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2013 Japanator Awards

Japanator Awards 2013: The Special Awards

Jan 06 // Josh Tolentino
The "Hungry Charlotte" Special Award for Startling Violence [embed]31045:3364:0[/embed] Winner: Team Rabbits vs. Klein (Majestic Prince)Runners-up: Chamber vs. "Squid Girl" (Gargantia), "Guillotine Gorilla" (Samurai Flamenco) Now, we don't just award a Hungry Charlotte to any old bloodletting scene. If we did that, we'd call it the Kenshiro award or something. But no, like the scene which it's (sort of) named after, Hungry Charlottes are reserved for the scenes and shows whose turns of brutality are sudden and jarring. Startling, even.  Whereas we were prepared for the "Butcher twist" in Gargantia and already suspecting a similar turn in Samurai Flamenco, the last place you'd expect to seem some hardcore stuff would be from an otherwise ridiculously wholesome mecha show like Majestic Prince, which up to that point seemed to all the world like a fusion of Gundam's space-war tropes and a children's Super Sentai program. But I guess that's the trick, isn't it? When you've got bloodless robots doing most of the fighting and a CG style that often moves too quick to notice, the actual violence was largely obscured...until Red Five and Blue One managed to pin the crazy midget and repeatedly stab the crap out of his purple butt, drop a crashing Tamaki on it, then nuke him from orbit.  Now that's a problem solved, in that most ancient of ways, much to our surprise and satisfaction.   The Porco Rosso Special Award for Best Porcine Supporting Role:    Winner: Pork-Bowl (Silver Spoon) Runner-Up: Aila Jyrkiäinen's Meat Bun (Gundam Build Fighters) It's an old saying in live-action acting, to never work with animals, but thanks to the magic of completely fictional characters animated in 2D, it's a comparatively simpler task to coax good performances out of even the least human characters. You just need to draw them that way! Of course, simple isn't always easy, and Silver Spoon managed the tough task of turning little Pork-Bowl, the pig "adopted" by Hachiken just months before the slaughter, into a true character, rather than just a prop on which to place the harsh lessons of farm living. And it worked! That said, even in death, pigs can change the course of a show, just as the pork-filled contents of Aila Jyrkiäinen's would-be snack indirectly brought about a complete reversal of nearly everyone's impression of her personality. The gif speaks for itself. The "Those Who Can't Draw, Render" Special Award For Best Use of CG [embed]31045:3365:0[/embed] Winner: Arpeggio of Blue Steel - Ars Nova -Runners-up: Majestic Prince, Straight Title Robot Anime, Space Battleship Yamato 2199 Japan might be the last bastion of majority-2D animation output, but that doesn't mean it can't taste the future every once in a while - and make a good show of it every so often as well. Indeed, Glorious Nippon's own graphics houses are catching up to the currently dominant west, and making increasingly pretty shows in the easier-to-produce niche of TV, rather than the prohibitively expensive blockbuster marker.  Indeed, quite a lot of shows used quite a lot of CG, but none managed it as comprehensively as Arpeggio of Blue Steel. Studio Sanzigen proved they had chops when they animated the bitchin' action sequences in Black Rock Shooter, but never before had they done the CG deed for a full-length, full-scale season of TV. The result was success, and Arpeggio remains a surprisingly good romp of sentient battleships.The "Now Try It...With THIS" Special Award For Tastiest Condiment: Winner: Mayonnaise, (Vividred Operation and Kamen Rider Wizard)Runner-up: Tears of anguish (Silver Spoon)  Brought to you by Kewpie.   The "Accidental Synergy" Special Award For Best Coincidental Trend Winner: Arpeggio of Blue Steel and Kantai CollectionRunners-up: Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai! and Ai Shimizu's pro-wrestling debut, Vampires in Monogatari Series, Valvrave, Kill la Kill, and Diabolik Lovers Every so often trends no one seemed to be planning just come up in pop culture. From World War II games to zombies to movies about volcanoes, we have the surprising tendency to think of - and make content out of - the same things at the same time. It's the way of things! Based on that logic, we probably could've given the award to the strange influx of "vampiric" concepts into this year's anime, from vampire lovers in Diabolik Lovers to Illuminati Space Vampire Robots in Valvrave to bloodsucking clothing in Kill la Kill. And yet it was only Arpeggio of Blue Steel that had the initiative in 2013 to turn a largely coincidental trend - moe moe World War II - into a full-blown collaboration with Kantai Collection, the highly popular tactical battle social game based on - you guessed it - moe moe World War II ships. The "Lyrical Nanoha" Award for Best Supporting Ferret Winner: Dr. Isshiki, Vividred OperationRunner-Up: THERE CAN BE NO RUNNER-UP  Indeed, this man/ferret is a singular presence. Let's count up his achievements, shall we? Discovered and harnessed a source of unlimited clean energy for the entire world Performed the first transfer of human consciousness to another body Became the first human consciousness operating the body of a stuffed ferret Gave superpowers to pants-hating little girls Wears the Kamina glasses Need we say more? The "Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey" Award For Best Use of Temporal Horsesh*t Winner: Galilei DonnaRunner-Up: Valvrave the Liberator This one was almost a toss-up, but ultimately we handed the award to Galilei Donna, which like a proper Time Lord, actually did some time-jumping, whereas Valvrave the Liberator's periodic flashes forward into the future were more to set up an ultimately unproductive narrative boondoggle.  Plus, those kids met Galileo. That's right up there with "Killing Hitler before World War II" on the list of most-desired time traveler must-dos.  The Facepalm Award for "Best" Use Of Assault to Alienate Entire Audience "Winner": Valvrave the LiberatorRunners-Up: Kill La Kill, Samurai Flamenco And here we end on the only truly dubious "honor" on the list: the Facepalm award. It's here that Valvrave secures its "win', thanks largely to its audacity, which proved its own undoing in their decision to stick a sexual assault into its 10th episode. While indeed there were "story" justifications for the event, the impact of the scene seemed far too muted in the long term, especially in retrospect. Unfortunately, while our runners-up kept their unpleasant occurrences largely limited to implication rather than explicit happenings, it was Valvrave that ultimately failed to capitalize on the complexities of its own bad decision.  Y'see, it's not that they did include what is basically an onscreen rape in the scenes, but that the plot, characters, gained very little for it, be it in character development or even exposure. Ultimately, the move proved to be unnecessary and distracting, and likely drew up the same conclusions. Bad move, Sunrise.
Jtor Awards 2013 photo
You've seen the best, now here's the "best"
Now, when Karen introduced our Best Anime of 2013, she declared "No more wimpy little categories like Best Use of a Ferret in an Action Sequence or Best Perversely Erotic Scene of Classroom Destruction or what have you". Inde...

