It’s a solid season. There are few series that really stand out as amazing, but there really are a lot of solid stories this time, and there’s actually surprisingly little crap. It’s definitely an untypical winter season with a lot of series focused either on summer, or just being completely upbeat contrary to the kinds of series you usually see released at this time of the year.
#31 (new) – Senki Zesshou Symphogear – (4,75/10) – I was very surprised to see how many people actually liked this, so with that I at least tried to give this series a few more episodes just in case I really was wrong. But after four episodes, I can’t take it anymore. The amount of stupidity and fake shock factor here is just way too much. The characters do nothing to make themselves more engaging, the entire cast is just painful to watch. This is one of those shows that feels made by people who want to make something epic, but have no idea what it really takes to actually do that beyond explosions.
#30 (19) – Amagami SS+ – (5/10) – I refuse to spend more time on this crap. Especially now that it also started to introduce completely stupid and pointless drama.
#29 (new) – High School DxD – (5/10) – Want some boobs but don’t want to watch porn? Well, then this show is for you. Otherwise, stay away at all costs!
#28 (new) – The New Prince of Tennis – (5,5/10) – This is just completely stupid. I gave this until the second episode, but that was just too much. Why would you bother to give someone a completely stupid power as having a tennis racquet with only two strings… if you don’t even use this?
#27 (18) – Persona 4 The Animation – (5,75/10) – I give up. I can’t take it anymore, I don’t want to watch this. This show moves way too fast, and yet at the end of the day it doesn’t really accomplish anything. The summer holiday arc in particular stands out: that could actually have been a good story with a good concept behind it, but things moved at such a rate that they were impossible to properly follow unless you’ve played the games. AIC was already one of my least favorite production companies out there, and seeing how they treated what could have been an interesting story doesn’t really make that better.
#26 (new) – Zero no Tsukaima – (6/10) – Thank god that this is the final one. There are just too many bad points about this show that it’s seemingly impossible for it to redeem itself to me at this point.
#25 (new) – Brave10 – (6/10) – I lasted about two and a half episodes for this one. This series is just crap: bishies fighting each other who are way too busy trying to look cool, amongst a female lead who grows exponentially more annoying with every single episode.
#24 (16) – Guilty Crown – (6,75/10) – I realized something this month: the creators are making up this story as they go along, don’t they? I mean, previously this series was just bland. This month however, something changed. What caught my attention above all is how incredibly convenient everything that Shu pulled out of his ass was. Never before were the things he did here hinted at all, and all of them turned out to be exactly what he needed at exactly the right time. I mean, this is even worse than Code Geass:at least that series realized it made no sense and just went to hell with it. This show is actually trying to take itself seriously at the same time. It’s very jarring to see the entire cast suddenly make a 180 degree leap in personality while crap like this goes on at the same time. I mean, Mirai Nikki may have plotholes, but even they aren’t as blatant as the stuff that this series pulls.
#23 (new) – Recorder to Randoseru – (7/10) – I can’t get anything out of this series. It’s just a collection of pointless skits that are all just forced. Once in a while it gets a good joke, but most of them are just badly delivered or just don’t work n the first place. It’s also just too short to just build up for anything, really.
#22 (new) – Kill me Baby – (7,25/10) – I’ve also dropped this series. It’s better than I expected, but in the end it’s just a collection of random gags that fall flat more often than not. Over the course of four episode, there is nothing that really progressed or changed, so I see no point in continuing this thing.
#21 (new) – Area no Kishi – (7,5/10) – The problem with this series is that it’s really inspired by Adachi. Sure, it’s about football techniques while Adachi’s series are more about slice of life, but this month was entirely centered around the big Adachi inspired twist. And sorry, but with that in mind, I just can’t help but compare and realize how bloody melodramatic that was.
#20 (15) – Bakuman – (7,5/10) – It’s getting harder and harder to watch this series. I thought that things were missing, and that the first season could be more exciting. I did not expect the creators to turn this into a bloody soap opera. The drama between the characters is just completely annoying and uninteresting. And the bad twists just keep coming. It’s still interesting to see these characters evolve, but I don’t want to watch 40 more episodes of this thing. Because it’s going to be so goddamn long, this one’s on the verge of being dropped.
#19 (new) – Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – (7,75/10) – Danshi Koukousei is a hit and miss comedy. When it misses, it’s very awkward. When it hits, it’s awesome. There are times when the characters aren’t really sure what personality they’re supposed to have, but the skits that work totally make up for it.
#18 (26) – Nisemonogatari – (7,75/10) – Don’t get me wrong: I really want to like this series. This series has a really good artistic direction. Heck, it’s actually more toned down than Bakemonogatari, and actually focuses on the characters instead of random scenery, eyeballs or blank screens. The story for once isn’t formulaic (or at least so far) and it actually devotes a lot of time to flesh out the characters. But seriously. This show has the most fanserivce of the entire season, and with High School DxD that’s really saying something here! It’s all incredibly pointless and grating. I mean, I understand that there’s functional nude: if nudity fits in this storyline, go ahead and show it. This show though is just showing episodes where characters randomly walk around naked for no particular reason, for the largest amount of their airtime! I mean, why bother giving the characters clothes at all if you’re going this route anyway?
#17 (new) – Listen Girls, I am your Father – (7,75/10) – I think that this one is the surprise of the season. It started off incredibly bad and generic, but there was a surprising amount of heart in the later episodes. Now please don’t turn this into another Astarotte no Omocha, because I like how down to earth this show has been so far. And drop the obvious fanservice, please.
