Next up, what follows is the list of anime I watched this year*, ranked from best to worst. This was a pretty decent year for watching anime as far as I’m concerned; the top 10 or so are all very very good series/movies, and are all definitely worth watching. Comments to follow the list.
2. Your Lie In April
3. The Tatami Galaxy
4. Aria The Natural
5. Aim For The Top 2! Diebuster
6. Sketchbook: Full color’S
7. Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid
8. Ping Pong The Animation
9. Hotarubi no Mori e
12. Blue Spring Ride
13. Aria The Origination
14. Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun
15. The Secret World of Arrietty
16. Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu
18. The Garden of Words
20. Aria The Animation
21. Kids on the Slope
22. Tonari no Seki-kun
23. Ponyo On The Cliff By The Sea
24. Aim For The Top! Gunbuster
25. Kyousou Giga
26. Non Non Biyori
28. Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun
29. Full Metal Panic!
30. Waiting In The Summer
32. I”s Pure
• Putting Kamichu! at the top was an interesting decision for me to make, especially given that until I put this list together I had no clear “best” in mind. Your Lie In April hit me much harder emotionally, The Tatami Galaxy was much more intriguing on an episode-to-episode basis, and I rated both of them higher on my MAL. At the end of this year though, I realized I had returned to the world of Kamichu! more in my head than any other throughout the last 12 months.
There’s just something about it that grabbed hold and wouldn’t let go; many of the other anime I watched this year I watched because I was trying to find something like what Kamichu! offered. It has this aching sense of small-town nostalgia that I have been unable to find in any other anime so far. When I think about how much I’ve pursued trying to recreate what I experienced when I first watched Kamichu!, and how no other anime I watched this year had (or, indeed, still has) such a grip on me, I have to name it my favorite.
• Diebuster was such ridiculous fun, and I sincerely believe that everyone who’s into large-scale sci-fi owes it to themselves to watch it. You have to sit through the much less interesting Gunbuster first, but it’s absolutely worth it and it was definitely one of the most enthralling things I watched all year.
• Rec is on there even though this year wasn’t the first time I watched it…I had seen it once before, back in like 2006 or 2007, but had all but forgotten about it until I re-watched it this year. This is an anime that has flown under pretty much everyone’s radar, and were it not for AtomX’s excellent AMV Good Enough, I probably never would have known about Rec at all. But it’s a great anime for romance fans, especially as it’s so short — only nine half-length episodes, so it can be burned through in one or two sittings easily. Great stuff, and you’ll be the talk of the town for knowing about such a hidden gem.
• Blue Spring Ride is pretty run-of-the-mill shoujo, and it reminded me a lot of Say “I Love You” which I watched last year, but I’m a sucker for this stuff so I loved it. I should probably read the manga, too.
• Kyousou Giga: a beautiful disaster of an anime. It has really cool animation, and takes place in a really unique setting, but it is a mess of an anime. The story is told in the most convoluted way, filling in blanks in a completely random manner. Making sense of the story is a nightmare, and while I do believe that if I ever decide to make an AMV with it, it’ll be a blast to do so, I have no desire to revisit the anime for any other reason.
• If for some godforsaken reason you liked Please Teacher, Waiting In The Summer is the exact same story with nicer animation. Except instead of the love interest being a teacher who’s actually an alien, she’s a…transfer student…who’s also an alien! Who’d’a thunk it?