Ranking the Fall 2012 Anime I’m Watching

With most anime this season already at their midpoint, I think it’s a good time to review the anime I’m watching so far.

#8 Medaka Box Abnormal

Disappointing is the best word to describe it. Medaka Box wasn’t my type of manga in the first place. It was the type that dragged on for multiple chapters and story arcs, discarding minor characters and important character traits along the way. The thing is, it was Gainax in charge of animating this show, and I know Gainax as the studio that brought me great action shows like Gurren Lagann and Evangelion. Medaka Box was an action manga so all signs pointed to Gainax making some badass fight scenes? Did they do it here? No. The problem so far is that Medaka Box has been very generic. Despite a big name like Gainax backing it up, it still plays on the cliches of a Shounen manga turned anime. Plus, I’ve been holding this in for a while now since I hate expressing hate, but I hate the art style. Colors are way too saturated. So what makes Medaka Box #8 in my list out of all the anime? Simple. I’ve only been watching 8 anime this season.

#7 Little Busters

“Le gasp Author-san! Have you no soul? Ranking a Key anime so lowly?!” Look. this may be made by Key, known for drama/tragedy greats such as Clannad and Angel Beats, but Little Busters, so far, hasn’t lived up to Key’s reputation. It’s enjoyable, really. I laugh at the jokes and I just love the dynamics of the Little Busters team, but I can’t stand how every girl in this anime except for Kurugaya is generic moe. Rin is your generic moe tsundere, Kud is your generic moe loli, Komari is your generic moe schoolgirl #1 and Haruka is your generic moe schoolgirl #2. “But Author-san! Clannad had moe! You liked Clannad didn’t you? Why don’t you like Little Busters?” True, but Clannad’s characters were human enough for me to relate to them. Despite their moe antics, the Clannad girls were given enough time to show that they too had problems. So far, it’s only been the Komari arc. She’s the most generic moe of them all. Plus, how she acted during her traumatic phase was pretty unrealistic. I like my drama with realism, which is why I loved Tari Tari’s story and Tomoya Okazaki’s character. What I did like about the Komari arc was the scene where Riki pulled an all nighter to draw Komari a story. I loved the hopeful atmosphere of it all and I loved how everyone was backing up Riki. That scene was just well done but I can’t say the same for most of the show.

#6 Magi

Magi is a pretty good show, honestly. I like the setting and the music that goes with it. Not many anime take place outside of Japan. Not many anime take place in the distant past either. Magi does both and I appreciate it. So far, the action has been good. So has the comedy. The characters are pretty likeable too. Aladdin is cute, especially because of his voice actor who also voiced Kyouno Madoka. Now, what I really have to pick on this show is how the villains are portrayed…and Paimon. The villains in this anime last for just about one episode and they’re all very bland. They all seem to be evil just for the sake of being evil. Given, Magi is supposed to be a fantastical tale and the characters are either supposed to be villainous, heroic or anti-heroic. Still, I wish the main antagonist would make his presence felt more….Also Paimon. Damn Paimon and her blue nipples…

#5 K

K is hit-or-miss for me. On a good episode, it can be a solid top 3. On most episodes, K sits here at #5. At its worst, K can sink lower than Magi and Little Busters. Just not Medaka Box. Medaka Box is a solid last place. Anyway, what makes K great is its creative and styling music and visuals. It’s all really urban with none of the generic rock or J-pop BGMs. I like to divide K’s storyline into two. One is about Shiro and his daily antics. The other is about the clan wars. So far I’ve been enjoying the clan wars storyline more than Shiro’s. I just like seeing gangs go at it with each other plus this story line is where most of the action is at. Shiro’s storyline is mostly a mystery storyline regarding Shiro’s past. What makes it inferior to the clan wars story is the presence of Neko. Damn cat isn’t good for anything besides fanservice. There’s also Shiro’s voice actor. It’s freakin’ Daisuke Namikawa. You might know him as the voice actor of Italy, who obviously isn’t the type of character that should be included in a serious an anime. Well, things are looking up for K, the plot is thickening…and also getting more and more confusing.

#4 Sword Art Online

First of all, Shame on you if you thought SAO would be on the top of the list. Sword Art Online, especially this second arc, is written like a bad fan fiction. Kirito is a Mary Sue, women in this anime are either weak, fanservice material or a stereotype and they all metaphorically suck on Kirito’s p***s. The villains are all generic evil with no real depth to them. Especially Sugou. From what I’ve observed, he really just wants to defile Asuna. The rest of the world isn’t really involved in this and that’s pathetic considering Kayaba trapped 10,000 players for his own amusement. Sugou is the most cliched antagonist I’ve seen in a while. Second thing I have to point out: Pacing. You’ve probably heard it before. Sword Art Online has crap pacing. First half happens in 2+ years while the 2nd half is supposed to happen in a week. At least the pacing is getting more consistent in the 2nd half. What puts SAO in the upper bracket is that it plays its strengths well. It’s got great action, great visuals, great music and the show is just generally entertaining. Something about how it presents itself makes this show watchable for me. Despite all my criticisms about SAO’s terribly executed plot and one-dimensional characters, I like sitting down every week and watching Sword Art Online. It’s how the characters act, if you ask me. You could say that they’re all typical anime characters but that’s just it. It’s anime. Sword Art Online just has the charms of anime which made me like anime in the first place.

