Best Anime Series of 2010 – Definitive look from around the internet

This edition of my post will discuss the best / favourite / most highly rated anime of 2010. I have not actually seen any single series  myself (I still have a stack of pre-2010 anime dvds I have not yet gone through) so I am highly interested at what series are good and check out. I started off checking the ranking in Anime News Network and also the various blogs and posts around the internet that has ‘Best of 2010 topics’. To me it is exactly like collecting data for my first ‘Best Anime of the Decade’ post again! I have so far amassed data from 33 unique blog posts, 9 forums with over 200 unique user comments, 3 other polls and the ANN ratings. This should provide enough critical mass to judge what anime people around the internet really consider to be the best last year. I am also able to segment the results into different group of voters and have found some interesting tidbits which I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy finding  them out!

Note that I am defining a ‘2010 anime series’ as ones that have come out in Japan in the year 2010.  Anything aired prior to that will be excluded.


GROUP TYPES

Having amassed information from so many different sources, I feel it is necessary to separate them out into different groups for anaytical purpose. Each group should represent a community that has its own distinct characteristics and preferences. These different groups are:

a). Blogs: rankings as posted in blogs around the web. I am still of the opinion that this is the group whose opinion I value quite highly. It is one thing to post a comment on a forum, but it is entirely another to keep a blog and write regularly about it. Besides, a lot of the posts rank their favourites which give me more avenue to dig down into the trend. Besides, I based most of my post in this blog on the opinions of this group so I cannot turn my back on them now!

b). ANN ratings: Based on Baysian ratings as posted on each title’s page. The numbers of people rating varies from title to title but this is one of the biggest English anime website so my analysis will nto be complete without its inclusion. It also have other interesting statistics on each title such as standard deviation for me to go crazy and over-analyze on. Lastly, it gives ratings of every single anime in a year for me to find out both the best and the worst.

c). Something Aweful: Among the forums I have visited, Something Aweful’s posters provide the best explanations behind their choices (it helps that the very first post by Darkgray demands such description be included!) As with my rationale for the blogs group, this gives me certain assurances tat the choices at least have been throught through. The majority of the posts are also ranked which is useful.

d). MyAnimeList: Another community with huge number of posts on this topics. Not many provides commentary on their rankings though

e). Cruncyroll: Smaller community but still have enough size to warrant its division from other forum

f). Forums: Catch-all for other forums that I have come across (including The Subwire, Animea, Scandal-Heaven, The Colorless, Animeforum)

g). Dannychoo: Poll exists on one of the blog post

h). Akiba: Another site that also provides polling on the topic

i). Random Curiosity: Another poll. It has amazing number of people participating in the poll

BEST ANIME LIST

1). Angel Beats!

Percentage share of total votes: 6.56% (Share of votes that goes towards this title over total votes)

Average ranking: 2.98 (weighted average ranking of all groups/sources in the analysis, e.g. Angel Beats is ranked ~3rd as the best anime of 2010 according to all these sources)

Number of episodes: 13

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Comedy, Fantasy, School

Studio: P.A. Works

Director: Kishi Seiji (Seto no Hanayome, Tentei Senshi Sunred)

Synopsis: In a world after death, angels fight for their fate and their future. Yuri, the leader of the Shinda Sekai Sensen, rebels against the god who destined her to have an unreasonable life. On the otherhand, Tenshi, the chairperson of the student council for the world after death, battles against the SSS members. SSS members utilize armed weaponry to battle it out against the angels harnessing supernatural powers. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: Akiba (2nd in 5 other groups)

Comments: The score is very close to Durarara! helped by the high percentage of people rating it outstanding on ANN to surge to 1st place. Interesting also that despite it being ranked so high on a lot of lists, it is the anime which I can most readily find flaws being written. That has also got to speak to how amazing its strength is (or how weak the rest of the fields is)

Pros: memorable main cast, colourful visua; Good music; High animation quality

Cons: convoluted and disjointed storyline. THe majority of the supporting cast is also underdeveloped; too much for a 13-episode show. Feels rushed. Poor 2nd half, plot-wise

Excerpts: It created a fantastic setting and a pretty good story to go with it. (Anime Princess)

Despite numerous flaws with the execution of its story and a majority of the supporting cast being underdeveloped, Angel Beats! is probably the most creative project to be released this year. [It has] colorful visuals, a unique premise of students fighting against god in the afterlife, [and] the memorable main cast. The only thing that stops it from being higher on the list would be the fact that it’s only 13 episodes long, meaning that it isn’t given enough time to fully develop its supporting cast, leading to an amusing, if noticeably large amount of characters being quite forgettable. That being said, it still is one of this year’s best shows. (Janai Blog)

As the series progressed, I came to appreciate the depth to the main characters, even to the point of becoming emotionally attached to some. This series had me going all over the emotional spectrum. Still, the overall quality of the characters, plot, music, and art style is so superior that I think it outweighs these problems with much to spare. My only two complaints for the series are that there was far too much story to be crammed into thirteen episodes, and also that the switch from comedic to dramatic scenes was a little jarring at times. (Jake’s Anime Blog)

2). Durarara!!

