As if this season wasn’t bad enough already: all of the non-sequel series that I did pick up this season did not improve, and got worse. Perhaps I chose the wrong series, but this season… it did not go well with me. It’s a good thing that the on-going series have such a strong line-up: there are not many, but the good shows that are there are getting really, really good.
#17 (15) – Little Busters – (7.6/10) – Here is the thing with Little Busters: I really like it… when it’s not too serious. When it tries to be too serious it becomes incredibly rushed, a complete info-dump and it gets incredibly forced. And yet I keep coming back to it for the moments when the characters are just having fun, or the small scenes with just a tiny bit of drama. Here is the thing though: this show likes to pretend that its core is these sad stories. It’s not really in its favor when that completely sucks.
#16 (11) – Amnesia – (7.6/10) – I still like the concept of skipping dimensions and dating other guys. But holy crap. That white-haired guy is a total prick. His arc was horribly contrived, and the blue-haired girl is one of the most forced villains I have seen in a long while. Talk about overreacting here.
#15 (14) – Kotoura-San – (7.75/10) – Kotoura-san. What was the reasoning behind having first a beach episode, and then a resort-episode? That’s like throwing your hands up in the air and giving up. Couldn’t you really find more interesting things for the characters to do? That made this show lose a lot of points for me, because I still like some of the characters here. Kotoura is great, the president and the vice president are also very nice. I’d just wish that this show would stop glorifying perverts. It’s not funny.
#14 (13) – Tamako Market – (7.75/10) – As much as I appreciate the details in this series, I have one big problem with it: I find the slice of life scenes to be quite boring. It’s got a lot of cultural information which is interesting, but the interaction between the characters just does not catch my attention. There is very little to the characters, and I find all of them quite dull. The bird in particular was fun at first, but has gotten quite annoying at this point.
#13 (8) – Saint Seiya Omega – (7.9/10) – Saint Seiya Omega made two really big mistakes this month: the first is using some of the biggest villains of the original Saint Seiya, and having the cast defeat them without much effort. The second is having such an incredibly cheesy background story for the main villain. So much for all the build-up, eh?
#12 (16) – Shirokuma Cafe – (8/10) – This show was going along its usual pace, still occasionally very funny, and most of all laid back, and then suddenly WHAM: Melodrama! I have no clue where all of that came from, but it really felt out of place, and quite weird for this show to suddenly be filled with tears. The change was waaaay too sudden and furthermore just about everyone started acting out of character… what happened?
#11 (12) – Magi – (8/10) – I’m really behind this, I’m sorry! But I do want to finish it. The thing with Magi is that it’s really well executed, but in the end the story just is not that interesting. It’s got some good elements about slavery, it has a good deal of emotions in it, but it’s a bit too shounen for such a setting for me.
#10 (9) – Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo – (8/10) – Sakurasou’s second half… just is not as good as its first half. The reason behind that is that everything has gotten more contrived: we have to have a lot of drama with the pointless love triangle, there has to be a lot of drama with Sakurasou closing down. It’s all too forced, and not as creative as the first half.
#9 (17) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.4/10)
We’re going through the Greed Island arc, and with this you can actually see that here, the Madhouse version is actually better than the Nippon Animation here. The fast pacing really helps here to keep things going, instead of getting bogged down by fight scenes that last for episodes. The thing with these series is that they need to learn when you need to be fast and when to be slow. You can’t just have one pacing and expect that to work throughout the entire series…
#8 (10) – AKB0048 – (8.4/10)
AKB really was well done this month, hard as it may have been to believe. It has taken a bunch of characters, and completely changed their role by revealing more about them. It’s still full of emotion and the music still is strangely great.
#7 (7) – Robotics;Notes – (8.4/10)
In this month, things went to hell for Robotics;Notes. It didn’t go entirely smoothly: the creators seemed too busy with following a checklist in order to squeeze everyone’s stories in without much flow, but the stories that were told were really impressive. The character-development that was there was quite impressive. The ride was really rocky, but interesting.
#6 (5) – Psycho Pass – (8.75/10)
Psycho Pass really went to town with its plot developments in this episode. The setting got a lot of developments, and you can now see that this series loves to play with it in its social commentary. The characters don’t have as much development as I would have liked, but they still remain interesting and solid. The animation is nicely inconsistent again, but hey: when it looks great, this series really looks great.
#5 (3) – Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – (8.75/10)
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: watch this if you want to see incredibly over the top fights. This month delivered that beyond a doubt. A common problem with shounen series is that as the enemies become more powerful, the fights get more boring and epic. Here though, the fights get more epic, yet stay as interesting as they have ever been with very creative and bizarre uses of powers. And the acting. The glorious overacting!
#4 (1) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (8.75/10)
Zomg, an episode in which Uchuu Kyouda is not at the top 2 for me? It finally happened. The reasoning behind this is that this was a month with a lot of build-up, compared to other shows this season that really hit some heights. As much as I love Uchuu Kyoudai (and the build-up really was excellent, make no mistake), I have to hand it to other series this month.
#3 (4) – From the New World – (8.9/10)
Holy crap, From the New World really surpassed itself this episode with an incredibly sad turn of events. I still cannot believe how far the creators went with this series, but I have to give it to this series: it really has some of the best villains out there. Their backgrounds, their actions, their threat. It really delivered and came together this month.
#2 (2) – Zetsuen no Tempest – (9/10)
Zetsuen no Tempest, I love you! The addition of romance and comedy in the second half was an incredibly bold move, and yet it works so well! The show still is very intelligent and full of mind-screws, which makes it all the better with such a silly backdrop behind it. It’s awesome to see the adults in this series go crazy with the fate of the world being decided by a bunch of impulsive teenagers, and the creators are making brilliant use of it, not to mention that the series has become hilarious.
#1 (6) – Chihayafuru – (9/10)
Chihayafuru, holy crap. After a relatively quiet beginning, it’s just completely back in full force. In particular the team match in this month was really awesome to watch. The strength of Chihayafuru is that it somehow manages to develop a dozen characters in one single episode every week. That strength really shined here, and to think that the match they were playing was nowhere near the most important one.