2009 Anime Year in Review
Part1: None of these shows aired in 2009!
The 9th year of the 2000's was a pretty fun time for me as an Anime fan. I didn't go to any conventions I just watched shows, read blogs and listened to podcasts. So here's a review of the Japanese cartoons I watched and actually liked this past year in the chronological order they were released. Kinda.
From the ass of the 90's:
This year I rewatched One Piece up to the current episodes (well, minus the fillers) with my new roommates. Always a fun show, though the animation is getting so badthat I might have to read the Manga instead as one of my roommates opted to do half way through.
It was interesting to see how much of the older episodes was retcon versus actual foreshadowing. It's still a show I'd highly recommend Anime fans to at least check out. Better than shows that's named after household cleaners and ninjas dressed in bright orange.
2007: A fine year, had I actually remembered it.
Another show that did not air in Japan this year but I thoroughly enjoyed was 2007's Baccano. Based off a series of light novels (raito nobaru, haha), Baccano follows the rambunctious exploits of thieves, mobsters, serial killers, bootleggers, and journalists in 1930's America (fuck yeah).
Directed by Takahiro Omori (key animator to classics such as Madox-01 and Akari's BAOH, he's directed quite a few shows including the adaptation of Power Stone of all things) the Anime covered the first 3 novels. I would highly suggest watching the show first and not read any kind of summaries or wiki's on it. It's best to go in completely blind. Hell forget everything I've written about it.
2008: The Year the Economy Died
While some of us lost our jobs, 401ks, and homes, Japan decided to slip a few shows under the radar. This past year I caught up with a few of these series; the Adult Swim-ready Astro Fighter Sun Red, Manglobe's Michiko E Hatchin, and the bastard child of Akagi, Eyeshield 21, and a League of their Own, One Outs!
Tentai Senshi Sunred, Astro Fighter Sunred, Sunred, Sun Red, whatever the hell you call this show, follows the exploits of the "friend of justice" Sunred as he battles the evil General Vamp and his army of ghastly grotesque monsters. Not for the faint of heart, this show gets things rolling with an epically sweet battle in front of a local beef bowl shop. If that fight didn't totally roundhouse kick your grandmother in the face while wailing out the solo to Freebird then, bear witness to the bone chilling ambush Vamp and his minions unleash upon Sunred as he waits in line to get Melonpan!
Ok, on a serious note, remember when Adult Swim was good? Remember Mighty Morphin Power Rangers? Take out the Zords, Master Shake, and Tigerbeat centerfolds and you pretty much have Sunred. A show way better than the sum of it's parts. Trust me.
Yo dog, I heard you like gambling and sports, so Japan put sports in a gambling cartoon and gave you Pete Rose, I mean One Outs. Lame memes aside, One Outs is a straight up gambling show set inside of a baseball Anime. If you enjoy shows like Touch, H2, and Major you won't necessarily enjoy One Outs as much as fans of gambling series like Akagi and Kaiji.
As for the plot, it's pretty much the Shaquille O'Neill cinematic masterpeice Blue Chips except replace Nick Nolte with a professional baseball player, replace college basketball with Japanese professional baseball, and add in Al Davis (yeah I'm forcing this). Anyway, a gambler/pitching genius goes to the pros, the team owner is a dick, lots of eternal monologues, and some people play baseball. I just eat this crap up. What I don't eat up is that fujoshi-pandering opening.
The final 2008 Anime I enjoyed in 2009 was Michiko E Hatchin. This fine show was produced by Manglobe, who made awesome non-moe shows such as Samurai Champloo and Ergo Proxy. Though it's easily comparable to Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo, the director of the two, Shinichiro Watanabe only the music producer. It's a damn shame it was not as popular as Bebop or Champloo since crap like Lucky Star and Kanon are flooding the market.
The plot revolves around Michiko, hardened fugitive and an orphan with a Cinderella complex, Hana. They are on the run from the cops and in search of Hana's father/Michiko's Ex. The setting is South American though never specifically stated where and everyone has a Japanese first name and a Hispanic last name (ex. Michiko Malandro, Shinsuke Rodriguez, ect..). The music is a key character to the show much as it was in Clampoo and Watanabe's Bebop, which was very south of the border and lively.
Coming up next: Shows I liked that were made in 2009 (not in the year 3000)!