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Anime Winter 2012

23 JAN

So I thought I'd try something new and we'll see how it goes.  Right now I'm trying to set myself to watch at least one episode of anime every day as a sort of waking up ritual.  This is coupled with my club's activities and if I watch stuff on the side.  Some of it's a little older, but at least half is stuff that's airing right now.  Given this I thought it would be interesting to give a sort of report on what I watch as the week progresses.

I'll try to give episodes a rating system.

Wow- way above what I was ready for

Exceptional- better than what I expected, but didn't blow my mind away

Average- what I anticipated when I watched the episode

Disappointing- okay, so it's below what I expect from the show but that doesn't have to mean bad

Stop- maybe I won't dump the show, but an episode like this will make me wonder why

(A) January 23- Hayate the Combat Butler! ep. 37

As you can probably tell I've been watching this one for a while now, just in spurts instead of consisently.  Episode 37 is a nice change of pace for this show, giving Hayate relatively little screen time while still managing to cover what I like about this show.  As usual Hayate says something stupid and gets Nagi mad, but this time we focus on what she does.  The little bit at the end was a poor attempt to bring things back to a highly comical level, but the episode would have been perfectly sweet and cute without it.

(E) February 6- Hayate the Combat Butler! ep. 38

Okay, so I missed a week, but I don't think I'll be missing another.  This episode broke trend a little, which thrills me, and even ended on a cliffhanger that actully leaves me, well, hanging.  Congratulations, Hayate. 

(A) February 13- Hayate the Combat Butler ep. 39

Honestly, mostly below average but with an ending which nicely picked up where it had been failing.  This episode was extremely honest about itself, but had a moment I would honestly call cute and sweet between Hayate and Nagi.

(A) February 20- Hayate the Combat Butler ep. 40

At this point it's hard to say much about this show, but I've made it to episode 40 somehow and it doesn't feel overly repetitive.  I have to say though, I love how together Maria is about everything.

(A) February 27- Hayate the Combat Butler ep. 41

This was a nice episode on misunderstanding and promises, but also less humorous than many of the others.  At the same time, it's nice to take a break from being completely ridiculous occasionally.

Watching on Crunchyroll

(E) January 24- Another ep. 2

I'd like to preface this with two things.  One, this is clearly a show that the commercials on crunchyroll actually hurt.  Two, exactly what I expect from this show hasn't stabalized yet.  The trailer looked creepier than I've been getting, but towards the end of episode two I was actually getting a little creeped out.  I have to try and seperate what I wanted the show to be with what it actually seems to be, but it looks like it might move closer to what I want as it progresses.  This episode started making that move, so I'm very happy with it.

(A) January 31- Another ep. 3

Wait, I'm actually getting a warning about how this video might be innapropriate for some people.  For a show dubbing itself a horror show, that's a really good sign. 

Having now finished the episode, it's doing a good job ending on a strong note.  I also appreciate that he was reading Lovecraft.  However, I can't keep giving it good marks just for stuff like that.  It looks like there are a lot of clues about the curse/continuiation of the story, which is nice.  However, we heard the beginning of the story at the beginning of the anime.  I would have appreciated a shorter version there so more of it could be a surprise.  Also, how many flashbacks to the episode we're currently watching do we need?  Some of them were event the same flashback.  While this helped the dramatic timing, I would have appreciated less of that.

(E) February 7- Another ep. 4

Okay, I've got to give it credit for making me go "oh, God" two weeks in a row.  Still too much information dump, but I feel like we're starting to get somewhere.  It's also starting to consistently leave me freaked out.  I just hope it can do that with more ways than a major death at the end of every episode from here on out.

(A) February 14- Another ep. 5

My sense of what's impressive for this show as it starts being consistently better.  I'm not consistently just a little on edge, but not so much that commercials on crunchyroll destroy it.  They even managed a bit of a plot twist this episode, although I have the suspicion it's going to twist right back.

Watching on Crunchyroll

(E) January 25- Brave10 ep. 2

This was probably the show I cared least about as it was starting and has now managed to become the one I'm currently enjoying most.  It's not inherently an exceptional show, but so far it's a well done one.  I'm sure things will average out as time progresses but I'm really enjoying meeting all the characters and they aren't overloading me.  They're also managing to do this while still developing the main pair.  We'll see if it falls into pattern later, but so far it hasn't and I hope it stays that way.

(A) February 1- Brave 10 ep. 3

Well, the show hasn't dissapointed me yet, although I'm definitely seeing the risk of character overload.  However, this episode had a nice dose of humor along with a couple of good fight scenes and some viciousness at the end.  Naturally, Saizo has killed before and has a switch where he just kills again.  Still fun and well enough done with good characters, even if the time must be spread out.

(A) February 8- Brave 10 ep. 4

This show definitely has a raunchy side to it which is proudly displayed in this episode.  Beyond that, it's once more a very fun episode and manages not to get too repetitive.

(E) February 15- Brave 10 ep.5

Wait, so other people were actively important?  And we got some flashbacks while the plot managed to move forward?  Bravo, Brave 10.  The next episode looks like it will be largely filler/normal day kind of stuff, but as long as its still entertaining I'll be happy and we might be finishing out our group.  Also, good job on not being too formulaic.

(A) February 22- Brave 10 ep. 6

*smile*  This is definitely the fanservicy filler episode, and yet it actually accomplished something too.  Keep it up Brave 10.

(A) February 29- Brave 10 ep. 7

Sanada was actually rather active in this one, and we learned something about Rokuro.  I also appreciated that our new warrior wasn't the emphasis of the episode, merely an important encounter.

