Posted by psgels on 31 December 2011 with categories: Yearly Summaries

And with this, the year has nearly ended. This will be the final post of me this year, and I wish a happy new year to all of you in advance. All I’m left with now is to throw a number of genre awards, along with my favorite series of the past year (oh and of course this is all just my humble opinion; feel free to share your own top series of the year). Take care, and be careful with fireworks, everyone.

Worst First Episode

Mayo Chiki

This year featured a lot of very crappy flash shows that are all strong contenders for this award, if they weren’t just five minutes long. The pain thankfully stops quite soon. The same unfortunately could not be said for Maken-Ki, C3, Hoshizora e Kakeru Hoshi and worst of all: Mayo Chiki. This show is the kind of bad that becomes horrible. The convenient stupidity of the plot was just way too much, beyond all of the bland characters of the other bad shows these year, these were the most offensive.

Worst Series

Dragon Crisis

I’m not handing out this award to series that I dropped somewhere along the way, or the shows that haven’t finished yet. Persona would have been a good contender if it wasn’t for that rule, and alongside that are Sacred Seven, which completely failed to be even remotely entertaining beyond the unintentional, Dragon Crisis really takes the cake though. I have no idea how it did it, but this series somehow pulled it off to actually get progressively worse with every single arc of its. It started off… okay, I guess. The kind of “okay” that made me silently hope that it would get better. Instead, the creators just completely gave up and ended off with some of the most uninspired arcs out there that completely failed to be any kind of interesting and instead just went for a dull harem route.

Biggest Disappointment

Guilty Crown

This is not just about Noitamina delivering a bad series. It has been unimpressive in the past (for me it did so with Library Wars). This is about Noitamina delivering a bad series, while selling out at the same time. 2011 marked a very sharp turn in Noitamina’s usual strategy, and the timeslot started to focus itself on a teenaged audience. Fractale in this already was a disaster, but that was just a show that was really poorly balanced. With Guilty Crown, the creators are intentionally making it very generic. Shu is intentionally being a wimp, the cast is intentionally just a set of tools to make Shu look awesome. That is really the worst part about this show. The runners up for this award were the shows that had some really good promise, but in the end were botched by huge pacing problems, like Kaiji and Fractale.

Most Pleasant Surprise

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

Major surprises this year include Gosick turning great, Blade spending so much time on backgrounds and Enma-Kun’s sudden chance into insanity after its very mediocre opening episodes, but the biggest has to be Ano Hana. I said this before, but when I first just saw the promo art of this series, I really had my doubts whether it would work, as it just included a picture of a ditzy looking Menma. After that more and more information about it got released, and it started to look more and more solid, but I really did not expect to be such an emotional roller-coaster, right from episode 1. I literally threw my hands in the air as I saw it.

Best Animation Studio

Brains Base

Nearly every year, there is just one studio who stands above the others. This year, it was Brains Base. When in a year, you release four series at once, more than any other year so far, and the worst of them is something of the caliber of Kamisama Dolls, you’ve got something to be proud of. I mean, Kamisama Dolls just pales in comparison to the other shows they did this year, from the crazy Enma-Kun to the refined Natsume to the roller-coaster ride that was Penguin Drum.

Most Promising Studio

Jinni’s Animation Studios

Every year I give this award to a small animation studio who either just started out, or showed signfiicant improvement. This year… was rather dry on that department. There is Wao World, who finally headed into television-series, but Showa Monogari wasn’t exactly an improvement over movies like Furusato Japan and Symphony in August. There was… um… 8-Bit, which delivered the middle-finger that was Infinite Stratos, but then my eye turned to the 3D CG Studio that was Jinni’s Animation Studio. They worked on the first season of Fireball before, but the differences between Fireball and Fireball Charming definitely shows that they learned a lot during the past years. Appleseed meanwhile also showed that they are very solid at rendering, although they still need to overcome the botox faces problem. Still, I believe that these guys have potential for the future.

Best Old Series I Happened to See This Year

Gankutsuou

I wached a lot of real gems this year, ranging from Kurau Phantom Memory, Rose of Versailles, Black Jack and Infinite Ryvius to finally getting to check out the now legendary Cowboy Bebop and Legend of Galactic Heroes. But all in all, I do have to say it: Gankutsuou was pretty much the best thing I watched this entire year, bar none. What Gonzo did here with its re-imagination of the classic story by Alexander Dumas is just completely amazing. The graphics are completely stunning in every single way, the character-development is just completely amazing, the story is incredible. Everything just fits in 24 episodes of awesomeness.

Best Action

Ben-To

This was a tough one to decide. For me, great action isn’t just a lot of pretty animation, but also depends a lot on the direction, tension and use of characters, music, etcetera. This really came together with series like C and Blood-C, where the former was fast-paced and very creative with both its visuals and ideas, whereas Blood-C’s choreography was just completely amazing and a very solid second place for this award. In the end though, the food battles in Ben-To deserve this award. It’s the first time that I hand this to a comedy series, but even though the series itself had its problems at times, the food battles were just the point where everything fit. The entire concept of fighting over food was just completely unique, but every battle here stood out in the creative uses of every day items, the actual use of strategies, the camera angles wer awesome, and the music was just fantastic for these skits.

Best Comedy

Level E

This one was a no-brainer. Level E has been the best comedy to appear in years. Especially its first arc was just completely fantastic, but even beyond that, it had some of the funniest banter I had seen in a long while. There are a ton of characters here that kick ass, but the prince, Kraft and Yukitaka take the cake here. This show was wonderful in how it both trolled its characters and its audience. The runners up this year also were completely hilarious, though: Ben-To and Dororon Enma-Kun would have also made this a great year alone if Level E wasn’t there, not to mention Hyouge Mono’s unique physical comedy.

Best Horror

Blood-C

Blood-C’s horror style was not the easiest to get into, since it depended heavily on atmosphere. If this atmosphere didn’t work for you, then this series was not for you. However, if it did work, then this turned into an incredibly tense and brutal horror series with an agonizing build-up. Steins;Gate also had a great atmosphere, and Supernatural also succeeded in achieving this.

