Posted by psgels on 30 September 2008 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, I don’t think I’m ever going to label the past half year as the best that anime can give. Instead, the past season stood out with its large amount of series that at first sight don’t seem to stand a chance, and yet turn out to be surprisingly solid and enjoyable. My top 10 series for this month is also filled with randomness again, with some shows having very disappointing finales, while others managed to close off very strongly.

#26 (new) – Hakushaku to Yousei – (6,75/10) – The first show of the new season, and unfortunately I’m not impressed. Too many bishies, too little substance. The only good point is its concept of fairies, so let’s hope that the rest of the series goes in-depth to them, instead of the male characters that just look too much like each other.
#25 (25) – Slayers Revolution – (7/10) – This series ended less than a week ago, and I already have trouble to remember what it was about. It’s been a really generic month for Slayers Revolution, much like the rest of the series.
#24 (23) – Sekirei – (7,25/10) – Okay, so the ending was crap. I at least enjoyed the rest of this month, making it not an entire failure. Thankfully the characters remained charming until the end.
#23 (20) – Strike Witches – (7,5/10) – Not the best month for Strike Witches, but enjoyable enough nonetheless. It just feels that those final bad guys were a bit superficial, and strayed away from what made the series enjoyable.
#22 (15) – Macross Frontier – (7,5/10) – The more I think back, the less exciting the ending becomes, unfortunately. I’m especially unhappy about the way that the creators tried to deal with the love triangle. Sure, I can understand how they want to save that for the final movie, but that’s no excuse to increase the cheese-level and bring everything back to square one.
#21 (10) – Nijuu Mensou no Musume – (7,5/10) – The biggest disappointment this season. Everything went so well, but this series’ finale didn’t stand out anywhere. It was too predictable, formulaic and ridiculous. It’s a real shame, considering the potential that this series had.
#20 (26) – Code Geass – Lelouch of the Rebellion – (7,5/10) – Okay, granted. That final episode could have gone much worse, and it provided a fitting closure for the series. Was it just me, or did that finale give out strange Bee-Train vibes? During the final episodes of this series, the soundtrack suddenly played much more on the foreground, and suddenly choirs and flutes (which are very popular in Bee-Train series) popped up. If only the rest of the series was as calm as the final episode. Ah well, at least the series provided entertainment, but I’m so glad that it’s over now.
#19 (17) – Mission-E – (7,75/10) – Mission-E’s best episode was without a doubt episode 11, where the plot took a step back and instead put the focus back on the characters. The finale was decent: it could have gone better, but also worse.
#18 (21) – Detroit Metal City – (8/10) – Still a solid comedy-series. 12 episodes seems to be the perfect length for this series, but let’s hope that it doesn’t run out of jokes before that time comes.
#17 (22) – Soul Eater – (8/10) – I absolutely loved episode 23. Now THAT was an amazing fight. Unfortunately, the series quickly dulled in again afterwards. The ratio of awesome versus mundane episodes had better be a bit bigger for that second half.
#16 (19) – Chi’s Sweet Home – (8,25/10) – Ah of course, the ending is near so even Chi’s Sweet Home needs to work towards a climax. Still, so far the creators got away with it pretty nicely. The whole pet regulation in the apartments has lurked over the entire series, and now that it finally pops up for real, it becomes pretty charming.
#15 (9) – Antique Bakery – (8,5/10) – I’m probably one of the few in this, but I actually liked the ending of Antique Bakery a lot. It was all about moving on, instead of getting held back by your past. It was a bit rushed, but I really felt that it not solving the cake-mystery was the right choice of the creators.
#14 (24) – Itazura na Kiss – (8,5/10) – So, the college arc was pretty awful, but I’m really glad to see that the creators managed to crawl back up and delivered an excellent finale for this series. Especially episode 24 was everything it needed to be.
#13 (16) – Birdy the Mighty Decode – (8,5/10) – Senkawa did cause a bit of trouble here and there, but overall it was a very good finale for the first half of Birdy the Mighty Decode. Obviously it doesn’t live up to Noein or Escaflowne, but I think I’ve said that too many times now already.
#12 (1) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,5/10) – Overall, Natsume Yuujin-Chou wasn’t as good as in August. Nevertheless, It’s still a heart-warming series and I’m looking forward to that second season.
#11 (14) – Telepathy Shoujo Ran – (8,5/10) – A surprisingly genuine month for this series, and it’s been really enjoyable so far. I only hope that this remains through the second half.

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

What I really like about this series is the way that Bee-Train presented everything. There’s always something interesting going on, and the climaxes of each episode really pack a punch.

#9 (7) – Ultraviolet: Code 044 – (8,5/10)

I don’t think anyone’s going to remember this series, but I enjoyed it until the last minute, and it landed an ending that ranks amongst my favourites of the past season. It did exactly what it was supposed to do, with a few extra twists added. Consider me an Osamu Dezaki-fan after this.

#8 (8) – Blassreiter – (8,5/10)

Overall, a very solid finale, with a number of excellent fight scenes. Many people died, but nearly all those deaths were satisfying.

#7 (18) – Wagaya no Oinarisama – (8,5/10)

Ooh, exciting: the two final episodes are going to be a standalone climax. I always like these sorts of endings. In any case, Wagaya no Oinarisama has been better than ever, both in its light-hearted and serious stories.

#6 (12) – RD Sennou Chousashitsu – (8,75/10)

Agh, it’s hard to judge the finale of RD Sennou Chousashitsu without having seen the final episode. For now, I’m not going to judge it until I actually see what it’s been building up for.

#5 (5) – Porfy no Nagai Tabi – (8,75/10)

This month: episodic travel arcs. They ranged from enjoyable to awesome. They were thought-provoking at times, and really varied. Excellent month for Porfy.

#4 (6) – Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto ~Natsu no Sora~ – (8,75/10)

Natsu no Sora ended with an excellent finale that really stood apart as the best parts of the series. Especially episode 10 was just heart-breaking, and the ending was wonderfully subtle.

#3 (4) – Bonen no Xamdou – (8,75/10)

I’m beginning to love this series more and more. Every single character here has his or her own identity and stands apart from the others. I’m really looking forward to see what it has in store for its second half.

#2 (11) – Gintama – (9/10)

I really thought that the best of Gintama this month came from the Yagyuu-arc: it was both incredibly hilarious and heart-warming. Then episode 83 came along, which most likely ranks amongst the funniest episodes of this series yet. Even for Gintama’s standards, that episode was extreme. The past September really has been one of the best months for Gintama yet!

#1 (3) – Himitsu ~The Revelation~ – (9,5/10)

It’s a pity that the final episode hasn’t aired yet, but basically Himitsu’s finale has been blowing away every other finale so far. This show indeed has its problems at times, but boy, the past number of episodes have been beyond awesome.

One Response

  1. Chris says:

    Thanks for doing these monthly rankings. It’s very helpful in deciding what to spend time on and what to skip. Not many of us can watch everything out there and heavily rely on the reviews of bloggers like you. Thanks again!

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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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