Posted by psgels on 30 November 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season rocks for having so many long series. Finally, after whining for seasons after each other, this season actually completely lacks the biggest problem that anime has had over the recent years: not having enough time. Finally the barrier of “going for a long series immediately is too risky” is beginning to break down. Now all that’s left is to make use of it.

Again, since this season is long, there is a lot more time to build up for things. But still there are some longer series that are just too long, take their time too much, or forget to be entertaining while building up. That’s the flip-side of having long series, unfortunately. Still, I’m really glad that at least this development is coming. Now all that’s left is to improve, and continue to find the right balance between length, pacing and build-up. There are a few series already in this season that are getting really close to it.

#18 (15) – Persona 4 The Animation – (6,5/10) – This show is annoying to watch. As it turns out, instead of being action and mystery, this is just a show about school antics. While that on itself isn’t bad, although I’m not happy that it picked such an overcrowded genre, but the school life scenarios are really dull, badly acted, and most of the time just not funny. Especially the pee guy (whose name I still can’t remember) is bad here.
#17 (12) – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume – (7/10) – Agh, what a shame. This show hit its shelf life. At the moment this show has completely run out of inspiration and is running on dull hijinks stories that are way too forced and just aren’t funny and don’t add anything to the series. What’s more: this show is becoming a chore to watch through.
#16 (20) – Guilty Crown – (7,25/10) – Oh good lord. Who found it a good idea to make the male lead this bland? In fact, there is a problem with the entire cast of this series: none of the characters really seems to know what they want to be, and therefore keep switching personalities. What this show does is not getting to know the characters, it’s just changing their personalities, based on what is handy for the plot.
#15 (11) – Bakuman – (7,5/10)

I’m really not sure what happened to Bakuman, but it has turned into a complete soap opera, always turning from worst case scenario to other worst case scenario. I especially dislike how immature Moritaka handled when he came down with his injury. The balance in this show seemed lost: the first season moved too slow, but this season delivers its plot twists too fast.

#14 (16) – Kimi to Boku – (7,75/10)

Kimi to Boku’s big problem is the yellow-haired kid. In every single episode, this squirt finds new ways to annoy me. It’s a good thing that most episodes manage to deliver some good drama around some other character, otherwise I would have dropped this long ago, but this remains a test of patience.

#13 (8) – Mirai Nikki – (7,75/10)

Mirai Nikki at this point is still missing something in its characterization. It’s definitely fun, but at the moment its complete lack of subtlety is taking away a bit of the tension. I know that it aims to be like that, but for that it’s just not crazy enough to make up for that. I’m still missing something with this series.

#12 (13) – Phi Brain – (7,75/10)

This show is weird. It makes no sense whatsoever and every episode features some sort of weird thing that just defies all kinds of logic. But it’s fun. The puzzles in this show are always entertaining, and the drama around it also is surprisingly good.

#11 (6) – Ben-To – (8/10)

I’m a bit torn about this show at the moment. On one hand, this show is just hilarious and without a doubt the best comedy of the season. On the other hand however, it had one particular episode that was really bad, and went against a lot of what this show avoided so well up to that point. In particular the penis jokes have been too abused t this point. So that’s why I’m going to give it a safe rating at the moment, and if it can pull itself back up, then that’s only a good result.

#10 (14) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horzion – (8,25/10)

Thee is a ton of magic-babble in this series, but that’s also what makes it interesting. The premise and culture behind this series are very creative and while hard to follow, it’s definitely consistently interesting. And then there is the fact that everyone’s boobs are enormous and the male main character seems to think that groping them is a form of bonding. What the hell?

#9 (17) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8,25/10)

Well, finally we’re getting somewhere! It took a bloody long while, but now that Nurarihyon is finally delivering it has finally gotten interesting to watch. Finally there is a lot of stuff going on at the same time, instead of just dull and straightforward build-up.

#8 (9) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

Hunter X Hunter so far has been better than the first series in terms of pacing (scenes flow much smoothly into each other), and worse in terms of acting (most of the voice actors lack subtlety). It’s shown that it can deliver on the heavy scenes though, so everything is still possible at this moment.

#7 (10) – Tamayura ~ Hitotose – (8,25/10)

This series turned out to be excellent slice of life. It’s not dull enough for nothing to happen, and every episode feels inspired. The voice acting is excellent, the animation really brings the characters alive, and on top of that the setting also feels vibrant.

