It’s already late December, and soon, the curtain to year 2008 will soon be closed and the stage is pending being given to year 2009. So here’s a little reminiscence post of sort. Well, of the anime community, 2008 on the whole has been pretty eventful, filled with considerable number of memorable series and events. Unfortunately, 2008 seemed to begin with more disappointments than pleasant surprises, though thankfully, it ended with quite a few splendid new series to pick up. So, what are the elements which defined and highlighted this year?
Whether you’re a fan or hater, there is without a doubt and there is no way one can deny that Code Geass is the one: the most popular and most talked about show of the year, and maybe even years to come. It is thus also unsurprising, considering how it kicked up the biggest storm this year – a net hurricane so serious that even many who didn’t watch Code Geass were aware of it. Though Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2, the most anticipated sequel, didn’t live up to its expectations, it made it up (maybe, I guess…) with said storm which swiped up cyclones of furious flaming, raging, TL;DRs, hysterically hilarious Photoshopping and of course, most importantly, the memes. Heck, can we forget the fabulous memes!? Special mention of miasmicloud’s blog dedicated to CGR2: Code Trainwreck. Oh Haruhi, I miss Geass Sundays/Mondays.
True, personally, I don’t think that CGR2 is the best anime of this year, what with all the screw ups in the middles part of the series with its copiously crazy dues ex machina. I lost count of all the memorable scenes, be it of true awesomeness or sheer epic ludicrousness level of it. On a serious note, I really liked the ending (which probably kicked up the biggest shitstorm of all of the other stuff of Code Geass put together). Astonishingly enough, the story concluded very well. All in all, with one thing and another, it was nonetheless an enjoyable series. Definitely worth the watch.
The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi
Equally disappointing , or perhaps even more so, was the issue of Haruhi season2, The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi, initiated with rumors of how it’ll start around the same time as CGR2 in April, then somehow got delayed to September: September issue of Newtype even had Haruhi (in her new uniform) on the front page dammit! Finally, the hassle ended off with further rumors of its production being cancelled (which some insist that this is THE real news). So, in the end, the fabled season 2 remained fabled. In the beginning of the year, there was so much news and advertisements being generated about it, now it simply vanished just like that without a single trace (pun unintended… ok, it was intended). As it goes, Haruhi is, in my most honest opinion, an epic troll – though on a manner different from CGR2, but a troll nonetheless. Oh, the subtlety!
It is not without a reason that this year was dubbed the year of sequels. In addition to Code Geass, we also have xxxHOLiC:Kei, a 3rd season of Zero no Tsukaima and a School Rumble Sangakki that turned out to be a pathetic OVA – in short, a lie. The of course there is also Clannad~ After Story.
Yet on the other spectrum, though on a lesser quantity, 2008 also brought us several prequels: Ga-Rei: Zero and Mai-Otome 0: Slfr.
Other Note/ In a nutshell.
And now, with the sequel done, I’m off to the new series. Eve no Jikan, from the producers who brought us Pale Cocoon, is probably the most underrated anime of this year. Probably because it doesn’t have actions, heart-wrenching drama or such, many found it boring and turn off, which is a pity, because despite utilizing simple and over-used concept of the man-VS-machine relationship, it was splendid show. Indeed, it is precisely because it is a popular concept that it is being re-used all the time. Look at Code Geass: we never seem to get bored of the classic tale of one man rebelling against a huge force and revenge. But of course, the cards have to be played right in order for the audience to actually be impressed with.
Studio 4C, acclaimed for their quirky productions, brought us Detroit Metal City, a series that made use of the concept of Jekyll/Hyde blend with Metal. Not as well known, we also have Batman the anime, dubbed batmanime. Macross and Evangelion, old time mecha brands made comebacks with Frontier and 1.0 respectively, while Gundam 00 adds on to the usual staple of Gundam dosage.
Druaga was quite an enjoyable series. Sadly, it’s only season1 and knowing Gonzo, they will most likely mess season 2 up. Lucky Star OVA, though just a mere 40min, just adds more teasing to plenty of doujins and KonatXKagami pairing – if you’ve watched, you’ll definitely know which scene I’m referring to *wink*. The highlights for the year end season are without a doubt ToraDora! and Kannagi. Just looking at the VA cast alone is enough to account for the hype of ToraDora! and that aside, it certainly is an enjoyable series. Kannagi, on the other hand, seemed to strive for the roles of being the Lucky Star of 2008. Personally, I thought it did quite well, until the last 3eps, which suddenly turned unexpectedly moody.
With all that said, the year is mostly laden with short 10+eps long series. As such, by the end of it all, it seems like ToraDora! and To aru majutsu no Index are some of the few series which I’ll be bringing on to year 2009. Wait, there’s still Kara no Kyoukai, but movie release takes a long time, so let’s not include that in.
To end off…
On the whole, 2008 sure wasn’t as flashy as 2006, with Haruhi, Death Note and such, or as 2007, with TTGL. Much of the soul of 2008 seemed to have been given much to Cod Geass R2. So here it is, in for the last few posts of year 2008!