Spring 2011 Anime Impressions

June 12, 2011 at 2:32 pm 17 comments

So busy… I miss being a student! There’s way too many series this season to watch that it becomes so overwhelming to take on this post this time. But fortunately this season is at least has a larger number of entertaining shows. Although there’s a lot more serious and dramatic stuff this time around, what I do notice is the larger amount of cute moe characters. Either work has done a lot of extensive mental damage to me or I’m getting an overdose of moe cuteness this season. I can’t tell, but I do feel my brain turning into mush. But I am beginning to suffer from burn-out though. I enjoy watching completed series, and waiting for new episodes each week and going back and forth between different series isn’t as exciting. Sadly I won’t be watching a couple of series as I go back to watching Doctor Who and Torchwood!

Too many shows this season. Just finding the time to watch enough episodes to comment on them was not easy. That said while there are a few shows worth watching although the majority turned out to be duds, I suppose that much is to be expected with any season, it is not possible to appeal to everyone with every show. This is certainly the season for slice of life and should almost certainly contain some variation thereof catering to just about anyone’s tastes. There may be few shows here that will be memorable in a few years, and this season probably has the worst show I have ever seen bar none, but hey at least Madoka Magica is over with, who says I can’t be positive!?

Here’s a chart from Zana. I appreciate the hard work that goes into these to make life a bit easier. But I’m stuck saving random pictures when I visit the site :3 And of course, Random Curiosity’s detailed preview.

X-MEN (04/01 Fri)

As expected, this ended up being one of the series I dropped first. I don’t think I’ll ever get used Japanese adaptations of Western franchises and vice versa. But the good thing is Ichiki Hisako ended up looking a lot cuter than her comic counterpart! Wolverine on the other hand reverted back to his short ugly self, versus his previous bishounen incarnation. However, I think at this rate I’ll watch Pretty Cure before I ever end up tackling another Marvel anime.


DOG DAYS (04/02 Sat)

So this wasn’t anything like Zero no Tsukaima. As a matter of fact this is what is wrong with anime today! Yet… I still can’t stop watching… cute dog and cat girls everywhere… if only they didn’t have kemonomimi… >_<. Anyway, this show was primarily created to show the moe moe power of furry females, so there’s not much a person can expect from this other than adorable eyecandy. Considering the kind of show this is at the very least, it is pretty entertaining if you don’t mind letting your brain rot from all the furry cuteness. Now I can only wait for nendoroids to come out for this series :3


Dog girls fighting cat girls. Or should  I place “Fighting” in quotes as Dog Days takes their shockingly child friendly approach a step further by turning war into some sort of obstacle course competition where no one dies. Aside most of the underaged looking characters having animal ears there is little to nothing of value here if you care for more than moe and animal ear moe at that in your anime. Sure there is something resembling a story that appears to center around questioning the nature of fate, however with a story so childishly simple it makes Dragonball look deep I cannot imagine any such theme will be explored in greater detail. What this leaves us with is a happy-go-lucky protagonist granted the mental faculties to perfectly compliment his jumping around like a monkey, both before and after traveling to a world with cat and dog girls for the sake of “War”. Oh lest I forget along the way he learns to use this new worlds equivalent of magic, which amounts to the standard shounen beams and such. It should go without question that the loli looking dog girl princess is randomly enamored with our oh so suave and stylish protagonist for being the brainless monkey he is. So in conclusion Dog Days is about one thing and one thing only : Animal ears. Unless you are an avid furry enthusiast or Wanko, watch at your own peril. 


TIGER & BUNNY (04/02 Sat)

I always feel like buying Pepsi whenever I watch this show. This show feels like one big advertisement to me whenever I look at the corporate sponsor logos that pop up in this anime. Although the first episode introduces a point system for the capture of criminals during television broadcasts, that game-like system eventually fades away in favor of focusing on the development of the main characters. How long will it take for Tiger and Bunny to fully embrace their bromance :3 I don’t find this show to be particularly good, but I do find it nice not to be distracted by fawning over female characters like I do for other anime >_>


Amazingly I feel that Tiger & Bunny did a better job in replicating the feeling and concepts behind the western superheros with both the characters and the setting than the multitude of previous attempts the last few seasons have seen. Of course the excessive marketing ploy of pasting ads all over the characters comes off as rather tacky to say the least, although I do have to admit they fit seamlessly into the established setting lending a feel of belonging to the ads that prevents them from being too intrusive. Perhaps the oddest thing about this series to me is that I come back week after week to watch more despite the simple plot and even characters I normally see fit to write off. It seems that the creators have managed to blend everything here in such a likable balance that I cant help but want to keep watching, the show never seems to try to be something it is not so it is easy to enjoy it for what it is. That said I do not expect this to be anything amazing story wise, setting, wise, nor ending wise and there are plenty of small quibbles to gripe about but when all is said and done this is one of those series that may not be great but somehow entertains enough to justify a role as a twenty minute weekly distraction.


