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The Best of Anime 2010

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Now that 2010 is over, here’s a look back at some of the best series the year had to offer. Due to the subjective nature of it all and the fact that I’m constrained to what I’ve seen, I’m not trying to pick series that the vast majority finds agreeable. Instead, I’m here to convey my personal favorites for 2010, after which you’re more than welcome to chime in with your respective choices. Carrying over from last year, there’s an increased number of categories separated into corresponding areas, namely Production, Miscellaneous (fun stuff), Genre, and Notable Others. Also included at the end are the final results to the Reader’s Choice Poll.

 

Disclaimer: These are purely my personal opinions based on the shows that we’ve seen in the past year. While I’ve watched a lot of series (56 this past year), please keep in mind that I haven’t watched everything. For a show to even qualify for consideration, it had to have met the requirements outlined in the Reader’s Choice Poll. For OVAs/movies, the additional requirement is that it’s been either released on DVD/BD so that viewers outside of Japan have had a chance to watch it.

 


Production


Animation

Visuals and fluid movement. It’s all about the quality of what we see on screen and what impressed me the most. Any lack of consistency due to poor outsourcing should be taken into account, as I’m trying to think of the most jaw-dropping series across the board. To a certain degree, character designs and overall art style fall into this category too.

Animation   Divine

There’s only a handful of studios that I tend to associate with high quality productions, and BONES is without a doubt one of them. Their faithful remake of Fullmetal Alchemist stood out the most to me in the end, edging out J.C. Staff’s work in To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, Kyoto Animation’s in the sequel to K-ON, and AIC’s in Oreimo. When I consider the fact that Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood ran for fifteen months — a full 64 episodes — it made the series even more deserving in my eyes. From all the fast-paced transmuting action to just crisp artwork all around, I don’t recall a single episode where I was terribly disappointed with the animation quality. Consistency goes a long way toward giving off a sense of a stunning production.

Honorable Mentions: K-ON!!, To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, Oreimo

 

Story

As the somewhat polar opposite to what’s on the surface, here I’m looking at depth and what captivated me from start to finish. You don’t need amazing visuals to tell a good story, so it’s about the original material (if any) and the screenwriter’s adaptation of it here. Good cliffhangers that keep you on the edge of your seat week after week says the series is doing something right, whereas filler-esque showings don’t.

Story   Divine

Considering how Maeda Jun was expecting a two-cour series for Angel Beats, it’s a bit of a shame to know that we only got a portion of what he had in mind. Still, its thirteen-episode run had me captivated from start to finish as I tried to make sense of the afterworld that the characters found themselves in. The method of storytelling with the characters misconceptions led to some interesting twists later on, plus there was the emotional aspect from each of them coming to terms with how they died. The true underlying story was masked with a lighthearted mood much like Jun’s previous works, and was flipped to quite seamlessly throughout the series. There were a lot of times that this series had potential to be a real tear-jerker as well, which I would have been suspect to had I not gone in emotionally prepared. For those people who feel the story didn’t make sense, we must have watched different shows, because it made perfect sense to me when I covered it.

Honorable Mentions: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Durarara!!

 

Soundtrack

What would a series be without the music to help set the mood and tone? A good soundtrack enhances the power and emotions behind scenes in such a way that you start associating imagery with the music unconsciously, regardless of whether it’s cheery, inspiring, or heartfelt. Lasting impressions say a lot, plus it just has to sound good too.

Soundtrack   Divine

I haven’t listened to as many soundtracks as I would’ve liked this past year, but for the ones that I have, none stood out nearly as much as Senju Akira’s musical composition for Fullmetal Alchemist. In addition to sounding good, his music was memorable enough to make me recall specific scenes from the series as I listened to it. Having that associative imagery is what constitutes a good soundtrack in my mind, as it reaffirms the music helped bring out the emotion in the scene I was watching, and Akira’s pieces did just that. A lot of times it’s only a track or two on a soundtrack that will have such an effect, but all three of his OSTs had numerous ones that brought back memories of a series I finished watching nine months ago. I still get goosebumps listening to some of them due to how “epic” they sound. “Clash of the Alchemists”, “Crisis in the North”, and “The Intrepid” are a few that come to mind.

Honorable Mentions: Ryou Kunihiko – Tegami Bachi

 

Opening & Ending Sequence

Whether for its originality or ability to showcase what a series has to offer, opening sequences are always fun to watch. We tend to look forward to new ones and the songs that will be featured in them, and sometimes get a glimpse at what’s coming up in the show too (for better or worse). Here, the focus is on the sequence itself, even though the song may play a part in making it memorable.

Unlike opening sequences, endings don’t strive to draw the viewer in and get them psyched up about the episode that’s coming up. Instead, they’re an outro to what you’ve just seen and may highlight a specific aspect/emotion of the series. Sometimes, they’re completely irrelevant to actual story and are just an outlet for sheer fun/comedic value. Whichever the case, there are ones I enjoyed more than others.

Angel Beats! OP
K-ON!! ED2

As much as I like Lia’s “My Soul, Your Beats!” opening theme that accompanies this sequence, it’s Kanade on the piano, the panning camera, and the various character screens with all their names that made this one my favorite. In conjunction with the sneak peak into the episode around the middle, it’s very reminiscent to the unique style seen in Durarara‘s opening sequences, so it was a bit of a toss-up between those two. In the end, it came down to which one I liked to listen to more, and Lia’s song nudges ever so slightly ahead of ROOKiEZ is PUNK’d’s Complication.

Honorable Mentions: Durarara!! OP2

Much like last year, K-ON‘s second ending sequence gets my pick of the year for featuring the girls in outfits and hairstyles outside their usual ones, while giving off a very different sense of character. They’re suddenly transformed from a bunch of goofy tea-drinking high school girls to a pretty cool-looking band, and looking a lot “sexier” than the show will have us believe. The serious looks on all their faces as they stare off into the distance, the slow-motion jumping, and their roughed up uniforms made them seem a bit gangster-like, before things switched over to a complete outfit change with a very animated Mio singing. To top it off, Ritsu has her bangs down. With a fully choreographed dance, kiss x sis comes in at a close second.

Honorable Mentions: kiss x sis ED

Song

With the sequences covered, the attention is now on the actual songs. Insert songs are also up for consideration, with the only real guideline being that it’s something I didn’t get tired of listening to. There’s no bearing on if it was created specifically for a series or even if the series was even any good, as I’m simply picking my favorite song featured in an anime.

“I miss you” by Veil

Up until a month or so ago, I was pretty set on a couple of songs as my potential favorite of the year. That changed the more I watched FORTUNE ARTERIAL though, as its ending theme quickly became the song that I could listen to over and over again and not get sick of. Veil is actually a vocalist brand name that Queen’s Label uses for artist collaborations with Lia and Tada Aoi (who sang Angel Beats’ ending theme), and this particular song features Aoi with Togashi Misuzu (Minatsu in Seitokai no Ichizon). “I miss you” is a very soothing slow song that immediately caught my attention when I first heard it in the anime, but it wasn’t until I listened to the full version and its many variants did it really grow on me. The duet between Aoi and Misuzu has a very nice sound to it, so much that I even like it more than Lia’s really good solo rendition.

Honorable Mentions: “Sign of Love” by immi (Sarai-ya Goyou), “irony” by ClariS (Oreimo), “Kimi no Kioku” by mao (Hakuouki)

 


Miscellaneous


Character

Branching away from strictly picking series and focusing on some specifics is the idea behind this miscellaneous section. The first one is my favorite character, who won his or her way into my heart for whatever reason. The criteria here is somewhat loose, but with numerous options in a single series, multiplied by almost a hundred in the past year, it’s actually quite difficult to pick one above all others. Be that as it may…

Character   Divine

I fumbled around with this decision much longer than needed, because I somehow overlooked the absolutely adorable Ika Musume. It’s not every day you see a squid girl, let alone one that’s come to the surface to conquer mankind with absolutely no understanding of how things work above sea level. Her naivety about the world was endearing, and it was always funny to see her get swept up into other people’s pace since no one took her threats seriously. In addition to her tentacles, her manner of speech ending sentences with “de geso” and “-nai ka?” added further uniqueness to her character, whom Kanemoto Hisako brought to life in an unbelievable cute way. Then there’s mini Ika Musume, who was so warmly received by viewers that bonus episodes of her are planned for the DVD/BD releases. Ika Musume may not be able to invade the surface world, but she sure has a knack for invading people’s hearts by just being herself.

Honorable Mentions: Nanasaki Ai (Amagami SS), Kuroneko (Oreimo)

 

Seiyuu

As the natural extension of characters, the seiyuu who voiced and gave them life deserve some attention. A character’s appeal can change drastically depending on the voice behind it, so I’m here to highlight whose acting I enjoyed time and time again. While a variety of roles may help showcase a seiyuu’s talent better, sometimes all it takes is that really one good role to grab my attention and never let it go.

Seiyuu   Divine

In terms of impressing me and really making me look forward to her roles, Toyosaki Aki really stole the spotlight when she broke out of her K-ON mold and started playing a wide variety of characters. Her role as Tomo in Seikon no Qwaser particularly surprised me in the later stages of the series, during which she mustered up a pretty evil and psychotic voice. It was stark different from Hirasawa Yui in K-ON and Uiharu Kazari in To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, and made it seem like she had the ability to play any type of role. As the year went on, she diversified herself further with support roles in Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, Ookami-san, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Motto To LOVE-Ru, and Sora no Otoshimono Forte, using distinctly different voices for each character. Before long, I found myself taking notice to any series she was cast in due to her versatility, making it difficult to see fellow K-ON co-star Hikasa Youko (whose roles I really enjoy) match up to her. As for sheer number of roles, Hanazawa Kana deserves recognition for having a breakout year, after starring in Angel Beats, BLACK ROCK SHOOTER, Durarara, Kobato, Kuragehime, Oreimo, and SEKIREI ~Pure Engagement~ in addition to numerous support ones. Likewise with Itou Kanae, Yuuki Aoi, and Nakamura Yuuichi.

Honorable Mentions: Hanazawa Kana, Itou Kanae, Yuuki Aoi, Nakamura Yuuichi

 

Plot Twist

This is the replacement for the category previously known as “Biggest Shocks”. I’m looking for a sudden unexpected turn of events in the story that caught me off guard and delivered sheer shock value. It’s that “WTF” moment that has people talking about it for the next few days, regardless of whether or not anyone found it agreeable. Below are the specific unfolding of events I have in mind.

Show Plot Twist ▼

 

Death

This may be part of a plot twist or something you see coming a mile away, but I’m concerned about the impact the death has on the story and me as the viewer. Well-executed screenplay leading up to it may play a big part, but there are also cases where a character dies so suddenly that we’re left in complete disbelief. In both cases, it’s the lingering impression I’m basing my selection on.

