Posted by psgels on 31 January 2008 with categories: Monthly Summaries

We’ve now passed one third of the Winter-season. I must say that it’s been one of the best winter-seasons we’ve had in years. There are so many potentially awesome series, and there have been hardly any disappointments so far.

#31 (new) – H20 ~ Footprints in the Sand – (5/10) – I find it strange to think that this is one of the most blogged-series of the new winter-season. Are people expecting some kind of spectacular trainreck ending, just like with School Days, or was could there really come something good from the crappy first episode?
#30 (new) – Rosario to Vampire – (5,2/10) – A lot of people seem to believe that Gonzo ruined this series, but I’ve got enough reasons to think that the manga was bad in the first place. Gonzo just made it worse.
#29 (new) – They are my Noble Masters – (6,8/10) – Yes, it’s filled with harem-cliches, but it’s also one thing: it’s fun to watch. There’s nothing ground-breaking, but I’d choose to watch this series above Lucky Star at any time.
#28 (24) – Dragonaut The Resonance – (6,9/10) – Yes, the story for this series is as bad as ever. Still, I unfortunately have to admit that it did catch my interest, and I’m actually curious to find out what’s going to happen next.
#27 (new) – Minami-ke Okawari – (7/10) – Just like its predecessor, I just couldn’t get myself interested to watch beyond episode 1, so I dropped it.
#26 (new) – Hatenkou Yuugi – (7,2/10) – The only disappointment for this season. Alas, so many great things could have come from this series, but the storytelling feels dull and uninspired. The creators don’t even seem to care to try and let everything make sense, and the only thing that wasn’t screwed up by the creators seems to be the dialogue.
#25 (19) – Shugo Chara – (7,3/10) – 51 episodes is a terrific format, but you have to use it. There’s no use in putting up 26 filler-episodes to try and make it longer. Let’s hope for now that this series knows what it’s doing for its final quarter, but right now there’s a good chance that I’m going to drop this series and marathon it if it turns out to be good in the end.
#24 (20) – Bamboo Blade – (7,4/10) – Every time I have the urge to drop this series, it drags me back in. Bamboo Blade definitely didn’t catch my interest as much as I’d hoped to, and there are so many better series out there, but it’s moderately entertaining at least.
#23 (new) – Noramimi – (7,6/10) – So, here I am as probably the only one who still watches this. It’s quite cute, and a relaxing series. Still, even though it’s enjoyable, I do have to say that Tetsuko no Tabi was better.
#22 (12) – Kekkaishi – (7,8/10) – Unfortunately, only one episode got released this month. It was just a regular building-up episode, though I did notice how the humour of this series, especially when compared to the first half of the series, has gone down a lot.
#21 (16) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,1/10) – With the beam-arc, I felt like Kaiji lost sight of its original purpose a bit: gambling. I went into this series, expecting people, trying to outsmart each other. Not a bunch of people, being scared to death for episodes. Luckily, it feels like the next arc will breathe some new life into this series.
#20 (new) – Spice and Wolf – (8,2/10) – I admit: I’m impressed by the work that Imagin has done for this series. The mood is quiet, and yet enough things are going on to keep you interested, and the storytelling has been quite good so far.
#19 (new) – Persona Trinity Soul – (8,2/10) – I’m still not sure what to think of this series, but I mean that in a good way. So far, it’s carefully building up its storyline, and the climaxes so far have been quite interesting. Now let’s hope that this series can keep this up.
#18 (17) – Gundam 00 – (8,2/10) – So far, so good. Gundam 00 is really turning into an enjoyable series. I have a few problems with it here and there, but the characters and politics work, and thank god that it hasn’t turned into a cheap emo-fest.
#17 (23) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (8,3/10) – So, basically this series turned from moderately entertaining to just plain weird. It’s very strange, it’s either incredibly good or incredibly bad. If you want to watch this, be aware of one thing: you don’t want to take this series seriously.
#16 (15) – Power Puff Girls Z – (8,4/10) – The fight against Him was awesome. The creators knew exactly what to do to keep the fight interesting, and much, much more than what you’d see in any random shounen-series *coughbleachcough*. The love-love-beam episode was also brilliant. Professor Utonium rocks! Unfortunately, the other episodes that got released this month were a bit disappointing, and too dramatic for their own good. Don’t get me wrong, this series actually gets away with its sappy drama, but it’s in no way as fun as the other aspects of the series.
#15 (21) – Clannad – (8,4/10) – Instead of really sad, I’ve found the past number of episodes from Clannad to be really relaxing. I must congratulate Kyoto Animation: they finally churned out a series that I liked.
#14 (new) – Hakaba Kitarou – (8,4/10) – The surprise of the season. This series has brought forth really entertaining horror-series that combines drama, horror and comedy perfectly. A definite recommendation; Noitamina rocks.
#13 (new) – True Tears – (8,4/10) – Like expected from the director of Simoun. True Tears has shown enough signs that it knows what it’s doing, despite the clichéd characters it has do work with. The pacing may be slow, but so far this series has done a very good job to develop its major characters.
#12 (22) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (8,5/10) – Kimikiss has gone into the right direction this month, and the love-triangles really work so far. I’m quite impressed with this series, and how carefully it manages to build up the different relationships between the characters.
#11 (10) – Saiunkoku Monogatari – (8,5/10) – Just when the pacing begins to pick up again, this series is plagued with random hiatuses that break it. Let’s hope that the final episodes will all air without any interruption.

