Anime Fall 2012 lineup review: the best new series that marked 2012

121022(4) - 常守朱〔Akane Tsunemori〕

Without a doubt, the series that takes the cake of the year 2012 is Psycho-Pass.

Produced by Production I.G, and airing on Noitamina block, their intrigue advertising was clever by not revealing much about the premise.

Lucky for us, there are 26 episodes planned. The main plot and characters already make this series a must-see, a classic after Death Note in tone.

One of their strongest points is that they revealed the character of Kogami to not be exactly a criminal, but rather a misjudgement of the Sybil system, which ultimately reveals the dystopian holographic society that people live in. The presence of the exquisite villain Makishima, a true psychopath that can't be judged by the Dominator because his aura is too pure, gives the contrast and depth necessary to keep the plot going on and on.

Makishima is as beautiful as Kira from Death Note.

Other point that I love is the main female protagonist, Akane. I simply love female characters that don't exactly fall in shoujo cliches without exactly abandoning the shoujo concept. Her chemistry with Kogami is perfectly done, it's obvious only to us (and the team), but that doesn't hinder her character in any way nor is she reduced to be a mere love interest.

Another great series that just got greenlit for a sequel is K. The most beautiful and forward animation of this year, great production values. I can't still decide which characters I love the most, I'm glad to see that the strong, loyal samurai type still persists in Yatogami Kuroh.

Neko is a world on her own and Shiro is the compassionate white haired protagonist that reminds me of Allen Walker of D.Gray-man, which by the way, they have quite similar plots.

The strongest point of this series is that they revealed the main premise only at the end and how the inner universe of the story moves on its own, we don't see this everyday. Plus, this anime has everything for everyone, even shonen-ai moments ^_^. The clothing design is the best I've ever seen for any characters.

Despite the initial mixed reactions, Saint Seiya Omega also marked 2012 with the return of the classic Saint Seiya series for a new generation. What I loved is that they are approaching more classic old school elements, but at the same time looking to strike a balance between the new and the old.

Another great female character featured is Yuna of Aquila. Sure, people would point out that her transformation and attacks are too Sailor Moon-like ^_^'. But her strong resolve and cold-minded approach to solve problems makes her one of the toughest, easily alongside Hyoga or Camus.

The addition of a ninja saint like Haruto is not that foreign. Shiryu's techniques are based on Chinese martial arts and concepts, and nobody complains.

There are still, however, some concepts that classic Saint Seiya fans like me find difficult to adjust: the dark cosmo inside Kouga (Hollowfication, anyone?), the change in some of the Gold Saint's concepts, weird pacing in some of the episodes, and the impression that the producers were a bit undecided whether to cater this series for all audiences instead of kids, as they originally planned.

This is also the year of Jormungand, a series that has broken the mold and has stood out controversially on war, weapons and politics, with characters that would traditionally be masculine, and plenty of shoujo-ai. Again, they exceed themselves with solid character design and development. But I'm not sure on the last arc, I felt it was a copout that ended the second season in a relatively low note.

But this is the series that alongside Psycho-pass, give you more food for thought. Is Koko as naive as she seems with her plan? I love the comparisons in that she would make a perfect Bond villain. How Valmet gets her revenge and moves on is also an overlooked and touching part of the series.

Poor Jonah has still to resolve his issues.

The best episodes are without a doubt, the 'Undershaft' and the 'Castle of Lies' arc.

And last but not least, there's Kamisama Hajimemashita, the anime adaptation of Kamisama Kiss manga by author Julietta Suzuki. Just when I thought that there wouldn't be an hysterical anime again such a Princess Jellyfish (Kuragehime), there comes this series to fill the void.

Plenty of bishounen eye candy, and crazy sauce pacing and situations makes this series a classic and a must-see too. A plus is that they somehow incorporated the elements of the manga into the anime, so that you don't lose the original feel of the manga.

It would seem that I'm somehow contradicting myself because Nanami is the classic shoujo protagonist, but she's not that weak at all, otherwise the whole series would be a cliche. Besides, she's supported by great characters that can stand alone by carrying an entire episode, like Mizuki, for example.

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