Tag Cloud

2D complex 009-1 1997 2013 Academe addiction Adventure Vision Ai Kora Amagami SS analysis anaylsis Ane Doki anguish Anime anime blog awards Anime Convention Anime Love Hardcore anime music Anniversary Ano Hana Ano Natsu de Matteru april fools Artsy Astro Fighter Sunred Awesome AWESOMENESS ayakashi ~ japanese classic horror backlog Baka-raptor Bakemonogatari Band of Ninja barely anime BearShare Download Client Becoming a doctor Bihada Ichizoku bitterness Blackjack bleach bloggers Blood-C Books bullshit bus gamer C campaign CAPS LOCK Casio Loopy Casshern Sins CC Cencoroll Christianity CLANNAD Clothes Code Geass Code Geass R2 Commentary Counseling cowboy bebop Crime and Punishment Cross Game Crusader is awesome Cunning Single Lady Cure Darker than Black Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini Death Note Deconstruction Attempt Denpa Onna to Seishuun Otoko Devils Dexter disappointment Don't They doraemon dostoevsky dr. franklin's island Drama dream of the red chamber Durarara Ergo Proxy Eve no Jikan Everything Becomes F Executive Games existentialism faggotry fall anime Farewell film finnegans wake First Squad folding star for those of us who do not believe in god FOUR MORE YEARS Freezing frustration Fuck Ga Rei Zero gay GeGeGe no Kitarou Genius Party Genius Party Beyond Giants Along my Path gratitude Gundam 00 Gundam 00 Movie: Awakening of the Trailblazer Gundam 00 S2 Gundam ZZ Gundoh Musashi Hakushaku to Yousei Hataw Hanep Hero hatsukoi limited help hentai Hiatari Ryoukou High School of the Dead Highschool of the Dead hiroki endo homosexuality Honey and Clover Honeymoon Salad Horror Hoshi no Kioku House Houseki House of Five Leaves Hypothesis ian mcewan idealism Immanuel Kant Inception Infinite Stratos irreverence james joyce Jewels Jin-Roh joseph heller joyce K-Drama Kangoku Gakuen Kannagi Kanokon Kant Karakuri Zoushi Ayatsuri Sakon Kara no Kyoukai Kemeko DX Kumokaze Kuragehime Kurohime Kurosawa Kurozuka Lelouch lesbian levinas Life Light LightPak literature loev love Lupin III Madoka Maison Ikkoku Manga masterpiece Mawaru Penguindrum Memories meta-analysis metablogging Michiko to Hatchin Mononoke Mouryou no Hako Movies Music musings naruto navel-gazing Neon Genesis Evangelion NetPumper NetPumper Pro neuroanatomy nogizaka haruka no himitsu novels Occult Academy Ocean Waves Ookami-san optimism Oregairu Otome Youkai Zakuro Palmtex Super Micro Perspectives Philippines philosophy Planetes PLE Polygon porn portrait of an artist as a young man portrait of the artist as an old man postcolonialism postmodernism Princess Jellyfish Prison School procrastination Psycho-Pass Puella Magi Madoka Magica rage Ranting real life Rebuild of Evangelion refection reflectio reflection reflections reflecton review Reviews Ritsuko Sadness Saekano Sakamichi no Apollon sale Sartor Resartus Satoshi Kon Secret Love Seikimatsu Occult Academy Serious Shiki Shimoneta Shingetsutan Tsukihime Site Promotions Smorgasbord Sophie's Choice Sora no Otoshimono Sora no Woto Sorcerer Sorry Spectra Spice and Wolf Spice and Wolf 2 Steins;Gate Subete ga F ni Naru Suisei no Gargantia Super Cobra Tatami Galaxy Television Tennis Tentai Senshi Sunred The Bad Sleep Well The Bone Snatcher The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya the dynamics of change the killing The Lunar New Year The Nether Side the new astronomy The Red and The Black The Song Remains the Same The Tatami Galaxy The World God Only Knows They Shoot Horses tidbit tokikake Tokyo Story ToLoveRu ToraDora TorrentStorm Touch tragic heroines tripmaster monkey tristram shandy Umi ga Kikoeru Umi no Misaki Unbalance x Unbalance update Usagi Drop video games Vintage Video Games wish-fulfillment wittgenstein Yojo-han Shinwa Taikei you have to burn the rope Yozakura Quartet Yu Yu Hakusho ZZ Gundam

The best anime of 2009 [my top anime of 2009]

It’s that time of the year again, when, after we’ve seen the shows the year had to offer, we adjudge them upon their merits and critique them with their faults. It’s surely going to be different with every person, but here’s my personal top five (I’ve seen enough to write about a top ten, but I don’t really like them enough to put them even in a top ten for this year).

