70 CommentsYear in Review / By Scamp /

2012 Anime of the Year Awards and Top 10


This was the thinking pose the various members of The Cart Driver had to adopt while considering their nominations.

2012 was a fairly unremarkable year for anime. Nothing really shook the industry, unless you count terrible light novel adaptations with ridiculous titles as ‘shaking the industry’. It wasn’t a particularly bad year either, which would have at least given us some sort of narrative to go with this post. It was just another year in which anime was made, some of which happened to be particularly good, and some of which turned out to be ridiculously stupid. In this award ceremony, we give credit to both kinds.

We present 10 individual awards for aspects of anime we deem worthy of note, as well as the top 10 TV anime that finished this year. Note that I’m going by the ‘hanging episodes’ rule. If only 1-3 episodes air just before or after the year ends, they don’t count in our final evaluation. This means we’re not counting Un-Go, but are going to count Girls und Panzer. Shut up, it’s our awards, we make the rules.

2012’s 2013 anime of the year


Sometimes great anime airs in a year, but just does not end, so it’s difficult to praise them in rote end of the year posts if you’ve got a hangup about that. But that’s why we have this award! We’re pretty excited about these anime going into the new year. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure started off awesome and has become only more awesome with each episode. David Production’s great sense of style and, censorship aside, ability to tap into what makes the JoJo series tick masks the overall piddling animation quality, and the ridiculous pulp fiction of the manga’s story shines through. Hunter x Hunter, meanwhile, improved by leaps and bounds in 2012 by not only going through the excellent Yorkshin arc, but also in having better direction, cinematography, animation, sound direction, etc. It’s a more confident production and the best shonen anime since Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Winner: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

Runner up: Hunter x Hunter

10: Thermae Romae

thermae romae bl

Thermae Romae shows that technology is not a limiting factor in entertainment. It belies its humble origins as a flash anime by presenting great high-concept comedy, a memorable lead character and surprising poignancy. Who would have thought something this good could come from a Roman architect falling through wormholes in the bottoms of baths? It’s utterly silly, but Thermae Romae’s believes entirely in its silliness, which makes us believe in it, too.

OVA of the year


Not really the greatest year for OVAs, nor has it been in a while. However, every so often some gems will come out. We will fully admit that when Nunally in Wonderland came out, we expected it to be terrible; instead, it totally embraces its dumb, ridiculous concept and provides great entertainment. Also, it has Emperor Charles zi Britannia in a hat with flashing hearts. How could it not win? Minori Scramble, meanwhile, is good ol’ goofy slapstick comedy fun. And penguins.

Winner: Code Geass Nunnally in Wonderland

Runner up: Minori Scramble

9: Sengoku Collection

Sengoku Collection

Sengoku Collection’s greatest strength is in the variety granted to it by its dumb concept. The Brains Base team basically does whatever it wants and emerges with a charming anime full of heart and armed to the teeth with cinematic homages. It has tributes to prison break and yakuza cinema, Hollywood classics, heist movies, one-on-one mysteries, science-fiction and even Legend of the Galactic Heroes, all within the confines of some of the best episodic writing of the year.

Best Anime Movie we could see for the first time this year


Unfortunately, we in the West do not often get to see anime movies soon after they air. The seemingly increasing presence of anime movies on the independent and film festival circuit, though, is making the wait a bit shorter for certain people, and it’s through this that we caught the Tiger and Bunny movie. It’s basically the TV anime, but better. Much better! That’s good enough for us. Forest of Firefly Lights, meanwhile, is essentially a really good Natsume Yuujinchou story (not related to that series, but by the manga author). That’s also good enough for us!

Winner: Tiger and Bunny Movie

Runner up: Forest of Firefly Lights

8: Jormungand


Autotuned Engrish is an unappreciated art form in this workaday world. Too often we take for granted that there are songs like Jormungand’s OP that are thoroughly incomprehensible when they lapse from Japanese into English. Oh yeah, Jormungand itself is pretty good too, mostly thanks to Koko going loco on a fairly regular basis, especially when it comes to defending her business interests. Taking the ever-fluctuating state of modern warfare and having Koko slowly but steadily monopolize it is pretty damn entertaining, especially with her surrounded by others who thrive in the life or death situations that she routinely escapes from. In short, pretty damn exhilarating.

