Posted by psgels on 2 May 2013 with categories: Monthly Summaries

This season may have some really good series, but really: it’s a bit disheartening to note that this has been the worst spring season I’ve ever blogged. What happened to the variety of different unique series? What happened to the large amounts of series that all want to try something different? I’m seeing way too many series that just end up looking the same, that don’t bother to stand out, and that bother having some interesting characters. The few that do though, are quite interesting to watch.

#28 (new) – Sparrow’s Hotel – (2/10) – What the hell was that? It looked terrible! The acting was terrible! Worst show of the season!
#27 (new) – Date A Live – (3/10) – This is terrible. Incredibly annoying with fulfillment that goes nowhere. Seriously, this one won the contest of having the worst premise of the season.
#26 (new) – Zettai Bouei Leviathan – (5/10) – This really is Gonzo at its worst. Really generic moe girls with really, really, really bad fighting scenes. I saw no reason whatsoever to continue with this.
#25 (new) – Yondemasuyo, Azazel-san – (6.25/10) – The first arc was incredible. The funniest thing I’ve watched all year. The second arc… bleeding asses. Seriously?!
#24 (new) – Uta no Prince Sama – (6.4/10) – Incredibly girly series. There are only two actual girls in this series!
#23 (new) – Namiuchigawa no Moromi-san – (6.5/10) – This series is one of those shows that try way too hard to be funny, without actually being it. It’s just a hyperactive mermaid who punches things.
#22 (new) – Yuyushiki – (7/10) – Just another slice of life series that did not really managed to set itself apart in any way.
#21 (new) – Mushibugyo – (7/10) – A random shounen action series that did not impress me.
#20 (new) – Photo Kano – (7.1/10) – Not the worst, but still quite a dull in terms of character. It remains a harem after all.
#19 (new) – Karneval – (7.25/10) – Too corny for my tastes. No interesting characters to keep my attention.
#18 (new) – Arata Kangatari – (7.4/10) – I did not continue with this one, simply because the competition looked more interesting. Plus hearing stories that it would get really generic quite fast didn’t help much, because a story like this needs to stay interesting.
#17 (new) – DD Hokuto no Ken – (7.5/10) – Good director, but in the end it’s just too silly, and the jokes are too juvenile. Some of them work, but most of them don’t.
#16 (new) – Devil Suvrivor 2 The Animation – (7.6/10) – I just had no motivation to keep up with this one, due to both the dull characters, and the uninteresting plot.
#15 (4) – Uchuu Kyoudai – (7.75/10) – 10 years ago, Wolf’s Rain came with four consecutive recap episode. The reason behind it was an outbreak of SARS which would have made the showing a little too insensitive for the audience. Today, Space Brothers came with three consecutive recaps. The reason is a timeslot change. I am disappointed.
#14 (new) – Danchi Tomou – (7.75/10) – Danchi Tomou is a bit strange. It’s got an awesome opening theme, and it tells the daily life of a really bratty kid. The big problem is that the kid acts like half his age. The creators tried to make him stupid, but went a bit too far in that.
#13 (11) – Saint Seiya Omega – (8/10) – The big problem with the new arc is how incredibly silly and monotonous the new villains look. Apart from that, I can’t say much about it yet. It’s obviously building up right now (the first half also took ages to get going), but the main cast still is very solid to watch.
#12 (new) – Valvrave the Liberator – (8/10) – This is just so incredibly silly. Camp in every single way with incredibly over the top name yelling and all that sort of stuff. A definite contender for the trainwreck of the year, but will it be a beautiful or a disastrous one?
#11 (new) – Aiura – (8/10) – What really caught me here is how beautiful the animation is. It may not look like much, but the attention to detail is exquisite with a lot of focus on small and subtle movements. It’s a darn shame that the characters are generic.
#10 (new) – Yahari Blahblah – (8/10) – Interesting, but it focuses way too much on tsunderes, to the point of driving its points a bit too far because of that. This is however, looking out to be the series that Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai should have been.
#9 (new) – Majestic Prince – (8/10) – Started out with really stereotypical characters. And then they got better, which is what I did not expect. This show is surprisingly self-aware.
#8 (new) – Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge – (8/10) – Crime Edge is really weird. It’s got this really weird celebration of fetishes, but in the end it has little substance and is just a battle series.
#7 (new) – Red Data Girl – (8.1/10) – Takes itself a bit too seriously in its build-up, but it does have potential. I’m really behind this one, though…
#6 (new) – Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – (8.25/10)

This series has some interesting characters, and I like how it puts emphasis on cause and effect, combined with big cultural differences. It’s quite good science fiction so far, albeit the short length worries me.

