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Anime of the Year 2013

At long last I’ve reached the final part of my series for 2013’s anime of the year.  Keep in mind that this is not a ranking of which anime I think other people would enjoy or which anime I thought was the most popular amongst the anime community as a whole.  This is solely my conclusion based not only on how much I enjoyed these series, but also on a wide range of technical accomplishments I observed–from musical composition, art style, plot development / writing and many other important details. But first, a quick summary of the titles I’ve covered so far.  Click the section headers to read each part of my countdown in greater detail.


Akari Awakens

25. Daybreak Illusion

The dragon girls Jormungand, Leviathan and Bahamut

24. Zettai Bouei Leviathan

Tohka threatens Shidou

23. Date A Live

Kuroki ponders how to be popular

22. WataMote

The extended Genshiken cast

21. Genshiken Nidaime


Izumiko at her shrine

20. Red Data Girl

Touma, Haruki and Setsuna get ready for their last song

19. White Album 2

Lucy Yamagami is flustered

18. Servant x Service

Karen, Youko, Alice, Shinobu and Aya in a field of flowers

17. Kiniro Mosaic

Riki and Rin look out the window

16. Little Busters


Koyomi Araragi is still the hero

15. Monogatari Series

Mirai fights off the Youmu in her apartment

14. Kyoukai no Kanata

Raul teaches Fino how to speak politely

13. Yuushibu

Illya transforms into a magic girl

12. Prisma Illya

Miho Nishizumi affirms this tank can fight

11. Girls und Panzer


Tsukiko, Youto and Azusa sit on the Stony Cat

10. HenNeko

Misaka fires her railgun

9. Railgun S

Mahiro jumps in to save Yoshino

8. Zetsuen no Tempest

Hajime transforms into Gatchaman

7. Gachaman Crowds

Sakurasou is gathered to celebrate Mashiro's welcome party

6. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo

Finally the moment you’ve all been waiting for.  The top five and my pick for anime of the year 2013.

The crew of I-401 on deck5. Aoki Hagane no Arpeggio

The pace of the plot never misses a beat and the maritime battles are full of clever tactics. It is a journey of self discovery and of realizing there is always something more to each of us that lies beyond the limits we impose on ourselves.  It also pushed the limits of my preconceptions of what CG is capable of delivering to the world of anime.

The cast of Gargantia on deck4. Suisei no Gargantia

So many great themes flood this anime’s plot, from the nature of morality, the culture shock of adapting from a life of war to a world of peace, to what it actually means to be human.  It is a triumph of our true nature of community over a cold, emotionless system of pure survival and necessity.

Shinseki Yori - From the New World3. Shinsekai Yori

This vision of a society transformed by a change in humanity’s biology took nearly all of our current morals and threw them out the window.  What emerged was a journey through the life of a young woman who saw the worst and the best her world had to offer.


The Demon Lord and the Hero glimpse the future2. Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

One of the most uplifting anime I’ve ever seen–a true veneration of what it means to be human.  You’d expect a story about political and economic wrangling to be the most boring thing you’ve ever heard of, but this enlightening, emotional roller coaster follows the cultural warfare of an unlikely duo set on achieving world peace.

Anime of the Year

Akane takes down Kougami

Department Ministry of Welfare Public Safety Bureau Criminal Investigation1. Psycho-Pass

What an amazing sci-fi action anime.  When was the last time the border between good and evil was this blurry?  I can’t recall a vision of a dystopian future this compelling since Ghost in the Shell.  Everything about it from Minority Report-esque policing of our intentions to the elaborately psychotic ways its villains come up with to show their perverted vision of what society has become leaves your guts aching and your mind reeling.  For me, it was no contest that Psycho-Pass was 2013’s anime of the year.

One response to “Anime of the Year 2013

  1. Eric Sonberg February 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Psycho pass was definately one of the deeper animes last year. It’s one of a increasingly rare breed in Japanese animation. And while I see the close connections in style to G in the Shell, I associated it more with Cowboy Bebop. Mainly the character dynamic being a lot more casual with an underlying seriousness to it and the total Frankness of the animes story and characters. These animes usually don’t sell well, so I respect the studio for making the effort.

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