thin slicing the new season, spring 2011 edition

Kissing the new season through the glass.

(Without the glass.)

Like clockwork, the granddaddy of gimmick posts is once again upon us. That’s right– thin slicing has returned!

(Okay, not that clockwork-ish lately. I have been traveling, and it makes it tough to write pieces that require more preparation. Unless I want to totally frighten the people next to me on the plane by watching Maria+Holic and Kampfer.)

Thin slicing is based off of Malcom Gladwell’s Blink, a book about the ability of someone to quickly judge what is really important and what’s not important from a very limited experience. And that’s basically what I do in watching, at max two episodes, of a weekly anime series and trying to rank all the shows from a new season. And I love all the people who complain, “But you can’t rate a show properly with only an episode!” That’s why it’s called “thin slicing.” Watching more would only defeat the purpose. And I don’t have to be 100% right. Just right enough.

Thin slicing is to quickly find the Mariya’s and Kogarashi’s and Lulu’s… and maybe even a few Professor’s and Nano’s along the way. And in this orgy of ranking new shows from 1 to whatever, the only guideline I go by is simply, “if I received one episode of all the shows at once, which one would I watch first? Second? Last?” The ranking is not a quality ranking. It’s a visceral instinct ranking. And, of course, for shows to be ranked high… some will be ranked low. Deal with it. Also, because I have finite time, I might just decide not to thin slice something. Especially series that are crappy sequels *cough* Tono to Issho *cough*.

This season… well… it’s feast or famine. Honestly, it’s a lot better than famine of the previous six months when TWGOK and Madoka were the only things worth watching. Enjoyed everyone telling me “Fractale isn’t bad!” or “Give Level E a chance!”… which is like watching Canadian football because the NFL is locked out and a giant meteorite wiped out every NCAA school.

(Before we begin, a quick Star Driver rant: I expected more from the collaboration of the brains behind Utena and Gurren Lagann. I’ll just say that. Also, were you so desperate for an ending that you ripped off the one from Gurren Lagann? At least you didn’t use Utena‘s penismobile.)



[C]: Control: The Money and Soul of Possibility is probably the worst anime I’ve seen in a while. Let’s see… horrendous CGI (almost make me throw up)… battle sequences that are completely not explained and makes Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D racing battles seem straightforward (no seriously, let’s have a battle sequence for five minutes and explain nothing)… plot that makes absolutely no sense (let’s just say physics and common sense are gang raped repeatedly)… terrible use of subtitles that make a third of the screen unreadable (terrible design choice)… and dialogue and jargon that make no sense to anyone (makes Star Driver seem like plain jane Japanese)… ugh. Might be worst show to ever be on Noitamina. I almost tweeted, “How many dicks were sucked to get [C] on Noitamina?” but decided against it.

(Production house is Tatsunoko Production Co. of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom fame… and they haven’t made an anime of note in the last ten years. Good golly. Not a great way to break back into the business. They also do Sket Dance, which isn’t far from [C] in the thin slicing.)

(Mitigating factor: writer is Noboru Takagi, who did Baccano! and Durarara!. This is like seeing David Pogue slumming on Huffington Post.)



Astarotte no Omocha is a forgettable anime about a succubus who does not like males meeting– perchance– a typical loser harem male lead. This _never_ ever happens in anime. Such original creativity. The dialogue is grating, especially when the girls talk about scoring men, which sounds as ridiculous as anime bloggers talking about scoring women after they spent the past three hours circle jerking about Haibane Renmei. Character designs are terrible, with a cow meido _thingie_ that looks like one of Dr. Moreau’s failed experiments, and a– get this– a DFC blonde loli who has a complex about her size and fearing men and is a tsundere. Egads.

(Mitigating factor: Gives me another example to use for my “scraping the bottom of the barrel for anime material is the death knell of the industry” hypothesis.)

#26. DOG DAYS.


If you’re into furries and bad storytelling, Dog Days is for you. If you’re not, skip this and go take your dog out for a walk instead. Much more pleasant and productive. Typical average Japanese guy gets sent to a warring states-period-ish battle between furries and, uh, discovers that wars are fought with pseudo-Spike TV Ninja Warrior type contests. The losers get turned into cats and dogs. Unclear if they get turned back, but I won’t be sticking around (or care enough) to find out. Everything about this series just feels uninspired (the main character is generic enough that I was hoping he was named Jiro Yamada) while the premise is convoluted… cat and dog people fight each other by running across obstacle courses? Only good thing this show has is the “red shirting” of extras… you know exactly who is going die… errr… get turned into a cat or dog.