Biggest disappointment


What a depressing category to consider. Nobody likes being disappointed in what they watch. It happens, though. What gives Moyashimon Returns the edge for us is that it decreased our esteem of the original and made us afraid to rewatch it for fear we might not like that now, either. A terrifying prospect! That’s what happens when the follow-up to a fun comedy is boring and mediocre. Eureka Seven AO, meanwhile, goes a bit mad at the end and wastes what had been a decent show up to that point, even if it could never have lived up to the original.

Winner: Moyashimon Returns

Runner up: Eureka Seven AO

7: Sankarea


If Sankarea was only a surprisingly well-executed adaptation of a mediocre manga about a guy whose fantasy of having a zombie girlfriend comes true, it would still be entertaining, if not exactly memorable. What sets it apart from its peers, and makes its use of fanservice and romcom antics progressively less tasteful, is Rea’s back story that not only gives heartfelt, painful context to her disconnect with life, but avoids the pitfalls of feeling exploitative. Now if only the resolution to that arc wasn’t ruined by a fucking bunny suit.

Best use of Engrish

YouTube Preview Image

Just watch this, and you’ll understand full well why Symphogear wins. Much like with everything else it tries, it is the best and greatest. Meanwhile, Uta Koi’s had us singin’ lus, singin’ las, set it loose, every la~

Winner: Symphogear

Runner up: Uta Koi ED

6: Future Diary

Future Diary

Future Diary is a crazy show. You’ve got insane cults, insane politicians, insane children, insane couples, insane deities, and more. Everything is just bananas in this series, and it keeps topping itself until the very end, which makes up for how uneven Future Diary is at the beginning. Even among the ridiculous antics and backstabbing, though, what we’ll miss most are Yuno’s crazy ass eyes. Where oh where will we get out weekly dose of madness now?

Strangest fetish


The toothbrush scene. Oh, the toothbrush scene. It’s so superbly ridiculous and funny, but that also does not preclude it from being a weird fuckin’ fetish. We have it on good authority that a certain blog leader who shall go nameless attempted to recreate the orgasmic glory of this scene (on himself, though, not his imouto BLOG LEADER NOTE: It was on my girlfriend guys, saying ‘on myself’ makes it sound like I brushed my own teeth, which is hardly a daring feat), and he emerged from his experiment unsatisfied. Spit, meanwhile . . . it’s spit, man. Shit’s gross.

Winner: Nisemonogatari Toothbrush

Runner up: Mysterious Girlfriend X Spit

5: Nisemonogatari


Toothbrushes and imoutos, Platinum Disco and scenes that focus on anything about Shinobu that can be fetishized, Nisemonogatari has it all for the discerning anime fan, the minutia of which have been covered countless times before by the intrepid souls who have been sucked in by its pervasive SHAFT-ness. By not taking itself too seriously despite introducing some less than savory characters, Nisemonogatari propels itself to #5 in our list, proving that in order to stick out in the minds of the Cart Driver’s writers, you need at least one borderline-incestuous scene involving dental hygiene.

Most ridiculous costume


Ultimately this award could have gone to anyone in Nunnally in Wonderland, but come on. How could anyone else win?


And how could anything else be second?

Winner: Code Geass Nunnally in Wonderland King Charles

Runner up: Girls und Panzer Anglerfish

4: Humanity has Declined

Humanity has Declined

Humanity Has Declined is brutally cynical, but with a smile. Its sugar-coated world briefly hides how the world has struggled to move on since whatever calamity removed humanity from the top of the food chain; however, what’s most important is the show’s exploration of topics ranging from industrialization to our tendency to engage in war to our dumb excesses and on and on. And time paradogs. Can’t forget them!

