Since I’ve only indulged this blog seriously in the last three months I’m not going to do a recap of the year, but I’ve been watching for much longer (though not long enough to try a decade list) and would like to thank the people responsible for giving us the following shows in 2009. I wish you all health and happiness. I hope you remain creative and productive, and I look forward to watching whatever you decide to give us next. Thank you.
In no particular order:
Toradora!: Proof that the high school comedy format can reach greatness if you develop the characters and pay attention to detail. Oh, superb direction and voice acting also help. Great episode after great episode. When I think of my favorite scenes this year, Toradora! dominates the list.
Cross Game: Baseball, time passing, and life continuing. It rarely rushes. It doesn’t have to. For those of us who have watched from the beginning, each new episode is a gift. My favorite series of the year.
Clannad After Story: The climax failed, there’s no way it couldn’t, but a more beautiful failure I have never seen. Maybe Kyoto Animation’s finest moment, and that’s saying something.
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 surprised everyone by concentrating on two little figures trying to get home and make sense of their losses and themselves in a terrible situation. Oh, and the earthquake, and the aftershocks. The aftershocks were scary.
Trapeze: There’s no denying its wild style and bizarre humor. When there was a great episode I boogied in my chair to the closing credits. Dr. Irabu’s mad laugh will haunt me forever. Mayumi and her needle might, too, but I think I’d like that.
Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou: Natsume continues to release trapped spirits, to the occasional disappointment of his cat. Heh. It was a pleasure to watch more of his life.
Bakemonogatari: I don’t know what to say about this show. Every week it moved a little past my expectations into something I still can’t figure out.
Sasameki Koto: Sly, gentle humor in a yuri setting. The kiss in ep3 was the funniest scene of the fall season, and the sweetest.
Darker than Black 2: Some failings here and there, the ending was a head-scratcher, but I enjoyed this more than I did the original series. The smart direction and music suck you right in. An episode is over before you realize it.
Eden of the East: A fascinating setup that was compelling and absurd at the same time. A heroic young man with memory loss and a huge bankroll, the girl that comes along for the ride, and a literal boatload of naked geeks! The best cellphone ever! Theme song by Oasis! My only regret was that it ended incomplete. When are the movies coming out again?
Counting them I have ten. So there’s my 2009 top ten list.
But in addition: Zan: Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, but I can’t think of any particular reason why, except that the series finally clicked for me. Earlier incarnations could be smart or tedious. I had more fun with this one.
And Aoi Bungaku, not really a series but short story arcs. Each one has been amazing.
These were shows I looked forward to watching every week, apart from Clannad because I didn’t want to get my heart broken any more, but I watched it anyway. Oh, I guess Tokyo Magnitude did that to me, too. Aoi Bungaku has a “Masterpiece Theatre” vibe to it, which makes it more intimidating than sheer fun to watch.
Finally, thank YOU, gentle reader. I wish I knew who you are. But YOU know who you are, and that’s what’s important. Happy New Year! Let’s watch more great anime in 2010!