Spring 2012 Anime – Final Thoughts (Part 2)

Why is it that at the start of every new anime season, I have to have internet trouble? I’ve had no connection for the past two days after my router broke; I’ve plugged in an old one that we kept for emergency use, but while that’s allowing me to get online to post this, it’s not ideal for anime viewing – my average download speed is about 10 kB/s at the moment. 😕 Still, we should be getting a new router free of charge by the end of the week. 🙂

Anyway, this post lists my seven favorite series that finished during the Spring season, and the reasons I liked them… I just hope it posts properly! (Part 1, where I share my thoughts on the other 8 series I watched, is here).

7: Kore wa Zombie desu ka? Of the Dead (Non-mover)

Half way through the season, I said that I liked Kore wa Zombie desu ka best when it was doing comedy, and that I (half jokingly) hoped it would stick to comedy, as I felt the first series went downhill after the plot started. Amazingly, ‘Of the Dead’ DID stick to comedy… but that just left it feeling like a whole season of filler. Don’t get me wrong, it was funny, hence why it places 7th out of 15… but when it ended after only ten episodes (which like Upotte!! caught me by surprise), story-wise it hadn’t resolved anything. It needs continuation, badly. Here’s hoping they get the balance right if/when Kore wa Zombie gets a third series! 😛

Rating: 3.5/5

6: Jormungand (Down one place)

Jormungand provided me with my action fix each week while looking much shinier than Zetman. My issues regarding the side cast were addressed as well – even if the focus remained largely on Koko, Johna and Valmer, we got brief glimpses into the pasts of the others, finding out how and why they chose to work for an arms dealer. Overall, I’m glad I picked it up, and will watch the sequel. The main thing holding it back from a higher ranking would be the lack of a running plot, as most arcs were only one or two eps long… but there’s also the fact that I still can’t help but compare it to Black Lagoon, a series which (in my opinion) outshines it in terms of characters and story lines.

Rating: 4/5

5: Tasogare Otome x Amnesia (Up one place)

The final episode of Tasogare Otome x Amnesia has understandably divided people’s opinions. Personally I thought it ended well! Heck, the fact it ended at all places it above most of this season’s poor attempts at closure! But though we were ultimately cheated out of the ideal (if very unhappy) ending that all of episode 12 seemed to be building towards, I’m a sucker for happy endings, so either way is fine with me. 😛 Would have liked to have seen more from the side characters Okonogi and Kirie, who were sidelined very early on in order to focus more on the main couple, but that’s a minor issue.

Rating: 4/5

4: Sankarea (Non-mover)

Sankarea started out much stronger than it ended, and there were a couple of poorly-timed (if otherwise very good) side character development episodes thrown in… but it remains one of the first things I suggest to people who ask me for Spring series recommendations. It had an interesting premise, fun characters, a good balance of comedy and plot, as well as fantastic production values – I still can’t believe Studio DEEN produced this series, it looks too pretty! Would have liked to have seen a few more episodes of Rea living as a ‘normal girl’, which could have provided a lot more opportunities for comedy and even romance, but that’s not an issue.

3:  Tsuritama (Non-mover)

Tsuritama started and ended the season at the top of my weekly rankings. Part of me wanted to rank it in first place overall, as it’s often the first and last episodes of a series that leave the most impression on me… but I feel that’d be unfair on my top two, which were more consistently strong. Anyway, what Tsuritama lacked in complexity, it more than made up for with absurdity. Bright colours, hilarious characters, mind-controlling water pistols, comedy, drama, dancing, fishing, Tsuritama had it all! Definitely the most fun series of the season, and something that more people need to watch!

Rating: 4.5/5

2: Fate/Zero S2 (Non-mover)

Well, I can’t exactly call Fate/Zero flawless any more – there were some pacing issues in the penultimate episode, which was rushed to the point where I had to rely on someone who’d read the light novel to clarify a few things… The fact we didn’t get to see Saber face off against Archer was also a bit of an anticlimax… but it’s understandable from a plot point of view, and I can always rewatch Fate/Stay Night for that. I am really nit-picking at this point, and only because I’ve sung it’s praises so much in the past that I fancied a change. 😛 In reality, Fate/Zero’s second half didn’t disappoint at all, and it wouldn’t surprise me if it also places second in my rankings for the whole year.

Rating: 5/5

1: Sakamichi no Apollon (Non-mover)

Anyone who followed my weekly rankings would have noticed Sakamichi no Apollon’s standings wobble slightly towards the end, with the final episode placing lower than any other. That’s because I wasn’t overly impressed with the drama in the last two episodes, and found the ending to be almost painfully cliched. Despite that, the series thoroughly deserves the title of ‘best of the season’ in my opinion, as for the majority of the 12 weeks it was airing no other series even came close to touching it. The jazz sessions were fantastic, characters all likable, and the setting refreshingly different. I doubt anything this season will come close to replacing Apollon, but we shall see!

Rating: 5/5

Time to bid a final farewell to the Spring season… and twiddle my thumbs for hours waiting for Summer to download!

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