Returning to Anime? The Best Anime Series of 2012 That You Missed

Been away from anime for awhile? We understand. You go out and have your life, anime will always be waiting for you when you come back. They always come back. If you are finally coming back and stopped watching sometime in or before 2012, here are all the best anime series that you missed and definitely should go back and watch.




Sword Art Online

With the aid of NerveGear technology, video game players can now experience their playable worlds like never before – in virtual reality. For Kazuto Kirigaya, his game of choice is Sword Art Online. After beta testing the game, he logs into the launch and finds himself, as well as ten thousand other players, trapped in the game world.

Remember in 2012 when everyone joked that the world would end because of that Mayan prophecy? Well, I still attribute the flood of isekai anime to the popularity that was Sword Art Online. So in a way, it was an anime apocalypse. Everyone got hooked in that first half about a guy stuck in a virtual MMO, but unfortunately it’s been a bit of a roller coaster since.

Kingdom

In the Ancient Chinese Kingdom of Qin, Xin Li, a war orphan, trains with his fellow slave and best friend Piao to achieve his dream of one day being a Great General of the Heavens. However, one day Piao is sent to work at the royal palace until a coup sends him back to Xin Li, half dead, in order to bring him in for a meeting with China’s young king Zheng Ying, thus thrusting him into an adventure and towards his destiny.

While it suffers from some occasionally awkward CGI moments, Kingdom tells an epic and sweeping war story inspired by Chinese history. While the manga has reached epic levels, unfortunately the production of the anime hasn’t quite got there yet.

Another

Ever since 1972, class 3-3 in Yomiyama North Middle School has had a strange tradition of pretending that one of their students did not exist. When Kouichi Sakakubara transfers into the class, he finds himself drawn to a girl that no one seems to notice. Not paying heed to the warnings of his classmates, all hell is about to break loose.

Initially intriguing and changing the way you will ever look at an umbrella again, Another is a nice little horror anime that tidily finishes its story and ends. If you enjoy mystery and the occasional dash of traumatic gore, this is a great watch.

Space Brothers

After spotting what they believe to be a UFO, two brothers Mutta and Hibito vow to become astronauts. Fast forward to their adult years and Mutta’s life isn’t going as expected as he toils in an automotive company while the younger Hibito is well on his way to be the very first Japanese man on the moon. When Mutta loses his job and is given a chance to catch up to his brother by joining the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, he jumps at the chance.

For all the space operas in anime that take place in a fantasy universe or distant future, it is refreshing to have a series like Space Brothers that is grounded firmly in the reality that you can be an astronaut, but not everyone can. Oh, and you don’t have to be in some sort of fighting force to do it either.

From the New World

After the sudden outbreak of psychokinesis, the .01% of the population that developed it started using their powers for nefarious means. Far into the future, the town of Kamisu 66 is wholly populated by psychics with the young Saki being one of the most recent to awaken her powers. Finally she can join the rest of her friends at the Sage Academy. However, her school days are plagued with questions that threaten to unravel the dark secrets of her idyllic village.

From the New World is a series that starts off creating so many different questions, then spends the series slowly answering them. It is fascinating to watch the mysteries of the world be uncovered as you watch the children actually grow up in it. The show does world building well in that regard and takes you from the innocence of youth to a darker reality of adulthood.

The Daily Lives of High School Boys

This is the tale of three boys that roam the halls of the all-boys school of Sanada North. Their lives are filled with nothing but giant robot drama and true love stories, at least in their imaginations. In reality, these three boys are nothing special, but they try their best to pass the time.

I like to refer to this as “Nichijou, but with boys” because that’s…pretty much what this is. It is absurd and random comedy with virtually no plot outside the plotline of their antics. Of course, while it has weird comedy, it has less insane weirdness compared to Nichijou. Mostly it just shows the comedy of people messing around.

Hyouka

After his sister’s nagging, energy-conservative Oreki joins the Classics Club. However, he gets more than he bargained for when he is dragged into a 45-year-old mystery that surrounds their club room. However, alongside his club mates, he also finds himself dragged into a host of other cases as well.

Hyouka excels in making what should be pretty mundane non-supernatural mysteries interesting. However, it becomes surprisingly cute (albeit cheesy) sometimes and interestingly serious at others. It presents itself much like it’s main character – energy-conserving, almost boring on the surface, but with a lot of depth inside.

Kokoro Connect

At Yamaboshi Academy, there is a club called the Student Cultural Society, a club of five students who don’t fit into any other clubs. Everything is normal and boring until one day the club members start switching bodies. Forced to be closer than ever before, emotional scars and hidden secrets are prepared to come out.

