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Anime Oscars Production Category

Qualifications: Anime that have proved themselves through their production.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Fate/Zero

Sure there are a lot of anime that’s as good in animation as Fate/Zero, but Fate/Zero stands out as the anime that looks like a movie. Kudos to ufotable for that of course, as their Kara no Kyoukai adventures really paid off; I can only wish that they do more anime of this caliber.

Notables: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, Ben-To, Mawaru Penguindrum

Best Production nominee: Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero takes place 10 years prior to the events of Fate/stay night, detailing the events of the 4th Holy Grail War in Fuyuki City. The War of the Holy Grail is a contest in which seven magi summon seven Heroic Spirits to compete to obtain the power of the “Holy Grail,” which grants a miracle. After three inconclusive wars for the elusive Holy Grail, the Fourth War commences.

BEST ANIMATION

Nichijou

Kyoto Animation’s work for this year introduces how far animation can go with its imaginative ways on telling Nichijou’s quirky and fun jokes. Not only that, the fluidity of the characters movement in Nicihijou is unrivalled, much like most of KyoAni’s work.

(To tell you the truth, it was a big tossup between this and Hanasaku Iroha)

Notables: Hanasaku Iroha, Fate/Zero, Star Driver

Best Production nominee: Nichijou

While the title suggests a story of simple, everyday school life, the contents are more the opposite. The setting is a strange school where you may see the principal wrestle a deer or a robot’s arm hide a rollcake. However there are still normal stories, like making a card castle or taking a test you didn’t study for.

BEST ARTISTIC DIRECTION

Mawaru Penguindrum

Mawaru Penguindrum always brings something different to the table with its production. Whether the way it interprets the story, the varied train scenes, or the majestic sets (note Episode 9), Mawaru Penguidrum never fails to amaze me with its creativity.

(Again this was a tossup between Penguins and Meguca)

Notables: Madoka Magica, Yumekui Merry, Dantalian no Shoka

Best Production nominee: Mawaru Penguindrum

Three siblings, twins Kanba and Shouma, and the in-and-out-of-the-hospital Himari who’s in poor health, live together at the Takakura home. One day, when the siblings are out on a trip to the aquarium, Himari collapses. The doctors state that nothing can be done for her anymore, but then, a miracle occurs…

BEST BACKGROUND DESIGNS

Hanasaku Iroha

Hanasaku Iroha makes many scenes look realistic with how detailed their backgrounds are. Also their use of CGI is very applaudable. Unlike shows which just paste their CGI here and there (ehem Last Exile and T&B) Hanairo actually bothers in making their CGI look very seemless with its 2D designs. Sometimes you’d be surprised that the background of Hanasaku Iroha was made and not real life. Sometimes you’d be surprised that the Hanairo backgrounds look even better than real life ones.

Notables: Dantalian no Shoka, Madoka Magica, Kimi ni Todoke Season 2, Horou Musuko

Best Production nominee: Hanasaku Iroha

After her single mother decides to run off with a boyfriend to dodge debt collectors, the young and energetic Ohana is sent to live with her grandmother. However, her grandmother is the strict owner of a hot springs inn and requires her to work at the inn to pay for her living expenses. Although Ohana is unhappy about this situation at first, she decides to make the best of her situation and work hard. Ohana’s life is suddenly filled with fun, mischief, and drama!

Best Soundtrack

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Sure there were a lot of awesome OSTs this year but what makes Madoka Magica triumph over all? CUS ITS FROM YUKI KAJIURA that’s why! Not much can be said except how the OST here is quite different from the usual Yuki Kajiura making it a lot yummier to listen to. Oh yeah go check out Mami’s theme song if you haven’t.

Notables: Hanasaku Iroha, Ben-to, Anohana, Ao no Exorcist

Best Production nominee: Madoka Magica

Beloved family, good friends, laughter and tears – these things make up the ordinary life of Kaname Madoka, a second year student of Mitakihara City Middle School. One night, Madoka dreams of a mysterious dark haired girl struggling against a terrible evil; the next morning she discovers that the girl, Akemi Homura, has transferred into her class. This encounter will lead to an incident which will alter Madoka’s fate forever.

Best OP/ED

Nichijou OP1 and 2

Haaydin is fucking awesome. In this two songs of Nichijou, he manages to make the voice of a male and a female and not make it look like so. I was really surprised when I learned about this. Also KyoAni went wild with the accompaniment animation for this which makes Nichijou’s two Ops the best this year.

