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Dec 25 2010

Twelve Days of Anime: The Condensed One Day Version

So I had originally decided to join in on this twelve days of anime thing since I’ve never done it in all the years I’ve spent blogging. However since it was a kind of a rushed decision and other things getting in the way, I am late to the party and only have the time to do a very condensed version instead of multiple longer posts. However despite that I’ll take this opportunity to write about things that I’ve really enjoyed over the past year but for whatever reason never got around to writing about. Each entry will be short but I’ll try to cram in all of my important thoughts. Anyway on to the list counting down from number 12 to number 1!


#12 Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai – Journey Through Otakudom

kirino-novel-writing

I’ll admit that OreImo had some flaws but I thoroughly enjoyed the hijinks and crap that Kyousuke had to put up with. However what I’ll always give the show credit for was bringing me on a journey through my development as an otaku. I’ve always been a fan of anime as far as I know but rarely until recent years have I had anyone with whom to talk to about one of the biggest hobbies that define myself as a person. From hiding my otaku obsessions from my non-otaku friends, being totally underage and playing the same things as Kirino, making actual otaku friends, going to my first otaku event, cosplaying, writing my own stories and so much more. Kirino may not have the greatest personality but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t understand where she’s coming from. I could really connect with her. I’ll be looking forward to the True End episodes when they are released.


#11 Pokemon HeartGold – Gotta Catch ‘Em All

pokemon-everyone

I’ve been a big fan of Pokemon ever since it appeared on North American shores over a decade ago. However at some point my enthusiasm dwindled a bit sometime during the 3rd Generation games but I continued to buy all the new releases anyway. When Pearl was released during the last year of high school it resparked some of my interest with the new battle mechanics and such. However it wasn’t until the remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver hit the scenes did my passion truly reignite. Somehow reminiscing about the good old days when I caught them all in Red and Gold and looking forward to new information of the then unreleased Black and White games relit my Pokemon torch–I was going to catch them all in preparation for White’s American release! I went through HeartGold in what seemed like a blur catching everything that moved but I knew I couldn’t get them all with just this game. I fired up games I haven’t played in years, from Sapphire to Pearl, slowly but surely importing all my missing entries into HeartGold. I don’t know how many hours I poured into doing all that across all my games total but at least according to HeartGold’s internal clock it took me exactly 150:00 hours to catch all the non-event Pokemon. Of course I did eventually get a bunch of the event Pokemon though I still lack a Darkrai and a Celebi to complete my collection. In other words I have 491 of the 493 4th Generation Pokemon. When I get the remaining two I’ll be so ready for when I fire up Pokemon White for the first time next year.


#10 Ga-Rei: Zero – The Tragedy of Yomi

yomi-final-moments

From the moment when Yomi first showed up as a killing machine in the first episode to the very last showdown with Kagura, I was hooked. The first couple of episodes set up the shock factor that made me wonder what was going on. Soon though it went into flashback mode slowly revealing how the two met and how their relationship developed. With the psychopathic image of Yomi still fresh in my mind it was intense seeing how the two who share so much in common forged an inseparable sisterly bond. However Yomi’s life slowly spirals into chaos and misery. It was depressing seeing how family politics among a slew of other things led to her fall from grace. She’s manipulated to the point that she has to fight the one person she has left after everyone abandons and loses fate in her. At the very end I felt so sad for Yomi. She had no control in all senses unable to even kill herself in order to stop fighting her best friend. It’s impossible for me to fault her for anything.


#9 Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu – Understanding Yuki

nagato-shy

I wasn’t particularly phased by the whole Endless Eight fiasco so I went into the movie pretty neutral but by the end I was a little glad that I did watch all 8 episodes of it. I’m a fairly big Yuki fan so I was glad to have a movie centered around her. Throughout both television series we get to see how she slowly changes after being recruited in the SOS Dan. However the movie takes that so much further literally showing another side of her. Always wearing an unchanging expression while dealing with the chaos that Haruhi unleashes from helping Kyon to reliving and remembering the same summer vacation 15532 times, she has to cope as emotions develop and her stress levels build to unimaginable heights. She bears it all for as long as possible until her “errors” overcome her and she literally recreates herself and the world to what she desires–a normal life as a debilitatingly shy and visibly embarrassed girl in a world for only herself and Kyon. I really did feel like I suffered along with Yuki and for that I am grateful.


#8 THE iDOLM@STER 2 – Promo Materials Cause a Stir

Ever since rumors of the sequel starting floating around during April, I’ve been anticipating it’s release greatly by taking in all the latest info. Of course some of the changes have had quite a mixed reaction from the fanbase. I for the most part am okay with the additions. Yukiho’s seiyuu changing? That was her choice and her successor sounds just fine. Boy band Jupiter? I find them a surprisingly ridiculous and hilarious antagonist group. Ritsuko having 3 idols for her own group? I’m pretty sure they’ll be playable at some point and SMOKY THRILL is quite catchy. If anything all of this crazy news has been adding more fuel to my ever increasing anticipation for the game. After all, the whole 2nd Vision Project has been all about shaking up the franchise and giving the series plenty of new material apart from what has already been reused over the past 5 years. In that regard all of these crazy revelations have done that job. I can’t wait until my Limited Edition pre-order comes in February!


