41 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

February Roundup

No news worth talking about again. On with the ratings!

A Grade

A- Daily Lives of Higschool Boys

Episodes 5-8

I appreciate Daily Dudes more as satire than I do as comedy. Sure it’s still funny, albeit to varying degrees. Episode 5 was one of the funniest episodes of anime I have ever seen. But it still varies a lot, with episode 8 being comparatively low on the laugh counter. But as a man who loves to overthink his comedy, I value satire higher than sheer comedic potential. I may have gotten more laughs per second out of Seto no Hanayome than Detroit Metal City, but I rate DMC higher because of how it changed my perception of music. For Daily Dudes, the satirisation of modern all-girl anime and the chuunibyou of teenage boys is what makes this show special, and for that I can not give it enough praise.

B Grade

B+ Nisemonogatari

Episodes 5-8

I’m a bit torn on Nisemonogatari this week. On one hand, the end of the arc was anticlimactic, compounded by how long it lasted. I didn’t really care while it was occurring, as basking in the presence of Senjogahara is always entertaining. But the end of the arc reminded me how little I was invested in the story, a fairly large problem. But then there was also the toothbrush episode, for which I am still in shock after. That scene alone hikes it up several grades.

B+ Aquarion EVOL

Episodes 6-9

It feels a bit weird putting Aquarion EVOL this high. I have absolutely no investment in the story. The villains are a total joke. But even with stuff like Daily Dudes, Nisemonogatari and Future Diary airing this season, I have to be honest with myself and admit that Aquarion EVOL is the anime I’ve having the most fun watching. The sex euphemisms! They do not stop! And neither do they stop being funny. Those complicated metaphors involving donuts never cease cracking me up. The fact that there’s a character called Andy W. Hole, because he’s an artist like Andy Warhol except he makes holes. There has to be some kind of mad genius behind this thing.

B Future Diary

Episodes 16-20

Looks like Future Diary has kicked its habit of alternating between good and bad episodes, since Yuki has finally abandoned living some sort of fulfilling regular life. That doesn’t mean Future Diary has necessarily gotten any less crazy in terms of leaping about in tone and direction. It’s still massively entertaining, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also all over the fucking place. The writer must have gotten hyperactive around this point in the story and tried to bring in all his crazy ideas before he had to make the final arc. It sorta works, in a crazy Future Diary sort of way, but I can’t think of any other show that could pull this shit and get away with it.

B Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing

Episodes 15-17

Asides from that recap episode for the original series, which was a nice bit of fanservice for fans of the original series like myself, it’s been a strong month for Last Exile, mainly because Fam has taken a back seat. With the war escalating, it’s bringing the strengths of Last Exile Fam to the forefront. Large scale warfare, complicated diplomatic relations. It even had that very LOGH-esque relationship between the two Ades generals that I liked a lot. Mind you there’s still the occasional Famy-ness that creeps in every now and then, such as ending the conflict by simply asking nicely. That scene was really dumb.

B Steins;Gate OVA

Episode 25

A single episode of total fanservice for Steins;Gate fans. Not tits and ass, or even the goofy Carnival Phantasm type fanservice where you completely remove the characters from the original context. Nope, this is Steins;Gate fanservice, with an element of Plot that someone who is a fan of the TV series would appreciate more. They didn’t even drop the animation quality. For that, I appreciated this OVA immensely.

B Natsume Yuujinchou 4

Episodes 6-8

Very good month for Natsume because they’re actually taking the story in a new direction. It’s no longer “oh look, Natsume has friends and family and is no longer lonely, how wonderful”. Not that I didn’t enjoy those parts of the story, but they were done and starting to get old. Developing the tension between trying to keep apart his IRL life and his online yokai life has become the new focus, and it has really breathed life into the franchise. Hope they actually do something with this before the series ends.

B- Persona 4

Episodes 17-20

Yeah I still enjoy Persona. I like watching stupid filler episodes where they go to hot springs or cultural festivals because I’ve grown so attached to the characters. They’ll always be entertaining to watch in that regard. At the same time though, I’m glad Persona 4 is nearly over, because I feel it has run its course. I’m kind of done with this series, and now just hoping for some kind of fulfilling end to the story.

C Grade

Strangely, there’s no C grade stuff this week. Everything I’m watching I’m really enjoying.

