thin slicing the new season, spring 2007 edition

I’ve just been overwhelmed by the number of choices Spring 2007 brings. There’s a bit of everything. Mecha? Romance? Sci-fi fantasy? Classical fantasy? Comedy? Harem? Yeah, we got that. Let’s try to make some sense out of it all. It’s time for some thin slicing.


Thin Slicing Spring 2007

It’s time for another thin slice of the new season. For people who have read my old thin slicing posts, these posts are where I watch as many new shows from a new season as possible and rank them in order of “if I received one episode of all the shows at once, which one would I watch first? Second? Last?” Unfortunately, because I don’t own 50 TVs, there’s going to be shows ranked high and shows ranked low. Deal with it. Also, because there’s so many shows, just because something isn’t in the top ten doesn’t mean it’s not good– in fact, usually every time I do a thin slice, I forget to include a great show– like famously with Planet of the Beast King. Still, for a show to be ranked high, one must be ranked low.

The premise of thin slicing is explained the entertaining book Blink from Malcom Gladwell that argues how a person’s ability to quickly judge what is really important and what’s not important from a very limited experience. Kinda of reviewing a movie based only on its trailer. With that spirit, most of these shows I have only watched the first one to three episodes… and that’s usually more than I need to form an opinion, justified or not.

I took a pass on a few series this year, mainly because I’m out of time and energy. I must have watched something like 100 episodes the past three weeks, and I need a serious My Name Is Earl marathon to defrag. Anyway, a few notables that I skipped: Emma Second Act, because I never finished the first series, and it’s on my “to-watch” list after like 90 other shows. Lovely Complex, because poorly drawn shoujo is dead out of the gate. Beck, because I never finished the original, and not really planning to. Major season 3, because I never finished season one, and it’s still not as good as H2 in my book. Saiunkoku Monogatari, because I never finished the original, and Sony will stop using DRM before I finish watching an anime series about a yaoi emperor. Koutetsu Sangokushi, because after the first 9 seconds, I turned it off. Koutetsushin Jeeg, because I ran out of time… something tells me I’m not missing much.

Anyway, enough foreplay. Let’s get the rockin’ on, shall we?

#26. Mister. Irrelevant.


Premise: I have no frickin’ clue. I want those 24 minutes of my life back!

The only thing that I really got out of wasting 24 minutes of Touka Gettan is that it seems to be connected with Carnelian’s old h-anime, Moonlight Lady, but this isn’t an h-anime, instead it tries to be serious and present an actual “story.” That’s about it. Everything else is just a miserable, prodding, incoherent, pointless, ginormous waste of time… in other words, perfect anime recommendation for those lovable Dallas Mavericks.

(Mitigating factor: If you were to place bets on something as asinine as “Which studio would produce the last ranked series on AoMM’s thin slicing?” wouldn’t you go with Studio Deen? Maybe Gonzo or AIC, but defininitely Studio Deen is the favorite. Needless to say, Touka Gettan is from Studio Deen.)

#25. Generic. Boredom.


Premise: Based off the RPG where emo teenaged boy stumbles across mysterious girl who sucks him into a fantasy world. *yawn*

There’s only three things that you need to know about Shining Tears X Wind. (1) It’s made by Studio Deen. (2) It’s based off of X-Play’s 3rd worst PS2 game ever. (3) It’s main claim to fame are light dating elements as well as character designs by a famous h-artist.

(Mitigating factor: Can Studio Deen set a new record and have three shows at the very bottom of the list?)

#24. Inconvenient. Truth.


Premise: Dystopic future sure doesn’t look any different from today.

There’s a lot of dystopic future due to environmental disaster series… Japan must really, really love Al Gore, and Toward the Terra is the lowest ranked one for this thin slicing. The series tries to portray a world where humanity has poisoned the world and has to leave and colonize others yadda yadda yadda in a more dramatic light– in other words, the future world looks like a typical harem anime high school setting, only with the occasional robot. Toward the Terra just isn’t interesting. The sci-fi elements are bland and uninspired at best, the action elements are pathetic, the drama is tensionless, and there’s no fanservice. So what’s left? Generic sci-fi. If this were a season flooded with harem slice-of-life series, maybe it’ll do better… but I recommend people to skip this series for the better dystopic OMFG HUMANITY HAS POLLUED THE EARTH series.

(Mitigating factor: Johnny and Blue are this season’s premier yaoi couple.)

#23. Taxpayer. Waste.


Premise: Girl becomes astronaut while looking for her father who stood up her absurdly hawt mother.

In one of the season’s more crazy WATFO (what are the fucking odds) developments, Rocket Girls feature random Japanese attempt at manned spaceflight fails and determines that the line between success and failure is a few pounds. Hence they replace military test pilot with little girl. Makes sense to me! Honestly, very little of Rocket Girls makes sense. Like how they were firing missiles. Like how the villagers look like they were from Hare + Guu. Like how the middle school girl goes to the Solomon Island by herself without any supervision. Like how I’m supposed to take this series seriously when the director is lighting up cigarettes from a lightered shaped as a rocket booster.

(Mitigating factor: at least we get fanservice. Even if it’s Chris Hansen-class fanservice. Though I must admit I laughed harder when the Haru + Guu cast were celebrating the latest “successful” launch than I did for Lucky Star episode 1.)

#22. Subpar. Dystopia.


Premise: Emo youth gains power and key to save the human race.

In 2031 (not to be confused with Gigantic Formula‘s 2035), the planet is besieged by mysterious mutants in Kissdum Engage Planet. Somehow, I think they needed to spend less time developing the mecha and more time on the plot that’s just a jumbled mess of Bruce Campbell buzzwords: Book of the Dead? Necrodiver? Where’s the Necromonicon?!? Anyway, they did spend a lot of time on the impressive array of transforming mecha (including the helicopter that turns into a sports car), but, unfortunately, this anime isn’t about mecha. In fact, it seems to have some outworldly dystopic sci-fi element with the giant mecha being only window dressing. Kissdum is trying to be serious, but it’s really hard to take it serious: the random Chief of Intelligence lounging around in a bikini during a battle? (What is this? Sky Girls?!?) The guy who was restrained Hannibal Lector-style one minute becoming the savior of mankind the next? Interesting concept, but poorly executed. There’s plenty of superior dystopic sci-fi series this season.

(Mitigating factor: The hopelessly losing battle between the mutants and the humans remind me of the Animatrix short where the machines develop better ways to kill man. Probably not a good thing. Know what else isn’t a good thing? The wildly varying animation quality, which isn’t a good sign… as is the fact that they just used clips from the first two episodes to make the OP. Uh-oh.)

#21. Penguin. Panties.


Premise: In the future, little girls are randomly selected to pilot arcane mecha used to stop meteors from falling onto the earth by punching them.

Hey! Xenoglossia is yet another dystopic future series (though not sure if global warming is to blame for the asteroids, but I’m sure Al Gore will find a way to corrolate the two). This time, it’s Sunrise, who thought, “You know, those first five minutes of Mai Otome Zwei were awesome. Let’s just turn that into a full anime series! Girls blowing up meteors! It’ll make millions!” And that’s exactly what we have in Xenoglossia. Probably not a good sign that as I was watching this series, I was actively downgrading it’s ceiling: Next Stelliva? Nah. Next Planetes? Nah. Next Mai Otome? Nah. Unlike Otome which was so bad it was good, Xenoglossia has just been bad.

(Mitigating factor: There’s a girl with a lolipop/vibrator as well as a Motoko Kunsanagi ripoff. The main girl, Haruka, reminds me too much of Anty… “I got us lost, but at least we got to see the cherry blossoms falling.”)

(Andohbytheway: Why did they build the launch pad of the rock-bustin’ mecha under Tokyo instead of, oh, a real spaceport? And how the hell do you exactly blow up a meteor by punching it? I know, I know… it’s Sunrise. Finding good anime studios is harder than finding a good servicable center in the NBA.)

#20. Stage. Fright.


Premise: Girl who has stage fright joins the SOS Brigade.

OMFG! Shoujo! Hitohira is a fairly straightforward tale of a girl trying to overcome her stage fright. Pretty bland. It’s a good concept, but if Mugi doesn’t follow a Cinderella-like path from stage fright basket case to cam whore exhibitionist, this series really isn’t worth following. Unless, of course, bland shoujo is up your alley.

(Mitigating factor: I’m rooting for a Romeo and Juliet performance out of the drama club…)

#19. Earthwind. Moreland.


Premise: Fire elemental users battles wind elemental users in modern day Japan.

Well, Kaze no Stigma starts off trying to be serious, but then in the middle of the first battle, the Teenaged Shana Ripoff trips and falls like Keitaro in Love Hina. Then in the last battle of the first episode, an emo facial distortion and fanservice are involved. I’m not sure if this is a good thing for a non-train wreck, non-comedic series. Otherwise, this series is fairly bland, and it’s ceiling may be the next Avengers but definitely not the next Grenedier, Ghost Hunt, or Shana. Nothing really stuck out to me as “Must watch.” In other words, something ADV might license.

(Mitigating factor: Gonzo.)

#18. Budweiser. Hotseat.


Premise: Gonzo mindfuck anime. Red Garden with 7th graders?

Even though Bokurano and Kaze no Stigma are both from Gonzo, Bokurano just looks better. The animation’s crisper, and the production value are higher. That being side, whereas Kaze is a fairly generic action shounen title, Bokurano is a mindfuck giant mecha category. 14 7th graders are randomly chosen to collectively pilot the robotic savior of mankind… only nothing is explained to them, and they find out the pain and agony of what they agreed to the hard way. There’s some intrigue from not knowing what exactly is going on, but the action elements are weak, and the group dynamics of the 14 aren’t really any different from the old WB show, High School Reunion. Oh, there’s the jock! The dork! The social misfit! I think they needed to toss up captions for Bokurano like High School Reunion as well as introduce the always enjoyable sexual predator stereotype, but, alas. I think it’ll be interesting to see how everything turns out, but I just don’t have the patience, and seeing Gonzo as the production house, well, I have other anime series that I’d like to watch.

(Mitigating factor: Gonzo. They’re like everywhere this season.)

(Andohbytheway: Bokurano features realistically drawn humans. I kinda miss the typical 38DD diet Gonzo generally feeds us. One may say, “Wait, there’s not a lot of seventh graders with 38DDs” to which I would respond, “Watch more anime.”)

#17. Smells. Familiar.


Premise: 2007 incarnation of the standard BEE TRAIN female gun-toting buddy series archetype.

A female gunslinger bounty hunter forced to partner with a socially awkward girl with special powers… why, that’s something BEE TRAIN has never done before. Why, they never even done a Latin American theme before either. If you liked Noir and Madlax, give this a whirl, otherwise, if you were bored by either, give this a pass because it’s just more of the same. Heck, the ED, romanesque, seems to be either Noir‘s ED recycled or a homage… I can’t decide, so I’m just going with “recycled.”

(Mitigating factor: I actually like the OP, Hikari no Yukue, and think it’s one of the better ones of the new season. I’ve always liked savage genius since their underrated Omoi wo Kanadete for Uta Kata.)

#16. Shakespearian. Tragedy.


Premise: Gonzo fucks Shakespeare’s dead corpse.

I knew we were in for an epic treat when the first thirty seconds revealed that the setting is “Neo Verona, a flying fortress world.” Then instead of the subtle word play that is “Gregory, o’ my word, we’ll not carry coals. / No, for then we should be colliers,” in classical iambic pentameter, we get “Montague, you bastard!” I was so tempted to quit out of GOM Player and go to the driving range at that point. I continued watching in horror, with my eyes bleeding at the sight of Shakespeare’s name misspelled and the flying unicorns and ツンデレ Juliet. Ironically, if they dropped all of the Romeo and Juliet references, this isn’t that bad of a fantasy series. I’ve been pretending that this series is really “Hat Panic” with main characters JaMarcus and Cinnamon, and Hat Panic is actually pretty good. Still, I can’t wait for the mecha samurai or the killer loli ninjas to show up now and the inevitable happy ending where they married and have tons of kids and own tons of Google stock.

(Mitigating factor: With Samurai Seven and Romeo x Juliet properly desecrated, I’m now taking bets for the next classic for Gonzo to defile. How about Dumbo where an evil race of alien ninja elephants are trying to invade earth but humans build Mecha Dumbo, complete with mecha trunk laser and emo teenage pilot? How about Oedipus Rex that’s a harem comedy? Or “Gonzo presents X-Men”?)

(Andohbytheway: I started one of my Mai Otome/Higurashi-styled mocking posts for Romeo x Juliet, but my blood pressure got too high. I can’t blog about this series… not good for my health.)

#15. Alphabet. Soup.


Premise: Japan builds the Great Wall of China to keep out all the uninspired anime jargon.

Gotta hand it to Darker Than Black for tossing out lines like “Has her memory been erased by M.E.?” and “He can use a gravity block like it ain’t no thang. Automatic weapon use is permitted” and not bat an eyelash. One can probably tell that this new series from BONES is a frontrunner of AoMM’s coveted “Best Use of Random Jargon” award for 2006. Darker Than Black tries to be too slick and ends up confusing me in the process… honestly, can we get through one action anime series that doesn’t have it’s own dialect of buzzwords? Contractors? Hell’s Gate? Dolls? Gimme a break. Anime shouldn’t be a Scrabble game. X-Play recently did a good rant about this phenomenon in anime video games. (Yes, that’s two X-Play references so far… you can probably tell I get influenced by whatever is on TV when I write these posts; I promise, no more this post.) Anyway, Darker Than Black is yet another slick dystopic future series in a season crowded with them.

(Mitigating factor: The main detective, Misaki, reminds me of Coyote Ragtime Show‘s detective. Now everytime I see Misaki, I fully expect her to be munching on a roast turkey leg or something.)

(Andohbytheway: The ED, Rie Fu’s Tsukiakari, is probably better suited for Sola. Yoko Kanno is also involved, but strangely enough, not for the OP/ED.)

#14. Big. Sword.


Premise: The human race is terrorized by both flesh eating monsters as well as the hawt women who can hunt them.

I guess the world is infected by the “Yoma” who go around disguised like humans but reap human flesh. The only people who can stop them are the “Claymores” who are half-woman, half-yoma. Seems like a slightly more hardcore and less Toriyama version of D.Gray-man. The series starts out a bit slow, but I think it’ll pick up later… my first problem with this series is that the characters are just not likable. The main Claymore, Claire, is curt and socially awkward. She’d be a much better match for any BEE TRAIN series, I think. Her sidekick is an annoying (almost as annoying as that kid on Innocent Venus) cook. I’m also not impressed with the animation. While the quality is par for Spring 2007, the character designs look awful sometimes. I think it’s because of the “Olde English” stylism that they try to inject, but… well… draw a nose correctly! The kid, Lucky, honestly looked like he has a pig snout for most of the episode. Hard to take a dramatic series seriously after seeing that.

(Mitigating factor: The luckiest guy on the planet besides Ikuto? The blacksmith for the Claymores. Notice that they all have form fitting body armor… “Uh, that didn’t fit? Well, we’ll have to measure you again, Claire. I’m really sorry about it.” Or he could be the unluckiest, besides Ikuto? “What are you trying to pull giving me ‘B’ cup breastplate!?!” Bad times. Very bad times.)

#13. Medieval. Tachikoma.


Premise: Hotshot thief and overprotected princess team up to elude their captors. No, this isn’t a BEE TRAIN series.

Wellber no Monogatari is the newest series from Production I.G… and it shows! I love the random introduction of Count Cyrano, who reminds me a bit of a Tachikoma mated with a Protoss Dragoon in medieval garb. He’s even referred to as a sentient tank. If this leads to more Tachikoma Days, so be it. That was one of the few random omake that challenges Lucky Channel and Nani Naze Nadesico in terms of awesomeness. Anyway, we get another drama action fantasy series… and… wow! Again, two mismatched co-stars… the bad-ass thief and the fish-out-of-water princess. And the thief has to escort the princess as her bodyguard… oh, well, I’m ranking it higher than Noir 3 because of the Tachikoma ancestor and the princess flashing her breasts, but ranking it lower than the other historical fantasy series from Production I.G. that has L’Arc~en~Ciel performing the OP.

(Mitigating factor: The OP is a nice example of classical composition… and then what is the reoccurring BGM and the ED? Some bland techno melody. Oh well, at least MOVE wasn’t involved.)

#12. Mermaid. Yakuza.


Premise: Yakuza mermaid harem anime. Yeah, it is as contrived as it sounds.

