75 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

January Roundup

We did finally get some news this month. At first I was rather dismissive about the shutting up shop of Bandai USA, because why the hell would I care about what distributors in America? That is, until I realised this was a wider strategy on the part of Bandai in Japan, which meant they were also shutting down Beez, their European branch. Damn, they have some stuff I want to eventually buy when I have money! But maybe I’m just a backward thinker here. Sometimes I wonder why on earth I give two craps about a physical copy of the release, especially since anime seems to be moving in the direction of the super-expensive collector edition box sets. As much as I love Madoka, I cannot justify that price if we get similar prices to what the US is getting. I should really get a Crunchyroll account again, because that’s what I really care about. An instant easy access to anime that also helps the creators.

Anyway, ratings.

A Grade

I wonder when my last A Grade was?

B Grade

B+ Nisemonogatari

Episodes 1-4

A large part of me really wants to mark this lower for all it’s pointless meandering dialogue and pedo smut. But there’s just something about this series. It’s taken a pretty standard boring formula and, with the combination of Shinbo at his nuttiest and Nision’s long-winded dialogue, create an anime that is truly unique. In many ways, the flaws I may have with the series are necessary evils to achieve its goal. Yes a lot of the dialogue feels pointless and yes the smut is off-putting, but take those away and you diminish what makes it tick in the first place.

B+ Daily Lives of Higschool Boys

Episodes 1-4

I was all prepared to give this an A after the first episode, but each one since then has gotten progressively weaker. But still, behind all that there’s a satirical edge that puts Nichibros far above its peers. The comedy has more than just in-the-moment laughs. It’s those kinds of jokes that stick with you beyond the experience of watching it. The mockery of pretentious nonsense dialogue in the Wind is Troubled sequence. The pinning of every problem a teenage boy has on their mothers. The fact that they devoted an entire episode to mocking obnoxious teenage girls. It has that edge to it, I just hope the downward trend doesn’t continue.

B Thermae Romae

Episodes 1-6

You know that empty feeling you get after you finish a great anime? I’m not entirely sure why, but I got that after I finished Thermae Romae. This show was fun, clever, witty and surprisingly charming. It didn’t have much to it, but the repetition of the jokes actually ended up adding to it. The small wait you got before Lucius’ eyes sparkle upon eating a new brand of food makes the eventual payoff that much sweeter. As much as I want more, keeping it to 3 episodes ensured the joke never got old. Still a shame they animated it in the stupid shitty flash, but a great little series nonetheless.

B Persona 4

Episodes 13-16

It’s the usual case with Persona 4. Some episodes that feel like they should work are let down by poor delivery and pointless straying away from the main story. But then we’ll change episodes, or even change scenes, and suddenly Persona 4 is back to being brilliant again. A scene nails the timing of a joke or reveal. The direction the story takes is fascinating. How it turns an established formula on its head and does something clever with it. Persona 4 could have been great if they put more time and effort into it. What we get instead is something that flashes brilliance, which is at least enough to keep my enthusiasm for the series high.

B- Future Diary

Episodes 13-15

Fucking Future Diary. Episode 15 was fantastic, brilliant, completely nuts and yet cleverly plotted. It throws out these kinds of episodes every now and then, only for the subsequent episode to promptly fall back to an awful lot of it being stupid. I don’t know why the author feels like he needs those dumb slapstick moments. It’s not like the crazy parts aren’t plenty funny by themselves. It’s when it melds the two that it shines. It’s even more annoying than Persona 4′s dumb moments because Future Diary’s highs are that much higher, yet its lows are also that much lower. Future Diary at its best is top 30 material. I’d like to see what this mangaka makes next, just to see if he can fix the problems this has.

B- Aquarion EVOL

Episodes 1-5

Aquarion is dumb. Whatever you take away from its relatively high ranking in this list, don’t mistake it for me thinking this show is incredibly clever or anything. But there’s something just inherently funny about the concept of basing an entire series around adolescent raging hormones powering giant robots. They’ve just gone so far and are so dedicated to this concept that the jokes and unintentional humour it pulls from these situations are very entertaining. I can’t say I give two shits about the plot, but I am most certainly entertained by how it has stretched its premise.

B- Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing

Episodes 12-14

Oh Fam. Fam Fan Fan. I feel like I’ve exhausted everything I had to say about this series already. Apart from Fam and maybe the music,  everything else about this series is great. But so much of the screentime is taken up with indulging in Fam’s mind-boggling brainless energy that it drags down everything with it. Someone drop a giant anvil on her head, and then maybe I’ll be back on board with this series.

