AnimeSuki 2010 Choice Awards: Picking Winners

It’s on again, and just as I have for the last two years, I’ll be covering this year’s AnimeSuki Choice Awards by sharing my thoughts on the categories, telling you who I’ll be voting for and, most importantly, trying to predict the winners. Last year, I managed to correctly pick 13 of the 18 categories (which is the same number I got the year before), and I’ll be trying to better that again here, except, again this year, I haven’t exactly been active enough on the site to know what people have been fawning over.

I’d like to be more active in how I post on the AnimeSuki Forums… the problem is, it can be a fairly time intensive activity. Back when I was a regular there (which was a couple of years ago now), I would post almost every time I watched an episode of anime. The issue is that I don’t like to post without first reading (or at least scanning through) what everyone else had said, to avoid either making my opinion redundant or adding to any echo chamber effect. Watching an episode of anime takes ~25 minutes, but that balloons out to as much as an hour when you scroll through pages of posts, take time to consider and process your own thoughts in the context of what everyone else has written, and then write up everything on your mind. And that’s without the hours spent engaging in any debates that might arise from what you’ve posted, which, for me, happens quite a bit… a result of my penchant of calling things as I see them (and preferring not to drop anime where I could help it), a constantly provocative activity on a site with so many precious fans.

Not that I think it’s a bad place. It has its reputation, but there are some seriously smart and cool people that post there, and the place is extremely well run considering its size (though Ascaloth might disagree). I wouldn’t have spent well over two years making more than 2400 posts if I didn’t think it was an enjoyable and stimulating place to spend my time. I’d almost go so far as to recommend anyone who writes about anime to spend some time there. At the very least, people will challenge you to justify your opinion, which helps you realize that the only way your criticism will truly impact your readers is if you can offer something that others can’t. It can be a humbling experience.

Category {A} Action/Fighting
Nominees: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Katanagatari, Toaru Kagaku no Railgun
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Who I think deserves to win: Katanagatari
I haven’t finished FMA:Brotherhood, which will probably win, but considering where I got up to, I’m one of those who thought the first anime was better. Unlimited Blade Works features the best animation Studio Deen has ever made, but the plot was awful and I wouldn’t even say the choreography was that spectacular. My vote will go to Katanagatari, which was rather “out there” as far as its action set-ups were concerned, but oozed with creativity. Out of the four titles listed, it’s easily the best made anime.

Category {B} Adventure/Fantasy
Nominees: Katanagatari, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Legend of the Legendary Heroes, Angel Beats!, Letter Bee
Anime I’ve seen: 2
Who I think will win: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
Who I think deserves to win: Katanagatari
Given the two most likely contenders in this category are going to be exactly the same as the two contenders in the previous category, I’d like one good reason why these two categories can’t be merged. So many people complained after last year’s awards that there are too many categories. This year they fixed that by making more. As popular as Angel Beats! is, it won’t get up because its flaws are too obvious. I doubt the other two titles, LOL Heroes and Letter Bee (neither of which I’ve seen) will get a look in.

Category {C} Science Fiction
Nominees: Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Occult Academy, Summer Wars, Eve no Jikan (Movie)
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Who I think deserves to win: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
This used to be the Mecha/SciFi category, but not one makes mecha anime anymore (trollface.jpg). I honestly don’t think it’s fair that Summer Wars gets another go here, considering it was nominated for the Movie category last year. If Cross Game, a four cour TV series, is only eligible for one year, then a movie should be given the same limitations. Railgun might do OK here if people take the “SciFi” criteria of the category exceptionally seriously, but I expect Suzumiya Haruhi‘s fanbase will be too big.

Category {D} Mystery/Horror
Nominees: Shiki, Durarara!, Occult Academy, Highschool of the Dead
Anime I’ve seen: All of them
Who I think will win: Shiki
Who I think deserves to win: Shiki
This, I expect will be close. The two contenders are Shiki and Durarara!, both good anime, neither truly great. Shiki is certainly a better horror anime than any of the other nominees, and it’s just as good a mystery as Durarara!, though that’s not a statement I’ll stand beside as confidently. Highschool of the Dead might be the dark horse in this category, not because it’s good (it’s crap, really), but because it might have more popular appeal. Yeah, boobs and zombies have more popular appeal than a gritty vampire mystery or the bold, energetic, spiritual successor to Baccano. Anime fans…

Category {E} Comedy
Nominees: Squid Girl, Gintama, Arakawa Under The Bridge, Working!, Baka to Test to Shokanju
Anime I’ve seen: 4
Who I think will win: Working!
Who I think deserves to win: Working!
Oh please, anything but Baka Test. This is one of the most obnoxious, try-hard comedies anime has seen, and if there’s something comedy writers in Japan specialize in, it’s obnoxious, try-hard comedy. My vote will be going to Working!, which I’ll openly admit isn’t as nuanced as Arakawa, but I found it slightly funnier and easier to engage with. No B Gata H Kei? I haven’t seen it, but my fellow colleagues who did gave it rapturous applause. Did its sexual audacity mean it didn’t have as much traction among a more mainstream audience. Same question regarding Panty and Stocking‘s snub. Oh, and don’t get me started on Kuragehime‘s absence.

Category {F} Romance
Nominees: Kimi ni Todoke, Cross Game, Nodame Cantabile: Finale, Amagami SS
Anime I’ve seen: All of them
Who I think will win: Cross Game
Who I think deserves to win: Cross Game
During the nominations, Cross Game lead this category by the length of a racetrack, so guessing this is a bit of a no-brainer. And I’ll willingly argue until I’m hoarse with anyone who doesn’t think it deserves to win. Nodame Cantabile: Finale is the clear next best anime on this list, and as frustrated as I get while watching Kimi ni Todoke, it’s an anime I enjoy. However, Cross Game‘s biggest threat to victory here will be the category’s worst nominee: Amagami SS, an anime significantly more fetishistic than it is romantic.

Category {G} Drama
Nominees: Angel Beats!, Yosuga no Sora, House of Five Leaves, Cross Game
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: Cross Game
Who I think deserves to win: Cross Game
I find myself utterly bemused by the very existence of this category. I mean, doesn’t anything that isn’t completely comedy have some sort of drama in it? With an overwhelming number of categories, the stench again here is that of redundancy. I really hope Cross Game wins this. Both Angel Beats! and Yosuga no Sora were too melodramatic and unfocused to stamp a truly memorable mark, and House of Five Leaves isn’t popular enough to be a genuine contender.

Category {H} Slice of Life
Nominees: K-On! S2, Cross Game, Working!, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, Kuragehime
Anime I’ve seen: 4
Who I think will win: K-On! S2
Who I think deserves to win: Cross Game
I make this prediction through gritted teeth, because it’s another category where the most deserving anime is going to be challenged by popular mediocrity. K-On! S2 has an immense fanbase, and if they rally, this will go down to the wire. What will work in Cross Game‘s favour (other than the irrelevant fact that it’s a significantly superior anime) is that it will hopefully pick up the anti-K-On! vote. Nice to see Kuragehime finally get a nomination. I just hope it doesn’t take too many votes away from Cross Game.

Category {I} Fanservice
Nominees: Highschool of the Dead, Yosuga no Sora, Motto to Love-Ru, Demon King Daimaou
Anime I’ve seen: 2
Who I think will win: Yosuga no Sora
Who I think deserves to win: Yosuga no Sora
These nominations are terrible, which isn’t anything new for this category. Year after year, people fail to take it seriously and we get to choose between garbage. Where’s B Gata H Kei? Where’s Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt? Hell, if people won’t acknowledge the more creative takes on fanservice, why not at least nominate something that’s nice to look at, like Amagami SS?

Category {J} Sports/Game
Nominees: Cross Game, Ookiku Furikabutte: Natsu no Taikai-hen, Giant Killing, The World God Only Knows
Anime I’ve seen: 2
Who I think will win: Cross Game
Who I think deserves to win: Cross Game
How the hell does The World God Only Knows counts as an anime about games… oh, OK. Seeing as it and Cross Game are the only two nominations I’ve seen, and I barely think it even belongs here, my comment isn’t exactly the most qualified. I haven’t come across a single category yet where Cross Game has been nominated that I didn’t think it deserved to win, and this isn’t going to be the first.

Category {K} Storyline
Nominees: The Tatami Galaxy, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Cross Game, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: Cross Game
Who I think deserves to win: Cross Game
I’ll be voting for Cross Game again, and I expect it’ll come very close to winning, but I can’t really begrudge any of the nominees here. Why did it take so long for The Tatami Galaxy to get a nod? It has the most bold and creative of the nominated scripts, and Disappearance isn’t too far behind. Cross Game gets it right, though, by having a simple but tight story that’s tender and heartfelt, and supremely well paced and executed.

Category {L} Visual/Animation
Nominees: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Katanagatari, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Summer Wars, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Who I think deserves to win: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
I again question Summer Wars‘ place here. Disappearance will probably get over the line due to popular appeal, but I think it has the best animation of the titles I’ve seen. It hearkens back to KyoAni‘s Yamamoto days where they were obsessed by attention-to-detail. Katanagatari had good visuals… for a TV series. It’s unusual art-style deserves some recognition.

Category {M} Soundtrack
Nominees: Angel Beats!, K-On! S2, Shiki, Yosuga no Sora, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Soundtracks I’ve heard: 3
Who I think will win: Angel Beats!
Who I think deserves to win: Yosuga no Sora
The first season of K-On! contested this category last year, but was swept away by Kajiura Yuki‘s Kara no Kyoukai soundtrack. Unfortunately, there’s no Kajiura soundtrack to block K-On! this year. The result will probably go down to the wire, with Angel Beats! a slight favourite, and while I liked the Yosuga no Sora soundtrack the best, I’d almost contemplate changing my vote if it meant I was helping to prevent a K-On! victory.

Category {N} Overall Television Series
Nominees: Cross Game, Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Katanagatari, Shiki
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: Cross Game
Who I think deserves to win: Cross Game
I’ve lobbied for years that there should be a “Best Anime” category. This is a halfway compromise towards that, but lack of The Tatami Galaxy once again is disturbing. My choice in this category shouldn’t be surprising by now.