Now Seto no Hanayome shows how to kick things off properly. You get some truly funny moments (like the always enjoyable “Take responsibility for what you did this afternoon!” and “Use your right hook! / He can only use it once a day!” and definitely the mom’s “I know this is wrong, but I still enjoy it!” when witnessing the son x black man action), you get properly introduced to most of the characters, and you have a hawt yakuza mermaid confusingly named San Seto-san. What else do you want? If I haven’t read the manga, I would give it a higher position, but after the gang return to Saitama, the show becomes a fairly normal harem story with a decent harem, but the typical male loser is a twit. Huge twit.

(Mitigating factor: Gonzo. I’d trust Gonzo, and maybe Gainax, like I’d trust Wild Thing Vaughn with an one run lead in the ninth.)

(Andohbytheway: We’re about the halfway point… and Seto is the first harem comedy series. In other words, the exact opposite of Fall 2006 where harem series were a dime a dozen.)

#11. Just. Win.


Premise: Boy/girl combo must save Japan with their insanely overpowered mecha that reminds the boy of his dead mom. Again.

It can’t be the new season if we don’t have the latest and greatest Bandai giant mecha show. Gigantic Formula rips off two old school American sci-fi movies: The Last Starfighter and Robot Jox. In the future, global warming has killed off most of the planet, and the survivors decide to hold “honorable” robot duels to determine the outcome of a “war”… which is the plot of Robot Jox, even down to the global climate change catastrophe. Yeah, I could only be giddier if this series were sponsored by the Toyota Prius instead of Starbucks. Anyway, honorable is not what happens… like Robot Jox. Japan decides to choose their pilot based on a national video game competition… just like The Last Starfighter. During the finals, it just so happens that the evil Chinese attacks and kills all of the contestants except for the most gifted one, who just so happens to be away… just like The Last Starfighter. So basically, it’s giant robot duel of the week in HDTV splendor, which I’m enjoying. The animation is better than Zegapain, and the Kamichu art team is handling the non-mecha parts… which means I’m fully expecting a “KA-MI-CHUU!!!” out of Mana by episode seven.

(Mitigating factor: Keiji Gotoh is the director. Previous directing experience? Kiddy Grade and Uta Kata. )

(Andohbytheway: I hope this name eventually leads Bandai to name a future series “Generous Package.” I can see it now… “Bandai Visual and Sunrise Entertainment present ‘Generous Package’ starring Sergey Wong.”)

#10. Killing. Kenny.


Premise: Queen of Monsters enlists young boy into her monster army.

Not to be confused with Murder Princess, Monster Princess also features a goth-like murdering princess with monsterous powers. Despite the piss poor animation quality (acceptable in 1997, not in 2007… my gosh, try watching this sandwiched between Heroic Age and Generous Package Gigantic Formula) and a campy story, I’m finding Monster Princess to be enjoyable. Monster Princess herself is just so delightfully full of herself that I’m surprised that she doesn’t refer to herself as “The Global Icon.” The rest of the cast aren’t much better… there’s the Big Boobed Naive Meido (I’ll just refer from now on as BBNM) who… well, I’m not sure what she brings to the table besides her breasts and cluelessness. Not that it’s a bad thing. Then there’s the tiny loli meido with superhuman strength who talks like R2D2 after four shots of whiskey and some Red Bull. And finally there’s a the “hero,” a typical young boy who dies while lusting after the pretty girl. I’m calling him “Kenny” from now on. (Yes, the whole scene where he gets crushed by I-beams and can still talk afterwards? Gimme a break. His brains should have splattered all over the Princess’ skirt.) Nonetheless, I get the “it’s so bad, it’s good” vibe from Monster Princess. That’s not a bad thing… especially when AoMM is concerned.

(Mitigating factor: HUWAA! HUGA! Can’t shake the fact that this could be a good series with a competent art team. But I’m still ranking it high since it’s one of the few series this season that doesn’t seem like it’s full of itself. It knows that it’s campy… now I’m just awaiting the emo facial distortions to come.)

(Andohbytheway: We’ve already seen the “harem/action setup where the male lead dies in the first episode” in UFO Princess Valk and Birdy the Mighty. Still, #10 seems about 25 spots too high for Monster Princess. Let’s replace it with…)

#10. Freaky. Friday.


Premise: Princess swaps bodies with bounty hunter and becomes her meido.

Murder Princess. Much better.

(Mitigating factor: If it were weekly, definitely in the top five. If it featured more than just mild suggested Akita x Milano yuri, #1 overall choice.)

#9. Blue. Skies.


Premise: Hunted girl is saved by young man in the right place and at the right time. Original idea!

From the creators of Kanon and Da Capo, we get Sola, an anime with a sky motif, which makes sense considering that “sola” is a possible romanization for “sky.” I’m a photographer who sometimes stays up late and gets up early to get a photo… but I’ve never run into a cute girl kicking a soda machine at 4 in the morning and I don’t have a childhood friend cooking for me. Maybe I’m doing something wrong in that department. Sola is kinda interesting as it felt like one of those slice-of-life harem series in the Lamune or even Kanon vein when it begins, then it tosses a curve with first the katana-wielding maniac. I’m not sure where exactly this series is going– down the slice-of-life turnpike or the Elfen Lied Memorial Expressway. Still, the first episode was enjoyable and well-paced if this series were a slice-of-life type, and the knife scene with Mana is a plus. Quickies: Aono reminds me of Yuki Nagato. Mamiko Noto has the lead role of Matsuri.

(Mitigating factor: Love the anime fanboy community… brings me great joy to see something like [loli-in-a-box] sola 01 [38FCE886].​mkv on TT. Yes, just when you thought loli-in-a-bag wasn’t enough, now there’s loli-in-a-box.)

(Andohbytheway: When Yorito was looking at his picture of the sunset over the church, I kept thinking, “Man, he has a lot of noise on that picture. Tightening up the ISO and using a tripod would really help.”)

#8. The. Bachelor.


Premise: Boy stranded on island populated with nothing but females in heat.

Good or bad, I’m running out of things to say about Nagasarete Airantou. Probably not a good sign 10% into the series. Still, it’s not as funny as Magikano, and that’s a bigger problem. (But still funnier than Lucky Star.)

(Mitigating factor: No more giant man-eating penises please.)

#7. Combat. Butler.


Premise: Boy becomes the pet of filthy rich loli.

Worth watching for Maria alone. She’s the best. And, of course, AoMM will alway pick the series with the uber-meido, even if it’s bombing worse than Sanjaya.

(Mitigating factor: In the manga, the mangaka jokes after the bath scene that we’re not going to get anymore Maria fanservice. And, that’s been pretty much the case… sadly, this is also why I have Hayate ranked 7. If Maria showed more skin or got involved with some Maria x Saki action, well, let’s jump Hayate to #2. What happened to the good old days of anime when the directors weren’t scared to toss in an obligatory fanservice episode?)

(Andohbytheway: Maria mentions, in the manga, that Crossdressing Hayate is more popular than her in the character popularity rankings. I’m not sure what audience Hayate the Combat Butler appeals to, but it doesn’t seem the same as this blog’s… or maybe it’s right on target. OTL.)

#6. Divine. Fanservice.


Premise: Third season of Nanoha’s magical lyrical journeys.

I find it disconcerting that somehow Nanoha has evolved from naive loli magical girl to veteran magical girl and now commander magical young woman and that the cast has gone from basically Nanoha and Fate to Nanoha, Fate, and a few hundred others. Still, I find it hard to complain about any show that features girls with lesbian tendencies ending up wearing only their blouses on large beds. Then I lost all complaints after realizing, “Hey, more characters = more chances at gratuitous transformation sequences!” Just keep in mind how Lost’s quality went down a bit after they started randomly introducing more characters because they were out of ideas for the old one? Same thing is happening to Nanoha. They just need to animate the random “in-between manga chapters” and turn them into something like Nanoha Fumoffu! I’d watch that with my Bonta-kun plushie. Though I’m not against their current “let’s just show plenty of fanservice” methodology either.

(Mitigating factor: As I said many times before, if you need to break out the rollerblading gimmick, that’s a possible sign that the show has jumped the shark. Who knew that Code Geass peaked in the OP?)

(Andohbytheway: The most exciting four words this season has to be “Baradiche assault. Set up.” I will strike down any and all other suggestions like how Antonio Gonzales strikes down good federal prosecutors. In a related note, Fate-chan is now promoted to All-Woman Fate-chan. It does seem weird that they’re all curvy…)

#5. Elevated. Testosterone.