1. Kara no Kyoukai: Mujun Rasen

unlimited blood works

unlimited blood works

For the people who have read the past few posts, this comes as NO surprise at all. A lot of people may have been turned off by the complicatedly heady storytelling, but since I’m an absolute fan of that stuff (my favorite author is Faulkner) I marveled and attempted to digest the besotting and inebriating anachronism of Kara no Kyoukai. The best movie among the seven was this, the fifth, primarily because it took this kind of storytelling to the limits and pulled it off majestically.

The purpose of the highly fragmented progression of the story was to draw similarities to a spiral, and I thought ufotable did it successfully. There’s also a well-created central villain for this movie (and for this series, I guess), and an obvious pathos admixed with the awesome animation merits it to be the best anime of 2009. (It actually came out theatrically during 2008, but the subs and the DVD came out early January this past year, if I remember correctly.)

2. Kara no Kyoukai: Satsujin Kousatsu (Go)

This was during Garan no Dou, but Shiki looks awesome in this image.

This was during Garan no Dou, but Shiki looks awesome in this image.

There are some series that start wonderfully, have a very good bridging and explicative middle part, but an ending that’s very disappointing. Toradora and Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini are such examples, at least personally. They had endings that were disappointing, especially when compared to the whole series. This did not made them bad; it only put them down a notch or two from the top.

Kara no Kyoukai did not have such a weakness. While I don’t even think it’s arguable that the best movie was the fifth, if for the sheer balls of experimentation and pulling everything off, the final movie served as a wonderful and eclat-filled conclusion to a majestic and avant-garde series ultimately about the transforming power of love. Saying more about the series will sadly spoil it, but the ending was just as strong as the entirety of the story, and seeing the true pain and suffering of Shiki for the sake of love was simply beautiful.

3. Bakemonogatari

I loved this scene.

I loved this scene.

I can’t believe I almost forgot this beautiful and wonderful anime slideshow series. This series is quite divisive because of the method of storytelling SHAFT and Shinbo did with this series, focusing on choice shots and close-ups rather than animating everything. It may perhaps been a method to save money, or genuinely a unique way of storytelling, but it grew on me and I really liked it.

I loved how the individual arcs tied together with one another, and I loved the perfect cocktail of drama, humor, and romance. I also really loved how they ended the TV airings of the show, and I think episode 12 is one of the most memorable ending episodes in anime, especially because the ending theme was so apt with the ending itself. It’s certainly a memorable series somewhere in my top ten, but Kara no Kyoukai is simply transcendent.

4. Kara no Kyoukai: Boukyaku Rokuon

Shiki and Azaka as drawn by Kobayashi Jin

Shiki and Azaka as drawn by Kobayashi Jin

This was probably the most tangentially related of the movies among the series. Instead of featuring the tribulations of Shiki, it features Azaka. Simply put, it demoted the series’s protagonist into a side character for this movie. It’s a filler for the most part. Does that make this movie bad?

NO.

I thought the sixth movie was as entertaining as the other six movies, although not as deep or focused. It was not bad by any means, still blowing me away with amazing animation and characterization. Nevertheless, it still had a decent plot. This was how anime movies should be made: whether they are intrinsically or tangentially related to the plot, they should be made properly and with quality.

Besides, it also moved the plot forward. It paved the way to Shiki knowing more about the past she had forgotten, and was an introduction to the moving and conclusive Satsujin Kousatsu (Go).

5. Hatsukoi Limited

The girls of the series

The girls of the series

I possess quite a fondness for J.C. Staff, but it’s not because of my fondness that I am rating this series highly. It’s because it was an adaptation of a manga that was better than the manga itself. Ultimately, we’re made to realize that the characters we’re observing are still children, and that they’re still on the way to realizing what life really is. Nevertheless, what they have experienced or are currently experiencing will be an indelible memory that will forever shadow their future decisions. The series possessed a wonderful balance between comedy, drama, and fanservice and ended in such a way that was pleasant, with closure, and yet open enough for the viewer to know that their lives are still beginning. It was a good show.

6. First Squad: The Moment of Truth

This was one of the most misleading images EVER.

This was one of the most misleading images EVER.