#5 (8) – Hunter X Hunter – (8.4/10)

While the new ant queen looks a bit silly, the rest of the new arc is looking good. Thank god we finally have gotten to the new material!

#4 (new) – Hataraku Maou-Sama – (8.4/10)

Hataraku Maou-Sama is surprisingly witty. Really, the humour here is clever and very funny. The downside to it is that it uses clichés too much. You can also use other ideas for that, you know.

#3 (new) – Shingeki no Kyojin – (8.6/10)

This series really is looking rock-solid. The cast is large, yet well fleshed out, and the titans really look freaky. The action scenes really are great and even though it’s still building up it’s looking really promising.

#2 (6) – Chihayafuru – (8.75/10)

Overall I would have preferred a pacing that was a bit faster, but the finals of the team matches were nevertheless AWESOME. This show just keeps showing twists and turns with its huge cast of awesome characters!

#1 (new) – Aku no Hana – (8.75/10)

This show is amazing. Sure, it’s cheap and rotoscoped, but heck, it has an incredible atmosphere. The director knows exactly what he’s doing, and the characters are incredibly expressive: the rotoscoping has allowed the creators to focus on the tiniest of movements. This show is incredibly dark, and I love it!

45 Responses

  1. TheUltimateReaper says:

    I love Crime Edge. For me it’s really refreshing. Sure it has the standard battle anime theme of a shounen but it spins a unique take on things.

    It’s unorthodox and at the same time mainstream. It’s different, original and a bit daring. Frankly this is what the anime world needs. More shows that push the boundaries of what is normal. I think it has plenty of substance.

    Other than that I’d have to agree with you on just about everything here. I’m still pissed about Hana though, but I’m sure its the fans who are really upset.

  2. ryanagamis says:

    psgels confirmed hipster.

  3. moo? says:

    #2 (6) – Chihayafuru – (8.75/10)
    what does “(6)” mean? where others says “(new)” but what are the digits for?

  4. mezzoguitar says:

    You haven’t mentioned Hentai Ouji to Warawanai Neko since the Spring 2013 preview. Have you watched and dropped it, or did you just skip it altogether?

    • Saganatsu says:

      ditto on Railgun S.

      • gdgd says:

        He also didn’t watch HnG Cuties, but I can understand that.
        Since psgels doesn’t have enough time, probably he skipped the sequels of series he didn’t like or series that looked too shitty to give them a chance.

  5. Tirtha says:

    Its interesting to see Aku No Hana to be at the top of the table.The story is amazing but its a pain to watch the animation,especially when you have read the manga. Psgels have you gone through the manga?

  6. Emma-hime says:

    While its good that you did mention the recap trinity space brothers went through I’m surprised you didn’t mention that chihayafuru recap episode that slows down an already kind of sluggish second season.

  7. Vybegallo says:

    I think you take Zettai Bouei Leviathan and Namiuchigawa no Moromi-san too seriously. Leviathan have rather light sense of humor, and Moromi-san just keep coming with ridiculous stories and event turns.
    Also Hataraku Maou-Sama isn’t really that cliché if you look from D&D perspective. This especially concerns backstory in ep4, because it makes specific person planetouched, and entire setting with parallel worlds with different magic etc. makes a lot of sense.

  8. Airies says:

    yahari was 10! meaning next month it has its chance to shine and climb the ladder!!!

