You are now entering the Nine Days of GLORIO, our non-stop year in review. Each day for the rest of 2013, a member of the Glorio crew will share some of their highlights from the past 12 months, all culminating in our Top 10 Anime of the Year. For Day 6, Lifesong has forsaken food, water, and sleep in order to compile our most massive post yet – fitting considering he watches more anime than any of us.
I have a lot of things I would like to write about so I will keep this intro short and sweet. I’ve had a lot of fun watching anime and blogging about it this last year. I’m find I’m often at odds both with the blog and well, everyone else. Because I’m a bit of a black sheep I’m going to take full advantage of this opportunity to talk about the anime stuff I loved this past year. It might not be the same stuff you enjoyed, and possibly not even the stuff you watched, but I hope you will enjoy reading it none the less. Be warned, spoilers ahead.
Because Jel asked us to be creative.
Best Anime Glorioblog Hated
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Sometimes its hard not to judge a book by it’s cover, or it this case its title. “The Pet Girl of Sakurasou” doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. The fact is that said title girl can’t even dress herself and that doesn’t help matters. But in the end, Sakurasou was one of my favorite anime from this past year. The balance of character drama and comedy all themed around a group of people trying to grow as artists really hit home. It’s a shame it had to start on a note that scared so many people away.
Best Anime at Pissing Off the Internet
Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai
First I must give a full disclaimer: I didn’t actually finish this show. That said, the award is really here because of how amusing this anime has been to read about. At the last Otakon I saw people walking out of the finale with tears in their eyes at the thing they had just watched. When I got home I found a slightly different reaction. Well that isn’t entire true, people were crying alright, but tears of joy had been replaced by tears of pain, anguish and anger. OreImo was many things, but one thing we can all agree on is that it sure upset a lot of bloggers.
Best Anime Bloggers Love to Hate
Valvrave Season 2
I have a funny relationship with Valvrave myself, and I think a lot of other bloggers share it. I think the anime is an absolute mess made out of narrative bullshit and certifiably insane logic. It’s kind of like watching a train wreck, you just can’t look away. Expect that isn’t even fair to Valvrave. See a train wreck implies an accident. Valvrave wrecks on purpose. It is like the train wreck perfected for our viewing pleasures. The ironic thing is, even if I think it’s utter shit, If I actually finish Valvrave, I think I’ve enjoyed it as intended.
Best Anime that Confused Lesser Mortals
Sometimes I like to compare anime to poetry, not because I think they are really all that similar, but because they have something in common. Both of them have a sense to which they don’t always need to follow a narrative structure the way a novel does. In the case of anime I think we get far too worked up looking at what should be there in what we are told, and miss the visual queues and themes at play. Gatchaman Crowds managed to deliver on its theme in an amusing way that certainly did close off the series, but it also didn’t tell us how it happened. Sometimes an explanation just isn’t needed.
Best Anime I Couldn’t Get Into
Attack on Titan
I tried to like this show several times, first when the Glorioblog started coverage and later when other friends starting bugging me about how awesome it is. Try as I might a survival story based off an ongoing manga with no end in sight just doesn’t appeal to me. Let alone the weird vore fetish I can’t help but think is lurking around the corner.
Best Over Hyped Anime
Kill la Kill
Kill la Kill has been a genuinely fun ride so far, better than I expected in fact. It’s also been talked about as the salvation of animation. Sure some of that in a joke, but it’s a joke that hasn’t helped Kill la Kill’s reputation. Sometimes we really need to learn to call a dumb sexy action show a dumb sexy action show. Pretending Kill la Kill is something smarter than it is has done no one any favors.
Best Underrated Anime
Beyond the Boundary
Look around the internet and the opinion that Beyond the Boundary should be better simply because KyoAni made it seems to be pretty popular. I don’t think the series is the best thing ever myself, but I do think it told a solid story with a cute romance. I honestly can’t help but feeling like this show would have been better received if the KyoAni label were removed. It’s become cool to hate them, unless they create a masterpiece it’s utter shit. That mentality is what earned Beyond the Boundary a spot on my list.
Best Mindlessly Stupid Anime
My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy
And mindlessly stupid it is, but that is also half the charm. The interesting dynamic that keeps the whole show together is that the protagonist doesn’t really want to hook up with any of the crazy chicks who are into him. God is literally forcing him to do so. If he wants to ever live a normal life he has to fall in love. It’s like Beauty and the Beast, except the Beast just wants to be left the fuck alone and god is a psychopathic teenage girl who likes cheap romantic comedies.
