Before I start listing the best and worst anime of 2012 I want to tell you about some anime that managed to either surprise or disappoint me. I have tried to narrow it down to the ones that left the biggest impression on me, because otherwise this list would obviously be huge.
Note that some of these entries may appear in the upcoming best/worst posts.
The orders are random and do have any kind of deeper meaning.
And for god’s sake, just because something is called “disappointing” in some regard does not mean it is bad. Thank you.
Most Surprising of 2012
Amagami SS+ Plus
13 Episodes | Comedy, Ecchi, Romance, School | Anime Original, Dating Sim | AIC | Winter 2012
This is honestly confusing, since the first season was, with the exception of Rihoko’s and Ai’s arcs, pretty boring. But magically Amagami SS+ managed to become a heartwarming series, probably due to being an original anime sequel to the game. This meant much less ecchi, barely any at all in comparison to the first season, and more focus on the actual relationship between Junichi and the girl of the arc.
The series pulled it off surprisingly well, making me smile like an idiot during the whole Ai arc. Every arc may only be sort of an “after story”, but heck, it actually works.
1 Movie | Comedy, Music, School, Slice of Life | Anime Original, Manga | Kyoto Animation | Fall 2011
Who thought a completely original story about the girls from K-ON! travelling to London and doing cute things for almost two hours would work?
I did not.
1 OVA | Comedy | Manga | ufotable | Winter 2012
Out of nowhere came a penguin android that stole my heart. What essentially is a long chase-scene is also the most pure FUN I have had with anime this year. If you got 40 minutes to spare, I would suggest giving this a try.
13 Episodes | Comedy, Parody | Manga | Sunrise | Summer 2012
I have already written a post on why I love Binbou-gami ga!, so go and read that. Short story: everybody hated it, turned out I loved it.
12 Episodes | Comedy | Manga | MAPPA | Fall 2012
Have you not seen Teekyuu? You are probably a bad person. Each episode is two minutes on crack.
Watch and have your head explode in a nice kind of way.
Just do it.
13 Episodes | Action | Anime Original | GoHands | Fall 2012
This series started out pretty bad, but during the final episodes when a plot started to manifest it actually developed into something interesting. While K still is horrible as a whole, it managed to surprise me as it went on.
Most Disappointing of 2012
13 Episodes | Action | Anime Original | GoHands | Fall 2012
…when I started taking a liking to what K tried to tell, it also hit me how much missed potential there were. My feelings towards the series can be summed up as this: I find it shit>I find it shit yet intriguing>I find it shit and disappointing. Damn you K.
11 Episodes | Comedy, Ecchi, Supernatural, Talk | Light Novel | Shaft | Winter 2012
Compared to Bakemonogatari this sequel fell flat. Consisting of only two arcs, the pacing is severely dragged down to the part of being painful. The dialogue was fine and witty as always, but it did not amount to anything except making an already dragging series even slower. While Bakemonogatari mostly was “talk and do something at the same time”, Nisemonogatari does this: “talk, talk some more, talk even more and then do something”.
Damn annoying, if you ask me. Add some anti-climactic resolutions plus increased fanservice and you have a sequel that left a sour taste in my mouth.
5 ONA | Action, Supernatural | Anime Original | Toei Animation | Fall 2012
This is a sequel to the random mess from fall 2011, but it fails to capture the spirit of its predecessor. Instead it consists of five different stories that lack the outstanding and playful animation and is left with absolutely nothing as Kyouusougiga‘s only strength is just that. In its final episode it explains the whole story of the series, but little could I care due to how boringly handled it is.
50 Episodes | Action, Adventure | Anime Original | Daewon Media | Spring 2012
It is not the manga.
Sakamichi no Apollon
12 Episodes | Drama, Josei, Music, Romance, School | Manga | MAPPA | Spring 2012
At first the brisk pacing was nice, giving the series a strong start. But the problem is that it never slowed down and only increased. There was no room for the Sakamichi no Apollon to actually breathe and grow which led to countless of dramatic twists in a short span of time.
This did not work in its favor and started to hurt it halfway through. Luckily the otherwise fantastic adaptation and strong source material saved it from crashing, but it does not change that it could have been so much more.
Eureka Seven AO
24 Episodes | Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi | Anime Original | Bones | Spring 2012
I have written three different posts on why I believe this sucks. It is a mystery how Bones could pull something like this out of their ass.
11 Episodes | Comedy, Drama, School | Manga | Telecom Animation Film | Summer 2012
Behold the art of ruining what made the original good. Change the more rough visuals to generic and cute, destroy the pacing, add lots of microbe facts and remove everything that made Moyashimon a fun series and you have this. It was hard to watch.
I have no clue why the arc was so long when it could have taken three episodes at most. And no, I do not want a third season if it will have the same issues as this one.
Sword Art Online
25 Episodes | Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Game | Light Novel | A-1 Pictures | Summer 2012
In my world Sword Art Online is only one episode. It introduced the concept of players being trapped in a deadly game. Shame it never got more episodes.
