PrettyKitty20034's Anime

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Rumbling Hearts (TV) Very good Yes, it's a little like a soap opera, but I really enjoyed it regardless. I particularly enjoyed how the relationships were handled in a more adult way as opposed most anime I've seen. Also, while the plot itelf obviously wasn't realistic, the way the characters dealt with it and each other felt very real. So, if you are a fan of emotional stories, I'd give this one a try.
Yama no Susume (TV) So-so With twelve episodes at approximately 3 minutes apiece, "Encouragement of Climb" doesn't require much investment of one's time. It's an inoffensive "cute girls hanging out" kind of show, with a slight focus on hiking. It's not long enough or interesting enough to make any sort of impression beyond completely mediocre.
(Completed watching March 2013)
Strait Jacket (OAV) Weak With its cardboard characters and paint by numbers plot, I could barely summon enough interest to even finish watch this movie. I frequently found my attention wandering, and no amount of cool explosions or grotesque gore was enough to make up for the lousy writing.
(Watched July 2012)
Witchblade (TV) Excellent Witchblade was a lot better than I was expecting. What I expected was a shallow excuse to flash boobs and blow stuff up, what I got instead was a show that focused on characters, family and relationships (and some stuff got blown up too). Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I did feel the ending was a bit rushed. A lot was crammed into those final two episodes. They probably could have used another episode on the end and spaced it out a little. I liked it though; it was an excellent show.
(Completed watching April 2009)
Welcome to the NHK (TV) Excellent Who knew watching disfunctional people blunder through life could be so entertaining? The characterization was the making of this show, since the characters were so well written. Everyone was flawed in some way and felt very human. The English voice acting was really excellent as well. I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters in this series. It was easy to root for them and I was disappointed whenever Sato had a set-back or poor Misaki got shut down. In short, I really loved this show. It was quite realistic and pretty far removed from most anime I've seen.
(Completed watching September 2009)
(The) IDOLM@STER (TV) Good While usually not my kind of show (lots of girls is not a hook for me) I decided to sample the first episode of Idolm@ster on Crunchyroll. It creatively introduced all 13 girls via a reality show style format where they introduced themselves and we watched them interact. It was surprisingly entertaining, so I decided to keep watching. The second episode was super cute, and I got a couple of laughs out of it. However, the third ep nearly did me in, as it featured shy, stuttering Yukiho, whose extreme fear of men is just unbelievable for an aspiring idol. I must say that the animation in this show is consistently good, with detailed an fluid motion, making even a regular ol' beach episode fun to watch. Also, the lack of skeevy fanservice is another point in its favor. I'm really surprise that I enjoyed this show as much as I did. It's very simple, with a straightforward plot and one-note characters, but in execution it all comes together and is a lot of fun.
(Completed watching April 2012)
B Gata H Kei - Yamada’s First Time (TV) Decent While the premise is rather seedy, this show is basically an otaku sex comedy. Yamada is the prettiest girl in school, yet she's awkward with guys and a virgin. Her goal is to get a bunch of guys to have sex with and she sets her sights on Kosuka, a really bland, meek average guy sort to be her first because he's so nonthreatening. Really, the show is basically designed to pander to nerdy otaku who can than fantasize that pretty girls secretly want to have sex with them. Yamada is a "tsundere", that annoying and unbelievable character trope where most of the time she's cold and bitchy towards Kosuka, but only because she's shy or embarrassed. Despite it's reliance on tropes and otaku pandering, the show is not terrible. I found it mildly entertaining for a middle of the road otaku show, good for a one time watch only.
(Completed watching November 2011)
(Le) Chevalier D'Eon (TV) Good While overall I liked this, I wish I could rate it higher. Unfortunately, I thought the story was a little bland, as were the characters. It was visually beautiful though, and I liked the setting.
Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa Good While not as good as the TV series, I did enjoy this movie. Sure, the plot felt tacked on and the villian was lame, but revisiting the characters again for more story was just so much fun. There were a few plot holes here and there, but I was able to ignore them and just go along for the ride. The ending felt kind forced though, both Ed's leaving and Al following him. Both actions seemed sort of contrived, the first for some cheap sobs and the second for a cheap happy ending. If I don't let myself think too deeply about it though, the FMA movie was fairly good. I was entertained.
(watched February 2011)
Sakura Wars: The Movie Decent While it was really excellently animated, the Sakura Wars movie was rather ho-hum overall. I've seen the TV series, so the movie didn't lose me, but it does assume one has prior knowledge of the franchise. This was obviously a big budget movie, with lots of care taken with the art and animation. Too bad the story wasn't up to par.
K-ON! Season 2 (TV) Decent While I mostly enjoyed the first season of K-ON, this second season seriously dragged. It is literally a show about nothing, and while it worked for Seinfeld, the characters in K-On are just not interesting enough beyond "cute". These characters are exactly the same as when the show started 41 episodes ago, never changing or growing. They even all apply to the same all girls college, where I guess they will continue doing what they do to eternity. Which leads me to another thing that pulled me out of the story, the sort of fairytale-land all girls world with practically no male characters at all. They are very rarely seen and never talked about, like a white unicorn. It gave a sort of wish fullfillment vibe for the male viewer, where these pure maidens will stay childlike and pure forever. It kind of creeped me out. My tastes for shows like this run toward the more realistic, like "Girls' High". Watching childlike high school girls drink tea, eat cake, and occasionally play music barely kept my interest. I'm glad I watched this once, as it wasn't bad, just a little boring. I believe that as far as "cute girls" series go, this is pretty much the standard.
(Completed watching October 2012)
Bubblegum Crisis: Tokyo 2040 (TV) Good While I enjoyed this show, it had some problems. The first was some mediocre English voice acting. To be fair, it wasn't helped by a script full of cheesy lines. The music (especially Priss's singing) was ear bleedingly bad as well. The plot was fun and action packed but it suffered from some minor plot holes here and there. Just enough to elicit an eyeroll, but not enough to kill my enjoyment. Despite the blips, I found Bubblegum Crisis to be a fun and entertaining action show.
(Completed watching September 2009)
Fate/stay night (TV) Good When I first watched this in 2007, I was very new to anime. I liked the show then, even though I found it a little confusing. Now that I've finished Fate/Zero, I decided to give it a re-watch. Honestly, now that I have the proper context, I can see that it is not that good of an adaptation. However, this show becomes much better with Fate/Zero to fill in the blanks. The characters are much more interesting if you know the back story and the relationships between them. Sadly, this show lacks visual interest, as the fight scenes are very static looking, especially in contrast with the wonderfully high budget Fate/Zero. Fate/Stay night just looks cheap in comparison. The laser focus on Shirou and Saber is also a detriment, as none of the other master servant pairs are given a chance to stand out. Despite some big problems, overall I did enjoy the show. As a fate fan though, I'm sad because it could have been better.
(Completed re-watch October 2012)
Now and Then, Here and There (TV) Excellent What a great story this turned out to be! I went into it expecting something bleak and sad, and while it wasn't a happy story at all, it wasn't exactly sad. It does end happily, even though the characters go through hell to get there. The simplistic character designs weren't my thing, faces were really round and noses were very triangular, but the plot is so great that it didn't matter. I listened to the English and thought it was well acted. This show definitely demands a rewatch someday.
Gungrave (TV) Excellent What a great show this turned out to be! I originally watched the first few episodes a couple of years ago and didn't care for it. Recently I decided to give it another try and I'm glad I did. Although somewhat depressing, the story was excellent. The character development deserves an A+ too. My only nitpick is personal preference: depressing stories depress me, so they're not usually my fave.
Living for the Day After Tomorrow (TV) Excellent What a fine drama this turned out to be. The characters are well written and their actions are believable. It never tips the scale into pure melodrama either. There are no "otaku pandering elements", i.e. moe content, fan service, or other gimmicky plot elements. I was seriously worried for a second there at the beginning, when we find out the bro & little sis were not blood related. Thankfully, it doesn't go down the creepy incest path. This show was really an unexpected gem, because on the surface it looks like just another moe otaku show, but it truely isn't.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Geobreeders (OAV) Not really good Well, I didn't hate it, but I can't say this OVA is particularly good either. In fact, I don't have much to say about it, as it's the kind of brainless viewing that barely leaves an impression. It's centered around a group of oddballs who run a security firm and hunt phantom cat things. I gathered that is was to be an action packed comedy, but it was like the plot was barely cobbled together with duct tape and twine, and peppered with a lot of gunfire and explosions. The comedy also completely failed to register with me. I was however, entertained in a very mindless way, so it wasn't a total waste.
(Watched September 2012)
Piano (TV) So-so Watching this show was akin to watching grass gorw. It is a very slow moving slice of life about a middle school girl at that age just at the start of adolescence where boys become interesting instead of gross. She's a very quiet type with almost no personality, which is a problem as her piano instructor asks her to perform in an upcoming recital. The series pretty much centers on her finding the confidence to do stuff. It's not a bad show by any means, just a tad boring. It looks extremely dated in the art department as well. I didn't hate it, but I will never watch this again.
(completed watching July 2012)
Tokko (TV) Not really good Watching this is like watching a cheesy B horror movie. It's entertaining, but still pretty bad. The plot is full of holes and feels made up as it went along, and there is no conclusion. I tried to turn my brain firmly off for viewing, but it didn't quite work. I couldn't help wonder why Kureha was fighting demons topless, or why the uniform was black leather and crosses (I guess someone thought it looked cool? Fail. It was cheesy.). Just lots of ridiculous things that pulled me out of the story, which was also ridiculous. Also, the characters are flatter than cardboard. None of them have any depth, so it's hard to care what happens to them. The animation is a joke. The action scenes are all stills. Also, this is one anime where the sub is worse than the dub. The japanese track plays this shitfest completely straight, while the English livens it up a bit with some humor. This show is impossible to take seriously, so the English dub fits the show far better. In the end, I found the show to be an entertaining trainwreck. I almost can't believe I kept watching for all 13 episodes.
(Completed watching December 2010)
Neo Angelique Abyss -Second Age- (TV) So-so Watching the second half of this show, my opinion is the same as the first, a boring tedious story with nice visuals. Angelique and her band of pretty boys are still fighting demons, although the villians are marginally more interesting this time around, as they were allies in the first season. I find Angelique's cat extremely annoying, as the token "cute" mascot character. They used a human voice actress to do the meowing and it sounds affected and artificial, especially when the thing participates in conversation like a human. Animals don't express themselves that way, they just don't. It's funny in a show as flawed as this one that I get hung up on an animal portrayal, but there you go. Everyone has their breaking point. I thought the ending, despite being conclusive, was really stupid. The whole concept of the Erbos was a plot hole big enough to drive a truck through. In the end, I found this show to be a bland, badly written cheesefest, the kind of show thats ultimately forgettable.
(Completed watching December 2011)
Vexille - 2077 Isolation of Japan (movie) Good Vexille is a half-decent sci-fi movie. Plotwise, nothing distinguishes it from other movies like it. What sets it apart is definitely the visuals. The plot may be ultimately forgettable, but the art and animation aren't. I did enjoy it and will probably watch it again just to see the eye-candy.
Demon Prince Enma (OAV) Good Unlike most "horror" anime I've seen, this one is actually succeeds in being genuinely creepy. Rather than relying on blood and gore, this one has a very atmospheric sort of spookiness. The last two haunted house epsiodes are especially horror movie like. The show is short at only 4 episodes, and a lot is not explained, but it still manages to be entertaining if not particularly deep. Overall, I liked it.
Wizard Barristers: Benmashi Cecil (TV) So-so Ugh. This show had so much potential but didn't deliver. The premise was intersting and different, about a law firm that defends wizards accused of magical crimes. The lead character was an annoying purple haired space-case. The show's story ended up being undercooked, and the animation budget was nonexistant. Some episodes were barely animated and characters were off model more than they were on. Not that it mattered, as characterization was almost nonexistant. I've seen worse, so I can't say that the show was terrible, but it wasn't good either. I wished it was better.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Tweeny Witches (TV) Decent Tweeny Witches is different in that it just doesn't look like other anime. The plot was simple: save the alternate magical world from destruction. The lead characters were three teen girls. That's pretty much where the similaries to other anime end. Tweeny Witches looks more like a western cartoon with it's more realisticly drawn character designs and whimically depicted fantasy realm. I really wanted to like this show more than I did. Arusu sometimes grated with her idealistic personality. The show while very stylish, took a lot of budget shortcuts. Characters are frequently off model and a lot of dialog occurs offscreen. It sometimes made what was going on hard to follow when they'd take pains to animate as little as possible. The hokey "make everyone happy" sentiment permeating the show was kinda cheesy and made it a little young in tone for me. I'd probably have enjoyed this much more if I was a kid and not a grown adult. This is a show worth watching once, or watching with your little kids. I doubt I'll ever watch this again though.
(Completed watching January 2011)
Trinity Blood (TV) Good Trinity Blood was full of intersting ideas not executed very well. The episodes were uneven, some were really fun to watch, and then you'd be stuck watching the two most annoying characters locked in a jail cell. Yay. The art was really beautiful though, and I like vampire stories, so I generally liked it despite it's flaws.
Toward the Terra (TV) Masterpiece Torward the Terra is truely an epic show (in the literal meaning of the word and not the internet slang). The plot was an outstanding space opera that spanned a great distance and many years. The characters were well written and nuanced without resorting to stereotype "white knights" or "evil overlords". It hit all the right notes for me. While, it would have been nice to hear a dub, but the Japanse voice acting was fantastic. This show is a must see.
(Completed watching July 2009)
RahXephon: Pluralitas Concentio (movie) Good This would've been a confusing mess if I had not seen the TV series first. It requires watching the TV series to make any sense of it. But if you've already seen it, this movie is just a summmary of events told in a slightly diffferent manner.
Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie Excellent This would have lost me had I not already seen the TV series. It's incredibly dreamlike and uses a lot of symbolism. Hell if I have it all figured out yet either. In any case, the movie is fantastic. It differs wildly from the TV series. It isn't as repetitive as the TV, but it doesn't seem as mysterious and deep either, with a lot of the cast only appering for a few minutes and the plot being majorly streamlined. The music is great, with a couple of familiar tracks from the TV series and some new ones too. This movie is visually beautiful as well, especially the dreamlike environments. All in all, this movie has instantly become one of my favorites.
Lady Death (U.S. movie) Bad This was so incredibly awful that there are almost no words to describe it. I did rate it just "bad" instead of "worst ever" only because I managed to sit through all of it. This is the kind of movie that can only be enjoyed while completely plastered.
Trigun (TV) Very good This was one of the first shows I tried back when I initially discovered anime. At that time, I was unfamiliar with anime style humor, and I was turned off by the silliness of the first few episodes. Two years later, I decided to give it another chance and I'm glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it this time around. Despite being humorous early on, the plot takes more serious turn in the second half. The characters were likable and interesting, as was the story. My tastes were very narrow in the beginning, so I'm glad I waited until I've seen a bunch other series before giving this another try.
Mezzo (TV) So-so This was just a mediocre action show. There was nothing really good about it: story, art, and animation were all pretty middle-of-the-road. It was mindless entertainment; good for a one-time watch only.
FLCL (OAV) Very good This was crazy. I don't really have anything else to say, other than I liked it.
Girl's High (TV) Very good This was an amusing comedy about high school girls (if the title didn't give that away...). I found the characters to be likable and the jokes to be funny. My only problem was the copious amount of crotch shots added that weren't there in the original manga. This is a fun show that doesn't take itself seriously at all.
Nobunagun (TV) Decent This was airing at the same time as Kill la Kill and I couldn't help but compare the two, as both are very stylish looking and utilize a similar over the top style animation. Art-wise they were nothing alike though, as Nobunagun primarily used a very dark palette consisting of a lot red and blue. Both had sort of silly alien from outer space taking over the world stories. Nobunagun's use of historical figures with superpowers was a bit hokey, and it didn't have the strong female characters that defined Kill la Kill either. The show definitely had its flaws, but in the end I found it to be a moderately enjoyable one time watch.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Toradora! (TV) Excellent This was a well written romantic comedy that I enjoyed watching very much. The characters were fully three dimentional personalities and not one note stereotypes. While some usual rom com plot situations were present, i.e. the school festival, the school trip, the day at the pool, the beach, they were written in such a way as to seem fresh and not stale. Even when I knew where it was going relationship wise, I was still engaged in the characters and story. Again, it was well written, especially for a show of its genre, which is kinda a dime a dozen in anime. Finding a good rom com in a sea of mediocre otaku bait shows is like striking gold.
(Completed watching October 2010)
Air (TV) Very good This was a very pretty anime. The story itself was very good, but the top notch visuals really bumped it up into "excellent" territory. I do wish the ending had been a bit more conclusive though. Also, I was confused at seeing the last episode as #12 on Vol. 3 when I still had Vol. 4 to watch. I did enjoy the "Summer" supplementary episodes (#14 and #15), but #13 was just a recap Ep. Kinda a waste in a 15 episode series.

I recently tried rewatching this and found it unwatchable. Those character designs, bleh. That artificial and contrived cuteness, ick. Now that I've seen a lot of anime and generally put more thought into my entertainment, my tolerance for formulaic visual-novel based moe shows is very low.
(Revisited December 2013)

