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Top 10 of Autumn 2010

January 3, 2011

So the Autumn season is over and the Winter season is upon us, better get this post on my top 10 of the last season out!  Autumn 2010 wasn’t all that impressive really – I’ve picked 10 shows that I managed to stick out, but there aren’t many that really feel all that excited about – none of them made it above a 4/5 rating. Still its traditional to do this Top 10 list so, off we go!

10. Ore no Imouto

Urgh.  Oreimo’s first few episodes lulled me into a false sense of security, and then Kuroneko made me stick out the series.  Unfortunately the show turned out to be nothing but fan pandering, with a few brief moments of brilliance that just made the viewer all the more irritated by the tripe the show generally paraded out every week.  I hated Kirino.  Kyousuke was a complete doormat. Kuroneko was brilliant, but they turned her into a moeblob in the end. Saori & Manami were fun but got no development……I could go on and on.  Oreimo – so many missed opportunities to be better than others of its ilk……so much disappointment.

 

9. The World God Only Knows

I got sucked into this because of the hype.  I kept waiting for it to go above the trappings of its genre, to subvert the tropes rather than play them straight.  I waited and waited…….and nothing came of the show in the end.  And now I’m stuck having to watch the second series in Spring, once again waiting for TWGOK to show me why it’s so highly regarded by the manga fans!  Urgh.  TWGOK was generic to a fault – the only memorable aspect of the series was the fantastic OP and the waterfall of books in the librarian girl’s arc……they also completely missed the boat by casting Hiro Shimono in the lead role – Jun Fukuyama would have made a much more compelling Keima in my opinion – Shimono’s squawking just made Keima all the more like a generic harem lead.  TWGOK = another big disappointment.

 

8. Shinrei Tantei Yakumo

Hmmm maybe I should have made a top 5 instead – this is becoming a depressing list of crap.  Yakumo sort of tried to redeem itself at the very end, but it was too little too late by that stage.  In typical Bee Train style the series dragged along in an unhurried fashion, under the pretense of ‘character development’.  Yet the characters never really grew any – they’re essentially the same at the end as they were in the beginning!  The best bit of the show was Daisuke Ono singing the very catchy OP and voicing Yakumo…….and thats about it.  There was lots of potential in Yakumo though, so I may pick up the manga in the future.

 

7. Bakuman

The anime adaptation has been pretty lacklustre – I’m finding it difficult to drum up any enthusiasm for writing about it on a weekly basis.  The insistence on focusing on the shitty romance has bewildered me, because Bakuman really shines when Takagi & Mashiro go into hot-blooded shounen manga mode, and when the focus is on the romance I find Mashiro’s wangsting fecking irritating…….and I like Mashiro in the manga!!  The budget is obviously crap for the anime too, which doesn’t really help matters.  I’m living in hope that now that the boys have graduated, Miho is out-of-the-way and they’ve started introducing more of the infinitely more interesting side characters, that the series will recapture the fun of the manga.

 

6. Otome Youkai Zakuro

Ah now, here’s a show that actually turned out to be a pleasant surprise!  I was expecting Zakuro to be the very worst type of lazy generic shoujo when it popped up on the season preview lists, however it really does pay to give things a chance, as Zakuro turned out to be very solid.  It was an enjoyable little series, I really liked the characters and Riken & Suzukihotaru completely walked away with the cutest couple of the year award in my book.  The animation was solid throughout, and there sere some great and unexpected little action scenes.  The ending let the show down a bit, as it was all very contrived and rushed, but overall Zakuro was a fun show – I really enjoyed it.

 

5. Star Driver

I know that there are a lot of people who have run out of patience with Star Driver now, but I’m not one of them – I really enjoy the series.  However that being said, it certainly hasn’t lived up to the preseason hype – the second coming Utena this is not, and with its star-studded staff Start Driver isn’t quite as brilliant as it could have been.  The show is lots of fun, but its taking a bit too long to show its cards – at this mid-point we should be getting more answers, but even though the character development is improving, the point of the entire series remains cloudy.  Its entertaining though – I’m still sticking around for that alone, but can also see the potential for excellence there…..its just taking a bit longer than I thought it would.

