Yerocha’s 2012 Anime Awards – Part 1

Well, it’s that time of year again. The time where I finally sit down and get to discuss all the different anime that came out this year. Strange as it sounds coming from an aniblogger, I don’t get to talk about anime as much as I would like to. I’ve found that you don’t really know how strong your opinions are until you try to get them in writing and see what comes out.

This will go similarly to the awards I gave out last year, except I decided to divide this into three posts instead of two. The awards themselves are mostly for fun, but I also go over what I thought about the series as a whole. Like last year, these were a few shows that slipped under the radar and thus aren’t included. The main ones I missed out on being Hyouka, which I never started for stupid reasons I’ve genuinely forgotten (I’ll watch it one of these days) and Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita and PSYCHO-PASS, which didn’t look like my thing. I’m not far enough into Magi or Shinsekai Yori to really discuss them, either. Also these awards are for shows that started in 2012 rather than ended, so Chihayafuru, Persona 4, Shana Final and Guilty Crown were covered in my previous awards. So with that awkward introduction out of the way, here are my awards for anime in 2012.

Most Gratuitous Use of Imouto

Zetsuen no Tempest

ZetsuenNoTempest

SAO may have had one as a major character, but the fate of the world never revolved around sibling love in that show.

It took a little while for me to fully understand what the themes of this show are supposed to be. The Shakespearian quotes and everything like that I could get, but it was difficult to grasp how to feel regarding the story. Then a few episodes ago, it occurred to me that this series shares a good deal of similarities with the Shin Megami Tensei franchise. The world is rapidly going to hell and various groups are working towards remaking everything based on their own ideals. There may not be the hordes of demons to team up with, but it’s still a familiar feeling that I get. There’s even a major focus on the nature of order in the world, which goes nicely with the Law vs Chaos theme a lot of the SMT games revolve around. It all makes for an interesting series to watch each week, and it might also help lay the groundwork for Devil Survivor 2 come April.

Least Perfected Show

Medaka Box

MedakaBox

I’m not sure why I even bothered finishing this series. There’s a strange kind of phenomenon I’ve seen with shows like this where they are much more interesting to read about on TvTropes than they actually are to watch. There are a lot of interesting ideas thrown in, but they aren’t strung together well enough to make for an interesting narrative. This first season didn’t even have the benefit of those good ideas, being based mostly on the generic parts of the manga that nearly got it canceled. It took so much effort just to finish this first season that it will be a long time before I go on to the second, assuming I ever do.

Worst Abuse of the Search Bar

K

KAnime

Okay, now we have shows named C and K. Once we convince Japan to make U and F, we’ll be able to amuse small children forever.

K is that special kind of series that starts off awkwardly, but gets a lot better over time. I didn’t think it would, because that first episode threw the audience right into the action and made almost no sense. I still don’t think I remember why these two gangs were fighting, unless the explanation was “They’re gangs, it’s what they do.” It was as I started to piece the plot together that things made a strange kind of sense and I could appreciate the story much more. I don’t even think the show was supposed to make much sense, being designs with the animation in mind, but I understood it well enough. I will say that anyone who is curious about K should start it soon, as I’m positive it will look dated in a few years. Newer styles tend to be like that.

Biggest Abuse of Semantics

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun

TonariNoKaibutsu

“I like you, but at the same time I don’t. But at some indeterminate time in the past or future, my feelings might change into something greater. Or worse. Or maybe they’re doing that as we speak. Maybe I’ll love you once I walk away, and fall out of love when I come back. What’s truly important is that right now I don’t LIKE you like you. Like you like me. You see?”

“Okay, are we having sex or not?”

Thirteen episodes later, that’s about all I really remember from this show. There were other characters and plotlines too, but at the end the primary thing I remember was wondering if the main characters were dating yet. Kokoro Connect did the same thing, but I can remember lots of other stuff from that show. Even the rape controversy didn’t seem like that big a deal, because I watched the Haganai OVA a week before and it was much worse. Maybe in a few seasons there will be a second season that clears things up, and maybe by then the anime staff will have looked up words that properly describe how these characters feel.

