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
@Anon: Follow up films coming though.
Anonymous2142275
Galactic Heroes, is starting to grow on me, is a shame, that's only 12 episodes so much potential being wasted. What happened to those times when long animes, could have at least 50 episodes ( Gundam Seed, Code Geass) and still be viable. feeling hopeless
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: A female director you could also look into is Moufida Tlatli , especially silences of the palace.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: On golden kamuy, from reading on in the manga, there will be a big reveal regarding Asirpa soon. Also I feel the prisoner guys are becoming monster of the week.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm glad to be reviewing stuff again on letterboxd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: ....I...actually momentarily forgot about the PM system.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Watch Bombshell, secrets of a hollywood star or calling hedy lamarr, Bombshell is a recent documentary about Lamarr.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Von Triers new film looks darkly funny though to a degree and I love the self-indulgent first per3son narration.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I have no idea how Stellan Skarsgard (who works alot with Von trier) produced Alexander Skarsgard, the latter is far too attractive to come from that. I feel the same about Asia Argento, I refuse to believe Dario could have produced such a fine creature.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I'm rarely about morals or understanding as an importance when it comes to film, I care most about how it hits me on a visceral/emotional level, how daring it is in its imagination, visuals, madness , creativity.
SuperMario
@Kaiser: thanks, received it. God, Von Triers new film is entirely something else. Full-on provocation. And I already think his Nymphomaniac was too much
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: Also I'm dying to see Von Trier and Chang-dongs new films, especially the priors.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Mario: I sent you a private message.
Lenlo
That said, the key drama scenes were still great. Okabe's VA continues to make me happy. Im just not sure how much of this is nostalgia.
Lenlo
Steins;Gate is at its best in moments of character drama and character interaction. All of its value lies in its characters. Any action, with this muted style, is going to come off stiff and dull. A con of the art-style decision.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I'm glad you said that, because I felt visually it looked stiff this week and that brief scene in the beginning wasn't much to look at. But Okabes meeting with Baldyguy-san and the cliffhanger and after credits bit were good scenes.
Lenlo
So yeah, this was probably the weakest week of Steins;Gate so far. Its pretty clear its not an action series and that its style doesnt suit itself well to combat scenes
SuperMario
... watching and reading many shounen titles (Dragon Ball, Dragon Quest, Bleach and the likes), shounen isn't my cup of tea at all
SuperMario
While I grow up
Lenlo
@Anon, I love Shounen. BnHA is one of my favorites every season its on. Doesnt mean I like Black Clover though
Kaiser-Eoghan
Thank you for that anon, when I watched the episode earlier I wasn't aware there was a post credits scene.
Anonymous2141254
oh well, we still are early on in S;G 0 too. Plus, there seems to be a huge development at the end of the episode
Anonymous2141254
idk, i can't help but feel that besides the amadeus plotline, everything else feels "fillery"
Anonymous2141254
I must say though that I'm still waiting for it to get good, idk maybe my expectations are too high because the original was great after the first few episodes
Anonymous2141254
Don't forget to watch end credits fo Steins Gate 0
KTravlos
I like some shonen. I just think that they are popular enough as not to be worth reviewing ihmo.
Vonter
@Anon2140150 - I do. Though Shounen do have the issue of being derivative in certain aspects like power scales and several doing the FMA Brotherhood climax (of what I've watched). Also they're made to be endless. It can be intimidating jumping to one that has several seasons.
Anonymous2140150
Does everyone here don't like shonen anime?
Amagi
Really, if there is one piece of information (aside from otome maybe) that makes me ignore a series forever it's a LN about a LN author or illustrator. The selfinert wish fulfillment couldn't be more obvious.
Amagi
Another LN greenlit for an anime production and the synopsis starts with "* is a light novel illustrator and..".
Amagi
@KTravlos: I don't know why modern anime hate curly- and/or wild hair so much. The old hair style gave Reinhard a more royal look, whereas he looks like a normal highschool boy now. Not that I am complaining about the anime as a whole. Also, I like some of the new designs.
