Summer 2009 Expectations vs. Reality


This season has been quite interesting.  I was looking forward to Bakemonogatari and ended up loving GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class.  Of course, that not only says how good GA is, but also how bad Bakemonogatari is.

Anime that have exceeeded my expectations

What more can I say about GA?  The summary on chartfag’s preview charts didn’t do this anime justice, in any sense of the word.  This anime is just as good as Lucky Star, which, IMO, was where KyoAni had spent all of its amazing talent before degenerating into K-ON!, Munto, and Haruhi S2.

The character designs looked like crap on the chart, and I can’t say that I’m lovestruck by the MEGA-meganekko appeal, but it sure is funny if you put it like this.

Protip: Kenjiro Hata is Koji Kumeta's student.

Zan Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei surprised me.  I had incredibly high expectations for this show, and I almost gave up hope when the less-than-SHAFT-quality OP showed up.  But the first episode was incredible, and the second episode went beyond that.

When I watched the first two seasons and the OVA, I was pretty much new to anime.  Obviously, I couldn’t get 99% of the jokes.  Now that I’ve blogged for a bit and watched a lot more series, I can get up to 10% of the jokes.  And boy, are they hilarious.

I spent a full forty-something minutes watching episode two – not because it was that long, but because I stopped and looked at each of the random jokes in the background.  One scene had a poster in the background with a man in a striped shirt saying “Here’s Waldo,” and another scene featured a store named “Obama Ramen.”  The little details like this plus the straightforward jokes like Miru attacking with a cell phone plus the numerous references make Zan SZS just as good as the previous seasons (and I say this because I know that I didn’t spend all this time to closely examine each episode for the previous seasons, so there must’ve been more than just the obvious Phoenix Wright and Death Note references).

One anime that caught me off guard was Yokuwakaru Gendaimahou.  This thing looks and feels like a regular mahou shoujo anime, and it pretty much is one.  But I like it.  I don’t know why.  The character designs are not appealing, the plot sucks, and it’s too damn bright in every single scene.  But I like it.


Anime that have met my expectations

I liked Spice and Wolf.  I didn’t love it.  Spice and Wolf II still hasn’t got my heart racing, but I’m really, really looking forward to each coming episode.  Though there’s not that same slice-of-life feel as the first half of the first season, this series is off to a great start.

Before I watched Sora no Manimani, I heard millions of good things about it.  And then I saw the main character.  What a turn-off.

He is very ugly.  He should look more handsome, like Kyon.  I think Kyon should be in this anime.

In any case, this anime is pretty good.  Not absolutely amazing with angels singing all around it as I watch it, but good nonetheless.

I wasn’t expecting much from Princess Lover, and I honestly didn’t get all that much.  The first few episodes have been pretty good… and that’s about all I can say.

I’m an aniblogger.  Therefore, DFC = yes.  Therefore, this show needs less boobs.

Anime that have not met my expectations

I’m going to say it right straight-out.  Bakemonogatari sucks.

I’m an enormous SHAFT fanboy, so I’ve really no bias against this anime.  If anything, I should be struggling to defend it by drawing up obviously meaningless examples and points.  But when my favorite character in this anime so far is the girl on the right in the screenshot, and she only got five seconds of screentime, there’s no way I can defend it.

Bakemonogatari… I’m not exactly sure what type of anime it’s going to become.

I felt Mushishi vibes coming from episode one, but the end of episode two looked like the beginning of some odd school life comedy with supernatural elements.  In any case, this genre confusion isn’t what I hate about this anime, though it’s not beneficial.  What I really hate about this show is how half of an episode can be spent in one room with rapid-fire dialogue without much meaning to it.

There was no humor.  There was no plot advancement.  There was nothing.  I couldn’t believe it.  Nothing happened after ten minutes of dialogue.  At least episode one’s drawn-out dialogue gave us Hitagi’s background.  Episode two contributed nothing.  Even the ever-awesome abstract SHAFT art isn’t doing anything to save this anime.

