38 CommentsMonthly Roundups / By Scamp /

June Roundup

Hi guys, I’m your new writer for The Cart Driver. Scamp so graciously invited me to join, being that wonderful and handsome and sexy man that he is, and I can’t wait to stand in the shadow of such a great writer!

*cough* Anyway, this is the final monthly roundup ever. Some quick highs and lows for you. The only A+ grade I ever gave was to Lagann-hen (apart from that one time I gave A++ to Queens Blade season 2). I never gave an F- grade, but Rio Rainbow Gate did get an F one month. The worst month ever was that infamous summer 2010 season, notably August where the highest grade I gave was a C+ to Highschool of the Dead. Best month is difficult to choose, so I’m going to cheat and give it to Movember because you guys raised $130 for charity with that.

A Grade

A Aquarion EVOL

Episodes 23-26

I was starting to worry that perhaps the final batch of episodes were getting a bit too self-serious for Aquarion EVOL. Oh how wrong was I. The final 2 episodes were some of the best anime I’ve ever seen. The final episode in particular had me both convulsing with laughter and yet  tearing up with emotion, often at the very same scene. There’s a very special kind of anime that is capable of doing that. I don’t think I’ve gotten this pumped and emotional over an anime since…well, since Lagann-hen I guess. It certainly had its problems, but with this ending Aquarion EVOL will go down as one of my all time favourites.

B Grade

B Space Bros

Episodes 10-13

The last few episodes have entered what can only be described as a shounen tournament arc, and what’s more surprising is how well it’s worked for the show. This meant it firstly stopped banging on the same points over and over again, but it’s also good enough at characterisation that the dynamics that result from this tournament are fascinating and entertaining to watch. It’s perhaps moving a bit slowly, but a show like this was always going to be a slow burner.

B Eureka Seven Ao

Episodes 8-10

I feel Eureka Seven Ao is finally hitting its groove. It certainly took a while, but it’s finally got to grips with its characters and what makes them tick. Actually a more likely case is that I’ve suddenly found myself caring about the characters more, but that’s still props to Ao for finally developing them enough to make them interesting to watch. Also it’s not entirely coincidental that the time Ao started getting better coincided with the time it was starting to increasingly resemble Evangelion.

B Patema Inverted: Beginning of the Day

Episode 3

I feel a bit weird watching these Patema Inverted episodes. What they’re billed as is prologues to the movie that’s supposed to be coming out later this year, but I can’t help feel that perhaps there’s been some mistranslation along the way. These feel way too much like they should be the opening scenes of the movie itself, and I’m just spoiling the opening 20 minutes of a movie I was always going to watch. I mean, they’re great, and this episode in particular was kind of amazing in its directing and concepts. But that doesn’t mean I think you should be watching them just yet.

B Jormungand

Episodes 8-12

I’ve been wrestling with my feelings on Jormungand for a while now. I recognise that it has some truly great characters and some very clever ways it allows them to be themselves. Particularly Jonah, who is the heart in a series that can sometimes feel like its dead inside. See, that’s the thing. No matter how I try to wrestle with my understanding of Jormungand, it defies meaning. The plotlines have resolutions that mean nothing. Perhaps that’s the point? Maybe it’s just pretentious and pretends it has a point when it doesn’t? I’m glad there’s another 12 episodes planned for next Fall, because while it frustrates me, I can’t deny Jormungand fascinates me.

B- Berserk: The Golden Age Arc I – The Egg of the King

There was that scene towards the end of this movie, with Guts on the stairs after the assassination as he looked up at Griffith, that recaptured the astonishingly beautiful story that made me fall so in love with the original TV series. For that scene alone, I can’t bring myself to dislike this movie. But I’m still failing to see what this really brings to the franchise. What it adds only detracts from the effect of the scenes. We’ll see, hard to judge on this first movie alone.

C Grade

C+ Fate/Zero

Episodes 23-25

The send off for the Rider and Waver story was fantastic and a perfect way to end my involvement with the series entirely. Yes, while the list there says I watched episodes 24 and 25, in reality I watched about 6 minutes of 24 and then fast-forwarded through the entire rest, except for that 5 minute segment in episode 25 of Waver. I realised that I gave not one ounce of shit about the Holy Grail War, and had no obligation to the series to see it out to the end. Its part of my new rule to stop watching anime when I really have no interest in what happens anymore, even if I’ve enjoyed prior episodes, so as to not sour my opinion of the show. For that, I don’t particularly begrudge Fate/Zero for having 2 final episodes I couldn’t care less about.

