Moments of 2010 in Anime & Manga: The Stuff From Another Time (Other Years)

It’s that time of the year again, and throughout the month I’ll publish specific moments from anime and manga from this year’s offerings. In this post however, I put together an unordered list of moments from the shows and comics I’ve read from my backlog.

There’s still so much anime and manga that I want to experience, and while last year I was able to cover much ground, this year I’ve covered a little less, though to me it’s still a lot. I’ve gone back to shows I’ve dropped and now find them amazing (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex), shows that I’ve taken years to complete (Monster), and shows that people recommended I watch since forever (Planetes, Revolutionary Girl Utena), and lastly shows I’ve seen in parts back before I attended school (Space Battle Ship Yamato).

From all these, here are the moments that really stay with me: [I’ve made the headings extremely large so you can skip reading about shows that you’ll be spoiler’d; also, I’ve kept the images non-spoiler-y]

hataraki man hiroko

Hataraki Man

Hiroko’s ambitions and ideals are run through the gauntlet of business, of the workplace, and the relationships this inflicts on her, and the relationships it pulls apart. In light of her clear goal, which is to be a full editor by the age of thirty (she’s 28 at the beginning of the story), the steps actually seem very clear: learn some tough lessons.

It’s the enduring the experience that lead to those lessons, the humble pie that she has to eat, the bitter fruits as well, and the end gives her a most bitter one. But leading up to that bitter end (somewhat lessened by the insinuation of possibility) are truly uplifting stories.

My favorite moment is when the sales representative (a contemporary of Hiroko) for the first time gets acknowledged for the work he rendered that directly impacted the book’s success. My tears streamed uncontrollably and my chest was racked with powerful sobs. The acknowledgment of one’s worth is one of the most powerful experiences we could ever have. Knowing this let me experience this moment more powerfully than anything else in anime this year.

ghost in the shell batou & kusanagi 2nd gig

Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig

The narrative explores Kusanagi’s concern that she is losing whatever thing that keeps her human, and this is cheerfully contrasted with how the Tachikoma and their AI inexorably become more human.

Things become very real in the finale, when the Tachikoma perform their most human act, and commit themselves to the ether to save the humans from catastrophe. It’s an encore of the first season’s acts of self-sacrifice, but the higher stakes that include all their gains put at risk, makes the moment more poignant, more bitter with the sweet.

sasara x shuri

Legend of Basara

I had so much fun reading this manga (I had stopped watching and reading everything else in the week or so that I blitzed through this one) that I thought it was inevitable that I’d spill oceans of ink discussing it. It never happened.

I still find myself tongue-tied trying to say something about this work that isn’t a meaningless platitude. So here’s what I can say most truthfully: I fell in love with the story, the drama, and the characters. They’re all awesome to me. The love story of Sarasa and Shuri moved me; it made me swoon like a fangirl. More than just this, the personal journeys of the leads (and a few other characters) into the fullness of their destiny is amazing. Every time I thought that I have one of them figured out, there seemed to be another place their characters grow into.

Corny? I think so too, but I’d take this kind of epic melodrama especially when I feel from it a heartfelt tribute to the notions of heroism itself.

If I had to pick a moment, it would be their time in Okinawa, neither revealed each other their true identities and fell deeper in love, increasing my dread at the eventual revelation which did not disappoint.

monster runge vs roberto


Amazingly dark and serious, this adaptation of Urasawa Naoki’s celebrated manga triumphs in its portrayal of Eastern Europe. Not with hackneyed use of color and imagery, but rather in successfully communicating atmosphere and mystery. I always feel I’m somewhere far from home and in an uncomfortable way.

The moment I chose is very close to the end, where Tenma’s two most powerful enemies faced off against each other. Oh my god the battle between Roberto and Runge was amazing to witness. Neither are imposing physical specimens by anime standards, but the presence they both bring never fails to impress upon me dread and danger.

Both characters are driven by incredible powers. Runge with his unshakable belief in doing the right thing, and Roberto with his unbendable commitment to seeing what Johann will bring into the world — and both of them truly insurmountable foes for Tenma. It took their crossing paths to cancel each other out so that Tenma can actually do what he set out to.

It took me almost two years to finish watching this show, I’m glad I finally did so this year.

honeymoon salad v4 cover edit

Honeymoon Salad

It’s a symbiotic love triangle, or a co-dependent love triangle. This is not Sheryl being nice to Ranka and Ranka looking up to Sheryl while Alto’s interests lie mostly elsewhere. This is a group of individuals functioning like a family while operating like a love triangle. It’s also very sexy.

I find it difficult to pick a moment from this manga, given that I’ve yet to finish it as a few more chapters remain without translations. The whole of it struck me powerfully, as its conceits and absurdities yield what to me is a powerful story of choosing what it is to do in life. I recall Po Bronson’s book which is a fascinating read

In this light my moment would be Minori figuring out what he wants to do, that is to be like a father, someone who can make the aspirations of his family members possible. This is focused on Yoko, who Ichika also dotes on, but Minori does what he can to nurture Ichika as well. Alas she’s not ready to see her own value yet. But this choice, this epiphany is something that rings true for me and is something I value myself.

berserk caska


I really do not wish to repeat something I’ve discussed elsewhere, but this list would not be complete if I don’t acknowledge one of the most awesome moments I’ve ever experienced in an anime: Guts fights 100 mercenaries.

When the I think of the very idea of a “crowning moment of awesome,” this is now what first comes to mind. The legend puts Guts kill tally at 100, but the unofficial fan count is closer to 80 (kills 39-109).

The thing is, this isn’t the best thing about this show. It is but a highlight in many, amongst smaller details that never seem to fail to tell a dark and tragic story so remarkably well despite of, or perhaps because of all the violence and evil it chooses to depict. I think this anime is brilliant. [Beyond the Berserk anime]

planetes tanabe ai


Possibly the finest experience of science fiction I’ve had in animated form, this show took me into all sorts of emotional spaces: from Hachimaki’s ambition, to Dolf’s corporate struggle, to Tanabe’s unbreakable idealism, to Claire’s devolution.

It’s power lies in the believable portrayal of the contemporary workplace (corporations), which allows it to do other things well: explore the space of the being of humans, and riff on geopolitical issues. I value the former significantly more.

If I were to pick a moment (not quite a favorite but) that moved me more than most, it would be Tanabe Ai choosing to keep Claire Rondo alive, even when Claire is convinced her own life isn’t worth dying for. That was badass at the level of more bombastic male paragons of awesome in anime. And no, she never lost her power in life — which is to face it as possibility. Tanabe Ai is a monster of badass.


Revolutionary Girl Utena

The moment I saw the first frames of this show (not counting the OP) I knew it was something. There was something about the look, the shojo-style drawings of the Ohtori Academy that told me that this setting wasn’t just a backdrop, that I was entering a different world entirely.

Part of why I love this show so much is how this world, really just a school for the most part felt so distinct and complete despite not really fleshing out a lot of detail. It has to do with the way the stories are told, from the ritualistic structures with all its repetition, the symbolic and faux-symbolic imagery, and the randomness and absurdity that permeates everything.

If I have to choose a moment, it would be Utena making pillow talk with Akio. It’s not like it was a shocking surprise that she fell for him, but rather how vulnerable she looked and sounded in that bed. You could see only her face, looking at and sometimes away from (or the other way around) the man who could be her prince, but devoured her in such an un-princely manner.

These aren’t the only shows or manga from my backlog that I watched and read (The Memories of Emanon, Battle Royale, Space Battleship Yamato, Genesis of Aquarion, Taisho Baseball GirlsOverman King Gainer, Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Mobile Suit Gundam SEEDPatlabor (movies) 1 & 2, Patlabor OVA, Aim for the Ace! (movie), School Days (LOL), Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight, Baby Leaf, Devilman (manga), Macross 7: Trash, and Narutaru) but I do think that these gave me the memories I like the most.

If you’ve read any of the manga I mentioned here, or have seen any of these shows, what’s your favorite moments?

This post is part of (though I’m always doing it wrong) the 12 moments in anime of 2010 tradition in the anime blog community.

