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Old 01-21-2010, 09:13 PM
Grand High Arbiter of the HARUHIGASM
 
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Default Something - 2009 Final Thoughts / Overview

2008 Wrapup Post. Now it's time to close out 2009 the same way.

Mostly same rules as before:
  - These shows ended in 2009 or only had an episode or so to watch in 2010.
  - Exceptions being shows greater than two cour that are ongoing. ...except there aren't any like that right now, this year!
  - For the most part, they're finished, unless I'm waiting on an ep or two from stragglers. That would basically be Bakemonogatari and... that's it.
  - Doing a paste from ANN's list sorted by date so if I forget something, blame them.
  - None of the Winter 2010 cour shows are listed, obviously.

Note that, as implied above, the two cour Fall 2009 shows are ineligible. This means no To Aru Kagaku no Railgun or Kimi ni Todoke yet! The same applied to Clannad ~After Story~ and Toradora and others last year, which is why you see it them listed here.

So here goes!

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Class of their own - Scored 10 out of 10; R2 imports or would be if I were importing [started in Summer '09, + K-ON!] when they aired
* (01) Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (2009 Renewal) - The only way to improve the greatest show ever made was, of course, to make it twice as long. The textbook perfect pacing of Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody; the ingenious and incredibly awesome experiment that was Endless Eight; the amazing emotional outbursts and "Oh shit so that's what that meant!"-service of Sighs. And the announcement that we're getting a Shoushitsu movie. And wrap it all up in a rewatch of all the other episodes. There is absolutely no way, no way in hell, that anything could top Haruhi for me in 2009. It was my first R2 import and got me on track to completely changing my buying habits - leaving R1 and focusing on R2. In 2006 Haruhi is what started me on importing CDs, and in 2009 it did the same for DVDs/BDs. I don't give a fuck about the controversy right now - Haruhi is hands down the best show of 2009, and ever.

(02) Clannad ~After Story~ - KyoAni takes both gold and silver this year. I have spent so many thousands upon thousands of words trying to express my love for this show, for for its characters, for its ambition and visual beauty, and above all for Furukawa Nagisa, the single greatest character in anything ever and the focus of the most intense emotions I've ever felt. A second viewing even turned my slight ambivalence about the confusing ending into adoration. Clannad is without any doubt the unrivaled masterpiece of emotional intensity. No one show has made me cry half this much. A pure triumph.

(03) Toradora! - Taiga and her friends completely redefined just how well written and executed a normal high school romance anime could be. In that respect, nothing has done it better, before or since. I even rank this above Kanon 2k6 and in some ways the first season of Clannad in that aspect, and have a very hard time imagining what kind of show could take the plain old high school setting and clear the bar Toradora! has set. I even love the ending, which seems to be the one part of the show that left some fans uneasy. For me, it was virtually perfect. It was everything I wanted. I'm dying to rewatch Toradora! some time in the near future, but holding out a bit for an R1 license so we can do a Clannad-style discussion thread with a couple fresh faces.

(04) Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th - If this truly is the last we will ever see of Marimite, then I'm left both saddened, and incredibly grateful. They simply could not have handled it in a more perfect way. Everything about Yumi and her counterpart this season was delivered in a way that takes all the beautiful moments in Marimite and raises them to a new level. Much like Aria the Origination, the final chapter was the best, a fourth cour of perfection acting as the culmination of everything the shows had built up over their first three cour. Since Nozomi is the only R1 company I have full respect for nowadays, I'm really looking forward to the R1 release.

