Ubu Roi’s Worst of 2006

Well, 2006 was a totally insane year, which makes it about average, I suppose. For me, it marked the year I got back into animé seriously; although I bought some over the past few years, it wasn’t until last year that I got serious about staying with it, and ended up blogging on it so much I had to start Mahou to keep from filling Houblog with animé. I blame the internet, Steven DenBeste, AnimeNewsNetwork, and Robert, in that order.

Well, I’m sure you didn’t come here to read about me talking about myself again (although you might be here to read another SSB story–sorry to disappoint), so I will cut to the chase and give you my list of the “Worst Moments in 2006 Animé” If you get the feeling while reading this list, that I am picking on a few specific animé, it is not your imagination.

10. Worst Animation of an Unripe Cantaloupe
Winner in a runaway (in fact, the only contestant) for this category is Crescent Love.

How bad of a picture of an unripe cantaloupe is that? It’s a head of lettuce. (I think…) This series has got to be one of the worst examples of “animation quality drops” ever. ‘Nuff said.

From this point on, I don’t guarantee anything to be safe for work, although no actual nudity is involved. (Thank Haruhi, in a couple of cases….) Proceed at your own risk. (The Management Is Not Responsible for Any Damage to Your Mind or Eyes.)

9. Worst Tactical Moment for a Yuri Scene
The Winner: Simoun. What else can compare to a pair of hawt chicks opening up their cockpits (what a loaded and inappropriate term!) to share a kiss–while flying in the middle of combat?

By the way, they’re sisters. Let’s hear it for family planning.

8. Worst Choice of Adult Beverage
The Winner: Zero no Tsukaima. Tabitha’s mom observes her daughter being given a drink by a suspicious-looking man. So she grabs the drink and sends it to the lab for testing.

Oh wait, she’s the lab.

Guess she shouldn’t have taken the ‘ludes first.

7. Worst Spaghetti Bowl of a Plot
The Winner and Champion: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Take the same story, four times, but with different plots involving lots of death, each time killing off different people for different reasons. Don’t bother explaining any of it.

Mion: “Who are we going to kill this time through the story?”
Shion: “Fuck, I dunno.”
Mion: “How about I kill you?”
Shion: “Ok, but then it’s my turn to kill you.”
Mion: “All right. But then we kill the writers.”
Shion: “I’ll get the nails.”

6. Worst Gender Confusion (In History!)
The Winner: Be serious. Fate Stay/Night may have it’s ambiguous archers, but there’s just no competition to Mizuho in Otome wa Boku ni Koishiteru

This is a guy?

This is a guy?

This is a guy?

Ok, when the fansubbers start inserting “WTF?” commentary, the animators haven’t jumped the shark, they’ve jumped the whole goddamn aquarama exhibit. That, or even they got confused over what sex Mizuho was supposed to be. For all the fun over Haruhi from Ouran Host Club, not even she could deliver that much confusion.

5. Worst (Disappointing) Fansub Note Ever
The Winner: In a hotly (hawtly?) contested catagory, Simoun-Fans Doremi wins it with their entry from (what else?) Simoun.

Are you sure?

Are you sure?

Are you really, really sure?

Well, DAMN! “Cancel the popcorn and the rubber duck.”
(Edit: Rubber duck, not Wonderduck. Sheesh. Damn yaoi fangirls….)

4. Worst Tease by an OP
The Winner: Inukami! takes the prize.

I thought I was getting a bawdy Inuyasha with the sexes reversed. Instead I got crappy animation and The March of The Perverts. Just shoot me now. The sad part? I know those elephants aren’t going to be there on the DVD release….

OMFG. Someone hand me a spoon so I can finish gouging my eyes out now….

3. Worst Deus Ex Machina
Continuing the string of runaway victories in most categories, Crescent Love takes it away with Indiana “Dad” Jones showing up with aliens and their medical technology to resurrect his just-murdered son so Tatsuya can marry the girl and become the next King of Sphere.

I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I just couldn’t believe they killed him, even when the music started. Sure enough….sigh. An incompetent ending to an incompetent show. I’d have given it #1, but I did watch the entire series despite knowing it was bad from the get-go.

2. Worst Tsundere Lead
The winner: Possibly the single most contested category, this one saw

Haruhi of Melancholy,

Louise of Zero, and

Shana of Shana

all fighting it out. In the end, Haruhi’s powers were no match for her own moé and ability to remake the world. Shana got the boot when I realized she was trying to sneak in from 2005 on the strength of her 2006 OAV — not to mention she was too competent, as long as it didn’t involve emotions. Thus the field was left clear for the flatchested, Zero hussy to sashay home with the prize.

