Best Anime Series of 2013 – Meta-ranking from around the Web

Best of 2013

After some data collection, here is my top 10 list for the best anime series in 2013. Similar to the previous list, I have excluded series that have not finished in 2013 (hence the likes of Kill la Kill and Log Horizon are not in the list). See Appendix for the sources I use and the methodology to give rise to this list.


10. Toaru Kagaku no Railgun S (A Certain Scientific Railgun S / とある科学の超電磁砲(レールガン)S)

Blog Pic - Railgun

Average rank: 14.4

No. of episodes: 24

Director: Nagai Tatsuyuki (also directed Anohana and Toradora!)

Animation Studio: J.C. Staff

Watch if you like: Darker Than Black 

One-Line Synopsis: Mikoto Misak, a Level 5 espers in Academy City, discovers an experiment when her cloned sisters are being used to create a Level 6 esper

Excerpt:

Railgun S has a ton to offer. It has an intriguing metropolitan that I kept referring to Gotham City in my impressions, as they both have dark underbellies and Misaka is pretty much the Batman vigilante in the Sisters Arc. It has an amazing cast of characters, from Misaka and her close group of friends to all of the great bad guys. (Mahou Tofu)

Railgun S mixes fun, excitement, and heart with a healthy dose of production values. The experience is similar to a well-made comic book movie – definitely moreAvengers than Fantastic Four. (Makigumo)

SourceMALANN

9. The Eccentric Family (Uchouten Kazoku / 有頂天家族)

Blog Pic - Eccentric2

Average rank: 14.0

No. of episodes: 13

Director: Yoshihara Masayuki

Animation Studio: P.A. Works

Watch if you like: The Tatami Galaxy

One-Line Synopsis: In a world where humans, tanuki and tengu live together, a tanuki named Shimogamo Yasagamo approaches a truth about his father’s death, who was eaten as a hot pot by human members of a group known as “Friday Club”.

Excerpt:

Emotionally satisfying and reinforcing the theme of familial and personal commitment, this is a touching series with long dialogues and gradual character development. (Anigamer)

Pros: Interesting concept and execution, great writing, interesting characters, amazing artwork and animation style, nice musical score (Moonlitasteria)

SourceMALANN

8. Bakuman. 3 (バクマン。3)

Blog Pic - Bakuman2

Average rank: 13.9 (#3 in ANN, AniDB and AniP; Unranked in SA,  Blog, Aniblogger and other sites)

No. of episodes: 25

Director: Kenichi Kasai (also directed Nodame Cantabile and Honey and Clover)

Animation Studio: J.C. Staff

Watch if you like: Durarara!!, Death NoteHikaru no Go

One-Line Synopsis: Mashiro Moritaka and Takagi Akito continue their quest of getting an anime adaptation for one of their  manga.

Excerpt:

This has been one of the better anime of recent vintage, and it remains the most comprehensive and balanced look inside the manga industry that’s ever been put forward…  Bakuman is and always will be a love story – the love of family, the love of a soulmate, of friends, and the love of manga and anime itself.  It’s packed more genuine emotion into its three seasons than most series could ever dream of, and for that alone I would be a devoted fan. (Lost in Anime)

SourceMALANN

My take: Interestingly, this series is rated incredibly well on the four rating sources I have (MAL, ANN, AniDB and Ani Planet) but barely mentioned at all among the blogs and Something Aweful’s rankings. Is it because people actually consider this part of a series and do not want to include it in their list.

7. Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji / 銀の匙)

Blog Pic - Silver Spoon

Average rank: 9.8 (#2 in Blog)

No. of episodes: 11

Director: Ito Tomohiko (also directed Sword Art Online)

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures

Watch if you like: MoyashimonFullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

One-Line Synopsis: Hachiken Yugo enrols in an agricultural school and learns the inconvenient truth about agricultural life.

Excerpt:

Silver Spoon is a remarkable series. It’s grounded in important life lessons, but it imparts its wisdom with warmth and humor. The show never feels didactic. But it’s not all serious. Silver Spoon is also uproariously funny, with a good helping of surprisingly dark humor. (The Cart Driver)

Silver Spoon delivers a story that I couldn’t help but love. It is never too serious and never too comical; it remains light-hearted but with its feet firmly on the ground… More than anything, it’s a truly human story of growing up that anyone can relate to. (Kotaku)

SourceMALANN

My Take: From the writer of Fullmetal Alchemist, this is probably the only comedy-focused series of the whole top ten list.

