Atarashii Prelude

31Dec/0822

The Final Say – My Anime Of 2008

As the year comes to a close, I felt it was high time to take a look back at some of the titles that I had enjoyed throughout the last twelve months. The following titles that made it on this list never went through any stringent requirement checks, since I am not particularly demanding. While these shows were shortlisted based on a multitude of factors, they all share a single, fundamental trait of being more memorable than those that weren't, and as such, should not be considered as a conclusive representation. With that aside, here is my modest lineup of anime of the year.

Sword Of The Stranger

Two strangers with different backgrounds and ideologies in life are destined to cross paths and swords as they seek acceptance in a foreign land in the far east. An attempt at the chambara genre by Bones, Sword of the Stranger, otherwise known as Mukou Hadan is arguably the best anime movie of 2008, edging out the likes of Kara no Kyoukai, and possibly even Sky Crawlers, though I've yet to watch it, in my opinion. Eva 1.0 doesn't really count.

Sadly overlooked by many, the movie was released without much fanfare and what I thought was the lack of attention from the community. As such I pray that it receives its due recognition in the upcoming Oscars, with at least a nomination under its belt.

Kara no Kyoukai

Tsukihime and its cult like status as a masterpiece of a visual novel instantly turned me into a fan. Let down by its anime adaptation(yes, it exists), I was somewhat cautious as to what the outcome of ufotable's take on Kinoko Nasu's novel, which preceded Tsukihime, would be.

Needless to say, my apprehension was, for the most part, unwarranted, though admittedly, without prior readings of the source material, my opinion is likely to bear less weight. With only my tastes and intuition to fall back on, all I can say is that I'm very happy with its overall execution, and await with bated breath for the next chapter in the story.

Macross Frontier


Who will you kiss?
Me or that girl?
Who will you kiss?

Oh, where do I even begin? Macross Frontier holds a special place in my pure heart for several reasons, one of it being my very first foray into the legendary meta-series, though as I've said in my first post on it, I never cared much for the mecha, even if that was its genre of origin.

That said, Macross Frontier featured a lot more than just humongous machines of war in outer space, as it had the one element that made it stand out from the rest, which is also its trademark, namely the strong emphasis on music, with its amazing soundtrack and vocal pieces that I can't seem to put down. More importantly, the show introduced Ranka Lee, whom despite obvious flaws, is my muse whom I only sing praises for. :oops:

Strike Witches

I-It's not t-that I'm happy I'm your favorite or anything...

If you're a frequent reader, you'd know by now that I have an unhealthy penchant of prepubescent anime females; the less developed, the better; Which is surprising to even myself as to whom my favorite Strike Witch turned out to be.

While fanservice played a major role in me liking what is essentially Gonzo's best production in  very long time(not saying much), Strike Witches had everything that I usually seek from an anime title; a simple, light-hearted fare with a nice mix of action and (*´Д`)ハァハァ moments thrown in for good measure. Here's to the official H-Doujin(which has yet to appear on filesharing networks) and an inevitable sequel!

True Tears

With little signs that my seething rage would ever subside following the cruel ending that left me a bitter person, True Tears remains the only show so far that has managed to invoke such emotions in me.

The romantic drama genre was never something which I was a fan of, but the show won me over with memorable characters, especially the ever-so affable Isurugi Noe, coupled with an engaging plot that kept me pondering as to how the story would unfold, something which I rarely bother, other than the next title below.

Code Geass R2

The show that everyone loves to hate, or in my case, love to lampoon. Don't get me wrong though, while I poked fun at pretty much every episode(with mixed results), it was because I genuinely enjoyed the show to an extent that I actually bothered to do so. One could argue that the incoherent and inconsistent nature of Code Geass that left a rancid taste in many people's mouth was in fact the reason why I enjoyed it in a manner that no one else did, since, well, look forward to my next post to find out why. :wink:

Nodame Cantabile

This post is not complete without special mention of one of my all time favorite anime. While the Paris Chapter didn't exactly live up to the standards set by its predecessor due to the omission of key plot elements and poor pacing by the producers, this was mainly due to the length of this season, more than anything else. It is also perhaps the lasting impression given off by both the first season and drama combined that I find myself difficult to criticize it objectively, though ultimately, I guess having enjoyed it all the same is what matters. Looking forward to another season with my favorite musically inclined couple.

Shigofumi

I initially snubbed this show as being a Jigoku Shoujo copycat based on its synopsis alone. Obviously, this was merely an ill-informed pre-assumption on my behalf, as it turned out to be a rather endearing story about a girl who was at conflict with herself due to her past sin, to the point she literally split into two personas. Despite being one of the same person, the two Fumikas each had their own contradicting characteristics, with deeps flaws made very apparent following their reunion of sorts. However, they managed to come to terms with themselves, and thus lead their respective lives as seperate entities.

