I must say that this has been the best winter-season we’ve had in years. usually, they just features one or two great series, but this season juast has a whole bunch of worthwhile watches, albeit you do have to look a bit harder than usual.
#28 (28) – Dragonaut The Resonance – (6,6/10) – This is quite rare: the plot has turned out to be quite interesting, but any attempts to further develop it are greatly hammered by the characters. They’re either stereotypes, or are the product of soap-opera plot-twists and melodrama.
#27 (26) – Hatenkou Yuugi – (6,9/10) – The best thing about this series is the card-game of episode six. Apart from that, it just feels like a lazy manga-adaptation. The manga may have had excellent dialogue, but it feels like the anime-staff hardly even cares about it.
#26 (new) – Mnemosne no Musume-Tachi – (7/10) – I’m not yet sold on the gore + fanservice-concept of Mnemosyne. There is potential, but the first episode felt mostly unimpressive to me.
#25 (new) – Mai Otome S.ifr – (7,2/10) – Well, here we go again. At least this one looks to be a bit more solid than its predecessor, but do the characters have to be so annoying?
#24 (24) – Bamboo Blade – (7,2/10) – What the heck has happened to Bamboo Blade? This should be a time of character-development, and the creators should try their best to keep the characters interesting. Who found it a good idea to come up with the pointless foreign girl-arc and braver-arc? Seriously, these have been some of the dullest episodes of this series yet.
#23 (19) – Persona – Trinity Soul – (8/10) – I’m not sure what the creators had in mind with these rather silly side-stories. As a 12-episode series, it really needs to use its time to develop its story and I’m not sure about the point behind wasting half an episode on a haunted-house side-quest.
#22 (???) – Armored Trooper Votoms – Pailsen Files – (8,2/10) – Like expected from Ryousuke Takahashi: a solid science-fiction series that focuses more on believability than action. It’s nothing amazing yet, but it did go into the right direction.
#21 (10) – Gigantic Formula – (8,2/10) – Finally another episode got released, and I must say that I’m impressed how the creators took such a faulty concept and turned it into something worthwhile. I do admit that I like how the corrupt government-subplot has turned out, though these guys seriously lack in development.
#20 (11) – Saiunkoku Monogatari – (8,3/10) – I’m not happy with Madhouse, as it’s continuing its trend of screwing up the endings of its adaptations. The story of Saiunkoku Monogatari has finally become amazing now, and this is definitely NOT THE TIME for budget-problems!
#19 (5) – Sayonara Zetsubou-Sensei – (8,3/10) – Well, the subs are as fast as ever and only one episode got released this month. It wasn’t as continuously hilarious as the previous ones, but thankfully it did feature a bunch of brilliant and clever jokes.
#18 (10) – Gintama – (8,3/10) – I have seen better months for Gintama, but episode 48 and 49 both had a couple of brilliant jokes and parodies.
#17 (21) – Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji – (8,4/10) – For the past month, I’ve loved Kaiji in terms of the small picture, but looking at the big picture I feel that it could have been handled better.
#16 (20) – Spice and Wolf – (8,4/10) – Spice and Wolf too has been unspectacular, yet incredibly solid. Its main characters are well-defined, and I admit that the attention to politics and the in-depth look at the job of a medieval merchant turned really interesting. One point of criticism would be that the side-characters could have gotten more attention, as they hardly receive any sort of background or development.
#15 (15) – Clannad – (8,4/10) – Okay, let’s hope now that Clannad has finally shaken away its harem-roots (about the only thing I really didn’t like about this series), so that it can focus on what’s really important. Apart from that, this series has been as solid as usual.
#14 (18) – Gundam 00 – (8,4/10) – Thankfully, every single character has now become more likable apart from Saji. This series still isn’t anything special, but it’s getting more enjoyable with every month.
#13 (12) – Kimikiss Pure Rouge – (8,5/10) – It’s sad to see that Mao has become exactly what I feared her to be: love-triangle bait without any possibility of success. Fortunately, she has been well-developed, which makes up for this a lot. In addition, Kazuki’s story did turn out in an excellent way.
#12 (17) – Suteki Tantei Labyrinth – (8,6/10) – Well, it looks like this series has finally stopped fooling around, and got to its serious part. So far the drama has been surprisingly interesting and the characters are actually well-enough developed and likable.
#11 (13) – True Tears – (8,7/10) – For a 13-episode love-story, True Tears is top-notch. It really makes use of the limited time it’s been given, and the characters are already getting developed.
#10 (7) – Shigofumi – Stories of the Last Letter – (8,8/10)
I like how Shigofumi, amidst the series of Jigoku Shoujo, Shinigami no Ballad and others, managed to find its own style and niche, and continued with this. The stories are well-developed and the extreme plot-twists are enough to keep me more than interested. Okay, you won’t find any subtlety in this series, but that’s part of its charms.
#9 (22) – Kekkaishi – (8,9/10)
Kekkaishi has rocked now that its ending has gotten nearer. I like the wit of the writers to not let everything climax at a worst-case scenario. Now let’s hope they won’t screw up the ending.
#8 (14) – Hakaba Kitarou – (8,9/10)
This series does an excellent job at surprising its viewer. I must say that I never saw some of the plot-twists coming and on top of that the way this series combines horror with humour deserves points as well.
#7 (2) – Wellber no Monogatari – Sisters of Wellber – (8,9/10)
Wellber hasn’t been as good as last month, but that’s probably because of the time it spent building up for the grand finale, and it’s promising to become an awesome one.
#6 (6) – Perrine Monogatari – (9/10)
This is the power of the early episodes of the World Masterpiece Series: you know things are about to happen, you’ll just never know when they will. In the meantime, I keep rooting for Perrine’s mother to get better, even though I know that this’ll be useless.
#5 (4) – Mokke – (9/10)
I’m not sure what it is that this series has, but every time I watch an episode, I end up really satisfied. The two lead characters are just so adorable characters, even though they’re a bit cheesy at times.
#4 (9) – Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino – (9/10)
At this point, I hardly care about the new character-designs and lack of budget anymore. Gunslinger Girl – Il Teatrino has a terrific plot, period.
#3 (8) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (9,1/10)
Like expected, Porfy no Nagai Tabi has been amazing, even though hardly anything happened yet. Porfy and Mina just feel SO real. Even the Ghibli-movies I’ve seen didn’t feature little children that felt so nostalgic as the two of them.
#2 (3) – Ghost Hound – (9,2/10)
In February, Ghost Hound kept its same style of tense and refreshing storytelling, and started introducing increasingly more interesting psychological concepts. Here’s one series that knows how to build up.
#1 (1) – Shion no Ou – (9,5/10)
Shion no Ou has been absolutely sensational. Not one character is wasted, every episode delivers, and especially Satoru has received a tremendous amount of development this month. It’s already one of my favourite series 2008.