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

Leave a Reply

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SuperMario
@Niello: Aside from your #1 (which ưe'll agree to disagree here), it's a nice set of shows you're follwing this season. Did you watch Violet Evergarden first episode thou and how did you think about it?
SuperMario
Great. Now I can't even send message here through my laptop.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: i think it's the same issue with kisscartoon. The original site was shut down sometimes ago, and now there are plenty of Kisscartoon's fake domains that are annoying as hell
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: its back up now though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Its front page has server issues from time to time sometimes for hours.
SuperMario
I just read some manga on kissmanga a week ago, is the site down already?
Niello
Well to be fair batoto is down because of the site owner personal reason.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So Mangahere, mangachapter, baoto, animea seem to be gone and kissmangas front page is down , mangafox is slow, whats next to go down....
Niello
I don't currently see an anime this season that really stands out from the others. Right now if I have to rank them
1) Miira no kaikata
2) Kokkoku
3) Sora yori mo tooi basho
4) Koi wa ameagari no you ni
5) Takagi-san.
Not counting Devilman Crybaby since it's already finished.
Niello
@Eoghan I love Urobuchi and still find the Godzilla film weak.
SuperMario
I just looked through the nominations for the Crunchyroll Anime Awards and to my surprise, it's a pretty solid lineups. Find myself agreeing with most of their choices there
AidanAK47
Actually forgot about it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't know why you don't just read kara no shoujo 2 instead.
AidanAK47
And Himawari is actually boring me. It's proving difficult to push myself though just to see where the point that makes it highly regarded comes in.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: In the end I was pretty much curious about it.
AidanAK47
Yep, that's it. Gonna stop discord displaying what I play from now on. It's weird when people comment on it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now my current rankings: 1. Devilman
2.Junji itou
3. sangatsu
4. Cardcaptor sakura
5. Pop team
6. Evergarden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Aidan
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm joking obviously, but I am surprised to see you playing Himawari Aiden.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh Aidan you and your lolicon visual novel you =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Shin Godzilla had the evolving godzilla thing and that freaky ass final shot too, it also justified itself quite well i think by showing how relevent he is today, given the nuclear thing and that it drew on the Fukushima incident essentially.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Alonaria: Thats a far better and shorter way of putting it than I.
Alonaria
I wish I'd just waited for the other parts of the Godzilla movie trilogy to be released. As it is, I'm just going to remember it as "that incomplete movie." And the character designs kind of blurred together for me, which was really disorienting.
Anonymous1746949
Oh psgels is back
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I've seen other Godzilla things so I pretty much was supposed to see this anyway.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or you know you could always take what I said with a pinch of salt, because you know....I don't get on with Urobutcher.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The idea behind it is definately cool and a different spin for the franchise though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe I was held back a bit by the cgi or the mediorce voice acting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But I'd need to see its followup before properly assessing it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Godzilla often makes for silly films, but lke alot of silly older films the silliness and seriousness combine without clashing, this one is too Poe faced .
Kaiser-Eoghan
I saw that Godzilla anime film, I'd describe it as watchable in parts but far too caught up in setup mode and an unlikeable protaganist , it could go somewhere with what it raised at the start but this is an example of a first film in a trilogy that suffers from being unable to currently stand on its own.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I generally feel that Itou's stories have a winning track record but theres exceptions, Uzumaki and Gyo in manga form struggle toward the end and the first episode story the anime chose to adapt is, while fun one of the weaker offerings.
Alonaria
Honestly, the shorter stories have been more effective at getting a reaction out of me, though. I actually didn't really enjoy the first episode's first story, mostly because I found the MC too obnoxious. :.D Maybe because my younger brother chased me with a bug once and it was really unpleasant. XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: It wasn't just it coming out of her mouth, but when they were stamping on them too.
Anonymous1743747
@Kaiser: Yah, I was horrified for like 5 seconds but the other characters made me crack up. :.D
Kaiser-Eoghan
Although it was mixed in with laughing my ass of eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of all the Itou stories to be un-nerved by, its the second half of this third episode oddly that does it for me and I never get uncomfortable during anything .
