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Retrospective Look – April 2011

X Men   2011 04   Divine TIGER & BUNNY   2011 04   Divine Toriko   2011 04   Divine Ore tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai   2011 04   Divine
Fireball Charming   2011 04   Divine 30 Sai no Hoken Taiiku   2011 04   Divine Maria Holic Alive   2011 04   Divine Yondemasu yo Azazel san   2011 04   Divine
Astarotte no Omocha   2011 04   Divine Hidan no Aria   2011 04   Divine Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 04   Divine Moshidora   2011 04   Divine

I wasn’t planning to take part in the monthly posts during my break, but I figured I should at least chime in for this April one since it coincides with the start of the new season. Whether or not I’ll be taking part in the later ones this season is up in the air at the moment.

That said, I should also point out that this Retrospective Look is being published later than we would’ve liked due to all the writers’ personal schedules, meaning there’s a bit of overlap with May. Most of us have already watched the latest episodes from this past week, but the impressions below only include episodes that aired up to and including Sunday, May 1st. The one exception is Moshidora, since it made more sense to talk about all ten episodes in one go. Please refer to the episode numbers if there’s any confusion as to which episodes are being discussed.

As per the season schedules, the table now provides a quick overview of which writer is watching what series, in addition to the total number of shows being watched for each writer in the legend.

For this April edition in particular, other changes compared to last month are listed below.

  • Takaii put GOSICK on hold.
  • 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)
    Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
    09:00 AT-X (4/11)
    Bleach
    18:00 TX
    30-Sai no Hoken Taiiku
    27:00 MX (4/6)
    C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
    24:45 CX (4/14)
    X-Men
    22:00 ANIMAX (4/1)
    Deadman Wonderland
    25:00 tvk (4/16)
    D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T
    Toriko
    09:00 CX (4/3)
    Fireball Charming
    19:28 MX (4/4)
    Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji Hakairoku-hen
    24:59 NTV (4/5)
    Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae…
    25:15 CX (4/14)
    Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san.
    23:00 AT-X (4/8)
    DOG DAYS
    25:35 TVS (4/2)
    D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T
    Ao no Exorcist
    17:00 MBC TBS (4/17)
    Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II
    25:30 TX (4/11)
    Steins;Gate
    26:05 TVS (4/5)
    Hidan no Aria
    25:25 TBS (4/14)
    Hen Zemi
    23:15 AT-X (4/8)
    TIGER & BUNNY
    25:58 MBS (4/2)
    D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T
    Hanasaku Iroha
    22:00 MX (4/3)
    Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~
    26:00 TX (4/4)
    A-Channel
    25:40 MBS (4/7)
    GOSICK
    25:23 TX (1/7)
    Nichijou
    26:20 TVA (4/2)
    D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T D K P T
    Astarotte no Omocha!
    23:30 CTC (4/10)
    Seikon no Qwaser II
    26:30 MX (4/11)
    Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
    25:55 TBS (4/14)
    D K P T D K P T D K P T
    Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
    24:30 CTC (4/3)
    Moshidora
    24:15 NHK (4/25, weekdays)
    Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
    26:10 MBS (4/7)
    D K P T D K P T D K P T
    Maria Holic Alive
    26:15 TX (4/7)
    D K P T
    Softenni
    26:30 MX (4/7)
    D K P T
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    26:40 MBS (4/21)
    D K P T
    Legend: 32 Divine 15 Kiiragi 7 Prooof 12 Takaii Not watching
    X-Men
    Episodes 01 – 04
    X Men   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: It didn’t take long to get settled into Madhouse and Marvel’s latest collaboration anime, which has taken some interesting turns with the introduction of Hisako (Armor) and Emma Frost. I attribute that mostly to the more familiar character designs and cast of superheroes. In conjuction with the U-Men threat looming about and secondary mutations surfacing, there’s enough of an overarching plot to keep me checking back regularly. I’m never too sure which direction the series is headed, but that’s actually what makes it enjoyable to watch. As cliche as it may sound, it’s best to just sit back and enjoy the ride with X-Men.

    GOSICK
    Episodes 13 – 15
    GOSICK   2011 04   Divine
    GOSICK   2011 04   Kiiragi

    Divine: Much like the Queen Berry arc, there’s a lot more to the subplots than it initially seems. What starts off as the latest incident to kill Victorique’s boredom is later revealed to be part of something on a much grander scale, changing my perspective of the story as a whole. The unassuming nature of the arcs works well in masking that fact, much like we saw in the recent Leviathan one that further foreshadowed the Second World War. Brian Roscue’s true intentions raise a lot of questions as well, making me feel that author Sakuraba really had the entire story thought out. Taking a step back and looking at all the subtle developments, I’m amazed by how involved the story is on so many different levels.

    Kiiragi: After countless episodes of mediocre mysteries that seemed to have no value, my persistance in watching paid off at episode 15. Not only did it weave most of the past 14 episodes together to actually give them meaning, which felt intensely rewarding, it brought the scale of the story to a completely new level, encompassing a full on possible alternative take to human history. Now, I don’t want to overplay the series, it’s still very much meh overall, but if the last half plays out the way I see it, I’m in for a wild ride.

    DOG DAYS
    Episodes 01 – 05
    DOG DAYS   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: Five episodes later, this original series about cat and dog-like races hasn’t strayed much from its make-believe war games in the spirit of competition. As suspected, the Biscotti and Galette sides get along outside of the “wars”, with the princess Millhiore and Leonmichelis being childhood friends. The introduction of more characters — including the samurai-like Brioche voiced by Hikasa Youko — do little to suggest the story will ever shift to a more serious tone, but I still enjoy the lighthearted fantasy ambiance backed by an all-star cast. Production is also above average, so I plan to continue watching the eccentric Shinku enjoy his time in Fronaldo until he finds a way home. Insert songs by Horie Yui are always a big plus.

    TIGER & BUNNY
    Episodes 01 – 05
    TIGER & BUNNY   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: With Sunrise’s original superhero anime scheduled for two cour, it’s too early to tell if it’ll become the surprise hit it has the potential to be. Be that as it may, this is already one of the most refreshing anime to roll around in a while, centering on an older, single-father protagnist, Kotetsu (Wild Tiger), who has to deal with a new generation of superheroes. I absolutely love watching the generation clash between him and his new partner Barnaby, as well as the conflicted Karina (Blue Rose) whom he uses a father-like approach towards. The subtle humor combined with distinctly different character designs in a Sunrise-quality production makes this one of my favorite new shows. Don’t knock it until you try it.

    Nichijou
    Episodes 01 – 05
    Nichijou   2011 04   Divine
    Nichijou   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Nichijou   2011 04   Prooof
    Nichijou   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: It’s no K-ON, but Kyoto Animation’s latest slice-of-life adaptation is very reminiscent of Lucky Star. Out is the cuteness and in is limitless randomness, including some from Shiraishi Minoru as the talking cat Sakamoto. Despite its similar format, the skit-based humor is still fairly hit and miss to me, much like it was in the early chapters of the manga. The trio of Yuuko, Mai, and Mio tend to deliver more often than not though, thanks to Mai’s emotionless demeanor and Mio’s yaoi sketches. At 26 episodes long, it’s somewhat reassuring to know that Air/Clannad/Haruhi director Ishihara Tatsuya is in charge to make the most of them. In terms of sheer uncontrollable laughs, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san takes top honors this season.

    Kiiragi: Haha, you want me to write about this show? You’re funny. Well no, you’re not, but this show is. And that’s all there is to it. I don’t see any critical way to explain how it succeeds in being hilarious, except for the fact that it’s just my type of humor. I’m so glad the actual series is far more ambitious than the OVA, and the amount of animation power used to drive some scenes is just extremely hilarious to me. It’s like KyoAni’s mocking me saying, “look how much skill we have that isn’t being used in a show that needs it more,” but I’m still loving every second of it. There’s a ton of variety each episode, and as long it keeps going like this, I have zero complaints. KyoAni has always done what it does well, they do it well from beginning to end, and this is no exception.

    Prooof: It’s wacky, it’s random, and I never know what to expect. I don’t even know exactly what makes Nichijou funny, but the mindless humor is great for chilling out purposes due to the large amount of WTF moments. There are epic power-up moments, crazy weapons/explosions, liberal applications of color failure, and of course, Mai-chan the queen of trolls. I didn’t find everything to be that funny (e.g. the professor and robot girl), but there’s enough to have me sticking around each week.

    Takaii: Every Saturday, there’s one show I turn to when I want some mind-numbing laughter. Nichijou isn’t the kind of show that takes itself seriously; it’s the kind of show that accepts how random it is and embraces it. From Mai’s insane sense of humor to Mio’s hillarious hidden personality, there’s always at least one skit that gets me laughing. But as an added bonus, Nano and Hakase are there to provide some balance to all the randomness.

    Beelzebub
    Episodes 13 – 15
    Beelzebub   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: Given that Beelzebub is long-running shounen series that I watch without any anticipation toward, I surprise myself as to why I’m still following it. It has an all-star cast and the “Kunieda Aoi factor” going for it, but tends to fall into an almost formulaic pattern each episode. The upside is that the series does continually make progress, with the focus shifting towards the strongest of Ishiyama High’s Touhoushinki (a.k.a. TKKH) in recent weeks. Voiced by the always awesome Seki Tomokazu, Toujou has resparked my interest a bit, even though it’s highly unlikely that Oga will be able to dump Beel on him. Combined with Aoi’s concern for Oga and Furuichi’s funny outbursts, Beelzebub may just hold my interest for another month or so.

    Toriko
    Episodes 01 – 05
    Toriko   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: Yakitate Japan sparked my interest in food-related anime and is the main reason why I’m following Toriko now — a long-running series that combines shounen action with gourmet cooking. In contrast to the one-off special, the changeover to Okiayu Ryoutarou and Paku Romi in the lead roles works well, whereas the hunt for the biggest catches the world has ever seen is even better now that fellow Heavenly King Coco has joined the cast. Toriko’s battles with gigantic beasts are always the highlight, so it’s easy to see why the series appeals to younger audiences. The recent string of cliffhangers in the hunt for the puffer whale has an impeccable way of keeping me hooked, so I’ll be watching this for a bit longer.

    Hanasaku Iroha
    Episodes 01 – 05
    Hanasaku Iroha   2011 04   Divine
    Hanasaku Iroha   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Hanasaku Iroha   2011 04   Prooof
    Hanasaku Iroha   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: It’s no secret that I’m a fan of P.A. Works, so while I managed to contain my excitement for their 10th anniversary project in the season preview, the truth is that Hanairo can do no wrong in my eyes. The premise is simple yet masterfully done, and the visuals never seem to disappoint. Ohana is an amiable heroine whom I really want to see succeed in her new lifestyle at Kissuisou, and Itou Kanae brings out the best of her never-give-up attitude. She’s earnest and determined — two qualities that I feel serve as the backbone to entire series. I’m still holding out for Kouichi to pay her a visit, but Yuina has put a nice spin on the countryside life in the meantime. At 26 episodes long, P.A. Works can finally afford to expand on all the subplots too.

