2008 did not produce a classic

Anime Source finished their yearly pollat what the public believed to be the best anime of the year, and completely unsurprisingly, Geass flattened everyone else. But apparantly Geass has mixed reviews and was not as good as the first season, which only scored 5th in the 2006 survey. So why did Geass top the poll? So I’m going to use a psychiotrists system to get to the root of the problem: The 5 whys.

Mind you, you can't deny that Geass was a great anime

Mind you, you can't deny that Geass was a great anime

 Whydid Geass R2 top the greatest anime of 2008?

Because most people voted it in their top 5

Why did most people vote it in their top 5?

Because it was one of the best series most people saw

Why was it on so many peoples best series list?

Because no other anime was as widely watched as Geass

Whywas no other anime watched as widely as Geass?

Because no other anime was talked about as much

Whywas no other anime talked about as much?

Because no other anime has as much wide-spread appeal!

When you look at the top anime list, 3 of the top 5 were sequels to popular series. Geass wasn’t as good as it’s original, Gundam 00 looked like it would be better but has stuttered towards the second half and Clannad took a more serious direction that pleased some fans and bored others. Besides, to call 3 of the best series of the year sequels is a bit depressing.


When I saw Toradora placed 2nd in the poll I was pretty shocked. I mean, it’s good but to call it the second greatest anime of the year is a bit much. The ‘best of the losers’ spot was held the last 2 years by Death Note and Gurren Lagann, 2 anime which have already gone down in anime history. But when you look back at the year, what should actually beat Toradora? Taiga and co. are a fine example of the school life genre and does what it sets out to do very well, much like most of the rest of the top 10. Soul Eater is just a well-animated shounen fare, Spice and Wolf is ‘solid’ but hardly a masterpiece and you can say the same about Skip Beat and Macross Frontier. None of these anime are exactly the defining anime of their genre as Haruhi or Gurren Lagann are. They are just solid and good at what they do.

IMO this was the best anime of the year but lets face it, not everybody is going to like Kaiba's animation style

IMO this was the best anime of the year but lets face it, not everybody is going to like Kaiba's animation style


 What 2008 did have was a quality anime in every genre. No matter what type of fan you were, 2008 had one to match it. Fangirls had junjou and Vampire Knight, mecha fanboys had Macross and Gundam while slice-of-life fans have Toradora. But there were no classics. Anime that looked like they might make it, such as Xam’d, Kannagi and Kurenai, all slumped towards the end of their run, especially Xam’d.

oh Xam'd. To rise so high just to fall so far. Probably ended up being the most dissapointing of the year for how much it slumped

oh Xam'd. To rise so high just to fall so far. Probably ended up being the most dissapointing of the year for how much it slumped

Geass didn’t win because it was the best anime of the year. It won because no other anime had as much united appeal. Let’s hope 2009 produces something to remember it by other than the year that the FMA sequel aired.

6 Responses to “2008 did not produce a classic”

  1. 16 March 2009 at 8:14 am

    That, is the power of media manipulation. 😀
    Mainstream stuffs are like that y’know — Sunrise, being the master of mainstreams know how to play their cards. They know what the masses want and they delivered. It’s the same thing as Hollywood.

  2. 2 lelangir
    16 March 2009 at 10:07 am

    Kaiba was – and probably still is – very mentally taxing. There were times when I didn’t want to sit and watch it because I knew I would end up reading it instead. I’m not sure if anime – as primarily a form of entertainment(?) – should do it, but that’s probably just me…

    At any rate I guess, generally speaking, I’d agree with anime-source’s most popular picks. Geass, Gundam and Clannad are up there for me too since they’re so entertaining. If a more intellectual anime has the mass appeal to actually beat a show based entirely mass appeal then, well, that would be great.

  3. 3 omo
    16 March 2009 at 10:37 am

    …how did Kaiba slumped? It’s easily way better at the end. I dunno about Xam’d either. It’s fairly even, although people probably didn’t expect that. And that’s the problem(?) when your mileage may vary with a show. Xam’d paints a fairly sophisticated world and unless you take the time to think about it outside your viewing experience it’s not going to click.

    However I think the concept of united appeal is just one thing a show could aim for, as it generally means pandering to the lowest common denominator while not pissing anyone off who would be offended by such pandering (Toradora is a good example). Not every show pretends to even want do this. Hard job nonetheless and those shows that did it earn their hard cold cash. But comparing Code Geass with Kaiba seems like a pointless exercise outside the very basic notion that they’re commercial animation. They are simply made for different reasons.

  4. 16 March 2009 at 4:46 pm


    umm..I never said Kaiba slumped. I only said Kannagi, Kurenai and Xam’d slumped.

    It’s more than just mass appeal though. True, that’s exactly what Geass aimed for but stuff like Gurren Lagann and Haruhi defined their genre and got their genre new fans. Nothing this year was strong enough to convert people to becoming fans of that said genre.

  5. 22 March 2009 at 12:27 am

    I think one of the drivers about Geass was the first season’s tension.. they delayed the last two episodes until Summer… and then it was still a big ass cliff. That first season got the attention, and the second was a roller coaster, with a huge number of passengers. I think a lot of viewers were blinded by it, and couldn’t see past it’s self-hyping style. It turned out better than I expected, but it was still basically a loose canon of non-sense…. not classic, not that meaningful.

  6. 17 December 2012 at 12:15 pm

    wow i like aisaka taiga very she is so cool

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