Posted by SuperMario on 12 February 2018 with categories: 2011 Anime Retrospective

It’s me, Mario again, for an update of the 2010 Retro Summary. Like I mentioned last time, 27 shows were watched, eliminated/picked based on how much I like to follow them till the end.


SHOWS THAT WERE DECIDED BY THEIR PREMIERE EPISODE:

10 shows are eliminated, while 4 shows are picked during this period.

IS: Infinite Stratos: Easily the blandest debut for this 2011 retrospective, thank you IS (short for It’s Shit) for making my job of dropping shows fairly easily.  Right at the beginning we have a fight that we have absolutely no idea about, all the girls flash their moves and the main guy finishes it off. Then my little interest is drained when I learn the facts that 1) this mecha fight is supposed to be a sport game and 2) somehow our main IS the only male who can drive this thing, make him an automatic winner in girls’ eyes. I dropped out this one fast. OUT

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?: I find the whole premise dull rather than funny, and the show already features a girl naked in several occasions, which never is a good sign. A main guy is having a harem of eccentric and downright annoying girls, while himself doesn’t fare much better to stand out. OUT

Mayo Chiki: The fact that right after just one day since I watched this I have a hard time recalling the plot should tell you how much I care for this show. Let’s see, a guy who “by chance” sees a crossdressing girl in her underwear, grabs her boob and that said girl vows to kill him before comes to live with him. Nah, nah, NAH. Why do you have to rely on such cliché crap, anime medium? OUT

Kimi to Boku: This one is more “cute boys doing cute things” and I must admit I’m not within the target demography for this. There are some strong moments about friendship but I have a hard time caring for any of those guys, especially the male lead. The animation is especially lackluster. Dropped. OUT

Beezebub: One of two shows about the son of Great Evil messing up with simple daily life. It has some amusing laugh and that kid is a delight but is it good enough for me to burn through its 60 episodes? No, Also I find the humor a bit bland at times. OUT

Ben-To: Only anime can make a series out of such ridiculous premise: about a bunch of “professional hunters” who hunt… half price bento in a supermarket. And because it’s anime, characters are the types you’ve seen in other shows before, the action and the violence are over the top and ridiculous. I’m in a camp who buying a full price bento anyway so I guess I don’t see the appeal of this show. OUT

Phi Brain: This first episode plays out well the puzzle aspect of the show, otherwise it’s serviceable. If it was a current seasonal show I can continue to watch it, but for the purpose of this summary there are literally 30 plus other shows that worth watching more. I still don’t really like the main lead, who is your typical shounen protagonist that can easily leave his friend behind in the quest of becoming stronger. Another problem with this show is with the guy who already overpowered like this, it takes out all the suspension the puzzles might have had. OUT

SKET Dance: The last two shows are a good example of using a “false protagonist”, that is a main guy who becomes less relevant as the episode goes on. I found this SKET club rather charming with formulaic team members: a brain – a muscle – an info guy but the case in question in this episode leaves a lot to be desired. For once, I don’t buy the bullying aspect at all and that machine voice from the info guy gets on my nerve every time. Could be a decent watch but once again it just doesn’t stand out enough for me to spend time watching 77 episodes of it. OUT

Yuru Yuri: Like the title suggests it’s yuri banter all the way. I like some of its satire aspects, like the fact the main character is constantly ignored for her lack of presence. Or the yuri banter can get out of hand in a hilarious way. Still, there is no real plot and that is a huge issue since it sometimes feels it goes nowhere. Not cute enough for me to spend more time with, it seems. OUT


C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control: By all mean it’s not the perfect first episode, given I have a feeling its thematic ambitions swallow whole its characters and the plot. But what an interesting theme. It has something to say about the value of currency and money and I’m in for the drive to see what it wants to explore. The visual so far compliments the show greatly but the characters aren’t that interesting or relatable. Still, it’s a promising start with a bold concept. IN

