As promised, here’s the first monthly digest post, featuring relatively spoiler-free impressions on all the series we’re watching. The idea here is to share some quick thoughts on the ones that aren’t being covered regularly, plus potentially re-spark some interest in shows that you may have considered watching, but held off on for whatever reason (hence the omission of major spoilers).

In addition, all the writers’ impressions are here to provide contrasting opinions, if you were ever interested in what the rest of us thought about a series that someone is covering. The impressions themselves are based on the episodes that aired in the given month, indicated under the series title, and are intended to be fairly brief yet insightful in some way. It’s a lot harder to say something meaningful in a few sentences than it sounds, so hopefully people find some value in these type of posts. If there isn’t much interest, then we may not continue writing them.

Since this is the first post of its kind, feedback is highly appreciated. Also, if you have any suggestions for possible improvements either to the format or the content itself, please do share them.

Note: 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: Much 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
07:00 NTV (1/9)
Dragon Crisis!
25:30 CTC (1/10)
18:00 TX
16:00 (12/23)
22:00 ANIMAX (1/7)
09:30 AT-X (1/8)
STAR DRIVER Kagayaki no Takuto
17:00 MBS/TBS (10/3)
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
25:30 TVS (1/10)
Rio -RainbowGate!-
23:00 MX (1/4)
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
25:25 MBS (1/6)
To Aru Majutsu no Index II
23:30 AT-X (10/8)
18:00 NHK E (10/2)
Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
22:00 MX (10/3)
25:45 TX (1/10)
Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season
24:59 NTV (1/4)
IS Infinite Stratos
25:25 TBS (1/6)
25:23 TX (1/7)
Tegami Bachi REVERSE
23:55 TX (10/2)
Yumekui Merry
25:55 TBS (1/6)
Onii-chan no Koto ga Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
24:30 tvk (1/8)
24:45 CX (1/13)
Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!
26:58 MBS (1/8)
Hourou Musuko
25:15 CX (1/13)


Episodes 01 – 03

Divine: With an episode per character (broken into half eps on, this series has been far from the omnibus format romance I hoped it’d be. Rather than Tsukiko, the focus has been more on the guys primarily and less so their interest in her. The romance side hasn’t garnered much attention, even for Yoh who likes her. Instead, we’re given glimpses into their friendships with her both past and present, which is perfectly fine, but isn’t what I wanted to get out of this series. This may change as the most recent episode showed the different arcs coming together with Tsukiko at the center, though unlikely to get anywhere profound based on what I’ve seen. I’ll give it another arc to suggest otherwise, before deciding whether or not to drop it.

Episodes 303 – 306

Prooof: Bleach actually had some decent fillers recently, but the episodes are still hit and miss. Since I follow the manga closely though, the main storyline in the anime really just brings up the flaws in the story again and again. Watching it is just a constant reminder of how much each arc is a rehash of the others, and there’s really no deep substance, intrigue, or development. One thing that Bleach does have is the fights, and I for one love fast-paced adrenaline-pumping action; unfortunately the quality of the animation and art is really low and fights look unimpressive.

Rio -RainbowGate!-
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: Outside the cast, there wasn’t much I was expecting from this series. After four episodes, I’m a bit dumbfounded on who the target audience is, as we have gambling with a fair bit of fan-service, yet dumb villains who screw themselves over like you’d expect from a children’s show. Rio’s search for the Gates has started to ramp up and gotten a little more interesting, whereas the actual gambling leaves much to be desired. The “showdowns” have been purely dependent on luck, and doesn’t have the same strategic flair to them like Saki. I would’ve liked to see the complexity upped a bit to make things more appealing, but that clearly hasn’t been the focus. I’ll ride it out a bit longer to see if anything changes though.

Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season
Episodes 00 – 03

Divine: Much like the first season, Sawako and Kazehaya’s relationship has been fairly stagnant, yet the series maintains the same charm with all the subtle character developments. It’s still far from feeling like a full-fledged romance (hence my Amagami SS pick last year), and it’s antagonizing to see Sawako beat herself up over her feelings, but Kento’s been a great catalyst for getting Mr. Refreshing all riled up. He may have inadvertently fallen for Sawako too, which would put the story in an all too familiar situation. Hopefully he’ll nudge those two a lot closer than Kurumi’s incident did, as an actual confession still feels a ways off. Character-wise, Ayane is my favorite to watch, since she feels our pain from seeing little to no progress, even on Valentine’s Day.

Kiiragi: I chose the first season off on a hunch, somehow feeling it would be great, and it turned out to be just that. The second season is no different, and it’s chugging along just smashingly. If you’re a romance fan, there’s no doubt this is one of the best romance series out there, and I’d put it up there near Lovely Complex. I really don’t see any point in describing this show to anyone who is or isn’t watching it, since it’s already a pretty established series. If you’re waiting for it to finish to marathon, then yes, it’s still just as good as the first season. Unless you hate romance, hate any form of shoujo, or read the manga but can’t stand the slower pacing, then start up this series. No exceptions.

Prooof: This was one of the series I was really planning to watch since I liked the first season (although didn’t watch all of it). The episode 0 recap was useful for me and helped refresh everything that happened up until now, which unfortunately, wasn’t all that much romance-wise. Their relationship still barely goes anywhere as months and months go by, and I’m constantly crying for Sawako to just step up and get Kazehaya. If there isn’t a confession before the end of the this season I am really going to scream. The best way to lose a person you like is to wait around too long fearing rejection, but given how emotional development is the core of the series, the arrival of the ultra-perceptive blond-haired bro is more likely to speed up their relationship rather than interfere with it.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: On paper, SHAFT’s original take on a magical girl anime had a production staff to make it truly unique, and thus far it’s proven to be just that. The dark setting combined with an ominous story twists the general perception of the genre, taking the series down a path that goes against everything that defines it. It’s utter blasphemy that comes together amazingly well, and makes a statement about how magical girl anime isn’t just for young girls anymore. The cute character designs by Aoki Ume give off a false sense of security, in conjunction with demonic-like contracts and evil witches who bite heads off. Shinbou’s really outdone himself with this one. I love the character personalities, particularly Tomoe Mami’s with Mizuhashi Kaori voicing her.

Kiiragi: If you take the mahou shoujo genre, throw out all the moe, childishness, and cheese, fill it back up with a high dosage of insanity and darkness, you’ll get Madoka. This’ll be repeated in waves, since I’m definitely not alone when I say I was pleasantly surprised. The show only got better as the episodes went on, and the latest was actually disturbing. You know those “good” anime that people say only comes a couple times a year? This is quickly shaping up to be one of them. I mean, the only bad thing is now you can’t watch Hidamari Sketch without feeling a tad sick to your stomach.

Takaii: The Magical Girls genre, something that everyone thinks they’ve seen before right? The dark tones, sudden deaths, plot twists, possibly evil furballs — everything that you’d never expect from a Mahou Shoujo show is here, except that it works. The main character has to be one of the smartest characters I’ve seen, ever. If you were given the choice to sell your life away for a single wish, would you do it? Did I mention that selling your life away means fighting evil witches who can and will kill you?

IS Infinite Stratos
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: The mash-up of my favorite genres pulled through, featuring a respectable male lead and cute heroines who don’t needlessly abuse him, all in a nice and neat high-speed battle comedy package. The romantic aspects have been much better than I was anticipating, due to the girls showing restraint that breaks away from the harem norm. Houki, Cecilia, and Fan haven’t been very clear about their feelings, so they don’t take out their frustration on Ichika for being dense. All the while, he’s just being himself and not arrogant in any way, yet seems to do and say all the right things around them. The end result is everything I want from a romantic comedy, plus mecha-style action that’s taken a turn for the better with an unknown IS threat. Along with great character designs and a stellar cast, this remains my favorite new series.

