10 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

February Roundup

There are two anime at the moment (plus one episode from a series that should’ve been out long ago but was enjoyable nevertheless) that stand far above everything else this season, leaving this monthly roundup post looking oddly lopsided. On the balance of things, I can’t really decide if I prefer only one or two great anime or 4-5 of good anime but no great ones. Also, no header image this time because I can’t decide what I want to put up here.

A Grade: One of the tops of the year. Get ready for some fan­boy­ing here

A Full Metal Alchem­ist: Brotherhood

The finale is setting up and oh boy am I excited. If I remember correctly, this was where the original FMA fell down quite a fair bit and the ending felt like a bit of a mess. Brotherhood has managed to have all these different gangs of people on their own stories and yet keep each and every one of them as interesting as each other. Really bloody excited about how this will all shape up but most of all, I’m looking forward to some action scenes as epic as Mustangs ‘I sealed it with fire’ line.

A Dur­arara!!

Have I mentioned that I love Durarara? Well I’m pretty sure I haven’t quite said it enough yet so I’m going to say it again: I love Durarara. Already the characters of Shizuo, Izaya, Celty, Shinra, Simon, Kida etc. have etched themselves permanently in my minds. While I don’t love it quite as much as I did Baccano, one area I think it might just eclipse it is the cast of characters. The extra time gives each character more attention and it’s really paying off.

B Grade: Hugely enter­tain­ing stuff. Not amaz­ing but def­in­itely worth watching

B+ Bakemonogatari

No, it wasn’t worth the wait. That stupid delaying by Shaft should not have happened in the first place. If they didn’t have the episodes close to completion they shouldn’t have announced that it would be aired online at a specific date. But this episode did remind me why this show shaded its way into my top 30. Remains one of the most witty and intelligently written creations in anime history, although the new opening sucked.

B- Cross Game

Cross Game has had its purple patch of fine form the past two months and now all it really needs to do is put a lid on the series and wrap it up nicely. This month wasn’t quite as stellar as the few before it but Cross Game has trudged along, providing solid entertainment for the past year. Never felt rushed but was never really capable of wow-ing me. I couldn’t really care less if they win at Koishen, I just want to see which ships stay sailing at the end.

B- Gundam Unicorn

I have mixed feelings on this one. First, there were the numerous amounts of cliches, some of which even made me roll my eyes. Then there was the fact that I understood very little of the politics that were going on, probably because this was my first exposure to this version of the Gundam universe. But oh god was it awesome when it wanted to be! The music, the gloriously animated mecha action, the, the….actually the reasons I liked it were incredibly shallow but it’s been so long since a decent mecha anime came along. You can give me this one.

B– Sora no Woto

My B- grade can often by a sort of a cop-out grade I give to something when I’m not entirely sure what it deserves. Sora no Woto falls right into that category this week (unlike last week where it really just was a B-). At the moment, Sora no Woto’s quality depends entirely on how it handles its ending. If it involves stupid Duex Ex Machina’s I’ll be annoyed. If it’s nothing more than a few quiet character developments I’ll be disappointed. But there’s that third option. We’ll just have to wait and see…

B- Nodame Can­tabile: Final

FINALLY!!! After about 5 episodes with a painfully small amount of Nodame and Chiaki, this show has finally returned to the two of them in the latest episodes and it has been fantastic. Not only that, but some of the development to Rui is starting to show more relevance to the Nodame and Chiaki relationship. Tanya is still as boring as fuck but hey, she’s no longer being focused on. Finish up this series strongly and I might just forgive those earlier poor episodes.

C Grade: It’s good enough to keep watch­ing but it’s not that memorable

C+ Cobra

Fuck yeah Jet Piranhas! Considering I was convinced I wasn’t going to watch this show and very nearly didn’t after the first episode, Cobra has really grown on me since. In fact, episode 8 was by far my favourite the series has produced so far. It even went so far as to not just be cornily entertaining but quality-induced entertaining. It’s never going to win any awards but damn is it fun to watch.

C Baka to Test

Two episodes of absolute shitty recycled jokes has me seriously doubting the quality of this anime to the extent that I was wondering how long this would take before I dropped the thing, not wanting to experience another Maria Holic. Thankfully, the latest episode was a big step in the right direction and has pretty much guaranteed that I’m watching this to the end. If it can keep up the jokes then it might still hold the title of  ‘surprise hit of the season’ by the end.

C- Hanamaru Kindergarden

When I looked into my crystal ball, I foresaw that I would enjoy the first few episodes of Hanamaru before getting bored of repetitive cuteness. This isn’t what has happened at all. In fact, the cuteness was still funny 5 episodes in and when it tried to do something different, it started to fail badly. The drama is as boring as hell and any anime that includes the line ‘onee-chan no baka’ and means it gets a facepalm from me.

D Grade: I’ve lost interest in this anime. If it’s a D then I’ve prob­ably dropped it

D+ Book of Bantorra

Book of Bantorra has successfully gone down the path previously trodden by Daughter of 20 Faces and Guin Saga. They start of excellent and I find myself really enjoying them, but being simultaneously surprised when nobody (apart from psgels, obviously) seems to share my opinion. Then, around about the halfway mark, the show just stops being interesting. I don’t know why this happens. Maybe I’m unconsciously affected by hype or something.

