Mid-fall + Summer 2012 Retrospective

Because my opinion matters, right!

 

 

 

 

Foreword: Right now we’re roughly a little more than halfway through the Fall season, and the shows that I have been watching have more or less established themselves, so I thought it would be a decent idea to do a ranking grouping of sorts along with some quick thoughts on what I think about X at the moment and Y (seewhatididthere). Oh and since I did somewhat promise a Summer review I might as well tie the both of them together. After some thought I decided that I won’t be using an explicit ranking because a person’s taste is subjective, and I don’t exactly rank what I’m watching either. In any case, I’ll be grouping the shows into categories, in which I will try to be as objective as possible.

Swampy Fall – The only recurring thought that comes to mind is that I’m getting swamped. While I always preferred to exercise some moderation (as with all things in life), even when it comes to anime, I still found myself following a record-high of 16 shows this season. Why? Simply because the majority of them are worth watching, with several exceptions of course. As a result, I find myself biting slightly more than I can chew, especially when factoring other plans and commitments. Therefore, this is a new learning experience for myself – that I should try to achieve a better balance.

Yay – Shows that I feel that meet their initial expectations, are enjoyable to watch on the overall, worth the 20 odd minutes each week.

  • Tonari – I absolutely adore the comedy portion of the series. The romance factor isn’t cheesy at all which is really an important point in making Tonari a recommended watch for all audiences despite it having a Shoujo tag on it.
  • Chuunibyou – I don’t really need to say much about this, unless one is allergic to moe, this is the way to get your weekly dosage of laughter and..moe.
  • Tempest – I always felt that this series was overshadowed by the bigger names. In light of that, Tempest has an intriguing plot, which is the main draw for me, the other being perk the cast involved.
  • Psycho-Pass – This one won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, it’s either you love it or you don’t. Personally I’m a sucker for shows that are thought-provoking, I’m not going to sell this to people who aren’t into it but otherwise I like where PP is heading towards thus far.
  • Pet – The one that exceeded expectations, people have been raving about how awesome it is, and I agree with them. Episode 1 was a huge fluff, subsequently episodes have shown that it is more than the generic romcom series. I was initially skeptical of the series as well, going so far as to note that Pet being 2-cour is an interesting decision, but now I can see why this series is worthy of its 2-cour status.

Meh – Shows that still have yet to really prove themselves, each week I still wonder if there will the sort of development that will change its “neutral” status. Also meant for shows that fall under the “not bad, but not great either” category. The 20 minutes could’ve been better spent elsewhere, it depends.

  • BTOOOM! – I read the manga, which is part of the reason why I’m not that excited about the anime itself. It’s not just about knowing what will happen next, the anime itself has failed to captivate me unlike some others (Mirai Nikki being one of them). Oh, the whiny voice acting does not help at all. Probably still a decent watch for people who haven’t read the source material, but once again – the source material reigns supreme.
  • Robotics;Notes – *Gasps* How can a Nitro+ title that produced the likes of C;H and S;G be here! The deal is, R;N hasn’t proved itself, so far. I have a fair amount of expectations for R;N, hoping that a twist of some sort will happen eventually, but until then, it will remain as one of the “not bad, but not great either” shows.
  • K – Note: I’m being ultra optimistic by listing K here. People have ridiculed this show for the direction it is heading towards, and it isn’t hard to see why. Honestly I’m being a little unfair, but I’m secretly hoping that K will redeem itself with its remaining episodes, because I would rather see a show do a turnaround than crash headfirst into an iceberg.
  • Shin Sekai Yori – Another tricky series to categorize, episode 8 brings about *cough* an interesting kind of romance *cough*. On one hand I like the concepts and settings of this show, on the other I still have no idea about the grand scheme of things. Adopting the classic “wait and see” approach for this.
  • Sukitte – The more I watch this, the more I feel it is really suited for the female audience. As it is purely romance with little to no comedy involved, it can feel cheesy at times. The love tale about an “ultra popular male who loves an unpopular girl wholeheartedly despite all odds” might be a fairytale to some, but to me I find it slightly unrealistic.
  • Code:Breaker – Long running manga, which also probably means that it has some kind of fan-base and story going for it, but it just feels like generic Shounen to me.

Nay – Again, this is rather subjective, and your opinion might differ. But these are the kind of shows that I’m watching that makes me go “why am I watching this again?” I don’t want to say it is 20 minutes of your life wasted, but in hindsight they could be better spent elsewhere.

