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For the final discussion thread of the year, I think it makes sense to talk about the year in review. 2023 brought us many things from the actual, final, for real this time, finale of Attack on Titan, to a long-anticpated anime adaptation of the Pluto manga. I want to hear what your favorite and least favorite shows of the year were. Here are the seasonal lists of shows in case you need to jog your memory:

As always, remember to be mindful of spoilers. If you want to know more about how to handle spoilers in this community, check the guide here (also linked in the sidebar).

  • @ReluctantZen@feddit.nl
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    5 months ago

    I feel like I watched very little anime this year. checks list about 30 it seems. 5 of which are dropped.

    TLDR:

    • Fav: AoT and Witch From Mercury
    • Surprise: Dead Mount Death Play and Undead Girl Murder Farce
    • Disappointment JJK S2
    • Worst: Kingdoms of Ruin
    • Most forgettable: Summoned to Another World for a Second Time
    • Eh, I’ll get around to it, maybe: Heavenly Delusion, Mushoku Tensei and Suzume

    Favourite of the year is definitely Attack on Titan. Very good conclusion to an amazing show. Runner-up would be the 2nd season of The Witch From Mercury. Especially glad it’s not a drawn out series.

    Surprise of the year is Dead Mount Death Play. I decided to watch it on a whim and was pleasantly surprised. The 2nd part hasn’t been as good, but still fun. Runner-up would probably be Undead Girl Murder Farce. A fun detective anime with some supernatural twists. The banter between the MCs is particularly fun.

    Some honourable mentions: Jigokuraku, Dr. Stone, Zom100, Tomo-chan and Nier Automata.

    Disappointment of the year would be JJK S2. I liked S1, but just couldn’t get into S2 at all. I thought it might improve if I stuck around long enough, but I finally dropped it after that octopus guy. They were treating every fight like a boss fight and they took up entire episodes. Minor mob characters from S1 were supposed to be important all of a sudden too (Choso). And they added narration too, explaining all the techniques used, explaining what we could literally see, and giving us biology/chemistry/physics lessons, which felt like desperate attempts to make their powers seem believable, even though before, no one questioned that. I liked the premise of the 1st half, what with the star maiden and such, but it didn’t really go anywhere. No real questioning the Jujutsu Sorcerers and why they’re okay with such a thing. Just a villain backstory >!who, might I add, is later revealed to actually be dead (which I also found really oddly revealed), so it was kinda pointless? !<.

    Worst of the year would be Kingdoms of Ruin. Immediately you could feel that this was ragebait and nothing more.

    Most forgettable of the year for me would be Summoned to Another World for a Second Time. So forgettable that I forgot this anime various times during the writing of this. Also, the only one on my list that I was like ‘what was this again?’.

    And finally my ‘eh, I’ll get around to it, maybe’ anime of the year are Heavenly Delusion, Mushoku Tensei and Suzume. Suzume is the biggest contender for ‘getting around to it’, but the others, especially Mushoku Tensei might sit around in my To Watch list for a while.

    Thank you for coming to my anime awards. I’ve been ReluctantZen. See you next time.

    Edit: completely forgot Frieren, since it’s still ongoing. It’d share the place with Witch From Mercury for favourite of the year.

    • @wjs018OPM
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      45 months ago

      Our watchlists don’t seem to have overlapped too much, but Zom100 and Tomo were great (haven’t watched the episodes Zom100 released today yet). I was especially impressed with the adaptation they did for Tomo given that it is a 4-koma. Between Tomo, and previously Bocchi, it seems like 4-koma manga have been getting some adaptation love lately.

      As for your get around to it list, I have seen Heavenly Delusion and Suzume. For Heavenly Delusion, it was way better than I thought it was going to be. I binged the manga after watching the show because it was really engaging. However, there hasn’t been any announcement for season 2 yet and I have read that it didn’t really perform well in Japan, so I am not sure a season 2 is coming, so we will see. Suzume is absolutely gorgeous. Every bit as pretty as you would expect and a audio-visual spectacle. As for the story, I was a bit disappointed personally, but it seems to vary a lot from person to person how much it connects with you. If the story connects with you, then it will really connect.

