2012: A Look Back At Another Year of Animated Foolishness

That's going to get annoying after awhile

PERFECT!

2012 is out, 2013 is in, and all things considered, we had a hell of a year for both established franchises and new shows. It’s particularly hard for me to really drill down and pick favorites from this year’s draw, but since I’m in that end-of-the-year mode, let’s go into my list of shows, characters, stories, and more that I found great from this year in anime.

 
 

Star Trek reference anyone?

It’s so… small…

Anime of the Year – Uchuu Kyoudai (Space Brothers)
The best anime of the year from new series in 2012 that are not sequels/seasons of a previously-aired series

A-1 Pictures knows how to really create something worthy of praise, and with Space Brothers, they turned the subject of space, astronauts, and the distant future of space travel into something really compelling and really interesting to watch. The story is solid, the characters are interesting, fluid, and genuinely part of the story and universe, and the subject matter is every space nerd’s dreams. Any show that really reaches into my head and pulls on some of my strings is worth every minute in gold. Honestly, this show might as well be a spiritual successor to Planetes, even if Planetes was a Bandai/Sunrise show. It’s that good.

Runners Up: Mouretsu Pirates, Rinne no Lagrange

PERFECTO

Now in robot form

Character of the Year – Madoka Kyouno (Rinne no Lagrange)
The best character from any show that premiered in 2012, original or sequel

Rinne no Lagrange was a fantastic show, and if it wasn’t for Space Brothers and Mouretsu Pirates, it would have easily scored AOTY for me as space is the place for me. Madoka was the glue that held that show together, through both seasons and so many adventures, she never breaks character, she never breaks who she is at any moment, when you think she might. I have a list of other characters I considered (which will be available at the end of this post) but as I read through them all, and they all made big impacts on their respective shows, Madoka seems to rise above that in my mind.

Runners Up: Shizuku Mizutani (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun), Yuno Gasai (Mirai Nikki)

Seriously.

About fucking time

Franchise Anime of the Year – Shakugan no Shana Final
The best anime from a sequel/season of a previously aired series, regardless of original air date of the series, but having aired in 2012

We were treated to the final seasons of both Shana and Zero, but of the two, the more full and satisfying conclusion to one of anime’s longest-running modern franchises was definitely Shakugan no Shana. It had a bit of a rough start, as if you aren’t familiar with the novels, the whole “Darth Yuuji” thing is a little confusing, and remains confusing for most of the season, but by the end, the entire final battle and Shana and Yuuji hooking up, you’ll pretty much shout ABOUT FUCKING TIME and flip your Monopoly board. It may not be the best show of the season, but if you’re a long-time Shana fan, you will enjoy it.

Runners Up: Dog Days’, Saki: Achiga-hen

Summer2012previewSP1

Best Season of the Year – Summer
The best group of shows watched in one season, does not necessarily take into consideration the full list of shows in a season

The summer season was, in my opinion, the best of the year. We had second seasons of Rinne no Lagrange, Dog Days, and Yuru Yuri air, the Nanoha movie, Kokoro Connect, Sword Art Online, and much more, along with continued airings of Gundam, Space Brothers, and Accel World. It was a pretty busy season as far as my watch list was concerned, and I haven’t even gotten to some of the shows I missed.

Runners Up: Winter, Spring

SINGAN and DANCIN

I’m sure they do

Worst Show of the Year – AKB0048
The worst show of the season. Period. End of story.

Some may disagree, and you are welcome to, but AKB0048 was just not a pleasant experience, compared to The Idolm@ster. Now, I should preface that by saying im@s wasn’t exactly my favorite show of all time, in fact, the premise wasn’t that great, but it didn’t try to play itself off as something besides what it was, a SoL-themed show about idols. AKB0048 tried to do the same thing, but wield this whole universe and backstory about banned entertainment and such, and it was just… bad. Guilty Crown really should be here, but at least Guilty Crown tried to be good at some points. AKB0048 was just bad. This doesn’t reflect on the musical group though, their talent is solid and they did the Sugar Rush theme for Wreck-It Ralph, so thank god for small miracles.

Runners Up: Guilty Crown, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2

Seriously, why do you do this to me?

I came. Hard.

