It has been a pretty awesome year to be an anime fan. This is the first year in many where I feel like I've been forced to drop a lot of shows that I would have genuinely enjoyed due to a lack of time. I love reminiscing about all the anime I've watched at a years end so I want to invite the rest of Japanator to join me in doing so.
I've decided to mix things up a bit this time and make a list of all the most memorable moments instead of my usual 'best of' anime list. This is kind of an experiment, so I apologize it if winds up being a mess. There is no way that I could possibly include every meaningful moment from the year in this blog, but I think there is something here for everyone. After you read my list let me know what your favorite moments from this year are! But first a disclaimer, nearly every one of these is a major spoiler of sorts.
50. Ixion Saga DT: Old Georg fishing and scaring off the village kids.
This evil looking orc named Georg was released from some deep dark dungeon, and asked to hunt down and kill a princess in return for his freedom. He agreed of course, and set out to hunt her down. As it would turn out the princess had periods of time where her hair would stick up in cow lick, or an ahoge as we hear them called in Japanese. Legend had it that disaster would strike when three of them stood up at once. Well to make a long story short, poor Georg wound up on the wrong side of a 3 ahoge princess, the hunter became the hunted and poor Georg became the real victim of this story. We cut to sometime far into the future after the narrator told us that no one has seen or heard of Georg since. Well it turns out that old Georg spent his time fishing by a lake where he would tell stories of the nasty 3 ahoge princess to scare the nearby village children. The amount of irony of all this easily earns it a spot on this list.
49. AnoNatsu: Remon Saves the day with her mech car.
Remon spent the entire anime playing match maker with the rest of the cast, never revealing much about herself. Well that changed near the end when robots find their alien friend and attempt to bring her home. As it turned out Remon really was more than she seemed as the moment she gets corned she pressed a few buttons and the overturned getaway vehicle she had been driving moments before turned into a mech and fired off several missiles. The scene itself was fairly brief, but memorable none the less.
48. Ixion Saga DT: The ball-less man talking with his girlfriend about their future children.
ED as he was called has had both of his testicles smashed by the protagonist in previous episodes. Well, after he returned home to his loving fiancée he found himself pressured to reveal exactly what his awful injuries actually were. His loving fiancée having no clue what kind of injuries ED had sustained brought up their future children while talking to him. Yeah, I actually felt pretty bad for the guy, enough so that it earned him a spot on this list.
47. Magi: Morgiana versus the tigers.
Morgiana is the type of character that isn't instantly likeable. In fact, she was a villain at first. Under orders of her slave masters she attacked Alibaba and Aladdin before they ultimately beat her master and set her free. But some bonds were so not easily broken. Morgiana was captured again and put in a cell with a sick girl. When Morgiana cried out for help the slavers tied the younger girl up on a pole as food for some wolves. In a moment of desperation Morgiana managed to free herself from the bonds on her own this time and save the girl. The slavers released their strongest pets against Morgiana to put her down, Saber Tooth Tigers. Unarmed Morgiana kicked them all to death and demanded the slavers free the rest of the prisoners. This is one fight scene that won't be forgotten any time soon.
46. Sengoku: Yoshimoto rides a flaming fish across the universe while in an orgasmic state.
Yes, this happened. It seems that not many people watched this anime, but for those of us that did this moment was literately burned into our memory.. for better or worse. To be honest I don't really remember why she was finishing, just that this happened as a result. Best enlightenment scene of the year? Or "best" enlightenment scene of the year? You decide, I'm still not sure.
45. The Ambition of Oda Nobuna: Yoshiharu invents fried food and mayonnaise.
Nobuna needed to raise money to put a new puppet ruler on the throne. In order to do this she wound up making a deal with two merchants who were to compete for exclusive rights to sell Takoyaki in Kyoto. Either way Nobuna would win, but one of the merchants was her friend. In order to help him achieve victory the protagonist; Yoshiharu who came from the future, invented mayo, and after burning his Takoyaki he deep fried it in oil to hoping to salvage it. Ultimately the judges all loved Yoshiharu's food, but the event was rigged so the other merchant group won anyway. Nobuna's merchant friend was quite alright with handing over those rights however, as he now had the exclusive rights for selling mayo and fried Takoyaki. Who really won in the end? The people of Kyoto I guess.
