Spring 2011 Anime Impressions (Part 2) and Rankings

C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (3 episodes)

I feel that I'm not enjoying the show as much as I should, because I don't have an ounce of knowledge about how the economy works, so there might be a lot of underlying references I'm missing out. I take it that he got sucked into world where you get to fight other players for cash, with the help of an avatar based on a remnant of yourself. It might not be the correct way to actually "enjoy" the show, but nevertheless I'm quite impressed with what I see. I'll say that it's due to the unique concept and the fast pacing that lets you quickly learn how the "finance district" works.

But that also means that after the "learning" stopped, the uniqueness of the show might wear off and all we'll get is just another angsty teen boy fighting anime. The show can't compare with the level of animation some of the currently airing series boast (look at that guy's face above), and in terms of production values, the only thing I really appreaciate is Tomatsu Haruka voicing the protagonist's avatar, Mashu. I'm doubtful whether it would be all worth it in the end, but for now there's enough content that piqued my curiosity for the show to stay on my watch list.

Outlook: Very Interesting (Watching)

Dororon Enma-kun Meramera (4 episodes)

Enma-kun would definetely be the most unique show this season, even more so than C. Not that it tries any new concept, but the show is directed in the manner you would expect from the 1970s original version. That means its chock full of exaggerated expressions and loud characters. That might be really really off-putting in terms of anime nowadays, but when you factor in that it's a remake of such an old show, you might actually appreaciate that the do it that way.

So, I'm a little creeped out by how childish the show can be at times, and how much they're relying on fanservice to sell the show, but generally the show is pretty entertaining and different for a change. Its no-brainer comedy and fanservice works together really well, and there's still some GAR left for Enma-kun despite his silly stature. The animation are reasonably good too. It's hard for me to recommend this, but if you would appreaciate those really old-school anime, I'd say give it a chance.

Outlook: Good (Watching)

Nichijou (2 episodes)

I've said this before in an earlier post, but Nichijou's brand of humor doesn't suit me. Sure, I've laughed a couple of times at the main character's silliness and over-the-top humor, but I've spent a lot time wishing something moderately funny would come soon. Then I reached the end before that happened. It boast amazing graphic as expected from KyoAni, but not enough to buy me onto the bandwagon.

Outlook: Kinda lame (Dropped)

Steins;Gate (1 episode)

As you might already know, the first episode is extremely confusing if you're not familiar with the game. The way they touches on the topic of time-travelling seemed really cool, but it might also be riddled with plot holes, which are really common for this kind of genre. Anyway, there's very little I could tell from the first episode other that it might look interesting after letting the audience clear the many question marks on top of our heads. I don't like the colors they used, but the animation looks solid. Due to the number of shows I'm following this season I'm putting this on hold so that I could marathon this and absorb the "theories" properly.

Outlook: Promising (On-hold)

Maria Holic Alive (2 episode)

I've confirmed that something must have possessed me to think that like the first season so much, because I remembered straight away what I hated about the show; Kanako's endless ramblings, masochist jokes and bland animation. Some of the segments are quite funny, but Kanako's a pretty lousy lead since she more than often offsets the enjoyment value of show. I might still pick this up some time later, since Mariya and Matsurika are such awesome characters.

Outlook: Fair (On-hold?)

Softenni (3 episodes)

The big shocker here is that Xebec actually produces something I enjoyed watching. Maybe this kind of no-brainer comedy overloaded with fanservice is best suited for the studio; after all, with the comedy already in place in the manga, it's hard to fail at this. The animation is only somewhat acceptable, but the show doesn't really demand anything higher (Nichijou was really overkill). A lot of the show was massacred by censors, but it's still enjoyable. I'm only letting this go due to the number of shows I'm watching now, and would likely pick it up sometime in the future.

Outlook: Unexpectedly good (On-hold)

Aria the Scarlet Ammo (3 episodes)

Tsundere loli voiced by Kugimiya Rie. Male lead voiced by Majima Junji. Baka. Urusai. J.C staff. Doesn't it sound all too familiar? Despite the success of Toradora and SnS, I believe the formula's been done to death already.