If this anime turns out to be an episodic anime, I’ll probably be able to forget about the horrific second episode, but if it veers down the path of school life comedy, I’m going to be even deeper in despair!

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 registered at a 6.0 for me.  With all that hype building up before the first episode, you’d expect it to be fantastic.  But it wasn’t.  I didn’t like the concept from the get-go, and my inner dislike is showing.

How good can a series get if the only real event that occurs is an earthquake in the first episode?  Unless you skip over a few years, all we’re going to get is eleven episodes of “Mirai and Yuuki try to get back home with pedophile woman.”  There’s nothing else to show, unless you count a massive amount of pictures of Tokyo after an earthquake as “plot.”

Yes, Umineko no Naku Koro ni has disappointed me.

Even if my expectations for this show were too high due to Higurashi, there’s no denying the fact that Umineko is sucking big-time.

First of all, this is not scary.  Higurashi was a psychological masterpiece, so it’s not fair to compare this mystery anime to Higurashi, but as a murder mystery, it should have some degree of terror.  Like Battler says in episode 3, he’s more angry than scared or sad.  Okay, that’s understandable.  But not every single person in the whole show should feel the same!

Second, there is an overemphasis on just about everything.  A mystery anime is, by nature, boring.  It’s hard to make a mystery anime exciting, and even harder to make one to live up to Higurashi.  But Umineko fails.  Hard.  When you get yandere Maria five times in any given episode with ten different camera angles each time, you’d think that you’re watching Endless Eight!

Rena’s yandere moments worked because they were 1) a sharp contrast with her usual personality and 2) not every other frame.  The past two episodes have shown us a total 23 seconds of non-yandere Maria, 22.5 seconds of which were a few seconds before SUDDENLY, YANDERE!  Other than the first episode, Maria has never uttered a UUUUU~.  She doesn’t do anything anymore, unless the plot calls for SUDENLY, YANDERE!

And nevermind the emphasis on Maria – Battler’s detective scenes are even more emphasized!  Every scene is shot with a different camera angle, there’s crazy music, everything seems so exciting…!  But it’s not.  Injecting an immense amount of crazy features isn’t going to help a scene look cool.  It was ridiculous when we suddenly saw the servants and Maria from Battler’s POV.  A gray, shaking, blurry screen with the servants looking COMPLETELY NORMAL is pretty stupid.  It’s fine when there’s a girl chasing you with a cleaver.  It’s not fine when there’s four people just standing inside of a room.

Umineko – making the boring seem impossibly exciting, but failing.

Anime that almost made me puke

Element Hunters felt more like Harvest Moon than an actual anime.

Harvest Moon:

  • Clear field
  • Buy fertilizer and potato seeds
  • Plant potato seeds
  • Get laid

Element Hunters:

  • Dig up potato
  • Throw
  • End

Same thing.  Only Harvest Moon is fun and Element Hunters is painful.  Literally.  The voice acting here is incredibly bad.  It’s so bad that even I realized it.  It’s like somebody thought “OH HEY, IT’D BE A GOOD IDEA IF THE CHARACTERS’ MOUTHS OPENED THREE SECONDS BEFORE THEY TALK!”

Plus if carbon disappears from the earth, how does this story take place? I don’t get the logic behind this anime.

And it should've stayed that way!

Kanamemo is complete and utter crap.  Using some superhuman determination that I never knew I had, I watched ten minutes of this shit before my eyes began to water and I couldn’t see the monitor anymore.

I really don’t know how somebody would praise this thing.

The lolis aren’t attractive, the plot is boring, the lolis aren’t attractive, and the characters suck.  I hate this show.  The characters are as bad as those in Mecha Mote Iinchou.

This post needs more Kiri.

As for all the other shows I’ve watched (Taishou Yakyuu Musume, Umi Monogatari, CANAAN, etc.), no comment.  Or rather, no motivation to comment.

Brace for Haruhi post tomorrow! (possibly)

Also, gomennasai for going AWOL for the past week or so.  I had a test to not prepare for.