44. Guilty Crown: Shu kills Segai.
Segai was this crazy agent who worked for the government, but really he just kind of did whatever he pleased in this anime. Well early in the series he found Shu and developed this kind of creepy I-want-to-kill-you-crush on him. Toward the end of the series Segai was going nuts just wiping everyone out. Shu who had lost all of his power returned at a critical moment after finally finding the resolve necessary to see things through to the end. After a dramatic fight scene Shu killed Segai by using a void that can cut life. Segai died, entirely ecstatic about the situation actually.
43. Sword Art Online: Kirito transforms into Gleameyes.
What MMO player hasn't dreamed of playing the role of the boss themselves? I know I have. When Kirito cast his "illusion magic" racial spell, and transformed into Gleameyes from Aincrad I pretty much jumped out of my seat in excitement. Yeah, I know a lot people hated this bit, something about it not making sense or some nonsense like that, but for me this was one of the better surprising moments in anime this past year.
42. Sankarea: Rea is caught screaming into the well.
Back before this series heroine got turned into a zombie, she was caught relieving her stress by screaming into a well about her life's problems. Well, the protagonist noticed her and was just kind of listening in while he attempted to turn his dead cat into a zombie, you know normal high school kid stuff... Anyway, Rea, this stories heroine, screamed into the well that she wished her father would stop taking naked measurements of her on her birthday each year. The protagonist was surprised enough that Rea noticed him, and well, the rest is history.
41. Sword Art Online: Kirito and Asuna spend time with Yui as newly weds.
Kirito and Asuna were enjoying their in game marriage when they found a young girl with amnesia. Turned out that she was some kind of super AI counselling program that got locked away when the game launched, but before she ever regained her memories she spent time with Kirito and Asuna and they become like adoptive parents for her. Perhaps I am being a bit sappy, but the fondest memory that I got out of all this was the moment when they all sat to down and enjoy a meal together as a family. This painted a beautiful picture of life inside a virtual environment. Hearing Yui call Kirito and Asuna Mama and Papa certainly helped to set the mood as well.
40. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: The prank name on the cursed stone.
Yuko, this stories heroine, was a ghost who did not need to sleep. One night she was bored and woke the protagonist, forcing him to follow her out to an area of the school that had been hidden away by years of construction. Inside this area you could only reach by going outside through a window there was a cursed stone. The legend was that whoever had their name etched on this stone would be cursed and die. When the protagonist looked at the stone he found that his name was written on it and panicked, much to the amusement of Yuko who revealed that she had a Sharpie on hand. So much for taking that curse seriously!
39. Another: Bonding at the beach.
There really wasn't much room for relaxation during this anime at all so when the protagonist talked with Mei at beach there was this sort of safety in the atmosphere that let the characters open up a bit. Mei said something about how her family really isn't connected at all, and Kouichi, the protagonist, followed that up by touching her hand, and asking if the two of them are connected. It managed to be one of the cutest and most subtle anime confessions this past year in a series where it was not expected, but fit really well.
38. Little Busters: Komari and Riki watching the meteor shower.
Riki and Komari watched a meteor shower together on top of their school's roof. Toward the end Komari recalled the story of The Little Match Girl. Just about everything else with Komari's story in this adaptation of the Little Busters story was a complete mess, but this was one scene that J.C. Staff managed to get right. For those of you who do not know it, Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Match Girl is basically the original sad girl in snow story. In the visual novel A Dog of Flanders gets mentioned as well, the two are very similar things. Perhaps pulling out a classic sad story like this was a cheap literary technique to tug at emotions, but it was one that worked and fit the situation very well.
37. AnoNatsu: Tetsurou asking Mio out on a date.
When I talk about AnoNatsu I often joke around and call it People Who Are Entirely Too Picky About Love The Anime. Nearly everyone in this anime was in love with someone who was not in love with them. As a result this anime had quite a few memorable confession scenes toward the end of the series, but the one that stuck with the most wasn't found in the way any of the characters got their confession out, but rather in the moment where one of the character who got confessed to asks that girl out on a date. The fact that they were running away from an alien robot at the same time didn't hurt in making this moment a memorable one.
36. Campione!: The kiss with Liliana.
Campione! made a name for itself with it's ridiculously epic make-out scenes. Magic will not work on the protagonist if used outside his own body, so the heroines of this story had to kiss him in order to use magic on him, which in turn was used to infuse him with knowledge, which he would then use to make a giant golden sword of god slaying. This same basic formula played out with the entire cast of heroines, but Liliana managed to make her scene a bit more memorable than the rest. When Kusanagi kissed her she completely forgot to use her magic on him. Cool Liliana was completely panicked and her gap moe readings went through the roof! Perhaps I am a bit biased as Liliana was easily my favorite character from this story, but this scene was entirely too cute.