Percentage share of total votes: 6.44%

Average ranking: 5.75

Number of episodes: 24

Genre: Action, Romance, Psychological, Supernatural

Studio: Brains Base

Director: Omori Takahiro (Baccano!)

Synopsis: Ryuugamine Mikado is a boy who longs for the exciting life of the big city. At the invitation of his childhood friend Masaomi, he transfers to a school in Ikebukuro. Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first day in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Turbans will rise to the surface, and Ikebukuro will pushed to the breaking point. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: Blog, Forum, Cruncyroll, Myanimelist

Comments: Despite being neck to neck with Angel Beats!, it ranks second primarily because of a relatively middling score from ANN

Pros: strong development and depth-buidling of the large cast of characters; unique style of story telling; humourous dialoge

Cons: Not as good as Baccano!; Weaker writing at the end of the show

Excerpts: When I talked to people, they mainly cited the effective handling of a wide cast of characters, with significant development amongst them all. Everyone here connected with the characters ona  deep, emotional level, bringing with it unbridled excitement from episode to episode (Japanator)

It told a story where it kept you interested right up to the last seconds while never missing a beat. The action was brilliant and it still remained extremely clever.(Anime Princess)

it definitely doesn’t even come close to matching up to the quality of Baccano!, Durarara!! presents an engrossing story, executed well with a unique style of storytelling and humorous dialogue. While it does suffer from some lazy writing towards the end of the show, it still remains an interesting show throughout. (Janai Blog)

3). K-ON!!

Percentage share of total votes: 4.39%

Average ranking: 12.62

Number of episodes: 26

Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-Life, School, Music, Moe

Studio: Kyoto Animation

Director: Yamada Naoko (K-ON! & K-ON! Movie)

Synopsis: The story revolves around four Japanese high school girls who join their school’s light music club to try to save it from being abolished.(Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: Dannychoo

Comment: Consensus seems to be that the second season is far superior to the first. The premise sounds a lot like Azumanga Daioh (one of my favourites) so based on that alone, I might be inclined to check it out at some point!

Excerpts: Brings closure to the story with great emotional impact. Series mixes good music, memorable humor and lovable characters all into one. Connects emotionally and visually with its audience (Ophanium)

Enjoyable with better pacing than 1st season (Otaku Dan)

It does not have a plot, there’s no conflict, just five friends having fun. It captures the spirit of being a carefree high school student. (Cartoon Leap). Many great chracter-driven humours (Anime Yume)

It has great characters and good music.  This season was better than the first even because it gave off this more realistic flare and ended up relating to the characters on so many levels. I don’t care what others say, I’ll always be a fan of this series! (Anime Princess)

Unlike a lot of shows, I actually CARE what happens to these girls. I want them to be happy and to succeed and while other people hate the show’s format, I do love seeing their everyday life. Never has an animated show, or show in general, shown girls just being girls. This season was about growing up and dealing with the loss of friends as we grow up and move on different paths but in the end it was about the strentgh of friendship. (Manuel’s Choice)


4). Katanagatari

Percentage share of total votes: 3.79%

Average ranking: 8.60

Number of episodes: 12

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Fantasy, Historical

Studio: WHITE FOX

Director: Motonaga Keitaro (Princess Princess, Yumeria)

Synopsis: This story takes place in the Edo era where Yasuri Shichika is the seventh head of the Kyotou school of Japanese sword martial arts living in Fushou Island with his sister Nanami. With the order from a female samurai general Togame, he sets out for a trip to collect the twelve treasured swords created by a legendary swordsmith Shikizaki Kiki. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: ANN (#1 rated show on there. Not lower than 7 any where else)

Excerpts: Over-saturated and contained by sharp lines, the art stands out from many other shows and brings a strong level of emotion directly to the visual element. While at times overly talkative or reveling in its own exposition a bit too much, the characters hold the fabric of the show together surprisingly well. If you’re a fan of anime, you’ll catch the little in-jokes and references to tyopes in the medium, but if not you’ll get an entertaining character-driven about a cute tactician and her swordless bodyguard. (Japanator)

5). Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Percentage share of total votes: 3.36%

Average ranking: 20.03

Number of episodes: 13

Genre: Action, Comedy

Studio: GAINAX

Director: Imaishi Hiroyuki (Dead Leaves, Gurren Lagann

Synopsis: The Anarchy sisters, Panty and Stocking, are angels who were kicked out of Heaven due to their bad behavior. They are sent to Daten City, a place located on the edge of Heaven and Hell. Strange monsters called “Ghosts” besiege the city, and uUnder the watchful eye of Reverend Garterbelt, and with their pet zipper-dog Chuck, it’s up to Panty and Stocking to destroy these Ghosts, in order to collect enough Heaven Coins to return to Heaven. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from : Something Aweful

Comment: Very diverging view this one. Has the highest average ranking in the top 10 (19 series have betterranking), but it makes the list of the back of intense love from primarily Something Aweful

Excerpts: Probably one of the most controversial titles with a very distinctive art style.Random and unpredictable (Cartoon Leap)

It broke through the cookie cutter anime that we see each year by being unique and different. It always pushed the boundaries and didn’t care who it offended. (Anime Princess)

6). Kuragehime (Princess Jellyfish)

Percentage share of total votes: 3.14%

Average ranking: 8.00

Number of episodes: 11

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Parody

Studio: Brains Base

Director: Omori Takahiro (Baccano!)

Synopsis: Amamizukan is an apartment complex where no boys are allowed. Kurashita Tsukimi, a girl who adores jellyfish, lives there happily with her friends who all have nerdy obsessions of their own. Their peaceful lives gradually start to change when a beautiful woman helps Tsukimi out of a pinch. She stays overnight at the apartments — but it turns out “she” is really a “he. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from : ANN, Something Aweful

Comment:

Excerpts: it had too many one-dimensional characters and an unresolved plot for that, but Kuragehime consistently enjoyable throughout its entire airtime. Its characters were ridiculously addictive and its energy and acting made every episode a lot of fun to watch. It’s a great romantic comedy that was really well directed. (Star-crossed Anime)

Kuragehime is sure to steal your heart away with its overload of charm. It was so like-able. (Anime Princess)

7). Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai (My Little Sister Can’t Be This Cute / OreImo)

Percentage share of total votes: 3.04%

Average ranking: 14.58

Number of episodes: 12

Genre: Drama, Comedy, Moe

Studio: AIC

Director: Kanbe Hiroyuki (Viper’s Creed)

Synopsis: For several years, Kyousuke’s relationship with his younger sister Kirino has been cold, to the point that they only share greetings. But one day, Kyousuke finds a moe anime DVD fallen in their entry hall. His interest piqued, he looks for the owner, only to realize it belongs to Kirino. He’s shocked, but more surprises lie just ahead… (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: Akiba, Dannychoo

Comments: The premise sounds so simple and unoriginal. The title just screams moe and fanservice. Somehow it manages to be pretty decent.

Excerpts: The show is colorful and pleasant to the eyes; the animation feels real and fluid; the sound design increase the reality of this world; and the characters feel like real people. Sure some situations seem forced or improbable but the show never really lost it’s “set in the real world” feel. The story was also touching and continues in being very engaging on the light novel front. (Manuel’s Choice)

its visual presence / execution alone is one of the best ever seen for this year, though at times oreimo too were as well plagued by aic’s inability to retain the consistencies between later produced episodes of its premium series. (Ophanium)

8). The Tatami Galaxy

Percentage share of total votes: 2.88%

Average ranking: 14.31

Number of episodes: 11

Genre: Drama, Comedy

Studio: Madhouse Studios

Director: Masaaki Yuasa (Kaiba, Mind Game, Kemonozume)

Synopsis: A second year student from the Kyoto University finds himself entrapped amid a plethora of unsatisfying possibilities to change his life. Accompanied by Ozu, his mischievous best friend, and Akashi, a stern engineering student, the nameless protagonist trudges through each path as he tries to grab the opportunity that seems to dangle right in front of his eyes.

When the college dropout stops for a late night bite at a mysterious ramen stand, he crosses paths with a self-proclaimed deity of matrimony. This bizarre meeting sends the young man hurtling through a horrifying flashback to his not-so-glorious college days when the influence of a cruel new friend turned him from a hopeless romantic into a mischievous “black cupid.” (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: Blogs, Forums ANN

Comment:

Pros: Arthouse show with unusual and visceral imagery and presentation style.

