And so another season is apon us so I’m taking this chance to choose my best and worst shows of last season as well as see what there is to look forward to. A few of these shows have already popped up in my new years post so there’s going to be a bit of an overlap, but since this is focusing on the last season only, there’s a little more detail. but anyways, here’s the ratings for the previous shows.

Best Show: Toradora!

Taiga!! You’re awesome!!! Ami, you’re even more awesome!! Minorin, CHOU AWESOME!!!! Huh? what do you mean “what about the other character?” There were others? Well, the parrot is cool, that’s about it…

(Oh come on, This show made my top 5 of the year. Did you really think that something else was going to usurp it’s position?)

And since this is toradora, Obligatory….

Runners up: Hyakko, Macademi Wasshoi, Kemeko DX

________________________________________________

Biggest Disappointment: X’amd: Lost Memories

Bit of a controversial one here, cos the show itself is actually pretty decent. But that’s the crux of the argument! It could have been great, but it’s only decent!! One of my pet peeves is that the shows storylines lack cohesion and direction. Several storylines start merging near the end but there are still several distinct ones, even this late into the show and not much time was spent explaining the significance of many events and actions. trace info was left for the viewer to pick up but they were insubstantial.
So in the end you’re left hoping that the show picks itself up and starts going places but it ends up rigidly stuck in its own pace. There are still 3 eps left, but I don’t see a particularly tidy or satisfying ending to all this…

Runners up: Shikabane Hime: Aka, Kurogane no linebarrel

______________________________________________

Biggest surprise Show: Akane iro ni Somaru Saka

I’ll admit it, I enjoyed this show way more than I was expecting. And even though she was voiced by her, I approve of Minato! Heck, I’d even approve the whole incest thing cos she’s pretty damn awesome (tho not as awesome as any of the Toradora trio!)

Runners up: Hyakko, Ga Rei Zero

______________________________________________

The “WTF” award

For this season, there were quite a few shows which had me dropping my jaw in disbelief and/or going “huh?”, and often not for a good reason.
For example, the total butchering and defiling of the plot of Kurogane no Linebarrel (they even managed to make the key points either disappear (Kizaki being a 2nd factor for linebarrel) or make you not care in the slightest (the death of Yajima)) I guess that takes *some* kind of skill but I haven’t seen a hack job this bad since Jinki:EXTEND!!!
Then there was the first few eps of chaos:Head and which made little sense, Episode 5 of Macademi Wasshoi (which was followed by some serious amounts of laughter. this was a rare “good WTF” moment) but for the sheer number of WTF moments, there is only 1 clear winner…

Ga-Rei Zero

From the end of the first episode, which showed the death of all the characters you followed for the ep and the introduction of the actual main character, Yomi, to the wierd weapons of the exorcism team (a Water boiler! seriously, WTF??? I was expecting the iron, since it showed up in the manga too). Norio Wakamoto showing up as the voice(s) of Naboo and Wheelchair-fu!!!!!
There was no shortage of weird moments but the one defining thing which made me choose this show was none of the above, but something which is not so good. I understand that the writers of Ga-rei zero were probably going for a darker and more gritty feel than what is portrayed in the manga, but how do they justify changing the characters so much that they appear completely different from what they will appear as in the manga?

The worst affected were Noriyuki and Kagura. Can anyone see Kagura being the upbeat and usually smiling version in the manga by the end of this series? OK, admittedly, the upbeat impression is a facade in the manga, but you get the impression that the anime version wouldn’t even be able to think about doing such a thing. Also, the manga never shows her to be proficient in using a sword, in fact she never uses one! But she is adept at hand to hand combat. It’s also mentioned that she has not been able to make friends due to her job, ability to see ghosts and the fact that she’s always on the move. Doesn’t look that way from the anime…
As for Noriyuki, at least they got half of it right. By the manga, he’s a man full of self loathing, although he does still love Yomi. But he’s also a really letcherous perv. Do you see the anime version being the kind of guy to grope Kagura or try and sneak a look at a young girls panties?

As a show, Ga-Rei zero was interesting and entertaining, but as a prequel, it fails because it doesn’t even seem to try to fit into the established settings and character traits set by the manga. It’s kinda like in star wars when they introduced midi-chlorians.  *goes off to wash his mouth after uttering those words*

____________________________________________

The rest

  • As stated before, Hyakko is brilliant, so long as they don’t focus on the main 4. I particularly like Chie Suzugazaki (Hocchan!!!!!!!!!) and Inori Tsubomiya (or Sadako, according to Suzume). Oh, and everyone loves the class rep!!
  • Kannagi has it’s moments (it’s a SONY!), but was pretty average in the end.
  • As well as my own MegaNeus, Macademi wasshoi also made me want my own army of mini-Neus. Hell, I’ll just take Eneus while I’m at it!!!
  • Kemeko really owes it’s entertainment value to it’s VAs. I wonder how many times Saito Chiwa needed to sing the end theme before they had a take which didn’t have someone breaking down with laughter?
  • Chaos:HEad really is just an anime version of the matrix, just without the “real world” elements (which sucked anyway) and a predominantly female cast. Damn, the actual matrix would have been 100x better just like that!!!
  • clannad: afterstory has a disturbing lack of Kyou and Tomoyo. Not really liking it anywhere near as much as the first season.
  • gundam 00 hasn’t fallen into the cesspool of crap… yet…
  • Casshern sins is actually kinda cool, even though there actually isn’t much going on the screen at all until a fight starts.
  • Shikabane Hime Aka follows the Gainax tradition. Great original stories but their adaptations always lack something and end up forgettable, or worse…
  • I should give up trying to predict saimoe since it’s all fixed, but seriously, index and Aisa Himegami (deep blood) for saimoe 09
  • Thanks to Linebarrel and several other very VERY badly miscast roles recently, Noto Mamiko has now entered my”grey list,” (the opposite of my whitelist, which consists of Tamura Yukari, Horie Yui and Yukino Satsuki. I’ll watch pretty much anything with those ladies in it!). As a result, I’m going to be far more cautious when I find out that she’s voicing a main character in a show, unless the characters name is Shimako…

