With 2020 around the corner, I wanted to do something that every other hack anime blogger is doing — write about the last decade of anime. The key difference is that my series of articles is named after an emo song, which makes them objectively better.
Before I get started I want to make something abundantly clear: this is not meant to be a comprehensive portrait of the 2010s. This is how I experienced anime over the decade; not the fandom as a whole.
I will also not be covering every major news story that happened. If I remember something, I’ll bring it up. But this will mostly be about the titles that came out and my reaction to them. You can skim the Anime News Network archive on your own time.
In 2010, I had already been podcasting about anime for two years. Before 2008, I had never attempted criticism outside of homework assignments. After a few years of poor audio quality and awkward pauses, I was finally getting comfortable.
Nothing demonstrated this more than my jump into written content in 2009. I primarily wrote content for my own website, but I also contributed to three now-defunct blogs — Anime 3000, Pop-Droid, and Geek Party.
Anime 3000 is going to come up a lot.
Anime started out strong in 2010. Probably. Durarara!! had it’s first season. I wrote a positive episode one review for Anime 3000, but never continued watching because that’s what I do.
I did the same thing for Cobra The Animation, a show where a man with a gun arm smokes a cigar underwater.
Dance in the Vampire Bund also came out that season. When it was streamed online for the American audience, some underage girl in thong underwear shots were censored. This made a lot of nerds mad. I wrote an article for my site making fun of them that no one read until years later when they commented that I was a moron.
Arguably the best thing to come out of the controversy was the Urban Dictionary definition submitted by Dave Riley of Fast Karate for the Gentlemen which states that to Dance in the Vampire Bund means to “perform anal sex without sufficient lubrication, thus causing bleeding.”
Ladies verus Butlers is a show that I’ve never seen, but my friend Ryan has. I still make fun of him for this fact.
Seikon no Qwaser was first aired on January 10, 2010. That’s four years before January 10, 2014, which is a song from The World is a Beautiful Place & I’m No Longer Afraid to Die about Diana, Hunter of Bus Drivers. Seikon no Qwaser has nothing to do with her. After all, Diana didn’t execute her first bus driver until 2013. Instead it’s a show where people need to drink breast milk to use super powers.
Fans of Seikon no Qwaser seem to dance around the breastmilk part by calling it Soma. This is a made up word that means breastmilk. Nevertheless, the Seikon no Qwaser fanwiki has a painstakingly crafted page on the art of breastfeeding.
Did I just write three paragraphs about a show I’ve never seen? Yes. This is going to be a long ride, kids. You should have packed a lunch.
Have you ever wanted to watch an anime girl sleep for 40-minutes? No? Well, someone did, because in February 2010 we got Sleeping With Hinako. This is one of the strangest OVAs I’ve ever seen, and I’m including Apocalypse Zero in that count.
Sure, Apocalypse Zero features a geriatric man attacking someone with his dick — his dick turns into a dragon, by the way — but jerking off to someone while they sleep is a line that should never be crossed (I’m looking at you Evangelion fans). Wha’ts that you say? You didn’t jerk off when you watched Sleeping with Hinako. That makes you even weirder, buddy.
The Spring 2010 Anime Season had a lot going on. The biggest title for me was Trigun: Badlands Rumble. I don’t know how this got made. When Trigun aired in Japan in 1998, it didn’t hit. It was much more popular in America when it ran on Adult Swim, but that was back in 2003. Anime Insider published an article about a movie being in production in 2004.
I enjoyed the movie, but I’m confused as to why it was made. Why didn’t this get released during the height of Trigun’s popularity in America? Why wait seven years to make what amounts to a throwaway film?
For everyone else, the big title was the K-ON! sequel. The most impact K-ON! ever had in my life was that time I started an internet fight with some kid in Funimation’s blog comment section. I purported that Basquash was better than K-ON! We argued publicly for an hour before taking it private via email.
What’s more ridiculous than the fact that I did this, is that Anime 3000 published the transcript of our fight in its entirety.