#16 (new) – Thermae Romae – (7,75/10) – The best episode was episode 4. Episode3s 5 and 6 were a bit less interesting,but still it’s a very solid comedy overall. Also, I’m not asking for terrific animation. Heck, I’m just asking for animation on the level of Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki, where things actually do not feel like a bunch of cardboard cutouts sliding across the screen.
#15 (new) – Ano Natsu de Matteru – (7,75/10) – Look, I fully understand why this series gets its praises. The characters are well acted. It’s full of cliches, but everything about this series is well written and delivered. I still consider it a very good series. But the main cast just gets on my nerves too much. The lead character still is too much like the same annoying harem lead, and the romantic cliches in the scenario are just things of which I’ve seen too many to really enjoy at this point.
#14 (new) – Inu X Boku SS – (7,75/10) – This show has the potential to go into really interesting directions. With 3 episodes its themes are already quite engaging, but its big problem is that it’s too one-sided at the moment. This both goes for the drama, and the characters. The rest of the series will need more variety.
#13 (new) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8/10) – This turned out to be a very charming series with only five-minute episodes. It makes great use of its time (all skits re about 30 seconds long; compare that to Recorder to Randoseru which drags on its scenes beyond belief)and every skit has a lot of energy and well done punchlines to remain funny.
#12 (new) – Another – (8/10) – Another doesn’t seem to offer anything new, nor will it end up as one of the better horror series out there. Still, it is one thing: very solid. The dialogue is natural and detailed, outside of a few points here and there where it’s trying a bit too hard, and it already delivered a pretty solid atmosphere so far with some good build-up.
#11 (9) – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam – (8/10) – The big problem with Ginyoku no Fam is, well, Fam. Fifteen episodes in, and it still doesn’t really feel like she belongs in this series. Apart from that though, I still am really drawn into this series. The setting is still rock-solid and the series continues to expand upon it, the action is just amazing and the side characters are also growing more on me.
#10 (13) – Mirai Nikki – (8,25/10)
Mirai Nikki has improved a lot over the past month. It’s gotten more fun to watch, the characters have become more interesting and especially the dynamics between Yukiteru and Yuno improved here. The show still is full of plotholes, but something tells me that the author wasn’t particular on avoiding these things.
#9 (new) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,25/10)
The great thing about the three big sci-fi shows this season is that they’re all completely different, and yet none is inferior to the other. Mouretsu Pirates stands out with its slow execution, really allowing the characters to play themselves out. In the meantime it mixes this with hard sci-fi and interesting theories behind this setting. This series is laid-back, yet very interesting to watch. It’s definitely not what you’d expect based on the title and promo material.
#8 (new) – Aquarion Evol – (8,25/10)
This is another surprisingly fun series to watch. On paper a show that explores males versus females seems very dull, but this show actually made it a very fun series to watch. It also has the biggest production values of the season, and it really leads to a series with gorgeous visuals and music. The direction also is very good here and it’s a very engaging series so far.
#7 (new) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8,25/10)
Rinne no Lagrange has very sharp direction. The chemistry between the characters is quite witty, and it’s also taking care to subtly flesh out the setting it takes place in. It’s got characters who at first sight are annoying cliches, and yet turns out to be completely different. Like the other two big sci-fi shows, it’s consistently fun to watch.
#6 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)
As the series goes on more and more, ti also gets better and better. This was pretty much as expected though, because at this time this series still is very nearly the equivalent of just rewatching the first season. There are a few differences here and there, but I still don’t feel like they’re big enough to warrant this complete remake. The big difference between this series and Full Metal Alchemist – Brotherhood is that Brotherhood just took 15 episodes to get to the new content. At what point can we start to expect this series to reach new material? Episode 40 or something? The good news however is that the series has been a huge success, and Hunter X Hunter has actually managed to conquer a place in the top 10 of TV-ratings. So when we’ll finally get to the point where we’ll get new content, it’s pretty certain that they’ll extend this past the original 45 episodes that were promised. Of course, that brings along other problems of long running shounen, but let’s not worry about that one for now.
#5 (11) – Phi Brain – (8,25/10)
Phi Brain really surprised me in how good it became. Ever since Rook appeared, there hasn’t been a wasted moment, and it delivered some really good character development here, both on the side cast and the main cast. These people actually succeeded in making a show about solving puzzles.
#4 (10) – Tantei Opera Milki Holmes – (8,5/10)
This show is madness! Seriously, this is even crazier than the first season. Every episode so far has been completely hilarious and delivered some of the wtf-like scenarios. The acting and performances are also completely hyperactive and full of energy, and the animation is also really well done. If you’re looking for something with a ton of energy, then look no further. This show thrives on being completely stupid and crazy, and I really like how it’s being delivered so far.
#3 (4) – Chihayafuru – (8,75/10)
Chihayafuru has surpassed itself this month. There was so much emotion put into just this one tournament, and the creators perfectly went into the heads of the lead characters. It was everything that a mid-climax should be. The big question now is: how the heck are they going to finish it?
#2 (2) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (9/10)
This season started with a rock-solid set of episodes. In fact, it’s had the best opening episodes of any season of Natsume so far. Where the third season was all about Natsume’s development, this is more varied, and has a bit of everything here. And somehow, all of them work really well. This show is both heart-warming as tense, and this series is still happily adding all kinds of details to Natsume’s character, as if it’s far from done yet.
#1 (3) – Hyouge Mono – (9/10)
Well, it took a while, but in this month we finally got to see the finale of Hyouge Mono. And it really was worth the wait. The way in which this series decided to close off was really well chosen, and it set a really high standard for the other endings for the rest of the year. We can only hope that they’ll make more series like this.