A Strong Q2 and Q4 for 2013, though sadly only just enough actual good shows to form a top 10 list. There are no runner ups, everything that isn’t on this list was relatively mediocre. That said, at least you can rest assured that everything that actually made it onto the list is good.
Tamako Market // Slice of Life // 12 Episodes
At the ‘worst of the best’ of 2013 is Tamako Market, great for a relaxing watch, featuring minimal storyline or progression as is normal for these sort of shows, but featuring some very likable characters. Tamako Market won’t be for everyone, but if you enjoyed K-On and the likes, give this one a try.
Oreimo 2 // Comedy Drama // 13 Episodes
The barrier for entry for this one is to have seen the first season, Oreimo really isn’t for everyone given its somewhat incestual undertones but the character development is certainly there. Season 2 was more interesting than the first (imo) due to it having a slightly more serious overall tone and an expansion of the love triangle sort of set up in the first season.
Hataraku Maou Sama // Comedy // 13 Episodes
Geared primarily as a comedy, but ‘Devil is a part timer’ has a good lick of Romance in there as well to keep things interesting. All of the characters are lovable and the series has just enough progression to keep viewers interested while still being a light watch. One of many from 2013 which need a sequel asap.
Dia no Ace // Sports // Ongoing (13+ episodes)
Ace of the Diamond feels like watching Major all over again, the story of a pitcher determined to be the best, with a unique pitching style and tons of hidden potential. I love a great zero to hero story and this is certainly one of those. The show is still relatively early days so consider picking it up before it balloons into what will likely be more than 2 seasons long.
Yowamushi Pedal // Sports // Ongoing (38 episodes)
Yowamushi Pedal is the story of nerd who finds out he is a cycling beast. It can probably be most easily compared to Hajime No Ippo in that the main character experiences some crazy growth during the series. The show itself has been confirmed for 38 episodes, which should be plenty of time for our hero to join a competition and face some interesting opponents. I was actually shocked at how enjoyable this one is, mostly because one logically kind of asks just how interesting a show about bike riding could even be, but as it turns out, the answer is very.
Hajime no Ippo: The Fighting! – Rising // Sports // Ongoing (25 Episodes)
Anyone who has seen the previous 2 seasons will know how incredible Hajime no Ippo is, and this latest season is no exception. A new, cleaner art style and some fantastic fights and what looks like the most evil boxer of all time, this season has started strong and looks to end even stronger. If you haven’t seen the previous seasons, you should probably go and watch those first since they are even better.
Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko // Harem Comedy // 12 Episodes
A fun show not to be taken seriously, filled with slapstick and ecchi fanservice. Henneko is the biggest guilty pleasure this year, and you’ll hate how fun it is to watch. The Tsukiko sisters are incredible and the main character doesn’t even bother trying to be a decent sort. If you need something dumb to watch, Henneko will be waiting for you, just don’t be expecting much plot (or not a sensical one anyway)
Watamote : No Matter How I Look at It, It`s You Guys` Fault I`m Not Popular! // Comedy // 12 Episodes
Watamote follows Tomoko as she battles her social anxiety issues, a topic which likely strikes close to home with many of its watchers. Sometimes watching someone else do so much worse than yourself is comforting and entertaining, and watamote brings this by the truckload. Many complain that watamote was simply too cringe to be watchable because of just how painful it is to watch adorable Tomoko be so damn bad at life, it all kind of depends on what sort of perspective you have, but I thought Watamote was one of the most entertaining watches this year, along with having the best ending song of the year.
Kill La Kill // Action // Ongoing
Kill La Kill is the anime version of a video game ‘boss rush’ mode, and made by Platinum Games. The result is a visual explosion for your eyes, ridiculous fight scenes coupled with catchy musical hooks and insane boss enemies nearly every episode. KLK doesn’t take itself seriously, and as long as you don’t either, you’ll be treated to one of the best action shows ever made.
Literally every single character is incredible, personality wise, badass wise, or simply visually well designed and concepted, and when they bring them in en masse like Kill La Kill is currently doing…. Well… I can’t wait for the next episode.
Oh. and Mankanshoku Mako is the best comedy relief sidekick ever.
Shingeki no Kyojin // Action // 25 Episodes
Yup. Everyone that actually watches anime by this point has probably seen, or at least heard of Attack on Titan, and the hype is completely warranted.
The show is full of twists and turns, and while the pacing starts to falter towards the season half of the series, it’s still a fantastic watch. Attack on Titan may very well be not only the best anime show of 2013, but the best show. Period.