Best OP/ED (either/or)

YouTube Preview Image

“Roundabout” takes this for sure with us, both for being an excellent song and for how it has been used to amplify the conclusion of each episode of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. When the opening note of “Roundabout” sounds, everything becomes that much cooler. “Llamambo,” meanwhile, from Polar Bear Cafe, is Daisuke Ono singing a mambo song as a llama. How could that not be excellent?

Winner: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure ED

Runner up: Polar Bear Cafe ED llamambo

3: Girls und Panzer

girls und panzer

“Hey everybody, look at how stupid this premise is! Upotte look out, we have a new series to ironically declare the greatest show of the year!” In one way or another, the preceding statement was guffawed by almost everyone when this show was first announced. Pink tanks be damned, I don’t think there’s a person that was expecting this to actually work. The irony is that not only was it one of the best shows of the year (the absolute best, according to the sexy, ever-witty Inushinde), but it did so by balancing ridiculous gimmicks, like schools being on gargantuan fucking carriers in the middle of the ocean, with ever-improving battle choreography and writing that’s a huge cut above your average cute girls with military hardware show. While not particularly deep or meaningful, Girls und Panzer’s determination and sense of purpose are impossible not to admire when it pulls off its premise with such charm and bravado.

Best bad anime of the year


You’d figure Guilty Crown would run away with this, but not so fast! Symphogear is just as mad as Guilty Crown, but also has the added benefit of its brand of madness being charming instead of only mindfuckingly stupid. The sheer optimism exuded by every character is almost unhinged in a world that is fairly crappy, and the final plan of the main villain is truly ridiculous. It’s wonderful. But Guilty Crown’s utter failure of writing is also worth recognizing. It’s pure dumb shlock.

Winner: Symphogear

Runner up: Guilty Crown

2: Daily Lives of Highschool Boys

daily lives of highschool boys

For folks who have been growingly increasingly tired of anime in which a bunch of girls act insufferably nice to each other, going about their boring lives and spouting bullshit about the weather in an attempt to appear deep and profound, Daily Lives of Highschool Boys is cathartic. Its destruction of this genre is utterly glorious to behold. Yet, even while in the process of destroying this genre, somehow also manages to capture idiotic youths mentalities far better than those shows it mocked ever managed to.

Worst anime of the year

Kono Naka ni Hitori, Imouto ga Iru! - 08

We wrote a truly awful amount of words on WHO IS IMOUTO. It starts off decently, with some OK basement-level humor, even if some of it was preeeeeeeeeetty offensive. (Hey, onii-chan, let’s fuck that gay right out of you~) But it lost us when it transitioned from evil imouto stalkers to dull corporate espionage and solving problems for the blandest members of Shougo’s harem. The occasional crude joke could not hope to save the show. Black Rock Shooter winning out over Sword Art Online may seem like a typo, but the pick got the blessing of the man who covered SAO from start to finish. When you’re worse than SAO, that’s pretty fucking bad.

Winner: Who is Imouto

Runner up: Black Rock Shooter

1: Aquarion EVOL


What can we say? Aquarion EVOL above all other series captured our hearts and imaginations in 2012. It’s a weird world, but it’s also chock full of charm, heart and memorable characters. EVOL is a bold, silly world that lets its characters be exactly who they are with no care how odd they may seem to outsiders. Also, we’re a bunch of saps who fall for THE POWER OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP and hot springs/beach episodes with lots of bananas.

Readers Choice Awards

You all have awful taste.

Best TV Anime that ended in 2012 (3 choices)