Category {O} Movie
Nominees: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, Summer Wars, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 1st
Anime I’ve seen: 2
Who I think will win: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Who I think deserves to win: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
I’ve only seen half the nominees, and didn’t think much of Unlimited Blade Works. Of concern in this category is the fact that Summer Wars is the only nominee that didn’t spawn from an existing anime franchise. I think the film format is underexploited in anime, and has delivered some of the greatest titles the medium has seen, arguably because it gives directors greater freedom and resources. I’d prefer it if it wasn’t being used for snooze-fests like F/SN:UBW and Lyrical Nanoha the Movie 1st.

Category {P} OVA
Nominees: Darker than Black: Gaiden, Shakugan no Shana S, Tamayura OVA, Black Rock Shooter
Anime I’ve seen: 1
Who I think will win: Darker than Black: Gaiden
Who I think deserves to win: Tamayura OVA
Speaking of snooze-fests. If the organizers took the criticisms of “too many categories” seriously, the common sense thing to do would be to merge this category with the Movies one to make a “Best Short” award. All of these nominations are footnotes in the grand scheme of things. Tamayura wasn’t really interesting until the last OVA, and I still haven’t brought myself to finish Shakugan no Shana S. My guess here is pretty much a shot in the dark.

Category {Q} Male Character
Nominees: Kitamura Ko (Cross Game), Kyon (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya), Yasuri Shichika (Katanagatari), Katsuragi Keima (The World God Only Knows), Heiwajima Shizuo (Durarara!), Koibuchi Kuranosuke (Kuragehime)
Anime I’ve seen: All of them
Who I think will win: Kyon (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Who I’m voting for: Yasuri Shichika (Katanagatari)
Kyon will win, again I’m predicting because of the Suzumiya Haruhi fanbase, but my own vote has required a bit more contemplation than usual, as I was divided between Ko, Kyon and Shichika. I’m a bit bemused by the fact that there are six nominations, but none of them are terrible, except maybe Keima, who’s crazy in the coconut. I’d have nominated the sound-minded Dr. Okazi from Shiki instead.

Category {R} Female Character
Nominees: Tsukishima Aoba (Cross Game), Ika Musume (Squid Girl), Celty Sturluson (Durarara!), Misaka Mikoto (Toaru Kagaku no Railgun), Nagato Yuki (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Anime I’ve seen: All of them
Who I think will win: Nagato Yuki (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Who I’m voting for: Nagato Yuki (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Saten Ruiko wasn’t nominated, thus making this category a completely pointless waste of time (…oh, I mad). I might get blasted for this, but out of all these characters, one could almost, almost make the argument that Ika Musume was the most dynamic. Aoba’s development wasn’t quite as sweeping as that of some of her fellow cast members, so she got showed up for it, and Mikoto is, ultimately, a somewhat generic tsundere. Celty’s existential crisis made her just a bit too vulnerable in contrast with the badass events taking place around her. So, after criticizing Celty for being a moeblob, I’ll turn around and vote for Yuki…

Category {S} Villian
Nominees: Orihara Izaya (Durarara!), King Bradley (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Asakara Ryoko (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya), Tatsumi (Shiki), The Bugged Game (The World God Only Knows)
Anime I’ve seen: 4
Who I think will win: Asakara Ryoko (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Who I’m voting for: Tatsumi (Shiki)
Why do all of The World God Only Knows’ appearances seem like joke nominations? And the one category it did deserve recognition for, Soundtrack, it was absent in? Asakura Ryoko should give Disappearance a clean sweep of the major character awards. I’m a bit sullen to see no one from Katanagatari and my own selection, Kirishiki Sunako from Shiki, so I’ll vote for the character from the same series, even if he wasn’t as interesting a villain.

Category {T} Worst Character
Nominees: Kousaka Kirino (Ore no Imouto), Shidou Koichi (Highschool of the Dead), Yagiri Seiji (Durarara!), Tony Stark (Iron Man)
Anime I’ve seen: 3
Who I think will win: Kousaka Kirino (Ore no Imouto)
Who I’m voting for: Shidou Koichi (Highschool of the Dead)
I’m looking forward to the year this terrible award gets abolished. None of these were my choices. If you want a terrible character from HotD, why not Rei? The difference between Shidou and Rei is that Rei was supposed to be likable. Personally, I’d have picked Hideyoshi from Baka Test, but after nominating, I realized there were a host of characters from last year that I disliked more than these nominees, such as Miu from Bungaku Shoujo and Hiroshi from Ookamikakushi, just for starters. Kirino will win, because Ore no Imouto was the most watched of these anime.

You can vote for the awards in this thread, and if you’re eligible, please take a minute to do so. Also, our staff contest is still running, and there’s less than a week remaining to get your entry in. Be sure to apply if you think you’ve got what it takes to be a writer at The Nihon Review. But be quick, entries close on Monday, 7 February.

24 Responses to “AnimeSuki 2010 Choice Awards: Picking Winners”

  1. My 2c is just that, well, Cross Game is a prime example of mediocre trash. It’s good trash, but it’s the same exact thing that gets pooped out of Adachi for the past 20 years and gets tossed in recycling bins after people are done with their weekly mags. Don’t get me wrong, I watched it and enjoyed it, but it was my first Adachi show and it’s probably going to be my last. I think it’s a good mile short of anime like Oofuri or Giant Kililng when it comes to the sports part, and what was interesting to watch about Cross Game is the romance/drama component. And even then, it takes a very mainstream approach, and for that I might as well go watch a Japanese drama, as Cross Game is basically that kind of thing.