Best Slice of Life

Tamayura ~ Hitotose

I’ve always found the definition of “Slice of Life” a bit tricky. For example, Natsume Yuujinchou had some wonderful slice of life moments, but I with its focus on Youkai stories it’s not exactly a true slice of life series. Ano Hana I guess is about the lives of a group of teenagers, but it’s not about how they live their daily lives. As for the ones that do feel like focused on portraying the daily lives of the lead characters,there are five that stood out this year: Hana-Saku Iroha, Usagi Drop, Kimi to Boku, Tamayura and Ikoku Meiro no Croisee. I decided to go for Tamayura because it best encapsulated how these characters are spending their time and living their lives, while at the same time showing how they evolve over time and develop their hobbies.

Best Romance

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

There were two romance series that stood miles above the others this year. Like, there’s no contest beyond them. The first is Hourou Musuko, who broke many traditions, and featured what was by far the most realistic romance I’ve seen in a while. The best however, was Ano Hana, which managed to make me bawl my eyes out surprisingly often through its romance.

Best Mystery

Steins;Gate

Un-Go was great at writing short mystery stories with a ton of twists. Mawaru Penguin Drum used its own symbols very neatly to create a very mysterious series. Blood-C used its mystery in a very daring way by only waiting for the last possible moment to explain everything. The best mystery of the year though, belongs to Steins;Gate. The story for one is incredibly well constructed, and it makes terrific use of the fact that it’s about time travel throughout its plot, though through subtle clues that are never overstated.

My top series of 2011: #10-1

#10: Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica really tried to redefine the mahou shoujo genre for the older audience, and as a deconstruction of the whole genre, it really succeeded in this. With a story that flows like water, it started off with a seemingly innocent mahou shoujo setting, and in the end completely subverted everything about it. It’s pretty much the best thing Shaft had made in years, and the visual direction was consistently stunning throughout the entire series.

#9: Hourou Musuko

Hourou Musuko really surprised me in how it started off already very good, and it just kept getting better with every single episode. The acting was just amazingly down to earth and realistic characters. Its decision to start in the middle of the manga, rather than at the start really worked in the way that it already gave the characters a very complex background, and it continued to develop them into better and better characters. The drama it got out of them int he end was amazing because of that.

#8: Steins;Gate

The plot of Steins;Gate was just completely stunning, as I’ve said quite a few times in this summary before. It’s multi-layered beyond belief, and in ways that at first you wouldn’t even hold imaginable. Especially the second half just keeps changing. Now granted, it does have a very unusual concept of time travel, which at times I found a bit hard to buy, Okabe’s rants also tended to get a bit monotone after a while, plus the otaku references all flew a bit above my head. But what this show did well, it did incredibly well.

#7: Tiger & Bunny

Tiger & Bunny just was that show that immediately caught my attention with its unique concept of having sponsored superheroes fight crime. It’s both meant to be a criticism to the modern media, but also an homage to the superhero genre. It’s chock full of likable characters, who work especially well as a team, but in particular the lead character Wild Tiger stands out as memorable, where his characters is really well balanced between his strengths and flaws. The only shame about this series is that it suddenly dips in during the finale. This show is the most fun when it shows the different stories about its characters, whereas the main storyline unfortunately paled a bit in comparison.

#6: Heartcatch Precure

Okay, this show aired for only one month in 2011, but I still really want to include it in this rankings, because of what a great job it did in redefining the mahou shoujo genre. Everything just fit with it, the action was amazing, the characters were all really well developed, with Tsubomi and Yuri being the best, and the finale of the series really was the epic finale we’ve hoped for. Everything about this series just looks so much more professional than usual and even though it’s fifty episodes long,I enjoyed every episode of it.

#5: Natsume Yuujin-Chou

With this third season, Natsume Yuujinchou actually slightly surpassed itself, which is really an impressive feat considering how good the first season was. The individual stories of this season in particular stood out as really heart-warming and down to earth, but the real gem is how much attention it devotes to Natsume’s development. Every episode adds something to his character, and he already was very well developed to start with. I love how this show looked into his past and also his future, and how it stressed how much he has grown as a character, and yet despite all that happened, this show just remains consistently subtle, and about a boy who just felt very isolated for a long part of his life due to his ability to see something that most people can’t.

#4: Hyouge Mono

Now, this was without a doubt the most unique series of the entire year. I still cannot fathom how the heck Bee-Train actually got the funding to go with a project as crazy as this. I still cannot imagine who in their right mind green-lighted the production of this show. Whoever it was though, I really want to thank him or her for opening up the road to long series that are miles away from the mainstream, and allowed a show that is about a bunch of old guys talking to be produced. The amount of attention that this show put on aesthetics and the so-called “Wabi-Sabi” is just amazing, and it did so for three entire seasons, and it’s still not finished. And as if that wasn’t enough: the facial expressions. The acting in this series is just completely priceless, where characters on one hand are able to deliver some really solid acting, and on the other make some of the silliest faces imaginable. You wanted Bee-Train to branch out and do something other than gunfights? Hah! You got it!

#3: Level E

Now, Level E was just completely delightful as a comedy. It was masterful at trolling, it contained the most hilarious episodes I’ve seen this entire year, and the way it consisted out of a number of unrelated stories made it a very varied series that was different for every single arc of its. The characters were all just awesome to watch, the banter between them was just wonderfully hilarious, but also its backdrop of aliens on earth had some very neat ideas and was a very interesting setting to play with. In this year Studio Pierrot and in particular David Production really showed how awesome a comedy can be when you add in a little bit extra and really try to make it stand out as unique.

