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My Top 10 of the Autumn Season ……….so far

November 21, 2009

 

Ok! So we’ve just passed the mid-season mark for most shows, so tis time to think about what my Top 10 of the season are!

Of the 33 series I previewed I’ve kept on 17 weekly and dropped a further 3 (wow only 3!? o_O), so it was fairly challenging to pick a top 10! This has been a very weird season – lots and lots of very average, but very entertaining shows and one or two shows that have the makings of being classics……..but in general most of the shows are quite shallow and mindless (not always a bad thing!). Anyway onto the list.

1. Aoi Bungaku (Blue Literature)

Without doubt my favourite of the season. It just stands above everthing else in terms of animation, maturity and originality – the 1st arc ‘No longer human’ just blew me away (really wish I could read the original novel) and the 2nd arc ‘Under the cherry blossoms in full bloom’ was completely different in every way, but equally attention grabbing. Aoi Bungaku is just so different to everything else currently airing, a definate masterpiece in the making IMO – although since the source materials are so critically acclaimed I suppose its got an unfair advantage over the other series based on manga or light novels!

 

2. Kimi ni Todoke

I adore this show – sure its pretty predictable and standard shoujo, but I just love the characters and artstyle to bits! No other show can make me go ‘Daawww~’ with such alarming frequency! I’m not a massive fan of the Cute or Moe, but my god Kimi ni Todoke really appeals to my soft side. Sawako is adorable – there just no otherway to describe her; all the other characters (with the exception of the lead male perhaps) are really wonderful characters with tons of personality -its just a joy to watch (even when its laying the DORAMA on with a trowel!). The animation is also brilliantly shoujo – really you should see the amount of sparkles, bubbles and flowers that are a permanent fixture of the show – its like an explosion in a florists at times! Sure there isnt much depth and its quite contrived at times, but that doesnt stop the stupid goofy grin I get every fecking episode – such a reaction is worthy of my #2 place!

3. Darker than BLACK 2: Gemini of the Meteor

This is how to do a sequel! DotB2 takes the solid base built by the 1st season and just builds on it. Its forsaken the arc based episodic quality of season 1 in favour of a more linear narritive with a strong central storyline and firm focus on its new main character Suou. At 1st I wasnt keen on the idea of the limelight shifting from my beloved Hei to some uppity loli, but Suou makes for a pretty watchable heroine. Of course I am still craving more Hei screentime, but have a feeling I’ll be waiting until the OVAs come out depiciting event that happened during the timeskip. The soundtrack and animation quality are just brilliant – Darker than BLACK 2 just seems to have the whole package going on, if it continues along this line it will probably come out as completely eclipsing its original series – a major achievement for any sequel.

 

4. Kuuchuu Buranko (Trapeze)

One of the series I was looking forward to most and its been a pretty fun watch so far. There’s no denying Trapeze is formulaic and really sticks to its set pattern, but its the execution that makes the show so attractive to me. The unusual art, the use of rotoscoped live action, the headache inducing clashing patterns, bright colour schemes, fabulous soundtrack and the quirky character designs, all come together to assalt the senses and provide an ususual and original viewing experience. Its definitely not a series for everyone, some will find it too off the wall and some will find its predictable structure boring, however I enjoy the show so its my #4.

 

5. Tegami Bachi (Letter Bee)

Sure its pretty slow paced and Lag is a crybaby shota, but the atmosphere and setting for this series is just wonderful. I love the animation, character design and soundtrack for Letter Bee – its similar to why I like Trapeze so much in that sense, but Letter Bee is much more traditional in its visual appeal……its just pretty!! The series is really taking its time to establish the world and personality of the main character, but I’m now itching to get to the main plot in order to see where that wonderful OVA fits into the narrative. Being a shounen series it does have some of the traditonal shounen conventions (probably another reason why I like the series so much ), but has enough originality in its setting to make it seem fresh. I also love the music – think the OP is one of my favourites this season. Looking forward to seeing how Letter Bee turns out

6. Nyan Koi!

Whats this!? A harem romcom in Cara’s top 10!? Yeap thats right – I like Nyan Koi! its completely harmless and entertaining and always manages to get a giggle out of me every week. Of course it is utterly predictable, filled with stereotypes and pretty ordinary interms of production values; but that doesnt detract from the entertainment value one iota! Nagi is my favourite character – the reverse Trap yakuza princess; Yu Kobayashi does a fantastic job voicing her. Of course if we’re talking about voice acting it has to be mentioned that Jun Fukuyama is in this show…….voicing a kitty cat and one of the main characters ‘those two guys’ friends all adding to Cara’s enjoyment of a pretty standard harem romcom!

