FRESH, Isn’t it?
Well, for those around in Planet Tyro, Spill.com, and other websites that might see this, it’s that time of the year again where we reminisce about what we watch, heard, and/or read and recall what we love, liked, find to be ‘meh’, questionable, hate or loathe but here is where things get different from there. For one, this is a list of the anime that I watched this year but I didn’t have the time to review either because I had too much on my plate and even though I’ve said most of my thoughts on these shows in the message board, those weren’t exactly my full thoughts on them. Another thing is…this is the list of anime that I watched and never seen before on my free time, this isn’t the list of the newest anime to come out (either dubbed or subbed) but some of those are included in the list although I might plan to watch some new “straight from Japan” anime in 2013. It could happen, especially with the review list I’m making for next year. Anyway, there are 20 anime properties (16 anime series, 2 OVAs and 2 anime movies), so I divided them to be a top and bottom 10 lists. Please note this is my list and if you got any disagreements with it, just comment below and don’t act a fool.
First, I’ll get the bottom 10 list out of the way, but before I do, I would like to say that not all these anime are bad but some of them you should watch with caution and most of them you shouldn’t tell your friends about or anyone in your family as a matter of fact. I know I didn’t…..as far as you know. But let’s get this out of the way and start with lowest of the low, the scum of the anime world, that first piece of bread you skip because no one wants that end piece……okay, I’ll stop.
And now can you tell by the quotes, what anime is being described?:
“It’s the pathetic tale of a desperate 400 year old horny virgin” & “Bitches have skin that just looks nasty and unkempt and shiny like raw pork in a supermarket”
“They get the most airy, softspoken voice actress to voice a boy so pathetic he could get curb stomped by Elijah Wood and Jason Biggs”
“There’s a ton of reasons for why a teenaged boy would not want to have sex, but they don’t bother to explain it”
“Also, the male lead was only two inches shorter than the girl and not a damn midget”
“Art Style is fucking atrocious and probably every bad Japanese anime stereotype, with all characters having big eyes, shiny skin, and NO NOSES”
“It’s The Brickleberry of Anime.”– quotes courtesy of Scott_PJ and like myself, he does not favor this series well.
and the answer is…..
KANOKON / animation by XEBEC / distributed by MEDIA BLASTERS
How did I really hear about this show? Well, in actuality, I heard about it in one of MasakoX’s (of Team FourStar) Anifile reviews on That Guy with the Glasses and he really tore a new one into that show and I decided to check this out for myself. I actually thought it would be a fun romantic romp with some fan service thrown in but unfortunately, it got awfully annoying real fast and quick, especially with the main character Kota, who is that stereotype of a weenie teenaged boy who is too much of a wimp to stand up for himself. Chizuru is one girl that definitely wants to have that boy in her pants and yet and the same can be said for the other girl Nozomu……Y U NO HAPPENS IN RL…or better yet MY RL? Actually, nothing like this happens in real life (unless you know someone like that), no matter how you want it to happen and it’s just fan service fodder, which is no problem for me, sometimes I like a little fan service but the problem of it is plain and simple. It’s not funny, endearing, or even enjoyable. There’s a ton of reasons for why a teenaged boy would not want to have sex, but they don’t bother to explain it. Also the side characters are not that prominent, very useless and annoying and mostly they are a one-joke character, like Asahina, whose only joke that she’s a prude and loathe dirty thoughts. I fucking get it!! It’s like beating a live horse, shoot it dead, beat it some more over and over, and then doing the money shot on it. Did I mention the people who were in charge of the dub also did Eiken? I don’t mean Media Blasters, the company that licensed it and is slowly dying right now; it’s a company called Arvintel Media Productions and most of the stuff I watched from them so far is horrid and weak. I have no beef with Mona Marshall but this is one of her worst voice-acting roles and she’s got pretty of them (She has good ones, too, but here, it gets too annoying too fast) It’s that bad and just horrible. I even heard that the novel or manga based off was less fan service-riddled than the anime.
