Anime Guide 2013

Another years has past, so once again it is time for me to provide my (not very) insightful opinions of the anime that finished their run in 2013. As in previous years, I give my opinion without providing an actual review.

This years installment is longer than usual because I got myself a Nexus 7 to use on my train ride to work. I also tend to focus on the short series more because there is less risk with the time investment, so that also bumps the number in the list. And, lets begin!

Anime of the Year

From the New World
(TV Series, 25 episodes)

This was a hotly contested position in that there were several other series I could have equally put in this position.* This series won due to having a very strong and unique storyline that takes risks that many anime will not. From early on you are given the sense of something not quite right underlying the otherwise peaceful world. It is that question that keeps you going during the slower paced episodes that provide the needed background information early in the series. And don’t judge it too early, because there are time skips taking the main characters into adulthood. I think this series could have been improved by not being 25 episodes long. Not because there was filler added to stretch it out that long, but because it fitted exactly 25 episodes and breaks between episodes seemed out of place. I think I would have enjoyed this even more if I had watched all episodes one after the other, or had this been a series of five movies instead.

* The other very strong contenders were Attack on Titan, Psycho-Pass and The Eccentric Family.

Recommended

Attack on Titan
(TV Series, 25 episodes)

I’m sure many people consider this the anime of the year. It does have a very interesting story, with the titans remaining imposing throughout. I also found the animation in the plentiful action sequences to really highlight the “3D maneuver gear”. But I disliked the protagonist and his over-emoting so much that at one point of the anime I was thinking that if he died right now it would great and we could get on with the real story. I continuously had the impression that this was anime that started with a bang was going to fade away, but there was always something that save it.

Kyousougiga
(TV Series, 10 episodes)

This was my bit of crazy for the year and I was entertained by all the pretty colours moving around… It is a bit all over the place, which is made even more difficult when there are sets of characters with the same name across different time points. The episode #0 for this series did not help. It is basically an episode from one of the previous incarnations of this story and contained a lot of information with little context. But don’t worry, there is also an additional episode at the end to explain things for you.

Psycho-Pass
(TV Series, 22 episodes)

This was my Anime of the Year in an early draft of this post, mainly because I had not seen a serious dark science fiction anime in a while. And it definitely had some darkness to it – the episodic first half of the series showed some brutal crimes coming from the criminals deranged point of view. On top of the gore in the committed crimes, the implosion/explosion of the criminals was a highlight (in an “I am not a psychopath” kind of way…). The series avoid greatness mainly by having an overly formulaic character set and probably needing to be a few episodes shorter as there were a couple of nothing episodes.

Silver Spoon
(TV Series, 11 episodes)

Not a series I thought I would like from face value, but I saw a few positive reviews and noted who the author was and decided to try it. Very good decision! There is nothing individually outstanding about it, yet it remains consistently solid throughout. Despite my concerns, the comedy aspect did not go overboard. This is one of those series where you will sit down to start it and all of a sudden have finished watching all the episodes but you will have no real idea why.

Steins;Gate the Movie: Burdened Domain of Deja Vu
(Movie, 90 minutes)

The follow-up movie to what I considered to be the series of the year in 2011. Part of what I liked about the series was having no idea what was going on, but knowing that I wanted to. This was not captured by the movie – not surprising given it was a sequel – but it was a decent follow-up to a great series.

The Eccentric Family
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

For a 13 episode anime, this show managed to provide a fairly complete mythology without any episodes whose sole purpose was to explain it. Instead the episodes gradually reveal the world and you are required to piece it together bit by bit. This does lead to a reasonably slow build up and also leaves gaps in our understanding of the world, but I often find that much more enjoyable than shows that rush to tie up every loose end.

Wolf Children (The Wolf Children Ame and Yuki)
(Movie, 117 minutes)

This is really a 2012 anime, but it was released onto DVD in 2013 so it still counts… My blog, my rules! Creates a modern day folktale and focuses purely on how the situation is dealt with by the people involved. Charming in its simplicity.

Average

A Certain Scientific Railgun S
(TV Series, 24 episodes)

I really liked the original Railgun, but this was just more of the same. In fact, it really was more of the same – the first half was a retelling of what we saw in A Certain Magical Index from a different perspective. It would now take a very good story line to get me to watch any more of this franchise.