    OTOH, K-ON, for example, is probably one of the best work that came out of Japan TV anime line up last year when you consider the overall production quality of the show. And it isn’t like there aren’t a lot of moe-based, cute-girls-doing-nothing anime out there; this one is very much on the top of the pile historically speaking.

  2. Am I allowed to get into fits of mock outrage over K-ON!!’s inclusion in the soundtrack category? I usually allow musical tastes to have a wide amount of leeway, so Panty and Stocking’s OST’s appearance on the rolls, as much as it didn’t appeal to me, is sort of understandable. But I’ll never be able to see what made K-ON’s soundtrack ring with people beyond me having differing views of what the definition of soundtrack constitutes.

    Too bad the soundtrack category couldn’t fit in Tatami Galaxy or Sora no Woto. I think the nominations rules also worked that Fairy Tail couldn’t qualify either. A shame as all three are better than Angel Beats or K-ON!!

  3. All I can say is I feel Tony Stark doesn’t belong on the list at all. He’s not really an anime character, he’s a freaking Marvel superhero. And don’t get me wrong–I love my superheros. Actually I can’t stand Iron Man. But either way, he’s not even from a Japanese creation…

  4. Jesus Fucking Christ, does anybody over there at ASuki know what the blithering hell they’re doing? The qualified shows are confusing as hell. They allow Summer Wars (not even a 2010 release), Railgun (split seasons between 2009 and 2010), and Tegami Bachi (not even done yet). I remember us having a lengthy debate on this very subject when we did our Decade Bests. Standards! Fucking get some standards!

    Other gripes:

    Action / Fighting: Not even a nomination for Heroman?

    Adventure / Fantasy: Letter Bee isn’t done yet…

    Sci-Fi: No Gundam Unicorn? No it isn’t done yet, but neither is Tegami Bachi. So-Ra-No-Wo-To not science fiction or mecha enough for this?

    Comedy: Included – BakaTest and Gintama. Not included – B Gata H Kei, Panty & Stocking, Seitokai Yakuindono, Sora no Otoshimono, Soedemo Machi wa Mawatteiru. These people don’t know funny. Hell, Ikamusume isn’t nearly as funny as B Gata and PSG.

    Romance: No Maid-sama? No I didn’t like it either, but the lack of nomination is unusual.

    Drama: So-Ra-No-Wo-To? Tell me that a story set in the background of a dying world and humanity’s extinction isn’t dramatic.

    Slice of Life: Again, So-Ra-No-Wo-To wasn’t slice of lifey enough? I fail to see what Soredemo is doing here.

    Fanservice: Really? They could only come up with FOUR nominees? B Gata H Kei, PSG, Sora no Otoshimono, Asobi ni Iku Yo (the only POINT of that show), Qwaser (sucks, but this is the category this show was MADE for), Chu-Bra, KissxSis, Koe de Oshigoto, Ladies vs. Butlers, MM!, Mayoi Neko Overrun, Omamori Himari, Sekirei, Strike Witches (what else is there?), and Milky Holmes are all not fanservicy enough, apparently. Included: Daimaou, which was a piece of shit both in show and fanservice quality. You MUST be yakking my sack.

    Sports/Game: “TWGOK”? Really?

    Soundtrack: No So-Ra-No-Wo-To? TWGOK is certainly a bombastic soundtrack. That OP song is just Meatloaf levels of amazing.

    TV seriess: Was Katanagatari a TV series? I thought it was a monthly release?

    Male Character: No Dr. Ozaki. No Ryner or Sion from LOL Heroes. No Ryoshi Morino from Ookami-san. No Eishiro Sugata from Sora no Otoshimono. No Kou “Recruit” Ichinomiya. No Garterbelt (okay not really). Only half of the actual nominees deserve to be up there.

    Female Character: All those nominees suck. Not included: Yamada (B Gata H Kei), Selnia Iori Flameheart (go on laugh, she was a good character; Ladies vs. Butlers), Ryoko Ookami or Ringo Akai (Ookami-san), Panty OR Stocking (PSG), Kirishiki Sunako (villain or not, she’s a good female character, Shiki), Shimizu Megumi (Shiki), Rio or Felicia (So-Ra-No-Wo-To), and I’d nominate Saten and Kuroko over Misaka (Railgun) any day of the week.

    Villain: Included: “The Bugged Game” (trollface.jpg). Not included: Kirishiki Sunako (Shiki), Shimizu Megumi (Shiki), Kosaka Daisuke (The dad from OreImo, this mastermind of villainy uses LOGIC and makes SENSE to foil our heroes, imagine that), Scanty & Kneesocks (PSG), Stocking (troll ending, lolz, PSG), Ishihara and / or Gisuke Sasaki (Rainbow, these two were about the only good thing going for Rainbow, apparently), Gauche Suede / Noir (Tegami Bachi, sorry for the spoiler), SOCIETY (KissxSis, Yosuga no Sora, etc).

