Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wrap-up of the Year

I'll be leaving for Japan in a couple of more hours, translating to me being almost unable to update anymore until I return to Singapore. So, as an early Christmas and New Year present, I've decided to summarise all the happenings in the otaku circle. For Singapore, on most part that is. As for the anime categories, I'll only be talking about one that I've watched, so if I've missed out your favourite anime, do leave a comment. (Yea, the 'best of the year' is somewhat misleading, but it's hard to catch up on all genres of anime alone >_>)

Biggest event of the year:
Anime Festival Asia '08
This was THE milestone of the year for Singapore and its otaku/anime/Japan-lovers' community. Never before had an event of such scale and attention been hosted in Singapore, a lonely little dot. And of course, the center of attention was May'n's live performance, which electrified all her fans and casual passersby alike, singing her heart out. Not to mention was the great bargains of figurines by many participating shops, such as KKnM and Latendo. There definitely was room for improvement, but I'm sure with the feedback they've been getting, next year would be even more exciting.

Funniest Anime of the year:
Toradora!

No, I really wasn't biased. But frankly speaking, no other anime had made me sway back from comedic gold moments to serious emotional cliffhanger moments so easily. The balance was perfect, and with a great cast of characters that vary so different from each other like night and day, as well as the funny attempts to help each other get attention of their love targets, anyone is bound to lighten up after watching an episode or two of Toradora!. Recommended for those who want to get away from serious, plot-heavy animes.

Just a side note, if I watched Hyakko, it might have been here. But then again, I haven't. So, sorry folks who liked Hyakko :P

Most Boring Anime of the Year:
Neo Angelique ~Abyss~

I never heard of this anime until founding out that it's the anime that will feature 'Aiaikasa', sung by Tegomass. Since it's Tegomass, I was like, hey why not?
Only to realise that that's the worst decision I've probably made this year on selecting animes to watch. The plot really wasn't there from episode 1 onwards, characters looked like a hybrid between shoujo and Code Geass, not to mention that I've never heard of the seiyuus casting in it, except Aya Endou, Hiroki Takahashi and Daisuke Ono. The story moved too slow, and too boringly. It was excruciatingly painful to watch the entire first episode, so off it went to the bin.

Most Disappointing Anime of the Year:
Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae

Yes, Jigoku Shoujo. I know how amazingly good this was the last 2 seasons, but this season was simply messed up. A suddenly-appeared shota, Enma Ai's mysterious reappearance, highly predictable outcomes of each episode, and even more ridiculous punishments and cause. Then of course, they decided to NOT use SNOW for their OP theme songs (aah.. Sakasama no Chou) and use Kitade Nana's 'Tsukihana'. All the hype that have been building up, just burst after like, 5 episodes. But now that they are getting better somewhat (episode 9 was horrible though), I believe they'll slowly redeem themselves.

Most Disappointing OVA of the Year:
School Rumble Sangakki

It seems that the producers didn't really pay much attention to this. Graphic-wise, it was still the same old School Rumble feel, but at times, the faces seemed really out of proportion. Even the same comedic moments for which School Rumble was famous for wasn't really there. Maybe it's because it's only two episodes long, hence the need to squeeze all the important facts into them (Tenma, Karasuma, Harima, Yakumo, Eri's progress), leaving out no time for the fun and laughter. Honestly speaking though, expected more out of this.

Most Unexpectedly Good Anime of the Year:
H2O: Footprints in the Sand

Featuring an unknown cast lineup (except Ami Koshimizu and Harumi Sakurai, who got more attention after Akasaka), using a story from an eroge I didn't hear of, I was quite doubtful at first. Characters didn't look outstanding, graphics looked just above average, and the studio producing it was not in my radar. But as I watched, the plot got deeper, so did the characters. They also did a fine job with choosing catchy theme songs, and I really enjoyed this series more and more as it progressed, leading to an ultimately good ending (as with most eroge adaptions of course). A tearjerking anime if you watch the whole series at one go.

Most Incomprehensible Anime of the Year:
Chaos;Head

I really don't know what to say here except 'wtf'. Seriously, this anime is so confusing that it gives me headaches after each episode. Amazing.

Best Visuals:
Toaru Majutsu no Index

J.C Staff, I love you for your Blu-ray Shana-istic quality.

P.S: WHEN IS SNS III COMING OUT??

Best Harem Anime:
toLOVEru

Some say it's too harem, but I beg to differ. Probably because I didn't watch the manga, or I found toLOVEru's level of harem-ity acceptable. But the comedy was hilarious, so were all the sexual inferences, as well as the amount of semi-nudity. One thing I really hated was Rito being all gaagaa over Haruna. Haruna should just burn in hell D: (THAT'S WHY I REALLY REALLY REALLY HATED THE LAST EPISODE ASDHASOASDASD)

Most Overly Harem Anime:
Kanokon

Too much harem is bad for your health. It forces you to neglect your plots, even the main purpose why you exist. Kanokon, why did you even get produced into an anime if it were to turn out like that? Fox-lolis don't really always work out. Neither does mediocore graphics.

'Coolest' Anime of the Year:
Kuroshitsuji

When you bring in an awesome seiyuu, combined with a Butler who can kick ass before you know it, getting a taste of the high class living, along with an AWESOME CROSSDRESSING LOLI-LOOKING CIEL, you get the coolest anime of the year. Nuff said. Go watch it now!

The Anime that made me wish lasted longer:
REC

This was a short 12-minute-per-episode anime, directed by SHAFT. I think I blogged about this, so I won't really go into details about this. I only wished that it could have lasted longer, though deep down in my heart, I know that the length of the episodes and the numbers of episodes were somewhat refreshing and just right in quantity.

Best Shounen Anime of the Year:
Soul Eater

Adrenaline-filled action, along with High Definition graphics, great voice actors, an amazing character lineup, each with unique personalities, as well as a shounen-targetted heavy plot, you get an anime outclassing Naruto and Bleach combined. That's right, Naruto and Bleach is out, now's Soul Eater time.

Best OP song of the Year:
Donten - DOES (Gintama)

I don't know about all the hard termologies, so I'll just make it straightforward. The guitar and drums were awesome. Can't find any other songs that come close to this.


Best ED song of the Year:
Vanilla Salt - Horie Yui (Toradora!)

Horie Yui came back with an amazingly catchy song, with cute lyrics, and a transformed voice. Last time I heard her was through her song 'Scramble', used in School Rumble. This time, her voice was completely transformed (yes, digital age, but still, it's nice).


Best OP sequence of the Year:
Soul Eater First OP (Resonance - T.M Revolution)

I would have chosen the OP for Papermoon by tommy heavenly6, if not for the Excalibur.
This OP, on HD of course, shows a good blend of action and introduction of the characters. Watch the OP here.



Best ED sequence of the Year:
Kuroshitsuji First ED (I'm Alive! - BECCA)

For a serious looking Anime, they really did a good job in making such a cute ED sequence. Watch it here.



Best Seiyuu of the Year:
Rie Kugimiya
Roles:
Miharu Rokujo - Nabari no Ou
Mio - Zettai Karen Children
Taiga Aisaka - Toradora!
Yuuhi Katagiri - Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka
Louise - Zero no Tsukaima ~Princess no Rondo~
Izuna Endo - Kurogane no Linebarrels
Shana - Shakugan no Shana II
Kagura - Gintama

Can you say 'no' to such an awesome Tsundere-voicing Seiyuu?

Most Epic (aka The Best) Anime of the Year:
Code Geass R2

For all the reasons the Internet knows.

I need to go off, saying goodbye to my parents before I leave for Japan. Might edit this when I return later. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone!

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