winter 2011 part 1Posted: January 9, 2011
Yes, my face became that of a ten-year-old shrine maiden with a blank expression after watching these first episodes.
For any and all oldfags (and possibly some newcomers) out there, I’ll do a quick summary of this season (well, the first half of the first episodes of shows, at least), with excessive references and stuff: It’s better than every season since Spring 2010 (probably since I didn’t really watch anything from the past two seasons), but doesn’t have any heavy hitters like Durarara or Angel Beats. To put things into perspective, the best show out of the lot got only a 8/10 from me. Since I often ridiculously overrate new shows, this is a pretty sad outcome. However, the worst show out of the lot isn’t actually that bad. So basically, we’re talking a bunch of average, uninteresting shows in one season. Oh boy. This is going to be fun.
Usually I put “God Tier” and “Top Tier” before this, but since there’s no way any
show this season could possibly hit God/Top Tier, we’ll start with High Tier.
Because I’m not good at making coherent sentences, I’ll steal a review from MAL (Source, because I cite stuff like this and not fanart).
Nothing we havent seen before, but slightly better.
IS is your typical Harem anime hands down. The general retardation of the characters etc etc its all there. What surprises me is the whole package actually comes together quite nicely, analytically speaking its not a particularly imaginative or creative but its quite fun to watch. I am not a huge fan of Harem anime because i find them to be annoying and lacking in any real conclusion butthis perticular anime has its charm. The characters are not smart in anyway or creative, but they manage to be generally likable probably because there slightly less incompetent then the usual bunch. I would say that this is fun lighthearted anime and definitely an anime to watch this season.
I think this review is wrong. akhan1 argues that the “characters are not smart,” which is clearly not true. If you watched episode 1, you would know that the main male character whose name I can’t remember isn’t dumb – he’s just lazy. And lazy doesn’t mean he’s not smart. I’m lazy, but I think I’m smart. People often tell me how special I am, even though I’m lazy. Gosh.
Infinite Stratos is a stupid title. What’s so infinite about stratos? What’s stratos? They probably mentioned it in the first episode, but I didn’t really pay attention. I’ve been watching a lot of anime in the past three days, so everything’s starting to come together and become one giant winter 2011 anime that has starry rainbow sky gates, merry stratoses, and infinite freezing beelzebubbian gosicks.
Anyway, from the three screenshots I bothered to take, I assume that I thought some of the show’s humor was clever. That’s probably why I gave this an 8/10. I am not a huge fan of Harem anime, mostly because I find them to be annoying and lacking in any real conclusion. But, this particular anime has its charm – its clever humor.
SHAFT, my favorite animation studio, is actually pretty bad. I always say that I love SHAFT’s works, but it’s mostly ef and Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei. To be honest, I usually say that I like SHAFT because that’s the hip, cool way to do things on the internet. However, this facade of SHAFT love has somehow turned into real anticipation for SHAFT anime. It’s a bit troubling, since I don’t actually like most SHAFT anime (Bakemonogatari, Hidamari Sketch, etc.) and would rather not watch their shows. Yet this fake SHAFT love urges me on, moving my hand on the mouse. I cringe as my cursor moves closer and closer to the video file containing the horrible SHAFT show. Every pixel that my cursor passes marks a few milliseconds off my life. Literally.
When I finally reach the file, my finger can’t help but press down on the left mouse button. As much as I try to pry it away, nothing works. SHAFT has chained me down and enslaved me. Every movement I make is not of my own free will, but of Akiyuki Shinbo’s.
The file opens. And another SHAFT experience begins.
And the show wasn’t too terrible. In fact, I never even knew that the show was made by SHAFT until all the crazy shit popped up out of nowhere. With weird mahou shoujo shows always floating around in season charts, I’m not surprised that I passed over Magica Madoka (or was it the other way around?). I mean, all mahou shoujo look somewhat like PreCure and Nanoha and that Clow card one and that Princess Tutu one that nobody actually likes but everybody praises (kind of like every SHAFT work).
But wow. SHAFT + mahou shoujo is a pretty good combination. Thing is, I still hate mahou shoujo and I still don’t like most SHAFT works. I wonder how long the SHAFT hypnosis will last on me this time…
Middle (Mid?) Tier
Middle Tier is where all the junk goes. I really hate this tier. It’s all the stuff
that’s too boring or crappy to be “High Tier” or above, but not bad enough
to dip down to”Low Tier” or below. This is the Twilight Zone of anime.