35. Sengoku Collection: The conquest of the sandbox is completed, the castle built, then Nobunaga ruins it.
Sengoku Collection pulled out some wonderfully bizarre gender-bent warlords in modern Japan stories, but this one took the cake. This Sengoku Period figure was not only gender-bent, but also placed in kindergarten. After a hard fought battle of the wits between children she had united them all of one accord and they built the most impressive sandcastle that the world had even had. Then Nobunaga showed up and knocked it over. The irony of this whole twisted situation was hard to miss, easily making it one of the more memorable moments from this anime.
34. Amagami SS+ Rihoko Sakurai's confession scene.
In the original Amagami SS Rihoko Sakurai was the one girl who never did get a happily ever after. At the start of her route she was just the chubby childhood friend and by the end nothing had changed. Well this time around things went a bit differently for her, and the protagonist finally realized his feelings for her, leaving us with a sweet confession that was long overdue.
33. Nisemonogatari: Shinobu takes a bath with the protagonist and gets caught by the sister.
Shinobu spent more or less an entire episode bathing with Araragi. After an episode full of awesome dialogue and naked loli one of the protagonist's sisters opened the door and caught Shinobu in the bath with Araragi, moments later she returned with a large kitchen knife. Luckily for all parties involved Shinobo vanished back into Araragi's shadow before the sister made it back, leaving us with one of the most hilariously awkward moments of 2012. We can all thank Shinobu for this one.
32. Kokoro Connect: Inaba's breakdown before her confession.
Heartseed was kind of a bastard, always playing with the emotions of this cast. Ironically the character who was most concerned about the whole ordeal was the normally cool and collected Inaba. She managed to hold herself together most of the show, but after successfully hooking up her friend with the protagonist she realized she has feelings for him as well. It all came out when Heartseed popped into Inori's body to tell Inaba that the protagonist had fallen. Thinking he had been hurt far worse than he actually had, Inaba is reduced to a crying mess when she finds him. Of course, the protagonist has no idea what is going on. One scene later and Inaba confessed to Tachi in way that seemed more appropriate for a conquering army than a school girl in love. Instead of being crushed by the situation she rises to the occasion. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or something like that.
31. Sengoku Collection: Tea party down the rabbit hole in wonderland.
At first I just thought that Brains Base were on drugs, but when they all sat down for tea I realized this whole scene was a parody of Alice In Wonderland, only with Hideyoshi and lots of rice-men-things. I am still not entirely sure what was going on, but it proved to be wonderfully bizarre if also entirely nonsensical.
30. Robotics;Notes: That robot moving just isn't cool anymore.
Sometimes hard work and guts are just not quite enough to make dreams come true. This was a painful lesson that our series heroine Akiho had to learn the hard way. After all the hard work she put into this robot it was barely capable of movement. Moments after firing the robot up the engine burned out. Sure it moved, but no one was excited about that. I think I speak for most fans of the series when I say that we are looking forward to seeing Aki make a come back in 2013, assuming that she does anyway.
29. Sakurasou: Jin and Sorata talk about art and talent in the rain.
Art can bring out the worst in people. There is always someone more talented and the competition is intense. Putting yourself out there can be really hard when you have peers who are far more talented than you are. In this scene Sorata is forced to come to terms with his own feelings of jealousy toward Mashiro and Jin gives him some advice to get through it. What's wrong with being Jealous and caring about Mashiro at the same time? If that is how you really feel, maybe that is how it really is.
28. Campione!: Kusanagi's magical injection powers.
The other thing Campione! is remembered for. Erica was dying in this hell like dimension and Kusangi wasn't going to stand for it. He "injected" her with magic in one of the most rigorous make-out moments of the entire anime. Honestly I don't think many fans look back on this moment fondly, but we certainly do remember it. If nothing else it does fit in with the themes of this anime incredibly well.
27. Future Diary: The ending scene where world 1 Yuno dies.
Yuno, to put it bluntly, was one crazy bitch. All the things she puts Yukki through contained enough crazy for an entire mental home. Yuno even became god in order to cross timelines, kill her past self and fall in love with Yukki again. Yup, hard to top that. What really sets her apart is how much she genuinely did love Yukki despite all of her deadly antics. This all culminated into one final moment when Yukki finally mans up and told Yuno to kill him. She tried to kill him several times in the past, but this time she couldn't do it. Yuno stabbed herself instead and died in Yukki's arms making him a god and bringing about a deus ex machina ending that actually wasn't a deus ex machina at all.
