Stark’s Picks: 2012 Anime of the Year

You Can (Not) Handle All This Moe

It has been about a year since I did my first AOTY article for, and since then I’ve begun writing the Weekly Anime Round-Up, where I talk about currently airing anime fresh from Japan.  This year I’ve decided that all of my picks for AOTY will have to consist of shows that finished airing within the year, since some shows can turn ugly during the second half.  This year I have also included a few special categories, along with my top 10 picks for the year.  This year, Comedies and Slice of Life shows dominated the scene by delivering some very unique concepts that proved to be incredibly entertaining.

This ranking is based solely on my personal selections for the year, so don’t get bent out of shape if your favorite show isn’t here.  There were plenty of other shows I personally enjoyed that did not make this list, but I would like to encourage any fans out there to post their favorites from 2012 in the comments.  I tend to watch most of the stuff readers have suggested in my other articles, so it’s always good to share your favorites.

10.  Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate
(Love, Elections, and Chocolate)

The only election in 2012 that was worth paying attention to.

KoiChoco is about a school in the near-future that is operated by a powerful student government.  When an upcoming election threatens to shut down the school’s easygoing clubs in an effort to make budget cuts, Yuuki Oojima of the “Food Research” club enters the election to save his club.  Unfortunately, he soon finds that this seemingly innocent school election is full of conspiracies, class-warfare, and even attempted assassinations!

This show mixes political drama and typical school romance into a unique formula that was very enjoyable.  I really liked that they didn’t leave the story or its romantic elements “open” at the end like many shows, and instead things wrap up very nicely over the course of 12 episodes.  Also, the beer-chugging teacher was the most awesome teacher in all of history.

9.  Upotte!
Japan may love guns even MORE than Americans do.

In Japan, pretty much anything can be represented by cute girls.  Upotte is about a school for assault rifles, where different models of guns are schoolgirls.  These girls train and compete amongst one another in school sponsored events to prove which “gun” in the superior weapon.  This show combines slice of life elements with action sequences, along with some interesting lessons about military firearms.  And there is lots of ”gun cleaning” (Guess what kind of scenes those are), because clean guns are happy guns.  This show ends with a literal “bang” as the girls eventually battle against the “evil” cold-war era Soviet firearms.

While this show did not have a large popularity in either Japan or over here, it has gathered a cult following among aficionados of weapons and all that is cute.  The strange concept behind this show is what originally drew me in, and it was executed well enough to be one of my favorites for the year.  The NRA should be taking notes; because an anime is somehow one of the greatest pieces of pro-gun propaganda of all time, and the ending delivers a simple yet undeniably true statement about the nature of firearms.


8. Ano Natsu de Matteru
(Waiting in the Summer)

Ku Ku Ku… Who wants some dynamite drink?

Ano Natsu is a high school/summer romance story with the twist of having one of the students being an Alien that has crash landed on earth.  While this has certainly been done before, this show does it right.  The story involves a boy named Kaito that becomes mixed up with a girl that is new to town, and unbeknownst to Kaito and his friends, new to planet Earth.  Most of the story takes place during summer break, when Kaito and friends film an amateur sci-fi film and attempt to sort out their feelings for one another.

This show has a cast of interesting characters, crisp and colorful scenery and animation, and a great storyline with lots of unique twists and turns.  The end of this show is quite the surprise, and finishes the story in a spectacular fashion.   This show is a great watch for anyone that digs the romance/slice of life genre.

7. AKB0048

Idols fighting space marines with motherfucking lightsabers.  What more could you want?

This show was created as a shameless plug for the famous Japanese Idol group, AKB48.  This show has the ridiculous concept of being a story about an Idol group in the future that flies around the galaxy performing shows on various planets.  The catch is that the Interstellar government has a ban on entertainment, and they enforce this ban with heavily armed troops and battle mechs.  This means that the rebellious Idol group, AKB0048, must be proficient in both singing and combat.

The absurdity of this concept is what makes this show surprisingly good.  Watching idols fight off armored troopers and battle mechs with microphones that turn into lightsabers and clothing accessories repurposed as weapons is a kind of crazy awesomeness that only anime can pull off.  Who would have thought that a show about fun being illegal would be one of the most fun shows of the year?

6. Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II
(Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere II)
Big boobs and frenzied combat are back!

This is Horizon’s second time to land on my AOTY list, and its back for all of the same reasons.  This time Tori and the crew of the Musashi travel to the floating island of England, while still fighting off the Testament Union.  This season delivers even more of what made the first season so great:  crazy and creative fast-paced fights, a unique setting with a detailed universe, and lots of sexy girls in skin-tight outfits.

Horizon is what happens when anime gets cranked up to 11. It is an intense show that moves at a brisk pace even when it seems like not much is going on.  For a second year in a row, Horizon has continued to be a devilishly entertaining blend of action, comedy, and fanservice concentrated into pure fun.  Rumor has it a third season in the works, so we may get yet even more of this!

5. Yuru Yuri II
I for one, welcome our new moe overlord.

I missed the first season of this show when it aired last year, but I got caught up just before this season aired.  Yuru Yuri is a slice of life/comedy about a group of girls in the “Amusement Club”, which is pretty much just a club for the girls to mess around without any real purpose.  With the phrase “yuri” in the title, some may get the idea that the focus of this show is on lesbians, but that would not be an accurate assumption.  While some of the girls have crushes on one another, that isn’t the focus of the show, and there is no form of fanservice to be found in this show whatsoever.  This show is simply a light-hearted comedy with a lot of character-based humor.

This show has a similar vibe to “Lucky Star”, but its unique humor and oodles of cuteness keep it in a class all of its own.   While this show is by no means revolutionary, it was one of my favorites this year because of the simple fact that no matter how bad a mood I was in, this show could make me laugh.  Anyone looking to get into this show should watch the first season, since the most of the jokes are tied closely to the characters and their personalities.

4. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?  OF THE DEAD
(Is This a Zombie? Season 2)
Even alcoholics are cute in anime.

Zombie is yet another show to return to my list of AOTY picks.  Even though this season is more focused on this shows ridiculous brand of humor instead of advancing the main storyline, the non-stop laughs from this show make it all worth the time.  A few new characters are introduced this season, my favorite one in particular is a cute girl in a frilly dress that spends her time drinking booze in the school’s chemistry lab and puking rainbows.  Other wacky additions to the cast include a mysterious man that coughs up blood for no reason, and a busty magical girl that spends her time drawing manga.

My only major complaint with this season of Zombie is the fact that it abruptly ends just as the story has built up, but the endless barrage of hilarious situations more than made up for any misgivings I had.  This show begs to have a third season, but considering its so-so BD sales, the chance seems slim.  A sliver of hope for more remains due to the fact that the final episode and OVA hint at more to come.

3. Haiyore! Nyaruko-san
(Nyaruko-san, the Crawling Chaos)
Don’t be scared, she’s just an unfathomable abomination.

Even Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos is not beyond the reach of Japan’s culture of cute.  Nyaruko is a comedy about a student named Mahiro that becomes dependent on the protection of Nyarlathotep, who has taken the form of a cute girl.  Anyone hoping this show will be a serious take on the Cthulu Mythos should stop right here, this show is a reference-packed comedy show through and through, and that’s why it’s awesome.  Each episode is crammed with references to Japanese TV shows, anime, video games, and even a few American films, along with the its own brand of random, at times perverse, humor.

While it is unlikely for any viewer to pick up on all of the references, there is still plenty of stuff for a seasoned anime fan to pick up on.  Even without the references, the nonstop humor of the show in itself will have anyone that isn’t dead inside laughing their ass off.  I had tons of fun watching this, and the best news yet is that a second season is already on its way!

2. Accel World
Fun Fact: Silver Crow gets all the bitches.

This anime has received a mixed reception among many fans, mostly because of the fact that the main character is a short, fat student harassed by bullies.  Anyone that passed on this show for that reason has only cheated themselves, because Accel World was one of the most amazing shows to air this year.  Accel World takes place a few decades in the future, where a device called the neuro-linker has made major advancements in information technology.  Neuro-linkers are powerful computers that are worn around the neck, and connect directly to the mind.  This device makes Augmented Reality a part of everyday life, and Virtual Reality video games a popular pastime.

