46 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

July Roundup

No news. Only cartoons.

A Grade

Nothing here

B Grade

B+ No.6

Episodes 1-4

As much as I like to mock aspects of No.6, the very parts I find myself mocking are the ones I really like. Take the incredibly obvious BL tones, where every line of dialogue between Nezumi and Shion can be twisted into innuendo, and sometimes not even needing innuendo. Yet this largely stems from the fact that I really like watching the relationship these two have sprung up. This is a BL duo I can get behind, although not literally. It’s also a touch pretentious, what with rats telling Shion what book he should be drawing comparisons from next. Yet, again, I like the comparisons with literature and how they phrase the world the characters are in.

B+ Mawaru PenguinDrum

Episodes 1-4

My main complaint from the first episode was the down times between the madness were rather dull due to uninteresting dialogue. PenguinDrum has since solved that by being riotously funny. There’s that touch of the utterly bonkers to everything this show does, that makes it so simple to enjoy. Even when you’re not trying to uncover the meaning to the train imagery, it’s still incredibly fun. Besides, it might just be the old Utena thing again of the scenes either wearing their intentions on their chest, or actually meaning nothing at all and they just wanted to fuck with your flowcharts. The turn PenguinDrum has taken from the first episode has meant a tone down in the madness though, so I hope we see that side a bit more as it goes on.

B Bunny Drop

Episodes 1-4

Bunny Drop is a very simple case of an anime knowing exactly what it wants to do and does it with care and minimal fuss. There’s barely any artistic flair (the watercolour segments at the start of each episode just strike me as artwank from someone who liked Wandering Son) and minimal BGM, but everything it does fits together perfectly. My personal favourite part, apart from watching Rin just being a 6 year old girl, is the gradual development of Daikichi’s character as he alters what it is he wants from life. How he has no free time, yet the fact doesn’t bother him as much as he thought it would. He’s the kind of character I find myself wanting to be happy, because he deserves it. I just hope that RUMOURED BAD ENDING never appears in the anime. There’s probably not the time for it anyway with only 11 episodes.

B Steins;Gate

Episodes 14-17

Not the best month for Steins;Gate, what with the plot taking the highway to sillyville and having an entire episode focusing on Feyris, but there’s still more than enough here for it to still be one of the best shows of the year. Despite turning a bit silly at times, it still spends enough time delving into each characters personality and motivations that you are able to enjoy watching their exploits. I live each of these characters emotional turns myself, with every episode stripping more away from Okarin’s persona as he delves further into the chaotic world of time travel. Also, I AM MAD SCIENTIST, IT SO COOOOL, SONAVABITCH!

B- Tiger and Bunny

Episodes 14-18

I’m still waiting for the time Tiger and Bunny will reach a monthly roundup where its improvements aren’t instantly cancelled out by newly introduced flaws. One the positive side, I’m really enjoying the development of Tiger’s character, finally tackling his family life, even if he still acts like a total doofus. Plus there was Sky High’s special episode, which was far and away the best of the series so far. Problem is, that’s instantly balanced out by the series ruining all the development they did to Bunny’s character in the first half of the series by now making an eternally happy blank slate. Thankfully the latest episode looks to be turning him back to angsty Bunny again.

B- Kamisama Dolls

Episodes 1-4

I like Kamisama Dolls far more than it probably deserves. There’s moments where it gets struck by the derp, and decides what this anime really needs is for the main character to walk in on a girl in the bath. Or for extended sequences of the little sister eating cake. But what I really like about this show is how so many of the characters are just a touch unhinged that you never quite know what they’re going to do. From the more obvious cases like Aki, who has less a screw lose and more an entire scaffolding, to less severe but just as interesting cases like Kuuko, the paranormal freak. It keeps the tension up and keeps me intrigued even through the flaws.