13 Episodes | Comedy, Drama, Romance, School, Supernatural | Light Novel | Silver Link | Summer 2012
When good ideas are not realized. It is a joy to see what ideas Kokoro Connect introduces in each arc and a shame to see it do absolutely nothing with them.
Keep the body-swapping, bring in good writers, make it longer and it we would have had a winner. Now it is only fine.
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
12 Episodes | Comedy, Drama, Romance, School | Anime Original, Light Novel | Kyoto Animation | Fall 2012
I liked Chu2Koi at the start. It was a light and fluffy comedy with bits of sweet romance which worked perfectly. But then it added a tragic backstory and unnecessary drama, with an ending that make the development throughout the entire series meaningless. Why did it have to do this when it was not even needed in the first place?
It leaves me seriously disappointed in Kyoto Animation. This is a basically an original anime that only use some assets from the light novel to lay a foundation. In other words the writers of the anime were the ones to fail, much like Kyoto Animation failed when creating Munto, another original series by them.
This makes me wonder how Tamako Market will turn out as it is a completely new and original anime from the studio. We will have the answer next month.
It’s seems K will have a sequel. Maybe there are some hopes of a better development?
We’ll have to wait and see, but it doesn’t really help the first season. Also, I think the second will just continue as the first.
Chu2Koi was probably the best surprise i had in 2012, it’s baffling how can you consider it to be a disappointment… it’s the complete opposite of what you said… it’s starts with weak and stupid characters that sometimes have their funny moments and you see them grow, develop and become actually interesting to watch. With so many moe-ecchi-animes that depicts life in an unreal, silly and even childish way this one was actually self conscious enough to make things a bit more interesting… was it perfect? definitely not, but it was hardly a disappointment…
then again, considering your choices for surprising animes maybe i’m just in the wrong demographics here
Well, each to their own!
To me, Chu2Koi didn’t need the forced drama. I don’t mind character development, but Chu2Koi didn’t really have anything that I would call natural. The characters changed when the plot demanded it and the ending didn’t really resolve anything.
The reason I feel disappointed is because it started good. Light with hints at becoming something more. But it decided to throw the subtle out of the window and go for drama instead. This is why it disappointed me.
I agree that the last episodes could have used more humor, but with only 12 episodes it’s hard to pull off a show that is funny, emotionally fulfilling entertaining AND subtle. Had they had 22 episodes they could have made more slow, deliberate development but with the short span they had to beat the audience over the head with a few things. I think they did the best they could with what they had.
If you thought the ending didn’t resolve anything you totally missed the point – try watching the last 10 minutes again. There are no easy, clear cut solutions in the real world, so it would have been wrong to wrap everything up neatly at the end.
Also, it’s funny how people are criticizing chu2 for including “unneccesary” drama, when K-on! got slammed for being light hearted fluff.
Personally I doubt more episodes would’ve been what Chu2Koi needed, since it didn’t have anything to “flesh out” so to say. Being able to switch between moods isn’t impossible; it just takes great directing skills. Look at Madoka Magica, Free or Tsuritama for anime that can go between serious and non-serious moods. Even K-ON! does great!
SPOILERS FOR CHU2KOI
Regarding the ending: it’s just back to square 1. Nothing about the characters developed except the romance. It was just a simple “and it’s okay to be chuunibyou” which just renders everything in the series meaningless, including Rikka’s internal struggles about how to be normal. Heck, one of the best scenes in Chu2Koi is the most subtle one: “I don’t know what to keep or throw away” when she wanted to be normal.
It was a typical non-ending, not a lack of “easy solutions” considering how Chu2Koi completely dropped that aspect.
END OF SPOILERS FOR CHU2KOI
I like K-ON!, so…
Well, this will be easy:
Biggest Surprises– K: Some people actually thought of this show pretty highly at the start of the season. I wasn’t one of them, since I was basically reminded of bishies and hot guys. I had expectations for a show like that (Arcana Famiglia) and that flopped spectacularly. However, Ep 1 of K was great, and at best, it’s been an interesting ride since. Now, I have yet to finish the series, but for this type of show to get me to complete it in the end, I should be surprised!
Ginga E Kickoff: Another surprise. Was definitely certain I wouldn’t like this anime because it’s supposedly aimed at kids and it has soccer, but I gave it a shot and it has gotten better with each episode (with a couple of episodes I hated).
Biggest Disappointments: Another: It wasn’t godawful, but it didn’t come close to living up to my expectations with it’s take on horror.
Zetman: My fault, but I was really looking forward to seeing this adaptation from the manga. I had great hopes this would do well. I should have realized my mistake when it was listed for 13 episodes. I only made it through 3, and it’s still stuck in my On-Hold list ;_;
I could list a few more, but I wanted to list a few not on your list.
I see you talk a lot about it. Is it really that good? How is it compared to, say, Cross Game? Is it the sport of the characters that is in focus?
I wouldn’t know how it compares to Cross Game, because I haven’t watched the anime. I have read the manga (not all of it, but a decent sized portion of it), and chances are Cross Game is better.