Hottest Anime Girl of the Year – Shinobu Oshino (Adult) (Nisemonogatari)
The hottest anime character of the year from any show that premiered in 2012, original or sequel

When we were treated to cute little Shinobu in Bakemonogatari, but then in Nisemonogatari, we are pleasantly surprised to find that Shinobu has an adult-side, and she isn’t afraid to use it to her advantage. This was a close category, because I tried to list who I thought was genuinely hot, and not just “the best girl” of all-time, or a single series. However, I did list a couple names that, like Shinobu, turned out to be “sleepers”, especially Coorie. In the end, I had to pick Shinobu on top, because a friend of donuts is a friend of mine.

Runners Up: Coorie (Mouretsu Pirates), Kuroyukihime (Accel World)

He couldn't be Gai, so he chose to be Milhouse.

Bad, bad, Leeroy Shoe, baddest man in the whole damn town

Shittiest Male Protagonist of the Year – Shu Ouma (Guilty Crown)
The shittiest male character of the year from any show that premiered in 2012, original or sequel

While technically this show started in Fall 2011, it finished in Winter 2012, putting our boy Shoe on the automatic Number One as the shittest protag of the year. Besides being a goddamn whiny bitch throughout most of the show, he succeeds in being a giant fucking dick during his “badass emo” stage as well, though he mildly redeems himself at points towards the end. It was hard to really find anyone to top him on that, without Shoe, Yuuta might’ve hit the mark, given his complete ineptitude towards dealing with people like himself.

Runners Up: Yuuta Togashi (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!), Shougo Mikadono (Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru!)

AGE 14-620x

Best Episode of Gundam AGE – Episode 14 (Yurin’s death, Frito’s Rage)
The best episode of Gundam AGE, 2011-2012’s Gundam show

The problem with Gundam AGE is that given the multiple eras covered, we didn’t really get to spend time with a lot of the characters before they either were killed off, disappeared, or turned into different roles in the next era. Episode 14 focused mostly on the attack of the Vagan base, and when Flit encountered Decil and entered a Gundam fight, Decil played dirty and used his X-Rounder power to control a suit with Yurin held hostage inside as a shield. In a scene mimicking Lala in the original Mobile Suit Gundam, her suit is destroyed and she is killed, sending Flit into a murderous rage where he crushes Decil, though Decil lives. Sadly, given how little we got to know Yurin, it wasn’t that much of a tragic death as those of other characters later in the show, even though it remains a part of Flit throughout the show.

Runners Up: Episode 26 (Death of Woolf), Episode 47 (Kio going full X-Rounder)

Hard ON!

Oh it’s hard on me alright…

Worst Hard-On For a 2D Anime Girl – Ayuko Oka (Nazo no Kanojo X)
The worst hard-on I’ve ever had for a 2D girl, and I don’t normally have– oh yes I do. (orz)

Fuck man, Oka-face? Kills me. Every time. I dunno why. It started from reading the Nazo no Kanojo X manga and just escalated into the anime. This category differs from the hottest girl where I tried to be impartial on the former, but on this, this is very much my personal list of who I liked from the shows watched this season. Don’t get me wrong, Mikoto was some fun too, but Oka just takes her shine and runs with it in a different direction. In contrast with my second pick, Mitty, it’s all about being short with huge tits for Oka. I said it. Don’t judge me. =o

Runners Up: Shizuku Mizutani (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun), Chitose Ikeda (Yuru Yuri)

Case 01m

Best Opening Theme – Mizuki Nana – Synchrograzer (Senhime Zesshou Symphogear)
The best OP of the year

Despite the show being lackluster, it really was a vehicle for some impressively awesome music, from the OP/ED, straight down to the character songs. If I could include character songs, both of Hibiki’s would be in immediate consideration, Gekisou Gungnir, and Watashi to Iu Oto Hibiki Sono Saki ni. This was a difficult choice, as there were a lot of OPs I liked this year, especially Shana and Accel World.

Runners Up: Zwei – Junjou Spectra (Robotics;Notes), Kotoko – Light My Fire (Shakugan no Shana), Kawada Mami – Serment (Shakugan no Shana)

Cover 01

Best Ending Theme – Kotoko – Unfinished (Accel World)
The best ED of the year

I simply cannot stop listening to this song. Ever. I was a bit sad the second ED didn’t live up to this gem the same way the second OP met the first OP well. My ED list was shorter than my OP list, but still contained tracks from Symphogear, Shana, and Mouretsu Pirates, though Sakurasou got in on being awesome.