Nichijou (04/02 Sat)

I honestly prefer the segments with the loli professor over everything else in the show. I think I’ve gotten pretty tired of slice of life/comedy combos by now, but since it features stranger characters than those of A Channel, this weirder show tend to keep me more interested in the long run. Hakase > Tooru, nyan~


I find myself agreeing with Wanko about the loli professor however the rest of the show never really picks up the pace of their gags to give the slapstick comedy the kind of effect I feel it needs. Were the pace changed to make this show more watchable I would probably have found myself enjoying it, but the predictable jokes take far too long to develop for my tastes.


Toriko (04/03 Sun)

For now, I have to say that Toriko is a lot more entertaining than Bleach. I’m having a lot of fun wondering how high the creator was when he made this. Despite the food theme, there’s no cooking involved that would interest aspiring chefs. As a battle manga, all you can really expect is for these characters to fight over food. But given the setting and large world they inhabit, I feel that this show can go on for a long time and develop itself further as the characters journey around their world for the best food. It reminds me of One Piece, and I think what I enjoy most about both of these shows is how they explore and travel to different destinations rather than focus on the same locations. I guess it gives me a RPG-ish feeling when I view this series. It also doesn’t help that I wish the gourmet world was real :(


Toriko certainly is a unique show, centering around food in a way that would probably appeal to most Americans these days. At the core however this is little more than your typical shounen storyline given an atypical setting. If you are not one of those people who enjoys shounen anime, it is probably best to steer clear, although I do have to give them credit for eating everything they kill, other shows should follow such a noble example.


Hanasaku Iroha (04/03 Sun)

As one of two other coming of age/slice of life types this season, I praise this highly for the animation. I’m surprised that they were able to make it look as close as it can get to the artist’s original designs. Although the story is nothing noteworthy, I just can’t help but get mesmerized by how visually great it looks.


At first I was not too enthused about this show, rather I was even dreading the necessity of watching a few episodes to justify anything I say about Hanasaku in this post as I imagined it would either be painfully boring, or else painfully annoying, either way I would have been in for some suffering. However after I had finally sat down to watch I found myself enjoying a show that ended up as neither and despite the slightly annoying bits keeps me watching week after week, very likely until the conclusion of the show. As far as those problematic bits I have mentioned, well I feel the minor relationship drama is distracting, perhaps even annoying in comparison to the rest of the themes it feels far less necessary to be emphasized to such an extent. Instead of the shift in the viewer’s perspective to conclusively highlight the nature of relationships a more subtle background approach relying on inference would have been preferable in this setting. Despite the minor romance themes detracting from though not destroying the series I find the rest of the show a likable experience that follows many of the standard slice of life character developments. If you need a break from the rest of the shows this season which focus too much on drama or comedy Hanasaku Iroha provides a good mixture of comedy, drama, heartwarming and sometimes heartbreaking scenes, perhaps even a little romance thrown in to the mix, might not be a classic in the making but certainly a show worth giving twenty minutes of life every week.


Showa Monogatari (04/03 Sun)

The main reason I’m watching this is to get a nice look at the creator’s depiction of the Showa era. Sure there are a lot of dramas out there that probably cover this and would give it a more authentic feel, but as I grew up on anime, this option feels more appropriate. This anime would be categorized as a slice of life type, but without all the moeness that is bursting from from its siblings this year. As this covers the daily lives of a normal family, there is nothing extraordinary that really goes on here. If it didn’t take place in the Showa era at all, this would be quite bland and horrible. But the setting, cultural values, and traditions that they used to have in the past remind you of a simpler time. I look at my own parents and wonder how much different was the world they used to live in. Showa Monogatari isn’t a remarkable show by any means. I would say based on what’s out, it is quite average or even below that. However, it has a sentimental value that I have to acknowledge.


I have difficulty with this show, the setting is fine and interesting enough in its own right of course, but I just cannot find myself interested enough in any of the characters to keep watching. I am not saying they need more “Moe” or something along those lines, but rather I don’t feel anyone I can identify with enough to really get into the story. Were the story more of a narrative perhaps I would be fine with the characters, but as much of the development really hinges on the cast and their daily lives my inability to care about them hinders my ability to enjoy the show. Perhaps it would be fair of me to say the problem does not lie with the show itself, but rather my own failure to develop an attachment to it, other people will likely have different responses depending on their own views and tastes. Not a bad show if you want some serious slice of life and are able to relate to the characters well enough that you can feel for their lives and developments as the show goes on.


Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai (04/03 Sun)

Despite the three different male leads, it still feels like a harem anime to me. I couldn’t really get into this as it felt convoluted with the male leads switching around. Although there’s an abundant amount of pantsu fanservice, it doesn’t help keep me too interested. Sadly, I find Dog Days more enjoyable >_>;;

DROPPED – Lolis wear some mature underwear these days…

Stupid. Too much fanservice. To top it all off OreTsuba manages to carry the boredom I experienced while trying to read the game over into anime format in spades. I just don’t care about the characters, I don’t care about the story, I don’t care about the setting, I just want to stop watching this show the instant I start a new episode. As sad as it may be I actually agree with Wanko that I find Dog Days preferable.


Gintama (04/04 Mon) (>’.’)b

Gintama is picking up from where it left off pretty well. As it is just more of the same, the only thing I can really say is that I hope this series never runs out of steam. I cannot imagine life without Gintama, especially the anime. I find it way too troublesome to read through the horde of text in the manga. This is probably the best example of something I definitely prefer watching over reading.


Sengoku Otome (04/04 Mon)

Just another moe show without as much fanservice. But then again, all it has is cute characters, no real story, and lack of  real fanservice. It’s missing so many crucial elements already and what it does have feels underwhelming. I’m ashamed to say that even the talking dog can’t save the show >_< But what can you expect from an anime adaptation of a pachinko game… you think they would have learned from Rio Rainbow Gate.


Kaiji Season 2 (04/05 Tue)

The second season of Kaiji definitely retains the feel as a psychological thriller like its first season. Cruel as it is, I can’t help but laugh every time I see Kaiji fall into despair. You think he would learn already with all that he’s gone through, but it goes to show how weak humans are to temptation. Originally it did feel underwhelming to see that the game he’s participating in this season isn’t as explicitly deadly as what he had gone through in the first season. But I think the psychological journey he goes through more than makes up for it. It’s always satisfying to see him rise from his depressed and humiliated state to take on foes that really love their own troll faces. I really do hate troll faces, but what I hate more is that abomination that shows up in the ending theme. *points at picture above*


Stein’s Gate (04/05 Tue)

It is downright horrifying to see how different the animation is compared to the original art from the visual novel. Thankfully there are some other pretty series out there, but it didn’t feel like they tried with this anime. Aside from that, as entertaining as this series is, it does feel stagnant and slow. I was expecting quicker plot development, but they managed to stretch things out longer than I thought they would. I do feel like I’ll end up disappointed at this rate. On another note, Hanazawa Kana is everywhere this season :3


30-sai no Hoken Taiiku (04/06 Wed)

Thankfully this series is only 12 minutes long. I think it might truly fail more than it already has if it managed to grab a longer time slot. B Gata H Kei managed to pull off the virgin comedy quite well, but on the other hand this series tries way too hard to grab your attention. I think this will do more harm than good for real virgins.


Hyougemono (04/07 Thu)

I fell in love with this show from episode one, the mixture of absurd comedy, serious setting, and colorful cast makes this a winner in my book. The inner struggles of our out of place protagonist as he tries to reconcile the things he loves with his duties as a soldier never cease to bring a smile to my face or a tear to my eye. I found myself appreciating the comedy of this show far more than I expected, not that it is stylistically unique, no rather the nature of characters, setting, and the subject of the comedy is what makes it feel somewhat fresh and entertaining. Proof that with a little thought even the same repetitive comedy situations seen hundreds of times can as funny as the first time we have seen them. Not so much about a central story as it is the development of the protagonist as a person this is definitely not a Sengoku show for people who enjoy things such as Sengoku Basara.


A Channel (04/07 Thu)

This ended up being too normal for me. Not even rabid Tooru appeals to me. It’s hard to enjoy this show when it doesn’t feel any different from any generic slice of life show.


Once again I find myself agreeing with Wanko that this show just lacks entertainment value, it is not funny, nor interesting, nor even bad really, it is just sort of there to give a median so mundane that people cannot hate it, unfortunately that also means nor will most like it. The pitiful attempt the creators of this show made at using characters to appeal to viewers is all one can really do in a slice of life story without central plot, however this time they failed miserably as none of the characters are interesting enough. Slice of life does not mean a show must be dull, a lesson the creators should have learned before making this show.


