31
Dec
08

End of Year Rundown – 2008

no relation

This year was filled with all sorts of shows. Good shows, average shows, “I-ought-to-watch-these-some-other-time” shows. I’ll be doing a verylong rundown on what I think is a list of all of the shows I’ve watched for the first time within the year. VERY tl;dr post up ahead, grazing past 2500 words. Read it or skip along as you please.

Great Shows

ARIA

Best show ever. I love it to death. There is no world to save, to women to swoon, and no wars to intervene. Just a peaceful day in Neo Venezia. It makes my world more and more wonderful. I’ve yet to finish the ORIGINATION – the part where Akari graduates to a Prima – however. I’m saving that for when I graduate from high school (just a few months way).

CLANNAD (+after story)

Another masterpiece this 2008. Combines beautiful visuals and some top-class voice acting with already-incredible source material to make a great slice-of-life comedic drama. One of the few shows to have me laugh out loud (ie: Kyou storeroom scene), and almost cry. A shame I spoiled myself on the story details. Damn Wikipedia.

Code Geass (+R2)

Watched a portion of it last year – 8 episodes of the first season – before my laptop couldn’t handle the higher quality encodes. Decided to watch again when I heard Suzaku went back to Lelouch. Shallow reason, I guess. Turned out to be a total mess of a story and characters, but the suspense created when watching kept me on such a high that I didn’t really notice until people pointed it out, albeit indirectly.

ef -a tale of memories-

Did a marathon of it earlier this year. Couldn’t interpret any symbolism because of my limited experience with interpretation of… stuff, but the show itself was incredibly good. A number of scenes really struck me (case in point) and I might get to rewatching it much later in college, assuming I haven’t lost my hard copy, just to try and dissect the stuff a bit more.

kurenai

Another interesting drama with a hint of action mixed in. The different production process (recording before animation) helped make the dialogue even more effective (ie: people talking all at once, etc.) and in many cases, funny. Character designs and the animation (as well as the OP/ED) put me off at first, so I dropped it, but then watched it all again later in the year. Not a single regret.

true tears

Super-high-definition quality animation, dynamic (and therefore interesting) characters, slice-of-lifey drama makes this a winner in my department. I kind of found it funny that this was one of those rare cases where the anime isn’t just on an equal level with the game, or even just on some degree of being better, but apparently, vastly superior compared to the source material. PA Works works magic.

Eve no Jikan

A very varied, well-rounded cast, interesting direction, fantastic animation, and a matter we most certainly can relate to soon enough. The show’s main draw for me is the generally lighthearted tone, entertaining dialogue, and the characters that engage in it. All the while, it tackles the ever-approaching issue of how we humans can come to accept androids in modern society.

Ga-rei Zero

The show begins with a bang – one of the most powerful beginnings I’ve seen in quite some time. After two episodes of utter hell on earth, the timeline resets back to where it began. Unbeknownst to the characters, they are already on the one-way trip back to the first couple of episodes by the time the third installment begins. Of course, with the prior knowledge that there is no escape away from the bloodbath to come, we can only watch on as everything slowly spirals into oblivion.

Kannagi

An irresistibly entertaining slice-of-life comedy. Very interesting direction from the man who wasn’t “good enough” to direct Lucky Star. A fun cast with their own distinguishing traits and lots of funny dialogue. Almost makes me think of a sitcom, but not quite. Totally derails from the supernatural element sometime mid-series, but then starts getting back to it around episode 11, which is actually a shame becase I kind of liked singing soybean songs and godly animated bread.

Kino no Tabi

I got this ages and ages ago but I never found the resolve to watch it. When the second movie came out, I thought it was a good excuse to start; stopped a few episodes before the finish and I only polished off the rest of the show around a couple of months ago. To me it presented quite a number of different truths about the world in general, but it never really took a particular side, which perhaps leaves the rest to the viewer. I kind of wish she used her Persuader more though.

Good / Decent Shows

Kyouran Kazoku Nikki

Kinda entertaining, but it left me a pretty so-so feeling overall. Cast was too huge and everything was awfully messed up. They would leap all over the place and there wasn’t really a lot of actual coherence. Minor side characters ended up used once or twice, then forgotten completely.

Gundam 00

Keeps the bit of balance for what I watch. Sometimes the show gets a little predictable, but the show ‘s still average as a whole. Also, Revive Revival is one of the dumbest names ever.

Strike Witches

I know this was pretty popular because of its ability to pander to so many fetishes – loli, girls with guns, military unifoms, animal ears, mecha-musume… and so on. It was an enjoyable show, however, but the two more filler-ish episodes should have been screened perhaps at a later date because they break the flow of the series, similar to those two horrible episodes about Lavinia (was that her name?) that were just haphazardly crammed in the middle of Soukou no Strain.