Shouwa Monogatari: From more than 50 shows I compile for this summary, this one is the least known title. It flies under the radar from most anime watchers and as far as I know only psgels here covered it during its air and thus bring it to my attention (thanks man). Storytelling wise it’s the most solid one in this list, with quiet and simple depiction of a normal family during the year of the Japan Olympic. I dig the shot of actual footage from the modern-ay scenery, then back to the real footage from its showa period and then the animated version of it. Make you feel the great passage of time. I’m still a bit wary about its use of CG, however, as it’s distracts the flow of otherwise limited hand-drawn animation the show is known for. This one is a keeper. IN

Haganai: To be frank I have a soft spot for Light Novel Adaptation and so far this one uses its LN’s advantage pretty well. The dialogue is reasonably enjoyable and the premise of creating a club of loner is a plausible, if not totally refreshing, concept. I know it will go for more cliché route based on the OP (1 guy and how many girls?) but so far I’m sold with what it’s selling here. IN

Tamayura Hitotose: slice-of-life is my jam, slice-of-life is my bread and butter. This one admittedly doesn’t offer much outside of its genre but for what it does, it does beautifully. The soothing atmosphere is displayed wonderfully and the photographs taken as reserving those moments speak very well to its theme. I’m happy to watch more solid slice of life like this anytime. IN


SHOWS THAT WERE DECIDED BY THEIR SECOND EPISODE:

7 shows were determined at this stage, 4 were dropped and 3 more got their tickets to the final round.

Deadman Wonderland: Along with shows like Attack on Titan, Deadman Wonderland is a show where its best part lies at the start, and then it will get stupid very, very fast. This one already feels dull after just 2 episodes. What I found the most welcome surprise is the well-crafted production from Manglobe (seriously, the more I watch their old shows the more admiration I have for this late-studio). This show seems to underline the messed-up system the characters live in, but what I get so far instead is the message “Don’t trust anyone”. People act cruel to others for the sake of their own amusement. And when one of a guy declares outright “I will rape you and kill you some day”, what should I take from this? Is it because the system creates such a twisted personality or only individual who downright evil can survive in that world? I honestly don’t care either way. OUT

Kamisama Dolls: I must admit this show caught me off-guard since based solely on the poster, I could never have guessed there will be supernatural, conspiracy, murder and some more dark elements mixed in. But then the show never quite settles on its tone, and the story still feels pretty loose right now. It seems the main developments will be about the main guy going through his trauma, and his little sister comes to master the “God” (more like a puppet if you ask me), which frankly I don’t have any interest in either of them. I am mixed on the ecchi aspect as well and the comedy falls flat. Sorry but it still isn’t good enough to guarantee a spot for the main list. OUT

Fractacle: I can appreciate the level of details into its setting, but other than that this show is very uneven. Plot-wise it’s just too inconsistent, character-wise they’re all one-note and production-wise it’s just on par. The worst offender for me is the girl and two guys who seem to be from 101 Dalmatians than belong to the show. It’s the first dropped noitaminA show and I suspect it won’t be the only one. OUT

Un-Go: yeah, the second dropped noitaminA show. I am a bit intrigued with the settings but neither the cases, or the characters are good enough to keep my interest. Those murders have some twist and turn but they feel too condensed that they never feel flesh out enough. Those main characters have little to no chemistry to each other and the overarching plot is still very muddy. It’s decent but it still doesn’t quite convince me to keep up with it. OUT


Yumekui Merry: Finally, this one is the last show I watched during the first-episode period so just get on with it, endure it for 20 minutes before put it aside and move on… Hang on a minute there, this one’s actually pretty good. The style reminds me a fair bit of Flip Flappers and for good reasons. The concept of blurring the dream and reality is one of my favorite theme and while I can see this show won’t be heavy on that front, I’m happy with what I see so far. To my surprise, the second episode is even better than the first, with some well-articulated drama from the main lead girl and the animation is always inspiring to say the least. I had absolutely no expectation coming to this so and it turns out to be my favorite show so far out of those 27 shows. Made me glad for all these efforts I’m taking so far. IN

Kamisama no Memochou: Wow, this double-length first episode is pretty solid. With this show (and one show below, along with Gosick), we now have 3 series about loli-girl who plays detective. Would be worthwhile just to see which show will eventually come on top. I like this modern-day setting and I found the two cases so far have its compelling parts. Also I enjoy the team dynamic so far, plus the chemistry between the main guy and Alice. Count me in to watch this till the end. IN

