I don’t plan of making a habit for posts like these, but for now I’m just going to have fun with it since I want to document precisely how I see the shows I’ve seen that aired this 2010. I don’t read enough manga to make a comparable list, so I won’t include them.
Also, I probably watched (a lot) less shows from this year than some of you did, so don’t be surprised if I don’t account for many shows I’m less inclined to see.
Okay, here we go:
The show that got my fanboy rocks off the most, the show that isn’t even judged with the same means as other shows due to rampant fanboying.
Macross Frontier: The False Songstress
Deep down, I probably don’t think this movie is that good at all. I keep thinking about it and other movie editions such as Macross Plus and Do You Remember Love? and still I’m not sure if it hangs with those. Nonetheless, it was a long-awaited wish fulfilled. I was able to blog a Macross show at the time it was accessible to the English speaking fandom. I felt I’ve fulfilled a personal mandate, and when I don’t think too hard, I enjoyed the hell out of watching the show.
Besides, there’s this crowning moment of awesome that endears the movie to me forever.
The show that fulfilled long pined-for expectations and wishes while making as few mistakes as possible. Still related to the first category, but extends to other things I like.
Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
At only two episodes out, it can still fall apart in a major way, but the two episodes I got to see this year did so much to address my long-standing (relative to the age of the franchise and its shows and not the length of time I’ve been watching Gundam which is not that long) complaints about how the shows in the Gundam franchise conduct themselves that I was so happy, and am now looking forward for much of the same.
All of the Gundam OVAs that I’ve enjoyed to a similar degree (avoiding many of the combat-related annoyances I’ve had for the franchise, and mecha anime as a whole) do not take into account the Newtype element, which to me is integral to the narrative of the Universal Century as a whole. Unicorn does not shy away from this and puts it at the very center of its story while matching (if not outright exceeding) the combat spectacle of Stardust Memory.
It’s personally worth noting how Rebuild of Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance doesn’t make it in the first two categories. It’s just the case that I am that much more of a Macross fanboy than an Eva one, despite how this particular installment of Rebuild made me rewatch the entire animated oeuvre (including ventures in Puchi Evangelion and Evangelion in School), and even rewatched Rahxephon as well.
As for the second category, I favor military style gunfights between robots and not only does Gundam Unicorn do this superbly, it indulges in sword duels as well which is a staple of Gundam. The combat is just that much better in my eyes, despite the movie budget that Rebuild enjoys.
I don’t think I’m going to be a fan of cute girls doing cute things as a subcategory of shows I like Aria, Manabi Straight, Lucky Star, Taisho Baseball Girls, but dropped Hidamari Sketch, Tamayura, won’t touch Sketchbook, Marimite, and don’t really care to find out what else is out there. But K-On!! I love this show. It doesn’t have the science fiction setting of Aria that contributed so much to its narrative force (yes, force) but it is almost every bit as immersive.
A big part of this is the superlative production values that made its first season look incredibly like a different show. It’s not quite as dramatic a difference as Aria: the Origination from Aria: the Natural, but that’s because Natural’s production values looked like crap (but the show remained remarkably beautiful). The production values went into putting in so many little touches that spoke volumes of content that the source manga is simply incapable of containing – not conveying – containing.
You can’t show Sawako Sensei leaning on the banister wistfully looking away, while she waits for Mio, Ritsu, Mugi, and Yui sing their song for Azusa; leaving them to have that moment just for them as perhaps she did during her own time with Death Devil when they were the Light Music Club. Yes, these are the touches that the show made, that let me in a world I have no desire to be part of, but enjoyed my stay in nonetheless.
Double-take of the Year
The show that I dropped dismissively and picked up again and enjoyed immensely.
Highschool of the Dead
This could’ve been Broken Blade but my initial disdain for HOTD was very strong. I must’ve watched less than 3 minutes of the first episode before dropping it… until one post on Superfanicom challenged me to re-evaluate my experience and pick the show up again.
What did I like about it? Everything I thought I hated about it: beyond the impossible boob jiggling, torpedo tits, senseless underwear exposure. But the thing is, not only did the show do those things, they did it with a superlative level of skill and chutzpah. There’s an awesomeness to excess and this show did it. I ended up reading all of the manga as well, and now look forward to more of this incredibly well-done gratuitous mayhem.
Best Thing I Saw All Year Damn It All to Hell
Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
This show RRRRRUUURRRRREEES!
To wrap things up: