Autumn 2011 Anime (Part 2)

Told you it would be soon! Continuing with my initial thoughts, this time of what I consider to be the season’s top series:

8: Bakuman. (A-P)

As a huge fan of manga as well as anime, how could I not love a show about two young guys aspiring to create a manga so successful it spawns an anime series? Shame they’ve gone with a detective series (see Un-Go for my feelings on those!) Jokes aside, its great to see more of this series, I’d forgotten how much I liked it.

Main strength: Simple plot, but highly relevant to my interests.

Main weakness: The animation still isn’t fantastic, with Shana topping J.C.Staff’s priority list.

 

7: Ben-To (A-P)

Now THIS is how to do an ecchi battle anime well. The premise is so bizarre, it just works! I love how they have their own rules, etiquette, ranks and titles, territories, different types of sticker etc… and how they put so much effort into it… when all they’re doing is fighting over half price ready meals! Undoubtedly the surprise hit of the season.

Main strength: It is ridiculous, but takes itself deadly seriously. What’s not to love about that?

Main weakness: Premise and energy aside, its balancing precariously on the border of being generic. Hopefully, it won’t topple.

 

6: Chihayafuru (A-P)

Surprisingly enough, I can’t play Karuta. Poems aside, I wouldn’t even be able to read the cards… But I can’t play Mahjong or Shougi either, and I’ve watched and loved series about those. Chihayafuru is another series that’s gripped me despite this obvious handicap, with great characters and animation. Also, EPIC CARD GAMES FTW!

Main strength: I really like Chihaya, she’s probably my favorite (new) character of the whole season.

Main weakness: The fact I can’t play… but that’s a personal weakness, and no fault of the show. 😛

 

5: Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing (ANN)

I loved the original Last Exile. The Silver Wing has a lot to live up to, and it is still too early to tell whether it’ll do its predecessor justice, but so far it has been enjoyable enough on its own. Fam seems like a decent, energetic protagonist, though the rest of the cast could do with some more development in the coming episodes.

Main strength: Steampunk setting, enough said. It surprises me how few series are set in worlds with this kind of technology.

Main weakness: It’ll be difficult not to compare it to the first series.

 

4: Guilty Crown (ANN)

One of (if not the) best animated series of the season, Guilty Crown is mostly about style, but is not without substance either. The premise isn’t hugely original, and reminds me strongly of Code Geass with its rebellion and its mysterious girl granting its male protagonist uber powers… but hell, I liked Code Geass. Definitely worth a watch.

Main strength: Awesomely animated action and explosions~

Main weakness: Lack of originality so far, hopefully it’ll do something interesting and unexpected later on!

 

3: Shinryaku!? Ika Musume (A-P)

Ika Musume was the first series of the season, starting a good week before everything else. As a result, my excitement for the new season led to me marathoning all of the first series in two days, then moving straight into the second. I’m glad I did, because it is just such an amusing series. What’s not to like about other angry invading invertebrates?

Main strength: The reason Chihaya is only my favorite NEW character is because of Ika-chan… can’t believe she just got knocked out of Saimoe!

Main weakness: It is rarely laugh out loud epic, which means its unlikely to equal the likes of Nichijou on my 5/5 list.

 

2: Fate/Zero (AniDB)

Now before the whole internet rages at me, allow me to explain myself. I believe that Fate/Zero is *technically* the best series of the season, with stunning animation, a soundtrack to die for, and very interesting characters. However, its slow pacing means that not much has happened YET, and this is all about my first impressions, after all.

Main strength: It feels as though it is building up to something epic, and is virtually flawless.

Main weakness: The slow pacing isn’t really a weakness, as the time is well spent on character development, but we’ve not seen much action as a result.

 

1: Mirai Nikki (ANN)

Mirai Nikki tops my list so far, because the first few episodes have offered everything that makes Fate/Zero good (obvious exception being the godly animation), but with a much quicker pace and tons of explosions. Right now, its left more of an impression on me, and I’m glad I chose to write about it here. Also, plus points for Norio Wakamoto!

Main strength: THIS is the series that has the OP of the season, if not the year.

Main weakness: For all that they’ve done a good job so far, the name asread still strikes fear deep in my soul… Please, let this be the series that proves they can animate!

That’s all for now! More detailed rankings will be given at the end of this season for all shows that have ended by then. Mirai Nikki 4 could be delayed further, as tomorrow is also a busy day for me, but hopefully I’ll be back on track by Wednesday!

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