thin slicing the new season, fall 2009 edition

They’re as excited about thin slicing as you are!

(In terms of having a Mount Rushmore of couples in that compromising position, Mikoto/Kuroko is a no-brainer. Followed by Natsuki/Shizuru. Maybe even argue Natsumi/Koyuki. And, of course, Kurimu/Chizuru.)

Everyone’s long awaited yet 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 Peyton Manning-levels of commenting awesomeness, at least get it up the quality of a Kurt Warner.

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 fall 2009.



One new wrinkle this time around (since it is football season)… I have a rule when watching NFL games. If any of the following quarterbacks are playing, I’m not going to watch that game no matter what: JaMarcus Russel, Marc Bulger, Brady Quinn, Trent Edwards, Daunte Culpepper, Jason Campbell, Kerry Collins, Jake Delhomme, and Derek Anderson. That’s about a fourth of the league. A fourth of the NFL has a QB that wild horses, free tickets, and scantily clad cheerleaders couldn’t get me to watch. That’s probably the most horrible it’s been in the NFL for some time.

This anime season… about as bad. There’s a lot of shows, but most of them make me wonder who green lighted these productions. Probably the weakest season since summer 2008 when Xam’d and Ryoko’s Case Files were the top shows. And… it turned out that they were indeed. Now that was a piss-poor season.

(Unlike summer 2008 when there were carryovers like Code Geass, Macross Frontier, Daughter of Twenty Faces, and Kyouran Kazoku Nikki, there’s like no carryover for this season. There’s only Needless and three episodes of Bakemonogatari.)

There’s just a lot of shows I didn’t have any interest in either because of its genre, pedigree, or whatever. They all get lumped here in this entry. I don’t know how good they are, and, frankly, I don’t care. Welcome Inuyasha Final, Yumeiro Patissiere, Natsu no Arashi, Sunred, Cool and Spicy, Miracle Train, White Album, Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret, Tegami Bachi, Koihime Musou, and Queen’s Blade to the JaMarcus Russell Zone.

(That’s over ten– TEN!– shows in the JaMarcus Russell Zone. I hope this makes the Inuyasha fanboys proud.)

#17. ROMO. TONY.


Watching Trapeze will make you gay. I don’t know how else to put it. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. I don’t care if that’s not a PC thing to say. I have three thoughts on this show besides how it makes Leonidas’ 300 seem heterosexual by comparison: one, I blame JC Staff for this. This show was a fill-in because JC Staff wasn’t ready with Nodame Cantabile Finale (something I looked forward to). Two, it’s about a shrink for a circus, or so I gathered… but I was too busy trying to wipe the blood that was flowing from my eyes. Three, I thought this was Shaft… but really it was beyond Shaft. The art style made me sick. Sure, it was innovative for Mononoke but at some point, you gotta tell a story and not rely on cheap animation gimmicks.

(Which, you know, Shaft finally did for Bakemonogatari. It told the story… and it was fabulous. Are we going to remember it for the gravure photo being stapled? Or are we going to remember it for the fantastic final scene under the stars?)

(Mitigating factor: this show felt like a South Park parody of gay anime.)



Tatakau Shisho The Book of Bantorra is from David, which is a studio founded by the ex-heads of Gonzo. And it shows. A mess of a show about how people turn into books when they die, and sinister people are doing sinister things to said books. The characters are unlikeable, the animation is poor, and the story is badly told. I started tuning out once during the scene when the bad guys were using humans drained of their souls as depth charges. I think I rather watch David Garrard throw yet another incomplete pass than watch this show.



It seems like every season, there’s an uninspired, vapid, boring, paint-by-the-numbers harem series with a lame hook. Let’s welcome Nyan Koi (wiki) to the ranks of Hatsukoi Limited, Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret (which, I guess, would double as the Rosario + Vampire Memorial “Did We Really Need This Sequel?” Award winner), Da Capo SS, H2O, Prism Ark, etc. The hook of Nyan Koi? The main character is allergic to cats… yet he has to fulfill the wishes of cats! What a hook. Bleech. If you’re wondering why this show isn’t in the JaMarcus Russell zone, it’s simple. I’ve never watched an episode of Nyan Koi before and thought maybe it could be better. Inuyasha… I’ve seen before. Unless it turns into a giant mecha slapstick show, I’m not interested.

(I know. For the off-chance it could be entertaining like Asu no Yoichi or at least palatable with tons of melonpan like Princess Lover. But Nyan Koi‘s not in either category.)

(Who would like this show? People who are paint-by-numbers harem anime nuts and love cats? It’ll be a miracle if people still remember this show five years from now.)



Sasameki Koto (Whispered Words) (wiki) is a slow, prodding yuri love series. I fell asleep somewhere after the ten minute mark… and I’d still rank it higher than Nyan Koi. I think Kanbaru might enjoy this series more than me. In fact, the target audience of this show might be Kanbaru. (Needless to say, I don’t think this is going to be a hot Blu-Ray seller. Nor do I think Carson Palmer is a good QB.)



