The Armchair Madcap

Anime and Manga — Reviews and Previews

2012 Retrospective: The Armchair Madcap Looks Back on a Year Fondly Spent

It’s the last post of the year, and that means it’s time for me to do what all self-indulgent bloggers do: post a retrospective/best-of list!

…My God. Has… has it really been a full year since I rebooted this blog? Twelve whole months? Forty whole posts? Wow.

In celebration of making it through this whole year and missing only a single blog post, I’ll be taking some time off in January in order to relax and recharge my batteries. I’ll come back on January 18th with my Winter 2013 Anime Season Preview! (I really enjoy doing these, so I can’t think of a better way to start the year off right.)

To tide you over until then, I’ve compiled a list of my Top 10 Anime and Top 10 Manga that I watched or read this year. This doesn’t mean they came out this year, just that I covered them on the blog in 2012. Let’s hop in:

JWatch2

The Armchair Madcap’s Top Ten Anime of 2012

(Sengoku Basara would, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be on this list, but I technically covered it in 2011. But seriously, go watch that show. And its sequel. And its movie sequel. Do it.)

10) [07-Ghost]

09) [Persona 4: the Animation]

08) [Soranowoto]

07) [Sword of the Stranger]

06) [Otome Youkai Zakuro]

05) [Romeo x Juliet]

04) [Gundam Wing]

03) [Mardock Scramble]

02) [Sekaiichi Hatsukoi]

And the Winner is: 

baccano-01

01) [Baccano!] – I watched a lot of good anime this year, but Baccano! is the only show that I had to rewatch immediately after finishing it the first time around. Fantastically insane and memorable characters, atypical storytelling, and a time period and setting that are far from cliché, Baccano! takes the cake this year, and my only regret is that I didn’t watch it sooner.

JRead2

The Armchair Madcap’s Top Five Manga of 2012

(I eliminated Black Butler from the race here because, even though I adore the series, I was re-reading it for the blog rather than reading it for the first time. It didn’t seem fair to put a long-established favorite in the running with the newcomers! Soulless was also eliminated for a similar reason: I already knew I loved the books; I was bound to love the manga, too.)

10) [Olympos]

09) [Toradora]

08) [Blue Exorcist]

07) [Drifters]

06) [Gate 7]

05) [The Earl and the Fairy]

04) [Dawn of the Arcana]

03) [Afterschool Charisma]

02) [Durarara!!]

And the Winner is:

akuma_to_love_song_570244

01) [A Devil and Her Love Song] – I never considered myself a raging fan of romance, but A Devil and Her Love Song (and a few other series besides) have made me rethink that stance. The characters in this manga feel so real, so sympathetic, that every emotion they endure is felt just as intensely by the reader. The art is nothing to sniff at, either, but it’s the writing and main character Maria herself that make this series a must-read.

So, my top two picks for 2012 are a blood-soaked gangster story and a high-school love melodrama. Huh. Don’t quite know what to do with that.

Thank you, as always, for reading, and see you in 2013!

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