Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Spring/Summer 2010 - The WHY?! Award

For every Oscar, there is an equal and diametrically-opposite Razzie.

Before we get into any discussions about the best anime shows from Spring and Summer 2010, we need to discuss just what shouldn't even be in the picture. There have been some bad shows in the past, and if we don't really stay vocal about what we feel shouldn't have seen the light of day, we'll get complacent about anime quality. I mean, do we all really want to sit through another Eiken?

That being said, we at AniMaybe present to you the shows from 2010 that have made us ask...

Why?! - This should speak for itself. The award given to the one show that just didn't deserve to be animated in the slightest. Meant to be wailed toward the heavens like a pained Captain Kirk while one is crouching on their knees before the computer and begging for all that time back.
So here are the Top 5 shows from bad to the very worst...

5. Tono to Issho

Don't get us wrong. While this turned out to be a decent OVA for what it was worth in the spring, the reformatted version of Tono to Issho turned out to be just 80-second snippets from the original OVA conjoined with the opening theme. There was no "new" series to speak of, a serious disappointment for something that was advertised so heavily as something new for Summer of 2010.

It is due to these edits that Tono to Issho lost a lot of its flavor, as jokes meant to be driven into the ground through repetitious gags were left unfinished. It's as if the jokes were halted by the pull of a plug in order to sell the public on purchasing the OVA instead. While Tono to Issho may have been an attempt to counter Hetalia with its mocking perception of history, it doesn't help to shave so much off the skits that it loses humor.

A show that presents itself in strips from its product, as if it was trying to advertise itself with teases, is not a show that should have been made at all.

4. Shin Koihime Musô: Otome Tairan

I've already spoken before on how Otome Tairan's plot and adaption of Romance of the Three Kingdoms were weak in the first place. There are only so many times one can go to the well with a story about girls in lavish costumes taking warm baths, wandering the countryside, eating food, and making immense misunderstandings regarding pregnancies.

Please don't make me have to speak about this show again.

3. Asobi ni Iku Yo!

There seems to be an extent on the number of times one can retell Urusei Yatsura and the invasion of harems that fall from the sky. Tenchi Muyô gave them tails, bright hair, and mascots. Saber Marionette made them into androids, UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie made them into kids, To-Love-Ru gave them spaded tails, and Sora no Otoshimono gave them wings.

Asobi ni Iku Yo! just made them catgirls, put them in school swimsuit and Gundam suits, and crashed them in Okinawa.

If the story had tried for some plausibility, it would have had capable characters and adjusted the severe gender imbalance in its cast. It would have made technology less hokey and more convenient. It would have made Kio a little more aware of his surroundings instead of turning him into someone without a clue when it comes to relationships.

The final straw? A blatant ripoff of Muttley from Wacky Races, even in name. Hanna-Barbara should sue.

2. Strike Witches 2

Are people seeing a common theme here?

The main battle between the Strike Witches battalion and the Neuroi was so easily resumed in the second season that the possibility of a mindless third season produced for otaku consumption is something not so far-fetched at all. Considering that one show involved one of the cast members destroying a Neuroi by sitting on it when it crawled into her panties, the show really has no hurdles too high.

The incredibly scary part is that there was no real development of the enemy, the Neuroi themselves. No voices, no names, no identity, nothing. That just means that the writers can keep giving mecha-musume fans more twelve-episode parcels of the War on Pants and more ways to combine militant destruction with underage knickers. If they unearth another few shows for this franchise, it just means that the best way to make a show nowadays is to take things immensely popular with the nerds and stick them on girls.

1. kissxsis

If there was any story that shouldn't have seen the light of day, it's the TV adaption of the kissxsis OVA, but it surprisingly should not be spurned just for the hinted incestuous relationships (even though we are reminded that Keita and Riko/Ako are step-siblings, but that really doesn't make it feel better). Not only does the story go way too far in Riko and Ako's attempts to get into their step-brother's pants, but the show has tons of violations.

The implied sexual relations and constant masturbatory images are just half of the mistakes, as the root of the problem lies at the feet of a production company wanting to bring the images of sexually-charged manga to life. The embarrassing situations covering urination, indecent exposure, groping, and even the obligatory scene with a minor imbibing alcohol—yes, we have to remind ourselves that it's a completely different culture, but that doesn't justify that they can be combined to tell an absurd story like kissxsis. It's as if the creators always wanted this to happen to them in middle school, so they decided to put it in a show.

Possibly the hardest thing to really stomach is that some of us are getting comfortable with letting a story go through 12 episodes without a thing actually changing in it. There are no spoilers required in kissxsis, because nothing actually gets done by the end of the story. By the end, those who yearn for Keita continue to yearn for him, while those ignored by those girls continue to get ignored by them. Keita continues to show he has no stomach for telling his sisters to mind their business, while Riko and Ako continue to show that they have no means of suppressing their sexual urges with their step-brother.

It's like it was a story that was never meant to be told in the first place, making it deserving of the award.

Next time: the shows that made us stand and take notice—AND HOW!

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