CLAMP’s Kobato (wiki) is about a magical girl with an abusive stuffed animal familiar and develops a crush on a cool older guy. She also has to collect hearts, wings, or something. Ugh. I can’t wait for CLAMP’s next “new” series about a humanoid robot who can only say her name. I guess for magical girl genre lovers, this isn’t a bad show… the interaction between Kobato and Ioryogi is probably the most entertaining and best part of the show. Sadly, the rest of the show is just more of the same that we’ve seen before. Oh look, some sketchy guys are trying to lure poor Kobato somewhere! Oh look, she barely fails her magical girl exam but wait, a last minute change of heart!



Aya Hirano as the main star of a Toriyama-styled anime? Egads. The most distictive things to me about Fairy Tail (wiki) is (a) Aya Hirano using her Haruhi voice (b) Plue and (c) more Plue. The most impressive thing about this show is Lucy acting like the sane one, yet I keep hearing Haruhi’s voice. Weird. It’s like watching a romance series where Kallen and Lulu get together. Fairy Tail is very much in the same vein as One Piece and Groove Master Rave (which was so bad, it lasted maybe 1/10th as long of an anime as the manga) about plucky young ‘uns trying to save the world.

(Andohbytheway, same mangaka as Rave, which anime was so bad, it was canceled before the first arc was resolved. Of course, Syfy ran this after Gundam 00 and wondered why the ratings were so bad. Like, really, couldn’t get rights to Gasaraki or Full Metal Panic to air after Gundam 00 instead?)

(Mitigating factor: if only the animation was better… Lucy’s dress in the manga at least looked as hawt as Yuusaki-chan’s in To Love Ru but the anime version of that dress wasn’t even up to Minato’s standards in Akasaka. I’d say some of my readers are giggling… the rest are googling for Yuusaki-chan’s dress… while the others are terrified to google for Yuusaki-chan’s dress but will do so anyway.)



11eyes (wiki) reminds me a lot of Gift crossed with Chaos;Head with a dusting of Shana. In fact, it may be the unholy lovechild of Chaos;Head and Gift.

(I don’t like the way they draw the eyes in this series… they look so soulless. I’m just hoping that something interesting happens. It’s as bland as the next show on the list.)



I read The Sacred Blacksmith (wiki) manga before I watched the anime, and I thought back then, “This is one highly mediocre manga.” Now I think, “How the heck did this get an anime before The World God Only Knows or Mirai Nikki?” Basically, a girl with huge hopes and dreams tries to protect others using a guy who can manufacture katanas. All the characters fit nice stereotypes, and there’s really nothing interesting about this show. Except maybe the melonpan-infatuated supernatural blonde loli helper who looks like Ghostory‘s Shinobu that Luke has. (Where might I hire such a helper… ? blog好き could use one! Do I put an ad on Craigslist or something?)

(Andohbytheway, the rate at which swords and armor fail in this show… you’d think they were investment banks. Cecily would be Edward Libby.)



Always a bad sign when the first episode of Kiddy Girl-and needed to use a montage of scenes from the first episode because the OP wasn’t finished it. Though I can’t believe we’re getting a quasi-sequel to Kiddy Grade after seven years. Seven years! (Though this was my original time frame for a Haruhi sequel… let’s just hope it’s not the time frame for a K-On! sequel.) Who was around in 2002 when Kiddy Grade originally aired and watched the ultra-crappy Anime-Junkies fansubs of it? Can you imagine waiting seven years for the return of a mediocre fanservice action series? (This does depress me that I’ve been anime blogging for that entire period… when I could have done something more productive like go to med school, learn how to speak Russian, or even finish that Sudoku puzzle.) Are there any Kiddy Grade fans from 2002 left, and do they remember anything about that show besides Eclair’s numerous panty shots? And really, that’s all I want from my Kiddy Grade: ridiculous fanservice action.

(Wasn’t it GOTT? Am I missing something? GTO? WTF?)

(Oh gosh, Ascoeur is annoying as hell. Her voice… her actions… she’s like Arika Yumemiya after four Red Bulls. That alone knocks Kiddy Grade-and down a few notches. I miss Eclair and Lumiere already.)

(Ascoeur is one of two annoying-voiced, [possibly] lesbian super heroines who can teleport this season.)

(Mitigating factor: Satelight takes over animation duties from Gonzo… and even though the animation level if higher, the fanservice level is down. Way down. I hate this. This is almost as bad as Kyoto’s K-On! in terms of “fanservice the production company removed”. Plus, after watching Sora Wo Kakeru Shoujo, the correct studio for Kiddy Grade is Sunrise.)



Kyle Orton’s not a bad QB, but his time in Chicago poisoned his name enough that it was hard to trust him at all when he got to Denver. A few victories later? Everyone has bought into Kyle Orton. I kinda feel the same way about Kimi no Todoke (wiki). Normally, I’d stick an ugly duckling shoujo series (that didn’t feature classical music) in the JaMarcus Russell pile, but I’m going to give this one a chance to win me over. I liked the first episode with the nice but completely expected “Wait, he secretly viewed her that way all along!” twist at the end. I like Mamiko Noto voicing Sawako. I like Production IG’s visuals. I like how it’s an anime about nice people doing nice things (something scarily unreal on the “I hate you” interwebs). I don’t like the forced drama though, but that is again part of the ugly duckling shoujo genre. And is ugly duckling shoujo the female equivalent of the harem genre, except where guys fantasize about multiple partners, there’s only one that the ugly duckling shoujo wants?