Archenemy and Hero (Maoyuu Maou Yuusha)
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

Follows politics, economics, religion, technology and war and shows how they interact reminding me of a less interesting version of Spice and Wolf. While it is generally fairly seriousness, it switches to the outrageous at the blink of an eye. The setup is very weak, but it all fits together if we assume the Hero trusts the anyone with exceeding large breasts (even by anime standards).

Beyond the Boundary
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

A show that was bad while being good. It managed to combine a vast variety of anime clichés in a single series in a way that was at least interesting.

Blast of Tempest
(TV Series, 24 episodes)

This show started out being quite enjoyable. Once most of the mystery disappeared around half way, pseudo-intelligent conversations became the method for moving the plot along. Quoting Shakespeare everywhere just adds to the pretentiousness.

Blood Lad
(TV Series, 10 episodes)

A series being 10 episodes long is really quite strange, so you would think they had a solid story line planned… But I see not much planning of anything beyond the first episode. The lack of story was hidden by introducing a couple of new characters every episode. Yet the series was somehow not that bad.

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

Welcome to a mecha anime that spends most of its time not being mecha. The whole middle section of this anime is completely unnecessary, managing a beach episode and one revolving around belly dancing. However, the underlying elements of the story were interesting enough. It is a pity they were used so poorly.

Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

This series was so laid back it did not even have a plot, which is what I think made it strangely likable. The title character was definitely the strongest and frequently stole the show despite not being the main focus.

Pokemon Origins
(TV Special, 4 episodes)

“Gritty reboot” more closely following the original games. The focus is only on the major aspects of those games at the expense of story telling. Fine, there are four episodes so you can not do too much. But it was disappointing when I realized that this was really an advertisement for Pokemon X and Y.

Servant x Service
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

I chose to watch this because all the characters were adults. It turns out adults taking care of business is not what I would consider great entertainment, but it was oddly refreshing and there was nothing I found too bad about it either.

Sunday Without God
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

Builds a unique world and deals with an interesting situation, but this is almost all that the series has going for it. The lead character is the demise of the series.

The Devil Is a Part-Timer!
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

This series is probably the best of the rest. I just could not justify it being in the “Recommended” section, but it seemed better than “Average”. Some of the comedy becomes tired near the end of the series, which further dragged down a fairly weak finish. I was impressed that this series managed to get a “beach” episode without technically having one.

Tiger and Bunny the Movie: The Beginning
(Movie, 93 episodes)

Another movie that saw theatrical release in 2012 but out on DVD in 2013. I was a bit disappointed in this given its series was one of my favourite animes of 2011. Not because the movie ruined it, but because the first half was essentially the first part of the anime retold. The second half was great! Hopefully the next movie will make it up to me.

Sub-par

Galilei Donna
(TV Series, 11 episodes)

This series promised much in the first episode and rapidly proceeded to ignore that any such promises were ever made. It is one of the most spectacular crashes I have ever seen a series take.

Outbreak Company
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

Do you know what a fantasy world full of magic and the traditional fantasy races needs introduced from Japan? Otaku culture. That’s right… Well, I suppose that is one way to try making your audience feel like they are important. Too much self-serving “isn’t anime great” for my liking, even if it was attempted humour.

RDG: Red Data Girl
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

This actually has all the potential to be very good. The story builds and builds… to nothing. I feel like I missed the final few episodes, but I am not drawn in enough to check if there is an OVA or movie to follow.

The Garden of Words
(Movie, 46 minutes)

The highlight of this movie was the animation of rain drops falling in the pond during the opening scenes.

The Unlimited Hyobu Kyosuke
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

The word “unlimited” is what is wrong with this anime. It means there is never any risk that the protagonist is going to be harmed in any way. Imagine, someone saying “this battle is really difficult given I am committing about 1% of my strength to it – I’m in real danger here”. Bah.

Did Not Finish

Flowers of Evil
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

I figure I should not include this in the Sub-Par section as I did not complete watching it and it may have improved substantially. What was quite “novel” about this series was the use of rotoscoping, although it does lose a lot of detail from people even at a short distance from the camera. A bit disappointing given the background art was very well done. I persevered as long as possible watching this telling myself “I have never dropped an anime, it is only 13 episodes, I’m sure I can make it…”. I gave up part way into episode five, read a review saying there was a big reveal a few episodes on, skimmed through to that episode, decided there was no hope and stopped.

Honourable Mention

Hellsing Ultimate
(OVA, 10 episodes)

This missed making it into my 2012 list, because the final episode was released at the very end of the year. Not that speed was essential here given the first episode was released in 2006. The time taken – and I suppose budget – is clearly shown with great animation, particularly in fight scenes. I think it would be a better series as just a dark horror vampire versus Nazi versus Englishmen story without the humour parts.