#10 (5) – Gintama – (8,5/10)

Episode 46 was the first time where I caught Gintama, milking out its own jokes. Thankfully, episode 47 made more than up for it with what what’s definitely its best introduction to an episode so far. You just have to see that one for yourself to believe it, and I really admire the fantastic job that the voice-actor did on it.

#9 (new) – Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino – (8,5/10)

I don’t seem to mind the bad graphics as much as most others, but the fact remains that the animation has gone down a lot. Thankfully, the art itself is still nice to look at, and the story simply rocks so far.

#8 (new) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,6/10)

The first four episodes have been excellent in terms of building up. Sure, it’s slow, but Porfy and his sister have already developed into terrific three-dimensional characters.

#7 (new) – Shigofumi – (8,8/10)

The only problem with this series is that it likes to put in random plot-devices to increase dramatic tension. Apart from that, the stories so far have been excellent in terms of both storytelling and characters. On top of that, the art looks terrific and the soundtrack fits the series perfectly. Okay, apart from the OP, perhaps.

#6 (6) – Perrine Monogatari – (8,8/10)

Oh god… I’ve read the summaries for this series, so I know what’s about to happen. Seriously, Perrine’s mother is too awesome for such a thing.. :(

#5 (3) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (8,9/10)

The big fear would of course be that the second season would run out of jokes, but thankfully, the opposite turned out to be true. For the second season, it seems that the creators decided to let go of all the brakes and go all out.

#4 (8) – Mokke – (9/10)

Have I already mentioned that the background-music for this series is amazing? In any case, for January, Mokke increased the dramatic tension for its episodes a bit, and it really works. The stories are simple, but I’m warming up more and more to the different characters. MadHouse did another terrific job on this adaptation.

#3 (4) – Ghost Hound – (9,1/10)

I really like to see that Ghost Hound has turned into an excellent series, which stands apart from all the others. The characters feel really natural, the storytelling has progressed in a really nice way and the story itself has also become more interesting with every episode.

#2 (new) – Wellber no Monogatari – (9,2/10)

Seriously, with the second season, Wellber no Monogatari has become so much better. Every episode works, and the characters have been absolutely amazing. And to think that there still are enough episodes left for this series to work with.

#1 (2) – Shion no Ou – (9,2/10)

This series just keeps and delivers consistently awesome episodes. Tournament-arcs often fail, but this series has managed to do so many great things with it.

15 Responses

  1. Perneta says:

    I feel that this season is one of the worst ever. I´m watching 8/31 of your listed series, beeing 6 a continuation from last season. Am thinking that about all the series are becoming too soft, political correct and all the same.

    Hakaba Kitaro is the only series that is bringing something new and diferent in this season.

  2. Shippoyasha says:

    I don’t agree that this season is the worst, though it seems to be taking a breather until the epic spring season to come.

    I basically am watching EVERYTHING right now and most of them entertains.

    Shigofumi, Noramimi, Hakaba Kitarou and They Are My Noble Masters are really fun for me while True Tears, H2O (yes, even the flack it gets), Gunslinger, Persona and even more others round out some of my favorite watches this season (though like I said, I basically am watching all things that are subbed).

    Interesting outlook with Gunslinger Girl up in the list (I still say Kaiji is right near top 3 for me) and nice to see someone NOT totally trashing Power Puff Girls Z. Shion no Ou, I don’t see most people ranking it high though I agree it is pretty enjoyable. I wish I knew how to play Shogi and knew what was going on game-wise.

