Yerocha’s 2012 Anime Awards – Part 2
Most Under The Radar
Kuroko no Basket
A while back, I started the manga version of Kuroko no Basket and attempted to catch up on the series before the anime came out. At only 30 or so chapters, I failed hideously. I honestly didn’t think the series was that great in the beginning, since it had a rough time capturing the team aspect of basketball properly. Hell, I still have trouble telling some of the other Seirin players apart. When I later switched over to the anime, I was surprised with how everything managed to be so much more exciting. I would say this is just due to Production I.G. knowing how to direct a sports series, but I can’t because those were the people who made the Prince of Tennis anime. I think what made it better is that the source material is very action intensive, and those types of series can work much better when we get to see the characters move. Plus I felt the characters were all acted well, so each of them became a lot more interesting. For all of that, I feel I should thank the anime for rejuvenating my interest in a series I might have dropped a while back.
Persona 4 The Animation: No One Is Alone
You never know quite what to expect when going into an episode of Persona 4, and this extra episode is a shining example of that. I want to say it was for the better, like most of the comedic episodes from the main show, but this episode just came across as confusing to me. Perhaps this is what some of the episodes were like for people who never played the game. The timeline jumped around too much, with the strange repeating scene in Yu’s house being the main offender because I’m still not sure what the hell that was. A lot was added into the story without any real explanation for how it was meant to fit together. I did like how they could fit the fight with Margaret into the story, but in terms of actual story logic I assume we’re just supposed to shrug and accept most of it. There probably was no satisfying way to wrap up the entire story in one episode, but I would have liked it if they focused a little more on making everything coherent.
Kimi to Boku 2
Kimi to Boku. That was certainly a thing that I saw, wasn’t it? I don’t think there’s a single other show from this year that I have so much trouble remembering details about. I remember about three different confessions, I remember one of the twins getting a job of some sort, and I’m pretty sure there were cats in there somewhere. Other than that, this was one of the most forgettable shows I saw this year, which says a lot when the main competition was the Kimi no Iru Machi OVA. I can’t even remember why I continued on from the first season, though I suppose the character introductions made that one more interesting. If only slightly.
Biggest Unexplained Phenomenon
Chihiro’s hair, Sankarea
Really? Nobody notices that the main character is a cat person of some kind?
My understanding is that Sankarea was adapted from a manga that most people didn’t like very well. I haven’t read it myself, so I can’t verify those rumours, but from what I saw in this show I could believe it. There’s definitely a premise here that could be done rather poorly, what with the teenage boy with his zombie fetish and everything. If that is the case, I think we can thank the anime studio for turning a mediocre source material into a show that is actually kind of okay. I wasn’t as excited about this show as I was a lot of the others on this list, but it was still pretty memorable in it’s own creepy way. If nothing else, it should be considered a victory that the premise didn’t turn me off like it did for Mysterious Girlfriend X. Seriously, the hell was that?
Most Down To Earth
Have I learned something new about myself recently? I think I’ve started to figure out what it is I’m looking for in an anime. Most of the shows I respond to the best are the ones that feel like nothing else, but also feel familiar in some way. The best example I can give is a show that deals with real people and real issues, while still coming across as an anime. That show is Uchuu Kyoudai, or Space Bros as everyone likes to call it. This series could have been a contender for the best of 2012 if I had been fully caught up on it. The key word being “could”, though, as I’ve heard mixed reactions to some of the later episodes. Judging the show based on what I’ve seen so far, though, I can say how much I would like to get back into it at the next possible chance. It probably is for the best to wait until a lot of episodes are out anyway, because I can only imagine how maddening this slow pace would be if I was watching week-to-week like everyone else.
Biggest Misuse of Time
Hayate the Combat Butler! Can’t Take My Eyes Off You
Did anyone really think this was going to turn out well? Did the fans? Did the anime studio? Did Kenjiro Hata? After the bad reaction Heaven is a Place on Earth got, I don’t know why you would want to go back to them for your adaptation. I was only the tiniest bit hopeful because I heard that Hata himself was writing the scenario for this show, but it only took a few episodes for that to disappear. After a while, it started to dawn on me why this show wasn’t turning out well, aside from the production values and everything. On some level, this story does feel like something you would see in the Hayate manga, but it feels like one of the more average arcs. The kind that would normally take 5-10 chapters at most to deal with, which is why giving it twelve episodes was a bad idea. Everyone knows there are much better things from the series to adapt and much better people to do it, so whenever we get that next season, I hope it goes much more smoothly than this.
Ixion Saga DT
I apologize for nothing!
