While acknowledging all the anime we have for this year (so many of them!), human nature dictates that we’d rather discuss about the highlights.
But, I will throw in some underrated shows in here as well.
Disclaimer: Reviews, at best, are still biased and differ in style.
The one that scratched my itch for something completely cool, fresh and simple.
Oh my, it’s like Lucky Star but with romance and notable storytelling.
The hilarious depiction and dialogues are accompanied by individualistic thoughts (drawn and animated as supplement humour), which further develops the characters themselves.
Equally good wordplay and drama, and without any complexity in plot development, one can easily grasp the story and fully enjoy the show.
Conclusion: Excellent breather for busy people, but don’t watch all episodes at once.
This was honestly one of the better supernatural horror anime that I have watched.
The main theme is very clear while at the same time throwing clouds of muff around it to keep it mysterious.
One of the things I like is the author did not hesitate to kill off characters to make the story go on, but still develops the characters.
The art has a variable dark style that is very consistent with the storyline and blends in well.
The characters are moderately developed, but it is pretty good for a story that focuses on a main mystery.
BGMs and songs were well chosen, even the opening “Kyoumu Densen” seems like it is made for a horror survival game.
This is a good anime, recommended especially if you like Higurashi no Naku Koro ni.
Conclusion: It drives off the tropical heat.
Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai!
My first impression? Rikka being silly and drags Yuuta into troubles he’d avoid.
However, it appears at the same time that anime ‘haters’ began to use it to condemn the seinen genre, which coincides with my opinion of “Cute girls doing cute things”.
So, what’s so bad about girls being silly? Putting the haters aside, while I praise it for peering into adolescent minds, it reminded me how society view such acts and vice versa.
Hey, the portrayal of the “fighting” scenes ain’t bad either.
However, strike one for the ED song.
Conclusion: Not recommended for intolerant audiences (I’m not saying who), but still an outstanding anime.
2nd opinion: http://ani-culture.net/2012/12/winter-2012s-anime-is-really-psycho-pass-chu2/
Gokicha!! Cockroach Girls
At first glance, it is definitely a low-budget animation, but with a very interesting concept of anthropomorphised(?) cockroaches.
Yet I couldn’t say much though, since only 2 8-minute episodes are released… 🙁
Conclusion: Not to be expected much, but also not one that should be receiving tomatoes either. 🙂
It’s never meant to be serious!
Besides throwing in all the possible references and gags we can think of, the so-called “enemies” turn out to have really weird, if not nonsensical, intentions, like kidnapping Mahiro to be auctioned for a (BL?) show or having a lolicon alien-butler concluding the anime.
While some audiences think the jokes are overused, my views are otherwise.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san is a character-driven anime (to quote other reviews), I feel that it is more of a fanservice than a proper story.
Certainly it is for someone who enjoy きゃゃ〜！-ing over moé characters and laughing over the top gags.
It is one of my favourites, despite a lower rating. The OP single is worth the money.
Conclusion: Do your best to make sense of the cameos.
Fun fact: It was based on the light novels. Surprise!
PS: What the internet is capable of.
Hayate no Gotoku! Can’t take my eyes off you
“Rather than a continuation of the previously animated Hayate no Gotoku seasons, this series is independent and written by the author, Kenjiro Hata, himself.”
While I was hoping for more comical interactions between Hayate and other characters, I am disappointed by how this season turned out.
1) The redecoration of the Sanzenin Mansion.
2) Too much personalities changes.
3) A entirely new plot. (No choice.)
4) Rumi’s appearance would be much better without those eyes.
All of the above are seriously uncalled for.
Not to mention Nagi lost is a desert as a prologue wasn’t funny as well. Yes, her cussing at the cactus just made her more of a brat. First impression just went kaboom. (Sorry.)
Voice acting still as outstanding as ever… but to me, the anime failed as a comedy.
Also, I’m taken aback by Ruka’s sudden appearance as an idol in the episodes, leaving my reactions more conflicting.
Conclusion: Lunch show.
PS: To make the review look better, here’s a Hinagiku.
Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!
First impression: Lucky bastard, heir to his father’s company, gets thrown into an all-girls school to find a fiancé in order to succeed his late-father’s position.
Inevitably, this harem anime does contains some clichés such as chance meetings, gap moé, and super dere childhood friends (in this case, unknown to the protagonist, but one of the two is the real sister).