SECOND EDIT: I actually did watch it for a second time because I do want to give it a fair chance but this time I just follow the plotline in episode 7 with the long lost sister and yet, it gives no proper or even an closing ending. It’s mostly a read the manga ending leaving questions that I’m pretty sure I don’t care to answer since this pretty much bothered me…..even if I laughed once (only once when her breasts disappeared, that’s it.) The animation is nothing special with the same style you expected from an anime, so hey, nothing new to look at. So just after watching Love Hina and this before, I really don’t want to revisit this again.
FINAL SCORE: 1.5/10 – Clownshoes
NINJA SCROLL: THE SERIES / animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by URBANWORLD (now out of stock)
Wow, what a failure this show was and this has been talked out on an episode of DREAMcast episode 16, which feature the debut of yours today and you should watch it (the DREAMcast episode, not the series)…..RIGHT NOW…..or after reading this!! Anyway, the plot and fighting scenes are very monotonous, the characters are forgetful and bland especially Jubei, who I’ve already said looks like a Ninja Aladdin; the music is terrible at all levels and worst of all, has no continuation or even the shine of the original movie. By all means, forget this TV series; pick up the anime movie, which has been re-licensed by Sentai Filmworks and you’ll be fine and my final words for this show is “burn in hell, Ninja Scroll TV series, and burn in hell you will”.
FINAL SCORE: 2/10 – Clownshoes
KITE: LIBERATOR / animation by ARMS / distributed by MEDIA BLASTERS
So this year, I watched the original OVA “Kite” and for me, it was a decent effort by Studio ARMS (and me not hating them for once) but not that great then watched the superior “Mezzo Forte” done by the same studio and after that, “Mezzo DSA” which was a major disappointment to the previous installment and I thought I would never find anything else more as a disappointment to the original……until I watched this. Originally, I was going to review this in 2013 but I had to watch it due to the fact that I actually recommended the first Kite OVA (also Mezzo) to Angel and she also reviewed Liberator and according to her, it was a disaster (the movie, not the review) and I can see why. The plot’s a coherent mess; long gone the main character of Sawa and this new girl doesn’t really sound threatening or believable as a femme fatale, there is a less Hentai feel of this but it’s still worse and that motherfucking ending….what was the point of that? Clearly, Mezzo DSA is looking good compared to this. I’m glad that I saw this earlier because this is no way in hell I’m watching this again. In other words, this should also burn in hell.
FINAL SCORE: 1/10 – Clownshoes
EUPHORIA / animation by MAGIN / distributed by R U KIDDING ME
And speaking of things that should burn in hell………WHY!?!?!?!? Why did I have to watch this? My psyche is forever scarred by these OVA and yes, I know it’s a Hentai. I have seen plenty of Hentai series but not that kind that does that. It’s mostly torture porn mixed with actual porn and the result was violently disgusting. If there are people that liked this, I can’t judge you but don’t recommend this to me. I had enough of that for a 2-episode Hentai.
And the reason I put a screenshot instead of the cover, well, the cover isn’t exactly Spill-safe and I don’t want a warning….again.
FINAL SCORE: 0/10 – Clownshoes
And now for the stuff that wasn’t that bad but I would say you should stream it first before buying…..if it fits your taste, which is…
WITCHBLADE / animation by GONZO / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
GIVE ME YOUR ECSTASY!!! Mainly because it would certainly be more entertaining than Witchblade the anime. Most of the time, I can get into the plot but I can tell fans of the American comic will be pissed off at this and I stopped only at 16 episodes because it had gotten to be dreary, monotonous, and you just don’t give a damn anyone. Plus, the mother-daughter relationship is more than just unreal at best, I mean, the mother being more of a child than her 6-year-old daughter? Well, the good thing about this is the first opening theme and I do admire the acting style of Jamie Marchi, especially after the dub of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt. As for Witchblade, this series is nothing more than just a first glance then you’ll forget about it.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10 – Not Feeling This
CAT PLANET CUTIES / animation by AIC PLUS / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
Originally, I had this show rated lower after watching it but I had some second thoughts about it, mostly after watching Kanokon and it wasn’t that bad after all. It’s still pretty bad in some areas like humor and the fact the main character Kyo is sort of a wimp but he isn’t unlikable at top levels, he can be reasonable but I wouldn’t say relatable. Plus, the fan service gets shoved in too much although it never bothered me….that much but I really hate the cliché tropes such as “what girl will he choose at the end?” because you’ll know that won’t get resolved but you won’t give a shit. I’ll say it’s a guilty pleasure as some levels with the main female characters/love interests of Kyo and the voice acting was an okay effort from FUNimation. Who knew that the kid that was in Full Metal Alchemist would get so much pu—(sound of a slap). Ow!