Show Death Picks ▼

 

Admiral Ackbar Award (It’s a Trap!)

“It’s a trap!” and by that I mean a guy cross-dressing as a remarkably cute-looking girl. Gender bender is also acceptable since we’re simply looking for the character who gave off a disturbingly unsettling feeling with how well they portrayed the opposite sex. In short, the character who managed to deceive others (and me) into thinking they’re actually a hot girl, if even only for a moment.

Trap   Divine

This is a bit of a no-brainer, since I had the perfect candidate only days after I posted last year’s Best of Anime. It’s pretty hard to contend with a trap that even his male friends want to dress up and drool over, knowing very well that he’s a guy. Hideyoshi has a lot going for him as well, having a nearly identical physique and appearance as his twin sister Yuuko. Voiced by Katou Emiri, he’s more or less the dumber, flat-chested version of Yuuko, and can deceive just about anyone dressed up as her, which he did as part of Class F’s plan to pit everyone against Class A. Now how’s that for using sex-appeal as a weapon? Forget nosebleeds, as Hideyoshi’s cross-dressing had pervert ninja Mutsuri bleeding out of his eyes when he was unable to take a picture of him while he was changing.

Honorable Mentions: Aoi-chan (Kaichou wa Maid-sama!), Hayama Tatsukichi (MM!)

 


Genre


Action

In the genre section, the goal is to pick the series of the year for their respective classes. These are pretty much the series that brought their A-game to the table and are viable candidates for my favorite anime of the year. First up is action, which ranges from shounen-crazed series to war-filled mecha ones. For battles, choreography plays a huge role so that was definitely taken into consideration.

Action   Divine

With shounen series never ending and no Gundam or Macross offerings aside from their movie counterparts, no particularly series stood out to me that much in the action department. Looking back, Fullmetal Alchemist still isn’t a series where the action comes to mind first, but it’s pretty hard to ignore the awesome transmuting battles that it animated. In combination with what I perceive as the best animation and music of the year, it was easy to see the fights against the Homunculus as some of the most exciting exchanges to grace television airwaves for the past year. It wasn’t just senseless action either, as the alchemy aspect came into play from a strategic standpoint and made everything more interesting. The other series I had in mind, Seikon no Qwaser, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, and STRIKE WITCHES 2, come in at a distant second at best.

Honorable Mentions: Seikon no Qwaser, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, STRIKE WITCHES 2

 

Romance

Emotion-filled romance at its finest. The relationships between characters and the emotions involved are the appeal, and the main criteria for selecting a series here. A sentimental story is always good, with tear-jerking scenes being a plus. There’s a saying that romance is in the air, and this is the series that made that mood the most prominent from the character interactions to the big confession.

Romance   Divine

After giving me my first good taste of the omnibus format and showing me the beauty of having multiple endings, Amagami SS had multiple opportunities to become the standout romance series of the year and made good on them. With six different heroines to focus its short four-episode arcs around (plus a bonus one at the end), the series leveraged the “thrill of the chase” leading up to a relationship, and provided drastically different looks on how it can happen depending on the girl in question. It may seem a bit unfair considering how the series focuses on arguably the best part of romance series, but there was no guarantee that the format would work out as well as it did. Regardless, all I needed were a couple of arcs to win me over with this one, namely Kaoru and Ai’s. Using a pseudo-omnibus format, the very lustful Yosuga no Sora deserves special mention, as does the more innocent Kimi ni Todoke and the more lighthearted romantic comedies, Kaichou wa Maid-sama and B Gata H Kei.

Honorable Mentions: Yosuga no Sora, Kimi ni Todoke, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, B Gata H Kei

 

Drama

I separated the drama genre from the romance one this year, as there are a lot of good series out there that depict an emotion-filled story where the romance comes secondary, if at all. Strong depictions of friendship and in challenging situations can really draw a viewer into the story and start making them sympathize with the characters. It’s a bit of an all-encompassing genre, but only a handful of series tend to portray it well.

Drama   Divine

RAINBOW: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin deserves a lot more attention than it received, depicting a very dark drama that most viewers would rather turn a blind eye to. Abe George’s story about seven boys who find themselves in a juvenile corrections facility in a post World War II era was incredibly powerful, as they struggle against absolutely ruthless acts of tyranny by corrupt adults and find a way through it all. Relying on nothing but their absolute trust in one another and the friendship that was hardened when they came in contact with their senior prison mate “An-chan”, the first half of the series was full of strong depictions of anger, sadness, and despair. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but it’s for that very reason that I was so captivated by this very “un-anime-like” anime. It’s a must-watch for anyone who’s lost faith in the medium doesn’t and feels it’s degraded to shows about scantily-clad girls or “moe crap”. Hakuouki‘s surprisingly faithful depiction of the Shinsengumi on the losing side of the Boshin War was a favorite of mine as well, since it depicted a similar perseverance in an otherwise depressing story.

Honorable Mentions: Hakuouki (Hekketsuroku), Yosuga no Sora

 

Comedy

The ability to make you laugh until you cry. That’s probably the number one criteria when selecting a comedy of the year. From everything to sheer stupidity, quirky characters, and timely comedic pauses to perverted fun, elaborate setups, and witty jokes, it’s the lighthearted nature and humorous entertainment value of these series that I love.

Comedy   Divine

Of the comedies that left me laughing up a storm and hurting from it, Mitsudomoe is at the forefront of them all with its quirky depiction of sixth graders who get into a whole whack of slapstick incidents and subtle misunderstandings. It’s a real shame that some people would ignore this series simply because they don’t find the character designs agreeable, since they’re missing out on some of the best laughs of the year. The misconception that this involves pedophilia is almost as laughable as the humor in the series itself. Bridge brought a lot of the hilarious moments that I loved in the gag manga to life, and did an impeccable job of it as a new studio. It was a close contest between Mitsudomoe and Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, but I can remember laughing more often with the former, so that gave it the nod for being my favorite of the year. Both are absolutely great comedies worth watching, as are WORKING, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, and Oreimo.

Honorable Mentions: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu, WORKING!!, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Oreimo

 

Slice of Life

A laid back series with no reliance on heavily gimmicky plot devices nor a constantly progressing storyline is what this genre stands for. The character interactions themselves in an otherwise “normal” setting are the highlight, along with any incidental humor that results from them. A lot of times, they’re just really cute and innocent happenings, and that’s exactly what makes a good slice of life series.

Slice of Life   Divine

This happens to be one of my favorite genres with the ARIA series considered one of the pinnacles, so it felt odd not to pick my favorite of the year for it. After all, this past year saw the highly-budgeted sequel to the series about the high school girl band, “Houkago Tea Time”, which doesn’t strive to be overly hilarious yet slots in beautifully as a cute series with amiable characters that I love watching. Even though the music is secondary, the episodes that featured Pony Canyon‘s songs were a treat and always something I looked forward to. The drastic increase in production quality was a huge plus, but even without it, the continuation brought more of the rather simplistic lighthearted moments that I enjoyed in the original season. While Shinryaku Ika Musume made a strong push at the tail-end of this year, K-ON had precedence that was followed up nicely in this sequel. For a series that has a remarkable resemblance but no real connection, Sora no Woto‘s portrayal of “girls playing war” (as I like to refer to it as) goes down as one of my favorites as well.

Honorable Mentions: Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Sora no Woto

 

Fan-Service

While fan-service-filled affairs tend to go hand-in-hand with comedies, that’s not always the case. In addition, fan-service doesn’t only constitute breasts in your face, nor an abundance of needless upskirt shots. The only criteria here are character interactions suggestive of a sexual-related context, regardless of how revealing the scenes may actually be.

Fan Service   Divine

From kissing with chocolate lipstick to using one’s body as a “study tool”, kiss x sis sure didn’t leave much to the imagination. At the same time, the series never once shelled out with any actual depictions of nudity, regardless of how risqué some of the wild actions and fantasies of the Suminoe twin sisters got. Ako and Riko are pretty daring to say the least, and their forwardness in their love for their non-blood-related little brother Keita makes most depictions of romance in anime look like they’re moving at a snail-like pace, save for Yosuga no Sora. While the series is just a huge tease, it never failed to amaze me with the boundaries they pushed. Suggestive is a bit of an understatement since the girls had every intention of getting the deed done. However, it was their sliver of innocence in light of all their advances that showed exactly how far you can take fan-service without treading into hentai territory. The precarious situations depicted makes it far more enticing than the breast milk drinking in Seikon no Qwaser, which was pretty outlandish even by anime standards.

Honorable Mentions: Seikon no Qwaser, Yosuga no Sora

 


Notable Others


Most Underappreciated

This is the replacement for the “Show We Wish We Blogged More”, and falls into the same criteria short of being something I didn’t blog. There are a lot of shows out there that people don’t watch or continue watching because they’re so fixated on what’s unanimously popular. I make a point of watching and covering series that tend to be overlooked, so this is intended to highlight the series that more people should have checked out but probably didn’t.

Underappreciated   Divine

I had several series under consideration for this, and decided to go with GIANT KILLING since it should appeal to a wider audience yet never did. Ruling out an anime because it’s about sports is a fairly ignorant mindset, and one that I’m guilty of as well in the past. Luckily, I took the time to see exactly what this series had to offer and was immediately hooked on the story of a seemingly unorthodox coach turning a his struggling ex-soccer team around. I’m not a huge fan of soccer, but the portrayal of skeptical players whom Tatsumi eventually gets to buy into his system completely won me over. Some games were depicted in great detail and showed just how much excitement can be built up from inner dialogue alone, and left me in awe on several occasions when East Tokyo United would pull a huge upset. RAINBOW is another underappreciated one (even as my favorite drama of the year), as are Sarai-ya Goyou, Hakuouki, and Senkou no Night Raid. The last one is not only underappreciated, but difficult for most audiences to even appreciate with the inclusion of a very controversial period of history.

Honorable Mentions: RAINBOW: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin, Sarai-ya Goyou, Hakuouki (Hekketsuroku), Senkou no Night Raid

 

Biggest Disappointment

The pitfall of excessive hype and anticipation for anything is the disappointment that results when things don’t meet expectations. With regards to anime, this is doubly true when a series has precedence established by its original and a sequel falls incomparably short. At times it’s only a small letdown, but sometimes we’re left wondering what we did to deserve sitting through it. I’m not looking for the worst series of the year here, but the biggest disparity between expectations going in and way the series turned out.

