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Top 13 of 2012

Posted by The Daily Zombies

Are we dead yet? Apparently, no. As mankind live to meet our imminent doom while the apocalyptic year comes to a close, The Daily Zombies celebrate the very best and most memorable of 2012 in our final article of the year. 

Indeed. While "are we dead yet" has inevitably became the annoying trope extension of late since the purported "Judgement Day" on December 21, 2012, most of us probably deserve a more merciless end than that as this wretched world continue to spin on. Nevertheless, on this last day of 2012, we here at The Daily Zombies are delighted to continue our annual (mostly annual, since we missed out last year due to some editorial predicament) tradition of honouring some of the best and most memorable of 2012. 

A culmination of our constant observation of every facets of pop culture from Comics, Gaming, Gadgets, Movies, Television Series, to Professional Wrestling, these are what made the apocalyptic year one to truly remember apart from a silly, over-bloated hoax. As always, the process in our selection of the respective top in the thirteen categories of pop culture is as daunting as ever. But to cap off a mostly eventful year, this is The Daily Zombies and we are no pushovers for our undead opinions anyway. 

The first of our Yearly Zombies series for 2012, hit the jump to get on with the show without further ado. And here we go. 

1. Animation/Anime Of The Year: Brave/Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

Firstly, we find it necessary to announce that we are somehow changing the playing field of this category. While this category used to only cover strictly the likes of Japanese-produced animated feature films, OVAs or animated series, we are opening it right up now thanks to the immensely growing market for mainstream animated films. With that out of the way, we will feature one Animation, as well as one Anime of the Year in this category.

Animation: Brave

It is hardly a debate that there used to be a time where Pixar Animation Studio is going to win any Animated Film of the Year awards without much competition. However, for the past two years, doubtful shadows have caught up with the highly-regarded animation studio that for the longest time was perceived to be incapable of mediocrity and can seriously do no wrong with their annual releases. With 2013's Brave, Pixar's thirteenth feature film boldly move into some new grounds... with delightful results. Indeed, we here at The Daily Zombies are pleased to honour Brave, Pixar's very first foray in the fairy tale world, as the Animation of the Year.

A humorous medieval adventure injected with a healthy dose of good old fashioned fairy tale morals, Brave took us on an incredible ride on the horseback of Pixar's first princess (and first female protagonist at that), the spunky and charismatic red-headed Princess Merida in a tale expertly and lovingly told thanks to the succinct narrative and awe-inspiring graphic. Laced with a resonance of poignancy in one of the most moving rendition of a mother-daughter relationship on screen, Brave packs a punch on more levels than one despite its single-minded quest to tell a simplistic yet effective story.

One might be spoilt by Pixar's genre-defining, ground-breaking works the likes of WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, or even Finding Nemo, and there is no doubt that Brave is a less ambitious animated film at a decidedly smaller scale. But it is exactly the smaller tone and scope that allowed Brave to breath at ease with no intricately-designed set pieces or high-stakes cautionary tale with a moral to tell. It has one most important objective and the film served that objective well: To tell a new fairy tale that we have not seen for some time, complete with the potentially psychologically scarring intensity and a sense of bewilderment. And in a year lined up with some truly amazing animated films like Laika's Paranorman, Genndy Tartakovsky's Hotel Transylvania, and Disney's very own high concept animated film, Wreck-It Ralph, what Brave has achieved here is truly something.

Indicative of the growing animated film market particularly in America, there are a total of 21 animated films submitted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category for the 85th Academy Awards. Courtesy of Los Angeles Times, an intriguing roundtable interview/discussion between five directors of the very best animated films of the year were held. Hit the jump to check out the near-one hour video clip as Mark Andrews (Brave), Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph) speak to Rebecca Keegan from L.A. Times on the challenges in making animated feature films and the future of the industry.

Anime: Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

It has certainly been a while since we last witnessed the work of Japanese animator and film-maker Mamoru Hosoda in his 2009 anime masterpiece, Summer Wars, a film that led many to announce Hosoda's coming and further establishing Hosoda's reputation and status as the successor to acclaimed animation master Hayao Miyazaki. 