I always wanted to watch an anime that’s just nothing but commercial endorsements for companies that I don’t care about. Now if they managed to sneak in an iPad mecha or Orange Crush mecha into Tiger & Bunny, I’d be interested. Horrible CGI work complements the lame premise of superheroes competing on reality TV where an aging, washed-up star is going through a mid-career crisis nicely. I was watching Initial D Second Stage (the one where Takumi blows out his engine) recently, and the CGI work on that is just a bit worse than this show. 10 years later, and they can barely top Initial D, which wasn’t even pretty for its day?

(Mitigating factor: If this is the future of anime, I’m going to jump ship and start watching EPL.)



If one bad modern Japanese person gets tossed back into another world anime isn’t enough, there’s two this season with Battle Girls Time Paradox. Clueless girl gets tossed into some alternate reality where Nobunaga Oda is a chix0r and all the other major characters of the time are also chix0rs. They’re also not hawt chix0r but more of the scary bewb chix0r type. Basically, for this show to exist, someone must have looked at Ikkitousen or Koihime Otome and decided that they would flip the switch and have the modern person go back instead of bringing busty warlords into the future. I guess if you like cheap breasts and cheap action with no need for a brain, this show is for you. Otherwise, I would recommend skipping and watching House Hunters International instead.

(Mitigating factor: I ranked this show above Dog Days just because of Yuka Hirata doing a live-action preview. Not as awesome as Taniguichi doing his for Raki Suta, but she’s a gravure idol. With hopes and dreams.)



First two minutes of this show has four haremettes pressing their melonpan into the typical loser harem lead’s body. Two minutes! Ore-tachi Ni Tsubasa wa Nai- Under the Innocent Sky (俺たちに翼はない, We Don’t Have Wings) is aiming for a world record. Unfortunately, those were the best two minutes of the show, as the rest just degraded into typical slice-of-life conversations that I just don’t care about. Except the owner of the cafe where most of the action takes place and his, “Real men don’t use condoms. We do it bareback” line. Anime… teaching young men all the right things. My big complaint about this cheaply animated and censored show is that it has a huge cast, possibly larger than DRRR!, and they’re all generically the same. I cannot tell one haremette or one loser male apart. Gah. Bad character designs and lack of individuality plus trying to get every character some screentime in the first episode is just a recipe for failure. But, hey, at least it has a sidetail-sporting waitress meido.

(Mitigating factor: the rock-based BGM makes me think that my BlazBlue match is starting. The wheel of fate is turning. Rebel 1.)

(Bonus mitigating factor: the ED seems to change every episode, so, uh, it has that going for it at least.)



If you name a show Soft Tennis (Softenni, which sounds more like a condition where a man cannot get an erection), you would expect, well, soft tennis, a wussy form a tennis that’s popular in Asia and is invading America. Except it’s really just a plot to put haremettes into cute tennis outfits, which I wouldn’t mind, except the tennis outfits aren’t cute. They’re just generic stuff one might see at Walmart’s sporting section, and the animation by Xebec is terrible. Compared to other shows this season, Soft Tennis looks ancient. More so, the plot is lame, revolving around a perverted and lazy girl who can’t stop having perverted fantasies, except they turn every possible situation into some sort of lame sexual joke to the point it becomes grueling and grinding instead of funny. Basically, if I tossed in an NBA playoff reference into every item instead of just every other item.

(Mitigating factor: I started browsing an Ikea catalog about 15 minutes into this episode. Probably not a good thing.)



Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san

What’s with all the half-length shows this season? I remember when anime was 50 episodes… then got cut down to a season of 25… now a season is typically just 12… and is the future 12 minute episodes? I have an idea. Instead of shortening the anime, why not just stop making bad anime? Yondemasu Yo, Azazel-san is basically Production IG’s take on a modern monkey paw’s fable. Be careful what you wish for. Especially with lecherous demons. Beyond okay animation, there’s really no much going for this series… and, yeah, it’s a comedy. I think it would have done better as a drama. I also don’t understand why the brother, who is a superpowerful Charlie Sheen-class warlock, doesn’t just do the jobs himself. If he can summon and enslave demons, why does he send the least competent one to do his bidding? Is this Starscream syndrome?

