Posted by psgels on 29 December 2011 with categories: Yearly Summaries

This list will be all about the characters, just like I did last year. At the end, you’ll find my choices for my top 30 to 21 series of the year. Overall, I hope that I got everyone here. Compiling these includes an awful lot of management and it’s very easy to overlook something (I actually nearly accidentally overlooked Heartcatch Precure, but thankfully I realized this just in time). But yeah, these are my personal choices. Feel free to share your own character highlights, of course. ;)

Most annoying character

The World God Only Knows – Elcea

In terms of annoying characters, there were two big ones that stood out. First is Yosuke Haramura from Persona, who I keep labeling as the Pee guy (seriously, he enters a new world, and what’s the first thing he does?). Every single moment this guy is whining, yelling or just being an ass. That’s just too much. The one who really took the cake though, was Elcea from the World God Only Knows. I mean, stupidity is one thing, but this was taken way too far here. This kid has the IQ of a sheep. There is nothing fun about her. She just keeps making the most moronic and self-unaware statements. If this was meant as a parody, it completely failed because it adheres to the exact tropes of the things it tries to make fun of, without anything else.

Worst Character

Sacred Seven – Yuuji Kenmi

Like with the most annoying character category, I am not counting the characters of series that I dropped at some point. It’s just not fair to judge characters of which I just didn’t watch everything of. The choice of worst character of the year was a difficult one, because there were a lot of really, really bland characters this year. Think The world God Only Knows, Fractale, Dragon Crisis, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka, or Guilty Crown: it makes it hard to really pick one who stands out amongst them. Because of that, I decided to hand this award this time to a character who is so bad that he becomes hilarious: the main villain of Sacred Seven. What makes this guy stand out is how most of the series, he’s trying really hard to not stand out as a villain, only to fail miserably, only to completely derail near the end of the series with some ridiculously overacted monologues and some character designs that make me really wonder who in their right mind found it a good idea to approve them.

Best Cast of Minor Characters

Tiger & Bunny

These are the side characters who collectively ended up the most memorable to me this year. Level E deserves a honorable mention for creating so many interesting characters who go beyond the usual tropes. Hourou Musuko had a huge cast for only 11 episodes, and yet put down every character really realistically and dynamic. The side cast of Tiger & Bunny takes this prize though, because all of them were just really fun to watch, and they did an excellent job as supporting characters, to the point where I’d really with that the creators devoted more time to them, in order to really show what they’re made of.

Best Voice Acting

Hyouge Mono

Hyouge Mono’s voice acting was exquisite: it knew exactly when to be subtle and when to be over the top. Sasuke’s voice actor delivered both in his delirious speeches, his over the top reactions and the more subdued drama, but every major voice actor here pretty much nailed his character. There are a ton of memorable performances in this series. Very solid second places are Hourou Musuko with its wonderfully subtle acting, and Ano Hana, where the cast knew exactly how to make their characters part of the emotional roller-coaster.

Best Character Development on a Single Character

Natsume Yuujinchou – Takashi Natsume

Before the start of the third season, Natsume already was an excellent character. And here that season comes, and ends up completely devoted to developing him even more. This show showed his coming of age as he matured and grew closer to his friends, and grew to accept who he was. This show examined his past, present and future, with amazing results.

Best Character Development on an entire Cast

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai

The collective cast of Hana-Saku Iroha grew really nicely through the course of its series. Hourou Musuko had a ton of characters who matured wonderfully. Penguin Drum’s characters and plot twists made for a very cast who just kept changing (they indeed get very solid second place for this award) and No6’s characters never were static, and always were pushed forward. The best though, was Ano Hana, who delivered a heart-wrenching story about lost childhood friendships being rekindled. It examined how people change, and how easy it is to grow apart. It wasn’t just the main character Jinta who did this: it was the entire cast; everyone delivered to it.

Top 7 Supporting Characters

#7: Blood-C – The Big Villain

Um yeah. It will be a bit difficult to praise this character without spoiling everything. Being as vague as possible:usually villains who only reveal themselves very late in the series suffer from being dull and uninteresting. Not so much here. This character’s air is over the entire series, even though its identity is a mystery for most of its airtime. I know that this series got a ton of criticisms, but yet this ended up being one of my favorite villains of the year.

#6: Chihayafuru – Arata Wataya

Thankfully this guy is a bit easier to praise, because his biggest role in the story is right at the beginning. On top of being fantastically animated as a Karuta genius, he sparked this passion that convinced me: yes, this is the guy who inspired the titular Chihaya to start playing the game as well. When his biggest part is over, he still remains really present in the series to serve as Chihaya’s inspiration, on top of being very well developed himself.

#5: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai – Chiriko Tsurumi

Of course, the entire cast of Ano Hana is amazing, everyone stands out. Chiriko however took that extra step due to her level headedness compared to the rest of the cast. She’s surrounded by characters who have mental problems, and still manages to act level headed throughout most of the series, with some notable exceptions that only get better because of this. She was the voice of reason needed for the rest of the cast, and yet she ended up stealing the show herself quite a few times anyway.

#4: Level E – Kraft

Kraft is just adorable. Usually the straight men in a comedy are dull and formulaic, but this guy breathes new life into this trope with his ramblings that know exactly to stay outside of the borders of melodrama, but on the other hand being such a charismatic guard person with a huge sense of responsibility.

#3: Fate/Zero – Rider

When I first started watching Fate/Zero, I did not expect a side character to steal the show like this. I mean, Rider is by far the best character of the entire series. His monologues are fast and witty, and even though he looks like this huge fighter, he’s very intelligent and witty. He’s got his own ideals that he keeps shoving down on everyone, but he does it with so much force and charisma that it becomes almost impossible to retaliate.