  9. Rihan says:

    Very surprised at Aku no Hana as #1. I think you’re giving this show too much credit

    • gedata says:

      Space Brothers would have taken it easily if not for the recaps I bet, well knowing this blogger of course. Besides that, none of the series from previous months were in top form (Chihayafuru, Hunter x Hunter). So yeah, I can see why Aku no Hana takes #1.

    • Avalon says:

      Pretty much everything he said about it was true imo so I agree with it being #1.

  10. Actually I’m pretty sure the four Wolf’s Rain recap episodes were because they actually couldn’t get to work/or a lot of people were too sick to work, not because showing the episodes was insensitive. Also surprised that you ranked Chihayafuru so highly given that it’s also had a recap episode and super slow pacing which has been almost as frustrating.

  11. Nunu says:

    I agree with you psgels, i do not like aku no hana.

    But no one has the right to call you a hipster, since it is your tastes and you explain why you like that, i respect that.

    Not all the series click the same buttons on everyone.

  12. Shadow says:

    I don’t know why you’re praising the director of Aku no Hana. He’s just following the manga to even the smallest detail, but if he weren’t this series wouldn’t be interesting at all.

    The point is, the plot itself of Aku no Hana is really good, and after the heavy critics the studio got for the rotoscoping, the staff had to say that to make up to the fans they will adapt the series to even the smallest detail.

    Trust me, had the series used the original manga artstyle, this could have easily been the best anime of the year.

    • Hogart says:

      I disagree. Simply changing the artstyle wouldn’t have made Aku no Hana any different, just its fanbase.

      • Shadow says:

        Shingeki no Kyojin states otherwise. Not only is adapting the material to how it looks, but also the plot is being adapted the same way, that’s why the only thing this series gets is praise over and over. And that’s why it’s popularity is at the top of the season.

        The only thing that keeps Aku no Hana interesting right now, is the well written plot, but that’s nothing the staff and studio did, Aku no Hana already had a good plot to begin with. If anything we should praise the mangaka for the plot, cuz the studio and staff havent done anything outstanding.

        I’ve said this many times, but in the anime industry, adaptations that follow the material both art wise and story wise end up becoming the masterpieces of the generation. When they fail at either of them, they just end up labelled as good, but not outstanding.

        • Vonter says:

          I’ll like to disagree if you meant that adapting a story to other mediums should be the rule rather than the norm. It’s not only translating the material faithfully, is also understanding its motifs, and goals at telling something.

          And no, the only thing that is making interesting Aku no Hana is how that plot is being shown, with cold backgrounds, crude character design and clever sound direction. The manga is nice but I felt the design made some unintentional funny moments, and also I didn’t get absorbed in the setting due to the fast paced way the story got told. I think it was surprising the bold move they made with the series.

    • Avalon says:

      If it had the art of the manga (I have not read it, but I have seen it) I feel it would have been simply more typical. The art we have no makes it truly stand out and creates an atmosphere that seems to fit perfectly with the story.

      Maybe my opinion would be different if I had actually read the manga, but I am actually glad I have not. I can enjoy this great show and its unique style instead of comparing it.

  13. Silver says:

    I agree with your ratings for the most part but your rating for Date A Live is sort of unfair. The premise is stupid and I agree (although the author later has a very good reason why it is so… the anime will never get to that considering the pacing as of now) but it’s still unique and although annoying at times, seems to do a decent job with the execution. Giving it a rating of 3/10 while stuff like Photo Kano gets 7.1/10 seems a bit odd (I had hope for it since the manga was good but the anime has a lot of sleazy moments). You complain that Photo Kano had dull characters but it’s expected from a harem but then what exactly did Date A Live do to make it rank so low at 3? The animation of Date A Live is not bad, the music is not bad, the premise is seemingly stupid but the ranking for it is close to Sparrows Hotel which is… arguably bad in almost everything. Doesn’t Date a Live deserve a higher score than that? Probably at least 5/10? Since it’s more in line with Zettai Bouei Leviathan and such?

    • kazid33 says:

      Well four chapters and yes Date A live is crap for me. Aku no hana also dont deserve a firts place meaby a 15, sniff, missing Railgun S in that list. And seriously Omega??, well each one whit his preferences.

