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.
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
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
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.
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.