KTravlos
and a part of me things it is indeed the hair. It comes to low, giving Reinhard a slovenly, lazy feel. When Yang feels more energetic you know there was a mistake.
KTravlos
and yes, this Reinhard fares poorly in comparison to the OVA one. He is dull. I need more Yang :p
KTravlos
ai vay vay. The Castrop Rebellion remains waste of time. And this time it was worse. The older depiction was tacky but at least it showed Kircheis ability in a logical manner. This time I had no idea what the hell happened. It felt cheap.

The rest of the episode was ok. Not completely sold on all the renditions of imp. admirals though I still love the uniforms.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*those
Kaiser-Eoghan
Hearing these , I find myself much more tolerant of anime voice acting even if the dub might only be okay.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its actually less of a sync issue, as I'm talking about 60s dubs , alot of people think the voices in old anime English dubs from the 90s are dated, but the old sixties kungfu and western dubs are shocking, far worse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't mind sometimes satirical dubbing like on tiger lily , dialectics break bricks and kung pow however.
Kaiser-Eoghan
And those can be difficult to acquire sometimes in Italian or Chinese.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Live action films, this is especially annoying sometimes because I love Spaghetti westerns and Chinese martial arts films and old Italian cop thrillers.
Anonymous2137430
@Kaiser-Eoghan Are you referring to foreign animated films of foreign live action films because dubbing live action is a different beast as I'm sure you're aware. The idiosyncratic nature of watching moves and facial expressions not properly match voices really pulls the viewer out of the experience
SuperWooper
LoGH is airing a special next week because of scheduling delays, so that's one less thing to do.
AidanAK47
Well to those whom it might concern, expect my posts to be later than usual this week. Work is hell at the moment.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to say, this is probably a bit hypocritical, but while I enjoy dubs of anime I really really can't stand dubs of foreign films.
Lenlo
Simo Hayha would make a pretty crazy Archer.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I imagine a fate strange fake adaptation will materialize eventually.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But everyone seems to want that Finnish sniper as a Fate servant .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Still no Mao, still mad.
Kaiser-Eoghan
....I have lost track of the historical characters in the fate lineup.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, to expand on that point the following historical figures are now female: Nero Claudius, Leonardo da Vinci, Frankenstein's Monster, Xuanzang, Jing Ke, Quetzalcoatl, Minamoto no Yoshitsune, Miyamoto Musashi, Okita Souji and many more to come.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I find it's an enjoyable watch though flawed. If you can get past some odd fanservice around the first ten episodes then I say it's worth watching.
Anonymous2133468
So i was thinking if i start watching, darling in the franxx, is worth it? or is just another 6/10 anime?
Lenlo
God damnit. Why Nasu. Just why.
AidanAK47
@Kaiser, that ain't even Lewd.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In all seriousness its ridiculous, the Japanese will make a cute/moe girl out of anything.
AidanAK47
....Should I also mention that Francis Drake is a big boobed pirate queen?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Posting lewd images on a respectable chatbox.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, But none of these characters are in the anime adaptions. Well besides Jack and Saber.
Lenlo
Aidan, all this conversation did was prove that my decision to only ever watch the Ufotable adaptions was the correct decision.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, you can blame Extella for the Attlia the Hun thing. I wasn't too fond of it myself. Also should mention Attila is female as well.
https://pm1.narvii.com/6414/528599445b739909c02993cfdbfc9f277d088cf2_hq.jpg
AidanAK47
Also Masky I will be the first to admit to the ridiculous aspects of the Fate Franchise but do take note that you are commenting on something you know literally nothing about. Which is the very definition of ignorance and is quite annoying. Fate/Zero nails the themes it's going for. So go watch Fate/Zero, come back and apologize.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Give it time. Genghis is getting in there eventually with Grand Order. We just had Anastasia and Salieri introduced after all. And it's not as if this story introduces Servants willy nilly, they need actual story purpose. Genghis Khan wouldn't have fit the Narrative that Fate/Zero was going for.
