This year i haven’t really watched any anime i wasn’t working on. Luckily i worked on quite a few, so let me just write down which ones i enjoyed the most. Before anyone mentions Star Driver, which is obviously the best anime of the past 4 seasons, i don’t count that as 2011 since it started in 2010.
The first one i worked on was Gosick. I only translated the first five or so episodes, then watched another five or so, and then forgot about it completely. The next was Madoka, which i translated from episode 9 on, and it was fun, but looking back it’s a bit too insane for my tastes. It was the big hit of the year for sure though.
Then came a lot of stuff at once. C, Hen Zemi, Denpa Onna, Blue Exorcist. C could have been the best, because the whole idea and all the economy stuff was very close to me (studying economy), but the story and the ending was crap squared. Hen Zemi was pure fun, and the kind of fun i’d rather not show to kids before they could appreciate it (and thanks to this series i got to know the awesome band 横浜銀蝿), but i can’t really say it was the best. Neither was Ao no Exorcist, which turned out to be a bit too general shonen anime with a very weird ending. I’m still reading the manga though.
Now Denpa Onna definitely hit the spot. It was crazy and difficult to translate, but exactly because of that a great challenge and lots of fun. I really enjoyed (and will enjoy, for the last episode) working on it, and it’s definitely one of the top anime of the year for me.
The summer season wasn’t so busy, with Blue Exorcist continuing on, and Bakatest 2, Dantalian, Nyanpire and Mayo Chiki for newcomers. I won’t write anything about Penguindrum, because i’ve hardly seen six episodes of it and i didn’t really like it either. It was also very difficult not to ragequit Bakatest, since i was annoyed to hell by its style and in general the whole thing. I kind of got used to it though by the end. Nyanpire was fun, and it was short, and oh that song.
Mayo Chiki was a perfect replacement for Denpa Onna, since it was a crazy fanservice anime, stuffed with references to memes and stuff. This was the time when i started to realize that i favor anime that doesn’t take itself seriously. It’s in my top 5 of the year as well.
One of the best was definitely Dantalian. The early 20th century setting and all the books gave it a very nice atmosphere, and i really loved it. Translating it was fun as well.
Then came autumn and with it Phi Brain, Ben-To and Shana. The first episode of Shana wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to translate, since it was basically a recap of the previous season, which i haven’t watched (and won’t). The next few were much easier, but then it got simulcasted, and i haven’t seen any of it since then (and won’t). Phi Brain is definitely not a mainstream anime (i was very surprised when one sunday it was trending on twitter), and since it airs on NHK Education, it is clearly aimed at younger audiences, but at the same time it’s entertaining and sometimes even exciting. The weird crazy-look artwork was strange at first, but i got used to it. It’s an anime i’m happy i picked up, but it’s nothing extraordinary.
Ben-To on the other hand is awesomeness squared. Again it’s like Mayo Chiki in the way that it doesn’t even try to take itself seriously, it’s full of amazing, awesome and crazy puns–wait, the whole setting is crazy to begin with. It’s basically Fight Club with packed food. If there wasn’t a Denpa Onna, i’d easily say it’s the best series of the year. I love working on it, even if it’s not the easiest.