2011 Anime Year in Review, Part II: #11-20

[Zenyaku-ACIFT] Mashiro-Iro Symphony - 12 [Hi10P 720p h264 AAC] [92568677].mkv_snapshot_16.33_[2011.12.22_17.52.02] UN-GO - 05 - 07 [gg]_Dororon_Enma-kun_Meramera_-_12_[F7488E84].mkv_snapshot_17.12_[2011.06.29_20.46.38]

As I mentioned in my top 10 post, the top 5 spots were pretty easy to identify this year (though not the order).  By contrast, the last few spots on that list were brutally difficult, as there were at least 9 or 10 shows that were neck-and-neck and could easily have made the top 10.  2011 wasn’t a year with a lot of true masterpieces, but I think it was fairly deep in very good anime – so this second 10 is a darn good list of series in its own right.

11. Mashiro-iro Symphony.  A difficult omission, a show I really came to love and only the third this season to make me cry (Pannya!).  One of the best romance VN adaptations ever, and against all odds the right girl won.

12. Tiger & Bunny.  If it had ended after about 19-20 eps, would have likely made the list.  Kotetsu is one of the best characters of the year, and it was a great Japanese take on American superhero comics.  In the end it got a bit too predictable and preposterous.

13. Level E.  No series I can remember has so gleefully trolled its audience, and no character been more of a troll than Prince Baka.  A bizarre choice for an adaptation, but always entertaining and occasionally brilliant.

14. UN-GO.   Like Mashifoni, a series I would have said had zero chance after a few eps, but it ended up being incredibly smart and very entertaining.  Some of the best political commentary in recent anime and (mostly) well-constructed mysteries.

15. Nastume Yuujinchou San.  Another terrific season from Brain’s Base.  I didn’t love it quite as much as the first two, because the change in focus to Natsume’s human circle wasn’t as compelling.  But that’s just my personal taste – it was still rock-solid.

16. Shinryaku!? Ika Musume.  It was a kinder and warmer season, and somewhat less dynamic and less frequently hilarious.  I still love these characters, and I enjoyed every episode, with a few brilliant standouts as good as anything in S1.

17. R-15.  My “Honorable Mention” winner and the most surprising series of 2011.  So much more than you think it will be – clever, smart, sweet and even deep.  Catch it on Blu-ray without the censor bars.  Banzai, Peace.

18. Dororon Enma-Kum Meerameera.  A hilarious reboot of Go Nagai’s 70’s manga and TV series.  Started slowly but offered perhaps the biggest laughs of the season when it was at its very best.  So ecchi and so gleefully wrong I couldn’t help but love it.

19. Nekogami Yaoyorazu.  The only show in the Top 20 that I didn’t blog, and I wish I had.  A simple and humble series, full of gentle comedy, brilliant seiyuu performances and real warmth.  Incredibly easy to watch and enjoy, a real sleeper.

20. Ao no Exorcist.  Another series that looked like a potential Top 10, but faded late as the anime (which really started too soon) had to veer off the manga storyline.  Still, an overall rock-solid shounen with A-1’s usual high quality and a compelling premise.



  1. e

    enzo when are you going to add the third trailer of ano natsu de matteru?

  2. S

    Hm. Seems like a good list, but I was a little surprised to see Ao no Exorcist at #20, but Iroha not on the list at all. I remember they aired on the same day and it seemed like you were more excited about Iroha than Exorcist. I could be wrong though.

    Shinryaku!? Ika Musume was a tad disappointing from the first season, but I still found it a good show though I thought Working!!' deserved a mention since I felt it improved on what was already a great first season.

    Here's hoping that 2012 will be a greater year. 😀

  3. S

    I thought Deadman Wonderland would make this list since you've expressed your love for it more than once. Nekogami Yaoyorazu and Dororon Enma-Kum Meerameera are indeed underappreciated.
    Happy New Year, Enzo. It's been a great year for LiA and here's hoping 2012 would be an even better one.

  4. A

    Dororon Enma-Kum Meerameera yea really like give all star seiyu cast.

    give also fun & yet it show one thing i've finally get to see after mmany times in anime together they show an all female yuri lesiban ayako-mamiko kiss indeed dream came true!!!

  5. g

    Glad to see a blogger that actually liked Nekogami Yaoyorozu. Most people seem to dismiss it as just a dull mildly moe show and dumped it after its first episode. The episodes focusing on when Yuzu and Mayu first met were especially charming and heartwarming, while Mayu made an unconventional yet very likeable lead.

    Hoping that 2012 will be another good year with more good anime for us to enjoy.

  6. Shuffle – I put Working on there, #7! As for HanaIro, it was probably 21st. But it just pissed me off too many times…

    I really do think Nekogami was underappreciated. But while I love the DW manga, the anime was a bit too flawed. Maybe it'd be 22nd…

  7. S

    Aha, sorry. I was browsing this at 3AM on New Year's and I forgot that you did put Working!!' and it's on your top ten. My bad.

  8. A

    Isn't that a typo? That's supposed to be Natsume Yuujin-Cho San, not Shi, since Shi just started to air.

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