Autumn 2011 Anime – Final Thoughts

A short concluding post to this season, since only 8 of the 17 series I picked up have come to an end. But that is a good thing; I wouldn’t want to have to pick up any more than 8 shows to replace them, there’s not much next season that appeals to me. 😛 Rankings-wise, nothing has moved up or down since my first impressions posts, but my overall thoughts or reasons for liking/disliking many of the series have developed and changed since then. So as usual, starting with the weakest:

8: Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon

Maybe I’d have understood the plot if I’d tried harder, or maybe it really is just a strangely paced and overly complex mess that only makes sense if you’ve read the light novels. I don’t know. What I do know is, this anime was never a chore to watch. I never felt bored, it didn’t make me facepalm or headdesk in bewilderment, nor did it leave me angered at the wasted potential. I don’t know how it managed that, but the most negative thing I can say about Horizon is that I didn’t understand it, and probably won’t watch the sequel as a result.

Rating: 2.5/5

7: Maji de Watashi ni Koi Shinasai!!

Nothing new here, MajiKoi was your run of the mill battle/ecchi anime with an existent but secondary plot. The male lead was a bit better than most – not completely pathetic, actually funny, and obsessed with hermit crabs… the haremettes had fairly stereotypical character designs and personalities, but were a bit more hyperactive than usual. Overall, it was fun to watch if you like this sort of thing, but if you missed it while it was airing, don’t feel the need to rush out and get it immediately. The first episode was definitely its strongest point.

Rating: 2.5/5

6: Tamayura: Hitotose

A feel-good, relaxing show, and a nice change of pace compared with everything else I picked up this season. But compared with other slice of life/iyashikei shows, it didn’t stand out – it felt as though something was missing. As mentioned in my first impressions post, perhaps it’s the lack of interesting setting – the character’s everyday activities were, perhaps, a little TOO everyday, normal, bordering on boring? Or maybe I’m subconsciously irritated by a bunch of schoolgirls who have a better idea of what they want to do with their lives than I do at 23 years of age. 😛

Rating: 3/5

5: Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai

This was a fairly decent comedy series – at times it had me laughing out loud, but some eps were definitely funnier than most. The characters were pretty generic, though decent dialogue and character interactions made up for that (Yozora and Sena’s bickering was the highlight of the show for me, particularly in the earlier eps). I’d rate it higher if it wasn’t for the ending – I found it to be quite rushed, and anticlimactic considering that the whole series had been building up to it. The animation quality was also pretty… variable. 😦

Rating: 3.5/5

4: UN-GO

My initial thoughts on UN-GO were quite negative, with early episodes leaving little impression, though I held onto the hope it would become improve once the cases started spanning more than the length of a single episode. I didn’t have to wait long before that happened. The series took a particularly interesting turn at episode 7, and from there built up towards an ending that (while slightly rushed, as with so many noitaminA shows) was filled with twists and great revelations. I wouldn’t mind watching a second season of this. 🙂

Rating: 4/5

3: Ben-To

Ben-To, despite being another ecchi/battle anime, is anything but generic. It completely outclasses MajiKoi in terms of plot and hilarity, and shows that a little creativity and a simple but ridiculous premise are all it takes to breathe new life into a tired and largely repetitive genre. That’s not to say Ben-To is a masterpiece – if you take away the comedy then there’s not much left, the characters aren’t that well developed and I’ve seen better fight scenes… but why would you take away the comedy? 😛 Again, I’m hoping for a sequel!

Rating: 4/5

2: Shinryaku!? Ika Musume

One of my favorite comedy shows of this year, hence its 12th place position on my ACAA list. Also, Ika-musume was in my 2011 harem. That doesn’t leave much to say – I love the show and its characters, because they make me laugh. Shinryaku!? was far from a disappointing sequel, though I struggle to see how you can go wrong with such a novel setting and awesome cast – it certainly hasn’t so far in any of its ~72 mini eps. Hate to sound like a stuck record, but here’s another anime which needs a continuation, a third series in this case.

Rating: 4.5/5

1: Fate/Zero

Another one that shouldn’t come as a surprise, given its #2 spot in my Top 12 of the whole year. Here was a show I had to watch the moment it came out, even if that meant watching the last episode on Christmas Day. 😛 Fantastic character development, music, animation, and a simple but effective plot with plenty of room for twists. Possibly the best thing about Fate/Zero is the fact I feel the need to give it full marks when it hasn’t even gotten serious yet! At least for this show, I can rest assured that a sequel is coming, and soon!

Rating: 5/5

Here’s hoping you all have a Happy New Year. 🙂

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