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The Nihon Review Topic Discussion => Articles => Topic started by: Sorrow-kun on January 02, 2011, 12:29:38 AM

Title: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Sorrow-kun on January 02, 2011, 12:29:38 AM
Our yearly review (http://www.nihonreview.com/editorials/2010-a-year-in-review/) has gone up for 2010.  What are your thoughts?  Did your picks for this year's highlights agree with ours?  If not, what do you think we failed to recognize?  And what was your choice for "Best of 2010"?
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: HirakuNoShadow on January 02, 2011, 02:17:42 AM
Most titles mentioned for this year's been relatively spot on from my perspective, although I have yet to see some which have been mentioned, such as B gata H Kei, PSG and Katanagatari, which I may be watching sometime this year.

noitaminA did not fail to keep its reputation as a powerhouse anime airing program this year, with a number of excellent series such as Nodame Cantabile Finale, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei and Kuragehime, which really shined through what seemed as a relatively mediocre to disappointing year. KyoAni have definitely done a superb job with The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, a phenomenal adaptation for arguably the best light novel of the series.

It's definitely a difficult choice from YST and TDoSH, but my vote would go to the latter, if only by a minute difference. I may be a bit biased in that I have read both the light novel and the film of TDoSH since I couldn't find a translated version of the original YST novel, but the film have successfully animated some of the best moments from the light novel that no words could do justice. Watching the second season of Suzumiya Haruhi felt like witnessing Santa stealing your presents, but the film felt as if the presents have been replaced it with a much greater Christmas gift. Kudos to KyoAni for successfully making their redemption, as well as noitaminA for being a great source of quality anime titles.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: AC on January 02, 2011, 05:37:37 AM
I may be a bit biased in that I have read both the light novel and the film of TDoSH since I couldn't find a translated version of the original YST novel, but the film have successfully animated some of the best moments from the light novel that no words could do justice.
I have a friend who watched the movie with me but also read the novel, saying that the movie could've been a little more effective if:

the explanation by Koizumi to the hospitalized Kyon about what happened before the world changed, was visually illustrated rather than verbally clarified. According to him, the novel visually showed the sequence of events that led to the change (including Nagato pushing Kyon off the staircase).

Even so, he's already impressed by the movie. I was too, and that's why it got my vote as the Best of 2010. It's one hyped show that actually lived up to it.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: HirakuNoShadow on January 02, 2011, 07:34:14 AM
I have a friend who watched the movie with me but also read the novel, saying that the movie could've been a little more effective if:

the explanation by Koizumi to the hospitalized Kyon about what happened before the world changed, was visually illustrated rather than verbally clarified. According to him, the novel visually showed the sequence of events that led to the change (including Nagato pushing Kyon off the staircase).

Even so, he's already impressed by the movie. I was too, and that's why it got my vote as the Best of 2010. It's one hyped show that actually lived up to it.
I agree on that part, the film did come off as a bit vague near the end, and couldn't quite explain in as much detail as the novel did. It really would have been much more effective if there was a bit more visualization of the event at the time while Koizumi continued explaining the events to Kyon.
Other than that, the film really impressed me in that something that is considered as a light-hearted series such as Suzumiya Haruhi could achieve such an effectively muted ambiance, while retaining its engaging storytelling and genuinely interesting characters (i.e Kyon and Yuki) until its credits.

Something I that came back to my mind: If only the two films of Eden of the East was as good as its series prequel... I wish that Production I.G just pretended that the films did not exist and went along with an extra season.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Jack Rav on January 02, 2011, 08:13:32 AM
I only started watching anime from October last year (aside from the obvious DB/DBZ when younger) so I never followed the season's new releases too closely since I was catching up on the stuff that had already been released. Therefore, I can't comment on The Tatami Galaxy, Cross Game, Katanagatari, PSG or Shiki.

I had good hopes for Angel Beats at the beginning, but I thought the ending was poorly executed and rushed...so that put a dampener on the whole series. (I've actually yet to watch the OVA release...I really should.) I found B Gata H Kei really funny when watching that, but Working!! was definitely one of the better anime released this year that I watched...but then this is compared to Oreimo, Kaichou wa Maid-sama and Sora no Woto which I either found distinctly average or dropped entirely.

