I decided to stick to my guns and limit my consumption in the fall compared to my summer insanity, and I think I like the results. Of course, I haven't been able to chew through Last Exile in quite the fashion I've wanted to (I blame the #anime-planet.com IRC channel). That said, I'm fairly pleased with what I decided on from Fall 2009:
Tegami Bachi TV
This clearly shounen show doesn't feel as straightfoward as it probably is. The setting is intriguing if a little far-fetched (Patches, DON'T ask where the apples come from!). Niche is hands-down my favorite character of the season and one of the best little loli's I've ever come across (anyone who stands in front of a pair of boxers while trying to make a decision about whether to save her friend is alright in my book). Despite the occasional bit of poorly-integrated CGI, the show looks fantastic. I just hope the story can deliver on the promise of its world.
Kobato jumped a bit in my estimation in episode 4. Typical of CLAMP, it appears to be a serious story wrapped in cute art. While the adorable factor looks to define the season, it's also possible that there's a kind of dark tale hiding in here. I hope so, because that would be AWESOME.
Kimi ni Todoke
By the end of the next episode, we'll have reached as far as I've read in the manga. Two of the bloggers I'm following have picked this to be THE anime of 2009. Certainly, its production values and tone have it up there. As shoujo goes, I like the story, even if I find Sawako a little annoying from time-to-time (JUST SAY THINGS THE FIRST TIME AROUND, THEN YOU WOULDN'T CAUSE SO MANY DAMN PROBLEMS). Production I.G. nailed the art, giving some substance to the airy source artwork and the sound is even better.
It's been awhile since I've watched some straightfoward shounen. I was burned so badly by Soul Eater's ending that I wandered into the romance and comedy genres and never really looked back until now. True, Fairy Tail probably isn't as good as its manga, and it's hella derivative, but I love Lucy so much that I don't care. This is the kind of series where you ignore the crappy art and unoriginal humor because it's the anime equivalent of comfort food.
My only regret is that I've not watched any of the J.C. Staff anime for this season. I haven't seen Index, so Railgun is out, and I was burned too badly by Aoi Hana to run straight to Sasameki Koto. We'll see, though. I chose fewer weeklies to get more time to watch other stuff. Maybe I'll pick another show up toward the end of the season.