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Best and Worst of Winter 2011-2012
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Posted 3/26/12
Top 3:
1. Mouretsu Pirates(Bodacious Space Pirates). This is really well-made science fiction with an engaging and highly likeable protagonist(Marika Katou) and some very interesting supporting characters(Chiaki Kurihara, Jenny Dolittle, Gruelle Serenity). The comedy is well-placed and the way things are resolved are often using strategy, or brilliant tactics or just plain diplomacy. Episode 12's resolution reminds me of some of the things Kirk or Picard did to solve a problem.
2. Ano Natsu de Matteru. This one surprised me. I was prepared to write it off as mediocre because of Kaito, a loser protagonist and Ichika, the "perfect" alien love interest. But then I kept watching because Remon was an amusing troll character and then I found out that Kanna was a complex tsundere and Tetsurou was a bro. And then we find out that Mio was a nudist and the Kanna/Tetsurou/Mio love triangle just kept things going. Kaito did man up in the second half and the alien subplot is still lame and tacked-on. But the human relationships in this series are well-done and Nagai is showing himself to be a great director.
3. Inu X Boku SS. Just because I love the Ririchiyo fanservice and episode 6 was amazing. Episode 11 really brought the whole series back to the quality of the first half and the ending was emotional and just great.

Honorable mention:
Area no Kishi(Knight in the Area): Love the interactions of Kakeru and Nana. The comedy is mixing well with the dramatic moments in the latest episodes, but it had some rough moments(the end of episode 3 was really bad. Beginning of episode 4 was bad too)

Bottom 3:
1. Guilty Crown: How the hell did this cliche storm and overall trainwreck of a series sell 10,000 for its first volume? The asspulls that this series sprang on its viewers. The sudden character derailment that is the hallmark of bad fanfiction seemed to happen every week. And somehow, this series is more popular among some Western fans than some much better series that aired in the fall and the winter. Don't be fooled: this is a bad series.
2. Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle. Bad shounen series with puzzles.

No number 3(I was tempted to put Bleach in there, but no point in that).
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Posted 3/26/12
TOP 3
1. Chihayafuru- It has rekindled my love for anime. I was in the point of giving it up but this just came along. I doubt I would have picked up as much winter anime, if it weren't for this. Anyway, so what makes this anime so great? It's the depth that it delivers. The characters (especially Mashima Taichi) just resonates with you. There are just so many things we can learn from them. Heck, I have a whole list of quotable quotes already. As for the kurata aspect, I think for people not familiar with the game, it was properly explained. And last but not the least, the beautiful animation adds to the overall effect. It may not be as stellar as Guilty Crown but it definitely does the job.
2. Natsume Yuujinchou Shi- I found this to be more engaging the San. We have the light-hearted melodramatic feel that it consistently carried throughout its run. In the past seasons, we dwelled in his loneliness and acceptance. I like the fact it explored another angle. How his friends would react seeing glimpses of the youkai world. I think it was pivotal how Natsume allows himself to open up and share the burden with someone else.

No number 3. There wasn't anything that stood out for me. They were mostly in the okay level. I guess I set my expectations too high. Oh well, here's to hoping for a better Spring season. (Although Fairy Tail would have been in the number 3 spot. I'm not sure if you can consider a year rounder part of the season)


BOTTOM 3
1. New Prince of Tennis- Anyway, I was exasperated how the follow-through was very unrealistic. In the original series, they were portrayed as great players who kept going until they reached the nationals. Then, in this anime thy suddenly turn weak against the high school students. Also there are waaaaaay too many characters to be able to focus on something substantial. Seriously, you don’t need to put all of Seigaku’s rivals in one show.
2. Zero no Tsukaima F- Princess no Rondo aired back in 2008 and there was no refresher anywhere, it's hard to understand where you left off. I also felt there wasn't anything new to the bickering they presented until towards the end. Not going to spoil but it was such a cheezy ending to the whole series. Endings
3. Black Rock Shooter- I've watched a lot of supernatural animes to know that it's a been there, done that kind of thing. Sadly, only the animation kept me going.
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Posted 3/26/12 , edited 3/26/12
Top 3
1. Chihayafuru - This show was a complete surprise, especially for a show I was sure I wouldn't be interested in. The only reason I watched it was because I thought it might have some interesting aspects of Japanese culture. Not only did I learn about Karuta, which I never heard of before, but I grew to love the whole cast. The characters are well done and you really feel their victories and failures. This is great storytelling.

