thin slicing the new season, summer 2009 edition

15,5– ah mou ii ya! Nechao nechao nechao—!

(Sou! Nechao~!)

(Yes… finally done. Would have gotten this out sooner, but I wasn’t expecting to write three four thousand word posts on a series not named “Haruhi Suzumiya.”)

Everyone’s (well, maybe not everyone’s) favorite gimmick post is here! I don’t mean favorite as in favorite to read– favorite to complain about! But I have a complaint too– you guys always leave non-awesome comments! I’m not asking for Ghostory-levels of commenting awesomeness, at least get it up the quality of a K-On! post.

For people who aren’t familiar with 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?” The end ranking is not meant to be quality ranking but rather a “What do I want to watch the most?” There’s going to be shows ranked high and shows ranked low for reasons that may go over your head. Deal with it. For a show to be ranked high, one must be ranked low. Also, this gimmick post always leaves me battle fatigued after watching so many new shows at once, so I probably forgot a few and don’t care if I do.

The premise of thin slicing is explained in 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 like reviewing a movie based only on its trailer or an anime only with two episodes. Oh wait, that’s exactly what thin slicing is about. With that spirit, most of these shows I have only watched the first few episodes… and that’s usually more than I need to form an opinion, justified or not. (And, guys, read Blink. You’ll impress more girls with that than with all the crap you ever learn in philosophy or psychology class.) Well, enough foreplay… it’s time to thin slice summer 2009.



The whole premise of thin slicing is “if I had one episode of every show, which one would I watch first?” Well, if I know that episodes 2 through 7 and possibly more would be exactly the same, would I want to watch it over new material? Mmm… welcome Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya for being the first ever anime series to be thin sliced #1 and Ms. Irrelevant! I feel this is more historic than having an African-American president, the Apollo moon landings, and when Natasha Henstridge got nakkid in Species.

(Just a reminder, I pointed out last season that I was going to consider Haruhi for summer as most episodes that aired in spring were repeats. But I didn’t know that most episodes that aired in summer were going to be repeats as well!)

(What is more crushing on the fanboy soul? Matrix 2-3, Star Wars Episodes 1-3, or Haruhi Suzumiya 2009?)



I wonder who comes up with stuff like, “Hey, let’s make an unapologetic magical girl-ish anime about a girl from another dimension charged with recharging depressed people with electricity! And let’s make her a huge fan of magical girl hentai! And, while we’re at it, let’s make pissing and abuse a central part of this anime’s core values!” No thanks. Fight on, Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan, just I won’t be there to see it.



Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is a slice-of-life anime in the midst of a great natural disaster. I’m not a big fan of disaster movies (except, well, the Fast and the Furious franchise) but an anime about a little girl’s will after a major earthquake rocks Tokyo… isn’t more interesting. The first few episodes move glacially slow, the earthquake didn’t feel grand enough, and I’m not sure if this show properly conveys the immediate sadness and loss of life that a major earthquake would. I remember the news footage of the China from 2008 with the parents desperately digging at the rubble of an elementary school shouting for their kids while the police and military try to drag them away… and there’s just not enough immediacy to the suffering in this series (or really, well, suffering). Another complaint I have about this show is that the characters all wear clothes that are too clean. Am I supposed to believe that this is a day after an earthquake when all the character’s clothes look relatively dirt-free?

(This show replaced Eden of the East in the noitaminA block. It doesn’t replace it in our hearts.)



Element Hunters probably had the best line spoken by the male lead of all the anime this season thus far: “Turn to pee!” Besides that, this is an “educational” show for the kiddies that, I guess, is trying to toss out some facts about basic elements in a completely ridiculous way. I mean… I accept that little kids are charged with saving the earth by reclaiming elements lost, but the way the monsters and elements are presented is a bit too deus ex machina for each scenario. The chemistry presented is also a bit dubious. Also, the male lead suddenly becomes Legolas 2.0 with no real explanation why he’s suddenly so nimble.

(The OP is deary and solemn… the ED is happy and sings about elements. Huge dichotomy in this anime.)

(Mitigating factor: The android who gives out missions cosplays. Meido cosplays.)



