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Retrospective Look – March 2011

STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto   2011 03   Divine Hourou Musuko   2011 03   Divine Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season   2011 03   Divine Tegami Bachi REVERSE   2011 03   Divine
Infinite Stratos   2011 03   Divine Yumekui Merry   2011 03   Divine To Aru Majutsu no Index II   2011 03   Divine FREEZING   2011 03   Divine
Onii chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne   2011 03   Divine Super Robot Wars OG The Inspector   2011 03   Divine LEVEL E   2011 03   Divine Kore wa Zombie Desu ka   2011 03   Divine

After further health-related delays on top of the endless wave of new spring shows, the last monthly post of the winter 2011 season is finally here. Included are mostly final impressions, along with some quick thoughts on the episodes leading up to a given series’ conclusion.

Changes for each of the writers over the course of the season are listed below.

  • Prooof picked up Madoka Magica.
  • Takaii dropped Dragon Crisis, put Yumekui Merry and Onii-chan no Koto on indefinite hold.
  • Kiiragi dropped Beelzebub, FREEZING, and Hourou Musuko.
  • Divine dropped Starry Sky.
  • Note: Once again, please be considerate of others who may be interested in picking up a series after reading about it here by placing discussion of any major spoilers in <spoiler></spoiler> tags. There will be little to no tolerance for anyone intentionally spoiling the enjoyment of others.

     

    Technical Note: Just like the season previews, the list is ordered by the date and time that the shows air. The schedule is intended to give a quick overview of all the shows that at least one writer is watching, and serves as a table of contents to jump to specific entries. In lieu of “Top” links, you can use the back button in your browser to quickly return to the schedule.

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Beelzebub
    07:00 NTV (1/9)
    Dragon Crisis!
    25:30 CTC (1/10)
    Bleach
    18:00 TX
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    25:25 MBS (1/6)
    Wolverine
    22:00 ANIMAX (1/7)
    FREEZING
    09:30 AT-X (1/8)
    STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto
    17:00 MBS/TBS (10/3)
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
    25:30 TVS (1/10)
    Rio -RainbowGate!-
    23:00 MX (1/4)
    IS Infinite Stratos
    25:25 TBS (1/6)
    To Aru Majutsu no Index II
    23:30 AT-X (10/8)
    Bakuman.
    18:00 NHK E (10/2)
    Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
    22:00 MX (10/3)
    LEVEL E
    25:45 TX (1/10)
    Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season
    24:59 NTV (1/4)
    Yumekui Merry
    25:55 TBS (1/6)
    GOSICK
    25:23 TX (1/7)
    Tegami Bachi REVERSE
    23:55 TX (10/2)
    FRACTALE
    24:45 CX (1/13)
    Onii-chan no Koto ga Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
    24:30 tvk (1/8)
    Hourou Musuko
    25:15 CX (1/13)

     

    Bleach
    Episodes 311 – 316
    Bleach   2011 03   Prooof

    Prooof: All these one-shot filler episodes follow the same formula. While some are better than others, there is little reason to watch them unless you are really bored or one of your favorite characters is featured. Even with interesting characters like Kenpachi and Yachiru, the development is nonexistent and the episode feels hollow though. The stories are fairly predictable and they don’t generate too much excitement. With the upcoming filler arc however, there’s always hope that it will impress.

    Rio -RainbowGate!-
    Episodes 09 – 13 (END)
    Rio RainbowGate   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: To its credit, Rio delivered well beyond what the one would expect from a pachinko-based anime, intertwining characters and plot twists to drive the story forward. The problem is, the story itself is a little corny at best with the dealers’ Roll Ruler ability that can control the outcome of a game (or the entire world). The existence of a Casino Guild out to benefit from Rio becoming the Most Valuable Casino Dealer (MVCD) was far-fetched, much like the series itself, but I do commend it for having a driving plot through all 13 episodes. If nothing else, I have to give it that.

    Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season
    Episodes 08 – 12 (END)
    Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season   2011 03   Divine
    Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season   2011 03   Kiiragi
    Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season   2011 03   Takaii
    Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season   2011 03   Prooof

    Divine: It’s almost highway robbery how this romance series can leave viewers content with just a confession after two seasons, but that just proves it got us buying into the characters (or grasping for straws after being teased for so long). For me, I was just happy to see the agonizing misunderstandings come to an end. Kent proved to be an interesting addition, whereas Kurumi really redeemed herself in the finale. I have newfound respect for her, which is in support the benefit of the doubt I gave her in the first season. I highly recommend the movie version for the same type of enjoyment.

    Kiiragi: Luckily, this series ended on a strong note, enough so to make me forget the poor choice of misunderstandings as a main plot device, but not enough to forgive. Only complaints I can possibly think of are incomplete character developments of the supporting cast, but as an incomplete manga adaptation, it’s only natural. The closure was nicely done with the main couple, especially with Sawako shedding genuine tears of happiness, so I can’t help but feel satisfied in the end, rage and all.

    Takaii: Was that an emotional filled rollercoaster or what? Between nearly fainting as I watched Kazehaya yell out his emotions for Sawako to wanting to destroy Joe for being the single most love-blocking character I’ve ever seen, I could not be happier with the way things turned out. As my personal life hasn’t been the greatest recently, I’m still a fan of true love overcoming just about any obstacle you can throw at it. From those jealous girls to the conniving guys who can’t take a hint – it’s all those heart ripping moments that make the ending so enjoyable.

    Prooof: I literally started crying when Sawako finally confessed properly. That is how happy I was to see them finally get together, even if they are still an incredibly awkward couple. The school festival surrounding the confession was great as well and was a satisfying end. Sawako’s really come a long way, and even if this series moves incredibly slowly, I really enjoyed the emotions and the humor. It was great seeing the development of all the characters. I would have liked to see more of Chizuru and Ryu, but everyone got some closure in the end at least. So while I have raged quite a bit throughout these two seasons due to all the misunderstandings, the conclusion was fulfilling and all in all, made Kimi ni Todoke a great romance to watch.

    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    Episodes 09 – 10
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 03   Divine
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 03   Kiiragi
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 03   Takaii
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 03   Prooof

    Divine: SHAFT will soon be known as the only studio that can get away with murder for being able to keep their viewers eagerly awaiting their next episode despite long delays. Madoka has definitely become a magical girl anime like none other, and even went a Higurashi-type route to really throw things in for a whirl. The fact that never seeing Madoka become a Mahou Shoujo is a good thing only goes on to reaffirm that. The production staff that could, did, and all that’s left is to see how this dark roller coaster ride ends. Fight Homura!

    Kiiragi: I’m not going to overhype this show more than it is already, but it is one of the better written shows I’ve seen over the past half year, with nicely executed mystery and intrigue. However, Homura’s story (I’ve had this problem a lot lately), while “cool,” is considerably less “cool” when it’s the plot device that changes the entire perspective of the show. Why? Because it’s been done before, and with such an expansive setting for any sort of innovative story twist possible, it’s a shame we get a rehash. Fingers crossed for a more original ending.

    Takaii: Boy, it’s been quite a while since I’ve seen a new episode for this show. With the show stuck in a seemingly endless loop (in reality and real life), I was dying to find out what would happen in episode 11. After discovering just how selfless Homura has been acting, I just felt like a bad person for even thinking she might be evil. Beyond that, I know that I’m interested to watch the last two episodes whenever they may come out. Sure, some of the dramatic effect of getting pelted with mind blowing revelations every week lost some steam — but it doesn’t change the fact that this is one of the most interesting shows I’ve watched in a while.

    Prooof: It makes me sad watching the characters suffering tragedy after brutal tragedy, and all the deaths are just so terrible. Homura of course is having the hardest time of all as she tries to save her friends over and over, retaining all the memories of previous failures. The retrospective aspect really links everything together as it reveals that everything that happened in the first few episodes has actually been repeated countless times with minor variations but the same tragic ending each time around Walpurgis night. It’s an endless eight type nightmare, but far more violent. Whatever happens next should be quite intriguing. I can’t wait to see it.

