Best of Anime 2012

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on April 2nd, 2013

The Top 10 Anime of 2012 post is finally here! 2012 was a really great year for anime. I usually find myself struggling to pick series good enough to put on the list, but this year I find that I had way too much to put on it. It took a while to filter out some of them. There were just that many good series that came out in 2012.

As usual, this list is only based on what I’ve watched so far and is solely based on my personal opinion. There were a few other series that I’ve not been able to catch up to yet (i.e. Eureka Seven Ao, Acchi Kocchi just to name a couple) so those would not be considered for this list. I may make a separate post on them when I finally get around to watch them.

Also, series that made it to the top 10 in last year’s list won’t be repeated. That said, I do have an addition to make to Shakugan no Shana F, which took third place last year.

Shakugan no Shana F continued to impress pretty much throughout the whole season, being able to keep viewers on the edge and to continue guessing. But the final episode felt more like a forced extension. Personally, I would have loved if they had left the ending as it was before the last episode. There really wasn’t any solid reason to send everyone to Xanadu and leaving the whole thing feel so unsatisfying. In short, I loved everything about the final season of Shana except the ending. Just had to get that out :)


Dog Days’

I enjoyed the first season of Dog Days, although I never expected to see a second season coming along. Fortunately, it did and it continued to follow the same formula that made it an enjoyable watch. More previously known characters were brought into the fray and a few new ones were introduced, keeping things fresh. Will we see a third season? Hopefully!



The concept of using technology to discover one’s talents and assigning them to what they do best is not something new, yet Psycho-Pass takes it to a new height. The plot is hardly predictable and continues to throw out new, sometimes jaw-dropping twists that would have you question who is truly right and who is really wrong.



KyoAni once again showed what they’re capable of with Hyouka – a visually stunning and mentally stimulating series that maintains a casual and almost cute atmosphere throughout. Not something easy to do when you’re dealing with mostly mysteries. We definitely need a second season for this.


Ixion Saga DT

One of the funniest series to grace 2012 is Ixion Saga DT. The art style and animation might not be much to look at compared to the others, but the over-the-top humor, cast of perverted characters and plot, though somewhat insane, works really well together to form a strong and interesting story.


Kokoro Connect

One of the most touching series of 2012 has to be Kokoro Connect. While it may appear hilarious and lighthearted, when it comes down to it, you can’t help but feel for what each of the main cast are going through and admire their friendship. The dark secrets that we each keep deep in our hearts and what happens when you start to view yourself and others from a different perspective – these are all things that we’ve all probably wondered at least once in our lives.


Bakuman S3

Oh no! Bakuman has been knocked off its throne from last year! Not to say that season 3 isn’t as good, but it just goes to show how though this year’s competitors are! Bakuman is still one of the few series I really loved, and continued to re-read (manga) even though it’s over. It hit a soft spot in me and I know others who feels the same.


Accel World

Many of us would yearn to live in a world like this where a universally accepted MMO-like VR world exist. It’s a realistic painting of what the future could be, until you throw in the Brain Burst program. Accel World started off really strong, but hits a snag around the middle of the season during the Seiji Nomi/Dusk Taker arc. Even so, it’s a very strong series that would have you wanting more.


Kuroko no Basuke

There has been many who had tried to reach the level of success that Slam Dunk had with basketball themed anime/manga, but none had come anywhere close for me as Kuroko’s Basketball had. Unlike Slam Dunk, matches and story arcs in Kuroko are played out much faster and doesn’t really drag out. A second season is coming out soon, and I can expect to see it doing even better.


Zero no Tsukaima F

It’s sad that Zero no Tsukaima has finally reached it’s final season. But at the same time I’m happy at how it turned out. The opening arc with Joseph was kinda off, after building up the villain, one would have expected a grander finale. But it’s not like ZnT to drag things out when it shouldn’t be and that’s where it also shines. While some gag elements were repeated, you can tell that progress has been made and often times they do not let petty things get in their way.

Side Note: It could be because of the similarities between the show, or how the main leads are almost the same (down to the seiyuus), but it keeps reminding me of how Shana could have been better if it stops dragging things out like it did or how the relationship between Shana and Yuji’s relationship keeps getting reset to square one.


Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online was love at first sight. I’ve been a fan of MMO-themed series ever since .hack, and SAO just strengthened that feeling. Not to mention that SAO is also the closest thing I’ve seen to what I’m working on as well – in fact, it has become part of my inspiration for it.

SAO is, in a nutshell, a combination of many things I love so there really isn’t much I can do to resist it even if I wanted to. It’s true that there are plot holes and the story could have been much better, but there’s no denying that it’s something I truly enjoyed on a level that’s seldom met by other series.

You may call SAO as being overrated, it just goes to show from the number of fans that there is just something about Sword Art Online that connects to them.

