Posted by psgels on 30 November 2012 with categories: Monthly Summaries

The best thing about this month was potential. Yes, there were so many good series. But the best part is that all of those series were just building up for later. There are so many shows that are already a joy to watch, yet haven’t even started. The promise here is amazing.

#22 (16) – Gintama – (5/10) – What the hell man? I love being trolled by anime, but Gintama. Did you seriously mean that you were just going to air a bunch of new episodes in front of a recap season? I really do not like that in the slightest, as I was finally enjoying this show again. This one got dropped really hard.
#21 (25) – Sword Art Online – (7.25/10) – I have not seen the latest episode yet, but I do have a very clear opinion on what happened during the past month: people freaking out over nothing does not work with this series. And don’t get me wrong, I often really like it when a series focuses on a small conflict or when something small is made really huge instead of just putting the world or country at stake, but when I see everyone making such a big deal over dying in an mmorpg… this show just completely loses me. Perhaps I lack the gamers mentality or something, but any conflict just feels meaningless to me. And it’s not like it’s impossible to do this with me: the way in which .Hack//Sign dealt with player deaths, I found that beautiful. This… is just a bunch of idiots getting worked up over nothing.
#20 (23) – Medaka Box – (7.4/10) – I’m still waiting for this show to get interesting. At this point it’s still too formulaic, and the only way in which this show stands out is how it tells about its different characters, without really showing much. It puts so much effort into explaining why all of these people are abnormal and all, that it forgets to do just about anything else. The action is dull, the comedy is dull the characters are boring. This is really what irks me so much about nishiOisin: he puts so much focus on one thing that he forgets everything else.
#19 (21) – Little Busters – (7.6/10) – It is such a shame that Little Busters was based on a dating sim. Because of that, it is obliged to follow all of the girls, and they are BAD. Badly acted, boring, not very interesting and quite often annoying. The guys in this series are much better. They are interesting to watch, have great personalities and have much more down to earth stories, like always failing, insomnia, etc. Focus on them, for christ’s sake. But no, we need to have sad girls for the moe.
#18 (20) – Teekyu – (7.75/10) – The thing with this show… it’s so accessible. I can just turn off my brains for two minutes and it’s over again. It’s completely non-sensical, but the animation, jokes and energy are actually quite enjoyable.
#17 (18) – K – (7.75/10) – K so far has been the biggest disappointment of the season. It’s not that it’s bad or something. The problem more is that it isn’t really anything at all. The major conflict turned out to be something incredibly simple that just isn’t interesting at all. The setting? Yeah, it’s a city that is well drawn (or photoshopped), that’s all there is to say about it. The characters? They’re fun. Again, that’s it: nobody stands out. Come on guys, be ambitious. Animation isn’t the only thing you can base your series on.
#16 (6) – Saint Seiya Omega – (7.75/10) – Saint Seiya… has gotten too dramatic right now. With the second half the characters are fighting this group of eleven golden saints who are so ridiculously overpowered that the creators are going to have to pull major power-ups out of their asses in order to get the characters to land even a single punch on them. I mean, I know that this is not realistic fighting and all, but the tension rather drops when a character first has all bones in his body broken, only to stand up and walk away like nothing happened. There is a limit to that kind of suspense of disbelief…
#15 (9) – Poyopoyo Kansatsu Nikki – (8/10) – And now, we’ve reached the dreaded part of any comedy: the conclusion! Especially for a long running comedy, you want something that is not incredibly formulaic, and I guess the timetrip back could have been worse… but it still is a big step down compared to what this show was like a month ago.
#14 (13) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8/10) – Shirokuma Cafe continues its trend of corny deadpan humour, and again this wasn’t its best month, but it did make me laugh like usual. There are some skits that just don’t work (the coffee ones, for example), and other running jokes just keep getting better (how the lama is useless for example). I’m not as excited about this show as what I used to be though.
#13 (14) – Btooom! – (8.1/10) – Btooom, let me ask one thing of you: please don’t make the female lead the girl that the male lead met in the past. I know you’re heavily hinting at it, but that would destroy her entire character. Aside from that, I really like the old man for some strange reason, and how helpless he is in most of the series. He’s definitely so far away from your usual sidekick, yet he is not overly exaggerated like the rest of the cast in this series. Btooom is playing out nicely, yet uneventful, but I fear that that climax is not going to be anything worthwhile.
#12 (17) – Sukitte Ii na Yo – (8.25/10)

This really was surprisingly good. At first this show seemed to go in the direction of smut, but that was entirely un-justified. This is just incredibly genuine, about a shy girl trying to find herself in her own romance, and getting the courage to talk about her feelings. This pretty much is what Kimi ni Todoke should have been because stuff actually happens, and the conflicts are meaningful in bringing out emotions, rather than forced.

#11 (15) – Magi – (8.25/10)

The angst feels like it’s missing something, but overall Magi has been incredibly solid as an adventure series: lovable characters with interesting growth, and a very consistent animation budget that really brings out their emotions. Add a solid plot and backdrop, and yeah: I’m enjoying this a lot.

#10 (12) – Robotics;Notes – (8.4/10)

Robotics;Notes slowly builds up its mystery, and what interesting mystery it is! The realism and supernatural combine quite well with each other and the characters living their lives is surprisingly interesting, albeit uneventful so far. The characters are far from as out there and recognizable as what they were in Steins;Gate, and they could definitely use some growth and development, but this month made a good start for that.

#9 (11) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8.4/10)

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo had one bad episode this month. In that it introduced the godawful clingy sister who failed to stand out from her stereotype in any way. That really needs to be fixed as soon as possible. Aside from that however, this series has been delightful: finally a shounen romantic comedy that has some actual good chemistry and interesting characters who really play off each other. The past episodes have been particularly good at combining drama and comedy with each other, and I love how it’s full of those tiny details that bring extra life to the characters. They may seem annoying stereotypes at first, but aside from the horrible, horrible sister, they’re all more and deeper than that, and the tension between them is actually really nice to watch.

#8 (8) – Jormungand – (8.4/10)

I’m still surprised at how much better Jormungand’s second season is. The key? Characterization. The way it explores its characters is much more interesting and varied. Characters are still snarky, but rather than their defining traits, it just becomes a smaller part of them. The additions to the characters make them much more varied than what they were in the first season.

#7 (5) – Kamisama Hajimemashita – (8.4/10)

Kamisama Hajimemashita’s endings are always awesome to watch, no exception. It’s a very solidly executed series with a lot of heart in it. I do get the feeling that it could have been a bit more than what it currently is though, especially since it just has 13 episodes. The strength of this show is how well it combines its comedy, drama, romance and plot together, but at its current pacing it feels like it’s trying to do too much at once, sacrificing that part.

#6 (4) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.4/10)

This month is not particularly better than the first month of Jojo, but nevertheless it’s still really enjoyable to watch how ridiculously over the top, and how it consistently pulls these elaborate powers out of the tiniest things. This story was its time far ahead.

#5 (10) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (8.5/10)

The pacing for this show is definitely interesting: the past month really has been dedicated to a lot of building up, background and character building, and what it’s building up is most definitely interesting. The characters have this unique bond between them that makes the build-up worth watching. Plus, the soundtrack still is fantastic.

#4 (7) – Psycho Pass – (8.6/10)

Psycho Pass is consistently improving. After two months its setting is really starting to come together with its themes. In every arc it takes a certain setting, and explores what would happen if a psychopath were to enter it, and given the tools for murder. Its focus is not so much on mystery, but rather on exploring the mindsets of the people involved with very good use of symbolism and classical references.

#3 (3) – From the New World – (8.75/10)

The animation for this series definitely caused a bit of controversy, but I personally love that this show pretty much said “screw it” to consistent animation, and instead focused on delivering interesting visuals with unconventional camera work. This series really takes nothing for granted, and with the single best story, character development and original setting of the series to debut this Autumn season, and yeah: this is still my favorite series of the bunch.