Takaii: I never really got into Gundam, but I think the feeling I get while watching this show is how I would feel if I really got into Gundam. The 3D models of the suits don’t bother me too much and there is nothing wrong with a high school romance right? Plus I’m a sucker for Hikasa Youko, and I would never turn down any opportunity to hear her in a tsundere role. The thing about this show is that I look forward to it each week. 😀

Yumekui Merry
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: Much like the manga, I wasn’t taken in by the start of this series, but Merry is an unbelievably marketable character who’s kept me watching. Her alluring midriff and dangerously-short tank top speak for themselves, while her spunky yet naive personality brought out by new seiyuu Sakura Ayane makes her really amiable. My only concern is how Yumeji helping Merry return to the dream world hasn’t been as interesting as his interactions with her, making it feel like I’m watching this show for the wrong reason. Regardless, it’s grabbed my interest in some form, and left me curious about the direction the story will take with anime-original characters like Chizuru. I’m still not getting the otherworldly vibe like I did in Pandora Hearts, but the Mei/Chris subplot did give off a mysterious air, which the arrival of Engi next time will hopefully build upon.

Kiiragi: My face when I expected a lot more out of this than what I’ve seen so far. It’s not as developed as some of the better series airing this season, but it’s been said that the manga does get good later on. How much later on, I don’t know, and I don’t even know if the anime will cover it. I can only wait.

Takaii: Unlike most of the readers of RandomC who seem to have a rampaging navel fetish, the story of Yumekui is what keeps drawing me back. I think the ability to enter dreams is probably one of the most unique powers one could have, and each episode is full of dream hopping moments. Plus I love a show that makes the bad guys just as interesting as the good guys — it’s fun to see each “nightmare” have their own unique personalities. Combined with a guy who can make just about anything happen and a girl who has a awesome hat with a killer body and you have my attention.

Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: I can’t speak for Iron Man since I didn’t watch it, but the straightforward progression in Wolverine is offset nicely with lots of gritty action. There’s plenty of claw swinging and grunting to go around care of Koyama Rikiya, in a sensible and easy to follow storyline. Despite its simplicity, the plot has been surprisingly engaging, from Logan’s relationship with Mariko to Yukio’s quest for revenge on Shingen. Then there’s Wolverine’s history with Omega Red, who showed up as another mutant he has to deal with on top of Mikage Kikyou. The cliffhangers tend to do the trick of making me want to watch the next episode, and the overarching story involving Mariko will probably keep me coming back until the very end.

To Aru Majutsu no Index II
Episodes 13 – 16

Divine: My usual gripe with the heavy reliance on exposition to build suspense still applies, and the Daihasai arc was a prime example. The Queen of the Adriatic Sea arc was a lot better, but still wound up passing off a bigger problem as a smaller one, which is why I find it hard to get excited about this series. I tend to wonder, “Oh what are they going to tell me about next before Touma punches someone out?” That form of imaginative storytelling probably works better in the light novels, but in an anime it leaves much to be desired when we never see a visual sign of the threat. This is the key distinction that made Railgun a lot more enjoyable for me. In comparison, what keeps me coming back for Index is sci-fi/fantasy setting with a diverse range of characters, as seen in the preview for the next arc. Need more Itsuwa and her hot towels.

Kiiragi: So far, I prefer Index season one. The festival arc was just a gigantic mess, and while Index wasn’t exactly the most “amazing” series up till then, it was still enjoyable and things made relative sense. Festival arc killed a lot of that common sense, and it just really dumbed down the series for me. Seriously, the whole arc managed to make every single character annoying to watch, except Misaka of course, and it dragged on for way too long with the pointless cat and mouse chase of a half-naked woman. Sometimes I feel like maybe it’s a show that’s meant more to be marathoned than watched weekly. One poor arc doesn’t ruin the entire series though, so here’s waiting for that epic confrontation that was in the trailer huh?

Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: The feverish pace of the premiere was a little concerning, but since then this adaptation has been shaping out to be a great mystery series. While Victorique’s ability to make sense of the “chaos” solves all the cases in the end, it’s fun trying to figure things out along the way. The Queen Berry arc worked well in that regard, but the recent arrival of Avril in accordance to the manga has me really thinking. I didn’t read much further than what episode four covered, so all my suspicions surrounding her character have transferred over to the anime. I like how the story keeps me guessing, even when she appears to be a red herring. It’s awesome hearing Toyoguchi Megumi play her too, after the producers kept the casting a secret until now.

Kiiragi: As I’ve said recently in my impressions, the biggest allure here is the potential of the series. Being confirmed for 24 episodes, the fast pacing will allow for a much deeper story here to dig your teeth into. The main characters share a great chemistry that became surprisingly enjoyable, and was apparently strong enough for me to look forward to seeing these characters grow. Consistency is the only difficult thing to predict here, so like many series, it’s still too early to tell.

Takaii: Another series that really grabbed my attention after what I considered a lackluster first episode. This is a great example of what I wanted Yakumo to be like — something that with a great mystery that had me gripping the edge of my chair. Plus with Yuuki Aoi playing Victorique, I only can think of good things to say. Her nonchalant “ha-ha-ha-ha” laugh will go down as the funniest laugh I’ve ever heard. Combined with her tsundere personality toward Kujou, it only adds an extra element to an already impressive show.

Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: Other than my inability to shake the feeling Kazuya’s seiyuu was a miscast and Irino Miyu should have gotten the lead role, the manga I couldn’t put down has translated decently into an anime. The introductory first episode was a nice addition, and Kazuya’s insistence on being Satellizer’s Limiter has shown some character growth. In terms of action, I’ve really enjoyed seeing the gruesome Pandora battles with the various Turn abilities in motion and animated in a simpler old-school style. I do wish more time was invested into Ingrid’s backstory in episode four though, since it showed more depth to her character and the series as a whole. In hindsight, I would’ve preferred a shorter intro episode to make time for that.

Episodes 14 – 17

Takaii: The only Shounen anime that I’m currently watching, I can say that this show has its ups and downs. When the series decides to only focus on one chapter per episode it can get boring quick, but when the pacing is done right it turns into something amazing. By grabbing my interest just at the right times and changing things up to make things feel fresh, I haven’t experienced the “I’ve seen the same thing too many times” feeling that I felt with other shows in this genre.

Tegami Bachi REVERSE
Episodes 14 – 17

Divine: Gauche or Noir? I find myself asking that a lot lately after the heartfelt reunion I’ve been waiting to see. The story has picked up in a drastic way ever since, both in terms of Gauche and the human experimentation conspiracies in Amberground. Most notably is the recently revealed truth behind the Day of Flicker, which has changed my perception of the series altogether. With indication that the world may not have always been in perpetual darkness, I’m keen on seeing what other secrets Lag and Niche uncover, especially now that run-ins with Reverse have become commonplace.

Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: I was anticipating good laughs with Kitamura Eri as the perverted Nao, but once Inoue Marina gave me a taste of her seductive side as Iroha, the comedic floodgates were blown wide open. Head-to-head they’re a riot, as were all of Shuusuke’s delusions of Shizuru in the recent beach episode. Given the premise, I love how the series doesn’t take itself too seriously, especially when we see the “normal” characters’ reactions to all the wacky developments. It’s been great for kicks with its ecchi twist, and the class president Mayuka hasn’t even joined the fray yet. I come into each episode not expecting much, and seem to always leave thoroughly entertained. The lanky character designs have grown on me too.

Kiiragi: This one is funny. I don’t think anyone knows I watch this except for a friend I watch it with, and I’m not even really sure why I started watching it. It’s fun to see Nao, the perverted sister, play bipolar by secretly wanting her brother to ogle over her, yet acting like she doesn’t like it at all. That device pretty much saves the entire series, and the recently introduced twin-tailed brazen childhood friend just makes it all the more better. I’ve never had that mindless series to lay back and enjoy, but this is probably one. It’s a shame about the pointless censorship though, as if people are really going to buy the BD/DVD’s for pantyshots of a deformed character design.

Takaii: Kitamura Eri. Hands down she was the main reason I was watching this show. After getting a full dose of her in Madoka, I was so excited to see that she had another main role this season. With shows like Onii-chan, I enjoy watching them just for the entertainment value. A lot of people have bagged on this show for the art style, specifically the limbs and the lines on the shoulders, but once you get past that (I personally enjoy the style) and focus on the comedy between multiple girls fighting over a single guy, it makes it so much fun to watch. The types of things the show focuses on are pretty tame, and depending on which girl is up at bat you get different animals for “censoring” certain spots. This show might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you take it for what it’s worth, it’s a fun watch.

Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: As a seamless continuation of the first season, everything from my favorite comedy last year is back. I loved the Gachi Ranger sentai parody in the premiere, and the new misunderstandings driving a lot of the humor. The mesh of distinct character personalities seems to always lead to hilarious results. Hitoha’s bluntness with her father that never ceases to amuse me, and the extra attention Chiba’s been getting with his secret techniques has been great too, since he’s pervert with “standards”. For the most part, the laughs have been as good as always, except in the fourth episode where the jokes felt a bit lackluster.

Takaii: Hitoha, Futaba, and Mitsuba are probably my favorite trio of girls under the age of 14. While the first few episodes of this second season didn’t impress me as much as the first season did, the most recent episode did the series justice. I’m a sucker for stupid comedies and Mitsudomoe manages to fill that hole quite nicely. The one thing I’ve really missed is Satoshi interacting with everyone in the class! After having some of the funniest jokes come at his expense, I can’t wait till he get’s the spotlight again. I’LL SPEND CHRISTMAS WITH YOU SATOSHI!

Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: Since the first episode, it’s been hard to overlook the overuse of Beel’s electric shock as the running gag, so that’s soured my impression of this shounen adaptation. I have been enjoying Konishi Katsuyuki’s portrayal of Oga though, particularly his interactions with Furuichi as he tries to pass off the ticking time bomb demon child to another delinquent to no avail. I’m still wary of how the pacing suggests this will be a long-running series, and I’m admittedly losing interest as it drags on, but I’m holding out to see how Toyosaki Aki voices Aoi. While the humor tends to vary, there were at least a few occasions where I burst out laughing.

Kiiragi: It’s been four episodes, and they still can’t get the humor right. While I’m generally surprised that they’re faithful to the manga for the most part, they still switch up things for no apparent reason, and leave out most of what makes the jokes funny, or just the jokes altogether. Beelzebub is enjoyable to me not because of the action or the fighting, but because of the humor. The manga didn’t pull me in because of the action, and neither will the anime. I’m still going to keep watching it, just because I need to see Kunieda Aoi appear, but I see myself dropping it down the road if they don’t start fixing their execution.

STAR DRIVER: Kagayaki no Takuto
Episodes 14 – 17

Divine: Unlike some viewers, I never wrote off this original take on a high school robot anime when it fell into a formulaic pattern, and the return of Head to conclude Mizuno’s arc reiterated why. A lot of good series tend to start off in an unassuming manner, before making the viewer appreciate all the signs in hindsight. Star Driver has made some good strides in that sense, focusing on school life first before kicking Kiraboshi’s plan in high gear with the revamped Vanishing Age. The story has deepened since obtaining the third phase and delving into Takuto’s past, so I find myself looking forward to each episode more and more. Let’s not forget the great maiden songs too.

Kiiragi: There is so much I could rip on for Star Driver, so I’ll just say the main problem. Impact. Many reasons aren’t given for even the basic of things, which just leads to me not caring about much of anything that goes on within the show. Yes, even now. The only shining area are the characters, and the awesome first OP and ED (which I enjoy way more than I should, but it’s now gone :[). Despite the flaws, BONES’ high production values are hard to ignore, and the characters are somewhat fun to watch, even if the show is a leading example of BONES’ godawful writing staff. Still, recent episodes have become a lot better, but it’s going to take a lot more to redeem 14 episodes of nonsense for me. I think it’s one of those shows to just watch while everyone else is, so you can “be” part of the fabulous miscellania that the show tends to create.

Takaii: APPRIVOISE! After I first heard Monochrome play during the first episode this show had my full attention. Since its humble beginnings, I must admit that the show has been pretty boring for the past months — I’m not a fan of the “new enemy a week” style of storytelling. But ever since the third phase was unlocked last week, each episode has been pretty fun to watch. Unlike IS which gets my blood pumping, Star Driver piques my interest just enough each week to keep me watching. Unfortunately, I don’t like the new maiden’s song, so now there’s one less thing to look forward to :/

Super Robot Wars OG: The Inspector
Episodes 14 – 17

Divine: Only One Crash. The long-awaited SRX Variable Formation stole the spotlight for me in recent episodes, but there have been lots of awesome developments with the mysterious arrival of the Einst, Dygenguar “episode 15”, and Operation Plantagenet. I’m quite impressed by how the anime managed to consolidate the huge cast of characters and their subplots in a sensible way, even though it probably only makes perfect sense to those familiar with the SRW games. The battles haven’t fallen into the trap of recycling too many scenes either, and the episodes that showcase new robots are a real treat since they feature their trademark theme music. Some of the characters are due for an upgrade too, after all four factions clashed head-on. With Alfimi around, Kyousuke and Excellen should be the ones to watch for in the upcoming episodes.

Dragon Crisis!
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: From the second episode onwards, this fantasy series has shown a much more promising side to its story. Rose is no longer just a clingy red dragon of few words, having established a loving bond with Ryuuji during the incident with Onyx, and the early mutual confession propelled their relationship beyond the usual pitfall seen in anime. It’s great seeing a series break out of the typical mold, allowing the focus to move on to new characters like Marga and the search for Lost Precious. There’s a subtle yet distinct difference in its approach of the premise, which sets it apart from the generic feel it gives off at first glance. That aspect is what keeps me following this show, with the bonus being a surprisingly good production by Studio DEEN.

Takaii: I’ll leave the Taiga and Ryuji jokes for Kiiragi. What can I say? A show that has Kugimiya Rie as the main heroine named Rose combined with a story of collecting treasures. Did I mention that she is also a dragon? Looking at the series as a whole, I can say that after an unimpressive first episode I was drawn in by the second and third episodes. The whole idea of having treasures that possess extraordinary abilities doesn’t really appeal to me but the honest relationships between the main characters makes me smile. ドラクラ!

Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: Laughs, battles, shocking revelations, and unexpected twists. The producers carried through with their promises in this unusual mash-up of archetypes, and also provided a very touching aspect care of Yuu. Her scenes in episodes two and four gave another dimension to a series that isn’t short on any, adding to the already enjoyable antics that Haruna and Sera drag Ayumu into. I haven’t found the humor as hilarious as it is shocking, but the lighthearted side contrasts well with the darker one involving Ayumu’s search for his murderer. The questions raised by the cliffhanger in episode four generated a lot of good buzz, and nothing’s even been answered about the Megalo yet. Are they a side effect of Yuu’s powers? Gotta watch to find out.

Kiiragi: It’s amazing how cookie-cutter the characters in this show are, and yet they all work to bring laughs. It goes to show that even if you’re sick of lolis, big boobed girls, mute moe girls, and that one really annoying pathetic perverted friend, the right execution can really change things. For Zombie, none of said characters actually act like their stereotypical counterparts, except in the imaginations of the MC’s perverted friend, or just the MC himself, which contributes to a large amount of the jokes. The good thing about that is now you can take the show seriously, and it’s able to generate a plot without feeling stupid. Definitely worth seeing.

Takaii: 男子パンツ。 After High School of the Dead brought the “real world zombie” into the world of anime, I’ve been curious about how the genre could be ramped up even further. Enter: Koreha Zombie Desuka. The first few episodes have been the funniest thing I’ve watched this whole season. Ayumu is also probably the best male lead I’ve seen this season. Besides being part Zombie and part Masou Shoujo, his dry humor just makes everything that much funnier. But you can’t forget the Tiny Necromancer, Tamago loving Masou Shoujo, and Insane Vampire Ninja — they’re the other half that make each episode so fun to watch.

Episodes 01 – 04

Divine: Everyone needs to watch Level E; it’s as simple as that. This thirteen-year-old revival project has been comedic gold much like the manga I skimmed through, thanks to Prince’s deadpan humor that completely drives Yukitaka and Kraft up the wall. Their livid outbursts and tendency to resort to violence is almost always justified, which leads to a lot of hilarity because I’m not in their shoes and can laugh from the sidelines. The interactions with the other aliens on Earth can get remarkably serious, except it’s hard to tell if it’s another one of Prince’s pranks or not. The first mini arc had me totally fooled, as did the fake-out in episode four. If these trends keep up, this may not only be the gag comedy of the season, but of the entire year too.

