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Nikki’s Top Ten Best Anime of 2008

The year 2008 is the year of wonderful anime. I am lucky to have anticipated and followed most of the series, unlike in 2007 where I was left choosing just a few anime series to watch due to Internet problems. Three of my favorite manga series were turned to TV series this year (Special A, Skip Beat, Junjou Romantica). Two of the anime I followed in 2007 were given sequels (Code Geass, Gundam 00). 2008 is truly a blessed year with anime releases of all genre.

As with last year, I’m giving a list of the anime shown in 2008 that left me a good impression. These are series I’d love to watch all over again. I did not include season continuation (xxxHolic kei, Code Geass, Gundam 00), but I include a runner-up list because I am one indecisive person :D. This is in no particular order.


1. Macross Frontier
– The plot, the art, the characters, the voice actors, the song. Everything in this “sequel” to the original Macross saga is amazing. I admit I decided to pick this up because of Kamiya Hiroshi (Mikhail) and Nakamura Yuuichi (Alto) and I admit that I didn’t like the female characters at first. However, after a few more episodes, each character grew in my heart in their own little way. The OST and ED/OP albums of Macross F never left my iTunes and mp3 player. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting the music, animation and OTP wars of this series for a long time.

2. Druaga no To
– When I watched the first episode of this series, the only thing that made me interested was KENN (Jiru’s seiyuu) and tentacles. But as the series continued, the crack that was seemingly overdone was replaced by nostalgia of playing RPGs and awe at how every episode struck true to my heart. This is one of the crack series that is worth your time. It wouldn’t be having a sequel this 2009 if it’s not good, right?

3. Amatsuki
– This series started off at a lazy pace, marked only by a rapid turn of events, and then turned to be boring for the rest of the episode. However, the fast-paced story, the gripping mystery that makes you go “WTFISHAPPENINGNEXTEPISODEPLS!” is definitely satisfying despite the fact that this anime is just 13 episodes. I’ve had too many experiences with old era supernatural anime (Shounen Onmyouji, Inu Yasha), but Amatsuki is a different kind – you don’t usually see a very cool tengu and a princess who is…not really a princess.

4. Soul Eater
– This anime is something I’ve liked from the beginning up to the present. It is one of those cool series that can mix in crack and drama without tripping from the “kakkoi” factor. The different art, the twisted but awe-worthy storyline and the dash of crack and romance (?), Soul Eater is a series for anyone, really.

5. Junjou Romantica
– I think this is a given. There is rarely, if ever, a BL series shown on TV and do so well to earn a second season. Junjou Romantica is not hardcore BL, it’s soft, poignant and humorous. It shows different kinds of relationship that tickles our BL fangirl hearts. The art is not messed up, the storyline is as loyal as possible and the voice actors are loyal to the drama CD ones. What more could I ask for? Another season, perhaps!

6. Toshokan Sensou
– For someone who really loves books, I empathize with the main character in this series! It’s an action packed series, but not in the sci-fi kind of way. Its nearness to the present and its possibility of happening are the charms of this series. The rather denied but so apparent love stories wittingly mixed in are something to look out for, too.

7. Natsume Yuujinchou
– A series composed of supernatural and ghost stories that aren’t scary, this is something for a scaredy-cat like me XD. The laid-back scenery and events plus the nonchalant expression on the main character might throw people off because they get bored, but the curious creatures from Japanese mythology, the exciting events that cross the paths of humans and spirts/creatures will reel you in before you can drop the series. Oh, not to mention Nyanko-sensei’s antics will entertain you all the way. This one will also have a sequel, so make sure you watch the first series soon!

8.  Skip Beat
– This is one of my favorite shoujo manga ever, that was why when I learned it was going to be an anime, I couldn’t help but be both happy and sad. Happy because I get to see them moving and sad because manga-based shoujo anime, especially those with limited episodes, tend to change the storyline completely (Special A received such treatment earlier, fortunately, it wasn’t murdered and was still a good anime). Skip Beat admiringly decided to follow the manga plot, even Kyoko’s hidden demons XD;. I love the portrayal of each character, the voice actors (come on, Miyano Mamoru and Konishi Katsuyuki as the main male characters?) and the way the manga was put into moving drawings. The art might be a little off at times, especially to those used to the manga, but it doesn’t diminish this series adorableness.

9. Mouryou no Hakou
– This is probably the weirdest anime I’ve watched this year. It was eerie and scary, yet it grabs you by the collar and forces you to watch one episode to the next. I’m a sucker for mysteries and despite the macabre events in some of the episodes of this series, I like the way each episode was presented. CLAMP designed the characters, too, so you can expect that the characters are all pretty, despite weird aura of the series.

10. Himitsu – The Revelation –
– This is one of the underappreciated anime of 2008. I don’t think a lot of people watched this, but I guarantee that this is a good anime, better compared to the other releases this year! A mix of sci-fi, crime and suspense, the series revolves around a technology that could peer into criminals’ minds as they do their gruesome deeds. It’s done by Shimizu Reiko and the art might be a bit weird to some, but the story is still amazing: suave, enigmatic and almost gripping. There might be shounen-ai hints here and there, but it could be just me o.o.


RUNNER-UPS:

– Nabari no Ou
– Ga-Rei-Zero
– Special A
– Hakushaku to Yousei
– Casshern Sins

What about you? What are the best series you’ve watched this 2008? Here’s too looking forward to more amazing series this 2009! :D

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  1. January 1, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    I covered my favorites of 2008 in four quite extensive posts.

    Macross Frontier had some great music :)

    I really like Kyoko’s determination in Skip Beat and her numerous expressions :)

    Mouryou no Hakou had wonderful art :)

  2. January 2, 2009 at 7:28 am

    I totally agree with you for Junjou Romantica <3, my only complaint is that I wish that they could give more air time to the Terrorist pairing, but I’m not really complaining :P I haven’t watch Macross Frontier yet, but their songs are already have its permanent place in my playlist and mobile phone :)

    I haven’t seen most of the animes here, even though I read most of the mangas there (I’m rather out-of-date with latest anime) and seeing Himitsu being animated is a pleasure for me. I didn’t know that before… Have to hunt that <3 As for me, Code Geass and Gundam 00 season 1 are one of the best anime I watched, despite my complicated feelings with it…

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