This really is a season of building up: half of the shows are carefully preparing for later, so who knows what kind of season it’ll eventually become? Let me say this though: there are a lot of shows that really take good use of their premises. It’s perhaps not the best spring season we’ve ever had so far, but it is a very imaginative and diverse one. Oh, and the fact that there are so many shows that focus on adults also helps.
#3 – Valkyria Chronicles III – (7,25/10)
Ah, what a shame. This one was really disappointing. I have to give credits for the creators in the way that they did make their main characters far, FAR less annoying than the characters of the TV-series… but they’re completely flat. Every character just has one side and that’s it. There’s way too much of them for just 24 minutes and they’re alll really poorly acted and fleshed out. The production values are also rather bad, and without knowing overall this just gets one big ‘meh’.
#2 – Norageki – (8,25/10)
This was only 20 minutes long, but it was really well told here. It’s a well paced mystery story with quite a nice ending. The characters, while not having any depth, still were interesting to follow as well.
#1 – Armored Trooper Votoms – Alone Again – (8,5/10)
Thankfully this actually turned out well. The story of Votoms got an excellent conclusion after all. Especially the end was great, but the entire OVA was based around a great idea that definitely fills in some of the gaps that the Gen-ei hen left open. This is simple but effective storytelling like it should be, and I’m glad that it really contributed to the Votoms Franchise again, unlike the abominations that were Case;Irvine and Finder.
#25 (14) – Denpa-Onna to Seishun Otoko – (7/10) – I dropped this show. It had potential at the beginning, but the endless discussions about nothing are badly drawn out and not interesting at all. Not to mention that the series was getting more annoying by the minute.
#24 (23) – A-Channel – (7,5/10) – In the end I dropped this. The biggest reason for this was that it was getting really repetitive; the characters just kept comparing boob sizes and they just kept talking about the same things.
#23 (16) – Sekai-Ichi Hatsukoi – (7,5/10) – It’s a shame, but I just had to drop this after the fifth episode because I just couldn’t get through it. It suddenly introduced a bunch of completely new characters, but they were the example of how ridiculously forced shounen ai can get. It had no good characterization whatsoever and unlike the first four episodes, this was just there to get guys to kiss and feel embarrassed.
#22 (21) – Hen Zemi – (7,5/10) – Hmm, Hen Zemi has become a bit boring. It’s unfortunately as I feared: the current season is just a list of gross things, without the energy or timing of the OVA. Because of that, it just has a shock factor, and when that is gone I see few reasons to actually come back to this, unfortunately.
#21 (24) – The World God Only Knows – (7,75/10) – I think that because of the hype surrounding this series before it aired gave me the complete wrong expectations about this series. For a laid-back story that aims for modest entertainment… I guess that it could have done a lot worse. It still hasn’t grabbed me, though, but I do admit that the past arc was the best so far.
#20 () – Inazuma Eleven – (7,75/10) – Four episodes in, and I strangely enough haven’t dropped this one yet. It has something that keeps me watching. The characters are all boring and the animation also isn’t that impressive, but the energy with which it presents itself is commendable. Seriously, this is really dark for a kids’ show, and it actually created quite a bit of an atmosphere that retained my interest.
#19 (27) – Astaroote no Omocha – (7,75/10) – Here’s the thing with Astarotte no Omocha: it sounds like a really bad premise, but it’s surprisingly heartfelt. It’s nothing special, but the relationship between parent and child is surprisingly well done here. I originally dropped this, but after picking it back up I have to admit that it has surprisingly enjoyable characters.
#18 (10) – Gintama – (8/10) – The Sarutobi-arc was just bad. It tried to be way too silly for the sake of silliness, and was just painful to watch. One more episode like that and I’m going to drop this thing because I don’t want to sit through that any longer. The episode after that was a great recap episode though, but yeah: it’s a little early for that one and it only highlights the production issues that the entire sequel has been having.
#17 (19) – Moshidora – (8/10) – Okay, so the budget was bare-bones, Moshidora actually told a surprisingly good story that made good use of its time of only ten episodes. The end was a bit cheesy, but the premise of a high school girl reading Drucker’s Management was quite interesting.
#16 (9) – Ao no Exorcist – (8/10) – In a surprise, this month suddenly brought the character to Hogwarts and this turned into a school life series. Okay. It’s a bit weird, but in terms of building up it did its job by exploring the characters, discussing their motivations and preparing for all hell to break loose later. Literally, probably.
#15 (7) – Hana-Saku Iroha – (8/10)
Lotsa building up here in this series. That unfortunately doesn’t really make this show as enjoyable to watch as it once was, but it’s still fun to watch the main cast together as they try to run the inn. Now all that’s left is to hope that that build-up actually pay\s off
#14 (20) – Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San – (8/10)
Moloch was awesome. He really saved this series from the same fate as Hen Zemi. But granted, the rest of the cast also is a lot of fun to watch here. It’s completely over the top, but surprisingly watchable.
