Top 10 Anime Endings of 2009

As I did last year, here is the list of what I thought the top 10 anime EDs of 2009 were. Enjoy!

10. “Kimi ni, Mune Kyun” by Yu Kobayashi, Asami Sanada and Marina Inoue – Maria Holic ED

This was kind an odd ED, though it probably fit the series in that regard.  It kind of grew on me, though, after a while.

9. “Hajimari no Asa ni Hikari Are” by midori – Shangri-la ED

I’m kind of surprised this landed as low as it did.  I guess it says something about the quality of the EDs this past year.

8. “Transparent” by KOKIA – Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom ED2

Like KOKIA’s OP for the same series, this one is somewhat eerie, and as a result, fits the series well

7. “Zetsubou Restaurant” by Zetsubou Shoujotachi – Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei ED1

This is kind of a funny ED.  I’ve never seen any of these series, though it kinda almost makes me want to

6. “Link” by angela – Asura Cryin’ ED1

Another good song by angela.  Many of the songs for this show were good, and this was the best one, but the only one to make the lists.

5. “Koi no Uta” by Haruka TomatsuShinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica Crimson S ED

This is kind of a nice, soft but feel-good-like song, with interesting animation to add to it.

4. “BACCHIKOI!!!” by DEV PARADE – Naurto Shippuden ED8

Yes, I even check out OPs and EDs for shows like Naruto when doing this list.  For once, they had one which was not only good enough to make a list, but high on the list.  This ED is just hilarious to me, even though I’ve never watched the show.

3. “Blue sky, True sky” by Aira Yuhki – Tears to Tiara ED1

This was a tough choice for the #3 spot, but I think this song was, overall, a bit better quality.

2. “Don’t say ”lazy”” by Yoko Hikasa with Aki Toyosaki, Satomi Satou and Minako Kotobuki – K-ON ED

This song was a pretty easy choice for #2.  The show might not have been that great, but it did have some good music.

1. “Hikari to Yami to Toki no Hate” by Ceui – Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai ED

I melt whenever I hear this.  This was a no-brainer as #1 on my list.

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Sora o Miageru Shojo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai – Anime Review

The Essentials

Munto TVName: Sora o Miageru Shojo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, Munto TV, The World Reflected in the Eyes of a Girl Looking Up at the Heavens
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Episodes: 9
Aired: January 13, 2009 – March 10, 2009
Based On: Munto OVAs from Kyoto Animation
Director: Yoshiji Kigami
Produced By: Kyoto Animation
US Distribution By: Not Licensed

Cast

Character Japanese Cast English Cast (N/A)
Yumemi Hidaka: Mai Aizawa
Munto: Daisuke Ono
Ichiko Ono: Chika Horikawa
Suzume Imamura: Hiromi Konno
Gntarl: Norio Wakamoto
Gass: Tetsu Inada

Review

Sora o Miageru Shojo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai, or Munto TV for short, is a story about a seemingly simple girl, Yumemi, with an amazing gift that no one else has: the ability to see floating islands in the sky.  Little does she know that these floating islands are actually the land masses belonging the various nations of the heavens, and in particular the Magical Kingdom, who is led by it’s king, Munto.

Long ago, there was a war between the nations of heaven and the “lower world” over Akuto – a power source which can be used to create virtually anything – including new heavenly beings.  However, a consequence of this war is that the heavens created a space/time barrier between itself and the lower world, cutting off the flow of Akuto to the heavens.  Now, several millenia later, the kingdoms of heaven are running out of Akuto, threatening to send the heavens crashing down on top of the lower world (modern day Earth), destroying both worlds.  As a result, a war as broken out between the Magical Kingdom and an alliance of the remaining magical nations.  As all hope appears to fade, Munto sees a vision with the aid of the royal seer – a vision that tells him that a girl from the lower world – Yumemi – has the ability to once again reconnect the two worlds, saving both.

