Year’s Best 2011

December 16, 2011

On one hand, I dislike the flurry of best of lists that appear for all mediums this time of year. On the other hand, it is nice to see a shorthand list of stuff I may have missed, and it’s a good way to spotlight things that should’ve gotten more attention. I’ve never done one of these here before, and I prefer to contribute to other sites (that’s also forthcoming), but there’s a first time for everything. Plus, my manga is packed away in preparation for its twice-annual move to Ohio, so other topics are a little difficult to cover at the moment. So here’s a Best Of List for the Friday Feature!

I read a lot, and I have a hard time making lists like this. Saying, for instance, Lychee Light Club is better than Sakura Hime is hard, because I like both, and there’s no way to compare those two series. They’re just different. So for more fun, my categories are arbitrary. And since I wound up with so many categories, I’m just going to link my reviews rather than explaining again why I like them.

The only requirements are that the series had to have at least one volume out this year, and that I loved it for whatever reason. There’s a lot of latitude after that. And keep in mind I like some pretty terrible series. Also, I couldn’t think of a funny title, but Wandering Son is a pretty fantastic book, too.


Best Series That Ended This Year That I Haven’t Read The End Of Yet: Hoshin Engi

Worst. Confession. Ever.: Itazura na Kiss

Best Shounen RomCom I Read This Year, No Really, This One’s Great And Not Creepy: Toradora!

Most Adorable Grouchy Fox Spirit Helper: Kamisama Kiss

Biggest Liar That’s Not Usopp: Itsuwaribito

Best Series With Dudes Contorting Through The Air With Their Clothes Off That Totally Isn’t BL, It Promises: Adekan

Most Profane Heavy Metal Manga About Why You Should Always Be Yourself: Detroit Metal City

Best Series With A Magic Cactus That Turns Into A Real Boy: 13th Boy

Most Kamuis: X

Not For The Faint Of Heart, I Swear To God I Will Never Unsee This: A Fallen Saint’s Kiss

Biggest Breasts: Tenjo Tenge

Best Valentine’s Day Story On The Planet: Skip Beat

I Actually Thought The Other Guy Had a Chance: Rasetsu

Most Magical Girl: Sakura Hime

Most Bitter Main Character That Also Makes Surreal Pencil Sketches He Then Enters: Genkaku Picasso

Best Manga I’m Still Reading Twelve Years After I Started It: Oh My Goddess

More Crowd Madness, Please: Maoh: Juvenile Remix

Creepiest Girl That Sleeps With A Wax Doll Of Her Mom: Book of Human Insects (Gasp! I haven’t written this one up yet! It’s Tezuka though, so it is both amazing and amazingly disturbing)

Less Panties Than A Single Page Of I”s Despite Containing An Entire Volume About How To Draw Them: Bakuman

I Like Demons, And I Like This Series, Shut Up: Mad Love Chase

Best Manga About Deviant Schoolboys That Build A Robot And Feed It Lychee Fruit: Lychee Light Club

Best Series About Two Scientists Having Sex: The Tyrant Falls In Love

Most WTF: Lives

Cutest Couple Ever: Kimi ni Todoke

Worst Ending For An Otherwise Amazing Series: Hikaru no Go

I’m Sorry I Jumped On The Bandwagon, But I’m A Fan For Life Now: The Haruhi Suzumiya novels

Series With The Two Characters That Need To Be Slapped Hardest: Goong

Love Interest With Highest Potential For Hair Loss: Dengeki Daisy

Best Shoujo Fantasy Manga That I Need To Read More Of But Can’t, Dammit: Demon Sacred

Drunkest Detective: Case Closed

Most Respectful Treatment Of The Subject Of Erectile Dysfunction: Butterflies, Flowers

So Pretty It Made Me Spend All My Money On Emma (Not Really): A Bride’s Story

Best Short Story About Delivering A Baby Via C-Section On A Rickety Wooden Raft While Beached On Rocks In The Middle Of A Raging River During A Flash Flood: Black Jack

Best Title That Makes It Hard To Be Surprised When The Characters Actually Get Betrayed: The Betrayal Knows My Name

Fishiest Pirates Outside Of One Piece: Berserk

Best Manga That Goes All Jesus On You: 20th Century Boys

AL’S BODY, DAMMIT: Fullmetal Alchemist

Biggest Cockroach: Dorohedoro

9 Responses to “Year’s Best 2011”

  1. DeBT Says:

    A lot of these awards sounds selectively specific. For instance, all the characters in X constantly repeat Kamui’s name over and over as if they were afraid they might forget it.

    I’m also pretty sure there’s not that many Mangas about “Delivering A Baby Via C-Section On A Rickety Wooden Raft While Beached On Rocks In The Middle Of A Raging River During A Flash Flood”. Unless that’s a reoccuring theme in another Manga I haven’t read yet.

    And I’m sorry to agree with your assertment for Hikaru no Go, though that kind of category may repel people from ever reading the series, when they should be picking up the first 17 volumes, with the 18th as an optional collection of short stories. It really deserves a larger fanbase alongside Death Note.

  2. ame Says:

    lolz love the category names

  3. lys Says:

    This is an awesome year’s-best list :D I’m glad you decided to do your own special take on such a topic!! All your categories were fun, but “Love Interest With Highest Potential For Hair Loss” made me laugh out loud despite myself.

  4. ZeroSD Says:

    -Worst Ending For An Otherwise Amazing Series: Hikaru no Go-

    I’m glad I got spoiled on that one and kept my expectations low :)

    I consider the last ‘rival’ duel to be the end, and the rest more of an incomplete epilogue…

  5. Nikki Says:

    Hahaha nice take on the usual lists! Got a laugh reading it! But yes i guess some may be spoilery.

  6. I love your categories, especially Black Jack’s, and ALL the characters in Goong need a slap (based on the last time I read it). At least all the teen characters and some of the adult characters do. One last thing: I wouldn’t say Picasso is bitter, exactly, more like socially awkward.

    I wanna try this:

    Classic Manga That I’m Bummed We’ve Reached The End Of (And Most In Need Of A House, MD Crossover): Black Jack

    Geekiest Wedding Proposal (I Won’t Reveal The Characters, So Don’t Feel Spoiled): Fullmetal Alchemist

    Best Shonen Series That Has Finished In Japan And Is Undervalued In The U.S: Kekkaishi

    Best Manga About Talking To Dead People And Helping Them For A Profit: Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service

    Best Manga About Writing Manga: Bakuman (I couldn’t get into “A Drifting Life”)

    Best Manga About Kids In Astronaut School: Twin Spica

    Manga With A Rumored “Creepy Ending” That Had The Sweetest Anime Adaptation Ever: Bunny/Usagi Drop

    Best Manga About Twin Brothers Born To Satan But For Some Reason Only ONE Of Them Seems To Have Demon Powers: Blue Exorcist

    This is so much fun. I really want to come up with more!

  7. One More:

    It Was Almost Worth Ten+ Years Of This Manga For The Touching Reveal Of The Main Character’s Incredibly Awesome Mom’s Backstory: Naruto.

    I took the Shonen Jump USA issue out of the library, read the chapters a few times and was tempted to photocopy all the pages and color them in. It made me want to cry.

  8. This is probably the best year’s best list I’ve ever read because rather than try to pick content for for categories, you just picked what you liked and made amazing categories up. That’s entertainment. Thank you!

  9. […] Blood! Judge Dredd! The Boys!). I was going to post another “best of” list here, similar to last year’s, but I realized that most of the same series were still running, and I don’t have a lot of […]

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