Best Anime of 2013: Annual Anime Awards

Presentation Categories

Best Story

1. Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
Dramatic, well-plotted, well-written and overall just brilliantly executed, Blast of Tempest provided a compelling story held in place by its fascinating quartet of main characters. Blast of Tempest Awards PicPerfectly self-contained and logical on its own terms, Blast of Tempest is an incredible example of how to use characters to tell a story while still maintaining a compelling plot.
2. A Certain Scientific Railgun: S (Spring 2013-Summer 2013)
Although the Silent Party arc was fairly pedestrian, albeit fun and still thought provoking, the Sisters Arc carries Misaka and company into the second place. Gripping, emotional and intense, Misaka’s quest to save her clones from being sacrificed raises serious questions relevant to our modern scientific world and about the nature of sacrifice.
3. The Eccentric Family (Summer 2013)
What started out as a meandering, relaxed story gradually built up into family conflict and drama, all concluding with a satisfying ending that reaffirms the value of family. Artistically and beautifully written.

Best Animation

1. Kyousougiga (Fall 2013)
I’ve gushed about Kyousougiga’s animation before and I’ll do it again here. The show looks like it was made to be an anime. The animation in incredibly artistic and beautifully matches the tone and mood of the show. It’s not often that an anime’s animation so fully embraces and enhances the show itself, but Kyousougiga’s does that and does it very well. Simply put, the unity between the animation and the rest of the show elevates everything about this anime.

Kyousougiga Episode 10 Ending
2. Nagi no Asukara (Fall 2013)
I may have put this on hold to be able to marathon it, but I don’t need to have seen the whole show to tell you that Nagi no Asukara’s animation is beautiful. Like our third place winner, Nagi no Asukara takes full advantage of the fact that it is set around water. The coloring is gorgeous and the water effects both in and out of the water make this show visually stunning. It is worth watching on the merits of the animation alone. That’s just how good it is.
3. Free! (Summer 2013)
Another anime steeped in water and KyoAni milks it for all that it is worth. The water scenes are the obvious highlight, but the rest of the show is just as well done.

Best Character Design

Gatchaman Crowds Awards Pic1. Gatchaman Crowds (Summer 2013)
Creative, unique and colorful. That about sums up the distinct Gatchaman Crowds character designs, complete with their trademark hair splotches. Really, the whole show was well done, but the character designs are transcendent. Fun to watch on their own and remarkably expressive of the characters’ personalities, these designs are a cut above anything else we saw in 2013.
2. The Eccentric Family (Summer 2013)
From P.A. Works come the very unique character designs of The Eccentric Family. Eccentric themselves, the character designs were most noted for their unusual ears, but also brought a softer look that corresponded to species and meshed very nicely with the overall animation.
3. Galilei Donna (Fall 2013)
I much prefer A-1’s character designs to KyoAni’s, so Galilei Donna takes the third spot with its trio of pretty sisters. Cicinho and the sisters’ mother are other highlights of this unique and well drawn cast.

Music Categories

Best OP

1. “Zero!!” by Minami Kuribayashi from The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Spring 2013)
2. “Synchromanica” by Negoto from Galilei Donna (Fall 2013)
3. “Even Though I Love You” by Kylee from Blast of Tempest (Winter 2013)

Best ED

1. “Qué Será Será” by fhána from The Eccentric Family (Summer 2013)
2. “Daisy” by Stereo Dive Foundation from Beyond the Boundary (Fall 2013)
3. “Tsukiyomi” by Phatmans After School from Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta (Fall 2013)

Best OST

1. Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
2. Kyousougiga (Fall 2013)
3. Attack on Titan (Spring 2013-Summer 2013)

Genre Categories

Best Action

1. Hunter x Hunter (Ongoing)
A top notch show in general, and there’s few other shows that can match the quality of the fights.

HxH Awards Pi
2. Attack on Titan (Spring 2013-Summer 2013)
3-D Gear fights and epic Titan throwdowns make Attack on Titan one of the best action anime of the year. Episode 22 still sits in my mind as one of the best episodes of the entire year on the virtue of its three incredible fights.
3. Kill la Kill (Fall 2013-Winter 2014)
Because who doesn’t love fight upon fight, each boasting crazy, overblown action and bloodsucking sailor uniforms?

