You see, Sunrise has so many things worth LOLing/lulz that they demand their own section.
Most lulz-worthy: Code Geass R2
The first season of Code Geass was my pick for the best series of 2007. R2 gets an infamy award. The constant rewrites and terrible pacing made the jokes like “I’M POSTING THIS EVERY DAY UNTIL KALLEN IS RELEASED” made it so that there was only a window of 0.04 seconds when I was able to take the show the least bit seriously and enjoy it non-ironically. And while this is the Sunrise lulz category, this show wins overall, Sunrise or non-Sunrise.
Best trap: Tieria
I mean, everyone joked in the first season about how he was really the prettiest girl in the show, but I didn’t expect Sunrise to actually take us up on it.
Best sidekick: Asshole Haro
Personally, I really don’t care too much about the Haros in Gundam. Nina’s asshole Haro, however warmed my heart with its bad attitude, profanity, and penchant for smashing other Haros until they broke.
Best implied yaoi scene in a non-yaoi series: Tieria slaps Saji
Just look at the look on Tieria’s face! This scene wouldn’t be out of place in Junjou Romantica. Ikanaide!
Worst yaoi-killing moment: Nina kisses Setsuna
WTF HOW DARE THAT BITCH TRY TO STEAL SETSUNA AWAY FROM THE OTHER HUNKY MEISTERS!
Best doujinshi: Zero wa Ore ga Mamoru!
Who cares if I haven’t read it. Just look at Lulu’s face! Sooooo kawaii desu kyaaah!
The Straight Cougar Memorial Award for most ridiculous Sunrise character name: Mister Bushido
The irony here is that Graham Acre had one of the few non-ridiculous names in Gundam 00 during the first season.
HALL OF SHAME:
Best argument for watching anime on Nico Nico: Rosario + Vampire
This show was absolute garbage. There was next to no attempt to actually follow the story causing plot holes a-plenty. It did, however have lots of boobs and panties. The Nico chuus pounced on this one and their MST3K-ing of the show turned it from unwatchable to hillarious. Alas, such a golden age can not remain. And that’s why I don’t have a picture or video to use
Worst Legend of the Galactic Heroes spinoff: Antique Bakery
Oh wait, this cap is from Legend of the Galactic Heroes
Campiest moment: OTOUTO-KUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!
I personally go with the Sontag-ian definition for camp as “failed seriousness”. Da Crapo represents everything that makes me roll my eyes at bishoujo games and moe girls and siscon and the ilk. My post about the first episode of Da Crapo 2 S1 was one of the more contempt-filled episode summaries that I’ve ever done. I just cannot get into the sort of viewing mindset that you need to take these shows seriously, and even more so when they try to be serious and emotional—and nothing meant to be serious made me laugh so hard as this would-be tearful moment.
Worst sex scenes and “best” conflation of violence and sexuality: Golgo 13
Since there wasn’t any conflation of mecha and sexuality that was anywhere close to last year’s one-two punch of Idolmaster and Gurren Lagann, I’m changing “mecha” to “violence”.
And to be more specific with the sex scene part, I mean every one in the show.
Most damaging stain to the Gundam franchise: World Destruction
Because of the fact that Tohru Furuya and Shuuichi Ikeda play bear furry brothers that end their sentences with “-kuma” and “-bear”, respectively, every time I hear them say something from a UC Gundam, I kept mentally filling in the ending in my head. “Even my own father didn’t hit me-kuma!” “Why must we fight amongst ourselves and further pollute the Earth-bear?”
Gundam Seed Destiny Memorial Award for the series that could’ve been best improved if I had written it: Tower of Druaga
The first episode of Druaga was kind of awesome. It was not the way that the rest of the series would be. I was really hoping tha tthe rest of the show would be about the characters playing the MMO, rather than giving the MMO a story.
Biggest sequel dropoff: Nodame Cantabile S2
Nodame Cantabile was one of the better shows in 2007. This season took away almost everything that was good about it. Most of the characters are gone, the story cuts out so much material that there is no flow whatsoever to it, and the shortened season length makes it impossible for JC Staff to do things like devote half of an episode to an orchestra recital of some piece from the Legend of the Galactic Heroes soundtrack.
Like, look at this cap. There’s Franck. I mean, he lives with Chiaki, Nodame, and Tanya, but he just drops off the face of the earth after a few episodes.
Worst name: Mnemosyne: Daughters of Mnemosyne
It’s not the “Mnemosyne” part that’s bad. There’s nothing more or less pretenious about that name than lots of anime names. The reason that it gets this dubious award is because the full title is “Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi”, which is the most redundant title since “Manos: The Hands of Fate”.
