Top 10 of Autumn 2010
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.
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.
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? 😆 Here’s hoping Winter 2011 offers something better!