Well, here we go again, with my half-satirical and supposedly humorous take on a year of bad anime. Just in case you’ve not read the previous installments, I do ten winners and ten honorable mentions, plus I usually toss in a special mention. These are usually drawn from the ranks of fansubbed series that broadcast in Japan within the last year, although I’ve been known to make exceptions. All opinions are strictly my own, and may not reflect whether or not I actually enjoyed watching the series. Warning: NSFW below the fold!
10. Worst It Should Have Been (was) Hentai: This year was super competitive, as They Are My Noble Masters fought valiantly against Kanokon, but to no avail.
In the end, Kanokon wins by a few nipples.
Ok, a LOT of nipples. Even if they were under pasties in the show, they werenâ€™t in the DVD extras, which forced TAMNM to slink off the stage in defeat. Even if I ruled out DVD extras and stuck with the broadcast, Kanokon wins.
9. Worst Train Wreck of a Plot: Code Geass 2 was seriously in the running once again, but instead, Gonzoâ€™s writers sneak off with the prize like thieves in the night â€“- that is, if thieves used flashbangs, loud and annoying rap music with that bone-jarring bass, and megaphones for that extra-sneaky flavor. Yep, they managed this unprecedented feat by managing to tie themselves with two series earning this award. First, thanks just to their spectacular failure in rewriting the Witch Hill arc in Rosario + Vampire, Gonzo could have paraded out the door with the prize.
â€œR+V finally lost me with episode 10. They not only butchered Rubyâ€™s story, they butchered her character, the overall story, logic clear back to the day of Aristotle, and most of the space-time continuum. It was that bad.â€.
But not satisfied to win on the strength of only one series, Gonzo took a surprisingly promising start with Strike Witches and twisted it into such bizarre dreck with an inexplicable ending (plus a clear bid for a second series), that SDB had to step in and try to retcon the ending into something resembling logic.
It was a valiant effort, and mostly worked, — but not even he could save Rosario + Vampire. (Then again, he was smart enough not to try.) So this year, I’ll award the double prize to Gonzo and Gonzo, for embracing the schlock in their bid to avoid joining ADV in near-death.
8. Worst Overall Animation Quality: Rosario + Vampire. â€œI havenâ€™t seen this much freeze nâ€™ pan since Mizore iced up the pond.â€
7. Worst Ending: Rosario + Vampire made a bid for this one, but unfortunately, the crap ending was overshadowed by the butchery of the Witch Hilll storyline. Therefore, this award has to go to the notorious and controversial ending to Code Geass R2. Is Lelouche dead or not? Open the box and find out, Schrodingerâ€¦
6. Worst Choice of Haremette: Saito, for choosing that flat-chested, bitchy tsundere, Louise. He could have any woman in the kingdom, up to and including the Queen, and heâ€™s sticking with the flat-chested, stuck-up, insecure, frigid bitch that effectively, if unintentionally, kidnapped him from Earth, canâ€™t admit she loves him, and abuses him non-stop.
Did I mention she was flat-chested? Dumbass. He’s such a dumbass, I almost awarded him two prizes in the list.
5. Worst Disappointment Overall: Shakugan no Shana 2 was so bad, it should take the prize two years running. Then thereâ€™s UFO Princessâ€”I mean To Love-Ru, the show that tried to make tentacle rape respectable again. â€œItâ€™s Urasai Yatsura meets UFO Princes Valkyrie. Bigger tits, fewer nipples. /cry.â€ Strike Witches was a very credible contender, the way it stuck our noses in little girls’ crotches, molested the whole concept of yuri, and then left everyone scratching their heads at the end. The problem with it is, nobody really expected much from such an absurd concept. Well yes, some folks wanted to see it badly, but hey, nobody really expected a lot from it. Therefore, it fails to measure up to Rosario + Vampire (first season), which, for some inexplicable reason, had fans (of the manga, anyway) thinking it would be a great horror and romance show –and it could have been, had they stuck with the plot from the manga. Instead, they combined plot butchery with a misleading ED and poor animation. It won a second season on the strength of its music sales and panty-shots alone. And well, the fact that the girls are really cute.
Those old enough to bleed, that is. I pass on Yukari, but I’ll take a double dose of Kurumu to compensate…
4. Worst Yuri Moment: Miyafuji groping Charlotte’s breasts while rescuing her, in Episode 5 of Strike Witches.
I mean, before that scene, I didn’t think it was possible to have a worst yuri moment. Or even a bad one, for that matter.
(Oh yeah? What if Rosanne Barr kissed Ellen Degeneres?
Ewwww! Dude, that’s not yuri, that’s a toxic waste!)
3. Worst Business Acumen: In a year that ADV almost died, and Geneon pulled out of the North American market, it shouldn’t have been possible to exceed the high marks they set without a truly spectacular show of stupidity. Amazingly, Bandai Visual managed to not only pass them up, but lapped the closest competitor and took the checkered flag with their decision to offer anime to the discerning otaku at a cost of $40 per episode. Needless to say, they folded not long afterwards. (I suppose the flip side of this is Gonzo gets “Best Business Acumen” for embracing the schlock to survive long enough for a white knight to ride to the rescue.)
2. Worst “You Got Your Plot in My Fanservice”: This one required some serious thought, and my initial one is the one I finally went with. I almost awarded the prize to Chaos;Head, which involved a sort-of harem of seven pretty, but very different girls. The story was heavily horror/mystery driven; in fact it was solid plot all the way through. In the end, although all the girls were attractive, I disqualified it, because it wasn’t loaded with fanservice; it just had cute girls. (It’s actually a pretty good show, although I thought the final battle was a bit too, um, wordy). In the end, I gave the “prize” to Sekirei.
I’d have used one of the topless shots, but I kept having this nosebleed… Multiple 1.0+ Rushunas topless just shouldn’t be allowed in anime. In a single scene, no less. Twice.
Although they couldn’t finish the whole story, because the manga is still under way, the writers definitely tried to do the final arc some justice. Hmmm. Last year’s selection was also notable for big breasts, what with Mayu of GSNK. Mmmm, Mayu…. Excuse me while I’m derailed for a moment.
Yeah, I think last year’s choice was superior, all a-round. Less plot, but also less, um…. mass effect.
And finally, the pick you all haven’t been waiting for:
1. Ubu Roi’s Worst Anime of 2008: What else? Rosario + Vampire, season 1. Strike Witches tried, but it had one er, strike against it: everyone expected it to be bad, just from the concept, so any flashes of brilliance were sheer win. As for R+V, the only fans expecting much from it were seriously deluded fans who thought the manga and the manga-ka’s one-trick pony were good stuff. The fact that this series was still popular enough to green-light a second season may go a long way towards explaining why we’re getting such crap these days.
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