So, as promised, here goes nothing-
List of awards:(not necessarily in this order)
Critique of the Norm Award:
Biggest Surprise Award:
Eff Ishihara Award:
Best Sequel Award:
Cruelty and Blood Award:
Best Ending Award:
Awardee: Higashi no Eden
Higashi no Eden has got to be one of the best anime series out there. It just doesn’t get annoyingly cliche. I like how everything turned out in Higashi no Eden. It was good from the beginning to the end. “Filler” scenes were always done for the further development of the story and characters, and the plot is delivered almost seamlessly without ever pulling off cheap tricks.
Perhaps I’m taking the “Storytelling” aspect in a literal sense here, but
Mushishi was beautifully woven. You come in knowing very little, following
the “protagonist” of the series as he explores the world of the Mushi that
affects the everyday lives of people. The story is told at a slow, steady
pace, and slowly builds upon itself subtly. All in all, a real treat.
Award: Petshop of Horrors
The most hipster awardee for this award. The OVA does a great job of bringing the suspenseful fable-like action into animated form. You almost know what’s going to happen, but something captivates you to watch onwards. And you do, until you finish the episode, and see what happens to those who do wrong. Underrated, too.
While I certainly do not think that Madoka is the best anime in
existence, it certainly deserves mention as one of the best anime to
come by recently. I really loved how the Magica Quartet created
Madoka’s world, it’s mahou shoujo system and it’s introduction of
fantasy into cold reality. But what really impressed me about Madoka
was not really the plot, the characters, or anything. It was how they
presented it. Being broadcast weekly, Madoka gives room for the
audience to think, reflect and speculate. The way the episodes are cut
is key to it’s overwhelming success. Each episode reveals more
information about the world of mahou shoujos and ends just after
presenting a bombshell that makes the fans ask for more. This is why I
recommend watching Madoka on a weekly basis. The show can be best
appreciated this way.
Awardee: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Before Spring 2011, when I saw the words “Mahou Shoujo”, I thought of
light series with typical cliche magical girls. Well, I can say that
Puella has definitely redefined the genre for a lot of people. With its
excessively dark overtones and themes of sacrifice, it is geared towards a
wide range of audiences, unlike many similar shows in the genre. The
series was short, sweet, and every episode left me on the edge of my seat
craving more. The production quality was high and the voice actors were
spot on, making it an all around well executed show.
Title edited just for…well…uniqueness. Well, this goes here because to be honest, I doubt you can find a show as brilliant as this one this year, when it comes to mahou shoujo. Being the 2nd or so Mahou Shoujo show I’ve watched, I’m glad to see how this show takes the crux of Mahou Shoujo shows – friendship and love saving the day- and throws it down a deep, dark abyss for our entertainment. Heh.
What made give CLANNAD After Story should be pretty obvious. It’s
one of the very few TV shows to make me cry my eyes out, as well as
the only anime where I completely felt for all the characters. Their
stories were all inspiring and well-done even in their simplicity,
especially Nagisa’s and Tomoya’s family’s stories. It made me feel
that family is indeed the most important thing that any person can
ever hope to have.
Oh my goodness, if there was every a show that made me smile constantly,
it is Kobato! The main character is absolutely the most innocent female
protagonist you’ll ever find, and she does it very well. From the lovely
singing to the light hearted plot, there’s no doubt this show will
brighten up your day.
Awardee: Shinryaku! Ika Musume! / Clannad A.S.
Look folks, I’m a sucker for cute , adorable palm-sized things. Hence my obsession with figurines. What am I supposed to do when confronted with such a Disney style piece of short animation? It was heartwarming to watch Mini-Ika being raised, and watching her owner die. And yet it remains funny thanks to the end. Funny yet sad at the same time.
I tied up Clannad A.S. here too. Every episode felt heartwarming. Single parent, living out his wife’s memories, raising their child. Melancholy, sadness, tragedy, yet at the end, it all works out. You see, the whole feel of the franchise is that it’s mysterious, yet sad. Remember the child and the doll in the alternate world? Where they are alone? That in itself is already sad enough. The whole show feels melancholic and has a tinge of sadness until the end, where everything works out, and our hearts are warmed.
I think Hyakko is one of the most underrated show there ever is.
