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

Inspiration can both be a blessing, and a curse. It’s awesome to have, but often likes to strike at the most inconvenient moments. So hereby I present a list of my impressions of the series of the past half year. I’ve been feeling guilty for a while knowing that I can’t write a full review for all of them, so hereby an overview, in order of how much I like them. With the ones that I finished I included their final rating. Also enjoy the big pictures.

And yes this is about the past half year. As in, the most recent six month, otherwise known as the series that aired in the spring and summer season. Not the winter season. Just the past six months.

Watamote, Blood Lad

These series started out as moderately fun comedies, but I did not expect them to become more than that so I did not watch more than two episodes. I’ve said this before: when I watch a comedy, I really want something with really good jokes and I want to laugh out loud, instead of just having to snicker occasionally.

Fantasista Doll

This one won the award of the OP song with the most chance of annoyingly getting stuck in your head. It had potential, but in he end it was just too childish. Those thingies that the lead character summoned were complete idiots, and I don’t mean in a good way. Anime writers pay attention: there’s a different being simple minded and stupid!

Free

Free was a prime: finally there was a fanservice series for females that didn’t have horrible production values or incredibly cheesy acting and it actually resembled something like an actual drama. It wasn’t interesting enough for me to keep watching though.

Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-Bu

The first episode was really fun to watch, I dropped this after episode 2 though. Why? Because I did not think that the creators could match episode 1. I feared that it would be too much of the same thing over and over again with a few coming of age themes here and there. Was I right?

Servant X Service

This series actually did make me laugh out loud… in the first episode. I continued for five more episodes, but the wit of the first episode was just gone, and the characters descended into stereotypes. That otaku girl in particular. Dear god what happened to her? She used to be normal but devolved into this deranged fangirl.

Dagan Ronpa

Excellent premise, but Seiji Kishi. In the first two episodes I already saw hints that this would be a really lackluster adaptation and some stories I heard afterwards seemed to confirm this. Because of this I didn’t watch past episode two.

Aiura

Beautifully made, but in the end it’s just a random show about high school girls. Come on, someone put Ryouske Nakamura on a project that will actually put his talents to good use. I only watched four episodes of this one.

Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge

Crime Edge turned out to be a series that celebrated weird fetishes. Nice for a while, but after a few episodes it just got boring and formulaic, with every arc doing a different genre. It had its charming moments, but not enough and I dropped it after about 5 episodes.

Tamayura – More Aggressive – 75/100

I like series to be concise and to the point. A bit of lingering is okay of course, especially if it has interesting stuff to do, but Tamayura mostly just repeated itself in its second season and gave hardly any attention to the side cast. That’s basically the reason for the low grade here: it was fine with just one season. Don’t go and make it longer and harder to watch.

Hataraku Maou-Sama – 80/100

Oh, the promise that this series gave. For a while, it really was a lot of fun to watch, but alas: it couldn’t keep up. It lost the spark that originally made it really funny, and the episodes, while still well written, started to become a bit of a chore to watch

Majestic Prince

Surprisingly, I didn’t finish this show. I’m only something like five episodes away, but I can’t think of a reason to finish it. I thought that it was good, but in the end none of the cast really made an impression on me, strangely enough. Even though the battles got good, and the characters were slightly fleshed out and developed, not to mention episode 19. I’m not sure what happened here… but I totally have no motivation to continue it.

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet – 81/100

Gargantia had a pretty interesting setting, but its plot had a few humps and bumps along the road, with characters that had strange motivations, or didn’t really become engaging. Still, overall it was Enjoyable, and especially that AI was a great character in how it played off the rest of the cast.

Teekyu – 82,5/100

This show is just heaps of fun to watch with all of its energy and the creativity that the animators throw at the screen.

Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Comedy wa Machigatteiru – 82,5/100

Yahari Blahblah (yeah I’m still calling it that) started off rather mellow, and then something happened. Completely against my expectations, it turned into a very well written high school drama with relatable characters. The cast consists out of characters who look like stereotypes, yet aren’t and the show actually made quite a few good points along its run.

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San – 82,5/100

For me, this was the best comedy of the past half year. Utterly hilarious but also completely shameless. It often had me wondering what the heck the creators were thinking and smoking. Sometimes in bad ways, but when it was funny, it really was funny.

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi – 84/100

This show really had a great premise, and I loved how it showed all of the characters coping with it. It had a strange sense of plot twists when it suddenly pulled random twists out of nowhere at the most random moments, but that did give it a unique spin. It’s a melancholic but very engaging and thought-provoking series.