With that in mind, it is interesting to note how Hosoda's 2012 anime film, Wolf Children, also known as Wolf Children Ame and Yuki, illustrated precisely why Hosoda ain't no Miyazaki, in a good way. By no means a dig at the anime icon Miyazaki, Hosoda is evidently his own man with how Wolf Children eventually emerged into: An animated film that effortlessly integrated fantasy into a heartbreakingly realistic settings that sometimes reminded us of this brutal realm where we, the pathetic human, operate. And all is not dark and gloomy as in reality with the film eventually warming up into a simple yet utterly moving tale of growing up and the human condition. All that in an animated film with werewolves and yet infinitely more realistic and identifiable than that live-action cinema fiasco at the last run of its money-grabbing quest this year. 

Depicting the moving tale of Hana, a young woman as she went against all odds to raise her two children as a single mother. Of course, these children are not mere normal children but are in fact the offspring of a werewolf (incidentally the coolest we have seen in ages, complete with the coolest origins being the descendant of the extinct Japanese wolf).

What set Hosoda apart from Miyazaki is how the film evolved from its original setting laced with fantastical element into a full-fledged observations of the complexity of humanity and the stark condition of  the modern society with a particular focus on the hardships faced by Hana, the female protagonist, in raising her children as a single mother. For fans of Miyazaki's works, you are not the only one predicting how the iconic anime master would have the tale evolving into an observation of social commentary complete with a man vs. nature storyline.

Easily one of the most moving films of 2012, animated or not, Wolf Children stood firmly beside Pixar's Brave as the Animation/Anime of the year.

2. App Of The Year: The Walking Dead: The Game by Telltale Games 

First and foremost, we have to first confess that we were more than a little sceptic upon learning the news of the multi-platform release of The Walking Dead: The GameTelltale Games' episodic point-and-click adventure video game based on Robert Kirkman's critically acclaimed comic book series as well as the well-received AMC television series, let alone a mere iOS port. Our oversight on this sneaky little spin-off video game is perfectly evident from our next-to-zero coverage on the title despite its undead theme. Given the ridiculously high number of quasi-survival horror/zombie-slaying games available on the App Store, I imagine one can easily forgive our cynicism having been desensitized to the material long ago. Along came the opportunity to try out "A New Day", the first episode of the five episode series that were eventually released in the frame of two months. And the rest, as they called it, is history.

A powerful point-and-click adventure that is both unsettling and entertaining at the same time, Telltale Games' unsuspecting little episodic video game series has went on to be called by numerous gaming publication and websites (including the high-profile Spike Video Game Awards) as the Game of the Year. Like its original source materials (both the comic book series and the television series), The Walking Dead: The Game has been one hell of a riveting, emotional ride that has provided arguably one of the most powerful moment in all the video game releases of 2012.

Complete with a sweeping visual style that effectively recreated the disastrous world ravaged by arguably the worst-ever zombie apocalypse in both film and television history, the title tells the tale of Lee Everett, the protagonist with a dark history, as he work with other survivors while providing care for the young girl Clementine. Much like what the AMC television series did for televisions in general, The Walking Dead: The Game presented us with one of the best storytelling devices we have ever witnessed in a video game. 

Interestingly, the "Choose Your Own Adventures" type of gameplay element employed here is arguably the best used in years. Every single decisions seemingly made in the heat of the moment will have its consequences, allowing more replay value and actual sense of involvement. It is also noteworthy that the iOS version of the title has been one of its most well-acclaimed, making up 25% of the revenues from the title.

For any self-respecting fans of Robert Kirkman's original comic books series and the AMC television series, The Walking Dead: The Game is one of the most complete and involving iOS title we have ever seen and is, pardon the pun, a no-brainer to have. While 2013 have saw the release of excellent apps like the new and improved Google Map (iOS/Android), the powerful browser Google Chrome (iOS/Android), and the amazing Android-exclusive replacement keyboard SwiftKey 3, the iOS version of Telltale's The Walking Dead is truly the most unforgettable experience we had with a smart phone app.