You’d think for an anime that features lesbians, I’d be more pumped, excited, and giddy. Um… not quite. While Aoi Hana features lesbians, it features them in the sense of sexual discovery for teenage girls. In other words, it’s shoujo anime with lesbians instead of pretty boys. Does the lesbian slant entice me to watch this show? Not really. It’s really more about discovering that first love. I’d much rather watch Ristorante Paradiso and see how slutty Nicoletta can get. (Plus, more fanservicy lesbians in other series this summer.)

(Mitigating factor: The OP, Aoi Hana, was the second greatest of the season. Then Mayoi came along.)

(Same JC Staff team as Honey and Clover, Nodame, and KimiKiss. Definitely not the Toaru and Shana team.)



JC Staff… why is Taishou Yakyuu Musume airing in 4:3?! Anyway, I’m willing to accept the premise of little Japanese girls wanting to play baseball in 1920 Japan. I’m willing to accept that people will actually allow them to play. But… I’m not willing to accept that said little girls would be pitching overhand. And I don’t accept that said little girls would be using equipment that wasn’t even in common use in the Major Leagues yet (webbed gloves not invented until 1920s anyway). See, this is why even though I enjoy sports, I don’t enjoy that many sports anime. The ridiculous sports aspect always bothers me, like when Team School Rumble managed to put up a combined 300 points in a high school basketball game.

(Mitigating factor: Not bad for a slice-of-life anime… but I’m raging about the baseball but not as badly as K-On! haters rage over blog好き’s pro-Mio stance.)

(Mitigating factor: The way that most of the girls play… if only a few of them had even half the VORM that Mikuru has, this would have been a great series.)



Cute girls doing cute things in a 4koma-ish way… with a hopelessly airheaded lead? Sounds like a great premise for a light music club or a newspaper service? Well, I checked out on Kanamemo once I saw that the animation was handled by the tag team of Gansis and Feel. But a few things brought me back in… Yui as the airhead lead, Horie Yui voicing a raging drunk lesbian, a lesbian that looks and acts like Kaede from Asura Cryin’, and even more lesbians. Not terribly exciting, and the characters feel like caricatures instead of actual characters. So far lacks the heart and soul that makes good slice-of-life ensemble comedies actually good, but I’ll give it a few more episodes if only for the lesbians. And, yes, why isn’t a rich, princess-like blonde with many vacation homes the main character instead of Yui? I feel cheated.

(Mitigating factor: if I were to believe anime in the ratio of characters with and without parents, I’d think Japan would be overrun by young people with most parents having died in tragic accidents or something.)



Sora no Manimani is about a high school astronomy club. Features a harem-ish setup with a guy returning to his hometown and being reunited with the girl of his nightmares. Very Kanon-ish, except only the magic of the stars is involved. Seems to be more about interpersonal dealings than astronomy. In the past few months, I’ve watched anime from everything from the mahjong to the light music club. Are club activities so central to the life of a Japanese student? Or are these anime trying to compensate for their audience who probably missed out on these clubs when they were in highschool? Can we at least get an anime about a club of Gundam and h-game obsessed fanboys? Maybe even get them playing Guilty Gear or something… oh wait…



Umi Monogatari (Sea Story) follows two magical and scantily clad maidens of the sea as they use their magical powers to solve magical issues on land. The animation by ZEXCS is colorful and pretty, and the premise is sound… but, for whatever reason, the show just didn’t grip me. The stories feel a bit drawn out (the first arc should have been just a single episode), and besides their clothing, nothing really distinguishes Marin and Urin.



The main character of Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou is voiced by and acts like Fuko Ibuki. Did I scare you away? You have been warned. But if you ever dreamed of seeing Fuko become a clumsy mage apprentice to a well-endowed modern, digital witch in an average magical girl series, then this series is for you. The animation by Nomad is somewhat passable, but the plot is typical magical girl, complete with missing stripped panties. The “twist” to this series is that magic is done through the internet and C++ programming… and the first two villains have been middle-aged men lusting after little girls. I’m not sure what this series is trying to imply.

#8. 1-800-FLOWERS.


Canaan is yet another too cool for school mysterious female assassin anime that tries to impress with mystery, darkness, lesbian overtones, and prettiness. Try harder PA Works. At least toss in the Mikuru Prime version of Azu-nyan, toss in Tomoe’s long lost twin from Mai Otome, and give us real lesbian scenes. Well, two out of three ain’t bad.

