Before this season started, I called it the “season of opportunities”, and it turned out to be exactly that. There is a ton of potential, there are a lot of series about adults and only a very tiny percentage is the usual crap we get at the start of each season. Provided that all of the show grab the potential that’s handed out for them, we’re dealing with an excellent season here.
#31 (new) – Metal Fight Beyblade – (2/10) – Ridiculously badly produced. Seriously, the creators put no effort into this whatsoever. The forget about a huge crowd in the background and make even less inspired than the most standard of shounen fare. Dropped.
#30 (new) – SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors – (3/10) – Sunrise… just… why? Why did you even think of this, and why does it have such a good soundtrack and background artist? They’re completely wasted on such a silly script. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Jewel Pet – (4/10) – Again this is just another terrible kids’ show with ridiculously obnoxious animal sidekicks. There’s no creativity, nothing. Just the same regurgitated over and over. Dropped.
#28 (new) – Hime Chen! Otogi Chikku Idol Lilpri – (7/10) – The first episode was wonderfully cheesy. If the rest of the episodes would have continued this I would have kept watching it, however after that it quickly fell into a dull formula of repetition, and the jokes quickly became unfunny and annoying. Dropped.
#27 (new) – Arakawa Under the Bridge – (7/10) – It’s really much of the same for Shinbo; we have a hyperactive lead character who keeps ranting, who is surrounded by a bunch of side-characters who are all a bit weird. I’ve gotten tired of this a long time ago. Dropped.
#26 (new) – Hakuouki – (7,25/10) – Very cheesy, with a ton of out-of-place bishies, but at least the dialogue is good. It can go either way at this point, but it’s definitely nowhere near Studio Deen’s better works.
#25 (new) – Mayoi Neko Overrun – (7,5/10) – Enjoyable enough, I especially like how each episode has its own director. The problem however is the horribly obnoxious female cast. Dropped
#24 (new) – K-On – (7,5/10) – I mostly dropped this due to time constraints: while the first episode of K-On!! had its charms, there are just too many series that are more interesting. The animation was very good though. Dropped.
#23 (13) – Marie&Gali – (7,5/10) – What? Noooo! The second season is much worse than the first. Instead of letting everything flow naturally, episodes are just full with stereotypical overacting. It’s not just that the new lead character sucks, the rest of the cast aside from Marika are all trying way too hard to be funny now. What a shame!
#22 (new) – Heroman – (7,5/10) – The big flaw of this series is its characters: lifeless clichés that you see everywhere. However, in terms of the alien invasion the creators did a pretty nice job. Finally we have a bunch of invading aliens who know what they want, instead of the pansies that heroes usually have to fight.
#21 (new) – Saikyou Busho-den Sangoku Engi – (7,75/10) – I mostly dropped this series because of personal bias: with anime’s history of raping the Romance of the Three Kingdoms novels, I just can’t take it seriously any more. I do have to say though, that that animation was really good.
#20 (9) – Kaidan Restaurant – (7,75/10) – It’s been fun, but I do think that I’m going to drop this series now. Why? There’s no progress whatsoever. Every episode is the same, there’s no development, nothing. I’d rather drop this while it’s still remotely fun before seeing it burn out and becoming too repetitive.
#19 (new) – Kaichou wa Maid-sama – (7,75/10) – I was hoping that Hiroaki Sakurai could breathe life into this premise, but at the moment it’s just not as good as some of his other series. The problem mostly lies with the premise: it just tries way too hard to make us as an audience feel sorry for the lead character. The scenarios it comes up with aren’t that creative. I’m mostly watching for the characterization, which did turn out to be pretty good.
#18 (new) – Hetalia World Series – (7,75/10) – It’s still pretty much the same old Hetalia, only with more countries. Granted, I do like it more now that it’s also focusing on the other lesser known countries, but the balance between their screen-time is a bit weird.
#17 (new) – Kuruneko – (7,75/10) – Finally caught up with this one again, and it’s proven to be a gentle slice of life series about a woman and her cats. Some of the episodes are quite funny, but that’s not what this series is about. Even when episodes aren’t funny, it’s still very enjoyable to watch the bond she has with her cats.
#16 (new) – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – (7,75/10) – Artland is strange. They’ve got this talent of making their harem shows look as cheap as possible, but when you come down to it they’re actually kind-of good. The jokes work surprisingly well, and it isn’t afraid to try out new ideas. There’s a nice combination between creativity and cheesiness here.