To tell the truth, Hyakko presents a better plot and setting than
similar shows like K-On!. The characters have more fleshed out
personalities too. I like K-On! for it’s simplicity and the high
production values that Kyoto Animation puts in all of their works, but
Hyakko is definitely better when it comes to presentation. I simply
wonder why it didn’t get much attention.
Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like this show got a lot less recognition
than it deserved; it aired between the first and second seasons of K-On,
and often times was jokingly labeled “K-On goes to war” due to its very
similar art styles. On the surface, this is a show about cute girls doing
cute things in the military, but throughout the series it presents a very
interestingly look at the world they live in. The series is based in a
time long after the world has been devastated by war. It is hinted that
there are no longer any fish in the sea, and there is a huge “No-Man’s”
land where the show takes place on the border. Throughout the series,
concepts like peace and kinship through differences in language and
birthplace are established. Besides the story, the attention to detail is
immense. The scenery is absolutely beautiful and everything around the
characters is filled with deep history. I absolutely adored this show, and
was sad to see it so short lived.
Awardee: B Gata H Kei
Most people will remember it as the show about the slut. The way I see it, it’s brilliant. It pokes fun at the tropes in ecchi, it changes ecchi into something actually funny. It was nice to watch their antics as she tried to get laid. Hilarious, and not-as-heavy on the sexual element of it all. Most people get turned off simply by the synopsis, and few have watched it, and that’s why it’s underrated.
Lelouch Lamperouge is not my pick for the best protagonist ever.
Just in anime. Again, I don’t like sappy, goody-goody-two-shoes
protagonists like most of them out there. I want to see protagonists
act according to selfishness, and not for some silly ideals. I don’t
want to see protagonists, especially male ones, to be as useless as
heck. Lelouch is probably one of the best protagonists out there,
using his power to its absolute potential and not simply having
potential that remains hidden until the climax of the show.
Keima Katsuragi also deserves special mention.
When we first start this show, we’re introduced to Hei as a bad character,
who murders somebody within the first five minutes. Despite this, he turns
out to be one of the most dynamic protagonists that I have seen in a show.
On one hand, he is plagued as a contractor and lives a life in darkness,
but when he deals with normal people as his alternate identity, he is a
very soft, kind individual. By the end of the series, his character is
fully explored, and I found him to be highly interesting. Before I finish,
I’m referring to season 1. In season 2, Hei became a total douche and was
a very static, uninteresting character to foil the new protagonist.
Disappointing to say the least.
Awardee:Horo & Lawrence (Spice & Wolf) / Irabu Ichiro (Trapeze）
I’m spoilt for choice again. Horo and Lawrence are great characters only because the other character exists. They have excellent synergy, they work well together, and from the looks of things Lawrence actually loves Horo, a bit …too much. Without these two characters together, the show would not be as good as it is. Who can forget the first scene they meet, or the scene where they escape together? Excellent duo. Without each other, they become static, and uninspired.
Irabu Ichiro was my second choice. Reason being in the crazy atmosphere of Trapeze, he’s the craziest, yet the voice of salvation for the patients. He constantly changes form, being the id, ego and superego, being what drives the surreal feel of Trapeze. His eccentric behaviour only makes him a much more endearing character, as far as eccentric geniuses go, much like L of Death Note.
Speaking of which…
What would you do if your enemy is doing the “right” and “wrong”
things at the same time? Right in the sense of logic and wrong in the
sense of human morality? Meet Kyubey. The deceptively cute piece of
marshmallow of Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. He will compel you to think
what truly is right and what is wrong. The cold, calculating mind of
this little devil will send chills down your spine. A good antagonist
is not purely evil, nor one who is acting on self-interest. These
“villains” are pathetic. Kyubey remains true to his logical nature
until the end of the series, and I commend him for that. He is still
not the best antagonist of all time for me, though. Masaomi Houzuki
from Sharin no Kuni (Visual Novel) still sits in that throne.
Awardee: Asura (Soul Eater)
An odd choice, to say the least, but there are good reasons behind Asura
being an immensely effective antagonist. For the first half of the show,
all of the characters are geared toward stopping the birth of the original
demon god, Asura, who is portrayed as an ultimate evil. He emits a
wavelength of pure madness that is so intense, the characters encounter
horrible hallucinations just approaching his trapped body. After he is
released, he absolutely annihilates anyone who goes up against him even in
a weakened state. Right away we understand that he is unstoppable and
extremely dangerous. For the second half of the show, his wavelength of
madness slowly breaks down several characters like Stein, causing them to
fall apart as protagonists of the series and walk a fine line between good
and evil. All the way up until the final battle, his character is a wall
of hopelessness, but the characters eventually find an easy way out to
defeat him which is somewhat disappointing.
