My Favorite Anime of 2012

This is something I’m hoping to do every year. Mostly it’ll be Anime I saw this year for the first time though you might see Anime released prior to this year too. Here are my Favorite Anime of 2012 in no particular order:

Blood+

“In world where flesh-eating monsters roam the streets, only one organization has the means to save civilization from annihilation: Red Shield, a specially-organized unit designed to fight these monsters, and the only weapon that can destroy them: Saya. Awakened from a 30-year sleep, Saya is thrust into a modern world which she has no memories of, and is troubled by a past filled only with bloodshed and sadness. With the undying love and support of her family and friends, she struggles to gain the strength to move forward and regain the pieces of her shattered memories.” ~Overview Courtesy of Anime Planet

I watched this 50-Episode Anime on Netflix over the last 3 days almost in one sitting. A few things the overview left out due to spoilers is Saya has a twin sister named Diva. The monsters–Chiropterrans–were created using Diva’s blood and only Saya’s blood can kill them. The reverse–demonstrated on one of Saya’s loved ones–also holds true. Due to major spoilers I will not name that person outright. The anime’s strictly 18+ due to violence and gore. Then again that should be no surprise given the name of the anime IS Blood +.

Overall I give it a 10/10. Unlike most Anime of this nature I felt the ending was complete. Anything lingering will be taken care of by Fanfics.

Clannad/Clannad After Story

“Tomoya Okazaki is a third-year high school student who is generally bored with life and doesn’t take his studies, future, or anything else seriously. One day, however, he meets a lonely-looking girl in the school courtyard, Nagisa Furukawa. She explains to him the source of her loneliness: she had missed a lot of the previous school year and thus is repeating her third year; everybody that she knew has already graduated, and she is lonely. Tomoya is rather indifferent at first, but decides that he has nothing better to do and spends increasingly more time helping Nagisa restore the school drama club. As his relationship with Nagisa grows, Tomoya begins to open up to various other people around the school as well…Summer break is now over; the second semester has started for Tomoya, Nagisa and the others, and little has changed. Since Tomoya’s relationship with his father is still troubled, he continues to live with Nagisa and her family, even if it means getting roped into organizing a baseball team for the family bakery. Life at school continues as normal with Sunohara as carefree as ever; however, when his sister Mei voices her concerns about him, the series of events that follow place a strain on Sunohara and Tomoya’s friendship. Whether it’s saving a person from themselves or passing on a message from the past, one thing’s for sure: no matter how tough things get, good friends will always be there to help out.” ~ Overview courtesy of Anime Planet

This should come as no surprise given I did a panel on Clannad at Anime Boston 2012.  Said panel will be back at Anime Boston 2013 assuming it is chosen. Clannad was the first Anime I bought on DVD in its entirety. Thanks to the  Manga Tree App I bought on my Windows 8 I’ve been able to (FINALLY) start reading the Manga.

On the off-chance you haven’t seen my blog in Clannad I gave it a 10/10. See the blog posting for more details. After Story is still on Netflix and here’s hoping season 1 will return in the new year.

Trigun

“Vash, the Stampede” – worth 60 billion dollars to the one who can turn him in. Bounty hunters everywhere are on the lookout for this legendary gunman, not to mention insurance agents Meryl Stryfe and Milly Thompson, who are tasked with preventing any potential damage that this Vash can cause. But with 60 billion on his head, Vash is not an easy man to find.” ~ Overview Courtesy of Anime Planet

This is a Fan Favorite that never made it to Adult Swim/Toonami for whatever reason. The ever-talented Johnny Bosch Young is the voice of Vash. You know his voice if you watch Bleach (the voice of Ichigo) and those my age group or older know his face if you watched Power Rangers (played Adam) during the 1990s. I watched it for the first time earlier this year and enjoyed it. Vash is one of those guys who makes wearing eyeglasses cool. It really sells with the Wild West theme to the Anime series.

Overall I give Trigun a 10/10.  It’s got so much going on and has a nice-sized fanbase worldwide. It’s currently available on Neflix.

Ouran High School Host Club

“Ouran High is a school for the extremely wealthy or, in Haruhi’s case, the extremely talented. But no amount of talent will help when Haruhi accidentally drops an eight million yen vase in a music room. The vase was the property of Ouran High School Host Club, a group of attractive young men who, for a fee, provide their time and affections for their lovesick clientele: the female students. Fascinated by this strange new specimen, a poor and clumsy commoner, they force Haruhi to work for them until the debt is repaid; but they get a lot more than they bargained for…” ~ Overview Courtesy of Anime Planet

Another Fan Favorite that never made it to Adult Swim/Toonami. Unlike Trigun it’s easy to understand why Cartoon Network had to turn this one down. To quote Kirimi “There’s dubauchery!” The suggestive topics discussed were considered too risque for even Saturday Night TV. Even so Fans of OHSHC on this side of the Pacific ate up the Manga and later the Anime like value meals.

It’s available in full on Netflix currently. I give it a 10/10 purely for the entertainment value. It’s also relatively easy to follow, which is a plus ^_^

Rosario + Vampire

“Fifteen-year-old Tsukune Aono is average in every way; he has no hobbies, less-than-stellar grades and he’s even flunked his high school entrance exam. His parents have managed to enroll him in a school, but it’s no ordinary school! Tsukune will be attending the Youkai Academy, a place where monsters learn how to co-exist with humans! As the werewolves, vampires, witches and other monsters are required to retain their human forms, Tsukune – the lone human – is able to avoid their bloodthirsty gazes. However, he quickly attracts the attention of a number of devilish beauties including the vampire Moka, a busty succubus and even a young witch! It seems Tsukune’s average life isn’t so average anymore! It’s a new year and Aono Tsukune and the rest of the gang are now second year students. While Kurumu, Yukari and Shirayuki are being idolized as the beauties of the second years, Moka is receiving ten times the attention and fan mail, as well as… a death threat?! But when it turns out that the culprit is Moka’s younger sister, Kokoa, that is hell-bent on killing her, the situation becomes more complicated. Now, Tsukune has more than ever to deal with; from being stalked by Shirayuki and trying to get closer to Moka, to the appearance of Kokoa who hates her sister’s sealed form and doesn’t think twice about attacking Tsukune, it is certain that it won’t be a quiet year for the students at Youkai Academy!” ~ Courtesy of Anime Planet

The first thing I did after watching it in full on Netflix at the beginning of the year was buy the series on Xbox Live. It is interesting to note the name of the school–Yokai–is also theme of Anime Boston 2013. The Fan Service rampamt in the Anime was annoying–more so since I saw none of it in the Manga since I’ve started reading it. Overall I give it a 10/10 simply because is struck a good balance between being comical and serious.

Of course I’ve watched other Anime during the year. I did buy the Kenichi The Mighiest Disciple and School Rumble DV Sets (both seasons of both Animes) at Anime Boston as well. This year proved to be a diffucult one for Anime Fans who use Netflix: More than half of the Anime available in January is gone. While it is obvious Disney signing an exclusive deal with Disney is their way of getting back at Starz (who they failed to renew their contract with earlier this year), the loss of quality Anime isn’t something that can be ignored.

In my case it’s forced me to buy some of the Anime I first saw on Netflix either via Xbox Live or on DVD. The four DVD purchases were planned in advance but for those either unable to or unwilling to buy their favorite Anime losing it on Netflix is a major blow. The fact that they didn’t try to reach out to Funimation, VIZ Media, Animplex and others directly will be remembered. This is the second year in a row Netflix dropped the ball, leaving its member base to pay the price. If they have any unplayed trump cards, now would be the time to use them.

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