    Kiiragi: To be brutally honest, Iroha has taken a little bit of a nosedive the past couple episodes. What started out as a promising show of possible mature storylines soon became oddly average with an arc focusing on Minko and her naive “love.” I still love Ohana to bits, but Minko is seriously ruining her with her completely unreasonable attitude. I think they screwed up Minko’s character. They made it seem like she had some lesson to teach Ohana, but no, not at all. She doesn’t try to do anything for herself, is jealous of Ohana, and can’t be arsed to even be appreciative. Yet Ohana is played out to be the victim? I hope Minko gets NTR’D by Ohana, only for Ohana to reject the guy and go for Ko. Seems like that’ll happen too… :D

    Prooof: It’s a really straightfoward slice of life/drama far: girl moves away from the city and deals with a new environment. So far the story is interesting though, and there are touching moments. The characters around Ohana are starting to open up as she “gets to them”, and I see them continuing to do so as the series progresses. Ohana herself develops as well; she makes plenty of mistakes, jumping to conclusions and butting in where she shouldn’t, but in the end, it sometimes works out for the better. On the whole, Hanasaku Iroha is a well-balanced show, feels realistic, and has a good amount of humor that makes me smile (especially the facial expressions).

    Takaii: Seeing how I’m covering this show, you can go and read my posts if you would like a full “impression”. But to sum everything up in a few words, I love Iroha. With no general premise in sight, I walked into this show looking for something that’d capture my attention. Besides P.A. Works pumping out some beautifully drawn scenes, they’ve created some just as amazing characters. Ohana is probably my favorite girl of the season; from her bright blonde hair to her crazy attitude she’s able to steal my attention without even trying. But let’s not forget about Minchi and Nako — the two supporting characters who manage to balance out Ohana and bring out the best in her.

    Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai
    Episodes 01 – 05
    Ore tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: While the premiere episode left much to be desired, that all changed with the fourth episode, which alluded to the possibility that Takashi, Shuusuke, and Hayato are three different personalities of the same person. From that moment on, I’ve been torn over whether or not the seemingly nonsensical developments are part of a masterpiece in disguise, or if the story is truly all over the place. I still can’t make heads or tails of what’s real and what’s a delusion, but that confusion is what makes me want to see how everything comes together. Had I known things would turn out this way, I would’ve marked this down as a potential surprise hit. The heroines are just as mysterious too, with Asuka and Hiyoko being my favorites to watch.

    Fireball Charming
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Fireball Charming   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: Disney and JINNI’s CG sequel that’s actually a prequel has the same, almost inexplicable charm as the first season, with the more curvacious Drossel (hip-wise) speaking her mind and Gedächtnis entertaining her. As usual, the witty humor in these CG shorts only tend to leave me mildly amused, but Drossel’s naive and carefree attitude towards the war being waged against mankind outside is always entertaining to watch. The high-def visuals are quite the spectacle, and make me wish that each episode were closer to ten minutes long. Kawashou Miyuki deserves a lot of praise for making an android come off as cute as she does, so if you’ve never seen Drossel in action, I recommend giving this series a quick peek to see how charming she is.

    Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Sengoku Otome Momoiro Paradox   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: After the first episode left me optimistic about this gender bender take on the Sengoku period, the series has fallen more in line with the lighthearted fantasy anime I was expecting. Nobunaga’s hunt for the Crimson Armor has turned into a comedic affair, with no real contention from the likes of Shingen, Kenshin, or Yoshimoto. Hideyoshi also dropped her suspicion that Date-sensei is Date Masamune fairly quickly, so the saving grace has been Ieyasu scheming without their knowledge. The adherence to history has taken a backseat for the most part, but I do like how the plot is alluding to the rise of the Tokugawa shogunate. The cast and characters are still the biggest appeal to me, making the series difficult to recommend to most people.

    Bleach
    Episodes 317 – 319
    Bleach   2011 04   Prooof

    Prooof: It may be hard to believe, but this filler arc is off to a relatively good start considering how Bleach normally is. The reigai add an interesting element by bringing in a bunch of shinigami copies, and the resulting action so far has been pretty good. Nozumi is kind of cute too and she could turn out to be pretty cool, but I’m not expecting much as Bleach filler characters have a tendancy to be dull. Nozumi doesn’t seem like the most interesting villain either, but he’s tough and I’m going to enjoy watching his interactions with Mayuri. Hopefully this arc will stay strong throughout.

    Gyakkyou Burai Kaiji Hakairoku-hen
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Kaiji Hakairoku hen   2011 04   Divine
    Kaiji Hakairoku hen   2011 04   Kiiragi

    Divine: My overall impression of the first season carries right over to the second, as Kaiji continues to be a series that I have a love-hate opinion of. I’m continually conflicted over the fact that Kaiji can be unbelievably smart with gambling, yet incredibly stupid as well. One would think he’d learn from his previous mistakes, but he never seems to, so it’s as if his character is incapable of growth. This in turn allows the series to recycle the same pitfalls, which in an almost masochistic sense, provides the very viewer angst that makes the show so thrilling to watch. “Here we go again” pretty much sums up Kaiji getting suckered into Chinchiro (a.k.a. Cee-lo) and banking on luck, before he finally makes his move to expose Ootsuki’s cheating ways.

    Kiiragi: It’s a bit unbelievable how stupid Kaiji is when he’s talking about a game that relies on nothing but luck, or rather, maybe that actually says something about the author. Regardless, Kaiji is a type of story I really enjoy, and I’ve never noticed any gigantic flaws in the series, except last season’s last gamble (filler though). This season continues to deliver quality entertainment, but I can’t help but feel the underground mine setting is a little limiting in terms of plot possibilities. Kaiji himself is also frustrating to watch due to his constant switching between naive and pro, and I facepalm everytime I watch him collapse under the pressure of buying food. Despite that, the story still grips my attention with an iron fist, and changes things up before turning stale, especially with the coming development. I’m also digging the female version of “zawa, zawa.” Adds a little enticing flair.

    Steins;Gate
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Steins Gate   2011 04   Divine
    Steins Gate   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Steins Gate   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: I may have inadvertently spoiled the ending for myself while researching for the season preview, but that hasn’t ruined my enjoyment of Rintarou’s harassment of Kurisu the least bit. Most of what I know is a fragmented mess, so it’s been fun trying to make sense of everything with a little bit of an edge. I also like “Kyouma’s” wild delusions, as they establish a false sense of security that contrasts heavily with SERN’s secret experiments. The sci-fi thriller aspect has also picked up significantly now that the lab has an IBN 5100, and it’s only a figment of the foreshadowed events to come. The slower pacing thus far has been indicative of the two-cour length, but that should change once time traveling comes into play again. Tuutturu~

    Kiiragi: There’s a slew of extremely promising shows this season, and this is certainly one of them, perhaps the biggest of all. I’m expecting an extreme mindfuck from this show, something of universal proportions that I could never even possibly fathom. So much so that the very limits of my puny human intellect can’t even begin to attempt comprehension. That might not bode so well given I’m blogging the show, but it’s a challenge I was willing to accept when I took on the series. Does that sound like it’s a goading invitation to you? If so, get on board, because the ship hasn’t sailed into crazy yet. Oh right, it’s about time travel if you didn’t know yet. On board now? The rest of S;G is good too. But it’ll be trivial in the long run of things if this delivers.

    Takaii: TIME TRAVEL. Chaos Head, what’s that? It doesn’t matter because I have almost no idea what that is and I’m still enjoying Steins;Gate. With the first month of episodes not dealing directly with time travel, who would have thought that there was so much you could do with the subject without actually using it!? But the greatest part of the show (in my opinion) is Miyano Mamoru. I’ve been a fan of his voice for some time now, and I’m surprised just how many different tones he can hit with it. From being 110% serious to -10% serious, his vocal range continues to surprise me. I’m glad that he’s able to get that whole mad scientist vibe across without actually turning me off of his character. Now, where is my time travel?

    30-Sai no Hoken Taiiku
    Episodes 01 – 04
    30 Sai no Hoken Taiiku   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: The short 12-minute format doesn’t provide much leeway for this comedy series to venture down a similar path as B Gata H Kei; however, Pi and Ku-chan are great catalysts in forcing the “virgin issue” from Natsu’s side of things like I was hoping. The usefulness of the dating pointers on the other hand is questionable at best, as they’re far from being the focus amidst all the censored sexual-related jokes. Not at all unexpected, but I do wish the amount of censorship would be toned down to make the jokes less ambiguous. Hayao and Natsu could probably use more screen time together for their innocent love story, even though that probably won’t make it noticeably better than it’s been.

    A-Channel
    Episodes 01 – 04
    A Channel   2011 04   Divine
    A Channel   2011 04   Kiiragi
    A Channel   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: The former staff of Gonzo’s Studio 5 have delivered the slice-of-life adaptation I was hoping for. A-Channel is already similar to K-ON in the sense that cuteness takes prescendence over laughter, but Studio Gokumi bridges the gap further with character insert songs every episode. They’re a great compliment to the noteworthy production values, and have the same sort of appeal as Houkago Tea Time’s music. As per my initial impressions, I enjoy this series more than Nichijou, simply because it’s mostly about normal high school life rather than random gags. Tooru’s protectiveness of Run is very cute (particularly against Yuuko), and Nagi’s level-headed and weight-conscious ways are reminiscent of Yomi from Azumanga, making her my favorite.

    Kiiragi: A-Channel is essentially “fun girls doing fun things,” and because the majority of us aren’t high school girls, we’re basically watching something we’d never tell a soul, despite the fact that there’s nothing terribly controversial with the subject matter. Questioning the aim is rather moot, but I’m always curious as to who the show is really targeted towards. A-Channel has enough charm to be watchable, but in a seemingly growing niche of “4 girls doing pointless things,” it hardly means anything. Generally people are just going to say, “because it’s fun watching other people do meaningless things,” while ignoring the fact that it’s really because their own lives are so boring in comparison. Also because they’re not an awesomely attractive high school female that everyone wants so badly in Japan. I somewhat enjoy A-Channel. I also hate myself that much more.

    Takaii: One of the two larger slice of life shows airing this season. A-Channel shines in its ability to consistently pump out the jokes and focus on the relationships between all the main characters. With only four characters: Run, Tohru, Yuuko, and Nagi, the show still manages to make each character feel not only unique but emphasize their strengths and weaknesses. With Tohru instigating most of the confrontations, she can either mess with Yuuko physically, Nagi mentally, or go in and really show off her love for Run. With Yuuko being the token pretty girl and Run being the lovable airhead, I find myself relating more with Nagi — level headed and weight-conscious. Does that make her my favorite? (:

    Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Dororon Enma kun Meeramera   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: Nearly 38 years later, Brain’s Base has revived one of Nagai Gou’s most famous works in style. The visuals are a treat and serve as a great juxtaposition between old and new concepts. I’m glad I made the leap of faith to follow this modernized classic, as the refreshed cast have brought Enma, Yukiko, and Kapaeru to life in very quirky ways. The laziness and easygoing attitude of the Youkai Patrol drives a lot of the comedy, as does the Yukiko fan-service alongside Enma’s perverted ways. The addition of Kawasumi Ayako as the Harumi was the most pleasant surprise though, as she’s the only person that can make them do any actual work. The fashionably naked Enpi-chan has finally made her appearance too, further shaking things up. The best part of this series is how it doesn’t take itself seriously whatsoever.

