Did you folks think I would forget to do it this year? Once again I’d like to welcome you all to the Awards For Dubious Achievements In Anime, now in it’s second year of existence. I came up with these awards because I noted that while most blogs have strictly flat out best of awards, I wanted to do something different, a mixture of award types that some might consider an honor, with awards of dubious or frankly irrelevant value, all of which are of course conjured up from little more then the depths of my old madness and personal favouritisms.
Well the ADAIA are now in their second year and the rules remain the same, wherein I am the sole judge and for one day of the year all of my anal retentiveness gets set aside for the purposes of cutting loose on the best and most improbable achievements in anime that I have witnessed this year.
That means no for the love of god no whining about the “results” please, if I don’t have your favourite whatever listed or I end up unintentionally insulting your favourite something or other then look at the title for these awards again and think about what that entails. If you still don’t like what I’ve written then by all means feel free to make your own counter-awards or to make the case for your cause, just don’t bitch at or try to insult me about this “ceremony” in the comments section or I will be forced to take action. Yes it’s shallow and silly, that’s the point. Okay? Okay……let’s get this party started….
In The Field Of Character:
The Potemayo What The Hell Is This Thing Supposed To Be Award Goes To:
Gekka Midarezaki From Kyouran Kazoku Nikki
In a series full of bizzare and unusual characters, somehow Gekka manages to stand out amongst them all. Just what is it (she?) supposed to be? A pink jellyfish? An octopus? A demi-human? Why does it have powers of telepathy bordering on mind control? WHAT THE HELL IS THIS THING SUPPOSED TO BE?!!!!
The Kuroi Sumi Best New Loli Award Goes To:
Anya Arlstreim From Code Geass R2
Sometimes you just have to learn to appreciate a character that is a total pander, and Anya Artlstreim, while she eventually got to have her effect on the story, however limited it was, ended up being just that. With her bubble gum pink style hair (everyone loves pink hair right?), absolute lack of shame when it comes to how she dresses or how much skin the clothing actually covers, crack piloting skills (err….target in the centre pull the switch……okay fine crack 8th gen Knightmare Frame piloting skills) and her smooth and condescending voice leant to us by the talented Yoko Goto, Anya is a winner when it comes to loli characters that are just their to be good at what they do. Being eye candy for the lolicon.
The Simon The Digger Memorial Manliest Man And Flat Out Best Character Award Of 2008 Goes To:
Lelouch Vie Brittania From Code Geass R2
Okay, so maybe he’s not the manliest man in the classic sense, but at the end of the day he was the last one left standing after having outsmarted every other major player in the show, and he ultimately got to destroy the current world and create the new one he wanted for Nunally AND choose the manner in which he met his own end. Even when he wasn’t in total control he played the best cards throughout the 50 episodes of his series and played them when and where they counted as well…..AND all while being a snappy dresser to boot. The facial expressions, the fancy hand movements, the arrogant voice lent to him by Jun Fukuyama, all of it went into Lelouch pulling ahead as the winner of the 2nd annual ADAIA for Manliest Man and Flat Out Best Character.
The Sugita Tomokazu The Arika Yumemiya Never Forget Flat Out Worst Character Of 2008 Distinction Goes To:
Gino Weinberg From Code Geass R2
Unfortunately one of Lelouch’s opponents (?) from the same show didn’t quite do so well. Here’s a character that’s barely a character, a pilot of some apparent distinction that we never really manage to learn anything about. Is he happy go lucky, honourable, a slob, maybe a bit of all of the above? Who really ever knew as Gino’s screen time ended up either being used to show him as a pilot of some distinction or for the purposes of him getting really close to his buddy Suzaku…..really close if you know what I mean. To bad it all just ended up making him the flat out worst character of 2008.
The Rie Kugimiya Honorary Most Crotch Stomping Loli Of 2008 Award Goes To:
Klein Klan From Macross Frontier
Bring her to me, the psycho bitch with the fire in her eyes. Yes it’s Klein Klan by leaps and bounds for this one. She’s a fiery enough half pint at the best of times and literally comes out swinging as a micronized (or I suppose lolified) Zentraedi, but don’t piss her off or she’ll Macronize and probably step on you for making fun of her “small” stature. That alone pretty much wins her this ADAIA.
In The Category Of Plotting:
The Haruka Amami Never Forget Most Awkardly Forced Romance Distinction Goes To:
Fan Hulic x Lira Florenz
Thanks for making this ADAIA easy Tytania. If you want the low down just read any of my Tytania episode Mini-Reviews. No sense going over this one for the fourth article in a role.
Gundam Seed Destiny Never Forget Most Awkard Plot Shift Distinction Goes To:
SHERYL HAS THE POWWWWEEEEEEEEEEER!!!
Now I understand that Ranka was given a gift to be able to manipulate the Vajra with her singing, but why did they feel it was necessary to give Sheryl that ability right near the end too? I guess they really wanted to please the majority of the shippers and character fans by giving everybody an equal stature near the end in the defeat of super villain Grace or something, but it just seemed……forced. Pretty much the single most forced major plot element of the year in my mind. When you add to that that in the end (well it was kind of the end already) it never really got the chance to lead to much of anything it becomes all the more awkard.
