Ani Bloggers Choice Anime Awards – Kai’s Top Anime of 2011
Time flies by and festivals like Christmas and New Year are already inching closer. 2011 had been a pleasant surprise. There are countless good anime left and right this year, which makes this another memorable year full of epic anime shows. Even after such a long time, anime is still staying strong it seems, at least in my opinion and it will be interesting to see how it will go on for the years to come.
Stumbling upon one of kiddtic’s post on Ani Bloggers Choice Anime Awards, I thought I should share my favorite anime of 2011 to all the other ani-bloggers out there.
So, here’s my picks for the ACAA, arranged traditionally by seasons~
First place: Puella Magi Madoka Magica
This masterpiece is made by a very interesting line-up of staffs. It is directed by Akiyuki Shinbo (Nanoha), the script is written by Urobuchi Gen (Saya no Uta of Nitroplus), the original character designs by Aoki Ume (Hidamari Sketch), the anime character designs by Kishida Takahiro (Durarara!!, Baccano!) and the music is composed by Yuki Kajiura (Kara no Kyoukai). Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a very contradicting magical girl anime, however, it’s that contradictory that makes it such an excellent show. Even though it’s a magical girl genre, the girls are seen using swords and fierarms, even though it’s a magical girl genre, there are angst, blood and even violence. The show is a great example of how blending dark elements into a magical girl show works.
Second place: Beelzebub
Beelzebub is about a baby who cries so loud that he can cause thunderstorms. The baby is a son of the demon king and he is strangely attached to Oga Tatsumi, a 1st year high school delinquent. Beelzebub contains a lot of random scenes combined with demons, supernatural powers, humors and more humors. Watching Oga Tatsumi and Baby Beel’s interactions are one of the most hilarious moments ever.
Third place: Gosick
Mixing in settings of 1942 Europe with mystery investigations makes up Gosick, a wonderful combination. The cases are good, albeit at times too simple to predict. Kujo isn’t a particularly interesting main character too and because of his military training, you would’ve thought he should be a bit more stronger than that physically…
Level E, Kimi ni Todoke 2nd season
First place: Steins;Gate
Sent this using my D-mail. It’s time to go back to the past, back to Spring, a season with an astonishing line-up of shows. Yet, even among this line-up, Steins;Gate easily takes the cake. My favorite among the favorites, Steins;Gate cleverly grasped viewers in their perspective of time travel, feeding countless information, yet successfully providing entertainment, mystery, suspense and delight. The blending between all of these elements is what made Steins;Gate stand out even among the other already astounding shows in Spring. The characters are also fun and in fact, their characters may be one of the best in 2011 yet. El Psy Congroo.
Second place: Deadman Wonderland
The concept of using blood as a main weapon is good, resulting in a group of blood-manipulation warriors in combat. This is one of those shows which you would love it when you know you had been watching too much K-ON.
Third place: The World God Only Knows II
The genius otaku is back, to hunt and capture more girls, using only his vast knowledge on eroge gaming. One of TWGOK’s better aspect of the show is their music, filled with beautiful orchestrated music and music-wise the sequel doesn’t disappoint too. The main focus is still watching Katsuragi Keima “capturing” girls though. It is still as interesting, watching the still hate-real-life-girls Keima being forced to interact with real-life girls themselves.
Ao no Exorcist, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Hidan no Aria, Sket Dance, Hana-Saku Iroha
First place: Nurarihyon no Mago Sennen Makyou
Summer, to me, is one of the more disappointing seasons of 2011, except for lolicons.. I guess. The synopsis and reviews for most shows are shabby at best and most of my time is spent on playing visual novels then watching anime. In such hard times, I’m happy to see a sequel to Nurarihyon no Mago as I was rather fond of the first season. The second season is still as good, if not superior. In addition to the new badass characters, the older characters are further developed as well, providing more insight and much needed screentime for them.
Second place: Usagi Drop
A sweet anime which beautifully captured the essence of a parent-daughter relationship. The subtle art present in the anime is a great way to showcase the world of Usagi Drop, as it matches quite well with the overall visuals. Sweet, beautiful and dazzling.