Dororon Enma-kun (04/07 Thu)

I think for some of the older manga, I’ll stick to reading it rather than watching their newer anime adaptations. I haven’t exactly read the manga myself but it does look like they kept a lot of the obscene stuff from what I’ve saw in the first few episodes. Unfortunately I can’t bring myself to watch it as the flow from scene to scene doesn’t work out so smoothly. It does feel like the transition was poorly patched together but then again an older manga like this probably worked better in its manga format in the first place. I understand that this is a comedy anime, but it just feels like a chore sitting through 24 minutes of this stuff. However, given the variety of anime out, I don’t think I’ll be missing out on anything by dumping this. Not to mention I’m not gonna miss that old hag spinning her tits…


I won’t lie, I went into this show maybe not expecting but at least hoping for a repeat of Level E, granting me another season with a show I could not stop watching. What I got however was a forcible “Comedy” full of crass and overbearing slapstick jokes and characters. Unfortunately I did not find this show the least bit funny, nor the characters the least bit endearing, the whole thing only reminded me of where the current generation of stories went wrong. Of course I enjoy physical Japanese humor as much as anyone else, but the obnoxious childishness of the style this series uses in an attempt to be funny leaves a lot to be desired. Any joke, physical or not requires some foundation to build upon and it is that very foundation which is lacking in this series, the humor is so simplistic it could have come out of a “Japanese comedy for dummies” book. Without some form of meaning behind the characters personalities and even the setting,  the standard tsukkomi joke is just someone being hit and simply isn’t funny. Next time they choose to bring to life an older manga I hope they put more thought into the series they choose, at least picking one where the creator put some thought into the characters their relationships and the setting instead of setting the stage for the modern crop of pointless shows.


SofuTeni (04/07 Thu)

Just a big excuse for censored fanservice! Although I do find the censoring to be cute.


Yondemasu yo, Azael-san (04/08 Sat)

For an anime with episodes that last half as long as a normal episode, I can only wonder why they didn’t decide to give it a full half-hour time slot. With a nice amount of cute chibi demons that possess disturbing abilities, there’s always something exciting going on in each episode. Gag comedy is sure a popular genre for me this season!


Azazel is one of those shows that comes along once in awhile that makes you lament the week spent in between releases, at least for me it is. I have found myself loving every minute of this all too brief series, in fact that is my one real problem, the individual episodes are far too short to feel properly satisfying. There really is nothing quite like super deformed demons with silly powers being brutalized by an even more demonic human who summons them to solve various problems his detective agency deals with. What drives this series is not just the demons, but rather the characters as a whole with each adding their own facet to this hilarious animated gem. In a way this is Henzemi done right, of course the setting and themes are different but the basic concept that drives the comedy and character’s interaction are pretty much identical. This is one show I hope will get an eventual continuation season or two, and perhaps full length episodes along the way.


Henzemi (04/08 Sat)

Oh god, I wonder how this got on the air. They really will work with any premise they can come up with…. Depending on how much you can stomach or find funny, the amount of weird fetishes in here will probably turn a number of people off. There’s a lot more better things to watch than this….


Sure this show is a showcase of weird, but it is boring weird, Henzemi somehow just doesn’t go far enough to really justify itself. First Henzemi fails at being funny, then fails at being disgusting, and finally fails at characters and story, the whole thing oozes mediocrity trying to use a gimmick to spice things up. None of the characters feel strange enough in their values or often in their actions to make the attempts at being funny by being extreme work. It is fairly obvious the show was made by pretty normal people who then brainstormed based on their concepts of depravity with some random ideas likely thought up while drunk thrown in for good measure. With their nonsensical attempts at entertainment via embracing the absurd a let down, things could still be salvaged were there comedy with the characters at the very least, but no sadly that side is even more worthless. What it all comes down to with Henzemi is the most boring slice of life show imaginable hiding behind a single gimmick that is not even implemented well, good luck finding something to like here.


Astarotte no Omocha (04/10 Sun)

This is definitely loli fanservice at its best this season. Although the premise is disturbing, it didn’t turn out to be the horror that I thought it was. Like many shows this season, it focuses on grabbing your attention with its adorable characters. I can’t help but think of rainbows and puppies (with pantsu x_x;) whenever I’m watching an episode. Even though there is a male lead in the show, he’s so feminine that this feels like a yuri yuri paradise. On another note, I get the same feeling from this as the Hanahira yuri game that Micchi-senpai reviewed. Those April posts were sure fun!