Nijihara Ink Honorary Most Gratuitiously Exploitative Use Of A Loli Award In Anime Goes To:
Nunally’s Little Red Dress
Were they trying to turn Nunally into the anime equivalent of a sex symbol near the end? Who knows, but the raw display of this helpless and crippled girl chained up in what almost looked like bondage gear (as if to add insult to injury) was I think the most outright gratuituous use of a loli in any animes plot point all year.
Most Blatant Use Of Advertising In An Anime For 2008 Award (Brought To You By Pizza Hut) Goes To:
Code Geass R2 with Pizza Hut….Part II
Anytime anybody turned on a monitor you could almost certainly be assured of one of two things appearing along with anything relevant to the ongoing plot, either you were going to see the Pizza Hut logo somewhere, or you were going to see the Biglobe logo. And that’s just the beginning of where you could blatant advertising in the series. Never one’s for subtlety when it comes to advertising and product placement are those Japanese media concerns?
In The Category Of Music:
The Sugar Pop Idol Recognition Award For Flat Out Worst Opening Of 2008 Goes To:
Triangler From Macross Frontier
The second the opening comes on with Maaya Sakamoto’s incredibly unfortunate and shrill “KIIIIIIIIMIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!” I want to give this one this ADAIA right away, but I think it’s also worth mentioning the cliched eroge style opening sequence that goes along with much of the song, the rather generic structure of the composition itself that does nothing to distinguish it from said eroge feel and make it give it more of a Macross feel (Be honest, does it sound anything like either the Ranka or Sheryl pop songs?), and the bland synthesized accompaniment that went along with it. I know die hard fans of Macross and Frontier’s music that still couldn’t stand Triangler as an opening, but luckily it would later get replaced by a much improved opening sequence in May’N and Megumi Nakajima’s Lion. So take your ADAIA Triangular and please Sakamoto-san, never do anything like that to me ever again.
Endings Always Worse Than The Opening Recognition Award For Flat Out Worst Ending Of 2008 Goes To:
Waga Routashi Aku no Hana From Code Geass R2
Have you ever wondered what would happen if Ali Project split up and the two gothic chicks then sued each other for copyright infringement and the case ended up before Mentok The Mindtaker who immediately said “Same song, judgement is for the plaintiff”? Well I have and I could swear I’ve heard Waga Routashi Aku no Hana somewhere before. Truthfully I don’t understand Ali Project, the one song they keep repackaging isn’t even really all that good and is kind of grating so it makes it all the more easy to give them this ADAIA.
The Hitomi No Tsubasa Recognition Award For Most 80’s Like Opening Of 2008 Goes To:
Shut up and Explode From Bonen No Xamdou
Again like last years it’s more like something you might here from the early 80′s, specifically from a concept band like say….E.L.O or Oinga Boinga. Whatever the case the funky synth beats and overall style of singing remind me of days long gone…..even in Japan where the style of music is gradually starting to give way to the mid-90′s pop in the vein of the Spice Girls that dominated western music during that period. In a few more years there probably won’t be anime intros like Xam’d's anymore. Pity……
Just Plain Best Opening Of 2008 Award Goes To:
Hakanaku mo Towa no Kanashi From Gundam 00
This one was admittedly a tough choice to make, but in the end the intro’s general busyness combined with how well it was made to work with the mainstream pop song by Uverworld (which actually happens to be quite good) made this one the winner of the year from amongst the anime intros I got to see. You really have to appreciate the working in of a wide eyed young Setsuna looking up at the 0 Gundam, the moment that would define and change the way he perceived the world forever and the flashbacks of all the things that happened to him during the first season before the intro relinquishes to an older Setsuna and the intro. Pure Gundam……pure goodness.
Just Plain Best Ending Of 2008 Award Goes To:
Mr. Lonely Heart From MS Igloo 2
Do I really care that Gundam is dominating my ADAIA’s for opening and ending music or do I just consider it a return to form. Another easy choice here and I give up to Mr. Lonely Heart for the raw emotion of the song combined with the depressing visuals that showcase the Earth Federation’s desperation during the opening of the one year war, all as the death god dances menacing amongst the backdrop of it all. Am I a little biased towards Gundam since all of this has a bigger effect on me then it probably would if it were another show with a different history? Maybe, but then again the ADAIA’s are the one day of the year that I get to indulge myself to the nth degree so it doesn’t really matter.
Casio Keyboards Flat Out Worst BGM Score Of 2008 Distinction Goes To:
Lucky Star OVA
In a year that really featured some of the best BGM that anime has seen in….well years (I think the number of OST’s I wanted to review should attest to that) unfortunately somethings got to take the fall, and again it’s got to be Lucky Star this year for it’s comparitively uninspired BGM (again unfortunately) when you consider just how mainstream the production was. I don’t know if it’s worth mentioning that there are an absolutely unholy number of these BGM discs on sale in Japan right now, which means there’s probably a fair number of BGM’s used in the franchise since it’s debut in 2007. And yet I can’t even recall the tune to a single BGM without being assisted by quick visits to youtube. I think that should give people some idea as to why I give Lucky Star this ADAIA.