 B- Natsume Yuujinchou 4

Episodes 1-5

I guess I have to give credit to Natsume for producing some very solid episodes this month. The franchises strength has always been its storytelling. Single episodic stories still works for this series. But it’s also incapable of shaking that feeling that there really is no more overarching story to tell anymore. The fact that they went back into Natsume’s past again to dredge up another comparison between young and old Natsume shows the strains of where this franchise is desperately searching round to find something new to distract us with. To be fair, it is working, but eventually fandom will collectively throw their hands up in despair claiming “I do not care anymore argh!”. Or maybe that will be just me.

C Grade

C- Bodacious Space Pirates

Episodes 1-4

OK, this is starting to get silly. We’re 4 episodes in and nothing has happened. The series quickly turned into Odin. Space sailing with lots of characters running around pushing flashing buttons. The writing and dialogue may be down to earth and well-written, but its all useless if it goes nowhere. Please start to make some stuff happen Space Pirates. You have been completely outclassed my Aquarion. Friggen Aquarion, the show with some of the dumbest writing around, yet it’s still far more entertaining than you are. Where’s that energy your crazy OP indicates there will be?

D Grade

D+ Kyousogiga

I think I watched this back in December, but forgot to include it in that monthly roundup, so here it is instead. Maybe I skipped it because I hadn’t a clue what to write about. It was certainly colourful and energetic and a joy to just look at if you’re into that kind of thing. Storywise though, it was a mumbled jumbled mess of ideas that didn’t form a coherent process that just left me feeling dazed and kind of annoyed. It had that Cencoroll problem of, as a first episode, I’d be interested in checking out more, but as a once off it feels disjointed and pointless. It they decide to pick up more, then cool. With Black Rock Shooter coming up, there is precedent set for one shot episodes turning into full series. It’s just a shame they picked, you know, Black Rock Shooter instead of the likes of Cencoroll or Kyousogiga.

D+ Recorder to Randsell

Episodes 1-3

It’s not bad, I guess. There is something rather bizarrely amusing about the sight of what appears to be a grown man acting like a child. But that’s kind of all it has, and it doesn’t really do enough with it. Thermae Romae and Detroit Metal City proved that your one gag can be pushed if you use it right, but this doesn’t. Inoffensive and OK for a quick grin, but I can’t work up the effort to watch anymore.

D+ Brave 10

Episodes 1-2

Brave 10 gets a lot of basics right and that makes it tolerable to watch. The characters all have distinct personalities. They give you an instant idea of what the plot will be about. The pacing is done correctly so that key events happen at key stages of the show. In many ways, whoever has adapted this has done a great job getting the best out of this story. But it’s so unremarkable and bland, I just found it hard to give a crap about what’s going to happen. It’s just sorta average, and I don’t have the patience for average.

D Hunter X Hunter

Episode 14

There was a point in episode 14 where I realised I had to stop watching this. The characters took out the numbers that would say who they had to fight. The classic shounen tournament model of being excited about which characters would be facing off. That is, until I realised I did not care about a single one of the potential match ups. Killua vs Gon? Nah. Kurapika vs Leorio? Meh, really don’t care. If you’ve gone 13 episodes and I still don’t care about any of the characters, you don’t deserve anymore attention. Dropped.

D Basket Army

Episode 1

Back in 2008, I remember seeing episode 1 of some random web series pop up on torrent trackers in the middle of a season. I had no idea what it was. It never appeared on any season preview or anything. But, on a whim, I downloaded it anyway and ended up absolutely loving what I saw. That series was Time of Eve, and because of that I’m always willing to give whatever crazy OVA series pops up a chance. But based on the first episode, Basket Army isn’t worth your attention. We’ll have to wait a bit longer for the next Time of Eve.

D- Senki Zesshou Symphogear

Episodes 1-3

In the end, there’s only so long I can watch something this stupid ironically before I cave in. Rio Rainbow Gate was special in that regard, and Nymphogear lost it pretty quickly. A combination of nothing happening for large chunks of the episodes and the desperate attempts to be self-aware that just felt pathetic sapped my enjoyment out of it. It’s a fucking dumb show, even dumber than Aquarion if you can believe that. But it lacks the underlying humour of the concept that makes Aquarion work. Girl Singing while Fighting is cool and all, but they do nothing with it.

E Grade

E+ Another

Episodes 1-3

My god this show is bad. Bad bad bad. The horrific BGM that tries to dramatically cut out every single time someone shuts a door or turns around. The cuts to dolls in a desperate attempt to create a creepy atmosphere. How they use the storytelling device of “ooh something happened but we’re going to draw it out for longer by not telling you”. The entire 3rd episode consisted of almost nothing other than that. Plus there was the end of episode 3. If you’re doing all this creepy atmosphere thing, maybe it would be tolerable if there was a genuine sense of the normal being creepy. But it’s as if they went “boy, this story sure is boring. Quick, kill someone” and we get a character die by falling on their umbrella. Fucking stupid beyond belief.

