Top 20 Anime of 2012

Without further ado. . .

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12 Days of Anime – The Toothbrush Scene

Well, I’m pretty sure every anime blogger has this in their list.

Anime fetishes has sunk so lowly that even the act of brushing one’s teeth isn’t so innocent anymore. While I’m pretty sure (or rather I’m hoping) that this trend won’t catch on since only SHAFT can pull this weird shit off, it still feels slightly chilling that fanservice in the near future will involve innocent daily utilities like forks or book cases.

It was a pretty darn amazing moment, but please SHAFT, Shinbo, and NisiOisin . . . don’t do it again.

Seriously, DON’T.

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!

Reviews – Chihayafuru, Nisemonogatari, Rinne no Lagrange, Nichibros, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Another

HAHAHA sorry for the delay, I may not be keeping up with my blogging but I definitely am when it comes to watching.

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Chihayafuru

Starting from episode 1, I knew this series was going to be a winner. I’m a big fan of sports series (or at least I have a high regard to the ones that I did watch) and the way that Chihayafuru presented Competitive Karuta, something very niche, is awesome. And what would Chihayafuru be without its awesome set of characters. Whether it was Chihaya and her one-sided mind played wonderfully or Taichi’s complexity or even the other members of the Karuta club, it was played really well. It also has a knack on developing players Chihaya faces really well. Complete with excellent production values, Chihayafuru is definitely the best anime that aired this past two seasons.

Execution: 37/40 (The way such a niche sport was presented in such an outstanding way puts Chihayafuru above a lot of sports series)

Engagement: 28/30 (It filled the void Steins;Gate left behind on my Tuesdays perfectly)

Characters: 19/20 (The fact that you even have attachments to one-episode characters makes Chihayafuru’s development above any other this season)

Production Values: 9/10 (Great soundtrack, great animation, colorful palette; courtesy of Madhouse)

Overall: 93/100

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Nisemonogatari

Nisemonogatari is amazing on its own right but it is a step down from its predecessor. Bakemonogatari is my all-time favorite anime hands down so Nisemonogatari had a lot to live up to. Well of course Nisemonogatari is more of the same. The extensive dialogues that go nowhere, the plot that’s built up using words, the crazy animation and wonderful choke of development. What Nisemonogatari lacks is structure. Bakemonogatari has arcs that feel complete afterwards. It even has a sort of epilogue in each arc in which Araragi would have a scene with his sisters and how each story has added something to his character. Nisemonogatari decided on making the sisters actual characters, and the two arcs feel a bit flimsy compared to any of Bakemonogatari’s. Its plot advances but there’s no real end to anything. I didn’t feel the gathering of different clues to achieve the answer (it actually felt a bit “made up along the way”) something that Bakemonogatari always had. With that Nisemonogatari is a bit of a step down to Bakemonogatari.

That’s all the complaints though. Again Nisemonogatari holds up pretty well when it comes to dialogues, plot development, characters and animation and with the monogatari franchise, these are the important parts. In fact SHAFT made sure this looks even more amazing than what they’ve ever done before (tooth brush scene anyone?). Being a step down from my All-time favorite series just means it stepped down from An Almighty God, to a demigod or something like that.

Actually ignore anything I said above. I’m just putting this lower because there wasn’t as much Senjougahara and the only replacement they have with Bakemonogatari’s amazing episode 12 is the toothbrush scene. Plus no Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari.

Execution: 36/40 (Great but lacks the polish Bake- had)

Engagement: 29/30 (Well duh its the sequel of my favorite series ever, so I was eagerly anticipating this week per week)

Characters: 18/20 (Great characters as always. They really keep developing and changing through out the span of both seasons.)

Production: 10/10 (Best set of visuals I have ever seen.)

Overall: 93/100

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Rinne no Lagrange

One of the three big sci-fi series of the season, Rinne was my early favorite. those first few episodes were downright amazing. The mix of an intriguing plot, characters, action and an EPIC BGM (i mean it the OST of this series is really good) made this series a winner. It was still good afterwards but it never really topped its first few episodes. The excitement on my heart that I found a series that can make me this well– excited tapered off a bit towards the end. Sure Madoka and the jersey club hold up pretty well towards the end but something was missing. Hopefully Season 2 fixes this.