Crest of the Stars (TV) Very good This was a more detailed space opera of the sort that's rarely this detailed or well done in anime. The world building in particular is excellent. The plot is grand and large in scope. I skipped listening to the English, but the Japanese sounds great. My only real complaint is that I found Jinto to be a rather boring protagonist. Since I found him boring, many scenes fell flat for me. I felt like I could have gotten more invested in the show if I was more interested in his story. Even still, the show is still very good and I will continue watching.
(Completed watching February 2010)
Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise (movie) Excellent This was a great movie! It looked awesome; nice and clear, with really fluid animation. I'm amazed that it was made in 1987. The English voice acting was good as well. The story was a sort of motivational/anti-war/Yay religion! mishmash involving manned space travel and set in a fantasy world. I found it pretty interesting. Also, the story began and concluded nicely within the two hour time limit. I didn't feel like I only got part of a story, as is the problem with so many anime movies.
Magic User's Club (TV) Very good This TV series is a continuation of the original 6 episode OVA. The OVA was a fantasy adventure, while this is more of a slice-of-life series. The fun characters and the humor remains the same in both series and as such, I enjoyed them both equally.
(Completed watching July 2009)
Red Garden (TV) Very good This turned out to be a pretty good paranormal horror series. The plot is a mystery and unfolds slowly, one hint at a time. It takes place in New York City, and follows four high school girls who are killed and then resurrected in order to fight monsters for a secret organization. I grew attached to the charatcers who were fairly complex and not cardboard cut outs. The dub tried. I liked the voices but sometimes the actors were a little wooden as the show is very serious and emotional at times. Still, I couldn't listen to this in Japanese, since it feels meant for English. One element that I did not like however, were a few musical numbers early on. It seemed out of place to have all the characters singing and their voices were pretty terrible. Fortunately, this only crops up a couple of times early in the series never to be seen again. I thought it ended well, but did leave a few plot threads dangling, such as the whys and whats of the curse and it's origination. Not much was really explained on that matter. But despite that, it did end. I enjoyed the show a lot.
(Completed watching January 2011)
Bubblegum Crash (OAV) Good This three episode OVA sequel to the origianl Bubblegum Crisis series is essentially more of the same. It should've just been called Bubblegum Crisis: episodes 9, 10 and 11. It looks and sound the same and loose ends from the first series are tied up here.
(Completed watching November 2010)
(Le) Portrait de Petite Cossette (OAV) Weak This three episode OVA is kinda terrible. It's about a young man who works in a antique store and falls in love with the ghost of a girl who was murdered 200 years ago. He has to break the curse that she put on her murderer, whom he is the reincarnation of. It is pretty weird, and a bit too long I think. The pacing is glacial and the characters are of the paper thin variety. It didn't help that the voice acting (English) was incredibly wooden. The lead, Eri, was ok, but Cosette was terrible as were all of the minor characters. About the only plus I can give it was for the soundtrack, which I thought was well done and fit the atmosphere of the show. It's not enough to save this thing though. I kept checking the time while watching and I felt my attention wandering periodically, which is a sure sign that this wasn't very good.
(Completed watching December 2011)
Angel Sanctuary (OAV) Not really good This three episode OVA covers roughly the first three and a half volumes of the manga. Since the story barely gets started at that point, the anime ends in a giant "to be continued" style cliffhanger. This is pretty much just for fans of the manga, although, the anime does manage to streamline the beginning a bit so it's easier to follow. Regardless, the story is still a hot mess. I wanted to see this just once, but I will never watch it again. I've come to realize that I am just not a Kaori Yuki fan. She has very creative ideas and really can draw, but in my opinion, she can't write her way out of a paper bag.
Genshiken (OAV) Excellent This three episode OVA bridges the gap between both TV seasons and two new members of Genshiken are introduced. This is labeled as episode 13, 14 and 15, so it's basically a continuation. Everything that is great about the TV show, the well written, realistically portrayed characters and the humor is present here.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Coicent (OAV) Decent This super short less than 30 minute movie was pretty to look at but undercooked. It had a super simple story: everyman lead meets a captive robot princess, falls in love and runs off with her. The animation was mostly CG and fell into uncanny valley territory for me. I didn't hate it the movie, but I doubt I'll remember it tomorrow.
(Watched March 2013)
07-Ghost (TV) Decent This such a mediocre show that I struggle to find anything to say about it. Taking place in a generic fantasy land, it pretty much follows the manga (of which I read three volumes) in which the lead Teito Klien is branded a traitor by the military and takes refuge in a catholic-like church guarded by a bunch of priests. Teito is your typical brash boy protagonist with a hidden power, and he's surrounded by a bunch of bishounen like in a shoujo reverse harem. There is nothing here that hasn't been done before in a hundred other shows. The ending leaves of with a disappointing "to be continued" as well. In the end, this show is one that doesn't really leave a strong impression. It's the kind of fare that one watches to veg out and be entertained by without thinking.
(Completed watching February 2012)
Appleseed: Ex Machina (movie) Very good This story was good, if nothing special. Just your typical action/scifi movie plot. The real reason to see it is for the beautiful art and animation. This is by far the most beautiful thing I've ever watched, far surpassing the Final Fantasy VII movie.
(The) Story of Saiunkoku (TV) Very good This story takes place in a fantasy China in which a young girl named Shurei Hong dreams of becoming a government official. With this premise and it's beautiful detailed art, I was hooked. Shurei is an incredibly well written character, someone whose motivations and expressions are portrayed clearly. She is definitely not a weak doormat. The series must have had no budget, because the animation is atrocious; wooden and full of still shots. Fortunately, much of the show is slow moving and dialog heavy, so the animation limitations are only painful in a few "action" scenes. Despite it's shortcoming, this is a beautiful show and I only wish the second season was released here so that I could watch it.
(Completed watching May 2013)
anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (TV) Good This story is about a group of friends who have grown apart after on of the group dies. The dead girl's ghost makes an appearance and asks to have her wish granted. So, they gradually reconnect with each other in order to accomplish this. It sounds trite and it is. I found the obsession these kids had on Menma to be a bit unbelievable. It's one thing to grieve like normal people, but dressing up as her to frolic around in the forest is a bit overboard. The tone of the show was overly melodramatic as well. This thing wanted you to feel sad, and tries so hard to elicit those feelings, but instead it feels contrived. I couldn't connect with it so the climax left me completely dry eyed. Despite my feelings on the writing, the show looks beautiful, and the characters themselves are interesting. I wouldn't watch it again, but it was a decent show overall.
(Completed watching September 2012)
(The) Legend of the Dog Warriors: The Hakkenden (OAV) Weak This started out fairly good, then degenerated into a convoluted mess. Too bad. I forced myself to sit through it though. There was also one episode near the end where it looked like they farmed out the animation to fifth graders. It was really horrible.
Penguindrum (TV) Very good This show's plot defies description. If I had to sum it up, I'd say it's about two opposing factions battling over whether destiny exists and if it can be changed. It's full of symbolism and metaphor, some of it very obscure. it's at the same time light and dark, covering some serious themes, yet with humor and brightly colored and fun art. I'd say the one reason I didn't rate this higher, is that i didn't really "connect" with any of the characters. I think at points the show was a little too vague, which is fun from a puzzle solving angle but makes it hard to really determine what is going on at times. Overall I enjoyed this show very much, but I don't feel the need to see it again. I prefer Utena for this sort of fare.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Super GALS (TV) Excellent This show was a lot of fun! The characters were all interesting to watch and the comedy clicked with me too. Not much else to say, other than I liked it a lot. Super Gals is an upbeat, positive type of show that is great to kick back and watch without thinking too deeply about it.
High School of the Dead (TV) Very good This show was a lot more fun and entertaining than I had expected. Like the title suggests, the premise is a zombie apocalypse. It's a mindless action show, but it's very addictive. I kept watching "just another episode" until I had watched it all. The fanservice wasn't as obnoxious as I was expecting either. There are a few uncomfortable scenes where the fanservice was inappropriate (for example, in the first episode where the camera zooms in on a girls panties as she's being eaten), but it's mostly the silly ignorable kind. Of course there is the obligiatory bath scene where all the girls grope each other. *eye roll* I think I was able to ignore all the upskirt shots and the focus on the boobs mostly because the female characters were capable and not just there to fawn over some loser lead like in a harem show. Or maybe I've seen so much anime that I've become used to seeing it. Anyway, the show was well animated, and the action scenes were fun to watch. However, it just cries for a sequel as the ending was very open. It's a very entertaining show and I'd be up for watching more.
(Completed watching September 2011)
Diabolik Lovers (TV) Decent This show was a guilty pleasure fro me. It had no budget, 15 minute episodes, and a super cardboard doormat heroine who has a bunch of vampire boys forcing themselves on her. On the other hand, the mystery of why cardboard-chan is sent to the mansion and the creepy horror atmosphere kept me watching. In the end, it turns out the boys are all that bad, as they try to save her from true evil. i wish the end weren't so abrupt though, because i still had some questions. Like, just what was that potion that glasses-kun used and what will happen to cardboard-chan now? I hope there's another season to continue where this one left off. Despite it giant flaws, i enjoyed it.
(Completed watching December 2013)
Glass Maiden (TV) So-so This show starts out with potential, but ultimately turns out to be crap. The characters are part of a detective agency who get wrapped up in the "glass woman" mystery when they run across a mysterious woman (who can turn into glass). Unfortunately, the plot seems interesting at first but it's as dumb as a box of rocks. It's another of those "secret science shit" shows, with the mad scientist and secret government backing. None of this is ever really explained, the whys and whos are just glossed over. The characters often suffer from "plot stupidity" or TSTL (too stupid to live). The ending is a fucking trainwreck of Michael Bay proportions. I laughed so hard when they drove that car into the helicopter. Really, this show was complete crap, yet it was entertaining. I did watch all of it (not that I'd ever watch it again).
(Completed watching September 2011)
Black Lagoon (TV) Excellent This show reminded me a bit of Bebop when I watched it. There aren't any similarities in plot, but maybe it was the episodic presentation and the way the charactes interacted with each other. The English voice acting is excellent as well. The Japanese language just doesn't fit these characters in my opinion.
Shiki (TV) Very good This show may start out a little slow, as the residents of a small mountain village mysteriously start dying one by one, but the need to know what happens next kept me absolutely glued to the screen. I liked how the characters searched for a rational, medical explanation as it lent the show a feeling of realism. This show also has a lot of characters, some of which are developed, but a lot of which only appear briefly. I'm wondering if the wacky character designs were there to help distinguish them apart with such a huge cast. Either way, I didn't dislike them, although some took some getting used to. The show does have an ending and wraps up nicely. It's a little sad that just the fact that an anime has an ending is a plus, but with the proliferation of open ended shows, it is what it is. As one of the few genuine horror anime (action shows with a lot of blood do not count), Shiki stands out something a little different that your standard cute girls/guns/robots affair. I enjoyed it very much.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Tokyo Majin (TV) So-so This show is yet another super powered teens fight demons affair. It has a large cast of scantily written one note characters, and never develops them beyond that. As a result, I was never able to form a connection with the cast at all. The story starts as monster of the week and is tied together by a big bad who is easily defeated in episode 14. This is all is told in a herky jerky disjointed manner, making hard to give a damn about what happens. It is rather dark in tone, which makes the occasional poorly timed use of humor fall totally flat. I'm debating with myself whether I want to waste my time with the second season, as about the only thing I liked about this show were the OP and the character designs.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Durarara!! (TV) Very good This show is structurally very similar to Baccano!, originally a novel from the same author as Durarara!, in which there are a lot of characters and the story is pieced together from their different points of view. While I liked this show, I didn't find it as engaging as Baccano!. It seemed a bit more disjointed and slower paced. The plot tying it all together wasn't as coherent. Here it's the Yellow Scarves vs the Dollars with Celty's search for her head and the Izaya/Shizuo rivalry all topped off with the mythical blade Saika. Sometimes these things didn't quite mesh together well. Still, the series is still better than most of the other crap that's foisted upon us with every new season. It's creative and original and I did enjoy it.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Michiko & Hatchin (TV) Excellent This show is set in an unnamed South American setting, and is about the title character's search for Hachin's father. The plot sounds simple, but the characters are so complex and well written. Hachin in particular is a very believable 10 year old in her actions and thoughts, and it's rare that a child character rings so true. The relationship between Michiko and Hatchin is well developed and written as well. The ending is bittersweet and super satisfying. In short, I loved this show.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Arakawa Under the Bridge (TV) Very good This show is mostly plotless. It takes a premise: "straight-laced salaryman starts living under a bridge with a bunch of wacky homeless people", and runs with it. Along the way "Rec" becomes less of a tight ass and warms up to the residents squatting under the bridge. The humor seems to be based on a four panel manga where the episodes are broken up into short chapters ending in a punch line. It works, and the jokes flow together nicely. Humor is subjective, but I found the show to be funny, so I'm looking forward to watching the second season.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo (TV) Excellent This show is loosely based on the novel, a revenge tale set in a futuristic France. I watched the first couple of episodes years ago and put it on hold. It was just too weird for me at the time, and I couldn't get into it. The visual style utilized pattern instead of traditional coloring and the shifting textures and patterns, while beautiful, were visually distracting at first. After the first few episodes though, I really got into the story and gained an appreciation for the artistry of this show. Not only that, it is well written too. The Count in particular is a complex character full of nuance. Even Albert who starts the show as this super naive boy really grows by the end. The ending is excellent, tying up the loose ends and being altogether satisfying. I wish I hadn't waited so long to watch this show, as it is a keeper.
(Completed watching February 2014)
Pet Shop of Horrors (TV) Decent This show is four stand alone episodes of comeuppance theater, rather like Hell Girl or xxxHOLic. Count D's pet store sells strange and exotic, and often deadly pets to people that are exactly what they want but don't need. Predictably, they never seem to be able to follow the contract. I found it mildly entertaining, but since it's only four episodes long, it's not really engaging. It doesn't have enough depth. It's worth watching the once thuogh.
(Completed watching October 2010)
K-ON! (TV) Good This show is basically: cute girls hanging out and doing cute things. That is not a hook for me in the slightest. While the production values on this are clearly high, and it looks and sounds beautiful, I often found myself bored. There is absolutely no plot here, so character love is the only thing carrying this show, and while they are cute and well animated, but I don't find them interesting in the slightest. This show was not created for me, clearly. Despite that, I did find it mildly entertaining. As far as otaku shows go, I find cute girls doing nothing much more innocuous than the "fetish showcase" types that have me shaking my head when I see them pop up in season previews.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club (TV) Good This show is basically a sports show about swimming, with a focus on teamwork. However, what makes it different is it female oriented fanservice. Women don't get this type of fanservice, with the slow pans across naked muscles, ever. I can't think of a single show that panders to women in this way, unlike countless other shows aimed a the opposite sex. Other than that, the plot and characters a serviceable. The animation however is top notch, the swimming scenes especially are super fluid. I found it enjoyable and the announcement of season two at the end of the last episode was welcome.
(Completed watching September 2013)
gdgd Fairies (TV 2) Decent This show is as cheap looking as ever, but it still amuses me. The fairies really grew on me and got a laugh out of me at least once an episode. I find the ad-libbed segments the funniest, but the constant game and anime references are fun to pick out too. I never expected to voluntarily watch this show, but gdgd Fairies turned out to be a pleasant surprise.
(Completed watching April 2013)
WATAMOTE (TV) Very good This show is about a shy awkward girl and her quest to become popular. The problem is that Tomoko is a loner who is terrible at socialization, so her efforts always end up going awry. This show is at times both funny and sad. I can laugh at and empathize with Tomoko at times but also feel sorry for her as it's clear she's just really lonely and has no idea how to interact with other humans. I also appreciate how they made her personality and looks reflect her unpopularity, instead of the show making her a pretty but misunderstood girl who eventually finds a gaggle of friends a la Kimi no Todoke. The more pessimistic view taken with this show was actually refreshing. I highly enjoyed it and if another season were to air, I'd definitely be watching.
(Completed watching September 2013)
Inari Kon Kon (TV) Very good This show is about a middle school girl, who being a clumsy sort and having embarrassed herself in front of her crush, makes a wish at a shrine and receives the divine power to transform into anyone she chooses. The story is very cute, without going overboard into saccharine moe territory. Inari's character growth is well done as well. At only 10 episodes, the show is a short one, but the length is perfect in this case. Any longer and the pacing would have suffered. Overall, this show was a pleasant surprise in the overall weak Winter 2014 season.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Wolf's Rain (TV) Excellent This show has some of the prettiest art I have ever seen. It's also the most depressing thing I have ever seen; I cried like a baby. Even still, it is a great story that totally sucked me in.
C – Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility (TV) Good This show has a really interesting concept. The lead character is invited by an evil Willy Wonka to participate in a sort virtual "financial district" in which he has to battle for money with his future as collateral. Losing a battle means dire consequences in real life. There is no clear cut villian here, as the characters motivations are pretty clear for what they do. My biggest issue with the show is the very shallow and superficial characterization. I just finished the show and I don't remember the main character's name, much less any one else's. He could be exchanged for any other bland male lead and I wouldn't have noticed. A such, I felt a little disconnected from the story, as these characters were such nonentities. However, I do appreciate the show going somewhere completely different with it's exploration of world economy. So, I'm glad I got the chance to view this once as it was an interesting show, if it stumbled in the characterization department.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Kuroko's Basketball (TV) Good This show follows the formula used by pretty much all sports shows, in which an underdog team comes together to win against much stronger opponents. Here, the sport is basketball, and it's treated in such an over the top manner that one can't help but get into it, as it gets so ridiculous that players almost have basketball superpowers. It's well drawn and well animated too, with brightly colored character designs and fluid action. The show's biggest weakness is in the characters, as it takes awhile to get to know them. The games and action start up practically from episode one, where some much needed character development would have helped. Fortunately, it does happen later in the series, making the second half much better. At this point, I'd love to see a sequel, as the series is a lot of fun and I'd like to see them play more (and see what new ridiculous moves they can come up with).
(Completed watching October 2012)
(The) World Is Still Beautiful (TV) Not really good This show at first showed promise, when Nike a princess from the Rain kingdom is sent to marry Livi, the Sun King. It looked to be an interesting fantasy adventure with a fun heroine. Instead it turned out to be a slice of life about Nike and Livi's relationship and life in the Sun kingdom. Livi is obviously underage, so the relationship bits weren't that interesting and the Sun kingdom is your generic fantasy realm, so nothing new there. I felt my attention wandering quite a bit in those later episodes, as I struggled to find a reason to give a damn. Nike's singing was eyeroll inducing as well. In the end, I didn't find much to like about this show. It wasn't terrible, just painfully bland.
(completed watching June 2014)
Shamanic Princess (OAV) Not really good This short 6 episode series fell more on the "meh" end if the spectrum than anything. I'm not sure what it's based on, if anything, but it has a distinctively shoujo flavor to it. The heroine, Tiara, is a magic wielding princess who must return an artifact called "the Throne of Yord" to the magic realm or whatever. She has some cool powers, one of which turns her into some demonic looking chick in a skimpy outfit. The animation in this is surprisingly good looking, with detailed and fluid movement. The story itself didn't interest me much, but I found the characters mildly interesting. The "end" actually occurs in episode 4, while episodes 5 and 6 fill in a bit of back story. I didn't really appreciate the choppy timeline here, as it was poorly done. I spent most of the first couple of episodes trying to care, as the characters acted in such a way with no explanation. I guess I felt a sense of disconnection. Either way, this show wasn't anything to write home about. I found it barely watchable.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Zetman (TV) Good This short 13 episode show is about two superheroes: poor kid Jin, who has the power to turn into Zetman, and rich kid Kouga, who wears a suit like Ironman and goes by "Alphas". The show often contrasts the two in their differing ideals while they both fight for good. Superhero stuff is currently popular, and Zetman doesn't really bring anything new to the table. It's the same old same old competently executed and I liked it.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Eve no Jikan (ONA) Very good This series is pretty short at only six epsiodes long, but within that frame it manages to develop it's characters and tell a complete story that is both interesting and thoughtful. The show takes place in the future, where androids are common and most households have one. The story is concerned with the humanity of these robots and their treatment by their human masters, despite the fact that for some it is difficult to tell the difference. It centers around a cafe called "Time of Eve" where it's mostly robot clientele go to relax. Besides the story, which is excellent, the show looked great too, with well integrated CG and fluid animation. The music was pleasing to the ear and fit the show as well. Even more, I enjoyed this show very much for it's restraint, as it managed to tell a good short story without clunky exposition and infodumping, which anime sometimes has a hard time accomplishing.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Junjō Romantica 2 (TV) Very good This series is almost a reset of the first season. Misaki goes back to being in denial about Usagi and Hiro and Nowaki have communication issues again. Thankfully Hiro and Nowaki's problem is solved in one episode and Misaki is more upfront this season. Most of the drama this time is external, when Usagi's dad and older brother show up and start butting in. The characters were still sometimes infuriating. Especially Misaki, as he's such a dunce. However, I enjoyed this season of Junjo Romantica as much as I enjoyed the first. It's the kind of romance show that's not filled with over the top drama, but warm fuzzy feelings instead, like comfort food.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Ayakashi - Samurai Horror Tales (TV) Good This series is actually three unrelated short stories, all with horror elements. The third story, Goblin Cat, was the strongest of the three, with the first two being pretty average. Goblin Cat's art was especially nice, filled with bright colors and sort of textured like paper. This story was also the creepiest in my opinion. I highly recommend watching Goblin Cat and skipping the other two.
Starship Operators (TV) Good This series had a lackluster start but seemed to get better with every episode. The characterization was a little light, but with that many characters stuffed into a 13 ep. series, there's not much to be done about it. The reason to see this would be for the space battling. It's what kept me interested and made me rate it a "good" instead of "decent".
Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi Season 2 (TV) Very good This sequel features the ongoing relationship between Onodera and Takano, along with a couple of secondary romances and one episode focusing on charcters from Junjo Romantica. Since this is from the same manga-ka, there is a little bit of crossover. Unfortunately, the manga is still ongoing, so there is no conclusion for Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi. Onodera is still as insecure as ever, and still deeply in denial. The relationship does progress some, but the show is very open ended. Not all of the loose threads have been tied up, leaving me hoping for a third season. However, despite the lack of an ending, I enjoyed this season as much as the first and would absolutely buy it if it were offered on DVD here.
(Completed watching January 2012)
My-Otome Zwei (OAV) Decent This OVA was passably entertaining only. I prefered the ending to the TV series and thought this felt tacked on and unneccessary.
Tokyo Babylon 2 (OAV) So-so This OVA was marginally better than the first, perhaps because the storyline was a bit more intersting to me. In this, Mirie (sp?), a psychic, is called on for help in the investigation of a series of subway murders. Subaru wasn't developed any further, but thankfully he wasn't the focus here. Now that I've seen this, I'd recommend skipping this and just watching X/1999, which while messy as hell plotwise, is a much better show. Tokyo Babylon was a bit of a bore. I'm glad that it was only two episdes.
(Watched October 2011)
Fushigi Yugi (OAV 2) Very good This one was much better than the first OVA. I enjoyed it.
Elfen Lied (TV) Excellent This one reels you in with the shock factor (that whole first episode, yikes!), and keeps you hooked with a great story.
Fushigi Yugi (TV) Very good This one grew on me. At first, I didn't like it. The acting in the dub really sucks, so I had to switch to subtitles. Also, this was made in 1995, and it really shows. The visuals are really dated. But still, I really liked it. I think the story really saved it for me. I also grew to really like the characters.
Please Save My Earth (OAV) Decent This OAV started out fairly promising. It followed the manga fairly well for the first three or four episodes. Unfortunately, it was only 6 episodes long and suffered from a seriously gimped ending. The best part of the manga, the moon sequences, were pretty much absent from the anime. If only this had been even a 12 episode series. Then the story and characters could have been developed sufficiently and this could have been a decent compliment to the manga series. Instead, it was a bit of a let down. On the positive, when it kept to the manga and didn't try to cram too much in, it was fairly good. I liked the music also. Too bad about the super short length though. =(
Munto (OAV) Not really good This movie wasn't one of KyoAni's brighter moments. I picked it up because I liked their other works, but Munto wasn't up to standard. For one, the plot was really dumb: "girl of destiny" saves alternate universe. Can we say "Cliche"? There were a couple of "slice-of-life" moments in the movie that I thought were well animated but those were few and far between. After seeing this, I have no interest in viewing the sequel or the recent 2009 TV series.
Escaflowne: The Movie Good This movie was beautifully animated, with great music and good English voice acting. On the other hand, the plot had to be condensed down to fit the 90 minute time frame and suffered a bit in the process. While I vastly prefered the plot of the TV series, the movie looked and sounded a whole lot better. If only the good points of both could be combined. It would have been a masterpiece. Oh well.
Patlabor WXIII (movie 3) Very good This movie stands alone as it doesn't have anything to do with previous Patlabor incarnations. It can barely be called a Patlabor movie, as the regular crew are conspicuously absent, and only appear very briefly at the end. The new characters don't hold a candle to the old ones either. Even so, the plot was interesting and the animation was beautiful. I enjoyed it, but I wish it had been an actual Patlabor story instead of its own thing.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: Solid State Society (movie) Very good This movie is the sequel to the two Stand Alone Complex TV series. In actuality, it felt more like an extra long episode than a true ending. As a fan of the series, I liked the movie, but not quite as much as season two. That one was the strongest as far as plotting in my opinion. Solid State Society doesn't quite make it to that level, although it tries. I'm sorta glad that they left it more open ended thoguh, as I would love to see more Ghost In the Shell animated someday.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Blue Gender: The Warrior (movie) Bad This movie is basically scenes taken from the TV series and spliced together (sometimes out of order) in order to fit into the 90 minute time limit. It has none of the depth of the TV series and it cuts off before the end and leaves a major portion unexplained. It's pretty craptacular and I wouldn't recommend wasting your time with it.
Eden of the East: The King of Eden (movie) Excellent This movie is a sequel to the TV series. I thought the ending to the TV series was great, so I looked upon this is more like an extended epilogue. Basically, it is more of the same, a game of intrigue between people with "magic" cell phones.
(Completed watching July 2012)
K-ON! (movie) Good This movie is a ending of sorts, as the girls are graduating and decide to take a trip to London. The setting change provided a bit more interest for me, as watching childlike moe girls sit around and eat cake in a high school was dead boring. I did not find this movie as cloyingly cute as the TV show, which is a plus. The movie looks great and the music is catchy and fun. It is a bit long and it's very light on plot, but overall I found it entertaining enough for a one time watch.
(Watched October 2013)
Children Who Chase Lost Voices (movie) Good This movie has beautiful visuals and an imaginative setting, but unfortunately the plot was ho-hum and the characters were one dimensional. It's your typical kid get sucked into another world and goes on an adventure story but it didn't appear to have much to say. It was all about showing sweeping landscapes and pretty skies, detailed shots of flora and fauna, and smooth animations sequences. For the visuals alone, this movie is worth watching and rates a "good".
(watched March 2013)
They Were 11 (movie) Decent This movie has aged pretty well I think. It looks surprisingly good for being made in the '80's. The story holds up as well. It is based on a short story by Moto Hagio, in which a group of students is holed up in an abandoned spaceship as the final part of their admittance exam. They have to demonstrate teamwork and an ability to adapt to sudden events in order to pass. Since it is based on a short story, the movie is paced well and everything is explained. There is none of the confusing spliced together style that usually plagues movies based on longer series that have to be cut down in order to fit the 90 minute timeframe. The only real complaint that I have is the lack of depth. Short stories usually suffer from this and this one is no exception. There are 11 characters here, but there is not enough screen time to devote to them, so most are just "placeholder" types and aren't developed at all. This is made evident when at the end, there is a short epilogue of sorts in which the characters each have a sentence explaining what happened to them after the test. Well, these characters aren't developed enough for me to even care, so it was sort of pointless. Overall though, I thought the movie was decent and at least worth watching.
(Watched March 2011)
Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works (movie) Excellent This movie follows a different path of the visual novel than the one animated in the Fate /Stay Night TV show. It also assumes familiarity and takes all of the exciting bits from Fate/stay night and discards the tired harem trappings. I actually prefer this to the TV show, as the pacing is much faster and it focuses on what I like about Fate, servants engaging in epic battles. It is not a standalone movie, as viewing Fate/stay night and/or Fate/Zero is a must to follow it. For fans though, it is a treat and I enjoyed it greatly.
(Watched October 2012)
Spriggan (movie) Decent This movie featured some great animation and cool action sequences. Unfortunately, the story was kinda lame and all the characters were shallow and "one note". I was entertained for the 90 minutes though so it wasn't a total loss. It's worth seeing if you just want an action flick and don't care about things such as three dimentional characters or a believable plot.
Fusé: Memoirs of a Huntress (movie) Very good This movie borrows from the Hakkenden story, about the eight dog warriors. In this a young girl comes to Edo to hunt fuse, half human/half dog people who consume human souls. She meets and falls in love with the eighth and last. First, the movie was visually beautiful, well animated and colorful. Edo as depicted here felt huge and full of life. Also, Hamaji's journey was an interesting one, and worth watching. The story was simple and not bogged down by too many details or characters, making it fun and easy to follow. I enjoyed the movie overall.
(Watched February 2014)