The winner of Japanator's best anime of 2013

Jan 03 // Karen Mead
And the winner is... Eren's crazy-murderer psycho eyes, and the rest of Attack on Titan! Congratulations, AoT crew, you handily beat runner-up The Eccentric Family to claim the prize; a drawing of official Jtor mascot Ai-Fi, done with a gold Sharpie marker, is postmarked and on it's way to Wall Maria as we speak. Granted, I guess you'll need to dispatch the Survey Corps to go pick it up, but that's not a big deal, right? I mean, the Survey Corps has totally got everything under control. Wait, what's this? It looks like Titan's leading man, Eren Jaeger himself, would like to say a few words on behalf of the show! Let's hear what humanity's best hope for survival has to say: "First, I'd like to thank the Japanator staff for voting for us. We work really hard to put on a good narrative, what with the constantly being eaten alive and vivisected and stuff, and it's really nice to get this recognition. I know we faced some stiff competition this year, like from those anime with the raccoon-people and the squid-people, and that other one with the stripper chick holding a scissor, so we're really touched our show came out on top. Your support means a lot to us going into our next fight against the TitansKILL THEM ALL I'LL KILL THEM ALL I'LL KILL THEM ALL--" Oh, and we're out of time! Thanks so much Eren, and be sure to pass on our support to everyone back at Wall Rose-- not that it matters, because most of them will die horribly next season anyway, but eh, details! Congratulations to everyone at the walled city of utter despair! Seriously, this was the one category where we had a lock; I would have been shocked if Titan didn't take this. If you want to criticize the show, you can find plenty of material: the pacing is questionable at times, it takes some serious liberties with physics, and it's hard to imagine that the series' conclusion will live up to all the hyper-epic build-up. But what Titan brings to the table is huge, and that's the fact that it's just so different from everything else out there at the moment. While so many anime plots are recycled, Titan was often wildly unpredictable. While other shows rely on partial nudity to titillate viewers into staying attentive, Titan had virtually no fanservice. While other shows all too often fall back on tired gender archetypes, Titan wasn't afraid to mix things up by putting females in traditionally male roles and vice-versa. And perhaps most importantly, while countless anime try to hammer home the message that the power of friendship will always triumph over evil, Titan illustrates the cold reality that sometimes, your friendships are only as powerful as your friends happen to be-- and hey, Mikasa can't be everywhere at once. The fact that the show is dark and gloomy isn't unique, but it's not just dark for the sake of being cool: this show is one of the few that "went there," or was willing to really engage with the dark reality it presents rather than just use it as window dressing for a typical narrative. For all those reasons, and many more, we had to pick Attack on Titan as the stand out show of this year. To put it another way, this show was like a dark helping of Chicken Soup For The Soul for the jaded anime fan: it showed us that no matter how many years we've been watching anime, or just how many half-baked rom-coms we've seen, anime still has the power to surprise, thrill, and even terrify us. The fact that the experience came with breathtaking action sequences, an epic score, and legions of badass spider-ninjas was just icing on the luscious cake. [Editor's note: Attack on Titan has also received our award for best anime soundtrack of 2013.] Congratulations to all of winners in the Japanator Awards this year, and here's hoping that 2014 will prove an even better year for anime, games, and everything else we love.  
2013 Awards photo
There was never really any doubt
This is it, gang: our ultimate award. No more wimpy little categories like Best Use of a Ferret in an Action Sequence or Best Perversely Erotic Scene of Classroom Destruction or what have you, no: this is the big de...

Votes are in: Readers Choice Anime of 2013!

Jan 03 // Chris Walden
1. Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! (It's you guys' fault I'm not popular!) - 9 votes2. Kill la Kill - 8 votes3. Monogatari Series: Second Season - 7 votes4. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet - 6 votes5. Gin no Saji (Silver Spoon) - 4 votes5. Shingeki no Kyoujin (Attack on Titan) - 4 votes5. The World God Only Knows: Goddesses - 4 votes6. Chihayafuru 2 - 3 votes6. Hataraku Maou-sama (The Devil is a Part-Timer) - 3 votes6. Shinsekai Yori (From the New World) - 3 votes6. Uchouten Kazoku (The Eccentric Family)- 3 votes7. Beyond the Boundary - 2 votes7. Gatchaman Crowds - 2 votes7. Kyousougiga - 2 votes7. Yowapeda - 2 votes8. AKB0048 - 1 vote8. Aku no Hana (Flowers of Evil) - 1 vote8. Arpeggio of Blue Steel - 1 vote8. Cuticle Tantei Inaba - 1 vote8. Date A Live - 1 vote8. Free! - 1 vote8. Gintama: The Final Chapter - Be Forever Yorozuya - 1 vote8. Girls und Panzer - 1 vote8. Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation - 1 vote8. Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Part 2 - 1 vote8. Kiniro Mosaic - 1 vote8. Kyoukai no Kanata - 1 vote8. Magi: The Kingdom of Magic - 1 vote8. Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai. S2 (Oreimo) - 1 vote8. Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Love Comedy wo Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru (My Mental Choices are Completely Interfering with my School Romantic Comedy)- 1 vote8. Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Ilya - 1 vote8. Puchimas! Petit Idolmaster - 1 vote8. Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou) - 1 vote8. Samurai Flamenco - 1 vote8. Senyuu - 1 vote8. Space Battleship Yamato 2199 - 1 vote8. Strike the Blood - 1 vote8. Tamako Market - 1 vote8. Teekyuu - 1 vote8. Valvrave the Liberator - 1 vote8. Yuyushiki - 1 vote Congratulations to WataMote! Your depressing yet hilarious ways have charmed our community, beating down plentiful under-boob and donut-loving vampires. But how's that for a closely-fought contest? Just a few more votes and things could have turned out very differently! But hey, even if your personal favorite didn't place that highly, you at least have a list of shows to potentially check out. Perhaps I should watch Gin no Saji so that I've got the top ten covered? Thanks to all of you that voted, and here's hoping for a great year of anime in 2014!
Readers' Anime of 2013 photo
It's a close one!
Welcome to 2014! A brand new year means brand new anime, so you better prepare yourself for the good, the bad and the oh-so-ugly over the course of the next twelve months. But forget about new beginnings and fresh views for j...

