Winter 2010 (+Railgun & KnT) Final Impressions

I’m sorry it took so long to get this done, but apparently Spring Break and exams screwed everything up for a lot of sub groups. I couldn’t even finish Vampire Bund until Funi’s stream came out. That’s how slow a lot of releases have been. I promise that I never forgot.

Anyway, having finished several shows I’ve watched this season and a couple from Fall that just ended, it’s time to throw out my opinions on the completed series.

I’ll start with the two shows from Fall that I finished up.

To Aru Kagaku no Railgun – The show fell short of expectations somewhat early on and definitely by the halfway point. The second half of the show was completely filler, though some of it was canon to some degree as the series creator was involved. It wasn’t all bad and the last arc/episode were actually quite good. The show did degenerate into a lot of boring slice-of-life stuff, though. If you liked Index a whole lot, it’s probably worth watching. I can’t say I’d recommend it if you’re not familiar with the series because a lot of the best parts are when the Index crew shows up and the fights are nice, but can get pretty repetitive. Railgun spam is pretty much all that happens except for a small skirmish with Touma. Bottom line: Not too bad, but not super great either. Watch it if you’re a fan, but don’t expect too much.

Kimi ni Todoke – This was an absolutely excellent show. The characters were great, the comedy was fun, it was shoujo, but not too shoujo as to alienate people, and the drama and romance were played perfectly so as not to be overly dramatic or campy. I’ve never read the manga, but I’ve heard that it’s EXTREMLY faithful to it and you can jump straight from the anime to the manga without missing a damn thing. The only major drawback of the series is that it apparently ended right before the best part and we’ll have to wait on the inevitable second season. Bottom line: Watch this. DO NOT PASS IT UP.

And now we’ll move on to the shorter series from the Winter season.

Aki Sora – I wasn’t super sure what I was in for when I checked out this OVA. I only did it because of hype. Basically, it’s softcore incest porn. I didn’t feel like there was really much more to it than that. It wasn’t super interesting or anything. I did skim through a bit of the manga and it looks to get a lot more interesting, but it still looks like no matter what, you’ll just be ending up with softcore porn. Who knows, maybe it’ll be better by the next OVA, if there is one. I haven’t heard anything about a second release yet. Bottom line: I guess watch it if you want softcore incest porn. Otherwise, you’re not missing anything.

Chu-Bra!! – Holy shit, this was so average it hurt. I watched the entire 12-episode series and I still had no idea whether I liked or hated it. Huge waste of time. Bottom line: Don’t bother. Garbage.

Sora no Woto – Amazing series. Don’t mistake this for your average moe slice-of-life. The series does a great job of expanding on the character of everyone in the show and can pull some amazing storytelling tricks when it needs to. If you have any doubts about whether or not you want to watch it, take my word for it that it’s worth a shot. This was easily one of my favorite shows this season. Bottom line: Watch it. You owe it to yourself to at least try it. It’s one of the best shows of the season.

Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu – This is a great series. It’s apparently not very faithful to the manga or light novels (I wouldn’t know) but even if it is mostly filler, it’s very entertaining. Funi’s got my money on this one when they release it for sure. It’s also been picked up for a second season, so I’m really excited about that. The characters are great, the jokes are fun, the references are hilarious, and the premise is interesting, even if it’s not explored too much. Bottom line: Watch it. Also one of the best of the season.

Dance in the Vampire Bund – Garbage. Pure garbage. At least half of this show never happened in the manga and the ending was bullshit. They left it open for a second season that I pray never happens. Bottom line: Don’t waste your time with this trash and read the manga instead. It’s much, much better. If you’ve read the manga, don’t bother with the show anyway. It will only cause RAEG.

Ookamikakushi – This was interesting, to say the least. Typical of VN-based anime series, it tried to combine several routes and come up with a plot that attempts to make sense. The result is that the first third to half of the series is very bland and boring, but after that, it’s pretty good. It’s actually really good. Opinions are kinda split on how it ended up overall, but I really liked it. It’s a shame I’ll probably never be able to read the actual VN since it’s on PSP. Bottom line: Worth a shot. If you watch it, power through the first chunk of episodes. It’s boring, I know, but when stuff actually starts happening, you’ll probably really enjoy the series.

Hanamaru Kindergarten – Great show. It kept a smile plastered on my face. It’s not super amazing, but for what it is, it’s an excellent watch. Anzu did start to get on my nerves because she’s a one-trick pony, but Hiiragi was so damn awesome that everything she did made up for it. It’s also one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen. Bottom line: Oh hell yes, watch this. One of the best of the season.

That wraps up my impressions of the Winter 2010 season. The only show I didn’t review was Durarara!!, which is still ongoing. I’ll have a review for it by the end of the Spring season. Just know that it’s the best show out of the Winter season and will probably be show of the year.

Spring 2010 initial impressions coming up shortly, probably as soon as I have lunch.

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