Kyouran Kazoku Nikki: While I complained about this show being annoying because it was trying to be wacky, crazy and creative, I think what annoyed me most KKN what the sappiness. While the setting and characters were pretty good and the writing had its moments, the sappy moments burdened too large a chunk of the demographic. Namely the not-clinically-retarded/not-Michael-Jackson demographic. I can't imagine a bunch of anime writers/producers spending their evenings hammering out the screenplay for the next episode and feeling that the sappy lines were pleasing to them. They probably just thought, "I hate this line but kids will probably like it". Next time, make an effort dipshits.
Allison to Lillia: A real treat! A series that goes against conventional trends in storyline, settings and animation style. Simple and wholesome, yet challenging and entertaining. The complete opposite of Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, which was complicated yet as challenging as blowing your nose, unless you're Michael Jackson. It's probably very challenging for him to blow his nose, or what's left of it. Can't really say he's not to blame for that problem though.
In case you're asking yourself "why the Michael Jackson references?", the answer is: I'm lazy.
Itazura na kiss: An odd one for sure. It starts out as such an overused stereotype. Dumb,average girl falls for perfect guy except that he's a jerk to her and everyone. Somehow, girl moves into his house. More conflict ensues. Girl wins over guy with GUTS!!! Pretty conventional right? But it doesn't stop there. They get married while going through college. They enter the jobforce together. Eventually they have a child. The series just never quit. It goes over years and years. Despite its best efforts to break some somewhat new ground, this is still a pretty boring romance series. I watched it through because I can tolerate pretty lame productions of the genre. It must be my achille's heel. Still, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
Natsume Yuujinchou: I was initially hoping this would become a Mushishi-esque production. It didn't close. Still, I would still call this series a success. It has a good mix of supernatural elements and storytelling, like Mushishi. It just feels a tad dumbed-down and more conventional. All that being said, its still way above-average fare. Check it out.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Closet-otaku perfect girl falls for ordinary, yet kind guy, when he discovers her secret anime obsession. Pretty regular high school romance/harem fare. It's a winner though because the character designs are to die for. Haruka is a totally adorable yet hot babe. Definitely in the top 3 character designs of the year.
I've got the rest of the spring reviews and some fall reviews still to do but they'll have to wait until next time. Bye-bee!