Well this month went by fast, didn’t it? I didn’t realize it was over until I saw I had to put this monthly summary out. Frankly speaking, I’m so glad that we have all these carry-overs from the last season as well as the fact that this season is ending soon, because goddamn does Winter 2013 suck. The shows I’m watching from this season are passable, but nothing really great. I know most anime series suck and all, but even by those standards, this is pretty sad. Oh well, with that said, let’s go through what I thought of the anime I saw this month, from best to worst. Also decided to implement the “+, =, -” system in my rankings so you can get a more accurate read of what I think of a show.
Most Awesome Thing on the Planet
Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (-)
This recent arc of Jojo is just too awesome to put into words. I admit, I wasn’t as touch with what happened to Caesar as most people due to the fact that…well…it was so late when I watched it that I fell sleep, so I got spoiled when I went back to it. Still, that was more heartbreaking than the ending of War In the Pocket, which is amazing considering how over-the-top Jojo usually is. Also, I love how David Production finally has a budget to use so they can actually animate those action scenes. Absolutely awesome series Jojo is, although I do have one complaint: enough with the goddamn narration/commenting on everything! I didn’t even like it when Speedwagon commented on everything. What makes you think I’m going to care when an outside narrator (let alone Jojo and Caesar) does it?
Blast of Tempest (+)
There are some shows that decide to change their tone in the second half in order to keep things fresh whilst ramping up the tension at the same time. Usually, this involves a comedic show becoming more serious and edgy to varying effect (mostly negative as of now). Tempest goes the opposite route in that it went into more comedic territory. And by god is the show so much better for it. That reveal at the end of Episode 20 was just godly and blew me away thanks to the well-implemented contrast between tones. Please Bones (and other two-cour shows in general), use this format more often. Of course, I’d prefer your first half to not be as angsty as Tempest’s, but my point still stands.
Psycho-Pass manages to get back to fine form this month, along with being a love/hate show this side of Penguindrum. Thankfully, it has toned down on the social commentary after the big fiasco of exposing what Sibyl really is and has become more action-movie like whilst still delving into the heart of what’s going on without having to rely on two people walking around in a circle. It’s got its flaws (especially with that badly animated Episode 18), but they’re seriously blown way out of proportion. There’s always going to be plotholes when it comes to a story, guys. But what Psycho-Pass gets right more than makes up for them.
Haganai NEXT (-)
The increased role that Rika has been playing in this second season has dramatically improved the show from its uneven first season and has made it more consistently funny. It’s still otaku-pandering bullshit of the highest level, but there’s something regarding the way this show does it that makes it highly entertaining to watch. It goes back to what I said before regarding how bad writers aren’t bad because they’re terrible so much as they put effort into the wrong things. Haganai is definitely focusing on the wrong things. But somehow, all that effort is making the “wrong” right for me. I’m a horrible hypocrite, I know .
Tamako Market (-)
Tamako Market is like Squid Girl and Girls Und Panzer in that its ambitions are pretty low, but it achieves them with so much energy and passion that it’s hard to dislike it. I’ll admit that the comedy rarely makes me laugh now, mostly because Dera’s schtick got old after the first episode and aside from Episode 8, he only gets the occasional laugh every now and then. The only real time the comedy works is when the marketplace gets involved, rather than when Tamako and her friends are put on screen to act cute (though thankfully they’re normal compared to the cast of Kanon and K-ON!). Still, for a KyoAni original project, it’s decent. Could have been better, but at least (hopefully) it won’t suffer the fate that poor Chuunibyou did.
Meh, It’s Alright
Cuticle Detective Inaba (=)
The comedy has been really hit and miss for Cuticle Inaba this month. Each episode usually has a funny first half, but the second half just makes me -_- in its failed attempts to either be serious or do something different whilst not really working. It’s nowhere near as terrible as Binbougami was in balancing the two out, but why oh why can’t these comedies realize that you don’t need to have a serious plot in order to be successful? I don’t care about these characters’ pasts or origins or whatever. Get back to making me laugh goddammit!
Little Busters! (-)
Little Busters is a really frustrating bipolar series. When it focuses on the characters just goofing off and having fun, it’s actually pretty charming and funny. I particularly liked when Rin and Sasami (oh god that name is going to haunt me for a long time) went all DBZ on each other as well as the drama involving Kud, as overplayed as it was, because it actually focused on something low-key. But oh god, these girls’ routes are horrible. Haruka’s came off like a bad Higurashi/Urobuchi clone with poor dialogue and a twin premise that kept reminding me of the Sonozaki family, and it’s not helped at all by the terrible pacing and execution. Seriously JC Staff, did you have to adapt every single route from the fucking game?
