Former Anime of the Year 2010 title holder

Anime title(s) that used to become the holder of ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ title.

The main protagonist and the best character of the series by a million miles: Hirasawa "Tree G" Yui.

If you have visited this blog’s Facebook page in the past week or so, you may have read that the second season of the K-On! series will be the next anime reviewed in this blog. This review is late because I waited for the anamorphic 1080p release by Chihiro instead of the usual 720p releases by other groups. This anime is the sequel of the first season reviewed here before, and it also become only the second challenger to the current ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ incumbent, Working!!

One sample of the various crazy things she does throughout the series.

Continuing from the not-so-stellar ending of the first season, the main protagonist and her goons in the Light Music club now enters the third year of their high school life (well, one of them is in second year though). Giving up their original mission of trying to play in Budoukan, they settled instead on slurping more high-grade teas and mooching their ways upon mountains of pastries, sandwiching the rare occasional events where they actually have to do their club activities properly.

The second season, I have to admit, is a vast improvement when compared to the dismal first season. One thing the second season has done to differentiate itself from its predecessor is to ditch the pretense of a storyline and went into a well-paced slice-of-life genre full-time. That may explain the general lack of music playing when compared proportionately with the first season, and the huge increase of fluffy events that is thisclose of making this anime episodic. Just to be clear, this fact doesn’t make the second season bad; after all there are quite a lot of good anime titles out there that have also done the very same thing. But while the genre switch has given the second season a great start and a solid foundation, whoever wrote the story doesn’t fully capitalize upon the switch’s new advantages.

This can be seen from the second season’s continuing overdependence on the main protagonist, a legacy of the first season. With the genre switch mentioned above, this anime cannot depend anymore on a distinct storyline, thus increasing the burdens of main protagonist as she single-handedly carries the series on her back, just like she did in the first season. Vast majorities of the good things that you can see in this anime originates from her, or has her on the center stage. She was also helped by the fact that the second season doesn’t repeat another mistake that the first season has done, which is maligning her role in the second half of that season. Apart from some Yui-less episodes such as episode 5, 7 and 14 amongst others, the main protagonist is highly prominent throughout the second season. And that fact is actually the biggest reason why the second season is vastly better than the first one.

The second season could have become better if the rest of the Light Music club members actually chipped in and helps the main protagonist carry the series forward. Within the rest of the club members, only the drummer a.k.a. club president actually bothered trying to help the main protagonist (the best character in this anime), with varying degrees of success. Mio is still one-dimensional, as always. Meanwhile Azunyan is veering dangerously towards the emo territory, but her ‘mental breakdown’ in the last episode is definitely one of the highlights of the excellent ending (far far better than the one in the first season). But the worse culprit of them all is definitely Mugi-chan. The writer has dumbed her character down for the sake of the ‘curiosity’ plot device, causing her to actually become borderline retarded, doing things that she doesn’t do in the first season. The second season version of Mugi-chan has been made dumb, in a bad way, unlike the main protagonist who is pretty much stupid and clueless too, but in a good and cutesy way.

Never a truer word has been spoken before.

The Romeo and Juliet school play is a very good example of the main protagonist prowess, where she is able to excel even when casted as a peripheral character. Her mannerisms and ability to deliver great one-liners (that the rest of the characters cast seems unable to do in consistent basis) are what makes her the strongest and most interesting character in this series. While she is not as good as her contemporaries like Darling (but arguably better than her opposite number in  Working!!), her relative strength when compared to her below-average club mates and most of the rest of the supporting characters made her stands out from the rest.

As mentioned above, the ending is very well written, a far cry than the crap ending of the first season. It was written in a way that there are no sequels though, but a movie follow-up is in the cards (Hell will freeze if Japan doesn’t milk this franchise as long as possible). I hope whoever wrote the screenplay for the movie will not take one random (untold?) scene from the main protagonist high school years and make it the source material. As a homage to the unexpectedly good second season, I will definitely try and watch the movie in the future.

She can be deliciously offensive and inconsiderate too.

Character Design:-
My comment in the same section in the review for first season still applies.

Voice Acting:-
My comment in the same section in the review for first season still applies.

A 'How to Derail a Concert' guide from yours truly.

The OST has improved when compared to what you can hear in the first season, but none of the four OP/ED themes are worth listening. The only insert song that is worth listening to is the one that the club performed in the final episode (that excellent insert song is actually one of the reasons why the ending arc is good).

My comment in the same section in the review for first season still applies. Anamorphic 1080p FTW though, more fansub groups should try and follow Chihiro’s footsteps in this regard.