About ghostlightning

I entered the anime blogging sphere as a lurker around Spring 2008. We Remember Love is my first anime blog. Click here if this is your first time to visit WRL.
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38 Responses to Moments of 2010 in Anime & Manga: The Stuff From Another Time (Other Years)

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  2. adaywithoutme says:

    So, I basically died when I saw the first image on your post. Dammit, I wish this is how things had really gone…!

    • I love the image as well, obviously.

      I’ve always liked Ranka, horrors of characterization and all — much to the ridicule of Sherylfags (as if Sheryl isn’t one of my favorite characters in all anime), and the misplaced affinity from Rankafags, but I’ve never found her as fetching a woman (maybe because she isn’t one yet) as Minmay was (though Minmay starts out younger than Ranka).

      In this image however, there’s a perfection in it that goes beyond the reference to Anthy. Ranka as Anthy doesn’t work at all, character-wise, for obvious reasons. However, that dress looks amazing on her, and the pose seems (to me at least) legendary, iconic even.

      It makes me want to be 14 again, and be too young, that someone like Ranka would actually make sense for me to look up to. That’s how powerful I find this image to be.

  3. Bonesy! says:

    I once read Monster with the intent to watch it in a few years. That was last year, I believe, so 2011 I’m totally going to watch it. GITS SAC is such a good show, I’m probably going to watch it again in 2011 as well.

    I also watched G Gundam this year, I can’t really pick up a specific moment I liked. I enjoyed the show too much to single stuff out!

    • If I have to single out a moment in G Gundam, it would have to be one of the most awesome, manly-tears inducing death scene of all time. You know what I’m talking about… no need to spoil it for anyone reading here.

  4. dawningblue says:

    My favorite moment from Utena would have to be in the last episode, the scene where Anthy and Utena reach for each other and their fingers touch. It always makes me cry.

    • Hard to disagree with, such a powerful scene. I picked a moment that I thought, if removed, would diminish the power of the scene you picked. I too, was reduced to a crying mess LOL,

  5. Baka-Raptor says:

    Monster is one of the elite +++ shows for which picking one single moment of greatness is like picking a single brush stroke of the Mona Lisa. But if I must pick one, I’ll go with Nina’s reading of the picture book. They were building up that thing in the ending sequence for a long time. I REALLY wanted to know what was going on.

    • Yes, it was very hard to single out a moment in Monster indeed, and my choice is clearly influenced by recency bias due to the fact that I took months-long pauses in between 2-4 episode bursts of watching (and then finally blitzing through the final 2 arcs). It’s not the best way to watch a show at all, but I feel fortunate enough to have finally finished it.

      Any choice felt like it had to be made in a “gun to the head” kind of scenario.

  6. rxsiu says:

    One of the most memorable moments of the year was definitely the Stark Jegan vs. Kshatriya fight scene from Unicorn OVA1. The unnamed pilot’s final curse still resonates along with the epic soundtrack by Sawano Hiroyuki. Getting this man’s soundtrack was definitely a good choice.

    On a related note, I recognized Hiroyuki’s soundtrack style while blazing through Sengoku Basara S2 a few weeks ago and couldn’t help but find the soundtrack for S1 along with S2. These are definitely on the purchase list when I go back to Hong Kong next summer.

    Another moment was marathoning Cowboy Bebop (a well overdue task). The final scene could be seen from a mile away, but it still had me on my chair’s edge. Again, the soundtrack was top notch! Gotta love Yoko Kanno’s variable talents in composing.

    • I made a separate list for shows that aired this year. For those moments I made a post just for each one. I did pick one from Gundam Unicorn, so look out for that post coming out later this month.

      In Cowboy Bebop, did you mean the final duel or the one-man assault on the gang headquarters? Those are two very distinct things in my mind.

