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Anime of the Year 2009-I Winter - Druaga no Tou: The Sword of Uruk



Sequel Druaga no Tou: The Sword of Uruk is the only contestant this small season.
1. Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger はじめの一歩 新シリーズ [Madhouse] (Finished 1/26)
Tags: Shounen Combat Sports
Japanese Featherweight Champion Ippo Makunouchi has successfully defended and retained his title. Meanwhile, his rival, Ichirou Miyata, has resurfaced in Japan, aiming for his own Featherweight belt in the Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation. When the rest of the world comes knocking, however, will Japan's best fighters rise to the challenge and achieve glory at the top? Or will the small island nation be crushed under the weight of greater entities? This time, champions will become challengers issuing a call to the rest of the world and ready to show off their fighting spirit!
Overall Rating: 6/10
2. Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou 続 夏目友人帳 [Brain's Base] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Shoujo Iyashikei, Mythology Drama, Slice of Life, Supernatural
As with its prequel, Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou is about Takashi Natsume, a boy who has had the ability to see youkai since he was young, and his bodyguard youkai Madara, nicknamed Nyanko-sensei. Natsume attempts to return names written in his "Book of Friends" (which he inherited from his grandmother Reiko) to youkai in his village. Throughout these adventures, he meets some youkai that are friendly, some that want to steal the Book, and some that want to kill him, as Natsume learns about himself and his relationship with these mysterious beings along the way.
Overall Rating: 6/10
3. Chrome Shelled Regios 鋼殻のレギオス [Zexcs] (Finished 24/24)
Tags: School Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi 
In a post-apocalyptic world overrun with mutated beasts called Limbeekoon or Filth Monsters, humanity is forced to live in large mobile cities called Regios and learn to use special weapons called Dite, by harnessing the power of Kei to defend themselves. In the Academy City of Zuellni, Layfon Alseif is hoping to start a new life and forget his past. However, his past has caught the attention of Karian Loss, the manipulative Student Council President and Nina Antalk, a Military Arts student and Captain of the 17th Military Arts Platoon, who instantly recognizes his abilities and decides he’s the perfect candidate to join her group. However, with a secret past that won’t leave him alone and unknown powers beyond normal, Layfon just might not take it.
Hearing about it for the first time, but after watching it I can say for sure - it's not a masterpiece. It tries to combine elements from a lot of notable shows and all that eclecticism is killing its potential.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
4. Asu no Yoichi! Samurai Harem 明日のよいち! [AIC] (Finished 1/12)
Tags: Shounen Harem, Martial Arts Comedy, Romance, Ecchi
Yoichi Karasuma has spent all of his life in the mountains, training in the Soaring Wind, Divine Wind swordsmanship style. Under his father’s guidance, he is able to master the technique at the age of 17. With nothing left to learn, Yoichi is sent to a new dojo located in the city so he can continue to train and gain an understanding of modern society.
Unfortunately, Yoichi has no idea how to act or speak to anyone in the present day and acts like a samurai, complete with odd speech and traditional clothing. As he goes to live with the Ikaruga sisters at the dojo, Yoichi, clueless on how to interact with others, is constantly hurtled in hilarious misunderstandings. Asu no Yoichi! follows Yoichi as he stumbles through his new life and tries to learn how to live in the modern world with his new family.
It's pretty much what you imagine. Redneck samurai gets to civilization and everyone falls for him, then it's a typical romcom comedy.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
5. Maria†Holic まりあ†ほりっく [Shaft] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Crossdressing, Parody, School Comedy, Girls Love
In search of true love, Kanako Miyamae transfers to Ame no Kisaki Catholic school, inspired by how her parents fell in love with each other there. There is just one difference, though: because men make Kanako break into hives, she has actually come to the all-girls school to find a partner of the same sex.
When she meets the beautiful Mariya Shidou, Kanako believes she has found that special someone; however, there's more to Mariya than meets the eye—it turns out that Kanako's first love is actually a cross-dressing boy. Mariya threatens to expose Kanako's impure intentions unless she keeps his real gender a secret, and to make things worse, he also replaces her original roommate so that he can now keep a close eye on her.
Maria†Holic follows Kanako as she looks for love in all the wrong places and searches for the girl of her dreams—that is, if she can survive being Mariya's roommate!
