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 Post subject: Best/Worst Anime of 2008
PostPosted: December 31st, 2008, 4:49 am 
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With the year coming to a rapid close, and with end of the year awards happening all over the place, I figure it's time for us to discuss the best and worst anime of 2008. Now preferably, I would like to discuss anime that have either finished airing in 2008 or finished the majority of its air time in 2008 (for longer series like SOUL EATER). Now I realize that a lot of y'all don't keep up with the latest shows airing in Japan so I'll also like to open up the thread to discuss the best/worst anime you've seen this year, regardless of when it was originally made or aired.

With that said, here's my top ten list (I'm trying to be more informal this time since getting too genre specific, especially in a year like this, probably doesn't help anyone), and yes it is in order (though more in the sense that #1 was unquestionably my favorite series of the year, the other 9 are still in order but it's very much flexible).

#10: Gundam 00

Despite its poor first half, uninteresting premise and overall overly emo Gundam Meisters, Gundam 00 was nevertheless a series that proved to be entertaining, even if the universe it presents isn't nearly as interesting or as believable as the previous Gundams have been. And though the ending is somewhat of a letdown, there were moments in Gundam 00 that impressed me, not to mention the high production values which at least made the action sequences watchable, if not exciting.

#9: Special A

Special A is sort of like the second coming of Ouran High School Host Club, only less extravagent, less satirical, and a little nuttier. However, despite some inconsistencies with character designs as well as some slow plot development, Special A manages to be more or less funny on a consistent basis and while the main romantic subplot doesn't quite develop as well as we would have hoped, it can stand on it's own both as a whacky slapstick comedy series or as a romantic comedy

#8: CLANNAD

CLANNAD is in many ways an enormous undertaking. After all, condensing such a lengthy and well-known visual novel into a 23-episode anime series is perhaps too great of an undertaking even for KyoAni. Moreover, the time spent on specific arcs seemed uneven making the second half of the series rather rushed. Yet, CLANNAD because of its storytelling, sprinklings of humor, loveable characters like Kyou and Tomoyo and of course the superb animation. But one can't help but feel that the best is yet to come.

#7: Kannagi

One of the funniest series of the year, Kannagi is immediately likeable through its unlikely yet ultimately humorous premise, kawaii character designs and some sharp humor (including some crossovers from the like of Lucky Star and Haruhi Suzumiya). Like other series of its kind, it does require a somewhat significant level of understanding about Japanese popular/otaku culture but even if you don't get all the puns and references, the slapstick is funny enough and the melodrama fleeting enough that it's plenty enjoyable anyway.

#6: Daughter of Twenty Faces

BONES has always been a hallmark of superb execution and this is no different with Daughter of Twenty Faces. This is a show that doesn't really stand out in any specific way. Yes Chiko is probably one of the best female characters in recent memory but while her journey is certainly interesting, it is by no means extraordinarily original or unpresedented. Yet there is a lot of fun to had with this series from its creative action sequences to it's almost campy Lupin-esque silliness.

#5: Nabari no Ou

Nabari no Ou is not the typical ninja series nor should anyone approach it that way. As such, anyone who approaches this show with Naruto in mind will be greatly disappointed. Yet as a more mature, unorthodox ninja show, Nabari no Ou manages to standout among a sea of what is mostly typical shounen fair. Of course for people who like their anime dumbed down and diluted, stay way from this one.

#4: Macross FRONTIER

Macross FRONTIER could have been great and for the most part it's still a very good series. The action sequences can be pretty spectacular and the animation is jaw-droppingly superb at times, yet there is perhaps too much focus put on the silly little love triangle that seems to take over the second half of the show. Moreover, the plot is often unfocused and there can be some wild inconsistency in overall episode quality. However, the music was nothing short of fantastic and the way it was integrated into the series was pretty innovative even if it got a little repetitive. And it's the music that ultimately makes up for its shortcomings.

#3: SOUL EATER

Really the only word I can use to describe SOUL EATER is awesome. But being a BONES series, its awesomeness is perhaps unexpected or at least the way that it's awesome is unexpected. Like other BONES series, the execution is nothing short of superb, yet what makes the series stand out is the ridiculously awesome fight scenes (the detail in some of those fight scenes is pretty ridiculous given the art style) and incredibly memorable characters. And c'mon any show that has an character named "Death the Kid" who is obsessed with symmetry can be nothing short of amazing.

#2: True Tears

I never expected that a serious romantic series would be my pick for the second best anime of 2008. But it wasn't always the case. If you can get past the first two episodes, True Tears ends up being one of the most satisfying romantic anime in years, proving that you can have multiple girls in a romantic anime without having to resort to harem or fantastical premises. The plot twists feel just right and the ending is actually satisfying, something not many romantic anime can claim. Consistently high quality animation and a great soundtrack is just icing on the cake.

#1: CODE GEASS R2

This is probably no surprise, but yes CODE GEASS R2 is my pick for best anime of 2008. Whether its the impressive production values, large scale battles, ridiculous mecha combat or the endless melodrama, R2 in many ways surpasses the original series, even if it doesn't have quite the same impact as the first series did. Say what you want about the cheesiness of the story or the many throwaway characters and the overly complex plot developments, but R2 still manages to be entertaining each and every episode without exception and while the ending is deemed questionable by some, I felt that it was a satisfying and indeed redemptive climax to was has to be one of the most entertaining anime series in recent years.

I'll list the my worst anime of 2008 later.

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