So here we are again. I haven't done much First Look reviews for the Summer as far as I can remember, but I'll try to write some Final Notes for selected anime titles before I get to my First Look for the Fall 2013 Season. It's been a real good journey for the Third Quarter and I sure enjoyed most of the anime's I've seen, to the point of having difficulty parting with them. In an attempt to do a formal farewell I've posted my roundup as fast as I could. This is subjective as it comes, so if you don't agree with my choices don't butt in and just shut up.
Best Animation - Summer 2013
From start to finish Hakkenden's character design, landscapes and overall animation is flawless. There's not even a single episode in memory that were drawn poorly. It may not have the best story, but Hakkenden's animation makes it all so worthy to watch.
Best Story - Summer 2013
Novels as sources are the best form of screen adaptation in my opinion. Anime interpretation based on manga and light novels are usually dependent on its marketability and sales. If they are ongoing stories most likely they would either or get an anime original ending, which is something I show no favor of. Novels on the other hand, moves freely without such influences and its story has a more finite direction and ending. Uchouten Kazoku, just like the highly acclaimed Shin Sekai Yori, may not have the best animation, but what it lacks in that aspect it gains in its excellent storytelling. Each chapter builds its characters, unveils an answer, leads us to where it's headed, and solves every conflicts without any stone unturned. If you missed one episode you have to go back and watch to grasp it entirely -- exactly what books requires to its readerships. Out of all the entertaining anime's for this season Uchouten is ahead of everybody when it comes to its unique story and eccentricity, and that's what makes it terrific.
Best Opening Song - Summer 2013
Jiyuu no Tsubasa - Linked Horizon
Where the first OP left off the second season picked up. Linked Horizon did a fantastic job with the song, the arrangements and the band, it's a feat unmatched by any of the anime from summer. Using the big guns with orchestra and choir -- on a grander scale this song defines the epic which is Shingeki no Kyojin.
Best Ending Song - Summer 2013
Hello Especially - Sukima Switch
There are so many contenders for the best ED song, but the one that really stood out for me is Gin no Saji's Hello Especially by Sukima Switch. I love acoustic-guitar driven songs, and the feel of it totally sounded like the series it represents.
Best Original Soundtrack - Summer 2013
Shingeki no Kyojin by Hiroyuki Sawano
Favorite MC - Summer 2013
This Summer season has given me a tough job when it comes to my anime roundup. Believe me I have difficulty selecting (out of the many) favorites for most of the categories, and this one is not excluded from the said confusion. But if I have to give the "Favorite MC" title to one character and one character only then that would be Lance Corporal Levi from Shingeki no Kyojin. This is an obvious hands-down-choice. If you look up on search engines he wins the majority of polls as viewers favorite, surpassing the series lead, Eren Jaeger. And considering that his appearance is very minimal and he has no character development makes this distinction quite outstanding. But in a time where most male characters are just pretty and metro sexual everybody misses having a bad ass and brave face Shounen, and Levi gave everything and more to what we look for in an MC. My heart goes all toki doki for him.
Best Girl - Summer 2013
This honor is supposed to go once again to Misaka Mikoto of Railgun S, but because of the unexpected arrival of this maladjusted misfit named Tomoko Kuroki there was a change of heart. Well, at least mine. Despite of her crazy antics I can't not help myself but love her to bits. There's a part of her that I see in myself -- that makes me sad and at the same time makes being alone less lonely knowing that there is a character representing the minority of us unfit in this cookie cutter world.
Best Supporting Character - Summer 2013
Armin's character did a lot of growing up during the first season of Shingeki no Kyojin. He is the epitome of character development. Because as the series progresses so does he. He used to be a weakling, but he knows how to capitalize on his best asset -- his brain -- and he uses it well. He is the thinking man's character, and while we are hating Eren for his poor decisions I like Armin more and more for showing us that people do improve over time.
