Saturday, January 8, 2011

2010 Year in Review

What what what? its almost middle of January and i havent given my awards for the year? Well like the academy awards, i feel i should let the year finish out and given some time to contemplate them before i give my awards. I felt it was more fitting to write this up during award season. Actually that's complete bull. Well this has turned out to be quite a stressful year for me. To be honest i thought this year around i would have more time to watch more anime, but i ended up almost watching none. Most of this is due to a few of my friends dropping anime, which has lowered my own urgency to watch. Another part is my partial addiction to a online game. So in short this year's candidate list will be shorter than others. I'll see if there are any great animes for this next year, and hopefully i will be watching more.


Best Comedy: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
Honorable Mentions: Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi, Seitokai Yakuindomo

The idiots win this one. From the first episode to the last this anime has not failed to give me a laugh. The reason why this one beat out Ookami and Yakuindomo is that it really felt more like a comedy than the others. Ookami is arguably also a romance, and Yakuindomo mainly used dick jokes for comedy. Baka test is far from one of my favorite comedies, but it was an enjoyable waste of time and the best of the year.

Best Romance:Amagami SS
Honorable Mentions: Angel Beats,
Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi

Amagami SS is definitely the best romance anime of the year. With the innovative new "every girl gets a full story" function it guarantees no matter who you are rooting for, you win. Surprisingly the outcome for me was i came to love each of the girls, and i didnt need to feel bad about rooting for all of them. Ookami was very lackluster in terms of romance, and Angel beats only had romance as subtext to the story and squished into the ending. Had it gotten the two cours it wanted, this might have been a different outcome, but as it is now Amagami comes out on top. Having a solid set of story lines really helps its case as well. The only problem with the story set up is that it often leaves me feeling left out on the characters. For instance, Morishima was a favorite of mine before the show even started, and after her arc finished, it felt weird almost not seeing her at all.

Best action: Full Metal Alchemist

I HATE giving out an award to the same show twice, but in this case i had no choice. I really didn't see any action shows this year. If you want a reasoning, look up last years review.

Best Soundtrack: K-ON!!
Honorable Mentions: Angel Beats

This was a no brainer... or was it? To be honest, this was pretty close, at least at the beginning. The new OP was absolutely horrible and the second one wasn't much better. The first ending was mediocre at best. Combined with a strong OP and ED and even really strong insert songs from Angel Beats, it looks like K-ON would be bested. But then "No thank You" came out and changed everything. The song was just brilliant. But that wasn't the only reason. As K-ON grew and actually gained a story, the insert songs fit the tone really well. The songs really knew how to bring out all the emotion from the characters. As well Angel beats didn't really release anything memorable after episode 3.

Best Fanservice: Amagami SS
Honorable Mentions: Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls

Well, i'll be honest i didn't watch any fan-servicey show other than Samurai girls this year, and to be honest i've only watched the first 3 eps of it and they aren't too great. Amagami wasn't a fanservice show, but with every girl they had a small fetish shown with each girl. Not much of an honor, but one Amagami wins none-the-less

Best Visual: Angel Beats

Shouldn't really have been a surprise huh? Its a key's show and the production is as great as always. When i look at Angel Beats i instantly get reminded of the great art and scenery of Keys works like Clannad.

Best Male:
Ryōshi Morino (Ookami-san)
Honorable Mentions: Junichi Tachibana (Amagami SS)

Ryoshi is truly a man in the shell of a cowardly As far as people with incredibly strong neuroses goes, he acutally fought them pretty well. Unlike Kid (soul eater), he was actually believable, which i attribute a lot to the voice actor. Also when push comes to shove he manned up, unlike Kid.

Best Female: Azusa Nakano (K-ON!!)
Honorable Mentions: Tenshi (Angel Beats), Haruka Morishima (Amagami SS), Mio Akiyama ( (K-ON!!)

WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT?????? A favorite female that wasn't Mio in a season where Mio was a candidate? Well, yes acutally. While Mio remains my favorite character from K-ON, i decided to look at this from a writing standpoint. In that regard, i thought back to all the feelings and emotion i felt watching K-ON. The bittersweet ending was something i never expected, and a lot of that came from the acting of Asuna. You really had to feel for Azusa, unless you have no heart. What about the others? Tenshi is a nice character, but acting stoic is nothing spectacular, and the series never had time to fully flesh out the characters. Mio is still my favorite, but in terms of writing, Azusa blew her out of the water, for once. Haruka was also cute, but having only 4 episodes predominately featuring her hurt her.

Best Villain: Shirō Hitsujikai (Ookami-San)

This guy is a freaking Badass. Everything about him makes me want to strangle the living daylights out of him. And for the same reason as Ali, this makes him a great villain. He wasn't spetacularly well written, but he never felt pathetic or out of control. Even after getting beaten he only strengthens his hatred and resolve to make everyone's life a living hell. I can't go too much into what makes him so horrible, but I'll say its about the worst thing someone can do.

Worst Character: Akihisa Yoshii

With the good must come the bad. This year the worst goes to our very own idiot Yoshii. If you remember, my worst character award goes to the one i feel is most poorly written, not necessarily one i disliked. Yoshii fits this mold perfectly. Its not that the character was unlikeable, but as a main protagonist of the story, he just never accomplished anything. We can see bits and pieces of development, like when he actually studied for a test, but in the end he still accomplishes nothing (by writing in the wrong spaces). Even so he would have only done well, not ace the test. The class moves no where throughout the story and a few times even ended up much worse than where they started. Ya its a comedy and being losers is kinda their thing, but you would expect by the end it would get better. He ends up feeling more pathetic than likable or sympathetic.

Best anime of 2010: Angel Beats!
Honorable mentions: K-ON!!

After all the praise i gave the show it shouldn't be a surprise i gave this title to Angel Beats. There were many places this show could have been better, two that come to mind immediately were the identity of the programmer and Naoi's arc. Naoi was a jerkass and a bastard, and he gets completely converted by a hug. Thats lame on so many levels. The programmer being Tenshi would have fixed SOOO many issues, but instead its just a nobody and Tenshi wanting to give her thanks to Otonashi being what keeps her in the world. Ya i guess that justifies the title, but it leaves way too many things unanswered. It also felt like it really needed two cours to flesh out the story. Despite all of that, it was enjoyable, and as a whole, production value, artwork, voice acting, music, story, it was the best show of the year for me.

K-ON!! was certainly enjoyable. Hell if i was just to look at the end half of K-ON it might have even been better than Angel Beats. It was the reverse of Angel Beats. It had too much time and did nothing. But as a whole, the show didnt have a strong story and a strong start to the season. That's why K-ON!! will have to settle for second place.

You may notice best Mecha and most WTF are missing from this year. That's because i cant say i saw any shows that fit those molds. Perhaps they will be back next year. (If at the very least best Mecha will go to Gundam 00 Movie if nothing else)