Eagle-eyed readers will notice that I intend to review not just the most recent anime season but also the previous season as well. The reason for this is two-fold. The first reason is because these awards are my short-cut method in highlighting which anime I would recommend to potential viewers and I’d be failing in what I see as my duty if I passed over a season that contained praise-worthy shows. (Even though by now I’m incredibly late in covering the summer season. 🙂 ) The second reason is writing this post will help me better remember this batch of anime shows in the future and it will also serve as a written record I can use if need be.
So, sit back, relax – it’s time to cover 32 anime over 2 seasons with 29 award categories and one countdown bursting at the seams with awesomeness.
Carry-over shows watched this season (4): Katanagatari, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Rainbow – Nisha Rokubou no Shichijin, K-On!!
New shows watched this season (10): Ookami-san to Shichinin no Nakamatachi, Amagami SS, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, Mitsudomoe, Highschool of the Dead, Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin, Shiki, Asobi ni Iku yo!, Sengoku Basara 2, Moyashimon Live Action
Shows that got dropped (1): Seitokai Yakuindomo
Carry-over shows watched this season (4): Katanagatari, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu, Amagami SS, Shiki
New shows watched this season (14): Ore no Imouto, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt, Sora No Otoshimono Forte, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Otome Youkai Zakuro, Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru, Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, The World God Only Knows, Arakawa Under the Bridge 2, Kuragehime, Star Driver, To Aru Majutsu no Index II, Yosuga no Sora
Shows that got dropped (3): Bakuman, Hakuouki Hekketsuroku, Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
Note: For shows that run multiple seasons, only the part that ran during the season is under consideration for that season’s awards. (s) denotes the summer season and (f) denotes the fall season
Best Female Main Character
Winner: (s) – Azunyan from K-On!! ~ (f) – Nino from Arakawa Under the Bridge 2
Runner-up: (s) – Togame from Katanagatari, Yui from K-On!! ~ (f) – Stocking from Panty and Stocking, Tsukimi from Kuragehime, Nymph from Sora No Otoshimono Forte, Togame from Katanagatari
Azunyan was the linch pin that held K-On!! together and she gave it the needed dimension to turn K-On!! into one of the best slice-of-nostalgia anime ever. (Slice-of-life is just too broad of a term since it covers at least three different types of shows: the nostalgic like K-On! and Hidemari Sketch, the relaxing like Ichigo Mashimaro and Aria, and the contemplative/ambiance type like Natsume Yuujin-chou and Haibane Renmei.) And she was just so likable as a character, as was Nino, the fall season winner. Nino squeaked past a very tough field of contenders this season to repeat her win of this award. It seems like the more time she spends with Ric, the more expressive and human she becomes.
Best Male Main Character
Winner: (s) – Shichika from Katanagatari ~ (f) – Kuranosuke from Kuragehime
Runner-up: (s) – Mario from Rainbow ~ (f) – Tomoki from Sora no Otoshimono, Takuto Tsunashi from Star Driver, Shichika from Katanagatari
Shichika turned out, much like Katanagatari, to be a lot more interesting then those first couple of episodes that ran last winter lead us to think. He almost won this award twice but couldn’t quite overcome the cross-dressing, protector of interesting historical buildings – Kuranosuke.
Best Supporting Character(s)
Winner: (s) – Assistroids from Asobi ni Iku yo! ~ (f) – The Phantom Thief Empire (Arsene, Twenty, Rat, and Stone River) from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
Runner-up: (s) – Ui from K-On!! ~ (f) – Kuroneko from OreImo, Sugata from Sora No Otoshimono Forte, Briefers Rock from Panty and Stocking
Asobi ni Iku yo! was a really fun series to watch in part because the people behind it knew their SF and the assistroids were a great example of this knowledge. Likewise, Milky Holmes was a really fun series in part because it was so over-the-top and that included the villains which made picking just one villain impossible.
Winner: (s) – Father from Mitsudomoe ~ (f) – Kurara from Kuragehime
Runner-up: (s) – Microbes from Moyashimon Live Action ~ (f) – Mom from Ore no Imouto, The spirits of Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes, Amazoness and Billy from Arakawa Under the Bridge
Just because a character has a small part doesn’t mean he/she/it can’t become a memorable part of that show. Both winners (Father and Kurara) were prime examples of this.
Winner: (s) – Togame and Shichika from Katanagatari ~ (f) – Togame and Shichika from Katanagatari
Runner-up: (s) – none ~ (f) – Ko and Nino from Arakawa Under the Bridge 2
Togame and Shichika made a good couple but I wanted to take this chance to mention the worse couple was definitely Usui and Misa from Maid-sama, not because I wanted some other pairing but because I really didn’t like how this shoujo series depicted the relationship between the two of them – you’d think a series aimed at girls would show the main female in a more empowering light.
Best Character Ability/Power
Winner: (s) – Seeing microbes from Moyashimon Live Action ~ (f) – The ability to make super-powered samurai with only a kiss from Samurai Girls
Runner-up: (s) – Glasses girl’s ability to get mixed up with the supernatural from Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin ~ (f) – Arsene’s Toys of Resplendence from Tantei Opera Milky Holmes
Moyashimon Live Action is only here because of where it ran and because the microbes were animated. It wasn’t a particularly good show but the ability to see and communicate to microbes remains a very cool power. And speaking of squandered potential, Samurai Girls was set in a very interesting world with a very interesting animation style and it wasted both by being a boring harem show. It was still a cool power, though.
Best Cast of Characters
Winner: (s) – K-On!! ~ (f) – Arakawa Under the Bridge 2
Runner-up: (s) – Sengoku Basara 2, Rainbow ~ (f) – Kuragehime, Sora No Otoshimono Forte
These were two relatively easy picks to make. I just noticed that Kuragehime is the only completely new show (neither a sequel or continuing from an earlier season) listed. In a certain way, that makes it the best because it accomplished the most.
Best Character Development for Cast
Winner: (s) – Highschool of the Dead ~ (f) – Kuragehime
Runner-up: (s) – Rainbow ~ (f) – Arakawa Under the Bridge 2
Count me as the odd one that enjoyed Highschool of the Dead not for the fan-service or for the zombies but for it’s social commentary and character development. My favorite example was the gun otaku who went from social outcast in modern society to local hero and ladies man when the zombies arrived. Thinking about it, both of the winners share a commonality; if it wasn’t for the extraordinary event at the beginning – zombies appear and Kuranosuke saving the jellyfish – neither cast of characters would have had the opportunity for growth that they had.
Best Character Development of a Single Character
Winner: (s) – Sanada Yukimura from Sengoku Basara 2 ~ (f) – Tsukimi from Kuragehime
Runner-up: (s) – Scam from Rainbow ~ (f) – Garterbelt from Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
One of the most important threads in Sengoku Basara 2 was the development of Sanada Yukimura into a man capable of being a general. It wasn’t always pretty to watch but it turned him into a real man; a really cool and epic one that can fight the Japanese equivalent of a Archimedes’s Death Ray and win. And for a complete change of pace, Kuragehime’s Tsukimi was the obvious pick for the fall season. All the characters in Kuragehime have had the chance to grow but Tsukimi’s transformation has been the most pronounced and the most heart-warming to see.
That’s the end of part 1; I hope to have the second part up within a day. Comments and feedback are always appreciated – I’d love to see what others would pick.