#2: Hyouge Mono – Oda Nobunaga

If I had to mention the one highlight of Hyouge Mono, then it’d be the way they portrayed Oda Nobunaga. That was by far the best portrayal of the guy I have ever seen, and I’d go as far as saying that there will probably never come an anime that will do it better. The creators just perfectly succeeded in creating this megalomaniac ruler with a thirst for both conquest and the fine arts. And his crowning moment of awesome (the ones who reached that point know what I’m talking about) was just a beautiful display of wit and character.

#1: Supernatural the Animation – John Winchester

Numbers 2 to 4 are really larger than life characters. Heck, two of them are rulers, and I do tend to like these characters whose personalities are all over the place. As for the question of my favorite side character of the year though, my choice goes for someone completely different: a tormented father who is stuck between taking care of his sons and getting revenge on the murder of his wife. The series explores a ton of facets of his life, and tries to explain as much as possible why he did what he did. This show tries to relate to him by using different, yet similar cases and stories. And in the end, this leaves a surprisingly well developed character here that in the end is a step above the other side characters this year.

: Top 7 Female Characters

#7: Chihayafuru – Chihaya Ayase

Overall in 2011, unlike 2010, the male characters overall tended to overshadow the female characters, so I’m doing the female characters of the year first. Still, Chihaya as a character deserves to be mentioned. This girl has passion, and part of the fun of watching Chihayafuru is to see how far that passion drives her. She single-handedly managed to inspire a ton of people around her in a believable way, and her virtually limitless energy made every episode really fun and interesting to watch.

#6: Gosick – Victorique de Blois

Victorique took a while to crawl out of her shell. It’s only as the show goes on that we learn what exactly she went through, but also as what a strong character she grew into despite all that. It’s a shame that her male lead often was a bit of an idiot, just to show how smart she was. She didn’t need that. Even without him it was apparent that she was a genius, and I especially liked how she was constantly looking for a challenge to get rid of her boredom. Gosick as a series perhaps wasn’t the best out of the three “small girl detective”-series that came out this year. But in the end, it did have the best female lead.

#5: Hourou Musuko – Yoshino Takatsuki

I was really doubting whether to put her amongst the side characters or the list of the main characters. Technically Yoshino is a main character, but I also think that she gets the least amount of screentime out of all of the other characters on this list. In any case, I really have to praise her for putting forth such a believable portrayal of a young girl with gender issues. She’s very realistic and likable, and yet the drama around her was ridiculously well done.

#4: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – Homura Akemi

This is another one of which I’m not going to say much due to the spoilers and all, but Homura made one heck of an impact on Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica. She’s strong and well developed, even though she’s a big mystery for most of the first half of the series.

#3: Heartcatch Precure – Yuri Tsukikage

The beauty of Yuri was that she was much older than the rest of the main cast of Heartcatch Precure. Suddenly in a shows about kids, a mature high schooler suddenly stole the spotlights and was pretty much involved in all of the kickass fights, and the best part was that the creators acknowledged that she was awesome, and didn’t just put her on the sidelines just so that the younger characters could shine. Yuri was caring and confident, but her own story and background in the series are along with Tsubomi the most charming.

#2: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai – Meiko Honma

Oh, I remember when I first saw the promo art for Ano Hana, I was like “What? Even more moe? What’s this doing in Noitamina?” And then a little more about this show was revealed and it seemed to take itself quite seriously. And then the show aired. The beauty of Menma was that she adheres to some moe tropes, but also subverts them just as hard. Yes, she’s ditzy, but she isn’t stupid. She’s innocent, but not clueless. She’s bratty, but she’s nowhere near the stereotype you’d expect her to be. She helped really well in order to make this show the tear jerker it was, as the character around which everything revolves. Many of the heart-wrenching moments of the series were because of her. I really would not have guessed that from my first impression.

#1: Mawaru Penguin Drum – Himari Takakura

Himari is important, not just for what she means to the other main characters in this series, but also because she’s so damn well developed. In a series with as much flashbacks as Penguin Drum, we get to see a ton of different points in her youth that shaped her to who she is, and why she’s so important to the other characters. She really was the glue that kept everything in this series together.

Top 7 Male Characters

#7: Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-Tachi wa Mada Shiranai – Jinta Yadomi

Jintan was sometimes hard to watch, because of how passive and miserable he was as a character. Part of the goal of the series was to heal him, and make him grow into a better character. And that was done so well here that made me place him on this list. While Menma was the center of the story, he was the one who carried it and with that he did a really good job.

#6: Tiger & Bunny – Kotetsu Kaburagi

The competition really is fierce for this list, and I’m surprised at how many characters I loved I had to eliminate, just to cut it back to just 7 entries. I just couldn’t not mention Kaburagi Koutetsu, though. This guy is very unlike your average hero. He’s much, much older than usual, and even has his own daughter. He’s irresponsible at first, but as the show goes on you get a much better insight in his character. It makes him both fun to watch, and a very engaging character during the dramatic parts.

#5: Supernatural the Animation – Dean Winchester

How many different parts of Dean did we see in the series anyway? Of the two brothers, Sam always struck me as a bit too angsty, but Dean struck the balance perfectly. He here had everything: he was funny, he was caring, he was mature, he was independent and as a character, his development over the years was amazing. In particular his past makes him quite a complex and interesting character.

#4: Mawaru Penguin Drum – Kanba Takakura

Kanba is a hard to follow character a times, but what really struck me about him was his determination. He really was completely devoted to Himari, and that leads to some incredible scenes at times. Overall his character development also is amazing, and especially the ending of Mawaru Penguin drum really utilizes his character to the best.

