This season is massive! Seriously, do you know when the last time was that I ended up listing 49 or more series during my monthly summaries? October 2006. And back then I didn’t watch raws yet, and I included series from past seasons that hadn’t finished yet, along with a bunch of really old series. This season definitely is something special in terms of all of the series that have come out that are trying something interestingand trying to stand out.
Does that mean that we’ve got one of the best seasons ever? Well, no. There is a lot of mediocrity in this season, not to mention there are too many series of only 13 episodes for it to be really able to rival the major seasons like Spring 2006, Spring 2007 and Autumn 2008. I made the mistake in the past of announcing a season as awesome right at the start (did that to both Summer and Autumn 2011), so I’m not going to do that until this season is finished. But damn: things look good here.
#49 (new) – Sengoku Collection – (2,25/10) – Oda Nobunaga… what have they done to you? Dropped.
#48 (new) – Naruto SD – (2,75/10) – The forced attempts at comedy were horrible to watch. Dropped.
#47 (new) – Pretty Rythm – (3/10) – Even for a kids’ show, this one was bad. It was nothing but one girl whine over and over and over and she would just never shut up. Do kids really enjoy watching those kinds of characters?
#46 (new) – Queens Blade – (3/10) – Completely retarded. Also, boobs. Dropped.
#45 (23) – Hiiro no Kakera – (4,5/10) – I tried giving this a second chance, but bailed out immediately. This is an incredibly generic bishie show that is badly acted and has absolutely nothing that stands out whatsoever. Dropped
#44 (new) – Upotte – (5/10) – Wow. That first episode’s only sense of humour came from having random innuendo jokes about guns. Xebec, I really see that you’ve exerted yourself on this one… Dropped.
#43 (new) – Ginga he Kickoff – (5,75/10) – Very annoying lead character. Dropped.
#42 (new) – Recorder to Randsell – (6,25/10) – The gimmick of this series has worn off for me. It’s nice and all for one episode, but two entire seasons of this. It needs to try harder for me. Having “being a cute premise” as the only redeemable factor is not enough for me to keep watching. Dropped.
#41 (new) – Haiyore Nyaruko-San – (6,4/10) – This show also is a gimmick that’s a bit fun for just one episode, but not much more. Yeah, she is an insult to the works of Lovecraft, let’s have a laugh and then drop this to move on. Dropped.
#40 (20) – Ozuma – (6,6/10) – So in the end, what did Ozuma really do? This month brought in some of the background of this series, but that’s what it was: just background that that one girl read as from a script. It made no impact on the rest of the show whatsoever and could have been omitted without changing anything else about the show.
#39 (new) – Yurumates – (6,9/10) – 2 minutes of random college antics. It didn’t capture my interest. Dropped.
#38 (new) – Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – (7/10) – I gave up on this show when it tried to recycle its gimmicks from the first season.
#37 (new) – Tasogare Otome X Amnesia – (7/10) – The guys over at Silver Link really need to learn about how to get characters to act properly. This is their umpth show of theirs that might have been interesting, if only it wasn’t so badly acted. Especially the female sidekick who can’t see ghosts was a pain to watch. I’d almost say: drop all the visual effects, and focus on your basics and priorities. Dropped.
#36 (new) – Gon – (7/10) – Another gimmick show: it’s fun to watch for one episode, but after that it dies off. Dropped.
#35 (new) – Accel World – (7,1/10) – Interesting premise, but the execution leaves things to be desired. Annoying main character who doesn’t belong in this series, Wastes too much time with boring exposition, has no interesting characters whatsoever. I see no potential for this one in the long run, unfortunately.
#34 (new) – Acchi Kocchi – (7,25/10) – Acchi Kocchi is… just there, I guess. It’s just a bunch of high schoolers doing random stuff with its annoying and cute moments. I could find nothing that really stood out or made it more than just random fluff, though. Dropped
#33 (new) – Folktales from Japan – (7,4/10) – Random Folk Tales. They were interesting from a cultural point of view, even though they really played on what a bitch Karma tends to be. It’s not interesting enough to continue watching, though. Dropped.