(Mitigating factor: Are we sure PA Works isn’t the new Gonzo? Canaan seems to be too methodical… “okay, Canaan needs some sort of food addiction.” “How can we beat Cat’s Cradle to death?” “How can we make it seem like Maria is Canaan’s only real friend?” Just a bit too calculated. Feels more like the ESPYs than the Hip Hop Awards, if you know what I mean.)



With only slightly fewer meido than one of my typical fantasies, I’m enjoying Princess Lover. It’s a stupid, brainless, generic harem anime, and, as long as you don’t desire more than that, it’s fantastic. But it does have Alfred…

(Mitigating factor: if you like dem DFC, this ain’t for you.)



When I first heard about GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class, I thought, well, the obvious comparison would be Hidamari Sketch since they’re both about female classmates at an art school. Fortunately, GA is nothing like Hidamari Sketch. Instead of focusing on the day-to-day lives of the students, it focuses on the art– a refreshing change of pace! It’s almost more like Moyashimon with art instead of bacteria (and less s&m lesbian fanservice and less traps). There’s nothing stellar about GA, but there’s nothing really wrong with it either. There’s enough clever gags to keep me around for more.

(Mitigating factor: Art anime without Shaft being Shaft? I feel like standing up and clapping until I realized we’re not getting customary bath scene at the end of the episode.)



Things I like about Umineko: Shannon, the OP, Battler being Phoenix Wright, Maria, Shannon, and emo facial distortions. What I don’t like: everything else. Especially Studio Deen’s gawd awful animation. I want Beatrice and Oyashiro-sama to put a curse on Studio Deen until they get their animation up to modern standards. Even though I’m bracing for another season of bad animation, reboots that retcon themselves, and wasted meido fanservice opportunity, the worst part of Umineko is that we eventually get to listen to Battler’s philosophical mumbo jumbo, you know, the kind you find in anime blogs where the poster just finished first year psych and thinks it’s cool to apply it to Basara now.



Needless to say, I enjoy all of Adam and Eve’s (and maybe slightly even Cruz’s) antics. Just a totally ridiculous show, but ridiculous and entertaining is a lot better than pretentious and boring (or realistic and dull).

(Mitigating factor: Needless might not be crazy enough.)



I would have ranked Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei higher, except no matter how hard it tries to push its sinister despair agenda, Kyoto Animation has completely out-Shafted Shaft in the despair department with Endless Eight. Still, I really enjoy the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei franchise, despite the purposefully poor art (we know Shaft can do better), the sight gags that come at 100mph, and the self-referential jokes that make the show almost impenetrable to the casual anime fan. (That’s not a problem for the battle-hardened veterans of this blog’s audience.) Neverthless, even though the series is fundamentally the same as the 2.5 that proceeded it, it’s a must watch just for Shaft’s inferiority complex with regard to Kyoto Animation.

(Oddly enough, it’s not a Kyoto Animation series that’s blocking Zan from scoring higher. Mmmm…)

(Mitigating factor: More Rin, less Chie. I dunno. Is that an equivalent exchange?)

#2. NASDAQ².


Brain’s Base re-invigorated Spice and Wolf. Love the improved art. Love the banter between Horo and Lawrence. Love the nakkid wolf spirit. Love all the various “Lulu is incapable of bedding Kallen” jokes that I can make. Love the storytelling. Love Horo snapping in ways that I’m shocked that a Minami sister isn’t involved. Just a fantastic series, and I would love to give it the top spot… but…



I was watching Deadliest Catch on Discovery Channel when one of the boats pulled up their traps and up came hundreds and hundreds of crabs. They shouted, in unison, in delight, “CRABS!” and “WE’VE GOT CRABS!” and “CRAB!!!” and “I’M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU CRAB!” and the classic, “OH YES CRABS!” I feel the same way whenever Hitagi is on-screen. “CRAB!!!” And that’s why I decided to go with Discovery Channel over Staples for Bakemonogatari (Ghostory).

¹ Indicates that, yes, Horie Yui is present in this series. I gotta wonder… did she lose a lot of money during the financial meltdown? Was she involved in shady real estate deals?

² Indicates that, yes, parents were killed during or before this anime. Sure are a lot of dead parents in anime this season.