Notables: To Aru Majutsu no Index II OP 2, Steins;Gate OP, No. 6 ED, Gosick ED

Best Insert Song

STAR DRIVER: Monochrome by Haruka Tomatsu

While I love Mami’s theme and most of Hanairo’s insert songs, STAR DRIVER’s Monochrome beats out the rest with how catchy it is and how it really fits with the battles on STAR DRIVER.

Best Production

Nichijou

It’s safe to say Nichijou was the best this year. It had awesome and creative animation; it took the initiative to really incorporate its animation with its jokes and most of all, it never ever looked bad. No awkward character designs, everything was fluid; you just can’t get any better than this (for this year).

Nominees: Madoka Magica, Mawaru Penguindrum, Hanasaku Iroha, Fate/Zero

 

More in store in the next Anime Oscars Category: Story

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No(i)t-aminazing anymore

Everyone who pays attention to the anime industry knows of the Noitamina programming block. Its main purpose is to produce shows which are obscure, or different from the norm. Stuff like Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Shiki, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Wandering Son, Anohana were produced because of this. As of late though, the block has become quite stale; surprising since this year is supposedly one of the best years for animation since 2007.  Let’s take a look at the shows in the programming block that somehow failed to gain, at least in my opinion, interest.

Fractale/Fractal: I’ll keep repeating this as much as I can and I will repeat it now. Fractal sucks. People overestimated Yamakan’s directional ability, and when he failed to deliver, it was like dipping sourness into. . . more sourness. There were some parts of Fractale that I actually like, and I was sorta getting used to it towards the middle, but it really just burst the bubble of terribleness once it finished. Terrible CGI, insulting characterization, uninteresting plot completely covered the somehow passable scriptwriting and a hope to change the industry.

[C]: While I do think C is an enjoyable show, its definitely lacking. I could care less about the characters nor the drama nor the action and the plot (in the starting parts) and this really hurt the series potential. This also damages the what could have been an imaginative setting, awesome OST and an artistic drive.

No.6: What started out as something that strived to be different, ended with a dungbomb and made it probably the most forgettable anime Noitamina has offered. Oh sure I liked it and even gave it a decent grade, but in the long run, I think its the memory that matters and right now I don’t even remember what happened in the middle part of No.6. Except for the gay kiss which I doubt anyone who watched this will forget.

Now that’s already half of what aired from Winter to Summer. This season, which looked like it had so much win. . . was so much fail. Guilty Crown is guiltily generic and Un-Go is just so unmotivated. That’s kinda sad, especially for Guilty Crown which had so much hyped. Things don’t look good next year too as Black Rock Shooter will air in winter with Guilty Crown.

No. 6 (END) – 83 points

An ending that doesn’t make sense is perfect for a series that doesn’t make sense.

Time to review No. 6, the BL anime of the season.

The series is about a guy named Shion who escapes No. 6 and is shown by his partner Rat the dystopian No. 6 he has been living on since his birth.

For the most part I kinda like it. Its overdramatic, ambiguous, and bombardastic, but in a weird screwed up way it works. If you want to see overdramatic, just go listen to the dogkeeper’s monolgues. If you wanted ambiguous, pay attention to the plot. If you wanted bombardastic, just look at the screen. I don’t really know what to say. It’s flawed but I love how its flawed (not in a hahaha that’s o funny way)

Execution is actually pretty good. It has a tight script, the story flows pretty smooth and there’s no wasted time. My only gist is that . . . yeah there’s not much episodes to properly tell the entire series (lol last episode was only 25% of the last LN). But considering that, I still understood the story somehow. Note somehow.

If I can say I kinda like this series then I guess I can say its engaging. It has all the elements that would make it NOT ENGAGING but somehow it works.

The characters are fabulously overdramatic. But being overdramatic doesn’t make it bad. Somehow it works in the world of No. 6. I particularly like the dogkeeper. He keeps coming in out of nowhere, keeps on talking even though no one asked (Nezumi particularly said to him that line in one episode) but that makes him awesome.

Production values are top-notch. Thank Bones for the awesome production values. Oh yeah, the ED is probably one of the best I’ve heard this year.

Overall. . . I think its a good series that plays with its flaws pretty well. In the end they’re still flaws but somehow No. 6 was well-received. . . BY ME.

Rating: 

Execution: 33/40 (Considering its flaws. . . it’s actually not bad!)

