My Top Anime for 2010

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2010 will be over in a few days, so it’s time for that year-end exercise:  the year-end rankings of the shows that I watched.   I’m quite early from my usual schedule.  Whew!  Now what else to do on New Year’s Eve? 😀

After 4 years of doing this ranking exercise, the number of shows has dwindled down to less than 15. (For comparison, see:  2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.)   Some factors were:

  • The onslaught of otaku-pandering/moe shows.  Of these, only K-On! got my full attention.
  • I went over my backlog of anime.  The best one from my backlog was Legend of Galactic Heroes.  Reinhard x Siegfried in Valhalla!! 😄
  • I went over my backlog of books.  About 2 years’ worth of backlog.  The whole thing started in 2008 (was officially announced here).  It’s down now to 6 books, excluding the books I bought for collection and reference purposes.
  • I went into live-action shows mode.  I blame KimuTaku for the j-dorama.  I blame NCIS and Battlestar Galactica for US shows.

Anything else?  Well, there were a lot of other things from real life on my mind other than anime.  I guess 2010 really marks the end of the 20-plus series per year watching spree.  Now on to the list!

Edit:  I added To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and The Tatami Galaxy, to finally make this list complete.  The show that didn’t make the list was Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, which failed to amuse after the first episode.

12 14  Dance in the Vampire Bund

If I had watched more in 2010 then this show probably would not have ranked last.  A rather interesting take on vampires and what happens if they have their own country.  Though I fear the love story probably will turn tragic (or hopeless) unlike the one in Underworld.

11 13  K-On!!

I think I like the first season better.  Still, for a show about a music club, the music is forgettable.  I mean, not catchy enough for my ears.  If I hadn’t sought out ‘light’ shows this year, I’d probably never watch this.

10 12  Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

I got over my aversion to the maid thingy, but it was not as fun as I thought it should be.  Right now I’m compelled to make comparisons with Special A, but nothing comes to mind, unfortunately.

09 11  Saraiya Goyou

I usually am not fond of samurai shows; I don’t seek them out. (Is it because everything pales in comparison to the Battousai?  I wonder.)  But since the manga was made by Natsume Ono, the one who made Ristorante Paradiso, I had to check it out.  It’s about a samurai who gets involved with a kidnap for ransom gang.  It started out fine, then I got bored in the middle–I thought it was too slow.  However I find consolation in the nice artwork, and that there’s one show about samurai that isn’t about swordfights galore and those whatchamacallit moves.

10 To Aru Kagaku no Railgun

I totally forgot about this series.  Whereas I hated To Aru Majutsu no Index because of Touma, I came to like Railgun because 1) There was less Touma, and 2) Biri2x!  I may have lowered my standards a bit for this show, but certainly I found it more enjoyable that way.

08 09  Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin

How does a show with an obnoxious male lead rank this high?  (Well, he redeems himself in the end, thankfully.)  Actually it’s got more to do with the female lead, Maya, who cancelled him out.  A show about an occult school was very interesting, though it meandered in the middle.  But the last few episodes were pure fun and surprising.

07 08  Ookiku Furikabutte Natsu no Taikai-hen

I’m not that crazy for baseball in real life, but there’s something about the depiction of baseball in anime by the Japs.

07 The Tatami Galaxy/Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei

This is the lone show I regret not having watched last year.  My impressions might have been different if it was not watched marathon-style.  It’s the only anime that’s got me really thinking about life since…since…Honey and Clover II?

06  Black Lagoon: Roberta`s Blood Trail

Only 2 episodes in and it’s on the list?  Hehehe.  But no, nothing beats the maid with guns.  (Almost.)

05  Nodame Cantabile Finale

What I saw was probably erased when I watched the live-action movie.  But I thought this was better than the 2nd season.

04  Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood

I thought the first adaptation was OK.  But the original is indeed better. (Because duh, it’s the real ending?)

03  Kuragehime

‘Light’ themed shows abound in this selection, and Kuragehime is no exception (rhyme not intended).  It’s refreshing to watch an anime about female otaku and NEETs for once.

02  Hetalia Axis Powers

This is one advantage of anime–mainstream people just think it’s just cartoons, right?  I dunno how they can pull this one off in live-action.  (Although I am not saying that the atrocities of war be glossed over; it’s hard enough trying to learn the lesson of not letting history repeat itself.)  But the countries/characters are so cute, how could you not laugh?  Still, I wonder what the Italians think.