FINAL SCORE: 4/10 – HIGH Not Feeling This / LOW An Acquired Taste
K-ON! (Both seasons) / Animation by KYOTO ANIMATION / distributed by BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT (season 1)/SENTAI FILMWORKS (season 2)
Every time I hear about this series, I keep thinking about that review of Gigguk of the Anime Zone when he pointed out all they do in that club was “eat cake and drink motherfuckin’ tea!!” and I can see why because for two seasons, totaling up to 40+ episodes, they only slack off most of the time although two members needed to try more to convince the others to get off their lazy asses and practice. But for the music that was added in there, it was very decent for J-Pop music, which I don’t rate that high in the first place. The dub done by Bang Zoom! Entertainment for both seasons (yes, Steven Foster wasn’t involved in this, so, WOOHOO!!) was both alright but irritable at some parts. I noticed that Stephanie Sheh was in this dub and I happen to like her as a voice actress and her past work (mostly Eureka Seven and others not worth mentioning) but she just had to be casted in the most annoying role in the show and if you can’t handle her high-pitched voice than usual, you should avoid. Also, I noticed three other voice actresses that were in a better anime, which I’ll mentioned here later, but they did what they could but thankfully, they’re in better roles now. HINT: Those three actresses’ first names begin with a C. Yeah; K-On is a show that should be watched once and maybe if you’re into this, you probably love it.
FINAL SCORE: 5/10 – An Acquired Taste
EUREKA SEVEN AO: ASTRAL OCEAN / animation by BONES / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
Dammit, people were right on the money about this anime and how disappointing it is and the worst thing about it that I quit after watching 9 episodes and notice how dull and uninteresting this turns out to be. I could say it’s not like the original series but that would be too redundant to say but saying that would be redundant, too. What would be better to say what’s wrong with this is that it didn’t hook me like the original series did. I didn’t give a damn about Eureka’s son Ao because his story is mostly nobody likes him because something happened that was so terrible and blah blah bullshit and la-de-da. Yeah, I can’t really say much about this but this was a letdown sequel to a perfectly great series, although that movie was shit, too.
FINAL SCORE: 5.5/10 – HIGH An Acquired Taste/ LOW Vanilla
B GATA H KEI (YAMADA’S FIRST TIME) / animation by HAL FILM MAKER / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
So, originally, I thought this title was going to be some fan service bullshit that’s going to sound dumb as hell but when I watched all 12 episodes, it was a fair and okay series but I wouldn’t show this to anyone who first getting into anime and no, it’s not because the plot involves a girl wanting to get laid by 100 guys. It would’ve still been stupid if the situation was vice-versa (and if the character were have been a douchebag and/or bitch). The character Yamada can be obnoxious to an umpteenth level but never did I feel like I hated her but the main male interest is such a bore, I honestly forgot about his name. No, really, what was his name? All the other characters play their archetypes and did it well but did I give a fuck about that? Maybe….you have the best friend who has more sense than you, the girl who’s been a best friend to your male character and obviously has a crush on him, not to mention she has big breasts so all the guys will drool all over her and the girl who is deemed to be Ms. Perfect but secretly she’s in love……with her brother. In short, this was okay.
FINAL SCORE: 6/10 – Vanilla
ANGEL BEATS! / Animation by P.A. WORKS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Was this meant to be taken seriously? No, really, it’s a slice of life show about dead high school students that are stuck in limbo (I think) who all have died under the consequences that at some point they fucked up either by a purpose or accident. The plot of that was all confusing as hell as either a comedic, action-packed, or dramatic series with some characters you like either leaving early in the series or some prolonging their arc for no reason at all. But the good things about this show is the animation done by the growing company P.A. Works and it is actually tastefully and beautifully done with little to no hiccups and the same goes to the music, especially the opening theme, “My Soul, Your Beats”, a gorgeous piece of work which sticks to my head a lot during watching this. The dub was……pretty off and terrible. It’s not High School of the Dead horrible but hey, it is a dub from Sentai Filmworks and we all know about their dubs, right?
