I have been a whole lot busy within these past few days, not to mention watching a whole lot of My Little Pony, but I am here anyway to present to you my thoughts so far on the Spring shows of 2011. And I promise not to tell spoilers as much as possible, so anyone, especially those who haven’t picked up any show yet, can read this post without any problem and hopefully find this report useful.
NOTE: Softenni hasn’t been out on subs for two episodes now, so I’ll just have to include that show in the future.
Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
I decided to drop this show at the fourth episode, because I couldn’t take any more of the crappy subplots, and the insanely confusing convoluted storytelling, not to mention the cesspool of uninteresting characters and the tacky fanservice. I wished I could’ve dropped this show sooner, because I already know the fact that this one was going to be the one of the worst of the season. I already lost my wings with this show, so this show can just rest in peace, among with the other bad anime of the season.
I was interested at first from watching Toriko, but as the show continues there’s one thing that always cross to my mind. Toriko never loses. It seems that he is always stronger than the enemies his fighting. He’s such a Marty Stu character. I couldn’t feel the tense of the series, because I know Toriko would win in the end after all. Not only that, but that kid he’s with is annoying as hell. His role in the show can be reduced to two: providing infodump; and being the bait each and every episode. I feel sad for Romi Park (the voice actress of this guy) because she has to play a very shitty and annoying character. Unfortunately I had to drop this show after episode 4. Maybe I’ll read the manga instead when my interest goes back.
Nichijou, even with its soundingly plain title, is without a doubt my favorite show of the season. I was skeptical at first when this aired, but over time I have grown over my crutches with the show. Because I simply fell in love with the characters. They are so relaxing. Just by listening to them talk and make jokes makes me forget about everything else, and I would just be hooked by the comedy. From the crazy OP, to the usually very, very funny first segment, to the “lolwut wtf” in-between mini segments, and to the rest of the show, right up until its very serene and lovely ED. The slapstick comedy aspect of this show is done just right, and the 4-koma way of storytelling is just perfect. It reminds me of the slice-of-life shows I used to love like Minami-ke (the first one because only the first one exists), and Ichigo Mashimaro, but most definitely Azumanga Daioh, just before I started to hate slice-of-life. Because usually nothing happens in slice-of-life. They just bombard you with cute characters and stupid conversations that are supposed to be funny (I’m frowning at you K-ON). I don’t buy that shit. So the only way for a certain show to redeem itself is through perfect execution of comedy, with bits of self-contemplation and of course, good music. Nichijou seem to excel in all categories, and I hope that those good qualities continue to flourish as the show continues on.
Tiger and Bunny
Okay, so I didn’t have that much expectations on this show from the beginning. And so far my expectations were delivered. But that doesn’t make the show any better, or worse for me. It’s just like watching your average superhero show on a Saturday morning. The show just plays out these superhero story tropes without going too far. And that’s why I have nothing in particular to say about this show. It’s just average.
What can I say, I first fell in love with the show when it aired, and it never fails to deliver. The very thing I love about this show is the spastic style of comedy that it’s aiming for. The zany poses, the freaky faces, and just the overall style of the visuals that flashes every episode. The director surely knows his comedy. Of course there are some dramatic parts and some character development as well. They’re not that good, but that didn’t bother me too much. And I couldn’t help but watch the ED every episode (normally I just skip the ED when I watch), because it is that good. Now that I have said almost all the good things about this, I wonder why this show isn’t popular enough around the current anime watchers.
My favorite thing about Steins;Gate is how the show juxtaposes the lives of this dysfunctional group of slackers just doing their thing, and just the sheer intensity of the plot that is about to unfold. These people keep on discovering scientific breakthroughs here and there, and keep on unfolding pieces of the truth behind the evil corporation’s experiments, all along in their little rented room, upstairs of a TV repair shop. And you can tell that these people just come across these stuff either by accident or by luck. And the insanity of their leader. I would literally say “this shit is bananas” multiple times every episode (pun intended), but at the same time I will say that this show is definitely working for me. I always felt I was left hanging, and just wanting for more by the end of each episode.
Kaiji is just going more and more insane with every episode. The stakes are just getting higher and higher, and just the level of intensity of the psychological warfare that plays out in this show is stunning. Anything could happen in Kaiji. A person might win double one time, but then loses triple next time. And the thing is, these sort of things happen in real life too. People gambling because of their debts, and ends up losing big time and become slaves for eternity. This stuff can be real. Maybe Kaiji was loosely based on real events, which if you think of it that way, just makes the show all the more interesting. You could not suspend your disbelief, and at the same time, this show will make you go “Holy crap how did he do that”, because that’s what’s gambling is all about. It’s unpredictable.