#3: Hourou Musuko – Shuuichi Nitori

Part of the brilliance of starting the adaptation somewhere in the middle in the manga, is that this gave Nitori already a terrific background. And then he used that to turn into an even better character. I mean, cross-dressing is really often just played for laughs. This guy actually treated his own problems seriously, and managed to convince us of the same. There is nothing cheesy about this guy. His character development especially in the second half turned out to be incredibly detailed and engaging.

#2: Hyouge Mono – Sasuke Furuta

Sasuke… sure is a character. I mean, his ramblings are unique. There is no other character out there like him. Sure, there are plenty of over the top characters out there, but none of them really comes close to what this guy does. On one hand he marvels over some ridiculous aesthetics, on the other he tries to play a serious part in a period drama. The faces he makes are just completely ridiculous, but the comedy around him is always just hilarious. This guy is an eccentric through and through, and by far the most unique main character of the past years.

#1: Natsume Yuujin-Chou – Takashi Natsume

I already said it above: Natsume already was a very well developed character when the third season started. And here this show came and developed him even better. And to think that we’re still not done yet with him after a fourth season got announced. This third season showed some more tidbits around Natsume’s past, but also how he changed as a character. The different characters he runs into illustrate that perfectly: he’d would have treated them quite different when he would have met them in the first series. And yet, everything remains so incredibly subtle. All of the details in his development fit, and the acting for this guy turned him into a really believable character.

: My top series of 2011: #30-21

#30: Fireball Charming

This year didn’t have one comedy sequel that was better than the original. It had two of them. In Fireball’s case, you can really see that the creators wanted to surpass the first season of Fireball; it was much more ambitious. The CG graphics looked much better, the dialogue was faster and even more nonsensical. And it actually worked here. The combination between random yet strangely interesting banter and the random yet strangely interesting poses that the characters kept making really worked.

#29: Last Exile ~ Ginkyou no Fam

After two years of absence, Gonzo returned with a bunch of very poorly produced series, and one heck of an ambitious comeback of Ginyoku no Fam. It left some things to be desired overall, and the quality of each episode varies greatly, but where it delivered, it really delivered. It successfully expanded upon the Last Exile setting, expanding it even further, the graphics and backgrounds looked amazing and Fam and Giselda, despite first appearances, are likable leads. When compared to the first half of the first Last Exile though, it loses out.

#28: Gosick

Gosick had its problems. The arcs that it used to build up its story had some serious issues, including a very annoying male lead and a female lead who looked more like she had access to the script, rather than she was a genius at solving crimes. And then, good episodes showed up. To a point where in the final third, the bad episodes were completely gone. This show suddenly turned into a very engaging adventure series, and the lead characters who had once been flat, stupid and annoying grew into very relatable characters. This definitely was a welcome surprise.

#27: Usagi Drop

Overall I probably wasn’t the biggest fan of Usagi Drop. Of course it was adorable, and I love it as a look upon what it means to be a father, but I dunno, it could have gone a bit further than what it did. It’s still very gentle slice of life though, and pretty much the most realistically acted show of the year. It definitely gets points for that. Daikichi in particular was a very interesting character to watch.

#26: Ikoku Meiro no Croisée

Beyong being completely adorable, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee also was a very interesting look at cultural differences. Every episode featured interesting little tidbits about the differences in every day life between Japan and France of about 100 years ago. There was some really good chemistry between the different characters, and even the seemingly annoying rich girl had something to offer here. As a pure slice of life series though, it was a bit too forcedly dramatic, so if you want more heart-warming slice of life you should probably go to some of the other shows that this year had to offer. The different cultures however were enough of an addition to make up for this.

#25: Tamayura ~ Hitotose

Now, if there was any director on fire this year, it was Sato Junichi. He was behind three series this year (twie as the director, once as the main writer), all of which made it into my top 40 at some place. My favorite production of his was Tamayura, due to how incredibly solid it was as a slice of life show. It’s a genre that is usually very hit or miss for me, but this show really nailed it for me. It had a well developed cast, a heart-warming atmosphere, very nice animation and really succeeded as an Iyashi-kei series as well.

#24: Dantalian no Shoka

Dantalian often baffled me when I watched it, but looking back I can definitely claim that I don’t regret watching it. It’s a show that took the episodic series structure, and completely nailed one part of what makes the genre great, only to completely ignore the other part that’s required for the genre to really work. The individual stories were excellent. They all were diverse and examined some great characters with fascinating stories. And yet the main storyline or cast never really was important here. They were just tools to show these stories. Even overall themes were not really existent. All this show was was 12 standalone episodes. But granted: those episodes were very interesting.

#23: Blade

This year had more shows that went under the radar than 2010. The king of those shows though, is Blade. I was utterly surprised when I found out that in AniDB, it ranked overall even below a rating of 6/10. What this means is that it ranks amongst the 20 worst TV-anime ever made that had more than 100 votes on that site. I know that ratings like that should be taking with a salt shaker and all, but even then this is something it does not deserve at all. After watching Iron Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, it really surprised me how much this series delved into Blade’s past and how it focused to develop him as a character. Out of all of the marvel series, it also had the best female sidekick, and how one episode delivered one of Wolverine’s characters better than what Wolverine did. Plus, the entire series was pretty much a tour through South-East Asia. This show visited so many locations that go completely against the convention. Speaking of conventions, it’s great to finally see another black main character again.

#22: Star Driver

I only realized this after compiling these places 30 to 21, but this show illustrates something interesting about this year, compared to 2010. You see, Star Driver as a series stayed pretty much consistently interesting. It never really got better than what it was, but it also didn’t dip in. Last year when I compiled my top list of the year, I ranked Star Driver at the nineteenth place of the year (because yes, I do include incomplete series just like any finished series here). And still: the shows that I ranked below Star Driver then are still shows that I’d rank below it, and the same goes vice versa and for 2011 as well, meaning that 2011 had actually slightly more great series compared to 2010. Anime is dying? Hah! In any case, Star Driver was pretty much the younger brother of Mawaru Penguin Drum. It featured much more action, but also had a lot of parallels, like the use of tons of symbolism. And I have to give credit for this show that when everything finally unraveled and was explained, it took some neat risks and chances. It’s definitely not the most balanced show though.

