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Anime in America: The Best (and Most Notable) of 2011


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zeonozero
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Joined: 01 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:51 pm Reply with quote
Well done Smile

I agree with about 60% of the awards, but im not gonna argue about it, since this post could be just as long as the feature

Anyway, I like it, thanks alot for your reviews and input guys
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:00 pm Reply with quote
I am so pissed off that no company thought to simulcast PMMM. Now we have to wait another year for the series gets its due in this feature. Gah.
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partially



Joined: 14 Oct 2007
Posts: 556
Location: Oz
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:04 pm Reply with quote
So it was four girls in Loups=Garous... I decided as much after watching it, but even the subtitles couldn't be sure of the situation Razz

Only real thing I would do differently would be to remove Eva 2.22 from the list, it certainly looked stunning, but I personally felt it added nothing more to the franchise. It was like the more it tried to be different the more it stayed the same. What people did and who did what changed a fair bit, but in all cases the film still hit the same stages as the TV series. Even the ending was curtailed by what happened after the credits to come back within the TV series frame. It felt far too constricted to the TV series plot. I would of given the awards to anything else that was at least trying to be mildly original.


Last edited by partially on Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
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Location: Mount Crawford, Virginia
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:10 pm Reply with quote
So you didn't give best female performance to Lisa Ortiz as Echidna, that's cool, I have no beef with that. But to say:
Quote:
Kari Wahlgren, whose headless character communicated as much with body language as with typed words, but her terrific interpretation of one of anime's least conventional characters handily topped all other female English dub performances in 2011.

is not. "Handily"? Please. I love Kari Walhgren and I think she did a good job as Celty, but to say she HANDILY tops Lisa as Echidna and Brina as Holo or Natsuki is exaggeration to the extreme. Hell, I still say Laura Bailey's Shin is extremely underrated because the show is a rewrite and extremely goofy in general, so people look past it, but I'll leave that one out. Maybe it's because I don't like the DRRR dub nearly as much as you seem to, but even given that, I don't think that performance of Kari's stands alone by itself.

Totally agree with both of you on "Unlicensed Gems". Ben-to has a very good shot at being snapped up, though. In fact, I'd be shocked if Funimation or Sentai weren't negotiating for it as we speak.

And yes, Theron, Blue Exorcist does take a huge nosedive before crashing and burning at it's finale. I'm surprised it went from so good to so bad in just one episode.
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jenthehen



Joined: 23 Dec 2008
Posts: 477
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:12 pm Reply with quote
Oh man ... are you kidding? Angel Beats was just so awful. What a horrid disappointment and a waste of gorgeous animation quality.
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Volibear



Joined: 29 Nov 2011
Posts: 344
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:14 pm Reply with quote
i now feel like Carl is my long lost twin or something, so much love for Gosick and Victorique & Kujo and even finding Sacred Seven good too, all i heard was negative opinions about it

also, why isn't AnoHana licensed yet? surely someone shoulda picked it up by now, it was a great series and loads of people enjoyed it, i'm sure it'd sell well enough to make it worthwhile or do only action and fanservice series sell in the US now? (i'm British, so idk what sells well)
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asimpson2006



Joined: 13 May 2008
Posts: 3151
Location: USA
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:24 pm Reply with quote
Let me go down the list here and talk about some stuff but only what I remember or feel I can talk about.

Angel Beats is like my #2 show watched in 2011. NANA beat it out since I ended up enjoy NANA more than Angel Beats though I think if Angel Beats had a few more episodes I think it could have been easily number 1.

Summer Wars is the movie of the year to me as well from what I have watched in terms of anime movies. The Clannad movie was okay but after finishing both Clannad and Clannad After story, I enjoy the TV series better than the movie. Trigun was good probably number 3 on my list. My #2 was The Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha movie the first.

I should watch Angel Beats opener since I usually skip OP's after I heard them the first time, but for some reason I do not remember listening to it. My favorite one from last year was the OP for Spice and Wolf.

For Guilty Pleasure I would probably Astarotte's Toy and while I have not finished it Twin Angel . Sure it was not the best show to come out last year, but I still found fun watching it even though it was average for the most part. Sure Twin Angel is stupid, but I got some enjoyment out of the first two episodes that watched. I am really looking forward to watching the rest of it

I only watched the first episode of Ben-to but if it ever got licensed it would be one of the few titles that I would pay MSRP. I would be doing that in principle alone. The first episode alone was awesome and enough to tell me that I should purchase it the day it comes out.

I am not crazy about Aniplex's pricing either.

My two best dubs that I heard from last year were NANA and Angel Beats. NANA is probably Ocean Groups best dub that I have ever heard and Angel Beats is one of Sentai's strongest dubs yet so far (counting their time as Sentai Filmworks). I found Clannad's dub and their High School of the Dead dubs to be good but not their top works.

