Posted by psgels on 9 June 2012 with categories: Spring 2012 Kaleidoscope

#1: The Legend of Korra – 08: This episode caught me off-guard. Every time I thought “oh, they’re finished now”, it only got even better. This had it all: excellent action, it was full of emotion, it played with Korra’s hypocrisy and touchy politics. The best episode of this series yet, without a doubt. – *** (Awesome)

#2: Nazo no Kanojo X – 09: I already had a suspicion when the episode started up, and a quick look-up on ANN confirmed it: yes, Shigeyasu Yamauchi was behind this episode, and he really succeeded in making an already excellent adaptation even better. This episode was even more expressive than usual, and his camera-angles and different poses that focus on subtle movements really brought the characters to life here. – *** (Awesome)

#3: Saint Seiya Omega – 10: Okay… I was originally intending to drop this series; it still hadn’t caught my attention, but I figured that I might as well give it one more episode. And then this episode proceeded to surpass the entire series in every single way: better acting, better action, better music and better use of it, there is better character-development and the plot got a lot more interesting, not to mention that the drama also finally delivered. A quick look-up revealed that Rie Matsumoto was behind this episode, and it really shows. Keep an eye out for her, because she really is Toei’s latest rising star, and let’s hope that the next episode can keep up with this momentum. – *** (Awesome)

#4: Natsuiro Kiseki – 10: And with this, this series is back to its old level. The rock was at its trollish best again, and the entire episode was just based on a great idea with time travel. This one was all about youth memories, and a really creative way to show more about the cast when they were young. – **+ (Excellent+)

#5: Shirokuma Cafe – 10: A hilarious episode. It pretty much was the best use of Panda in the series so far. He is such a troll, and this episode had a ton of fun with that by having a group date with Handa of all people. Penguin also was priceless in this episode. – ** (Excellent)

#6: Kimi to Boku – 22: Very cute episode, again with great romance. Plus, having a graduation ceremony has been done many times before, but it is a great way for character-development. – ** (Excellent)

#7: Sankarea – 10: This series really is trying to get its basics right: background, background and more background. This is the third episode that just takes one of the members of the cast and devotes the majority of its time to show her background and her issues, this time it was the mother’s turn. And really: this was good. It showed who she is, why she is with that asshole of a father and how she changed over the years. Plus: none of the annoying characters made an appearance! Or at least a conscious one. – ** (Excellent)

#8: Medaka Box – 10: And we’re over nine thousand here with Medaka Box. This episode was not as creative as last week, but the change of tone really is apparent here and I like how the creators pulled all of the plugs, while still remaining consistent in the themes it explores. – *+ (Great)

#9: Jormungand – 09: An episode of contrast. It worked very nicely, with the combination of an escort mission giving a new dynamic to this series, while on the other side the small moments take enough time for the characterization of the main cast. The fanservice was annoying though, and this series chronically ignores to give any sort of interesting background or touches to the villains beyond the basics. – *+ (Great)

#10: Hunter X Hunter – 34: That one scene with the electricity: that’s where the animators finally loosened up a bit, and there were other scenes during Killua’s fight that finally had a direction that didn’t seem like it was pasted from manga-panels. The rest of this episode had plenty of those shots, but it’s definitely good to have a start here. What I also appreciate is that the creators bothered to fully let this arc play out, even though that meant having a few repetitive fights. – *+ (Great)

#11: Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – 22: This week’s episode was a cute story about a crow. Nothing stand-out hilarious for this series’ standards, but it remained very cute. – *+ (Great)

NB. Yes, Poyopoyo is actually last this week. What that means is that pretty much every series on this list delivered and was really enjoyable to watch, and I have very little to bitch about. That’s the great thing about this season: the huge quantity of series worth watching.

NB2. Overall, I’m really enjoying doing these rankings each week with short summaries. I’ll probably do this next season as well.

23 Responses

  1. Juno says:

    The screenplay of Korra was, surprisingly, very articulate. I also like how we now have a good guy who just may be worse than the bad guy himself. It can easily turn into typical villain fare, but the build up so far was excellent and the series has yet to let me down. I hope it continues to be this awesome~

  2. Kim says:

    Glad you are enjoying Korra. Now I still recommend Avatar. Korra has the better plot & stronger villains, but Avatar has the better cast of characters & more interesting setting. Either way they are both fantastic.

    Anyways while I think Korra is flawed, I don’t agree she is the same as the villains. She makes mistakes (and definitely relies on fighting a bit too much) but ultimately her heart is in the right place. Otherwise Tarrlok saying she bullied people would not have got to her so much.

  3. AidanAK47 says:

    About Nazo no Kanojo X. I thought this episode actually terrible quality. Yamauchi’s style that made it worse, not better. The animation suddenly got cut down to lip flaps and very little movement was present. The lighting changes were distracting. Not to mention I was looking forward to another animated scissor attack as the first one was animated beautifully. But instead I got that rubbish animation saving technique.
    I don’t want people shafting this anime.

