Hello, and a belated Happy New Year to everyone. 😀 Hope these first three days have been good ones. 😛 Myself, I was feeling pretty good and optimistic… until I found out that the price of Kobato (a series I started collecting this Christmas) volume 5 has shot up to about £80. I swear I checked out the prices of every volume in early December before committing to buy! Oh, and I’ll likely be out of a job come February. But compared to the manga issue, that’s nothing. Even if it means I’ll have less money to spend on manga. Priorities – who needs them?
This will be the last of my 2010 anime summary posts. Tomorrow I head back to Aber to start my second term, so it’s about time I started focusing on the year to come instead. Expect some posts about the new season in the days before proper lectures begin. I say ‘expect some posts’, but at this point I don’t really expect people to expect anything. I might post, if I do it might be about the new season, or it might be about buddleia. You never know…
To conclude, 2010 was an okay year for anime. Read the rest of this entry »
To all readers of my blog, I wish you a Merry Christmas!
Father Christmas has been good to me on the whole. A weird bubble bath and some lame looking DVD proved a worrying start to the day, but it soon went from meh to awesome. My new hard drive (Christened Yue) is unbelievably light and portable, and I’ve spent most of this morning taking some of the load off my older hard drives by transferring all my unwatched series onto it. Yep, that’s how I spent my Christmas. I DARE anyone to out-geek me on this. Read the rest of this entry »
Well, I’m home. Still going to bed at 3 AM, but unfortunately the freedom of being able to sleep in as long as I want has been taken away from me. They always find an excuse to wake me up. I’ve also been subjected to 12 inches of snow, power cuts, poor central heating and the slowest internet speeds since dial up. All I hope is that I can make a quick escape early in the new year, I DO NOT want to be stranded here due to the snow. But complaints aside, at least I’m being forced to eat!
On to the main topic of this post: my anime harem of 2010:
From the top left – bottom right: Kinoshita Hideyoshi (BakaTest), Miyako (Hidamari Sketch), Batai/Tanpopo (Shin Koihime Musou), Togame (Katanagatari), Merona (Queen’s Blade), Ritos Tortilla (Shukufuku no Campanella), Stocking (PSG), Soga Keena (Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou).
These are the (mostly) female characters that sum up this year’s anime for me. Apart from Merona, who’s more of a 2009 character, but she qualifies due to the current ongoing Utsukushiki Toushi-tachi OVAs. It’s nice to have some overlap, afterall! In order to get into my harem, character design is of course important, but so is personality. I’m not sure I’d be able to live with some (let alone all) of them in real life, admittedly, but on screen they’re a lot of fun. Unlike my theme posts, I can look at this list and say my choices aren’t biased in favour of more recent seasons. But this even spread didn’t happen deliberately, I only realized after I finished and looked at them all together. I guess my likes in terms of characters are more consistent than my changing tastes in music, which has got to be a good thing, right?
The one thing I did refer to when putting this together was my harem of 2009. I tried to fill the gaps with similar characters, to keep up the same variety I had last year. I’m sure some of my thought processes are more clear than others. 😛 But while it was difficult to find matches for characters such as Nobue, this year has also resulted in some ‘unique’ characters such as Togame.
Where is Nick, I hear you say (or was that just my own echo in this empty room)? I haven’t forgotten him. All will be revealed in my next post…
This post will be the final one regarding anime theme music, I promise. I’m not going to do worst OP/EDs, best insert songs or expand my lists into a top 20 or anything. Might do my harem of the year next time, depends on whether I get home tomorrow as planned. That’s right, I may be stuck in Aber due to the snow! More to cheer myself up than anything, here’s some more of this year’s cool OP themes.
10: Hidamari Sketch
This is a nice, upbeat song and… it’s catchy as hell! Unfortunately, it’s nowhere near as good as the first two OPs, which is why I don’t listen to it much. Still, when the series was airing you’d never catch me skipping it. The fun animation sequence means it works better as an OP than a song for my MP3 player anyway.
9: Angel Beats
Another great song that would have been rated much higher if it weren’t for the high standard of competition. Not only does it pale in comparison with the ED, but also with Lia’s earlier songs (Farewell Song and Torch in particular). Again, I never skipped it when watching the series.
A third victim of overshadowing, this time by it’s sequel as covered in my first OP post. Still, before season 2 came along this song got a lot of plays, so it deserves a mention. Very cute animation once again. And fish. Lots and lots of fish.
I know I’ll get told off by certain Aber Anime members if I don’t include this (not that they ever read my blog…); the reason it failed to make my top 5 list is that I didn’t find the extended version all that great. But it’s undoubtedly one of the better TV version OPs of the year, the animation and awesome characters add to it a lot.
Fear not! While the first ED has plenty of fanservice , this second OP focuses on the shonen-style action that could have easily been the main focus of the series if it weren’t for the bizarre breast milk plot device! Plus it’s by Yousei Teikoku; while not their best song, it’s different, which means it still gets lots of plays.
Honourable mention: Shukufuku no Campanella
This is the one-off Tortilla twins OP from episode 8. No, I haven’t gone tone deaf, I accept that the song itself sucks and won’t be downloading the full version in a hurry. But it did it’s job well, making me laugh out loud with it’s crazy animation.
So yeah, more posts will soon follow. Hopefully written from the comfort (read: freezing cold) of my room back in Trawsfynydd. Goodnight until next time!
Okay, I failed to cut the list down. What can I say, it’s been a particularly good year for EDs. They must make up at least 75% of my anime theme downloads this year. So starting from 10 this time:
Easily the weakest of the Koihime Musou themes, but still catchy as hell. For me, it’s one of those songs that I can’t get out of my head once it’s there. It takes a special series to last 3 seasons by basically repeating the same jokes over and over with a wafer thin plot and yet still remain funny, yet Koihime manages just that.