      • rxsiu says:

        Ah, for Cowboy Bebop, by “could be seen from a mile away”, I meant the final 1 on 1 duel. The gun vs. sword fight choreo was short, but very satisfying. But the scene leading up to that, the one-man assault could only be described as bad ass. I personally didn’t expect him to pull off such an outright infiltration -if it could even be called that- in such a manner, but maybe I just have a bad imagination. I suppose both the assault and the 1 on 1 kept me on edge. Again, I have to reiterate how fitting the melancholic feel of the “See You Space Cowboy…” song was for the lead up to the final duel. Absolute perfection.

        • The storming of the HQ is a homage (if not a near copy) of the film Better Luck Tommorow II, where Chow Yun-fat plays the badass who takes on the whole gang hideout.

          The duel is indeed short, but very satisfying… how the choreography went for the poetic drama and yet remained grounded in grit-under-the-nails ‘realism.’

  7. Monster – I’ve only seen 3 eps, but I’ve posted before about how much I love the scene where Tenma says ‘fuck you’ to his former fiance

    Honeymoon Salad – Almost the whole thing is great scenes, love the sex scenes especially, and of course, the moments that gave us ‘there is more than one truth’, one of the greatest quotes in history.

    Berserk – Guts winning over Griffith in the snow at the end of volume 10 still stand out as the definitive plot moment in this manga. It gave meaning to all that had happened and set the stage for all that would come, plus is was probably the best-looking scene up to that point.

    Revolutionary Girl Utena – So many moments of pure style, especially from the movie. I’ll never forget the movie’s Akio-cide and having the two big demon men dead from the beginning. From the show, it’s been so damn long, I can’t remember any one moment that got me, but I remember loving the student council sessions (baseball and the train were the best) and how everyone fucked everyone.

    • Great moment indeed in Monster; the thing is, you got it really wrong. Tenma is not a person who will, under any circumstances mean “fuck you bitch” to anyone ever.

      As for Honeymoon Salad… not to bust your chops all over this reply, you’re not really saying much are you. It’s like nothing really stands out because you basically described every kind of scene in the manga.

      I didn’t pick a moment in the manga because it was still ongoing, but yes the moment you picked is pretty badass… and led to things just falling apart which made that moment even more powerful to think about. Great stuff indeed.

      Again… not a lot to consider in what you’re sharing about Utena. You get a free pass since you’ve been watching a fuckton of shows at a ridiculous pace the past weeks so I know how details can be difficult to remember and single out.

      This is why these moments were written months ago, or at least, I started writing them months ago and kept working on the post until I published it.

      • Re: Honeymoon Salad, there really wasn’t a moment that stood out to me. There are moments I know of that *could* have, but they didn’t do for me what maybe they *should* have. I dunno.

        Utena’s just been too long and there were a lot of superb moments, I’d really have to watch it and then sit with an episode list and produce all the moments I love lol.

  8. foshizzel says:

    Great list here Ghost! lots of different things I need to watch/read 😀

  9. Shance says:

    Honeymoon Salad.

    I stopped there, and told myself that this list is awesome. Doc Elkay would be so proud.

  10. Shinmaru says:

    The episode you highlighted in Hataraki Man really stood out for me too. The very end, with how Hiroko has to endure in her personal and professional life, left a strong impression on me as well. A lot of anime like to ramp up the drama, but they don’t really put their characters through so much hopelessness.

    You chose a great moment from Monster. If I had to pick a moment, it would be at the end of the episode “The Cruelest Thing” where Grimmer desperately tries to stop the little kid from committing suicide and feels emotion for the first time in his life. It was a bit dusty in my room after that episode.

    The final episode is what stands out to me about Berserk. It’s such a fantastic culmination of everything built throughout the story, even if the final moment concludes on an awkward note.

    • Hopelessness is the word… not in the sense that there’s no point in being alive, but rather how powerless both of them felt (Shin too) to make their relationship work. There was no enmity nor acrimony. I also won’t stand for dismissing Shin and his personal issues. He took responsibility for his own problems and never blamed Hiroko for them. I also do not view it as him “punishing” Hiro by breaking up with her. There was far more going on and Shin isn’t an asshole. This is exactly why Hiro felt so hopeless, and it hurts because she could see it coming. Neither of them could open up and just let themselves fail in front of the other… because of this falsely dignified stoicism they both maintain. They’re so alike really… they’d rather just offer their general apology than seem even weaker by sharing reasons that could come across as excuses.