Having suffered from a marathon of the Endless Eight (Ignorantly, I assumed that the minor differences in the storyline (i.e. when Kyon knows that Haruhi is ringing him up to ask about a bike) would culminate together in the final episode for a solution...it was partly masochism on my part as well, I'm sure.), TDoHS certainly redeemed the franchise in my eyes. As a Yuki fan personally, it was nice to have a storyline which revolved more centrally around her and the 160+ minutes certainly went by quicker than I'd have hoped.

That, technically, would be my top anime of 2010, but I'm going to subvert the list and say that the English-dubbed release of Monster was the best anime released this year that I watched. (It finished airing midway through September this year) It's praises have been sung already on this site and countless others, so I see little point in adding my opinion to that veritable Smorgasbord of positive opinion, but it certainly one of the best anime I  have watched, if not the best, and I can't see that changing for a long time.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: AC on January 02, 2011, 08:22:06 AM
I only started watching anime from October last year (aside from the obvious DB/DBZ when younger) so I never followed the season's new releases too closely since I was catching up on the stuff that had already been released. Therefore, I can't comment on The Tatami Galaxy, Cross Game, Katanagatari, PSG or Shiki.
Dude, you like, missed the bulk of the best shows the year 2010 had to offer. Do yourself a favor by make time to watch them.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Jack Rav on January 02, 2011, 08:47:02 AM
I only started watching anime from October last year (aside from the obvious DB/DBZ when younger) so I never followed the season's new releases too closely since I was catching up on the stuff that had already been released. Therefore, I can't comment on The Tatami Galaxy, Cross Game, Katanagatari, PSG or Shiki.
Dude, you like, missed the bulk of the best shows the year 2010 had to offer. Do yourself a favor by make time to watch them.
I've been stung by cyclical stories before, but The Tatami Galaxy has been well-received from what I've read so I have resolved (before now) to watch it, it's when as opposed to if. Not sure whether marathon-ing it would be wise, though. Having watched it already, would you say it would be 'easy' to watch multiple episodes without becoming frustrated?

I'm not interested in either the Sports or Vampire genres, so I don't see myself watching Cross Game or Shiki anytime in the foreseeable future (Call me narrow-minded that way) and PSG seems like an anime which I wouldn't enjoy watching at all. I hadn't heard of Katanagatari until recently...I'll look into that more.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Fumoffu!! on January 02, 2011, 09:59:56 AM
I'm not interested in either the Sports or Vampire genres, so I don't see myself watching Cross Game or Shiki anytime in the foreseeable future.

I certainly didn't think I'd ever watch and like a sports anime, but I am loving Cross Game (I'm watching it now, as I didn't when it was airing, because I thought I wouldn't like it because it was a sports anime). I'm only a 1/4 of the way in, but if it continues like this I'd say it was one of the best of this year.

The Disappearance Of Haruhi Suzumiya I loved, I was actually a fan of the slow pace, it meant that the significant time needed could be spent on character development. The animation was nothing short of awe inspiring, and it was generally really well done. Best anime movie of the year by miles.

Best comedy is between B Gata H Kei and Working! for me (Kuragehime as a comedy isn't in contention), and I would give it to Working! because I enjoyed it just that bit more, plus I wasn't fond of the last episode of B Gata H Kei as a last episode. PSG I just didn't find funny enough to keep watching, but that's down to personal taste.

Katanagatari I enjoyed, I loved the art and animation, and all the characters were brilliant, even the ones that were intentionally bad (Namely The Maniwa Heads). However I didn't think it was best in the year, but that's probably because I took it too much at face value, despite knowing I shouldn't, for example:
The Maniwa Head Penguin being shot in the head I just couldn't laugh at, I got too attached to his cuteness

I need to watch Shiki and Tatami Galaxy, but I doubt that I'd enjoy them more than The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and Cross Game, so I'll say that Cross Game was my favourite anime series to come out this year (I wouldn't be able to choose the best anime I watched this year, I have watched too many amazing ones), and TDoHS my favourite anime film ever.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: zzeroparticle on January 02, 2011, 01:13:17 PM
A minor quibble with Jack: I'd consider Shiki to be more of a horror show than a vampire one, if only because Twilight has corrupted the essence of what it means to be a vampire show :p

Carry on!
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on January 02, 2011, 02:38:57 PM
Yeah, Jack, though I mention in my review of it that it is a vampire story, it's one done right.  The actual mythos of vampires is irrelevant, really.  Shiki feels more like an old school horror / suspense thriller.  Though eventually you will start to question your ethics on rooting for humanity, and that's what makes it really good.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: AC on January 02, 2011, 06:25:18 PM
I'm not interested in either the Sports or Vampire genres, so I don't see myself watching Cross Game or Shiki anytime in the foreseeable future (Call me narrow-minded that way) and PSG seems like an anime which I wouldn't enjoy watching at all. I hadn't heard of Katanagatari until recently...I'll look into that more.
You don't need to like a particular sport to like a baseball-themed series like Cross Game. I am completely clueless about baseball so I was left in the dark pretty much during the gameplay, but even so, I could appreciate everything around it.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Fumoffu!! on January 03, 2011, 03:44:12 PM
Who is everyone's favourite Character to appear in anime this year? Or, which Anime do you think had the best set of characters overall?

Personally (excluding TMoHS because it was a film) I would say my favourite set of characters were the ones from Working!! because I found all of them to be a likeable bunch each in their own way, with second going to Katangatari. My favourite character to come out of Anime 2010 I can't decide, Yamada from B Gata H Kei was hilarious, Kuroneko from Ore No Imouto was one I really enjoyed, and Moriaki-sensei from Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru was a brilliant creation.

Anyone else got a favourite or favourites from the year?
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: ekka4shiki on January 03, 2011, 08:37:00 PM
yeay , Cross Game ...
Can't agree more ...
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: AC on January 04, 2011, 05:09:49 AM
Who is everyone's favourite Character to appear in anime this year? Or, which Anime do you think had the best set of characters overall?

Personally (excluding TMoHS because it was a film) I would say my favourite set of characters were the ones from Working!! because I found all of them to be a likeable bunch each in their own way, with second going to Katangatari. My favourite character to come out of Anime 2010 I can't decide, Yamada from B Gata H Kei was hilarious, Kuroneko from Ore No Imouto was one I really enjoyed, and Moriaki-sensei from Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru was a brilliant creation.

Anyone else got a favourite or favourites from the year?

If we're gonna do this, I suggest we keep in context of the YIR article. If other shows come into discussion, it will get out of point.

Celty Sturluson from DRRR!! - She's my waif so back off! If it wasn't for the goofy Shinra, I'd grab her. And I find her sexy especially when she's headless. And she's afraid of aliens. How cute <3

Hoshi from Arakawa Under the Bridge - The most likable sore loser ever. And it's just ironic that he's a symbol that represents people's wishes, when he's not getting his own. Poor sap.

Takai Terumasa from Arakawa Under the Bridge - Goofy, flamboyant, gay (whichever way you want to take it) and doting. Yeah, best supporting character with a FABULOUS!! AMV/OP (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t0ETlkMWks4), which I'd vote as Best OP of 2010 if it wasn't for SoreMachi's.

Shimizu Megumi from Shiki - Hottest blood-sucking goth-loli chick yet. Her fashion style is brightens up my day week after week. It's okay Megumi, you can decimate an entire village.

Kanejō Kyōka from B Gata H Kei - Cute when she's all haughty, cuter when she's feeling incestous, cutest when she's watching erotic stuff. This is one princess whom I like.

Hanamori Yoshio from Kuragehime - If I can have Takai as my butler, I'll have Yoshio as my chauffeur. Lovable tr0ll.

Satou Jun from Working!! - He's ma br0. Probably the least eccentric of the bunch, he's even manly enough to turn down the girl he like, even if it means manipulating her density.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Sorrow-kun on January 04, 2011, 10:32:03 PM
Who is everyone's favourite Character to appear in anime this year? Or, which Anime do you think had the best set of characters overall?
Well, favourite character... here's where I put any attempts to hide my fanboyism to one side: Saten Ruiko from Railgun.  It ain't even close.

