There are always a few shows each season that, for whatever reason, don’t get licensed for streaming. One of the more egregious omissions in recent memory, at least as far as I’m concerned, is Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta [Tatsunoko Production, 2013], an adaptation of Suzuhito Yasuda’s popular manga. A beautifully crafted production, YZQ is charming and tons of fun, fitting it nicely into my ratings at a 6/10 (Rankings).
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. Perfectly 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.
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.
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.