E+ Highschool DxD

Episodes 1-3

The only reason I was watching this was as a though experiment to see how long my theory that it had strong feminist leanings would last. Turns out not very long. It turned very quickly into the girls actually conforming to sexualised stereotypes rather than subverting them. But it did serve as an interesting counterpoint to Nisemonogatari. Despite there being tits everywhere, Highschool DxD is not sexy, while Nisemonogatari most certainly is. It’s like throwing some tits on-screen is meant to be humour. It’s like the difference between a gentleman’s club stripper and a crack whore. One goes a lot further, but the other is most definitely sexier.

F Grade

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75 Comments

  1. Nebulous
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Hmm why the hate on Another so bad? It’s not the greatest, but I can’t fathom the idea that it is worse than Symphogear. I quite like it’s simplicity; it’s not trying to show some moral message, or romance, or titilation or surprise: Its a simple horror show. It’s appeal comes with the simple question of “Who is gonna die next, and in what gruesome way can it happen?”. You can’t tell me you didn’t cringe when the girl lay there spasming and gurgling as the blood poured from her throat?

    • Hellur
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

      True, I really enjoy another! But then again I’m a guilty crown fanboy as well :P Oh well, different strokes for different folks I guess.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

      But it’s not scary and I don’t care about the characters so I therefore have no interest in who will die next. I did cringe when that girl died, but in a “seriously, this is how they’re going to try get my attention?”. I don’t get enjoyment simply from watching people die in grusome ways, funnily enough.

  2. Posted February 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Awww. You really ended up dropping HxH. The 3rd phase wasn’t really your usual tournament set up because they were required to steal each other’s number tags, and while certain methods are preferred it’s not like they were being forced to fight each other. There were hardly any face offs in this part and a lot of it was about finding ways to avoid that.

    Maybe the series just wasn’t for you but I was hoping you’d give it at least until the end of the exam arc. The character development was designed for a long running series, so I guess it was really testing your patience. The series really goes where so little shounen shows dare to go in terms of content. I hope you pick it up again when the York Shin arc starts, it turns into a completely different show.

    Anyway, Nichibros continues to be stunning. Yes there’s less satire and I’d like to see more jokes aimed at the anime industry but this is okay too. I don’t think I agree with the episodes getting weaker, they’re simply moving on to show more variety. It still has to be about highschool boys and their daily lives.

  3. RogerMoore
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it’s just me (and it probably is), but I really can’t stand Nisemonogatari. Don’t get me wrong, because I really liked Bake, but the new just seems to have lost the magic of its dialogue and ramped up the creepy underage fanservice to a horrible degree. I couldn’t bear to watch more after episode 2. I really wanted to like the series too, since there’s nothing else this season that I really had my eye on, but it broke my heart. ;~;

    Maybe I should consider picking up Nichijou with Boys or something, and Another might be worth it just for the sake of laughing at it.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

      There’s loads of people who hate the -monogatari series, and I can totally understand where they’re coming from. I just hope from my reviews you in turn can understand what it is the rest of us (or at least me) see in this series

      • RogerMoore
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:29 am | Permalink

        Like I said, I don’t hate the -monogatari series. I like Bakemonogatari. It’s probably even in my top 20. Nisemonogatari just feels like a huge letdown (and before anyone accuses me of remembering Bake too fondly, I marathoned it the day before I watched Nise).

  4. idiffer
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    damn, is it just me or are there are a ton of good to watchable shows this season? i’m gonna drop 5-7 max which is a fucking miracle.
    daily lives of boys – god, good comedy is so rare, the type that makes me laugh out loud is virtually non-existent. this show is one of maybe like 3-4 that made me lol on a constant basis. “we’re teenage girls! everything we do is cute!” is pure gold. incorporate a storyline and this show will have been in my top 10 already.
    about Nise. now that i’ve actually watched 3 eps and not talking out of my ass…the dialouge seems…a little less sharp than i expected. i wanted it to be more funny and less bland, but alas…although there were a few convo parts to die for.
    Senjougahara, damn you, you yandere freak…yes, tsundere my ass. srsly wtf is wrong with her? why would anyone like a girl like her? she’s a sadist for crying out loud.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

      I seem to be one of the few people who like some parts of Japanese comedy. It’s bad at dry satire (Daily Dudes is a massive surprise because of how it can actually do that) but I love absurdist humour when it’s used to tell a larger story. Arakawa, Hare Guu, even Cromartie all do this, and it works brilliantly. No other country seems to embrace that style of comedy as well as Japan

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Personally, it’s less of a dislike for Japanese comedy, more of a lack of need. I watch anime for the gripping story lines and amazing characters, something that’s very hard to find in western media. However, I’m fairly happy with western comedies.

