Top Picks – Fall 2008 Anime, Part 1

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While I still am hesitant to list my top five shows of the season, I realized that I was much more confident when it came to picking my other awards of the season. This first part deals mainly with the characters in the anime and the second part will focus on the entire show in general and the work done by the animators.

For some of the categories it was tough to determine the winner so for those, I included the runner-ups as well.

Best Female Main Character

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Winner: Taiga from Toradora

On paper Taiga appears to be another in a long string of the tsundere character-type that has become so popular in recent years. Not that I have anything against tsunderes, some of my favorite characters – Kagami and Haruhi – are tsunderes but to be the top, I need a character that feels orginal, is remarkable in their actions, and makes me happy to see onscreen. Taiga has all three qualities in abundance and by the end of episode 2, made it impossible for me to consider anyone else. Tsundere’s are supposed to be unable to admit their feeling to anyone, much less themselves; but, Taiga knows her feelings, is able to act on those feelings, and is able to show her vulnerable side to her friend Ryuuji. Even when she gets angry, it seems to be genuine anger and not just acting according to a character-type. So, for example, when she’s kicking the telephone, she’s doing it not because she’s violent but because she’s frustrated at the world.

Best Male Main Character

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Winner:Ryuuji from Toradora

Runner-up:Tomoya from Clannad

“Call no man an island,” as the saying goes and in Ryuuji’s case that’s a very appropriate observation. Ryuuji has always been a nice, caring guy even if his looks suggest otherwise but it wasn’t until meeting Taiga that he was able to show this side of him. Episode after episode we see Ryuuji’s loyalty, goodness, and desire to help others and the viewer can’t help but like him and hope he finds the happiness that he deserves. Tomoya has shown many of the same qualities as Ryuuji which makes it hard to pick one over the other but for this season I’ll give the slight edge to Ryuuji because Tomoya shouldn’t have made Nagisa worry as much as she did during the fight in episode 8. Since both series continue for the winter season, it’s quite possible I’ll be picking between the two again.

Best Supporting Character

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Winner:Minorin from Toradora

If you permit me to devolve into internet speak, I just need to say Minorin = Win. She’s like a shot of Awesomeness everytime she’s on the screen.

Best Non-human Character

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Winner:Kelpie from Earl and Fairy

This was a new category I thought to add this time and silly me, I thought it would be easy to pick a winner. I envisioned giving this award to someone like Buta from Clannad but I forgot there’s a lot of characters that aren’t really human. There’s Soul and the other weapons of Soul Eater, the Corpse Princesses in Shikabane Hime, the majority of the characters of Yozakura Quartet – to name just a few. Since this is an anime blog and not a philosophical blog I just decided to pick someone that’s obviously not human.

Kelpie is definitely not human and definitely a great character on Earl and Fairy. His pursuit of the Fairy Doctor Lydia is one of the funny sidestories of the show, so is his belief that human females are less abusive then female sea horse spirits. Now I wonder if he’d look as good in a dress as Raven, the butler, did.

Best Couple

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Winner: Aisaka Taiga and Ryuuji from Toradora

Runner-up:Tomoya and Nagisa from Clannad

I know we’re supposed to at least entertain the thought that various other couples are possible like Ryuuji x Minorin or Taiga x Kitamura but by episode nine it’s obvious that Taiga and Ryuuji are the real couple. It’s just cool to see a guy and girl that can be themselves – with all their warts and faults – around each other. Clannad hasn’t really focused much on Tomoya and Nagisa yet but like I mentioned above, both of the these shows are going to be around for another season so there’s a good chance that we’ll see again next time.

Best Character Ability/Power

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Winner:Takumi of Chaos;Head for his ability to make his delusions real

We’re far enough along into Chaos;Head that some of the mysteries surrounding the show has been revealed. One is that Takumi can take what he thinks of and can make it physically manifest. Very useful power but personally, I’d be using that power a lot more then Takumi is and for better things then making his favorite figurine come to life.

Best Cast of Characters

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Winner:Toradora

With three characters already mentioned, it was going to hard for any other show to earn this award but when you factor in the Ami, Kitamura, a messed-up parrot and a mom that enjoys being an entertainer at a local bar – it becomes the de facto choice for the season.

Best Dressed Characters

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Winner: Clannad

One of KyoAni’s strong points is that they’re sticklers about the small things in the show. Other shows will have their characters wear their one, maybe two different outfits over the course of an entire series but KyoAni will have their characters wear two, maybe three, different outfits each episode – and then never repeat the outfit again. I hate to admit that one of the reasons why I like to watch a KyoAni show is to see what the characters will be wearing next because you’ll never see a KyoAni character on the show ‘What Not to Wear’.

Best Villian

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Winner: Fuwa Sho from Skip Beat

Some villains are the old type – actually evil, some are the new type – businesses, capitalists, and anti-environmentalists, some are misunderstood, and some are just plain jerks. Fuwa Sho falls into the last category. In a single episode, he was able to make me so completely hate him that I’d sit through a bad anime series just to see him get what he deserves. Luckily, Skip Beat has been a very enjoyable series so far.

That’s the end of part 1. I hope to have the second part up within a day and I can say that Toradora only wins two of the awards. Comments and feedback are always appreciated – I’d love to see what others would pick.

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10 thoughts on “Top Picks – Fall 2008 Anime, Part 1”

  1. Oh, I was writing a similar post too! 🙂 My coverage will have several parts as well, but I’ll publish them over the course of December 🙂

    It looks like you really enjoyed Toradora 🙂

    I agree, Fuwa is very evil!

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  2. @Kitsune: I can’t wait to see what your list looks like.

    And I probably won’t be tipping my hand to much if I say that Toradora is my current top show of the season. I want to wait another week or two to see if that changes before posting my top 5 of the season.

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  3. ohhh i love skip beat. hmmm. everyone have been talking about toradora… maybe i should go try it too 😀

    ~tns : I got your back 🙂

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  4. @mrslatte: I hate when I leave a comment with a spelling error. So, I’ll try to fix them when I see them here.

    I was surprised to like Skip Beat. In my preview, I said the premise sounded unappetizing but the show has been able to sell itself to me.

    I would definitely suggest checking out toradora. If you like anime with good characters then I can guarantee that you’ll enjoy toradora.

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  5. I am still wondering what have you done to my Vampire Knight series???? To not even get a nomination…. how come? 😦

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  6. @Jessie: I meant to get to Vampire Knight but never found the time to do so. I should remember for posts like these to list which shows I’ve seen so people aren’t wondering why I didn’t pick anything from a certain show.

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