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Scamp’s top 10 anime of 2013


10 is usually an arbitrary number chosen for these lists because it’s a nice round number. However when I went back through 2013 and took all the anime I would actually recommend people watch, I only came up with these 10. The remaining few I watched and liked came with too many big caveats to happily recommend. Kyosogiga (barely understood what was going on most of the time), Genshiken Nidaime (only really liked the HatoXMadrame scenes), Servant X Service (ultimately total fluff) and Death Billiards (vague endings for the sake of being vague annoy me a lot) were the only other anime from this year I enjoyed.

That said, those anime that did make this top 10 are fantastic, particularly from 8 onwards. 2013 was a little thin on the ground when it came to anime, but those that were good were really good. I think I might personally prefer it this way. Give me one great over 3 decent anime every time.

10: Little Witch Academia


There’s always one standout piece from the Young Animator Training Project (now called Anime Mirai). First year it was Ojisan no Lamp. Second year it was Wasurenagumo. 2013 had Little Witch Academia. There’s not a whole lot to it, being a pretty classic children-y sort of story. But it’s wonderfully crafted, probably the best animated thing all year, and made Draco Malfoy into a back-of-the-hand-laughing ojousama. That last piece is probably what pushed it onto this list.

9: Inferno Cop


If Inferno Cop was just A Thing On The Internet, I don’t think I’d like it as much as I do. The fact that Trigger, the studio with massive hype behind its inception, came out with this as their first product made it just so funny. My running theory is that Inferno Cop was made so the studio could get an idea of what the production process was like. I love the idea that one bloke just did all the voice acting, holding up cutouts of the character designs and making up some totally nonsense story as he went along. The ‘bulletproof’ gag from episode 2 is possibly the hardest I laughed all year.

8: Silver Spoon

Gin no Saji - OP1 - Large 03

I feel a little weird putting Silver Spoon on here because it’s not technically over yet. It’s one of those split cours shows where they take a 3 month break between seasons, so technically I should be putting it in the same category as stuff like Kill la Kill that aren’t over yet. What makes me comfortable about giving it some props now is how clearly they intended this first season to be something that worked on its own. The story with Pork Bowl had a shockingly mature and nuanced approached to coming to terms with your food being a cute little animal once. It’s a goofy show with many silly aspects, such as Duel-Wielding Pizzas, but the amount of depth they packed into the story went far beyond my expectations and managed to wrap it up brilliantly.

7: From the New World


I really, really hope A-1 Pictures make more anime like From the New World, although given how poorly it did I guess that’s unlikely. It’s hugely creative and packed with fascinating directorial touches. The horror sequences when there’s a murderous psychic whom we’ve only heard about in legends is chasing them. The fascinating world and infodump early on that revealed how fucked up and interesting this sci-fi world was. The entire character arc of Squealer and how devious that hero got towards the end. From the New World has some major flaws, particular with all the main human characters being boring as hell, but the ending reveals that there was a singular vision for this story that really came together and made it completely worthwhile.

6: Space Battleship Yamato 2199


Yamato 2199 doesn’t necessarily excel in the little details. You can hardly call the writing great when so much of it is so hammy, but I love that hammy dialogue. I love that you can get so invested in this quest the heroes have that you can take it all at face value. Characters final dying words will be about how they always believed you were an alien and hand over the absurdly designed laser gun and you will be totally wrapped up in it all. So long as you can allow yourself become absorbed up in the series, you’ll see all the great character development and shades of grey its story has to offer.

5: Monogatari Series Second Season


Needed more Senjogahara. Otherwise this was the best season of Monogatari to date by a long shot. What it really excelled at was fixing problems that I’ve come to expect from Monogatari. The Worst Girls were all suddenly super fascinating characters. Each story arc no longer ended on weird anticlimaxes and instead wrapped up excellently. It flipped narrators with each arc which really helped make the characters feel like more complete people rather than a specific fetish they were in previous seasons. It’s otherwise still the same show. It still defies standard storytelling procedure with its winding nonsensical dialogue and post-modern approach to set design, so much so that I still find it difficult to explain why this works where everything else in a similar vein is so miserable. Probably because there still is nothing quite like it. Still needed more Senjogahara though.