Space Brothers
(TV Series, 99 episodes)

This did not make my list this year or last year because it had not finished yet. It looks like it is taking a break after episode 99 for a while. I would have said much better things about this series at the end of 2012. Currently I say it is still worth watching the ~100 episodes that have been released, but it can be slow going and a bit predictable at times and the recap at the start of the episode has become too long. Despite that, it is still an anime I watch immediately on release. It is also my constant reminder to find out how many episode a series has before starting to watch it.

And that is the end for 2013. Anything good I missed?

Anime Guide 2012

It is entirely possible that I am getting old(er) and grumpy(er), but I found this years anime selection very lacking. Lowlights included a series about anthropomorphized guns and one about licking drool left by another student resulting in a drool addiction.

As in previous years, I only consider anime that have finished their run during 2012. So any series that started this year and has not finished yet is not included. Also, I do not do real reviews, but just make my opinions known on a selection of anime that I thought would be interesting enough to watch.

Anime of the Year

Another

Another
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

Admittedly, all horror anime series are fairly predictable and much of this is no exception. So how did this get my “Anime of the Year” stamp? Because when it killed people, it did so very gruesomely! That is enough when there is a lack of better choice… The beginning of this series was so slow that I was considering moving on – I am really talking up the winner this year – then something happened and I had to immediately see the next episode. Still, it is a sad year when an anime with a beach episode (in a horror series, really?!) makes it to this not-very-coveted-at-all spot. And I made it through this without using “another” in a pun, which was a struggle…

Recommended

Fullmetal Alchemist - The Scared Star of Milos

Fullmetal Alchemist – The Scared Star of Milos
(Movie, 110 minutes)

Side story to FMA: Brotherhood, which I gave Anime of the Year in 2010. If you like the series, you will like the movie although it really does not add much as it is essentially a long episode.

Kids On The Slope

Kids On The Slope
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

There was not a chance of me skipping this anime given the director and who provided the music. This is despite it really not being a usual choice for me as, unlike Watanabe’s usual series, this is appeared relatively slow moving drama. However, I get the impression of there being quite a lot of content when I look back on the 12 episodes, so it can not have been that slow. I think the slower points were a needed tool to give room for the characters to develop. I am no expert on jazz or 1960s Japan, but I hear only good things about the attention to detail in both aspects. A surprisingly good series for something I went into with a mildly negative outlook.

Average

Fate/Zero

Fate/Zero
(TV Series, 25 episodes)

At one stage I was lacking much to watch and I remembered Fate/Stay Night being quite good. But watching this reminded me why as a rule any series based on a video game is bad. Lines like “Sabers parameters are particularly high. Most of them appear ranked A.” are just awful. There was enough dumb action to get beyond that.

Humanity Has Declined

Humanity Has Declined
(TV Series, 12 episodes)

I try watching at least one thing that seems a bit weird each year and here it is… My main issue with this series is that there was not enough of it. Most story-lines were two episodes long, which makes a 12 episode series too short to really achieve anything. Saying that, the short stories really do not link together very well, so extending it further could have made the series too disjointed.

Kokoro Connect

Kokoro Connect
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

Everything I saw here made me thing this was a Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya wannabe that tried hard to be different enough. The body swapping was entertaining enough and I was amused at one of the girls saying she was getting good a peeing standing up. But then the ideas for where to take the series ran out. Well, they obviously did not run out, they were just bad.

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing

Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing
(TV Series, 23 episodes)

Another sequel that yet again did not live up to the original. Part way through this I got the intense feeling that I did not understand the end of the original, so I went back an watched the final episode. That did not help… It turns out there is a manga that covers the gap between the two stories, but I guess most people (at least outside Japan) have not read it. But we do get a history lesson at the end of this series. That is not good for a series that really relies on the greatness of the original.

Sword Art Online

Sword Art Online
(TV Series, 25 episodes)

This was my pick of the “this video game just got real” genre for the year – there were quite a few series in it. How it approached the long-term effects of being stuck in a virtual reality world was quite interesting. And the over-the-top battle scenes were absolutely fine, because this is a game. And then there is the second half. Not only was the ball dropped, it was… (I got stuck thinking of a good enough hyperbole to use here). In fact, just don’t watch the second half; the ending of the first arc is just fine.

