Top 20 Seasonal Anime of 2011

Looking back over the decade (2010-2019) there have been some real gems in the anime that have been released. Here I have a look at the top seasonal anime of 2011. The list has been broken up into the top 5 anime of each season based on views, rating and popularity.

Top 5 anime of Winter 2011

1 IS: Infinite Stratos

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: 8bit
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Harem, Comedy, Ecchi, Mecha

Synopsis

An exoskeleton weapon engineered by Japan, Infinite Stratos (IS) can be piloted only by women. Its power and combat prowess are so immense that an international treaty has been signed banning its use as a military asset.

When it is discovered that 15-year-old Ichika Orimura is the only male capable of steering an IS, he is forcibly enrolled in the Infinite Stratos Academy: an all-female boarding school, the students of which graduate to become IS pilots. At this training school, Ichika is reunited with two of his childhood friends, Houki Shinonono and Lingyin Huang, and befriends Cecilia Alcott, an IS representative from the United Kingdom.

Guided by the legendary pilot Chifuyu Orimura—their strict homeroom teacher and Ichika’s older sister—Ichika and the girls will need to use everything at their disposal to defend themselves and their academy against the dangers that will arise during the course of their thrilling school life.

2 Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Shaft
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Psychological, Drama, Magic, Thriller

Synopsis
After experiencing a bizarre dream, Madoka Kaname, a kind 14-year-old girl, encounters a magical creature named Kyube. Madoka and her friend Sayaka Miki are offered the opportunity of gaining magical powers if they agree to make a contract with the strange little being. He will also grant them one wish, but in exchange, they shall risk their lives by accepting the responsibility of fighting witches. Invisible to human eyes, witches are catalysts of despair in the areas they inhabit. An ally of Kyube, a magical girl named Mami Tomoe, befriends and encourages the two girls to accept the contract. For an unknown reason, another magical girl named Homura Akemi is determined to prevent Madoka from accepting the deal.

3 Freezing

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: A.C.G.T.
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Harem, Drama, Romance, Ecchi, Martial Arts, Seinen

Synopsis

Decades into the future, humanity is under siege by an alien race known as the Novas. These inhuman beings leave devastation in their wake whenever they appear, with the efforts to stave them off becoming known as Nova Clashes. Young women known as “Pandoras” and young men known as “Limiters” are implanted with stigmata to give them superhuman powers and are trained in military academies, where they must learn to work together if humanity is to have a chance of surviving.

Freezing tells the story of Kazuya Aoi as he sets out for his first day at the West Genetics military academy, right when a battle royale is being undertaken by the Pandoras. It is here that he mistakes Satellizer el Bridget—a powerful Pandora known as the “Untouchable Queen”—as his deceased sister and embraces her. Though he costs her the match, she finds that his touch doesn’t drive her away and decides to take him as her Limiter. The only question is whether or not their partnership can survive the machinations of their upperclassmen and the impending battle with the Novas…

4 Beelzebub

  • Episodes: 60
  • Studios: Pierrot Plus
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Demons, Supernatural, School, Shounen

Synopsis

One day, Oga is by a riverbed when he encounters a man floating down the river. After being retrieved by Oga, the man splits down the middle to reveal a baby, which crawls onto Oga’s back and immediately forms an attachment to him. Though he doesn’t know it yet, this baby is named Kaiser de Emperana Beelzebub IV, or “Baby Beel” for short—the son of the Demon Lord!

As if finding the future Lord of the Underworld isn’t enough, Oga is also confronted by Hildegard, Beel’s demon maid. Together they attempt to raise Baby Beel—although surrounded by juvenile delinquents and demonic powers, the two of them may be in for more of a challenge than they can imagine.

5 Dragon Crisis!

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Studio Deen
  • Source: Light Novel
  • Genres: Action, Magic, Romance, School, Seinen, Supernatural

Synopsis
A normal high school boy Kisaragi Ryuji’s peaceful life is turned into an adventure by the return of his second cousin Eriko. Ryuji and Eriko seize a relic box from a black broker. In the box, they find a red dragon girl Rose. In order to protect Rose from the black organization, Ryuji decides to fight using his power as a relic handler.

Top anime of Spring 2011

1 Ao no Exorcist

  • Episodes: 25
  • Studios: A-1 Pictures
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Demons, Fantasy, Shounen, Supernatural

Synopsis

Humans and demons are two sides of the same coin, as are Assiah and Gehenna, their respective worlds. The only way to travel between the realms is by the means of possession, like in ghost stories. However, Satan, the ruler of Gehenna, cannot find a suitable host to possess and therefore, remains imprisoned in his world. In a desperate attempt to conquer Assiah, he sends his son instead, intending for him to eventually grow into a vessel capable of possession by the demon king.

