Dear readers, my overall impression of the shows I watched is coming a little late, but I can say that I found this season fairly enjoyable. Nothing blew me away, as you shall see from my ratings, but at the same time it was rather entertaining. The greatest disappointment of the season happened to be Gokukoku no Brynhildr, but that might be laid to the fact that the studio wasn’t able to make a second season. Perhaps the greatest surprise for me was how high Knights of Sidonia rose in my estimation. After all, I hate the manga. It’s far too bleak, miserable, and God-forsaken–like Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat.”
Anyway, without further ado, let me give a brief opinion on these shows, starting with my least favorite.
10. Captain Earth – Unfinished
This show’s episodic villain of the week format worked against it. Also, the fact that the villains could not die–at least, as of episode 10, they are still supposed to be immortal–made the fights seem less intense. Also, of the characters, the hero, the “mahou shoujo,” and some of the new villains who popped up were the most compelling, but the scenarios in which they placed these characters were very ordinary for the mecha genre. Not to say that some of the fights were not exciting, but, compared to everything else on my list, Captain Earth stood as the least interesting.
Watching the end of this might feel like homework, but with only three episodes to go, I’ll finish it.
9. Gokukoku no Brynhildr – ★★½
After mentioning that Gokukoku no Brynhildr stood as my greatest disappointment this season, you should not be surprised to find it in last place. (Captain Earth will either tie it or be half a star less depending on its ending.) The beginning of the show was fun, but one cannot help be frustrated by poor execution of the anime’s plot. Basically, the pacing should have been more rapid at the beginning to allow for a more time for a satisfying finale. The show begs the question of why one should bother watching it when the manga is leaps and bounds better. On the other hand, I found the characters about as compelling as in the manga with the exception of Valkyria–the abrupt finale hurt the development of her character the most.
Will anime ever do a Lynn Okamoto manga right?
8. Mekaku City Actors – ★★★
Fortunately, the Overlord Bear encouraged me to watch this show. Here’s an anime which explores themes of isolation and alienation in a deft manner and has likable characters; however, it suffered from an overcomplicated plot and too much talk. The animation and verbosity of the show is reminiscent of Bakemonogatari, but Bakemonogatari did it so much better. Despite that, the intriguing characters’ back stories and problems would have earned it another half-star if not for the ending.
Overall, I’d watch it again, and it was fun–but no Bakemonogatari or Welcome to the N.H.K. for that matter.
7. Mangaka-san to Assistant-san – ★★★
Each week, I began to look forward to this ridiculous anime about the strange misadventures of an otaku mangaka and his harem. What really helps the show is that the mangaka, Aito, stands as a rather original character. I can’t point to another character in anime like him. Though a weird pervert who got into manga in order to draw women’s panties in a socially acceptable venue, he is very supportive of the people around him and is downright hilarious to watch. Some of the humor was outrageously over the top (I shall never watch the cross-dressing episode again), but it does comedy very well. And, as Aristotle tells us, comedy requires characters who are inferior to the general populace. (Not to say that I didn’t love each and every character in the show!)
Basically, it does comedy well, but don’t watch it if you wouldn’t watch Aristophanes’ Lysistrata.
6. Nanana’s Buried Treasure – ★★★
This show was a lot of fun. I might have given it another half-star if I knew that another season was in the works. It suffers a great deal from feeling incomplete. Otherwise, it boasts likable characters, exciting scenarios, and plenty of slapstick humor. Juugo himself felt like an uninteresting main character, but his interactions with Nanana and Tensai Ikkyuu make his character come more to life. To reverse a chauvanist Chinese proverb, Juugo is the broom while Nanana and Ikkyuu form the wall he needs to lean against. Also, Mamiko Noto, one of my favorite voice actresses, performed well as Yukihime.
This is one of those fun shows I might not mind watching again in the near future, but it does feel rather forgettable.
Stay tuned for my top five shows tomorrow!