Sub-par

Bodacious Space Pirates

Bodacious Space Pirates
(TV Series, 26 episodes)

So… I watched this entirely because it had “Bodacious” in the title… Had I done a bit of research and seen that it is based on a light novel called “Miniskirt Space Pirates”, I probably would have reconsidered. Because this is the future, pirating is all about cyberwarfare and so we get to watch people type fast. To be fair, there is also lasers to counteract that boredom. And because the series is so seriously slow in places, there is plenty of boredom. One thing that did surprise me – well, because this is a bad anime and usually such an “opportunity” would be taken… – is that miniskirts do not lift up in zero gravity. Probably for the best given the ages of the characters.

K

K
(TV Series, 13 episodes)

I read this was a bit like Durarara!! so I took a look. I need to find that review, identify its author, buy a plane ticket, knock on their front door and tell them NO! Although at one stage I saw artwork that was similar and there was a large number of characters, any similarity ended there. The final episode is good and potentially could have done some redeeming if the second series was not announced in the middle and essentially gave away part of the ending.

The Future Diary

The Future Diary
(TV Series, 26 episodes)

Only one can survive and there is no doubt which one it will be even though he is absolutely useless. His one advantage is the writers have no qualms using many, many contrived leaps of logic to help him. The one redeeming feature of this series is that it does teach a valuable life lesson: “Don’t stick your dick in crazy”.

And that is it for the year as far as I am concerned… Technically Hellsing Ultimate fits my criterion of finishing in 2012, but I doubt I will get ahold of the final OVA for a while yet – not that waiting is an issue with that series (the first OVA was released seven years ago). At this stage next year’s list looks to be improved, with the four series I am watching now (Space Brothers, From the New World, Psycho-Pass, Blast of Tempest) all worth a look at this stage.

Anime Guide 2011

Last year’s anime list appeared in July, so I am definitely making progress at getting this done earlier in the year. Who knows, by next year it might appear in January! Then again, it could happen in August…

As always, this is not a review of all of the year’s anime as there is far too much crap out there. Instead it is a collection of my opinions on the anime that I thought were good enough to watch in the first place. There was definitely a lot of decidedly average anime during this year. There was not necessarily anything bad about them, just there is nothing to make them stand out as worthwhile either.

Anime of the Year

Steins;Gate

Steins;Gate
(TV, 25 episodes)

It took me until at least the eighth episode to have some sort of idea what was going on here. Bananas in microwaves that turn into green goop… But even though I had no idea what was happening, the early episodes still are intriguing enough that you want to watch more and it gets even better once the plot points all begin coming together.

Recommended

Black Lagoon - Roberta's Blood Trail

Black Lagoon – Roberta’s Blood Trail
(OVA, 5 episodes)

If you like the two previous series of Black Lagoon, then you will probably like these episodes. It is just more of the same thing, but given the previous series were very, very good…

Mawaru Penguin Drum

Mawaru Penguin Drum
(TV, 24 episodes)

This series made it into my Recommended list based entirely on its uniqueness. And I am sure there is some deep underlying meaning in there (probably something about abandoned children being able to find happiness) and there appears to be a large number of metaphors too (the boxes, the apple). But there were too many twists and turns for me to fully grasp what was being implied. I still have no idea what the penguins were…

Tiger and Bunny

Tiger and Bunny
(TV, 25 episodes)

Remember those days of getting up early on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons? Tiger and Bunny is like an American superhero cartoon, but with more awesome. Almost enough awesome for me to select it as the anime of the year. I even found the shameless sponsor promotion to be quite amusing. But in the end, there is nothing amazing or original about this series, it is just damn entertaining.

Usagi Drop

Usagi Drop
(TV, 11 episodes)

Not the usual style of show for me to watch, but it was a solid drama so the risk paid off. However, if you like this show and want to find out more by reading the manga, then you should wipe that thought completely from your mind. Pretend the manga never existed. Seriously… No arguing. Just don’t. As one blogger wrote, he should have just let sleeping, scrotum-eating, rabid dogs lie.

Average

A Certain Magical Index II

A Certain Magical Index II
(TV, 24 episodes)

Worse than the first series and far worse than Railgun. But given both of those were very good, that is not bad in itself. However, my overall impression was that they were running out of ideas so they had to stretch out the little that they had, which resulted in a fairly slow pace. And the superpower that only negates other superpowers gets boring.

Blue Exorcistt

Blue Exorcist
(TV, 25 episodes)

There was a few quite good episodes in this series. However, its storyline is overly predictable and has too much filler (including a beach episode…).