25 Comments on “Summer 2009 Expectations vs. Reality”

  1. simplybill says:

    Hata was Koji’s assistant in his previous work named Katteni Kaizou.

  2. Kitsune says:

    GA is very fun, but the ED should be censored 😛

    ZSZS is great! First episode was ok, but the second one improved significantly 🙂 Go Harumi! Oh, you should check out the OP in Episode 3 😛

    I dropped Bakemonogatari, and TM8 seems disappointing.

  3. CCY says:

    I’m going to pretend it’s your lavish praise for GA and not your mention of “mega-meganekko appeal” that is making me download it right now.

  4. TJ says:

    I watch Bakemonogatari only for Hitagi and the staplers.

  5. Seinime says:

    Element Hunters was awesome. It even surpassed my expectations of the show. Oh wait, those were the troll subs.

  6. I’ve been enjoying Bakemonogatari quite a bit because of that scene in which Hitagi just reveals her entire background. Without that revelation, the show wouldn’t have been as engaging and because of that, I’m looking to see what’ll happen from this point onwards.

  7. Taka says:

    GA is certainly niche anime. Is it supposed to be educational or do they expect art students to be watching and nodding or laughing their asses off at mold in the paint.

    I agree that it is Lucky Star-esque but it’s ultra specific in its humor. I liked the show but I was just trying to figure out what demographic they were targeting.

    Also Tomatsu Haruka a.k.a Nagi Sama as the main character was a completely different voice from anything she’s used so far. I almost didn’t recognize her.

  8. glothelegend says:

    I need to rewatch Pani Poni Dash, because I got zero jokes in that, as it was one of the earlier anime that I watched. I still liked it though. The same was kind of the same for SZS, although I got a lot of the jokes when I first watched it, because I had a decent amount of anime by then. SZS kicks a lot of ass.

    And yea, Umineko is disappointing me too. I don’t know why, but I think it’s the whole witch thing. I wanted them to be killing each other, not having a witch do it. I wanted the Aunt to go mad and kill an Uncle, and then have a cousin lose it and kill another family. I mean, it’s not bad, but it’s no Higurashi.

    I’m hearing a lot of good stuff about GA and that Astronomy anime, and it’s making me second guess my initial refusal to watch them.

  9. fangzhao says:

    Bah, I didn’t know that. Hata always calls Kumeta ‘sensei’ though.

    Gah. I must’ve gotten a version without the ED. I was wondering where it had gone. x_x

    That OP is win. Another great SHAFT OP/ED, and definitely the best this season.

    On another note, Goku SZS’s second OP (Kuusou Rumba) is my favorite OP of all time.

    MEGA-meganekko as in… HUGE glasses appeal

    as in [HUGE GLASSES] appeal


    Needs more staplers. Less not-that-great fanservice.

    Lol. By the way, I bet I could dub that better than the original.

    Eh. I almost fell asleep during that. I’m all for not-confusing-trainwrecks, but I’m also all for not-boring-explanations. D:

    I’m going to say that GA is intended for normal people. Though the jokes are art-based (which, as you mentioned, are much more specific than Lucky Star’s randomness), the humor is universal.

    For example, the basic properties of the paint are explained, but only so far as to help set up the coat joke.

    I’ve never watched Pani Poni Dash. …and I call myself a fan of SHAFT. Shameless, I know.

    The “outsider murderer” deal helps the mystery move along and is a basic staple of murder mysteries like this (look at Haruhi’s island episodes!), but it certainly reduces the fear aspect by a lot, huh?

    GA and Sora no Manimani are great anime. Especially GA. If you can deal with the moe (which in itself becomes the basis for a lot of the jokes), you’re going to get one incredible comedy.


    On another note, is Aoi Hana good? I don’t really feel like watching a yuri slice-of-life/school life comedy, but if it’s outstanding, I’d have to give it a try…

    • glothelegend says:

      Personally, I love Aoi Hana, I think it’s great. I would maybe check it out at least, and if you don’t like the first episode then you probably won’t like the rest (i think?). Worst case scenerio, you just drop it.