Don’t Care For
Bakumatsu Roman (+)
I don’t know what happened, but Roman lost me this month. I guess part of the problem is that it’s too hard to avoid the Lupin comparisons and realize that compared to Lupin, there’s a lack of style to be found. Things just happen in this show with no direction, point, or purpose, similar to how I felt when watching the Fate/Stay Night movie. I also can’t get into the characters, who feel like the cast of Tamako Market (bland stereotypes) if they didn’t have any energy to them. Besides I have that first season of Lupin on my hard drive that I could be watching instead. I didn’t drop this show because I disliked it. I dropped it because I just can’t care anymore.
Space Bros (=)
Now look here Space Bros. I liked you. I liked your characters, your pursuit of dreams, and your animation style. I admired the fact that you actually take the time to research this shit (unlike Jormungand), even if you go overboard with the space masturbation. But you have lasted way too long without anything all that interesting happening and I do not want to sit through another year of you. I’ll admit your last few episodes have been good, and that’s why I’m leaving you whilst you’re still on a high note to prevent my opinion of you from falling any further. Dropped!
From The New World (=)
As I have made it clear before, whenever I hear hype from people I trust regarding a show I dropped, I usually pick it back up for an episode to see if it’s really worth following again. Sometimes they are successes, like with Blast of Tempest. Most of the time, they are failures like Sakurasou (which I also checked out a bit this month, only to find out it got worse after I dropped it). So that nineteenth episode that people hyped as being one of the scariest things ever. Did it convince me to give the series another shot? Short answer: no, I’m still not interested.
I know I said this didn’t look like it was going to be my thing when I researched it and I know that I probably shouldn’t be saying stuff like this given that I’ve got freaking Haganai high in my rankings for crying out loud, but I didn’t expect Robotics;Notes to be this incompetent. Yes, the animation is creative and all that shit, but my god is the plot stupid. I honestly stopped caring about the show long ago to the point that when shit went down in Episode 19, I was about as bored as I was when watching the climaxes of Tsuritama and fucking Jormungand. This anime just took too long to introduce any sort of tension into the story, and even when it does introduce tension, it comes off really badly executed (Episode 16 anyone?). I’m this far in, so I might as well see it through to the end; but chances are that when this is over, I’m giving it a thumbs down.
Hellsing Ultimate (-)
Didn’t exactly come out this month (in fact, the release date for Episode 10 was last month), but I’m putting it here because I finally got to see what I haven’t seen of Hellsing Ultimate (or at least the minute I lasted, hence why there’s no picture for this) and I can simply say one thing:
Hellsing in Japanese is UNWATCHABLE! I don’t care how good the voice-acting is. It’s just WRONG to hear a bunch of European types speak Japanese! Sorry to all Jouji Nakata fans (and put down those goddamn rocket launchers pointed at me)!
Hated With A Passion
After being given time to think about it, I decided to pick up Sasami-san again, though I refuse to blog it any further. Probably because I like to torture myself and also because I want to see how Shinbo’s worst series (that I’ve seen) is going to turn out, the same way I stuck with Guilty Crown. Also, despite putting the show in the “Hated With a Passion” category that it so deserves to be in, my hatred of the show has mostly been replaced by silent moaning, disappointment, and confusion at just what the hell went wrong with this. I’m not the biggest Shaft fan of course, but still…this is pretty bad even by their standards. I haven’t seen Vampire Bund yet, but I’d be shocked if it was worse than this.
So Bad I Wanted to Quit Watching Anime
I doubt anything this bad will come again in a while.
- I also checked out Da Capo III Episode 7. Worse than Sasami-san, although I couldn’t summon up much hatred for it because…well…of course it wasn’t going to be good. It’s fucking Da Capo for godsakes!
- I decided to try my hand at the “pictures” stuff. You want to know what I mean, hover your mouse cursor over each image.
- Part of the reason Robotics;Notes is ranked so low is because I actually did have some expectations for it, unlike about half the shows above it.
- Edit: After reading other people’s reactions to R;N Episode 19, I realized this series crashed harder than I thought. Didn’t put it in the “hate” category though because honestly, I don’t care anymore.