I will probably like Summer Wars, but I have not watched it since there hasn’t been a proper RAW yet. Although the subs have been made, and I assume they have been made properly, it’s quite distracting to watch a movie hard-subbed with Korean text. I found it distracting, and I think many others have, as well.

I had expected much from this movie. After all, it was from Studio 4C, creators of such avant-garde masterpieces such as Tekkon Kinkreet. I was expecting more of the same from them, and more of the same quality as well. What I got instead was a quasi-documentary laced with an animated OVA, which were both decent, but not awesome or groundbreaking.

During the Second World War, Russians and Germans have gone into studying the occult and using the supernatural and paranormal to aid them in their conquests. I guess both of them were that desperate. This movie-cum-documentary featured a young girl who joined an army department that trained them mentally and psychically. Her friends died in war, but she was able to contact them to prevent a Soviet catastrophe. It doesn’t sound great, and it isn’t. The trailer, however, was very dissimulative, featuring the girl battling zombies with a katana. I instead got a lot of dialogue with a smattering of action here and there. The movie wasn’t great, but the technical prowess of Studio 4C prevented it from falling into being a bad OVA. It was a decent show, and after I destroyed my expectations when I saw real-life old men being interviewed regarding the occult tactics of the Second World War, I just enjoyed the show for what it was.

* * *

There have been some anime with notable first series but with disappointing second seasons, such as Spice and Wolf, and Darker than Black. The first seasons of both series are probably in my top twenty, but their second seasons have been disappointing, at least from a personal perspective.

Spice and Wolf barely had any development for Holo, and developed Lawrence even more, who was already developed a lot during the first season. I disliked the unevenness of the series, because while it showed that Lawrence really loved Holo, it didn’t show her reciprocating that love. There remained much of the same verbal fencing, much of her teasing, and much of her characteristic queenly attitude, but there was little progress of her, from what I saw. It was a letdown, but at least I have the comfort of knowing that it is highly probable that there will be a third season.

...

...

Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini, on the contrary, was just disappointing. It was awesome at the beginning up to the middle, but simply fell apart with its highly inconclusive end. While some people like pondering about quirky endings (I’m also like that), I also want to be given a few answers. All I currently have, however, is an interpretation of the ending that some people agree with, and some people disagree with. It doesn’t help when the creator and the director of the show blatantly says that the show has ended, and goes as far as explicitly saying that there will be no third season. It was not bad by any means, but I can personally say that I would rather there have been no second season since the first season left things open, but had a lot more closure. The focus of the series was on Hei’s choice, and I liked what he chose by the end of it all. I thought the ending was all right, and the series all right as well, but it wasn’t as good or as riveting as the first season.

This is Darker than Black 2 summarized.

This is Darker than Black 2 summarized.

At least there’s the OVA, I guess. I am by no means a fan of Yin as I am a fan of Hei, and I just did not really want Hei to suffer more than he did during the first season. Yet from what I see, Tensai gives me that. He turned his back on the choice that was most comfortable and beneficial for him the first season to give both humans and contractors a chance to exist with one another, and the only one left for him was Yin. During the second season, Tensai just had to take it away from him, and probably left Hei with nothing more than himself. Its level of tragedy is comparable to that of Chrno Crusade with other people’s interpretations, and it is not pleasant. Unless proven otherwise, I will stick with my own interpretation. It makes sense, anyway.

How about you, guys? What are your top five anime of 2009 and your reasons why you listed those series as such?

I hope everyone has a happy and enjoyable new year later (or tomorrow, depending on where you’re from!).

Major post: a brand new theme, senescence and death, my love for Nogizaka Haruka, and the life of an otaku!

I have a new theme, if that isn’t obvious yet. This is primarily because of mellow_bunny‘s efforts: he designed my new theme from scratch based on what I wanted. Since I wanted a theme based on the color violet or permutations of it, he dutifully created my theme based on that sole desire, which is what I have currently. I love this theme a lot more than the vanilla Chocolate Candy theme I had for two years. It truly gives some sort of personality to this blog of mine, and I’m happy about that: thank you very much, Michael.

null
Read the rest of this entry »

Hatsukoi Limited: thoughts on reading, first loves, and life in general

Before I log on to my blog, I always try to put my thoughts in paper first. I’m sad to say that this week has been pretty hectic to the extent that I have only written some scribbles each day for four days. Since I vehemently refuse to do anything related to academic work today, I simply decided to integrate the scribbles. I’ll hopefully come up with a coherent post. Read the rest of this entry »