26. Guilty Crown: Last moments with Inori.
There is something beautiful about the way Inori gives her life to Shu at the end taking his eyesight with her. Also, their is romance in the way the world moves on, but Shu only has eyes for Inori. It was a scene that didn't make much sense, but it didn't conflict with the magic of the world either. Was symbolism enough to carry the ending of Guilty Crown home to the hearts of it's fans? Or was reason needed? Personally I think there is a certain art from that only comes with abandoning reason, but regardless of how you look at it, this was one anime moment that for me, will not be easily forgotten.
25. Sengoku Collection: Four leaves bitter-sweet ending.
The tragic nature of the samurai who's story was being told just fit into place perfectly here. This girl who had a miserable life found an escape from her misery in the form of a pen-pall. Yoshitsugu writes another girl and as a result learned to finds all sorts of little luck in her unlucky life. At one point she found a 4 leaf clover and mailed it to the girl she had been writing. For a long period of time she did not receive any letters from her friend. When she finally got another one it contained a plane ticket to come out and visit the friend. When Yoshitsugu arrived she found out that her friend was no longer alive. When she inspected the girls apartment she found one final letter from her friend on the desk, It was a letter of thanks. As it turns out Yoshitsugu's first letter to the girl had given that girl a source of hope in her own life. In the end she found the 4 leaf clover framed on the desk of her deceased friend. Yup, so much for moe moe warlords! This episode had teeth.
24. The Ambition of Oda Nobuna: Nobukatsu's hot-spring moment with Nagamasa.
Nagamasa and Nobuna's brother Nobukatsu, who was also gender-bent by the way, become betrothed. The ironic thing here was that Nagamasa thinks that Nobuna had sent a sister. The audience knew better, the real Nobunaga had a sister but Nobuna had a very feminine brother. Well the two met up at a hot-spring and the cat was out of the bag, Nagamasa was also gender-bent. What followed was a touching scene where Nobukatsu tells Nagamasa that she will be his wife and that she can act like a woman around him. This incredibly bizarre set-up managed to inspire feelings of wait wut? and d'aww all in one breath.
23. Psycho-Pass: The disturbing reunion in the basement.
The most interesting thing about what we have seen of Psycho-Pass has been way the villains are used to teach philosophy. All the interesting concepts came out of the mouths of people society had deemed dangerous. In this particular scene a killer had reunited a one friend with another friend who had already been murdered, all the while she was talking about how she had been moved to tears by this situation and wanted to share this touching feeling of reunion with more people. Just to make it all a little more twisted it seemed like the killer was really telling the truth.
22. Chuuni: Saying goodbye to Rikka's father.
"Banishmento... This Worldo!" Rikka never was able to say goodbye to her father when he passed away at a young age. In fact his entire illness had been hidden from Rikka, so when he died she wasn't able to feel like he had really died. It was far too sudden for her to believe that her father was gone as she had believed until just before he died that he was going to get better soon. Because it didn't feel real she wasn't able to believe it, so she began looking for another reason. Unable to let her father pass away without it feeling real she created the Ethereal Horizon as a way to hold on to her father. At the end of this story she does find the Ethereal Horizon she had been looking for, but it isn't what she had made it out to be. Instead of finally finding her father she found the strength she needed to properly say goodbye.
21. Sakurasou: Changing the ending.
Who doesn't dream of a happy ending? Mashiro was a brilliant artist, but she was not a very good writer. To make up for this she based the story for her manga around the people at Sakurasou. Her ability to make the story of these people proved that Mashiro was incredibly observant, but there was one problem with her storytelling. Her heroine, who she had based off the real protagonist of the anime, was leaving Sakurasou. Because her story does not have a happy ending it would not be serialized. When Sorata learns all this from Mashiro's editor he rushed back to Sakurasou to tell Mashiro that he was going to stay and follow his own dreams. In the end it turned out that Mashiro had already fixed her story and she flashed him a smile that was worth a thousand words. Before this was all over the rest of the cast came storming into her room where they troll Sorata into repeating what he had said a moment ago about staying.
