Tag: Anime

The Not-So-Serious Anime Awards (Round 2)

A couple of years ago, I decided to talk about anime in an award list parody post. You can read that original post here if you’re so inclined. With the news of a live action Death Note film coming out, I decided to take a look back at that post, only to realize I wrote the post well before I had watched Death Note…or a lot of other shows for that matter.

While I still like most of the things on the previous post (or at least hold similar opinions that I held on that post), I’ve watched a good bit more anime in the nearly two years since that point. With that in mind, I’ve decided to update my previous list where more recently watched content changes my answers in some way — be that the overall winner of the category or the honorable mentions. I’ve also added a few new categories, as there were a couple of categories I made no changes to.

No Changes: Worst Overdubbing, Worst Series Ending, Best Series Ending, Best Anime Film, Creepiest Moment[1], Worst Villain

As was the case before, spoilers abound from here on.

Changes to Honorable Mentions Only

Best Film/Series – FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

I get that Ranker and a bunch of other sites have Death Note above FMA: Brotherhood, but if I’m looking at an entire series, I care more about just the battle between the main protagonist and antagonist. Hell, that’s over 2/3 of the way into the series in the case of Death Note. FMA: Brotherhood has excellently written minor characters, a compelling storyline, and an ending that isn’t completely anticlimatic[2]. Plus you’ve got two of the saddest moments in anime[3] in this show. I’m not sure what else you could ask for from an anime.

Honorable Mention: Soul Eater, Death Note

Best Series Music – RWBY

Despite a bit of a dip in season 3, RWBY far and away has the best music of any anime (or hell, any animated show) out there. Of the categories from my original list, this is the only one where the category winner actually managed to increase the gap between it and the honorable mentions. Soul Eater stays on the list by virtue of having the single best intro song in an anime, while Black Lagoon makes an appearance on an anime list for something other than Revy’s assets/her ability to kill people.

Honorable Mention: Black Lagoon, Soul Eater

Best Intro Song – “Black Paper Moon” by Tommy Heavenly6 (Soul Eater, Seasons 2-3)

See above. That said, if you picked any of the honorable mention songs here and said they were your favorite, I wouldn’t be too upset. Two of the four songs in this group played at our wedding reception. Anime has good music. Usually.

Honorable Mention: “This Will Be The Day” by Jeff Williams and Casey Lee Williams (RWBY, Season 1), “Unravel” by TK (Tokyo Ghoul), “Red Fraction” by Mell (Black Lagoon, Seasons 1-2)

Best Villain – Medusa Gorgon, Soul Eater

I expected so much more out of Cinder Fall when I wrote my last list. But come to find out she’s a mid-level henchman who manages to go from a sadistic badass to the weakest written character in RWBY in the matter of two episodes. I have hope for Salem, but until then, Jessie and James replace Cinder. As much as Light is the main villain of Death Note, Misa is a much better villain — or at least a more interesting one. Neither holds a candle to Medusa from Soul Eater though.

Honorable Mention: Jessie and James (Pokemon), Misa Amane (Death Note)

Most Unexpectedly Good Anime – Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne

Reminder: Naked throne of creepy sex ladies. Still a damn good anime though. Most of the other animes I’ve watched in the last two years have either been already well-received series, series that were incredible disappointments, or both. Even so, both Black Lagoon and Death Parade are worth the watch. Be warned though…Death Parade’s theme song will get stuck in your head.

Honorable Mention: Black Lagoon, Death Parade, also…can we count Adventure Time here? No? Please? It’s good despite being fucking weird.

New Award Winners

Best Main Character – L, Death Note

Sorry Weiss. When you’re not even the best main character in your own show now[4], you can’t top this list. When I wrote the previous list, I hadn’t seen Death Note, hence L’s absence. That said, after a handful of suggestions to watch the show, I finally got why so many people are drawn to L. He’s just so…strange? I think that’s the best way to describe him. Plus, he’s a good guy who doesn’t win in the end. I always find characters like that interesting.

Honorable Mention: Roy Mustang (FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Tsubaki Nakatsukasa (Soul Eater), Yang Xiao Long (RWBY)

Best Secondary Character – Riza Hawkeye, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

I had a bit of a change of heart on this one within weeks of posting my previous list. While Excalibur is funny and entertains me in his occasional appearances, Riza is one of the best written female characters in film or television, regardless of format. As a side note, I’d watch animes that focus on the lives of Roberta and James. Roberta’s back story prior to her encounter with the Lagoon Company deserved to be fleshed out a bit more, while James is clearly the most loved Pokemon trainer in the series, at least by his Pokemon.

Honorable Mention: Excalibur (Soul Eater), Roberta (Black Lagoon), James (Pokemon)

Worst Character – Rock, Black Lagoon

In my last list, I failed to make a distinction between worst villain (read: horrible human being) and worst character (read: OMFG SHUT UP AND GET OFF MY SCREEN). This is how I feel pretty much every time Rock talks after the first three episodes of Black Lagoon. On top of that, at least Third Kira moves his story line forward and at least Brock is useful sometimes. Rock is just painful, yet he’s supposed to be the main character[5].

Honorable Mention: Brock (Pokemon), Kyosuke “Third Kira” Higuchi (Death Note)

Most Entertaining Character – Bewear, Pokemon

After picking up Pokemon Moon, I decided to check back in on the Pokemon anime just to see what had happened since I’ve been gone. Much to my surprise, the first episode I watched featured Team Rocket actually defeating Ash for the first time in the entire series. All this happened just in time for the Bewear they were living with to show up. Hilarity ensues[6].

Honorable Mention: Greed (FullMetal Alchemist), Near (Death Note)

The Not-So-Serious Anime Awards

I have a growing love for anime and cartoons created in an anime style. They typically have well-written storylines, employ strategic use of action and comedy, all while (typically) being written at a higher level than most modern television shows.

My first introduction to anime almost turned me off to the entire genre completely. As a kid, my brother loved the widely-known anime Dragonball Z. While this series has many tropes and characteristics shared by other anime series, I absolutely hated the show as a kid, and don’t really care for it now. It’s almost too over the top that it makes it just…awful. Had it not been for the existence of the Pokemon anime, I might have turned away from anime before I ever had the opportunity to enjoy it.

Over the past few years, thanks in large part to my fiancee, there is a growing list of anime that I have seen and that I enjoy. Instead of doing a top five or ten list, I’ve decided to hand out completely arbitrary, totally subjective awards in order to talk about shows I like. As always when I talk about pop culture, your mileage may vary. Spoilers abound in this post.

Best Film/Series – Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

I’ve been told by a few people that the original Fullmetal Alchemist series is superior to Brotherhood, but from what I’ve seen from the original, I’m not sure I agree. Sure, the original may stay closer to the manga((I’ve been told I had this fact backwards. Things make far more sense now that I know that.)), but Brotherhood tells a fantastic story in a very entertaining way. While Brotherhood isn’t quite as dark as some other animes I’ve seen, it does a nice job with the balance of its mood.

Runners Up: Sword Art Online, Soul Eater

Best (Read: Worst) Overdubbing – Speed Racer

Come on…you knew this was coming. I mean, just watch this.

Runners Up: Pretty much any Attack on Titan dubbing I’ve ever seen.

Best Lead Character – Weiss Schnee, RWBY

I strongly debated about putting Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) and Tsubaki Nakatsukasa (Soul Eater) here, however I really appreciate character growth in a story. Weiss has easily shown the most growth and change in maturity of the four main RWBY characters through two seasons, plus she has one of the two coolest weapons in the RWBY series. Seems like a pretty easy choice here.

Runners Up: Mustang, Tsubaki, Yui (Sword Art Online)

Best Secondary Character – Excalibur, Soul Eater

The only debate here was whether or not this was Excalibur or Riza Hawkeye from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. For as much as I loved the way Riza was written, I didn’t look forward to her appearances quite like I did Excalibur.

