Top 20 Anime of 2012

Without further ado. . .

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Aquarion EVOL, Sankarea, Jormungand, Mouretsu Pirates, Tsuritama (END)

I’m feeling a bit lazy about this so I’m combining everything else in the past season that I haven’t reviewed yet.

Aquarion EVOL

Besides Fate/Zero, EVOL probably had the best ending out of everything that ended last season. IT also had the best last few episodes. Everything was so overblown, dramatic, yet weirdly fun at the same time. The series does not know the  word “subtlety” and each interaction from the characters are always full of emotion. This series was both sexually charged and heartfelt at the same time and I have no idea how that even worked. The middle episodes of EVOL may have been a bit dragging but I’m gonna be a bit kind since the ending was really awesome.

Execution: 33/40 (Middle episodes were kinda. . .)

Engagement: 26/30 (Ending was really fun)

Characters: 16.5/20 (Ugh @ Zessikage)

Production Values: 9.5/10 (Amazing Soundtack)

Overall: 85/100 ( B- )

Sankarea

I honestly expected this show to be terrible. It was a recipe for disaster: an short unfisnished manga, a terrible studio, a terrible premise that screamed OTAKU BAIT. Astonishingly, the first few episodes were pretty damn fine. There was actually a STORY and the characters were actually pretty engaging and leaving their supposed stereotypes. Rea in particular really had a solid character development, IMHO. Apparently, Studio DEEN decided to hire a bunch of geniuses (SHAFT worker, script writer for Baccano/Durarara, Toradora/Penguindrum Composer) for this which explains why every aspect of the series exceeded my expectations.

It’s too bad though that this series didn’t get a proper conclusion. In addition to that, the stink of the manga which was heavily covered up in the first episodes, started showing. It’s also when I realized that there’s only a few characters that I actually give a damn about. Still I was pleasantly surprised with what went on in this series so I’m gonna be positive in grading this.

Execution: 36/40 (DEEN hired geniuses for this)

Engagement: 24/30 (I didn’t like it as much when the original material started stinking)

Characters: 14.5/20 (I like the main couple but I really don’t like WANKO)

Production Values: 9.5/10 (DEEN finally decided to look nice)

Overall: 84/100 (B-)

Jormungand

In preparation fro Jormungand, I watched Black Laggon and that show was just pure badassery. In the end Jormungand ended up the same albeit with a bit of nuances.

Jormungand is about KOKOLOCO and her arms dealer group doing some KOKOLOCO stuff. Each episode is exciting since all the characters keep on being badass. The story is sometimes hard to follow but the energy of the series really makes up for it. If there’s anything else to say though, I definitely prefer Black Lagoon over this a bit since Rock and Levy are just a tad bit more developed as characters than Koko an co. But still Koko is awesome so it’s not really a complaint.

I can’t seem to formulate anything to say for Jormungand. It’s definitely a series that’s so much more fun watching than writing about.

Execution: 32/40 (A bit hard to follow sometimes)

Engagement: 28/30 (Full of energy)

Characters: 16/20 (KOKOLOCO)

Production Values: 8/10 (Good enough for awesome action)

Overall: 84/100 (B-)

Mouretsu Pirates

It’s Pirates! In space! You’d expect Mouretsu Pirates to be exciting, overblown and full of blasting explosions but this series ended up being very grounded. There’s a number of people that gave up on this series because it was too slow but once it got going, it really got going.

This series doesn’t look down on your intelligence and in a way it expects you to follow the story without baby feeding you with all the information needed. I kinda like that aspect of the series. It’s not bad storytelling at all because it’s easy to follow the series if you pay attention.

The series consists of 4-5 arcs with different focuses. The arc that really made me fall in love with the series is the Gruier Serenity arc with the theme of “A princess finding her origins” kinda thing. I also loved it when Marika’s schoolmates ended up become her crew for like 1/4 of the series. It’s like We’re GAR pirates but we eat cake and shit inside. The last arc was the best though and it showed us what an action packed Mouretsu Pirates can be like.