Best Adventure

1. Log Horizon (Fall 2013-Winter 2014)
Thoughtful, complex and ever improving.
2. Hunter x Hunter (Ongoing)
An absolute quality show that is mysteriously overlooked.
3. Sunday Without God (Summer 2013)
For all of its faults, Sunday Without God did have some good moments. However, the adventure is purely physical; it never really makes its way into the characters themselves.

Best Comedy

1. The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Spring 2013) 
My love for this show is unhidden and unabashed. Giving a polished new spin to the “fish out of water” trope, The Devil is a Part-Timer! took the time to build fun characters, entertaining character relationships and took a surprisingly critical (if you are paying attention) look at the minimum wage, paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle. The comedy is the flashiest aspect of the show, but understand are surprisingly potent themes on what it means to live, work and have relationships in this modern world. A second season would make me unspeakably happy.
2. Love Lab (Summer 2013)
I ended up marathoning this a few weeks after it aired and was delighted to find a clean, situational comedy that relied on its characters and writing to make me laugh. And make me laugh it did. At its core Love Lab is about making you laugh, but by the end I found myself surprisingly attached to the characters. One of the few shows that are on my list of instant recommendations to relatively new anime viewers.
3. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W (Spring 2013)
My guilty pleasure anime. Despite the ridiculous level of weirdness and occasionally uncomfortable moments and references I didn’t get, Nyaruko-san W just had a strange charm, an energy to it that made me love it. Nyarko herself really carries the show, and the portrayal of her undying love for Mahiro, though unrequited (for now?) and over the top, is actually somewhat touching.

Best Drama

1. The Eccentric Family (Summer 2013)
Subtly shifts from being lighthearted to being serious, and the meandering pace picks up just the right amount in the middle of the show. Although it lacks the “it” factor to push it over the top, it is an artistically done show and a well told story.
2. Nagi no Asukara (Fall 2013-Winter 2014)
Still on hold, but I can’t fault the show for my own watching preferences.
3. White Album 2 (Fall 2013)
As much as I hated and raged about the ending, White Album 2 is technically very strong.

Best Fantasy

1. Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
I feel like trying to explain my feelings about Blast of Tempest is futile. There is simply no show that can compete with the drama, themes, characters or anything from this show. It’s an easy choice.
2. Kyousougiga (Fall 2013)
A beautiful and conceptually complex fantasy world complements the family drama and provides a visually gorgeous setting to explore a beautiful story about a family’s reunification.
3. Gatchaman Crowds (Summer 2013)
Some shows hide their social commentary. Show flaunt it out in the open. Usually, the former case is better, but Gatchaman Crowds somehow maintains a serious face despite how preachy it can sometimes sound. The messaging is solid and a second season is inbound, so I’m not going to knock the ending too much.

Best Harem

1. The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc (Summer 2013)
TWGOK has always been more than your typical harem anime, but the third season shifted things to a new level. I really appreciated the more serious tone in this season and thought the emotion was handled very well. Watching Keima have to deal with the consequences, both himself and for the girls,TWGOK Awards Pic was a look into the reality of romance. In the end, this particular season transcended the limits of the genre to become something much more moving and much more powerful.
2. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W (Spring 2013)
Nyaruko is the clear winner in the harem, but the other characters are entertaining and lovable. Combined with the show’s high energy and humor, this anime is a very fun watch.
3. My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with My School Romantic Comedy (Fall 2013)
Dumb Chocolat. End of story. The rest of the harem was pretty fun, too, and it almost reaches Nyaruko-san levels of wut?-ness.

Best Romance

1. Golden Time (Fall 2013-Winter 2014)
Okay, sure, I haven’t actually watched it yet & won’t for a while longer. But it’s the only pure romance on my list, so that says something on its own. I have seen the first couple episodes, and I liked it enough to put it on hold for a marathon.

2. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Spring 2013)

Okay, so maybe the romance was a little light. But I’m shoehorning the rom-com genre into the romance genre and SNAFU definitely deserves to be here. Like its protagonist, it’s insightful and little harsh, but usually right.

Best Science Fiction

1. A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Summer 2013-Fall 2013)
Railgun has always been one of my favorite anime, even before S, and the relevant topics covered by S molded it into much more than a cheery story about a group of friends. The whole show is quality from start to finish, and is a pleasure to watch.
2. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (Summer 2013)
A solid show with a solid story. Although some of the themes were wasted, abundant interesting themes were raised and Chamber stands tall as one of the most beloved mechas in recent memory.
3. Arpeggio of Blue Steel (Fall 2013)
A show that was much more touching than expected of an anime shipping a human with female battleships, Arpeggio of Blue Steel was a pleasant surprise in an otherwise emotionally lacking fall season.