This story is about a student named Haru, who uses Virtual Reality games to escape his miserable life of bullying and disrespect.  One day his life is changed when the most popular girl in his class offers him the chance to download a mysterious program called “Brain Burst.”  At first glance, Brain Burst seems like nothing but a MMO fighting game, but the game rewards its players with something called “Burst Points.”  These burst points can be used for leveling up avatars and other in game exchanges, but their real power is they can also be used in the real world to “overclock” a players brain.  This accelerated thinking speed gives its user a sensation similar to stopping time, allowing players to gain an advantage in real life.

Accel World takes place in an interesting universe, as both the real world and the world of Brain Burst make for an awesome sci-fi setting that is one of a kind.  Watching Haru’s character grow as he faces the struggles of the real world and Brain Burst was a really great aspect of this show, since Haru eventually breaks the mold of the typical, weakling “Shinji Ikari” type of character.  This show has an awesome mix of action, drama, world building, and of course, plenty of cute girls.

1. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
(Despite my Adolescent Delusions, I Want to Date!)
The Dark Flame Master is the world’s only hero.

During his middle school years, Yuuta suffered from what some people call “chuunibyou” or “8th grade syndrome.”  Basically chuunibyou is something like an overactive imagination.  Yuuta loved to stay in the character of “Dark Flame Master”, a fictional character he created through his love of anime and manga.  Now that he’s made it to high school, Yuuta enrolls in a school where no one knows him, in hopes of living a normal life without the embarrassment of his childish behavior from middle school.  Just as Yuuta thinks he’s on track to enjoy a healthy social life, a girl named Rikka climbs onto his balcony, seeking the “famous” Dark Flame Master.  Rikka wears an eye patch to conceal what she calls the “Tyrant’s Eye”, and claims she is on a mission to find the unseen Horizon.

This show is an amazing romantic comedy, animated by Japan’s famous Kyoto Animation studio, an anime studio renowned for its high quality animation and captivating characters.  The antics of Rikka and her “servant” Sanae kept me laughing through almost all of this show.  This show also features some amazing animated “battles”, scenes where Rikka and Sanae’s delusional fights are brought to life in spectacular fashion.  Eventually things do take a serious turn, as both the drama and romance heat up between the characters.  Everything comes together nicely at the end, making this a great “feel good” anime.

This show tops my list for AOTY for its unique take on a romantic comedy, fun characters, beautiful animation, and a heartwarming story that deals with being true to oneself and coping with loss.  This anime didn’t set out to blow anyone’s minds or bring drastic change to the medium, it simply set out to tell a good story, and that’s what makes it so wonderful.  While I personally find a lot of Kyoani’s shows to be hit and miss, I think this is one of the best shows the studio has put out in years.

2012 AOTY Special Categories:

2012 AOTY Honorable Mention:
Psycho Pass
One of the most awesome weapons in all of anime.

Psycho Pass was not considered for AOTY simply because it is only halfway finished at this time.  However, this is probably one of the best sci-fi anime to come around in years.  Psycho Pass takes place in a future where a computer known as the Sybil system watches over and evaluates the minds of every citizen.  This system knows if some has, or will commit a criminal act, and “Latent Criminals” are given the choice of seeking therapy or suffering the consequences.  The story surrounds a police force known as the “Enforcers”, latent criminals that are given a second chance by hunting down other criminals, under the supervision of detectives.  The enforcers also employ a unique firearm known as the Dominator, a gun that will only fire upon an individual with a high “crime coefficient”.

This show has a really awesome setting, great characters, incredible animation, and interesting villains.  Psycho Pass has only gotten better with each episode, so things are looking good for the second half.  Depending on how well this show finishes up, it could very well be a serious contender for 2013’s AOTY.

Best Ecchi Show:
Highschool DxD
Trying to find a screencap of this without full-frontal nudity is REALLY hard.

Sure an ecchi show may not necessarily be AOTY material, but they sure as hell can be fun.  Highschool DxD is ecchi done right:  it blends tons of hot girls, a bit of action, and hilarious comedy, and it doesn’t skimp on the ecchi.  The show’s opening has nudity right off the bat, and the credit sequence has an amazingly well animated display of the girls dancing like strippers.  DxD is about a student named Issei , that winds up being murdered and resurrected into a demon by the hottest demon you will ever see.  This show is all about Issei trying to prove himself to his new demon masters, so he may one day become an overlord with the harem of his dreams.  A must see for any fan of ecchi shows.

