As 2013 draws to a close we here at UTF like to take this time to reflect on the finer things of this year. The highs, the lows, and everything in between that made 2013 such a memorable year for fanboys and girls all over. During our trip down memory lane we decided to take a look back at all of the anime that was brought to our shores courtesy of the Land of the Rising Sun. After an exhaustive catalog of all the shows, and an even more exhaustive rewatch of said series we have narrowed it down to 5. So without further ado the UTF Awards presents the Top 5 Anime of 2013.
5. Susei no Gargantia
Brought to us from Production I.G. (the same studio behind Attack on Titan) and co-written by Gen Urobuchi (writer of Fate/Zero, Psycho-Pass, and the hit Puella Magi Madoka Magica), Susei no Gargantia AKA Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet was one of the sleeper hits of the 2013 Spring Season.
It tells the story of Ledo, a young soldier in the Galactic Alliance, and his Machine Caliber robot Chamber. After a battle against the Alliance’s enemy known as the Hideauze, Ledo & Chamber are sucked into a wormhole and end up on a massive sheep fleet known as the Gargantia on a mysterious planet almost completely covered by water.
Essentially a fish out of water story, Ledo and the people among the Gargantia learn to live and work together as the young warrior tries to get back home. There are a few well animated action scenes, and an interesting mystery unfolds as Ledo learns the mystery of the Hideauze and reevaluates just what it is he is fighting for. With some superb animation, unique characters, and a great story; Gargantia is certainly a series worth checking out.
“Watashi ga Motenai no wa do Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui” translated in English as “No Matter How I Look at it, It’s Your Guys Fault I’m Not Popular” (you can see why they shortened it), WataMote premiered in the Summer Season courtesy of Silver Link (the studio behind: Baka & Test, Dusk Maiden of Amnesia, & Strike The Blood) and is based off the manga of the same name.
Tomoko Kuroki is a 15 year old high school student who, you guessed it, desperately wants to become popular. The only problem is she suffers from a crippling case of social anxiety. WataMote was certainly one of the funniest anime to come out this year but it also gave us a look at otaku culture and could be pretty depressing at times as some of the things Tomoko experiences throughout the series really hit home. Along with its unique animation style, relatable lead and kick ass opening song, WataMote is a show that will make you laugh as well as hit you where you live.
3. Beyond the Boundary
Just finishing its run a week ago (You can check out our episode reviews on the site), Beyond the Boundary proved itself to be one of the standouts of the Fall Season. The series is produced by KyoAni (Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club) and based off the light novel series of the same name.
Akihito Kanbara is your typical high school kid with a dark secret, not only is he immortal, he is also half human (his other side being a monster known as a youmu). He lives a pretty normal life until he encounters a girl attempting to jump off the roof of his high school. He saves her and his life is changed forever when the girl, named Mirai Kuriyama, becomes a profound influence in the lives of him and his friends.
Beyond the Boundary throws you into its world headfirst with little explanation, but that’s ok as the show slowly eases you into its universe with its beautiful animation and diverse characters who each have their own secrets and fears. With a strong story and interesting turns. Beyond the Boundary is definitely a series worth watching.
2. Gatchaman Crowds
A new spin on a classic tale, Gatchaman Crowds is the spiritual successor of the hugely popular Gatchman anime. Produced by Tatsunoko Productions (the studio behind the original series), Gatchaman Crowds was certainly a surprise hit that came out the 2013 Summer Season.
Taking place in the city of Tachikawa in the year 2015, the Gatchaman are a team of superheroes who protect the citizens in secret from otherwordly creatures known as the Mess. The show follows an energetic young girl named Hajime Ichinose, the newest addition to the team, as she helps them face their greatest threat yet.
The series boasts impressive visuals, some interesting world building, and some pretty diverse characters. While the sentai style action will keep you entertained, it’s defintely Hajime who will keep you coming back for more. The overly hyper and overly adorable lead is defintely the thread that holds all of the charcaters in the story together as they are all changed in some way by her offbeat actions. The show also gives an insight on what it means to be both a superhero and a human being. So whether you’re a fan of Gatchaman or never even heard of them before now, give this show a shot.
1. Attack on Titan
Come on, you guys knew that as soon as you clicked this article that this was going to be number one. I mean how could you not? Even if you didn’t watch any anime this year, this show has been all over the internet, countless memes, gifs, and opening theme covers have spread like wildfire over this past year. Its one of the most hyped anime in recent memory, and it certainly lived up to expectations.
Produced by Production I.G. and directed by Tesuro Araki (who also directed Death Note, Highschool of the Dead, & Guilty Crown), and based off the manga series written by Hajime Isayama; this dark tale tells us the story of Eren Jaeger, a young boy who along with his family and friends have lived within Wall Maria, one of three huge walls designed to protect the remnants of humanity from monsters known as the Titans. When the wall is breached, everything Eren knows literally comes crashing down around him as he watches hundreds of people, including his mother, be devoured by the inhuman monsters. Swearing vengeance, Eren along with his adopted sister Mikasa and their childhood friend Armin join the military with the goal of wiping out all the Titans and saving humanity; but as they encounter more Titans and watch more of their comrades fall, Eren soon learns that the world isn’t as black and white as he first thought and that hope may only be a fantasy.
Attack on Titan was the biggest hit of the year and its not hard to see why. With it’s dark story, superb animation, operatic score, and layered cast; Attack on Titan was certainly a marvel to behold. While the show had its issues with pacing and Eren’s wishy washy development, it made up for it with its dark themes and fear filled atmosphere that made you care for everyone you meet along the journey. If somehow you managed to avoid this hurricane stop what you are doing and check it out now!
There you have it folks our top 5 anime of 2013. Do you agree with our picks? Or are we completely off base? Lets us know in the comments below, give us some of your picks for best anime of 2013, and have a Happy New Year!