Posted by psgels on 31 January 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Well, so I’ve said that out of all the season in which I’ve been active as a blogger, this one is the worst of them all. There’s not just a lack of new shows in this season, but there also were relatively few series that carried over from previous seasons. However, does that mean that there are only one or two worthwhile anime? Of course not. There still are tons of enjoyable series. Just not as many as usual.

#26 (new) – Omamori Himari – (3/10) – Oh god, this is just the worst. Ripping off just about every generic harem show under the sun, without any ounce of its own content, going for the cheapest and safest way possible, and then thinking it can get away with it. If you like these sorts of shows, then good for you. But I personally hope that shows like these aren’t going to become the norm for anime in the future. Dropped
#25 (new) – Ladies Versus Butlers – (3,5/10) – This is one of those shows of which you’d wonder: why isn’t it a hentai? The plot is just an excuse to show a lot of naked maids getting it on with the lead character. The acting is terrible, the scenario is ridiculously bad. Why try to make this into a TV-series when you can go all the way with the hentai format?
#24 (new) – Kaito Reinya – (4/10) – Cheap flash anime. Dropped
#23 (new) – Chu Bra – (6,5/10) – This show is the product of deranged minds. While I have to give this show points for creativity, I’m just not a fan of this show’s sense of humour. The characters were dull. Dropped.
#22 (new) – Dance in the Vampire Bund – (7/10) – At this point I’ve lost all my patience with Shinbo. Wake me up when he’s not trying to make way too many shows in too little time, creating six generic shows instead of one really good one. Dropped
#21 (new) – Seikon no Qwaser – (7,25/10) – So this obviously is not my kind of series, but at least I’m glad that it chose to not just go for cheap fanservice, but also tries to stuff in some sort of story. But with the kind of fanservice it has chosen for, there’s no way for me to take this thing seriously. Dropped.
#20 (17) – Hetalia Axis Power – (7,25/10) – Nothing much to say about this show for this month. Only one episode aired and it was boring.
#19 (new) – Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu – (7,5/10) – Fun for one episode, but I don’t see the potential for an entire series. Dropped.
#18 (13) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (7,5/10) – Bleh. This month has been a major step down for this series. The cases were repetitive, the characters were predictable and the charms it had in the first 13 episode seem lost now.
#17 (19) – Nodame Cantabile – (7,75/10) – Yeah, this is just as I feared. The creators are putting too much emphasis on Nodame’s quirks and the charms and spirit of the first season seems completely lost at this point. Right now, this series is just another average romantic comedy, and there are plenty of funnier series in this season.
#16 (new) – Ookami Kakushi – (7,75/10) – The mystery and screenplay in this series are very good. But throughout this, it seems to be forgetting one important thing: the characterization! The characters have hardly made any advances through the past four episodes, they’re still the same caricatures that they were at their introduction. I don’t feel like we’ve gotten to know ANY of them better.
#15 (19) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – So this month showed the big climax for the Kurumi-arc. And I have to admit that the drama worked sort-of, but at the same time the creators were just stretching it on for waaay too long.
#14 (new) – Hanamaru Yochien – (7,75/10) – The big flaw of this show is the female love interest. She’s just another carbon-copy of tens of thousands other clueless romantic interests. The rest of the cast however is interesting enough to make this an enjoyable enough slice of life series.
#13 (new) – Cobra the Animation – (7,75/10) – Yeah, very much a guilty pleasure. The plot can be ridiculously stupid at times, but it has the single best soundtrack of the season for me. Plus, I have to applaud the creativity of the creators, and how they’ve managed to throw in quite a bit of neat ideas for Cobra to run into. The visual direction is also very good and overall it’s entertainment… but you don’t want to watch it with a straight face.
#12 (new) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – I really like the deadpan execution of the seemingly endless dialogues in this series. This show has subtle wit, the characters have their charms an the graphics looked fresh and pleasing to the eye. It’s not anything deep, but it knows how to make fun of itself and yet carryon with a serious story.
#11 (16) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8/10) – Long hiatus is looooong, but surprisingly, I’ve been looking forward to this show’s return. Here’s something I did not see coming, but I’m still very much enjoying this series’ bite-size chunks of horror (pun sort-of intended).
#10 (10) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10)

We’re past forty episodes and this series still is able to consistently raise laughs. I’m glad that this sequel was made with plenty of inspiration in mind.