Favourite cast is a bit harder.  I liked the group dynamic of Soredemo Machi.  Same goes for Working!... it just worked (durr).  Cross Game definitely deserves a mention, as does Shiki, which did an admirable job handling such an enormous cast.  None particularly stands out, so I'm gonna get wimpy and not give a definitive answer.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: ImperialX on January 04, 2011, 10:55:23 PM
Who is everyone's favourite Character to appear in anime this year? Or, which Anime do you think had the best set of characters overall?

Favorite Character: Katsuragi Keima. The anime may be bad, but that doesn't stop him from being awesome.

Favorite Set: Fullmetal Alchemist. Every single character has a good backstory that's throughly explored, and they are all developed in some way. Almost all of them are relatable. Can't ask more than that.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: Flash Sword Irene on January 04, 2011, 11:13:08 PM
The only real snub to me would be Sarai-Ya Goyou although that anime fits the definition of a dark horse moreso then other animes that would previously get this status.  Other then that, everything else seems to be spot on.  Although, this year is a big "what if" due to how a good number of animes had their potential wasted which prevented them from reaching excellence.  It really felt like this year could have been good had (at least) one or two more distinct winners actually fulfilled their top contender status.

If there is a piece of irony for me this year, it would be the fact that the 30th anniversary for the Gundam franchise was highlighted by one of the best series (Unicorn) while being undermined by one of the trashiest movies/entry (00) within the same year.  Still, even then 2010 is the year of the Unicorn for me.

Favorite Anime character(s) of 2010:
Full Frontal (Gundam Unicorn)
Maniwa Houou (Katangatari)
Sakuragi Rokurota (Rainbow)

I probably forgot one or two more characters.  But, these are the ones I can think of from the top of my head.
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: TypicalIdiotFan on January 05, 2011, 12:40:46 AM
None particularly stands out, so I'm gonna get wimpy and not give a definitive answer.

Oh sure!  You can pull this crap but when I do it, I get a buncha attitude.  :P
Title: Re: 2010: A Year in Review
Post by: AuroraFlame on January 05, 2011, 05:21:22 PM
This year was fairly awful for individual characters. Most of the top shows were good either because of their setting or because of their entire cast playing off each other.

Considering the show itself was not so well received, it's hard to shower any particular accolades onto it, but I thought the female lead from Dance in the Vampire Bund was the my favorite individual character. She was multi-faceted, weak at times, powerful at times, is shown with different bits of character development at different stages of her life. Best of all, she manages to desire the male lead without hopelessly depending on him in the anime-style diminutive way. This was particularly fun to watch considering sexuality was such a rich theme in that series, and you can tell that the voice actress very much enjoyed the role. For me, the character turned Dance in the Vampire Bund from a mediocre thriller to one of those movies that ends up at an awards ceremony solely for its lead, absent in every other category of storytelling.

Runner-up would be Yaichi (white hair) from Saraiya Goyou, who is only held up by the fact that he's in an ensemble cast and only gets to truly shine in the last few episodes of the series. Again, we have the chance to see a character throughout their lives and this time, the differences are astonishing. As we learn more about him, Yaichi's character goes through this quiet metamorphosis in our minds, made all the more disturbing by the fact that the character has not actually changed at all -- he is simply revealing what was always there, draping the backgrounds of every scene. The character cements why Saraiya Goyou is an example of sublime characterization in a more mature drama; there are no wasted moments and the mood is subtle, but with dialogue pointed and subtextual enough to develop the characters without ever resorting to melodrama.

As for overall cast, it would be Durarara!! for me. The characters were quirky without being one-note or obnoxious. Most importantly, by the end of the 24 episodes, we see that many of these humourous moments are just facades. But nobody ever calls this out, either because they are ignorant, or because they wish to keep up their own facade to maintain a panorama of normality. The general consensus is that the second half of Durarara!! failed to live up to the build up of the first. I see that as proof of the cast's quality and the strength of character interaction in this series, as it was only when the characters decided to hole up in isolation, becoming their own leads in what's supposed to be a gallery of supporting roles, that the show fell apart.