Narutaki & Hisui VS. 2010

It is time for the most anticipated and respected anime awards show of the year! (De gustibus non est disputandum.) On the Speakeasy we looked back at the trends that defined anime and manga in 2010. This is an examination of the individual titles and characters that made the biggest impact on us this year. We discuss what made us laugh and cry (for the better and the worse.) Feel free to chime in with your picks as well. If you have a suggested category you would like us to use next year just leave us a comment and we will try to work it in next year.

I really enjoy doing this post. Yeah, everyone does one, but that is because they are fun! For good or ill I know what kind of year I’ve had when I do this post.

Best Anime of 2010 or the Junmai Daiginjo-shu of Anime

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn by Sunrise I know it seems impossible but Gundam Unicorn might actually be the one modern series that a majority of Gundam fans can get behind without their normal bickering. It incorporates the newest and flashiest technology while keeping true to the strength and spirit of the original Universal Century series. If you did not know better you would assume that Yoshiyuki Tomino played a part in the creation of this series for who seamlessly it works itself into the universe. The characters for the series harken back to the former archetypes set by its predecessors while not seeming like clones. Obviously a good deal of money and love was poured into this series because it consistently looks amazing. I look forward to learning the secrets of the Laplace Box and the RX-0.

Runner up: House of Five Leaves by Manglobe An absorbing and atmospheric character based historical drama. Based on seinen manga it is an adult work for both sexes that continues the tradition of great noitaminA anime.

Giant Killing by Studio DEEN When thinking this over, I had to ask myself what was I most anxious to watch each week? What did I want another season of (and thought it could sustain it)? I arrived at my answer pretty quickly. It was Giant Killing’s approach to characters that impressed me throughout the season. Never did the show bang you over the head with who these people were, instead we were shown through small actions, bits of conversations, and of course their approach to soccer. And best of all we got to see everyone involved when it comes to sports from the players to the fans, from the press to the managing staff. Everyone had a role but our main character was not a star or up and coming player, but rather the coach. Tatsumi makes this show and gives a new perspective for a sports anime. Perhaps Giant Killing isn’t the most thought-provoking showing of the year, but it did things just a little bit differently and it never faltered.

Runner up: Kuragehime by Brain’s Base (second mostly because I haven’t seen how it ends yet) This is a very absorbing comedy about a house full of girl geeks whose lives get turned upside down when cross-dressing Kurnosuke takes an interest in them. This is the most genuine depiction of geeky girls I’ve seen to date without being pandering. And it is also turning into a tender romance as well.

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Spring Roll: Spring 2010 Anime Guide

And so the clouds parted and the moe besieged anime fans wept when the darkness cleared and they saw written on the sky: Not that much moe anime this season. The spring season as always has a whole slew of new shows but this year also has a wide variety. Moe is still around but it is equal partners with other types of shows. We easily picked out 13 shows to give a chance this season and did not break a sweat in choosing what we did. We only reviewed 11 shows in time for the preview but we will look at the remaining 2 shows in the Ongoing Investigations. I am not sure how many of the shows will live up to their first episodes but I was impressed how many started off very strong. Maybe just maybe anime will not die or stagnate into nothing but K-ON season 24: The Reunion Tour and The Retirement Plans of Haruhi Suzumiya.

To me each season means a new chance for anime to surprise me, though it does that all the time anyway, and a chance to grab things while they are hot. It also means that a few of the shows I had been watching wrapped up making some perfectly timed space for new goodies. It can’t be denied that it’s just plain fun to check out all the new stuff and in a way have to pare down what I’ll have time to watch on a weekly basis. I am happy to say that anime is back ladies and gentleman, and the spring is looking impressive indeed. As a reminder, we don’t review ongoing series or anything that we are more than likely not going to like.

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