3. Book Of The Year: 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

In 2312, the latest novel by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson, human civilization in the year 2312 is at its peak and we all know very well that this is indeed the perfect setting for a sci-fi novel. While this is indeed a sci-fi novel filled with intrigue and drama, what is truly surprising here is the fact that this is in fact a moving love story. 

While scientifc prowess has advanced significantly with terraforming other planets as a form of colonization, humans are actually living their lives in an Utopian world. Until the attack of a city on Mercury, the odd couple race to uncover a conspiracy that will change their lives forever.

A good read that is at times truly funny, 2312 depicted a socially-conscious tale with real stakes as well as a moving love story that engages the reader. We don't read as much as we would have liked to but Kim Stanley Robinson has truly outdone himself this time.

4. Comic Book Series Of The Year: Batman, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo

Really? For the third consecutive year (2009, 2010, and since we missed out 2011), the iconic Dark Knight continues to rule the comic world with an iron grip, standing strong against the (common) sense-shattering events from Marvel's Avengers vs, X-Men, Brian K. Vaughn's new masterpiece, Saga, or the exciting reintroduction of Clint Barton in his very own title, Hawkeye.

Apart from the fact that we here at The Daily Zombies are big fans of DC Comics's Caped Crusader, it is no secret that in recent years, when it comes to the Caped Crusader, DC Comics always gives its best shot with one of their strongest creative teams. Owing a huge amount of thanks to Grant Morrison's awe-inspiring run of Batman for the past few years, the team of writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo has really taken the ball and run with no intentions of looking back. 

While our disdain for DC Comics' controversial "DC Comics - The New 52" is pretty much well-documented here at The Daily Zombies, there is without doubt that Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman has been sitting comfortably at the upper echelon of the entire relaunch. Kicking off the year with "The Court of Owls",  the series subsequently stepped into high gear with the game-changing events of "Death of the Family" with the much-anticipated return of the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker, now new and improved, and without a face.

The creepiest Joker ever? Now we are talking. In "Death of the Family" (the title being a reference to the infamous 1988 Batman story arc of which The Joker brutally murdered the then-current Robin, Jason Todd), The Joker makes one of his most spectacular return after a long hiatus in a bid to rid every single ally of Batman, from Commissioner Gordon, Alfred to anyone you can think in the extended Batman Family.

While it is previously unimaginable that we don't have to wait too long after the character-defining run of Morrison to get to yet another intriguing take of the many facets of Batman, Capullo's impressive artwork is also one of the other reason why the series is by far the best in the relaunch of all DC titles. 

With "Death of the Family" set to be concluding soon, there is no doubt that the Dark Knight Detective will continue to thrive prosperously in his original source of the world of comic as the comic book icon take a much-needed sabbatical break from films and video games for now.

5. Film Of The Year: The Dark Knight Rises

"Took quite a fall, didn't we, Master Bruce?"

"And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up."

Without a shadow of a doubt, 2012 is an eventful year in cinematic history. 

Marvel Studios' The Avengers assembled for the first time and the Marvel Cinematic Universe comes full circle in its box-office smashing quest. Daniel confirmed his arrival as the new and improved version of the iconic Agent 007 in Skyfall, the 23rd film in the long-standing film franchise of James Bond and incidentally the most successful. Quite possibly one of the worst reviewed film franchise that sold like hot cakes at the cinemas, Twilight ended with neither a bang nor a whimper with The Breaking Dawn: Part Two. Ang Lee made his triumphant return with his amazing adaptation of The Life of Pi. Indie film-maker Rian Johnson solidified his coming with one of the most exciting take on the subject of time-travelling in Looper.Peter Jackson returns to Middle-earth and his critically acclaimed Lord of the Rings trilogy after a decade with the tremendously-extended prequel trilogy, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Quentin Tarantino continued his alternate history films with his take on Spaghetti Western, Django Unchained. 