Gatchaman Crowds – 84/100

Gatchaman Crowds got a lot of flack for not making any sense, but in the end, I loved this series as a quirky action series with an imaginative premise. In fact, the summer season stood out in how its series had some really great ideas for their premises. At its core, this is a series that celebrates social media, and all of the chaos that comes along with it. It has absolutely nothing to do with the original Gatchaman, but if it used this title in order to get funded, then it is a sacrifice that had to be made. It was a bit weird sometimes, but it built up into a very satisfying climax.

Uchuu Kyoudai

I’ve mentioned this before: Uchuu Kyoudai has fallen. It used to be the best, incredibly well written and really engaging characters. It’s still there, putting a lot of detail to its characters, but its sense of pacing is totally gone, and it feels like they’re just randomly adapting the manga now without any soul left. It’s a bloody shame because this show deserves some good treatment here.

Hunter X Hunter

Hunter X Hunter is really difficult to rate because my opinion of it just jumps all over the place. The Chimera Ant arc for a long while just took waaay too much time building up and too much time was spent on training arcs. Now that those are over though, this series has suddenly become amazing lately, with the main storyline and objectives having completely changed. These are the characters at their best for the entire remake’s airtime.

Silver Spoon – 86/100

Silver Spoon, an anime about a farming school. It’s got a lot of similarities to Moyashimon, but the big difference is that it’s meticulously planned: everything is there for a reason, either for a good joke, or some sort of character-development, and that character-development is really good and well thought out. I really was surprised how this series did not shy away from the darker side of farming and it tackled that issue with a lot of respect.

Uchoten Kazoku – 86/100

Uchoten Kazoku for me stood out as the best non-sequel of the past summer season. It was chock full of cultural references, and with most of its characters being either Tanuki or Tengu, they actually acted like that. It’s a fun and whimsical series, that still can be really intelligent when it wants to, and the dialogue in particular switches from really simple-minded to intelligent and well thought-out.

Rozen Maiden 2013 – 86/100

My only gripe with this show is the cliff-hanger at the end. Apart from that, this show gave a terrific new spin to the Rozen Maiden anime, and turned a to of characters completely upside down. I really have to praise the plot for taking risks, and trying out something different, and the themes of the series rock as well: every character here is trapped in some way. The creators also managed to make this a very varying series by cleverly putting characters on a bus in order to focus on others.

Shingeki no Kyojin – 87,5/100

This really was the epic of the past half year. No other series came close to its production values, or its sense of action. The pacing was slow, but it always gave us the impression that humanity is completely screwed, and that the titans are just inches away from wiping out humanity altogether. The creators put so much detail into this series, and it looks gorgeous, and the great thing is that it’s also really quite smart: the battles are full of tactics and people trying their best to think straight. This really is just one of those series that deserves the praise that it gets.

Aku no Hana – 89/100

I spent a long time thinking about my favorite series of the past half year. I mean it was obvious for me that it would be one of these two. Both shows were just fantastic, though unfortunately unfinished. However in the end I gave Aku no Hana the edge. Yes, it’s completely unlike any other series that we’ve seen before, but what really won me over was the sheer atmosphere of this thing. This is filled to the brim with emotions, The rotoscoping will push a lot of people away, but that’s not the only thing about this series that’s controversial. The incredibly slow pacing also was an incredibly risky move, but it works oh so well. The series is so chockfull of details that it allows us to get to know the characters on a deeply personal level.

19 Responses

  1. Avatar KaZuHiRo says:

    psgels, Majestic Prince’s ending was spectacular! Trust me on that!

    • Avatar Kurini says:

      I was about to comment on that! I serisouly love Majestic Prince! I had so much fun while watching it and the ending was really satisfying!!

      • Avatar KaZuHiRo says:

        IKR! The ending was the best part of the sereies! Best ending of the entire year – makes the ending of Shingeki/Gargantia/Shinsekai/Aku seem like cookie cutter shows.

        • Avatar imredjimmy says:

          I originally dropped Majestic Prince after 3 episodes because I wasn’t that impressed, it was just fine. But I’ve been hearing great things about it so I’ll probably marathon it sometime later this year :)

        • Avatar brianwuzhere says:

          While I will agree that it was quite an action-packed finale, it’s held back by how abruptly it ends due to the lack of a proper epilogue. Also, it sounds a little weird to hear unconventional shows like Aku no Hana and Shinsekai Yori being described as cookie cutter.

  2. Avatar DmonHiro says:

    Dude… SERIOUSLY? You watch 19 episodes of Majestic Prince… and stop RIGHT BEFORE THE BUG PAYOFF?! That’s like running a marathon, stopping before the finish line and saying “Ah, screw it, I don’t feel like crossing it”. The last episodes are fantastic. The last episode, in particular, was amazing. Sono Gyaku played at the beginning was fantastic, and really gave it the do-or-die feeling. Seeing them all charge into battle… WOW.