One of the bigger surprises of the Fall season, what really struck me about Ixion Saga was creative it felt compared to a lot of other comedies. The setup for a lot of the jokes weren’t exactly unique, especially when it came to the main character, but the series managed to take everything it said a lot farther than you would expect. Defeating an enemy with a nutshot? Somewhat funny. Learning said enemy has to have one of their nuts removed as a result, and seeing the long-term effects of that? It’s the joke that keeps on giving! My favourite episode was still the one about the loli princess’ violent side, which like everything else was much greater than it sounds. It’s good to see this show continue on into the new season, because I can’t wait to see what they pull out next. May the jokes still be funny, and may Alma never get tired of watching people from tall buildings.
Least In Need of a Dubstep Remix
Sakamichi no Apollon
If you really have to fault Apollon for anything, it would be that it really didn’t use the music as well as it could have. The moments everyone remembers from this show were the epic jazz performances, and while too many might become a problem, I don’t think that would have mattered when the show is only eleven episodes. You don’t even need an excuse for them when the characters practice this much.
That being said, it’s good for the series that the rest of the plot is well-designed. The setting and mood of the story felt unique enough to make the show stand out from everything else. The characters were interesting, with each one having their own personal plotline that connected to the others fairly well. It did start to feel too fast paced toward the end of the show, which makes me wonder how much had to be axed in order to fit a single season. Even with that, I still consider it one of the top shows of this year, and a great reminder of what noitaminA is capable of producing.
Most Gratuitous Use of Screen Time
Sword Art Online
I think the reason most people have such differing opinions on Sword Art Online is that everyone goes into it expecting different things. The fans are the type of person who want escapism and see a guy like Kirito murdering people and hooking up with girls as the perfect outlet for it. I guess that’s what some people play MMOs for in the first place, so it’s a reasonable guess that they wanted that kind of a show all along. The haters, however, wanted an actual plot with meaningful characters, which the show happens to suck at doing.
Then you have viewers like me. When I first started SAO, I though of it as a serious show, like most bloggers did. After a while I started to question what I was watching, and then questioned it some more, and that was what led me to realize how well the show works as a comedy. You watch an episode, laugh at a lot of dumb and silly moments, and then joke about everything with your friends over Twitter. Every so often, I think you need a show like this for everyone to make fun of. I know I’ll still be watching when the inevitable second season comes out, even if it isn’t for the reason I’m supposed to.
Most Gratuitous Use of Imagine Spots
Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!
On some level, I think we can all connect with the characters of Chuunibyou and what they go through, but no one more so than the main character. Everyone has those large parts of their life that they would just like to forget about forever. I know I do, but I’d rather not talk about that right now. Yuuta was able to feel like much more than the typical protagonist when the audience could clearly understand his behaviour. The other characters were likable for pretty much the same reasons, because even if we were never as far gone as Rikka or Dekomori, I think we all at least knew people exactly like them. Even Nibutani, who I didn’t really like at first, eventually started to grow more sympathetic as the show went on. This was my first KyoAni show in a while, so I suppose it’s best that I went back in on such an enjoyable series.
Most Gratuitous Use of Bath Scenes
It’s hard for me to express how I felt about Thermae Romae, and that’s mainly because everyone else appeared to enjoy the show a lot more than I did. It’s hard to say exactly why, but each episode felt much longer than it should have. The most likely reason for that is the obvious Flash artstyle, which distracts far too much when the bathing guys should be the ones doing that. It’s a shame, because I remember this being an interesting show, even if it didn’t feel like that as I watched it. I may have to give this one a rewatch one of these days, though I’ll more likely be checking out the manga version later on. Have you seen the artwork the manga had? I think it even had better lineart than the anime did.
Sometimes you just struggle to find words, you know? I don’t watch a lot of mech shows of any variety, so it isn’t all that surprising that Aquarion slipped past my radar at first. Even after I read some posts on it, the series sounded amusing, but I couldn’t tell if it was enough to start a 26 episode show in a genre I don’t watch. Recently I finally got my chance to see it, and it has been a trip I never expected it could be! It succeeds at something few shows can successfully pull off and manages to be purely fun and entertaining – at least in the half of the show I’ve seen so far. I’m told the second half loses that a bit, but it’s another show I can’t really judge for that when I haven’t watched it yet. It also has a great cast of characters, and I have to agree with most of my livewatch group that Zessica, Andy and Yunoha are the best ones. Whatever happens in the second half of the show, if it has even a small percent of the awesome this first half had, it’ll definitely be worth it.
[To be continued in Part 3...]
Posted on January 16, 2013, in Hayate The Combat Butler, Top Lists and tagged Aquarion EVOL, Chuunibyou, Hayate the Combat Butler, Ixion Saga DT, Kimi to Boku, Kuroko no Basket, Persona 4 The Animation, Sakamichi no Apollon, Sankarea, Sword Art Online, Thermae Romae, Uchuu Kyoudai. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.