I definitely enjoyed this series. It’s much better to watch this marathon-style because of the pacing.

Execution: 36/40 (Does not baby feed you)

Engagement: 26/30 (Really fun once you get used to the atmosphere)

Characters: 17/20 (Lots of time for development due to the slow pacing)

Production Values: 8/10 (Good enough to tell a solid story)

Overall: 87/100 (B)

Tsuritama

The other noitaminA series this year, I just have to say. . . I did not like this show. I’ve heard praises on how whimsical and relaxing Tsuritama is but I couldn’t see it. All I saw was baww forced dorama with really angsty male teenagers.

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t hate angst (I don’t hate Shinji) but with Tsuritama, I don’t even like the characters for me to sympathize with their boohoohoo problems. I honestly liked this show for the first few episodes until it started tackling its lol plot. Haru was my least favorite character of the four mains but he especially got annoying towards the end.

And oh my god that ending. It felt like the Brady Bunch with oohh the whole cast comes together and helps save Enoshima from aliens. BUT WAIT- one of them dies with some random explosion somewhere but that’s just a cliffhanger. He ends up safe anyway but whatever. Then woopdeedoo they save the world through fishing!

There’s obviously some good parts but this another Nakamura Kenji failure for me. If [C] had characters with non-existent personalities, Tsuritama had a terrible plot and overly emotional characters. I mean Tsuritama was supposed to correct [C]’s mistakes but it ends up overdoing the correcting.

Well there’s always Tapioca.

Execution: 32/30 (Nothing horribly bad except for the ending)

Engagement: 22/30 (Dwindled towards the end)

Characters: 14/20 (Angsty in a bad way)

Production Values: 9/10 (Admittedly creative)

Overall: 77/100 (C)

Spring 2012 Week 8

Since I can’t motivate myself to blog a series, I decided to just make make short impressions on a daily basis. It’s less effort and I get to talk about all the shows I’m watching.

Ratings start from (-) which means terrible, until (++++++++) which is bombardastically amazing.

(It does feel like I’m copying someone else style but oh wellzz)

#1 Mysterious Grilfriend X – 08 : I thought the episode was going to be all about BOOBS but they added a little ear fetish too. While BOOBS in anime are always done so generically in anime, here in MGX, it’s used with honesty. Tsubaki telling Urabe everything he’s thinking about was just something you don’t see in anime often. The slapping segment near the end was just amazing too. – (+++++) Incredible

#2 Sakamichi no Apollon – 07 : Ahahaha I loved how everyone started dashing to the auditorium because of the power of music. And for a good reason since that concert scene was gorgeous! I’d say this is one of Apollon’s best episode to date. – (++++) Cool

#3 Hyouka – 05 : So our first major arc ended. I like the twist to the whole Sekitani Jun thing this episode which made a lot more sense than Houtaro’s theory last episode. The lame pun was kinda creepy in a way (which is good). The lengthy exposition style still bogs the character interactions a bit, but it really hits hard on the mystery side. – (++++) Cool

#4 The Legend of Korra – 07 : Well this isn’t anime but this is the only place I can talk about it so why not include it?!? If The Legend of Aang revolves on adventures, Korra revolves around politics. And boy was it really good and heavy this episode. Not as awesome as the last episode but they did make some really great twists. – (+++) Excellent

#5 Jormungand – 07 : That’s some damn fine writing there. Jormungand’s coolness isn’t just about BANG BANG BANG but also on how that BANG BANG BANG is done. Koko and the Chinese guy eats dinner while their subordinates kill each other to death. Some really cool fun shit, one of Jormungand’s better episodes. – (+++) Excellent