    IS Infinite Stratos
    Episodes 09 – 12 (END)
    Infinite Stratos   2011 03   Divine
    Infinite Stratos   2011 03   Takaii

    Divine: I can’t help but love Infinite Stratos after watching my fair share of romantic comedies, often in hopes of haremesque variations turning out just like it did. I’m not interested in a conclusive “winner”, as the character interactions and sparks of chemistry are always the true highlights. The overloaded tsundere and childhood friend cast of heroines showed that too much of a good thing can actually make it better, while the high-speed IS action was the perfect glue to bring it all together. IS started as my favorite new show of the winter season and ended as it as well.

    Takaii: I’m not sure what it was, but something compelled me to watch this show every week. It might have been the mecha aspect, the harem aspect, or Char, but something about this show’s charm really pulled me in. While the last few episodes felt a little odd in retrospect to the whole series, the open-ended conclusion didn’t feel out of place — plus the IS battle was magnificent. Unlike Divine, I personally would have liked Char or Laura to have scooped up Ichika. But in a world where childhood friends hold the closest spot in Ichika’s heart, I wasn’t too sad to watch Houki get what you could call a “victory”.

    Yumekui Merry
    Episodes 09 – 13 (END)
    Yumekui Merry   2011 03   Divine
    Yumekui Merry   2011 03   Kiiragi

    Divine: I don’t mind anime original adaptations, and I was very content with the progression that saw Mistletainn as the immediate threat, but it’s hard to ignore that how the finale needlessly dragged out the fight because the writers didn’t seem to have a good idea on how to wrap anything up. Chizuru’s friendship with Isana also heavily overshadowed Yumeji, and had it not been for his heroics at the end, I would’ve labeled him a support character. Most of the characters were fairly simple because the original story never strove to develop them, leaving much to be desired. I don’t regret watching it for Merry though.

    Kiiragi: I didn’t want beat a dead horse and do this again, but here goes. Yumekui Merry started off decent, didn’t do much until the sixth episode, seemed like it was going somewhere till the twelfth episode, then tanked like a rock on the final episode. I’m really not sure how you can screw up a simple show like this, especially when you have the manga as a basic storyboard, but lo and behold, Merry fills up that existence. I’ve really said all that needs to be said in my final impressions.

    Wolverine
    Episodes 09 – 12 (END)
    Wolverine   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: Gritty action from start to finish. Wolverine delivered in that sense, but also really only in that sense. There was almost nothing uplifting about the story once the Wolverine/Mariko, Yukio/Shingen, and Kou/Kurohagi subplots were all wrapped up. If the writers wanted to drive home the point that Marvel superheroes are constantly tested with nothing but hardships, then they did well in that regard. Mariko’s character had no dimension, the true identity of Asano’s murderer never got a chance to sink in, and Kikyou turned out to be the most appealing character, leaving me pretty indifferent about the anime as a whole.

    To Aru Majutsu no Index II
    Episodes 21 – 24 (END)
    To Aru Majutsu no Index II   2011 03   Divine
    To Aru Majutsu no Index II   2011 03   Kiiragi

    Divine: The Fuse Kazakiri arc was amazingly straightforward to the point that anime-only viewers probably would’ve benefitted from some extra exposition, whereas the subsequent Skill-Out one helped set things up for a third season. Together, they left positive final impression on this sequel, despite the less enjoyable Daihasei and Queen’s Fleet arcs. However, I still feel that Index isn’t very fun to blog due to its tendency to give the viewer the runaround, so that hampered my enjoyment of an otherwise good series. I’ll watch a continutation if one rolls around, but I’d much rather see a sequel to Railgun instead.

    Kiiragi: Apparently like most shows this season, Index II ended up a disappointment as well. While the later arcs were definitely more interesting, the rushed material was difficult to follow vanilla, and there’s no excuse for forcing me to go to a wikia to understand an episode. The director needs to stop making the show for fans of the novel, but for fans of the show. While I would watch a third season, this one has almost made me hate the series, a far cry from the first season.

    GOSICK
    Episodes 09 – 12
    GOSICK   2011 03   Divine
    GOSICK   2011 03   Kiiragi
    GOSICK   2011 03   Takaii

    Divine: The mystery behind Grevil’s hairstyle is unraveled and with it came some stinging remarks to Victorique too. Just when I was hoping the story would build on Victorique’s lack of “heart”, things switched over to the more lighthearted stuff with Kazuya though. As much as I enjoy the mystery cases, I’m holding out for the moment an overarching plot starts working towards the anime’s conclusion, be it Victorique learning about love or Brian Roscoe and Cordelia making a reappearance. After hearing creator Sakuraba Kazuki say the anime is progressing in parallel with the novels, I’m curious as to what the main storyline will be.

    Kiiragi: After what was probably one of the less impressive mystery arc of the series so far, the show ventured into more of a character focus, much to my enjoyment. Kujou and Victorique are far too intriguing to watch compared to the mysteries themselves, which isn’t exactly a good thing, but if the opening is any precursor, we’re in for a character based mystery anyways. And I’ve said it time and time again, the show needs moar Avril.

    Takaii: Did Kujo just solve a case while Victorique wasn’t physically there? I’ll admit that I was impressed with his Phoenix Wright-esque accusation skills — I never expected he’d pull a double accusation in such a spectacular fashion. But besides the ever so interesting mysteries, I was a little more interested in Grevil’s re-introduction. I’ve never really liked him, I’ve hated his hair, and I hated the way he treats Kujo and Victorique. But from the moment he addressed Kujo with his real name, I’ve been surprised with all the answers that were given. Who would have thought his ridiculous hairstyle was Victorique’s doing?

    FREEZING
    Episodes 09 – 12 (END)
    FREEZING   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: My reservations about a 12-episode adaptation doing the Korean manga justice were alleviated, as the anime took all the key parts of the first six volumes and condensed it in a reasonable manner. The storyline made sense, the character developments were believable, and the action was a treat. I would’ve liked to see the backstory on some support characters kept in its entirety, but the extra time freed up did allow for more emphasis on Kazuya’s sister that the manga only touched briefly on at this point. There’s definitely a lot more to FREEZING than fan-service. Just remember to watch it with an open mind.

    Bakuman.
    Episodes 22 – 25 (END)
    Bakuman   2011 03   Takaii

    Takaii: Pulling an amazing ninth inning, Bakuman really kicked things up a notch in the home stretch. Somehow grasping genuine emotions out of me, I’ve been looking at Bakuman with a smile every week. The story was compelling, the competition was fierce, and the characters all got some time to shine. From Koogy’s failed attempt to rig the Golden Cup competition to finally watching our duo get serialized, I was on the edge of my seat during that last episode. Like I said in my final impressions, Bakuman manages to have an interesting story with well-timed dramatic moments. By not having unrealistic scenarios and not hinting at anything, the suspenseful scenes really instill some anxiety into you.

    Tegami Bachi REVERSE
    Episodes 22 – 25 (END)
    Tegami Bachi REVERSE   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: Fifty episodes later and we finally have a semi-conclusion. This devotion to Lag’s pursuit of Reverse (i.e. Gauche) in this continuation really set it apart from the more episodic first season, covering many more aspects of the main storyline. It had everything I liked about Tegami Bachi at a much more captivating point in the story, which includes the long-awaited moment that Noir comes around. It was the next best thing to having Gauche back in the final hour against Cabernet. Overall, it’s been a dark yet innocent series that’ll I’ll miss watching on a weekly basis. Great second ending theme too.

    Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
    Episodes 09 – 12 (END)
    Onii chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne   2011 03   Divine
    Onii chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne   2011 03   Kiiragi

    Divine: Princess Leila and the “Clone” wars. A roleplaying cosplayer and her lesbian twin sister voiced by Chihara Minori and Satou Rina? What’s there not to like? Ran and Rin came out of nowhere and completely stole the spotlight from Nao, Iroha, and Mayuka, but it was so ludicrous with A.G.E. on board that I didn’t mind one bit. They took an already silly premise a step further and provided plenty of laughs, particularly when Clone locked lips with Iroha. The series closed out on an almost too tame note, but overall it was the best guilty pleasure of the season. Awesome seiyuu in unrestrained perverted roles can’t be beat.

    Kiiragi: Why was this entertaining? Because watching several girls manipulate one guy with rather refreshingly different motives, and upping the ante of ridiculous situations to best the other, is just fun. It’s too bad the fun kind of stopped three episodes before the finale, due to a duller twin arc, and an anticlimactic last episode. Could’ve done without the obvious “BUY THE BLURAYS” censoring though.

    Beelzebub
    Episodes 09 – 12
    Beelzebub   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: After seeing the Oga/Aoi part I was hoping to, my interest in Beelzebub has admittedly waned. The progression has shifted to a more episodic format with a few overaching themes, as Oga desperately tries to pass off Beel to someone else but always fails to. As a long-running shounen series, there’s little indication that will change anytime soon, so I’m in a “wait and see” mode about dropping it altogether. I never planned to follow it indefinitely, so I’ll probably do so when the jokes feel recycled and Aoi appears less frequently. I do like the new opening theme by ON/OFF though, and the new ending sequence has its “perks” too.

    STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto
    Episodes 22 – 25 (END)
    STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto   2011 03   Divine
    STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto   2011 03   Kiiragi
    STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto   2011 03   Takaii

    Divine: It’s arguable whether director Igarashi Takuya and writer Enokido Youji revolutionalized anything with their “high school robot anime”, but the memes that spread over the past six months suggest they did something right. The story really took off in the latter half, turning STAR DRIVER into the show I was looking forward to most every week (and was always on top of covering). I loved the way it kept me guessing about Sugata’s true intention, which left a lasting impression when it was revealed in the finale. I didn’t mind the abrupt ending, though I agree a mini epilogue during the credits scroll wouldn’t have hurt. In terms of sheer entertainment value, there was a bit of everything. Well done BONES.

    Kiiragi: I watched till the end to see if Star Driver would redeem itself. Didn’t happen. It interested me at some points throughout, but it just continued on bullshitting its way to the finale with nonsensical plot movement. It even mocked TTGL and then had the gall to copy everything the finale had! Perhaps relative to the first half, the second half might have switched it up, but it was just more of the same nonsensical writing, so what difference does it make? NOTHING in this show was properly explained with a solid foundation, making the crackpot rushed finale nothing but a joke. Never again BONES.

    Takaii: WOW. I honestly didn’t think Wako would pick who she did in the end, but it seems my predictions are never correct. The last episode was such a great ending to such a fun show. Sure, it felt like things were a little rushed but boy was it fun watching things come to a climactic finish. Watching most of Kiraboshi flying out and helping Takuto was enough for me, but the battle between Samekh and Tauburn was ridiculous. Starting with Takuto’s last-ditch effort to save Sugata, the entire battle right up to the last second was full of adrenaline. The only question that I had was whether Takuto and Sugata were stuck in space forever.

    Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
    Episodes 22 – 26 (END)
    Super Robot Wars OG The Inspector   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: Good things come to those who wait, and for SRWOG that means real men riding one another IN SPACE. (Obligatory video below.) Dygenguar and Aussenseitter’s combination attack set the tone in the epic finale, which was nothing less than SRW orgasmic overload with everyone spamming their strongest attacks to save Earth. Production quality took a turn for the better, plus an anime original twist at the end helped emphasize the Kyousuke/Axel rivalry that the series kicked off with. The huge cast and all the subplots may be daunting to a new viewer, but SRW fans should be fairly happy with this adaptation. I know I am.

    Show Real Men Riding One Another ▼

    Dragon Crisis!
    Episodes 09 – 12 (END)
    Dragon Crisis   2011 03   Divine

    Divine: Studio DEEN’s productions this past season really changed my opinion of them and has me looking forward to their future work. In Dragon Crisis’ case, the often-used beautiful girl falling into our male lead’s lap bit probably worked against its dragon and relic premise, but it wasn’t as generic as it sounds. The character developments worked surprisingly well in a more lighthearted context, and Rose never came off overly clingly like I thought she would. Episode nine was an unexpected treat with its creepy spin, whereas the finale was a bit cheesy yet much more satisfying than Yumekui Merry. A decent little series.

    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
    Episodes 09 – 12 (END)
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka   2011 03   Divine
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka   2011 03   Kiiragi
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka   2011 03   Takaii

    Divine: Studio DEEN’s other production was a beast of its own, delivering the laughs, battles, shocking revelations, and unexpected twists just like the producers promised. The mash-up of genres came together well, and almost convinced me that seeing Ayumu as a Masou Shoujo is cool. The changeover to a more serious air with Yuu and Yoruno led to a touching conclusion, and proved that an anime can be “randomly coherent”. I don’t even know how someone comes up with a story like this and makes it work, but that’s our unorthodox zombie anime for us. I would’ve liked to see more of Tomonori, but when she did show up it was a “blast”.

    Kiiragi: While a final episode dedicated to randomness wasn’t expected, I didn’t really mind considering the main story ended so well. This series just became absolutely ridiculous near the end, and I loved every second of it. It did kind of feel like the show was trying too hard to bring epic large-scale battles towards the end, but again, loved every second of it. Whatever genre it ventured into, whatever the hell it wanted to do, it worked for me. Season two is a must.

    Takaii: With such an interesting finale followed with an even more spectacular final episode, Zombie will probably go down in my books as one of the funniest shows I’ve watched in a while. Even with all the problems with the plot, I still think that the finale left a great impression on me. Besides watching Ayumu literally beat the brains out of someone, hearing Yuu finally speak was the highlight of the season. But the final episode has to be one of the best attempts at fan-service that I’ve ever seen. Swimsuits, lewd pantsu, concerts, and even a hint at a possible second season; everything that would have ruined my impression of the show somehow made the perfect ending. Now, if only Yuu could get more opportunities to take off her armor…

    LEVEL E
    Episodes 09 – 13 (END)
    LEVEL E   2011 03   Divine
    LEVEL E   2011 03   Kiiragi

    Divine: As much as I enjoyed Nakagawa Shouko’s addition to the show as Princess Luna, the comedy was at its best again thanks to Yukitaka and Miho’s return. I’ve been looking forward to the last two episodes since the official site kept alluding to them, and they sure delivered by tying the story in with the very first episode and blowing the existence of aliens on Earth wide open. I had a nagging suspicion that the only way to Ouji’s heart is pulling a prank that can impress him, but they sure kept things interesting when he tried to get out of marrying Luna. If you want a sci-fi comedy unlike any other, LEVEL E’s the way to go.

    Kiiragi: It’s a shame that the show never lived up to the greatness that was the first arc, a massive trollfest of epic proportions leaving me in stitches. The following semi-disjointed stories were a little less funny at times, a little less involving at other times, and some were almost completely “pointless.” I’d say 60% was funny after episode 3, but you know what? The final arc was absolutely glorious, as the troll met his troll, and lived happily ever after. Unexpected finale, underrated series, generally hilarious, some unique ideas, but didn’t quite get there for an amazing show.

    FRACTALE
    Episodes 07 – 11 (END)
    FRACTALE   2011 03   Divine
    FRACTALE   2011 03   Kiiragi
    FRACTALE   2011 03   Takaii

    Divine: “Untapped potential” probably best describes FRACTALE for falling short of the expected masterpiece, as a lot of story elements never culminated to something bigger. It’s a shame because episodes seven and eight worked well in depicting the darker side of the Fractale System. The conclusion simply didn’t take those revelations to a world-changing level, focusing on Phryne and Nessa instead. That in turn provided the extra emphasis on character interactions like we were promised, but narrowed the scope of the story and left a lot of the vast fantasy world unexplored. The real disappointment from this otherwise good series is that it had the makings of a great series.