      The more I think about it, I need to rewatch Monster. There are so many things about it that escape me now. Though if I didn’t choose Runge vs. Roberto, I would choose Eva’s last, desperate moments to set things right. To see that bodyguard bite it, for her sake… says so much about not only her story, but of the ridiculous quality within this narrative and this show as a whole.

      Eva is my favorite character in the whole thing.

      Awkward is an interesting way to describe the ending of the anime. That ending is remarkable for me in how it breaks my expectations of how BAD things can get for the protagonists. Every time I’d think that “it can’t possibly get any worse…” I thought wrong.

      • Shinmaru says:

        Well, awkward as in the last second is Guts screaming and then it just ends like any other episode. That’s probably the part people dislike most about Berserk’s ending, but it wasn’t enough for me to hate it. I love that ending.

        I love Eva too. She’s kind of interesting in that she falls into that extreme pathos by punishment deal you brought up when I wrote about Nanami Kiryuu a while back — Eva is such a horrible person in the beginning that she has to get our sympathy by having her life ruined in every possible way. It’s also quite sad how she was capable of being good to others but found it so difficult to accept anyone being good toward her because of how terrible she had been previously. I mean, jeez, talk about a self-destructive character!

        • Haha you’re right. Eva is indeed sent into that gauntlet of fail so deep that even as you see her spirit break, you want to cheer her on. I think I know why.

          It’s because we know she really loved him, and for another reason that I find interesting: she loved him before we did. The fact that she was abominable doesn’t negate the fact that she loved her Kenzo.

          And then, as you say, she started hating herself so thoroughly that she can’t accept the contribution of other people. It creates a matrix of sympathy… now involving those who would be good to her. I’m so happy she got the end that she did. Probably it’s the most feel-good thing I got from the story.

  11. vendredi says:

    Planetes is one of a very bold few. Wings of Honneamise is probably the only other I’ve seen that even approaches it’s niche – I have had Moonlight Mile recommended to me, so we’ll see if that goes as well. I’d have to say perhaps my favourite moment in Planetes is in the epilogue at the end, where Nono goes out for a moonwalk and confronts a stranger (implied to be the surviving Hakim) – the short exchange they have is such a poignant moment that really captures the sharp divide between old and bitter hatreds and the promise of a new generation.

    I’ve only read Monster but from what I’ve heard the animated adaptation does not stray far; and I have to agree Runge comes very close many times to stealing the spotlight from Tenma.

    Utena remains another show that I need to give a proper rewatch. Back in high school I saw a number of episodes but the entire symbolic and metaphorical set-up was completely lost on me; I thought the show was simply trying to do something in the mold of Sailor Moon and could never quite get into it from the inconsistencies of having heroes and villains attending the same school.

    • I think Eva steals the whole thing near the end.

      Better get back on Utena… I can’t imagine you not getting a lot out of it. When you do, check back here on WRL because I put in a ton of effort in blogging that show (on a per-arc basis). Totally worth it.

  12. yamata no orochi says:

    A lot of great stuff on this list, but I’d like to thank you for reminding me that I have yet to finish Legend of Basara.

    Seriously, though: not to many people talk about it much these days (save for, say, Shaenon Garrity in her review series Overlooked Manga Festival) but in terms of sheer melodramatic brilliance it’s still hard to top. It’s that and Revolutionary Girl Utena that made me get over my adverseness to the shojo field and realize that yeah, there’s a lot of brilliant stuff out there.

    In case you’re looking for another genre-bending shojo work, though, I’ve heard good things about Banana Fish. It’s apparently the only shojo manga to include the line “Look out, he’s got a grenade launcher!”

  13. Xard says:

    Your Utena pick was great choice! I’d say the whole ep 34 is one of the best directed parts of any anime I’ve seen. Just stunning.

    Maybe you’ve read this already but it’s very interesting nonetheless:,_torment,_and_body_language.htm


    What did you think about Space Battleship Yamato? I’m curious as I just recently watched the original series. Definitively deserves it’s classic status in my opinion

    • Xard says:

      shoo, I ment ep 33.