Hanasakeru Seishōnen (TV) Decent This long running shoujo anime is very much like a soap opera. Fourteen year old Kajika, who was raised on a remote tropical island, returns to New York, where her father challenges her to find the three men he has picked out to be her future husband and decide between them. This premise sounds ridiculous, but here it manages to work, as Kajika is independent minded and of high social stature. Her three choices are also important in some way or another, which ties into a plot featuring a fictional asian country and it's royal succession. I liked the way the romance tied into a deeper plot. On the other hand, I thought several elements were overly dramatic and cheesy. For example, in the second episode, Kajika latches onto a French aristocrat because he reminds her of her dead pet leopard. She calls him "Mustafa" for the rest of the series (face palm). Kajika herself was a textbook "Mary Sue", an irritating do-gooder whom everyone falls in love with and is able to solve problems just by her magical presence. The story took awhile to warm up, so I was hoping for a really good ending, but I felt it was a bit of a let down. Kajika is a horrible romantic heroine, as she's a bit of a cold fish. I didn't feel much chemistry between her and the one she eventually chose (which was apparent from the first episode; no surprises there). All in all, I felt the series was just OK. It's watchable and I was entertained, but I was hoping for more. Long serious romantic drama doesn't get animated that often, so this was a bit of a let down.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Azumanga Daioh - The Very Short Movie Very good This little short was included in the extras on the Vol 6 DVD. It was cute. The art looked slightly different from the TV series.
Animation Runner Kuromi (OAV) Decent This little 40 minute OVA was surprisingly watchable. Kuromi is the newest employee at an animation studio and she's saddled with a difficult job right off the bat. The show goes through and explains how work at an averge studio goes while getting a single episode of an anime ready to air. I thought it was cute and I laughed at a couple of scenes. It's no masterpiece, but it's a least worth watching.
(Watched March 2011)
Kamisama Dolls (TV) So-so This isn't a bad show, it just fails to make much of an impression. The lead is one of those wimpy every-man nice guy types with little personality. He comes form a tiny mountain village with lots of secrets, one of which is that chosen members have the power to control god-doll things. The whole thing has a dark undertone overlaid with the occasional stupid anime humor. The show worked when it was dark and sinister, when it would switch to lightheartedness I started to check out. The plot itself was sort of interesting but it went nowhere with an "until next time" sort of ending, except there is no sequel. As a one time watch, it was ok, but I'll never watch this again.
(Completed watching November 2012)
Wagnaria!! (TV) Good This is yet another slice of life show based on a four panel comic. The gimmick here is that this one mostly takes place in a family restaurant. The characters are your typical anime stereotypes, with one note personalities. There is no plot whatsoever and the jokes are a bit overused by the end. However, despite the same ol' same ol' feel to the show, I still enjoyed it. It's shiny and well animated, and the opening is catchy. The characters, while shallow, are entertaining enough, and the setting was enough of a difference to keep me interested. This is a cute, fun show, the anime equivalent of comfort food. I wasn't expecting anything new or innovative going in, so I wasn't disappointed.
(Completed April 2011)
(La) Corda d'Oro Blue Sky (TV) So-so This is yet another reverse harem featuring a wishy-washy nonentity of a girl. Like the previous La Corda d'Oro show, this one centers around a music competition. Unlike the previous show, there is a resolution to the competition. Romantic elements are pretty much nonexistent. This show was just barely watchable as I found it sort of dull and Kohinata super irritating. Artistically it's about as generic as they come as well. This is the kind of fare that is harmless and inoffensive, but also uninteresting and soon forgotten.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Samurai Champloo (TV) Masterpiece This is the very first anime series I watched and it's what interested me in anime. I loved the humor, the fight scenes, and the characters. This is the kind of series that I can watch over and over agian and not get bored.
Dead Girls (OAV) Decent This is the two episode sequel OAV to the Red Garden TV series. It takes place hundreds of years in the future, featuring the same four lead characters. I really enjoyed the TV series, but this just felt tacked on. I would have prefered to see a more immediate sequel to show how the girls coped after waking up at the end of the Red Garden incident. Instead, after hundreds of years, they're back in New York and somehow all the same characters who should have been long dead are there. I guess they were supposed to be reincarnations or something, but it was just odd to have them looking exactly the same with some of them even having the same names, yet you know these aren't the same people. Also, the mecha element was over the top. The TV show was a fun paranormal horror series, so adding a sci-fi mecha element on top of that just seemed like too much. It was horribly cheesy. Despite not being very good, I did enjoy this OAV as I got attached to these characters and it was nice to see them in a different environment.
(Completed watching January 2011)
Kimagure Orange Road: The Movie Excellent This is the true ending to the TV series, in which Kyosuke finally chooses between Ayakawa and Hikaru. Unlike the TV series, which used the paranormal element in order to lighten things up, this movie is very serious, with Kyosuke's powers not even mentioned. I liked it better this way. It allowed the relationships to be portrayed with the seriousness they deserved without resorting to stupid misunderstandings. The ending was a satisfying one, especially after watching all 48 episodes and 8 OVAs. Despite being an 80's anime KOR doesn't really feel dated. The story is one of those that fits any decade. Too bad that this series is out of print. Because of it's age and lack of word-of-mouth, I can't see anyone rereleasing this anytime soon, which is a shame.
(Completed watching March 09
Wolf's Rain (OAV) Excellent This is the true end to the series. (vol. 7) It is, in my opinion, the saddest anime ending I have ever seen.
Tono to Issho: Gantai no Yabō (TV) Decent This is the sequel. The original show had 12 one minute episodes, but this show sees them expanded to three minutes. It's an improvement in my opinion, as it allows the writers to set up better jokes. Yes, there is still a heavy reliance on silly shit, but with longer set ups, the punchlines come off better. I laughed more at this season than I did the original. Even still, this is only a marginal show, but it's worth watching once as it is different than the usual otaku fanservice junk being offered up.
(Completed watching January 2012)
Arakawa under the Bridge × Bridge (TV) Very good This is the sequel series that follows the further adventures of "Rec" and the other misfits under the bridge. I really enjoyed the off beat humor in the first season, and this is more of the same. All of these characters are very memorable and I only wish there had been more seasons, as I'd love to see more.
(Completed watching January 2013)
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (TV) Masterpiece This is the magical girl show to end all magical girl shows. Admittedly, it's not a genre I generally gravitate towards, but a quality show like this will overcome all my genre prejudices. Madoka is the most well written show I've encountered in a long time, with solid characterization and an exploration of interesting themes. It is visually stunning as well, using a unique trippy style that I'm sure will be emulated in future shows. I can't think of a single thing wrong with this show, it is truly a masterpiece.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children (movie) Decent This is the kind of movie that you turn off your brain for and just watch because of the pretty visuals. The plot is pretty lackluster, but the art and animation in this is absolutely beautiful!
Perfect Blue (movie) Good This is the kind of movie that requires one's full attention, because there is a lot going on. It was difficult to tell what was real or a hallucination at times, and the ending twist I didn't see coming and cleared up a lot of the more confusing bits from before. I don't think I will ever watch this again, but I'm glad I saw it once.
(Watched July 2013)
Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East (TV) So-so This is the forgettable sort of fare that I'm glad is available on Crunchyroll, as it's very mediocre. It doesn't have much of a plot and the story meanders around without really going anywhere for 13 episodes. You think after all that it would at least be building to something but there's little evidence beyond a few shots of some evil woman and the fact that all the characters have a birthmark and spiritual powers. It's all just very boring. At this point, I have no interest in wasting my time with the second season. Perhaps they finally get around to coming up with a plot, but I'm not sticking around to find out as I couldn't care less.
(Completed watching April 2013).
Ayakashi Ayashi: Ayashi Divine Comedy (OAV) Very good This is the five episode OVA that takes place after the end of Ghost Slayers Ayashi. It is one long story arc that follows the Ayashi as they become victims of political maneuvering by their superiors. Instead of feeling tacked on, this OVA felt more like a true ending. I liked it as much as the TV series.
Eden of the East: Paradise Lost (movie) Excellent This is the final movie in the series, and the end of the cell phone game. This movie was a little more talky than the previous one, but lots of answers are revealed and loose ends tied up. I was satisfied.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Honey and Clover II (TV) Excellent This is the continuation to Honey and Clover. The very first episode is a recap episode, but the series doesn't stand alone. One absolutely must see the first season in order to appreciate what is to come. The characters grow so much over the course of 36 episodes that it's impossible to just jump in near the end and still appreciate the character relationships and dynamics. The ending is excellent and follows the manga exactly. I loved the show.
(Completed watching March 2011)
Kujibiki Unbalance (OAV) Weak This is the "show within a show" that's playing in the background of Genshiken. Unlike Genshiken, it's not very good. It was mostly boring with bad art. The exception was the second episode with all the group "battles". Some of the contests were hilarious. Other than that, this was a complete waste of time.
Megazone 23 (OAV) Not really good This is so very dated. The music, the clothes, everything; it screams "80's". It wouldn't have been so bad if the story could have been somewhat believable and the characters hadn't been so very braindead. I have part 2, but I'm not sure if I want to bother watching it.
Key the Metal Idol (OAV) Good This is one of those shows that ends up being more than it seems. At first glance it appears to be an anime Pinnocchio story, where Key the robot must gather 30,000 fans to become human. As the episodes go on, the mystery behind Key's "creation" unfolds. The plot isn't spoon fed, the clues are shown sparingly. However, my big complaint with the show was with the pacing. The plot finally shows it's cards in episode 14 and what results is 90 minutes of exposition. The story pretty much ground to a halt. On the other hand, the conclusion was satisfying and there were no loose plot threads left dangling. I also dug the retro 90's art style. Overall, it was an interesting little show.
(Completed watching September 2011)
Say "I love you." (TV) Very good This is one of the more realistic portrayals of high school romance I've watched. The characters are well written, with flaws and believability. Mei's insecurities and shyness are especially well portrayed. Even the side characters are developed some too. There were parts of the story I felt were rushed, but overall I enjoyed it. Episode 13 had a completely different tone and style than the rest of the show, and I felt it ended best with episode 12.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Level E (TV) Excellent This is one of the funniest shows I've watched in recent memory. It reminds me a bit of Men in Black or Gintama with the premise, that aliens living among us in secret. The humor style is more clever than I'm used to seeing in anime, and I really appreciated it. The character designs veered more towards realistic looking, i.e. no pink hair, big eyes/heads or impossible proportions on the ladies. This is also a point in its favor in my opinion. I really enjoyed this show and I will preorder this on day one if it ever gets a DVD release here.
(Completed watching February 2012)
Armitage III (OAV) Decent This is one of the first anime I had ever seen back in 2006 when I first started watching this stuff. I just recently tried to watch it again (2013) and unfortunately it has not aged well. The art is hideous, the styling is super dated, and it just feels like a poor man's Ghost in the Shell.
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (TV) Excellent This is my favorite season of the Full Metal Panic series so far. I prefer the more serious tone in this one.
Cowboy Bebop (TV) Masterpiece This is my favorite anime. Why? Well, lets see... I thought the voice acting was excellent, and I really enjoyed the characters and their interactions with each other. Even in the "filler" episodes, I was totally engrossed. I liked that it mixed action, comedy and sci-fi. This was one of the first anime I ever saw and even after seeing many other shows, it still is just as entertaining to rewatch.
Viper's Creed (TV) So-so This is like a poor man's Ghost in the Shell, minus the intelligent writing, where a task force that utilizes mecha fight crime in a futuristic world. The characters are all stock types and have all the depth of a cardboard cutout. The plot is pretty formulaic at this point, episodic with each episode focusing on a different character's backstory. Since the characters are types straight out of a can, these are predictable in the extreme and therefore a bore. This series is available dub only, and the dub is serviceable at best. Flat delivery and badly written lines is not helping these lifeless characters either. Thankfully, in episode 7, the plot kicks in, but it's all very been there, done that. The Viper squad is set up to take the fall in a conspiracy so the military can take over, which was hinted at in episode one. Amazing in its laziness, Episode 10 is an exact replay of episode one, with not a frame of new footage, which makes it completely worthless and redundant. The end is trite and predictable, but it does end. Overall, this show was mediocre but at least watchable. I felt like I've watched already many times before, as it has not one original bone in its body.
(Completed watching December 2012)
Kaleido Star: New Wings Extra Stage (OAV) Good This is just an extended ending focusing on Rosetta's first leading role. While it was nice to see the aftermath of episode 51, it wasn't really necessary. Since it was so short, most of the lame humor was missing.
Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu (TV) Very good This is hilarious! However, I think a lot of my enjoyment came from having watched the first season prior to watching this. So, if you are interested in this, I suggest watching season 1 first in order to learn the backstory and get to know the characters.
BALDR FORCE EXE Resolution (OAV) So-so This is entertaining as a mindless action flick only. Turn your brain off. It is a cyberpunk style of scifi anime, but Ghost in the Shell it ain't. First, it is incredibley cheesy. Any attemps at drama were pretty hamfisted and the plot twists were visible from ten miles away. It also appears to have borrowed heavily from other sources, because I felt like I've seen it all before in other shows. In short, Baldr Force is good for a one time watch and only if there's nothing else on.
(Completed watching Novemeber 2010)
Patlabor The Mobile Police: The New Files (OAV 2/1990) Excellent This is basically a continuation of Patlabor TV. Here, we see one dangling plot thread is cleared up from the previous series, as well as a return of CLAT and the sewer crocodile, along with some other hilarious things. I viewed this more as an extension of the TV and I enjoyed the episodes just as much.
(Completed watching May 2009)
Master of Mosquiton (OAV) Not really good This is another show that I only finished because it was short. At first, it appeared to be a silly adventure story, and I got a few chuckles out of it. But, as the show went on, it was clear that it really wasn't going anywhere. The characters are never really elaborated on and the jokes stopped being funny. The plot was dumb as rocks too. By the last episode, I was so bored that I almost fell asleep. I never did connect with the cardboard characters or the ridiculous plot. This show is rough looking as well, with budget animation and ugly character designs. Definitely not a shining example of 90's anime.
(Watched March 2011)
Five Numbers! (OAV) Decent this is another short 25 minute movie released with Coicent. While this movie did look as great (that cat was especially poorly animated), I thought the story was much more intriguing. Five prisoners are released from their cells to an empty prison and try to escape. The short story format generally isn't to my tastes, but this was mildly entertaining.
(Watched March 2013)
Project A-Ko (movie) Weak This is an incredibly dated 80's movie, complete with bad soundtrack, cheesy sound effects, and unfunny humor that's as old as dirt. Honestly, it didn't look all that great either and the story was pretty stupid. However, I did sit through it, so it wasn't unwatchable.
(Watched June 2014)
Monster (TV) Excellent This is an excellently written and plotted thriller that I could easily picture as a live action production. Everything, from the characters to the locales, is firmly based in reality. There are no blue haired cat girls or giant robots here. I loved the show, but it wasn't perfect. Prior to seeing this, I read the manga, which IMO is superior. The anime could have been a bit shorter. I felt it was overlong and the pacing was considerably slower than the manga. For example, a whole episode was devoted to Nina working in a diner and meeting a throwaway character who never appears again. Or, there was an episode where Tenma and Deiter hitch a ride with an old couple and help them out when they run out of gas. In the manga, this was only one or two short chapters. There also seemed to be a lot of flashbacks and they would interrupt just when things got going. Really, this is my only complaint with the anime and the only reason I prefer the manga. In all other ways, this is an excellent show and everyone should see it.
(Completed watching November 2011)
Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine (TV) Excellent This is an excellent update to the old Lupin the Third, in which the show goes for a more serious tone and focuses on the character Fujiko Mine rather than Lupin himself. Fujiko is an interesting character and they really dive into her past and motivations in this show. Yes, she's naked a lot, but it felt natural and part of her characterization rather than cheap fanservice. The show is artistically strong as well, keeping the 70's aesthetic, while updating the overall look/animation. The result is stunning. The story really comes together at the end as well and I appreciated not having been spoon fed the details. This is not a show that insulted my intelligence. I enjoyed it very much,
(Completed watching November 2013)
Hanasaku Iroha - Blossoms for Tomorrow (TV) Excellent This is an excellent slice of life about a girl sent ot live with her grandmother who owns an inn. Ohana is immediately put to work and initially struggles, but by the end of the show is a much stronger person. The character writing and development in this particularly good. The setting is super detailed and is probably based on areal place somewhere. i ended up watching the entirety of this show in a weekend, as it was just so good. I'll definitely be keeping it around to revisit someday.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Glass Mask (TV 2/2005) Excellent This is an excellent show about a 13 year old girl and her journey to become an actress. Maya is the daydreaming sort who screws up at a lot of things, yet she does have one true talent, acting. Unfortunately, she and her mother are very poor and she has quite a struggle ahead of her. I really liked the characterization in this show. This is the kind of slow moving show that really takes the time to flesh out its cast. I liked that it covered several years, so we are introduced to Maya as a dreamy kid and by the end she's a grown woman. For this reason, the central romance in the story works, as nothing is acknowleged until Maya is grown. My only gripe about the show, and the only thing that kept it from a "Masterpiece" rating, is the lack of a conclusion. The manga is still ongoing, so the ending is wide open. I really wish I could read the manga, but it has absolutely no chance of ever being licensed. I imagine long running shoujo manga from the 70's are not high on publishers wish lists.
(Completed watching September 2011)
Uragiri wa Boku no Namae o Shitteiru (TV) Good This is an entertaining if not mindblowing entry in the "high school kids fight demons" genre of anime. Yuki is an orphan with mysterious powers who one day finds out he's a member of the Giou clan, whose purpose is to fight demons in order to preserve humanity or somesuch. There's also reincarnation and some hinted BL. Honestly, the story is a little convoluted. It doesn't help that it is based off of an ongoing manga, so while the anime ends at a decent stopping point, it doesn't actually end. A second season would be welcome. Hotaru Odagiri's character designs have made the transtion well however. Everyone; men, women, children, even the villians are impossibly beautiful. Whenever the narrative would get bogged down just watching the characters was enough to keep me interested. The background music of mostly strings was also a perfect fit for this dark gothic looking show. This show reminds me of the kind of show OreImo's Kuroneko is a fan of. I love Kuroneko and I really liked this show. It pushed all of the right buttons for me.
(Completed watching October 2011)
Tokyo Babylon (OAV) So-so This is an adaptation of the first volume of the Tokyo Babylon manga, which I've read. I found that volume to be very dull and this episode didn't change my mind. Subaru is an onmyoji and is caught up in an investigation dealing with a series of fatal accidents at a construction site. Really, this is yet another boy fights demons with his supernatural power show. I prefer a bit more charcterization in my entertainment as well, and there is none here. Subaru is as flat as paper. The "mystery" and the villian were as dull as dirt also. In the end, I am not much of a CLAMP fan nor a fan of this OVA.
(Watched October 2011)
ef: a tale of memories (TV) Good This is a visual novel adaptation that follows three couples of high school kids. I'm not familiar with the original, so I was occasionally thrown by unexplained elements, such as the ghost-like hat girl, or the occasional post apocalyptic ruins. There was also a lot of screen time taken up with dialog and not much else. Fortunately, the visual style used was very inventive, so even when there wasn't much happening, it was interesting to watch. Still, I found the first half of the show a little boring. It picks up a bit in the second half with the romantic developments, but I also felt it was a little too melodramatic, a little forced. Eyepatch Girl's illness felt like a gimmicky plot device and even Miyako's issues felt a bit manufactured in order to add extra drama to the love triangle. The male leads were the sort of bland wishy-washy sort you find in a shounen romance. Actually, none of the characters really made much of an impression. Still, I was mildly entertained by the show. I don't know that I care enough to watch the second season though.
(Completed watching November 2012)
My Bride is a Mermaid (TV) Decent This is a very silly romantic comedy that doesn't take itself seriously at all and with it's wacky premise, how could you? A middle school boy is saved from drowning by a mermaid and has to marry her. They are opposed by Sun's weird Yakuza family and various rivals that pop up. Hijinks ensue. This is basically just amusing popcorn entertainment; somethng one watched just to veg out. It's funny and undemanding. I don't have much else to say about it otherwise, as it's not the kind of show that leaves much of an impression.
(Completed watching June 2011)
Yowamushi Pedal (TV) Good This is a typical sports shounen about a nerdy boy who discovers he is quite good at bike riding and is encouraged to join the biking club. It's a little silly and over the top with the imagery at times, but it's quite fun. It ended on a cliffhanger, so I will be sticking around to watch season 2 when it airs.
(Completed watching July 2014)
Shigurui: Death Frenzy (TV) Very good This is a tough one to rate, because while I really liked the show, it was unpleasant to watch. The violence is unrealistically over the top. The characters were all deeply flawed. The show's tone is deadly serious, with no humor whatsoever. On the other hand, I appreciated seeing the Tokugawa era animated without the romanticsm. It was a brutal time, one that wasn't kind to women and with the rigidity of society during that time, left people with very few options. If your master was an demented old crazy bastard, you were honor bound to obey him anyway. This sort of honest portrayal of the time is unlike any anime I've seen. Most of the series' perceived flaws, its slow deliberate pacing and the super serious tone, did not bother me. I tend to like very serious stories such as this. My husband however, hated it. His preferences run more towards the silly, comedies and such. So, while I liked Shigurui, this is the type of show I'd rewatch only if I need a downer, as it is so unhappy and serious. Finally, I would like to see the manga brought over as well, since while the ending did conclude somewhat, there was obviously more story to tell.
(Completed watching September? 2010)
Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (TV) Excellent This is a survival/disaster story about a huge earthquake destroying Tokyo. A young girl and her little brother are caught alone when it hits, and with the help of a grown up they meet, make the trek across the city to find their parents. The character development her was wonderful, as Mirai starts out the show as such a brat. The ending is quite sad though, but there was ample foreshadowing that all was not going to be well. Regardless, I sobbed through the last few episodes. I felt the emotional aspects of this show were well done and I did not feel manipulated unlike a lot of anime tragedies that try to hard to elicit certain feelings (AnoHana I'm looking at you). Overall, a solid show and worth watching again at some point.(Completed watching March 2014)
Tono to Issho (TV) So-so This is a super short anime consisting of 12 one minute lond episodes. SInce it was so short, I had no problem finishing it although it really wasn't that good. It's a gag anime feauturing Japanese historical figures from the Sengoku Period, such as Date Masamune and Nobunaga Oda. These guys are always popping up in anime and video games. Unfortunately, a lot of the humor is of the "dumb" variety, although I did laugh at a couple of of the episodes. Most of them fell flat though. Visually, this thing looks super cheap. While the character designs are nice enough, they're barely animated. I found the show interesting overall, even if it wasn't very good.
(Completed watching January 2012)
Maria Watches Over Us (TV) Decent This is a story about a group of Catholic school girls in which not much happens. As such, this show is heavily character based and the characters are only mildly interesting. The story progression is slower than watching grass grow. As a straight female, the lesbian undertones weren't enough to drag the show out of mediocrity either. I liked it, but only mildly.
One Week Friends (TV) Decent This is a slow pastel colored slice of life about an amnesiac girl and the boy who befriends her. It's cute and inoffensive and never really wades into heavy drama. Of course, the amnesia aspect is a bit contrived, but it's used with a light touch, primarily as a vehicle to force Hase-kun to put forth effort into befriending Kaori-chan. I was amused by the show but I doubt I will ever give it thought again. It was fun for a one time watch.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Tari Tari (TV) Decent This is a slice of life drama involving a group of high school kids, three girls and two guys, who eventually join the same after school club. The show focuses mainly on discovering one's path in life. Honestly, I found it a little dull. The characters didn't make much of an impression on me, their designs were a bit generic and their personalities a bit bland. As a result, the drama left me cold. The show was beautiful to watch though, well animated with exceptional background artistry. The show reminded me a bit of a very watered down AnoHana or Kokoro Connect. Both of those shows are superior to this one IMO. I can't say I particularly liked this show, but it wasn't bad, and I'm glad it was streaming on Crunchyroll for me to watch.
(Completed watching October 2012)
Occult Academy (TV) Very good This is a show that doesn't take itself too seriously. It centers around a school that focuses study on the occult, and the return of the founder's daughter, Maya. She meets a time traveler from the future who is looking to prevent an apocalypse, and together they search for what they call "Nostradamus' Key" which is supposed to be the cause. This is all written with an undercurrent of irreverent humor. The characters are pretty much archetypes, but they are well executed and play off each other entertainingly. The visuals are well done, with above average artistry and animation, and well blended CG. Overall, I found Occult Academy to be a solidly entertaining show, worth having in the collection.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Sankarea: Undying Love (TV) Not really good This is a shounen romance about a boy with a zombie fetish. I thought the premise was sorta different, so I kept watching even though I didn't enjoy the show all that much. The story seems mostly comedic, but has a very creepy undertone, not the horror kind, but the "Eww!" kind. The boy, forget his name already, meets the heroine Rea while trying to resurrect his dead cat. She herself is running away to escape her very creepy pedobear dad. After she dies in an accident, she becomes a zombie herself and moves in with zombie-fetish-kun. He then proceeds to treat her like a sexy science experiment, following her around with a camera to document her zombie state, and pondering ways to keep her body from decomposing. All very romantic. I didn't care about these characters, the "romance" was icky, and whatever humor this show was attempting left me cold. I didn't totally hate the show, but I didn't particularly enjoy it either.
(Completed watching November 2012)
Maid Sama! (TV) Excellent This is a shoujo romantic comedy about the hardass class president working at a maid cafe and getting caught by a popular boy. First off, the characters had interesting personalities. Misaki wasn't an annoying crier and could take care of herself. Usui wasn't the typical needy douchebag. The story itself included a number of anime cliche episodes, like the beach, school festival, and etc. However, the characters and their relationship was so interesting to watch that they didn't feel stale. In fact, Misaki x Usui is the only thing keeping this in the "excellent" tier. It's not often that I watch a romance anime where the characters actually fit each other. The end leaves a lot to be desired though. Since it's based on an ongoing manga, several plot threads were left dangling. There was an attempt to provide an end, but it wasn't really satisfying, as it seemed rushed. Regardless, I enjoyed this show quite a bit. It's the rare romance show with characters that weren't annoyingly frustrating.
(Completed watching July 2011)
Lovely Complex (TV) Excellent This is a shoujo romantic comedy about a tall girl and a short boy. It is remarkably well written for such a simple story; the characterization, the dialog, the comedy and the timing are spot on. It is minimally animated but makes up for it with perfect timing and expression. This is such a feel good series that I had a smile on from beginning to end. I loved the characters and didn't want it to end, although the ending is well done and conclusive. I will definitely be keeping this one to rewatch someday for sure.
(Completed watching December 2013)
Taisho Baseball Girls (TV) Excellent This is a short and sweet 12 episode show about a group of girls in 1920's Japan starting a baseball team. The attitude towards women at this time was not pretty and the show does go into that a bit in the beginning. I was frustrated on behalf of the girls and it gives one all the more reason to root for them. If you've seen a sports show, it goes just about how you'd expect. The girls practice a lot, learn to play and play well, and the big game takes place at the end. The ending wraps it up quite well and not exactly as expected though. This is a fun show with a likeable cast and I enjoyed it very much.
(Completed watching June 2011)
(The) Garden of Sinners (movie series) Very good This is a series of seven movies. The story is a complex one, a dark and violent supernatural mystery that pretty much defies description. Shiki is one of the most complex characters in anime, in fact the 30 minute epilogue is just one long (super boring yet somehow riveting) conversation explaining her origins. There are no throwaway lines or moments in this. One must pay attention as it all comes together in the end. The movies were also beautifully animated with great music, adding to the atmosphere. This is definitely a series that needs to be rewatched in order to get the most out of it.
(Completed watching February 2014)
Blood-C: The Last Dark (movie) Decent This is a sequel to the TV series, but the backstory is explained so it does stand on its own. Saya here is much darker than her happy go lucky depiction in the TV show. She meets a group of teens researching the elder bairns and The Tower and teams up with them in order to get her revenge on Fumito. The movie looks beautiful (except that dredlocked CG monster at the end-terrible) and is well animated. The English voice acting is super wooden and awkward sounding though. The characters are pretty one note, even Saya is a bit of an automaton in this movie. Overall, it wasn't a bad action movie, but it's not anything to write home about.
(Watched April 2014)
Mushishi: The Next Chapter (TV) Very good This is a sequel to the original series that continues on with new stories about mushi. This is just like the original show where Ginko travels around and encounters mushi related probelms. Some of the episodes were quite interesting, while some (episode 10 in particular) were a dead bore. Overall, this is a very slow and atmospheric affair. I enjoyed it and will be watching the rest when it airs in the fall.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Darker than Black: Gemini of the Meteor (TV) Excellent This is a sequel to the first series which takes place some time after the original and featuring a new character, Suou, a teenaged Russian girl. Unlike the first season, which was broken up into smaller story arcs, this seasons story is a continuous narrative. It really pushed my "must see what happens next" button. The action and animation were on par with season one, which is to say "they were excellent". My only complaint with this season is the time skip made things a bit confusing at first. I know the OVA fills in that gap, but without it, the beginning of the show is a bit disorienting. Even still this is the best action anime I have seen in quite a long time. I wish it didn't have to end so I could watch more.
(Completed watching June 2012)
Aquarion Evol (TV) Good This is a sequel to the first series set 12,000 years later, and basically it is more of the same, including cheesy lines/plot twists/ridiculous combining sequences. The biggest flaw of the show besides the terrible writing were the super bland lead couple. We are supposed to root for these two as the reincarnations of Apollo and Silvia, but instead they are tiresome. Mikono especially grates, as it seems her character's sole purpose is to cry, apologize, and get rescued. The side characters end up picking up the slack, as they are far more fun. The plot has a trainwrecky quality which makes it super entertaining, even though it's terribly written. A few plot twists near the end end up feeling pulled form the ass, an in the end there was very little character development for anybody. The ending was trite and anticlimactic. Even with all that, I still enjoyed the show. Objectively, it was not good, but I was entertained.
(Completed watching November 2013)
Birdy the Mighty Decode:02 (TV) Excellent This is a sequel to the first Birdy Decode series and kicks off a brand new story arc. The story builds upon the first season, with the characters dealing with the aftermath of season one and searching for the criminals responsible. A lot of Birdy's backstory is filled in here as well. I thought this season was just as strong as the first. The ending is sort of left open as well. I'd love to see a season 3.
(Completed watching November 2010)
Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (TV) Very good This is a sequel that takes place 10 years after the events of the first show, but following a (mostly) new cast. While I enjoyed this show, it doesn't stand up to the first season. the characters, while fun, are a little one dimensional. The plot, interesting at first, really falls apart in the second half. The ending was particularly underwhelming. On the plus side, the music and character designs were great. In the end overall I liked the show, but I didn't love it.
(Completed watching December 2013)
Fushigi Yugi Eikoden (OAV) Not really good This is a sequel taking place a few years after the ending of the manga. In this, Miaka and Taka have gotten married and Miaka is pregnant. A jealous underclassman of Maika's finds "The Universe of the Four Gods" and enters the book in order to steal Taka for herself (I guess? I wasn't very well thought out apparently.) This OVA was pretty stupid. Granted, the original series isn't exactly Shakespeare, but this OVA felt like badly written fanfic. It was superfluous and felt tacked on. Mako was a dumb, selfish twit that made Miaka look like an Einstein. Most of the seven warriors from the first series are dead, so the "collect the warriors" quest sees the surviving trio hunting down children with the reincarnated spirits of the other four. I'm not even going to go into how lame it was to see an infant Chiriko talking like his old self. Basically, this OVA is only for superfans who really like the original series and didn't want it to end. As for myself, I thought the original ending was fine. In fact, I found my attention wandering a bit while trying to watch this as it just isn't very good.
(Completed watching September 2011)
Rune Soldier (TV) Good This is a really silly fantasy series along the lines of a "Slayers" or "Kyo Kara Maoh". The plot isn't particulary deep or memorable, but the character more than make up for it. They were amusing and I found them funny. I watched this in English and I really liked the dub. I felt the voices fit the characters well. I'm not sure this would have been nearly so entertaining for me if I had watched it Japanese. The animation is pretty cheap, and while the character art is ok, the backgrounds are very generic. This looks like a budget show. Fortunately, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece, just a bit of light mindless entertainment, for which this show succeds very well.
(Completed watching August 2010)
(The) Eccentric Family (TV) Good This is a rather interesting and different sort of story about a family of Tanuki who blend in to human society by taking human form. I don't have much to say about it, because while I liked it, it didn't grab me. I mostly appreciated its uniqueness as I've seen nothing else quite like it. i couldn't connect to the characters either, as while they're quite fleshed out, they don't develop. The plot was ho-hum for me as well, as it mostly deals with the family drama of the characters. In the end though, I'm glad I was able to watch this. Thanks Crunchyroll!
(Completed watching September 2013)
Daily Lives of High School Boys (TV) Very good This is a pure comedy about some high school boys. It is plotless, this is a gag anime. In fact it is very similar in feel to Gintama. The humor style is the same, especially how the show is self aware and comments on itself, even the eye catches are in the same style. I found it hilarious. As I'm also a fan of Gintama, I loved the show and it made for some big laughs.
(Completed watching October 2013)
Gakuen Heaven (TV) So-so This is a pretty generic reverse harem show, except the lead is a boy. Keita is enrolled in the super special Bell Liberty aka "BL" school, an all boys school for exceptional students. Keita is about as plain and unassuming as it gets, so he's confused as to why he's been invited here. Anyway, the plot is pretty stupid, Keita is in danger from being kicked out by the evil Vice Chairman, so he has to prove himself worthy by taking part in some MVP challenge. Meanwhile a gaggle of handome boys are fawning over him. The characters are shallow tropes, but they are drawn very prettily. You Higuri's handsome character designs are reproduced well here. Don't go into this one looking for BL action either, as all you'll get is a chaste kiss at the end. Honestly, this show is pretty dull, with a barely there plot and paint by numbers characterization. Truthfully though, I was able to watch it all as I had really low expectations. This is based on an otome game, so I was expecting mindless eye candy to veg out to and that's what I got.
(Completed watching October 2011).
Ground Control to Psychoelectric Girl (TV) So-so This is a moe show about a boy who moves in with his aunt to attend school and meets his childlike cousin with a mouse squeak voice who believes she is an alien. The aunt is quirky and childlike as well and the way she hits n her nephew is creepy as hell. Mako-kun also makes friends with two girls from his school that also seem to be there for moe points. Moe being the intent of this show is pretty clear after seeing how these women are portrayed. Honestly, this aspect of the show leaves me cold. What appeared to be the main story, about Mako-kun helping his cousin rejoin society, kept me interested through the early episodes. That sort of goes by the way side in favor of slice of life/harem elements, which also leave me cold. At least it's beautifully animated. However, I didn't find it very interesting and I almost had to force myself to finish it. It wasn't a total waste though, I grade it a solid "meh".
(Completed watching October 2013)
Tenjho Tenge (TV) Very good This is a guilty pleasure. I totally enjoyed myself while watching it, but in the back of my mind I knew it wasn't exactly "quality entertainment". Still, despite extra helpings of fanservice and violence, I found the characters to be likable for the most part and the story interesting. The opening and ending songs were really catchy.
Kyo kara Maoh! (TV) Good This is a fun, silly fantasy adventure. It's not very deep and it doesn't take itself seriously at all, but I still enjoyed watching it.
Kokoro Connect (TV) Good This is a firmly middle of the pack quality anime dealing with a group of high school kids who find they are the being toyed with by an entity known as Heartseed, who makes them randomly switch bodies. This pretty much causes them to face/attempt to solve their various issues. Now, the characters are what make or break a show like this, and here they are only somewhat interesting. They aren't completely flat, but they aren't particularly memorable, and the super generic "K-ON-ified" character designs don't help either. Occassionally the drama would veer into overdone territory, with characters over-angsting over more minor issues. For example, when one character spent a week not venturing out of her room because she beat up some boys or when another character realizes she has a crush on a boy and starts the silent treatment. While instances like these were slight eye rollers, they didn't ruin the show for me. I did enjoy it, but it's the kind of show I will only ever watch once.
(Completed watching October 2012)
Wolf Children (movie) Excellent This is a drama about a young single mother. The catch her is that her children are part wolf so raising them is difficult. I found the first part of the movie a bit slow. It doesn't really start to get interesting until she's on her own in the country. I found the mom to be a bit idealized too, as any struggles she has are glossed over and she's portrayed as a selfless paragon of motherhood that doesn't really exist. Despite those flaws, I really liked the movie. What really interested me are the children's differing views of their condition and the differing paths they ultimately chose. The ending was a culmination of that choice and was immensely satisfying, if a bit sad. This also movie succeeds at being emotional without the feeling of manipulation. It's a keeper for me.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (movie) Very good This is a direct sequel to the original Ghost in the Shell movie. It's pretty good, but it does not live up to the original. The Major is barely present and Batou and Togusa are front and center. That's not a problem, as they carry the movie well, until about three quarters of the way through the movie where a certain segment is drawn out needlessly and it gets a bit too "talky". I managed to stay awake for this, but my husband was out like a light. All that philosophical conversation felt really out of place in what basically is a buddy cop movie. That one part really needed some editing, but otherwise the movie was quite good.
(Completed watching July 2010)
Kuroko's Basketball (TV 2) Very good This is a direct sequel that takes off right after the first season ends. The quality is kept up in the music and animation department and the story really steps up it's game (no pun intended). The games here are more exciting as Seirin's players have become more skilled. As a result their opponents have become more difficult as well. I was definitely on the edge of my seat more often this season. Unfortunately, the show ends after an important game, but still right in the middle of a tournament, so I hope another anime will eventually be greenlit. If this ever gets licensed for release here, I'll be buying it too. Fun show.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Kimi ni Todoke - From Me to You (TV) Excellent This is a cute slice of life/romance about a couple of high school kids with a crush on each other. They are both clearly into each other, but their shyness creates a lot of obstacles. Now, most of the time I find shows like this, where characters communicating badly is the plot point, infuriating. However, I genuinely enjoyed this show, and I can only surmise that it's due to superior characterization. The characters here are given real personalities, so their issues make sense in the context of who they are and how they are likely to behave. Likewise, the slow pace of the show is much easier to accept. I really enjoyed the end of the season even though there was clearly room for more.
(Completed watching August 2012)
tsuritama (TV) Very good This is a cute show about an awkward boy who learns to fish and makes some friends. There's also an alien invasion and a secret alien tracking organization. Honestly, I could do without the super silly alien elements. As I think Yuki learning about fishing and opening up to people made a far better story. Visually, the show was beautiful, with bright colors and smooth animation. The ending was a little anticlimactic, but it wasn't terrible. Overall, this is a pretty good show, but I don't know that it's one I'd ever watch again.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Little Witch Academia (movie) Good This is a cute short story (1 episode) about a young girl in a school for witches. I got a "Harry Potter" impression while watching it. It's well animated and the story is a fun little adventure that is coherent and well told. If Studio Trigger ever decides to make a longer series based on it, I'd certainly be up for watching.
(Completed watching December 2013)
Zakuro (TV) Good This is a cute series about human/spirit hybrids aka fox girls set during the late 1800's in which Japan is becoming westerized. They form a Spirit Affairs Bureau with the military and solve spirit related problems. There isn't any kind of deep plot here, most of the epsiodes serve to illustrate aspects of the characters rather than tell a larger story. The characters make this show worth while; Not only the half spirit girls, but their partners and the other spirits living with them. Thankfully, there's no annoying cutesy mascot characters. The character designs themselves are inteersting and imaginative. Finally, the romance is cute and satisfying. The show didn't blow my socks off, but I found it fairly entertaining.
(Completed watching November 2011)
Good Luck Girl! (TV) Good This is a comedy with a fun premise. Momiji is a poverty god who is sent to take Ichiko's extra good luck in order to restore balance to the fortunes of others. Ichiko however is a Scrooge who has no interest in giving up her unusually good luck in order to help others. The plot is predictable in that eventually Ichiko comes to care about others and want to help them. In fact, while the show was mildly amusing in the beginning, it really shined in the second half with more cast members to play off each other. Other than that, the show is your usual shouty Japanese slapstick comedy, funny at times and falling flat at occasionally. The show is fun and I enjoyed it but it's a one time watch affair.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water (TV) Good This is a classic that is worth seeing once. For me though, it has no rewatch value, because the only thing keeping me watching was the plot and the need to know how it all played out. It is very watchable as a children's adventure series, but also very flawed. Nadia was an irritating twit and the mascot characters were annoying instead of endearing or cute. The villians in their pointy hats were of the ridiculous cackling super villian types. And what was Gargoyle's goal? To take over the world. (Of course, that's what they all want to do.) Some of the big reveals were predictable as hell, since the show employed the super obvious "hit 'em over the head" style of foreshadowing. The ending was nice, with all loose ends tied up and an epilogue so we can see how everyone ended up. The English dub is horrible. Jean had an irritating fake French accent that immediately caused me to switch language tracks. Fortunately, the Japanese track sounded good. All voices sound suitable for the characters they are portraying. My favorite was Grandis. Her rapid personality shifts from simpering maiden to screaming shrew were well acted and hilarious. Despite all the nitpicks, I did complete the show. I found it at least entertaining, though not good enough to ever watch again.
(Completed watching November 2010)
Junjō Romantica (TV) Very good This is a boys' love romance focusing on three different loosely related couples. This is strictly a romance show, with that being the sole focus of the plot. Like all romance shows, the characters are sometime infuriating. Most of the drama could probably be resolved if people would just communicate more. Maybe that's my more direct Western mindset taking over, but I lose patience with people who pussyfoot around. Misaki in particular was frustrating to me, since he was living with and sleeping with Usami, yet it takes him forever to acknowlege that he's in a relationship. It takes him until the very last episode in the season to finally start pulling his own weight. Speaking of which, there is a second season. Most of the conflicts seems to be resolved so I'm not sure where there is left to go. The Romantica couple (Misaki & Usami) finally seem to be on equal footing. The Egoist couple (The professor and the med student) seem to have worked out their issues. Only the Terrorist couple (the other prof and his ex brother in law) have loose ends left to tie up. Regardless, I enjoyed the show. I like sappy romance shows and I'm not adverse to BL, so this is right up my alley.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi (TV) Very good This is a BL romance series based on a manga by the same mangaka as Junjo Romantica. Sekai Ichi Hatsukoi is structured exactly the same way, with the focus being split between one main couple and two secondary couples. The story takes place mostly in the workplace this time. Ritsu Onodera starts a new job as a shoujo manga editor, where he discovers his new boss and he have some shared history. This series is not quite as romancey as Junjo, as Onodera's work draws a bit of the focus. I really appreciated watching a romance series about adults instead of your typical high school set romance as well. It's pretty open ended, as Onodera and Takano haven't really faced their issues yet, much less gotten together. Thankfully there is a second season airing in the Fall, so hopefully that will offer a satisfying conclusion. I watched this series on Crunchyroll, but I would absolutely buy it if it ever were to come out on DVD in English. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Beyond the Boundary (TV) Decent This is a beautiful show that had a lot of promise in the beginning, but was bogged down with flat, empty characters and too much pointless pandering. The otaku pandering especially felt very calculated, as it was very noticeable and felt shoehorned in. The two leads are so one note that it pretty much destroys any emotional content that the show attempts. I'm sure the ending was supposed to be moving and heartfelt, but I was left cold. I know I'm not dead inside, as Nagi no Asukara (airing at the same time) manages to achieve what this show utterly fails at. This show isn't terrible those action scenes in particular look gorgeous, but feels like a wasted animation budget on this painfully mediocre show.
(Completed watching December 2013)
3x3 Eyes Seima Densetsu (OAV) So-so This is a 3 episode sequel to the first OVA that takes place four years after the events of the first one. This is marginally better than the previous OVA. Yakumo is developed a little. He still is pretty bland personality wise, but at least he is somewhat competant as Pai's guardian this time around. He's progressed beyond "average high school boy". The animation in these three episodes was fairly decent as well, especially for it's age. While I can't say I liked 3x3 Eyes, it wasn't bad, and at least I can say I've seen it. I'm selling my copy on Amazon though. as I can say with some confidence that I will never watch this again.
(Completed watching March 2011)
gdgd Fairies (TV) Decent This has the honor of being the cheapest looking anime I have ever seen, done entirely in CG with PSone era visuals. I think that added to the whole WTF nature of the show. gdgd Fairies is a gag show, split up into segments. In the first the three fairies sit around have have a mundane convo about whatever, usually with a punchline at the end. In the second, the enter "the magic room" where they make up a silly game. In the third the look into "The magic pool" where they view some random CG clip and ad lib a caption. The show is off the wall and occasionally very funny. I was left with a smile on my face at lest by the end of an episode.
(Completed watching March 2013)
Darker than Black - Kuro no Keiyakusha: Gaiden (OAV) Excellent This four episode OVA fills in the events from between the first and second TV series. As a fan of the TV show, this is more of the same, an excellent action show with an interesting premise.
(Completed watching June 2012)
Blue Submarine No.6 (OAV) Decent This four episode OVA didn't exactly grab my attention, but it was worth watching once. The plot was simple and the charcterization was minimal, but the show itself was very pretty. This was produced during Gonzo's good period, before their name became synonymous with crappy CG and lackluster writing. I think the show was just too short to make much of an impression. We don't learn much about the characters and the back story is sort of glossed over, so current events don't have muich impact for me. It's basically a movie cut up into four parts. I was entertained by it, but it's not something I'll ever care to watch again.
(Watched July 2011)
Black Lagoon: Roberta's Blood Trail (OAV) Excellent This five episode sequel begins where season two leaves off and delivers more Black Lagoon goodness. It's pretty much more of the same. I loved the TV series so it's exactly what I wanted.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Jormungand (TV) Good This feels a bit like a watered down Black Lagoon. Our group of protagonists is a weapons dealer named Koko and her band of mercenaries. There is no real over-arcing plot, as the show is broken up into one and two episode story arcs. The show is of the style over substance variety, with lots of exciting gun fights and stuff blowing up. It's a lot of fun to watch, and I find it highly entertaining. However, it is a mediocre sort of show with underdeveloped characters and a shallow plot. Perhaps season two will develop the cast and provide a bit more of a plot, as the cliff hanger at the end of episode twelve shows promise.
Completed watching October 2012)
Pumpkin Scissors (TV) Decent This can pretty much be summed up as mediocre. It had some pretty interesting plot points, but didn't really follow up on any of them. Instead, a lot of time was spent on throwaway episodes which I suppose were meant to be for character development, but were really eyeroll inducing and not funny at all. For example, we get the abandoned baby episode, the "help the prostitute" episode, and the loli princess visits for a day episode, among others, none of which offered anything to the story. In fact, major plot threads are left dangling at the end of the show, almost like there should have been a season two. I guess this is my cue to pick up the manga.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Blame! (ONA) Decent This Blame! OVA will be completely incomprehensible to anyone who has not read the manga. Consisting of seven 5 minute mini-episodes which animate seemingly random scenes fom the manga, even I who has read the whole thing was occasionally lost. Nothing is explained, so if you don't know who is who or what is what, you won't learn by watching. I'd treat this more as a supplemental trailer to the manga. Since I'm familiar with Blame, I was able to follow and somewhat enjoy it. The art retains Nihei's style, but the animation was godawful, with most of it being pans and stills. This is pretty much for Blame! fans only: those who loved the manga and wanted to see it in color, with movement and music and voices. What I really want to see is a full length Blame! series though.
(The) Tatami Galaxy (TV) Excellent This anime was a breath of fresh air. It featured grownups instead of high school/junior high kids and it has a unique visual style that I haven't encountered before. The lead is just starting college and joins a club wishing for a utopian college experience that really doesn't exist. After two years have gone by he realizes that he has wasted his time and wants a do-over, and the clock reverses to the next episode. Despite the Groundhog Day premise, the show is not repetitve in the least. The second chances theme was interesting and engaging. I really don't expect anyone to ever release this super niche show on DVD here, but I'll be first in line to buy it if it happens.
(Completed watching June 2012)
Madlax (TV) Very good This anime reminded me immediately of Noir. While I liked Noir, I felt this was the better show. A few things that bugged me in Noir were absent or less noticable in this show. For example: In Madlax, the flashbacks were better incorporated and not so repetitve. I felt that Madlax was more evenly paced than Noir, which suffered from some "starts and stops" in plotting. I also prefered the music in Madlax. Finally, Madlax was just way cooler than Murielle. So, I had to give the nod to Madlax over Noir.
Oreimo (TV) Good This anime is a lot less perverse than the title and premise suggest. What we have here is another otaku show about a closet otaku filled with jokes and references only otaku would appreciate. Kirino is the closet otaku this time. She accidentally outs herself to her older brother and he ends up helping her out in a myriad of ways, such as when her parents find out and when she attempts to make otaku friends. It's a cute show and mostly inoffensive. There are a couple of mindnumbingly stupid instances of fanservice, but they are few and far between. Kirino is clearly an otaku wish fullfilment figure, for those who really want a tsundere little sister who secretly likes the same moe anime and eroge they do. I'm glad I watched it once, but I don't think it's a show I care to own on DVD as I don't think I ever get the urge to watch it again. It's a cute, middle of the road otaku show with no incest, thankfully.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Gakuen Alice (TV) Very good This anime has to be one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It is about a little girl named Mikan who follows her friend into a school for people with special abilities (kinda like Xmen I guess). For the most part, the show is lighthearted and funny. It is a kids show, yes, but it is of the sort that is enjoyable for an older audience also. It is well written and doesn't insult the intellegence of the viewer. It also manages to be cute without crossing the line into trite and saccarine. It is a true "all audiences" type of show of which is kind of a rarity. For that reason, it is a shame that this is subtitle only, as that immediately shuts out little kids. As an adult I really enjoyed it, and I imagine this is the kind of show families with kids would really enjoy (if it were dubbed).
(Completed watching August 2010)
Berserk (TV) Excellent This anime had the absolute worst non-ending I've ever seen. Also, the last two episodes were some of the most violent I've ever watched. Despite that, I really did love the show. The animation looked a bit rough, there were a lot of stills, but the story (unfinished as it was) was solid. I think I'll just skip the last couple eps. on the rewatch though. Additionally, I'll be picking up the manga to see where the story goes.
(The) Twelve Kingdoms (TV) Masterpiece This 45 episodes long, and yet I blew through it in a few evenings. I was completely addicted to this story; I never wanted it to end. It was so very large in scale that it reminded me very much of those huge multi-volume epic fantasy stories, which are some of my very favorite to read. I will definitely be checking out the Twelve Kingdoms novels now that I've seen this show.
Black Butler II (OAV) Not really good These six episodes are completely superfluous and add nothing to the story. I was bored out of my mind, as they focused on my least favorite aspects of the series, the wacky characters doing wacky things. I'd say the only OAV worth watching out of the bunch was the third one, in which the characters are actors doing a "behind the scenes" about the show, complete with fake filming and interviews. The other five are completely forgettable.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Air In Summer (special) Very good These are the two supplementary episodes included on Vol 4 of the U.S. release. I enjoyed them very much as it tells the flashback story in more detail.
Kimagure Orange Road (OAV) Very good These 8 OVA's are more like "lost episodes" to the TV series. The plot doesn't go anywhere, and they retain the same tone as the TV. Since I liked the original series, seeing these episodes was fun. At this point, the characters are familiar to me and I pretty much knew how each of the stories would go. Still, I enjoyed seeing these OVAs.
(Completed watching March 2009)
Aquarion (TV) Good There were some really cheesy moments in this anime, but somehow I liked it anyway. I think the combining sequence takes the cake for LOLs though. Some of the lines were so predictable and corny that they could be quoted in advance. Despite all that, Aquarion is strangely addicting and I enjoyed myself watching it. The music and visuals were especially pretty.
Innocent Venus (TV) Good There was really nothing spectacular or even original about this show, yet it was still pretty enjoyable. The animation seemed a little low budget as well, especially since I watched this one right after "Air", which was beautiful. One interesting plot twist near the end bumped it up to a "good" from a "decent".
Gunbuster (OAV) Decent There is an inherent cheesiness to 80's robot shows that I just can't stomache. Even so, I found myself mildly entertained by Gunbuster. When the focus was on the characters, I was interested. When it shifted to the tin can robots, I was turned off. In places, it was just so over the top that I couldn't take it seriously. Especially the ending; I got a big LOL at that. In short, while I could see Gunbuster's appeal, it just wasn't my thing.
Ghost Hunt (TV) Very good There aren't many horror anime out there to choose from to begin with, so Ghost Hunt gets points just for being different. Fortunately, Ghost Hunt is also very good. It establishes an interesting cast of characters and they solve various paranormal cases in short story arcs of 3 to 4 episodes. I really liked this format because the individual stories had a chance for more development than if they had just gone for a "monster of the week" scenario. Also, while none of the stories are truely scary, they do manage to be creepy at least, which is a rarity in my opinion for anime. There is also an air of mystery surrounding some of the characters which unfortunately is not revealed. I guess I'll need to read the manga for that. But, since the real point of the show are the paranormal mysteries, the end wraps up nicely.
(Completed watching November 2010)
(The) Wallflower (TV) Very good The Wallflower was a fun comedy with lots of random/slapstick style humor. Some of the jokes were a bit repetitive after awhile (the GothLoli girls needed to go), but it got a chuckle out of me at least once an episode. Also, I tried listening to the dub, but the voices didn't seem to fit the characters. I ended up switching to the Japanese and liking that much better. The show itself isn't a favorite, but it was solidly entertaining. Unfortunately, the story never goes anywhere, so the end is a disappointment.
(Completed watching May 2010)
Tsubasa RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE the Movie: The Princess in the Birdcage Kingdom Good The Tsubasa movie was actually an improvement on the TV series, which I thought was good. I found the movie to be paced a little better, and animated a whole lot better. I wish Production I.G. had done the Tv series. Oh Well. So, if your like me and somewhat liked the TV series, you'll definitely like this.
Banner of the Stars (TV) Very good The sequel to "Crest of the Stars". These 13 episodes kept up the standard of the first series. I appreicate that it ended at the end of an arc and doesn't resort to the dreaded Cliff hanger ending. I can't wait to see the rest.
(Completed watching February 2010)
Kimi ni Todoke 2nd Season (TV) Excellent The second season resets the story a bit as the leads take a couple of steps backwards. Still, watching these two fumble awkwardly as they try to feel each other out is still really cute. The ending makes up for all the pussyfooting about though. I enjoyed this series immensely.
(Completed watching August 2012)
Lagrange - The Flower of Rin-ne (TV 2) Decent The second half of this show doesn't get any better. It's all very "been there, done that" as far as mecha shows go and a few really contrived instances of fanservice exist to remind me that I'm clearly not the target audience for this show. The ending at least ties up the major loose ends, in which the villain aiming to destroy the world is defeated by Madoka, Lan, and Muginami's power of love and teamwork or some shit. Overall I found the series fairly entertaining, but it's not the sort of thing that holds up to close scrutiny.
(Completed watching May 2013)
Emma: A Victorian Romance Second Act (TV) Excellent The Second Act pretty much continues where the first Emma left off. This last half of the show is a bit more emotional than the first half. The acting is great. After an episode or two, the fact that it is in Japanese doesn't matter at all. While strange at first, it eventually just blends in and sounds natural. The plot wraps up nicely at the end of the show and leaves one feeling satisfied. I thought Emma was a thoroughly enjoyable show and I wish I could watch more shows as unique as this one.
(Completed watching April 2009)
Angel Beats! (TV) Very good The premise of this show is simple enough, a bunch of high school kids are trapped in a school "purgatory" where they fight against going on to the afterlife, at least at first. But, thinking too hard about the story here could be problematic, as that's not the shows strong point. This show really shines in the visual department, as it's beautiful, and also with it's great music. Everything else is secondary. This is the kind of show that's fun to watch, but doesn't leave much of a lasting impression with it's characters or plot. Even still, I enjoyed myself watching it and in the end that's really all that counts.
(Completed watching February 2012)
Sola (TV) Decent The premise of this has been done a thousand times it seems: a boy named Yorito meets a mysterious girl who has special powers. It looks as generic as it sounds, as all the characters are drawn in standard "moe" style with huge dinnerplate sized eyes and almost nonexistant mouths. The show is very slow paced. The first 2/3rds of this show is like watching grass grow. I found myself growing bored with it until the end, where it picks up as it all comes together. The last few episodes are very entertaining. While I don't think I will ever want to rewatch this show, it was worth watching once.
(Completed watching November 2010)
SaiKano (TV) Very good The premise of Saikano doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. The war, the technology, why Chise is a weapon, none of this is ever explained. Instead, the show focuses on the characters and the tragedy of their situation. In that, it's very successful. Everything is depicted with an eye to creating the most emotional impact and it worked, I cried several times. On the other hand, I felt kinda emotionally manipulated and that the show almost crossed a line into "over the top". In fact the ending was a little WTF for me. What kept this show on track was the relationship between the lead characters. It was very well written. Overall, I thought it was a good show, but not one I'll be up for revisiting any time soon.
Baka and Test - Summon the Beasts (TV) Good The premise if this show is mindnumbingly stupid: classes ranked from great to crappy battle using avatars to gain access to better equipment. Even though it's incredibly silly, the tone of this show is pretty much in line with it absurdity. It mostly succeeds, as it's pretty funny. Every now and then something falls flat, but the dialog and visual gags are pretty much spot on. There just isn't any depth to this though. The characters are pretty one note and there is no plot. It's missing that something that makes a school comedy like School Rumble so memorable and entertaining. To sum it up, Baka Test is funny in a mindless way. In the end I really don't care about these characters and I doubt I'll remember much about this show down the road a few months.
(Completed watching August 2011)
Ouran High School Host Club (TV) Excellent The Ouran manga is one of my favorites, so I was really excited when I learned of the Ouran anime. It did not disappoint. Everything I loved about the manga is recreated here, with the added bonus of color, sound, and movement. The characters are just as fun and the scenarios are still off the wall and wholly entertaining. I thought the dub actors chosen managed to fit the characters as well. This ranks as one of the best anime comedies I've seen and will definitely be rewatched again.
Hajime no Ippo Rising (TV) Good The original Ippo is one of my favorite sports series ever, so I had to watch this. Unfortunately, the 2009 series has not been licensed or even streamed, so there was a bit of a timeline gap for me when picking this up. I wonder if that was one reason I did not quite enjoy this as much as before? While it still was a solidly enjoyable show, I felt a bit of the "magic" was gone. I actually enjoyed Takamura's fight more than Ippo's. I was a little uninterested in the flashback arc too. Still, I enjoyed it and I'll watch more if it ever gets green lit.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE (TV) Good The good: Tsubasa was an interesting story populated with an interesting cast of characters. The bad: Unfortunately, the animation was really cheap. Major use of still frames, even in action scenes, really took away from the visuals. Also, there was a lot of reused scenes. Too many flashbacks really slow down the plot. I can't help but feel this story got shafted with the low budget treatment. This had a lot of promise too.
Kiddy Grade (TV) Decent The first third or so of this show was painfully boring. It starts off pretty much entirely episodic, following Eclair and Lumiere around on various missions. It began to capture my attention around the halfway point, when some semblance of a plot began to appear. I found a lot of the show to be really cheesy; I did a lot of eye rolling at dorky lines ("ta da!") and stupid plot points (the giant 63,000 km long robot). I would have dropped this show, but the significant other was into it, so I kept watching too. I can't say I hated it though. I found it entertaining in a mindless way. I can conclude that it just wasn't my kind of show.
Rozen Maiden: Träumend (TV) Very good The first Rozen Maiden season ended nicely at episode 12, but left it open enough so Traumend didn't feel tacked on. The second set of twelve episodes was a bit more serious, but still engaging just the same.
When They Cry - Higurashi (TV) Decent The first episode of this show isn't great. The generic moe character designs and lame anime humor are a turnoff. However, it soon takes a turn into the creepy as the cutesy moe girls display some sinister stalkery behavior. The protagonist, Keiichi, learns about a curse that strikes the evening of every cotton drifting festival, in which someone dies (or is murdered) and another disappears. I quickly got into the show from the second episode, only to hit a brick wall with episode five. The show betrays it's visual novel roots here. See, the show is broken up into arcs and resets after every arc. So far, they seem to begin the same, a seemingly standard moe episode until Keiichi finds out about the curse. Then the photographer and the nurse are the first victims of the curse, and Keiichi is caught up in the mystery with his classmates. Someone eventually goes crazy and commits some grisly murder. There is death. The end. Reset to next arc.