Much worse than I expected. The manga was more endearing and less about fanservice, not to mention the focus on characters other than the worthless loli princess. In anime form this series has turned out to be a loathsome waste of time for all but the most dedicated of pedophiles. I hope that towards the later episodes they focus more on the manga story and the protagonist’s relationship with the queen, thus escaping the prancing pantie-less jailbait of a cast. Unfortunately I am pretty sure the series will continue catering to the lolicons in the audience, leaving the rest of us to shutter in horror at a series best left on paper.


Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi (04/11 Mon)

As this show reminds me of the nightmare that was the game I failed at getting far in this series. Maybe it turns out better than the game did, although that is pretty doubtful since anime tends to be an inferior medium due to the compromises it necessitates. Hopefully feng will learn from their mistakes and create a better story next time.


C: The Money of Soul and Possibility Control (04/14 Thu)

I really didn’t expect this to become somewhat of a battle anime. Now I’m imagining Ash Ketchum becoming a Pokemon Business Master. But even with that, this anime is a lot more deeper than I thought. Beyond the battles is the main theme of money presented in this anime, along with the consequences and responsibility that goes with it. With what’s out so far, the world and setting has been established and we’ve already seen how the financial district affects the real world. How the story goes from here and in what way it will end is going to leave a deep impression. Managing the economy is tough enough as it is out here in the real world, so it’ll be interesting to see how they resolve the financial and economic problems without using a deus ex machina.


It always warms my heart to see something that could have been great turned into a battle show for children. Instead of focusing on economics and trade the show is entirely about shounen manga style battles almost like a Pokemon or Digimon using terms related to finance and money instead of hit points. Usually there is one rather lame battle sequence per episode followed or preceded by fifteen or so minutes of the protagonist whining about his conscience feeling guilty and of course his stereotypical shounen protagonist desire to save everyone. If I had a time machine I would kill the creator of Evangelion before he could think up Shinji, with the template for annoying and worthless protagonists of today gone there is a chance I would not have to put up with this crap. I would sooner watch Sailor Moon than what might as well be Dr. Seuss – Black money and Lolis.


Ano Hana (04/14 Thu)

Ano Hana isn’t very original, but it does a good job of bringing back feelings of nostalgia. One of my biggest complaints though is how much of an idiot the protagonist is. With a ghost that can manipulate physical objects, you think he would connect the dots instead of passing it off as a phantom of his stress. But rather than put a bigger focus on the supernatural aspect due to Jinta’s thick head, we get to see the rest of the cast develop their characters. Coming of age is an appropriate tag for this anime, but I wish it wasn’t so predictable. I’ll however continue to watch this as I tend to have a sentimental attitude toward these types of anime…. or until I feel like throwing my monitor out in rage from waiting for Menma to prove her ghostly existence to the others.

WATCHING – Anjou Naruko <3

Hidan no Aria (04/14 Thu)

Guns, swords, and supernatural abilities accompany this sequel to ToraDora. Ryuuji has finally gained the ability to power up into a Mega-Playboy (Just like Momonari Junta of DNA² in case you never heard of the term. I’m sure feeling old.) through the power of his perverted lust while Taiga seeks to abuse him once more. I had more fun watching gg’s troll subs than the actual show until it went full troll :3 Back to my world of dog girls…


I watched a few episodes of this, the single worst show this season and perhaps ever just so I could legitimately say once again how much I loathe this series with all my being. Since I could write an essay spanning a few hundred pages detailing everything wrong with this series and why, I will start with what is good, the animation doesn’t suck, and the voice actors are fine I suppose, that is all. No really, every single thing left in this series is completely bottom of the barrel, even were I to focus my entire being on conceiving what could possibly be worse, I do not think I have it in me. Lets start off with characters that are carbon copies of what tends to be most popular in the Japanese market, coincidence that just happens to coincide with what was needed in this story? Yeah right. This may have been forgivable had they done a good job with the basic designs, but no even with step by step directions on how to build a popular character they still failed miserably at bringing them to life as anything more than popularity puppets appealing to the average bumbling Japanophile and or desperate otaku without standards. The setting is not much better either, creating a random and completely unnecessary global institution based around turning little kids into some form of strange mercenary cops. Binding everything together is a story so sloppy it is as though the creators tried to read the bukkake on an JAV actresses face for inspiration. It really is that bad.

