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

Ah, it’s finally spring. It’s a season of lots and lots of rain that eventually turns into nice weather. Seriously though, the reason I’m looking forward to it because this time it really is a season of opportunities: Noitamina is growing, and besides that there is a ton series that either have a great staff with a dull premise, or a great premise with a dull staff. It really can go anywhere, and that’s why I’m looking forward it to it a lot, despite that it may not be as full as compared to the spring seasons of previous years.

As for this season, I’m actually glad that there were rather few series worth watching, because my schedule has become much busier over the past two months, which really allowed me to get used to it. It’s not my favourite season by far, but it did excel in terms of comedies and kids’ shows. The best company of this season was Toei: they didn’t just come with one great series, they had three of them. Four if you also count One Piece, but I’m not watching that series (WAY too long and intimidating).

As for this month’s rankings, aside from my favourites, my rankings got completely jumbled up in comparison to last month. This mostly is due to some excellent series with disappointing finales, and series that I considered to be only decent suddenly turning awesome.

#22 (new) – KissXSis – (3/10) – This is just.. awful. Nothing but an excuse for porn, with hardly anything else. I don’t think that anyone is going to watch this show for something other than the nude girls here. For me, it’s already the worst of the new season even though only four shows have aired yet.
#21 (new) – Koihime Musou – (3,5/10) – It’s exactly the same as it’s ever been: incredibly stupid moe humor. Bored me to death. Dropped.
#20 (new) – Ikkitousen – (4,5/10) – Here’s the thing: for Ikkitousen, it wasn’t that bad of an episode. If I’m not mistaken, the appeal of this show is fighting + fanservice, and that’s pretty much what that episode delivered on, compared to the godawful Dragon Destiny and Great Guardians. Still, with regular standards the show still is pretty cheesy and full of stupid and stereotypical characters.
#19 (new) – Working!! – (5/10) – I’ve been looking forward to this series, but alas. It’s sense of humour is completely different from mine, and as a result I only was annoyed by the countless teenaged antics that the creators kept trying to push forward. Dropped.
#18 (17) – Ookami Kakushi – (6,5/10) – Well, everything pretty much derailed for this show. While it looked like it was actually trying in the beginning, the ending was just terrible thanks to the useless male lead and the really cheesy villain. The adults all started acting like complete morons, and nothing really got solved in the end. The final gag episode also was a pain to sit through.
#17 (16) – Kimi ni Todoke – (7,75/10) – Granted, this finale was definitely more bearable than the rest of this series, but it never really solved anything. All we got was a message that said that if you ‘liked the story, you should check out the manga and a second season might be made’. Gee, how subtle.
#16 (11) – Cobra The Animation – (7,75/10) – Not the strongest month for Cobra, as I liked it best when it was episodic. The final arc took up four episodes, and it could have been condensed a bit as it dragged a bit for too long. Nevertheless, it was entertaining and kept me busy.
#15 (4) – Sora no Oto – (7,75/10) – The first two thirds of this series were truly excellent. However, I just can’t say the same of what Sora no Oto showed us the past month. It tried to do way too much in way too little time, and it wanted to be way too epic, forgetting that it was supposed to be a slice of life series. The final episode was way too rushed and pulled way too many convenient plot twists. The best that this month has shown was probably the German.
#14 (10) – Tentai Senshi Sunred – (8,25/10) – The final episodes weren’t among the highlights of Sunred’s second season, but I still got a good laugh out of them. It’s sad to see this show go, as it’s been one of those rare comedy sequels to actually surpass its original.
#13 (7) – Marie & Gali – (8,25/10) – So the finale took up this month’s airtime for Marie & Gali, so it wasn’t exactly amongst the series’ highlights. However, it was nowhere near bad. I love how the finale, instead of creating a cheesy climax that had nothing to do with the rest of the series, instead forced Marika to think for herself. That’s of course the perfect ending for a series that’s about exploring the wonders of science.
#12 (5) – Cross Game – (8,25/10) – One thing that I didn’t like about Cross Game this month was that most of its time was spent on its rather boring baseball match in the finale of the regional championships. It was the thing I had been fearing for twenty episodes now, and it indeed was nowhere as good as the truly excellent slice of life of this series. Nevertheless, the actual ending closed off the series really well.
#11 (15) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10) – Episode 3 was heaps better than the first two episodes: an interesting scenario, an interesting villain, the dialogue was much more focused and the fight again was short and sweet. It’s definitely an interesting series to watch like this.
#10 (12) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8,25/10)