20. Sankarea: The final fight with Rea's father.
The protagonist of this anime, Chihiro, was kidnapped by the heroine's wealthy father and forced into a fencing duel. The protagonist had never fenced in his life so instead he relied on his wit to attack Rea's father. Ultimately Rea's father wound up getting mad and impaled the protagonist though the chest with his sword. You would think this would be the end of the story, but apparently Chihiro was quite alright despite having a sword impaled in his center. He blamed it on Rae's poison getting into his blood and gave himself the title of half zombie in an incredibly silly over the top fashion. Now as we all know, if you want to kill a zombie you aim for it's head, which was exactly what Rea's father did. This time it was Rea who stepped in. She pulled the sword from Chihiro's chest, hitting it against her fathers blade. Thanks to her zombie strength the blade in her fathers hand was broken. In the end the one who won the fight was neither Chihiro nor her father, it was Rea herself.
19. Accel World/Sword Art Online: Beating Seiji Noumi/Sugo.
This is a dual award because both scenes are so incredibly similar I see no reason to list them twice. In the second half of both Accel World and Sword Art Online we are introduced to an incredibly vile villain. Scum of the earth who enjoyed taking things from others and defiling them for no greater reason than because they could. In both cases watching them burn was such a satisfying experience. No punches were pulled. Sugo gets his upper torso thrown into the air before having his head impaled on a sword. Seiji was beaten and lying on the ground when he received the final blow. For all that people seem to hate these villains for one reason or another I think they served their purpose pretty well. I can think of few other villains I've hated quite as much as these two.
18. Nisemonogatari: Brushing your sisters teeth.
What could be more awkward than spending an entire episode bathing a loli? Easy! Having brushed your sisters teeth for her until she reached a nearly orgasmic state! I never knew that brushing someone's teeth was a fetish, but now I do. For better or worse this is the number one thing that Nisemonogatari is remembered for. The moral of the story? Don't try out your friend's kinky fetishes on your sister, it's just not cool.
17. Sakurasou: Staying at a love hotel with Mashiro.
With Mashiro you were never really sure if she fully understood what she was doing. When Sorata called her out on it after entering a love hotel, she managed to reverse the situation on him. This is necessary for art she said. Then she asked him what he was doing there himself. He should have been out looking for people to take his cats, which was what kept him bound to Sakurasou. In the end it was Sorata who didn't understand what he was doing or why. This scene managed to establish a ton about the cast and direction of the anime with a very brief moment. Mashiro's view on the world as strange as it was also appeared profound, which added a lot of depth to her character. I think the biggest reason this moment was so memorable for me was the statement that Mashiro made about her art in the process.
16. Future Diary: The lovey dovey diary characters dying moments.
Yukki and Yuno had a relationship that was held together entirely by the insane game they had found themselves caught up in. What better way to test their love for each other than by throwing a dedicated loving couple at them? In the end it was the lovey dovey diary owners own fault they lost. Before they died they were in the Tokyo Tower which was crumbling all around them. The man put his last bit of strength into rescuing Yukki and Yuno who also had his injured girlfriend held hostage. He was impaled with a support beam from the building, but that was not enough to stop him from pulling his girl out. In the end he found that he was too late and that his girlfriend had already died. He tossed the parachute he had planed to use for his escape to Yukki and died with his woman in his arms as the tower collapsed on top of them. Somewhat Ironically these characters which served to contrast Yukki and Yuno's own relationship quickly became more memorable than the main characters themselves.
15. The Ambition of Oda Nobuna: Gifu Castle.
In this anime the story made a father figure out of one of Nobunaga's enemies. The castle which was previously under the control of this old man's son had been captured and renamed. His son's life was spared by Nobuna which left the older man in a fit thinking she was being entirely too naive. Outside on a balcony he talked with Yoshiharu about why his son was spared. Yoshiharu told the old man that he was is the only father Nobuna had left and points into the distances where fires were being lit in the shape of a serpent. The serpent was a symbol which represented the old man. Manly tears were had.
14. SnS III: Yuuji and Shana's final fight.
Out of all the crazy plot twists this final season had in store the most memorable was still the final moment between Yuuji and Shana. After all they have been through Shana would not let Yuuji go off and seek redemption on his own. There were a lot of unjustifiable things that had been done. In the end love may not have the power to justify all the wrong that had been done, but it did redeem it. After over half a decade of being a Shana fan it was a bit sad to see it all end, but It couldn't have done so with a more powerful message than the one it had.