B- Natsume Yuujinchou San

Episodes 1-4

A bit hit-or-miss for Natsume. First and third episodes were meh, while second and fourth were excellent. Natsume excels when it focuses on the pride of characters forcing them into loneliness, only to be dragged out again by Natsume as he connects with their own loneliness. Where it doesn’t excel is when Natsume spends his time narrating over how lovely the weather is and how lovely his family and friends are. I’ve just never bought into Natsume’s friendship, because he’s so distant from them. It made episode 3 with Tanuma fall rather flat. Still, it’s well worth it for those moments where it clicks. The tree spirit desperately wanting to see Natsume again so she could scare him, only for him to move house, stung like a bitch.

B- Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Trail

Episode 5

My main problem with Roberta’s Trail is I could not follow Rock’s plan in the slightest. Granted, that’s more with how I watched them, waiting 3-4 months between each episode does not help, so it might be more understandable to those who marathon it in one go. That said, there was still more than enough classic Black Lagoon in here, from the gloriously cynical lines to the awesome actions scenes. I particularly liked how, after getting annoyed at how badass this OVA wanted to portray Rock, Roberta’s Trail revealed at the end that he’s still the one pair of alive eyes in a dead town. It was a rather poetic way of describing his situation. Now, if you don’t mind me asking Madhouse, new season where?

B- Blue Exorcist

Episodes 12-15

Well holy buggering chickens, the plot for Blue Exorcist has finally started to move somewhere, and I am as interested in the grand mystery going on as I am interested in scrotum piercings. Thankfully, Blue Exorcist seems to know this too, and just tosses in little mentions to it occasionally (usually by people standing on top of buildings having vague and confusing expositionary conversations), using the rest of the time to focus on how this all affects Rin. Okumura Rin is Blue Exorcist. He brings out the best in every other character, even ones like Shiemi who would otherwise be painful to watch. Between Okarin, Tiger and Rin, it’s been a good season for male leads. At least, it was, until JC Staff blundered in with God’s Memo Pad.

B- Hanasaku Iroha

Episodes 14-18

Something mysterious happened after the Ohana to Tokyo arc. All the characters suddenly became likeable. Even the previously shitty ones, like that engrish spouting bitch. Not that they’re using the characters to much effect. What is the overarching plot to this series again? Who gets to inherit Kissisuo? Pah, I couldn’t give a toss about that. I just want to see hot anime girls in wet t-shirt contests, which Hanasaku Iroha delivers with surprising consistency. Even better, it does so without being retarded about it. This is a series that is goofy and self-aware enough to have two characters performing their best Quidditch impressions without someone pointing out to us how wacky it is that they’re doing this. It’s nice to have a series in which I want to drool over hot anime girls without having it insult my intelligence.

C Grade

C+ Kaiji Season 2

Episodes 13-17

I know this is kind of par for the course for Kaiji, but the only thing that happened in episode 17 was someone turned on a TV. Sorry, but this bog arc does not have the same thrill as the underground arc. The stakes felt more real down there, hyping up the tension and made the experience that much more thrilling. Somehow, inside this new casino, the stakes just don’t feel the same. Ultimately though, it’s still Kaiji. There’s still people with ridiculous noses. The narrator is still over-excitedly pulling bizarre metaphors out of nowhere. There are still people going zawa zawa zawa in the background.

C+ Break Blade

Episode 6

I lost interest in Break Blade’s story DURING episode 4, mainly because it HAD also lost interest in itS original story. The mecha battles are still as gloriously animated and wonderfully directed as ever, which sounds like it shouldn’t be so much of a problem. Break Blade was always about the gloriously animated mecha battles, why should a drop in story quality really effect it? Well because, my hypothetical questioner, without framing for the fights, it’s just a load of pretty colours for no grounding. I stopped caring about the story when it suddenly couldn’t remember why Rygart was fighting anymore. If it can’t remember, then why should I?

D Grade

D+ God’s Memo Pad

Episodes 1-3

Perhaps in a less packed season, I would have given God’s Memo Pad a better chance. The problem I had was the show wasn’t a Good Anime with moments of stupidity, like Kamisama Dolls. The underlying structure to God’s Memo Pad was full of uninteresting mysteries, a painfully bland male lead, irritating females characters who the show tried to push the moe-ness off, and so on. It did shine occasionally, and some of the way it phrased dialogue was genuinely witty and intelligent. But I didn’t feel it worth my time just to sit around in smelly water for those occasional wafts of brilliance.

