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Ktulu’s 5th Annual Awards & Shaming Ceremony

All right, Everybody. It’s this time of year again. Time to go over the best and worst of the works I’ve reviewed from February 15th of 2017 right up to last week’s review of Trinity Blood. Now, last year I didn’t do anything based off of the bonus reviews since those only became a thing starting in December. So, there weren’t may to choose from. This year, we’re going to have two simple awards for those based on the best and worst things I’ve done bonus reviews of.

I’ll start with the best and worst in show for the bonus reviews and our list of contestants is as follows: Blackest Night, Civil War, DC vs Marvel, Doctor Who- The First Doctor, Dragon Quest VII, Frosty the Snowman, Gravity Falls, Jem and the Holograms volume one, Justice League- Crisis on Two Earths, Miitopia, Mortal Kombat- Defenders of the Realm, Muppet Fairy Tales, Ohimesama no Himitsu, Secret Wars, Spider-man Unlimited, Tiny Toons- Night Ghoulery

The Worst In Bonus:

Honestly, there were two big contenders for this one. Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm & Civil War. But only one can be the worst and this year that one is Civil War.

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There are two big reasons that Civil War takes the title. The first is that it, ultimately, had a greater impact. Defenders is barely remembered and the franchise certainly isn’t going to try and make anything from it canon. Civil War, in contrast, led directly to a lot of other horrendous things. The One More Day event, the second Ultimate Alliance game being a load of wank, a sequel that was almost certainly also shit and factored into several other bad Marvel decisions. The second is that Civil War is bad in more egregious ways. Defenders is bad in the manner of a lazy cartoon where the premise wasn’t going to work and no one gave a shit. Civil War had a premise with potential but did everything wrong. And some of it in ways that say really bad things about the creative team.

The Best in Bonus:

This one was a lot harder to pick. I’ve reviewed some phenomenal works as part of the bonus reviews this year. Dragon Quest VII. Gravity Falls, Jem, Secret Wars & Ohimesama no Himitsu are all superb works and I have a lot of affection for every single one of them. But, ultimately, the award goes to Ohimesama no Himitsu. Because out of all the minor problems I had with all of these, it had the most minor. It’s damn close to being the perfect romance work.

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Onto the anime awards. The potential contestants are: AD Police, Arion, Ayakashi, Azumanga Daioh, Bakemono no Ko, Bishoujo Yuugekitai Battle Skipper, Chocolate Underground, Dennou Sentai Voogie’s Angel, Devil May Cry, Dragonball- Legend of Shenron, Drifters, Elfen Lied, Final Fantasy Unlimited, Futari wa Precure- Max Heart film 1, Futari wa Precure- Max Heart film 2, Futari wa Precure- Splash Star, gdgd Faeries, Girls und Panzer der film, Green Legend Ran, Gyo, Harmonie, Hunter x Hunter 2011, Idol Project, Iria- Zeiram, Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken- Diamond Wa Kudakenai, Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken- Stardust Crusaders 2, Karas, Kaze Tachinu, Kemono Friends, Kill me Baby, Koe no Katachi, Kowabon, Love Stage, Mob Psycho 100, Mobile Suit Gundam- Iron-Blooded Orphans, Mononoke, Nanbaka, Ookami Kodomo no Ame to Yuki, Osomatsu-san, Palme no Ki, Phantasy Star Online II, Rose of Versailles, Rurouni Kenshin, Sakamichi no Apollon, Shuumatsu no Izetta, Stranger- Mukou Hadan, Street Fighter Alpha, Tales of Eternia, Tales of Zestiria the X, Trinity Blood, Tsuritama, Twilight Q, Vivid Strike, Warau Salesman New, Windaria, Wizardry, Wolf Guy, Youjo Senki

So, there’s our stable of contestants. Let’s move on to the awards.