  • Fate/Zero (24%, 126 Votes)
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys (18%, 95 Votes)
  • Hyouka (16%, 85 Votes)
  • Chihayafuru (15%, 77 Votes)
  • Humanity Has Declined (14%, 75 Votes)
  • Nisemonogatari (13%, 69 Votes)
  • Kids on the Slope (12%, 64 Votes)
  • Tsuritama (11%, 58 Votes)
  • Future Diary (10%, 54 Votes)
  • Aquarion EVOL (9%, 46 Votes)
  • Sword Art Online (8%, 44 Votes)
  • Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! (8%, 43 Votes)
  • Jormungand (8%, 42 Votes)
  • Other (not mentioned here) (7%, 35 Votes)
  • Natsume Yuujinchou Shi (7%, 34 Votes)
  • Lupin the Third, The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (5%, 25 Votes)
  • Persona 4 (4%, 23 Votes)
  • Kuroko's Basketball (4%, 23 Votes)
  • Guilty Crown (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Joshiraku (3%, 18 Votes)
  • Bodacious Space Pirates (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Thermae Romae (3%, 17 Votes)
  • Accel World (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Another (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Ano Natsu de Matteru (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Kokoro Connect (3%, 16 Votes)
  • Bleach (3%, 15 Votes)
  • Senki Zesshou Symphogear (2%, 13 Votes)
  • My Little Monster-kun (2%, 13 Votes)
  • K (2%, 13 Votes)
  • Natsuyuki Rendezvous (2%, 12 Votes)
  • AKB0048 (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Btooom (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Tari Tari (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Mysterious Girlfriend X (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Binbougami ga! (2%, 10 Votes)
  • Uta Koi (2%, 9 Votes)
  • Haiyoru! Nyaruko-san (2%, 8 Votes)
  • WHO IS IMOUTO (2%, 8 Votes)
  • Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Medaka Box (1%, 7 Votes)
  • Black★Rock Shooter (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Kamisama Kiss (1%, 6 Votes)
  • Phi Brain (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Gundam Age (1%, 5 Votes)
  • Inu x Boku SS (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Sket Dance (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Sengoku Collection (1%, 3 Votes)
  • Rinne no Lagrange (0%, 2 Votes)
  • Sankarea (0%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 521

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  1. Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    I said this on Twitter a few times, but Hyouka getting more votes than Humanity Has Declined puts a huge smile on my face. Plus Nichibros is high up too, so I’ll forgive the poll for putting Fate/Zero so high up.

    And I haven’t made it a secret that the ending ruined my opinion of the show and its first half, but how did you guys feel about the way Jormungand ended?

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      For the record, I don’t actually mind that Fate/Zero is first place. I’m just surprised it’s leading by such a large amount given most of the readers of this blog (including myself) seemed to agree that there were a lot of boring parts. Then again, I love Hyouka, so take statement that with a pinch of salt.

  2. Shengar
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Too bad Nichibros didn’t win by 30 votes. Damn but its good to see Nichibros up that high.

    • Shengar
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Although Fate/Zero really didn’t deserve the first place, it still feel so much better. So many frikkin poll put SAO in first place making me crying out frustration.

      • Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        I’d complain about that myself, but it’s higher than Kokoro Fucking Connect, so I let it slide.

      • hint
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Aquarion EVOL (9%, 46 Votes) Best anime
        Sword Art Online (8%, 44 Votes) Worst anime
        2 votes gap is almost nothing. Fuck this.

      • Scamp
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

        I was quite enjoying watching SAO climb up the reader voting lists as it stormed by Fujitits and Ano Natsu, but got very worried when it started to get too close to EVOL

  3. luffyluffy
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Why is Mine Fujiko so low


    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      Don’t blame me. I voted for Kodos Fujiko!

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      Because it’s not very good.

      …though Sword Art is somehow in 11th place, so I guess that explanation doesn’t actually hold water, huh?

  4. Gunslinger
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    That last picture rocks. Also that HxH part was determinately not written by scamp right?

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      It was written by me!

      Here’s a fun game: See if you can determine who wrote what!

      • Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:02 am | Permalink

        The Who Is Imouto part is definitely you.

  5. Posted January 1, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I think your choices are pretty good, though you missed out on a few cool ones like Hyouka and Tsuritama.

    but the pick got the blessing of the man who covered SAO from start to finish.

    A feat that likely requires no small amount of perseverance and spirit. Inushinde gets my respect.

    As for the poll:
    Nichibros and Hyouka are near the top of the poll, so that’s good. Fate/Zero as 1 is meh.

    Sencole and Binbougami-ga are way too far down though. :(

    • Scamp
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Sankarea is right down the very very bottom. Like, I know that show had serious problems, but seeing it right down there still makes me a little bit disappointed

  6. fathomlessblue
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Fuck it; picking Nymphogear back up asap!