Cons: The aforementioned gimmick can be overdone; plot has tendency to go off on unnecessary tangent. heavy dialogue was too hard to navigate

Excerpts: The writing is god-tier in intelligence and, despite some of the gimmickry getting annoying, there were other moment that blew me away. (The Cart Driver)

Tatami Galaxy is an arthouse sort of show. Its abstract imagery and groundhog day presentation is as unusual for TV animation. Despite all these barriers, as long as I gave it a chance, I found the animation very compellling and moving. At first I was indifferent with the source material, but the various shapes and faces moving on the screen told a story in some visceral way that I couldn’t write off as anything other than that it was just great animation transcending the limits that bounded it. (Japanator)

God-tier level of writing intelligence; amazing gimmick. an excellent and fulfilling conclusion. It uses the old narrative of reliving your life/specific times indefinitely, but it approaches it in a new and inventive way. It’s really intelligent and the whole series sets out to make a statement, which is pretty much unheard of these days. (Atvcr)

its ground-hog day-esque approach to storytelling that comes together in a really excellent ending that ties the entire series together perfectly. I also love the incredibly fast dialogue and the relentlessly fast pacing of this show that at the same time never rushed. It’s a great example of a mature series that had its own visual identity and really needs to appear more in anime.(Star-crossed anime)

9). High School of the Dead

Percentage share of total votes: 2.85%

Average ranking: 17.87

Number of episodes: 12

Genre: Action, Drama, Romance, Horror, School, Thriller, Fanservice, Ecchi

Studio: Madhouse Studios

Director: Araki Tetsuro (Death Note, Aoi Bungaku)

Synopsis: The story follows a group of high school students, the high school’s nurse, and a young girl as they fight their way to safety through the deadly streets of Japan during a worldwide catastrophic event known as the “Outbreak” that turn people into zombie-like creatures. Led by sophomore Takashi Komuro, the local group of survivors consists of six others and a small dog, and creating a gestalt team with one purpose: to survive. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from: Forum, Myanimelist, Dannychoo

Comment: If you like mindless action flick, this is definitely for you! You know exactly what you will get from the poster and the title and it seems to deliver in spade.

Excerpts: The animation is great and lots of action if you like blood and guts. (LaunchLevel)

Almost every single character in this anime was annoying. Distracting fanservice (Otaku Dan)

Tits. Guns. Tits. Zombies. Tits. Ass. Tits. Little girls peeing. Zombies. Ass. That’s just about what made up High School of the Dead. SOmetimes, you really need mindless action to have some fun, and High School of the Dead had that in spades. (Japanator)

The action was so entertaining and the overload of fanservice was sort of hilarious more than anything. (Anime Princess)


10). Squid Girl (Shinryaku! Ika Musume)

Percentage share of total votes: 2.67%

Average ranking: 11.74

Number of episodes: 12

Genre: Comedy, Slice-of-life, Supernatural

Studio: Diomedea

Director: Mizushima Tsutomu (Ookiku Furikabutte, Genshiken, XXXHOLiC)

Synopsis: A squid girl named Ika Musume vows to conquer humanity as revenge for its pollution of the ocean. Her first task is to make the Lemon beach house, owned by the Aizawa sisters, her base of operations. However, when she accidentally breaks a hole in their wall, she is forced to work as a waitress to pay off the damages. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from : Something Aweful, ANN

Comment: One of the biggest surprises of the year. The premise itself suggests the title is nothing more than a slapstick run-of-the-mill comedy but, similar to OreImo, it turns out to be something more.

Pros: Eminates cuteness without forcing anything; adorable main characters; funny and natural comedy

Cons:

Excerpts: can’t forget to mention that this anime is definitely cute without even trying to be, its cutness is just natural. Ika Musume is certainly one of  the funniest characters of 2010. This is a comedy series that everyone should watch. (All Nerd Things)

This environmentally friendly message goes hand in hand with slapstick hijinks in one of the year’s better comedies (Archaeon)

11. Shiki

12. Working!!

13. Baka to Test Shoukanjuu

14. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin

15. Arakawa Under the Bridge

16. To Aru Majutsu no Index II

17. Kaichou wa Maid-sama!

18. Seitokai Yakuindomo

19. amagami SS

20. Kami Nomi zo Shiru Sekai (The World God Only Knows)

Honourable Mentions: Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Percentage share of total votes: 6.00%