The Moffat Award for most horrendous writing in a supposedly serious series or OVA. Our previous hall of shamers include such piles of rubbish as Dansi Bunri no Crime Edge, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Madhouse’s X-men & Brain Powerd. This year the big stand outs were Wolf Guy & Elfen Lied. Either one of which deserves recognition but there can be only one “winner” and this year that’s Elfen Lied.

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Not only is there more of Elfen Lied to hate, with about twice the content, but there’s also what the series were going for. Wolf Guy was a dumb action work that was trying to be a dumb action work. Elfen Lied was trying to be psychological, mature & filled with horror. None of which worked because the writing was roughly equivalent to a twelve year old who’s trying way too hard to show how mature they are.

The Simone Award for excellent writing in a mostly serious series or OVA. Our prior winners were Psycho Pass, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS & El Cazador de La Bruja. This year’s tough. I gave out a lot of 8s, but not much above that. The two big contenders end up being Mononoke & Vivid Strike. Ultimately, the Simone Award is going to Mononoke.

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So, why Mononoke? While both these series are very much worthy, I ultimately feel that Mononoke is a little bit more solid. Because setting up new characters with interesting facets to them and a compelling new scenario for every arc is a little more challenging than telling a really good story about two friends reconnecting over martial arts.

The Abrams Award for worst writing in a film. Our previous hall of shame consists of End of Evangelion, Metropolis, Hetalia: Paint it White & Hanare Toride no Yonna. This year I reviewed quite a few films and the worst, by a good margin, was Arion.

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Who would’ve thought that a film ostensibly about mythology that doesn’t understand said mythology, has a confused aesthetic and that thinks a rousing speech is the protagonist complaining that he just killed his father and wants to bone his sister, would turn out to be such an absolute mess? Besides Everybody.

The Miyazaki Award for film writing excellence. Our prior winners were Nausicaa, Kara no Kyoukai 4, Spirited Away & Mononoke Hime. This one was harder to choose. I saw some very solid films this year. But the award ultimately goes to Koe no Katachi.

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This one touches on some very real challenges and actually tells a really strong redemption all while keeping things largely realistic.

The Macfarlane Award for shittiest comedy. Our previous winners were OreImo, Kill la Kill, Sunabouzu & Kashimashi. Now that’s company you want to stand upwind from. This year there was a clear winner and that’s Idol Project.

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Yes, the comedy where random nonsense is used as a substitute for actual jokes and where the under-developed characters aren’t even used for comedic possibilities. All in all, a failure.

The Pratchett Award for best comedic elements. Our prior winners are Bottle Fairy, Doki Doki PreCure, Yuru Yuri San Hai & Gochuumon wa Usagi desu ka 2. This year the bell of fortune tolls for Azumanga Daioh.

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This was a tough one because I’ve seen a good number of enjoyable, consistently funny comedies. But, ultimately, Azumanga Daioh is the one that stands above the others.

The Meyer Award for worst romantic elements. Our prior anal leakings of amore were OreImo, Mawaru Penguindrum, Love Hina Again & Dance in the Vampire Bund. This year the series that showcases the worst idea of what love is is Wolf Guy.

Wolf Guy

Yeah, the series where our “romance” consists of our protagonist not letting the woman he supposedly loves abort her rapist’s baby even though giving birth is going to kill her because she’s had her mind destroyed and can’t make that decision. This also takes place in a fucked up world where, apparently, this piece of shit is the best one to make the decision for her.

The Kanemaki Award for strongest romance. Our previous winners were Btooom (for Himiko/ Ryouta), Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanha StrikerS (both for NanoFate) & El Cazador de la Bruja (Ellis/ Nadie). This year was actually really difficult to pick a winner. On one hand, we have the Finé/ Izetta romance from Shuumatsu no Izetta and it’s beautiful. On the other hand, we have the Fuuka/ Rinne relationship from Vivid Strike. Which is also lovely. These two dynamics are kind of similar too, both being about old friends reconnecting as their love blossoms. The big difference is that Finé/ Izetta work together and have to overcome outside obstacles while Fuuka/ Rinne have to overcome those elements which caused a falling out betwixt them. Ultimately, I think one of those does lead to a slightly stronger romantic dynamic and that’s why the award goes to Shuumatsu no Izetta.