#20. HEN ZEMI.


I guess my longtime readers know I’m not into perverted anime for the sake of perverted anime. When anime tries to go the “adult” route, it usually comes up flat with bad jokes and an over-reliance on tit and ass jokes. Hen Zemi… welcome to the club! Ugh. Xebec also recycles character designs from Kanokon. Why don’t studios realize that you really need to step up your game if you’re going to make an anime about adult situations? The baseline is Oruchuban Ebichu, a delightful story about a perverted hamster named Fredri– Ebichu. Ebichu is the Evangelion of the adult comedy genre, and it’s also the Gainax series that no one seems to remember anymore. Shame. Skid all the crappy anime on this list and go watch some perverted hamster action. Go go now~ shoo~

(Mitigating factor: this show is only 15 minutes long. Whew, didn’t think I could suffer through a full episode.)




(Mitigating factor: Mamiko Noto plays the ice princess in Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera. Everything else in this show is child’s play.)



The soma sucking antics of Seikon no Qwaser are back. So is the censoring. Terrible. Would I watch The Wire without the swearing? Would I watch Game of Thrones without all the doggy-style bonking? Would I watch Family Guy without the violence? Would I watch Seikon no Qwaser without soma sucking? Also, I think 24 episodes of soma sucking is enough… there’s only so many variations to it… then again, Team Rocket managed to develop about 15,532 variations on how to capture Pikachu. Mmm… oh well, novelty is wearing off, the animation is still terrible, and there’s just not enough soma being sucked. Also shows how terribly weak winter 2010 was when both Seikon and Hidamari Sketch made top five.

(Mitigating factor: Genderbending! Never fails… except how does Sasha suck his/her own soma?)



Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi is a full-blown yaoi drama. Yes, there’s guy on guy action. Yes, it’s going to be full of shoujo angst. Yes, it’s not my reader’s cup of tea. But I have to give credit for Studio Deen for actually putting an effort into this. Production values are decent (for them), and Chiaki Kon is directing. Yes, she went from Higurashi, Umineko, Nodame, and Midori no Hibi to this. The first episode did keep my interest, if for any reason that it was full of plot holes. The main two lovers apparently do not recognize each other after being apart for ten years. How could they not?! Little stuff like this drive me crazy. I can totally believe the premise of a shoujo manga magazine staffed by gay men who enjoy bonking each other, but I cannot get over believe that someone would not remember what their first love looked like.



Keima’s seiyuu, Hiro Shimono, is voicing the lead for 30-Sai no Hoken Taiku as well as two other shows this season (TWGOK and Sket Dance). This one is the worst of the three. You’d think life would be funnier as a thirty year old trying to get laid (or only because Luke Wilson and AC Green set the bar so high), but it’s not. The jokes are sophomoric to the point that I was disappointed they couldn’t get away from tit and ass jokes. Normally, this isn’t a bad thing, except the jokes are so damn generic. There’s only so many times I can see the same groping joke over and over again– you can be a bit more adult with this show, so the writer/mangaka just got lazy and went for easy instead of clever which is disappointing since there’s just so much better comedies this season. Plus, the animation is perfectly lukewarm.

(Mitigating factor: I would give this show more thought if it had more tits and ass instead of man-boobs and anal penetration jokes. In other words, why would I watch this when I can get man-boobs and penetration jokes plus C.C./Shirly/Kallen fanservice with Code Geass?)



Probably bad sign when I saw Sket Dance and thought “Scat Dance” and wondered, “Why would they make an anime about poop? Are they so out of ideas?” Then I thought it was “Skeet Dance” which made me ponder, “Is this yet another poorly executed adult show this season?” Then I realized it’s just an unfortunately named, totally generic shounen action show. There’s just nothing of note. The animation is terrible, the character designs are dull and boring, and the plot is paper thin. I think it’s about a club that goes around helping people, but I don’t really care about that or any of the highly generic characters. Oh look, it’s a violent girl who pretends to be not so violent. Oh look, it’s a guy who only talks through texts or IMs. I think I’d rather watch either Scat Dance or Skeet Dance.



Deadman Wonderland could really be really good (focus on the psychological elements) or really bad (treat it like any typical shounen action series), and Manglobe chose the former. Ugh. The pacing is rushed just so they could show some action early on and really gloss over how badly and shitty the Japanese court system has become (seriously, they can railroad a 14 year old like that?), but the real crime is just how lackluster everything looks and feels. The plot is just too rushed to feel the same visceral despair and hopelessness that the manga conveys.