Kemeko DX

The show was actually pretty awesome with the insane OP, but as the show progressed, it felt like it was slowly losing some of that steam – some of that whacked-out insanity that was more prominent in the earlier part of the show. Trying to merge a more coherent plot with the likes of this show is a little tough, I think.

Koihime Musou

Another one of those “guilty pleasure” shows. It’s easy to watch and it’s more or less enjoyable, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s good. Just… enjoyable. I didn’t end up hating the show with the passion because I’d never read the source in the first place – and I highly doubt I ever will.

Shana II

Continuing the Shana series. The Hecate clone, Konoe Fumina, had a little too much attention from the first part of the show. It eventually picked up with the action, leaving the exposition behind every so often, but I think the show still somewhat pales in comparison to the first series. Plus, there weren’t any OPs/EDs by Takahashi Youko. Boo.

Zero no Tsukaima III

Oh my god, utter torture now. Compared to ZnT season one, this show is exponentially worse. The whole ZnT anime franchise  seems to be on a downhill slope to mediocrity. And boobs. Lots and lots of boobs. Except Louise though, she’s like, the anti-boob.

ToraDora!

I watched this when it came out, but then ended up dropping it because Taiga’s 99% tsun behavior annoyed me to no end. And then Ami comes along and wham I’m back in again. ToraDora’s a pretty relaxing watch though there isn’t any particular reason why, if I were forced to drop it, I wouldn’t.

Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu

It’s a very safe sort of show that somewhat appealed to the otaku in me the same way Konata appeals to other people – because we have the same hobbies and therefore do not feel alone and isolated and singled out by society as misfits or rejects.  Nothing good, nothing bad; nothing special, but nothing too clichéd either.  Filler-y series – sort of like convenience store food; it’s not going to be particularly healthy or unhealthy but it’s fun and enjoyable to eat anyway.

Macademi WAsshoi!

Okay, guilty pleasure, but it’s pretty fun to watch (episode 10’s end was srs bzns though). It’s not too reference-loaded like ZSZS or LS, and it really caters to the otaku group. Plus, it’s actually some competent animation by ZEXCS!

Dropped Shows

iDOLM@STER Xenoglossia

Didn’t like mecha much and it just felt weird overall. Didn’t fit the iDOLM@STER thing in the slightest.

Hyakko

Hit-and-miss humor… totally missed. I love the part in episode one where they play Vivaldi’s Winter in Allegro con Molto and it matches up with the dialogue though.

Mnemosyne

Nudity + Sex + Guro + Noto Mamiko. I don’t really like the first three in my regular watch list, and the third is just right out no.

Kimi ga Aruji, Shitsuji ga Ore de

I don’t quite remember the title, honestly, so I’m not sure if that’s right or not. Either way, it’s not so much a lack of concern for the series as it is a lack of time. School picked up and I eventually had to cull my view list. The show isn’t worth getting much later on anyway so it’s dropped forever.

Minami-ke Okawari

Continuation to Minami-ke, but with completely different staff. Same with KimiAru. It was somewhat fun to watch, but only at times.

Sekirei

I thought it was pretty neat, but then I just got tired of it 11 episodes in. No desire to go back to it.

Slayers Revolution

Another season of Slayers after what, a decade or something? Watched it because everyone said Slayers was cool. The annoying furball constantly ruined the show, and I just lost interest altogether.

Soul Eater

Another shounen thing. ‘Twas a light show to watch, but I also ended up dropping it to trim down my watch list. That and I didn’t have space on my disk.

Special A

I don’t really know what genre this is so I’ll just say it’s a school love comedy. Ended up losing interest because it got pretty boring.

Vampire Knight

Romance-y shoujo-y stuff with vampires. And vampire-haters. I think I just lost motivation after the second episode, mostly because there were other, better shows airing.

Earl & Fairy

Or Hakushaku to Yousei, though everyone seems to be calling it E&F anyway. Romance-y, shoujo-y stuff with fairies. It got a little boring when all they do is run away and then Raven zooms in, beats them up, allowing them to escape, ad infinitum.

Wagaya no Oinari-sama

Supernatural with some slice-of-life. I don’t quite recall why I stopped watching this, but I think it was a combination of a busy schedule and dwindling interest.

Yozakura Quartet

A bunch of teen youkai and a human protect their town from evil youkai. Mediocrity at its finest. Constantly on the boundary between good and bad, which is no reason for me to continue watching it. Plus the only encodes that ever came out had pretty bad raws (grainy, sometimes pixelated).