Here you go, all the bishonen characters that the lack of A-P screenshots deprived you of when I last brought this series up. For all this series’ faults, I like that ED. Not my usual kind of song either. But my taste in music is pretty random to begin with.
LOL, SEE WHAT I DID THERE? This is actually ED 3 of 4, quite a few songs for a short series, but that seems common these days (Hanamaru Kindergarten and High School of the Dead had even more). While the ED sequence is just one long fanservice shot, the song is quickly becoming one of my most played this month.
This, and the song at number 6, are the reason I couldn’t cut it down to 5 songs. 10 – 8 are fun, but they’re not ‘awesome’. Hidamari Sketch is a series I usually associate with having great OPs, but Marble won this time around. Here’s hoping for more Hidamari Sketch seasons and more great themes to go with them!
MOAR FANSERVICE! Don’t know why the video is labeled uncensored though, there’s nothing there that wasn’t on the massacred TV version. Oh, and guess what just got green lit for a sequel? Breast milk as a plot device is weird, admittedly, but everything else about this series was awesome IMO, and that certainly includes the music.
Sowa sowa sowa, so-waffle wonderful… That’s put Yuuki Rinrin out of my head at last. 😛 But yeah, cycling spirits floating in the sky to a song full of Engrish and shooby dooby sweets. Despite the fact that season 2 is quickly becoming a trainwreck, the themes definitely beat those of the original series.
Yes, it’s live action, but this is the actual TV version. And it’s awesome. Getting a group together to cosplay Arakawa would be hilarious, but not many people in Aber’s anime soc have seen it, and they have their own cosplay ideas. Stupid free will. Also, I wouldn’t know where to begin making a kappa suit. Oh, the song… it rules!
The ED suffered the same youtube cull as the OP did, though this time at least one version lived to tell the tale… Same warning applies as always – get the soundtrack by all means, the music is spectacular, but don’t subject yourself to the series.
2: Angel Beats!
Part of me wonders whether this should be at number 1, but it’s difficult to compare two such amazing yet completely different songs. And based on what I feel like listening to right now, Brave Song just misses out. The series itself started strong, had it’s moments mid-series, and didn’t end terribly either, but the bits inbetween were quite painful.
I make no apologies for constantly praising this series. Once again, Buck Tick made a song that I like, that’s even better than their OP! Forget playing it in my head, I’ve caught myself singing this aloud (badly) on many occasions. It’s great background music for when I’m playing internet games, hence the huge increase in plays now my assignments are over.
Honourable mention: Katanagatari
This series had a lot of decent EDs, though I’ve picked the first one, Yousei Teikoku’s Tasogare no Getsuka. Just beats Ali Project’s Yuki no Onna. Since each ED was only played once I decided not to include them in the main ranking, but suffice to say both songs would be competitors for places in my top 3.
My next post will be an extension of my OP post – it’s only fair I make that a top 10 list too now (the worst series will remain at 5 though, or I’d be forced to include decent stuff). I realize things are starting to get a bit messy, but this was never the most orderly of blogs to begin with.
Keeping with the theme of summarizing this year’s anime, today I’ll cover the OPs that you’d never find me skipping, no matter how much I’m looking forward to (or in some cases, dreading) the episode itself. Some are tunes I’ve been playing for the best part of the year (if not on my laptop or MP3 player, then in my head), though most of them are quite recent. As much as I’d like to think the music has gotten better as the seasons have gone by, a more likely reason is that the current season’s themes are still fresh in my mind. Still, I did rewatch the OP themes of every series I picked up this year to be sure, and didn’t make many changes to my initial list. So here goes:
Just beating the first season’s OP. Strange to think that season 1 also aired this year, feels like an age ago, but I digress… Anyway, it’s a catchy song accompanied by SHAFT’s usual wacky OP animation (just look at Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei or Maria Holic for similar zaniness). And isn’t the kiss at the end the cutest thing ever?
Now this isn’t as good as the first season’s OP1 I’ll admit, but sadly that didn’t air this year. Funny how it feels like yesterday I was watching it… I think if any song has benefited from being fresh in my mind it’s this one, it’s racked up quite a few plays since I downloaded the full version last week, and before I got that I’d often watch the TV version.
Anyone listening to this song for the first time will hopefully understand why I HAD to add that note at the end of what was otherwise a pretty damning summary (by my standards) yesterday. A great summer song, upbeat and catchy. Just don’t let the music and pretty character designs trick you into watching the series. For your own good, just don’t.
Thanks to youtube massacring every single TV anime version of this song, I’ve linked to the full music video, which apparently is acceptable. Watching this version is good for two reasons: first so you can see Yuki Kajiura and the rest of FictionJunction, and second so that you don’t get lured in by Ookami’s OP animation. Again, it’s not worth it!
I can’t say Buck Tick’s earlier anime songs impressed me that much; their OP for Trinity Blood and second ED for xxxHOLiC were meh at best. But this song, along with pretty much every other aspect of the series so far, redefines awesome. If you’re not already watching it, then by all means let this video convince you why you should. 😛
Honourable mention: Cross Game
This series didn’t qualify for ranking as it aired mostly in 2009, but I thought I’d slip it in here as the last 12 eps were in this year’s winter season. This song (along with the series itself – the first sport anime to take my interest) grew on me over the course of the year, and I still listen to it a lot now, so all the more reason to include it. Once again, it’s catchy!
My next post will cover this year’s EDs. A much harder task.