At this point, I've seen ten episodes, or two and a half arcs. What initially felt interesting and different in the first arc is starting to feel repetitive and gimmicky now. So far it's been different scenarios of the same basic thing, like animating all the different paths of the visual novel. I'll keep watching for now, but I am quickly losing interest in this show.

I can honestly say the show improved a bit after the Time Wasting Arc. It was a needed change of perspective. I quite liked the Eye Opening Arc (episodes 17-22) as well as it sheds some more light on the second arc with a different perspective and the twins are much more interesting than Keiichi. However, the last arc, The Atonement Arc, was mind numbingly stupid. By this time, I was hoping for a bit more depth like in the Eye Opening Arc, but instead we get another reset that focuses on Reina this time. The last episode was the worst, with the school hostage situation and the ridiculous rooftop battle with Keiichi and Reina making very little logical sense. It was just all kinds of dumb. Overall, I thought the show was just ok, with some arcs being pretty good, some jjust "meh" and some being a waste of time.

Paprika (movie) Decent The animation/art in this was beautiful. If I were grading on that alone, it would've been a masterpiece. The story took some crazy turns though. I can easily say that this is the strangest movie I've ever seen.
Revolutionary Girl Utena (TV) Excellent Surreal and full of WTF moments, Utena took some getting used to. This show is different from anything I've seen before. For an older show, it doesn't feel dated at all. I thought the art was pretty and the music was catchy. The plot was complex and interesting, but wasn't too hard to follow. I'm not sure I caught everything either, so I'll definitely have to give this a rewatch someday.
Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry (TV) Good Strain is a 13 epidode mecha series that I managed to watch the whole of in a Saturday. The plot is interesting and very fast paced and the need "to see what happens next" kept me watching all day. Despite that, the show is only mediocre in my opinion. I did have some problems with it. First, the idealized and unrealistic brother/sister relationships portrayed threw me off. It felt like it was written by some lonely guy with a "little sister" fantasy. Second was the heavy handed use of cheesy imagery to convey emotion. For example, the portraits of Sara's dead friends flash on the screen as she's screaming revenge on her brother. There was a lot of this throughout the show and I've noticed crappier writers use this sort of thing a lot. I roll my eyes every time. Finally, the small attempts to insert humor into a serious show like this failed miserabley and felt out of place. If your going to put in some comic relief, at least make it funny. Despite the show's flaws, it still was very entertaining and I did enjoy watching it.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Desert Punk (TV) Decent Storywise, Desert Punk is nothing special. The lead character is a d-bag and none of the others manage to be particularly likeable either. What make this so great is the English dub. It's absolutely hilarious. Here, the English dubbing manages to drag a mediocre series up to be a pretty fun one. Don't miss it.
Hiiro no Kakera - The Tamayori Princess Saga (TV 2) So-so So, this is the second half of Hiiro no Kakera. It was off to a slow and boring start as Tamaki's powers seem to have been reset. Although a bit more was going on overall, with the shifting loyalties of both the guardians and Logos. This second season saw a big improvement in pacing. The show still looked beautiful, with shots of fall countryside and a lot of CG red maple leaves floating about. I did appreciate that the show seemed to have chosen a route from the game and stuck to it, instead of chickening out and making everyone "friends" without committing to any one character in order to not alienate the fans of the others. In the end though, this show is only so-so. It is slavishly formulaic and the characters are flatter than paper. It's best enjoyed by fans of the game or otome game adaptations in general. As someone who is neither, it is very very "meh".
(Completed watching January 2013)
Vampire Knight (TV) Good So, this is an angsty vampire shoujo romance in the vein (ha ha) of Twilight. It's a bit overwrought, but still entertaining. This season animated the first major arc of the manga, mostly dealing with Zero and his past. Yuki's characterization is weak, as she is a passive participant in the love triangle, not spelling out her feelings either way. They try to depict her as a strong character and fail, as she always seems to need a rescuing. The frequent attempts at humor with the sight gags and comedy sound effects fall completely flat, as this show is mostly dark and dramatic. I did find the show overall to be worthwhile though ans I will watch season 2.
(Completed watching April 2014)
Blast of Tempest (TV) Decent So, I'm five episodes in and this show isn't really grabbing me. It looks beautiful, but the plot is one of those "everything but the kitchen sink" affairs. It's got two teenage boy leads, one with a murdered sister, magic, a stranded island princess, a mysterious deadly disease that no one knows about somehow, a lots of random Hamlet quotes, among other things. In fact, the Shakespeare is awkward. This show is trying really hard to be something deep and intellectual, but it doesn't work here and comes across as try-hard. For an example that uses literary quote in thoughtful and plot relevant way, see Psycho Pass. I'm going to keep watching this in hopes that it gets batter, as I don't hate it.

The next few episodes pile more things on with an incestuous love triangle and a time traveling element. There are also some serious pacing issues as the story has pretty much ground to a halt in favor of monologue-ing.