You know something’s not quite right with a series when the heroine’s name is “Merry Nightmare.” I believe that “merry” should only be used in front of the word “Christmas” or the word “Nightmare.” Oh, wait. I guess this anime’s not half bad after all.
Nowadays, I’m becoming more and more biased with regard to animation companies. I saw “J.C.Staff” in the opening of Yumekui Merry and immediately thought “crappy romantic comedy.” With such outstanding titles as “Zero no Tsukaima” beneath their belt, the staff of J.C.Staff do deserve something better from viewers like me. I need to change my ways. I need to give every anime a chance. Hell, just look at Infinite Stratos. It’s animated by the no-name company 8-Bit, but it’s not that bad. At least it has clever humor. I’m sure Yumekui Merry has something like Infinite Stratos’s clever humor that pulls it away from the crappy romantic comedy stereotype that I’ve tacked on to J.C.Staff anime.
O-Oh goodness… I’m sure there’s some sort of reason for this stereotypical scene pulled straight out of a crappy romantic comedy. I’m also sure there’s some reasonable explanation for the male character’s ahoge and the female character’s striped socks. Her curled-up clothing should also have some sort of justification that I just haven’t seen yet. Maybe it’s my fault. Maybe it’s because I haven’t been paying attention. I sometimes sleep in History class and don’t really remember what Plato says in Timaeus, so maybe that lack of concentration is hurting me…
P.S.: Leave SHAFT alone!! Just go on making your crappy romantic comedies without stealing their techniques, stupid J.C.Staff!
You know what? I’m freezing as I type this. It’s not that good an idea to try and type a post right after you take a shower… at 2 am. Naturally, I sleep at like 3 or 4 (or 5 or 6 … or n or …), but my brain shuts off at around 12 am or 1 am, so everything I do past then usually turns out pretty bad. I believe that the reverse is also true. If something is done badly, then it must have been done after 12 am or 1 am.
We see an immediate application in Freezing. Yes, the title actually doesn’t have that exclamation mark at the end. I messed up. Sorry. But you have to cut me some slack. Every anime that ends in -ing or -ON or -ccano or -urarara or -ayate no Gotoku has an exclamation mark tacked on to the end of the title.
Freezing is pretty gross. High School of the Dead was a pretty stupid idea, but Freezing is even worse. Imagine your ecchi characters from HSOTD, except they are the zombies. Freezing is somewhere on that level of grossossitude.
Quoting the wise words of a reviewer on MAL:
You got fucking MUTILATION… OF LIMBS…. IN GLORIOUS GORE…
And this isn’t mutiliation of guys, IT’S ONLY GIRLS.
And sure you sadist might find this amusing, but hell, now you associate FAN SERVICE with FLYING BLOODY FEMALE BODY PARTS…. GOOD LORD…
It’s really not that bad, but it’s pretty gross. I typically associate ecchi with grossness, so it’s just all the grosser for me. One moment, there’s blood and stuff going everywhere, and the next is some weird ecchi scene. It’s grossly stupid.
But perhaps the grossest part of all is the weird training thing the girls have to go through. Even though they can get healed and revived, the girls actually die? Why? I don’t understand this pointless excuse to introduce lots of blood and gore. Besides, if they die, they’re actually dead, right? How can they get healed? Are they immortal? I have so many questions, but this show is too gross for me to continue watching.
Gosick wins the “Worst title of the year” award. I thought Freezing had a bad enough title, but then I stumbled across this thing. Gosick. How do you even say that? Go-sick? Goss-ick? What does it mean? The first episode of “Freezing” had some characters yelling “freezing!” for no apparent reason. Infinite Stratos mentioned the “stratos” part. Gosick doesn’t even reference its own title.
I thought this episode was pretty good, and then I alt-tabbed over to MAL. Apparently, this is supposed to be a shounen/mystery show? The mystery is pretty lame and the shounen is pretty average, so I guess this is a pretty lamely average show. It has all the traits of a lame mystery put together with all the traits of an average shounen. You have your male protagonist who is just some average Japanese guy, a teacher who seems to be the only person to talk to him, and some loli girl who has magical powers. And then you have some stupid mystery scenario taken straight out of that Haruhi island arc and a terrible opening scene:
Man, oh man. Whoever wrote this script must’ve had a massive brainfart/poop/diarrhea right there, since it’s pretty much as bad as it gets. Speaking of diarrhea, there was this one toilet in my dorm that had some dried-up, caked poop on the rim of the seat. I don’t know how it got there. Somebody must’ve missed big-time to have it land there. Likewise, I have no idea how this opening even got on TV. Somebody must’ve messed up big-time to have it aired.