 

4. Kuragehime

Kuragehime was a lot of fun for the most part, but its short running time meant that the end was pretty rushed and resulted in the anime feeling like an extended advertisement for the manga than something with its own identity.  Still I loved the characters, the script was hilarious at times and even though there was no resolution to anything, I still liked the series.  Kuragehime could have been better given a longer running time – even an extra 2 episodes would have helped. However as it stands Kuragehime is still a solid addition to the Noitamina success story.

 

3. Letter Bee Reverse

The second season of Letter Bee has done everything I’d hoped it would – built on the solid foundation of world building & character developement, that the unbalanced 1st season left us with.  There has been none of the horrendous filler that plagued season one either, and this 2nd season has cleared up quite a lot of the mysteries S1 raised, while introducing still more!  The production quality has also been excellent, especially during the Child of Maka arc.  Over all its been a very, very solid first half to this little shounen series – I’m very much looking forward to more!

 

2. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt

Prior to the start of the season I thought GAINAX had gone mad when I saw this series’ promo material, however Panty & Stocking soon proved to be pure genius.  The whole show is madcap and pushes the envelope, and occasionally it goes too far or the humour falls flat – but on the whole the series was an absolute triumph and a whole truck load of fun to watch.  The characters are utterly off the wall, crass & depraved……but utterly compelling.  The appearance of an actual plot blindsided me, and that Gainax end…….well I shouldnt have really expected anything less from trolls like Gainax!  The production on the series was excellent – great use of different animation styles, and the music was superb (the OST has been on loop since I got it!).  I’d definitely watch a 2nd season if it materializes – but if t doesn’t that’s fine too!

 

1. Arakawa Under the Bridge x Bridge

Predictably enough, Arakawa’s sequel tops my picks for Autumn 2010 –  I just love this show to bits!  Of course it teased us with hints of plot, but Arakawa is really all about the gags, so even though its exceptional when it concentrates on the plot, the show always comes back to pure random comedy.  This season was every bit as compelling as season one and I really hope there is a third season because the Arakawa residents still have a lot of love to give.  Season one was about Ric, but season two was all about Nino & fleshing out the characters around her – it was great and I’ll miss the show now its over.

 

So thats my top 10 for Autumn 2010 – not really many shows that I can sing the praises of are there? :lol:  Here’s hoping Winter 2011 offers something better!

 

 

 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Spade permalink
    January 4, 2011 2:57 am

    I agree to half, and dun agree to half😛

    Why the hell is TWGOK so famous? I din even know it is famous *until i read your post*! Nothing gets changed, and I just end up waiting for that “amazing thing” that may come out soon.

    As for Yakumo, well.. I am getting sick of the same characters… like… hey, develope them a bit, will ya? They keep doing the same thing over and over again that it is tiring.

    Let’s hope that next seasonw wud be better. In fact I already saw a few potentials.

    • January 4, 2011 3:00 pm

      Quality is subjective afterall!

      Every season is a mixed bag, but there are a handful I’m interested in in Winter.

  2. January 4, 2011 8:40 pm

    I agree that the offerings this season have been decidedly lukewarm overall, but a select few have stood out amongst the fray.🙂

    Oreimo showed a lot of promise to begin with, despite the dubious implication that the main character is a siscon who will inevitably end up tying the knot with his sister. Moreover, it was a refreshing prospect to have a female otaku who repressed her obsession by projecting an outward appearance in order to hide from the prejudices of those around her, which is something I can, albeit somewhat differently, relate to. Unfortunately, as you say, the plot succumbed to fan pandering and didn’t amount to much in the end. It wasn’t an awful series, by any stretch, but it could have transpired far better given its initial premise.

    TWGOK is a series I was convinced to pick up when the first episode aired because of the aforementioned manga that was supposedly hailed in high regard, but similarly it didn’t really catch on for me (didn’t get passed the second episode). The animation by Manglobe seemed promising, though, so I was intending to marathon through this at some point, possibly this week even (on my flight back, more specifically).

    Shinrei Tantei Yakumo was another series that I picked up to begin with but postponed after the first episode with the intention to potentially resume it at some point. However, unlike TWGOK, it’s unlikely that it’ll be anytime soon. To its credit, though, the opening episode was reasonably intriguing.

