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Jan 17, 2014 1:53 AM
Anime Relations: Kanon, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, Kanon (2006), Clannad, Clannad: After Story, Toradora!, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (2009), K-On!, Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, K-On!!, K-On! Movie, Little Busters!, Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo, Little Busters!: Refrain

I know I wrote down that I would be writing blogs about Key's anime adaptations a month ago, but I have been extremely busy since then and I haven't gotten around to it. But I still want to do it at some point. Until then, I'll work on it when I got the chance. For now, here's my Anime of the Year Awards!

My rules can be found on my profile.

Anime Watched:
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu) (Kyoto Animation)
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009) (Kyoto Animation)
Toradora! (J.C Staff)
Kanon (2006) (Kyoto Animation)
Kanon (2002) (Toei Animation)
K-On! (Kyoto Animation)
K-On!! (Kyoto Animation)
Air (Kyoto Animation)
Angelic Layer (Bones) - on indefinite hold
Tamako Market (Kyoto Animation)
Love, Chuunibyou and Other Delusions! (Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!) [My translation: Despite Having Chuunibyou I Want Love!] (Kyoto Animation)
Ben-To (David Production)
Clannad (Kyoto Animation)
My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun) [My translation: My Monster Neighbour] (Brain's Base)
Ninja Nonsense (2X2 = Shinobuden) (Ufotable)
Clannad: ~After Story~ (Kyoto Animation)
OreImo (Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai) [My Translation: There's No Way My Little Sister Is This Cute] (AIC Build)
GJ-Club (GJ-Bu) (Dogakobo)
Oreimo 2 (Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.) (A-1 Pictures)
Angel Beats! (P.A Works)
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou (Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo) [My Translation: She's the Pet of Sakurasou] (J.C Staff)
My Ordinary Life (Nichijou) [My Translation: Everyday Life] (Kyoto Animation)
Hanasaku Iroha (P.A Works)
My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU (Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru) [My translation: As Expected, My Teenage Rom-Com is Wrong] (Brain's Base)
Kokoro Connect (Silver Link)
Little Busters! (J.C Staff)
Henneko (Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko) [The Hentai Prince and the Stony Cat] (J.C Staff)
Working!! (A-1 Pictures)
Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation (Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation) (David Production)
Servant x Service (A-1 Pictures)
Watamote (Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!) [No Matter How I Look at it, It's Your Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!] (Silver Link)
Working'!! (Working!! 2) (A-1 Pictures)
Waiting in the Summer (Ano Natsu de Matteru) (J.C Staff)
Nodame Cantabile (J.C Staff)
The Devil is a Part-Timer! (Hataraku Maou-sama!) [My Translation: The Working Demon Lord!] (White Fox)
Miss Monochrome [short episode series]
Beyond the Boundary (Kyoukai no Kanata) (Kyoto Animation)
Little Busters!: Refrain (J.C Staff)
Hidamari Sketch (Shaft)
Non Non Biyori (Silver Link)
Arakawa Under the Bridge (Shaft)
Hidamari Sketch x 365 (Shaft)
Hidamari Sketch x Hoshi Mit-tsu (Shaft)
Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb (Shaft)

Best Male Character:
Kyon (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Tomoya Okazaki (Clannad)
Sorata Kanda (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
Youto Yokodera (Henneko)
Kyousuke Natsume (Little Busters!)

Winner: Tomoya Okazaki

This is the only category in my Anime of the Year Awards that I had no problem choosing. As much as the other characters helped their respective female counterparts find their way in life, none of them did it better and evolved more than Tomoya did. From high-school delinquent to a caring and loving person, he withstood a barrage of life hardships and ultimately didn’t let it bring him down.

Honourable Mentions:
Yuuichi Aizawa (Kanon)
Riki Naoe (Little Busters!)

Best Female Character:
Yuki Nagato (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Nagisa Furukawa (Clannad)
Himeko Inaba (Kokoro Connect)
Nepgear (Hyperdimension Neptunia)
Rin Natsume (Little Busters!)

Winner: Yuki Nagato

All of the characters on this list had great character development. But Yuki Nagato stuck out for me from the beginning. While she may not seem more than just a stereotypical quiet bookworm, she is practically omnipotent. After she defended Kyon in that epic fight scene from the first season, I thought she was awesome. As the series develops, you learn about how involved she is in almost everything that happens but her ability to change things is limited because of her programming. If that’s not enough, where she shines is in the movie. You see a whole new side of her, and the movie reveals everything about her that she’s been hiding deep inside of her. The movie also brings out her feelings which she previously didn’t have. It’s often hard to feel for the silent and emotionless character, but Yuki Nagato is a unique case.