2. Another - One of the rare horror animes that CR carries, but I'm glad they did. The carnage was shocking and haunting. And now that we are about to see the resolution, I'm worried about what will happen next. This is a show people will long remember.

3. Ano Natsu - Another big surprise. I wasn't expecting much, but this is definitely one of the best romance anime I've seen in a long time. You really care about all the characters in this show. And though you want them to all be happy, you know that isn't going to happen. Plus Remon is awesome.


Runner up
Bodacious Space Pirates - If you are a fan of hard SF, then this is your show. It may not have a lot of action, but it has a more realistic portrayal of space and space combat. Plus it is beautifully animated. I can't wait to see the next story arc.



Bottom 3
3. Inu x Boku SS - Episode 11 hasn't been able to save this mess. Though I enjoy certain aspects, I can honestly say I'm bored most of the time I watch this.

2. Highschool DxD - When the animators spend more time on nipples than anything else, you have to realize there are bound to be problems. Surprisingly, there is a story, just not a good one. And given how Issei plays all the girls, it is only a matter of time before he joins Makoto on the Nice Boat.

1. Recorder to Randsell - I couldn't get through this show. Bad sterotypes, bad stories, and bad situations that supposedly are funny. It isn't, imo.
Posted 3/26/12

deadpanditto wrote:


2. Highschool DxD - When the animators spend more time on nipples than anything else, you have to realize there are bound to be problems. Surprisingly, there is a story, just not a good one. And given how Issei plays all the girls, it is only a matter of time before he joins Makoto on the Nice Boat.



Funny you say that, . One of the writers, I believe, of School Days actually wrote the light novel so... you may expect to see Nice Boat endings. The nipples are CG too, so you can expect them to focus on that since CG is not taken well by the Japanese when incorporated with a 2D show.
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Posted 3/26/12
Another is definitely my favorite of this winter season. It's depth, atmosphere, and ability to grab a hold of viewers(even those who don't normally watch anime, as I've gotten several of my friends hooked on it) didn't have any peers this season. Not only that, it resolved and concluded very well at the end of the series. The only thing that irks me now is that I don't have it to watch on Mondays now that it's done.
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Posted 3/26/12
Top 3:
Nisemonogatari - I enjoyed this follow to the first series. It has a quirky presentation that can turn some people away, but I think that adds to the story telling. For those who didn't watch the first series, things probably didn't make a whole lot of sense.

Another - This whole series kept me on edge from start to finish. The suspense that is created throughout the series is something I haven't seen in much before in other anime series. Trying to guess who the "other" is among the class was also fun. This is definitely something to go back and watch a second time.

PoyoPoyo - I get tired of series with over complicated story lines and need something simple. PoyoPoyo is just that. It might appeal to everyone, but it reminds me of a simple animated comic strip. The characters are easy to identify with and the plot is more original than some other series I've been watching lately. I found it to be a breath of fresh air.

Bottom 10:
Guilty Crown - I wish I could get back the time I spent watching this series. It brings together and recycles plot lines from other series, but in an overly complicated fashion. None of them work at I felt the second half of the series should have been cancelled. I could go on about why I didn't like GC, but I won't. I am not going to watch this series again...period.

Zero No Tsukaima F - I watched the first to seasons or series of this anime and really enjoyed them. They benefited from a strong and unique storyline and developed most characters fairly well. That said, I felt that this season was really trying to stretch the franchise. Having several mini arcs throughout the season didn't unify it very well. It seemed like a "villain of the week" set up. It was good to see the series have an positive ending, but a season long arc would have been better.

Mouretsu Pirates - I just don't get this series. I've watched every ep so far, but I fail to get it. The English translation title for the series doesn't help much either.

Overall, I think this was a pretty average season. Certainly there are more streaming series than in the past, and I hope more come in the future. I guess it's time to pay attention to what's coming up for the Spring 2012 season...
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