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Anime Roundup: Autumn 2011

New anime season! YAY!! Especially since we have now hit the big one. Autumn has always traditionally been the largest season with the biggest titles and this year is no exception. There are a couple of shows I am dying to watch but, as usual, let’s take a look at the last season first!

Best Show:

Kamisama Dolls

Too close to call… If I had to choose between the two, I’d go with dolls simply because the ending was neater and left room for a sequel without making it too forced. As a series, I’d say I enjoyed Dantalian more as a whole due to the mystery element and the fact that the designs of Kamisama Dolls didn’t quite fit well with me but Dantalian lacked a resolution in the end and felt too open. Gainax never were good at making endings for their shows, especially adaptations! (Mahoromatic anyone?). I also kinda wish that the stories in Dantalian were a little less stand-alone. I wouldn’t call these 2 some of my favourites of the year, but they were entertaining enough and I did anticipate the next episode to some degree (but then, I looked foward to sacred seven and R-15…)

Runner up: Steins gate, Hanasaku Iroha, Baka Test 2

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Worst Show

Blood-C

Technically, the worst show of the season was by far Kaito Tenshi Twin Angel!! But Blood-C gets the title for one, simple reason. Twin Angel was so bad, I didn’t get past the 2nd episode!! So it goes on the (very) short list of shows I was unable to finish because it was so bad… At least I finished Blood-C and at the end, all I was left thinking was WTF??? What we have here is a 12 episode setup and and advertisement for a damn Movie!! When the big reveal happened late into the series, I think the sound of the audience facepalming could actually be audible to passers by! The whole show felt like a total waste of time and will be condensed into a 5 or 10 minute recap at the start of the movie anyway!! It’s almost like CLAMP have some kind of poison touch to them. My feeling for Blood-C is kinda similar to the ones I have for Code Geass R2. Did we need to sit through all those episodes just to understand the upcoming movie better? A 2 or 3 part OVA could probably do the same job!!!

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Biggest Suprise

IdolM@aster

That’s right! I went there!! Picked up Idolm@ster on a whim and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it, even after I cried tears of blood when Asuza cut her hair short (long hair, dammit!! LONG!!!!). But at least I still had Chihaya. And speaking of Chihaya, I’m glad that I’m hearing more of Imagine (Imai Asami) in shows now. Between this, Steins gate and bururaji, she’s fast becoming one of my preferred seiyuus!
The only problem now is that I have “Ready” stuck in my head and a desire to buy Idolm@ster 2 for my PS3!!

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Biggest disappointment

Kamisama no Memo-Chou

From how to make a good mystery show (Gosick) to how not to make one!! In its defence, the show itself wasn’t too bad as a drama and the character interactions were fun. As a linear show, it’s engaging but it tried so hard to present itself as a mystery show by presenting one at the beginning of each arc and then doing a major faux pas by basically providing the viewer with the answer matter-of-factly. Instead of providing the pieces to the viewer and then slowly putting them together (thus allowing the viewer to piece things faster than the show is unveiling if they were paying attention) Memo-chou slowly dripped info and built the story as we were following, occasionally throwing in key bits of evidence in on a whim! It robs the viewer of the chance to figure things out on their own as they are forced to follow a linear path and rely on info handouts to understand whats going on. As a thriller, it’s fun but as a mystery show it’s a miserable failure.

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The Rest

  • Hanasaku Iroha was great. One of the shows of the year!
  • Tiger and Bunny ended on a really strong point.
  • I really enjoyed Sacred Seven but looking back, I couldn’t really think of anything to recommend about it. It shone brightly but will be forgotten quickly.
  • I was really excited about No. 6 when it started but then it got bogged down with homoerotic undertones and not much happened during the majority of the show until the end, when EVERYTHING happened. The staff needs serious pacing lessons! having only 11 episodes didn’t help eiether (that’s a weakness of NoitaminA shows).
  • The science of Steins Gate was still ridiculous but at least the ending didn’t leave a bad taste in my mouth like Chaos Head. Also, IMAGINE!!!
  • I got a real “meh” feeling from Mayo Chiki. It just didn’t stand out at all!
  • I admit that I kinda enjoyed R-15 but couldn’t finish it because of the damn censorship!! It was so bad, I just couldn’t watch it anymore! Going to wait for the BD rips!
  • Despite being one of “those” shows, Manyuu Hikenchou was actually watchable to a degree. Moreso than Qwaser 2 at least! Still, Hyakka Ryouran is the one to beat!
  • Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi was one of those shows which felt like it needed much more time to effectively tell its story.
  • I just don’t get Ikoku Meiro no Croisée. Nothing happens, absolutely nothing!
  • Baka test 2 focussed more on the individual relationships between the main characters as opposed to class F vs the rest like in the first season and was notably weaker overall. But it was still damn funny!!
  • Mawaru penguindrum was seriously F*CKED UP!!! I don’t think I’ve seen such a cast so messed up in the head since Higurashi!! I mean, one of the main arcs was about a goddamn stalker, and a hardcore one at that!!!

