12 CommentsEditorials, Ye Olde Days / By Scamp /

A proper look to see if this really is one of the best seasons in recent memory or are people over-reacting as bloody usual

Woah, long title. After getting a bit annoyed at loads of people declaring the current Summer season to be one of the greatest seasons in recent memory, I decided to take a proper look at past seasons to make the decision for myself. Having only started watching anime weekly in Winter 08, I have no idea how good the past seasons really were. So off to MAL I went and went on a long and tedious process of taking down loads of names of anime vaguely knew to see which season truly was the greatest. Just an interesting observation: I thought the average scores for anime seem would go up every year since people seem to over-rate more recent anime but the average stayed about the same. The ratings never lie folks.

A quick little run down of the key I’ll be using:

Big Name: One of the higher quality and better known anime of the year

Over-rated: Well known anime but are poorly rated

BIG NAME: The anime whose names have gone down in history, for the good reasons obviously

Right, lets do this!

Winter 05

Starship Operators/Mahou Sensei Negima/Ah My Goddess/Peach Girl/Gallery Fake/Mahoraba/Girls Bravo Season 2

Wow, what a shitty season. Now I obviously didn’t take down every title. I cut it down to only TV series and didn’t bother taking down names of anime that I didn’t know, had rubbish ratings or had ridiculously complicated Japanese names. Even so, what a bad season.

Spring 05

Victoria romance emma/MAR/Onegai my Melody/Law of Ueki/Aquarion/Elemental Grade/Eyeshield 21/Ichigo 100%/Glass Mask/Futakoi Alternative/Loveless/Speed Grapher/He is my Master/Tsubasa Chronicle/Basilisk/Honey and clover/Eureka Seven/Trinity Blood

Meh, for a Spring it’s not great but the awesome combo of Eureka Seven and H&C is something. Doesn’t quite compare to some of the later seasons though.

Summer 05

Da Capo Season 2/GunXSword/Pani Poni Dash/Suzuka/Shuffle/Full Metal Panic: TSR/Ichigo Mashimaro/Guyver

Painfully small list but it has to be said, what’s there aint bad. Summer seasons are pretty bad generally and this is one of the stronger ones., although personally I hated TSR.

Autumn 05

Mahou Shojo Lyrical Nanoha A’s/To Heart 2/Angel Heart/Capeta/Akagi/Jikogu Shojo/Solty Rei/ Shakugan no Shana/Aria the Animation/Black Cat/Mai Otome/Blood+/Ginban Kaliedoscope/Lamune/Noein/Paradise Kiss/Rozen Maiden: Traumend/Mushishi/Karin

Slightly better than Spring 05. What makes this season stand out is the variety of anime on offer here. No great mecha here but otherwise you’re spoiled for choice. It sets a high bar for 06.

Winter 06

Magikano/Lemon Angel Project/Fate Stay/Night/Kashimashi/Ayakashi/REC/Ergo Proxy

Rubbish season. Well OK, it’s not horrible but Fate Stay/Night is very over-rated and Ergo Proxy has a reputation for being pretentious. It’s hard to praise a season when those two are the big names.

Spring 06

Gakuen Heaven/Kiba/Soul Link/School Rumble Ni Gakki/ The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya /Strawberry Panic/High School Girls/Simoun/ Aria the Natural/Utawarerumono /Gintama/Ouran High School Host Club/Air Gear/Nana/Princess Princess/Higurashi/.Hack//Roots /Zegapain /Witchblade / Inumaki/XXXHolic/ Ah My Goddess Season 2/Saiunkoku Monogatari/Black Lagoon/Musashi/The Third/Jyu oh Sei/ Tsubasa Chronicle Season 2

When people said that this was the best anime in recent memory, I thought they were over-reacting because of Haruhi. But all I can say is…wow! Even two of my favourites in Black Lagoon and Gintama are there. Even some of those un-bolded ones are cult hits, such as The Third and Inukami. Yes, this really is the best season as far as I can tell.