One thing about this season is that there’s no batch of Gonzo shows that weight it down like last season. While there were shows from last season like Shangri-La and 07 Ghost that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, even Tokyo Magnitude and Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou are watchable if one is bored enough. Honestly, after Canaan, the ordering of those series is almost irrelevant and has more to do with personal taste than anything else.

The big story that is prevalent this season is Haruhi Suzumiya. Maybe it’s not the Wally Pipp / Lou Gehrig extreme, but Haruhi‘s stumbles let Ghostory staple its way into everyone’s hearts. Of course, it helps that Ghostory manages to be the right story at the right time– I mean, it follows directly after an anime that sung of “my love is a stapler,” it is running with ZSZS (so that show takes the brunt of Shaft being Shaft), and it brings many old character archetypes together and refreshes them… much like what Haruhi Suzumiya did back in 2006. (Not to mention an awesome OP/ED for Ghostory.)

And, finally… preview quiz 4tw! I have a question for you… what is your #1 series for summer 2009?

37 Responses to “thin slicing the new season, summer 2009 edition”

  1. Love Ghostory and agree with most of the ordering ESPECIALLY Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan! I could barely get past episode one once the pissing started and that’s saying something! And come on how can you go wrong with Princess Lover? Sure there isn’t any DFC but you can get killed by those fun bags!

  2. I….I….I don’t know…. Suzumiya Haruhi could have made this question so much easier.. but NO! They had to have an endless summer…. Broken. Record.

    Then again, if the purpose of a story is to make the audience feel strong emotions, KyoAni is doing a very good job. As I get closer and closer to the end of every episode, the inside of me is screaming “NO! NO! NO! Not again!” that gets louder and louder as the end nears.

    My answer… is nothing…

  3. Seeing them all laid out like this makes me realize that this season isn’t actually great, huh… it’s just that having Bakemonogatari at the top covers up a lot of weaknesses – like having Kobe on your team; you’re good, but probably not quite championship class without some more help coming.

    Well, I guess Saki is still showing, too… it’s from last season, but that’s kind of like having Shaq, isn’t it?

  4. Let’s see. I’ve seen all of these shows except 3, those being Element Hunters, Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou, and Kanamemo. My impressions are as follows. I still enjoy watching the repeats of Haruhi. This is becoming the minority opinion but that’s fine because I don’t feel elitist about it. I just enjoy not knowing if it’s going to stop until the credits roll. It’s genuinely exciting. I am upset however at the crappy animation quality and the all over the map character design. It feels like every repeat I’m looking at different characters. Very irritating.

    Canaan, pretty run of the mill action show. Somewhat entertaining, but I am not attached at all to any of the characters and it feels like the show doesn’t know what it wants to be. Action, conspiracy, mystery? Whatever. I’ll keep watching but it’s nothing to write home about.

    I loved the first episode of Sora no Manimani. The club president coughing up blood was hilarious and I thought the characters were pretty interesting. However, the show is rapidly turning into a regular harem so whatever.

    Princess lover is fun. I love that there is not a single DFC in contention. That alone makes this series fresh in my mind. Also, I can’t quite peg who the end girl is going to be, but it can’t be the maid or the tsundere. Also, it seems odd that he will pick saber, so maybe it will be predictable. I’m going to wait and see and hope they can keep it light.

    Aoi hana is pleasant. I actually like this show very much, it’s delicate and emotional but the characters are making actual progress instead of wallowing in their own ineffectuality as is the case with almost every single male lead we have seen. Ever.

    Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 is pretty boring. I really don’t care that the creators made a strong effort (which we are reminded of every episode) to be realistic. Everybody knows that a bunch of crap is going to break and fire is going to rage after a huge quake. No big deal. I cannot STAND the lead character. I have no idea how she can still be such a selfish bitch when the entire world has just collapsed around her. Wake up chica.

    Seakitties, or Umineko, is meh. Maria is not making the uuuuuuu sound enough which, although is horribly annoying, is still funny in its way. I don’t expect anything too amazing here, just a little gore and drama and some silly puzzle solving.

    Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-Chan!! Bitchen guilty pleasure. I don’t understand how they survive being hit with a bat so often though. We never hear any incantations like after dokuro-chan smashes somebody with excalibolg but whatever it’s funny.