Episode 25 started this series mid-way climax. And it was… unusual. Completely different from the laid-back nature of the rest of the series. I’m actually quite curious what the creators are planning for the second half of this series.

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

I’m also pretty amazed at how well this series is doing in terms of popularity and audience numbers, and it pretty much deserves it. I can very much imagine that kids are loving this little horror series, and it’s still delivering simple but fun and varied horror stories that are consistently scary.

#8 (18) – Hanamaru Youchien – (8,25/10)

I’m a bit sad about that open ending. I mean, if there’s one series that could have easily made up its own ending, it would have been this one, and it would have been much more satisfying than what we got to see right now, which basically was a build-up for nothing. Ignoring that however, then Hanamaru Youchien has gotten significantly better in its final third. The characters came together, the comedy became funnier, the characters developed a bit. Overall a very enjoyable finale.

#7 (14) – Gag Manga Biyori + – (8,5/10)

Absolutely hilarious. Especially the Wolf-man episode was beyond funny, but the other new episodes were also classics.

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

It’s great to see that this series is currently working diligently to introduce all of the major characters, rather than wallowing away too much in random stories. It’s exactly what this show should be doing at this point.

#5 (13) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

You know, I was just going to casually enjoy the rest of this series and wait for the second season to really start off the plot. But damn… that final episode. The final ten minutes of this show single-handedly increased my opinion of this series significantly. It’s a huge cliff-hanger, but at the same time it was a wonderful way to end the first season with.

#4 (3) – Durarara – (8,75/10)

This month Durarara really managed to elevate itself to a higher level, and became something unique. The dialogue has been really well written in order to get the best out of the characters, and it’s really been working so far. More and more characters are shedding the seemingly stereotypical look that they had in the beginning.

#3 (6) – Kobato – (8,75/10)

Kobato really surpassed itself this month, with a very solid and heart-wrenching conclusion that really made use of its time. For me, it’s had the best ending of the season.

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

We’re really moving to the climax now, as this series has been ramping up the action while still developing the plot at a steady pace. Exciting is an understatement to describe this series.

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

The big problem with this show right now is that it should have been 35 episodes long, instead of 27. So yeah, it’s a bit rushed, but seriously, that still doesn’t make it any less awesome than that it already was. I’m still enjoying this show more than any other at the moment and despite the rushed plot the creators did manage to capture the essences of the final chapters of the story. Because of that it’s awesome to see everything finally coming together.

12 Responses

  1. ZACK says:

    Totally Agree about Armed Librarians.A bit rushed and probably a little cheesy towards the end but does that make it any less awesome.HELL NO!
    I have to say I’m glad to see this show gathering a cult following and people who trashed this show after the first ep..finally recognizing it for the gem it is..
    As for the other shows i’d put Durarara second with FMA a close 3rd..and banish Ookami Kakushi to the oblivion of last place it so rightfuly deserves.

  2. PL says:

    The animation in the first episode of Bantorra was so terrible, I actually didn’t watch eps 2,3 and 4 as they aired, but then i started reading great things about it, so i picked it back up and I’ve kept up weekly since. They must have gotten additional funding as the show gained popularity because it began to look better by orders of magnitude, and became one of the best looking shows. I had been disappointed with my two favorite characters gone, but they’ve actually managed to make hamyuts sympathetic again by finally creating a weakness for her. Plus i had forgotten about Enlike. I like his character a lot, and his vengeance quest was awesome. I agree, 35 eps would have gotten the best out of this show…but thank the flying spaghetti monster they at least gave it the extra 27th ep, as stuffing 26 and 27 into one would have ruined this show’s ending.

