Russta (russta) wrote,
Russta
russta

2011 - Anime Edition



A little late but I thought I'd ramble on about all the anime I watched that was aired in 2011. I've seen a lot over the past year with some going as far back as 1988 so covering them all might be a bit much. I won't spoil anything directly but there will likely be one or two comments that veer approach the cusp.

A-Channel

I watched this right after Lucky Star expecting more of the same. I didn't get more of the same. Honestly, I'm not sure what I got except a bunch of girls doing girly things. It was almost like K-On with no story right down to Run being a sub-intelligent Yui (something I didn't think possible) while having a strange relationship with a short, overprotective girl.

Hell, I don't even know what to say about A-Channel really. I enjoyed it to an extent but I felt I was massively outside of it's target audience when, as a seinen, I was exactly that.

Ano Hana

Easily one of the best slice-of-life animes ever.

This is about a group of friends that spent all their time together as children until one of them, Menma, died in an accident. The somewhat leader of the group, Jintan, blamed himself and became a recluse because of it. Several years on he suddenly starts seeing Menma as if she's grown up and is still around. As he tries to explain this to the others, who have long since drifted apart, they all react in different ways and the show handles how they all struggled to cope with her death and the various ways it damaged their life. The way Atsumu deals with it in particular is distressing.

I whole heartedly suggest this. And if the end doesn't make you cry you're a rampaging homo. Yep.

Fate/Zero

If you can survive the barrage of backstory thrown at you in the extra long first episode, you will be rewarded with some of the best fight scenes I've ever seen. Some spanning multiple episodes, some with ridiculously over the top effects. Hey, I own every possession in the world timeline, let me summon it and launch it at you! Not good enough? How about I take you to a different reality where the army I used to rule will run through you! No??? Well fuck off, I'm the king of England.

The story concept is a bit loose but the classes and their masters are written superbly. Every class is based on a real life historic person and each has their own motive which doesn't necessarily align with their masters'. To be honest, I was pretty set on this when Caster summoned C'thulu to teach his murderous master a lesson in terror.

I'm really looking forward to the second part of this when it starts airing in a few months; Lancer vs Saber is finally on!

Mahou Shoujo Madoka

Silinde wouldn't shut up until I caved in and watched this.

This is merely really good up until a certain episode where you're shown something even Bender wouldn't be able to see coming. At that point it becomes mind blowing and you will view two characters and their motives in entirely different lights. The art style, music and story are incredible and Madoka would make a pretty sweet video game.

Mayo Chiki!

The concept for Mayo Chiki is kinda stupid. Even if you don't know in advance the shock, you'd see it coming from a mile away. That and it's revealed in the first episode anyway. If you read the synopsis for this on MAL I can't think of a reason that would convince you to watch it. But for some reason I did and I'm glad of it. Yeah, there's not much story but it's really good light hearted fun. Explaining to someone how a girl that's pretending to be a boy is in love with a guy whose mortally afraid of women whose younger sister is in love with her thinking she's a boy but her butler is stirring things up and there's a catgirl that draws these scenarios into yaoi manga is pretty fun.

Come to think of it, MAL should just use that to describe Mayo Chiki.

Nichijou

When Nichijou was airing I spoke to Silinde about it. I thought the art style was gorgeous and he linked me two videos of it which sealed my interest. I waited until it finished airing though as I do have a preference of watching anime in season blocks.

I've mentioned this to BTB but I think Nichijou is the closest an anime has ever come to a western cartoon. For as long as we've known each other, we've thrown quotes at each other from Futurama having religiously watched the show to the point of martyrdom. I found that we were constantly referencing jokes from Nichijou to each other in a way we've never done before. Praise for an anime doesn't get much higher than that.

Nichijou flits around several sets of characters that intersect throughout the show as their go about their lives in ways that aren't ordinary at all. From Nano and Hakase to Misato and Koujirou, almost every skit and scenario is top quality entertainment. The only thing that even remotely falls flat is Helvetica Standard because it's terribly lost in translation.

There is no anime I yearn for a second season of more than this. I would even settle for a spin off featuring just Nano, Hakase and Sakamoto but I don't think either is to be. Due to the stratospherical pricing of the DVDs and Blu Ray releases in Japan, it has sold dreadfully and gained hugely negative reviews everywhere simply because of that. A real shame because this is an absolute gem.

Steins;Gate

I kept seeing this referenced everywhere and put it on my to watch list. It's hard to gauge how popular an anime truly is with the awful sites I use to view discussions on it so I didn't read too heavily in to the hype it was getting. When I eventually decided to watch it I saw it was ranked number three on MAL's all time anime list and wondered what I was about to watch.

After the confusion generated in the first episode you slowly discover that some borderline hikikomori mad scientist and his friend figured out a primitive form of time travel. As they unravel what it is they've created and learn how to get the most out of it they invite more of their friends to use it to, in a sense, grant wishes. However, half way through the show though something terrible happens as a consequence of all their meddling. Okarin starts to undo all what they changed to try to fix the mess they caused. I don't want to give away too much more of the story but something I enjoyed through it all was seeing how everything they went through subtly affected his character and changed him. I do so like good character development.

Anyway, this is fantastic, watch it. Knowing how I flipflop on these things this may change but I allowed this to topple Clannad from atop my personal throne and I currently consider this the best anime I've ever seen.

Tiger & Bunny

If you looked at the poster for this, you'd have no idea what it was about. If you read the synopsis on MAL you'd still only have a loose idea of what it is and not feel particularly inclined to watch it.

The way I tried to describe Tiger & Bunny to friends is a Japanese X-Men mixed with The Running Man with an art style not a million miles away from Redline and a lot of its intensity. I was surprised by this because I was actually expecting two guys who solved crimes and got points for doing it or something. The heroes have great personalities and I think Kotetsu is one of the best written characters I've seen in an anime. Watching his relationship blossom with Barnaby was wonderful.

Take a punt on this, it's great.

Usagi Drop

I like my slice-of-life animes but sometimes I don't feel like being upset by them. This is a perfect example of exactly that. No peril, no deaths, no tragedies, just a guy whose easy going life is suddenly changed drastically as he adapts to bring up his grandfather's illegitimate love child.

I really enjoyed this and I hope they do a second season of it to cover the rest of the manga.
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