Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt
Essentially, this is a toned-down Dead Leaves. It stands up fairly well on its own, but doesn't really rival the kind of sheer mile-a-minute skullfuckery that Dead Leaves gave us. The format parodies western cartoons, as does the art style. It also frequently references American films. The humour is uniformly low-brow, in the same kind of sense as 90's American cartoons like Ren and Stimpy, South Park and Beavis and Butthead.
Score - 7/10.
So Okay It's Average. That's about it. Nothing in this show really sticks out as well done or poorly done... it's just every superhero cartoon out there that you've already seen, again. As somebody who was a big fan of the movies, it's a tad disappointing to see an utterly mediocre show from a franchise that was pretty good.
Score - 5/10
Bakuman has been steadily building a good slice-of-life show out of itself. So far... so good. It's not struck out as amazing yet, but given time it looks like it may well be something of a gem. The story has hints of something special to it.
At this point, it's a bit too soon to tell how Bakuman will be. For now, it's a decent show.
Score - 7/10
Otome Youkai Zakuro
Pure and unbridled Shoujo by-the-numbers. Every single part of this show is an uninspired use of every Shoujo trope you've ever seen. The characters are absolutely cut and pasted from all the archetypes you know and don't like at all. You have the Tsundere, the Bishonen, the shy girl, the stoic guy, the mischievous twins and the Shota. That sums up the cast and everything you need to know about any of them in a sentence. The setting is annoyingly similar to that of Nurarihyon no Mago, a similarly bad show from the previous season (though that was an offender for Shonen, not Shoujo) with the whole Youkai-shtick going on. It's just as uninteresting as it was there. Oh, and I can guarantee you right now that at least two of the characters will have tragic pasts. Just calling it where you can all see it.
Score - 3/10
Shinrei Tantei Yakumo
This is a show that has some potential, but looks unlikely to use it. The first episode was strong, giving us a quick introduction and a good idea of what to expect... the only real problem was the titular Yakumo was rather unlikeable. However, as of episode 3, they seem to be going over a bunch of episodic crap and avoiding having a plot, with occasional flashes of a plot that we might like to see. I can only hope they'll get on with it.
Score - 6/10
Arakawa Under The Bridge X Bridge
This is a sequel to Arakawa Under The Bridge, an excellent comedy show that aired back in Spring, and if you saw that then you know exactly what to expect. Arakawa X Bridge takes up where its predecessor left off, and delivers what we already know and love. Episode 3, in particular, sticks out as excellent, as it furthers out interest in Nino, a mysterious character we know little about. It also excellently builds on the relationship between Nino and Ric, which is one of my favourite pairings. In doing all this, it manages to stay very, very funny, which is of course Arakawa's strongest feature.
Score - 8/10
The World God Only Knows
TWGOK is an excellent comedy series that plays on the archetypes found in anime and dating sim games, doing so in a way that is funny to both those who enjoy these sorts of things, and to those who scoff at them for their idiocy. It deconstructs the archetypes in a way that shows a knowing understanding and a willingness to use them in a clever way. Thus far, one of the highlights of the season.
Score - 8/10
Why the fuck I am still watching this I will never truly understand. This is the sequel to an abysmal failure of an anime, Hakuouki, that aired in the spring. Hekketsuroku follows on where that left off, so if you're familiar with season one then you will know what to expect... bland dialogue, one-dimensional and uninteresting characters, bland action in the rare cases it is focused on... and of course, bishies. Having said all that, the action has improved on the first season, as has the plot. Rather than simply meandering like season one, the plot actually has a few twists in it. The action is also much better directed.
Not that this show is actually good, it's just watchable, something I can't say of its prequel. Still pretty bad, though.
Score - 3/10
Togainu no Chi
Hey, does anybody here remember Jyu-Oh-Sei? Yeah, you remember how that brought innocent characters into a wild and violent game-like setting for crimes they didn't commit? Yeah, Togainu no Chi copies that completely. But wait... do you remember the part where Jyu-Oh-Sei made distinctive characters that you could actually like, a plot that you were able to give a shit about, and excellent art and directing? Well, apparently Togainu no Chi considers itself above copying the good parts of Jyu-Oh-Sei. The characters are pure bishies, with no personality, no depth, no nothing. Just a bunch of fetishistic crap all over the place instead of compelling plot. The directing is noticeably horrible, which is odd... I had come to expect better from A-1. The camera angles are all over the place, in a way that is less "Hey, look at me, I'm being experimental and new", and more "I haven't got a clue what I'm doing".
Score - 4/10
Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru
Don't let the maids put you off, as Shaft have delivered yet another excellent comedy series. It's simple, it's fun, and there isn't much else to ask for. The main character in particular is loveable and adorable.
Score - 7/10
And noitaminA delivers yet again. This season has had numerous great comedy series, and Kuragehime manages to be the funniest of all. It has a style and identity of its own, clearly, and puts it to good use. Tsukimi is the poster girl for the Adorkable archetype, one that is sadly underused. The opening theme is catchy as hell, but that's not what sticks out about it... rather, its string of film parodies makes it a great OP. While the humour in this show hits all the right marks, you can see that they're going somewhere with this, and I really hope this isn't just my wishful thinking... there are hints that they will be going through some excellent character development for our crossdressing character, making him come to accept the cast Fujoshi as they are. Or so I hope. Either way, this is easily the best anime of the season.
Score - 9/10