* (05) K-ON! - I just finished watching the DVD-only episode 14 right before I started compiling this post [Edit: yeah, I started this post on Tuesday ], and I have to say, what a joy it is to get such a fantastic reminder of why I value this show so immensely. Five of my favorite characters of the entire year all in one show, all in one band! The feeling this show gives off is really hard to match. It's basically 4koma comedy perfection, right on par with the absolute best parts of Hidamari Sketch. Although I suppose K-ON! goes for more of a continuous narrative than short skits. Well either way, it's easily one of my favorite shows. And let's not forget... TSUMUGI-SAMA IS THE BEST! LARGE EYEBROWS ARE A CHARM POINT! So is yuri. Houkago Tea Time would really be best off leaving every single decision in her capable, horny hands. Especially costume choices, in tandem with Sawa-chan. This show also produced a wealth of great music, from which I've grabbed 4 CDs (Kagayake, Don't Say Lazy, Fuwa Fuwa, Houkago mini-album.) Oh, and I absolutely love how the character animation was handled. One of the best of the year in that respect.

* (06) Bakemonogatari - It's still not done, but I've spoken out enough in the past about my problems with how Shaft is handling Tsubasa Cat. That definitely stands as a big negative mark against the show because by any measure I should have had closure by now. Nonetheless, I preemptively scored this one a rare 10/10 in recognition of how strongly it moved me in almost every episode. Ep 12 still easily stands as one of the best pieces of animation of the year, if not in the top tier of episodes ever. The ED "Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari" has gotten an absurd number of plays from me and I still get emotional when it gets to about the 4 minute mark and everything really comes together in one of the best songs ever composed. Everything about this show is Shaft at their absolute most creative, most witty ...and most incapable of meeting deadlines, but two out of three ain't bad I guess. Well, if they ever do get all the BDs out, I'll definitely be rewatching it all... yet again.

Currently only 30 (25 unique franchises) of 439 "Seen All" productions in my anime list have scored a 10/10. That's less than 7%, and if you add in shows I didn't finish, it's only 4.5% (30 of 665). With 6 of those being on the 2009 list, that's very good.



1st Class - Score a 9 out of 10; The ones I would import if I had the money [and some of them, I have anyway].
* (07) Sasameki Koto - Happily importing this wonderful yuri show. With this and Aoi Hana in the same year, we had some major quality in serious non-gimmicky yuri, even if the number of shows isn't very high. I know some people were a bit bored by the Aoi part of the story, but I wasn't really. Sure she's not the best character in the show (that's Tomoe!) but I did sympathize with her. She's the only one of the six recurring girls who was really unsure about her sexuality (Sumika denies it publicly, but internally she has no doubts whatsoever), and so I think she offered an interesting perspective. She also prompted a few of the best Tomoe scenes in the series. True, she took time that could have been used to develop Ushio and Sumika's relationship, but there were implications of her story that are relevant there. We need at least another cour for those two anyway, not just a few episodes.

* (08) Spice & Wolf II - Importing this one as well, in fact it's my first completed R2 series! Lawrence and Horo are back for two more story arcs, and honestly at the rate the novels are going we could have like half a dozen more series before exhausting material. While I loved Imagin's first season, the move to Brain's Base proved to be a perfectly acceptable move. In fact, I like the second season better than the first although I put most of that down to where Horo and Lawrence are in their relationship compared to the first season. While the two had hit it off right near the start of the story, in the second season I felt like I was watching an established couple rather than two strangers drawing closer to each other. At any rate we need more just so I can see how they manage to keep working the ringing of bells into every season finale. =P

(09) Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season - The epic concluded in suitably epic fashion. Episode 25 is still one of the most breathtaking feats of animation I have ever seen. Battles raging on and on without stopping, incredibly fluid visuals. It's just palpable how much budget they must have lavished on this show. Sunrise was seriously at the top of their game here, and while Geass affected me more on the whole, Gundam is probably more artistically impressive. Of course it had characters and story to go along with the prettiness, and it really pulled them together wonderfully too.

