get stuffed in 120 seconds each week. Even better when the zaniest one is voiced by Kana-tan.

The Decent 

  • Persona 4 the Animation:  Saved me from playing the game I guess.
  • Shakugan no Shana Final: Holy shit, I can’t believe it’s finally ended!
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Shi: I have to admit, the show’s getting quite long in the tooth
  • Amagami SS+: More of an omake kind of thing, but it was nice to have more Nii~nii~
  • Another: Slow buildup, but solidly delivered at the end.
  • High School DxD: Heh, great fanservice I’ll say.
  • Senki Zessho Symphogear: Crazy twists and having Miyukichi as the villain was a nice touch.
  • Rinne no Lagrange: I, for one, welcome our new jersey-clad lesbian overlords.
  • Papa no Iu Koto Kikinasai: Totally not here just because of Hocchan’s Raika!
  • Thermae Romae: Hahaha, can’t believe this is really a thing in Japan!
  • Inu x Boku SS: I finished this show, I MUST BE AN ‘M’!
  • Kimi to Boku II: Not exactly Danshikou, but close enough!
  • Lupin III  Mine Fujiko to iu Onna: They sure don’t make anime like this much nowadays!
  • Acchi Kocchi:  The show most likely to kill with moe overloads.
  • Sankarea: ZOMBIESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
  • Fate/Zero II:  Naked Gilgamesh ruined stole the ending
  • Tasogare Otome x Amnesia: Ghostits.
  • Haiyore! Nyaruko-san: (」・ω・)」うー!(/・ω・)/にゃー!(」・ω・)」うー!(/・ω・)/にゃー!
  • Tsuritama: Pretty good for a fishing anime!
  • AKB0048: The sheer Kawamori-ness of this warrants it a watch.
  • Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita: Biting social commentary that most people wouldn’t even begin to comprehend!
  • Yuruyuri♪♪: More Akkarin and friends! Wait… who’s that again?
  • Binbougami ga!: Oh man, bitchy Kana-tan voice wins.
  • Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate: Moe and politics can mix!
  • Kono naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga iru!: Dammit, they should’ve kept WHO WAS IMOUTO for a second season.
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous: Extremely dramatic, but the strong cast kept it here.
  • Joshiraku: Rakugo anime? More like Tokyo travelogue anime.
  • Campione!:  You will never get to be as SWAG as GARdou ;_;
  • Dog Days’: Becky henshin 10/10 would watch again.
  • Kokoro Connect: Inaban totally saved this show, terrible drama though.
  • Ebiten: The parodies and homages were pretty good in this show.
  • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai: A fun ride until the last quarter. More ロング凸守 would’ve bumped it up a rank.
  • Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb: What can I say, it’s more Hidamari :D
  • Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun: Despite a bad start, this turned out a lot better than I expected.

The Disappointments

  • Guilty Crown: God, what a mess this show was.
  • Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam: Sigh, why did Gonzo even bother?
  • Aquarion EVOL: Actually worse than the original, which says a lot.
  • Black Rock Shooter TV: This show taught me emo could be infectious.
  • Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Of the Dead: I wanted more delusion Eu ;_;
  • Medaka Box: Yeah, this series doesn’t really translate well to anime.
  • Upotte!!: Unfortunately, I’m not a gunfag :(
  • Jormungand + Jormungand: Perfect Order: Sigh, the show went nowhere only to end right when it was getting somewhere.
  • Sakamichi no Apollon: Wow, I sure expected way too much from this show.
  • Eureka Seven AO: Stop ruining the legacy of this franchise, BONES!
  • Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse: Shitty Infinite Stratos clone.
  • Moyashimon Returns: The change in character design wasn’t even the worst part of it :(
  • Hagura Yuusha no Estetica: Got really tired very fast, strong fanservice though!
  • Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t take my eyes off you: Wow, even the fillers of the previous Hayate animes were better than this.
  • BTOOOM!: Tries too hard.
  • Busou Shinki: I can’t believe I finished this.
  • K: Too chuu2 4 me.
  • Oniichan dakedo Ai sae areba Kankeinai yo ne!: Started out strong, but tapered off quickly. Ibuki Kido is good though.
  • Sukitte Ii na yo: I can’t believe I finished this either.

Unfinished

  • Tantei Opera Milky Holmes II
  • Recorder to Randoseru
  • Kill me Baby
  • Brave 10
  • OZMA
  • Sengoku Collection
  • Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan
  • Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai

Total Shows Started: 76
Total Shows Completed: 68

What stood out for me most this year are that the shows I enjoyed mainly focused a lot on the character development and chemistry. I suppose after so many years watching, the more important aspect for me isn’t the destination but the journey.