(How are we supposed to take Sawako seriously as a scary person when she spends more time superdeformed than Mariya Shidou or Tomoki Sakurai.)

(Mitigating factor: if they played a muzak version of Staple Stable when Sawako and Kazehaya were under the stars, I might have ranked this higher.)



I enjoyed the original Asura Cryin’ (wiki) for the ridiculous and the over-the-top story. And, well, Asura Cryin’ 2 picks up right after where the first season left off. Hopefully this leads to Tomoharu realizing that he’s the mastermind behind everything (something made painfully clear within five minutes of season 2). Everything is just so ridiculous… there’s Rie Tanaka’s character who has missiles and grenades built into her body (yet she has to jump back and up to use them every time), there’s the creepy Burial Doll system where lolis are sacrificed to power mecha, the ghost who can’t touch things yet is able to change outfits, the three separate yet armed-to-the-teeth student councils, the creepy paizuri scene, and the fact that Tomoharu refuses to jump the living girl with expansive hopes and dreams and lusts for the dead girl who floats around.

(One of the in-jokes of the first season was Tomoharu’s inability to make warm milk. This seems odd to me in that in the US, when we warm milk, we just nuke it. Not hard to screw up. Then I realized that in Japan, sugar is added to warm milk. This got me thinking… what if I supersaturated warm milk with sugar much like how sweet tea is made? Just how much sugar can I dissolve in warm milk? So I poured 16oz of milk into a sauce pan, heated it up, and then started dumping sugar into it. I got up to over 20 tablespoons of sugar dissolved into the warm milk before I got a phone call. Then after the phone call, I completely forgot about the milk… went to watch an episode of Needless… and then when I returned to my kitchen, my milk burnt. It literally burnt due to all the sugar caramelizing and then browning and then finally burning. But it tasted really sweet from the supersaturating and the evaporation. Like “I could die from this sugar high” sweet.)

(Mitigating factor: this series needs more fanservice.)



You know something’s amiss when my biggest complaint about Kampfer (wiki) is the lack of fanservice. And it really could have done the genderbending better… on the genderbending rating scale from Otome wa Boku to Maria+Holic, it’s somewhere in between. It’s not as boring or slow as Otome, but it’s also not as well-executed, written, or awesome as Maria+Holic. And, yes, the bar is that high now for genderbending anime.

(Back at the end of the first season of South Park, Parker and Stone left off with a cliffhanger where Cartman’s dad would be revealed. So, of course, when the second season was about to begin, my friends and I were all glued to the TV set. It was more anticipated than Pam and Jim’s wedding. And you know what Parker and Stone did? They swapped out the episode with a Terrance and Phillip special. We were all flabbergasted. They punked us. Punked us bad. I refused to watch South Park or be nice to Canadians for two years after that. I feel like… considering that we’ve been punked twice by Kyoto Animation already, once with Endless Eight and once with the missing Mio panty scene,they could punk us again. Imagine… everyone sitting down with popcorn in hand, ready to enjoy the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie… and it turned out to be a Kyonko special feature instead.)



Unapologetic fanservice show that’s actually non-horrible. Sora no Otoshimono! そらのおとしもの (wiki)! Who knew? The setup is kinda like Aa! Megami-sama in that a random guy gets attached to a mysterious girl who commands mysterious powers. The difference… let’s see… where to begin… the guy, Tomoki, is a massive pervert. Massive. He has more pervy kinks than Arararararagi. (Though I especially enjoyed his orgy of pervertedness after he discovered he could get Icarus to freeze time. I can either confirm nor deny that would be what I would do if I could get a scantily clad angel to freeze time for me.) He claims that he just wants to be a normal guy, but once he got Icarus… wow. The girl, Icarus… she’s more of a vending machine than a Belldandy. “You want panties? Here you go.” “You want cash? Here you go.” Plus, she has zero personality. Zip. Zilch. Nada. The MISAKA clones have more personality than her.

(And I enjoyed the migrating panties.)

(Mitigating factor: Super deformed Tomoki reminds me a lot of Dan-kun from Bamboo Blade. But Dan-kun is more man than Tomoki can ever be.)



As I wrote before, if JC Staff, Shaft, or Kyoto (who aren’t doing anything right now) did Seitokai no Ichizon (wiki), this would be the show to watch this season. Sadly, Studio Deen doesn’t do this single room (!) comedy series justice. It’s a pity. It’s a cautionary tale of giving A material to D animation studios. Let’s just hope Studio Deen’s name never comes up when we’re talking about Mira Nikki or My Balls.