    Maria Holic Alive
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Maria Holic Alive   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: Surprisingly, Mariya’s been lacking screen time in this sequel, as Kanako makes strides to reclaim the main heroine position. Sugita Tomokazu’s goofy opening themes that have yet to be replaced by Kobayashi Yuu’s suggest as much, as does Kanako breaking the fourth wall to remind us. Like with most SHAFT productions, the comedy itself hasn’t been overly hilarious, but I was thoroughly entertained by episodes three and four about Kanako’s diet and subsequent trial. It’s always fun to see Matsurika at odds with Mariya, even if it’s only as stand-in lawyers. Overall, a great start with plenty of yuri outbursts care of Sanada Asami. The ending theme cover of Yamamoto Linda’s 1971 hit song “Dounimo Tomaranai” is extremely catchy too.

    Softenni
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Softenni   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: XEBEC has more or less pigeonholed themselves as a fan-service-oriented studio, so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that Softenni follows that trend. The first episode made a huge splash in that regard, detracting a lot of potential viewers, but it is worth noting that the panty shots have dialed back significantly since then. In connection to the sports aspect, it’s still far from achieving the fine balance seen in Bamboo Blade though. The cast remains the biggest appeal of this silly series, which includes the girls from other middle schools that Asuka and co. will be competing against. Watching Kotone bump heads with Akadama’s Sumino was a blast, simply because we had Kitamura Eri and Inoue Marina going at it again, Onii-chan style.

    Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san.
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Yondemasu yo Azazel san   2011 04   Divine
    Yondemasu yo Azazel san   2011 04   Kiiragi

    Divine: Unlike other half-episode series this season, Azazel-san makes the most of it limited time slot, providing the best laugh-until-you-cry humor of the entire season. This is hands-down the funniest comedy and you’d be foolish to let a few goofy-looking demons sway you from checking it out. It’s right up there with the best deadpan moments of LEVEL E and slapstick ones of Mitsudomoe, with Kamiya Hiroshi as Beelzebub taking the “chocolate” cake in the latter category. If you enjoy a good laugh, there’s no need to look any further. I’ve been recommending this series to everyone, including the other writers, since it should appeal to just about anyone. The jokes can get pretty crude at times, but they’re just goofy-looking demons in the end. :)

    Kiiragi: Azazel is ridiculous. Azazel is over the top. Azazel is, overall, pretty funny. I don’t think the plot even matters, because the characters completely drive the show. Actually they kind of go overboard a little too much sometimes, at which point my laughter slowly recedes into a pokerface. It is generally episodic, and currently it’s in the process of introducing every one of those furry little demons into the cast. They all bring something unique to the humor, and it’s generally not something you typically see on an average basis with anime. Example: Penguin has the ability to make anyone shit on the spot.

    Hen Zemi
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Hen Zemi   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: I’m quite amazed how this series can pass broadcast standards, and even more amazed how someone would bring all these questionable fetishes together in a piece of work. I don’t even want to know what goes on in original author TAGRO’s mind, because Hen Zemi has introduced me to more abnormal indulgences than I care to know. Nanako is the key to making it all work, so I’ve really enjoyed former delinquent (and still virgin) Anna’s addition to the cast as a second voice of reason amongst all the weirdos. At times, I think I’m only watching this show to be grossed out and left in awe, with the added bonus being Nanako and Komugi are still fun to watch. Only recommended if you have sullied mind or are feeling adventurous, otherwise stay away.

    Astarotte no Omocha!
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Astarotte no Omocha   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: If there’s an anime that reaffirms the saying that you should never judge a book by its cover, Astarotte no Omocha is definitely one of them. Not only did it take the seemingly vulgar premise and change it to a clean comedy, it started promoting family values by showing how a ten-year-old child longs for her mother. In execution, the similarities to Zero no Tsukaima never arise — not even the harem part — as Naoya continues to be a supportive fatherly figure to Lotte. Instead, the twist I alluded to in the preview finally made headway in the latest episode, leading to interesting complication to spice things up. I would’ve never imagined I’d describe Diomedea’s lastest series as endearing and heartwarming, but that’s exactly what it is.

    Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
    Episodes 01 – 04
    Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: What started as a series that exceeded my expectations has settled into more familiar territory. Kazuma is surrounded by beautiful girls, of which only a few show any candidacy as a potential girlfriend. Ui is an obvious one, as is his childhood friend Madoka whom I’ve been wanting to see get more screen time. The tomboy Ibuki is less so, but I have a soft spot for how she’s okay with sharing drinks. Objectively speaking, I can’t foresee there being a definitive girl in the end, but I’ve long shaken off the generic image I had of Hoshikaka and am only looking to be entertained until then. With little indication there will be any serious developments, this will likely go down as a standard (yet enjoyable) romantic comedy affair.

    Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II   2011 04   Divine
    Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: Kusunoki’s arc ended much quicker than I anticipated, much like Ayumi’s from the first season. It was great to see episodes dedicated to Haqua as a result, but her subplot about being the top student yet failing as a district chief didn’t come off natural enough. While I liked the way that she was inadvertently guilt-tripped by Elsie’s praise, the emotions behind Haqua’s turnaround felt incredibly forced. Believability was in question, which was odd considering how Kami nomi is generally good about that in the romance department. Other than that, I’m optimistic about Manglobe’s continuation with the ever-so-adorable Elsie, and am looking forward to the arc on 21-year-old student teacher Nagase Jun. “Mob character” Chihiro not as much.

    Kiiragi: I’m thinking of dropping this show. I must be the little fish in the lake of lovers, but Manglobe can’t get the feel of this series down for me. I might even say it’s a little bit too late at this point, whether it be the miscasts, the art direction, or even the soundtrack. They’ve improved this season, but they just can’t get the feel of the manga right, which is the main reason why I love the series in the first place. There’s not much to look forward to for me either, except for the tomboy’s arc. I feel kind of bad for downplaying the entire adaptation, but my views are pretty set in stone after a whole season now. Meh, Elsie’s still damn cute though.

    Takaii: Keima and Elsie would be the two main reasons I watch this show. Keima’s amazing intuition is something that mankind would benefit from. As he’s shown when dealing with Haqua, his ability to access his “spring of knowledge” could probably compete with Victorique’s. With Elsie, her love for firetrucks or 消防車(ShouBouSha) never fail to make me smile. But besides her childishness, her earnest and hardworking side shines even more when paired with Keima. While the two are complete opposites, their contrasting personalities make for a great show.

    Seikon no Qwaser II
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Seikon no Qwaser II   2011 04   Divine

    Divine: I was planning to cover this controversial anime to give it some proper limelight and counter the endless wave of predetermined “opinions”, but I’ve already said all that I wanted to about it in the season preview. As such, I will say that the censored version is much more watchable this time around if you don’t want to see any nudity during Sasha’s hunt for the Magdala of Thunder. Story-wise, it looks like the playing field is leveled a bit against the Adepts now that Katja’s arrived. Mafuyu is actually whom I’m looking forward to the most though, as I really enjoy Fujimura Ayumi in fiesty roles (e.g. Maid-sama). Unfortunately, their arrival probably means Tsubasa, Miyuki, and Ayame are poised to become mere support cast before long.

    C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
    Episodes 01 – 03
    C   2011 04   Divine
    C   2011 04   Kiiragi
    C   2011 04   Prooof
    C   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: DOG DAYS isn’t the only series that twists terminology around, except in C’s case there’s more prescedence for it after establishing that the Financial District as some parallel universe. Deals are now battles that an Entrepreneur’s Asset engages in, providing a very flashy and unexpected dimension to the unique premise. As cool as that is with Msyu as Kimimaro’s partner, the flow of black money and the use of one’s future as collateral are the truly defining aspects of the story. Thus far, I really like the immersive approach that’s been taken, with Kimimaro tossed into the fray and trying to make sense of what he’s gotten himself into. Meanwhile, Souichirou’s interest in his potential serves as the driving plot device in the search for answers.

    Kiiragi: After the exhilirating battle from the second episode, I was hooked. While I do not pay extreme attention and participate in the intelligent stimulation of economy (because I suck at it), the story is presented in a fashion that separates itself from the rest of the crowd by not actually following a laid out structure of milestones to hit. A fine example would be episode 3, where it actually followed another character for a while. I feel pathetic for appreciating a show that actually employs several storytelling techniques, so screw anime for not trying harder. The MC is a bit useless since he keeps getting dragged around and being told what to do, and the latest advice given to him doesn’t really make too much sense. I trust C to bring a good amount of depth, considering the already unique premise. It’s just a shame the animation isn’t as up to par as the plot, especially the badly used CGI.

    Prooof: Three episodes in, and I still don’t exactly know what to make of this show. I’m hesitant to judge it as a shounen battle series, but the financial themes haven’t been delved into deeply yet either. Many things still haven’t been explained, so there’s still a lot of potential for how the story will unfold, especially with the Midas Money and Assets. There’s also a big question of whether Masakaki and Mikuni are the good guys or bad guys. I don’t see any evidence of ill will from Mikuni yet, but the whole entrepreneur thing needs to be explained clearly soon, because I am getting major Incubator vibes.

    Takaii: Let’s see, C is the type of show that combines a little bit of action with a little bit of thought held together by the interesting Masakaki. The little bit of action comes in the form of battles for financial gain and can get pretty flashy. The whole concept of micro, mezzo, and macroflation is pretty easy to grasp and I’m hoping that other tactics will be introduced in the future. The thinking part comes from the fact that Midas money is flowing into the real world. It feel as if the groundwork has been laid out, and hopefully the story will start to pick up the pace and really dive straight into the heart of things.

    Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai.
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Anohana   2011 04   Divine
    Anohana   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Anohana   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: All it really took was that second PV to hint that Menma’s dead to hook me in with this noitaminA series, though it was somewhat satisfying to be proven right in the very first episode. The show didn’t take long to establish its premise and strive toward becoming what may just be the most dramatic anime of the season. The cover of ZONE’s smash hit “secret base” is perfect for Jinta and his friends, whom I suspect will shed some tears of happiness together once Menma gets her wish. I’m secretly hoping that there will be a Perfect Blue/Sixth Sense type of revelation later on, where Jinta realizes his halluncination is just that and he’s actually responsible for reuniting the Super Peace Busters like Menma would have wanted.

    Kiiragi: This is probably the best show I have seen in quite a long time. I couldn’t have said it any better in my posts, but the show absolutely rides on character emotion, and the characterization is incredibly enjoyable to watch. I’m happy it wasn’t merely a one-trick pony, but as we’re moving on, I’m seriously scared it’s going to trip over itself. Anohana is ridiculously easy to sit back and get immersed in, and I find myself lingering on the words of the characters, who are just bleeding emotion through the monitor. There are some issues cropping up in regards to Menma’s entity, but I’m hoping the next few episodes will smooth that up. You know how there’s always a lack of words to describe something that’s near perfect? This is it. So far. I’m terrified of all these good shows, since the hardest thing to pull off is the ending…

    Takaii: Anohana feels like it has the potential to turn into one of those unforgettable great shows. The key ingredients in making a heart-wrenching story are all here: childhood friends who have let their bonds slowly erode away and a ghost/spirit who needs all of said friends to come back together before she can finally move on. I’d like to refer you to Kiiragi’s posts though, since he’s brought up some crazy things which if true, would blow my mind. His attention to detail amazes me, especially when he noticed the second Menma wearing a watch and Naruko’s scrunchy being a different color in every scene. Since this post will come out before any of the details are revealed, all I’m going to say is that you should pick up this show if you want to take part in watching what might be one of the gems of the season.