#32 (new) – Jewel Pet – (7,4/10) – Getting the director of Milky Holmes and Lilpri to do Jewel Pet. Whoever found that kind of madness a good idea? The result was a bizarre first episode that was funny as a gimmick, but unsustainable in the long run. Dropped
#31 (new) – Kuromajo-San ga Tooru – (7,5/10) – Cute, but not cute enough for me to spend my time on. Needs to try harder. Dropped
#30 (new) – Shining Hearts – Shiawase no Pan – (7,5/10) – I don’t care if you’ve got an interesting story. If you don’t try to show this off, then how am I supposed to know? This series really needs more ambition. Try to stand out like a lot of the other shows are trying to do, for god’s sake. Dropped.
#29 (new) – Saki Episode of Side A – (7,5/10) – The problem with Saki is that its characters are quite charming, but its mahjong is an insult. With the first two episodes, I saw no hints that this time it’ll be different, so I’m bailing out while I still can. Dropped.
#28 (new) – Arashi no Yoru ni – (7,6/10) – In the end, this series suffers from too much competition. I had to cut out some series, and I have already seen this story and it is overacted.
#27 (17) – Smile Precure – (7,75/10) – In the end I dropped this series. It’s a nice show and all, but this season has way too much competition.
#26 (new) – Kuroko no Basuke – (7,75/10) – This had some fun first episodes, but I see no future in this series as a shounen jump adaptation. There is no potential for the characters to improve, it probably will drag on with random opponents that also have shounen-like powers. I feel like I’ve seen all that’s good about this series in just the first episode. Dropped.
#25 (new) – Medaka Box – (7,75/10) – I can see potential in this series. The writing shows that it knows what it’s doing, but at other times it’s aggravating to watch and how everyone keeps going on about how perfect Medaka is. This is a show where it really stands out that it violates the “show, don’t tell”-principle, and it’s not like I’m often bothered by that.
#24 (new) – AKB0048 – (7,75/10) – The plot just makes no sense whatsoever! It has potential though, because at least the characters are bearable enough to continue past the first episode.
#23 (new) – Sankarea – (7,9/10) – Here is the thing: that third episode was really, really good. That’s the reason why I haven’t dropped this yet, and I have to admit that Rea is very well acted and interesting to watch. My big problem is that most of the rest of the cast isn’t, in particular that cousin and the other classmates of the lead character.
#22 (new) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8/10) – Saint Seiya’s problem is that it stays a bit in the shadows of everything. On one hand it’s still in the shadows of Heartcatch Precure and Casshern, who both were written much better and had much more interesting characters, and it’s overshadowed by the rest of this season being incredibly good and good-looking as well.
#21 (new) – Jormungand – (8,1/10) – Slick action in a gritty setting, with characters who can’t stop snarking. So yeah, that combination didn’t work in this show’s favor, but as a gun-slinging show it still is quite entertaining and holds a lot of potential.
#20 (7) – Aquarion Evol – (8,1/10) – Aquarion Evol is in the middle of a bunch of training arcs. To make up for this dull-sounding premise, it has made this some of the weirdest training arcs in a long while. This show has gotten completely bizarre at this point. Whether the character-development worked or not depends on the finale, though, because the character-development has been a bit unimpressive. Especially Zessica is in the danger zone.
#19 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8,25/10)
The thing with Nen is that in order to realize how amazing it is, you first need to sit through a bit of explanation about how it works. It’s gonna be worth it, though. I’d also like to say something about the animation in this series: it does have Madhouse’s trademark CG and the inbetween animation can be quite smooth at times. But it’s all feels too much like manga panels that move around. It misses some dynamic movement. Some extra touches on the animation, and I mean more than once in a while showing a character who is shaded really well. Give me interesting movement.
#18 (new) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8,25/10)
The peculiar thing about this season is that in terms of pure comedies, there isn’t a lot noteworthy, if you ignore series like Uchuu Kyoudai, where the comedy isn’t the main focus. I could only find two good comedy shows this season, one of which is Poyopoyo which carried over from the previous season. Still, it’s a genre that is over-saturated, so I don’t mind. Poyopoyo still is awesome in how it consistently manages to take everyday situations for cat owners and make them fun. It’s also surprisingly sadistic at times.
#17 (new) – Hyouka – (8,25/10)
A Kyoani series I care about for once! Great animation and dialogue. The big potential pitfall of this series will be taking too long to build up; something that plagues a lot of Kyoani series.
#16 (new) – Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199 – (8,25/10)
They actually gave a new coat over the original Yamato series. The first episode followed the plot of the first episode of the TV-series, but a lot was added to it, and the creators still nailed the epic feeling of the good Matsumoto Leiji series. I’m keeping my eye on this.
