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Category: Anime
Posted on: 02/02/10
Posted by: Raikoh
Note that these standings are only for new anime series of 2009--if we included longer-running series, Naruto and One Piece would win every year. The results from the poll:

Top-10 Best New Anime of 2009 (Extrapolated Standings):
1. Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
2. Fairy Tail
3. Inuysaha -Final Act-
4. Gundam 00 2nd Season
5. K-On
6. Queen’s Blade
7. Spice and Wolf 2nd Season
8. Kampfer
9. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
10. Sora no Otoshimono

Last year I picked my top-10 favorite new anime of 2008, but I haven't been keeping up with all the new anime this year, so I decided to run a poll instead. As expected, it largely ended up being the more popular, well-known, big-name series winning, rather than the better ones--some of these series probably received votes from people who never watched them but were just familiar with the franchise.

The Shounen-anime took the first half, while the Moe-anime took the second half of the top 10. FMA: Brotherhood deserves the top-spot, despite them wasting so many episodes redoing stuff they already did in the first anime (frankly, I liked a lot of the changes they made from the manga in the first anime, minus all the filler). The Fairy Tail anime has been anticipated for a long time and so won the number-2 spot, and though I love seeing another long-running shounen-anime finally appear, it's just not that great of a series (I'm up to date on the manga). The series has no overarching nemesis / plot, the overall storyline never progresses, the series doesn't take itself seriously, Hiro Mashima (the mangaka author) exercises no forethought, etc. Personally, I'd definitely put Umineko no Naku Koro ni at number 2, but apparently no one watched that series, since it didn't even make it into the top 10. (I'll talk about them both more later.)
Read more for more details.

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 04/25/09
Posted by: Raikoh
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A fairly straightforward mecha anime (with the usual obligatory ecchi)--you'd be hard pressed to make a series that starts out more cliche than this one, though it gets better starting in episodes 3 and 4. Plus I love how deranged the main character (Kouichi) is--thank god he's not just another "oh no, I'm just a 14-year old boy, but I'm the only person who can pilot this super-powerful awesome mech and save the world, but I don't want to kill anyone ::sob::" main-character. The character designs are reminiscent of Gundam Seed and are all right, except someone apparently thought that scribbling random lines underneath every characters' eyes was a great idea. The Mecha designs are a lot cooler though.

(Watch Episode 1 Online)

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 02/07/09
Posted by: Raikoh
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Well it's been a while since I posted any new anime--this is a cool (and mildly-serious) new anime. I like that they don't do too much in each episode, with longer drawn out scenes and more depth packed into the dialogue (reminds me of Fate Stay Night, which never got a second season for some reason...). The humor and moe elements are actually well thought out and clever, in contrast to most other anime based on light-novels these days (i.e., Toradora, Zero no Tsukaima, and Shakugan no Shana).
(Watch Ep 1 on Veoh)

(Read more for downloads and comments)

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 01/01/09
Posted by: Raikoh
Top 10 New Anime Series of 2008:
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1. Code Geass R2
Was there ever any doubt who'd be number-1? Awesome series, with each episode stuffed beyond the bursting-point with plot, drama and action, though with a somewhat weak ending. (Blog post 1, 2, and 3)

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2. Macross Frontier
A great series, though the gap between 1st and 2nd place is pretty big... (Blog post)

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3. Tower of Druaga: The Aegis of Uruk
Wow, where did this come from? It's a 12-episode sleeper-hit series you've probably never even heard of. The intro makes it look like the series' world is actually an MMORPG like .Hack (it's not), and the first episode is a satirical comedy mocking RPGs in general, but the rest of the series is dead serious. What's even better--the second season starts next week! The "ending" of season-1 could've been better though.

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4. Sekirei
Proving to the world that ecchi-animes don't have to suck! (Blog post)

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5. Chaos; Head
Anyone up for a third season of Higurashi? Yes please! Better yet, this time the protagonist is your average everday 4channer otaku too!

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6. Gundam 00: Second Season
Ok, yes, sure almost everyone who died in season-1 gets brought back to life in season-2, sure its laid out in an overly-episodic manner, and sure the series' plot doesn't exactly hold water, but hey, it's still Gundam here!

