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Author Topic: 2013: A Year in Review  (Read 9227 times)

Offline ImperialX

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2014, 07:45:18 PM »
Really thought this was just going to be all slice of life-

All Slice of Life? On the Nihon Review?

Dude, you're on the wrong site.

Offline Fumoffu!!

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2014, 07:49:43 PM »
There were some really good shows this year now that I think about it.

Also Shinmaru must be mighty upset that Jojo didn't make the cut.

I think my top 3 shows of the year are SSY, Monogatari S2 and Little Busters: Refrain. I can't really put one above the other... okay I probably can...

1) Little Busters Refrain
2) Monogatari S2
3) Shinsekai Yori
4) Uchouten Kazoku
5) Railgun S
6) Psycho Pass
7) Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
8 ) Servant x Service
9) Kyousougiga
10) Chihayafuru S2

I think what really killed my enjoyment the most of SSY was the weak main characters. Squealer was the best and most human character of the show, the main characters were all bland. If I can't get behind the characters, care for them and actually feel attached to them then it hurts my enjoyment. Monogatari and Refrain both had a couple of characters each that I just loved, either I enjoyed them (they put a smile on my face just by being them) or I engaged with them as a character. I only was able to fully appreciate Squealer in retrospect, which is a huge shame..

Offline ImperialX

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2014, 07:58:15 PM »
I think what really killed my enjoyment the most of SSY was the weak main characters. Squealer was the best and most human character of the show, the main characters were all bland. If I can't get behind the characters, care for them and actually feel attached to them then it hurts my enjoyment.

Quite the opposite. I think one of the main reason Shinsekai Yori really works is because of the "weak" main characters who are really just normal children for their time. The show is told through the eyes of five children who are just as clueless as us, the viewer. If they were "stronger" characters, the whole show would have a totally different atmosphere, and I'm not quite sure it'll be a better one.

Monogatari and Refrain both had a couple of characters each that I just loved, either I enjoyed them (they put a smile on my face just by being them) or I engaged with them as a character.

And both these amazing shows didn't make the list. While Maoyuu Maou Yuusha did.

Gosh. The more I think about it the more sad I become. ;_;

Offline Shadowmage

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2014, 08:03:00 PM »
I'm interested in how this was put together. From what I've read, I would guess each reviewer gets a few nominations, and if enough people nominate the same show, it goes on?

The voting process probably best explains why list is the way it is.   We basically voted in three of the highest impact titles  (basically, there were three titles that everyone voted for), then we had each participant vote for two of their favorite anime. 

As TIF mentioned, Monogatari did not make the cut simply because it was such a well known constant that had its due in two previous articles that nobody wanted to use their vote for a further mention.

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Offline MCAL

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #19 on: January 02, 2014, 08:19:32 PM »
Monogatari and Refrain both had a couple of characters each that I just loved, either I enjoyed them (they put a smile on my face just by being them) or I engaged with them as a character.

And both these amazing shows didn't make the list. While Maoyuu Maou Yuusha did.

Gosh. The more I think about it the more sad I become. ;_;

Actually Little Busters did.

Offline ImperialX

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2014, 08:26:19 PM »
Actually Little Busters did.

Silly me. I guess the more I looked at the list the more I cursed the fact that so many of my favourite shows didn't make the cut, and then I started fooling myself of mistaking what was actually on the list.

Offline Delphinox

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2014, 08:42:14 PM »
Also Shinmaru must be mighty upset that Jojo didn't make the cut.

Jojo was on the 2012 list.

---

Anyways, the 2013 list. The main thing that concerned me looking back on the year was the movie pool, which I've personally thought hasn't been particularly strong for a while now. So it figures that two of my personal reservations with the list are with both of the movies. Regarding ACís particular focus on Satsukiís story in the filmís blurb, I do like the side of Satsuki that the HanaIro film displayed, but it garnered only half of the filmís attention Ė amidst a spate of other happenings in the filmís present-day time, I got the impression that Satsukiís past was kind of left out on an island as something that was merely observed with little real impact or consequence. The Garden of Words was rendered extremely well even for Shinkai, but I thought the filmís turning point drastically cheapened Yukinoís character, and the contrast in tone afterwards had me teetering on the impression that I was watching two different films.

