While I really liked Flag a lot for all the reasons and themes stated above, their marriage of mecha battle, war journalism and peace messages didn’t work as well as they hoped, possibly because it doesn’t bloody make sense. The mecha should’ve been left out entirely, that might have made Flag an ultima-class anime. Pity though because the mecha are really well designed and animated, and the combat’s realism (for anime standards) makes the battle scenes exciting. One thing recent mecha shows fail to do is the make the viewer realise the value of the machine. In Flag, we are subject to lots of time spent showing maintenance and cost of the vehicles, and I really felt the wallet pinch when one of them got destroyed. In the recent mecha shows like Gundam and Linebarrels, the mecha are dispensible, cheap and can be repaired instantly, which cheapens their value.
Nevertheless, I’ll still categorise Flag as an A- minus, in the same bracket as Full Metal Panic: Awesome but flawed seriously. (FMP is flawed because the Lambda driver is shit).
Going back to my first point, anime that tries and fails can be a huge financial liability, which explains why in this economic climate, studios tend to favour safer formulas and cheap animation, rather than huge budgeted stuff. It’s the time of the season when every show is ending, and so far, I’ve seen like 5-6 last episodes, all of which were rubbish, maybe except Toradora’s, which wasn’t exactly good either. Akikan had a really bad generic ending, where the Mixed Juice can got defeated by the power of love. Ew. Clannad had some lameass reset ending. Ew. Asu no Yoichi had the final arc involving the big boobed girl’s kidnap, and it was terrible. Worst last episode ever. Ew. Druaga had some cliche brother rivalry final battle, ew. I didn’t even know Index ended! Wtf was that. Munto was just bad, full of senseless ramblings.
Many of the shows which I thought had potential turned out average. It’s pretty obvious that at this time, the studios are just pandering to the otaku/fanboy crowd, for short-term profits. Look at Gundam 00, it’s the best example. Over the course of its run, it has warped into some unrecognisable mess with at least one major battle each episode to satisfy mecha fanboys.
Interestingly, I still found many of the shows a joy to watch, which can be attributed to my high threshold of anime tolerance. It takes quite a bit for me to classify a show as a grade A one, but I can easily watch grade B ones without complaint.
Here’s my list of which shows succeeded this season in pleasing me.
Despite its flaws, Gundam 00 pleases me like how porn pleases me. Druaga may have disappointed us with its ending, but overall was still a good GONZO attempt. I mean, GONZO is like your semi-vegetable retard friend who shouts a lot, if he can feed himself without spilling then he deserves praise. One Outs was excellent despite having a lull around episode 20-24, and the current "Let’s injure Tokuchi" arc is brilliant. Birdy 2 was even better than Birdy 2, with an equally good opening song.
The dark horse as you can see here is Inazuma 11. I don’t think English fansub groups have touched it, but this show is bloody brilliant. It’s a sports show that follows the superpower route, and you can only score goals if your shot has a funky name and animation and surpasses the power level of the goalkeeper. It’s one of my favourite shows strangely enough, which might be a sign of me becoming old since in the past I would’ve hated such shows.
Here’s the list which promised to please me but failed to.
Asu no Yoichi
I really thought Rideback’ll be good, but the latter half just went by without anything much happening. I suppose it’s good if you think about it being realistic in terms of portraying Rin’s helplessness,but it’ll have been a great show had it been 26 episodes long. It just feels too short now. Soul Eater is all anime-original now and doesn’t make sense anymore. Asu no Yoichi is a weird one, it started out with zero expectations, then surpassed it, and became the victim of its own success. The ending arc was the worst I’ve ever seen and all Yoichi’s moves, from 1-8, are the same except for the tornado one. Clannad was good for the most part and I would’ve thought better of it if it didn’t have the lazy ending.
Here’s the list of shows which are still pleasing me very much.
Sora wo Kakeru Shoujo
Sorakake is the best show that began this season and Major has always been good. Tytania is weirdly ending at 26. Why? Erin has been a pleasant, unboring slice of life style show. It’s like an action version of Aria without the lameness and the beauty, but with more animals.
Here’s the list of shows which I forced myself to sit through and still thought were shit.
Tales of the Abyss
Munto is one of the most well-animated sacks of shit ever seen on the face of this Earth.
Apparently I didn’t hate that many after all. What do you guys think? Which shows did you watch and hate?