Runners Up: ALTIMA – I’ll believe (Shakugan no Shana), Suzuki Konomi – DAYS of DASH (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo)

FUCK IT. WE'LL DO IT LIVE.

Fuck. I’m going to need to change pants.

Dark Horse – Acchi Kocchi
The underdog show of the year.

It was a lot like Lucky Star, so I think it was widely dismissed among some of the denizens, but I actually enjoyed this show, it was light, it was clean, the characters all meshed together, it was a pleasant way to fill a gap I had in the season that didn’t detract too much from the heavy-hitters. The real gem though, and probably should merit its own reward, is that Io is the motherfucking best male character of the season, hands down. He pats Tsumiki on the head and doesn’t afraid of anything.

Runners Up: Nazo no Kanojo X, Oda Nobuna no Yabou

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Total Trainwreck – Guilty Crown
Maybe not the worst show of the season, but a complete and utter trainwreck, through-and-through.

Yep. Guilty Crown has to win this. You know it is terrible, but you keep on watching it. In fact, my exact quote from my review reads:

 

Guilty Crown is guilty of fucking up every character it touched all the way to the end where Shoe becomes fucking Jesus for the sole purpose of giving you the happy ending he deserved after being fucked over four ways of Sunday by every single character of this show, except Hare, who died a meaningless death so that the writers could push Shoe over the edge enough to make him unlikeable to his classmates, as if he already wasn’t before.
“Shoe Size Blind” Mar 24, 2012 @ 16:27

I think that summarizes it pretty well. It’s just a lot of shoe-horned plot for the sake of being cool. You see what I did there?

Runners Up: Senhime Zesshou Symphogear, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2

[sage]_Initial_D_Fifth_Stage_-_01_[00D85568].mkv_snapshot_02.03_[2012.11.10_12.09.40]

Back In Time – Initial D
Take me away. I don’t mind. But you better promise me I’ll be back in time.

The last time we saw Initial D on the air was in 2004-2006, six years ago, so for one of Japan’s longest running shows to finally return to the airwaves, albeit in a monthly fashion is pretty fantastic. It’s especially interesting to go from watching old, grainy standard-resolution episodes of the first season to new, fluid, high definition episodes of the new season. Hopefully they continue to make more.

Runners Up: Hayate no Gotoku: I Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Shakugan no Shana Final

Finally, we have some blog statistics courtesy of the Counterize plugin:

Most Blogged-About Show of 2012

  1. Gundam AGE (19)
  2. Shakugan no Shana (15)
  3. Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka? (11)
  4. Dog Days (10)
  5. Mirai Nikki (10)
  6. Rinne no Lagrange (10)
  7. Guilty Crown (9)

Most Popular Posts of 2012

  1. Rounders… X (950)
  2. Grandpa Murphy (585)
  3. Recommendations (413)
  4. Ghost Zombie Virtual Assault Rifles (406)
  5. Eighth Grade Syndrome (368)
  6. 1.11 You Are (Not) Alone (337)
  7. New Year’s Fanservice (328)
  8. I Watch Fanservice for the Plot (312)
  9. Summer of Sixty-Nine (307)
  10. Body Snatchers (300)

Most Popular Keywords of 2012

  1. facesitting (730)
  2. sora no otoshimono (716)
  3. anime facesitting (633)
  4. sora no otoshimono ikaros (229)
  5. facesitting anime (227)
  6. omamori himari hot (119)
  7. anime facesit (103)
  8. sora no otoshimono forte (94)
  9. panty and stocking with garterbelt (86)
  10. ikaros sora no otoshimono (83)
A little too much. Image by Stuart Brown.

GOOGLEBOT LOVES YOU

Most Popular Referring Domains of 2012

  1. www.google.com (7224)
  2. www.google.de (1171)
  3. www.google.com.br (895)
  4. www.google.com.mx (889)
  5. www.google.com.ph (795)
  6. www.google.ca (743)
  7. www.google.co.uk (703)
  8. www.google.co.th (627)
  9. www.google.co.id (601)
  10. www.google.fr (520)

The full list of considerations can be found here.

Thanks for riding Air TLDRAnimu for the year of 2012, and hope you stick around for whatever terribleness occurs in 2013.

Fuck no, I ain't going anywhere

Best screenshot of 2012. Prove me wrong.

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