In the meantime, I’ll just make a summary post of sort for titles I’ve watched.
Tier 1: Recommended (In alphabetical order)
In short, the highlights of 2010.
1. Angel Beats
Would have been better if the series was longer by about 3 episodes and also the conclusion should have just ended without the additional scene where the two meets again. Nevertheless, on the whole, Angel Beats is entertaining.
2. The Disapperance of Suzumiya Haruhi (movie)
Top-notch production values, intriguing storyline with poignant scenes, delivered by distinctively memorable and very much appealing characters, this movie is in essence, a perfect combination of faithfulness to source material and production staffs’ own creative input. Indeed, this is one adaptation done right, for it didn’t just meet my expectation: it exceeded it. This one isn’t just the best of 2010; The Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi easily goes into my list of all-time favs.
Baccano was fantastic and this being made by the same author AND anime being produced by the same studio is enough a reason for me to watch. The result? Well, it didn’t disappoint. Urban fantasy (Contemporary) mixed with Irish mythologies (Ancient), a very large cast of characters and some of them are outstandingly ridiculous in terms of personalities, Drrr retains some of the quirks from Baccano while still having its own style. Also: look at the voice-acting casts!
4. Darker than Black – Gaiden (season 1.5)
Well, there isn’t much to be said. It’s Darker than Black, so yeah.
5. Fate /Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works
Yes, it pales in comparison to the VN. Yes, I maintain that ufotable should have been the one to adapt it and as a series of movies like Kara no Kyoukai. Still, it was an entertaining popcorn flick. However, I’m rather miffed that they didn’t use the whole reality marble initiation chant – that was one of the key contrast in the plot, after all.
6. Hidamari Sketch season 3 – Hoshimittsu
More Hidamari Sketch, more Miyako eccentricity! Huzzah! Also, finally, a more ‘proper’ detail on the whole NatsumeXSae stuffs. Speaking of which, like the Nanoha series, they should just put up the Shojou-ai tag to the genre already!
7. K-ON! season2
More moe, slice-of-life etc
8. Kami nomi zo shiru sekai (The World God only Knows)
There I was ranting in my Seitokai no Ichizon review hoping for a Kami nomi anime and then a few months later, voila! Well, season 1 is just for starters, but considering how it was done, I have high hopes for season 2 (assuming they maintain the quality than all).
9. Nodame Cantabile season3
3 seasons and finally ending with 50+ episodes – it’s been a long ride and well, on the whole, Nodame certainly is one of my favorite series.
10. Time of Eve (2010) (movie)
From the Terminator to Ghost in the Shell, Isaac Asimov’s influences are vast. However, unlike most of the science fictions about Robotics, Eve is done in a more slice-of-life style, rather than having the more common action-focused plot. While Eve doesn’t really put a new spin to the genre, the characterization is more than enough to be an entertaining movie in its own right. Interesting story and directing style plus detailed art designs makes Time of Eve a fantastic film. Suzumiya Haruhi certainly isn’t the only good movie released in 2010.
11. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (Tatami Galaxy)
The classic Groundhog day, the When They Cry series, Haruhi all utilized the now familiar time-loop concept, but each with their own style and to achieve varying effects. Tatami Galaxy is yet another such series but done with a fair bit of surrealism thrown in (just to increase the mindscrew). Sure, the storyline for Tatami can be easily summarized as the protagonist needing to fulfill a promise he made to girl, but hey, it’s the story style that makes it so bizarre and entertaining.
For my regular serving of slice-of-life goodness. Pity it was only 10+ episodes. A second season would be nice.
– – –
Tier 2: Worth the watch
Sure, they aren’t exactly ‘must-watch’, but they are entertaining.
1. Idiots, Tests & Summoning Beasts (Baka to test to shoukanjuu)
Come for the summoning beast RPG thingy, stay for Hideyoshi.
2. Black★Rock Shooter
This is a tough one. I like the concept, but it would have been better if done in the style of something on the line of concept albums. Sort of like what Daft Punk has with Interstella 5555. After all, the OVA has the whole fantasy element going on and is rather interpretative and Vocaloid is more towards the category of music – the soundtracks for BRS is pretty good so putting more emphasis on the music may have been better. i.e. like Insterstella but with dialogues.
3. Gundam 00 movie – A Wakening of the Trailblazer
War is very bad, miscommunication is lethal, mutual understanding is cruci– OH WOW THE GUNDAMS ARE FRICKIN’ AWESOME. SHUT UP WITH ALL THE NARRATION AND EXPOSITION I’M TRYING TO WATCH SOME COOL EXPLOSIONS HERE.
What can I say, it sure is nice to have some classic vampires back in business. The only flaw I find with this series is that art style isn’t really suitable for the series. As far as Undead series goes, this one isn’t a disappointment like HsotD.
5. Shinryaku! Ika Musume
A rather simplistic gag manga with plenty of slapstick moment. Cindy and the trio are unfunny and annoying though. Other than that, a pretty fun series.
6. Sengoku Basara season 2
ARE YOU READY GUYS!? PUT YA GUNS ON! LEEETTSUU PAAARTAAYY!!!
7. Sora no Woto
Beautiful art, fantastic music, but otherwise average slice-of-life series. There is the impression that there’s something much more going on in the setting, but not shown (only too vaguely implied, alluded to).
– – –
Tier 3: Forgettable
1. High school of the Dead
This would have been enjoyable, if it weren’t for the fact that the action scenes are crap. If I wanted a good zombie flick, I’d watch that movie, Zombieland.
2. Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou
The storyline is wasted; it was too good to have ecchi as the main genre. Sure, it being only 10+ eps means it cant have Negima manga’s level of balance between fanservice, comedy and serious story. Yet, it chose to focus on the ecchi – the weaker part of the series.
3. Seitokai Yakuindomo
Eh, first few eps were interesting, but the gags got too repetitive later.
4. Seikimatsu Occult Academy
It seems to be going for the old cheesy sort of supernatural show. The main flaw however, is that it tried to throw in too many ideas without trying to actually integrate them into the story properly.