Posted by psgels on 30 June 2010 with categories: Monthly Summaries

I think what mostly set this month apart was a lack of disappointments: all of the series I’ve been following were interesting and enjoyable, and actually none of the series that I watched (22 of them) felt like a waste of time for me. Series that once were annoying redeemed themselves, and even the shows I liked to bitch about has plenty of good stuff to like.

Overall, This season was average: it wasn’t among the best seasons I’ve seen, but also not among the worst. It set itself apart with well thought-out settings, which was definitely what I liked about this season overall the best. The worst about this season was that there are just too many series that were too short. But that’s a dead horse that I think is already beaten enough.

#22 (new) – Sekirei – (7,5/10) – The first episode pretty much was what the first season was, only with even worse comedy. Yeah, I know it’s a fanservice show and all, but it’s among the better ones. The only reason you’d want to watch this if you’re not horny is the plot, but still, it’s pretty decent and solid for its genre.
#21 (20) – Hetalia World Series – (7,5/10) – The biggest problem with this series is its balancing issues. Yes, we know that Prussia is an evil bastard, can we finally move on now? The thing is, that this is called Hetalia WORLD SERIES, but it has only been focusing on European politics of three hundred years ago.
#20 (21) – Marie&Gali – (7,75/10) – I’m getting used to the new main character. I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to be a good thing for one to get used to a mosquito buzzing around your ears for a week and a half, but the fact remains: the creators have not lost one ounce of their creativity. Even with annoying presence of ‘her’, they still focus on making explaining science fun.
#19 (15) – Heroman – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing with this series: its initial premise really was riddled with cliches, staple characters, and plain idiocy. But really, the creators took this concept, and actually developed it quite well. Most of the major characters have grown by now, the plot is completely different from what it was ten episodes before, and while the government people are sometimes portrayed a bit too stereotypical, it definitely makes for an interesting intrigue plot.
#18 (19) – Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru – (7,75/10) – There are a lot of faults in this series I like to bitch about. But really: at its core it’s a solid series. Characters are solid in their interactions and build-up, the atmosphere is very good, I like how it uses its CG. There are a number of plot-holes, but nothing major.
#17 (16) – Kaidan Restaurant – (7,75/10) – A rather abrupt ending, but it remained as enjoyable light horror until the end. The final episode was a good way to close off, albeit a bit forced.
#16 (12) – Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – (8/10) – Well, this series did what it was supposed to do: make a very entertaining finale that was consistently fun to watch. Sure, it made no sense at times, but that was nowhere where the appeal of this series lay for me. The action-scenes were fun, the characters themselves did their job, and didn’t become boring or tedious to watch at all. I also liked some of the crazier plot twists it pulled. I know it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, but I personally enjoyed it a lot. Shouldn’t that be enough?
#15 (11) – Katanagatari – (8/10) – This month’s episode wasn’t the best, but nevertheless very solid. Making use of a well known trope didn’t hurt the overall dialogue at all.
#14 (17) – Kuruneko – (8/10) – I’ll review this one as soon as I can find the final three episodes, but seriously, they’re almost impossible to track down. It’s a bloody shame that Akitaro Daichi’s series are so incredibly underrated, because Kuruneko has been consistently enjoyable from start to finish.
#13 (18) – Anymaru Tantei Kiruminzoo – (8/10) – I’m pleasantly surprised here. The series still consist of random episodes, but you can really see things develop very, very slowly. Characters are starting to think about what they can do themselves, Riko got some surprisingly touching moments that made her quite a colourful character, and the humour still ranges from cute to hilarious.
#12 (8) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10) – I’ve said this before: I’d rather watch a series with a ton of hiccups, but a ton of interesting ideas and concepts, than a series that might not have any holes in its plot, but also doesn’t take any risks at all, has no originality and doesn’t attempt to think outside of the box. Angel Beats was chaos, but it was fun, enjoyable, and varied in the way that it actually succeeded pretty well with all kinds of different genres. The climax did not live up to Key’s usual standards, but nevertheless it stood out in its ideas. That is for me enough to make up for the lesser parts of the series.
#11 (14) – B Gata H Kei – (8,25/10) – I really thought that at the halfway point this series would just go downhill and not match the fun of the first episodes. And then it turns out that the creators saved some of their best jokes for last. A number of priceless scenes, along with some actually surprisingly solid development of the lead characters ended this series on a very good note for me. It has definitely become my favourite fanservice comedy (and it’s ABOUT TIME an actually good one showed up).
#10 (13) – Durarara – (8,25/10)

This is a bit of a response to the criticisms I have received for my review of this series, most notably “how come show X (in this case Daimaou and Angel Beats) is rated as high as Durarara?” Now first of all: why are you comparing a show as Daimaou with Durarara? They have completely different purposes, I rated the former the way because it succeeded as entertainment that kept me engaged from start to finish. I rated the latter this way because for a show with substance, it could have done better and was a bit overshadowed by other series with substance, including its own first half. In fact, I still really like the character-development, and if a Durarara sequel will pop up, there is no doubt that I’m going to rate it higher. But the past arc just wasn’t the right one to quit the series with.

#9 (7) – Senkou no Night Raid – (8,25/10)

The thing I loved about this series is how thought provoking it ended up to be, combined with its characters who, while bland at first sight, had this air of maturity and lack of overacting that made them a very solid cast to watch. The big problem is a number of plotholes and characters changing sides a little too easily, but despite that it’s been a very solid finale.

#8 (9) – Rainbow – (8,5/10)

It’s impossible to talk about Rainbow this month without mentioning spoilers, but I do want to say that I absolutely love that SPOILER, and not only that, but also SPOILER. With 13 episodes lift, this opens the door to so much character-development!

#7 (6) – Gag Manga Biyori – (8,5/10)

The best of this month was the manga artist episode. It’s brilliant how the creators carried on that one single joke, and instead they built further upon it rather than dragging it out. It’s really sad to see this show go now, though. It’s definitely been my favourite comedy of the past two seasons, and I can’t imagine anything surpassing it as my favourite comedy of 2010.

#6 (10) – Ookiku Furikabutte – (8,75/10)

Definitely the best month of the second season. It was rushed, sure, but even under these circumstances the creators delivered an awesome match. The animation was consistently excellent throughout and the creators really showed the ins and outs of baseball.

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

We’re about to get to some turning points, but in the meantime this series continues its delightful trend of heart-warming stories along with its incredibly addictive and engaging main cast. The animation really allows the creators to show a ton of different emotions and really make them dynamic characters.

#4 (4) – Giant Killing – (8,75/10)

This month was nearly all about one big football match. This really allowed the creators to get the best out of the involved character, and make it a real turning-point for the series. Not just for the players, but everyone round it: the supporters, the coaches, the managers, the press. Everyone is important in this series. The only downside is the strange includes of recaps at the beginning of each episode.

#3 (1) – Sarai-ya Goyou – (8,75/10)

My favourite parts of this series still are located in the middle, but the past month has also had a number of very impressive episodes. Especially Yaichi’s background is handled really well.

#2 (2) – Yojou-han Shinwa Taikei – (9,25/10)

Deciding my number one for this month was a very tough decision. In the end, I decided to put Yojou-han second, mostly because we haven’t seen the end yet. It’s already a masterpiece, but that ending could even make it surpass itself even more than that it did this month. The way the creators developed Watashi, putting everything around him into context was just masterful. Masaaki Yuasa definitely did it again. I can only imagine how amazing that conclusion must be.

#1 (3) – Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood – (9,25/10)

The climax of this series was amazing. Everything came together wonderfully, the action was epic, and the characters showed their best sides. I love how nearly everyone helped in their own ways. It’s awesome to see that this everything that this series has been building up for during the past five seasons has come together.

16 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    If anything I would say your review on Durarara was too kind lol. Really it just lacked something that the director had in all his other shows. It really had no charm and felt too bland.

  2. Meep says:

    Mine is like…

    1. Five Leaves (9/10)
    2. FMA Brotherhood (9/10)
    3. Angel Beats (8/10)
    4. Giant Killing (8/10)
    5. Rainbow (8/10)
    6. Yojouhan (struggling between 7 and 8 for me)
    7. Durarara (7/10)
    8. Uraboku (5/10)

    I’d add Nightraid if I was up-to-date on it. D:

  3. Boostergeuse says:

    “#12 (8) – Angel Beats – (8,25/10) – I’ve said this before: I’d rather watch a series with a ton of hiccups, but a ton of interesting ideas and concepts, than a series that might not have any holes in its plot, but also doesn’t take any risks at all, has no originality and doesn’t attempt to think outside of the box. Angel Beats was chaos, but it was fun, enjoyable, and varied in the way that it actually succeeded pretty well with all kinds of different genres. The climax did not live up to Key’s usual standards, but nevertheless it stood out in its ideas. That is for me enough to make up for the lesser parts of the series.”

    Where was this sentiment when you were reviewing Code Geass? I call BS. Personally though that’s because I reserve praise for bloggers who have some sort of consistency in their opinions that spreads itself across coverage of different franchises and producers.

  4. Bruce says:

    Angel Beats was neat but rushed. Code Geass could have been a Micheal Bay movie: it was action packed and its plot was an absolute trainwreck. I’m not saying it was horrible, but it’s not comparable to Angel Beats and it definitely cannot be considered to have a creative and unique narrative style.

  5. c160 says:

    B-Gata is definitely one of the best romcoms out there,gotta love that Yamada :D

  6. Hogart says:

    I don’t know.. Angel Beats felt a bit like James Cameron’s Avatar to me. It was popular enough to not have to be any good. Rushed, hackneyed, and only saved by virtue of having a big name behind it (and without the 3D gimmickry). If I try to rate it by any serious criterion, though, it fails pretty badly. Even the production values were spottier than usual for PA Works.

  7. Puran says:

    I think this time I totally agree with this month’s summary.

    Also I was really happy to see B Gata H Kei at #11

  8. Alael says:

    I don’t think Angel Beats was that good… B Gata H Kei was a pleasant surprise! But the season’s best award goes to FMA. This series surpasses the original in every possible way.

  9. Kiseki says:

    >The thing is, that this is called Hetalia WORLD SERIES, but it has only been focusing on European politics of three hundred years ago.

    Yeah but there are no South American countries; three North American countries; three African countries not including those who briefly appeared in Gakuen Hetalia (Cameroon only started appearing for the World Cup, Egypt for the most part is doodles, and Seychelles only appeared as the heroine in the Gakuen Hetalia otome game); a lot of Asian and some Oceanic countries, but they don’t appear much with the exception of China, Japan, and Korea…and Korea’s out. So there’s only European material to work with, really.

  10. psgels psgels says:

    Boostergeuse: pretty much for the same reason that I also rated .Hack//Roots at about the same way, even though it had even more ideas into it than Code Geass: you can go too far with it. Code Geass, besides its crazy ideas didn’t really have much else to redeem itself for me. I didn’t like the characters, I was bored by the action, and the plot was just a silly excuse for nationalism (which I personally hate). Something similar went for .Hack//Roots: it definitly had namy interesting ideas, but the incredible angst of the characters in the second half that was horribly dragged on ruined it for me.

    Angel Beats also had its flaws, but in the end I really feel that the good outweigh the bad here.

  11. thomas says:

    Nationalism in Geass? The Japanese looked pathetic.

    Anyway, Yojou-Han should’ve been on 1.

  12. thomas says:

    Actually, if anything I’d say Geass shows how awful nationalism truly is by making everyone the bad guy in it. I also think you’re taking it way too serious, I absolutely loved the chaos. But perhaps we should stop arguing about it.

  13. tomtom says:

    One series of which I honestly don’t get why people like it so much is Giant Killing (and that comes from someone who loves football irl).
    Otherwise good list, as ususal.

  14. Matt says:

    Ookiku Furikabutte ranks as the best i watch this season. I liked FMA, it was dramatic, and well done. But i think the character interaction and the down to earth feel for Ookiku Furikabutte that is so hard to get right was done to perfection. I especially love the last episode were they give there future goals.

  15. ve says:

    I just had to LOL at your comment on Rainbow.

    Angel Beats was much too confusing and inconsistent for me to rate it above ‘8’. But Giant Killing, Sarai Goyou and Yojou-han were really good :D

  16. Boostergeuse says:

    @Bruce: What? By that standard every anime that has action in it could qualify as “like a Michael Bay movie”. Besides I think M. Night Shyamalan fits much better. “Here comes the twist!”….that was his game and it applies to Code Geass (R2 especially) method of creating intrigue pretty well too. I never found a part where the plot didn’t flow though. If I were to liken it to a car on a road then it’d be one that is constantly shifting gears and changing lanes because of the constant twists rather than jumping bridges and wiping the heck out. To put even more simply if you were to draw a line representing the plot as it progressed it wouldn’t be a broken line, it would be one that zigzagged and possibly did a couple of loop-de-loops every now and again.

    @Hogart: That sort of fits, but I think that’s giving Angel Beats a little too much credit. Aside from having James Cameron as a big name behind it Avatar had pretty much all major critics agreeing that it was the defining film for special effects in the HD/Blu-Ray era. In short Avatar looked absolutely stunning.

    Angel Beats had a nice looking opening sequence (which I think was deliberate since it featured the musical sequences the otaku all love from Maeda), but that hardly carried through to the show itself. I’m not saying Angel Beats was poorly animated (though the character designs were definitely on the simplistic side as many have mentioned before I’m sure), but I saw nothing in it that was defining or even all that outstanding.

    @psgels: Gah! So confusingly worded. I still get your personal opinion of the shows you mentioned via the power words you exercised….but that doesn’t really address my main point which was that I have never seen you express a preference for ambition over execution before in your reviews of series that can be argued to be quite ambitious at their core. I’m sure many would argue that the example of Code Geass was a very ambitious concept (very strongly promoted franchise, world and characters created from scratch, themes of racism, family and social strife, morality, war etc., broad scale of conflict, 50 episode length, multiple expansions into other media such as games, manga, novels, etc.), which is why I brought it up because quite frankly I feel that if the reasoning of ambition over execution applies to Angel Beats then why not something like Code Geass even if you didn’t personally like aspects of it? In fact why not a whole other host of shows you’ve reviewed where you failed to express such a forgiving view based on ambitious production considerations? You excuse one show on grounds such as ambition then you ought to excuse other applicable shows too, not pick and choose seemingly based on personal taste and preference in producers.

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  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:26 AM)
    What do you think?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 10:25 AM)
    I met a French art student in a bar tonight, and after getting into Hugo and Notre-Dame de Paris, he suggested a more faithful French theater production of it. He believed that this is a much better portrayal of the conflicted priestly character of Frollo, and specifically offered this Hellfire-esque song sang by the talented Daniel Lavoie as evidence:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5St9zF849o
  • SuperMario
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 08:22 AM)
    @Kaiser: haha. If this film indeed was made I’ll be the first one on the line to watch it.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:32 AM)
    @Mario: This made me laugh far more than it should have: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kno3xDw27bY
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:30 AM)
    Anybody else seen Jungle Book yet?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:25 AM)
    @Kaiser: I see. Look retro, so I might actually enjoy.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:24 AM)
    I don’t wanna hyperbolize, so I admit that some of the Disney/Marvel stuff has ingenuity to it. Guardians and even Antman had their moments of disarming charm, and genuine sentiment from the cast and crew, that made it special and not just another superhero flick.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, May 5. 2016 06:22 AM)
    @Aidan: Marvel movies feel like a very nice amusement park ride- they are always fun, but the return diminishes after successive exposure. Everything in the movies, from the fights, to the dialogue, and plot is incredibly formulatic. You just don’t get the same effect when you know what’s coming.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:05 PM)
    @Bam: Actually let me rephrase
    I meant that you will like: http://letterboxd.com/film/the-company-of-wolves/
    Because it is fairyrale inspired
    Because you liked brotherhood of the wolf and tale of tales.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, May 4. 2016 06:02 PM)
    @Bam: I meant tale of tales =)
    @Mario: My usual ratings are ***/***1/2 rating and ****
    Generally that indicates a film is kind good/good or great.

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