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The Best of Autumn 2013

December 27, 2013

End of season needs to be done before end of year and start of season posts can be done…..yes my OCD is in overdrive at this time of year.  Somehow I managed to pick up 22 shows this Autumn – I really didn’t think I was watching that much, just goes to show you how hopelessly addicted I am.  My watching list hasn’t actually emptied much since I appear to have picked a load of two cours shows, but here’s my picks of the season anyway.

10. Gundam Build Fighters

For all my original misgivings about Gundam Build Fighters and its Gunpla worshipping ways, I am really enjoying this show.  You only really get any proper enjoyment if you’re familiar with the other Gundam shows and so can enjoy the in-jokes, references and parodies that are sprinkled liberally throughout the series.  Thankfully I am reasonably well acquainted with the ways of Gundam and get a lot of mileage out of Gundam BFs.  Looking forward to watching the rest of this show.

9. Kyokai no Kanata (Beyond the Boundary)

I desperately wanted to like Kyokai no Kanata.  I so want to buy into what KyoAni is selling, because damn if it isn’t beautifully presented.  However the characters are absolutely awful, the pacing is all over the place and I just found it impossible to see past the flaws to enjoy the gorgeous action scenes.  Normally I have no problem ignoring how shallow KyoAni characters are because I’m shallow myself and enjoy the eyecandy, but the characters in KnK were just so repellent they pretty much ruined the show for me.  A real shame, because this could have been an interesting series if it had better characters and pacing.  As it stands it is just rather forgettable.

8. Nagi no Asukara

I am enjoying the amount of effort that has been put into developing the world setting of Nagi no Asukara, it is just a pity Mari Okada can’t seem to function without hammering the drama button.  There is so much unnecessary and boring middle-schooler angst/drama going on that is is difficult to focus on the bigger picture.  It didn’t help that the main character, Hikari, only became tolerable recently after being loud and irritating for the majority of the time.  Still this series has grown on me and I’m interested to see where the story goes next – probably into a thick mire of poorly written drama, but I’m never going to learn to bail early when it comes to shows like this.

7. My Mental Multiple Choice Powers Are Ruining My High School Life (Noucome)

I enjoyed Noucome way more than I had any right too.  This was a generic harem romcom done right – the comedy actually clicked and there was enough creativity in the set-up to keep things interesting for the majority of the series.  I laughed.  I laughed quite a lot, and that is plenty enough to recommend a comedy series to me.  CHOOSE!

6. Kakumeiki Valvrave S2

I shifted from making fun of Valvrave and enjoying taking the piss out of it, to legitimately enjoying the feck out of Valvrave over the course of this second season.  Probably mostly had to do with the fact that there was less stupid high-school hijinks and more L-Elf x Haruto shipping & violent deaths – and that is all it really takes to keep me happy.  Never change Sunrise, never change.

5. Megane-bu!

Megane-bu! is a criminally under-rated gem of a show that has so many things to love about it.  Sure it is shallow as a paper-cut, but it makes such excellent use of its limited budget that I found it extremely endearing.  The bright colours, the easily shippable characters, the eyecatch singers, the fact that characters only have an identity if they wear glasses, the fantastic direction – it all adds up to a unique viewing experience.  I fecking loved Megane-bu!

4. Kuroko’s Basketball (Kuroko no Basuke) S2

If you aren’t watching Kuroko’s Magic BL Basketball you are missing out – this show is top-notch quality entertainment!  I am not joking, Kuroko’s Basketball really is a fantastic shounen sports show – it has everything I enjoy about the genre, and has the added bonuses of extremely shippable bishie characters and nice animation!  The matches are interesting to watch (even though I know literally nothing about basketball) and don’t really drag on forever, and all the characters are interesting and fun.  It is just a really entertaining show, looking forward to watching more.

3. Samurai Flamenco

Samurai Flamenco would have been number 2 a few weeks ago, but it’s kind of lost its identity a bit in the last few episodes and I’m not entirely sure I like the new schizophrenic style.  However for the first 7-8 episodes SamFlam was an exceptionally well written and directed show, filled with really endearing characters and top-notch comedy – office supplies will never be the same.  It also contains one of the most unexpected episodes I’ve ever come across in all my years of watching anime – episode 7 really was something else!  It remains to be seen if the show can recapture my interest with its latest twist, but I’m still very impressed by Samurai Flamenco – it is something a bit different and that is never a bad thing.

2. Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill is genius.  It is the most anime of anime shows to come out in quite some time, and all the more genius because of that.  And I am so pleased that I am enjoying the fuck out of Kill la Kill because I really couldn’t stop myself from getting massively hyped for Studio Trigger’s first full TV series.  I think I can now safely fangirl over Trigger and their absolute commitment to entertainment and fabulous animation.  I just hope that Kill la Kill can continue to top itself – the sky is no longer the limit for this series!

1. Kyousogiga TV

Kyousogiga basically packaged a whole load of things I really like and tied it up in a beautifully animated package.  It was entirely my kind of show, and had been ever since that fragmented, high-energy OVA a while back.  What I loved most about Kyousogiga was the warm atmosphere that it emanated – despite all the tragic backstories and parental abandonment issues that I found interesting in their own right, there was the warm glowing heart of loving family warmth and fun that was just lovely and uplifting.  Yes, Kyousogiga was so much fun to watch – I loved the characters, I loved the world and I loved the whole presentation of the series.  Definitely going into my favourite list – just need to decide where!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So that’s my top picks of the Autumn 2013 season.  Honourable mentions to Yowamushi Pedal & Ace of Diamond for being pretty watchable sports anime, and to Golden Time & Outbreak Company for being surprisingly fun for overdone concepts.  Award for biggest disappointments go to Coppelion and Galilei Donna, both of which I honestly wanted to like, but whose stupidity even I couldn’t get over!  Special mention to Infinite Stratos S2 which managed to strip out everything that was enjoyable about the 1st season and replace it with everything terrible about the harem genre.

I’m carrying quite a number of shows over into the Winter season so I’m going to try to be selective about what I pick up (LOL I have no idea who I’m kidding here – we all know I’ll end up watching all the things once again).  Best of year posts will be going up in the next week and then the new season will be starting and after that I can go back to being lazy & only writing 2 posts a week!  Until then~!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. December 27, 2013 11:45 pm

    I’m not going to lie, I had a lot of fun watching people cry over how much worse Infinite Stratos had gotten this season. When I bailed on the first episode, I didn’t realize at the time that it would get so much worse that even the fans wouldn’t like it (lol at its MAL score).

    Commendable in a way and it’s funny to imagine the new director going “You thought the first season was bad harem hijinks? I’ll show you just how much worse it could have been!”, but that doesn’t make the pain of watching any less hurtful.

    • December 28, 2013 11:38 am

      IS2 was an absolute shambles – it caused me actual pain to sit through the entire series (still not sure how I managed it). Prime example of how not to do a sequel.

  2. Zero permalink
    December 28, 2013 3:26 am

    How did a ‘forgettable’ show whose characters were ‘repellent’ managed to make the list? And rank over a show you found ‘really enjoyable’ on top of that? Doesn’t seem to make much sense to me:/ Is the pretty animation alone really worth so much?

    • December 28, 2013 11:43 am

      I tend to be much harsher on shows that disappointed me rather than shows I had no real expectations of. Kyokai no Kanata could have been a great show – it had plenty of usable and interesting elements (and was damn pretty), but poor writing and horrible characterisation ruined the show for me. It still had plenty of stuff I liked, and if it had of all clicked together a bit better, the show would have been in the top 5.

      That being said my lists are all a bit arbitrary in the lower numbers – the top 3 are immovable, but the rest is fairly interchangeable. Guess I should probably explain that a bit better, but since I’ve been doing this for four years I tend to think people know how capricious I am by now! LOL

  3. Harry permalink
    December 28, 2013 5:56 am

    No White Album 2. Sad.

    • December 28, 2013 11:45 am

      Didn’t watch it myself, but I hear it is one of those rare beasts – a romance visual novel adaptation that is actually good. Might check it out in the future if I’m suddenly in the mood for a short romance series.

  4. January 4, 2014 11:31 am

    “Award for biggest disappointments go to Coppelion and Galilei Donna, both of which I honestly wanted to like, but whose stupidity even I couldn’t get over!”

    Couldn’t agree more. Coppelion sounded great on paper but was terrible from episode 1, so I found myself ultimately more disappointed with Galilei Donna, which at least started off promisingly enough but seemed to slide further down in terms of quality (and sense) every week. The fact that it was a noitaminA show just doubles the shame.

    • January 4, 2014 1:15 pm

      I was so excited for Coppelion, it really sounded awesome on paper, but turned into such a dumb show! Bitter disappointment.

      Galilei Donna had a really exciting and intriguing first episode – I very nearly decided to blog it – but quickly ran out of ideas and just became boring and stupid.

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