    Kiiragi: I wasn’t too intrigued at the sense that the whole story banked on Phryne’s child abuse (sexual implications too, a bit tasteless). Overall, Yamakan failed to deliver so hard, and his hailed words of “anti-moe” are nothing less than hypocritical. The series certainly could have used an additional 12 episodes, but I wasn’t entirely amazed with Yamakan’s directing skills either. The story itself wasn’t at all what I wanted, with a bigger focus on “war” than “adventure and discovery,” so I don’t think I’d change my mind if someone else directed it.

    Takaii: With an ungratifying ending that closes absolutely no doors, I was disappointed to say the least. The FRACTALE system was an interesting attempt to portray the problems that come with a utopia, except the show tried describing how bad a Utopia could be in all the wrong ways. The whole aspect of slaying Phyrnes that can’t become the key to the world put a bad taste in my mouth, but watching Lost Millennium go on a full automatic barrage against FRACTALE didn’t help either. The only positive thing I caught was when Enri’s grandfather explained that Lost Millennium wasn’t started to destroy FRACTALE, but to help civilization remember just exactly where they come from.

    Hourou Musuko
    Episodes 07 – 11 (END)
    Hourou Musuko   2011 03   Divine
    Hourou Musuko   2011 03   Takaii
    Hourou Musuko   2011 03   Prooof

    Divine: Not a whole lot changed in eleven short episodes, but Hourou Musuko always had a charm to its gender reversal-rooted story. Shuuichi’s relationship with Anna was one of my favorite aspects, as it was more painfully realistic than seeing him wind up with Yoshino or Saori. In comparison, I can’t say I cared much for Shinpei, but he did have a profound impact on Shuuichi’s acceptance of himself. The series’ focus on the subtle changes in all the characters made it easier to relate, and their maturity was unbelievably refreshing. I can see why it’s been criticized for its emotional realism, but given the delicate subject matter, I applaud the show for handling it so well. It’s truly an anime that strays from the norm.

    Takaii: The more I watch this show, the more I notice how girls can dress up like guys and be complimented but if a guy even attempts something remotely close, they will usually end up on the receiving end of harsh ridicule. While my opinion on the whole aspect of being transgender is fairly neutral, I’ll bet that life for one is probably no walk in the park. The one thing I loved the most was watching Nitori keep on pushing through even after he became an outcast at school. I was blown away when he was able to woo Anna off her feet (again) and I loved how he managed to come back to class on his own accord (with a little help from some friends, but still). If I were to describe Hourou in a few words, I’d say it’s close to a slice of life, but with a nice twist on the topics being covered.

    Prooof: I actually got into this series initially because of the unusual premise and unique art style, then got hooked. The development is subtle but satisfying, the story is realistic, and the characters are multifaceted. I really liked the cast and the various relationships and interactions are the highlight of the series, especially Anna/Nitori and Takashima/Saori. The characters are quite mature for their age, but this is reasonable given the difficulty of the issues they are facing. Unfortunately these issues also turn off a lot of potential viewers and this fact perhaps underscores the general views of human society. Regardless of one’s views, this slice of life and drama series is definitely worth checking out.

    April 16, 2011 at 1:10 am
    101 comments »
    • April 16, 2011 at 1:36 amAbout Star Driver

      The comments on Star Driver left me thinking, there’ll always be two types of audiance: one who accepts the premise that a story can, and sometimes should, leave smaller details for your own imagination; while the other is one who wants everything explained on a silver platter. Of course, neither group is inherently right or superior. It is simply an observation I’ve gotten after reading a lot of comments.

      The same thing happened in other series, notably Code Geass. There are people who accepted the fact that knowing C2′s real name wouldn’t have changed anything; but there are also people who voiced out their displeasure over the trivial issue.

      • April 16, 2011 at 1:48 amDivine

        I agree, but in Kiiragi’s case, I think his negative impression of STAR DRIVER stems from not caring enough to to pick up on the subtle developments. Just maybe. :)

        • April 16, 2011 at 1:56 amKiiragi

          It’s true, through half-assery and rushing, it ended up as a poorly explained opinion, but I still stand firm on the fact that Star Driver was poorly written. I’ve read enough reviews on the show to know that what I felt, no matter the increment of effort I put into defending those thoughts, was not without complete reason.

        • April 16, 2011 at 2:16 pmTake-up

          I agree with Kiiragi over here
          I’ve followed Star Driver diligently every week hoping it’ll surprise me somehow, but I must say, it definitely fell short of expectations by a large mile
          I thought the writing was lazy and yes, while I agree that it has made a turn for the better during the second half with the so-called “subtle character developments”, nothing that interesting ever really happened to justify the hype outside the Mizuno/Marino arc.
          It felt like the writers created too many characters in the first place and spent too much time trying to milk them until they realised there’s wasn’t enough time to property end the whole story.

        • April 16, 2011 at 9:59 pmkureejii

          I agree that the plot was really diluted, but I think there were enough good points to make Star Driver and entertaining show.

        • April 17, 2011 at 2:33 amArabesque

          It’s true, through half-assery and rushing, it ended up as a poorly explained opinion
          How very ironic :P
          I didn’t mind so much that
          It even mocked TTGL and then had the gall to copy everything the finale had!
          How, exactly, did Star Driver mock TTGL? For starter, the staff working on it are Super robot lovers, and since TTGL is not only a tribute, but also a major fanwank to every super robot show, why would they mock it, and even specifically?

          And copy what exactly? The crazy over the top action? The final battle setting in space? Everything? That’s quite the sweeping statement. Does that mean any Super robot to come after TTGL is nothing but a shameless copy if it had a finale where you have insane animation style with a space battle? What about shows like Diebusters or Eureka Seven, did TTGL ”copy everything” from them too?

          If we follow that logic, then the Super robot anime is more or less doomed. There is no longer any point in having anymore because, hey, we have TTGL. Nothing can outdo that so anything after it nothing more than a rip-off.

          I get what you are tying to say, that you didn’t like star driver because of its nonsensical writing, not resolving things properly etc. and thats fine, I mean I liked the show but I can see its shortcomings, and I do agree with a lot of the criticism it had. But please, please, please don’t write baseless accusations like ”this show mocks X recent show” or sweeping generalizations like ”it copies everything X recent show had done”.

        • April 17, 2011 at 4:34 amKiiragi

          Your assumptions of sweeping generalizations are only natural, but while I do have a multitude of reasons for that statement, it was also meant as a slight joke. Regardless, it’s a shoddily defended opinion, I can see that, I should have taken the effort to fix it, but damned if I don’t slip up once in a while. Anyway, apologies.

      • April 16, 2011 at 1:50 amAntonius

        I guess I’m both types of people in regards to the Code Geass comment – I reckon learning C.C.’s name wouldn’t change much either, but I would’ve liked to know it out of curiosity. It was a shame that the producers didn’t tell us, because they didn’t give her much of an ending :(

        • April 16, 2011 at 2:15 amkeiOnDaisuki

          i think C.C. would stand for chu chullain.

        • April 16, 2011 at 3:09 amGhostalker

          Well the ending leaves a lot of possibility including a possible sequel (which I hope they do not). I’d rather have C.C. name not revealed, it adds a lot of mystery to her character, revealing anything more than what is revealed about her would kill completely the very thing that makes Code Geass and C.C.’s character that enjoyable.

      • April 16, 2011 at 2:20 amkoja

        I agreed on 2 things on this review: 1 from Kiiragi: it’s a crackpot rushed finale, and 2 from Takaii: the battle between Samekh and Tauburn was ridiculous. But on the flip side, what Divine said: In terms of sheer entertainment value, there was a bit of everything.

      • April 16, 2011 at 2:43 amGhostalker

        Over explanation is the reason why I have issues with almost all the shounen shows I have watched before, too much I stop watching them.