#21: Ben-To

After so many dull and uninspired fanservice comedies, this show finally delivered with an awesome premise. A show entirely dedicated to food battles. You just have to come up with it. This show proved that even though there may be fanserivce and moe, it can still be incredibly entertaining. The storytelling was very solid: the jokes were hilarious, the action scenes were really well directed, the music was awesome, the characters were well acted. It was one heck of an entertaining ride. The only shame is that at times it indulges in pointless fanservice a little too much, and it was probably about two episodes too long.

16 Responses

  1. lol says:

    I commend you for ranking Kanba and Himari so high. The obsession with Shouma and Ringo is something I will never understand. I thought Kanba and Himari were MILES more interesting, and by far the better couple too.
    Really can’t agree with Menma, though. She might be my pick for most annoying of the entire year. She ruined the show for me tbh

  2. CJay says:

    Out of all of the things you review Characters is always the one I actually disagree with the most [cept for Hamyuts meseta last year] I guess characters are more of a personal preference compared to plot and stuff like that

    Some characters that you didn’t include:
    Anjou- I feel like she was pretty much the best character out of Anohana
    Sky High- I just absolutely loved his character. He’s so different then all of strongest people in other shows and the episodes about him were probably my favorite in the show.
    Ohana’s Mom- She was an extremely interesting side-character who though she didn’t appear much was still influential to ohana, her brother and her mother. And whenever she did appear she was just hilarious. She takes the bad mother trope to a very interesting level
    Momoka- I just loved the way that she was developed through other people’s opinions of her. (SPOILERS!!) and if you include the hats as her personality too then shes clearly really hilarious.

    And i know you had problems with the Steins;Gate characters but to me Okabe was just an outstanding character who grew greatly, while still maintained his charms throughout the whole series. He’d probably be one of my top picks for the year.

  3. AidanAK47 says:

    Ho boy…I keep trying to not say something because I know this thing is just a matter of opinion and as the bloger you can decide whatever you want…BUT COME ON!
    Psgels, Himari was a Mary Sue. She was downright prefect in every way. She had no flaws. The penguin Hat personality was her only saving grace and that wasn’t even her. As a character she was nether original nor complex. She was just the Key bait to torture and kill off so you could feel some pity.
    Another thing is while I wouldn’t say Elise is not annoying(I wasn’t fond of her even in the manga) I think Shu takes the cake for most annoying character.
    If you could give me a short concise summery of what the “Big villains” personality was like that would be great. Na…that’s impossible because he didn’t have one!

    PS: You have pictures of Dean Winchester but you name Sam as you favourite. You may have got their names mixed up.

    • hikari says:

      Agreed with Aidan on Himari, although she’s being well developed by the end of the series, but for most of the time she’s just too Mary Sue-esque for my taste(although she’s not THAT bad of Mary Sue). Ringo, Momoka and even Yuri are more interesting to me. I guess i’ve already had enough of Mary Sue’s type of chara from lots of shojo/josei manga/novel female lead that i read so far. Well, most of them had that kind of type so i think i already tired enough of that tropes in anime.

  4. Renn says:

    Good choices. I preferred Ringo/Shoma to Himari/Kanba, but Victorique, Yoshino, Homura, Kotetsu, and Natsume are some of my favorites. Can’t wait to see which shows make your top 20!

  5. Kim says:

    Like Renn I personally preferred the Ringo/Shouma pair to Himari/Kanba. Although I do think Himari became a well developed character at the end it’s not for the reasons you state but because she took an active role in the end in helping Shouma & Kanba.

    However I actually feel Ringo is the best developed character of the series (perhaps even of 2011). She went from a character who was selfish in wanting love for herself (not thinking about others) to a character who truly loved others above herself, even willing to sacrifice herself to save Himari. This was remarkable growth and I am glad she & Himari got a happy ending in the end.

  6. Kim says:

    @Psgels

    Sorry i think my comment might be somewhat spoilerish for Peguindrum, I wasn’t thinking. I would understand if you erase it. My apologies.

  7. c160 says:

    YES YURI’S IN!!! One of the most awesome character in the magical girl genre, she definitely deserves it(even though she cheats a bit for having like only 2 episodes this year ^_~). There’s also a few other blogs who put her in high regards so I’m glad it was not just us few who comments on your blog who watch that show.

    Also I’d think Saorin from Hourou Musuko would definitely make it too if the series went further than they did. Of course it’s a loooong way from where the anime cut-off so yeah Takatsuki would do for now.

    Ringo is my favorite though this year, that crazy awesome stalker girl ^^

    • c160 says:

      As for the favorite series,yeah Ben-To made it to your favorites. It was really likeable through and through, despite having so much fanservice. I think Sega should definitely have put more money in the series so there’s a whole lot more fight scenes cause the fight scenes in this series were really good.

      My only complaint for Star Driver was that since they went through the fabulous route, they should have pushed it a bit more.In other words,I think Star Driver wasn’t camp enough, so yeah, that’s my biggest problem with it.

  8. Lillian says:

    I have to disagree that Himari is the top female character. She was such a boring character. I mean her hat personality doesn’t really count! Himari didn’t have that much development. Her role in the series was very lacking compared to the rest of the female characters in the series. Himari’s purpose was not fully explored or was very lacking. She wasn’t interesting especially compared to the other characters. I didn’t feel anything special from her. She was just there.

