So this is based on a more ambitious idea I originally had with a whole bunch more categories and presented in a much more prestigious way, but I think it still gets the message across. Basically I'm not all that fond of blind nostalgia and living in the past, so this is partially to make a statement of sorts (I guess), but also due to my obsessive compulsive need to make lists.
In order to qualify, the show needed to premiere in 2013, have more than one episode, and air on TV somewhere in the world. That also means I don't differentiate between western and eastern animation. So, here are my picks:
1. Out There
2. Sanjay and Craig
3. Wander Over Yonder
4. Attack on Titan
5. Rick and Morty
6. Aku No Hana
7. Axe Cop
8. Silver Spoon
9. Kill La Kill
10. High School USA!
Runners Up: Uncle Grandpa, Steven Universe
1. Surreal-styled semi-autobiographical retelling of the creator's teenage years that aired on IFC for a little while and then never got renewed. Funny and genuine human drama without the usual mopey teen angst bullshit that you'd expect from something like this. Not a single bad episode in its ten episode run.
2. Criminally underrated new Nicktoon about a boy and his talking snake. Absolutely hilarious and lively and capable of throwing some seriously unexpected emotional punches.
3. Craig McCracken's latest and greatest. Super charming, creative and enjoyable. The emotional antithesis to Adventure Time and an older brother of sorts to MLP.
4. You know what this is. :/ Horrifyingly inventive "character" design gives this series a unique premise to support an oppressive atmosphere of hopelessness and despair, suspense to rival the likes of Breaking Bad, and plenty of "oh shit" moments.
5. New brilliant Adult Swim cartoon that would've likely been placed much higher if it had arrived earlier in the year. It's funny, incredibly imaginative and tonally flexible like no one's business.
6. Rotoscoped, divisive anime series involving disturbed Middle Schoolers that you've probably heard of. It's a great show when it's quiet, subtle and introspective. I just wish it had been more often.
7. Based on the webcomic of the same name. This is all the brilliance you'd imagine getting with the imagination of a 5 year old and the creative control of a team of animators. Pretty damn hard to forget.
8. New series from Hiromu Arakawa, creator of Fullmetal Alchemist about farming, because, y'know, that's what she did. Simple, pleasant and funny at first, but challenges your views on food, work and life later on. The first season gets pretty intense for a slice of life anime.
9. From the creators of Gurren Lagann, this recent batshit insane over-the-top show about a girl who fights a militarized high school with a scissor sword and a talking, vampiric sailor suit. It's a wonderfully cartoony series with inventive characters and fight scenes that somehow also manages to make you care about the protagonists and its world.
10. Recent Archie Comics styled series by the guy who brought you Moral Orel. Twisted dark humor at its best, satirizing various contemporary school themes. Funny and unexpected in all the right places. May just be a parody of itself. Dino's kind of a weird guy.
Uncle Grandpa: Had a great premiere but fell off a bit not too long after. Still not a bad show, but it seems to have squandered a lot of its potential.
Steven Universe: Again, had a good premiere, and the next three episodes after that were really good, but the rest of the shows '13 season was pretty forgettable/mediocre. And Frybo was a terrible episode. It's been regaining my good graces early this year with episodes like 'Tiger Millionaire', but too late for it to make a difference.
And please, feel free to disagree with any of these, or even share your alternative picks! I do enjoy discussing me some animation.