Because RABUJOI started up at the start of the Fall 2010 season, we only compiled complete reviews and ratings for 15 2010 shows (two more were dropped). We watched series throughout 2010, but did not yet have RABUJOI up and running in earnest until Fall, so we had to approximate ratings for our Top 15. However, RABUJOI has been in operation for the entirety of 2011. We watched and assigned reviews to a total of 31 series, and dropped ten more. So without further stat-ado, here are our Top 15 of 2011, by their average episode rating:
15. Dantalian no Shoka (3.542) – Gorgeous Victorian aesthetic, with magical mysteries and plenty of Gainax weirdness.
14. Kamisama Dolls (3.615) – For most of its run, the hero sits back and lets his little sister be the hero…and that’s okay!
13. Kamisama no Memo-cho (3.625) – J.C. Staff serves up a deeper, slightly darker alternative to Railgun and Index.
12. Usagi Drop (3.636) – Extremely realistic depiction of the trials of taking care of a little kid, without coming off as annoying.
11. Blood-C (3.667) – Like Shiki, it’s gorey, chilling, addictive, and not what you initially thought.
10. Hanasaku Iroha (3.692) – Excellent slice of life, fantastic ensemble cast, charming setting, and a healthy dollop of romance.
9. Deadman Wonderland (3.708) – A hellish scenario in which pretty much everything bad that can happen to a kid…does.
8. Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam (3.727) – GONZO returns with a gorgeous sequel that does the original – one of our favorites – justice.
7. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (3.750) – Don’t let the cutesy-looking characters fool you – Shinbo crafts a dark, broody, time-bending Magical Girl tale we can get behind.
6. Ben-To (3.833) – A supermarket fight club where the prize is half-priced food? Yes, please. Especially when the battles are as lyrical as they are zany.
5. Guilty Crown (3.864) – Copious eye candy and tremendous action setpieces more than make up for ho-hum characters and scenarios.
4. Chihayafuru (3.875) – Who thought an obscure game could engender such strong appeal. Some of the best characterization of the year certainly helped.
3. (Tie) [C] (3.909) – When your future is your currency, caution is warranted. Consistently impressive and imaginative.
3. (Tie) Un-Go (3.909) – A classic mystery literature-sourced success story.
2. AnoHana (3.955) – Genuinely moving teen drama about old friends reconnecting, with some help from a ghost.
1. Mawaru Penguindrum (4.000) – The only series to earn a perfect rating for its entire run – all the more impressive as it ran for 24 episodes. So far, it’s the anime of the decade.