Lenlo
Wait Attila is an Alien and Edison is a Lion? God damnit Fate. Why are you doing this to me. I was already annoyed at your treatment of Musashi
Masky
(aliens existing in the show is good example of that missing on themes part xP)
Masky
*most successful conqueror
Masky
Honestly was just amused most conqueror of all time not being featured in the show :D But wait, whats this about aliens?
AidanAK47
Anyway the important thing to take into account is that in the Fate universe, King Arthur is a woman, Attila the Hun is an Alien, Thomas Edison is a lion and Jack the Ripper is a little girl in a dominatrix outfit. Any questions?
AidanAK47
And while you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes, it does leave you ignorant of how that show handles those ideas and themes.
AidanAK47
As for the Historical Alexander, he wasn't given the title of King of Couquerors. Fate/Zeros interpretation of him was. As generally accurate Fates interpretation of Servents history can be, they can make changes to suit the narrative.
AidanAK47
In that Regard Alexander was doing the conquest thing before Ghengus did. Ghengus likely has some other title. Hell he may only have the title because public consciousness was is more familiar with Alexander than Ghengus.
AidanAK47
Yeah, looking it up seems the King Title lost quite a lot of meaning in the Nasuverse. Though the King Title is rather flimsy. I mean Arthur is the King of Knights cause of the Knights of the round table. Gil is king of heroes because his tale was the first Heroic myth.
Lenlo
I think Alexander was just the first one they thought of, and they couldnt retroactively give it to someone else.

That said, Broskander deserves it <3
Masky
(And no, you don't need to watch something to be given divine right to comment on ideas or themes of it.)
Masky
(just to note in case I need to note, I do tend to do at least cursory research when I make comments on stuff I don't watch)
Masky
That first part is semantics as Fate gives title "King" to historical figures who weren't kings already :D Also, you can make that argument about historical Alexander the Great? Since that seriously sounds like kind of weak reason.
AidanAK47
Also sees Rider as deserving of title of "King of Conquerors" because that which he strives to conquer most is not lands or material wealth, but the hearts of people, the toughest conquest that can be undertaken by anyone.
AidanAK47
@Masky, Ghengis Khan wasn't a king. He was a Khan.
Lenlo
Ghengis is always a Rider in my mind.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But in all seriousness, Ghengis would be an appropriate beserker servant.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Masky: I know, it feels so wrong I'm still mad I can't summon Karl Marx or Stalin.
Masky
So wait, Fate series is about historical figures with super powers, but "King of Conquerors" title isn't given to Ghengis Khan? :D Seriously? Thats just so wrong
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't feel any point in finishing it, it feels like something that I'd just randomly drop , not because its a bad show, but because I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
I am actually going to drop blogging it.
AidanAK47
@Sash, indeed. I have been watching it but not blogging it for the last few episodes because it just hasn't givne me anything to say. I don't think it's a bad show but I have pointed out the flaws and strengths of it already so there is truly nothing more to say on it.
Sash
I think wotakoi is starting to feel repetitive..
Kaiser-Eoghan
You are now aware Shana and Batman Ninja Harelequinn are both voiced by Rie kugimiya.
Lenlo
I did. It was... It was a thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Did you end up watching Batman ninja by the way?
Lenlo
Music is great, yeah. When the music is on point, everything goes up. Everytime the sync the fight/punches to the music I just get hyped. Like the rotating shot with Aragaki or the first fight in episode 1.
Lenlo
Ill do my best to be clearer in the future on that front. Yeah, I dont mind twists like this. Makes the inevitable Mikio fight, narratively, even better.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I feel the music does alot of the lifting.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Oh, so that was it.
Lenlo
Sorry if I never made that clear.
Lenlo
I would rather have fewer, amazing, fights than a lot of low-quality fights. This is a one cour show, the more meaning/impact they can give each fight the better.

Like Aragaki, narratively, was great. Loved it. Its just in animation/choreography that it falls flat.
Lenlo
Im disappointed with the animation of the fights. Narratively, I think they are quite good.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*disappointed with the fights in past episodes
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Pretty much what I said I thought of the episode. Although I was surprised how took the episodes ending, I expected you to see it as a slap in the face after being disappointed with the fights.