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In the end, we just see more moments of these two as a couple while Vivid Strike is more about the hesitation brought on by past events that’s getting in the way of them coming together. Which gives us more time to spend with Finé & Izetta as a pair and more really sweet moments betwixt the two. And that’s why they edge out the competition and emerge as the better couple.

The Anno Award for the shittiest cast of characters. Our former winners were End of Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Love Hina Again & Kashimashi. All terribly obnoxious groups of characters with no complexity to be found. This year they’re joined by a series that fits right in, Elfen Lied.

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Yes, a series with annoying, trope characters. Some of whom have tragic back stories that end up contributing nothing.

The Moore Award for strongest cast of characters. Our prior winners have been Sailor Moon, Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, Death Parade & Sailor Moon S. As a general rule, I prefer to give this one to a series that has well written characters and a good sized cast of them. This year the series that best fits those criteria is Hunter x Hunter 2011.

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This series has a large cast of compelling characters, all of whom possess verisimilitude. In terms of personality, at least. Not so much with their super powers. It also has some of the best written antagonists I’ve ever seen in a shounen action series.

The Bendis Award for the worst major conflict in a series. Our previous piss stains of poor plotting were From Up On Poppy Hill, Sword Art Online, Ice & Sword Art Online II. This was a tough choice because there were several series that legitimately deserved this. But, ultimately, I’m giving the award to AD Police.

AD Police

Yes, the series wherein we learn that all major conflicts are caused by over-sexed women. And we can’t bring ourselves to remotely care about any of it because the writing is shite.

The Claremont Award for the greatest major conflict. Our preceding powerhouses of plotting were Psycho Pass, Shingeki no Kyojin, Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha As & Haibane Renmei. This year Vivid Strike will be joining their ranks.

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Vivid Strike’s poignant conflict of a pair of old friends trying to reconnect while also delving into the mistakes that were made on both sides is really engrossing and the added romantic tension between the girls just gives their falling out all the more punch.

The Liefeld Award for worst visuals. Our former ocular atrocities in the series category were Aku no Hana, Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls & Byston Well Monogatari: Garzey no Tsubasa. The film category awards have gone to DBZ: Fusion Reborn & Hanare Toride no Yonna. This year our vomit inducing visuals were found in Elfen Lied & Arion.

Arion should come as no surprise but you might be wondering how Elfen Lied won over series like gdgd Faeries where the artwork looks generally like bad cg. Well, the ultimate reason is that gdgd Faeries has bad artwork, but it’s artwork that doesn’t detract from anything the series is doing. Elfen Lied, in contrast, is trying to incorporate subtle, psychological elements. It fails completely, but it’s trying to. And when you’re trying to incorporate subtle psychological elements, having overblown, ridiculous violence and nudity undermines that aspect. Even if the series hadn’t been really terribly written the visuals would hurt it. And that’s why it’s the worst.

The Urbino Award for vivacious visuals. Our prior comely chieftains were (series) Mushishi & Stand Alone Complex 2nd gig and (film) Nausicaa, Tokyo Godfathers, Spirited Away & Mononoke Hime. This year they’re joined by Kaze Tachinu & Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans.

A film that was just okay but with the lovely visual elements of most Ghibli films and a series where the art was stellar.

The Spencer Award for scrub-tier acting. Our previous grade school theatre productions were the English dub of Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ice & Kashimashi. This year it goes to Wolf Guy.

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Like most of the winners, this one had some good actors. It just had good actors who sounded terrible due to writing and direction that demanded dreadful performances.

