January Roundup

Hah! I finally got around to do a monthly roundup!

The new season has a lot of good offerings. Nothing Madoka Magica-level of awesome is offered besides Nisemonogatari but everything WENT BETTER THAN EXPECTED. As of the carry-overs from last season, they are still looking good. Even Guilty Crown isn’t so terrible anymore now that I’ve accepted that it will never be good.

The noticeable trend though is “GOING BACK TO ANIME’S ROOTS”. Stuff like Lagrange or Ano Natsu could actually have aired years ago and you wouldn’t notice anything (especially Ano Natsu). Bodacious Pirates has plenty of homages and the fact that this was in production for such a long time, you can really see its classiness. Aquarion gets a sequel/reboot and nostalgia must be coming in. Another is an adaptation of a 20th century novel while Area no Kishi is an adaptation of a 27-volume ongoing manga. Heck, Dansei no Nichijou is mocking every single anime trope we’ve came to know and. . . get annoyed?

It does look like this won’t stop for this season. Next season has tons of award-winning mangas adapted, long-awaited franchises, digging in novels of a decade old. . . etc.

For some news: Bebop director and Yoko Kano are collaborating for a manga adaptation of a Jazz Band in Noitamina, animated at Tezuka Productions. Hold of your “Too much anticipation will turn it into a Guilty Crown” though. Seriously, hold it off. Though I doubt this will be terrible.

So HERE WE GO!

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LAND OF THE TERRIBAD

13. Nymphogear

Lol this shit is terrible! Who the hell wrote the script for this thing! Well at least it’s so bad it’s funny! The animation though is honky-ponky terribad.

Rating: 7.0

 

FAULTY BUT WATCHABLE

12. Guilty Crown

At this point, I’m just accepting this come and go. Pull plot twists out of nowhere- sure whatever! Start a cultural festival with all the characters you like back in school even though the whole town is in chaos and the supplies are slowly disappearing – sure whatever! Might as well turn Shoe into a badass (as the new OP suggested) since we need this shit to run a bit longer – SURE WAHTEVS! You could say I’m somewhat immune already to the shit this series pull off and I really just want to enjoy it since it has really nice visuals. Plus it’s not nearly as bad as the likes of Blood-C and Fractal for anime originals.

Rating: 7.6

 

GOOD

11. Knight in the Area

Well I didn’t get as teary-eyed as I probably would have (yes I get emotional with these onion animu), but rest assured Knight in the Area has something big in store of us. With Kakeru getting Suguru’s heart, things will definitely spic up as we will probably see glimpses of dark Suguru in our weak-willed MC.

Rating: 8.1

10. Inu X Boku SS

There’s a wild premise of youkai living in one place and you know where they focus on? Everyday life in living in that apartment of course! Much like Mouretsu Pirates, Marley and Me Supernatural Series focuses on “What is it like to be in this setting” rather than “We have an awesome setting; let’s make a great plot alongside it”. While something tells me that the latter would turn my interest in this series a bit higher, enjoying the everyday life of such setting isn’t so bad either. It also helps when your characters are really interesting. Especially the butler. THAT GODDAMN BUTLER! He probably even beats Hayate in his own game.

Rating: 8.2

9. Bodacious Pirates

Turn her into a pirate already! In all honesty Bodacious Pirates has the most solid execution this season. It’s not hurrying up to the plot (it has 26 episodes of leeway) and its universe is being slowly explored. I’m sure all this buildup will pay off heavily once the plot actually starts.

Rating: 8.3

 

SEASON’S MEAT

8. Mirai Nikki

The question was always, why doesn’t just Yuki give up and actually like Yuno for a change. She’s just a stalker and she probably wouldn’t hurt- OH SHIT. Yuno is mentally unstable and will delete memories in a flick. Yuno really is the anchor of this series. Heck they couldn’t even prolong her absence (a grand total of half an episode) since they probably realized that every character in this series is terrible except Yuki. And Yuki,  as character, doesn’t work without Yuno.

Rating: 8.5

 

7. Everyday Life of High School Boys

Being really funny is one thing but consistently mocking every single thing about anime tropes is another thing. Dansei no Nichijou is heavy on mocking. Deep words scriptwriter pulls out of there asses – MOCKED. I have a peaceful everyday life and I will run outside with a toasted bread in my mouth – MOCKED. I will go to the beach, sing Karaoke, go to an Onsen, play in the cemetery in summer while having a cheesy song running through making the viewer feel nostalgic of what have you –MOCKED. I think the best one was in episode 3 near the end where the girls where mocking the everyday skit of Dansei no Nichijou. One of the girls spouted “We are funny in whatever we’re gonna do because we’re girls”. HAHAHAHA shit the comedy in this series is GOLD.