Also, this year was marked by a number of series revivals, namely Aquarion, Last Exile and Eureka 7, which all sadly proved to be failures. I just don’t quite get why they would even be getting a second season when the originals already resolved their respective stories quite well. Sigh….

Comedies were quite a mixed bunch this year too, ranging from the good (Danshikou, Joshiraku) to the terrible (Kill me Baby) but I feel they are losing steam if it’s just going to be adaptations, adaptations and more adaptations. Well, 2013 is going to see at least two more Manga Time Kirara series getting animes, so hopefully those will provide more promising animes.

All in all, a decent enough year for anime. A few notable entries are missing I suppose, mainly Girls und Panzer due to circumstances beyond control. Still the show deserves a special shoutout for being one of the bigger hits of this year, but I suppose a proper review would be best done next year after the show ends.

Lastly, Happy New Year 2013 to all my readers!

33 Comments

  1. Beruchi Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 12:25 am

    Happy new year of the ox!

  2. Beruchi Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 12:30 am

    lol, its snake and its visible in your pic as well xD

  3. Karry Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 12:40 am

    “The Best of 2012″

    Yamato 2199.

  4. bluemist Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 1:23 am

    Happy New Year to you.

    There’s a Thermae Romae anime? I’m about to watch the movie…

    And I still wonder if I should watch SAO.

  5. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 1:45 am

    Man, Ox was four years ago…

    And yes, there was a Thermae Romae anime, very short though.

    SAO is probably not as good as you would expect, but it’s… decent enough.

  6. Fadeway Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 4:16 am

    Happy New Year man.

    If anything, what I learned is that I should give every anime whose first episode lands on nyaa a chance. There were just too many shows I missed – some I started mid-season (K, Ixion Saga), others I marathoned when they finished (Ano Natsu, AKB), and yet others are still PtW (Tsuritama, Chihayafuru). A few of those I caught up on I didn’t like, but more often than not, I loved them.

    In hindsight, that list of anime (especially the end, where it’s just a ton of titles without pictures) is long, and I’ve watched the overwhelming majority of them. Never felt like there were that many!

  7. aozuakazu Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 5:02 am

    Man, this year was so weird for me. All the shows that I expected to be awesome (Guilty Crown, Jormungand, even Psycho PASS, etc.) failed my expectations while shows that I didn’t expect to be even remotely good (Danshiko, Moretsu Pirates, Jinrui) ended up being what I most looked forward to each week.

    Oh well, all in all this was a pretty good year. Let’s hope next year will keep up! Happy New Year Kuro!

  8. Breaker Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 5:05 am

    Your opinions are so wrong…
    But I respect them and I LOVE YOU.

  9. akagami Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 6:23 am

    Have a Happy New Year!
    Thanks for a fun year of reading ^^

    Didn’t know Nekomonogatari already aired. SUBS WHERE?!?

    Agree with Girls und Panzer… I thought it would be something like Upotte!!! (barely passable time-killer), but it actually turned out to be really enjoyable. I’ve never really cared for tanks, but this show has got be a little interested. Not enough to try playing WOT though.

  10. S_1 Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 6:56 am

    You did not blog many of your best. This is fraud! D=

    Amagami SS+ – you did not enjoy giving Ai a cold or Sexhair spread out upon a futon at the Ryoukan? D=
    Upotte!! – I’m a gunfag and I couldn’t stomach dis shitto. =|

    “SAO is probably not as good as you would expect, but it’s… decent enough.”
    Bwahahaha I thought was overhype >8)

    Nonetheless, Happy New Year to ye. I’ll probably refer to ye wisdom if I need summat to watch. Probably after the last few eps of Kokoro Connect out nowish.

  11. ithekro Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 8:41 am

    @ Karry

    Yes! Someone said it and it wasn’t me alone this time.
    I’ve come to the conclusion that most bloggers aren’t paying it any attention at all.

  12. gandalf8 Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    Hey Kuro, why didn’t you finish Milky Holmes? Its one of the best comedies of 2012 imo, and I thought you also enjoyed it.

  13. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    From the Yamato 2199 wiki:

    Episode 1 of the series was previewed in April 6, 2012 on Family Gekijo channel, although the remaining twenty-five minute episodes will not run on television until 2013 or later.

    Yeah, no wonder I never saw it.

    Sorry, this is list covers only TV anime that aired and ended in 2012 :)

    And why did I not blog some of the best shows? That’s because some of them don’t really lend themselves to my blogging style. Also some of them I only realized how good they were after a few episodes or past the second half.

    Finally, Milky Holmes II was just terrible with the humour. All the jokes fell flat for me.

  14. anise_punter Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    I don’t see why everyone liked that toothbrush scene – or that series (or that franchise), in all honesty, but to bring it up and not even mention the twister game is a terrible oversight.

  15. Pen3 Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 10:54 am

    So when is the next episode of Gundam Unicorn?

