In this month, there have been a lot of different series that impressed me. Especially my top 5 for this month is very close, with each of those series being amazing in its own way. Now, this season does have its share of flops, but for every disappointment, this season also came with a surprise, and that’s what I like about this season.
The main problem with this season is the series length. I’m currently watching 24 series, only seven of them will continue past December. That’s way too little. Granted, there are some series that are currently scheduled for a good length, but there still are too constrained by their series length.
#25 (29) – Iron Man – (5,75/10) – Well, the good news: Iron Man has gotten slightly better: it has an actual plot now. The bad news is that the plot is so ridiculously corny that you could feed an entire orphanage for a month with the cheese it produces. I mean, it’s good to have a villain who has a backstory for once, but the way it was written was just way too sloppily.
#24 (21) – Yosuga no Sora – (6,5/10) – Now this has just become porn. I’m glad that this show doesn’t shy away from the fact that teenagers can have sex and all, but when it boils down to the lead characters running from one girl to the other, just to have sex with her (followed by a convenient reset-ending), then it’s just become softcore porn. Dropped.
#23 (19) – Togainu no Chi – (6,75/10) – I really fail to see the point of this series if it’s just going to have 13 episodes. Right now, eight episodes have passed and this still is a forgettable series, full of hammy acting and bad directing. And really, the plot might actually have been very nice, but the entire show is just ridiculously cheesy. The worst offender is that guy who keeps sprouting these nonsensical lines that are supposed to be symbolic.
#22 (13) – Marie&Gali – (7,25/10) – When some of the scientific explanations turn out to be actually wrong, things have really gotten down hill. This episode continued to pretty much repeat jokes that have already been used by previous episodes, so they lost a lot of their charms.
#21 (16) – The World God Only Knows – (7,25/10) – Here’s my problem with this series: it’s currently overshadowed by a ton of other series in every single way. the conquests are shallow and there are tons of better character studies out there. The characters are dull and forgettable when you look past their gimmicks, the voice acting is unimpressive at best, and so the only reason why I’m still watching it is for the entertainment value, and yet there are so many series this season that are funnier than this show. The best episode of this series still is the one with the broken game, but apart from that this has been just mediocre.
#20 (23) – Arakawa Under the Bridge – (7,5/10) – Still haven’t dropped this, and I have to admit: the characters can be quite interesting. If this was a regular drama, I probably would have loved it. Still, it’s a comedy. And I still don’t find it funny. Perhaps it manages to get a chuckle out of me every two episodes or so, but that’s way too little considering the huge amounts of jokes and antics the creators throw at the viewer.
#19 (22) – MM! – (7,5/10) – This show… should just have ended at episode four. Seriously, it’s a complete mess now, full of random fillers that don’t really progress the characters in any way and contain a fair number of scenes in which the characters start acting ridiculously out of character. And yet, I really have to admit that this is a huge guilty pleasure for me. I laughed like crazy at episode eight, episode seven was also completely hilarious. This show has gotten ridiculously stupid at this point, but at the same time it has not lost its charms, which is more than I can say than for a large amount of other moe and harem series.
#18 (18) – Fortune Arterial – (7,75/10) – The big problem with this series is that when it’s fleshing out its cast, it’s really dull and cheesy. It’s nothing bad, but still pretty much like your average antics you see in a moe show. And yet, the main storyline is actually fairly good. I’m surprised, but the characters have actually developed fairly well, the plot is not too ambitious yet very focused on the main characters, and aside from a few strange decisions that the characters made to increase drama, I’m fairly impressed here.
#17 (11) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing: the new and added content for this show was usually really good, and yet then there came a bunch of episodes that completely ignored some of the supposed awesome parts of the manga. I just don’t get that. Also, the fact remains that the overall story of Nurarihyon no Mago still isn’t the most impressive one and there likely isn’t going to be a second season considering the low DVD sales.
#16 (20) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (8/10) – The nun arc showed a lot about the different fractions of the catholic church, but at the same time it was a bit boring and not very interesting. The following arc was actually very good, and it lacked everything that annoyed me of Railgun. The new arc excels in the chemistry between the different characters, but there’s just too much pointless fanservice at this point.
#15 (7) – Katanagatari – (8,25/10)
And finally we’re nearing the finale of this thing. The penultimate Katanagatari episode was neither the best of the worst instalment of the series, but it still has the addictive dialogue that made this anime so enjoyable. At the moment my biggest concern is that the main villains are rather flat, so I hope that the final episode can still make something out of them.
#14 (12) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)
Okay, so instead of the manga making process, this month has mostly focused on the romance. Obviously I’m curious to the point at which they actually start making a manga, but the romance itself has gotten much better since the early episodes: it’s moving at a steady pace, not exactly annoying and gets some interesting scenes out of the different characters.
#13 (15) – Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru – (8,25/10)
As a bit of a combination between slice of life and a comedy, it has worked surprisingly well. It’s especially the way in which it manages to portray its characters that’s surprisingly down to earth, and yet it can be quite funny and quirky at times. It’s also quite creative, and finally in a good way for a Shaft series again.
#12 (6) – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume – (8,25/10)
There are a few segments that aren’t as funny as the others, but it’s not like this series has run out of material by far. The has been plenty of new and fresh hilarity within this series and Squid Girl remains as adorable as ever. The only thing is that unfortunately, the animation budget has ran out, so the animation isn’t as good as it once was.
#11 (9) – Tantei Opera Milky Holmes – (8,25/10)
Seriously, the jokes in this series are good. It never ceased to amaze me how well and effective this series makes fun of both itself and other series of its genre, and it’s got some amazing comedic timing. The acting still is completely over the the top, but that’s a huge part of the charms of this series. The best jokes still are the first four episodes (nothing has still beaten the sarcophagus), but this month has provided enough other material to laugh at.
#10 (17) – Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt – (8,25/10)
In this month, Panty and Stocking did what I really hoped it would do: pack some variety. Some episodes packed some very creative action, others went more into the parody direction, episode 9′s second half was really charming, and I also really enjoyed the zombies and transformers. The sex and toilet jokes is just a gimmick, what’s really impressed me about this show is its creativity, and that’s something it definitely showed in this month.
#9 (14) – Yumeiro Patissiere – (8,25/10)
The title of this show is wrong. It should be “Yumeiro Business Consultant”. Sure, it’s less catchy and all (although I’d argue that that would make this show even more awesome), but this is pretty much what Ichigo and the other lead characters have been doing over the past nine episodes: helping other characters set up a successful shop, guiding others to get their certificates, and travelling to all kinds of different places in the process. And yes, this is a shoujo series, proving that you can very much make a good shoujo series without resulting in the usual cliches. Take that, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!
#8 (13) – Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu – (8,5/10)
Finally! After sixteen episodes, Densetsu no Yuusha no Densetsu has finally gotten awesome. The plot finally has gotten interesting, the characters finally have developed, the scenario finally manages to hold my attention again. Seriously, a ton of characters who once were really annoying have suddenly become very interesting to watch. That’s a really good sign here. Just too bad that it took so long to get there.
#7 (10) – Otome Youkai Zakuro – (8,5/10)
The characterization of this series really turned out to be excellent: the different couples play off each other really well with some actual genuine tension between them. They suffer from their romantic cliches, which prevent their relationships from really developing, but beyond that they’re really well portrayed. The most intriguing is definitely Zakuro’s past.
#6 (3) – Star Driver – (8,5/10)
The thing with Star Driver is that every time I think that I know what’s going to happen next, this show does something completely different. It’s so delightfully unpredictable, and the story definitely got a lot of new dimensions during the past month. On top of that, the characters are also getting neatly fleshed out here, so all that’s left for this series now is to actually start using all of this build-up.
#5 (2) – Letter Bee – (8,75/10)
Nichi’s arc was amazing, creative and really gave a new dimension to the plot, but beyond that, the Sylvette episode also rocked. It’s been a really excellent month for Letter Bee, where also the visuals turned out to be more stunning than ever. I really hope that it can keep this up.
#4 (4) – Shiki – (8,75/10)
This was an excellent month for Shiki, and it is at this point where it really set itself apart as a unique horror series. The entire month was just full of despair: just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse… they do. The decisions that the characters make just keep surprising me.
#3 (8) – Shinrei Tantei Yakumo – (8,75/10)
I’m not sure how many people still are liking this series, but I currently love it: the random stories have gotten actually a lot more solid in this month,but the series really started shining when the main storyline popped up. The latest arc has given a ton of depth to just about every important character. The soundtrack also has become as amazing as you’d expect from a Bee-Train series, the direction has become a lot more solid. It’s really now obvious that the creators were trying to rush through the beginning chapters in order to give these important stories enough time in the space of 13 episodes. It’s risky decision, but it worked out wonderfully.
#2 (5) – Kuragehime – (8,75/10)
Kuragehime turned out to be an amazingly fun series to watch the cast is incredibly dynamic, and the series really shines when it mixes the energy of all kinds of characters with each other, brilliantly making use of all of the flaws of the different characters.
#1 (1) – Heartcatch Precure – (8,75/10)
In this month, Heartcatch Precure went on a hiatus, showed a bunch of light-hearted intermezzos and showcased an episode that surpassed itself yet again. Perhaps it wasn’t as consistent as the previous months, but this series really never ceases to amaze me. The work it put in this month is really making sure for this series to not lose itself in its own epicness in the finale, so they were episodes well spent.