    Hidan no Aria
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Hidan no Aria   2011 04   Divine
    Hidan no Aria   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Hidan no Aria   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: J.C. Staff’s latest adaptation may not have the signs of a masterpiece, but the uncanny resemblence between Kinji’s Hysteria Mode and Junta’s Mega Playboy from DNA² has me pretty sold on it. Kugimiya Rie plays a tsundere who’s blushing more often than she is angry, marking a noticeable step away from the norm. The best part of it all is that the story has already proven to be much more layered than most people have given it credit, both in terms of Aria’s interest in Kinji and the Butei killer who’s after them both. That’s more than enough to keep my interest hooked and provide a similar type of enjoyment as Infinite Stratos, whose time slot it replaced. That’s on top of good visuals that the studio can be relied upon.

    Kiiragi: What the hell Kiiragi? What are you doing with a J.C. Staff show? Well, I’m a damn masochist, that’s what I am. I swore I was going to drop this the first episode if I didn’t like it, but the dude had to go man mode on me. And how am I gonna miss a Majima Junji show? Sure, it’s another Rieloli formulaic boy meets girl with powers on both sides. Sure, forget direction, forget innovation, and forget everything I’ve praised any show for any season ever. Sure, “this is going to be different this time, I swear, Aria actually has a good story later on!” I don’t care. I don’t need a reason to watch this show. Why? Because I’m not blogging it. :D

    Takaii: With another Kugumiya and Majima pairing, it’s nice to see Majima’s character not only handle Kugumiya really well, but also put her in her place when the time calls for it. So far, we’ve seen Kinji enter Hysteria Mode only once and it was awesome when he shot his bullets straight into the barrels of his opponent’s guns. With a plot about a Butei killer already showing more depth then I expected, I can’t wait to watch Kinji show off his skills again. As Aria seems to manage things well on her own, I’m waiting for that perfect opportunity for Kinji to shine.

    Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko   2011 04   Divine
    Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko   2011 04   Kiiragi

    Divine: Light novel adaptations seem to be right up SHAFT’s alley, particularly those with a lot of inner dialogue, so this series fits the bill perfectly. The noticeable jump in production quality (and the subsequent dips) makes it easy to draw parallels with Bakemonogatari, as does the appeal of the quirky female cast. The third episode was the defining point for me after Erio broke out of her futon mold, since it gave early indication that the plot wouldn’t milk her sloppy uniform, lolita image forever. I love the way she rambles on, but I love it even more when her delusional wall crumbles bit by bit at the same time. Meme’s carefree attitude exuberates all the wackiness, much like the viral opening theme that has somehow grown on me.

    Kiiragi: I don’t like SHAFT, I’ve never liked SHAFT, and I don’t think I ever will. SHAFT tends to override what original intention any show’s author might have had, so it’s like I’m watching SHAFT every single damn show they do, instead of the author’s work. I was ecstatic for Denpa Onna, despite not knowing a thing about it, only liking it because it had one of my favorite artists. So now we’re three episodes in, and in general, I think it’s okay. Denpa tries to be several things, dialogues as long as Bakemonogatari, characters as weird as Arakawa, and it kind of succeeds. I don’t think there’s anything to criticize or praise about here. It’s just a decent show. Check in next month.

    Deadman Wonderland
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Deadman Wonderland   2011 04   Divine
    Deadman Wonderland   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Deadman Wonderland   2011 04   Prooof
    Deadman Wonderland   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: With Manglobe helming Deadman Wonderland, I suspect there will be a continuation down the road just like Kami nomi. Reason being, the pacing doesn’t really suggest that the content is being rushed through. There’s been ample time to focus on Ganta’s despair as he tries to make sense of the blood ability he now possesses, and Shiro has established herself as Ganta’s glimmer of hope, balancing out the cruelty in the prison. In any case, this adaptation has shaped into the riveting and gruesomely unsettling gem of the season I anticipated, especially now that Ganta finds himself in the secret G block. The reappearance of the Red Man, a.k.a. Wretched Egg, also provides a great twist early on, even though I already know his true identity.

    Kiiragi: This is another show by Manglobe, and it’s also another show I want to drop. That is not a coincidence, because I’m starting to get the feeling that Manglobe has no idea how to adapt these shows. DWL has several things ripped out from its story so they could simply get to the more interesting Deadmen, the pacing is absolutely horrendous, the dread is almost completely absent, and the animation can’t for the life of itself match up to the quality a story of this scale needs. I’m in more awe of the artistry in the manga than I am the rendition of it in moving pictures. Might stay until the end to see how it goes.

    Prooof: Some of the changes from the manga so far are disappointing especially how a lot of scenes are heavily darkened, but I’m going to try not to be a purist and judge the anime on its own. There’s some plot holes and elements that don’t seem too plausible, but they are minor and don’t really break the story. The plotline isn’t remarkable and the characters shown so far aren’t that intriguing either (aside from Shiro), but the themes are brutal and hard-hitting, and things should get really exciting soon. I’m looking forward to seeing the Deadmen as they should be intriguing, each with tortured pasts like Ganta.

    Takaii: The one show that I’ve gone from “omg” to “OMG”. Deadman Wonderland started as something slightly dark and gritty and is becoming one of the darkest shows I’ve ever watched. The whole situation Ganta’s been thrust into is just so ridiculous that I can’t begin to explain how fed up I am with it. The only thing I’ve been dying to see is some of the blood-controlling fights. They’ve shown us how impressive that power is and I can’t wait for an explanation about just why Ganta was picked to have his life turned upside-down.

    Ao no Exorcist
    Episodes 01 – 03
    Ao no Exorcist   2011 04   Divine
    Ao no Exorcist   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Ao no Exorcist   2011 04   Prooof
    Ao no Exorcist   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: The early encounter with Satan played out much better than its manga counterpart, providing the “oomph” to get the story rolling. The powerful emotions behind the scene were conveyed really well, which should have turned many unsuspecting heads. The change of scenary to Seijuuji Gakuen drops back to a lower gear, but Rin’s journey to become an exorcist alongside Yukio gives off similar vibes as the brotherly bonds in Fullmetal Alchemist and the eccentric flair in Soul Eater (care of Mephisto). I compared the early progression to FMA before, in that it gets increasing better as the story unfolded. The first few episodes reaffirm that sentiment, as the series looks good from a production standpoint, and should only get better.

    Kiiragi: Exorcist had me closer to tears than Anohana, and being the emotionally biased person I am, a strong bond was instantly formed. It’s one of the few adaptations I’ve seen that can actually improve the original, and everything from the cast to the direction comes together to make quite a gripping show. Quite the opposite of Deadman Wonderland, really. The third episode does have me in suspect of the consistency in overall quality as we move on, having a rather shaky conclusion between the main brothers. Here’s to hoping it can actually succeed and give “shounen” a good name once again.

    Prooof: I was rather sad when Fujimoto died; he’s such an awesome character and would have nice been nice if he wasn’t taken out so quickly. Aside from that incident, it’s mostly been setup so far, and it reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist with how the two brothers’ parent dies, then they leave home to improve their powers. In this case, Rin hasn’t had any training, but he already has superhuman abilities due to his demon nature, so the action will probably kick in pretty soon. The “brotherhood” is going strong too. I’ll be watching to see what happens.

    Takaii: After taking the highly acclaimed Sunday time slot which was held by Star Driver last season, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed everything I’ve watched so far. The premise of the son of Satan becoming an Exorcist was what grabbed my attention. With a hot-headed main protagonist who can’t control his mouth, much less his fists, there’s a little something for everybody. From the huge battle within the first few episodes for action junkies, to the deep psychological connection between Rin and Yukio, I’ve come away from the first few episodes with a smile on my face each and every time. A quick side note — it drives me insane that another character voiced by the amazing Fujiwara Keiji has to have such a quick death.

    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
    Episodes 11 – 12 (END)
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 04   Divine
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 04   Kiiragi
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 04   Prooof
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: There was little doubt in my mind that SHAFT would finish Shinbou’s magical girl anime on a strong note. Whether or not the delays helped is another matter, but the ending was so conclusive that it left very little to be desired. Those who feel the ending didn’t make sense should really rewatch the series and pay attention to the finer details, as I was anticipating a galaxy-changing wish to change the fates of all magical girls. What I couldn’t foresee was the eventual fallout from Madoka and Homura’s perspectives, which the ending wrapped up perfectly without a deus ex machina. Madoka Magica has truly lived up to the sum of its parts, making it an easy anime to recommend to just about anyone. Shows of this stature don’t come around very often.

    Kiiragi: I enjoyed Madoka, thought it was well executed, and that the ending was superbly conclusive. They did what they wanted to do, and they did it very well, but the work didn’t satisfy me as a whole. When you step back and look at it, it felt all too simple, culminating in a wish that was although perfect to end the series with, a general disappointment in the department of blowing my mind. Like, I can see how cleverly woven and intricate the plot threads were done, and like I said, brilliant execution. The story just didn’t end up as my cup of tea.

    Prooof: A lot of people didn’t like the ending, but I thought it was a great, bittersweet way to conclude, and not exactly how I expected it to be (though given the nature of the series I really didn’t know what to expect at all). There’s no happily ever after for the individual characters, but they were still able to achieve something quite significant. As for the series as a whole, the engrossing plotlines, deep themes, and hard-hitting drama was what made the show for me. The unique animation/art that can seem wacky and slightly childish, but in the end it works very well to bring out a dark yet fantastical atmosphere. And in some ways, the way Madoka Magica twists the standard and the normal is what makes it so appealing.

    Takaii: After a month-long hiatus, Madoka returns in a spectacular fashion, providing an ending that leaves you wanting more yet just enough closure to give you some satisfaction. I wouldn’t have enjoyed an ending that gave everyone their cake and let them eat it too, because I don’t think that’s the lesson Madoka was trying to push. As much as I would have loved to see the perfect happy ending, what SHAFT gave us was more than enough. With a combination of a thrilling plot and amazing protagonists, I’m glad that SHAFT provided a series that stayed strong all the way till the end.

    Moshidora
    Episodes 01 – 10 (END)
    Moshidora   2011 04   Divine
    Moshidora   2011 04   Takaii

    Divine: It was only natural to be suspicious of the tear-filled ending sequence, but that was one heck of a curve ball they threw very late in the game. I was completely taken back by the cliffhanger in episode eight and was in disbelief when the next episode confirmed my suspicion. While the use of Peter Drucker’s “Management” worked well in encouraging viewers to think outside of the box, there’s a really powerful baseball-based drama at Moshidora’s core. The unassuming air in early episodes made the build-up toward the finale even better, as the story became so much more. Motivating and moving; it’s easy to see why this was Japan’s best-selling novel in 2010, and I eagerly look forward to the live-action movie slated for this summer. A wonderful anime.

    Takaii: After re-writing this post a few times since Divine wasn’t sure where he wanted to stop for this post, I can not believe that a 10-episode anime made me tear up and cry. I thought it was cute how this show took management ideas from the business world and applied them to high school baseball. I thought it was amazing how each and every game felt stronger then the last, giving me goosebumps when it came down to those crucial times. I love how the entire team, including the managers, had a part in forming an amazing team with the nationals in mind. But with such a huge curve ball thrown right at the end, I was dying from being on both ends of the happy spectrum at the same time. Watch This Show.

    May 8, 2011 at 2:20 am
    120 comments »
    • May 8, 2011 at 2:31 amRazgriz

      If I may add, this season’s anime series show more promise compared to the previous one–despite the calamity that nearly brought Japan to its knees. I am actually tuning in on Dog Days, Nichijou, Hidan no Aria and TWGOK II. But let’s admit it that originality continues to be an issue here, at least in most anime.

