Thursday, December 30, 2010

Vanyalic Best: Top Ten Anime (Finished Airing) in 2010

As the title suggests, my top ten list includes all anime that finished airing in 2010 and it means that I included the ones that started in 2009 but didn't finish by then. It makes sense to me that way since it is obviously unfair for the longer shows that end in later years otherwise. So without further ado, Happy New Year and enjoy! =D

10 - Durarara!!

I had to struggle to add Durarara!! in my top ten. The quality of "Durarara!!" was inconsistent unlike the awesome "Baccano!" before it. The 24 episode run is divided into 3 arcs and that's where this problem came from. The first arc was good, the second one was excellent, and the third was boring. Basically it's an awesome anime with a disappointing ending, but my love for the amazing middle part forced me to mention it here. The "bad ending" is not a real ending because the anime is based on an ongoing light novel (9 volumes til now) covering the 3 first volumes only, so that made me forgive the producers a little. Still, I admit that I shouldn't do so! "Baccano!" also didn't cover the whole light novel and the story of the anime was wrapped up in the best possible way so you end up satisfied with a complete experience watching it. I'm clearly biased here, but I heard there's gonna be some OVA to finish things in a better way so I'm giving it a chance to correct its mistakes. The news regarding the OVA itself was bad news to me, I wanted a whole new second season instead as there is no way OVA is gonna do the story its justice.. Oh that ended up being an expression of my frustration toward Durarara!! instead of a light review! Forgive me, I hope you got my point reading that =S

9 - Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Think insane anime/cartoon hybrid with overdose of steroids, yet Panty & Stocking will still constantly shock you on how far they're willing to delve into shamelessly mocking every bit of dirty desire you might have. There are really no rules for this show, and that makes it even harder for you to expect where the next blow is gonna come from haha! The main cast are few, but they're all likable despite any kind of disgusting sickness they might have. Actually, their hopeless conditions are the secret of why they're so lovable in first place, they kinda make you awkwardly sympathize with them haha.. Oh and the soundtrack, I love the soundtrack. I dance to the soundtrack! It's so great and versatile that you might end up running an episode for the sole purpose of enjoying the funky electronic pieces it has. If you ask me why do I love the show and why is it in this list, I can't give you a proper answer for that. Panty & Stocking is surely random, stupid, and crazy, but it still delivers the message in the end. Oh no, scratch what I just said. It's smart but only acts stupid, that's one reason behind the "fucking!" charm that it has XP

8 - K-ON!!

Who reads an anime blogs without knowing what "K-ON!" is?! That doesn't mean you necessarily like it. K-ON!! might be the most popular moe show of 2010, making me guess that you are either a lover or a hater for this show. Lovers should understand why they love it, but I want haters to give it a chance too. Grouping K-ON!! with moe shows doesn't mean only an Otaku will enjoy it, It's also a family show that anyone can enjoy. Why? Because there is more to K-ON! than music and moe. The most attracting aspect about K-ON!! for me is actually more universal than what its themes suggest (rock music & moe), that aspect is the warm real friendship those girls have. Sure, the silly way they mess around aimlessly most of the time keeps me laughing nonstop. But the situations they face is not all sweet'n'sweet dreams, and some reality check moments they got caught me off-guard! That alone made it special for me.. I don't want to spoil anything unnecessarily here, but I want to emphasize how you may love K-ON!! no matter who you are. Simply because of the way it manifests pure friendship in those girls, friendship that we all wish we have ='(

7 - Kuragehime

Kurara~! What an adorable little jellyfish that is. Kuragehime is a show that doesn't try hard to impress you but still does disregarding that. It is based on a relatively new Josei manga so I was having doubts if it could build up a decent story with the little material in hand, especially with the other problem of low episode count (only 11 episodes T_T) that it has. Despite this, I was excited for it the most before the Fall season. It had the most interesting plot and it was the noitaminA slot after all. I can say with confidence that I was wrong in my worries about the story as everything was built up solidly through the whole run. I enjoyed every single episode on its own and couldn't wait for what happens next! I can see the talent the mangaka has just watching how events (and serious comedy XD) develop. There is also a decent character cast, and every character is interesting yet silly on its own way. They all are involved in the plot making all their acts (even if stupid) purposeful, and their screen-time in the limited time meaningful. Even if the ending turns out only OK tonight, I wouldn't mind it since the manga is still going and will be for quite some time. Yet, I'm crossing my fingers it ends up a cliffhanger tease and not messed up original ending after all the built up climax by this point m(._.)m

6 - Angel Beats!

