A Decade of Anime – 2012

Alright, 2012 was one of those years that I spent a fair bit of time short listing titles before finally deciding on my top from each season. Winter and Spring were relatively easy but wow Summer and Fall made it hard. The anime that didn’t make the cut: Sword Art Online, Humanity has Declined, Kamisama Hajimemashita, and Psycho Pass. Seriously, I love every one of those titles but I just couldn’t say they were the anime from that season that I would absolutely have to watch. That said, they are all brilliant and if you haven’t watched them, be sure to check them out… after you check out the list for 2012.

The Rules:

No. 1: No sequels of any kind.

No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year.

No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.

Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.

Another

For those who have followed my blog for sometime, my predilection toward horror is pretty well known. That said, most horror anime are trash and few of them are even the good kind of trash. Here we have the second and final horror anime to make the cut for the decade that was and it is Another (which I’ll definitely be writing a review for soon). Another plays on a lot of cliches of the genre and also throws around buckets of blood. Think a really slowed down version of Final Destination crossed with the Grudge and you kind of have the idea. Honestly, the overall plot is a little dicey though does make sense but the atmosphere constructed through visuals, music and pacing are phenomenal.

Anyway, while not a perfect anime by any means, for those with a bit of patience and a love of horror, there’s plenty to enjoy in this story of a cursed class. Definitely do not watch if you are squeamish or if suicide is a trigger for you.

Jormungand

One of these days I’ll even learn to spell the title to this one correctly. However, Jormungand gives us the story of the arms dealer, Koko Hekmatyar, and her body guards as they travel about the world making deals for weapons and getting caught up in various regional conflicts and hostile business dealings. The series kicks off when Jonah, a child soldier, joins Koko’s crew and we see a lot of the story from his perspective as the outsider learning about the group. There’s clearly some touchy subject matter here and while the story does respect that it also knows not to depress its audience and provides plenty of lighter moments. The cast of characters are what will make you watch this more than once as they grow on you as you get to know them and with each watching it feels like you learn a little more about them.

With some great action, good music, and a solid cast of characters there’s little to complain about with Jormungand other than the occasional pacing issue. Well worth a watch and be sure to watch the second season to see the conclusion to Koko’s plan.

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Kokoro Connect

You have no idea how hard this decision was. My initial reaction declared that of course it had to be Sword Art Online but as much fun as that anime is (and the first cour is great fun to watch), Kokoro Connect left a powerful impact on me when I watched it. Five students who through various reasons have ended up in the same club end up being used as experimental subjects in some weird intelligence’s experiments. They’ll be mind reading, body swapping, acting on impulse and so on and still trying to deal with their own identity issues and budding relationships. While this story could have gone further it certainly does enough and there’s some really powerful moments here.

This is an anime that you will have mixed reactions to and will probably connect or not with different cast members. For me, I found this anime delightful and while I didn’t necessarily relate with any of the cast members, I ended up emphasising with them as they went through an awful lot in this story.

Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shita

Where do you even begin with something like Chuunibyou? This is a series with a lot of heart that tackles serious issues of grief, growing up, identity and mental health but does it in a way that has you smiling every single episode. Rikka became one of the most identifiable protagonists of the decade with her eye patch and ridiculous poses and the rest of the cast are equally colourful and entertaining to watch as they stumble about their school live and adolescence.

This anime is a must watch regardless of the decade and while it has its silly moments, at its heart it seriously knew what it wanted to explore and it does an excellent job of it. The characters each carry their weight as they each explore the issues in their own way and draw their own conclusions but ultimately it is up to you, the viewer, to think about everything that is presented and to draw your own conclusion. If you want something fun that has a big impact, Love, Chuunibyo and Other Delusions is definitely an anime to check out if you haven’t already seen it.

2012 is completed and I can’t wait to see what you would have put in your top picks from the year. Tomorrow we’ll move on to 2013.


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Karandi James



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10 thoughts on “A Decade of Anime – 2012

  1. Another: I’ll never look at umbrellas the same way again.

    Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shita: Way, way too close to home. But worth it.

    I’d have to list SAO on my favorites of 2012. That third episode was literature.

    Probably Monogatari and Muv Luv, too (and I’ll bet that’s the first time anyone’s put those two series in the same sentence!).

    But in terms of being enjoyable completely despite my expectations, I’d have to say Mysterious Girlfriend X tops the list. It was just so unashamedly unique. I like that in a series.

    1. That’s quite the range of choices. I never did get into the Monogatari anime. I’m not sure why. I don’t dislike what I’ve seen of them but I don’t really have any desire to watch them either.

  2. 2012: Kill Me Baby, Hyouka, Nazo no Kanojo X, Sakamichi no Appollon, Shirokuma Café, Humanity Has Declined, Joshiraku, Natsuyuki Rendesvouz, Sengoku Collection, Ixion Saga DT, Tonari no Kaibutsu kun, Shin Sekai Yori

    Interestingly, that’s the year where our tastes diverge the most so far. I haven’t seen Jormurgand, and I like none of the others very much.

    1. Humanity Has Declined was in my possible but didn’t quite win its season. I love Tonari no Kaibutsu but would really like to see another season for the characters. Thanks for sharing some great titles.

  3. A year of contrasts. I don’t have any favorites from winter or summer – nothing from winter I enjoyed that much (though I think I’ll probably enjoy Symphogear if I ever get around to it), and I’ve never watched any of the summer shows.

    On the other hand, Hyouka (spring season) is my favorite anime of this entire decade, not just this year, and as much as I love Chunibyo, I have to give the fall season to Girls und Panzer as another of my top five of the decade and one of my most rewatched shows ever. 2012 did have a heck of a loaded fall season, though, even beyond those two.

    1. There were a lot if possible choices from the year. Hyouka is definitely worth noting though I find it isn’t an anime I am inclined to rewatch.

        1. I do that with a lot of anime on my watch list. I start them and watch a number of episodes in one hit or over a few days and then I get distracted by something, usually currently steaming anime. I don’t deliberately decide to drop the old anime I just don’t get back to it.

  4. It’s kinda fun to see, this was still in my standard Shounen age so all of these are a bit before my time of dabbeling in more out there anime. There is still so much out there for me too see. There’s shows in here I haven’t even heard of, which makes me kind of happy! There is so much left to explore! So I really enjoy reading these posts and this format

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