Sunday, January 9, 2011

[Yearly Review] Year 2010 in Review

Think 2009 is a bad year for anime? It seems 2010 is worse. In 2010, I think I've dropped on average more anime per season than any past year. How sad is that.

Before I start to hand out awards for the year 2010, let's have a quick run down of what we have seen in the year of 2010. I'm going to starting with the "carryovers" from 2009--Not only we have a long season carryovers such as Kobato, Letter Bee, Tatakau Shisho - The Book of Bantorra, Kimi ni Todoke, Kiddy Girl-AND end in 2010, there are also carryover of multi-season long series like Hanasakeru Seishounen and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

January 2010 was diluted by quite a few garbage animes, namely Ladies versus Butlers, Chu-Bra, Omamori Himari, Ookami Kakushi, Hanamaru Youchien, most of them didn't last two episodes for me. However, this is far from a bad season, because good series such as So-ra-no-wo-to, Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, Durarara!!, Dance in the Vampire Bund, Nodame Cantabile Finale, Katanagatari also came out of this very season. Then there's Seikon no Qwaser, that's just a strange beast of its own. It's really beyond what can be measured using conventional means.

Then April season rolled around, while it didn't disappoint me and presented good series such as Kaichou wo Maid-sama, Angel Beats!, Working!, Giant Killing, K-ON!!, Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, Yojouhan Shinwa Takei, it's also been diluted with many mediocre to bad series such as Ikkitousen Xtreme Xecutor, Shink Koihime Musou ~Otome Tairtan~, Heroman, B Gata H Kei, KissXsis, Hakuouki, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Senkou no Night Raid, Rainbow, Saraiya Goyou.

July season is probably the smallest of all year, however, it produced highest good to garbage ratio. Out of 14 total series released in July, 8, include Amagami SS, Kuroshitsuji II, Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Sekirei ~Pure Engagement~, Occult Academy, Shiki, Sengoku Basara 2, are what I'd consider good to excellent animes. While the other 6, Asobi ni Iku yo!, Nurarihyon no Mago, Mitsudomoe, Shukufuku no Campanella, High School of the Dead, Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi, I would consider to be mediocre to bad series.

October is the season of everything. I think it is by far the best season the of year since series from this season so far have the highest retention rate for me, even though the good to garbage ratio is nowhere near the July season. Series came out in this season include Sora no Otoshimono: Forte, MM!, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, Hyakka Ryouran: Samurai Girls, Yosuga no Sora, Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai, Motto To Love Ru, Togainu no Chi, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Iron Man, Kuragehime.

As you've noticed, I've color-coded the titles of anime to mark the ones I deem that are worth watching in green and not worth a while in red. You can take that as my general recommendation for all animes that came out in year 2010.

Now the moment you're waiting for, the award ceremony :)


Best Short Season Comedy: Working!
Best Short Season Drama:
Angel Beats!
Best Short Season Action-Drama: Otome Youkai Zakuro
Best Short Season Light Drama: Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Best Short Season Romance: (Vacant)

Best Long Season Comedy: Kaichou wo Maid-Sama
Best Long Season Drama: Shiki
Best Long Season Action-Drama: Durarara!
Best Long Season Light Drama: Kaichou wo Maid-Sama
Best Long Season Romance: Kaichou wo Maid-Sama

Best Fantasy: Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu
Best Horror: Shiki
Best Sports Anime: Giant Killing
Best Multi-Season Anime:
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Most Touching: Angel Beats!

Most Bizarre Concept: Seikon no Qwaser
Most Sexually Explicit Anime: Tie between Seikon no Qwaser and Yosuga no Sora
WTF of the Year: Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Most Explosive fight scenes: Sengoku Basara 2
Biggest Disappointment:
Ookami Kakushi
Most Ridiculous Scene: Bullet Dodging Boobs from High School of the Dead

Before I hand out my final award for anime of the year, I'd like to point out something that had never happened in my past yearly review--Kaichou wo Maid-Sama clinching 3 awards in the general category. I never even had any one anime that took 2 awards in the general category. However, the reason behind this is not because Kaichou wo Maid-Sama is such an extraordinary anime. It's because there really no other anime in that category I consider award worthy. That is pretty sad.

On that note, I would now present my final award:

Anime of the Year for 2010 goes to


It's somewhat of a hard choice between this and Angel Beats! because I think they both deserve to be the anime of the year. But if I have to pick one, the sophistication, craftiness, and great characters in Durarara!! ultimately wins out.

That concludes my year-in-review for 2010. However, there are something else I'd like to say about a particular anime that did not get an award but was very close in clinching one due to the very tough competition in specific category. It is runner up for at least two categories, Best Fantasy and Best Long Season Action-Drama. The name of the anime is

Tatakau Shisho - Book of Bantorra

Last time I checked, while there are some positive opinions, more people seem to have given it unfavorable ratings. Many had dropped it only a couple of episodes into the series stating nothing in the story makes any sense.

While I don't disagree with them, I think they had fall to the victim of lack of patience. Unlike stories that doesn't make progress in early episode by playing off fillers (*cough* Gurren Lagann *cough*), every single early episode in Book of Bantorra actually serves a purpose and moves the plot forward. On top of that, there are many things hidden in those early episodes that you don't realize their significance until much later in the story. This structure, in my opinion, is actually quite similar to Witch Hunter Robin or Ghost in the Shell. The difference, I think, probably mostly lies in the setting--WHR and GitS are presented in a world that is much easier to understand, to accept, whereas Book of Bantorra's world would take quite a bit thinking to just wrap you head around it.

Many may completely disagree with me (just as I have disagreed with many about Gurren Lagann), but I think Tatakau Shisho - Book of Bantorra is definitely one of the top animes 2010 had seen.


Anonymous said...

K-ON is a major hit for Japanese Anime but didn't enter among in your awards.. Thats kind of disappointing... But still thanks for your blog and reviews because i always refer your blog to determine which anime i should watch each season.. Keep the good work...

The Evil Cat said...

If it were K-ON first season that is competing for this year's award, it'd totally get the Best short season comedy award. But season 2, in my opinion, especially competing in the long season comedy category, I just couldn't hand the award to it over Kaichou wo Maid-Sama.

And thank you for the encouraging words. Glad to know that at least someone is getting use out of my random mumbles. :-)

yoekix said...

I can live with your random mumbeles. I don't have the time to watch the most of the anime that is airing, so i usually pick something out and when a good chunk of the seasons are done, i go to this site to see what you are praising as a good season to pick up. The legendary legends of legendary heroes (or whatever the title is) is proof of that.

marcos said...

Totally agree!!! In my humble opinion, you're a good reference when it comes to anime (I recommend you every time the opportunity comes).

Keep up the good work.

Micky said...

Gotta ask where Bakuman is on that list? I've been enjoying it very much over the past season.

The Evil Cat said...

thank you all, you guys are too nice. I'll try my best not to disappoint you in the future. :-)

As for Bakuman, my yearly review consists of animes ended by the end of the year. If a series doesn't end by the end of the year, it'll be considered as "carryover" for the next year and will be included the next year's yearly review. I did that with 2009 carryovers in this post, too. :-)