Best Slice of Life

1. Gingitsune (Fall 2013)
Man, what a dogfight for the top spot in this category. Gingitsune wins for across the board appeal, its relaxed and mature, but not stuffy, mood and just an overall heartwarming feeling. As a slice of life, I don’t think there is anything Gingitsune could have done better than it did. I had no gripes with any of the characters, enjoyed all the interactions and pretty much every moment of the show. The extra bonus was getting to learn a little more about Shinto Shrine traditions. I could recommend this show to literally anyone without worry.
2. Silver Spoon (Summer 2013)
An excellently written coming-of-age story. Although we’ve only seen the first half the season, the quality of this show just oozes out of it. It’s fun to watch, funny when it needs to be and occasionally touches something more emotional. The exploration of the different themes relating to farming was not only a rather educational experience, but one that was relevant to other areas of life.
3. Non Non Biyori (Fall 2013)
Compared to Non Non Biyori, Gingitsune is a rioting adventure. Watching Non Non Biyori is like the anime equivalent of having a nice, warm afternoon nap. Incredibly laid back, charming and almost absurdly idillic, this show defines the slice of life at its most natural. It is not surprising to me that this show is so popular in Japan; it is a welcome diversion from the high speed city life.

Best Sports

1. Free! (Summer 2013)
That’s right, Free! wins by default. I regret nothing. It was a pretty decent show, for all the griping and hero-worship that has followed it around.

Best Short Series

1. Miss Monochrome (Fall 2013)
One of just a handful that I watched, and the only one meriting an actual vote. Pleasant, and good for one good joke an episode.

Character Categories

Best Male Character

1. Mahiro Fuwa from Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
A mesmerizing character in the first half of the show, Mahiro continues to mature and develop in the second half as he takes a backseat to Yoshino. However, his intelligence is on full display and his drive never leaves. His forceful and single-minded focus is not only captivating to watch, but also, in a strange way, inspiring.

Mahiro Awards Pic
2. Yasaburo Shimogamo from The Eccentric Family (Summer 2013)
Beginning as a flighty, whimsical character, Yasaburo holds down the show with his narration and unique viewpoint. He also develops over the course of the show, displaying courage, loyalty and cleverness. A pleasure to watch and the best narrator of the year.
3. Hachiman Hikigaya from My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Spring 2013)
Cynical, realistic, perceptive (even with girls!!) and strangely magnetic, Hachiman provided a breath of fresh air in the rom-com genre, standing up as one of the very few male leads to be able to both realize when a girl liked him and also take his time deciding what to do. Hachiman is what he is. He’s proud of it. Coupled with the other leads and secondary characters, Hachiman not only seems to grow throughout the series, but he helps those around him to grow. It’s a sign of great writing and a good character.

Best Female Character

1. Hajime Ichinose from Gatchaman Crowds (Summer 2013)
Probably the most dominant personality of the year, Hajime’s relentless optimism, while grating to some, hides a genuine character. Her intelligence and insistence on her own way pull the entire show along & she is central to the show’s messaging and agenda. Whether you like her or not, it is impossible to deny her impact on the show and the symbolic importance of her character. I found her extremely interesting and fun to watch.
2. Hakaze Kusaribe from Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
Scheming and manipulative in the first cour, thoughtful and brave in the second, Hakaze goes down as one of the more interesting female characters of the year. Her eventual rebellion against the Tree of Genesis was an incredibly interesting philosophical and emotional situation & her confrontation and interaction with the true Mage of Exodus was fascinating.
3. Misaka Mikoto from A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Summer 2013-Fall 2013)
Misaka’s character depth continues to impress in Railgun’s second season. Her development as a person from start to end of the show was pleasant to watch and her intrepid spirit in the face of an impossible situation earns her high marks as well.

Overall Categories

Must Watch of 2013

Assuming the Best of 2013 are also must watches, I am using this space to add in votes for other deserving series.