Best Use of Light In An Anime

Binbougami ga!

Bimbogami

Now here’s a show I really should have started sooner. Normally I don’t watch this kind of reference heavy comedy unless I’m in the middle of exams and want to relax with a show that requires zero thought. There were two main reasons Bimbogami (as I choose to call it) stood above those other shows. First is that it gave a cast of characters who were genuinely interesting and had enough personality to make them memorable. I would rather not know anyone in real life like Ichiko, but I still love watching her antics. The second reason is that a great deal of effort was put into the jokes and parodies, so you’re too busy laughing to bother questioning them. Another show might settle for just quoting Death Note, but Bimbogami goes the extra mile whenever it can. It shows how good silly anime can be if they really try.

On the other hand…

Best Use of Nagi Sanzen’in In An Anime

Sonya, Kill Me Baby

KillMeBaby

I said I would give the show this award back in February. The existence of the Hayate anime only makes it better.

The single greatest failing of Kill Me Baby was the amount of wasted potential. The show was supposed to be about child assassins getting into funny situations, but they never really used that as much as they could have. There were entire episodes you could show to people without them realizing what it was supposed to be about. Without that premise, there was never anything to support the show, with the animation and most of the jokes falling flat. I was one of those people who mainly kept watching to hear Agiri talk, and they didn’t even use that as often as I would have liked. It’s sad to think that I may never get to see that series about a Classroom full of Assassination that I wanted, but I guess that’s how it goes sometimes.

Least Likely Replacement for Squid Girl

Spider Girl, Wasurenagumo

Wasurenagumo

After seeing this without being told the name, it took me 10 minutes to find it on MAL. I finally found it just by typing “Spider Girl” into the character search as a joke.

A little word of advice for anyone showing this to their friends: do not tell them it is a Japanese Horror series beforehand. Not only does that give away a lot, it makes a large chunk of the OVA come across as kind of dull. Perhaps I’m just not the right audience for this kind of show, since roughly half of the show was of the small-half-animal-girl-does-something-cute genre. Looking at Wasurenagumo as a whole, it was clear that I was supposed to be interested in all of that to set up for the second half. I tell you, if the girl isn’t arguing with others about world domination, it’s not worth it. I can tell there are people who would be more into this type of show, but it’s difficult to say exactly who. If the above picture, combined with the knowledge that you shouldn’t watch this in the dark, makes you curious, then I think it’s worth a quick look. Even if she doesn’t have a very good way of speaking, de geso.

Most Well-Read Series

Nisemonogatari

Nisemonogatari

As you can plainly see, the purpose of this scene is to show how book-smart Suruga is. Just take a look at all those books behind her and tell me she doesn’t have a fine brain on her.

I remember absolutely falling in love with the original Bakemonogatari back when it first came out. It was stylish, fun, and at the time it looked like nothing I’d ever seen before. Over time that love has faded a bit, mainly because it stopped being the trippy anime and just became a trippy anime, but I’ll always remember it fondly. Nisemonogatari came out two years later, and I was a little saddened to see that it no longer contained all the magic it once had.

The characters feel underutilized, the story takes too long to get going and there’s an annoying tendency to spend large amounts of time on scenes that don’t go anywhere. These issues were all present in the original, but Bake- knew how to manage them and make them work, while Nise- lost that ability and struggles for it. It was bad enough when it took seven episodes for a plot that could have been done in two or three, but then the eventual resolution made everything feel like a waste of time and left me wishing things were like they used to be. It was still an interesting season to watch, but I’m gonna be checking out Nekomonogatari Black soon and praying Shaft figured out how to patch up their issues.

Biggest Reason To Start Cross Game

Little Busters

LittleBusters

To see how a drama about kids playing baseball should be done.

