best of 2010: #1

Yuki. Nagato.

#1: The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

Also wins for 2010:

  • Best Animation
  • Best Ponytail
  • Best Scarf
  • Best Sequel
  • Most Stabby
  • Most Desperate
  • Fastest Three Hours
  • Decent Make-Up Present for Endless Eight

Let’s just be clear. Endless Eight was a disaster. It wasn’t even a fun troll like Nichijou‘s Mai or Professor… Kyoto gave up some goodwill with fans with that move. But, damn, the movie is good. Kyoto shows that they are on top of the franchise by churning out a fabulous effort. The animation, adaptation, storytelling, and voice work are all top notch. I mean, wow, Yuki Fucking Nagato. Wow.

In terms of nitpicking, yes, my Best Of lists are reserved for TV series, not movies, but this year is tremendously weak. I thought for a long time to leave the #1 slot open as there’s no show worthy of joining Kamichu, Haruhi, Gurren Lagann, Clannad AS, and Bakemonogatari… it would be like adding Christian Laettner to a team composing of David Robinson, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, and Magic Johnson just because you needed one more player. (Oh wait, this happened.) When I first watched Disappearance, I thought it was a logical extension of Haruhi Suzumiya… and isn’t that a good thing? The show only rocked 2006 and usher in the modern golden age of anime.

The animation is fantastic. I still haven’t seen much that surpasses it even in 2012. The backgrounds are better than Arrietty, and the fluidity is better than Redline. (Sure, Redline is stylized, but they use a lot of that style to cover up inconsistent character movement… okay, they rocked the racing. I’ll give it that.) Imagine if I wrote that in 2011 trying to compare it to Summer Wars or something. Disappearance just makes me hunger for a TV series with that type of animation. And Oharuhi-sama… that ponytail… epic.

The movie made me feel Kyon’s desperation as his world unraveled as well as Yuki’s desperation and loneliness. For all their dabbling in high school girl music club anime as well as evil child professor anime, let’s not forget that Kyoto managed to pull off some of anime’s greatest emotional peaks and valleys in both the Clannad and Haruhi Suzumiya franchises. They nailed this Disappearance arc, and I would have had any other studio try. The bar is set very high now for Intrigues of Haruhi Suzumiya in 2013.

One last thing, the movie really isn’t about Haruhi or Yuki but Kyon. Despite the series being from Kyon’s viewpoint, Kyon has always struggled with what he wants rather than what Haruhi or anyone else wants. Disappearance is his chance to make a pick and assert what he wants for once– and, well, I don’t blame him for wanting fun school days with a crazy megalomaniac who looks fantastic in a bunny suit, a bookworm who looks like she is killer in the sack, a gay guy who excels at Othello (Where’s my Agricola?!), and time’s greatest meido. How could you pass that up?

8 Responses to “best of 2010: #1”

  1. OK, it’s unconventional, but you’re fully forgiven for not giving OreImo the top spot. This was a beautiful adaptation, simple as that, and a reminder of what KyoAni can do if they try.

  2. *hugs Disappearance bluray*

    I give this a good watch every once in a while. It’s totally worth it.

    Also, is Intrigues confirmed for 2012, or just a guess?

  3. Woo! Called it! Well…Flags called it, but overlooking that minor detail, Disappearance was amazing. Maybe not enough for the fandom to completely forgive endless eight, but it was a hell of a gift.

    With that out of the way, should we expect best of 2011 soon?

  4. I am surprised and approve this choice.
    I wonder if one can justify worship of Nagato. One can can steal hearts and prehaps souls from Haruhi Suzumiya’s faithful.

  5. Movie take #1? That’s not cool.

    I like Suzumiya and it was quite the ride when I watched the eye cancer cam-rip, saw it in LA, and watched the BD. But after that, the magic was over. Disappearance for me is like watching your favorite episode of Star Trek: TNG alternate dimension/time warp, the mystery is gone after a while.

    If you wanna do movies, I’d lean more towards Trigun: Badlands Rumble. This was something I watched time and time again and it never lost its flavor. Badlands Rumble, contrary to Suzumiya, is like watching your favorite episode of Stargate: SG-1 Jack O’Neill shenanigans, the mystery is gone after a while but the episode was never about the mystery.

    Addendum: SoreMachi had such a payoff considering it was a comedy.

  6. On to 2011!…wait what year is this?

  7. My personal #1 would have been Tatami Galaxy. I would have also probably found a way to include Occult Academy and possibly Arakawa and House of Five Leaves. I can’t really argue with someone’s opinion though.

  8. Just finished reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. My observations:
    Mikael Blomkvist: Kyon
    Erika Berger: Haruhi Suzumiya
    Lisbeth Salander: Yuki Nagato
    Cecilia Vanger: Mikuru Asahina
    Christer Malm: Koizumi Itsuki

    The novel ends with Salander walking away from Blomkvist and Berger as snow falls.

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