      • Ender says:

        thing is the Toaru series (railgun/index) has jumped the shark LONG ago, and in the future anime episodes/adaptations its going to be jumping more than a shark. . .It’s going to Jump Jupiter. that show/novel/story is just so ridiculous it’s silly.

        • Dp says:

          Given Railgun S is now doing the powerfully-written Sisters arc – and doing it very well – I really can’t take that seriously.

          Railgun S is one of the best series now running.

  14. Raye Peneber says:

    I’m not exactly a rookie to anime (came in around 2003) and have no idea what rotoscoping is but it hurts my eyes! I really can’t watch aku no hana because it just looks cheep and ugly. I may just down a 6 pack and try and get through some eps in a bit, but I’m an animation whore and can’t lower my standards.

    I love how sexually creepy crime edge is. When the female stroked the crime edge in a phalic manner, and the nude cuddling was amazing. It’s not too deep but a lot of fun. Those moments will keep me hooked on this series. Poor mans marai niki?

    • Ender says:

      I didn’t get that far, I saw the whole girl licking the whips thing “like a big” and decided “whelp, that’s all for that show”

    • Avalon says:

      I don’t see how Aku no Hana requires you to lower your standards. I had no idea what rotoscoping was as well and I was just as shocked as most in the 1st ep, but then after 3 eps I felt the art and animation fit perfectly with the atmosphere the anime was trying to convey.

      People who know rotoscoping and can compare when it is done right and wrong may have an argument with it being ugly. However for me, since I have no other knowledge of rotoscoping, Aku no Hana just feels VERY different and I love it.

  15. kbot says:

    I’m really not understanding the distaste for Aku no Hana. The characters are very flawed, some even disturbed. The style is jarring, which fits this perfectly. I feel uncomfortable watching it, which is exactly how I should feel considering the subject matter.

    The alternative (and what many seem to have wanted) would be akin to casting Zooey Deschanel as Annie Wilkes in “Misery”. She’d be rainbow-vomitingly cute sledgehammering a leg, but it’d also ruin the atmosphere. Maybe the director preferred that viewers not be attracted to the characters, but instead dislike them for the ugliness.

    • wakka9ca says:

      The problem with Aku no Hana is that the source material is really bad already. The inner struggle of the characters is too petty. The MCs are too pretentious, just like normal teenagers but way beyond the point of being tolerable and healthy (which was the point). As you cannot relate to any of the characters (unless you suffer from similar issues), it demotivates the readers. Also the manga is dragging on too much. There is barely any progression after all these years.

      If they didn’t use this controversial style of animation, the series would have been really bad anyway. They really had nothing to lose. At least with the controversial style, the characters are even more pretentious than their counterpart in the manga. This makes the series even more frustrating to go through, which I believe was the intention.

      Now imagine if this was a novel or a live action. Just stop thinking about the “art” and think about the story for a second. Do you see any point in the story other than the author pointing the middle finger to the readers?

      • kbot says:

        I suppose I should have worded my previous post differently. What I intended to say was, I feel that the chosen art style is much more fitting for the narrative than other alternatives, and is much more appropriate than people give it credit for, since it makes the characters seem that much more unhinged and disconcerting.

        Also, I personally have no issues finding characters I do not relate to interesting. For example, every character in “Bonfire of the Vanities” is, for lack of a better word, a piece of shit, but I find them fascinating. I guess for me, detestable personalities can be just as interesting as ones I sympathize with. Furthermore, I have no problems with snail paced narratives.

      • Ender says:

        “The problem with Aku no Hana is that the source material is really bad already. The inner struggle of the characters is too petty. The MCs are too pretentious, just like normal teenagers but way beyond the point of being tolerable and healthy (which was the point). As you cannot relate to any of the characters (unless you suffer from similar issues), it demotivates the readers. Also the manga is dragging on too much. There is barely any progression after all these years.

        If they didn’t use this controversial style of animation, the series would have been really bad anyway. They really had nothing to lose. At least with the controversial style, the characters are even more pretentious than their counterpart in the manga. This makes the series even more frustrating to go through, which I believe was the intention.”

