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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Kaiser-Eoghan
And its quite natural.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Florida project succeeds through its free flowing nature/narrative and manages to be hilarious all the while managing to never allow you forget its also a kitchen sink drama, the best performances come from William Dafoe and the girl. At the end it gut punches the audience emotionally.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: also expecting Florida Project, 3 Billboards, and The Shape of Water in my end
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, Kino was a bit too slight this week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Just Lu, disaster artist and happy end left now for the year. Maybe the new Godzilla.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I felt that Sion Soni's Noriko's dinner table did the irl acting thing better.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: I'm going to watch The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Consider I regarded The Lobster as one of the best film of that year and Dogtooth and Alps impressed me a lot; I have high hope for this one
Kaiser-Eoghan
Mooooommm, I want my Lu over the wal subs and I want them now OMO!
Niello
...Can't torrent where I am, grrrr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm quite fond of Go Nagai's devilman, so I'll be interested in seeing Yuasa's adaptation of it whenever it comes out.
SuperMario
@Kasier: ha! thanks Kaiser. Finally it's out... gonna download it now
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Here is a link to Night is short walk on girl English subbed: https://nyaa.si/view/979508
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: OR JUST MONIKA Amirite =P
SuperMario
in all seriousness though, I hope they can use one week break to smooth out their production.
SuperMario
so Just Because's taking a break this week. The reason: just because
Lenlo
Mhmhmm Inuyashiki was great this week. I just love this show.
Amagi
The hell- no didn't know that. I really wouldn't have expected tribute songs to this series
Niello
@Amagi: Did you know this exists? And it's by Igorrr no less. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhQQ57N-9ys&list=PL9ku-W0xIzd4EYUL9bUG2CZXBIy7cCiSk
Niello
And yes, I'm just waiting and waiting for the day the anime get announced. No doubt it'll becomes a classic.
Niello
@Eoghan, I don't think it becomes a mess though, the story threads all come together amazingly well.
KTravlos
I too recommend at least watching 2nd episode of Tanya before passing judgement.

Looking forward to the Urasawa manga as well!
SuperWooper
@Anonymous: Thanks! Reading blog posts used to be my go-to distraction when I took breaks at work. Now I have to take breaks from writing them. It's a grind at times, but Star Crossed ought to be alive for a while yet.
Amagi
Adaptions for series like these only work when they're passion projects. If they're not they end up like the Dies Irae anime.
Amagi
It's another one of those series I really wish to see as an anime with music, movement and so on. But same as with Made in Abyss, it needs a cometent director and one that is in love with the work or else it will be a letdown
Amagi
@Niello: Yes and I fucking love it. The gritty style, the setting, the characters and designs and so on. @Kaiser didn't know she was under Nihei that's cool. I love these sketchy styles
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Niello: yes and more people I believe should so, despite that its kind of become a mess, I take the thing as one big black comedy. The woman who drew it interestingly enough apprenticed under Tsutomu Nihei.
Niello
Anyone here read Dorohedoro?
Anonymous1566521
Just passing by to say like the place, it's kinda perfect to read for whenever I take a break. And most importantly I haven't read anything stupid. Hopefully it won't die anytime soon:0
Vonter
Masky - Overlord has an OP isekai, yet I find that series compelling do to the world building, and how even with power and influence, the MC plays like a chessmaster and not brute force his way into doing something.
AidanAK47
@Masky, I wouldn't write off Tanya so fast. Make it to episode 2 at least.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel I need to actually properly get into Godzilla for some frame of reference before the anime film, I've only seen the new one and the original.
Amagi
Or the Hiroshima movie
Amagi
I know you can't have everything but considering that we currently have Blame, the Itoh movies, Lu over the Wall, Godzilla or Napping Princess this is rather a let down
Amagi
Meh, not really happy about the anime film festival decision here - a few good movies are there: heaven's feel, motherfucka (from the tekkonkinkreet guy) and another one that sounds great but other than that a lot specials like conan movie #718 or something, the third part (why?) of persona 3 and other movies that are just specials of series I dropped at some point
Masky
*WWI
Masky
I mean, op isekai mc is boring whether they are hero or villain, thats how tired I'm of that trope at least
Masky
So was wondering what was up with that Tanya the Evil show and was disappointed to find out its "Isekai were MC is evil and WWII esque fantasy setting"
Anonymous1566013
dragon ball kai
Anonymous1566013
dragon ball z
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: That Godard biopic you mentioned is showing tonight and on sunday afternoon, at the very least I'll be checking out Le Chinoise in preparation for it.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: and right after I just watched Loving Vincent in theatre, it's available online
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Blame! got released ages ago and no one watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Out in cinemas in Dublin in 3 weeks though, might aswell wait.