    Worst Character: Shidou Koichi (HSOTD)? Really? Wasn’t even the worst character in his own show. Seiji (Durarara!)? Tony Stark (Iron Man)? These fuckers are totally unimaginative. Kirino is a bad character, sure, but there are worse characters. I could do the entire cast of certain series. Is there even a likable character in Asobi ni Iku Yo? Daimaou? Cabbage was a pretty pointless character in Rainbow. How about Mikaze Nakagawa (Occult Academy)? I mean, was there a WORSE character either from a writing or development standpoint not to mention the eventual twist? I’m not saying she alone ruined the show, but she sure as hell didn’t help.

    Anyway, I’m sure the people at ASuki’s forums are smart, well informed anime fans… oh wait… I’m cynical, so do I’m not.

  5. @omo
    Mediocre trash? Really? There’s a big difference between calling something unambitious (which I don’t disagree with) and calling something mediocre, and that difference is execution. It might take a mainstream approach towards romance/drama, but what’s wrong with that when it’s executed so well? It’s very hard to poke out specific holes in Cross Game’s script: the pacing hardly ever gets bogged down, the characters are almost all satisfactorily explored, the web of relationships has the right amount of tension. You either have to nitpick (as I did when I criticized Aoba) or you have to make very general, sweeping claims which are mostly irrelevant to its intent.

    The thing about the “you may as well watch a Japanese drama” argument that I don’t like (other than the obvious problem that Cross Game wasn’t made into a Japanese drama, making the discussion somewhat moot) is this idea that if you don’t require the animated medium, you should make it live action instead. It basically puts a limit on what animation, as a medium, should be used for. At the end of the day, my opinion is that animation is a storytelling medium first and a visual medium second by a razor edge. If you have a worthwhile story to tell, just as Cross Game did, and just as Monster, Honey and Clover, Koi Kaze, Cowboy Bebop and Grave of the Fireflies did, a handful of anime I’ve also seen this argument levied against, the question shouldn’t be “why animation”, but “why not?”.

    As far as K-On! goes, you’ve seen ARIA right? That spanks the crap out of K-On! in the moe slice-of-life genre. OK, maybe that comparison isn’t fair, because the girls of ARIA actually did stuff. How about Hidamari Sketch? Sketchbook Full ColorS? Neither of which had the obnoxiously lazy streak that ran through K-On!. Just because it’s more popular, doesn’t mean it’s better. That’s why I always find it strange that K-On! is put on such a pedestal when I can think of at least half a dozen similar series that are simply superior. Starting with the series I’ve listed, and going on to the likes of Moe Baseball Girls or Geijutsuka Art Design Class. And that’s even before mentioning the place where the genre originated: the brilliant Azumanga Daioh.

    As far as production values go, what about Katanagatari, which had a more interesting artstyle and better animation than K-On!? Or pretty much any series by AIC? Hell, KyoAni even outdid itself with Disappearance, although that’s a movie, so the comparison isn’t fair. K-On! is hardly the groundbreaking anime its fans want to claim it is, and just because otaku will continue to obsess over it until the next KyoAni moe cash-in doesn’t justify its standing from a critical standpoint.

    @zzeroparticle
    I went and voted for the Yosuga no Sora soundtrack, and even though I haven’t paid as close attention to OSTs as you have, I do think it’s the best one I’ve heard this year. I also really enjoyed the Kobato soundtrack too, which had a couple of surprisingly sophisticated songs. I’m as sullen over the inclusion of K-On! as you are, but I’m just not surprised by its inclusion. I am genuinely concerned that it could win.

    @Arianna Sterling
    Disagree. By that line of thought you could argue that Kyon is a novel character or that Shidou is a manga character. Iron Man received an anime adaptation, so I don’t see why an exception should be made for Tony Stark. It’s the portrayal of the character that matters here. In the films and comics, he’s a suave playboy and heroic genius rolled in one. In the anime, he’s a bland bishounen. If people dislike how his character has been written in the anime, then this nomination is more than fair.

    @TIF
    Agree about Summer Wars, if it was nominated last year, it shouldn’t get another go. Disagree about Letter Bee, since only the first season is being considered here. If someone were to ever review Letter Bee on this site, the two seasons would be considered separately. They’re doing the same thing over there. Katanagatari was made for TV. It aired the same way Figure 17 did: 50 minute episodes released monthly.

    Anyway, I’m sure the people at ASuki’s forums are smart, well informed anime fans… oh wait… I’m cynical, so do I’m not.

    When I said “there are some seriously smart and cool people that post there”, I guess I should have stressed that the keyword was “some”.

  6. Kirino should win Category T.

  7. Wait, it goes all the way to T? 20 categories? Who runs this thing?

    The most obvious source of rage on my side is the lack of Tatami Galaxy across the board. That show is so criminally underrepresented that whenever I recommend it I feel like I have to stand behind the person and see him or her load the first episode to know my recommendation doesn’t get blown off. Come on, what happened to valuing creativity?

    I do have to partially agree with omo in that Cross Game suffers from what I call Kemono no Souja Erin syndrome; it does a simple story well, which makes it stable but doesn’t push any boundaries. To call it mediocre, however, confuses me to no end. Fantastic pacing, likable characters and solid story is trash? Cross Game shows us that even the simplest and most down-to-earth stories can be powerful.

    As for K-on!, I’ll just leave my opinion of it with a question to zzeroparticle because I bet his musical memory is better than mine: within all that mediocre dredge was there a single BGM that was memorable? The only songs I remember from K-on! are the OP, ED and the eyecatch >_<. I don't even remember what Fuwa Fuwa Time sounds like. So yes, you have the right to express mock outrage. After crawling though the first season to get people I know off the "you can't judge it until you see it" excuse, I have no motivation to go through the second.