01  Arakawa Under The Bridge/Arakawa Under The Bridge x Bridge

Last year, I was really in a bind as to what would be my number one show1.  This year, even before I used the matrix, I knew from the start what show was number one.  You see, I had always been on the lookout for a comedy that could give me the same kind of high that the first season of School Rumble did.  I’d given up the search for it in vain; I didn’t know that it would be Arakawa Under The Bridge.  I thought it was just a bunch of weirdos living under a bridge.  Well, indeed it was, but I didn’t know it was that much fun (at least on first watch; I not too sure with re-watches).  Other supposedly comedic shows had failed to make me laugh;  Arakawa was the opposite.  Some scenes are so absurd I laugh out loud in return, just like in School Rumble.  (There are also hints of things hidden under the surface; though I’m not really sure.)  Currently my favorite episodes are the ones with the Arakawa amusement park and the ‘beach’ episode which includes the Amazoness.

Kappa! Stars! Venusians! Nuns! They're all nuts! 😄

Not included in list:

  • Black Rock Shooter – It’s not a series.  I had low expectations, so it was OK from my point of view.  Plus, I could actually relate to the envy thingy.
  • xxxHolic Rou – Only 1 ep so far.
  • Bakemonogatari – Was in last year’s list.
  • Bakuman – Good show, but it’s probably not halfway done.  I want to see it more before I form a more concrete judgment.
  • Cross Game – Was in last year’s list.
  • Kara no Kyoukai – I am not in the mood for watching the violence here.  Maybe next year I’ll get to finish this, but I want to see happy things right now.
  • Kimi ni Todoke –  Was in last year’s list.
  • Shiki – Like with Kara no Kyoukai, not in the mood for dark themed shows right now.

Dropped

  • Armored Trooper Votoms: Phantom Arc – The original Votoms series is still in the backlog pile.
  • B Gata H Kei – Not that funny to me.
  • Durara! – Not hooked.
  • Fairy Tail – Maybe I’ll marathon this someday.
  • Gakuen Mokushiroku: High School of the Dead – I don’t like zombies.  Feels just like those horror flicks I don’t want to watch.
  • Giant Killing – My enthusiasm for the show ended after the World Cup ended.  The show was good; I just wasn’t interested anymore.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn – Started out good for me.  Then it felt like, haven’t I seen this before?  Or something like that.  I might just be mistaken, but the only fresh thing was the crisp animation and the mechs.
  • Seitokai Yakuindomo – Not that funny to me.  Couldn’t get it.
  • Sora no Oto – As I’ve said in a previous post–nothing hooked me.
  • Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – The only thing I found really funny was the old maid.  The rest, meh.
  • Star Driver – I’m sorry but I’m not into Galactic Pretty Boys (Galactic Fairies are ok).  I prefer my pretty boy to be long-haired (Saiunkoku Monogatari), wear flowing clothes (Saiunkoku Monogatari), wield swords (Saiunkoku Monogatari)…etc etc.
  • Working!! – Not that funny to me.  Couldn’t get it.

Notes:
1.  A recent realization:  I hadn’t read Wuthering Heights when I watched Aoi Hana.  Now that I have, I am now puzzled at why they admire Heathcliff so much.  He’s a jerk!!

5 responses »

  1. Pingback: Manga Cartoon » My Top Anime for 2010 « Cute Proxy's Anime Rants

  2. Hi, Hayase! It’s been a while! I recall visiting and commenting on your blog (years ago? something about utility theory I think), but the blog vanished at some point or I couldn’t find it again for some reason >.< I am glad that I found your blog again – thank you for stopping by🙂

    Yes, too much otaku-pandering/moe shows these days… Also there should be some kind of a drinking game based on the anime list: for every anime that involves a middle/high school kids, you get a shot of matcha😛

    I heard many good things about Legend of Galactic Heroes. I started covering it actually, but didn't get far because life became extremely busy.

    Ah, books… I used to read alot, but don't have much time anymore because most of my reading consists of school/job related books… I am glad you were able to read some good literature🙂

    I enjoyed the background art in Saraiya Goyou, but the show itself was not interesting enough for me. I found Ristopara much more enjoyable at both technique and story.

    Recently, I watched just a few episodes of Oofuri and got addicted very quickly. I am not a baseball fan, but the way it is depicted in this anime is quite interesting. Another somewhat similar anime that I watched a while ago, but one more focused on drama and romance, was Princess Nine. I'll finish the first season of Oofuri and try the second one eventually.

    Yes, Arakawa is a very fun show that made me laugh out loud, which is rare, and restored my faith in SHAFT.

  3. Just finished The Tatami Galaxy, it was worth watching. Though sometimes I question what drove my to finish the show–the hype or the story itself. Of course the story helped, but I’m not sure if I can make a judgment without bias/preconceptions.

    >>Yes, too much otaku-pandering/moe shows these days…

    There are times when I think that’s bad, and there are times when I think it’s good.

    Bad: Lack of shows to watch.

    Good: I don’t have check out every show that interests me–I know that it’ll suck for me immediately. I won’t have to waste my time. 😀

    >>I am glad that I found your blog again – thank you for stopping by

    Thanks for stopping by too! 🙂

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