It should be noted that this series is effectively the two Munto OVA series remastered, with what amounts to another OVA-length story added to the end.  The series breaks pretty cleaningly into thirds:  the first three episodes being the first OVA, the next 3 episodes being the second OVA, and the final 3 episodes being new material added to the story.  However, Kyoto Animation merely uses remastered footage of the OVAs instead of reanimating them.  As a result, The animation quality differs between each of the three sections of the series, which may or may not be distracting (though I think it’s less distracting if one knows this fact going in).  Also, as should be obvious by now, despite being 9 episodes, one is really only getting about 3 to 3 1/2 episodes of new material if one had already seen the Munto OVAs previously.

Also, the story is incomplete at the end of the series, with a movie conclusion called Tenjo-nin to Akuto-nin Saigo no Tatakai, or Last War of Heavenloids and Akutoloids, finishing the series off

The series is rather flawed, given the before mentioned reuse of old footage, not enough new footage, and being short despite the fact that they’re using a movie to finish the story off.  One kind has to ask what the point of the whole endevar was.  Why not just do a movie sequel and be done with it?  Having said that, I still think it’s respectable watch, though if one is familar with the original OVAs, one can pretty much skip the first 5 1/2 episodes or so.

Scores

Story: 4/5
Animation: 3/5
Music: 5/5
English Dubs: N/A

Overall: 3/5

First Watched: January – March 2009
Do I Own: No
Do I Recommend: Yes

First Impressions: Munto TV

Well, there are some good things and bad things about Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (a.k.a. Munto TV). The good is that the story seems to have gotten off to a reasonably good start so far. I’m always leery of stories set in fantasy worlds with strangely dressed characters as that’s a suggestion that sometimes things will get too out there for my tastes, but so far it seems to be going OK.

Animation Quality? Hope it gets better.

The bad – or perhaps more correctly, the To Be Determined – is the animation quality. The first two episodes so far (and it looks like at least the first three episodes) are essentially a scene-by-scene rehash of the first Munto OVA. Indeed, it’s so similar that there has been some suggestion that the first episodes have been pretty much the first OVA remastered. If this is the case, that explains the animation quality, which has a surprisingly lack of sharpness for a KyoAni show. The question is whether when we get past the OVA recaps, what will the animation quality be like? It’s not bad, per se, so far, just unexpected and, as I noted before, not as sharp as one would expect from a top notch animation company.

Winter 2009 Blog/Watch List

It’s time that I actually decide what series I’m going to watch and blog for the upcoming season.

As I decided and noted earlier, the only series I’m going to blog is the second half of CLANNAD: After Story, to give me as light a workload as possible as I go into the final semester of getting my masters (yay!).

As for series that I’ll watch.  I’ll definitely continue to watch the two other series that are carrying over from the Fall 2008 season: Toradora and A Certain Magical Index, and with Soul Eater getting licensed, that gets dropped as a show I’m watching.

As a result, my target was to add 3 or 4 shows to my watch list this season.  In my season preview, I already said that I would watch Birdy the Mighty DECODE:02, Maria Holic, and Minami-ke Okaeri, so that gets three shows out of the way right off the bat.

Black God (aka Kurokami) probably would be added to this list, but Bandai licensed it and appears as like they won’t distribute it online, so I won’t even get an opportunity to watch it.  However, if they pull through on having it online, I probably will watch it.

That leaves me torn between the Munto TV, the second Druaga series, and White Album as series to watch.  However, in the end I think my decision will be this:

I’ll watch Munto, I’ll hold off on Druaga to see if I hear good things about it, and I’ll pass on White Album for now.

That makes my slate this season thus:

Blogging
CLANNAD: After Story

Watching
A Certain Magical Index
Birdy the Mighty DECODE:02
Maria Holic
Minami-ke Okaeri
Munto
Toradora!

Pending
Kurokami (pending it being distributed online by Bandai)
Tower of DRUAGA -the Sword of URUK- (pending good word)