Premise: Sports anime about bike riding.

Only in anime can we go from romance/slice-of-life elements featuring a startling orgasmic painting scene to the first Japanese victory in the Tour de France. Overdrive is about one man’s quest to go from absolute loser to the Japanese Lance Armstrong. There’s only one problem: he doesn’t know how to ride a bicycle. OTL. At least Takumi knew how to drive a car at the beginning of Initial D. I can’t believe that this guy wins the Tour unless wolf testosterone is involved, and I hope to see BALCO as an episode sponsor. Then again, I’ve enjoyed most sports anime that I’ve watched– there’s something about the underdog conquering mighty foes with hard work and perseverance that gets to me. Maybe this is why I paid $10 to see Rocky Balboa. I’m enjoying this series, especially the “If you ride with me, can you wear a swimsuit?” line. Dude has his priorities in order!

(Mitigating factor: TV Tokyo pulls Overdrive after episode 9 due to an elevated red blood cell count. Testing of ‘B’ samples underway. XEBEC denies being seen with Barry Bonds in 2001.)

(Andohbytheway: Healthy girls in biking shorts = win. Pure and simple. Yuki needs to be biking. Pure and simple.)

#4. Hired. Spear.


Premise: Spearwoman “adopts” royal prince to protect him from the emperor.

Another Production I.G. medieval (albeit Eastern flavor) series– only with better animation and Stand Alone Complex‘s director, which is odd since it’s that other series with the Tachikoma. Three things really stuck out at me for Guardian of the Sacred Spirit: One, Balsa admits to her age as “almost 30.” What woman do you know would admit to something like this? For this reason alone, I have this series in the top 5. Besides being bad ass (and having thick lips with ample melonpan), this only makes her an even more likable character. Two, the production values are fantastic. It’s up there with Heroic Age, and the animation quality looks as good as a feature film did a year ago. Most notably, the shadows and lighting are done very well. See, big difference between using computer aided technology and using hourly workers from China. L’Arc~en~Ciel also does a good job with the OP, Shine. Lastly, I think this series has a chance to be the next great serious medieval Japan drama tainted by giant mecha. At least with Utawarerumono, we knew the mecha were a’coming.

(Mitigating factor: The prince is really annoying… I should put up a poll asking if he’s more annoying or the cook from Claymore. Balsa should have just killed him to start episode two and then spent the next 25 episodes wandering around like Kenshin or Onime no Kyo.)

#3. Haruhi. Magic.


Premise: Azumanga after crystal meth.

This is a difficult series to judge. There’s moments when it’s enjoyable, there’s moments when it’s cute, there’s moments where I want to claw my eyes out, but there’s no moments when I’m just dying in front of the TV laughing. I’m not asking for a Muteki Kanban Musume-like “I’m going to die because of laughter” type of experience, but at least a smartly written and executed comedy like Fumoffu. Then I had an epiphany: Lucky Star isn’t a comedy. It’s in that rare “otaku being otaku” genre. It’s a less in your face version of Pani Poni Dash or a more kinetic version of Azumanga. It’s trying to poke fun of otaku, only it’s probably not a good idea to bite the hand that feeds ya. Nonetheless, I can’t rank any series with a Keroro cameo and Aya Hirano singing the first part of Sorega Aideshou low. I just can’t. Not in my blood.

(Mitigating factor: Miyuki, Kagami, Tsukasa, and Konata all get upstaged comedy-wise by Taniguchi and Akira. Probably not a good sign for any show if I’m more excited to see it wrap up just so I can rejoice in Akira’s serious bipolar disorder. Love how she goes from peppy MTV Asian personality to old man personality in 0.03 seconds. Also probably not a good sign that Taniguchi’s seiyuu is leaving more of an impression than Aya Hirano.)

(Andohbytheway: I’d love to be able to buy a CD entitled “Aya Hirano Sings Old Kyoto Animation Songs.” Can’t wait for her variant on Last Regrets, Tomorrow, and Cool Edition, with Haruhi’s ramblings instead of Ryoko’s. Someone, make it happen.)

#2. Powerful. Presence.


Premise: Boy becomes the savior of mankind.

There is a lot to like about Heroic Age. Crisp animation. Constant action. Sci-fi. Fantasy. Grand story. Everything you’d expect from a top tier XEBEC mecha series. It has the same dystopic and outsider feel of Planet of the Beast King with slightly more urgency and hopefully less shoujo elements. I’m enjoying the excellent animation as well as the sci-fi elements, even if the standard issue mecha seem to be ripped-off from Voices of a Distant Star and Age’s is ripped off of Hakuoro’s zerk form. Still, paced, strong and, serious storytelling keeps Heroic Age chugging along… which is the opposite approach to the #1 series…

(Mitigating factor: B-Navi. It looks like robotic sperm.)

#1. Gainax. Revival.


Premise: Boy stumbles across giant robot. Boy kicks ass with giant robot.

Some of us still remember when the new Gainax series meant something, but there’s no better way to put oneself back on the map than a fun mecha adventure series. And, yes, I’m stressing fun. Fun like the first few “OMFG what is this?!?” episodes of Evangelion; fun like laughing oneself to death during the first arc in Kare Kano; fun like watching Haruka swing that guitar in FLCL. And, you know what? It feels good to have Gainax cranking out the fun stuff again. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has it in spades. The first arc is the best introductory arc that I’ve seen in a while, beating out pretty much everything this season. Hopefully the story of Simon, Kamina, and Yoko will continue to entertain and delight. Everything just seems to come together, and Gainax did strike gold casting Katsuyuki Konishi (Mr. Wong; Kyoshiro) as Kamina. I was watching and thinking, “Hey, Kamina sure reminds me of a more Poochie version of Onime no Kyo” before realizing that, hey, it’s Katsuyuki! If only he put this much effort into Mr. Wong. Kamina and Yoko’s dynamic also reminds me of AC Slater and Jessie Spano… probably not a great thing but probably not a bad thing either. Nonetheless, I find pretty much everything enjoyable about this series… from the crazy mecha battles to Kamina’s in-your-face personality to Yoko’s blushing when the men are about to “combine” to even Konata’s drill rant in Lucky Star.

(Mitigating factor: Still Gainax, which means it could always plummet off the deep end both plot-wise and quality-wise by episode four as the director starts a flame war with 2ch… OH SHI-)

In Conclusion

For Spring 2007, it looks like the number of dramatic sci-fi and fantasy series has outpaced the harem/comedy/slice-of-life overdose that we received the past few seasons, and it’s a welcome change. For people who crave dramatic series with more emphasis on plot-driven episodes than moe-driven episodes, there’s a lot to like in Spring 2007.


Gurren brings the heat on both the comedic and action side with a lighter sci-fi series while Heroic Age and Guardian of the Sacred Spirit fill in the blanks nicely for dramatic action with a more serious side. Hell, there’s even a serious that actively fucks Shakespeare’s dead corpse, and the only downfall of that series is that it references William Shakespeare. There’s a lot of good drama series, and that oddly enough made the harem series stand out. There’s few of them and even less slice-of-life series considering a season of this magnitude… it’s like being stuck in an electrical engineering class that’s 85% male… that 15% non-male population sure looks good, even more so with beer goggles. Besides harem, the only genre underrepresented is the “It’s so bad it’s good” train wreck category. Generally, you can count on either Studio Deen or Sunrise to rise to the occasion, but their new series are just so horrible, they’re just horrible.

Beyond just the anime series, there’s also a lot of memorable characters… hopefully, we’ll be talking about Akira’s bipolar genius, Yoko’s m4d skillz, and All Woman Fate-chan’s melonpan for seasons to come. Plus, the production value for this season has been generally fantastic. Most of the series do are doing a reasonable animation job, with only Monster Princess drawing major ire for its low budgetness.


I am disappointed in a few of the manga-to-anime translations, but I think it’s made up by the other strong shows. I’m consistantly entertained by Gurren, Guardian, Heroic, Overdrive, Gigantic, and even Murder Princess even though I haven’t even heard of these series four months again. There’s a lot to like Spring 2007, and, now excuse me, I have some Gurren to watch.