D Katanagatari

When the two of them are talking away in the desert, doing their weird hair-fondling bonding session, this show aint bad. But oh dear lord those fight scenes are unbearable. Fight scenes are supposed to be about fighting. Not making one move and then talking about it for the next 2o minutes. Heck, even those typical shounens like Dragonball at least had the characters thrown a few punches in between. Anyone who praises this show and criticizes shounen series are hypocrites.

E Grade: Unlike D grades where I drop out of dis­in­terest, E grades are dropped in Dis­gust.

F Grade: Any F stand­ard anime I would only watch 1 or 2 epis­odes of so god only know how an anime could last to the end of the month and still get an F but I’m sure it will hap­pen some day

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  1. Posted March 1, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Huh, that’s the same reason I’m watching Cross Game, and I’ll be freaking annoyed if no one hooks up.

    Although I honestly doubt they’ll win Koishen, but I’m a pessimist.

  2. Posted March 1, 2010 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    No E or F? Hmm, guess that’s sort of good.

    I’m hoping that Baka to Test will continue improve as well. The first episode was magnificent, and then they started sliding down…episode 7 was pure Shouko love, but it was somewhat lame. I’m hoping it will pick up again for the last bunch of episodes, and 8 seemed to sugges that.

    I still have no idea what I’d rate Katanagatari. Waiting for the next episode to air. The long wait is kind of…@.@

  3. Posted March 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Well, pure comedy shows will always start recycling jokes at some point… Silver Link focused too much on attracting as much fandom with those first few episodes as possible and neglected long-term planning.

    You totally should have used JUST-AS-PLANNED face from Mustang’s superior for FMA xD

    Unicorn was VERY SUNRISE. I mean this episode had everything the Gundam nuts loved (and everyone else roll their eyes at), so I have to give it to sunrise for being devoted to their fans.

  4. ojisan
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 12:36 am | Permalink

    Nodame was no doubt planned that way from the start – remember Paris-Hen? How long they made you wait for the great scene out on the lawn at the party where they finally show a little intimacy? Giving it out in verrry small amounts is the whole charm of NodameXChiaki.

    I kinda like Tanya. Though I keep forgetting who her boyfriend’s supposed to be –

  5. Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:27 am | Permalink

    I would comment about Cross Game, but it would contain spoilers. P:

  6. Posted March 2, 2010 at 1:37 am | Permalink

    Baka to Test is awesome. See the awesomeness in it immediately, and re-think your…..well rethink something anyway.

  7. Taka
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Cobra is the shit. I’m tellin ya it’s gonna have a come from behind victory. I’m tempted to watch the older series too.

    I do feel like Bantorra has gotten less enjoyable as the show has gone on. At the beginning the plots seemed to skillfully mend together but lately…idk the individual arcs have gone on a tad bit longer than my tastes. Especially Noloty. Idk I just want to punch her sometimes…even if I might break a fist on her rock hard abs. I enjoyed the original Colio Tones arc, the Minth mini-arc, and the Mattlast/Hamyuts flashback arc most. The rest…eh some were better than others.

  8. Scamp
    Posted March 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink


    The only ship I’m on is Azuma X Aoba


    E’s and F’s usually don’t appear bar the first month of the season because I’d have dropped them by now. I drop anime very quickly


    I still haven’t watched the latest episode of FMA because I’m waiting for a version without that tsunami warning

    Something I’ve come to realise recently is that I’m not really a mecha fanboy. The things I love in anime usually come part of the mecha package but I’m not a true mecha fanboy in that I love every aspect of mecha anime, Gundam Unicorn in particular drove that home quite strongly


    It wasn’t so much that I wanted Nodame X Chiaki, I also wanted scenes focusing on Nodame OR Chiaki and we weren’t getting that. However I’ll leave it to the end before I pass judgement because they seem to know what they’re doing with this story


    It might be worth reading this review before you watch the older Cobra series


    To paraphrase, new Cobra is about Aventure and has something new every episode. Old Cobra is about fighting and gets totally repetitive. So personally, I’m gonna stick to this version of Cobra.

  9. Posted March 2, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    It’s been so long since the last Bakemonogatari I’m still trying to regain my grounding with this show. Also, shitty internet video streaming quality is shitty.

    I don’t think Cross Game is going to ramp up itself for a big finale either, so the when it’s all said and done, its best episode might very well have been its first.

    Gundam Unicorn is Gundam boiled down to its essence. I’ve seen the original movie trilogy + Char’s Counterattack, but Unicorn’s plot is still really thick to me.

    Hanamaru Kindergarten: Drama where? I don’t think I’ve taken an ounce of this show seriously, and that’s probably how it should be.

    Katanagatari: NisiOisin isn’t nearly as riveting without SHAFT’s artsy curiosity (as gimmicky as it often is) to prop up the script. Anime is a mainly visual medium after all, so when I’d rather watch Frieza’s 6th transformation than watch another Katanagatari “fight” featuring more excruciatingly annoying villians, you know the adaption went wrong somewhere.

  10. Scamp
    Posted March 4, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Permalink


    Actually I think the best episode of Cross Game was the one at the summer festival when Wakaba mark 2 appeared for the first time and everyone kept stopping in their tracks, utterly shocked. That feeling of ‘obviously ghosts don’t exist…but…’ was so scarily powerful. That was Cross Game at its best

    Actually I think Katanagatari just sucks in the writing department. Yes, Shaft added a lot to Bakemonogatari but at the heart was a fantastically written story. Katana doesn’t have that in the slightest

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