        • April 16, 2011 at 2:54 amGhostalker

          As for Star Driver, honestly I was so lost on the series I was almost ready to give it up halfway, but seeing how it somehow redeem itself in Mizuno arc I gave the series a second chance and a re-watched of the first few episode since it is clear I am missing a lot. Somehow my overall impression improve a lot especially the last couple of episodes where it completely redeem itself. I have a little issue with the ending though, just like how it was like 90% of all the other anime series finale that I watched packed too much in its final episode, I was hoping for some kind of short epilogue so that at least we have a general idea of what happened to the characters after the conclusion, but there wasn’t.

      • April 16, 2011 at 7:17 amAthos

        I think it’s common knowledge that once a series stops taking itself seriously, it can get away with a lot of things and yet people will be able to enjoy it by focusing on other things. I know Star Driver wasn’t TTGL-level in terms of flamboyance, but come on– Bondage wear as costumes? paper-thin secret identities? fuggin Galactic Pretty Boy? Cat-girl ninja meidos (on of which has bunny ears)?

        Rather than trying to prove Kiiragi wrong here, mainly because I think it’s pointless at this point, I just want illustrate the fact that the reason why everybody and their brother is downright EXPECTING an epilogue after the ending is because we weren’t watching this show to know how it ends. This is just my personal opinion, but putting the stupid setting aside, I acknowledged 80% of the main cast as interesting and well-written, and I would’ve rather found out how everyone else fared instead of knowing if Takuto and Sugata made it out alive after Samekh exploded. Because we know. They’re alive– th-they told us beforehand that noone’s gonna di– do you see where I’m going with this??

      • April 16, 2011 at 9:32 amClick

        I don’t know. I kind of agree with Kiiragi on his Star Driver analysis. The main characters were incredibly flat and uninspired and much of the story was poorly explained. It’s kind of like, there was so many things going on, you didn’t know that it was the SAME THING, EVERY EPISODE. The ending was glorious, but there was no real closure on the TakutoxWakoxSugata relationship. However, the fight scenes were awesome (despite knowing how they’re going to go down everytime) and Zero Time moving through a phase was probably the most insanely well animated scene I’ve ever seen. While there’s a lot done wrong in the show, the things done right were done very well.

    • April 16, 2011 at 1:39 amkeiOnDaisuki

      HOMURA!!!! T__T live for me!!

    • April 16, 2011 at 1:46 amAntonius

      I was looking forward to this post, and the wait was worth it – very nice.
      I’m gonna miss IS (i.e. Charlotte) and Zombies the most.
      One of the best quotes I’ll never forget:
      “That’s not a kick.” HAHAHAHAHAHAH

      I’m really hoping that they have a sequel for both of these shows.
      I may even consider picking up STAR DRIVER somewhere down the track.

    • April 16, 2011 at 2:00 amamado

      the redeeming thing for me in IS is that houki ended with ichika, well not completely but you get the picture. just that im still irritated on ichika.

      yumekui merry could have made a decent anime ending but they didnt. john doe was the character who kept me interested and he didnt even show up at the last ep.

      star driver was satisfying. it ended nicely even if it wasnt really able to be as epic as it could be.

      kore wa zombie ka desu was pretty much random and funny so I didnt get disappointed or annoyed at how it lacked in plot. haruna is my fave girl in there, was the sun in an otherwise moody characters.

      railgun > index for me. railgun S2 must come first.

      well good thing madoka magica is coming back next week. I hope….

      ….cant this week go any faster?

    • April 16, 2011 at 2:25 amZwei

      nicely done. ^^

    • April 16, 2011 at 2:39 amLOL

      i have been waiting for this for so long and wow the IS poll is so imbalanced lol (btw i voted for cecilia cuz i actually found her really attractive when ichika was feeding her sushi)dunno y

    • April 16, 2011 at 2:51 amLectro Volpi

      Today I finished Dragon Crisis! Turned out pretty well. I am not picky when it comes to endings.

      Freezing… oh, I am like 15 episodes behind.

      Index was decent IMO. I never got into Railgun due to the lack of super forces or super threats involved (Roman Church, Accelerator, World War, etc.)

      Infinite Stratos was better than I originally expected (I was not going to watch it)

      Oh! there is a pool for that… let me see… *Votes for Cecilia*… and the results:

      FFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!! I’ll blame bad taste again (like in the Amagami poll)

    • April 16, 2011 at 2:56 amskylaris

      Zombie was amazing, Level E was great, and Gosick is good/okayish. I’m still waiting for Madoka and yes divine you’re right. (Railgun >>>>>> index)

      Ahh, that pretty up sums up the winter season.

    • April 16, 2011 at 3:05 amKyzel

      I feel slightly bad that I probably only kept up with… 3 or 4 shows that season. Mainly IS, for Char. Didn’t pick up Madoka till much recently (NEED EP 11+12!). I liked Zombie ep 12 for the fan service (Ayumu’s wish). Index II should have just kept it’s strong suit and went the ecchi route too. :x (Not enough Kaori screen time!) Thanks for blogging still, I like the quick summaries/impressions; enough to make me play catch up with most.

    • April 16, 2011 at 3:11 amewok40k

      overall great season, with loads of shows I loved or at least liked…
      Madoka , Zombie were my top tier!
      Second tier were IS, Dragon Crisis, Freezing, Inex II, Onichaa no koto
      only ones that did disappoint me after good start were Merry and Fractale…

      • April 16, 2011 at 6:16 amKarmafan

        ou mirored my choices exactly. Zombie and Madoka were the 2 top series of the season, followed by the others which also included Gosick and Wolverine, and the big disapointments were Merry and Fractale. Dragon Crisis got like no love at all from blogs almost like it didn’t air and yet it was a decent series. A fun ride about a world where dragons and humans co-exist.

        This season has some good series as well with Hanasaku Iroha the clearly front runner followed by Nichijou, Channel A, and a few more. Haven’t seen Exorcist yet but am looking forward to it.

        • April 16, 2011 at 9:20 amewok40k

          great minds do think alike…
          Ano Hi Mita Hana looks as great as Hanasaku Iroha with dramatic story…
          Aria the scarlet ammo is great for light adventure/romantic comedy mix (think IS with armed dtectives)
          Steins gate and C: money… are for those who like more of a mystery/young adults problems crossover
          One hidden gem I’ve found is Battle Girls – Time Paradox, seeing all-female alternative universe of sengoku era is hilarious…

        • April 16, 2011 at 11:31 amKarmafan

          I watch that too. Its very much like Kohime Mousu (sp) which I also like. Steins Gate and C:Money havent shown us much yet except alot of strangeness. Those the kind of series that have to develop some before ya can tell if they are gonna be good or bad but both look promising. I also like Ano Hi Mita Hana too. Thats the one with 6 kids and 1 of them is a ghost?

        • April 16, 2011 at 5:26 pmewok40k

          yes, poor Menma cantg even interact with the rest of the cast save 1 (un)lucky guy who gets all the weird looks due to talking to her…

    • April 16, 2011 at 3:22 amanishuma

      This season had a good amount of watchable shows for me, but this new season feels like overkill.I’ll never be able to say I have nothing to watch.

      • April 16, 2011 at 5:00 amGhostalker

        I think the number of good series is directly proportional to the total number of series to broadcast this spring 2011. So yeah if Winter has like 10-12 of those, I expect at least 20-25 series that is in good quality for my taste. That’s way too many in my opinion, more so because I don’t think I’m even capable of watching half of those in a weekly basis. In the future maybe.

    • April 16, 2011 at 3:47 amSerapita

      In my opinion, last seasons were filled good shows but have disappointing last episode that they could do without. Zombie’s last episode was just a filler. Index’s should just ended it after Kazakiri Arc. Madoka was delayed. Oniichan was weird with that twins arc, to name a few.