Broken Blade

Broken Blade
(OVA, 6 episodes)

I have never been a fan of mecha anime, but this was one of the better ones. Well, it was for the first four episodes anyway. I found the finish was bland. Almost as bland as the characters… But at least they were not teenagers because the addition of boring teenage coming of age crap (that normally is in mecha anime), would have killed this for me.

Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland
(TV, 12 episodes)

The theme park style prison where inmates have to compete in fights in order earn points to buy their continued living is not particularly original… But at least the superpowers were interesting. The ending is also far too non-conclusive, but I am not sure if it was because there was nothing to conclude or if everything was kept open to make a sequel.

Dragon Ball Kai

Dragon Ball Kai
(TV, 97 episodes)

I watched this mainly for nostalgia reasons and because I have never seen the final 50 or so episodes from Dragon Ball Z. While this version was significantly more fast paced than the original (the 97 episodes covered what took 193 in DBZ), I think it could still have moved faster in lots of places. Also, the remake is not complete and so I still have not seen the second half of the Majin Buu Saga. Maybe one day…

Fractale

Fractale
(TV, 11 episodes)

This anime started off well, but got progressively worse. But I can not actually say how it got worse… it just became bad. And I think I mean genuinely bad and not just bad because it did not live up to the potential shown in the first episode.

Gosick

Gosick
(TV, 24 episodes)

This tries so hard to be a good show. But I think I am already bored of shows that involve some sort of detective with a side-kick. The first few cases are examples of entirely amateur writing. I think someone just jumped on the internet and searched for “crime cases with minor twist when solving”. It all just seemed too familiar. But the series was rescued as story did go beyond a pure detective drama and turn into something much more interesting.

No. 6

No. 6
(TV, 11 episodes)

After lots of war, only six pieces of land remain. Guess which number this is? This is another series that I think started off strong but just did not go anywhere spectacular. Just a typical Dystopian Society storyline.

Subpar

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

The Mystic Archives of Dantalian
(TV, 12 episodes)

You can always tell a show is bad when there is some sort of super power transformation sequence that lasts so long that you starting thinking to yourself that you could have killed both of the lead characters multiple times by now and that would not necessarily be a detriment to the show. It is even worse when that superpower is unlocking a girls chest with a key and then reaching in a pulling out a book. That takes forever, but then the book has to be read aloud for it to work. With only minor exaggeration, in total this sequence takes about three quarters of every episode.

Anime Guide 2010

Hmm… double checks the date… July 2011… It seems this is a bit late! Well, one of the advantages of being stuck in hospital for a while is that you get to catch up on things that otherwise get deferred. It is amazing how much time becomes available when you have no internet access or television.

This will not be a typical review of the year’s anime as I am not sadistic enough to watch (or even preview) the vast amount of series that I know I am going to find unappealing. It will also not include summaries of each anime as these can be found elsewhere. So, here are some brief opinions on anime I expected to be good enough to invest my time in watching that finished airing in 2010.

Anime of the Year

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood

Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood
(TV, 64 episodes)

This series was always going to find it particularly tough to impress me despite (and because of) the original Fullmetal Alchemist being one of my all time favourites. And the early episodes, which had overlapping storyline with the original series, had me confirming my opinion of the remake not being worth it. Everything that made the original great was still there, but there was nothing to make it stand out. Then came the divergence of storylines. Many months after I have finished watching this, I am still not sure which ending I like better, although I may lean slightly towards Brotherhood. I think the fact that I am still internally debating which is is the better ending after all this time demonstrates just how good this series is.

Recommended

A Certain Scientific Railgun

A Certain Scientific Railgun
(TV, 24 episodes; DVD, 1 OVA)

I came to this not really knowing what to expect as I had not watched its predecessor (A Certain Magical Index). But it had “Railgun” in the title, so it must be good… Turns out that this is not really a superpowers show. Sure, there are people with superpowers everywhere, but that is considered ordinary in this series. That leaves you with a comedic slice-of-life series with plenty of superpower action spliced on top, which turned out to be an interesting and surprisingly appealing combination.

Angel Beats!

Angel Beats!
(TV, 13 episodes; DVD, 1 OVA)

I initially was not intending to watch this series, but people were raving about it… The series does have a good mystery/action feel to it, although some of the comedy is really over the top. Also, the pacing is all over the place with some episodes dragging to story to a near standstill while others progress blindingly fast. In the end I found the overtones of Haibane Renmei and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya too strong to have the series stand out on its own.

