Spring 2011 (+Gosick) Final Impressions

Sorry for the delay. As mentioned before, I’m working a new job now and I don’t have a lot of time to sit down and write stuff like this while trying to cram in anime as it comes out. Not a whole lot else to say. Let’s get to it.

We’ll go chronologically and start with carry-overs first. Really, there’s just one of them.

Gosick – I take back what I said about this show before. I said during my Winter 2011 final impressions that this show wasn’t that great. It’s really just that it picks up more as it goes along. I was fairly well entertained by the halfway point, but it just continued to get better and better. This show ended up being amazing. It still didn’t dethrone Madoka as best of the season, but it was really good. One of the top shows I watched from the Winter 2011 season. Bottom line: Highly recommended. There’s really no reason to pass it over. It’s really just an all around great series with a highly satisfying ending. Some of the mysteries are too easy to figure out, but as the series goes on, even the simple mysteries are not quite as simple as they may seem. Definitely worth your time.

And now for the newer stuff.

Dog Days – Not a terrible series, but not really as good as I was hoping. I expected a little more from the creator of Nanoha. I did like the series, don’t get me wrong, but it wasn’t really anything special. It was just fun. I’ll probably have mostly forgotten about it by next year. Bottom line: Pass on it if you’re not sold on the idea of a light-hearted series from the Nanoha creator, because that’s all it really boils down to.

30-sai no Hoken Taiiku – This ended up being really solid. Didn’t learn diddly crap from it, but it was a hilarious ride from start to finish. Honestly one of the better shows of the season, despite being so short. I’ll really miss it. Bottom line: If you’re looking for a laugh, watch it. The episodes are only 12 minutes, so it’s not a huge investment of your time.

A-Channel – I really should have just dropped it. It wasn’t bad, but it was oh-so-terribly mediocre. It had an annoying, out-of-place insert song every episode and it was generally not that entertaining. Tooru, despite being such a heavy focus of the show, really only served to drag it down most of the time. The last episode, which could have been the most entertaining, was bogged down by her constant depressing thoughts. She’s also really annoying about breaking up Run’s discussions with her casual guy friends, which kind of pisses me off because it was refreshing to see that element in an anime without having to be a potential romantic ordeal. It just felt normal and natural. I guess Tooru’s there to keep Japan’s little moe goddesses from ever being soiled by the presence of a male. Bottom line: God, skip it. So worthless. It’ll probably get a second season, but I sure as hell won’t be watching.

Maria-Holic Alive – Eh, not interested at all. It wasn’t really much better or worse than the first season. A pretty mediocre adaptation. The best episode in all of Maria-Holic anime was the filler episode at the end of the first season and we weren’t fortunate enough to get anything like that this season. Bottom line: Pass on it unless you’re a hardcore fan of the series. Not really that great.

Softenni – Honestly, this ended up being one of my favorite shows of the season. Definitely my favorite comedy of the season. I really hope it gets a second season, but it doesn’t seem like it sold very well, so I really doubt it will, and that kind of depresses me. It was a great ride while it lasted, though. Bottom line: Oddly enough, I say pick this one up. Ecchi comedies are a dime a dozen, but this one managed to stand out as being pretty damn good.

Hen Zemi – Disappointing. After seeing the OVAs, I expected good things from this. It was just garbage. There was one good episode in the whole lot and they were only 12 minute episodes anyway. Can’t wait for more OVAs to get the bad taste out of my mouth. Bottom line: Skip it until they come out with more OVAs that require you to see the TV series for continuity. Otherwise, just skip it altogether.

Astarotte’s Toy – Loved it. Every bit of it. Feel-good show of the season, maybe of the year (depends on how Usagi Drop turns out). I’m a sucker for parenting series like this. I really enjoy the father/daughter dynamic. It helps that this show also had a very lovable cast. Asuha ranks among the greatest lolis of all time. Oh yes. Bottom line: Pick it up. You won’t regret it. Don’t mind the premise, because it’s just a premise and a setup for the plot.

The World God Only Knows S2 – Pretty good. In some ways better and in some ways worse than the first season, but more or less just as good. It’s a shame that both seasons did so poorly that there will never be a third. (The author already stated that there’s no chance of a third season, sadly.) Oh well. Bottom line: Show a little love for an under-appreciated series and give this a shot. You’ll enjoy it, I promise.

[C] – Eh, not too bad. It felt pretty rushed the whole way through, but it was entertaining enough. I felt like it really fell apart at the end, though. They rushed way too fast through all of the important stuff to show a few cliched fights.  Bottom line: Decent. Pick it up if you’re interested, but don’t expect a whole lot.

Ano hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai – Great. Absolutely brilliant. One of the best shows I watched from this season. Kinda melodramatic, but really touching and the ending was absolutely perfect. There aren’t many series I can say that about. Bottom line: Pick it up. It’s great. Just great.

Hidan no Aria – Typical JC Staff Kugimiya action show. It’s still good, though. It’s got a (mostly) good cast and it’s at least consistently entertaining if you like what’s presented here. Bottom line: If you’ve seen one JC Staff show, you’ve seen ’em all, but I would still pick it up.

Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko – Second best show I watched this season. I loved it. The characters were great, the scenarios were fun, and everything just felt so right. I really do hope we see a second season of this, because it’s honestly one of the best shows Shaft has ever done. Bottom line:  Pick it up for sure. It’s absolutely magnificent.

That’s it for this season so far. Next season’s final impressions will have Nichijou, Hanasaku Iroha, Steins;Gate, and (probably) Sket Dance.

As for my pick of the season? Well it’s sort of inconclusive right now, but…

Pick for Show of the Season: It’s almost certainly going to be Steins;Gate. Odds are really low that anything will end up better than it or that it’ll crash and burn so hard that it won’t stay my favorite from the season. It’s an absolutely brilliant show, and it’s definitely going to fight for best show this year.

Summer initial impressions are coming up. Dantalian won’t air until next week, so expect it a week or so from today.

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