Runners Up: Riza, Winry Rockbell (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Mimi (Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne)

Worst Series Ending – Soul Eater

I mean come the fuck on. The world was saved through the power of…bravery? 50 of Soul Eater’s 51 episodes were great. The last one came across like a throwaway because the writers didn’t know how to end the show.

Runner Up: The end of season 2 of Sword Art Online (see Creepiest Moment)

Best Series Ending – Gurren Lagann

Apparently everyone hated how the show How I Met Your Mother ended. I thought it was a poetic ending to the show’s lengthy journey, and the perfect ending to the show. Similarly, a lot of people apparently aren’t fans of how Gurren Lagann ended, but how else can you really end the show other than Nia vanishing forever at her wedding to Simon?

Runner Up: The Pokemon Movie

Best Series Music – RWBY

Anime has some kickass music as a whole, but RWBY takes it to a whole other level. Jeff Williams/Casey Lee Williams’ song “This Will Be The Day” is easily the best anime intro song out there (apologies to the Pokemon theme), and most of the music in the rest of the series is stellar as well.

Runners Up: Soul Eater, Hetalia: Axis Powers

Best Show Intro Song – “Black Paper Moon” by Tommy Heavenly6 (Soul Eater, Seasons 2-3)

That said, if you just want to go with the single best intro song for a season of a show (since animes tend to change season to season), this is it. As much as I love Casey Lee Williams’ voice on “This Will Be the Day”, “Black Paper Moon” fits Soul Eater to the letter.

Runners Up: “This Will Be the Day” by Jeff Williams/Casey Lee Williams (RWBY), “Before My Body is Dry” by The Xcellence (Kill la Kill)

Best Anime Film – Howl’s Moving Castle

It’s a close battle between Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Tortoro, but really it comes down to the amount of the action in the film. Howl’s Moving Castle kept me constantly interested, and while My Neighbor Tortoro told a great story, it’s not an edge of your seat film.

Runners Up: My Neighbor Tortoro, Spirited Away

Creepiest Moment – The molestation scene in Sword Art Online

Without linking to the video, because creepy, one of SAO’s main character’s, Kirito, is attempting to save the other primary character, Asuna, from the series’ big bad guy, Oberon. When Kirito gets there, instead of fighting him, Oberon traps Kirito in heavy gravity and proceeds to molest Asuna for a good 30-40 seconds. Kirito overcomes the gravity and saves her, but not before you’re left wondering why that was needed in a show, especially one that had largely been pretty good up until that point.

There are no runners up here.

Worst Character and Worst Villain – Oberon, Sword Art Online

See above.

Runners Up: Asura The Kishin, Soul Eater

Best Villain – Medusa Gorgon, Soul Eater

I love a well-written evil villain and holy shit is Medusa evil. Using her son (daughter?) for science and alchemy experiments, betraying and nearly killing her own sister, and using love as a deception technique…Medusa has all the characteristics of a truly evil villain. Admittedly, possessing the body of a child to do her bidding after her own body is killed is a nice touch to Medusa’s evil. It’s too bad I can’t find a good video of her fights in English and without music, but she shows up in the video below around 12:35.

Runners Up: Cinder Fall (RWBY), Jessie and James (Pokemon)

Most Entertaining Character – Misty’s Psyduck, Pokemon

I could have put Derpy Hooves from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic here to the same effect. That said, MLP:FiM isn’t anime, Pokemon is. It’s essentially the same character though.

Runners up: Greed (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood), Chii (Chobits)

Most Unexpectedly Good Anime – Rin: Daughters of Mnemosyne

Full disclosure, Rin is easily going to be one of the weirdest fucking animes you ever watch, particularly episodes 4-6 (there’s only 6 total). But despite it’s completely ridiculous (and at times grotesque) storyline, it’s easy to follow and tells a unique story. Just be aware that the term “naked throne of creepy sex ladies” was used by both the fiancee and I when watching this anime.

Runners Up: Spirited Away, Soul Eater