Anamorphic 1080p FTW (stretched to FullHD by madVR). One of the most beautiful titles of 2010. Full image can be seen here.

9 out of 10.
Same score as Working!! is, but K-On!! will become the new winner of ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ title by virtue of winning 3 of the tie-breakers (except music). Without a perfect score, I don’t see K-On!! reign to last as long as the current holders of the 2007 and 2008 titles though.

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If not for her contribution, this anime would have fared worse in the ratings.


This is the main MALE protagonist. I repeat: This is the main MALE protagonist.

The ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ audition reached its seventh entry today with my review of Working!!, which style is disturbingly similar to Minami-ke, an awful anime I reviewed here before. Comparison will be inevitable, but the former doesn’t waste its time in proving that it is much better than the latter by a million miles. In fact, this anime is currently the best title I reviewed in the audition as of today.

And his manager has some serious and fully legitimate concern about our main MALE protagonist.

One snowy day in Hokkaido, our main protagonist is walking down to his home from school when suddenly he was ambushed from behind by a well-endowed 12-year old girl. The girl asked our hero to work part-time at a family restaurant where she moonlights her services, but he refused, thinking that she is just a jail-bait. But the main protagonist changed his mind after learning that the girl is actually a shorty (and well-endowed) 17-year old high-school student (read: LEGAL IN ALL JURISDICTIONS). He then reports in for his first day at work alongside her new busty colleague, expecting good ’things’, but the fact that the restaurant is no different than that place under the bridge will hit him on the face, LITERALLY!

Just like Minami-ke, this anime doesn’t have a plot. But unlike Minami-ke and just like Urusei Yatsura, this anime was sustained instead by the character strength of the main protagonist. The main protagonist is not as powerful or interesting as the legendary Moroboshi ‘Darling’ Ataru is, but he is not far behind. He is grossly offensive in mannerism and can be very inconsiderate, but is also very snarky and proficient in all kind of humor. I want to call him a lolicon, but then again the main female protagonist is a 17-year old high school student and his senior, so I will leave it at that.

Two samples from the cesspool that makes up the employment of the establishment.

Unlike Hirasawa Yui in K-On!, the main protagonist doesn’t have to work alone at propping this anime up, because he was assisted by most of his new colleagues in the said family restaurant, and to a lesser extent, his sisters at his house . Those characters are unique and quirky in their own respect and are trapped in their own circumstances. The interactions and relationships between the main protagonist and all these characters are what made this anime shines brightly. One-sided crushes, toilet humor and crass jokes, blackmail, gratuitous amount of violence, you got them all.

Character developments is also where this anime has done very well as a whole, with our main protagonist being the best character of the bunch. The only apparent weakness this anime has is the ending, where its chain of events are predictable, lacks in substance and, well, just weak. It is structured for a second season though, but a quick look at ANN website doesn’t indicate that there will be a new one. How on earth Minami-ke has 3 seasons while this blatantly superior series only has one?

A long-distance relationship like the one above is only possible in this restaurant located somewhere in Hokkaido, Japan.

Character Design:-
As mentioned above, this anime is very similar with Minami-ke in style. And just like Minami-ke, the character designer for this anime totally failed at drawing beautiful female characters. Mitigating that weakness is the fact that the main protagonist of this anime is male. And apparently people in Hokkaido, Japan doesn’t have black hairs. Maybe it is because of the cold.

Voice Acting:-
This anime performs strongly in this department, just like Minami-ke did. Outstanding characters includes the main male protagonist and the busty 12-years loli 17-years old female high school student which I presume to be the main female protagonist. A positive aspect for this anime.

The OST is good but not used too much in this anime. Meanwhile the two OP and ED themes in this anime are excellent. A positive aspect for this anime.

A delicious amount of violence is available in this anime, like the one that is about to happen above.

The animation quality in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. While there are plenty of violence in  this anime, choreography is basically non-existent, in a good way. The directing is flawless and conservative, with none of the innovative presentation techniques seen in the previous anime title reviewed here. A positive aspect for this anime.

9 out of 10
, three times more points than Minami-ke can ever dream of. With that score, this anime has surpassed Hakuouki as the front-runner for the first ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ title winner. Considering that the second season of Ookiku Furikabutte will be saddled by the sport-genre handicap, this anime’s only challengers for the title will be Durarara and B gata H kei. The next review will be for second installment of Ookiku Furikabutte, so that I can finish this audition with suspense until the end.

The main female protagonist, probably the sanest character in the establishment.