(Honestly, the best comparison would be surrounding the best player in basketball in his prime with a supporting cast of old, washed-up Shaq, Boobie, Mo Williams, and an European guy with bad hair. Basically, he should be winning multiple championships instead of getting knocked out in the Eastern Conference Finals. Oh wait a second…)



Things I like about Darker Than Black Gemini of the Meteor: Hei’s new rugged look (give him 150 more pounds and 4 more inches, he’d look like the anime Ben Roethlisberger), and his feelings toward Yin. The continued flashy, slick art style. The OP. The new ruminations that are even more over-the-top (I like the new one that requires the watching of harem anime… or is that just me?). Nakkid Yin flashbacks. The ditching of the 2 episode format. The Russians vs. CIA angle. What I don’t like about Darker Than Black Gemini of the Meteor: The ridiculous amount of ridiculous jargon. The ridiculous premise. The crappy new brother/sister characters. The people who think this series is anything other than above average.



To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) (wiki) is the side story sequel to Index kinda like Chrono Cross. Though I like to think of Railgun as JC Staff’s answer for Mai Otome. Let’s see… a small group of underaged heroine friends with worldbreaking superpowers… tons of lesbian overtones… all concentrated in a central learning city. Well, the similarities stop there. Railgun isn’t a trainwreck and actually does a good job at keeping Index‘s tone on a much smaller scale, and all the new characters are enjoyable (to the point that I’ll probably miss them when the core Index storyline restarts after JC Staff is done with Shana S). The story is also compact and standalone enough that if you haven’t seen Index, you’re not really missing much. Much like how Brees and the Saints can win many ways, Railgun can keep one interested with a variety of tricks: solid production values, entertaining stories, and lesbian fanservice in high definition.

(Honestly, the entry could have been five words long: “Lesbian fanservice in high definition.”)



Arguably the best quarterback thus far in the 2009 NFL season. Unfortunately, no anime from fall 2009 is in the same level as Peyton. Hence, there’s no #1 this season.


This season is a splendid pool of mediocrity, and without any shows continuing (well, Needless and Umineko) from the previous season, it seems even worse. Consider: we went from Bakemonogatari, Haruhi, Tears to Tiara (which had an awesome ending), Zan, Hayate, and Spice and Wolf to Seitokai, Darker Than Black, and Railgun. Now that’s a drop off.

To make things worse, there’s no destination show this season. It wasn’t like last season when everyone wanted to watch Haruhi and Ghostory ASAP. Am I really missing much if I didn’t watch Railgun one week? I think not. However, there are bright spots. Sora no Otoshimono could be a destination show, but I don’t think it has enough outside of glorious fanservice to last a few more weeks. (But prove me wrong!) Seitokai, while trapped with a D animation studio, is at least a B. Depending on if Studio Deen can get their act together… and if San Diego’s defense improves… we could have something interesting. (Never a good thing when the most anticipated shows during a season are an OVA for a show that had a Gainax ending seven years ago and the final web specials for a show that already finished its terrestrial airing.)

Darker Than Black and Railgun are what they are. Strangely enough, the key series for this season are Kimi no Todoke and Kiddy Girl-and. If Kimi no Todoke can suck me in like Nodame (and with Mamiko Noto, not far-fetched), it might be a solid middle ground show. If Kiddy Girl-and can capture some of the fun from the last half of Kiddy Grade, it might also be one solid show. Having a lot of solid shows during a season isn’t a bad thing either, especially considering the lack of that one great one.

And, finally… one last thought… is it because I’m getting old and jaded that these shows don’t appeal to me? Or is the quality of anime just getting worse because the anime studios are following the tried-and-true Hollywood formula of mediocre sequels and uninspired “new” works?

50 Responses to “thin slicing the new season, fall 2009 edition”

  1. But Sasameki Koto has an epic trap who, if he is a regular character, could surpass the legendary Mako-chan in his brokenness…

  2. The problem I have is that Seitokai no Ichizon IS Derek Anderson.

    He’s the most exciting 41.7 QB rating you can watch. Seitokai is the most interesting show this season run into the ground by a animation team that keeps dropping the ball.

  3. No Tom Brady level? He dropped 5 touchdowns in 1 quarter. What more do you want? I couldn’t finish EP2 of Seitokai no Ichizon. I’ll give it another try. I loved Railgun, even though I had never heard of it’s parent anime. Season is starting slow. Has me waiting for winter.

  4. Does noone watch Cross Game? Do long-running shows not count as carry-overs? Am I the only one that thinks it’s amazing >.>?

  5. This season is indeed mediocre at best, although some shows, especially Kimi ni Todoke, Fairy Tail and Seitokai no Ichizon show signs of potential B quality.

    I watched the first episode of Aoi Bungaku today. Depressing first episode telling the first part of Osamu Dazai’s modern Japanese classic “No Longer Human”. Madhouse does a solid job telling the story. Obviously easier to do a good job when you’ve got a solid story to base your show on, but still many studios fail to do just that.

  6. HolysmokesJason, you’ve gotta give Sunred a try.

    When you see the thuggish head of a sentai team grow older and blow his girlfriends money playing pachinko all day, occasionally beating up increasingly effete and domesticated supervillans in the local park; you know you’re watching with a real man.

    Watch it for the manliness, and the most moe old supervillan/homemaker you’ll ever see.