(Mitigating factor: I’ll just spoil it for you. The Red Man who slaughtered everyone? Yep. It’s the girl, Shiro..)



Mysterious tsundere DFC loli redhead voiced by Rie Kugimiya? Runs into mysterious man with a more mysterious power? Contrived setting that allows for warfare with swords and guns and Segways equipped with Uzis? How is Hiden no Aria (緋弾のアリア, Aria the Scarlet Ammo) not a JC Staff show? Oh, wait, it is. And all’s right in the universe. Unfortunately, this series just has some terrible direction (really, do we need a recap of what happened five minutes ago?) and was just 24 minutes of pure trope. I especially liked the plot twist at the end when it’s revealed mysterious girl is the transfer student into harem male lead’s class. JC Staff’s animation work is also really slipping. They’ve gone from above average to below average in the past two years.

(Mitigating factor: I liked the Segways with Uzis. I don’t like the parachute that managed to stay up in the air for like four minutes after a drop from a ten story building. I liked the bullet time. I don’t like how poor aim an army of Uzi-equipped Segways have… Johnny Five wouldn’t have missed!)

(Bonus mitigating factor: The typical loser male lead gets woken up by a hawt haremette… who makes a delicious seafood breakfast for him… and cleans his guns… and he treats her like dirt. She, of course, is madly in love with him. Oh anime~)



You know the expression “poor man’s”? As in RahXephon is a poor man’s Evangelion? Or the more advanced “homeless man’s” as in Tarvaris Jackson is a homeless man’s Brett Favre. So based on that, I want to introduce the “starving man’s” as in A Channel is a starving man’s Lucky Star. In that you must be starving for Lucky Star to appreciate A Channel. And that all the girls in A Channel just look starved. I know that most anime heroines are pretty svelte to begin with, but A Channel just makes them look like starving refuges. Their legs are literally chopsticks! I cannot get over this. The poor character designs submarine this show more than the poor pacing (it is sloooooowpoooooke) and the poor entertainment value of the material (seriously, girl is jealous her best friend got new friends is the best they can come up with?). This show is the starving man’s and the homeless man’s Lucky Star.

(Mitigating factor: There’s a much, much better example of how to turn a 4-koma about cute girls doing cute things into an anime. Keep on reading for it.)



Once I found out that Hoshizora e Kakaru Hoshi (Bridge to the Stars) is done by Feng (Akasaka) and features an effeminate little brother character, I kept thinking, “Oh gosh, please not let this be a Rolo/Lulu situation.” In the meanwhile, we get a typical assorted harem cast (a fun game is to try and identify what each haremette’s attribute is during the OP… oh look, she must be the tsundere since she has a short hair and has a scowl) and some typical “hey, I’m going to live in rural Japan” premise. One thing I did like about this show is that the first episode featured not one not two but three collisions with prospective haremettes. Including the inn manager who is probably 45 but looks 17. I guess if you need a fanservice harem fix, this show is it for this season. Not exactly ringing endorsement, but endorsement nonetheless. (You can probably tell that I’m starting to actually enjoy the anime at this point in thin slicing. May actually watch more episodes of the following shows. Weirder things have happened.)

(Mitigating factor: There’s a much, much better example anime of a poor kid getting pawned off to some rural inn. Keep on reading for it.)

(Double mitigating factor: Tsumugi? Ui? Wait, hun?)



Generic shounen action series ahoy! A-1 doesn’t do a bad job with Ao no Exorcist (青の祓魔師, Blue Exorcist), and it’s a better adaptation than Deadman Wonderland. A few things to note… one, there’s no female love interest. Only two shows on this list don’t have a cute female romantic interest, and the other show had two guys bonking in the first episode. Two, when anime and religion collide, the results are both humorous and cringe-worthy. Three, this show is beyond predictable… “I’m a demon? Why? What? I don’t understand!” Four, if Rin is such a great cook, why doesn’t he look for a job as a chef?

(Mitigating factor: South Korean boy band 2PM sings the ED. Why couldn’t they get Miss A instead? Shut off boy, shut off…)

#9. KAIJI.