#6 (7) – Fate/Zero – (8,25/10)

This show has been steadily building up its story, and it’s gradually getting better and better to make up for its rather slow pacing. The themes of chivalry get slowly more and more meaning, and more and more characters start to get interesting. There still are some characters that need some work, like the Caster duo and Saber herself, but there is still plenty of time left with such a steady pacing.

#5 (5) – Last Exile ~ Ginkyou no Fam – (8,25/10)

In this month, Last Exile wasn’t exactly the most consistent series. There were time where it was a little too childish and panderish. The points where it delivered however, it REALLY DELIVERED, with absolutely gorgeous artwork, a fantastic atmosphere, and characters that are very easy to relate to. Especially Giselda stole the show in the latest episode.

#4 (3) – Chihayafuru – (8,5/10)

It’s a simple concept, but this series has really nailed its execution. This month introduced all of the side characters, and they’re all important to the main characters, rather than just being some token characters. The acting still is wonderful, and the Karuta matches are actually starting to get more interesting with each episode, thanks to the passion that the characters put in it.

#3 (2) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

Overall this has been a very consistent series: consistently interesting, consistently silly, and consistently developing its plot. Things still are moving at a steady, albeit slow pace, and it still is a joy to watch this show even after 30 episodes.

#2 (4) – Un-Go – (8,75/10)

Out of all the new shows this Autumn Season, this is definitely the one that stood out. It has fantastic storytelling, combining terrific episodic stories perfectly together with a continuous storyline, and it makes sure to deliver every single week. The pacing is very addictive, the stories are really interesting, the mystery is excellent, and it doesn’t waste a single minute. I complained about the characters before, but even they turned out to be really interesting to watch.

#1 (1) – Mawaru Penguion Drum – (9/10)

Penguin Drum at the moment is really building towards its home stretch. This month was full of plot twists and character development. The direction still is really excellent, which makes every episode a joy to watch.

14 Responses

  1. Oroboros says:

    Y U NO LIKE FUTURE DIARY?

    Solid rankings otherwise.

  2. gandalf8 says:

    I really have to say something regarding Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon. Its weird marriage of a very, very complex storyline with boatloads of otaku pandering stereotypes was at first glance to me doomed for failure. Yet somehow, they managed to make it work, especially in these past few episodes when the main plot starts to gather momentum. Even Torii, who at first glance seems like the cliche idiotic, perverted MC of a substandard harem anime, seems to hide a much darker and deeper character. It feels as if each idiotic or perverted antic he does seems very calculated, and to mask his true intentions besides putting his enemies off guard when they face him.

    Regarding Last Exile Ginyoku no Fam, I still can’t forgive it for how stupidly the characters may act at times (that Ades officer in epsiode 5), all the awkwardly inserted otaku pandering moments (Millia in that maid outfit) and how bland and uninteresting the main character, Fam still is. The battles also sometimes lack that little something, with some illogical tactics or actions taken by the characters during the battle. I’m still waiting for a battle like the Silvana VS Urbanus battle at Dragon’s Fang in LE. Oh well, its only 7 episodes in, so I can only hope that it will get better.

  3. Karry says:

    “#2 (4) – Un-Go ”

    If anyone needed further proof how awful his tastes are…

  4. Ichi says:

    @Karry : Bad troll is bad.

  5. Puran says:

    Glad to see Un-Go rise in the ranks. It did have an awesome month (with the last episode being extra awesome). I’m not sure if they fixed the pacing or I’m getting used to it, but it used to bother me in the first couple of episodes, while I really enjoyed it this month.

    Also, episode 7 serves as a really good advertisement for the series. I showed it to a friend (I spent a couple of minutes explaining some basic things about the setting) and I got him hooked.

  6. micaharu says:

    mawaru’s gonna end next month it makes me depressed to think that the only show i look forward to will end. >_

  7. AidanAK47 says:

    Alright first off. Saber had an entire route dedicated to her character in fate/stay night. So she’s pretty developed so don’t blame this show for something like that just because you didn’t read/watch fate.

    As for Horzion I have tried to get into it. However it’s just not good for me. Regardless of how complex the setting is it’s never a good sign if you require a dictionary to understand a show. Even with that in mind the characters are all just bland one sided stereotypes and there is simply far too many. They add about 3/5 new characters each episode. The combat as well is the typical deus ex machina bleach banter. I can’t see the value of this show.

    Un go is an ok show. But it’s flaws are to great. The worst thing is just how pointless the show is. When you get down to it what does the detective achieve when he solves a mystery? Nothing. The villain isn’t punished. The truth is covered up and well everything the detective figures out is thrown aside. It’s very unsatisfying. I can also say that the deductions are either too obvious or highly questionable.