Honourable Mentions:
Haruhi Suzumiya (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Taiga Aisaka (Toradora!)
Mio Akiyama (K-On series)
Ayu Tsukimiya (Kanon)
Misuzu Kamio (Air)
Rikka Takanashi (Chuunibyou)
Nanami Aoyama (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)
Tsukiko Tsutsukakuchi (Henneko)
Plutia/Pururut (Hyperdimension Neptunia)

Best Seiyu (Male):
Tomokazu Sugita – (Anime Roles): Kyon (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)/Yuuichi Aizawa(Kanon [2006])/Hatsushiba (Watamote)/Hoshi (Arakawa Under the Bridge)
Video Game Roles - Chrom (Fire Emblem: Awakening)

Jun Fukuyama - Yuuta Togashi (Chuunibyou)/Kotaro Kobayashi (Angelic Layer)/Soldier No. 66 (Nichijou)/Souta Takanashi (Working!!)
Yuuichi Nakamura – (Anime Roles): Tomoya Okazaki (Clannad)/Kyousuke Kousaka (Oreimo series)/Yuuzan Yoshida (My Little Monster)/Tomoki Kuroki (Watamote)/Youhei Mashiba (Working'!!)/Last Samurai (Arakawa Under the Bridge)
Video Game Roles – Kurt (Project X Zone)

Hikaru Midorikawa – Kyousuke Natsume (Little Busters!)/Yusuke Yoshino (Clannad)/Saitou (Angel Beats!)

Winner: Tomokazu Sugita

My opinion from last year hasn’t changed. Tomokazu Sugita is still my favourite male voice actor. He fits perfectly in comedy anime and his timings are perfect. Aside from that, he has the stereotypical deep Japanese voice that I always found cool growing up. He scored a lot of points with me for doing the voice of Chrom from Fire Emblem: Awakening which I played religiously from the end of January until October.

Honourable Mentions:
Tomokazu Seki – Jun Kitagawa (Kanon [Both])/Masaharu Ogata (Angelic Layer)/Shinichi Chiaki (Nodame Cantabile)

Daisuke Ono – (Anime Roles): Yukito Kunisaki and Sora (Air)/Itsuki Koizumi (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)/Kaoru Hanase (Tamako Market)/Sasaki (Clannad: ~After Story~)/Crow (Nichijou)/Jun Satou (Working!!)
Video Game Roles – Frederick and Priam (Fire Emblem: Awakening)

Minoru Shiraishi – Taniguchi (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)/Sakamoto (Nichijou)

Best Seiyu (Female):
Yui Horie – (Anime Roles): Ayu Tsukimiya (Kanon [Both])/Minori Kushieda (Toradora!)/Hiromi Fujimori (Angelic Layer)/Kyou Sawagi (Ben-To)/Ryuunosuke Akasaka and Maid-chan (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)/Narrator (Nichijou)/Riki Naoe (Little Busters!)/Nepgear (Hyperdimension Neptunia)/Emika Takatsuki (Waiting in the Summer)/Miss Monochrome (Miss Monochrome)/Kouko Kaga (Golden Time)
Video Game Roles – Nepgear (Hyperdimension Neptunia series)/Multi (Aquapazza [To Heart])

Maaya Uchida - Rikka Takanashi (Chuunibyou)/Mao Amatsuka (GJ-Bu)/Chinatsu Mihashi (Kokoro Connect)

Kana Hanazawa – (Anime Roles): Kanade Tachibana "Angel" (Angel Beats!)/Ruri Gokou "Kuroneko" and Hinata Gokou (Oreimo 2)/Chiduru Ooshima (My Little Monster)/Yuu Naruse (Watamote)/Suginami Mutsumi (Little Busters!)/Plutia (Hyperdimension Neptunia)
Video Game Roles – Plutia (Hyperdimension Neptunia: Victory)/Toki (Time and Eternity)

Kana Asumi – (Anime Roles) Blanc (Hyperdimension Neptunia)/Popura Taneshima (Working!!)/Mio Kitahara (Waiting in the Summer)/Yuno (Hidamari Sketch)/Komari Koshigaya (Non Non Biyori)
Video Game Roles – Lissa (Fire Emblem: Awakening)/Blanc (Hyperdimension Neptunia series)