Yet nothing came close to the insane anticipation for The Dark Knight Rises, celebrated film-maker Christopher Nolan's epic conclusion to his Dark Knight Trilogy that has arguably revolutionized modern cinema. 

In 2005, Christopher Nolan redefined the term "reboot" forever in Batman Begins, the first chapter of what eventually become one of the most critically acclaimed and successful film franchises in cinematic history, and Hollywood has since never looked back. By rooting the iconic Batman mythology into a somber and realistic setting and as a result mind-wiping everyone of the traumatic cinematic experience that is Joel Schumacher's Batman and Robin, the success of the then-unpredented attempt influenced later reboots such as Daniel Craig's 007 and J. J. Abrams' swashbuckling Star Trek. In 2008, The Dark Knight was released to universal acclaim and box office success, further cementing Nolan's status as a A-list film-maker and has till now continued to be a source of inspiration for numerous film-maker. With that out of the way, one can imagine the tremendous hype over the third and final chapter to Nolan's Batman Trilogy and how the film might potential crushed under its own weight. So, the question would be: Did the film lives up to its hype?

The smart answer would be no, given the insane hype for the film that one can imagine to near the level for The Phantom Menace, the unfortunately crappy first chapter of Star War prequel trilogy. But it certainly delivers the astounding spectacle in master-class film-making, thought-provoking commentary on the state of modern society, and the incredible emotional intensity that one would expect of the third and final chapter of what had became an icon in modern film-making.

In his final turn as the iconic Batman, Christian Bale has achieved something none of his predecessors had the chance of doing: the actual evolution of a man who also happened to be an orphan who also happened to be the baddest yet the truly incorruptible vigilante. Anne Hathaway's Selina Kyle was also a revelation with her chameleon-esque theatrics and magnetic screen presence. It goes without saying that Tom Hardy's Bane is unfairly compared to Heath Ledger's phenomenal turn as the Clown Prince of Crime, The Joker. Nevertheless, it was a powerful performance nonetheless, given the obstacles set against the up-and-coming actor. As a whole, the ensemble cast, from series mainstays like Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, to new entrants like Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, are also notably one of the strongest ensemble in recent years.

While it is true that I have to personally agree that The Dark Knight Rises is in many ways considerably inferior to the all-time classic second chapter, we have to also remind you that The Dark Knight is almost like a lightning captured in the bottle: It can hardly be repeated again. Even with its flaws, The Dark Knight Rises is indeed a display in masterful direction. With that out of the way, we have to conclude that Nolan's exercise in cinematic excellence with his Dark Knight Trilogy has indeed concluded on a fittingly epic note. And this epic film is without a doubt our Film of the Year.

In closure, revisit the trilogy with this trailer entitled "Journey" as we retread the story thus far with clips from the entire trilogy.

6. Gadget Of The Year: iPhone 5

Marketed as "The Biggest Thing To Happen To iPhone Since iPhone" by the folks at Apple, the unveiling of iPhone 5, the much-anticipated sixth generation iPhone, was a considerably underwhelming affair for many, including long-time fans of the smart phone. While being an iPhone naturally comes with an incredible air of anticipation, most people were looking out for something truly extraordinarily innovative with the next-gen iPhone and were disappointed to see nothing that is out-of-this-world. So just exactly why is iPhone 5 our Gadget of the Year especially when it has been cornered everywhere by emerging smart phones the likes of Google Nexus 4, HTC Droid DNA, and the alleged "anti-iPhone" themselves, Samsung Galaxy Note II and Galaxy S3? 

Being the first time since the launch of iPhone in 2007, Apple augmented the size of iPhone 5 to create a sleeker, smarter and light iPhone that at same time introduced the new ARMv7 processor known as the Apple A6. This translated into the most powerful processing experience in terms of both graphic and general functionality. While the release of iPhone 5 was marred by the negative reception over the iOS maps applications as well as issues such as the relatively poor LTE connectivity and the new coating of iPhone 5, iPhone 5 was expectedly greeted with feverish demand across the world, much like its predecessors. 