#7 Shinryaku! Ika Musume – The Ultimate Servant Worker

ika-chan-food

I want my own squid girl. Ika Musume is the greatest amalgamation of random skills packed into a cute cephalopod package. I can hire her for basically any type of job so she would be my personal helper. When the shop’s busy she can serve multiple customers. When I’m hungry she can make her special squid ink spaghetti or I can nibble on her tentacles. She can help me with makeup and drawing too. If I need a quick calculation or backup in some sport like baseball or volleyball she’ll be the first person I’d turn to. She can do just about everything except for invade so I’ll never have anything major to worry about. Of course I’d have to pay her in shrimp, let her sleep in my room, occasionally get wrapped in tentacles and give her sea vacations so she doesn’t lose her powers but It’s not like I would mind.


#6 Asobi ni Iku yo! – Guilty Pleasure of the Year

aoi-point-blank-question

For some strange reason I really loved this show. It’s basically the cat-ear version of ToLoveRu but I enjoyed it so much that I pretty much set everything else aside every time a new episode aired (that’s also the case for the rest of my list except #4). The opening Now loading…SKY!! is so catchy and definitely one of my favorite songs of the year so much so that I’ve been using it as my alarm clock sound since it came out. The action scenes are also surprisingly entertaining and the love drama between Aoi and Manami over Kio was surprisingly interesting. I can pretty much sum up everything about the show as surprisingly better than I initially thought. Is it really as good as I seem to be making it out to be? Probably not but I don’t care.


#5 Amagami SS – The Sassy Black Cat and the Model Student

nanasaki-swing-kiss

As I’ve translated all the songs that have appeared in the anime and plan to do all the rest eventually, it shouldn’t be a surprise how much I enjoyed it. The main draw of course are the leading ladies and I pretty much liked all of them but two stood out for me. First there was Nanasaki. When I checked out her CGs for the PS2 game she didn’t look that special so it came as a surprise when she suddenly swam into my heart. I guess part of Ai’s charm is how plain she seems to be which makes the times when she reveals something about herself that more captivating. She’s an incredibly hard worker trying her best in the swim team, volunteering in her spare time and worrying about her little brother. She’s such a wonderful, mature older sister figure despite being one of the youngest in the cast but at the same time she’s surprisingly bold. Occasionally teasing with her skirt, sitting on Junichi and kissing on a swing and of course bringing him to a private hot spring and going in naked, she really is quite the sassy black cat. It’s this combination of traits that makes her one of my two favorites.

ayatsuji-personality-break

The other girl who makes my list is Ayatsuji. On the outside she’s a seemingly perfect and sweet student capable of doing everything. However the person on the inside, the true Tsukasa, is quite different. Dwelling deep inside hidden behind a facade is a cynical girl that pushes herself too hard. She honestly does want to create a spectacular school festival but she never shows weakness only letting others see what they want or expect while maintaining that distant feeling. She plays her role so that she can get into a good college at the expense of never having the opportunity to be herself and find her own love. When her mask starts to fail her fierce true self emerges and she has to deal with what effectively is half the class turning on her. She’s really admirable to me especially since I’ve definitively found myself playing a similar role.


#4 Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st – The Definitive Nanoha and Fate Story

nanoha-fate-together-forever

In two hours Nanoha The Movie manages to take all the important events of the original and create a viewing experience that eclipses the original in every way possible. Actually it would be more accurate to say that the movie makes the original television anime obsolete. The pacing has been much improved significantly trimming the more generic aspects from the beginning that is the obstacle to getting people to try out the series. Fate and her mom’s backgrounds have been greatly expanded to create a more coherent narrative that clears up many details. Of course the animation has undergone a huge upgrade that both captures all the feelings perfectly and dazzles with some of the most amazing fight scenes I have seen in a while. It was like I was watching a series of aerial dogfights mixed with very intense and emotional storytelling. Without a doubt this is now the way to watch the original Nanoha story. I wonder how amazing A’s will be when it gets the the second movie treatment.


#3 Umineko no Naku Koro ni Chiru – Insanity and Theory Confirmation

umineko-episode-8-official-art

Over the past year I read Episodes 5, 6 and 7 of Umineko to great satisfaction. After the creepiness and theorizing I’ve done for the first 4 episodes it was nice to see even more crazy events and answers in the latest entries in the series (Skip this if you want to avoid some spoilers). On the non-theory side, I was so entranced (shocked and/or awed) by many of the scenes that’s it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite. There was the introduction of Erika as a new detective, Battler trapped in the chained room logic error, Erika’s reveal that she killed several characters to make sure they were dead, her defeat and nonexistence at the end, the love duel, Lambdadelta’s psychological breakdown, Witch-Hunting Wright and Lion, Bernkastel’s horribly cruel Episode 7 tea party…The list goes on. My inner witch was thoroughly amused. On the mystery side most of my theories were confirmed as correct although I missed certain details. I’ll be looking forward to how everything ends when Twilight of the Golden Witch is released next week.