However, what I found this anime remarkable is catching the audience off-guard, leaving some pondering over multiple questions posed by the story.
For instance, towards the end, a girl who claims to be the real sister is in fact an actor who is part of the espionage.
Conclusion: Just another smooth-flowing harem anime.
A spin-off of the original Bakemonogatari, holding on to the trademark tsukkomi and boké of the characters as comedy while preserving the main focus of supernatural phenomenon.
As usual, we see the main protagonist doing his best to help people around him solve their supernatural woes, or in this season, help to solve a supernatural’s woes.
It can’t be said to have an actual storyline, but the development in both arcs are pretty good, giving it a satisfying feel.
Especially when you combine it with the unique style of art that both Bakemonogatari and Nisemonogatari have.
Perhaps the only flaw is that it seems like the protagonist’s coolest scene is only when he’s talking.
Though, he got the crap beat out of him in both arcs…
Conclusion: Needless to say, controversial fanservice or not, try watching.
Papa no Iukoto wo Kikinasai!
Truly a “Slice-of-Life” anime, depicting a college student attempting to care for his nieces after their parents disappeared in a terrible air accident.
It did not meet my expectations, however, for the anime did not fully depict the hardships of Yuuta, which also meant fanservice outweighed the story.
Speaking of which, for those with dir- *cough* sharp minds, the title might suggest that there is an “appropriate” amount of fanservice as well…
Playful twin-tail imouto? Check.
Dem witty college girl? Check.
Conclusion: Come for the girls, stay for the story.
PS: To avoid the embarrassment, be aware of your surroundings while watching.
Horrow show? No. It’s a story of a zombie fanboy in his quest for the secret of resurrection and a girl struggling for freedom from her wealthy, perverted foster father (the horror of the story indeed).
While the televised series is nowhere close to ecchi, the OVA does has nudity. While you are not thinking straight, I have to say that the OVA just shows how bad the foster father is.
Despite this, I highly recommend watching the main series for its interesting protagonists and remarkable plot development.
Conclusion: That was the conclusion.
Meet Babu the cat.
“Shirokuma Cafe is a strange but charming anime with little plot setup or development…
…The setting is filled with literally personified animals extraordinarily doing ordinary human activities.
In spite of this, it maintains a calm mood in which at occasionally draws out a gag or burst of laughter.”
The voice actors are well-known and fit the characters well; overtime if not initially so.
Dialogues are steady and tranquil, contributing to the relaxing feeling this anime generates.
Although some enjoy such storytelling, others do not.
While the presentation of the personalities of the animals is commendable, however, it is evident that humans are more flexible is showing their character than animals.
Still, the voice acting supplements for the lack of detailed expressions.
Conclusion: Family dinner show.
It’s very name already relates the relationship between the all-girls cast.
While it is nowhere near serious shoujo-ai, neither does it contain any ecchi fanservice.
Well, of course, Yuru Yuri is a comedy that does not turn away people who dislikes shoujo-ai.
Story? Hard to say. It’s almost purely comedy. (´･ω･`)
Conclusion: Like Acchi Kochi, don’t watch all at once.
The Hypocritical Reviews Section:
-Another KEY masterpiece.
-Find the story/dialogues confusing? It’s largely based on the visual novel.
-Must watch. 🙂
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
-Based on the visual novel.
-Below expectations, but sets you thinking. 🙂
Touhou: A Summer Day’s Dream Ep.2
What was once called off by ZUN (sole-creator of the Touhou game series), Maikaze (a dojīn circle) continued to develop the long-awaited second episode with better graphics, animation, and once again with the entire cast of characters voiced by professional seiyuus (EN).
While the animation isn’t exactly story-oriented, it is certainly entertaining, given its seemingly “high-budget” dojīn production.
What I really want to commend about is the voice acting that fits every character so well, that further brings out each and everyone’s unique identities.
(Nope, I’m not gonna review the Fantasy Kaleidoscope series.)
Now, what to expect for 2013?
[END OF RANT]
Again, reviews are biased. The above lists are non-exhaustive, and do not include movies. 😛
“Even though Cirno, the Nineball, looks really tasty,
I have to control myself and now eat Kanako’s rice gruel instead.
I’ll eat her after she gets fatter!”