Execution: 33/40(Amazing first few episodes but tapers off a bit as it finishes its first season)

Engagement: 25/30 (The excitement in my heart on those first few episodes will never be replaced.)

Characters: 17/20 (Madoka and co. are okay and they do have a fair share of development but there’s still something missing to it. 2nd season should polish on this aspect)

Production Values: 9/10(If anything, people should listen to the OST. Fucking amazing)

Overall: 84/100

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Nichibros

I love how this show insults many of the cliched aspects of Anime. In a way it sets as an awareness that creators should be more creative to what they make and stop using these cliches. Awareness aside, Nichibros. is a fucking goldmine in Anime Comedies. The way it presents girls as horrible people (again opposite of how Anime usually represents them), the Lit. Girl segments wherein the deep things people say just come out of their asses, and the different shit guys do in Highschool. The characters are no way developed but this series is just to funny and awesome for me to even care.

And yes, Season 2 please. This is how you do a comedy about High School boys (go to hell Kimi to Boku.)

PS. I can’t believe they did a segment where the girls went to London just to beat up other girls; Too much K-ON references?

Execution: 36/40 (The way it presented itself as an anime that anime fans need to watch is very unique.)

Engagement: 27/30 (Your attention sticks to how funny a segment is. Luckily almost all segments are funny.)

Characters: 15/20 (ZERO development but all of them are funny)

Production Values: 7/10 (Nothing special)

Overall: 85/100

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Ano Natsu de Matteru

Ano Natsu surprised me on how well done it is. For a melodrama High School romance, this sure holds up well to my favorites. In fact it reminds a lot of Toradora. I can’t compare it to the Onegai Series since i haven’t watched it, but this series really stands on its own. The whole setup with an alien girl falling into a normal guy’s hands feels all fanservice, harem rip-off, but to my surprise it turned out to be a love polygon between a group of friends. Characters are given a healthy dose of development (particularly Mio, Kanna and Tetsurou) and the drama between them just becomes better because of this. The directing is High Tier, with camera angles really depicting the love polygon well (See episode 9).

There are a few downsides to this. While the entire cast has development, the main couple, Kaito and Ichika, are a far cry when comparing them to leads of series with the same genre (notably Toradora, Anohana, Honey and Clover). The added sci-fi element kind of bogs the entire thing down since it didn’t need it on the first place. Minor complaints to what is essentially a great High School melodrama.

Execution: 36/40(My god the directing is so spot-on. The added sci-fi element bogs things down though)

Engagement: 26/30(Romances like these are always very engaging)

Characters: 18/20(Healthy dose of development)

Production Values: 8/10(Pretty good considering this is JC Staff and all)

Overall: 88/100

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Another

Horror series are rare to come by (since they don’t sell that well) so I was all excited when Another premiered. The premise is about a class where people die, Final Destination style, because of a curse that happened 26 years ago. The series spends its entire time figuring out who the “Another” is and the big reveal is really awesome. At the start, I thought the characters were a bit one-sided but Kou and Misaki (and their blossoming relationship) really developed after a few episodes of conspiracy building. Combined with an awesome set of visuals and sound, Another holds up well to great anime of the same genre (namely Shiki and Higurashi).

Execution: 36/40(Horror is as hard to execute as comedy and Another did it really well since I was scared shit in my pants watching this every week.)

Engagement:26/30(The overall mystery surrounding the Another was nicely done)

Characters:17/20(Kouichi and Mei are adorable together)

Production Values: 9/10 (It’s PA Works. Can’t go wrong with that.)

Overall: 88/100

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Oh god I’m fucking tired typing this and I still have a lot to review. Well good luck to me. Plus that monthly roundup is gonna be done soon. And my Recommended list. Hah! I’m totally not procrastinating.

Side Note: Apparently I’m in the Aniblog Tourney (that circle jerk fiesta where all pretentious bitches win –nah just kidding) so if you’d like to support me, please do.

Nisemonogatari – 03

Nisemonogatari – 03

That awkward moment when you realized that Araragi was never in any danger.