In The Category Of Direction:
The 2ch Is An Anus honorary Worst Screwup By A Studio Award Goes To:
Gonzo and GDH’s Downhill Spiral.
Do I really need to paint you a picture for this one? It all started with Gonzo’s parent company GDH realizing that they were in the red…..like REALLY in the red and they needed to figure out a way to stop the bleeding. There first idea was a good enough one when they all came together and said, “Gee, you know instead of making ourselves 8 medicore anime in a scenario which even if we recoup the losses on some of them will still lose us money in the end, why don’t we try to make 1 anime a season for a total of 4 by years end and see how that goes?” Well it didn’t work since the anime still weren’t very profitable (or good if you ask me) other then Strike Witches, so then they decided that it would be a good idea to start laying off some employees and asking senior ones to commit Hara Kiri so that they could try and cut losses through the minimizing of expenses. This is the point where anyone will realize that a company has lost it’s competitive drive since they are giving up on trying to generate more revenue and instead “downsizing”, but Gonzo wanted to send a clear message just how low there stalk had sunk. To do this they will now be entering the industry of ero-anime, known not only for it’s er….subject matter, but it’s shoddy quality in terms of delivering said subject matter. So now they’re making less money then ever and still bleeding funds, have sacrificed what may very well have been some of their best employees in a bloodletting to attempt to clot another bloodletting (nice) and now are even allowing themselves to be bumped down to the minors. Wow….take your ADAIA Gonzo/GDH and just……..good luck.
TBS Superstation Honorary Most Awkard Censorship In An Anime Award:
Okay first of all why and second of all why only use a negative filter to do your censorship. So all that effort in putting in fanservice in order to use the cheapest method ever to conceal it? I mean at least last years winner in Dokuro-Chan got creative in how they did their censorship. Sigh…..
OMG Kyoani Award For Teh Bestzor Animation Award Goes To:
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season
Is Kyoani even still viable to poke fun at for the manner in which their animation is held in such high esteem (Inner Monologue: Don’t worry about it just run with it), well whatever, I’m giving this one to Gundam 00 as it started off with great animation sequences and hasn’t let up yet. In fact it’s actually gotten better as the series has gone on whereas most anime get worse, with the midpoint featuring combat animation sequences on par with those seen in Macross Frontier….only without the questionable character design consistency. Now I’ve heard that Kara No Kyoukai has like the most animation ever or something from some of my contacts, but unfortunately I haven’t seen it myself to confirm this, so maybe that deserves to be up there instead, I don’t know. Would anyone really want their pet anime to get and award entitled the Award for Dubious Achievements in Anime though?
In The Category Of Concepts:
Gurren Lagann Honorary Best Mecha Design Of 2008 Goes To:
Finally a winged Gundam done right. 00-Raizer was the dark horse candidate that more or less came out of nowhere to take this ADAIA (before I had had it planned for the Galahad from Code Geass R2) and I hold up it’s debut as one of the highlights in my anime watching this year. It’s like Wing Zero, only more detailed and in the style of the TV-Series version which I’ve always preferred to the Feather Gundam, yet it’s a uniquely Gundam 00 style design that works well with Celestial Being’s angelic theme that they have going with their mobile suits. It covers the cones that were the only structural (and frankly design weakness) of the 00 Gundam and it really just flat out does make the 00 look complete now whereas the 00 Gundam standard looked like it had something missing. Now that’s the title mobile suit that I want for my Gundam series.
DIS-RX Worst Mecha Design Of 2008 Distinction Goes To:
Ahead From Gundam 00
Unfortunately Gundam 00 Second Season also shares the distinction of having one of the worst mecha designs for this season. The Ahead is just bulky and squarish in the vein of an Ookawara design, lacking in detail (It almost looks less detailed then a Mobile Suit Gundam: 0079 suit and that show came out in an era that was known for it’s monochrome pallets) and just doesn’t fit in with the rest of the Anno Domini universe’s style of mobile suit design. Really would it have killed the designer to add some extra detail to the torso area or maybe another colour other than blood red?
Well that was fun and interesting wasn’t it? 2008′s been a pretty good year for anime, though perhaps not quite as good as 2007 was, and the skies still the limit as far as 2009 is concerned. To be honest the opening winter season doesn’t look at that eventful, but there’s still 3 more quarters in a year to bring out some of the good stuff. I just want to take this moment to thank all of the readers who stopped by to partake of my writings and leave comments this past year, and not to mention for putting up with my admittedly abrasive personality and mannerisms. I plan to work on that next year as one of my resolutions, but until then I have a New Year’s party to attend to. Once again these have been your 2nd Annual ADAIA’s and I have been your Kaioshin Sama, thank you, good night, happy new year and see you all in 2009.