    I’m not a huge sports buff, nor do I really know what the exact social standing of women in 1920’s japan was so Taishou Yakyuu Musume is entertaining without having to deal with irritating anachronisms. (that’s a damn long sentence)

    Zan SZS is pretty much more of the same. And as ADD as it is I still find myself looking to see how much is left. I do enjoy the drawing song at the end though. It’s catchy.

    Ok, here it goes again. I posted it on the episode review and I’ll say it again. I can’t stand Needless. Comparisons to TTGL and Maid Guy are non starters. Doesn’t even come close. In my mind it’s just not over the top enough. It’s like pro wrestling and its fanbase. Which, in my mind is condemning enough to leave it at that.

    I love Horo/Holo (btw, when did people start using Holo in print? I see both names everywhere but I like Horo better) She is one of the all time best teases. Still, there is something missing from the first season for me. Can’t quite put my finger on it though. Maybe it’s just that the novelty has worn off and I’m getting comfortable with it.

    Umimonogatari and GA both got dropped pretty quickly. Umimonogatari is just too plain and I hated the animation for GA. In particular Kisaragi. PUSH UP YOUR DAMN GLASSES.

    Finally there is the juggernaut. I absolutely love Bakemonogatari. Being slightly spoiled by the wikipedia page (a warning to the rest of you, spoilers abound on the wiki) I cannot wait to see what is going to happen at the end of this arc and in the next one. The dialogue (which is the whole point to the show) is excellent, (assuming good translation) and I love the way Senjougahara expresses her interest in Araragi. I expect good things from this show.

    As far as rank, most of these shows are not that important. I look forward to Bakemono and Haruhi the most with Princess Lover and Canaan next tier, and probably Manimani and Aoi Hana 3rd and the rest are all about the same.

    Overall, though I must place Bakemonogatari as my number one pick for the season, and it’s quickly becoming one of the better shows I’ve seen in a long time.

    TL;DR Bakemonogatari BANZAI!

  5. Spice and Wolf is easily the best. I mean, the first season was good but this season Brains Base have put one a pair of muddy boots and stomped all over Imagins version.

    Sora no Manimani and Bakemono come in a distant third

  6. I’ve been unable to watch Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahou without thinking “Dozo! Have a washbasin!”

    Taisho Yakyuu Musume hooked me with the song/dream sequence in episode 1. I’d never normally watch an anime about baseball, but I’ve found this one entertaining so far.

  7. When I just opened this page I already knew your best and worst picks. I agree with your top 2, if not Bakemonogatari – Spice and Wolf would get the top slot. But Ghostory is just too unique and awesome to not make it a winner. (Still Clannad is my best ever anime).
    Oh and write more 4k+ word posts please :D. Always fun to read your posts.

  8. Zetsubou shita! the fact that Jason never puts SZS as no 1 has put me in despair!
    that being said ; i guess Bakemonogatari is just too wonderful. untill now. hope Shaft can keep it up.
    …and i m still surprised that you put Umineko at no 5 :| Needless to say, the rest of the ranking works just fine for me…

  9. Well the only show I really wanted to watch based on your preview picture posted awhile ago was Ichizon no Seitokai but I dunno where that went.

  10. @Chumara
    Wont air till at least Oct 09

  11. Christ, I don’t know what’s worse. Jason’s new thin-slicing post, or people that write 850 word comments. What ever happened to such glorious commentary like: “Bakemonogatari is LEET!!11. Hitagi FTW!!!”? I think Jason’s ramblings have brainwashed people into thinking that we all want to know what the oatmeal in their skull is trying to vomit onto my flat screen. ohandbytheway, Hitagi is mai waifu!!!

  12. I actually find that all the *new* series this season pretty much suck. This is probably the first season in the past couple of years that I did not pick up any new shows to watch.

    Luckily there are some sequels to somewhat redeem the season like Spice and Wolf.

  13. That horo art at the end is flipping beautiful J-star. My list looks pretty similar to yours, maybe swith needless with Sora no Mainaimi—the frizzy hair girl and the student council president both make the show for me.

  14. So far I’m only watching Haruhi, ZSZS, Bakemonogatari, and Spice and Wolf. I think Spice and Wolf is the one I most look forward to – Horo’s antics are just too awesome.

