Monday, June 13, 2011

June 2011 Anime Rankings

Probably the last rankings before quite a few of these end and the Summer anime season begins. Thought I would try and find something uniquely good to say about every series this month.

#1 Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko

Gets the number one spot for having the most attractive character designs and the best OP of this season. The characters are all likeable. I would like to get more of any of them. Plus, the dialogue is fun!!! FUN!!

#2 Anohana

Let's see. This is the best drama of the season. Plus, it has the best OP/ED combo of the year.

#3 Stein's Gate

Most interesting concept of the season. Plus, Okabe is the best character of the year.

#4 Nichijou TV

Stellar laughs from the best 4-panel style anime adaptation of the season. Yoshino is the most underutilized character of the season.

#5 Gosick

The whole Kujo running to find Victorique is getting old and is criminally overused but this is still the best non-modern setting for a series out there.

#6 Hen Zemi

You really have to give it to the Hen Zemi characters for being so unapologetically perverted. They have really broken down their perversions to a scientific and philosophical level that would impress Sigmund Freud. Best cool with itself series of the year.

#7 Tiger & Bunny
It feels like the pace is slowing down, to its detriment. Still, I like this show for having an older style. It feels like new-retro. Best use of advertizing. Go Nex! Pespi Nex!
#8 A Channel
I can't shake the impression that the creepy teacher is just a less original/interesting/ownage version of Kimura-sensei from Azumanga Daioh. Actually, a lot of themes from this show seem to be borrowed from AD. Well, it did kind of reinvent the genre so I guess it couldn't be helped to a certain extent. I'll give this one a "show that is ripping off the best series" award for this season.
#9 The World God Only Knows II
You've got to give some credit to Katsuragi. For someone that everyone considers to be leading his life in an unfruitful manner, he remains very confident in the path he follows. This gets the award for most focused character.
#10 Tono to Issho
This is basically a single OVA that, because of the way it is formatted, was able to be cut into 3 minute episodes. Still, I'll give it the best short award, which was basically a two-horse race with the next entry.
#11 Honto ni Atta! Reibai-Sensei*
This is short episode formatted series about a teacher who's an expert in the occult. I'm totally in love with the ED, I listen to it multiple times every time I watch an episode. So catchy. Best ED award, even though it's not the standard size.
#12 Hidan no Aria
This has turned out to be a not very good series. Lots of "baka!" gets thrown around. Very standard tsundere theme. Just not very original. I'll give it some props for not going batshit crazy with the whole "superpowers awakened by perverted thoughts" thing the Kinji has. They've been restrained in that regard. It'll have to settle for the "compulsory hot miko" award(pretty much making these up by now).
#13 C
I've been watching this for a fair bit but it better be getting somewhere soon. It feels like the show doesn't even know what it is, so how are we supposed to? This gets the "most nonsensical premise" award.
#14 kaiji 2
It's getting difficult to follow this. I like the premise and the content but the slow pacing is getting unbearable, not unlike it's predecessor. This easily wins the "most narrated character's thoughts" award. There's actually more of it then there is dialogue, which worked for Death Note so maybe they're onto something.
#15 Ao no Exorcist
Series that have as little depth and quality content as this only work if they throw the plot/action at you at full speed. Instead, they choose to develop shallow characters. Way to take a page from the Naruto playbook. Massive failz. You get the "I can't stop staring at the brother's moles" award. Not the most sought-after one.
#16 Deadman Wonderland
Somehow, I'm still watching this lameness despite myself. It could have won the nonsensical premise award from earlier but instead it's getting the dual "participant" and "watched despite itself" awards. Thanks for playing.

Another month is behind us. Many of these are ending later this month so July should have a fair number of reviews. Observations for this ranking:
-The top three are pretty much in a league of their own. They are the ones (along with Gintama) that I watch as soon as they're available. The rest I just watch when I'm in the mood. I've got some non-anime reviews that I'm working on (music...and maybe gaming if I feel like it). Also, I never got around to reviewing Moshidora (which aired completely during a two-week period in May), so I'll put a short assessment of that at some point. That's it for now. Bye-Bee!~

Friday, May 06, 2011

May 2011 Anime Rankings

Red Shows are trending up significantly.

Blue Shows are trending down significantly.

Green Shows have not been watched since the last ranking and are at risk of being dropped from the ranking.
*means this series is making its debut in the rankings.

#1 Anohana*(short for "Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai XP):

Childhood friends reunite to finally come to terms with the death of one of their members, which initially drove them apart.

Justification: I've been so starved of quality dramas in recent years that this one is pretty much the oasis in the desert that isn't a mirage. I'm loving it!

#2 Stein's Gate*:

A group of rejects/pseudo-scientists attempts to uncover an Internation timetravel-related conspiracy.

Justification: This season's best new character is Okabe Rintaro, a paranoid, self-described mad scientist who leads his unlikely band of followers. This guy is pure win.

#3 Gosick*:

A Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson loosely-inspired mystery series that takes place in a fictional European country in between both world wars.

Justification: My only holdover from last season, it was one of the two best shows of the winter (the other being Kore wa Zombie Desuka).

#4 Nichijou TV*(pictured above):

An anime adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga about school life. In the mold of Pani Poni Dash!

Justification: It has fared reasonably well after a homerun of a first episode. It's striking the right balance in key gag criteria such as timing and delivery. It has really great lines, as is demonstrated above. Instantly quoteable.

#5 Tiger and Bunny*:

Superheroes in a futuristic world have to deal with the realities of 24-hour news network that rank their exploits in a point system and the hardships of pleasing their corporate sponsors.

Justification: I'm loving the artstyle and setting. The heroes have an old-time feel to them. Go Origami Cyclone! lol

#6 Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko*:

A high school student moves to a new town to live in his aunt's house. There he meets his futon-wrapped cousin, who claims she is an alien.

Justification: Great characters and art style. Possibly the best character designs of the new season.

#7 Hen Zemi*:

12 minute long episodes of a college clubs for the perverted.

Justification: Pretty much the case of one or two "normal" characters who play the straight man role to the shocking behavior of everyone else in the club. Still, it's hilarious.

#8 Tono to Issho 2*:

2 minute segments of an OVA of a gag manga about the heros of Sengoku era Japan.

Justification: Pretty much more of the first season. Its way to short to be annoying. Not much of a commitment. Basically, the time-investment price is right.

#9 Hidan no Aria*:

Two students of a fictional kind of school for military/police/intelligence careers try to hunt down the individual who's been killing their classmates.

Justification: Its pretty watchable but the character's seem kind of stale. The main hero appears to have powers that get awakened when he's aroused but this mechanic has only been used in the first episode so far so it hasn't been cheaply exploited yet. Hard to get a read on this one.

#10 A Channel*:

Another adaptation of a 4-panel gag manga about high school girls.

Justification: Not feeling this one nearly as much as Nichijou. I find the jokes are more stale and predictable and they're relying on a "cute reaction" for their effect. A little bit more like K-ON!(minus the band premise), whose second season I couldn't even be bothered to watch.

#11 C*:

Wow, this one is hard to explain. Selected people have access to an alternate reality where they use money to power the attacks of their partner so they can win duels, which earns them money in the real world.

Justification: I really don't know about this one. Its just not believable in the slightest. Still, it is at least original enough to stay in the middle of the pack.

#12 Kaiji 2*:

Kaiji, after failing to win the original "game" in the first season, is sent to a secret prison camp to work off his debt. There he must use all his tricks and logic to gamble his way out of hell.

Justification: I really have a soft spot for these gambling/puzzle series(Kaiji, Akagi). I like how you can follow the logical train of thought of the characters as they work out the situations in their head. Sadly, the incredibly slow pace so far makes this pretty much unwatchable to non-fans.

#13 A0 no Exorcist*:

Orphan kid who finds out he is the son of satan decides to train as an exorcist to fight off demons.

Justification: This series suffers from slow pacing and dumbed down drama. I just hate it when the main character is surprised at everything that's happening. Unlovable idiot. Follow the Monkey D. Luffy model of being an idiot. Be dumb, but nonchalant about developments. Then you can be cool.

#14 The World God Only Know 2*:

Our VN-killer hero returns for a second season after a short winter sebatical. Katsuragi continues to use his visual novel skills to free young women of the dark souls possessing them.

Justification: I was amused during the first season but the show seems to be getting stale. I like the parts where he's using his VN knowledge to anticipate heroine reactions. However, those parts seem to be getting surrounded by more and more filler. Still ok.

#15 Deadman Wonderland*:

Guy gets falsely accused of killing his entire class and is sent to a prison theme park. There he must compete in events in order to delay the execution he has been sentenced to.

Justification: The stinker of the new season. There are probably worse ones out there, I just haven't chosen to watch those. This series had a great opening where the guy's class gets absolutely destroyed. Everything after that has been meh. I don't like any of the characters and the dialogue is stupid. I guess the setting is ok, but its not being used...or even explained. I'm predicting this will be dropped, how long from now remains to be seen.

That's it for this month. I have another series that I was gonna include (Honto ni Atta! Reibai-Sensei) but I forgot so you'll just have to wait until next month. I'll remind all of you that Gintama has started again. I won't be adding it to the rankings because it would always win and its one of those goes on forever series (a la One Piece) so I don't want to skew the rankings with it. If you're not familiar with Gintama, its the hands-down best gag anime of all time. Go watch it right now! You're so lucky, you've got over 200 episodes of unwatched glory to explore. Bastard!

Just to be clear. I've only included a blurb for each series because I'm introducing them to you. Don't expect this every month. Bye-Bee!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

FuwaFuwaAnime version 2.0

Hello everyone!~

After a hiatus of over 2 years, I've decided to pick up the pen again, figuratively speaking. I won't be attempting to cover all the anime that has happened in the last 2+ years, as that would just discourage me immediately and I would probably give up as soon as I started. Besides, I wasn't that reliable at covering all the anime that was happening even when I was active. I know myself well enough to know I won't achieve reasonably ambitious goals, let alone incredibly daunting ones. I may choose to review some material of the past, at my fancy. However, I'd like to stress that this is a fresh start.

For the record, this blog officially died 2 years ago. It's over. I considered starting a new one entirely but ultimately chose against that, purely for convenience sake. Besides, I will still be convering fansubbed anime so there's no reason to not take advantage of this already existent foundation. However, I will be giving version 2.0 a more general theme. It will also serve as my personal opinion blog. My views on music, films, books, television, video games and just about anything will be posted here. Still, I don't consider myself as much of an expert on those things so the main focus will remain anime. The monthly anime rankings will also be making a return! I'm especially excited to start that later today as I've been diligently following a considerable amount of the new spring season series. It's gonna be the bomb!~

Here's to hoping we have yet to see the best from this blog. Let's build this mother fucker to the moon!! Bye-Bee!~