Worst series of the year: Kanokon
This is one of the only series on MAL that I have ever given a 1 to. It was neither funny nor arousing and almost insultingly stupid.
Most necessary fanservice element: Code Geass R2 features a shot of Kallen’s bent-over ass every episode for the first eight or so episodes
The series just wasn’t the same once she got captured and there was no more excuse for her to stick her ass into the (fish-eye lens) camera like that. Furthermore, the scene was all the more lulz-worthy because it BLATANTLY disregarded canon (not to be confused with that Kanon guy) because CC is the designated ass-related fanservice character.
Best boobchomp: Rosario + Vampire
OM NOM NOM NOM
Most annoying fanservice trend: Overboard censorship to sell de-censored DVDs
Now, I don’t have anything against the concept of uncensored DVDs. My beef is with the ridiculous extremes that it’s gotten to. If you’re going to put a big fat censor mark over almost the entire frame, just release the damn thing as an OVA and spare us the TV broadcast dechuuuuu.
Most surprisingly porny spinoff: The Kimi Kiss manga
I mean, dayamn.
Most Rubenesque ladies: Real Drive
The looser the waistband/the deeper the quicksand, etc.
Most ridiculous boobage: Tsukasa in Akane-iro no Somaru Saka
Huge isn’t good enough. There were tons of fanservice anime with giant boobs that were funny rather than arousing this year, like the giant boobs in Sekirei that made the characters look like cubes (which I wish I could post an example of but I don’t want any blatantly NSFW pictures on here). What pushes Tsukasa over the top is how the animation was often pretty bad, so they would look detached from her body, or jiggle in bizarre ways, or change shapes in ways that are not even remotely physically possible.
AND FINALLY, SOME NON-SARCASTIC AWARDS
Best anything related to music: Macross Frontier
For a while, I contemplated whether Macross Frontier or Legend of the Galactic Heroes had the best soundtrack EVAR. I decided that the easy way to settle the argument is simply to say that Macross Frontier is the best ORIGINAL soundtrack.
Best kawaii loli imouto desu: Mika, The Melancholy of Haruka Nogizaka
Most kawaii loli imouto desu will go around saying stuff like “Onii-chan? Onii-chan tteba! Kyaaaa, onii-chan you perv!”, then blushes and says “…but it’s OK if it’s with you, onii-chan!” Mika, on the other hand would say “Onii-chan? Onii-chan tteba! Kyaaaa, onii-chan you perv! (blushes)…but it’s OK if it’s with you, onii-chan! Seriously though, I like you. Come over to my house and fuck my sister!“, then would proceed to high-five you during said humping.
Most necessary spinoff for 2009: The Adventures of Lydia-tan Episode 00
So far, Lydia has always been amusingly out of place in Tytania. Some dukes will be having a discussion over what time frame for an armed intervention will provide the desired psychological effect of pacifying an unrelated outer planet or something, and then in busts Lydia talking about gelatos and flowers while some hapless, foppish retainer stumbles in behind her saying something like “YOUR HIGHNESS, it is a grave offense to speak to a Tytanian without adhering to elaborate courtly protocol!”
Most necessary merchandising tie-in: Ranka’s backpack
WANT. Even if it would get me mercilessly made fun of.
The IT’S OK IF I’M THE DEVIL Memorial Award for AWESOMENESS: Macross Frontier episode 14
You know the drill: space battles, enemies breaking through the final defense line, bridge members spinning around to issue reports, etc. Also, bonus points for the lulz when Sheryl jumps into a Valkyrie to save the day and is immediately shot down once Iteza Gogo Kuji Don’t Be Late starts playing to pump everyone up.
Best visual novel adaptation: Kimi Kiss
My main beef with visual novels is how their non-linearity doesn’t translate well to the linear world of anime. Kimi Kiss neatly sidesteps this issue with an ingeniously simple solution: pair off the other characters. Now everyone has something to do and nobody drops off the face of the earth once the three episodes allotted to their storyline are over.
Best shoujo series: Itazura na Kiss
It sadly had to be the case that this only really happened because the manga-ka died, making the story end, but one of my biggest pet peeves with shoujo is when there is just so much KYAH HE LIKES ME OR DOES HE NO HE DOES WAIT DO I LIKE HIM I THINK SO WAIT DOES HE STILL LIKE ME OH NOES I DON’T THINK HE DOES RIGHT NOW OH WAIT HE DOES waffling in the story that it eventually gets both stale and unrealistic, since I’d think that the other person would either stop caring about you (like how I stop caring about you) or come to think that you’re a crazy flake that should be avoided. Itazura na Kiss gets that out of the way pretty early and actually like, gives them a relationship. It also helps when every time Naoki acts like a jackass, Kotoko finds some way to pwn him.