Summer 06

Flag/ Night Head Genisis/ Honey and Clover 2/Le Chevalier d’Eon/Familiar of Zero/Coyote Ragtime Show/Bokura ga ita/Ramen fighter Miki/Tonagura/Welcome to the NHK/Chocotto Sister/Innocent Venus/Kemonozume

Look, you have to lower your standards for Summer Seasons. Therefore this one aint bad. OK I know you’ve just seen Spring 06 but really try to lower your standards. NHK and H&C in one season is quite an achievement.

Autumn 06

D.Gray Man/Black Lagoon TSB/Pumpkin Siscors/Death Note/Negimna?!/Ghost Hunt/Red Garden/Kanon 06/Busou Renkin/ Shonen Onmyoji/The Wallflower/ Sumomomo momomomo/Happiness/Code Geass/009-1/Hell Girl 2/Hitman Reborn/Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto/History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi/Bartender/Kekkashi/Soukou no Strain

God I thought this season was better. Death Note and Code Geass are huge but beyond them the spread is a bit meh for a big season. It’s still better than the two from 05 but no way beats Spring.

Winter 07

Afro Samurai/Shuffle Memories/Himawari/Hidamari Sketch/Venus Versus Virus/Nodame Cantabile/Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight!/Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho: Tou/ Naruto Shippuden/ Ikkitousen Dragon Destiny

Typical Winter season I suppose. Nodame saves it from being dire and Hidamari is a cult hit. Hurrah for the end of Naruto fillers though.

Spring 07

Heroic Age/ Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann/Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS/ Hayate the Combat Butler/Seto no Hanayome/El Cazador de le Bruja/Over Drive/Oh Edo Rocket/Romeo X Juliet/Claymore/Darker than Black/Kishin Taisen Gigantic Formula/Nagasarete Airantou/Sola/ Shining Tears X Wind/Moribito/Lovely Complex/ Terra e/Bokurano/Lucky Star/Kaze no Stigma/ Princess resurection/The Skull man/ Dennou Coil/Saiunkoku Monogatari 2nd Season/Ookiku Furikabutte

Sometimes it’s tough to know what’s worth bolding. There’s some real quality everywhere you look this season. Terra e, Bokurano and Oh Edo Rocket are all quite well rated. Dare I say it tops Spring 06? I’m going to say no simply because this season includes Lucky Star, the biggest load of Rubbish ever created. Mwahaha, go my biased views, go!

Summer o7

Devil May Cry/Doujin Work/Zombie Loan/School Days/Code E/Mushi-uta/Sky Girls/Saynara Zetsubo Sensei/Potemayo/Moetan/Mononoke/Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu Umisho/Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai/Mushi-Uta/Zero no Tsukaima ~Futatsuki no Kishi~/Shigurui/Baccano

Now this is the summer season to beat. I mean just look at it! Baccano, Higurashi, Zetsubo and the best anime nobodies watched, Mononke. Easily the top ‘small season’ so far.

Autumn 07

Da Capo II/Sketchbook full Colours /Myself;Yourself/ Mokke/Bamboo Blade/Kaiji/Dragonaut/Clannad/Shakugan no Shana 2/You’re under Arrest: Full Throttle/Gundam 00/Shugo Chara/Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho: Tou Dai Ni Maku/Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro/Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun/ef – A Tale of Memories/Kimi kiss/ Prism arc/Rental Magica/Minami-ke/Genshiken 2/Komodo no Jikan/Moyashimon/Shion no Ou/Ghost hound

Wow this season was full of average. Heck, the summer season is almost better than this. OK, maybe not quite but it’s still rather poor after all those great seasons that have all come before it. I suppose it marks the end of the Golden Era.

Winter 08

Rosario to Vampire/H2O Footprints in the Sand/True Tears/Persona Trinity Soul/ Shigofumi/Aria the Origination/Spice and Wolf/Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei/Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de/Hatenkou Yuugi/Minami-ke Okawari/Gunslinger Girl -Il Teatrino-/Hakaba Kitarou

This was where I started watching anime weekly and god did I start in a poor season. Actually I take that back, it’s not that bad but it’s certainly not a world beater.