D- Sacred Seven

Episodes 1-3

The warning lights were set off when the female character, who had suddenly appeared in the main characters life, revealed through a flashback that they knew each other when they were younger. Hellooooo Deadman Wonderland vibes! Why put so much funding into something so bland Sunrise? Please tell me what Sacred Seven has going for it? The animation is beautiful and some of the fights are truly gorgeous, plus sometimes it gets so stupidly camp that it’s fun to laugh at, but what does this series have? What is there to keep me, you, or anyone from ever remembering that it existed? Stupid show, not wasting my time on it.

E Grade

No terrible OVAs to mock this month, mainly because I refuse to acknowledge the existence of Baby Princess.

F Grade

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46 Comments

  1. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    You should read the manga of Ao no Exorcist. I don’t like where this anime is going.

    • Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Well, to be fair, the Kyoto Arc is STILL ongoing, so an anime-original end has to be expected.

      • Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Yeah, but if you read the manga you should see they have already started adding a lot of anime-original stuff into these events. Things aren’t looking good…

    • Scamp
      Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Read the manga of an action orientated show? lol no

      • Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        You’d be surprised how action oriented series are often better in manga format than in anime since anime requires a lot of budget for cinematography good enough for viewing. Manga, on the other hand, can achieve a good effect as long as the mangaka is skilled enough.

        Berserk is a good example of this. Same with Fullmetal Alchemist, and dare I say it, Bleach.

      • Scamp
        Posted August 3, 2011 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Read the manga and seen the anime to all 3 of those. I much preferred the anime to all 3 of them

  2. Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    WHAT rumor? Let’s call the manga ending of Usagi Drop as it is: a f@%!-up of an ending that totally threw away the foundations laid down in the first half. I rarely get upset, but man was I disappointed about that. I was when the RAWs first came out, and still now several weeks later I’m still seething.

    Thankfully it looks like the anime will stop just short of it. My hope though is that, unlike Wandering Son, they don’t drop any hint of a continuation. Please.

    • Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Rarely can an anime adaptation be worse than the original source, and that’s why I’m not holding much hope for Usagi Drop (having not read the manga).

      • mcm38
        Posted August 1, 2011 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Eh? Usagi Drop did it well even with that rumoured ‘bad ending’ everyone talks about. Yes, it is true that SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER

        Scamp edit: Stop talking about the manga ending in the comment section guys

      • mcm38
        Posted August 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Sorry.

  3. CS
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I would’ve given Usagi Drop and Steins;Gate the A grade. Otherwise spot on assessment.

    • Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      My worry about Steins;Gate is the fact that, for a series that focuses on Time Travel, it’s running out of time. 18 episodes in, and Okabe STILL hasn’t jumped into Timeline Beta (to say more is a game spoiler), and I don’t remember the show being greenlit an additional cour.

      • Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        This is what I was worried about since the anime started. It’s very difficult to fit such a huge VN into a two-hour series. I really do not wish they ruin it. They’ve done such a good job so far.

    • mcm38
      Posted August 1, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Agree with Usagi Drop in A grade. I’m pleased they didn’t mess up with the mangas worth while adapting it to the anime.

  4. Karry
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    “RUMOURED BAD ENDING”
    You wanted to say RUMOURED GOOD ENDING, didnt you ?

    “Well holy bug­ger­ing chick­ens, the plot for Blue Exor­cist has finally star­ted to move some­where”
    After reading the manga – they wont have enough episodes to resolve the current arc properly. So its either cliffhanger and waiting for next season – or original ending.

  5. mcm38
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Oh yeah, I remember watching the first episode of Sister Princess while desperately trying not to punch my screen. No wonder you didn’t like Baby Princess.

  6. luffyluffy
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    I dropped NO.6, Kamisama, and Sacred Seven

    I can’t get into the first two, and Sacred Shit stole Tiger & Bunny’s funding.