The seemingly independent side stories that showcase the profound problems plaguing society today such as bullying and suicide add to the overall experience, as bits and pieces regarding Fumika's background are revealed with each episode, making Shigofumi one of my favorite slice of life(and death) titles of the year.

Tytania

The fact that this even ended up here makes it out of place. Yet, if you look at the image of choice, it might be a clear indication as to why I'm liking what is considered to be a science-fiction soap opera, or at least that's what Wikipedia says it is, even if Baka-Raptor thinks otherwise. But that's exactly it! No, not the delicious loli princess....Well, at least that's not the only reason.... While it has yet to finish airing, I have an basic idea as to where this is headed, as it also sums up what the general premise is about, poshly dressed aristocrats with their tea-sipping, back-stabbing and scheming antics droning on forever on space politics.

Yet, despite its relatively serious subject matter, I managed to extract superficial reasons for warrant my enjoyment, to which fellow fans such as Crusader and IKnight might get riled up if I were to mention it, since their reasons for watching this is very likely to be what the show had intended for its viewers. :roll:

kurenai

A case of being totally off the mark as to what to expect out of a title, although by the time I had realized that this wasn't going to be a Darker than Black-esque show, I no longer cared I was wrong, since it turned out to be much better than I had initially anticipated. As a loli, Murasaki is as real as they come, even if her origins would have authorities clamping down on her family with the might of an armada of federal bureau  party vans.

She was so genuine and believable to the point it reminded me that I actually hate most kids in real life(yes, I really just prefer 2D, so your younger siblings are safe from my clutches :roll: ) Since my expectations had gone wide right off the bat, watching her mingle with the Shinkuro and the other tenants of that run down apartment proved to be an experience of intrigue, as it had always revolved around character interactions, which I, as mentioned, knew too late.

So ends my list, and I hope you have found at least one show in common that we both liked, and if that was not the case, I am most interested in feedback as to what your Anime of 2008 were. Either way, stay tuned for my other year end post after this one sometime before midnight(hopefully).

Posted by Shin

Comments (22) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I don’t know. I’m happy if anyone enjoys Tytania, whatever the reason. Actually, I’m surprised to find that I’ve watched a lot of these – Kurenai, Geass R2, Frontier, True Tears and Strike Witches, besides Tytania – it’s a solid list you’ve assembled. In my unreliable opinion.

    IKnight’s last blog post..Zettai Karen Children: Suprised by Hilarity

  2. I guess I really should get past the first episode of Tytania. Of course, finishing Kannagi is top on my list~ Actually, I have a whole lot to go through on my list to get to Tytania, it’s somewhere along the lines of #10 out of 20…Not to mention I have to keep up with work for two subbing groups and my own scanlations group. Gah, I’m such a lazy workaholic. :swt:

    - Code Geass was sometimes strange, many times batshit insane and other times just plain incoherent. However, I enjoyed it probably almost as much as you did. It’s definitely entertaining, but I won’t think of rewatching either season right now. Still, I’ll probably go back and buy DVDs that include my favorite episodes (i.e.: Chinese Federation)

    - Macross Frontier was awesome~ I’m glad I can find refuge here for being a Ranka fan. XD;;
    The music definitely made the series shine even though the battles just kinda looked like really fancy lightshows and the plot got kinda frustrating near the end. :roll:

    PS – How’s the Tales of the Abyss anime treating you so far? We’re almost at the Absorption Gate~ Still, at this rate, I’m half-expecting them to use a musical montage to speed through the rest of the Passage Rings and either scrap or maim the whole Tower of Rem ordeal. The finale’s going to cost them 2-3 episodes, and there’s a lot left to pack into the remaining 9-10 in between. :grin:

  3. TEATANIA! All others I either rejected or refused to watch.

    Panther’s last blog post..Hadaka Moe – Akuma-san 2

  4. やぁ! aibō! wanna say “arigatō” to omae…
    re-watch アニメ ever since the “Great Procrastination”. :lol:

  5. I’m actually surprised that Kannagi isn’t one of your top pics. But I like the choices you’ve made for top pics. :D

    TheBigN’s last blog post..Impressions on a Year 2008: Happy Action Fun Time

  6. Good job on using that pic of Kara no Kyoukai. :wink:
    Kairu Ishimaru’s last blog post..Anime Blog Titles: My Meanings For Them

  7. And you had to use those impish pictures to complement your writing. :neutral:
    The Sojourner’s last blog post..[P-Meister]LOL @ this, MMO company get sued for making MMO!

  8. Sword of the Stranger is a great movie, sadly, it appeared quite underrated.

    Lehq’s last blog post..Most Memorable Scenes

  9. I do have to thank you for introducing me to Sword of the Stranger. It was a really really good watch.

    Your top picks are somewhat similar to mine except for your pick of Nodame Cantabile. I also really expected you to put Spice and Wolf into your list but i guess you had other ideas.

    P.S. Stop lying about the Tsukihime anime. It was never done.