Will there be a second season for Sword Art Online? Only time will tell, but it would be foolish not to considering it’s huge following. In the mean time, if you’re a fan of SAO and have not checked out the light novels yet, head on over to Baka-Tsuki here:
Baka-Tsuki: Sword Art Online Translated Light Novels

Click to view full size! XD



That’s the Top 10 Anime for 2012!

As I said at the start, 2012 had a lot of great anime besides these 10, like BTOOOM!, Code Geass: Akito the Exiled, Another, Yuru Yuri S2, K and Girls Und Panzer, just to name a few.

Will 2013 be just as great? From what we’ve seen so far, and what lurks in the near future, we can certainly hope!


If you’re interested to check out past year list of the top 10 anime of the year, check out the following posts:

Top 10 Anime 2011

Top 10 Anime 2010

Top 10 Anime 2009

Top 10 Anime 2008

Top 10 Anime 2007

Top 10 Anime 2006

And of course, the Top 10 Funniest Anime of All Times, if you haven’t done so already!




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Sword Art Online – My New Love

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on July 27th, 2012

Yes, I have a new love. It’s Sword Art Online. There has only been 3 episodes so far, the story jumps forward rather fast with a lot of holes missing here and there but it doesn’t stop me from loving. every. single. moment. of. it.

I love the .hack series. It was, and still continues to be, an awesome series. It marked the beginning of my love for MMORPG related series. That was Accel World had me super excited. Any good MMORPG themed stories would make me squeal with delight.

Then came, from the same brain behind Accel World, yet another MMORPG themed show. This time, it also features plenty of swords – my favourite weapon. I already knew I would enjoy Sword Art Online even before watching it, but actually watching it just made me fall in love all over again with the genre.

From the tiny bits of information I’ve picked up here and there so far (trying not to spoil too much for myself) it seems that Sword Art Online is only the start of a longer series – with the protagonist Kirito venturing into other VR-MMORPG games after SAO has been completed. With the light novel series still on-going, we might be in for a long and fulfilling ride.

But what if you weren’t a fan of .hack or Accel World? Would you still enjoy it? The only thing I can really say is to give it a go. Unlike .hack, the plot (so far) is much less complicated and moves at a faster pace. It also have a heavier atmosphere than Accel World, where true death awaits you even in a game.

Fortunately, Baka-Tsuki have a translation project going on for Sword Art Online which has gone pretty far. I probably won’t be touching that for a while since I want to enjoy the anime a bit more 😀

Sword Art Online Light Novels Translated

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Peace Eco Smile

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on July 5th, 2012

Thanks to Ben Lee for the tip, apparently Toyota have commissioned for a few short anime episodes called PES (Peace Eco Smile). You can catch both episodes on YouTube (first episode embedded below) and also on CrunchyRoll.

To be honest, it felt pretty awkward and kind of strange with how the story goes but it does have its cute moments. The art style feels like something that came out of the 90s, although it’s probably their intention keeping the theme in mind.

Check out the first episode here. Links to the next episodes are in the video description.

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Top 10 Anime of 2011

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on February 29th, 2012

As the saying goes, better late then never! So here is the very delayed post for the Top 10 Anime of 2011!

Keep in mind that the list only consists of series or episodes that were aired in 2011, and only if the series hasn’t made it during previous listing. New seasons are considered different and can be featured here, unless of course the season has been running continuously without breaks.

That means you won’t be seeing series like Detective Conan (because it was featured last year and there are no breaks between seasons – and also because it will probably be listed as the top 3 every year), and To Aru Majutsu no Index II (because it was already listed last year).

Special Mention

Before we head to the top 10, here are some series which I feel deserved a special mention and is worth watching if you haven’t done so already:

Ao no Exorcist

While the ending was a disappointment, a majority of the series followed the manga close enough to keep it entertaining. Hopefully, we’ll get a re-make once the manga has gone further ahead, something like FMA Brotherhood.


A battle anime where the fight for discounted bento set is as serious as it gets. When you think about it, it can be pretty silly to fight the way they do over food in a supermarket, but that’s also exactly why it’s interesting – because they’re so serious about it!

C3 – Cube x Cursed x Curious

It actually took a few episodes to figure out what C3 is all about. The first 30 seconds oozed darkness, while the next couple of episodes screamed loli and fluff, only to suddenly return to a bloody world. The true strength of C3 lies is the story surrounding Fear, the torture cube turned human and the many organizations out to get her.

And now.. the Top 10 Anime of 2011!

Usagi Drop

If you’re looking for cute and heart warming, it doesn’t really get any better than this. The art style may take a while to get used to, but it also becomes one the strongest points to the series.

Sacred Seven

I have to admit, I find the rather cheesy settings and plot of Sacred Seven kinda interesting. It could be due to the awesome awesome OP, and also the nostalgic feeling that reminds me a lot of old monster of the week series like Power Rangers and Masked Rider.