#2: Mawaru Penguin Drum

Oooh, deciding my top 2 of this year was really hard. I love both series, and both series completely dominated my monthly rankings in the seasons they were shown in. Penguin Drum was the long-awaited comeback by Kunihiko Ikura, of Utena-fame, and it delivered an incredible character-study. It had a plot full of symbolism that seemed random at first, but fit in the context really well. It’s a show that’s open to quite a bit of interpretation, and it really requires you to read inbetween the lines. There were parts at which it perhaps got a bit too surreal, and I guess that there were a few twists that it just pulled for the heck of it, but it was a consistently entertaining ride that kept throwing interesting twists around the characters. I’m definitely looking forward to Kunihiko Ikuhara’s next work, although I hope that it won’t take 12 more years for that to happen… In any case, I loved this show and its ambition, but in the end I have to give the best show of the year title to another show….

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

Ano Hana is a show that made me cry more often than probably all other series combined this year. It was the single most emotional series for me, and in the end, it even hit me more than Penguin Drum. Every episode of this series developed the characters of this series immensely, and it turned into one of my favorite Noitamina-series ever made. In just eleven episodes, this show didn’t just nail its main character, it nailed all of the side characters as well. This series really aimed to become an emotional roller-coaster, and therefore it perhaps got a bit too dramatic at times, but it never delved into cheese, and just kept getting to me, closing off with a really emotional finale. It’s a close call, but Ano hana in the end stands as my favorite series of 2011.

40 Responses

  1. CJay says:

    Surprised about AnoHana beating out Penguin Drum! I forgot you watched Gankutsuou this year too, which is indeed a masterpiece. Here’s my top 10 for the year, but I’m only going to include finished series

    10. Hana Saku Iroha
    9. Star Driver [Idk why but i liked this show so much more than i should have]
    8. Ben-to
    7. Level E
    6. Tiger & Bunny
    5. Un-Go
    4. Ano Hana
    3. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    2. Mawaru Penguin Drum
    1. Steins;Gate

    Happy New Years!

  2. Engix says:

    Just a quick question to everyone out there. Dont get me wrong, i loved Ano Hana its my 3rd best series of the year, but does anyone else think it was a little overdramatic?

    • Engix says:

      And yes, i know Psgels said it may have gotten a little over dramatic, but besides him i havent seen anyone agree, or even give the notion of it so im curious

      • Rosenritter says:

        You’re not alone. I, too, thought it was way over-the-top melodramatic… buuut unlike you, AnoHana didn’t make my top anything. I started off vaguely interested in it, but I completely soured on it by three-quarters through and finished it with a very bitter taste in my mouth.

        Any series that relies 100% on the audience caring for their characters is playing a dangerous game, especially when there’s one character whom all the others rotate around like a sun. If that pivotal character is annoying from start to finish, then it’s pretty damned hard to derive any enjoyment from that type of show. And therein lies what ruined AnoHana for me: I thought Menma was an unbearable, cloying, and suffocating avatar of the Otaku Ideal Girl. I started out just mildly irritated with her, but by the end, I could practically see where each and every one of her personality and physical traits were coldly calculated by committee and stitched together into Frankenstein’s Moenster. It was like the creators were bludgeoning me over the head with her while screaming, “LOOK HOW ADORABLE SHE IS, LOVE HER AND FEEL SAD FOR HER GODDAMMIT!!”

        There are other symptoms of poor scriptwriting beyond the all-consuming black hole that is Menma, like having characters be complete idiots in order to keep what passes for the “plot” chugging along. That doesn’t help. But that’s straying into spoiler territory, so I’ll only expand on that if pressed.

        Obviously, I’m in the minority on AnoHana. Most people love it and think it’s wonderfully written, clearly psgels included. Good for them. I’m not being sarcastic; I’m definitely not trying to knock anybody who did like it. I 100% mean it. I’m glad that there’s something they like, even though I think it’s completely unbearable. That’s just, like, my opinion, man.

        • Gjerk says:

          Wasn’t a fan of the show either for much of the same reasons I hadn’t thought of Menma in that way but I can actually see what you mean. Don’t think she was as calculated as you make it out to be but what bugged me was the fact that these people were basically obsessed with Menma to almost a cultish level, it really put me off to her character and the series as a whole. Couldn’t stand that ending either, I cringed throughout the majority of that second half.

        • LifeCarrier says:

          Thank You,

          I was just at a loss for words on expressing my dissatisfaction from seeing ano hana being #1…

          Had to warp reality pretty badly to be able to believe the story and how characters acted. While I admit I enjoyed a few moments in the show, I rolled my eyes quite often seeing how Menma acted, and with that I mean that it was hard to relate to her or the group caring for her when she was so unrealistic a character.

          In some situations she displayed the innocence and behaviour of a 4 year old while in others she displayed the maturity and understanding of a much older person. That incoherent personality made it obvious she was crafted just to elicit an emotional response from the audience…

          Actually the whole story is like that, it was overcomplicated from the start just so it could fill 12 episodes…

          LOL…I just went back and read all your post, you clearly do a better job at explaining what is wrong with the show, so I’ll leave it at that…

          However I’d like to say that I only came here to express it because I checked Ano Hana after reading the great impressions from psgels, and to think this is the best anime can deliver in this day and age is sorely dissapointing.

  3. Maniak says:

    I am not gonna comment on the top 10. Lets just say I am extremely disappointed with the outcome.

  4. Mira says:

    FFF YES. I really wanted someone to have Level E in their Top 10. An incredibly underrated series!

  5. Ren3d says:

    Are you serious? Blood C gets Best Horror? What about Shiki?

    • CJay says:

      Shiki was last year.

      • Cholisose says:

        Shiki specials were this year though, and just one minute of that was more terrifying than Blood-C. =P Blood-C was certainly violent, but I never found it scary.
        Looking forward to Another next season–we could use another good horror anime.

        • Juno says:

          I think it’s all personal preference. Shiki had lots of well-developed characters being thrown aloop. But for me, I’ll never be able to watch Blood-C’s class genocide scene again. To have tons of young students getting brutally bloodied one-by-one ON SCREEN… and watching each other getting killed by that creepy thing… knowing full well that it’s not letting any of them escape…

          That, to me, is what makes the horror stand out on top. On the other hand, my less-squeamish girlfriend laughed at the town genocide at the end. I guess some of the ways people were killed was… somewhat hilarious for some people. I, on the other hand, found the “playfulness” of the bloody deaths to be even more horrific.

