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Old 2011-12-25, 02:42   Link #1
Marcus H.
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Anime in 2011: Looking Back and Looking Ahead

It's just seven days until 2011 ends, and another year of anime is close to ending.

For me, the year has been one of the better ones, even despite the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake which affected selected areas in Japan. Steins;Gate has been an impressive visual novel adaptation. Puella Magi Madoka Magica, which bent the rules of how a Mahou Shoujo anime should be and was recognized in major animation awards. Also, K-ON!, whose movie earned millions of yen in the box office, proved that it has a particularly diverse fanbase than expected.

To sum it up, 2011 has been the year of the "unexpected". And it is mostly a good thing for me.

What has been 2011 to everyone as an anime fan?
What were the trends that 2011 introduced?

And the most important question, what will the next year offer us? Will the next year fully introduce the split-cour broadcasting strategy that The World God Only Knows, Fate/Zero and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon utilized?
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Old 2011-12-25, 04:42   Link #2
relentlessflame
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcus H. View Post
Will the next year fully introduce the split-cour broadcasting strategy that The World God Only Knows, Fate/Zero and Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon utilized?
Incidentally, as a minor point, this is actually something that King Records/Starchild had been doing for a number of years now (Asura Cryin', Da Capo II, Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, Arakawa Under The Bridge, Natsu no Arashi, White Album, and surely more I'm forgetting...), but I guess it's getting a bit more attention now that it's happening for bigger-name productions. There seemed to be a bit of skittishness over the last few years about committing to shows longer than one cour, but it feels like there's a bit more willingness to invest/take risks now (given that the Blu-Ray market for anime in Japan continues to do fairly well overall), but the production difficulty with longer shows is clearly a factor.

I may do more a reflection later, but all in all I can just say that I continue to find a number of enjoyable shows every season, so I just hope they keep on keeping on.
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Old 2011-12-25, 04:59   Link #3
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2011 has been a very productive year with many pleasant surprises for next year in my opinion. I'm not sure about 2010 but this year, quite a few great anime got many attention and hardcore following, particularly Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Steins Gate. I mean they already had some moe as a backdrop but they seemed to have lived up to the hype when it comes to the plot and characterisation.

I personally liked Mawaru Penguindrum. It had styles, honesty and great execution. It also experimented with subjects in the uncharted territory where most anime would be afraid to tackle. I had the most mindfuck experience since Lain or Perfect Blue, I cannot fully understand the plot, so I probably have to watch it twice. I loved its soundtrack more than any other anime.

This year was also successful with memorable moments. Many anime this year had some very memorable characters and quotes to remember. Just as I said earlier in other posts, anime are beginning to utilise the moe in more subtle approach. Rather than shoving moe fanservice like Kyoto Animation is guilty of, they use it merely as a plot device to enhance the story or make it more accessible to casual anime fans. i.e. aforementioned Puella Magica, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee.

Speaking of Kyoto Animation, finally they make something other than K-on or Melancholy of Haruhi. As random and weird as Nichijou was, it grew on me. It had some sort of quiet charm. And there are some anime that I like more in this year. I thought this year had more anime to choose from.

For next year I have at least 2 anime I look forward to, Minami-Ke and Hidamari Sketch new season. That makes me extremely happy as Minami-ke was one of the first anime I watched when I began as an otaku. I read some rumours of another relatively new anime being remade by another production but it's only a rumour.
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Old 2011-12-25, 05:02   Link #4
ninja_pintu
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For me the best thing which happened this year is the return of 2 cour anime. And more diversity in anime. And from the way 2012 is looking, I think its only going to improve on this.
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Old 2011-12-25, 06:04   Link #5
mecharobot
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This has been the year of "same old stuff" to me, sprinkled with a few decent sequel series. Next year is looking to be a year of a few sequels too.
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Old 2011-12-25, 06:17   Link #6
MisaoFan
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2011 is the best year ever, and Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere are personnally my pleasant surprises ! While the previous year was fulfilled with ecchi anime adaptations (Qwaser of Stigmata was my all-time ecchi fantasy anime), this year was back with many 2-cour series and original anime, as well as the return of Sunrise and Avex productions !
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Old 2011-12-25, 07:12   Link #7
Fevvers
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While not horrible per say, 2011 hasn't really been all that impressive either.

On the top of my mind, only Steins Gate (someone should have told me this was from THE Hirotsogu Hamazaki!!!@!!, though it still had a lot of the otaku flavor I frown upon, Hamazaki did wonders on it compared to the manga), Penguin Drum, Kyouso Giga (such bold and stunning sakuga and visuals, never heard of Rie Matsumoto and Yuki Hayashi before, the director and animation director respectively, but I definitely look forward to their next works!), and Un-Go made much of an impression. Not masterpieces, but had a lot of energy (for Giga mostly) and societal and philosophical implications to offer.

Still, wishful thinking or not, I am cautiously hopeful for the next Mushishi, GITs, Mononoke, Tatami Galaxy, Denno Coil of 2012.
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Old 2011-12-25, 08:10   Link #8
Dhomochevsky
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As always I am trailing several seasons behind, trying my hardest to finally catch up.
But I did cherry pick some of the series this year, that looked most interesting and watched them on the spot.
I really enjoyed these:
- Steins;Gate , simply amazing, went straight to my all time favorites
- C
- Usagi Drop
- Ben-To

Then there were some really disappointing ones that I thought I would love, but were just meh, like Blood-C for example.

