The Nihon Review Forum

The Nihon Review Topic Discussion => Articles => Topic started by: Sorrow-kun on January 02, 2009, 01:15:46 AM

Title: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: Sorrow-kun on January 02, 2009, 01:15:46 AM
This year I'm going to do something different and open up a discussion thread for our 2008: A Year in Review ( article.  This thread is more intended as a chance for readers to post questions and comments about the article and then for the writers to answer or respond to those comments.  And feel free to post feedback as well

So (and, this question is more directed towards non-staff) what did people think?
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: C0MPL3X on January 02, 2009, 04:23:31 AM
I am bit surprised to see Kaiji absent from the list, since even though I think it's overrated, it garnered lot of positive opinions from viewers (and rarely a negative one). CLANNAD is also unexpectedly missing, which I don't really mind (because it was in last year's article?). I especially liked RC's coverage on Kaiba, awesome to see it getting the recognition it deserves.

Although what I got most from reading the article is that I should at least give Kannagi a try.
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: Sorrow-kun on January 02, 2009, 04:37:38 AM
Both Kaiji and Clannad were on last year's list.  We thought about putting Clannad After Story on the list, but we decided that we weren't going to see the best of it until 2009.  And I thought the first eight episodes were too inconsistent for it to be on the list anyway.

Edit:  And after hearing what people have said about Kaiba, it's now very high on my "to-see" list.  It's the only anime that got multiple votes in the "Best of 2008" section.
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: AC on January 02, 2009, 05:48:50 AM
Kaiba of 2008 is akin to Mononoke of 2007; both dare to different with their visual intepretations and make full use of the unconventionality to tell their respective stories in ways not possible by conventional visuals. The major different between them is its nature of their stories - Kaiba is a linear story while Mononoke's is episodic.

I'm surprised that Natsume Yuujinchou garnered a lot of positive comments upon retrospect, but it's not selected by anyone for Best of '08. It's not a major issue but I find it a little unexpected (perhaps KiraraKim has something to saya about this). This was the anime that made me have a hard time deciding my Best of '08.
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: Flash Sword Irene on January 02, 2009, 03:25:41 PM
Well, for one I was surprised that TIF was unable to provide any form of commentary since that was the only staff member to be missing.  (I probably missed one or two more.)  But, in anycase it does strike me that Detroit Metal City did not make the cut, especially with the review posted for it.  Perhaps not enough interest or reception was generated to have the title in the discussion. But, I do believe the review certainly said otherwise.

I am surprised at Gundam 00's first season making the final cut at all since I thought it was highly unlikely.  Everyone probably already knew that I would disagree with Kavik whole heartedly on it.  To sum it up as short and eloquently possible since I don't feel like typing a wall of text on this:

To me, Gundam 00 Season was essentially a melting pot of good ingredients failing to meld into a harmonious fusion of flavor to whet one's appetite consistently.  The fact that piggybacking on a climax the first 2/3 of the series never built up to in the first place (nor have any merit of actual cohesion and relevance) was a necessity does question how this series ever deserved praise at all.  The climax really came off more as an adrenaline rush to give actual incentive to watch the mediocre second season and it feels cheap at the end of the day.  Not that static characters, plot and storyline deficiencies, fanservice, mecha hax, and disjointed, directionless writing helped out at all.  For all the good the series had (action, bgm) it was instantly mitigated by overall piss poor execution.  To put it bluntly, you could view the first episode, skip the next 17-18 without surprise and/or regard to the events that transpired only to be swept into a temporary thrill ride.  And, that is how I feel about it really since atmosphere, tension, drama, etc was far too lacking to actually matter.  (Plus, Macross Frontier was superior in every aspect anyway.)