FINAL SCORE: 6.5/10 – LOW Watchable
So, that’s it for the bottom picks and now we will get into the good stuff or at least, the good stuff that I think deserve some praise and effort for either being something that explored more into the anime genre and/or not sucking hard. So let’s cut the small chat and get to the TOP 10.
SEKIREI / animation by SEVEN ARTS / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
I might get slapped for this but not just because of the rampant amount of fan service, considering I panned Kanokon and partially Cat Planet Cuties for this but that was for the fact the humor of those shows were either “meh but not world-class comedy” or in Kanokon’s case, painfully unfunny. Sekirei is a guilty pleasure for me, but while it has things that pleases me that you will never find out unless I want you to, this one has something that resembles a storyline, breasts, funny at sometimes, breasts, characters that doesn’t annoy you too much and at least when FUNimation advertise it, they just straight out know that you’re watching this for the fan service and also, breasts. Hell, it’s even mentioned in the sequel series Pure Engagement, which I would’ve finished but I’ll watch that later. So, yes, I do like fan service shows……when it doesn’t suck that much.
FINAL GRADE: 7/10 – HIGH Watchable
RINNE NO LAGRANGE (LAGRANGE: The Flower of Rinne) / animation by XEBEC & PRODUCTION I.G. / distributed by VIZ MEDIA (English dub coming soon to Neon Alley)
Yep, this is one of the newest anime shows I watched in 2012 and yes, I watched it in the original Japanese version and surprisingly this is a good show that I could re-watch over and over again, although personally I can’t wait for the dub version from Neon Alley/Viz Media (that and I need to learn about the voice actress Kira Buckland aka Rina-chan and her past work as a VA). While the show does sometimes forget that it’s a mecha show, it has a very decent storyline and it also makes up for the loving friendship and bond between the very likable characters of Madoka (different one, you fools!), Lan & Muginami and I know you know the yuri implied undertones of the relationship and yes, I do like yuri elements in anime or other media if it’s not crappy or just cause it’s there. But if you watched the show but I still find it sweet and touching and it’s also something from XEBEC that doesn’t make me pissed off at them for their earlier shows and the fact that Production I.G., their parent company saved their asses around this time.
FINAL GRADE: 7.5/10 – Watchable/ LOW Solid B
HETALIA / animation by STUDIO DEEN / distributed by FUNimation ENTERTAINMENT
Even if I like yuri, I have nothing against yaoi or anybody who is a yaoi fan girl……or boy. Yes, I think I’m one of the few guys that watched Hetalia and liked it. I didn’t loved it like the hordes of fan girls do or hated it like some people do for legit reasons but personally while some things about it bother me at some times, some things about it made me laugh like how America is portrayed as a douche who always has to be the hero but they’re full of it, or Germany, who is always hostile and always gets irritated by Italy too much (I know how he feels). Also, I think I’m the only person who finds Italy annoying and also insulting to someone……who was just born in Italy, let’s be honest, but still he just gets to me but I’m not really that offended by the series. I’ve seen more offensive stuff than this. I will say if you’re Canadian, you might hate this or just don’t care. Like I said, this is a rather good show if it fits in your criteria.
FINAL GRADE: 8/10 – Solid B.
THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY / animation by STUDIO GHIBLI / distributed by STUDIOCANAL (U.K.), DISNEY (U.S.)
