Sorry Guys, accidentally posted this on my other site initially. Terribly embarrassing, but there you go.
Welcome to this year’s anime awards. It’s been nearly four years that I’ve been doing reviews, and the second year that I’ve been doing them on WordPress. Thanks to all of you who have supported me in that time. It is greatly appreciated. Like last year, these won’t include the reviews of yesteryear Just everything I’ve looked at from 5 Centimetres per second to Gakuen Heaven. Nominees will appear in alphabetical order. There have been a lot of ups and downs this year. So, let’s look at the best of the highs and the lowest of the lows.
To start with, let’s present a few special awards. These are awards that don’t come out on a yearly basis, but are really specialised and based on what I’ve seen a lot of during the year. This was actually an idea that my little sister had based on how many video game-based anime I’ve looked at.
Given to the most inane portrayals of the future, The future is dumb award nominees are:
Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu a future where the most basic military strategies are considered brilliant and where having more ships than the other guys counts as a strategy. Shinsekai Yori: where bad science creates plot holes. (Like not knowing how many creatures have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Here’s a hint, it’s not just humans and olive trees. Or fluctuating between physiological and psychological triggers.) Sword Art Online: Where a product that can be reprogrammed to kill its user somehow makes it past all of those product safety commissions and where we learn that humans are just jerks who will try to murder each other before cooperating in a crisis situation. Even if it’s to their own ultimate detriment.
This one is hard to judge because they’re all dumb in different ways. But the award for the dumbest future goes to: Sword Art Online. While Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu & Shinsekai Yori are both dumb, at least they’re dumb in ways that would have required some research or other effort to address. For Sword Art Online, there’s no excuse. It fails at understanding the very basics of human behaviour, and that makes it the dumbest of the three.
The Navi award for most obnoxious sidekick in a decent series:
I’ve watched a lot of anime with annoying and kind of pointless sidekick characters, and the sad part is that the worst of them aren’t from bad anime. The nominees are Claymore for Raki. DokiDoki Precure for Ai & Futari Wa Precurefor Pollun. And the award goes to… Claymore. As annoying as Ai and Pollun are, at least they serve more of a purpose within the plot than Raki, and they’re also a bit more downplayed given the comparative lengths of the series. Raki, the worst sidekick of this year.
The Boll award for worst video game adaptation:
I’ve reviewed a lot of films, series and OVAs based on video games this year. The contenders for the worst are: Amada Anime series: Super Mario Brothers, Corpse Party: Missing Footage, & Galerians: Rion. And the worst of them is… Corpse Party. While the other two are bad, they at least provide some good snark value. In contrast, Corpse Party is just annoying and stupid.
The Miyamoto award for best game adaptation:
As bad as some of the game adaptations I’ve seen this year have been, I’ve also looked at some really good ones. The nominees for the title of the best are: Fire Emblem, Pokemon: The Origin & Street Fighter II the movie. Which is the best? The winner is Pokemon: The Origin. While not perfect, it is a great little OVA that lovingly follows the original trio of Pokemon games.
Now, let’s move on to our reoccurring awards.
The Moffat award for unbearably awful writing within a supposedly mostly serious series or OVA:
There have been some bad ones this year, our nominees are: Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, Neon Genesis Evangelion & Sword Art Online. These ones were hard to get through. So, which of these stinkers was the worst? The “winner” isEvangelion. A series that takes standard mecha fare, does it atrociously, covers it with pretentious bullshit and combines it with nothing of any value.
The Simone award for writing excellence in a mostly serious series or OVA:
There were some really good series this year but the ones that stood apart and earned the nominations are: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha & Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin. All of them would be more than worthy, but the honour goes to Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. One of the few anime I’ve given a perfect 10 rating to.
The Abrams award for horrendous film writing:
This one isn’t going to be as enthusiastic as it was last year since the films I’ve reviewed have been, at worst, kind of mediocre or below average and I didn’t really get any of the horrendous film offerings like I looked at last year. So, the nominations for the weakest film this year are: Dragon Quest Retsuden: Roto no Monshou, Metropolis & The Girl Who Leapt through time. And the weakest film from this year’s reviews was… Metropolis. A sub-par work inspired by a vastly superior classic film.