Finally the unserious girls love, but I can't describe these overreactions as comedy, no fun in that.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
6. Akikan! アキカン! [Brain's Base] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Anthropomorphic Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Ecchi
Hobbies are often a great way of meeting new people, but how could Kakeru Daichi, who collects rare juice cans, have ever suspected that he'd meet a fascinating new girl when he attempted to DRINK her? Naming her Melon, because she's got great melon... soda, Kakeru quickly learns that she's an Akikan—a beautiful girl who's also a special can created to fight other Akikans in a strange experiment to determine what kind of container is better: steel or aluminum!
Will becoming involved in this ridiculously twisted research project gone amuck complicate Kakeru's life incredibly? Of course it will, but because Melon's steel body needs carbon dioxide to breathe, he's now stuck with her since she's too CO2 dependent! And when his wealthy, attractive, best childhood friend Najimi gets HER own aluminum Akikan, the trouble really begins!
Nice ecchi cohabitation with a girl, but it's hard to call this collection of stamps a masterpiece.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
7. Kurokami The Animation 黒神 The Animation [Sunrise] (Finished 6/23)
Tags: Seinen Martial Arts, Super Power Action
High school student Ibuki Keita has been haunted by misfortune for as long as he can remember. For no apparent reason, everyone around him dies tragically. Ultimately, he refuses to become too close to anyone, even his childhood friend Akane. This leaves Keita alone in a life full of misery and disgrace.
While eating at his favorite ramen shop one evening, Keita meets a strange young girl named Kuro. Possessing abilities that surpass that of a normal human being, Kuro classifies herself as a Mototsumitama. She explains to Keita about "Terra," a life-energy force split between three identical looking people; a global phenomenon dubbed the "Doppeliner System." As a Mototsumitama, Kuro guards the "Coexistence Equilibrium," the beings that protect the flow of Terra around the world. Keita refuses to believe her story, until he is caught up in the crossfire of this hidden world. On the verge of death, he makes a contract with Kuro, unbeknownst to its true meaning. Now he is bound to Kuro, and must be with her at all times. Could Keita's misfortune possibly get any greater?
Concept is copycat of Shana with alterations, characters aren't empathetic, enemies are rather poor and belonging to some mysterious organization as usual. Quality is ok, but it all feels bland and not interesting.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
8. White Album ホワイトアルバム [Seven Arcs] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Harem, Idols (Female), Music Drama, Romance
Can a relationship between a regular college student and an idol singer survive? That is the question that White Album tries to answer. Touya Fujii is a normal college student with normal worries—namely balancing his classes and his job he works to pay for school. He is also concerned about the amount of time he has to spend with Yuki Morikawa, or rather, the lack of it.
Being an up and coming idol singer, Yuki has concerns of her own. Even though she's not yet as popular as experienced veteran Rina Ogata, Yuki is turning heads and landing interviews on television. This should be a good thing, but not everyone is happy about the attention she receives from the media and from Rina. The idol industry is surprisingly cutthroat, and rival singers have their eyes on Yuki.
While it may seem exciting to watch your girlfriend on television, how does Touya really feel about all this? Between the challenges associated with Yuki's career and other people that Touya meets at his university, their relationship may not last…
All developments at once with naïve protagonist who happens to cheat on everyone is painful to watch, and it's far from masterpiece.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
9. Kemono no Souja Erin The Beast Player Erin 獣の奏者エリン [Production I.G, Trans Arts] (Finished 17/50)
Tags: Drama, Fantasy 
In the land of Ryoza, the neighboring provinces of Shin-Ou and Tai-Kou have been at peace. Queen Shinou is the ruler of Ryoza and her greatest general, Grand Duke Taikou, defends the kingdom with his army of powerful war-lizards known as the "Touda." Although the two regions have enjoyed a long-standing alliance, mounting tensions threaten to spark a fierce civil war.
Within Ake, a village in Tai-Kou tasked with raising the Grand Duke's army, lives Erin, a bright girl who spends her days watching the work of her mother Soyon, the village's head Touda doctor. But while under Soyon's care, a disastrous incident befalls the Grand Duke's strongest Touda, and the peace that Erin and her mother had been enjoying vanishes as Soyon is punished severely. In a desperate attempt to save her mother, Erin ends up falling in a river and is swept towards Shin-Ou.
Unable to return home, Erin must learn to lead a new life with completely different people, all while hunting for the truth of both beasts and humanity itself, with tensions between the two regions constantly escalating.