#15 (new) – Senkou no Night Raid – (8/10) – So while the spies in this series are more James Bond than real spies, it’s a show that definitely has its charms. It’s well produced and the characters are likeable, and it’s very good at building up tension and pacing an episode. I would have liked to see some bolder and more realistic ideas, though.
#14 (10) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – So far, this series has been quite refreshing, and this month only added to that. The problems here were all down to earth and when it did go over the top it did so with subtlety. Because of this, now that we’re getting a bit more dramatic, the drama so far has felt natural and not forced. It’s going to be interesting if the creators can keep this up.
#13 (3) – Durarara – (8/10) – I’m a bit iffy on the pacing of this series during this month. I’m not sure what it is, but it didn’t seem too balanced, and while there were highlights (like what happened to Anri), it just wasn’t as good as it used to be.
#12 (new) – Rainbow – (8/10) – Well, let’s face it: this show is flawed. The acting is just way over the top at times. And yet, I consider this to be the most intense and captivating show of the new season, just because of the full force that it throws at you as a viewer. Maintaining this balance is very difficult: start dragging or repeating and my suspense of disbelief will probably be broken very easily, but so far it’s got enough to make up for the bad acting.
#11 (new) – B Gata H Kei – (8,25/10) – The only thing I do not like about this series is the love rival. That’s just too much of a cliché. Otherwise however, I really can’t deny that I’m enjoying this series more than any other fan-service comedy that I’ve seen. The chemistry and sexual tension between the two lead characters is still fresh after 5 episodes, and I love how the creators keep playing with them. This isn’t a series about a girl who wants to have sex with 100 guys. This is just about a girl who thinks that she wants to have sex with 100 guys.
#10 (new) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (8,25/10)
The big disadvantage of this series is its lack of originality. However, it’s a pretty solid series so far. The acting is pretty good, there is angst, but it doesn’t go over the top, and the lead character himself may be a wimp, but he’s a wimp who can take responsibility. Oh, and the soundtrack only gets better and better with every episode.
#9 (new) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10)
So far I love the amount of creativity that has been put into this series. It’s completely chaotic because of its characters, but these flaws make the huge cast quite charming. It’s got its flaws, and at times the pacing is just off and it’s unbalanced as heck, but it’s definitely a fun, interesting and varied watch.
#8 (11) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10)
The fourth episode was quite surprising, and overall this series has proven to be quite enjoyable with its nearly endless dialogues. It’s very good at building up for its short-but-sweet action scenes.
#7 (new) – Ookiku Furikabutte – (8,25/10)
An excellent series once more. The amount of detail in even the smaller matches really stands out. In this month the lead characters took a step back to focus on the side-characters, so I’m very interested in the results of this.
#6 (7) – Gag Manga Biyori – (8,5/10)
Seriously, aside from the best episodes of Gintama and the Law of Ueki, I don’t think I’ve laughed this consistently hard at an anime as here. I’m really glad to see that this series has gone past 13 episodes, because it deserves to be amongst the best comedies of the year.
#5 (6) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,5/10)
Heartcatch Precure continues to have an excellent balance between episodes dedicated to the main characters, and to random people. All of them are well written instead of the usual cheese that you see with these episodic series. It doesn’t try to do things that wouldn’t make sense for their characters, while still remaining fun and touching.
#4 (new) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)
For me, this was the biggest surprise this series. Giant Killing stands out in its chemistry; the cast is excellent, it’s varied, flawed, charming, and the creators love to try and get the maximal amount of potential out of them. Te tension is really well built up, and the background music is simple but very effective. A very fun and addictive series to watch.
#3 (new) – Sarai-ya Goyou – (8,75/10)
The characterization of this series is truly excellent: characters are really brought to life with Manglobe’s excellent animation. It’s a very relaxing series that at the same time has plenty of serious issues to deal with, confronting the lead character with heavy decisions and forcing him to crawl out of his shell a bit. I’m sold.
#2 (new) – Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei – (8,75/10)
Oh, it’s awesome to see Masaaki Yuasa back again, and I just love the concept behind this series. It’s told with wit, and a ton of creativity has gone into making this as interesting as possible. Watashi is a very interesting lead despite his clichés, and the incredibly fast talking definitely has its charms when you get used to it.
#1 (2) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9,25/10)
This show just continues being awesome. Every episode this month has delivered, combining excellent action-sequences with powerful drama. With excellent pacing and characters who only continue to develop, I’m very impressed with how this series turned out.