It's the end of 2007 and it's time to reflect back on this year's anime. There are definitely a lot of great new anime that came out this year, and the slice-of-life comedy took many by surprise, making the top 5 or even top 3 of many fan's list. Here, in my final post this year, I will go through my top 10 anime of the year, the best of 2007. Everyone's list is undoubtedly different since no one watches all the same anime and have the same tastes. There are many series which I haven't watched yet, most notably Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, which I will definitely pick up as soon as possible. So yeah, don't expect to see them drills here. #10 - Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge This is probably one of the most overlooked anime this year and the reason is probably due to the
terrible, horrible more unique character design. The storyline is quite random at times and the plot loves to exaggerate on the series theme which focuses on self-acceptance and beauty.
Truly, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and YNSH is a lot better than anyone would think just by looking at the character design and plot summary. Although, it would take a couple of episodes to get used to the girly looking bunch of fugly guys who are supposedly the most gorgeous bunch of guys you'll ever see. Forgive me while I puke.
#9 - Pokemon Diamond & Pearl the Movie: Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai
Hah! Bet you didn't see this one coming :P
I would have actually went with Lucario and the Mystery of Mew, but thought this would be more appropriate since it's released this year. While Pokemon is rather repetitive with a very predicted plot, it does still have its charm.
There hasn't been any decent Pokemon since the 2nd movie, but Lucario and the Mystery of Mew really impressed me a lot. And now I'm even more delighted that the latest movie was not disappointing as well.
While the movie focused on the 2 legendaries from the Diamond and Pearl games, the most intriguing Pokemon is neither the God of Time nor the God of Space, but the infamous Darkrai.
And the Batman-like ending has got to be the best ending for a Pokemon movie ever.
#8 - Clannad
Clannad started out inferior to Da Capo II for me, but it quickly overtook D.C.II which I dropped soon after. CCYoshi might really do something bad to me this time, but Fuko's arc was really what changed everything for me and with the end of Kotomi's arc around the corner, I finally understood what the fuss was about when every other anime fan was chanting for its arrival.
Even though I started off liking Tomoyo the best, that is quickly changing as I'm beginning to find Kyou much more attractive. Hopefully Kyou would have an arc of her own, preferably after Tomoyo's arc. I'll just have to wait and see.
#7 - Nana
It took me a while to get warmed up to the anime since I had watched the movie first. The starting was just too slow but the flashbacks had ended for both Nana, it really became interesting.
Good character design, great soundtrack and a very solid plot thats hard to predict, it's no wonder that Nana became a phenomenon in Japan and many other countries. I only wish that there would be a continuation, perhaps in the form of an OAV, to complete the story and bring Nana back to everyone.
Oh, the seiyuus were great as well and this is where I first heard (and saw) Hirano Aya in action XD
#6 - Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations
Even with just a single episode so far, Production I.G. had really, really impressed me with their adaptation for Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle's OAV. They stuck with the manga very consistently and it already started to hit it off with me the moment the conversation revealed that they had just arrived from Rekord country.
Bee Train almost never follows the manga's plot properly, often adding plenty of fillers or even changing entire scenes altogether which was why Tsubasa Chronicle was quite disappointing on most parts. But I really do love how they brought the first episode to life, if only they had been more consistent.
A request for CLAMP: Could we have Production I.G. do the 3rd season of the anime instead of Bee Train, pretty please? Other than the slightly off colour of Sakura's hair, it was perfect.
#5 - Shugo Chara
Now I'm the one surprised to see this here. When the series just started off I had brushed it off as something that will not hold my interest for long, and even called it a crossover between Sailormoon and Care Bears. But Shugo Chara quickly did a chara-nari and stole my heart as well.
It's too bad that Miki had only transformed once with Amu to become Amulet Spade so far. The chara-nari sequence was really odd with Miki's blue theme, but thank goodness Amulet Spade isn't as silly looking as Amulet Clover. I can't believe that Amu had no comments about her dress either.
