Tuesday, January 6, 2009

2008 Year-Ender Anime Rankings

I forgot to mention that on the 7th of December, Animeshoon officially turned a year older! (cue: fireworks ~) But I'm not a sentimental person and stuff like a blog's birthday usually flies over my head, so that (aside from occasional bouts of amnesia) explains the silence. Still, to celebrate my coming back to life after the Christmas and New Year hiatus, I've decided to compile a year-ender report for 2008. Mind you, I'm not good at this so please excuse the suckage.

Before I begin though, I would like to say outright that my blogging list does not necessarily reflect my watchlist. Weird, huh? But that's me. That said, on to the list ~ ♥

Top 5 Highly Anticipated Series
  1. Blade of the Immortal - I thoroughly enjoyed the manga series so I thought the anime might prove to be a great experience as well
  2. Ghost Hound - the darkly psychological themes interested me but it was the art that got me first
  3. Spice and Wolf - I was intrigued by the concept of fantasyslashtrade&economics
  4. Kurozuka - I thought it was a love epic with vampires in it and the time-leaps piqued my interest
  5. Shikabane-Hime - Aka - the promo said that the main character is an undead and I have a thing for the undead -- zombies specifically
Top 5 Series with the Best First Episode
  1. Ga-Rei - Zero - because nothing beats killing all your characters in the first episode
  2. Xam'd: Lost Memories - the series' best assets -- great OP and ED themes, excellent pacing, interesting cast of characters, and a simply brilliant storyline -- can be readily seen from the first episode
  3. Ghost Hound - the focus on sound distortion and the dark, mangly themes gave me goosebumps; production value was tops as well
  4. Blade of the Immortal - the series's first episode does a good job juggling character revelation and an ass-kicking, bloody fight scene
  5. Kure-nai - the first episode implies a lot of heavy stuff and yet has just enough quirkiness to keep you coming back for more
Top 5 Series with the Best Finale
  1. Ghost Hound - I seriously did not want the series to end
  2. Kure-nai - yes, it was corny and ridiculous, but people got beat up and wise words were spoken, and overall it gave a satisfying feeling
  3. Real Drive - after muddling a lot of the episodes, the neat and tidy ending is refreshing
  4. Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musumetachi - ohmygod, there was SECKS and then more SECKS and then lots of people die, it was just WOW
  5. World Destruction - a spectacular ending to a rather bland show; it surprised me
Top 5 Random-picked Series that Turned Out Great
  1. Natsume Yuujin-chou - something about the slice-of-life approach to a gentle storyline riddled with fantasy reminds me of Mushi-shi
  2. Xam'd: Lost Memories - a mecha series that I actually enjoy because it's mecha
  3. Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora - another slice-of-life series that surprised me with its subtle depth
  4. Eve no Jikan - the two-month wait is so worth 15 minutes of pure genius
  5. Kure-nai - I like it mainly for its quirkiness
Top 5 Favorite Titles
  1. Eve no Jikan - yes, only three episodes are out but every single one of them has been nothing short of excellent, leaving me with no doubt that the next trio are going to be just as spectacular
  2. Ghost Hound - a coming-of-age story that manages to delve deep into parapsychology, science and the supernatural at the same time
  3. Xam'd: Lost Memories - the excellent pacing gives plenty of room for character development and boy what development!
  4. Real Drive - a series that suffered from its slice-of-life approach but still managed to deliver in the end
  5. Kurozuka - it knows it has nothing going for it other than pure, unadulterated violence in a simple plot that is unabashedly too straightforward for a mystery
Top 3 Favorite Female Characters
  1. Yayoi (Kure-nai) - I like her mainly because she is the only serious (not to mention capable) character in a series that does not take itself, let alone its characters, seriously
  2. Otono-Tachibana Makie (Blade of the Immortal) - Hyakurin will likely steal her place but until the series actually gets to that point in the manga, Makie remains on the top 3
  3. Isayama Yomi (Ga-Rei - Zero) - because she's badass

Top 3 Favorite Male Characters
  1. Manji (Blade of the Immortal) - he's tough, he's rude, he's freakin' immortal!
  2. Takehara Akiyuki (Xam'd: Lost Memories) - a main character that I don't find annoying, what are the chances?
  3. Kuro (Kurozuka) - strange how a one-dimensional, flat, stereotypical character managed to make it to this list but Kuro manages to be all that and still maintains a semblance of respectability (meaning: you can't laugh at the poor vampire boy - HE WILL CUT YOUR HEAD)
Top 3 Funniest Characters
  1. Michael Kohaku (Ga-Rei - Zero) - his crazy outfit did it
  2. Toppi (World Destruction) - who didn't like the bear?
  3. Makoto / Mako-chan (Minami-ke Okawari) - cross-dressing boys is one thing, a cross-dressing boy who actually secretly likes to cross-dress is another
Top 3 Favorite Villains
  1. Otono-Tachibana Makie (Blade of the Immortal) - the reluctant murderer, the hesitant prostitute, the very thing that makes her feel conflicted is what makes her character fascinating; Anotsu Kagehisa, however, is a close runner-up if the fan-subs were any faster
  2. Isayama Yomi (Ga-Rei - Zero) - because she's badass
  3. Furuichi (Xam'd: Lost Memories) - nothing like a psychotic villain to make my day; and his Xam'd form is fugly as hell
Top 3 Favorite Couples
  1. Sora and Gouta (Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora) - heart-warming, then heart-wrenching, then heart-warming
  2. Aoi Souta and Holon (Real Drive) - seeing the two of them together makes me feel all giddy inside; I especially like that their little romance isn't shoved in front of your face but remains on the side the whole time
  3. Takehara Ryuzo and Takehara Fusa (Xam'd: Lost Memories) - sure, Akiyuki and Haru are sweet but Ryuzo and Fusa are married, for god's sake! and they still manage to light up the sparks with their love-hate interactions
Favorite Crack Couple
Benikawa Ishuu and Tsunomata Raigyo (Xam'd: Lost Memories) - if only because they are both HAWT

(NOTE: Ryouko and Izumida (Ryouko's Case Files) shared lots of sexy passive-aggressive moments on-screen but surprisingly they're not as smoldering hot as Ishuu and Raigyo and the bath conversation)

Favorite Slash Couple
Asogi Rin and Laura (Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musumetachi) - let's get one thing straight: they're not a couple, but wouldn't it be fun though? with Laura constantly trying to BLOW UP Rin and Rin constantly trying to kill the living daylights out of Laura, such romance will never be boring

(NOTE: Mikhail and Alto (Macross Frontier) almost made it to the top but I can't say the two shared a moment together on screen quite like Rin and Laura did)

Part 2, with my list of "best" 2008 animes is up next....