D Grade

D+ Bodacious Space Pirates

Episodes 5-7

Episode 6 had that pirating sequence, which was fantastic. I was all ready to forgive and forget the boring previous 5 episodes, but then the next episode had barely any pirating and lots shots of talking heads, chatting to each other about nothing. It was then that it finally struck me. A show that is ostensibly about a certain activity but is really about a group of girls sitting around talking about not very much while occasionally eating confectionary? This is fucking K-ON! It’s a shame, because I really like the world they’ve created. But no, I’m done with this series.

D- Gyo

Gyo is one of those corny B-horror movies with lots of sex and creepy weird monsters and intentional stupid events happening, and it’s good at that if nothing else. I did get the occasional giggle from some of the crazy shit that occurred. But the story is total nonsense with no real over-arching meaning. The characters are dull with baffling motivations. Also I just don’t really like B-horror movie stuff anyway. I’ve seen some people say this enters terribad territory, but it doesn’t. The humour is nailed on enough occasions to rise it above the MD Geists of this world. But it’s certainly not good either.

E Grade

E+ Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood: Sacred Star of Milos

What’s really weird about this movie is that it felt like it was created for someone who wasn’t a fan of Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood. Forget the story or plot, I didn’t even finish the movie so I don’t want to talk about them. The entire feel of the movie was off. FMA:B did use that sort of free-flowing artstyle occasionally, but it only used it during scenes of high tension and emotion. Having that same style used when Ed and Al are just chilling on a train was jarring. The choreography went overly big scale and lacking in actual tactical combat. One of FMA:B’s strengths were in the small details. Each battle had a clear line of thought through each punch swung, while this movie abandoned all that for much larger scale explosions that made no chronological sense in the battles being fought. They went for a high-octane shounen action instead of an actual Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood movie. So as someone who loved FMA:B and wanted more of that, fuck this shitty movie.

E+ Black Rock Shooter

Episodes 1-3

I am glad I watched this. Firstly, because the CGI character animation is the best I’ve ever seen, and I’m interested to see if any other anime after this run with a similar style. Mainly though, I’m glad I watched this because I have seen the depths to which Noitamina has sunk. Darkest before dawn sort of thing. People might claim Guilty Crown is worse, but at least that series is cool in concept. Black Rock Shooter was a joke before it even got out the gate, and proceeded to shoot itself in both of its feet within the first two episodes with some of the worst melodramatic nonsense I have ever seen. It made the final episode of Ano Hana look reserved.

F Grade

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  1. Ando
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Aquarion EVOL is my guilty pleasure of the season. This is probably the first Mari Okada series that I’ve ever managed to stick with. I hope it remains as stupid as it has been for the rest of its run. Even the floating boner thing never gets old for me.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Aquarion is probably my favourite show this season, it’s so stupid and yet incredibly entertaining. I’m a big fan of AKINO as well.

  3. Scamp
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    My first two commenters agree with my that Aquarion EVOL is great. I have the best readers ever

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

      Aquarion EVOL probably makes me laugh more than high school boys. I just can’t help but laugh when the cast of the command centre room are all standing there, donuts in hand, saying “deep” metaphors. Then of course the fight sequence with the inevitable orgasms and hilariously named special move comes along and I lose it. I honestly like the characters as well, though I can feel the Sheryl vs Ranka wars brewing all over again with Zessica and Mikono.

      (Zessica is better.)

      • Scamp
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Zessica is definitely better, although I also have to admit Andy has recently become my favourite character. He’s so gloriously exhuberant about everything he does

      • Ando
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Zessica is too good for Amata, so Amata/Mikono is fine by me.

  4. Random
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    In terms of preorders
    Nisemonogatari>All animes of the season combined.
    Shaft is really getting rich judging from the amount of effort placed into ep 8.
    Bakemonogatari earned a lot, but it was not original, detracting the income from merchandises. Madoka truly gave Shaft the monetary basis of a large studio like IG.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      I’m waiting to see what their new thing is. Right now they’re too busy swimming in money baths while occasionally making the Madoka and -monogatari movies

  5. Cirith
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Seems I will have to try out Aquarion.

    About Persona 4. I really like the personality Yu has in the anime. Such an weirdo. I’m kinda glad that I never finished the game, now the ending will be a surprise.

  6. Moomba
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    Aquarion is definitely one of the anime I look forward to watching most each week. The action sequences have that crazy over-the-top vibe, especially when pulling out things like the Infinity Punch. It’s pretty good at keeping running jokes without causing them to become stale.

    Dude Days remains brilliant.