    I would vote for the bugged game as best villain though; that episode was the only one that captured the manga's quirkiness by going well beyond it. :X

  8. @Sorrow-kun

    Disagree about Letter Bee, since only the first season is being considered here. If someone were to ever review Letter Bee on this site, the two seasons would be considered separately.

    Why would we do that? The second season is a continuation of the first, not a separate entity. It just picks right up where it left off. The break was only there because the show wasn’t originally slated for 52 episodes and it needed to be animated. Besides, both seasons are running in 2010, or have a vast majority of their episodes in 2010. This would be like breaking up the seasons of Eureka 7, even though they ran in consecutive seasons, they’re still the same show.

  9. Having thought about it for 2 seconds, it wouldn’t be hard to squash this down into 14 categories. And I even added a category.

    A. Action/Adventure/SciFi (merge {A}, {B} and {C})
    B. Mystery/Horror
    C. Comedy/Fanservice (merge {G} and {I})
    D. Romance/Dramatic Slice-of-Life (merge {F}, {G} and {H} and expand it for Honey and Clover, Aoi Hana type anime)
    E. Sports/Game
    F. Storyline
    G. Visual/Animation
    H. Soundtrack
    I. OP/ED/Insert Song (completely new category)
    J. Best Short (merge {O} and {P})
    K. Best Overall Anime (expand {N})
    L. Male Character
    M. Female Character
    N. Villian

  10. So Kuragehime is slice of life now.

    @omo: You mixed up your arguments on Cross Game and K-ON.

  11. There are just so many things I disagree with ASuki’s choices for candidates in the categories. TIF has basically hit the nail on the head on what’s wrong for each category, but I’ll add on and give my own vote (sounds kinda fun, anyway):

    Category {A} Action/Fighting

    I would give this title to FMA: Brotherhood, since it’s the main (and perhaps only) thing I enjoyed from the series. Sorrow-kun would go ahead with Katanagatari, which I can understand since their fights are more unconventional. I’m strongly inclined to do so too, but maybe it’s just that the setup of the fights is the one that’s interesting and not the fights themselves. At least, that’s what I think.

    Category {B} Adventure/Fantasy

    I agree with Sorrow-kun. I kinda enjoyed Katanagatari’s narrative more than FMA: Brotherhood’s too, albeit verbose.

    Category {C} Science Fiction

    No offense, but Railgun doesn’t stand a chance against TDoMS. It’s a good series but TDoMS is too high-profiled and momentous to be pushed aside. Plus, regardless of format differences, TDoMS is just better in a lot of aspects.

    Category {D} Mystery/Horror

    Shiki gets my vote because I can’t see myself voting anything else. I kinda wonder why DRRR! is even in this category…

    Category {E} Comedy

    This category is crap because B Gata H Kei and Kuragehime aren’t included. How the hell did Asuki let B Gata H Kei, the show I would vote for here, flew under its radar…?

    Category {F} Romance

    Maid-sama may be included inside, but I wouldn’t vote for it. Just no. Cross Game sweeps this category for me, and Nodame Cantabile: Finale’s the only one worthy here. Kimi ni Todoke’s fuzzy but frustrating show. Amagami SS is dog poo with a Christmas ribbon on top.

    Category {G} Drama

    Cross Game sweeps this category again and, just like Nodame Cantabile: Finale, House of Five Leaves is the dark horse. It’s quite unfortunate that House of Five Leaves turns out to be so underrated.

    Category {H} Slice of Life

    Cross Game gets my vote here (again), but Kuragehime and SoreMachi (I think including this show in this category is valid) deserves some honorable mentions. Screw K-ON! S2 to the max.

    Category {I} Fanservice

    Such a messy category, simply because there’s too many candidates to be considered. Asobi ni Iku yo should be included (if it wasn’t for the censors); so does Aki-Sora and KissxSis. Aki-Sora and Yosuga no Sora should be head-to-head in terms of content, but Yosuga no Sora should win due to sheer popularity.

    Category {J} Sports/Game

    TWGOK is a joke to be included here. Cross Game FTW (yet again).

    Category {K} Storyline

    Probably the most contested category of the lot so far, and my vote would go to Tatami Galaxy. The narrative and storyline is just too unconventional to be ignored. Cross Game gets back to the basics but I want to look for something special (plus, I wanna give other shows a break :P). TDoHS is amazing but for those who have been following my take on the movie closely, it’s not the storyline that I adore the movie about. FMA: Brotherhood has too many good subplots that never were.

    Category {L} Visual/Animation

    Summer Wars shouldn’t even be here. Even if it’s a worthy candidate, the fact that it’s a 2009 movie means that considering this in the list is out of the question. TDoHS is a shoo-in for the victory; the high production values are undeniable.

    Category {M} Soundtrack

    K-On! S2? Best soundtrack?? Gimme a break. The show should be replaced by DRRR! or Tatami Galaxy something. I’m inclined to give PSG the vote, but it’s difficult to do so when I haven’t really listened to Shiki’s complete soundtrack. I’m on the fence between Shiki and PSG for this one.