  4. Nic says:

    Tarlock’s accusation to Korra she was being hypocritical isn’t true, it’s just a ploy to get to her. But Korra has shown progression. She’s getting closer to learning air bending and it shows by the way she’s now able to let things slide instead of letting emotion get the best of her.

    For one, she could have attacked him in front of witnesses, she cooled down and went to Tenzen instead of playing into his game. And she successfully deflected Tarlock’s accusation that she bullies people by claiming he’s just as bad as Amon, which set him off and made him attack Korra.

    She may not have realized it but she’s getting very close to learning air bending and developing the spiritual side that she’s lacking so far.

    • bobzilla21 says:

      I disagree, Korra is a hypocrite. Or perhaps more accurately, her being the Avatar makes her a hypocrite. The idea beind the Avatar is to give a person vast amount of power to suppress things that may upset peace in the world. Amon and Tarrlok are also both using power to suppress people that upset peace in the world. True, both Amon and Tarrlok both hold very opposite and extreme views, but all 3 assert power to get what they want. Korra’s stance may be more justified, but that doesn’t change the fact that her methods are similar.

      • Nic says:

        No, she isn’t. There is a major distinction with someone policing to keep peace and a bully. Are the police bullies for arresting people who committed crimes? Of course not.

        But in Korra, Tarlock used the police force to arrest and detain innocent people, proving he is a bully using his power to suppress dissident speech.

        Meanwhile, Korra, even though she would have been somewhat justified to use force, declined to do so. She used her powers to suppress and arrest TERRORISTS. Not innocent people but major criminals.

        Had she just barged in and attacked Tarlock to force him into submission to stop him from oppressing the people, he might have a point. But she didn’t. She used her position to try to get him to reconsider what he’s doing. Although she was aggressive, she only used force against him in self-defense.

        Not every instance of ‘using force/powers’ means you’re a bully. That’s why Tarlock’s argumentation is inherently crap. I can’t believe people are foolish enough to agree with him. It’s just pure political ‘the others are just as bad’ drivel to justify doing whatever the fuck he wants.

  5. james says:

    I’m totaly agree with (bobzilla21): Korra is a HYPOCRITE.

  6. JaK says:

    da fck tarlock used blood bending :O i thought kitara was the only remianing water bender who knew that secret

    • Anca says:

      Blood bending? x_X way to god mode water mages. EVERYTHING is mostly made of water, not just blood.

      • Juno says:

        I don’t remember much about blood bending in Avatar: The Last Airbender, but… I believe that one who can harness the powers of their element does not necessarily know how to focus down to a minimal level. Meaning, only a few earth benders would be able to bend metal because metal can have small mixtures of earth in it. In the case of water bending, I believe blood bending is something that takes the small amount of water in one’s blood and moves it around. It needs a lot of concentration and knowledge for the user to do it right without destroying the other person’s body. Katara was the only one who figured it out, but I believe even she decides she doesn’t want to use it ever again after she “masters” it.

        • KaZuHiRo says:

          Well there was only one episode in Avatar that featured blood bending. It was a water mage who are “spiriting away” some people in her village. Katara learned of this technique and used it against her.

    • starry says:

      I think its definitely possible for one to figure out how to bloodbend on their own. Hama, the original bloodbender figured it out all by herself and she’s locked up with no resources to the outside world.

      However they’ve got to explain how can he do it without drawing power from the full moon.

  7. kkkaza says:

    I did notice some changes to the direction/production of HunterxHunter, specially in the fight Scenes… I hope it means to get even better in the YorkShin Arc, because that an Arc that deserves being beautifully animated

  8. Tomtom says:

    Really happy with legend of Korra so far. It’s pretty rare for this type of sequel (completely new characters) to be as good as-, or perhaps even better than the orginal. I like how it has a new and fresh atmosphere, while also being very true to the original in terms of art and setting.

  9. blackstar says:

    but aang was the best his charaktar and the last 2 ep.of fire book were epic i dont think legend of kora is better than aang’s story (so fAR)

    • Juno says:

      I think the strength for Korra lies in its setting and plot. The political direction is very mature, too. It lacks in character development, though. Sure, we have characters who are interesting, for the most part, but in the span of the past 8 episodes, we haven’t had nearly any actual development in them. Things happen, and the things that happen are exciting and intense… but some of my friends who like to really pay attention to character development are not that convinced.

      But whatever. I like it. And they have plenty of room for development if they play it right. =P

  10. DuelEX says:

    Having watched both the original Saint Seiya and its prequel spin-off Lost Canvas, I say that there is only one episode in each that can compare to the level of drama and suspense presented on this one from Omega (which says a lot since the original and the spin-off were aimed at a more matured audiences). Also, this episode has the Bronze Saints acting smart and taking time to come up with a plan, which is a nice change.