    I had high hopes for Bakuman, in account of its interesting premise and acclaimed manga, which unlike TWGOK, has succeeded in satisfying my expectations. The idea of two middle to high school students pursuing their dream of creating a manga, with all of its intricate detail and portrayal of the process involved, is fantastic, even with the slightly convenient circumstances (which are amusedly not unlike a standard manga premise). Personally, I’m not adverse to the romance, which I feel has helped to provide some balance and/or a break from the task at hand. I also find the relationship between Moritaka and Akito incredibly cute. Anyway, this is probably my most anticipated series each week from this season, and I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how it transpires.

    Otome Youkai Zakuro was an equally pleasant surprise for me as well, especially because I initially dismissed it from viewing the PV. It was only because I noticed on A-P that you had watched it that I decided to give it ago. The animation by JC Staff is nicely done, with its soft colour palette, and as you say, remained consistent throughout. I agree that the ending was arguably contrived, but was satisfactory enough, in my view.

    Star Driver was one of the series I was most curious about before the season began, mainly because of the studio responsible and the stellar staff on-board. Unfortunately, as you’ve said, it hasn’t lived up to the hype, mainly due to its lingering plot line that hasn’t really amounted to much. The animation, on the other hand, is probably the best of the season, as you’d expect from Bones, so it’s a shame that the plot hasn’t managed to offer something more than it has. It’s not exactly bad, and I’m enjoying the series so far, but yeah, it could have been so much more.

    Kuragehime was easily one of my favourites of the season, although I agree that its length hindered its potential a great deal. It would have been far better suited with two cours. Still, everything from the scripting to the characterisation was great, and the series will remain firmly as one of my favourites of the year.

    I can’t comment on Letter Bee Reverse because I’m still lagging behind (no pun intended) with the first season.

    Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt was Gainax at its best, incredibly zany to the point of genius. The animation was inspired, as was the scripting and voice acting. The plethora of parodies and homages were highly appreciated too. I’m already fearing how long this comment is going to be, so I’ll simply say that this was probably my favourite, alongside Kuragehime, of the season.

    The only other series I’ve been following is Index 2, which started off well (with probably the best animation of the season at the beginning). The plot, inline with its predecessors, however, has failed to offer that extra oomph. I’ve grown to like the character cast, especially after watching Railgun, so I’m willing to see it through to the end.

    • January 5, 2011 1:33 am

      For some reason this was stuck in the spam filter again! Stupid Akismet, stop putting Aiko’s nicely reasoned & lengthly comments in with the spam!

      Oreimo, just irritated me because it did have flashes of what it could have been – disappointment makes me bitter😛

      I’ve been watching Index 2 as well, and I agree that its once again fallen into the same pattern as the previous season. It does have nice animation, but unlike yourself I’m getting tired of the characters (althougth I would love to see more from Accelorator!). I will continue on with it though.

      Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts – think the comment must be nearly the same length as my post ^_^

      • January 6, 2011 9:11 am

        Hmm, if I had to guess, it’s probably because I was using an internet connection that your blog wasn’t familiar with.🙂

        Yes, it’s always frustrating when there’s potential that’s wasted, leading to disappointment. I have the same sentiment for Star Driver, although I’m surprisingly tolerant and forgiving, so I’m not bitter… yet. :p

        Yeah, I’ve acknowledged from the first season of Index and Railgun that it’s unlikely it’ll deliver much more, which is a shame because the light novel series has considerable background story, so you would have thought the adaptation would offer this. That is, assuming the light novel is any better… As for Accelerator, I agree, his character could do with some more screen time, which I’m hoping will be the case in the coming episodes. His laugh in the PV, courtesy of Okamoto, is hilarious.

        Aha, as you probably know by now, once I start I find it difficult to stop. I’m like this in person. I tend to go on a tangent. One of my teachers at school once told me I had “verbal diarrhoea” in front of the whole class, much to my embarrassment.

        • January 6, 2011 9:13 am

          Also, could you possibly correct “would offer me” with “would offer this”… I’m so pedantic.😮

        • January 6, 2011 1:01 pm

          Star Driver has been providing just enough to stop that feeling of bitterness creeping in – its been fairly consistant for its whole run to date……..whereas Oreimo was really very up & down.

          Yeah I also keep hearing that the light novels for Index are very good, which makes the mess that the anime sometimes is all the more irritating. Accelerator just steals any scene he’s in, I love the way Okamoto voices him!

          Verbal diarrhoea!😆 Poor Aiko😄

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