Spotting an impressive default panorama camera mode as well as new improvement over its predecessors in terms of both battery and graphic performances, iPhone 5 remained to be the standard-bearer of the smart phone industry . While its competitors might in fact be better in terms of raw specs comparison, Apple's signature innovation and integration between the hardware and software continues to make them the smart phone to beat for everyone else. 

7. Game Of The Year: Journey

Without a doubt the most critically acclaimed video game of the year, Journey is also our choice for Game of the Year here at The Daily Zombies. With perfectly good reasons. 

An indie video game developed exclusive for PlayStation 3 by Thatgamecompany on the PlayStation Network, Journey is perhaps the most unlikely candidate in the run for the Game of the Year category but here we are, absolutely certain that this is one hell of gaming experience hard-pressed to surpassed. Easily one of the most stunningly beautiful video game of all time, Journey follows the speechless story of nameless roped protagonist on a, for lack of a better word, journey, that is the mysterious message behind the title. You might not get what exactly am I talking about here and that is precisely one of the points behind Journey: You have to embark on this journey yourself to experience it. There have been numerous interpretations over the real meaning and intention behind the grandeur surface of the title. This in itself is indicative of the game's immense depth and thought-provoking emotional ride of the "journey," an experience Christian Donlan of Eurogamer called as a "non-denominational religious experience."

In order to not ruin your personal experience in your particular "journey," all we can say about the gameplay is that you can expect a most unconventional co-op gameplay as the protagonist eventually discovered other players on the same "journey." While interaction is the key element when co-op gameplay is concerned, notice carefully how Journey strips your communication skills apart and return everyone to a decidedly more primitive yet more fulfilling co-op gameplay experience. 

Following its triumphant release on the PlayStation Network on March, 2012, a "Collector's Edition" meant for retail purpose has been released with additional media, as well as Flow and Flower, the previous two titles developed by Thatgamecompany.

With an almost zen-like concept and a spellbinding soundtrack, Journey contains an alluring two-hour experience unlike any other and is truly a magical experience no self-self-respecting video game-lovers should miss. 

8. Music Album Of The Year: Omnipotent Youth Society 萬能青年旅店

Technically, the self-titled debut full-length album of Omnipotent Youth Society (萬能青年旅店) was released in November 2010, a good two years before 2012. However, the critically acclaimed album was only made known to the world-at-large in recent times after sensational reviews of the band's phenomenal live performances in 2011. 

While one might easily mistaken that this is some upstart young rock band, the Omnipotent Youth Society was originally formed in the late 90s under the moniker of The Nico, named after Nico Blue, the daughter of late Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon. Hailing from the city of Shijiazhuang, the band has been low-profile throughout their existence with only an acoustic EP released in 2006. 

A composite of traditional Chinese folk rock, baroque pop, psychedelic music, with a mix of grunge riff, the self-titled album alternated between beautiful melancholic tunes reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, to progressive blues in multi-layered, diversifying rhythms. The band has since received numerous accolades from local media and were even invited to a music festival in Taiwan. However, the band has yet to receive the limelight from any major international media. 

In a year mainly inundated by music of a meme nature (so much so that even us here at The Daily Zombies cannot avoid thanks to the international phenomenon Gangnam Style or Carly Rae Jepson's "Call Me Maybe"), we opine that it would only be appropriate for a worthy yet unknown candidate to receive the honor for their musical achievement. Thanks to YouTube, hit the jump for a try at one of the track from the album as well as an hour-long live performance by the band.

9. Headline Of The Year: Zombies Apocalypse Now! 

A quick disclaimer on this category: This ain't no actual headline but is rather a fabricated one meant as a more interesting way of calling out our top news stories of the year. Nevertheless, our choice is laced with our usual cynicism and by no means bear any derogatory or mean-spirited digs at actual world events with life and death hanging in the balance. 

Yes, we are all still freaking alive and kicking so screw those who religiously believed in the Mayan calendar.  That should have been the actual noteworthy headline of the year had it not been so goddamn boring. Yes, life goes on but boy do we have one hell of a scare earlier this year when signs of potential apocalypse emerged. Not just any apocalypse but a zombie apocalypse. 

