It’s nice to look back occasionally and look at the previous year. How was 2011 in terms of anime?
Most Pleasant Surprise
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
After the first episode’s panty flash from a little girl, I dropped the show and didn’t finish the episode. A few weeks later, I decided to give it another shot, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s setup with the “three” main characters gives a unique and much needed twist to the harem genre. Its jokes can be fairly witty, and the characters are not your straight-up harem tropes. And it’s pretty fun trying to figure out what’s going on.
3. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
Secret financial districts controlling the world seemed like a cool idea at first… but the implementation ended up as a stream of endless gibberish.
2. No. 6
A cool setting with some exciting political intrigue was introduced in the first episode. Which was immediately forgotten in favor of our main character becoming a housewife until the last episode when everything was resolved with a deus ex wasp.
Can anyone see a pattern now? Fractale started off strong, with a fascinating setting and some interesting ideas on human society, but quickly descended into pointlessness and endless jokes about Clain being a “pervert”
6. Mawaru Penguindrum
Catchy tune, with nice visuals and symbolism.
This cheerful, upbeat tune combined with hyperactive visuals was a perfect match for Nichijou.
See what I said for Nichijou’s other OP! I liked this one a bit more.
3. No. 6
Awesome visual effects (esp. the mosaic tiles) synched with good music. I love how everything builds up to the part where the tiles start coming off and the OP climaxes.
2. Mawaru Penguindrum
Sorry, I couldn’t find the shorter version of the song with the visuals. But the reason this one is here is for the song anyway: this was the catchiest song in anime of the year. And it’s sung fabulously too.
1. Kamisama Dolls
I love the visuals with the intersecting glass shards or whatever they are, and the song sounds great too, almost like some Spanish ballad.
Nichijou did pretty well with music… A light and fluffy song, once again perfect for Nichijou!
3. Kamisama Dolls
With this one, I really liked how they started playing the music before jumping right into the ED. Good song too, when I manage to ignore the English parts of the lyrics.
Another catchy tune, technoish, with some stylish visuals. Thanks to vuc for pointing out the one I forgot!
1. Mawaru Penguindrum
A calming and introspective song, a perfect fit for the corresponding episodes of Penguindrum.
Worst Female Characters
4. Utao (Kamisama Dolls)
Her main motivation in the final battle is to get revenge for her cookies.
3. Hibino (Kamisama Dolls)
Is it too much to ask for characters’ bodies to obey the laws of physics?
2. Alice (Kamisama no Memochou)
I will never understand how a grown woman who never leaves her bed is supposed to be cute. Or why anyone in this show puts up with her.
1. Rose (Dragon Crisis)
Screenshot omitted to protect hundreds of innocent computer monitors from defenestration.
Worst Male Characters
1. Ouma Shuu (Guilty Crown)
I know there were some other male characters I hated this year, but Shuu has wiped them all from my memory.
Best Female Characters
5. Kuramitsu Mine (UN-GO)
She only showed up in two episodes, but her vast array of facial expressions captured my attention. She needs her own show!
4. Christina (Steins; Gate)
Witty enough to keep up with Okabe. Yes, smart girls!
3. Kyouko (YuruYuri)
If I were going to be stranded on a desert island and needed to bring someone to prevent me from getting bored, I would choose Kyouko.
2. Chiba Saori (Hourou Musuko)
A character in anime who’s a jerk but who I can actually sympathize with?!!
1. Ringo Oginome (Mawaru Penguindrum)
Crazy and adorable.
Best Male Characters
3. Kraft (Level E)
I think this guy is even funnier than the Prince. (although they have to come as a pair)
2. Rider (Fate / Zero)
Ha ha ha ha!
1. Okabe (Steins; Gate)
“I am mad scientist, yo!”
5. Shidou Misaki (Softenni)
Too cute! And her costumes!
4. Ueno Kirika (C³)
Cute, smart and tragic girl who likes cooking!
3. Tohsaka Rin (Fate / Zero)
Look at her and feel your heart melt in your chest!
2. Eclair (Dog Days)
A great selection of facial expressions!
1. Teddy (Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing)
The Worst Anime
That I was masochistic enough to finish.
5. Kamisama no Memochou
Pretentious, boring and unimaginative with an obnoxious female lead.
4. Astarotte no Omocha
I guess it might not be that bad, if you’re a lolicon.
3. Mayo Chiki
The “draw memes from a hat” school of anime creation.
2. Hoshizora e Kakaro Hashi
The perfectly generic and perfectly dull harem in its ideal form.
1. Dragon Crisis
Rose, please allow me to strangle you and make the world a better place.
The Best Anime
Hilarious yuri hijinks. Do want.
14. Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?
Male zombie magical girls? Where could this possibly go wrong?
13. Star Driver
Ikuhara’s warm-up for Penguindrum. Let’s pretend the last episode never happened.
12. Tiger and Bunny
I thought the superhero genre was exhausted, but they managed to put a new twist on it.
11. Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
A harem protagonist actually has an excuse for being a three-timing bastard!
Supermarket survival strategy!
9. Usagi Drop
Adorable and lifelike characters with beautiful artwork.
8. Steins; Gate
Human is dead, mismatch.
7. Level E
The prince of trolls.
6. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
Great drama, except for the last episode’s slobbering wailfest.
Intrigue, mystery, deception, and magical voodoo.
4. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
The page turner of the year, with Shinbo’s characteristic flair.
2. Hourou Musuko
The deepest and most true to life characters of the year.
1. Mawaru Penguindrum
Symbols, allusions and conspiracy theories, oh yes!