  5. Posted February 1, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    If you liked Bakemonogatari, you should like Nisemonogatari. It’s the same shit. They both have the irrelevant dialogue, pointless fanservice, obfuscation of story issues with style, etc. If you find you don’t like Nise, maybe you should consider the fact that Bake wasn’t that good either. They’re both unique: uniquely mediocre.

    Another finds its legs with the fourth episode. The buildup definitely leads to some payoff. I think if most of the haters got to marathon the show instead of watch it week to week, they’d be less frustrated with it.

    I’m glad someone else realized that Natsume Yuujinchou has no real plot to it. Every episode evokes the same feeling, exploring the same themes. It’s got to get boring after a while.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      Natsume did have a plot though. How Natsume used to be a lonely kid who now has both got a loving family, a group of friends and has made his peace with yokai. Thing is, that story is over. I’m waiting to see what happens next

    • ペーパー先生
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      I totally agree that this would be better marathoned then watched individually. That’s why I quit at episode 3 and intend to watch it when it’s all over.

    • Chipp12
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      About Another – I thoght that episode 4th was boring because it was similar to episode 3. So it was more like waiting for the continuation of that old story (which didn’t happen in this episode) and another death in the end, really monotonously.
      This show isn’t even a horror – it’s more like mystery for throughout the entire episode and and sudden death in the end. The only good point for me is that I can pity the dying characters… thogh I could care less about the Mei.

      I just hope that I can hear the other part of that story sometime.

  6. fathomlessblue
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Glad I’m not the only one that disliked Kyousogiga; it was basically a collection of pleasant, if unfocused action scenes/design choices, coupled with huge swaths of incomprehensible exposition. I had enough of that b.s. from the 3 episodes of ‘Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere’ I saw.

    HxH was also dropped weeks back, which considering I watched all 90+ eps of the original, is rather telling. As much as I don’t buy the idea of violence/shock factor as an incentive to watch something, the cynical dog-eat-dog mentality of that version was always fascinating to watch and gave some genuine tension to many scenes. With the new iteration, overly colourful designs and toned down content just makes everything seem jarring and rather silly. I was actually interested in the cast first time around, but here they make no impact whatsoever. All the little nuances that made it watchable have been stripped way.

    Also, HxH’s cardinal sin is having no world consistency or internal logic, which is crippling for any series, particularly shounen. Having huge areas of unexplored wilderness, populated by all manner of bizarre creatures, existing next to replicas of New York and Rome, never fails to be bafflingly stupid.

    Another is essentially Blood-C, with the fantastic action scenes and unintentional comedy removed. Nothing happens for 90% of the ep, then gruesome death; rinse and repeat till done.

    As for Space Pirates, I personally love that the anime community has been trolled into watching a hard sci-fi show. I wonder if this means I’d actually enjoy Odin?

    In summary, enjoy more baths!

    • Posted February 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Also, HxH’s car­dinal sin is hav­ing no world con­sist­ency or internal logic,

      I don’t know if you’ve read the manga or just watched the anime but that’s pretty much why this anime had to be remade. The 99 series had their own interpretation of what the world of HxH was and that didn’t gel together with the York Shin arc. Not to mention, I think the 2011 series does better in showing how ruthless the exams are not by showing violence but by showing how indifferent people feel towards killing. Gon in the new series doesn’t really concern himself much with the death of other people. In the ’99 series, it was clear that he didn’t approve of killing.

      The manga goes everywhere from cyberspace to urban landscapes, the world itself is vast and mysterious. The manga hints that the places where the Hunter exam is taken are under the Hunter association. They’re probably not as unmanned as you think. And to say the series has no internal logic when it has one of the most well explained power systems to exist in shounen is kind of a stretch. The 99 series has only covered half of what the manga is, so in truth it’s not as telling as one may think.

      But still, I respect what you have to say. This is an incredibly long series (that loves exposition) so not everyone has the patience to read more of the manga. We’re not supposed to know or understand these characters yet. The ’99 had to do something about that, they had to add fillers and additional details that conflicted with the source material…It wasn’t really a bad thing per se, but the characters themselves and the moral stances are vastly different from what Togashi was doing.

  7. FichteFoll
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Not much to argue about.

    Another is dumb, or for dumbs. It’s more pseudo-horror than mystery or any the other non-pseudo things. Actually, Another anime’s 4. episode was way better than the previous ones. But this does not change my opinion of Another having to prove some really awesome plot twist and actual HORROR until it will be good. (And probably a few more things.)

    About Future Diary … I might batch-watch it when it has finished or blu-rays came out, but for the moment this is just meh. Could not afford to watch episode four. Seems like this is a “nothing is dropped forever” candidate.

    Your description for Space Pirates matches exactly with how I’d describe it, if I were to.

    And that’s pretty much all I watch from the current season.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      I still think Future Diary is well worth your time if you like thrillers. It’s got more than enough elements to it that make it compelling

  8. Shiara
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    12 episodes and the 13th is a recap, they’re mocking your brain capacity.