Best shounen series: Soul Eater
I don’t really need much out of a shounen series. You just have to put forth some effort in your stories, your action, and your characters. Also, it helps when you have BONES doing your animation. Or when you have Excalibur. YEAH! PUCKING! PENCIL!
“Best” DUDE YOU HAVE TO CHECK OUT THIS AMAZING ‘JAPANIMATION’! IT’S NOT KID’S STUFF LIKE DISNEY CARTOONS! and best semen-eating motif: Mnemosyne
Mnemosyne lets you know right away that this is going to be a very 90s OVA experience. Not only does the first scene have a women wearing nothing but a mostly-unbuttoned nightshirt getting shot repetedly with a shotgun, but after that sequence we get the subtitle “SHINJUKU 1990″ to make it crystal-clear what to expect. Also, the main villain in that episode is a lesbian torture nurse. Subsequent episodes feature lesbian sex as a prerequisite (every time!) to meeting an informer, gropey vampire/angel things, half-baked biblical/Norse references, incredibly gratuitous violence done because people do not die when hey are killed, and to top it off, the immortal protagonist deciding that the only way to kill a robot is to grab hold of her and jump into a jet engine and then regenerate. Honestly, if they dropped all the pretentious of being SRS BIZNESS and just went with making the whole thing pulpy and grindehouse-y and lurid, I could be enjoying it for the right reason when I’m enjoying it for all the wrong reasons.
Best fanservice series: Strike Witches
Yes, I did drop this show once my Bost money ran out, but let’s face it: it’s got a parade of fetishes, completely random WWII references, and the simultaneously brilliant and stupid idea of providing constant fanservice by having none of the female characters wear pants.
Best action series: Gundam 00
Gundam 00 gets a lot of respect from me for how it manipulated the overpowered Gundam battles. The first half of the show was almost infuriating because of how the overpowered Gundams robbed any kind of excitement from any of the battles, which really should be one of the focal points of a mecha series. Fortunately for these 2008 awards, that happened in 2007. Once 2008 hit, we started to get instances when people finally managed to simply hit a Gundam, which became a cause to celebrate. This hits its highest point when I was actually pumped when Lockon died because it was such an amazing reversal.
Best sequel: My-Otome Sifr
I had really low expectations coming in. My-Otome was textbook Sunrise trainwreck (although I think that label is a bit unfair since I think with another 13 episodes it could have been better) and My-Otome Zwei was kind of a joke. Sifr managed to hit the ground running and managed to keep things tongue in cheek (lololololol fake KOS-MOS ripped off the part of Lena’s robe covering her boob), but also remembered that when it’s time to be AWESOME, it’s time to drop the air quotes. SOUTEN NO CLAYMORE!, etc.
Most surprisingly good series: The Melancholy of Haruka Nogizaka
I have really low expectations for moe romantic comedies, usually finding them cliche and contrived and neither moe nor romantic nor comedic. With Haruka, they dropped the lazy stock jokes (KYAH YOU SAW MY PANTIES NOW I MUST PUNCH YOU) and decided to actually you know, tell jokes or develop their relationship. It’s pretty hard to have any kind of a relationship with someone when the reason that they punch you every 30 seconds is because they have an intense distrust of everything you do and all.
Best series, if the second half had been as good as the first: Macross Frontier
If the second half of the show were as fun as the first half, this choice would be a slam dunk for the best series. Even though the second half was lackluster, it still had a plucky the-show-must-go-on vibe. Sheryl might have space AIDS, Ranka is all emo, Alto still hasn’t paired up with someone, and nobody has spun around in their chair to tell a spaceship captain that “THE ENEMIES HAVE BROKEN THROUGH THE LAST DEFENSE LINE!” in forever, but doggonit we’re gonna get out there and bring the house down with a 13 minute medley and an elaborately choreographed dance set to Fatboy Slim’s The Rockafeller Skank.
Best comedy, best OVA, and fuck it, the best anime of 2008: Magical Heart Kokoro-chan
Yeah, I know that it was only a one-shot OVA, but I honestly can not think of a single anime that made me laugh this hard. School Days was so melodramatic and over the top that it threatened to topple over at any second and collapse into farce. The fact that it had a NICE BOAT joke nicely sums up the ability of this series to recognize this aspect laugh at itself as it doesn’t just push itself over that line, but gleefully runs right past it. Much like with Code Geass for 2007, there was no anime that I enjoyed as much as this one this year, so I’m naming it #1.