Disappointment   Divine

This choice may surprise a lot of people, but please keep in mind that it by no means makes Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu the worst show of 2010. Just like the criteria above states, I went into this adaptation of an award-winning light novel with pretty high expectations, and they fell quite short of the impression I got from the early chapters of its manga version. I attribute this largely to what I perceived as poor direction and series composition (i.e. script), since the series was ridden with a lot of interesting story elements that never really came together. There’s a common belief that predictability is a bad thing, but I’m a firm believer that providing the viewer with some idea on where things are headed is not a bad way of telling a story. With Denyuuden, I never once could felt like had a good idea of its direction, despite how closely I paid attention to the plot and tried to anticipate where it was going. The abrupt ending only reiterated the sentiment that not enough thought went into the production of this series. To put it in really crude terms, it’s as if the production staff took whatever parts of the story they found interesting, animated those, and (poorly) strung them together in whichever way they deemed fit. As someone who was expecting a good medieval story in a fantasy setting, this series turned out to my biggest disappointment of the year.

 

Exceeded Expectations

Naturally, there’s the exact opposite of the above, where we go into a series with low or little-to-no expectations and it turns out much better than we anticipated. This could easily be considered finding diamonds in the rough, which is only possible if you tend to give new shows the benefit of the doubt. My picks here don’t mean they’re blockbuster hits in disguise, but that the disparity between expectations and the actual series goes in the favorable direction.

Exceeded Expectations   Divine

Since I approach all new series with expectations aligned accordingly, I’m rarely surprised by something turning out to be much better than it initially seemed. In 2010, I was fortunate enough to be graced with a few that did so, with Hobby Japan’s Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls adaptation being the most notable one. While I was open-minded to the possibility that this series would go down a similar fan-service path as Queen’s Blade, the focus on the comedy really took me by surprise from the second episode onwards. I was already content with the unique art style and stylistic touches in what I expected to be a modern samurai series, so the sudden shift to the high school comedy that it was intended to be transformed this series to a mesh of some of my favorite genres. In addition to providing some slapstick laughs — most noticeably through Kanetsugu — there was much more plot than I imagined, which included a couple of twists along the way and worked towards a climactic finish. In a somewhat similar fashion, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin had some nice twists, and Otome Youkai Zakuro came together really well in the end.

Honorable Mentions: Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, Otome Youkai Zakuro

 


And Finally…


Favorite of 2010

The be all and end all of the year. If I had to pick just one series as my favorite, this would be it. If I could’ve only watched one show this past year, here’s what I would’ve been watching. There’s no other criteria here and being on the same page as the masses is the least of my concerns. You may not agree, but this category is for conveying what I enjoyed the most in 2010.

Favorite 2010   Divine

There were really only two series that were under consideration for this, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood not only gets my pick as my favorite series of 2010, but also as one of my favorites of all-time. As someone who wasn’t familiar with the manga but did enjoy the original adaptation, this faithful remake with Arakawa Hiromu‘s intended conclusion took everything that I liked there and enhanced the experience. With BONES back behind the production and a beautiful score by Senju Akira, this adaptation had it all on the production side of things, plus a complex story that well warranted the 64 episode adaptation that it received. It’s not often we see an anime of this caliber, and that is what ultimately led to me picking it over Angel Beats. As another one of Maeda Jun‘s stories, Angel Beats was a very entertaining series that stands out from the crowd with its combination of humor and melancholy, and featured great songs that he composed for it, making it the only other series that really contended for my favorite of the year.

Honorable Mentions: Angel Beats!, K-ON!!, Oreimo, Durarara!!

Kiiragi: Katanagatari, Kimi ni Todoke, Kuragehime, Tatami Galaxy, Angel Beats!
Prooof: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Angel Beats!, WORKING!!, Durarara!!
Takaii: Amagami SS, Katanagatari, Angel Beats!, Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

 

Favorite OVA/Movie of 2010

The same as above, except for the not regularly broadcasted offerings. These aren’t covered very often on the site, but I’ve had the pleasure of watching enough to find some that really caught my eye.

Favorite OVA Movie 2010   Divine

I’m probably one of the very few people who didn’t place Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu in my top three, let alone as my favorite of 2010. However, as a long-time Gundam and Macross fan, their movie offerings delivered impeccably in reminding me of everything that I love about both franchises. I was pretty set on the theatrical retelling of the Macross Frontier as my favorite, but the late release of Gundam 00′s conclusion changed my mind with its stunning animation and story about a powerful independent organization intent on putting a stop to war even if it meant getting involved themselves. The “peace through understanding” theme was finally brought to fruition in this movie, and gave new meaning on the fifty episodes that came before it. That’s on top of featuring some of the most action-packed battles in space to date, including Celestial Being’s “last mission” that spanned over twenty minutes long. With mankind facing insurmountable odds, the suspense was off the charts and had me on the edge of my seat. Some viewers may feel that it took the franchise in a questionable direction, but as someone who’s been following it for as long as I have, I personally loved the new outlook. I still enjoyed Suzumiya Haruhi a lot, but Fate/stay night’s alternate storyline that addresses the mystery behind Shirou’s connection to Archer edges ahead from an entertainment standpoint. Beautifully animated as well, by Studio DEEN of all studios too.

Honorable Mentions: Macross Frontier ~Itsuwari no Utahime~, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Gundam Unicorn

Kiiragi: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Summer Wars, Eve no Jikan
Prooof: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Summer Wars, Angel Beats! OVA
Takaii: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, Tamayura

 

Reader’s Choice

Your choice for 2010. Since I allowed everyone to pick their top 5 this year, we have an even nicer spread of results than the previous one. In exchange for finding out if there was one series that everyone would’ve picked with a single vote, we have a much better idea of the other ones you enjoyed. The top choice is still pretty unquestionable however, since it was good enough to make it into the majority of your top 5 picks.

Readers Choice 2010   Anime

The Top 5:
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood – 3,232 (9.17%)
Angel Beats! – 2,944 (8.35%)
Durarara!! – 2,633 (7.47%)
K-ON!! – 1,634 (4.63%)
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai – 1,252 (3.55%)
Total Number of Votes – 35,255
Here are the full results.

The turnout for this year’s polls was quite remarkable with at least 7000 voters. Whether or not that’s due to a longer poll duration, it’s a staggering increase from last year’s 4000 or so, and provides an interesting spread of results like I was hoping for. As for the results themselves, the reader’s choice top five are the same as mine (albeit in a slightly different order), which seems to suggest my tastes are in-line with most people’s despite being arguably more diverse. I am a bit surprised to see HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD ahead of the likes of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun and Katanagatari however, indicating that the summer zombie anime did live up all the hype. The top three, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Angel Beats, and Durarara, lead the pack by a fair amount, and are quite deserving of being there.

 

Reader’s Choice OVA/Movie

Your OVA/Movie choice of 2010. As mentioned in the disclaimer above, the choices here were restricted to what’s been released on DVD/Blu-ray so that viewers outside of Japan have a chance of watching it and making an informed decision. It didn’t make sense to restrict such offerings to a small pool of voters this year and not have it up it for consideration in 2011, so if you wanted to vote for anything that premiered in theaters, you’ll get your chance next year.

Readers Choice 2010   OVA Movie

The Top 5:
Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu – 1,807 (10.26%)
Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance – 1,682 (9.55%)
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works – 1,255 (7.13%)
Summer Wars – 1,153 (6.55%)
Darker than BLACK Gaiden – 1,018 (5.78%)
Total Number of Votes – 17,609
Here are the full results.

I gather that Suzumiya Haruhi and Evangelion appeal to wider audiences, resulting in a lot more voters having them up for consideration. Either way, they took the lead by a fair margin, earning a spot on a lot of people’s top three OVA/movie lists. Summer Wars turned out to be a lot of people’s favorite as well, which I also enjoyed, but not more than the other offerings I selected as my favorites of the year. I would’ve placed Darker than BLACK Gaiden ahead of it too, simply because the OVA cleared up a lot of the confusion in the second season.

 

Every year offers something different, and I feel that 2010′s line-up wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination. That’s coming from someone who watched 56 of the 98 series put up for consideration in the poll too. Those who weren’t willing to dip their toes into many series and expand their horizons likely missed out, as there are a lot of good shows that didn’t even make it into the top 20 in the poll. Of course, that’s purely subjective much like this Best of Anime post itself, but it’s probably fair to say that you’ll never find out if you enjoy a series if you don’t give it a fair chance. In any case, 2011 is well upon us and along with it the Winter season, so here’s to hoping for another fun and entertaining year from the world of anime.

January 3, 2011 at 7:15 pm
304 comments »
  • January 4, 2011 at 2:46 amahelo

    @divine
    I did expect Brotherhood to own everything here (i think even omni would’ve picked it as the year’s best) but in my opinion there were definitely others for the best in animation post. I guess animating FMA for 63 whole episodes kinda wins the whole thing but better quality is better and HOTD was just wide mouth awesomely gorgeous with its animation. Railgun too look pretty stellar and more stellar in my eyes than FMA. Opinions vary though I guess.

    Oh yeah I guess you haven’t watched Cross Game. I’m pretty sure most people who watched it put it on top of their lists. You should check it out.

    • January 4, 2011 at 7:52 amvladrin

      @Divine
      Thanks for the post. While opinions always vary. I think a more objective picking, would have included Railgun for sure.

      While as any other person, I would agree and disagree with certain favorites above, which is completely normal since people tend to have subjective views. Still, almost entirely excluding the word Railgun from this post is, again, not very objective.

      • January 4, 2011 at 7:55 amvladrin

        Reading what others have commented, reminds me that Durarara was also almost completely excluded. Which is obviously a very unique anime, at least in relation to Angel Beats.

      • January 4, 2011 at 1:12 pmX

        @DIVINE:
        At the “DEATH” section, I know it’s your opinion and all, but I just wanted to know if you have watched the ending of KATANAGATARI series?

        Show Spoiler ▼

      • January 4, 2011 at 2:43 pmDivine

        X: I edited your comment with a spoiler tag since you basically spelled out the entire ending. Also, if you actually read my write-up for the death choice, you’ll notice that I specifically addressed Katanagatari.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:07 amTaiakun

    I know it’s your opinion, but it’s a bit weird how you considered Angel Beats as one of your favourite anime of the year and the best overall story, but it was not mentioned in any of the genre lists. Thought it could fit with drama/slice of life/comedy – could even fit with action or romance lolz

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:11 amimmortalgamerz

    FMA ftw!

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:16 am[SiNaN]

    Results are pretty close to what I was expecting, with the exception of Angel Beats!. I wouldn’t even consider it for favorite anime of year. I would have changed these if it was me though:

    Story: Durarara!!
    Opening: Durarara!! OP2
    Song: Kimi no Kioku
    Seiyuu: Hanazawa Kana
    Romance: Kimi ni Todoke
    Drama: Hakuouki (Hekketsuroku)
    Comedy: Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu
    Most Underappreciated: Senkou no Night Raid
    Exceeded Expectation: Otome Youkai Zakuro
    Favorite OVA/Movie of 2010: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu

    Still you have my selections as Honorable Mentions too. I guess we have similar tastes.

    In the upcoming years, we could have reader polls for each category as well. I’m sure it would require a lot lot more work at your end though, Divine, but it would be interesting to see what readers think too.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:39 amTan-Tan

    Haha, I almost typed in a whole paragraph raging why you said Dnyd was the worst anime until I reread the sentence.