Kiiragi: Seriously, why the hell aren’t our other two writers watching this? Everyone should be watching this, and that is FAR from an understatement. This is one series I am not afraid of blatantly advertising, because there’s absolutely nothing to hate about it. My mind was pretty blown when I found out this old manga was actually written by Togashi Yoshihiro, the author of Yu Yu Hakusho and the currently running HunterXHunter. Who knew this guy was such a genius at humor too? Funny how just an addition of David Production can suddenly make Pierrot adept at pulling off jokes with impeccable timing. Whatever, it’s all for the best. Only thing now is to see if it can keep it up, since I’m unsure where the series will go from here on. But seriously. Go watch this.

Episodes 01 – 03

Divine: Director Yamamoto probably did himself a huge disservice making the statement he did, because I really can’t see the slow start to Fractale helping his cause. Personally, I like the extra emphasis on the character interactions with Phryne and Nessa, before the adventure took off in a big way. The truth behind the Fractale System was thought-provoking and set me off on a rambling tangent, as the revelation maintained a precarious balance between right and wrong, setting the stage for the seemingly powerless Clain to make a decision. I’m really taken in by the sense of vastness in the fantasy world and the characters’ carefree nature thus far, the latter of which seems to be trying to throw me off for a big shocker like in episode three. I’m looking forward to more moments like that once Clain gets dragged deeper into things.

Kiiragi: FRACTALE may have went off into a completely different direction than I was imagining, which was a broad adventure, and it seems like it’s turning into some form of a Eureka Seven, but similar to Madoka, episode three took the series into unexpected territory. The character Nessa is really a joy to watch, and the futuristic slash old fantasy mix provides a refreshing setting compared to anime’s usual grab bag. The plot is still mostly vague, but it’s definitely getting there. I’m still waiting for that completely original mind-blowing scene of amazing though. Yamamoto, your move.

Takaii: This show has literally blown my mind away. By blowing my mind away, I mean having a refreshing plot with an exciting feel. I’ll admit the first episode almost didn’t grab my attention — I was already disappointed that there was no purple haired girl like I saw in some of the promos. What I wasn’t expecting was a deep storyline with a ton of underlying themes that make every episode feel more rewarding than the last. One of Fractale’s main themes is the bonds between family (or lack of) — something that I really enjoy watching especially when it’s done well.

Hourou Musuko
Episodes 01 – 03

Divine: A truly unique series with an equally unique art style to go with it. The subject matter is very niche, yet it’s been depicted in a such a way that makes it easy to sympathize with Shuuichi and Yoshino’s situation. Even without knowing what they’re going through, the gender frustration they feel is very prominent in light of the social implications. Their interactions with their friends serve as a nice outside “cushion” to ease me into it, while the rift between Saori and Yoshino further complicates things in an all too familiar way. Altogether, it gives us a story where there are no easy answers, and one I’m drawn to in hopes that the characters pull through this difficult stage in everyone’s life, gender identity disorder or not.

Kiiragi: A lot of people probably aren’t watching this, and that probably won’t change. The material is still the same, and it’s also not going to change, so if you’re just not okay with the controversy, nothing to see here. Otherwise, it’s a solid series that has excellent character development, being able to juggle multiple storylines and characters while still being coherent. That can’t be said for quite a lot of series nowadays, so it’s really refreshing. As for the story, I wouldn’t say it’s incredibly engaging, but I think it’s more of a gradual thing, since the anime does start off in the middle of the plot. I’m just hoping there’s some semblance of a climax as it concludes.

Takaii: I don’t know why, but everything about this show just makes me happy. The themes that the show is covering could be considered pretty deep, but so far I’ve only seen stories of friends trying to rebuild their friendships. The art is simply amazing — something about the light fuwa fuwa feeling to the animation just makes it feel refreshing. What I’m impressed with is how well the show manages to handle all the different characters. Every single character holds an important role and never becomes forgettable. The opening song sung by Daisuke is also one of my favorites.

Prooof: It’s not often that there’s an anime dealing with a controversial subject like gender identity, and I think Hourou Musuko does it quite beautifully. It’s very slow-paced, but the character development, the complex interactions, and the emotions really come out and that was enough to keep my interest. I haven’t read the manga so I can’t make comparisons there, but so far everything seems good. I do like how each of the characters are developed instead of just the main characters, but hopefully the large cast doesn’t become a problem.


    1. If this was Facebook, I’d ‘like’ this comment 😀
      Totally agreed – for the first post of its kind, it was a pretty good job. All I can ask is: why did we not have this earlier?
      It’s great to have a page where I can read short reviews from different perspectives and from there, perhaps pick up a series.
      Honestly, I think this is excellent the way it is. Well done! Keep up the good work.

      1. Because we weren’t smart enough to think of it earlier. 🙁
        Plus we’ve only had more varied multiple writers since Fall. Originally it was going to be all of us making our own posts for these impressions, but I thought putting it all together would be more useful. Plus, it’s less of a hassle. Glad you like it.

      2. Actually, it was an idea that I talked about with Omni back in the day, but we were too busy with the shows we were covering to make time for it. After writing this one, I can say that it took much longer than I thought.

    2. Let me just say as a long time reader of the Random Curiosity, you guys are doing a great job. When Onmi took a step back from running the “everything” I feared that the posts/reviews would trickle in slowly or loose quality over time and that this site would loose the up to the minute feel that really drew me to it years ago. All of your writers have done a fantastic job with the series that I’ve also been following, and with posts like this one you really allow your readers to comment and interact with you.

      That out of the way, I’d like to say for those people who haven’t tried Horou Musuko, and maybe feel a bit uncomfortable with the subject material, please give it a try it’s one of the most refreshing dramas I’ve seen in years.

      Keep up the good work.

    3. Ungodly Post! Reading various opinions of shows in a single post is mostly welcome.

      Will RetroLook be posted on a fixed monthly basis, or just when the blogger feels up to it?

      And how about asking Omni to write his opinion in RetroLook? I’m sure everyone would be glad too see him alive and kicking, and some paragraph per month (probably) wouldn’t give hassle.

  1. yumekui merry manga is starting to get better, its not that far from the anime. in fact, next ep will reveal more of about the nightmares and hopefully Show Spoiler ▼

    the manga is starting to show more about the problems in the nightmares in the current chapters.

    mahou shoujo madoka magica is really the best this season imo. its different from the usual stuff you would expect for its genre and has gotten lots of attention now.
    I dont believe in the speculation of witches being fallen magical girls. somehow it seems to easy to say it that way or too “plain” for me. I, however, sort of agree to everyone that kyubey is suspicious but im not sure as well.
    and I hope that yuri will come soon, thats one of my main appeal.

  2. I really like the digest post! I don’t tend to read the full episode reviews of series I’m not watching, so it’s nice to get a spoiler-free impression in case I change my mind. Plus I like seeing the various writer’s opinions, especially on shows not covered on a weekly basis.

    Totally going to watch Level E now. The art style put me off, but everyone seems to love it!

  3. watching 9 of 16 shows this season… with quality shows like Madoka, Kore wa Zombie, Fractale, and even the likes of Dragon Crisis and Oniichan no koto… getting quite nice stories and characters we are utterly spoiled.

  4. There really is a lot to cover this season, and thankfully you guys did a great job at providing some feedback to some of the shows I’m not watching. After reading this, I know I picked the right lineup for now and will probably pick out a few more later for marathoning instead.

    Keep up the good work, guys.

  5. excellent post, with a very good analysis of the series until now. I was not expecting much this season, but I was surprised.

    My Preferences:

    1 – Gossik / Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
    2 – Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
    3 – Dragon Crisis!
    4 – IS Infinite Stratos
    5 – FRACTALE

    I’ve always wished for a season impression/review-like post especially to get to know shows I’m probably missing out on each season.
    Generally I wait for the Best of Anime post and then I still know I’m missing tons but it couldn’t be helped..
    Impressions are really what I love most about RC.
    A paragraph per show per blogger is cool too.