So Bad it’s Good:
Senki Zesshou Symphogear
Girls in skimpy battle gear are always worth a watch.

Symphogear is a show that takes place in the distant future, when mankind is plagued by an alien menace known as the “noise.”  The only weapon that can defeat the noise is a song-powered battle armor known as the Symphogear.  That means this show is about cute girls in skimpy battle armor that sing idol songs and the fight aliens.  The story is nothing but silly nonsense, but the show is honest with itself for what it is and the cool designs and over the top action scenes make this show incredibly entertaining.

Best Mecha Show (That isn’t part of the Gundam franchise):
Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse
TSF’s are pretty fucking awesome.

Muv Luv was a highly-anticipated show for this year, based off a popular visual novel with a devoted fan base.  Unfortunately, this show’s low production values and slow pacing made it a bit of a letdown for many fans.  While this show is by no means amazing, it still proved to be quite entertaining, and has some really awesome, and at times very gory, action scenes.  Mecha anime have been dwindling in recent years, so there wasn’t much competition, but it was still worth watching nonetheless.

Biggest Disappointment:
Sword Art Online
At least the girls were cute.

This entry is likely to ruffle some feathers, since this is probably the most popular show of the year. SAO is about gamers that become trapped in a Virtual Reality MMORPG, and if they die in the game, they are killed in real life.  I personally enjoyed the first half of the show, and defended its criticisms time and time again.  Unfortunately, the end of the first story arc is where several problems began to pop up.  The story became increasingly reliant on unexplained “miracles” to get the characters out of jams, and the writing became sloppier as the second half of the show continued.  Much of the suspense and thrills from the first half are lost when the main character, Kirito enters a game to save his girlfriend that is still trapped in the virtual world, only to sideline his mission to show off for other girls.  Every time the story goes and explains something can’t be done, Kirito does it anyway, with no reasonable explanation.

The show had a lot of great things going for it: an interesting setting, great character designs, good animation, and an epic soundtrack written by the same composer from Madoka Magica.  Unfortunately, the adaptation of the show from the original light novels was executed poorly, and at times it felt like the writers were literally making things up as they went along.  This show was entertaining, but it is not worthy of the general acclaim and popularity it has received.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: December 17th – December 23rd

This week three shows have reached their conclusions, and I have begun making my final decisions for anime of the year.  A few shows from this season will continue on into the next one, and I’m already planning for a few additions to the round-up when the new season starts.  This was a really exciting week, so let’s get crackin’!

Busou Shinki:  Episode 12 End
It would seem shinki’s have the same problem I do every Sunday morning.

While the shinki’s battle a brutal hangover from a long night of drinking, they realize Strarf has gone missing over the night.  Now the girls will have to muster enough courage and battery charge to rescue their friend from the clutches of a rich and powerful shinki collector.  This episode finishes the show with a bang, and there is lots of action and excitement to go around.  While this show won’t be winning any awards for being anything special, it was entertaining from start to finish.  And now for some reason I’m hoping Konami will reissue the shinki toys so I have something to blow my next paycheck on.  You bastards!

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!:  Episode 12 End
(Despite My Adolescent Delusions, I Want To Date!)
Fuck the police!

Now that Yuuta has left behind fun and imagination, he’s begun to realize that maybe he has gone a bit too far.  With a little inspiration from a letter sent two years ago by the Dark Flame Master, Yuuta sets out to make things right, once and for all.  The ending to this show was very heartwarming, and I personally enjoyed how everything turned out.  I’m not one to sing the praises of Kyoani’s romance anime, but I had a lot of fun watching this show.  This was one of the best shows of the year right here, folks.

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 10
The Canyonaro of tanks right here.

Now that the moe-viets have finally been defeated, the girls have moved onto the finals.  Naturally, since they have defeated moe communists, their next opponents will be none other than moe Nazis.  Now the girls must face a large force of German tanks operated by the world’s most renowned “tankwondo” combatants.  It’s really sad that we won’t know what happens from here until March…

Little Busters!  Episode: 12
The Little Busters are innovators in screwing around.