The winner of Japanator's best video game of 2013

Jan 03 // Brittany Vincent
Which games did we nominate? Let's take a look: Shin Megami Tensei IV  Fire Emblem Awakening  Final Fantasy XIV  The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds  Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies  Which one was a winner winner, chicken dinner? It could only have been... Fire Emblem Awakening One of the most exciting strategy RPGs of the year takes home the gold! Fire Emblem Awakening is a frequent favorite on many a top games of 2013 list, and for good reason. It's welcoming to players of all skill levels, eschewing previously austere convention for a delightful mixture of game modes that appeal to casual and hardcore players. It also combined excellent localization with a cast of characters we quickly fell hard for, in and out of battle. Marriage, friendship, and a deep customization system? You bet your sweet bippy! Fire Emblem Awakening knocked our socks off, and if you haven't yet picked up a copy, now would be a great time to do so! Congratulations, as usual, to the rest of our nominees! And alas, poor MegaTen! I see 2014 being the year of Persona!
Jtor Awards 2013 photo
A brilliant Awakening
While writing these awards posts, I came to the realization that 2013 has been a pretty big year all around. It's been fantastic year for most of the media I consume, especially video games (my favorite!) I'm first and foremo...

The winner of Japanator's best male character of 2013

Jan 03 // Tim Sheehy
The devil himself -- Maou Sadao, demon lord of Ente Isla, and part-time MgRonalds fry-cook! Our staff voted, and Maou won by a clear margin, with Attack on Titan's Levi in a distant second. While Levi probably seemed like a shoe-in to win, I may have personally under-estimated Maou's appeal. On the other hand, both characters seem to have a lot in common. Both start out as ice cold badasses, who warm up over time -- though Maou more-so than Levi, that's for sure. Perhaps what put him over was his full-gambit of emotions, presenting serious growth throughout the entire series. Levi by contrast remained stoic almost the entire time. Then again, it could just as easily be his clear ambition to be the best at everything. If it's not ruling Ente Isla, it's dominating the fast food industry, and eventually all of Japan, one small franchise at a time. If anyone could do it, it'd be him, but whatever the reason, Maou Sadao is the proud recipient of Japanator's award for the best male character the 2013. We're all anxiously looking forward to a second season of The Devil is a Part-Timer!, and we hope you are too. I just hope it's sooner rather than later.
Jtor Awards 2013 photo
It's a popularity contest
The case could be made that 2013 was a strong year for women in anime. That said, there were also plenty of great candidates for best male, and though it may seem like we've overlooked quite a few, many of them lacked an x-fa...

The winner of Japantor's best game soundtrack of 2013

Jan 03 // Ben Huber
Ni no Kuni Wow! A Joe Hisaishi-composed game winning best soundtrack!? Pinch me, I must be dreaming! Yet, for all my wretched sarcasm, Ni no Kuni's OST really was stunning. Vivid vistas reimagined as notes on a page and colors characters and creatures broadcast as joyous musical themes -- it had all the hallmarks of Hisaishi's work. You might've been concerned that this was just a side-project or something he wouldn't work as hard on, but instead it's just as rich and full as any Ghibli soundtrack. I thoroughly liked Ni no Kuni's main theme, with it's quick and dramatic opening throwing the typical trumpets and strings at you, then immediately dropping down quietly and letting a flute take over until it eventually builds back up into a swirl of adventure. That's actually a great word to describe the whole soundtrack: adventure. Each note oozes it and backs the game up. Is the game itself a bit grindy? Yeah, but at least you've got some amazing music soothing your pain. In the end, the staff found that we ended up liking Hisaishi's work the most. Gorgeous, adventurous, and lavish, it's a joy to listen to even if you haven't touched the game. That's why we chose it as the best game soundtrack for 2013. Congratulations!
Jtor Awards 2013 photo
Which soundtrack music'd the hardest?
Perhaps the most important and nail-biting category this year, the Best Game Soundtrack category has us editors viciously engaged in mortal combat over who would win! I'm definitely not lying! Elliot almost died! Seriously --...

The winner of Japanator's best female character of 2013

Jan 02 // Brittany Vincent
Let's take a look at our dazzling nominees before we reveal our winner: Mako Mankanshoku (Kill la Kill) Kaga Koko (Golden Time) Koto (Kyousougiga) Hajime Ichinose (Gatchaman Crowds) Tomoko Kuroki (Watamote) Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan) It's a tough call, but we decided on... Mako Mankanshoku (Kill la Kill) That's right! In an unsurprising victory over the rest of the pack, little Mako jets to the top of our list and straight into our hearts. Maybe it's that horrific bowl cut, or her rapid-fire speech. Maybe it was how rad she looked that one time she had a Goku Uniform. Or maybe it's because she's a supporting character who steals the show every single time she's got a little bit of screen time to herself. Whatever the reasoning, we're crowning Mako-chan here the queen of the female characters in our 2013 Japanator Awards. Let's wish her and the rest of the Mankanshoku clan a prosperous 2014 and plenty more entertaining exploits in the future.  Congratulations to all our nominees and thank you to everyone who contributed to the heated debates in each of these posts. I'm still lamenting the fact that Tomoko didn't win, but she'll still be number one in my heart forever and always. 
Jtor Awards 2013 photo
It's basically who you thought it would be
This year in anime was all about the ladies, with intriguing female characters springing up left and right like some kind of fancy anime flowers in the Japanator garden. It was a good year for women (and girls) who broke the ...