          Hence, personal preference.

  6. MAQ says:

    WOW !
    I’m really surprised Penguindrum isn NOT your #1.
    Anyway, my TOP 15 with Completed series :

    1- Usagi Drop
    2- Mawaru Penguin Drum
    3- Steins;Gate
    4- Mahou Shoujou Madoka Magica
    5- Fate/Zero
    6- Hourou Musuko
    7- Natsume Yuujinchou San
    8- Tiger & Bunny
    9- Ano Hana
    10- Level E
    11- Letter Bee Reverse
    12- Gosick
    13- Hanasaku Iroha
    14- Bakuman
    15- UN-GO

    Now, I’m going to try out shows like Heartcatch Precure which i never watched.

  7. jreding says:

    Psgels, thank you so much for your work this year – w/o your blog I wouldn’t have discovered Hyouge Mono and many other excellent shows!

    I fully agree w/ GC being a big disappointment; you could also count it under wasted visuals. For me, personally, SnS III was the biggest disappointment since I love Shana but the 3rd season was just dragging along too much for my taste.

    On the other hand, I’d like to mention two shows which I’d call most underrated this year: Sengoku Otome and Nekogami Yaoyorozu, both of which I found hilarious and well-made.

  8. Sapphire says:

    I’m not the kind of anime fan who watches a bunch of shows every season, I only pick the ones that really interest me (an average 2 per season), so I’m glad to see that I’ve watched your top 3.

    I have to say though, I wasn’t able to rate any 2011 series above 8,5/10. Maybe I haven’t watched enough series, but none had a great impact on me. My hopes were very high with Star Driver and it was the most exciting anime of the year for me, but the ending killed it.

    Anyway, I guess my favorite series of 2011 was Mawaru Penguin Drum, closely followed by Level E.

  9. rever5e says:

    Shame kaiji didn’t make on your list

    mine
    1.Level E
    2.Ano Hana
    3.Mawaru Penguin Drum
    etc..

  10. Hogart says:

    Say what you will about psgels, he can still surprise even his regular readers. I had no idea that AnoHana really hit you that hard, or that Hourou Musuko hit you that little by comparison. Nor that you found Tiger and Bunny more engaging than Steins;Gate.. even if slightly. Nor that Heartcatch would honestly even end up in your top 10 – it never really struck me that you found it *that* special, especially enough to rank it above Madoka (I wonder how many eyes will roll over that?)

    I’m sure people will wonder at your statement there wasn’t much cheese in AnoHana. I loved it as well, but I think it’s well earned it’s reputation for cheese, especially with the finale. I do marvel at people’s criticisms of the show, since it was painfully honest about it’s cheesy motivations right from the get-go. Even the ending should have been a foregone conclusion, imho. But I guess people just wanted it to prove their expectations wrong somehow.

    Also, I completely agree with you about Jinni’s.. I hope these guys get more chances to perfect their work with CG. They and Fireball Charming barely got any mention this year.

  11. Jambo says:

    My Top 10:

    1. Madoka
    2. Ano Hana
    3. Penguindrum
    4. Freezing
    5. Gosick
    6. Un-Go
    7. Fate/Zero
    8. Blood-C
    9. C3
    10. Level E

    Didn’t watch Steins Gate but plan to! Chiyafuru would be in there at 4 but it hasn’t finished yet. I dropped Tiger and Bunny, I just didn’t find it interesting. Hourou Musoku looked a bit dull so I didn’t watch. Happy new year!

  12. mullign says:

    And here I was expecting a tie for the top spot! :D

    I think the best part of your (already) very amazing roundup is the separate section dedicated to the production studios behind the season. Really good to see!

  13. Mormegil says:

    God, Dragon Crisis really was awful, wasn’t it?

    Yay for Brains Base. It’s certainly not a stretch to call them the best animation studio of the year. Not only were they able to juggle so many different shows at a time, they were able to do so without suffering any loss of quality. That takes talent. These guys continue to impress.

    Anyway, great list psgels. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree on Blood-C, though. =P
    And a Happy New Year to everyone.

  14. redbeanbun says:

    Level E was funny but Nichijou was funnier. You should watch it if you have time psgels

  15. Knuckle says:

    I’d give Madoka my number 1 slot, but that’s just because many aspects of the show just fit my tastes perfectly. Steins;Gate as well. Best thing about seeing your list though is it gives me a good opportunity to see what quality series I missed and may want to watch like Heartcatch Precure.

  16. headachebaby says:

    Hooray for AnoHana for being your #1 because I absolutely LOVE IT!!! When it aired, I was eagerly waiting for each episode. Towards the end of the series, I couldn’t help but wonder what the creators will do with the ending. I kept making up the possible endings and when episode 11 aired, it was totally AWESOME…I was struck with so much tears. I still get teary when I re-watch it.

    I guess others found there was cheese but no, I don’t think so. This anime and its emotional roller coaster truly struck a core with me.

  17. Houlgrave says:

    Well, unlike some of the others here, I’m not going to bash psgels’ choices or reasoning. I personally think it’s a pretty good list! :)

    As for my top 10-

    1. Star Driver
    2. Kami-Sama no Memo-Chou
    3. Un-Go
    4. Steins;Gate
    5. Level E
    6. Kamisama Dolls
    7. Mawaru Penguindrum
    8. Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
    9. [C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
    10. Gosick

  18. someloser says:

    ahh, i thought penguindrum would be your top pick, but i can see why people would choose ano hana. though i kinda feel as if they dragged it out a bit too much at the end…

  19. J says:

    Disappointed Penguindrum didn’t take out first place. Ano Hana had too much melodrama for my taste with the added bad taste of an young, male Otaku lead in a noitaminA slot – the beginning of the end…

    • Anonymous says:

      ^”The beginning of the end”

      You’re an idiot.

      • J says:

        I’m so hurt.

        Face it, Ano Hana was for a youthful male audience – something noitaminA strove to differ from.

        noitaminA has destroyed its credibility with Guilty Crown and now BRS. 2011 is when noitaminA demonstrated a decline & I’m afraid it will only go downhill from here. I’ve heard rumors that it won’t be returning in Spring 2012 although I’d hate for that to be true.