In this episode the busters find themselves a manager for their baseball team, even though they are still short one more person for a full team.  While this is a typical episode of the busters messing around and not really achieving anything, the antics are fun as usual.  It looks like things may get more serious next week…

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 23
More mecha action, because we all deserve it.

Muv Luv is about to wrap up and there is plenty of action to go around this week.  This episode is packed with TSF vs TSF vs BETA action, something I think everyone has been waiting for.  Strangely enough, this evil plot behind everything going on reminds me of the “No Russian” mission from CoD: Modern Warfare 2.  Get hyped up; the final episode airs next week!

Psycho Pass:  Episode 11
Don’t we all?

This week’s episode is one hell of a ride.  I don’t want to say much in order to avoid spoilers.  I will say that this show was truly shocking, even among veteran anime fans.  Online discussions about this episode have been raving about how this episode truly brings fear, shock, and suspense to life.  One of the most shocking moments in all of anime happens in this episode, and I’m looking forward to the second half of this show.  This is anime at its finest here, folks.

Robotics Notes:  Episode 11
Frau confirmed for best girl.

Just as I have begun to get upset with the show for not doing anything with its storyline, things have finally started to come together and the plot has thickened.  This episode starts off with Frau and her amusing fujoshi antics, along with some references to Steins;Gate, and then the shit hit’s the fan.  I don’t want to say much more to avoid spoilers, but it looks like sticking with this show up until now is finally starting to pay off.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 13
(From The New World)
Oh shit.

While tracking down a friend that mysteriously ran away from the village, it once again seems that knowing too much is a bad thing in the new world.  While this episode was nothing too special, it reinforces that the ethics committee does not fuck around.  I’m not sure what will happen from here on out (like this show is ever predictable), but the second half will be very interesting.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 25 End
You would think someone this rich with ties to America would have a gun…

The conclusion to this year’s most (controversially) popular anime is finally upon us.  Kirito has his final confrontation in the real world, and then move on to collect his waifu.  This episode ties things up as satisfactorily as it possibly can, but his flirtatiousness with his stepsister still seem to wash down the importance of everything Kirito has been fighting for.  The second half of this show has pretty much torn away my praises for this when it started, but if anything I suppose this is okay as a guilty pleasure.  Considering the fact that there is much more source material and the BD’s are selling like hotcakes, there is a good chance we will see more of this.  I’m considering covering any further adaptation for shit’s and giggles, so this may not be the last we see of Kirito and massive plot holes.

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 12
(Blast of Tempest/ AKA The Civilization Blaster)
Never a good sign.

The princess finally returns to the future, just as the situation spirals out of control.  Tons of craziness happens this week, so I’m not going to say much more.  The second half of this show is going to be interesting, nonetheless.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: December 10th – December 16th

This week has brought some bad news for GuP fans.  It seems there are even more setbacks in production, meaning that the show will have some rather hefty delays.  Episode 10 will air next week, even though the production team has already stated there will be some touchups needed for the BD version.  The following episode to air for this year will be episode “10.5” another recap episode (that I won’t be covering).  Episode 11 has been delayed all the way until march, but there are promises for several bonus OVA’s being added to the BD version for loyal fans.  Anyway, there was still a lot of fun to be had with the anime that aired this week, so let’s get started!

Busou Shinki:  Episode 11
Even shinki’s know alcohol is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.

While the girls plan a surprise party for Strarf, one of their friends has decided to enter a shinki tournament.  When the tournament goes wrong, the shinki’s do the same thing the rest of us do when things go bad: get drunk.  While the rest of the shinki’s are getting loaded, Strarf decides to visit a man that claims to be her original owner…

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!:  Episode 11
(Despite My Adolescent Delusions, I Want To Date!)
Sanae dares to ask the question:  Why so serious?

Rikka has begun to come to terms with her past, and has finally removed her eye patch and started acting like a normal girl.  The problem is, now Rikka has become a soulless shell of her former self, and her best friend and “servant” Sanae has been shattered by the sudden change.  I have to admit this was a tear-inducing episode.  Will Rikka and Yuuta fall into a spiral of misery and depression for the sake of fitting in, or is it time for the Dark Flame Master to revive the power of the Tyrant’s Eye?  We will have to find out next week.

