I know, no one does end of month awards, but I've got to keep my vast audience on its toes and change things up a little...
* Best Series I Thought For Sure Would Suck Sweaty Monkey Balls: Fate/Stay Night
I really expected to watch the first episode and then delete this forever--after all it's a series about a war for the Holy Grail, where "masters" summon "servants" of seven different classes to fight for them. It was based on a visual novel, but based on what I'd read about it, it sounded more like a bad RPG-turned-anime. Wrong. It's got a great tsundere character, Tohsaka Rin, and while I'm more a Rin fan than a Saber fan (I'm a sucker for tsundere), I can see why Saber has her fans as well. Fate/Stay Night just has a solid cast overall, and while there's action, there's a lot of good drama and potential for character development. In the action/drama/romance category, this is right up there with Shakugan no Shana. Speaking of Shana, Fate/Stay Night so needs a "Fate/Stay Night-tan" extra where the cast is in chibi mode. Oh, and if you got to this entry by doing a Google search for "suck sweaty monkey balls" then...well...you should probably get help.
* Best Character Who, In the Name of All that is Holy, Needs to Get Run Over by a Cement Truck: Weiner Sinclair (from "Karin")
I know, I know, his name should be "Winner" but he'll always be "Weiner" to me. I know, gaijin are supposed to be funny, but Weiner's pronunciation of Japanese is worse than mine, and that's what I use as the gold standard of suckage. A vampire hunter who falls in love with a vampire probably sounded funny to the manga-ka at the time, but while it was funny for the first five minutes, it got old really fast. Weiner's a vampire hunter, Karin's a vampire, and he likes her! Get it? Weiner's out hunting vampires and runs into Karin's father--but doesn't realize he's a vampire too! HA HA! I just soiled myself from laughing so hard! (end sarcasm) Weiner is too incompetent to be a real threat to Karin or her family, too annoying to be comic relief, and has zero chance of being a rival to Usui for Karin's affections. So why is he there? Yes, the fact he keeps calling Makki "Karin's friend" to her face is a little funny, but that just makes Makki's crush on him even more inexplicable and sad. This guy single-handedly wrecked watching Karin for me...which probably makes Karin the winner of "Most Anticipated Series that Turned Out to be Really Not So Good" if I had a category for that.
* Best Chibi in a Short Animated Feature: Shana-tan (from "Shakugan no Shana-tan")
The Shakugan no Shana-tan short, an extra from the R2 DVD, is just hilarious. They should do a whole series with Shana in chibi mode, eating melon bread on Yuuji's head. Kazumi going "I'll kill her" was classic, I thought she was going to go into full-blown Kaede Mode any second. Shana-tan is definitely the best use of chibi I've seen since Mini-Goddess.
* Worst Surgeon in Anime: Doctor Natsume (from "Hantsuki")
Seriously, what is his problem? You can say he's doing it all because he likes Rika, but since he's probably 30 and she's in high school that's like saying "sure, he acts like a prick, but he's only doing it because he's a child molester." Let's hope the shinigami take this guy the hell down in Rika's place.
* Best Comedy - Winter 2006 Season: Magikano
I've only seen three episodes so I shouldn't give this award this early, but Magikano's been a blast to watch so far. A close runner-up would be Kage Kara Mamoru, but the Ayumi-Maika battles, better animation, and more service give Magikano the edge.
* Best Region 1 Anime Distributor to Release a 100+ Episode Series: Animeigo
Animeigo gets the win for Urusei Yatsura, and after having preorders with them open for the last seven years, it's hard to believe it's finally over. Lum's Stormtroopers salute you.
OK, I'm out of categories...until next time...