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

Milestone time: this is the fiftieth month in which I’ve written such a summary about the shows I’ve been watching. Woohoo!

Anyway, this month showed interesting developments: you can really see some shows delivering and becoming better and batter, while also an array of series just failed to live up to its expectations. The success of this season is really going to depend on how June turns out, though. Many series will then end, and many series have been promising a lot of potential for their finales.

#23 (26) – Hakuouki – (6,5/10) – Yeah, I dropped this one. The lead female just keeps getting rescued over and over, and instead of learning she just continues to go into dangerous situations. The plot behind it may have been interesting, but I couldn’t take her any more.
#22 (19) – Kaichou wa Maid-Sama – (7/10) – Ah, screw it, this one’s dropped as well. Episode nine was the final straw for me. For one thing: if you make a nonsensical filler episode: make it funny. This was just stupid, pointless and suggested to me that even the creators have given up on it. I’ve got many better things to do than keeping up with this thing.
#21 (23) – Marie&Gali – (7,5/10) – This series is still incredibly creative, but the thing with this sequel is that it’s now explaining science for the sake of explaining science. It lacks the spontaneity of the first season, and the new main character is also more annoying than she is funny. Such a shame!
#20 (18) – Hetalia World Series – (7,75/10) – Nothing much can be said about this one. It’s the same as ever: not the best, but solid entertainment.
#19 (10) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (7,75/10) – The past few episodes have been rather dull, but there is definitely potential here. The characters are interesting to watch, and I especially like the role of the kids in this series. A big problem is the new side-cast, though. They either need to develop or leave.
#18 (14) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – I do have to say that the creators often rely on the same gimmick: putting a creature in Japan that has no reason whatsoever of being there. I know it makes sense in the story, but something new has to happen. You can’t keep milking that forever.
#17 (17) – Kuruneko – (8/10) – Releases are very sporadic, but this still remains an enjoyable slice of life series. The different cats all have their different quirks and they remain fun to watch even after forty episodes.
#16 (20) – Kaidan Restaurant – (8/10) – Yeah, okay, I was wrong. This show is just too good to be dropped. It’s repetitive, but the bite-size chunks of horror work every time, and are surprisingly well told. It will have a lot more competition once the Summer season starts, though.
#15 (22) – Heroman – (8/10) – Props to Heroman, for actually delivering quite a solid saturday-morning-ish show. The plot has its clichés and overused tropes, but it has also been continuously moving with a lot of potential to develop into.
#14 (11) – B Gata H Kei – (8/10) – Not as good as during the first few episodes, but still very enjoyable. The big problem with this show is the huge amount of overused clichés, but the chemistry between the lead characters still manages to elevate this far beyond any other fan-service show for me. The two are hilarious together with the sexual tension that keeps sparking between the two of them, and the side-characters all do their jobs to support this despite their clichés.
#13 (13) – Durarara – (8,25/10) – Overall, this series has been good, but not as enjoyable as I would have expected. The whole conflict that is spiralling out of control is of course interesting, but to me it still feels like it’s missing something, and it doesn’t really help that this show keeps giving off hints to Baccano while it in fact is completely different. If the series would go on for more than 24 episodes, then I probably wouldn’t be complaining as much as I am now, but i just feel that the conclusion of this series just isn’t going to get the best out of the concept with so many novels still unanimated.
#12 (16) – Ichiban Ushiro no Damaou – (8,25/10) – I’m really surprised at how good this show has become, especially considering how it has so much pointless fan-service. The wit of especially the green-haired girl is delightful, and you can see that the creators are having a lot of fun pulling all kinds of weird twists into the plot. The serious parts aren’t the most interesting of this series, but they work well enough I guess.
#11 (8) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10) – It’s still a consistently enjoyable show with a ton of dialogue. The past episode again showed that it’s sufficiently varied to keep the audience’s attention, and as the show goes on I’m getting more and more faith in it. The dialogues are still excellent and interesting and the action again is short but sweet.
#10 (7) – Ookiku Furikabutte – (8,25/10)

The big match of this season has finally started, and again this series sets itself apart with a huge attention to detail in its matches. Consistently enjoyable so far,though I noticed that the creators are using quite a bit more comedy than that they did in the first season. It works, so there’s nothing wrong with that.

#9 (12) – Rainbow – (8,25/10)

Yeah, the acting can be pretty bad at times, but the overall scenario, pacing, plot and story really are excellent here. When you can stomach the overacting you’ll be rewarded with a great story with excellent characters who all help each other survive the harsh prison they’re in. Especially the past few episodes have to be praised for how far they actually went.

#8 (9) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10)

It really has had its ups and downs, but Angel Beats really looks like it’s heading towards a very solid conclusion. The past few episodes have become really good and the characters are more and more coming together. I had my doubts at first, but the creators now actually have a good chance of pulling this one off.

#7 (15) – Senkou no Night Raid – (8,5/10)

Episode seven sold me on this series. It really was amazing how well the creators handled such a touchy subject, and I really admire their balls balls to actually go through with such an episode. Overall, this show has really grown on me despite the slow start, and it’s especially getting interesting now that the episodic stuff is dropped and it’s moved to a continuous story. The characters all have been fleshed out quite well and they become more and more interesting to watch. If it continues like this, it’s really going to surpass Sora no Oto for me.

#6 (6) – Gag Manga Biyori – (8,5/10)

It’s still absolutely hilarious, pulling parodies from all kinds of genres. My favourite was the spaceship episode. I’m not going to spoil what it was about, I just want to say that… it really had a point there. :P

#5 (5) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,75/10)

This series really has been amazing for the past month. Whether the episodes were about a random story or the main plot, they all kicked ass. We’re not even halfway yet, and it’s already a heart-warming series with utterly gorgeous graphics. Only episode 17 was a bit shallow in comparison, though.

#4 (4) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)

I love what the creators have been doing with this series. They brought in a ton of foreigners (who all spoke in their native tongue, rather than Japanese), the tension just keeps increasing because Tatsumi still hasn’t turned the tables for his team and they still kept up with everything that made the earlier episodes so enjoyable: the fans, press, player, staff, rival coaches, everyone here is important, gets his own characterization and stands apart from the others. Because of this attention to detail I’m really enjoying this series and more than willing to forgive a bit of unrealistic soccer play.

#3 (1) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9/10)

To be honest, this hasn’t been Full Metal Alchemist’s best month. It however still kicks ass beyond belief, and it’s been a consistently excellent action series to watch for the past month and the story has delivered quite a few interesting plot twists. The animation has been in a dip through he past number of episodes, though. Considering the budget that this series used to have, it is a bit unnerving.

#2 (2) – Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei – (9/10)

You’ve got to love the presentation of this series. After six episodes Watashi has gotten really fleshed out now, despite every episode resetting. The episodes are all unique and well written, and I don’t just mean the dialogue by that. The scenario, choreography, storyboard, everything about the script in this show excels beyond belief here.

#1 (3) – Sarai-ya Goyou – (9,25/10)

Utterly amazing; the characterization in this series is incredibly well executed. Every line, every scene is meant to flesh these guys out and add more meaning to them. The characters are poignant, deep and fascinating as they make their decisions. The plot has really been mature and even though the pacing is slow, the creators have really made use of every second to get their message across.

17 Responses

  1. Machi says:

    Warned you about Kaichou wa Maid-sama XD its really standard fare shoujo. I would have to concur with you on the comment on Yojou-han which is that with all the repetitions/variations brought forth each episode I do feel the characters are fleshed out well, contrary to belief. With each episode the truth to certain exaggerations is brought to light, like Watashi’s description of a night out with Hanuki the first time she was introduced being much more different with the “ACTUAL” night out. Definitely enjoying the series, though I guess its the materials limitation than Yuasa’s that he can’t be as daring in the topics he explores (I’ve not seen an anime explore memory, much less the style it was done with Kaiba). While the topics he focuses on may not be as daring or interesting IMO, I’ve seen enough college life animes/manga so I do feel the topic is quite exhausted, yet the way he presents it is quite refreshing. Its the style that pulls it through for me, just wish the style would comment on content more (the way Kaiba did) but still its a breath of fresh air.

    Regarding Oofuri, re-checked the summaries, my guess is current episode is at chapter 45 (? correct me if I’m wrong) and match should end at chapter 54-55 (with roughly a translation of one chapter per episode) I’d say there are 7-10 episodes for the major match.

  2. AKI says:

    Congratulations on your fiftieth monthly review (clap clap)! Anyway, I’m still watching Hakuouki, although I dropped Maid-sama and Ichiban after the second episode. I was expecting you to follow Mayoi Neko overrun, but, oh well… Durarara’s at the brink of being dropped and I will put Oofuri on a hiatus once the major match comes up. You have to watch Oofuri’s matches in one long sitting.

    Keep up the good work psgels! You’re doing an excellent job.

  3. AznCoffee says:

    You really make me wish Gag Manga Biyori was being subbed. OTL kusu kusu…

  4. “The lead female just keeps getting rescued over and over, and instead of learning she just continues to go into dangerous situations. The plot behind it may have been interesting, but I couldn’t take her any more.”
    —> shows how a pathetic leading lady could ruin a series. WHAT A WASTE!!! WAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! I HATE HER!!!! I BLAME HER THAT I CAN’T STAND TO WATCH MORE OF HAKOUKI =_=

  5. Johnson says:

    I mostly agree (minus the ones I haven’t watched) but I’d put Yojou-han before Five Leaves and Brotherhood would be waaaaay down.

    I do have a writing suggestion: you overuse the phrase “flesh out.”

  6. blakraven66 says:

    Can’t really say I agree with Daimaou > Durarara.

  7. tanukichan says:

    Uhm, I’m confused. What do the numbers in the brackets (next to the anime titles) mean?

  8. Perrin4869 says:

    I’m not following many shows right now, but I don’t find it any hard to believe that Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei and Sarai-Ya Goyou are the best this season has to offer, every single episode there has been amazing!

  9. ves says:

    Like blakraven66, I can’t really say Daimaou is better than Durarara. The green haired girl was interesting, but I didn’t feel that intrigued or interested. Durarara is pretty unhappening this few episodes, but at least it didn’t have one really bad episode lol.

    As for Hakuouki, I’m really tempted to drop it as well.. Direction could have been better since the story’s not bad. Would it be too much to ask for the female lead to for once draw her sword before her enemy attacks her, or before someone comes to her rescue?

  10. AuroraFlame says:

    I’m surprised you haven’t dropped Heroman. I’m watching a ton of moe shows and Heroman still comes out at the bottom of the list. Once the novelty of the western setting and soundtrack is gone, it becomes unbelievably generic.

  11. c160 says:

    Arggh what’s with that tease of Gag Man Biyori’s review psgels!I can’t understand it without subs and now your summary is killing me with curiosity XD Oh,and congrats on your fiftieth monthly summary too!I can’t believe it’s been that long since you started doing monthly summaries!

    I enjoyed Heartcatch Precure lots more than FMA this month so I really wanna see that shallower 17 episode soon to make fair judgment!

    On Durarara,I think the major problem that your having with the series is due to the big tease of an opening that the animators gave us.I guess its all abouut the teasing and not about the pleasing after all XD

    So far the characters themselves have stayed in character,but I do get why you’re getting annoyed with the angst though.I don’t know where the story is going but I think we should just accept that teenagers will angst and do immature things,since part of their growth as characters is to grow out of their angsting period -_^ So hopefully next month is a better month for Durarara,or rather it HAS to be a better month,it’s their last!

  12. kirikaeshi says:

    *gasp* how can daimaou be in between drrr and katanagatari?!

  13. dawningblue says:

    To #7, the numbers in brackets are what the series ranked the previous month.

  14. Kalandra says:

    @ Sapphire Pyro – Are you complaining about psgel review? Just curious.

  15. cody says:

    really surprised by your rating on ichiban…I watched a couple episodes and it just seems like the standard harem/ecchi mixed with some dubious plot and the usual harem archetypes.

  16. theone says:

    Didnt realize that durara was only gonna run for 24 episodes. . . .

    they aint gonna finish all the novels in the time left. . . .

    no wonder why you bash it so much, hell if I knew that it was only gonna be 24 episodes and theres lots of material still out there I would have dropped this. . .getting tired of all the series animating only half of the story.

    its like watching a movie that cuts off 3/4s of the way through. . .wtf japan?

  17. jebus says:

    have you really dropped “arakawa under…”? coz i think it deserves to be in this list rather than daimaou.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 04:06 PM)
    @Bam, Well the three games were originally supposed to be one. But it turned out that the first two were bundled together and Alternative was made a separate release.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 08:38 AM)
    Jesus I never expected that doing a myanimelist/letterboxd account thing would be so hard. I’ve seen a scarily higher amount than I thought, its insanely hard to remember everything to add.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:17 AM)
    It seems then that the future of the franchise’s anime adaptations rests a bit on Schwarzesmarken’s success, which looking at the buzz doesn’t seem favourable at all. I doubt it can regain the lost audiences.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 06:14 AM)
    That would suggest that the author(s) had the foresight of including seemingly useless stuff that will come into play later. That’d be impressive if they did, as these kinda series are make-it-as-you-go.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:59 AM)
    It’s difficult to put into words but essentially while the first game isn’t good, it does work as a tool for introducing and endearing you to the characters. Then Unlimited sets down the rules of the new world. And finally alternative proceeds to kick your ass into next Tuesday.
    That’s sort of why I don’t think it would have the same effect if it was an anime. VNs allow you to get a more personal connection with the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Feb 6. 2016 01:55 AM)
    It’s not quite the same. It’s more like there are things in extra which seem insignificant but turn out to play an important role later. It wouldn’t really work the same if you did it in reverse order. Character history is a bit different too as each game is essentially an alternate universe. The character histories in extra are different from those in alternative.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:38 PM)
    And also remember how Darker Than Black had a big jump between the main series and Gemini of the Meteor. They later made a 4 episode OVA that covered the gap, and although you knew the outcome it was still entertaining; or at least more than the Gemini one. There’s merit to non-linear chronology and storytelling, but it is usually very hard to pull. The audience is intrigued by secrets that can later be uncovered, although in anime the pay-off is not always substantial.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:32 PM)
    I don’t know, the audience usually only needs very limited information to figure out dynamics and histories between the characters.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:27 PM)
    A 13 episode series would work for the second title unlimited. But Alternative is a pretty long visual novel. You need at least two cours to give it justice. Making extra an OVA could work but you do need it for alternative. But it’s not an optional part of the trilogy. It needs to be read first, so that events later have a greater impact. Personally I am not even sure Muv Luv can even work in another medium.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Feb 5. 2016 11:12 PM)
    That might compress things, but I think a good screen-writer can fit pretty much any VN in 12-14 episodes (covering just the main route).

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