6. From the New World (Shin Sekai Yori / 新世界より)

Blog Pic - From the New World

Average rank: 8.8 (Ranks #1 in Aniblogger and Other Sites)

No. of episodes: 25

Director: Ishihama Masashi

Animation Studio: A-1 Pictures

Watch if you like: Psycho-Pass, Nagi no Asukara, Shiki

One-Line Synopsis: Watanabe Saki possesses the “gods’ power” of psychokinesis and enters the Zenjin Academy to train along with five other children, while finding the darker history of the world they live in.

Excerpt:

From start to finish, From the New World has an uncanny ability to draw the viewer in, making each episode a breeze to watch. Furthermore, it also delivers a plausible, well-thought out world that is both chilling and fascinating to behold. (Nihon Review – 9/10)

Taking a unique setting, along with a “screw conventions!”-mentality, Shin Sekai Yori delivers a storyline with a ton of depth to it for those with an open mind. (Star Crossed Anime Blog – 90%)

SourceMALANN

5. Psycho-Pass (サイコパス)

Blog Pic - Psycho Pass2

Average rank: 8.1 (Ranks in top 10 in all but Blog)

No. of episodes: 22

Director: Motohiro Hatsuyuki

Animation Studio: Production I.G

Watch if you likeDeath Note, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex

One-Line SynopsisAn enforcement officer, Kougami Shinya, is tasked with managing crime in a future world where it is possible to measure and quantify a person’s state of mind and personality and recorded and processed them as ‘psycho-pass’

Excerpt:

Psycho Pass explores its unique sci-fi setting really well with thought-provoking dialogue, characters and a great plot, and mostly keeps true to its promise that there would be no moe included. (Star Crossed Anime Blog – 87.5/100)

Outstanding anime with thought provoking themes that made the anime experience a pretty amazing on (The Pantless Animeblogger – 8/10)

SourceMALANN

4. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険)

Blog Pic - Jojo2

Average rank: 7.7 (#2 in SA)

No. of episodes: 26

Director: Suzuki Kenichi

Animation Studio: David Production

Watch if you like: Fist of the North Star

One-Line Synopsis: In 19th century England, a young aristocrat Jonathan Joestar finds himself locked in a bitter rivalry with Dio Brando, a low-born boy who Jonathan’s father took under his wing.

Excerpt:

An excellent adaptation, full of incredibly over the top shounen action with a very creative plot and really likable, albeit simple, characters. (Star Crossed Anime Blog – 89%)

JoJo is indeed a riotously ridiculous experience, packed full of comedy, high camp and magnificent insanity. That’s part of what makes it such an enjoyable romp. But to reduce it just to a parody of muscled men in dumb poses is to discredit the genuine storytelling substance that’s here. JoJo is a magnificent pulp adventure, full of goodies to cheer, baddies to boo, exotic locales to coo at and hideous monsters to defeat. (Glorio – #3 ranked in 2013)

SourceMALANN

3. Chihayafuru 2 (ちはやふる2)

Blog Pic - CHihaya1

Average rank: 6.6 (Top 5 in all rating sites)

No. of episodes: 25

Director: Asaka Morio (also directed Rozen Maiden, Gunslinger Girl and Chobit)

Animation Studio: Madhouse Studio

Watch if you like: Karuta, Shounen sports anime, Hikaru no Go

One-Line Synopsis: Chihaya continues the quest to become the queen of karuta and lead her club to the high school championship.

Excerpt:

Even though most of the attention is on competitive katura, Chihayafuru doesn’t skip out on the character aspect of what sports brings out in people — like their competitive nature, comradery, disagreement, and drama within the team. (Mindtap – #2 ranked)

Watching a well-written show about fascinating and endearing kids you come to care about deeply is one of anime’s greatest pleasures… Chihayafuru is very, very special, and whether the OVA is the end of the anime or not, I’ll never forget the experience of watching it. (Lost in Anime – #10 ranked)

SourceMALANN

My take: This is a really worthy sequel to the first season which came 3rd on my 2012 list. I have not yet seen many series this year but it will be hard for any series to top this as my favourite series of the year.