The Miyazaki award for stellar film writing:
Now this one I can be more enthused about since I have actually seen some really good films this year. The nominees are: K-on the movie, Kara no Kyoukai 4, & Tokyo Godfathers. The winner is Kara no Kyoukai 4. It’s odd that last year the first KnK film was deservedly nominated for the Abrams award, although it didn’t win it, and this year the 4th and 5th installments both received such high ratings, but the 4th was the superior of the two and the best film of this year.
The Macfarlane award for most failed comedic/light-hearted attempt:
There’s nothing that’s good in quite the same way as a good comedy. So, what about those comedies devoid of mirth that just leave you annoyed? The nominees this year are Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers, Kill La Kill & Potemayo. And the award goes to… Kill La Kill. While the Mario Ova is worse as a whole, at least it managed to provide some good snark fodder and some moments that were kind of funny if only in their incompetence. Kill la Kill just had characters being loud and annoying. Which makes it the worst of the three.
The Pratchett award for wittiest light-hearted/ comedic work:
There were plenty of works that brought so much joy and mirth this year. In fact, it was hard to pick just three nominees. But those that excelled the most were:DokiDoki Precure, Muteki Kanban Musume, & Slayers Return. Any one of these would be a worthy recipient but the award can only go to one and that one is…DokiDoki Precure. It was an adorable anime with a lot of good heart-warming and funny moments and it maintained its high level of quality for 44 episodes as opposed to a film or a twelve episode series. Making it the victor.
The Meyer award for worst written romance:
Romance is one of those things that’s easy to throw into a series regardless of whether or not it’s the main focus. It’s also difficult to do well and there are a lot of things that throw it in without being prepared to do it well, or even trying. The nominees for doing it the worst this year are: Mawaru Penguindrum, Shinsekai Yori & Sword Art Online. This was a tough one to choose because all three of these use romance really badly. But the worst of the three was… Mawaru Penguindrum for its romance involving siblings and for bringing in sexual assault without even trying to handle it. Prompting instead to let it drop and never be mentioned again after it happens.
The Kanemaki award for loveliest romance:
This was a hard one to pick nominees for. I’ve seen quite a few anime this year that used romance well, some of which had it as their main genre. But the best of them were: Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha for its first love narrative with Nanoha and Fate, Murder Princess for its highly emotion-based romance between Falis and Alita & Yami No Matsuei for its very touching romance between Tsuzuki and Hisoka and the Kanemaki award goes to… Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. As good as the other two are, Nanoha provided a perfect look at blossoming romantic love and made it incredibly important to the plot whereas the other two gave us really good romances, but romances that were more of a secondary thing.
Anno award for flattest, most uninteresting cast:
A terrible cast filled with obnoxious one-dimensional characters can take something terrible and make it worse, or take something that would otherwise be pretty decent and make it bad. The worst casts this year have been: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinsekai Yori & Sword Art Online. Three wretched casts full of stagnant, uninteresting, obnoxious twits and the worst of them is Neon Genesis Evangelion. With characters defined by the annoying trait, be it that they’re whiny, completely unemotional or something else, that’s caused by their parental issues. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more annoying group of non-characters in anything and I watched the first Twilight movie.
Moore award for best cast:
While a horrendous cast can have disastrous consequences for the narrative, a really stellar cast can have a major benefit for it. Our nominees for best cast of this year are: Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, & Sailor Moon R. Three groups of characters that were really enjoyable and the award goes to Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin. It was a tough call, but in the end, Rainbow had the cast that did the most. The others both had excellent characters, but they also had a few running around that didn’t do much. Like Pazu and Borma or who are a bit annoying like Chibi-Usa. In my opinion,Rainbow did the best job of distributing the screen time among its characters and making them all important. Which is why it earns the Moore award.