Awardee: L (Death Note)
The only antagonist which seemed more like a protagonist than the protagonist. For similar reasons as @fkeroge’s pick, only more extreme : Kyubey is acting for a good cause, in a evil way – L is actually the good guy, yet he’s the antagonist. We know Light is the villain, and still the hero, yet we , or at least the people I know cheer for L instead. Sad the way he died though.
In Your Face Award
I’m not impressed by any plan that Light manages to pull off.
Rather, I get a very satisfied feeling when I see him fail, especially
at the hands of L. I couldn’t describe how happy I was when L tricked
him into killing Lind L. Tailor. I was happy when he was betrayed by
that other dude who says “Sakujo!” every time he write a name on his
Death Note. In short, Light’s epic failures give me that “IN YOUR
Awardee: Gurren Lagann
This series is GAR! But seriously, from the first episode onward the show
is very “In your face” and up front with all of the action. The characters
are expected to topple big obstacles. We are shown two main protagonists,
Kamina and Simon. It was a real shocker when Kamina bites the bullet only
8 episodes in after being the most gung-ho, badass dude who doesn’t afraid
Awardee: Code Geass
It’s fun to watch him kill them with planning and careful usage of his Geass. Case in point? First battle, where he makes the enemies fall into the pit, and everything is crushed. . . .
This anime was the first anime to compel me to research on
thermodynamics, quantum physics and the fourth dimension. When I found
out that IT ACTUALLY COMPLIES with actual theoretical physics, I
experienced the nerdgasm of a lifetime.
Awardee: Welcome to the NHK!
This is one of those shows that you absolutely have to wait to watch until
you’ve experienced a fair range of anime, and are familiar with general
otaku themes. It is hilarious and full of references, as well as touching
upon so many reasons we watch anime in the first place. It’s also a good
way to have a chuckle at some of the more hardcore fans, especially if you
count yourself among them! BEGONE DIRTY WHORES. BE…GONE DIRTY WHORES! BE
GONNEEEEEEE~ Yeah. Exactly.
To be honest, I didn’t really want to do this post and write about nerdgasms, but heck.
C fulfils the nerdtastic element in that it makes all its fight scenes so cool-sounding, with the economic terms and the disembodied voice announcing the attacks. I’d like a game too – way too epic to actually happen though. Too bad all the economic terms are completely irrelevant. Honestly, as much as the concept excites me, all the strategies just become random attacks. Pacman Defence? Reminds me of a particular Naruto character, the one with the mirrors , ice and whatnot, no?
Full Metal Panic! Fumoffu was the only anime that made me laugh
non-stop, and it’s even better if you have friends to watch it with.
It’s just plain funny.
Seitokai Yakuindomo, on the other hand, was funny at all the
right places. I don’t really appreciate dirty jokes and all that, but
what made SYD so incredibly funny in the first place is how Takatoshi
responds so masterfully to the folly of Shino, Aria, and their
teacher, as well as the non sequitur humor that pops out every so
Awardee: Bokusatsu tenshi dokuro-chan
Oh boy. When I first watched this series by recommendation from an old
friend, I was totally not expecting what lay before me. Four episodes of
absolute humor. This show had me laughing so hard there were tears in my
eyes at certain points. There’s very little real plot to the show, and
it’s absolutely cliche, but original enough to pass as a good watch.
Awardee: Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei
Look, I have never found anime funny. I’m much too emo for that. I’m preoccupied with studying the social impacts and psychology behind suicide, of nihilism, Freud and Lacan. I have lost all faith in life….which is why this show is so funny!
No seriously, this is the funniest , most random show you’d find in ages that doesn’t rhyme with “Neveryday”.
Critique of the Norm award
Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai is one of the
disappointing shows of Fall 2010. However, I do have to give credit to
how well it presents its critique of societal norms. It showed us bits
of Japanese otaku culture and how it is treated in Japan.