So surprisingly, Hidan no Aria almost went up on my watch list. While Aria cling on to Kinji like flies to poop, it didn't feel all that cliched. In fact, it feels like Kinji totally hates her for now. While I don't doubt that the two would end up together in the end, I do feel that the romance part of the story could be almost as good as Toradora. I'm really expecting a lot from Kinji's alter ego too, because the way he subdue Aria is so full of awesome. I just really hate all that pointless fanservice so far. The animation could have been a bit more interesting too. I'm likely to pick this back up in the future.

Outlook: Good (On-hold)

Astarotte's Toy (2 episodes)

I think most people know about the semen thing by now,  but it's wrong on so many levels. It isn't explicity talked about in the show, but lets for not forget the guy suppose to receive a "service" from Lotte is a full adult, even though he look like a kid. And he's suppose to receive a "service" from 10yo Lotte, less than half his age. And this guy has a kid of his own as well. It was suppose to be my only Horie Yui fix this season, but she voicing a minor character with hideously large boobs.

Story-wise, I haven't seen anything beyond Lotte regretting her decision and trying to get used to the human male. It wasn't even moderately amusing, the fanservice is a joke, and all the magic and otherworldly demons  a plain uninteresting. I suppose the real seller is when Lotte goes tsuntsun for Naoya, but a plain ol' KugiRie tsundere character isn't going to win me over.

Outlook: Poor (Dropped)

A Channel (1 episode)

I guess the show incorporate a bit of slice-of-life element into it, so it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be. But something feels wrong when one of the four girls becames the antagonist of the group straight away, when they were supposed to sell as a whole group, like you know, K-ON. Although Yuuko (the victim) seems to forgive her for how cute she is, it just feels wrong when the other party totally hates your guts.

All I can tell from the first episode is that it's pretty uninteresting, and the character designs are really unappealing to me. There are some blogs saying how funny it became with the next few episodes, but I'll just wait and see if that would change the general opinion of others.

Outlook: Poor (Dropped)

Dog Days (1 episode)

Artefact's comment on the show, "Cute but not very interesting", seems to be an understatement. Unless you are Dog Day's target audience, I don't see how you could even find this moderately interesting.

The magical world setup is but a place for these kids to play in; whatever "serious" political issues that they try to factor into the outcome of the battle were as unconvincing as hell. The show is as childish as you thought possible with everyone looking like little children, and that makes the fanservice very out of place. The animation below average, and the bright and colorful template made it impossible for me to enjoy the show at all.

What irks me the most is how much the protagonist fails as a character . I don't know how much he has grown since the first episode, but you can't just makes a character jump into a different dimension and say "I'll stay, cuz it's fun" and leave it at that. Giving him imba acrobatic abilities just to make him an impossibly awesome dudein the magical world doesnt help.

Of course it'll all be very different if you could appreciate something kiddy like this. The main character steals all the limelight, there's girls with hair of every color a five year old can name, there's magic, there's fighting but no one actually gets hurt! What more can you ask for?

Outlook: Subjective. Me? Unwatchable. (Dropped)

Oretachi ni Tsubaba wa Nai & Hoshizora e Kakeru Hashi (1 episode each)

These two eroge adaptations aren't as generic as I thought it'll be, but it doesn't stand out too much either. I've been spoiled a fair bit on both series, and most likely it would never outdo some of the better eroge adaptations out there. With so much more prospective anime this season, there's no time for me to give these shows a try.

Overall Rankings (from the most propective, and from what I watched at least an episode):

1. Hanasaku Iroha
2. Anohana
3. Tiger & Bunny
4. Steins; Gate
5. Deadman Wonderland
6. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
7. C: The Money Of Soul And Possibility Control
8. Nichijou
9. Dororon Enma-kun Meramera
10. Aria the Scarlet Ammo
11. Softenni
12. Maria Holic
13. Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
14. A Channel
15. Hoshizora e Kakeru Hashi
16. Astarotte's Toy
17. Dog Days

Thanks for reading!

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