Ao no Exorcist follows Rin Okumura who appears to be an ordinary, somewhat troublesome teenager—that is until one day he is ambushed by demons. His world turns upside down when he discovers that he is in fact the very son of Satan and that his demon father wishes for him to return so they can conquer Assiah together. Not wanting to join the king of Gehenna, Rin decides to begin training to become an exorcist so that he can fight to defend Assiah alongside his brother Yukio.

2 Steins;Gate

  • Episodes: 24
  • Studios: White Fox
  • Source: Visual novel
  • Genres: Thriller, Sci-Fi

Synopsis

The self-proclaimed mad scientist Rintarou Okabe rents out a room in a rickety old building in Akihabara, where he indulges himself in his hobby of inventing prospective “future gadgets” with fellow lab members: Mayuri Shiina, his air-headed childhood friend, and Hashida Itaru, a perverted hacker nicknamed “Daru.” The three pass the time by tinkering with their most promising contraption yet, a machine dubbed the “Phone Microwave,” which performs the strange function of morphing bananas into piles of green gel.

Though miraculous in itself, the phenomenon doesn’t provide anything concrete in Okabe’s search for a scientific breakthrough; that is, until the lab members are spurred into action by a string of mysterious happenings before stumbling upon an unexpected success—the Phone Microwave can send emails to the past, altering the flow of history.

Adapted from the critically acclaimed visual novel by 5pb. and Nitroplus, Steins;Gate takes Okabe through the depths of scientific theory and practicality. Forced across the diverging threads of past and present, Okabe must shoulder the burdens that come with holding the key to the realm of time.

3 Deadman Wonderland

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Manglobe
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Horror, Shounen

Synopsis

It looked like it would be a normal day for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates—they were preparing to go on a class field trip to a certain prison amusement park called Deadman Wonderland, where the convicts perform dangerous acts for the onlookers’ amusement. However, Ganta’s life is quickly turned upside down when his whole class gets massacred by a mysterious man in red. Framed for the incident and sentenced to death, Ganta is sent to the very jail he was supposed to visit.

But Ganta’s nightmare is only just beginning.

The young protagonist is thrown into a world of sadistic inmates and enigmatic powers, to live in constant fear of the lethal collar placed around his neck that is slowed only by winning in the prison’s deathly games. Ganta must bet his life to survive in a ruthless place where it isn’t always easy to tell friend from foe, all while trying to find the mysterious “Red Man” and clear his name, in Deadman Wonderland.

4 Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.

  • Episodes: 11
  • Studios: A-1 Pictures
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Slice of Life, Supernatural, Drama

Synopsis

Jinta Yadomi is peacefully living as a recluse, spending his days away from school and playing video games at home instead. One hot summer day, his childhood friend, Meiko “Menma” Honma, appears and pesters him to grant a forgotten wish. He pays her no mind, which annoys her, but he doesn’t really care. After all, Menma already died years ago.

At first, Jinta thinks that he is merely hallucinating due to the summer heat, but he is later on convinced that what he sees truly is the ghost of Menma. Jinta and his group of childhood friends grew apart after her untimely death, but they are drawn together once more as they try to lay Menma’s spirit to rest. Re-living their pain and guilt, will they be able to find the strength to help not only Menma move on—but themselves as well?

5 Hidan no Aria

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: J.C.Staff
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Romance, School

Synopsis
In response to the worsening crime rate, Japan creates Tokyo Butei High, an elite academy where “Butei” or armed detectives hone their deadly skills in hopes of becoming mercenary-like agents of justice. One particular Butei is Kinji Tooyama, an anti-social and curt sophomore dropout who was once a student of the combat-centric Assault Division. Kinji now lives a life of leisure studying logistics in order to cover up his powerful but embarrassing special ability. However, his peaceful days soon come to an end when he becomes the target of the infamous “Butei Killer,” and runs into an emotional hurricane and outspoken prodigy of the highest rank, Aria Holmes Kanzaki, who saves Kinji’s life and demands that he become her partner after seeing what he is truly capable of.

Top anime of Summer 2011

1 Mayo Chiki!

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: feel.
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Harem, Comedy, Romance, Ecchi, School

Synopsis

Due to his mother and sister, who both love professional wrestling, Kinjirou Sakamachi developed a resilient body that could take hard punches, aggressive kicks, and even deadly vehicle bumps, in order to survive their various grappling positions and locks. However, he also developed gynophobia, an abnormal fear of women. With just one touch from a girl, his nose bleeds uncontrollably, he sweats excessively, and in rare cases, faints abruptly.

