These shows need no more introduction. Let's get this started.
#10. Monogatari Series Second Season
|"…and now I've lost all credibility for calling Araragi a pervert."|
Something like the Monogatari series is hard to really explain outside of saying that you really have to watch it yourself to really understand what it's like. More than anything, Monogatari is a unique experience in anime, one where fascinating characters, witty dialogue and human nature come together to create a mystical tale that is perfectly capable of stirring the heart as well as the eyes.
#9. KINMOZA! (Kin-iro Mosaic)
|You'd be nervous too if a foreigner invaded your |
Certainly, it's the first episode that really stands out, as I talked about earlier, but even past that, there's plenty of fun to be had in this show with its cross-cultural theme. Whether it be amusing language puns, cultural misunderstandings, or perhaps getting just a bit too much into foreign stuff, this show is definitely an east meets west affair. And don't forget the very... interesting finale!
10/10 shows - These are among my absolute favorite shows of all time. Some of these, I might consider "masterpiece" shows; others are simply shows that have just the perfect feel to it or have resonated with me in all the right ways that they have become favorites of mine.
|Sounds like 80% of male American Idol contestants.|
If there's one thing, though, that this show is unbeatable at, it is in portraying the simple joy of having fun in life with friends. This is a show that excels at putting a smile on your face from the first to the last minute. And of course, it is an incredibly funny show, so it succeeds there, too. This is definitely one of best of its type of show.
#7. Non Non Biyori
|"This will scare away any talking male protagonists!"|
If you look past the cute girls and their silly antics, what you find is a portrayal of a special way of life. The lives of these residents is in many ways a simpler one, shown well as newcomer Hotaru has to learn to get used to it. It's also slowly disappearing, shown by the school with only five students and the various siblings and friends of the characters that have moved to the city. And in the backdrop of it all is some very nice scenery of the countryside. All this contributes to the iyashikei feel of the show, and makes it a nice tribute to rural life that is a pleasant experience for those of us who are used to the fast-paced urban lifestyle.
#6. The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo)
|"I'm not letting you star in a cliché anime series!"|
Relationships are yet another strong part of this show. There are several strong one-to-one relationships shown in the show, including my favorite romance of the year, plus a nice sense of overall togetherness among the residents of the titular dorm. And the characters individually are great, too. This is just an amazing show overall, and really does deserve a greater audience that is willing to look past what the title of the show might imply.
#5. Outbreak Company
|Titan fever: the epidemic has spread to fantasy worlds!|
This is also one of a number of shows in the top 10 that earn their high scores from aspects in the show that are very reminiscent of or applicable to Christianity. In this case, note that Shinichi is referred to by the empress Petralka as a "missionary" of otaku culture, and the connection here is easy enough to make that I was able to write an entire post about it. (And don't forget to check out my other post about hikkikomori inspired by this show!) This is a show that has a lot of depth to it while also being lots of fun and incredibly funny--definitely worthy of being one of the top 5 shows of the year.
#4. Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji)
|This show is the ultimate in (pig) moe.|
All this is possible thanks to the original material, written by Hiromu Arakawa, best known for being the creator of the original Fullmetal Alchemist manga--and while the tone of this manga is completely different from that, the same high quality writing comes through here. It's not just the farm life aspects as previously mentioned, but also the amazing cast of characters and their growth throughout the show. And this is just for the first season, which, as amazing as it is, is still just setting things up for an even more incredible second season...
#3. Tamayura ~more aggressive~
|Don't worry, you're in an anime; it'll all work out somehow.|
This second season takes things a step further by introducing a new character and allowing main character Fuu "Potte" Sawatari to take up a leadership role for the school's photography club, furthering her growth as a person. Her friends are still there for her, and she also has a chance to grow closer with old friends that she had left behind when she moved. All in all, this show is an incredibly beautiful show, which just makes it all the more depressing that it was one of the few shows of the past year that never got a legal stream in the US.
|"Psst… in the last fanfic I wrote about you, you…"|
Again, though, this show gets its top 10 spot not just from its innate strengths, but also for its aspects that can relate to Christianity. Despite being of a different religion, the show's focus on the relationship between the heralds and the oracles that can see them can be surprisingly reminiscent of a Christian's relationship to God. Going into this show from that perspective, this show has become something rather special to me, which is why it is my #2 favorite show of 2013.
But what show stands above it, and every other show that aired in 2013?
#1. AKB0048 next stage
|Who needs baseball when you can sing against oppressive totalitarian government regimes?|
But as for being the best show of 2013... well, that can only come from something particularly special... such as connections to Christianity. Like Outbreak Company, this show feels a lot like a story about missionaries, albeit this time, missionaries in hostile areas. And with this perspective, suddenly this show is no longer just about a bunch of idols trying to perform in the face of opposition; it's a story about a group trying to spread their message of love to a world determined to silence that message. It's a show where personal growth means more than just becoming the best idol, even if the characters sometimes forget that. It is shows like this that represent what A Series of Miracles is all about: even in the most unexpected places, a show can represent God's truths and go beyond its innate strengths to become my favorite show of the year--and that is nothing short of a small miracle.
And that's it for the Best Anime of 2013! See you next year, when... I probably won't do something this big again, because this took way too long. Maybe just the list of all the anime of the year that I watched and a quick Top 10, plus maybe some musical rankings just because. This was fun, though, and I hope you enjoyed seeing what I like--and don't like--in anime.