It feels as if World Masterpiece Theater made a fantasy series. Naïve small girl experiences village life and finally goes to an adventure only after a whole third is behind.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
10. Shikabane Hime: Kuro Corpse Princess: Kuro 屍姫 玄 [Gainax, feel.] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Shounen Action, Horror, Supernatural
A direct continuation of Shikabane Hime: Aka, taking place six months after Tagami Keisei's death at the hands of the Shichisei (Seven Stars), a group of elite Shikabane who act on more than just regrets. As per Keisei's dying wish, Kagami Ouri formed a temporary contract with Makina to save her from degenerating into a Shikabane. Since then, Ouri's been training to become a proper monk so that he can remain contracted to Makina and help her fight against the Shichisei -- the ones who originally killed Makina, the entire Hoshimura family, and now Keisei. However, the traitorous monk Shishidou Akasha has sided with the Shichisei in an attempt to destroy all Shikabane Hime and the entire monk organization that uses them -- Kougon Sect.
Overall Rating: 6/10
11. Druaga no Tou: The Sword of Uruk Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk ドルアーガの塔 ~the Sword of URUK~ [Gonzo] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Adventure, Fantasy 
With broken spirits and enigmatic questions that hold no answers lingering, Jil is still trying to figure everything out. Then, a mysterious girl named Kai appears before him and says: "Take me to the top of the tower."
Kai's request shrouded in ambiguity, Jil will have another chance to work towards completing his destiny and ascend the Tower. With his hopes and aspirations seemingly slipping out of his hands, Jil must rise to the challenge once again on this never-ending adventure.
A worthy continuation with filling the leftover gaps even though with somewhat artificial story.  
Overall Rating: 8/10
12. Major S5 メジャー [SynergySP] (Finished 1/25)
Tags: Shounen Team Sports
The Baseball World Cup is nearing, and Gorou Honda is eager to represent his country. However, one small problem stands in his way: the team roster has already been selected, and he is not a part of it.
Nonetheless, Gorou remains adamant to join. He becomes a practice pitcher for the Japanese national team, hoping to demonstrate his incredible speed and skills to the team's manager. Fortunately, Gorou is given the chance to prove his worth: he must show an impressive performance in the upcoming practice match involving the veteran Japanese team and the young players who hope to replace them.
The World Cup will bring together some of the strongest players from around the globe. It will also set the stage for Gorou's long-awaited showdown with his longtime rival, Joe Gibson.
Overall Rating: 6/10
13. Minami-ke Okaeri みなみけ おかえり [asread.] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Seinen CGDCT, School Comedy, Slice of Life
A year has passed since Okawari and the three sisters have grown up. Their likings and moods are almost the same. Haruka, the older sister, is a love-giving mother to the younger sisters and a discipline follower. Kana, the middle one, leaves everything to the last possible moment and always gives trouble to the trio. Chiaki, the little one, is the calculating and manipulating one; she likes to be admired and loved by Haruka and always gives trouble to the less blessed Kana. Despite being an unbalanced family, they love each other with all their heart. The family's daily life is as funny as ever; trouble and love are always present. Now it's time to see if they'll survive this age change since Haruka is now a young adult; she has even more responsibilities, having to watch over the young while integrating into the adult life.
Overall Rating: 6/10
14. Tetsuwan Birdy Decode:02 Birdy the Mighty: Decode 02 鉄腕バーディー DECODE:02 [A-1 Pictures] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Seinen Action, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Following the Ryunka disaster, Tokyo is left in a period of social turmoil. To make matters worse, the group of aliens directly responsible for the catastrophic event have escaped from the Space Federation and are hiding on Earth.
Still sharing a body, Space Federation officer Birdy Cephon Altera, and high schooler, Tsutomu Senkawa, are tasked with capturing the fugitives and bringing them to justice. However, an unexpected crisis develops when the outlaws become targets of an unknown assassin with a vendetta. Now Birdy must deal with the chaos of everyday life and also uncover the identity of the assassin before more escapees fall victim.
Sequel that does not get better, sadly, but another great catchy OP.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
15. RideBack ライドバック [Madhouse] (Finished 3/12)
Tags: Seinen Mecha, School Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, an organization called the GGP has taken control of the world. Rin Ogata was a promising up-and-coming ballet dancer, but suffered a serious injury while dancing and decided to quit. Years later in college, she comes across a club building and soon finds herself intrigued by a transforming motorcycle-like robotic vehicle called a "Rideback". She soon finds that her unique ballet skills with balance and finesse make her a born natural on a Rideback. However, those same skills also get her into serious trouble with the government.