1. Hunter x Hunter (Ongoing)
For being the BEST long running shounen series, and somehow the most ignored.
2. Attack on Titan (Spring 2013-Summer 2013)
For being the most talked about show of 2013.
3. Non Non Biyori (Fall 2013)
For bring so relaxed that it’s almost crazy.

Best Anime of 2013

Blast of Tempest Awards Pic2

1. Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
My all time favorite anime and my highest ranked anime of all time. This is a show whose greatness is subtle and easy to miss, but from characters to plot to the story to animation to music, Blast of Tempest stands above any anime I’ve seen. The Shakespearean homages abound and give a beautiful amount of depth to the story and to the main characters, who display some of the most potent and moving character development I have ever seen. In the end, a story about recovering and moving on from loss is something to which everyone can relate. For these reasons and more, Blast of Tempest is the best anime of 2013.

Railgun S Awards Pic
2. A Certain Scientific Railgun S (Spring 2013-Summer 2013)
Yes, the Sisters Arc is carrying this show to this spot. No, it’s not a problem. Misaka’s development through the arc is incredibly moving and authentic and the lessons she learns from it actually do carry into the Silent Party Arc. Railgun S does an excellent job of mixing the serious and the humourous, but the serious tone dominates the first arc and makes it very, very good. Furthermore, the themes Railgun S deals with and ultimately does make statements on are relevant to today’s world. That is a rare accomplishment, especially as Railgun S does so without ever coming across as pedantic.

Silver Spoon Awards Pic
3. Silver Spoon (Summer 2013)
I may be contradicting myself here, but Silver Spoon does belong on this list. As a writer, I have incredible respect for what the author has done with the story and the second season, which has only just begun, reminds me even more how professional and well-done the writing for the show is. Furthermore, it is a great story boasting a really excellent main character. Silver Spoon is a quality show all round, and it gets its due here.

7 thoughts on “Best Anime of 2013: Annual Anime Awards

  1. Hi, I found your blog through the CR forums where you made a post regarding your top favorite female characters. Great blog design and excellent writing by the way.
    One of my favourite animes from 2013 were Maoyuu Maou Yuusha and Chihayafuru season 2. I highly recommend those if you haven’t seen them. If you have and it’s in an older post in your blog, I apologize in advance, as I haven’t got there yet haha.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. Definitely bookmarking this site!


    • Hey, thanks for your kind words!

      Chihayafuru is in my backlog & I did watch the first episode of Maoyuu a ways back. I think I remember the fanservice kind of putting me off, but I’ve been thinking about giving it another shot.

      In any case, I look forward to hearing your thoughts more in the future! Thanks again!


      • Hey iblessall,

        Actually, Maoyuu doesn’t have much fanservice other than episode 1 haha. I generally hate fanservice, and I don’t feel that it’s necessary in nearly any situation. If you liked Spice & Wolf, you’ll definitely enjoy Maoyuu. Another anime that was surprisingly good for me in 2013 was Girls und Panzer. I gave that a 9/10 on MAL (I know…I didn’t even know Hummingbird existed until I saw it on your blog, oops)


        • Ah, well if that’s true, I’ll be much more likely to give it another look. I have actually not seen Spice & Wolf, but it’s starting to get to the point where I’ve heard about it enough to put it in my backlog.

          I’ve also heard a lot of good things about Girls und Panzer, which is moving towards the same deal as Spice & Wolf.

          By the by, Hummingbird does have a function by which you can move all your MAL ratings/list to Hummingbird, so if you ever decide to move over, I’ll be interested to see your ratings for things.


  2. I don’t know how I ended up here. Oh yeah, the ‘archives button’. Don’t know why would probably be more appropriate.

    Since I’m apparently trawling your archives I have question, of sorts. Comparing this with your top anime list, and I’m wondering what happened to Railgun? You’ve got it rated higher than Silver Spoon and Kyousougiga, but they both made the top list and it didn’t. Did it not stick with you as well as the others?

    BTW, you’ve come a long way as a blogger in the few months since these posts. Oh how you’ve matured! 😛


    • Haha yeah, some of these old posts are a bit hard on the eyes, but I don’t have the motivation to reformat them all.

      I actually do like Railgun quite a bit, and I think I’d make a case for Railgun S still belonging somewhere near the top of the list of 2013’s best shows, but as an entire franchise it hasn’t stuck with me as well as Kyousougiga. Silver Spoon also had its excellent second season to boost it a bit in my eyes, which is why it’s on the list.


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