So Iíd personally hesitate to call those two list-worthy, but at the same time there aren't exactly any great alternatives. If those two were to be eliminated, what other movies could take their place? Iím in the camp thatís not about to vouch for 3.0, Wolf Children (hands-down the best film going by disc release) already appeared on last yearís list, Hal hinged too much on its turning point to excel as a whole, and everything else ranged from not particularly noteworthy to just messy. So I donít have a high opinion of the film scene at the moment, but hopefully the new year sees it turn around, especially with three more Ghibli films on the horizon.

Otherwise, the only outright disagreement I have with the list is Maoyuu, for which Iíd have Silver Spoon in its slot. I see that Monogatari Series: Second Season and Chihayafuru 2 didn't make it on the basis that thereís really nothing in general one can write about both that isn't largely a rehash of whatís already been said, so I can understand their omissions, even if I don't agree. Iíd disagree with Titan, but thatís something that has to be deferred to impact on fandom. Besides, what would it be replaced by? Outside of those, there are not a lot of shows out there that I think were unlucky not to make the cut. As a result, Iím not as enthusiastic about 2013 as Shinmaru is in the intro - the field isn't as deep as previous years, in my opinion, and supposed alternates are harder to think of. My thoughts on the year is that it's a plateau year at best - there's not a major dearth of good shows in general, but outside of maybe a nudge for shows somewhat steeped in traditionalist ideas, nothing in 2013 really stands out as unique to the year. The list is fine - disagreements were going to be inevitable. So long as the choices are plenty justified.

Some random observations that aren't really that pressing:

- No ongoing shows on the list, in comparison to last year which had four in Psycho-Pass, Jojo, Hunter X Hunter, and Space Brothers. Most of the ongoing stuff right now I think is more fitting for 2014 anyways, should they come around.

- I havenít picked an AOTY yet Ė that Iíll figure out once I've finished Kyousougiga and Tempest, both of which I've started but not seen through. But seeing as I have Eccentric Family just barely edging out Shin Sekai Yori at the moment (largely due to my personal pulls), I presume that thisíll be the second year in a row where my AOTY doesn't match up with any of the staffís.

- Eccentric Family and Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home mark P.A. Worksís first appearances on any of the year-end lists. I personally thought the main Iroha series got snubbed back in 2011, but opinions differ. No big deal.

- I noticed from a lack of hyperlinks on the page that out of the fifteen anime on the list, only four have been reviewed as of now, which is unusually low in comparison to previous years. I take it itís been a really busy year in other areas for the staff? I know you all probably have more pertinent commitments, so I donít mean to rag on you guys.

Offline Kiniest

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #22 on: January 02, 2014, 08:48:04 PM »
2013 has been a consistently good year but nothing groundbreaking. Shinsekai Yori brought a truly unique dystopian world to anime and made it work through its execution. While Shinsekai Yori was fantastic, I can't say I fell in love with any other show that came out this year, other than Monogatari's second season. And Monogatari's second season was just more Bakemonogatari, but with stronger character development. I believe I only gave four shows this year more than a 7. Although, there were a lot of Fall 2012 shows I opted not to watch. I ought to do so, sometime.

As for the sevens, there were tons of notable shows, such as Uchouten Kazoku, Kyousogiga, and Rozen Maiden. Of those three in particular, the only one I feel like that really deserves to be on the list is Uchouten Kazoku, as it picks up rather quickly and stays consistently entertaining, whereas the other two dwindle near their ends. Kyousogiga got a bit hard to follow near the end of the series, kind of killing my enjoyment. Rozen Maiden's strong point was Jun's characterization, which was replaced by the Rozen Maiden situation near the end. Uchouten Kazoku was just charming and simple, throughout.