  11. Juno says:

    I agree that it has to do with writing. What we have now in Saint Seiya is someone respected, who was assigned to write for a major part of the series. I doubt we’ll see a good level of consistency, but I can see them bringing in some good writers again for the other big developments. And that is part of the reason I like to watch these shows. It’s their “blandness” that makes instances like this stand out, with some excellent direction. Not to say the good stuff is just made to seem good in comparison, but that all the “blandness” is there to give us something to look forward to later.

    • DuelEX says:

      I think thing that Omega is really that “bland”, but it does has its peaks and valleys (as Jack said, a lot of peaks tend to involve Gold Saints), unlike Lost Canvas which may have the most dramatic episode but it gets drown out by all the heart-wrenching moments is has throughout.

  12. Jack says:

    Funny thing about SS Omega is that, just like the original series, whenever a Gold Saint shows up it gets ten times better…

  13. Hogart says:

    Please do continue these blurb-style rankings, psgels. In fact, it might be best to reserve your full blog posts to whatever shows deserve to be talked about the most in a given week, rather than forcing it for specific shows. That way you can focus on what you want to talk about the most, and you can even use split posts like you’re doing for Aquarion and AKB when time is short or you just want to contrast two show’s approaches or something like that.

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:54 AM)
    The episode was alright and felt dense as I watched it, but in hindsight only really moved the plot forward incrementally. Lancer not untying Tohsaka as soon as he killed Kirei and then not killing Shinji when he clearly had the chance left a bad taste in my mouth. That and Shirou’s heavy plot armor at this point is becoming reminiscent of another famous anime dual-wielder. Not a compliment.
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 05:46 AM)
    UBW 20 felt like another rendition of Eva 26 (Take care of yourself), complete with character analysis, battle with one’s Jungian Shadow, and loosely Buddhist ideas of self-actualization. It even featured the repetitive monologue shots that fade to black (with “I saw Hell” instead of Rei’s “Sky. Red, red sky”). It never went as far as Eva with “which way is up?” type of Soliloquy, but that’s probably a good thing.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 20

This episode wasn’t quite what I expected. It is true that I didn’t get the big fight I was looking for, though there were clashes going on. However this still was a very good episode. So on the matters of Kirei, Rin, Lancer and Shinji it was all done perfectly. Well there was this weird […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 3-6

So far the focus has been pretty heavily on Tsumugi, the chimera. Who is strangely moefied. Its really odd to see what is essentially a giant  tentacled monster display the characteristics of a innocent cutsy little girl. Still she is to me one of the better characters of the show. Untainted by the negative aspects […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 19

Oh my god, I can’t believe that Archer is the future Shirou Emiya!….said no one who watched this episode. But yes the cat is out of the bag. Archer is Shirou turned cynical and jaded after playing executioner for a couple of decades. There was a small bit showing how he contracted with the world […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 18

Well here it is. The name drop. The very thing the route is called after. And its….its…kinda bad. Of all the places to make the first visual blunder, why did it have to be here? Well Archers reality marble/noble phantasm Unlimited Blade Works was unleashed and Ufotable thought the best treatment would be to render […]

Knights of Sidonia S2 – 1-2

Even after a long break its nice to see that Sidonia hasn’t lost its edge. The story is still engaging and CG robot battles dynamic. However…was the CG this bad before? I remember it took some time to get used to the CG animation of the last season but this seems especially stiff. The easy […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 16

So at the start of this episode featured the big moment of Gilgamesh ripping out Illya’s heart and it was surprisingly underwhelming. It is true that in context this makes more sense and fits his character better. But it is a little disappointing. Strangely this wasn’t how it was in the visual novel and this […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 15

The word that encompasses this episode in a nutshell would be brutal. Whether you love her or hate her, I say few would believe that Illya deserved this fate. The tragedy is ever more pungent if you know the full details of her past. Anime only viewers may not get the most out of this […]

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Bladeworks – 14

As a reader of the Fate/stay night visual novel I can confirm that the majority of this episode was anime original content. However instead of being about castors history like I thought, it’s of his backstory with her first master. In all honestly making the episode be about her history with Jason would have been […]

Some Quick First Impressions: DanMachi, Denpa Kyoushi and Arslan Senki

Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darou ka Short Synopsis: Our protagonist wants to be an RPG pimp I am getting SAO reminders already. Let me talk about something for a moment. You see when I first played the game dark souls I was frustrated and angry at myself because of my own […]

Latest Reviews

Shirobako Review – 80/100

When you see a harem anime and sigh as the breasts of the female lead jiggle with every step and wind that can flip a skirt it’s easy to forget that somewhere in Japan a group of people worked hard to get that jiggle right and draw each frame of animation. The hardships of the […]

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]