The rest of the 2011 program does not look very promising, but this thread will be very useful to figure out if I missed anything good.
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Old 2011-12-25, 08:12   Link #9
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Old 2011-12-25, 08:24   Link #10
Kameruka
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All I can say is 2011 was somewhat less interesting than 2010. Maybe that dreaded bill takes it effect on entire anime industry. However the best anime I ever saw is Mashiro-Iro Symphony. Maybe it was the anime I take it seriously.
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Old 2011-12-25, 08:54   Link #11
Athena
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2011 was'nt bad. Though I never got hooked into Steins;Gate, I found C^3 entertaining, Horizon pretty good, and many enjoyable series. The series were more entertaining rather than impressive.
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Old 2011-12-25, 08:58   Link #12
ahelo
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It's definitely the year 2-cour animu came back. Also that Spring season of awesomeness with 40+ shows airing.
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Old 2011-12-25, 09:18   Link #13
Marcus H.
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Maybe that dreaded bill takes it effect on entire anime industry.
I dunno. Considering that series like Gokujyo (which depicts students in titillating situations) and Jormungand (which depicts illegal activities) were green-lit is enough proof that there are no clear effects of Bill 156.
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Old 2011-12-25, 13:38   Link #14
fertygo
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2011 is very strong year to me. While there is still no title that satisfying for people like Fevvers that seeking masterpiece and not just blind entertainment in these storm of title that directed for Otaku, at least there is decent amount of otaku show isn't just about pandering this year.

Otaku show like Steins;Gate, IdolM@ster, Madoka, Fate/Zero, aside raking money is also very well made and have interesting theme, to be honest that made me happy for someone that more enjoying this kind of show, at least the "big show" didn't disappoint me.

I want to highlight the success of Tiger&Bunny this year too, that make me soooooo happy, while there's still many usual trope underlying on it, but its certainly have some fresh idea, originality and passion for cutting edge, paired with unusual chara design, this show manage to get commercial success. That make me believe Anime still can selling and success without always feeding otaku cute high-school girl.

Overall 2011 make me convinced Anime can go back where's many diversity on its title selection like its used to, at the very least for the big title, like we have Eureka 7, Last Exile, etc in the past.

Btw, I can't say I got disappoint in "masterpiece" animu department, I got my new Utena this year afterall
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Old 2011-12-25, 18:30   Link #15
Archon_Wing
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It has had a lot of great titles among a few flops. But Madoka, Steins;gate, Penguindrum, Tiger and Bunny, Ano Hana, Fate/Zero, Last Exile, Chihayafuru, Usagi Drop, and Hunter X Hunter was a great combo in a short time

There's also some good mid-tier anime series that I would have loved to have any other year as top anime of those respect years: Gundam Age, Kamisama no Memochou, Kaiji, Ben-to, perhaps Kamisama Dolls, Shana III, and even Hana Saku Iroha.

Even fluff like Boku wa Tomadachi and the Oreimo specials helped add some flavor to this year

According to my own Arbitary Rating System on MAL ™ where 5/10 is passing the following years have had:

Spoiler:

Though 2011 did have quite a few stinkers though.
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Old 2011-12-25, 18:38   Link #16
Eater of All
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I agree that 2011 is a relatively strong year, though I don't think there were any particular year that downright sucks either. It's still not as good as 2008 was for me, but 2011 has definitely surpassed 2009 and 2010 with a plethora of enjoyable shows, led by Madoka and Steins;Gate, that includes Kaiji, Ano Hana, Nichijou, Natsume San, and so on.
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Old 2011-12-25, 23:03   Link #17
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From my perspective, 2011 was a major comeback year for the anime industry.

The key element it brought, for me, was variety. Not just quality in a general sense (as valuable as that is), but a lot of variety amongst the good quality anime shows as well.


In Madoka Magica, we were given a brand new magical girl property. On top of that, it was a dynamic and fresh new take on the genre itself.

In Steins;Gate, we were given a high profile serious sci-fi story that didn't involve mechas (not that I have anything against mechas, just that sci-fi without mechas can sometimes be hard to find in anime). It also had an excellently entertaining and engaging male lead, and a great take on the tsundere archetype.

In Mawaru Penguin Drum, we were given a serious surrealist symbolically-rich work with loads of depth and engrossing characterization to it.

In Tiger and Bunny, we were given a distinctively anime interpretation of American super heroes, but this time through a brand new property. We were also given a refreshingly older male lead.

And I could go on here, but these four examples are pretty important in and of themselves.


I wouldn't say that 2009 and 2010 were entirely bad (both years had some anime shows I liked), but they didn't have quite this much variety for me, at least not amongst the heavily talked about shows.

That being said, there were a few disappointments in 2011, but I find that a really strong B-Tier of shows made up for that (if not more than made up for it).


Given what a big difference anime originals made to 2011 (three of the four shows I specifically mentioned were anime originals) one thing that I hope will continue in 2012 is high-profile anime original shows. That may well have a lot to say about whether or not 2012 is as strong as 2011 was, or perhaps ends up being even stronger.
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Old 2011-12-26, 15:06   Link #18
Dhomochevsky
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Apparently "anime fans" disagree [Sankaku] with us on many cases.
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Old 2011-12-26, 15:56   Link #19
Ithekro
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Anime fans "disagree"....shocking........
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Old 2011-12-26, 16:01   Link #20
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Anime fans "disagree"....shocking........


Whoulda thought?
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