That’s pretty much it from the shows of last season, time to dig into the ones for Autumn.

Must Watch

Shakugan no Shana III

Hands down, my most anticipated show for the season, and maybe even the year! After investing time in 2 seasons, a few OVA episodes, 1 movie and several novels, Shakugan no Shana is finally coming to an end (actually, the novels ended a little while ago but you know what I mean!). Please SHAFT, don’t mess this up!!! I have a rough idea on what happens though my knowledge of the later plot is patchy as I haven’t properly sat down and read the translations floating around and VIZ doesn’t seem to be interested in publishing official translations anymore since I haven’t seen anything since the 2nd volume!! Still, I have fond memories of Shana so I’m going to stick with it for the final sendoff!!

Working!!

After enjoying the first season so much, putting the sequel in my watch list was a no brainer! I’m just hoping for more Popura and Yachiyo after all that focus on Inami.

Kyokai Senjou no Horizon

I’m not sure why I started anticipating this show but I do remember seeing the first figure and thinking that the design was interesting. A quick search on the title led to the anime announcement and now I really want to watch it and find out what it’s all about.

Gundam AGE

Oh come on, were you expecting anything less? The fact that it’s a mecha show, let alone a gundam show, means that it gets an instant pass. I have to admit that I’m not actually looking forward to it too much, with the mecha aspect carrying it through my watch list more than anything. I know that it’s been getting stick for the childish character designs and all that but I really don’t care. The character designs for GaoGaiGar (which WAS aimed for kids) didn’t stop it from being awesome afterall. My main gripe about the show is how much it deviates from the standard aspects of gundam shows, specifically the fact that this show has humanity band together to fight an alien menace. All previous gundam shows had always portrayed humanity in conflict with itself and used it to deal various prejudices and historical elements. Afterall, the history of mankind is a history of war! But, more importantly, it allowed the show to portray both sides of the conflict in both positive and negative lights and because they were all human, we could empathise with both to certain degrees. Why do you think we all remember the Zeon so fondly? By replacing the foe with a faceless alien enemy, we lose that aspect and the show threatens to become even more generic than before! There’s a reason why no other gundam show had aliens as an antagonist. The gundam 00 Movie was the first and it sucked (at least for me). Gundam Seed threatened us with it but backed off.
Still, it’s a mecha show so I’ll watch it even if it is terrible!

Persona 4

Confession: I have not played P4. I have the game, it’s sitting in a pile in front of me, but I have never bothered to play it and with a PSvita version announced (and the fact that I’ll get one eventually) probably means that I won’t play it for a while yet. But this is a big title! Even friends I know who have no interest in anime are watching this show so how could it not be on my watch list? I just hope it ends up more like Tales of the Abyss and not like Valkyria Chronicles.

Interesting but Meh

Last Exile: Ginyoku no Fam

Confession #2 I haven’t watched Last Exile either. It’s one of those shows I kept telling myself to watch but never got around to it. One of the better GONZO shows from their early days (like the fantastic Vandread!) it just slipped me by, which is why I want to watch this show. But having not seen the first show, I’m not too emotionally invested in the series to push this up to Must watch.

Shinryaku?! Ika Musume

Another sequel. The first season was entertaining enough but didn’t leave much of an impression. But I’ll stick with the sequel. No reason not to!

Fate/zero

I’m not all that bothered by the Fate/stay night series. The first show was pretty bad, but then it never stood a chance of doing a good job of adapting the source material. The movie fared better but I’m just left a bit meh-d by the whole thing. Having said that, this series is based on a series of light novels so the adaptation should be better. Only Saber and Gilgamesh return in this story (technically, Kotomine does as well but he’s very different) so we lack Rin and Sakura but I guess checking out the Fate/stay series once more won’t hurt

Future Diary

Having read the first few volumes of the manga, I know this is a pretty messed up show. Cool!!! The manga ended recently as well so hopefully, this show will go through the whole thing and give us a proper ending!