    This sparked a lot of interest in the new shows.
    I’ve decided to watch Kimi ni Todoke. 🙂

  7. ‘Everyone should watch Level E’ I 100% agree with that statement.some are turned off by the art style but it’s really worth checking out.I’m kind of disappointed it’s not being blogged here.T_T

  8. Since you stopped covering Hourou Musuko every week, doesn’t someone want to start covering Level E? It’s one of the best shows this season and really deserves some more attention.

  9. This is an excellent post and has reinforced my wanting to watch of the series that i don’t have the bandwidth to watch. Thank you Random Curiosity team and keep up the amazing work.

  10. [rant]
    FUCKIN’ A!! Ultra All-Seeing EYE of RC has been unleashed!!1!

    I’m uber-pressed to tell all my anime friends about this. Liek, omg this is perfect! I can finally show them where to look if they wanna know what’s good this season. 😀 Also, you guys gave some really informative (and very spoiler free! thank you♥) opinions about the shows. I loved the Level E section the most. It are so fact.

    RainbowGate was something I kept seeing in NyaaTorrents but never really knew what it was so I kind stayed away from it. But after seeing what you guys had to say, I think I’ll stay away from it. It sounds kinda.. “wacky”. D: That and Beezlebub.

    Oh and Railgun was WAAAY more entertaining than Index II. More Misaka. >>”[/rant]

    [About the Post]
    I really do think this kinda monthly treat is a lovely addition to what you guys do already. If it’s not to much trouble, I’d love to see another one next month. :]

  11. Heh, this was a nice read guys. You guys should keep this up, imo it will benefit everyone. If yes, i’ll certainly be looking forward to this, reading your impressions and thoughts gives a sense of relief that i’m not missing any of the good show this season, not to mention all of you guys are watching hourou musuko :3

    As for Level E:
    “Everyone needs to watch Level E; it’s as simple as that.”

  12. I don’t agree with that Fractale has underdelivered. The show is very great and very enjoyable. I think it’s very important to highlight the difference in perception between western watchers and their eastern counterparts . While western very much care about the destination in anime, I think eastern care more about the journey itself (the same way many Japanese people enjoy standing on the ramen-shop queue). And so far the journey was simply great. Of course, me view is a generalization only, but I’m mentioning this because the subjectivity aspect is crucial if we want to know whether the show will be appealing to the Japanese audience, the same audience that Yamamoto-san is targeting.

    My point of view is very much illustrated by how a lot of the western audience viewed K-ON, as a moe-thrash. The same thrash that happened to top the charts in Japan.

    The interaction between the characters, the development of characters, and the slow but interesting development in the plot are making it very interesting. Beginning from episode two, I feel like living this anime, instead of only watching it.

    Living Fractale is a little similar to the way I feel when joining the occasional tea party that K-ON members hold in their clubroom. Which I find that many viewers not only don’t understand, but are also unwilling to understand K-ON fans who enjoy the show/world, thrashing the show because of its moe aspect, and thinking that K-ON watchers are mere moe-starving fans.

    P.S. Sorry for bringing K-ON, I wouldn’t have done so not being much disturbed by the constant thrashing it received from many viewers.

  13. The only series that all 4 bloggers were watching was Hourou Musuko yet it was dropped. Kinda felt sad for that. Also Level E too. I’m just complaining though and this post really does show which series I should be watching right now. The series of the season for me is Madoka which really blew me away.

  14. i’m not usually a nitpicky person. but w/ all due honesty, rio rainbow is making me lawl.i think it’s become absurd. And i agree w/ divine about the bimbo villains..the potential yuri in it is the only reason i’m not dropping it.XDDD

    T_T i’m glad you’re all liking hourou musuko..thank you.XD

    lastly, MSMM FTFW!! FAQING D’ BEST THIS SEASON!! i can’t wait for next ep! W0O0OT! xDD

  15. I started watching Starry Sky and Rio, both, as it turned out, WERE THE WORST OF THIS YEAR SO FAR. Starry Sky’s episodes are only 12 minutes long and two of each focus on a different boy, so it offers absolutely NO opportunity for a developing story! Rio is simply fanservice to the point of excusing a flimsy plot that has no substance, one-dimensional characters, and elements that resemble a Saturday-morning cartoon! I will quit both this week! Wow do I know how to pick em or what?!

    (Or what.)

  16. I agree with pretty much everything you said about all the NEW series I am watching from this list (Bakuman, Dragon Crisis, Fractale, Freezing, Gosick, Kimi Ni Todoke, Zombie Desuka, Level E, Madoka, Merry, and Wolverine).

    Wolverine is 100x better then that disapointing Iron Man adaption that they did. Dragon Crisis really picked up as a series and if you turned it off after watching the 1st episode ONLY you should go back and pick it back up. Freezing is a great series too. Merry still has alot of explaining to do before it makes sense but I’m hoping they spread that out over the course of the series. The big surprise for me this year has been Madoka (like everyone else expecting to watch another Cardcaptor Sakura) and Gosick. Gosick clearly has alot more depth and layers of plot development to it that I was not expecting.

    Good stuff!!!

  17. Yeah Level E really needs people to try it out. Extremely good show.

    So far Zombie, Madoka and Level E are the must watch for me.

    Gosick, Fractale and Merry still needs to kick into higher gear

    Zaku Fan
  18. Star drivers somthing you wont find out it sucks until the end like aquarion ! usually the only redemiong quality of such shows is the sound track
    Dragon Crisis is what dragonught wishes it was

    EVERYONE should watch LEVEL E

    Ta for POST

  19. Wow, Divine was in every anime post except Bakuman and Bleach. Don’t like shounen much? :/

    Out of the 10 shows I’m watching this season, my top 3 has to be Madoka, Level E and Beelzebub. Bottom consists of Dragon Crisis and Freezing. Rio was dropped.

    I really like this monthly digest post. It was a fun read. Looking forward to the next one.

  20. I like the assessments on Star Driver, because that EXACTLY what my mind is torn over. On the one hand, the formulaic episode presentation belies a deeper story that has some pretty cool twists, but on the other, they REALLY don’t care about back story very much, plunging you into bits of development before they actually give the reasons for that development several episodes later on.

    I’m betting on Fractale surprising us more later down the road by the way. From the way I see it, it’s pretty much gonna be this year’s Sora No Woto: Winter season anime that starts off slow and has a really good ending.

  21. Good idea guys, its so much easier deciding what’s good this season since nothing left out anymore (at least out of the Anime I’ve actually taken notice of).

    Pretty much agree with most of the remarks. Decided my favourite this season are Kore wa Zombi desu ka?, GOSICK and Madoka. Particularly Zombie? Not a single bad/boring episode yet. The last one nearly lost me at episode 2 and then episode 3 came along 😀 Still watching other series but those are the only ones I anticipate.

    I was originally watching Starry sky, thinking it’d be like the female Amagami which I loved. Such wasted potential with the half episodes and badly handled plots. They kind of have character development but that pretty much fails since I don’t see much character interaction. Maybe its improved but I dropped it at Episode 4. “the main character, [Madoka], has to be one of the smartest characters I’ve seen”. Agree. I like how Madoka’s character is rational and thinks more realistically. That’s why I’m hoping SHAFT does troll us.Hourou Musuko is definitely an Anime I wouldn’t have watched originally. I like how its going so far but its yet to really capture my interest. And KnT season 2, I’ve read the manga which is the only reason why I can stand the pacing. I honestly don’t know how the rest of you who haven’t do it hahaha.

    Seriously thinking of watching Level E now. I have seen people recommend it before, it doesn’t really look like the type of anime I would watch but with 2 of you recommending it as well as the commentators. I feel like I’m missing out on something good here.

    1. I dropped Starry Sky, Rainbow Gate, Beezlebub, Infinite Stratos, Mourou Musako, and Oni-chan for that reason. Watched the first 1-2 episodes of each and was like ehhh… and dropped the dead weight.

  22. Good stuff, this helps me reconsider a few animes I passed up like Dragon Crisis.

    I’m pretty happy so far with this season, standouts for me being Gosick, Level-E and and Zombie. Also has other shows worth watching like Merry, kimi ni todoke, Fractal and others supporting the lineup.

    Wasn’t expecting much this season but pleasantly surprised so far.

  23. You forgot to mention the Dyson-marketing in Zombie!

    I’m kidding (not about the marketing, see link, but about you having to mention it, hah).

