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

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.

OVA Releases
#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.

TV-Series
#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.

30 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    Lol, I also dropped Sekai ichi at episode 5.

    watching the gayness was pretty disturbing, so when they introduced a new bunch of characters, I just had to drop and delete it from my hard drive

  2. Kits says:

    You are a liar, i don’t believe when you write so small, baka

  3. Joojoobees says:

    I’m really enjoying this season. It will be a shame when it comes to its end, but I’ll have some great memories, and some shows I can recommend to friends. In fact, if I have one regret, it is that subs to a couple of shows are just not appearing (Hyouge Mono, and Showa Monogatari). These are exactly the sorts of series that deserve fan-subs, because the corporations are never going to bother bringing out commercial releases on my side of the world.

  4. Life says:

    Woah… I did not expect to even see Sket Dance on the list. I mean, it’s not a bad show but… Wow #8 huh?

    Anyway it’s been a nice month, hope this keeps up.

  5. gandalf8 says:

    Glad you liked Sket Dance. I’m a big fan of the manga myself, although I’m too lazy to watch the anime. Interesting ratings that I generally agree with, although I myself really enjoyed Hanasaku Iroha. Totally agreed with your assessment of Tiger and Bunny though.

  6. ojisan says:

    I wish more fansubbers had your priorities, then I could see if I agreed with you about Hyouge Mono. Love what I’ve seen so far, 1 thru 4 -

  7. EMChamp says:

    Ironically enough I dropped Gosick at episode 14, I might just have to marathon the show after I’m done with finals. Totally agree with AnoHana being 1#. For me personally, its not even close, that show is amazing.

  8. Jérémy says:

    Ano Hana#1 is totally right! Best show ends down. I started this season watching 12 shows, I’m down to 5 now xD Not that I didn’t like the others but they were just too average. Strangely, Azazel-san is still in my top 5 XD

  9. meow says:

    I love Ano Hana too. It’s nice to see this animator’s fine work without the blood and the gore (I had a hard time stomaching HOTD, in spite of the brilliant art). I would have ranked Hana-saku Iroha alot higher. These two, C and Stein;s Gate are my tops right now, along with Dog Days, which I guess doesn’t count as a May anime?

  10. meow says:

    Wanted to add. I never got to see the Valkyria Chronicles 3 OVA but I had high hopes because I’m really enjoying the game on PSP. Sadly, it would only be a 2 OVA series, far too short for it’s content. I think it would probably have been alot better if it had the right amount of time to stew properly. I’m a bit concerned about the production values issue. OVAs usually make up for short time with very high quality. I sure hope it wasn’t as bad as the Baldr Force EXE butchering it’s OVA got.

  11. Kiseki says:

    >kids’ show
    Also fujoshi show since Mr. CEO of Level-5 is seriously thinking of making an otome game for Inazuma Eleven.
    The energy in GO is nothing compared to the energy in its prequel.

    Should watch Showa Monogatari soon hnngh.

    Ano Hana is so good. So damn good.

  12. Hogart says:

    Hmm.. are there any key episodes of Gosick to watch if I’m starting from scratch, or should I just bite the bullet and watch the first 14 episodes? Sounds like another Kobato to me.

    I’ve only really had time to watch AnoHana (reminds me a great deal of Toradora), and the fluffier comedies. Transitioning to a new job can be such a pain for your inner child :)

    I guess it’s time to put the lesser shows on the backburner for a few weeks and catch up on the better ones. I’m glad to hear others are also enjoying Dororon and Azazel, but fear Astarotte’s started on a death spiral with the last episode.

  13. c160 says:

    I’m actually surprised that you like Sket Dance as much as you did.I thought it would be too shonen for you,but I’m glad you liked it too. So far the episodes are from the early chapters of the manga (although I think they rearranged the episodes a bit? It’s been a long time since I read the early parts :P) and the lesser stories are still far from this point. But yes, even now I still think the manga is a very charming and sincere series and the only bad point I can say is sometimes the drama is quite badly written.