AidanAK47
@Anon, We are working on it.
Anonymous1742736
Are you planning on making a top anime of 2017 list?
Amagi
Yeah Mash is one of the few good ones it seems.
Amagi
Oh damn, good that you remind me, I didn't pick anything yet. But I guess I will go with Altera, considering that some of them don't look that good and I own her anyway. Would have wanted the Scat one but the drawing looks weird.
AidanAK47
Which Bond CE did you pick for the 2 mill? I went with the Mash one. Only only whose artwork I liked.
AidanAK47
Might settle for making Bryn my endgame lancer though.
AidanAK47
As I said in my Apocrypha post, I have no interest in any version of Jeanne. My top priorities for my endgame team is Isekander, Scathach and assassin Shiki. And Shiki is a welfare so only need to worry about the other two.
Amagi
Yeah, I was considering to keep rolling for the new 4* at first but I really want Jeanne Alter and she's coming soon.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, I tried rolling for Karna and got nothing. Though I think Bryn is better. I plan on rolling one more time with the saint quartz we are getting to try for NP2. Though we do have the valintines event coming.
Amagi
@Aidan: Same here, just got Brynhildr. Even though I already got Karna last month. But I wanted her, nice design, finally a single-targed 5* and she's even one of the few servants related to my country.
KTravlos
@SuperMario. The contemplation of the death of humanity, and the loneliness, both were very disturbing to me. Kinda like thinking of my grave.
AidanAK47
YANDERE GET. Bryn's mine baby.
AidanAK47
Gonna try rolling for Brynhildr tomorrow. Bit annoyed they chose to translate it as Brynhild. I mean it's not incorrect but her name is far more recognisable as Brynhildr
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The grind wasn't that bad for me. Mordred carried me for it. Though I managed to get Siegfried in the gacha despite not being on rate up. I admit that the event was rather lackluster. Story wasn't that fun and the whole saber restriction was a pain. Also gonna take me a while to readjust to regular damage.
Amagi
Man that FGO Saber Wars event was annoying. I am happy finally I have 2 mio. altrium now and am done with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Reminder that netflix Godzilla anime is later today.
Amagi
Damn I didn't noticed that ankle band of the little demon from the intro scene of FranXX 01, now I feel stupid.
Lenlo
Yuasa is great! Ping pong and Tatami Galaxy are still some of my favorites
SuperMario
Oh fuck, the lead singer of the Cranberries passed away. I literally just listened to their music yesterday. Damnn, sad news
SuperMario
@Kaiser; thanks for considering me but I believe Wooper is much more a Yuasa's fan than I am
SuperMario
Far out!!!
SuperWooper
Yuasa will be answering questions on Reddit's anime board on the 20th.
SuperMario
@Niello: what do you mean regarding Yuasa?
SuperMario
@Travlos: I agree that Girls Last Tour is a special little gem, but in what ways it's disturbing?
Niello
Holy cow, Masaaki Yuasa AMA!! What magic is this?
Niello
Meawhile, Japan took a different approach and we ends up with a bunch of .hack rehash and diving more and more into escapism. Until we eventually got isekai and then it just spiraled into a sea of mediocrity.
Niello
While that opened its own can of worms, at least it opens up element about making ends meet, managing irl relationships, earning extra income for a poor family, getting cheated etc.
Niello
in the characters real life just fine. Something more a long the line of Net-juu but more technologically advanced. And I would say that plenty of those have been superior to Japanese online game and isekai story shenanigans. That said, it doesn't mean that those don't have their own kind of traps they usually fall in. A bunch of those instead focus on the aspect of making money off of games.
Niello
...Getting stuck in a virtual reality game and being transport to another world that happens to be like a game are completely different though. I don't know what is it with Japan and getting stuck in game plots considering that there are loads of other game-base Asian novels that came before it that manage story lines where they manage to tell compelling stories in game while balancing what happen
KTravlos
I finally finished Girls Last Tour. What a profound, fluffy and disturbing masterpiece. Bravo.