  7. I for one like Sora no Otoshimono just for the pure fan service. Where you can laugh when you see a flock of panties that the main character will shed tears for the scene alone. I kind of feel sad where kampher’s plot is going. I mean you have a top rate seiyus in a half ass show where reading the manga is better. I will probably still watch the series just for Inoue marina but that just me. Sasameki koto may be slow but it got a nice blend of comedy and yuriness. If you read the manga if will see the story will pick up.

  8. I still stand by my statement that Seitokai no Ichizon is a horrible show. Yeah, it has all the elements that could make up a great show, but it parades them in front of you and says “Look, we have them. LOVE US.” It doesn’t utilize them at all to their potential. I couldn’t watch past the first episode. Hell, even the “Oh wait, he’s a good guy at heart” ending made me gag.

    Where as I have been absolutely loving Darker than Black. Maybe it’s because I only watched the first series recently, but with all that’s been going on, and all the mayhem being sewn, I can’t wait to watch the next episode. Give me my Chinese Electric Batman dammit!

    I take it you weren’t a fan of Haruka Nogizaka’s Secret’s first season. I for one enjoined it, but I might be weird in that aspect. Still, how can you complain about a series which adds a mute loli who can lift a bus and starts with a hot spring episode, complete with meido sucking phallic vegetables?

    I don’t know, there are days like these where I feel you’ve completely lost touch with what actually makes a series good. You’re too stuck on traps. What happened to meido? And when you said Gainax should whore out Gurren Lagann… I think I died a little inside. Have you forgotten what that did to Evangelion? Come on man…

  9. I feel like I’m the only person on earth who actually kind of likes Tegami Bachi. Particularly the art style. But then again, I’m a fan of the artist to begin with.

    And yes, I did watch Kiddy Grade back in 2002. And remember it fondly. Despite the shitty bits at either end, the meat of the middle was fairly entertaining, sepecially for gonzotrash. I’ve sort of been looking forward to the sequel, despite how long it took. First episode was terrible though. Ascoeur must subsist on a diet completely comprised of sugar, caffiene and red food dye.

    If I had to choose between teleporting lesbians this season, it would be Kuroko, no contest.

  10. srsly, how can u skip over brady after last week? xD

  11. > ready to enjoy the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie… and it turned out to be a Kyonko special feature instead

    Unless this Maria+Holic lovin’ “Just shoot me. No way there’s a penis on this.” blog has had a recent shift in its tastes, but wouldn’t that be a good thing?!

  12. I have high hopes for Kimi no Todoke, as soon as I saw that Noto was the main voice I checked it out and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Maybe some day if it gets interesting enough I’ll see some blogs on it here.
    >>It wasn’t like last season when everyone wanted to watch Haruhi … ASAP.

    Really? I’m one of the biggest Haruhi fans I know and I still couldn’t have cared less to watch an ep.

    >>and Ghostory ASAP.

    Hell yeah.

  13. If it weren’t for the lack of fanservice, I think Darker than Black could be the catch-all series this season. Between the loli bro-con who finds comfort in a largish penis-like sniper rifle and the swordswoman who kisses other women to make up for her contract, I believe we have both an element of brokenness and lesbianism that has become requisite for this viewing crowd.

  14. It is indeed a weak fall season, almost the same as the current Tampa Bay results. Mike Nugent is the equivalent of The Book of Bantorra, Derrick Ward – Nyan Koi had some potential but lost to Cadillac Williams – Kimi no Todoke, Byron Leftwich – Fairy tail which will crash and burn after several episodes (i.e. becomes a “training” show).

    John Clayton would round up this whole fall season in 10 seconds…

  15. I’d be looking forward to Winter season but that looks terrible too.

    …Maybe Spring will be better…

  16. Kimi no Todoke is my favourite show so far this season, if only because every thirteen seconds it makes me go d’awwwwwwwwwwwwww. If Setokai no Ichizon turns out to be alright that will be good, its OP and ED are SHITE though. Railgun and Darker than Black are fun to watch, Black more so than Railgun, I hope people will forgive me but the reason I enjoyed Index was because of Touma, not Index. I actually thought the series was better without too much of Misaka and I was curious as to why she wasn’t in it much, I hope there will be some cross over but they seem to be making it pretty clear that theres no magic here. Darker than Black is suprisingly good to me. Not great………….yet, I’m worried I’m fooling myself though, but if that show is a two season show then they are going to have to do arcs right? Or am I judging it? Hobo Hei is great, I wonder if he still eats a lot, or maybe he’s changed to just drinking a lot. Here’s hoping that Bones figures out that Hei is the character to focus on and DOES THAT!

  17. I think you should give Trapeze another chance, yes the animation is artsy, BUT THE.DR.IS.AWESOME in part due to his random actions and in part because we dont even know what he is

  18. …you’re really good at NFL references, Jason onii-chan.

  19. Lackluster season is lackluster. I am only watching Kimi no Todoke and tentatively watching Kobato. I enjoy the Kimi no Todoke manga, but I the animu feels a lot more melodramatic to me? Kobato….well, I don’t trust CLAMP’s source material. I was suckered into 28 PAINFUL volumes of Tsubasa because of sakura/li fanservice only to get a seriously shitty and thrown together series (don’t get me started on the ending). See this:

    Back to watching Monster and rewatching Escaflowne and Utena.

