Anime has come a long way since it first started in the 1950s. With every decade, this medium of entertainment changes a little. The past decade was no different, showing plenty of change. The main difference I see is anime becoming much more mainstream in western culture. Anime has many issues as an industry, but it’s still a great medium for art, story, and entertainment. Regardless of current-day anime, let’s think back to the year 2013. What was anime like ten years ago?
This article serves to celebrate a handful of anime series from 2013. The system I use is an unofficial “award system” that highlights something good or interesting about each anime. The usual disclaimer applies concerning the series I chose – they were chosen not based on popularity, but on my personal interest level. Now then, let the awards commence!
1) The Tsundere Character Award:
The Devil is a Part-timer!
The Devil is a Part-timer was a big success for its humorous story concept, colorful animation, and memorable character designs. My favorite element of this anime was the character Emilia the Hero, or Emi Yusa, as she is called when she comes to our world. Emi is a great example of a tsundere anime character. In addition, I like her because she’s so strong and stubborn.
2) Anime That Made Me Laugh Award:
Yuyushiki is an obscure slice-of-life and comedy anime about three school girls just chilling in humorous ways. This anime is not a beloved classic with high budget animation like some series with similar concepts (for example, K-on). It doesn’t take itself seriously at all, and that’s part of why I like it. The title of the anime is meant to be ironic, as it translates to something along the lines of “important matters” or “serious business.” Yuyushiki‘s silliness kept a constant smile on my face.
3) The Whimsical Anime Award:
Uchouten Kazoku or Eccentric Family is one of my top favorite obscure anime series. It’s about a family of magical, shapeshifting tanukis (AKA raccoon dogs). The main protagonist, Yasaburou, is quite a mischief maker who adores humans and likes to imitate them. But if Yasaburou isn’t careful, the humans in town are going to make him into a soup at the end of the year! This anime is so much fun. Even though the art and animation are not great, it’s such an enjoyable and creative experience to watch.
4) The Otome Anime Award: Amnesia
I will say right off the bat that I am not a fan of this anime. I find most of it poorly written and difficult to take seriously due to stupid events, anime tropes, and jackass characters. However, I also don’t think Amnesia is the biggest dumpster fire ever, and hating on it seems like a little much. We already have enough people who despise anything that teen girls and young women enjoy. Amnesia is based on an Otome game, which is a type of choose-your-romance game made for girls. I think Amnesia was worth mentioning not because I personally like it, but because it’s a relatively rare case of a popular girls’ game being adapted into anime.
5) The Isekai Anime Award: Log Horizon
I don’t watch a lot of isekai anime, since I tire of the repetitive genre very easily. There are easily ten or more popular isekai anime every year in modern anime. However, ten years ago, it was somewhat less common. Log Horizon is an example of an 2013 isekai anime that I thought was decent. Parts of the narrative were boring, but the characters were great, and the word-building, despite being slow, was fascinating. Log Horizon is in the same family as shows like SAO or Overlord because the world they get transported into is much like a video game. So, check it out if you like video game/fantasy isekai anime.
6) Best Animation Quality Anime Award:
Beyond The Boundary
It’s been a long since I watched Kyoukai no Kanata or Beyond the Boundary, so many details about the anime have left my mind. However, if there’s one thing I remember clearly, it’s that this is a visually amazing show. The character designs are cute and memorable, the art style and colors are gorgeous, and the animation is smooth and high quality. Kyoto Animation studios really outdid themselves this time.
7) The Unique Concept Anime Award:
Sunday Without God
This anime is set in a fantastical world that was abandoned by its creator. As a result, life and death have ceased to play out in a normal cycle. Nobody can die. People keep on living in pain even while their bodies are maimed beyond recovery or their brains rot. The only way to find a peaceful, permanent death is to be buried by a being called a Gravedigger. Sunday Without God follows Ai, a spirited young girl who also happens to be a Gravedigger. As you can see, this is a unique and interesting story concept. I’m a big fan of this show and highly recommend it if you like melancholy, atmospheric anime.
8) The Children’s Anime Award:
A Lull in the Sea
Nagi no Asu Kara, AKA A Lull In The Sea, is a 2013 fantasy/drama focusing on a set of middleschool-aged children. In this world, there are people who can live and breathe under the water. In a small town by the ocean, two young sea-people (Hikari and his friend Manaka) start attending human school on the surface. This anime is beautiful in appearance and concept. The drama and characters are well-written and interesting, even for some adults. However, A Lull in The Sea is probably best for younger audiences due to the ages and emotional struggles of the school children.
9) Survival Game Anime Award:
Danganronpa The Animation
Based on an older video game, Danganronpa is a bizarre but fun survival game mystery anime. It’s a memorable show for its crazy characters, unique art style, and overall weird energy. It’s hard to describe until you’ve seen it. My favorite thing about Danganronpa is how it’s an excellent example of a survival game where a lot of characters die. Despite the darkness and death, this anime maintains a positive message.
