Top Picks – Spring 2012 Anime, Part 2

from Eureka Seven AO

Things have been a bit slow around here at The Null Set in part because the computer I use to write these posts out on has been acting up and, while I wait for it’s diagnosis/recovery, I’ve taken up good ol’ pen and paper to write this series of posts about the best of the spring season. It’s been well over a decade since I’ve composed anything on paper and my brain seems to have rusted in certain areas which made writing on paper difficult at first. Slowly, though, I re-got the hang of it and I found myself writing more than I’d initially intended. I think I might continue writing on paper first, even when my computer is back to 100%, to see if it makes a positive impact on my writing.

Anyways, back to part 2 of my Spring 2012 seasonal anime awards. This time we will focus on the content of the anime series.


Best Slice of Life: Space Brothers
Runner-up: Natsuiro Kiseki

Best Science Fiction: Space Brothers
Runner-up: Bodacious Space Pirates

Best Comedy: Upotte
Runner-up: – Nothing –

Best Drama: AKB0048
Runner-up: Sakamichi no Apollon

Best Ending: Aquarion Evol
Runner-up: Bodacious Space Pirates

Most Unexpectantly Good Show: Mysterious Girlfriend X
Runner-up: AKB0048

Best Plot: Eureka Seven AO
Runner-up: Fate/Zero S.2

Best Story: Space Brothers
Runner-up: AKB0048

Best Action: Jormungand
Runner-up: Eureka Seven AO

Most Entertaining: AKB0048
Runner-up: Natsuiro Kiseki

Most Interesting Setting: Eureka Seven AO
Runner-up: Sakamichi no Apollon

Most in Need of a Sequel: Lupin the Third: Mine Fujiko
Runner-up: Bodacious Space Pirates

The characters have to do something to fill their weekly allotment of 23 minutes – it might be as simple as having two characters sitting in a park talking or as complex as a densely plotted space opera with a cast of hundreds – and it’s this wonderfully varied content that is the next area of reflection.

Predictably, there is a mix of new faces in this crop of awards and anime series that look to add onto their character awards wins. Of the newcomers, Eureka Seven AO (E7AO) makes the biggest impression by winning Best Plot and Most Interesting Setting as well as earning Runner-up for Best Action. It missed out in the previous section because it’s characters are still largely merely functional for the roles they’re asked to play; instead, Bones has focused on making E7AO a well-plotted, action packed, interesting anime series. There is a good chance that the second half of the series will be even better and E7AO will become one the top series of the summer season. A second new series to win, Upotte for Best Comedy, was definitely this season’s overachiever. A show about guns that can take the form of girls, animated by Xebec, and directed by the guy who directed Rio – Rainbow Gate should not have been able to become as funny as it did nor remained so during it’s run.

from AKB0048
from AKB0048

Two series, AKB0048 and Lupin, barely missing out on winning an award in the character section have both come back with wins here. With Lupin (Most in Need of a Sequel), it was an interesting choice to see the guy that the show is named after being relegated to a supporting character; but, even the prospects of having further tinkering done to the formula does little to dull the desire to see more of the master thief and cohorts. Runner-up Most Unexpectantly Good Show is a good place to start with AKB0048 because it encapsulates so much of my reaction to the show. I’m not really all that interested in idol groups and, after being turned off by the Idolmaster anime, I was perfectly fine with merely knowing that AKB0048 was a popular idol group until I read the description of the AKB0048 anime. I chuckled. I figured if the animators were willing to try something different than I’d give it a chance before dropping it. I should have known better. The creators struck the perfect balance in AKB0048; the show is serious enough to play it’s story straight – there is no ironic eye-winking towards the fourth wall – and yet it’s not too serious that it can’t have a bit of fun along the way. This allowed AKB0048 to earn the Best Drama and Most Entertaining awards in this section and pick up Runner-up Best Story as well.

The other awards of this section were won by anime series that have already won character awards and this season’s strongest anime series begin to make themselves noticed. Space Brothers does the best with three wins – Best Slice-of-Life, Best Science Fiction, and Best Story – for it’s superior character-driven slice-of-life SF story 🙂 . Jormungand shows that it’s success isn’t merely derived from it’s characters by winning the Best Action award while working with a smaller budget then either Eureka Seven AO or Fate/Zero. Aquarion Evol remembers the love with this season’s Best Ending and MGX (Most Unexpectantly Good Show) reminds us it’s still possible to take a common type of show and shock us when the creators give a little blood, sweat, and tears – or maybe it’s drool – to an anime.

Part 3 should be up within the day and then it’ll be the top 12 countdown.

Top Picks – Spring 2012 Anime, Part 1: Character Awards
Top Picks – Spring 2012 Anime, Part 2: Content Awards – currently here
Top Picks – Spring 2012 Anime, Part 3: Creation Awards
The Top 12 Anime of the Spring 2012 Season – #12 to #7
The Top 12 Anime of the Spring 2012 Season – #6 to #1


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