    I was ready to get you all hell for excluding the Inga-ron ova, but that was actually 2011. Did I actually watch it 2012 or has time flown that quickly?

    Kinda sad by the lack of love Chihayafuru received. I mean the first ten episodes were solid, if not spectacular, but once the show transitioned from back-story/getting the band together to the actual Karuta battles, it was easily the highlight of my year, alongside Thermae Romae. So excited for season 2!

    Fate Zero for readers no 1? Really? Man, screw those guys & their shitty tastes! I mean SAO receiving more votes than Persona 4, Thermae Romae, Tari Tari & Phi Brain? Get thee to Random Curiosity! *shakes head*

    Oh, & you’re all wrong: best fetish this year was the amazing use of hairy male nips & lady muscles in Jormungand. Never before has questioning one’s sexuality felt so good!

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

      Re: Chihayafuru, once again, I prove myself to have the greatest taste.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      I feel like I’d enjoy Chihayafuru if it focused more on the sports and less on the shojo love triangle dead grandfather drama. I’ll give it a second shot another day

      • Shengar
        Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        Actually, its a Josei. If it a shoujo, the karuta would be backdrop, just backdrop and the rest of the show would be focused on the love triangle and school life.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        That’s pretty much what the show becomes. The first half is the back-story/getting the Karuta society up & running arcs, while ep 9-12 starts the transition to more tournament-heavy episodes. The second half has a much more heavy focus on the game. There are still shoujo elements, but they rarely feel overbearing. So far the love-triangle has had barely any focus at all; now I’m just praying the second season continues being as low-key.

  7. Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Roundabout won over ATSUKU LIKE A BLOODY STORM?! I am shocked and appalled.

    Also, you guys have absolutely no overlap with your readers, lol.

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      That’s not even as good as the first OP, much less “Roundabout.”

  8. Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I don’t see why Uta Koi’s bad Engrish should rank any higher than this underrated gem. No, I fucking don’t.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      That…ok, that bit was pretty good

    • shytende
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh yeah, Ebiten…

      If more persons had seen it, it could have even beat Symphogear in his category. Shota Lelouch Clone shouting “I’m a Lolicon !” in the Dragon Ball parody can’t be forgotten so easily…

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

      That was Ebiten though, and expecting anybody to muscle through more than one episode is simply too much.

      • shytende
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:03 am | Permalink

        Well, depending on your mood it’s either the best bad show or the worst show. Most of the time it’s boring and nonsensical, but it achieve some kind of genius in its own terribleness.

        Symphogear is more consistent and entertaining. And have less creepy relationship.

  9. Rait
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see that Fate/Zero won. I think it was the best anime in 2012. All in all I’m pleased with the reader poll, exept Hyouka should not be so high up. It wasn’t that good.

    • shytende
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know about Fate/Zero. I guess I missed this one.
      But Hyouka deserve all its vote. Kyo Ani killed itseif by making its best show ever. I don’t know how they will be able to top that.

    • fathomlessblue
      Posted January 2, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I would have probably liked Fate Zero if the show remembered it was an anime adaptation, rather than a book. I know all these light/visual novel fans of the Fate series, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, Index, etc, just love going into the minutia of battle systems & character motivations, but actively rebelling against the idea of show-don’t-tell in a visual format has always bugged me. 95% of the time the exposition comes as excess fat or lazy info-dumps. I mean all the complaints about how Sword Art Online not including every piece of background information wouldn’t actually change the quality of the overall show. The only benefit of turning F/Z into an anime seemed to be the battle animation, & if that is enough to gain popularity then Last Exile: Fam should be right at the top of the list.

      Some interesting characters (bar Rider/Waver) & dialogue that didn’t sound like poorly written fanfiction would also help. For all my issues with the excess chatter in the Monogatari series, at least it there’s a degree of intelligence in the dialogue. It’s rather a shame that considered a rarity.