The recent episodes of HanaIro were boring as hell, but that didn’t make me lose interest on the show. The thing I liked best about this show is the camaraderie between the characters. You can get in with the characters well. And you can sympathize with them in how they go into these different, sometimes awkward situations. There is definitely a “live-action Japanese Drama” aspect in the show. Also, this show tends to tickle my fancy with the little details, like every time when a character speaks, mainly because I’m into voice actresses (if you watched enough recent anime, you could tell that’s Kanae Ito, or Chiaki Omigawa), and the thing with balut, because I grew up with balut in my culture. And how could I ever forget the level of the production values of this show. The art is just beautiful, and the good music really sets up the relaxing slice-of-life tone of the show. Although the last two episodes didn’t grab me that much, I’m still hoping that something good will happen.
Sengoku Otome: Time Paradox
Sadly, my expectations were not met by this show. This show is just too plain, too generic, and I was greatly disappointed. I was hoping for more “campiness” style that the show gave me the first two episodes, but instead it gave me bad storylines (it feels like all the episodes I watched were filler), bad dialogue, and just beating the dead horse with generic anime tropes. But the thing is, it is not that offensively bad, like say, a-Dog Days. So I will continue to watch this one just for the sole purpose of nailing down another show to my anime list. Well, I hope.
Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
Unfortunately, HoshiKaka (I prefer calling it HoshiHashi) or whatever cool term this show has, wasn’t being interesting enough for me. The recent two episodes were clearly filler material, and did not help to the main storyline, if there was one to begin with, at all. I have seen similar visual novel based shows done better than this one in terms of execution of storyline and dialogue, and not to mention the increasing screen time of characters I don’t particularly give a shit with, which are the reasons why I’m starting to lose interest in this show. Again, I would watch this just for the sake of adding another title to my anime list. Mainly because of the art. And boy, there even wasn’t that much art in the recent episodes.
X-Men has been fairly interesting since the start, but like Tiger and Bunny, there’s nothing really new in this show that makes it stand out. But I can say that X-Men is still better than the Ironman and Wolverine anime that aired before, because it never goes all out of its way to cover plotholes, or to focus on boring subplots. It’s just good ol’ X-Men, just right for the kids and the Marvel fans, and anime fans like me as well. In fact, I’m now more interested since the team are now facing a greater problem than before, of course taking in Japan. And the show picks up the pace of action pretty nicely after some character development. But as I said, nothing new here.
World God Only Knows II
This show hasn’t been picking up since the last part of the first season, but with the latest episode (5th), a new development seems to take place. And it has something to do with the first season. For the first time, something in this show happened that’s not about capturing the soul out of a random stranger. But I think that this development will still have to be related to the main theme of the show, that is capturing souls out of random strangers. But as far as the current episode, World God Only Knows did pick up on a good storyline, but I’m still keeping my expectation low for some reason. Things happening suddenly on the last minute of the episode always seem to keep me interested for the next episode, but ends up betraying me when it airs.
A shocking, potentially dangerous plot point was revealed in the latest episode (5th), but it still did not made me interested in the show. Not much was happening in the show other than that. Just regular generic anime tropes and all that jazz. But even so, the show has its good points, mainly the music, and my anticipation for how the show will play out the premise that it gave from the first episodes. Now even more so, because of that recent revelation. But I would still say that IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN, and I’m really hoping that it won’t. But a little sick, twisted part of me wants it to happen. I doubt it though.
Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai
I’m still feeling neutral for the show. Even with the somewhat obvious, but still shocking plot twists, I’m still not that interested. Though there was that one scene that was funny as hell. I was laughing my ass off as I saw that. I wish I can tell, but it won’t be funny anymore if I said it here. Anyway, the show is not that spectacular or anything, however as a cliche drama, it works pretty well. But nothing much new is shown here. Just lots of regretting and crying and other stuff like that. Though the nice thing is the former friends are slowly staring to go back to each other, and the story is picking up pretty nicely. And the technical stuff like animation and background art never seem to lose quality. As expected from a Noitamina show, this is pretty solid in terms of production values, and that’s whats keeping me from dropping this particular title. I just wish I could say the title more easily.
[C]: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
For a Noitamina show, this one doesn’t seem to be keeping up with the quality at all, unlike the other current show that airs on the same block. This show is reeking low budget and bad scheduling all over. You can see the not-so-appealing character designs, and the not-so-engaging action scenes, and the jarring animation and below average background art. The characters themselves are somewhat inconsistent, and the storyline is not that interesting. But after all the time I invested in watching the show, I could not simply drop it. There are still some good things to be said of this show, which includes the OP, the ED, and the some little details that makes me smile every time, like that Caucasian guy having a black accent, and some others. I hope the story would pick up eventually, because that’s the only thing the show has left, with the bad production values and all.
Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
With Enma-kun, I just have to turn off my brain for a while. Because that’s the only way I can truly enjoy this one. And this one never fails to entertain me. The way they present the characters and the villains is very enjoyable. And just the sheer wackiness of how they tell the story makes me laugh every time. Because sometimes the characters have to do things to a certain extreme, and they have to do it with a level of silliness. I love these shows where they not only tell the joke by dialogue, but also put a smart visual gag with it. The good cast of voices in the show also brings the best out of the comedy. And how could I forget the fanservice in this show. At times very titillating, at times classy, but most of the time just out-of-this-world and just hilarious. This may not be the groundbreaking hit of the season, but it’s funny as hell.
