+ November Rankings +
My general opinion of the current Autumn-Season is indeed that it isn’t as good as the previous Spring-season. There haven’t really come any epic series yet, like Bokura no, Towards the Terra or Kaze no Shoujo Emily, but instead of that, we’ve got quite a lot of well-executed, charming and intriguing series, so overall, I just can’t call it a failure. The Winter-season is also looking better than it’s ever had, with most of the shows of the current season who’ll be hitting their second halves and let’s not forget the amazing line-up of series that are going to start in January. So a slightly less exciting season isn’t really that bad.
Oh, and in case this is the first time you see this, the series are ranked from worst to best, the number between the ( and ) indicates the place where that series was on last month, the rating is out of 10, with average being a 6,0 (and yes, I’m using the decimal comma).
#30 (29) – Engage Planet Kiss Dum – (5,6/10) – Do note that most of the points this series is getting are because of the entertainment value. Only one episode was released, but it was so bad that it became hilarious. The animation was garbage, the plot couldn’t be more clichéd, and the only thing that was good was the scriptwriting, which made me laugh as well. Overall, this series is a failure, but it’s definitely a fun failure.
#29 (40) – Romeo x Juliet – (5,7/10) – So, yep. Like predicted, the two lovers must overcome one more angst-ridden obstacle before they can be together: the fact that both of them are whiny teenagers. It’s clear that Gonzo spent the best of its staff on Bokura no for the spring-season…
#28 (35) – Dragonaut The Resonance – (5,7/10) – Really, this is just getting silly. Someone over at the production-team has to realize that the melodrama only causes this series to become laughably bad. It’s a shame, the potential’s there, but right now Gonzo can be compared with a man, trying to walk out an overexcitable dog: the man wants to go to the park, while the dog wants to chase random cars, and in the end, they end up at the local garbage-dump.
#27 (new) – Yume da Maya Kidan – (7,2/10) – This doesn’t really warrant its own post, but I do want to say a few things about it. It’s a nice attempt and it’s got a great style, but it was a tad too short to make any real impact. Still, I like the idea of taking the ideas of amateurs, you’ll be surprised at some of the great ideas that some of them have.
#26 (38) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (7,5/10) – I originally dropped this, but I switched this with Night Wizard, which was getting really pointless with only 12 episodes to work with. Kimikiss surprised me, though, and offers quite a realistic view on high-school romances.
#25 (20) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (7,6/10) – Really, what is up with this series? On one hand, it manages to deliver interesting adventures, and the screenplay is terrific, and yet the stories themselves have plotholes and quite often delve into silliness, with of course the epitome being the giant robot which appeared from out of nowhere.
#24 (17) – Shugo Chara – (7,6/10) – Fun, cute, cool and spicy, but not really the best this season has to offer.
#23 (28) – Kodomo no Jikan – (7,7/10) – Rin’s past may have been a bit too dramatic, but apart from that this series has been going into the right direction. The fanservice is still annoying, but I admit that the characters are quite cute and interesting to watch.
#22 (23) – Gundam 00 – (7,8/10) – Well, Gundam has been solid up till now. Nothing groundbreaking has happened yet, but it set a solid base for itself to work with. Apart from the idiotic actions of Setsuna, of course. Really, some one needs to kill this guy fast.
#21 (new) – Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations – (7,9/10) – The first episode was mainly an introduction, both to the new story and the new art by Production IG, but something tells me that the real fun is going to start with the next two episodes.
#20 (13) – Bamboo Blade – (7,9/10) – Okay, it’ll never be among the best comedies, but it’s quite entertaining to see where the characters go. One thing that holds this series down is the predictability, though.
#19 (29) – Clannad – (8/10) – I’m really surprised with this series: it’s basically Kanon, with all the things I hated about it removed. Yuuichi was a horrible lead for Kanon, all he did was chase after cute girls who happened to be special, the scenes felt forced, there was no link between any of the different stories apart from Yuuichi, and the annoyingness of Ayu and Makoto didn’t make things easier. Clannad, however, doesn’t have these problems. The main character suddenly isn’t the only one who can solve the problem of the girl in question, the future stories flow well with each other, and the female lead works excellent with this. While it isn’t the best series in the season, for me, this is by far Kyoani’s best series up till now.
#18 (7) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (8,2/10) – It’s such a shame that I need fansubs for the complex comedies such as Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei. It’s been almost a month since the last release. The episode was excellent as well, but I can hardly remember what it was about. Thankfully other subbing-groups have now started to pick up this series as well, to make sure that the first season ends before the start of the second season. I have yet to see episode 10, but I look forward to it. :)
#17 (15) – Blue Drop – (8,3/10) – The pacing has been slow, but because of this, Blue Drop has had the opportunity to flesh out the side-characters in this month, something which I really appreciate. The angst also doesn’t feel weird, and the characters are getting more touching with every episode. It’s going to be interesting to see where this series is going to go from now.