  16. Pen3 Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 10:55 am

    Oh yeah i can’t believe you did not mention Unicorn or do you hate Gundam in general?

  17. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 11:22 am

    ….because Gundam Unicorn isn’t even aired on TV nor has it ended yet.

  18. ahelo Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 12:09 pm

    Haha you never even mentioned Chihayafuru in any of your posts this year.

  19. List of List for 2012 | Fnzna Side Dish Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

    [...] Kurogane’s 2012 review post [...]

  20. Karry Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

    “Sorry, this is list covers only TV anime that aired and ended in 2012 :) ”

    Yamato 2199 is the best thing i saw all year, hands down. I have no doubt that it will also be the best anime of 2013 as well. Nothing else comes close. Nothing. Its that good.

  21. Asrialys Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

    Apparently started 72 titles (TV shows, movies, OVAs, etc). Not all from 2012 though. Completed 56 of them and trying to complete a 57th to reach 1000 videos seen this year. lol In California, so it’s not quite 2013 yet for me. Unfortunately, there were quite a few shows that I should have watched and have yet to. I mostly focused on legal streaming and hardly watched anything fansubbed. For whatever reason, I download stuff and just let it sit in my hard drive. lol Somewhat similar to how I just buy DVD/BDs and let them just sit on my shelf, unwatched…

    Just a portion of my obsession with using Excel…

    By the way, didn’t you watch Dakara Boku Wa, H ga Dekinai? Was looking over my MAL list and noticed it was missing from your blog post.

  22. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 1:23 pm

    Lol, fuck I totally forgot about Boku H. I didn’t finish it in any case. Updated the post.

    Also I don’t care if the show is that good, if it’s not finished/aired yet, it’s not going to be on this list. Not even Girls und Panzer…. although I was very sorely tempted to include it in.

  23. cshin9 Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

    Chihayafuru!

    And you didn’t mention Another, although it was an early series.

  24. Mentar Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    Happy new year, Kuro :)

    For me, your blog remains as one of the few spots one can always visit for a good time! Thanks for your continuously positive outlook on the anime world!

  25. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 5:08 pm

    Hahaha shit, I deleted Another when I was typing the entry out because I initially put it under “Entertaining” but forgot to place it back in. Fixed.

    And a happy new year to you too, Mentar. Glad my writings haven’t bored you to death yet :)

  26. ithekro Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 5:39 pm

    Yamato 2199 currently has 10 episodes out with four more coming out in the next two months. Out of 26 total that should be finished by October or November.

    No idea when it will be on TV. Right now it is in theaters for two weeks followed by a DVD/BD release a few weeks after that (plus a limited edition BD one can buy in the theater…everyone else has to wait a month or so).

  27. anise_punter Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 5:57 pm

    I usually avoid those 3-minute shows while they’re airing, and super rapid fire gag comedies are totally hit or miss with no in between. Just checked out Teekyuu in the last ten minutes. It’s one of the good ones.

    Glad to see I was not the only one who inexplicably totally enjoyed the adventures of the SPHERE girls.

    Finished up your Nekomonogataris (these four, at least), and I can only help but wonder if it would be good if a studio that wasn’t SHAFT worked on it. I mean, if it’s got the great dialogue people claim it does, that should be able to carry it on its own, right? It shouldn’t need gimmicky SHAFT backdrops.

    I hope you have a pleasant 2013 filled with plenty of Nadekos, Kurogane.

  28. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 6:04 pm

    Glad my post made you check out Teekyu. I’ll be frank and say I only went for it because of Kana-tan, but I am surprised how crazy it gets.

    Also, for better or worse, I can’t imagine any other studio doing the -monogatari series aside from SHAFT. They’ve really got that unique feel down pat already, it would be almost impossible for anyone else to emulate it w

    Otorimonogatari anime would be great to have in 2013…. but I doubt it will be done that fast. Still, SHAFT might just surprise us!

  29. Roarke Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 6:32 pm

    I owe you, this year, for the entire Monogatari series, Sankarea, GaruPan (so far), Madoka (which didn’t run this year, but I still owe you for), annnd… Other stuff which was probably a year ago, like Ben-To, but I never mentioned it until now.

  30. Di Gi Kazune Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 6:50 pm

    Gilgamesh Gate of Babylon your ass.

    As Gil would say, “I AM the best of 2012″

  31. Tiramisu Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 10:44 pm

    “Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse: Shitty Infinite Stratos clone.”
    Amusing considering both Muv-Luv Alternative and Total Eclipse preceded Infinite Stratos by several years.

  32. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    January 1, 2013 @ 11:36 pm

    Lol, I’m glad someone called me out on that one!

  33. Phazeshift Said,

    January 2, 2013 @ 10:20 am

    lol I was assuming you’d rank Chuu ni alot higher judging by your tweet statistics xP

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