        I actually agree with this. I actually enjoyed the rotoscoping thing! but the story is just mind dumbingly retarded imo.

        It really is akin to circle jerk material for pretentious/disturbed people.

        the art would have been amazing if the story had something to actually say, rather than just flip through the lives of socially retarded high schoolers.

      • Arno says:

        Thank you for this illuminating explanation. Yes I think you’re right the bad rotoscoping was not incompetence, it was a deliberate choice to give anime some personality, so it can pass as a horror story instead of just retarded.

  16. perrin4869 says:

    Speaking of Wolf’s Rain, I know your tastes/opinions changed a lot since you reviewed it (I myself never watched it), how much would you give it today? Is it better in retrospect?

  17. Arno says:

    I think Yahari bahblah and also Hentai Oujin are very decent.

  18. Knower of evil truth says:

    Obviously this will open up some kinda flame war, but I gotta let it out:
    Since when does a sadistic rapist being a sadistic rapist considered a well written plot with depth?

    Also, you really overlook a lot of anime with potential.
    Devil survivor got a lot better than it’s start, they do a lot of changes from the game, but it’s actually those changes are what makes this become quite amusing, and while the director is most certinly trying to make this an evangelion rip-off, so far he’s doing an okay-job as that. If anything all the animation and effects are kinda nice and well, let’s just say that while it dosen’t have anything mind-blowing, it’ll probablt surprise most people, both who have and haven’t played the game, in the latest episodes.
    Also, while I’ll admit to not watching Mushibugyo, I read it’s manga which was all-around amusing, with a nice colorful cast, good jokes, and refreshing character designs. I realize you’re not much of a Shonen fan, but you should really give these more credit or at least not mark them off just because they are shonen. Hell, if this is anything like the manga, fighting isn’t even that much of a focus in here. It’s mostly character interactions.

  19. kraken says:

    Actually, the beggining if the season 2 of Saint seiya Omega seem far worst than the beggining of the first one.
    The first episodes of Omega season 1 had fabulous animation and Direction for them (Hatano, Rie Matsumoto, Umakoshi) and didn’t reused the same plot every episodes.
    This season 2 add poor animation, often poor direction, poor new character and every episode the same poor storyline
    And if I can understand the presentation of the character on a season 1, it’s pretty idiotic in a second season

  20. Deadlights says:

    I think Aku no Hana deserves number one

  21. Perry Tanko says:

    The hard working otaku at another site I can’t mention are helping me select from the list to watch. Come to think of it, any good romance series among those?

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  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:43 AM)
    @Friend: perfect, I on the other hand am not as fast lol
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:19 AM)
    I should have the rough draft ready by the next 24 hours, so I’ll show it to you then.
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:16 AM)
    @Bam :-) “Rome wasn’t built in a single day”
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:14 AM)
    @Friend: very pragmatic- I like your style ;)
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:09 AM)
    @Bam Heres what I’m planning to do: I’ll draw the city as it might have looked like pre-industrial revolution and post-columbian. So, maybe the late 17th century. Then, I’ll add in the changes brought in by industry. Afterall, every building isn’t built at the same time, so it’ll give that contrast of old/new, making the city much more authentic.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:07 AM)
    @Friend: hard question … needs some serious thought if we’re trying to feel authentic.
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:04 AM)
    What would they use electricity for, if they’ll even accept it?
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:04 AM)
    @Bam I’ve been thinking about that as well. Their irrigation was already a masterpiece, so I think hydraulic piping would only perfect their skill at city planning. Now, energy is what I’ve been stuck on.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 06:02 AM)
    @Friend: you’re on the right track with the modernization of the culture, but I need to ponder a little bit about what would’ve happened in that scenario. Metals, medicine, energy and irrigation would be the significant advances that they could use without serious industrialization, but I need time to think what these would’ve all meant to them and where they could’ve taken their society with it.
  • Friend
    (Friday, Oct 24. 2014 05:56 AM)
    @Bam Yes, it’s very bright and sentimental. It is a morning prayer/celebration. \.0/

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