55 Responses to “thin slicing the new season, spring 2007 edition”

  1. the 16×12 link to the front page picture is 404

    do you think that anime studios are into history at all? you know, beyond just plain referencing, which seems to be cropping up more and more these days. looking back at successes and failures and improving upon them – god i wish this would happen more, rather than just seeing the same old show with a fresh new character design. unfortunately, two of the more enjoyable series this season (hayate, nagasarete) are just that… instead of any sort of forward improvement or evolution it’s more of a lateral rehash of the tried and true.

    yea, this soapboxing doesn’t really do anything considering i’m just as big of a sucker for the whole moe thing as the next guy, but somewhere in the back of my mind i wonder… what happens when they run out of new hair colors and hairstyles and school uniform designs? what happens when horie yui has voiced every conceivable character in every situation?

    for now, the temporary solution seems to be to throw more money at it and hope the animation quality distracts people from its weaknesses… kinda like this comment, which is nothing more than my roundabout verbose cry for kanban musume 2…

  2. Wait, there is a new BECK series out, or was that just a typo?

  3. Just to let you know Touka Gettan is being broadcast in reverse Order. So the First ep is actually Last Ep. It also have the biggest WTF moment in spring anime 2007.

    Also Claymore is starting to pick up at Ep5. I suggest you wait 2 more ep then pick it up again.

    PS You still haven’t answr my Murder Princess question:

    If Milano and Alita have hot sex how you define it:

    A. Masturbation
    B. Incest
    C. Hot Lesbian Sex
    D. All of the Above

  4. AH, Touka Gettan is aired in reverse order that makes sense now, thanks Xellos I’ve been watching that series just so I can figure it out.
    I would also like to know if theres another beck series.
    I’m glad Sola made top 10 on your ratings, I’m really enjoying that show. Romeo and Juliet has been getting so many mixed feelings by different people, such as Lucky star is, but overall those who I ask about it like it in general. Even though Shakespeare is probably roiling in his grave as long as they keep the underlying story going in the right direction (aka. they die in the end) they can probably successfully pull this series through.

    Its sad though how some of these shows I was looking forward to don’t do the manga justice I feel like i’m missing out on something great. Oh and.. too many mech series this season for christ sake its all becoming the same thing.

  5. I know the:
    > Unfortunately, because I don’t own 50 TVs

    But I can’t help it. Where’s my newtonian physics accurate MOONLIGHT MILE?

  6. I applaud putting heroic age and guardian as high as you did, but I kind of have issue with almost everything else in the upper tier.

    I thought it was especially strange that despite all of your problems with lucky star you rank it so high more or less “just because.”

    Same with Gurren, though you haven’t talked about it as much, by most accounts after the initial sort of glut of fun ever since four it’s really lost the initial wow factor.

  7. >Koutetsu Sangokushi, because after the first 9 seconds, I turned it off.

    Hey! I did the same thing. Cept it was OP + 9.

    I am kind of disappointed that there’s not a lot of variety
    with so many low-qual sci-fi’s. Where has my harem comedies gone?

  8. The only new season shows I’m actually watching is Gurren Lagaan, Lucky Star, Hayate, Airantou and Claymore. None of the other shows really do much for me.

    (Usually, when I encounter a new show I’d just fast forward through it to see if it
    a. Has good art & b. Looks interesting- usually if fast skipping through the ep shows shows mostly a guy and a girl talking it doesn’t count as “interesting” to me)

    Though ep 5 of Gurren Lagaan was a hotsprings episode without any Yoko fan service, I felt seriously cheated.

  9. Oh, and being a Kamen Rider fan I thought Skullman looked promising, although it is rather slow at the moment.

  10. Ha, when you first started using the term, I thought “Hey, I didn’t it was that commonly used.” I never considered the option that you read Blink too.

  11. I hated Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, GONZO defiling one of his lesser works is a joy to behold. Take that English Literature class!

    Thanks for this season’s thin slice I am keen on trying out a few series that I over looked. Where do you get the time to do this though? Surely you slogged through more than 25, but with the absence of March Madness on this blog I had assumed real life had started making demands.

  12. Heroic Age is generic trash. Anime junkfood at it’s most unhealthy.

  13. The link to the Lucky Star meido wallie is broken. =/

  14. >>Heroic Age is generic trash. Anime junkfood at it’s most unhealthy.

    Seconded despite my total lack of taste.

    >>Darker Than Black tries to be too slick

    Trying too hard is never good, but IMO they succeeded. Thing IS slick.

    Could be that I’ve been in permanent random-paranormal-action-thriller withdrawal ever since the first episode of RoD TV set the standard for the genre with that ridiculous over-the-top Harrison Ford-shaming midair assault-and-rescue sequence, but Darker than Black is only just below Gurren Lagann (the big favorite) and StrikerS (the object of my fanboy adulation) in my rankings. I don’t know how you can throw it in with the other dystopian-future shows, let alone rank it below Gigantic Formula.

  15. I actually share some of Crusader’s sentiments here. I love Shakespeare’s works, but I really can’t stand Romeo and Juliet at all. I’d much rather see a good anime adaption of Much Ado About Nothing. They’d need Tomokazu Sugita playing the witty and sarcastic Benedict, and of course Beatrice is the perfect Renaissance Tsundere.

  16. Funny thing is xenoglossia is named Idol@master xenoglossia, its “supposed” to be based on the Idol@master game.

  17. Interesting list. I have a beef with few placements, mostly with Touka Gettan, Bokurano and Romeo x Juliet placed so low (all thee would be in my top ten… because I’m not following over ten shows this season :D) and Seto no Hanayome and Nagasarete placed so high. Granted, I haven’t watched mer-Meido yakuza, but I can’t see it being any good when I found the manga so ~boring~… just didn’t click with me. Then there’s a few I haven’t seen and can’t comment on (like Nanoha which I quit at season 1) but this isn’t MY list so there’s really no excuse to complain.

    The biggest surprise was seeing Heroic Age at #2. I like the show too, but I wouldn’t rate it THAT highly… unless you’ve seen some raws that are yet to be subbed and they kick ass. Also, you’ve convinced me to check out Wellber (for the heck of it) and Gigantic Formula because of…

    > The Last Starfighter and Robot Jox.

    I’m ashamed to admit I have seen both, back in the day. Damn, I feel old now…

    Wait, Murder Princess that high? Unfortunately I was quite disappointed by second episode (not least because of piss-poor animation during the fight), and it is currently near the bottom of the pile of shows I still intend to follow – this one only for two reasons, both which you already mentioned.

  18. No seriously, have you not seen Oh! Edo Rocket? It’s edging Gurren Lagann as my fave of the season…

  19. I dropped Heroic Age after episode 3. -_- Age himself is pretty cool, but the rest of the cast is so empty it makes me kinda sick.

    Over Drive has personal appeal because I am a cyclist. (Cycling is a Nerds sport) I have to totally rip Mikoto’s bike, because it has to be a custom build. In the first ep it showed some close up shots on the bike and its parts are a total mismatch. The Crank is a really high end piece with external earings, IE Shimano’s Hollowtech II tech. That doesn’t come on anything lowerer then 105. The shifters however are Tiagra, which is second to the bottom of the barrel(Sora). The brakes and tires were no-name looking. Yet it had LOOK clipless pedals on it, which are high end. The wheels are a mystery to me. Its got spoke lacing like a high end wheelset but the rims look cheesy..and there are alot of cheap knock off wheels that use fancy spoke lacing to look expensive..

    *Ahem* That was probably too much. I also laughed more at Lucky Star then Jason, most likely because konata reminds me of my self way too much. Everything in Lucky Star reminds me of my own lifestyle…..

    ..Thats probably a bad thing, Isn’t it?

  20. “Mitigating factor: The luckiest guy on the planet besides Ikuto? The blacksmith for the Claymores.”

    Ehm, not exactly. Watch episode 5 if you want to find out why. ;)

    I’m in agreement with a few other folks that think Heroic Age isn’t deserving of a #2 spot. The action is pretty predictable, the setting is looking more shallow by the episode, the characters are grating on me, and it’s all the more disappointing because the beginning of the first episode had me thinking it was going to be a grand space opera of some kind.

  21. What?? How could you find Chagum annoying. I thought he was a great character, listening to what he is told, despite being of royalty he isn’t an arrogant brat like in most anime with royalty. Chagum is one of the few likable shouta in my opinion.