#2 (1) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.9/10)

December will be AWESOME. This month took care of the build-up, and we’ve finally gotten to my favorite part of Hunter X Hunter. And really: already this show has set itself miles apart from all other shounen shows with so many cunning characters being thrown at the same spot. Kurapika and his mindset in particular were just amazing this month. I don’t even care anymore which version is better, the 1999 version or the 2011: they both rock!

#1 (2) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (9/10)

It’s still amazing how much this series is able to do with its slow pacing. Mutta still is absolutely hilarious with his antics, but above that: this show put in so much detail on what all goes on for a launch to the moon. This month was full with defining moments for a ton of different characters. At this point I think that there is no character in this show that I don’t like: everyone here is just lovable.

29 Responses

  1. JaK says:

    lolol@ gintama post :D try to read the series summary before watching it before xD it said new episodes + recaps before it even aired

  2. TheUltimateReaper says:

    ‘m a long time fan of Gintama, and as a golden rule with most anime: I skip filler/recaps. I think Medaka Box is good. I enjoy the concepts and I think they are interesting, though the show is rather terribly acted. This Nov. has been a good month. As these shows near their ends I wonder what comes next.

  3. aidanak47 says:

    “It is such a shame that Little Busters was based on a dating sim.”

    V-I-S-U-A-L N-O-V-E-L. It’s a visual novel. There is a big difference between a dating sim and a visual novel. They are not the same thing. You have got to stop confusing them.

    • Sinisgood says:

      Especially since the original version of LB is non-ero, and Riki only really hooks up with one of the girls. Not so much a dating sim, as much as it is “Riki helps out some chicks with problems.”

      Keep in mind that this is a story by Key, so one might expect the real meat of the story to be revealed much later. “Secret of the world,” and all that.

    • Sei says:

      Still, for many people, it’s still hard to tell the difference between the two kind, so don’t blame him too much for that.

      A Key Visual novel is still the same: they have routes with some chicks with problem asigned to each. And they HAVE TO HAD THE CHICKS inside. As Psgel already said, the story has to focus on them…And the stupid level of those girls are just too much… And the story has to focus on them…ghrr….

  4. sushiyassin55 says:

    I don’t get it. How many series did you drop, psgels?

    • Dave S. says:

      To be honest, with the amount of mediocre series this season, psgels was being quite generous. Though I’m still iffy about how Kaibatsu-kun failed to make this list, the only one I’m still really enjoying.

  5. Entrav says:

    I absolutely love Uchuu Kyoudai and I’ve been watching it since the beginning. The pacing reminds me a lot of Monster; it’s nice and balanced with no rushed moments whatsoever. Psycho-Pass and Shin Sekai are definitely two of the best this season in terms of story so far IMO.

  6. kazid1 says:

    Wow you dont put in the list Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai That series is at least five or four in my list, little fan service, good comedy, fine slice of life, the manner that they played the sindrome is very good in both sides comical and in drama. Sure a very good series. A shame. And about Sword Art online i dont say a thing is espected based in a great count of heaters here but is a good and entertaiment series nothing more nothing less. From the new world i see five and six to pick up, droped. The rest I agree whit psgels

    • meow says:

      Agreed. Chuuinbyou, Tonari no Kaibutsu and SAO are in my personal top five, along with Zetsuen no Tempest and Robotic;Notes this season. I’m seriously enjoying SAO although I’m relieved not to have to read thru more flames over it here. Well, I get the feeling Psgels just doesn’t have enough time to watch other shows closely enough to throw out serious reviews.

    • Avalon says:

      I agree regarding Chuunibyou. It has turned into a incredibly fun and charming series more than deserving to be in top 10 if not better of this season.

      I also agree with meow regarding Tonari no Kaibutsu. It definitely has annoyances here and there, but then the story addresses them instead of making them feel like cheap drama.

      I am still enjoying SAO as well. I agree with most that the first arc was better, but I still have no desire to drop the show.

  7. Mormegil says:

    “Btooom, let me ask one thing of you: please don’t make the female lead the girl that the male lead met in the past. I know you’re heavily hinting at it, but that would destroy her entire character.”

    In the video game? I think it’s safe to say that it’s her. I don’t know how it destroys her entire character, though.