7. Fairy Tail

Had to be somewhere didnt it Yeap the newest traditional shounen to grace our screens is at #7 – the reason its not higher is that like all shounen series of this ilk, Fairy Tail is still very much in its introductary stages and is thus not all that interesting yet. Its also taking me a while to get used to the changes made when adapting this from manga to animation; namely the character designs being younger looking and the way magic is depicted using crests and magic circles. I was impressed by the voice acting, and really like the soundtrack (although hate the out of place sugary ED and dont really love the OP either), but think the show will grow on me more every week.

 

8. Asura Cryin’ 2

Um yeah, for all the bad things I had to say about season one and the start of this season, Asura Cryin’ has really started to come into its own recently. The plot has been kicked into high gear and I was really surprised by how decent it actually is – its hard to tell when a show is buried under cheap fanservice and forced harem situations. I now feel justified in my decision early in season one to see this show through – the potential that was hinted at there is finally being realised. There were a few plot twists I didnt see coming and the characters dont annoy me so much now so I’m quite looking forward to seeing how Asura Cryin’ wraps up now.

 

9. Inuyasha: The Final Act

Now that I’m happy with were we are in the narrative, I’m really enjoying this continuation of Inuyasha. Its definitely geared towards fans of the manga though as the breakneck pace of the show is completely different to the original anime. So much happens so quickly its quite odd as I remember the manga being s.l.o.w. to the point of boring! Still everything that I loved about the original anime and the manga is present and accounted for in this new adapatation so it had to feature somewhere in my top 10.

 

 

10. Kampfer

I can hear the stunned silence now Yeah Kampfer is a perfect example of everything that I normally despise about anime – blatant fanservice, useless male lead, stupid harmettes, pointless mascot characters and contrived plotlines……but weirdly I really enjoy this series! I think its because they’ve taken all the craptastic features I normally hate and just ran with them to their extremes which just makes the show impossible to take seriously and makes Cara LOL! The voice acting helps enormously, Kampfer has a great cast, and the fact that the animation quality is pretty decent also helps alot. Its just odd – I found it impossible to drop Kampfer no matter how much the logical part of my brain screamed at me that I should really hate it!

 

So there we go, my personal Top Ten of the Autumn 2009 season – not long now till I’ll have to make a start on the Winter 2009/10 Preview, so look out for that in a few weeks!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2009 12:16 am

    Aoi Bungaku is the only thing I’ve fallen in love with this season. It came out of nowhere for me. I was perusing the newsgroups and found the first and second episodes, and did not regret downloading them! 🙂

    I’m loving the fast paced Inuyasha jont; but after all those years with the manga and the first animation, I don’t count them as “new.” And Asura Cryin’ 1 bad enough for me.

    I’ve been reading fairy tail so long I have no interest in the animation. I didn’t finish the first season of Darker Than Black, but downloaded it a few weeks ago and I’ll marathon both seasons when this one finishes.

    I’m going to give KuuChuu Buranko & Kimi ni Todoke a look based solely on your brief reviews. 🙂

    • November 23, 2009 1:03 pm

      I’d been looking forward to Aoi Bungaku prior to the season starting – it hasnt disappointed at all thankfully.

      Know what you mean about Inuyasha and Fairy Tail – reading the manga before hand kind of kills the excitement……Asura Cryin’ is average – more of a guilty pleasure than anything else really.

      I enjoyed the 1st season of Darker than BLACK (even the odd ending), but the 2nd season is just better in every sense so far (well except for the reduction in Hei screentime 😦 )
      Trapeze and Kimi ni Todoke I love – I’ll be interested to hear what you think of them! 😀

  2. OnyxSyaoran permalink
    November 24, 2009 2:08 am

    Letter Bee is following the manga really cool, they only have deleted one thing as fas as the series goes and added nothing, I wonder if they’ll use fillers :/ the manga isn’t that advanced and at the pace they’re goin’ probably they’ll catch up in spring or a little latter, and they havn’t announced how many episodes will be, so I hope they arrive at least to the ladt manga arc, it was awesome ❤

    • November 24, 2009 10:17 pm

      Good to know. May pick the manga up when the anime finishes……I was under the impression that it was only going to be 13 episodes long. :3

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