Posted by psgels on 1 March 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

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.

24 Responses

  1. gurdlo says:

    Chihayafuru huh? haven’t been following this one since season one ended. Guess it’s time to get back into this. I’m expecting great things from next month since I’m gonna catch up with From the New World and Zetsuen no Tempest. Uchuu Kyoudai will probably take awhile longer to hit another peak though. Jojo on the other hand, well you’ll see why it’s my favorite Shonen this month

  2. Kaiserin Emma says:

    Largely in agreement here though I’d move robotics to 5th and akb to 6th.

  3. joshee says:

    I have to agree. Although Magi is a very epic manga, it was handled poorly in recent episodes. Such a waste of potential. Sakurasou feels the same way too. But to a lesser extent.

    Anyway,From the new world had always amazed me especially their recent loss of hope last episode that was epic.

  4. Airies Einstein says:

    FROM THE NEW WORLD IS MY WAIFU!

  5. MCAL says:

    Here’s some thoughts on several anime:
    Little Busters: Luckily for me, I have been enjoying the drama more then some. But I can definitely see why people think the drama is too much. Komari’s arc was just horrible though. Glad they finished it first. It seems to have different problems than Clannad. By that I mean, whatever Clannad did bad, LB does good and vice-versa. LB’s humor is better than Clannad. Clannad’s drama was better than LB. Clannad had perfect pacing, but because of that could barely scratch half of all the girls’ routes and left Clannad After Story disjointed in the first eight episodes, while LB is adapting all the girls’ routes and so far most of the common route main events, but has disjointed pacing. Looking it that way, they are exact opposites. Plus in my opinion, Haruka’s route was adapted better in the anime. I have it at 7/10 so far which is what I have with Clannad’s first season.

    Kotoura-san: I have to disagree with this show glorifying perverts. The jury is still out with the grandpa (In fact the less of him, the better), but with Manabe, and in fact calling him a pervert may not even be the case, what I think they are trying to show us is that eroticism is an acknowledged part of life. And that having these thoughts doesn’t necessarily make you a horrible person, it means you are human. And even if you debase that, Manabe has much redeeming qualities. Take example the beach episode, where he saves Kotoura, and she hugs him in fear and he retrains himself from taking advantage of the moment. Not only that he’s pretty clever sometimes. Trying to hide his thoughts by doing multiplication tables is one example. And what this means for Kotoura is a lot. He’s completely open about himself, which makes him the perfect fit for the mind reading Kotoura. They have excellent chemistry together, some of best I’ve seen in a fanservice anime since Nazo no Kanojo X. And for some reason all of the ero moments of this show have me laughing hysterically (The drug food moment… Classic!) when I should be cringing, so I’m no pushover when it comes to those things. Not to mention Manabe can be a boss sometimes too, like when he lays into Moritani in episode 2 how he felt about her thoughts for Kotoura with the ferociousness she deserved. So yes, I compare Kotoura-san to Nazo no Kanojo X and like that show it gets an 8/10 for me.

    HunterXHunter: I agree with the fast pacing for this series, but that’s not all. The music, the animation, the facial expressions, the Voice acting and the atmosphere, everything is much better then the OVA version, which now that I think about must have bored me to death.

    Psycho Pass and Robotics;Notes: I’m going to have to digress and say that R;N is getting much better than PP. While PP continues to get slightly predictable and some plot points that don’t make any sense (And the animators seem not to care for it either), R;N keeps coming out with great episodes and all of them ending on excellent cliffhangers (And the animators do a much better job). So, i would give both of these an 8/10, but R;N would be a high 8/10, while PP would be a low 8/10.

    I basically agree with everything else or I’m not watching some shows. Plus I’m still somehow being able to watch Oreshura (It’s mostly for Mazuzu most likely) and I’m enjoying Mondai-tachi. Some people compare it to Dog Days, but I thought Dog Days was boring and uninteresting. Yeah, Izayoi might be a Gary Stu, but he’s definitely much better to watch than Kirito. Plus, it can be clever sometimes (Unflippable skirts anyone).

    Wow! This is long! Thanks for reading it though anybody who does.

  6. Kamiorika says:

    The individual routes in Little Busters are pretty rushed in the anime. Three episodes per route is barely cutting it. Of course, I personally thought the individual girls’ routes were pretty mediocre in the game as well. What makes Little Busters so great is Refrain, Rin’s routes and the common route, in my opinion.

