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.