Hoshiko’s Best Anime 2012

Jormungand

My annual best anime post has returned! Strangely though, I have hard time writing this post. It’s almost as if the anime this year is not that memorable. That’s not a good sign. Granted, I was drifting in and out of what I call the “anime mode” (indulging in anime) due to work-related projects. Still, it shouldn’t be hard to recall a good anime right? Right??

Anyway, the list below consists of anime completed this year. So it means, the anime could’ve started during Autumn 2011 but completed Winter 2012.

Chihayafuru

Chihaya

While I might’ve trouble listing out five good anime from 2012, I didn’t find it hard to give the number 1 spot to sports/game anime, Chihayafuru. Chihayafuru, in my opinion, has a very good narrative. It’s directed in a way that the story flows and everything falls into the right place at the right moment. It’s the kind of series that’s hard to put down once I got started. It has that pulling power.

I’m not into poems and stuff, and it doesn’t really matter if I like them or not. Heck, I didn’t know the existence of karuta before watching the series. At the end of the day, Chihayafuru focused more on friendships, characters and their passion towards karuta as well as their goals. Sure, it’s going to throw in a few things about the game itself here and there, but I assure you, you won’t be lost.

Since I love music oh so much, having awesome soundtrack inevitably make an anime stands out a little more. There are a lot of movies that I identify with the soundtrack more than the story. Needless to say, I spent a good few months repeating the soundtrack on my playlist. So soothing. My friend told me it’s such a relaxing soundtrack and that she almost fell asleep in my car. Hmm…come to think of it, I hope she meant that in a good way…

Ano Natsu de Matteru

I watch a lot of romantic comedy series this year, and found this to be the best. It doesn’t matter if it involves an alien, which by the way isn’t green with humungous pair of eyes. The pacing of series works for me and most importantly, it’s hilarious. Do you guys (who have watched the series) still remember Lemon?! She did a wonderful job of making Ano Natsu de Matteru all the more enjoyable. We all know good romance and many funny moments are the must-have ingredients of romantic comedy and Ano Natsu de Matteru blended the two in perfect harmony. It raised the bar of romantic comedy series.

What I like the most is that even with a string of unrequited loves here and there, I wasn’t bogged down by complexity of relationships. The boy-girl relationships and test of friendships were kept nice and simple.

Sakamichi no Apollon

Sakamichi no Apollon

Music. Didn’t I just say having good music made a series stands out a little more? I love Sakamichi no Apollon for its jazz and the glorious yesteryears. However, if a series has good music and is without a decent story to tell, that would be bad right? In that sense, this coming-of-age series provided a fun ride. I enjoyed seeing how Kaoru slowly opening up his closed heart, discovering love, music and making lasting friendships along the way. Music was of course the best part.

Jormungand

jormungand

Koko is an unforgettable character. I can’t say the same to a lot of characters so that’s something. Besides, she has this unforgettable song that’d, without warning, creeped into my head if there’s any mention of “Koko”, “Coco”, “Cocoa”…I think you can already imagine it. Oh, so catchy! Having said that, what made this series stood out from the other series I saw this year is the characters. I’m not only talking about Koko but also Jonah, the solider boy.

Jormungand is action-packed and usually action-oriented series stops at that. This is different in the sense that it has some of the most interesting characters of the year. I always believe in having good characters to build a story. Even if the entire storyline falls short, having memorable characters can do wonders. Jormungand has that, in my opinion. It might be the “victim” of current trend and was split into two short seasons, I’m happy that the second season didn’t fail to make the same impact as the first. Some series just wilted away from my mind when the second season aired.

Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb

Hidamari Sketch

Slice-of-life isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s mine. I appreciate this light-hearted, fun-filled series. It’s great to see Yuno and her friends again after a while. It’ll be great to see them again, hopefully soon. What I enjoy most this season is how the characters are beginning to envision their future together now that Sae and Hiro, the seniors, will be graduating. I’d love to say that sometimes it’s series like this that prompt us to cherish our seconds of our lives, continuing making wonderful memories of our own.

Hidamari Sketch is dear to my heart, and it’s a series I’ll be keeping an eye on for a long time. There isn’t a lot of series I can say the same about.

Alrighty then. These are my five favorite series from 2012. What’s yours?

P.S The first picture was only there because I didn’t know where this screenshot best fit. C’mon, the girl has a priceless face and it’d be a waste not to use it anywhere.

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22 thoughts on “Hoshiko’s Best Anime 2012

  1. My top five are Hyouka, Fate/Zero, Sakamichi no Apollon, (undecided) and (undecided) :p Actually I just can’t seem to choose one which I liked best from the three. Had you watched Hyouka? Like you said, having memorable characters can do wonder and Hyouka’s characters are awesome 😀

    • Haha, having problems populating a top five?

      Unfortunately no, I have not watch Hyouka. I might’ve seen the first episode but didn’t get back to it. I heard a lot of good things about it though.

      I was considering Fate/Zero while populating the list. While I enjoy the first half immensely, I can’t say the same for the remaining half. In terms of action and stuff, that series has many good moments.

  2. I haven’t watched a lot of series this year so I couldn’t really pick my favorites. ^^;

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on various series. Hopefully I’ll get to watch even a few of them. Happy holidays and all the best this new year!

    • And thank you for reading =).

      Happy holidays and I wish you all the best for year 2013 too! Oh boy, it’s coming in a couple of days time. Time surely flies!

  3. Unfortunately I only watched Ano Natsu from your list, without wanting to sound rude, for me this was one of the more forgettable animes this year 😀 The maincharacter was so boring 😦

    I feel really drawn to Chihayafuru after seing that single captured frame and reading your impressions afterwards ^_^. This title is on my list now.