Earlier in May, Miami police encountered a naked man chomping off the face of Ronald Poppo, a homeless man, and subsequently shot and killed the perpetrator, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene. Initial speculations over Rudy Eugene's cannibalism was that he was high on "bath salts," a new designer drug alleged to be able to give a sense of invincibility to the user while also causing uncontrolled body temperature. 

Immediately, news (mostly tongue-in-cheek ones) circulated of government cover-up of an actual zombie apocalypse in place, just like in the movies. The situation further aggravated when a few weeks later, Wayne Carter, a New Jersey man allegedly cut his own intestines and threw them at the police. Meanwhile, Alexander Kinyua, a 21-year-old student studying electrical engineering, was arrested for eating a human heart and brain. The internet subsequently went mad with conspiracy theories and speculations of an actual zombie outbreak. So much so that CDC, who previously provided us with some handy survivor guide for zombie apocalypse, has to stepped in to address the situation

"CDC does not know of a virus or condition that would reanimate the dead (or one that would present zombie-like symptoms)."

10. Toy Of The Year: Hot Toys Joker DX 2.0 Sixth Scale Collectible Figure 

Having a case of Déjà vu upon learning our choice of Toy of the Year 2012? You must be having a case of confused memory with our choice of the same category back in 2010. Indeed, it was Hot Toys' MMS DX01 The Joker Collectible Figure which we have perceived back then as a perfect rendition of Heath Ledger's phenomenal turn as The Joker in 2008's The Dark Knight. And as it turned out, Hot Toys demonstrated to us on how perfection can be improved. 

The Hong Kong-based premium collectible toys and figure maker have astounded us throughout 2011 with their astonishing rendition of Marvel's Iron Man with their Iron Man 2: 1/6th scale Suit-Up Gantry with Mark IV, Captain America with their Captain America: The First Avenger: 1/6th scale Captain America Limited Edition Collectible Figurine and Superman: 1/6th scale Superman Collectible Figure. But all of these came up short against this truly amazing improvement that captured the soul of Ledger's stunning performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. 

We shall let the pictures do the talking.

11. TV Series Of The Year: Sherlock Season Two 

Quite possibly one of the hardest categories on this list given the fact that we can't possibly be watching every episode of every TV series released for the year. Nevertheless, we are quite certain of our choice in honouring Sherlock, the ridiculously smart and absolutely entertaining contemporary update of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes by BBC, as the best television series of the year.

We now know Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman very well thanks to their respective roles in the upcoming Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hobbit but there is no doubt that it is Sherlock that got both actors, who incidentally playing the roles of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, their first big break and attention to both of their phenomenal talents. Created by Doctor Who writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, the first season of the series was launched to universal critical acclaim, thus increasing the pressure on the crew on the season two

Both writers have displayed incredible knowledge of the original source material and in this season, the brilliant nods in the forms of jokes and allusions for fans continued. Being a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, I find the series one of the very best in a long time and have swept over by the amazing cast, particularly Cumberbatch's impeccable rendition of the Great Detective.

In "A Scandal in Belgravia," we are reminded of how Irene Adler,  in Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes films, was poorly utilized despite the admirable efforts of Rachel McAdams. Modernized as a dominatrix, Lara Pulver's take on "The Woman" is magnetizing and we can assured you that this will continue way past her controversial first meeting with Cumberbatch's Holmes. A fun ride with a lightning-pace, the award-winning season opener is but just a signal of great things to come.

While being the weakest of the season in our opinions, "The Hounds of Baskerville" is an intriguing modern take on one of the most famous tales of Sherlock's original adventures. Set with a vibe of modern horror, the episode is once again indicative of the inspired updating from the original story.