You know how some people rage against moe anime? Can’t stand K-On! even though K-On!‘s a solid show that gets a good metaranking? Well, I feel the same way about the idiot plot anime where the plot is only perpetuated by the idiocy of the characters. I can’t stand these shows. I couldn’t stand Battlestar Galactica because of it too… gee, let’s argue over abortion when there’s only 53,000 humans left. Anyway, Kaiji is an idiot plot. The idiocy is needed to balance out his winnings. In other words, deus ex machina idiocy.

(Mitigating factor: The despair is what’s entertaining. If only if they can make an anime about someone full of despair. And– lightbulb!– let’s make him a teacher.)

#8. X-MEN.


X-Men is the only American serial comic that I still read, and I’ve been reading it since middle school. Even though these days they have relocated to San Francisco, it’s still the same old, same old struggle of the outcasts. Can Japanese anime do this justice? Or will the gloss over everything Ekkusu Men stand for? So far, just seems nonsense on par with typical Marvel comic nonsense. So that’s good. However, I can’t stand the Engrish. Scott-o. Suturm. Beas-so. And whatever they pronounce “Wolverine” as that I cannot recreate with romanji to the point I hope they keep calling him “Logan-o”. So that’s bad. What’s ugly? Suturm’s sagging melonpan. Also terrible? Scott-o using laser guns to blow up robots– how do I shoot optic blast-o?

(Mitigating factor: I would rank this higher if they had a typical jpop OP/ED. Instead, they have just these horrible instrumental pieces that must have taken a whole afternoon to compose. If you’re going instrumental, you have to be catchy like Tank.)



I enjoyed Steins;Gate, but, then again, I enjoyed Chaos;Head. Steins;Gate, like it’s predecessor, is another psychological mindfuck… but with time travel paradoxes! Which they conveniently waved off in the show with a PowerPoint bullet: time travel paradoxes do not exist. Genius! Got rid of that meddlesome point. Actually, they preach the multiverse, which is very similar to the one that powers the space travel in John Scalzi’s Old Man’s War. What I liked? Mamoru does a fantastic job at portraying some epic paranoia delusional mania (which he’s probably justified in having). Makes me wish they casted him as Keima. What I didn’t like? White Fox’s animation is nowhere up to the standards they had for Kiddy Girl-and and Katanagatari. Also didn’t enjoy the trap… too trappy!

(Mitigating factor: The meido won me over, k? So what if the plot is convoluted? I like meido. Nekomimi meido. And this anime does take place in meido cafes in Akihabara…)

(Bonus mitigating factor: I liked it when homeless man’s Pants made one of the heroines say, “Your banana is soft and squishy.” Classic.)



Gosh, I love Elsie. She’s quite adorable. The World God Only Knows comes back for its second season, and it picks up right after the first one ended: with Keima scoring more and more nubile haremettes. Four up this season with Kasuga, Chihiro, Jun, and Haqua… I would rank this series higher except the animation is below Manglobe’s standards, the OP is still terribad, and I know this series too well. I don’t need to see it every week like I do for the following shows on the list. Maybe if we got some Elsie x Haqua fanservice… mmm…

… just derailed myself.

(Mitigating factor: Jun’s one of my favorites, since scoring teachers is something rare in non-teacher fetish *cough* Happy Lesson *cough* anime. At this rate, we’ll get to Tenri but not epic reverse trap Yui next season.)



Pretty obvious what Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (あの日見た花の名前を僕達はまだ知らない, We still don’t know the name of the flower we saw that day“) is about: long names. And also six childhood friends who drifted part after the death of one of them (is this a spoiler? because you find out by minute six), and now the ghost of the dead friend will try to unite and respark everyone’s mutual friendships. This anime has potential. It has compelling characters, and the animation and music by A-1 is great. We all know how this one is going to turn out: all the friends will reunite, and we’ll get an emotional farewell for Menma. Nonetheless, I applaud A-1 for doing so many original series, and this one looks to be so much better than So Ra No Wo To.

(Mitigating factor: I like how every character has a weird nickname given to them by Menma.)



It’s not like I ever wrote a post titled, “Top Ten Ways I Killed Myself While Watching Maria+Holic” or anything like that.



Shaft’s other team is working on Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, and most of the staff come from Natsu no Arashi and Araragi Under the Bridge. Which probably isn’t a surprise when I tell you it’s about a typical loser male character finding out that suddenly he’s living with a mysterious girl who burrito’ed herself in a futon. Let’s just say lunacy ensues. When I first watched this episode, I didn’t know anything about it, but three things told me it was Shaft immediately: Makoto’s head tilt, which is becoming a Shaft staple, the way the pattern moved on the futon, and the Kyubey stuffed animal. One thing that didn’t tip me off… no Shaft being Shaft moments. I was both scared and impressed.