Take a bunch of puberty-addled teens in a club bound because they were misfits, then start switching their bodies. It turns out this is a perfect recipe for drama. Who knew, right?

Kids on the Slope

After moving around his entire life, classical pianist Kaoru Nishimi has abandoned all hope of fitting in as he arrives in Kyushu for his final year of high school. However, that all changes when he meets the thuggish drummer, Sentaro Kawabuchi, a man with an immeasurable love for jazz. Over the music they bond together and Kaoru learns that music should be something to bring joy to others, not something dictated by hundreds of years of technique.

Kids on the Slope is one of those anime series that is really highly acclaimed, but it has a premise that is hard to hook people. However, even if you aren’t interested in music anime or anime as an art form, Kids on the Slope tells a great poignant story that is a must for any fan of dramatic stories.

Waiting in Summer

While testing out his filming camera one night, Kaito is blown off the bridge by a streak of blue light. When he wakes up, he finds himself in his room. This leads to a meeting with an upperclassman that changes his summer forever.

While it has a nice little romance plot with a twist, the real charm of Waiting in Summer is the visuals. It has great landscape visuals and sleekly designed characters. Everything in it really gives off that summer vibe, which may in fact make it a great winter watch.


High School DxD

Average pervert Issei Hyoudou has done nothing productive with his life save for dreaming of attracting a harem. Things are looking up when a girl asks him on a date, but unfortunately she turns out to be a fallen angel and brutal kills him. However, he gets a second chance at life when a classmate (and devil) revives him to be her servant.

Hueh, hueh, bewbs. :3
But really, aside from being a notorious entry in the ecchi genre, High School DxD actually has a palatable story to go alongside the chest meat. Not every ecchi anime can say the same. It is nice when creators put effort in on both sides.

Psycho-Pass

In near future Japan, in order to fight crime and bring justice, they have implemented the Sibyl System, a means of determining the threat level of each citizen. Some citizens, despite being threats, are made into Enforcers that work alongside Inspectors to bring criminals to justice.

Dystopian and technologically advanced, Psycho-Pass poses a lot of moral and ethical questions all wrapped up in an exciting crime mystery. Is it okay to take out criminals before they actually commit crimes? Let’s find out!

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure

In 1868, English nobleman George Joestar had his life saved by Dario Brando. When Dario passes away, George repays the favor he owed by taking in Dario’s son, Dio. However, unsatisfied with his life, Dio soon moves to take control of the Joestar house with the help of an Aztec stone mask that grants him supernatural powers. In his quest to destroy George and his son Jonathan, it sets off a chain of events that will echo through the decades, including half a century later when Jonathan’s grandson, Joseph, discovers his family’s legacy.

If you don’t count the OVAs (and if you haven’t been big into Jojo already, why would you?) then 2012 was the year that started the wide spreading cult of Jojo that is taking over the anime community. Studio David shows a real passion for the source material in their creation, and that is always a great thing.

Pet Girl of Sakura Hall

Unable to resist taking in abandoned kittens, and amassing quite a collection of them, Sorata Kanda is forced to move to Suimei high School’s infamous Sakura Hall. This dorm is used to house all the misfit students that don’t quite fit in the regular housing. There Sorata meets an array of different oddballs that inspire him to work towards getting back into the regular dorms. However, when a new transfer student moves in, he meets the incredible artist Shiina Mashiro. While talented, she is completely incapable of taking care of herself, and so, Sorata brings her into his care and his strange days truly begin.

This series is one of those series that stays with you and you wish you could watch for the first time over again. It provides some golden comedy, sweet moments, and fully explores and builds out its cast of characters rather than focusing on just one main couple. If you are a romantic comedy or even just a school life drama fan, you are doing yourself a disservice by not watching this.

Love, Chunibyou, and Other Delusions

Everyone has that stage in their life where they think themselves special, different from mere humans. In middle school, Yuuta Togashi thought himself the Dark Flame Master, but upon entering high school, he has grown out of it. Unfortunately, after a chance meeting with Rikka Takanashi, a girl believing to have a God in her eye, attaches herself to him and brings that Chunibyo past back out.

We all look back on certain moments of our youth and cringe really hard. This is an anime about that. Perhaps not something you need in your life, but it is good comedy and a very cute romance.

Do you have any more good anime from 2012 that returning anime fans may have missed? Let them know in the comments section below.

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