So, surprise, I’ve seen a new Studio Ghibli release and it was…….alright. Yes, I’m in the large percentage that finds this film to be okay. I’m not harping it like it’s the greatest thing ever but it’s still entertaining to watch but there are a few flaws in the plot, characters and in the dub and by dub, I mean the Disney version. I’ve seen the UK version earlier this year and guess what? That dub was okay and personally I prefer that one over the Disney dub. Bridgit Mendler was a poor choice of consideration to play Arrietty as to me, it felt too unnatural and very unenthusiastic. There is no difference between the choices of Mark Strong (in the UK dub) and Will Arnett (in the US dub) as both sounds alike even though Arnett sounded like a stumbling drunk and at last, Strong plays someone who isn’t a damn villain. Amy Poehler was fine and she was overall the best thing about the Disney dub. Oh yeah, did I mention they played some stupid inane pop song at the last part of the credits because when I think of this movie, I think of this damn song, not that other song that fits within the tone of the movie. But, yes, Arrietty is an okay movie but I’m sure as hell isn’t going for the US dub again.
FINAL GRADE: 8/10 – Solid B.
DEMON KING DAIMAO / animation by ARTLAND / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Well, once reading Angel’s review of this series, I have decided to check it out for myself and the final result for that show is it’s really good. It wasn’t praiseworthy to me as it was to her but there were some moments that really got on my nerves like the usual “boy sees girl naked accidentally through some awkward occurrence, then girl runs to beat the shit out of him” shtick. There is a very cohesive plot moving on with some these widespread battles, magical elements that are like Harry Potter…..with lots of multi-colored haired anime girls and acceptable fan service that’s not just for…..showing that it had fan service.
FINAL GRADE: 8.5/10 – HIGH Solid B.
REDLINE / animation by MADHOUSE / distributed by BANG ZOOM! And ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT
I would first call this movie “Animation Porn”. Why? Because when you hear that this movie took over 10 years to animate and/or develop and you see the final product and it looks so amazing and gorgeous in High Definition that alone is worth checking this out…..well, almost. There are also the steadily detailed race sequences and the character designs of the movie and that’s it. The voice acting is fine but not that worthy of a mention. Now rating an anime just based on the animation wasn’t exactly professional but then again, I’m not really that much of a professional but the story is simple, characters aren’t that complex but aren’t simpletons and completely moronic. It’s kind of like how I look into movies like Tron: Legacy & The Man with the Iron Fists. The concept looks very fun and wonderfully detailed but there is bound to be a lot of flaws throughout but you will still enjoy it.
FINAL GRADE: 9/10 – First Class
PERSONA 4 THE ANIMATION / animation by AIC ASTA / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Okay, I haven’t played the game or any previous effort of the game series that was released in the US by Atlus but when I went into a show based off something I never encountered in my life, who would have thought this series would end up to be that DAMN GOOD!!!! I absolutely love this series but yet, I haven’t finished it all and although I could finish it in sub but like I said in the previous times, I’m more of a dub person so I can wait for that version to be released in the next few months. The animation and character detail is so much like the game from a few clips and pics I saw online, the plot line does balance the seriousness and the humorous details without making it too inappropriate and best of all, this may be a Sentai Filmworks dub, but thankfully they wanted the original VA cast of the English version and the performances were decent but I quickly gotten sick of the bear puns from Teddy and the expressionless appearance of main character Yu Narukami does get too old to give a damn but once you see episode 8, you’ll find it hilarious and this is one anime worth checking out.
FINAL GRADE: 9.5/10 – HIGH First Class (so far)
CODE GEASS: LELOUCH OF THE REBELLION / animation by SUNRISE / distributed by BANDAI ENTERTAINMENT (for now)
People have compared this show to Death Note and some either love the series or hate it completely…..I’m more of the former and even though I haven’t seen Death Note (yet) and still don’t rank that show as high as many people does, I’ll still give it a chance. For Code Geass on the other hand, this was one of my favorite anime that twists their anime elements that isn’t too much of a drag and much like Eureka Seven, it lasts for 50 episodes and never gets too tiring. However, this could have easily would have been a HALL OF FAME but unfortunately, the second series has a few curb stomps like unnecessary character deaths just to kill them off because they have nothing else to develop (SPOILERS: Personally, I was pissed off and sad when they killed off Shirley) and the unexpected but really expected twist at the end of the series which seem so confusing and off-putting. Aside from that, I actually do recommend the show for newcomers but take a break between episodes to know what you are going into.