So, I managed to finish the last half of the series. All of the big plot points revolving around Aika were visible from miles away. Aika herself as a character came across as flat to me, and she was the main driving force of the plot. When we got to "alien trees are weapons from outer space" I mentally rolled my eyes. In fact, putting any thought into this show was a waste, as the story is so dumb. So, I just went with it and enjoyed it for what it was, a pretty trifle that was entertaining enough but not the sort of thing that sticks with you. Good for a one time watch.
(Completed watching June 2014)

Neo Angelique Abyss (TV) So-so So, I watched all 13 episodes of this show and I must say that it doesn't leave much of an impression. It's based on an otome game, so the plot is kinda flimsy and the characterization is pretty flat. Angelique is a blatant Mary Sue, one of those characters so beautiful and good that everyone loves her and is able to solve problems by the power of her will. On the other hand, she's a bit more palatable that the typical "average girl" audience stand in. The character designs for this show are quite nice and one of the few high points. For the most part, watching this show kinda felt lika a chore, as it's painfully mediocre. Hopefully there is an improvement with Neo Angelique: Second Age.
(Completed watching December 2011)
Sweet Blue Flowers (TV) Excellent Since I am already familiar with the creator's other work, Wandering Son, I knew what to expect here: a slice of life featuring well written characters with drama handled in a realistic manner. This show features a tall girl named Manjome who moves back to her hometown for high school and reconnects with her childhood friend. Manjome also is a lesbian and we see her deal with her feelings towards other girls in the most realistic way I've seen portrayed in a yuri show. While watching this show, I felt like the characters were real people, living real lives, instead of idealized lesbian relationships displayed for a male demographic, which is most of the yuri I've seen up until this point. The show also finds a good stopping point, as there really is no way for a slice of life show to just end. I highly enjoyed this show.
(Completed watching April 2013)
Guin Saga (TV) Very good Serious western style fantasy is not a genre that anime covers often, so I was excited to watch this show. I am unfamiliar with the novels that it is based on, so I'm sure I must have missed tons of detailed world building, but I still managed to get into the story just fine regardless. It begins with a country under attack and it's prince and princess flee into a haunted forest. There they meet a man with a leopard head that protects them. The start is rather slow, as the sole focus at that point is on Rinda/Remus and Guin. Eventually, the cast and scope of the story expands and by that time I was thoroughly enjoying it. The art is beautiful, but the show suffered from some clunky CG and awkward animation in just about every scene involving horses. The music is great, especially the closer. Overall, this is a highly entertaining show and I wish there was a sequel as I'd love to see what happens next.
(Completed watching November 2012)
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion R2 (TV) Very good Season 2 continues on in it's trainwrecky fashion, and I just couldn't look away. This is not the type of series that requires deep thought. Just go along for the ride, as the plot twists come fast and furious. It was actually predictable in it's ability to be unpredictable. It seemed like whatever outlandish plot twist they could come up with was incorporated. No one actually stayed dead. People were switching sides (and back) left and right. Code Geass isn't that great of a show, but it is extremely entertaining, with a lead you just love to hate. It's nice to look at as well, with pretty action scenes and pretty character designs and pretty bright colors. It's the kind of show I picture when I think "anime".
(Completed watching September 2010)
Scrapped Princess (TV) Excellent Scrapped Princess is a solidly entertaining fantasy series. Some of the animation looked a little wooden (Gah! The horses!), but the characters amd plot more than made up for it. This is a story that is primarily driven by the characters. Fortunately, I found them interesting and likeable. Overall, I enjoyed myself watching this show.
School Rumble (TV) Very good School Rumble was pretty funny. I like slapstick style humor. I thought this series was similar to Azumanga Daioh in style, which I also enjoyed.
Sakura Wars (TV) So-so Sakura Wars was a mediocre show set in 1920's Tokyo featuring a theatre troupe (all girls) piloting really ugly tin-can like robots. I wasn't impressed. It really didn't look all that great either, the colors were all washed out and it was sort of fuzzy looking. The animation was not good. Also, the English voice acting was atrocious, fortunately the japanese track sounded nice. The story was just ok. On the plus side, I really loved the opening.
Rideback (TV) Excellent Rideback has one of the best first episodes I've seen in a long time. It was the kind that instantly draws you in and makes you want to know "what will happen next?". Also, the main character was the rare female lead that I didn't feel was pandering to anybody. She wasn't the helpless nonentity shoujo lead, nor was she the well endowed fanservicey type that you typically find in male oriented action shows. Actually, this show didn't appear to have any fanservice of any sort, which is kind of rare to find. I found it refreshing. As for the plot, I liked the mix of ballet and mecha, it was different and meshed surprisingly well. I found the ending to be very rushed though. Stuff is glossed over and left unexplained and suddenly there is peace. The show would have fared better as a 26 episode series that took it's time to fully complete the story. Regardless, I still highly enjoyed the show. Interesting plot, interesting characters, fluid animation, good music, decent English acting, it hit all the right notes for me.
(Completed watching July 2011)
Macross Plus (OAV) Excellent Really excellent characters and a great story make this short four episode OVA series a classic.
Mardock Scramble: The First Compression (movie) Good Reading the manga before watching this movie was a mistake, as this is clearly the better adaptation. The more realistic art style compliments the dark tone of the story and watching it in Japanese made the ridiculous names sound a little better. The villians were still totally cheesy and over the top. Overall I found it watchable, but nothing special. Since I know that this is the best part of the story and next comes the super boring casino arc, I'm not planning to bother watching the rest.
(Watched July 2013)
Princess Nine (TV) Excellent Princess Nine is an excellent story about a girls' baseball team. And I don't even like baseball! This is an older show, but the art holds up well, as does the English dub. There was a stretch in the middle of the show where it started to get bogged down in melodrama, but it gets back on track and ends nicely. I would've loved to see a second season to continue the story.
Pretear (TV) Good Pretear is your standard magical girl/reverse harem shoujo. It doesn't add anything new and consists of all the expected tropes. However, despite the 'been there done that' feeling, I enjoyed Pretear. The main character, Himeno, is a cheerful outgoing girl, and is a "never give up type", whether it's to fit in with her new step sisters or improve her fighting skills as the Pretear. She's likable and fun to watch. (Terrible character design though). Of the gaggle of Knight protectors, only one is actually into her, and half of them are little kids, so it's not too heavy on the harem aspect, which I appreciated. The plot is a predicatable save the world from the evil sorceress affair. I detected a bit of a Snow White influence. The japanese track sounds better than the English, whose voices didn't seem to fit the characters. All in all, it's a pretty mediocre show, but I found it fun.
(Completed watching January 2011)
Patlabor the Mobile Police (TV) Excellent Patlabor is a slice-of-life series about a giant robot wielding police force. The show is a good mix of comedy and seriousness, with most of the focus going to the characters and their day to day activities rather than the giant robots. This suited me just fine and I ended up really enjoying the show.
(Completed watching May 2009)
Paradise Kiss (TV) Excellent Paradise Kiss is a realistic teen drama in the same vein as "Beck". I absolutely loved it. The characters, the story, and the art all added up to a completely satisfying viewing experience for me.
Otogi Zoshi (TV) Very good Otogi Zoshi was a fairly good series. I enjoyed the Heian arc much more than the Tokyo arc, which seemed to drag a bit. The soundtrack in the Tokyo arc was a little odd as well, like something from "The Weather Channel" or "Smooth Jazz 96.9" (I'm not a fan). I dislike jazz, but it worked for Cowboy Bebop. It didn't work here. Art wise, it was ok. I liked the more realistic character designs. There were some really funky proportions during the Tokyo Arc though. Overall, I liked the show, but it wasn't perfect.
Kimagure Orange Road (TV) Very good Orange Road started out slow, but eventually grew on me. At the start, I thought I would be annoyed at indecisive Kyosuke and the episodes would be filled with cliche misunderstandings, but that turned out not to be the case, thankfully. The characters were fun and I liked the story. I wish the ending had been a bit better, though it wasn't bad. I suppose I'll have to watch the movies and OVAs for more.
(Completed watching March 2009)
Aria the OVA ~Arietta~ So-so One episode OVA. Completely forgettable. (Completed watching March 2013)
Clannad (TV) Excellent Of all the dating-sim based anime I've seen, this one is by far the best. In fact, this is how a game adaptation should be done. Each of the girls' story arcs is integrated into the plot well so that it gels convincingly. The animation is beautiful. The characters are well written and interesting, not cliche one-attribute stereotypes. The show is a little high in the melodrama for my tastes though. Even still, I enjoyed this show immensly more than it's predecessors, Air and Kanon.
(Completed watching March 2010)
Spice and Wolf II (TV) Excellent Now that character and story introductions are out of the way in season one, this season focuses almost entirely on the relationship between Lawrence and Holo. This show has one of the most mature romance relationships I have seen in anime, as both characters are adults and behave as such. Holo isn't infantilized in order to appeal to the moe loving crowd, as I at first feared when I started watching a show featuring a cute girl with wolf ears and a tail. The show handles it's characters so well, I forgive it for it minimal animation and worldbuilding. I suspect the novels have much more to offer as far as the latter goes. I'm looking forward to picking them up and continuing the story.
(Completed watching April 2013)
Sacred Seven (TV) So-so Not much to say about this show as it was terribly generic. It was like the creators cobbled together a story out of popular anime tropes but didn't bother to develop anything, so the plot is extremely predictable and the characters are flatter than cardboard cutouts. It boils down to average high school boy with powers meets mysterious rich girl with a cool butler and a maid army who fight monster of the week until they face the cackling super-villain. It was tired and I struggled to give a damn. The art and animation were well done though, I'll give it that.
(Completed watching November 2012)
Nightwalker (TV) Good Nightwalker is a mystery/horror type series featuring a vampire as the main character. I like vampire stories, so there's no surprise that I ended up liking this. The series is mostly episodic, with some episodes being weaker than others. It was most successful when it focused on the three main characters and got a little boring when it would go off on a tangent. The art is your standard mid-90's style, which I do like. The opening is really catchy too. Overall, a fairly enjoyable show.
My-Otome (TV) Good My-Otome takes the characters and basic concept of My-Hime, mixes it up in a blender, and then sets it down in an alternate universe. This is not a sequel or related in any way to My-Hime except for the recycling of characters and ideas. I thought it was a fun show, with fun characters, and a fun story. It's not breaking any new ground, but it's silly and entertaining. As far as the Hime/Otome universe goes, I liked Hime better overall, but I thought the ending was better in Otome. Finally, I watched Hime in English and enjoyed it, but I couldn't stand Otome in English. I thought the Japanse actors did a great job.
(Completed watching May 2009)
Ceres, Celestial Legend (TV) Very good My first experience with this title was reading the manga, which I really enjoyed. The anime follows the manga very closely and retains Yu Watase's art style as well. My only complaint is that the English acting was very wooden. Stick to the Japanese track for this one; it was well acted in that language. Otherwise, Ceres managed to keep the same feel as the manga and I really enjoyed the show.
Planetes (TV) Excellent My favorite types of stories are those that are more character driven like this one. Planetes featured a really interesting cast of characters. Everyone from the lead characters down to the side characters had their own story and none of it was boring or felt tacked on. I also liked the more realistic portrayal of the characters and setting. I actually prefer this style to the "big eyes" style.
Mushi-Shi (TV) Masterpiece Mushishi is a beautiful anime. There's really not one thing I would change about it, so that's why I rated it a "Masterpiece". The art, the music, the pacing, etc. were all perfect. That said, I'm not including this in my top 20 for one reason: personal preference. My favorite stories tend to be longer and more in depth. Mushishi is really just a collection of short stories. What wonderful stories they are though.
School Rumble: 2nd Semester (TV) Excellent More excellent comedy. This series just keeps getting funnier. The characters are all so memorable as well. School Rumble manages to make each and every one interesting, which is an amazing feat for such a large cast. This has turned out to be one of my favorite comedy series.
MoonPhase (TV) Good Moonphase is hard for me to write about, because it's such a middle-of-the-road show. I liked it, but wasn't over the moon about it. I liked the characters. I think vampires are cool. I was amused the cross-section illustration of the house and the random pans that fell from the sky. I mostly liked the mixture of the serious and the ridiculous. Every now and then, it crossed the line though, like using the falling pan gag during a serious battle scene. In general, I thought it was a good show, but nothing spectacular.
Midori Days (TV) Very good Midori Days manages to take a ridiculous premise (girl becomes attached to guy's right hand) and make it watchable and funny too. Perhaps it's because it was so different that I really enjoyed the show. I've seen tons of school based romantic comedys by now, but none of them had this particular strange twist. I also appreciated seeing a male lead show that had personality, instead of a boring pathetic loser for the otaku to identify with. I watched this in English and I thought the dub was pretty decent as well. Overall, it was a nice little romantic comedy. Not a masterpiece by any means, but solidly enoyable all the same.
(Completed watching March 2010)
Maison Ikkoku (TV) Excellent Maison Ikkoku grew on me mre and more with each passing episode. It's the characters that make this show. All are fully developed with interesting personalities. There are no throwaway characters here. Such great characterization make this show one of the best I've seen.
Lunar Legend Tsukihime (TV) Good Lunar Legend is a rather short vampire themed story. Unlike others, which focus on action (like Hellsing and Vampire Hunter D), this one is slower and more mysterious in atmosphere. I was entertained by this series; it was pretty good.
Lucky Star (TV) Excellent Lucky Star is a silly, cute and fun comedy show. It's basically plotless, and features a bunch of high school girls (one of which is a raging otaku) doing whatever they do. I had a good time trying to spot all the references to different anime, manga, and games. I could only ever recommend this show to other anime fans though, as someone who is not very familiar with it would not get Lucky Star at all. Basically, it's a show for nerds.
Patlabor 2: The Movie Very good Like the first movie, I found that this one also improved with a second viewing. A lot of conversations and character interactions make more sense after seeing the rest of Patlabor first. Patlabor 2 is very plot focused, with most of the regular cast only appearing briefly. It's more serious and less action/comedy based than the first movie and the TV series. It's also dialog heavy. This movie is not for those with a short attention span. Animation was really excellent, especially for an early '90's movie. I liked it a lot, althought not quite as much as the first movie.
(The) Garden of Words (movie) Good Let me start by saying that this is the most beautiful animated movie I've ever seen. Every detail is accounted for and depicted, from intricate background art to water bugs in a pond to the way rain moves in the wind. It's the story that didn't do much for me. I've seen all of Shinkai's films and the "people separated by whatever" theme factors in all of them. I feel like without the breathtaking visuals, this thing would have put me right to sleep. It's not terrible, it's just the sort of overwrought emotional thing that brings out my cynical side. I'm glad I saw it once.
(Watched January 2014)
Summer Wars (movie) Very good Let me get this out of the way first: this movie is really beautiful, both in art and animation. It's entertaining. But, and big but here, I found the "message" really hokey. The premise is that an experimental hacking program is unleashed on the internet and causes all sorts of chaos. it basically illustrates all the way we rely on technology in our day to day lives and what would happen if that were interrupted. The way the movie emphasizes little old ladies with rotary phones and family bonding is a little corny though. Don't get me wrong, I liked the movie, but I thought the story was a little hamfisted in it's execution. This movie was submitted for an Oscar nomination, but now I see why it didn't make it in. It's pretty and fun to watch, nothing more.
(Watched March 2011)
Kill la Kill (TV) Good Kill la Kill is a fun show on the more style than substance end of the spectrum. It's basically a battle shounen, where people wear super powered clothing form outer space and fight. Its wacky and energetic and completely off the wall. It's a bit repetitive. This is the kind of fare that's entertaining week to week but could never be watched all at once. I enjoyed it as a one time watch only.
(Completed watching March 2014)
Katanagatari (TV) Excellent Katanagatari is a very stylish almost fairytale-like anime in which young man and woman go on a quest to collect 12 legendary swords. This show is absolutely beautiful and just doesn't look like other anime. The story istelf starts out a bit slow and dialog heavy, but viewers with longer attention spans are rewarded with deeper characters and relationships. The ending is excellent, tying up all loose ends and offering a satisfying conclusion. I even liked the music (except for that Ali Project opener used for the later episodes). This is a great show and I'm curious why it hasn't generated more buzz than it has. I loved it.
(completed watching September 2011)
Karin (TV) Very good Karin is a silly + sweet little romantic comedy. I enjoyed it a lot more than expected. I liked the "unvampire" element, that was certainly different. And I got a kick out of all the little visual gags strewn thought the show, like the bottles lined up beside the episode number, or Anju's Boogie doll. Karin and Usui were especially cute. My only major complaint is the ear bleedingly bad English dub. I'm more of a dub fan, but I had to switch to the Japanese track for this one. Thankfully, they sound good, so my ears were saved.
Kamichu! (TV) Very good Kamichu is a cute and funny little show. It's definitely different from most other anime out there. It makes up for it's lack of giant robots, guns, panty shots, and big boobs with pure imagination. This is a quiet upbeat show that made me smile while watching it.
Jyu-Oh-Sei (TV) Very good Jyu Oh Sei is an interesting little sci-fi tale. The actual story was great. So was the art/animation. The characterization was a little flat, but this show is only 11 episodes long. They did manage to tell a complete and coherent story, but I wish they had made this a 26 episode show so that they could have fleshed it out a bit more with some detail. Despite its brevity, I really liked it.
Birdy the Mighty: Decode (TV) Excellent Just looking at the cover and reading the synopsis give the impression that this is a silly fanservice show. Lucky for me, that's not what I got when I finally tried it out. It's a classic case of not judging a book by its cover. Birdy is an action sci fi with very little fanservice actually. Depite the skimpy outfit, Birdy's boobs are normal sized and we're not treated to the camera frequently zooming in on them or the dreaded "crotch cam". As an action story, it's pretty fun. I enjoyed it immensely. The English acting is fairly good in this one too. I'm so glad I gave it a chance.
(Completed watching November 2010)
And Yet the Town Moves (TV) Excellent Just hearing the premise, about a girl working in a maid cafe, brought to mind countless otaku pandering shows, so I didn't initially seek out this show. I actually read a review somewhere (maybe even here on ANN) that cause me to give it another look. I'm glad I did, as this is anything but just another fetishy otaku show. For one, the characters are surprisingly well rounded, and the town is populated by a large variety of them: kids, old people, middle aged men, not just cute high school girls. The characters look and act in age appropriate ways, Hotori is believable as a high school girl. Her younger siblings look and act their ages, no super mature "imouto" here. The comedy comes from this large variety of well rounded personalities bouncing off each other in their day to day lives. Occasionally, the show takes a turn for the absurd or bizarre, which has pretty funny results, but the focus is not on strange hijinks. This is a very funny show with well written characters, I'm super happy I gave it a shot.
(Completed watching July 2012)
NANA (TV) Masterpiece It's been quite awhile since I've seen a show as good as this one. After sitting through so many contrived. cliche anime with typical anime art and typical anime J-pop music, NANA is like a breath of fresh air. The characters and their situations are so real and relatable that this show was a joy to watch. I love Ai Yazawa's art, and it's recreated beautifully here. And the music! I loved it so much I went and tracked down the soundtrack. Honestly, I love everything about this show and it's become one of my favorites.
(Completed watching May 2010)
Hourou Musuko (TV) Masterpiece It's been awhile since I've seen a show as perfect as this one. It follows a couple of gender confused kids, treating the subject seriously, and not as comedy. This show has some of the best characterization I've encountered in anime, as the characters are well fleshed out, fully human, and their thoughts and motivations are illustrated and make sense. Because of this, emotional moments (of which there were a lot) had weight. I can't think of a single thing wrong with this show other than I wish it were longer. I loved it and I really hope I can buy it on DVD someday.
(Completed watching February 2012)
Voices of a Distant Star (OAV) Good It's been awhile since I have seen this and I don't think it has aged well. It's still impressive as Makoto Shinkai's first film where he pretty much did it all, but judged on it's own, the story is trite and it looks cheap as hell. I feel like the movie is so short that there isn't enough character development for me to really connect with them, so what is supposed to tug on the heartstrings kinda leaves me cold. Also, the ending is inconclusive. Does she die or get a rescue? Does she ever get to go home? What the hell is happening there?
(Completed rewatch December 2013)
Stratos 4 (TV) Decent It was alright. The characters weren't that memorable and the plot was pretty mediocre. I was fairly entertained while watching Stratos 4, but I'm glad it was only 13 episodes long. I don't think I could have handled any more without seriously dropping my rating of the show.
(The) Vision of Escaflowne (TV) Very good It took a few volumes before I really got into Escaflowne. I blame it on the horrible English dub. I usually prefer watching in English, but I had to switch to subtitles for this one. AS soon as I did, I found myself able to enjoy the characters and the story.
Black Butler (TV) Very good It took a few episodes for me to get into this show. For one, it had a very inconsistent feel, as it would switch from super dark to silly slapstick without warning. Besides Sebastian and Ceil, most of the rest of the cast appeared to be shallow and one note; only there for comic relief. It's not until late that these characters are expanded on even slightly. Still, the meat of the show is in Sebastian and Ciel's characterization, which was excellent. Also, the first half of the show was broken up into different stand alone arcs that appeared to have little to do with each other. It's not until the very end that all these threads come together. Despite the lackluster beginning, the ending is great and I ended up really enjoying the show. I can't wait to see where it goes with season 2.
(Completed watching January 2012)
Moyashimon (TV) Good It took a bit for me to warm up to this series. The first few episodes are a little dry, as the focus is more about Sawaki's microbe seeing ability and things microbes do. I'm sure a biology nerd would be lovin it but I was starting to get bored. Thankfully, in the latter half of the series, the microbes took a back seat to getting to know the characters a bit better, and this is the point I stated to enjoy the show. I'm not sure I'm going to watch the reputably inferior second season, but this first series was unique, entertaining and well worth a one time watch.
(Completed watching October 2012)
Speed Grapher (TV) Excellent Interesting characters, a plot I haven't seen done yet, it was a win for me. The voice acting was pretty good as well. My only (tiny) complaint is that the animation seemed really wooden at times.
Infinite Ryvius (TV) Excellent Infinite Ryvius is pretty much like Lord of the Flies on a space ship. This is a very character driven show and featured quite a large cast. I was very entertained watching all the kids try to deal with their situation and each other. The English dub is a little rocky, but it's listenable and it did grow on me by the end. The ending was great too, with a whole episode devoted to the "epilogue", which was nice for tying up loose ends. Overall, I thought the show was excellent.
(Completed watching May 2009)
(La) Corda D'Oro - primo passo (TV) Decent Including "romance" in the genre tags for this show is a little misleading. For a show based on a girls dating sim, you'd expect to see it, but there is none. It seems instead of doing an adaptation that follows one path to its conclusion, La Corda d'Oro tries to include the beginning flags of them all, but doesn't commit to any, therefore leaving it as just a big friend-fest. Instead it focuses on the music competiton and Kahoko's struggles with learning the violin. Unfortunately, it cheaps out there as well, as we never learn who wins the competition and the stakes are pretty vague. As far as reverse harems go, this one isn't bad though. Kahoko is your generic nice girl, but she isn't a drip. Most of the boys were interesting enough that I could see Kahoko ending up with one of them (except that narcoleptic one; I can't fathom why anyone would consider him a romantic possiblilty). So while this could have been much better (see Clannad for one of these game adaptations done right), it wasn't a total waste and I was at least entertained.
(Completed watching November 2011)
Millennium Actress (movie) Good In this, a guy interviews a formerly very famous actress who has been living as a recluse for the past 30 years. She tells him the story of her life interspersed with scenes from her movies, so we're never really sure what actually happened and whats embellishment. Visually, it's beautifully animated. It has great music and it's well acted. However, while I found Chiyoko's tale interesting, I was never really invested in it. The one seemingly driving force in her life was a man she met briefly when she was a teen. Why she fixates on him for her entire lifetime I cannot fathom. On the other hand, the idea of him drove her to become a great actress. I did find the movie to be thought provoking. This is the kind of movie I'm glad I got to see at least once, but it'll never be a personal favorite.
(Completed watching August 2012)
Btooom! (TV) Not really good In this show, a bunch of undesirables are sent to an island to throw bombs at each other just like a videogame named BTOOOM!. First the show is mindnumbingly stupid, an entertaining kind of stupid, but stupid nonetheless. From dumb character actions to Himiko's magic bomb deflecting breasts, I rolled my eyes at least once an episode. Not only is it stupid, but there is no resolution. At the end of the show, they are still on the island. In fact the plot itself doesn't stand up to much scrutiny. What? A videogame company wants to beta test it's game by kidnapping real people and using real weapons? What? Best not to think about it. The show is stupid, but it's entertianing in a trainwrecky sort of way.
(Completed watching September 2013)
Black Butler II (TV) Very good In this sequel, the original ending was retconned in order to create this continuation. However, in my opinion, it works. Claude and Alois are the clear villians and an interesting foil for Ciel/Sebastian. The story is a bit more tightly plotted this time around, with much less descent into "wacky mode". In fact, the screen time for the comic characters is greatly diminished, which is a step in the right direction. This series is at its best when the story sticks to dark and twisted. The previous series' yoyo-ing tone between super silly and super dark almost ruined it for me. Thankfully, it pulled itself together at the end and this sequel ended up being just as enjoyable.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Tokyo Majin Gakuen Kenpucho: Tou 2nd Act (TV) Not really good In this second season, our cast of cardboard cutouts is joined by a slew of even more one note characters, some of which seem to serve no real purpose. In fact, plot threads are added that have nothing to do with the main story at all, such as the two teachers true natures. The pacing in these 12 episodes is atrocious and the storytelling increasingly disjointed. In fact, the last two episodes at the end is almost entirely taken up with flashback/backstory, most of which is reused bits from previous episodes. I can almost say that watching this was a waste of time, about the only thing it did competently was the art and animation. The actual writing was terrible. I kept hoping it would actually go somewhere, but it never did.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Space Adventure Cobra - The Movie So-so If you've ever seen a cheesy 80's sci-fi movie, this will feel familiar. I give it credit for it's interesting psychedelic visual style, and that's all. The story is a shlockfest in which Cobra meets a mysterious woman who falls in love with him and jibberish gobbledy gook. The movie is worth viewing once, but it definitely feels like a product of its time.
(Watched February 2014)
Record of Lodoss War (OAV) Not really good If you've ever played an RPG or read a fantasy novel like "Lord of the Rings", you've essentially seen this show. I found it tired and predictable. What was probably the cutting edge in fantasy anime in 1990 hasn't aged well in 2008. The characters are all your standard fantasy cliches: the elf, the dwarf, the mage, the healer, the warrior, and etc. The voice acting (English) is rather wooden as well. About the only thing I liked were the early 90's style character designs. Eyes are smaller, faces are more angular, and hair is more detailed and "strandy". They just don't draw them quite like this anymore.
Samurai 7 (TV) Masterpiece I've watched this all the way through 3 times in all. The awesome story and interesting characters make this my second favorite anime, right behind Cowboy Bebop.
Chōyaku Hyakunin Isshu: Uta Koi (TV) Decent I've watched Chihayafuru, which is about a card game that uses the hundred poems, so I wasn't completely in the dark when starting this anime, which takes those poems and weaves them into stories. The show is mostly set in the Heian period, and utilizes an art style similar to woodblock paintings. It doesn't have a linear plot, as it's mostly episodic, with some characters reappearing. I do find the occasional (done on purpose) anachronism annoying though. The entirety of episode six nearly lost me, with the ox race Grand Prix, the host club, the talk show, and other attempts at comedy. This show's strength is in the historic atmosphere, so when that's taken away, I lose interest fast. Thankfully, the show got back on track with episode 8. Even though I found the subject matter interesting, due to it's episodic nature, I was never able to connect with any of the characters or stories. Overall, I enjoyed the show as a one time watch.
(Completed watch October 2012)
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket (OAV) Decent I've tried a few of the Gundam series now and didn't get very far with any of them. I decided to give Gundam another chance and checked out this 6 episode OVA. I actually finished this one, but I still thought it was meh. The actual story was decent enough, and it was well animated. I also liked the older style art and character designs. However, the kid was incredibly annoying. Not only that, the show wasn't long enough to provide for any real development with any of the characters besides the kid. The robot action didn't really do anything for me either, I think the appeal of Gundam is seeing giant robots blow shit up, which is fine and all, but I need something more. So, I think Gundam just isn't my thing.
(Completed watching November 2010)
Rozen Maiden – Zurückspulen (TV) Decent I've seen the original show, and I remember liking it, but that's about it. Fortunately (or unfortunately), the first episode is a recap. The show then follows an older college age Jun who didn't chose to wind the doll. The dolls find their way to his world anyway, in order to shape events in their own. The tone is a little creepier than I remember. Jun is more of a drip. There were a few eye rolling moments near the end where it seemed as if he was forming a doll harem. Jun does have some character development though, as he's less of a drip by the time the series ends. Speaking of ending, the show doesn't have one. It's one of those annoying anime cliffhangers that requires you to go read the manga. Other than that,I thought the show was ok. It was worth the one time watch, but I'm not enough of a fan to ever want to see it again.
(Completed watching September 2013)
Kodocha (TV) Excellent I've seen all 51 eps. of the first season. I thought the show (minus the filler in Vol. 7 & 8) was excellent. Kodocha excelled at mixing crazy slapstick with serious drama. Sana and crew were some of the most memorable characters in anime. The English voices were such a good fit for the characters as well. Too bad that I'll probably never get to see the second half. =(
Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ (TV) Excellent I've seen a few of Bee Train's assassin shows by now (Noir, Madlax, etc.) and I can say this one is by far the best. Perhaps because it is based on game instead of an original production, it is not bogged down by repetitive flashbacks and glacial pacing like its predecessors. It looks gorgeous as well, in both art and animation. The only beef I have with this show is that the last arc starts to get a little ridiculous (Scythe Master in particular), and while at first I was satisfied with the ending, the final 30 seconds or so was a total WTF, like a slap in the face. The show really shines in the beginning arc, where Reiji first meets Ein and begins his training as an assassin. I could not stop watching. The show's drop in quality as it went on did not stop me from enjoying it immensely though. I will just pretend that I didn't see those last 30 seconds.
(Completed watching April 2013)
(The) Mystic Archives of Dantalian (TV) So-so I've seen 6 episodes of Dantalian so far, and while it is very pleasing to the eye and has great music, it doesn't appear to be going anywhere. Halfway through the show one should have at least an idea of where the show is going, but the episodes in this are all unrelated and seemingly meaningless so far. Despite the well done visuals, there are some things that keep throwing me out of the story. For one, the show is supposed to be taking place right after WWI, but the characters are dressed in styles straight out of the Victorian era. It creates a disconnect between time and place when the chaarcters look decades out of date. Also, I could do without the unlocking sequence, as the imagery of a man thrusting his arm inside a young girl i.e. "penetrating her" is a little on the creepy side. Watching this show has started to become a chore as I find myself losing interest fast.

