This was a forum blog post I really fancied when I wrote it, so it made its way here. 🙂
To clarify – this ranking is based not on when the movie was aired in theaters, but when its DVD/Blu-ray was made available to the public. So let’s begin!
I’d go right out and say this now: It was extremely difficult picking this, as unlike other years where the winner was apparent from the get-go, in 2010 there were so many good ones that were released. I was hard-pressed to even decide the positions of the lower-ranked movies…
1. Evangelion 2.22: You Can (Not) Advance
By far the best movie I’ve seen this year, and while the next few come close to unseating this post-apocalyptic masterpiece, it came out tops as one of the most emotional, action-packed and memorable anime movies of 2010. The Angels were a sight to behold, and the battles were spectacular as you would expect. Subconsciously, this became my benchmark for 2010.
2. Summer Wars
Not everyone would agree with me on this, depending on how you take similar movies from other studios such as, say, Studio Ghibli. However, there is a good reason why this movie won so much praise from the community. There is something incredibly gripping about seeing a world united under a single virtual universe that is taken over by a single virus that it is hard to put down once you start.
Watching people play an ancient card game that determines the fate of the world has never been such fun.
3. Macross Frontier: Itsuwari no Utahime
I’ve written about this movie in my previous post, a full review is available here.
Macross Frontier eventually won me over with its streamlined plot that is very accessible to first-timers, gorgeous visuals and a soundtrack that was pure aural bliss.
4. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen
This is one of those gems that I wish more people will pick up. You only need to watch the movie before this (Gurren-hen) to get up to scratch with the Gurren Lagann series.
Ridiculous is the name of the game here, and seeing the series migrate from Earth-level conflicts to Universe-level war is a joy in itself.
There are so many emotional highs and lows that you’ll be in tears pretty often – either from laughing too much or from shedding manly tears.
5. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works
I’ll be honest – this movie isn’t for first-time viewers of the series, so if you’re one of those, you’ll hate it.
But for fans of the original series and the visual novel, it is a must-have treat. The show wastes no time in propelling you into the heat of the action, so it’s incredibly fast-paced and there is never a dull moment.
The flipside also means that you’ll just be going into battle after battle after battle. This could be bad news for some people, but I personally enjoyed it. 🙂
6. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
Again, you’ll feel lost if you’re a newcomer to the series. So if you don’t read the novels, at least do yourself a favor and watch through at least season one of the anime series + the first episode of season 2.
I’ve written a lengthy review about this over here in a previous post.
This could’ve easily taken 4th place due to the excellent plot and the beautiful animation that accompanied it. But for all its good points, the one thing that irked me the most was its length. At a staggering 2 hours and 40 minutes, this stands as the longest anime film of the year. And that’s not a good thing in this case, especially for a movie that has so much silence and so little action. So 6th it is.
7. Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie 1st
This is one movie that does its series great justice. The first season was dreary and dull for most of the parts,but when compressed into the movie it gave it a much-needed speedy pacing that kept the viewers entertained throughout. In short, dump season one for this movie.
A more lengthy review has been written and is available over here.
8. Eden of the East the Movie I : King of Eden
This picks up immediately after the events of the anime, so naturally you’ll have no idea what’s going on if you haven’t watched the TV series. The movie resolves a few mysteries, while introducing more into its fold. Animation is fluid and they do enough to carry you from on scene to the next. The finale’s a cliffhanger ending of sorts, but it builds enough excitement to want to go straight into the 2nd movie.
9. One Piece Movie 10 : Strong World
I don’t often watch movies from the big three, seeing it’s mostly a rinse-and-repeat formula they apply (in particular a certain nine-tailed boy with all the variations of the same skill), but this one pleasantly surprised me. Funny and serious when required, it told a standalone story of Luffy and his crew, like a one-off filler episode – but a very good one at that.
10. Eden of the East Movie II : Paradise Lost
The flat out most disappointing movie (I watched) of 2010. Despite being only 1 hour 30 minutes long, I found myself fighting to stay awake at several parts.
It was not the magnificent finish I was expecting to tie all the loose ends together, but rather felt more like a half-hearted attempt at trying to plug a leaking pipe. However, taking the series as a whole,I still felt it was a worthwhile watch, and thus it managed to earn its place in my top 10.
Well, that’s it for the long post. Feel free to discuss the rankings, or other movies released in 2010 on DVD/Blu-ray that I failed to mention. =)