 Another problem I have with this series is tha normally I would not care no matter how bad something is if other people liked it or not, especially since I could just not watch it and ignore the show and the most likely illiterate fandom it would spawn. However if this show ends up being as popular as I fear it serves as a proof of concept that catering to popularity works for sales of an otherwise artistic medium. Which means that instead of creations being governed by the vision of their creator, they will be analyzed in a business like manner to maximize profit, anime may indeed be a business but the direction of it is always selected by the consumer. Were people to neglect pre-fabricated moe series and continually popularize the lovingly crafted shows made by people who actually put the effort in to develop their stories, characters, and settings the focus of the market would reflect that. If on the other hand the consumers choose to buy into a cheap ripoff that neglects everything aside from moe then of course the producers are going to oblige and deliver easily conceived and marketable series. For anyone who enjoys anime for the freedom of concepts, and the varied stories, characters, and settings which has defined the medium the current trends are disconcerting to say the least, I can only hope the worthwhile series retain enough popularity to justify their continued publications.

As an aside I laughed pretty hard at Wanko’s mention of DNA², and I am sure anyone else familiar with older series felt the same since that is exactly where the whole “Hysteria mode” came from. I completely forgot about that until he mentioned it to be honest though. Speaking of which I hated the ending of DNA².

DROPPED – If only everyone else had the sense to do the same, or the studio did before they made this an anime..

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko (04/14 Thu)

I was quite wrong when I thought it would resemble Arakawa Under the Bridge. Instead this ended up turning into a super moe show with the cutest female character this season. Although there is somewhat of a plot as a young girl tries to re-adapt to society, it’s kind of hard to notice when Erio and Ryuuko attacks what’s left of your heart with their moe moe attack. But really, what kind of monster decided to include a twintail episode! I can’t tell if the creator is trying to corrupt me even further! For all of you weak to cute and moe, watching this show will take 10 years off your life.

WATCHING and wondering if you can ever have enough twintails :3

I do not care for the moe strewn throughout this series like so much rubbish. I am interested in the ending and what happened to Erio in the six months she was missing as well as how the creators choose to resolve it, however it seems they have put that off to the side for the moment to focus on scenes of cute characters. If this series fails to pick up from being a moe slice of life show and actually develop their characters and setting I will be dropping it in the future. For now I am willing to put up with some hardships hoping for something interesting to happen in the latter half of the series, I fully expect hazard pay from Micchi for this.


Deadman Wonderland (04/16 Sat)

With what’s out, I think they’ve done an outstanding job with the anime. With its dark setting and an engaging plot that progresses smoothly each episode, you can’t help but be captivated by what will happen in the next episode. Given the grim premise, this show stands out from the rest of the season’s anime but what worries me the most is how much they’ll be able to fit in 12 episodes. Thankfully for the time being, I’m glad that they’re taking their time with developing the world of Deadman Wonderland in its limited amount of episodes.


Ao no Exorcist (04/17 Sun)

The first three episodes do an excellent job of setting up the main character and premise. But what I do worry about is how they’ll be able to handle what happens after that. From what I can see, Rin’s school life and the episodes that cover it will lessen and detract the overall feel of what was built up in the earlier episodes. As it’s already about halfway through the series, my original thoughts about how detrimental a 12 episode limit can be for this series is staring to surface. Although it is likely they’ll probably do a second season, I don’t think the first season will end in a satisfying way at this rate.


Ao no Exorcist is one of those shows that becomes a guilty pleasure to indulge my inner child. Granted the show looks as though it is pretty much the usual shounen story, though even the manga is not far enough to tell for sure if it will end up that way in the long run. As for being what it is, well I suppose it happens to be better than average but I just cannot see where they will go with the story in such a limited time frame. I can only hope they do not start deviating from the manga storyline for lack of time, since the manga itself was not too bad and only loosely sticks to the standard format in use for shounen series. Would be nice if one of these type of shows did away with the emotional idiot type of protagonist for once though, it may be tried and true but it really gets old after awhile.


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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. RomanB  |  June 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    What should i start with.. First of all, great review of the animes, although Zen is making me sad with his criticism about shows that I watch and he drops T.T . Well, if our decision to watch or drop the anime was based on the “Zen factors” :P so we probably would have thought the same. Though I still believe that Zen needs to chill out a bit and give a chance to some more shows, I still think that his criticism is the best, and I will, by all means, try the animes that he marked as “watching”. Thanks guys! (and sorry for the messed up comment)

  • 2. sinnach  |  June 12, 2011 at 8:19 pm

    Thank you Zen. My jaw absolutely drops whenever I come across a good review of Hidan no Aria. It is such a terrible show from top to bottom. Terrible characters, terrible plot, terrible setting. Ugh.

    On a more positive note, Hyouge Mono is an awesome curveball of a show. One of the best currently airing.