Spring 08

XXXHolic Kei/ Kurenai/To-love-ru/Allison to Lillia/Macross Frontier/Tower of Druaga/Amatsuki/Itazuru na Kiss/Blassreiter/Kanokon/Kamen no Maid Guy/Code Geass R2/Nabari no Ou/Vampire Knight/Special A/Soul Eater/Real Drive/Junjou Romantica/Wagaya no Oinari-sama./Zettai Karen Children/Library Wars/Kaiba/Daughter of 20 Faces/Golgo 13

2008 is the worst year in recent memory. A look at that list should tell you that. Considering how good Spring Seasons can be, this is very poor indeed. Plus I wonder how many people out there think Geass R2 needs to be in pink.

Summer 08

Sekirei/Slayers Revolution/Natsu no sora/Nogizaka Haruka’s Secret/Hidamari Sketch x365/Strike Witches/Birdy the Mighty Decode/Natsume Yuujinchou/Blade of the Immortal/Antique Bakery/ Xam’d Lost Memories/Ryoko’s Case File/Zero no Tsukaima ~Princesses no Rondo~/Detroit Metal City

Xam’d saves this season to a certain extent, but it’s inclusion here is a bit suspect. It aired about halfway through the two seasons. Either way, this is a bad season. And no, Strike Witches is not a classic.

Autumn 08

Earl and the Fairy/Toradora/Hyakko/Casshern Sins/Clannad AS/Rosario to Vampire 2/Yozakura Quartet/Shikabane Hime/Akane iro ni Somaru Saku/Kuroshitsuji/Linebarrels of Iron/Tales of the Abyss/Kemeko DX/Kannagi/Gundam 00 2/Ga-Rei-Zero/Tentai Senshi Sunred/Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae/Toaru Majutsu no Index/Skip Beat/Vampire Knight Guilty/Ef- Tale of Melodies/One Outs/Kurozuka/Mouryou no Hako/Tytania/Chaos;Head/Junjou Romantica 2/Nodame Cantabile Paris/Michiko to Hatchin

Moe saturation point has arrived right about now. This is the last great work you will see Kyo Ani do. Personally I think they’re rubbish but hey, each to their own I suppose.

Winter 09

White Album/ Shikabane Hime 2/Akikan/Maria Holic/Minami-ke Okaeri/Zoku Natsume Yuujinchou/Tower of Druaga 2/Asu no yoichi/Kurokami/Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo/Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger/Birdy the might Decode 2/Chrome Shelled Regios/Ride Back/Kemono no Souja Erin/ Munto TV

Very bleh season indeed. How many sequels can you count? How many average anime can you count? Now whats left? Yeah, not much.

Spring 09

Sengoku Basara/Queens Blade/Asura Cryin/ Pandora Hearts/Basquash/K-ON/Phantom/Tears to Tiara/Hayate the Combat Butler 2/Mazinger Z/Valkyrie Chronicles/Guin Saga/Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood/Shangri-La/Natsu no Arashi/Saki/Cross Game/07 Ghost/Ristorante Paradiso/Eden of the East/Hatsukoi Limited

The best season since Spring 07? Depends on whether you liked K-ON or not. I don’t, so I think it’s only average. But at least it’s better than any 08 season.

Summer 09

Haruhi Season 8/Umi Monogatari/Aoi hana/Umineko/Needless/Bakemonogatari/Canaan/Princess Lover/Sora no Manimani/Spice and Wolf II/Tokyo Magnitude 8.0/Taishou Yakyuu Musume./Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei/GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class/Yokuwakaru Gendaimahou

Right, the big question finally gets tackled. First off, please don’t bother comparing this to Spring or Autumn seasons. It would be like comparing an English Premiership team to a Hungarian League team. However if you compare it to Summer/Winter seasons then yes, this is certainly one of the better ones. It’s not as good as Summer 07 but otherwise it does fare well to any other small season. This post took way too long to prove such a small point though…

::Edit:: Oh who am I kidding. Umineko is badly written, Magnitude is boring,  Canaan is utter rubbish and SZS is the same joke third season in a row. The only good anime this season are Horo and Senjogahara. This season is rubbish.