And finally, the Worst Worst of 2006:

1. Worst “I Really Wish I Hadn’t Thought That” Moment
The Winner: Simoun.

Stan: “Hey guys, I found the Clitoris!”

Ok, to be fair, I didn’t think that until the second time I watched episode 1. If you’ve watched this series or just looked through the pictures above, you know what I mean. It’s not really obvious, but the small thingy is coming out of the larger thingy…. never mind.

Next up: Honorable Mentions.

(Some pictures shamelessly stolen from Jason. Why should I have to do all the work selecting the best pictures if he has? Ok, so I’m lazy, and didn’t actually watch a couple of the series.)

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12 Responses to Ubu Roi’s Worst of 2006

  1. Wonderduck says:

    “(Edit: Rubber duck, not Wonderduck. Sheesh. Damn yaoi fangirls….)”

    I’d like to poke fun at you now…

    Regarding Crescent Love, while I still like the show, even I can acknowledge that the ‘cantelope’ was really, really bad. I mentally changed it to ‘melon’ and left it there. And wish that they spent a couple of dollars on animation.

    I might have to watch Simoun

  2. The idea that their mechas are powered by yuri is too strange to believe. (That is the concept, isn’t it?)

  3. Wonderduck says:

    “The idea that their mechas are powered by yuri is too strange to believe. (That is the concept, isn’t it?)”

    NOooo, no, no, no… yes. Yes. A bit.

  4. Ubu Roi says:

    I’ve only seen the first episode so far…but yes that’s the concept. They play it a lot more serious than it sounds, and I had to watch it twice to catch all their strange references and terminology–as well as some of the more subtle concepts in play. One of the interesting things about that episode is that the narration is from a pilot on the other side of the war — and truth to tell, her (his?) p.o.v. is a lot more understandable (but not necessarily agreeable) than that of the yuri pilots about whom the story is supposed to be. It’s not just a clash of technology; it’s a huge culture contrast. Other than the obvious yuri elements, I’d have called it a mecha show for girls. The flying ships are… pretty.

    Edit: Wonderduck: that was supposed to be a link. Fixed now.

  5. Andrew F. says:

    The “This is NOT HENTAI!” note was actually from Doremi’s fansub, not Simoun-Fans’. Thankfully, Doremi dropped the series after five episodes; I say thankfully because their quality is terrible, due to their translator not actually knowing Japanese (he translates from Chinese fansubs). The Simoun-Fans version is far better researched and qualifies as one of the best fansub efforts of last year, marred only by the fact that it isn’t finished yet…

    As for the series itself, it’s pretty good, though not quite check-AnimeSuki-every-ten-minutes-to-see-if-the-latest-episode-is-out good, let alone download-the-raw-and-see-how-far-your-Japanese-skills-get-you good. Don’t really care for the mecha designs, but the watercolor-ish backgrounds are nice.

    Ah, Higurashi. Granted, the plot is a mess, but it’s easily the scariest anime I’ve ever seen. Waiting for Triad to continue this one as WinD’s quality doesn’t seem very high.

  6. Wonderduck says:

    Thanks for the linky, Ubu… very kind of you.

  7. Ubu Roi says:

    Ah, originally I had Doremi, and changed it. I got confused because I’m having issues with my router, and the 13-ep package was taking too long. I forgot I downloaded ep. 1 separately. When I went back to the bittorrent folder, I looked in the other one and found Simoun-Fans. “Well, where’d I get Doremi from? Hmph, better fix it….”

    And I agree, S-F is doing a much better job. I was peeved over the fact that Doremi’s translator apparently couldn’t read Japanese (as you note), and didn’t translate the text in the first scene. (Like I can, eh?) Of course, when S-F did translate it, I had to roll my eyes. “Please sit several feet from the TV and watch Simoun with the lights on.”

    Just finished ep. 2. It’s turning out to be surprisingly good. Not Divergence Eve good, but the parallel of expecting fanservice and getting a good story and concept instead is there.

  8. Wonderduck says:

    I’m so sad… with only dialup, I can’t really expect to download the Simoun-fans batch… and it took forever to get the Doremi version of Ep1, since there were only something like three people seeding/leeching it. Better be worth it.

  9. Ubu Roi says:

    Heh. And I’m one of the three (I’m showing 6, w/5 peers, so no telling if I really am). Still, that sucks because Andrew’s right; the translation is bad. One thing that confused me was the mistranslation of Choir as Call. I suspect some of the rough sledding I had in the first episode was due to that; I intend to go back and get the SF version of ep. 1 before it’s done. Right now, I’ve watched through 8, and I’m cursing router issues and bittorrent’s randomness. Two blocks just won’t finish DL’ing from ep 9.

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