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:46 amYs10

      I’m happy to see Moshidora here, was wondering if anyone had followed it over the last two weeks.

      This season has had a good start for me. So far I’ve kept up with every show I intended to watch except for Rotte no Omocha. After reading the manga, I don’t really like the changes so after 3 episodes decided to just drop it. I did up AnoHana though which has been quite good.

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:46 ammegalith

      I thought last season was pretty good considering it had hidden gems like Level-E. This season though is pretty quality.

      Currently sticking with
      AoEx
      Nichijou
      T&B
      Iroha
      AnoHana
      Azazel
      Steins;Gate
      [C]

      Though I decided to stay away from any J.C. Staff works for now. After what Merry and Index II left in my mouth.

      T&B and AnoHana are the black horse of this season. Also I’m glad AnoHana is getting the attention it needs and will probably be one of the highest selling Noitamina show in a long time.

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:50 amZwei

      too bad none of you is blogging one of the best this season, and that is “TIGER & BUNNY”

      anyway, good job again, thanks guys

      now i’m definitely going to watch Moshidora, gotta wait for a decent fansubber though ^^

      • May 8, 2011 at 2:58 amYs10

        Surprisingly enough, GG did a good job with it.

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:12 pmShirt

        I usually don’t have a preference, but recently I’ve been noticing some flaws with the subs I’ve been watching. I have been watching anime long enough to know certain phrases and with some of these newer groups sprouting up, I’m seeing different variations of translation of the same phrase. >:\

        Anywho, what would your suggested list of good fansub groups consist of?

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:52 amYttrium

      Every shade of the spectrum; from amazing to abysmal, it’s all there…

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:52 amZwei

      oh by the way, the best three for me as of now are Steins;Gate, Ao no Exorcist and Tiger & Bunny, they really are very good ^^

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:54 amtylon

      I’m glad to see Moshidora in this post.

      Cry… Yuki… Cry… Minami didn’t cry enough (compared to the illustration from light novel).

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:59 amamado

      ore-tachi has really gotten much more interesting. but im very annoyed because the subs come out pretty late. im gonna keep on watching to see how this will end. the comedy aspects are good too.

      seikon no qwaser is going as good as last season. as Divine said, dont just judge it as a faservice anime. it has dark elements and action scenes.

      madoka magica. this is easily my fave and best anime imo this year. I love each of the characters. my fave is sayaka. despite the fact that people hate her, I say she deserves a lot of sympathy. her personality really reminds me of myself. I sacrifice myself for others but I also want some gratitude. il still keep on sacrificing.

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:02 amamado

      as for the other series im watching, you’ll just have to see my comments on them. im only commenting about the series I find good potential that isnt being blogged and being ignored by most viewers.

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:11 amamado

        ah missed some.
        hoshizora is good. generic but entertaining. I can sense something dark in there from the OP about ui’s best friend. she’s my preferred girl in that anime too.

        maria holic is funny but sometimes a bore when father tries to interpret kanako’s words. mariya is my fave character there despite(or cause) being trap.

        dog days is doing fine. not really exciting but doing fine I guess. not much to say about it for now.

        hidan no aria. gonna give JC staff a chance. the recent events is not really surprising. though I did not expect that person to be the butei killer, it wasnt as shocking as it was supposed to be I think.

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:25 amAVeryCluelessRomeo

      I really liked Kami Nomi last season, but I think the first four episodes this season haven’t been that great. With the dojo girl (I forget her name), it was pretty much a rehash of Mio’s arc, but not as memorable or clever.

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:29 amGhostalker

      First, I want to commend the staff for this another superbly long post. For now I have 8 series in my priority list (In order):

      - Denpa Onna (my top pick, love the almost Bakemonogatari level talks)
      - Steins;Gate (everyone of us here love this)
      - Ano Hana (very promising, I like the execution of the first few episodes)
      - Dog Days (very enjoyable and fun-filled)
      - The World God Only Knows (love the new Demon Haqua)
      - Deadman Wonderland (gory, brutal, I like it)
      - Maria Holic (love its dark comedy, SHAFT style very likeable)
      - Hanasaku Iroha (promising, but doesn’t nailed me yet)

      Other series I’m watching but in low priority list (may continue or dropped sooner):

      - Tiger and Bunny (I’m yet to watched past ep2, so I don’t really know much from it)
      - Ninchijou (I’m not getting the good laughs I’m hoping from it yet)
      - Hidan no Aira (I’m not really sure of this series yet, its more bad than good to me, plus its JC Staff)
      - Dororon Enma-kun (I like the OVA wherein they are adults, so this is a bit turnoff to me, will watch a couple more episode to see what it has to offer)
      - Fireball Charming (2min clips might as well watch it)

      Anime that I’m most interested in watching:

      - Moshidora (I’m reading very positive feedback on this)

      Also watching Gosick from previous season, I’m really liking the series now, specially the last couple of episodes :)

      • May 8, 2011 at 4:45 amGhostalker

        As for Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, it is now on the top of my TV anime list together with Dennou Coil, and Gundam 00 S2. Shows that in my opinion, the reason why I prefer anime over other medium of entertainment.

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:29 amkarry

      Even though i generally like moe girls & fanservice, A Channel and Sofutenni left me completely nonplussed. Moshidora was just general silly drama about people with development retardation.
      And it seems that barely anyone watches the absolute best show of the season – Hyouge Mono. Well, sure, how many otaku would watch a show about a married 30-year old dude.

      • May 10, 2011 at 11:28 amvp

        I am watching it! And I find it amazing. You are right, though I do find Sasuke quite moe from time to time to be honest. Anyway, it really is too bad that so few are watching it.

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:40 amNhelraios

      Everyone should be watching Tiger & Bunny! And here I thought this season’s been lacking in “good” comedy shows. Yondemasuyo Azazel-san picked up

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:57 amCroosboy

      Nicely done RC bloggers.

      I guess i see that you guys don’t see Yuruani.hehehe same goes for me except i only watch one part of it[Hontoni ni Attai! Reibai Sensie].

      Thx again Divine for recommending me Azazel. it was really funny.

      Though i’m still wavering if Ano Hi or Stein is the best this season.

    • May 8, 2011 at 3:59 ambarak

      I don’t know the relative popularity of Tiger & Bunny but last night its Ustream streaming broke 20k viewers, and the first Blu-ray is THIRD on Amazon’s Blu-ray toplist. I bet Sunrise wishes they’d put more money into the show now.

      • May 8, 2011 at 1:29 pmBlastrix

        W8, isnt it better for a studio to earn money from lowbudget series?

      • May 9, 2011 at 1:24 amMomogoldfish

        Compared with most animes, T&B actually has pretty good animation apart from the off model running. At least the action scenes are dynamic and the CG mesh pretty well.

        Oh and while I’m loving the humorous plot (episode 5 is especially funny yet heartwarming at the same time) I have a feeling that the turn to the serious will be good too. (btw, gonna guess that Bunny will turn into a vigilante or something).

        As for the rests, enjoying AnoHana, Ao No Exorcist and S;G the most. Too bad I’m not into slice-of-life shows.

        Keep up the good work!

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:17 amMMBinNC

      I agree with Kiiragi regarding The World God Only Knows (Kami Zomi….) This adaptation, for reasons I can’t put my finger on, does not have the same draw as the manga. I read the manga every week, but I find myself skipping through these episodes. What was great dialogue has become far less funny and they have changed one of my favorite characters in hte manga- Haqua- into annoying me and one of the annoying ones – Elsie- into one of my favorites….wtf?

      I disagree regarding deadman Wonderland, I like the manga better but rarely is an anime adaptation better than the manga. Ao no Exorcist is. The thing that scares me about Deadman Wonderland is the omission of Azami, maybe a clue to an anime original ending? They could definitely fit a (what looks like its going to be) 50 chapter manga into two cours.

      I really hope you are right about AnoHana Divine. If Menma is actually a ghost and she is somehow revived at the end that would be horrible IMHO. What could be a great, plausible anime, would take a turn for the Supernatural and it would lose a lot of respect in my eyes. That said, the ending is going to be sad no matter what if she is not revived by some deux ex machina. Because she is going to disappear (ghost or not) saying thanks to all her friends. Jinta will cry, (maybe everyone if she is a ghost and is revealed to all) but life will be great and all the people will live better lives (guessing that the pairings of Anaru x Jinta and mabye Tsuruko x Crazy dude. Mixed ending in my opinion, but a good tearjerker.

      Ao no Exorcist’s manga is great, if this continues the series will be the best shounen series this season. No doubt. I read all the chapters in just a few hours. Captivating, action, great dialogue, and romantic underpinnings. And for some reason I just love the dude who is underestimated but is actually a badass right from the start. (Like father Abel from Trinity Blood)

      Maria Holic is okay…but it has lost the underlying plot in its slice of life-eyness this season. We’ll see.

      Beezelbub gets better, trust me. But I agree I never look on nyaatorrents for this series, when it comes out I’m pleasantly surprised= much like the other long running shonen series Naruto, Bleach, etc.

      Denpa Onna… w/e… I like the premise and dialogue. Not as much as in a lot of other mangas, but they are trying to make Bakemonotagari all over again. I don’t think lightning strikes twice and it doesn’t IMHO in this case.

      Also, DOES ANYONE ELSE FIND THE MOUTHS WEIRD?!?!?!?

      IDK why, but I am put off by their weird ass smiles. Every other anime can draw a smile, but these look like they were drawn by a grade schooler.

      Seikon no Qwasar II is better than the first season so far in my opinion. It’s not as heavy, the action is still there, and it seems funnier. I jsut wish sub groups would sub the uncensored version so I didn’t have to wait like a week for the uncensored after the censored version comes out. It’s better, but not worth waiting a week for. Since I do look forward to this anime seeing it in my list, but (RAW) is annoying as hell.

      Hidan no Aria is OK. I read a lot of the light novels, and I have to say the latest development (last sentences of the episode) pay a weird role throughout the series and I’m not sure if I like it. And no comments on how this is extremely similar to Shakugan no Shana? Between this, SnS, and Zero no Tsukaima, JC Staff has quite the similarities in heroine-hero dynamics.

      Once the split-personality dynamic came into play I started liking Ore Tachi Tsubasa wa Nai. It went from confusing and run-of-the-mill to cool in a single episode. I like the split personalities, all have pretty cool personalities, adventures, and bitches (lol) but the overarching theme is innovative and will keep me coming back. Although the school character annoys the hell outta me and I don’t like the whole Kingdom thing.

      Hanasaku Iroha is great. No complaints and I love Ohana. But I think that someone was like…we need an antagonistic character so let’s make Minko hate Ohana. Why you ask? Because she pulled up like 3 spring onions from her garden. wtf?

      GoSick is great, and I love Victorique. I wish that Kujo would stop pussyfooting around their relationship, because although I love her tsundere attitude, the quick switches to dere and hurt are starting to annoy me. It is honestly impossible for Kujo to be this dumb. Do all men in anime have learning disabilities? Seriously, Avril and Victorique are essentially throwing themselves at him, and he can’t understand if they like him, why Avril gets angry when he blows her off for Victorique, why Avril leaves her beachfront estate to spend time with him. It’s so annoying.

      Hoshizora e Kakeru Hashi is possibly one of the most generic adult visual novel animes I have ever watched. Male lead leaves city, comes to country, meets a bunch of girls, create a non-committed harem in effect, and hilarity ensues. Only development that could snap it out of this is if the younger brother dies, no not gets sick…dies. I can’t see it getting better, but I’m gonna watch it until it becomes horrific or it gets better.