There were plenty of charming, well-written shows throughout the year. However, that's just what most of them were. Either charming or well-written. Some shows, like Aku no Hana, chose to break conventions, but breaking conventions isn't enough for me to call something brilliant. Aku no Hana did have problems in its execution, and ignoring its issues for that would be like ignoring Guilty Crown's issues for its fantastic technical aspects (According to everyone else's words. I haven't watched it, so I couldn't really say with much credibility.). Shinsekai Yori was easily the best of the bunch. Nothing else brought so much to the table. Thus, that's my pick of the year.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2014, 08:55:27 PM by Kiniest »
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Offline Marid King

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2014, 09:55:20 PM »
The Maou Yuusha thing baffles me as well, as I had completely forgotten it existed until now.

Since people are posting some of their own choices, I'll join in.

I think the best anime I watched this year would have to include Zetsuen no Tempest, Psycho Pass, Attack on Titan, and Chihayafuru + Monogatari S2, Uchouten Kazoku, Railgun S, and Kyousogiga. Interestingly, all of them are divided into periods of soaring heights or mediocrity. Going through them:

The pinnacle of anime this year for me has to be Kyousogiga, Episode 1. Every strength that the show had was concentrated into 20 minutes of magic that felt like 30. Somewhat apart are Psycho Pass episode 16 for an exhilarating showdown, Levi Squad vs the Female Titan, Zetsuen's skeleton in the barrel puzzle as well as the reveal in episode 20, the conclusion of the team matches in Chihayafuru S2, the two ending episodes of the Nadeko Medusa and Hitagi End arcs of Monogatari, and episode 5 and 14 of Railgun S for pushing Misaka's character to her absolute limits in drama and comedy.Overall, we had about as many outstanding episodes as you could hope for in an average year.

Moving on to the series themselves. For me, that first shining moment of glory in Kyousogiga doesn't make up for how the life of the show slowly seeped away as time went on. Attack on Titan's visceral action was hugely entertaining, and the setting was sharp, but otherwise the show was largely unimpressive. Much of Monogatari, Uchouten Kazoku, and Chihayafuru was forgettable. Railgun S' Sister arc ended.

It boils down to Psycho Pass, and Zetsuen no Tempest. Both could be very intense and thought provoking. It's such a shame that they threw in 4-5 fillerish episodes into Psycho Pass, and skimped on the character development outside of the female lead. Meanwhile, Tempest juggled ingenious mind games, a cast of exciting characters, Shakespeare motifs, hilarious and touching romcom shenanigans, and one masterfully executed mystery. I can't really put a finger on it's flaws, outside of of those elements simply not being present during weaker episodes, and the somewhat deus ex machina ending. Between the two, I'd have go with Zetsuen no Tempest.

 
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Offline Reckoner

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2014, 10:44:46 PM »
Like others said, I or other staff members did not really feel like talking about Chihayafuru 2 or Monogatari Second because they are known quantities. Don't get me wrong, I loved both and they certainly would be in my top 10 for the year at least, but there were other series I myself wished to talk about that before those.

How does 2013 stack up with other years?  2011 was easily the best recent year (Penguindrum, Madoka, Wandering Son, Steins;Gate, Usagi Drop).  2012 didn't have so many truly great anime, but it had a lot of visually ambitious series that were slightly flawed in one way or another (Hyouka, Fate/Zero, Chihayafuru... hell, even Guilty Crown falls into this category if you discard the word "slightly").  2013, I feel, did have a handful of great anime (that I listed above), but I'm not sure I'll look back on it as fondly as 2012, because I don't think it had many series that were enjoyable for their ambition alone.  To this day, I can still rewatch random episodes of Hyouka or Humanity Has Declined and make several hours disappear in what feels like an instant.  I don't think there were many anime that had the same effect from 2013, except for maybe Infinite Stratos S2.