Working is back with a new season, and thankfully the series is sticking to its tried and true formula with even more new characters. And that can only lead to one thing – more mishaps!

Baka to Test to Shokanju Ni!

BakaTest returns for a second season with a strong start. The first few eps left my stitches in stitches with some of the best gags the series has to offer so far. The only thing that held BakaTest from being at the top is the rather boring background stories that took place during most of the episodes at the middle of the season.


A detective series set in a medieval period surrounded with supernatural phenomenons gave Gosick a really interesting stage. The first episode and throughout the entire first case, Gosick tried to set itself apart from other series in the genre. The biggest problem with it is the ending which felt like it belonged to a totally different story.

Gundam AGE

Gundam AGE is probably Sunrise’s way of trying to get a new wave of viewers to the franchise. The latest Gundam isn’t full of shiny suits or complex politics but a rather straight forward and simple one, much like older Gundam series. Don’t let the rather awkward looking art and animation, or even the rather silly theory of evolution fool you. This is still Gundam at heart, and so far I think it’s looking a lot better than Gundam 00.

Kami-sama no Memo-chou

Kami-sama no Memo-chou is like a present day version of Gosick (minus crappy ending), but have a more realistic approach to it like Conan. Since each arc spans across 2 or more episodes, there were really only a few cases that happened in the entire show. With any luck, there will be a season 2.

Shakugan no Shana III Final

The first season of Shakugan no Shana was awesome. The second season had a bad start which lasted for half a season. Many were afraid that the third season would end up doing the same, but fortunately, Shana came back in the most epic way possible.

The first few episodes were slow but it was necessary to show what had happened in the short time gap and to propel the story from just a simple battle to a full scale world war between Flame Haze and Tomogara.

Tiger & Bunny

Who would have thought a series with a suspicious title like Tiger & Bunny could end up being one of the best mecha series of 2011?

It’s a refreshing twist on superhero storytelling, with a cast of likeable heroes and even an anti-hero that slowly grabs your sympathy as his story slowly unfolded.

With 2 movies coming out, we can definitely expect more great stuff from Tiger & Bunny.

Bakuman 2

The best anime for 2011 to me is Bakuman 2. I loved the first season but it’s during the second season that Bakuman really began to shine with some of its best arcs from the manga series so far. Hopefully there will be many more seasons following this, since there are still a ton of great arcs ahead.

It’s not every day you will find that you’re enjoying both the manga and anime at the same time, but Bakuman is definitely on of those series. It’s interesting enough to get a glimpse of how it’s like to be a manga-ka, and sometimes I wish some of the fictional manga series shown in Bakuman were real especially PCP.

That’s it for the top 10 anime of 2011, and hopefully I’ll be able to get it done earlier for next year’s edition 😀

If you’re interested to check out past year list of the top 10 anime of the year, check out the following posts:

Top 10 Anime 2010

Top 10 Anime 2009

Top 10 Anime 2008

Top 10 Anime 2007

Top 10 Anime 2006

And of course, the Top 10 Funniest Anime of All Times, if you haven’t done so already!

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Fall Anime 2011: Gundam Age (Not Quite Gundam)

Posted by Neko Kyou in Thoughts on November 23rd, 2011

I started watching Gundam AGE knowing full well that it’s going to be much more “cartoonish” compared to Gundam SEED, Unicorn and 00. But I was not all that much prepared for what felt like a serious, more life-sized version of SD Gundam.

So the designs so far hasn’t shown anything that great, with the exception of the UE Mobile Suits, which I thought was pretty cool. The first episode of AGE is pretty much the standard fare of most major Gundam series.

Sunrise has gone a bit nuts with the story mechanics by pulling out the ridiculous AGE system. While Gundam has never exactly been “logical”, it has always been somewhat theoretically possible. But now it has gone more towards the pretty much impossible evolution theory as Gurren Lagann, Vandread and Eureka 7.

The AGE system will not only take enemy data to create new equipments, it will do so within seconds. Plus, it will give the new equipment a name to boot!

What’s really interesting about Gundam AGE is how no one still have any clue who the enemy is, even after 14 years of fighting against them. At some point it would seem like the enemy mobile suits are automated without any pilot, but at the same time, it has also taken actions to suggests that there is someone in the cockpit.

Maybe they’re trying to appeal to the younger kids with its new design while at the same time giving old fans some kicks by bringing back the the weird deformity, weird angles and (at times) a story progression that doesn’t really make any sense – like how everyone seems to be fine with sending a little boy out to fight an enemy the army can’t handle without much resistance.

Since we know that Gundam AGE will span across 3 generations, it would be fun to see who Flit, the current main character, will end up with to produce the next generation pilot! ^^;

I actually do look forward to more Gundam AGE to see where Sunrise will take this. The direction AGE is taking is definitely something that we haven’t really seen before in the past and I feel that if we just let loose a little Gundam AGE might actually end up to be really good. Fingers crossed!

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