  7. Houlgrave says:

    To be honest, the way that Little Busters! is being handled makes me feel a lot of trepidation: Refrain aside, LB! is fairly straightforward as a visual novel. But if they’re having this much trouble pacing out something like this, how the hell will anyone handle Rewrite when it eventually gets an adaptation? If LB! is Earth, then Rewrite’s like Jupiter….

  8. Flawfinder says:

    I really don’t think you picked the wrong shows. It’s just that this season is really bad aside from the carryovers. Hell, the Winter show I enjoy the most is Tamako Market (which I noticed is also your favorite of the non-sequel Winter anime), and I only think it’s decent.

    • dp says:

      Nope – probably just watching the wrong shows…

      Maoyuu Maou Yuusha just had a really good episode, Vividred Operation is on its A-game (heck even Love Live is pretty decent)…

      • kazid says:

        You are rigth grong choices. Also Zettai karen children is at least best that the last 11 animes in the list. Love live in the end is much better that akb and Maoyuu is very well done.

  9. ronbb says:

    Agreed with your list here, and agreed with Flawfinder — this season is bad. Happy to see that Chihayafuru tops your number 1. I actually liked SSY better than ZnT, but that can be a personal preference.

  10. A. says:

    I have to disagree with you about Polar Bear’s Cafe; Panda actually exhibited some growth and maturity for a change, which was pretty refreshing for his character. The ‘melodrama’ worked for me, and felt very believable.

    • MCAL says:

      Hmm… Like psgels I though the melodrama was forced, but now that I’ve had time to think about it. I think Polar Bear cafe deserved to have just one episode like that after all the funny moments.

  11. KaZuHiRo says:

    I am not watching any anime from this season except AKB0048’s second season. That’s how really bad this season is. I sampled Amnesia and I found myself cooking spaghetti in the middle of the episode and didn’t have the urge to re-watch it – bleargh.

    I have yet to finish Chihayafuru’s first season though – but I really got bored halfway through. Is it really worth the watch?

  12. Firechick says:

    “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.”

    This is something I’ve always wanted to ask about, Psgels. How can you tell whether a show knows or pretends to be something? You said once that Rio Rainbow Gate knows its a comedy and that Mawaru PenguinDrum knows it has great art and that Cuticle Detective Inaba believes its funny when its trying too hard. How can you tell this stuff?

  13. jonas says:

    “using some of the biggest villains of the original Saint Seiya, and having the cast defeat them without much effort”.

    If you are talking about the Emperors of Mars, those guys didn´t appear in the original series.

    Also, it seems we still have not seen the real villian. Medea is manipulating Mars, but she is working for someone else. This mirrors, the Asgard and Hades sagas of the original series.

  14. kazid1 says:

    Yuusha not in the list??? seriously…..

  15. Ebisu says:

    Amnesia is of the mistery genre, like a detective story with parallel worlds in a time bucle. Each boy acts as her boyfriend so you don’t have the typical love triangles or other plot typical plot devices, although you have that crazy fanclub. Kento’s arc was quite nice and soothing compared to the others. The differing personalities between worlds for Waka and maybe others characters are well used. The camera man looks to me like the joker of deck. This series are strangely appealing for an otome game.

    About this season, I like Amnesia and AKB0048. I am thankful for so many continuing series (though Kingdom has taken recently a rest and Ginga e kick off is reaching the end too). Long series usually show a lot of great chapters if they don’t fall in the trap of using filler chapters.

    • Toma ILY says:

      as you can se by my name you knw what charcter i like the best from Amnesia ;) anyhoo i agree. Its interesting and if you played the game you’ll understand it better. ( I was ok with arcana famiglia and hiiro no kakera but i think Amnesia owns them lol) also episode 9 was really intense O_O still love Toma though tehe (Raw is cming out today asell…^_^)

  16. kero says:

    Yes to Chihayafuru being number 1

    re Zetsuen.. the romance bit never worked for me because the girl just acts so OTT like yeah, girls go gaga for boys just like that.. ugh.

  17. kraken says:

    he, for Saint seiya Omega, the villains beaten in the series were never seen in the original saint seiya. Mars was never seen once time in the original Saint seiya.

    And they were minor villains (Seiya could fight against Mars alone, it was impossible for him against Poseidon or Hades)
    Actually the villaions in Omega are far weaker than the one from the original series (they are at the level of the one seen in the movies)

    And you forget something, the 4 god have been wounded by Athena during the last war and are still level downed by this wound.

  18. kazid says:

    gorgeous ep 9 of zettai karen children

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  • 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.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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