My favourite things of the past year

Ayu speaks and list down her favourite stuff from 2010!
Sounds familiar right?!

First off! Happy New Year 2011, minna-san.

Haruhi New Year 2011
I hope that everyone enjoyed their holiday break and festive celebrations. I had a very peaceful and calm holiday break. It was a rather short one but I made full use of my time to just relax and break free from even the net. Now I’m back at work again and in the full swing of things which will keep me even busier right up to the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Rabbit. But of course, I won’t abandon tBP and leave it in the lurch. Granted that I haven’t be posting regularly in recent weeks does not mean I won’t keep abreast of my other world hobbies, right?! 😆

So then, I’m back momentarily to share my simple list of favourites from 2010 with anyone who bothers reading about such things of course. Oh well, it’s a rather fun thing to do once in a long while. 🙂

Onwards to Ayu’s mixbag of favourites…

All Things Manga

.::Favourite Manga Mag which I subscribed to::.

Gekkan ASUKA

I added ASUKA to my mag subscription list last year after randomly checking out the titles it published. I’ve no regret sparing some dosh on it because it has got not one or two, but three of my favourite new titles of 2010. And that’s really awesome in my book. Of course, there is also Hotaru Odagiri’s Uraboku and Oda Suzuka’s manga adaptation of Kaminaga Manabu’s Shinrei Tantei Yakumo.

The other noteworthy addition to my sub list is Comic Blade AVARUS. Wanting to read the latest chapters of Ilegenes and Countdown: Seven Days convinced me to try out a short term subscription early last year but I’d renewed it since then. I’m so glad I stuck with it because later it spawned two of the top new manga picks on my reading list i.e. TOXIC and CODA. Ilegenes continue with ‘Giyoku no Symphony’. There are also two very new manga titles with awesome potential i.e. ‘Inuyomi’ and ‘Shiina-kun no Choujuu Hyakka’ that caught my attention. So I guess I’ll be hanging on to Avarus fo the time being.

.::Ayu’s Favourite New Manga Picks::.

Kaminaga Manabu’s The Conductor
– Psychological murder mystery in an orchestral setting hence the title ‘Conductor’. It’s rather engaging, keeps one guessing and in suspense on who the killer really is, a killer who appears to be playing psychological mind games as well.

Takahashi Ryo’s TOXIC
– It’s not just bishies in military uniforms. Recent chapters feature some gritty & brutal scenes, emerging conflict between brothers, a dictator with a taste for pretty boys and a commanding officer who’s a sadist… I’m sold!

Ichimura Hitoshi’s CODA
– Oh so hilarious, slice of life, comedy about a boy who dreams of becoming a ballet dancer…more like becoming a ballerina *LoL*

Seike Mimori’s Migawari Hakushaku no Bouken
– Amusing shoujo manga in a historical European setting which also involved cross-dressing and plenty of comedy amidst palace intrigue.

Kajiyama Mika’s Ayahatori Shoukanjou
– Another shoujo pick. Ayahatori is fairly new but I love the gorgeous illustrations. Historical beings and magical abilities…not a new or fresh concept but it is quite fun to see Saaya, the heroine struggling to master her abilities and trying to get along with her familiar who does not enjoy being a servant to any one.

.::Most exciting continuing Manga Series::.

Mochizuki Jun’s Pandora Hearts
– It has been an awesome year for PH. The headhunter arc is so engrossing and each monthly chapter ends with a cliffhanger that kept me on the edge, anticipating the next one.

.::Favourite Anime Series::.

– Hands down the best series of 2010. No other anime that I’ve watched came close to matching SHIKI’s sheer awesomeness in 2010…not even Kuroshitsuji II. I love the bleak atmosphere, the huge but interesting cast of characters, the weird but unique individual character designs, the story, plot pacing, the conflict between the shikis and the humans which saw some gruesome and horrifying incidents on both sides, the somewhat controversial conclusion and the excellent music that played such an important part in creating the tension and mood of the series. Of course, I would have like to see Sunako and Seishin getting their comeuppance but raged hard in the end when they were the ones that got away. But that is what made this series so good. Well, there’s still the manga adaptation in Jump SQ though I’ve not yet decided on a monthly subscription just to follow the serialization.