Racing on mecha is still just racing which inevitably inherits all the genre flaws.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
16. Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai 空を見上げる少女の瞳に映る世界 [Kyoto Animation] (Finished 9/9)
Tags: Super Power Action, Fantasy, Romance
To save both the Magical Kingdom and the Heavens and restore the flow of akuto, the flow of energy of everything, the Magical King Munto must follow a vision and find the girl Yumemi in the normal world. Yumemi herself is just a normal girl except that she is the only one who can see the islands of the Heavens floating above. When Munto appears before her she starts thinking about hers and others responsibility to the world.
Same story is retold for the 3rd time, and it's not even that good of a story, and it's still quite confusing.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
17. Slayers Evolution-R スレイヤーズ EVOLUTION-R [J.C.Staff] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy
To find a way in rescuing Pokota's country Taforashia which was sealed by Rezo, Lina and her group are in search for the Hellmaster's jar in what the Red Priest placed his soul after death. Zelgadis is willing to do anything to get the jar for changing back into a human while Zuuma is plotting on revenge and accomplishing assignment in killing Lina Inverse. Still a big mystery for her and the others is what Xellos is aiming for in this battle.
Overall Rating: 6/10
18. Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo The Girl Who Leapt Through Space 宇宙をかける少女 [Sunrise] (Finished 3/26)
Tags: Space Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
The story is set in the year 311 of the Orbital Calendar, when humanity has migrated to countless colony clusters in space. A space colony girl named Akiha Shishidou encounters a malevolent artificial intelligence named Leopard that has been installed on a colony.
Akiha is joined by an Inter-Colony Police officer named Itsuki Kannagi, a taciturn young girl named Honoka Kawai, and a robot named Imoko "Imo-chan" Shishidou.
Sunrise fails again with original scenario. Genre is... variety as it is based on fast succession of something happening just to entertain. This is all very strange and not funny.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
19. Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th Maria Watches Over Us Season 4 マリア様がみてる〜4th〜 [Studio Deen] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: School Drama, Girls Love
Yumi and the Yamayuri Council have found two new helpers in Kanako and Toko. Unfortunately, their assistance comes with tension, as neither girl is particularly fond of the other and both seem likely candidates to be Yumi's petite soeur. Will either be a good fit for Yumi? As the school year marches on, the work for the Yamayuri Council piles up, and pressure begins to mount for Yumi to make her final decision.
Overall Rating: 6/10
20. Fresh Precure! フレッシュプリキュア! [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/50)
Tags: Mahou Shoujo Action, Comedy, Fantasy
Love Momozono is a 14-year-old student at Yotsuba Junior Highschool that tends to care more for others than for herself. One day she visits a show of the famous dance unit "Trinity" and decides to become a dancer, too. On the same event, subordinates of the Labyrinth Kingdom show up who want to collect the unhappiness of the audience. Love gets the power to change into Cure Peach and fights them. Soon after, she is joined by her good friends Miki, who is Cure Berry, and Inori, who becomes Cure Pine.
Overall Rating: 6/10
21. Genji Monogatari Sennenki Millennium Old Journal: Tale of Genji 源氏物語千年紀Genji [TMS Entertainment, Tezuka Productions] (Finished 2/11)
Tags: Historical Drama, Romance
Born from a much loved, but lowly ranked concubine, Genji Hikaru is called the Shining Prince and is the beloved second son of the Emperor. Although he cannot be an heir to the throne of his father, Genji spends his life surrounded by every pleasure and love. And yet, his one longing in love is something that even the power of an Emperor can never give him.
I find it useful only in education purposes if you never heard of 11th century novel.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
22. Viper's Creed ヴァイパーズ・クリード [AIC Spirits, Digital Frontier] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Military Action, Sci-Fi
The story revolves around the members of a private military company (PMC), and the uneasy tension between them and the regular military after a war that caused massive environmental destruction.
A serious and decent micro-mecha action that still can't be called a masterpiece, because story and characters don't stand out.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
23. Examurai Sengoku エグザムライ戦国 [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 2/24)
Tags: Martial Arts, Samurai Action, Sci-Fi
The Examurai Sengoku anime production depicts the members of the EXILE group as futuristic samurai that are transported back in time to Japan’s sengoku (warring states) period. The anime character renditions of the EXILE members were designed by manga creator Hiroshi Takahashi (Crows, Worst).
