Year Review 2009, part 2

Favourite Character

Takizawa Akira. I was actually going to choose Hitagi (who’s apparently more popular with women than with men…at least according to the seiyuu…), but the romantic in me won out. Tak-kun may be unpredictable and hard to grasp, but if I ever found a guy like him, I’d probably take Saki’s lead and never let go of him. Last minute change (sorry, Tak-kun! Eden not ending on time really isn’t doing it for me!). Can’t help it, I find Leopard absolutely hilarious!

Best Dialogue

Call this category and the next my stupid reaction to being trolled by not one but two animation studios. Nishio Ishin gets this for Bakemonogatari, of course.

Best Concept

If I labeled this “Best Plot”, whatever happens in the second movie could seriously upset me. However, if you suspend disbelief enough to accept that Juiz really can make anything happen for the appropriate price, then the producers of Higashi no Eden have served up an interesting take on the question: “what would you do with a billion dollars?” (It’s actually 100 million, but you get the picture.) I also like the fact that they’re exploring various facets of the disconnection between Japanese youth and the hierarchy that dominates Japanese society…but that’s something that needs more reading than I have time for now…

Ok, and on to the business end.

Biggest Disappointment

Suzumiya Haruhi 2009. Endless Eight was really too much for even an exemplary Sighs arc to overcome. Whilst it did make a point, three episodes, or at most four, would definitely have been enough.

Most unusual

Kuuchuu Buranko (Trapeze) needs a mention. It was wacky and fun, but some of the patients were pretty boring – I’m glad I wastched it weekly, as I might never have gotten through it otherwise. The best thing about it was actually the opening and ending songs, which both fit the series PERFECTLY. That said, Irabu-sensei is quite entertaining, and I’m willing to read the books for more of him.

Exceeds Expectations

(Don’t think “Hidden Gem” quite fits this year…)

Adapting Genji Monogatari Sennenki into an 11 episode series was an impossible quest, but the visuals, the seiyuu and most of the music make it a worthwhile watch anyway.

Anime of the Year

(“Favourite Series” just doesn’t sound quite as good)

None. Despite all my maneuvering, the delays caused by two series that, in ordinary years, would definitely have ended by last December, completely screwed me over in this category. Bakemonogatari does not have the story of Higashi no Eden, and was lambasted for many unfinished episodes on top of the strange stylistic notions of Shinbou Akiyuki that result in some very uneven animation (it works well in something like Zetsubou Sensei, but not so well here), not to mention some rather questionable behaviour from its main character. However, the unbelievably amusing (if at times unrealistic) dialogue, somehow combined with the rather unorthodox romance to make me overlook all of those problems. This is the first series I’ve ever pre-ordered before it was even finished – after episode 12, Nishio Ishin and SHAFT had me hook, line and sinker. But on the other hand, I was completely hooked onto Higashi no Eden too and would have liked to give it a chance to compete. Admittedly, it’s actually finished…but I’m not going to be able to see it until the DVD comes out! and I’m not willing to judge until I’ve actually seen it.

OVA/Movie of the Year

Eve no Jikan was the best of the four I watched.

Watchlist 2009

TV series (including two old series):

  • Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG (2004)
  • Nodame Cantabile Paris Chapter part 1 (Autumn 2008)
  • Gundam 00 season 2 (Autumn 2008)
  • Kuroshitsuji (Autumn 2008)
  • Jigoku Shoujo Mitsugamae (Autumn 2008)
  • The Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk (Winter 2008-9)
  • Genji Monogatari Sennenki (Winter 2008-9)
  • Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou (Winter 2008-9)
  • Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo (Winter 2008-9)
  • Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ (Spring 2009)
  • Suzumiya Haruhi 2009 (Spring 2009)
  • Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) TBC
  • Higashi no Eden (Summer 2009) TBC
  • Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. (Summer 2009)
  • Trapeze (Autumn 2009)
  • Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini (Autumn 2009)

OVAs & Movies:

  • Cencoroll
  • Dogs: Bullets & Carnage
  • Eve no Jikan
  • Switch

Dramas:

  • Atashinchi no Danshi
  • Coffee Prince
  • Ketsuekigata betsu onna ga kekkon suru koto

Continuing:

  • Cross Game
  • Fullmetal Alchemist
  • Kimi ni Todoke
  • Durarara!!

Dropped:

  • Kobato

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

One Response to Year Review 2009, part 2

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

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