  3. AuroraFlame says:

    I actually had the exact opposite reaction you did while watching two of these series. I liked Sora no Oto’s ending but not Kobato’s, and you had the opposite opinion. But both of agree that the penultimate episode for both series were among their best (Kobato 23 was my favorite of that series).

    While I’m ok with how Kobato ended, I get the feeling that it wasted a lot of its potential, whereas Sora no Oto tied its story up despite leaving some things open ended. I just don’t really understand why they would go with an anime original ending when every CLAMP series so far has gotten two or three seasons.

    At the end of 23, I was really excited and wondering how they were going to wrap this up. Still, despite how the show took its time to develop its characters, I felt like Kiyokazu’s realization that he was in love with Kobato was rushed. Considering how he was just barely starting to understand when they parted, I find it hard to believe that he wasn’t at peace without her for five whole years.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still loved both series, including their endings. But a lot of the criticism you directed at Sora no Oto, I find to be far more present in Kobato.

    I really have to start Book of Bantorra — everyone says it’s amazing.

  4. Obi Wan Panini says:

    I really enjoyed Bantorra, but I think you ranked it higher than FMA Brotherhood more out of your zeal to champion this underrated show, not out of a more balanced judgement.

  5. riddle says:

    Hmm…i think cross game should have a higher rating than Hanamaru kindergarden. but other then that, bantorra deserve the first place

  6. Machi says:

    I think there is some misconception about Hamyuts being “sympathetic”. Some people find it terrible, saying oh its so last minute, others say its a good thing. But I think whats being forgotten here is that it doesn’t exonerate her from what she’s done (which I noticed some people have been jumping the gun at with attacking episode 26).

    Sure she had a tough past but you have to recall she’s still a very very twisted sadist-masochist, case and point is the scene with Mirepoc & Volken’s book (which from what I hear diverged from the source as Hamy actually crushes the book so it never returned, eitherway essence is there she’s committed atrocious things and Volken & Mirepoc is one of those victims). So at best it only further complicates the make-up of what we know as Hamyuts, which is what I liked about it even if I wasn’t so taken in by the sudden change of heart by the last quarter of 26 it still added a layer to her. I’m definitely excited for the 27th episode irregardless of how it goes, like I said I can easily forgive a few moments of bad faith considering how the entire series was as a whole (kind of like how I found Casshern Sins but doesn’t seem like the show plans to go contradictory like that show). I’ve only followed one series for the entire season, I pretty much dropped the others. Next season looks like I have 2 shows to follow~

  7. PL says:

    Machi… i certainly hope she “gets hers” and I in no way feel like she’s been exonerated. But, watching her look at what she had and cast aside in pursuit of this single purpose and actually feel something because of it does make her a little more human. Even if what she did to Volken (crushing his ideals and faith in the previous acting director) was absolutely vile and disgusting, and caused me to go from liking her as a “bad ass” female character to loathing her, seeing a human side to her for almost the first time in the entire series makes her a character I can enjoy watching again. When I speak of sympathetic characters, I mean that in the sense in which it is used by literary critics–a character which we can have some sort of emotional connection with, and not in the sense used by many to mean a “good guy” or a character I like. In the novel Lolita, the protagonist Humbert Humbert is a vile, disgusting pedophile. But, he is still sympathetic because we watch how the female character manipulates him into acting on impulses he would have otherwise ignored and takes advantage of him. He’s not a nice character. Not likeable. Certainly not a “good guy.” But he’s human, and we can be emotionally engaged with the book because of it. In fact, I’d say that sometimes a “likeable” character or a “good guy”, like the male lead in Kimi ni Todoke, is less sympathetic than a deeply flawed but human character like Humbert Humbert or even Hamyuts. My problem with the final arc of the series had been that I was having trouble connecting with the story emotionally anymore because of the absence of the more sympathetic characters. So, seeing Hamyuts turned into a human being did wonders for bringing my interest back to the story and the characters, even if I still don’t “like” Hamyuts, or feel like she deserves a happy end. I hope she gets exactly what she’s always wanted, a very painful death. And knowing that she’s human now, I’ll be able to have a strong emotional reaction and feel a proper sense of “storybook” justice being fulfilled when/if that happens.

