Saturday, January 4, 2014

Anime 2013: Fourth Quarter Season Roundup

A few months ago, when Fall started, I couldn't wait to do my roundup, but here we are now, at the final season of this year, which means I'll have to do "The Best of Anime 2013" after this post. What an incredible and unbelievable season at the same time. My Fall roundup seems to be in conflict with my first impressions, as there were plenty of surprises from unexpected titles, and disappointments from those I highly favored from the beginning.

Best Animation - Fall 2013

Kyoukai no Kanata -- despite of its upsetting finale -- totally captured me with its animation. Kyoto Animation are always excellent in doing Moe, but something with action and fantasy is a first time for the studio, taking it to the next level. Although they screwed up with the story plenty of times, it is hard to hate an anime that showed so much effort with their design and effects, with that I'll give KyoAni the compliment they fully deserved. 

Best Opening Song/Sequence - Fall 2013

Koko by Tamurapan (From Kyousougiga)

Best Ending Song/Sequence - Fall 2013

Daisy by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION (From Kyoukai no Kanata)

Favorite MC (Male Character) - Fall 2013

The first time I've seen Diamond no Ace I knew right there and then that Sawamura-kun is my favorite Male Character for the Fall 2013. He has the innocence of a boy and the determination of a man. Both genki and GAR at the same time. Even though he can be "baka" it just adds up to his charm. His seiyuu, Ohsaka Ryota, just proves us once more that he is this year's most formidable and versatile voice actor. 

Best Girl - Fall 2013

Every Monday (or what Tuesday, my time) is a Rengecentric day. I love Non Non Biyori, and because of this adorable seven year old, brimming with creativity and unique ideas, my attention is hooked and I never failed to tune in with the show. Every episodes centered on Renge are not just about doing cute things, she even surprises us with wit, humor and touchy-feely drama scenes. Who could forget the episode 4 close-up shot of her teary-eyed face, her musings on whether or not she lives in the country, her black cardboard, etc. Re-watching Non Non Biyori comes naturally, and I hope there will be a second season in the works in the future. 

Best Supporting Character - Fall 2013

For me the real hero of the Seirin Basketball team is none other than its founder, the Iron Heart, Kiyoshi-kun. My real complain about the show was its sole focused on basketball matches and its lack of characterization. So if you'd stopped watching KuroBas before Teppei arrived, then, that's too bad, because the show had gotten better with him around. The guys couldn't ask for a better Senior than Teppei. He doesn't feed in to his anger when frustration strikes in, and he never let his team down when they needed support and protection. He motivates and encourages every one, even keeping a poker face when his body is coupled with injuries. Seirin's likability as a team doubled up by Kiyoshi's presence. He may be one of the un-crown kings, and he may not possess the same strength as the Generation of Miracles, but his passion for basketball and his dedication for his team has won me over. 

Favorite Recurring Character - Fall 2013

He is a pain in the ass. We all know about that. His actions, although they were made with good intentions, brought joy and pain to those he loves. He may not always be around on our screens, and he is not our main guy, but he is the centrifugal force that moves Kyousougiga - the reason behind everything. 

Best Villain - Fall 2013

Okay, so he doesn't get on my nerves as a villain. He is the King. Everyone fears him due to his God-like powers. With his main goal to destroy the world, naturally our heroes would eliminate him to save the day. But Meruem is a character that is discovering his human-side little by little, wondering his purpose of existence. He doesn't do bad things just to be evil or because he is the villain of the series. And that says a lot for us as human beings.

Exceeded Expectations - Fall 2013

I'm pretty addicted to shrine-related anime's. Gingitsune provided that addiction for me this season and it did not disappoint. The story is very well-written and the characters are just likable and adorable, especially Haru, in spite of her loud mouth and irritating behavior, she is so's hard to hate her. 

Disappointment - Fall 2013

I love Sci-Fi, but this one just killed the genre. Throwing impossible things one after the other. The characters are so lame, pointless and uninteresting. There is nothing that could save this series from becoming an utter failure. I'm sorry A-1 Pictures but your viewers are not that dumb.

Best Anime - Fall 2013

A tie between:

I would be a liar if I excluded Non Non Biyori as Best Anime, after all, this is my personal blog and even if everybody contradicts with my choices I have to stand on my ground. I do love Non Non Biyori for whatever quirk it brought every week. It is not just about cute girls doing cute things. There is a real country feel "slice-of-life" touch to the story that makes it so heartwarming. At the end of the day, we find these characters and their unusual antics as an extended part of our homes. The animation is top notch and the music is quite nostalgic. I wouldn't mind a second season anytime soon. 

(Also clinching the Best Story, Most Under-Appreciated, and Best Soundtrack honors for Fall 2013)

Probably, not everybody would agree with me on this pick (for best story), but Kyousougiga, with all of its confusion and mysteries, is like a book that hooks your interest, takes you on a maze, only to be confounded one minute due to its lack of explanation, and yet surprisingly, it never disappoints you on what it refuses to give or to reveal. This a thinking-man's anime, and at this time and age, it is so rare to find a piece of animated art that challenges its viewers to think and not to accept things as it is. As for this anime being under-appreciated. We all know that it is a commercial failure in Japan for its DVD/BD sales, and a lot of viewers have polarizing views and reaction about the entire series, to the point that (along with Shin Sekai Yori) you could already consider it as a cult anime. It may lack the mainstream appeal, but at least the makers of Kyousou Giga had the decency and the humor not to conform with the cookie cutter norms of the world, thereby not compromising the entire vision that they had for their series. A job well done, in my opinion. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...