So what happened newsworthy this month in the world on anime? Well, there was Ken Akamatsu, the Love Hina author, kicking off a website that hosted no longer publishing manga for freeview. Despite what you might have read elsewhere, the project has been a success. It’s only in Japanese for now but, in a world where OneManga is gone and Mangafox no longer holds American licensed titles, the industry is taking baby steps towards online distribution of manga. I’m not much of a reader of manga, but digital distribution is something I’ve argued for before, so it’s a subject I’ve been keeping a close eye on, hoping to be proved right.
A Grade: One of the tops of the year. Get ready for some fanboying here
A– Jellyfish Princess
I have come to accept that there will never be a Moyashimon sequel, as desperately as it needs one. However, the Noitamina timeslot has here a spiritual successor. The appeal of highlighting the ridiculousness everyday life can bring is the same. Moyashimon has the edge over Princess Jellyfish in originality, the latter having a rather generic plot line, even if it does have original characters. But Jellyfish Princess has the edge with it’s sense of humour. It’s nonsensical yet surprisingly cutting when it wants to be. It’s just a plain old great anime. Brains Base has done it again. Noitamina has done it again. I love anime.
B Grade: Hugely entertaining stuff. Not amazing but definitely worth watching
I’m harsh with my A-grades. It really has to amaze and enthrall me to be considered A worthy. But a B+ still means a fantastic anime. It’s intent on having as much fun as the human brain can conceive, and then some. There’s really nothing else like it out there. I’m looking forward to when this gets released on DVD and the rest of anime fandom get to see this movie. I can’t really describe it in one paragraph. You really do have to see it for yourself.
B– Panty and Stocking and Garterbelt
It’s pretty remarkable what Panty and Stocking has managed. After 2 episodes, I was fully expecting it to drop off in quality as it relied on the same old potty humour after every episode. But it just keeps producing the goods. Every episode comes up with a new gag, a piece of ingenuity that keeps this show well worth watching. It also helps that they introduced Scanty and Kneesocks who, despite basically being a sexy devils version of Team Rocket, really added to the series with their RRRRUUUURRRRUUSSSS, episode 6 being easily the standout of the series. Still relies on shock factor rather than actual clever humour, but as a celebration of audacity this is the best show out there. That is, until every watches Redline.
B– Arakawa Under the Bridge X Bridge
This season will never reach the glorious levels that the last season of Arakawa managed, and I’m still not OK with that. I also still would have been happy if Shaft never touched Arakawa again, instead focusing their attention on making a Saint Young Men anime. It does exist though, hence it would be stupid not to watch it. It’s still capable of making me roar with laughter, even if very few of the episodes contain anything other than directionless gag material. It’s not the Arakawa I know and love, but what we got is still damn funny. So hey, since it’s here, why not enjoy it?
B- Invasion Squid Girl
I guess I was too harsh on this anime last week, saying that I’d prefer to watch the ambitious mess that is Star Driver instead of the minor achievements of Squid Girl. I guess I had a change of heart since then. Squid Girl never outreaches it’s boundaries. It ultimately will never achieve anything worthwhile and will be forgotten by all within 5 years. Yet each episode continues to bring a grin to my face, providing that little light in my week that keeps me consistently entertained. Ultimately this would always be a C grade, but the Mini Squid Girl segment hit me so hard it deserved a level up. Even when I forget everything else about this series, I’ll remember mini squid girl trapped trapped inside the glass jar.
C Grade: It’s good enough to keep watching but it’s not that memorable
There’s not a whole lot to say about Bakuman. It plods along at it’s rather annoyingly slow pace and even more annoyingly stupid romance. This sure as hell isn’t the Death Note author I know and love. This is some s’life story about a bunch of frigids making manga. Still, asides from the romance episode, it’s a decent series nevertheless. Watching Shujin and Saiko’s relationship develop is always fun to watch, as is them being the stupid teenagers that they are. It’s far from being a world beater, but it’s still entertaining enough to keep me ticking over.
C Mardock Scramble
Half utterly stupid, half surprisingly poignant. Mardock Scramble: First Compression isn’t exactly a roaring success, but it has enough good elements to it to make me want to check out the next two movies when they hit the scene. The world desperately needs more Eufcoque, that golden mouse with the strange logic. It could also do with more slender girls in figure hugging outfits. However there’s no dearth of them in anime today so that’s not too important. What the world doesn’t need more of is villains with vaginas sewn into their hands. Despite probably none of my readers having seen this movie, I think we can all agree on that point.
C– Ore no Imouto
Well this is a first. An anime I’m solely watching so I can criticize it afterwards. Ore no Imouto is otaku pandering moecrap, and don’t let anyone else lead you to believe otherwise. I could go on all day, and have done so weekly, about how Kirino is the ultimate creation of an otaku’s wet dream. She’s basically one of them, except a cute girl who frequenly waves her bum in the air and masturbates to eroge off-screen. There’s still an element to it that’s well written, normally anything that includes Kuroneko, but it’s constantly weighed down by what it’s trying to achieve in pandering terms.
D Grade: I’ve lost interest in this anime. If it’s a D then I’ve probably dropped it
D Star Driver
Remember Canaan from a couple of seasons ago? The show started off all flashy and cool, but refused to reveal what it’s intentions were with the plot. But when it did, you suddenly realised how truly retarded the anime was. Something similar is happening with Star Driver. It’s started to try produce structure to what was previously campy nonsense, and it’s bloody rubbish. Bleargh, stupid anime. Also *pant* *pant* *pant* *pant**pant* *pant**pant* *pant**pant* *pant**pant* *pant**pant* *pant**pant* *pant*