    Good to see it in your B section

    • hika
      Posted August 1, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, pity that the animation in T&B hasn’t been consistent of late. Makes me feel more ‘meh’ about Sacred Seven more than I already am…

  7. Posted August 1, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Wait, what about Dantalian no Shoka? Not that I liked it, but it wasn’t thaaat bad that it shouldn’t belong in your watch list. It was better than God’s Memo Pad.
    Usagi Drop’s manga ending makes be want to curl in my bed and cry three days.

    • mcm38
      Posted August 1, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Dantalian is realy good Scamp. Tough not as funny as Steins Gate, the interactions between the characters are realy amusing.

      • Posted August 1, 2011 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

        I think he doesn’t want to watch it because it involves a flat chested loli with superpowers. But it’s really not that bad. The main guy is kinda sympathetic.

      • mcm38
        Posted August 1, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        I guessed as much, to bad predujices can take away a chance to see some decent anime. I only wish the chars were drawn according to the manga, which suits better for the anime.

      • luffyluffy
        Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

        I’m not going to lie, I’ve been really enjoying Dantalian.

        Huey is delicious. Also, dat opening and dat ending and dat everything.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Saw the first episode. It wasn’t bad, but nothing stood out either. I’m watching too many anime as it is. I didn’t feel like sticking something kinda possibly good on the list

    • Posted August 4, 2011 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      I don’t see Dantalian as better than Memo-pad. Memo-pad has several interesting characters, so the interactions are more complex. Dantalian has had some really stupid “plots”. The first two episodes were pretty much the same. They went to an old mansion. Dalian knew what was going on. Huey reads a book. Dalian wants to eat something. In the third episode they shook things up by not having Huey read the book. Everything else was the same. BORING.

  8. hika
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m only following No. 6 and Tiger & Bunny, mostly because I plan to marathon Steins;Gate and Ao no Exorcist later. And Bunny Drop too, if I ever have the time.

    I really wanted to like Kamisama Dolls. But along the way there were the misplaced fanservice and cake eating, that the series feels like a mixed bag. I can’t enjoy good action when some poor excuse for humour is thrown in…

  9. Anonymous
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Should have known God’s Memo Pad would tank hard. Also, maybe I should watch these episodes of Hanasaku Iroha, seeing as how they’ve been praised by many.

  10. Posted August 1, 2011 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Bunny Drop is the best series I’m watching. Although the concept isn’t mind-blowing or lend itself to much suspense, it handles itself so well it has been nothing but pure joy. Every other series has some niggling flaw, whether it be uneven progression, gimmicky developments, or insecurity about where it is all headed. Bunny Drop delivery has been spot on every week, which puts it ahead of PenguinDrum and No. 6.

    • Scamp
      Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Pah! I do not start from a 10/10 then knock off points for everything it does wrong. Start from a 1 and add points for everything it does right

  11. Posted August 1, 2011 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    >> nothing got an A

    This is why I dropped everything this season.

    On Black Lagoon: This OVA has been more confusing than Serial Experiments Lain. Rock sits around in a car, calls Mr. Chang, sits around some more, and talks about his ingenious plan. Revy goes out, shoots people, gets shot, and talks about Rock’s ingenious plan.

    I have the 5th episode sitting on my laptop, but I really don’t want to watch it…

    • mcm38
      Posted August 1, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      His plan is mainly wether or not he can make the young master save his berserking maid and keep them away from ever getting involved with Roanapur. I would like to explain how he does it, but that’d be spoiler for you and I’ve stressed Scamp enough with spoilers today. XD
      Just know that he’s actualy trying to help them, despite his ‘high’ attitude and evil sounding talk.

    • Posted August 5, 2011 at 1:15 am | Permalink

      So I watched the 5th episode of the OVA today, and I thought the ending was pretty lame. I feel like Rock didn’t have to go through all of this (as in all the event of the OVA) if this kind of ending was his true objective.

      But then again, with a couple of months between each episode, the OVA can’t really be clear. I was sitting there wondering why the Americans were even in the story for the longest time.

  12. DarkEnergy
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    LOL picture captions! How did you know!?

    Another great roundup by the way.