#9 (new) – Gag Manga Biyori + – (8,25/10)

It has the same bizarre sense of humour as the first season, and I’m enjoying this series a lot. The pacing has to be among the fastest I have ever seen. Just one thing: was I the only one who had a bit of a deja vu moment at episode 4?

#8 (14) – Letter Bee – (8,25/10)

In this month, this series has won me over. The fillers are just as good, if not better at times, than the manga-material, and even though this series is episodic, it makes very well use of its formula.

#7 (new) – Sora no Oto – (8,25/10)

While it has its flaws and a bit of an idiotic lead character, I’ve found a lot to like about this series so far. The characters start out a bit one-sided, but the past four episodes have already given them much more depth than I could have expected. The real gem in this series is the setting, though. It’s a true mystery of where this series is playing, and the creators put in tons of little details to make us guess and wonder what’s going on at the background of this series.

#6 (15) – Kobato – (8,5/10)

In this month, Kobato really grew on me. The build-up has worked, and it’s no longer that moderately enjoyable series, but Kobato has become a wonderful character to watch, and the side-characters all have their charms, despite the simple storyline.

#5 (9) – Marie&Gali – (8,75/10)

Marie&Gali has possibly become even better this month now that it removed one of its very few weaknesses. It’s true that Marika once was a bit of a Mary Sue, but even that is completely gone with the past few episodes, in which she has crawled completely out of her shell. And really: it’s still an over the top fun-filled science adventure that sparkles with creativity.

#4 (6) – Cross Game – (8,75/10)

This show still manages to deliver incredibly charming and witty slice of life. The characters have really grown to me at this point, and they’re just consistently enjoyable to watch.

#3 (new) – Durarara – (8,75/10)

Out of the newly debuted series, this is without a doubt my favourite. A terrific style, every episode so far had a different style of storytelling, it’s varied, the characters are charming, the dialogue is well written and the scenario is very cleverly constructed. I’m very much looking forward to more of this, especially considering it’s going to be 24 episodes long.

#2 (5) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9/10)

This series just keeps getting better and better now. The back-story just continues to get fleshed out, and the huge cast just gets more and more complete with every episode. Bones’ animation as done a wonderful job so far and I’m getting more and more excited with this series.

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

This season, I have no doubts whatsoever in choosing my favourite show: this one. It just continues to weave all sorts of fascinating storylines into one and it does so with an incredible amount of creativity. The direction is so powerful that it makes a treat out of every single episode.

12 Responses

  1. PL says:

    I think this is the first summary in which I agreed with every single one of your comments, lol. You’ve hit the nail dead on the head this time, and the rankings are right on target, at least for the series I’m following and familiar with. This season has a handful of good shows, and a few really bad ones. What seems to be missing, actually, are the mediocre series, the ones where we keep watching, waiting for them to turn good again, because something about the original premise or characters drew us in…ala ShangriLa, Basquash, and the other shows that usually end up becoming time-wasters for me. Now, what I actually have is a handful of good to great shows to watch, and time to watch older series that are really classics, and non-anime movies and stuff. That’s not neccessarily a bad thing, although it does give me cause for concern for the industry. If the mediocre shows went first, does that mean that really, really bad shows like ladies vs. butlers are the new mediocre? Will that eventually be all that’s on? I sure the hell hope not. Hopefully the global economy will continue picking up, and the anime industry will benefit as well and return to its former glory.

  2. Kim says:

    Seeing Fullmetal Alchemist, Cross Game & Durarara (which is also my favorite debut series) so high makes me happy.

    The only thing I disagree with is your comments on Nodame Cantabile. While I definitely think the first season is the best; it’s not like every other romantic comedy at all.

    In fact NC focuses way more on the musical development of the characters than their romantic relationship (which can be a bit frustrating to me at times). This completely sets it apart from almost all romantic comedies which are way more focused on the “will they won’t they” of the main characters.