    Have you watched the most recent episode of Little Busters, psgels? You might actually like Kud, the little foreign girl.

  8. mike says:

    So far best shows this season: Shinsekai yori, Girls und Panzer, Jojo, Psycho pass, and Robotic Notes.
    Best ongoing Hxh2012 and Uchuu Kyoudai.

  9. Jalapeno Bagel says:

    From what I remember from various author’s notes, the author of Sword Art Online and Accel World intentionally deals with the “meaninglessness” of MMORPGs. rather than other virtual-reality based media, he doesn’t focus on linking the MMORPG to the real world in order to raise stakes (although that was done in the first arc). As you said, it really is probably because of the lack of a gamer mentality, but probably not in the way you’re thinking. Accel World does a better job of conveying his intentions than SAO, but aside from fatality and whatnot, there’s a lot of sociopsychological aspects of gaming that he touches on such as pride, loyalty between comrades, betrayal, and other such themes that are quite common in stories, but are made very quickly in MMOs and may even run deeper than with normal real-life relationships for gamers. I think part of the reason .hack//sign did this better was because it didn’t dwell too much on the real world, making sure that the aspects of MMOs were largely contained in the MMO.

    On Medaka Box, from here on, it simply escalates, albeit slowly as its a long-running series. the plot twists become more elaborate, the characters become more numerous, the themes and values become more complex, and your suspense of disbelief will be constantly pushed. you can already see there’s a big difference between season 2 and season 1. if they ever reach season 3, it’ll be quite different from season 2. Like you said, Nisio puts a lot of focus on one thing, but he doesn’t forget things (or at the very least, he checks up on them quite often). things that seem pretty insignificant are laid out for the future, but that said, his build-up usually is quite slow and deliberate with fast-hitting climaxes at the end. but, it doesn’t help that the anime’s budget seems somewhat subpar and what’s already slow build-up seems even slower with relatively static animation.

  10. dominus says:

    Yea just one thing you didn’t said a word about Initial D Fifth Stage well at least I didn’t saw anything about it here in the blog Its only monthly double episodes so c´mon a least give your opinion about one(yea its still not the best looking series)but its a series about racing and well anime about that subject is not a very common thing .

    • Trass says:

      Well, psgels didn’t even mention anything about some animes I liked too actually. I guess he overlooked some stuffs he thought not for him?

  11. jonas says:

    In Saint Seiya, the characters become stronger by achieving control of their inner cosmos (the seventh sense). Which is similar to the concept of enlightenment in buddhism.

    “He who seriously wants to dispel
    All the misery of others,
    Because in the stream of his own being he has understood the nature of misery,
    Is an excellent man”.

    The 12 gold saints are basically teachers. Compare Taurus (a man who follows his own law), with Cancer (a coward who gets send to lower pits of hell).

  12. Kamiorika says:

    The guys in Little Busters do get their time to shine. That won’t be until the last arc, “Refrain,” though. Still, they are hands down the best Key males I’ve seen. Especially during Refrain. I heard somewhere that Kyousuke was the most popular character and for good reason. And there is much more to the story than what you initially think. Just so you know, that whole “secret of the world” business is pretty important.

  13. mistress_kisara says:

    For Gintama, they already announced beforehand that they will air new episodes along with old ones

  14. Silty says:

    “Perhaps I lack the gamers mentality or something, but any conflict just feels meaningless to me.” ALO has a pretty large death penalty, especially for player killing. Not quite your Diablo hardcore mode, but it’s more than enough to get your average gamer worked up.

    Also, they missed quite an interesting part of the main story in ALO. I’m kind of frustrated that they animated all those side stories, and ran out of time for it. It shows an even greater lack of ability on the part of whoever paced this anime, than what was previously assumed.

    I’m pretty much expecting a HxH/FMA remake at this point, because this adaptation is much more botched than either of the first adaptations for those manga were. Why do Japanese so often fail to do adaptations right the first time? Maybe they were expecting to pass this one under the radar, and didn’t expect the popularity it would get, so they didn’t really try?