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12 Comments

  1. DAndrews
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    What about druaga?

  2. Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Nobody is watching GA and everybody is watching Bakecrapnaan 8.0. Therefore this season sucks.

  3. Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    @DAndrews

    Err….Druaga is there.

    @fangzhao

    In Spring 09 nobody was watching Kaiba, they were all watching Macross and Soulgenericshounentrasheater. Therefore that season sucked

  4. Posted August 17, 2009 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    In Spring 09 nobody was watching Shin Mazinger, they were all watching FMA BROS and Johnny of the East. Therefore that season sucked.

    (am I doing it right)

    I think judging a season’s worth is only good for the amount of weekly shows you follow. I don’t really care about them on their own.

  5. Posted August 17, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    But the potential! Think of the potential.

    What makes the comparison really tough is the fact that Summer 2009 is still ongoing. But I agree with most of this, on average. This puts it in perspective a bit better. It’s just nice to have a good season after so many consecutive seasons of mostly rubbish.

  6. cutepiku
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad I’m not the only one who thought Lucky Star was a big pile of useless. I hate that show. The best part was the opening song. And then it cuts to a bunch of teens who look like they are 5, sitting around, chatting about mundane topics.

    If I wanted to watch little girls chat about how to eat food, I would go visit an elementary school. I mean, really.

    (Why isn’t Hetalia on there? XD;; )

  7. Posted August 17, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    @schneider

    Yes you almost did it right (maybe that’s a meme waiting to explode?) but Mazinger is the only anime I place on the same level as Lucky Star and Johnny was a fucking awesome anime.

    @Sorrow-kun

    Yup, that was the point of this post, to put the season in perspective. It certainly is a bit of a relief after a hell of a lot of poor seasons. However I HATED MAKING THIS POST! It took way too long to prove such a small point and was mainly just copying names that got tedious halfway through 2006, but I’d gotten too far by then to stop.

    Just thought you should know how much blood, sweat and RAEG went into this post.

    @cutepiku

    Hetalia isn’t on there because I filtered the anime I was looking at to TV shows. Hetalia is one of the few non-tv shows that actually has a regular airing pattern and I didn’t want to go to the trouble of flicking down through hundreds of pointless OVA’s to get those few genuine ones. This post was trouble enough as it was.

    And hurrah for a fellow Lucky Star hater

  8. Son Gohan
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    First of all, I enjoyed reading this post. Thank you for your effort in copying all those titles.
    I think you were a bit harsh with Spring 08. I believe that there were a lot of underappreciated shows, especially Kurenai, Real Drive and Daughter of 20 Faces.

  9. Posted August 17, 2009 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    @Son Gohan

    Harsh yes but compared to the previous two springs it’s not great. Although I agree with Kurenai, that was an great show.

  10. kadian1364
    Posted August 17, 2009 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    This post just makes me remember how grossly stacked ’06 and ’07 were. I believe I started following weekly shows middle of Winter ’06, just when reams of quality shows were the expectation, not the exception.

    A lot of the appraisal for this season has a lot to do with the general watchability of every show, not necessarily how great they are in retrospect. There’s also always the presence of the longer Spring season shows continuing on that compounds one’s watch list. At least this season I’m looking for reasons to trim down my viewing, as opposed to last year’s general dissatisfaction with even the few things I followed.

  11. Posted August 18, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    For winter 2008, I think true tears deserves a recognition being a memorable shoujo anime and is probably one of the best ever. And I do agree, Code Geass R2 should be in pink. Way over-rated!

  12. kevo
    Posted September 17, 2009 at 3:30 am | Permalink

    Hey, bro. Thanks for the link, but please leave a trackback next time (not that I know how to do that myself:/)

    You’re forgetting that Summer 2007 ALSO contains the second half of TTGL, which is immaculate anime history. But yes, Summer 2007 was an incredible season as was spring 06.

    Saki, in my opinion possibly the best show of 2009 so far should be like in bold green. Clearly, you are wrong about anime on the internet. :P

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