The Winter season may not be over just yet, with a few final episodes still to come, and no new series yet (excluding a few pre-airing webstreams), but this will still be my last Winter rankings post since there’s not much point continuing with less than eight of the eighteen series I started with.
Last week saw Psycho-Pass and Robotics;Notes end, two series which have been hogging the top spots right from the start. Which series will place in the (now slightly smaller) green zone this week? I had a go at predicting the top 5 before watching anything, but only got one in the right order, and another took me completely by surprise. 😛 Oh, and Bakuman isn’t in this week’s list either, as it didn’t air this week.
2 – Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT ep 12 (↑ 6)
3 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure ep 24 (↑ 2)
5 – Zetsuen no Tempest ep 24 (↓ 1)
6 – Magi ep 24 (↑ 4)
7 – Little Busters! ep 24 (↑ 9)
8 – Cuticle Tantei Inaba ep 12 (↑ 4)
9 – Uchuu Kyoudai ep 50 (↓ 2)
10 – Hunter x Hunter ep 72 (↑ 1)
11 – Tamako Market ep 12 (↑ 2)
12 – Minami-ke Tadaima ep 12 (↓ 3)
13 – Ixion Saga DT ep 24 (↑ 2)
I didn’t get the final showdown I was expecting in Shin Sekai Yori, the ‘fiend’ falling to a simple (if very risky) trick at the start of the episode, and the Bakenezumi armies surrendering immediately afterwards. The rest of the episode focused on the fate of their leader, Yakomaru/Squealer, that of the Bakenezumi in general, and also at the relationship between them and humans. It seems the two species may have more in common than anyone realized… Overall, I was very satisfied with this episode, and with the series as a whole – it may just make my Top 50!
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT was the biggest surprise of all, however – if it wasn’t so ridiculous, it may have even beaten Shin Sekai Yori and stolen first place! Lead females Yozora and Sena were unexpectedly pushed to one side, in an episode that mostly focused on Kodaka’s relationship with Rika, the character who has probably received the most development in this series. There was also more than enough Yukimura to satisfy me. 😛 NEXT ended on a pretty big cliffhanger, but it was so entertaining that the lack of closure didn’t matter. Besides, if it means there may be a sequel in future, that can only be a good thing!
The first part of Cuticle Tantei Inaba episode 12 was a good start, with the same winning combination of action, comedy and ridiculous premise that saw earlier episodes make my Top 5… the last minute comeback wasn’t to be, though. The second segment introduced a strange (even by this series’ standards) new character, who seemed to be suffering from a bad case of chuunibyou, and had him attend a job interview to join Don’s organisation. While the fact I’d attended an interview myself just two days before somehow made the situation more amusing, all the focus on this new person (while in keeping with the show’s random sense of humour) didn’t make for a strong finale.
I felt that Zetsuen no Tempest, like Psycho-Pass, managed to tie things up well enough, with plenty of focus on what happened to the characters after they took down the tree. But again like Psycho-Pass, it was this final showdown with the tree that I felt was lacking, it was all over too quickly and too easily considering this was the point that the series had been building up towards all this time. My only other complaint is something that I’ve said before, but will say again: the first half’s showdown between Yoshino and Samon was just so much better than anything that came afterwards.
And finally, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai. Finally, it got subbed. Finally, it is over. As you may have guessed, I wasn’t a huge fan of this series once the appeal of the flashy animation began to wear off, and the pacing issues began to show. To be fair, now that I’ve watched the final episode, the last few episodes make sense. Maybe if I’d known then what I know now, I would have rated those episodes higher. But since the characters were boring and the pacing was all over the place, I’m sure you can forgive me for feeling more irritated than intrigued by this deliberate attempt to confuse the viewer.
That’s it for now, come back in a week or two to see what I end up picking from the new Spring season! 🙂