      Dead Mount Death Play is probably on the top of my get around to it list. I am a big fan of Durarara and Baccano, so it is something I am definitely going to check out at some point, but I just ran out of time to pick it up while it was airing.

      • @ReluctantZen@feddit.nl
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        35 months ago

        haven’t watched the episodes Zom100 released today yet

        Oh yeah, I havent either. Forgot that was today.

        Dead Mount Death Play is probably on the top of my get around to it list. I am a big fan of Durarara and Baccano

        I didn’t even realise it was by the same author. It’s not even close to the same type of show as Baccano and Durarara, especially vibe wise.

    • anon6789
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      45 months ago

      Best

      Trigun Stampede - Trigun was one of my gateways into anime, so I was very nervous about them rebooting one if my personal favorites, especially with a CG animation style I’m not normally into. I loved everything about this and want more! The story was much deeper and got into the traumatic parts much more of everyone’s stories. I don’t think it takes away from the original story in any way, but being older now, a more serious and gritty Vash really worked for me.

      Dr Stone / Spy Family - Two of my favorite arcs for these 2, Treasure Island and the Cruise. Both easily met expectations and I was happy to see then both animated after reading the manga.

      Worst

      Farming Life In Another World - Really wanted to like this. Great premise and great side characters and initially reminded me of Slime, but no drama or adventure. MC was lifeless. Kill him off, leave me the adorable girls and the potato spider, show me some actual farming instead of hand waving, and I’m happy. Basically fantasy Silver Spoon is what I was hoping for.

      Surprise

      Tomo-chan and Nagatoto were both more wholesome than expected. I was hopeful for Tomo but not for Nagatoto, but I felt both had great characters, a fun level of awkwardness for both the boys and the girls, and I really enjoyed both as comedies. May pick up reading Nagatoro.

      Zom 100 and Helck I went into totally blind. Zom has been a wild ride that I felt brought done creativity and life to zombies that I’d found lacking for a while. Helck I enjoyed, but the pacing kinda sucked. I’m hoping now the back story is it of the way that will improve.

      Devil is a Part Timer / Magus Bride - Both of these win me back after being ready to drop them. Liked the back story and plot progression both in Devil, and the Hogwarts like magic school in Magus really kicked both shows back into gear for me.

      Eh

      Vinland Saga - I heard it wasn’t going to be at all like season 1, which I was fine with, but this really dragged on. Overall it was ok, the last quarter I enjoyed, but I’m hoping next season is a bit quicker. Was thinking about picking up the manga, but that’s gonna be on hold until I see where this is going a little more.

      • @wjs018OPM
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        35 months ago

        Worst - Farming Life In Another World

        Yeah, this one wasn’t great. I am up to date on the manga, but these types of series tend not to translate to anime very well. The manga does go into some more detail about the farming including diagrams of field layouts, irrigation routes, etc. However, the MC is just as bland as in the anime and as the story has gone on, there is less and less focus on farming and more on exploring like it’s a D&D campaign or something. I am really only reading it at this point due to inertia since I am close to 200 chapters in or something like that.

        Tomo-chan and Nagatoro

        I agree about these two. I hadn’t read Tomo, but was somewhat familiar with it. It was an excellent adaptation of a 4-koma series (similar to Bocchi). Too often 4-komas feel disjointed and weirdly paced when put into anime form (see this season’s “The Family Circumstances of the Irregular Witch”). I liked it enough I binged the whole manga after it aired and it was great as well (the anime pretty much covered all the important stuff, so don’t feel like you are missing something major by not reading the manga).

        Nagatoro, I am up to date on the manga and I think the early chapters/episodes turned a lot of people off. She comes off as a bit of an asshole in the beginning of the story, but it quickly evolves into a very wholesome romcom. I was happy with the season 2 adaptation and the manga continues to be really good.

        Helck I enjoyed, but the pacing kinda sucked. I’m hoping now the back story is it of the way that will improve.

        Agree wholeheartedly on this one. I have a couple episodes to finish on this series, but have had trouble finding the motivation.