Unfortunately, the series started failing and began to depend on the
girls to keep me interested. By the way, Kyousuke is not bad a
Sasameki Koto is a series that explores rather well the concept of love
and all of the highs and lows involved. The characters experience very
complex drawbacks and each has to come to terms in what love means to them
in relationships. While it is a heartwarming show, it explores more
realistic relationships than you’ll see in most other anime.
Awardee: Hourou Musuko
Probably the only show ever that uses gender issues and traps not solely for comedy.
I’ve seen it a dozen times and I’ll watch it a dozen more. When it comes
to Makoto Shinkai’s films, 5cm/s is one of his most stunning works in my
opinion. The show goes through waves of absolute joy and endless despair
regarding concepts such as missed opportunities and unrealistic hopes for
love. You want so desperately for the main protagonist to reclaim the girl
who he yearns so longingly for, but we’re presented with the sad truths of
life that impede such romantic notions. More than one character falls to
these terrible heart wrenching moments due to the issues in the
protagonist’s life, creating some of the saddest scenes I’ve seen. In the
end, the theme is most accurately summed up by the main character saying
solemnly as he stares upon his cell phone, in the line, “Through the act
of living itself, sadness piles up here and there. Whether in the sheets
hung to dry in the sun… the single toothbrush in your bathroom… or the
history logs of your cell phone.” Even now, looking back upon this movie,
my heart cries out a little.
Awardee:CLANNAD After Story episode 18
It’s only logical that my favorite scene in anime is from my
favorite anime of all time. I will certainly never forget this line:
“Sanae-san told me… the places where it’s okay to cry are the
bathroom… and in Papa’s arms.” In fact, while I was typing this, my
eyes were watering a bit.
In all caps for emphasis.
Well, I have a really short memory span. I can barely recall what happened yesterday. But if there’s anything I’ll remember, it is the scene where they run for their lives, their love, only to see it all come tumbling down, and the final scene, with Taiga in her black uniform, hiding in the cabinet, looking down shyly during Ryuuji’s graduation. I still want to rewatch that show, but I just don’t have the time……
Ahh, Ika Musume. What could be more squidtastic than this? I have
yet to understand why I like this show so much. There are plenty more
good comedy titles out there, but I still find Ika Musume to be very
squidtastic. Whatever that means, de geso.
Awardee: Shinryaku! Ika Musume!
I couldn’t help but chuckle at this award. Are there really any better
candidates?! Ika Musume went from relatively unknown show about a cute
squid girl invading the land of the humans to a highly popular and catchy
little episodic that warmed up Fall 2010. Squid ink everywhere.
Awardee: Shinryaku! Ika Musume!
Derp. The only thing surprising about this segment is that I wasn’t the one who recommended doing this again.
Elfen Lied is violence, blood and gore done right. I’ve never seen
a show handle guro with such mastery and purpose, unlike most shows
that just do it for the sake of showing violence. In fact, I was
actually cheering on the child Lucy as she killed off her classmates,
and I generally don’t approve of kids killing each other.
Awardee: Deadman Wonderland
Haha, oh boy. When I was told about this show, my first thought was “Meh.
Sounds kind of typical.” Oh boy was I wrong! We start out right away with
blood and gore everywhere, but then it tones it way down. This show has an
original concept and is very well executed. I absolutely love the theme
and setting. The characters undergo some of the most cruel and unusual
situations I’ve seen in an anime yet, and there’s blood everywhere (Heh,
heh, branches of sins, blood everywhere, get it?). Definitely a good show
to check out now even though it’s mid-season!
Awardee: Hotuko no Ken
Look now, the key thing that summarizes this series is the over-the-top usage of gore, with his style of fighting that makes the victim explode into a bloody mess of human fat and remains. It’s all very detailed, while being so very impossible. It’s entertaining gore for all the right reasons. Great for the perverse.
Biggest Surprise award
Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha made me appreciate the magical girl
genre. I was so against watching this when I was still new to anime,
but of course, I was convinced to watch it because of the seinen
demographic. Now, I’m a fan of Nanoha and I ship Nanoha x Fate. No
offense to non-yuri fans.
A really lovely series, both in the animation and the story. If there’s
one thing I remember best, it’s the absolute shocker that is thrown at the
viewer when the plot is revealed in bursts toward the last few episodes.
We’re lead up to this point with confusion and very little information,
but in the span of five minutes they tie every puzzle piece together with
invisible strands laid across the plot so well that it will leave your jaw
dropped without a doubt. All the way up until the very last moment, they
shock you with the relationship between Yuzuru and Kanade.