Third place: Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
The story takes place in France, in the 19th century, which depicts the struggles of how the east and west cultures and relationships, actually come together as one. One of the show’s main character, Yune, and Usagi Drop’s Rin, are definitely the two cutest character this year <3 Hnnnnnggggg~
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni!
First place: Fate/Zero
Most of the shows are still incomplete at this time but after more then 10 episodes, it should already be somewhat easy to make judgements. There are some anime which had my eyes gaping open, some skeptically hopeful at best, and there are some which I just don’t care..
Being a visual novel player, the first thing in my mind would be Fate/Stay Night and obviously, Fate/Zero easily takes my pick. Being adapted from the light novel, Fate/Zero is set 10 years before the original series. Instead of a certain red-hairded dood, we now have an older and mature, but a much more badass protagonist. There are also new and old servants alike. For the other characters, there are some new faces, some old faces, most of which are pretty interesting to see just how each character played a part in the story. The pacing for Fate/Zero is incredibly done as well, balancing perfectly time spent on introductions, developments and battles. Fate/Zero has also the best battle sequences this year, due to the high animation quality mostly.
Second place: Mirai Nikki
When I read the synopsis, I thought it’s another Steins;Gate and was put off. But when I watch it, it’s entirely different. This is another reason why execution is so important as the same principle can be reused and reused in totally unique ways and Mirai Nikki is one prime example of that.
The main character, Yuki, is being forced, along with other participants to join in a battle royal. Their weapon is a diary, which can predict the future. Using that, each participant predicts their opponent’s next move and tries to outwit and kill each other. The last one standing will become the new God of Time and Space. Gasai Yuno is another great addition to the already big list of yandere characters present in the anime world, as she is actually one of the better ones.
Third place: Shakugan no Shana III
This was actually my most anticipated show in autumn, and easily became one of my most disappointed show ever. I have a basic knowledge of how the story progresses in the light novels but without reading it, it is hard to keep up with the pacing. The way the story is paced is way too unstable. At times, it moves slow, showing Shana bathing in the washroom and then it switches to the gay Chinese overlord. The script is written in a very bad and contradicting manner as Yuji’s reason for fighting is just plain silly.
Because of my strong love for Shana though, I still have hope for this anime, if not barely..
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Bakuman 2, Guilty Crown
Anime of the Year 2011
This year is a year filled with a very strong line-up of anime shows. My decision for this year is a toss-up between Fate/Zero and Steins;Gate, with my final decision being the latter, Steins;Gate. One of the reasons for my choice is that Steins;Gate had wonderful developments and a great conclusion. The characters had underwent a long road full of repetitive pains, angsts and mental breakdowns. Watching them overcoming their emotional distress, ultimately leading to the ending is one of the highlight of the show, and since Fate/Zero is still in the midst of development, it’s the one thing it cannot accomplish.. yet.
While I’m at it, this is my top 5 favorite anime for 2011, in a consecutive order.
3. Mirai Nikki
4. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
5. Deadman Wonderland
It had been a wonderful year of epicness and I hope to see the same level of greatness next year. For Winter 2012, I’m already thinking of watching Another, Black Rock Shooter, Amagami SS+ and Zero no Tsukaima F. Another will be my main focus actually, as I’m quite loving the psychological thriller genre.
List of ACAA participants
2DT from 2dteleidoscope
Marina from marinasauce
TWWK from beneaththetangles
AJ from angryjellyfish
Kuuki from enkuuki
Sam from otakustudy
Cytrus from yaranakya
Nopy from nopybot
Ephemeral Dreamer from ephemeraldreamer
Marow from animeviking
Akira from akirascuro
Frozen from frozenmyst
Yumeka from animeyume
inushinde from shindeiie
Kai from deluscar
thatredsky from mystoryyourbeats
Justin from organizationasg
Shirokurou from tsundereblog
Judge from moarpowah
lostty from animeprincess