      Ultimately my biggest issue with Fate Zero & similar LN/VN stories like those I’ve mentioned, is that they just tend to be really, really silly! That doesn’t have to be bad thing, certainly not in anime, but the level of seriousness both the companies & fans treat them with has always baffled me. The Fate is about the gender-swapped spirits of heroes fighting in a modern setting; how can anyone make that serious with a straight face? Ridiculous amounts of background info, does not equate to a show being seen as more mature or deep! I don’t know, this may just be me but if Fate Zero was written like Aquarion EVOL, I’d probably declare it a masterpiece. At least the tone would fit the story.

      • Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

        Just to back up fathomlessblue, Monogatari at least had the Shaft direction to try and keep the viewer visually entertained whilst it was chatting. Hyouka had those animated set pieces to carry the dialogue as well. And whilst I don’t like C^3, their fight scenes are visually creative as well. Moreso than Fate/Zero at any rate, which was terribly directed for the most part, so both the talking heads AND the fight scenes were a chore to sit through.

      • Shengar
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Maybe because Urobuchi write Zero, thus make it more darker and serious? If it not because the series started as an eroge, maybe Arthur doesn’t really need to be genderswapped at all. We can see much difference between Nasu’s and Urobuchi’s writing style alone from their character of choice (F/SN have teenagers while F/Z most are adults)

        I don’t know either :v

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        But even if F/SN is less sombre in tone, it doesn’t change how serious the show takes itself. This is really more a complaint against LN/VN’s in general: so many seem to have rather dumb, campy & poorly written stories that are then treated with stone-cold sincerity because they’ve been padded with huge amounts of background information. I just can’t get over how straight-laced these rather vapid premises are treated by their respective communities. Very rarely does one come along with the writing & characters to tell a compelling & fulfilling story that also works in anime form. Steins Gate is pretty much the benchmark.

      • Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Just to pick a low hanging fruit, no I don’t see much difference between Urobuchi’s Fate/Zero and the other Type-Moon stuff I’ve seen (particularly Garden of Sinners). It’s always the same “blahblablablablablablablablablablablablablablablabla” and they don’t even have the courtesy to show actual animation during most of those scenes so I don’t get bored.

  10. Embok
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    I find it weird how you can love Evol (writing those two words together hurts) so much but drop AKB0048 after one episode. Sure, one’s about libido powered robots while the other is about guerrilla idols, but they’re both absolutely crazy yet surprisingly emotional pieces that take their absurd premise to the absolute extreme. As much as I usually dislike Okada, she seems to do good work when paired up with Kawamori.

    Otherwise, I would say HxH > JoJo, but yeah those two are some fine action shounen. Shin Sekai Yori and Space Bros are the only notable absences – what’s up with those two?

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      1. They weren’t selected for 2012’s best 2013 anime
      2. They did not end in 2012.

    • Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      I am planning to watch AKB0048, so perhaps I shall carry its torch next year!

      Also, I am still enjoying Shin Sekai Yori, and I imagine Inushinde still is, too.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, I don’t know why I couldn’t get into AKBNumbers either. I think my dislike of everything to do with idol culture is what’s holding me back. I’ll probably try it again another day

      • Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        Much like how you can’t get into AKB0048, I can’t wrap my mind around your love for Girls Und Panzer.

        Like, it has some good jokes and these tank battles are pretty good; but half of the series is pretty typical girls-being-nice-to-each-other-while-commenting-on-how-delicious-their-food-is tripe.

        It’s an okay show, but it baffles me how it consistently took high spots in these top 10 lists.

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 7:10 am | Permalink


        While there is a level of absurdity in AKB, it has nothing on the level of EVOL. It also helps that the latter actually has great comedy, characters & plot resolutions, while AKB has Black Rock Shooter level melodrama & some of most hideous messages for children to ever come from a show. The episode with the family of idol ‘clones’ was one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen, mostly because of how positive its treatment was. I was honestly expecting the reveal that the idol company was the real villain for most of the series. It ended up getting dropped right before the end of season 1; dodgy messages aside, it was just an unbearable slog to get through.


