best of 2006, day 6: best manga and dramatic series of 2006

Tomorrow’s the last day of this year’s “Best of” feature, but, first, today we have some manga awards as well as Best Dramatic Series of 2006. Unfortunately, because it usually takes much longer for manga to reach the US than anime and how manga generally spans many years, the manga awards are more of distinction for what occurred in the past year. As for best drama, it’s the series that best used plot devices and emotions to carry it along.

Worst Animation Quality of 2006

Winner: Perfect Girl Evolution


Even though Gun-doh Musashi‘s, uh, quality is blatantly subpar, it at least was train wreck subpar. PGE‘s animation is just horrible. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, the LA Clippers would notoriously underspend on its players and they shared an arena instead of buying one themselves to save money. But because they’re in LA, and Lakers tickets were much more expensive (mainly because, uh, the Lakers were winning), people would still pay good money to see the penny-pinching Clippers: the result? The Clippers are one of the most profitable NBA franchises of the past thirty years. PGE took the same playbook: they spend a whole $50 or even $60 animating an episode, and they know because the original manga was popular, they’ll have at least an audience of (1) die hard fans of the manga (2) shoujo fans would looking to escape the recent glut of shounen harem series and (3) shoujo fans who haven’t discovered superior series like La Corda or Hataraki Man are running against PGE.

Runner Ups: Crescent Love; Happiness; Higurashi no Naku Koro ni; Gun-doh Musashi; Lovely Idol; Gift; Air Gear

Quality. It’s a stark contrast this year with series tossing in pantheon performances in terms of animation quality thanks to HDTV (Ergo Proxy, Black Lagoon, Haruhi, Kanon, Planet of the Beast King, Sumomomo Momomo) with this hideous award group. I always wondered who green lights the animation budgets… I mean, how the hell did Sumomomo Momomo end up looking that good for such a train wreck?

You Will Be Missed Award

Winner: Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou


After ten years and ~140 chapters, Alpha’s adventures ended in 2006. Well, maybe they didn’t end. I’m sure she lives on.

Best New Manga of 2006

Winner: High School of the Dead


I’m get giddy reading this manga. A good mix of B-movie moxie, fanservice, zombies, and nonsensical actions that seem logical in hindsight (i.e. first thing that Kumoro does when he sensed danger was to save the life-like textured girl whom he had a crush on) make this a great read. It won’t be mistaken for Death Note, but sometimes we all need something to take the edge of a crummy day. High School of the Dead does that just fine.

Runner Ups: Noodle Fighter Miki; Keron Forces Arc, Keroro Gunso

Hey, new to me in 2006 at least. As funny as Keroro manga with 1,000% more emo. (Though Megumi fanservice kinda negates the Natsumi/Koyuki fanservice.) Too bad only one volume ever made it to the US. Gotta hand it to ADV for single handedly killing this manga during their manga licensing orgy (Aria was also a victim). Well done… well done.

Most Sinister Villain of 2006

Winner: ZA WULDO, Welcome to the N.H.K.


Kinda scary that the real world out there is probably scarier, eviler, and more hideous than any squirrel pr0n lovin’ anime villain. Especially when the Kindergarten Cop is your governor, George is your president, and there’s a Pizza Hut in every major city.

Runner Ups: Shizuma, Strawberry Panic; Detective Ooishi, Higurashi no Naku Koro ni; Kirino, Gift; Light-o, Death Note; Pizza Hut, Code Geass; Scriptwriters, School Rumble 2

Is Ooishi the Ondore of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni or is Ondore the Ooishi of FFXII? Or maybe a hint of both. I loved how sinister Kirino was when she tricked poor Riko out of her memories. Though I think they may have changed it from the h-game where Kirino goes to Riko, “If you really want to make it up for me, you’d have an orgy with these 12 Minnesota Vikings players and let me videotape you.” Light-o should be pretty self-explainatory as is Pizza Hut and the scriptwriters for the latter half of School Rumble.