      But they were enjoyable to watch so I won’t complain much. ;x

      This new season looks really promising, I find myself watching almost all of it (Thursday alone have 6 shows) and they’re all enjoyable. Especially the ones that I don’t think I’ll watch at first like Denpa Onna and C: the money of soul and possibility control. The first episode of both shows are very interesting that I hope they won’t plummet as the series go on.

      • April 16, 2011 at 4:54 amGhostalker

        I have a hard time finishing Dragon Crisis, even harder now that I’m trying to watch as many first episodes I could ever watch in order to pick up what shows I’ll follow in a weekly basis, that aside, I believe Winter lineup was a fair number of good shows despite the fact that it has only about 20-25 series. Only waiting patiently for ep11 and 12 of Madoka now.

    • April 16, 2011 at 5:39 amsenor_KLAC

      only good of those were rio rainbow gate, Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!, & freezing.

      now looking forward to those get dub.

      give already funi got freezing to dub on next year.

    • April 16, 2011 at 5:41 ambriex

      I knew it!! Kiiragi…that you’d choose Yui’s pic for Merry’s impression XDD

      • April 16, 2011 at 5:50 amKiiragi

        ……:D

      • April 16, 2011 at 6:01 amSerapita

        Way to ruin a good character, JC… giving her that stupid air trumpet =/

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:14 amGuardian

      Zombie ep 1 turned me off so irrevocably I never gave the show another shot, and I probably never will. I hated the first 15 minutes so thoroughly it’d be pure masochism to view the rest. I’m sure there’ll be lot of unfunny comedies based off the same endlessly recycled gag (hapless male lead gets his ass kicked by hot babes every week, it’s funny, haha!) to avoid in coming seasons, since it’s one of the few ‘jokes’ anime ever seems to use. Please Goddess, no season 2.

      On the other hand, Super Robot Wars and FREEZING had great conclusions this month. FREEZING in particular impressed me, giving a much better story and action than its fanservicey precursors Queens Blade and SnQ. It definitely wasn’t just about the boobs, not that that didn’t help :)

      I’d like to go back and try to see Dragon Crisis to completion, and watch the rest of Madoka Magica. I also dropped Star Driver in outright confusion during the first arc, and I’m glad to hear that they finally decided to let the audience in on what was going on with all the pretty visuals and singing mermaids. GOSICK was a late-season pickup that I’ve really enjoyed, but I need to watch the rest of this season. A lot of stuff to file for later watching, but this season’s already swamped me in interesting new shows O_o

      • April 16, 2011 at 3:12 pmSuppa Tenko

        But… Ayumu isn’t constantly abused by the females in the series. He’s one of those manly protagonists who can make a chainsaw massacre against a little girl seem heartwarming.

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:15 amSleepyOtaku

      Looking forward for Madoka to wrap up! Can’t wait for the special 1 hour screening for the last 2 episodes

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:24 amBossun

      Ah, I see what you mean about Wolverine. That’s the problem with making a story that’s completely self-contained so as not to effect any continuity errors. You can’t really have a story that changes the characters much

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:29 amZaku Fan

      Purely my opinion on those i watched

      Beelzebub – Parts of it are funny but really nothing special. The 2 female leads tend to be the real attention grabbers

      Dragon Crisis! – Finished up to episode 2 and become totally unmotivated to finish it. Even more unmotivated than by Rio

      Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – Game changer of the season. Music, Plot/Pacing, Animation and VA all came together in very high levels of quality

      FREEZING – Not bad at all. Kazuya really sucked for a main male character, but considering the manga, i guess that was to be expected.

      Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – Great up til the unveiling of the female foe. Lost direction from then on and became average

      Rio -RainbowGate! – Finished up to episode 7 or so. Mostly facepalming stuff with the contests being really stupid. Its time slot helped it immensely as there was nothing else to watch that day. Initial expectations of Saki ep 19 style gambling was unfortuately off target

      IS Infinite Stratos – Stalled on the last 2 eps. Very average. Nothing got the blood going, mecha design had very obvious engineering flaws. Main lead was poor, especially when he kept using his mecha power up as his crutch. Harem candidates not too interesting.

      To Aru Majutsu no Index II – Accelerator actually became much more interesting as a male lead of sorts. Parts of it are interesting, eg poking their ear drums.

      LEVEL E – 2nd best in the season, IMO. Very good start, Above average in the middle and excellent ending

      Yumekui Merry – Plodded along, having Merry eat doughnuts revitalised my interest but nothing else from there really clicked. The part where your strength of determination means your strength in the dream world should have been worked on and expanded much earlier and the final episode would not seem so rushed

      GOSICK – Victorique is the winner here. Her house is also fascinating. Mystery wise, the only 2 interesting solutions to me were when the wallpaper was torn in the first arc and the handprint on the window. Can’t fault Kujo too much, he tries but he keeps getting beat down by enemies bigger than him. His continued determination is a definite plus point

      FRACTALE – A mess. Could have been a good audience blanker ala Madoka if they built on the LM violence in ep 3. A lot never got explained or was explained in ways only the dedicated watcher could get (eg why Clain’s father was not in system range but his doppler worked was actually explained if you hit the pause button). The build up of Phyrne’s “father” as a hate figure worked somewhat with the rape shortcut but did not really get the rage going. They needed to start working on manipulating audience emotions much earlier

      • April 17, 2011 at 1:48 amZaku Fan

        Oh and fans of Beelzebub could take a look at Sket Dance. Nothing to do with dancing.

        Of the current shows that doesn’t seem like many watch, Tiger and Bunny is surprisingly interesting as well

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:34 amJon

      I think Dragon Crisis has the worse ending…..
      rose is better being her childish self rather than some turn of events that made rose “Oh, im an adult now. Now I can blush around”..
      And that big pink heart of destruction is the most idiotic thing to do on a non magical-girl anime..meh
      and on final minutes the character just popped around and want to make a harem like ending when main character already decide who he wants…..very very very very very STUPID!!!

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:38 amDCLXVI

      I stopped watching Bakuman at around episode 12 because I thought I was patient enough to stand watching the same things I read in the manga. From the blog posts, I see that it ended with Trap getting serialized, but is that where it ends? I realize that there do exist anime that are released to promote their respective mangas(one prominent example being Ichigo 100%), so is Bakuman like that? I would definitely like to see a continuation to it if I was an anime-only viewer.

      As for STAR DRIVER, the ending did indeed feel kind of rushed. I was on the 24th episode when I was thinking “how the hell are they gonna finish this story in one episode?” which led me to think that there would be a second season. But alas, Takuto suddenly jumps into space after Sugata’s revelation and the rushed ending takes over from there. It would have made a really great impression on me if that hadn’t happened, because it would have been Fukuyama’s second (for me at least) portrayal of a tragic hero. The final arc was gold, though, just not *pure* gold.

      Index was fine for me, it’s got me looking forward to the third season when they get their war on. I’d like to see some transformation in the story, some more action, and a clear definition of sides in their coming “war”. While I’m not expecting a “Code-E/Mission-E”-esque transformation, it would be nice for the cast to get into a serious battle mode once in a while.

      • April 16, 2011 at 6:48 amAiron

        Good News! Coming this Fall is Bakuman the second season. We get to see what new challenges await our duo as they experience what it’s like to finally have a manga serialized Shounen Jack!

        • April 16, 2011 at 11:39 amKarmafan

          I liked Bakuman. Most people here probably liked it as well because it gave all kinds of insight and inside jokes to how manga and anime are created. If you were a casual manga/anime fan then you probably found it pretty boring as week after week the duo got psyched up to make their dreams come true only to be sent back to start over again. Like take 2 steps forward and 1 step back.

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:38 amHenDarou

      I guess I’ll have to settle with 4 favorites: Bakuman., Star Driver, Kore ha Zombie Desu ka? and Horou Musuko. Those are pretty closely followed by Level E. Due to the ending and the rather poorly animated fight scenes — aside from the first one — Yumekui Merry is sadly the seasons big disappointment for me.

