Now that a new season has begun and my internet issues are a thing of the past, it seems like the perfect time to restart my weekly rankings posts! I started seven new anime over the past week, which together with eleven series still ongoing from previous seasons will be ranked here each week based on how much I liked that week’s episode. These rankings are, of course, entirely based on my own opinions and tastes.
1 - Chihayafuru 2 (ep 1)
9 – Magi (ep 13)
11 – Bakuman S3 (ep 14)
Let’s start with the all new, non-sequel winter titles. Placing second, Cuticle Tantei Inaba had me laughing loud and hard for the majority of the episode. It’s all about fast-paced, ‘random’ humour, so didn’t have to spend much time introducing the characters or setting. Will it continue to rank this highly for the rest of the season? Unlikely, once the shows with decent plots get going, but provided the gags don’t get old or repetitive it should at least stay out of the bottom five.
Maoyuu Maoh Yuusha was my most anticipated new series… yet it placed second from last. That doesn’t mean it was bad, in fact I quite enjoyed it, but it was a little rushed, and (unsurprisingly) I’m not as attached to the characters as much as I am for all of the 12+ ep shows yet. With the introduction now out of the way, I can only see this series rising up in the weeks to come.
The gap between Maoyuu and Mondaiji-tachi ga Isekai kara Kuru Sou Desu yo? is far wider than the single digit difference would suggest… Mondaiji is the only thing I’ve picked up that I have some big doubts about, but if the bunny-girl says their world is a fun place, who am I to argue? A guilty pleasure or two is fine, and if it doesn’t impress me after three episodes then I can always stall it in favour of something else.
At the other end of the scale, Chihayafuru 2 blew everything else out of the water. After a year I’d started to forget just how good the series was, but it only took one episode to remind me. A perfect balance of shounen-style competitive card gaming and shoujou-style romance and drama, with plenty of comedy thrown in for good measure. Chihaya herself has to be one of the best main characters ever, and the rest of them are also very likable. Great stuff!
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT was also better than I remembered/expected it would be, as again I was left in stitches by a hilarious cast of characters. Minami-ke Tadaima, however, placed surprisingly low considering how much I was looking forward to it. It had the same great characters, and better production values than asread’s earlier attempts, but didn’t make me laugh as much as other first episodes.
While my focus and excitement will be largely aimed at the new series for the first few weeks, it’d be wrong not to acknowledge the others since I hardly mentioned them last season. Uchuu Kyoudai is still going strong after nearly forty episodes, and I like the fact that we’re finally getting to see more of Hibito now that he’s on the moon, as well as Mutta’s continuing journey to get into space himself. The cliff-hanger (well, crater-drop to be precise) ending was an exciting and unexpected twist!
The two Production I.G. noitaminA shows (Psycho-Pass and Robotics;Notes) returned with similar 12th episodes, both choosing to focus on the backgrounds of side characters. This was greatly appreciated in the case of Psycho-Pass, as Yayoi had been a bit of a non-character up until now, and Robotics;Notes managed to fit Jun’s past into the ongoing search for Kimishima reports quite nicely.
Finally, I should point out that the reason Zetsuen no Tempest (the series which ranked third in my list of favorite series last year) placed so low is because this week’s episode was more like half an ep, the other half simply a recap of the story so far. I hate recap episodes, so if anything the fact it didn’t place last shows how much I like this series. Here’s hoping this new story arc doesn’t disappoint!