    Anyway, is there a possibility that you’ll go see either the manga or the older version in the future? You once mentioned that you couldn’t go past episode 1 of 99 version and here you just couldn’t care about the characters. Maybe at least that one would work since they modified a few details/added some scenes for the audience to feel empathy to the characters. Also, I’m really curious about your opinion on both versions but since you dropped this… ):

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Nah, I’m done with the Hunter X Hunter franchise. Think I’ll just move onto One Piece for my next shounen fix or something

  9. Alterego
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    I don’t get the Another hate. It’s not particularly well-written, or well-directed, but that only makes it a show that fails to be great, just like Space Pirates, or Nisemono that also have their flaws. But it’s still in an entirely different league than the trainwrecks and the effortless crap that deserves the bottom of the lists.

    Overall, this season is very balanced out. Normally, I always have 1-2 series that I’m hyped for every week, and a few that I have to drop after a few episodes, but this time, anything that had a chance to be decent, was actually decent, nothing more and nothing less.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Nope, Another is BAD. I had it in the D section originally, but the more I wrote, the angrier with it I got. It’s effortless crap. The attempts to draw horror and tension are so damn lazy, it’s kinda pathetic.

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        You sorta contradicted yourself by saying how Another tries so hard and fails. Here you say its lazy.

        Anyway horror is sorta like comedy if you think about it. If you don’t like the way Another does it, its not really horrible but rather it just doesn’t work for you. Scaring people is just as shit hard as making people laugh.

        And besides Another is more of uncovering the mystery while constantly keeping you hanging; curious yet scary. Its totally far off from something like BLOOD-C which is just horrificly bland both subjectively (in terms of horror/suspense factor) and objectively (narrative/plot and characters).

        Though different strokes for different folks. . . I guess?

      • Scamp
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        Actually from those who watched Blood-C the whole way through, a lot of them have said Another is very similar

      • luffyluffy
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 3:12 am | Permalink

        Here’s the difference: Blood-C was enjoyable even though it was trash. I haven’t seen it but Another just looks awful.

  10. Posted February 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    I’m not going to lie, but Aquarion Evol is starting to grow on me. Once you accept it for what it is and just let it entertain you, it’s decently watchable. It’s at least creative. I would argue that it’s better than Gundam 00 (which to be honest isn’t saying much).

    Hunter x Hunter is friggin’ dumb. I don’t know how people watch that show.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

      But…I liked Gundam 00. It was my first Gundam, and the only one I’ve seen that I genuinely liked

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:39 am | Permalink

        Have you seen the second season? Season 1 was ok, the ending was actually kind of cool. The second season… it got old quick. At least that’s what I thought.

        Definitely not the worst Gundam by a long shot.

      • Scamp
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Season 2 did peter out horribly, but I thought the first half of the season was excellent. Also I haven’t watched Failblazer, so maybe that helped keeping my opinion of the series high

      • luffyluffy
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 3:11 am | Permalink

        Hey Scamp, Scaaaamp! Can you watch Zeta Gundam? Pleeeeease?

        The core idea of 00s2 (A-LAWS vs Celestial Being) is pretty much lifted directly from Zeta (Titans vs AEUG) and honestly, Kamille is my favorite mecha protag of all time, and not just because my name is Camille aahhh

        You can look up the rest of 0079 on wikipedia and you won’t be lost at all. Pleeeease do it for me? I don’t even care if you finish it.

      • Scamp
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        But…I don’t care for Gundam! I decided to toss the entire UC timeline in the bin and focus on AU stuff if I ever do go back

      • luffyluffy
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Yeah but the UC stuff is the cream of the crop!

        Please? For meeeeeeeeeee? :(

  11. Adrian
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    I watch only 2 from this list. I’m still going to pick Mirai Nikki again. Persona and last exile will have to wait. Geez, I’m bored. I think I’ll take a look at some 80′s and 90′s OVAs.

  12. SnapDragin
    Posted February 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

    Your last A grade was technically back in October with the first four episodes of Mirai Nikki. Even though that was an A-

    I’ve noticed that compared to me you are a connoisseur of sorts. It seems like I’m pretty happy with anything, where as you seem to be, comparatively mind you, quite hard to please. I really can’t relate with you at all. I guess it’s nice in a way, because it’s easier for me to enjoy sub-par anime…. I don’t know.

    So I guess I come here for a different opinion. I’ve been here for a while now, never really found anything to comment on though. Sorry. Regardless, keep up the good work and what not.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      I always get a little bit sad when someone leaves a comment like this. It really paints me as some sort of misery guts. Everything I’ve ranked at least a B I genuinely enjoy. I just also like being nitpicky for some reason. I find it easier and more fun to write about

      • ペーパー先生
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:59 am | Permalink

        Don’t feel down Scamp! Just because you gave some criticism, doesn’t mean you don’t like the series. If a series isn’t amazing it can still be worth watching. Plus, if you just talked about the good parts of an anime, your blog would be really boring.