Other noteworthy anime that I liked and enjoyed:

– My favourite dramedy series. Forget the big bro, let nothing get in the way of the crossdresser and the jellyfish princess, my OTP.

Kuroshitsuji II
– Well, it won the troll award in my book and deliver another WTH ending @_@

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
– It’s the end of a long journey and struggle for the alchemist brothers as well as the viewers alike. The final arc was one of the best animated moments of 2010.

– My OTP is finally together. The manga has just gotten to this point but in a totally different approach from the anime.

Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin
– Nostradamus, aliens, witchcraft, occult, comedy, plot twist…lol, weird series eh?!

– One episode per month is a long wait, better to marathon all 12 epi together to make sense of the whole series. Loved the colourful character designs and backdrop plus the ost. I like how the hero ends up alone in the end even though he tried to have himself killed.

– The 1st half was much better than the 2nd half in terms of generating excitement and anticipation, not knowing what will happened next. There isn’t much mystery in the 2nd half thus less anticipation as the story mostly centered around the blue and yellow gangs. Celty wasn’t even the focus and Mikado appeared lame which sort of puts me off a tad. But overall, it’s still entertaining to watch, particularly the devious machinations of a character that nearly everyone love to hate…IZAYA!!! In a way, he carries the show and that’s rather bad-ass imo.

Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
– The first half has very little plot development but then sped up in the 2nd half with tons of character development which moved the story forward and delivered a good ending. My other complain was that the characters never changed their clothes. Haruka was in the same outfit for the entire series except at the end when she’s in a mourning dress. The manga adaptation is miles better than the anime. However, it is still an enjoyable watch.

Okiku Furikabutte ~Natsu no Taikai Hen
– A baseball themed anime that I enjoyed watching for the lovable characters, the team camaraderie and friendship plus of course, the game of baseball.

.::Favourite Ani-Movie::.

It’s rare for me to catch an ani-movie but last year was rather unusual. I ended up watching a handful like ‘EOTE ~The King of Eden’, ‘Bungaku Shoujo The Movie’, ‘Macross Frontier ~Itsuwari no Utahime’ and most recently, ‘Mobile Suit Gundam 00 ~A wakening of the Trailblazer’. EOTE is rather disappointing. Bungaku Shoujo has nice bgm but the movie is just so-so. Itsuwari and Trailblazer were the most entertaining ones out of the four.

So what’s my favourite ani-movie then?

Mobile Suit Gundam 00 the Movie: A wakening of the Trailblazer
It lacked singing divas in skimpy outfits and the so-called ‘love triangle’ but even so, it succeeded in keeping me on the tension filled suspense from the beginning right up to the moment before the end which subsequently left me dumbfounded at the conclusion. That is one *wth* weird ending which raised lots of ??? but still, I thoroughly enjoyed it … more than ‘Itsuwari’ which isn’t really complete yet isn’t it?!

.::Favourite OVA::.

Tamayura (OVA)
– Short but sweet slice of small town life plus the love of photography made this 4 part OVA a highly enjoyable watch.

Noteworthy Mentioned:

Darker Than Black Gaiden (OVA)
– Wow, I enjoyed this bridging OVA so much more than Season 2’s storyline. At least we know what happened to Hei and Yin after the events at the end of Season 1.

.::Favourite Wacky Ani-character::.

It’s non other than squid girl…IKA MUSUME *LoL*
I tell ya, it’s the squiggling hair that got me first 😆

Let’s bring on the Ani-Music

.::Favourite Anime Intro and Outro Sequence::.

Intro Theme: Kuchizuke by BUCK-TICK
Vodpod videos no longer available.
It’s the perfect song for an awesome opening sequence that inject the right atmosphere befitting the anime’s horror theme.

Oreimo OP
Intro Theme: Irony by ClariS

Alright, the many versions of the intro sequence kept me interested in watching the OP without skipping it. xD

Shinryaku! Ika Musume OP
Intro Theme: Shinryaku no Susume by Ultra Prism
Vodpod videos no longer available.
The cuteness of this OP grew on me and oh that squiggly squid hair 😆

Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru ED
Outro Theme: Maze Sanjou! by Maze
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Oh gosh, so hilarious that I ended up loving it. I would want to be in such a band too. Yay for enka-rock 😆

DuRaRaRA!! ED1
Outro Theme: Trust Me – Yuya Matsushita

The original outro sequence spawned innumerable parodies which made it quite special in my book. The one I picked is ‘Index’ parody. :mrgreen:

Nurarihyon no Mago ED2
Outro Theme: Symphonic☆Dream by Katate Size
Vodpod videos no longer available.
Creepy but is winsome for the really neat and fluidly animated dancing chibis with an annoyingly catchy tune

.::Top 3 Favourite OP Songs::.