    This is a wonderful post that muchly mirrors my feelings I have about most of the series in question.

    Will follow randomc from now on! (Got here via link by Melonpan on twitter).

  24. I like it, though I disagree strongly with some of the reviews (the shitty Zombie show in particular), but such are the variances of taste. A good time to start doing these, with the new season starting.

  25. This winter 2011 line-up is probably the busiest season I have as an anime viewer, compare to the 1-5 series per season I watched weekly as soon as they are released( while the rest I watched them when the show is finally completed) since 2006, I am watching a total of 8 series just this season alone, 9 total if you include Star Driver.

    As for the series I’m currently watching, this is how I rate them based on the first 3-4 episodes that is released already:

    1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica – 10
    2. Kimi ni Todoke – 9
    3. Star Driver – 9
    4. Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? – 9
    5. Infinite Stratos – 8
    6. Fractale – 8
    7. Gosick – 8
    8. Yumekui Merry – 7
    9. Dragon Crisis – 7

    – Plus there is a ton of other show that I will probably watched after the anime has completed its run — 🙂 best season so far.

  26. Bleach: 7 (fillers, c’mon)
    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica: 1 (mahou shoujo trying to be dark and cool. Disaster in my opinion. Annoying characters, crap plot, etc)
    IS Infinite Stratos: 8 (fan service and nice action scenes)
    Yumekui Merry: 8 (very creative and it’s starting to get really good)
    To Aru Majutsu no Index II: 6 (this last arc is no good)
    GOSICK: 8 (nice)
    FREEZING: 7 (fan service and nice action scenes)
    Onii-chan no Koto: 7 (alright comedy)
    Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!: 8 (funny)
    Beelzebub: 8 (I didn’t like the manga, but for some reason I’m really enjoying this anime)
    Dragon Crisis!: 6 (kind of decent, but the animation quality is pretty bad)
    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?: 8 (great)
    LEVEL E: 8 (funny)
    FRACTALE: 8 (starting to get interesting. The last episde was awesome)
    Hourou Musuko: 1 (boring series with annoying characters)

  27. Ok, so after reading this post, I’m seriously considering to add Level E and Onii-chann!!! on my list, I just wish I have more time, work (real life) just don’t really mix well in my current anime consumption, 14 series I’m currently watching not including the OVAs and movies that I watch from time to time. I’m glad I’m an anime fan,..just wash away many of my life stresses 🙂

  28. I just can’t see how you guys are giving Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica such a high rating. It’s pretty much shit. One girl gets her head bitten off and everyone’s on it like white on rice. I on the other hand am not that shallow. And the whole “dark theme” to it has been done before. Watch the original Sailor Moon in Japanese and you’ll see the same thing, though it does have more comedy in it, it does have it’s very dark moments Show Spoiler ▼

    . 1st of all it’s done by Shaft and Shaft has f***ed up ALL the anime they’ve done since Negima!? The plot of this anime is ridiculous to begin with and the weakly convincing main character is just as bad. If Shaft wanted to really make this a dark themed magical girl anime then they should have made it more gory by actually showing blood and guts and stuff like that. otherwise this is just another example of Shaft ruing another potentially good anime. Ranking from me is a D-.

    as for Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!! i agree with everything you guys said about it. The rivalry of the 2 main girls (so far) is fun to watch. All you need to do is just sit back and watch to enjoy it. I also had no problem with the art style to begin with. I’ve seen MUCH worse Show Spoiler ▼

    1. I watched Sailormoon way back in 1993/1994 and it was probably one of the best anime of my childhood. I have a big crush on Usagi/Bunny then, and it is dark and very romantic at some point. Also in that list is magic knight rayearth also one of the many highlights of my childhood days, I was a fanatic of that show way back then. So basically I speak highly of mahou shoujo genres preferably with a dark twist. So their is no way the word “shit” is acceptable in my books, whether i like a series or not, but hey we’re democratic here so I guess its ok 🙂

    2. I don’t think that a season needs to show horrible violence onscreen to be dark. This is, to use a gaming simile, more of a Yume Nikki compared to a Splatterhouse.

      I’m surprised you dislike Hidamari Sketch, Bakemonogatari and Madoka. They’re really good series in my opinion.

      I agree that the artstyle of Onii-chan!! isn’t bad at all, though. It grew on me within the first two episodes. I’m very happy that it isn’t going all Kanokon, and the artstyle does it’s part in that.

    3. @ Mad-Dog

      I think you are categorizing all shaft shows as bad, regardless whether they are really good or not. If you don’t like the way Shaft does their anime it’s perfectly fine, but I suggest you stop doing that, because you might probably miss a really good anime just because you have an allergy on the entire studio.

      1. this is not true. before 2006 and Negima!? i was a huge Shaft fan. they were one of my top 3 at the time. But after i saw Negima!? i was sickened at what i saw. But after that i tried to Give Shaft another chance by watching some of their shows after 2006, however none of them ever turned out good. So yes even though after Negima!? i have come to hate Shaft, i have tried to give them chances to redeem themselves by watching some more of their shows, but so far they have yet to do so.

    4. Comparing to sailor moon is an auto fail.

      Show Spoiler ▼

      Madoka pulls it off by using lighting to highlight the feeling of something sinister, Show Spoiler ▼

      , couching things in doublespeak, placing a major mystery in episode 1, using music to bring a feeling of unease and switching to abstract art to heighten the wierdness and unnatural surroundings.

      Zaku Fan
      1. answering your spoiler questions:
        Show Spoiler ▼

        I will give Shaft points for at least trying to think outside the box with this show, however for me at least, they have failed at their attempt. Unless they do something truly unexpected like actually showing one of the girls getting ripped in half and blood flying everywhere, there’s no hope for this show to succeed.

      2. Show Spoiler ▼

    5. You failed to understand what exactly Madoka was going for. The show is basically trying to portray Magical Girls in a much more cynical light.

      Comparing it with Sailor Moon is an extremely faulty analogy. There being a sailor senshi is like being a superhero, you fight evil, you triumph, you have all your friends and a life. Even during its dark turns the series basically ends with everything being find and dandy. Any character death there just feels like a cheap emotional punch

      Madoka on the other hand portrays Magical Girls as a really sad job. It is NOT fun or cool, or heroic to be one. It’s a job were a girl risks her life CONSTANTLY, and most of the veterans are shown as sad, lonely and frustrated. And if you die, no one remembers you. Even the wish granted for the job raises questions if whether it was the right decision or if it was worth it.

      So please, stop calling us shallow. I find this entirely new take on a Magical Girl very interesting.

  29. Out of all the anime you guys covered I was watching 14 of the above, I dropped Wolverine and Hourou Musuko and Beelzebulb because I prefer the english version and bored me twice respectively. After what I read I might just go back to trying out Wolverine. I’m dropping bleach though, seriously. Great post, wish I could watch more of the animes listed here but I didn’t watch the first season of Kimi no Todoke and Star driver and robots don’t interest me. Is Bakuman good? Just asking. All that I said was just an opinion of mine and was not meant to insult or spite any anime or their watchers. Love this post, I really hope you do it again.

  30. What Kiiragi said in regards to how Index is supposed to be marathoned. It’s funny that you mention that, cause I was thinking the exact same thing. I find that when I watched a bunch of episodes in a row I found each episode extremely riveting, yet as I watch on a weekly basis, I can’t but think at the end of every episode “that’s it?” With that said, I probably won’t be able to stop myself from watching the rest of this season on a week by week basis, though the idea is gonna fester.

    1. With the first season, I did both. Watch episode by episode, then in one sitting (literally one), a week before Railgun started airing.

      It works either way.

      I recommend giving the Baka-Tsuki translation project a look, though. They’re translating the Index novels. The anime is a lot more interesting to watch when you actually know all the information that they’re sort-of glossing over or leaving out entirely.

  31. I thought that I will be watching a lesser amount of anime that I usually do but after reading this post, I need to make time for Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!, Dragon Crisis!, Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?, FRACTALE while still continuing Index II, GOSICK, Star Driver, Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season and to continue what I’ve been holding off; Yumekui Merry, Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu!, LEVEL E.. Damn school projects, tests and incoming exams seriously.. D:

    1. It’s absurd. After reading your post I came to the realization that now that I work fulltime, I have more time for anime than when I was going to school.