        An aside: really enjoyed reading your blog in 2011 psgels, looking forward to 2012!

        • J says:

          Update: Thankfully noitaminA’s official demise was only a nasty rumor as Sakamichi no Apollon has been listed for Spring 2012.

          While it’s josei, it looks to be highschool focused…bleh.

          • hikari says:

            But, the settings is in the 1960’s and i’ve already read until v3/4 of the manga, and so far it’s quite ok. The settings, the unique dialect and a bit focus on jazz music at the time in japan is quite interesting, despite all the cliches&highschooll settings.

        • Anonymous says:

          So, what you’re saying is Noitamina isn’t immune to messing up and picking up some bad titles every now and then? Ever hear of a little title called Jyu-oh-sei? It aired years ago, and was easily Noitamina’s worst anime. Fractale was a masterpiece compared to that awful dreck. Bad writing ridden with plot holes, a douchebag main character with plot armor. Bad series, and even if you can get past all that, it did nothing to distinguish itself as a Noitamina show, just like Guilty Crown. Say what you will about AnoHana, it clearly fits in with the likes of Honey and Clover, and does what Noitamina does best: aims for the heart.

          Also, I guess you’ve forgotten about Usagi Drop?

          Point is, Winter season looks pretty bad(at least we’re getting Thermae Romae) for Noitamina, but having a few bad/generic titles every now and then doesn’t spell the end for them. Everyone’s gotta make money somehow, even Noitamina.

  20. Zenstrive says:

    What? no Ben-To?

  21. Juno says:

    When it comes to ranking anime, everyone has their personal preferences. Not a single series will please everyone, and that usually has to do with the fact that one thing will affect different people in different ways.

    Madoka (my #1 series this year) started off by giving its characters somewhat generic traits and then averted those traits (though I’d argue that even with those traits, the characters were still quite realistic and easy to connect to). In the end, though, I found there to be significance in having given those characters their traits. They turned out to be effective for what they were meant to do. On the other hand, I see lots of people who complain about the series because its characters were far too generic for them.
    And then we have AnoHana, which I found to be extremely meaningful in its portrayal of character interactions and relationships, which led to some really well-done tearjerking moments. But I’ve seen tons of people who think its heartstring-tugging is too artificial, thus turning them off from it.

  22. Messier says:

    Kind-a wierd, i mean Blood-C? it was a pretty bad but i was happy to see that ending throaugh. I suppose everyone has different taste when it comes to anime, anyway keep going strong!

  23. Doggie says:

    Penguindrum an excellent character study?

    psgels, I can now say with complete certainty that you are an absolute tool.

  24. Nat says:

    Gankutsuou is incredible. I remember re-watching it back in 2007/8 and noticing all the things that were lame about it, like for instance it’s SO emotionally orgiastic, lol, but on a couple of rewatches in the past year I’ve really fallen for it all over again. The storytelling is so well-paced and honest somehow, the character arcs are pretty masterful, and most of not all the characters behave in subjectively rational ways that are in line with their interests.

    For instance in the scene where we find out that Beauchamp is publishing the scoop on Albert’s dad, where Albert accuses B of being a two-faced slanderer and B v simply says something like, “Do you have any idea how hard this was for me to write?” It’s like, we don’t see much of Beauchamp’s story, because it’s not important, but we get a sense of Beauchamp as a person from just these very strategic instants. Lol and then Albert punches him anyway