SuperMario
Also Lu over the Wall is out, with Russian subtitle. So anyone here who can understand Russian, you're in luck
Amagi
@Kaiser: Thanks, I love quite many anime movies. Guess I have something to watch this weekend.
AidanAK47
Not many I am afraid. Though I do like it's music.
Anonymous1565678
who is fairy tail fan here
Kaiser-Eoghan
For those interested anime Godzilla is out in a few weeks. Also Genocidal organ, napping princess and in this corner of the world are out as is the Fate/ilya movie.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm interested enough to read more of that Urasawa manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't point out errors (although its part of my job at work to lol) but I feel that one thing was noticeable in the Kino review, soap instead of soup is mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Eh, I quite like it when anything deals with religion or conviction in a mature way, it makes me feel things.
AidanAK47
Not really keen on following a Urasawa manga while it's ongoing considering how much of a slow burn his stories usually are.
Amagi
To the English only people: the Urasawa manga is translated into English now - it's on Mangastream (so beware of the watermark, but better than nothing)
Anonymous1565136
The anime?
SuperMario
... still on course with the anime (my phone acting up again)
SuperMario
@afgm: welcome back mate. It has been awhile. Hope you're
Anonymous1564565
@Amagi, The sign post with Iyami's teeth symbol read something like Buddhist reseach facility, which only makes it weirder.
Amagi
Also that Iyami clone seems to be the same as the running guy on page 2 (which was also the promo page posted on sites like ANN)
Amagi
Thank you very much anon. I love how international this chat is. But what you said makes the story feel even weirder. Really wonder what this is about but I can't say I am not interested now
Anonymous1564565
This is weird, really weird.
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] As expected, now he's in another trouble. ...He mistook a crow for a blue bird that will bring happiness. And then we go back to the scene at the beginning when he hallucinate about someone calling. ...Is that Iyami from Osomatsu-san?
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler]Then because Trump is currently popular, their plan to is mass produce the mask with the guy's factory? (He's totally getting dupe isn't e?)
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] The wife won a lottery and got a free vacation ticket to a luxurious cruise ship. She then left the husband with another guy. The Trump parody hag person is Beverly Duncan. Then one of the husband coworker put on a mask of Trump and start mocking.
afgm
I feel like the site is finally coming back into its own :)
afgm
(and great old writers)
afgm
Great new writers on the site
Anonymous1564565
[spoiler] He's trying to look at tax avoidance and discuss it to his fam. The turns out the gov start checking so that plan was a bust. Now they are looking at potential confiscations, including their flip flop factory.
Anonymous1564565
[Spoiler] So the guy seem to be having some kind of hallucination of someone calling him, even though there's no one in that direction.
Anonymous1564565
@Amagi "but it's in Thai", :)
Amagi
I am really looking forward to the Pluto anime. But I guess it won't come earlier than spring 2018 or something.
Amagi
If it was Japanese I'd at least understand a few parts (and almost everything if it was French) but now I have not the slightest idea what this is about but it does look interesting. I also liked Urasawa's earlier one shot. The one after Billy
Amagi
Not sure if I am allowed to link scans so here an indirect (last post) one I found, but it's in Thai (I hope someone who understands it will translate that chapter into English) https://www.reddit.com/r/manga/comments/780rve/sl_how_long_until_we_see_the_1st_chapter_of_naoki/
Anonymous1564517
It shows a lot of shots though that bring back memories of Urasawa's earlier works. Its great that he's going weird; Urasawa is one of the best at producing unique series, even if his methodical writing and storytelling style is always evident.
Anonymous1564517
Is it Mujirushi? I saw some French advert for it, (nothing said except that it's launching soon), but I can't find anything else on it.
Amagi
There is a (sadly, non-English) scan for Urasawa's new manga and it looks weird. Hundreds of masks of some presidential candidate that looks like a female Trump and a weird and shady guy at the end.
Lenlo
That said, why is PUBG on any of these lists. Its still in beta
Lenlo
Horizon on the other hand is easily understood and fits the open world mold well. I like Nier more, but Horizon is still a really good game.
Lenlo
Everyone knows it exists, but not everyone likes it/could finish it/understands it.
Lenlo
Thats the thing, it still is a niche. Its in the same category of Souls games now
Niello
Nier may not be a new IP, but it's an IP that finally rise from obscurity after being a really niche cult hit for years.
Niello
Why would being weird a negative for Nier? Doesn't that imply creativity?