    But overall, I agree with you on most of the rankings.

  9. Pafiume says:

    Kind of frustrated with the Hourou Musuko characters, just because the point of them is that they don’t like being their birth sex and that’s how you seem to classify them… But I guess it’s whatever. I would feel weird if you called Shuu a girl and Takatsuki a boy as well.

    Also agreeing on Himari. I’m just surprised you gave her the top spot, but considering how much you loved Penguindrum I’m not surprised. I agree with Kim about Ringo, her character really did a 180, whereas Himari… I don’t know, after so many “I’m dying, JUST KIDDING”s she got tired, to me. Opinions, opinions.

    • Enna says:

      I was about to comment about Shuu and Takatsuki being a bit reversed, considering their circumstances, but you seem to beat me to the punch. Thought I was the only one who was bothered by it. :/ I feel it kind of defeats the message of the show, but after all it is his call.

  10. someloser says:

    ahh blood-c pissed me off. truthfully, the villain was a joke. if anything, i was expecting a twist. however, the twist that came was a complete joke. rather it was like “hey here’s a twist” but the twist was a complete ass-pull, there was not even a single spec throughout the entire show except the last episode on “you’re the star of a movie saya!” it was pretty much like a deus ex machina, where shit randomly happened to make the story more interesting. all of a sudden, necklaces that are able to save people from having their head chomped off… excuses appearing everywhere. i mean, the villain wasn’t a magnificent bastard… more like a magnificent ass-pull.

  11. nodbgp says:

    I’m too lazy to even think about a summary, but looking at your’s there’s only two things I fell I need to say, at least as far as characters go.

    1) Shuu from Guilty Crown, should at least be mentioned as worst char.

    2) The prince (from Level-E) should have won at least a mention, common he’s awesome, even if he is a son of a bitch kind of awesome.

  12. jreding says:

    Taktsuki-san is an interesting choice as a best female character. She indeed does not get much screentime. Imo this correponds to the fact that everyone in H.M. assumes she just gets along well w/ her situation since it’s much more easier than Nitorin’s. Takaktsuki is more alone w/ her problems than the others. In any case, I’d go futher than c160 above and definitely give Saorin the top spot.

    I second re Sasuke being a top male character. Maybe I’m too uneducated but I didn’t the aesthetics ridiculous; in fact, I had the feeling that this show widened my horizon to appreciate the art of that age.

    Finally, I’m happy that you included Tamayura into your top 30! Star Driver, I guess, is the interesting show I missed in 2011.

  13. Kirro says:

    Awesome ranking! A bit bothered by the fact that you called Shuuichi “he” and Yoshino “she” though, since the point of the show is that they are a trans girl and boy who wish desperately to be considered the gender they identify as.