      When I saw the Star Driver image at the top I instantly began humming “Dazzling”. I guess Star Driver wins over the three others, for me, as it ended up as the one I remember the most. I don’t mind the fact that much was left unexplained, as it simply was a very exaggerated series. To me, it felt like it didn’t need much explanation.

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:48 amcshin9

      My favorite series were IS, Star Driver, Gosick, Level E, and Kore wa Zombie desu ka? in that order.

      • April 16, 2011 at 11:45 amdxb_blackwolf

        For me it’s Level E, Madoka, Index, IS, Kore wa Zombie, Fractale, Bakuman, Dragon Crisis, Yumekui Merry.

        I liked all the shows I watched this season except for Yumekui Merry and the mid episodes of Dragon Crisis. Kore wa Zombie wouldve been first if it kept on being awesome like the first episodes.

        I even think that Yumekui Merry was done badly on purpose >_> When there’s a bad anime like that, I almost feel happy because I feel like I appreciate the good anime more xD

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:50 amYukiruchan

      KITA!!Arigatou!!

    • April 16, 2011 at 7:04 amboznia

      Of the shows I watched:
      Hourou Musuko – Loved it. As Divine said, the characters can act mature for their age, but the story is just too good. So glad the manga is coming out in the US.
      Gosick – I watch more for the characters than the mystery, but I like the whole setting and atmosphere of the show. It’s fun to watch.
      Level E – First 4 and last 2 episodes were wonderful, the other 7 were average. Overall a good show, but I expected a bit more after how it started.
      Beelzebub – Fair enough adaptation of the manga. Doubt the story after the Toujou fight will get animated though, which is a shame, because the series gets better afterwards IMO.
      Fractale – As had been said, lots of potential for a grander story that was ignored. Enjoyed a few eps (like the virtual city) but an average show that could have been more.

    • April 16, 2011 at 7:46 amHagiri

      Reading the posts here makes me want to give the shows I’ve mixed feelings -bakuman, star driver, kore wa zombie, dragon crisi- with another go and watch them till the end.

      They ended at the princess arc for Level E, though in the manga there is 1 more story after that. an OVA in the future perhaps.

      Thanks for the Retrospective Look !!!

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:12 amHiei

      Level E – almost the best if it weren’t for the middle part

      • April 16, 2011 at 9:14 amZwei

        i totally agree with this ^^

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:21 am1Lau

      After reading the reviews I’m glad I’ve followed the shows that were positive and not the ones that was disappointing in the end. I wished Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season had the same long run as the first season.

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:25 amjingoi

      I haven’t even started the first Tegami Bachi yet, going to watch Star Driver and Gosick later, haven’t finished Freezing and Infinite Stratos yet (probably wait 2 more weeks to watch IS ep 11-12, Freezing ep 8-12) for I don’t like the endings. I dropped Dragon Crisis instantly. I finished KoreZom and Index II, expecting tons of fanservice I dropped Rio after ep 5, waiting for uncensored OniiKoto eps, just started watching Bleach’s new filler arc and still watching Adult Swim broadcast. Going to watch select eps of Yumekui Merry.

      • April 16, 2011 at 11:41 amKarmafan

        Don’t bypass Tegami Bachi Letter Bee. It is a great series and I really enjoyed it. Lots of plot holes and unfinished threads (season 3 maybe) but overall very good series.

        • April 16, 2011 at 1:02 pmCharles (^.^)

          i hope season 3 but i doubt it

          also i would like to point out for Letter Bee being such a good series not that many people commented on it but doesnt mean it wasnt watched oh well it was my favorite of last season also Madoka X3

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:51 amDisemvoweled troll: megaman

      s krg mntlly rtrdd? sm f hs cmmnts crtnly mk m thnk h s

      • April 16, 2011 at 9:34 amClick

        lolno.

      • April 16, 2011 at 11:42 amKarmafan

        Posting a comment like the one you did makes me thing someone else is retarded as well. Or at least ignorant.

      • April 16, 2011 at 4:12 pmbaconnaise

        I don’t think he’s ignorant, but he could have at least explained his position instead of resorting to petty name calling. He probably would have people who agree with him, rather than just being called out and then disvoweled.

    • April 16, 2011 at 9:34 ampaulrenzo

      I think I’ve watched all the mecha anime last season: Star Driver, Super Robot Wars, Infinite Stratos, and heck let’s add Break Blade and Gundam Unicorn in there. Anything else I missed?

      Anyway, I loved all the shows I watched last season. SRWOG was a nostalgia trip. Level E was a pleasant surprise. Zombie was fun to watch. Star Driver’s fun to watch if you’re coming at it from a 70′s super robot show mindset. Infinite Stratos…loved the character interactions; plus it was fun loving a character everyone hates.

    • April 16, 2011 at 9:35 amstarss

      Divine dropped Starry Sky?

      Wait. We were reviewing it before?!

      • April 16, 2011 at 11:33 amProoof

        Just because it’s not blogged doesn’t mean it’s not watched

    • April 16, 2011 at 12:22 pmUnyty

      The animes i have found bad like infinite stratos, kore wa zombie, got some good reviews. Well, everyone has different taste right.
      Good job withe the post guys.

    • April 16, 2011 at 2:48 pmLordHuggington

      I still have to make time to go back and watch Star Driver. I managed to watch most of the other series that I was interested in though. Madoka and Wandering Son were probably my favorites, while Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka and IS were guilty pleasures.

    • April 16, 2011 at 3:17 pmSuppa Tenko

      Super Robot Wars was teh best! Even though it can’t really compare in character development and plot like Madoka and Zombie, but it was the highest watch priority for me… Must be because of the Variable Formation and all of those SRX shenanigans :3 Still kinda disappointed at the Variable formation though…

    • April 16, 2011 at 3:42 pmKevin

      I liked Bakuman, Infinite Stratos, GoSick, and Rio. It seems it was a good decision to drop Fractale at episode 3. However, I have hopes for the spring season; I’m already up to my knees with 13 different animes (including Gosick). o_o never watched more than 7 a season.

    • April 16, 2011 at 4:26 pmZen

      Completely agree with Kiiragi about Index. Complemented with the novel the series is great; it puts to life the characters and stories its novel fan-base have grown to love.

      But by itself the series is mediocre, and requires a lot of Wikia to piece together. Hopefully next season they take it slower and not introduce a bazillion characters or try to follow 5 plots in one arc.

      • April 16, 2011 at 9:43 pmKarmafan

        Don’t forget that last episode was dreadful (for a seaon finale).

    • April 16, 2011 at 4:29 pminnerchihiro

      It’s great to hear all of the writer’s opinions! Thanks for your writing!!

    • April 16, 2011 at 5:03 pmNhelraios

      Kimi ni Todoke and Hourou Musuko were my favorites. So happy to see positive feedbacks from this shows.

    • April 16, 2011 at 5:37 pmShirt

      I think it was an overall great season. I had a good share action, drama, and comedy and I am satisfied.

      Rio was something that I wasn’t expecting to be good but thanks to the monthly Retrospective Look, I got into it and enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Thanks a lot guys. :D

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:06 pmAnonymous

      After such a long delay, the last episodes of Madoka better be fucking amazing.

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:13 pmSirHellsing420

      Personally speaking, I thought Madoka Magica was too overhyped. And for the record, yes I did watch past episode three. The show never once grabbed my attention for long, and for that I’m disappointed in it.

      I think Gosick is an underrated series, but to each his own.

      Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? was an awesome anime to watch. I never thought I’d be looking forward to a series about a boy zombie who’s also a magical girl, but this show made me enjoy every minute of it.

      • April 16, 2011 at 6:39 pmamado

        imo, fractale was the overhyped one.

        the thing that makes madoka magica great is if you look at it from a perspective the magical girls genre, its one of the most unique and greatest anime to come. theres also the unexpected events that happened, if you didnt get spoiled.