The Sir Stewart Award for amazing acting. Our preceding pinnacle performances came from Black Rock Shooter (OVA), Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha, Glass no Kamen & Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu. This was really tough to choose since a lot of the more average series I’ve reviewed have still managed to have good acting. But this year they’re being joined by Hunter x Hunter 2011.

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This series has a lot of excellent performances and it, ultimately, deserves to be recognised for it.

The Perry Award for malodorous music. Our former ear beatings were the English dub of Sailor Moon, Street Fighter II, Mars of Destruction & Kagewani. This year it goes to Arion.

Arion

Yes, the film where the lousy sound mixing damages music that actually did come from a good composer. Even if it is probably was his worst composition work even without the balancing problems.

The Kloss Award for magnificent melodies. Our previous cherished compositions came from Slayers Perfect, K-on the film, Love Live series 2 & Love Live the School Idol film. This year they’re joined by Michiru’s prominent OST work on Shuumatsu no Izetta.

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There were some other strong candidates but none as consistently good, musically, as this. It’s a superb soundtrack, period.

That’s it for this year’s awards. Thank you all for reading my snark-laden reviews another year. I’ve enjoyed all of your comments. You’re a fantastic bunch of readers. Tomorrow I’ll post the Junjou Romantica review. So, there’s that to look forward to.

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Second Annual awards and shaming Ceremony

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.

Ktulu’s first annual anime awards and shaming ceremony

You know, I’ve been writing reviews for nearly three years now. So let me start by thanking all those of you who have consistently read them Fluffy, Kupo, Sky, NT, OA, UZ, etc… and those of you who leave comments. I really enjoy reading those. You’re a beauteous crowd and it’s been an honour to entertain you. I hope I’ve also made you think at times. But I’m not here today to stroke your egos. Since I have been doing this for a while, and will probably continue to do so, I’ve decided to give out some yearly awards. Here’s how it’s going to work. The awards are going to be based not on what came out that year, but on what I reviewed that year. So, this first one covers everything from Blood+ to Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. Those of you on WordPress haven’t had all of these posted yet, so if there’s one you really want to see just say so and I’ll be sure to get that up. There will be awards for both the best of the best and the worst of the worst. Now, I want to end this on a positive note. So I’ll start with a negative award and, since this is sort of a first run, if you have any suggestions for ways I can expand or improve on this feel encouraged to leave a comment. I won’t necessarily adopt the idea, but I do enjoy constructive feedback.

The Moffat award for unbearably awful writing within a supposedly mostly serious series or OVA:

I saw some real stinkers this year, and these are undoubtedly the worst of them. The nominees for the Moffat award are (all of these will be in alphabetical order): Aku no Hana, Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge & School Days.Three truly horrendous works but the Moffat award can only go to one and the “winner” is… Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge. I suppose it’s not that surprising. Both School Days and Cheesesteak Suppository did get ratings above a “1” after all. Crime Edge was the only “serious” series I watched this year that merited no points whatsoever.

The Simone award for writing excellence in a mostly serious series or OVA:

Yes, with the bad have certainly come the good and these are the top for this past year. The nominees for the Simone award are: Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino, Petshop of Horrors & Psycho Pass. Three excellent works any one of which would make a worthy recipient of the Simone award. And the winner is… Psycho Pass. I struggled with this one since I like all three roughly the same. In the end, Psycho Pass gets the win just because it deals with more difficult material than either of the others does. 

The Abrams award for horrendous film writing:

I’ve seen quite a few films this year. Some good other horrible. The worst of the latter category merit mention. The nominees for the Abrams award are: End of Evangelion, Kara no Kyoukai 1 & Midori Shoujo Tsubaki. No matter which one wins, they’re all terrible. The Abrams award goes to… End of Evangelion. Pretentious and poorly plotted, this isn’t just the worst film I’ve seen this year, but it ranks among the worst I’ve ever seen.

