Project Haruhi

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!

Best Anime

Squid Girl

Let me tell you, August of last year was a very depressing time for anime fans. Most of the winter, spring and summer shows had turned out to be huge disappointments. Even more frustrating was the lack of any good comedy anime, with most of the previous offerings being either patently unfunny, painfully cliched or drenched in too much fanservice to be palatable.

Then along came Squid Girl, the sleeper hit of the fall season. Everybody dismissed this as another subpar comedy show like Seitokai Yakuindomo at first, but it quickly became the must-watch show of the fall season thanks in no small part to it's Yotsuba-esque main character and her wonderfully innocent slice-of-life antics. Made of equal parts funny, heartwarming and adorable, this show easily takes the top spot as the best anime. Squid Girl may not have succeeded at invading the surface world, but she did invade our hearts.

Wow, that was corny. Er, moving on...

Runner-Up: Panty & Stocking

Best Movie or OVA

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

This was Kyoani's chance to redeem themselves after the Endless Eight disaster, and in the court of public opinion they succeeded. This movie was a love letter to Haruhi fans, preying on their separation anxiety and causing them to rush longingly back into the arms of their lost love. In other words, this was exactly what Haruhi fans needed.

The film itself was a visual treat, featuring some solid animation and fantastic art design. The story was no slouch either, even if it was dragged down by Kyon's incessant and entirely unnecessary narration. While not perfect, it did get the Haruhi franchise back on track, and set the stage for Kyoani to do a proper third season. For that accomplishment, I feel it deserves the title of best anime movie.

Also, I can't believe Kyon chose that passive-aggressive jerk Haruhi over deredere Yuki. He must be a glutton for punishment.

Runner-Up: Railgun OVA

Best Male Character

Hideyoshi Kinoshita

Anime as of late has been devoid of interesting male characters, with most being simple carbon copies of each other. Because of that, it's hard to think of a male who particularly caught my interest this year. In fact, the only character that comes to mind is the god-tier trap Hideyoshi from the otherwise unexceptional Baka to Test. Thanks to his effeminate looks, he's become a meme unto himself... one that has made many a 4channer question their sexuality. In my book, that makes him a winner. Now if only he had a better anime to star in.

So yeah. He wins by default. That's what I get for not watching Tatami Galaxy, eh?

Runner-Ups: Garterbelt, Briefs

Best Female Character(s)

Scanty and Kneesocks

I've already written about how Scanty and Kneesocks saved PSG from mediocrity. Honestly, I think the show would have been much better if it was about these two demonic vixens instead of those bitchslut toilet angels. Anyhoo, instead of repeating myself, I'm just going to let you all enjoy their drool-worthy transformation sequence.

Runner Ups: Maya Kumashiro, Ruri Goko (aka Kuroneko)

Best Animation


This anime was an unexceptional yet enjoyable slice of life offering, featuring memorable characters and forgettable music. Where it really excelled, however, was the fantastic animation. The HTT girls' blobbish designs meshed well with Kyoani's extremely fluid animation style, making them seem much more visceral then your average anime character. Perhaps that's what contributed to the impact these girls had on the K-ON! fandom... despite being idealized and unrealistic sugary moeblobs, they still felt more like real people than your average anime protagonist. I think the excellent animation is primarily responsible for that.

KyoAni has sure come a long way since their breakout hit Haruhi. If they can keep up this level of animation quality, I look forward to more visual treats from them in the future.

Runner-ups: Highschool of the Dead, Samurai Girls

Best Art Direction

Samurai Girls

This anime was horrible... and not even in a Kampfer-esque "so bad it's good" kind of way. It was literally an ordeal to sit through. Despite this, it was still very pretty to look at.

The painterly art style (as well as the terrifically sexy character designs) was what originally drew me into Samurai Girls. The story wasn't bad either, which was a pleasant surprise. Sadly, after a few episodes of lighthearted fun, the show quickly devolved into a hentai fanservice fest that totally derailed the story and devalued the characters. When they tried to pick up the plot threads near the end, it had already been ruined beyond repair. As an attempt to successfully balance fanservice and story, Samurai Girls failed horribly. However, even it its darkest moments, it still had fantastic art and character design.

In the end, this show was a polished turd... worth watching only for the artwork.

Also, we never got to see the promised action scene of scantily-clad samurai girls blasting B-52s out of Tokyo's skies using magical powers. What the hell?

Runner-Up: Panty & Stocking

Best Character Design

Maya Kumashiro

Poor Maya may have had her character raped by Occult Academy's asinine story, but she still manged to look damn sexy while captaining her sinking ship. I mean, just LOOK at that perfectly-matched ensemble: a simple yet distinctive one-piece white dress, long luscious black hair with matching thighhighs, and white braclets that double as brass knuckles. That's an outfit that manages to be sexy, fashionable and badass, all that the same time. Maya undoubtedly deserves the title of this year's Fashion Queen, and easily the best thing to come out of the otherwise disappointing Anime no Chikara project.