      As for my personal list for “Moments of 2010” I only count shows, films etc. that came out this year. Out of these Sora no Woto and Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya have been as a whole most memorable ones. Disappearance boasted some extremely memorable sequences which I won’t mention because I don’t want to spoil anything.

      From Sora no Woto both instances when Servante de Feu was played were memorable, especially the one in the final episode. Tank-kun ftw! Amazing Grace leitmotif and all related scenes were equally great, especially in the finale.

      But what I remember the best is the epic wham that was episode 7. I watched it live via stream and /a/’s reactions when the “Moe Warfare” turned into grimdark was unforgettable.

      • I have a special list for shows and manga that were running this year. Each moment will get their own post. I just wanted to get these out of the way, so to speak.

        Too bad I lost all interest in Sora no Woto after trying it out. Maybe another time.

    • Yes that’s a great read that I’ve come across while blogging the show.

      As for Yamato, I did find really good parts in it. I think it was the 10th episode when the show stopped merely being pioneering for me, but legitimately powerful: it was that extended scene where the crew were sending their messages to their loved ones before leaving the solar system.

      In the end, you can really see how the show lives on in so many that follow it: Gundam, Macross, Eureka SeveN… all of which in one way or another told a story of a ship running from foes and carrying the hope of humanity.

  14. Caraniel says:

    So the plan for 2011 is to move GitS: SAC 2nd Gig & Berserk up the ‘to watch’ list – have had the both of them on the backburner way too long. Also need to give Legend of Basara another chance, think I only read the 1st volume years ago.

    I watched Monster this past year too – its so difficult to choose a favourite moment in that show, the moment you’ve highlighted and all the ones mentioned in the comments are absolutely fantastic, however if pushed I’d have to agree with Shinmaru about that scene with Grimmer’s reawakening emotions.

    • Ugh can’t believe I missed this comment! My apologies.

      You won’t regret those choices as these easily became some of the best and favorite I’ve seen and read.

      Legend of Basara to me moved very fast. When I like something it’s pretty obvious because I blitz through the work very, very fast the way I’m powering through Eden: it’s an Endless World right now. Hope you have a blast with the epic melodrama!

  15. kadian1364 says:

    Monster – There’s plenty of worthy moments, but here’s something different; a random, relatively unimportant episode in the middle of the series that stuck with me because it was the first episode of Monster I actually saw. The police had the aid of one of Tenma’s old classmates from medical school, and he was supposed to bring Tenma to the police. The way the episode played out their history, the lingering resentment of the friend, his turning emotions over Tenma’s genuine drive to help others, and Tenma’s revelation about that fateful day, it was able to capture so much meaningful characterization in that single episode, I was sold on the show even before I began watching it in earnest.

    I can’t possibly remember everything I’ve rewatched this year (and MAL isn’t being helpful about it), but I do remember my sister and I going through a big anime viewing list during summer break. It included Utena, Mushishi, Evangelion, Gurren Lagann, and Satoshi Kon’s works. I also fondly remember rewatching Aria, Someday’s Dreamers ~Summer Skies~, and Sketchbook the right way: 1 episode a night, right before going to bed.

    • I think I remember that episode. It’s the student that eventually had to resort to cheating just to keep pace with Tenma… and that he expected Tenma to be corrupted in some way as well. But LOL he wasn’t and Tenma never made much of this “competition” between them. This dragged on the doctor’s conscience throughout his life.

      As you say, it’s a remarkable feat of characterization.

      Man that’s one wild summer. It’s great to have a sibling to share such memories. I got to watch a fair bit of anime with my 2 younger brothers back when I lived with them. Good times!

  16. Pingback: On the Negative-Second Day of Kurisumasu My Imouto Gave to Me: A Bunch of Shows that Didn’t Air This Year | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

  17. Pingback: Six Moments of 2010: All from K-ON!! (feat. H. Runge, Kneesocks, Athrun Zala, Ikari Gendo, Char Aznable, & the special participation of RANKA LEE) | We Remember Love

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