I managed to watch the last half of the show and my opinion hasn't changed. A brief glimmer of a story appears in the very last episode, with the inclusion of two rival Biblioprincess/keymaster pairs, but it's too little too late. Inthe end, this show turned out to be painfully mediocre.
(Completed watching November 2011)

Spice and Wolf (TV) Very good I've read the first novel and I check out the manga, so I knew going in that this was about the travels of Lawrence and Holo, and the economic challenges they face. What I appreciated most about this show was the mature relationship between Lawrence and Holo. Holo is a strong character and not dumbed down in order to win moe points, which so easily could have happened with a show about a girl with ears and a tail. While I could take or leave the economics, the plot is well done. I'm really here for the characters though. I'm looking forward to season two.
(Completed watching April 2013)
Simoun (TV) Decent I've only seen a handful of yuri shows at this point, but in general, it is not my thing. I can only judge them in relation to other (non-yuri) shows. This one stacks up somewhere near the middle of the pack. It is not a bad show, the world building in particular was quite interesting and plausible, but the story itself had a tendency to drag. It was a decently written show and I appreciated the lack of info-dump style exposition, which usually accompanies stories like this. However, I occasionally found it boring, not only due to the slow pace, but also because I was not invested in the characters or their relationships. In the end, I'm glad I watched it, but I will never revisit this.
(Completed watching August 2012)
Shingu: Secret of the Stellar Wars (TV) Not really good I've managed to slog through 16 episodes so far and I can't say I'm enjoying this show. It started off ok, the intitial set up with Hajime discovering the hidden secret of the town was interesting. Unfortunately, the plot is moving slower than molasses and the show violates the "show don't tell" rule a lot. There's a lot of sitting around and talking about what happened, what may happen, and what's currently happening, but the majority of events are occuring offscreen somewhere/place far away. It seems there's a meeting of some sort in every episode. To add to that, I'm only finding the characters mildly interesting, so watching them sit around and talk for half the epsiode is hardly interesting. I'll finish the show because for some reason my husband seems to like it, but I hope something happens soon because it's putting me to sleep.

I've finished the show. Unfortunately, I never did get into it. The problems I had with the first third of the show, the slow pace and the long winded meetings, continued through the last third. Even the climax of the series, the last two episodes, were plaqued with long periods of characters sitting around and watching the action happening far away on screen. In the end, I found the whole affair dreadfully boring. I usually have no problem with slow paced shows or plotless slice of life shows, such as Casshern Sins or Aria, but Shingu did me in.
(Completed watching February 2011)

Hiiro no Kakera - The Tamayori Princess Saga (TV) Not really good I've made it through half of this first season and honestly I'm finding it a bit of a bore. The show is an otome game adaptation and it's about as formulaic as they come. The blank slate audience stand in lead is the magical priestess and is surrounded by a gaggle of pretty boys with one trait personalities that must protect her. To be honest, the only reason I'm watching this is because there are slim pickings for shoujo anime, compared with umpteen 4-koma adaptations or harem comedies a season. Even still, I'm considering dropping this, as it is just like every other otome game adaptation out there, but with no new twist to make it even remotely interesting.

Well, I finished it out of sheer stubborness. The plot seriously dragged until the last couple of episodes there is a little development with both the priestess thing and the romance. I was surprised to see the inclusion of romance, because usually these kinds of shows avoid it instead of picking a route. I can't say the show is any good, but I think I will check out the second season anyway just to see where it goes.
(Completed watching January 2013)

Giant Killing (TV) Very good I've discovered that I like sports anime, so I thought I'd get a lot of enjoyment out of Giant Killing. I'm not a soccer fan, but I'm also not a baseball fan and I've enjoyed several baseball shows, such as Big Windup, Princess Nine, and Taisho Baseball Girls. Unfortunately, this didn't hold true for this show, as even animated soccer isn't very interesting to me. It took awhile for me to warm up to the characters. Also, there's a lot of English dialog in this show, but it's heavily accented and flatly delivered, like non-native speakers reading off a script. It's sounds horrible and completely takes me out of the show. Episode six was nearly my breaking point. I noticed the same thing in episodes 10-12 with the Brazilian players. I don't speak a lick of Portugese, and even I noticed that something sounded quite "off" with the cadence of the speech. This show would probably benefit a lot from being dubbed in English. Another thing that took some getting used to was the super pointy art style. It worked for some characters, but others came away looking as if they'd been beaten with an ugly stick. While it seems like I have a lot of complaints, I did like the show overall. It was a good show, with an entertaining story and well done animation. It's just not really to my taste so I didn't like it as much as I had hoped.
(Completed watching September 2011)
Burst Angel (TV) Not really good I've been slowly watching this as episodes become available on Comcast's On Demand service. It's not a very good show, but it's watchable. It's obviously low budget in the animation department, unlike the just watched "Last Exile".

I've gotten up to episode 12 so far. Some of these episodes were hilariously bad. Meg's Bruce Lee transformation in ep. 9, and the Osaka epsiodes with their awful fake accents took the cake though. I admit it's mildly entertaining in a trainwrecky sort of way, and my S.O. likes it, so I'll keep torturing myself with this show.

I finally finished the last few episodes of the show, in which Burst Angel's craptacular plot limped home to its equally craptacular conclusion. Man, I'm glad I didn't pay money for this show. The ending was a hot mess. The villian was lame and easily defeated with a minumum of explanation. In fact, the plot holes were horrific throught the series. I usually like Funimation's dubs, but the voices were just bad in this show. The animation was a sorry sight as well. In conclusion, Burst Angel just isn't a very good show.

Noir (TV) Good I've been paring down my collection lately. It's been years since I last saw this, so I popped it in to refresh my memory. The first five episodes have a very atmospheric, mysterious quality, but they are paced slower than molasses. Lots of reused footage and flashbacks certainly don't help. I still find the plot interesting though, but since it's not a favorite, I'm going to let it go.
(Revisited December 2013)
Psycho-Pass (TV) Excellent I've been in an anime slump for several months now and this show was just the thing to get me interested again. Not many anime are this well written, which lead to my burnout. It's about a detective living in a creepy utopia who is tasked capturing a criminal and discovers the truth of the foundation of society. I was a little put off by Akane's character design at first, as she appears to be very young and a little moe-ified, but her character is developed so well that it isn't a problem. And, now that she knows the truth, I can't wait for the sequel airing in the Fall.
(Completed watching June 2014)
Black Blood Brothers (TV) Decent I've been catching this as the episodes pop up on Comcast's On Demand. Frankly, it's not worth purchasing. I find it entertaining and the characters are fun, but I'd never care to see it again. The plot is pretty stupid, Jiro's hat is ridiculously ugly, and the negotiator chick is dumber than rocks. On the plus side, it's pretty to look at and Funimation did a good job on the dub. Also, vampires are cool.

Now that I've finished the show, I can safely say that it was the very definition of mediocre. The ending was pretty lackluster. It was also open ended which can be annoying, but since this show was pretty "meh" I'm not upset. Overall, I found the show entertaining but forgettable.