I’m no stranger to Key shows, having watched both Kanon ’06 and Angel Beats, but it’s been a little while since then and I don’t think I was prepared for this show going into it. Someone here will have to refresh my memory, but were other Key shows this slow? We’re halfway through and we’ve only had one character arc and no baseball. I read somewhere that at the current pace of the anime, it would take around 200 episodes to properly convey everything from the game. Where I come from, we call that bad pacing. It’s only made worse by how forgettable most 0f the characters are. People called the cast of Angel Beats generic, so I shutter to think what they would think watching this show. I’ve mainly grown attached to Kurugaya because I feel I have to latch onto something.

Yet somehow, my issues were never enough to make me stop watching. I’m not sure why that is, but I suppose it’s similar to the kind of show I mentioned under Bimbogami, where you can watch a lot without thinking too much. It’s been fairly harmless so far, so unless something big happens to change my mind, I’ll probably be sticking with this one till the end.

Best Trailer

The World God Only Knows Tenri-hen

TenriHen

The thing about the Tenri arc is that everything in it is essentially buildup for things to come. The backstory, the introduction to Tenri and Diana, and the existence of Goddesses are all things that started here and would become important much later. So this OVA doubled as being both a Read The Manga ending for the first two seasons and a quick preview of the upcoming season of the anime. Still surprised and ecstatic they’re actually making that, by the way. Not that the new season can cover much of the Goddess Arc, since they need at least three other capture targets before they can show that, but it does show how different the new arcs can get from the original formula. Plus this OVA let us see animated Tenri, who I know some people are crazy for.

Best Laugh

Remon, Ano Natsu de Matteru

AnoNatsuDeMatteru

Hu hu hu. Just barely more addicting than last year’s HAU HAUHAUHAU.

I found myself strangely attached to Ano Natsu. I can’t fully explain why, since I never saw the original Onegai Teacher and didn’t ever think I would like it. I think the best comparison I could make to a show I’ve seen is to AnoHana. There’s a confusing mix of relationships between these characters who don’t know how to sort their feelings, and it takes some interaction with the supernatural in order to get everyone fired up enough to try and move their lives ahead once again. The main difference is a significant decrease in the overall levels of melodrama. And instead of a ghost girl, we get an alien girl and her little pink sidekick. And instead of a crossdresser, we get a closet nudist and scheming alien enthusiast. And instead of the climax being a tearful meeting in an old clubroom, it was an epic chase scene with alien ships and men in black suits summoned by-

Okay, I take it back. I can totally understand why I loved this show now.

[To be continued in Part 2…]

Posted on January 3, 2013, in The World God Only Knows, Top Lists and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. In which I feel the urge to tackle Cross Game.
    Have you seen Touch and Orange Road?

    • Not yet. I’m still currently in the middle of Cross Game, but from the way it’s turning out, I’ll be hunting down Mitsuru Adachi’s other stuff as soon as I can.

  2. Ahahah, I almost forgot of that scene in Binbougami ga. That anime series is golden, I suggest you start reading the manga as well.
    I’ve read all volumes released up to now and it’s funny at the same level…:D

    For the rest…*nods*. Especially when it comes to Remon’s laugh!

    • I heard about the manga, and I’ve heard both that it gets darker and that it doesn’t. I’m not sure what to believe anymore, so maybe I’ll just have to find out the truth for myself pretty soon.

  3. Now that when you mention it, Little Buster haven’t had any major character arcs aside from Komari’s. Indeed, at this rate, it is kinda worrying, especially at the end when there’s some major plot twists to reveal, I fear for rushed execution, lol.

    • They have gotten to the story of one of the girls, but right now I don’t see how they could accomplish everything they need to in the time they have. Maybe they are holding out for another season.

  1. Pingback: Yerocha’s 2012 Anime Awards – Part 2 « Shades of Grey

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