  20. I don’t recall Anime Junkies subbing Kiddy Grade. IIRC the main two groups subbing the series were Anime Keep and Anime Haven, and I believe the worst group was Elite Fansubs, but I don’t believe they finished it.

  21. “… is it because I’m getting old and jaded that these shows don’t appeal to me?”

    I was starting to feel the same way recently. I really think it’s just the effects of a lack luster season. I think if getting old was the case, I wouldn’t feel the same way about anime that I hold in such high regard (TTGL, Haruhi etc.). I may not be pre-BT, but I did get scared that I was getting anime jaded already. Shows like Bakemonogatari and Eden of the East helped show me that quality animation and story telling can bring back that same *awesome* feeling all of the greats have given me in the past. I also learned that if a show with a top tier ranking comes back with a whole lot of nothing (Haruhi S2), the inner conflict can make a people borderline unstable.

  22. Wiat… wait… where is Tom Brady? I can’t believe you Jason, Mark Sanchez is in your list, but not Tom Brady… I’ve lost my faith in you.

  23. Dearest Jim errrrr Jason,

    “More of me and less of you…”

    And are you implying that Rivers in some way shape or form has some trappish tendencies?



  24. “Who was around in 2002 when Kiddy Grade originally aired and watched the ultra-crappy Anime-Junkies fansubs of it?
    (Wasn’t it GOTT? Am I missing something? GTO? WTF?)”

    I was around, but I don’t think I watched A-J’s shitsubs. :< And yeah … I honestly thought "GOTT" sounded cooler than "GOT"

  25. Of course GOTT sounds better. German always sounds better. I mean, what if Graf Eisen wasn’t German? Count Iron or Koutetsu no Hakushaku don’t sound nearly as cool.

  26. I think Cross Game is awesome, ddog! It’s a good manga adaptation. Too bad they took out every last bit of fanservice.

  27. Erm, if you’re doing as countdown surely there has to be a number one? Might not be a great show that you’d consider number one then 2 takes its place.

    It does seem that the majority of bloggers who have been watching anime for a long time seem to be unimpressed with this season. At the end of the day I watch stuff to be entertained, as long as there is brokeness, yuri and moe am a happy camper.

  28. There should be a Farve category for overhyped crappy shows (ie Haruhi season 2). You know he’s going to kill Minn by mid-november when it gets cold and the hype gets to his head and he starts throwing 4 picks a game again.

  29. I wish this season was less like NFL quarterbacks and more like NBA combo guards/swingmen! Would Bakemonogatari be Kobe or Lebron? I agree with some of the posters above:
    Cross Game and Kimi ni Todoke ++
    Tegamibachi, Electric Chinese Batman +
    Seitokai – (too much slapstick, forced humor)

  30. Hey Jason,

    This season may be horrible for anime but check out some of the new manga. Those who chase the Aghea is pretty good.

  31. I must admit, I just came off a large no-computer-use period (I call it Endless Eight poisoning) and ive come back to a fairly low-quality season. The only real highlights for me are To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (I read the manga online, and the storyline progresses good) and Kampfer (I saw it on a torrent site, and thought “I might like that” just from the title… then I read what its about.)
    I am thinking im going to get more miles out of my huge backlog of downloads, needs to finish, and need to watch shows.
    >> (a) Aya Hirano using her Haruhi voice
    Okay, I hadnt yet gotten to going down this season and checking for things that stand out, like VA. I guess this is promoted to “get ASAP”. Hmm… I wonder if there are any lines in Fairy Tail that could be substituted for a Haruhi line for 100% more laughs?
    >> I’d say some of my readers are giggling… the rest are googling for Yuusaki-chan’s dress… while the others are terrified to google for Yuusaki-chan’s dress but will do so anyway.
    I am part of the “terrified to google for Yuusaki-chan’s dress but will do so anyway” group. But mostly because Im at work. Unfortunetly, I didnt get a good picture, Will have to wait for home…
    >> Always a bad sign when the first episode of Kiddy Girl-and needed to use a montage of scenes from the first episode because the OP wasn’t finished it.
    It doesnt have to mean that. It could mean that they are holding back the spoilerrific opening until the second episode. Wish they could have done that for Kampfer. One watch of the opening, and I seemed to have the plot for the first 3+ episodes worked out. So far, ive been correct.
    >> Imagine… everyone sitting down with popcorn in hand, ready to enjoy the Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya movie… and it turned out to be a Kyonko special feature instead.
    …… ya’know, I could stand for them doing that….
    (I could have stood endless eight if they just went for broke and did one of them as a Kyonko version. Admit it, You could have put up with 7 episodes of the same thing if one of them featured Itsuko and Kyonko standing around in their swimsuits feeling dejavu while Haruki, Mitsuru and Yuuki are relaxing offscreen… … Its not too soon to hope for a DVD special…)
    I do need to give Nyan Koi! credit for the way the “Cats are invading my personal space!” graphics were done in episode 1. It reminded me of VISR mode in Halo3:ODST.
    Well, I have a 20+ list of shows I have to download, finish downloading, or otherwise continue with. That doesnt include things I forgot to watch. Or cursed existance for the creation of (I reciently ordered the Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya book… Does that mean I get to skip over episodes 10+ of Haruhi S2, or that I have to read the book WHILE watching episodes 10+ of Haruhi S2?).
    Oh, and finish 2 PS2 RPG games, 2 Xbox RPG games, 4 Xbox shooters, and a few other things… I need a holiday just to catch up on my entertainment backlog….

