August has definitely been an interesting and at the same time strange month. I keep seeing everywhere that the past Summer Season has disappointed, but I just can’t agree with those statements. Sure, there’s no absolute masterpiece airing now that Kaiba ended, but there are actually lots and lots of smaller series that are well-written and have proven to be very enjoyable. The result of that is a very bizarre top-10 series for me this month, and I don’t think I’ve ever had to compile a stranger one than the one you see here. This season is full of series that, at first sight don’t seem to stand any chance for success, and yet turn out to be strangely memorable…
#28 (22) – Chocolate Underground – (3,25/10) – Okay, this has to go down as one of the worst endings ever. It’s not even the case where it’s so bad it’s good, this is just plain bad. You’ll understand once you see the bloody climax of this thing.
#27 (new) – Kaitou Tenshi Twin Angel – (7/10) – An OVA that wasn’t bad, but it was so inoffensive that makes me wonder what the creators originally wanted to do with it.
#26 (23) – Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion – (7,25/10) – Oh god. Episode 20 felt like the writers gave up completely. It’s a shame, it looked like the characters were finally (after nearly fifty episodes) getting some interesting development, only for that pathetic excuse of an episode to turn up. Anya’s twist came from bloody nowhere, and it felt like the creators suddenly remembered “oh, wait, she’s still there”. I also love how this guy pokes fun at the obvious holes in that episode.
#25 (22) – Slayers Revolution – (7,5/10) – Well, at least the plot became a bit more interesting, but after nine episodes I’m still not sold on Slayers yet. I also wonder, since so many people say that this series is exactly like the other seasons of Slayers: what exactly was it that the creators wanted to prove by making yet another one of them? If it’s going to be exactly the same, couldn’t they just have shown a rerun of the original Slayers instead?
#24 (24) – Itazura na Kiss – (7,5/10) – The best thing about Itazura na Kiss is really the character-development. Never in a shoujo series have we progressed so far into the lead characters’ life, and it’s really interesting to see how Kotoko and Irie have grown. On the other hand, the dramatic climaxes need a lot of work. They’re way too cheesy for their own good and move way too fast, which leaves you with a feeling of “wait, that’s it?!” A real shame.
#23 (25) – Sekirei – (7,75/10) – Well, what do you know? The plot is actually getting interesting. Never saw that one coming. Seriously though, I like Sekirei a whole lot more than I thought I would. Having said that, the fanservice still is there and annoying, and some of the characters (especially that water-Sekirei and Kuu) are really annoying, and don’t seem to have any real purpose in this series other than fanservice. It doesn’t help that their attempts at being funny just aren’t.
#22 (21) – Soul Eater – (8/10) – Ah, finally Soul Eater gets a bit better now that that main storyline has popped up. This just isn’t a series for episodic stories, because the past few months have shown me that it just can’t seem to be able to come up with interesting stories that only fill one or two episodes. The continuous storylines do pose another problem, though: battles get dragged on for too long. Thankfully, Krona’s climax wasn’t hurt under this, and at least I loved episode 21.
#21 (new) – Detroit Metal City – (8/10) – This series has been really over the top, but it’s worked so far. Now let’s hope that it won’t lose inspiration as it goes on.
#20 (18) – Strike Witches – (8/10) – It disturbs me to think that each of these girls only has one single pair of panties…I knew the setting was weird, but not this weird. But the thing that’s even stranger is this: when you do manage to pull this series out of the gutter, and away from its beloved fanservice, it’s actually pretty good! It’s got a really charming cast of characters. At least, when they’re not comparing boob-sizes of course.
#19 (16) – Chi’s Sweet Home – (8,25/10) – I never thought that I’d call Chi’s Sweet Home the biggest source of laughs from the past spring-season, but here you have it. Some episodes are okay, but others are absolutely priceless.
#18 (14) – Wagaya no Oinarisama – (8,25/10) – Byakki’s arc turned out to be a really solid one for this series. This has been a clever and enjoyable anime so far, even though it may not look like it at first sight.
#17 (13) – Mission-E – (8,25/10) – Still straightforward fun and characters from Mission-E. Maori has proven to be a very interesting character, even though she lacks the development that the other characters did have in Code-E.