His life changes for the worse because of a fated meeting in the restroom. While trying to escape from a girl, he discovers that the most popular student in their school, Subaru Konoe—the butler of the headmaster’s daughter, Kanade Suzutsuki—is actually female! Surprised, Subaru violently assaults Kinjirou, dealing significant damage and knocking him unconscious. When he comes to, he meets Kanade. In exchange for his silence, she promises to help cure his phobia.

2 Usagi Drop

  • Episodes: 11
  • Studios: Production I.G
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Josei, Slice of Life

Synopsis

Daikichi Kawachi is a 30-year-old bachelor working a respectable job but otherwise wandering aimlessly through life. When his grandfather suddenly passes away, he returns to the family home to pay his respects. Upon arriving at the house, he meets a mysterious young girl named Rin who, to Daikichi’s astonishment, is his grandfather’s illegitimate daughter!

The shy and unapproachable girl is deemed an embarrassment to the family, and finds herself ostracized by her father’s relatives, all of them refusing to take care of her in the wake of his death. Daikichi, angered by their coldness towards Rin, announces that he will take her in—despite the fact that he is a young, single man with no prior childcare experience.

Usagi Drop is the story of Daikichi’s journey through fatherhood as he raises Rin with his gentle and affectionate nature, as well as an exploration of the warmth and interdependence that are at the heart of a happy, close-knit family.

3 Nurarihyon no Mago: Sennen Makyou

  • Episodes: 24
  • Studios: Studio Deen
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Demons, Shounen, Supernatural

Synopsis
At first glance, Nura Rikuo seems like nothing more than a normal middle-schooler. In actual fact, he is grandson of Nurarihyon, master of a youkai clan. Having only recently resolved the hostilities between the Nura Clan and the Shikoku Yokai, Rikuo finds no rest as an ancient enemy of the Nura Clan, Haguromo-Gitsune, resurfaces. After 400 years of inactivity, Haguromo-Gitsune suddenly sweeps through Kyoto with overwhelming power.

4 Blood-C

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Production I.G
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Supernatural, Vampire, School

Synopsis
Peaceful schoolgirl by day, fearsome monster slayer by night, Saya Kisaragi is leading a split life. Equipped with a ceremonial sword given to her by her father for sacred tasks, she vanquishes every monster who dares threaten her quiet little village. But all too soon, Saya’s reality and everything she believes to be true is tested, when she overhears the monsters speak of a broken covenant—something she knows nothing about. And then, unexpectedly, a strange dog appears; it asks her to whom she promised to protect the village, curious as to what would happen if she were to break that promise. Tormented by unexplainable visions and her world unraveling around her, we travel with Saya through her struggle to find a way to the truth in a village where nothing is as it seems.

5 Yuru Yuri

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: Doga Kobo
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Slice of Life, Comedy, School, Shoujo Ai

Synopsis
After a year in grade school without her childhood friends, first-year student Akari Akaza is finally reunited with second years Yui Funami and Kyouko Toshinou at their all-girls’ middle school. During the duo’s first year, Yui and Kyouko formed the “Amusement Club” which occupies the now nonexistent Tea Club’s room. Shortly after Akari joins, one of her fellow classmates, Chinatsu Yoshikawa, pays the trio a visit under the impression that they are the Tea Club; it is only once the three girls explain that the Tea Club has been disbanded that they can convince Chinatsu to join the Amusement Club—a group with no purpose other than to provide entertainment for its members.

Based on the slice-of-life manga by Namori, Yuru Yuri is an eccentric comedy about a group of girls who spend their spare time drinking tea and fawning over each other, all while completely failing to even notice the supposed main character Akari amongst them.

Top anime of Autumn 2011

1 Mirai Nikki 

  • Episodes: 26
  • Studios: Asread
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Mystery, Psychological, Shounen, Supernatural, Thriller

Synopsis
Lonely high school student, Yukiteru Amano, spends his days writing a diary on his cellphone while conversing with his two seemingly imaginary friends Deus Ex Machina, who is the god of time and space, and Murmur, the god’s servant. Revealing himself to be an actual entity, Deus grants Yukiteru a “Random Diary,” which shows highly descriptive entries based on the future and forces him into a bloody battle royale with 11 other holders of similarly powerful future diaries.

With the last person standing designated as the new god of time and space, Yukiteru must find and kill the other 11 in order to survive. He reluctantly teams up with his obsessive stalker Yuno Gasai (who also possesses such a diary), and she takes it upon herself to ensure his safety. But there’s more to the girl than meets the eye, as she might have other plans for her unrequited love…

2 Hunter x Hunter (2011)

  • Episodes: 148
  • Studios: Madhouse
  • Source: Manga
  • Genres: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Shounen, Super Power

Synopsis
Hunter x Hunter is set in a world where Hunters exist to perform all manner of dangerous tasks like capturing criminals and bravely searching for lost treasures in uncharted territories. Twelve-year-old Gon Freecss is determined to become the best Hunter possible in hopes of finding his father, who was a Hunter himself and had long ago abandoned his young son. However, Gon soon realizes the path to achieving his goals is far more challenging than he could have ever imagined.