  15. Not really fair for me to rate any shows, since I usually marathon most of them the next season. I just find them more fun that way instead of week to week. However, aside from Haruhi (which, granted, is more like a fix to a junkie than a plate of savory, tasty treats to a starving man at this point), I’m only watching Ghostory and that’s thanks to your recommendation. So I’ll go with that.

  16. Bakemonogatari is definately #1, although Spice and Wolf could come close if it focus more on Horo~n and less on economics. Those are the only one’s I see as a “must watch as soon as they come out”. I’m actually following most of the rest but with them it’s more a matter of when I’m in the mood / have time / see a post on blog好き. My backlog is nearly two months behind for some series.

    Umi Monogatari: Evil auras are hawt.

    GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class: A cute show; enjoyable without the undercurrent of cynicism, brokeness, or fanservice so prevalent in anime. Just look at that ED: infant versions of the cast innocently playing as per their archetypes and — GOOD LORD! What is baby Noda doing to that poor teddy bear? While wearing a fursuit no less!

  17. Im watching Kanamemo, Aoi Hana, Umineko, Juuden-chan and planning to start with SZS and possibly Umi Monogotari.
    Kanamemo is pure win, Haruka is HILARIOUS. Her perv level is over nine th… I know, old joke is old. :P And the dairi is awesome, hair attack FTW!! Plus, Kana is so Yui-style cute and the lesbian pairing is WIN.
    Aoi Hana, is so cute. Moar lesbians!
    Umineko, Im really enjoying watching this one. Like Higurashi. But minus those funny nipah miiii happy times like… THE SOUL BROTAH!!! :D
    Finnally Juuden-chan… is pretty amusing. :D

    PD: I watched the Nedless ED and I decided to not watch it. Reason? I highly suspect that the cak… ending is a lie!!! Surely no yuri-loli in the anime… Im right?

  18. #1 watch? Bakemonogatari. Unsure at first when I read the description, but Tsundere-chan blew me away. There’s rarely a female lead that awesome, and in these kinds of shows a great lead means a lot. Let’s just hope Araragi stops passing up on great service. Especially those including breakfast and aprons.

    After Bakemonogatari, it’s really a tie between Needless, Umineko and Baseball-gals. I highly enjoy all of these despite their differences. One features fan service and “I’m better than God!” awesomeness, one features deadly mysteries and facial distortions and the last cute girls trying to swing a bat and beat the boys. Baseball-gals really had me at Koume’s song in the first episode.

    My third tier consist Canaan, 8.0, Princess Lover, ZSZS, Aoi Hana and Sora no Manimani. Canaan is enjoyable but slow as far as the story goes. 8.0 needs to spice things up a bit to keep me interested, even though I’m weak for these kinds of brother-sister relations. ZSZS is entertaining as always, but it fails me since I’m not hardcore enough to get most gags. Aoi Hana only needs Aa-chan, I’m waiting for her to get invited to eat Yumi’s Ohagi. Sora no Manimani and Princess Lover actually has a decent male leads, which prevents me from losing interest.

    Haruhi has its own tier. I’d enjoy Endless Eight for an eternity if Kyoto would show us how Haruhi intends to use that frog costume on Mikuru. It’s really too bad that Kyoto doesn’t take this opportunity to choose the option “All of the above”.

  19. I call bias in your ranking of Haruhi 2009!

    Haven’t you watched like.. 6 episodes by now? Sure 5 of them are repeats, but still, 6 out of the planned 12 is quite alot. Maybe at episode 2 or 3 you would of wanted to watch the next episode just to see if KyoAni would REALLY repeat the episode again? Who knows.

    Aside from that, none of the shows this season make me really want to watch it before others from last season like FMA and Saki (surprisingly) except Bakemonogatari. Hitagi is <3

  20. I love to disagree with Jason whenever I have the chance, but this season there’s no question. I wave the flag of Haruhi as often as possible, but there’s no way I’m going to defend Endless Eight. No way.

    I am a snail. Bakemonogatari it is.

  21. While it’s nice to see Spice and Wolf back but so far it still has the same problem I had with it during season one. For a show based upon a source that heavily featured economics and introduced the ideas in an interesting way, it still seems to completely skip over that part. Buy hey, they know Horo sells the show – it’s just good furry finance :)

    No disagreement on the #1 show, it is the one I most eagerly await the next episode even if I still have no idea exactly what the point or plot is!