Then come "The Reichenbach Fall," the sense-shattering season finale with the cliffhanger ending to end all cliffhanger endings. We will not even touch on the shocking ending scene in an effort to not spoil the fun. All we can say is, Holmes finally took on Moriaty, who has devised an elaborate scheme to destroy Holmes. Once again, this is one hell of an inspired update from the original tale where both Holmes and Moriaty perished. In retrospect, Moriaty's plan is absolutely genius when you ask yourself how you can bring down a man like Holmes.

Now, with the whole world in for a long wait for the revelations in Season Three, Moffat and Gatiss have teased the world at the Edinburgh TV festival with what to expect for Season Three with their usual three words: Rat, Wedding, Bow. For the uninformed, Season Two's three words were: Woman, Hound, Fall, referring to the "Woman", Irene Adler in "A Scandal in Belgravia", the "Hound" in "The Hounds of Baskerville", and the "Fall" in "The Reichenbach Fall".

With the new three words, we are fully expecting "The Giant Rat of Sumatra", a plot element that was never elaborated at the time, and perhaps one of the numerous weddings of Watson that was not told in the original novels, and "Bow" as in "His Last Bow", the final chronological story in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's entire chronicle of the one true Great Detective.

CBS might have their very own modern take on the Great Detective in Elementary, but there is no doubt that  Sherlock is, bar none, the best TV series of 2012.

12. Wrestling Match Of The Year: The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match with special referee Shawn Michaels), at WWE WrestleMania XXVIII

In a year that saw some game-changing events in the world of professional wrestling, we are delighted to focus on the positive by choosing an unanimous candidate for the Wrestling Match of the Year: The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match with special referee Shawn Michaels), at WrestleMania XXVIII

Quite likely the easiest choice of this list, the epic battle between Triple H and The Undertaker continues this year at the Grandest Stage of Them All with the Deadman's amazing undefeated streak at stake once more.

While the first "No Holds Barred" match between the Cerebral Assassin and the Deadman at WrestleMania XXVII was a shoo-in for Match of the Year 2011, this rematch shattered all expectation and truly lived up to its hype of being an "End of an Era" battle. Apart from the stellar efforts from both of the longest-serving veterans who stuck by WWE throughout the Monday Night Wars back in the 90s, the involvement of Mr. WrestleMania himself, Shawn Michaels, as the special referee was a touch of genius, multiplying the dosage of intrigue and drama by numerous times.

In summary, this match is exemplary of the entertainment and legacy of professional wrestling with three of the very best in the business putting up one of the very best performance in not just WrestleMania history but the very history of professional wrestling. The sight of the final embrace between all three veterans with the backdrop of The Undertaker's 20-0 screen is truly one of the most memorable scene to remember.

The match has since garnered numerous acclaims, including WWE's very own Slammy Awards. With WWE officially entering the WrestleMania season with the upcoming Royal Rumble, we are highly doubtful if we can actually get to witness a match-up of this incredible magnitude. Despite the fact that John Cena vs. The Rock getting the top billing and hype, it is the final encounter behind two of the very best in professional wrestling that everyone will remember in many years to come.

13. Zombie Of The Year: The Walking Dead Season Three

"Christ promised a resurrection of the dead... I just thought he had something different in mind."Hershel Greene

With that, we are now at the end of our list and the unveiling of the winner of the prestigious Zombie of the Year as we celebrate the member of the undead who have, "for better or for worse, ...done the most to influence the events of the year" and there is no doubt that the honour belongs to none other than AMC's The Walking Dead Season Three.

While zombies, as a particular sub-genre, continue to invade pop culture on all fronts, AMC's live-action television adaptation of the popular comic book series by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore and Charlie Adlard, easily commanded the strongest presence. While we here at The Daily Zombies are unabashed in our dedication to the critically acclaimed TV series in spite of the somewhat lacklustre Season Two, we remained optimistic with the third season and our faith paid off with what many has come to call as the best season ever of the wildly successful series.

While there is no doubt that the inclusion of two of the most important characters in the original comic book has been a key factor in the success of the third season, the writing thus far has been top notch with some of the most intense moments in the series. Nevertheless, the series does have its fair share of concerns with regard to its future now with the impending departure of new showrunner Glen Mazzara. Regardless, do be assured that you are in for one hell of a ride once the season picks up on February 10 for some brother-on-brother action in the ring.