#16 (5) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,3/10) – This series has quite a few pacing-issues, but apart from that it remains a fascinating look on human nature. Not to mention the insanity of episode eight.
#15 (21) – Sky Girls – (8,4/10) – When Otoha’s childhood-friend that got sucked away by the worms appeared, I was convinced that this series would fall down the pit of predictability, but then it started to introduce quite an amount of new and interesting stuff that got me quite enthusiastic about this series, and it seems that the creators do know how to deliver a few surprises. Good job.
#14 (new) – Ahiru no Quack – (8,5/10) – Ah, this one brings back memories. It was probably the first anime I ever saw as a kid, though I never fully finished it because the clown in the OP scared me (no, seriously). This also is probably the only anime that gives an accurate portrayal of the Netherlands through the different ages. And really, for a kid’s show it’s got quite some heavy themes. I remember freaking out when I saw the ending of the second episode at the age of five or six. The soundtrack is also unique, and especially Herman van Veen has a unique voice, and uses it in an excellent way.
#13 (19) – Perrine Monogatari – (8,5/10) – This month featured a triple release, in which the first piece of serious drama appeared with the rivalling travelling photographers. I must say that I’ve gotten great respect for Perrine’s mother after this. While I feared that everything would end a bit preachy, the scenes were wonderfully written.
#12 (14) – Moyashimon – (8,5/10) – Really, the originality in this series continues to surprise me. Everything from the characters to the stories feels fresh and different, not to mention hilarious.
#11 (25) – ef – A Tale of Memories – (8,5/10) – One thing that surprised me for this season is how there are so many quality high-school romances out there, and this one probably is the best of the bunch. Both Clannad, Kimikiss and ef have gone way beyond the stereotypes that you usually see in romances, which inevitably become uninspired harems. Episode seven was really intense, and I really liked it, and the unique directing-style.
#10 (24) – Little Princess Sara – (8,6/10)
Despite only being two episodes in, I already like this series a lot. It may be more than twenty years old, but the storytelling so far has been excellent.
#9 (14) – Kekkaishi – (8,6/10)
Finally Kekkaishi is back, and Yoroshiku released a double-release that concluded the current arc. While it suffered from the “I have yet to reveal my true powers!”-syndrome, it did break several shounen-clichés as well, so I’m happy, not to mention that the conclusion was amazing. Naruto should have taken an example of this series.
#8 (22) – Mokke – (8,8/10)
I finally realize what’s wrong with this series! A lot of people (including myself) have been hoping for this to become the next Mushishi, right from the start. But instead, this turned into a really charming tale between two sisters, and the people they grow up with. It really needs to grow on you for a few episodes, and in the past month, the episodes have been getting better and better and better.
#7 (16) – Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – (8,8/10)
Higurashi has been really solid for the past episodes. Something you wouldn’t expect after the first season. While part of me is still getting used to the extreme change of pace of the second season, the past few episodes have been flawless in terms of storytelling.
#6 (12) – Ghost Hound – (8,8/10)
Like Lain, Ghost Hound doesn’t feel episodic at all, and instead it continues to deliver one full story that’s carefully being built up. I like the amount of research the creators put into this to make the traumas that the different characters suffer from look as real and believable as possible.
#5 (8) – Shion no Ou – (8,8/10)
One thing that does irk me a small bit is how most series this season are quite slow-paced, and take their time in telling the story. But not Shion no Ou! Episode after episode, it keeps pushing the plot forward, and the unique and interesting cast of characters make this an excellent series.
#4 (6) – Saiunkoku Monogatari – (8,8/10)
Saiunkoku continues to carefully build up its many storylines, with a few excellent climaxes here and there. The new characters are coming together more and more, and if the previous arcs are any indicators, then this series is only going to end up better and better.
#3 (4) – Gintama – (8,9/10)
In this month, the comedy took a step back to allow for Kagura’s backstory. Had I already mentioned that this is one of the few comedy-series that can turn dramatic and still be awesome?
#2 (1) – Les Miserables – Shoujo Cosette – (9,2/10)
Javert really has been one of the best villains of the year. It’s a shame that the creators changed certain parts of the book, but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this series. It’s really a shame that people are chosing series as Ninomiya-kun above this gem.
#1 (3) – Dennou Coil – (9,3/10)
It’s all about Isako this month, and boy, it surprises me how a series can keep up such a consistent high quality episode after episode. It’s a shame that this series is nearly over.