        While there are low points in Garupan, the cute-girl moe elements don’t necessarily have to be a bad thing if there’s enough visual comedy to compensate for it. Sure, girls eating cake is pretty bland; but girls eating tank-shaped cakes sent by model trains, in a bunker-themed cafe is fantastic! You can tell the studio was really into the premise of the show & it proved infectious for many others, despite being neither fans of moe or military hardware. I for one found it a most pleasant surprise!

      • Scamp
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        To add more, I’m enjoying the side tank groups because they’re basically like joke side characters you see in any comedy. The group of 12 year old girls in particular are hilarious in their naivete, and I loved the inclusion of the nerd group right at the end. Similarly, this is what makes the national stereotypes funny. The only time I’m not enjoying the show is when it’s just the main cast of girls sitting around doing nothing

      • fathomlessblue
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        Oh lord, the catgirl with jam-jar glasses that disguise her as being a complete Leiji Matsumoto rip-off (see the OP); that was fantastic!

      • Kevin Yamagata
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

        Somehow I can’t agree with the ‘half of the series’ part. If I could say, the title should be ‘girls und PANZER’, with the PANZER word should be in Impact, bold, larger font size.

        The point is, the proportion of moeblob in it is considerably less than the tank battle, which is the main selling point of GuP, so I won’t say GuP is fall into ‘cute girls doing cute things’ category.

  11. AG
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    I think I’ll jump on the “I’m right and everybody is wrong” bandwagon and say that Hyouka shouldn’t even be in the top ten, let alone top 3 and that Humanity Ha sDeclinedshould be higher.

    Although having Nichibros and Fate Zero at the top makes me happy :p

  12. Madu_Scientisto
    Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

    Having only recently started watching EVOL I did for quite some time think you here at The Cart Driver were overhyping it. Already after I saw the first episode I understood that that was not the case, Aquarion EVOL is definitely the Anime of the Year 2012. Thanks for spreading the word of this gem.

    Similarly I didn’t think much of Nichibros or Girls und Panzer before having watched their respective first episodes, Nichibros looking like standard slice of life and Girls und Panzer having an all moeblob cast. 2012 has really been the year of pleasant surprises.

    Fate/Zero is overrated
    Hyouka is boring
    EVOL is LOVE

    • Scamp
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      More people watching EVOL is always a good thing

    • shytende
      Posted January 1, 2013 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      Hyouka is melancholicand gorgeous.
      But it’s still a Kyo Ani show. If you don’t like Kyo Ani/Slice of Life, I can understand you don’t like it, but Hyouka had one of the best cast of character since a long time.

      But, I really should watch EVOL.

      • Madu_Scientisto
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 12:32 am | Permalink

        Well yeah I’m not a big fan KyoAni but even though I labelled Hyouka as boring, I think it’s a step in the right direction for KyoAni, a slight step away from their usual moe-moe-kyun. I mean ultimately I still found Hyouka to be boring, though it’s not the kind of claw-your-eyes-out-boredom I experienced watching K-ON. Well, each to his own I guess.

  13. Taka
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t finish Hyouka because the first few episodes bored me to tears with their mundane takes on “mystery”.

    I’ll tell you what I like in a show. I like insanity and genius and insane genius the shows I felt had this were Aquarion Evol, Milky Holmes, and to a lesser extent Sapphogear and AKB0048. I didn’t get as much entertainment value out of Symphogear as ya’ll apparently, the only awesomely bad show I think I watched to completion was Another, mostly for the bloodbath at the end. Perhaps Zetman as well.

    As for OP/ED I think Roundabout is generally used but the lyrics get on my nerves. It’s that typical pseudo spiritual stuff passed off as “woah so deep man” by Prog Rock groups in the 70s. “In and around the lake mountains come out of the sky and they stand there” jesus christ give me a break. It almost sounds like poorly translated typical Japanese lyrics, but its not, someone actually seriously wrote those lyrics and thought they had some kind of meaning.

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      The sad thing is that Hyouka is actually one of the best mystery series I’ve seen. Every other mystery anime is always so contrived, idiotically setup, and poorly explained to the point that the audience can’t follow it. Hyouka gives you clues, uses beautiful animated set pieces akin to Shaft or the Tatami Galaxy in order to make sure the long sharp dialogue doesn’t bore you (obviously fails for some people), and follows the rules of the detective genre to a tee. It’s a really smart anime whose premise just happens to be something you’d most likely see in a kids’ show. I personally think that’s charming in the same way people find Sengoku Collection charming, but that’s just me.

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      No, even amongst progressive rock fans in the 70’s, the lyrics were mocked for making absolutely no sense at all. Even the other Yes band members (aside from Jon Anderson) didn’t know what was up with them. xD

      • Shengar
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        So in other words, Jon Anderson troll us like the way Ikuhara did with Utena?

      • Posted January 2, 2013 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        ….Okay, I was wrong: Apparently, Jon Anderson claims to not know what he was writing about at the time either. xD

      • Scamp
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        I’d always thought the lyrics for Roundabout was about them being stuck in traffic

  14. Posted January 2, 2013 at 5:01 am | Permalink

    I am convinced the 6 people who voted for Black Rock Shooter must be messing with us.

    How could there be any other explanation?

    • Zahha
      Posted February 1, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      People just hate it because it was in Noitama time slot. If that wasn’t the case people would just forget that it existed. =P

  15. Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Humanity Has Declined is definitely my favorite of 2012. It wins for being the funniest, the most thought-provoking, and interestingly enough the most heartwarming anime of the year. And, perhaps not coincidentally, it’s likely the most unique anime I’ve ever seen. I would love to read the original light novels for this series one day.

    I guess that’s where the similarities between this list and my own end, though I’ll admit I did enjoy watching Mirai Nikki, just for how insane the whole thing was.

    • Scamp
      Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      I’ll certainly grant you that its the most unique and original idea of the year. Most other anime that tried stuff was mostly in presentation, like Fujitits or Nisemonogatari

  16. Posted January 2, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Whoa, Sankarea and Sengoku Collection are waaaay under there.
    And it seems that people still love SAO nonetheless.
    Guilty pleasure?

    • Inushinde
      Posted January 5, 2013 at 2:25 am | Permalink

      Nah, folks probably just probably liked it for reasons that I can’t quite fathom. Still, I’m surprised that SenColle and Sankarea wound up with a pittance in votes.

  17. Posted January 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    I’m so happy that Jojo is finally getting recognition by so many people, after all of the years of it existing as “The Best Manga That Nobody’s Ever Read”. It really brings tears of joy to my eyes. *sniff*

    And to think, the show hasn’t even gotten to its best material yet. ^^

    • Scamp
      Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      I think it did get recognition, but that was ages ago when the fighting game and OVA came out. It simply hasn’t been relevant in well over 10 years

  18. Posted January 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    …Not relevant in the western world, that is. The Jojo manga has always had a strong fanbase in its home country. =)

    The old Jojo OVAs did not hold much of a candle to the original Jojo manga, to be honest. I’d even go so far as to say that the second set of OVAs from 2000-2002 are a disgrace to their source material.

    So before this fall season, if you hadn’t read the manga, then you hadn’t REALLY experienced what Jojo is like. It was only when this stunningly faithful TV adaptation showed up that the people who prefer watching anime to reading manga began to get a taste of its greatness.

    I cannot praise David Production enough for their excellent hard work. I simply cannot.

    • Posted January 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      I meant for this to be a reply to Scamp in the comment block above. ^^;;;; Whoops…

  19. Nadgers
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully jojo will go trough all the parts. Also yay roundabout.

    Can somebody explain why that very blue lady has a pepsi ad in her hat?

    • Scamp
      Posted January 2, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      You need to get yourself some Tiger and Bunny

      • Nadgers
        Posted January 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        I’l give it a watch at some point.

  20. Pusswookie
    Posted March 30, 2013 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for turning me on to Aquarion EVOL. I managed love all the characters in it, including Jin and Yunoha’s (brief) relationship and I’m even pretty sure Jin is a pedophile.

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