The winner of Japanator's best anime art of 2013

Jan 02 // Josh Tolentino
And without further ado, our winner: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet While there were shows that were more stylish, more fluidly animated, or even more creative this year, few others kept everything together like Gargantia did for its run, and that's a tough job to accomplish for even the most experienced studio. The impact of consistency and coherence on a show's visual signature are too often underestimated, and the able talents at Production I.G. once again earned their reputation for rock-solid production values. There was nary a moment that the show didn't seem to be putting its best foot forward visually, from the intense CG space battle in the pilot episode to the undersea exploration and odd-duck historical flashbacks later on. But it's not as if being able to throw scads of money and man-hours at the production was the sole determinant of I.G.'s success with Gargantia, though. No, the capable art direction of Hirotsugu Kakoi (who's also credited on such visually distinct anime as Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei and the first installments of Kyousougiga) coupled well with the vibrant character designs of Hanaharu Naruko to give the show a coherent, well-realized, deliciously colorful mood, where every aspect seemed to fit in-- even when the premise involved a spaceman from a futuristic society landing on a post-apocalyptic waterworld. Well, not everything fit in. That bit with the belly-dancing somehow felt more out-of-place than all of Chamber's hot black beam weaponry. [Editor's Note: I will defend Amy's belly-dancing all day long, so whatever, Josh!] But hey, this is a "best art" award, not a "perfect art" award, and Gargantia's art was attractive and consistent for the entire run of the show. Congratulations to Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet!
Jtor Awards 2013 photo
Who's the prettiest Japanese cartoon?
Writing about our "Best Art" category for the Japanator Awards is great. Unlike our "Best Anime", character, or even the musical categories, the cool thing about checking out the best art of the year in Japanese cartoons is t...

Vote for your favorite anime of 2013!

Dec 29 // Chris Walden
A Certain Scientific Railgun S Ai Mai Mi Aiura AKB0048 Next Stage Aku no Hana Amnesia Arata Kangatari Arpeggio Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman Beast Saga Berserk: Ougon Jidaihen III - Kourin Beyond the Boundary BlazBlue: Alter Memory Blood Lad Boku no Imouto wa Osaka Okan Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai S2 Brothers Conflict Chihayafuru S2 Corpse Party: Tortured Souls Coppelion Cuticle Tantei Inaba Da Capo III Danchi Tomoo Danganronpa: The Animation Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge Date A Live Death Billiards Devil Survivor 2 Diabolik Lovers Diamond no Ace Doki Doki! Precure Fantasista Doll Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Ilya Free! Freezing S2 Futari wa Milky Holmes Galilei Donna Gatchaman Crowds gdgd fairies S2 Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou Genshiken 2 Gin no Saji Gingitsune Girls und Panzer Golden Time Good Job Club Gundam Build Club Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun Hataraku Maou-sama! Hayate no Gotoku! 2013 Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko Hetalia: The Beautiful World High School DxD New Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride Hyperdimension Neptunia Infinite Stratos S2 Ishida to Asakura Karneval Kill la Kill Kingdom S2 Kiniro Mosaic Kotura-san Kuroko no Basket S2 Kyousougiga Little Busters! Little Busters! Refrain Little Witch Academia Log Horizon Love Lab Love Live! Magi: The Kingdom of Magic Mangirl! Majestic Prince Maoyuu Maou Yuusha Milky Holmes Alternative TWO Minami-ke Tadaima Mondaijitachi ga Isekai kara Kuru sou desu yo? Monogatari Second Season Mushibugyo Nagi no Asukara Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san Nekomonogatari Kuro Non Non Biyori NouCome Ore no Imouto S2 Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru Phi Brain S3 Photo Kano Pretty Rhythm: Rainbow Live Puchimas! Recorder to Randoseru Mi Red Data Girl Ro Kyu Bu! SS Rozen Maiden S3 Saki: Achiga-hen Specials Samurai Flamenco [email protected] Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoi Naritai Senki Zesshou Symphogear G Senran Kagura Senyuu. Servant x Service Shingeki no Kyoujin Space Battleship Yamato 2199 TV Sparrow's Hotel Suisei no Gargantia Tamako Market Tamayura ~More Agressive~ Teekyuu To Aru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Uchoten Kazoku Unbreakable Machine Doll The Unlimited - Hyoubu Kyousuke Uta no Prince-sama Maji Love 2000% Valvrave the Liberator Vividred Operation Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! White Album2 The World God Only Knows S3 Yahari, Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru Yama no Susme Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san S2 Yowapeda Yozakura Quartet: Hana no Uta Yuusha ni Narenakatta Ore wa Shibushibu Shuushoku wo Ketsui Shimashita Yuyushiki
Your anime of 2013 photo
Fight! Fight! Fight!
[Update: The year is nearly over, so be sure to get your votes in ASAP to give your favorite show the best chance of winning! - Chris] Once again, it's time for the Japanator Readers' Choice Award 2013! You've been hearing ab...

The winner of Japanator's worst anime of 2013

Dec 25 // Tim Sheehy
BlazBlue: Alter Memory Where do we even begin? BlazBlue: Alter Memory seemed so promising, given its source material -- a beautifully animated 2D fighter with a detailed plot, lavish stages, awesome music, and characters with personalities. Of course, you'd expect the anime to deliver the same experience, or at least some semblance of it. And though it retained a few key elements, such as the character designs and music taken straight out of the game, it simply lacked everything else. It's almost as if TeamKG and Hoods Entertainment worked off cliff notes, having played the game for maybe three whole minutes. Rather than taking the time to flesh out a single plot or arc, we're presented with an abridged mess that would alienate anyone who has yet to play any of the BlazBlue games. Sadly, even those who have would scoff at the manner in which the story's been hacked to pieces. To top it all off, its visuals are about as bland as it gets. In fact, I could have sworn some of the backgrounds are straight out of Bleach. With all this in mind, it begs the question as to why would anyone still want to license this pile of garbage. We're not really sure, but our friends at Funimation didn't even hesitate before taking a chance on it. Who knows, maybe they'll just consider it a tax write-off. Let's just hope it doesn't give Japan any reason to produce another cour of it.
The worst anime of 2013 photo
No, it's not Valvrave
The anime industry shovels out plenty of bad anime every year, and usually that would make this decision a difficult one. After taking the time to whittle down our list, we held a vote to see which anime would take home our n...