C- Kids on the Slope

Episodes 8-12

These final few episodes were so bad they felt like a parody of josei manga. In particular the midway point of episode 10. It reminded me of that Sensei/Ninomiya-kun thing from Minami-ke, and when you start to resemble something that is meant to be a mocking parody, you know something has gone horribly wrong. You can’t even blame a rushed manga adaptation, because it was the plot beats rather than any problems with pacing that was the issue. Which is a shame, because the epilogue reminded me how great this show could be when it wasn’t focusing on terrible melodrama.

C- Sankarea

Episodes 9-12

I mean, it’s not like I always knew there was conflict with the story and the presentation in Sankarea, but episode 11 was so jarring in that regard it rather ruined the entire show for me. Like Kids on the Slope, it was a hugely talented director making the most out of the source material but being shackled by not being able to fully change what happened. Plus in both cases, what with how typical melodrama-y some of the shot-composition in Kids on the Slope was like, and with Wanko boobs flying everywhere in Sankarea, I’m not sure they even wanted to change the tone of the source material too much. Oh well, they were fun while the illusion lasted.

D Grade

D+ Tsuritama

Episodes 8-10

Tsuritama will be one of my examples to use as to why ‘It gets better I swear’ isn’t a particularly good argument when someone drops a show early on. You see, the main two characters in Tsuritama, Haru and Yuki, are so brainless, simple-minded and generally terrible characters that I completely stopped caring about anything that happened to them. This meant that when the grand finale rolled in, I couldn’t give the tiniest shit what was going on. The only enjoyment I got was on a purely superficial level, namely how I found those Duck suits squeaky noises they made as they moved funny.

E Grade


F Grade

F- The Cart Driver

What the hell happened to my favourite blog? I never asked for this, why are all these new people coming in? And I thought it was bad enough with the monthly roundups ending. Soon I’ll start reading old blog posts and reminiscing over the good old days when it was just Scamp and I knew exactly what he thought each month. Why must things change, I hate change. Bring back the old facebook!

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    Man, I’m so glad that I skipped reading a bunch of posts in the past so that I may be able to read them in the future. You did a Movember? I never knew, thanks for spoiling that you bastard.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:54 am | Permalink

      So you never donated? :(

  2. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:02 am | Permalink

    Tsuritama actually managed to grow on me after a slow start. So for me, the finale was extremely satisfying.

  3. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Confirmed for bad taste. Good riddance.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:56 am | Permalink

      You’re favourite show is Fujitits. Confirmed for bad taste

  4. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    You mean the “epilogue” to Kids on the Slope right? Still love the show, even with how bad the drama got (which for me, was only Episode 11 and some of Episode 10).

    It’s a shame about E7 Ao by the way, because the sales haven’t been all that great so far and I’ve seen a lot of people complaining about how “Evangelion-like” it’s being. It’s like Last Exile:Fam all over again.

    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:01 am | Permalink

      At least EVOL is selling well. That shows there’s hopes for these half-sequels

      • Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:12 am | Permalink

        Yeah, there’s hope for half-sequels to anime that suck. When it comes to the ones that are loved…not so much.

  5. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Horrendous taste, why are you even blogging? GAWD

    • Maximillian
      Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:24 am | Permalink

      I’d probably switch Jormungand and Fate/Zero, but that’s me.

      Can’t really comment on the rest since I’m not watching them right now. .

  6. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    You massively overrated Tsuritama there Scamp. Too bad this is the last one of these.

  7. Taka
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Either Scamp is being sarcastic or somehow we agree on not just something but SEVERAL somethings.


    • Scamp
      Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      Have I regained a reader!?!

      • Taka
        Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:43 am | Permalink

        Yes. Beware.

  8. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Oh, and for those who complain about the new Facebook layout, the old Facebook layout made just as little sense.

  9. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    Everything here deserves an F except for Space Bros, Aquarion maybe, and Fate/Zero (barely).

