I'm making this blog as a sort of catalogue of titles I've dropped or given a low rating to and why. This is so that I have all of these listed in one place, so that I can just link to this for a quick refence, and so that I can copy and paste them instead of retyping the same rants whenever they come up in a forum. I'll also be expanding this entry over time.
On a side note, please keep one thing in mind; I don't care if you say "you only watched 1/2/3 episodes, so you can't talk because it gets so much better in episode XX!!!" Here's the thing; if the animation is sloppy, the characters are dull, and the writing is poor right out of the starting gate, I'm not going to believe that the show turns into the anime equivilant of The Godfather after half a season. When the studio doesn't even try at the beginning, I doubt they're going to turn things completely around at the half-way mark. I've seen plenty of series that start out OK and get better, and I've seen several that start out Great or OK, but fall apart at the end. But going from terrible to a masterpiece just doesn't happen. And if for some reason it did, then why the hell wasn't the studio putting in that kind of effort from the beginning?
This was an anime club title. I've already vented about it in another blog entry, but Christ. Maybe I'm just too damn pick but... this is what they raved about?
Maybe I'm being overly critical or too snooty, but I failed to see what the fuss was about. This one falls squarely into my "not-mature mature"category; titles that are touted as being "mature", but in reality are shallow gore-fests. The characters were horribly written (every line of the protagonists dialogue could pretty much be replaced with "I'm a dickwad, dislike me please"), the attempts to show "the evils of humanity" were laughably hamfisted, and the animation was straight out out of the dark ages of early digital coloring; that period where studios started going "if we make the colors crisp and up the detail, we can slack off on little things like 'movement' and 'Making the characters look like they're actually in the setting'". I knew the moment the two guys got hit by the train (I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure that if you get hit by a subway car, your head doesn't sever perfectly from your body like a broken action figure) that I was going to be horribly disappointed. It felt like the show was trying to offend me with the gore and nudity (I've sat through the director's cut of Caligula; shocking me ain't gonna' happen) and instead shattered my WSD with every move.
Licensed by Royalty
The character designs were good, if a little plain, the soundtrack was bitchin', and the dub was rather refreshing (a cast with genuine British accents, not Americans faking British accents), yet the animation's movement was clunky and show itself felt so... lifeless and flat.
I just couldn't seem to get into this one. I think it was the story that repelled me; I know for certain it wasn't the visuals, it was too slick for that. I mean, it's story is a little cliche', but hot damn does it look nice. I'm not gonna' watch it on my own time, but if the local anime club is showing it, sure. This is one of those that I personally didn't care for, but that I'll happily recommend to others depending on their taste.
Oh dear God, I'm probably gonna' catch flak for this one. People who know me know better than to try and praise the "tactics" of Code Geass around me. The tactics are what killed this show for me; they're about 2 centuries outdated now. Of course, I'm sure that most viewers didn't notice or care. But I did notice, and I do care. I wouldn't have cared if the tactics didn't really matter to the plot, but they do. These characters are hailed as tactical geniuses, but they're fighting with mecha using tactics that ignore anything other than single-plain engagements. The constant barrage of tone-breaking highschool hijinks and product placement didn't help.
Also, Clamp, STOP WITH THE NOODLE PEOPLE!
Code Geass R2
Truth be told, I preffered R2 to season 1. While both seasons had about an equal number of problems, the simple fact is that the problems in R2 (over-eager fanservice shots, the overly-convoluted and incongruous finale, the constant narm) bothered me far less than the problems in R1 (nonsense tactics, highschool fluff, PIZZA HUT), even though these were the things that created the show's massive broken fanbase.
Saying that Code Geass is one's favorite anime is one thing, but I still facepalm whenever I see/hear anyone call either season of Code Geass to be "flawless" or "the best anime ever made". All I can think is "you should really watch a good bit more anime before making such a brazen claim."
See other blog entry.
This is meant to pander to the hardcore otaku crowd. I am obviously not their target audience, and I have a strong bias against pandering. I also am not amused by moe; you have to give me something other than cutesy girls who look half their (alleged) age for me to give you a thumbs-up. And... just... God... I tried watching the pilot 5 times, and each time I only got five minutes into it before I wanted to put a .357 through my screen. It grabbed every Critic's Nerve in my body and scraped them like an unwaxed violin bow. Yes, we get it, you plan to discuss how you eat your damned pastries for an absurd amount of screentime. How is this entertaining, fascinating or thought-provoking? Because I require at least one of those three to apply to something I'm watching.
I couldn't make it through more than an episode or two of this. Not because of the story or characters (I found those to be rather blasé) but because the show was made in 2002, yet it looked like a prime example of what was being done wrong with digital animation four years before. (You know, that awkward stage where most studios had just started using computers as opposed to hand-painted cels but weren't quite sure what to do with it? When they started upping the level of detail, but slacking on other things like movement?) The lighting effects, the movement, the camera pans, the coloring; it all just looked sloppy.