Best Villain - Summer 2013
The choice for this category goes out to the character that really got on my nerves this summer, and that is no less than Soun Ebisugawa, the patriarch of the Ebisugawa clan. I want to enter the screen and punch him in the face for what he did to the Shimogamos. He is the shit and the most loathsome. If a villain can do that to you then I think he is highly effective in his role, and that's what makes him the best villain in my opinion.
Favorite Recurring Character - Summer 2013
Touma is actually the lead cast of the main franchise of this series and he is more of a guest starrer in Railgun if you ask me. But this is my blog and I think his role in the Sister's arc for Railgun S makes him a recurring character. He's been popping in this anime from time to time anyway to qualify as one. We all know that Touma is sincerely a nice guy, being nice is second skin to him, especially when it comes with women. But I think it's so damn cute for him to be there for Mikoto when she needed help the most. He kicked the butt of Accelerator, taught Mikoto to rely on her friends, made her blushed and forced the eternal tsundere to baked cookies. Now that's one cool guy.
Most Underappreciated - Summer 2013
I'm sad that this series received such a lukewarm reception. RandomC did not even blogged this one. Along with the viewers from MyAnimeList we felt that this anime did a great job, but is completely overlooked by many. I haven't read the manga where this anime was based on but I think each episodes of the Second Generation Genshiken is truly enjoyable. Being a self-confessed fujoshi I think it is nice to watch a series that depicts the current standing of otaku's of this age and time. We've been seeing a lot of traps in anime and I like that Genshiken gave us a character that focuses on the mindset of one. Overall, this series is a study on society and it deserves a second look for the uninitiated.
Disappointment - Summer 2013
It can be wrong to have high expectations on one thing because in the process you'll be disappointed when it didn't live up exactly to your imagination. Given that this is made by KyoAni I have reservations of including it as a disappointment. However, the last two episodes sealed its fate for me. I've always like the works of Mamoru Miyano, but his role as Rin Matsuoka is just spiteful in my opinion -- he is so damn capricious and spoiled. While Haru's melancholia for Rin is so over the top. I don't mind the slight BL foreshadowing, heck I'm a fujoshi. But I want my guys to be guys, not a bunch of whining girlies. The only male swimmer that played appropriately here is Seijuurou. Gou on the other hand made watching this series worthwhile because of her fun and bubbly personality. There will be a second season next year, hopefully the story will be better and we can get some sense from each characters.
Failure - Summer 2013
Honestly, the Dachshund is so adorable I want to hug him, while the female lead and the rest of the characters are so annoying. It gets worst each episodes right unto the finale. And I don't even need to explain much why this series suck. All I want to do is to say screw it, it totally reeks! Your time is better spent on other things.
Exceeded Expectations - Summer 2013
Compared to Free! I didn't expect much from Blood Lad and I wasn't even too eager to watch it because of the fat breasted female lead. But when you throw in Ohsaka Ryota and the other talented seiyuu's in the mix, with a well constructed script that did what it could with its limited screening, and high production quality then you'll get this insanely fantastic anime adaptation from Brain's Base. It's so fun to watch you'll be engrossed from start to finish, even with just one sitting.
Best Anime - Summer 2013
This is the most complicated, hard-to-do, category for my roundup and what made it more complex is the fact that I've decided to choose not one, but two titles for a change for my best anime. Coming from two completely different genres, we have a slice-of-life and a fantasy/dystopian series that won my heart from last season.
Gin no Saji is my most anticipated series this year and it totally blow my mind for everything that it is. This daily life of an agriculture high school student solves my fix on all things related to rural Japan. It may not be real life, but it's the closest thing we can get from a slice-of-life. A second season will air next year and I'm already looking forward to it
Then there is Shingeki no Kyojin. Although it is not unique with its story and it doesn't have the best animation, but when it comes to adventure and all the works it has all the power to pull every viewers interest. I enjoyed the second cour of this series more than the first one. The female titan arc is so addictive, it's like watching a Hollywood movie or Game of Thrones. Major cliffhanger at the last episode is downright unforgivable, but it doesn't take away any points and would most likely be a curiosity factor for viewers to take a gander on the franchise.