Durarara!!

Durarara!!
(TV, 24 episodes)

Big things were expected of this series, but it was always going to find it tough to escape the shadow of its elder brother Baccanno! This was a show of two halves… During the first arc, I really thought that it was going to live up to all expectations but the second half of the series became only good. That still makes this a very good anime to watch overall (and a serious contender for Anime of the Year), but I was left feeling unsatisfied due to it not living up to the potential I saw early on.

Highschool of the Dead

Highschool of the Dead
(TV, 12 episodes)

The zombies take over premise has been done repetitively with very little actual variation between implementations to make them stand out. But the key thing to enjoying a good zombie series or movie is to just not take it too seriously. They are not supposed to be masterpieces of originality, but rather mindless entertainment. And the creators of this series seem to know that and have embraced it fully.

Katanagatari

Katanagatari
(TV, 12 episodes)

This series was unusual in that it was broadcast with an hour long episode every month across the year. It also had a very “video game” feel to it initially, with each episode bacially being a fetch quest for a new sword (and I would buy the game immediately). The increased time taken for each episode seems to have paid off, with the action scenes being extremely well animated. Despite this, looking back on the series you realize that there is not sword fights everywhere and in fact it spends more time on the dramatic that action, which is somewhat surprising.

Shiki

Shiki
(TV, 22 episdoes)

A good horror series, although perhaps with perhaps a bit of a slow buildup at times. The atmosphere of the small town setting is well set-up during the beginnings for the eventual horror later in the series. However, the character design just seems too “happy” to fit in with the storyline, with the pointy hair and weird facial features just seeming out of place, and this somewhat spoils the build up of intensity.

Average

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Dance in the Vampire Bund
(TV, 12 episodes)

The series begs the question “What the hell is a Bund?”. Turns out to be a piece of land. Once that is answered, most of the mystery goes out of the series leaving a fairly bland vampire and werewolf series. At least they are traditional vampires and werewolves that kill stuff and not the romantic crap you get these days. The series does focus more on the political than action, but it is really just not intriguing enough to be greatly entertaining.

Eden of The East the Movie II: Paradise Lost

Eden of The East the Movie II: Paradise Lost
(Movie, 93 minutes)

I was hoping for a lot from this movie. The TV series was one of the highlights (if not the best) of 2009. Then it was followed with the first movie (The King of Eden), which really did not stand up on its own. But I knew that the second movie was following to wrap up the plot so the somewhat poor initial follow-up to a great series could potentially be forgiven. All has not been forgiven… That is not to say the movie was not good. It just can not stand beside the TV series it was following.

Psychic Detective Yakumo

Psychic Detective Yakumo
(TV, 13 episodes)

The most average show of the year. I found nothing particularly good about it but also nothing particularly bad. It was just OK. Nothing more to say really…

Rainbow

Rainbow
(TV, 26 episodes)

This is not your usual anime. It is a serious drama without anything to lighten the mood. The first half of this series is dark and depressing. It is perhaps because the first half was was so well done that I found the second half far too cheesy in what seems to be its attempt at being inspirational. In fact, I found it so cheesy that I really just did not care at all what happened to the main characters by the end.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya
(Movie, 163 minutes)

After the disappointment of the second season of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (not just due to Endless Eight…), I was hoping that this movie would recapture some of the essence of the original. And there were elements of this movie that really did show the greatness of the original series, but they were not frequent enough to overcome what is for me fast becoming a jadedness towards this series.

Subpar

Occult Academy

Occult Academy
(TV, 13 episodes)

I generally favour watching short (~13 episode) series given there is very little room for episodes that do not forward the main storyline. Occult Academy is definitely an exception to that rule… The series seemed to have so much potential after the first two episodes, only to be followed by eight episodes of near nothingness. Seriously, if the world is about to end and only you can save it, do not waste your time holding a Christmas party to appease the spirit of some ghost girl. That can wait until later. Then it finishes with what I would usually consider to be a very satisfying three episode arc full of action and drama. However, given the ending is so out of place given the rest of the series, it is just not good enough to make this worth watching.

And there we go… a bit over 100 hours of anime for the year. Lesson learned – never calculate how much time you spend doing stuff.

Fansub Fun

I do not think I will be using Chihiro Fansubs to watch To Aru Kagaku no Railgun:

The grass is a deeper shade of green across the other side of the fence.

Close and somewhat better that the original in many ways…

Posted in Anime on by Allan Comments Off