#2 K-ON – The 2 Finales

azunyan-cry-graduation

Now that I look back on it it’s a little silly how sad I got as the end of the second series approached. As far as I’m concerned K-ON!! had two finales, the first being the culture festival concert and the latter being graduation day. In both cases I broke down in tears alongside the light music club as Yui and the crew reminisced about it being their last culture festival and saying good-bye to Azunyan. It’s embarrassing to say but I too felt like I was parting with some friends but even so, just like they promised to Azusa in Tenshi ni Fureta yo!, they’ll always be with me. /mushy lines


#1 Angel Beats! – 2 Bodies, 1 Heart

kanade-heart

Over the past year there has only been one scene that I have continuously referenced with my friends so it has to be number one. That of course is the finale of Angel Beats! when Kanade and Yuzuru are about to part from each other. I remember the moment so vividly. When Kanade revealed that the heart that beats in her chest is the same one that Yuzuru once had, I started crying profusely into the bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream I had prepared just in case. It put everything into perspective–from the moment that they met and Kanade stabbed Yuzuru, to the time when Yuzuru dreamt of his past as he watched over Kanade and finally to the very reason Kanade has been waiting in this world. It all came together into one pure and beautiful moment that affected me in a way that very few things can. Even now when I think about the scene or hear anything about organ donations, I can’t help but start tearing up a little bit. This moment will stay in my heart forever.

Permanent link to this article: http://honya-ch.com/2010/12/25/twelve-days-of-anime-the-condensed-one-day-version/

6 comments

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  1. Liberta

    Indeed, it was an enjoyable year of anime. It is kinda hard to believe that the year of 2010 passed by so quickly, I guess keeping track with the seasonal anime makes time go faster ^_^

    When I read about Amagami SS on Random Curiosity’s blog, I was interested in the different style of portraying a romantic drama. To say the least, I am glad I picked up this anime. It went far beyond my expectations due to the fact that each the heroines were done so well that I personally believed that this series had a spot as one of the best romantic dramas I have ever seen.

    Ayatuji Tsukasa is my second favorite heroine. Mainly due to the reasons that you stated above in addition to the fact that her true self is more enjoyable to see and appreciate compared to her disguises she puts up. Even I would fall in love with her true self as did Junichi did.

    My favorite heroine would have to be Tanamachi Kaoru and not just because of her sexy hair 😛 As with numerous other heroines, it was unfortunate that we did not see a lot more content with Kaoru. But her arc was done pretty well with the four episodes she had available. Her playful nature as well an open personality was fun to see. I also have to mention that Junichi’s personality really portrayed what a good friend is suppose to be. I mean, you don’t usually see attributes that Junichi contributed in Kaoru’s arc, which was rather depressing that he did not stay like this until Ayatusji’s arc XD

    As with any other works from Key, Angel Beats! definately went far and beyond expections despite having a limited amount of episodes. Maeda Jun unexpectedly gave out his usual best in providing an entertaining story/characters and of course including the most emotional rollar coaster I have ever seen in a small series. I am not exaggerating when I say that I was emotionally shocked during that final scene with Yuzuru and Kanade. The whole story that revolved around Kanade receiving Yuzuru’s heart and forcing herself to enter the Afterlife to simply say, “Thanks,” even I started to shed some manly tears. Now, this should not be any surprise since this is the work of Maeda Jun, but his unparalleled creativity brought forth a conclusion where no one could have predicted. I will forever be a fan of Maeda Jun’s work and will do my very best to try and collect them. My only hope after they have finished with Rewrite, is to animate Little Busters! ^_^

    The animes released during the year of 2010 were very enjoyable and they shall always make my life easier to enjoy as time moves on : ) Now, I shall wait for the Winter 2011 line up to be released and I hope to see you all there ^_^

    P.S. Honya, have you been recieving my e-mails?

  2. Liberta

    *Ayatsuji

    Please forgive any of my errors, as stated on the time index, it is 0551 (0251 PST) hours…don’t ask why I am personally messing up my sleeping schedule XD

  3. Honya

    I really enjoyed the omnibus style storytelling especially since I rarely ever see it.

    I like Kaoru too for the same reasons. It would have been nice to see her more in the other arcs but at least she got a few good scenes like standing up to Ayatsuji’s bullies.

    I’d be happy to see Little Busters animated and Rewrite too eventually. It’s too good an opportunity to completely pass up on.

    It really has been a quick year with all the anime I’ve watched. Oh well, onward to Winter 2011. I hope to see what you’ll be watching.

    PS: Oh and I sent a reply e-mail.

  4. Aorii

    and now the FBI starting keeps tabs on you for future child labor violations XP
    but darn yeah, Ika Musume would be the perfect helper, especially if say— if you were aiming towards becoming a mangaka. The power of eight assistants in one~ XD

    1. Honya

      Lyrical☆Spark! does not condone the use of child labor. All squid girls are of proper age and graciously compensated for their hard work and dedication. No squid girls were harmed in the making of this article.

  5. alno

    add me

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