13. Dusk Maiden of Amnesia: Yuuko's final moments.
To be honest I have a hard time explaining this one. This scene was filled with clichés and was something I expected would happen at the end of this series from day one, but somehow it still managed to be incredibly potent. I've re-watched this scene several times since the anime finished and again before writing this. I find myself moved by this scene every time I watch it. Perhaps this is a testament to the power of storytelling techniques that have become clichés? I hate to write it off like that. I would like to put it like this instead: The resolve that these characters showed in the face of sadness was what made this scene so powerful. I never really believed that Yuuko would vanish for good, but I did not need to believe that. The power of resolve in watching these two characters say goodbye was more than powerful enough to carry this anime through to a happy ending.
12. Kokoro Connect: Saying goodbye to Iori.
I could just site this entire episode as a memorable moment. Instead I want to focus in on what I think was the most memorable moment in an incredibly memorable episode. Up to this point the five primary members of this cast had been swapping bodies at random. As a final test Heartseed, this stories villain or sorts, possessed Iori and made her jump off a bridge. Iori's body was in critical condition while the cast was faced with a question, who should die? Heartseed said it could be any one of them that would die with Iori's body, he would let them chose. In the end Iori herself decided that she should be the one to die since it was her body. Using Inaba's body she gave Taichi, the protagonist, a goodbye kiss. Heartseed being the "gentleman" that he was later told the cast that he would never harm an innocent person, in fact he was even so nice as to give Iori's cell phone to Taichi before making Iori jump off the so that it would not be damaged by the water. So yeah, In the end Iori is quite fine, and the story continues on.
11. Fate/Zero: Riders Death and Waver's obedience.
This is the end of a dream. Rider never stood a chance against Gilgamesh even at full power. What really makes this last scene so powerful is the way that Waver swears allegiance to Rider before Rider goes off on his charge. He promised Rider that he would live on to share the story of the king of conquerors. In the final moments after Rider had been destroyed Waver was saved by his obedience to Rider. Gilgamesh for all his bullshit respected this decision and let Waver live. Pretty much everything about this scene was powerful. The way Waver stands up to Gilgamesh at the end really shows how he grew during the course of the story, and Riders death was pretty powerful on it's own. Manly tears were cried for the end of this King of Bros.
10. Horizon: The revelation of the true Spanish Armada.
This was probably the most surprising moment of the year as it blind sided me entirely. Out of all the crazy things in Horizon the most memorable was a sub-plot involving the self-sacrifice of a commanding officer. He did this out of what he felt was a duty to redeem himself for failing to save his family in a past war. One of his subordinates was an elf woman who was secretly a half elf girl that he rescued as a child during a previous war. Half elves were discriminated against for maturing slowly and were often used as front line fighters in wars and not allowed important positions. The commander had been writing this girl ever since she was a child, but he had no idea she was working for him. When the majority of the fleet pulled back and left the commander to go off and do his thing Juana the elf girl calls out to him using the name she had used for him as a child. When the commander learned that Juana was really that same half elf he saved many years ago he maintained the lie that she was a full elf. Before he closed the com he told Juana that she had become quite the lady. Now it doesn't actually end there, and maybe I am just a big sap, but I really loved this scene. Even now I can't re-watch this scene without tearing up a bit.
9. Humanity has declined: Loaf-Kun killed himself.
And look not all of my memorable moments are tragedy! Or uh, maybe this still counts. This moment deserves a special mention for getting the best reaction out of my friends. A sentient piece of bread talked about how he was made out of garbage before begging to be eaten, ripping himself open and spewing red juice all over the place. Yup, not forgetting that one any time soon.
8. Psycho-Pass: Talking to Shogo and the murder of a friend.
Psycho-Pass is really good at making memories people would rather not have. This time, Shogo, the mastermind himself, appeared before Akane our protagonist. He had one of her close friends cuffed to a rail and tossed Akane a shotgun. Akane tried to shoot him with her science gun, but it read his crime level as too low for punishment. Shogo told Akane that the law can't reach him and that she needed to do it herself. Akane picked up the shotgun and fired it at Shogo but her unsteady aim caused her to miss him. Shogo claimed that he was disappointed in her and that she must be punished. He then sliced her friends throat in front of her before making his escape. Part of the twisted thing here was that it was pretty easy to blame Akane for failing to shoot Shogo and save her friend. Thank you Urobuchi, my nightmares now have something to ponder for awhile.