    I still haven’t watched the FMA:B movie; the more I hear about it, the harder it becomes to bring myself to actually watch it. I’d like my last memories of the franchise to be good ones personally…

  7. fathomlessblue
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    After quitting Aquarion early on, I picked it back up this week; marathoning six episodes in a row is quite the experience! Normally, I’d just go on forums/twitter and bash it, but the series is just so bafflingly ridiculous that I’ve consigned myself to accept anything it throws at me without questioning anything. I’ve never seen anything so deliberately camp and nonsensical, yet completely earnest in its approach. Why couldn’t Black Rock Shooter be like this, rather than plodding tedious shit! Terri-brill gold!

    Other than that, I’m with you on Nichibros, Natsume and the FMA:B movie, while Nisemonogatari doesn’t make much of an impression on me either way. As for Space Pirates; Scamp, you’re wrong in every conceivable way. I shall turn my back on you now, complete with hair-toss!

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I’m not sure if I could last marathoning Aquarion EVOL. I need that weeks break for the euphamisms to become funny again

  8. luffyluffy
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I have yet to watch the FMA movie. Part of me wants to wait for nice quality and part of me just doesn’t give two shits.

    As for BRS, I’ve actually been enjoying it. Not because it’s good, but because it’s entertaining.

    But Yomi pissed me off in episode 5, weird little psycho bitch.

    By the way Scamp, I’m playing the game so it’s on my mind, but did you watch the Tales of the Abyss anime? I got bored and watched an episode last night and jesus christ it’s got so many nods to the game and is just really good. Did you watch it? Go and do that.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      I think I saw the first episode of Tales of the Abyss back when it came out. I might be mixing it up with Sands of Destruction though. All those fantasy JRPG adaptations meld into one in my mind. Reviews of it were pretty shit at the time, so I can’t say I have any interest in ever going back to it, especially from someone who likes it because they play the games

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 1, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        No no, I liked the anime and bought the game because I liked it.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        I went back and rewatched the first episode on a whim and I realized just how many nods to the game they’d put in.

        It starts off a little jerky and obv RPG adaptation, but it smoothes out after a few episodes and gets better from there really.

  9. Posted March 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    Hold on for sec, what about your Black Rock Shooter noitaminA terribad review? You can’t drop the ball at this stage, you just can’t!

    Seriously, the show is amusing as shit. With Mari Okada as the writer, it’s basically pretty much the same as Ano Hana just with… symbolism. Very stupid symbolism, of course.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Mari Okada also writes Aquarion EVOL though. Maybe they just need to stop putting her onto anything that has even the slightest chance of being taken seriously and maybe then her over the top drama can be entertaining

  10. Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    What? No Rinne no Lagrange? Chihayafuru ?

    I rate Bodacious Space Pirates higher, and Daily Lives lower, but agree on almost everything else.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Lagrange was souless and Chihayafuru’s shoujo-ness got on my nerves too much to continue

  11. Posted March 1, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    I would make an awful professor because I don’t grade on a curve. Chihayafuru would be a B+, and everyone else gets Cs. Except Guilty Crown, which gets both F- and A+ for being the trainwreck I look forward to most every week.

  12. Hellur
    Posted March 1, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    I haven’t watched BRS so I can’t say anything about that, however, I still think that guilty crown is one of the best shows on this season. So I hope noitamina keeps making things like it. Just my opinion though :P

  13. Adrian
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Ok, I’ll give this thing called Aquarion a try, even if it’s just for the joke. I really hope I don’t see anything like the male lead floating towards the female lead’s skirt again, though.

    Oh, and highschool boys is pretty good.

    • Someone Else
      Posted March 2, 2012 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Well it’s more than that cliche ecchi scene (wow even ecchi scenes getting the cliche treatment now too huh). It just really entertaining I tell you

    • Scamp
      Posted March 2, 2012 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      tbh, that scene is pretty much the entire style of the show. I thought it was hilarious. If you can’t appreciate “you’ll just fly for anyone” then I’m not sure if Aquarion EVOL is for you

      • Adrian
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        My rage wasn’t really directed towards the scene specifically, but to the last 8 minutes. Apologies are good and all, but there’s no need to waste 8 minutes to do that. Training is useless in the first place, since every japanese is born with the ability to pilot any kind of mecha in their DNA.

        But now that I’ve accepted the goofy nature of the show, I can appreciate the goofy dialogue too. “You’ll fly for just anyone”. Funny thing is that the translation from the subs in my mother language could be converted to english like this: “You’ll get high for just anyone”, which made me laugh a lot. The best thing was the loli commander and the bridge bunnies distressed over the heart levels of Amata/Mikono. “Oh no, they’re gonna fall in love!”

