This is my first of my lookup lists of 2010. I love lists so should be doing a lot of them. I’m also going to try and add more images into my posts this year so it’s not just a wall of text. Anyway, one of the biggest things in 2010 for me was my introduction to anime. After finally visiting Japan (10 years after I wanted to!) in May/June and seeing the figures in Akihabara, I decided to check out the anime they came from when I got back home. Before then I was just a Ghibli fan and had seen maybe 5 other anime films but I’d never watched any series or anything.
I’ll list here just the anime series (not OVAs, specials or films) that I’ve completed watching in 2010 in (rough) order. I’ve started many more series, you can see the full list at myanimelist.net. I’ll rate the shows out of 10 because that’s how myanimelist does it, even though I prefer rating out of 5 stars. I started off watching shows I liked the figures of and then proceeded to watch loads more…
- K-ON! – 9/10 – I’m a huge music fan so loved this, seeing a group of friends form a band together. I really liked it when they focussed on the music aspect. I guess this anime introduced me to the whole moe girls thing too. This show always put a huge smile on my face with the really likeable characters. I love this show, I’ve watched the whole series twice and want to do it again when the English Blu-rays/DVDs come out.
- The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya – 7/10 – Well, I found this just okay. Didn’t see what the fuss is about. It was enjoyable but I didn’t love it that much. It might have been better if I’d seen it in the original airing order rather than the chronological order that the DVDs are in.
- Shakugan no Shana – 8/10 – The initial episode really hooked me in with its great concept where the protagonist finds out he is already dead. I guess I don’t really care too much about the action scenesW but like the slice-of-life stuff.
- B Gata H Kei – 8/10 – The initial premise of this show seemed exceedingly seedy – with the girls aim to sleep with 100 men in a year – but it turned out to be the opposite. It was about two people growing up and nervously getting to know each other. Like a coming-of-age romance or something.
- K-ON!! – 9/10 – The second season of K-ON was twice as long as the first season and covered half the timeframe (one school year instead of two). As such it was really watered down and didn’t feature any musical development until the end. This was dissapointing. It really concentrated on the characters although they lost some of their traits from season one. Still, I love this show and the best episodes I’ve re-watched many times.
- Angel Beats! – 9/10 – Another show with a great premise of a highschool set in a kind of purgatory and setting out to fight against an Angel in the hope of destroying God. Its all about discovering the laws of this strange world in a group reminiscent of Haruhi. Each episode concentrated on different things and the best ones, such as the episode about being stuck in a mine (fitting with the Chilean crisis last year) and the one about Iwasawa struggling with family life and finding solace in music and her guitar playing, were just stunning.
- Welcome to the NHK! – 8/10 – A great series about an otaku hikikomori (a mid-twenties guy who doesn’t leave his apartment) and how he came out of his shell with meetings with his various people.
- sola – 7/10 – Intrigued me as the lead character shares my pastime of taking pictures of the sky. It then introduced a character who gets damaged by sunlight (kindof like a vampire, and yes, they do have special powers). Again, I preferred the scenes of people taking care of their friends/family members, rather than the action scenes.
- Toaru Majutsu no Index / A Certain Magical Index – 7/10 – I watched this as I wanted to see the Railgun spinoff. It consists of lots of disconnected story arcs where only the lead character is the same. Each arc introduces new characters and then discards them straight after. As such, this is disjointed. When it works it is good. This anime is content to have entire episodes where two characters stand still about to fight each other but just talking and then have the next episode to consist of just the action scene.
- Toaru Kagaku no Railgun / A Certain Scientific Railgun – 8/10 – Much better than the series it is a spinoff from. This is because it concentrates on the characters of the four girls and their interactions with each other. It’s much more coherent and the characters are really good. Its set in this academy city which trains kids to develop extra powers such as BiriBiri’s control over electromagnetism. Has fewer action scenes than Index and more slice-of-life stuff that I enjoy.
- Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai / Oreimo / My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute – 8/10 – Great “moe” anime about a guy’s younger sister admitting to him she is an otaku and coming to grips with the otaku world. Moreover, she is a fan of imouto (little sister) eroges which makes the whole concept quite odd.
- Yosuga no Sora – 6/10 – This is adapted from a visual novel/eroge/dating sim. And you can tell. It goes through each characters arc separately, essentially rewriting bits of story you’ve seen before but played out differently. I preferred the first two arcs to the proceeding ones. The main flaw in this anime is how ecchi it gets. Its unnecessary, and gets into themes of twincest too. Also each episode is short, but followed by some chibi/super-deformed stuff that I didn’t watch.
- Working!! – 9/10 – Really fun series about a group of slightly bizarre characters who work together in a restaurant. The lead male has a fetish for small things and an older girl who works there is really really short which causes him to join. Then there is a girl (Inami) who has a condition where she is terrified of men and if she gets too close to them hits them. For the first half of the season, each episode concentrated on a different character whereas later on it started to show the romance of how Inami is overcoming her man-phobia and getting closer to the protagonist.
- Genshiken– 9/10 – About a university anime/manga club. Its not a moe show but is really good fun slice-of-life about a group of otakus.
Well, that’s it! I’m currently on the second seasons of Shakugan no Shana and Genshiken and still working through Lucky Star. As you can see, I prefer slice-of-life stuff to action animes and can get really hooked by good characters and groups of friends. I’ve tried to watch a variety of stuff, both old and new. I plan to continue to watch some old series (as I love watching lots of episodes back to back) as well as watch some on a weekly basis as the episodes are aired.