  • Magi – Long running manga, however from an anime-only viewpoint this series is just..a mess. What is the point/plot of this again? I’m not being sarcastic here, because I really do not get where Magi is going. Apart from its Arabic setting and names that are “borrowed”, the only other legit reason that has me watching Magi week after week is for the VA of Aladdin.
  • Little Busters! – *Gasp* How dare you call a Key VN thrash! Sorry ladies and gents, until that magical moment comes where the show starts to remotely move me, my opinion on LB isn’t going to improve. I don’t care how awesome the VN is, because I haven’t played it and I’m not going to bother to, but the anime itself hasn’t done a very commendable job of showcasing what made the VN so well-received, and that is what matters for me.
  • Sword Art Online – *Gasp* How can such a popular show be terrible! Sorry fanboys and fangirls, there is nothing special about SAO itself apart from the fact it has an MMO game setting. Being popular =/= being good. If anything it is the fan-base itself that is bringing down the reputation of SAO, because of how zealous they are, till the point where they blindly defend the series despite its flaws being very visible. In fairness, this isn’t a terrible series, but it is nowhere as good as people claim it to be. Oh, and Sugu > Asuna.
  • Oni Ai – *Erhem* Personally I enjoy watching this just for the lulz, but hey in all fairness it is a terribad show right? I mean, incest is a taboo and should not be encouraged! ecchi series are generally crappy! There is no plot! Ok I get it, calm down.
  • To Love Ru – See above, minus the incest and add in censors light sabers and black holes.

Mori Ecchi Summer – At one point there was a saying that each Saturday was a fantasy harem Saturday, due to the sheer number of said shows all airing on the same day. Not only was this season loaded with tons of ecchi shows, but as far as I know there was also a huge amount of light novel adaptations in this season. 11 is the number that I managed to recall.

Yay

  • Rinne no Lagrange 2 – Not the best of conclusions, but at least when compared to the bizarre ending of S1, S2 was miles better. The flow of the story for S2 was also more fluid. In short, S2 > S1.
  • Binbougami – Best comedy of the season (there wasn’t any other strong contenders though). One of the few examples where the adapted version is superior to the original, I briefly read through a few chapters of the manga and found that the adaptation stayed faithful, oh and HanaKana playing Ichiko = yay.
  • Koi Choco – Every season there will be the one show that exceeds expectations, and I award that award (awkward phrasing?) to Koi Choco. The addition of politics in an otherwise standard romcom VN was innovative, but it wasn’t the politics that made Koi Choco stand out. The real deal about Koi Choco was that it really had a legit plot going for it. The plot wasn’t anything ground breaking but it definitely surprised many who dismissed it based off its premise.
  • Kokoro Connect – Explores human relationships and psychology using “what if” scenarios, love it.
  • Horizon II – Every episode, I never fail to grasp what is going on fully, but even so the amount of action going is just amazing. The key to enjoying Horizon is not to try to figure out what is happening but instead focus on like literally everything else.

Meh

  • Estetica – Personally, the best ecchi show of the season (yay?). Had the best plot out of the rest, The ending was a little ambiguous, leaving some room for a future S2 if need be.
  • Campione! – Ultra rushed adaptation, great VA cast, interesting mythology setting, ultimately the adaptation was just so-so though. Reading the LN ought to be the superior choice here.
  • Accel World – A mixed bag of feelings for AW, sometimes certain episodes/arcs can be a blast to watch and on the flip-side some episodes are just boring/rage inducing. AW felt like a roller coaster ride of sorts with its ups and downs and in the end I find it to be slightly more than an average shounen series.

Nay

  • Boku H – I don’t know how well the adaptation stuck to the original source, but wow this series was really terrible..As much as I tried to enjoy it, blatant fan-service and nothing else does not aid this series in any way.
  • Naka Imo– Somewhere along the same lines with Boku H, but not nearly as bad, but still nowhere near a decent watch.
  • Dog Days 2– The sole reason for me watching this was because I watched the original and I don’t like to leave a series uncompleted if I could help it. DD2 stuck to its roots, staying true to its rainbow and unicorn theme, even the plot twist that occurred in S1 was absent. I’m not the kind of person that absolutely needs to see people dying but I just can’t watch a bunch of characters doing just about nothing. People who love a pure slice-of-life with zero plot and “likeable” characters would love this show to bits, but apart from that god-tier VA cast, DD has nothing else that appeals to me.

Closing thoughts:

First off, the absence of pictures. I understand the importance of having pictures to look at to break the monotony after reading the long walls of text, but I didn’t want to “lengthen” the post any further by adding in pictures. I could’ve split the post into 2 parts, but after some thought I decided to go ahead with this.

Next, even though this post is somewhat lengthy in total, because of the number of titles I have to go through, each individual point is actually quite brief, to the point where it can be seen as vague or typical generalizing. I could have went into full details for each show, but the end result would be that this post would easily be thrice the length, which is a no go. That being said, if anyone wants a better explanation on my thoughts for X series, feel free to comment/let me know.

Lastly, although I tried to be as “fair” as possible, there will be people who disagree with me on my tastes, which is fine. I can definitely see some series working out for others, but there’s a common saying that goes: “different strokes for different folks”. I don’t claim to have a very diverse taste, nor do I feel that my views are absolute. But at the same time I do feel I have sufficient experience to know what I’m talking about – whether an anime is overrated or underrated, whether an anime is a masterpiece or a failure. The majority’s view matters to an extent, but it should never be taken as an end-all. It is alright to disagree with the world, but don’t force the world to agree with you.

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About LordLightnDark

Professional troll by day. Enigmatic soul by night. A silent guardian. A watchful protector. A Dark Light. やりたい事とやるべき事が一致する時、世界の声が聞こえる
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