  • 3. Zen  |  June 13, 2011 at 7:05 am

    @ RomanB : Some things just come down to tastes, can’t all agree all the time no need to worry if your series don’t match mine. I do give every show I comment on in the impressions post a minimum of three episodes, for this season it was more like six or so though. Although there are a few I skipped as they were repeats or I had forgotten about them till it was time to make the post, and just didn’t have the time to watch enough. But regardless every show I commented on I have watched a minimum of three episodes, well everything save Aria I have seen more of.As far as my criticism I just try to be as direct about what I think as possible, by no means does it indicate I have some sort of pent up rage towards things. Don’t worry about the comment, I barely pay attention to how I write them as is, and it is always nice to get some intelligent feedback.

    @ sinnach : This made me laugh because I was expecting nothing but flames or something close in regards to my comments on Aria. But in general I refuse to change my opinion and look the other way for the sake of popularity, it is dishonest to go along with the mainstream opinion. Glad to see I am not the only one who notices how bad that series is regardless of taste. It does make me wonder what people see in that show though, is it just that they don’t know any better, hopping on the bandwagon, or simply do not care about the rest of the garbage as long as they get their loli moe? Whatever the reason it is a detriment to the industry as a whole in my opinion, sure it may sell more figures and other merchandise but it dilutes what has made anime such an enjoyable pastime.

    I agree on Hyouge, a shame I doubt it will ever be very popular I would like to see more shows like that in the coming seasons.

  • 4. freeform  |  June 13, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I’ve really enjoyed Lotte so far, but I think I’m just completely desensitized to fan-service at this point, for better or worse. It’s not quite as good as the manga, but that holds for just about every anime adaptation (I was extremely disappointed with Hourou Musuko).

    You could tell Aria was going to be awful from a mile away though, that was never in question.

  • 5. roo  |  June 14, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    kinda surprised neither of you liked oretsuba. underneath the fanservice it’s got quite the interesting story going and it’s been one of my favorite shows this season.

  • 6. Deathfire  |  June 15, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    I agree with roo, after the first first episodes focusing on fanservice, it actually gets quite an interesting plot interlaced with the fanservice, I was surprised and was glad I gave it a chance

  • 7. Zen  |  June 16, 2011 at 7:21 am

    @ roo & Deathfire : I like the basic concept and premise of Oretsuba, it is a good idea. However intriguing the concept may be, the rest of the series is poorly portrayed and developed both in the game and anime. I suppose I liken it to giving a child some high quality clay and asking them to turn it into a figure, you may be able to make out the basic shape and understand what they were trying to do but it is still unappealing. It is the same with Oretsuba, the core idea is interesting and would have made a great game had they done a better job in shaping it, the writing for the game, the pace, the interactions, the characters and their development, the setting, and even the overall ambience feels like they missed the mark with that series. There is an air of childishness to the series, scenes meant to be serious don’t feel serious at all, the various settings feel mostly distorted and misplaced. Overall there is just a level of depth missing from their creation that prevents it from being entertaining on the level they attempted to achieve. Maybe had Navel decided to make it less serious along the lines of Shuffle! they could have gotten away with it as it is what it is then. However Oretsuba exposes the creators lack of ability to properly sculpt a deep and involving plot even with the best materials available. Mind you I mostly ignored the fanservice and have watched uhh six or seven episodes before writing up commentary on it, I felt the same way when watching the show as I did when playing the game, bored. Well perhaps not just bored, bored and annoyed they couldn’t do a better job with it, they sure did not consider their audience well in my opinion, something at least officially intended for an adult audience really requires better attention to the intricate and subtle elements of the plot.

  • 8. nemuiwanko  |  June 16, 2011 at 8:11 am

    @roo/Deathfire – Character development was especially a key issue for me. Like Zen, I couldn’t really care about the characters. The story started to pick up in the later episodes, but by that point it was far too late. As I didn’t play the game, I didn’t know what to expect. Given how slow it was and the little advances in the story, it was a test of patience for me to see if I could endure it until something actually happened. Yet when something did happen, it ended up being underwhelmed by the minor subplots that went on. Fanservice is nice once in awhile, but I rather be entertained in other areas.

  • 9. Zen  |  June 29, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Deathfire I’ll give you a day to organize that into one comment, if not I am going to delete them all as pointless spam. There is no reason to post so many times to state which series you liked and did not like, it clutters up the comments and prevents other comments from being noticed. This is common sense for all forums and comment sections, otherwise I would ignore it.

    • 10. Deathfire  |  June 29, 2011 at 9:31 pm

      I’ve copied them all into one comment text, which I will post after Denpa Onna finishes.