(10) Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai - Heh, the only thing KyoAni has done that can be called "obscure" since the movies it's based on back in their first independent productions! Ah, but despite being incredibly obscure it's also incredibly good. I was initially very disappointed to see that a lot of the footage was, rather than reanimated anew, just lifted from the older movies and cleaned up a bit. It was all too obvious at first... but I quickly got over it when I remembered how much I enjoyed Munto. I also had not seen the second movie before (though I've owned it for years) so this was definitely a great way to experience it, and it had incredibly good animation. So did the first, at least in the action scenes, and the completely new material was wondeful. It's just that the character art was just too obviously not up to modern KyoAni standards in the first movie. Anyway, it's so damn obscure that absolutely nobody has bothered to translate the movie, despite it being on DVD for months. ;_; Thankfully, the TV series ended perfectly well so I'm not too broken up over it. Yumemi and her friends were so, so very lovely. And Gass is still totally badass.

(11) Zoku Natsume Yuujin-Chou - The best show ever to revolve almost entirely around a male with barely any females in sight? Possibly! A bit of a shame since the girls it does have are so damn awesome, but Takashi is a really great protagonist all by himself anyway. The youkai we meet are as interesting as ever and the feeling of healing relaxation this show is so good at barely even resides when Natsume is being pursued by something that wants to eat him. Also features one of the best dead characters ever. Why, oh why does Reiko not have her own show?

(12) Shin Koihime Musou - On the opposite end of the spectrum, the show that turns every male ancient Chinese hero it can find into sexy lesbians! Fuck yeah! I feel like every aspect of what made the first season so enjoyable was maintained, and then massively improved in this season. Like (relatively) lots of Sousou! The Chou sisters plotline was a nice unifying thread throughout, but it really shined at the end... this was easily one of the best endings of the year. When I was watching it I suddenly had one of those "oh yeah, this is why I watch anime" moments. It was that perfect, and hilarious. On to season three, which is actually coming out, unlike so many of the sequels I'm dying to see.

(13) Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu / Nyoro~n Churuya-san - My every-few-day few-minute dose of bad translation and sheer hilarity. There is just so much I loved about this. Moreso the Haruhi side, which introduced so many things I'd like to see followed up on (Tsuruya vs Mori! Evil Imouto! Otaku Yuki! Achakura!), but Churuya was frequently and wonderfully surreal in its understated hilarity, just as good as if not better than the best of the original 4koma. And with this, all four eligible KyoAni shows are in my top 15, including spots 1 and 2.

(14) Aoi Hana - Absolutely beautiful. I took some issue with a couple instances of fake-out yuri, but this was above all the story of one particular girl, who is very much a lesbian, and we delve nicely into how she experiences it and handles her uncertain feelings. The ending is one of my favorite examples in recent seasons of finding the perfect stopping point. It just works so well (you should have been taking notes, Blacksmith!). The only problem? The story has just begun! We need exponentially more A-chan than we got.

(15) Saki - Mahjong is fucking awesome... when it's being played by an incredibly diverse cast of insane lesbians. FUCK YEAH. I'm a little concerned we haven't heard anything about a second season yet, but it's had solid sales and the end of the last episode sure implies they've got more in mind. Whether they're waiting for the manga to resume/build up, I don't know, but I seriously need more now. It'd be impossible to name even a fraction of the characters and why I love them, so clearly I need a second season so I can gush at length.

(16) Higashi no Eden - Easily one of the smartest shows of the year, it's taken down a notch by ending on a massive cliffhanger and making us wait ages for movies (and then for them to come out on DVD...) to finish it up. At least they should be pretty awesome when we finally get to see them.

(17) Seitokai no Ichizon - One of the biggest surprises of the first cour of Fall - or the year - was this slapstick reference-filled otaku comedy turned unexpectedly emotionally powerful true harem love story... while still being hilarious. It mixed the two sides together in ways that few shows can really manage. I'm glad to see it do really well in sales (almost 7k for the first volume), because usually I expect shows like this to not get anywhere, commercially. Seems a lot of people saw the same value in it that I did. Out of the Summer and Fall shows I didn't import, this is in the top 3 of ones I wish I could have (with Koihime and Aoi Hana).



