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Top 5 of Winter 2010 – Midseason impressions

February 13, 2010

Ok! So it’s finally mid-season, so as tradition dictates its time for me to post my personal top picks of the season. This Winter season has been tiny and most of the shows were not relevant to my interests; as such I’ve only actually kept five shows on……..so guess what!? Here’s my Top 5 of the Winter 2010 season!

5. Dance in the Vampire Bund:

Not overly enamoured of this to be honest – I’m keeping it on because I’ve sat through it this long. Nothing seems to be happening, that my major gripe – there’s very little plot progression and not a lot of character development. I’m still watching in the hope that something interesting happens, but at present its more loli fanservice and SHAFT overdosing on quirky direction choices and zooming into characters eyes than anything else Still its got vampires and werewolves, surely some major bloodletting is pending!?

4. Ookamikakushi:

This is another show that is taking the pace a bit too slowly. As a 1 season show it should really be hitting its stride about now, but at present it’s still faffing about getting the characters established…..although ep6 finally had some plot progression and payoff on the mystery element. The characters still feel really bland and are just paperbags with not a lot of depth – I’m finding it hard to care about any of them unfortunately. However it’s not all bad, the music is great and the tension has built nicely over the past 6 episodes – its got a genuine feeling of ‘creepy’ in places, but needs more of this rather than dull slice of life moments following the lacklustre male lead about. I’m hoping the show will come into its own in the 2nd half, as the potential is definitely there.

3. Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu:

Ah now we get to the shows that I’m actually really enjoying enough to blog! BakaTest is a joy to watch, I’ve been missing a good comedy series that doesn’t completely rely on ecchi and reference jokes to get by – BakaTest definitely uses those, but just feels fresh in its approach. The characters are stereotypes but they play to their strengths, the snappy script helps massively. They’ve kind of abandoned the supposed central plot of inter-class battles in favour of a more random approach, but that doesn’t really affect my enjoyment of the show in the slightest. The music is decent, the animation is eye-catching, the Summoned Creature avatars are adorable, it panders to both the yaoi and yuri fandoms and its got the one of the best Traps in anime in Hideyoshi – what more could I want in a comedy!? I just hope the show continues to be as fun as it has been.

2. Katanagatari:

Technically only 2 episodes have aired, but since they’re double the length its like 4 episodes right? Katanagatari is a bit different to anything else that started this season, being a monthly series with a running time of 50mins, but it’s already impressed me. The series is extremely dialogue heavy and self-aware – Togame is very genre savvy often lampshading various tropes. The characters are interesting – stereotypes in one way, but quirky in another. The artwork employed in this series is the source of a lot of my enjoyment – its unusual, colourful and eye-catching; it makes for a refreshing change to the norm. Direction needs a bit of work as there are a few too many static scenes, especially during the long dialogue scenes that dominate each episode. It’s the script and dialogue that really make the show enjoyable – it’s so multilayered and shows a lot of wit……but then again what else would you expect from NisiOisin? I have high hopes for the rest of Katanagatari’s run, really think this could be an exceptional series.

1. Durarara!!

Without a shadow of a doubt Durarara is my top pick this season. Its got so much going for it and look forward to every episode! The structure of the episodes can be a bit chaotic and random, but its an interesting way to present tidbits of information – I’m surprised by just how much information I’ve picked up in six episodes and its fun to try and slot the pieces together to try to figure out just where the plot is! Durarara has a huge cast and they’re all subtly related, so having each episode narrated by a different character as they go about their business is a brilliant way to lay the groundwork of plot threads – plus the characters are a joy to watch. I love cleverly plotted shows like this! However that’s not all Durarara has going for it! The animation and art are wonderful – real eye candy in the background detailing and the character designs are really nice. The music is fantastic, both the OP/ED and the background score, and the cast is drool-worthy; so much talent on board for this series! Above all Durarara is an interesting and fun show to watch – its got so much entertainment value and that’s what I prize most in my anime. definitely looking forward to the rest of the run.

So that’s my personal picks of the season (obviously I steered well clear of the fanservice/moe blob shows as I find them dull/scary 😛 ), whats yours?

EDIT: I’ve just realised that I completely forgot about Nodame Cantabile~Finale~ 😐  That should really be at #4 and Dancing Vampires should be knocked out of the top 5 :P……however lets just pretend that I didnt include sequels 😀

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 14, 2010 12:06 am

    Well picked. Although I would get Baka to test on the first spot, for the greatest harem ever(Or more like first splendid comedy with harem included). Then again, Katanagatari and Durarara!! are damn good, I guess I’d swap DRR!! with Baka to Test. The only mistake here I see lack of So-ra-no-wo-to, which is WAY better than Ookami or Dance.

    Still I honestly agree with your opinion and understand it. The only thing that decides on my order is that I can’t wait to watch Baka even more than DRR or Katana, other than that, they’re all great shows.

    • February 14, 2010 12:13 am

      I couldn’t get past my bias against the K-ON-moe-blob character designs in Sora no Woto and I dropped it after 2 episodes. Although do acknowledge that the show is probably better than Dancing Vampires at least, but I’m unlikely to go back to it.

      Still cant believe I forgot about Nodame Cantabile Finale – I watched a bloody episode of that today and everything! :S

  2. February 18, 2010 5:35 am

    You’re really missing a LOT by ignoring So-Ra-No-Wo-To just because of the character designs. It’s a FAR more touching show than Durarara which I also like a lot. So-Ra-No-Wo-To has a more enchanting richness to it….it’s simplicity is what makes it so wonderful.

    • February 18, 2010 5:50 pm

      I’m the type of person that finds ‘nice’ shows boring (Aria nearly sent me to sleep) and moe irritating beyond belief…….Sora no Woto seemed to be heading in the direction of both so I jumped ship early to avoid annoying myself. If it really turns out to be a fantastic series I may marathon it at a later date, but at present it just does not appeal to me 😕

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