(Mitigating factor: Kidding on the Kyubey plushie. It was a Mesousa.)



Best. Heroine. Ev–of this season. ‘Nuff said.



Hands down what I look forward to each week. Nichijou is just funny, adorable, and well-done. Professor and Nano are aces. They steal the show. They steal the season. They stole my heart. They are the best anime pairing since Lulu and Suzaku. More importantly, I am impressed at how well this series is paced, since this is not an easy genre to pace as even Minami-ke had issues, but Kyoto has been smooth with it. The show is also genuinely funny, in a way both kids and adults can appreciate, and puts other comedies to shame this season. Also, the animation is fantastic. Smooth, crisp, full of movement, and interesting backgrounds and interstitials. While PA Works may use more colors, they seem to loathe extra animations– something Kyoto relishes doing. What really takes the roll cakii? Turn off the video and just listen to this anime. The BGM is fantastic– probably the most fitting and well done since Gurren Lagann, and the voice work is tremendous. Heck, even the OP is impressive with Hyadain doing all the voices. There’s a reason why I’m calling this anime the next Azumanga; go watch Nichijou. You’ll be glad you did.

(Mitigating factor: Yadda.)

(If you’re looking for meido, this season has them in spades. From the top tier pantheon-bound Matsurika to waitresses of Hanasaku and Ore-tachi to the nekomimi meido of Dog Days and Steins;Gate to the cowgirls of Astarotte no Omocha, it’s like a resurgence of meido this season.)

36 Responses to “thin slicing the new season, spring 2011 edition”

  1. Wait, seriously? You’re complaining about the parachute in Hidan no Aria but okay with the bullet-time UZI-exploding (yes, UZI, not Uzi; look it up) shots? Even though Loser Neo didn’t move anything but his arm, which means he couldn’t possibly have asploded the Killer Segways because they weren’t sitting in a perfect arc for him to fire at? Come on, Jason, you’re seriously slipping.

  2. No Denpa ranking?

    Is it, perchance, off the charts?

  3. *Ahem*

    Anywho… 48 shows this season and barely anything to watch. Kind of makes you wish for the moepocalypse/moegularity (moe singularity), doesn’t it?

  4. Yeah looking forward to the Denpa rating (hopefully not biased by the OP of course) but I suppose you couldn’t have watched EVERYTHING…… errr, but wait… it’s SHAFT.

    I want to watch Nichijou if only because it’s Kyoto, even though I didn’t really like K-ON, but it was the only show I couldn’t get past 10 minutes of. The scene in the first ep where she has a cold, you see a talking cat and a person with a wind-up knob on her back, the sillyness factor just pushed me away.

    I am very glad that Hanasaku made it in your top 5 though, prob my favorite thus far.

  5. Derailed by K-pop girls…

  6. Nothing wrong with taking a little rest here and there (A Channel). Besides, I was already committed with the manga. When you’ve got source material like that, I think that Studio Gokumi’s done okay.

    (who the hell…)

    #4 sounds interesting, but I haven’t seen it and I’m only basing this on Jason’s slicing.

    I really, really like Nichijou. I wonder when the deer’s going to make an appearance… I hope it’s this latest episode.

  7. “GIVE LEVEL E A CHANCE.” Feels like you should be able to say that about a few different things this season.

    Maybe it’s my eclectic tastes, but I actually like Deadman Wonderland and Tiger&Bunny. Though I guess it’s tough to complain about Nichijou being the top – I look forward to the weekly RPS match between Nano and Hakase.

  8. No love for Tiger and Bunny : (
    The novalty of Pepsi girl got me watching and the bromance between the two main guys sold me.

  9. Nichijou… is not doing anything for me. Perhaps I’ve not been in the correct mood to watch it,
    but it comes off flat for me. Well animated, with good BGM but not entertaining.

    Episode 00 was like watching paint dry.
    Episodes 01-03 was like going to the laundromat to watch clothes dry. Still boring, but with some
    slight amusement (oh, there’s that sock again).
    01-03 are a giant step up in entertainment on a relative scale, they still fail to entertain me.

