Imports of Great Import: The Top 5 Anime/Manga of 2011
We make the hard choices so you don't have to
Waxing Moon - It's fitting that 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit because it's also been the year of Sailor Moon. With an enduring appeal that crosses generational boundaries, it's no surprise that Naoko Takeuchi's Sailor Moon broke sales records with Kodansha's re-release and that it's one of the hottest titles this year.
Grape Stuff - Full-bodied, excellent structure and a dramatic finish - these could describe a nice glass of merlot or The Drops of God by sibling duo Tadashi Agi. Following Shizuku, the rebellious son of a recently deceased, preeminent wine critic, the story serves up a deliciously evil plot twist with undercurrents of patriarchal spite: Shizuku must compete in a high-stakes wine tasting to win his father's valuable rare wine collection. C'est magnifique!
Good Exorcise - Most teenagers seem like they're Satan's offspring, but such is actually the case for Blue Exorcist's Rin Okumura. With a charismatic cast of characters and high-octane demon slaying, this anime is devilishly good. Just don't pour holy water on your cranky relatives; they're probably not possessed by demons.
Noble Effort - While it may not be as fun to read as Sailor Moon, Shigeru Mizuki's Onwards Towards Our Noble Deaths is certainly a very important read. Drawing from his time spent as an infantryman during World War II, Mizuki crafted a harrowing tale of the brutality of life during wartime, full of lessons that still ring true today.
Gate Keeper - Murder, time travel and mad scientists, oh my! Steins;Gate follows Rintarō Okabe who develops a device which can send text messages into the past. What unfolds is a darkly comedic, psychological slow burn of a story. Tell Doctor Who to hold his calls; we'll be opening Steins;Gate.