After getting bored of having a Gintama image at the top of my monthly roundup posts, I thought what I’d do was have some sort of humorous picture being some sort of comment on anime fandom in the past month. You know, something simple like having Kanata standing at the top of the fortress but instead of holding a trumpet she’s playing a bass-guitar. However, I have absolutely no drawing skills and severly limited photoshopping skills so instead you get treated to a Hanamru picture instead.
A Grade: One of the tops of the year. Get ready for some fanboying here
A+ Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Lagann-hen
I’m still slightly in shock from watching that movie. Gurren-hen was a bit of a disappointment. The parts it left out detracted from the story and the parts in stuck in added very little. Lagann-hen was the absolute total opposite. This was better than the anime itself. This was just phenomenal. I’m having trouble deciding if this beats Akira as my new all-time favourite anime movie. To be honest, it probably does.
A– Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The grand plot is finally starting to take shape but most importantly what’s happened to FMA:B the past few weeks is it has finally caught the same bug that the first season had: Perfect Pacing. How long is left in this show anyway? It’s setting itself up nicely for a 52 episode finish, or maybe they’ll finish it up with a movie. Either way, FMA continues to be the most anticipated anime for me to watch each week.
B Grade: Hugely entertaining stuff. Not amazing but definitely worth watching
OK, I’m being really harsh giving Durarara this grade but it did start off rather slow. The first episode was a bit of a confusing clusterfuck and while a lot of people were won over by episode 2, I still wasn’t quite convinced. Episode 3 and 4 have been fantastic though and if it keeps up that form then FMA:B might finally have a companion sitting in the A grade section each week. Ah, isn’t it great when an anime comes along that seems to be aimed right at you personally~
B Cross Game
Ever since Akane joined the show, Cross Game has really been excellent. This past month has been mainly about building up the relationships between the characters in the classic ‘calm before the storm’ of this upcoming Koshien. Interestingly, I have my doubts that Seishu will win the thing. While they obviously will win every round until the final, when they meet that team they lost against last time I’m not sure if they’ll win this time around either. Which is a good thing. Suspense FTW!
B- Sora no Woto
Quietly plodding along, carefully providing us hints as to what the plot is and what’s happened in the past, I have to say that I’m relieved the Anime no Chikara timeslot has started off well. It’s not amazing or anything, but judging my its popularity in Japan this new timeslot won’t be leaving anytime soon. Keep the name Anime no Chikara in your mind. They’re going to produce even better anime in the future.
C Grade: It’s good enough to keep watching but it’s not that memorable
C+ Nodame Cantabile: Final
At least the third episode was a bit of an improvement, but we are still staring at an even bigger step down than that from the first season to Paris. Paris kept the charm and the focus on Nodame and Chiaki, just it felt a bit rushed. This season so far has not only gone almost nowhere but my main problem is the focus is no longer solely on Nodame and Chiaki. Sorry, but I just don’t care for any of the other characters in the slightest. I can’t even remember their names.
C+ Hanamaru Kindergarden
I thought I would get bored of Hanamaru pretty quickly. In fact, I can still see myself eventually getting bored by this constant level of cuteness and not much else. When an anime has cuteness as its main attractions, I usually end up dropping it about halfway through. However these 4 episodes I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and I never saw any sign of dropping form. Mind you, I also didn’t see any sign of plot or character development either…
C+ Book of Bantorra
Last month wasn’t exactly great for Book of Bantorra and I really started to think that this was heading down that slow death that Daughter of 20 Faces and Guin Saga fell into. Thankfully, we had our favourite Green-haired Suzaku re-appear. Yep, the return of Volken has really spiced up the atmosphere of this anime again. Of course he’s probably going to die in the next episode or something. That always bloody happens in Bantorra.
Generally I’m left rolling my eyes at oldfags who want their corny nonsense anime. I want beautifully constructed plots and excellent characterisation, not super-people surviving anything and everything and women wearing enough to look at home at a lap-dancing club. Maybe it was the corniness of Umineko or something, but I’ve found myself much more attracted to these shows now. Cobra is stupidly corny and I love it because of that.
C- Cowagarke no Orgol
This is a one-shot OVA that I’m pretty sure only came out this month. Asides from the fact that it is absolutely totally unoriginal, the selling point that most one-shots are meant to have, this wasn’t that bad. Little robot girl gives depressed teenager a reason to be happy, hey I can certainly think of worse ways to spend my time. Totally forgettable obviously, but nice nevertheless.
I’m actually being kind with that C- grade because I want to wait another episode before I heap my scorn upon this show. But seriously, what the fuck was that? If you have that flat, fluid artwork, you should use it do animated great flowing samurai fighting. Not spend 40 minutes on talking heads. The conversation wasn’t even the remotest bit witty. Argh, do you really need to put in every line of dialogue Nision wrote?
D Grade: I’ve lost interest in this anime. If it’s a D then I’ve probably dropped it
D- Ookami Kakushi
You know, I’ve yet to really enjoy any VN adaptations. Ookami Kakushi falls quite easily into all the traps all the others fell into. Nothing felt natural and everything feels forced. It’s like conversations in VN’s exist in a separate universe. Sorry to sound so cynical, but maybe this is because they are made for otaku who have very little outside conversations and want to live in the easy world of VN conversations.
E Grade: Unlike D grades where I drop out of disinterest, E grades are dropped in Disgust.
E Dance in the Vampire Bund
Argh, what the hell is with the directing in this series. It feels like he hasn’t a clue what he’s doing and just tossing in random camera angles and snap-shots of buildings in a half-hearted way. Nothing works, absolutely nothing worked. The more I think about Shaft, the more I wonder whether Bakemonogatari was their one-hit wonder. Heck, look what they’ve done to that one-hit wonder. So much for those online streams.
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
F+ Meguriau Sekai
Another one-shot OVA in which absolutely nothing of interest happens. Actually, nothing happens full stop. There’s no sylish animation, no interesting story-telling, just nothing whatsoever. Not even a regular story either. Girl says something about breaking up with guy and then something else, all done through narrative and occasional shots of landscape. Total utter crap.
::Edit:: Oh crap, I totally forgot about Baka to Test. Well, episode 4 was worryingly lacking compared to the first hilarious 3 episodes but it’s probably still worthy of a B for now, maybe a B-.