    I really liked tiger and bunny too so far. I do hope Bunny won’t really go back to his jerkass attitude after the recent episode.Or worse :(

  14. Gintoki says:

    If you think sket dance is pretty impressive at the moment, wait until you get to the dramatic back stories. It has great drama and gives the main characters some touching backgrounds. Seriously. I was amazed by how a comedy could be so heart-wrenching.I could never look at those characters the same way! Hopefully it’s adapted well into the anime as well.
    Aaaaand Ano Hana is number 1! AGAIN! while I was probably one of the very VERY few who thought the most recent episode wasn’t quite up to standard,I’m still glad to see Ano Hana got the spot it deserved.

  15. Inushinde says:

    C and Steins;Gate are shaping up to be my favorite shows of the season, simply because of how methodical they are. I don’t know how else to say it, but it’s rare that a show, let alone two, can have very little progress going on but still feel like nothing’s going to waste.

  16. Souther says:

    Not watching enough TV anime right now to comment on any currently airing series, but Alone Again isn’t the “conclusion” to the story of Votoms. That is a factually incorrect statement.

    Chronologically speaking, it’s set between Shining Heresy and Phantom Arc. But honestly, it doesn’t even work as a thematic conclusion either.

    Thematically speaking, the story of Votoms ended when the original TV series did. That’s when Chirico’s character arc ended. None of these additional sequels have accomplished anything significant with his own character, other than going for emotional manipulation by killing certain individuals off.

    So, while Alone Again does bring a well-executed resolution to the loose end represented by the continued existence of a certain secondary character from Shining Heresy, even that wasn’t necessary. Recycling subplots and situations isn’t a sign of originality but of the opposite.

    As a universe, Votoms has been dragged down by the refusal to leave Chirico’s side and tell other stories. Which is too bad, since he’s not the only interesting part of that property. There are, regardless of the conservatism of certain Votoms fans, other possibilities and I’m glad not everyone thinks like psgels in this respect.

  17. Hades says:

    WTF?! A few weeks back when i visited this blog Gosick was at 7,5/7,75, but now is 8,75????? What’s up with this monumental change Psgels? If the start was “mediocre” like you said then you should reconsider this bad start before rating it that high. Seriously, raise 1 point within a few weeks is just… weird, incomprehensible for me.

    And the 2nd Kaiji IMO is just as awesome as it’s predecessor. I wonder why you didn’t like the 1st season. Kaiji 2 is the only anime of this new season that’s impressing me. The others are ok, but so far, nothing special.

  18. totoum says:

    “If the start was “mediocre” like you said then you should reconsider this bad start before rating it that high. ”

    When psgels gives out a monthly rating,it rates that month only,not the other months,so there’s no need to take the start into consideration.

    I’m sure he will take the start into consideration when he gives an overall rating once the show is over.

  19. Anonymous says:

    “As a universe, Votoms has been dragged down by the refusal to leave Chirico’s side and tell other stories.”
    The story of Votoms wasn’t about its universe. It was about Chirico’s journey of self discovery. Leave that world building stuff to Gundam. And honestly, if the other stories consist of Finder and Case Irvine, I say leave the franchise alone once and for all.

  20. Hades says:

    @Totoum
    Ah, now i understand.
    Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t know that =P

  21. Hades says:

    @Totoum
    Ah, now i understand.
    Thanks for the heads up. I didn’t know that =P

  22. Joojoobees says:

    @Hogart Tricky thing with Gosick is that information related to the main plot has been trickling out all throughout the series. Also the story is told in three episode arcs, so dipping one episode here and there would not make much sense.

  23. c160 says:

    lol just below my previous comment some one had a very different opinion on Sket Dance. YMMV then,since I personally didn’t really like some of the too angsty drama.

  24. Souther says:

    @Anonymous:

    If you think so, then there shouldn’t have been any Votoms after the original TV series. None of the three sequels have contributed anything notable to Chirico’s character arc.

    I’ll just mention that one of the earliest and most influential Votoms fans in America, Tim Eldred, has a far more open-minded attitude than you about what Votoms can be as a property.

    Tim loves Votoms, certainly more than anyone else on this website, but he’s not under the illusion that it must always be about Chirico. And I agree with him.

    He didn’t hate Votoms Finder, for one thing, and I’m talking about someone who watched the series and even made an officially licensed comic adaptation long before the Internet. Think about that.

