Winter 2013 Overview

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The Winter 2013 season was an atrocious one; there was barely anything worth watching. I mean, it was to be expected; Winter and Summer are always the two seasons that suck the most in the year, but usually there is at least one thing new and unexpected that shatters the expectations and the minds of all. Nothing of that happened this season though; the only shows that came out that were worth a damn were sequels.  At least we were fortunate enough to have had a great Fall 2012 season that gave us the second half of many 25-episode shows. Psycho-Pass and Shinsekai Yori were by far the best shows of the season, the two of them making their way into my personal category of “Shows of the Decade”; usually, only 2 or 3 shows each year makes it in this category, and this time we had two of them play at the same time.

Me and Myst decided to make a list of our best shows which ended last season; we compiled both lists together and created this Top 5 of the best Shows of Winter 2013. Obviously, only the shows we actually watched until the end were compiled into this list, but we did include shows which we didn’t cover on the blog.

No.5  Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic

flying carpet

This story is about the flow of fate and the battle to keep the world on the right path. Aladdin is a boy who has set out to explore the world after being trapped in a room for most of his life. His best friend is a flute with a djinn in it named Ugo. Soon enough, Aladdin discovers he is a Magi, a magician who chooses kings, and he was born to choose kings who will follow the righteous path, battling against those who want to destroy fate. Follow his adventures as he meets others from 1000 Arabian Nights, like Ali Baba and Sinbad, and fights to keep the balance of world in check! (myanimelist)
 

Magi is definitively out there as one of the most fun and refreshing shounen out there. It has the drive and feeling of Naruto/Bleach/One piece and therefore it is a show which is fun, imaginative and available for a vast audience. I recommend it for just about anyone.

 First Impression

No.4 Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

the gang

The Neighbor’s Club—a club founded for the purpose of making friends, where misfortunate boys and girls with few friends live out their regrettable lives. Although Yozora Mikazuki faced a certain incident at the end of summer, the daily life of the Neighbor’s Club goes on as usual. A strange nun, members of the student council and other new faces make an appearance, causing Kodaka Hasegawa’s life to grow even busier. While they all enjoy going to the amusement park, playing games, celebrating birthdays, and challenging the “school festival”—a symbol of the school life normal people live—the relations amongst the members slowly begins to change…
Let the next stage begin, on this unfortunate coming-of-age love comedy!!(MAL)
 

This is a second season, so it is obviously not for everyone, but Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai is a fan favorite of many people, and the show has constant doujinshi coming out as proof of the attention it receives from fans. A great comedy, awesome ecchi, good harem and overall just a solid story considering all the previously mentioned genre category it belongs to. The show is easy to watch and is fun to do so.

First Impression

No.3 Bakuman Season 3

bakuman mashiro

Moritaka Mashiro and Akito Takagi have come a long way since they started making manga in middle school, but trials still await them as they head towards their goal of getting an anime adaptation for one of their manga. As they continue to grow as artists and as people, they will be faced with new friends, new rivals, and new hurdles to overcome.(MAL)
 

This is a third season, so here again this show is not something that anyone could watch unless you had previously seen the two previous seasons. Bakuman is from the same author as Death Note and, while no one ever dies, it is still a solid and interesting show. While it might be difficult to start from the beginning because of the length (75 episodes) the adventure was well worth the watch. This show might not be for everyone, but once you get into it, you’ll never stop watching. This third season paired with the other two make this series definitely worth being in the Top 5.

First Impression

No.2 Psycho-Pass

kogami pissed

The series takes place in the near future, when it is possible to instantaneously measure and quantify a person’s state of mind and personality. This information is recorded and processed, and the term “Psycho-Pass” refers to a standard used to measure an individual’s being. The story centers around the “enforcement officer” Shinya Kougami, who is tasked with managing crime in such a world.In the future, it is possible to quantitatively measure a person’s emotions, desires, and every inclination. In this way, it is also possible to measure a person’s criminal tendency factor, which is used to judge criminals.This is the story of a team of policemen dedicated to maintaining public order. Some of them work in the Enforcement Division, responsible for the apprehension of criminals, while others belong to the Supervisory Division which oversees their colleagues in Enforcement.(mal)
 

 Psycho-Pass was one of the best shows of the season and, as was said previously, the show falls into my “Anime of the decade” category; it is an action packed science-fiction that has everything to please the crowd. While the ending is quite open ended, it leaves room for a second season to follow. This show is really easy to pick up and the awesomeness will simply keep on increasing until you reach the end. I’d recommend it to everyone.

First Impression/Final Impression

No.1 Shinsekai Yori

saki bright sky

A millennium from now, in Japan, exists a utopia. The Protagonist, Saki Watanabe, lives in an idyllic village barred from the outside world. Her world is ruled by the people who possess the “gods’ power” of psychokinesis. After finally obtaining her own powers, Saki enters the Zenjin Academy to train along with five other children: Satoru Asahina, Maria Akizuki, Mamoru Itou, Shun Aonuma, and Reiko Amano.Not all is as it seems, however. In this utopian village, strange rumors about a monstrous cat that abducts children circulate, and students are said to disappear from the academy. The world and its history are much darker than they appear and humanity is on the verge of collapse.(MAL)
 

We already reached our number one anime of the season: Shinsekai Yori is a masterpiece beyond any other we have seen in a long time. The show has a slow start which is difficult to follow, but as the story continues, it becomes more complicated and twisted over time. Shinsekai Yori is not a show for everyone, and it is not something you can simply watch without thinking or questioning yourself. The show is a journey that makes you discover a new world with its characters, and your opinion of their world will change so many times in the show that you might even be a different person at the end. I recommend this show for any seinen lover and everyone who can take on such great beauty and embrace it until the end.

 

First Impression/Final Impression

Now there is one other show that didn’t make it into the Top 5 but which we judged should be highlighted as an excellent watch:

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

The Japanese call them hikikomori—people who’ve become so withdrawn socially that they refuse to leave their homes for weeks and even months at a time. For Sasami Tsukuyomi, who’s attempting to pass her first year of high school despite being a shut in, it’s more than just a word. Fortunately though, she lives with her older brother Kamiomi, who just happens to be a teacher at the school Sasami is supposed to attend. Not to mention, her “Brother Surveillance Tool” which lets her view the outside world via her computer and will, theoretically, allow her to readjust to interfacing with people again. What it mainly does, however, is let her view her brother’s interactions with the three very odd Yagami sisters, who inexplicably seem to have had their ages reversed and have various types of “interest” in Kamiomi. And then things start to get really weird… Magical powers? Everything turning into chocolate? Is life via the web warping Sasami’s brain, or is it the universe that’s going crazy?(MAL)
 

Alright, so the summary sounds kind of fucked up… Well guess what, the show really is fucked up. I’ll admit that when I watched the first episode, I was really skeptical about watching the rest of it, since there was really nothing of substance to the show; chocolate monsters, brother complex, and a hikikomori who just looks and acts boring? It was only when I watched the second episode that I finally understood what was going on, and to be honest I thought the way it was done was really cool. I recommend this show to anyone who prefers originality and “weird” anime, because that one definitely fits the genre; what I liked the most about it though was that there was actually great character development throughout the whole thing. Because it was so weird, because it was so different from other shows and because it was still really good despite all that, I recommend Sasami-san@Gambaranai. It’s not quite ‘mainstream-lovers’ friendly and may be hard to watch for people who have not seen much anime, but it’s definitely well done.

 

This concludes our Winter 2013 Overview; if you have any questions or Top 5’s of your own, we invite you to post them in the comments below!

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