      Feels a little ass-backwards. Being a student sucks. =/

  32. For those thinking of picking up Level E and Madoka, i would like to advise you not to check with any website on any of the episodes but rather just watch both until their 3rd episodes.

    Both require total ignorance to work at their maximum potential

    Zaku Fan
  33. Here is an idea….

    Each season after 2-3 episodes of all the series have been shown you could have a poll and have us vote for a new series thats not being covered we would like to see covered here. Kinda like a 2nd chance. That way good shows that slipped thru the cracks of coverage like Otome Youkai Zakuro, Nurarihyon No Mago, Dragon Crisis, or a Level E might get a second chance at weekly coverage?

    1. Good shows that end up not getting covered usually have their reasons. Otome had schedule reasons, Prooof dropped Mago, DC was also because of schedule reasons along with Level E. If there’s a show that’s absolutely interesting and one of us feels it has to be blogged, then we’d do it, but otherwise it’s still just the writer’s choice and the already busy schedule each individual has. Hence the idea for this monthly coverage, to bring up the entire season at once.

      For further clarification on why something as amazing as LEVEL E isn’t blogged, yet we’re raving about it, I can’t do it because I’m rather busy from M-TH, and KnT is just an exception for me. Divine is adamant on his fixed number of shows this season, and would rather cover what he has chosen already. The other two don’t seem to be watching it (Prooof is too busy to blog anything more than Bleach nowadays anyway), and there you go. An unblogged show. Besides, you don’t need us telling you how awesome the show is every week do you? 😛

  34. What i saw and liked:
    IS: 7
    Kimi ni todoke 2 season: 8
    Fractale: 7

    What i hated:
    Freezing: 3 (too much fan service, weak characters)

    I also dont like the nowadays mahou shoujos but ill give a try to madoka magica since it seems different from the usual ones

  35. I definitely am going to like these monthly posts if you keep them going. It’s great to not only hear about each of the series, but also the varying opinions of all the writers.
    About the only show I haven’t picked up as of yet is Starry Sky, and after hearing your (and many others) opinions on it, I’m not sure if I should bother. I also have to mention that although Rio is really bad… it makes me want to laugh at it (for being horrible), so I am still watching it (…for now).

    Best shows this season (no particular order):
    -Level E
    -Level E
    -Level E
    -Kimi ni Todoke

    Oh and did I mention LEVEL E?

  36. great post guys, I really enjoyed all the effort in making this post.
    I also agree about Level-E, really funny show. The other 3 anime’s I like to recommend
    are Zombie desu ka?, Onii-chan… and Beelzebub.

    Oh btw did I mention this is my first post 🙂

  37. Thanks for this recap. I ind it worked as you might have planned it and I went back to watch a series I had avoided (Level E). I find it very funny and interesting. Looking forward to the next recap.

    1. As a friendly advice from a computer programmer, don’t use any version of IE anymore. Hackers already have exploits in order to extract cache and catch data (that means history, passwords, usernames.. whatever you enter in the browser can be taken). The exploit is already being used against IE8 and sooner or later, IE9.

  38. I didn’t want to watch Madoka at first but then I saw the first episode and I was immediately impressed. Dark magical girl anime has been done before (See Princess Tutu, which is subtly messed up), but the way Madoka uses animation is so interesting and the way they’ve managed to create a slightly uncanny, disturbing atmosphere makes it stand out even from other dark magical girl anime.

    Hourou Musuko is an anime I’ll stick by from beginning to end. It’s a shame that they didn’t start from the beginning although I see why they made that choice. It’s just too beautiful visually and the character relationships or so intricate, I’m hooked.

    Gave up on Level E after the first episode but now I think I’ll go back and give it another chance. Thanks for the post guys!

  39. Wow… I just picked up Freezing after reading your monthly wrap and loving every aspects of it… from its character development, fan service to the EXCELLENT ACTION SCENES which I only have good things to rave about. Kinda reminds me of Claymore but with better fan service 😉

    Definitely one of the more under-appreciated animes this season… Thanks for the recommendation!! !Hope you guys will continue blogging it :))))

    Anyone knows where can I find the manga scanlation online?

  40. dang guys you really out did yourself with this one. I enjoyed reading all the writers little snippets on the impressions you got from the series. I too am enjoying the majority of shows up on that list. Good job team, if you guys do this like once a month, I can dig it.

  41. Great summary, so far i still enjoy infnite stratos, Gosick, freezing,korewa zombie desuka. With nice addition of oniichan no koto (hilarious stalking episode 3) and bakuman.i guess i will try to watch Level e instead and drop dragon crisis.

  42. this quarter is quite good
    nonetheless you’ll find 4channers complain about excessive moe and how anime is going downhill

    I’m following six series which is unusual for me
    level e

    and I have been hngng kitamura eri ever since she voiced ami in toradora

  43. Love the post and hope you guys can work out a system where it isn’t so time consuming to produce. It’d be great to see one of these monthly/bi-montly.

    Its always nice to reevaluate shows we may not be watching/dropped, and its also neat to see the different writers’ preferences and what they look for in shows stand out more comparing comments on the same shows.

    Keep up the amazing work!

  44. I found this quite useful. Especially for those of us who follow the season previews, I think the monthly review will work well as a followup. Either way, we can’t know which series will turn out to be worth watching until a few episodes have aired. Level E didn’t sound so interesting to me, but I’ll be checking it out now..

  45. I agree with everyone else on here but why the hate on regular mahou shojou shows? cardcaptor sakura may of had “the power of love and friendship heals thing” but it was fairly orginal with sakura not having a transformation sequence but having instead her friend make costumes for her and having her actually obtain power instead of it being handed to her by her sidekick.

  46. I love this. Not only is it just cool, it actually limits the amount of complaining done on this site about shows not being covered. I barely mind that Hourou Musuko isn’t being blogged anymore because it’s been covered here.

    My only suggestion is more pictures; if only one person is writing about the series, that means only one picture from the series exists in the post. It would be great if you guys picked 6 (like on the article previews on the home page) for each series.

    Thank you guys! You rock!!!

    1. We juggled around a bunch of ideas of pictures to text ratio, and this was the best result. You’d be surprised how long it takes just to take one cap per person when you’ve got several series to do, and this season is actually considered tame compared to the behemoth that was last season (28 series I think), so we had to take that into account too if we were going to keep doing it. These posts weren’t meant to take long nor be difficult, so that’s the general direction we took.

  47. OK, I have to say that my only disappointment with this is that it’s only once a month. Of course if you did it more often it would be hard to do that and keep up with each series individually. But maybe y’all could add someone specifically to do a weekly recap of “The Week That Was” in Anime each week? I am interested just because we get great depth in each series that is being covered (which is why I think most of us read RC), but it seems like we miss out on the breadth, and some of the discussion of how A compares to B compares to C, and where things seem to be going overall in the season.

  48. I Love bleach! ^^ and I the fights are good and really cool, I love all.
    But I’m watching it on cartoon network in the U.S, So I would like to know if the new eps been played now will stop at 200? And then they make more new eps to play.

  49. Great post. Glad to see that someone out there likes Infinite Stratos too; I always look foward to another episode. And indeed, Level E is definitely a must-see. Some good stuff there.
    Expecting great things from Madoka, wondering where it’ll end up with only 12 episodes.

  50. Thanks to this post, it made me realize that this season is filled with shows that put a heavy emphasis on story telling. I believe that’s a good move on the industries part, hope to see more that that in future seasons.

