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Andy Hanley
Author: Andy Hanley

Andy has been writing for UK Anime since 2006, and was the site's editor-in-chief until August 2017.  Contrary to popular belief, Andy is not actually a robot.

The 2010 UK Anime Network Awards

Is it really that time already?  It seems like only yesterday that we were arguing over, compiling and penning the coverage of our inaugural 2009 awards line-up, yet here we are again with a whole barrow-load of new anime, manga and games to preside over.  Making our award-winning choices for this year has proved even more difficult than the quandaries faced by us twelve months ago, with the huge increase in streaming anime available in the UK giving us plenty of food for thought while 2010 has hardly been what you could call a quiet year for physical releases either.

Be that as it may, and after some heated debates amongst our staff, we're now well and truly ready to unveil our list of UK Anime award winners for 2010, with this year also seeing the inclusion of our first ever "Reader's Choice" award, nominated and voted for by you to select your own favourite anime release of the year.

Agree or disagree with the choices presented, we'd love to hear from you via this article's comment section, but for now, on with the awards - there's no red carpet, tuxedos or champagne here, just page after page of quality offerings!

Best streaming anime



Honourable mentions:

- Squid Girl
- Asobi ni Ikuyo
- Occult Academy

To be honest, there was only ever likely to be one winner in our first category - a single streaming anime series which captured the hearts and imaginations of all who watched it without question.  That series is Durarara, a show now making its way to the UK on DVD to bring it to an even wider audience, but one which kicked off our 2010 by blowing up louder and grabbing our attention from the very start of the year.

By all rights Durarara shouldn't work, providing as it does a sprawling mass of characters within the equally sprawling Ikebukuro district and following them all as they go about their various lives.  Many an anime series in the past has self-destructed by packing its story with too many characters, yet this Brain's Base adaptation of Ryohgo Narita's light novels somehow manages to juggle them all with aplomb, bordering on absolute perfection.  No character is wasted and no back story trivial within this particular metropolis, bringing us numerous compelling story lines cunningly (and often intricately) woven together around a legendary headless motorcycle rider and a city where gangs known as Colours roam the streets.

Arguably the biggest reason for Durarara's critical success is that it offers something for everyone.  If you like deep, character-driven narrative then there's plenty for you here, if you like self-referential or pop culture comedy you won't be sold short by the series, and so the list goes on - drama, romance, cunning plot twists, Durarara has the lot, and it rarely proves to be anything other than utterly fascinating and entertaining.  Ignoring its rather weak ending, there's very little to criticise from this series, and that's why we love it so.  Watch it now online or buy the DVDs from Beez Entertainment - either way, you won't be disappointed.

Away from our run-away winner, the sheer quantity of streaming shows broadcast this year gave us plenty of other entertaining series to mention - some were fan service-tastic like Strike Witches 2 or one of our honourable mentions, cat-eared alien-centric Asobi ni Ikuyo, while others were just plain cute and funny such as another fan favourite Squid Girl.  If 2009 was a watershed year for Crunchyroll, 2010 was the year that we saw them kick things up a gear, and we can only look forward to even more streaming output to choose from in 2011.

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