#15 (new) – Legend of Korra – (8,25/10)
This really is an exception. I am not going to watch Avatar. I do not have the time for that and there are too many other things that I want to spend my time on. Nevertheless, to keep track of this every week is just enough. What I really like about this is how it subverts Korra’s status as a hero and plays with it.
#14 (new) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8,25/10)
This series has no business being as good as it is, and yet, I love it. It’s just about a cafe run by a polar bear that has a penguin and a panda among its regular guests. The panda in particular is very annoying. But this show completely nailed all of these characters and their random conversations. It’s brilliant in how it uses the fact that the characters are nearly all animals and how they behave.
#13 (new) – Eureka Seven Ao – (8,25/10)
Interesting setting, completely different from Eureka Seven’s setting. The action is very solid as well, and the characters also are well acted. I like how there are many different parties with all their own interests. This show is building up to something very interesting here.
#12 (5) – Phi Brain – (8,25/10)
The new season has a ton of potential… IF the creators use it. If not, then it can also come crashing down horribly. That’s the kind of double-sided sword that brainwashing is. So far though, things are looking good with some nice side-character development. The visuals also look prettier compared to the first season.
#11 (new) – Kimi to Boku – (8,4/10)
The advantage this season has over the first: we already know the cast, and they’re already a bit developed. That has made this season much more bearable, and even though the blond kid still is annoying, it’s much less apparent compared to how he was in the past. The result is a very charming slice of life series that really knows its drama.
#10 (10) – Mirai Nikki – (8,4/10)
A fun and exciting ending to conclude the series with. This show really went over the top and delivered some very unexpected plot twists. It had some humps along the way, but with the finale I am still glad to have kept up with it.
#9 (new) – Nazo no Kanojo X – (8,4/10)
A very weird show, but I must say that the interplay between the two main characters is very entertaining to watch. It’s also got a terrific soundtrack.
#8 (new) – Tsuritama – (8,4/10)
This is the most grounded work of Kenji Nakamura to date: it’s just a show about a bunch of guys and fishing. It’s still really fun and uplifting, with a lot of quirky and fun characters to watch, on top of quite an artistic look. Can it live up to his other works in terms of depth, though?
#7 (new) – Natsuiro Kiseki – (8,5/10)
Natsurio Kiseki is forced. But considering its premise, it’s no wonder, and the creators make perfect use of this. Every episode had the girls find out something new about themselves, or come to terms with something,resulting into them growing as a character. This show loves to play around with its cast and put them into interesting situations. And really: the four of them work really well together.
#6 (6) – Mouretsu Pirates – (8,5/10)
Mouretsu Pirates has actually gotten better over the past month. The most recent developments are a bit forced to get all of the characters at the right places, but the result of this is incredibly fun and interesting science fiction.
#5 (new) – Lupin The Third – (8,5/10)
Very artistic and mature. You can really see that the creators are trying to turn this into a fun adventure, while also emphasizing on how incredibly feminine Mine Fujiko is. The result has style, and it’s quite fun, even for someone who isn’t a fan of the Lupin franchise. It’s in any case the most unique series of the season.
#4 (new) – Zetman – (8,5/10)
Having not read the manga, I have no idea how good that was, and I don’t care. Zetman is a very fine show with a lot of heart put into it. The animation really knows how to accentuate the characters’ faces, and the acting is bold and gripping. This show stands out, and it has really grabbed my attention, and for that I’m willing to overlook some pacing issues. In fact, I’d say that despite these issues, it still manages to know which scenes to focus on, instead of trying to rush through everything equally.
#3 (new) – Fate/Zero – (8,75/10)
Fate/Zero has really been fired off in this new season, wasting no time and showing huge developments in nearly all of its episodes. The wait after all of this build up was definitely worth it. Episode 2 also was a visual orgasm.
#2 (new) – Sakamichi no Apollon – (9/10)
The star of this season. I can’t believe how well this show is executed. The animation when the characters are playing instruments is incredible, and the best that any television series has ever been in portraying musicians. The drama between the characters is also amazingly well acted. The creators managed to put so much emotion into this series. Oh, and Yoko Kanno… she really delivers on the soundtrack for this one.
#1 (new) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9/10)
In a season with so much competition, Uchuu Kyoudai stands very confidently at the top with pretty much the best characters of the season. No other show comes close to the amount of development that these guys have already had, and Mutta is an absolutely wonderful character to watch. It’s all just so down to earth and incredibly fun to watch. Now let the rumour that this will have 51 episodes be true!