Posted by psgels on 30 November 2009 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, this season stands out to me as average, but solid. There are a lot of well written shows, that at the moment just don’t seem to hit any real heights, and yet remain very enjoyable to watch. The exceptions are a number of true gems, though.

#22 (19) – Yumeiro Patissiere – (6,5/10) – I originally planned to continue watching this, due to its surprisingly good start, but unfortunately the past month revealed this series’ true colours. It just keeps introducing cheesy jealous bitches who are in love with the three male bishies that hang around the lead characters. The drama that comes of it is just terribly shallow. Dropped.
#21 (22) – Winter Sonata – (7,5/10) – Really hard to say anything about this series due to the slow subs. The only episode released this month was a bit cheesy, and it feels like entire scenes are missing, or something.
#20 (21) – Kobato – (7,5/10) – Right now, Kobato still is pretty dull, but at least you can see that the characters are getting fleshed out and explored. What the series needs to do is keep this up, and USE this in the second half to develop them.
#19 (24) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – I’m still struggling with Kimi ni Todoke, but there’s some definite potential. It’s pretty good when it doesn’t pretend to be anything: the dialogue is inspired and well written. However, the cheese during the dramatic parts is just way too overdone.
#18 (14) – Letter Bee – (7,75/10) – Still building up. You can see that it’s building up to something interesting, but it isn’t quite there yet. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying Nichi’s antics.
#17 (20) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8/10) – It’s a bit childish at times, not to mention that the lead character must have really angered the gods badly for her to run into THAT many ghosts, but the horror works surprisingly well. The quick horror stories all do their job of being creepy, and it’s always interesting to watch these episodes.
#16 (17) – Hetalia Axis Powers – (8,25/10) – I must say, that that second season of Hetalia has become much more balanced than the first one. It doesn’t endlessly keep hanging on the same jokes, and instead delivers varied and fun jokes. Very nice.
#15 (15) – 11eyes – (8,25/10) – This series is still going strong for me, although I do find Yuka a bit hard to swallow. Her characterization for me just doesn’t work, and it’s very annoying to watch her angsty romantic issues.
#14 (10) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8,25/10) – This really turned out to be surprisingly good. I especially love how this series doesn’t just have people, transforming into animals, but also animals transforming into people, with hilarious results as they try to make sense of humans. The story also is a bit more than just “monster of the week” as well. It’s obviously a bit of a stupid series, but for me it’s been very enjoyable.
#13 (9) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10) – This is very rare for a comedy sequel: it’s actually better than the original series. While the first Tentai Senshi Sunred had its share of weak episodes, the second season doesn’t, and every episode is a hit and cracks me up with its typical sense of humour, combining detailed realistic dialogue with incredible stupidity and Super Sentai Parodies.
#12 (3) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (8,25/10) – This month was mostly building up, and that’s where Full Metal Alchemist’s big weakness lies: it may be very exciting at times, but it does take quite a while to get there. At those points, it just loses out to other, better-paced shows. Do note that this score reflects on just the episodes that aired this month; NOT the entire series.
#11 (13) – Konnichiwa Anne – (8,25/10) – A very good month for Konnichiwa Anne. Not stellar, but Anne’s development has finally started tying this story to Anne of Green Gables. There are some animation errors, but so far this series has been able to avoid the biggest pitfalls. Now let’s hope that this series can pull off a good finale.
#10 (12) – Sasameki Koto – (8,25/10)

I’m surprised: this series is still going strong. The characters are very genuine, which really helps the seemingly formulaic premise. Especially the relationship between the lead characters is fleshed out really well

#9 (1) – Umineko no Naku Koro ni – (8,25/10)

A bit of a step back when compared to the previous month, but again, you can see that this show is building up. Ange herself isn’t the most interesting character, but let’s see whether all of the build-up can pay off in the end. Again, this relatively low score is just for the episodes of this month. I’d rate the entire series higher, depending on how good the final parts of this series are going to be.

#8 (8) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10)

The only thing I dislike is the constant hiatuses that this show keeps taking. Apart from that, I’m amazed that it still hasn’t run out of creativity in the slightest. Every episode is a hit, that keeps putting in new ideas.

#7 (11) – Kuchuu Buranko – (8,5/10)

This show has really gotten better and better: the cases have become more complex, interesting and funny, plus, all of the references to past episodes really work.