    As for Bamboo Blade, I’m really enamored with its slice of life feel so I never really thought it was a drag. And Shugo Chara, as fillerific as it is, I still love though animation quality goes up and down like a seesaw.

    Otherwise, a nice list. I disagree almost entirely at times, but this winter had OGGLES of content in all genres it seems. Except for the Bokura ga Ita style pure shoujo romance, but that’ll have to do with Tokyo Marble.

  3. L.A says:

    I was kinda worried about Zetsubou Sensei Season2 because the chief writer has changed to someone nameless, however I’m gald that I don’t feel any differences.
    Though I really don’t want to support Kumeta’s twisted visions, I have to admit his ability is great with catch critical contradictories in our common lives.

  4. yoshi927 says:

    Well, this is a good season for comedies, at least. (Gintama, anyone?) I’m also liking Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji. Sweet, Shion no Ou got top spot. That series is awesome.

  5. Solaris says:

    >Powerpuff Z: Unfortunately, the other episodes that got released this month were a bit disappointing, and too dramatic for their own good.

    Uh? Did you like it more when being at half of the serie they placed that endless bunch of fillers?
    The last (say 10-15) episodes turned out really enjoyable and the plot sped up a lot. The fights were awesome and the humour was great.
    /me whispering like an old gossip lady
    Just, tell me the truth, Psgels, you were in love with beautifulawesomenicesweethart Bubbles (/hearts fliyng) and that badmeanuglyevil monster of Takaki steal her heart uh uuuh??? So just saw that vile episode (grgrgrgrgrrr!!) and labelled the whole serie as melodramatic? :P:P:P
    /joke end
    After all i don’t see much drama in the last episodes, except for this Bubble Freedom Miracle episode. The powerpuff kids, Love love beam, Kaoru first Love, Shirogane Z and Body Swap being one better than the others and the best laugh ever :P
    Not to mention the oldest but wonderful “Girls Break up!” I watched the original “Octi Evil” and it pales compared to the anime version!

    On the other hand nothing to say about your top 30. You focus on the plot and chars and so do i, so we have similar preferences, after all.
    I only wanted to push it down and down to the vile last place because of my disappointment, but i simply cant do it. T.T That story is too good not to be in the top 10 anyway :S

  6. Solaris says:

    oops… Errata corrige: I wanted to push it down… what? Who? Gunslinger 2 obliously @.@

    Sorry, it’s so hard to write and correct everything in this tiny box @.@

  7. totoum says:

    about H20 ,Wasn’t it just the “rock your soul” trailer that created the buzz?still can’t figure out if it was intentionaly hilarious or not
    anyway i do think it gets better (though i’m definatly not saying it’s anything special),notably the dramatic drop in fanservice after the 1st episode.

    there was something that kinda surprised me in your first impression of the show

    ” and it doesn’t end up making any sense. I mean, getting angry just because some food was lost and using two henchmen to physically beat down the suspected girl, in front of the entire class? What?!”

    of course it doesn’t make any sense,but it’s not supposed to,they have 12 more episodes to show how we got to this nonsense.

    then there’s kaiji, completely agree with you on that one,nice to see someone saying what i think,same with gunslinger girl,though really the expectations were so high,many people expected it’d be a no doubt 1st place.

  8. marmot says:

    Hmmm I expected this season to have some terrible and a few very good interesting shows but I think it’s been more along the lines of some terrible shows and some that are average but consistent. I keep meaning to watch wellber and persona because they look right up my street and I might look at mokke again, I got a bit bored with the first 2 episodes because it felt like an inferior mushishi. Shigofumi’s been a bit disapointing for me, I think it has enormous potential but it feels like the makers of it had one great idea (the basis of the show) and the rest of it is a bit mediocre.

  9. AG says:

    I had a peek at the Rosario manga and can confirm your hunch; it is completely devoid of anything interesting, it’s just a guy-meets-girl who then team up to defeat random monsters. IMHO Gonzo put in the fanservice to rescue the show, which semi-succeeded. ;)

  10. Perneta says:

    Well, it should be a consensus that this season isn´t going to appear any fantastic new series.

    Correct me if I´m wrong, but most of the top 20 series of the this list are basically from past seasons.