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@Aidan: Read Freesia.
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umi no onnanoko is probably the exact thing ninjarealist would be interested in.
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*oyasumi punpun
I found it alot more accessible than nijigahara holograph. deded-demon-destruction while enjoyable, is beneath him. Solanin is probably his easiest work.
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I assume you man oyasui punpun. Its been about five years since I read in, the final couple of volumes stay in my mind the most, all the stuff with him, the girl and his uncle also, I love Asano Inios art and the surreal elements but I got lost/bored somewhere in the middle and most of the other side characters and the cult thing I didn't really care about.
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Note: I'm deciding to take Classroom of the Elite as my third show to cover. So, for this season we are covering 11 shows.
Vonter
Just to end, it kind of shows than even if a story is predictable on where it is going. Characters can make up for that, if they're funny, interesting, and perhaps not agreeing all the time and having different agendas and points of view despite all sharing the same boat.
Vonter
Yet as a game Tales hasn't felt deep since Symphonia, (at least from the ones I've played). I'm wondering if it'll leave me wanting check the anime of Zestiria, since apparently Berseria is a prequel to that game. And many say the anime is better than the game. (I can see why).
Vonter
I also like the reused Tales beats from Phantasia and Berseria. It those have moments like when Lloyd was exiled and Cless had his village attacked. It has clear antagonists unlike Vesperia, and trying harder than the cartoony villains of Graces.
Vonter
I've been playing Tales of Berseria, and it seems to be the anti Tales of Graces. In which I'm caring about the story and characters, but the gameplay is a drag. This is the first time I've been autoplaying an JRPG. But unlike Gravity Rush 2, I'm not dropping it because I'm liking the interactions of these characters even if it gets, campy, overdramatic, or edgy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I mean I watch anime and films subtitled but sometimes my reading speed can be slow if theres a lot of dialogue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I do that sometimes, mostly to check for message updates or on occasion to read reviews of what I am watching or to download more/check downloads.
SuperMario
For instance, I watched Okja yesterday and I had to take 15', 20' minute break in between for snack, surfing webs and playing mobile games...
SuperMario
I watched Fanny and Alexander... don't really remember which version I watched thou. I think it's a TV version since it divides into 4 separate parts
SuperMario
@Kaiser: it just that... my attention span has shortened greatly and I just can't stay focus on movies over an hour mark. In cinema, it's alright since you can't move anywhere but now it's abig task to finish a 2 hour and a half movie for me
Kaiser-Eoghan
And is good enough to keep up the quality for that long.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'll say this, for every medium, to me the length of something isn't so much the issue, if you have a writer good enough to keep something going for ages then the length shouldn't be an issue.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: If something goes over three hours I treat it as a miniseries and watch one hour or two a day.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: lol if you thought thats long, have you seen the extended versions of scenes from a marriage and fanny & alexander by Bergman? I can't wait to get my hands on the tv versions I hear they're completely different.
SuperMario
Okja is pretty entertaining with pointed social commentary. I don't really feel Tilda Swinton's double roles add up much but everything else is great. Bong has never disappointed me
SuperMario
@Kaiser: good luck with Satantango then. I guess now if I watch an 8-hour long film it would take me a whole week to finish it :/
Kaiser-Eoghan
Made in abyss and vatican keep staring at me. Although I'm not chancing them yet or anything else until I hear a bit more.
Kaiser-Eoghan
My once massive film backlog is nearly cleared. I can try watching stuff this season hopefully.
K-Off
Same boat here. For the first time in a long time I spent almost half the day catching up on all of my manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'll have two weeks leave, I will finally watch Satantango, all eight hours of that film.
AidanAK47
I did a double take when I saw this. One of these things is not like the other.... http://gematsu.com/2017/07/blazblue-cross-tag-battle-announced
SuperMario
Well, finally have a bit of precious free time to watch something else and I have too much things to watch. Castlevania, the final Kizumonogatari movie, live-action Okja and some books planned to read... I guess I'll go with Okja today
Ninja
Looking forward to that Dies review
Lenlo
Yaaay! Time to enjoy your blogging time
AidanAK47
And now we are up to date. Just need to finally get that Dies Irae Review posted.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I'll watch almost every horror film I can, don't even mind the awful acting most have.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pet cemetary was a guilty pleasure of mine when I was a teenager.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know how I'd feel if I rewatched salems lot, although a positive is that it did have James Mason in it and it was done in that 70s style of slow burn horror that I love.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The IT film has aged horribly and thats one case where I would advocate a remake.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Stand by me was a perftly watchable coming of age film and it surprised me, seeing a non-horror King story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay theres one way to settle this =P Lovecraft > all of them ;) I have actually enjoyed some King adaptations even though I know the Shining took liberties , I also enjoyed Carrie and Apt Pupil.
Lenlo
@Kaiser, please. Early King > Richard Matheson > Modern King. Kings early works were good.
Lenlo
@Aidan, its true that Monty was the mind behind the fights. Sad, but I think the other directors are starting to come into their own instead of trying to copy Monty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But we all know Richard Matheson > King.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He did some collabs with Stephen King I believe.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Like the dead films he's trying to be thematic, although this one is clumsily put together, I kind of like how it hybridizes the 50s with 70s style exploitation, it has its moments.
Kaiser-Eoghan
hmmm the only non Dead trilogy film I've seen by Romero is the Crazies, feels like he's still finding his voice with it.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Part of the reason is that they started using better animation software. But despite that there was a downgrade in fight chorgraphy when Monty died. Though the story I find is getting better.
AidanAK47
@Kinseryu, I think it's ridiculous to everyone but there are those that choose to ignore it.
@Anon, That's a bit harsh. It is true that his later works never truly panned out but he did pretty much popularise the zombie apoc. Even if Day of the Triffids did it before him.
Lenlo
Every season RWBY gets just a little bit prettier. Rooster Teeth really does have some of the better 3D animation skills out there.
Anonymous1272531
goerge romero was a hack trying desperate to stay relevant.
Kinseryu
Tenshi3P... I thought it was just me that this show was just ridiculous by putting three ten years old girl that knows how to play electrical instruments. They are insulting the people who plays these. But good thing I found this site with your first impression. I laughed and I feel better. Lol.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: he passed away? damn. He was the Father of Zombie genre. So like him or hate him, he was influential to say the least. RIP.
Kaiser_Eoghan
...holy shit George A Romero died? Now I have to watch the rest of his films.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Rei Hiroe is really dicking around with black lagoon lately, he's still releasing wasted chapters, just like re:creators, the most recent chapter of black lagoon was a slog.
Kaiser_Eoghan
Maybe the conversation and lives of others could sort of count as espionage stories to an extent.
Kaiser_Eoghan
If you're interested in spy fiction, Spy who came in from the cold, most wanted man, Smiley's people, deadly affair and tinker tailor soldier spy are your best bet.
SuperMario
@Travlos (regarding yoir earlier comment): yeah, it hit me as well that most of regular readers have been here even longer than myself. So thanks for sticking around mates
SuperMario
@Travlos: playing catch up with both Re:Creators and Virgin Soul yesterday. Agreed that last week's Re:Creators was weak because it focused on the Creators (they're not good) but last episode was on par again. Virgin Soul, I loved that episode that the girls go bacl to Nina's hometown
SuperMario
@anon1272074: I still haven't had the time to watch Pripri yet (probably in few more hours), but you bet I'm looking forward to it
Anonymous1272074
Then again, James Bond does count as a spy. I meant not a realistic one.
Anonymous1272074
Princess Principal 2 was pretty good. Still more James Bond via little girls than spies, but this episode was more about intrigue and stuff than action.
Lenlo
Started catching up with Kakegurui. The OP is the sort of mind games I remember from Mob Psycho. Dunno what that means for the show, but I like it.
KTravlos
Quite happy with this week's RE:Creators. Blitz is cool, Aliceteria looked so scary. It washed out the taste of last week's episode.