  22. So Lucky Star isn’t very good, but it makes it up there on pedigree alone? Nice.

    Claymore is moving through the manga material at an amazing clip. It went through roughly 2.5 -volumes- in the first 4 episodes so it’s already at the first real arc.

  23. Jason posted:
    “One may say, “Wait, there’s not a lot of seventh graders with 38DDs” to which I would respond, ‘Watch more anime.'”

    Yes, this is our blogger.

    I, for one, am enjoying Claymore and Darker Than Black, thank you very much, despite your admittedly correct beefs with them. Claymore’s giving me a Berserk vibe I’ve been missing, and DTB has apparently fooled me into thinking it actually is slick. Good enough for me.

    Loving Nagasarete and Hayate. Mourning their removal from your blog. They’re the only shows this season that I watch as soon as I download them. Of course, I haven’t been spoiled by the manga.

    Lucky Star? Jury’s still out on that one. The OP (music, at least) is atrocious (and parts of it are still addictive, which makes it worse), and I’m still not certain whether I’m watching an anime or watching someone else play “Moe Drill.” They better give us a Konata Feast subplot or start dropping Taniguchi and Bipolar-tan into the series proper, or I’m going to lose interest.

    Thanks for your suggestions on Gurren and Seirei no Moribito (someone needs to make a Bleach/AMG crossover and call it Seireitei no Morisato). I’ll have to look into them.

    Oh, and as for “Gonzo Presents Walt Disney’s MechaDumbo”? (Dumbogelion? The Big Dumb O? Dumbo Seed Destiny? Dumbotech?) That’s some brilliant irony, since there’s no studio better at raping classical literature on either side of the Pacific than Disney.

  24. He warned us at the beginning already that the list is higly subjective. Despite this I mostly agree with his comments but since I enjoy different things I´d rate differently. For example Seto no Hanayome is the only anime this season that makes me actually laugh out loud.
    Claymore quences my thirst for Fantasy and I can´t stand Sports anime. Also Anime with mecha have to justify their existance to some degree for me.

  25. Damn, forgot Darker than Black. Yeah, I too would rank it higher, personally I would put it past both Murder Princess and Sola on that list. I guess I’m not as much bothered by the show’s special jargon as Jason is.

    quigonkenny Says:
    > The OP (music, at least) is atrocious

    Lies! Um, I mean… ok, it is not Uninstall but I still find the whole thing catchy and energetic enough. Better than many other OPs and EDs of this season… but this from someone who’s still recovering from bagpipes in AMG.

    Seirei no Moribito seems strangely under-appreciated, which is a crying shame. It definitely sits in my top 4. (My #1 is Gurren Lagann, but I’ve been unable to place the next three into a precise order as of yet.) Perhaps it is destined to be the lost gem of this season.

  26. Nice! Your list is nearly dead on for me. Though Heroic Age was kinda high, I liked it too. (Just some storytelling elements in it were amateur. They seem way too willing to tell us the plot in advance. It was a great lead in to the show, but they shouldn’t narrate like that too much.) DtB kinda low, but people are split on that show so I know where you’re coming from. Regardless good list with good points.

    Makes me want to try Overdrive now. Other than those, I’m worried about Seto no Hanayome. I REALLY like this show, but man, if it actually does go generic harem, I’ll be so disappointed. This show seemed like the spiritual successor to magikano because they use very similar gag humor. Also the male protagonist of SnH is a highly elastic reactionary character who is as much a part of the jokes as he is the sane observer in other situations. He has the same survivability and explosive reactionary energy as an elastic western cartoon character, like from looney tunes. It’s beautiful. Please don’t say it dulls out. Say it ain’t so.

    >>Mitigating factor: The prince is really annoying… I should put up a poll asking if he’s more annoying or the cook from Claymore. Balsa should have just killed him to start episode two […]

    Wow, I didn’t know staying almost completely silent at ALL times, doing EXACTLY what you’re told (Balsa forgot to tell him to stay on the mountain until after he left, not the other way around) and having a mildly depressed look on your face when people aren’t looking classifies you as annoying. If anything, this kid is a saint. His dad wants him dead, his mother had to send him away and he just stepped from royalty into poverty………all with absolute obedience. I’m pretty sure if that makes him annoying, we’d both be absolutely intolerable in the same situation.

    I know I’m ranting about that but it’s just weird, cause I’m certain we’ve seen MUCH MUCH MUCH more annoying brats in anime that deserve a bigger mention and earn the death penalty FAR more than this poor kid. I’ll have to come up with a list later. Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep it under a hundred.

  27. nobody should be ashamed for watching The Last Starfighter and/or RobotJox. both were win and gold in their own way. old skool baby.

  28. I can’t wait for the MADS to come out for Nanoha StrikerS. And does anyone notice how Tiana looks like Nanoha and Vita’s lovechild? When I saw the opening in the first episode I went wow Vita got big… or did Nanoha get small…

    I also rather liked Claymore’s art design, it grew on me when reading Angel Densetsu which had some pretty horrid art to begin with that only got bearable near the end.

  29. LOL, when I came to reading the section on Overdrive I got this image in my head of a scene from crappy movie, You, Me, and Dupree, where Owen wilson is riding the bike in the living room and watching a Tour de France and starts arguing “No you dont!” when Lance starts to leave the pack.

    I’ll have to check Overdrive one out since its high on your slices. ^^ Entertaining read as usual.


  30. for those curious about overdrive… well, for me, it’s a total abomination. it’s total crap, really, with shoddy animation, retarded script, and a whack ass, pussy as hell, want-to-kick-his-ass-every-time-he-opens-his-mouth type of character (shinji).


    i’m still watching it. maybe it’s because i’m still reeling from the suzuka impact, maybe i just need my dose of smutty shounen romance, or maybe it’s just cuz the girl in this show is freakin awesome. she’s got this addictive look and the kind of personality that makes her seem real. generic or not, she’s a lot more enjoyable than that pathetic protagonist kid, who’s obviously so detestable by design just so people can say there’s a lot of “character development” as the show progresses.

    i doubt the awesomeness of the girl will change much… maybe she’ll get deredere some more after the guy becomes floydichi landisaka, but if that guy keeps up the lame weakling act up any more, i’m going to run out of hair to pull out.

  31. I’m conflicted on this season. On one hand, the overall quality has risen so dramatically since last season, they’re nearly incomparable. On the other hand, only a few shows have really gripped me.

    Seirei no Moribito is an epic movie in TV form, no question. The time, effort, and money invested are outstandingly clear, just look at episode 3. And rewatch it. And then watch it again.

    Claymore is doing pretty good justice to the manga, and it may even be better in terms of creating a dark, dystopic medieval atmosphere.

    Darker than Black isn’t just trying to be slick, it IS slick. Like all good alternate worlds, it has its own specific set of jargon and language to describe the things found there, and DtB is no exception. If you can get over the first episode hump, it’s completely acceptable. The two-ep. mini arcs are good and bad. In showing us different aspects of the world in as short a time as possible, they lose some of the epic sweep and flowing story line that would really get me attached to it. I think if they show a few more short arcs and then break into a big, sweeping storyline integrating the elements seen previously and pull all the stops on the action, it would be a near perfect entry into the dystopic/sci-fi alternate reality genre, and certainly one of my favorite shows.

    Let’s face it, Hayate no Gotoku is fine, but rehashes the manga. Nagasarete is bad, and is sorta rehashing the manga. They’re acceptable lineup filler, but they are not stars or features, by any stretch of the imagination.

    TT Gurren-Lagann is awesome. Just plain awesome. I didn’t hear a great deal of specific buzz about it before the season began, but the different visual style, the saturated color palette, the colorful characters, and the ridiculous energy it puts out makes the series into one of the shows I most anticipate new releases of.

    Heroic Age isn’t bad at all, but it has two problems: it’s only somewhat better than some of the competition in a season full of OP’ed mecha, and the universe keeps reminding me of Star Craft. The resemblance isn’t that close, but the taste remains.

    I admit to have not seen any of Seto no Hanayome, Overdrive, Wellber no Monogatari, Gigantic Formula, or Nanoha, so I’ll reserve judgment.

    Which leaves Lucky Star. I keep watching, hoping for something brilliant to happen, for the spark of humor and brilliance I saw in SHnY or FMP!: TSR. I’m still waiting. It gets a lot of slack because of the respect and rep of KyoAni, but it appears to be a series not seriously requiring significant animation prowess, but rather script-writing and editorial skill. Maybe it just wasn’t a good candidate for translation to anime, despite the ubiquity of standard anime archetypes. I’m still disappointed, but still I watch.

