Best Anime of 2011

Due to some computer issues, I’m pre-emptively posting this list. It’s all worth it, because 2011 was a great year, with a lot of awesome shows! So which ones made my list? Starting from the bottom:

1. GOSICK

Gosick made a splash as THE lolita romance of the year- probably the best romance of the year, for that matter. It’s not perfect, with some arc issues and a slightly off ending, but between some interesting cases, a lovely romance, and having a whole lot of atmosphere, this ended up being one of the best of the year, and almost every episode worth the watch.

2. Chihayafuru

A show about cards and card games that gives Hikaru no Go a run for it’s money! Japan has a way of making these seem interesting, and it really shows, with well-chreographed action and some great characterization that makes this a fun show. While it’s still airing, I’m eagerly anticipating the rest of the series!

3. Redline

Racing is hard to make exciting, but with some great characters and some solid characterization to back up what would otherwise be something that adrenaline junkies could get into, this movie ended up being a treat both visually and otherwise. It’s not deep, it doesn’t make any profound statements, it’s just a good, fun watch.

4. Steins; Gate

Steins;Gate started out slow- it built tension slowly, perhaps a bit too slowly, but then built into a frenzy of action and mystery that really made this shine during the second half. While those initial issues mean it’s not at the top of the list, this still has a solid story and hilarious characters that make this an anime that was both entertaining and moving when it got going.

5. Fate/Zero

I admit to not having seen the anime of or played the VN of Fate/Stay Night, which this is the prequel to. Even so, this manages to be an engaging story in it’s own right, drawing you in from the start with action and intrigue up the wazzoo- I’m having few problems following what’s going on, which makes this a worthy investment of my time. While there are some weaknesses in how it presents the story, this most definitely stands out in this year’s anime!

6. Hourou Musuko: Wandering Son

Here’s to an anime that treads new ground in dealing with gender issues and identity! Doing so with grace and sensitivity, this manages to make people think about these issues, perhaps in ways they’d never thought about before. While the anime does have it’s flaws, mainly in how it starts the story and the rather open ending, for the most part this overcomes them and ends up being a touching and beautiful story.

7. Maruwaru Penguindrum 

An anime that is fascinating, visually and in how it makes you think. There are multiple layers to it, and the Fabulous Max factor brings this to the forefront of Fabulous Max anime this year! Why isn’t it higher? I’m  sure it’s because I haven’t quite finished watching it, and still am unsure of some of the things it’s trying to say- but I have to say, it says them with style!

8. Ano Hana

Ano Hana- a story that speaks to the grief and loss that we all experience in our lives, and one that deals with the effects that it has on children, nonetheless. It treads into territory that few deal with realistic emotions, with a hint of the supernatural that ends up making this piece rather than breaking it.

9. Madoka Magica

What can’t I say about this anime? It treads into darker territory than many, many magical girls dare to. It’s a deconstruction, but manages to be one of the most beautiful and hopeful shows that deal with the same things.

And finally, my pick of the year:

10. Bunny Drop


I can’t imagine a show that deserves this title more. It doesn’t say anything deep, but it is about something that’s important to everybody. What is the meaning of family? How do we build those bonds? There is nothing more heartwarming than seeing those things come to fruition onscreen in this show, where they care for each other and love one another, even if things aren’t always smooth sailing.

And with so many good shows, we even get honorable mentions!

Kimi Ni Todoke – 2nd Season aired this year, and managed to pull off a fantastic ending to the first season- while still being incredibly open-ended and feeling incomplete. Still, it’s definitely one of the best romances that aired, and when watched with the first season, will make any romance lover jump for joy.

Hansaku Iroha pulled off some fantastic writing, being sweet and having lovely characters- for the most part. The show dragged on a little more than it should have, the middle dropping all of the plot it had set up for the first half for filler- decent filler, but prolonging unnecessary drama. Still, this ended up with strong episodes, and overall was a fantastic show.

And with that, my year unofficailly ends. Hope you all had a great one!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. TWWK
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 14:32:40

    I’m glad you decided to do a list! I can’t argue with any of your picks (though I haven’t seen GOSICK or Redline; I’m just starting Steins;Gate).

    Reply

    • sweetpea616
      Dec 29, 2011 @ 11:39:00

      Thanks! Everyone else was doing a list- I was feeling left out! xD I hope you enjoy S;G as much as I did (when it finally got going, at least). There was a bunch of great anime this year, and it was hard narrowing down the list.

      Reply

  2. Kokoro Hane
    Dec 29, 2011 @ 21:09:51

    Since the only anime of this year I’ve actually watched were basically just Steins;Gate and The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, I won’t be able to make a list. But nice list, I’m glad Steins;Gate made it! I know it started out slow, but in some cases that was a good thing so you can become attached to the characters, and really feel for them when things got going! (And since Funimation licensed it, I can expect a DVD release and a dub!! Though it’ll be hard to beat their voice work, I’m sure they can manage equality in excellence).

    Reply

    • sweetpea616
      Dec 30, 2011 @ 14:24:18

      Oh, slow can be a good thing, It’s just that Steins;Gate went a little too slowly for a good amount of people including me- I probably would have dropped it by episode 4 if I hadn’t read your review encouraging people to keep watching. There’s a difference between building characterization and dragging the story out and this crossed the line to ‘dragging out’ in a few episodes. I am thrilled it got licensed, but since Funi allows people to watch their shows online for free, I’d actually recommend you put off buying Steins;Gate and buy Madoka Magica, which is one you surely have to watch!

      Reply

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