When we weren’t reading comics this year, we were watching TV. Mostly shows based on comics. Check out our favorite comics-based TV series of 2013 after the jump.
We may all be on our holiday break, but thanks to the power of the WordPress publishing scheduler, we have traveled through space and time to bring you our lists of our favorite things of 2013.
The schedule of our list postings is as follows:
- Dec. 25: Favorite Comics Series of 2013
- Dec. 26: Favorite Comics Writers of 2013
- Dec. 27: Favorite Comics Artists of 2013
- Dec. 28: Favorite Comics-based Internet/TV Series of 2013 (today’s article)
- Dec. 29: Favorite Toys/Collectibles of 2013
- Dec. 30: Favorites of 2013—The Best of the Rest (Jason’s selections for favorite comics-based movie and comics-based video game, as well as Zedric’s choices for favorite graphic novel/one-shot, favorite reprint collection, favorite art book, and favorite translated comic)
Here are our criteria for the category of “favorite comcis-based TV/Internet series of 2013″:
- Series must have had at least four new episodes (no reruns) broadcast on television, internet streaming, or VoD between Dec. 19, 2012 and Dec. 22, 2013.
- Should be a series based on a property that originated in a previously published comic.
- Can be a live-action or animated series.
- English-dubbed/subtitled editions of non-English language shows that aired before Dec. 19, 2012 can qualify, as long as their English-language versions debuted between Dec, 19, 2012 and Dec. 22, 2013.
- Attack on Titan (Wit Studio): Wit Studio’s animated adaptation of Hajime Isayama’s manga rivals the print version of the property in popularity—which is really saying something, since there are over 20 million Attack on Titan trade paperbacks in print in Japan and over 500,000 trades in print in North America. As with the best full-motion adaptations of comics, director Tetsurō Araki (Guilty Crown, Highschool of the Dead, Kurozuka), screenwriter Yasuko Kobayashi (Casshern Sins, Witchblade, CLAYMORE), and the artists of Wit Studio have stayed reasonably faithful to the source material while streamlining it in places to better serve the aesthetic and storytelling needs of the animation medium. The series is currently available for streaming on FUNimation.com and Crunchyroll.
- Haganai NEXT (AIC Build): Haganai NEXT (currently available for streaming on FUNimation.com) is the second season of the mature viewers-rated animated series based on the popular light novel/manga series Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai (or Haganai, for short). It’s actually quite continuity-heavy for a comedy anime—a lot of the overarching plot developments in Haganai NEXT are directly tied to events from the first season. Combining elements of romantic comedy, slice-of-life, and the “harem” genres, the show continues to follow the exploits and misadventures of the Neighbors Club, a group of high school misfits and social outcasts who’ve banded together to learn how to make friends. There’s a “male gaze” aspect to the visuals (which is terribly exaggerated in the anime) that can be problematic, but the female characters are, somewhat surprisingly, quite well developed. Can the members of the Neighbors Club put aside romantic tensions, jealousy, and their pathological social awkwardness before they end up more isolated than they were before?
- Minami-Ke: Tadaima (Feel): Like similar “slice-of-life” comedies Azumanga Daioh and Hidamari Sketch, Minami-ke is based on a yonkoma (four-panel gag comic strip) and the show’s episodes feature low-stakes—though occasionally bizarre—conflicts, if they feature conflict at all. I find the show, with its slow pacing and funny-but-not-mean-funny dialogue, makes for an oddly relaxing diversion. Minami-Ke: Tadaima is the fourth season of the popular animated series and is is currently available for streaming on FUNimation.com.
- Arrow (DC Entertainment/Berlanti Productions/Warner Bros. Television): This show has really improved with the second season. It’s everything a comic based show should be. A new continuity with enough resemblance to the comics source material. There are lots of easter eggs for comics fans but it isn’t dependent on the viewer being intimately familiar with the comics to be enjoyable. Excellent storylines and pacing with solid acting. Just good stuff all around.
- I’m going to grudgingly give this one to Arrow. I loved the beginnings of season 1, and was ready to write it off by the end of the same. I gave season 2 a shot though, and wow, did they right the ship. Plenty of potential to screw it up, but so far it’s beating out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (which I want to give this nod to, but just can’t because reasons) pretty handily.