  32. My god he’s right. Silver race are totally protoss wannabes. Bronze is of course some strange upgraded zerg and Iron is obviously terran. Making Gold… some kind of infinitely more powerful and less senseless/arrogant version of the Xel’Naga? Wow this show isn’t gonna be the same for me ever again.

  33. Heh there are alot of things I strongly disagree with on his list, but oh well. I enjoy Heroic age alot but it’s most definatly not number 2, thought the Hakuroro in space is pretty awesome. The Silver Race aren’t exactly protoss seeing as they are idiot tyrants, more like the conclave, wait the conclave where the protoss goverment… The Bronze Race phails at playing zerg, I mean they let the protoss control them and use them as cannon fodder. When the zerg overmind was controled Kerrigan was like “fuck this shit the zerg are MINE” then she pretty much owned everyone.

    “The luckiest guy on the planet besides Ikuto? The blacksmith for the Claymores” Hahah you’d be surprised how utterly wrong you are, he’s more like the unluckiest guy on earth and I’d hate to make armour for Claymores. Claymore does start picking up and personely I think the fights are well done.

    Hey hey, Darker than Black is great, Hei is an uber badass and by episode 4 he’s already gone through two girls heh, it’s also by Bones and the animation is pretty great. It’s better then the usual stuff imo.

    Romeo x Julliet is HORRIBLE as an adaptaion of the play, but if you just pretend it has nothing to do with the original play and view it on it’s own it’s not all that bad.

    Personally I liked Kaze no Stigma alot, maybe it’s because I haven’t seen enough anime but after seeing so many generic Harem wimps the male lead is alot better. He’s pretty much the opposite of the usual wimpy male lead and kicks ass, only Ayano the teenage Shana is annoying.

    Hm oh well, thin slicing doesn’t = 100% judgement

  34. Yorito just needs to invest in a camera with some Image Stabilization.

  35. “Seirei no Moribito/Guardian of the Sacred Spirit” is highly refreshing for me. Especially in a genre plagued by all those Final Fantasy/Lord of the Rings rip-offs, as world settings, starring the ever generics annoying spiked-haired idiot or oh-so-tortured-with-mandatory-tragic-past emo bishie-you-want-to-punch-in-the-face.
    Imo, it is one of the sleeper hits of this season.

    “Kaze no Stigma” looks ok, the male lead have his own appeal, enhanced by a very good voice acting from Yukit… errr… Daisuke One, I kinda like his dynamics with Ayano. My fears lies in its studio, Gonzo. I then remember how Pumpkin Scissor was promising but then got Gonzowned.

    The reasons I watch “Touka Gettan” are the gorgeous character design by Carnelian, the very japanese atmosphere provided by the music, color palette, etc… Oh, it seems the chick on your pic have sexed her trap son.

    “Moonlight Mile” tries way toooooo hard to be manly, the male leads felt like two irresponsible Harry Stu. Being able to move in space when you are a rookie astronaut and save an endangered comrade, all of this while being tipsy? Gimme a break. Bad times.

    I like “Lucky Star”, I’ve liked, even loved, its original source and I get freaking sick of explaining to people that there are guys and girls who have read and liked the original source, and like the animated version. I am maybe very weak to slice-of-life genre.

    I second everyone who defended “Darker than Black”, it is love and win, and imo it succeed into being slick.

  36. Fixed the numbering issue. BTW, I love people discussing this list as if it were an NBA power ranking. These type of posts generally work better earlier on… usually I get them out before week 3, but since my schedule is busier, it took me until week 5, so shows get more fleshed out, and I can’t watch 5 episodes of everything. It’s kinda like making NBA playoff predictions now instead of before the playoffs started. If you had to judge by no more than two episodes, I don’t think you could go wrong with Heroic Age or Gurran Lagann. That’s why I put “Mitigating Factors.” We all know Gainax holds a lead as well as middle relief for the Yankees, and since when did an anime featuring robotic sperm ever become successful? Nonetheless, I’d rather be stabbed in the foot by a Sonozaki than watch any more of Touka Gettan.

  37. I kept thinking your style of writing seems familiar… to Bill Simmons! The “if I receive one episode…” line is very reminiscent to Simmons’ “if my life is one the line, blah blah blah,” or “if I have to bet my house, blah blah blah.” I have noticed the similarity for some time, but this is the first time I immediately connect your post to Simmon’s blog.

  38. since when did an anime featuring robotic sperm ever become successful?

    Episode 2 of Top wo Nerae! 2 featured robotic sperm.

  39. Touka Gettan’s random backwards showing is just manages to piss me the hell off, I mean who watchs the last episode first anyway? If I saw the last chapter of Death Note first I wouldn’t even touch it with a ten foot pole. If I have some extra time I might view it for eye candy, I admit the character designs are very good

  40. Ill agree with Gurren Laggan being #1, it has been very entertaining and wholesome. Though i disagree with a fair bit of your other evaluations. Ill definately agree with your evaluation of Touka Gettan. 24 minutes of my life gone, horribly. I only made it through one episode of Xenoglossia as well. Touche for Lovely Complex. Kaze no Stigma is the worst anime im still watching though it may not be for long unless it gets much better or a few lolis pop out of nowhere.

    Admittedly, El Cazador de la Bruja isnt any better than “mediocre”, but that girl, Ellis, has kept me in it. That georgeous face, that fabulous chest, that strange attitude, im in love. Definately cant say the same for the characters of Romeo x Juliet. I dont remember Julietto Capuletto being a Zorro wannabe in the original play. That aside, it has very good production values and the story seems to be going somewhere. I like it. I dont like Darker than Black though. It looks to have promise, but it’s still swinging away on my scorecard.

    Claymore is great. Seto no Hanayome is funny enough, and I just like watching generic harem. I like it a bit more than Nagaserete Airantou though thats splitting hairs. Sola is better than it should be. The premise is generic, but it works.

    Hayate is quality laughs mixed with a Rie Kogumiya voiced Tsundere loli. Thats more than enough for me. Nanoha is getting by on fanservice at this point (by that, i mean the little pink haired girl). Nowhere near the quality of A’s or even the original. Not to mention, Nanoha and Fate are now monsters with giant breasts and cocky attitudes.

    I couldnt care about the cycling in OverDrive, its the two main characters that keep me watching. Excellent interaction between the two. The main girl is great and the guy, while being a loser, is (for once) a realistic loser. Quality series in my eyes.

    Lucky Star is a mixed bag of treats for me. While not all the treats are great, they are still all treats.

    Murder Princess is great as well. Though it isnt a TV series, so its hard to compare it with the rest.

  41. >>FlameStrike>>The Silver Race aren’t exactly protoss seeing as they are idiot tyrants, more like the conclave, wait the conclave where the protoss goverment… The Bronze Race phails at playing zerg, I mean they let the protoss control them and use them as cannon fodder.

    Totally. That’s why Silver are protoss Wannabes. Each individual is over powered, however they don’t have a fraction of the protoss’s wisdom and have no value system or anything even approaching enlightenment. Instead they try to make up with that with their belief in their own racial superiority? Please. Silver race is like a brontosaurus. It may be huge and scary, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t know it’s head from its ass.

    >>Sheba>>“Seirei no Moribito/Guardian of the Sacred Spirit” is highly refreshing for me. Especially in a genre plagued by all those Final Fantasy/Lord of the Rings rip-offs, as world settings, starring the ever generics annoying spiked-haired idiot or[…]

    Yes! I’m so tired of fantasy settings that can do no better than grafting ridiculous characters onto Tolkien landscapes. Leave J.R. alone for Christ’s sake he’s seen his world stolen AND poorly used waaaaaaaaaaay too many times. If a man is willing to invent 7 languages to flesh out his fictional world, his settings and plot lines should be INVIOLATE to all the hack writers that can’t think up their own stories. Which is exactly why Seirei is so beautiful to me. That world is entirely original and they didn’t half-ass it! Amazing! And the rice paddy fields are nostalgic to me.

    >>jason>>If you had to judge by no more than two episodes, I don’t think you could go wrong with Heroic Age[…]

    Yeah at the two episode mark Heroic Age WAS actually #2 on my list also. (But just you wait. Things will begin to drag on when the ol’ PLOT-IN-YOUR-FACE mechanic is a dead horse to beat. You will probably knock it down to the #5-#10 area afterwards.)

