Best Anime Series of 2012 – Meta Analysis From around the WebPosted: January 20, 2013
Another year, another set of animes to analyze. Similar to previous years, I try to collect as much data from around the web as I can to see what are the best anime series in 2012. Coming into the exercise, I have no idea what good series there are that I should follow so this yearly analysis benefits me as much as anyone else. I hope a few of you also find some use in it too!
Below is the final list of anime based on all the sources (listed in the appendix at the end)
10. Future Diary (Mirai Nikki / 未来日記)
Composite ranking: 13.6
Best Ranking:#4 (IMDB)
No. Episode: 26
Watch this if you like: Psychological thriller, Deadman Wonderland, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni, Eden of the East, Death Note
One-line synopsis: A loner Yuki participates in a life-or-death contests armed with a future-predicting diary to become the new God of Time and Space.
Everything about Future Diary is tailored toward being as shamelessly cheap, crass, and exploitative as possible– and it’s utterly fantastic. (#5 Cart Driver – Inushinde)
9. Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! / 中二病でも恋がしたい!
Composite ranking: 10.3
Best Ranking: #4 (Votes)
No. Episode: 12
Watch this if you like: High School romantic comedy, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
One-line synopsis: High school freshman Yuta Togashi is forced into a ‘contract’ with his classmate once she finds out that he was once a ‘chuunibyou patient’.
Chu2koi managed to build up one of the most lovable and self-relatable cast I’ve ever seen in anime. Comedy, romance and drama are flawlessly mixed together with smooth transitions from one theme to the next. The luxurious level of polish KyoAni poured into the production of this series solidifies it as an absolute joy to watch. (#1 IPX)
8. Humanity Has Declined (人類は衰退しました)
Composite ranking: 10.1
Best Ranking: #4 (Somthing Aweful, Aniblogger)
No. Episodes: 12
Watch this if you like: Surreal fantasy, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
One-line synopsis: Young Watashi returns to her hometown to assume a position as an arbitrator between human and fairies as she tries to save the human race (MAL)
[Humanity Has Declined] was an enchanting, charming anime that toyed with the subjects of humanity and civilization in a rural, dystopian setting through its exceptional and distinguished protagonist. (#2 Avvesione)
7. Nisemonogatari (偽物語)
Composite ranking: 7.3
Best Ranking: #4 (Anime News Network, Anime Planet)
No. Episodes: 11
Watch this if you like: Arakawa Under the Bridge
One-line synopsis: Koyami sisters Karen and Tsukihi are on a mission to capture Deishu, the black swindler who has returned to town to spread cursed incantation (MAL)
From toothbrushing to lethargic accordion/fiddle melodies, Nisemonogatari offers the weirdest in anime and makes it work (#2 Cart Driver – Inushinde)
6. Daily Lives of High School Boys (Nishibros /男子高校生の日常)
Composite ranking: 7.3
Best Ranking: #1 (Something Aweful)
# of Episodes: 12
Watch this if you like: Frantic & slapstick high school comedy, Lucky Star, Nichijou
One-line synopsis: The lives of a group of students who attend the boys-only Sanada North High School and their acquaintances (ANN).
Finally, a slice of life anime that delivers humor that I can truly relate with my high school experiences. That said, I think the best part of this is the girls in this show as it presents them as a scary mystery (#5 Kuroshinko)
Comment: If not for the voting (especially on Random Curiosity which surprisingly ranks this 32nd, below quite a few other lesser titles such as High School DxD and Btooom!) it would have been a few places higher in the ranking.
5. Sword Art Online (S.A.O /ソードアート・オンライン)
Composite ranking: 6.5
Best Ranking: #1 (IMDB)
No. Episodes: 25
Watch this if you like: .Hack series, Fantasy, MMORPG
One-line synopsis: The players of a virtual reality MMORPG, Aincrad Online, are trapped and need to beat the game itself to leave the game.
The anime art was splendid, the plot was solid, the action scenes were amazing. Everything was coherent and does make sense (#5 Kal01)
Comment: Many bloggers and online users seem to lament the fact that the series started out very strong then faded away. I am still excited by the premise and can’t wait to start watching this at some point!
4. Hyouka (氷菓)
Composite ranking: 6.5
Best Ranking: #4 (Something Aweful, AnimeBlogger)
# of episodes: 22
Watch this if you like: High school comedy/club life, The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi, K-On!
One-line synopsis: Houtarou Oreki joined a Classics Club at his sister’s insistence and become involved in a variety of mysteries in the school that only he seems to be able to solve.
Comment: Behind the top three comes Hyouka and Sword Art Online
At times Hyouka will be an interesting character study, and others, it’ll glide effortlessly to an inward study of detective fiction itself…There’s an effortless, fluid change between Hyouka’s masks which makes each story more interesting than the last. (#1 Pretense with Glasses)
A series about friendship, finding mystery in the familiar, about natural talent and discovering your limits, beautifully animated. (#2 Bateszi)
3. Chihayafuyu (ちはやふる)
Composite ranking: 4.7 (1 #1, 5 top 3s)
Best Ranking: #1 (AnimeBlogger)
No. Episodes: 25
Watch this if you like: Competitive card games with strong characters, Hikaru no Go, Hanasaku Iroha, Bakuman.
