Top 5 of Spring 2010: Mid-season impressions
OK tis mid-season so as usual, here’s my picks of the season.
It has been a mixed bag – of the series previewed I’ve kept on 13 and dropped 2 after 5 episodes. I’ll only be giving a top 5 rather than the usual 10 for a Spring season, as there are 5 series that stand above the rest IMO. Anyway, in ascending order, here’s my top 5 series of Spring 2010 (so far).
5. Rainbow: Nisha Rokubou no Shichinin:
Rainbow is very different to anything else currently airing. Its gritty approach and dark subject matter made me sit up and take notice, but its the characters that keep me coming back. Rainbow is definitely a character driven series and of the characters An-chan stands head and shoulders above the rest as the character to watch. The overblown drama can be distracting at times though – there was no need to make the guard quite that pantomime villain evil, but that’s a minor quibble really. Rainbow can be uplifting at times with a strong message about the power of friendship, and at others it makes me squirm at its unflinching portrayal of the abuse the boys have to put up with. It remains to be seen how the story will pan out in the end, but I’ll definitely be sticking this one out till the end.
4. Giant Killing:
Yes the football anime has made it into Cara’s top 5! Giant Killing is fantastic entertainment – I still hate football with an undying passion, but I can watch this series with little bother! The characters are excellent, there’s been a very solid base built-in these early episodes and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they develop. Every episode is a little bit different and adds to the sense that the team is gradually evolving under Takumi’s leadership. Sure the animation is pretty horrendous at times and god knows these aren’t the bishiest of character designs, but who cares!? the writing is great and I’m enjoying the ride!
3. Sarai-ya Goyou (House of Five Leaves):
House of Five Leaves is so relaxing – I love the atmosphere this show creates effortlessly. Not a whole lot has happened really, but I’m really enjoying this series portrayal of the lives of this group of edo-period characters. Nothing feels false or forced, dialogue flows naturally and the characters are completely believable. The shows strong point is its characterisation and the way it gradually bleeds out details of their pasts – interesting stuff without being too over wrought. Some may find it boring, and the art style is definitely not for everyone – but for those that can appreciate the beautiful detailing this show is a treat. Great voice acting and music round the show off – looking forward to the rest of the series!
2. Arakawa Under the Bridge:
SHAFT are back on form with Arakawa – I liked it enough to blog it! The brilliance of Arakawa lies in the fact that underneath the stupidity and wacky characters, there is a lot of heart. I’ve really enjoyed seeing Ric try to adapt to his new life under the bridge and the Residents attempts to get him to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. It’s very simple and subtlety done, but there’s quite a bit of depth to Arakawa. Of course even if you aren’t interested in the layers, there’s still great entertainment value to be had from Arakawa! The colourful cast are brought to life by excellent voice actors and script with plenty of spark – it’s actually succeeded in making me LOL a few times; which is what you want a gag series to do at the end of the day! I’m enjoying each trip under the bridge and am interested in meeting more nutty characters and watching Ric & Nino’s relationship development. Fun show, definitely one of the seasons best offerings.
1. Angel Beats!:
I actually wasnt too sure where to put this on the list, but decided to stick it at the top since it’s the series that’s given the most food for thought and entertainment value of the season. Angel Beats is a very odd mixture of slapstick comedy, classic Key/Jun Maeda DORAMA and a whole boatload of High-school Tropes; yet despite its use of overused elements, the end result has been very entertaining! I’m completely unsure of where the story is going (just when I think I’ve got the show figured out it pulls something that throws all my theories out the window) and I’m not sure I’m going to like where it ends up, but the ride has been great fun. For the simple fact that Angel Beats has managed to surprise me I had to give it top billing – not many shows can really do that these days. Of course the animation is a bit inconsistent at times, and there is a bit of hammy acting going on too – the show is by no means perfect, but still I generally prize entertainment value above all else, and Angel Beats delivers on that front. It just remains to be seen if the end result is a trainwreck or brilliance! 😛
So thats my top 5, whats yours!?