    FMA FTW.

    You seemed to have a pretty small scope of anime though. I didn’t think Angel Beats would win multiple award.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:49 amKae

    I was shocked to see that Angel Beats got the best story award. IMO it’s the biggest disappointment of 2010. The plot was a mess,and it’s even far from being good, let alone the best. FMA definitely deserve the best story award in my list, with a strong competition from Shiki. I found it a bit sarcastic that what Divine wrote in the biggest disappointment part can be applied to Angel Beats as well.

    But it’s undeniable that Angel Beats is a favourite of many people, although I never understand why, and I actually found it a bit unbelievable. But I guess it’s down to everyone’s own taste. *shrug*

    • January 4, 2011 at 1:26 pmRazz

      i couldn’t agree with you more….to me Shiki and FMA definitely deserve the best story award. i was surprised to see angel beats! there….

    • January 4, 2011 at 3:33 pmDivine

      Shiki was a good offering in the horror department, but I never found the story to be that engaging.

      People in the village were dying mysteriously and rising up, but no one would believe it. When word finally got out, the villagers started fighting back.

      That’s the plot in really simplistic terms. To me, it was too straightforward to be considered for the story category. What the series did well was wrap it up with horror elements to make it more interesting. That still didn’t change the fact that there wasn’t too much to the story itself though.

      • March 9, 2011 at 10:48 amGhost of Oden

        *spoilers of Shiki*

        It’s extremely unfair to sum the story up that way. The way the story transitioned itself with by the end of the series, the “bad guys” no longer felt like the bad guy and the “good guys” becoming seemingly more despicable than the shiki, how the village burned and was destroyed anyway, and so on, it was just one of, if not the best portrayal of an ironic ending I’ve ever seen. I rarely say animes have good endings, but the last few episodes of this series, in my opinion mind you, are perhaps the best last few episodes an anime series has ever had. Summing up Shiki in that way almost makes it seem like you were busy cooking dinner with Shiki on in the background.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:53 amJohn Smith

    i have mix feelings about angel beats as best story.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:58 amalex

    I mostly agree with your list but the readers’ choice list is fail.
    A bit of a shock seeing AngelBeats for the best Story and Comedy should go to Ika-chan.

  • January 4, 2011 at 3:58 amewok40k

    Shiki deserves strongly the most underappreciated, it wasnt even blogged here nasd had very good story!

    • January 4, 2011 at 4:27 amlol

      agreed.

    • January 4, 2011 at 6:28 amAcylia

      Agreed.

    • January 4, 2011 at 7:44 amKat

      Agreed. Shiki was easily my favorite show this year and it gets no recognition here.

    • January 4, 2011 at 2:13 pmfarrafella

      Agrees. For me Shiki was not only the best anime of the year but one of the best animes ever. It was amzing & the only anime I actually managed to keep up with cause I loved it so much :)!

      • January 6, 2011 at 4:37 amRazz

        Exactly, I also agree.

    • January 6, 2011 at 12:54 pmAlcohol

      agreed

  • January 4, 2011 at 4:36 amProoof

    definitely agree with best OP and ED picks

    • January 4, 2011 at 5:09 pmLaN

      Same here! Although, I did like the Angel Beats! ED as well. Would never put it over the K-ON!! ED 2 though. Also I half expected Divine to create a sub category called “most annoying OP to encode every week”. It was great, but it must have sucked to encode it every week haha.

  • January 4, 2011 at 4:52 amMadox

    LOL Heroes was really a disappointment. It had a wonderful backstory that could have been told, and had the basis for really cool fight scenes with the magic. All that was animated in the words of someone else was ‘lightning dogs vs more lightning dogs’….

  • January 4, 2011 at 4:57 amRedWing

    Angel Beats best Story really? Really? Can anyone tell me anything about the story that wasn’t rushed, inconsistent and just generally poor?

    • January 4, 2011 at 5:07 amPureauraa

      It’s the blogger opinion, not the reader one RedWing. They are allowed their own opinions you know…

      Love the list Divine, agree with most, if not all :).

    • January 4, 2011 at 5:19 amlaaa

      I would say its beatiful ending that AB had… So many nice animes end up with nothing and too open for next season

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:08 amJC

    The majority has pretty much tied up on the polls.

    Got the same choice as you and the rest with your OP and ED picks. I guess that shows how limited the competition are this time around.

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:23 amMrRei

    I just realized that I’ve been visiting this site for around 3 or 4 years.. Happy new year randomC! And thanks to Divine for keeping the site up! ^^

    • January 4, 2011 at 5:41 amIchigomaru

      me too.
      We are getting older, believe you or not

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:26 amPochi

    O.O wow…

    a bit shocked that Angel Beats got the story award… and a bit shocked that Amagami SS got the romance over Kimi ni Todoke O_O… actually no im more shocked over that…

    in all honesty Angel Beats started to bug me after a couple of episodes of… SUDDENness… everything from the where the hell did he come from when it was mainly those 2 talking most of the episode and the WHO THE HELL is that last guy kinda feeling…

    but really… Amagami SS? I guess it really depends on what your tastes of romance… cause i mean ya… it wasn’t bad and all, but it really didn’t feel that GREAT either… Kimi ni Todoke had a smoother feel to it imo ^^; Amagami had those… weird… wtf? moments to it that really didn’t seem “romantic” and it felt like the characters were forced sometimes…

    anywho though, despite my opposing opinions on your choices, I’m really glad to have RC around still to keep on giving me great episode reviews ^^ keep up the great work Divine and thanks a bunch for all the time and commitment you invest in RC :D!!

    • January 4, 2011 at 5:29 amlaaa

      Well personaly enjoyed Amagami alot because this was one of those anime that brought story till the end every arc was unique so as female characters… As KnT it was inocent type I couldnt take that much myself made me wana cry or laugh or something between but was very touching too

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:52 amAecen

    Agree with pretty much everything. FMA Brotherhood actually became one of my top favs of all time.

    Sad to see the Maid-sama snub though, really enjoyed that show.

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:57 amAlfredonm

    I think it’s ok. btw, yosuga no sora for me was the best romance, not amagami.

  • January 4, 2011 at 6:14 amMomogoldfish

    This is another reminder that I need to finish watching FMA…

    Is there something about exclamation marks in the title that increases the quality of an anime work?

    Oh and Kuranosuke should have at least gotten an honorable mention for TRAP, I stopped bothering to convince myself he’s a guy by ep2.

    Here are some of my memorable anime moments of 2010:
    Most memetic: Durarara! (Trust Me Parodies, cellphone stomping, vending machine, Shizuo, Dollars site etc.
    Most likely to cause diabetes: Kimi ni Todoke (in a good way)
    Biggest plot twist: Show Spoiler ▼

    (sure it was always a possibility, but no one expected A-1 to have the guts to do it.)
    Exceeded expectations: Oreimo, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Hakuouki Hekketsuroku
    Biggest (for a fujoshi) WTF went wrong!!? award: Togainu no Chi (Nitro+Chiral game, A-1 and great seiyuu and music…yet the final product turned into an eye-burning convoluted mass of QUALITY).
    Most needy of sequel/extras:DenYuuDen, Kuragehime, Angel Beats!

  • January 4, 2011 at 6:27 amZero

    Man, Summer Wars just doesn’t get enough love…

    Then again, considering all the anime-watchers here, I’m not surprised it got shunted….

  • January 4, 2011 at 6:33 amHenDarou

    Here are my picks (I agree with the other categories):

    Soundtrack – Yosuga no Sora (beautiful score)
    Opening – Durarara!! OP2 – Complication
    Ending – Yosuga no Sora – Tsunagu Kizuna (don’t know if it counts as it’s apparently counted as an insert song)
    Song – Hiyoku no Hane by eufonius
    Character – Heiwajima Shizuo and Kasugano Sora
    Seiyuu – Hanazawa Kana
    Romance – Yosuga no Sora (particularly Sora’s and Akira’s arcs)
    Drama – A tie between Yosuga no Sora and Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
    Comedy – Working!!
    Fan-service – Yosuga no Sora (great fan-service AND it played an important part in the story)

    • January 4, 2011 at 6:39 amHenDarou

      Forgot the rest:

      Most Underappreciated – Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin
      Most disappointing – No idea
      Favorite Series – Tie between Yosuga no Sora, Durarara!!, Angel Beats! and Working!!
      Favorite OVA/Film – Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu

    • January 15, 2011 at 5:10 amVlavv

      I agreed with everything you said about the animes I already knew. So I downloaded the others animes you mentioned, and I’m also totally agreeing so far. Thank you for your advices. And I’m still looking for the OST of Yosuga no sora (TV version).

  • January 4, 2011 at 6:37 amSaika

    Honorable Mentions seiyuu: Taketatsu Ayana too );

    • January 4, 2011 at 7:36 amShirt

      Kobayashi Yuu!! <33

    • January 4, 2011 at 8:57 pmchibuki

      I can’t believe you’re the only one who mention her here. ):

      Of course, Toyosaki Aki-san deserved the credits she gets too but personally, she’s the seiyuu of 2010 for me. You can see her range from soft-voiced Azu-nyan who stand out the most in K-ON!!, to the tsundere Kirino, to the aggresive Isurugi Mio, Ako-neechan in Kiss x Sis and many more support roles. Not only that, she performed a lot of lovely songs.

      • January 4, 2011 at 9:00 pmchibuki

        …oops I was referring to Taketatsu Ayana.

      • January 6, 2011 at 4:27 pmShirt

        I always found it very funny how Kobayashi Yuu voiced such morally twisted characters. From Kuroko to Naruko to Amazoness. lmao She’s just to funny.

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:00 amKarmafan

    I just would have liked to see Zakuro do better in the results then it did. It was a great story that had action, romance, comedy, great music, beautifully drawn, and was just very well done.

    Also Kimi Ni Todoke should have beat out Amagami for romance series. Its really laughable that a series that changed the characters every 4 episodes and rebooted everything won out over the beautiful story between Sawako and Kazehaya!

    • January 4, 2011 at 7:37 amShirt

      Kimi ni Todoke was soooo much better than Amagami. I think that since it was more recent, it was stuck in more people’s heads and the story was fresher. =_=

      • January 4, 2011 at 1:10 pmSuppa Tenko

        Or it could just be that people want to see romance that actually develops to more than just holding hands. These start of the journey conclusions are over used and frankly appeal to less people.

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:03 amvirox

    At least Kaichou wa Maid-sama got a honorable mention :|

    • January 4, 2011 at 11:12 amfoofiebeast

      Yeah, I’m a bit surprised as to how poorly it did even in the viewers choice, as it was really one of those shows that surprised me in terms of quality.

      Also in terms best romance, I think Yosuga no Sora definitely beats Amagami.

