Posted by psgels on 27 December 2011 with categories: Monthly Summaries

As usual, my December summary is a bit earlier than usual so that I have time to work on my 2011 summary (I’ve got 4 more posts for that planned; what the hell am I doing?), but it’s not like we’re getting any more episodes after this.

Overall, I will definitely remember this month due to all the things that happened here. I suddenly had to pull a rush job, moving this site to another domain after Blogsome suddenly announced that it was going down (which by the way, it still hasn’t), having to come up with a new design in less than a week. On top of that, it was also a really busy month for me in real life due to me finally moving out of my parents’ house and buying my own place to live.

In terms of anime, this was very consistent with last month: pretty much every series performed like I expected it to do, with only a few minor exceptions. It definitely wasn’t the strongest season we’ve had. In fact, when looking at the shows that debuted this season, this season at this point ties with Autumn 2010 as the least impressive Autumn Season since 2001. It mostly stood out because it broke some nasty trends of the past few years and for that I can say that it headed into the right direction again. And because of this, there are still plenty of series that still need to finish, so let’s find out if it can make me come back to these words in three months time.

#18 (18) – Persona 4 The Animation – (6,5/10) – The pacing in this show is still terrible. Sometimes it tells you which days it skips, at others the change into another day is completely random and unnanounced. I mean, what’s the point of this date system if you don’t use it consistently? Overall, this month this series had some nice ideas, which in the end didn’t really amount to anything. The bear? Cool, I guess, but he’s still bloody annoying. The thing with the killer also is nice and all, if we actually knew something about his character. This show spends so many times on random dialogue, and yet it doesn’t even flesh its characters out well.
#17 (17) – Shinryaku! Ika-Musume – (6,75/10) – That final episode was horrendous. Why on earth did the creators find it a good idea to YET AGAIN abandon all comedy for a serious story in this series? There is no way for that to suddenly work. Apart from that, this month was much of the same, but overall this sequel was a waste of time. I really hope that Milky Holmes avoids this next season, but that show is based on a Pachinko Game instead of a manga, so anything can happen there.
#16 (16) – Guilty Crown – (7/10) – I have watched every Noitamina series except for one. And yet, I can easily say that Guilty Crown has the worst characters compared to any other show from that timeslot. Fractale? The character s there at least were likable. Library Wars? the cast at least was engaging. In this show, no single character is interesting. Everyone is just a tool to make Shu look awesome, even though Shu is a whining protagonists who just keeps changing character depending on what the plot demands. Holy crap he was annoying this month.
#15 (15) – Bakuman – (7,5/10) – Oh for god’s sake, the whole issue with the angry Miura was hard to sit through. I mean, I get the point that they tried to made, but it was just so dragged on. Miura isn’t the best acted anyway so it was rather hard to buy him. I liked Yuriko’s subplot though. It’s short and to the point, and yet in much less time it also gets a lot out of her character. Take an example of that, Bakuman.
#14 (10) – Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon – (8/10) – I have very mixed feelings with this series, but in the end I do have to praise it. Sure, it makes no sense with the creators consistently pulling all kinds of rules out of their asses, but these rules were inspired and imaginative, and they actually got some neat things out of the characters this way.
#13 (13) – Mirai Nikki – (8/10) – One of Mirai Nikki’s biggest problems was that most of its villains were dull. They were badly developed, not fleshed out well enough, and just not interesting to watch. A show that’s as crazy as this really needs good and enjoyable characters to make the most out of this. That is what I realized after watching the latest arc, which did have an interesting antagonist. The show suddenly got a lot more enjoyable when that guy took the center stage.
#12 (14) – Kimi to Boku – (8/10) – The final episode of this first half of Kimi To Boku was also the best episode so far. I like that. Overall, the final month only cemented the characters even more as well written. Compared to the first episodes, the characters have gotten less annoying. Yes, even Chizuru. But that guy still gets on my nerves.
#11 (12) – Phi Brain – (8/10) – In this month, Phi Brain finally got to business. And it worked. It remembered to develop the main villain well, and because of this the episodes involving him were a bit cheesy, yet had some solid drama as well. The puzzles also continue to get larger and more dangerous, which is a good sign for 2012
#10 (9) – Nurarihyon no Mago – (8,25/10)

It’s a shame that Nurarihyon ended with a sequel hook, because that ending would have been the perfect time to close off this series. Overall, the last month of this series was really well done. Finally this show got to what it actually was about: a war between small armies. Finally it got down to business. Finally the characters came together, and the graphics looked really solid in the process. It took way too bloody long to get here, but it’s still good to see that amidst an ocean of shounen shows that end on a bad note, this one didn’t.

#9 (5) – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam – (8,25/10)

Overall the strongest month for Last Exile was the first month. Right now it’s still very solid, but there are a few too many inconsistencies for my tastes. Shangri-La had this too, but to make up for it it had a crazy plot that kept moving, whereas Last Exile is much slower. The build-up still is pretty solid though, and the characters still are pretty good and well acted. Bring on that second half!

#8 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)

The thing with this show s that it’s just too similar to the first season. The surprise and suspense is gone because of that. Those who haven’t seen the first season however, are in for something awesome here. This does remain as one of the best shounens out there.

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

Tamayura ended with a very solid note. The character development really stood out in these final episodes, plus it ended with a heart-warming finale. Perhaps it wasn’t th best slice of life series I’ve seen, but nevertheless it was a very solid attempt.

#6 (11) – Ben-To – (8,5/10)

What I especially liked about the finale is how well built up it was. This lead to a few episodes without food battles, but the pay off in the end was really worth it. The characters all were interesting to watch, and everything came together wonderfully for the ending. This definitely was what I expect an action comedy to be.