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Anonymous66842
Started watching Love Live and it's made me wonder; is it better to have an mc that does things annoyingly wrong or satisfyingly wrong? Like, Yui from k-on does a lot wrong but it never leads to anything wrong or bad, but Honoka's rather selfish and ends up screwing things up for people. I know doing this is good for char. development but I honestly enjoy these shows more as moeblob peacefulness.
Anonymous66886
Hey
afgm
i did summer session so I have a midterm every two weeks
K-Off
@afgm Midterms? Most university/college systems would be starting school right around this time.
afgm
Midterms have been slowing me down considerably haha
afgm
@K-off: yeah I did! thanks for that. I've been looking through the code stuff, just getting to know it.
reaLjustified
I think the rabbit character does the job
reaLjustified
I think the banner might look even better without the girl. Or make her tiny and off in the distance. I don't know, I'm not an artist by any stretch so that's just me.
K-Off
Finally bought my first new car, a 2015 Altima, my used Sentra served me well for 3 years but damn was it a pain in the ass, and of course its trade in value was fuck-all. But luckily my credit is good enough for me to land a relatively low annual interest rate. Which is excellent because I need to shave off my remaining student loans to maximize my dti since I want to purchase a home
Kaiser Eoghan
You might say the new banner will be...Friendtastic!
Kaiser Eoghan
I'm fairly content with either the top one or the bottom one either way. Though the current banner does have the character standing on the left.
K-Off
@Friend Looks great, and I prefer the bottom one. Maybe it's just me but the tree hugging the leftmost edge makes it look a little inclusive.
@Afgm Forgot to tell you but I did change your status a few days ago, hope you noticed it.
afgm
It's beautiful, Friend
Fri3nd
@Anonymous Thank you, it's my values, a quick lasso selection and a levels adjustment should give that a quick fix :P
Anonymous60656
Looks really nice. some lighting variation to create a sense of depth and atmosphere would be nice @Friend. It looks quite flat for some reason even though you have four layers to play with
Ikhta
@Kaiser Eoghan Yeah I think the same too. Hopefully. Thanks Kaiser
Friend
Here is what it will more or less look like by the end (https://i.imgur.com/hnB8lpd.png) I'm going to render the rest and add more atmosphere with some wisps of light. Let me know which one you prefer! If I'm not happy with it by the end I might even just scrap it, I don't want to force a design for the site :D
afgm
heard*
afgm
Unfortunately, I have heared that Amanchu is actually propaganda from an alien species set on annihilating civilization through cultural and religious dominance
Kaiser Eoghan
@Ikhta: You can relax on that front and breathe easy, Amanchu is basically simple, cute slice of life quasi-sports comedy that kind of gets more moe-ish later on.
Ikhta
Oops sorry. After I send a msg, I can see my previous msgs. Sorry about that. Weird, why is the chat box like this o_o
Ikhta
I just reloaded the page my msgs are gone. Wth is wrong with this website? Why was msg deleted?
Ikhta
Does anyone know?
Ikhta
Hi can anyone tell me is Amanchu illuminati or not? I'm a christian. I don't want to be watching it if its demonic,anti christ or illuminati.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I'm syked for baldr sky and that other apparently fucked up one thats getting translated soon we talked about with ninja.
Kaiser Eoghan
...damn you shoutbox...auto-hyphening me as you do...
Kaiser Eoghan
Ah, how things change, at 19? I think I was at the time I remember un-ironically thinking school days ending/second half was clever/different/subversive. Now I find it idiotic, silly and manipulative regarding the protag being a cheap attempt to get the audiences hate.
Kaiser Eoghan
Some don't seem to like the second season of EF as much as the first, just putting that out there. I remember its visual style being a selling point and shaft at their A-game stylistically. Wish I'd watched it dubbed though, the eyepatch girls voice was irritating as all hell in Japanese.
AidanAK47
EF is alright. I can promise it's not another school days.
Anonymous59512
Bleh 91days running behind schedule and had to run a recap episode. Doesn't bode well.
Anonymous59460
Do you recommend that I watch EF? I don't want another School Days.
AidanAK47
Yep. They are making it out that shes a relative of Luvia.
Masky
I mean, I didn't even realize she was supposed to be a Finn before you said that, I didn't caught on that when anime called Miyu "transfer student from Finland", its because Luvia sort of adopted her into Edelfelt family or something?(iirc)
Masky
Anyway, so regardless of subjective experiences, does anyone have a clue why Luvia Edelfelt is a Finn anyway? .-. I'd have thought she is anime British... Is there actual reason besides "let's pick random European country"?
Masky
Yeah I wouldn't mind message deletion on those ones
AidanAK47
If you want I can delete those messages. Anyway this chatbox refreshes every two minutes so you might need to refresh the page to see new posts.
Masky
I mean, like, you pointed out that I was talking about superficial stuff right before I point out that I was referring to superficial stuff :'D So yeah, blergh, wasted time writing that
Masky
Also ah dang it, you posted something right before I posted it so you just ninja'd me .-.
Masky
Meant to write "(so countries that aren't England, German, France-)" xD
Masky
Oops typo there
Masky
Well yeah, I haven't checked how many times each of different European countries are mentioned in variety of Japanese media, all I said was that out of lesser known countries(England, German, France, Spain, etc) I have seen Finland referred most and that weirds me out xD
AidanAK47
Anyway I get what you mean but I feel you just focus too much on drawing connections on a superficial level. If you simplify something down you can draw connections between anything but it's the details that make all the difference.
AidanAK47
@Masky, But whats the point of making a statement if that statement isn't true or at least holds ground? Generalized statmements are annoying because they are often said in ignorance because the one making the statement hasn't bothered to verify it and is basing it entirely on an unreliable and selective memory.
Anonymous58340
Things that are generally true tend to be true generally
Masky
This is why generalized statements are annoying, because someone always take them too seriously and nitpicks "but it doesn't happen that often" or "when you say always it isn't always" xD
Masky
I dunno why I bother sometimes, since its not like you want to understand what I mean anyway : D
Masky
@Aidan: Bah, meanie~
afgm
the technology isn't super refined yet, but it definitely has the potential to make drawn animation obselete
afgm
The setting is especially enriched by the CGI
afgm
Berserk is amaaaziiing! Oh my god! The animation is so detailed, movement wise! You can't get that with drawings.
afgm
@SuperMario: lol yeah
AidanAK47
@Mario, That sucks. Though I often find realistionships too troublesome to bother with.
AidanAK47
@Masky, no you often don't. You tend to make random generalized statements. Hence why I assumed this was also a generalisation based on small cases. And it still is.
SuperMario
But Flowers of Evil is a great series, I agree
SuperMario
@afgm: you talking 'bout the anime, right? Because the events after the anime are when sh!ts just got real.
afgm
It's one of my favorite series
afgm
@SuperMario: Flowers of Evil is anti-romance, but it is a celebration of love apart from it. Nothing makes me more hopeful than to watch a protagonist recover from a prolonged and debilitating manic episode.