  8. psgels psgels says:

    Obi Wan: actually, the reason why I put Armed Librarians at the top is because I really am enjoying it more than Full Metal Alchemist. The latter is of course a great sereis, but I’m still much more impressed with what the Armed Librarians has done with its plot over the past half year than what Full Metal Alchemist did with its plot over the past year.

  9. MsteaK says:

    I always liked Hamy, even though it was more because she defied the generic conventions that female characters have in most anime series from nowadays (yes, I hate moe).

  10. Obi Wan Panini says:

    psgels: I would actually agree with you about that. Bantorra was very masterful in its storytelling, but what I felt held it back was in the character department – a few years down the line, Hamyuts, Matt, or even Volken do not make for very memorable characters compared with the empathetic cast of Full Metal Alchemist. Noloty would be an exception for me though, but 1 or 2 do not stand well against FMA’s huge cast that were intertwined and coordinated so well compared to the rather ‘use-for-plot-and-throw’ approach in Bantorra. So all parts considered, as an end product I saw FMA coming out on top. Despite it, I think both series are great and I’m glad you and I enjoyed them.

  11. F.D. says:

    Guess what? I finished watching Kobato the anime, and i have to say. The last episode made me cried a lot. I even wanted to weep in my heart. The story is awesome, the characters are over the top and many heart-warming moments that everyone should watch at. Kobato, THE BEST ANIME OF 2009. And this is what anime supposed to be like last year. So, I recommended everyone to check out this anime. It’s awesome.

  12. Firechick says:

    I’m late, I know, but Psgels, you are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about Kiss x Sis. it’s basically a disgrace to all anime (along with Seikon no Qwaser) and…there’s a horrid scene in one of the later episodes (I think episode 4 or 5, I dunno). Those series are EXACTLY why I think anime is being abused. And yes, Kobato and Heartcatch Precure have been nothing but awesome for me this month.

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  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 05:51 AM)
    Ah that announcement I had been waiting for, Yahari season 2 has been confirmed now for spring season of 2015.
  • Bam
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 01:13 AM)
    @Ninja: yeah spending a week at Black Rock City with 100k people with all the madness that transpires is pretty exhausting. The thing about Burning Man is that given the open atmosphere of acceptance makes it much easier to socialoze since you can keep the ego bullshit to a minimal.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 12:58 AM)
    @Bam I just mean I don’t have the energy for that type of event any more. It just wears me out. That amount of constant socialization.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 09:15 PM)
    @Ninja: yeah pyro contraptions are a big hit there, but that’s a lofty project indeed.
    And I’m pretty sure you’re not that old, there’s a lot of 50-60 year olds there and they’re having a good time. If you’re not a camping person then yeah … it’s not gonna be easy for you, but given the atmosphere, the music, and the art I firmly believe it’s worth checking out at least once.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 06:18 PM)
    @Bam Ahhhh Burning Man. I had some friends from Indiana who were trying to get me to help them build an organ that shoots fire with each key-press for Burning Man. It sounded fun but I already feel too old for something like Burning Man.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:32 AM)
    @Ninja: no I met most of them at Burning Man.
  • ninjarealist
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:23 AM)
    @Bam I see I just figured that if you had a lot of friends in KY you must have lived in the region.
    @Friend Yeah or involved desserts like Palmiers or Croissants. I actually am pretty decent at making croissants from scratch but it’s a pain in the ass.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:21 AM)
    And that’s … The More You Know ;)
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:19 AM)
    “Iran” originally means “the land of the Aryans”. The European settlers of Aryan decent are correctly labeled Indo-European as they traveled from north of India across Iran and the Caucasus mountain range (hence the term Caucasian) and settled in pastural lands in Europe. Hence we are the original white people. Go figure.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Oct 21. 2014 08:14 AM)
    @K-off: some good-looking corn there m8.

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