10) The Creepy Anime Award: Flowers of Evil
Aku no Hana or Flowers of Evil is a distinctly creepy anime that follows an anxious boy (Takao) as he becomes the partner and victim of an insane, sociopathic girl called Sawa. This show is deeply unsettling for several reasons, with the strongest ones as follows: 1) the mental derangement of Sawa; and 2) and the bizarre art style, which is hyper-realistic and uses rotoscoping animation. Many people find the art so ugly that they can’t enjoy the anime, but I think that it adds to the novelty of the show.
11) The Sporty Anime Award: Free!
Free can be categorized as a sports anime – and I do consider it one – but it also qualifies as a mild fan-service anime for the young female gaze. I don’t personally enjoy it, since I don’t feel good about adults my age going after fan service of high school boys. However, I do find it refreshing that the fan-service is focused on the male form – so if you’re a teenager who likes men, go watch this anime without guilt! Another issue I had with the anime was that it seemed to bait people with shounen ai (Boy’s Love) vibes, but never followed through by establishing a gay couple. Nevertheless, there’s an anime for everyone. If you don’t mind being queer-baited, go for it.
12) The Uncomfortable Anime Award:
The full title of this anime translates to: “No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular!” Nobody wants to say that title, be it in English or Japanese, so the show was abbreviated to “Watamote.” Watamote is uncomfortable to watch because on some level, it’s relatable for me. I am probably just as awkward as the protagonist when dealing with people in person. I have the same aversion to socializing. To be honest, I never completed this anime. I saw about two-thirds before tiring of the protagonist and her endless “comedic” failures. Personally, I didn’t like the style of humor in this anime. The main character’s lack of growth was too aggravating.
13) So Bad It’s Funny Anime Award:
Corpse Party: Tortured Souls
This is another anime that was apparently based on a video game. I’ve heard from a few fans that the game was fun and not so bad. Regardless of the truth of those testimonies, the anime adaptation is horrendous. There is no element of true horror – only gore for no reason. The plot is predictable and the characters are not believable. Occasionally, events transpire that are so stupid that you can’t help but laugh. I occasionally watch Corpse Party when drinking because it’s literally so bad it’s funny.
14) Honorable Mention Anime Award:
Capital Craze (Kyousou Giga)
Capital Craze or Kyousou Giga is an action and fantasy anime that includes a lot of elements from different mythologies. I have only seen it once, but I loved the vibe from the show. I would need to watch it again to fully understand everything, and I think watching the accompanying OVA might also be necessary for comprehension. Nevertheless, even if you don’t completely get what’s going on, this anime is both extremely fun and surprisingly thought-provoking. Encourage your imagination and check out Kyousou Giga!
15) Worst Overall Anime 2013:
Despite my usual objections to hating or mocking media enjoyed primarily by young women, I patently dislike and openly mock Diabolik Lovers. It’s possible to enjoy this anime in the same way as Corpse Party – sometimes, it’s so bad it’s funny. However, I find Diabolik Lovers more problematic, so I can’t always appreciate the humor of its horribleness. Aside from the problematic elements of romanticizing or fetishizing abuse, everything else is terrible, too. From the cheap visuals and weird sound effects, to the lack of plot and unlikeable characters, this anime is awful. Diabolik Lovers is the worst anime of 2013!
16) Best Overall Anime 2013:
Attack on Titan
When it comes to the best anime of 2013, there’s just no competing with the epic first season of Attack on Titan. This show became popular almost immediately due to its high production quality, fascinating story, and memorable characters. The animation is great and the music is stupendous. The themes explored in the narrative are both profound and classic. I can’t praise this anime enough. It’s the best of 2013.
Thank you for reading~
Edit Note: For clarity, it is not the tenth anniversary of Anime Rants. This blog began only 4 or 5 years ago. (I can’t even remember exactly when.) I
5 thoughts on “Ten Year Anniversary of 2013 Anime Series! The Best and Worst”
Ten years! Congratulations 🎉
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Lmao… I may have made a very stupid mistake in the title of this post. I meant that it was the anniversary of these animes from 2013. It’s not the tenth year of my blog. It’s only been 4 years haha…
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Haha! Congrats to those anime then and you for four years.
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Congrats on the milestone! 🙂
(yeesh, it’s really been ten years since all of these? log horizon? attack on titan has been tormenting us for a full decade? oh, and how I hate diabolik lovers!)
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Reading through this list, it hit me that I began watching seasonal simulcasts and writing about them during the Summer 2013 anime season. Some of the shows that I watched then are on this list, and it’s boggling my mind that these shows have been around for a decade!
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