Best Objectively Awful Anime
Strike the Blood
This anime infuriates me by sheer fact that I should hate it and I don’t. It’s pretty much the most “anime” thing ever made. Everything it does feels like it came from something else. Somehow week after week Strike the Blood is the first thing to pop into my head when I go to catch up on anime. As someone who puts effort into understanding why I do or don’t like something, this show is my worst nightmare.
Best Anime Mind Games
Blast of Tempest
I honestly think Blast of Tempest is one of the most brilliant things I’ve watched in years. Part of what made it all so smart was the way it delved into the often simple motivations of the characters and their interactions with the world and the crisis going on. Many times we had people taking advantage of these simple motivations to their own ends. The manipulation, both intentional and otherwise that takes place in Blast of Tempest easily earns it this award.
Best Anime That I Don’t Even Want to Credit
I am pretty sick of Love Lab. I am probably the first one at Glorioblog to really fall in love with it and also the first to get tired of it. The thing is Love Lab is an incredibly good show for what it is, but it has no ambition at all. I can’t really hold that against it, I’ve always said that anything can be good if someone finds the right way to make it and Love Lab did exactly that. I guess at the end of the day just being good isn’t all that I want out of anime.
Best Anime No One at Glorioblog Watched in Time for Our Awards
I finished this just before writing up this blog and it was AWESOME. Maybe not the best thing of the year, but probably in my top 5. It won’t be reflected on our blog because no one finished it in time as I implied [Aqua’s Note – I totally did.], but I’ll be trying to fix that shortly enough.
Best Misdirection in Anime
Basically something as ridiculous as time travel was hidden away by something even more ridiculous, the fact that the entire premise is a lie. I should probably be utterly disgusted, but instead I am simply amused by how well it got me. When Hozuki realizes that the poems she has been reading were written for her all along things just clicked into place perfectly. I loved it, what can I say? This kool aid must have been custom made for me.
Biggest Surprise in Anime
I thought I had a pretty good idea of what to expect from certain things. 4-Koma adaptions = things I want to stay far away from. Am I ever glad that I didn’t do that for this show. Kotoura-san didn’t have the highest budget, but it made up for that that with heart and proved to be one of the most genuinely enjoyable anime of the year.
Best Boob Show I Watched for the Characters and Story
Because it needs to be included and not because I want to convince anyone else. For most people Freezing is the perfect example of a anime that tries to have its cake and eat it too. It builds up strong interesting characters who walk around naked and get tortured in their under garments. The pretty girls are certainly part of the appeal, but the interesting thing to note about Freezing is that it always plays everything straight. Honestly the anime isn’t that good, but there are characters in this series that I absolutely love and that kept me watching and even anticipating this anime.
Because these guys are fun to blog with and deserve some credit.
Best Anime That Was More Amusing for Iro’s Reactions Over Skype Than the Anime Itself
Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Illya
I hated this show about as much as Iro did when it started, but somewhere along the lines his hatred grew and so did my amusement. Looking back I’m honestly not sure if I ever actually enjoyed this show, or if the degree to which Iro hated it was just so entertaining that I stopped caring if it was utter garbage or not.
Best Anime I Only Watched Because I Was Trying to Make Jel Cover It
Infinite Stratos 2
Jel watched all of the first season so I figured, hey I bet he will watch season 2 if I talk about it enough. NOPE he held out. Instead I just wound up watching it and even enjoying the dumber antics that go on. I never finished season one, I don’t really know what’s going on, but hey, the serious bits of this story are awful anyway so who cares right? I’m not sure if I won or if I lost in the end…
Best Anime That Is Funny to Watch Aquagaze Freak Out Over
If it makes you feel any better at all Aqua, it actually took me a few minutes to find one in this particular episode.
Best Anime I Only Talk About In Order to Get a Reaction Out of Zigg
The Severing Crime Edge
Somehow Zigg managed to be around every time I watched the show and it just so happens he is really good at coming up with hilarious on the spot insults for it. At the end of the day this show really wasn’t that great, but it led to some amusing discussions about fetishes that I at least didn’t even know existed and occasionally to more serious topics of the human condition, because I kid you not when I say that nothing will make you question humanity like the existence of this anime.