I think the worst dub that I heard last year was for Kanokon. That dub was just outright bad. I did not think dubs could be that bad anymore. I though we were past that phase in the industry. Then again that every dub that I have heard so far from that dubbing studio has been bad.

I am really curious to see just how bad Fractle is. As much as I hear people rag on it, my interest increases just to see how much of train wreck it is.
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Nekusagi



Joined: 22 Jun 2009
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:32 pm Reply with quote
Glad to see Albert get picked as Biggest Bastard.

Never before has an anime character filled me with as much rage and made me yell at my computer monitor more than the Marquis.
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configspace



Joined: 16 Aug 2008
Posts: 3210
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:35 pm Reply with quote
dtm42 wrote:
I am so pissed off that no company thought to simulcast PMMM. Now we have to wait another year for the series gets its due in this feature. Gah.

You mean in NZ? In any case, you could just watch the fansubs for now as I'm sure Aniplex is well aware of where the already existent fanbase outside Japan comes from.

jenthehen wrote:
Oh man ... are you kidding? Angel Beats was just so awful. What a horrid disappointment and a waste of gorgeous animation quality.

Nooooooo!!!!! You Is Wrong!!!!! DieDieDie!11!!1?!

Volibear wrote:
also, why isn't AnoHana licensed yet? surely someone shoulda picked it up by now, it was a great series and loads of people enjoyed it, i'm sure it'd sell well enough to make it worthwhile or do only action and fanservice series sell in the US now? (i'm British, so idk what sells well)

I'm surprised and not so suprised.. it's a most excellent show. But I can see how it's harder to market. I can see how some licensees might be on the fence about it, including whether to dub or not (or in Funi's case whether the added cost is worth it) I would also not be surprised if the licensing terms is just a heck of a lot more expensive. After all, it was a huge hit in Japan.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
Posts: 2377
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:37 pm Reply with quote
Interesting awards. Comments to follow.

First of all, did both of you completely miss the opening of Future Diary? The fact that it wasn't even mentioned by either of you surprises me. Maybe you just didn't like it, but I thought it was the best opening of the year.

While I wouldn't give Ohana from Hanasuku Iroha the character of the year award myself, I can see why she was liked, and was completely mystified by how many people seemed to violently hate her after the first episode.

Also, I have to say it is a shame that neither of you apparently finished Steins;Gate. It was spectacular later on, and I'm fairly certain it would have been a winner or runner up in many of your awards. It's currently unavailable now since it's been removed by crunchyroll thanks to Funimation's license and has yet to be released by Funimation, but when next you two have a chance to finish that series, I'd strongly recommend you do so.

It's a shame I'll never see it featured in these awards now regardless of whether one or both of you watch it later, though. (Big spoiler to follow) For example, I think it could have had a good shot for spoiler[death scene of the year based on episode 12, when Mayuri gets shot in the head by a supposed friend. Perhaps the fact that this death is ultimately undone thanks to all the time travel craziness of the series would hurt it's chances, but I think it still is an incredibly strong and shocking scene. At that point the series has been fairly silly for a while with just a slowly building sense of danger, and seeing cute sweet Mayuri murdered by a traitor completely changes the tone of the series and sets the stage for the second half. A very powerful, very important scene.]

Also, Okabe is definitely my character of the year. He's loads of fun at first, what with his ramblings about 'the organization" and his pride as a self proclaimed mad scientist, but he doesn't really shine until the second half of the show, when things take a turn for the darker. Seeing his struggles through the second half, and seeing his relationship with certain other characters develop, gives one a much fuller understanding of Okabe and shows just how awesome he is.

I'd also be very curious to hear Carl's opinion on Mamoru Miyano's performance as Okabe. I'm kind of in Theron's boat in that I don't really know enough Japanese to judge the quality of Japanese voice acting to any degree, but despite this I was blown away by Mamoru's performance in several scenes.

Scene of the year (more major spoilers) might also go to Steins;Gate for a scene in episode 22. The entire episode was one of the best and most emotional anime episodes I've seen, but the scene spoiler[when Okabe prepares to hack SERN and revert the World Line is even better than the rest of the episode.] This is thanks in no small part to Miyano's acting, as you can truly hear spoiler[the pain and sorrow Okabe's voice as he attempts to make some of his standard proclamations of "victory against the organization" and the like. Makise's arrival during the hacking, her confession to Okabe, his voice after the World Line has changed and he confirms that Makise is dead again... all the elements come together to make an incredibly memorable scene.]

Not surprisingly given what I've, Steins;Gate would be my series of the year (at least if I'm using Theron/Carl's standards and thus excluding PMMM). It even manages to (more ending spoilers) spoiler[pull off a happy ending when it seemed like it should be impossible, and does this without feeling like a cop out, at least to me. Which was a very tough thing to do considering how strong the final scene of episode 22 was and how easily that episode could have been the end of the series.]


configspace wrote:
dtm42 wrote:
I am so pissed off that no company thought to simulcast PMMM. Now we have to wait another year for the series gets its due in this feature. Gah.