Masky
So I guess technically she does have Finnish name even though it doesn't really sound like it to my ears...
Masky
Just to note Luvia is tiny municipiality here, never heard of it before though. Edelfelt sounds like it has Swedish origin, but it is name that is name of apparently somewhat famous Finnish painter. I haven't heard of that guy, but I don't really know many Finnish painters because I'm not into art history.
Masky
Joking aside, like I said, Finland is mostly mentioned in otaku pandering material for some bizarre reason. For example, I once saw review of game that is about stripping vampires(not hentai game, can't remember name though) and I noticed it had one random Finnish character who actually did have Finnish name.
Masky
@Aidan: Hah, take that for being arrogant "its on your head" : D I know what I'm talking about most of the time
SuperMario
But isn't it fitting that the anime/manga I'm currently following is Flowers of Evil, a pretty much anti-romance manga. Well, might as well write a reflection on the manga if I feel up to it :)
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I wish I were joking, but it's okay. I don't want to bring the atmostphere of the shoutbox down by my personal affairs.
@afgm: thanks man. Well I'm just keep moving on, no use thinking back too much on that.
Kaiser Eoghan
Oh. whoa whoa, I thought Mario was taking the piss/joking with that post...thought wrong.
afgm
@SuperMario: That sucks man. How are you holding up? I know long distance relationships can be hard to maintain -- it gets pretty lonely.
Kaiser Eoghan
Really glad to see that Vinland saga has gotten properly good again, it was starting to get back on track slowly but surely, now it, with this new chapters revelation fully has,
Kaiser Eoghan
Ireland was mentioned in Nabari no ou and an episode of original gundam, two of gundam 00s characters are Irish.
Kaiser Eoghan
I don't like generalized statements, much prefer Colonelized ones actually.
Kaiser Eoghan
There was a dating sim adaptation by studio deen in 2003 that did a girl of the week format, one of the girls was finnish.
SuperMario
Just broke up with my girl after 3 years. Figure that it never works out for a long-term relationship... (That's a generalized statement right there)
AidanAK47
So that's one. Can't say I remember seeing Finland elsewhere besides that show where all the countries are turned into anime characters.
AidanAK47
Luvia Edelfelt is from Finland?! Well damn you learn something new every day.
AidanAK47
And now I find a screenshot of them saying Miyu is from Finland. Which is weird because nothing of the sort was mentioned in the manga.
AidanAK47
Most I seen was anime characters saying Norway which was generally used as a means of saying NO WAY.
AidanAK47
@Anon48363, its sad that when I see a comment like this my first reaction is suspecting its a Bot. Thanks though.
@Masky, nope. No they didn't. I think this may be in your head.
Anonymous48363
Been enjoying the site for 7-8 years, if not longer. Thank you for your efforts in keeping the editorial line intact wrt reviews and happy to discover new content in the process. Keep up the good work!
Masky
Anyway, speaks of your "high taste" I guess. Finland gets brought up in some of otaku fanservice material for some bizarre reason. I'm weirded out by that since Finland is most obscure backwater place I've seen mentioned most out of other obscure countries xD
Masky
Of course it is possible I'm remembering wrong too(and did read wrong) and they did mention it only once :P
Masky
How funny you say that and then mention that weird magical girl spinoff right after wards xD The part where they introduce Miyu to rest of class has teacher saying she is transfer student from Finland, unless I read subtitles wrong
AidanAK47
Gonna wait on the Prisma Illya episode post. Figure I cover two episodes in one considering the slow pace isn't giving me much to work with.
Got to say I thought this would give me much more to talk about.
AidanAK47
I don't remember Finland ever being brought up in anime. Or video games. Or anything for that matter.
Speaking of the preview I have at least checked the source material. Just need to buckle down and start writing it.
Masky
@Bam: I know right? :D
Bam
I agree with K-off regarding keep the business end of stuff off the shoutbox- I just have no means of communicating with all of ya'll. We can Skype, but I suggest Google hangouts for conferencing. That way we may be able to record special podcasts, and now's probably a good time to get this to the next level.
Bam
I also volunteer to help with the workload for the season preview. I would be down to cover two series, but they have to appeal to me, cause there's no way I can be fair and PG-13 with the reviews of aweful shows.
Bam
@Masky: "Generalized statements are in general rather annoying". Hehe, that awefully sounds woefully like a generalized statement to me m8.
Bam
First Dark Souls III DLC titled Ashes of Ariandel just confirmed for an Oct 25th release. Thankfully this time, all regions and platforms are getting the expnasion on the same day. Here is a reveal trailer to launch the Hype Zeppelin:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iu1NCPMC7D0
Bam
Friend: please send me, or post, the finished banner once you have it complete. I would like to take a gander. Thank you.
Masky
...Espicially since characters supposedly from there rarely have names that sound Finnish.
Masky
So anyhoo, so why is Finland one of countries that tends to get name dropped a lot in anime/manga/japanese video games? As Finnish person that weirds me out
K-Off
@Friend Damn, kind of surprised to see how abstract some of those concept art are for Mulan. But generalizations are just easier to make if all they care about is validation.
Masky
Generalized statements are in general rather annoying, but everyone loves to make them anyway for some reason :D
Friend
I'm nearing completion with our banner, in terms of work-hours Id say 3 hours? But in real life that equates to about 4 days because of stuff.
Friend
Something that annoys me: when a fellow artist makes a generalized statement about the industry by saying something silly like "japanese animated films have more creative input involved." Uggh Google "Alex Nino Mulan Concept" and tell me if you still think that. Sorry about that X/
SuperMario
And it might sound weird to you guys, especially majority of you are in one of the hottest days of summer, but I'm gonna head off to snow mountain for skiing this coming weekend. So expect the weekly posts will be a bit later than usual.
SuperMario
I don't know if that guy @Bond is still lurking around here, but I'm still interested In doing that thing with him
SuperMario
@Aidan: imho, those numbers don't really mean if we have nothing to compare them to. I'll say the ratio between original/ all anime for particular seasons would tell us a lot better
AidanAK47
But it does counter the point of "We don't get enough original anime anymore" which in itself was a pretty silly statement.
AidanAK47
Of course just because they are original doesn't automatically qualify them as good.
AidanAK47
@Anon44887, that logic would apply if it was an exception. 9 original shows last season, 14 original shows this season. 20 in the next. Are they three seasons all an exception?
Anonymous44887
@AidanAK47: An exception that proves the rule
Vonter
Just to ask does any of the shows being reviewed have a great soundtrack. Just asking for asking.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Aidan: I recall he posted under the name Bold/bond, the same poster who made the chart.
AidanAK47
Who was it again bemoaning that we don't get enough original(Not adaption) anime anymore? Cause there are 20 original shows next season. Great for anime but hard for me cause what am I gonna write in the preview?
AidanAK47
I am a bit too stubborn to burnout.
@afgm, I didn't change a thing.
Anonymous38539
I hope AidanAK47 would not suffer an Anime Burnout. I love this site and it pains to think that one day, no one will be writing the seasonal previews and yearly summary.
SuperMario
@Aidan: you have 91 days's episode as 9 instead of 7
AidanAK47
Bloody hell, even the spambots are referencing Pokemon Go now.
K-Off
For future reference, let's direct admin dialogue to email, apart from direct feedback.
@Mario We're working on allowing users to set up accounts.
SuperMario
And the constant anonymous names just keep bugging me. Can we make it back to the old shoutbox, where you have to put down your name in order to write message?
SuperMario
I think it's one thing leads to another. he's getting too burnout that he doesn't know what to write anymore.
AidanAK47
@Anon36049, pretty much what he said. Though it seems to be a combination of anime burnout and writers block.
Anonymous36271
He suffered from anime burnout and is getting on with real life.
Anonymous36049
Hi guys I havent been around for a long time. Does anyone know what happened to psgels? I see that the new posts are not his.
AidanAK47
Disgaea 2 coming to steam. Sweet.
Gotta finish Disgaea 1 and hope they don't screw up the port on release day again.
AidanAK47
Illuminati are everywhere, regardless of wherther it's anime or not. Sword Art Online was the work of the illuminati. All in the name of the gaint magic eyeball triange god do they rule the landscape of entertainment medium.
Also Magic Eyeball-kun also argees that Rem is best girl. And none shall dare denounce that claim.
SuperMario
@Anony35181: never thought they're that much interested in anime thou
Anonymous35181
@supermario, illuminati confirmed
SuperMario
Is it just me or couple of messages from the shoutbox just gone missing?
Topgavin
Haven't been watching it myself, but apparently in Taboo Tattoo, that large-chested high school girl died while running *onto a live battlefield* to check on her boyfriend with a shirt that said "flag". 10/10
K-Off
@afgm Sent you a message.
@Friend Looks good, I'd be interested in seeing multiple witches as well.
Anonymous32745
Chemotherapy is a cause of cancer rather than a cure.
Anonymous32745
If you know someone dying of cancer, immediately inform them that allopathic medicine will kill them and turn them to natural remedies which often work.
Anonymous32745
"Medicine and science are powerfully institutionalized, but no institution or profession has existed for the purpose of encouraging people to act reasonably." - Ray Peat
afgm
.
afgm
@Friend: yeah it's a problem
@Koff: I emailed you a while back. did you get it?
Fri3nd
Huh, I can't use my username.
@Bam You're right, I'll work on it.
Bam
@K-off: It's moments like these that really remind you of mortality. People pull thru tho. medical science has come far in that field; but definitely not far enough.
Bam
@Friend: It's looks pretty good. I like Mario's suggestion of a series of witches, but a solitary one is more in-tune with the current banner. I would say however that there is too much dark in the negative space to the right. Could be just me tho.
Bam
@Kaiser: a series of consecutive 'yes'. I was really into Laloux, but FP is the one I liked the most. I've been watching Mr. Robot since season 1, and it's well worth your time. Not really all that cyberpunkish tho; mostly just cyber. And anybody who hasn't read Gibson's masterpiece is a fool of a Took.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: Have you been looking into that Mr Robot series? I heard its meant to be some kind of cyber thriller, it could be our thing. Also have you read Neuromancer?
Kaiser Eoghan
And I suppose that brings me to that stranger things show then, I love horror so I guess that caught my eye, but apparently its a family/kids thing =< don't know whether to bother.
Kaiser Eoghan
I still say it takes me that extra bit of convincing to watch a childrens animated film.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Friend: The banner is in good hands I see.
AidanAK47
Well Coraline wasn't written by Laika. It was written by Neil Gaiman. Laika just adapted it. Still I would like to check out Kubo to see what all the hype is about.
SuperMario
@anony29442: I will watch Kubo this coming week so I will comment on the movie then. But I'm not that surprise if Kubo has a weak writing. Laika never really great at story development: I mean Coraline is exellent, ParaNorman is just okay and Boxstrolls writing is just so underdeveloped and full of plotholes
SuperMario
@friend: wow. It looks awesome. But why only one witch? ^^
Friend
Hey everyone! Just an update on our new banner, here's my WIP up to now: [link src="https://i.imgur.com/0QSv6IK.png
I'm"] trying a witch as a tribute to one of psgel's favorite anime maho shojotai. Feedback is welcome, I have a lot left to do. A 5:1 aspect ratio is the weirdest dimension I've ever painted in
Anonymous29442
I just saw Kubo and the 2 strings and im really shocked at all the praise its receiving. People calling it an instant masterpiece on looks alone but not enough are talking about how underdeveloped the characters and story were. It felt as if they made the whole thing up as they went along to the point where I couldnt suspend my disbelief any longer and got irritated.
Anonymous29415
qualidea code's characters havent become better in terms of how they are written; only that they have been fleshed out in the most generic and trivial of ways as to sympathize with them; and sure, they have become some what likeable in the same way you'd like a person who you heard nothing but kind things about but that does not save the characters from being boring. QC is still a bad show
AidanAK47
@Anon27511, even if the animation was kept consistent the story still can't really escape the done to death aspect of it's story. I agree that the writing has gotten better but despite that the show just feels...meh.
Anonymous27511
Fucking Qualidea Code, as the story and characters become more interesting, the animation and drawing proportionately decreases. Sad they simply do not have the budget to pull off what seems like a potentially very good story
K-Off
@Mike I'm sure you already heard but for some reason I didn't keep up to date. I thought it was strange that releases stopped in March after chapter 68,.
K-Off
Just learned that the writer of my favorite webtoon is battling terminal cancer, but despite it she hopes to finish it someday. God damn I would've never expected this.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Mario: Once spilled hot microwaved food over my hand by mistake, hurt for a day.
Kaiser Eoghan
*remaining
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: The story and ideas however were better in gandahar I felt. Time masters while good was a bit stop and start in its pace and animation.
I’m definitely interested in Laloux’s other, short animations and Mobius’ comic book work.
Kaiser Eoghan
@Bam: I watched Rene Laloux's remain animated films, Gandahar and time masters, I enjoyed both but not as much as Fantastic planet. I remember we talked about fantastic planet two years ago. Did you see the other two I mentioned. I liked the big moments and the ending to time masters, especially those angel things.
Anonymous27024
Ok. I beat Federation Force. I think the main positive is that the levels were playable despite the lack of voice chat. The bosses took a lot of damage and the beginning and end are relevant to the Prime continuity.
SuperMario
@K-Off: I did it once just like you did, and once when I put a metal bowl into a microwave. So yeah, boys will always be boys.
Total users: 20

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