      Wtf is up with Astarotte’s toy? The storyline is so weird…so essentially he is going to have sex with his nonmarital stepdaughter? Yeah, he must have some odd personality/body to number 1 have sex at 13 and be fertile, be ok with living as a concubine for what is essentially his daughter, and be essentially a pushover. No wonder he had no job, he has no drive / aggressiveness. The premise annoys me, but the anime is ok, but noting special. Its nice guy wins over a bunch of girls with kindess with the fucked up premise. w/e

      On the other hand I am watching Dog Days and Sengoku Otome, they are not too good IMHO and if not for good art I would be long gone.

      Yondemasuyo Azazel-san is funny, but I wish the disgustingness surrounding Beezelbub was removed. Not a fan of toilet humor, and the notion of eating shit is a turn off to me. But overall it is definitely one of the funniest shows out there this season.

      Gonna definitely watch Stein’s gate when I have the chance and HenZemi (maybe Moshidora) due to yeour reviews / synopses. Looks good.

      • May 8, 2011 at 4:30 amDivine

        The uncensored version of Seikon no Qwaser II is delayed because it’s released on the Anime One paid streaming site about a week later.

        • May 8, 2011 at 2:46 pmShirt

          There’s an uncensored version? Ooh.. looks like I made the right move by waiting for this to finish airing.

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:17 amMMBinNC

      Wow, that post proves

      1. I am done with finals

      2. I watch too much anime

      3. Political Science majors love to write

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:19 amMMBinNC

      And regarding the weird mouth thing with Denpa Onna

      http://randomc.net/image/Denpa%20Onna%20to%20Seishun%20Otoko/Denpa%20Onna%20to%20Seishun%20Otoko%20-%2004%20-%2001.jpg

      Yeah, thats weird looking as hell to me

      • May 8, 2011 at 4:40 amKiiragi

        That’s just Buriki’s style. I like it lol.

      • May 8, 2011 at 6:57 amGhostalker

        I don’t see anything odd with the mouth, the only thing I can see is that anime characters nowadays have lipsticks, makeups and nail-polish :)

        It is a proof how animation technique have evolved and become much more detailed as ever.

        • May 8, 2011 at 2:48 pmShirt

          Agreed. Seeing the artists put more creativity into their work is not only promoting themselves and the anime as a whole, it sets standards and trends. :]

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:19 amSeya

      I’ll watch:

      1. Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai
      2. Deadman Wonderland
      3. Hanasaku Iroha
      4. C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control
      5. Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san
      6. Ao no Exorcist
      7. Moshidora
      8. Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica

      And may be Steins;Gate but only because of Miyano Mamoru and Seki Tomokazu.

      • May 8, 2011 at 4:24 amSeya

        I like them in this turn.

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:46 amDCLXVI

      *sigh* I’m not even going to rag about the lack of love Sket Dance got from RandomC, because Gintama didn’t get any either, but then Gintama is a popular, long-running show.

      It just makes me sad that its lack of inclusion in this post means that all four bloggers lumped it right in with the likes of Bakugan Battle Brawlers and Yu-Gi-Oh ZEXAL in the “not worth saying a word about” category.

      • May 8, 2011 at 8:02 amSoiyeruda

        I see it as more that Sket Dance has the potential to be long running as well. At the very least, it’ll be a 52 episode series, but the premise suggests it could potentially last much longer.

        Basically, the premise seems to be a shounen version of Ojamajo Doremi, a magical girl series airing from 1999-2003. While not necessarily a bad thing, I personally don’t see it as exciting. It’s banking on one-maybe two-shot characters as plot devices for the main heroes to work on, in order to establish a greatly sense of engagement with said main characters. I’m probably being biased, though this is just how I’m seeing it. (I’ll likely watch a few episodes just to see how it is)

      • May 8, 2011 at 9:20 amZaku Fan

        Oh yeah, Sket Dance. I took its name literally but later found out its no dance anime. Its actually pretty good with its episodic stuff. Its not a super impressive anime but it is definitely watchable

        • May 8, 2011 at 2:51 pmShirt

          Watchable, is right. Nothing to be excited about though. In a playlist of shows including Hanasaku Iroha, Nichijou, Hidan no Aria, Deadman Wonderland, Ao no Exorcist, or Astarotte no Omocha (and practically anything else this season), it’d be at the bottom with Maria Holic and Steins;Gate for lack of entertainment [compared to the aforementioned].

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:19 pmDivine

        For every person who says they wish series A got more love, there’s probably another person who’ll say they wish series B got more love if we chose to watch A over B.

        As you probably already noticed, I’m following Beelzebub and Toriko, which are long-running shounen series too, so it’s not like I’m using the genre as the reason to not watch Gintama or SKET DANCE. I already gave my reasons in the season preview.

        • May 9, 2011 at 6:08 amDCLXVI

          I’ll be the first to admit that Sket Dance, when compared to the other shows this season, is not earth-shattering. But my question is, was it really so bad that it didn’t even get a First Impressions post?

          I mean Hidan no Aria got a post even though it’s not getting continuous coverage, and that post is the reason I started watching it in the first place. I just would have liked to see some thoughts about the show regardless of whether they were positive or negative because even a shred of attention is better than no attention at all, especially for the anime adaptation of a long-running award-winning Shonen Jump manga series that is surprisingly very obscure.

        • May 10, 2011 at 11:02 amDivine

          Kiiragi was supposed to cover the first episode of SKET DANCE, but he decided not to after he watched it. I had already made commitments to blogging other first episodes (such as Hidan no Aria), so it was ultimately up to him.

        • May 11, 2011 at 8:05 amDCLXVI

          Ok, so Kiiragi didn’t like it, at least now I know why it’s not getting coverage. Thanks.

    • May 8, 2011 at 4:56 amewok40k

      current watchlist here:
      ano hana and hanasaku iroha for drama
      C and steins gate for twisted reality tales about more (C)or less (SG) real problems taken into weird world of anime
      hidan no aria nad ao no exorcist for simple action
      sengoku otome for yuri flavored lulz
      …aaand, last but not least, for very dark, very unsettling action/mystery Deadman wonderland… it is on a par with Higurashi and Shiki in my book, and it is a very good place to be :P

    • May 8, 2011 at 5:01 amHagiri

      Great Post!
      I’ve been waiting for some shows to finish before watching them but reading this post makes me want to watch them.

    • May 8, 2011 at 5:32 amMaichan

      I’m surprised none of you are watching Hyouge Mono…
      I can see why people have not paid much attention to it since it does not have your usual moe or bishies, and the premise focuses solely on a bunch of old dudes BS-ing.
      But I only have one word to describe it after sitting through 5 episodes, it’s AMAZING!!!

    • May 8, 2011 at 5:50 amJoojoobees

      Moshidora was great, so the season has already turned out well, from my perspective. Some shows, like S;G, will only be judge-able after we see how they end up, even if they are doing well at the moment.

    • May 8, 2011 at 6:36 amKarmafan

      I watch: A Channel, Ao No Exorcist, Ano Hi Mita Hana, Astarotte’s Toy, Bleach, C, Deadman Wonderland, Denpa Onna, Dog Days, Fairy Tale, Gosick, Hanasaku Iroha, Hidan No Aria, Hoshizora, Naruto, Nichijou, Sengoku Otome Battlegirls, Shouta Monogatari, Sket Dance, Steins Gate, The World God Only Knows, X-Men, and Yondemasu.

    • May 8, 2011 at 6:44 amBaka-Yuusha

      Funny you should say that about Dog Days, Divine.

      Episode 6 introduces us to the start of a more serious twist that is happening behind the scenes. Only her majesty Leonmitchelli knows about it, and it is the reason she has been acting so cold towards Princess Millhiore.

      As they say, it is all fun and games until someone gets hurt. And this is certainly true for this series.

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:10 amSpoilerMaker

      “The Money of Soul and Possibility Control” has actually very little to do with the actual economy (probably the authors didn’t care about learning at least some basics of economics – a lot of things in the anime look plainly absurd), it is about gambling, just like “Rainbow gate” – and the makers of that show do show some good “knowledge” of gambling.

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:47 amSoiyeruda

      Guess I’m in the minority when i say this, but I found Softenni funnier than I was expecting it to be, which is the only reason I’m still watching it. Fan service got annoying at times, though I see it as more of an issue arising from Asuna’s overly perverted attitude towards everything she looks at. If you can bear with her antics, the rest of the series is okay.

      Moshidora was pretty amazing, and since it was released at an episode a day, it was really easy to get into.

      • May 8, 2011 at 10:56 amnasadigital

        I also found Softenni pretty and I am really sad that the translations are really late.

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:06 pmShirt

        Softenni.. I wasn’t expecting it to be outrageously funny but I like it nonetheless. Though you have to admit, this is more funny when she’s doing it for some odd reason. lol

        The KissxSis feel is always welcome too.

    • May 8, 2011 at 8:15 amAisu

      I’m pretty proud that my prediction that AnoHana would be a star of the season turned out to be true. It gets better with each episode.

      Thinking of dropping [C] though if it doesn’t start impressing me.

      Still watching everything I started the season with:
      AnoHana, Hanasaku Iroha, Gosick, Moshidora, OreTsuba, Deadman Wonderland, Hidan no Aria, Hoshizora, Nichijou, Kami Nomi II, Steins;Gate, Denpa Onna, [C], and A-Channel.

    • May 8, 2011 at 8:22 amnubc4kez

      New season, new anime to watch. Still in the middle of sweeping up last season’s not so interesting ones, though. Gotta watch ‘em all.

      Poor J.C. Staff, looks like last season wiped clean whatever prestige they had. I’m gonna keep neutral though :O

    • May 8, 2011 at 8:45 amKinny Riddle

      Glad RC noticed Moshidora as well. At first it was slated to air in March, but got delayed because of the earthquake, and I didn’t knew when it would reschedule, and it nearly escaped my attention due to its unusual one episode per day format rather than the usual once per week as is the norm.

      Having just marathoned the thing, at first I thought this was merely just an animated tutorial in how management works, but the drama was surprisingly good, especially near the end.

    • May 8, 2011 at 8:51 amShageki

      this seasson is such a busy seasson…

      it about 15 anime i follow this seasson, and my latest interest became:
      -Kaiji (I like the Kaiji and the Narator voice and ざわ.. ざわ.. background)
      -Ao no Exorcist (another fascinating Shōnen anime)
      -Nichijou (unexpected funny, really unexpected)
      -Deadman Wonderland (i just love dark and bloody anime and of course Kana Hanazawa)
      -30-Sai no Hoken Taiiku (interesting education with Shimono Hiro funny voice)
      -C (Money, Possibility, i think it intersting like Higasi no Eden
      -Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (SHAFT anime, interesting Seiyū like Arakawa)
      -Maria†Holic Alive (Kanako wa “HENTAI” yuri-otome)

      and Gintama’ is finally back, and EXTREMELY funny as always (when Ginpachi became like Yamcha and Saigo No Getsuga Tenshou)

    • May 8, 2011 at 8:51 amKinny Riddle

      There is a amongst Japanese otaku-dom: Shinsaku (神作) – “Divine Work” – used to describe anime with high production values that has exceeded all expectations and is universally and critically acclaimed.