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:08 amelijah

    ”that really contented for my favorite of the year.”
    I don’t know if I should be nitpicking on small spelling errors like this,but shouldn’t it be ‘contended?’>_>

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:23 amWheate

    Nah Eden of the East movies didn’t make anything :( They where good followups to the series and had great plot :3

    And i so agree with comedy pick XD !!

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:34 amShirt

    So tired of FMA stuff. But what’s good is good. The OP and ED awards were spot on.

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:43 ammrman

    Oah! seems our tastes are complete different. Or the total opposite.
    Animation: not sure .. there wasn’t anything standing out last year.
    Story: (ah now I understand why you picked Angel Beats .. there wasn’t anything interesting last year) I would pick Katangatari(ouch .. a character driven show) or Brotherhood
    Soundtrack: easy: Katanagatari and PSG
    Character: Stocking, Busujima Saeko, Misaki (Kaichou)
    Plot Twist: last 3 seconds of PSG lol .. no .. maybe Katanagatari or Tatami Galaxy
    Death: Katanagatari (I didn’t watch Rainbow)

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:54 amLitho

    Oh yeah… totally forgot about Rainbow when I voted. Indeed, it was the best drama.
    Working would win the comedy award for me, though… Mitsudomoe was just gross.

    No comment on the rest, since my tastes tend to be way different compared to the general anime viewer.

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:18 amsonaive

    yeah~ Rainbow deserves for it :D

    RAINBOW > Angel Beats (no offense for AB’s fan :D)

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:27 ammike

    are you sure that’s the best animation ??
    i mean..
    what about the complex details in rainbow
    or the sublime battles in unlimited blade works(except in the last battle between archer and lancer, but whait… it was for the foggy efect)
    what about the beautiful characters on angel beats
    i think all of them are far better than oreimo
    maybe above To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
    and they might be on the same level as fma,
    also, i think maybe you are on the side of fma, cause, this year, maybe there werent great shows like in other years, but, there are a lot of series to take into count

    • January 4, 2011 at 8:39 amDivine

      OVA/movies weren’t candidates for any category except the Favorite OVA/Movie 2010. It wouldn’t be fair to compare a movie’s level of animation with a TV series.

      As for series to take into account, there are 56 that I watched to completion and considered.

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:43 amdave

    Well, I agree in almost everything except Fma as best of the year but, as you said,it’s a very subjective matter. Even though, i think Shiki deserved at least an honorable mention in the story department.

    Also, denyuuden’s plot suffered the same destruction as Kaze no Satigma and CHAOs;head. So sad.

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:45 amMaximilian

    Where is Monochrome by Tomatsu Haruka from Star Driver? Where is Ichiban no Takaramono from Angel Beats? Especially Ichiban no Takaramono since it was played as background for one of the most tearjerker scene, I couldn’t stop crying for a while after watching episode. I think it deserves at least a mention.

    And Haru from Yosuga no Sora deserves a mention: the guy has the balls to go for it in first date, plus he has to finish what he started :D .

    As for trap, Hideyoshi can’t be considered a trap, you know, even the show itself treated Hideyoshi as a third gender :P Another mention would have to be Kotori-chan from Working!! as Poplar-chan worship her.

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:11 amzmil

    angel beats is the best!!!jun maeda works is really something…

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:26 amdorasaga

    I’m a bit disappointed that Gintama was not even mentioned. I guess it’s a little too Japanese for the liking of a Western audience, and its originality is more like Woody Allen for another genre, not for the “moe-moe” fans. But that’s the beauty of anime: diversity.

    GIANT KILLING is not underrated. At least in Asia, esp. within Chinese otakudom, there’s a huge following. Sports anime has been huge. the last series of Major was a blast to many fans. So was the sequel of Hajime no Ippo.

    RAINBOW: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin is a little tough to score because I’ve watched too many live-action adaptations of a similar theme: The Disaster films. I believe there was a film adapted from the exact same storyline. I guess I grew tired of them, if just to kill time about the same theme, I’ll rather read some Japanese novelia (“Light Novel”), or the disaster/horror manga by Ito Junji.

    2cents. Some sleepers here. Thanks for the reviews.

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:37 ampcwolff

    That picture for “Drama” is perfect :)

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:45 amlaaa

    @Divine please put more attention on moves/ovas next year

    • January 4, 2011 at 9:52 amDivine

      Please keep in mind that OVA/movies were never even considered before, so they’ve already received more attention in the last two years since I added them.

      • January 4, 2011 at 10:25 amlaaa

        Well must admit I didnt consider them much worthy up till this year when there were so many nice ones… Anyway ty for work and fast reply
        And Gundamn ftw…

      • January 4, 2011 at 10:26 amlaaa

        o Gundam*

  • January 4, 2011 at 10:34 amLuxorcist

    Woo another Aria fan :D
    *High five*

  • January 4, 2011 at 11:03 amSecsuey

    Just as planned FMA:brotherhood won

  • January 4, 2011 at 11:21 amReianz

    Thanks Divine for the usual yearly review. Too bad Cross Game wasn’t on the list. I’ve watched nearly 60 shows this past year and Cross Game was definitely the best for me!

  • January 4, 2011 at 11:22 amZeruel

    Sheesh, so much haterade in these comments. It’s only opinion, and we are all free to differ with it. With that in mind, and given we have been freely offered to do so, I will throw out my own.

    Animation: I cannot necessarily disagree here. From what little I watched, I actually found Samurai Girls’ animation style and quality quite good, but that is probably more a matter of preference. (I also couldn’t bring myself to watch all the episodes, so I may have missed out on some QUALITY work.)

    Story: I would go with either FMA:B or Durarara! (jeez even in written form that’s a mouthful). Angel Beats! seemed like it possessed a good concept, but the fact it was a two cour show presented in just one really showed in the form of a cramped plot. I honestly groaned at the climax, as it just felt too rushed and pulled out of nowhere for me to find any real attachment to what was going on. I can nonetheless say I would easily vote for Angel Beats! as top show to be remade as a two cour. :D

    Soundtrack: Difficult choice, but I would probably sway with FMA:B’s musical score. Panty & Stocking’s soundtrack was excellent, but my elation is tempered somewhat by the realization that anyone who hates techno may not be so fond of it.

    OP and ED: I cannot really disagree here either. Angel Beats was worth watching in spite of its cramped plot for two things: the characters and their interactions, and that amazing opening.

    Song: Another tough choice, but the one song that probably sticks in my head most from this season is Ichiban no Takaramono from Angel Beats. It still makes me tear a little to this day. XD

    Character: A hard choice between Ika Musume and Kuroneko. Both were the driving forces in their respective shows, but I have to give Kuroneko credit for what she did for Oreimo. Oreimo was, as far as I am concerned, a terrible show made decent by three unexpected bits: its trolling of the incestuous relationship fad, its trolling of the anime industry in episode eight and the implicit contrast between “old school” and “new school” anime fans. Kuroneko and her wit were pretty much the driving force behind the latter two, she helped spice up the first bit as well, and in the process made Oreimo bearable (and in fact entertaining) to watch for me…and I am not sure if I owe a fictional character more gratitude as a result.

    Seiyuu: I will go along with your choice, though Hanazawa Hana definitely stands out as well (partially for being associated with my best character choice).

    Plot Twist: Very difficult, as Gakuin’s plot twist really came out of nowhere and brought us back to the plot in driving force. Nonetheless (and perhaps just for the sake of being different), I would have to go with the twist in Katanagatari. That type of plot twist happens, and they actually let it stick? That, and characters that realistically act in their interests seems so…rare in anime anymore.

    Death: Agreed in full, though I also agree your first alternate was an extremely strong contender.

    Admiral Ackbar Award: I cannot disagree. This character may be solely responsible for turning a certain other anime blogger into a trap fan, and that probably says something. What, exactly, I neither know nor do I really want to know. :P

    Action: I will go along for FMA:B, for all you said of it.

    Romance: Agreed in full again. Amagami may not be the absolute best romance show ever, but it stood out this year in my opinion.

    Drama: Agreed to RAINBOW. A show that can fill me so full of anger due to the situations its characters are in that I find it hard to keep watching is probably doing something very right.

    Comedy: As an all encompassing choice, it is difficult to disagree with Mitsudomoe. I honestly found Panty & Stocking more amusing, but it was not entirely consistent in its delivery and a number of episodes require the viewer to be in on what Gainax was spoofing.

    Slice of Life: Ika Musume. Down with moe overload for moe overload’s sake! :P

    Fan Service: Not going there. :P

    Underappreciated: Agree with all your choices, though I would also throw in Shiki for good measure.

    Biggest Disappointment: HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD by far. The nature of the genre this show was in pretty much puts fan service hand in hand with zombie violence, but the fan service here was turned up to such ridiculous levels I could not keep myself watching after about two thirds of the way through.

    Exceeded Expectations: Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. Even with Gainax at the helm, I felt the concept would make it utterly not worth watching to me. In the end though, it almost always kept me thoroughly entertained with its spoofs and Gainax’s own uniquely insane presentation. It was also one of the very few shows I faithfully watched every week as it came out. The excellent soundtrack was an additional plus. I should probably stop doubting Gainax at some point, though we’ll wait and see after this upcoming season.

    Anime Of the Year: I will agree with FMA:B for the sake of its excellent story and its consistently excellent presentation. As you said, given the sheer number of episodes this show spanned over, it really deserves accolades.

    Movie / OVA: Very hard, though I make it a toss up between the Macross Frontier ~Itsuwari no Utahime~ and Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu. Shoushitsu’s presentation was all around great, while Frontier’s seeming forcing of Ranka more into the plot was made up for by Sheryl Show Spoiler ▼

    , thereby proving her to be a true hero of capitalism and the one truly worthy of the hand of the One True Trap. :P

    Awards For The Sake of It: I might agree with other commenters arguing for a horror category for Shiki, as this type of show is quite uncommon. Also, I think a certain Lelouch would happily hand a FABULOUS award to Star Driver. XD

  • January 4, 2011 at 11:40 amMad_Dog

    you’ve got Samurai girls and Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu switched. Samurai girls was an epic fail.

    and why the fuck did you choose the Gundam 00 movie as the best movie of 2010?! Gundam 00 was the biggest piece of shit Gundam series EVER and the movie was just as bad if not worse! at least the reader’s choice did list the best movie of the year. the Haruhi Movie was epic.

    • January 4, 2011 at 12:03 pmDivine

      I chose it because it’s what I liked, and not what you’re telling me I should have liked.

      It’s a really simple concept actually. I’m surprised more people don’t get it right away.

      • January 4, 2011 at 3:02 pmDave

        Indeed. It must get on your nerves how people often critizes you about your opinions beacause you didn’t mention their pick, Huh?? It’s kind of a matter os tastes and perception; opinions are always subjective. I think what we can espect from you it’s impartiality, and given the wide range of anime you consider, you were very impartial, in my opinion XD

      • January 4, 2011 at 4:28 pmJonBob

        Would you have expected the Gundam 00 movie to have fared better in the user poll if it had come to dvd sooner?