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        What he/she said. Though I cannot fathom why you are an Anime fan in the first place (the fact that you can’t give a series a break on criticisms; Future Diary is a BIG example even though you love it so much), your harsh yet cynically humorous criticisms are some of the best I’ve ever read and is also the reason why your blog works wonders.

        I mean your Future Diary posts would be half as entertaining if you cut it some slack. Admittedly, the series that you blogged the best was Ore no Imouto.

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        These are just basic attitude types. Like optimism and pessimism. Or political left-right leanings. Or cat people and dog people.

      • SnapDragin
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t mean to make you feel like some debbie downer, I really enjoy your opinions. In fact being that way isn’t even necessarily a bad thing. It’s just much different from the way I think, that’s all.

        I just agree with Ahelo, I have a hard time believing you really do enjoy what you watch. I’m sure you do, it just doesn’t seem that way whenever I read what you have to say. Even something I think is genuinely the greatest thing ever you still find things wrong. Which once again, I stress is fine. I was just leaving my useless two cents. Sorry if I made you feel bad or anything, I really wasn’t trying to be a troll.

    • Adrian
      Posted February 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      I could say this problem is also getting to me. I’m always looking for an anime that provides me with pure enjoyment from beginning to end. But it is getting kinda difficult, y’know. I think Scamp only gives an A for those series that have that “Oh, shit, this is so fucking brilliant and awesome and I can’t wait for the upcoming episode” feeling to it. In my opinion, an anime is really good if it has the guts to throw your reason out of the window, and fill your mind with pure enjoyment. I felt like that watching GITS:SAC, Madoka Magica and some others. I don’t know what goes inside the head of most of the japanese authors, it’s like they live inside of a nutshell. 90% of anime productions is just recycling content. I wonder when they stopped thinking for themselves and began to share some kind of aggregate network. Just as the laughing man’s library, but in a much smaller degree.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    I recall Time of Eve appearing on Season Previews. And I’m not talking about the film.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      So did Basket Army, but you never saw anyone talk about it. Same with Time of Eve, at least from what I remember

  14. Chipp12
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    BTW what’s your opinion about AnoNatsu, PapaKiki, InuBoku and Lagrange?
    You haven’t written about them, so I consider that you’ve dropped them.

    AnoNatsu is pretty entertaining romantic comedy about youth, andI think that it won’t go in the AnoHana direction.
    I think that you should watch at least 2 (better 3) episodes of PapaKiki if you liked Bunny Drop, because it’s quite the same with some other elements in it, and there isn’t much of fanservice in the last episodes. Just watch to understand the idea of this series.
    InuBoku is an interesting watch, but I can quite understand why you don’t watch it. At least you can do it for characters.
    Langrange is… well, I don’t think that mecha with genki and sometimes stupid main character is what you like to watch)

    And it’s great that you’ve dropped Recorder. You should whatch some Poyopoyo instead X)

    • Scamp
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Never mention AnoNatsu on this blog again. Out of everything I’ve watched this season, that is the one that caused me to rage the most. Seriously, fuck that shitty show

    • Chipp12
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      OK, and what about the others?

      • Scamp
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        No interest. Shoujo, pedobait pretending to be about family, anime with genki girl as protag, and anime about a fat cat…hmm, actually that last one sounds appealing

      • Chipp12
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        You should watch the last, BELIEVE IT! :D

  15. Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I disagree with your perspective on the ending to the third episode of Another. Yes, falling on a pointy part of an umbrella is ludicrous, but that’s entirely what they were going for. Another is basically pulling a Final Destination, where something supernatural is not happy with people. This becomes even more obvious in the fourth episode, but the point is the show is making its story revolve around whatever this force is. What are the requirements for someone getting offed? Why is it doing it? Is it not actually as supernatural as we’re made to believe?

    Admittedly, the show is treading an incredibly fine line by going about it this way, because certainly not everyone is going to be able to go along with it. So while I may disagree with you, I do get where you’re coming from.

  16. Posted February 2, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    First of all, I guess this is the first time I leave a comment here. I’ve been reading this blog for a while, and I like your posts. (And sorry if my English is awkward… ^^’)

    I’ll be honest, I can’t bear Mirai Nikki. I’m not watching the anime, but I read the manga and… Well, I hate the main couple, and the plot logics are way too twisted for me. And that first episode with some horrible production values and plot progression didn’t help much.

    About Nisemonogatari, I feel much like @Rogermoore said above. I watched the episode 04 yesterday and all I could think about the loli fanservice was “Why…?”.

    Mouretsu Pirates is looking like nothing more than “moe in space” with some pointless technobabble to look serious, but I’m still giving another episode to see if can get better.

