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dtzav.bmp: Greetings and salutations, good readers. The year is winding to a close, I’m nearing the end of my undergraduate career, and it’s time to look back on a whole year of Anime. And what a year it has been.

dioav.jpg Are you going to be doing the speech long? ‘Cause I could go get snacks if I’m going to be sitting here a while.

dtzav.bmp Oh, hush. I was giving you a good lead in there and you had to spoil it.

dioav.jpg Well, I am a microbe. Spoiling is what I do. Anyways, we decided the best way to wrap up the year, is with some good clean debate of what we liked this year.

dtzav.bmp Which is to say, it’s pretty much exactly like making lists running down our favorites, only with less numbers and more passing of an idiot ball back and forth.

dioav.jpg Ok, they get the point. So which topic did you pick for the first?

dtzav.bmp Our first topic is a nice, easy one. Music. Opening, Ending, and Insert themes. Background Music doesn’t really count, but then, there’s only one OST really worth mentioning this year anyway.

dioav.jpg If you arent talking about Gurren Lagann, you’ll regret it.

dtzav.bmp What ELSE would I be talking about, Dio? Anyway, let’s get started.
dtzav.bmp So, before we begin, I would first like to make quick mention of notables that are not on the list. I personally endeavored to not repeat any songs that were on my last list, partly because of the time difference and partly because I wanted to talk about other songs. Thusly, some of my favorites, like Sora Iro Days and Uninstall? Not on the list.

dioav.jpg I don’t know entirely about that, but I, in my listings, tried for two rules. First, while I considered the song itself strongly, I also would consider either the context of the song, or the video if it was an OP or ED. Also, I tried to only use each anime once.

dtzav.bmp While I repeated animes, I also took into account context and what the video was like. That said, a few other notables not on my list are Genshiken 2’s OP and Moyashimon’s OP and ED. Disarm dreamer is a case of me feeling the opening lost the feel the openings for the first season and the OVA of Genshiken. As far as J-pop and frame-by-frame parodies go, it’s a fairly fun song… but it’s not my image of what a Genshiken Opening should be, namely, a semi-laid back Otaku Rock Anthem. As for Moyashimon’s OP and ED… quirky, cute, surprisingly good CGI… but I just don’t like ‘em as much as others on the list. I consider these notable because other bloggers have ranted and raved about these songs… and I didn’t see reason to. Any notables missing from yours, Dio, or should I start us off at 10?

dioav.jpg Well, there is the obvious. I was mad when you excluded Libera me from Hell, calling it not an Insert. I think it deserved a spot for sheer amazing.

dtzav.bmp Most amazing piece of music ever created for an anime or not, it’s part of the OST. It hurts me to exclude it as well, as it IS sheer amazing, but it’s not used in the way I felt this list should cover, as it’s a different kind of theme than an opening, ending or insert.

dioav.jpg Fine, whatever. So, lets go on with our list, then. You want to go first?

dtzav.bmp Coming in at my number 10 is Baccano’s jazzy instrumental opening number, Guns and Roses. Perfectly fitting the mood and theme of the series as a jazz number that feels perfectly out of the prohibition era, this song kicked off every episode of Baccano right. It shows you precisely what to expect, with each character (and their NAMES!) having a short quick introduction without really giving anything away about them. All in all, a simply fun song.

dioav.jpg Yeah, I saw one episode of that, and the “buh” level was simply too much. So for my Number 10, i decided to pay homage to my yeasty predecessors with Rocket, the ED theme of Moyashimon. I was going to go with the OP, because it was a song and video that actually drew me into the show I had never heard of with no other information, but it was the ending that really caught me. With its cute claymation images, and rather catchy tune, it deserves a berth on the list.

dtzav.bmp Now on 9, my selection is Bamboo Blade’s Bamboo Beat, which has a great sound to it, and I must admit I love it when voice actresses for a series sing the opening theme. In this case, my decision is purely on the audio level; it’s a song I’m more than willing to listen to on a regular basis just because it sounds good. I wish the anime would make a REAL animation for it, since I’m getting tired of seeing episode 1 scenes over and over, but that’s nitpicking. I like this song.

