Today is the worst day in the entire year, as it is the furthest away from Christmas. Keeping in the spirit this depressing day, as well as keeping with tradition as I did a similar post last year, it’s time to wrap up the top 10 moments in anime that caused me to rage in 2011. Some self-imposed rules though: Firstly, NO TERRIBAD! That’s just cheating. Secondly, it has to be from anime that came out this year. With that out the way, let the hate begin!
10: Towa no Quon pervert
I was looking forward to Towa no Quon. Bones running a movie series in the same vein as Break Blade. 6 movies, each 50 minutes long, with top quality animation and experienced staff behind them. Hopefully this means they’ll put the effort out into making something unique and ambitious, right? In about the 10th minute of the first movie, our bland male lead is strolling along, only to be confronted by feisty female love interest here. She spins around, waves her bum into the camera and inquires as to whether this outfit made her bum look big. Male lead ignored her and walked on, upon which the feisty female yelled ‘pervert’ at a random passerby. I would like to thank Towa no Quon for making it abundantly clear that it would be uninspired dribble very early on.
9: Supernatural’s Dad Ex Machina
I was one of the very few who actually watched Supernatural: The Animation with no prior knowledge of the live action version. I did quite enjoy it for the first half where they just covered episodic stories. But the second half of the series focused on the woeful attempt at a plot and suffered massively because of it. The final 2 episodes were a joke. First they changed the voice actor of one of the male leads, apparently back to his original actor’s voice, which is bloody retarded. If I’m on the penultimate episode of the anime, of course I’m going to be used to the anime voice by now. But the worst was how they solved the final battle. Sam was about to die, being choked by the devil or something, with no help in sight. Until suddenly his dead dad appears behind the devil and shoots him. No explanation why he rose from the grave nor how he knew Sam needed help. Possibly the most pathetic Deus Ex Machina plot device I’ve ever seen this side of Mai Hime.
8: Why oh why Go Nagai
Another year goes by, another year in which I’m completely baffled by Go Nagai. His taste for writing absolute garbage means his works have frequented my terribad friends’ viewing schedules. I did say I wouldn’t cover any of my terribad viewings in this post, so instead I’ll just mention that first episode of Dororon Emna-kun. Stupid, boorish, disconnected, pathetic drivel, its attempts at humour were so off the mark I frequently found myself wondering why the characters kept pausing, only to realise they were meant to be space in which we laugh during. It was like watching one of those awful sitcoms where the laugh track is the only indicator you have that the preceding line was supposed to be funny. I respect the massive influence he had on anime and manga, second only to Tezuka himself. But if Tezuka is the God of Manga, then Go Nagai is the God of Terribad.
7: How dare you, woman!
Bakuman was a fairly average anime. I made it through to the end on a combination of respect for the authors of Death Note, genuine interest in the world of manga publishing it portrayed, and associated manga readers proclaiming the usual cry of IT GETS BETTER I SWEAR (another reason not to listen to that cry, as if I needed anymore). I started the second season in vague hope that it would improve and sure enough, the first episode wasn’t so bad. But then we got this scene a few episodes later. Miho had been told by her manager to do a gravure photo shoot, which she wasn’t feeling comfortable about. So she called her boyfriend, Mashiro, for some moral guidance. Mashiro had to deliver a manuscript of his manga that day, first day of serialisation, but instead he dropped everything to visit Miho. Mashiro’s manga partner Takagi got out his phone, not to call Mashiro to tell him to stop being a moron, but instead to call Miho to stop dumping her problems on Mashiro and to just get on with her own life. It’s entirely her fault that Mashiro is going to miss his first deadline, so shape up and just pose naked for cameras you damn attention seeking woman you!