A summary of the Top 13 list for your easy reference. 

1. Animation/Anime Of The Year: Brave/Wolf Children Ame and Yuki

2. App Of The Year: The Walking Dead: The Game by Telltale Games

3. Book Of The Year: 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson

4. Comic Book Series Of The Year: Batman, written by Scott Snyder with art by Greg Capullo

5. Film Of The Year: The Dark Knight Rises

6. Gadget Of The Year: iPhone 5

7. Game Of The Year: Journey 

8. Music Album Of The Year: Omnipotent Youth Society 萬能青年旅店

9. Headline Of The Year: Zombies Apocalypse Now! 

10. Toy Of The Year: Hot Toys Joker DX 2.0 Sixth Scale Collectible Figure

11. TV Series Of The Year: Sherlock Season Two

12. Wrestling Match Of The Year: The Undertaker vs. Triple H (Hell in a Cell Match with special referee Shawn Michaels), at WWE WrestleMania XXVIII

13. Zombie Of The Year: The Walking Dead Season Three

Neon Genesis Evangelion 2013 Calendar

Posted by Grey

The end of the apocalyptic year calls for classic apocalyptic anime/manga calendar. Our next round-up of scans for cool 2013 calendars brings us to Gainax's iconic anime/manga franchise, Neon Genesis Evangelion. 

We have earlier featured scans of the official 2013 calendars of Naruto ShippudenBleach, and Katekyō Hitman Reborn! respectively as we continue to our undead tradition of ringing in the new year (while biding farewell to the apocalyptic 2012) while sharing cool calendars that we stumbled upon online. Incidentally, ur next stop today would be Gainax's iconic anime/manga franchise, Neon Genesis Evangelion, known for its epic visuals in the original series' sense-shattering apocalyptic conclusion.

While the franchise has since been remade into a new film franchise known as the Rebuild of Evangelion to varying level of success and controversy, there is no doubt that the iconic status of the series remained in the hearts and minds of a generation. With no further adowe bring you scans of Neon Genesis Evangelion's very own official calendar for 2013.

Click on the respective images to download the higher resolution version of the picture.

Alison Brie As Captain America

Posted by Grey

Just in time to qualify for the cosplay of the year, behold the incredible crossover of NBC's Community and Marvel Studios' The Avengers with Alison Brie's gender-bent Captain America. 

NBC's cult comedy series Community has been consistently hilarious and much of its success has to be credited to its tongue-in-cheek brilliance in self-awareness to meta-humour and pop culture reference. With that in mind, we perhaps should not be overtly surprised upon stumbling into this cool image depicting Alison Brie as a gender-bent version of the battle-damaged Captain America. But here we are stunned by the awesomeness and realization that we might just be on the brim of a full reveal of the entire cast of Community mashed up into Marvel Studios' Mighty Avengers. Now sit on that thought.

Hit the jump to check out the full image courtesy of Screen Rant.

Katekyō Hitman Reborn! 2013 Calendar

Posted by Grey

Continuing our round-up of scans for cool calendars for 2013, we looked at the action comedy with a wild mix of supernatural and mafia in Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, the manga series written and illustrated by Akira Amano. 

We have earlier featured scans of the official 2013 calendars of Naruto Shippuden and Bleach respectively as we continue The Daily Zombies's undead tradition of sharing cool calendars that we stumbled upon online. Today, we take on Katekyō Hitman Reborn!, the manga series written and illustrated by Akira Amano.  While the manga series has somehow evolved into a more action-oriented shonen series by dropping the comedic elements in its early days, the Reborn! continues to be one of the more popular contemporary imports of Japan's manga world. 

Click on the respective images to download the higher resolution version of the picture.

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Facebook of the Dead

Death Toll Or Rather Lack Thereof...

decaying walking corpses, compelled by their unshakably irresistible hunger for human flesh, had gotten their daily fix of brain tissue. Want some?

Undead United