Spring 2010 (+Durarara & Others) Final Impressions

Okay, finally getting around to this. It took a while because Mayoi Neko Overrun’s last episode took a full week to get subbed. I’m going to go ahead and note that I won’t be giving my impressions of Senkou no Night Raid here because half of the series is still left unsubbed.

As with last time, I’m going to go ahead and start with what I finished from last season.

Durarara!! – Great series. There’s not a whole lot to say here. The characters were great, the story was interesting, the music was amazing… Watch it. Just watch it. If you’ve seen Baccano!, you have some idea of what to expect here. The story-telling method is much more straight-forward, though. You’re not skipping all over a general time period, so it tends to be easier to follow. I really can’t say much about this series because it’s just something that has to be watched to be experienced. Bottom line: Watch it for sure. Don’t pass this one up. It’s a strong contender for anime-of-the-year.

I’m also going to comment on Bakemonogatari, which finally finished.

Bakemonogatari – This was a great show. You’ll see my general impressions on it in my SHAFT marathon post. Bottom line: Watch it. It’s a great anime, one of those kinds that only comes out once in a long time.

And now on to the single-season shows.

B Gata H Kei – Okay, so this one ended up being a little more disappointing than I thought it would. Basically, they set up the relationship between the characters and with very few exceptions, the main couple goes absolutely nowhere… after like a year and half or more in the story. It was pretty funny and I guess it was good for what it was, but I just didn’t care for it as much as I thought I would. If I want perverted girls who constantly think about sex, this season’s Seitokai Yakuindomo should work out better. Bottom line: It’s a decent watch. Go for it if you need some ecchi comedy. There was better even in this season, though.

Angel Beats! – There’s a lot of debate over just how good this series was. My personal opinion is that it’s the best show of the season. The animation was amazing, the characters were intriguing, and the plot was interesting. It admittedly takes just a short while to get to the heart of the matter in the series and the odd setting can turn a lot of people off before that, but sticking with it, you realize what a great series it is. It can be funny when it wants to be, and it can throw Key drama at you whenever it feels like it, too. It was, quite simply, a blast to watch. Great series. Bottom line: Give it a shot for sure. I wouldn’t recommend passing it up. My personal favorite from this season.

Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou – This was kind of a weird series. It started out as a standard harem comedy. Fairly average, but decent enough. Then it got better as the plot started to thicken. Eventually, it hit the final arc almost out of nowhere and from that point it hit full-on holy-****-awesome levels. I loved the series to death by the end of it. The cast was fun and the action scenes were great. Sai Akuto is one of the greatest harem leads of all time. Bottom line: It’s a harem comedy, so you’ll know most of what to expect, but it also has a lot of great action and the cast is very likable. I’d definitely recommend giving this series a shot. It ended up being a lot better than I expected.

Working!! – I probably had the highest expectations for this show going into the season because it looked like it would be the dark horse slice-of-life that very few people were interested in but would be really good. In my initial impressions of the series, I gave it a lot of praise, but starting from the very next episode, I became increasingly disappointed in it. There’s a character named Inami who basically hogged the spotlight from the great cast. The problem is that she’s a one-trick pony whose sole existence in the series is to make every character worry about her while she beats the ever-loving hell out of the main character for no reason. She’s incredibly obnoxious and takes screentime away from the more interesting characters in the cast. I wouldn’t even mind if she was there if she didn’t take away from everything else. Late in the series, the girl from the first episode, Poplar, says that she’s barely had any screen time in one of the episode previews. The next episode starts out all about her until Inami comes in with her problems again, and then Poplar isn’t even around for the last half of the episode. That’s the kind of crap I’m talking about. It ended up being very disappointing. Bottom line: Hell if I know, just watch it if you want a slice-of-life comedy. Some people love Inami and some people hate her. If you hate her, you’ll end up watching it only for the rest of the cast like I did. If you like her, you’ll probably love the series.

Arakawa Under the Bridge – I didn’t care much for this one at first. It was too quirky and slow. After a few episodes, though, it grew on me. I liked the cast and the gags were decent. The problem is that the series never felt like it went beyond an average comedy. It’s been picked up for a second season, but it doesn’t feel like it really deserved one, at least not so soon. It’s certainly not a bad series, though. Bottom line: Watch it if you want a comedy series or you like SHAFT or something, but don’t expect a whole lot.

Mayoi Neko Overrun! – I liked this show a lot. It was actually fairly standard as far as the normal plot went, but it had some crazy, unexpected, and highly epic moments. These include, but are not limited to, a hot-blooded super robot parody and the world’s most epic game of jenga. Also, Chise ended up being crazy awesome for the entire show. Worth watching just to see the extremes the series takes itself to. Bottom line: Give it a shot for sure. It had some great moments.

Kiss x Sis – This was one of my favorites this season. It’s an ecchi series from Bow Ditama, so I had nothing to complain about from the start. It pushes whatever boundaries it can as it goes along and things get pretty damn hot and steamy for a TV series. The characters were also likeable. (Riko is the best. I will allow no room for argument here.) For a simple ecchi series, I ended up liking it a lot. Far too much, probably. It’s one of my highest-rated series of the season. It knew what it was supposed to be and it strived for excellence in those areas. Bottom line: If you like ecchi series or anything like that, this is the cream of the crop right here. Even if you don’t, maybe it’s time to give it another shot with this.