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 9
Submit to the Groove-a-tron and DANCE!

Now that the girls are cornered by adorable Soviets, they must plan a way to escape and win this battle, or their school-carrier ship will be lost forever.  With so much on the line, the girls have decided to refuse the offer to surrender, risking their lives for the school they love.  This episode is packed with that one-two punch of cuteness and awesome tank battles that have made this show such a hit.

Little Busters!  Episode: 11
Scenes from this episode should be made into a music video with the Ghost Busters theme song.  Get on it, internet.

The Little Busters have decided to take a break from Baseball and problem solving, to do the one other task they are good at: screwing around.  The Busters have decided to roam around the school at night for a spooky “test of courage”, to look into some of the rumors of hauntings at the school.  When it turns out there may be something that actually goes bump in the night, the Little Busters take on the role of Ghost Busters.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 22
And now for what we all came here to see, big robots and explosions.

This week terrorists learn that taking over a base full of the world’s best TSF pilots may have been a dumb idea.  While firefights and geo-political backstabbing ravage the base, it seems someone was crazy enough to set loose some laser-class BETA from a research lab to spice things up a bit.  Will our beloved pilots of “Top-Tsun” be able to survive the chaos?

Psycho Pass:  Episode 10
When latent criminals tell cute girls to strip, they listen.

When Akane’s friend suddenly calls her to come out to strange part of the city, she decides to have Shinya tag along.  As expected, it turns out all of this was just a trap to lure out Shinya and pit him against that creepy-ass cyborg with a shotgun.  And, as usual, Ginoza is a dick.

Robotics Notes:  Episode 10
It’s always best to leave behind scientific discoveries worth millions to go back to building shitty robots.

This episode starts off with the gang discovering a strange stone that falls from the sky, described by Airi as a monopole.  The show goes off on a long tangent explaining what a monopole is, and how important it is, just for everyone to forget about it and go back to that robot thing they keep messing with.  One strange thing about this show that has been getting on my nerves is that it seems to have two plots.  Every time something really strange happens everyone just seems to ignore it and go back to video games and hobby robots.  This would be fine for the first few episodes, but now that the show is halfway through, it just seems really strange that the story can’t seem to get up off of the ground.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 12
(From The New World)
Psychic powers are way more fun when used to blow people up.

The Ethics committee has summoned Saki, and seeing as she “knows too much”, this is a rather frightening ordeal.  Lucky for her, they are more interested in offering her a deal instead of just killing her outright.  Saki also learns a lesson about the dangers of Fiends and Karma Demons.  While this episode was not too dramatic, there is a lot of interesting things going on, as well as further explanation to some of the shows more “WTF” moments from earlier episodes.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 24
Fun Fact: Asuna’s character in this story arc is only around to be raped.

Kirito has finally used enough bad plot devices to find his way to Asuna, where he finally confronts his enemy.  After a little bit of Asuna abuse, it’s time for what has to be one of the lamest confrontations for a final battle in all of fiction, along with even more bullshit/”miracles”.  We have one more episode of this left, and even if it consisted of the entire female cast having an orgy in a bathhouse I would still be disappointed.  We have all come this far, so we might as well finish what we started…

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 11
(Blast of Tempest/ AKA The Civilization Blaster)
Bouncing boobs are the motivation of any hero.

Yoshino has finally figured out a way to bring the princess back to the future.  Unfortunately, he still has to stall the mage clan while keeping Mahiro from making any crazy moves.  Meanwhile, the military continues to blast away the barriers surrounding the tree of exodus, and a certain breast-loving hero shows up to help my favorite secret agent fighting on the front lines.

Weekly Anime Round-Up: December 3rd – December 9th

The winter anime season is nearly upon us, and this year’s announcements for next year’s anime are already making 2013 into a pretty solid year for anime.  In the meantime, I’m already looking over this year’s shows for my next article featuring my picks for the top 10 anime of 2012.  Be sure to keep your eyes open for my 2012 anime of the year article coming in January 2013!

Busou Shinki:  Episode 10
Merry Kurisumasu!