  51. Rio-RainbowGate:
    weird anime that the owner of casino hired some beauty that let people win money. if i was owner the first person i get rid of will be rio. this anime is something like yugi playing blackjack
    enemy: first turn, 18
    rio: my turn, blackjack
    (no reverse card) win
    pro: alot of fanservice
    con: those fanservice is not moe

    Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica:
    wow totally blew my mind, when i first saw it on schedule i was planning to watch only the first 2 episode before i quit. but this anime went beyond norm mahou shoujo.
    pro: the best twist of mahou shoujo so far, out of your typical mahou shoujo
    con: you might no longer like cute furball that usually exist in mahou shoujo

    IS Infinite Stratos:
    this is the sort of anime that will never let you down nor will ever bring you much expectation. the norm harem anime that you will enjoy for episode by episode( possibly for guily reason )
    pro: nothing to lose
    con: another cliché harem anime
    P.s. Takaii–> this is nothing like gundam, not even close( sorry for going against you)

    Yumekui Merry
    never thought this anime will be so enjoyable for unknown reason.when i first saw it, i was planning to drop it only to get hooked on(shit)
    pro: cute naval exposed girl? good story thus far
    con: hmm, i duno. maybe not much explosive action?

    To Aru Majutsu no Index II
    the continuation of index anime, if you watch toaru series before you going to watch this for next story. i myself like the railgun better.
    pro: ya biribiri
    con: not enuf of biribiri

    duno wat to make of this, cute goth loli girl playing detective with bubble smoke pipe( and darn good at it)
    pro: cute goth girl
    con: not your cup of tea( but it certainly mine)

    on of the small amount male harem hero to get into 2nd base with girl on first episode
    pro: wow guro scene and alot of groping
    con: somehow it not so much of any moe( possibly cause this is from mahwa?)

    a good slice of life story regarding the life of a mangaka
    pro: neat story from creator of death note
    con: if you read the manga bakuman, you dun really need to watch it( that the case for me)

    Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!
    a perverted sister that like perverted brother who are compete his love with his perverted childhood friend and also his perverted classmate
    pro: the most perverted cast you ever seen
    con: not really see much perverted stuff like Yosuga no Sora。

    i couldn’t even finish the first episode
    pro: if you lack of any shounen anime this season
    con: not as funny as manga, and won’t have any action until much later in the series( according to manga)

    STAR DRIVER: Kagayaki no Takuto
    when i first heard the word “ginga bishounen” i thought this is a bl anime and possibly drop it. but apparently a good fighting anime robot
    pro: you will like the maiden song
    con: male version of Revolutionary Girl Utena (with robot)

    Dragon Crisis!
    a cute loli girl that also a dragon that LOVE the hero for (i duno wat) some reason. very good to watch.
    pro: i love Rie Kugimiya saying ryuji( i could heard all day and not get bored)
    con: if you dun like Rie Kugimiya

    Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?
    ahahaha jokes on the zombie, with all the (already dying) zombie hype. this is a good anime to get different perspective about zombie
    pro: good fanservice, moe, funny ( what more do you want)
    con: ARRRGH my eye on Show Spoiler ▼

    never plan to watch it, but got too bored one day and watch it. couldn’t stop until episode 3
    pro: you will never expect the storyline
    con: you need to able to enjoy dry joke

    Phew, well that all the view of all the anime i watch this season. i hope this is not too long and fill the entire comment bar

  52. @Divine and Kiiragi: I completely agree with you about Beelzebub! What a DISAPPOINTMENT! I was really really looking forward to the anime and how I expected with the characters voiced in the manga delivering the jokes would be so humorous! But NO! They dont even deliver the punchlines correctly! I dont even understand why they use fillers and rearrange things around when there so much material in the manga already. Unless Divine is right and that they are planning this series to be a long running one, which frankly I think would be very disappointing due to the lack of quality this show had. Biggest disappointment for such an already established amazing manga series with guaranteed hilarity. Sighs, really I just cant believe they screwed up Beelzebub, the constant electric shocks will get old! So these people shouldve realize that the moment they kept repeating that old running gag! Plus the manga doesnt even utilize such a gag that much!

    1. I couldn’t even finish watching the whole 1st episode. I quickly realized 1/2 way thru the episode I was destroying brain cells and shut it off. I was hoping it would be much better. Biggest disapointment for me on this season’s animes.

  53. Since there’s no IS post yet, I thought I’d nag about Divine’s comments in this post.

    “Houki, Cecilia, and Fan haven’t been very clear about their feelings, so they don’t take out their frustration on Ichika for being dense.”

    First thing that happens in EP5? Ichika gets made fun of for being dense 😛

  54. Madoka is probably my favorite series this season. If people are turned off by the magical girl part, they should try and watch at least til episode 3. The show is a lot more than what people think. Dragon Crisis has been getting good as well from the first episode. The one show I can’t get over is the Onii-chan one. I can’t get use to the character designs and it seems as if the show revolves around perverted scenes and perverted jokes.

  55. Madoka exceeded every expectation that I have about it, without a doubt it’s the surprise of the season.
    Dragon Crisis can be boring at times, including when rose open her mouth to say “-Ryuji”.
    Gosick, IS and Fractale is following as awaited. I mean, they’re good but not amazing.
    And finally, Level E and Kore wa zombie desu ka is somewhat interesting. Level E follow MIB style, having good and bad aliens, and kore wa zombie remember me baka to test, I dunno why.
    Anyway I’m enjoying this season a lot. 😉

  56. My love of anime has reignited (=^_^=)
    I feel like there’s so much to watch from reading this post! I feel like I’m missing out right now! I feel this allows us readers to connect more with you authors of Random Curiosity.

    Thus, I see this heading to the ‘Popular’ category in the future.

  57. here goes, in a NUTSHELL…YUKI MERRY=boring trash “so far..don’t know why the vibe worked for casshern.P.S-the subbers don’t even want to sub it”…..STAR DRIVER= should have shelled out the extra ca$h for ALL ORIGINAL TRANSFORMATION SCENES to truly keep it fresh. this and the yucky 2nd op/ed and a few other little things are stalling it from being a Great show….FRACTLE= pretty good..BUT not good enough to STAKE YOUR CAREER ON! AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! come on homie!? FOCUS!!….okay,….BEELZEBUB- PURE F^@CKING GARBAGE!!!!!, i mean who the F&^K actually read/watches this SH&T?!?!?!? NO, I’m serious..who watches this??? i want their addresses and Phone #’s S.T.A.T!!!….RIO-RAINBOW GATE- this is ANOTHER ONE, what demo watches this??”yet better than BEELZEBUB” ..bottom line the GAMBLING aspects execution is a FAIL!……ONI CHAN NO KOTO= is starting to get a little boring ENTER THE THIRD GIRL PLEASE!!!!…………

    if some one actually read this tripe “I SALUTE YOU” to the contributors to this fine site..”I SALUTE YALL ALSO” for giving me the opportunity to vent in a discreet and therapeutic way….these were just opinions of one Pessimist/Realist i only mention stupid sh^& that irks me…OTHERWISE, i have been pleasantly surprised by many of the offerings this season….end of positive comment.

    BROOKLYN otaku
  58. It’s a shame they didn’t manage to translate the humour from the manga in to the anime for Beelzebub. So much potential. I’ll still watch it though, if only for beel’s cuteness! I was sceptical about Madoka, but maybe i’ll take a crack at it now. And Level E too!

    Love this new feature! 😀

  59. What annoy me is that there are still people who complains that there is no diversity in anime yet doesn’t watch Level E. I understand that dry/deadpan humor isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it is damn annoying when ones scream that ‘ANIME INDUSTRY IS ENDING. EVERYTHING IS HAREM MOE FANSERVICE CRAP’ yet doesn’t bother to acknowledge series that do it differently…which is exactly why producers tend do ‘moe crap’ because it gains better recognition.

    Minor ranting aside. This is one of my favorite seasons in a long time because of Zombie, Level E, and Madoka. I am normally too lazy to complete a series and would always drop it 3-4 episodes in if it doesn’t make me dying to watch the next one. However, this season has THREE series that manages me to watch every episode loyally, and I don’t feel like dropping them at all.

  60. Why 90% of anime has the stupid sports festival on it?
    The Daihaisai on Index was utterly annoying because the sports festival itself, they should have cut non plot scenes like the ones with the sports while chasing Oriana and Mikoto being annoying as always (ironic, because I find her clones damn adorable), Mizusu as a character was pointless until the very end of the arc plus the animation had a major quality drop-down. Only Seiri was a refreshing character but to bad she was at secondary plane in a mess as a consequence of a failed attempt to mix slice of life and plot simultaneously something which contrasts with the current arc where the slice of life goes first and then the plot starts.


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