Average ranking: 6.07

Number of episodes: 53

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Steampunk

Studio: Madhouse Studios

Director: Irie Yasuhiro (Alien Nine, Kurau: Phantom Memory

Synopsis: The story follows a group of high school students, the high school’s nurse, and a young girl as they fight their way to safety through the deadly streets of Japan during a worldwide catastrophic event known as the “Outbreak” that turn people into zombie-like creatures. Led by sophomore Takashi Komuro, the local group of survivors consists of six others and a small dog, and creating a gestalt team with one purpose: to survive. (Source: ANN, Wikipedia)

Best ranking from : Random Curiosity, Blogs, Something Aweful

Comment: This is actually ranked 4th in my total ranking. However, since it comes out in 2009 in Japan, and that is my definition of year classification, the series is not really considered a ‘2010 series’. However, since it seems that many US viewers became exposed to the series either on Adult Swim from Feb-10 or in 2010, hence why it pops up a lot in a lot of people’s ranking.

Excerpts: With it’s well fleshed out characters, unique and incredibly detailed fantasy world, amazingly animated battles and ultimately epic storyline (Sea Slug!)

INTERESTING GROUP-BASED TREND

1). Poll results as seen in Dannychoo website shows a noticeable trend towards more moe titles. K-ON!! and OreImo got nearly a third of the votes. The more moeblob-preferred otaku types seem to frequent this website more heavily than any other groups

2). Something Aweful is the only group with very strong preference towards Panty & Stocking (#1 in ranking; it only features in the top ten anime in only one other group). It also rates Squid Girls and FMA: Brotherhood much higher than other groups. Its community seems the most ‘against the grain’ compared to other sources for me. This also brings me to another interesting point about this community. I also remember collecting ‘bes of the decade posts from Somthing Aweful forum and did a comparison against my blog-data. Gurren Lagann was by far the most heavily voted titles in the forum. I see a weak herding mentality potentially going on here where a few people in the community hoist one titles above others and everybody follows suit.

3). There are certain absence of a certain titles:

– Something Aweful: OreImo (The anti-moe group? K-ON!! is ranked the lowest among all forums and blog too), Bakuman. (Inclusion defniition of SA is series that finishes in 2010 hence Bakuman’s exclusion)

– Random Curiosity: Bakuman., To Aru Majutsu no Index!!

– Blog: Bakuman. (its absence from a lot of groups is most likely explained by the title still in the middle of its running and won’t be done until spring 2011)

– Akiba: Panty&Stocking, Squid Girl, FMA: Brotherhood, Katanagatari, Kuragehime (small voting size probably helps to explain so many absence

4). ANN rates Katanagatari much, much higher than any other sources

OTHERS

– Have you noticed that the top three animes have ‘!’ at the end of their official titles. Do studios really need to put it in to show how exciting the show is?🙂

– Even the worst rated anime of the year (Seikon no Qwaser; worst rated anime according to ANN and ranked 3,494th among all animes) still got some love (2 recognitions in Myanimelist, 13 votes in The Akiba and 88 votes in Random Curiosity). It does drive the point that any anime, no matter how bad the majority perceive it to be, can still appeal to some people and rank among their favourites.:)

– Surprised how low Nodame Cantabile: Finale is! It is the 5th best ranked anime series in 2010 according to ANN, yet there is no mention of it in forum, Something Aweful, Myanimelist. In another list, it ranks in the 30s and comes in at #29 in my ranking.

– Same for Ookiku Furikabutte -Natsu no Taikai-hen-. It ranks highly in ANN (#9); yet it is barely mentioned in two other sources (Blog and Forum) and ranked 36th overall in my analysis. Is this the curse of sports anime?

– Titles such as Bakuman. is not finished until Spring 2011; hence its absence from blog, Something Aweful and RC

CONCLUSION

The general feeling about anime series in year 2010 seems to be that it is a very weak year. Whether it is due to the economic downturn resulting in cutback in innovative but more risky projects in favour of sure-fire cashcows like moe shows or just a one-year aberration, we will have to wait and see.

By far the two most highly rated shows of the year are Durarara! and Angel Beats. K-ON!! is a distant 3rd with FMA: Brotherhood in the mix if you are willing to count anime started in 2009. There are also good shows from each genre for example:

Action: Panty & Stocking, High School of the Dead

Drama: Tatami Galaxy, Kuragehime

Comedy: Squid Girl, OreImo

Slice of Life: K-ON!!

I will drill down into further analysis with regards to anime studios, directors and more. Hope this list will give a pretty comprehensive recommendation if you ever want to dig down and check out any anime from 2010! I know I have a few I will want to give a shot myself once they are released on dvds:)

———————————————

RANKING METHODOLOGY

There are many different ways I could have ranked the information. In the end, I use the following methodology described below because of its simplicity and appropriateness given the types of data I am dealing with

1). Separate data into groups. The groups I have chosen are detailed in the ‘Group Type’ section above

2). For each group, determine type of data available and how to convert them into scores that is comparable across all groups.