  32. Yea as far as Nogizaka goes I enjoyed the first season seemed pretty well rapped up by the end. Now I get to the second season and the relationship has been put back into anime romantic limbo for no reason and about half the episode is censorship fog.

    John: Over hyped and crapy = 7 and 0 season so far? o rly? At least he’s more fun to watch this year than my browns. Hell the Bangles are doing decent and that was with their snapper messing up most of their field goals and extra points(he finally got replaced after game 6).

  33. the only real evidence to date that Haruhi isn’t actually god is that Studio Deen still exists. If Kyoto had God to themselves there’s no way Studio Deen would see any mercy, yet somehow, for some reason, god keeps giving them A grade material. I mean it has to be an act of God that Deen gets shows like Higurashi and Seitokai to stamp with there seal of low quality. I love the writing, don’t get me wrong, but everything else seems half assed. And when your adapting your anime from another source good writting can’t really keep you afloat now can it? I would gladly have my fingernails ripped out for remakes of my Studio Deen favourites by any company that’s not Studio Deen.(or JC Staff)

    (…ok, even JC Staff)

  34. The Jets started off pretty will last year too.

  35. I saw Kiddy Grade when it aired, I liked the show, even blogged about it :x

    The sequel you’re right though… Ascour is even more annoying than what’s her face from Mai Otome as hard as that is.

  36. Man, when AJ was subbing Kiddy Grade, _I_ was still subbing stuff… I can’t remember what we were working on at that particular point in time – might’ve been Geneshaft or something of the sort. And as much as I’d like to ignore that part of my life, my name shows up on shows for Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar too. I just lost all credibility. Damnit.

    But anyway, just watched the first ep of Railgun – holy hell, I love the op theme. You didn’t even mention that one at all.

  37. I’d really compare Sora No Otoshimono to Dears…I mean their basically the same thing with one entity being an Alien and the other an Angel…I’m pretty sure we’ll get a useless battle that draws the attention from the comedy for no reason somewhere along the line…

  38. /cheer at the rating of Drew Brees. But there is seriously not enough fanservice in Railgun to go with the lesboniansim. Nor is there enough in Kampfer considering the gender-bending. Interesting to note that I’m not the only one who saw 11 Eyes as a poor man’s Chaos:Head. But what the hell have you got against Joe Flacco? Sora no Otoshimono!? Damn.

    Well, I guess everyone’s got to get blind drunk and take home the ugly trap at least once…


    Sorry to inform you guys, but Jason’s second guess is highly on the mark.

    RIP Anime Silver Age. You will be missed.

    Then again, they could just be in a Dark Age… wait, that’s good?

  40. Wait, you didn’t bother to rank Sunred? Sunred’s a rare life raft in this sea of mediocrity. If you haven’t given it a shot, at least watch the first couple episodes of the first season. It’s not like they’re that much of a time investment.

    Also, Nyankoi is, so far, better than you give it credit for. The asshole cats give this show potential to be one of the better ones this season if it doesn’t stray too far into generic harem land.

  41. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (A Certain Scientific Railgun) (wiki) is the side story sequel to Index kinda like Chrono Cross.

    Would that make Index-tan Radical Dreamers?

  42. Agree with you somewhat, just like last season. The only totally new Anime im watching now is Sora no Otoshimono(which still isnt very good, its just amusing). Everthing else is a continuation (FMA/Natsu no Arashi/Needless/Darker than Black) or spinoff/prelude(Railgun).

    Surprised you classified NnA as irrelevent. It clearly isnt, it is Shaft at their very best. To each his own though.

  43. The reviews this season are more entertaining than the actual shows themselves.

  44. And yet all the neglected shonen series are reaching a climax as we speak. you name it: one piece, FMA-BHOOD, DBKai, bleach ( well, maybe after the filler arc) but still the point is I think #1 this season should have gone to those never ending, average quality, filled with drawing errors, insanely milked shows just for the fact that – as you mentioned – which show is first on your “I want to find out what happens next” list

  45. Actually I find this better than a few seasons before. I’ve been watching a lot of the new fall shows and I’m quite surprised. Kampher for example? It gives off that…oh I don’t know how to put this but almost REAL fanservice without the overkill of panties galore as Sora no Otoshimono. Even 11eyes has an extensive amount. Think you’re really being a little harsh/overboard this year, it’s like how these days PC games are getting shafted while consoles are going far and beyond because of the piracy issues. You know? The “We won’t give off dedicated servers no more because douchebags on the internet like to pirate stuff so make your own listen server!”. So people aren’t even looking at them anymore because of those reasons. There’s gonna be a day where there WILL be dedicated servers and no ones going to notice it since there’s been too much of a trend of no-dedicated servers. By all means, give Kampher a little more time, you’d be surpised Chizuku is just…evil man and she’s hot what more could you ask for? Episode 4, go watch that.

