Posted by psgels on 28 February 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This month’s rankings of mine…. are nearly exactly the same as last month. Seriously, the only major surprise this month was that Fractale and Dragon Crsisis weren’t really good and that Kimi ni Todoke is finally going somewhere. Apart from that, every series pretty much continued on the same pace that it set a month ago. Come on, I’m expecting some good stuff here for March. Dare to evolve!

#16 (16) – Dragon Crisis – (6,75/10) – Alas, Dragon Crisis did seem genuine enough to get some good drama, but in the end it never really used this, and came with the most corny stories, one after the other. Any potential created by the good animation and dialogue ended up completely nullified by the bad acting and cheesy scenarios.
#17 (17) – Suite Precure – (7,25/10) – I appreciate that this series is trying to include stories that revolve around the main characters. Beyond that though, it’s a major step down from Heartcatch Precure. The execution and animation is nowhere as polished. The scenarios are dull, it lacks energy, the acting from the villains is horribly silly. At this point the characters still have the potential to become well developed in the second half, but I do not want to sit through 26 boring and badly written episodes to get there. This one is dangerously close to being dropped.
#16 (14) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,5/10) – I think this month really summarized my problems with this second season. The last two episodes are a pretty good thriller. But did we really have to sit through two whole episodes of random goofing off in order to get there? The thing is, that I’m not enjoying these characters at all. They didn’t change in the slightest from what they were at the end of the first season. This series spends so much time on random scenes, but in the end it doesn’t really do anything with them and they’re merely there for fanservice.
#15 (9) – Fractale – (7,75/10)

This is coming from the director of Kannagi, so I already was fearing this show to be unbalanced. And unfortunately these fears came true. The thing is that this show doesn’t know what it’s good at, and instead spends way too much time on its very annoying lead character. It’s only eleven episodes long, and yet it spends way too much of its time on random undirected goofing off.

#14 (15) – Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? – (7,75/10)

In this month, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka was either amazing, or a boring cliche-fest. Right now this all seems to even out, but I do hope that next month will focus much more on what this show is good at.

#13 (16) – Gosick – (8/10)

The Wolf-arc was the best arc so far. It’s a bit weird, but it used its red herrings well and especially Victorique emerged as a better character because of it. This show still has its problems, but this month was actually interesting enough to make up for it.

#12 (13) – Kimi ni Todoke – (8/10)

Finally! After thirty episodes, of this show not going anywhere, the romance between the lead couple has finally started moving. It’s still quite slow, but for once the characters are playing off each other, instead of simply refusing to develop. It still doesn’t excuse the first season, but at the very least this was by far the best month from Kimi ni Todoke so far.

#11 (12) – Wolverine – (8/10)

This month saw Wolverine balance between its fights and its exposition, and to be honest it’s doing quite a good job at it, keeping to the same philosophy as in January: be simple, but effective. The characters, both good and bad, all have something endearing, and the action is pretty decent. The stiff acting and simple characters and story will prevent this one from ever becoming something great, but as for entertainment, it’s doing a pretty good job here.

#10 (10) – Mitsudomoe – (8,25/10)

Yes: Mitsudomoe’s second season was clearly better than the first. The jokes were better, the ratio of bad jokes was smaller, it made sure not to milk its jokes out, and also put a lot of effort into portraying the characters as actual characters. The characterization also improved a lot, which also made this a bit of a nostalgic series that I found surprisingly easy to relate to at times.

#9 (11) – Showa Monogatari – (8,25/10)

Episodes 2 and 4 popped up at the beginning of this month, and they were quite good. What makes Showa Monogatari more than just another slice of life story about a random kid is that it also knows that it should pay attention to the rest of his family: all of them are interesting characters at this point, which is a good sign for the rest of the series, which will continue somewhere around the start of May.

#8 (8) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)

Well, it’s taken a while, but Bakuman is finally getting interesting here. The characters have plenty of development put into them by now, and they’re really playing off each other nicely. Even though the pacing is slow, you can still feel some of their energy. Especially the long dialogues between them are the highlights here.

