Step three for awesome anime – after creating memorable characters and giving them a worthy stage – is to use every part of the production process to bring-out/enhance the positive aspects of the anime and hide the negative aspects. Getting the right seiyuu can be the difference between a character being a success or failure. Inappropriate music can ruin the climax of a series and nothing can make a whole anime series fail as assuredly as poor animation quality. In the right hands, a small budget can be overcome through creating the right animation style. Stellar OP/ED with it’s combination of music and animation can build excitement and anticipation for the anime and ensure viewers come back next week.
There’s other parts to an anime’s production – like script writing, cinematography, sound editing, etc. – that won’t gets awards here because I’m not knowledgeable enough in these areas to put any confidence in picking winners. Which is why I call this set of awards the Voice, Music, and Audio awards. I’m hoping, yet again, next year I’ll be able to include a few more areas of the production to these awards.
As I’ve said before, with competent execution, a shoujo anime is as good as a shounen anime and/or a slice-of-life anime and/or a sports anime and/or a science fiction anime and/or romantic comedy anime and so on and so forth.
Each genre, though, has a different tool box of tropes, clichés, common elements, and understoods at their ready disposal to craft an anime in that genre. Some tool boxes are bigger, more versatile, and just plain better than others; so, the trick for those people working with the smaller tool boxes is to know how to maximize the usefulness of their tools and know when to borrow from someone else’s toolbox.Chihayafuru is an example of a shoujo anime that also borrows liberally from the sports anime genre to augment itself and is much stronger as a result.
That said, I elected to not include some genre awards like Best Shoujo and Best Shounen series because I’ve not watched enough of the potential contenders to make an informed choice.
Part 3 and we’re reached the summer of the summer season; the series that burned the brightest. Up until now there hasn’t been too many awards given or series that are ones that have carried over from a previous season but this part has plenty of both.
Before I get to the top 8 series there’s one award that I traditionally give out that doesn’t fit well in this format – it is Top Animation Studio – because it is normally earned across multiple anime series. Therefore I’m going to award it now; winning the award for Top Animation Studio is Sunrise for animating Binbou-gami ga!, Accel World, Phi Brain Season 2, and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon 2. Of the animation studios that put out multiple series this season, the quality of Sunrise’s series were consistently the highest and even series that didn’t rank all that highly, like Phi Brain and Horizon, were a fun watch that never felt like a waste of time to watch.
Because a tally of awards only gives a rough idea of the overall strength of an anime, I wanted to close this examination of the spring season with another way to look at the various anime series – a countdown – pitting the strengths of one anime against another to find the best anime of the spring 2012 season.
Why twelve? That happens to be the maximum number of series I can have under my two criteria. The first condition is that the anime has to good enough to be worth listing because anything less and series that don’t deserve to be included are included. The second is that the maximum number of series to make it in the top list can be no more than half the total number of series because I have to stop somewhere.
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.
And I’m back with the second half of my first impressions post covering the other 11 12 new anime series of the spring season that I’ve watched. Sure, most every other blog has already completed their first impressions weeks ago but with the late start to Hyouka and AKB0048, I’m only fashionably late 🙂 .