2nd Class - Score an 8/9 out of 10; Not quite import-class at current R2 prices, but not far off.
(18) Skip Beat! - Inoue Marina just demolished everyone in her path in this show. Watching Kyouko walk into a room and verbally fuck everyone's shit up was like watching a grenade (or five) go off. Without a doubt one of Inoue's best performances. On the male side we had one great, and one... not so great. As long as the not so great one is never forced down our throats as a realistic romantic possibility, I'll be looking forward to eventually seeing more of this. I'd say what this series did best aside from Inoue's part was making Kyouko's commanding performances believable. When the people around her stare in shock and awe, you can seriously understand why.

(19) CANAAN - Elevated by a picture perfect open ended conclusion, fantastic visuals, and great yuri subtext, Canaan was clearly one of the premiere action titles of 2009. This is what really put PA Works on the map for me and is part of why I'm content seeing Angel Beats! land in their very capable hands.

(20) Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo - Sunrise at their "what the fuck is going on?" best, Sorakake went from enjoyable but completely batshit insane to even more enjoyable and even more batshit insane but also making some sense, somehow. It also has BABA TSUTSUJI, one of the best Sawashiro Miyuki roles out there, both in voice and character. I'm betting a character hasn't spent that much of a series in a tiger print bikini since Lum. Certainly I don't think any has been sexier. While LeloucheCube's antics did get old relatively early for me, almost everyone else (especially Nami!) kicked ass. And Akiha has easily Top 0.5% Class breasts. The show could have been 300 episodes long and I wouldn't have been able to stop talking about how perfect they looked in her q-tector.

(21) Minami-ke: Okaeri - While I liked Okawari, it was a step down from season one in some ways (not all, though!). Okaeri, though, is right back in top form and stays there basically the whole time. The sisters are as hilarious as ever and while the animation quality was really variable, when it was good it was very good. Not a lot else to say about a cute comedy like this, other than that it does it better than most.

(22) Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini - 8/10 rather than 9/10, but more like a 8.7 so closer to this level than 3rd class. This would actually be sitting pretty in the bottom of 1st class with a 9 if there weren't such ambivalence surrounding the ending. What we got throughout the season really blew the already enjoyable first season away. Suou is easily one of my top protagonists of 2009. All sorts of interesting questions about the DtB world were raised. But few were answered, and now we're left with more unknowns than the first season created! Given the stellar 14k sales of Vol. 1, and that Ryuusei no Gemini was perfectly paced almost from the get-go to be a bridge season, a third season should be a no brainer. But with the director saying there won't be... gah, I can only hope he's trolling. I'm not entirely happy with how it ended, if that's supposed to be THE END. But the rest was just so damn good.

(23) Hatsukoi Limited - The Soako "Limited Girl" extras put this over the top and warranted a 2nd class ranking. Everything about this show did a fantastic job capturing all the anime middle/high school romance tropes, sticking them in a pot, mixing in a dash of genuine emotion, a great ED, and faux-nostalgia (well faux for me anyway, my school life sure wasn't like that, but I feel it anyway), and coming out with one of the most feel good shows of the year. It's a lot like Sora no Manimani and Seitokai no Ichizon in that a cliche setting ends up making me feel unexpectedly happy, and extremely emotionally satisfied, almost every single week. The tag line, "Anata wa ima koi wo shiteimasu ka?" was delivered, without fail, at the most perfect of times. It got me every time, especially in conjunction with the awesome ED. Not the "best" show of the year, but easily one of my fondest experiences of 2009. The only major downside is too many characters and not enough episodes to deal with them all.



3rd Class - Score a lower 8/10 range; shows that, in a few cases, had a glaring flaw or two, but were otherwise highly enjoyable.
(24) To Aru Majutsu no Index - I have a hard time thinking clearly about this series now that Railgun has come along and utterly demolished anything Index did, but I did really start getting into this show around the Accelerator arc. It really got some legs under it at that point and established itself as something coherent. It mostly dropped the boring wall of text, and gave some love to the much much much more interesting characters on the Science side (Science > Magic!). It suffered from the titular lead being the most ignored title character this side of Sifr Fran, and the protagonist's power being of the "nothing is everything!" type, but there were enough elements to really kick the story into high gear eventually. With a great setup for a second season, this could go places. If I can shake the feeling that Railgun has ruined me forever on the thought of downgrading back to the magic side again...