FINAL GRADE: 10/10 (For Season 1)/ 9.5/10 (For Season 2)
Now, I’m going to introduce you the anime that I highly recommended for all of you to experience. But I will say that this is just my opinion of both of these shows and how I feel about them.
KIDS ON THE SLOPE (SAKAMICHI NO APOLLON) / animation by MAPPA & TEZUKA PRODUCTIONS / distributed by SENTAI FILMWORKS
Well, this anime does have a lot going for it especially with Shinichiro Watanabe, director of Cowboy Bebop & Samurai Champloo (two of my favorite anime ever) and Yoko Kanno (music composer of anime too much to list) collaborating again for something that’s unusual (in some parts) from his previous efforts; i.e., set in the 1960s in Japan and it’s technically a slice-of-life anime but in actuality, more of a realistic tone than most in that genre (like looking at real life through the lens of anime, as most people would say about this) and the dramatic tone of the show has a good amount of drama without being too melodramatic and overbearing that would create big problems out of petty bullshit. Everything about this show is perfect to my ears from beginning to end of the series. The characters are greatly developed as the story goes along, the art style is very good, coming from new anime studio MAPPA (along with Tezuka Productions in some episodes), which is run by former executive of MADHOUSE Masao Maruyama and there is a bit of that Madhouse influence in the animation and of course, the music…….Yes, it’s good and I will end this note on what the hell you reading this for? Find this show somewhere streaming or whatever and watch it. You won’t regret it.
FINAL GRADE: 10/10 – HALL OF FAME
Now, Kids on the Slope isn’t actually the only anime that is the top of my list and for this entry, this is an anime that has been dubbed for this year and the hype on the show has been widespread among with the anime community and some have loved it, others find it overrated and not worth it (they’re fools!!!!) but let’s just cut to the chase……
PUELLA MAGI MADOKA MAGICA / animation by SHAFT / distributed by ANIPLEX OF AMERICA
Now, like many others, I wasn’t really into a lot of magical girl anime, although I have watched Sailor Moon in my younger days but never caught my attention at full but after hearing so many reviews about PMMM and thankfully, it was released in the states, dubbed by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and distributed by Aniplex of America, who rarely make dubs and after that, the rest was history. It turned a mundane concept and completely went cerebral and deep as it goes, making it intriguing, suspenseful and tense; that also goes along with the character development and how becoming a magical girl isn’t all cute outfits, slaying monsters, and worrying about any unrelated thing that comes to mind. This is the kind of anime that absolutely deserves all the praise and sales, whether it was the original Japanese or the English dub and I will say it again, this was a well put-together dub and I give my praise to voice actresses Christine Marie Cabanos, Cristina Vee, and Cassandra Lee for their performances as well as the other cast members, especially Vee for her portrayal of Homura Akemi, who really step it up at the latter half of the series as she brought out her emotions exactly right but not too much of being over the top as most people complain about. People have called this a New Wave anime, or nouveau anime as you will, something that completely changes every and any perspective of anime out there and sure enough, this series has done that and yeah, like I also said before about Kids on the Slope, watch this anime right now and see the brilliance of Puella Magi Madoka Magica…..or Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica…….or just Madoka Magica. Yeah, just watch the damn show.
FINAL GRADE: 10/10 – HALL OF FAME
So, that is the anime that I watched this year that I either liked or loathed……Well, this has a good year for me doing this for a full year, meeting and talking to interesting people around Spill, Planet Tyro, the many various Skype chats and everywhere on the internet.
That and I also guested in a few podcasts myself although I don’t brag about anything that much, but since I’m in a good mood (can you tell?), here’s the podcasts that I’ve been in this year:
DREAMCAST Episode 16 – HybridMedia (former name of mine), Aniview R… – my podcasting debut
I do want to thank these people for actually including me in most of their endeavors and hope I’ll be included with them in the upcoming future.
But I still got top 5 or 10 of the best or worst movies I’ve seen in 2012 to do and until then, I’m MAK2.0 aka The Hybrid, bringing all the elements in one format.
THE MIND OF THE HYBRID ONE – my Tumblr site