2. Monogatari Series Second Season (物語>シリーズ セカンドシーズン)

Blog Pic - Monogatari2

Average rank: 3.2 (#1 in ANN, Top 5 in all but SA and Other Sites)

No. of episodes: 26

Director: Shinbo Akiyuki (also directed Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Bakemonogatari and Hidamari Sketch series

Animation Studio: SHAFT

Watch if you like: Bakemonogatari

One-Line Synopsis: In the absence of Koyomi, new dangerous apparitions begin to appear appear for Tsubasa and Hitagi to deal with on their own.

Excerpt:

[This is] the season that managed to make every previously boring character interesting. The season that had each arc end in a genuinely satisfying manner. The arc that showed a slow maturation of the Monogatari Shaft aesthetic…. [a] wonderfully unique anime. (The Cart Driver – #4 ranked)

SourceMALANN

My take: Neck-to-neck with Attack on Titan but this series might be a little bit more difficult to get into since prior knowledge from the prequels (Bakemonogatari, Nekomonogatari (Black) may be required to understand the series.

1. Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin / 進撃の巨人)

Blog Pic - AoT

Average rank: 2.8 (#1 in Blog, MAL, AniP and Vote

No. of episodes: 25

Director: Araki Tetsuro (also directed Death Note and High School of the Dead)

Animation Studio: Wit Studio

Watch if you like: Claymore, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

One-Line Synopsis: Humanity survived within the walled city against the onslaught of man-eating Giants. Some people may have grudges against this but it you can’t deny its brilliance.

Excerpt:

Attack on Titan has that same summer blockbuster appeal that has the dramatic tension and thrilling fight sequences that make it a true crowd-pleaser, while also having an engaging story behind the action. (The Cart Driver)

If you’re only going to watch one show from the spring or summer 2013 anime line up I’d say Attack on Titan has to be it. Not only does it have one of the most engaging story of that season, but its art, music, and everything else is to die for. (IGN)

ttack on Titan delivered some of the most spectacular action sequences and memorable characters of the year, capturing a huge audience with its mix of fantasy, action, and intrigue. (Tor.com – #3 ranked)

SourceMALANN

My take: Attack on Titan has 4 #1 rankings, the most among all titles and is probably the most recognizable, if not the best, title to come out this year. I have not seen the animation but am in love with the manga series.

The next five on the list are:

11: The Devil is a Part-Timer – Receives #1 ranking from Something Awful but are rated only in the 9-15 ranking from the rating sources, hence its lower position
12: Blast of Tempest
13: Little Busters! Refrain
14: White Album 2
15: The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc – The series actually ranks pretty well among the 4 rating sources (#5-10) but also most likely suffer the same sequel syndrome that Bakuman. 3 has.

Some other statistics from this year:

  • Four of the top 10 are sequels while six are based on manga
  • Only 2 of the top 10 are 13-episode (Silver Spoon and Eccentric Family), while the rest are 24-26 Episodes long
  • A1-Pictures (From the New World & Silver Spoon) and J.C. Staff (Bakuman. 3 & Railgun S) are responsible for two series each in the top 10

Comparison to 2ch ranking

Admittedly, my ranking is Western-centric. I do not have any Japanese sources at all. This is why it is interesting to compare my list with the ones conducted on 2ch, one of the more outspoken Japanese forums. Not saying it represents the Japanese test but it should be a fun exercise. Below are the top 10 from their year-end poll, with the ranking from my list in the bracket (note that the list is based on series that starts in 2013, so JoJo or Girls und Panzer (last year’s #1) are not represented. Otherwise, we might see the tanker girls besting the Titans)

1. Attack on Titan [1]
2. Non Non Biyori [18]
3. Love Live! [38]
4. Chihayafuru 2 [3]
5. Gargantia [16]
6. Eccentric Family [9]
7. My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU [17]
8. Arpeggio [41]
9. The Devil is a Part-Timer [11]
10. Monogatari Series Second Season  [2]

All in all, it is actually a pretty similar list to what I have come up with. I tend to have a bias on 2ch list and was expecting something a lot wackier with more moe titles. In fact, 4 of the top 10 between the two lists match. Live Live! and Arpeggio are the only two slightly over-represented titles on 2ch list.

FINAL WORDS

I am personally looking forward to watching Psycho-Pass (for the action), From the New World (for the mystery) and Silver Spoon (for the comedy) at some point. I follow manga from most other series so they won’t be quite as high on my to-watch list. Do you agree with this list? Is there a particular title that is a crime to make it?

