2010 was the year that I started to watch anime with more passion than usual, although not necessarily anime from this year. It was also the year I started reading anime blogs like mad, particularly since all of them were excited for Durarara!! and the various reactions to that show were amusing. Of course, it was also the year that I watched Hell Girl, which put me off of checking out much of 2011’s output (Although as mentioned above, I didn’t see much anime whilst airing this year either. Only new things I remember seeing in 2010 was Durarara, Darker than Black OVA, Angel Beats, and a few episodes of Occult Academy), so…yeah a mixed year.
Standard anime comedy about a squid girl trying, and failing, to conquer the world because she’s incompetent in every way. It’s cute, harmless, fluff with pretty good comedic timing, a decent great-to-crap ratio, and a bad ending that tried to be serious and pull a punchline that absolutely failed. Nothing much to say other than that.
When it comes to atmosphere, few Ghibli films (or anime for that matter) capture it as well as Arrietty does. I just love every detail put into the movement of the characters and their quest for survival in a world of giants. I love the issues these characters have and how it’s alluded to at just the right amount so that it doesn’t get in the way of the fun. The actual plot is kind of standard, but that ending was damn brilliant. It’s probably one of the most mature endings to an anime I’ve seen in a while and gives me hope that Ghibli will still survive after Miyazaki’s retirement.
Political leaders solve world problems through mahjong. If you’re not closing this post to watch Koizumi right now after reading that description, there’s something wrong with you on a fundamental level.
Trigun in glorious current-day Madhouse animation rather than the awful cheap look of the original series makes me cry. Other than that though, it’s just a classic Trigun story with all your old favorites returning for a fun time. Nothing much to say other than that.
I refused to watch Roberta’s Trail when it originally came out. If I was going to watch Black Lagoon, it’s going to be with the glorious English dub that it deserved and got. Thus, I waited three agonizing years for the thing to come out and when it finally did, I was able to enjoy this story in glorious animated form. It’s definitely the weakest of the Black Lagoon stories since too much time is spent on nonsensical talking and the main crew doesn’t really get too much to do. But everything else regarding Roberta’s story is so damn good that it more than easily makes up for that.
Cartoon Network shows meets Imaishi’s absurd dirty mind and hyper-kinetic style. This is pretty much a show that gets better the more I think about it. Honestly, I love what this show represents more than what it actually is considering that whilst it was always creative, some of the skits were more awkward than funny. But when its gags worked, it was some of the funniest shit I ever saw. I especially love the English dub and how it tries to cram in so many f-bombs into the thing. And that striptease scene never fails to…uh I’m not going to finish this sentence. Repent motherfucker!
Release schedule aside, these OVAs do a great job of explaining some of the shit that went down in the second season. Plus it’s Hei being badass without Suou dragging him down, and that’s always a plus. But when it comes down to it, it’s just more Darker than Black at the end of the day. And considering that Darker than Black is the best Bones show ever according to me, how could it not rank on here?
Pretty much Panty and Stocking if the gags worked more. Milky Holmes is basically the creation of some guy who got fed up with the moe trend and released his anger on a crappy video game that ended up succeeding way more than it should have. It’s even more absurd and structured than P&S, if you can believe that, with a crazy world that works as an awesome tribute to the detective genre. Plus, having the main character be the villain (you may think it’s the Milkies, but this is really Arsene’s story) is something I’ll always support. Pity that the game developers gained more control over time and made JC Staff release those awful alternative stuff. But we still have the first season as well as the still funny but not as awesome second season.
I hated this series when I first saw it. Blame a crappy stream, some obnoxious fans, and the speed-narration throwing me off for that. After a few months, I thought to myself “eh, I’ll give it another try”. And the show was actually pretty awesome. A little too repetitive for my liking at times (you really could have told this story in six or so episodes) but as a guy who loves messages regarding how “you need to love your own life in order to grow up”, this was just sublime. It doesn’t tell that moral quite as brilliantly as Revolutionary Girl Utena or anything, but it’s still pretty damn fantastic.
When it comes to slice of life comedies, Soremachi stands as one of the crazier examples of the genre. To this day, I’m still waiting for Shaft to make a sequel to this. It had awesome comedic timing, hilarious characters, and one of my favorite anime finales of all time. Plus, the opening and ending songs are masterpiece level. I could really use Shaft’s improved animation quality on this thing. Pity they’re too busy making trash that sells to pay much attention to this.
What the crap was so bad about this series to the point that people hated it? Because it put off the plot for so long? Why is that a problem when the episodic stories were as brilliant as they were? Because the twists made no sense? I saw no plot twist that didn’t fit in with the absurd nature of the world. At least with Bund, I get that people don’t like trashy stuff. But Occult Academy runs on a more acceptable level of humorous camp and is all the better for it since it allows it to get away with some really anticlimactic stuff whilst building up to an epic finale like no other. And upon a rewatch of this show, I realized that those “filler” that people complained about so much were actually a clever way to build upon the setting whilst hinting at what’s to come, similar to Bebop. It’s a great show that far surpasses Shiki, which came out the same season, in terms of supernatural premises and I am proud to give it the respect it so rightfully deserves.
Jet piranhas. Yeah.