Spring 2011 Anime (Part 2)

Carrying on from yesterday, here are my top 7 series of the season so far (based on at least 3 episodes):

7: C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control

If I had to compare this to any other anime series out there, it would be Kaiji combined with Pokemon. People fight using ‘assets’, pay money to launch attacks, and obtain money upon winning the fight. As for those who become bankrupt… wouldn’t want to be one of them.

Main strength: Once again, a fairly original and interesting concept.

Main weakness: Every character in the world, ever, is more interesting than the male lead and his asset.

6: Hana-Saku Iroha

I initially dropped this, but went back to it as I’d heard good things and (according to Anime-Planet) it’s one of the highest rated series of the season. A very nicely animated, slow-paced drama/comedy set around a hot spring resort, which I can only see rising up my rankings as it continues to develop.

Main strength: All the characters are likable, at least after a couple of episodes of getting to know them.

Main weakness: It’s slow pace means it struggles to stand out compared with most of my top 5. At this point.

5: Deadman Wonderland 

Ranking even higher on A-P than Hana-Saku, and being one of the most anticipated series of the season on the forums I post in, I had to check this out. Set in a violent (but highly censored) prison/theme park where prisoners are forced to compete in shows and attractions in order to buy food and avoid execution.

Main strength: I must sound like a stuck record, but this is a pretty original concept!

Main weakness: VERY fast paced. With only 12 episodes to play with, I hope they don’t rush it too much…

4: Kaiji II

Might come as a surprise since it’s the series I’m blogging it (though maybe not, I did Campanella afterall :P). But no, Kaiji II isn’t quite my favorite. TBH, it wouldn’t be this high if it wasn’t propped up by it’s epic first season. I think this is largely due to the game – it’s nowhere near as interesting as the ones Teiai comes up with!

Main strength: I really like high stakes games.

Main weakness: It isn’t quite ‘epic gambling’ yet though.

3: Maria+Holic Alive

Maria+Holic is one of (if not THE) best SHAFT comedy series ever in my opinion. But reading the manga recently has been both a blessing and a curse; while the first episode crammed in a large chapter, cutting out some jokes and leaving it feeling rushed, episode 4 built on the original and added in even more hilarity! So all in all, it balances out.

Main strength: I like Mariya enough to cosplay him; he and the rest of the characters are what makes this show.

Main weakness: Aside from my minor gripes with the pacing, nothing.

2: Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera 

I did not expect any comedy series to top Maria+Holic Alive this season, but I think Enma-kun just about does! Go Nagai character designs never looked so good with Brains-Base providing the animation. Voice cast includes Norio Wakamoto, although in a minor roll. While the humour is quite crude at times, every episode leaves me in stitches!

Main strength: Everything – Best OP and ED of the season, top class animation, fun characters, the lot.

Main weakness: Obviously the fanservice won’t appeal to everyone, however.

1: Steins;Gate

Finally, my favorite series of the season after the first month of episodes is Steins;Gate. It is flawless. A well-paced sci-fi/mystery series with an intriguing and gripping plot, fabulous animation and music. Every character is brilliant. But it’s the delusional (?) main character, mad scientist Rintaro Okabe, who firmly places this at the top in my mind.

Main strength: They plug a mobile phone into a microwave and make a FREAKING TIME MACHINE!

Main weakness: It makes every other anime I’ve ever watched look bad in comparison. All these wasted years…

(joke)

As I said, I’ll try and write up a best of the season in July to show how my ratings change; not sure whether to keep it to series that finish at 11-13, or throw in the still airing ones too though. I’ll decide on the day.

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