Sad to say that this year, I didn’t stay up-to-date on my anime viewing as much as I should have. As big an otaku as I am, I got kind of behind on all the new titles that were released in 2013 and spent most of the time playing catch up on some of last year’s popular shows. However that is not to say that there weren’t some real good animes to come out this year! From the few that I did see, such as Beyond the Boundary, Psychopass and Blade of Tempest, I would have to say that 2013 rolled some of the best show I’ve seen in a long time.
However, with every hit there is bound to be a few misses here and there. For this review, I’m going to talk about my picks for this years best and worst animes to be released this year. Expect a pretty short list of course, so here’s hoping that new year, I’ll get my butt into gear and start overdosing on every new titles out there.
Perhaps my number one pick of Best Anime of 2013 shouldn’t come as any surprise to anyone when consider the level of attention it generated from both the public and fans alike.
Attack on Titan was most definitely this year’s most talked about and most hyped anime of 2013. Beginning as a relatively unknown manga from an equally unknown writer of Hajime Isayama, Attack on Titan exploded on the scene with a powerfully gripping plot the likes I had only seen on such dramas series like The Walking Dead. The story of mankind on the brink of extinction due to the presence of colossal, mindless giants whose seemingly soul purpose is to devour humans was terrifying enough, but this series pulled no punches in showing just how dark and bleak the world is with the no-holds-barred showcasing of character death in just about every episode. Just like with The Walking Dead, you quickly learned that you really couldn’t get used to anybody because there’s always a chance that the person you spent the better half of three episodes getting to know could be dead and gone by the time the show ends. The not-knowing was part of the thrill of watching; not-knowing who was going to make it, not-knowing the origin of the Titans themselves and the not-knowing what kind of secrets every character seemed to be hiding.
The characters are all likeable and relatable. You find yourself rooting for someone and by the time that one episode is over, you’re keeping your fingers crossed that they live long enough to see how it all ends.
From the gorgeous art style to the truly exciting action sequence and the blood pumping soundtrack, Attack on Titan was everything that fans was looking for in an anime that could get everyone excited about the genre. With 25 episodes, an OVA and video games planned to be released, this is the one anime I can safely say I watched again and again for the majority of 2013.
Even with some of the best animes that came out in 2013, there were others that didn’t quite make it in my book. Here’s my choice for Worst Anime of 2013.
Oh Diabolik Lovers…you just missed the mark.
For anyone who knows me well enough, knows my guilty pleasure of unadulterated, pure shameless shojo. If it’s reverse harem in any way, I’m all over it like butter on hot popcorn. So when I came across this shojo anime about vampire pretty-boys, my instant reaction was: anime Twilight. And I was right. Regrettably so, it seems. The story of a young girl shipped out to live in a big spooky mansion that is home to six vampire teens seemed like something I could venture in. However, where I was expecting romance, I was instead treated to a rather uncomfortable 12 episode series that tittered so close to the edge of a public service announcement about abusive relationship. The premise of the show, as I said, is of a young girl who is mysteriously set off to live in a strange mansion with equally strange residents. The other people living in the mansion are vampires who are not at all happy to have a stranger living with them, and in every single episode, they make that point abundantly clear with their constant verbal and physical abuse of their female guest.
Being vampires, the boys forcibly drink from her in ways that you as the viewer are screaming at the screen “NO MEANS NO!” They verbally abuse her with degrading names. One character going as far as giving her the nickname “Bitch-chan”. It’s later revealed in the episode that the girl was sent there to serve as a sacrifice (big surprise) and the boys have no problem in making sure that the girl knows that they don’t care for her life by any means.
Aside from the truly unlikeable characters, the anime itself isn’t that good. The story suffers from very little to none progression whatsoever. With just 12 episodes, this isn’t much time to really get to know the characters and, sadly, two thirds of the show is used to showcase each character’s abuse. It certainly doesn’t help that each episode is just fifth teen minutes long! How exactly are we supposed to get to know any of these, let alone like them, when fifth teen minutes is all we get? And it’s fifth teen minutes of seeing what horrible people everyone in the show is? By the end, the boys still don’t like the heroine any more than they had in the beginning, and yet she choices to stay in some strange from of Stockholm Syndrome.
From what I’m told, this anime is based off a popular otome game and is supposedly has a much deeper story line with richer, more thought out characters than what was translated into the actual show. If that was true, then why wasn’t that the focus of the show rather than the uncomfortable, messed up, dark train wreck that was Diabolik Lovers the anime? In the end, I couldn’t like this anime at all. Despite the eye-pleasing art work and animation, seeing a romance where no one really liked each other by the time it was over wasn’t exactly what I call enjoyable.
Here’s to you 2013! Thanks again for the all the great animes and here’s hoping that 2014 brings more giant robots, attacking titans, and shameless shojo for me to enjoy!