That’s it for the single-season series. Several series are going to carry over through the Summer, so they won’t be reviewed until then. Those series are Heroman, Kaichou wa Maid-sama!, Rainbow, and K-ON!!. Also, as I said before, Night Raid still isn’t completely subbed, so it will have to wait, too.

BONUS ROUND

Oh yes, kiddies. There’s more. I’ve been watching a lot over the last week, so I’m going to throw out my impressions on those series as well.

Princess Tutu – This series was a little weird in both concept and execution, but I can’t fault it because it ended up being really damn good. I don’t really know how to convince anyone to watch this show other than to flat out tell them to. It’s just great. The epicness of the second season was even related to something as awesome as guitar ninjas. I’d rate this one very highly and recommend it to others. Bottom line: What the hell are you still reading this for? Go watch it.

Taishou Yakyuu Musume – This series was great. It was a wonderful slice-of-life that had lovable characters and an interesting plot. I’m amazed I haven’t really heard more about it since it’s from last year’s line-up. I really loved everything about this show and I was kind of disappointed that it wasn’t longer than it was. Bottom line: Watch it if you want a good slice-of-life show. It’s really great.

Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann – Yes, I finally watched it. Now I’m cool like everyone else. Really, the series was as great as I had heard. I know a lot of people don’t like it, but I really don’t see what’s not to like. The show doesn’t take itself seriously at all and I think it makes for a great series. Super robots and characters that get power just from being awesome makes for a pretty cool series. That’s what anime’s about, after all. What would anime be if every series took itself so seriously that it couldn’t break a few hundred physical limitations? Bottom line: Well, you should probably know. It’s a super famous series. Definitely recommended.

Macross Frontier – This is probably the best of the older series I watched. I never really knew much about Macross before, but this series was extremely easy to get into. It also featured a whole slew of great music, a great plot, awesome characters, and it wasn’t super serious all of the time. It allowed itself to have fun with the characters and music and I think it made for a much better show than if it had been serious with the plot all of the time. Given the popularity of the series (the two main singers even had a mini-concert at AX this year), I’m very surprised that it was never licensed. Bottom line: Please watch it. It’s so damn good. I think you owe it to yourself.

Rozen Maiden – I actually watched all of the Rozen Maiden anime. I watched, in order, Rozen Maiden, Rozen Maiden – Detective Kunkun OVA, Rozen Maiden: Träumend, and Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre. I have to say, I was pretty disappointed with all of it. I mean, I know that there wasn’t much to work with knowing what was in the manga, but I feel like the anime suffered from trying to stall for time. They ran a lot of things into the ground, like character personalities. I think Suiseiseki suffered the most from this, because she went from mischievous to obnoxious pretty quickly. They also BSed most of the plot. I think the first series suffered the most. The anime actually did get a lot better as it went on. Träumend actually stuck to the manga a good bit, despite being derailed by the previous season and new villain. The fighting was pretty good, too. Ouvertüre was definitely the high point of the series. As far as I know, it has no basis in any of the manga. I will admit that I’ve only read the first series, though. However, it was a really great series. It gives backstory for Suigintou and sets up her rivalry with Shinku. I don’t know how canon it is, but I’m hoping very, because it was extremely entertaining. The Detective Kunkun OVA… Well, it is what it is. Not worth talking about really. Bottom line: Read the manga first, but the anime’s not bad. I don’t like the first season that much, but everything after that is pretty good and Ouvertüre is amazing.

Valkyria Chronicles – Worst thing I’ve ever seen. It’s a good standalone anime on its own, but having played the original PS3 game, I realize just how bad this series is. At first, I was willing to rate it at around an 8/10 or so. The plot wasn’t changed too much and while they were already ruining Welkin and Alicia’s characters, I could stand it. As the series went on, they just kept raping it and raping it and I kept having to take more points off for ruining the plot, ruining the characters, and general stupidity. The animation seemed to get a lot worse near the end, too. The only good points about the series is that for the most part, the animation is pretty good and it uses the music tracks from the game, which were excellent. If you’re interested in it, though, you’re much better off just playing the game. It’s one of the best games in the last decade and a very underappreciated gem from this generation. It’s even got a PSP sequel that’s hitting the U.S. pretty soon. Bottom line: Pure garbage. The worst-rated series on my MAL list. At best, I can give it a 3/10. The animation is mostly good and the music is great (since it used the original game music), but it destroys the plot and characters. Seriously, DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS.

Aaaaaaaaaand, that’s it. I’ll have reviews for the unfinished series at the end of the Summer 2010 season and maybe a few bonus series by then, but I don’t know for sure. I really only did that this time because these were all watched between the end of the season and the time I made this post (which because of Mayoi Neko Overrun would have been Monday night at the earliest).

Next post should be Summer 2010 initial impressions. I’m waiting on the first episode of Asobi ni Iku Yo to post them, but so far I’m enjoying the season a lot. Other than that, Umineko episode 6 should be out shortly, so I’ll probably have some comments on that, too. Higurashi’s last arc won’t be out until the end of the month, so I won’t have anything to say about that until probably early or mid August.

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One Response to “Spring 2010 (+Durarara & Others) Final Impressions”

  1. kashim40 Says:

    almost all spring 2010 anime.. rocks ^_^\m/ specially durarara 😀

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