At long last, the time has finally come, once again, to celebrate this year’s top anime; let it be a celebration of creativity, of storytelling and of artistic talent. Buckle down and enjoy this wondrous ceremony!
With more anime than ever being produced these days, it’s become an arduous task navigating through piles of mediocrity in order to uncover the hidden gems within the rubble. For someone who is more interested in seeing directors, writers and animators push the medium to its limits, there was certainly plenty to be impressed with in 2013. As such, I’d like the winners of each respective category to represent what I felt were the best of the bunch.
A quick note before we begin: only the TV shows, OVAs and movies that started airing or were screened during 2013 are eligible. My rationale being that it’s difficult to take into account productions that have been running for years prior, or will continue on for quite some while as, frankly speaking, I just don’t have the time to follow them all. That means there’s a good chance many long-running shounens and kids’ shows will be excluded in the process, as well as a bunch of other seasonal titles I didn’t get around to watching. But I’ve tried, as much as possible, to assemble a list representing a diverse variety of popular works. I’m only human, as they say.
Anyway, without further to do, here are the individual categories and their winners!
In an age where narratives border on spoon-feeding the audience with clumsy exposition, the winner of this category is one that told a beautiful tale in an exemplary fashion.
Best Male Lead
All the girls want him, probably some of the guys as well; a man with a clever tongue, charisma and swagger. He’s just someone who the party desperately needed to avoid going out of fashion. And that lucky fellow is…
Best Female Lead
Amidst the countless illusions, there was one girl who stood at the center of two worlds, hand in hand with others. She had seized her reality.
Nobody likes seeing a bunch of talking heads spouting unnatural-sounding dialogue from a book. Anime is meant to have a strong cinematic language, meaning the winner of this category succeeded in playing to the strengths of the visual medium.
Best Intentional Comedy
Notice the intentional, as otherwise there would be far too many anime winning this category.
Best Art Direction
The winner of this category deserves two Ikuharas with a side order of Angel’s Eggs.
Best Audio Direction
Writing about music is hard. If the beats go with the pictures and creates a flow, it’s all good man.
I keep forgetting anime actually involves animation, since often times you see more movement frames during a Powerpoint presentation.
Biggest Pleasant Surprise
Not be confused with biggest surprise period, which automatically goes to Samurai Flamenco.
The Worst Anime of 2013
Just to balance things out, something needed to get roasted.
The Best Anime of 2013
And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. The best anime of 2013 goes to…
In closing, this was certainly a pretty good year for anime, looking at some of the more successful titles anyway. As always, the combination of strong storytelling, technical proficiency and creative input defined what I felt represented the best works of this year. Hopefully people got a sense of the elements that I value in a good piece of media and found my choices to be interesting – even if they didn’t agree with all of them. Once again, feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section about this year, as I’d be happy to hear about them.