    Anyway, the best of the season for me is Natsume. I know its the same thing beign of the previous seasons, but it never gets boring for me. Homever, I wish this 4th season be the last one…

    • Scamp
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      New commenter wooh!

      Ah, so you’re one of those Natsume fans, who will continue watching it no matter how repetitive it gets. To be honest, I’d probably keep watching it too because of how consistently good the storytelling is, but they really should finish up the overarching story somehow

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        True, I’ll keep watching… ^^” Natsume really is very competent in its storytelling, the director knows how to make good use of time in each episode and I love it. But I woudn’t be so excited if another season gets announced.

    • caithsith
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Moretsu is moe? how so?
      i’m pretty much agree with the round-up except Moretsu Pirates is in my B- list. yeah it’s kinda slow, but Marika is arguably the best female lead this season.

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I’ll be honest, I like Marika character too. But I feel the dialogues being executed way too lifeless, and yeah, the character design is very moe; seems a bit like something for moefag distraction, I think.

      • Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        They seem to be average character designs to me. If that is moe, then everything other than grimdark action series is moe.

      • FichteFoll
        Posted February 2, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        About the moe thing … Try to remember some of the latest “ehhhhhhhh?” you’ve seen or heard. Was at least one scene of this anime among them?

        Not that this is some deep moe show that depends on it but it still is part of it. Actually, these are the parts I hate the most about it.

      • caithsith
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

        yeah “moe” definition is kinda hard to pinpoint, but i don’t think chara designs -or dialogue- are “moe”. at least i don’t go “HNNNGGGH” when i watched this show :3

      • Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        I agree that Mouretsu isn’t moe, and so far, the worst we got was on locker room scene in episode 3. Yes the plot progression is as slow as sentient molasses, and some of the characters aren’t “deep,” but what I like about this show is its sense of control. It has school girls, floating around in short skirts and zero-gs, but still doesn’t give a single panty shot. that’s a respectable show.
        Despite the story creeping along, but it’s sucked me in, and i think that the pacing has started to pick up in episode 4.
        The thing is, I want this show to be good, because it can be really good, but it’s just so slow!

  17. Moomba
    Posted February 2, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Glad to see I’m not alone in finding Another to be a really poorly done anime. It lost any sense of tension for me after both the first and second episodes continued to overplay on trying to create a tense atmosphere. The extended pauses in normal conversation, the constantly tense soundtrack. Without any climaxes, they just kind of became something to be tuned out.

    Sure, they threw in a climax at the end of the third episode, but it was too little too late, and as you said, it felt like they rushed into it realising they’d been building tension and needed a climax.

    Call me terrible, but I laughed. It was a ridiculous way to kill a character off… it felt more like black comedy than horror.

    I begin to wonder if Miniskirt Pirates intends to give us action at all, what with everyone’s reactions to the prospects of battle (“Yay combat!” *glee*), the fact they continously slap us in the face with electronic warfare and Lilika’s words earlier on about how carrying a weapon was more a deterrent than anything else. If it didn’t have a Sci-Fi setting, I would probably have dropped it by now.

    • FichteFoll
      Posted February 2, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      You’re not alone; I laughed as well. Even before it happened, because it was so obvious.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:05 am | Permalink

    Space Privateers is for people that liked Star Trek: The Motion Picture. It’s slow, purposeful, and already has its share of plotholes, but if we get a big CG action sequence by episode 6 I’ll consider it a worthwhile 2 1/2 hours.

    I was thinking C- was a little low, but then you put 8 shows below it. That made me smile for some elitist reason.

  19. lostsage
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    . “I’d like to see what this mangaka makes next.”

    Huehuehue, your wish is granted.

    http://www.batoto.net/read/_/42177/big-order_ch1_by_dkthias/44

    This is NOT from Future Diary. I repeat NOT. I find it endlessly amusing how almost all authors are drawn to certain character designs. It’s decent so far, nothing amazing but we’ll see.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      God, that’s basically the exact same. I know character designers often have no more than 10 different characters designs they swap between, but that’s just silly

  20. ペーパー先生
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    Where is Inu x Boku SS ranked?

  21. enigmator
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    People seem put off by Nisemonogatari’s blatant fanservice, but I don’t really mind it. I’m not sure why. It’s not that I enjoy it, but I just take it in like the rest of the show’s crazy visuals. I’m guessing that the way Nisemonogatari implements its fanservice isn’t all that distracting.

    …Or maybe that’s just me desensitized from all the fanservice in today’s anime.

    Whatever the case, I used to abhor Bakemonogatari’s slow pacing and long-winded dialogue, but all that changed once I got invested in the characters. Whether we like it of not, this series is unmistakably a character-driven one.

  22. luffyluffy
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 3:05 am | Permalink

    So I’ve given up on catching up to Mirai Nikki, mostly because I don’t care.