#3 Robotics; Notes

Despite my rough impressions on the first episode, I’ve really come to like Robotics; Notes. I’ve been enjoying the recent episodes a lot and I feel that the show is only getting better plot-wise and entertainment-wise. Robotics; Notes has a story, that much is clear. It has direction, but it has some twists and turns along the way and that’s what makes it quite entertaining. I also really like the characters as a group. Individually, they can all be classified into stereotypes. Aki is the generic Genki girl, Subaru is the typical no-nonesense type of guy and so on. I just love how the characters interact with each other. I love how Subaru and Kaito annoy Aki to no end and I love Frau Kojiro for being Frau Kojiro. The plotĀ  seemed to be the typical “I’ve got a goal and I’m going to reach for it!” type. That’s not bad by me. No matter how many of these storiesĀ  read/watch, I’m always inspired by the protagonist achieving his goals through honest hard work (If only real life worked that way, eh?). Now, thanks to Kaito’s snooping, there some conspiracy going on and the sun burning the earth or something, which is cool. Yeah. There’s also the bit about Aki and Kaito’s past and the incident on a cruise ship. While I’m interested to an extent, I can’t shake the feeling that these disorders that Aki and Kaito have are just cliched ways to make the characters more sympathetic. Still, Robotics; Notes is a good anime. While it’s not as talked about as SAO and K is, it’s still something I highly recommend to anyone looking for something good to watch.

#2 Psycho Pass

Is anyone surprised that Psycho Pass is this high up? I expect that more people are surprised that Psycho Pass isn’t #1! Psycho pass is just great. From the very start, I saw promise and I’m seeing that promise being fulfilled with each episode and with each episode, the promise keeps getting more…well…promising! The facts are on PP’s side. Noitamina, Production I.G., and Gen Urobochi are all big names that just tell you that this should be a masterpiece. Noitamina sells itself as being the spot for quality anime. Production I.G. is known for sci-fi greats such as the modern Guilty Crown and the classic Ghost in the Shell. Lastly, Gen Urobochi is known as the guy who masterminded Saya no Uta, Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Fate/Zero. I’m not saying PP is great simply for the people working on it. I’m just saying that these guys are known for producing great stuff and so I expect great stuff out of this. So far? I’ve been seeing great stuff. Psycho Pass is gritty, violent. It gets right up at your face and shouts at you: “F*CK YOU AND F*CK YOUR F*CKING SISSY MOE ANIME. SHUT THE F*CK UP AND WATCH AS SOMEONE GETS THEIR F*CKING HEAD BLOWN UP IN MY F*CKING SHOW.” It’s great. It fills the void that Ghost in the Shell left behind when it ended. I don’t expect this show to reach Ghost in the Shell level of epicness but it has the potential to. It has the same setup, cops and criminals. Ghost in the Shell was about a public security unit that takes down criminals and discover bigger conspiracies along the way. Psycho Pass is about a public security unit that takes down (psychological) criminals and discover bigger conspiracies along the way. I’ve heard a lot of criticisms about the main character Akane and how she’s the typical weak, naive main character but I don’t think she really interferes with the serious atmosphere too much and I like how she plays this morally good character surprised at the wretched ways of the world. There’s potential growth in that and I want to see where this goes.

*drumrolls*

#1 Zetsuen no Tempest

Why is this show #1? Because it’s surprisingly great. Initially, I wasn’t planning on watching this show, as in, it never showed up on my radar at all. I only decided to watch it when a friend of mine was praising it on Facebook. So I gave it a try after that and guess what? I was absolutely blown away. What I noticed first was the dramatic music, orchestral and on the spot with the emotion it wants to convey. You can feel when a track is suspenseful or despairing. It fits a tragic play. Which bring me to my next point. ZnT has a strong Shakespeare influence. Events and characters are inspired by some of the most iconic Shakespearean plays. While the characters don’t act as if they were on a stage, you can feel the weight of their thoughts and words. This is also another show that doesn’t pander to moe-seeking fans. The two leading ladies, they don’t fit into moe stereotypes but they are desirable still. Aika is quite the seductress and she comes off as crafty and cunning. Hakaze is hot-headed, and pretty naked, but logically naked. Wouldn’t your clothes get torn and weathered if your were stuck in a deserted island for God-knows-how-long? The design of this show is just beautiful, the girls, as I’ve already pointed out, are pretty but aren’t typical anime kawaii-type girls. The guys, I guess from the perspective of a girl, would be cute but not so much that male viewers would be disgusted. Same with the girls, by the way, cute but not disgust-inducing cute. Next is how the plot is rolling so far. Every episode since the first has either been about advancing the plot or deepening characters. This means that this show isn’t taking any breaks when it comes to producing quality writing. What’s this show’s weakness? Definitely not entertainment value! While, I usually anticipate Robotics; Notes and Sword Art Online more, Zetsuen no Tempest has been entertaining on its own right. The action scenes are great and they remind me of the action from the movie Jumper. The suspense is done right and I never get tired of all the flashbacks about Yoshino and Aika because its something different every time and it gets jucier every time too. The villains are there. While not the most complex of antagonists, the villains aren’t generic evil and they seem to have logical goals and mindsets. None of them are evil just because they’re perverted or crazy. I also think that the main antagonist gets enough screentime to stay relevant. Again, Zetsuen no tempest spends its time building up its plot and characters, bad guys included.

Well, that’s it for this blig post. Like the Facebook page because…I dunno, I want people to Like it. Isn’t that enough reason for you to Like it. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM ME?! *runs away while sobbing*

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