Posted by psgels on 28 February 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

Overall, this probably is the season in which I watched the least amount of series since Winter 2006 or something. Nevertheless, this season also has a very nice collection of interesting and engaging series. Especially the kids’ series and the series that put a lot of effort into their settings are doing well. The upcoming spring season seems to be one of opportunities:: there’s a ton of series with a great production-team and a generic premise, or generic production teams and a great premise.

#18 (14) – Hanamaru Youchien – (7,5/10) – Seriously… what happened? Here we have a nice series about a bunch of kids who have fun in a kindergarten… and suddenly this show decides that it also wants a brother complex drama. This series had such a simple formula… so why are the creators forgetting that?
#17 (16) – Ookami Kakushi – (7,75/10) – Yeah, now I’m convinced that this, like most other works of the director, is a wasted potential. The source this time is the “useless lead character”-syndrome: he’s the least interesting character of the entire cast, he never really does anything, his part in the story and especially his central role doesn’t make any sense, and most importantly: he gobbles up all of the precious airtime that could have been focused at the more interesting characters. Right now, the rest of the cast can’t show their best sides because of this guy and the plot events just happen without a lot of meaning to them.
#16 (15) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – The brother arc was nice, PROVIDED that the creators won’t stretch it any further than what they have now. It was a great way to develop these two characters, but I know that my patience is going to break if it gets stretched out any further. Oh, and seriously: is there any reason why Sawako and Kazehaya haven’t hooked up yet? Seriously.
#15 (12) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – There’s still lots and lots of talking in this series, but it’s still interesting and witty. The series does need to think about character-development if it wants to remain interesting for 10 more episodes, though.
#14 (9) – Gag Manga Biyori + – (8/10) – It’s a bit of a shame that out of all the episodes it decides to recap, it picks the dullest ones. Ah well, the original episodes, especially episode five, were just priceless. And I still can’t get enough of that ED.
#13 (8) – Letter Bee – (8/10) – ZOMG Second Season! That one announcement totally re-established my faith in this series. The episodes this month haven’t been among this series’ highlights, but they served their purpose as build-up well.
#12 (18) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – Last month I had my fears, but this series picked itself back up again, and is as enjoyable as ever. One thing that also really helps here is the great voice-acting for the lead characters: it’s inspired, fun and creative and continually makes the characters fun to watch.
#11 (13) – Cobra the Animation – (8/10) – This show knows exactly what it is: space adventures, and it delivers on this. The creativity in this series in my opinion beats that of Cobra 1982 by miles and despite the fact that Cobra kicks ass in just about every way imaginable, it’s consistently enjoyable.
#10 (10) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10)

Most comedies would have burned out at this point, but not Sunred: it still keeps fresh jokes coming, and it skilfully knows how long it should repeat certain jokes before they get stale. Or how long it should repeat certain jokes to turn them into running gags. After nearly fifty episodes, it’s still a fresh source of comedy.

#9 (11) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8,25/10)

It’s a kid’s show, yes. But I find myself enjoying this series more and more with every episode. The different horror stories are consistently well told and varied. I can always count on this series to give me a weekly fix of horror.

#8 (new) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,5/10)

Finally another good mahou shoujo appeared again. Heartcatch Precure is miles away from regular Precure series, it’s got a very strong direction, the characters’ expressions are very detailed and varied and the comedy itself is consistently funny as well. Not to mention the gorgeous Casshern-esque character-designs.

#7 (9) – Marie & Gali – (8,5/10)

Noo! Episode 38 showed the beginning of the finale, meaning that this wonderful series is going to end soon. Such a shame, but at least it’s good to see that this series ends at the point where it’s at its height, rather than dying a slow death. And the finale itself also did not dent the quality in any way either: the creators have chosen a very appropriate story for this series.

#6 (6) – Kobato – (8,5/10)

I must praise the creators for how the developed Kobato: she’s gotten downright adorable at this point, and the rest of the cast also has so much charms. This is a simple series, but because of that it’s wonderful to see how well the development has become.

#5 (4) – Cross Game – (8,5/10)

Since the baseball matches never were Cross Game’s strong point, I wasn’t really looking forward to this point. But to my surprise, the characters did not lose their unique charms. In fact, while the series’ mood changed to less subtle, this show avoided jumping the shark and instead still is an utter joy to watch due to these developments.

#4 (7) – Sora no Oto – (8,75/10)

This series has really proven itself to be more than just moe. The characters are well written and down to earth, and yet it also proves that it can hit hard with episodes as episode 7. the direction knows when it needs to be subtle and when it needs to be powerful, I’m very impressed.

#3 (3) – Durarara – (8,75/10)

This series has proven to be excellent at weaving together so many different stories in the same episodes. It’s witty, funny, powerful, touching, engaging, well characterized, varied and the way that every episode is told through the perspective of a different character gives quite a unique dimension to everything.

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

The way in which this series really sets itself apart from others is its focus on finding allies:Ed and Al by far aren’t the only ones in the middle of this story; there are so many different characters who are trying to accomplish the same or similar goals to their own, and they all work together to get there. It also of course really helps that the execution is as solid as ever.

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

Even though this series has been among my favourites of the past five months, it still continues to impress with such a powerful and imaginative plot, along with strong themes and messages. I salute the two central characters that we saw for their beliefs.

17 Responses

  1. temperus says:

    It’s scary just how similar our views are. Other than a few shows I haven’t watched, and some that I have (which were all awful), I would probably swap Kobato and Sora no Woto, and that’s about it. I just wish I hadn’t fallen into the trap of giving Shinbo another chance, because Bund is just terrible.