        • April 16, 2011 at 6:41 pmSirHellsing420

          It just flat out didn’t appeal to me. I kept waiting to be pulled in like everyone else but it didn’t happen. It didn’t amaze me, plain and simple.

        • April 17, 2011 at 5:22 amGhostalker

          @amado

          I want to blame certain group of fans for spoiling and overhyping Madoka, makes the viewers eagerly and expecting very big things on it, which of course when you watched it spoiled, the value decreases dramatically. As an early adapter of Madoka back then when the only thing I know about the show is the silly premise and it’s SHAFT’s first original anime, honestly it doesn’t give justice to the entire show.

          The same for Fractale, now that it has ended, I tried to examine the series all together and my conclusion is that it is a fairly good show. The execution is just not that good.

          My recommendation for the viewers is that if you want to watch a series because of the hype, I recommend that you abstain from doing so until a certain period of time when the hype has died a bit or ignore all the hype. It will make your viewing experience better. Seriously >>>

        • April 17, 2011 at 6:08 amamado

          or just avoid reading spoilers. also try to avoid reading an ep blog and comments. and just watch it yourself to see it.

    • April 16, 2011 at 6:57 pmSquashGundam

      Loved Star Driver, but I understand why Kiiragi didn’t like it. It’s a show that really did test viewer tastes in terms of both the writing and the pacing of the show. I loved what Star Driver was story-wise and in terms of music and visuals and the pacing wasn’t really an issue for me. People will always disagree, personal tastes dictate that, but criticism is always good.

      Glad I dropped Merry after 2 Eps. J.C.STAAAAFFF!!! *shakes fist*

      Still on Infinite Stratos ep.3, liked it so far but is it worth continuing on with to the end?

    • April 16, 2011 at 7:40 pmHeero3

      I loved super robot wars! it was just an orgasmic display of awesomeness to all SRW OG fans. Sadly we didnt see the upgraded version of Rampage Ghost!!!! But besides that, tatsumaki zankantou, HTB Cannon, Royal Heart Breaker, Twin Bird Strike, Ultimate Gespenst Kick, Hero Senki, Dark Knight, Ash to Ash and etc left my knees weak after multiple times of EPIC FANBOY ORGASMS and the speed of light! =)

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:36 pmTotoro!!

      Thanks for the retrospective looks.. I like it since it covers almost all of the shows and Divine take care of yourself….

    • April 16, 2011 at 8:53 pmRika

      I’m going to miss Kimi ni Todoke, Tegami Bachi, Zombie-desu, and Level E. These series definitely needs a sequel. Huge fan of them now. Looking forward to more posts on some more great anime.

    • April 16, 2011 at 10:02 pmScott

      Divine… major spoiler alert! You just spoiled Madoka big time. Go hide what you said. Q_Q
      Sentence which begins with “The fact that…” Man, I didn’t know that….

      • April 16, 2011 at 10:32 pmDivine

        You’ll be okay. That’s not much of a spoiler since the suspicions always been there in the early episodes. If you really wanted to complain about a spoiler, the references to “looping” would be it. In any case, consider it a teaser to get you watching. No one spelled out anything specific for you.

    • April 17, 2011 at 2:17 amKip

      I’ve been reading RandomC for probably 4 years now, and one of the things I’ve long felt is most lacking is a review for shows after they have finished. So this March review was really nice for me, because it gave me some valuable feedback about whether or not I should continue shows like Bakuman or Index. The thoughts on Mahou Shoujo were interesting too- I’m going to check that one out now…

      Unlike you guys, I’ve been a big fan of Studio Deen for a while now, I’m glad to hear they are converting more fans!

      • April 17, 2011 at 2:35 amArabesque

        I agree with this, this post is really a nice way to see what other writers thought over all of the other series.

    • April 17, 2011 at 2:40 amArabesque

      “The mystery behind Grevil’s hairstyle is unraveled…”
      Glad to see the food poisoning didn’t ruin your sense of humor :P (hope you’re okay)
      This years winter was pretty okay overall. Madoka, Letter Bee, Hourou Musuko, Level E and Super Robot Wars were all excellent, and Bakuman managed to pick up towards the end.

      2011 looks like its starting off strong, and Summer looks even better than Spring. I do worry this means will end up with a mediocre fall though …

    • April 18, 2011 at 2:54 amrincewind

      The last season was the season of Madoka for me. I dropped every other show.
      I will surely pick some later. Kimi ni Todoke and Star Driver, I guess.

    • April 18, 2011 at 8:18 amMad_Dog

      I’ll say it again i just can’t see the reason why you guys love the Madoka series so much. It’s a flaming piece of shit plan and simple. The plot sucks the characters are incredibly bad, the art syle was terrible, and the whole prisms of the series was ridiculous.

      SHAFT made another bomb but you guys appear to be simply in viewer shock still to see right through it and see just how bad this series really is. Are you guys really that blind?

      • April 18, 2011 at 11:31 amDivine

        Your name is befitting.

      • April 18, 2011 at 2:33 pmDa5id

        Maybe you can elaborate on this point of view? You know, give us some reasoning?

      • April 18, 2011 at 2:46 pmProoof

        I know some shows can be over-hyped, but it feels like you are just being a “hipster fan” and hating on stuff mostly because it’s popular and you don’t like all the people fawning over it indiscriminately.

      • April 18, 2011 at 6:14 pmamado

        you could say “overrated” like that comment somewhere above, saying because of the hype, and we would understand your point.
        but saying its “shit” without any basis, makes you just raging.

        SHAFT makes weird animes, its either loved or hated. as said in tv tropes.

    • April 18, 2011 at 7:55 pmSora no Kaze

      Gosick is like the mystery show where it’s not really the mystery that makes it interesting, but how every single mystery connects to each other in some way. Kind of like how Sherlock Holmes was in a way, except Sherlock Holmes was abit better with the mystery? The answers to the a lot of the mystery is a lot of trivia like questions LOL.

    • April 19, 2011 at 10:46 amLin-Meitoky

      i want more about bakuman, is amazing!!! >-<

    • April 19, 2011 at 9:16 pmPeanut Monkey

      Yumekui Merry is the worst anime ive seen
      1. never giving up is not a dream its a characteristic
      2. Why didnt the he just kill the teacher when he was AWAKE?

      • April 19, 2011 at 9:59 pmGhostalker

        I think Yumekui Merry is a fairly good show, sure it was boring and sometimes felt rushed and the story inconsistent, also I agree with most of the people that the ending is bad. But in my case, there are certain episodes that the series really gives me a good impression like episode 1 and 10.

        I would say it has more bad than good points. About the teacher, perhaps “moral values” prevented Yumeji from killing his teacher, also, it is not like people died in the series, they just lost their dreams, the same thing for the teacher, when his Dream Demon “Mistletine” died he also lost his dreams, so I think it’s already a good payback for all his sins.

    • May 7, 2011 at 9:50 amnubc4kez

      Okay..I deleted a very long post after deciding I’ll keep my extreme opinions to myself..so I’ll just put some impressions here.

      I believe last season was really enjoyable(I haven’t finished everything yet, though) because of the different themes that appeared. Madoka was totally enjoyable, because it brought to mind themes like self sacrifice, time travel and weird art. Well, I’ve never minded artwork that much since I started anime, so it didn’t spoil the anime for me..and I’ve never seen anything like it before. If someone has, do tell me the name of that anime :) Oh yeah..it seems someone doesn’t know what he’s saying or just loves to play the bad character because I seriously cannot comprehend how Madoka could ever be a flaming piece of shit, plan and simple(I think plan is plain misspelled). IS was painful, with such a slow main character, but watching the heroines compete for Ichika without him realizing it wasn’t bad after all. The fights also made it an untypical harem/comedy anime. Zombie was something we’ve probably never seen before, what with Masou Shoujos, a Necromancer, Vampire Ninjas and zombies..put together in extreme comedy that has its serious moments and an actual plot. Other anime were all amazing in their own ways, too..it’s been a great season.