I am surprised that some animes that have yet to conclude actually made it as well.  Perhaps this was a practice you guys excercised before.  Then again, I don't feel like trying to remember when an anime debuted and concluded.  I am happy to know that at least Casshern Sins got honorable mention and hopefully by the end, it will make the cut again this year.  Regarding Natsume Yuujinchou, the anime has surprisingly made it as one of the most underrated animes.  However, Yuujinchou certainly is a strong enough title to be in the discussion due to the lack of real heavyweights this year.  Personally, I do find Mononoke as the stronger series due to what the show was able to accomplish.  Still, its not like Yuujinchou was not able to stand on its own two feet either.

I do not believe I saw anything on this, but were there any anime movies worth noting at all?  And, why did Eve no Jikan not make it to the list?  I have seen a lot of people praising this one and no mention of it is surprising.  But, perhaps not there was not enough to that one to merit a discussion in the first place.  Out of curiousity, have you guys ever considered doing a worst of the year option before?  Just wondering since that might be interesting to see as well.
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: zzeroparticle on January 02, 2009, 04:02:32 PM
The process that took place as we went through this was to limit the selections to 16 picks, which, if you tried to distill the year into 16 series, is a difficult process.  DMC was considered as was True Tears, but it got cut in favor of series that we simply thought were better deserving of a slot due to it flying under people's radar or because it was so significant that ignoring it would be borderline criminal.

And yeah... Eve no Jikan.  I'll have to jot myself a reminder to bring it up for the 2009 edition since I'm finding that ONA to be really thought-provoking and enjoyable.  Thankfully, it's still airing so we still have an opportunity to recognize it in the future.
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: Sorrow-kun on January 02, 2009, 05:18:41 PM
Flash Sword Irene: You may disagree with us on Gundam 00, but the reason it's on the list is basically because it won back the Gundam franchise a lot of the credibility it lost after Destiny.  I haven't seen it myself, so I can't really defend the choice, but most of our staff saw it as a good (maybe not great) title that made a big splash in anime this year.  Nonetheless, the list isn't supposed to be a collection of the year's "best" titles (although we do try to include those).  It's a collection of the titles we thought defined the year, a combination of the titles that got massive recognition and the titles that we think deserve it.  Obviously we're going to miss a few titles (we have a history of missing titles that are, in hindsight, list-worthy), but I think we do an ok job of capturing the essense of the biggest and/or most quality titles of the year.

As far as movies and OVAs were concerned, both Kara no Kyoukai and Eve no Jikan were disadvantaged by the fact that they're both series, so it's very difficult to make judgement calls on either of them at this stage.  There weren't really many great movies this year.  If they were, we probably missed them.

We thought long and hard about DMC, but it just didn't fit on the list.

Casshern SINS won't be on next year's list.  Once it's appeared on a list, it's ineligible for next year, although it is still an eligible choice for people's "best of".

And we won't be doing a "worst of" anytime soon.  I don't really like the idea of pushing the staff into torturing themselves to find the worst anime of the year.   (It's Kanakon, anyway, with ToLoveRu an honorable mention).
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: AC on January 02, 2009, 10:42:44 PM
Personally, I do find Mononoke as the stronger series due to what the show was able to accomplish.  Still, its not like Yuujinchou was not able to stand on its own two feet either.
I just want to ask: Why do you mention Mononoke? I know that it's a groudbreaking series and all but it's already included in last year's editorial. Or, are you merely using it as an example of how good an anime can be?
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: C0MPL3X on January 03, 2009, 02:23:39 PM
I think it's because of the episodic, non-overarching plot driven, supernatural similarlity between the show.
Title: Re: 2008: A Year in Review
Post by: Shadowmage on January 03, 2009, 11:29:32 PM

Just to lower your expectations a tad, I'll mention that some of the stories in Kaiba do get screwy at times, and the end really comes from left field.  Also, the stories of the "adventure" episodes are pretty cliched once you sit down and think about them, but they are told in a completely unconventional manner that is oddly heart-warming.  I gave it a 7/10 overall, but I can see why others would praise it more than I am willing to.