    Instead I’m finally hauling ass and watching Logh.

    Everyone says WAIT 22 EPISODES BEFORE YOU JUDGE and stuff but really if you don’t fall head over heals for it after Iserlohn you should just drop and never look back.

    So yeah, I’m on episode 11 and I love them ALL specially Yang because he’s just the most moe thing i’ve ever seen but for some reason Oberstein is really contesting to be one of my favorites and I don’t know why.

    I just want to tease the fuck out of him.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Not head over heels, but if you don’t care for the series after Iserlohn then it will simply not be for you. Iserlohn is around episode 6, right?

      • luffyluffy
        Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, Iserlohn is around 6 or 7.

        I forgot who Shenkopp was but I knew Yang was sending in a mole so when it showed Shenkopp’s name I thought it was it was the name of the guy who he was being a mole, and when he ripped off his face I screamed and was like IT’S THE ROSEN-RITTER GUY AAHHH

    • Posted February 3, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      I agree with that, and it’s true for pretty much every anime, except a few genre-shifting ones. People just can’t accept that others might not be as amused with it’s atmospheres as themselves, so they are rationalizing it by claiming that it gets better, and retroactively believe they also only liked that “better” part.

      It’s like if some people wouldn’t like a character’s sense of humor, but the fans keep saying “Just wait until episode 16, when he says x funny thing, that’s the best”. Sure, that is the best, so you could say that it “gets even better”, but that’s only true if we assume that you already liked the basic style to begin with.

  23. Erif
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Lagrange > Aquarion, but okay Scamp, okay.

  24. Someone Else
    Posted February 3, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Hello Scamp, can you make a first impression at least for the recent released Black Rock Shooter?

  25. Posted February 4, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Aquarion EVOL at B-level and Mouretsu Pirates at D?

    Why do you hurt me, Scamp?

    The funny thing about Mouretsu Pirates is that it’s actually getting quite a bit more done than Nisemonogatari, yet you seem to be lambasting Pirates more for the crime of bad pacing. Is the dialogue not as clever as -gatari’s? Well yeah, of course, but it’s still very good, and all the main characters are solid and fun to watch.

    As for EVOL, I wish I could enjoy its stupidity, but the dialogue is just too painful. I can’t watch Gundam Age for the same reason. I’m not sure why, but it’s just far more difficult for me to stand bad lines than pretty much anything else.

    • Scamp
      Posted February 4, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      The people are clever, but the actual dialouge construction is not because it doesn’t really go anywhere. I guess because the characters don’t have any interesting personality quirks for me to give two craps about them. Being smart doesn’t really qualify as being an interesting character

  26. Posted February 4, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    You’ve laid down my very criticisms of Another beautifully. What gets me though, is that people seem to continually praise it. It’s filled with the writer directly telling the viewer “No,” and somehow that’s become good now.

  27. SENSEISHUN
    Posted February 6, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I remember you used to blog Bakuman like a year ago & u had high hopes for it only for it to disappoint you. Though this season I see lots of improvement & i was wondering if you have been following that show as well?

    As for the other shows I cant particularly enjoy anything this season. Brave was a letdown. Another was bad. DxD is nothin but tits with no sex appeal. AnoNatsu….ToLoveRu? Nise & Highschool Boys are probably the best, & im not generally 1 for the comedies although School boys actually had me rollin. Bake was better imo. Im going to just wait for Persona & Future diary to finish so i can watch them at 1 time. Runnin low on good shit to watch.

  28. Megha
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    ANOTHER is a VERY good Anime. This Anime is More Scary than any real life movies based on Supernatural stuff like the movie The Ring (It was scary no doubt but this did an even better job). ANOTHER had MANY Twists in its story. I think for a supernatural Horror IT IS THE BEST. The problem with ANOTHER Haters is this that they do not get scared by the supernatural factors like ghosts and stuff. These are the people who believe ghosts spirits do not exist in real life. Good for you, that is a conventional and natural way of thinking. BUT there are many who do get scared of these things and they do somewhat believe in them and they get scared by the supernatural and beyond your control factor. The Music, the Cut scenes, the Story, the Narration, etc. does an EXCELLENT Job in creating a scary atmosphere. But yes watching this in the middle of the night with lights off helps to increase the scare factor a lot. The ONLY Downside it has, is that the Characters are not well developed and you do not care about them much. ANOTHER Haters are people who do not believe in supernatural and only consider a possible and realistic story or event as Horror, something that science or logic can explain. ANOTHER LOVERS believes in Ghosts and spirits, they believe there are things that CANNOT be explained by logic and science, there are things beyond our control. ANOTHER is Hands Down the Most Scary Supernatural Anime Ever, its hard to believe how a bunch of painted animated stuff is able to scare the shit out of you :)

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