    • meow says:

      I think Psgels is missing the point. The crisis right now is Asuna still locked in a coma for unknown reasons. Yes, right now, Kirito is playing a game, where he can’t die (yet – surprisingly, Sugou has yet to notice him) so that sense of life and death in the game battles is gone but he’s still racing to save a real person (actually more than one person) from real circumstances. Someone truly important to him. I can see why he can’t afford to delay. The nice thing is, by luck or circumstances, he happens to have what it takes to do something about it. And I personally find the drama between Suguha and Kirito compelling too, incestuous or not. And the scenes lately have been pure awesome eyecandy.

      It shows an even greater lack of ability on the part of whoever paced this anime

      I have to disagree. I think the creators were stuck trying to squeeze perhaps slightly under two seasons worth of content into one and had to rush it, barely covering the bases in some cases in favor of a strong finish. I see what they’re doing and can see why. Now if they can only keep it up.

      • Silty says:

        If the creators had to squeeze two seasons of content into one, then you can still blame whoever made them do that. They’re ultimately responsibility for the pacing being the way it is.

        • meow says:

          You have a point there. But I guess I’m happy to take what I can get, under the circumstances. I have been impressed with it’s most recent episodes so this may be an effect from that. We both know how the story will go so I’m in high anticipation about what’s about to come. I’m seriously wondering if we might even see a little bit of red.

          • Silty says:

            Agreed, pretty much every arc is better than the second. It can’t get any worse if they continue to animate it.

      • Anca says:

        >racing

        Kirito never actually seemed in a hurry during this arc.

        • meow says:

          I don’t know. I think he’s making good time while still learning about the system and making connections with other players who may be able to help him overcome the obstacles he comes across. I’m not clear on the timeline but I think it’s only been a few days and he’s already befriended important leaders from several of the major factions in the game, found Asuna and has already started working on breaking into the root of the system. I agree he doesn’t look like he’s pushing past his limits but maybe it’s cos up to the point where he finally found Asuna, he wasn’t sure if he could find her playing the game. But it was better than doing nothing. Plus, he’s still recently revived from his coma. I’m pretty sure he’s skipping rehab to comb ALO for Asuna.

  15. rufe says:

    Lol, Gintama didn’t troll you at all. It was perfectly honest (for once!)

  16. Dave S. says:

    Damn, Tonari no Kaibatsu-kun isn’t on this list? What made you drop it?

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:46 AM)
    And yet again at the end of the day Akane failed to do what’s the most important ethical thing to do and left people to possibly die instead of judging Sybil herself. I think the reason her psycho pass is clear might be out of stupidity.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:43 AM)
    @Emma: The plot was not only a mess but also incredibly flawed and contrived. Why would Sybil need to have to delete seemingly random brains considering that the are all supposedly asympttmatic to begin with? And if so then they should’ve done this a long time ago.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:40 AM)
    *This was
  • Emma
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:37 AM)
    One thing I forgot to say regarding earlier complaints about the second psychopass season is that you have people who were getting lost in regards to what was going on in the plot due to what a mess it was.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:35 AM)
    The was a pretty awful, although expected turn in the latest two brynhildr chapters regarding Hatsuna and the tonal jump in the latest chapter was terrible.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 03:34 AM)
    Yup Psycho Pass 2 finale was just as underwhelming as you lot say, so now I share the sentiment. Even the 1st season’s wrap up wasn’t all that satisfying so they kinda suck at that, but this just felt like they gave up trying tho.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:57 AM)
    I have heard of directors admitting bullshit before, Von Trier is said to have done so and I love the ground that man walks on.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:56 AM)
    @Emma: yeah, he mentioned that many elements of NGE where simply for visual flair or to elicit a response from the viewer, which to me is fine.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:55 AM)
    And both of you have a point about the power fantasy thing. Would also like to add here that a writer, writing is essentially a power fantasy to an extent as he or she essentially is elevated to the position of a God that has full control over their own world and characters.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Dec 19. 2014 02:52 AM)
    Has Anno mentioned himself that he knows when he’s just messing around?
    Also I like his wife’s works a fair bit and more.

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