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Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Treatment for 2012 Anime:

2013 and 2014 are virtually tied for the #1 anime year of all time.  But what about 2012?  Wasn't it also called the best year in anime ever when it first came out?  How does it compare to the subsequent years we've just gone into?

1.   SAO
2.   PapaKiki + ova
3.   Shinsekai Yori 1st half
4.   Little Busters! 1st half
5.   Smile Precure + Suite Precure ending + Suite Precure movies
6.   Fairy Tail - tenroujima arc 2nd half + Dai Matou Enbu arc beginning + Fairy Tail movie
7.   Saki: Achiga-hen
8.   Nisemonogatari
9.   Bleach - Substitute Shinigami arc
10.   Girls und Panzer + specials
11.   One Piece - Fishman Island arc
12.  Tari Tari
13.  Bakuman S3 first half + Bakuman S2 2nd half
14.  AKB0048 First Stage
15.  Hunter x Hunter - Hunter Exam arc all the way to the Greed Island arc
16.  Natsuiro Kiseki + ova
17.  Naruto - Hidden Cloud Turtle Island arc + Great Ninja War arc beginning
18.  Strike Witches movie
19.  Hyouka
20.   Fate/Zero 2nd Season
21.   Yuru Yuri s2
22.  To Love-ru Darkness ovas + To Love-ru Darkness s1
23.  Shakugan no Shana III 2nd half
24.  Idolm@ster ova + Shiny Festa ovas
25.  Chihayafuru S1 2nd half
26.  Seitokai no Ichizon Level 2
27.  Btooom!
28.  Jojo's S1 dio arc
29.  Ginga E Kickoff (beginning)
30.  Shin Prince of Tennis tv
31.  Hayate no Gotoku! Can't Take my Eyes off You
32.  TWGOK Tenri-hen
33.  Shinryaku ova
34.  Code Geass akito ova
35.  To Heart 2 Dungeon Travelers
36.  Tamayura ova
37.  Zero no Tsukaima Final
38.  Tales of Symphonia ovas
39.  Major - World Series ovas
40.  Kenichi ovas
41.  Haganai ova
42.  Higurashi kira ova 4
43.  Evangelion movie 3
44.  Usagi Drop special
45.  Baka to Test special
46.  Macross Fb7

2012 has more great anime than 2015, but less than 2013 or 2014.  Its flagship #1 is the first season of SAO, which is unparalleled in quality.  No 24 contiguous eps from any other series can compare to the 24 eps of SAO's original run.  Other high scorers include luminaries like PapaKiki, Precure,  Fairy Tail, Little Busters, and Shinsekai Yori.  We know how good those shows are, they're just as good in 2012 as they are in 2013 or 2014.  The interesting twist, then, is Girls und Panzer at #10.  In my overall rankings, Girls und Panzer is #54.  Hibike! Euphonium is #7 in 2015 but only ranked 84th overall.  So you can see that 2012 is outcompeting 2015 in every way measurable.  But 2013 had Ojamajo at #8, which is higher ranked.  2014's Grisaia is also higher ranked, but that's only because Grisaia also has 2015's Meikyuu and Rakuen in the overall competition.  So here we have a Mexican standoff -- 2013 is better than 2012 in every way except that it didn't have SAO.  2014 has SAO just like 2012, but 2012's SAO is better than 2014's SAO.  However, 2014 had more great rankings series than 2012 overall in the year, but, but, but. . .

I think I'm still going to stick with 2014, just because of how many good new series appeared in 2014.  Still, it's clear that there's a strong argument for 2012 as the best year in anime, just like there was a strong argument for 2013.  The only thing all these comparisons have proven so far is that 2015 is weaker than any recent year in anime memory.  Which isn't a bad thing, we've been having an inordinately good run recently, and it doesn't make sense that this kind of performance could be maintained steadily.  Even so, what do you want to bet 2015 was worse than 2011 too?

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