The Miyazaki award for stellar film writing:

There are some films I’ll never forget and that will always make me smile be it from pure joy or bittersweet memories. I’ve reviewed some really excellent ones this year. The nominees are: Ghost in the Shell, Grave of the Fireflies & Nausicaa. Three brilliant films. The Miyazaki award goes to… appropriately enough, Nausicaa. This one was a real toss up between Nausicaa and Grave of the Fireflies, but Nausicaa won for one major reason. It did more. It took on more themes and handled them all perfectly. It had the greater challenge, so it takes the award.

The Macfarlane award for most failed comedic attempt:

Comedy can be a tricky thing. It’s generally very hit or miss. That being said, some attempts at comedy don’t just miss, they throw their bats in the air and give themselves concussions. These are the comedies that hurt themselves the worst. The nominees are: Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai and Sekirei. Not only are these series completely lacking in humour, but they’re downright vile. The Macfarlane award goes to… OreImo. As terrible as all of these are, at least the other two don’t feature incest.

The Pratchett award for wit:

We’ve looked at the misses. Now let’s look at the comedies that hit their marks the best. The nominees are: Bottle Fairy, Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku & Slayers Perfect. The Pratchett award goes to… Bottle Fairy. Cheerful, creative, upbeat and downright fun, Bottle Fairy is definitely the funniest comedy I’ve watched this year.

The Meyer award for worst written romance:

Love is in the air and plastered all over media. Usually romance plots follow a very basic pattern and there ends up being nothing special about them. Sometimes, they stand out either for positive or negative reasons. These are the latter. The nominees are: Inukami, OreImo & School Days. This was actually hard to pick nominees for since there were so many badly written romances in a lot of the worst anime I’ve seen this year. I ended up narrowing it down by picking only those romances that had a significant bearing on the plot and had factors that made them egregiously terrible. The Meyer award goes to… OreImo.

Kanemaki award for loveliest romance:

I don’t know why so many writers have trouble with romance. I actually had a pretty hard time finding actual well written couples for this one. I just haven’t seen that many anime with good romance this year. Still, those that did it well deserve to be honoured. The nominees are: Battle Athletes, Btooom & Kara no Kyoukai 2. All of these have good main couples. The Kanemaki award goes to… Btooom. I did like Battle Athletes main couple better, however, Battle Athletes also had some really badly written side romances. In the end, Btooom’s one good romance wins out over Battle Athlete’s one great and multiple crap ones.

Anno award for flattest, most uninteresting cast:

You need interesting characters to make for a good work of fiction. Not necessarily likeable or moral ones, but interesting ones. Some anime fail utterly to deliver on this end. Let’s look at the worst of this year. Our nominees are: Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge, End of Evangelion & School Days. The Anno award goes to… End of Evangelion. I honestly had a really difficult time deciding whether to give it to this or Crime Edge. Both have a cast of obnoxious, one-dimensional characters. In the case of Evangelion they’re angsty and defined by their baggage. In the case of Crime Edge, they tend to be defined by their fetishes. Both lead to absolutely horrendous casts. In the end, however, I decided that Crime Edge was slightly less terrible due to the canines.

Moore award for best cast:

The difficult part in choosing this one was the there were quite a few anime I saw this year with really good casts of characters. In the end, I narrowed the selections down to those with a bit larger casts that still managed to keep all the major characters compelling. The nominees are: Ano Hana, Bishojou Senshi Sailor Moon, & Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino. The Moore award goes to… Sailor Moon. I love these characters. They’re a joy to watch, they have some strong development and they have amazing interactions.

Bendis award for dullest major conflict:

Conflict moves stories. When the conflict is dull or really badly written, the story is going to be boring, anti-climactic, flat, trite or some combination of the four. This year’s worst conflict nominees are: Cosette no Shouzou, From Up on Poppy Hill & Kuroshitsuji II. The Bendis award goes to… From Up on Poppy Hill. The conflict in this one is trite. It’s virtually non-existent. It’s super predictable so there’s no tension. It was just terrible. 