Dantalian no Shaka: Well, I didn’t expect this show is produced by Gainax since it feels very unlike their other projects and this was possibly their last big project before becoming the ghost of its own glory as we see now. Another show where loli girl plays detective and this one focus on literacy and the books that can bring magical power. I enjoy the cases and the settings so far, and thank god for one the main mail lead is likeable enough because at least he has brain. The titular girl can be annoying at times but in general I like what I see so far. Also really digging the slow, classical soundtrack. IN


SHOWS THAT WERE DECIDED BY THEIR THIRD EPISODE:

These final 7 shows were so close that I had quite a bit of difficult time shuffling around before this locking in with the list below. Another 4 shows were out and the last 3 shows made its way into the final list

Guilty Crown: It’s remarkable that even after 3 episodes I can’t relate to any of the show’s character. Admittedly I love design characters and the background arts of the show (the character designer of this show is the one who responsible for design of Beatless this season), but the show so far is just underwhelming. Cliché upon cliché (new transfer student, the main guy has is “the one” despite being a nobody, girl lives in his house), fanservice from left field and the story is like a patch-up jobs from other shows. All the characters are so one-note that they’re annoying on screen. The production is impressive, however, but why all good efforts for the show with no writing-talent at all? Such a crying shame. OUT

Blood-C: I swear I can’t keep my eyes of the art-style of Blood-C. Clamp’s unique character style of long limbs can put some new viewers off, but their appeal is so unmistakable. Blood-C also benefits from striking background arts and stellar fight sequences. But then, the story so far is so poorly-constructed. The characters have some of the most tedious dialogue I’ve seen this summary. I have a strong feeling they’re on purpose, with all these “normal activities” are purposely empty, repeatedly for something much more sinister underneath. But damnit, 3 episodes in and they still haven’t pull it off, and that’s not alright considered it’s only 1-cour show. I feel like I’m waiting for some twist that might never appear, which again test my patience and frankly with so many shows out there I just don’t think the wait is worth it. OUT

Sekaiichi Hatsukoi: Boy, I kind of dismissed it upon reading the synopsis but it’s way better than I expected it to be, but it still has some glaring issues. Let’s talk about the good things first, I really love the manga business aspect of the show. Every time the team deals with their mangaka, or tries to check up the manuscript, are a total delight. It makes me want to pair this one up with Bakuman 2 for the two shows that del with manga industry – one from shoujo management point of view, the other one is shounen mangaka perspective. Perfect match, right? But it has a big big big issue, namely the BL aspect. No, I’m not bias against yaoi at all, in fact I’m craving for a good one, but this is not one of this. They go with the yaoi all the way here, and it’s not in a good way. In many instances we have the main guy downright harasses the other main by force-kiss him against his will. It makes for some good “Ah, they kiss” moment but when I think back about it, it isn’t that good of a romance, nor does I care much about it. A shame since I really love the other “manga industry” part of it, but the forced love is a deal-breaker for me here, and I suspect it will only get worse as time goes on. OUT

Zen Hemi: I came to this show with the knowledge of its OVAs and to be frank I wasn’t a fan of the OVAs. The show has some good tweaks about the notion of “pervert” and their behaviors, but at the end it feels rather twisted and somewhat mean-spirited. Well, to my surprise, the series so far fares so much better to me, given the fact that they tone down the experiments and make the characters more likable. It comes incredibly close to the final list (and I’m quite sad to see it goes), still I like the three qualified shows more so this one unfortunately has to go. OUT

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: I don’t deny this is just another Shaft’s joint but it’s exactly why I love every moment of it. The premise itself is hardly original, especially compare to other Shaft’s shows. It’s a tale about a boy (!) comes to small new town (!) and meets several eccentric girls (!), one of them claimed to be an alien (! Wouldn’t you know just a year previous, one of the main girl from Shaft’s Arakawa Under the Bridge claims herself to be a Venus. Surprise, Surprise) but it’s distinctively Shaft-feel with some appropriate and sharp direction and some deep into the characters themselves. Might end up being the most controversial pick here but I don’t care since I enjoyed what I’ve seen from start to finish. IN