  10. I’m enjoying Nichijou a fair bit, but calling it the second coming of Azumanga Daioh doesn’t work for me. It’s pretty funny, but great? The defining comedy of a new generation of anime fans, which you must agree Azumanga Daioh was? Eh… I guess it’s not unusual, but I’m not with you on this one, Jason.

    The only other show I’ve had time to watch so far is A-Channel, and I share the sentiment of the review. Whatever it tries to imitate (and it borrows generously) it is a poor substitute for.

    Besides Nichijou, I’m lining up Hanasaku Iroha, Mariaholic, Ano hi mita hanawhateveritscalled and Stein’s Gate for some rainy day. The rest I think I can give a pass. Eh, maybe Hoshizora as well. Get the harem fix.

  11. WOW, thin slicing is back? Boy, this brings back memories :)

  12. Seeing Nichijou at the top makes this list null and void.

  13. Tiger & Bunny deserves more love, even though the CGI is terrible. Kotetsu is a great main character.

  14. The Qwaser of Stigmata uncensored is off the charts just like Denpa right?
    (Also please delete that last comment, my fingers failed hard).

  15. Jason ranking a Sunrise show at #24 makes me sad. Is it just a tsundere thing?

    I should probably take a look at the top few, anime watching’s kinda fallen off my schedule since Madoka contracted Bakemonogatari syndrome. I’ll pass on TWGOK though, it will just fill me with disappointment.

  16. Totally forgot Denpa Onna. It was on my draft, but somehow didn’t make it to the post. 28 shows thin sliced, biggest list thus far.

  17. Oh man, an AC Green reference? This blog completes me.

  18. For Deadman, did you mean to say “latter” instead of “former”?
    Or is it a case of “former, but they botched the sneak onside kick”? Because that may still be worth watching, in a train wreck sort of way.
    #4 seems interesting. But that name… I fear trying to recall it in full to others.
    That one screencap makes me think of Summer Wars, with the non-black outlines of OZ for the kids.
    Nichijou 1-2 has been better than the OVA except for one thing: the lack of Sakamoto. Hakase has so much fun chasing him in the OP! And Sakamoto could pop out of Nano’s arm during RPS! But he probably will work best as a seasoning on the Hakase/Nano main dish.

  19. No Hyouge Mono? I loved the first episode for it’s off-beat sort of humor.

    Hanasaku Iroha: The Grandma – Best. Heroine. Ev–of this season. ‘Nuff said.

  20. Also, if X-men is the only comic you’ve been reading lately you’re missing out. I would really recommend “The Immortal Iron Fist”. Greg Pak’s run with Incredible Hercules (subbing for the Hulk) recently and most anything by Matt Fraction (who wrote on Immortal Iron Fist and has done some stuff on Uncanny recently) would also be good.

  21. I’m not going to bag on anyone for liking Nichijou (I think it’s a boring mess personally but YMMV) but comparing it to Azumanga is just a really really bad idea from the get-go.

  22. I really hate the way Prof bullies Nano. Watched 2 episodes and learned to skip their segments very quickly.

  23. I am watching 4 of the top 5 shows on this list and 4 of the 5 bottom shows on this list. Plus Stein;Gate.

    I am very update that Stein;Gate is breaking this superb symmetry.

  24. Aah, the thin slicing returns! How I missed it.

  25. ohana “I want to sparkle! Apprevoise”

  26. Ergh, I can’t believe you reviewed the whole thing. No wonder you take seasons off.

  27. Ah, definitely will get a lot of angry comments about how Nichijou got the top of the Thin Slicing this season. It’s really a love it/hate it show, as the comedy is very much hit or miss.

    I agree though that both AnoHana and Iroha deserve top spots. Boo about Achannel or Tiger and Bunny getting low scores, but this is by Jason after all.

    Speaking of Iroha… THE YURI (even imagined) in episode 3, oh god.

  28. Aaaaaw, poor Sengoku Otome. Having watched the first two episodes I find it very very funny. Bonus points for the protagonist wondering how they make babies in an all female world.
    And I wondered if they going to take the historical route… because we all know how the quest of Nobunaga to conquer all Japan ended.

    Anyways, Nichijou, A-Channel and Iroha, in that order are my favs of this season, for now at least. (Im the only one hoping for Ohana going Yangire… she has great potential!)