Best Dramatic Series of 2006

Winner: Death Note


I really didn’t want to give this award to Death Note, but I have to concede: it drips gripping entertainment. Still, my issue with Death Note is known– the anime follows the manga exactly, and I’ve read the manga. Knowing the twists did take a lot of fun out of the anime for me… as did knowing that we won’t be getting any hawt Misa action… so I’m undergoing a similar dilemma now on whether or not to read Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya and spoil myself silly or somehow make it to the end of next year. Still, for people who haven’t read Death Note, this placement/award is for you. Plus, Madhouse is doing a great job on the series, even tossing in CSI-class effects for like when Light-o eats a frickin’ potato chip. Still, no one knows drama like TNT Death Note, winner of Best Dramatic Series of 2006.

Runner Ups: Planet of the Beast King; Kanon

I gave Planet of the Beast King its praising already, and I think it’s a very well-done shoujo sci-fi series. The ending is waaaaay too melodramatic, but otherwise one of the better sci-fi series this year. Kanon has the exact opposite type of drama as Planet of the Beast King. Unless, of course, Ayu gets sniped by Lolilaika after Mai’s dance… OH SHI-

20 Responses to “best of 2006, day 6: best manga and dramatic series of 2006”

  1. DON’T read the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.

    I read it and loved it, but a few twists should be more entertaining in animated form. I somehow regret having read it, as good as it is, but if you can exercise restrain, I think you would be greatly rewarded when (and if) the Disappearance gets animated.

  2. 2:39 am I must really have nothing else to do =_=. well I have to agree on the desu noto thing, when I first saw the anime I was like ZOMFG AWESOME !11!!oneone!1 but then went and read the manga and desu noto’s anime adaptation is no fun anymore. Kanon will always be my favorite though heh

  3. While I can see Death Note as a dramatic series I guess the type of drama it portrays is different than the type of plot that I feel as being “dramatic” kanon in my opinion takes first place as most dramatic series this season, they took a character like makoto, who I really didn’t care about, and made me feel sad for her. Death Note should have gotten the award for the best “on the edge of your seat” thriller, the eps are 20 mins long? no way where does time go with Death Note, I feel more of a sense of excitement than drama.

  4. I started to have second thoughts on slogging through the animated Death Note or just reading the manga. Its not that its bad or anything, but I keep thinking that at any moment Light-o is going to morph in to Tamaki Suou.

    I would have though Cabbage Love would have won worst animation since the butchery of the source material was so very thorough and utterly dveastating. At least PGE had the common courtesy to use cut outs instead of over using misaligned eyes.

    >>Kinda scary that the real world out there is probably scarier, eviler, and more hideous than any squirrel pr0n lovin’ anime villain. Especially when the Kindergarten Cop is your governor, George is your president, and there’s a Pizza Hut in every major city.

    At the very least your use of “probably” means that you still have hope for this world. As the NSA is watching all I can say is thank Haruhi-sama for term limits.

  5. If you can manage to leave off reading Disappearance until Season 2 is released then you must have a will of iron.

    I was lapping it up as chunks of it were released just to get my Haruhi fix o_o;

  6. I think the Sinister Villain award should go to Ayu, for reminding us that no matter how much we wish otherwise, the frickin’ default “promised girl” will always steal the show. I wonder, if Kyoto could could magically change Yuuichi from classic loser to pimp, could they also change the main heroine…? Food for thought…

  7. I have the whole of Disappearance on my desktop. It’s a relief that I’m too bored to even read it.

    Two Eruru’s in a row. We need change!

  8. Shizuma is in the list, wtf??? Otoh, it is understandable if you were cheering for Tamao like I did…

  9. Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya: to read or not to read… Well, you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t.

    If you do, Nemo_N is absolutely right that some damn good things about it will be even damner and gooder in animated form. If you read the novel first, then it will be much like reading the DEATH NOTE wiki page, and you will know everything that will happen, whether you like it or not. Your enjoyment of the series will likely hinge on the ability of the voice actors, the quality of KyoAni’s animation, and whatever tweaks they add to the plot, which of course means you’re screwed. (wink, wink)

    If you don’t, well then, you’ll have to wait until the end of next year and you’ll have to avoid all the idiots who have already read it and don’t know how to shut the fuck up about it around people who haven’t. And that’s only if KyoAni decides to animate it as part of the series, because there are two other single-arc books they could build the season around (Sighs and Intrigues). And with our luck, KyoAni will screw the Haruhists again like they did with Kanon and preempt Haruhi S2 with something else really good and really unexpected, like, say, a Noizi Ito character designed adaptation of Really! Really!, just so it’ll be that much more difficult to bitch about it.

