What was the best anime you watched last year? It didn't have to be made last year, just that you watched it.
18 Jan 12
This would be very difficult to answer because there are so many different types of Anime that can appeal to one person, it would be easier to say the best one for each genre such as slice of life, mecha, science fiction, etc. If I had to assign a best overall, however, I would rest my finger (somewhat tentatively) on Borderline of Emptiness: the Garden of Sinners (Kara no Kyoukai). The last installment showed in cinemas in Japan in 2009.
In terms of the Anime that most affected me, emotionally: Angel Beats. At some point I would have said that this was the best, but for the plot holes at the end. Another candidate for the spot of the best would be Fate/Zero. From the same studio that did Kara no Kyoukai, ufotable. Where it falls, though, is in the final episode for the season that provides us with a massive cliffhanger that we've got to wait until April to see brought to a resolution. It lacks any sense of closure.
Steins;Gate is a favourite for the position of the best of 2011. It has a few minor flaws but nothing major. In order to point towards the movie, they leave the final episode a little open-ended which is completely fine because all the issues within the series had been brought to a satisfying resolution by the final episode. Character development for some of the characters was somewhat lacking.
Mawaru Penguindrum is another interesting contender for the best of 2011. It's uniqueness in story-telling and very nice visuals as well as excellent character development makes it one of my favourites but I would hesitate to call it the best. I can't think of any immediate flaws, but I can recall being annoyed at certain parts of the earlier episodes.
All in all, I think that Kara no Kyoukai has average character development considering the manner in which the viewer is thrown into the story depending on your viewing order (chronological or the order in which it aired). The visuals, character designs and voice acting were quite good. The soundtrack is one of the best I've ever heard. The plot is interesting, if not downright confusing and there are quite a lot of dialogue heavy moments. Considering that there is no English dub, the viewer must read quite rapidly to keep pace with the story. This is quite a feat because the conversation between characters and their internal musings are very complex and heavy. Multiple viewings are recommended.