Winner: Yui Horie

If anyone knows my anime habits at all, they’ll know who my favourite female voice actress is at the drop of a hat. Yui Horie is easily my favourite female voice actress. I initially liked her moe voice roles but then I heard her voicing male characters, and that’s when I realized how talented she actually is. She is able to take on a variety of roles and it’s for that, that makes her my favourite female voice actress. In addition, she voices my waifu Nepgear. :P

Honourable Mentions:
Tomoko Kawakami – Misuzu Kamio (Air)/ Sayuri Kurata (Kanon [Both])/Madoka Fujisaki (Angelic Layer)/Girl From the Illusionary World (Clannad)

Aki Toyosaki - Yui Hirasawa (K-On! series)/Nako Oshimizu (Hanasaku Iroha Iroha)/Iori Nagase (Kokoro Connect)/Azusa's Mom (Henneko)/Megumi Chihaya (Servant x Service)

Yui Ogura - (Anime Roles) Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi (Henneko)/Tamaki Gokou (Oreimo)/Yuuko Kanda (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou)/Rom (Hyperdimension Neptunia)
Video Game Roles - Rom (Hyperdimension Neptunia)/Sharuru (Mugen Souls)

Best Song:
Last Regrets – Ayana (Kanon 2006 Opening)
Toki wo Kizamu Uta – Lia (Clannad: After Story Opening)
My Soul, Your Beats! – Lia (Angel Beats Opening)
Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! - Konomi Suzuki n' Kiba of Akiba (Watamote Opening)
Kyoukai no Kanata – Minori Chihara (Kyoukai no Kanata Opening)

Winner: My Soul, Your Beats!

This really did come down to which Jun Maeda composed song I liked better. My Soul, Your Beats! was ultimately the winner. I love Jun Maeda’s extensive use of the piano in the songs he composes and My Soul, Your Beats! does the best job in showing off the brilliant score that it is.

Honourable Mentions:
Bouken Desho Desho? [It’s an Adventure Right, Right?] - Haruhi Suzumiya (Aya Hirano) (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya Opening, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (Movie) Opening)

Kaze no Tadori Tsuku Basho (The Place the Wind Reaches) – Ayana (Kanon 2006 Closing, Kanon 2002 Episode 13 Closing)

Utauyo! Miracle! [Singing! Miracle!] – Houkago Tea Time (After-school Tea Time): Yui Hirasawa (main vocalist), Mio Akiyama (backup), Ritsu Tainaka (backup), Tsumugi Kotobuki (backup), and Azusa Nakano (backup) (Aki Toyosaki, Yoko Hikasa, Satomi Satou, Minako Kotobuki, and Ayana Taketatsu) (K-On!! Opening 2)

Farewell Song – Lia (Air Closing)

Sparkling Daydream – ZAQ (Chuunibyou Opening)

Irony – ClariS (Oreimo Opening)

Hyadain no Kakakata☆Kataomoi - C - Hyadain (Nichijou Opening 1)

Days of Dash - Konomi Suzuki (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou Ending 1)

Little Busters! ~TV. animation ver.~ - Rita (Little Busters! Opening)

Baby Sweet Berry Love - Tsukiko Tsutsukakushi (Yui Ogura) (Henneko Closing)

Dimension tripper!!!! - nao (Hyperdimension Neptunia Opening)

ZERO!! - Minami Kuribayashi (The Devil is a Part-Timer! Opening)

Best Insert Song:
God Knows - Haruhi Suzumiya (Aya Hirano) w/ ENOZ (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya)
Fuwa Fuwa Time [Fluffy Time] - Houkago Tea-Time (K-On!)
Kirihirake! Glazy Star! - nao (Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation)
Haruka Kanata [Faraway] - Rita (Little Busters!: Refrain)

Winner: God Knows

If there is any insert anime song that has a reputation, it’s God Knows. I have this song as my ringtone, and even my friends who don’t watch anime recognize the song. Of course this is for good reason. God Knows is a great song filled with epic guitar solos and Aya Hirano’s fantastic singing voice.

(2013) Anime of the Year:
The Pet Girl of Sakurasou
Little Busters! + Little Busters! ~Refrain~

Winner: The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

While I absolutely loved Little Busters! Refrain, and I think it’s better than The Pet Girl of Sakurasou, the first season kills it for me. I have to rate Refrain alongside the first season because both of them finished airing in 2013. But that’s not taking anything away from The Pet Girl of Sakurasou. This is a regular school/romance/slice of life but it’s done way better than most typical ones. Early on, they start developing their characters and they don’t stop with the character development until it’s all over. They create characters that you genuinely like and you want to see them succeed in their goals that they work so hard for. While the story doesn’t have a solid conclusion it was still a good ending to a great anime.