    Hmmmm my favorites, wait I’ll have a look at my anime posts first. Most longrunners did dissapoint me in this year, Anyway here is my top five.

    1. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, I loved this cute, weird and creative anime the most.
    2. Kyoukaisenjou no Horizon II, quite epic and addicting.
    3. Hyouka , not the type of anime I like in general, but I liked it a lot.
    4. Mouretsu Pirates
    5. Nisemonogatari

    • Awww…well, they don’t have that memorable characters, I grant you that. It’s just that for me, the romance and comedy were good. Very good.

      It’s always nice to know that something I wrote prompts others to start watching! I highly recommend Chihayafuru! Better start watching now since the second season starts next month. Hehe.

      I only saw Nisemonogatari from your list. It’s not that I don’t like the show. Maybe I had my expectation running a little too high seeing how awesome Bakemonogatari was, so I was disappointed a little.

  4. I haven’t seen Chihayafuru so I can’t comment on if it’s better or not, but I’m happy to see that you liked Ano Natsu too. Considering Onegai Teacher and Twins were only slightly above average, I was surprised at how good Ano Natsu was.

    My top 5 of the year are:
    1. Fate/Zero
    2. Sword Art Online
    3. Ano Natsu de Matteru
    4. Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita
    5. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? of the Dead

    • I have never watched Onegai Teacher and Twins before, but now that you put it that way, I don’t know if I’m up for watching them anymore. I’d think AnoNatsu raised the bar pretty high with what they did. It’s quite an accomplishment in an industry filled with romantic comedies.

      Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita must be really good seeing how it appeared in many of the 2012 top list I’ve already read this year. Tempting, tempting.

  5. If you had posted this list a few weeks ago, I would’ve balked at Chihayafuru.

    “What!? A shojo anime with sparkly scenes and impossibly huge eyes? C’mon…” would’ve been my first reaction. But now, after watching the anime’s heart-warming friendships, gut-wrenching matches and the tenacity of Chihaya, I can grasp your hand and say: “Good show, Hoshiko, good show.” =)

    I still have 13 episodes to go and since I bet with Tofu to watch them all…*whips out pillow for long night* (=_=”)

    Sakamichi had great music and an amazing setting in post-war Okinawa, but I wish the ending was less depressing a bit. Still, Sentaro and Kaoru’s two legendary jams (at the festival and the church) still rank as the most awe-inspiring anime moments of 2012 for me.

    Hidamari Sketch has yet to grow on me, but I find their jokes to be quite charming and relatable at times. The Madoka-esque designs really help too. I’ll have to catch up with it ASAP though…

    I haven’t watched AnoNatsu and Jormungand before, but I just *might* in the future.

    After I watch Evangelion, Ghost in the Shell, Hakuoki, etc. first though. 😄

    Btw, here is my Top 5:

    1. Chūnibyō Demo Koi ga Shitai!
    2. Robotics;Notes
    3. Girls Und Panzer
    4. Hyouka
    5. Sakamichi no Apollon

    • I understand sometimes we have a pre-assumption of what a series might be like because of the genre and because of the art (mostly viewed as a representation of what an anime might be like). Most of the times we are right >.<. But sometimes they surprise us by being better than or nothing as expected.

      I'm okay with Sakamichi no Apollon's ending. It's not that bad. I only feel sad that Ritsuko must've felt a bit left out by the bond Sentaro and Kaoru shared.

      Haha, reading your list also made me consider adding some to my ever-growing to-watch list. Especially Hyouka. I still wonder why I never go back to the series after the first episode.

      • Ah…and that’s why I’m in love with it! There’s so many anime that there’s bound to be a surprise in store somewhere. (^_^)

        Likewise. Everybody except Jun and Sentaro’s ex lost at the end. Still, I liked the open-ended finale-it left the possibility of them getting back together, however slim it may be.

        I feel your feels, man. Although the sheer number of anime can be a blessing, it’s also a curse when you can’t watch them all. (T_T) Hyouka had a great first arc, but it petered out at the end. I’d still watch it just for the (hardly original, but soothing) OST and KyoAni-quality animation.

        • How true. It’ll too boring if they’re all predictable.

          Now that you mentioned it, I’m happy for Sentaro’s ex, really. Especially seeing how hard she fought for Jun. Quite a fighter that lady >.<.

          Well, I don't think I can watch them all. It's impossible, even if I'm not studying or working. The amount of anime recommended by the many people I've met through this online community is just huge.

  6. I was thinking of doing my on top anime of 2012 but then I remembered, I haven’t finished like 5 or 6 anime or so this year. So i’ll be finishing it before I make mine. Great list thanks for reminding me how good Ano Natsu de Matteru is. Probably will make its way to my top 10 best anime post.

    The anime I like in 2012 would be Kuroko no Basuke, Sakamichi, Fate/Zero, Nisemono, Jormungand, Persona 4, Ano Natsu and some other undecided anime.

      • Yes, very busy, it’s the last busy semester before I go for internship and the rest will just be final projects.

        Yes! Watch it! It’s really good. Or save it later. Time it right and you could continue season 2 of Kuroko no Basuke 😀

        • Good luck on those tasks you have in stored for you =).

          Whoa, I gotta thank you for giving me the heads up on the second season. Completely missed the announcement. I shouldn’t take my own sweet time if I want to catch the second season on time.

  7. Pingback: Best Anime Series of 2013 – Meta Analysis From around the Web « Blue Sweater Story

  8. Pingback: Best Anime Series of 2012 – Meta Analysis From around the Web « Blue Sweater Story

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