Bahamut is going interesting places.
BTW. Speaking of spies from Princess Principal. I watch TURN. That is a good spy show.
KTravlos
I mean you see the use of those heavy revolvers as clubs in westerns. Mythbusters did a experiment, and being hit by one could kill you just fine. But in anime, I do not remember seeing it often
AidanAK47
Homura used Gun-kata in the fight against Mami in Rebellion. Can't think of anyone who exclusively uses it though. After all Gun-Kata is more or less a flashy art that has no real benefit.
Anonymous1270604
amazing!
Vonter
Is Gun Kata the fighting style of Noel Vermillion from BlazBlue? I suppose I'm mainly thinking about how guns are handled in fighting games. Where the shots are mainly concussive. I suppose those are mainly energy blasts.
Lenlo
Ranbu took a step in the right direction I feel. Used the morals of whether or not to change history and it focused in on one of its characters.
Lenlo
Final Fantasy has had some gun swords. Cant think of any with guns in melee though. There are some with gun-kata like cowboy bebop though
Vonter
Just for curiosity, have anyone watched an anime, movie or game that uses a gun as a melee weapon. Or one in which the gun is mainly concussive but still has impact?
Spike
18if ep2 was a bit wacky... main character seems to be off his rocker.
AidanAK47
Alright. Time to finally play catch up with those series I need to blog.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But at the same time acknowledging love for creativity is more important in the end than making a profit.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I was using death of artist/deceased artist as a term to suggest peoples careers in the area are too often killed before they get a chance.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Moreso also to save the guy the embarrassment of misinterpreting it so awkwardly.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Puran: Nothing too extreme , moreso that the piece itself feels inappropriate/tainted to have up/leave around/submit. Ended up taking it down out of taste.
Puran
Did that change how you feel about your writing? I had a somewhat similar experience, where something I was writing was similar to a real situation some I knew was going through. After I found out I stopped writing it. Not sure why.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wasn't all that close to either of them much but yeah, weird coincidence.
Kaiser-Eoghan
He thought I already knew the guy was dead.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*earlier
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all okay now...but fuck that was was awkward.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....Oh jesus christ...oh christ this is a creepy creepy coincidence...I showed an acquaintance a bit of writing I did early, it mentions death of an artist, thing is I was writing something based on a conversation with my editor friend, turns out said acquaintance's artist friend died (who he knows that I've spoken to in the past) and he thought the piece I showed him was about the dead guy.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I believe I began visiting this site in 2008.
As for humanity has declined, I found it bizzare and darkly funny for a while but felt it ran dry in its second half and I kind of fell out of following it.
KTravlos
You know it hit me. I think I have been following this blog for a decade now, perhaps more. Cool that it is still around.
Lenlo
I do agree it had alot more western influence than eastern though
Lenlo
Eh nothing wrong with that I think. Astro boy was very much the same after all
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I personally saw it as more of a Saturday morning cartoon than an anime.
Lenlo
@Masky, Heroman was a decent giant robot show. It looked and sounded good, though the acting was off in places. Alot of people panned it thinking it was the West invading the east when really it was trying to bridge that gap
SuperWooper
@Kaiser: Hey, Humanity Has Declined was great.
KTravlos
need not be

