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

The summer-season has always been the season of short and varied series, and in 2008, it’s no different. There’s a wide variety of genres in this relatively small season, only horror seems to be missing at first glance. So far, there are a number of potential classics lurking among them.

#30 (new) – Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu – (4/10) – Sorry, but I have no intention to continue watching this stereotype-filled rubbish.
#29 (new) – Koihime Musou – (6/10) – Nice, but this series is way too silly for me, considering its setting. Dropped.
#28 (new) – World Destruction – (6/10) – I gave this series a chance and watched four episodes. My reward was a bunch of lame uninteresting stories about a bunch of lame uninteresting characters. Heck, I doubt that the world is going to get destroyed at the end of the series anyway. Production IG, you disappoint me. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Yakushiji Ryouko no Kaiki Jikenbo – (6/10) – I’ve mentioned this before: the “I have no life so I’ll just reveal my evil plans to every random person who happens to drop by”-villains were a major letdown for me. This series is too much Yakushiji Ryouko and too little Kaiki Jikenbo. Dropped.
#26 (25) – Allison to Lillia – (6,5/10) – The only reason why I kept going with this series is to check whether the Lillia-part of the story would be worthwhile, but now that that time finally arrived, it’s still filled with predictable storylines, way too obvious foreshadowing and I’ve got no inclination to care about the cast. Wake me up if the final episodes do turn out good, but for now I don’t want to waste my time with this thing anymore. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Sekirei – (7,25/10) – Sekirei is overplaying coincidences too much: the main character accidentally gets knocked over by a Sekirei, they then go and fly and crash into a house with more Sekirei, he goes to work, only to find more Sekirei. What, is the entire city populated by Sekirei or something? In any case, I have to admit, though: it’s nothing special, but the characters are enjoyable to watch for now. Let’s hope that they’re actually going to develop.
#24 (new) – Slayers Revolution – (7,5/10) – After watching four episodes, it’s not like I’m eager to watch the rest of the Slayers-franchise. In fact, Gintama is currently doing everything this series has done so far, and 10 times better.
#23 (21) – Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion – (7,5/10) – Code Geass’s strange overblown combination between brainless action and soap-opera antics continues. It’s enjoyable enough, although I do have to say that I’m really glad that Karen has been captured. It’s been really refreshing to watch all this airtime without her.
#22 (20) – Itazura na Kiss – (7,5/10) – The wedding came in way too fast, but episode sixteen was surprisingly enjoyable when compared to its previous episodes. Please keep this up for the rest of the series!
#21 (19) – Soul Eater – (7,5/10) – Ugh, it’s getting harder and harder for me to gather enthusiasm for this series. Come on, this is Bones! Make something interesting happen!
#20 (new) – Antique Bakery – (7,75/10) – Good to see that there’s finally a series about gay people that isn’t yaoi or yuri, and instead chooses to deal with the topic of how gays feel awkward in today’s society. Shirogumi (who also did Moyashimon) and Nippon Animation form an excellent combination for the Noitamina timeslot, and the cheese is hilarious as well.
#19 (new) – Birdy the Mighty Decode – (7,75/10) – I may have expected a bit too much from this series, considering the director and all. It’s interesting, but nothing amazing yet. I’ll withhold my judgment for now, though.
#18 (new) – Strike Witches – (7,75/10) – I’m not sure what’s going on here: the premise is obviously strange with the pants-less females, and yet it’s a strangely charming series that attempts to unify the European and Japanese cultures.
#17 (new) – Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora – (8/10) – I’ve no idea where that fourth episode went, but nevertheless it’s a calming slice-of-life series with a number of very strange plot-twists. (Crashing truck, anyone?)
#16 (11) – Chi’s Sweet Home – (8,25/10) – I’m not sure why I switched to the subs for this series (probably because it was easier to keep up with the huge amounts of episodes), but now that these have stalled, it’s getting a bit lonely without Chi, which is a shame because the subs stopped right at the point where this show became hilarious again.
#15 (6) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,25/10) – The past month of Porfy no Nagai Tabi has been kind-of weak. The Sicily-arc just didn’t live up to the rest of the series.
#14 (14) – Wagaya no Oinarisama – (8,25/10) – Wagaya no Oinarisama continues its tradition of “it’s not supposed to be good, and yet it is”. There’s nothing much else to say, really.
#13 (new) – Mission-E – (8,25/10) – Doesn’t try to be the best, but nevertheless it’s a very enjoyable and fun series that doesn’t deserve the negligence it’s getting right now.
#12 (new) – Ultraviolet: Code 044 – (8,25/10) – The movie may have sucked beyond belief, but the anime manages to fix its mistake by putting a good emphasis on characterizations. The atmosphere is dark, and the fact that there haven’t been any fillers yet whatsoever is also a large plus.
#11 (12) – Blassreiter – (8,5/10) – Well, it seems that the creators had no intention to be less dramatic for the second half, but make no mistake: the action is getting quite good right now, with the characters developing and all. All the prejudices of this show being typical Gonzo-crap are unfounded, and Blassreiter has unfolded into an engaging series now that the teenaged emo is gone.