Moshidora: This is the tale about a high school girl who use the real “Management” book to apply for her baseball club. Based on popular Light Novels, I must point out that the idea of using such book into a sport club is kinda… impractical. “Management” book is all about business and I can’t define baseball club as a business. They’re just never on the same page. But saying all that, seeing a high school girl tries to apply what written in the book to her own club’s situation has its own unique charm. I also like the feminist touch of having a girl run the club and raise the club to its success, so I’m on board to see how things will play out in the end. IN

Ao no Exorcist: The first episode admittedly didn’t do much to me, given I’m never much a fan of shounen story. There’s a mildly interesting premise and the animation quality is excellent, that’s all I can give. But I’m warming up with its later 2 episodes and I can see myself having fun watching them progress along the way. I still have problem with the main guy, who acts so impulsively that it’s sometimes irritating to watch. Given this is one of the most popular show of 2011 (MAL says it has the second most members of that year, just behind Steins:Gate) and my preferences have been quite under the radar-eccentric, it might not be a bad idea to mix thing up with something as bombastic as this. Who knows, maybe this one (and not Hunter x Hunter) will be the one that change my mind about shounen action show. Blue is indeed the warmest color IN


The final shortlist for the 2011 Anime Retrospective: (36 shows in total)

Winter:   Madoka – Wandering Son – Level E – Gosick – Supernatural the Animation – Yumekui Merry – Kimi no Todoke 2 – Mitsumodoe 2

Spring:     Steins;Gate – AnoHana – Nichijou – Tiger & Bunny – Hanasaku Iroha – Hyouge Mono – C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control – Ao no Exorcist – Shouwa Monogatari – Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko – Moshidora – Kaiji 2

Summer: Mawuru Penguindrum – Usagi Drop – The Idolmasters – Ikoku Meiro no Croisee – No.6 – Dantalian no Shaka – Kamisama no Memochou – Natsume 3

Fall:    Hunter x Hunter – Chihayafuru – Fate/Zero – Mirai Nikki – Haganai – Tamayura: Hitotose – Bakuman 2 – Working 2

Will some of those shows eventually blow up on my pretty face? Absolutely, but it’s the risk I’m willing to take. So what’s next, you wonder? Starting from next post, it’s the real thing. I’ll pick 2 shows to watch and review back to back. The two shows that will kick-off this summary are: Wandering Son and Tiger & Bunny – a sensitive depiction of crossdressers and an exploration to the nature of superhero; a masculine vs. feminime shows so to speak. If youhaven’t watched any of these, this might be a good time to catch up and join me for the next post. Expect it to come out in the next 2 or 3 weeks, as I can only watch those over the weekends. Until then.

5 Responses

  1. Avatar swa says:

    Damn that list, 2011 was an impressive year.

  2. Avatar llevron says:

    Blood-C isn’t good enough to stick with until the twist, but there is one and it is one hell of a twist. (And yes the dialogue is purposely that hamfisted to support the eventual reveal)

    • AidanAK47 AidanAK47 says:

      The twist makes no sense whatsoever if you actually think about it though…

      • Avatar meow says:

        Did you guys ever get the chance to watch Blood the Last Vampire, the movie or play the original playstation 2 games or their psp rerelease? Pretty obscure now but those were the original template of Saya, way before they went on to do Blood+ and Blood C. Plus and C I consider new adaptations. Which did you prefer?

  3. Avatar meow says:

    I actually liked Ben-To a lot because living in Japan, expensive as it is, half-priced bentos can be an awesome lifesaver. It’s one of the last things I used to do at the end of the day, pop into a supermarket to check out the bargain bentos. Of course, this series is a complete comical exaggeration but I felt it was an original way to highlight of an old supermarket tradition that I hope still goes on today.

    And I actually liked Sket Dance a lot. I never considered there to be a single protagonist but rather a protagonist group and with a menagerie of colorful characters who could be protagonists in their own right, set in an everyday high school setting. Really good production values too. If you like Gintama’s comedy arcs, this series should work for you.

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