At first I thought that this would be a season that would at least be exciting. In the end, what stood out about the most is how many series make me go wtf this time. And they just keep increasing. And really: while there aren’t any absolute classics here, it does make this season really fun to watch and keep up with.
#20 (24) – Guilty Crown – (6,25/10) – In its first half, Guilty crown was offensively boring. Right now however, it’s just plain offensively bad. The plot twists it pulls just are consistently pulled out of its ass, and yet at the same time it’s not really going anywhere. It’s not fun; the characters are obnoxious and Shu is still a terrible character who randomly changes every episode, yet remains consistently obnoxious. Please Noitamina, don’t make writing of this level to be the new standard for your new shows. I know it sold well and all, but for god’s sake this should never become the norm!
#19 (new) – Smile Precure – (7/10) – Here is the thing, Smile Precure: I know you’ve got a big audience who will watch you no matter what, but that’s no excuse to just be completely boring at the start. You can be amazing halfway through, but if you don’t give us a reason to keep watching, then that’s all for naught. All I’ve seen so far are a bunch of dull introduction episodes. There are no major side-characters whatsoever other than the Precure, the standard bad guys and that mascot thing. This show is nowhere near as bad as Suite Precure’s opening, but at the same time I also see no hints that it’ll get better later on.
#18 (new) – Black Rock Shooter – (7/10) – Halfway in, and I’m not very impressed by this series. The biggest reason is because of how incredibly forced the drama and angst is. I could have lived with relatively little focus on the Black Rock Shooter world (because really: that one has even less depth), but the angst is way too forced, and just there for the sake to create drama. It’s gotten very annoying now. Mari Okada, you disappoint me.
#17 (17) – Listen Girls, I am Your Father – (7,5/10) – This show is not like Kimi to Boku. That show used it annoyance to somehow become good. Papa however, is annoying, only to become heart-warming afterwards. It’s nowhere as neatly meshed, especially when the girls take a bath for the umpth time. This show is worth it for the small moments that really are heart-warming, but the rest of the airtime tends to be rather boring.
#16 (15) – Ano Natsu de Matteru – (7,75/10) – Ano Natsu got dominated this month with that cliche-filled beach arc. Sure, the characters developed a bit, but it was all predictable and the fanservice was pointless and obnoxious, not to mention that the annoying harem subplot also didn’t really steer this show into a good direction. I will have to say though that I am at least glad that this show is heading somewhere.
#15 (11) – Last Exile – Ginyoku no Fam – (7,75/10) – I’m very iffy about Last Exile at the moment: it’s not like Fam is badly developed or anything, and I want to like her, but most of the time she just doesn’t belong in this series. Overall the “war is bad themes” of this series are starting to get a bit boring, and the world building isn’t really bringing anything new to the table at this point. I really fear whether this show would be able to deliver a solid climax.
#14 (19) – Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou – (8/10) – This show is a hit and miss comedy: it’s cringe-worthy when a joke falls flat, but it’s also hilarious and very creative when it actually works. The ration at the moment seems to hang steady around 50:50, and at the very least I admire it for this creativity here. It’s not the best comedy of the season, though.
#13 (14) – Inu X Boku SS – (8/10) – Inu X Boku is nothing special, especially for David Production’s standards. And yet, it’s consistently able to put a smile on my face. Even though the characters are simplistic, they are also heart-warming in a way. It’s a bit shallow, but very charming.
#12 (7) – Rinne no Lagrange – (8/10) – Out of the three big mecha/sci-fi shows this season, Rinne no Lagrange is the only one who dulled in a bit this month. This is mostly due to time spent on building up, but the fact remains that lately it hasn’t been as sharp as it used to, though it did offer solid character building. Now all that’s left is to use it.
#11 (18) – Nisemonogatari – (8,25/10)
I actually really liked this month for Nisemonogatari. Fially the plot was about something meaningful other than mostly fanservice, and the animation really is gorgeous as well. I also really liked the way in which the Karen arc ended. And then there was the toothbrush scene. Just… wtf.
#10 (10) – Mirai Nikki – (8,25/10)
It’s about bloody time, but the character development has finally kicked in. And indeed: this show has become a lot more entertaining compared to the first half. In particular Yukiteru has become much more interesting to watch now. It’s nothing deep and it’s still full of plotholes and bad twists and all, but it’s just so over the top entertainment that at this point, I don’t mind.
#9 (13) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,25/10)
I love this show. In only five minutes it consistently tells fun little stories about the entire cast, and really brings them alive. The creative jokes just keep coming, but on top of that: it also fleshes out who the characters are in a really fun way by showing a very good look at their everyday lives. half of the jokes don’t even involve Poyopoyo but instead are about how they live their lives.
#8 (8) – Aquarion Evol – (8,25/10)
The romantic comedy really is not a genre that I’m often into, and I find the vast majority of these series to be dull and trite. Aquarion Evol is a major exception though. It just has this energy, on top of its just bizarre context and sexual undertones. This month has continued to explore the “males versus females”-themes and it did so with some solid character-building arcs that made the collective cast very enjoyable to watch. The music still is completely awesome, and the graphics still look incredibly flashy.
#7 (9) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,25/10)
This really is the stand-out series in terms of characters feeling real. In this series, there are hardly any stereotypes, and the acting is very believable, and this only solidified more this month. It’s clear that Tatsuo Sato is behind the helm of this series, because it really takes its time to let everything play out. Because of that it’s not the most exciting series yet, but in terms of character and world building it really is excellent. This month also put a lot of focus on politics and really took its audience seriously when it discussed everything involved in being a pirate.
#6 (6) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,5/10)
This month featured the conclusion of the Hunter Exam arc. As usual there were things that I liked and things that I liked a little less when comparing it to the 1999 series, but the things I liked are getting better and better. I am disappointed that this adaptation didn’t spend the same amount of care to Gon’s final fight (an episode that I considered in the 1999 version to be absolutely fantastic), and the cast of side characters is noticeably weaker and less interesting, but the character development on the main cast is still really, really good.
#5 (12) – Another – (8,5/10)
What really makes Another stand out as a horror series is how down to earth the characters are. The acting here is top-notch, and because of that the contrast with the brutal gore really stands out. This show has some very interesting build-up and the atmosphere is still excellent. \
#4 (5) – Phi Brain – (8,5/10)
Phi Brain has yet again just gotten better and better this month. I’m really surprised at how engaging this show has gotten, but the character development just continues to push the characters forward. I just have to wonder: how on earth are the creator planning to top this for the second season?
#3 (4) – Tantei Opera Milky Holmes – (8,5/10)
This month had both the most and least entertaining episode of the second season, so it’s a bit hard to judge. When at its stride though, it was absolutely hilarious and without a doubt the biggest WTF of the entire season (and with this season, that has to say something). In particular the train episode was just glorious.
#2 (2) – Natsume Yuujin-Chou – (8,75/10)
Not as strong as the previous month, but this series still stands on top of the season with its well thought out stories about youkai. The fourth season is really dedicated to develop everyone around Natsume, and it’s doing a great job at that. My one complaint is that some parts (like Nyanko-sensei) are getting a bit repetitive.
#1 (3) – Chihayafuru – (8,75/10)
This series has been as solid as ever. Where it lacks in varietyk it more than makes up in character development, giving every major character enough time to play out, and it always finds something meaningful for every character in every episode. Now that’s good writing, especially considering how it’s been doing that throughout the entire series now.