      • January 4, 2011 at 5:52 pmDivine

        Probably a little better, but it’s still highly unlikely it would’ve made the top three. Judging from the poll last year, Gundam doesn’t appeal to a wide enough audience.

      • January 11, 2011 at 1:59 pmxybercutie

        I’m not really a fun of the gundam series but I was hooked with gundam 00…I really like it and it’s a shame that it doesn’t appeal to a lot of people.

  • January 4, 2011 at 11:57 amSenorDelgato

    Idk about other people but I felt this anime year was average. Amagami was probably the best Romance this year but comparing it to other years best is just sad(Clannad/True Tears). Actually Kaichou wa Maid-sama! was an even better series but it just felt like a better animated Special A. The Haruhi movie and DTB OVA where the only things that I’ll remember from this year. Once again this upcoming season doesn’t really seem to have anything that good. Beezlebub is funny but it’ll be full of fillers soon enough and the ones Im interested in (IS/GoSick/Fractale) might not even turn out that to be that good. Hope next year picks it up :D. Anyway my best are:

    Anime: None really

    Movie: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (I read the Novel acouple of years ago and knew this would be amazing. Thank god it was so long, it was worth it :D)

    The only other thing I’d like to say is that Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu was definetly disapointing but it also showed its great potential. When/if the sequal comes out, I bet it’ll be a top anime of the season. LuLu voice=Win in any setting.

  • January 4, 2011 at 12:07 pmAlex

    Re: Angel Beats!, no, Divine, we didn’t watch different shows. I know you know, but still I want to say it: it’s just a matter of differing opinions. My biggest beef with it is that whatever story it has doesn’t flow well at all. The show’s such a huge mess overall.

    (People need to give it a rest. Just because I’m/you’re in the minority/majority doesn’t mean I’m/you’re wrong or my/your opinion needs to be discredited. Makes sense?)

    We both agree, though, that Giant Killing and Rainbow deserve more attention than they got. I absolutely enjoyed K-ON!!, too. But you didn’t watch The Tatami Galaxy‽ Sigh, and here I thought you’re my soulmate. (…Kidding.)

    Thanks for this nice entry. I love that we both agree and disagree on some things; makes life more interesting, y’know. I’m fairly new to animé and start each show without [much] prejudice or [high] expectations (hadn’t heard of, say, Maeda and Yuasa before AB! and TTG), so it’s interesting to know how other people take in the ones I watch and end up liking.

    By the way, glad to see Kiiragi’s included The Tatami Galaxy—which is obviously my favorite—on his/her list. Hi, Kiiragi. You’re my new soulmate. XD

    • January 4, 2011 at 1:14 pmSuppa Tenko

      It could be just some people’s personality. Divine probably focused on the good parts and over looked the bad while some others like to pick at the bad stuffs. Its kinda how presidential elections work. For instance, I can say G-Senjou no Maou has a lot of problems with its side routes including discontinuity, sudden change in plot and all, but the main route was so good, it made most people over look the bad and focus on the awesomeness of Kyousuke and Haru vs Maou.

  • January 4, 2011 at 12:59 pmone2the

    Wow, I agree with pretty much every one of your choices this year, Divine. However, I do think Katanagatari was better than you gave it credit for.

  • January 4, 2011 at 1:08 pmYuumei

    I’m happy to see that a lot of people enjoyed Angel Beats as much as I did since most opinions I heard previously were not very positive.

    Thanks very much for this write up, I enjoyed reading it. I think I’ll pick up Giant Killing, Working and Samurai Girls and probably finish Rainbow (I dropped it half way through). I didn’t have good first impressions for those first few so I’m looking forward to it now. :)

    Some of the biggest disappointments for me: Ironman, Heroman, Togainu no Chi, Black Rock Shooter
    And favourites: FMA, Angel Beats, DRRR!!, KnT, TTGL Lagann hen

  • January 4, 2011 at 1:11 pmSuppa Tenko

    Hm… my favorite OP this year was the Den Yuu Den second OP, Last Inferno :3

    • January 4, 2011 at 2:06 pmarixx

      Same about Last Inferno except I can’t say is favorite but at least I think is way better than Angel Beat Opening.

      Plus so many winning titles that I have to disagree on but different stroke for different folks I guess.

  • January 4, 2011 at 1:32 pmZeuradin

    Divine – I’m surprised SoraOto Forte got absolutely zero mention here! I’d have thought it at least deserved an honorable mention in the comedy category…

    • January 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm0927123

      Now that you’ve mentioned it… yeah….

    • January 4, 2011 at 2:46 pmDivine

      I considered it for comedy, but I actually enjoyed Sora no Otoshimono Forte more for its plot than the humor. It never had me laughing nearly as much as the first season, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing because I liked the change of focus.

  • January 4, 2011 at 2:11 pmushio

    But fans know Evangelion: 2.22 You Can (Not) Advance always the best^^^^ Haruhi pehhhh

  • January 4, 2011 at 2:32 pmfarrafella

    Gah! SHIKI IS SO UNDERPRECIATED! It is not only the best anime of the year for me but one of the best animes i’ve ever seen – it beat Baccano (my once favourite) in my books. But so many people didn’t watch/like it cause of the animation style – but it wouldn’t have been right if in a moe-blob syle or any other typical animation style.

    And I really should watch brotherhood – I’ve read the manga so I know the story is amazing!And gah the greatest OP for me is the first Durarara OP – the first few seconds were so well timed it makes me cry! The best ED for was strangely the Haruhi movie….even though there was no music I just loved it!

    PLus I don’t see the big deal about Amagami SS – i tried watching it but after the first few minutes it was annoying me so much i switched my computer off…. :)

    AND EVERY YEAR THE BEST SEIYUUS ARE ALL WAYS GIRLS! Give the guys a chance! Hiroshi Kamiya is the best seiyuu for me every single year! His voice acting is amazing!

    • January 4, 2011 at 3:13 pmDave

      I agree with you, Shiki it’s prrobably the most undervalued anime this year. I also hate It’s art concept in the characters, they looked so unrealistic, speacially the hair. But the story itself was really incredible, it’s the best of this year. But this is my perception, i don’t want to start an argument like Kirino-Kuroneko.

    • January 5, 2011 at 10:49 pmMomogoldfish

      Agree 100% with Hiroshi Kamiya (though maybe I’m just partial since he’s my fav seiyuu XD). Great range of characters from asshole(Orihara), only sane man (Otonashi), crazy (Kou from Awakawa)and nailed every single one of them!

      Honorable mention for Junichi Suwabe as Miran in DenYuuDen and Shu (which was a complete break from his usual roles) and for one-off performance Shinichiro Miki as Hijikata in Hakuouki. ^-^

  • January 4, 2011 at 4:22 pmYanDaMan

    I get why a lot of people Hated Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, but I was pretty intrigued by it.

    I went into it expecting a medieval fantasy action anime, but the plot was deeper than I expected. It was one of the few animes where nothing was predictable, as Divine mentioned. But to me that’s a good thing. Action scene wasn’t rampant, but when it happened it was always a treat.

    The ending was a bit abrupt with no closure, but I think the anime can be redeemed if a second season does get the green light. Animation, character design, action scene, everything but the screenplay was outstanding, let’s not waste all that potential by not giving us a Season 2.

    • January 4, 2011 at 4:40 pmmrman

      In my list Lol-Heroes is absolutely no disappointment. Of course it was fishy on a lot of occasions but it was at the same time refreshing. (Well I have a weakness for shows that are different and strange).

      The first season was something like a prolog but don’t count on a second season. Nearly nobody watched it and the sales for the dvds/BRs will be a disaster.

      • January 4, 2011 at 6:42 pmarixx

        I feel sad and disagree with the topic on Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu.

        I think the show is so underrated and epic, is been such a long time that I ever get the feeling of watching an anime episode and when the episode was over I curse the time go so slowly and had to wait a week for next episode. The show doesn’t have harem at least not in plain view, no eye dropping action scenes, fan service, but what it does have is an amazing plot and season one is like only an introduction. The war the truth of the world doesn’t get uncover until a second season or reading the next part of novel. Bottomline is I have to totally disagree on ppl trash talking about Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu where I think is one of the best or at least a better show of 2010.

        any other anime show I watch I usually be like good episode this week can’t wait till next week, but never felt like I need to rush or anything, more of a I watch as time comes.

        The topic on Brotherhood I have not even bother to see or care about this pathetic remake, I will always stay true to the first anime of FMA ( even thou I know the story is more anime original, but still that is the impressive it left on me even thou it sucks), I read the manga I know how the story suppose to go but that does not change the fact of me having a big hatred for remakes.

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:11 pmwrathandpride

    i dont like the fact durarara didn’t get any love here =(
    That being said fullmetal rocks!!, i like this version better than the original, although my friend said it didn’t focus enough on the hole brother relationship thing, unlike the original

    • January 4, 2011 at 8:10 pmYuumei

      I agree. The first part of the series and a lot of the relationships were rushed (Ed/Al, Hughes, Al/cats) so the first series definitely hit me more emotionally. I think the first one had better pacing because sometimes, it felt like there was no break after emotional scenes and stuff in the new one… Though this may have something to do with having read most of the manga before the same content aired…

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:53 pmcshin9

    Looks like last year was the Year of FMA.

    I would’ve liked to see Durarara for story and Working for comedy.

  • January 4, 2011 at 5:58 pmDisemvoweled troll: zanzi

    ll y r s pthtc. dnsts s ‘dsppntmnt’ nd rght ftr tht y pn dwn hykk smr grls s xcdng xpcttns. ll. bt f crs yr tsts r vry dffrnt s ndrstnd. y’r mr f th kssxss/hnt/bbs/fnsrvc/tlt hmr gy s stff lk gtsc, myzk, ltr tc wll jst fly pst y.

    • January 4, 2011 at 6:35 pmSomrandom1

      You really don’t know how to read do you. That section specifically states what was a disappointment and exceeding expectations compared to initial promise/expectations. So really, do yourself and everyone a favor and learn to read before you do anything. It’ll make you look a lot less like a fool.

  • January 4, 2011 at 6:21 pmJon

    Angel Beats? Best story? I genuinely hope that’s a joke – the story had virtually no structure.

    The lack of Tatami Galaxy/Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei makes me sad. Not even the comments take note of it. :(

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:28 pmJay

    Nothing I voted for won, or even got close O_O

    Katanagatari needed to win, you all should be ashamed for not voting for it.

    I voted for Katanagatari and Kimi Ni Todoke.

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:33 pmaloneinwonderland

    I can’t believe the hype over AB. Of course it doesn’t make sense, cause I haven’t watched it, d’oh.

