Now for my final blog entry of the year, I will look back at the year 2010 and give some of my thoughts and insights of the best of 2010. 2010 was a pretty good year for my anime viewing pleasures. I watched lots of great anime series that it was so hard just to narrow it down to 10. So with that, I will look back and pick the top 10 anime that I watched this year.
In order for an anime series to be eligible for this, it must satisfy the following criteria subject to a few exceptions:
- The anime series must be watched for the first time. No rewatches allowed.
- The final episode of the series must be watched at some point in 2010.
- In the case of anime with multiple seasons, it is eligible if the other seasons are independent remakes (i.e. storyline is not a continuation), if it has a subsequent series that has yet to air, or if a long series has a huge break between season (for example, Naruto would be eligible if it had met the other criteria even though Naruto Shippuden is still currently airing).
- It must be a TV series (i.e. no movies or stand alone OVAs).
As an example of a few titles that don’t quite meet all the criteria and will be excluded from the list are K-On!, To Aru Majutsu no Index, Spice and Wolf, and Strike Witches since I saw the first season, but not the second season of those series and each picks up right where the first season is left off. All those titles would be eligible once I finished watching the second seasons. With that out of the way, here is my top 10 for 2010.
10. Romeo x Juliet
To start things off, here is the Gonzo remake of the classic Shakespeare play. Visuals were everything in this anime and the story told in this spiritually follows the play although it has some major differences and deviations from it. Not to mention, Funi's dub gives it a close Shakespearean feel to the anime.
9. Lucky Star
I first got interested in this series through fansubs, and it was great, but I couldn’t find time for it. Fast forward to 2010 and I got the complete collection. Great fun all-around as this show is filled with great characters and it transfers over to the K-On universe. Konata is a passionate otaku that isn’t afraid to show it, Kagami is down-to-earth and hilarious with her outbreaks whenever she feels encroached by Konata, Tsukasa is a human plush who acts cute in a lot of clumsy ways, and Miyuki is the one girl you just want to make friends with. The other characters make this a great anime to enjoy.
8. Angel Beats
Another Key anime and another great series. Though it is not as good as Clannad, Angel Beats does an excellent job at character development. There is the headstrong Otonashi who is the ideal male lead. Then there is Yurippe who looks and acts like Haruhi being the head honcho of all these missions. And as the third lead there is the student council president who Yurippe is at war with. Great characters and a serious storyline with some craziness mixed in makes this series a real winner.
7. Bamboo Blade
When you combine moe and kendo, things are bound to get ugly. But in the case of Bamboo Blade, this was thankfully not the case as everything worked extremely well together in this anime series. You got a teacher struggling to make ends meet who is on the hot seat with a huge passion for kendo, and a ragtag team of girls forming a kendo club in high school. In this series, the kendo action takes a back seat to the development of the characters and the chemistry being built between teammates, which is the way a sports anime should be.
It’s all about visuals with this anime. Combine that with likable girls, the frequently-appearing chibi faces, a city that looks like Venice in real life, and all of the intangibles that separate the haves from the have nots. Aria has got it all down. Season 1 was good, but it seems like something that has been overdone. Season 2 was about many side adventures with no real plotline to speak of. But season 3 was where Satojun made his mark felt.
This 74-episode series started fast out of the gates where Dr. Tenma saves a life and as a result, a series of murders happens. Then things get slow when episodes that center on other characters seems to be pointless. But in the big picture, all things are connected and in these 74 episodes, everything gets explained, little-by-little. As for the ending, it is one of the best ever and you will just have to see it. With Johan, there is a lot more than meets the eye, and that is what I like about this series. The only thing that put me was the character designs. But for an anime like this, it is very appropriate.
This anime uses a lot of great elements at their disposal. It is told like a folk tale and the visuals were great. But the story was even greater with a great ending that helps it secure a place on the Top 10 list. Nothing in this anime happens without reason.
This is an anime that is very confusing to watch since there are so many characters and that in the anime, things jump from one story to another, and each are seemingly disconnected. But that is what makes Baccano the anime it is.
2. Black Lagoon
Can’t get enough action, violence, trash talking, and shootouts in this. But what sets this anime apart from other action series like this is that all the action was carefully laid out and executed well. All of the important characters have side stories and stuff that makes it a masterpiece.
1. Eden of the East
And the best of my 2010 viewing pleasures is my first ever Blu-Ray title. I haven’t heard about this series until I heard the announcement at Otakon in 2009 and it looked like an awesome masterpiece. It had a song by a British band as its opening (though only for one episode) and was just epic. The animation was top-notched, the storyline was well-written, and the series could not have turned out any better. This is one of the best dubs out there and the BD experience was just awesome. This is a real winner and I can’t wait for the movies to come out.
Just missing the list are Genshiken 2, My Bride is a Mermaid, and Kobato. All great stuff, but I just liked these better than the ones that just missed this list. And with that, I put a wrap on 2010 on my anime watching.