Top 10 Car Cameos of 2012

In no particular order, here are some of the more interesting car cameos we’ve spotted in all the anime we’ve watched this year. We’re unsure as to the real car content of Winter 2012 series, and to be perfectly honest, we haven’t been Johnny-on-the-spot as we’d like with every cameo in every episode, but we’re only human-youkai hybrids. But this post isn’t about regrets, it’s about the celebration of horseless automotivation!

The Principal’s Ferrari F40Girls und Panzer – 02
Later in the series, we learn that Ooarai is in financial trouble and will be shut down due to a lack of accomplishments. Apparently that pain isn’t being felt by the principal, who is wealthy enough to afford one of only 1,315 F40 supercars ever built. In an act of prescient karmic retribution, it is flipped then crushed by Chouno Ami’s surprise tank-drop.

Shrade’s Ferrari CaliforniaAquarion Evol – 07
Shrade is by all accounts a very privileged, cultured young man who comes from money. As such, he drives a red Ferrari despite still being in high school, and tailgates fellow travelers of the road, to boot. “Out of my way, PEASANTS!”

Evangeline Yamamoto’s VW New Beetle Zetsuen no Tempest – 03
Evangeline is friendly, cute, and curvy on the surface, but all business underneath. So too is her tomato-red Volkswagen New Beetle (let’s make it a Turbo, because why not?), which is really just a Golf in retro clothes.

Malloy’s Lancia Delta HF Integrale 16v Evoluzione II  – Aquarion Evol – 15
Like we said when we saw it, it’s probably no coincidence that this same, very specific model of car has shown up both here and in another one of Shoji Kawamori’s works, Macross Frontier. No matter where it shows up, it’s one of our all-time favorite cars.

Ao’s Flying Piaggio ApeEureka Seven AO – 01
Okay, it’s not exactly an Ape (Italian for Bee), but it’s pretty clearly inspired by it. Not quite a car, not quite a motorbike, but damned practical all the same. Making one that can fly is the next logical step.

Sakura Ichiko’s Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow – Binbougami-ga! – 01
It’s only seen in for a moment as Ichiko is dropped off at school, but it’s the perfect car for her: something not to drive, but to be driven in, and ruinously expensive.

Mayor Bacchus’ Toyota CenturyMirai Nikki – 19
Bacchus travels in style in perhaps the quirkiest executive car money can buy: a brand-new car that looks thirty years old. It’s still hella cool.

Mr. Tatsuji’s Volvo 240 WagonAnother – 12
Aside from the fact that old boxy Volvo wagons are the mainstay of educators (and cool moms), there’s a certain morbid irony in a Tatsuji driving a car that’s the paragon of safety in a series where no almost no one is safe from a grisly death.

Koko’s Armored Volvo S80Jormungand
We can’t remember if she called it by name (she gave up on “V” trying to name a new car she bought for Ugo, which was incidentally a VW), but one thing’s for sure: while other arms dealers roll in Mercs and BMWs, Koko prefers Swedish Volvo S80s, and while she had to grudgingly abandon one in South Africa, it wasn’t long before she procured another.

Unyuu Rintarou’s Car Collection – Sket Dance – 74
Student Council Treasurer Unyuu Mimori’s family has more money than many developed nations. Among her father’s many possessions is a formidable collection of model cars, along with a collection of the real things. It’s an eclectic, even eccentric mix…but that’s par for the course when you own an underground city. Also, it’s apparent the cars in this episode were hand-drawn, with no shortcut CGI; a nice touch.

BONUS: All of the Background Traffic in K – 01 
It may take teams of video editors years to discover every car cameo in the shiny first episode of K, but it’s not just the volume of vehicles, it’s the quality of the models. They’re shiny, detailed, not all the same color, and add a lot of richness to the background. Sure, they’re mostly CGI models that may have been modeled by a third party and inserted in the animation, but when they’re this pretty, who cares?

RABUJOI’s Top 15 Anime of 2012

We watched 48 series this year, including six carryovers from 2011. We dropped eight of them and became better at not sticking with shows we didn’t like.

In August, we changed our rating scale from 1-4 to 1-10, meaning more colors and more nuance in our ratings. We started documenting car cameos, kept track of common tropes, and even drew a few org charts. We dabbled with summaries-as-cocktail recipes. We started a successful Tumblr and a not-so-successful Twitter account.

But all that aside, this site has been and always will be about the reviews, and what we thought of those 48 series and hundreds of episodes we watched. From that large collection, we present you the top 15 of 2012, by average rating (Current as of time of publication).

15. Rinne no Lagrange – Winter/Summer (7.708)“Competent action and space battles take a backseat to the characters and their bonds”

14. Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! – Fall (7.727)“We can never totally reject the extraordinary from our lives, because the fact of the matter is, when you take a moment to look at it, every aspect of life is extraordinary”

13. Kokoro Connect – Summer (7.769)“We liked all three arcs, all the characters, and cared about what happened to them. Their interactions under duress were always engrossing”

12. Natsuiro Kiseki – Spring (7.917)“4 parts high school girls yearning to stick together, muddle a few wishes on a big rock, top with club soda and a scoop of ice cream. Repeat”

11. Moretsu Pirates – Winter/Spring (7.885)“Lots of cool sci-fi procedural action tempered by hearty heaps of heart”

10. Aquarion Evol – Winter/Spring (7.923)“Mix everything, ever, for thousands of years. Doesn’t matter what. Just MIX. MEEEEEEKUUUUUUSUUUUU!”

