Since these monthly roundups are meant to be something of a time-capsule for what the current anime season was like at this place in time, I’ve decided to lead each monthly roundup post with whatever big news happened in anime over the past month. The only big piece of news I can think of is manga publishers finally manning up and going after the big manga aggregator sites like Onemanga. Now that doesn’t have that much effect on me since I barely ever read manga online, but in the vast scale of anime fandom, it’s pretty big news. Mind you, Onemanga still looks pretty much the same and you can still quite clearly read Naruto there so eh. Was there any other big news in anime fandom this months guys?
Anywho, enough of that and onto the actual anime!
A Grade: One of the tops of the year. Get ready for some fanboying here
A- Arakawa Under the Bridge
Loved it. Absolutely loved this show, but it’s true brilliance wasn’t apparent until episode 12. That was when the plot was tied up. The way the show developed the characters for that moment, the way the show rounded in on itself, the way it never once lost its sense of humour throughout. Arakawa Under the Bridge was a fantastic anime and my pick so far for best anime of 2010. It’s going to take something special to beat this.
A- Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood
The ending arc didn’t feel quite as controlled as most of the rest of the series. However I’m willing to cut it some slack for making the series finale as epic as it was. The image of the two gates, one in the town and one in the sky, opening onto each other with the worlds biggest hug has been ingrained into my mind forever. It’s been a fantastic year and a quarter watching this show, every bit as good as the original FMA. Not better, not worse. Just as good.
B Grade: Hugely entertaining stuff. Not amazing but definitely worth watching
B+ Tatami Galaxy
I thought nothing would ever take over the likes of Trapeze and Bakemonogatari for unnecessary animation and directorial quirks, but it appears Yuasa has proved me wrong. I honestly think some of his directorial decisions are holding this anime back, such as the stupidly quick dialogue which detracts from the writing. Why on earth would someone want to speed over the writing? This is god-tier stuff, episode 10 in particular blew me away. So for all you Yuasa-philes out there, the praise you’re lavishing on this show should go to the author, not the director.
B House of Five Leaves
Woah House of Five Leaves, where did this come from? I was drifting along with this show, brain half shut off as I let it all wash over me. Then suddenly, around episode 9 I think, it reveals that it actually had a plot all along. And now suddenly I’m on the edge of my seat with this show. The atmosphere has gotten crazily tense where as it used to no tension whatsoever. It’s been a fantastic last few episodes I must admit.
B Giant Killing
The last month I said that the series was missing something to make me care. Well whatever it was, it has it now. The show isn’t particularly well made, but last month made me care. The build up payed off, although I’m certain world cup fever helped immensely. Tsubaki perfoming a Brazilian-esque trick to go around a Brazilian. Gino strolling around like a cross between David Beckham, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo. Probably the strangest part is Tatsumi. I’ve stopped caring about what he does anymore. The players are far more interesting.
Well that last arc was a mighty big letdown compared to the rest of the series. It dragged horribly and the characters involved were never particularly interesting to watch. The few scenes with Izaya confronting Anri, then Simon and finally Namie were fantastic stuff and showed that, behind this latest arc, there is still the makings of a classic. With the series selling fantastically well, hopefully a season 2 will be made and we can get back to the real strength of Durarara once again. And hey, for the last time, Durararararararararararara~!
B- Big Windup 2
Yup, caught up with this when I heard it was only 1-cour long. Strangely, I think it worked as only 1-cour. The crucial match never felt rushed, the development of the characters kept steady. All in all it was a very solid season. I wonder if this will become like Major and they keep making new seasons? I’d certainly be up for that, they’re still only first years. I wonder if by the 5th season, Mihashi will the biggest badass pimp in on the team? Plus, in an anime that’s notorious for having a large fujioshi fanbase, having Momo-kan squeeze her ginormous boobs together whenever she gets excited never gets old.
C Grade: It’s good enough to keep watching but it’s not that memorable
Stupid Shaft. This wait long since killed my enthusiasm for the series. For what probably was a good episode, it was difficult to care that much. In a way, I think episode 12 ended the series on a much better note. Reminding us all about how great a character Senjogahara was, it was one of the best episodes of anime 2009 produced, probably second only to that FMA episode. Still, it was an excellent series overall, although it’s crown of being by far my favourite Shaft show has since been taken by Arakawa.
C+ Angel Beats
Angel Beats was, from start to finish, a gloriously entertaining mess. The quality and tone of the series remained as steady as TK in a classroom. The story seemed to change it’s mind about what the main message was several times over the course of the series, tossing in plot twists sometimes without the slightest bit of prior foreshadowing. It really gave off the feeling that it was being made up as it went along. But for sheer entertainment, Angel Beats had it in spades, albeit often for the wrong reasons.
C+ Hetalia World Series
I’ve long since run out of things to say about Hetalia in these monthly roundups. What more can I say? The highlight of the month was Japan swearing to make safe cars after his experience of driving with Italy. In fact, this whole month has been pretty good for Hetalia. Although the new ending song really does suck. I miss the old one already.
D Grade: I’ve lost interest in this anime. If it’s a D then I’ve probably dropped it
D+ Sora no Woto