I’d give it a few more episodes and if I find a skit that will make me laugh more than Nichijou’s wrestling scene, then I really might consider this as the best comedy Anime has ever seen. For now though-

Rating: 8.6

 

6. Rinne no Lagrange

Admittedly I wasn’t sold with the first episode since it felt a bit sloppy but the next two episodes changed that completely. We got a full-three episode continuity making me feel like this production is BIG. It’s fun, thrilling and exciting. The details of the battle are very spot on too. The series realizes that there’s actually people in town not like some other series (hi thar Aquarion) and it’s a nice little detail that Madoka actually worries where she will land. The things that got destroyed the episode before where still there and the human weapons have actually some use (to stall time) unlike some other series (hi thar Nymphogear). I also helps that your Yuri Goggles is at max limit. Also the Soundtrack is awesome.

Rating: 8.7

 

5. Aquarion EVOL

Not exactly the most consistent, but it definitely is the most exciting. Coming from someone who has never watched Sousei no Aquarion, I must say this is the very definition of what an anime is. It has a plot which can never be pulled off in other media, its characters have personalities and designs that again can never be pulled off in another media, and its glowing “Gattai Scenes” (the most unadulterated version of an orgasm) is also something that can never be pulled off in another media. Even with all the clichés it pulls, it never felt, “been there done that”.

A great example is Episode 5. The Berlin Wall of the school which separates boys and girls has finally been broken only for the rule of “Love is Forbidden” to be initiated. Then the heads of the school decided that these teenagers should go on dates in Kowloon and give them these armbands which electrocute you if you’re too in love. Except for Amata Sora of course, because we have to see him fly when sexually driven! And just when the heads start panicking that there’s no stopping Amata and Mikono’s relationship (complete with a “I think we are destined for each other” line), lo and behold. The villain comes in, sweeps of Mikono, tells her “You stink deliciously. Mikono then gets electrocuted, Zessica is now replaced by the Villain in the triangle, and some sort of new power is formed.

No, a plot like this can never be pulled off in any other media (even manga).

Rating: 8.7

 

4. Another

Horror, like comedy, is something that’s hard to pull off. Everyone has a different taste on what triggers their emotions so the best way for a Horror/Suspense/Mystery series to work is play all its cards for it to work. Another does this really well. From the very start, I was already shit-in-my-pants scared on what’s gonna happen. There’s so much intrigue, so much questions, so much mystery. If I do have a problem, it would be that the characters aren’t the most interesting out there. I guess concentrating on fear will really take out character development and most horror series are like this but there is ONE series that avoided this and that would be Higurashi. That would also be the reason why Higurashi is my number one Horror Anime ever. Another is still really good though and definitely one of the contenders for the best this season.

*Remember that crapalicious anime called BLOOD C? You can say both this and that have the same intrigue but WHY is it that this works so well and BLOOD C worked so terribly? I guess that’s the most mysterious thing about BLOOD C. IT had everything going for it, yet it didn’t work.

Rating: 8.7

 

3. Ano Natsu de Matteru

It surprisingly became the best new offering this season, for me. I’ve explained lengthily why Onegai Sempai is so good so I’m not gonna bother explaining again. I am quite excited in where this Love Polygon is gonna take us. Maybe another reason why I’m really loving Ano Natsu is because we barely had any romance anime last season.

Rating: 8.8

 

LEGENDARY

2. Chihayafuru

Omi Jingu Arc was surprisingly fast but as Chiahyafuru always is, it’s solid. I love how Chihaya didn’t beat the odds and loss to Queen but more importantly, Taichi’s really becoming a character to be recognized. His match in the end really encompasses his flaws as a character.  “I guess second place is good enough”. Yup, definitely the Jack-of-all-Trades and Master-of-None.

Rating: 9.1

 

ALL TIME FAVORITE

1. Nisemonogatari

Oh my god this shit is still awesome after a two year break. I guess SHAFT made sure that this sequel won’t suck for a change. Episode 3 was particularly good with the introduction of a new character, the plot finally progressing and Senjougahara Fascination in 140% mode. Also, bath scenes with the new Shinobu (Mina Tepes finally found a show that doesn’t suck to jump on) isn’t bad either.

Rating: 9.6

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