dioav.jpg I dont know. I like the anime, but the song was nothing particularly special. Pretty standard, if solid. Instead, for number 9 on my list, I went to an anime I sadly fell out of watching, but intend to go back to. Allegro Cantabile Sound, the OP track from Nodame Cantabile. As a solid, high energy song, it also holds some elements of classic music, which give it a fresh and exciting feeling, much like the part of the show I watched before I got distracted by something probably shiny and inconsequential.

dtzav.bmp We do need to get back to that, sometime. I miss it too. Now, my number 8 is partly going to one man doing lots of silly pointless songs, but mostly going to his BEST silly and pointless song. Shiraishi Minoru’s work on the endings for Lucky Star’s second half is comedy gold, but none are quite as awesome as Shikaider no Uta, the Super Robot theme parody set around a Dentist-themed mecha. And really, what else needs to be said? It’s hilarity in the way only Shiraishi can do.

dioav.jpg And now on the continued list of “Dio’s inability to keep watching a show”, we have Kimi + boku = love? from Lovely Complex. You know, I’m not sure WHY I like this song, but I do. it just feels, somehow, heartfelt, almost genuine in its emotion. Oh, and what song was yours, DTZ? I dont think I’ve heard it.

dtzav.bmp Well, the most interesting version of the song is its full version from Shiraishi’s album. I wish I could find video of the ACTUAL song, but this version will suffice. Take a listen, folks.

dioav.jpg Well, thats interesting.

dtzav.bmp Isn’t it though? Anyway, moving on to number 7, I picked the second ending theme of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Minna no Peace. The energetic, upbeat and optimistic song kept the mood up when the series continued to hit its darker moments, its wonderful lyrics reminding us that however bleak things may seem, this series will turn out alright in the end. And it truly did.

dioav.jpg I really wanted to add that, honestly, but I felt that by my own rules of one per anime, there was a better one to use later, so I just didn’t. I took a more unusual tact. See, I’m a fan of very dark humor. I think DTZ is too, but he doesn’t let it influence his opinions quite as often. So instead, I chose Hizamazuite Ashi o Oname. It happens to be the ED theme of the anime Kaibutsu Oujo. With a dissonant, but catchy, sound, and a wicked hilarity throughout at its focus on the torments of the hapless main, I just couldn’t ignore it.

dtzav.bmp Hey, I like a good Ali Project song just as much as the next guy. It just didn’t cross my mind when I was thinking of the better songs of the year.

dioav.jpg Eh, I like what I like.

dtzav.bmp And speaking of disagreements between us, I can only put Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei’s OP, Hito toshite Jiku ga Bureteiru at number 6. Excellent rock theme, with both animations for it being fun, though I really really wish they had stuck with the simple text openings, no matter how fun of a meme the porn opening is. I love the song… I just love the later songs on my list more.

dioav.jpg I actually like that one better, more on that later. Instead, I chose for number 6, one of the best serious songs of the set. I chose Howling from Darker than Black. It was a very good dark song. A solid vocal intro, combined with a really good melody, drew your right in.

dtzav.bmp As I recall, that one was on my list at the halfway point of the year, and in the number 4 slot at that. I agree that it’s a DAMN good song, but since I had used it, I restricted myself from putting it on the list. And on that note, we’re getting to the section where I have a hard time choosing. My number 5 on this list is the exquisite ending theme for Kaiji, Makeinutatsu no Requiem. A soft and dramatic fight song for the underdog, and a perfect fit for Kaiji, this song really sends some chills down my spine.

dioav.jpg For a different type of chill, I instead chose the beautiful opening song of Denno Coil, Prism. From the first time I heard it, I understood the sort of soft tone anime that it was setting up. Another series I need to work on finishing, but I know I will, eventually.

dtzav.bmp No arguments at all. Prism is an excellent pick. Now with number 4, we get to a series that Dio is being stupidly obstinate about, much like I was when I was still in my “hating it because it’s delaying Haruhi phase,” Clannad’s simple, sweet Dango Daikazoku ending theme is, as I see it, incredibly gorgeous. The music is a soft, steady build in instruments, starting with a simple xylophone and ending with a complete set of instruments that just feel amazing. Yes, the song itself is about Dangos, but it’s also about family and friendship… and now that the series has taken its place at the top of my list for the season, with me having the exact OPPOSITE reaction as Orion, it occasionally brings a tear to my eye.

dioav.jpg Yeah, bite me. You clearly underestimate my stubbornness. Now, this year I finally decided to watch Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni.