#13 (18) – Fireball – (8/10)
This show still is random, but in a good way. I love these anti-climaxes that it just keeps throwing at the viewer, and its comedic timing is also pretty good here. Oh, and the graphics also look really good at this point. Recommended if you want to waste two minutes.
#12 (11) – X-Men – (8,25/10)
The visuals here are damn good: this show looks vivid and wild, and the action always is interesting to watch. the story leaves the most tings to be desired: it feels too random at this point. The characters aren’t the best, but they’re still pretty interesting to watch at the moment.
#11 (13) – Showa Monogatari – (8,25/10)
In this month, this series has continued to paint a surprisingly authentic picture of Japan in 1964. There were a few bad parts, like the animation or the drama around Kouhei, but overall the cast has grown quite nicely so far. The four preview episodes were weird, but they did show how the cast evolved in quite an interesting way. It’s got this great combination between random slice of life and meaningful drama.
#10 (26) – Dororon Enma-Kun Meera Meera – (8,25/10)
This show. Is crazy. It’s a fanservice show, but it delivers its fanservice in such a bizarre way that I can’t help but love it. It’s completely juvenile and yet fun to watch from beginning to end, with great jokes and a lot of creativity that will go with any idea, no matter how stupid ti is. Oh, and beyond that, the soundtrack is also much better than I expected here.
#9 (12) – Deadman Wonderland – (8,5/10)
This show is extreme. It’s complete balls to the walls in its themes and mood. But at the same time though, it doesn’t forget about its characters. This show has become surprisingly interesting to watch due to the cast of characters who are surprisingly well fleshed out for such a premise. Beyond that, it’s also the creativity that the setting has, and all of the things that it just keeps throwing at the lead character that have sold me.
#8 (15) – Sket Dance – (8,5/10)
After its first episode, I heard from several people that the different stories vary from really good to really mediocre. Now here’s the thing: after eight episodes, I have not seen a bad episode yet. Sure, it gets a bit far-fetched at times, but overall Sket Dance surprised me at what a sincere series it has become. Every episode so far has had its charms, and the best thing is that it’s also surprisingly varied: both the different arcs and characters stand on their own, and this series takes pride in its creativity, which seems a gimmick at first, yet ends up surprisingly well used.
#7 (17) – Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji – (8,5/10)
Well, it’s taken a while, but the current arc of Kaiji kicks ass! This arc was very calculate, which makes things pay off even more at the end. The creators really manged to crawl into the minds of these characters, and they really impressed me there. The atmosphere also really worked here. More of these arcs, please.
#6 (8) – [C] The Money Of Soul and Possibility Control – (8,5/10)
The great thing about C is how well it looks upon its subject material: it just keeps offering different views, motivations, people and opinions, some of which are surprisingly well fleshed out. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have the right budget to really animate what it wants, but it does know how to create an atmosphere.
#5 (6) – Steins;Gate – (8,5/10)
Steins;Gate is slow, but very solid. It has a great cast so far, its themes are really interesting, the plot is really well paced and the atmosphere rocks. Sure, it follows a bit of a harem set-up with a guy surrounded by many girls, but it has more tan enough to make up for it.
#4 (4) – Tiger & Bunny – (8,5/10)
If I had to summarize Tiger & Bunny with one word, it’d be lovable. Heck, the entire cast is a joy to watch, even when the main storyline is out of the picture. The bond between the different characters is always being developed, and the whole backdrop of superheroes working for sponsors is still working really well to keep everything together.
#3 (22) – Gosick – (8,75/10)
In this month… Gosick has become amazing. Seriously, the last episode that was even remotely mediocre was episode fourteen. After that, Gosick has been nothing but character development, breath-taking adventures and engaging thrillers. Finally everything has come together, but I seriously did not expect this show to become THIS good. Right now, this show has turned into a roller coaster ride that just keeps coming with interesting plot twists, and not to mention the characters, who received major improvements.
#2 (2) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)
This show can both be hysterical and serious when it wants to, and it just rocks at both areas. It has without a doubt the best dialogue of the entire season, even though it’s really difficult to try and understand. It’s a really authentic view at the sengoku era that combines politics, aesthetics, silliness and intrigue with each other brilliantly so far.
#1 (1) – Ano Hi Mita no Hana no Namae o Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai – (9/10)
This turned out to be an amazing series, with exceptionally brilliant characterizations. Every episode pushes the characters forward and it leaves no moment wasted to give more meaning to them. It’s a sad show, focused on running away, but it has just the right combination between sadness and hope here.