Anime of Tomorrow
Anime of the Year 2011
What’s immediately clear about C^3 is that it’s trying to be a philosophical discourse about the bonds of humanity to the tools we use. What’s amazing is how well it accomplishes this goal—shattering the initial trepidation that this series might turn out to be nothing more than a gilded brick. Haruaki’s strong, competent personality provides a natural foundation for the other characters to rely on, but the real gem comes from the sadistically cute voice acting of Yukari Tamura. Watching her magnificent portrayal of Fear was plenty to elevate C^3 to number five on my list of 2011’s best anime.
It’s not often an anime comes along that blends issues of science and morality as well as No. 6. It reminds us that the natural resources of our world can be our greatest sources of inspiration and innovation. But we also need to respect the power of nature, especially when dealing with phenomena we don’t fully understand. Accepting our own place in nature is also pivotal to our survival, which goes hand-in-hand with our respect for our fellow humans. Through a bit of fantasy, science fiction and post-apocalyptic ingenuity, No. 6 fits nicely into last year’s fourth place.
Wandering Son touches on some very important, often misunderstood and undiscussed issues dealing with the growth of children into young adults. Its core theme deals with gender identity and how this confusion and desire to be someone very different from society’s expectations can lead to turmoil. This anime takes a very candid view of what men and women are expected to be and tells a story through the eyes of some honest young people about acceptance and being who you want to be, rather than what someone else wants you to be. It’s a powerful concept, the art is beautiful and the wonderful music is the icing on the cake that puts Wandering Son at third place for 2011.
I’ll come right out and admit that my choice for A-Channel to be the second-best anime of 2011 was highly biased by my own personal experiences—the lens through which I view the four main characters. Although each of the four girls are colorful and unique, I can see a little of myself in each of them. Like Run, I have a hard time waking up in the morning and I’m bad at reading the atmosphere of social situations. Nagi is smart, wears glasses and is sensitive about her self-image—just like me. Yuuko and I are both tall and ticklish. And Tooru hates hot summer weather, which is also one of my greatest enemies. It’s just good, hilarious moe fun and its charms will put a warm smile on your laughing face.
Everything about this anime is so spectacular it’s easily capable of deflecting the attacks of any naysayer and I predict this title to be one of the most cherished, memorable anime in history. We’re literally witnessing the rise of an anime for the ages—something that will transcend generations to come. Its accomplishments are too numerous to go into detail here, so I’ll do my best to keep my enthusiasm brief.
1. Madoka took the magic girl genre that generally doesn’t get a lot of love from more casual anime fans, threw away everything wrong and then added its own original flair to show that the right amount of creativity can make anything shine brightly.
2. The story is deep and intellectual. Between imagining ways of warping space and time, then twisting the delicate emotions of young people who wish to fulfill their kindest desires resulting in tragedy while distorting misunderstood feelings, culminating in a selfless, powerful will that can alter the physical properties of reality itself, there’s no shortage of deep thinking and fresh ideas.
3. Music and art that merge the story and setting into a complete piece, crafted with such flawless skill that we’re unlikely to see this level of quality again for quite some time. It’s just so tight and focused, not a second, not a color, not a single word is wasted fluff that would distract from the central story.
It’s really just a no-brainer that Magic Girl Madoka Magica would be my anime of the year.