Everything and something.
Which I have still failed to acquire. Whoops.
Here it is, my top five list for 2012:
- Aquarion EVOL
Yes, that’s right folks – not one, but TWO, TWO ludicrous idol shows in my top five! Which only goes to show that the animu folks have figured out that although I profess hatred for idol shows, if you throw in lots of fighting and absurdity, I will love the hell out of idol shows.
For the record, the shows which aired this year and that I finished this year which did not make the cut are: La Storia della Arcana Famiglia, Sakamichi no Apollon/Kids on the Slope, Fate/Zero Season Two, and Milky Holmes II. And the shows I’m currently watching/ok, not really, I’m kinda far behind, but these shows are airing and I have intent to keep watching them: K, From the New World. So another banner year of me watching tons of animu, bros!
To be fair, I watched a bunch of shows that weren’t currently airing, and I did check out a good amount of the shows which premiered this year, although I didn’t keep up with most (and even frequently let ones I did enjoy, like Humanity is in Decline, fall off the radar).
But back to my list. I quite honestly loved AKB0048. Despite being such an obvious commercial ploy, and despite having such dubious roots, it really outdid itself, giving a surprising amount of depth to its cast. AKB0048 really had no right to turn out like it did, but, well, it did. There is zero doubt in my mind that it was my favorite show of the year.
Hyouka ranks second, probably missing first since the show managed to blindside me at the very end in a manner that suggested that its characterization hadn’t been quite as impeccable as I had believed it to that point. Nevertheless, despite some soul-crushingly dull episodes (the secret club! seriously, fuck that episode), I loved the slow build of the show, and the characters who defied expectations for their archetypes. I maintain that although Hyouka demonstrated a love for the literary mystery genre, it was at core about an unconfident young man slowly coming into his own, and it handled that aspect with aplomb.
As for Aquarion EVOL, I don’t have much of substance to say about it. I avoided it at first, memories of folks howling in pain during the airing of Genesis of Aquarion still strong in my mind. But I caved eventually in the face of others’ love for it, and am very glad that I did. Aquarion EVOL is incredibly cheesey, had characters I loved, and had some serious moments that possessed legitimate depth. I described it as the lovechild of G Gundam and Mai-Otome, and I stand by that descriptor.
I talked about Another recently, so I won’t get too much into it. I blasted through it in two days after having previously (and angrily) dropped it after two episodes when it aired. What a ridiculously entertaining show!
And, finally, Symphogear, which I STILL haven’t reviewed. It was far and away the gayest show that aired this year; GAYEST… as in MOST HOMOSEXUAL. Despite having no overtly gay characters! You could also call this ‘camp’. Wow. So campy. Also: Murder Volcano. I can’t wait for the second season.
I can’t make a bottom five list because I don’t finish watching shows I hate (…typically). I did rage hardcore at most of Fate/Zero S2, so that would be in there, but I liked the remainder of the shows I finished this year. To try to rank them in the bottom with F/Z S2 would imply a dislike of them, so, that’s out.
So, what about all the other shows I finished/watched this year which aired in previous years? They were 009-1, Superdimensional Romanesque Samy: Missing 99, A Restaurant of Many Orders, Harbor Light Monogatari: Fashion Lala yori, Harukoi Otome, Mad Bull 34, Phi Brain S1, Shigofumi, and Star Driver. I disliked Romanesque Samy and Shigofumi, loved A Restaurant of Many Orders, felt very mixed about Star Driver (most of first half is garbage, second half drops a lot of the annoying factors and ups its game completely), and liked to felt indifferent about the remainder. The only must-watch one is A Restaurant of Many Orders, primarily due to its art design; reminded me more of the likes of Maurice Sendak than of anything in anime.
And what anime did I think was worthy of my collection this year?
- Peach Girl
- UN GO
- Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae/Hell Girl: Three Vessels
- Maria-sama ga Miteru season 1-4
- Vampire Princess Miyu OVA
- Blood Reign
- MD Geist (five copies!)
- G Gundam
- Nabari no Ou
- Strawberry Panic
- Big O (I and II)
- Cowboy Bebop
- Mai-Otomoe 0 ~S.ifr~
- Samurai Champloo
- Taisho Baseball Girls
- Cybernetics Guardian
Those with an asterisk are shows I have already re-sold, as I did not like them and so did not wish to retain them. I actually re-sold a decent chunk of my collection this year, to include the ADV Sailor Moon Season One boxset… which kind of hurt, but was financially a sound decision (I bought it back in 2004 for $75, sold it for $200). I’m expecting that the license issue with Sailor Moon will end up getting shaken out in 2013 because of the new series, and its best to sell high (and I had to fix my truck’s door), so, well, there you have it.
And here’s my best whack at listing the manga I picked up this year:
- 12 Days
- Twin Spica vol. 12
- About Love
- Butterfly of the Distant Day
- Miss Me?
- Call Me Princess
- Double Cast
- In These Words
- Just a Girl (1 + 2)
- Let’s Stay Together Forever
- The One I Love
- Onwards Toward Our Noble Deaths
- Men of Tattoos
- Seven Days (1 + 2)
- Kobato vol. 5 + 6
- Chi’s Sweet Home vol. 8
- Wandering Son vol. 1 – 3
- Lizzie Newton: Victorian Mysteries vol. 1
- Girl Friends Omnibus 1
- Karakuri Odette vol. 1 – 3
- Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus 1
- Crimson Snow
- Saint Tail vol. 1 + 2
- The Man I Picked Up
- Samejima-kun and Sasahara-kun
- Kamisama Kiss vol. 1 – 9
- Sand Chronicles vol. 1 – 4
- Only Serious About You vol. 1 – 2
- Dragon Girl Omnibus 1
- Kitchen Princess Omnibus 1 + 2
- A Devil and Her Love Song vol. 1
- Alice the 101st vol. 1
Pretty sure that’s it, but the movement of manga into my collection and back out again has been high this year. I’ve already ditched a good number of the ones I have listed, but am too lazy to actually check the shelves (and the drawers… and the cabinets…) for which ones are gone. I can tell you, though, that In These Words Vol. 1 is gone, gone, gone, and that I felt no sadness at having ditched it before the price shot through the roof, because that was one hell of a repulsive manga. I just wanted it out of my home, and fast.
And that’s all I have, bros, that’s all I have. I’ll probably finished Witch Hunter Robin before the year clocks out, and probably Bihada Ichizoku as well, but that doesn’t change much, does it? And if the world ends Friday (it won’t), I’ll be glad that my final NFL game was watching Mark Sanchez throw four interceptions against a team that was 4-9 for the season.