dtzav.bmp DECIDED? I have NO underestimation about your stubbornness, you cretin! I know how long it took you to cave in and just WATCH that series! You AND Dominic, I swear, can’t EVER take a chance on ANYTHING unless it’s shoved at you enough times.

dioav.jpg In my defense, that show scared the shit out of me.

dtzav.bmp That much is to be expected. But if I can get you to watch evil twisted Yanderes on Parade, I can get you to watch an excellent Not-a-harem show about family and an excellent pulp-action show with messed up timeline.

dioav.jpgI’d think so too, but hey, here we are. ANYWAYS. Before I was so rudely interrupted. I continued it with Kai this year, and thus i nominate the OP Naraku no Hana for my number 4. See, the first season had a OP titled the same as the anime, and it led a real sense of fear and horror to the proceedings. Now, with the progression in the second season, we’ve shifted to a tone of desperation and wavering between hopelessness and longing, and it fits PERFECTLY.

dtzav.bmp I love Naraku no Hana as well, but I just couldn’t fit it in anywhere. I’m glad Dio was able to. On to 3, another series I’m watching while Dio isn’t (but in this case I’m not trying to push it on to him) is ef - A Tale of Memories. This series happens to have both my favorite opening of the season and the highest ranked opening on my list, euphoric field. From the powerful guitar riff that kicks everything off to the surprisingly decent english (though still engrishy at times) lyrics, this song is, well, excellent as I see it. And the stylistic animation of the opening shows just what SHAFT can do when they’re going for dramatic. I love it.

dioav.jpg And here’s where I’ll probably be accused of unoriginality. And why? because I rate songs at a higher place in my heart than my cold friend. Hito to shite Jiku ga Burete iru, the SZS OP, is my number 3. Returning to that dark sense of humor I have, I love a song that is so exuberantly negative. What can I say?

dtzav.bmp And hence, I can’t understand why you don’t like my number 2, because it is even MORE exuberantly negative, and with a better animation to it. Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei’s Zessei Bijin is my favorite ending theme of the year. The Zetsubou Girls sing a cheery little ditty that feels like the anthem of choice for yandere everywhere. “I get to hear some delightful screaming tonight” indeed.

dioav.jpg I can’t tell. Maybe its the insane-o rants in the first few versions of the opening that give the first one the extra push for me. And again, I feel dumb. I picked Kaiji’s ED theme as number 2. Because, as a theme, it is BRILLIANT. It feel like it was pulled from an old Western, with that tone of lonliness and determination.

dtzav.bmp Whereas the REMOVAL of the rants is the reason I ranked Bure lower. That said, I think when we get to our number one, we can finally agree on something.

dioav.jpg Well, either that, or I’ll call my friends over. And they want to do some Brewing.
brew1.jpg: BREW!

dtzav.bmp It seems we can’t do a post without letting some new cameo in. Anywho, my number one, taking everything into account, is the amazing Insert theme from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, happily ever after.

dioav.jpg Never mind, guys. We won’t need you after all.

dtzav.bmp Told you.

dioav.jpgWell, it is hard to argue with, I suppose. This theme, which I might add, is the only Insert song in either of our lists, brings to mind one of the greatest scenes in anime ever.

dtzav.bmp Simon’s greatest breakthrough, tearing out of his darkness and into his rank as the most awesome character in anime. Its use in that sequence and the way it fits is just astounding. From the moment the song kicks in through Simon’s incredible speech starting RIGHT as the lyrics begin to its amazing conclusion, everything is so masterfully done. Gainax knows music like no other studio I can think of.

dioav.jpg Except sometimes they forget to add anything else to a scene. See Episode 24 of Evangelion.

dtzav.bmp Haven’t seen it. Is that the staring contest?

dioav.jpg Yes.

dtzav.bmp I think we blame that more on Hideki Anno. Who had nothing to do with Gurren Lagann. Anyway, that’s our list of music. Join us next time for… what are we doing next time?

dioav.jpg Well, I had this great idea for worst haircuts. but then I realized. Do we really need to let Emonaut take every spot? Itd be like Return of the King at the Oscars.

dtzav.bmp Besides, we’ve done enough haircut stuff. We’ll figure something out. Bye-bee! *waves*

brew2.jpg BREW!