Shiki OP1 Theme:
Kuchizuke by BUCK-TICK

View Buck-Tick’s MV for ‘Kuchizuke’ here:

Tamayura OP Theme:
Yasashisa ni Tsutsumareta Nara by Maaya Sakamoto

Listen to Maaya’s full rendition here:

View the TV Edit here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Durarara!! OP1 Theme:
Uragiri no Yuuyake – THEATRE BROOK

View Theatre Brook’s MV for the song here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

.::Top 3 Favourite ED Songs::.

Shinrei Tantei Yakumo ED Theme:
Missing You – Lisa Komine

Listen to the full album version of ‘Missing You’ here:

Tatami Galaxy ED Theme:
Kami-sama no Iu Toori by Ishiwatari Junji featuring Etsuko Yakushimaru on vocals
Totally dig this very catchy and hypnotic song which saw constant plays on my mp3 player.

Listen to the full song here:

View the TV edit here:
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Bungaku Shoujo ED Theme:
Haruka na Hibi by Eufonius
A very pretty and touching song
Vodpod videos no longer available.

.::Favourite Insert Song::.

Kuroshitsuji II Insert Song:
Kagayaku Sora no Seijaku niwa by Kalafina
Aww, such a sad, melancholic melody, one of my favourite Kalafina songs.

.::Favourite OSTs::.

Tegami Bachi Original Sound Track Nocturne ~a destiny~
Composer: Ryo Kunihiko

This is track 7 ‘White Desert Rose’. It’s one of my favourite off the ost. Very peaceful and serene music.

Track 22 ‘Canon of Amber Ground’

Saraiya Goyou Ongakushuu
Composer(s): Kondou Yukio & Konishi Kayou
This is another strong OST that I loved and is a constant on my playlist.

Track 2 ‘Edo Sasara’

Track 19 ‘Sassou’ – Such a lovely, summery and laid back accordion music

Angel Beats! Original Soundtrack
Composer(s): Jun Maeda, ANANT-GARDE EYES

Disc 1, Track 2 ‘Theme of SSS’ – one of the more memorable themes

Disc 2, Track 8 ‘Nocturne in the Afternoon’ – My favourite piano piece from the OST.

Katanagatari Gekichu Gakkyoku Shu Vol.1
Composer: Iwasaki Taku
Iwasaki Taku composed some really interesting music for Katanagatari that aroused my interest in the ost and found myself liking it immensely. Oth, I can’t seem to stay away from Iwasaki Taku’s work these days. xD

Track 1 ‘Bahasa Palus’, very ethnic

Track 21 ‘Nanami’

Track 22 ‘Gettouka’, another ethnic influenced piece of composition

Sora no Woto Original Soundtrack
Composer: Ōshima Michiru
Sora no Woto’s soundtrack is among the interesting ones of 2010 albeit with a European flavour that I found myself enjoying.

Track 4 ‘Servante de feu’

Track 8 ‘Amazing Grace’ – Arguably the most beautiful piece on the OST. Such a touching rendition and gave me goosebumps.

.::Favourite Old Ani-Song I rediscovered::.

Rurouni Kenshin ED5 – “It’s Gonna Rain” by Bonnie Pink

View Bonnie Pink’s MV for ‘It’s Gonna Rain’:

This particular song is around 12 years old or so but having caught Rurouni Kenshin’s rerun on Animax last year reminded me how much I loved Bonnie Pink’s ED song, the first time I watched the anime series. The song is very different from the other 6 ending themes used for the series in that it is jazzy whereas the others are mostly upbeat rock-ish tracks.

Loved the ED visuals that goes with TV-edit:

So there you have it. Nothing very fanciful. Pardon any errors I may have committed. Mind you, it’s certainly isn’t everything but I had a grand time putting these together especially when scouring through the music selections.

Enjoy reading (or not) until the next list comes along at this time next year. 😆

6 thoughts on “My favourite things of the past year

  1. Nice selection! I share a lot of your tastes! 😀
    I enjoyed Shiki a lot, but unluckily it’s a underestimate anime… the characters are awesome, I like Sunako and Seishin too, and Megumi, Tohru-chan, Toshio, Ritsuko… maybe I like them all! XD I consider the second opening one of the best songs of the year! ♥
    Durarara!! is marvelous, we need the second season! >.>
    And Tegami Bachi is adorable! ♥ I love Mago’s endings, Kana and the girls are so cute, the songs are nice! ♥


    • xD *Is happy* you enjoy Ayu’s selections.
      I agree, Shiki seems to under most ani-fans radar seeing as most like moe shows.
      Durarara!! could use another, yes. There’s still more of the novel to animate.
      Tegami Bachi is awesome, one of the better adaptations out on air at the moment.


  2. Oh btw, it’s me @ Twitter (LenaleeMelodee).

    Happy Belated New Year and Merry Christmas to you too!!! Sorry for being so late! I got down with an alcohol (I drank too much with my new co-workers) and food poisoning!! Can you imagine! I’ve spent New Year in bed! I’m still recovering and I had to cancel ALL my plans, so even my presents this year are kinda lame >.< I even halted all translations and scanlations.. I have yet to explain myself to everyone .____.

    But enough about this.

    Just wanted to wish you all the best this year and let your dreams come true! Even if reality strikes you real hard, never stop dreaming!! And I also wish you lots of positive moments!^^

    And man, I so wanna comment on all your picks, but don't want to flood your blog :S
    All I'll say that I agree with 90% of your picks!^^
    And wanted to say that I've recently gotten into Sengoku Basara which I dropped a year ago and suddenly fell in love with it. For the first time in my life I felt like I wanted to take off my high heels and dress and go kick ass with them xD I also love the soundtrack, it makes me extremely excited.

    Well, it was really random. So just once again, Merry Christmas and best wishes for this new year!!!!^^


    • @leenalee,

      *Huggles* Glad to see you back up and about. Happy New Year to you too. I’m sorry to hear that you had food poisoning over the New Year. It must be a horrid feeling. Oh ya, I know that feeling very well. Anyway, you should catch up only when you feel like it so don’t force yourself too much, k?

      Thank you for all the lovely wishes. I wish you the same and hope that you achieve what you plan to do as well.

      Glad that you enjoy my picks of the past year. I love doing soundtrack reviews which I did more frequently in the past. Hopefully, this year will allow me to get back to do more music reviews in a creative way.

      Once again, thanks for being such an enthusiastic regular on tBP. (/^_^)/


  3. Happy New Year, Ayu! 😀 I wish you more health, more time, and more music this year 🙂

    That’s a great long post! 😀 It must have taken some time to put it together! Thank you! 🙂

    Yup, things will be busy again, but post when you’ll have time 🙂

    So many manga, so many bishies 😛

    Shiki? Oh wow… I saw some screenshots and thought, “Hell no, I am not watching this scary anime!” 😛 Durara is another scary anime: there is a headless woman I believe. Must have been another Mayne Reid’s ripoff – instead of a horse they just used a bike 😛

    I am in the middle of Kuragehime, but I enjoy it very much. Possibly my favorite anime in 2010. Ole, ole! 😛

    Oh, I really liked that baseball anime! Not interested in sports that much, but they depicted the matches in such a captivating way! 🙂

    Ika Musume is blue-haired Yotsuba 😛

    Enka-Rock ftw! 😀

    Nurarihyon no Mago ED2 is kind of cute 🙂

    I love your ED selections – very nice songs! 😀

    Oh yeah! I recall you recommended Letter Bee OST! I started listening to it and loved it! Probably will make a post with my favorite songs, Cannon is among them 🙂 I like some of the other tracks you mentioned, but I am very biased toward Iwasaki – I like the way he adds spices from different cultures to his music 🙂 Also I should check out Oshima’s OST.


  4. I loooooooooooooooooooooooove your tastes~ (well, we don’t both agree to some of them, but on like 80% of them, we’re the same)

    Rurouni Kenshin… made mae nostalgic…. nothing beats its 1st OP and one of its ED themes for me though (1/3 Junjou no Kanjou)


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