#16 (19) – Birdy the Mighty Decode – (8,5/10) – Talk about improvement! The first parts of Birdy the Mighty goofed off a bit too much, but the progressions in the past few episodes have been really impressive so far. Okay, so it’s still nowhere near the quality of Noein and Escaflowne, but it’s a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
#15 (9) – Macross Frontier – (8,5/10) – The second half of this series has proven to be very solid entertainment. It’s nowhere near the best of the season, but it’s very enjoyable nonetheless.
#14 (6) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,5/10) – In this month, Telepathy Shoujo Ran has been mostly light-hearted, which worked out pretty well, with as highlight the ever-hilarious banter between Ran and Midori.
#13 (23) – Zombie Loan – (8,5/10) – It’s a real shame that this series has to end here while Vampire Knight gets a continuation in October, even though Zombie Loan outclasses VK in just about every aspect and the DVD-specials left with an EVEN BIGGER cliff-hanger than the original season did. Still, the characters were better than ever: I laughed a lot during these two episodes, and the serious parts also really worked.
#12 (2) – RD Sennou Chousashitsu – (8,5/10) – I’m not sure why, but RD disappointed a bit this month. It’s an outstanding series when it’s just building-up and having its characters interact, but I’ve yet to see a good climax out of it. Who knows, perhaps the creators have been saving it for the series’ finale?
#11 (10) – Gintama – (8,5/10) – The fansubbers were on steam this month. I originally didn’t have much hope for the maid-head arc, but I have to say that its climax was really well written, and the definite highlight for the series this month. Other than that, Katsura’s attempts at getting a drivers’ license were also awesome and the eyebrow episode was also hilarious.
#10 (3) – Nijuu Mensou no Musume – (8,5/10)
The past arc wasn’t as memorable as the doll-arc, but there’s still hope for this series in its final four episodes. Let’s hope that the creators can bring this series to a worthwhile conclusion.
#9 (20) – Antique Bakery – (8,5/10)
Seriously, why am I enjoying this series so much? It’s indeed cheesy at times, but it’s like everything seems to be fitting, from the Norio Wakamoto-voiced businessman with a love for sweets to the fatherly guy with sunglasses; from the interesting style of shading to the habit of the voice-actor to not want to make every syllable sound perfectly in their microphone. Who cares if some of the characters in this series are gay?
#8 (11) – Blassreiter – (8,5/10)
Blassreiter… has become quite the interesting series, with probably the best animated action of the season, along with Macross Frontier. The CG really allows for some awesome camera-angles and movement. I’m also getting used to the extreme drama in this series, and I do have to say that it works pretty well with the overall overblown tone of this series.
#7 (12) – Ultraviolet: Code 044 – (8,5/10)
Ah, so what if this series is just simple and straightforward action. This series knows what it is, and it does this really well, resulting in a series with hardly any weaknesses. The highlight of this month was Zakusa’s passionate personality.
#6 (17) – Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~ Natsu no Sora – (8,5/10)
This has been a really calm series this month. It got rid of the crashing truck-like plot twists, and the result is a very down-to-earth series that prefers subtle drama over the overblown one, and I really like the results. The graphics still look as good as ever.
#5 (15) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,75/10)
I have no idea what happened to that 34th episode, but ignoring that little issue, then it’s been an excellent month for Porfy after the lacklustre Sicily-arc. Especially the things that happened in Rome reminded me of why I love this series.
#4 (8) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,75/10)
Well, Bonen no Xamdou has already shown that it’s downright excellent at building up. Its characters continue to grow, and I really like the pacing of things so far. Now this series just needs to correctly use everything it’s been building up for.
#3 (4) – Himitsu ~ The Revelation – (9/10)
My initial enthusiasm for this series is gone, but now that it’s nearly ending, I do have to say that even though it disappointed me a bit in the middle, this has been a very good and unpredictable series, and apart from Kaiba one of my top favourites, even though it was very unorthodox.
#2 (7) – Blade of the Immortal – (9/10)
Along with Natsume Yuujin-Chou, this is my favourite series of the summer-season, simply because it’s so much fun to watch the different action-scenes unfold (and yes, this is coming from Bee-Train). It’s just a shame that this only airs once every two weeks, but I’ve been craving for another great horror-show.
#1 (5) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (9/10)
Episode nine was simply amazing, and the rest of the episodes this month were also really heart-warming. Without a doubt one of the best series of the season to air this summer.