The Best of 2012: “Best Televised Anime”

Hey guys, Samurai here, back again to take a look at the best and second best in the world of anime during the last 12 months with our “Best Of 2012” retrospective! Once again, I remind you all that these picks are mine and mine alone, so some of my tastes might not line up with yours. Fair warning! This time around we’re going to be taking a look at two anime that popped up on my radar and my TV screen this year. Good anime is a rarity to find on TV nowadays, but I believe the two series I found this year are the few diamonds in the rough. So without further ado, after the break, let’s check out the Best Televised Anime of 2012.

The Main Cast of "Deadman Wonderland"Best Televised Anime of 2012: “Deadman Wonderland”

As the flagship series for the newly relaunched “Toonami” timeslot, “Deadman Wonderland” had a lot riding on its shoulders. Would this show prove to be the breakout star of the time slot, or will it just be a footnote in the failed attempt to give new life to this long-since dead franchise? Well, thankfully the latter was true as “Deadman Wonderland” dominated the lineup during it’s 12 week run. Each night, hoards of Toonami faithful, myself included, took to Twitter and made #DeadmanWonderland the most trended subject on the social media website. All this from a series based on a manga by Jinsei Kataoka. In this series, our young protagonist Ganta Igarashi is falsely accused of slaughtering his classmates in one fell swoop. Thanks to some doctored evidence, he is sentenced to death at the privately own prison turned amusement park Deadman Wonderland. Once inside Ganta must struggle to survive the sadistic games he is forced to play for the amusement of the patrons of the park, clear his name from the crime he’s been committed of, and track down the infamous “Red Man” who is the real killer. For 12 episodes, we follow Ganta and his mentally questionable yet hyper adorable pal Shiro as they gather allies and fight back against those that would keep them down. It’s an intriguing tale, made worlds better by the expert cast and crew at Funimation. By far it’s some of the rawest and grittiest bit of writing I’ve ever heard come from the Big “F” in the Big “D” since “Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad”, and it makes for a realistic feel that few english dubs accomplish. Any show that makes me wanna shell out $50 for the DVD release has GOT to have something go for it, and “Deadman Wonderland” got it in spades.

Eureka, Maurice, Linck, Mater and Renton from "Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven"Runner Up: “Psalms of Planets Eureka Seven”

After being absent from TV for the better part of 5 years, “Eureka Seven” made it’s “Toonami” premiere on August 18th as part of a promotion known as “Lucky 7’s”. I admit, it was great seeing Renton and Eureka back on the small screen again, especially after being somewhat let down, bored and greatly confused by its successor “Eureka Seven Astral Ocean”. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and happiness when “E7” returned. I found myself somewhat annoyed by the English dub, especially with regards to Holland. Not meaning this at all as a slight to Crispin Freeman, but it just seems like this time around, at least during the first handful of episodes, he was trying WAY too hard, and when you compare this dub to “Deadman” to see which one is better, “Eureka Seven” doesn’t quite hold up. At least, until the latter episodes. However, I always will have a soft spot in my heart for this show and I will follow it through to the end…or until I buy the DVD’s. 2013 is going to leave me broke, isn’t it?

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