  46. Though I can’t believe we’re getting a quasi-sequel to Kiddy Grade after seven years. Seven years! …Who was around in 2002 when Kiddy Grade originally aired and watched the ultra-crappy Anime-Junkies fansubs of it? Can you imagine waiting seven years for the return of a mediocre fanservice action series? …Are there any Kiddy Grade fans from 2002 left, and do they remember anything about that show besides Eclair’s numerous panty shots? And really, that’s all I want from my Kiddy Grade: ridiculous fanservice action.

    I’m still a big fan, which should be obvious from my comment here
    And yes, I still remember most of the previous plot, although I didn’t watch it when it aired in 2002. (I watched the higher quality DVDRips by KAA, as translation quality can make or break a show IMO.)

    …even though the animation level if higher, the fanservice level is down. Way down.

    It seems unlikely that you saw past episode 1 at the time you wrote that, since you probably would have thought differently after seeing that bath scene in episode 2. It was one of those rare occasions in which the steam did absolutely jack, and that’s always a “service” in my book. Needless to say, there’s still plenty of time for more since most shows don’t play all of their fanservice cards right off the bat. If I recall, the best Eclair fanservice came towards the end of the previous series, so I think it’s far too soon to say that the fanservice level is way down.

    You know something’s amiss when my biggest complaint about Kampfer is the lack of fanservice. And it really could have done the genderbending better… on the genderbending rating scale from Otome wa Boku to Maria+Holic, it’s somewhere in between. It’s not as boring or slow as Otome, but it’s also not as well-executed, written, or awesome as Maria+Holic. And, yes, the bar is that high now for genderbending anime.

    Again, regarding the lack of fanservice, I think your opinion would be different had you seen episode 4. The innuendo was through the roof. It wasn’t just awesome, it was aweplenty.
    Very few shows make use of the “subtle bounce” as Kampfer does.

    And, finally… one last thought… is it because I’m getting old and jaded that these shows don’t appeal to me? Or is the quality of anime just getting worse because the anime studios are following the tried-and-true Hollywood formula of mediocre sequels and uninspired “new” works?

    Thenightsshadow posed a similar question here
    This reminds me of when my tennis coach explained why all players seem to have “good” days and “bad” days. On some days it’s like you can never lose, and on some days you’d be lucky to win even a single match. Yet it is not the player’s skill level that changes, but rather the player’s state of mind or perspective. Similarly, with anime, there seems to be “good” seasons and “bad” seasons, yet the quality of the shows may not be what changes the most but rather the viewers perspective. From my perspective, this is looking to be a great season as I’m always looking forward to the latest KG2, Kampfer, Blacksmith, and Railgun, which are really starting to pick up pace. Not to mention I’m even more excited after seeing the Shakugan no Shana “Reshuffle!” OVA. Despite the fact that everyone knows what’s around the corner, they still say that this is a mediocre season. Can you say, “self-fulfilling prophecy”? wiki
    If someone goes around with the mindset that it’s going to be a terrible season, it’s no wonder they think all the shows are “mediocre”.
    This is the big flaw with “thin-slicing”, as once you’ve deemed a show “mediocre”, you risk being stuck in that mentality.
    As I said before, you guys are too negative. And too impatient. I mean, the season has barely started and already you’ve made up your minds as to the quality of the shows.

    With that said, I leave you with ShanaBox

  47. The new season holds up better after a few episodes. Nothing is particularly outstanding (No Bakemonogatari this time around) but there are a few enjoyable shows

    The biggest bummer is that an awful lot of female leads this season are just gratingly annoying, but you can just weed out those shows, I think…

  48. Yeah I agree K.K most of the female actress’ are quite the earsore, though I mean I can handle a few like Rie Tanaka and Horie Yui. The others I can’t seem to grasp why they would use some girls that have enough horsepower in their voices to make ears bleed.

  49. Yeah this is a pretty miserable season. I’m using my time to catch up on some of the mediocre animes from last season that just finished up, and might watch Kampfer a few episodes at a time.

    And yeah, Jason Campbell games are not worth watching. I have been a die-hard Skins fan my entire life and just do not look forward to game day like I once did. Looking back on it though, the Skins haven’t had a good QB in such a long time. Hell, last time we won the Super Bowl our QB was Mark Rippen, and I can’t think of anyone that’s even been as good as he was since then. A depressing thought.

  50. Latest Railgun finally brings in Touma for a significant appearance. The reason Misaka was my favorite character from Index was largely due to her interactions with him, so I’m glad he’s back. Also, best use of the T-word since Senjougahara labelled herself with it.

    Current tops in my personal thin-slice are Umineko, Railgun, Kampfer, and Seitokai, with Nyan Koi, Kobato, and Haruka Nogizawa bringing up the rear. Also watched the first two eps of Sora no Otoshimono out of curiosity, and I might just watch more. It’s bad, but it’s so over-the-top that it keeps things interesting.

    Also, it’s been great getting to watch Favre pull off last minute drives *for* my team rather than against them. If he stays healthly, does it mean that Kiddy Girl& will be the breakout hit of the fall season?

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