This wouldn’t be a proper glorified toy commercial without a Christmas special, but a Christmas special about cute girl robots is a treat in itself.  This week Ann gets recruited by a shinki Santa that delivers gifts from a major shinki part manufacturer.  Will they be able to fulfill the Christmas wishes of shinki’s around Japan with parts and weapons used to fight each other in brutal combat?  Find out in the kind of Christmas special only anime can deliver.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!:  Episode 10
(Despite My Adolescent Delusions, I Want To Date!)
Best couple right here.

Rikka and Yuuta have finally hit it off, but there is still one small problem: finding a way to heal the wounds of Rikka’s past that have caused her to live in a perpetual fantasy.  For better or worse, the show has taken on a much more serious tone, and I’m sure shit is going to get real in the upcoming episode for next week.  Hold on to your butts, the weekly moe-verdose is in for some turbulence…

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 8
Moe communists will crush your heart with cuteness.

This week the girls must fight a crucial tank battle for the survival of their school, against the most adorable Communists the world has ever known.  A scene with the Commies rolling off to battle while singing in Russian was perhaps one of the best moments in this entire show.  It was one of those strange times in anime that are inexplicably awesome.  Don’t let the cuteness of these bloodthirsty reds fool you…

Little Busters!  Episode: 10
A quiet girl with no athletic ability, the perfect recruit for the Little Busters baseball team.

The Little Busters still need one more recruit to have a proper baseball team, and as usual, Riki is sent out to scout for new members.  This week’s potential recruit is a dainty, quiet girl that carries around a parasol, par for the course in terms of the Little Busters team recruitment standards.  Watch and see if the Little Busters can make their final addition to the world’s most ridiculous baseball team of all time.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 21
Who needs the BETA to screw over humanity when there are plenty of humans to get the job done?

The battle to regain control of the base from terrorists continues, but now the pilots must face off against a legion of TSF’s on auto pilot that have been turned against them.  Meanwhile, the few good people left in command are trying to figure out who could be truly pulling the strings behind all this chaos.  It also seems that anyone hoping for more fights against BETA may soon be getting their wish granted…

Psycho Pass:  Episode 9
This dude has the creepiest fucking stare of all time.

The newest “murderer of the week” has shown up, this time it’s a crazy old man that has a cyborg body and loves “hunting” humans with a shotgun.  It seems this fellow is a proponent of “cyberization”, and is obsessed with using it to achieve immortality.  This guy also has a stare which will give you nightmares.  I have no Idea why they let him on television to promote anything at all.

Robotics Notes:  Episode 9
My car runs better than this robot.

It’s time to put the global conspiracy aside, because Gunpro-1 is finally finished!  After all years of hard work and warnings from her sister to abandon the project, Akiho has finally stood against all odds and completed the giant robot her sister started building.  Now it’s time for a public showing of Gunpro-1’s first steps.  Will Gunpro-1 dazzle the crowd and its sponsors, or will it prove to be a waste of time and metal?

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 11
(From The New World)
Here, have some random yuri from this episode.  You deserve it.

Saki has somehow safely made it home from the crazy events she experienced, but something isn’t right.  Saki and her friends have already notice that their memories seem muddled, and there is something important that they just can’t seem to recall.  I honestly have no idea what will happen from this point forward, but I’m willing to bet things are going to get really intense pretty soon.

Sword Art Online:  Episode 23
Only a good set of plot-armor will get someone past this situation.

This week’s episode of SAO has so many plot-holes and awful writing issues, all but the most hardcore fans had trouble defending it.  Pretty much everything they explained that can’t happen in this game world just happens with no explanation or reasoning behind it.  On top of that, the writers heaped-on massive amounts of overly-dramatic plot devices to keep this ball rolling with laughable results.  I’ve dismissed a lot of negative criticism of this show during the earlier episodes as nothing more than trolling, but this show has really fallen apart towards the end of its run.  I’m too far along to drop this, so let’s all just sit back and watch this train wreck in awe and dismay for the fun of it, shall we?

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 10
(Blast of Tempest/ AKA The Civilization Blaster)
U mad?