        Someone should make an abridged series out of this.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think you could make an abridged series. It’s already taking the piss out of itself, it doesn’t need someone else to do that too

  14. Embok
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Kawamori Shoji is pretty much a genius, yes. Can’t wait for AKB0048 to be leagues better than Idolmaster but end up completely ignored.

    As an aside, I watched Mouryou no Hako recently and enjoyed it a fair bit. I then read your ep1 post, and you kinda had a completely wrong impression of the series in it. I assume you didn’t even finish the first episode, since that’s the only way such a misconception could occur.

    What the show *actually* is like may not be your thing either. I find your tastes too bizarre to make a claim on that either way. However since you had high expectations of it, I suggest at least watching the entire first episode.

    • Scamp
      Posted March 2, 2012 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Nah, I saw the entire first episode. I’ve got the second episode downloaded though, because someone else kept berating me to watch more of it, so I’ll get to it one day

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        I’ve got the entire series of Hako torrented on my computer and I’ve just been staring at it for the past few months.

        Same with Mardock Scramble and Millennium Actress.

  15. Someone Else
    Posted March 2, 2012 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I rate Daily dudes and Aquarion the highest for the two being the most entertaining this season, but Mirai Nikki gets lower score since Yukiteru joined side with Yuno which lowers her creepiness and bring the value of the main casts lower, I just wish the ending is still worth it

    And yeah Persona 4 is just cool like that it gets an above rating than any other shows

    I dropped Natsume on episode 2 and picked it up again just before you mentioned it getting better but it’s getting a bit dull again even with the nice dramas. I guess I just can’t stand its slow pace.

    Surprisingly Nisemonogatari isn’t getting any better lately, even with the tricks they pull out I still can’t get the first season vibes here, but I’m still hyped to see Kizumonogatari when it comes out

    Chihayafuru = shoujo-ness = boring? Am I the only one getting the most intense vibes of the shows that it’s more entertaining for the intensity than any other shounen shows? I rate it the same with Persona 4

    As for Rinne no Lagrange, I watch it but it feels too generic that it gets an average rating.

    Also since when did you dropped Shana? I actually like the development here and Yuji’s total character change. Shana may be cute but she no longer improved after she changed from Tsundere stereotype into a strong willed main protagonist. Anyways this gets an above average rating

    BRS is like Guilty Crown all over again. Good visual artistry, Bad story telling or I think the plot is the problem here

    • Lickety
      Posted March 2, 2012 at 5:09 am | Permalink

      Haha, Chihayafuru is a shonen anime crossdressing as shoujo. I mean, just look at those card battles.

      • Someone Else
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Yeah IKR? They even introduced a rival which is a staple of every shounen anime (The queen). It’s even funnier that the one making it as a shoujo anime is Taichi and his feelings for Chihaya, not the other way around lol

    • Scamp
      Posted March 2, 2012 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Me? Watching Shana? Have you not read this blog at all?

      • Someone Else
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to be honest, I only read your posts when I have time so yeah I probably missed it or have forgotten it at some point.

        BTW are you planning on making some manga reviews as well? I’m sure you are reading a few (Or maybe I just missed your manga related posts)

      • luffyluffy
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        If I remember correctly, he doesn’t read manga because he likes the moving pictures better.

      • Scamp
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        Pretty much that, although I have been considering dipping into manga more recently. That said, neither my dip into movies nor visual novels lasted very long

      • Notturno
        Posted March 2, 2012 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

        He doesn’t have the to fill in the blanks between each panes so he has to wait for the animes to understand anything. ^.^

  16. Posted March 3, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

    I never noticed “Andy W. Hole”. God dammit. There is no way Aquarion Evol is like this by accident. Satelight is investing some kind of mad genius in this anime and it’s unbelievable.

  17. Posted March 4, 2012 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    I’m glad so that Persona 4 is making such a good impression even with people who haven’t played the game. I was really worried that they’d fumble the adaptation, but with a few exceptions (the backpedaling that happens with Kanji and Naoto, for example) it’s been pretty solid. And even better than the game in some places, amazingly.

    As for the rest of the list…

    Well, you can probably guess, so I’ll refrain from ranting this time around.

  18. Erif
    Posted March 11, 2012 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Surprised you rated both Nisem and Aquarion so high. I’d say it’s fair to give Daily Lives an A, but for me, Mirai Nikki is no more than a C, and Persona 4 a B-. Chihaya is an A as well, and Rinne no Lagrange a B.

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