Engagement: 24/30 (Considering its flaws . . . hahaha it’s still not that bad.)

Characters: 17/20 (Overdramatic but in a good way (lolwut))

Production:9/10 (Topnotch)

Overall: 83 (Good enough considering its flaws.)

Out of the three Noitamina sci-fi this year, this wins, hands down.

AUGUST ROUNDUP

Magazine cover thanks to ahelo- oh wait that’s me.

10. Ao no Exorcist: 32/50 (4)

Ao no Exorcist has taken quite a dip this month. I guess I just don’t like the way it handles original material since characters like Konnekomaru get ruined. The easy-going pace it has that I actually quite liked disappeared with the twists and turns too. But I still like it, and by the looks of where its headed, we might get a good finale.

9. Hanasaku Iroha: 36/50 (6)

It managed to save a little more face than AnE, but it surged down a lot too. Why is Minko annoying again? Why does Tohru keep showing up and making love triangles everywhere when I clearly don’t like him? Who the hell cares about Enishing and Takako? The only thing is has going for it is Grandma which is getting a lot of great lines.

8. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Nii: 38/50 (14)

It may not be as funny as the first season, but its doing a lot of things right. The “trying to find who was taking the pictures” arc went a tad bit too long, but it had its moments. The main gist of my praise though is the Minami-centric episode which was perfect in every way.

7. No. 6: 39/50 (8)

Well I don’t get the hell what’s going on most of the time, but hey I’m having a lot of fun with it. I love the overly metaphorical dialogue everyone has, the getting-gayer-by-the-second relationship of the main characters, and the overall story they are telling. It never changes feel and its firm with its grip on its story.

6. Kamisama Dolls: 40/50 (7)

I really like Kamisama Dolls, if you haven’t noticed. Its storytelling is very solid, and completely flaunts it off in the flashback episode. Man, that episode with the teacher was awesome, albeit a bit creepy (the teacher’s actions). It also sets a more darker edge to the series (well not really, haha episode 8) but. . . OH WHATEVER I JUST LIKE IT.

5. Dantalian no Shoka: 42/50 (10)

Unlike Memochou which never got out of the “I think there’s something missing” and is slowly getting worse, Gainax’s Dantalian no Shoka just gets better and better in my eyes. Of course the beautiful animation helps, but the story it presents, the little mysteries, have quite a soothing feeling to them. Some have relevance to today’s otaku society (too much sometimes) like the fujoshi who keeps killing the writer because he’s not writing the end the fujoshi wants, or the followers of that Frankenstein Girl. Also they’re putting a lot of Gainax trademark, like the lovers who turned into a new being (fujoshi episode), some fight scenes that utilizes that black color, and more.

4. Mawaru Penguindrum: 45/50 (5)

It just gets more awesome doesn’t it. From Penguin Queen trash-talking Ringo, to Kanba’s moment of manliness, to Ringo making a frog lay eggs on Shouma’s back on hot temperature to her trying rape, and Fabulous Max,. . . god I love this anime. I am getting worried that I like way too much anime this season.

3. Usagi Drop: 46/50 (3)

Usagi Drop is DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW. This is why I don’t blog it.

2. Nichijou: 46/50 (1)

There was no moment that reached Mio’s wrestling episode, but there are a lot of skits that came close. Did I mention that I also LOVE THIS ANIME.

1. Steins;Gate: 49/50 (2)

I think its appropriate to put this on first. It started slow with the Rukako episode, but quickly picked up pace with Moeka’s and to Mr. Braun’s. It got really dark and creepy, death toll went up, and finally we see Kurisu leave. Well not after a kiss and confession. Also after she leaves, Suzuha reveals that World War III will happen in the future. I don’t know about you, but that’s plot talkin’.

JULY ROUNDUP

So it’s July and it’s time for a roundup! I decided to screw the Mid-month impressions since I realized it was a bad idea so I just tried to stick with the traditional monthly impressions. The total score per month would be 50 and by the end of the season, I’ll add everything up and do a seasonal ranking. I love rankings btw.

16(new) BLOOD C – (15/50)

The fourth episode was very interesting, a step up from the disappointment of the first three. It’s still a disappointment though, these four episodes, and CLAMP needs to give better execution for me to rate this any higher.

15(new) Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi – (18/50)

I think I’m gonna hold this for a while. While it has an interesting story, it doesn’t execute it well. The characters are bland, there’s the bad type of fanservice, and it has a problem of telling and not showing. For now, I’d consider this dropped.