Yoshino has decided to call out the bad guys on their bullshit, and it seems to be working quite well.  He thinks there is a way to save the princess from this time paradox, and judging from the situation he may very well be right.  While this standoff of wits continues, it seems America’s military might is starting to prove they have spent enough borrowed money on weapons to kill magic, because America, Fuck yeah!

Weekly Anime Round-Up: November 26th – December 2nd

We are finally reaching the last few episodes of this season before the winter season begins.  There are several shows that will continue on into the next season, but I will be picking up a handful of new shows as they come along.  In the meantime, it seems Muv Luv and Shinsekai Yori got good again, enjoy!

Busou Shinki:  Episode 9

A simple task of delivering lunch to their hungry master goes awry when the shinki’s stumble upon an underground society of lost shinkis.  Now the shinki’s have become caught up in power struggle between a shinki dictator and the local rebellion against her.  Lunch is probably going to be late…

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!:  Episode 9
(Despite My Adolescent Delusions, I Want To Date!)

Rikka is finally beginning to realize she has feelings for Yuuta, but of course she is too crazy to handle them properly.  Rikka decides that what she is feeling must be from some sort of dark magic cast upon Yuuta, so naturally she must challenge him in combat.  Prepare yourself for heart-attack inducing levels of moe.

Girls und Panzer:  Episode 7

After a visit to the world’s bitchiest grandmother, the girls prepare for their next battle.  The girls manage to find new tanks for their team, while getting lost within their own ship.  I really did not care for how they ended this episode, since they basically skip an entire tank battle and end the show with the result.  It felt really lazy to me, but hopefully it won’t be a recurring trend for the rest of the season.

Little Busters!  Episode: 9

As Rin tends to her legion of stray cats, she discovers a letter attached to one of them.  This cat has been carrying letters from a mysterious person that claims that he will reveal the secret of the world to Rin if she completes the tasks from each letter.  Even stranger so, the letter predicts a mishap with staffing at the school cafeteria, and only the Little Busters will be ambitious (and hungry) enough to deal with it.  The real question is, who could this mysterious/insane cat messenger be, and how could they predict what would happen in the cafeteria?

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse:  Episode 20

This week in Muv Luv:  something happens!  The TSF tournament is going to be put on hold for a bit, on the count of the base being overrun by the friendly neighborhood terror cell.  I don’t want to spoil much, so sit back and watch the heavily censored violence.  On a side note, the show has finally inspired me to get the games running on my computer, so I can enjoy the real Muv Luv experience.

Psycho Pass:  Episode 8

The enforcers continue their investigation into their latest artist/serial killer, and take a visit to one of the last remaining prisons in the world.  The events of this episode lead to a shocking ending, and I’m not going to say much more to avoid spoilers.

Robotics Notes:  Episode 8

It is quickly revealed that the club was vanned by none other than JAXA, whom is strangely enough looking to build a giant robot.  Akiho foolishly turns them down, leaving the robotics club to go back to struggling for funds.  Meanwhile, Kaito continues to investigate the secret reports, causing him to do a series of real-life “quests” to unlock the next one.

Shinsekai Yori:  Episode 10
(From The New World)

This week Saki finally gets to the bottom of “what the fuck is going on?”  This episode dumps out a ton of important stuff related to the storyline, and answers many, many questions about the true nature of cantus powers.  Be sure to catch this week’s episode!

Sword Art Online:  Episode 22

Now that poor Asuna has narrowly escaped becoming the star in an eroge game, it’s time for SAO to go back to doing the one thing it does right- action scenes.  Now that Kirito knows for sure Asuna is on top of Yggdrasil tower, he rushes in to begin the tower quest.  Also, there will be more Leafa/Suguha drama.

Zetsuen no Tempest:  Episode 9
(Blast of Tempest/ AKA The Civilization Blaster)

Spoilers from last week ahead:  catch up, casuals!

It’s been revealed that the princess has been dead for quite some time, and they are only talking to a past version of her from 2 years ago.  It also seems that stopping the tree of exodus’s revival could destroy the world.  Mahiro, however, does not give a fuck.  His quest for revenge isn’t going to end over the trivial matter of mankind’s annihilation, he came here to kick mage ass.  Can Yoshino talk some sense into his friend and find a way to save both the world and the princess?