    I hate having to resort to an authority, honestly, but anyone who claims that “true” fans of Votoms must hate Finder and Case:Irvine or that they can’t be appreciated by fans of the property…doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

  25. Anime says:

    After reading all of these comments out then i realized what was going on…was a bit confused for a min there

  26. Lis says:

    I think you should watch the episodes 8 and 9 of sekai ichihatsu koi because they focus on the third couple (techically the second couple in the manga) which is alot more interesting than the second couple presented in the series. Which I personally feel is the weakest couple (kind of like the terrorist couple in romantica but atleast they were entertaining)

    I agree with you on gosick I wasn’t fully into the series until now but I feel its so late in the game when the entire series could have been better. I love hanasaku iroha (sorry I don’t share your sentiments on the recent episodes ^_^) as for anohana I going to wait until its finished before I watch it.

  27. kiri says:

    You didn’t drop Inazuma Eleven GO, I am so surprised LOL I thought you will hate it.
    I am seriously considering start watching Hyouge Mono now.

  28. Anonymous says:

    @Souther You’re right. There shouldn’t have been any newer Votoms ova. Finder and Case Irvine attempts to expand the franchise, but they don’t feel like Votoms anymore. It’s pretty much the same thing with U.C Gundam and the recent ones. Sunrise’s just trying to milk the cow and I hate that.

  29. Tomtom says:

    Damn, so many episodes to still catch up on and so little time.. Your top 10 looks great this month.

  30. Shippoyasha says:

    Speaking of Valkyria Chronicles 3 OVA, it is truly the definition of a fanservice anime. I was excited but it is because I played through the game quite a bit. I can see the point that it’s not a standalone though. A shame. I can see VC2 and VC3 being full anime series like VC1 was.

    As for Inazuma Eleven, psgels, I think this is the equivalent of Pretty Cure for the boys. But much darker in a way.

    Inazuma Eleven had themes of abandonment of children, murder of parents, murder of kids (potentially), attempted murders, kidnapping, brainwashing, steroid-abusing, willful betrayals and a lot of other dark stuff one might find surprising to find in a for-kids production. But the emotions rings true quite a bit and I was immensely satisfied with the original Inazuma Eleven series. And if you have to ask, yes, the character development is there as well. Not bad for a kids show. Not bad at all.

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  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:18 AM)
    I saw potential before I watched it I did with the actual setup.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:16 AM)
    @Emma, that don’t matter. The plt was fine. It’s characters. Gen needs to learn to write characters. Otherwise all his future works are in jeopardy. Though I thought I would be bugged by the CG more so I guess I will give it that.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:15 AM)
    Ha, I think like psycho pass it’d have made a better visual novel.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:13 AM)
    Keep in mind also its also the first movie he’s worked on.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:11 AM)
    Why did she stay on earth? She has shown nothing but hatred for it. When did she warm up to the hat guy? Why is hat guy so attached to her, all she did was complain to him! Really all you neeed to do was fix these characters a bit. Make it that Angela did more, gave them both a little more personality and bonding moments. Then this would have been a great movie.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:10 AM)
    Now remember the L/R thing with Japanese more likely it was Meant to be Barzac, true Balzac sounds absurd.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:09 AM)
    I remember her saying that hat guy “contributed” greatly to the mission. Bitch he did all the work! Hat guy was basically Kougami from psycho pass all over again. It’s funny that the robot was the best character. Highly likeable. Character motivations are a mystery. Why did Angela defend the robot. She didn’t even speak with him long enough to become friendly.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:07 AM)
    I thought that the plot structure and pacing did have potential. When you get down to it, the story isn’t really the problem. It had a good climax, a nice setup and really could have shined. But again Gen’s major weakness hinders it. Characters. Balzac(How the hell can you give her a name like that and not hear what it sounds like) was a terrible character. Ridiculously incompetent and useless.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:07 AM)
    And such a shame when the one positive thing I can say about a movie is that I found the leads design attractive.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Dec 22. 2014 06:05 AM)
    But yeah you did a more concise job reviewing it than I.
    Theres a better review of it over on Standing on my necks blog.

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Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

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Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

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Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]