(25) GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class - The first episode was pretty rough and the release pace made me think I'd never get to finish this. But when I finally could, I loved it. Really loved it! It's cute girls, 4koma slice of life, and art. This has been scientifically proven to be impossible to screw up without deliberately trying to make something shit. I actually just started reading the manga a couple days ago too, and I'm definitely still loving it. Noda and Chikako are clearly the best!

(26) Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae - The first half of the show, and even some later episodes, had devolved into what could only be the intentional self-mocking of writers who were sick of the formula they'd been following. This actually resulted in some fairly hilarious and enjoyable episodes, once I decided to throw all my expectations for something legitimately "good" in the trash. But as Ai's and Yuzuki's destinies became more and more intertwined Mitsuganae shocked me by becoming not just legitimately good, but legitimately moving. Yuzuki herself was, from start to finish, a character I took to at a very deep emotional level. I would cringe any time emotional or physical pain came to her. I wanted so desperately for her to escape the awful cycle she'd gotten dragged into. It's one of the purest emotions of moe I've ever felt for a character. It wasn't really clear until the end where things were going. But when they got there... I was stunned to receive one of the most moving and well-done endings of the year. Just typing about it makes me want to bump this up quite a few spots, but the goofy episodes really do have to be taken into account. This ain't a bad place for it.

(27) Sora no Manimani - What I said about Hatsukoi making me feel good goes for this as well, although here it wasn't the cute awkwardness of first love as the vehicle, but rather stargazing. Even though I don't do it (ew, that would require going outside... not that I can see any stars where I live anyway), I have a very soft spot, emotionally, for that sort of thing and seeing the characters in this show stare in genuine awe at the night sky and share it with others doing the same brought a tear to my eye many a time. Very cute romantic aspect to the show as well, even if it doesn't try to resolve anything.

(28) Kanamemo - One of the most yuririffic shows of the year, including one of the best couples ever in Yuuki and Yume. Canon, socially open, highly physical, deeply loving, well-adjusted lesbians? Man, how often do we get that? Then there's the budding yuri between Kana and Mika, always a joy to watch. The newspaper delivery setting is a pretty neat one, and I cannot possibly commend the show enough for not trying to jam a rushed 2-3 episode "plot" down our throats at the end. Points off for excessive and unnecessary censorship that went entirely against the cute, mostly innocent spirit of the show, however.

(29) Asura Cryin' 2 - I really thought this one was going to crash and burn in the first half when Tomoharu decided he wanted to be a frustrating dipshit. Then, suddenly, things got epic. And they kept getting more epic. And we get an ending that is just ridiculously awesome with a fantastic mech battle and all sorts of badassery all over the place. Shockingly, the show even started making sense by the end! Major cop-out on the romantic side notwithstanding, I am pretty shocked at how well this series turned out.

(30) Zan Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei - Zetsubou is Zetsubou. Three seasons and a short OVA in, anyone still watching it knows exactly what they're in for. I always find myself unable to say anything significant about this show other than that it's pretty consistently amusing. This season had some of my favorite moments of the franchise.

(31) Tears to Tiara - It had a whole bunch of rough spots and Arthur was a boring douche all the way. But Morgan x Octavia = epic, Sawashiro Miyuki as Lydia = epic, a scene with Rhiannon making clever use of teleportation spells = epic, Rathty Rocket = epic, and Arawn was a pretty awesome male lead. He's someone who actually deserves a harem. Even if it blundered about at times, TtT left me pretty consistently satisfied, ending included.



4th Class - Not shows I rushed to watch each week, but still well worth my time. Specific ranks start to mean less here. I find myself writing a lot of "This show could be ranked so much higher except for...
(32) Needless - Yeah, it spent too much time on things that didn't matter terribly in the final episodes (which brings this down quite a number of spots actually) but when it was on top of its game I was amazed at how good it ended up being. Pretty much everything surrounding the Bishoujo Squad was amazing, and the height of their presence in the plot was by far the height of the show. Also most blatantly underwearless character ever appears later.