Along the way to becoming an official Hunter, Gon befriends the lively doctor-in-training Leorio, vengeful Kurapika, and rebellious ex-assassin Killua. To attain their own goals and desires, together the four of them take the Hunter Exam, notorious for its low success rate and high probability of death. Throughout their journey, Gon and his friends embark on an adventure that puts them through many hardships and struggles. They will meet a plethora of monsters, creatures, and characters—all while learning what being a Hunter truly means.

3 Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

  • Episodes: 12
  • Studios: AIC Build
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Ecchi, Slice of Life, Comedy, Harem, Romance, School

Synopsis
When Kodaka Hasegawa finds out that he will be transferring to a new school, he is determined to make a positive impression, and maybe even some friends. However, Kodaka discovers he is out of luck when he immediately gets labeled as a violent delinquent due to his blond hair and intimidating expression. Although a month has passed, Kodaka is still alone thanks to his notorious reputation. However, his life begins to change when he finds fellow loner Yozora Mikazuki talking to her imaginary friend in an empty classroom.

After sharing stories of their lonely high school life, Kodaka and Yozora decide to overcome the difficulties of making friends together by starting the Neighbor’s Club. Created for people who don’t have friends, daily activities involve learning social skills and how to fit in, which will hopefully allow them to make friends. Joined by the eroge-loving Sena Kashiwazaki, and other eccentric outcasts, Kodaka may finally have managed to find people he can call friends, in this club filled with hilarious oddballs.

4 Guilty Crown

  • Episodes: 22
  • Studios: Production I.G
  • Source: Original
  • Genres: Action, Sci-Fi, Super Power, Drama, Romance, Mecha

Synopsis
Japan, 2039. Ten years after the outbreak of the “Apocalypse Virus,” an event solemnly regarded as “Lost Christmas,” the once proud nation has fallen under the rule of the GHQ, an independent military force dedicated to restoring order. Funeral Parlor, a guerilla group led by the infamous Gai Tsutsugami, act as freedom fighters, offering the only resistance to GHQ’s cruel despotism.

Inori Yuzuriha, a key member of Funeral Parlor, runs into the weak and unsociable Shuu Ouma during a crucial operation, which results in him obtaining the “Power of Kings”—an ability which allows the wielder to draw out the manifestations of an individual’s personality, or “voids.” Now an unwilling participant in the struggle against GHQ, Shuu must learn to control his newfound power if he is to help take back Japan once and for all.

Guilty Crown follows the action-packed story of a young high school student who is dragged into a war, possessing an ability that will help him uncover the secrets of the GHQ, Funeral Parlor, and Lost Christmas. However, he will soon learn that the truth comes at a far greater price than he could have ever imagined.

5 Fate/Zero

  • Episodes: 13
  • Studios: ufotable
  • Source: Light novel
  • Genres: Action, Supernatural, Magic, Fantasy

Synopsis
With the promise of granting any wish, the omnipotent Holy Grail triggered three wars in the past, each too cruel and fierce to leave a victor. In spite of that, the wealthy Einzbern family is confident that the Fourth Holy Grail War will be different; namely, with a vessel of the Holy Grail now in their grasp. Solely for this reason, the much-hated “Magus Killer” Kiritsugu Emiya is hired by the Einzberns, with marriage to their only daughter Irisviel as binding contract.

Kiritsugu now stands at the centre of a cutthroat game of survival, facing off against six other participants, each armed with an ancient familiar, and fueled by unique desires and ideals. Accompanied by his own familiar, Saber, the notorious mercenary soon finds his greatest opponent in Kirei Kotomine, a priest who seeks salvation from the emptiness within himself in pursuit of Kiritsugu.

Based on the light novel written by Gen Urobuchi, Fate/Zero depicts the events of the Fourth Holy Grail War—10 years prior to Fate/stay night. Witness a battle royale in which no one is guaranteed to survive.

Which of these 2011 anime have you watched?

Top 100 anime of the decade allanimemagSeasonal anime of the decade posts

2010                 2011

2012                 2013

2014                 2015

2016                  2017

2018                 2019

 

*Write-ups sourced from MyAnimeList

4 thoughts on “Top 20 Seasonal Anime of 2011

Add yours

      1. Oh sweet! I actually bought some new anime this previous year and I really need to start watching some like I need to watch Accel World and Infinite Stratos. In the past decade I seen Blue Exorcist, Deadman Wonderland and Madoka Magica.

        Liked by 1 person

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