      Unlike most people who casually use it to describe the occasional show, I do not consider myself one to abuse this term frequently.

      Puella Magi Madoka Magica is what I would call a Shinsaku. And if there is a series that I would recommend to an anime-convert, this would be up there in my top 10 along with the likes of Evangelion and Slam Dunk (and these are pretty old classics).

      • May 8, 2011 at 8:53 amKinny Riddle

        Typo – There is a TERM amongst Japanese otaku-dom…

        (Seriously, Divine, please consider adding an edit function for posts at least 5 minutes. I sometimes click send in the heat of the moment and only realized I’ve just made a typo after I clicked submit )

    • May 8, 2011 at 9:11 amZaku Fan

      I had hopes for Moshidora last season but more of it as a tale about management, so i was surprised to find that the turn of events in ep 9 was so sudden yet emotional. It has well and truly exceeded my expectations.

      So far well done series i see are Tiger and Bunny, Nichijou, AnoHana and Stein’s gate. Moshidora if they could correct their animation problems, would also be a excellent series.

      A channel’s 1st ep was its failure point. It has been trying hard to bring back a positive slice of life feeling and succeeding in the current eps

      Denpa Onna’s not moving its story and instead playing the harem game.

      C’s main character is pretty bad and the story’s devolving into buying shares of assets so you can collect them all.

      Tsubasa plot twist was really sudden and i’m not sure where its story is going now, but prior to that was still ok. The american loli was a real comedian.

      Softenni is a anime that seemed to be less than serious then threw in a more serious coach twist then decided to go fan service, laying it on thick. If its purely fan service, it will get no where but its direction is still not too certain yet.

      Gintama, Kami, Maria and Gosick continue on their normal stories which makes them watchable. Bleach’s actually improved, making the current filler watchable. Hopefully they don’t pull too many stupid actions

      30-sai’s no instruction manual and it ended up a gag comedy. Watchable but not really impressive.

      The less than watchable list.
      Sengoku Otome average but dragged down by its main character who is a bit too airheaded. Toriko is not really a food anime, rather playing the monster of the week game. Hidan no Aria is textbook and seems to be staying that way. Dog Days joins Hidan no Aria in the mediocre category. I could only watch Hen Zemi’s first episode. One word “Ewww”

    • May 8, 2011 at 10:21 amSerapita

      Too bad JC doesn’t put as much effort as they did to Index/Railgun in Hidan no Aria. With its strong story from Light Novel, this has potential to be one of the best show of the season. Too bad it’s lacking something I can’t put my word on… but I feel it’s lacking the love from JC =/

      So currently I’m following…
      Hanasaku Iroha
      AnoHana
      Hidan no Aria
      Maric Holic Alive
      C
      Steins;Gate
      Dog Days
      Nichijou
      A-Channel
      Gosick
      Ao no Exorcist
      Denpa Onna
      The World God Only Knows II

      • May 8, 2011 at 1:26 pmDarknemo2000

        Serapita, JC Lack of love is still better than the crap they did wit Zero No Tskaima. What if they turned Aria into a boob and panty fest too, ignoring most of the plot and character development just to give more boobs and some random lesbian kiss?

        • May 8, 2011 at 7:10 pmSerapita

          What happened to ZnT is what I call downright destroy source materials ;x

    • May 8, 2011 at 10:35 amKasrkin519

      @Divine

      Thanks for the very positive review of Astarotte no Omocha! Its been remarkably good so far. I’ve been impressed by the lack of vulgarity and needless fanservice as well as the high quality of the show in general (one of the few shows i’ve noticed and enjoyed the music).

    • May 8, 2011 at 12:02 pmRockmanshii

      I didn’t know Moshidora was Japan’s best-selling novel in 2010, that makes me really happy.
      I’d make the author take all my money too.

      • May 8, 2011 at 2:37 pmShirt

        Same here. You can’t doubt it either because you see the quality of the show.

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:22 pmDivine

        I made mention of that in the season previews, both the Winter 2011 and Spring 2011 ones. The entry was revised a bit when I ported it over as a spring show, but that tidbit was in both.

        • May 8, 2011 at 3:25 pmShirt

          Te-he~♥ x9

        • May 9, 2011 at 1:30 pmRockmanshii

          Even thought I always read the previews! I must have read it then forgot about it…

    • May 8, 2011 at 12:20 pmLuxorcist

      Divine’s watching 32 shows this season?! *_*;

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:07 pmShirt

        I’m sure it’s more than that. Back during the preview, I could’ve sworn it was around 40.

        • May 8, 2011 at 3:34 pmDivine

          Watching-wise, I only had 30 of the 43 shows on my list. The two extras in this post are Beelzebub and Madoka Magica carrying over.

        • May 9, 2011 at 11:45 amSilver

          But wow that’s still a lot Divine! It’s good that you are enjoying it though instead of feeling stressed out.

    • May 8, 2011 at 12:42 pmAndré

      2 – Meh!
      3 – Good
      4 – Great
      5 – FABULOUS!

      [C]: Control: The Money and Soul of Possibility: 4
      30-sai no Hoken Taiiku: 4
      A-Channel: 4
      Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai.: 5
      Ao no Exorcist: 4
      Deadman Wonderland: 4
      Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: 3
      Dog Days: 4
      Nichijou: 4
      Moshidora: 3
      Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi: 2
      Kaiji 2: 3
      Showa Monogatari: 5 AWESOME! But we only got two RAWs of ot… ;( This could be freakin’ best series of the season.
      SKET DANCE: 4
      Steins;Gate: 5
      Tiger & Bunny: 4
      X-Men: 3
      Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san: 3

      • May 8, 2011 at 8:07 pmDa5id

        The most shows I’ve ever watched in a season.

        Tiger/Bunny, Nichijou, Hanasaku Iroha, C, Anohana, Deadman Wonderland, Blue Exorcist.

        And, of course, Naruto and Bleach.

    • May 8, 2011 at 1:33 pmdopenhagen

      Thanks for the Moshidora shoutout. Maybe it isn’t the best but really enjoyed watching it if that makes any sense. Oh my, but i wasn’t ready for the tears.

      • May 8, 2011 at 2:45 pmShirt

        Moshidora threw me all over the place emotionally. I never watched a sports anime before because I didn’t think they’d be all that entertaining. Oh how wrong I was. I found myself cheering and laughing and rooting for the home team like I was some hardcore baseball fanatic. Excitement at the games was an understatement. The same could be said about the heartbreaking moments. I didn’t see ‘em coming and it hit hard. D’x

        Moshidora was great. I might even pick up a copy of Management. :]

        • May 12, 2011 at 10:38 pmhjerry

          Agreed, this was the one show that really caught me off guard this season. The poor animation and blandish slow moving story had me really nervous at first but it really came through in the end. (I started having cross game flashbacks.) I wish it had gotten a better animation budget but this is a great example of how great story can overcome even the cheapest of producers. It was another case where it was centered around sports but is not a true sports anime but rather a touching drama. I loved it.

        • May 12, 2011 at 11:37 pmDivine

          I didn’t see anything bad on the production side of things. Production I.G isn’t really known for having poor productions. Quite the opposite actually.

    • May 8, 2011 at 1:41 pmThe17thNoah

      anyone else reminded of Puella Magi Madoka Magica by episode 1 of Deadman Wonderland?
      I didn’t notice it before too until my little sister pointed it out:P Shiro looks like a humanized Kyubei with her white color, red circles(especially the one at her back), and permasmile(despite being in numerous slaughter scenes):D My sister also yelled “SOULGEM!” during the scenes where the blood crystal thingy(I forgot if it has a name) appears XD
      not to mention Shiro also Show Spoiler ▼

    • May 8, 2011 at 2:36 pmShirt

      Astarotte no Omocha is definitely the steal of the season. The Family themes are charming, indeed! The latest episode was extra special because it was on Mother’s Day and suitably so. :] On another note, the costume designs (even for the NPCs) are imaginative. I love the artist.

      Maria Holic, despite having Kobayashi Yuu, is kind of a letdown. It’s just not as entertaining as the first season. :\ Azazel-san makes up for that with tremendous laughs. ;]

      Divine, thanks again for getting me hooked on Tiger & Bunny. I love that show. I just wish Dragon Kid would get some more screentime. She’s always been on point thus far into the show. I’m sure she’d be entertaining to watch. I bet she’s a tsundere~ xD

      • May 8, 2011 at 3:35 pmDivine

        You and me both, especially since she’s voiced by Ise Mariya. I suspect she’ll have more screen time later on.

    • May 8, 2011 at 5:41 pmDa5id

      Hell yeah, Nichijou isn’t K-ON. It’s infinitely better.

    • May 8, 2011 at 5:43 pmAnime>Sleep Otaku

      Guess i’ll have to agree on everyone here LOL.

      Anyway, i want to point out that Madoka is (definitely) NOT for everyone. Please don’t recommend the anime to “anyone”. You would end up scarring a guy that has little tolerance to depressing (Schizo level) plots. If someone were to ask me to watch the anime, i would have killed that person. The only reason i watched Madoka in the first place was because i got tricked by Urobuchi (really thought that the anime was going to be a “heartwarming” one).

      Anyway that anime still scars me and because of that a lot of thing has happen. I’m still recovering from my depressed/melancholic state. You can call that dumb and everything but people like me exists.

    • May 8, 2011 at 7:12 pmPhillip Weltmer

      I just watched Astarotte No Omocha episode 5. It was wonderful. Never judge a book by its cover is right. I think the Anime is better then the manga.

      http://kurogane.animeblogger.net/image/spring2011/astarotte_05_02.jpg

    • May 8, 2011 at 8:33 pmSirHellsing420

      1 = Trash, 2 = Fair, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Awesome

      [C]: Control: The Money and Soul of Possibility: 4
      A-Channel: 4
      Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai: 2
      Ao no Exorcist: 3
      Deadman Wonderland: 3
      Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: 4
      Dog Days: 1
      SKET DANCE: 2
      Tiger & Bunny: 5
      Hanasaku Iroha: 5
      Aira the Scarlet Ammo: 2
      Ore-tachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai: 1
      Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera: 2
      Hen Zemi: 1

    • May 8, 2011 at 9:11 pmm

      Tiger & Bunny, AnoHana, and Hyouge Mono are looking like my favorite spring shows, and the quality of the first two took me by surprise. It was also nice to finally see Madoka conclude. April was very kind this year; even many of the middle-tier shows are entertaining.

    • May 8, 2011 at 9:15 pmShinjiro

      Watching:
      Beelzebub: Still fun to watch and tuning to it became somewhat a habit.
      C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control: I’m still intrigued with it. A more adult Digimon/Pokemon sorta.
      A-Channel: Love those girls.
      Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai: One of the shows I’m watching with my girl. Loving it.
      Ao no Exorcist: Occult and fun up to now.
      Astarotte no Omocha: Little guilty pleasure.
      Deadman Wonderland: Dark and violent themes, bring it on!
      Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: Wacky and simple, waiting to see where this is going.
      Fireball Charming: 2 minutes to just be in awe and smile.
      GOSICK: We’re loving Victorique and Kujo.
      Hanasaku Iroha: Simple but effective slice of life.
      Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai II: Only watching it for Elsie up to now. Hopefully something interesting comes out of this…SOON.
      Nichijou: She loves Hakase and Nano. I love Yukko and the total epic randomness!
      Sengoku Otome ~Momoiro Paradox~ : Not sure why I’m watching. Remnants of Sengoku and Shogun 2?
      X-Men: Well, it’s the X-Men…

      Finished:
      Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Moshidora. Loved both shows. Both shows had us in tears.