  11. psgels psgels says:

    Shippoyasha: I’m not sure what it is with Kaiji, but for some reason I’ve enjoyed it far less than most people have. The beam-arc was nice and all, but to me it rather felt that it missed something.

    Solaris: actually, I enjoyed many of these “random fillers”. I still chuckle while thinking back to the disco-fever episode and the cartoonist-episode, to just name a few. Like I said, the drama is by no means bad, but I’d much rather see the wacky comedy. Oh, and I indeed forgot to mention that Mojo’s love-issues have been getting a bit old now. :P

    Totoum: that indeed wasn’t one of my best lines, but it remains a bit hard to believe.

    Marmot: the comparisons with Mushishi are indeed a nasty problem for Mokke. It really doesn’t try to be the next Mushishi, and the two are entirely different series. Mokke is much more focused towards the main girls than to random storylines, like Mushishi, and you need a bit of time to warm up to them.

    AG: I knew it. :P You have to give credit to Gonzo that they’re one of the few studios who aren’t afraid to drastically alter their source-material.

    Perneta: actualy, out of the top-20, there are nine of this new season. That’s quite a lot, considering that these are about half the shows that aired for this season, and they’ve all just been airing for one month, so we’ve seen nothing like their full potential.

  12. BlueYoshi says:

    Out of this Winter Season: Zoku SZS and Hakaba Kitarou. Ironic, I think I watched 13-16 Fall Anime.

    To me, this Winter Season looks kinda weak compared to the Fall Season (Which has the awesomeness of Shion no Ou, Kaiji, Sketchbook and Ghost Hound). I really want to get started with Shigofumi, Mokke and True Tears, but I just haven’t gotten the time. It doesn’t help that 2 of those 3 just got licensed.

  13. Archer says:

    well i think Gonzo is quite random when it come to their quality,they make some great anime but also bad ones and sometimes don’t know how to use a good material,so every time Gonzo will release a new anime i don’t know what to expect because it can anytime turn out to be awesome but they can also destroy a great manga,anyway (i don’t watch rosario now…)but i saw that indeed it was drastically changed and it is not a reason to be proud of gonzo since they added a lot more fanservice and fillers and i don’t think they are trying that hard on this one

    letting gonzo aside i am glad to see Hakaba Kitarou is finally being subbed (maybe the fact that psg kept bloging it helped this anime get some more attention) and Ghost hound keeps having the same great quality of story and animation quality (exactly what u would expect from I.G :p ) even with the second season Sayonara ZS is still just as funny and good as the first season and also Shigofumi,Gundam 00 and Gintama are also great so overall i can say that there are quite many interesting anime series to watch at the moment :D

  14. totoum says:

    OMG BlueYoshi mentioned sketchbook!
    I thought no one watched that show…..even psgels dropped it.

    (sorry,the sketchbook fanboy that i am get really excited…)

  15. anime says:

    so nice work
    thanx bro

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 11:09 AM)
    @ninja: I certainly hope that they got better shit to do.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 11:08 AM)
    @Emma: I agree. I also had no clue that it was a Shoujo, tines have certainly changed. I enjoy me a Ray Mustang type of character every once in a while.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:52 AM)
    @Bam: Furthermore watching these ovas , its like being twelve again =P
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:49 AM)
    @Bam: Of interest twilight of the dark master is considered shoujo and its such a shame that the demographic has gone to for most part shit since the old days.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:48 AM)
    @Bam All this talk about drugs being bad is for the benefit of my personal NSA monitor. I just want them to know I’m right with the DEA. The NSA is reading everything we type so it’s nice to give them some fanservice when you can.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:48 AM)
    @Bam: And would you believe Akiyuki shinbou directed this? It was interesting enough to trace back to his early work/beginning of his directing style and compare it to now.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:46 AM)
    @Bam: I just finished twilight of the dark master, enjoyable nonsense. What I liked about these old ovas is that you don’t really end up caring about the why, you get a bit of fun violence, an artstyle you just don’t see enough of anymore, the plots are simple, quick, entertaining and digestable.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:31 AM)
    @Emma: easier said than done. The results of a mixture are often strangely unpredictable and quite overwhelming
  • Bam
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    @ninja: a bit of an over-generalization don’t you think m8?
  • Emma
    (Friday, Nov 21. 2014 07:53 AM)
    @Friend: And speaking of scenes from a marriage, I really do wish that anime could, like some films like that, focus on a mature couple.

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