4: Psycho Pass


With the exception of the Ghost in the Shell franchise, anime doesn’t really do cyberpunk anymore. Not a huge loss since most of those old cyberpunk OVAs were crap. What makes Psycho Pass so much better than them is its focus is on the real meat of what makes the genre interesting. How technological advances can have severe impacts on society. Psycho Pass covers so much ground with the future it builds and covers it intelligently and in fantastic depth, all while managing to tell a great story with a handful of important characters. Its flaws, which tend to come out when it rushes through some explanations (HYPER OATS), stand out so much because of how well defined their vision of the future is.

3: Attack on Titan

Shingeki no Kyojin - 20 - Large 26

When Attack on Titan got it right, it was the most goddamn thrilling thing around. The scene composition with the spinning cameras and the building of the music with the overall sound design of titans stomping through trees and roaring at walls made the whole thing just edge of the seat thrilling. It also does that great thing with character creation where they (almost) all have clear personalities that make them instantly memorable and fit into the larger story being told. Behind all that thrill though there’s a great story being told. There’s a reason why the ridiculous dramatic things happen in Attack on Titan. There’s a broader theme that’s kinda fascinating, even if it perhaps presents a slightly aggressive philosophy. But all of that is still ultimately background to crotch-propelled spiderman ninjas fighting giant derpy naked people punching each other.

2: Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure


The energy gone into making practically every single scene in Jojo’s pop is phenomenal. It just never lets up with how much goddamn fun its having presenting this most ridiculous of stories. I don’t think I’ve ever spazzed out over colour use in anime before, but holy shit how they use colour in Jojo’s is beyond magnificent. Ever since I finished Jojo’s, most of my criticisms of anime since have been “you should try be more like Jojo’s.” It is quite possibly the most fun I have ever had with an anime. I’ve been doing these year-in-review posts since 2008 and if Jojo’s had aired any other since starting blogging, it would have easily made #1. It just had the unfortunate luck to air in the same year as…

1: Watamote – No Matter How I Look at It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular


Comedy can strip down walls that are otherwise too uncomfortable to go behind. It takes a tremendous amount of skill to do without cheapening the subject matter. Most comedies don’t even try and instead turn into one of those terrible “very special episodes” sitcoms run when they realise they don’t have the talent to cover this serious subject without grim faces. Watamote achieves this. Through its comedy it tackles this very singular character study of someone with crippling social anxiety and her attempts to escape it, and in doing told a far more sympathetic tale. I have no personal connection to the story being told. I was never Tomoko nor did I ever know anyone like Tomoko (funnily enough, those people tended to keep to themselves). I love Watamote because of what it achieves as a comedy. Everything it does, through the directing choices, the weird artsy effects, the OP and ED, the painfully slow arc of Tomoko, all done as comedy but all are done to enhance and tell this story. I love Watamote to bits and if it had ended on episode 11, it probably would have been my favourite anime of all time.

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  1. Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I very recently watched the entirely of Inferno Cop and that exact same gag had me laughing out loud too, which woke my mother. Funniest moment in that web series.

    And what exactly is a “Clannad”? I know what show you’re referring to but I can only assume it’s the title those girls get… You have a thing for pigs or something? :P

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      something something the girls in clannad are just pigs to the slaughter metaphor something something jun maeda masturbates to little girls dying something

  2. Gan_HOPE326
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    That’s the problem with Generic “Best Of” Lists: they force you to make uncomfortable and not really meaningful choices. I would be hard pressed to pick the anime I liked the most between Jojo’s BA and Watamote – I liked both of them for such wildly different reasons I can’t even compare them. In a sense, even though they belong to different media, it would make more sense to me to compare JJBA to stuff like Game of Thrones, which at least had in common the same sitting-on-the-edge-of-the-seat-weekly kind of effect on me. Watamote was just a different sort of thing (also because I’m one of “those” people).

    • Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      I completely agree. I can hardly even compose a competent top five without it sounding remotely asinine (which is why I have never actually made one). Some anime has impressed me more than others, but actually narrowing down why in a fair manner is really tough.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

      On some level yes, rating these things is arbitrary depending on my mood, but I take this stuff way too seriously. This ranking had a lot of thought put into it

  3. Yokoelf
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Nice list! :) Ep 11 of WataMote really had a nice ending, it’s like the whole series culminated to that episode’s last scene.

    If I would make a list, I would still put SnK at first, even though I gave Psycho Pass a higher score on MAL but… adding to everything you wrote about SnK, it was enjoyable by everyone… I’ve seen from shoujo fans to people who didn’t like anime at all watching and liking it, haha :P

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Real hardcore anime fans seems to not like Attack on Titan, being criticised as baby’s first anime. I think those people are stupid

    • Cirith
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I dropped SnK. Not because of anything the show did, but because I read the manga and started to lose interest in it at that point, then my lose of interest transferred to the anime.
      I will watch the rest of it sooner or later, but there is still other stuff on my list.