You mean in NZ? In any case, you could just watch the fansubs for now as I'm sure Aniplex is well aware of where the already existent fanbase outside Japan comes from.


No, he means the US so that Theron and Carl could have used it in this feature. dtm42 has already seen PMMM and loves it, and thinks that it deserves to be showcased in this feature. But since it wasn't officially released in the US in 2011 it didn't qualify, so it will be an entire year before it will be able to be featured like this.


Last edited by Mad_Scientist on Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:47 am; edited 2 times in total
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dtm42



Joined: 05 Feb 2008
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Location: NZL
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:40 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist is correct about my reasons for being annoyed about the lack of simulcasting for PMMM.

asimpson2006 wrote:
I am really curious to see just how bad Fractle is. As much as I hear people rag on it, my interest increases just to see how much of train wreck it is.


It's nowhere near as bad as BLOOD-C was, although I guess that series wasn't eligible for contention. Somehow. I mean, it was simulcasted, so all I can is that it was an oversight.

Fractale was bad, but BLOOD-C is the show that people will refer to when searching for a modern example of 'trainwreck'. It was just so damn awful. And considering the amount of money that was poured into it and the people and companies involved, I'm shocked it wasn't highlighted.

jenthehen wrote:
Oh man ... are you kidding? Angel Beats was just so awful. What a horrid disappointment and a waste of gorgeous animation quality.


I wouldn't say Angel Beats! was awful, but I do think it is vastly overrated. Too much is ripped off from Haruhi, there were animation and artistry problems, the story was badly written and never finished, and the attempts at emotional manipulation were so juvenile as to be unacceptable. Yuri's backstory is utter drivel.

partially wrote:
Only real thing I would do differently would be to remove Eva 2.22 from the list, it certainly looked stunning, but I personally felt it added nothing more to the franchise. It was like the more it tried to be different the more it stayed the same. What people did and who did what changed a fair bit, but in all cases the film still hit the same stages as the TV series. Even the ending was curtailed by what happened after the credits to come back within the TV series frame. It felt far too constricted to the TV series plot. I would of given the awards to anything else that was at least trying to be mildly original.


I thought the movie was inferior than the television episodes it replaced. Shiny yes, and a more natural character arc for Asuka. But the battles sucked (seriously, episode nineteen annihilates anything in this movie), and Mari was a bloody waste of screentime. Her only reason for existing was to provide more fanservice and to sell more figurines and model kits, and she didn't do anything in the movie itself. And 'Beast Mode'? What the f*ck?

Don't fix what ain't broke, that's what I say.
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The King of Harts



Joined: 05 May 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:48 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:
But I can see how [AnoHana could be] harder to market

"From the director of Toradora"
"Character designs and animation by the man who did Toradora and High School of the Dead"
"Written by the writer of Toradora, Hanasaku Iroha, Black Butler and Vampire Knight"
"Animated by the studio that brought you Black Butler, Blue Exorcist, Birdy the Mighty Decode, and Fairy Tail"

Seems like it has the pedigree to make it an easy sell. Not to mention the love and hype it has across the community.

I mean, I get that the show itself isn't the type to set fire here in R1, but between the quality of the show and big names attached to it, you'd think it'd at least get an eye from NISA or Nozomi. Hell, I'm rather surprised Aniplex isn't releasing in the OreImo method (though a BD would be preferable because of the aforementioned Masayoshi Tanaka's work).
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darkchibi07



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 4257
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:51 pm Reply with quote
configspace wrote:


Volibear wrote:
also, why isn't AnoHana licensed yet? surely someone shoulda picked it up by now, it was a great series and loads of people enjoyed it, i'm sure it'd sell well enough to make it worthwhile or do only action and fanservice series sell in the US now? (i'm British, so idk what sells well)

I'm surprised and not so suprised.. it's a most excellent show. But I can see how it's harder to market. I can see how some licensees might be on the fence about it, including whether to dub or not (or in Funi's case whether the added cost is worth it) I would also not be surprised if the licensing terms is just a heck of a lot more expensive. After all, it was a huge hit in Japan.


It's still surprising it's not at the very least simulcasted in the first place. I thought Crunchyroll would have gotten any "leftover" noitaminA titles not picked up by FUNimation.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 6941
Location: IL
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 9:52 pm Reply with quote
Gotta say, I'm disappointed that Time of Eve didn't get any mention whatsoever with the movie being legally released via iTunes. But since you both mentioned Cross Game I'll deal.
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Mad_Scientist



Joined: 08 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:04 pm Reply with quote
The King of Harts wrote:


And yes, Theron, Blue Exorcist does take a huge nosedive before crashing and burning at it's finale. I'm surprised it went from so good to so bad in just one episode.


Haven't finished the show myself yet, but I've heard the point where it goes from good to crap is the point where the anime diverges from the source manga. Which would provide an explanation for the sudden drop, as anime original endings can be very tough to pull off.
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