Vonter
I suppose because Horizon is a new IP and also less weird than Nier. I haven't played it, but presentation alone has marked a great impression of that game.
Niello
Why is Nier in only 3 categories and Horizon Zero Dawn so many even where it's not deserve?
Niello
I still think Maho Yome is super overrated. The show so far has been more about spectacles than anything. I get it, the manga is pretty good, still not one nearly even one of the best though.
Vonter
PUBG I feel its an odd choice. Mainly because it's the only game listed that I wasn't aware it existed.
Vonter
The game awards are near, and so here are the nominations for all categories:
http://thegameawards.com/awards/
Anonymous1562244
KT Here. they did not force it. They let the circumstances do the talking and it was powerful.
Anonymous1562244
KT Here: Yes psgels is a man, yes for a long time I was under the impression he was a woman. Now and Then, Here and There is indeed excellent. The thing was exactly that, a frank depiction of what child soldiers go through. Considering how most shounen shows are essentially about kids engaging in war, the frank and gritty depictions was welcome if dis-concerning. And as Super pointed out they did
SuperMario
Yeah, I can give the show a full review (says the guy who is currently behind on his weekly post). But be mindful that as this show is in my top 10 anime, my rating might be even higher than psgels' (Usually my taste is different than his but in Now and Then we are pretty much on the same page)
SuperMario
The shounen element is for me, intentional as Now and then plays by the typical shounen rules (with a bery typical shounen protagonist) entirely in its first episode before slaming every brutal things towards him. Yep, they imply many dark contents make it much more disturbing. That girl (I think her name is Mary)'s circumstance ripped my heart
Nielllo
@Mario: I'd be interest in that! The atmosphere to me is like Jing the Bandit King but less surreal and more shounen.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: The scene where the girl is raped/abused in the prison. It stands out for the fact they imply it rather than showing.
SuperMario
Actually, I can re-watch it over the weekend and give it a full review. Again, it has been awhile so I'm intrigued to see how the show's holding up for me now
SuperMario
They're brutal but not for the sake of being brutal, I never feel the show as heavy handed on its brutality, or sugarcoating the optimistism of the main character. The show is about the scar of war and for that imo they really deliver the message
SuperMario
That's what happen when I prepared to write a long comment, but work held me up so I had to cut it short. It's been awhile since I last saw Now and Then, but I feel the show has a frank and down to earth depection of the terror of war...
Nielllo
@SuperMario, You'll need to explain it to me man...
Anonymous1561608
@Psgels is woman
Anonymous1561597
Really???
SuperMario
@Niello: i love Now and Then. One of the rare series that I rated 10/10. I feel all the drama is raw, and effective
Nielllo
The last time I check, the scanlation group doesn't have the translator position filled up. At this point I'm probably going to order the remaining volumes at some point and just try to read it in Japanese. The worse thing is it's a josei so the text doesn't have furigana and I'll be stuck with just Kanji.
Nielllo
That sums up my feeling for Now and Then, Here and There really well.I took a look at the raw of the last chapter and it pretty much ended like how I think it would (mostly the epilogue, so not much spoiler)
Kaiser-Eoghan
With how slow the updates are for Amatsuki's manga I will probably re-re-read the whole thing again when it ever finishes. I disliked the protaganist of now and then here and there , while I did enjoy the misery the characters went through as it made for good drama and that dictator guy was suitably effective, I never got the FEELs watching it.
Nielllo
My taste generally align well with psgels (hurray for seeing potential in Amatsuki? that one surprised me, really didn't expect a 90/100, not complaining of course), but can someone explain to me, the appeal of Now and Then, Here and There?
Kaiser-Eoghan
*are many
Kaiser-Eoghan
I suppose we do live in the introvert age, so there probably are who have plenty of time to burn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I agree about the having more time when your young thing definitely though, I'd argue I probably had too much of it, we probably don't use that time as well as we should come to think of it looking back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which means I also have more time because I'm not in a relationship.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I know this will sound terrible, but I don't really bother associating with women beyond necessary interaction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*or hikkimori
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm not upset about this, just means theres extra time to be filled because everyones too pre-occupied in their spare time.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I save well and don't have many people to buy for , I also pirate everything.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I wouldn't call myself a NEET of hikkikomori, but genuinely do have absolutely no life, so I pretty much only leave my home for part time work/food/cinema trips. I don't party or drink and I see old friends once or twice a year (They've all moved), maybe my brother slightly more but not as often as most people would.
