In participation with Kiddtic’s 2011 ACAA, here are my picks for the past year. I probably had the most difficulty narrowing down my choices for the current fall season since there are quite a few that vied for my second and third choices. I’m also going to include an additional Licensor Award since I think it’s a great idea for supporting our local licensing of a medium we all love and hopefully want to share with others.
Marina’s 2011 Choice Anime Awards by Season
Winter: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Madoka generated quite a tumult before, during, and after its airing. I was lucky since I came into anime blogging at the same time and was blessed with the variety of discussion available, and although I didn’t end up blogging the show myself, all the wonderful observations and analyses I read helped me really get a feel for what kind of blogger I wanted and still aspire to be. English-titled Puella Magi Madoka Magica took a well established and beloved sub-genre and turned open, rainbow colors into garishly-bright wormholes; it dashed our expectations to the ground, reminding us that there are always multiple sides to a story. And, Madoka introduced us to one of the most memorable magical girl mascots of all time: the red-eyed, logical, enigmatic Kyubey.
Runners up: GOSICK, Level E
There’s a reason why I chose this anime for one of my rotating banners, though Hakase drinking out of her mug is certainly incentive enough. This bundle of short skits had me laughing from week to week, and it wasn’t just a giggle or a short bark of a laugh–these laughs were prolonged, and they hurt from their sheer force. Not many other comedies of this year, or even for the past few years, have provided so many memorable scenes. And while there were definitely some jokes that either went right over my head or that didn’t strike me as funny at all, Nichijou was never afraid to experiment. I appreciate that bravery and creativity. I never knew what to expect in the newest episode, and that’s saying a lot given my major complaint about most anime and predictability. YOU, Nichijou, were NOT predictable, and that’s a compliment of the highest order.
Runners up: Tiger & Bunny, AnoHana
Summer: Usagi Drop
Not often do you stumble across an anime so thoroughly centered on family with none of the fan service to which almost all others conform. From the very first episode it’s evident that Bunny Drop is in a league of its own and is a classic that will still be talked about after many of the others of its season and year are already forgotten. The story is one that many Americans like me readily recognize as that of the dysfunctional family, and one that also re-defines those preconceived notions of what it takes to be a successful parent. Daikichi and Rin may or may not be blood related, but there’s no denying the sincerity of their feelings for one another.
Runners up: Mawaru Penguindrum, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
This title stands out all the more to me for two reason: one, we have had a shortage this past year of quality josei romantic comedy, and two, we have had a shortage these past many years of game/sport-centered anime. I’m a fan of both, and so when Chihayafuru was announced, I knew I had to watch it. And the anime has certainly not disappointed, cooking up a wonderful mix of competition and romance, almost a mixture of anime like Hikaru no Go and Honey and Clover. I find it an incredible feat for an anime to be able to interest its viewers in a game for which they have no knowledge or experience; I don’t understand the language, nor am I familiar with any sort of similar American card game, but I cheer them on like I would for some major sports team. I find the romance unique as well as it isn’t your standard love triangle. The female protagonist is one of the densest girls I have ever seen, and the boys who care for her are several levels up in maturity. We still have a long way to go before this series is finished, but I look forward to each and every episode.
Runners up: Mirai Nikki, Fate/Zero
Anime of the Year
Having to pick one out of the above four is almost as difficult as narrowing down 12 out of the entire year. But, Usagi Drop takes the prize as my 2011 choice for Anime of the Year. It touched my heart in ways that only those who have had experience with single parent-child households can really understand, but still appealed to the general public. It helped me appreciate my mother all the more for her strength in raising me alone for the short while she did before re-marrying. The struggles of balancing work, home, and family are not easily tackled, especially when going at it alone and against the approval of friends and family.
FUNimation: Summer Wars
This category was very difficult for me because there were quite a few titles I knew, but very few that I had seen licensed; most of them I knew from when they originally aired, or had just plain never seen. The choice came down between two FUNimation works, Summer Wars and Evangelion 2.22, both of which I thought were of superb quality.
Thus ends my first attempt at anime awards. Thanks to TWWK of Beneath the Tangles for first giving me the heads up about the ACAA, and to Kiddtic of Kidds’ Anime Blog for hosting this tournament! (Winners posted here.)
Please feel free to share and/or compare your own top anime of the year, as well as name your number one (if you can narrow it down that much!).
Read up on more ACAA!
2DT from 2dteleidoscope
TWWK from beneaththetangles
AJ from angryjellyfish
Kuuki from enkuuki
Sam from otakustudy
Cytrus from yaranakya
Nopy from nopybot
Ephemeral Dreamer from ephemeraldreamer
Marow from animeviking
Akira from akirascuro
Frozen from frozenmyst
Yumeka from animeyume
inushinde from shindeiie
Kai from deluscar
thatredsky from mystoryyourbeats
Justin from organizationasg
Shirokurou from tsundereblog
Judge from moarpowah
lostty from animeprincess
Kai from deluscar