  3. Acylia says:

    Man, I REALLY wanna watch Gyagu Manga, but I have no idea how to do that, ’cause I can’t seem to find any episodes anywhere (I found the first season… and it rocked…). Do you watch episodes online or are you watching them in Japan?

  4. brainstew says:

    drat! about Anyamaru Tantei Kiruminzoo becoming repetitive.. I’ve only just seen episode 5 and I’m currently really liking it.

  5. CRT says:

    Gag Manga Biyori+ is a combination of new & remake of old episodes, only odd numbered episodes are new material.
    ep.2 = S3 ep.3
    ep.4 = S1 ep.5
    ep.6 = S1 ep.12 (from Japanese wiki)

  6. Maxzilla says:

    You know what? I made a excel file with all series which where subbed fully. I took the average rating from ANIDB.net and made a graphic for each quarter of the year, and you know??? 2010/Q1 is the highest rated quarter ever (1996-2010). What also is interresting that the average rating is increasing from 6.6 to 7.2 since 1996 (of 10) so all who are always crying how bad this season is. YOU ARE WRONG.

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Maxzilla: oh, please do not take these rating sseriously. AniDB ratings are always higher than usual for the current season. Over time, all of them go down, simply because the people who like it watch it faster than the people who don’t like it. Plus, there are sequels like Nodame Cantabile and Hidamari Sketch, whose ratings are barbled up because only the people who watched through their first seasons (and therefore probably liked those) bothered to check out these new seasons.

  8. CHMakoto says:

    Soro no Woto and Cross Game are my favorites atm, but Hanamaru Youchien is the surprise show of the new season from my perspective. I’ll admit they could do without the ‘romance’, but as I was expecting the show to be a total bomb, I’m surprised at how much I like it. It’s in my top 10 for now. I think what is available will tide me over until the new K-On!

  9. Machi says:

    I don’t see how AniDib ratings would be anything but definitive, considering its just a point and click from readers without any real justification. Its an ordinal rating not cardinal, given that its even less likely to reflect accuracy (its like saying IMDB ratings are definitve source of rating for ‘masterpiece’). Its good that the site encourages people to review but face it not everyone is able to keep a level head with their enthusiasm.

  10. Kalandra says:

    Machi got it right. Most people are too enthusiastic about the anime/manga they are watching now, so results tend to be biased. Plus an audience from 2010 (wow 2010 already huh) might not appreciate stuff from 1996.

  11. Reltair says:

    Excellent rankings sir. I should really start watching Bantorra again…

  12. GPrieto says:

    ‘Seikon no Qwaser’ is one of the worst series of the last season. Leaving aside the euphemisms thumbed (fanservice, ecchi, etc), this series can only be described as pornographic. That is the kinda crap that makes me ashamed to like Anime.

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:52 PM)
    @Realist: I also noticed in that story arc with the talking cats, it mentioned cats of ulthar, which was also mentioned in a HP Lovecraft story.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:11 PM)
    @Realist: I read that mahou tsukai no yome manga you mentioned, the two available volumes. After a few chapters I started getting more into it, but I’ll need more time/updates, looks like its doing a decent enough job setting up a fairly readable plot.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: also isn’t American Vampire written by two guys?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: not only Amira but also Kaiser and Favaro’s dialogue and characterization was pretty weak. Their feud and reconciliation was forced as he’ll, and I just hate it when powerful demons uncharacteristically waste too much time talking to humans they could, and should, easily defeat.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @k-off: the series has some sombre and unconventional stories, it’s just that the story is told indirectly thru lore and subtlety. Demon’s Souls had a decent amount of narrative to the whole affair, albeit short and told mostly thru items and NPC encounters. But unfortunately the series moved forward on from cryptic to straight minimal storytelling. DS2 feels lazy although it has a few cool narratives, like Luciatel, but you have to play your cards right to even get to see that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 11:55 AM)
    @K-off: Demon’s Souls brought it all tho. It introduced every single aspects that defined not only its own franchise but apparently also a whole new genre. The story and game mechanics were cryptic and for those who played it 1st was never imitated again. We didn’t know what we were playing and it challenged the shot out of us and blew our minds.

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