#7 (7) – Yumekui Merry – (8,25/10)

The problem with this show is that that beach episode destroyed the flow this show was in a bit. In the end, it’s wonderfully executed, but doesn’t really have the most ambitious storyline to work with. This show can still deliver a great ending, but the creators really are going to have to try hard here.

#6 (6) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

It’s a bit of a shame, but this series could have taken more risks when it comes to wrapping up its main storyline. It’s all very solid, but not as amazing as this show once was. Whenever it focuses on the characters though, it’s at its best, and this month again was no exception.

#5 (new) – Supernatural The Animation – (8,5/10)

Okay, so it’s probably going to be an arduous task trying to blog this series, but it’s really worth it so far, especially the second episode was excellent and very well written. The graphics are also gorgeous, here’s one to look out for.

#4 (4) – Star Driver – (8,5/10)

The thing is that Star Driver spends a lot of time on the characters doing random things. Even now that the climax is so near, it still spends a lot of time on this school life. The balance it has struck with the actual plot and characters though, is excellent and I’m still enjoying these characters quite a bit, though it’s not going to be the classic I originally hoped it would be.

#3 (5) – Hourou Musuko – (8,5/10)

Two months in, and Hourou Musuko is still doing what it really does well: bringing life to large amounts of characters. The characterization is still excellent and subtly detailed, and the characters all balance their maturity and their childishness wonderfully, leading to some great characters.

#2 (3) – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – (8,75/10)

This series is still continuing its string of excellent episodes. Jut about every episode here delivers and adds new depth to the characters; it’s a 13-episode series that fully knows how to use its time.

#1 (1) – Level E – (9/10)

This month for Level E was weaker than in January, but only by a small bit. It’s still my favourite series of the season due to its creative and sometimes outright mean scenarios and an awesome sense of humour. It’s always completely unpredictable and even though it’s composed of random stories, the acting, creativity and scenario all come together wonderfully and make this one of the best comedy anime I’ve seen.

8 Responses

  1. maskedguy says:

    I find it funny how beach episodes will ruin your opinion of the series FOREVER!/Jk

  2. Alec says:

    I’d put Level E on either 2 or 3

  3. Solaris says:

    Yumekui’s beach episode was as awesome as Star Driver’s cause they broke all the cliches and were actually plot effective.
    As mine and your top choiches are quite the opposite pick i’d rather evaluate that Level E you’re praising so much, though i don’t expect nothing much from it.

  4. Rednights says:

    Oh my, good to see you came around on Dragon Crisis, that show was terrible 2nd episode in.

    I do love my Fractale, Nessa keeps me entertained whenever she pops up and the set up is interesting.

    Level E is getting realllly boring with those kids, I had no patients for the last episode, I’ll just wait till they reset with a new sub arc or something or go back to the initial characters.

  5. Perrin4869 says:

    Even though I’m enjoying Level E too, Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica is FAR better, being the only show I truly and genuinely look forward to each week. While Level E can be funny, I abandoned all hope of ever finding an anime to reach the comedic heights of Married with Children and the like for me. Seriously, it’s not like Chuck or Married with Children are especially subtle in their comedy, but anime seems to know only how to create explicit comedy only, which is a shame… If you do know of an anime with subtle comedy though, I’d be glad to be disproven.

  6. hoiut says:

    For Dragon Crisis, it all came together when they first played what promised to be a long serious of frivolous (heh) transformation sequences… saying “Engage” in deadpan voices as they revolved about one another against a nondescript flaming background.

    From there its future as a pseudoepisodic bad-guy-of-the-day flick was assured.

    KZD…an otaku-flick. Sure, one that initially based itself on its clever use of the absurd to develop a near-parody of anime’s most-used cliches — only to then fall victim to them. TWGOK did a much better job at this, even though it was far from an amazing performance itself.

  7. Roberta says:

    which lists more strange, Level E does not deserve the first place.

  8. Solaris says:

    Psgel, tell me. Isn’t it you’re far too biased with char characterization? I mean, it’s not always required, and a show may also have other strong points even if they’re actually poor at char chara?

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  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @K-of: yup Eva geek here, guilty as charged. In my defense, I watched it week-to-week when it aired back in 96, and the landscape of anime was a lot different back then.

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