Bendis award for worst major conflict:
Don’t you just love when a story has a conflict that’s stupid, tedious or really pointless? Of course you don’t. And yet some pieces of media seem to think that those are the stories that people want to see. The worst offenders this year were:Chokotan, Shinsekai Yori, & Sword Art Online. The worst of them was… Sword Art Online. While Chokotan had a dumb little conflict based on a crush knowing more than one girl and Shinsekai Yori had a conflict that was filled with massive logical problems, Sword Art Online featured a conflict that was dead on arrival. While the idea of people being trapped in a game has merit, the way they did it using devices readily available for sale that could kill their users instantly rendered the whole thing idiotic to an irreparable degree.
Claremont award for most compelling conflict:
Doing a conflict well can be difficult, but when someone gets it right and does it amazingly, it’s sure to be a worthwhile work. The best underlying conflict nominees are: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha & Shingeki no Kyojin. So, which of these had the most compelling conflict? The award goes to… Shingeki no Kyojin. While the other two were better series overall, Shingeki no Kyojin gives the viewer a sense of foreboding with mankind on its last legs trying desperately to survive against an encroaching enemy of vastly superior strength, size and stamina. It’s a conflict with a wide scope and with a lot of really fascinating elements.
Liefeld award for visual ineptitude:
Sometimes anime don’t even try to look appealing. They go the extra mile to look hideous. Our Liefeld award nominees for those that best exemplified this practice are: Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers, Galerians: Rion, & Kill La Kill.So, which of these anime managed to look the ugliest? The Liefeld award goes to… Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers. Oh yes, the series with really wooden animation that clearly no one put any effort into. It’s just an ugly little OVA.
Urbino award for visual excellence:
For all of the art that was well done, there were those that really stood out and enhanced the experience. The nominees for the Urbino award are: 5 Centimetres per second, Shingeki no Kyojin & Tokyo Godfathers. Which of these three beautifully drawn and animated works looked the best? The Urbino award goes to… Tokyo Godfathers.
Spencer award for acting incompetence:
Most of the acting I hear in anime is at least passable, which makes it all the more noticeable when a series comes along that sounds terrible in that regard. Our worst offenders this year were: Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers, Kill La Kill & Neon Genesis Evangelion. Which was the worst? That dubious honour goes to… Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was really hard to choose between that and Kill la Kill since both feature some strong actors giving terrible performances with no emotional substance, but at least Kill la Kill was going for an overly exaggerated comedy aesthetic with its acting and, as annoying as it was, it did manage that much. With Evangelion they tried a more dramatic approach and managed to have really obnoxious acting with one or two completely unnuanced emotions conveyed by each person because… the lack of emotional substance makes things more dramatic? Or incredibly unbearable, it’s one of those.
Sir Stewart award for impeccable acting:
There were a lot of really superb vocal casts in the anime I watched this year and it was tough choosing the best. The three that ended up seizing the nominations are: Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha & Slayers Return. And the Sir Stewart award goes to… Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha. It was hard to choose from among the three. All three were incredibly close to perfection in their acting. In the end, the same major factor that ended up deciding it last year came into play. The chemistry between the leads, in this case Mizuki Nana and Tamura Yukari, ended up as the deciding factor.
Perry award for ear-splittingly awful music:
Last year I made this one all about the vocals themselves, but this time around I’m going to talk about the music in general instead of just that one aspect. As such our nominees are: Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers, Kara no Kyoukai 4 for Mikiya’s rendition of “Singing in the Rain,” & Street Fighter II for music that clashes with the action. And the winner is… Street Fighter II. While the performance of “Singing in the Rain” and the Mario OVA music in general were pretty horrible, at least they fit into what’s happening on screen. Which isn’t something you can say for the music that plays in the Street Fighter II film.
Kloss award for harmonious and lovely music:
It’s time for our final award of the year, which work had the best music. This was another tough one since there were so many series and films that did this really well. Nevertheless, I went through and found the three that did it the best. The nominees are: Futari wa Precure, K-on the movie & Slayers Return. But only one can win and the Kloss award goes to… K-on the movie. Which probably isn’t too surprising since one of its big focuses was on the music, which it succeeded beautifully at.
That’s it for this year. Thank you all for putting up with me and supporting me. You’ve been just lovely and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed sharing my viewing experiences with all of you. I’ll keep trying my best in the coming year and I hope you’ll all enjoy it even when you disagree with me on something.