I'm pretty sure I read in a few places that Shugo Chara would be 52 episodes long, so despite my initial thoughts that it would be too long, now I only can hope that it will reach that length. We're only barely at the surface of the seemingly deep and twisted plot.
#4 - History's Strongest Disciple, Kenichi
From school bullies to thugs to an entire underground organisation and it's still far from over, the basic plot reminds me of Kotaro Makaritoru. But the similarities ends there and I have found that Kenichi's plot is ways ahead and much more enjoyable.
There's almost never a dull moment as the series if full of funny moments and awesome fighting scenes. Starting off by stamina training and learning the basic stances for Jujutsu, Chinese kenpo, Karate, Muay-Thai kickboxing and throw in some weapons training along the way and you can really follow along Kenichi's growth up to the point where he finally learned the Seikuuken from the Elder.
Kenichi is one of the few series this year that had grabbed me from the very beginning and had me wanting for more even after it had ended. I know that the manga is already pretty far ahead with better story arcs, so there might be a good chance of a sequel.
#3 - Lucky Star
Admittedly, the above screenshot was what got me into watching Lucky Star and I absolutely did not regret it. This is one show that most anime fans would enjoy and all the "food talk" has already been discussed to death many times over so I will not go anywhere near that chocolate cornet.
It's really surprising how you think you caught all the jokes in any episodes of Lucky Star only to find out later that half the gags had walked pass without you realizing anything had happened at all. Even then, you probably hadn't grasped 100% of what had been referenced.
The opening theme is the closest rival to Hare Hare Yukai to date and it's also sang by (almost) the same group of people. Makes you wonder what's going to come up next from them ;)
One of Lucky Star's biggest draw is the fact that its the closest slice-of-life series that really depicts our daily life and conversation almost to the dot and puts a smile on your face the next time you find yourself in the same situation again, which really happens a lot in my case. Especially the food part. Okay, okay, no more food talk.
#2 - Code Geass
Up until a couple of months ago, I was certain that Code Geass would become my favourite anime of the year. I consider myself somewhat fortunate for only picking up the series after the last 2 episode for the season had been aired. Otherwise, I might have gone insane waiting for it.
It started off innocently enough but would have had you hooked by the end of the first episode, all thanks to that sudden change of facial expression by Lelouch Lamperouge, or more precisely, Lelouch Vi Britannia was revealed to be his true name.
As 0rion pointed out, Code Geass is the most spectacular trainwreck you've ever seen. It's one that is so well pulled off, you end up really hating what happened, but loving every moment of it. Contradicting, but very true.
With Lelouch and Suzaku finally facing off with each other, and the trigger finally pulled, it makes one wonder how the heck can Code Geass continue for another full season through that mess. Or in my case, if my heart and will is strong enough to pull me through another season without killing myself.
#1 - Chiaki-sama Minami-ke
Chiaki-sama Minami-ke is without a doubt, to me, the best anime of 2007. It's much more hilarious than Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh put together and had me rolling all over the floor every week without fail. I have the bruise marks from hitting my bed and wall to prove it.
The gags are almost never reused, unless you count Mako-chan but even then there are always something new. Even the "Sensei! Ninomiya-kun" segments were a barrel of laughters, especially the game parodies. The runaway vehicle gag that keeps aiming for either sensei or Ninomiya-kun is probably the most repeated joke in the series but it was also pulled off beautifully and was not overused.
And all those sexually suggestive scenes. That's fanservice at its best. Not too much, but it's always there, trying to lure you in... Which reminds me, I'm gonna have to do a post highlighting all those scenes.
Minami-ke overtook Code Geass as my favourite anime of the year simply because I enjoyed it much more than any other anime this year. Even for my 2006 favourites I had chose to put a series which I enjoyed more, Ouran Host Club, at the top instead of the great Suzumiya Haruhi. I just hope Minami-ke Okawari doesn't kill it when it starts showing.
With that, 2007 comes to a close, and 2008 promises even more great anime such as the long awaited continuation for both Code Geass and Suzumiya Haruhi. I just hope none of them turns out like Shana II.
Happy 2008 everyone! :D
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