Year Review 2009, part 1

i.e. the stuff I can decide without seeing the ending to my two favourites from yesteryear.

As with every such list ever made, these are just personal opinions of this paticular blogger. I don’t expect anyone to have the same tastes as me, much less to have watched the same range of series. But one thing that is different from a number of other lists is that I’m including Bakemonogatari and Higashi no Eden here as complete stories (i.e. webcast episodes and movies included). Which is why this list is so late – they’d both been scheduled to end by January when I first decided how I would deal with them. It possibly wasn’t such a bad idea, as it gave me a lot of time to wrap up my thoughts on everything I watched, and even get a few more series in *coughSoraKakecough*

Anyways, I’ve never been good at watching stuff for production categories like animation or editing, so I’ll just go with what I want to talk about.

Favourite Opening Sequence

     

This was decided one year ago, if only because the opening omake to The Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk was even better than the one for its predecessor.

     

Credit placement was as innovative as ever, but it was how they dropped the names of the seiyuu right into the omake, courtesy of baseball jumpers, that had me grinning from ear to ear.

Favourite Ending Sequence

     

Higashi no Eden. Again a no contest, because there’s something just magical about watching paper cutouts telling the story of a normal girl’s chance encounter with an otherwise ordinary guy who was given the power to do extraordinary things.

Memorable Music

I’m not good at paying attention to BGM, so I’ll just say that I really enjoyed the music of Genji Monogatari Sennenki when I was watching it. Lady Fujitsubo’s Koto theme was especially memorable…but unfortunately, it also had the…

Worst Opening Song

If I had to pick one that I liked, it’d be Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini‘s opening (I bought it, after all)…but whilst I love the lyrics, it doesn’t compare to stuff like Diamond Crevasse and Uragiri no Yuuyake, which are now my standards for theme songs. Unfortunately, one opening stood out for me for all the wrong reasons… The frantic pop-rock of Puffy AmiYumi’s Hiyori Hime really doesn’t suit something like Genji.

Favourite Ending Song

No contest. Perhaps unfortunately, Itou Yuna’s Trust You from Gundam 00 came a bit too early in the year. supercell’s Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari (Bakemonogatari) stuck with me for the second half of the year. It fit with Senjogahara’s story anyway, but the fact that it comes from her dialogue in the novel overcomes any niggles I have with just how poppy it is, and despite it being a reminder of one of my major regrets.

Favourite Seiyuu Performance(s)

I’ve been incredibly impressed with what I’ve heard this year. There isn’t just one stand-out performance from one seiyuu, but several from a number of them.

Let’s start with the men. To be honest, if I’d decided to include the 2009/10 Winter season, I’d be in a lot of trouble…but I really can’t pick a standout male seiyuu performance from 2009 alone. Whilst I did watch Kuroshitsuji just for Ono Daisuke‘s Sebastian – some people expect him to win at the 4th Annual Seiyuu Awards for that role, amongst others – I can’t say that it would have grabbed my attention if I hadn’t already wanted to swoon over him. (On the other hand, I really can’t believe he’s Mr. Black Belt (ミスタークロオビ aka ごっちゃん??) in SoraKake! Did he do that straight? I want to see him do this live!!!) Kamiya Hiroshi was great in Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou and Bakemonogatari, but those two roles weren’t particularly groundbreaking for him. Speaking of the latter series, Sakurai Takahiro‘s Oshino Meme has grown on me A LOT, but they were both overshadowed by a certain other performance there. The last performance worthy of mention is pretty much just a send-up of another character that seiyuu has done, but seriously, Fukuyama Jun‘s Leopard (Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo) is a riot, not to mention the double duty he pulled off in this series. (^_^;)

On the other hand, the most surprising thing for me was how much I enjoyed what female seiyuus accomplished this year, especially outside those I usually pay attention to, like Hisakawa Aya and Paku Romi (who is fantastic as Ed). Watching Genji Monogatari Sennenki again recently, I was very impressed by most of the cast. Koshimizu Ami in particular, gained a lot of praise for being virtually unrecognisable as Yuugao (ep 3), but it was Hirata Eriko‘s tirade as Aoi in the same episode that blew me away. Genji gets a mini award from me: Best Ensemble Cast.

     

Nevertheless, I have just one place for favourite seiyuu performance for the year, and that can only go to Saitou Chiwa for Senjougahara Hitagi. It was her caustic bullying of Araragi-kun in Mayoi Snail that convinced me that Bakemonogatari would be interesting to watch, but it was in the best episode of the year that Chiwa-Chiwa completely won me over, when she brought the softer, more uncertain Hitagi to the fore.

Expect the 2nd half sometime in May or later, when I’ve actually had a chance to see Paradise Lost

About karice
MAG fan, amateur translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

2 Responses to Year Review 2009, part 1

  1. Pingback: In memory of 2010 part 8: so I have a Voice Fetish… « HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

  2. Pingback: Monogatari Series: Kamimashita! | HOT CHOCOLATE IN A BOWL

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