(33) Sora no Otoshimono - Hands down one of the sexiest shows of the year, and Nymph would rank well in a list of best 2009 characters. Sohara is, indeed, criminally sexy. It really is all about Nymph in the end, and I'm very glad the writers did whatever it was they needed to do to introduce her earlier than the manga did.

(34) Natsu no Arashi! - Shaft playing with time travel and making character designs a lot sexier than they had any right to be. It was pretty consistently funny in a "smile rather than crack up" way, even if it didn't feel like it was going anywhere. Definitely a really interesting cast, although it took awhile to get used to the lead male.

(35) Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chuu - Virtually identical comments would fit the second season, though I'm a bit disappointed it brought so little movement in the relationships. My stance on Arashi as a whole is that I enjoyed it and would watch more but would much rather see Shaft direct its clearly very limited resources elsewhere.

(36) Seiken no Blacksmith - This would be like 10+ spots higher if they'd handled the final episode better. I know it's just a stopping point until the second season, but sales for the first disc of this were surprisingly bad (under 2k) so I hope they've already budgeted the next cour, otherwise I'm not considering it a sure thing anymore. This show certainly had a lot of great elements going for it - Lisa, Cecily's boobs, Lisa, Aria being awesome, Lisa, good animation, Lisa, an adorable ED, Lisa, Charlotte and her gang, and also Lisa. It just didn't manage its time well. And with anime, last impressions are even more important than first.

(37) Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ - One of the best yuri couples of the year, yet the show seems determined to deny it. Ah well. Ignore the last few minutes of the last episode and you have one of the best endings of the year. The show had significant down times occasionally that stop it from ranking a lot higher, but it also had great moments. Totally love Urin in the final episodes... Not SatoJun's best work but you can definitely feel his influence as a positive force.

(38) Chrome Shelled Regios - Know how some shows just sort of inexplicably end without seeming to wrap anything important up? ...Yeah. But when you have Felli and Zuellni-chan, does it matter? Quite possibly not. That said, the appeal wasn't just the characters, because by the end I was genuinely interested in the plot, something I never, ever thought I'd say during the first half. But I gotta say, those Engrish segments went way beyond "hilariously bad" to just plain "bad". Ick.

(39) Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou - The incredibly interesting time-travel/multi-timeline angle is not fully explored in my opinion, but it has some great moments where a few things do come together. Yumiko x Koyomi forever! They're pretty much married in my mind. Kaho can join in too. The mix of modern day magic and traditional magic was done well, and I really, really think Koyomi was just the role perfect for Nonaka Ai.

(40) Asura Cryin' - I'm probably rating this one artificially low because the latter half of the second season is so much better. Also because I forgot to rate it until I got here. =P It really is just the first half of a two cour show (with a gap between) so I probably should have rated them together, but whatever.

(41) Nyan Koi! - I feel like I've summed up my feelings on this a million times, but I have to do it once more: I fucking loathe Kanako and she did her best to ruin the show, but the awesomeness of the other characters somehow shines through anyway. Especially Kaede, Akari and Kotone. I just LOVE them all. Fantastic Kobayashi Yuu role as well.



5th Class - Insert description!
(42) Pandora Hearts - Not much less of a lolwtf ending than Regios, honestly. At least it's a lot clearer about where things stand. And it has Alice and Sharon and Ada! Oz really had his moments of badass but some just plain bad moments as well. Well, I was ambivalent enough about the ending that it ends up down here. I'd be happy to watch another season though.

(43) Kurokami The Animation - Great starting episodes, absolutely spectacular finish. It's just that the middle got so mediocre. The amazing animation visible at its peaks really kinda falls away in the middle and the show missed a lot of really great storytelling opportunities. Certainly deserved to do better than the unmitigated commercial disaster it ended up being in Japan though. I also rather liked the post-climax final episode, which puts me in the minority.