That’s it for last season, on with the new one. As always, 3 categories: must watch, meh and don’t ask why.

Must Watch

Birdy the mghty: Decode S2

Despite some quality issues, I really enjoyed the first season so I’m looking forward to watching the next part of the story. Hopefully, they will tie up all the loose ends with this one and not do a surprise announcement of another season near the end of it’s run, tho I will miss Nagasuki.

Ride Back

It’s a mecha show. Do I need any more reason than that? There’s always room in my watch list for a mecha show!!!

Sora wo Kakeru shoujo

Another mecha show, so see above. This one is being made by sunrise, specifically, the team who did Mai HiME/Otome, so we’ll have to wait and see if it turns out more like the superior HiME or the poorer sequel-fest that is Otome.

Interesting, but Meh

Slayers Evolution-R

My sole drive for watching this show is simply because I invested the time to watch the first season so I want to know how it will continue. Otherwise, I probably would have given this a miss.

The Tower of Druaga: The Sword of Uruk

Damn you Gonzo!!!! being a season of sequels, this one follows the path of slayers and I’ll be watching it since I invested the time to watch the Aegis of Uruk. There were some good eps in aegis so I’m hoing for at least the same number of flashes of brilliance from sword of Uruk as well. Besides, Hocchan is back as Fatina!!!

Shikabane Hime Kuro

Yet another sequel, but without a gap, so in some ways it’s more of a direct continuation than a sequel, like black lagoon and the second barage. Anyway, this show picks up where Aka left off, and you don’t need to have seen the last few episode of aka to figure out what happens. It’s pretty much a no brainer…
I didn’t hate Aka but it’s not particularly memorable. But since there’s no gap between the 2, I feel like I want to continue the story and see things through. Tho I already miss minai. She was my fave shikabane hime…

Minami-Ke Okaeri

The last sequel in the list!! And lets face it, we know it’s made by the same people who made Okawari so we know it’s not going to be as good as the first season. Rather, it’s more like we’re going to see just how bad it is.
My first ep impressions suggests that it’s better than Okawari, but only just. So I’ll stick with it for now and see how it turns out, although drawing quality is already down from the previous series… But at least they’re following the 4koma style episodes instead of the Okawari format.

Maria Holic

The last trap show I watched was Otoboku, which I really enjoyed for some reason so I’m willing to at least give this show a chance. Having said that, my first ep impressions were not all that favourable. I found the characters somewhat annoying and the drawing styles jarred against eachother instead of working together. I’ll see if it picks up, but it’ll probably be the first on the chopping board if push comes to shove.

Asu no Yoichi

Fanservice comedy show? Check!!

Why am I watching this?

Akikan

Another comedy, but with genderbending this time. The main character is a letcherous boy who can transform into a girl with special powers when he drinks fizzy drinks. The transformation wears off unless he/she keeps drinking. The premise alone makes it worth checking out but other than that, I have no idea why I’m watching it or if I’m going to keep up with it.

EDIT: I made a mistake with my info gathering and limited translation on the plot. Turns out that the can which the boy drinks from transforms into a girl and not the guy himself. But the premise is still just as stupid. Also, the girl transforms back into a can if her earring gets pulled and will die if all the juice from the can is drunk, so they need to fill her up with the same kind of juice and she falls ill if the drink goes flat… Man, this actually sounds even more stupid than before…

Kurokami

An adaptation of a korean Manhwa. Generally speaking, I don’t like Korean manhwas as they tend to lack focus on their plots and seem to just go on without any particular direction or end point. They are usually drawn very nicely tho…
In any case, I’ve read a bit of Kurokami (or black god) and it seems ok so I’m mildly curious as to how an anime adaptation with a finite number of episodes will turn out.

Maria sama Ga Miteru 4th Season

My secret shame.
I have no idea how I got started (I blame my flatmate from uni), nor do I know how I keep watching this damn show, but I do. It also belongs in the “Must watch” Category as I will certainly be picking this up but I can’t tell you why because I don’t know!!! Watching this show is like a compulsive disorder.

And that’s about it for this season. There are a couple more shows which raised my eyebrow but I don’t think I’ll be picking them up regularly, like Sora wo Miageru Shoujo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai and vipers creed. This being the winter season, I’m also not really expecting anything knockout as it’s one of the quieter seasons but it may pull a surprise.

All images are copyright to their respective owners