To me there’s no surer way to make an anime a success then filling it with great characters. There are, of course, many other things needed to make a successful anime but it’s very rare to find a bad anime that had palatable characters. And it’s also possible to have very weak characters while still having a good anime because the other stuff is able to carry it, like with Eureka 7 AO – strong plot, great production values, and yet it had flat characters.
It should be no surprise, then, to say these are my favorite awards to pick and also the ones I spend the most time on. (Though trying to pick the Best ED for the year was the single most insanely difficult category this year.) And with the return of Chihayafuru and the recent news of Space Bros getting extended and moved to a more watched time, I’m already looking forward to picking the 2013 cast and character awards.
We had another marvelous year of anime this year; while it lacked the mega-series that 2011 had in form of Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Steins;Gate, it more then made up by having a large number of very good anime series. Even with stretching my top anime countdown to include 15 anime series that I feel are the most noteworthy and highest quality, I’m leaving out so many other series that deserve praise that it’s almost depressing.
The lack of monster hits along with a large pool of quality titles also made picking the various winners more difficult then in 2011 were PM3 and S;G probably earned over half the awards by themselves. Thus, I needed more time to finish this look back at 2012 but I had a lot of fun going through the various series to refresh my memory. I also added a few new categories, so, look for those.
Part 3 and we’re reached the summer of the summer season; the series that burned the brightest. Up until now there hasn’t been too many awards given or series that are ones that have carried over from a previous season but this part has plenty of both.
Before I get to the top 8 series there’s one award that I traditionally give out that doesn’t fit well in this format – it is Top Animation Studio – because it is normally earned across multiple anime series. Therefore I’m going to award it now; winning the award for Top Animation Studio is Sunrise for animating Binbou-gami ga!, Accel World, Phi Brain Season 2, and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon 2. Of the animation studios that put out multiple series this season, the quality of Sunrise’s series were consistently the highest and even series that didn’t rank all that highly, like Phi Brain and Horizon, were a fun watch that never felt like a waste of time to watch.
If part 1 felt like winter, part 2 is going to feel like a spring where it comes in like a freak St. Patrick’s Day snow storm and leaves like a late May heat wave the wilts all the seedlings and recent plant transplants. (Local weather metaphors will vary.)
It’s difficult to summarize the summer season of anime into a brief, concise statement because there was so many conflicting and crosswired developments that occurred. For starters, there was very few truly awful anime series but there was also very few truly great anime series. There were high concept series that couldn’t “realize” their concept in practice and there were low concept series that delivered storytelling and plotting far beyond any preview would have suggested. There were sequels that were plainly better than their predecessors. There were many instances of how the most creativity was shown not in the original anime series but with those series merely adapting source material. And on a personal level, I watched so many series (24) but only really liked a handful of them (about 8 and not the same 8 that fill the top 8 spots) and yet did not dislike any anime series enough to drop it.
It was a weird season. Here’s hoping that the fall season will feel more normal.
Here we are, I’m almost sad to finish this look at the spring season up because it’s the last thing to do before switching gears and focusing on the summer season. I’ve cushioned the blow a bit by putting two of the titles that made my top six into the rewatch pile to watch with my sister. It’s been fun to rewatch those two series knowing how they both turn out and knowing I’ll enjoy the ride.
Okay, enough with the flapping of gums, let’s move on to number six – a series that had many different names :) :