#5 (6) – Fate/Zero – (8,5/10)

This was the month in which Rider really showed what an awesome character he can be. Things are definitely slowly getting better and better, and even though we have to wait three months for the next episode, it overall was one of the most solid shows of the past three months.

#4 (4) – Chihayafuru – (8,5/10)

This was the month of the first Karuta tournament, and I love how short and to the point it was. This show has a wonderful balance: it makes sure to spend enough time on everything, yet it also never drags on or feels padded out. By far its biggest virtue here was how in every episode, it involved every character, and added a bit to every one of them. Now that’s some solid writing to nail consistently.

#3 (3) – Hyouge Mono – (8,75/10)

It is really impossible to find episode 36 anywhere. This is a bloody shame for a show that consistently ranked among my top 3 this past season. Especially Rikyuu’s development over the past episodes was memorable here, with a few misers involved, though. When this ends, I can only hope that Koichi Mawshimo will continue make many more series, despite his age (he’ll be turning 60 this year).

#2 (2) – Un-Go – (8,75/10)

This month, Un-Go ended pretty much as solid as how it’s ever been. The plot twists it came with were really well done, and it still left no moment wasted. I like how you really needed to pay attention to this series in order to be able to follow it. This show just kept throwing you for a loop with some really plausible scenarios, only to turn things around completely.

#1 (1) – Mawaru Penguin Drum – (9,25/10)

The ending may not have explained everything, but who cares? It did give conclusion to the things it should have. It all fitted wonderfully and it did push the characters to new levels. It was a very sad ending that worked really well as the conclusion of this series.

8 Responses

  1. kurini says:

    The ranks didn’t change much :O
    But I’m glad to see MP at the first spot :)
    I can’t wait for the annual 2011 posts!

  2. jzar says:

    I was sad to see Mawaru Penguin Drum at #1 …I think there were way better stories and even you admit MP had problems. I think we should care about how well they tell a story.

    . I really liked UN-go, I suppose Chihayafuru would have been my #1 for the year. I think it really earned it. The best story telling by far.

  3. gdgd says:

    You have probably mistaken Milky Holmes with Twin Angel. Milky Holmes is an original multimedia franchise. The anime wasn’t based on anything.

    • Cytl says:

      I think it was a TCG then became a manga, anime, game and LN. But yeah, it was a parallel multimedia franchise and definitely not a pachinko game (no idea where that came from).

  4. joojoobees says:

    I have really been impressed with Chihayafuru. Everything about it is so well assembled. It seems like it is driving towards something and doesn’t waste my time.

  5. 7godeohs says:

    I have never seen a more concise, yet accurate assessment of the characters of Guilty Crown.

    After all this talk about Chihayafuru I may just end up watching it.

  6. micaharu says:

    Mawaru penguin drum and Madoka are my top picks this year ^__^

  7. Shippoyasha says:

    Kind of bummed you took such a heavy disliking to Suite Precure, psgels. Especially in recent months, there has been a lot of pretty interesting new Precure character developments and some pretty solid episodes. I kind of wished Heartcatch Precure had this kind of mystery of the backstory + that incredible animation. I kind of think some people missed their boat if they wanted character driven anime. Surprisingly, Precure is doing a fine job of it year after year.

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  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:51 PM)
    Hype kills anything. In regards to the kind of emotional manipulation Clannad and maybe Undertale uses, it’s like a drug. The more you are subjected to it, the less of an effect it has.
    Still there are examples of something which comes close to expectation. People say Muv Luv Alternative gives you PTSD and in a kinda does. Though it’s helped by the connection you build with the characters though the first two games.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 06:47 PM)
    @Kaiser,I haven’t updated the old entries of my MAL in quite a while. Pretty sure Code Geass is sitting at a 10 on it and I am sure if I give that a rewatch that rating is going to fall harshly.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:59 AM)
    I say this because people often like to hype up the genre or those elements. I bring this up/think about it now because I played a game called undertale lately on my brothers recommendation and he was all like it emotionally destroyed him but I never ended up crying, I mean don’t get me wrong its a good game, there were laughs to be had and there was sentiment but it wasn’t THAT sad/funny.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 08:44 AM)
    Given how many people cry at some drama, clannad included.
    That reminds me…
    I can’t actually remember the last time in my life where I cried, I draw a blank.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 07:58 AM)
    @Aidan: Something always feels off to me when you criticize clannad, I mean I’m critical enough of key these days too but it seems odd that you rank it as an 8 on MAL when you’ve always made it sound its more of a high 6 or a 7.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:45 AM)
    But I’m no fan of gung-ho soldier games/most fps games so I am glad clannad, a visual novel outsold call of duty.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:44 AM)
    I said it once I’ll say it again. I preferred the clannad movie over the tv series, had more style, a more mature feel to it and cut out all the superfluous arcs/comedy for the better. It also concludes better than the series. The emotional involvement in the kyoani version doesn’t work for me anymore, doesn’t hold up. However the film remains emotionally engaging after revisiting it.
  • AidanAK47
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 03:19 AM)
    Holy hell Clannad is selling like hotcakes on Steam. Even beat Call of Duty in sales at one point.
    Kinda happy to see a VN get recognised and it would help open up the market for more titles to come over. But..well..Clannad really isn’t all that great.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Wednesday, Nov 25. 2015 02:29 AM)
    I can remember when I first got into anime when I was a whole lot younger I always said I would watch lodoss war, El Hazard and slayers, yet I never ended up doing so…
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Nov 24. 2015 05:34 AM)
    Ha, the child in me would love to see a film like that I’d imagine, when I was young I was pretty crazy about Egyptian supernatural stuff.

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