Anime Source finished their yearly pollat what the public believed to be the best anime of the year, and completely unsurprisingly, Geass flattened everyone else. But apparantly Geass has mixed reviews and was not as good as the first season, which only scored 5th in the 2006 survey. So why did Geass top the poll? So I’m going to use a psychiotrists system to get to the root of the problem: The 5 whys.
Whydid Geass R2 top the greatest anime of 2008?
Because most people voted it in their top 5
Why did most people vote it in their top 5?
Because it was one of the best series most people saw
Why was it on so many peoples best series list?
Because no other anime was as widely watched as Geass
Whywas no other anime watched as widely as Geass?
Because no other anime was talked about as much
Whywas no other anime talked about as much?
Because no other anime has as much wide-spread appeal!
When you look at the top anime list, 3 of the top 5 were sequels to popular series. Geass wasn’t as good as it’s original, Gundam 00 looked like it would be better but has stuttered towards the second half and Clannad took a more serious direction that pleased some fans and bored others. Besides, to call 3 of the best series of the year sequels is a bit depressing.
When I saw Toradora placed 2nd in the poll I was pretty shocked. I mean, it’s good but to call it the second greatest anime of the year is a bit much. The ‘best of the losers’ spot was held the last 2 years by Death Note and Gurren Lagann, 2 anime which have already gone down in anime history. But when you look back at the year, what should actually beat Toradora? Taiga and co. are a fine example of the school life genre and does what it sets out to do very well, much like most of the rest of the top 10. Soul Eater is just a well-animated shounen fare, Spice and Wolf is ‘solid’ but hardly a masterpiece and you can say the same about Skip Beat and Macross Frontier. None of these anime are exactly the defining anime of their genre as Haruhi or Gurren Lagann are. They are just solid and good at what they do.
What 2008 did have was a quality anime in every genre. No matter what type of fan you were, 2008 had one to match it. Fangirls had junjou and Vampire Knight, mecha fanboys had Macross and Gundam while slice-of-life fans have Toradora. But there were no classics. Anime that looked like they might make it, such as Xam’d, Kannagi and Kurenai, all slumped towards the end of their run, especially Xam’d.
Geass didn’t win because it was the best anime of the year. It won because no other anime had as much united appeal. Let’s hope 2009 produces something to remember it by other than the year that the FMA sequel aired.