Amagi
Yeah. I feel the world swap is pretty much pointless when real life isn't relevant anymore. It's just a stupid as hell excuse to combine fantasy wish fullfilment with self-inserts, which is why these main characters tend to be 29 by now, just like the big part of the otaku community.
Lenlo
Of those you listed, no, I dont think they get explained? I mean, SAO did, but I dont think that falls into your category.

Thats why I liked .hack//sign over alot of more modern game Isekai. Also .hack//sign did explain what happened to Tsukasa.
Amagi
Considering how bad most of these are I wouldn't wonder if they wouldn't even bother with an explanation and just end it with the characters being happy in that game world and that's it. Or magic and the whole harem gets transported into reality at the end because power of love and such.
Amagi
I have no problem with a sci-fi fantasy mix, I liked .hack//sign for example, but it annoys me that such an incredibly bizarre situation gets never explained. Or maybe it will but it never happened so far because none of these LNs was ever finished and concluded yet. I just wish to know how they explain that.
Amagi
I mean all those shows in which the character just finds himself stuck in a real world that's (coincidentally?) the same as the game he recently played. Be it Overlord, Death March, Log Horizon or the 300 other series with that premise.
Amagi
Some thing that always bothered me about game isekai for which I never got an answer so far: did any of those series ever end and/or explain how the warp has happened and why the MC is in the game? - Not talking about .hack, SAO and such where the action of getting trapped is part of the premise
Niel
@Eoghan - Btw, Kokkoku isn't a time travel. it's stasis, apparently. Looks very promising so far. Though if I am to trust the manga score, it's shit.
Niel
But is Toradora really slice of life? As far as I can see it's straight up romance.
Lenlo
And Mario, ill rag on SOL all I want! :P

Wooper, its true good shows transcend genre, as there are still some like Toradora I like, but those are exceptions that prove the rule so to speak.
Lenlo
@Niel, yeah I base my potential % on the odds something gets/stays good.
AidanAK47
I am of similar mindset about Franxx. I want it to get better but I don't really see it doing so. Unless the other characters get a majority personality boost or the MC stops being a plank.
Niel
XD
Kaiser-Eoghan
I confess....I only sat through just over half an episode of aldonoah.
Niel
Since it's Trigger, I will give the benefit of the doubt. I'm just very skeptical about this whole formula.
Niel
The way I can see this series improving is through world building. And if other aspects are going to improve too, it's going to revolve around that.
Niel
It leaves about as much impression on me as much as the first episode of Aldnoah did, and I dropped that one straight away. The character chemistry doesn't look like it will go places that's not cliche. The gimmick doesn't seem like it has much potential either.
Niel
So you're all betting it on "this is going to get better". I mean, I hope it gets better. Though right now this feels more Kiznaiver than Kill la Kill or LWA.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'd nominate Mario to do the devilman review as he's the most immediate Yuasa fan to do it and Bam is too awol to write it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The cute girl shows just bleed and blend in my mind now, same with the isekai shows.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Devilman, my show of the season, unless after the rain ends up having some emotional wallop.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So for me its looking like: Junji itou, Cardcaptor sakura, keeping up with sangatsu, wait and see on amegari . Not watching a time travel or trigger show and I remain unable to sit through Mahoutsukai .
Amagi
The story itself is generic so far but so are most Trigger series at the beginning so not sure. Maybe it will stay weak, but in general I prefer series that start with the weaker episodes and get better and better over time over the many series that use up all of their budget and trump cards in the first episode and drag on after that.
Amagi
I really love Trigger's esthetics and their characters. I am happy they're more often involved in non-trigger-only productions because I honestly think that most of the stuff I enjoyed about FranXX was heavily influenced by them.
SuperMario
@Nielo: Franxx's first ep was stellar for me. Storywise, it's lackluster (and I see the similar in tropes between this and Beatless) but production-wise it's excellent
SuperMario
I think I just keep watching it on a weekly basis. Still trippy as hell
SuperMario
Okay, I just watched second episode of Devilman Crybaby and it's still pretty good.
Nielo
By the way, what's up with Darling in the Franxx? I thought it's a very weak first episode.
Nielo
@Lenlo: Slice of life isn't my thing either, and I usually avoid series set in high school.