I think if we took out all the 2012 fall carry over series, then 2013 really starts to look very weak at the top. 2013 had plenty of enjoyable series, but I struggle to really find greatness anywhere. Had Little Busters Refrain had a better ending and more episodes, it might have come close for me though.


Love Lab didn't make it, but I suppose it didn't really deserve being up there for Maki alone. I suppose if ServantxService didn't make the cut, Love Lab sure wasnt going to. This was a hell of a year, and awfully competitive too.

I was really surprised about that actually. Not a single pure comedy made this cut. Really, really sad about this. I think the format of the Year in Review needs a change because I feel it isn't fair to omit an entire genre. Many people I know only watch anime for laughs.

I personally thought this was a brutally tough year to make cuts on. I mentioned Love Lab not being able to make the list a shame to the other staff because I thought for its genre, it was really great and even managed to make someone like me like it.

Anyways, the 2013 list. The main thing that concerned me looking back on the year was the movie pool, which I've personally thought hasn't been particularly strong for a while now.

I totally agree with you about movies. Personally I wouldn't of nominated the Shinkai film. It definitely looks amazing, but it was definitely a step below Shinkai's other works. As for HSI, it was still much too flawed and shared the same problems of the TV series for me to like it at all. Very weak year for movies (Wolf Children was very great, but was talked about in last year's article). I'm very concerned about anime movies in the near future.

Offline Pebble

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2014, 11:52:49 PM »
I think what really killed my enjoyment the most of SSY was the weak main characters. Squealer was the best and most human character of the show, the main characters were all bland. If I can't get behind the characters, care for them and actually feel attached to them then it hurts my enjoyment.

Quite the opposite. I think one of the main reason Shinsekai Yori really works is because of the "weak" main characters who are really just normal children for their time. The show is told through the eyes of five children who are just as clueless as us, the viewer. If they were "stronger" characters, the whole show would have a totally different atmosphere, and I'm not quite sure it'll be a better one.

I suppose this is the point where I start viciously and irrationally defending the greatest anime in all of existence.

The human characters in Shinsekai Yori were not "weak"; they were just completely out of their depth. In fact, they were surprisingly intelligent for kids, what with the well-reasoned way they debunked Satoru's bullshit theories(Episode 3 I believe; Yes I remember the whole series by heart), which is especially rare for anime kids. This, if I recall correctly, is what pissed Reckoner off in the final arc when Saki no longer appears to have the initiative she showed when she was off killing queerats with Satoru in the earlier arcs.
In any case, I found the lot, save for Mamoru, quite memorable.
tl;dr: IPX is right.

I am also constantly surprised by how much love Squealer gets, not for him being a bitter, slick and unapologetic bastard, but because people actually agreed with his cause. Let's not forget that Squealer was trying to run queerats through the entiretly of human history, which as was already extensively covered by the show, f***ing sucked, and that for all his claims of equality, he was leading a very hierarchical queerat society, one that would remain hierarchical and exploitative even when the queerats entered the liberal capitalist democracy phase.

As for "Bland"... At this point, I'm kind of questioning what that even means; For all their quirks, I don't find any of the Monogatari characters(save Hanekawa) very interesting for some reason, and the cast in say, Planetes or Gundam 0080 is anything but 'special'. I'd even say that Tanabe Ai is a really bland character, but then I can't really complain about that, not just because larger-than-life characters like Kamina would have been out of place in Planetes, but also because Tanabe is special in her own, really bland way too.
tl;dr: if blandness is defined as the absence of very visible quirks or "differentness", then its kind of a crap way to rate characterisation. Uchouten Kazoku's Benten is quirky; I hate her.

'S also the same reason I like most of Titan's cast; granted, they're almost one and all assholes, and some of them get next to no (good) characterisation, but that adds to the grunt mentality feel of the show that I dig.

I'm actually fine with SNAFU being up there. It was memorable enough, and if the last episode hadn't existed, I would have nominated it too, had I the opportunity. As far as mundane highshool LN adaptations go, SNAFU is king right now.
Maoyu... I never watched it. Although somebody should call Slashe over and get him to defend his choice.