But I find it a solid series to watch each week. You won’t get anything unrealistic; generally everything that happens is aimed to be pretty much the truth about soccer, and that’s refreshing to see. It helps that the characters (you may not like Shou because he’s your stereotypical loud mouthed shounen protagonist) are likable.
Gon has… an anime?
I’m glad I’ve yet to watch Moyashimon Returns. All the signs seem pointing to disappointment.
Anyway my biggest surprise is definitely Jinrui. Never expected anything and now it’s my favorite of the year.
I was as surprised as you when I found out. Too bad it’s not like the manga 😦
And yeah, Jinrui was pretty good! I love the fairies.
I haven’t seen most of the anime you listed, but I agree with you about Nisemonogatari and Sakamichi no Apollon. Those two series could’ve been a lot better, I didn’t think they lived up to the hype.
As for Chuunibyou, I have to disagree. I was getting tired of Kyoani’s slice-of-life spree and was happy to see them go back to their roots with this series.
What are their roots? Key and drama?
I wouldn’t really call Hyouka a typical slice of life series by them, though.
Thank goodness someone agrees with me on Chuu2koi! I’d rather have KyoAni stick to stuff like Hyouka and maybe the Haruhi Suzumiya movie, then the awful melodrama of Chuu2koi and the Key series. Also, surprised to see Sakamichi though I totally agree.
I’m surprised to see someone agreeing! I guess there’s always bound to be someone 🙂
Hmm, I wonder how I’ll react to both Moyashimon 2 and Chuunibyou?
Both are on my schedule. I’ll see.
So you both liked and disliked The K Show. It’s like I said, the show would have been so much better if Agent K were in it…is what I would have said if I had picked up the show. Not yet.
K-ON will rock no matter what. Every K-ON fan knows that. Oh, the college manga is something they want erased apparently.
Took me a while to understand “Agent K”. I don’t really remember Men in Black.
It sucks a lot and wasn’t even needed in the first place. Funny how it ended so abruptly too. To be honest, I have no damn clue what Kakifly was thinking. If it was anything else than “money” or being forced by his editor, I’ve… lost all my respect for him.
OMG,THIS ISNT YOUR POST YOU STOLE IT!!!!!!FUCKER<LEAVE WEBSITES!!!!!
I have no idea if you are the creator of that particular website or not (if you aren’t I’m confused as how you found my site, as my comments over there haven’t been approved yet), but this is my post. Hell, just look at the publication dates.
Yea,i am…these arent your posts…. http://animeshinbun.com/channel/all/articles
i was admin on other sites too,and when i joined them,these posts were on thier site,and i spoke with them, they removed their website,and they gave their content to me…and now i have my own website,i removed that posts now,cause i see you are a real pain in the ass, hope we never speak again….THANKS!
of course that link goes to your site too,cause i cant link from that site i mentioned but they use it too…so im not the only one…..The only chance i give you is that im wrong,and that people stole them from begging and youre right,if thats is right,it doesn’t matter,cause i removed them….
… I barely have any idea what you are talking about, but I am happy to see that you have removed my posts. Now I would suggest proceeding to do the same with your other stolen posts.
I think you don’t understand the problem with what you are doing.
Anime Shinbun is a place where snippets of news, articles, posts, you name it, are published and then directed to the original source. You could call it a way to promote a website, while giving readers an overview on what is “new and interesting”. This is what they themselves write:
“AnimeShinbun is a social anime news site that is part of the NewsBoiler network. NewsBoiler is a network of social news sites, each with a passionate community sharing and discussing the latest news in their dedicated sector. Our passionate community combined with an unique news ranking algorithm, has made NewsBoiler one of the most visited news services on the net with millions of monthly users.”
Your website is outright stealing, however. You steal posts from other websites and call them your own, with no credit to the original source and the likes. You also use the original website’s hotlinks for images, which only makes the original websites slower.
As I said: you are stealing. It is plagiarism.
That is the problem with your website. And that is why you should either shut it down or start over in a new direction.
(the fact you weren’t very helpful (trying to avoid me) and accused me of stealing my own posts isn’t very good either)
I am confused, you know ,i told you my first anime fan site had these posts too… and i was sure that they arent stolen,anyway i did copyed some posts but i credited creators… on thse posts,you are talking about i didnt cause i thought my friends made them…so im sorry if that bothered you dude, have a happy new year, and i might think its my fault
i wasn’t the owner of that site,just an admin…
Honestly, what are you trying to argue? I’m fairly certain you aren’t accusing Crunchyroll of stealing their own content, right? Or Capsule Computers? Are you aware that refusing to remove plagiarized material can lead to your site being shut down?
i removed them all…problem solved
you just insult 2 of my all time favorite anime so use your brain a little the creator wont tell us everthing they expect us to think while watching hayzz really
I’m afraid I have no idea what your two all-time favorite anime are, so… enlighten me? And I’m rather sure I use my brain.
please ban stupid kids like this from the internet… k-project was one of the best animes ive ever seen…
Each to their own! Why would you ban people from the Internet because they don’t share the same taste as you? There’s no fun in that 😉