Posted by psgels on 31 March 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This month… was crazy. It was completely different from any other month, there was just so much going on. It’s not just a month of one of the worst catastrophes to hit Japan since the Second World war. Also in terms of anime releases this month was just unique. It’s been a month of extremes for me, best explained through numbers.

First of all, this is the sixth March summary I’ve written on this site. Throughout all these six years, I don’t think I ever have watched as little as 15 series at the same time. This isn’t on purpose either: I just don’t think that there are any other TV-series that were worth my time this season, especially considering how bloody few series continued over from the past Autumn Season. This really turned out to be a series of quality over quantity: three series were completely amazing despite being really short, and they were the ones that made such a small season memorable.

And yet, despite these low numbers, AND having a job that keeps me busy for 36 hours each week, I have never been as active on this blog as I have been during the last month. With this post, I have just broken my own record of the biggest amount of posts made in one month: 86 of them. The movie spree I’ve been having and Supernatural had a big influence in this, but it’s not just that.

Even though there were few TV-series this month, I don’t think I have ever seen a month where so many OVAs and movies were released. Seriously, they just all kept coming, it’s like everyone and his dog released something here, even when not taking Supernatural into account. The quality of most of these OVAs and Movies also was really good. There was a lot of interesting stuff amongst them, both from one shots and from larger ones. It all culminated into one wonderful month of anime.

#15 (18) – Dragon Crisis – (5,5/10)

This final month was the worst we’ve seen so far here! I mean, the last three arcs were completely stupid and moronic. They made no sense whatsoever and their only purpose was to increase Ryuuji’s harem. Overall this was one huge waste of time.

#14 (14) – Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? – (6,25/10)

This entire month of Zombie was dedicated to the incredibly stupid drama around Hellscythe. It’s a shame, because if it focused on the creativity of the first half then it could have been very enjoyable.The nail in this one’s coffin was the abysmal episode 12, though. I’d like to thank this episode for leaving a really bad aftertaste for this series. Even worse than that multiple Deus ex Machina ending.

#13 (13) – Gosick – (6,5/10)

Gosick episodes have a spark of potential in them. Unfortunately, this spark was completely gone this month. Only two episodes aired, but those were completely unnecessary in this series.

#12 (16) – To Aru Majutsu no Index – (7,75/10)

This is what the entire series should have been. I finally get the feeling that this series is actually moving somewhere again. It’s still not as good as the first season, but at the least I’m glad that this show did not annoy me in the slightest this month.

#11 (15) – Fractale – (7,75/10)

Fractale is an adventure series whose biggest problem is that it has no idea what it’s doing. As a light-hearted adventure series this would have worked nicely, but at the same time this series is also trying to sound deep. And that’s where it fails completely. As a whole, this series is enjoyable. It’s just that the individual ingredients don’t mesh together at all.

#10 (11) – Wolverine – (8/10)

Again, the lack of depth isn’t going to make Wolverine into anything amazing. But as a simple action series this month kicked ass. The finale really was fun and exciting and the creators threw a lot at Wolverine in order to keep things interesting. It did justice to all of the characters, as simple as they were and overall I had a lot of fun watching and blogging this.

#9 (8) – Bakuman – (8,25/10)

Overall, Bakuman is one of those shows where the pacing could have gone up a notch. Still I have to give the past episodes credit for making me think that they were moving kindof fast, while in fact they actually weren’t. It’s still a solid show about making a manga, though. The characters are continuing to grow as well.

#8 (12) – Kimi ni Todoke – (8,25/10)

Episode 9. That was the episode that by far stood out above all of the other Kimi ni Todoke episodes. FINALLY, after so much waiting, this show finally got down to business, and it was glorious.

#7 (7) – Yumekui Merry – (8,25/10)

Before I’ll get enthusiastic about this show again, I first want to see some kind of second season announcement. Yumekui Merry is amazingly written. Episode 13 just isn’t the right time to end it. Not with a villain like Mistletain.

#6 (4) – Star Driver – (8,25/10)

The thing with Star Driver at the moment is that with still one episode remaining, it’s currently balancing on the edge of a cliff. The build-up to the ending has been completely unconventional, and if it can make this work it’ll be brilliant. If it can’t though, this will mean a very rushed ending. Whether or not this month’s episodes were good is entirely dependent on that final episode, but at least the play episode was awesome.

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

Supernatural’s biggest problem turned out to be its acting. I don’t mean the voice acting, but instead the way that the creators manage to portray the characters on the screen. It feels stiff and undynamic, and does get in the way of making them believable, especially in Sam’s case. Apart from that though, it has some excellent stories to tell. The first twelve episodes have ranged a bit in quality, but there were some real gems among them. The graphics also look consistently excellent.

#4 (6) – Letter Bee – (8,5/10)

The Cabernet turned out to be a big weakness here. The creators just couldn’t do anything interesting with it in the end. As for the rest of the show though, I have to praise the creators for actually doing pretty good stuff with the characters here. This show actually received closure. Something rare amongst manga-based series where the manga hasn’t finished yet.

#3 (2) – Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – (9/10)

Madoka Magica only aired two episodes but the episodes that it did air were amazing. The background story is deep, and continuing this series’ trend to deconstruct the mahou shoujo genre. Bring on that finale!

#2 (1) – Level E – (9/10)

So, in the end it did turn out to be impossible to reach the stellar heights of the first arc. Nevertheless, Level E has been an incredibly varied and interesting series that can both tell great stories and be side-splitting hilarious. Especially the baseball episode was an awesome mystery story, but just about every episode here was incredibly addictive, even when they weren’t funny. This series always has me on the edge of my seat.

