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Darkhorse of 2013
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21 / M / New Jersey
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Posted 1/2/14 , edited 1/2/14
Toaru Kagaku no railgun S developed a plot and ultimately blew me away. It was so much better than its first season. Even though I had seen the sister arc in Index, the sister arc done in Railgun S was the absolute best arc of 2013 to me.

TWGOK: Goddess arc did the same. I thought the first two seasons of TWGOK were awful. This one was a game changer.

White Album 2 blew away the mild expectations I had of this show because of the poor reputation of its not a prequel prequel.

Valvrave the Liberator 2. It's almost hard to believe that both seasons were Sunrise.

Oreshura / Outbreak Company / My Mental choices / Hentai Prince. I thought they would all be trash. I was wrong for every single one of them.
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49 / F / Center of the Uni...
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Posted 1/12/14
Apreggio of blue steel, I came for the Shojoumorphism and naval combat.

and stayed because it was surprisingly good.
Posted 1/12/14
Flowers of Evil...


I like realism in storytelling; and the characters in FoE felt real to me... like they're not just there to play a specific role, the characterization have fluidity... and they don't act like 2dimensional characters. For example, in most animes, you will see the... tsundere, the geek, the hero; they're so boring, right? It's like they're just there to play a specific role, they don't have any personality or any interesting thing to say. In FoE, you won't get any of that shallowness.

The animation was also real, the angle techniques, the artistic use of backgrounds... pauses, non-speech, silence... no use of emoticons on characters' face like "XD" or "T_T", which was really refreshing to see in an anime that has a serious storyline as it doesn't break the consistency of being a genuine melodramatic story.


Secondly, I love experimental storytelling. I see this one was really experimental, the oddities of the characters; I mean look at the male lead; he's an average high school student, quiet and pretends to understand a book beyond his knowledge and understanding. He doesn't have the "ideal" personalities that most romance anime's male lead have. He feels like a real 15 years old.

The two female leads are also exceptional, you have this Saeki who's a top student, yet she's clingy and insecure as hell. So very different from the typical mainstream romance lead that is "shy" and "goody-goody two shoes".
And then, the centrepiece of the show, I believe is Nakamura. She's shown as this rebellious and mean-spirited girl, yet she has a sensitive side to her. Her character impacted the other two characters' lives so much.



Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with mainstream animes, but I just like seeing experimental stuffs because I like experiencing new characterisations and creativity in storytelling. I'm not here for the same thing over and over and over again.
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33 / M / Seattle
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Posted 1/12/14
Let's see. For me, it's hard to decide between Pet Girl of Sakurasou, Log Horizon, Arpeggio of Blue Steel, Outbreak Company, and Unbreakable Machine-Doll. At least I had some level of high expectation for LH and UMD, while the same could not be said about Arpeggio and Outbreak and both titles ended up being great. However, Pet Girl of Sakurasou, the first two episodes had disaster written over them, but it ended up being one of the best of this year, so Sakurasou is my dark horse pick.
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24 / M / The Dark Continent
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Posted 1/12/14
The Devil is a Part-Timer!
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27 / M / アビス
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Posted 1/12/14
out break company

unbreakable machine doll
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26 / F / West Virginia
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Posted 1/13/14
Log Horizon. Like everyone else said, I thought it was going to be a rip off of SAO but it turned out to be a good anime.

Kill La Kill. It really sounded like it was going to be meh and the animation threw me for a loop. But I did check it out and I'm loving it.
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25 / M / Somewhere.... per...
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Posted 1/13/14
Mushibugyou
Samurai Flamenco
Blood Lad

I didn't a single shred of hope for these anime...
..But they all turned out to be freaking awesome...!!
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36 / M / Planet Sanno
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Posted 1/13/14
*chuckles*

Looks like I am far from the only person picking White Album 2. Warms my heart that so many others took a chance on it with me and stayed to watch the whole thing. But I also pick The Unlimited Hyobu Kyosuke. (Tempting to pick Flowers of Evil, too, but that one was controversial and much-discussed from the start.)
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28 / M / NY
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Posted 1/13/14

Schmeh172 wrote:

Lolz, thought you were referring to Darkhorse Comics


Ha, looks like I'm not the only one who thought this thread was about DH comics from the title.

For me, hands down it's The Pet Girl of Sakurasou; though it technically started airing fall 2012, but finished late winter/early spring 2013. After the first couple of episodes I thought it would be an ecchi romcom, but instead it was a bittersweet tale of trying and failing; you can try hard, but natural talent will usually win. I'd say it is a tie between Yuushibu and Outbreak Company for runners up. Both really surprised me in how well executed their stories were given those types of shows usually rely heavily on fanservice with little substance to the story.
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34 / M / Orlando, FL
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Posted 1/13/14
Gargantia kind of caught me by surprise. the first 10 or so minutes of the show is pretty dull but after that initial commercial break the show definitely switches gears and suddenly becomes a hell of a lot more interesting. we just got done watching the first two episodes at Propeller Anime's Best of 2013 Showcase (which also included Kill la Kill, Hajime no Ippo, Little Witch Academia, and Attack on Titan) so i am very interested to seeing how this show plays out with such an interesting premise.
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30 / M / Over there
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Posted 1/13/14
I'll say The Pet Girl of Sakurasou in my case.
Not because it's not well known and such, because it was very well known.
But I thought at first it would be just an anime about a braindead girl That it would just annoy me, so I didn't bother with it for a good while.
But fortunatly I bothered, and it was a great one.
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40 / M / Minnesota, USA
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Posted 1/13/14
I Couldn't Become a Hero... and Outbreak Company tied for first. Henneko surprised me as well, as I wasn't expecting much of a story from an anime with a name like that.
72528 cr points
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44 / M / Canada
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Posted 1/13/14
LoveLive! A huge seller and great anime that came out of just a few PVs and singles!

And Non Non Biyori! I don't think the manga ever ranked in the sales charts but it came out as such a beautiful, funny, charming anime! Loved it!
Posted 1/14/14
Flowers of Evil. I did not expect to enjoy it at all, but I was completely wrong. It was quite fascinating.
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