Nominees for Japanator's best game soundtrack of 2013

Dec 25 // Josh Tolentino
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PS3) Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was the kind of JRPG that reminded people just why JRPGs were virtually synonymous with top-tier gaming experiences for so long. And a big part of that is its music, which uses the talent of legendary composer Joe Hisaishi to create a score that's utterly "Ghibli"-feeling (no surprise, considering that he's composed for many of Studio Ghibli's most iconic films) while also seeming to channel the sense of epic adventure and nostalgic fantasy that many people associate with the greatest RPG outings. Like the game itself, Ni no Kuni's score reflects the best memories of gaming's past while remaining comfortably in its spectacle-filled present.   Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies (3DS) You wouldn't expect it out of a game Capcom wasn't confident enough in to even give a full retail release, or for that matter, out of a series that lives on mobile/handheld platforms that many people don't even turn on the sound for most of the time, but Ace Attorney 5: Dual Destinies has a surprisingly good score. Or, then again, maybe you would expect it out of Ace Attorney at least, because Noriyuki Iwadare's jazzy, upbeat compositions have always done a great job of ratcheting up the game's tension, drama, fun, or whatever other mood is on Ace Attorney's always-wide range.    Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) Why is the best Nintendo-published platformer in the so-called "Year of Luigi" a Super Mario game? That's a question for a different "Best of 2013" list, but there's certainly no debating that Nintendo's stable of veteran composers (led by Koji Kondo and featuring Toru Minegishi, Mahito Yokota, and Yasuaki Iwata) have hit it again with Super Mario 3D World. Their varied, lively score continues to capture the essence of Mario while putting a whimsical face on the barely-controlled anarchy that is the game's multiplayer mode.   The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS) Given that A Link Between Worlds is ostensibly a remake of 1991's The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, nominating this could almost be considered cheating...if Ryo Nagamatsu's rearrangements of Koji Kondo's original score weren't so great. But they are, thank goodness for that. Brilliantly, A Link Between Worlds' score "feels" just as you imagined the original Link to the Past sounded like, freed of the warbling and machine-sythesized noises that the Super NES had to make do with.    Dynasty Warriors 8 (PS3/Xbox 360) No, seriously! We're being totally serious about this, because outside of your usual "rock/metal radio station" in your average crime game, it's frankly rare to have a game that has a soundtrack with so much awesome butt rock in it. The composers at Tecmo Koei, including Haruki Yamada, Yosuke Kinoshita, Yojiro Yoshimatsu, Masato Koike, and MASA continue to outdo themselves, which is a tough task considering just how many Warriors games there are out there, all with fairly similar requirements in the "music that gets your frickin' blood pumping to kill like a billion effing dudes" department.
J-tor Awards 2013 photo
Far beyond the bleeps and bloops
The roll of nominees keeps on scrolling for this years Japanator Awards, and just as we tallied up our nominees for Best Anime Soundtrack of 2013, we aren't about to ignore the many Japanese games that tickled our ears with t...

Nominees for Japanator's best anime soundtrack of 2013

Dec 24 // Salvador G Rodiles
Monogatari Series Second Season After Nisemonogatari, the entire Monogatari series has become a title that people either adore or loathe. One thing for sure though: you can’t deny that the anime unleashed a catchy soundtrack. With Satoru Kousaki returning to the series, we were given a diverse score that suits the tone of the random dialogues (and dramatic tooth-brushing) on screen. Not only that, the contribution of artists like Luna Haruna and show's main heroines manage to add an extra layer of depth to the Monogatari Series Second Season soundtrack. The wide variety of performers on display added qualities that most other scores just can't match. Gatchaman Crowds For most viewers, it took a bit of time to accept that Gatchaman Crowds is nothing like the original Gatchaman series. That being said, the social networking aspects and modern touches clicked well with those who enjoyed Crowds. Having done a phenomenal job with Gurren Lagann and the Battle Tendency arc of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Taku Iwasaki implemented his skills into giving Crowds an upbeat soundtrack that takes notes from electro music. Also, you just can’t go wrong with “GATCHAMAN” being shouted in a funky manner. Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet At first sight, Gargantia felt like it was going to be an action-packed mecha anime. Low and behold, the show surprised us by focusing on the everyday life of the people who live in a Waterworld-like setting, as the show’s main character adjusts to his new home. Taro Iwashiro’s music helped the show's transition between two very different tones go smoothly; in fact, Minori Chihara’s performance during the show’s opening strikes just the right note to get you in that special Gargantia mood. Attack on Titan Overrated or not, Attack on Titan was a fine treat of a series that left you hanging during each huge moment. Despite the hiccups that WIT Studios encountered during production of the series, Hiroyuki Sawano and Linked Horizon ensures viewers that they would be treated with a series of glorious orchestrated tracks. More than just serving as background music, the score helped strengthen the narrative that our own Editor-in-Chief Tim Sheehy likes to refer to as "the Game of Thrones of anime." Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie -Rebellion- While Madoka Magica Rebellion’s ending left many viewers in a state of rage and/or confusion, you can't deny the fact that the film’s soundtrack was an exuberant experience. Yuki Kajiura delivered some nice numbers that helped bring life to the segments of the film that felt like pure fan fulfillment. On top of that, the musical numbers during the rising action of the movie's story helped suck you in to the film's world and visuals. Of course, ClariS and Kalafina’s contributions made Rebellion’s opening and ending themes particularly worthwhile. Well, that wraps up our nominees for the best anime soundtracks of 2013. If you’re interested in chiming in your thoughts about our post, be sure to leave your feedback in the comments section below. Other awards categories we’ve announced: Worst Anime of 2013 Best female character Best male character Best art in an anime Best video game of 2013
Best Soundtrack 2013 photo
It's like great music to my ears!
One of the greatest things about music in general is that you can enjoy a song, regardless of where it originates from. In some cases, the same can be said about music in anime. However, if the anime series that you're watchi...