      I’ll have to check out GA.

  10. Onibaku says:

    Aww come now give bakemonogatari a chance, It has been engaging so far. I agree though that princess lover’s characters need to have breast reduction surgeries but the plot was pretty good. This season didn’t have as much impact as last season but that could be contributed to the release of Haruhi Suzumiya S2 but that was all for naught since they are disappointing us all

  11. Veldril says:

    No one ever said Umineko would be the same as Higurashi. It’s different genre to begin with. Umineko would be a battle of logic style more than horror. It’s more like Phoenix Wright than Higurashi, if you ask me.

    And no, it’s not here to really scare you. It’s here to mind-raped you. If you keep watching, you will understand why.

    • fangzhao says:

      I don’t understand why when I type…

      Higurashi was a psychological masterpiece, so it’s not fair to compare this mystery anime to Higurashi, but as a murder mystery, it should have some degree of terror.

      People think I type “UMINEKO SUX CUZ ITS NOT HIGURASHI!!11oneone”

      I just said that, so why repeat what I said and try to formulate it into an opposing argument?! (But don’t worry, it’s not just you – several people on various forums said the same thing when I copied and pasted the Umineko part.)

  12. Diss says:

    What a joke. Bakemonogatari sucks? What show are you watching? The first 30 seconds of the first episode were more exciting than 2 season of most of the crap out there.

  13. Roy Mustang says:

    Anime that have not met my expectations->
    Bakemonogatari- Needs more lolis
    Element Hunters- Needs more lolis
    GA- Needs more lolis
    Kanamemo- Needs more lolis
    Princess Lover- Needs more lolis
    Spice and Wolf – Needs more lolis
    Tokyo Magnitude 8.0- Needs less ugly lolis
    Umineko- Needs more lolis
    Zetsubou Sensei- Needs to make more sense…and lolis

    Anime that have exceeeded my expectations–>
    Sora no Manimani – Needs more lolis going commando.
    Yokuwakaru Gendaimahou- The perfect show. But from what I gather from Ep 0, this show is from the same sick minds that brought us Nanoha Striker S and Tsubasa Chronicles. I expect to drop this show soon. Don’t ruin the loli, you bastards!

  14. CGF_Bob51 says:

    I stopped reading after



    this blog has lost my respect ;_;

  15. CGF_Bob51 says:

    Right forgot, @roy; Ep 3 got it’s first loli, want.

  16. May says:

    You can’t watch Bakemonogatari unless you got the proper sub. Leaving the typesetting asides, the second episode left me speechless.

  17. fangzhao says:

    Bakemonogatari sucks.

    I haven’t seen a single argument to convince me otherwise, or even to convince me that there’s something in Ghostory that might make people like it. Every blogger and his mother has been analyzing the SHAFT goodness without saying why they like the series in the first place/what the appeal is for them.

    Episode three left me speechless. In a bad way. I couldn’t believe how boring the first half was. I couldn’t believe how stupid the second half was. I was not interested in either. At this point, I don’t care if the loli is some kind of supernatural creature anymore. I’m just watching this because as a blogger, I kind of have to. 😐

    This is K-ON! minus what little good humor there was. Bakemonogatari shows two people talking. Without the accompanying visuals, I doubt anybody would actually be watching this right now. There’s no plot, and as an anime like this… it kind of needs a plot. Relying on characters alone (I don’t count the crazy SHAFT art as a positive, since it’s overdone and more emphasized than just about everything else this show has) is getting boring, boring, and more boring.

    • May says:

      I’ll take on that challenge if that’s what you need. Though I am not sure if it will be convincing enough, but anime should be abstract too. The point, I’ll start writing a good post on that series and whatever it will be good enough to make you change your mind, I’ll try giving all I can… So read it once I’m done writing it

  18. PhoenixRider says:

    I must admit Tokyo magnitude 8.0 is pretty disappointing.

  19. omisyth says:

    Once fangzhao’s made up his mind, trying to convince him otherwise is just pointless.

  20. May says:

    I’m stubborn to try it anyway…

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