Best Anime Timmy Spent the Entire Year Trying to Make Me watch and I Never Did
Girls Und Panzer
Not a week goes by without someone mentioning guns or girls with guns or girls with tanks and guns. The end result is the alawys same, Timmy tells me that I should watch Girls Und Panzer, gives me an example of something awesome that happens in it and I agree with him that is sounds awesome and that I need to watch it. Maybe at some point in 2014 long after I know every awesome thing that happens in the series I will find the time to actually watch it.
Best Anime I Am Convinced Gee-man Will Love If I Can Convince Him to Watch It
Mecha-musume girls rocket punch evil while singing about it. What else even needs to be said? Someday Gee will thank me for never shutting up about it… possibly.
Best Anime Marlin Was Bro Enough to Actually Watch With Me
The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat
Originally I wasn’t going to talk about how cool Marlin is, but he already included this award on his own. What can I say? You know your bros when you can talk about your favorite “ero kawaii” anime unironically.
Character Personality Awards
Because I needed an excuse to tell you about all my favorite characters.
Best Ninja character
Senran Kagura’s Hikage
There is something amusing about having a completely serious character who just doesn’t give a fuck in the middle of a silly brawler. In truth all of the girls from her faction are like that to one degree or another, but Hikage takes the cake.
Best Imouto character
She may not be your real imouto, in fact she doesn’t have any real siblings at all, but that won’t stop her quest to recruit everyone of any gender or any age to become her onii-chan. If her dedication is in doubt then let me tell you that she even uses “Unlimited Bothers Works” against the Gate of Ointon at one point in her anime, firing off her fake Onii-chan’s at another character’s real masochists for the most disgustingly stupid thing that happened in anime this year. But what can I say, I laughed, that is better reaction than most imoutos can hope for.
Log Horizon’s Shiroe
He got stuck in an MMO and bought the guildhall which controls the bank. He did it with a guild of 4 people and some scheming. Shiroe managed to go from a nobody that a lot of people knew to someone commanding everyone’s respect. Sure maybe he did it in a way that is more akin to being a villain, but that won’t stop him from being the smartest anime dude this year.
Best Dead Girl
Blast of Tempest’s Aika Fuwa
Blast of Tempest’s entire story revolves around this girl who died. Her death is basically the motivation for everything the protagonist and his friend do for the majority of the story. They wanted to know who killed her, that was their motivation from the start and in the end she killed herself to motivate them. There was even a time paradox involved. Brilliant or incredibly stupid? You can decide for yourself, but Aika was a great character in my opinion
Best “Emotionless” heroine
Sakurasou’s Shina Mashiro
Brilliant painter, but dysfunctional girl. Much of Sakurasou’s story involves Mashiro learning how to not only express the emotions she sees by putting them on paper, but by living them out herself. Of course a big part of her appeal is simply how funny she is. When in doubt remember that plan C involves eliminating the competition, violently.
Outbreak Company’s Matoba Jinzaburou
Also best unamused face, just look at those eyes.
Best Space Babe
Yamato 2199’s Kaoru Nimi
Much of the character drama in Yamato 2199 felt a bit dumb to me. The one character who made sense from start to finish was Nimi. Trying to seduce the navigation’s officer to stage a coup might seem like an irredeemable personality flaw, but when you stop and think about the stakes and how far she is willing to go to save humanity it’s hard not to like her. She also has one of the most awkwardly well animated moments in anime this year.
Best Space Bro
Yamato 2199’s Shiro Sanada
Best character in the anime hands down. He managed to survive the best death scene in the anime without cheapening it. You don’t see that every day.
When I first heard this character speak I turned the anime off within a minute of listening to her. I went back and watched the show later and she is actually pretty cool. Her voice is still hard to appreciate, but the part she plays in her story is fantastic.
She found some old plans and built a flying goldfish mecha on her own without anyone else finding out. She then used that goldfish to save her family. I wish I were that cool.
Best Obsessive Girlfriend
Golden Time’s Koko
Also most fabulously dressed. Koko’s obsession hits home in a more realistic way than you might expect instead of the usual anime stalker way. She is one of the more genuinely interesting characters of the year.
Outbreak Company’s Myucel
Bringing moe fantasy to a new level. Myucel is possibly my favorite heroine from this past year and when I try to come up with a good answer I don’t really have one. Have I fallen into a moe trap? I probably have, but that won’t stop me from telling you that I think Myucel is pretty great.
Best Old as Time Immortal
No Muromi isn’t actually in the picture, but she is casually relating the events of her past. See she has photos on her “cellphone” from the time all this went down. Miss Monochrome was a close runner up, but I guess Mermaids are just more awesome in the end.