    >>paparaharaha>>but that girl, Ellis, has kept me in it. That georgeous face, that fabulous chest, that strange attitude, im in love.

    I was wondering what kinda folks upvoted this thing to 7+ on AniDB… Two words for ya; Found. You.

    But seriously it should be some kind of crime to rate a show (that has no basis on fanservice) higher than its peers simply based on one weirdo character. If you think her personality is hot, I beg you… never watch a zombie movie. You might be more turned on than you can handle.

    The scariest part of this show has to be the fact that they’re trying to involve Maxwell’s Demon. Yes, let’s take a Thought Experiment and take it all seriously. James Maxwell is crying here. He didn’t create some magical robot girl with pyrokinesis. He was just creating a scenario in which the Second Law of Thermodynamics could be broken without external energy being brought into the system. Hypothetical, Bee Train! It was hypothetical damn you!

    Hey I got a great idea! Let’s make an anime about Schrödinger’s cat~! Hot damn, wouldn’t that be awesome. It’ll be about this magical cat see. No wait, we need people to upvote it on AniDB so, it’s actually a Magical Loli. And guess what? We lock her in a box for 26 episodes and she uses her Mahou Shoujo powers to place herself in superposition. Add some nonsense about bounty hunters and some homosexual megane scientist guy and it’s guaranteed a good score on the database…

    The second scariest thing is that they’re trying to set this show in the Southwest United States. Sorry my Japanese friends, we don’t have pyrokinetic loli’s down here. Just impoverished day labourers, a serious lack of aesthetic value, and a very very bad showing in education levels.

  42. Heroic age somewhat disapointed me. The Zerg ripoffs had me hoping we would see aliens that look like aliens but then the silvers show up and bronze is reduced to Nodossfood. What are the odds of a Bronze individual showing up more important than the “captain” in the First EP?
    Will the Humans ever manage anything more than be impressed by their ploth4x monkeyhero?
    Heroic age makes me want to play Starcraft again but doesn´t make me want to watch more of it.

  43. I have like 25 series so far… but at least 5 are going down next week…
    I have high hopes for Heroic Age…

  44. not the first to ask but…Beck? A new season of Beck what? Searched at animenewsnetwork but didn’t see anything, can someone point me to a news post somewhere?

  45. Tengen Toppen Gurren-Lagann in the top spot is a given, nothing even comes close this season. I also agree on the high place for Seirei no Moribito, but what are Heroic Age and Overdrive doing so high up?!

    Heroic Age isn’t bad by any means imho, but I find it pretty cliché and just passable to watch. I thought I’d like Overdrive, looking at the premise and I watched the first 3 eps(as a European, I always watch the Tour and other courses), but the animation is shoddy, the main character was annoying and I didn’t like the pace of everything. Though it was funny at some moments I must say. ;)
    Just tell me when they actually get to some big race and I might watch that ep. :p

    I would also put Bokurano much higher, after TTGL and SaiMono 2nd season, I find it the 3rd best series of the season.

    >>Saiunkoku Monogatari, because I never finished the original

    For shame, it was one of the best, most intelligent and most enjoyable anime’s of 2006 imho. :(

  46. I have to say, I wasn’t exactly stoked on Gurren when I first heard of it. Looked like childish mecha to me(like how I viewed Super robot wars last season). Well, after all the positive feedback online, and seeing the Gattai at ep.3, hooked me good. Just good clean fun(with fanservice on the side).

    Bokurano Feels so low on that list. Maybe I’m just a sucker for anything that will involve mindstabbing and morality issues. Similar case in Darker than Black.

    Nagasarete Airantou’s humor starts strong, but I feel like I’ll lose interest sooner or later, anyone with good reasons for continuing? Probably similar case to Seto no Hanayome.

    Hayate’s 4th wall bashing really makes it fun for me. I suppose people who read the manga though might feel less fun as one who didn’t. Lucky star is a “you like me or you don’t” show for the most part, but I think ep. 5 could be enjoyed even by the people who dumped the show due to talks on food.

    Lots of mecha this season. Actually, If Xenoglossia was going for the Idol route, I would have kept my distance, but as a mecha show, it feels so much better. Meteor sweeping reminds me of Stratos 4, just replace planes with Mecha and It’s pretty close, I hope they throw in some good plot twists soon(like actual mecha bashng). Heroic Age looks good, but I haven’t followed up yet.

    I haven’t seen any of the BEE TRAIN gunslinger shows yet, so I’m enjoying El Cazador right now. The blunt/naive Ellis compliments well with Nadie. And rationalizing witchcraft with Physics, lol.

    >CN>>”The scariest part of this show has to be the fact that they’re trying to involve Maxwell’s Demon.”
    How many shows are there actually trying to ADD physics(however hypothetical) to their show, as most anime would throw physics to the wind. I don’t know why you’re ranting about AniDB rankings, but let it go. Some people liked what you didn’t. Rank better stuff high, then.

    Speaking of, I’m also watching(and enjoying) StrikerS without the usual background of the first 2 seasons. I think it does well at being able to stand alone. Not that many references to 10 years ago, as far as I can tell.

    Touka Gettan has art, but playing it in reverse order is not going to get me to watch it. Though it sounds fun trying to reverse engineer a plot and events, too much effort for a show that’s supposed to entertain. not frustrate.

    All in all, a good reap this season. Now to thin slice my own download list…

  47. >Yes! I’m so tired of fantasy settings that can do no better than grafting ridiculous characters onto Tolkien landscapes. Leave J.R. alone for Christ’s sake he’s seen his world stolen AND poorly used waaaaaaaaaaay too many times. If a man is willing to invent 7 languages to flesh out his fictional world, his settings and plot lines should be INVIOLATE to all the hack writers that can’t think up their own stories.

    I do take offense to this.

    Tolkien used existing european mythology in a grand scale, I am tired of “Tolkien created fantasy” and even if I am tired of pseudo-middle ages fantasy european settings at least I call then by their name AND recognize they are the most used in fantasy … be it games, novels, movies or anime, as far as I care … they either pull it off or they do not.

  48. >>>How many shows are there actually trying to ADD physics(however hypothetical) to their show, as most anime would throw physics to the wind.

    Noein, license and currently release up to vol3 i think. Lots of physics on Time/Space/Dimensions.

  49. >>CN>>But seriously it should be some kind of crime to rate a show (that has no basis on fanservice) higher than its peers simply based on one weirdo character. If you think her personality is hot, I beg you… never watch a zombie movie. You might be more turned on than you can handle.

    I don’t think a cute girl with a direct but clueless mind is anything like a zombie, but ill take the advice anyway.

    And do not misquote me. I never said I rate the show well at all. The girl may keep me tuned in, but the series itself remains plain and flavorless, with incorrect references to Western history (though if I had a nickel for every anime that did…) blending in.

  50. I for one welcome the return of plot, even if I think a lot of the more plot and character driven series are still being overshadowed by the lamest efforts in Moe driven series out there. At least I have a choice now as opposed to 2004-2006 on what I want to watch. Well that’s not terribly fair, I had a choice during the 2004-2006 period, I could either watch a Moe series or not watch anything new at all basically. Much of 2004-2006 involved me and 80’s and 90’s series.

  51. >>Saiunkoku Monogatari, because I never finished the original, and Sony will stop using DRM before I finish watching an anime series about a yaoi emperor. Koutetsu Sangokushi, because after the first 9 seconds, I turned it off.

    Hey, since when is that a “yaoi” show. BL, at least, and it’s not even that! I did enjoy the animation, though.

    As for “Mr. Driller” anime, I dunno. The superotaku crowd seems to love it, but it’s a bit TOO random for my tastes. I think people watch it just for Ms. Inflatable b00bs. :[ I will however be trying out Seirei no Moribito (Guardian of the Holy Spirit)Fantasy rox my sox.

  52. >>Lovely Complex, because poorly drawn shoujo is dead out of the gate.

    But…but…it has an epic trap, so it must be watchable. ;)

  53. #4. Hired. Spear.

    can any one please tell me the name of this anime , i recently lost my HDD and have forgottenm alot of the animes names

  54. That’s Seirei no Moribito.

  55. >>Hey I got a great idea! Let’s make an anime about Schrödinger’s cat~!

    Please look forward to Higurashi second season~!

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