      • 11. Zen  |  June 30, 2011 at 7:58 am

        Thank you, and honestly those type of posts belong on a forum anyway not here. These are not reviews or anything of the sort we have a separate page for those, just have not had time to make it all public with the reviews themselves yet.

  • 12. ♡Sakura♡  |  June 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    The more shows you drop = the better taste you have.

    I have a hard time finding anything enjoyable this season. I have already read steins gate which makes watching the anime pointless, I’ve already read Oretsuba and the anime is shitty anyway, and the rest is just humour that isn’t actually that funny, or uninteresting ‘moe’/fanservice. Ao no Exorcist is somewhat enjoyable.

    Summer season looks even worse.

    • 13. Deathfire  |  June 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm

      I beg to differ, I think you have better taste if you stick with a show and see what it has to offer until the very end, I can understand if the show is absolutely unbearable like Hidan no Aria, but if it’s a show that isn’t that good, but not bad either, like A Channel or Ore-Tsuba, I see no class in dropping something.

  • 14. Zen  |  June 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    I disagree with both Sakura and Deathfire on the subject of taste, as taste by nature is subjective and impossible to be objectively good or bad. That said though I agree with Sakura on the rest, there is no reason to keep watching bad anime which most are. I think the more you have seen the easier it is to come to a quick and harsh judgment as you are more familiar with the patterns. Not to mention shows along the lines of A Channel or OreTsuba were both terrible in my opinion, and I don’t think anyone drops a show that is somewhat interesting, so the choice to drop them would mean they are not for that person. Sticking around to watch shows that aren’t worth the time is like sticking around on the Titanic because “It might not sink! I was guaranteed it was unsinkable!”. Sometimes knowing when to give up is the wiser choice of action.

    • 15. Deathfire  |  July 8, 2011 at 1:23 am

      It depends on when you give up I guess, if you give up after the first episode, then you really haven’t even given the show a chance to prove its worth. I’d say a minimum of at least 3 or 4 episodes would be acceptable…

      and @ A-Channel being terrible, it IS K-On! with ironically, more music. If one considers K-On! good I don’t understand how A-Channel isn’t, but again that’s subjective.

      Ore-Tsuba was honestly better than most people give it credit for. The fanservice did bring it down a lot but the way it presented its story was at least decently done and in no way terrible.

      These two animes were in no way as bad as some shows like say, My Bride is a Mermaid.

      • 16. Zen  |  July 11, 2011 at 5:46 am

        Sometimes one episode is all you need and besides you yourself said “Blade, and Sacred Seven are beyond crap. Didn’t even watch the first episode to get this.” which is the same, a harsh judgment and didn’t even watch one episode?

        I hate both A Channel and k on.

        Oretsuba was not bad due to fanservice, it was bad because as with the game they did a terrible job of bringing the concepts to life. The setting was trying to be something similar to Durarara with a kaleidoscope of perspectives in a multi layered city environment. Navel failed horribly at it though, both with characters and story.

      • 17. nemuiwanko  |  July 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm


        What is important is for people to watch what they enjoy. You have to classify and rate anime based on their entertainment value and also what they have to offer as a whole.

        Some shows must be watched in order to determine if it has what it takes to keep your interest or invoke any emotions out of you. Summaries alone will normally not tell you much (unless it’s a crappy slice of life!) and it does take awhile for certain anime to pick up. However, once you’ve watched a large number of anime you can easily tell what’s going to end up as a train wreck for you. It all varies with watching experience and preferences.

        But in the end what people forget to do is have fun. If something you’re watching isn’t catering to your tastes, kick it to the moon. With so many series out there, there’s a limited amount of time to cover what we can. Therefore we have to be selective and maximize every bit of enjoyment that we can get. There is no shame in dropping something you dislike as you can grab something even better!

        Even with Zen and I blasting or praising certain series, no one should get deterred away from watching their favorite series. Taste is subjective, remember to do what you like! I may have once enjoyed what you’re watching, but years of anime watching has dulled my feelings for it. It also doesn’t help that we have access to a full season’s worth of anime all subbed.

        Anime used to be scarce, and finding subs/getting access to it was hard. Especially when our download speeds were horrible, we had to make sure all our bandwidth was spent on the right stuff. Now with such easy access, there is just too much anime. The bad anime especially becomes more apparent and visible.

        However, every once in awhile my passion for a certain genre may be lit up, but do keep in mind some of the stuff we’ve watched dates back to even the 60s. I grew up with robot cats from the future, an epic half human/vampire vampire hunter, dragon slaves, oni aliens, and a whole lot of mecha. I still have some Rurouni Kenshin VHS fansubs :3 That must be ancient for some of you.


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