9. Kamisama Hajimemashita – Fall (8.000)“A veritable smorgasbord of neat supernatural concepts and story twists”

8. Hyouka – Spring/Summer (8.045)“The festival arc was epic in its scope, complexity, and conclusion, never neglected the little details, and gave the whole cast something to do”

7. Another – Winter (8.077)“The horror series which gets the fundamentals right, even if it isn’t breaking any particularly new ground”

6. From the New World – Fall (8.308)“As the characters age, the danger intensifies, and the tension over their fate continues to build”

5. Sakamichi no Apollon – Spring (8.333) “1 part each rich egghead pianist, poor delinquent drummer, cute earnest girl, pretty adventurous girl, and depressed trumpeter. Combine and shake well to the stylings of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.”

4. Nazo no Kanojo X – Spring (8.385)“1 part each strange, horny girl with an unusually natural voice and normal, horny guy. Pour in mixing glass with a whimsical soundtrack, retro 80’s character design, and liberal amount of saliva. Stir well, garnish with hundreds of lemons.”

3. Zetsuen no Tempest – Fall (8.583)“Everything happens for a reason. The daily tragedies and misfortunes are all meaningful events, leading toward an ideal conclusion.”

2. Sukitte Ii na yo – Fall (8.615)“Mei and Yamato both prove inexperienced with romantic relationships (though in different ways), but at least they’re trying to overcome their stumbling – and mostly succeed”

1. Natsuyuki Rendezvous – Summer (8.636)“A short, sweet, mature, and absolutely moving romantic drama”

RABUJOI’s 15 Favorite Episodes of 2012

We’re doing something we’ve previously done with Sket Dance (and one Skepisode almost made it on this list): identifying the episodes that we enjoyed the most, regardless of rating. That being said, all of these episodes are highly rated.

So out of 550+ episodes watched in 2012, here are 15 of our favorites. There are many others we liked quite a bit, but we wanted to limit this list to a nice clean 15, listed alphabetically. We could re-watch any one of these episodes many many times.

Another – 08 – 27 Feb
Theory about being safe outside Yomiyama? Disproved. The importance of Matsunaga remembering more about the past? Crucial.

Aquarion Evol – 15 – 10 Apr
This episode had a cinematic depth and breadth that drew us in…and on more than one occasion had us laughing and yelling out loud at the sheer…kick-assery of it all.

Eureka Seven AO – 19 – 8 Sep
We had a feeling the company had a tough road to follow, but we didn’t expect its absolute obliteration.

Eureka Seven AO – 22 – 28 Sep
We’re not going to mince words like we always do, and just curse instead: that was a fucking awesome episode.

From the New World (Shin Sekai yori) – 09 – 24 Nov
[Saki] cares about [Shun] so much she’s willing to risk everything – her freedom, her life, her parents’ peace-of-mind – to find him. Which is badass.

Hyouka – 17 – 12 Aug
To put it perhaps too simply, there are passionate failures and casual geniuses in Hyouka.

Kokoro Connect – 05 – 4 Aug
One of the trademarks of a great anime is…breathing life and vitality into the characters.

Moretsu Pirates – 12 – 24 Mar
…the characters didn’t shrink to insignificance in the face of such mindblowing vastness.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse – 02 – 8 Jul
Now we know why the characters were so bland last week: because they never made it past this week.

Natsuyuki Rendezvous – 11 – 13 Sep
…we wanted nothing less than a good old-fashioned happy ending, and by gum, we got one.

Nazo no Kanojo X – 01 – 11 Apr
The quirky but warm Mikoto is so lovably weird, you have to root for Akira to try to win her, and he does…

Sakamichi no Apollon – 07 – 24 May
Just as jazz was the catalyst for Kaoru and Sentaro’s friendship, it’s also the salve that mends it when it’s asunder.

Sankarea – 03 – 20 Apr
She’s a brave, strong young woman. Only…by episode’s end, she’s no longer a living woman.

Sword Art Online – 10 – 8 Sep
…Kirito gives Asuna a kiss when she most needs it, and when his intentions couldn’t be conveyed any more powerfully.

Zetsuen no Tempest – 09 – 29 Nov
This episode may just be three guys yelling at each other while holding weapons while a half-naked girl lies on a distant beach but good God was it powerful.

Spring 2012 Season Preview

We’re nearly halfway through Winter 2012 – it’s been a mercifully mild one here in RABUJOIland (knock on wood), and we’re very much done with the whole coldness and no leaves on the trees thing. When April comes around we’ll be saying goodbye to ten series and carrying over with only three (two if Rinne no Lagrange doesn’t continue), so something will have to fill that void.

We’ve selected five in our usual manner – picking series that look promising while learning as little as possible about them. Some may not pan out, others not on this list might be picked up. The list is below; mirroring the “Plan to Watch” portion of our MyAnimeList. One immediate observation: no ludicrously long titles…everything’s nice and tidy!

(*=maybe pile)

Spring 2012 New Series

Accel World – Sunrise – March 26 (Action, Romance, School, Sci-Fi)
Hyouka – KyoAni – April 14 (Mystery)
Medaka Box – GAINAX – April 5 (Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Martial Arts, Romance, School, Shounen)
Ozuma – LandQ/GONZO – March 16 (Sci-Fi)
Sankarea* – Deen/Lantis – April 6 (Comedy, Ecchi, Horror, Romance, Shounen, Supernatural)

Winter 2012 Carryovers

Aquarion Evol
Moretsu Pirates