3). Determine weight of each group.

– I am assuming 25% for each distinct type (Blog, Forum, Poll, ANN) – I am very partial to give blogs a lot of weight. I also have relatively high opinion of ANN hence its high share

– For Forum and Poll, there is a further breakdown based primarily on the number of votes of each group (higher no. of votes equal higher weight) – RC got very high weight courtesy of its incredible number of votes

– I have however arbitrarily added more weight to Something Aweful to account for the more description and justification it has for most of its votes

Group Type No. votes No. vote share Type share Final weight
Blog Blog 271 100% 25% 25%
Forum Forum 256 14% 25% 4%
Something Aweful Forum 221 50% 13%
crunchyroll Forum 126 7% 2%
Myanimelist Forum 512 29% 9%
Akiba Poll 1,261 3.2% 25% 1%
DannyChoo Poll 3,333 8.4% 2%
RC Poll 35,255 88.5% 22%
ANN Rank 23,344 100% 25% 25%

4). For each group, convert the votes, poll, rating into percentage share of votes (e.g. if there are 2 votes for Angel Beats! and there are a total of 50 votes, Angel Beats! is given 4% score for that group). For ANN, I am using the share of votes as ‘masterpiece’ of each title to calculate % share of votes. This is to mimic how many times a voter vote a given title as a truly outstanding show. (I tried to use Baysian rating earlier but it does not give differentiated enough ranking between titles. Share of ‘masterpiece’ is a better proxy)

5). Cross-multiply the weight in 3). with standardized score in 4).

6). Rank titles from most to least

Note that I have played around with many other ranking methodologies including ranking it based on ordinal ranking (rank each anime based on their score and take weighted average of the ranking; simple but ignores the gap between each ranking). However, I decide that my methodology is the most appropriate without being overly complicated or simple. There is a lot of personal discretion made but it seems that this top 10 listed are pretty robust based on various changes in weighting or score.

SOURCES

The following is the list and links of all the blogs and site that I have visited to compile the data. I may have missed some but I deem this a good enough sample for the genral preferences of the blogsphere!

BLOGS

Star Crossed Anime Blog: 4 part 2010 summary with full list of top 20 animes and whole loads of other awards. Great read

Anime Princess: Top 10 anime. Noteworthy that her top 4 anime series here perfectly map the top three based on all rankings!

The Cart Driver: Top 5 series with decent comments

All Nerd Things:  Top 5 with good comments. The writer also puts a laundry list of anime series he/she enjoyed in 2010

Animenation News Blog: Answer to a question of what the best anime in 2010 is. Blog gives 6 distinct titles with a note of other caveats and exploration of anime in 2010 in general

Anime Yume: 5 favourite animes (series, movies) in no particular order

Archaeon: Top 10 plus further mention of best anime in various other category

Atvcr – Pandadice: Best anime plus 2 runner-ups with a bit of comments on each. Also has 2 worst animes

Atvcr – Atvcr: Best anime plus 3 runner-ups with a bit of comments on each. Also has the worst anime listed

Atvcr – Otaku Supreme:  Best anime plus 3 runner-ups with a bit of comments on each. Also has the worst anime listed

Cartoon Leap: 3 Best and 2 Worst with disappointment nomination also

Conspicuous Klux: Another obligatory top 10 post

FunBlog: 2 outstanding animes with a laundry list of noteworthy ones (including some comments)

Inside AX: Top 5 with no ranking

Jake’s Anime Blog – Scantling: Top 4 and a half with minimal comments

Jake’s Anime Blog – Jake W: Top 5

Janai Blog: Top 5 best and worst anime series with comments

Japanator: Top 10 with decent comments

LaunchLevel: Top 5 with comments

Manuel’s Choice: Best anime along with a whole host of other categories to rate the titles in 2010

Misty-Stix: Top 10 list with comments

Nichi’s room: Top 10

NKDS: Top 10 in no order with short comments

Ophanium – Hime: Top 5 with comments

Otaku Dan: Top 5 best and worst anime series with comments

Otaku in Review: Top 5 with comments plus 1 honourable mention

Sea Slug!: 2010 awards with picks from different categories

Sine Cera: Top 10 with lots of pre-rank notes but barely any on each title.

valeblog: List of awards with minimal explanation on rationale

POLLS:

Random curiosity: 35,255 votes with at least 7,000 voters taking part

Danny Choo Poll: Approximately 3,000 votes based on my guess

The Akiba: The Best Anime of 2010 Survey: 234 votes as of 25-Jan-10

FORUMS

MyAnimeList: 76 user posts; 6.8 titles listed per post; No rationale

Something Aweful: 52 user posts; 4.5 titles per post; decent explanation behind each comment’s decision

Cruncyroll: 39 posts

The Subwire: 2 posts

Animea: 2 posts

Scandal-Heaven: 43 posts

The Colorless: 17 posts

Animeforum: 1 post


13 Comments on “Best Anime Series of 2010 – Definitive look from around the internet”

  1. JADEEYES says:

    You did a great job ranking those anime.
    Thank you for linking.

    • Thank you and really appreciate you comment:) I like how clear cut at least who is in the top ten are despite various ranking methods I have tried.

      PS. Your top choice, Psychic Detective Yakumo, only come in at #42 in my ranking:)

      • JADEEYES says:

        That goes to show how it really all comes down to preferences at the end. But as a guide for the anime lover out there yes, I would say that maybe Yakumo is an acquire taste!🙂 Then again I happen to love the occult.

        You did great with your list, lots of work and probably a tough one since you did not get to watch some of the series right? I respect that.
        Again, thanks for linking!🙂

      • No problems and thanks also for another comment! In fact, I have not watched any of the anime in 2010 at all! That is my foremost motivation to put together the list so I have some clue what I should choose when it comes time to going through anime series in this year:) I’m a little certain that there are probably some anime outside the top 10 or 20 that I will blindly love more than others but if I don’t have time to go through them all, I’d rather take my chance with ones from the top of the list.

        A lot of it is more trusting the different sources that I came across and trying to get a sense of each series after having read people’s comment. I would love to revisit this post once I have eventually watched the top 10 list I put together and see how much of it I personally agree with!

  2. Taka says:

    You have only 12 episodes listed for FMA: Brotherhood but 2cours or 26 episodes worth aired during 2010. However the majority of it did air during 2009.

    One of the biggest problems with year end polls is they will always show a trend for more recently aired anime. Only 2-3 (depending on whether you count Katanagatari) shows from the first winter season are listed in the top 20. Whereas there were 6 from the previous Fall season including Index which also is ongoing. If you count the shows that were began in summer but continued into Fall that number is upped to 10. (there are a couple debatable shows like Katanagatari and Arakawa (which aired 2 seasons in 2010 in Winter and Fall)) Still I think there is a strong pull towards shows Fall shows for year end opinions.

    This preference would explain the lack of interest from Nodame Finale which aired during the Winter season for 12 episodes. A lack of Sora no Woto is also surprising. Bakatest is the only 1cour show to make it into the top 20 from Winter.

    The absence of Ookiku Fukirabutte is probably due to the niche nature of the show. Sports shows just don’t get as much attention. I would have expected Giant Killing before Ookiku based on blogger reaction but it’s difficult to tell. Generally I don’t think sequels get as much vocal reaction but still can get good ratings.

    Qwaser was great, don’t let anyone tell you different. Qwaser is also somewhat niche it’s just that instead of ambivalence one might have toward a sports show, they have utter disgust for fanservice shows. All seriousness though it was an entertaining enough show, not amazing but in it had some great mid-season comedic moments that made me bust a gut.

    Lastly, Bakuman…oh Bakuman. Sure maybe they say that because it will end in 2011 it wasn’t included but if that’s the case neither should Index. No the reason Bakuman isn’t on there is probably more to do with the fact that the adaptation sucks. Plain and simple, there are few people who enjoy it but at least in the blogsphere only a few blogs write about it and most have to grasp to find things to enjoy about it.

    • That’s a good point. Thank you for pointing out my error. Will go ahead and change the number of episodes to the right number now:) It’s always great to have your comments to add needed perspective on my quant analysis. I have not watched any of this so cannot really comment anymore beyond what I see in the data.

      I never ever thought about looking at these animes on the season perspective. Doing the 2000s decade, the seasonal cut-off definitely have less of a factor (the issue is more 2009 animes which fewer people would have time to see). I can see that once we start looking at a yearly picture, season becomes more important. Besides, since i don’t follow the most recent anime, I never ever have to classify any anime on a season basis. I tend to tag them on year myself. The low participants from first winter season might be because a few people are not sure what anime to include or exclude from the list (some count anime start date; others count anime end date). I am very interested in slicing and dicing the anime series on a seasonal basis to see whether what you suspected is clearly shown in the data or not. Maybe, once I have data I can develop some statistic weighting to compensate series on the in winter for the potentially inherent under-recognition they got.