(44) Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity- I actually remember liking this more than the ranking implies... well it's all pretty tough to rank after Otoshimono. I guess I keep my rating for this in check because my positive impression was due to it being a lot better than I expected... but my expectations were low. Whatever though, I had fun. And Nue is amazing, far and away the best character in the show. I also rather liked the final climax, which a lot of people seem to have been ambivalent on.

(45) Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S - I bypassed the first season and while this show does very much handle itself like an 'alternate take' that assumes you know the basic story already, it was nice enough. It's definitely shoe throwing and Tomatsu Haruka's performance as Corti that win this show, hands down. Protagonist was a bit of a dunce. Not a show that will stick with me in most respects, but the ED sequence will.

(46) Queen's Blade: Gyokuza no Tsugumono - Better than the first season in every way, although suffers dramatically from BORING PROTAGONIST syndrome. I fucking love Nanael and Airi and Nowa and Aldra and Tomoe and a number of others though. Nearly everyone is better than Leina.



Errrrr? - Yeppp.
(47) 11eyes - Lame, lame ending. Episode 11 would have been an awesome place to end it. The only reason this show avoids the "disappointments" category is because I was following it primarily for the fun trainwreck ride. So I guess I couldn't be too terribly disappointed in how it turned out.

(48) Queen's Blade -Rurou no Senshi- - Tits The Anime, had a very very rough start where the first episodes had me alternating wildly between "that was horrible" and "that was pretty awesome" depending who was on screen. ...I would no doubt come back for a third season, though.

(49) Princess Lover! - Hands down the dumbest show of the year. Makes QB look like a philosophical essay. Sexy girls but the "story" made me want to slam my head into a wall.



Disappointments - NOTE: Trying something new this year. I put these shows here not because they're the worst shows, but because they're the ones that disappointed me the most for some reason. Personally, I take disappointment much harder than I do a show just being plain old shit (or mediocre). The very fact that I'm disappointed means it really had something going to it at some point, but left me with a feeling of loss rather than satisfaction. Alphabetical order.
("50") Birdy the Mighty Decode:02 - Disappointing because the two most important episodes were ruined by laughably awful art and animation. The first season showed a lot of potential, and what 02 did right was really good. But I can't forgive what happened to the show's climaxes. Totally ruined it for me, and I never want to rewatch it.

("51") Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza - Talk about expectations being dashed. The first season came out of nowhere to be one of the sweetest, most adorable romantic comedies in quite some time. The second season has no direction, no sense of what made us like the first. Its only contribution to the franchise was some delicious fanservice. If you skipped it all you'd miss is the introduction of two characters who didn't get to do much anyway.

("52") Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ - Oh Phantom, you could have been one of the top shows of the year. And you were, for the first two arcs. Then the final arc came along, and all I could do was watch everything unravel scene by scene. My favorite character being horribly mishandled was enough to sink it, but then there was the very end. Single stupidest ending of 2009, and in the running for worst ever. When it finished all I could do was put my face in my hands, shake my head, and laugh. Utterly ruined.

("53") Senjou no Valkyria - From awesome awesome awesome to gradually losing interest in just about every character during and after a mid-series event to complete ambivalence about the ending. That sucks. It's not a bad show, but it is (as its category would imply...) very disappointing. When most of my favorite characters were male in a show full of women, someone did something very wrong. Also, fuck Rosie. I blame her most of all. Eh~! That's about the only reaction I can give it anymore. Can't win 'em all.