Appendix 1: Sources

Here is a list of sources that I use in coming up with the list above

Blog – I have included rankings from 51 blogs (see appendix 4 for the whole list)

Something Aweful [SA] –  Based on their year end thread to ranking anime series in 2013, I have collected information from 105 users

Anime News Network [ANN] – Ratings as given in Animenewsnetwork.com

My Anime List [MAL] – Ratings as given in MyAnimeList.net

AniDB – Ratings as given in AniDB.net

Anime Planet [AniP] – Ratings as given in AnimePlanet.com

Other rating websites [Other sites]: The Nihon Review, THEM Anime, IMDB, Star Crossed Anime Blog

Votes – Collections of voted taken around the internet, from Ramdom Curiosity, The Escapist, The Cart Driver

Anime Power Rankings – Rankings by bloggers administered and collected by aniblogger.com

-

Appendix 2: Source weights

The weighting again is loosely based on the number of voters/users/raters each source has.

Source Type Weight
Blog Ranking 10%
SA Ranking 9%
ANN Rating 9%
MAL Rating 27%
AniDB Rating 10%
AniP Rating 15%
Votes Voting 10%
Anibloggers Ranking 5%
Other sites Rating 5%

-

Appendix 3: Methodology

I use the same methodology as my analysis from previous years. Here are the recap:

  1. The data for all series are collected
  2. For each source., each series is given a rank based on its position relative to other series.
  3. Weights are assigned to each source based loosely on the numbers of raters/reviewers/bloggers and what I view as important.
  4. A composite rank is then calculated based on the sum-weight of ranks and weights in the last two parts. I have toyed with using logs of the ranks to favour high ranks but I find straight weight average gives simple and reasonable enough results.

-

Appendix 4: Blogs

Thanks to these bloggers who put up their thoughts of the best anime series in 2013 on their sites. I always enjoy going through them to form the list of good anime and find out more about what the year has to offer!

Haruhichan
Cart Driver – Shinmaru
Forever Geek
Lost in America
Kidd’s
Japanator
Anime Anthology
Hachimitsu
The Canjun Samurai
Kirito
Chikorita157
Blickwinkel
Kal01
Starshine
Cart Driver – Inushinde
Yamaguchi Hoshiko
Fast Top Ten
Buzzfeed
Kotaku – Australia
Unleash the Fanboy
Hikapo
Game’s Skinny
Info Barrel
Anime Blog Reviews
Screw Attack
AniRec
Kotaku
Cart Driver
Cart Driver – Scamp
Topless Robot
Tor.com
Random Curiosity
Suede
Project Otaku
Standing on My Neck
Anime Mage
Mind Tap
Nerd Reactor
AFA Chan
Gimmgp
Metropolitant
Yaranakya
Glorio
Deadlight’s Anime
You Are Now Breathing Manually
Sekijitsu
Tobiichi
Weeaboo
One Pixel Jump
The Anime Chair
Mytop10List


22 Comments on “Best Anime Series of 2013 – Meta-ranking from around the Web”

  1. Tian says:

    Thanks for the shout out! I’m glad you wrote this, as now I have a convenient guide for what to watch next.

    • I’m glad you might be able to check some of these out:) Which ones are you planning to be watching?

      • Tian says:

        I’m a Monogatari fan but haven’t gotten around to the 2nd season, so that’s probably the first thing I’ll check out. Also need to finish From the New World. From your descriptions I think JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Psycho Pass will be good too.

      • Monogatari is the one series that I probably won’t get around to any time soon. It is going to be an effort for me to start, with it needing so many series to watch before I can fully enjoy this one. Jojo is one of the earlier manga I followed about 15 years ago and it is still ongoing. You should definitely check it out!

  2. MouseUK says:

    Thanks for the mention, glad you enjoyed the list :)
    AnimeMage.com
    Mouse :D

    • Looking forward to seeing your list next year so I can use for the next year list too!

      • MouseUK says:

        LOL ;) No worries…

        I did find the overall list amusing compared to my personal taste/view of last year.
        I think only one of the final 10 ended up on my list of my years faves which was Rail Gun S.