SuperMario
@Vyse: haha, you have a wild imagination. I'm pretty sure he's man
SuperMario
@anon1561372: pretty much what Kaiser said. He did came back a few months ago for monthly summaries but it seems life's swallowing him again. Would love to see him back to be honest
SuperMario
@Aidan: well, I'm at a stage where I don't have either enough time or money or anything concrete for my life. So I envy those who have plenty times to burn
Kaiser-Eoghan
Psgels professional and social life became more demanding and had a bout of writers block. Going by the photograph and voice on some of the podcasts he did, psgels is very much a man.
VyseLegendaire
psgels is a female
Anonymous1561272
@SuperMario Where did he go? Did he just stop completely?
AidanAK47
Well his posts were not as long as ours and I think he did them mostly in his secondary school years and you have plenty of time to burn back then. I remember I used to make a point of finishing games 100% back then and I replayed a ton of them over and over again.
SuperMario
And back in the day, psgels could blog like 3 or 4 posts per day, many of them on the same day of its airing. How the hell could he do that consistently for almost 10 years?
SuperMario
Fell asleep yesterday while writing Houseki review. Now that bastard will have to wait until later tonight (It's morning here). Apologize for that
Niello
Really? I thought the manga art is gorgeous. The beginning, not so much, but her art really improved. I love how whimsical it is. Other characters not so much, but Mahmut's design is really a step down from the manga.
KTravlos
ah you will hate me. Much as I love the story, I just cannot find the character art pleasing. On that one point for me the animated version was better. For example I much preferred the depiction of Einstein in the anime than in the manga. Now this is a personal thing, but I am shallow, and I do read manga partly for the art. So I am torn. I prefer the manga for the story but the anime for the art
Niello
@KTravlos: As a fan of the manga, I wouldn't say it's for us manga reader at all. I dropped this abomination long ago, I just can't stand it. It got butchered just like Amatsuki was, and tha's by the same director. I really really hope he never get to touch on an adaptation ever again.
KTravlos
also the Altai episode this week showed all the problems of the series. The pace was just too fast. Essentially this was just an episode for manga readers. Very very problematic
KTravlos
@SuperMario. I actually think that a double review of Altiar and AS would work better, as a way to talk a bit more expansively on the whole genre
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh hey awesome, new black mirror episodes in December.
Anonymous1558371
it's not really a plot twist, but it is a drastic change.
Anonymous1558371
I honestly don't know how well the anime will handle it. I'd like to think they will surpass the manga because they put a lot of care into the scene. It involves a fight scene and they have been handling those well, so I'm hopeful.
SuperMario
@anon1558097: will that shock plot twist whatever-it-is even make it this season? I'll be honest but if I have to compare the current anime to what I've read from the manga so far (first few chapters), The manga is more inventive and awe-inspiring for me
Anonymous1558097
@Mario: DON'T. I'm having a much better time enjoying the show ever since I stop comparing it to the manga. Still a shame I won't be getting the initial shock reaction from what's going to happen in the second half though.
SuperMario
Now you guys are really tempting me to read on the houseki manga, but I WON'T
Kaiser-Eoghan
I really wish that we could see more of the snail race things in houseki , the Gems and moon people have had their turn.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Honey and clover had a much stronger balance of humour and drama, with sugatsu I feel its the drama that stands out best.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Okay major major MAJOR houseki spoilers....sensei is really....
.....
.....Saitama from onepunch man.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I've only seen the first season.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: And anyone who breaks your Dia(mond) must be destroyed.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: just look at the lastest episode (27), juggling, bouncy, silly in the first half and then emotional depth in the second. Well, that's a 3-gatsu's tone we pretty come to expect now
SuperMario
@Kaiser: ANYONE DARE TO MAKE MY HINA CRIES WILL HAVE TO PAY. I share the exact same sentiment with Rei
Kaiser-Eoghan
I will say this...it is...an un-evenly paced series...but always jolts you before you get too bored with it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*Looks at 3-gatsu screenshot*
Hina =< ; _ ; QmQ *cry**tears*
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am reasonably satisfied with how the houseki manga is in its latest chapters, coming together and the answers it gave.
SuperMario
@Nielo: wow, thanks. I'll definately pay more attention to that. Love to pick up those little details like that so I'm all ears if you pick up something else
Kaiser-Eoghan
I noticed that discord button. If more show up on it I'd consider joining it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: What will happen is that I'll end up marathoning it when more episodes get released, much like I did with first. The guy from the first series (Germain his name was) was a hard act to follow , so far I do think this is more enjoy than the little of the second season I saw.
SuperWooper
LOL, thanks for catching that.
SuperMario
@Wooper: I always enjoy "deep-friend" chicken as well. Tasty, taysty
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