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Just use "that".
There were quite a few anime that stood out to me last year, which gave me much enjoyment and entertainment, plus impressive production values, but I’m too lazy to go look them all up again and compile them into some kind of a retrospective Top 10 of 2011 list kind of thing. So I’ll let those other bloggers and such do all that troublesome work and I’ll just satisfy myself with looking at their results and seeing whether I agree with their choices or not. Or maybe I won’t even do that at all. It’s too much of a hassle–I’d rather watch more cartoons.
Anyway, if I were to be asked to name a particularly strong entry, off the top of my head, I’d have to pick out Production IG’s Yondemasuyo Azazel-san (either the OVA series or the TV one, both are equally enjoyable), directed by Tsutomu Mizushima, as a top contender. It’s actually a patently hilarious show, filled with crass toilet humor as it was. What’s even better, and more important, was it stayed consistently off-the-wall funny, and never did show a sign of flagging with its powerful drive and energy. Its rather short episode running time–each episode ran for 13 minutes–probably helped the series maintain that unrelenting momentum it had, all throughout its run (13 eps for the TV, 3 for the OVA). The same thing worked to the benefit of other comedy anime with similar running times, such as AIC’s Sunred and Studio 4C’s Detroit Metal City. Comedy anime seems to work more effectively as comparably shorter series, it ensures the comedic energy doesn’t fade as the thing progresses, and the sharper bursts make the material more potent. And even its admittedly crude content didn’t put me off at all–hell, it was the main driving force behind the series’ hilarity. Visually, the series was hyper-kinetic, always active, always zipping and zinging, always loud and rude, and it enhanced the strength of the material, rendering the anime on the whole as rather unforgettable. There’s almost always something to laugh at on screen, or barring that, things worthy of at least a little snort. Damn funny show, it was.
Kyosogiga (Rie Matsumoto, Toei Animation)
All right, before anything else, I’d like to wish anybody and everybody a happy New Year. It’s only about a week late, so it’s a little pointless, but I feel that I can’t move forward with anything without getting that out of the way. Well, the end of last year meant the end of the fall anime season, and boy was it a disappointing finish (I ended up dropping almost half of the shows I was watching). The most interesting shows–in my view–were those hold-overs from the past seasons, such as Mawaru Penguindrum (whose finale was on Christmas week) which ended in a rather satisfying conclusion, even if the show was lost one me at times, especially during the middle sections. As far as the most disappointing series of the fall goes, though, I think I’d hand the title to Bones’ UN-GO. I thought it was presented in a consistently sloppy and uninspired way, especially given that it was supposed to be a mystery show, and even the studio’s calling card–steady cool animation–was lacking. The whole show itself slowly fell apart for me until it inevitably became a complete mess when it ended. Awesome ED, though. Probably the best of that season.