  10. i miss your regular posting shin. i will have to pick up the sword of the stranger now. :roll:
    biankita’s last blog post..Enjoying Anime Again (And Other New Year Recyclables… er, Resolutions)

  11. Obviously the best anime is Pokemon, whichever season they’re in now. Silly fools.

  12. I don’t really know if I had an anime of 2008. Toradora is doing fairly well for me but I’m only 5 episodes in and it’s not finished. At this point, I’m just saying Chi’s Sweet Home but that’s not really the same as a 30 min/26 ep series.

  13. Happy New Year to you Shin ^^.

    AS’s last blog post..Happy New Year 2009

  14. Ahhh. Back to attack your blog… Haven’t been here in a while :sad:

    Hmmm. I’d definitely agree with Sword of the Stranger and Code Geass R2. And yes, there was a flame for Macross Frontier, but that just sort of died out when I couldn’t get the ending I wanted. They need to REVISEEEEE the last episode!!

    Hoshi’s last blog post..Hoshi’s [Phony] 2009 Resolution List

  15. I know you dreamed of Ranka laying eggs for Grace and the Vajra… :roll: :eek:

  16. What a coincidence, I was just looking through my pile of neglected animu and I see… Sword of the Stranger! Might take a look at it especially now that you recommended it :D

    usagijen’s last blog post..2008/2009 Winter Anime Menu

  17. Code Geass all the way! Definitely my favorite of 2008. You’re Geass posts made the series even more deliciously entertaining. :kiss:

    The only other animu I’ve watched on there is Macross Frontier. Guess now Kurenai, Nodame Cantobile, True Tears, Sword of Stranger and Kare no Kyoukai are on my watchlist now!

  18. Tytania is great it even has you favorite, traps of a green haired variety…. :wink:

  19. Great picks! Though I haven’t watched some of the Animes listed above, I can definitely agree on the ones I’ve seen. They just seem to have a deeper meaning than others.

    The only one I disagree with is Strike Witches as sadly, the series just doesn’t grab me unlike a similar Sky Girls.

    Actar’s last blog post..When School Reopens, Plan Your Vacation!

  20. The lack of Hidamari Sketch x365 in your list makes my nutbladder weep.

    Hangmen’s last blog post..NUTBLADDERS ARE SO CASH

  21. First off, apologies to everyone for the awfully late reply.

    @IKnight

    Yeah, I’ve confirmed that in your first post regarding the show actually, but I still wanted to mention it. :P That said, I know some people who still might be peeved over it.

    @miken

    As of this reply, I’ve already watched episode 15, and yes, I noticed too. Barring the sidequests in game and visit to Namco Island, I really guess things are about to wrap up much sooner than expected, so it’s a wonder what else they’ll be able to cram in within that span of episodes.

    @Panther

    I can’t believe you’d give even Code Gayass a miss. :oops:

    @hoshi

    My pleasure. :P

    @BigN

    As much as I liked Kannagi, I felt it wasn’t complete, not to mention that the ones I mentioned left a bigger impression, and also because I only wanted to limit the list to ten items. :P Yes, if there’s one thing I pride myself in, is the “tasteful” choice of images. :lol:

    @Kairu

    I think it’s obvious I’ve waited a loooooooong time just to post that. Shiki is so :3

    @Sojourner

    Influences of 4chan. :oops:

    @Lehq

    Indeed it was, let’s hope all that changes on the 22nd.

    @Setsuna

    Same reason why I didn’t include Kannagi. I cannot accept Tsukihime for what it is. :evil:

    @biankita

    I miss it myself too. :oops: :razz: Yes, do yourself a favor and watch that masterpiece.

    @Klaus

    Assuming you’re not fooling around, I’d say that the last good Pokemon series ended at the Johto League, as the Orange Islands arc felt boring as it is. To its credit, it’s still the only anime I liked, dubbed.

    @Caitlin

    While I never did finish Chii, I felt it was a snack of an anime rather than a full course, something you’d watch in the interim as your downloads were about to be completed, at least that was how it worked for me. :P

    @AS

    Likewise, although I’m so terribly late. :cry:

    @Hoshi

    There’s even rumor that the movie will instead be Clang Clang-centric. :O

    @EX-Keine

    Has my perversions made me so predictable to the rest of you?

    @usagijen

    Glad to know I helped spread the love around. :grin:

    @Quaz

    Oh believe me, I wanted to include it just for Nagi alone, but eh.

    @Mika

    Thanks, if anything, I enjoyed covering the show more than watching it myself. :lol:

    @Crusader

    Now that his face has been defiled, I’ve shifted my love back to Idris, as it has always been. :P

    @Actar

    To be honest, I’ve not touched Sky Girls, for reasons that elude even me, so I can’t comment on it, although I’ve asked around and they seem to be at a toss as to which was their favorite too.

    @Hangmen

    Going to need more than HNNNNNGH just to make it here, although you could argue as to how Strike Witches ended up there. Oh well. :lol:


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