        • anon6789
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          35 months ago

          Your comments on Farming Life echo another person I’ve talked with. It’s such a shame. I really wanted something cute and mildly educational, but they just didn’t do enough of any one thing to grab my attention.

          I was going to go back to read Tomo, but I also heard it didn’t skip much.

          Nagatoro, I don’t know if I’ve watched the second season at all yet actually, but I have popped into some random manga chapters to see where it’s been going, and I still enjoy what I see. This might have to be my next read. I started One Piece for the first time a few months ago, and I’m almost caught up, so I’ll be needing something new.

          Helck had me totally confused what it was going to be in the beginning. The whole demon lord contest was not what I was expecting from the visuals. Then they introduced Piwi, who I adore, but other than 1 or 2 episodes, they didn’t do much with him. And while Piwi sits literally off to the side doing nothing for like 6 episodes, we get very little comic relief during the huge block of dark backstory. The overall content was great, but I feel the first half was so silly and the second so serious, I feel it just should have been blended better to be more tonally cohesive. The way they did it felt like 2 barely related stories mashed together. I do look forward to where they go from here. I feel it leads to a happy ending, but the jumping tone still leaves possibilities for them to throw some more dark stuff in that could surprise me.

  • WTree
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    35 months ago

    My favorite Top 3 of this year in no specific order

    • Frieren
    • Link Click Season 2
    • Skip and Loafer

    Also really enjoyed watching these

    • Fate/Strange Fake special episode
    • Oshi no Ko
    • Heavenly Delusion
    • Kaguya-sama movie
    • ONIMAI

    Least favorite this year

    • Giant Beast of Ars
    • Kingdom of Ruins
    • Magical Destroyers
    • @wjs018OPM
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      35 months ago

      Heavenly Delusion is a great pick and probably my biggest surprise this year. I had never heard of it, picked it up on a whim, and it was outstanding.

      • WTree
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        35 months ago

        Me too. Never heard or seen hype post for the anime. Watched it cause it is by Production IG. And it didn’t disappoint.

  • @wjs018OPM
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    25 months ago

    tl;dr:

    • AOTY - Frieren with honorable mention of Oshi no Ko
    • Worst AOTY - Am I Actually the Strongest?
    • Most Mid AOTY - Atelier Ryza

    If you had asked for my anime of the year prior to the Fall season, it would have unquestionably been Oshi no Ko. However, Frieren’s adaptation has been so excellent over this past season that I am hard pressed not to give it my AOTY. I know Frieren is still airing for a second cour, but it has a full cour’s worth of episodes to compare to other seasonal shows, so I think it is fair for now. I think that Oshi no Ko has definitely left a strong impression on me though and I will always remember the first episode and episode 6 as extremely impactful. Few anime have ever had me as invested in a character’s story as episode 6 of Oshi no Ko did for Akane.

    As for my worst anime of the year, this one is tough. I watch my fair share of bad anime so it is tough to pick. I think I will have to award it to “Am I Actually the Strongest?” The show was horribly paced and narratively confused. Large sections of important story were seemingly glossed over almost nothing was explained. Having watched 12 episodes of the anime, I still don’t think I can give any kind of explanation for the MC’s abilities. Just avoid this one, it isn’t so bad it’s good, it’s just bad.

    Finally, in my quest to pretend to still be young, I thought I would also give a mid award. This one goes to a show that was so bland and generic that it wasn’t good, it wasn’t bad, it just exists. That goes to Atelier Ryza for me. I have heard that the game series this show was based off of is actually quite good. I have a friend that has played a ton of them and was hyping up the show to me because of it. However, watching the show being unfamiliar with the source at all, it was extremely boring. Things happened extremely predictably. I actually felt that watching the show was like being stuck in an unskippable, long tutorial cutscene in a game. Things were overexplained, drawn out, and the game’s quest -> reward structure was very obvious. There were never really any stakes it felt like. I don’t know if the entire game was adapted or not, but I certainly hope there is more to the game. The show felt like it was adapting just the tutorial levels.