A quick fall recap

Just a quick follow-up to the fall 2008 preview that kicked this blog off.

ChäoS;HEAd

I was hoping it’d be Higurashi-esque. In the end it didn’t even come close. The first few episodes started off promisingly. Mysteries were compelling, atmosphere was tense, hallucinations were mind boggling. Then about halfway through it devolved into this utterly incomprehensible pseudo-science shounen. It was like matrix2^10 x clonewars^40 = chaos;head. Easily the most disappointing show of the season, considering my expectations for it.

Ga-Rei Zero

I think I’ve written enough about GRZ. But in contrast to CH, it was the biggest surprise of the season. I loved, loved, loved this show.

Kannagi

Same deal as with GRZ, I’ve probably written enough about Kannagi. I didn’t have a whole lot of background on the manga coming in, but I was pretty optimistic, and it ended up exceeding my expectations. Funniest show of the season.

Kuroshitsuji

I wasn’t sure whether I was going to pick it up, and ten episodes through (I’m a few behind), I’m still unsure what to make of it. It’s dark moments can be really compelling. It’s comedic moments can be pretty funny. But they mix it in a weird way. Sometimes it works, a lot of times it doesn’t. I’m still waiting for them to dive deeper into the main story, and see Sebastien go completely GAR and face a tough challenge.

Gundam 00

They’ve stayed away from the politics, and made the show pretty action driven, so every episode’s been exciting to watch. But they’re still stuck with pretty blah characters, so it’s hard to get emotionally invested in it. But I thought they wrapped up the first half of the season well, and it should be a good run down the stretch.

Rosario + Vampire Capu2

Temporarily dropped. I knew what I was getting into when I picked this back up, having suffered through the first season, so I have no one to blame besides myself. But it totally sucks. The pantsu shots are still as prevalent (and annoying). I wrote before that “I don’t even know why the girls bother wearing skirts” and having just watched Strike Witches in which it was basically girls flying around in their underwear, I stand by that statement. Oddly enough, I think R+V flaunts its ecchiness more than SW did. Anyway, I’ll finish this one day all while gritting my teeth.

Shikabane Hime: Aka

I put this on hold when all the fansub groups dropped it. It is on Joost, however, so I plan to pick it back up soon. Can’t say that the first two episodes I watched were that great, however.

To Aru Majutsu no Index

I started off writing about this, then stopped because it was so boring. I’m a few episodes behind on this one, but here’s my summation:

  • Pluses: Index. Character design. Animation.
  • Minuses: Almost everything else.

Toradora!

I started off liking this, then it started to get boring, then they introduced Ami (one of my fave characters of the season), and it got interesting again, then they started moving towards a Taiga x Ryuji + harem type feel, so now I’m back on the sour train. It’s a legitimately well written and funny show. I just hate Taiga. I like Rie Kugumiya a lot, but here’s my ranking of her tsundere characters over the years:

  • Louise Valliere > Shana > Nagi > anyone else she’s ever done > Taiga

I hate Taiga. Everything she does, I’ve seen Louise do ten times better. So any episode that focuses on Taiga x Ryuji just bores me to tears. On the contrary, any episode that focuses on Ami (deliciously devious and surprisingly deep) or Minorin (crazy in a funny way, and also surprisingly deep), I love. This probably means I’m not going to like this show very much once that inevitable coupling happens. Ryuji, you are a frick-ing moron.

Yozakura Quartet

Put on hold, because the story is wicked boring. I do like the characters, but the plotline is just really mundane. I’ll eventually get around to finishing this though.

Other Stuff I Watched

I did get around to watching several other shows this past season, including:

Strike Witches

This is ecchi done right. It’s light-hearted, fluffy, humorous with a touch of heart. And a bunch of repressed yuri, teenage witches, who grow ears and tales, flying around fighting evil in their underwear. If you’re the type of person who’s going to obsess over why they don’t wear pants (answer: who cares), you’ll hate this show. Otherwise, you might find it to be an amusing romp.

Shigofumi

I really liked this show, it had some very powerful scenes and a compelling story throughout. Oddly enough, I thought the show was either 4 episodes too long (could’ve ended after a certain showdown), or was about 4 episodes too short (could’ve provided more background info about shigofumis and shigofumi carriers). Highly recommended though.

Spice and Wolf

I wasn’t sure I wanted to watch an anime on economics, but much thanks to Zilch for recommending it. It’s a smart, very well-written showing featuring Jun Fukuyama (Lelouch) and Ami Koshimizu (Kallen), but mostly it’s a great show because of Horo. The most lovable character ever. Period.

Eureka Seven

I marathoned all 50 episodes over Thanksgiving weekend. It’s not great. There are flaws with pacing, wasted episodes and undeveloped major characters (unforgivable in such a long series). But it is very good. And they do such a good job of developing the relationship between Renton and Eureka, it’s hard not to like.

Seto no Hanayome OVA

If you loved the series, you’ll love the OVA. Additional kudos to them for not resetting the story either. But it’s off the wall, it’s outrageous, it’s the SNH you’ve come to expect and love. I hope they release a box set of the series in the US one day.

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