  29. Wait… “Give Level E a chance!”???
    I can’t believe you. Did you give it the three-episode test? If so, and you still disliked it, well there we go, different strokes for different folks and all that. If not, for shame.
    I’m doing that old person finger-stroking-finger thing, but I imagine you’re having difficulty seeing it.
    Level E is an incredible show, with perhaps the best ending I’ve ever seen in an anime.

  30. I guess we sort of agree…
    Hanasaku Iroha, TWGOK and Anohana are my big 3 so far, but it is early days. Nichijou is ok, its good but comparing it to Azumanga is going a bit too far… way too far. Tiger and Bunny is actually not that bad. I dislike the CGI and lame costumes but the main character is so interesting that I want to keep watching and find out what happens to him. Which is pretty remarkable as it just some single father superhero, and not a hot nubile loli that would naturally be interesting to me.
    Oh, and Level E is great. Don’t hate.

  31. I’m definately not up to that level of obsession with watching anime. It is lucky if I watch more than one now show a season. Though I might also watch one or two older shows during that same season. But that could just be that I don’t watch a lot of television anymore and spend more time reading (even if it is the internet) and watching things on Youtube. I’m pretty sure I have one or two series that I bought that I haven’t finished watching yet for some reason.

  32. Ah, thin slicing is back! While I haven’t checked 28 shows this season, I mostly seem to be in agreement with the ranking. Especially having Nichijou at #1, that’s what I’m most looking forwards to each week. Biggest disagreement might be with Tiger&Bunny ranking that low; while hardly any prize-winning material, I liked the take with reality TV, commercials breaks and sponsors, sponsors everywhere. Which probably is how things would go if supers suddenly appeared in 2011.

  33. My top ten favorite new anime/returning anime this season (ONA and OVA’s are not included)

    0. Gintama (It’s back, and remains on the top for making me laugh and at times become serious) Episode 1(202) and 2(203) didn’t disappoint me. Finally I got to see Kagura taking a bath in Episode 3(204) Proclaimed master of 4th wall breaking.
    1. Ao No Exorcist A likable lead, too bad Paku Romi takes the role of another main character from another series, but Accelerator’s seiyuu will farewell. Can this become the new replacement for FMA. Stay tuned.
    2. Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko – Can they redeem themselves? Only this anime would tell what would be the fate of Shaft Rank C team, anyway I love pizza and futon they match well and Ami Kawashima look alike grown version seems appealing to watch.
    3. A Channel Overall other than the animation, this is better than Nichijou. Tooru is very likable character I wonder why Jason choose to look through the animations rather than the whole package itself? Run is the worst clutz female character since Osaka.
    4. Hanasaku Iroha – The main female protagonist resembles me a lot in the family and attitude but not better than Nadja Applefield…I like how the story progresses this should be on the top of my list if weren’t for easy to predict situations. I wonder how the novelist would fare up soon?
    5. Deadman Wonderland – Sudden introduction, sudden exit, no!!!! Jason ended up spoiling me regarding the one who commited the crime, anyway since I’m in disbelief, I keep on watching the series as how Ganta overcome all this pains while Shiro is there with him.
    6. Dog Days – this show is best suited for ages 9-13, and newbies to anime that loves RPG. Takeshi’s castle meets Zero no Tsukaima. All cute characters are lovable except for the main character.
    7. Hidan no Aria – Too much Rie Kugimiya this year, but with guns and swords I accept. I love it when she says “You’re my slave” miss those times, can’t wait for “Urusai” moments again.
    8. The World God Only Knows – Nothing much have changed, probably I just watched and finished the first season last year. The Ipad cameo is way cooler than I thought.
    9. Kaiji – Risks, Gambling, Revenge, Violance is what I miss for a very long time in an anime series.

  34. Kind of sad to see that my tastes regarding anime have been deviating more and more from blogsuki’s. Sengoku Basara, Level E, Super Robot Wars, and now Tiger and Bunny. I guess purely GAR-based anime (i.e. anime that has GAR and bromance, but is lacking in the moe dept) isn’t his cup of tea.

  35. (Mitigating factor: If this is the future of anime, I’m going to jump ship and start watching EPL.)

    Now I actually AM hoping that Tiger & Bunny is the future of anime. I dream of the day when you refer to a gar shounen action hero as a “drinking man’s” Lee Cattermole (or Joey Barton). Bonus points for meido Cesc Fabregas references.

    Are you ready for some PROPER Football?

  36. Steins;Gate is only #7?

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