Tuesday, December 30, 2014

OPINIONS (dramatic music) - TheShillito's 2015 Anime Awards

Time to give out some awards for some animes. Without further ado:

The Not-Aikatsu Award for Best Idol Anime Other than Aikatsu

Love Live 2,

First to drop off the list is Locodol I'm afraid. It was fairly fun and seemed to be more about the general activities of local council sponsored idols promoting tourism rather than getting careers as "idols". They frequently say "we're locodols (local idols) not idols" when reinforcing this to people. Sadly, the show dragged on and it never really decided what it wanted to do as it eventually started pushing the girls into actual idol roles instead, which seemed odd considering they weren't supposed to be proper idols...I dunno.

Love Live season 2 drastically outperforms season 1 in my books. Season 1 was very much about setting the scene and getting everyone used to the characters. After season 1 ended, the hivemind got to work with fan art, more shipping than Parcelforce, etc. Season 2 came into play and, in some cases, flat out acknowledges these and runs with them up to the point of them actually confessing any feelings of course, we can't be having that! I also really appreciated how everyone in the show had also had enough with Nico's "Nico-Nico-Ni", often cutting her off or getting annoyed, the latter letting myself identify more with the characters (as much as an overweight white British guy can identify with adorable 2D idol singers at least). Sadly, I started to get very frustrated by the direction of certain sections of Love Live, particularly with the handling of the "Love Live" event itself and who won. Announcing the winner as an off-hand comment from someone and not showing reactions is AWFUL. The one moment I wanted to properly share with the group and NOPE. Thanks for that.

So that leaves me with PriPara. I can't get enough of this show. It started out very similar to Aikatsu! in terms of structure, however it changed drastically as they added more characters, fleshed out backstories and had the most amazing moment in idol anime this year: the acceptance of a non-female character in female clothing. One of the characters in PriPara is visually female and, indeed, a twin of another character. However, the character is male. When this was revealed, I was half expecting them to make a really big deal about it. A few people were surprised, sure, but then Mirei says something along the lines of "it doesn't matter what gender someone is, if they get a Pri Ticket, they can enter PriPara" and that's the last they say about it with the exception of the headteacher, who is portrayed as the "villain" generally anyway, so her complaining actually has the opposite effect. PriPara is a show I'm really enjoying watching and it is indeed still going, albeit the fansubbers have a few real-life troubles so they're a few episodes behind (there's no legal stream for this show, thanks Obama).

PriPara wins the "Not-Aikatsu award for Best Idol Anime Other Than Aikatsu" for 2014.

I feel honourable mention should go out to Wake Up Girls, but I didn't watch that. Sorry.

The Kylie Minogue Award for Song I Just Can't Get Out Of My Head

Extra Magic Hour (Amagi Brilliant Park opening),
Du-Du-Wa DO IT!! (Aikatsu! S3 opening),
Welcome!! DISCO Kemokemoke (Gugure! Kokkuri-san opening),
Marble Make up a-ha-ha! (PriPara Insert song),
Uraomote Fortune (Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun ED),
Witch ☆ Activity (Witch Craft Works ED)

These are all the songs that have been floating round my head at various points throughout the year. There's a few more there than there should be for a nominees list, but I couldn't not mention some of them, so I'll whittle them down a bit.

Uraomote Fortune has one of the most infectious intros of all of these, but that's really all this song has in terms of earworming. I typically had the "HANTAI NO HANTAI NO" etc bouncing round my head for hours, but not much else. The song was nice, don't get me wrong, but there's not much else earwormy to speak of.

Du-Du-Wa DO IT!! is a tricky one to review, as it's part of a continuing series (so I hear it at least weekly) and I know all the words to the first third (the third in the show, haha!) but the more I think about it, the less of an earworm it feels. I guess this one's out of the running too.

Marble Make up a-ha-ha! has a section where the characters, sorta, breathe out hard in rhythm to the music and it sounds ☆☆AMAZING☆☆ and I had this section in my head until I finally got the CD, and then I became obsessed with a different song on the album that overshadowed it. It was only really a small section of the song that stuck in my head, so it would be wrong of me to give it this award.

Extra Magic Hour "[twinkle] [ticking] LOOK TO THE SKY IT'S MAGIC HOUR [clap]" gosh this song is fun. The quiet introduction leading up to [Akino Intensifies] is the perfect moment to turn up the volume (and I do every time). This used to be what I started my drive to work with in the morning and the same on the way home. It used to often get stuck in my head at work and I would hum it regularly. This is definitely an earworm. I wonder if it's the winner...

Welcome!! DISCO Kemokemoke: Now we're talking. This is a song that was stuck in my head for quite a while. Multiple quotable sections, from the chorus to the "BOOGIE! dance dance dance" lead this song to be a major earworm. Bonus points for having Ono Daisuke in of course.

Witch ☆ Activity: Ah. Yeah, Witch Craft Works started airing in January and the single came out in February. I think it's safe to say we have a winner. From catchy lyrics that transcends language barriers to cover art that parodies Kraftwerk, this song is catchy on multiple mediums and has been with me for the whole year, and there's an OVA episode due out in a few weeks! Time to get witchy witchy

Witch ☆ Activity wins The Kylie Minogue Award for Song I Just Can't Get Out Of My Head

Honourable mention: Hana wa Odore ya Irohaniho (Hanayamata OP). I originally had this in the nominees, but then I realised that it's not that it's an earworm. It's because I love singing this song and it feels fantastic simply to listen to it.

The The Twintail Award for the Best Twintails in I Wanna Be The Twintail

Tail Red,
Tail Blue,
Tail Yellow

Tail Red is the winner. Red hair is great, but red twintails is something else. They're not the ones that go all twiddly at the end, they're straight and smooth. I also really like Tail Red because Red's actually a guy, so I can relate with wanting hair like that.

Tail Red wins the The Twintail Award for the Best Twintails in I Wanna Be The Twintail

Honourable mention: Tail Yellow just because her character when fighting is amazing.

The Shillito Cup for Best Aikatsu Song of 2014

Sweet Sp!ce
Eien no Tomoshibi
Du-Du-Wa DO IT!!
Good morning my dream

Sweet Sp!ce was used superbly as a rivalry song between Ichigo and Seira, though it was a shame they used "Friend" for the final showdown with WM. A good rock sound, with some electronic elements really reflects the two characters well.

Du-Du-Wa DO IT!! as mentioned earlier is a fun track to sing along to. The dancing in the opening sequence version is super fun, though the performance version leaves something to be desired.

Good morning my dream has some amazing sound samples in for all the clock noises, alarms, etc, leading to a very fresh sound for Aikatsu and a good sign of songs to come for the new series. It also continues the trend of me only liking every other Aikatsu ending song.

Eien no Tomoshibi has to win this award however. Like GLASS DOLL before it, this track continues the trend in gothic rock you can dance and sing along to with some fantastic instrumental sections and powerful singing.

Eien no Tomoshibi wins the Shillito Cup for Best Aikatsu Song of 2014

Honourable mention: Tarte・Tatin. Not out on CD yet, so don't know what the full version's like, but this song is pretty amazing, and I've got my eyes on Sumire as the only remaining Loli Gothic brand user in the show now Yurika-sama has a minor/rare role.

That's it for now. Might have some more ideas of dumb awards later, but it's 2am and I'm up at 9 WHOOPS BYE

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