  4. Turtle Team
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Girls und Panzer sitting at 0/2? Inushinde is the both the anime blogger we deserve AND the one we need right now.

    • Nazaren
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      I thought so too, until I remembered they counted it for 2012’s list, due to the fact that (iirc) only one episode came out in 2013.

      Still wish it was up here now though :P

    • Shinmaru
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we are not counting it because only two episodes aired this year. Also, because it makes compiling these lists a bit easier. It probably would have made all our lists if we counted it, though.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

      In my 2012 post I ranked Girls in Panzer my #3 of the year. If I decided to choose it for this year it would have ranked #6. 2013 > 2012

  5. Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t get past one episode of Watamote. It basically depicted my existence, so for me it was like watching torture porn. I’m glad normal people like it though.

  6. Mr. Anon
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Doesn’t like Hataraku Maou or Servant x Service, Scamp confirmed for hater of fun.

    • Cirith
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Please, Jojo’s is distilled fun.

    • Posted December 29, 2013 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      The lack of Maou-sama is one of the few things keeping Scamp in the realm of good taste.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      That part at the start was me basically giving Servant X Service an honourable mention as an anime I actually liked this year. Maou-sama though, fuck that show. Was good for about 3 episodes then dropped the ball completely

      • gedata
        Posted December 30, 2013 at 1:44 am | Permalink

        “Maou-sama though, fuck that show. Was good for about 3 episodes then dropped the ball completely”


  7. Ramiel
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    I almost agree with this perfectly, though I’d probably knock down Watamote to near the end, and I never really watched nor got Inferno Cop.

  8. Silverbeard
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I agree with 9 out of 10 positions on this list with Watamote being the only exclusion?

    I suppose Scamp still hasn’t lost his cart driving skills.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      I have the best taste

    • Varyn
      Posted December 30, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Glad to here Im not the only one unimpressed by Watamote, I have AvPD so it should be interesting watching pretty much my life story but it’s so repetitive and crindgeworthy I was bored of it by the half way mark.

      Also despite loving clannad I can’t stop laughing at “pork bowl is best clannad” tag.

  9. Mormegil
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    “Pork Bowl is best Clannad”
    This is a quality tag.

    Good list! I really need to watch the new Yamato. Clearly, I’m missing out.

    And now we wait for Inushinde’s top 10.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      I think that tag may have been created by Inushinde? I certainly never made it. It just popped up when I typed in Pork Bowl as an option

  10. GTebbetts
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 5:13 pm | Permalink


    (I’d lump Death Billiards in with LWA, though.)

  11. Ken
    Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes! Solid list.

    Non Non Biyori would be on my top list of the year. When I started watching it I said to myself, this is slow boring moe crap, but it worked it’s magic on me just the same. Sure it wasn’t an epic story but what it did with comedy, subtle mood and atmosphere had me looking froward to every episode. People should give it a try.

    • shytende
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      I’m confident it would be on Inushinde’s list. It may even be on the first place.

      Non Non Biyori is made by people who understand perfectly what is Slice of Life, and love the genre.
      That’s actually rarer than people may think.

    • Scamp
      Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

      Wait and see on Inushinde’s listing. He sent in his points tally for his end-of-year joint Cart Driver listing, but he tends to rank that slightly differently from his own top 10 so I’m still not quite sure how his will shape up.

      Non Non Biyori though is definitely on it

  12. Posted December 29, 2013 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    I agree with this list, mainly because I’ve seen only four of these and they’re all in the top four.

  13. Erif
    Posted December 31, 2013 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    wow man, I haven’t seen all of these but I don’t think I’ve ever been in such agreement with you till now. All you need is Flowers of Evil and you’re good.

  14. Posted January 3, 2014 at 3:39 am | Permalink

    Pretty great list. Still need to see Psycho Pass.

    Love From the New World. Was my top show of the year. I do have to take issue with Squealer being considered a hero though: http://thecartdriver.com/12-days-of-anime-7-my-name-is-squealer/#comment-101504

  15. SiberDude
    Posted December 29, 2014 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Am I not manly enough to appreciate Watamote? From the New World had by far more story in anime than I anticipated and enjoyed.

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