Claremont award for most compelling conflict:

Even though there were quite a few dull conflicts and non-conflicts out there, there were also some really interesting ones. The nominees are: Ghost in the Shell, Nausicaa & Psycho Pass. These were all really interesting conflicts with some good turns along the way. The Claremont award goes to… Psycho Pass. What this one came down to was Psycho Pass’s greater length giving it more time to build up the conflict and, unlike many other series, it didn’t blow it at any point. It kept it interesting throughout.

Liefeld award for visual ineptitude:

Even a terrible anime can have decent visuals. But some go the extra length to have the ugliest art they possibly can. The three that went the most out of their way in that regard are our nominees: Aku no Hana, Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan, & Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki. The Liefeld award goes to… Aku no Hana. With jerky animation, boring visuals and borked perspective, this is some of the worst animation I’ve ever seen.

Urbino award for visual excellence:

Art in anime, when done really well, doesn’t just look good, it enhances the narrative. These are the best examples of that I’ve seen this year: Nausicaa, Petshop of Horrors & Psycho Pass. The Urbino award goes to: Nausicaa. It’s probably not a great surprise since Studio Ghibli’s known for their gorgeous artwork, but it really was a close call.

Spencer award for acting incompetence:

Most of the acting I’ve heard this year has been decent. Some of it has been stilted or emotionless as a result of the characters being poorly done, bad directing, or just incompetent actors however. The nominees for the Spencer award are: Blood: The Last Vampire, Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki & Sailor Moon (the English dub.) For those of you who don’t remember or didn’t see that review, I actually compared and contrasted the original with the English dub. The Spencer award goes to: the English dub of Sailor Moon. The voice acting in this wasn’t just terrible, it was borderline unlistenable. One actress shouted constantly, another whispered and none had the remotest level of talent or skill.

Sir Stewart award for impeccable acting:

I’ve seen some anime with terrible casts, certainly, but I’ve also seen anime with really skilled actors giving great performances. The Sir Stewart award nominees are: Black Rock Shooter (the OVA), Bottle Fairy, & Slayers Perfect. These weren’t the only good performances but they were certainly at the top. The Sir Stewart award goes to… Black Rock Shooter. What ended up deciding this one is the chemistry between Hanazawa Kana and Sawashiro Miyuki. It is really difficult to convey chemistry between characters using only your voice and this OVA does that magnificently. Let’s move on to the final awards, warp factor nine.

Perry award for ear-splittingly awful vocals:

We didn’t just hear performances good and bad this year, we also heard quite a few songs. Some of which were pretty horrendous. The Perry award nominees are: Animal Crossing for KK Slider’s performance, Brave Story for Ketsui no Asa ni, & Sailor Moon (the English dub) for the mockery they turned the opening song into. The Perry award goes to… The English dub of Sailor Moon. As bad as both of those other musical performances were, they can’t even compare to the dubbed version of Sailor Moon. It took the music of a great song and put in lyrics that could have been written by a six year old and let someone with less musical talent than a vuvuzela sing it. It’s wretched.

Kloss award for harmonious and lovely vocals:

There were a lot of good songs in the anime I watched this year. Even some of the bad ones had really good music. It was tough, but I picked out the best. The Kloss award nominees are: Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan for the song of the same name, Inukami for Hikari & Slayers Perfect for Midnight Blue. The Kloss award goes to… Slayers Perfect. Horie Yui and Saeko Chiba are both spectacular singers, but neither one can quite compare to the peerless voice of Hayashibara Megumi. Midnight blue is definitely the best song I heard in any anime this year.

That’s it for this year’s awards. It’s been a pretty good year. Sure, I’ve seen some terrible anime that are probably against the Geneva convention, but I’ve also seen a lot of good ones and I’ve had fun sharing my experiences with them, good and bad, with all of you. Have a happy day of love with the person you love. Goodnight, Everybody.