    Category {N} Overall Television Series

    No Tatami Galaxy? FAIL. That being said, Cross Game deserves to win this category in my view. TIF’s right: seeing Katanagatari here seems awkward.

    Category {O} Movie

    TDoHS just deserves this title. Period. Including Summer Wars here is yet another mistake.

    Category {P} OVA

    Just like Sorrow-kun, I’d go for Tamayura because it seems like the only OVA I’d spend my time watching.

    Category {Q} Male Character

    Please, Keima’s only here because he’s a deity to all dating sims-gamers out there. Doesn’t deserve to be here. So does Shizuo, a cool guy but only seems to be here out of popularity, probably due to the female viewers’ demand. Ozaki (Shiki), Chiaki (Nodame Cantabile: Finale), Izaya -NOT Shizuo- (DRRR!!), and Watashi (Tatami Galaxy) should be in here. I would vote for Kyon for now, although Shichika deserves honorable mention.

    Category {R} Female Character

    Oh man, this is hard. I really want to vote for Celty Sturluson – everyone knows how much a fan I am of hers – but Nagato is too prominent in this category. Sadly, I’d go for Nagato because she carried the movie itself. Anyway, unbelievable to not see Yamada/Kanejo (B Gata H Kei), Panty/Stocking (PSG), Sunako/Megumi (Shiki), and Saten (Railgun).

    Category {S} Villain

    Bugged Game is a troll candidate. Asakura may win but only because of popularity, but she certainly doesn’t get my vote because she doesn’t do anything that substantial in the movie (and no, her crazy side is only a consequential effect by the movie). Tatsumi should be accompanied by Sunako here. Scanty/Kneesocks should be here too (lovable bitches, I must say). For the moment, my vote goes to Izaya, because I love his Heath Joker-like dialogue and intriguing character.

    Category {T} Worst Character

    I don’t get this category. What does it mean by “Worst”? Ill-formed? Most hateful, I suppose? Just how “worst” is defined here? Yagiri and Tony Stark are hateful? The former’s a nutjob and the latter’s full of cheddar cheese, but they’re hardly hateful. The category should’ve included the narrator (Ookami-san), the whole cast of KissxSis (predictable horndogs), the whole cast of Seitokai Yakuindomo (lame sex jokers), the whole cast of Asobi ni Iku yo (they’re all idiots), Mio (MM!), etc. My vote immeditely goes to Kirino (to nobody’s surprise) instead of Shindou because Shindou doesn’t make enough appearances to make me hate him. More importantly, KIRINO’S A BITCH.

    *panting*

  12. I presume Summer Wars is here because it was put up for nomination in the 2010 Academy Awards (and was rejected). It shouldn’t have been nominated across two years, but this is a fan run operation so some mistakes are to be expected.

    @SK: I see a few problems with your categories

    A. Action/Adventure/SciFi (merge {A}, {B} and {C})This is like 90% of the anime out there.
    B. Mystery/Horror:
    This is like 2%
    C. Comedy/Fanservice (merge {G} and {I})
    Oh wait, we’re talking about anime, not American movies. THIS category is 90%.
    D. Romance/Dramatic Slice-of-Life (merge {F}, {G} and {H} and expand it for Honey and Clover, Aoi Hana type anime)
    I agree with merging Romance and Drama, but Japan has invented K-ON! and a whole breed of shows like it so separating Slice-of-Life may be worth it.
    E. Sports/Game
    .0001×10^-82% Why is this even a category?

  13. @ typical idiot fan
    although i agree with most of most of your opinions, there are a few things that i have to disagree. Seitokai Yakuindomo should NOT be in the comedy catagory. The aspect of tossing about one lame dirty joke after another without even trying to make it funny is a literal disgrace to all of comedy in my opinion. Sora no woto isn’t really dramatic, until the last two episodes. In all the other episodes, they’re ussually chilling. Other than that everything else seems reasonable.
    I understand why kirino would be considered as the worst character, but in my opinion it would be seiji. It’s a real pain to see kirino stay the constant bitch after everything that everyone else has done for her, but even she barely changes over time. Seiji barely get any screen time, but when he does, he acts as a giant poumpus ass screwing with society, thinking he could get away with anything (and ussually does with his meddleing sister). Then he preaches about love, while his love was for a head, in which he makes all the decisions for. And then the most infuriating thing is that he gets away with it all in the end, and still remains the same pompous jerk, and the author treats him liek a good guy… totally ignoring all the crap that he’s done before. Sry, i just had to get out of my head. Ladd russo was awesome, mostly because he could back himself up, but this guy is a fucking joke.

  14. i see lots of hate for k-on!! no surprise..people can rage over it for all they want..XDD it won’t change the fact that it’s insanely popular still though XP

  15. @some loser

    To be fair, Seitokai Yakuindomo’s genre is comedy so it’s valid to be categorized accordingly. It’s just that the show’s horrible. But that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be in the category, unless you mean that it shouldn’t be included because there are other better shows up for candidacy.

  16. The lack of Tatami Galaxy nominations is depressing. (Watashi) deserves to be nominated as both the best and worst character of the year.

  17. I think I was leaning more toward the fact that Tony Stark is traditionally from something American. And I really just can’t stand Iron Man, so that bias also leads me to feel he should never be included on any list that exists, haha.