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7. To Love Ru
An awesome harem-anime, though the episodes are rather hit-or-miss (some are great, though some just suck). (Blog post)

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8. Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro
A cool anime-style detective series--the way the criminals kill people is usually rather cool, though their motives and how Neuro catches them are usually rather lame, though at least Neuro usually doesn't cheat when doing inferences unlike most detectives in detective shows.

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9. Blade of the Immortal
Follows the tried-and-true formula of a samurai-themed series with tons of violence, blood, revenge, and sex--and it works!

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10. Tales of the Abyss
Based on the PS2 RPG--it's still laid-out in RPG-format too much though (dialogue, then wander through a dungeon fighting random enemies, then have a random inconsequential fight with a boss, and repeat--works for RPGs, but not for anime). The drama should've been more focused and simplified too, and there's too much filler.

Quasi-Honorable Mentions:
-Soul Eater: This series has a lot of great ideas but with mediocre execution, and all the retarded comedic elements constantly interrupting the story really hurt the series.
-Ikkitousen Great Guardians: Nice fanservice, but not much else.
-They are My Noble Masters: Ecchi!
-Kanokon: And more ecchi!
-Dragonaut: -The Resonance-: A decent action series worth the watch, but the series' high point is definitely the babes!
-Rosario + Vampire Seasons 1 and 2
-Clannad: After Story

Not-so-Honorable mentions:
-Slayers Revolution: WTF, they revived this dusty-old-franchise for this crap?!
-Zero no Tsukaima 3: The tsundere-relationship is getting old! They say anime based on light-novel-series usually suck... way to not break the trend.
-Strike Witches: I love the pantsu and the l*lis (and episode 7), though this series is just pretty empty aside from that. Maybe if they'd focused simply on the action or ecchi instead of their half-assed attempt at drama the series would've been better.
-Bamboo Blade
-Jushin Enbu - Hero Tales: Based on the manga by the creator of Full Metal Alchemist, though so far the series has pretty much sucked--it finished airing a while ago, though no one has ever subbed beyond episode 14, so who knows if the second half was any good.

Overall the anime industry was more risk-adverse in 2008--there were fewer new series, and fewer long series (26 or 52 eps), instead focusing on giving older series new 2nd or 3rd seasons, and breaking series up into multiple seasons (such as two 13 episode seasons instead of one 26 episode season). Meanwhile Naruto, One Piece, Bleach, and D.Gray-Man continued to kick ass, and none of the new series could compare to them, aside from Code Geass of course.

Disclaimer: There are a lot of anime series, and I haven't watched most of them, so my apologies if your favorite series got excluded! Some of the series are still ongoing and I've yet to watch every episode of some of them, so my apologies if they unexpectedly start getting better or worse than my rankings indicate later on!

(Click read more for torrents and the like)

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 11/05/08
Posted by: Raikoh
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(Sorry this post is so late--I've been meaning to post this for a while!)
Overall, an awesome series, with an ok ending.
Eps 1 - 25 Torrent
Read more for my (lengthy) comments on the series.
Old Code Geass anime posts: R2 (part 1), R2 (ep 1), Eps 24 - 25, Season 1.

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 09/26/08
Posted by: Raikoh
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A cool violent mystery / horror series with girls, and lots of comedy and moe elements inbetween (surprisingly). Most of you have probably never even heard of it, but it's definitely worth watching.
(Watch Ep 1 from Megavideo)
Season 1 Torrent
Nekogoroshi OVA
Season 2 Torrent
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Hauu~ Hauu!

There will also be a short series of OVAs released extending the storyline, starting in December. (Read more for my thoughts on the series.)

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 08/16/08
Posted by: Raikoh
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I'm not expecting a whole lot from this season--mostly some ecchi, some jokes, and some cliche drama, all wrapped up in a paper-thin plot. Though it looks like they're censoring this season a lot, and almost all of their jokes are of the usual "someone enters your room at an embarrassing moment" type.. If only people learned to lock their bedroom doors, or knock before entering...

(Watch Ep 1 on Voeh)
(Read more for torrents.)

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Category: Anime
Posted on: 07/12/08
Posted by: Raikoh
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They do too much in every episode--they should stretch things out / explain things a bit more and lengthen the series out rather than trying to make it so short and compact. Episode 11 is a great example--how the hell am I supposed to read all those subtitles, watch the mech-fight sequences, and stare at CC's ass all at the same time? Jeez I love this show.

(Read more for torrents and other series. I'd link to some video site like Veoh, but they keep removing these eps ;_;)

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