Low Tier is where all the “bad” shows go. Usually, this also includes the
“so-bad-it’s-good” crowd, since they offer a decent amount of entertainment.
Crappy anime Shoujo is not my department of expertise, but from what little shoujo I have seen, Starry Sky seems to be pretty average. I’ve seen a couple of posts bashing the show, but I don’t see why. It’s a legitimate shoujo show. Let’s go back to the shoujo basics and examine Starry Sky…
- Shoujo shows need lots of men.
Clearly, Starry Sky fulfills this requirement. In fact, there are only three girls in the entire episode: the main character’s mother, the main character’s female childhood friend, and the main character.
- Shoujo shows need some reference to the sky.
I think this is because girls think the sky is romantic or something. Other people might claim that it’s symbolic of some deep love and stuff too. Anyhow, Starry Sky clearly passes this test.
- Shoujo shows need lots of ugly men.
Usually, girls like shoujo shows that contain lots of ugly men. I believe this is because they (the girls) want to see these ugly men and feel better about their own love lives, seeing as how their love interest is actually more handsome and less feminine than the ugly men of shoujo shows. Girls are so dumb.
- Shoujo shows need at least one older man with an ahoge and a pink v-neck, preferably drinking wine and eating bread while talking to his wife and child.
Well, look what we have here! Starry Sky just so happens to have a character that fits all of these characteristics, and more! Not only is he an older man with and a pink v-neck drinking wine and eating bread while talking to his wife and child, but he is also secretly a woman! Girls love those kind of dramatic plot twists, right? I mean, Kuragehime had a girl who turned out to be a man, and that was pretty popular with girls. Come to think of it, a lot of guys liked that show too. I wonder why.
As you can see, Starry Sky fulfills the four basic requirements of an average shoujo show. It’s not terribly bad, nor is it terribly good. It’s just terrible. I really hate shoujo.
Rio: Rainbow Gate
I’ll be dead serious here: Rio: Rainbow Gate is not that bad. I’m not going to attach any qualifications to that claim. It’s a pretty light-hearted show that isn’t meant to be taken that seriously. I’ve seen so many people bash this show for being “so bad it’s good,” and that’s only partially true… since it’s meant to be that way. I don’t like the show, but I can see where it’s coming from.
The only thing I’d point out about the show is how bad the actual poker game is. I may be taking this part a bit seriously, but I don’t think that the poker game should have been as light-hearted as the rest of the episode. The sheer stupidity of throwing away a near-royal flush is just too much for me to bear oh god
This is the land where Apocalypse Zero, Mars of Destruction, Eiken, and
Abunai Sisters roam. Garzey’s Wing? Up one level. This is the home of the
truly shitty anime, the place where “so bad it’s good” doesn’t apply. Only
the worst of the worst get the shame of being placed here. If you dare to
watch any show from this Shit Tier, you will regret it for as long as you live.
My roommate keeps telling me that manga adaptations always suck. I told him that Bakuman was an exception and that Lucky Star and Azumanga Daioh were awesome. He said that 4-komas were an exception. I said that Mushishi was good. He watched it and said it was average. He sucks.
As much as I want to say otherwise, his point still stands. For Beelzebub, at least.
Beelzebub was just an all-around terrible manga. Its very premise is flawed. You don’t spice up a regular delinquent shounen manga with a baby. Somewhere along the line, the mangaka realized this and tried to re-spice things up with the demon aspect… and then fell back on the baby idea (Baby Beel growing huge in the demon world). Now we’ve ended up with a huge pile of shit that used to be a decent delinquent story. And that’s where I thought the anime could succeed.
In the beginning of the manga, Baby Beel was barely a main character. It was a delinquent story where the main character just happened to have a baby on his back. Oga fought the four kings or whatever they were called and beat the final one in one huge battle, and everything was nice and cool. Too bad the anime decided to go straight to baby-induced comedy. Here, Oga is the foster father of Baby Beel and just happens to be a delinquent. It’s the completely wrong idea.
The result of this shitty planning is twenty-some minutes of a baby crying and electrocuting every character. It’s not funny, it’s not cute, and it’s not cool. I don’t know what they’re trying to achieve with this or what the target audience is, but I can say for certain that this show is Shit Tier.
P.S.: I just fused Beelzebub at level 81 (!!!) in Persona 3 Portable. This game is way too long.