2010 Anime Oscars: Glen’s Picks


Apparently Jon rarely watches anything good, so I’m doing my own version of the Anime Oscars. Actually, hardly any of the other Project Haruhi writers have watched most of these shows. A lot of them aired when I was taking a break from anime earlier this year, but I’ve recently dug them up after hearing a lot of positive reviews. There’s a lot from 2010 that I haven’t seen, but I think I’ve picked the best ones to backtrack first. Therefore, I’m confident in awarding Oscars to shows that truly deserve it.

You can look forward to hearing the rest of the gang’s picks and more about mine on next week’s episode of Bakacast.

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2010 Anime Oscars: Jon’s Picks


All winners get a free golden statue of Natsuru in a maid outfit.

Well, the 83rd Oscars are over, and once again Japanese animation has been totally overlooked by the Academy. I’ve decided to remedy this by holding my very own totally legitimate Japanese Animation Academy Awards. These Anime Oscars will cover all the shows and OVAs that finished airing in 2010, as well as any films that were released on DVD (and therefore fansubbed) during that year.

Now, keep in mind that these are my personal choices… I’m sure the other writers for this site will have their own picks to share. And if you put together your own list of Anime Oscar winners on your blog, please let us know in the comments! We’d love to read it.

More below the break!

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12 Days of Anime #12: My Summer Crush


Now that final exams are over, I’ve decided to participate in the 12 Days of Anime project. It’s kind of a ‘back to basics’ anime blogging challenge, in which we count down the days until Christmas by writing about 12 anime-related moments from the last year that were particularly memorable or influential. I don’t know if I’ll be able to come up with 12 things to talk about though, so I might let Dusty fill in some of the blanks. Anyway, here goes!

I have an unusual perspective on fanservice. In my opinion, those promiscuous girls with the giant, floppy tits from Highschool of the Dead or Samurai Girls aren’t sexy in the slightest. Perhaps my overexposure to internet porn has made me jaded, but those kinds of blatant attempts at titillation tend to bore me. That’s why I always evaluate fanservice-heavy shows so cynically; I’m always looking beyond the breasts, hoping for some worthwhile character or unique story. Sometimes, my patience is rewarded with hidden gems like Kiddy Grade. Most of the time I just wind up disappointed.

But, this summer, something special happened. My first memory of her is during a school meeting, held in the massive marble hall of Occult Academy. Her father had died, but she wasn’t sad. She just sat there in a metal folding chair, impatiently tapping her fingers as if annoyed by the whole spectacle. This was a girl who carved her own path in life, and everyone else be damned. Even her clothes, sexy as hell itself, asserted a fierce individuality. This wasn’t another feckless fanservice female or mild-mannered moeblob. No, this was a woman with fiery passion and an icy heart.

Her name was Maya Kumashiro. And I had fallen in love with her.

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Bakacast Briefs – Robots! Robots! Robots!

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[IMPORTANT NOTE: If you downloaded this episode any time before October 10, 2:00 PM (PST), you got the version that has intermittent stretches of silence for the first half of the episode. This problem has been fixed and the original file was replaced.]

That’s right, folks! Welcome to the second season of Bakacast Briefs! Sorry this podcast was once again late; a combination of bad timing and technical difficulties delayed its release.

Since this is the first week of the fall season, we’ve got a lot of shows to cover, so we skip the news and Twitter questions to fit it all in a reasonable amount of time. All in all, we review:

This list (and the following week’s) will probably decrease substantially after a couple more episodes as we decide which shows to stick with and which ones to drop. That said, we hope it won’t be nearly as narrow as our coverage for the previous season.

And speaking of last season, we’d like to know what you think of Bakacast Briefs so far. What do you think are we doing right? What are we doing wrong? What aren’t we doing that we should be doing? Feel free to give us any constructive criticism you may have.

[Music used in this episode is “Illegal Soundwaves” by Apricorn.]

Bakacast Briefs – Pokemon Fatigue

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Yes, I know, this episode is really late. If it’s any consolation, I realize I’ve brought dishonor upon my family’s name and have already pretended to commit seppuku. It was quite dramatic and believable, I can assure you.

Anyway, we start this week’s podcast lamenting the lack of any significant innovation in the Pokemon franchise (the fan-made Pokemon chart we talk about can be found here) and getting very excited about Madhouse’s Redline. After that, we review the last episode of Highschool of the Dead (there was much rejoicing) and the second-to-last episode Occult Academy. Then, because it’s so much fun, we answer your Twitter questions. So, if you want to hear Glen and I create surrealist narratives and find out why Larry is secretly an anime philanthropist, this is the episode for you!

This week’s podcast covers:

  • Highschool of the Dead #12
  • Occult Academy #12

[Music used in this episode is “A Charming Spell” by Splashdown.]