I guess you could say third time’s the charm. Nisemonogatari’s third episode was almost perfect (the only flaw would be the abrupt ending) and there are many reasons to it being so.

1)      Senjougahara Fascination

Sometimes I really forget why I like Senjougahara. Yeah sure she’s witty, has a sharp toungue, and teases Araragi to no end, but I remember there’s more to it. This episode reminded me why. Somewhere between all this awesome twistedness lies a somewhat lovable character who you actually se developed. From that mysterious woman in episode 1, to the sly vixen who had a thing with Araragi, to her finally showing her feelings and now. She fucking smiled and- and BLUSHED! No way would this have happened in Bakemonogatari.

2)      That Awesome Moment

With in lieau to the Fascination movement, Bakemonogatari always manages to knack quite an awesome moment in its arcs. Whether it was the first flirty heavy dialogue between Senjougahara in Araragi in episode 3, the confession scene in episode 5 (the episode which coined the term Senjougahara Fascination), or the date episode, it always made up greatly for the somewhat long exposition ( kinda like a payoff). This episode had one too ( albeit not as big as the three I mentioned from Bakemonogatari) which is Araragi breaking those damn handcuffs. He might complain about his sisters but he still loves them. Then Senjougahara goes on saying that she’s not afraid of him even if he is a vampire. And then Araragi says, “that’s why I love you.” This couple is PERFECT for each other.

3)      SHAFT

NO this series would not be possible without SHAFT. I cannot imagine its long dialogues without the multitude scene switches SHAFT uses. Plus I wouldn’t like this series as much if it wasn’t for its artistry. Sure stuff like Utena and Penguindrum have meaning to every single art details they make, but SHAFT’s weirdness and uselessness in its art is. . . the reason why I love it in the first place. IT doesn’t hurt that it looks nice too. Besides they have their color scheme and gradients to a T (when the villain appeared this episode, everything was just black and red).

Also I would like to comment on how some people have compared Yuno with the likes of Senjougahara. Nah the resemblance is too far away. Senjougahara is not a stalker for one. She isn’t mentally unstable. Her actions have a lot more meaning (Yuno is really mentally unstable to the point where she even erases her memory). While Yuno is also a great character which Mirai Nikki worked hard on flourishing, she just shouldn’t be compared to the almighty Senjougahara!

Nisemonogatari – 02

Reverse-Hachikuji GET

Besides the fact that Kanbaru got caught in the act of being more of a fujoshi than a lesbian and that Nadeko was trying to be more sexy for Araragi, this episode was more of all-talk again. Again it does feel a bit disjointed but I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt for now. Plus the plot hasn’t started yet and these two episodes might just have served as an introduction of sorts. Anyway the plot seems to be revolving around the Fire Sisters trying to prove that the supernatural happenings in school aren’t real though I’m quite curious why Araragi calls them fakers. Well the title of the show is “NISEMONO”-gatari.

Or . . . that I didn’t see Gahara-sama.

Karen OP has really lush animation and the theme of bees really pops out.

ED was good but Kimi Shiranai Monogatari will never be beaten.

Nisemonogatari – 01

GAHARA-SAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was quite a start for the sequel of my most favorite anime of all time. I loved it when Araragi mentioned how Hitagi was having way too much fun with the situation that she might explode. Senjougahara Fascination is on full swing again!

Another segment on this episode was on Tsukihi just lazing about in her kimono (with SHAFT style fat sexiness ifyouknowwhatimean) being totally bitchy. Still, its nice to have more time with the sisters now (since they barely appeared in Bake).

Hachikuji’s scene on the other hand was pure glory. Same antics; double the fun. Araragi really is a pervert. I liked the sentimental part in the end though where Araragi really was worried that she might disappear again.

I do have to criticize though how everything feels a bit disjointed. Besides the Gahara part (which was set the day after), the only thing that happened this episode was Araragi going outside. Though it only shows how much of a masterpiece the dialogue feels (you never really felt how little Araragi did this episode). Though I’m sure everything will make sense in the end since well. . . the stories in Monogatari always do that.

Also I just noticed how Karen’s yellow outfit really reminds me of a bee. Well the title of the arc IS bee and Senjougahara did hint about it in her scene so . . . I really can’t wait on what’s in store with this sequel.