Best Anime Series of 2009 – Meta Ranking & AnalysisPosted: July 5, 2013
Now that I have just over a month of free time before I start working again, I finally have some time to write a few more articles for my blog. Since we are still have a year away from a 2013 anime review, I am going back in time and catching up with earlier years, which brings us to 2009. Here are the top ten anime series based on composite scores from different anime websites:
10. Eden of the East (東のエデン)
No. of episodes: 11
Director: Kamiyama Kenji
Animation Studio: Production I.G
Watch if you like: Death Note, Durarara!!!
One-Line Synopsis: After getting into trouble with the police in the US, Saki Morimi is rescued by a young man who is completely naked save for a gun in one hand and an even stranger item in the other – a phone credited with 8 billion electronic yen and a female voice on the other end called Juiz who will fulfill his every wish. (Anime Planet)
Its characters are equal parts intriguing and lovable, without ever slipping into two-dimensional clichés. Every part of the visual and aural experience builds an engrossing mood that you don’t want to leave. Shows like Eden of the East are rare and need to be treasured. (Anime Herald)
I recognise Eden of the East’s great achievements; brandishing an arsenal of treats, including an innovative mystery that doubles as social commentary and Akira’s magnetic characterisation, it will exceed expectations on first impressions. (Anime Planet)
Director: Shinbo Akiyuki
Animation studio: Shaft
Watch if you like: Arakawa Under the Bridge, Katanagatari
One-Line Synopsis: The story centers on Koyomi Araragi, a third year high school student who has recently survived a vampire attack, and finds himself mixed up with all kinds of apparitions: gods, ghosts, myths, and spirits. (MAL)
Bakemonogatari is a tour de force of storytelling and visual style. The character development is sublime, and the main narrative is captivating. (Nihon Review)
8. Skip-Beat! (スキップ・ビート!)
No. of episodes: 25
Director: Sayama Kiyoko
Animation studio: Hal Film Maker
Watch if you like: Ouran High School Host Club, Kaichou wa Maid-sama
One-Line Synopsis: A young girl named Kyouko went with her childhood friend, Shou, to Tokyo to pursue his dream of becoming an idol and vow to succeed in the entertainment world. (MAL)
Skip-Beat is utterly irresistible and forces you to instantly fire up the next of each twenty-five episodes… Girls will love the sexy boys and gutsy female lead, whilst guys will enjoy much of the in-your-face comedy and realistic relationships. (Anime Planet)
7. Toradora! (とらドラ!)
No. of episodes: 25
Director: Nagai Tatsuyuki
Animation studio: J.C. Staff
Watch if you like: High-school relationship, Lovely Complex, Zero no Tsukaima, Clannad
One-Line Synopsis: In a new school year, Ryuuji and Taiga, despite their oil and water relationship, agree to mutually support each other in their quests to be with their crushes.
A far above average outing that will leave a genuine mark in the heart. If I were to introduce someone to the genre of anime romance, told from the male perspective, this would be my first pick. (Anime Diet)
6. Spice & Wolf II (狼と香辛料 II)
No. of episodes: 12
Director: Brains Base
Animation studio: Takahashi Tekeo
Watch if you like: Banner of the Star,
One-Line Synopsis: Kraft Lawrence and the proud wolf Holo the Wise continue their northward journey to Holo’s mountain homeland of Yoitsu. (Anime Planet)
There is a good bit less action in the second season compared to the first, but the show makes up for that by throwing you into a festival of harvest taking place in the first story arc. Spice and Wolf has generally been a calm, if tensely so, show, and I don’t think that will necessarily change much in the future. Then again, that’s probably the reason why the show is as good as it is. (THEM Anime)
5. Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou (続 夏目友人帳)
No. of episodes: 13
Director: Omori Takahiro
Animation studio: Brains Base
Watch if you like: Mushishi, Spirited Away
One-Line Synopsis: Natsume Takashi, a boy who has had the ability to see youkai since he was young, and his bodyguard youkai, Madara, nicknamed Nyanko-sensei, attempt to return names written in his Book of Friends, which he inherited from his grandmother Reiko, to youkai in his village, encountering friendly and hostile youkais along the way
Over the course of the series, Natsume is shown to be a very sensitive character, and his friendship with Madara continues to strengthen. This is a series that’s full of heart; it’s compassionate, emotional, but still ultimately upbeat… much like its lead character. (Nihon Review)
Zoku Natsume Yuujin-chou is still a very enjoyable and relaxing slice of life series without any major flaws (Star-Crossed Anime)
4. Cross Game (クロスゲーム)
No. of episodes: 50
Director: Sekita Osamu
Animation studio: SynergySP
Watch if you like: Baseball, Touch
One-Line Synopsis: Koh Kitamura, with the aid of his friends and teammates, is on a quest to fulfill his girlfriend’s wish of him pitching at the legendary Koshien Stadium, site of the national high school championship finals.
In terms of slice of life, you can hardly get any better than this. The seemingly endless amount of wit with which the writers spice up the daily lives is incredible. Cross Game… is excellent and its execution is one of a kind. (Star-Crossed Anime)
Cross Game delivers gently rolling romantic drama spiced with baseball games that will send viewers flying from their seats – and all this driven by quaint and lovable characters. (Anime Planet)
3. Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (はじめの一歩 新シリーズ)
No. of episodes: 26
Director: Shishido Jun
Animation studio: Madhouse
Watch if you like: Boxing, Sports competition
One-Line Synopsis: Ippo continues his career as a professional boxer, trying to live up to his role as the Japanese champion and fight with a new generation of boxers who looks up to him as both a role model and a target.