  18. I don’t understand what “Best Storyline” is supposed to mean. If it literally means “who had the best story?” none of those series should be nominated. Shōshitsu was good because of its atmosphere and direction, while Cross Game was good because of its character development. Similarly, while Yojō-han Shinwa Taikei had excellent writing, it was essentially the same plot played over and over again; innovative in terms of ‘storytelling’ but not ‘storyline’.

    Even as someone who likes K-ON!!, I was incredibly disappointed to see it nominated in the soundtrack category; that soundtrack is a disgrace. The best soundtrack of the year, for me, was So-ra-no-wo-to, with runners-up being Shiki, Kobato., Senkō no Night Raid and Sarai-ya Goyō. Honours would go to Angel Beats! and maybe Katanagatari. Though, I still wouldn’t count Haruhi out in this category; it has a lot of great moments, and it skillfully weaves in some of Satie’s more popular works. From what I’ve seen, Amagami SS and Yosuga no Sora have also hinted at some good music but I have yet to watch them in their entirety.

    Not specific to anime, but I’m wondering why there is a need for separate male and female character categories. It is not as if the criteria for being a good character changes with gender. There should just be a lead category and a support category, maybe an award for overall cast as well.

  19. @Elineas
    There were a few memorable K-ON! tunes that I’ve got registered in my noggin, but that’s only because I had to review the OSTs. OK, maybe not had to, but chose to.

    As for Fuwa Fuwa Time, it’s odd. I’ve been trying to recall the opening melody, but all that comes to mind seems to be the refrain. Maybe my attempts at forgetting the anime is paying off!

  20. Seriously, the only decent music that comes out of K-On! is “NO, Thank You!”. It’s still quite a joke to see that it’s a candidate even when it only has one good song.

  21. I agree that Summer Wars shouldn’t be there because it was up for nomination last year, but AS has changed their awards to DVD release for films because most people don’t see films like Summer Wars until it comes out on DVD. That way it has been allowed a chance in the awards. Otherwise many films like Summer Wars won’t get the attention they deserve simply because a lot of people don’t live i Japan and can’t speak Japanese. They should’ve started implementing the rule this year, but still cut out movies that were already allowed chances for nomination.

    As for the choices themselves… It’s hard for me to rage anymore about the available choices when certain animes that, while may be the best from a critic standpoint (Tatami Galaxy), are simply not popular enough to ever get the nomination. At the very least, the nominations this year were slightly better than last year’s nominations IMO (Though that’s not saying much).

    While there are rough edges to the way the awards are run (Too many categories, how we define each category, which animes should be considered eligible) and there are large disagreements about what people are nominating, I think some of you guys are a little hard overall on the awarding process, which more or less has been relatively smooth. Even when the initiator of the awards this year went MIA, we saw a bunch of posters on the site come together to help finish the process off.

    Anyhow, that’s just my 2 cents.

  22. If there is one thing that these lists have consistency with, it would be the fact that there is always something criminal to happen in them. Which is a shame since these awards can look more legitimate and better if more care was put into these things. As for my picks:

    Action/Fighting:
    It is a toss-up between FMA: Brotherhood and F/SN UBW and I could honestly care less since both animes sucked.

    Adventure/Fantasy:
    Katanagatari hands down in this one since everything else was lackluster. It would be criminal if FMA: Brotherhood wins this even though it will most likely take this home. (Popularity FTW!)

    Sci-Fi:
    Kidou Senshi Gundam Unicorn is the true winner of this category and it must be a hidden entry here. The voting for this entry is probably forcing people to actually find out how to access this with difficulty ala Laplace’s Box. Otherwise, I will pass on this category.

    Mystery/Horror:
    DRRR! would be my vote here since it was the only show that I watched out of this category.

    Drama:
    Most people don’t appreciate good stuff when they see it. Such is the case with House of Five Leaves which would be my vote to win this here.

    Storyline:
    Tatami Galaxy seems to be the only legitimate winner since I don’t see anything else being good enough. Then again, this show is probably going to get shafted if it has not already been snubbed enough.

    Visual/Animation
    I am going to pick Katanagatari due to it’s unique art-style and consistent enough quality. I love unique, well done visuals in a show like Mononoke and this is the case here with my pick.

    Overall T.V. Series
    I thought Katanagatari was actually more of an OVA then anything else. On the other hand, it is my pick despite how odd it seems.

    OVA
    Katanagatari is an OVA and is supposed be in this category right? No? Then my answer is the same as the Sci-Fi category.

    Best Villian
    Orihara Izaya owns this category for me since I don’t see the other candidates being strong enough to overtake him here.

    As for the categories I passed, I either don’t watch certain genres much (if at all) or I just didn’t care for the candidates enough. Still, it felt like a chore to pick and choose moreso then the previous few years or so. Hopefully, this year won’t be like that when everything is said and done.

  23. I kind of eyeballed at the nominations and some of them are facepalm worthy… probably a reason why I spend less time on Animesuki Forums and more on my blog.

    As for Yosuga no Sora, I agree that the show has a very high production value despite the gratuitous fanservice and sex… and yes, the OP/ED sounded great, especially the OMake ED… It was so addictive…

  24. Winners announced. Picked 13 categories correct again. However, given there are more categories this time round, that’s worse than previous years.

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