      Hoping to get time for:
      Seikon no Qwaser II: Watched the first season but the censorship somewhat annoys me.
      Steins;Gate: Torrent issue but catching up.
      Tiger and Bunny: Watched the first 2-3 episodes. Seems fun but can’t pull myself to watch more.
      Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san: You compared it to Mitsudomoe…Gonna have to take some time for it.

      Dropped:
      Hen Zemi: I just don’t care for it after 2 episodes.
      Hidan no Aria: Same as Tiger and Bunny but with this, I did try harder to enjoy it and didn’t.

    • May 8, 2011 at 9:28 pmBROOKLYN otaku

      First let me say..”Astarotte no Omocha!” PISSES ME OFF!!!! why? that FAKE ASS HAYATE!! you sir will NEVER BE HAYATE!!!!! NEVER!!!!!!! and i dont care how you dress it up, its loli.
      “Dororon Enma-kun”….MAN! thouse last few eps were WACKY!! can you say PAPAYA!!!!
      “X-men”…great animation/art. feels very afro samuria..too bad its PUTTING ME TO SLEEP!
      “Nichijou”..GREAT! like high quality Gyaguman biyori manga
      “Maria Holic/ Softenni”….seriously…is anyone watching these dumb shows??…..anybody
      “fireball charming”…gets less and less funny per episode, but she suuur moooves purty.
      “Bleach” …Strong opening arc eps..anticipating epic fights to come *fingers crossed*
      “Hidan No Aria”…feels like a cheap 3rd party game cliche game, but last eps action…hmmm?
      “Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san.”………SERIOUSLY WHY ARENT YOU WATCHING THIS?!?! ITS CRACK ON A STICK!!!!
      “Hanasaku Iroha”…soap opera blah blah….”Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai.”… Different from Soap opera..”it has a cute ghost” it keeps me coming back…BUT SERIOUSLY, Whats up with the LOOOOONG ASS NAME!?!? you know how awkward it is sometimes to find a torrent for that show HAHAHAH!!!
      lemme shut up, I’m ranting, who want to read a wall of text..but i must say this season is turning out more entertaining than i expected…ohh yeah..LOVE the new O.P intro theme *little tear*… Thanks for all the tight work yall!

    • May 8, 2011 at 10:23 pmmindflayer

      GOSICK may be an average anime, but Victorica makes it so enjoyable it’s easy to forget that.

      After reading this I am tempted to try out another few titles but seeing as how I am having trouble finishing what I already have on my plate I suppose some will just have to be overlooked :(

      Oh and I very much agree with most of what’s been said, good retrospective post as always.

      • May 9, 2011 at 11:03 pmCharles (^_^)

        maybe its just me but im not sure why GOSICK is average to most i actually find it one of the best but everyone has there own tastes and although most people like Victorica i find Avril to be way better X3

    • May 8, 2011 at 11:02 pmdistant world

      Although I knew it was going to happen, I just couldn’t help but shed tears during the final episode of Moshidora. Besides the characters and and application of management principles from Drucker’s book to help change things around, what I find most surprising is that I enjoyed the baseball aspect of the show a lot. I enjoyed it so much that I picked up Giant Killing and finished it within a couple of days!

      Thanks for blogging Giant Killing Divine. I now have no doubts on how awesome anime focusing on sports can be! :)

    • May 8, 2011 at 11:18 pmh_ein_z

      Beelzebub: kinda stopped after it drifted away from manga plot…
      Bleach: hvnt been watchin the fillers, will resume once its done with…
      C: interesting…
      AnoHana: good so far…
      Ao no Exorcist: feel ok abt it…
      Deadman Wonderland: the 2 main chars r a little annoyin but watching it…
      Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko: weird chars but pretty fun…
      Hanasaku Iroha: great show…
      TWOGK II: lots of fun with elsie and keima…

      planning to watch later: steins;gate, gosick, hidan no aria, moshidora…

    • May 9, 2011 at 1:04 amnaixil

      Azazel-san BANZAI!! best comedy this season, together with AnoHana, Tiger & Bunny and Dog Days as the most enjoyable shows this season.

    • May 9, 2011 at 1:56 amStrike

      … Hyouge Mono…

      All I’m wondering is why.

      • May 9, 2011 at 4:14 amDivine

        The reason is simple: I picked up 8 Thursday shows already.

    • May 9, 2011 at 4:03 amtomphile

      I love Azazel-san, it combines comedy really well. Though it is obscene at times. :P
      Anyways, check out my anime blog where I review some of these anime as well!
      http://aniphiles.wordpress.com

    • May 9, 2011 at 3:33 pmkaon

      o.o…….

    • May 9, 2011 at 10:48 pmCharles (^_^)

      its sad that Tiger and Bunny isnt getting blogged QQ its a good show but oh well anyway
      iam really liking this monthly post its nice great job RC peoples

    • May 9, 2011 at 10:50 pmCharles (^_^)

      also Kaiji owns at first i thought it looked stupid but im really glad i gave it a shot and is now one of my favorite animes ever! XD

    • May 10, 2011 at 9:03 amTurtle

      Tiger & Bunny and Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Boku-tachi wa Mada Shiranai are the best ones for me…

      Sunrise never fails to surprise me and Tiger & Bunny will do well while we wait for the next Gundam series. Anyone knows when are we getting that? (aside from Unicorn’s OVA)

      Anohana certainly has taken an interesting turn in the latest episode. It still amazes me how much attention to details you guys pay to these animes and kudos to Kiiragi for spotting the watch on fake Menma.

      Keep up the good work!

    • May 10, 2011 at 9:04 amTurtle

      Also, silly question, what anime is the new banner based on? Thanks…

    • May 10, 2011 at 3:42 pmanishuma

      Watchlist: Ao no Exorcist, Ano Hana, A Channel, C:Money and Soul, Cardfight Vanguard, Deadman Wonderland, Dog Days, Denpa, Gosick, Hoshizora, Hanasaku no Iroha, Hidan no Aria, Nichijou, Ore tachi no Tsubasa, Sengoku no Otome, Softenni, Stein’s;Gate, and Tiger and Bunny.

      Anime that exceeded my expectations:A Channel, Nichijou, Cardfight Vanguard, Dog Days and Softenni.

      I didn’t expect to like A Channel a lot since I usually don’t watch shows like it.Nichijou was about the same.Dog Days got better as more episodes came out and Softenni was a random.

      I expected Cardfight Vanguard to be as bad as the other Yugi-oh Copycats, but it wasn’t.

    • May 10, 2011 at 6:49 pmunknown2

      TIGER & BUNNY! I loe this show coz i can just sit back, relax and watch. Fun show, although I’d like to see more of the other heros too like the dragon kid or origami guy. :)

      • May 10, 2011 at 7:54 pmanishuma

        Yeah, Origami hasn’t been getting his small moments of screentime in the latest episodes and that’s a cause for concernment.

    • May 11, 2011 at 1:08 amZwei

      i just can’t believe how people tend to skip Tiger & Bunny and watch SHIT LIKE HIDAN NO ARIA
      oh well, its not just that the anime industry is deteriorating nowadays, the minds also of our viewers if i may say, and that’s why the anime industry can’t move on to making “SHIT SHOWS” like what JC Staff has been serving nowadays because people still watch it
      i think now i know how Fractale’s Yamakan feels, though still he haven’t done a good job w/ his objective, the POINT is there

    • May 11, 2011 at 3:11 amrincewind

      Im watching Iroha, Nichijou, A-Channel and Sengoku Otome. Tiger & Bunny is in my waiting list.

      Im my to-watch list are Moshidora, Ano…(insert long title here), Stein Gate and maybe Dororon and Ao no Exorcist.

      And I missing Madoka.

    • May 11, 2011 at 7:01 amsally

      Have any of you guys noticed that “moe” anime has been around forever. Sailor moon, D.N.Angel, galaxy angel, weding peach, happy lesson, rorouni kenshin, mahoromantic, this ugly yet beautiful world, ef a tale of mermories, ef a tale of melodies, Divergence Eve, Misaki Chronicles, magic knight rayearth, clamp school detectives, clover, X/1999, cardcaptor sakura, Miyuki in wonderland, steel angel kurumi, and Ultramaiden valkyrie. Couldn’t all these shows be considered “moe” in their own right? just an observation.

      • May 11, 2011 at 9:45 amZaku Fan

        Actually Astroboy and Doraemon would also be considered moe. Its been around foever, just some people only understand the term when its applied to female characters

    • May 11, 2011 at 8:07 amDCLXVI

      For some reason Google Chrome lags whenever I scroll down to the bottom of any page on RandomC, it must be scared of the reply box or something.

      • May 11, 2011 at 10:31 amDivine

        It seems to work fine for me. I tested a few pages out with version 12.0.742.30 dev-m.

        What version are you running?

    • May 12, 2011 at 8:31 amDCLXVI

      I just updated to 12.0.742.30 beta-m, and it still does barrel rolls when I want to reply.

      • May 12, 2011 at 2:10 pmDivine

        If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re trying to scroll to the bottom of the page but more stuff keeps loading, making your scroll cursor move back up.

        If that’s the case, it’s likely your connection to the server, Chrome itself, or a combination of both. Pages on the site are no longer cached, so comments are grabbed progressively from the SQL server while the page is rendering.

        As per the above, I don’t have this problem, making me believe it’s a latency issue.

        • May 13, 2011 at 6:33 amDCLXVI

          No, that’s not what’s happening. I tested that by leaving the page to fully load, then slowly scrolling to the bottom. The lag doesn’t happen until I reach the reply box, and the lag affects all tabs open in the browser at time of scrolling. It doesn’t affect new tabs, though.

        • May 13, 2011 at 12:12 pmDivine

          Hmm, it might be something on your end then. Maybe try a clean installation of Chrome on another machine?

    • May 12, 2011 at 7:31 pmKarmafan

      Wow this week’s Hidan No Aria (#5) was hella exciting. I’m really liking this series.

    • May 12, 2011 at 9:23 pmamado

      im finally dropping some series out of my list:
      hidan no aria
      ao no excorcist

      sorry but they’re just not really getting my attention.

      my current list:
      denpa onna
      C
      seikon no qwaser
      dog days
      hanasaku iroha
      anohana
      maria holic
      a-channel
      steins gate
      deadman wonderland
      kaminomi
      ore-tachi
      sengoku otome
      hoshizora

    • May 17, 2011 at 8:12 amDJd

      I cried manly tears for Moshidora. Great-ass show right there. Can’t go wrong with baseball, either.
      Currently really into Hanasaku Iroha and AnoHana, both great shows, and am still watching Denpa Onna to see if anything at all plot-wise will occur. Thinking about watching S;G too…….

    • May 28, 2011 at 7:34 amZaku Fan

      Finally watched Azazel, funny stuff, the humor is very different from Nichijou’s absurdist humor but still ridiculous in its own way.

    • July 11, 2011 at 11:45 amthenewhorde

      Ok, I just copy and pasted what I wrote like literally 3 minutes ago here, because I realized this place fits the post much better.

      “I just finished reading Moshidora (a few minutes ago), took me one day to buy the book and read through the whole thing.

      I looked it up and found out there’s an anime. And now it was actually on RandomC before but I never took noticed of it, how big of an idiot was I to judge an anime by its art, to judge a book by its cover.”

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