    ~✿~✿~✿~✿~

  • January 4, 2011 at 7:37 pmPeepQ

    Oreimo. That is all.
    Maybe I should watch the remake of FMA now since it seems to be so awesome.

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:28 pmNikki

    I’m just going to say that we can agree to disagree? I value your choices although I probably wouldn’t have chosen some of these shows for the categories; however, it’s your opinion and I can respect that.

    It was really obvious that Fullmetal would have received a good majority of the awards, especially anime of the year, since it was a faithful adaption. I personally didn’t like the adaption and prefer the first series, but Brotherhood was a bit enjoyable. I’m glad to see Ling being animated unlike making a small cameo in the first series.

    I was actually kind of surprised to see Hanazawa Kana not win best seiyuu, especially after a post you made earlier with the Durarara!! Ending parody. At least she had an honorable mention!

    Thanks for doing this! I look forward to the next “Best Of” post! Good luck with all of the blogging this year!

    • January 4, 2011 at 9:26 pmDivine

      I was actually flipping back and forth between Aki and Kana for quite some time. I agree that Kana had a much more stellar year (and is much more deserving of an actual seiyuu award), but I enjoyed Aki’s roles more and that’s what I decided to go on when I made my choice. She impressed me quite a few times over the year, including her MC work at the K-ON Live Event.

  • January 4, 2011 at 8:49 pmLuke

    regardless of how risqué some of the wild actions and fantasies of the Sumeragi twin sisters got
    Divine, it is Suminoe, not Sumeragi.

    • January 4, 2011 at 9:15 pminfo600

      I think Divine still have Gundam in his mind while typing it up…

      personally, I’m more surprised P&S didn’t get a mention for the extreme animation direction decided by Gainax even if it resulted in a lot of inconsistency

    • January 4, 2011 at 9:20 pmDivine

      I think I did have Gundam on my mind. Thanks for the correction.

  • January 4, 2011 at 9:38 pmAllie

    First off
    Awesome job on this post Divine! I’ve been looking forward to it :)
    @all the nerdragers..
    chill out. Why are you getting so offended because Divine doesn’t agree with you? O__O;;
    You all read this blog to get Divine and co.’s opinion and insight on various anime, manga etc. not for them to parrot your own thoughts back at you. There’s a difference between stating what your picks would have been (leaving a tasteful comment) and being like
    ZOMG…FUCK YOUZZZ…IZ ANGREH. >:(

    Just needed to be said >_> <_<

  • January 5, 2011 at 2:55 ameternaluster

    Well, I was quite disappointed with the results.
    Amagami SS and HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD do not deserve a place in the top ten animes. For Amagami, the girls could fall for Junichi for no reasons and blindly meet the commands of him, which were totally lack in credibility. For HOTD, it was pretty attractive in the first few eps, but later, it continued showing exaggerated scenes like the big boobs of the girls which were unnecessarily added. The plot also didnt develop well towards its end. You can pick these shows to watch for fun, but they cannot persuade anybody to think they are good enough to be one of the best 2010 animes.

    Another complaint is that Baka should be the best comedy of the year instead. I couldnt find any ep which couldnt make the audience burst into laughter. But for WORKING!!, it seems more to have cheap gags, like mocking at the height of the girl or having a weird character to punch somebody. Baka is the real big deal.

    And Gundam 00 The Movie should be the biggest disappointment of the year. Being a true Gundam fan, I dont think they will think worth paying the ticket and accept the low quality of production(story) after watching this piece of “good” art. It is undeniable that the first part of the movie pretty catches our attention and arouse the curiosity of the ELS, but after revealing the truth, the expression of the audience is just like =O=”. And the way of repeating “understanding each other” is just overplayed. And what annoyed the audience most is the last scence. I thought I was watching a children cartoon show.

    For FMA, it is good but overrated. It’s just like a domino effect. From my observation, many people dicussed the show in forums or in their daily lives, making it feel quite popular. And some other people were just affected by those good comments and couldnt judge the show by themselves. Please have a deeper and wider look at the anime, and you find that this show isnt really the best anime of all time, not even the best in this year. (the above comments represent my personal view only)

  • January 5, 2011 at 6:11 amZaku Fan

    A thought experiment. Using guys for this. Just reverse for girls

    If everyone thought the same and liked the same things, that would mean any girl you are attracted to would be attractive to everyone else, including people like Brad Pitt, Bill Gates, Obama, etc

    And the number of possible girls available would be much smaller than the actual female population unless you have were ok with ANYTHING that was human and female

    We would then need a queueing system and i wonder what queue number i would get and how far down my preference list i would have to go. Would my queue number be greater than the number of girls i prefer? What if my best availabe choice was a granny?!

    Think about it. Isn’t it great tha people don’t all like the same things :)

  • January 5, 2011 at 6:43 amLinzermaster

    For me the biggest disappointment this year was the Unlimited Blade Works movie. My friend said that without playing the original game, it looked fine, but for me, who actually played through it, the movie was actually painful to watch how they left out a lot of necessary information, and how they changed the two most epic fights (Archer vs. Shirou, Shirou vs Gilgamesh) into something weird brawl. (I actually facepalmed how Shirou whacked the hell out of Gil, using the excalibur like a bludgeon)
    By the way, nice post. I don’t like how DenseYuu become the greatest disappointment this year, but sadly what you wrote about it is all true.

  • January 5, 2011 at 8:26 amLin-Meitoky

    YEAH FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST RULZ!!!!!

  • January 5, 2011 at 11:54 amJimjam

    Gotta say its nice to see Gundam as the best ova of the year, was a very nice closer to the 00 story line which i feel is one of the best gundam’s to come out in a long time. Also very happy with Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, makes me sad to think alot of people missed out on it. Maybe with this it can get the word out abit more about it. All in all nice list Divine, and heres to 2011!

  • January 5, 2011 at 12:33 pmMe

    I didn’t think there was nearly enough love for Working!!, and a little too much love for something that I really couldn’t get into. I liked the first rendition of FMA, maybe too much to really get into the second. Maybe a bias exists. Who knows…It’s not like I’ve felt very strongly about either version.

    Animation: Railgun – Love the animation in both Railgun and Index.

    Story: Angel Beats/Durarara!! – Durarara’s story was completely enveloping with the use of characters, and Angel Beats had one of the most interesting premises I’ve seen in a while, granted that’s because it was done the correct way.

    Soundtrack: K-On!! – Anything with good music is good, but this had tons of good music.

    OP: Working!! – The full song is a marvel, and probably one of the few songs from an anime I cared enough to download.

    ED: Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru/K-On!! 2nd ED – Soredemo Machi’s ED is almost as addictive as Working!!’s OP, but it has interesting instruments. Maybe I just like more unique sounding songs, but then again, my taste in music is probably vastly different than I presume anyone else’s around here to be.

    Song: Working!! – Someone Else from the OP.

    Character: Ika Musume – Not even close. There was no one that even touched her, though Kon from Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru tried her best.

    Seiyuu: I really don’t pay enough attention to know the Seiyuus.

    Plot Twist: Durarara!! – For the same reason I loved the story.

    Death: FMA – Maes Hughes.

    Trap: Working!! – They used the trap to it’s fullest.

    Action: STRIKE WITCHES 2 – I guess it’s not really action, but it’s the closest to action this season that I liked. Durarara!! had a solid amount of action, and I’d probably put that in this category if it really could be classified as only action. That said, STRIKE WITCHES was kind of slice-o-life as well as action though. Even Angel Beats had some fun.

    Romance: Kimi ni Todoke – One of the more refreshing shows in this genre I’ve seen in a while. The poorly done hybrids that match fan-service and romance with some stupid twist to make it a little different though it’s really the same do nothing for me except occupy time. They’re alright, but they pop up quickly and are just as easily forgotten. I’m not saying Kimi ni Todoke was unforgettable, but it was pretty close. Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakama-tachi was also pretty solid.

    Drama: Shinrei Tantei Yakumo/Senkou no Night Raid – There really wasn’t much noting on the drama section this year.

    Comedy: #1 WORKING!!, #2 Ika Musume, #3 Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – The first two were the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time. In a normal year Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru might have been #1. Oddly enough, I didn’t watch any of them as soon as they came out. They were all mid-season pick-ups that ended up really making the 2010 calender year a great year for comedy.

    Slice-o-life: K-On!!/Sora no Woto – I don’t consider Ika Musume slice-o-life, even though it kind of really is. K-On!! and Sora no Woto fit the description much better and were both great shows.

    Fan-Service: Kiss x sis – It was actually kind of cute. The rest were just the same old thing, though the Fan-Service definitely pushed itself this year further than it’s ever been before if you know what I mean.

    Non-Category: Oreimo – I don’t know what to call it. I really didn’t see it as a romance or slice-o-life or drama. It was still a really good show, that couldn’t technically win at anything else. I’m calling a freebie on this one.

    Most Underappreciated: Working!! – Honorable mention goes to Sora no Woto. People still write both off pretty substantially. Working!! was easily one of the best shows of the year, yet barely any notice. Not a lot of people seem to have had the patience for Katanagatari, which was another great show.

    Biggest Disappointment: Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – I really wanted it to be good. I thought it would be. I’m not someone who pays attention to sales in Japan or reads light novels, etc, but I had a feeling this would be done well. I was completely wrong. It was good enough to finish but nothing like I had hoped.

    Exceeded Expectations: Working!!/Ika Musume – They were nowhere near my radar. Working!! still isn’t really on many people’s radar.

    Favorite of 2010:
    1. Working!!
    2. Railgun
    3. Durarara!!
    4. Ika Musume
    5. Angel Beats
    6. K-On!!
    7. Oreimo

    FMA doesn’t even place top 15.

    OVA/Movie: Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu – Redemption is such a beautiful thing.

  • January 5, 2011 at 4:15 pmrasone0104

    Angel Beats, Durarara, FMA Brotherhood.
    All finished the same week this past year.
    All deserves to be remebered as the better anime
    of 2010.

  • January 5, 2011 at 4:42 pmaria-san

    Of course, I read this knowing it’s all purely subjective and I accept to name Hideyoshi as Trap of the Year, but I’m surprised that Kuranosuke from Kuragehime doesn’t even get an honorable mention? I feel like he pulled off the trap thing better than Aoi did from KWMS…

  • January 5, 2011 at 7:10 pmunknown2

    Im kinda bumbed that Durarara came to alot of honourable mentions but not really winning. I thought it would have at least get the story or OP, but Angel Beats got to it on both lol. Then I only watched 3 eps of Angel Beats so maybe I can finally try and watch it.

    I’ve never watched Haruhi but I want to watch this lengthy anime movie. Will I still understand what is going on?

    • January 6, 2011 at 12:41 pmProoof

      It’s definitely a lot better if you have seen either the anime or read the novel, though there’s still much to enjoy just watching the movie.