Zettai Karen Children

A bunch of ESPer kids protect Japan from disasters and bad ESPers and stuff. Lost interest in it after a while, plus I’m not really fond of long series (ie: more than a season’s worth, though there are a lot of exceptions).

Rental Magica

Magician rental company solves weird supernatural cases, all while trying to keep within the green. I lost interest in this too, though I doubt I’ll get back to it; Rental Magica was just so-so for me.

Shows I ought to watch/finish some time over the summer

H2O ~footprints in the sand~

First thing I thought of this was that poem. And apparently it would be a show that would rock my soul. I got it but sadly never had the time to fully watch it. Seeing as a number of people said it was pretty good, I’ll go and watch it. Also there is a trap which is reason enough for me to watch.

Spice and Wolf

It was an entertaining slice-of-life, with economics(!) mixed in. I sort of stopped at the part where Lawrence gets beaten and tied up, for some reason, and I never got back to it. Probably will rewatch from a few episodes before that onwards. A shame the animation is so… subpar.

Hayate no Gotoku

I liked the show quite a lot, actually, though I lost steam following the manga. Just need to finish up the last couple episodes, though I have this tendency to never finish shows I like because when it’s finished, it feels like it’s all over and I’ll never have anything to look forward to anymore.

Hidamari Sketch x365 (+HidaSke)

It got really busy thanks to school so I ended up dropping both shows after a few episodes. Perfect to watch on a daily basis during summer.

Hitohira

Likewise, it got busy and I couldn’t keep up with it anymore. I tried picking it back up around fall, but I lost interest in it too. No idea if I’ll ever get to finishing it.

Xam’d

Subs stopped some time ago at around 10+ episodes. Now that it’s picking back up, I’ll probably marathon it early next year.

Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

British black humor in anime + Shinboism = awesomeness. a.f.k. suddenly vanished a while back so subs never really picked up again, which is a shame. If I can get my hands on a batch release I will definitely go and deprive myself of some 5 odd hours of sleep for this.

Shigofumi

The show got me down often because it was always so melancholic. I’ll marathon this over the summer when I’m more in the mood for less sugary stuff.

World Destruction

Bunch of misfits end up getting together and try to destroy the world. It wasn’t necessarily a good show, but I sort of have this desire to want to know how the heck the show will end.

Natsume Yuujinchou

The supernatural aspect didn’t really click with me so I’m not sure if it’s really my thing, but a lot of people liked it, so I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt. Again.

Shows that needed more love (subs)

Hatenkou Yuugi

It was a pretty good show with a cocky, capable, go-getter female lead, but I only ended up seeing what, two, three episodes subbed. A quick search on Tosho has only 5-6 episodes available too, which is a shame. Plus, Heartbreaking Romance is a great song.

Toshokan Sensou

When it came out, there weren’t a lot of subs for it, so I gave up. Of course, they’re more plentiful, but the lack of them during its time meant that I couldn’t watch it without resorting to raws, and I prefer not to watch them until I can get to a level of JLPT2 or 1.

Special Shows

Chaos;Head

Because the animation was even worse than so-bad-it’s-good; it was so bad it’s funny.

Kanokon

For screwing all semblance of logical plot and shoving boobs in the viewer’s face.

And… the end. Last thing I’ll do this new year is probably rennovate my theme again so it displays more text.

PS: no tags because, well, you know.

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4 Responses to “End of Year Rundown – 2008”


  1. December 31, 2008 at 8:09 pm

    Looks like you’ve had a busy year! I wish I’d had the time to watch this many shows. It can only get harder from now on because many of these titles will soon be licensed and ethics will compel me to get the DVDs.

    Good call on the rankings, for the most part (as far as the series I’ve seen are concerned, that is). I’d promote ToraDora! to the first tier (along with some shows in your “to finish over the summer” list), but that’s probably the only divergence.

    I’m glad you’re planning to give Natsume Yuujin-chou another chance. Believe me, I didn’t think I’d like it at first because supernatural themes aren’t my cup of tea either.

  2. January 1, 2009 at 2:44 am

    I do try to practice ethical anime viewing too, but because I can only stretch my wallet so much for DVD’s I will never actually watch…
    Also, I would’ve put some of the to-watch-over-summer shows in the “great show” list, but because I never watched or finished them, I can’t give a proper opinion about it. They will be recategorized in the following year. Hopefully.

  3. January 1, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Seems like a good year for you 🙂

    I somehow ended up to tired to write a post of this magnitude, so I´ll just have to choose an image and then write some kind of rant about this year that soon is over. If I can stay awake that long :p

  4. 4 M12
    January 3, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Wow, you’ve pretty seen all the shows out there! It must’ve been an amazing year XD.


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