Archive for January, 2011

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Number One Pick of 2010

January 15, 2011

My number one pick will be a full review.

Jon’s Pick

The Tatami Galaxy

Every once in a while, a mirale of an anime comes along. One which is incredibly original, wildly entertaining, and even has something important to say. This is clearly the case with the Tatami Galaxy. Just a glimps of its unique, surreal art style is enough to see that this is not your average anime. The cynical narration of the nameless main character gives the show its off-beat tone and sharp sense of humor.
Add other narrative quirks, such as the show’s unique time frame, and what you have is storytelling brilliance. The story itself is something amazing, a desperate search for happiness which concudes with an inspiring and enlightened message. It is hard to put into words just how special this anime is. This is the first I’ve seen of director Masaaki Yuasa’s work, but if the other anime he has directed are anything like the Tatami Galaxy, then Mr. Yuasa has just made another fan.

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Top 2 and 3 of 2010

January 3, 2011
Jon’s Picks
#3  Kuragehime

Starring a cross-dresser and a band of otaku girls, Kuragehime is the most oddly adorable anime of this year. It’s cast of misfits is probably one of the year’s most bizzare, yet one of the it’s most charming. From the jellyfish obsessed Tsukimi, to carefree cross-dresser Kuranosuke, to Kuranosuke’s woman frearing older brother, all the characters are incredibly likable despite, or maybe because of their disfunctions. The irresistable charm of these characters is reflected in it’s art, which has a uniqueness all of it’s own. Directer Omori Takahiro uses the distinct personalities of the shows characters to great comedic and dramatic effect, weaving a story that is both funny and heartwarming.

# 2 pick Shiki

Shiki
Highschool of the Dead was a strong horror entry in the world of anime in 2010, however it was not the best. That honor goes to Shiki. This godsend of a horror manages to do the unthinkable, it makes vampires scary again. Shiki is so effective because it knows that atmosphere is key in horror. It perfectly creates a world full of menace, giving off a constant feeling of uneasiness. It hints at dark things to come until the tension is almost unbearable, and then it erupts, resulting in some of the most shocking and haunting sequences to ever be animated. Shiki’s vampires are the most menacing creatures conceivable, possessing inhuman cunning and cruelty. They retain personality traits from when they were alive, which makes them all the more horrifying. Shiki is one of those rare dark jems which reminds you of the twisted sophistication that the horror genre is capable of.

Art’s Picks

#3 Baka Test To

It’s really kind of sad that the genres of anime I really dislike ended up being my favorite anime of the year. Baka Test to is an anime that has a ridiculous premise of little monsters fighting each other, but manages to do it so over the top and ridiculous that it becomes funny. The main characters grow on you, and the pink haired girl, Himeji is actually pretty cute. The thing that got me about this show was the hilarious faces each character makes. There are several Fist of the North Star referential faces that got me laughing and the music to the show only increased my enjoyment. I have a playlist of anime openings and endings, and the Baka Test singles are my favorites and are on constant rerun. I think this anime is not for everyone however, since a lot of the people I spoke to about it said they didn’t want this anime to have a second season because they found it distasteful and a diservice since SPOILER the main character doesn’t end up with anyone. Solid show from start to finish with laughs a minute.

#2 Tatami Galaxy

I feel uneasy adding Tatami Galaxy as my number two show. Why? Simply because I don’t remember the entire series clearly.  However, this anime stands as a number two because it was a great improvement on Yuuasa’s terrible previous work Kaiba. Progress is all I ask for out of a director, and if they can’t do that, then they do not deserve to be directors. The ending of Tatami Galaxy really brought to me a deep message though. At the time when I watched Tatami Galaxy I was being a massive recluse. I refused to exit my room and avoided people a lot. As of the time that I’m writing this, I’ve completely dropped all my old habits. I’m now less focused on anime and other nerdy hobbies and focused on real life. It’s funny that an anime would make you more aware of your surroundings in real life. The episodes get a bit repetitive but the amazing ending to the show really bring it all home and makes this show excellent.  A classic that I definitely need to rewatch to see if the message and reaction is still the same.