Top Picks – Summer 2009 Anime, Part 3: VMA Awards

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The final set of awards before going to my top shows of the season cover the music, vocal actors, and animation aspects of this season’s anime. Or the three parts to anime that are heavily dependent on the preferences of the individual viewer. 🙂


Best Male Seiyuu

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Winner: Hiroshi Kamiya as Araragi from Bakemonogatari and Mr. Despair from Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei S. 3

I realize that Hiroshi Kamiya getting both roles is more of a result of Shaft doing both shows and having a bias when casting for Araragi’s vocal actor but I think he did an excellent job with both roles. And to take it further, I think using the same voice actor for both helped highlight the similarities in character between the two.

Best Female Seiyuu

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Winner:Chiwa Saito as Senjougahara from Bakemonogatari

Yeah for easy award picks. Chiwa Saito had this award locked in by the third week of the season and never looked back.

Best OP

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Winner:Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei S. 3

Runner-up:Kemono no Souja Erin

Yeah for difficult award picks because that means there was lots of good opening songs to choose from. In the case of Kemono no Souja Erin, the one I’m picking is the newer one where it sounds like the same song is used but the singer has been changed and the animators have updated the imagery to reflect the second time skip used in the series. For SZS, I think this is my favorite OP of the series and while the series itself might have not wowed with it’s animation, they went all out for the OP and ED.

Best ED

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Winner:Bakemonogatari

Runner-up:Umi Monogatari

The ending of Bakemonogatari was awesome before it was tied so nicely to the show in episode 12 so no other show really had a shot which makes me a little sad because there were some great endings this season.

Best Background Music

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Winner:Umi Monogatari

If I’ve learned anything from doing these awards is that invariably, I’ll have several people point out that my pick for best background music should have gone to another show. And more-often-then-not I find that they’re probably right so this time I wonder which shows will be mentioned as being better picks than Umi Monogatari. I don’t mind the comments and will probably agree with them but for right now, I can say that I liked several pieces from Umi Monogatari and remember thinking that the music complements the show nicely.

Best Dressed Characters

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Winner:Bakemonogatari

Runner-up:Aoi Hana

The traditional KyoAni award goes to a non-KyoAni show this time for the superb effort shown by Shaft for Bakemonogatari.

Best Animation Style

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Winner:Bakemonogatari

Runner-up:Aoi Hana

Remember, animation style is not the same thing as overall best quality. That’s not to say that either show lacked in animation because both shows provided many moments that impressed me but in both cases the most memorable feature was the style itself. Aoi Hana showcased J.C. Staff’s watercolor look and is, I feel, the best example of just how beautiful this style is. Bakemonogatari is a great example of Shaft being Shaft but at the same time the exact style of the show is different from their other work and does a terrific job establishing the mood of the series.

Best Animation

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Winner:CANAAN

Canaan is the second series by P.A. Works and once again the animation is just gorgeous. I think they still have much room to grow, in the storytelling and character development departments, but they do know how to animate.

Top Animation Studio

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Winner: tie – Shaft / J.C. Staff

I probably would have outright given this to Shaft if they could have pulled off doing both of their shows without any problems but that wasn’t the case and J.C. Staff had a trio of very enjoyable shows. So, in the end, I gave it to both.

That’s it for part 3 of my summer 2009 anime awards. Stay tuned for my top overall picks of the season. 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Top Picks – Summer 2009 Anime, Part 3: VMA Awards”

  1. Insofar as music goes, I can’t really disagree with your choice of Umi Monogatari though I’ve yet to listen to the soundtrack and may turn out to be wrong as a result. I hope not though because Muramatsu’s compositions are pretty strong and I liked his work from Kure-nai and sketchbook. I think other viable candidates include Aoi Hana and Tokyo Magnitude, and I’ve yet to listen to Spice and Wolf II, so that’ll have to wait.

    Everything else was fairly predictable though, especially where Senjogahara/Bakemonogatari is concerned, so it’s all good!

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  2. I think Erin’s OP was not as good as its ED though, but yea, summer had weak OPs. Then again not all of them (Bakemonogatari still has every other protagonist’s) have been released.

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