#10 (15) – Gintama – (8,5/10)

Gintama has been particularly funny this month, and especially episode 67 cracked me up, with its rather wrong parody of the “romantic interest walking in on an embarrassing situation”-trope that you usually find in harem series.

#9 (16) – Macross Frontier – (8,5/10)

Okay, it’s been a long wait, but the plot is finally catching up speed for the finale of Macross Frontier. Characters are starting to get developed, good, good.

#8 (new) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,5/10)

Shows the beginnings of a classic. It’s done everything right so far: detailed animation, and storytelling, an addictive pacing, an interesting world. I’m very curious to see where the creators plan to go with this series.

#7 (new) – Blade of the Immortal – (8,5/10)

Yes, I’m biased, but I don’t care! This series rocks! The soundtrack is excellent in my opinion, and the first two episodes showed the typical style of Beetrain-storytelling.

#6 (17) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,5/10)

You know, the more I watch this series, the more I like its adorable cast of characters. Sure, it may have its flaws, but Midori makes up for all of them.

#5 (new) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,75/10)

A really peaceful summer-like atmosphere and engaging stories to keep the viewer busy. My favourite of the summer season so far.

#4 (2) – Himitsu ~ The Revelation – (8,75/10)

The past few episodes of Himitsu have been either excellent or missed the mark. The series may have its lesser stories, but the good ones really make up for it.

#3 (10) – Nijuu Mensou no Musume – (9,25/10)

July has been a sensational month for Nijuu Mensou no Musume, with just about everything in this series hitting new heights. Whether this series can keep up the same quality for the rest of the episodes remains to wonder, but I’d love to find out.

#2 (8) – RD Sennou Chousashitsu – (9,25/10)

I’m trying to find a good way to describe the past few episodes of RD, but I can’t. Instead, I’ll just vaguely summarize it with one word: unique.

#1 (1) – Kaiba – (9,5/10)

My three favourite 12 or 13-episode series are without a doubt Haibane Renmei, Hi no Tori and Kaiba. I’m not quite sure in what order they go, but one thing is clear: Kaiba has been an amazing ride, from start to finish.

16 Responses

  1. Ez says:

    Kaiba’s been amazing but the subs and episodes are so far apart. Everything else is good though. =)

  2. Denizen says:

    Kaiba really has been good. Can’t wait to finish it.

  3. Solaris says:

    Wow you’re EBIL!! five series were killed mercilessly!!

    Yet i didn’t understand how you managed to keep on with Allison to Lilia so far. I dropped this 2 months ago.

    And Slayers… sorry to bother, but it’s Gintama who’s the newcomer. It’s as funny as you wish, but its baseline isn’t original. “Slayers” and “Kyou Kara Ore Wa” invented that kind of format ten years ago and others such as Gintama copied it. You can’t tell me that imitation is better than the originals

  4. essesus says:

    Actually, some imitations ARE better then originals, because they also improve on the orginal. Of course, that is always not the case, but you can’t say that all immitations are crap

  5. Kurisu says:

    Itazura na Kiss 16 was enjoyable? Are you a sadist or something?