7. Blast of Tempest: Shakespeare, debunking logic and time travel.
The thing that really impressed me is the way all the little details had come together toward what seemed to be an ending or conclusion of sorts. No details were wasted. All the little interesting things that were explained throughout the show were then used wonderfully to tie things together. Basically the protagonist and his friend were searching for the killer of his friends sister. Well, his friend was ready to blow up the entire world if he couldn't get what he wanted and he had a weapon capable of doing exactly that, forcing the villain to play by his rules. What followed was a four episode mind game that involved solving a time paradox. It was one of the most brilliant things I've seen executed in storytelling in some time. Also, the protagonist was totally a parallel for the friend from Hamlet who never really did anything and was just kind of always there. I probably find that a lot more interesting than it really is.
6. Kokoro Connect: Inaba tells Taichi that she has masturbated to him as well.
Yes, this happened and yes, this deserves number six. I will make no attempt to hide my affection for this character or for her voice actress. Honestly if you were to ask me at random for the most memorable events in anime this past year this would really be one of the first things that would pop into my head, and I know I am not alone in that. Inaba had trust issues so Tachi decided to share a dirty little secret of his with her to help solidify their bond. He told her that he had masturbated to her before. Yeah, he thought that one through. Inaba had an appropriate reaction which was basically along the lines of why would ever say that? But that is not what made the memorable moment. Toward the end of the same episode Inaba leaned in towards Taich and whispered into his ear that she had masturbated to him as well. This whole set-up amused me far more than it probably should have, but what can I say. It is what it is.
5. Sakurasou: Airport confession.
This anime loves to trick Sorata into believing things that are not true. Point in case, Rita an artist from overseas who used to take care of Mashiro, had come to Japan in order to bring Mashiro back home with her. Well, as events unfolded Mashiro headed to the airport with her, but only to say goodbye. Sorata didn't know that though and chased her down to give her a panicked lovers plea asking her to stay. At this point Mashiro revealed that she was never actually going anywhere and that Sorata is really just a big fool. That said this made for a great dramatic moment, and a few other confessions followed suit making the moment that much better.
4. Another: Final reveal and bringing the tragedy to an end.
Basically the way I see it a good mystery has to pretty much reinvent the wheel in order to fool anyone aware of the clichés of the genre. Another managed to weave a mystery that was both hidden in plain sight and completely out of view, which is exactly what I want out of a mystery. If we look for a reason why this mystery worked so well I supposed it would be because the heroine had all the pieces from the start, she just didn't think they were useful until the end. In the end this all climaxes when the heroine finally does reveal who the extra person is. It all made perfect sense and made for a nice bitter sweet ending. Also, there were some crazy pyrotechnics and a psycho woman with a knife. Most of the protagonist's classmates died brutally to one of the above or each other, but really, who cares about that stuff?
3. Sword Art Online: The end of Aincrad.
Of all the moments in Sword Art Online I found the end of Aincrad to be the most moving. Sure some crazy thing happened to get us there, but I was okay with that. There was a certain romance about the way it all went down. The way Kayaba Akihiko could no longer remember his original motivation for all the things he had done had a sort of poetic sting to it. It would be impossible to try and justify his character, and the awful things he had could never be undone, but his desire to become a god in his own fantasy realm was not entirely beyond understanding. The thing that really stuck with me the most wasn't the way Asuna lived, or even the way Kayaba played by his own rules and went down with his ship. It was watching the home that Kirito and Asuna shared crumble that really got me.
2. Guilty Crown: Hare's death.
Sometimes an appropriately placed character death can give that character immortality in the memories of the fans. That proved to be true with Hare. Her naive affection toward Shu had her die in his arms after saving his life. It was one of those moments where something precious had been trampled on and was permanently lost. Something in the way this scene is execute is beautifully painful. Maybe it can be found in the strength and purity of Hare's love for Shu who by nearly all accounts was not deserving of it at all.
1. Chuunibyo: Yuuta yells at Dekomori.
Perhaps it is cheating to pick something so recent as number one, but personally I feel the entire story of Chuunibyo cultivated this one scene into something that deserves it. Even the earliest moments of this story left fans wondering if these kids understood that they were making up disillusion or if they really believe them. When Dekomori confronted Yuuta for telling Rikka to grow up he finally boiled over and lets Dekomori have it with a truth bomb. "If something is not real, it's not real." What hits home the most is when Dekomori acknowledges that she knew it wasn't real all along.
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