  8. Joojoobees says:

    Un-Go is the surprise of the season. It seems to operate on multiple levels at once. Instead of simply being a mystery, or a mystery with supernatural elements, or a mystery with supernatural elements that is also a Sci-Fi commentary on the contemporary issues, it managed to go beyond all that, and become all of that plus a meta-critical contemplation on the mystery genre and the quest for Truth. Anyone not watching Un-Go is missing out.

    That having been said, Chihayafuru is my favorite of the season. The direction, artwork, music, acting, characters, and story all come together. It isn’t deeply philosophical, like Un-Go, but it is very human. I love it!

  9. Random_Passerby_Number_612 says:

    @AidanAK47: Actually, Saber’s development in the visual novel has little to no relation to her as a character in F/Z. These events take place before the VN, after all, so we can only judge on how this war will change her based on her character in the Fifth Grail War. Having read the VN, I was quite surprised by how different she is in Zero.

  10. DangerMouse says:

    “that Ades officer in epsiode 5″

    That Ades officer in ep 5 was not an Ades officer, he’s just a spoiled noble likely from a lesser country previously conquered and integrated into the Ades Federation (he’s also the same spoiled noble the pirates stole from in the first ep). This is also why all of the ships they’ve stolen are completely outdated models that have essentially been sold off, essentially noble trophy ships.

    Hence why he was basically obliged to do whatever any officer in a gray “real Ades uniform” says and/or believe it, just like when Luscinia shows up lesser nobles usually cower. And as you can see in ep 7, when real Ades officers are involved they are on a whole other level.

    I’ve actually really liked the battle tactics and I also like the different styles of the Ades commanders like Orang. I don’t find Fam’s character uninteresting at all, I just think it’s now her turn to undergo some changes to really grow her since Millia and now Giselle have had some really great developments. I think we’re about to get it too looking at Fam’s reactions during ep 7’s battle and her apology note to Atamora where it felt clearly like she’s beginning to recognize that it’s time for her change.

    Ep 7 was great, I really hope ep 8 delivers with all the big things that look like they are going to go down next time along with the Silvius’ first real action and this new country seemingly about to get involved as it looks like those unknown pilots from the OP may be showing up. I agree about looking forward to something as badass as the Dragon’s Fang battle, but that didn’t happen until the halfway point in the first LE, if we get something like that earlier this time that would be incredible in the new show. Hopefully Sadri being the old experienced commander can make this battle or an upcoming one as strategic and move vs move as that great one between Alex and Vincent.

    @Joojoobees: Totally agree, Un-go has turned out really awesome.

  11. Puran says:

    @Aidan: We get to see the how’s and why’s of the mystery. That’s what detective stories do. I don’t see how adding a small scene where the perpetrator(s) go to jail would actually add something to the series.

    With that said, I would like this whole truth vs a beautiful lie thing get developed more. It would be interesting.

  12. Tan-Tan says:

    Himari’s position in that screenshot…reminds me of Cure Moonlight from her transformation.

    I miss Heartcatch Precure 8(

  13. rufe says:

    You may think Mashiro’s behavior was childish (working through “injury”), but that’s basically how several of my friends have ended their musical carriers. It’s very difficult to take time off when you’ve been putting in hours every day since childhood (requires tremendous discipline to take more than a few days)

    Much more the case if you see this as your one and only chance to really accomplish what you wanted in life. People play through injuries for major competitions and I imagine Mashiro sees…you know actually getting published in Jump as his big chance and isn’t wanting to get the series canceled.

    Incidentally I agree that the series is loosing its touch. Especially in the manga the cast has gotten too big, too much is glossed over, and the drama has gotten over the top.

    Also I don’t see why Chizuru bothers you so much. I have bubbly friends who admittedly can be grating at times, but this doesn’t make or break a person or character.

    He also is actually a pretty funny character. Like in this weeks episode it was pretty funny how straightforward he is compared to the twins.

  14. Dalx says:

    reading this post I had an ephiphany about Persona 4 main lameness. Something that slipped out of this adaptation and was important in the characterization of the “pee guy” called yosuke.

    He was a douche and a stupid character yet he had moments where there was insight or madurity in him. Not for anything he is the foil to the big-bad in the story. In the anime he is just the stupid teenager.

    And so, it is that every character was reduced to their steoreotype that was supposed to be subverted because of the pacing change of the S. links.

    It is just adapting the shallow parts of everything.

    I’m only following Un-go, Bento and mawaru, busy school season, I agree with their ranking.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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