Lenlo
Also, @Kaiser, I thought Megalo Box did something unique this episode. I wasn't expecting Joe to *not* fight. And the Mikio/Yukiko proxy war is an interesting character motivation. Im betting Yukiko will get Joe a full citizenship, effectively getting her on his side.
Lenlo
I wish I was physically capable of watching Megalo Box without thinking of Hajime no Ippo. I really do. But everytime I watch it, it makes me want to watch Ippo again to.
Anonymous2120908
I watched some more of the Chimera family chinese anime. (Wasn't aware it was monthly released). And geez, I like the concept, the background art is very pretty and contrasts with settings that have become tired in other anime. Yet sadly the animation and script are WEAK. I haven't grasped the quality of what's expected of these types of production but I want to believe, they're trying.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Not much in the way of action in megalobox this week, but I did like the focus on Yukkiko getting a small character moment and then the big moment at episodes end .
AidanAK47
@Anon, That's some lazy ass trolling buddy. Should have stopped before the hashtags.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I'm even sort of looking forward to supposedly less respectable stuff like Goblin slayer and happy sugar life.
Vonter
Also E3 is almost here. And I can't wait. I think Nintendo will have a good show considering they're revealing the new Smash with a tournament. There's rumors of the new game by Retro Studios (Metroid Prime and Donkey Kong) and maybe they'll reveal something about how Pokemon will be on the Switch.
Vonter
Also there's always the chance of something new being discovered. Not everything needs expectations behind. Sometimes great things come out of nowhere.
Kaiser-Eoghan
So yes, there are some at least decent shows coming out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Muh Baki, Muh Bananna fish, muh made in abyss season 2, muh Vinland.
Anonymous2119906
The rest of this year looks like shit for anime and 2019 doesn't look great either #fuckmoe #makeanimegreatagain
Anonymous2119214
@Kaiser yeah it happened in half the amount of eps this time around for steins gate 0; which i expected considering there's a lot of ground to cover
Anonymous2119106
@Supermario Something like Fate or the LOTR films are a different case. I get where you're coming from about your preference, but I'm arguing that if a large story is going to be split into 3 films, it helps that the 3 films feel cleanly cut. Infinity war, even though we know there's a second part to the story, feels like it has that cohesive narrative structure with a beginning, middle, and end
Anonymous2119106
@Super Mario yea but the marvel movies are a different situation so i don't think the comparison is as appropriate. Marvel movies are "episodic" in nature rather than a continuous narrative. The films are largely isolated stories that are happening in a similar universe that only happen to "congeal" narratively because of a few overarching details shared between films.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I remember when the original series suddenly shifted and got going and it was a really depressing episode.
Lenlo
Oh baby. The storm has finally come in Steins;Gate. Let the true suffering commence
SuperMario
@anon2118276: that's why I don't like LoTR trilogy. It's still a whole body chopped up in 3 parts, despite how clean the cut is. Whereas for me it works better if it was like a branch in a tree. The Marvel movies (despite my disinterest on those) are a good example of this.
Kaiser-Eoghan
While I did feel some of this weeks steins gate felt fillery, I do like see these characters interact and given the episodes conclusion, this episode acted as a calm before the storm.
Lenlo
Ill agree with you on King Kong. As for the Ralph Bakshi LotR, I have. I am still to this day impressed by the overlay of 2D art onto real/overexposed footage. It makes for shockingly fluid animation in places and has its own distinct style
Anonymous2118208
@Lenlo - Have you watched the old Ralph Bakshi adaptation of the first two books? It's uneven, but it's interesting comparing and contrasting certain decisions. As good as Peter Jackson is, I feel he makes very longwinded films, I like his version of King Kong a lot, but it is too long.
