My Personal ACAA Picks Top 6
Its Finally here my Top 6 anime of the year. Its been an awesome year for anime overall probably the best year yet with over 15 recommendable shows airing there has never been a better time to be an anime fan. Narrowing down my Top 12 has not been easy especially my top 6 but it had to be done. In all honesty this top 6 can be shuffled in any way depending on my mood and the day except for my number 1 choice. So without further ado here are The Kidds’ top 6 anime of 2011.
6. Puella Magi Madoka Magica
What else can I say about Madoka that has not already? From the contrast between the cute character designs and the dark subject matter to the beautifully animated fight sequences and the awesome score provided by Yuki Kajiura. Madoka Magica was quite honestly one of the best shows to have aired in the past decade. The real magic of the show came in the writing, Nitro+ Gen Urobuchi handled the script and gave a dark twist to the overused Magical Girl tropes to give an otherwise generic genre/title a fresh new outlook. It also helped that Director Akiyuki Shinbo brought his signature style to the title and a little but more. Aniplex of America will release a handsome set of the series on both Blu ray and DVD and Madman Entertainment just recently announced that they had acquired the license for Australia and New Zealand.
I enjoyed Fate/Stay Night (the anime) I really did and even before the first episode aired I predicted Fate/Zero would be a smash hit with Otaku… I was not wrong. The team at ufotable have really done justice to the source material, fanboys and newcomers alike are all pleased with the final result. The animation in the fight sequences is some of the best I have ever seen in a serial anime almost better than Moribito. Yuki Kajiuras score makes the already epic fight scenes even more epic and the near perfect voice acting by the seiyuu just makes this show a delight to watch. If I had to give an award for best character in an anime this year Id give it to Kiritsugu Emiya for raising the bar of what it takes to be a bad ass.
If someone where to ask me the best way to describe what modern anime is, I would point them to Steins;Gate. A perfect mix of tricks and shortcuts with animation, sci-fi, moe, streotypical anime characters, self referential jokes and last but not least an adaptation of a visual novel.
You would think this stock standard for modern anime would make this show as generically mediocre as the rest of them right? Fortunately for us the writing was solid and nearly free from any plot holes whatsoever, something most Time Travel movies and series cant seem to get right. The character designs which were done by HUKE are some of the most appealing I have ever seen and the connections the story made with actual events that took place in real life made the show feel more realistic than usual.
This show is unique in the sense that it is perfect for any fan of moe but it also perfect for any fan of sci-fi and if you are like me and happen to enjoy both this show just might be one of the best you ever see.
3. Horou Musuko (Wandering Son)
There aren’t that many pieces of media that have had the ability to completely change the way I look at life and approach it. Horou Musuko managed to do this while still remaining entertaining to watch. The much beloved manga got adapted into an anime early this year and was given a spot on the noitaminA block, perfect place for it. The art style is very unique with a somewhat water color feel to it and the subject matter was like nothing I had ever seen before. I talked about how this show changed my life in one of my very first articles so you can check that out. There is one thing I always quote whenever this show is brought up and its from my twitter friend @kyonkun ” If Horou Musuko (Wandering Son) opens a honest conversation about the subject (homosexuality/transgender), then it’s a win for the world.”
2. Usagi Drop
This show is nearly perfect, nearly. You have to be really nitpicky to find something wrong with it. definitely one of the best Josei titles to date Usagi Drop not only manages to draw in the older female crowd but the young male ones as well which is incredibly surprising. Raising a young daughter as a single parent is one of those things that has crossed my mind a couple of times and has scared me. I grew up most of my life raised by a single mom so I know how tough it is to raise a child on a single income not only that. I never had any sisters at all so I really dont know how to look after a young girl.
Daikichi is pretty much put in a situation where he has to take care of a young girl all by himself without any prior experience. I really related with his situation and learnt a lot from this show. It is so heartwarming and sugary and sweet, Rin is cute, her best friend is a myschevious adventurous little boy and the entire cast feels and acts so realistic that the viewer just gets sucked in to this story.
Usagi drop is a series I can show to anyone, even people that don’t watch anime and im sure they will enjoy it. Im glad Siren Visual picked up the license to this show and are releasing it on DVD early next year. I cant wait to watch this with my Mom over dinner.
Licensor of the Year
Before we get to number one Id just like to give my pick for Licensor of the year. There has been a lot of great anime released and licensed this year. The sheer amount of shows available legally has almost doubled, the anime industry really is growing and this makes me glad. In terms of sheer amount and knowing what the fans want I would give this award to Section 23/Sentai Filmowrks (neo ADV) They have really come back strong and I predict will be the new powerhouse in the sates 5 years from now if they continue with this approach.
However, my licensor Award goes to the very controversial Aniplex of America for their release of Durarara!! which was both timely and neatly packaged. Their licenses in the past year have also been delightful, picking shows that are Hot with the anime fans such as Blue Exorcist and Madoka Magica. Its also obvious that they are in touch with the fandom at a very personal level. Their panels at various conventions are so well run you would think they were organised by a fan. The existense of an official “role playing” Madoka account on twitter cements the fact that Aniplex is a company that is there for its fans and listens. So kudos to you Aniplex thank you for relasing great anime, now if only you would learn how to price them.
My Anime of the Year
Ano Hi Mita Hana No Namae Wo Boku Tachi Wa Mada Shiranai (Ano Hana)
No other show has grabbed me emotionally like this one. It didn’t use any of the old emotional tricks most anime have i.e start all light and fluffy and kill some people at the end. No one had to die in this show to make you cry, it was just a perfectly executed drama about friendship, family and teenage romance. The character designs were very nice, ranging from the cute loli looking Menma to the hawt tsundere type Anaru. The show was very bright and colorful and had an awesome ending theme, oh that ED theme. Everytime it would fade in my eyes would get watery and Id choke up eagerly awaiting the next episode.
The only fault I had with this show was its ending it was a bit too overly melodramatic and somewhat comical, I found myself laughing and crying at the same time which was a bit weird but made the scene very memorable. I dont think we will get to see anther show like this in a very very long time, I was just glad I got a show that emulated and (I cant believe im gonna say this) surpassed Toradora! in the romantic drama department.
Unfortunately like Toradora! this show has not been licensed in Australia or anywhere else for that matter, which is sad because more people need to have access to this masterpiece.
Here is a list of best rated Anime from top sites just to further show you just how amazing this year has been for anime.
Anime News Network
See you guys at the Award Ceremony!