Not translated to English (only to German). Episodes are only ten minutes long, and realization is as of mediocre samurai show that we've seen a lot over this time.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
24. Denpa-teki na Kanojo Electromagnetic Girlfriend 電波的な彼女 [Brain's Base] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: School Mystery, Suspense
Delinquent Juu Juuzawa is a lone wolf who does not see much use in befriending people. So when a girl named Ame Ochibana claims they are linked together from their previous lives, he is highly skeptical and doesn't want anything to do with her. Even stranger is that her fondest wish is to be his servant. Thinking that Ame must be delusional, he tries to distance himself from her. But when a classmate is murdered, Juu instead decides to keep her close, believing the strange girl to be the culprit. However, her intelligence and skill begin to prove invaluable as the two begin working together to solve the murder.
Denpa-teki na Kanojo weaves together a story of love, loss, and devotion, showing that allies can be found in the most unlikely of places.
Yay... murder mystery in two episodes... All that sadism makes me sick.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
25. Ichigo Mashimaro Encore Strawberry Marshmallow Encore 苺ましまろencore [Daume] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: CGDCT, Iyashikei Comedy, Slice of Life
Ichigo Mashimaro encore is a two-episode OVA continues onwards from the previous set of OVAs of Ichigo Mashimaro.
Great again, and again less than an hour overall, so can't rate as high as original.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
26. Dokuhaku Suru Universal Yoko Mercator Egg Man Monologues of Universal Transverse Mercator Egg Man 独白するユニバーサル横メルカトル Egg Man [-] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Detective Mystery, Suspense
A psychopathic killer known as Egg Man has been caught, incarcerated and is awaiting his death sentence. Karen, a beautiful and brave police woman, is assigned to the "Egg Man" case to find the whereabouts of a missing dead body. Egg Man meets his cellmate, Prisoner 205. Who is Prisoner 205? Is Prisoner 205 another in-mate awaiting his death sentence as well or an android utilized by the police to collect information about him and his knowledge of the corpse? Who is really manipulating whom?
Not translated, and there's nothing but talks in this machinima, so unwatchable at this state.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
27. Kara no Kyoukai Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven The Garden of Sinners Remix: Gate of Seventh Heaven 空の境界 Remix -Gate of seventh heaven- [ufotable] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Super Power Action, Mystery, Romance, Suspense
In August of 1995, Mikiya Kokutou meets a young kimono-clad woman named Shiki Ryougi. When he finds out that they go to the same school, he attempts to befriend her. Though her upbringing is unconventional and she herself is strange, Mikiya is not deterred, and Shiki gradually opens up to him. But Mikiya's life will be changed forever by this simple meeting, and in ways that he never imagined, as he begins to see a deadly side to his new friend...
Compilation from previous episodes with a shallow attempt to tie all that loose texture. Guess compilation is all that fans deserve for finale.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
28. Denshinbashira Elemi no Koi Elemi 電信柱エレミの恋 [Sovat Theater] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Award Winning, Fantasy 
Elemi, known as a responsible hard worker, is one of many utility poles servicing a small city. One day during maintenance, she is emotionally touched by Takahashi, the young man who repairs her. She decides to thank him and begins calling him regularly, masquerading as a human.
Days go by and soon all the utility poles in the city are aware of Elemi's budding romance. Elder utility poles urge her to put an end to it. Even if Elemi is able to win the blessing of her society, she still has to face the challenge of revealing her true identity to Takahashi. In a time before cell phones, when all calls were carried by utility poles, Denshinbashira Elemi no Koi tells the story of the tragic romance between a utility pole and and a utility worker.
A plasticine cartoon reflecting on inability to have children with a telephone pole... pretty weird even for the Japanese.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
29. Je Bul Chal-ssi Iyagi The Story of Mr. Sorry 제불찰씨 이야기 [Korean Academy of Film Arts] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Comedy, Fantasy, Horror 
An unprecedented media show is on air at a TV broadcasting studio. The show is asking people whether a spider that drove an assemblyman crazy should be publicly executed or not. The spider in question is Je Bul-chal(meaning 'my mistake'), a hardworking young individual who became 'an ear cleaner' because of a precious memory he holds concerning his sister. In order to take a poll about his execution, the story of how Mr. Sorry became a spider is gradually revealed.
Crudely animated Korean social commentary story.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
30. Pyuu to Fuku! Jaguar: Ima, Fuki ni Yukimasu ピューと吹く! ジャガー ~いま, 吹きにゆきます~ [Kaeruotoko Shokai] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Gag Humor, Music Comedy
The story follows a hapless budding guitarist nicknamed "Piyohiko" who gets steered into the music business by a mysterious man named Jaguar — if Piyohiko would play a recorder instead of a guitar.
Not translated to English. Ugly, random, not funny.  
Overall Rating: 5/10


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