Anonymous2118276
@supermario i disagree; the point is that even though the LOTH films have cliffhanger endings, they still feel like fils. they have a defined first second and third act with well paced tension and release throughout them. They follow a storytelling macrostructure necessary for films to feel like cohesive narratives even if they are to end on a cliffhanger
Lenlo
I quite liked the individual LOTR movie just fyi
Vonter
Marvel surprisingly has kept their movies simple enough, that while you might miss details nowadays, you can tell what's happening.
Vonter
Another bad case is like with Assassin's Creed, which like Lost, just tried to tease a lot of things, then it grew tired of trying to piece them together and let the last games work more standalone, with little hints of a larger lore.
Vonter
Metroid does both, it has a standalone story and a hint to what a sequel might bring. Though that hint rarely matters by the time the new game is released.
Vonter
@SuperMario - Some videogames trilogies also do that. Gears of War and God of War had good standalone beginnings but by the second game they put cliffhanging endings. Kingdom Hearts does that and I expect 3 to also do it. Megaman Legends and Half Life had incomplete stories, which might be the worse case in regards to trying to make a continuous story.
SuperMario
It ruins the appetite
SuperMario
I actually think Lord of the Rings' trilogy is a bad example to follow. These films are meant to be viewed as a whole, so each film doesn't hold much as an individual story. I just can't digest films that have "to be continued" sign at the end. Imagine having a first course meal and then have to wait for few days for second course
Kaiser-Eoghan
On the current topic, I would be well for the production of a long running, ambitious ova series.
Anonymous2116425
then again, i don't take too much issue with these films feeling like movie-sized eps...the wait just sucks is all
Anonymous2116425
clearly the films need each other to tell the whole story, yet they can be taken for what they are in isolation as well
Anonymous2116425
I don't mind the trilogy trend at all; like Aidan said, when everything is said and done, all the films will be available to watch. I just think a stronger attempt should be made to make them feel like complete films. Something like the lord of the rings trilogy is a great example of how to do this
Kaiser-Eoghan
I am in full confidence that neither I nor Miura will survive to the end of berserk.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Of course maybe they won't have a future , think about it that way, then they'd never see it, life has that weird way of being unpredictable like that =P
Kaiser-Eoghan
You can always rewatch them just before watching the one after.
AidanAK47
Of course not. But that's the thing. The wait is only a temporary problem. Anyone in the future will have all movies ready to view.
SuperMario
So it's best to wait for another 2 years to watch Heaven's Feel? Hell NOT
AidanAK47
When all the movies come out though you can basically barrel through it like a TV series.
SuperMario
Dangit, it's me Mario
Anonymous2115918
I still don't know if I like this trilogy trend. We've had a fair bun h of those in recent years (Berserk Golden Age, Madoka, even Kizumonogatari). I guess doing it that way, they'd make much more profits, and we have higher production values, but the wait is way too long and I don't think it works as movie-format
Kaiser-Eoghan
One of the very rare times where self-awareness works.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can be nice and say of course Ryan Reynolds+ violence, comic was funnier.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: But I'm sure if you think it over, the first deadpool was trapped in origin story mode, as an advantage, the sequel, is probably free of that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: Deadpool 2 had John Wicks director, which at the least means something in terms of action direction.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: There was a whole run of deadpool issues called Cable and deadpool, which I suppose that pairing together gets the best out of the character.
AidanAK47
Seen Deadpool 2 tonight and I have difficultly deciding if it's better or worse than Deadpool 1. Still it's quite fun and I enjoyed it.
AidanAK47
@Anon, I feel somewhat similar in regards to Franxx. When this series finishes I won't be singing high praises for it. Yet I do feel that it's worth watching.
AidanAK47
@Lenlo, Now I get ya. Yeah I understand that. I might even feel the same if I didn't already know the story from the VN.
AidanAK47
@Amagi, The second film seems to be in cinema this year but we won't get it until it hits blu-ray.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Travlos: As I expected, I am disappointed that they have held back . And you might just be right about Castrollop/Caligula/Nero, when I originally attempted to watch the show years ago, that was the episode I stopped on.
KTravlos
Yang really is stealing the show this time. But I wanted the "Alcohol is mankind's oldest friend" rant. I need it.
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