Well, the year is ending, and I’ve actually watched a large amount of anime shows ending this year (over 60), so here is my list of the top 13 shows which ended in 2013. The shows and their positions are factored by how much I enjoyed these shows and how good (artistically, thematically) I think the shows are. Only full shows had been considered, no OVAs or movies of any sort. The names link to the show’s description and information on My Anime List (MAL).
This show is all about atmosphere. An oppressive atmosphere of self-inflicted fear, of being closed in, that one can’t escape. Not much actually happens in the show, but the constant fear of what is about to happen, of what is going to strike our protagonist drives both him and us as we watch the show. It’s hardly a “fun watch”, with each episode weighing you down until you seek respite elsewhere. Its masterful control of psychological horror and how well it conveys Kasuga’s life and the feeling of the town in which he lives make this show one that cannot be ignored, however.
It seems that had there been a second season a lot more would actually occur, and all that happened in this season was merely a precursor, but due to exceedingly poor sales, that is unlikely to happen. The rotoscoping is interesting, but believe it or not, the show I believe is closest to Aku no Hana is K-On! due to its absolute reliance on atmosphere over plot or character development.
As a somewhat older anime fan who’s been watching anime for a while, I sometimes reflect on who is anime aimed at, such as in this post about demographics. I confess to finding myself cranky and cynical, when shows aimed at “adult men” most often depict high school girls being “cute”, and the more thought-provoking anime often end up relying on sound-bytes of philosophy and gore to show us just how “mature” they are and are even ostensibly marketed towards teenagers.
Uchouten Kazoku showing us a rare level of self-reflection within anime.
Moreover, while anime is a medium, it often feels as if proper dramas are sorely missing. We have comedies, romantic comedies, action – both of the physical and of the thriller varieties, and we have mysteries. But dramas, of the kind where we get to know characters, and in more than just the tear-jerking capacity are sorely missing. As such, there’d been a few shows I was pleased with in particular with a few shows I’ve watched this year:
The main cast of the show – there is no one picture to capture the essence of the show.
Shin Sekai Yori/From The New World is a show from last season. While it was airing some people have suggested I watch it – I looked over the plot synopsis, I looked over the synopsis of the first 6 episodes, and apparently very little happened, so I didn’t watch the show. Then while looking for something to watch, I’ve decided to watch this show. And am I glad that I have.
(I’ll cut to the chase – you should watch this show if you feel like watching a really good show, with a good and thought-provoking story, so long you don’t come just for the action.)
I’m going to try to avoid spoilers in this post, because part of the fun in the show is having things revealed to you/trying to figure them out on your own – but the reason I don’t mind not having spoilers in this post is the same as I don’t think spoilers will ruin this show – there are no real “Getcha!” moments in the show, the strength of the show, of what is discussed is in you thinking about it and hopefully having a nice discussion with others about it. The “reveals” in themselves don’t command power, which makes them worthier, not less – there’s actual content and not just a bright flash meant to dazzle us.