  22. I am definitely enjoying Ghostory the most right now for the summer shows. It is refreshing and entertaining. Animation is decent as well.
    Only thing that really drives me nuts about it is all of the quick flashing text at times. I have to keep pause- read – pause -read. Also, I feel like the jokes about kanji really lose there magic if you haven’t the slightest clue how to speak/read japanese.

    Needless is also pretty enjoyable due to the sheer ridiculousness of it. And the ED.

    I’ve pretty much stopped watching Haruhi S2…. I don’t know if I can take another one of those episodes until I know there is something at the end of it besides another reset.

  23. Zetsubou shita! the fact that Jason never puts SZS as no 1 has put me in despair!

    Hilarious. Not sure if you’re trolling or just really, really, really stupid. I guess summer 2007 never happened.

    That horo art at the end is flipping beautiful J-star.

    I wanted to use that image for the top image, but I realized Horo already lead one of these posts before so it’s someone else’s turn. I’ve always maintained that what’s good for anime is that it keeps coming up with new stuff. I never give sequels the same love that I give new series. I like new and fresh more than 15,524x repetitive…

  24. No great surprises at the top spots – your previous blog posts have given good hints what your season’s picks might be. :)

    The biggest surprise is probably Aoi Hana, thought you’d have liked it more. In my rankings it is somewhere in the 5-8 positions and definitely above shows like Princess Lover or Sora no Manimani – the latter I realized I couldn’t watch past the first episode. I guess I’ve gotten enough of that type of shows with Nodame’s 1st season and Itazura na Kiss. And not like I’ve liked every slow-paced show out there, I couldn’t get into Aria at all. Have to give special mention to backgrounds in Aoi Hana. Are they by the same people that did Kimikiss backgrounds?

    My #1 is without a doubt Bakemonogatari. Bit of a dark horse for the season again, I wasn’t expecting anything to rise past my expected favourites – which battle for #2 position: ZSZS and Economics 201. Umineko rounds the list at #4.

  25. Well, as far as I’m concerned they only started showing 3 anime this season. And as far as I’m concerned they stopped showing Haruhi about a month ago. So there isn’t much of a fight for the top spot. Bakemonogatari definitely is the best anime this season, I’m just wishing for a Wolf Horo arc.

  26. “Every day in animuland was peaceful and enjoyable, with swimming-pools, festivals, yukatas, fireworks, frog costumes and cicadas on a 24/7 basis.
    But, one day, Bakemonogatari appeared and beat the crap out of every other show this season. Then, crabs invaded the Earth and soon we were on the brink of extinction. But suddenly, the skies opened and Senjougahara Hitagi-sama descended upon us. With a stapler in her hand. And wearing nothing more than an apron.
    When there was no hope left, Tsundere-chan saved us. Just to play with us, though.
    She made us suffer, but we enjoyed it. We have staples in our mouths, just like the apostles got fire on her heads. We will worship her forever and tell the tale of her stationery-themed underwear, her ponytail and her verbal abuse that gave us delicious shivers.”

  27. Surprisingly I’ve watched your top 5.. of course I also tuned into the 15,524th ranked anime as well. The stray one would be 8.0, in which I found interesting in my own opinion. I wholeheartedly agree that a lot more could have been done with the chaos of it all after a 8.0 magnitude earthquake. Yet, there’s something about natural disasters that makes my blood boil. Watching Twister as a child, I had my future career to be a storm chaser at one point haha. I guess it’s just the fact that it can occur and the way that people come together in a time of crisis warms my heart in a sappy sort of way.
    As for the others
    5. Umineko – I want to drop-kick Maria… Maybe I hate kids too.
    4. Needless – Interesting concept. Has its ups and down, but somewhat entertaining. I’m waiting for Yamada to explode.
    3. ZSZS – Like any SZS. I’d have to watch it a couple times to see what I’ve missed the first time around.
    2. S&W2 – I had watched the first season RIGHT before the second season started so it’s been a great transition for me. Great dialogue, great characters and something totally new.
    1. Bakemonogatari – I was skeptical about this one at first. I saw your analysis on the 2nd episode and the fanservice drew me in like blitzing linebackers to screenpass (love using those plays in Madden). Your analysis pretty much sums up the same sentiment.