Nominees for Japanator's best video game of 2013

Dec 21 // Ben Huber
Shin Megami Tensei IV Atlus returns to their mainline series after the many detours known as Persona, and guess what? They did an amazing job. The RPG series holds nothing back and launches you into a cohesive world populated with a voiced cast and fantastic art. Its massive story and sprawling amount of content will easily satisfy fans and then some. Difficult, intense, and uncompromising, SMT IV easily earns a spot on our best games list. Final Fantasy XIV Ok, so Final Fantasy XIV has had a few issues in the beginning. That said, the relaunch as A Realm Reborn has done an incredible job at changing and improving the game, and players everywhere are appreciating it. Revamped gameplay, a new interface, and just straight-up more content have transformed FFXIV into a much better game that our MMO-playing staffers couldn't put down. Also, it has cat people. Fire Emblem: Awakening Sticking with the RPG theme we have so far, we'd be remiss to not mention Fire Emblem: Awakening. The breakout hit for 3DS is one of the most well-crafted tactical RPGs out there. Masterful gameplay, beautiful art, and a solid score all hold up a portable adventure that impresses constantly. Often games that are released near the beginning of the year get forgotten during list season, but we had to include FE:A because no one should miss this game. The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds If you had told me earlier in the year that we'd be including the latest Zelda handheld game in our list, I'd be shocked. But that's what happened: A Link Between Worlds shocked everyone by how good it was. It broke up the traditional Zelda gameplay by letting you use any item and tackle the dungeons in any order. It also featured a memorable soundtrack that remixes old tunes and creates catchy new ones. Plus, Ravio and his repo bird are the best ever. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies The bluffing attorney's amazing return to the courtroom is our last item on our nominee list. Phoenix Wright is back and honestly better than ever. The game improves on the previous games in every way mechanically, and the story does an amazing job of teasing you constantly until the final revelation hits you. Plus, the jump to 3D models is as smooth as it could be. Backed up by another great soundtrack, AA:DD made us all want to be attorneys for a day. Maybe. So there's our list of nominees for best video game! Mind you, they all had to be from Japan so, you know, no GTA V here. Not that it would win anyway. Wink! Are we missing an amazing Japanese game? Holler at us loudly in the comments! Well, maybe use your indoor voice a bit. Actually, I was going to take a nap, so could you maybe whisper? Awesome. So, quietly, what was your favorite video game this year? Other awards categories we've announced: Worst Anime of 2013 Best female character Best male character Best art in an anime
Best Game 2013 photo
Which video game sucked the least?
Gather around the fireplace, children, and Uncle Ben will tell you a story! Once, before these virtual reality gizmos and direct brain-jacks entertainment software, we had to play video games on a normal screen! Yup, it's tru...

Nominees for Japanator's best art in an anime in 2013

Dec 20 // Ben Huber
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet There's some really cool stuff going on in Gargantia. Bright, recognizable character designs, some solid use of integrated CGI, and lots of colors. It's not leading the pack, but instead it wraps everything up in a consistent and reliable visual package. The whole world it creates is developed visually with style but doesn't become overbearing -- opting for functional art and animation over form is a valid choice -- and Gargantia does it well. I'm still primarily a fan of the character designs, as they really fit in perfectly with the world, and solidify Gargantia as one of our nominees. Tamako Market I only really need to say one thing here, don't I? KyoAni. Say what you will about their show as far as story or script, but their animation is frequently above and beyond what other studios do. Not for being overblown or featuring crazy battles, but just for being consistently great. KyoAni makes the mundane movements of characters into adorable festivals of cuteness that populate gifs all across the internet. This gives their work a sense of depth and solidity that most other shows don't have. Sure, Tamako Market wasn't the most amazing show ever, but the adorable character designs combined with some of the most skilled animators in the business made it a joy to watch. Or at least watch gifs of it. Kyousougiga If you want bright and colorful, here's the anime to watch! Kyousougiga features a crazy and well-designed cast of characters, bright and colorful worlds, and some great animation to boot! It all supports a story that's teetering on going into the deep end, and you really need some eccentric visuals for that. It's experimental atmosphere leaks into everything, art included. Color usage is the most interesting thing going on, as it really hammers home the fantasy elements. Kyousougiga has got a colorful, insane art palette going on and it works wonderfully. Beyond the Boundary Oh, look who it is again! KyoAni, what a surprise to see you here! How've you been? Really, that's great! How're the kids? Oh, they're killing each other with swords made of their own blood? Dang, that sounds grim. Oh, but you say it's backed up with beautiful art and amazing animation wrapped in a dream-like package of pastels and heavy use of depth-of-field? Nice! We'll have to nominate it for best art this year. Don't worry about the ending, I'm sure the art will still be a selling point for Beyond the Boundary, because it's gorgeous. The Eccentric Family Now I'm going to run around the room screaming "Character designs! Character designs!" That's because The Eccentric Family has some of my favorite characters of the year. They were designed by Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei creator Koji Kumeta, which explains the sharp edges combined with swooshy curves. Flat colors! While the animation isn't jaw-dropping, during important points in the story it picks up and does impress -- it just does it far too little. Still, from the elegant danger of Benten to the spiky beard of Professor Akadama, the art in The Eccentric Family exudes style. Kill la Kill While it's clear that Trigger is animating on a shoestring budget, there is still a considerable amount of talent behind the scenes. Kill la Kill demonstrates that despite your animation being hit-and-miss (episode 12 was really exciting), if you've got skilled artists drawing those few frames, you can make each one count for several. The character designs by the incredible Sushio are the right level of wacky and badass, and you can feel his style in everything. There are also some great backgrounds too, so with everything combined, the effort and spunk of Kill la Kill got it on our list. So, there's all our nominees for best art! Think we included any wrongly? Want to point out some we missed? Post in the comments! We'll probably use every single one of your suggestions no matter what. Ah, I lied. But it was a beautiful lie! Other awards categories we've announced: Worst Anime of 2013 Best female character Best male character
Best art 2013 photo
It's a bright and colorful list!
Art! What's it good for? Well, a lot, actually. A story can be made or broken depending on the way it's presented, and especially in anime (which is a primarily visual medium) that's a big deal! So here's our complete and com...