("54") Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 - The first two thirds made for some of the most riveting, emotionally genuine, well written and directed episodes of animation I've seen this year or beyond. Then the show decides to gamble, and gamble big, on a specific plot device. If it worked for you, this probably became one of your top 10 shows of the year. If it didn't... then you were like me, and spent the next 2-3 days feeling vaguely depressed that you couldn't love the show the way you wanted. I caught on late that this was a noitaminA show and upon realizing went and marathoned the entire thing in, I believe, one sitting. So I could only watch in horror as my elation turned to confusion, then ambivalence, then sadness over the course of maybe 90 minutes. I wish the plot twist had worked for me. I really, desperately wish it had. But it did not, on a fundamental level. Not being able to embrace and celebrate this show without huge caveats still bothers me, whenever I think about it. =/

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OVAs/Specials/Movies - Not ranked; Tried not to include DVD-bonus eps, as they're not the same thing.
Shakugan no Shana S - Only one episode so far, but it was great to see Shana again. I really need my third season.
Hidamari Sketch × 365 specials - This was every bit as epic as the TV series. Simply fantastic.
Cencoroll - Just watched this about a week ago. It was interesting, and Yuki is awesome. Needs a TV series badly though, as the half hour "movie" doesn't even try to develop a real story. Which was a smart move.
Minami-ke: Betsubara OAV - I just remember it being fun. It's Minami-ke.
ToHeart2 adplus - They've got a formula that will work virtually forever, so I really hope they start pumping out a lot more TH2 anime than the tiny trickle we get.
Ichigo Mashimaro Encore - A reminder of just how desperately we need more. Sensing a trend? I like getting more episodes of shows I love, but OVAs aren't enough!
Kodomo no Jikan Nigakki (OAV) - See above. I'm glad it didn't try to be overly ambitious and cram a full season worth of material into just a few episodes, but I do worry that we don't ever see a full second season of this. What we've gotten is damn good but... well you know the drill. Still, this was worth it for the Shiro/Kuro stuff alone. And the rest was nice too of course.
Goku Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei - It's more Zetsubou. Yep.

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Dropped due to circumstances:
Casshern Sins - Got into it very very late and took a long break, during which it was licensed. Figured I'd just pick up when it was out in R1 but Funi = slow as fuck thus I've lost interest in picking it up, and diverting money to R2 means this gets cut. Was good from what I saw though.
Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood - Intended to watch en masse but massed too much and was 20+ eps behind before I knew it. Gave up on finding the time to catch up.
Hayate the Combat Butler!! - Long story. Well maybe not that long but too much emotional attachment to a character who won't be treated the way I want her to be treated, so I'm sparing myself the frustration and sadness.
Mouryou no Hako - Great but nosubs. Think I could watch it now but I'd have to start all over and find time... difficult.

Dropped due to not liking enough to continue:
Akikan
Aoi Bungaku
Asu no Yoichi! - Not terribly really, I just lost interest/fell behind.
Kampfer
Kuroshitsuji
Rideback - Awful CG overload.
Shangri-La
White Album - Can you say most detestable protagonist in anime history?

...I dropped very little this year, but I think I'm just forgetting a few. I probably ignored a lot of the 1-and-done shows. I guess I can't count Shugo Chara! as dropped, because I finished the first season and never started the second. ::shrugs:: Either way, I'd dropped 30 last year and only about 12 this year. I also finished way more shows... yeah, 2009 was great.

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Continuing into 2010 (two+ cour; do not count for this list)
**To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
**Kimi ni Todoke
**Kiddy Girl-and
**Kobato
**Fairy Tail
**Yumeiro Pâtissière
**Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra
**Tegami Bachi: Letter Bee

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TOTALS:
54 completed 2009 shows. That's actually an increase of 12 (29%) over last year! Who says anime is dying, eh?

12 dropped shows, less than half of last year.

5 shows on the list getting R2 import treatment. 3 Summer (Haruhi, Bakemono, Spice), 1 Fall (Sasameki; Railgun and Todoke don't count yet as they're two cour) and 1 special exception to the "Summer '09 onward only" policy from Spring, K-ON!. I've decided not to pick up the other top tier Winter/Spring shows in order to keep costs down and save money for seasons going forward, else Clannad AS, Toradora, and Marimite 4th, at the absolute minimum, would have warranted it.

3 days, on and off, to get this damn post typed up.

Last edited by something : 01-21-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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