14(new) Baka to Test To Shoukanjuu Ni! – (22/50)

I love the first season a lot. I guess this one is much of the same but those first two episodes were very lukewarm and boring in terms of making me laugh. I just hope it doesn’t go to the same pile as Maria Holic.

13(new) Sacred Seven – (23/50)

It has an interesting premise but not executed well. I’m very engrossed to the series but it has a lot of glaring faults. There’s still a lot more episodes to fix that though.

12(new) Mayo Chiki – (27/30)

It would’ve made it to the passing mark but the third episode sucked. I think this is my guilty pleasure series this season though so I’m tentatively positive about this one.

11(new) It’s the NEET thing to do – (34/50)

The dialogue and the mystery is the main hook for me. It’s well done and it’s just so witty. There’s still something lacking though and I can’t point my finger at it but it’s a nice start for this series.

10(new) Dantalian no Shoka – (34/50)

The GOSICK this season, Dantalian doesn’t disappoint at all. Animation-wise it;s the best this season, and the plot is also pretty good. The main characters have great chemistry (the fact that they’re both smart is already a win factor) and its building up to something interesting. Again though like the other mystery-solving series before it, there’s something lacking that I can’t point my finger at.

9(new) Moe in Paris – (35/50)

It has a solid start for a heartwarming, educational, and cultural story. It is very laidback, the soothingness creeps to you slowly making you go AWWWW and Dawwwww. I realized though “WHY THE HELL AM I BLOGGING THIS?!!?”. It didn’t cross my mind until now that it gives me the same feeling as Usagi Drop and would be hard to blog. AHAHA I’m dumb.

8(new) No.6 – (36/50)

This is the BL Dystopia fantasy anime of the season. One moment everyone’s serious and then the next moment everyone’s hinting BL undertones on each other. Not that it’s a bad thing since it’s so LOL and they are chugging in an awesome plot. . . I’m very excited for this!

7(new) Kamisama Dolls – (38/50)

This series is completely appealing to all my Anime tastebuds. Interesting story: Check!, Interesting Characters: Check!, You know it will explode sometime soon: Check!, There’s the intrigue you really like in anime: Check!. This is how awesomely Kamisama Dolls rolls.

6(4) Hanasaku Iroha – (38/50)

I think I went overboard in praising this. Episode 16 I was all like, “It reminds me of Toradora! This is the shit!”. Then episode 17 came in to ruin he day. Damn episode 17, Hanairo was getting really consistent! I do hope they start tackling the main characters again now. It seems that the series is at its best when they put Kou-chan (though I personally lost interest in him when he dissed Ohana). Besides it was gonna be hard topping last month’s awesomeness.

TOP 5

5(new) Mawaru Penguindrum – (40/50)

There’s actually two new series I’m in love with this season. This is the one of them. Now that I’ve watched Revolutionary Girl Utena, I totally get why people are so excited about this. It’s very layered with symbolisms (not as bombarding as Utena) and there’s a good story to be told. It seems that the series is concentrating on beliefs; Fate or no fate. It’s not technically bltantly pointed out, but it’s something to realize. Also, those penguins are awesome.

4(5) Ao no Exorcist – (42/50)

It had an awesome mid-season climax; not to mention how it’s getting more and more exciting with the plot starting to finally roll. Big-boobs is a great addition to the cast. The awesome thing about this series that differentiate this from other Shounen action is the focus. It’s very character-oriented. Friends are a dominant team as also is teamwork. Also one must note that this series is really coll. Saying it’s not cool means your blind or something.

 3(new) Usagi Drop – (42/50)

When I watch this series, the thing that keeps coming out of my mouth is the word “DAWWWW”. Damnit the parenthood being shown in this series is so realistic and down to earth. It can really attack anyone who’s watching this. Rin is the most adorable thing ever and I’m glad 2ch isn’t into boning her because if they did, Imma kill all of them. Nice to know that sometimes, people like the idea of parenthood. Afer a long meditation, I realized I liked this quite a bit more than Penguindrum, thus the high score.

2(3) Steins;Gate – (49/50)

The series is completely chugging the plot. . . it’s getting more and more interesting as the episodes progress. I love the idea that Okarin and co. is trying to reverse engineer everything to the point that Mayuri wasn’t endangered at all. But yeah “No hope goiys” so far. . . SUZUHA!!!!!!!!! L

1(1)Nichijou (50/50)

So it manages to be funnier than it already is. . . WHATTUP! I think Mio’s wrestling spree propelled this into a perfect 50.