Final Thoughts on Occult Academy

Do you see that look on Maya’s face? That expression of disappointment and contempt, mixed with just a hint of anger? Yeah, that’s how I feel right now.

Look, I wanted to like Occult Academy, I really did. Back in the early days of the summer season, I called this show “messianic,” a gift from the heavens destined to drive back the forces of mediocrity and darkness. Here, at long last, was an anime that had a plot beyond “cute girls drinking tea,” characters with more depth and originality than tired archetypes like “twintailed tsundere,” and humor more sophisticated than “LOL BOOBIES.” In other words, this was exactly the kind of thoughtful, original show we needed to counter the ever-increasing tide of fanservice and moe garbage that’s been swamping the airwaves. Sadly, it was unable to live up to those high expectations.

Find out why after the break.

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Bakacast Briefs – Dude, Where’s My Zombie?

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Jon was feeling sick and Chris was out of town, so it’s just Glen, Larry, Jeagle and me on this episode of Bakacast Briefs. Glen and I do most of the talking during the first half, where we review Break Blade, a suprisingly zombie-free episode of HOTD and Occult Academy. Then we turn the podcast over to Larry and Jeagle so they can talk about what is basically the finale of K-ON!!. We end the show with Twitter questions and uncontrollable laughter, just like a cheesy 80s sitcom. Far out!

This episode covers:

  • Break Blade #2
  • Highschool of the Dead #11
  • Occult Academy #11
  • K-ON!! #24

A list of our Bakacast Affiliates can be found here. Be sure to check out their blogs!

[Music used in this episode is “Game Boy Rock” by Wizwars.]

Otaku Debate: Did the Summer Anime Season Suck?

Surprisingly, last week’s debate didn’t generate the knee-jerk negative reaction towards obesity that I expected. Most of the poll respondents said they preferred their girls anywhere from “meaty” to “slightly chubby,” which could be considered average weight for most people. It’s nice to see our readers have rejected the “thin = sexy” message of pop culture and formed more realistic standards of beauty!

This week’s topic is a bit of a painful one for me. In my humble opinion, this anime season has been a total letdown. Most of the shows, such as Seitokai Yakuindomo and Ookami-san, were just too bland to be worthwhile… and the few that showed promise, like Occult Academy and Highschool of the Dead, turned out to be total duds. The only show that’s marginally entertaining at this point is Mitsudomoe, but the very risque humor makes it appealing to only a small subset of otaku.

Now, I don’t think this means anime is doomed or anything silly like that. We’ve had bad seasons before, particularly in the early nineties after the last economic crash. Still, that doesn’t make it any less depressing to slog through such mediocrity. Has this season left you in a similar state of despair? Or do you think that I’m being overly negative? Are there any anime this season you did enjoy, or are you taking refuge in old classics like Dirty Pair and Gundam while this storm blows over? Vote in the poll below, and share your thoughts in the comment section!

(Just FYI: I consider K-ON!! to be a spring season show, so it doesn’t figure into this debate.)

Did the summer anime season suck?

  • It was average, I guess. *yawn* (38%, 42 Votes)
  • I think it was pretty good. (23%, 25 Votes)
  • I agree with Jon. It was horrid. (19%, 21 Votes)
  • I haven't watched any shows from this season. (12%, 13 Votes)
  • You're full of crap! This season was awesome! (8%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 110

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Bakacast Briefs – May The Quartz Be With You

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Despite the allure of Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep, I managed to get this podcast out in a somewhat timely fashion. See? Sometimes miracles really do happen.

Anyway, in this episode we skip the news in favor of two extra reviews: Chris and Larry talk about Working!!,and everyone debates the strengths and weaknesses of Broken Blade (or Break Blade, if you want to be a title purist). We keep our griping about Highschool of the Dead to a bare (Haha! Get it?) minimum so we can quickly move on to more interesting things. Like how awesome it would be to live like a Pokemon trainer.

Anime covered in this episode:

  • Working!! (entire series)
  • Broken Blade #1
  • Highschool of the Dead #10
  • Occult Academy #10
  • K-ON!! #22 and #23

A list of our Bakacast Affiliates can be found here. Be sure to check out their blogs!

[Music used in this episode is “Broken Machine” by Trace Dragon XVI K.]

Need More K-ON! Music? Try These Seiyuu Solos!

With the second season of K-ON!! in the can, many of us are already starved for more peppy after-school music.  Aki Toyosaki, who is the voice artist of the character Yui Hirasawa, has released two singles over the past year, which is old news. However, Minako Kotobuki who plays Tsumugi is releasing a solo of her own. This I find rather surprising. Since I don’t think Minako’s done a solo, in the series that is, it will be interesting to hear what she sounds like without the other four members of H.T.T.  The links listed below the photos will take you to CD Japan where you can hear forty-five second previews of the songs that Aki and Minako are releasing.

More after the break.

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