  2. AKI says:

    Such a shame that you weren’t following Baka to Test. But glad to hear that Letter Bee’s getting a second season.

  3. lesterf1020 says:

    I am surprised you are still watching Kimi ni Todoke. I though you hated that show for being tedious and forced. You didn’t seem to come up with a good reason to continue watching so …. eh?

  4. psgels psgels says:

    Lester: Well, to be exact, I hated writing about it. When turning my mind of, it’s decent enough to continue.

  5. FortMan says:

    Well, to be fair, Hanamaru Kindergarten does go back to formula this week.

    Not that the bro-con part bother me that much. It does deal with the larger theme for the show: Childhood. Overattachment to her brother is something Satsuki will grow away from, just not right now.

  6. Machi says:

    Oh psgels what did I tell you the funny thing about Kimi no Todoke is that the lead characters truly are the most boring thing. The whole brother arc, which focuses on the side characters, is almost a breath of fresh air (if only for having less focus on Kaze and Sadako). In any case as far as I read, just a few chapters after that, it returns to them and the ever so lovely frustration of delaying the hook up along with making a mountain out of a mole hill with the exceptional ability of Sawako to be completely socially inept and emoing…

    I truly do wonder HOW MANY episodes Armed Librarians has I mean seriously it sounds like it still has a lot of arcs to go. Not only that but we’ve not seen the glowing white guy in the OP yet, we’re about to see Violet Sinner. I do wish they extend the run of Armed Librarians.

  7. Strea says:

    Just curious, but are a guy or a girl? Ive been visiting this site, and I must say that you have weird taste for animes xD

  8. Guitar says:

    Strea: Psgels is male, he just has unique and wonderfully cultivated tastes.

  9. chounokoe says:

    And finally another one of us guys who’s not just blogging for the sake of writing smart-ass comments about how witty he can bash a show. XD

    @Machi: Yeah me and another friend are also wondering how the heck they are planing to go on. It would perfectly fit to make a stop after the next arc ‘Banquet of Liars’, which should start at episode 24…but who knows.
    But I’m perfectly sure nobody here would be angry if it would be extended into a 39 episodes series.

  10. Shippoyasha says:

    Not too sold on Durarara yet. It has a unique premise, but most of the episodes just lingers on without not much actually happening. Some drops of plot here and there so far.

    But I have to admire your choice for Heartcatch Precure and especially Kaidan Restaurant.

    Kaidan Restaurant is just awesome for being so family-oriented. Very easy watch.

  11. Alec says:

    a second season might salvage letter bee, but it means more fillers. IF ONLY i can bring myself to hate this anime

  12. karry says:

    “Most comedies would have burned out at this point, but not Sunred: it still keeps fresh jokes coming”

    Only for sentai fans. Its a pile of crap for those of us who are unfazed by that pre-school genre.

  13. mambo says:

    Do you wacth fansub marie galie or RAW version?
    Cause i can’t find it.

  14. Reltair says:

    Kobato is rated pretty high up. I stopped watching it because it felt too episodic for my tastes, maybe I’ll pick it up again.

  15. psgels psgels says:

    mambo: yeah, unfortunately there are no subs of Marie & Gali yet.

  16. Shippoyasha says:

    @karry

    WTF? Did you even watch an episode of Sunred? Its comedy is aimed directly at young adults and upwards. It has jokes that probably would not even be funny for young kids.

  17. Windspirit says:

    “despite the fact that Cobra kicks ass in just about every way imaginable, it’s consistently enjoyable.”
    >> You don’t hear this anywhere else.

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  • Vincent
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 10:01 AM)
    Watched Letters from Iwo Jima again. Ken Watanabe is a great actor.
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:32 AM)
    Note that it’s not just regular AIDS, which is definitely treatable if caught early, it’s some dtug resistant SUPERAIDS that the character in question got from a blood transfusion soon after being born
  • gedata
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 09:29 AM)
    It’s not that the disease being AIDS is really all that important. You could even replace with anything, even Sudden Moe Death Syndrome from Clannad and the emotional impact would still be as blunt and forced.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 07:02 AM)
    Oh for fucks sake sword art? You put HIV drama into your show?
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:57 AM)
    Pretty much looking forward to the next two episodes and hope it gets more seasons too.
    I also liked how bleak it was.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:55 AM)
    *how twisty
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    . I was told to stay away from story six. Story seven was the most developed and ambitious of the selection but I feel mixed on it and didn’t really get into it until midway or so.
    Still I do love weird tales anthology stuff and this all fit the bill for me.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    The first story even I have to admit was genuinely horrifying, uncomfortable and got under my skin and of the selection it still stands out as having the greatest impact. The second one was good social commentary but doesn’t really give me much I didn’t already know. Stories three and were the most emotionally investing for me. I thoroughly enjoyed who twisty, twisted, truly nasty and cruel story five was and it is my second favourite of the lot.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:54 AM)
    I did however feel that some of the dialogue and acting could have done with some very very slight tweaking in parts/some segments.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Dec 21. 2014 06:53 AM)
    Okay even though I don’t watch western tv shows all that much I finally properly spent whole day going through black mirror. For the larger part this is creative, unpredictable, well thought out/written, varied, I like the technological end of it, the stories manage to fit into the short film runtime without ever feeling like they needed more time and its clear that Charlie Brooker has a lot to say with this and is very intelligent man, some of it does ring fairly true.

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