    That said, I have read Disappearance, and it is every bit as good as, if not better than, Melancholy. The story has quite a few surprises that would be even better animated, and is considerably darker than Melancholy was, while at the same time showcasing a great deal of character development for one character in particular.

    While it’s true that you’re damned either way, you also can’t really lose either way. It’s very much a worthwhile story to read (so far the best of the books, in my opinion), and you know KyoAni is going to go all out like they did with the first series and make it so those who have read the book will still very much enjoy the animated adaptation. Do keep in mind that the majority (or at least sizable minority) of their Japanese audience has likely already read it. Also, as well as KyoAni can adapt it, there’s always some things that have to be left out, just as was the case with Melancholy and its accompanying one-shots.

    I would suggest you read it. It will only heighten your anticipation for the next series, which is always a good thing when you can count on the quality of the outcome.

  10. Ha! That being the best villain is so true.

  11. Actually the era in which you can enjoy HDTV anime has yet to arrive. In a way, many HDTV looks actually worse, simply because it has a higher resolution and thus also makes flaws more visible. In some cases, I also find border lines rather odd. In SDTV these are usually blurred and hardly visible, so HDTV has often different esthetics i.e. it looks like an animated manga/comic. I find that SDTV can actually increase the perceived “realism” of animation and HDTV reveals that it’s really just drawn.

    Ergo Proxy didn’t look bad but after the first few episodes (1-3), the animation frequently became *extremely* inconsistent, just as if you were watching some cheap soap opera in which the actors for a character are exchanged every now and then. Actually, those weren’t really flaws as they happen with low budgets, I must assume they had used completely different characters design. Well, I’m not really complaining because this didn’t reduce the entertainment value but Ergo Proxy is hardly a good example for a HDTV anime.

    I guess 5cm will be one of the first anime that can really be considered satisfying with respect to HDTV.

  12. Lazy >.> You put the same image up… ;)

  13. Yeah! I was a fool too for reading Death Note manag with teh series already started. damn, every episode of Death Note was so awsome for me, but know that I read teh manga, it dropped a big deal for me.


  14. If you had written this without the parentheses, it would’ve been more accurate:

    “…and they know because the original manga was popular, they’ll have at least an audience of 1 die hard fan of the manga, 2 shoujo fans would looking to escape the recent glut of shounen harem series, and 3 shoujo fans who haven’t discovered superior series…”

  15. Completely agree with PGE. Which makes me sad as I definitely fall under category #1, albeit for the past couple weeks I’ve been taping the show instead of watching it. And the unwatched tapes are piling up.

    For the record, I completely do not mind Eruru~n two days in a row. ;)

  16. Erm… what about Honey & Clover 2? If that is not drama, then what is?


  17. Tokyopop has announced both Aqua and Aria as titles for future release.

  18. My opinion:Best manga of 2006 was Genshiken.My comment to Perfect Girl Evolution:”Hguflx glbmnzxt ötdwquipufg hghgzzztyxpox… i don`t know what to say…A comment to Chris about HDTV.Le Chevalier D`Eon (Best dramatic series for me)is very good in this format.I can`t see many faults in its animation in 1920 x 1080 resolution.Those titles which he says looks worse are probably the ones which are only up-scaled,like Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru,for what i`ve seen.Sumomomo Momomo is also very good in HDTV.

  19. >>> Erm… what about Honey & Clover 2? If that is not drama, then what is?

    well, it’s drama alright, but it’s chick drama
    not every guy admit that he likes it

    cool… a new title pic

  20. Wow, talk about delayed response. ^^;

    Anyhoots, nice of him to change the title image into something different, instead of repeating Eruruu.


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