Stan Lee made an anime! Bet you didn’t know that. I watched the first episode of Heroman on the same day that I watched Demon King Daimao. They both left a similar impression on me.
Did anyone watch Nightraid 1931? I sure didn’t. I bought the Bluray when it came out because I liked the cover. It sat on my shelf for years next to all of the other shows I would “eventually get around to.”
Rainbow is another show like that, but it never received a home video release. To this day I tell myself that I will watch Rainbow because the description reminds me of the movie Sleepers, a film about torturing children that I watched sight-unseen when I was 13.
If there was an award for Best Movie About Torturing Children, Sleepers would be a top contender.
Tatami Galaxy first aired April 23, 2010. Tony Bowe would spend the next nine years of his life asking why it never got released on Bluray.
House of Five Leaves also came out in Spring. It’s a very slow show about samurai. I think. I reviewed it for Anime 3000, but the only things I remember are that the characters had scary eyes and the opening slapped.
Finally, the second Eden of the East movie was released. I watched the show and the first film with my girlfriend at the time. I watched the second film without her because I’m an asshole.
In the Summer, we got High School of the Dead. This was maybe a good show, but it will forever be remembered as having a slow-motion sequence where an anime girl’s breast dodge a bullet. The only thing that tops that is the slow-motion sequence from Drive Angry where Nicholas Cage kills a group of assassins while having sex with a waitress he met that night.
You know what else came out in the Summer? Fucking Shiki! I’ve been riding the Shiki Hate Train since day one. I got my first taste of Shiki when it was streaming. Why did I watch it? I’m sure somebody that hates me told me it was good. It’s not.
You can imagine my delight when Anime 3000 sent me the boxset to review years later.
A big reason why I hate Shiki is because it’s ugly. Is that petty? Yes. But fuck me if that doctor doesn’t shave his stupid beard. Who let him into medical school with facial hair like that? Maybe that’s why it takes him so long to realize that VAMPIRES are killing all the villagers and not some mysterious disease. You fucking asshole!
In 2011, Funimation went on record saying that sales for When They Cry – Higurashi were so bad that they’d never again release a series “that bears even a minor resemblance.” I still laugh about that quote because it was already too late for them to backtrack on their Shiki responsibilities.
Something that was good — Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail. At least, I assume it was good. I still haven’t watched it. I bought the Bluray when it came out and never opened it. This is a reoccurring problem in my life.
The last thing worth mentioning from Summer is an anime I did watch called Colorful. No, not the sex comedy that the late Ryutara Nakamura directed. That’s show is also awesome. This Colorful is kind of like a super serious feature length version of the first episode of Yu Yu Hakusho.
The Fall 2010 Anime Season gave us another show that I never watched but always meant to. Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt was the last thing that Hiroyuki Imaishi for Gainax before leaving to start Studio Trigger.
It took longer than usual for Panty and Stocking to sit on my shelf. The Bluray release was delayed in America because of Japan’s reverse importation fears. You know what else is scary? Japanese anime prices.
Star Driver gave me a case of Acute Anime Burnout. The person that told me to watch Star Driver had the audacity to compare it to Gurren Lagann. This was probably the same asshole that told me Shiki was good. I’ve erased all memories of this show from my mind, but I know that it was months before I was ready to watch anime again.
Mazinkaiser SKL was my Anime Secret Santa pick for 2011. I have a surprise for you — I never finished watching it. Inexplicably, because I fucking loved the original Mazinkaiser.
You wanna know something I did watch that came out in 2010? It wasn’t until 2012, but I watched the fuck out of it. And I liked it.
That’s right! I watched Ore no Imouto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai, a title sometimes tranlated as My Little Sister Can’t Possibly Be This Cute. I wonder why they opted to go with Oreimo when it came out in America.
I don’t have an excuse for this. I was alone. It was unprovoked. No one told me to watch it. I just did. And I’m not sorry.
2010 was a special time. Podcasting and writing was still new to me, so everything I produced had a weight to it. In a few years, I would find my voice, but I would also become jaded. The content I produce now is of a higher quality, but god damn if I wasn’t having more fun back then.