#1 (3) – Hourou Musuko – (9/10)

Hourou Musuko ended magnificently It closed itself off perfectly, and yet the final episodes put in a massive amount of character development. Nitori’s development was just amazing, I just loved how the romance in this show worked out, and the introduction of Doi gave a completely different twist to this series. Just about every episode had something amazing, and some of the plot twists just blew my mind. This month did show 5 episodes as compared to Madoka Magica’s only having two, but BY GOD did it make use of them!

6 Responses

  1. Hogart says:

    Madoka – “The background story is deep”. I’m intrigued by what standard people are using to claim Madoka is “deep”. What makes it “deep” to you guys? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve certainly enjoyed it so far, but I’m genuinely interested in knowing what makes it seem “deeper” than, say, Yumekui Merry? It could have been, but the last two episodes made it clear that depth isn’t what it’s interested in.. just good old-fashioned pathos done right for a change.

  2. m says:

    I think the core of Madoka is very simple, so I can’t really help you there. It inherits a lot from the genre it is twisting, which I think frees it up to use its time to focus on the emotional impact. There are a number of art references, the oft-mentioned Faust drop, and some clever visuals, but I would consider them separately.

    On to other things…

    I’ll have to get around to watching Hourou Musuko. I liked the art style, but when I read that it was going to just start in the middle of a manga I hadn’t read I couldn’t be bothered.

    Level E started out pretty well, but it began running out of steam when the color rangers arc ran for three episodes. The baseball thing didn’t seem to fit the rest of the show, and I could have lived without it entirely.

    As far as Tegami Bachi goes, I’d suggest people just read the manga. It has nice artwork and it doesn’t suffer from Studio Pierrot’s filler squad.

  3. Troyen says:

    I thought it was just me, only having about three shows to watch this season after I dumped Dragon Crisis. But, if you couldn’t even find more than fifteen when you often have around thirty…

    I agree about it being a good month for OVAs though. Hoping next season will have a lot more interesting shows to watch.

  4. Solaris says:

    Woah! The sky is falling: This is the first time since ages I agreed almost completely with the monthly summaries.
    I am also grateful you’re starting to like Index more. Just in time for it to stop though, sigh.

    As for this season, it wasn’t that packed compared to the next one. But as half of the show are the usual fanservice party crap, you’ll have no problems to manage it with your new time consuming job.

    @#1 Hogart. Dude, Madoka adds a whole new deepness to the genre. Just compare it to Nanoha. Nanoha had drama too but it didn’t just look that deep overall. Why do Madoka looks deep than? Cause it’s themes are fate, death, power and its implications. It didn’t portrait mahou shoujos as cheerfull kids springing light out of nowhere, but as tortured young girls covered in darkness and sorrow. It also tell of of fate and the struggle to fight it. Death, sorrow aren’t used to fabricate drama, but are there cause of the drama. It’s quite a change from say Bakemonogatari or Ookamisan where they actually used the same chicheed main female char’s rape to add empathy and fabricate drama out of nowhere. That’s quite the difference.

  5. Skoopman says:

    Funny how different my taste is. This season was the first time since I started watching Anime to actually drop a show, and not only 1, but a lot. Mostly because I just don’t have time to watch them all. Weird thing is, I watched the shows at your list’ bottom, like kore wa zombie desu ka, until the end, but dropped shows like Level E. Level E was great, at least the first episodes, until the side story or whatever it was began. I just lost interested there. I loved the art of Hourou Musuko, but the whole idea just freaked me out, dropped after 3 eps. Yumekui Merry was never really interesting for me, dropped after 4 or 5 eps.

  6. Hogart says:

    @Solaris: I should have known better than to ask this on troll day :)

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 10:51 PM)
    But seriously I only watched this sequel because I was told to. From now on if I don’t like something at a glance of its plot summary/promo material I won’t watch it.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 10:48 PM)
    And I also want to added to what I said about the latest psycho pass episode by mentioning that ridiculous fight scene with shisui, arrows vs guns.
  • Mikey
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 10:47 PM)
    Psycho Pass: So basically there is no season 2 of Psycho Pass.
  • AidanAK47
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:59 PM)
    @Bam, Visionary? Ain’t exactly seeing anything new here. fanservice is bad, anime is making people mindless drones. Been there done that.
    You are giving Anno too much credit man. I honestly think he just fires this shit out and laughs as fans try to find an “interpretation”
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:57 PM)
    It took me a little longer to start shaking my head a Mika’s role in the series in comparison to other viewers and I thought there may have been something salvagable, but no such luck there.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:55 PM)
    At the beginning I saw some potential in this sequel, although it was kind of slow going at first. Initially I was able to get behind the silly gore as dumb entertainment, at the start I liked kamui more than Makishima and I liked the way they had Akane as a stronger character too here.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:51 PM)
    And Kamui’s final moment, that shot was pure fujoshi baiting I don’t care what anyone says, add to his last stand being fairly underwhelming. Another unmistakable Mika moment too later on in this episode. This is the kind of thing that leaves me depressed at it whereas previous episodes I could just laugh, raise an eyebrow or stop caring.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:51 PM)
    Really Togane, is this all you come down to and amount to, an oedipus complex mess, the last nail in the coffin after you spend the show dragging out the buildup around him and killing the intrigue around him. Then giving him those silly flashbacks, now in this episode giving him a ridiculously cartoonish performance.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 09:01 PM)
    @Bam: Well put together it is and I actually like the music, the last three minutes stood out for me particularly.
    I also noticed the Eva reference slipped into the video.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Dec 18. 2014 02:14 PM)
    This is the gratuitous fan-service done for a purpose that people argued for Kill la Kill, which quite frankly just wasn’t there, but there is no denying that even in this music video some value of the fan-service is sheerly the eye-candy.

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