  10. Posted July 1, 2012 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Holy crap these opinions…MAH EYES

    (Though I agree about Sankarea)

  11. Desi
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 2:01 am | Permalink

    YOU LOST THE BEST WRITER OF THIS BLOG BEFORE IT EVEN BECAME A TEAM BLOG! (Introductions do not count as blogging in my book)

  12. Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    geh You really have the worst taste ever 5camp. Thank god these monthly roundups are gone so I won’t have to know exactly how terrible your tastes are. At least you’ll always have your amazing writing skills with you; and your sense of humour.

  13. Sarif
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:27 am | Permalink

    I am sad to see you give up on these. They were one of my favorite parts of your site. I will always stay for charts, just maybe not visit every day.

  14. AxG
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    Aquarion EVOL… LOL

  15. Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    A Grade
    A- Scamp: For redeeming himself with a self-consciously snarky blog entry.

  16. Chipp
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Watch Snakarea for the visuals. Read Sankarea for the story.
    You need just about the same time as the length of the 1 episode to catch up with the part of the manga that was covered in the anime.

    BTW that’s funny:
    Sankarea: A– -> B– -> C–
    Tsuritama: B+ -> C+ -> D+

  17. Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    You gave Rio an F one month? Fuck you, I’m quitting and making my own blog.

    • Chipp
      Posted July 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Where have you been that time?

    Posted July 1, 2012 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Eh..not too sad to see these go, they only stress me out. Best posts = First Impressions.

  19. Noname
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Not sure if the guys commenting above me are serious or just joking -.-”

  20. Erif
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Oh Scamp, I sure will miss these wonderful posts of yours. They are so very insightful and superbly written. They are truly the stroke of a master… oh, what’s this? I see you gave Aquarion an A and Fate/Zero a C.

    Sorry, you’ll have to excuse me while I go hang myself.

  21. Sudachi
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Sankarea did have some great moments overall so thanks for turning me on to it early on this season. Totally agree with the Aquarion and Fate/Zero grades – I would not have predicted those two finishes when I first started the series. Can’t decide who I’ll miss more, Rider or Andy W. Hole…

  22. Embok
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    Decent Apollon opinion, shame it took you so long to reach it!

    …also shame you still have it above Tsuritama. I didn’t really care for the main two either, but the other two protagonists were good and I’m still really impressed that the show about fishing stayed about fishing the whole way through. Much preferable to the show about music deciding to wander off into awful forced drama.

  23. Posted July 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Is there anyway we can get these monthly roundups back :(

  24. gw_kimmy
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    i still have the old facebook layout. \o/



  25. Posted July 1, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    W-Wait! So I’m not the only one that loved EVOL last episodes (despite some flaws like Kagura’s change of mind)? I mean, I was starting to feel like a fish out of water. Aquarion fanbase, especially Sousei fans, was mostly full of rage with the last episodes…
    Although, I must say, there are still twists that looked like Kawamori and Okada pulled out of their asses, but EVOL is a great stupid likeable epic that brought me a lot of fun. I’ll miss it.

    …Oh, man. D+ for Tsuritama, C+ for Apollon…
    Tsuritama wrapped up nicely for me, waaaaaaay better that that horrendous [C]. And Apollon… That last episode lost all the impact on me. Still good, but not great as I was expecting.
    The curious part is that I saw some complaints about a lot of sexism on that episode… Don’t think I agree, though.

  26. Anonymous
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    The biggest question of all; How did Mix’s big bangs grow back?

  27. Posted July 1, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    When did the 3rd episode of Patema Inverted come out? I’ve seen it no where

  28. hint
    Posted July 1, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    i agree on everything from the top till kids on slope. kos is better than fz.

  29. TheVoid
    Posted July 2, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    EVOL is LOVE spelled backwards.

    I’d have to give it a B-. Mostly because Amata and Mikono have the blandest love story ever told. Though Mykage did get his happy ending in the end, Crea got to do something, and Shrade comes back as a ghost so that makes up for it.

  30. Posted July 3, 2012 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Aww, I will miss these posts. :P

    Oh and your taste differs from mine in that I think gay-fishing is not that bad and fate zero without Rider/Waiver was still pretty fun.

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