SPIRIT OF THE DECADE: 10 milestone animated works
Everyone loves to mention their favorite shows of the decade.
Me? I notice the milestones. Tainted as my view may be.
10. Overman King Gainer
Why: Made mecha fun again. Even though it probably was 7 years too late.
9. Gundam SEED
Why: After the incredibly successful experiment by Sunrise and Bandai to rake in more money, aka Gundam Wing, Bandai applied the same formula for SEED. And included hot women and the Gundam brand to ensure the masses would buy it even though it was clearly a really long advert to sell plamo kits. The followups, Gundam SEED DESTINY and Gundam 00, continued this trend.
8. Azumanga Daioh
Why: The popular 4-koma animated series introduced slice of life in it’s purest form, a feat not to be topped until ARIA rolled along. It’s bloody good stuff.
7. Burst Angel
Why: Burst Angel was the first GONZO show I actually stopped caring about. Up until then, every GONZO show I watched was, at the very least, pretty decent.Even Sunabozu, but I’m crazy like that. Who knew that after Burst Angel, they would actually either screw up good source material or did horrible things to animation?
6. Strike Witches
Why: LOOK AT DEM WITCHES. NO PANTS. NO PANTS. Sardonically, I’d say it was because of this show that brought about Queen’s Blade being aired, but then again, I could mention the crapload of H-anime being released. This is also the last good show GONZO made. Well, okay, that and Saki, but who cares? DEM WITCHES WEAR NO PANTS.
5. Tengan Toppan Gurren Lagann
Why: It’s probably the last good super robot show being made for a while (No, Shin Mazinger Z is a remake of a much older and beloved series). Also marks the beginning of the end for mecha in general.
4. The Melanchony of Suzumiya Haruhi
Why: It’s simply the biggest thing in Japanese animation since, well, ever. The posterchild of “Japanese soft power”, the rock star of Japanese animation, it did what Eva did over a decade ago: win over new fans and wowed older ones. It’s also interesting to note that this was when moé finally took off like a badly-made North Korean rocket.
Why: It’s moé, in a nutshell. Azumanga Daioh had humor and good characters, ARIA was simply amazing, and Hidamari Sketch was probably too cute for mortal eyes. But K-ON, unfortunately, had none of those. In my opinion. Oh, some good music, but seriously, all bad shows have good music. So there.
Why: Not Densha Otoko? Because Genshiken humanized the otaku. And made them look like normal, if mildly idiosyncratic individuals. Train Man made the otaku look normal, to be honest, but Genshiken reinforced that notion by portraying them as people instead of caricatures. Also made characters with geek hobbies a mainstay of character archetypes.
1. Kanon (2002)
Why: Okay, so eroge adaptations have been going on way before this happened, but Kanon was one of the biggest shows to be animated in that decade. But what about To Heart? Well, To Heart probably wasn’t made in the last decade.