    Great line-up. I’m looking to check out Taishou Yakyuu Musume & GA.
    Thanks for the summer line-up!

  28. Needless should be ranked higher. Zetsubou Sensei has gotten rather boring, and I’m not even bothering to follow the series any more. Despair has given over to ennui.

    Hey, at least Shinbo still has Bakamonogatari. At least that’ll compensate for him not invited to Akamatsu & Hata’s epic drinking sessions.

  29. Ms. Irrelevant my ass! You’ll drop most of these shows and keep watching Haruhi, obviously enough.

    I just listed my picks for summer on my site right before reading this post, lol. For me, it’s: Sea Story, Canaan, Umineko, Spice and Wolf, Bakemonogatari, and of course Haruhi.

  30. Well here come my wonderful comments for you jason, I’m just waiting for Unicorn gundam to come out. Because the only reason I see for the lackluster for this summer line up their as nothing as great as Code Geass and Gundam 00 season 2. Sarcastic remark aside, I watch more anime series this year than i have in over 3 years.

  31. So does Haruhi get another crack at the Thin Slicing rankings come September as we head into the home stretch of will they -really- do Endless Eight all the way to the last ep?

    My only regret watching Princess Lover is that the endgirl is clearly the airhead instead of the Saber expy. I haven’t been more disappointed since [insert obscure basketball reference here]. I feel about this much the way you felt about Ayu in Kanon.

    Remember when the biggest complaint about KyoAni was that they decided to remake Kanon instead of do more Haruhi?

  32. Quite ironically the only shows I’m watching this season are the top four you listed. Well – them and the Despiar of Suzumiya Haruhi. Although I really wouldn’t count skipping to the 18-minute mark in each of the past 4 epsiodes “watching”.

    Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is decently entertaining, but the series for me has gradually dropped since season 1. (Although I did enjoy the “Inoue Kikuko and 17” blurb somewhere in one of their rants in episode 2).

    Needless engrosses a bit too much of it’s energy into fanservice for me, but the characters and over-the-topness have kept me watching it.

    I thought that Spice and Wolf just randomly died halfway through the series (unlike Hayate no Gotoku or Kamen no Maid Guy it never announced that there would be another season during it’s last episode) – which left me pretty much devastated. But, now that it’s back alive and with upgraded animation quality n the like, I’m enjoying it quite a lot.

    Finally I am finding Bakemonogatari pretty darn entertaining. It has that fast-paced bantering that Saynorar Zetsubou Sensei has, except it isn’t just the same thing – it’s character driven and reveals solid chunks of the respective characters’ personalities. I also like the very in-depth feeling mysticism of it. How the names of the various supernatural creatures have been distorted over time and but are still dealt with in the same fashion as they would in more achaic times. Also loveed Koyomi’s victorious laughter after beating the crap out of a twelve-year-old and Hitagi’s inevitable “what is this?”.

  33. My #1 series is Hetalia. Still wondering why you haven’t blogged about it, unless you did and I somehow missed it.

  34. The only reason i’m watching Bakemonogatari is because of Jason’s post… and it’s definitely good. I’m pretty much only watching that and Spice and Wolf.

  35. So let it be written, so let it be watched. Please continue to be the messiah of anime bloggers.

    I’m a big fan of SZS, so that’s my top show to watch. Bakemonogatari and Needless are a lot of fun, and definite keepers this season. This may be heresy, but I’m not watching Spice and Wolf, if only because the first season is among the backlog of stuff to watch. I might try GA Geijutsuka Art Design Class.

  36. I would have to say my #1 series this season is Spice and Wolf 2! The characters, banter, animation, and everything all fit together perfectly for me. Bakemonogatari would be 2nd and as good as it is I don’t see it replacing my #1.

  37. [quote](Mitigating factor: The way that most of the girls play… if only a few of them had even half the VORM that Mikuru has, this would have been a great series.)[/quote]

    I got a chuckle out of this even though I think the distribution of Moe is inappropriate for a statistic like VORM. “Average” moe seems like it would have zero value since it wouldn’t have any particularly notable properties. (such as DFC/meido/tsundere/etc.)

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