6: Deadman ripping out eyes
I’m perhaps straying into proper terribad material here, but I feel like talking about this scene in Deadman Wonderland anyway, because it highlights the thing I hated most about it. In this scene, Senji had just lost a fight and had to undergo a punishment game. A wheel was spun around and landed on a picture of an eye. Cue an incredibly gory awful scene of Senji getting his eye ripped out. The scene had no effect on his character. It did nothing more to the story. It was there solely for the purpose of showing how sadistic this anime was. There’s something seriously fucked up that this is considered entertainment. This is a brainless teenager or minchild’s idea of cool. People complain frequently about entertainment that appeals simply by using sex appeal, but at least I get that. The only appeal from this scene in Deadman Wonderland comes from the desire to watch sadistic violence. You guys are fucked up.
5: Project Ice gets licensed
Firmly into terribad territory now, but I’m still allowed to use this because it’s not about something that happened directly in the anime itself. Instead, it was the announcement by Sentai Filmworks that they had acquired the license to the 2007 OVA Project Ice. Project. Fucking. Ice. A proud contender for Worst Anime Ever (certainly top 5 material), was getting licensed. Better yet, it was getting an english dub. Think of all those other anime you’d love to own in english. Kaiba, Moyashimon, the entire Macross franchise, Nodame Cantabile, Time of Eve. And they chose Project Ice.
4: Guilty Crown beach episode
The bottom 4 moments in anime all belong to the appraised Noitamina timeslot. It’s not that Noitamina necessarily went down the drain. 2 of my top 5 anime of 2011 still came from there. I’m sure I’d have more moments from other anime this season if I bothered continuing watching them past the first 2 episodes. But let’s not take away from some of the utter garbage Noitamina managed to produce this year. It’s the move away from the mature approach to storytelling and focus on characters over the age of 16 that depressed me most. Guilty Crown episode 8 summed this all up perfectly. A beach episode. No purpose beyond showing teenage girls in swimsuits. The only part of Shu’s character that was developing was the size of his harem.
3: No.6 is a totalitarian state
The moment I’m choosing from No.6 is not, funnily enough, from the final episode. My patience with No.6 died a few episodes earlier. Shion and Nezumi were going to god only knows where to find out god only knows what, only to suddenly stumble upon the tribe of god only knows who. They met with some priest bloke who started blabbing about Eliurias, some mystical goddess that lived in Nezumi’s tribe. It had nothing to do with anything that was going on in the plot, randomly introducing a magical element to something that had been pure sci-fi up until them (which would later explode in that ending). But the line that got to me was his explanation why No.6 was a totalitarian state. It was because…wait for it…because it was a totalitarian state. Yup, that was his explanation. What the fuck? That’s your explanation behind the big mystery of the anime? Gyeaaaarrrgghh!!
2: Ano Hana BAWWWW
I was willing to give Ano Hana a pass up to episode 10. Teenage melodrama, not my kind of thing, but competently produced nevertheless. That is, until the final episode. Any trace of subtlety was thrown out of the window and into a pit of lava, then stuck on a rocket and blasted into the sun. Every single character bawled their eyes out, yelling constantly, each one of them suddenly and dramatically revealing their tortured souls in one of the most pathetic attempts at drawing tears from the viewer I’ve ever seen. No, do not try tell me I have no soul if I didn’t cry at this. You are the one without a soul. You are just a machine programmed to cry when something tells you too. If the final episode did nothing more than flash the words “CRY YOU BITCH” you would have had the exact same reaction.
1: Fractale episode 10
Reading back over my episodic posts about Fractale was fascinating. The more the series went on, the more I started to question what on earth were the creators trying to do. What was the thread connecting these stories together? It finally dawned on me in episode 10. There was no connecting thread. There was no purpose to these scenes. They were just a random selection of ideas thrown together with no idea of what they meant. Fractale had taken scenes it had seen from other anime, thought they were cool, and tossed them into their own production with no thought given to what they originally meant. This is the worst kind of storytelling. Pretending you have one when in fact you haven’t a fucking clue what you’re doing. There are probably worse moments this year than this moment, but it was the realisation what a fool I had been taken for in trying to follow Fractale that got to me so much.