I have nothing to say much on this show, except the edginess factor never wanes out. But not as much as the what the first episodes had. Of course there were some romantic development too, if you can consider it that. I’m not that excited for the next episode, with the short length and all, but it’s not a total waste of time either.
30-sai no Hoken Taiiku
As with Henzemi, this show never goes over my radar that much, but at the same time it’s still very entertaining. In fact, even more entertaining the other. The visual gags, especially the one in the latest episode, reminds me of Panty and Stocking, but not to that extent. I also liked the unfolding romantic deveopment between two 30-year olds that never had any experience with the opposite sex before. The censoring is not that bad, in fact it adds more comedy to the show. The animation is very minimal but not irritating at all. The short length is also very appropriate, because it makes the show more adult comedy-ish rather than romantic comedy-ish. It’s just a very enjoyable series for anyone with the appropriate taste in humor.
I want to say I’m interested in this show, but there are certain things that prevent me from doing so. First of all, I like the level of insanity and violence of the show. It has been a while since the I’ve seen a gorefest title. And the show just keeps on raising the bar in that respect, with different kinds of pain being induced to the characters every episde. It’s not yet Saw level, but that’s a good thing because Saw sucks anyway. Of course there are also little things that would make you go laugh your ass off, as with any other crazy violent anime. Just because of these things, that I’d like to say this show is the best of the season… but just the storyline, that storyline is so shonen-esque. That kind of story and plot never makes me go off and enjoy this series, especially the main character’s. Man, I hate those kind of average protagonist stories. And I have little qualms with the other characters as well. Like that Shiro (“shiro” means white) girl. She’s there for no particular reason. Just because. I don’t buy that shit. So too bad Deadman Wonderland, I will still enjoy watching you, but unless something awesome happens, I would still keep my socks on.
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi
The show so far was good, and I would like to enjoy more out of this series, but my main issue with the show is the last two episodes taking a completely different, unrelated story, that had no connection whatsoever to the first story line from the first four episodes. So what we have now is these three completely different characters, which has their story I don’t give a damn to. Right when I felt that there could be another development happening based from the fourth episode, the show just left that behind and moved on to another one. That literally made me angry inside. But I wish that the staff made the right decision, and I hope that this new story arc would be much better than the last one. But maybe I’m the only one here with that issue, since most people (being yaoi fangirls) would only watch this for fabulous men having gay sex anyway.
Hidan no Aria
Is there anymore to say? Hidan no Aria is THE BEST SHOW OF THE SEASON. It’s got guns, swords, tsunderes, tsunderes with guns and swords, chicks with big boobs, chicks with big boobs and knife-wielding hair, and just the most retarded plot ever written in anime history. This show will not leave you short of action, entertainment, fanservice and whatever shit you want to have in your moe anime. ‘Nuff said, go watch it. And watch it with the right fansubs for maximum enjoyment.
Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Yeah you heard me. I don’t like this show. But I keep on watching it for some reason. Maybe because of the aunt. Who says you can’t still hit on a 40-year old woman with a daughter, as long as she’s hot and totally wants one? Whoever told you that is a liar. But this show is bad anyway. This is another one of those SHAFT “Shinbo makes an anime according to what fetish he wanked off recently to” shows. And not just that, the comedy is so crappy, the drama just feels so contrived, and I just want to punch those retarded moe girls because they’re so stupid. The animation is nice and all, but everything else is bad. I’ll just watch this for one, and one thing only; that is youth points. And hot relatives.
Ao no Exorcist
I believe in a shonen title, the first episodes are suppose to be for introduction of the characters. So I could not say anything much for the series yet. The art is good, and the music isn’t either. But the characters are just plain. And the comedy is non-existent. I hate it when shows try to make characters wacky for some reason, to be able to illicit laughter from the audience, therefore making it comedy. But the truth is, they’re not funny at all. I say this show will take a while for it to pick up, and I just hope they do it faster. Or else, off you go to the backburner.
Maria Holic Alive
And to think another SHAFT show would be as uninteresting as well. But Maria Holic has something that makes it better than Denpa Onna. That is, the power to exaggerate things. And some SHAFT shows before indeed had this power in them, which made them good shows in return. Like Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, or the more recent Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru. Maria Holic has this unconventional art style, and the craziest girls you can find in an all-girls school, to cook up the most outrageous situation that can happen. But so far, this show doesn’t stands out as much as the other two shows I’ve mentioned. The comedy was hit or miss, and the references are just hard to get at times. But as a sequel, I am obliged to watch this one, in order to know if Kanako would eventually find her destined one. Or not.
I guess that’s it. 22 shows. That’s a hell whole lot of writing. But I hope people can find this guide useful. I’ll be back next time for the Season-End report on the Spring Season.