Nominees for Japanator's best male character of 2013

Dec 19 // Tim Sheehy
Levi (Attack on Titan) Levi has all the makings of a fan favorite. An incredibly skilled warrior with a no-nonsense approach, Levi exudes an air of confidence in a world gone mad, and while he often presents himself as apathetic, the fact of the matter is that he truly cares. There's also something a little unnerving about his glare, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. It's for these reasons alone that readers seem to be enthralled with Levi, as he often tops the popularity polls. Personally, I'm not sold on the haircut, but if anyone is going to make having that bowl cut cool again, it's going to be him.  Aikuro Mikisugi (Kill la Kill) A man with an agenda who remains hidden in plain sight. At the beginning of the season, we found Aikuro's antics totally creepy for a supposed-homeroom teacher. Definitely a bit over the edge but hell, you could argue that's part of his "charm." Of course, given everything else going on, we tend to overlook it. Whether or not Ryuko will ever give into his good looks or too-smooth attempts to flirt remains to be seen though, the answer is probably a resounding no. Still, that won't stop us from making him our favorite creepy teacher.  Yasaburou Shimogamo (The Eccentric Family) The carefree Yasaburou has a knack for getting himself into trouble -- he shapeshifts into a girl, playfully torments his elder Professor Akadama, and is honestly a bit of an idiot sometimes. But his honorable side wins out in the end and his loyalty to his family saves them all. Sure, his spunky attitude and ability to outwit people makes him a prime target for Benten and the Friday Fellows, yet he always ends up on the right side of the hot pot, so we'd be remiss not to mention him as one of our favorite male characters this year. He may be a troublemaker, but he's one you want on your side. Plus, he's a tanooki, and how can you possibly go wrong with that?  Tada Banri (Golden Time) Our dark-horse of the competition is an everyman by definition: he's a dark-haired college student of average height who's a "good guy."  But, as Brittany puts it, he's entertaining. Entertaining enough to land him on this year's list of best male characters? Let's see: the kid's plagued by a ghost from his past who's smoother than he is, he's a proponent of the "friend zone" concept, and he doesn't know how to talk through the simplest of quandaries to create a possible resolution when it comes to torrid love triangles. He can also rock a maid outfit. He's a hilarious amalgam of horrible, and that's what makes him so fun to watch. He's no handsome bishounen, but he's a trainwreck who's consistently intriguing week after week.  Maou Sadao (The Devil is a Part-Timer) Imagine yourself a mighty demon, commanding an entire army of darkness one day, and stuck in a human shell the next. It's gotta be really tough, especially when you're reduced to flipping burgers at everyone's favorite fast-food joint. So, imagine our surprise when he turns out to be super nice. In fact, after a whole season of character growth, we found him quite endearing, so much so that he managed to edge out a few other characters for the last spot on our list. Oh, and it helps to have some bitchin' demonic powers. Once again, congratulations to all the nominees. I know some of you probably feel strongly about some of the characters we've left out, so I encourage you all to let us know in the comments below.  Other awards categories we've announced: Worst Anime of 2013 Best female character  
Best male character 2013 photo
We know, It's a short list
I realize we've got a rather short list for best male nominees this year, and despite being handed a hefty list of nominees by my staff, very few names on the list really stood out, and even then, I had to determine which cha...

Nominees for Japanator's best female character of 2013

Dec 18 // Karen Mead
And yeah, I know saying "Who will win the crown?" like it's a Miss America pageant is kind of sexist, but dammit, crowns are awesome and trophies are just lame. Saying "Who will win the trophy?" makes me feel like I'm a kids soccer coach, so crown it is. Sue me. Mako Mankanshoku (Kill La Kill) We like Ryuko just fine, but it's the inimitable Mako that often steals the show in Kill La Kill. Whether she's driving the plot as Fight Club Mako or Sexy Manager Mako, or just serving as the plucky comic relief during a particularly grueling uniform-on-uniform fight, her enthusiasm and Looney Tunes-esque physics make her a joy to watch. She takes the cute, energetic schoolgirl archetype to its logical extremity, practically bouncing off the screen, and hilarity ensues. At the same time, instead of just being a joke character, we found that we developed genuine affection for her and her entire whacked-out family. Ryuko and Satsuki may be the poster children for KLK, but it's this "proud underachiever" who keeps us coming back. Kaga Koko (Golden Time) Oh're so crazy. Not in the joking sense of the word, but in the "has major psychological issues requiring years of therapy to correct," sense. It's not that we haven't seen the obsessed stalker-girlfriend type before, but Koko stands out by virtue of being real. True, her super-insecure antics are laughable at times, but we also see the genuine longing for companionship and understanding that makes her act the way she does. Even when she's at her worst, she's never completely unsympathetic, and the way she tries to moderate her own obsessive behavior is endearing. There are many crazy girlfriends in anime, but Koko is one of the only ones presented as an actual person who's worth taking the time to understand rather than a caricature, and for that reason, she makes the list. Koto (Kyousougiga) First rule of Kyousougiga: There are no rules in Kyousougiga. Second rule of Kyousougiga: Don't mess with Koto. This girl has a hammer that can destroy all of reality, but it's the interesting mix of toughness and vulnerability that makes her shine. Sure, she's an uber-badass despite her tiny stature, but she's also a little girl who just wants to find her mother, and sometimes, it shows. She and Yakushimaru (also known as the second Myoue to those who are trying to follow the plot of Kyousougiga; good luck with that, by the way) form the emotional core of the story, and in a world as crazy as Mirror Kyoto, we're often very grateful for the tiny foothold in reality that her perspective provides. At the very least, she's the only character who's often as confused as we are, and misery loves company. Hajime Ichinose (Gatchaman Crowds) I have been known to ogle the stationary aisle at CVS, so Hajime Ichinose makes my list of best female characters just for being a fellow day planner-lover. However, I can't turn into a Gatchaman with pink pigtails, so I guess that's where the similarities end. Hajime's perennial cheerfulness and enthusiasm makes her fun to watch (although annoying for some), and without her, the Gatchaman crew would be missing its spark. Personally, I haven't seen much of Gatchaman Crowds since to me, the show looks like a Skittles bag just exploded on my screen, but from what I have seen, Hajime is a lot fun. I'm tempted to watch more of the show, albeit with sunglasses, just to see if she gets as excited over spiral notebooks as I do. Tomoko Kuroki (WataMote) Delusional characters like super-awkward, super-otaku Tomoko can be a tough sell. Sure, it's fun to laugh at the (mostly self-inflicted) havoc in their lives, but if you're constantly laughing at them, you're not laughing with them. Tomoko is one of those characters that allows us to do both-- we can shake our heads at what a mess she is, but also feel for what she's going through and root for her to do better. Most people with otaku tendencies can see at least a little bit of themselves in Tomoko, and for that reason, we can't help wanting the best for her. It's a rare character that can make us laugh out loud yet cringe in hard-earned sympathy at the same time, and that's this girl's MO. Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan) We've seen plenty of strong, capable warriors protecting their magical girlfriends, but rarely is that scenario gender-reversed. In Attack on Titan, it's the strong-as-an-ox Mikasa who seeks to protect the potentially powerful, yet physically vulnerable Eren, her adoptive brother. Mikasa would be notable just for being a female in a role that is assigned to a male 99% of the time, but there's more to her than that; she also demonstrates the price of strength. Not only was her ability as a soldier hard-won, but she's constantly burdened with the huge responsibility of being one of humanity's strongest remaining soldiers, when all she really wants to do is protect Eren and Armin. She's a stoic character who has good reasons for being stoic, and while AoT may take place in a very dark world, we can only hope to see her crack a smile one of these days; the lady deserves it. Congratulations to all the nominees, and I hope our choices overlap with yours, dear readers. Finally, even though she wasn't nominated, I would just like to give a quick shout-out to Sakura, the skirt-eating horse from Walkure Romanze; if we had a "Best Female Character Who is Also Equine" category, she would be a shoe-in, but alas, we cannot have everything we want in this life. Other awards categories we've announced: Worst Anime of 2013
Best Female of 2013 photo
Take a bow, ladies
I may be going out on a limb here, but I think 2013 was a pretty good year for female characters in anime. Instead of just getting the same few character types over and over again, we got a pretty wide variety of not only fem...