I didn't expect anything from Angel Beats! at first. There was a black spot in history between me and orginal creators of the novel that prevented me from caring about it. I still gave it a chance yet it didn't impress at first, so I was this close from dropping Angel Beats! halfway. I'm honestly glad that I didn't! Too much introduction was given in the beginning but things completely changed by episode 5 when the story started to move on. My insides started to shake up more and more as I began to realize what was going on and what happened before the formation of "SSS". Twists after twists they had started to crumble my emotional walls mercilessly until I couldn't take it in the end. The finale of Angel Beats! was the most tear-jerking experience in the year, it almost had me suffocate in my own tears.. "Bravo!" to Otonashi for everything, I mean what I say with all my heart into it ='(

5 - Shiki

Shiki might be the creepiest anime I've seen in a long time, or probably creepiest anime ever! What's so special about Shiki making it feels different than the other many vampire shows is that it tries to play with your psychological state rather than directly scaring you off. It takes it slow at the first half of the anime to let you bond with all the cast whether they're the good group or the bad group, then force their mental states and fears on you. You end up sympathizing with (almost) anyone by the end and start questioning your previous judgments about the characters whether you considered them good or evil at the start. That's the most interesting part about Shiki, you can and will pick up a side then you'll see yourself shifting sides without realizing it haha. It got disturbing at the very last episodes of Shiki, and it seems that was the ultimate vicious goal from the start ">_<

4 - RAINBOW: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin

I talked about RAINBOW in one of my older posts before it finished, and it only kept getting better from that point on! I said not to get fooled by the RAINBOW part, but looking more closely now, RAINBOW is more about reaching the dream rather than dreaming itself. One thing I want to note now is how realistically the strong bond between these kids formed then how naturally the role of each one of them developed to became a distinct vital key in their friendship. Gosh I remember the emotional moments and have this bittersweet feeling instantly. If RAINBOW doesn't move and teach you a lesson or more in life, I seriously don't know what will do..

3 - Cross Game

Part of me wanted to have Cross Game as the top anime I watched this year, that is how excellent this show was! It's the only sport anime in here, and the sport part isn't really the thing that made it unforgettable to me. The perfect and genius storytelling is the magic here. I can argue that Cross Game might be the best Slice of Life anime I've seen. Many are slow and melancholic, but Cross Game was exciting and bittersweet to no end! No show kept me crying the whole run over an event that happened in episode 1 other than Cross Game. Tragic.. I'll have to spoil if I disclosed my feelings any more than this, I feel you all Tsukishima family T_T

2 - Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

I would be a criminal if FMA didn't take this place! One of the better anime adaptations to one of the best manga I ever read. There are some reasons that didn't make me go all crazy about it though, one is that I always thought manga was the better media for you to really grasp the meanings behind all the deep story FMA has. The soundtrack also had some serious issues at important moments which ruined them for me, but I admit that there are nice pieces available there. The art-style was identical to the manga and the animation was awesome though! And like magic, almost every issue the anime had in the 1st half of it was fixed later on. That gave us the best ending we could ask for! FMA is the longest anime in this list with 64 episode run, but it certainly deserves the time you're gonna spend on it whether you read the manga or didn't before (I still recommend reading it first though!)

1 - Katanagatari

My admiration for the novel writer NisiOisin began last year when I first watched the 1st anime adaptation of his works, Bakemonogatari. I loved that show despite the poor anime work it had, because the NisiOisin essence was completely preserved and that's what mattered most at the end. Now Katanagatari didn't suffer from poor quality, it was quite the opposite actually! Every scene was detailed, every animation was carefully drawn, and even during conversations it had amazing peculiar angles similar to those Bakemonogatari is full of. Despite being new, studio White Fox gave it all trying to deliver quality and they didn't stop there. They took their freedom with directing in each of the 12 episodes to fascinating extents, one that I cannot forget is when they directed the whole episode to show how "Katanagatari" would look like in any gaming genre it would be adapted to! Another extra thing I loved is how White Fox took the courage to set Katanagatari as their only slot for the whole year with monthly airing of 40-minute-episode instead of the common case in all other shows. By doing that, they fitted the 12 volumes of Katanagatari into 12 episodes corresponding to them. Without a doubt, no more faithful anime adaptation could be achieved better than that (you should get the reason behind my gaga for Steins;Gate a little by now XP). Wait! Why didn't I discuss the quality of the show itself? Answer is NisiOisin, meaning no need to expect anything other than unique characters, amazing story, and smart twists in every bit Katanagatari has ;3

~Honorable Vanya Mentions~

Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai

Otaku girls of the vanyear.

Spice and Wolf II

Romance in denial of the vanyear.

Kimi Ni Todoke

Giant fat tease of the vanyear.

Tatakau Shisho

Fantasy world of the vanyear.

Iron Man

Foreign hero of the vanyear.


Canniest dialogue of the vanyear.

B Gata H Kei

Silliest laugh of the vanyear.

Heartcatch Precure

Internal conflicts of the vanyear.

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