        I didn’t finish watching a lot of the others due to time or not enjoying the first few episodes etc… Though I do intend to finish attack of the titan at some point up to episode 14 then lost interest :S

        Speak soon,
        Mouse

      • Top anime list can of course be very subjective. Personally I really like AKB0048 Next Stage, with all its flaws, and was really hoping that it would rank highly. Alas, it only came 20th… Log Horizon from your list might make it to the list too but it will have to wait another year:)

      • MouseUK says:

        *lol* Yeah I’m enjoying Log Horizon :) see what else the year has to offer :D So far I’m enjoying this season.

      • Any other good series this season that I should keep a look out for?

      • Mouse says:

        Others,

        I’m also enjoying:

        More Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren
        Mahou Sensou

        Sorry for the delayed response :S Been a bit busy

      • Sorry also for my delayed response back. I’ll definitely keep those for the look out when I am compiling this list next year! Right now, I still have all those 2013 series to catch up with:)

  3. Thanks for the minor inclusion (really don’t deserve it) and nice compilation of information.

  4. Jay Boerner says:

    These lists are über helpful, thank you for compiling this!

  5. Kal says:

    Thanks for the mention and excuse me I just noticed. You got a great list there and nicely done! Keep it up! :)

  6. Taka says:

    I’ve seen at least one episode of all these.
    Fully watched: Bakuman 3, Chihayafuru 2, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Psycho-Pass
    ~50% watched: Railgun S, From a New World, Monogatari S2, Attack on Titan
    Just a few eps: Silver Spoon, Uchouten Kazoku

    Bakuman 3 was actually much better than Bakuman 1 or 2 in my opinion. It was the end of the series and it ended well. Up until the very end the romance was left mostly out except in side characters I actually cared about. First season was romance centric. Still I probably would not include it on the list and would probably replace it with Devil is a Part Timer or TWWGOK.

    Speaking of The World God Only Knows this goddesses arc made me actually want another season after I was kind of iffy on the first two. Vast improvement imo.

    Chihayafuru better get a 3rd season. I need to see Chihaya become queen.

    Psycho-Pass is a solid solid anime. While there is a decent amount of action it actually plays best as a Blade Runner-esqe cyberpunk dystopian thriller. Where the action is in spurts and a lot of the moments are based around subtext and what ifs, it’s also a great character drama as the main characters arc is really interesting and engaging.

    I haven’t read the Jojo manga but I love, no adore the Jojo anime. While the first half (Phantom Blood arc) of the series with Dio and Jojo it still has its wild moments of undeniable creativity and hyper-exaggerated machismo. The second arc, Battle Tendency, though with Joseph Joestar blew my fucking mind. Aside from Jojo just being plain amazing the villains in the second arc are head and shoulders above any other shounen villains, even my favorite Phantom Troupe from HxH. I cannot wait for Stardust Crusaders as some people have said it’s all Battle Tendency is and more. I cannot recommend the show more.

    The four I haven’t finished I would also recommend. I just haven’t finished because I became too embroiled in work to watch more than 1 or 2 things a season. I’d still like to someday finish From a New World as its an anime with a lot of mysteries that keep you wanting to find out more. It also occupies that small town has dark secret trope that is somewhat common in anime e.g. Higurashi. Monogatari is more of the same if you love Nisemono and Bakemono you’ll love it. Attack on Titan had some glacial pacing in the middle that couldn’t keep my interest, I’d like to someday finish it as well.

    • I still never followed up on Bakuman anime. The manga did end really well though. I presume the anime follows the manga pretty closely.

      Psycho-Pass sounds really awesome actually. I really have to add that on the list of what to watch next!

      It’s really getting 3rd season? Man, Chihayafuru is my favourite series in the last 5 years. I actually want to see Taichi become emperor more!

      I’ve never seen the series but love the manga, more specifically the 3rd, 4th and first half of 5th season. I never got into the earlier part of Jojo. The way you describe it, I definitely should check it out.

      I’ve never seen anything in Monogatari series so I’ll leave that to the back for the list. Attack of Titan I am already reading the manga and absolutely adore. The opening themes in the series are some of the best I’ve seen in all anime though:)

  7. Magicmew says:

    These lists are great!
    Out of curiosity, where would Kyousougiga be on this list?

    • Hey, many thanks for stopping by to comment and sorry for my delay. Kyousougiga would actually have ranked 11th. I took it out back then because it was ending so close to end of 2013. Now with more information, I definitely should put it back in and will make the edits. Thanks for pointing this out! Is that one of your recommended series for the year? I still have Psycho-Pass, Jojo and Silver Spoon that I want to watch but would be happy to have an additional recommendation!


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