Nielo
@SuperMario: Takagi-san is cute, I'll admit that, but since I already read the manga it's not new to me. Sora Yori is good, but it's not particularly cute. I found Hakumei to Mikochi and Yuru Camp very boring. Haven't got the chance to watch Mitsuboshi Colors or Gakuen Babysisters but I don't think they could be more cute than Mii-kun.
SuperWooper
HOT TAKE: Genre is irrelevant. What matters is whether a show is good.
SuperMario
Don't knock off MY genre Lenlo. It's one of the reason I got into anime in the first place :)
Lenlo
Im not saying it doesn't do what it sets out to. I just don't think what it sets out to do is all that... great.
Lenlo
@Niello, Slice of Life was never my Genre in the first place :/ I typically avoid them. I have my own life to deal with and already graduated high school, why would I want to deal with a melodramatic anime highschool, is my line of thought.
SuperMario
@Niello: okay, let's see:Takagi-san (the titular character), Mitsuboshi Colors, Gakuen Babysisters (Toddlers!!), Hakumei to Milochi (tiny girls) and two more slightly more mature but equally cute: Sora Yori and Yuru Camp's casts
Nielllo
@SuperMario: I'm sure this is where our definition of "cute" parts way, but I'll ask anyway, what are those 5 shows?
SuperMario
@Niello: seems so because I can eaisily pick 5 more shows that are cuter, and better than Mummy this season ;)
Nielllo
...So I suppose I'm the only one who's kinda bored out by a lot of the slice of life shows that's trying to be cute this season and only perked up by the Mummy anime because it's actually do what it's meant to do and be legit cute.
Lenlo
I am interested in Koi, but still have concern about the relationship itself.

@Vonter, the mummy anime would be better as short vignettes together I feel.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Koi amegari is surprisingly tasteful, subdued and pretty.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*to where
Kaiser-Eoghan
Try as I might, my love of kyoani tv anime has largely evaporated did where I no longer want to bother at this stage, I'll just wait and see. I'll just stay quiet on the franxx anime, theres little value in me trying to get through a trigger work at this point.
SuperMario
I get the exact same feeling with Takagi-san. It's pretty good on what it does but 20 minutes of the same thing for a whole season doesn't sound that promising
Vonter
The chibi mummy anime
Vonter
It's a shame it isn't a shorter 10 or 5 minute series, I think that format would make it shine more, since it does what it's trying to do.
Amagi
Speaking of it, I liked the second episode of Kokkuko or whatever the name is even more than the first one.
Amagi
I really have a problem with all these shows that rely on one single thing, joke, shenanigan or whatever. Be it something cute, some certain kind of interactiong or whatever. It doesn't matter how good it is it will bore me with episode 2.
Lenlo
Like, yeah, the mummy was cute. But the cute became rote/bland really quick. There has to be more than "cute" to be worth watching for more than a single episode to me.
Lenlo
@Niello, I was harsh because its not aimed at me. I wanted to drop it 5 minutes in, kept up for the post, then was thankful it was over. There wasnt anything overtly bad about it. Its just there was nothing good either.
AidanAK47
To be fair it's not as if we are lacking cute in this season.
In fact it's in danger of inflation.
SuperMario
@Niello: yes, the mummy is cute, the show is cute but beside that it's pretty mediocre. That show in particular is the only show that I have the damnest time to give it a potential rating.
Niello
It's not even down because of legal reasons, since the site pull down contents that are lincensed. It's down cause it's too much for the site owner to manage. Much of it also have to do with too many bots, which comes back to how a lot of other sites are relying on batoto.
Niello
@Masky: Not enough manga titles are getting translated. Batoto is the site scanlation groups basically rely on, and where other aggregation sites pull their content from. No batoto no obscure titles, a big blow to small scantation groups and one big manga/scanlator community down.
Niello
Why are you guys so harsh on the mummy show? It's so darn cute. Give it some credit. If a comedy show can be good because it does comedy well I don't see why a show ike Mummy can't be good if it can make people go "aww".