  13. Madonis
    Posted August 1, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    For whatever reason, I am only watching Mawaru Penguindrum and Sacred Seven at the moment.

    The first for the glorious Utena groove, which needs little to no further elaboration, the second because it’s mindless entertainment. Or at least that’s what I originally thought.

    Sacred Seven is certainly mindless, but in a way that redefines previous uses of the term and not for the better.

    The story is utterly predictable and uninteresting even if sometimes the fights are enjoyable and well animated. .

    I also found the school episode to be more boring and insipid than any of its Code Geass equivalents though, and I’m not in a hurry to watch the recent beach one either. At least when I watched that show, there was a sense of trying to capture the viewer’s interest. Here? Err….no, not really.

    Admittedly, a straightforward action anime is nice once in a while, even though this one lacks anything resembling ambition or originality, but then again I could just watch the Black Lagoon OVAs or something

  14. DesuSexual
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 12:32 am | Permalink

    Ah man. The fucking captions.
    So great.

  15. smallish
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:44 am | Permalink

    I’m very happy with No.6. It seems to be one of the few BL series that puts as much emphasis on the story as the relationship. The characters are actually people that I can believe in and enjoy and although there are undercurrents of the traditional ‘seme’ and ‘uke’ roles, it’s not over the top and I can still think of both of the characters as male, not just male and stereotypical-female-with-no-boobs-and-short-hair. As someone who is actually part of the LGBT community and with a great interest in LGBT media, I’m really excited about No.6 and it’s one of the few shows that Iook forward to every week.

  16. Posted August 2, 2011 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I rewatched Roberta’s Blood Trail after the final episode came out, and it did come together much more nicely than just watching the final episode by itself after two months.
    I’d rate HanaIro quite a bit lower, since it’s trying to flesh out characters that just aren’t very interesting to begin with, but it’s been far from unwatchable.

  17. Blood Wizard
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    First time posting here.
    After reading this I’ve come to realize that I am incapable of disliking any halfway decent Shonen Jump anime.
    Does that make me a bad person.
    Also, God’s Memo Pad wasn’t that bad.

    • mcm38
      Posted August 2, 2011 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      I say everyone has their own tastes. Wether they love to watch dumb written series only because of the ‘fanservice’ or they only love to watch mecha. If you think it’s a good anime than it’s a good anime. The people here all have something they agree with, but the same people also disagree at other things. Nobody thinks the other is a bad person. In fact it is a good thing people are able to both agree and disagree with each other. Otherwise everyone would be just a brainwashed clone of each other and the world would be boring.

      You will not become a bad person, by being honest to yourself. But you will become a bad person, by not trying to understand the others perspective.

      • Scamp
        Posted August 2, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        I have no idea what you are talking about

      • mcm38
        Posted August 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Realy? That’s a shame.

  18. 3242
    Posted August 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Gods Memopad, should of made the first episode an OVA and be done with it…

  19. Posted August 2, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    Take it you dropped Ikoku then.

    It was boring.

  20. thewonderer
    Posted August 3, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    I like Ao no exorcist, Usagi drop , God’s memo pad. I never thought about grading them, Nice blog and thanks

  21. gw_kimmy
    Posted August 4, 2011 at 12:14 am | Permalink

    ahhh no. 6 had me sold on the shakespeare quotes and the still hilarious BL hints.

    i lol’d hard at the flashback scene in sacred seven as well. im tempted to keep watching, but catching up after my vacation is going to be a bitch. *lazy*

    eh, i’d watch usagi drop…but to be honest im enjoying a manga with a very similar plot MUCH more currently. plus dat ending D:

    hana iro is getting dull…might drop soon.

    i suppose i should try maru penguin whatever…*continues to lounge on the beach*

  22. Marow
    Posted August 7, 2011 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    This is a test comment, in hope that commenting will somehow show me where I can register. ^^’

    Anyway, Hanasaku Iroha has to be the biggest disappointment right now. It started of so wonderfully, only to become… well, literally garbage. While it’s a little bit better now, it doesn’t know what it wants to be. Drama, coming of age, slice of life or comedy? And the plot is all over the place.

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