The nominees for Japanator's worst anime of 2013

Dec 14 // Tim Sheehy
Valvrave the Liberator (season 2) When last we left Valvrave the Liberator... Actually, that phrase is a tad bit awkward, in my case, as I left Valvrave just after the somewhat uncomfortable episode 10, eventually allowing the season to lapse with little further comment. Now, I'm hardly the type to just drop things because they make some problematic missteps, but it's just that after episode 10-- despite its recovery from that stumble and some of the really bonkers stuff that went down afterward-- Valvrave just seemed a little bit less "fun" to watch, y'know? Read the our first impression of Valvrave the Liberator (season 2). Meganebu! My tastes are pretty polarizing. I get it. I loved Flowers of Evil, for instance, but a lot of you guys simply didn't like it. I'm a huge Tim and Eric fan too, and so many of my friends shake their heads in disgust when I describe their skits. That's cool -- different strokes for different folks. I'm just into the more offbeat kinds of entertainment out there, so that's what I look for. Meganebu seemed like it'd be right up my alley. Key word "seemed." Read our first impression of Meganebu!. Severing Crime Edge (season 2) ...this anime's protagonist's fetish for cutting ladies' hair - and his ecstasy at finding a magical pair of shears capable of cutting his patron's lengthy locks - just seems to be the beginning, as the trailer above quickly goes dark, and seeing the otherwise-innocuous barber scissors - complete with cute integrated comb - getting used for much more than cutting hair, gives me a strange Mirai Nikki/Future Diary vibe. That's a good thing, since Mirai Nikki produced perhaps anime's most powerful yandere, Yuno Gasai. I don't know if Crime Edge will be able to crete the same magic, but there certainly looks to be potential in this one. Boy, were we wrong -- we didn't even bother recapping this one. Infinite Stratos (season 2) There's a saying in show business: "Don't start the show with a show-stopper". Usually that advice is taken to mean something along the lines of saving the best parts of the performance for last, or to emphasize proper pacing. However, this nugget of wisdom can also be flipped around, so as to implore would-be performers not to open with the worst parts of their show, lest they drive away the audience they so treasure. Just like you shouldn't lead your stand-up routine with the rape jokes*, you probably shouldn't open a new season of your anime series after a break of nearly two years with an extended fanservice episode that doubles as a lengthy ad for a fanservice OVA. Heck, not only should you not lead with it, you also shouldn't continue with that behavior, as Infinite Stratos 2 does. Read our first impression of Infinite Stratos (season 2). Devil Survivor 2: the Animation The sequel to the fantastic Devil Survivor is given an exciting adaptation in the form of an anime series. Having never delved into the sequel just yet (my backlog is more like a back-avalanche) I was able to go into the first episode, as many viewers will, knowing little about the product on which it's based, aside from Devil Survivor and MegaTen lore. The verdict? I was pleasantly surprised, though it was a bit bizarre to create a series based on a video game sequel whose predecessor never received one. Devil Survivor 2 is able to hold its own with promising beginnings. Maybe we were a bit premature with our assessment. Read our first impression of Devil Survivor 2: the Animation. It's a shame it didn't quite pan out. BlazBlue Alter Memory I can't say I'm super happy with BlazBlue: Alter Memory. After waiting so long for something of this nature, I was hoping for a good product. It seems the show is nothing more than a quick cash grab by Arc System Works and Team KG, hoping to cash in on the game's continued success. If they took more time to flesh out the story rather than just making it a connective series of battles, this would be a worthwhile show. If you've played the game, and just want to see a little bit more of the BlazBlue world, I guess this is an okay way to pass the time. If you haven't played the games but are curious about it, don't waste your time with this. You'd be better off dropping the $20 on a copy of BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger and playing through the story that way. Read our first impression of Blazblue Alter Memory.  Congratulations to all our nominees, I guess? We'll have more nominations to share with you in the coming week, with winners being announced as early as the 23rd.
Worst anime of 2013 photo
It ain't easy being cheesy
It's the end of the year, and that means it's time to list off some of the best and worst titles of the year. However this year, I've decided that we'll be handing out awards and letting our staff vote to decide who deserves ...

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