#6 Sankarea – 08 : Every Wanko scene really has to be a sexy one eh? Rea was adorable this episode; she really looks great with a ponytail. I realize now that with Rea’s strength, she’d fit well with the Armstrong family! Looking back though, the whole episode was just about Wanko taking a bath, Rea going shopping and another “kidnap Rea” plan by her dad, but the way it was directed hardly makes you realize this. – (+++) Excellent

#7 Aquarion EVOL – 21 : Oh god Brownka’s having so much fun with the whole Shrade X Cayenne schtick. The revelations this episode were the ones I’ve been waiting for since the show started (and has been hinted at since the first OP). One complaint though: The second OP keeps cracking me up, especially when used as an insert song. When you read it, you realize that AKINO’s been shouting “You’re so beautiful, it’s depressing!” at your face for episodes. – (+++) Excellent

#8 Fate/Zero – 21 : That Bike scene was seriously cool. I was just less amused at the other things happening; too much cool people drinking while watching other people suffer I guess . . . and oh god Rider’s countdown to death is coming, aaack!! – (+++) Excellent

#9 Tsuritama – 07 : I don’t really like it when guys slap girls in anime, particularly here in Tsuritama since Natsuki’s sister is such a sweet girl who just want her family to work. The drama and tension between Natsuki’s family is genuine though; still I prefer Tsuritama when it’s being fun (just like life). – (++) Great 

#10 Saki Achiga – 07 : These last two episodes have been pretty entertaining thanks to the director finally realizing that it’s time to actually concentrate on the matches. I’m still not warming up to these impostors but HEY, it looks like Stealth Momo will have a big role next week. – (++) Great


March Roundup

Dropped: Symphogear, Area no Kishi, Guilty Crown

Hold: InuXBoku SS, Mouretsu Pirates, Mirai Nikki

I’ll just do a fast swing at this since I’ve explained a lot in my reviews

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LAND OF THE TERRIBAD:

none

FAULTY BUT WATCHABLE:

none

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GOOD:

Rinne no Lagrange: 8.0

I felt a bit iffy with the whole Madoka angst but overall, Rinne’s last month felt like a build up to the next season. Everyone’s separated ways after the whole “pretty flowers falling into the sky” act. I never really got the significance of that but whatever. ONWARDS TO SEASON 2 THIS SUMMER!

Nichibros. : 8.3

The comedy started to go slightly dry but the anime insults haven’t. In particular the whole last scene in the last episode where everything was played straight feels like a facepalm now seeing how stupid these clichés actually are. I salute you for this Nichibros., I really do.

GREAT:

Another: 8.6

The last two episodes were sort of downers, especially since the rest of the series spent time building up the mystery. The BIG REVEAL is mindfuck amazing though, but overall, this isn’t Another’s best month.

Ano Natsu de Matteru: 8.6

 

Mixed bag for this month. Episodes 9 and 10 were pretty amazing, Top tier quality romance. Episodes 11 and 12 is shit. Seriously, the Sci-fi element cheapens the whole thing! Though Lemon-senpai turning out to be MBI was pretty damn cool.

LEGENDARY:

Nisemonogatari: 9.0

Step down from Bake, as I’ve mentioned already. Still, that toothbrush scene will always be etched in my mind forever.

Aquarion EVOL: 9.0

I’m including Episode 14 in this because that’s the reason why EVOL is rated so high this month. The level of surrealism in that episode just raised the weirdness bar on this series, which was pretty high already.

Fudo ordered the students to bury themselves on the graveyard to feel death. Mikono was opposed to this so she didn’t follow orders and after a few minutes, the original Aquarion OP starts playing and Mikono’s power was revealed (something about connecting green lines or whatever). Then everyone popped up of the ground and Mikono shouts “Happy Birthday!” to all of them.

Weird but awesome.

Chihayafuru: 9.4

I WANT A SEQUEL NOW!

ALL TIME FAVORITE:

nada

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Average month I guess. . . not much to say that I haven’t already. I don’t wanna be repetitive. Toodles!