      Giant Killing is higher than Ookiku Furikabutte II in my ranking too so your speculation does translate! These two seem like the series I would really enjoy though. With regards to my comment on Qwaser, I am just going on the fact that the anime itself is really low on ANN rating. Maybe another project for me is to find if this ‘slight’ towards fanservice is really affecting anime series or not. So-Ra-Wo-To just ranks relatively low across the board (#31 overall). Is it a matter of it being a good show but not special enough to be on people’s top 5. Inherently, my method will under-weigh shows that would have consistently come in 6th or 11th (but not listed since the ranking in blogs/forums are for top 5 or top 10) and So-Ra-Wo-To might just be one of those.

      And Bakuman. is that bad? I made that comment simply because it has one of the bigger discrepancy between ANN rating and my ranking. I have read the manga and really enjoyed it so I did not think the anime could be quite so bad…

      Anyway, thanks again for the comment and hope to have hear from you a lot more on my later posts:)

      • Taka says:

        This recent 17th episode was the first time I’ve really enjoyed Bakuman. Personally I think the initial episodes focus too much on the romance.

        One of the reasons for the discrepancy maybe the method that ANN or MAL uses for unfinished series and for people who drop early on. I believe there is a rule on MAL but don’t quote me that you have to watch 25% of a series for it your rating to count. Thus the people who drop it and rate it lowly don’t get their votes counted. I’m not sure if that’s true or not I just remember the numbers being brought up in a huge debate when Gintama finished airing.

        There’s a couple of things that could be going on and looking at Bakuman’s ratings there is clearly a lot of people who enjoy the show but I know throughout most of the blogsphere the reception is lukewarm. There’s also the possibility that those who didn’t like it just dropped it and didn’t rate it but I’m rather skeptical about whether that would even effect the data much.

        Strictly on ANN it’s interesting to look at a show like Durarara or Angel Beats that has well over 1000 individual ratings (for all watching/finished/dropped) versus Panty & Stocking or Bakuman that have under 500 and that the far end of the spectrum Tatami Galaxy with just over 170 ratings. The number of ratings fluctuates pretty wildly but it’s interesting that the top 2 have far more ratings than any other on the list EXCEPT FMA: Brotherhood which blows everything out of the water.

      • Based on what you said about Bakuman., I will most likely stick with the manga:) It’s a shame if they focus more on romance because I really feel that it is the manga writing bit which really distinguishes the series!

        To your knowledge is there any other website which does a comprehensive rating of anime, to the extent of of ANN or MAL? In fact, I have not yet gotten around to including the results from MAL in my analysis. Might be interesting to see any difference in preference between that and ANN. I am also not sure how ANN does their ratings, what they include and exclude, and will be very interested in finding out. Votings and ratings are always going to be subjective and I am hoping that the wisdom of the masses will prevail at the end, i.e. I collect enough info from enough sites and blogs and the best animes should emerge:)

        I agree with you also that it is likely that the people dropping the show and not rating it is going to be minimal. Besides, that did not stop people ‘hating’ Seikon no Qwaser and sending it to a low ANN rating! That is also a very difficult view to prove either way. I guess, this is when we have to look at the series based on different groups, not just ANN or blogspehere. Also, I may have been slightly coloured by my love of the manga version. Other than this, there is no reason i should really point it out in my post since its statistics is pretty ordinary. Based on what you are saying, #28 on my ranking (lukewarm reaction from a lot of places) seems fair.

        At least the top ten shows a good range of heavily watched shows (Angel Beats, Durarara!!!) and hidden gems (less watched ones such as Kuragehime and Tatami Galaxy). Interesting also that two animes by the same studio and director (Durarara!!! and Kuragehime can be so diverging in term of individual ratings! I guess it is not too far-fetched to conclude that in a lot of cases, popularity of a series (high individual ratings) is well-deserved because of its quality. On a side note, High School of the Dead actually has the second highest individual ratings in 2010, behind only Angel Beats! (FMA:B does not count). Fanservice + Action + Zombie really seems to sell.

  3. […] rated anime of 2010. aquabluesweater.wordpress.com […]

  4. Kat says:

    Impressive post.

    But the All Nerd Things’ link is leading to a post on a different webblog (the Inside AX).

  5. […] of AnimeStat, a really nice website that I would love to do a comparison especially with my Anime 2010 list […]

  6. […] director went on to direct Durarara!! which actually came 2nd in 2010 in my list. This is despite it widely being considered an inferior series to Baccano! in every way. It also […]


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