Watching on Crunchyroll

(A) January 26- The Betrayal Knows My Name ep. 3

As of episode three the anime and the manga are still matching up.  The anime is fairly average, but matches the style in the manga and the music, while not exceptional, fits.  I definitely enjoy the voice acting in this one, but am watching it so close to when I read the manga that it's hard to anything to have an impact.  My one major complaint is that they make the villain even more obvious than in the manga, so if you're looking for much a mystery this isn't the place.

(A) February 2- The Betrayal Knows My Name ep. 4

Still mostly matches the manga, still entertaining without being impressive.  However, and I mentioned something like this last time, voicing things really helps sort out who is who.  It's kind of annoying, since it seems like one of those where every notable character has to show up every episode.  Similarly, revealing Zess' real name before he does kind of ruine the effect.  It was a pretty flashback, but I'm not sure that particular aspect of it was well placed.

(A) February 16- The Betrayal Knows My Name ep. 5

Starting here the full range of awesome voice acting has begun.  We've now added Daisuke Ono (Sebastian from Black Butler) and Mamoru Miyano (Tamaki from Host Club) to an already pretty good cast, and I've been wanting to hear those two in a show together too.  The animation still sometimes bothers me, but the plot is good enough to engage and the voice acting has, even without remembering who the cast is, been pretty good.  The pacing is starting to figure itself out too, which is nice.

(A) February 23- The Betrayal Knows My Name ep. 6

At this point things have stabalized.  Nothing really stands out about this episode except, once more, they're inability to keep secrets.

Watching on Crunchyroll

(E) January 27- Guilty Crown ep. 14

I would give this a wow, except that being amazed is what I'm coming to expect from this show.  One thing I've noticed though is that it keeps getting more vicious and more morally ambiguous.  Right now that's awesome, but if it keeps going like that it could go too far.  Hopefully it won't though, because this series has to end really well to match up with everything else.

(A) February 3- Guilty Crown ep. 15

Well, they broke Shu, again.  I figure he needs about an episode to snap out of it and then he'll start actually fixing the problem.  It's still good and stil progressing, and I appreciate that it doesn't rush.  However, I'm ready for Shu to do something useful instead of just getting people killed and to hate him.

(A) February 10- Guilty Crown ep. 16

Still getting more vicious.  Seriously, if you don't like shows which get mean stay away.  I'm actually beginning to miss whiny Shu and at this point I don't know what I think about any of the characters.  They all interest me, which is good, but I'm not sure I can legitimiately like any of them anymore.

Watching on Funimation

(A) January 28- Persona 4 ep.16

We're on episode sixteen?  Really?  This is a case similiar to Guilty Crown in that I actually expect a lot from this show.  The addition of the aging ray is wondering, as is eveyrone's reactions, and I really like how they tied Naoto to Kanji's mom, making his relationship make more sense without having to be romantic.  It took a little bit for this show to get on its feet, but now I'm very happy with and looking forward to more.

(A) February 4- Persona 4 ep. 17

By later episodes there isn't a whole lot to say.  The transitions felt rough in this episode, but most of the scenes were still wonderful.

(E) February 11- Persona 4 ep. 18

One of the times they've really taken the fact their an anime and have used it to improve on what the game already had.  This was a lot more emotional than when it happens in the game, but still true.  It's when they behave like an anime with really good source material that they do well, and this is a testament to that.

(A) February 18- Persona 4 ep. 19

Cross-dressing and group dates.  Yes...

(D) February 24- Persona 4 ep. 20

Not bad, just, dissapointing.  I think I expected someting else when they went to the hot springs, but it was a little too gag heavy for my tastes, and not particularly varied in the gags.  Still, we should be getting into the meat of it again soon since there aren't many episodes left.

Watching on Anime Network

(A) January 29- Inu X Boku SS ep. 2

It's cute and it's got yokai.  So far this is definitely one that appeals to the side of me that like Tactics more than the side of me which enjoys Black Butler or Hayate.  It could get better, or stay the same, or get worse.  As long as it has interesting yokai I'll probably watch it, but so far I'm not impressed.

(E) February 5- Inu X Boku SS ep. 3

I couln't say exactly why I like this episode so much more than the last two.  I think in part because it feels like we're finally leaving setup and getting into whatever meat this show is going to have.  Also, I'm actually starting to like the characters which definitely helps a lot.

(A) February 12- Inu X Boku SS ep. 4

Subtlety of brick, a very hard brick falling from a very far height.  However, our main character seems to have a very thick head upon which it bounces sadly off.  However, I have to admit I liked meeting the various people of the manor and a couple of new characters.

(A) February 19- Inu X Boku SS ep. 5

I just got called a masochist by a show for watching the episode until the end.  It's not the strongest episode yet, but it was still plenty entertaining and we've met another character and bump in the road for our romance. 

(A) February 26- Inu X Boku SS ep. 6

It's nice to get into the other characters for a little bit, even if it diverts attention from my favorites, and it was done to make them more likable so I can't really disapprove.

(A) March 2 - Inu X Boku SS ep. 7

Yes, I watched it a little early, and I'm glad I did.  Well not a whole lot happened in this episode it was fun to see people broken into smaller groups.

Watching on Crunchyroll

Well, there's my first attempt at this.  We'll see how next week goes.  For this week I'd say Guilty Crown was my favorite, but it comes late in the week and is definitely one of my favorite ongoing shows right now, so it's hard to judge fairly.  I'm looking forward to seeing where some of the new shows go.


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