Anime of the Year: Clannad + Clannad ~After Story~

This anime is easily the best anime that I watched this year. Even just the first season would have made a serious run at the top. The first season’s humour was top-notch, the characters were developed fairly well, and it told a very subtle romantic tale. However, After Story is one of the best shows I have ever watched. It has a perfect blend of story, character development, and tension. But what it does best is it brings out the deep emotions that lie in our hearts. After Story plays with your emotions, rips your heart out of your chest, and then proceeds to stomp on it until the anime ends. After Story also dives into an area that few other school/slice of life anime dare to go: life past high school. After Story tells a very real tale of life after high school: trying to find a job, living away from your parents, and another very important part of life as an adult which I can’t put in because of story reasons (but reach episode 17 of After Story and you’ll know). It’s a refreshing thing to see in an industry full of telling you high school tales.

The music deserves mention as well. Jun Maeda, the series’ lead composer, is genius. After watching all of Key’s anime adaptations, I love every single opening and ending done in those anime and Clannad is no exception. But Clannad has a couple of other great musical pieces. One of them is Dango Daikazoku (also serves as the ending of the first season), which I can no longer listen to without tearing up. It carries a special significance in the later third of After Story. The other one is Girl’s Fantasy, which plays during the series’ side story and also in some of the more dramatic parts later on. The song is eerie and solemn, and it makes the scenes it’s placed in all the more dramatic. If there’s one complaint I have about After Story music-wise, it’s the ending song. While Torch is a great song, it really does not fit later on in the series.

The animation is well done, as to be expected from Kyoto Animation. What deserves special mention when it comes to animation is the series’ side-story scenes, where the animation quality difference is obvious. The characters’ movements during these segments is so fluid, it almost feels like you’re watching an anime that might air 10 years from now. Perhaps I’m exaggerating, but it really is something to behold.

Well, that just about does it for 2013. This was my first true year of watching anime. I look forward to the future.

I used this method to help me determine the winner. TV shows are scored out of 20 but with a doubled score (8.5/10 = 17/20) because of their importance over the movies (if any). I combined any OVAs and specials into the rating of the show. Take .5 off any series with only one season. This way it’s more fair to series with two or more seasons that differ in quality.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya: First Season: 9.4, Second Season (2009): 7.6, Movie (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya): 9.9, Final Score: 8.8

Toradora!: TV show: 9.2

Kanon: Original (2002): 7.5, Remake (2006): 9.7 Final Score: 8.8

K-On!: First Season: 8.3, Second Season (!!): 9.2, Movie: 8.8, Final Score: 8.8

Air: TV show: 7.4

Tamako Market: TV show: 6.3

Chuunibyou: TV show: 9.0

Ben-To: TV show: 6.1

Clannad: First Season: 9.5, Second Season (~After Story~): 10, Final Score: 9.75

My Little Monster: TV show: 5.5

Ninja Nonsense: TV show: 7.0

Oreimo: First Season: 8.1, Second Season: (.): 7.9, Final Score: 8.0

GJ-Bu: TV show: 6.4

Angel Beats: TV show: 8.0

The Pet Girl of Sakurasou: TV show: 9.1

Nichijou: TV show: 8.9

Hanasaku Iroha: TV show: 6.6

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: TV show: 7.5

Kokoro Connect: TV show: 8.7

Little Busters!: First Season: 7.5, Second Season (~Refrain~): 9.6 , Final Score: 8.6

Henneko: TV show: 8.8

Working!!: First Season: 8.2, Second Season (‘!!): 8.7, Final Score: 8.5

Hyperdimension Neptunia: TV show: 8.3

Servant X Service: TV show: 7.4

Watamote: TV show: 8.0

Waiting in the Summer: TV show: 8.1

Nodame Cantabile: TV show: 7.1

The Devil is a Part-Timer!: TV show: 7.6

Beyond the Boundary: TV show: 7.5

Hidamari Sketch: First Season: 7.4, Second Season (x 365): 7.9, Third Season (x Hoshi Mit-tsu):7.5, Fourth Season (x Honeycomb): 8.5, Final Score: 7.8

Non Non Biyori: TV show: 7.8

Arakawa Under the Bridge: TV show: 6.9
Posted by Smashking | Jan 17, 2014 1:53 AM | Add a comment