Masky
I don't really know why that is the case, maybe marketing budget and UI friendliness when done right? :P
Masky
Eh, wouldn't say it will kill manga industry. I mean, more and more official methods of reading manga online is starting to pop up and legit channels to pay to get access to manga can surprisingly enough harm free channels to get manga.
Masky
Anyway, I do find it funny how how the isekai character dies can be so meaningless that is joke in most of them
Niello
Batoto is going down, how this affect the manga reading is going to be interesting. Hope it's not slowly dying.
Masky
(at least that one, besides forgetting to introduce what the heck is gimmick besides generickness, acknowledged how most of otaku mcs shouldn't erally want to get transferred to fantasy world since they never get to see how their favourite mangas end :P )
Masky
Anyhoo, it gets annoying since its not just isekai being cliche, sometimes is just them being kind of badly written(or at least adapted to manga). Like, I found one new isekai today, but I have no idea what its gimmick is(from what I understood, its that "cute companion" that character gets is hideously op because mc didn't spefy cute girl when he asked god manager dude for cute companion)
Masky
Slime one is one of better from the more generic ones weirdly enough :P I mean I still wouldn't call it good, but at least MC character isn't god tier, just top tier and it has sort of village building simulation feel to it. Plus at least naming things giving monsters more powers is something funny regarding jrpg mechanics
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or alternatively the car was on a boat with the character or parents in it and the boat and car were hit by a falling plane lol
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its always "car accident" that sends the characters to another world or in harem cases "Lost parents due to car crash", for christs sake doesn't anyone die in out of control plane or speedboat crashes anymore, at least make it a motorbike....
Nayrael
Ah sorry, should probably not have touched the colors...
Nayrael
Trust me, Isekai is better when it doesn't try to be imaginative. When it tries to be original then... Isekai with a Smartphone... Isekai where the MC turns into a Slime... and my favorite: Isekai where the MC became a Hot Spring popular with sexy girls.
Masky
Assuming "new" things can happen under the sun
Masky
Anyhoo, I do wonder what the heck will be next "popular genre trope that will become so overused cliche that everyone groans whenever show uses it even if its actually good show"
Masky
Like, seriously you could do really interesting story variant on isekai with that if done right. Suddenly becoming characters you have roleplayed would be trippy as hell espicially if one of characters went really into detail with backstory while one of them is just "Bob the fighter, he likes fighting" and has to deal with what happens when you assume life of such a person
Masky
But I wouldn't honestly be surprised because of my anger issues related to amount of unimaginative isekai :P Though I guess trpg based one would be more imaginative in comparison
Masky
I'd assume not since I assume tabletop rpgs are much more niche than jrpgs in japan
Masky
So has anyone yet done isekai where guys getting transferred were playing trpg? :P
KTravlos
quite happy with most recent Attack of Titan manga chapter.
SuperMario
Alright, one more impression post to go before we really get on to new season
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, I just fixed it. Thank you
Kaiser-Eoghan
*than just the reviewers names
Kaiser-Eoghan
A slight problem with the coding there in the newest impression, showing code gobbledeegook rather than the reviewers names above their impressions.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm seeing it on 2nd of February.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Late screeners generally leak shortly after the uk release, so maybe early Febbruary it'll be online?
SuperMario
@Kaiser: yep, Phantom Thread. Could be Daniel Day Lewis's final performance. Is it available online already?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Did you know that Paul Thomas Anderso8n has a new film coming out? Also I found out there is a Polish semi-knockoff of purple rose of cairo.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Awesome, just got myself an invite to a secret private torrent site =)
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In the weeks leading up to the summer 2017 season, Ballroom e Youkoso was one of the most buzzed-about new series. Produced by the Production I.G. team responsible for the smash hit Haikyuu!!, and set to air on Amazon’s brand new Anime Strike service, the series had no shortage of promotion or hype behind it. […]

Inuyashiki Review – 80/100

Do you know what the average age of an anime protagonist is? Neither do I, but I’d wager its in the upper teens. For obvious reasons, most anime focus on high school and have high school aged protagonists with similarly aged problems. Its not often that we get a good older main character, who has […]