#6 (7) – Cross Game – (8,5/10)

Great month for Cross Game. Akane really brought in a new spark that influenced nearly every single character in the series, which really brought the spark back in this series’ slice of life.

#5 (18) – White Album – (8,5/10)

You know. Call me crazy, but I like this show again. It’s just unique; first of all it’s School Days but actually well written, but also the writing really gets the best out of the characters, and unlike the first season it allows for very emotional scenes without the usual soap opera cheese that accompanies them. But yeah, Touya still is an incredible asshole. :P

#4 (5) – Kemono no Souja Erin – (8,75/10)

Even though the end is near, Kemono no Souja Erin still continues with its quiet and focused pacing, and that in no way prevented the plot twists that arrived in this month from creating impact. Very fitted for a prelude to the finale.

#3 (6) – Darker than Black – Ryuusei no Gemini – (8,75/10)

The major thing that my three favourites this season all have in common is a very strong direction. Darker than Black knows exactly how to deliver its story and make it exciting. It also takes care to develop its characters and really makes use of its limited airtime this way.

#2 (4) – Armed Librarians – The Book of Bantorra – (9,25/10)

What a breath of fresh air. The direction of Armed Librarians is bold and daring, and I just love the way in which this series keeps tying seemingly unrelated plot threads to each other in the end. Here’s one series that continues to defy my expectations of it.

#1 (2) – Aoi Bungaku – (9,25/10)

There should be more series like this, seriously. Every story so far has been unique and different, and all of them have been made based on great ideas. In the Woods… was an awesome mind-screw, Kokoro was a terrific character-study told in two different perspectives, while Hashire Melos is beautifully animated and directed.

8 Responses

  1. Sapphire says:

    Is Sasameki Koto better than Aoi Hana?

  2. Meep says:

    Awesomes! I’m only following Aoi Bungaku, Armed Librarians, Umineko, and Buranko out of these right now, and I’d rank them in the same order. xD

    @Sapph: Hm I was wondering about that too. I haven’t watched Sasameki or anything, but I get the impression that Aoi Hana is better.

  3. psgels psgels says:

    Aoi Hana is a lot better, but Sasameki Koto definitely has its own charms.

  4. windy says:

    Same for me : “Armed Librariand” and “Darker than black” are just extraordinary and most entertaining shows airing at the moment!!!!! I also love “Aoi bungaku”, exeptional plot twist and direction for each story!!! “Umineko” and “White album” are just as great as ever!!!But I don’t have the same opinion on “Yumeiro Patissière” though, it’s a fun and colorful show but that don’t lack subtlety in the storytelling. Well, the character will keep improving her skills and will learn various things on what it takes to be a pâtissière. This reminds me of another show that I liked ” Kirarin Revolution”, they pretty alike , I must say , by many points. I also enjoy the opening and ending, they fit the show.

  5. Divaa says:

    Trying to get through the first season of white album and it’s like pulling my own teeth out without any drugs. Please tell me it actually gets better or less confusing..

  6. NguyenSon says:

    I would argue that Sasameki Koto is not really the same genre as Aoi Hana so I can’t really say than one is better than the other.

    I would argue though that while I found that Aoi Hana was well adapted from the manga, I wasn’t really that impressed with Sasameki Koto’s adaptation from manga to anime. I still find the Sasameki Koto anime good, but I think it could have been much better.

    The main problem I had with it was that they adaptated 1 episode per chapter (25 pages), it kinda made me feel that sometimes, the pace a little akward.
    Still, I would be very interested if you could review it so that I can know the point of view of someone who hasn’t read the manga. Maybe if I didn’t compare the anime to the manga (and of the expectation I had of the anime), I could have enjoyed it much more.

  7. Shippoyasha says:

    I have to disagree on Yumeiro Patissiere. Yes, the whole jealousy angle is pretty cliche and all, but the resolution was pretty touching as I saw it. Also, considering that the core audience for that show is for girls, you’d expect at least some anime cliches in there. But so far, I don’t think it has gotten too indulgent with it yet since it’s still a bit shonen-ish battle with the sweets.

  8. tsotha says:

    The technical aspects of Aoi Hana are much better than Sasameki Koto – better drawing, better animation (how many freeze shots can you get away with?), and better music.

    But the character and plot development in Sasameki Koto is far superior. The characters are more three dimensional and more likable. The plot goes somewhere, and has a resolution, whereas Aoi Hana just ends.

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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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