    Blassreiter may have received more bashing than it deserves but the CG doesn’t blend at all with the rest of the animation. This bashing might be to its advantage. If you except utter crap, even a mediocre anime can still shine. A plot driven by sentai and monsters (and their CG addiction) is exactly what made “I Wish You Were Here” suck, GONZO’s first(?) big fail. If you can ignore the crappy CG, exaggerated drama, the over-the-top action, then yes it’s not bad at all, but I seriously doubt this show can redeem GONZO, if you’re already tired of them.

  6. karry says:

    So, you one of those who enjoy the incredibly shitty Gintama instead of epitomy of fantasy adventure that is Slayers ? Figures.

    On top of that you like cacofony that is BoI score.

    And on top of THAT you like them faggots ? Ew.

  7. Solaris says:

    >Actually, some imitations ARE better then originals, because they also improve on the orginal.
    That’s not always the case. It’s actually more an exception to the rule.
    I’d rather be happy if this new Slayers could at least match the old glory.

    >Of course, that is always not the case, but you can’t say that all immitations are crap
    What is born not original is bound to be compared to its source, and usually it must be much more better, or it will fail.
    So said, imitations ARE crap, if not proved different.

    Are we sure Gintama can really beat Slayers + Kyou Kara Ore Wa? I really doubt it
    I’ve seen some episodes of Gintama and the said other series. Gintama is nice and all, but saying it is much more better than Slayers because it does the same but better is questionable. Psgels didn’t know Slayers, so he compared it with something known that is Gintama. It’s just a wrong comparison, and the criterion should be reversed in this situation.

  8. Lika says:

    >And on top of THAT you like them faggots ? Ew.

    Yeah, like you’ve never jacked off to lesbians before.

  9. Archer says:

    i find Gintama very enjoyable to watch,i don’t watch it as they release the subbed episodes but more when i feel like watching something funny so right now it is on hold but i will probably watch some episode of it again soon and then on hold and so on it is not a anime that i follow regularly :D

    about Blade of the Immortal i think the expectations were to high and a perfect(or at least a better) anime of this manga would have been quite hard to get,BoI is a great manga but i am not sure any studio could make it into a great anime especially a studio that does not have enough experience when it comes to manga adaptations,i really think Madhouse is the best when it comes to turning a manga into an anime but that is just me :)

  10. Omisyth says:

    You insult the name of Kallen Stadtfeld?! And World Destruction is a show I watch only to make fun of.

  11. T_I says:

    Actually, I agree with the blogger

    Code Geass has been so much better since Karen was captured.

    It’s possible that she has been holding back development all this time.

  12. roastedpekingduck says:

    psgels, Bones can’t really “make something happen” with Soul Eater by their own decision because almost a frame-for-frame adaptation of the manga.

    By the way, I’m one of those who’s lost interest in Soul Eater for now, so at least for the time being, I’m going to steer clear of the anime (and the manga, when it comes out in the States). It has its fun moments, and the production values are absolutely wicked, but it’s a bit too standard for my liking.

  13. mulligan says:

    mahou tsukai natsu no sora ep 4 was cancelled because of an earthquake incident. I think it just aired a day or so ago.

    wishing for subs to come faster for kaiba >.

  14. noodles says:

    hey there – thanks for this great “best of summer” hit list. i haven’t been keeping up with what’s new out there for years, but your blog has given me a great place to start. your well-worded summaries are much appreciated!

  15. rosy says:

    I tried to watch shows like Gintama, Lucky Star and Haruhi but I really don’t get it. What’s so funny about them? I’m mean I get the jokes but they’re not really “haha” funny. Just sorta cynical, let’s-see-how-many-otaku-jokes-we-can squeeze-into-every-episode!!!11one!!!1! I can appreciate a good parody, but these I just don’t get. Also I don’t really understand how fanservice shows are supposed to be funny. If you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, right? Or maybe it’s just too hard for a girl to appreciate endless boob and panty shots. I don’t know. ^_^;

  16. psgels psgels says:

    Rosy: I agree with that Lucky Star isn’t funny. I never understood what’s so great about it. And Haruhi is good, but not for its comedy. That series is more about its complex dialogue and detailed animation. And I wonder, how much of Gintama have you seen? There are indeed a good number of episodes that are about otaku-jokes, but some of the best moments aren’t otaku-related at all.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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