Probably the only Magical Girl show that has trippy visuals and people actually dying. That alone speaks volumes.
I’ll have to admit that I actually enjoyed watching Yosuga no
Sora even though I disapprove of too much explicit content in anime.
Yosuga no Sora is THE Kryptonite for Ishihara, more so than Kanokon or
Seikon no Quaser (which I haven’t watched). It’s themes include incest
and other very mature stuff. It also has (rather) explicit depictions
of sex that will make you wonder why it got into TV.
My first experience with Seikon no Qwaser was when I was working for Doki
Fansubs. Oh boy. I had no idea what was in store for me when they tossed
the script my way for quality checking. It’s safe to say that with Season
2 being as bold as ever, the authors are telling Ishihara to screw right
off with his bans. It’s both hilarious and disturbing.
Awardee: Manyuu Hikenchou
This show needs to win this award, even though it’s not out yet. Why? Firstly, its release coincides with when the ban starts to act. Two, it’s about nothing but breasts. They took everything you loved about ninjas, from stealth to power, from dojos to revenge, from action to plot, and scratched it all out with a red Sharpie, scrawling one big word in its place : boobs.
It is very rare for a sequel to surpass the level of a great
show. CLANNAD After Story does just this. I don’t need to explain
further if you have already watched it. If you haven’t, you really
must tell me why you passed up on this.
Awardee:Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni Kai
I don’t know if I’d call this the best sequel of all time, but personally
it’s the one that stands out most to me. To be honest, most sequels aren’t
usually as good as the original show. Too many studios try to re-create
the success that they originally have and end up creating repetition. In
Higurashi, the story is largely left unfinished in the first season and is
quickly cleaned up in the second season by revealing loads of information
not present in the first. This created a very respectable sequel that
turned out to make a good series.
Awardee: Spice & Wolf II
I must admit that the show still remains unfinished, despite the last volume being out (supposedly) since February, but this show helps cement the image of Horo and Lawrence as the most subtle couple ever. More economic hijinks of course, unlike [C], this one actually involved using money, not to attack people.
Best Ending award
It’s pretty rare for an anime to have a good ending. Of all the
anime I’ve seen, very few had an ending that I liked, and most of them
came from either visual novel adaptations, movies or anime originals.
As you may now already know, I’m a sucker for drama and heartwarming
stories above all else, and the winner will be a drama-laden anime.
Well, if so, you’re absolutely right.
Now, what anime had an ending that affected me the most? I’ll
have to say that it’s Angel Beats!.
“Wait, what?” is probably what you’re asking right now. You know,
for an anime with a messed-up plot, Angel Beats! was still pretty good
with it’s tearjerker parts, I’ll have to admit. The first part of the
last episode is REALLY bad, but it’s the second part of the episode
that really did it for me. Forget the inexplicable timeline of the
show, forget the really bad plot. The ending made me feel for Otonashi
and Kanade, and it was the only piece of work to bring me to tears
from a sudden development. No kidding, I dare say that this is one
hella good ending scene that exploits the spur of the moment ever so
Whoa, I’m going old school on this one! Honestly, there’s no real “best
ending” out there, but Akira was down right epic. The show starts out
relatively smooth and by the time you reach the final scenes, you’re
presented with this ultimate epic sci-fi that culminates in both a
confusing and thought provoking scene when Akira is swallowed up into a
new universe. Really well done. If you haven’t seen this yet, honestly, go
get a copy of it in Blu-Ray.
Awardee: Serial Experiments Lain
Unlike NGE where the world pretty much ends, this show goes for the other route : the world is reset. Lain chooses something much like Madoka : to erase herself from everyone’s memory. Later, when she meets the one who she admired the most, she doesn’t recognize Lain at all. It’s like Madoka, but actually deeper. Lain handles her fate as the almighty being, made for the Wired, and chooses to reset the world. The most memorable thing about the ending: The second last episode, where the ‘God’ of the Wired finds out he isn’t the god at all – that Lain is the one. Creepy, yet so brilliant.
So, with that, today’s award ceremony comes to a close. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the next section of the awards. Remember ,of course, that you too can vote for your own awardees by writing them down in the comments section along with a short explanation. All of it will be compiled into a post, if enough. Well then, see you guys tomorrow.