best of 2004

It’s that time of the year again… you can check out 2003 and 2002 lists also. That was when I had boring awards. :(

Best Manga to Anime TranslationMidori No Hibi gets cleaned up a lot from manga to anime, and it works pretty well. The manga was pretty fatty with chapters that don’t have much to do with Midori or Seiji at all. Melody of Oblivion gets props for completing revamping the story. Elfen Lied deserves a mention too as the manga is much ado about nothing. Let me put it this way… they dropped ballastic missiles on Lucy in the manga, and she survives. But the trophy goes to School Rumble, which somehow got funnier in the translation to anime. Gotta love the faster pacing and the cameo from the Hachi-Roku.

Worst Anime Ad Campaign… ADV’s pushing of the whole incest theme for Sister Princess takes the cake. What do they think it is… RePure?

Worst Character Design… it’s a close one… the entire casts of Gundam Seed (Destiny) and Fafner, but I can see that as a case of where one guy gets lazy and just reuses his old design. But the excruciating similarities between Seiji (Midori no Hibi) and Ichigo (Bleach), except their, um, right hands, are pretty obvious. Can’t they come up with character designs that don’t rely on some aloof grade school student with spikey hair?

OP of the YearNekomimi Mode, Moon Phase. I couldn’t get the beat out of my head for a few days. Nekomimi Hazuki, ramen, and French techno… what more could you want in an OP?

ED of the YearTenohira no Hikari, Melody of Oblivion. Just a gentle, sweet, yet sad song.

Horie Yui Song of the YearKokoro Harete Yoru mo Akete, Jubei-chan 2… I have no clue why they changed Jubei’s seiyuu over to Horie Yui, but she did well in the role.

Best Maburaho Rip-Off Series… goes to Girls Bravo… let’s see… the brunette childhood friend who has a not-so-secret crush? Check. The wealthy, oversexed blonde with a creepy ghost/doll following her around? Check. The shy girl with blue hair? Check. The partly clueless female lead with red hair? Check.

Best Mahoromatic Rip-Off Series… goes to Konomini. Ugh.

Best Zeta Gundam Rip-Off Series… goes to Uta Kata… just kidding. Just checking to see if you’re actually paying attention.

Best Killing Spree… Lucy, Elfen Lied.

Best Killing Spree while Nakkid… Lucy, Elfen Lied.

Best Killing Spree while Nakkid and Hooking Up with the Boy Whose Family You Just Slaughtered… Lucy, Elfen Lied. A clean sweep!

Worst American Trend of the Year… I could make a very strong case for Anime on DVD’s meido backlash… or the billions of anime blogs now that extoll Naruto… the worst has to be the huge influx of Americanized anime. While it was only Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon being butchered last year, this year we saw the knife come to One Piece, Shaman King, and Full Metal Alchemist. While I have no problem with showing cut stuff on TV, there should be an uncut DVD also.

Best Production Company Turn Around… I trash Gonzo a lot in my blog and in the forums, but they really did a good job with Samurai 7. I originally dismissed it as “yet another brainless Gonzo action killfest,” well, to my surprise, they decided to toss in a plot that somehow didn’t make Kurosawa’s original work feel slimey. Though turning Gorobi into the Queer Eye Samurai was a bit far-fetched. Then to go on and produce SunaBouzu, a delightfully hilarious show about a little boy with tons of tricks and a weakness for, uh, ample women. SunaBouzu almost made me forget about Kiddy Grade. Almost.

It Should Have Ended 100 Episodes Ago… goes to Inu Yasha. I’m amazed they made it to almost 170 episodes and still not have a conclusion to the series. It’s like if Frodo made it to Mount Doom, dropped the Ring in, and then went, “Oh, that was the wrong ring!”

Best Use of Recent Anime Pop Culture… episode five of La Verite. Gotta love Mariel’s Chii, and Taro’s, “I think girls kissing each other is wrong!” Runner up would be Genshiken‘s use of Guilty Gear… but they never play the game in the manga. Maybe Sammy is a major sponsor or something.

Best Use of ApplesMelody of Oblivion. :)

If It Weren’t For the Giant RobotsKannatzuki no Miko would be much more entertaining. Regardless of what Taro thinks, girls kissing each other isn’t all wrong.

Most Anticipated for 2005… mmm… unless Belldandy and Rind show up in French maid outfits and start doing what Taro thinks is wrong, it’s going to be He Is My Master. Though I’m also looking forward to Second Raid if only because Fumoffu was highly entertaining.

Best New Lexican… I’ll be the first to sign the petition to get Webster’s to add symmetrical docking to their dictionary.

Worst Animation Art of the YearTengou Tenge… what the @#(!@ was that? Oh! Great’s manga was highly detailed and had ten times the vividness than the crud that was animated.

Best Animation Art of the YearInnocense… if I ever need to have assassin sex androids animated, I’ll contact Production I.G… they have it d-o-w-n.

Character of the Year… it was a close call between our favorite diclonius and yellow Pac-Man clone, but I have to give this award to Onsakumaru, 2×2=Shinobuden, just because when he was nakkid, it had a much larger (and disturbing) impact than when Lucy was nakkid. He just had that sparkling combination of being totally irrelevant, clueless, selfish, greedy, and perverted. He is my hero.

Anime of the Year… a lot of good series had a run in 2004. Second Gig is a worthy sequel to an already strong franchise. Maybe too cerebral for most people, but I found the filler stories to be better than in the original series since they developed the secondary characters more. Melody of Oblivion has style, fanservice, pacing, and storytelling. I really liked all the imagery and symbolism from the series. The love polygon with Kurofune <> Sayoko <> Boca <> Melody <> Monster King <> Boca <> Coco <> Sky Blue <> Toune was highly entertaining as well. Though it only has meido in I think one episode, which may not be enough for some people. La Verite has meido and an actual plotline, but it just didn’t have the emotional push this year’s winner has. And the winner is Elfen Lied. Rarely have I come across an anime that combines harem comedy, mindless violence, and emotional rollercoasters as well as Elfen Lied. It’s no wonder it was one of the series that I went on and on about in the blog the most in the past year either. At points, Lucy can go from hideous monster to shoujo game stereotype to really hideous monster to pedo bait to hideous monster redeemed and back all over again. That’s not taking anything from Kouta… Nana… Mayu… and the rest of the deeply troubled gang. Just excellent anime.

And finally… the most prestigous award…

Meido of the Year… no contest. Goes to the triplets from Hanaukyo, and, uh, I’ve pretty much run out of things to say about them by now. You can however go over my old posts here, here, and here.

2 Responses to “best of 2004”

  1. What!? No Twin Girls!?
    They share Jason! THEY SHARE!!!

  2. just wanted to say i totally agree with you on the worst character design. the thing that bothers me the most are the EYES. they have like 100000 eyelid folds.