not

need to be
KTravlos
Masky it was not an issue of writing about politics. It is an issue of writing just about your preferred politics. A good political work need to be politicized if you understand what I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...what the hell tsuki ga kirei was directed by Seiji Kishi? He was actually capable of making a good anime?
Masky
Anyhoo, lol. Haven't mentioned Jitsu wa watashi wa in long time, but I really find it hilarious that its only actually evil character's competence is just "they aren't a idiot" xD As in, they don't even seem that diabolically intelligent, they just don't get wrapped into hijinxs.
Masky
@KTravlos: Well, depends on your views. Some people think artists should have their work speak about politics and world instead of just good stories. I'm kinda neutral about that since while stories about nature of world can be great, most of them don't really teach anyone anything new or change anyone
Masky
Huh, another anime work with Stan Lee being involved? I wonder how well Heroman did
KTravlos
Yup. A mangaka that could had been another Urasaw imho is Kawaguchi Kaiji. I really like his art, and it evokes some of the elements that I love in Urasawa. He also has interesting stories. But I fear he has let his political and ideological prejudices get the better of him. Which is a pity. Definitely a missed chance.
Masky
Did Urasawa do that billy bat manga?
SuperMario
As for Urasawa, I mentioned here before but I read 20th Century Boys few months ago and the manga was a straight out masterpiece. Fillers, yes but they are still in service for the main plot. Although out of his work my favorite's still Monster
AidanAK47
Alright. Only one more. Though the two superhero shows won't air for another week. Seeing as one is reflectiona nd the other is that marvel kids show maybe we shouldn't bother covering them in the impressions.
SuperMario
@Amagi: agree with you on the Friday's anime (well, for me it's technically Saturday) but Kakegurui, Fate and Princess Principal are worth following as well
SuperMario
@Kaiser: if you're still deciding if you should check out the manga or novel then I say novel since it's the novel that was influential, not the manga
Kaiser-Eoghan
So based on that fantasy itch I had thought about Altair, but hesitated because it was labeled as a shounen action show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There was a time where I was hugely into the shoujo fantasy/historical thing. I've actually been thinking of out of curiousity looking into some old obscure ovas such as Books of Y and Crystania.
Amagi
Man as much as I love the Friday's anime this time, and whenever Altair airs, but the rest of the working-week is weak as hell. At least now I will finally have more time for games, VNs and creative stuff I guess.
Kaiser-Eoghan
It was kind of nice to hear an announcer coming in before Genocidal organ started, mentioning that for a few months their cinema will be playing anime and Japanese films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Surprised to see an anime reference Kafka and Katyn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have not yet checked out empire of corpses.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now, I'll have to consider the manga or the novel as I heard some of the philosophical stuff got chopped. This was however a more successful and accessible film for me than Harmony.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Manglobe was always a bit mediocre when it came to animation and voice actor direction, but this wasn’t a bad film for them to go out on.
It lives up to its name, it gets quite visceral with the action that’s there, if you don’t like seeing child soldiers getting slaughtered there’s your warning, but I appreciated getting this kind of violence I want to see more of again in anime/manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I just got back from my local arthouse cinema, from watching a special screening of that anime film, Genocidal organ, this is the sort of thing where you do wish that it had more time to explore its thematics but they at least offer a good enough flavouring to a solid man on a mission scifi thriller.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Just to state I don't hate Urasawa's work, rather I find it sort of difficult , I could say the same about Asano Inio regarding oyasumi punpun.
KTravlos
Urasawa is supposed to be working on Master Keaton Remastered. But it seems to be on hiatus. A pity because I loved Master Keaton (I adore Monster)-in general I love this person's work.
Amagi
20thCB would be my favorite Urasawa I think but I can't imagine it as an adaption. Kinda want to know what Urasawa will do next. He already announced that he's working on a new series months ago.
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. I wanted this one the most, there is a serious lack of good sci-fi anime out there.
Kaiser-Eoghan
...billy bat is....scattered and directionaless fro what I read but shows interesting historical scenarios.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Pluto was reasonably short, so this wasn't much of a problem.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And while from the film adaptations I could tell that the original manga for 20th century boys likely had a very good storyline , I couldn't get through the manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Despite watching monster a few times I feel I've missed or forgotten things about it, largely because although I understand its importance and did like it, its length and pace always made me watch it on and off with gaps in between.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I was surprised by how attached I got to Grimmer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Monster is a good example of slow burn tension done right and has one of the most memorable villains out there. Though it isn't without its fillers.
Lenlo
You want a mystery, I heartily recommend Monster.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And I also sometimes write impressions/reviews in my spare time, its hard.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although the first season probably did have just that bit better atmosphere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think I may have been one of the few who enjoyed true detective season 2 as much as the first however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not sure anymore if I'm entirely happy or not with having less time now , yes I can see the frustration, but at the same time it stops me from filling in dead moments with terrible shows/films when there ends up being literally nothing else to do.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Then again I can only enjoy a select crime/mystery things .
Kaiser-Eoghan
It would take a very good writer to make case of the week episodes work, a mystery wrapped up in one or two episodes can just stop it from unfolding naturally or organically.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've probably mentioned a few times, I pretty much go by what I'm told to watch and not watch , mostly to play it safe.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here. If the supernatural feeling is part of a series it's better if it's rather just hinted at to retain the aura of mystery but that the actual cases are just involving "normal" crimes that get resolved by detective work. Something like True Detective or Name of the Rose.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, that's good. I love a good mystery and hate it when it's ruined with magical wizard space ghosts.
Amagi
@Aidan: If people who know the original were telling the truth explanations will be rational and the series is rather an actual mystery instead of anything supernatural.
AidanAK47
@Mario, I haven't even watched the second episode of Apocrypha yet. Also behind on Re:Creators. Wonder if I will leave it. So far planning to get two more impressions out by end of day. Got one wrote up and just need to work on the other. Next up Tenshi no 3P...this is going to be painful.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, truly appreciate it. If Vatican can slow down it could really be something else. But I wonder how much of a supernatural element is going to be present in the series.
SuperMario
And now after I've watched all new shows save Gamers, I'll blog Princess Principal and 18if this season. I will watch second episode of Vatican and Centaur to decide the third choice, if I'm unconvinced by both I'll blog Tsurezure Children
SuperMario
@Amagi: Thanks, it's our pleasures. I like checking out new shows myself buy gosh it's time consuming. Have been behind on both Re:Creators, Virgin Soul because of this.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I also really hope that the pacing of the Vatican's series will slow down. Maybe they wanted to shove in as much as possible for episode 1 to attract more viewers. Love this dark and sacral atmosphere, it would be some wasted potential if they'd kill it by speeding through the story. Music is good as well.
Amagi
Don't blame yourself, your're doing this for free and there are a ton of new series. I also think that most people rather read impressions to know how others felt about the episodes and not in order to decide which series they should check out. You two are usually better at pointing out flaws than me, which is why I quite enjoy reading the reviews.
AidanAK47
Thing is that our impressions are usually late. Purely my fault of course as Mario does his write ups quickly. I am usually late with mine due to a lack of time to check shows out.
Amagi
I am usually fair and watch every first episode but sometimes I just stop after the fifth school series of the same anime season.
Amagi
I like how much Aidan's and Mario's first impressions match my own. This saves me quite some time since I don't even have to check the series that didn't look interesting to begin with.
AidanAK47
Finally getting somewhere with these impressions. God they build up.
SuperMario
@anon1264300: as far as I see the marriage system in Koi to Uso js just a setup for doomed love and whatever. They won't commit to explore that aspect at all.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, I plan on playing it but first I am going to wait and see if it gets a PC port or remake. I say i will end up playing Taro's other work Drakengard before it.
Lenlo
@Aidan I played it after Nier: Automata, which is another game I missed, and both were just great.
Anonymous1264300
@SuperMario: It kinda weirded me out how the totalitarian(?)- and arranged marriage system was just accepted in Koi to Uso. Like, it's only presented as a problem because MC doesn't seem to get the girl he loves (because of some smile 10 years ago). I guess it gets more serious later but ep1 was really awkward.
AidanAK47
So cruchyroll is gonna co-devlop anime now. Guess that's one way to stop Amazon and Netflix from stealing all the anime licences.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, still hoping it's remade like they hinted it would. Would be nice if they integrated Automatas combat system.
Lenlo
Finally got around to finishing Nier, and I have to say, it was phenomenal. Still have those soundtracks stuck in my head
SuperMario
I watched the second episodes of Koi to Uso and Isekai Shokudou and... they're not good. Koi to Uso plot gets even more contrived and watching the latter show I have a feeling of watching some advertisment show for a restaurant
Kaiser-Eoghan
@K-off: Hmm, I don't know if you'll see this message, but I remember ages ago we discussed the second reboot film of Planet of the Apes, I reviewed the followup here: https://letterboxd.com/shao_liu_ringon/film/war-for-the-planet-of-the-apes/
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