One-line synopsis: A girl and her childhood friend become fascinated by the obscure the obscure world of competitive karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry (ANN)
At the end of the day, Chihayafuru focused more on friendships, characters and their passion towards karuta as well as their goals. (#1 Yamaguchi Hoshiko)
Blending a sports drama with shoujo romance and adding in heavy doses of legitimate comedy, Chihayafuru is an exceptional anime. (#3 Avvesione)
Comment: If you want to learn about an new card game, this is your chance! The anime seems to do a good job introducing new and obscure sport/game (see Hikaru no Go with go or Akagi with mah-jong)
2. Kids on the Slope (Sakamichi no Apollon /坂道のアポロン)
Composite ranking: 4.6
Best Ranking: #1 (Anime News Network)
# of Episodes: 12
Watch this if you like: Watanabe Shinichirou (Cowboy Bebop), Jazz, Beck
One-line synopsis: A couple of friends discover the joy of playing Jazz.
From the catharsis of a live performance to the sheer skill required to play an instrument properly, Kids on the Slope is at its best during these moments, when its able to convey a raw enthusiasm for jazz, and a spine-tingling sense of freedom with it. (#1 Bateszi)
Heartfelt storytelling is the greatest strength of this anime, combined with likable characters and great sountrack this anime is certainly a must watch.(#4 Kuroshinko)
1. Fate/Zero 2 (Fate/Zero 2ndシーズン)
Composite ranking: 1.9 (5 #1s, 3 #3s)
Best Ranking: #1 (Blog, MyAnimeList, AniDB, Anime Planet, Vote)
No. Episodes: 12
Watch this if you like: Fate/Zero, Fate series, Good actions
One-line synopsis: The battle for the Holy Grail continues between the mages and their hero spirites with more lives lost and more secrets revealed.
Although the fights and various action scenes keep the viewer on edge, in the end it’s the execution of brutal strategies and the utter ruthlessness of the two opposing leads which sell the show (#3 Pretense with Glasses)
Awesome dialogue, great fight scenes and great plot, Fate/Zero is the complete package (#1 Kuroshinko)
Comment: The undisputed number 1 series of 2012 and it is not even close. Every sources rank it within the top three. The prequel came 5th in my last year’s analysis and it takes the top stop this time round. I am wondering though whether this is more because it is better or the competition is significantly weaker in 2012. Initial look at AniDB and ANN scores suggest very close ratings so the fact that the first season has to compete with one of the strongest set of animes in the last few years most likely weighs it down.
- Interestingly, there are seven titles that are in top 3 of at least one of the sources. This is a similar number to last years’. Last year, Steins;Gate ranks in the top 3 in all sources. This year, there is Fate/Zero 2.
- High School/Student settings heavily dominate this chart (Nichibros, Kids on the Slope, Hyouka, Chunibyo). Fantasy is another one that nearly rounds out the top 10 (Fate Zero, SAO, Humanity)
- The ones that just miss out are: #11 Tsuritama, #12 Jormungand, #13 Kokoro Connect, #14 LupinIII: The Women Called Fujiko Mine, #15 Another
More analysis on this to come in the next blog post. I’m interested to especially do a comparison between 2011 and 2012 now that I have enough information on both years!
Appexdix 1: Sources
Here is a list of sources that I use in coming up with the list above
Blog – I have included rankings from 30 blogs
Something Aweful – Based on their year end thread to ranking anime series in 2012, I have collected information from 75 users
ANN – Ratings as given in Animenewsnetwork.com
MAL – Ratings as given in MyAnimeList.net
AniDB – Ratings as given in AniDB.net
AniP – Ratings as given in AnimePlanet.com
Votes – Collections of voted taken around the internet
Anime Power Rankings – Rankings by bloggers administered and collected by aniblogger.com
The weighting again is loosely based on the number of voters/users/raters each source has.
Appendix 2: Methodology
I use the same methodology as my analysis from 2012. I try to be as objective as I can when aggregating all the sources together but that is not always possible.
- The data for all series are collected
- For each source., each series is given a rank based on its position relative to other series.
- Weights are assigned to each source based loosely on the numbers of raters/reviewers/bloggers and what I view as important.
- 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 3: Limitations
These are the shortcomings in the way that I am compiling this list. Hopefully in the coming years I will be able to rectify some of them to make the list as comprehensive as possible.
- I wish I have more sources from Japan. As it stands, sources I use are overwhelmingly international and a bit more data from the land of Anime would be nice.
- Series later in the year gets fewer reviewers/raters than ones earlier. I am assuming that there is a critical mass so the results will not change too much with more numbers.
- Usage of ranking fails to recognize the gap between each anime that exists. For example, animes rated 7.4, 7.0 and 5.0 will be given 1, 2 and 3 ranks respectively despite the fact that the third anime is so far behind.
- I am using simple weight average to calculate composite ranking. I like the simplicity but aybe there is a better method for this?
Appendix 4: Blogs
Thanks to these bloggers who put up their thoughts of the best anime series in 2012 on their sites. I always enjoy going through them to form the initial list of good anime and find out more about what the year has to offer!
Appendix 5: Votes
Random Curiosity – 29,917 votes
Akiba – 6,978 votres
4ch – 6,848 votes
Hi10anime– 3,619 votes
MyAnimeList – 359 votes