Runner-Ups: Kirino Kousaka, everybody in Panty & Stocking

Best Soundtrack

Panty & Stocking

Like there's any contest here. Even those who were alienated by PSG's inconsistent tone and irreverent humor admitted to loving its soundtrack. The electronic and dance music from the show was so catchy that anticipation for the soundtrack's official release reached a fever pitch throughout November and December of last year. Unscrupulous individuals trolled /a/, claiming that they had a leaked copy that they were willing to give away. Amateur DJs ripped tunes from the show and remixed them countless times. And ordinary otaku like you and me feverishly counted down the days until the CD went on sale.

Even K-ON!'s music didn't build this level of anticipation. For the impact it had on the fandom, PSG's soundtrack deserves the title of the year's best.

Runner-Up: Sora no Woto

And now, a few special awards.

Best OP

Sora no Woto

Best ED

Space Hanamaru Kindergarten

Best Use of Gratuitous English


Best Genderswap

Senou Natsuru

About Jon

Jon is a Japanese culture enthusiast, professional pervert and roleplaying fanatic who appreciates flexible gender identities. He enjoys science fiction, Gunpla, classical music and Red Stripe.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t say I agree with best anime film. I can understand but I thought Redline was much better, but then again only a few places in the USA were screening it and they were usually one night only occasions. Best Soundtrack I totally agree with, just every track on the CD makes you want to listen all the way through( except maybe Juice). I would have given Best Art Direction to The Tatami Galaxy but then again that’s just me. Everything else I can’t comment on because I haven’t watched the shows, didn’t like them or just agree with it.

    • Kei

      I’m not sure how I missed watching Tatami Galaxy when it aired. I should marathon it one of these days.

      • Anonymous

        I missed it too, so I marathoned it about 2 months back. Really good series, definitely recommend it.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, Redline and Mardock Scramble are the movies I am waiting to see that will be released sometime this year. I am glad that Redline is holding up to expectations and so seems to be Mardock Scramble. Were did you see Redline by the way, also have you seen Mardock Scramble as well? Judging from the trailers, the novel, and the very few reviews of it, it looks to be an equally awesome movie along with Redline.

      • Anonymous

        I saw Redline at the Scotland Loves Anime film festival held in Edinburgh in early October 2010 and it certainly lives up to the hype. Can’t say I’ve even heard of Mardock Scramble but after watching the trailer I’ll definitely check it out.

      • Anonymous

        I’m so jealous of you Scots right now. I’m probably going to have to wait until Redline comes out on Blu-ray, since that chances of it being shown in a theater anywhere close to where I live are almost nonexistent.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t really agree with a lot of stuff, but whateves. As for best anime, to me anyways, that would go to Shiki. I would almost give it to Princess Jellyfish, but the ending resolved nothing which kinda made me sad, as you never know (espically with a Noitamina show) if they will ever make sequel.

    I would also recommend Tatami Galaxy, probably Masaaki Yuasa’s most refined work to date.

    • Kei

      To each his own. Your opinion is just as valid as mine… which is why I’m interested in seeing other people do Anime Oscar posts. I’d like to see what everyone else picks and why.

  • Anonymous

    Jon, for once. I completely agree with you. (even if I /did/ enjoy “K-On!!” xD)

  • Anonymous

    Best OP has to be Kuragahime’s OP because it was done by CHATMONCHY best group ever. Also the animation was awesome.

  • I completely agree to some of Jon’s choices.
    I think that Squid Girls deserves a “Golden Picard Award” for best anime of 2010,
    it climbed right to the top of my fave list – next to Lucky Star, Suzumiya Haruhi-chan no Yuuutsu and Kobato.
    K-on!! has indeed great animation quality which makes the characters feel more real.
    I’ve only seen the trailer/teaser from “The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya” about 30-40 times,
    but not the actual movie, but from the impression the trailer gives me – I’m sure the rest of the film is of equal or better quality.
    I’m really concidering buying it from here:
    It doesn’t say if the collectors edition got english subtitles or not though.

    No idea about the rest of the shows as I’m not familiar with them yet (exept Hanamaru Kindergarten).

  • I suppose I have to do one of these just so some good shows will get some notoriety here.

  • Ryu

    Hmm best animation uh Panty and stocking with Garterbelt

  • Ryu

    K-on for best animation? Ouch

    • My thoughts exactly.

      Squid Girl for Best Anime? A bigger and more resounding OUCH!

  • Sdasdas

    u have horrible taste…

    • Kei

      And you have horrible grammar.

  • Ryu

    Well apparently anime IS having it’s “Oscars” soon

    So we got Tatami galaxy and

    jesus christ

    K-on as the best TV animes of last year

  • Natsuru…no! *averts eyes*

  • 2010 was a bad year in most counts for me, I just got so dis-enchartened with the whole lot about mid-way through occult academy. Luckily though I have gone back and started watching Squid Girl, and the like. Durarara was frickin awesome as well, so that would be my clear pick for Anime of the Year. As for the rest of the categories…meh 🙁

    • Anonymous

      Watch Star Driver, Chris.


      Watch Star Driver.

      (And I promise I’ll watch Working!!)

  • Oh yeah, Working!! had the best OP for 2010, in my opinion 😉

  • FurryDragon57

    In samurai girls opening the girls attack B-29s not B-52