Guilty Crown

This one gets in mostly from the staff. We have the director of death note and the writer for macross F working on this original title from Production I.G so consider my interest piqued. The premise is a mix of fantasy and sci-fi and looks like it may hold my interest too.

Un-Go

Detective story. Nuff said.

Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle

I don’t know what to make of this show but something about it makes me want to take the time to watch it. The premise makes it sound like a psychological thriller, akin to the movie EXAM, which was rather interesting so I’ll give this one a shot.

Boku wa tomodachi ga Tsukunai

A cross between MM! and Mayo Chiki. That’s pretty much the impression I get from the premise. Worth a look… It probably covers the Fanservice requirement for the season too!

Mashiro-Iro Symphony

An Eroge adaptation. For some reason, I feel the need to have at least one in my watch list. I’ve garnered some familiarity with the game already as Volks have already released several resin kits of the girls. I’m not expecting too much, just that it’s more interesting than Hoshizora…

Why am I watching this?

Maken-Ki

I’ve read the manga. it’s dumb. REALLY dumb. It’s so dumb, we don’t even know who the main female protagonist is anymore! The only constant is the male lead, who’s just absolutely forgettable. Well, these kind of shows tend to be at least slightly entertaining…

Ben-to

I don’t even know where to begin… A show about the battles for acquiring cheap food. And I’m not kidding either!! The premise alone says I should give this show a shot!

C3


After watching the first episode on a whim, I got some Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? Vibes. Zombie was decent enough, but without an equivalent for Eucliwood Hellscythe, I don’t know know if this show has enough lasting power to get me though it without becoming a virtual zombie myself…

Maji de Watashi no Koi Shinasai

Another eroge adaptation but one with a more comedic slant to it and more fanservice. My quota for the season is definitely complete with this.

That’s it for this season. Quite a few new shows but I’m all over Shana. If I was only allowed to watch one show this season, that would be it!! I wanted to pick up hunter X hunter as well, but I’m worried that it’s going to end up being one of those loooooooong shounen shows. If it ends up being a 13 or 26 ep series, maybe I’ll pick it up later! What about you guys? Any definite “must watch” shows for yourself?

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  • http://quentinlau.blogspot.com Q

    Really didn’t know you really anticipate Shana (I thought it would be under the “meh” section for you); I too am watching it and hope it would end on a strong side, but the pace from 2nd season kinda left me worrying. JC Staff’s work can be a hit or miss for me sometimes.

    Like Shana, I am watching Fate/Zero because I’ve watched F/SN and UBW, and Gundam AGE because it’s Gundam. Fate/Zero seems to suit my taste among all Fate series so far due to its darker and serious tone. As for Gundam AGE, it won’t be easy to accept the designs as well as how target audience is not exactly us, and I just got spoiled on settings as for why UE appear etc., but nonetheless I will watch it through. There seems to be no mention on how long this series will be though… It may go beyond the usual 50 episodes.

    Last one I’m watching is Hunter X Hunter; the manga series is the only long running series I am still following all the time. The first one way back in 1999 is pretty good, so that may affect my experience on watching this particular remake. BGM is something that irks me a little, which is most likely due to my bias towards the first series (of which its music was quite a forte). Again there’s no clue how long this series will go for; it looks like MADHOUSE may actually try to go all the way to the latest arc.

  • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net gundamjehutykai

    Had Shana been season 1, then I probably would have put it in the meh pile but this is the 3rd season and I’ve been there since the beginning and enjoyed most of the ride so it’s only natural that I want to see how they handle the end.
    I don’t think that Gundam AGE will go past 52 eps. No gundam series has ever gone past 52 eps and the only ones to go longer than that tend to be very popular mangas which are still running at the time. Gundam AGE doesn’t have that support. But after the first couple of eps, I’m really disliking it. Previous gundam series at least gave us pseudo-science explainations as to why the gundam is better than the enemy units but this one just expects you to accept that it is! But I’m watching it with Horizon and Guilty Crown which are rather good (guilty crown especially)

    And I wanted to watch Hunter X Hunter but I can see that one going past 52 eps and I don’t want to dedicate so much time to that kind of show…