Offline TypicalIdiotFan

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #26 on: January 03, 2014, 12:53:53 AM »
SM already kind of broke it down, but we took the series with the most individual nominations from the various writers here, and then each of us was allowed to pick two other options that weren't already on the established nomination list to review.  Since we were limited to only two, we had to pick the ones that best resonated with us, and that led to a lot of critical chops.

Problem is, I figured there were plenty of "safe" titles that others would pick.  I was mostly right, but somehow there were still a couple that ended up off the list.  Since the remaining two selections were completely our own discretion, some interesting choices got in there.  However, it should be stressed that it didn't matter if the rest of the staff agreed with the various choices.  In the end what each author had to do was justify their position with a strong point of view, and everybody did that.

And, if I may, I think the results speak for themselves.  We're getting discussion on them, which is what this site is all about.  I'm never going to be the kind of pretentious asshole who thinks that whatever AOTY article we come up with is going to be THE list that must be adhered to as a definition that all fandom must measure up to or y'all can go **** yourselves.  I wouldn't want that kind of arrogance anyway.  What I want is for people to make their case and stick to their opinions, backing them up with reason and fact.  Like I said earlier, perhaps it is our own falling out that fanboy subjectivity is less an influence on some of our articles than others.  Maybe it should be, and I think part of this article reflects a much less adherent dogma to technical aspects and more to a personal preference.

And I'm satisfied with that.

*EDIT*

By the by:

Quote
Gosh. The more I think about it the more sad I become. ;_;

If this gets those slackers back to ****ing work, then it was REALLY worth it.
I'm just like you, only smarterô.

Offline P_Spiegel

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #27 on: January 03, 2014, 01:02:35 AM »
Here's Top 20 anime I watched in 2013.

1- Aku no Hana
2- Shin Sekai Yori
3- Space Battleship Yamato 2199
4- Wolf Children
5- Hunter x Hunter
6- Uchouten Kazoku
7- Death Billiards
8- Silver Spoon
9- Space Brothers
10- One Piece Film Z
11- Little Witch Academia
12- Zetsuen no Tempest
13- Hanasaku Iroha: Home Sweet Home
14- Chihayafuru 2
15- Shingeky no Kyoujin
16- Psycho Pass
17- Saint Young Men (Movie)
18- Monogatari: Second Season
19- The Garden of Words
20- Gintama: Last Mission

White Album 2, Rozen Maiden 2013, Suisei no Gargantia, Yuyushiki, Gundam Build Fighters, Girls und Panzers and Tamayura: More Agressive are also watchable. Jojo, Hatarakou Mao Sama, SNAFU, Teekyu and Inferno Cup are shows that I watched and enjoyed but I won't recommend them to other people.
I haven't watched kyousougiga yet. Your Year in review reminded me that I should watch Railgun S, Little Busters and Maou Yuusha too.

Oh, and I hate Watamote.

Thank you for your hard work.

Offline Clicking

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #28 on: January 03, 2014, 02:27:43 AM »
There's nothing in the list that I particularly disagree about aside from Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, which was a bland, incoherent fantasy which tries and fails at tying several threads together along with questionable macroeconomics. Aside from that, I don't have any gripes with the few shows that I've seen in their entirety and there's little I would add aside from Sasami-san@Ganbaranai and Kill la Kill, with the former being a rather controversial pick and the latter assuming that incomplete series carrying over would still be eligible for the running like last year. Other than those, this list pretty much sums up rather well what anime I would consider to be worthy of "Best of 2013."

If this gets those slackers back to ****ing work, then it was REALLY worth it.

You got me good

Offline Marid King

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Re: 2013: A Year in Review
« Reply #29 on: January 03, 2014, 05:10:40 AM »
Uh by Sasami you couldn't possibly be referring to what I think is the absolute worst anime I ever actually finished, eh?

You know, the one where the only thing that I remember is that at one point a female character came in close contact with another's retractable dick?
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