best of 2007: #4, #3, and #2

Categories: best of 2007


Countdown continues with #4, #3, and #2. #1 revealed tomorrow.

#4: Umisho


It might be okay. Umisho places #4. Seriously, do I need to give more reasons to watch Umisho? Sixty ain’t enough? One of my tenets of writing this blog is that I put a heavy emphasis on fun and enjoyment, and Umisho delivers in spades. There’s not a lot to the series, but I can’t help feel a bit of genuine fun when watching it. I’m also a big advocate of “dance with the one who brought ya” philosophy. Umisho‘s strength is, in order, it’s fanservice, it’s comedy, it’s sports anime, and it’s harem elements, and the anime delivered beautifully on all four points. I ranked Umisho higher than the previous group (Potemayo, Clannad, Minami-ke) simply because I’ve went back and rewatched Umisho. Even before it was done airing.

I mentioned this before, but I hated the ending. Umisho had more than enough juice for another 13 episodes, and we’re getting a third season of Zero no Tsukaima and Higurashi instead. I think it’s a good sign that I’m a bit upset that there’s no more episodes… haven’t really felt that since Muteki Kanban Musume.

#3: ef ~a tale of memories~


The girl was alone in the world; hence, she was the god of this world. ef ~a tale of memories~ leaves 99 voice mails at #3. I’ve written a lot about ef already, and I’m not sure what else to write about it. It’s a frustrating series for me to write about. Normally, when I watch a series that I just know is pantheon-class, I have no trouble writing about it. I can tell. The keyboard can barely keep up with my fingers which no longer require conscious thought to operate. I can just type. I felt it writing about last year’s #1, and I feel the same about way this year’s #1. For ef, the fingers strain a bit, not knowing which words to type. It sounds silly, but it is unusually for me to have any blogging angst, no? ef should have been a pantheon series. If it followed more of the cues from the promo or even the game, it would have been.

My favorite aspect of ef is its pacing. It doesn’t let up. Most series are content to have one storyline, but this series has two, and neither drag. They both move smoothly and progress well, and there’s no extraneous filler haremettes like most harem series. The characters are all very well done, and each one is interesting in his or her right. I also enjoy all the memorable scenes, from where Chihiro asks to kiss Renji, and he rejects her, to where Kei stumbles across Miya-Miya and Hirono nakkid in bed, to where Chihiro tosses her diary in the air, and finally for Miya-Miya’s legendary 99 voice mails.

(I had a really tough time figuring out where to stick ef. In my original drafts, I had it anywhere from 9 to 2, and I finally decided that besides #1, I ended up looking forward to ef the most. But I docked it to #3 because it’s just not as well executed as #2.)

#2: Guardian of the Sacred Spirit


What can I say? I’m a sucker for a good fantasy story. Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is the first runner up. I’m rewarding it for being one of those rare stories for everyone. It’s not a series overflowing with fanservice, violence, or shounen-ai, but instead it’s a series that focuses on the good and the faith that people have. Oh, did I mention it’s also absorbing and well-executed?

The series is pretty much carried about Balsa and Chagum, and, when I first started watching, I expected Chagum to turn into a Nemu-class wet blanket, but he doesn’t. Maybe it’s a sign that 2007 was the year of the manly man because even though he didn’t have the gifts of a scholar or a warrior, he stood bravely to the end. As the series went on, and as Balsa and Chagum overcome challenge after challenge, it only made Chagum more likable (with the climax being when he asked Tanda why he hasn’t stuck it in Balsa yet, which nearly caused me to cough up a lung). Balsa, on the other hand, started out awesome and stayed magnificent to the end. Even though she’s one of the old hags of anime (I mean 28… that’s double the age of a Celestial Being bridge bunny…), she’s one of the most capable and independent characters in recent anime history. Toss in a respectable supporting cast of Tanda, Shaman, and Shuga, and Guardian of the Sacred Spirit is the #2 series for 2007.

22 Responses to “best of 2007: #4, #3, and #2”

  1. Anybody have any guesses on what #1 is? /sarcasm

  2. Yay ef as number 3, although its my number 1 I can’t be unhappy with 3. I’ll be looking forward to watching Guardian of the Sacred Spirit as well. I wonder how long the reasoning for TTGL being number 1 next post is going to be.

  3. Well I definately thought ef would either be number #2 or #3 with the amount of posts you’ve been putting up (and soon to post your thoughts on the last episode, right? ….RIGHT?……..RIGHT? Of course!) Really love the series myself, though I havn’t watched Guardian of the Sacred Spirit, maybe should give it a try.

    But really, I think we all know whats coming up for #1, and I bet it will pierce the heavens!

  4. *sulks*

    Okay, while I don’t understand your unhealthy enjoyment of ef, I acknowledge it and expected it, and as for Umisho, well… Yes, this is our blogger.

    Still, neither one is as good as Minami-ke.