Hajime no Ippo New Challenger is a worthy second series in the Hajime no Ippo legacy. (Anime Evo)
So yeah, Hajime no Ippo stands out in its simplicity; for every arc you know exactly what you’re going to get: an incredibly intense boxing match with sympathetic and strong characters and awesome graphics. And it never gets old. It’s the perfect series for if you want to blow off some steam. (Star-Crossed Anime)
2. Clannad ~After Story~ (クラナド アフターストーリー)
No. of episodes: 24
Director: Ishihara Tatsuya
Animation studio: Kyoto Animation
Watch if you like: Air, Angel Beats, Kanon
One-Line Synopsis: After declaring his love to Nagisa, they begin to have a close relationship, but their life together will be faced with unexpected challenges, as the truth behind the illusionary world and the city’s legend come to light.
This season bleeds you dry of every emotion you can think of as you watch the series… You won’t get the full experience of this story without watching both consecutively. This series is the deepest you can get for a slice of life anime without it feeling generic or contrived. (Simpleek)
Of all the romance anime I’ve crossed throughout the years, Clannad After Story easily ranks among the best. It manages to convey touching drama, beautiful romance, and hilarious-yet-fitting comedy all in one measure, building magnificently on its predecessor to end with a wonderful overture. (Anime Planet)
1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (鋼の錬金術師)
No. of episodes: 64
Director: Irie Yasuhiro
Animation Studio: Bones
Watch if you like: Baccano!, Hunter x Hunter, Fairy Tail, Code Geass
One-Line Synopsis: In a world where alchemy exists, two younger brothers are on a quest to regain what they have lost when the tabooed human transmutation they committed went wrong.
It’s a definite recommendation if you’re looking for something epic. Despite being 64 episodes, Bones keep a surprisingly good animation quality throughout the series, especially the action-scenes themselves look gorgeous for such a long series. The soundtrack also fully captures the grant atmosphere of the story, and will make sure for a show that will keep you entertained. (Star-Crossed Anime)
While the show does have it’s violent and gruesome moments it plays it so masterfully that the show will never gross you out or put you off the story. In many ways FMA makes a great starter anime and if you’re looking to expose that loved one to the anime world FMA: Brotherhood just very well might be your best bet. (IGN)
Just missing the top 10 are:
11. Kimi ni Todoke
12. One Outs – Another good baseball series. That makes three sports series in the top 15.
13. Kemono no Souja Erin
14. Tentai Senshi Sunred 2 – Another sequel
15. Tokyo Magnitude 8.0
Quick comments on ranking (more to come in later post(s)
- This is an unbelievable year for the top 1-2. FMA:B scores number one nearly across the board, posting an even more ridiculous clean sweep than Fate/Zero in 2012. Against competition in any other year, Clannad ~After Story~ would surely take the top spot
- Even in the greater scheme of things, FMA:B and Clannad rank 2 and 1 respectively on all-time ANN list and 1 and 4 respectively on MAL all-time list.
- Top 10 has 4 sequels (Clannad, Natsume, Spice & Wolf, Hajime) plus one remake. In comparison, the top 10s in 2010-12 only has one sequel in each year (K-ON!! In 2010, Kimi ni Todoke Second Season in 2011 and Fate/Zero in 2012).
- For this list, I have decided to change my inclusion criteria from previous list. Beforehand, Only anime that starts in a given year can be included. This unfortunately excludes a lot of animes towards the end of the year which are not yet finished so many reviewers do not include them in their yearly ranking. To remedy this, I will now include animes that finish in that year instead (for 2009, I will accommodate both criteria so I can include the likes of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, which should have been in 2010 list based on the new criteria but was not.)
- I have finally learnt how to use Baysian estimates to take into accounts the number of votes. For more detail, see this Wikipedia site but the general idea is that it penalizes those titles that have high ratings but low number of votes (so a title with one 10 vote will not rank higher than a title with hundred 9 votes).
- As a technical note aside, to calculate the final score before ranking, I have weighted all ratings of each series and website directly (rather than weight their ranks). This is because I do not have a lot of ranking sources (blogs, Something Aweful, Random Curiosity) to worry about.
- I can’t really find that many ‘top 5 animes of 2009’ blog posts at all (found only about 5), hence why I did not actually include them in the list. It really seems like there are more of those in recent years.
- There is no Something Aweful forum on Best Anime of 2009 so I do not include it as well.
- I’m kinda sad to see the level of non-updates anime academy has fallen to. It used to be one of my trusted sources when I first start browsing anime recommendation on the internet and now it does not even have any reviews of the top 20 in my 2009 list.
- It just seems that when it comes to anime series, no review websites give comprehensive coverage of all anime series anymore… Understandable but what a shame.
Thus far, I have only seen Eden of the East and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Both are certainly a lot of fun. I am on the fence on Clannad but the amazing ratings everywhere I look tell me I should give it a try. I also have never heard a lot about Skip-Beat before so that is another one I need to check out at some point.
I am also excited to do a comparison between 2009 list and 2010-12 lists, now that I have about 4 years of data. Top ten lists for other years are also on their way!
Appexdix 1: Sources
Here is a list of sources that I use in coming up with the list above
MAL – Ratings as given in MyAnimeList.net
ANN – Ratings as given in Animenewsnetwork.com
AniP – Ratings as given in AnimePlanet.com
AniDB – Ratings as given in AniDB.net
IMDB – Ratings as given in IMDB.com
Appendix 2: Weights
The weighting again is loosely based on the number of voters/users/raters each source has: