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!

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