    But a-fricking-men on the MKM remark. I think we can safely add Pote-chan, Black Lagoon, and FMP! in all its sundry forms to that “Why ZnT?” list (looks like Haruhi’s finally off it, at least…). Ye gods, why must anime mock me so…

    And by the way, barring an upset or bait and switch that would likely start riots culminating in the total collapse of order along the entire West Coast (who’d notice?), we all know what your #1 show of the year is, so I’ve got to ask… Where’s Baccano!?

  5. I have a feeling #1 will be Moetan! It just has to be!

  6. Hahahaha!!! Though I didn’t enjoy #1 as much as everyone did, I did give it my praisings in my review of it. Quite a spectacle and deserves to be one of the defining anime of the decade. Also, fastpoke.jpg.

    I also JUST finished up my huge 12kb review on ef ~a tale of memories~. The usual two review sites are where I put them. /shameless self-advertisement. One of the stranger screen caps you chose for it, though.

  7. Glad to see Seirei no moribito earning a deserving spot on DbD :) My greatest fear when I embarked on SnM was Chagum turning into another Raki.

  8. Nice to see a grown up series like GotSS placed so high. Balsa fwiw !

    I can’t disagree with much that is in the top #10 except the order :) Shame Baccano! is missing, its in my top #3 for sure, and am I the only person who actually thought Higurashi this time was pretty decent and a much more coherent season?

  9. Well, you justify your placing of Umisho well, and I’m not going to quibble. Out loud. This is, as quigonkenny says, our blogger.

    And it is indeed good to see Balsa getting some well-deserved recognition.

  10. Seirei no Moribito is being considered in all time great by my wife and I. It is a proof how good anime can be when the producers take time to think more about plots, dialog, and choreography, instead of losing itself in fancy visuals.

  11. i sense 1500 words for #1 lagann

    since the show even breaks AoMM to DbD

    it seems that your taste have changed, from meido to DFC? or is it just on my mind… ; )

    cheers Jason, merry (belated) christmas and have a good, upcoming new year.

  12. it seems that your taste have changed, from meido to DFC?

    Where were you when Jason was chanting “Haruka-neesama IS amazing”?

  13. I am also one who disagrees with Umisho, even after giving it an adequate 3-4 ep preview. I will say no more. And will anyone say something about Guardian’s choreography? I haven’t seen such detailed swordsmanship in a long while… or ever. Some of the best fight scenes this year.

  14. Hayate and Umisho are in the top ten. Baccano! and Denno Coil are not. Also, I dont understand why you started to dislike SZS. It never got worse, it just kept going the same as always and finished as a pretty enjoyable series. It would be in my top ten, a place where Hayate, Umisho, EF and Gundam have absolutely no business.

  15. Who the hell do you think Number #1 is?

    Sorry, had to. Contractual obligation. Besides, Gurren had a combination of big bosoms and furry animals that didn’t make me scream and claw out my own eyes. It has to be Number #1 for that alone.

  16. Hurrah! Some well-deserved recognition for Guardian. Seeing the general level of chatter on it even back when it ran (nearly zero) I might as well dub it “Show of the Year that Nobody Watched.” Ef’s placement is, naturally, not surprising and well deserved.

    I do have to disagree with having Umisho that high though, and I’ll join the others asking… Where’s Baccano? Aha! It must be number one of course, there’s no other explanation… :D

  17. I just started watching ef. I’d put it off this long partly because I didn’t have the energy to watch a more serious series, but mostly because I knew how the quality would be.

    Long before the anime was announced, I saw the game trailer. It was beautiful. I knew we couldn’t get that quality in a series, so I secretly hoped none would be made. When I heard SHAFT was doing it, I knew it would have artistic direction worthy of what I’d seen of the game, but I feared that the budget would mean the animation itself, rather than simply being not quite adequate, would instead be far below what it deserved.

    I was right.

    Could some one please gift SHAFT a real budget?!

  18. I believe my problems with GotSS was not being able to find subs in time.

    That and watching too much Hayate.
    And that one with the giant talking-head robots.

  19. Correction Jason, Balsa has 33 at teh beginning of the series, not 28.

    I knew this series was goign to be a Top 3, btu never guesses it will beat up ef

    Well, we knoe # 1 already, so…

  20. Remember, he is our blogger. If pressed, I’m sure he could type 1500 words as to why Umisho was ranked there, as well as provide ample quotes, screencaps, and a plethora of melonpan to provide enough evidence to explain why.

    And if you still don’t get it after all that, then you just don’t have enough spiral energy to understand why, and should not have asked the question at all.

  21. P.S. didn’t mean for all that to be italics. Forgive my Kana-esque moment of stupidity.

  22. All I have to say is if you picked Code Geass (Like another ofmy favorite blogger did) or….Matter of fact if you picked anything else that doesn’t start with Tengen Toppa and ends with Gurren Lagann there will be massive fanboy suicides on your head.

    Think of the fanboys.

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