Aquarion EVOL definitely had a really nice "blockbuster action flick" feel to it. I also liked what seems to be the main romance in it.
The show's a bit cheesy, but in a mostly good way, and it's a lot of fun to watch.
As for Another, I do see how its intentional lack of liveliness can be a negative as well as a positive. Thankfully, there's a lot of shows this season with lively casts, so Another comes off as a nice contrast to me for the most part.
I have to say, Aquarion EVOL is pretty awesome, and I'm not just saying that because it's written by Mari Okada and involves "unions" between male and female pilots. The first episode really has a "blockbuster action flick" thing going on, although I'm not sure they'll be able to keep it up.
Another was... interesting. Loved the unsettling vibe PA Works got going, but felt the price was a cast that felt cold. Also, I think Ookami Kakushi has made me skeptical of the ability of shows like this to be engaging (Shiki really hooked me in late 2010 but it's not exactly your average horror anime).
Congratulations to PA Works for somehow not reminding me of Chihiro with Mei like Rewrite did with its eyepatch girl... the manga cover for Another didn't manage that.
I think part of why it looks good is that Shaft did a good job translating VOFan (who I've actually met, BTW)'s character designs.
Beyond that, I've heard Nisemonogatari has more... "fetish fuel" than its predecessor but I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a bit of "spotlighting" at play here too. To be honest though, aside from Kanbaru stripping I don't see that much that surprise me (and heck, the Bluray for Bakemonogatari had the infamous "snake in mouth" bit). I don't think Nadeko was oblivious to what she was doing, for example. There's more UST in Bakemonogatari than you can shake a stick at.
The visual quality in Nisemonogatari is really great, and you definitely get that SHAFT feeling from it, yeah.
My one misgiving is that the Nise PVs come across as more fanservicey than I recall Bake being. Bake certainly had it's fair share of fanservice, of course, but Nise seems to be taking it to a significantly greater level.
Should still be a fun watch though. I'm looking forward to the first episode.
Hmmm... unlike the character lists I'm not thinking of a lot to say about the best anime list. It might have been different if I was anything close to up date with Tamayura (that I'm not relatively up to date with a show about cute girls with a neat camera* is indicative of how busy I was this fall) - as you probably know I'm a very strong Ikoku Meiro supporter, and I have a hunch that I finishing Tamayura isn't going to change that.
*While I'm of the opinion that digital photography is a godsend, the "classic tech" nerd in me (that side of me that could spend hours wondering the WWII fighters exhibit at the Museum of Flight in Seattle) really digs that Rollei 35. It was the smallest 35mm camera ever built upon release, and only one camera has surpassed it in that regard since - and the Rollei 35 is a far classier looking machine. Plus, it can count the Queen among its users.
As I mentioned to Demisoda, I tend to just pick a group of "shows I really, really loved in 2011" list rather than a formal top ten. This year that comprised seven shows, which is actually quite a lot. In no particular order (except grouped by season): Madoka Magica, Wandering Son, Hanasaku Iroha, Steins Gate, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee, Kamisama Dolls, and Fate/Zero.
I must admit that I feel like I'm painting a bright red bulleye on my back by not including Penguin Drum and Usagi Drop though.
I actually still have a few shows from this year to try and finish up before I go back too... my brother and I just marathoned the original Last Exile plus what's been released of the sequel over a few days. Not sure where I'd rank it just yet, but the original is one hell of a show and despite importing perhaps a few too many "2011 anime sensibilities", the sequel's pretty good too so far.
Dropped a nearly 900 word monster comment on your most recent blog post.
Edit: also, while I have not idea if she'll have time to make it, my girlfriend is thinking of cosplaying Miu for this years convention, complete with stuffed Pannya. If it weren't for my lack of time/skills to make a costume and the fact that I roast during summer even in a t-shirt, I'd probably be tempted to cosplay Shingo with her.