  • January 5, 2011 at 7:11 pmunknown2

    Oh but Im really happy that FMA got in lotta points it was really deserving. Each ep towards the end was realllly something I looked forward to during my free time on weekends :)

  • January 6, 2011 at 12:38 pmAlcohol

    Although I agree with a few of your choices (love FMAB), I’m really disappointed that Shiki didn’t even get a single mention. It definitely deserves at least one, especially on the most underappreciated part. The fact that it didn’t even reach the honorable mentions is proof how underappreciated it is. ): It deserves more credit for bringing back the vampire image that was ruined by some ugly movie out there. Another surprising thing is that plot twist. Seriously? Occult Gakuin is under the horror genre but it’s just like a typical maho shoujo anime combined with Futurama plus a bunch of plotholes and a weak male lead.

    I’m sorry if I sound rude. I just hope you guys would blog more underrated shows in the future.

    • January 6, 2011 at 2:09 pmDivine

      This is probably the last time I’ll say it, but I don’t consider Shiki an underrated series. I also happen to blog and enjoy lots of actual underrated shows.

      Have you watched any of the ones I mentioned? GIANT KILLING, RAINBOW, Sarai-ya Goyou and Senkou no Night Raid struggled to even get ten comments on a lot of weeks. I am willing to bet a lot of money that Shiki would not have had that problem.

      I mentioned before that the only reason Shiki wasn’t blogged was because I was already covering two Thursday shows — Amagami SS and Kaichou wa Maid-sama, the latter of which carried over from spring. I really wanted to blog both Shiki and Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu back in summer, but had to settle for just watching them instead.

      Shiki is a good series, but I didn’t want to toss it into a category I didn’t feel it deserved, just for the sake of giving it some attention. If people want to make their own list of categories to award every series they liked something, then they are free to do so. Heck, they should start their own blog and do it there if they feel so strongly about it. Compared to the previous Best of Anime posts that Omni used to write, the new format gives limelight to a lot more series already.

      Now here’s a request from me. Please don’t jump to conclusions when I covered all those series to completion in spite of how unpopular they were. Omni was often criticized about only covering what’s popular, so I made a conscious effort to alleviate that in the three years I’ve been blogging here. It’s also why I’ll make a point of covering romantic comedies that most blogs won’t even give a fair chance.

  • January 6, 2011 at 3:31 pmlorenzo

    I could see FMA winning so many awards, as it is a veeery popular franchise and long running, which makes it kinda unfair for other series which premiered in 2010 and had only a 12 or 25 episode run.

    Anyway, I more or less agree with the awards given to FMA, except for the soundtrack which I found sub-pair compared to the first series. Also, I completely agree on the WTF moment category.

    About other awards: call me a Durarara fanboy, but that’s my personal favorite of the year, and I think it should have deserved at LEAST two awards. I’m kinda disappointed and puzzled by the fact that it won none: it had an incredibly fresh story and narration and the art by Suzuhito Yasuda was gorgeous.
    I ADMIT I may be repetitive, but I would place Durarara in the following categories:
    -Character: Izaya Orihara is one of the best villains ever. As a person, you would punch him, but as an anime viewer, you love his character.
    -Seyuu: this was definitely Hiroshi Kamiya’s year. His roles as Kou Ichinomiya and Izaya Orihara were stunning.
    AND FINALLY:
    -OPENING: Uragiri no Yuuyake is one of the most energic, upbeat, fresh, addicting opening I’ve ever listened to. Seriously, ever since I watched the short TV commercial for Durarara in December 2009, I found myself humming the 30-SECOND FRAGMENT of the song, and I couldn’t wait for the first show to premiere, only to see how the full opening was like! Indeed, Complications was also very good, but for me, Uragiri no Yuuyake is unmatchable.

    On a side note, it’s much of a personal opinion, but I find rather disappointing to see my personal favorite behind a series like Angel Beats, which I found rather bland and unoriginal.

    • January 6, 2011 at 7:13 pmunknown2

      Im so with you on that on the fact that it came so close but never actually winning anything. The unique narration style as well as a variety of different distinctive characters. And I havent been so hooked with an anime in years, well since baccano and durarara. Im a fan of the author and I collect his works thats why maybe.
      Plus I thought the soundtrack was very good esp. Ikebukuro west gate intersection, although I would admit that FMA truly deserved it more.

      • January 7, 2011 at 3:56 amlorenzo

        I liked the FMA score too, but in the first episodes, I found the music to be not quite on pair with the first series. But then the latter episodes completely compensated for it.

  • January 6, 2011 at 4:24 pmhei

    Got to give Angel Beats more credit. It IS pretty good anime despite the shortcomings. Story/plot was still very good minus the ending, which is like or dislike depending on the viewer.

  • January 7, 2011 at 12:11 pmmlh

    This year I watched at least the first episode of *every* single subtitled anime series or show, which adds up to around a hundred different series plus several dozen more OVAs, specials and movies. My Top Ten:

    (First: Honorable mentions: Broken Blade, The Legend of Koizume, Time of Eve, Hen Zemi, Bungaku Shoujo, Working, Angel Beats, Cat Shit One, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Legend of Legendary Heroes, Kuragehime, Yondemasuyo Azazel-san, Kowarekake no Orgel, and Yozakura Quartet: Hoshi no Umi)

    10. Kaichou wa Maid-sama
    9. Shinryaku! Ika Musume
    8. Katanagatari
    7. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
    6. Highschool of the Dead
    5. Occult Academy
    4. Tatami Galaxy
    3. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
    2. Shiki
    1. Durarara

    Flipping to the other side, on the bottom end of the scale:

    (First, honorable mentions: Strike Witches 2, Asobi ni Iku Yo, Planzet, Star Driver Kagayaki no Takuto, Iron Man, Motto to Love-ru, Super Street Fighter IV, Hime-chen Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri, Ikkitousen Xtreme Xecutor, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Kachou no Koi, Prism Magical, Yosuga no Sora, Omamori Himari, Chu-Bra, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Kiss x Sis, and MM!)

    10. Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
    9. Seikon no Qwaser
    8. Sekirei: Pure Engagement
    7. Sengoku Basara 2
    6. Sora no Otoshimono Forte
    5. SD Gundam Senshi Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors
    4. Tono to Issho
    3. Shin Koihime Musou Otome Tairan
    2. Haiyoru Nyaruani
    1. Sleeping with Hinako

  • January 7, 2011 at 6:33 pmoOgA

    If I have to choose, my top 3 favorite anime in 2010 will be Working!, Angel Beats and Ika Musume.

  • January 7, 2011 at 6:34 pmoOgA

    Shiki gets a mention too, my favorite for story development in my opinion, loved how the pace picks up as the story gears towards the end.

  • January 7, 2011 at 7:32 pmCeeney

    DON’T WORRY ARAKAWA UNDER THE BRIDGE, I STILL LOVE YOU EVEN IF NO ONE ELSE DOES ;3;
    ahaha

  • January 7, 2011 at 7:36 pmShopao

    MM!!!

  • January 8, 2011 at 9:50 pmdisgradius

    Wow I’m surprised Cross game did so poorly, should definitely be best slice of life or most underappreciated :/

  • January 9, 2011 at 4:58 amBlacksun88

    I am really glad that you choose gundam 00 as your anime movie of the year. I watched both gundam 00 and suzumiya movie and i really agree that gundam 00 left much more impact in me. the movie itself had gone through many bashing from narrow-minded fans(from the appearance of alien, the suit design, character, war intervention and etc). the series and the movie left a lot of thinking about human futures, and I believe that those that truly understand the meaning behind “peace through understanding” will understand the whole series.you have my salute, Divine!!

  • January 9, 2011 at 5:56 pmthe_custard

    gonna watch angel beats now since alot of ppl is liking it.

  • January 11, 2011 at 10:03 pmbertman4

    I just finished watching Angel Beats! Holy! That was REALLY good. The premise was interesting. The twists and turns in the story were unexpected and refreshing. The characters were all individuals and lively. Their emotions were what really set this show apart. I actually cried watching this show. Thanks for picking it as the Best Story anime of 2010.

  • January 19, 2011 at 8:21 pmMick Jagger

    Why isnt Panty and stocking in the comedies part? I mean cmon. Is it not considered anime?

  • January 29, 2011 at 7:32 ampasserby

    I don’t see any mention of Cross Game at all. o.OOO

  • February 9, 2011 at 7:45 amaquabluesweater

    I have made a compilation of all the best anime series from 2010 from around the web including the polls you have here (which actually got quite a large weight because of the sheer number of voters in it!). I hope you find something interesting in it and look forward to next year’s poll! Not counting FMA:Brotherhood (which I consider as a 2009 series), your poll definitely nails down the top three:)

    http://aquabluesweater.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/best-anime-series-of-2010-definitive-look-from-around-the-internet/

  • February 20, 2011 at 8:38 amsaeki

    I haven’t watched any of FMA or Angel Beats so a lot of this list is meh to me lol but i’m happy to see Haruhi and Gundam on this list. Although i was disappointed with Gundam’s ending, the storyline for the movie far exceeded my expectation. It was really enthralling.

    I think for romance Kaichou wa Maido sama should have got Best because it was just hilarious and cute. The corniness was leveled out nicely which was something i didn’t see in the few eps of Amagami SS that i watched. Kimi ni Todoke was good but by the end of the series, nothing had really happened lol. Kuragehime is another great shoujo anime. I would rank that above Kimi ni Todoke.
    Durarara was great too so i would’ve liked to have seen that top the list also, for story.
    Glad to see Summer Wars up there too.

    Hmm i think i’ll check out FMA finally, just to understand the hype. Its all over this page lol.

  • February 24, 2011 at 8:37 amarissan

    hmm,can you guys help me what is name of the anime that this page make is as background..really want to know,help me..

  • February 28, 2011 at 2:35 pmYuuki

    Animes the best!!

  • March 11, 2011 at 6:42 amtheprophesy

    Honestly, Angel Beats was a terrible anime. I admit it was very original in terms of story and characters, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good anime. The plot lacked any real depth, the character progression was terrible, and even the comedy they tried to incorporate failed. I’d rather watch a cliche anime with a story that’s actually good then an original one that’s horrible any day.

    Fullmetal Alchemist, Durarara, Shiki all thumbs up.

  • March 22, 2011 at 3:04 pmantimeify

    Next time you make a best of can you please make an entire catgory for rom com’s

  • March 23, 2011 at 7:14 pmRagna92

    when I first watched UBW I thought it was amazing. Then I went and played the VN then watched the movie again. It made me not like the movie as much because they ruined the best two fights just like someone else stated above. And they took out alot of stuff but I don’t blade them for that since it’s impossible to fit 20 hrs into 1 hr and 40 mins.

  • April 1, 2011 at 5:56 amsup fan

    men i love kiss x sis daiske kiss x sis hehe

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