Addendum:

It seems that the gap between second and third place is getting bigger. Steins;Gate and Nichijou just keep on getting better and better! The new series are sure to challenge that though, especially Ping Duramu and Usagi Drop. So far no disappointments besides BLOOD CLAMPYCLAMPCLAMP.

Summer Season Rankings

Time to find the best, the worst, and the moe.

High Tier:

Mawaru Penguindrum

A highly imaginative and surprisingly layered, Mawaru Penguindrum leads the new season of anime. Brains Base (studio) is collaborating with Sailor Moon, Utena director, Ikuhara sensei to make this series. So far the only thing I can give this series is praises. It’s just so. . . FABULOUS and AWESOME and just. . . HELLYEAH!

Usagi Drop

My most highly anticipated series this season, Usagi Drop doesn’t disappoint. While the art isn’t at Hourou Musuko level, Usagi Drop counts on the DAWWW and the realism. Like Hourou Musuko it shows some of society problems. Usagi Drop is showing how people would treat an illegitimate child. It was really DAWWW when Daikichi took Rin in because all of his family was being bitchy. The second episode was just wonderful. While I won’t be blogging this, I am definitely watching.

No. 6

Dystopia is an interesting concept to tackle and this is what No. 6 is presenting (Well besides the obvious fujoshibait). I could just see this series go crazy in the future episodes, with episode 2 revealing what the real world truly looks like. I’m very excited for this series.

Kamisama Dolls

This is reminiscent of Higurashi, with a secluded village hiding a secret and all and it’s really interesting. It’s fast paced and like No. 6, I could see this get crazy in the next few episodes.

Dantalian no Shoka

This is hands down the prettiest this season. Background art looks almost real and the action scenes are crisp. Plot-wise it’s like an Index-Gosick mesh but it’s actually pretty good. The two leads have an interesting chemistry (A lot more than Victorique and Kujo’s nyandering). I’m expecting a lot from this one.

It’s the only NEET thing to do

This is the mystery of the season. Mysteries really do follow the 1 Loli requirement huh? This series however has crisp dialogue and very interesting mysteries that don’t just get solved by handing the lead the script. Again I’m also expecting a lot from this one.

MOE in Paris

The MOE this season. It’s just so very DAWWWWW and MOEEEEE and I love every minute of what I’ve watched so far. And forgetting the Moe, it still has the interchange of different customs, culture and mannerism of both Japan and France. In a way its very educational.

Mid-Tier

Sacred Seven

While not exactly the best, it has a lot of really interesting concepts in it. Very rushed and unpolished, the one thing Sacred Seven has is the engagement. It’s never boring. It just chugs on the interesting concepts it has and you go “HAHAHA Lol that’s cool”.

Mayo Chiki

Full of reused tropes and tomatoes in the first few minutes of its first episode, it doesn’t mean this series is bad. Hell it’s fun! I would call it my guilty pleasure of the season. Konoe is just. . . MOEEEEEE. People should utilize their seiyuus more, I mean who knew Index’s voice could be this interesting?!?!?!

Baka to Test

While I do believe it will get better soon, the double outside of school episodes was a bit bland. It’s good for recap but so far, the awesome laughs I got from the first season aren’t there yet. Oh well at least I got to see all the guys turn into TRAPS.

Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi

This show could be a lot better. I hate it that ZEXCS is using its “Turning everything into average” power. The plot is really good, though it has a problem of telling and not showing. It could get really interesting, but the PANTY FLASHES WILL SAVE ANIME is just. . . heh.

Low Tier

BLOOD-C

What happened?!!?!?!?! CLAMP WHAT THE HELL IS THIS SHIT?

Yurururruruyuri

Well at least it didn’t offend me as much as A-channel did.

Addendum:

Well this season is 56 times better than last Summer Season’s. Last Summer the only series that I thought was good was High School of the Dead, Shiki and Occult Academy (The rest was mediocre to pure shit). Now there’s only BLOOD-C to disappoint. 2011 is a really great year so far.

No.6 – 02

But I won’t be embarrassed to take my clothes off in front of you

HARHARDEHAR. No.6 BL of the season. This series has fujoshibait, bishounen, sperm jokes, and with added effect a Hunger Games type of setting. Things could get really crazy with this one. I would say this is like the second or third series I find most interesting this season, along with Penguindrum and Kamisama Dolls.