Spring 2012 started strong. I mean, real strong. I thought I was going to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of the shows that I have to watch, but I ended up dropping all but six shows out of the 24 that I picked up. So yeah, this season kinda sucks.
For your convenience, I have decided to employ three rating systems in this post. The first is how I regularly rate anime in MAL, but more specific. The second is based on the western grading system and the third is based on Baka-Raptor’s method of rating anime.
Saki: Achiga Chapter – Episode of Side-A [7/??] (75, B+, +)
You saw that right. Saki Achiga-hen is my favorite show of the season. Now, even though I say it’s my favorite, I have to say that I’m not liking this show as much as I’m supposed to. The show’s kinda messy as a consequence of the manga being as brutally fast-paced as the adaptation. The anime staff tries to make up for it by lengthening the mahjong battles and introducing new back stories, but I don’t think that would be enough to get Achiga-hen on par with the original.
That said, I still think that Achiga-hen, despite its flaws, is a very entertaining show. The adrenaline, the lightning and wind-induced mahjong, the moe, the yuri, the yuri and the yuri makes up for most of its shortcomings.
Hyouka [6/21] (73, B, +)
Hyouka ended up being more enjoyable that I thought it would be. The mysteries presented are well within my willingness to suspend my disbelief, and logic has proven itself to be the key to solving the various problems that the Classics Club faced. KyoAni also outdone itself in how creative they have been presenting Hyouka to the audience. The surreal approach to explanations make them much more entertaining to watch than just a montage of still pictures or talking heads.
Space Bros [9/??] (70, B-, +)
There is no such thing as a boring moment in Space Bros. Even though it got irritatingly repetitive during the first seven episodes or so, it can’t be denied that Mutta is such a great character. Heck, all of the characters are pretty good in their own right. Even though the show is practically driven by Mutta and his struggles, the people around him do influence his actions and beliefs. Space Bros isn’t necessarily a story about getting into space, it’s a story of a man who pursues his dream. And that’s just the way I like it.
Accel World [9/24] (66, C+, +)
Despite what most people say about this show, Accel World is good at what it’s trying to do. It’s not a great show by any means, but I can sure bet that it’s a lot better than most of the stuff we have this season. For an anime that reeks of wish fulfillment, Accel World has been very earnest about its presentation. The main character, Haruyuki, has an actual personality for a change instead of just being there so that lonely otaku could have someone who they can project themselves into. Not to mention that I quite like how the fight scenes are done in this show.
Sankarea [9/??] (65, C+, +)
Sankarea would be much higher up in this list if it weren’t for that episode dedicated to Mero. I found watching the entire thing pretty tiresome because of how trite the dialogue was. However though, Sankarea may very well be the best directed anime of the season. Normally, anime like Sankarea are the ones that I end up hating, but it is just so well-done that I can’t help but like what I see on screen. Director Shinichi Omata, you have done very well.
Fate/Zero [21/25] (61, C-, -)
Ahh, Fate/Zero. I have been quite ambivalent about this series since the Alimango Island episode. I love Fate/Zero when they pump up the action and actually use the money they got from BluRay preorders to be all flashy and stuff, but I absolutely hate it when it comes to the talking part. What good directing and animation there is during fight scenes, equally bad directing surfaces when that charaters get all talky talky. Don’t get me wrong – I like Urobuchi dialogue. I just hate how it’s being presented in Fate/Zero: dull and uninteresting.
And that’s it for the shows that managed to survive being dropped (at least for now). I’ll do reviews for the shows I DID drop after watching three episodes or more later, so I guess you can look forward to me being in prick mode again.