  3. Avatar Andmeuths says:

    In many ways, Stella C3 Bu’s second half subverts the coming of age story. In attempting to become “strong”, the protagonist overshoots and descends into being an asshole. No, it’s not a cliche coming of age story. So, yes. I’m afraid you were wrong.

  4. Avatar Deadlights says:

    Psgels, Stella C3-Bu had a fantastic second half in my opinion. It went down a slightly darker direction than I anticipated.

    Glad to see Aku no Hana as number one. 89/100 is too low of a score :P

  5. Avatar ronbb says:

    You know what, I actually quite like this post. It’s clean, quick, and straight to the point — it’s a good alternative to your monthly summaries.

    I’d rank some of the shows differently, but in general I agree to your list, and apparently, this summer season turns out to be pretty good — if not better than spring, in my view. I agree that Uchouten is the best non-sequal. One thing though, Watamote isn’t just a comedy. It gets darker and more heart-wrenching. Most importantly, it is trying to tell what it’s like for someone suffering from social anxiety disorder, and the comedy is simply to lighten up the tone on the subject matter.

  6. Avatar mezzoguitar says:

    The only reason I watched Fantasista Doll was because of your positive first impression post of it. Ultimately, I finished and enjoyed the show. It has a weird brand of tongue-in-cheek humor (like the first Macross series) in which the characters take their situation very seriously, but the things that happen on screen look absurd and silly. For example, the main dolls defeat another group of dolls by cutting onions in their faces and making them cry, and their ultimate attack is a giant cannon which shoots Sasara out of the barrel.

    Fantasista Doll is a light-hearted and charming imitation of a children’s cartoon. I’m sad the show didn’t turn out the way you wanted, but it was a very pleasant anime to watch for me. Thanks for introducing me to it, Psgels.

  7. Avatar Flawfinder says:

    I actually liked Danganronpa whilst not really liking Uchouten or Silver Spoon (director’s fault). Yes it’s stupid, but it’s my kind of stupid.

    I don’t really agree that Summer > Spring because of the existence of Aku no Hana and that maligned Eva 3.0 movie (which I loved). Still, it was pretty decent. Even the stuff I don’t like, I can see why you would. Great list.

  8. Avatar Aline says:

    I’m glad you rated Aku no Hana high. It’s horribly underrated.

  9. Avatar kazid says:

    Aku no hana first????

    o well is expected in this blog, for me one of the worst series in the year and is reflected in his current ratings. Not underated for me.

    The best in the past season was wattamote and servant x service, really well done comedic series. The rest of the season was meehh.

    From the last two court series titan and majestic and the best overall hunter x hunter for me.

  10. Avatar petitorenji says:

    Yes. Aku no Hana is golden. But it could have done what it wanted to achieve in 1/2 the episodes. Slow pacing is great but it has to be done subtly and sparingly. At times, it just became “angsty teens doing angsty things”. But perhaps the OST made up for everything.

    You should have continued Servant X Service; you would have liked it! The character-into-stereotype is really not a problem after you fall in love with the characters. There’s a sweetness to it that is not often present in other series. And the humor doesn’t decrease! If you have time or are bored one day, you should follow up on it!

    My fav by far was Uchoten Kazoku. That show was brilliant.

  11. Avatar C says:

    You really should watch Watamote it’s quite amazing.

  12. Avatar Mazz says:

    Aku no Hana was one of my favorites, as was Silver Spoon. I like Rozen Maiden, but I just wasn’t feeling it as much as the first 2 seasons (It was much darker, which was cool, but didn’t have enough hinaichigo or desu). I didn’t like Titan as much as you, I probably would have rated it below silver spoon (I will admit, the OST was golden). I havent seen Uchoten Kazoku yet (only 1st episode, will catch up today) so I can’t comment but I agree with you about Kamisama. Watamote was a very big disappointment for me, as the first episode was pretty good imo. shame it turned out so bad.

    And from the comments it looks like I’ll have to watch majestic prince.

  13. Avatar Ebisu says:

    About c3-bu. Nope, you were not right. It’s true part of the cast doesn’t get too much fleshed out, but they did a great job with Yura through all the series (it had some dark side chapters masterly done in my opinion).
    You should have seen at least until 4th chapter before cutting it off :3

    Majestic prince was great too. I hope to see a second season.

    About Blood Lad, it felt incomplete the ending (like cutting it when it starts to get awesome). It’s more shounen than comedy too.

  14. Avatar dp says:

    “This really was the epic of the past half year. No other series came close to its production values, or its sense of action.”

    I think Yamato 2199 blew everything else out of the water in terms of epic drama, action, and production values.

  15. Avatar jonas says:

    Blood Lad is not a comedy series, nor a fighting series, is about love.

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