Loveless (TV) Good I've already read the still ongoing Loveless manga, so I knew what to expect when watching this: catboys/girls, an odd relationship between a man and a boy, magic word battles and a shadowy organization called "Septimal Moon", all with little explanation and without much of an ending. This is also clearly a budget show with very limited animation. Yet, despite it's flaws, I liked the show. The characters are all very complex and the whole thing had a sort of dreamlike feel. The show is thought provoking as well. The clues are slow in coming, and had me speculating what it all means and where it's going. In the end, I prefer the manga, but the anime isn't a disappointing adaptation.
(Completed watching November 2010)
Baccano! (TV) Excellent I've actually watched this series twice now and it's just as entertaining the second time around. I love how the plot is sort of puzzle pieced together, jumping around in the timeline and following a large cast of characters. The characters themselves are an interesting bunch. The setting and timeperiod, 1930's New York, are not common anime staples either. This show is like a palate refresher after watching typical anime and getting tired of all the same cliches and tropes. I love this show and it has a permanent place in my collection, to be rewatched many times.
(Completed watching July 2011)
Tiger & Bunny (TV) Excellent I'm not used to seeing western style superhero stories in anime, and combined with a (mostly) grown up cast, I was pretty much guaranteed to enjoy this. It does something interesting with the premise also, in that the heroes exploits are broadcast on TV on a reality show. It also is a slow starter, taking some time to develop its cast. The show doesn't really take off until the second half. I liked the more unique and realistically drawn character designs, although sometimes they would go horribly off model. That's really my only complaint though, as the rest of the show held my attention completely. It even ended well, a rarity for anime, but left a small dangling thread for movies/sequels. I'd love to watch more.
(Completed watching November 2013)
Darker than Black (TV) Excellent I'm a bit late to the party on this show, as it came out in 2007 and I'm only getting to see it now. I'm glad I saved it until now however, as I'm lately feeling a bit burnt out on anime and this show was exactly the thing I needed right now. It's a sci-fi action/drama, in which a phenomena known as Heaven's/Hell's Gate has appeared and created beings known as "contractors" with X-men like powers. The show starts with short story arcs, and each two episode "case" builds upon the world and characters, creating a story and characters with depth. The ending is great too, tying up all the major loose ends but leaving a few for the second season, which I can't wait to watch. The animation is this series is fluid and well drawn, and the CG when used is well integrated too. Overall, this is an excellent action show and one of the best I've viewed in quite awhile.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Highlander: The Search for Vengeance (movie) Weak I went into this with low expectations, expecting a cheesy action flick, and my prediction was spot on. This movie is not good. First, Highlander itself is inherently cheesy, so the anime version was pretty much doomed from the start. This one is set in a futuristic, post apocalyptic looking New York. The plot is very shallow and I suspect the futuristc setting was an excuse to throw in whatever random shit they could think of and not explain any of it. The character designs were terrible. It looked like they were going for an 80's throwback look, but I kept getting distracted by the ridiculous costumes and the Jay Leno chins on them. And, lets talk about the bad acting and the terrible script. During the flashback sequences, the characters affected this horribly fake sounding Scottish accent. Also, all of Colin's lines were delivered in a flat deadpan voice. Yeah, the acting was earbleedingly bad. The cheesy lines they were given didn't help. Since I expected a craptacular movie, I was mildly amused by this, but I really wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
(Completed watching December 2010)
Casshern Sins (TV) Very good I went into this completely blind and ended up enjoying it quite a bit. The art and visual style was different from anything I've ever seen. The animation was fluid and well done. This show obviously had a budget to work with. The story was your typical post apocalyptic fantasy thing, but I enjoy stories like this so I was able to get into it. My only real complaint is that it was slow and certain themes and lines of dialog were kinda repetitive. If it were a bit more subtle and tightly plotted, I would have graded it higher. As is, it is still a highly enjoyable action show.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Rocket Girls (TV) Good I went in to this with low expectations. Based on the simplistic title "Rocket Girls" and the trio of cute girls on the cover, I thought this was going to be a fluff show with a bit of fanservice. Thankfully, that is not this show. Instead, it is a more serious look at a developing space program, albeit with young girls in the cockpit. The show does come up with a plausible reason for having teen girl pilots, which is more than most shows bother with. Most of the time it tries to keep things in the realm of realistic scientifically, but now and then there would be a big "doh". For example, upon renetering the atmosphere, Yukari's spacepod lands in a swimming pool. Yeah...no. Despite these occasional blunders, I found the show highly entertaining. It's cute and inoffensive and fun, with a minimum of otakubait cluttering up the story.
(completed watching August 2012)
Freedom (OAV) Excellent I watched this whole thing in one night. It was so good, I just couldn't stop. The plot was excellent, and at 7 episodes the story is fast paced and tightly woven, with no "filler". The story was also one of my favorite types: space adventure. Finally, apart from the computer animated mannequin-like character designs, the animation and background art were beautiful.
xxxHOLiC the Movie: A Midsummer Night's Dream Excellent I watched this movie without ever having seen anything of the TV series. Thankfully, it stands alone. I thought it was outstanding and I loved the quirky style of animation/art. I'm definitely going to check out the TV show right away.
RahXephon (TV) Masterpiece I watched this anime after seeing Evangelion, a similar show that I also enjoyed. I loved Eva, but in my opinion, RahXephon is superior. First, Ayato is a much more likable main character than Shinji. Second, I found the overall plot to be a bit more interesting and less convoluted. Lastly, I much prefered how this series ended.
Koi Kaze (TV) Excellent I wasn't sure about this one due to the subject matter, but I gave it a chance due to the high ratings and good reviews that it received. I'm glad I did. The story was a little creepy, but I've never encountered another anime that made me think so much after watching it.
Hatsukoi Limited (TV) Very good I wasn't expecting to like this show as much as I did. It's a shounen romance with a large cast made up of high school and junior high kids. Because of the large cast, the focus shifted often to one couple or another, keeping it from feeling stale. The characters themselves consisted of a large variety of personalities and looks, and paired them together in a natural feeling way. All of the characters had chemistry together, which is the recipe for success in a romance show. The only reminder that I was not the target audience was the occasional panty shot and boob bouncing, which was easy enough for me to ignore, as the romance here was really well done.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens (TV) Excellent I wasn't expecting much from what seemed like an obvious otaku show, but found to my delight that I really enjoyed Kannagi. It was such a fun show, with a group of really likable characters and a good sense of comedy. I loved it and was a bit disappointed that it only 14 episodes.
(Completed watching October 2009)
Ping Pong (TV) Excellent I wasn't expecting much from this, as I have no interest in Ping Pong and Matsumoto's art style turns me way off. However, it boiled down to a well written drama about these boys finding their way/motivation in playing their sport. I particularly loved the character development for the leads in such a short show. Yes, the art still took some getting used to, but it really grew on me by the end. It was expressive and it's "looseness" was captured in the animation particularly well. I ended up thoroughly enjoying the show. I would love this to come out here on disc so I can add it to my collection.
(Completed watching July 2014)
Nighthead Genesis (TV) Very good I wasn't expecting much from this show, as it appears to have no fanbase. I've never read any buzz about it and it seems it was forgotten almost as soon as it finished airing. Thankfully, I thought it sounded interesting and gave it a shot. It is the story of two brothers with psychic powers who are taken away to a research facility when they are kids. As adults, they escape and encounter others like themselves, some good, some not so much, and must use their powers to keep the world from being destroyed in one way or another. I like the way the series starts out small, with the brothers trying to stop a serial killer, and ends big, with the brothers trying to stop an earthquake. The episodes all build toward a larger story, but starting small and slower paced allowed time for good character building. The shows tone was dark and deadly serious, so those sick of silly sight gags, mascot characters, and other "anime-isms" will find a welcome break here. This show was clearly created on the cheap though, as it was minimally animated. Despite the low budget treatment however, the creators still managed to create a visually pleasing show. The CG wasn't bad, and they hired You Higuri to do the character designs. All in all, the show was a pleasant surprise for me. I enjoyed it quite a bit.
(Completed watching December 2011)
Peacemaker (TV) Very good I was unsure about Peacemaker until I had watched a few episodes and the characters started to grow on me. I also found that I enjoyed this show much more in Japanese. I usually prefer English, but the Japanese voices sounded more natural in this case.
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV 2009 renewal) Excellent I was so excited to learn that more Haruhi was being animated, as I really loved the original show. This wasn't quite as satisfying, because I wanted more. The endless eight arc, while it wasn't as bad as I feared, took up more than half of the show. But in the end, it's more Haruhi. If I can be entertained watching a variation of the same damn episode eight times in a row, the show is doing something right. The characters are just so fun to watch that it doesn't matter that I've seen them go to the pool eight times. I really enjoyed the making of the movie arc too. Seeing that little bit of backstory get filled in really adds to the charm of the movie. (And then I wanted to watch it again too). Overall, excellent show. I will be lining up to buy if they ever animate more.
(Completed watching September 2010)
X (TV) Decent I was really into this at first. Unfortunately, it slowed down considerably towards the middle and it was really repetitive. "The future has not been determined yet" could be a drinking game. It concluded nicely though. I just wish that some of the charaters could have been developed more fully.
Legend of Himiko (TV) Decent I was ready to drop this after the first episode. It's very dated looking with limited animation, and the plot wasn't convincing me to continue. However, I did give it a couple more and decided to stick with it. It's basically a "kids get sucked into another world" show, where two countries are at war and Himiko and Kitani's powers are needed for one side to regain their homeland. It really doesn't do anything new with the formula, but I did like the story and especially the very end. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but I felt it's was worth watching once.
(Completed watching August 2012)
True Tears (TV) Good I was pleasantly surprised by this show, as I was expecting something a lot more generic than what I got. This is a romantic drama featuring three boys and three girls. There isn't any comedy present here as this is a straight drama, but it doesn't cross the line into cheap melodrama the way other shows of its genre commonly do. The lead is your typical clueless, passive, nice guy sort that stars in shounen romances. The rest of the characters are pretty much just archetypes as well. The show doesn't tread any new ground, but it is still entertaining for what it is. I'd say this is a well written example of a familiar genre. It even looks great, with fluid animation and well blended CG. This is a classic case of not judging a show by its cover.
(Completed watching July 2011)
Someday's Dreamers (TV) Very good I was pleasantly surprised by this anime. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Someday's Dreamers is a slower paced show, but not boring. I noticed that a lot of detail was put into the backgounds and art which really brought the story to life. The music fit the show to a tee. The characters kept my interest as well. I give it a B+.
My-HiME (TV) Excellent I was pleasantly surprised by My-Hime. After the first few episodes, I was expecting a sort of silly, but mildly enjoyable "girls with powers" show. It ended up being a little more complicated than that. The characterization was really well done as was the plot. Instead of just watching to pass the time, I was really interested in the story. I could've done without the cheap ending, but it still sort of fit the tone the show set in the beginning.
Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit (TV) Masterpiece I was immediately sucked in by this show. I could not stop watching and finished the whole show in two days. The serious tone and the psuedo-historical fantasy style setting really appealed to me as did the the characters. The animation was top notch and really pleasant to watch. The music was perfect. Really, this show is now among my favorites.
(Completed watching February 2010)
Big Windup! (TV) Excellent I was hesitant to try this show because baseball bores me to tears, yet I ended up really enjoying it. Yes, it is heavy on the baseball, but the characters are so watchable that it becomes interesting. They have character designs unique to each other and personalities that don't rely on tropes. The lead character does take some getting used to, as he's a crier with no self esteem, but he manages to grow on you as the series goes on. The dub is great. It's well acted and the voices fit the characters. Finding unique voices for that many characters must've been a challenge. I really wish I would have bought this title as it came out, because the second season has pretty much no chance of being licensed due to crappy sales. A shame really, as it's an excellent show.
(Completed watching January 2011)
Nagi no Asukara (TV) Excellent I was first struck by how beautiful this show was, with its underwater seascapes and detailed art. it's about a group of kids from the undersea village who come to the surface to attend middle school. it's a complex story that starts very simply, allowing one to grow attached to the characters and town. Thea rt was just so well done that the locations felt like real places. The drama never felt forced either. The ending was very satisfying, tie up loose ends but leaving it slightly open to hint at the future. I can't wait to buy this one, as I enjoyed it more than any in awhile.(Completed watching April 2014)
Mirage of Blaze (TV) Good I was expecting yet another "bishounen fights demons" show when I started watching this, but thankfully the story turned out to be a lot more interesting and not as expected. Apparently, fuedal lords are reincarnated in order to keep warring over territory, this time on the spiritual plane. The main character, Takaya, is one of these "possessors" yet he has no memory of his past life. I really liked how this show focused on the characters and their relationships which lent it a bit of depth beyond "pretty boys fighting". This is based on a series of novels so the anime ends an arc but does not offer a true ending. Unfortunately, after this there is only a three epsiode OVA. The novels have not been translated to English either, so I have no way of finding out how this ends. Still, I enjoyed the show much more than I was expecting to and am looking forward to checking out the OVA.
(Completed watching October 2011)
Kyousogiga (TV) Good I was compelled to watch this after viewing the one episode OVA, which was chaotic, off the wall and pretty much unintelligible, but with a very cool visual style a la FLCL. Thankfully the TV series takes some time to fill in some of the details, but not all. I appreciated that this show absolutely does not spoonfeed info but doles it out carefully and allows the viewer to figure out much of it themselves. This anime uses Alice in Wonderland themes with a heavy Buddhist/Shinto influence, which I haven't really seen done before. Overall, this is one of the more unique offerings in the Fall 2013 season and I'm glad it as available on Crunchyroll for me to watch.
(Completed watching January 2014)
Death Note (TV) Masterpiece I was blown away by this show. It's simply one of the best plotted shows I've ever encountered. Even my disappointment with the death of a main character wasn't enough to ruin the show for me. The animation, as well as the English voice acting, was above average as well. Death Note definitely goes down as one of my new favorites.
Basilisk (TV) Excellent I was at first reluctant to watch this because I knew how it was going to end. I was completely sucked in anyway. I marathoned this one with my husband and we both totally enjoyed it. I tend to enjoy really violent more "adult" anime anyway. so this was right up my alley.
(The) Princess and the Pilot (movie) Decent I was a little disappointed with this movie, as I was hping for something better than what I got. I thought it looked beautiful, but suffered from horribly unsubtle writing. Charles is low born (emphasized over and over) and he is tasked with escorting a princess across enemy lines to her fiance in another country. This plot is full of cliches executed in familiar ways. I found myself becoming bored about half way through because it is such a by the numbers story. Fortunately, it is pretty to look at, so i don't regret watching it. I found it mildly entertaining and worth the one time watch.
(Watched November 2013)
(The) Irresponsible Captain Tylor (TV) Good I wanted to like this show more than I did. The beginning showed promise, when it intoduced us to our goofy main character, Tylor, and set the stage for the war with the Raalgon. Unfortunately, it put that on the back burner to engage in a whole bunch of silliness withthe crew of the Soyokaze. I found all this to be only mildly entertaining. Fortunately, it picks up a bit and the ending is great. It was one of the few episodes where I laughed out loud. In the end, I did like the show, but I didn't like it enough to ever watch it again.
(Completed watching October 2010)
No. 6 (TV) Good I wanted to like this show more than I did. I love creepy utopias and crazy sci-fi, Ergo Proxy is one of my favorites after all. Unfortunately, this one was brought short mainly by inadequate world building and seemly pulled form the ass plot elements. A few more details and proper set up would have made the story flow so much more naturally and not feel like it's abruptly transitioning from one point to the next. The one thing the show does get right are the two lead characters and the relationship between them. This element is written in a way where the progression feels natural. I wish the rest of the show had had such careful handling. It's not often that a show portrays a gay relationship and it's not immediately shuffled off into the BL ghetto.
(Completed watching February 2014)
Corpse Princess (TV) Decent I wanted to like this show more than I did, but honestly I found it a little boring. The lead is your typical bland as toast teenage boy who encounters a Shikabane Hime, a girl whose purpose is to fight monsters. The action scenes are well animated and fun to watch, but outside of those, the story grinds to a halt. The show also utilizes the "characters tell each other stuff they already should know" style of exposition, which makes for a clunky poorly written script. I kept watching in hope that it would improve, but the show remained painfully mediocre until the end.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Sasameki Koto (TV) Good I wanted to like this show more than I did, as the first episode in particular was an excellent set-up. Sumika has an unrequited crush on her friend Ushio, who in turn suffers from various unrequited crushes. Ushio tends to fall for small, cute girls, whereas Sumika is a very tall, athletic, capable sort. I liked Sumika as a protagonist, I found her funny and her thoughts and action were believable, generally a well written character. The cast surrounding her wasn't quite so developed. Still, the story for those first few episodes made up for it. Unfortunately, there were a couple of instances where the show would be subject to various "otaku bait" gimmicks which brought it way down in my opinion. For example in episode five, the girls head to Ushio's house where they end up all dressing in fetishy maid costumes and having a cooking contest. There was also a creepy episode where Sumika goes out with a date with a cross dressing boy while being stalked by his little sister. Overall though, the fanservice was minor. Really, the show just seemed to lose steam, plotwise, and the ending was pretty inconclusive. I found the show fun and entertaining on the whole, but it's not the sort of show I feel is a "must own". I'm content with seeing it once on Crunchyroll.
(Completed watching March 2012)
Kizuna (OAV) Decent I vastly prefer the manga to this OVA. That said, the OVA is still fairly decent. The art isn't as good and it's filled with cheesy 90's music, but the basic plot from the first manga volume is there and it's still pretty good. I didn't understand why this was labeled as an 18+ Adult anime though, since the actual content falls somewhere in the gray area between PG-13 and R. I was actually afraid to watch it because I wasn't into seeing a porn, but since I really like Kizuna, I gave it a shot and I'm glad I did, because it was a fairly entertaining way to spend an hour.
Blade of the Immortal (TV) Very good I understand why fans of the manga would be disappointed with this adaptation. Samura's art doesn't translate well to anime, Bee Train isn't the most competent animation studio, and 13 epsidoes isn't nearly enough room to adapt the story. However, the characters are great and the basic story is solid. With such a good foundation, it's not possible for the show to completely suck. Granted, it's not a masterpiece like the manga but it's still pretty good. There were a bunch of anime specific things that irritated me. The soundtrack was a jumbled mishmash of styles that sometimes horribly clashed with the scene or just felt out of place. Epecially those cheap sounding keyboard numbers for the more lighthearted scenes. While the animation wasn't as bad as I was expecting, those action scenes still could have used more fluidity. And the ending... Couldn't they have found a better way to wrap it up than a character montage? I still enjoyed the show but watching it really put me in the mood to read the far superior manga.
(Completed watching January 2010)
Read or Die (OAV) Very good I tried watching the TV series a few years ago and wasn't impressed. Too bad I didn't watch this one first, as I enjoyed it much more. At three episodes long, it's more like a three part movie. As a movie, it works. The plot is fast paced and fun and it's well animated. The characters are interesting enough without a whole lot of elaboration. The English voices fit the three leads well. Fortunately, the terrible British accents spoken by the minor characters weren't enough to do me in on the dub. In short, the Read or Die OVA turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me. I'm glad I gave it a chance.
(Completed watching October 2010)
Another (TV) Good I took a few episodes for me to get into this one, as it got off to a slow and nonsensical start. I was frustrated with the giant plot holes and stupid horror show lapse of logic. I couldn't get over why the class never notified Sakakibara of the curse, why people continued to live in the cursed town, or why Misaki just didn't use her magic eye in the beginning. Logic is handwaved away with an "it wouldn't have mattered". The show does get some things right, mainly creepy atmosphere and a sense of impending doom. It's also beautifully animated. It looks horrific. The ending is a spectacular finale to the parade of death, when the show just goes all out and people start losing it. In the end, despite my complaints about the plot, the show ended up being very entertaining and a lot of fun. Is it worth purchasing and/or watching again, no. But, thanks to Crunchyroll, my investment here was minimal.
(Completed watching April 2012)
S.A (TV) Decent I thought this was the very definition of "meh". It wasn't bad by any means, it was just very derivative. Pretty much every joke or situation, I've seen before in another anime. There was nothing original in here at all. I stalled out on episode 9, but I at least plan to finish the box I purchased.
     I wasn't planning on finishing this show, but the second boxed set was $5.99 in the last Right Stuf 12 days sale, so I changed my mind. I must say the show did improve in its latter half. There was a much greater focus on the characters and relationship building than I remember from the first half, which focused on inane comedy. Granted, there is still comedy in this second half, and it's the same screechy slapsticky romcom humor used in countless other anime of this type. I did like the herione, Hikari, though. She was just so energetic and tomboyish, which is a welcome change from your typical average "everygirl" shoujo heroine. The relationships seemed to wrap up satisfactorily at the end too, which is welcome. This anime is based on a longer manga, so managing to end well is a feat in itself. Overall, this is a decidedly mediocre entry in the shoujo romantic comedy genre. It's entertaining sure, and I'm glad I finished it, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone but fans of shoujo romcom.
(Completed watching December 2011)
His and Her Circumstances (TV) Excellent I thought this was great! The story drew me in, the characteres were interesting and likeable, and I liked the music too. I was a little disappointed with the lame "ending" but now I just have an excuse to pick up the manga. Overall, this is the best I've seen of the romance/comedy genre so far.
Code:Breaker (TV) So-so I thought the premise sounded interesting, in which a secret organization is employing super powered teens as contracted killers. Sadly, it got dumber with each passing episode, and by the end, I was glad it was over. It's biggest flaw though was Sakura, the lead female character is a first shown to be a strong, capable sort of girl with a black belt in something or other, but after the first couple of episodes, she's pretty much useless and her preaching quickly becomes irritating. The second to last episode has her suspended from the ceiling from a rope, doing nothing but yelling "Ogami!". The other characters aren't exactly stellar examples of characterization either, but at least they are consistent. This was on Hulu, so thankfully I'm only out the time I spent to watch it. It wasn't terrible, but it just wasn't that good either.
(Completed watching February 2014)
Deadman Wonderland (TV) Decent I thought the premise of this show was sort of interesting, but the execution was lacking. First, the story doesn't hold up to much scrutiny. If you start to think about it, even a little bit, it just falls apart. It's still serviceable as a fun, dumb action show though. The lead character, Ganta, is hard to take at times, as he can be TSTL (too stupid to live) and kind of a whiner. The story ends up with some dumb, poorly thought out prison break attempt, which I found myself not able to care about. None of the truly interesting elements of the story, namely Shiro, are ever explained. The ending is unsatisfying. As a mindless action show, Deadman Wonderland isn't bad, but I felt is was a bit of a let down.
(Completed watching June 2013)
Maria Holic (TV) Decent I thought that this show was going to be funnier than it actually was. I got a few chuckles out of it, but it mostly left me cold. I tried not to think too hard about the premise, i.e. the lesbian girl being "wrong" and "abnormal" and therefore becomes the series' punching bag, because it is rather offensive. It wasn't all bad though. The visual style was interesting. I got a kick out of the times Kanoko would morph into a 70's shoujo style heroine. The opening and ending were catchy and listenable. Overall, the show was watchable, but it's the sort of fare that I will never watch again and isn't worth paying for. I sold my copy on Amazon.
(Completed watching September 2010)
D.N.Angel (TV) Not really good I thought that this show had promise, since I read the manga and generally liked it. Well, I was wrong. For the most part, the anime ignores the manga and makes up a lot of fluffy "filler' episodes. None of these are any good. D.N.Angel doesn't start to get interesting until near the end, when the anime adapts the 'Freedert" arc from the manga. Overall though, the show is completely forgettable. Also while watching it, I couldn't help but feel I was watching a kid's show, one with no real appeal to wider audience.
(Completed watching March 2009)
Mermaid Forest (TV) Good I thought Mermaid Forest was good, but bland. It's not the kind of show that's likely to be rewatched. For one, there wasn't much of an overarching plot. Immortals Yuta and Mana basically travel around Japan encountering freaky shit. Neither the opener nor the closer were very listenable and the English dub wasn't so hot. I thought the Japanese track sounded well acted though. It ended decently too for an episodic series. Overall, I thought the show was "good" and if I were handing out a grade, I'd give it a B-.
(Completed watching July 2009)
Brothers Conflict (TV) Decent I start watching these otome game adaptations with low expectations, therefore I was surprisingly entertained by this show. It's blatant wish fulfillment material: passive heroine no. 856 moves into an apartment building filled with hot guys (her new stepbrothers) who all start hitting on her. She has all the personality of a cardboard cut out, so trying to examine why all these guys fall for her is pointless. The show has a lot of characters and flips between them frequently, which kept it from feeling stale. It also tried to focus on actual romance, and didn't try to cobble together a silly plot to hang the thing on, like so many others I've seen. My biggest beef is with the end. She doesn't pick anybody. That make the whole show feel pointless. I found the show fun overall, so I didn't feel like I wasted my time, but it was a let down at the end there.
(Completed watching October 2013)
Shakugan no Shana (TV) Decent I remember first watching this sometime in 2007, around when I first discovered anime. At that time, I thought it was a mediocre "good". Well, I tried to rewatch this now, 5 years later, and find myself bored out of my mind after four episodes. It hasn't aged well, or possibly my tastes have gotten a bit more refined. Yuji is the sort of weak useless "everyman" lead that just fades into the background. Shana herself is an archetype. The villians in this are laughably cheesy. A dude with a doll fetish? C'mon now. Lots of fantasy terms are tossed in that have to be explained. The show is just not that well written. I guess my tolerance for mediocre shows like Shana is a lot lower now that I've seen a lot more anime.
Dance in the Vampire Bund (TV) Very good I recently read and dropped the manga, because even though I liked it, the pot was a little too simple. I guess I was expecting something a little more overarcing. I really like Mina's character, and am not bothered by her frequent nudity. Despite her appearance, she is hardly childlike and quite capable of taking care of herself. I liked that about her, that she only needed Akira for the emotional connection they have, and didn't need to rely on him to rescue her. I'd imagine she wouldn't make a very good ruler as the damsel in distress. Character love can only take one so far though, if the plot they operate in is undercooked. I appreciated that the anime writers added in a bit in order to make the story more cohesive. There was some definite rewriting of scenes too, and for the better I think. On the other hand, Mei Rin (an anime original character?) feels a bit shoehorned in most of the time, and her presence is not appreciated until the very end. The show also picks a decent spot to wrap it up at the end of an arc. Overall, this is a fairy competent show, and I would like to see more if it ever materializes.
(Completed watching September 2012)
A Wind Named Amnesia (movie) Bad I really wish I hadn't wasted my time watching this, as the premise is mind-numbingly stupid. Aliens from space create a wind that causes humans to lose all of their memories, including how to feed themselves or how to speak (but why are they all wearing clothes still). The protagonist meets a genius boy with a computer brain who helps him regain some memories with some science machine. Our hero then sets out on a journey with an alien chick. I'm sure the creators intended with this movie to say interesting things about what makes humanity, but all that is lost under the underdeveloped cheese-fest that this ended up being. I want my 2 hour back.
(Watched July 2012)
Romeo × Juliet (TV) Decent I really really wanted to like Romeo x Juliet, unfortunately I found the show to be cheesy as hell and predictable too. First, the characters didn't have much in the way of personality. The leads were bland and boring and as such I couldn't figure out their attraction to one another. Next, the cheese. Oh the cheese! It was liberally sprinkled throughout, from the whole mine/village arc to the "dragon horse family" at the end when everyone is happy happy joy joy. It was too saccarine for me. I nearly gagged. The constant appearance of cheesy cliches made the plot very predictable. I was pleased to see that the standard R&J ending was kept (I could have done without the cheese though). The show was visually very nice as well. While it was very flawed, I was entertained while watching it.
(Completed watching September 2009)
Blood+ (TV) Excellent I really liked this show, despite a few problems. First, while the first half of the show is action packed and engrossing, the second half drags a bit and probably could have been cut in half. I still enjoyed the second half, it was just less enjoyable than the first. Next, it seemed like the acting talent was spread a little thin, with multiple parts being played by the same actor or actress. While the main characters parts were well acted, some of the side characters got saddled with weird accents to differentiate their voices. Overall, the dub was pretty good though, it was just those couple of minor characters that grated. The story itself was excellent and these minor quibbles weren't enough to dull my enjoyment of the show.
(Completed watching November 2009)
Shadow Star Narutaru (TV) Decent I really liked the start of Shadow Star, when Shiina finds the creepy little star thing, and the middle, when she's confronted by other children with "Dragon's Children", but the show didn't really go anywhere after that. It appeared to end on an arc and left a ton of dangling plot threads. Lots of things are never explained. Seemingly important plot points and characters are abandoned midway and never seen again. It was all a bit disappointing.
(Completed watching June 2011)
Stellvia (TV) Good I really expected to like this show, as I like space shows and it seemd right up my alley. It starts off rather slow, but I found the premise interesting initially. Then, it sorta devolves into a typical high school set slice of life show after the first couple episodes. I've watched two discs so far and I don't know if I want to continue any further. The sports festival was almost the straw that broke the camel's back. Events were starting to become eye rollingly predictable. Since the plot isn't doing much for me the characters need to be really interesting but unfortunately, they don't leave much of an impression. Other than Shima, I can't remember their names scarcely 10 minutes after viewing the show. Shima herslf is kinda bland, being a shy quiet girl with a knack for computers. She isn't interesting enough to carry the show, and most of the focus is one her. Watching her improve isn't interesting either, since it's progression is so predictable from a seeing hundred other similar shows that focus on the underdog becoming the top dog. I may give it a few more episodes to capture me, as it isn't bad, just painfully bland.

I just finished watching disc 3. These three episodes were the most interesting of the show so far. Thank goodness for some plot. So, it does get better. However, Shima is still an annoying crier. The show still hasn't grabbed me, so I'm going to give it another disc.

I've now watched the whole show and I can honestly say, it gets better. The second half of the show is far better than the lackluster beginning. The characters are fleshed out a bit, we get some character development, and the plot becomes more of a focus. Yes, this is what I was waiting for in the first 10 episodes! With some plot and character development, the more predictable aspects of the show are less irritating for me and I'm able to go along for the ride. It's unfortunate that the beginning is so mediocre, as the last half is quite good. I'm glad I stuck it out to the end.
(Completed watching January 2011)

Boys Over Flowers (TV) Excellent I really enjoyed this one. The first half was especially good, and the characterization was excellent. Although sometimes I was a little annoyed at how passive Tsukushi was, pretty much making Tsukasa do everything. Sure, he was a dick in the beginning, but I felt bad for him near the end. I mean, throw him a friggin bone? The ending was ok, but I was hoping for something a bit more conclusive. Also, the music was repetitive and not so good. All these criticisisms make it seem like I didn't like it, but it really was a great show. One of the better love stories I've seen.
(The) Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye (TV) Excellent I really enjoyed The Third, I thought it was really pretty art wise and the acting was great. I usually watch in English, but this time I watched in Japanese, because I didn't like Honoka's voice. The plot was another post-apocalyptic sci-fi, a story commonly seen in anime. Fortunately, I like these kinds of stories. As long as each show manages to put a unique spin on the story, I doubt I'll get tired of them.
Here Is Greenwood (OAV) Good I read the manga first, so I knew what to expect. What I did not expect is to like the anime better than the manga. It is six episodes long and manages to contain all the major plot points from the manga without feeling rushed. The jokes are better executed in the anime, they flow better and make more sense. I laughed this time around. The characters were a lot easier to tell apart as they all had different hair colors and voices. I also quite like the early 90's/late 80's anime style of which this is a fine example of. Overall, I really enjoyed this OVA. It's a fun comedy but short enough that it doesn't drag or start to become stale.
Battle Angel (OAV) Very good I read the first volume of the manga before viewing this, so I had some prior familiarity with Battle Angel before watching. It's short at only two episodes, but it manages to introduce the characters and set up the plot in a coherent manner. I really liked the early 90's art style (detailed faces and hair) and really wish this style were still popular. Since there were only two episodes, it really couldn't go into any detail with the plot, but it did manage to provide and ending more or less to the OVA. I liked it, so I'll keep reading the manga for more.
Aria the Origination (TV) So-so I pretty much had to force myself to finish this. In general, I find Aria to be dead boring with some beautiful moments mixed in. In this final season, the focus shifted more on the characters a bit rather than exploring Aqua. Unfortunately, I never found any of the characters interesting in the slightest. On the plus side, the music and visuals were beautiful, but that is not enough to sustain my attention alone.
(Completed watching March 2013)
Kids on the Slope (TV) Masterpiece I popped in this DVD one evening and I didn't stop watching until I had finished the whole show. This show does everything perfectly, art, animation,music; the characterization is excellent, and the drama is real and believable. This has to be the most perfect tale of friendship I've ever seen in anime. And, it has an ending that is satisfying.
(Completed watching April 2013)
(The) Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (TV) Excellent I picked this one up after seeing lots of discussion on the forums about it. I'm glad I did! It was hysterical. The characters were great and the excellent dub didn't hurt.
Fullmetal Alchemist (TV) Very good I originally watched Vol 1 of this and really didn't like it. Then I went back a couple of months later and rewatched it, thinking that it must be so popular for a reason right? I sorta liked it the second time around, but not enough to continue. Perhaps one day I will watch this whole series. Maybe.

     So, it's been three or four years since I watched the first four episodes of this. I decided to pick it back up and I've gotten through 13 episodes thus far. I can see why this would be popular, as it's darker themes stand out among the usual saturday morning cartoon fare. But, it's not doing much for me. The characters nor the story have really grabbed me. So far, it's just been Ed and Alphonse travelling from town to town in search of info. There have been hints at a larger plot, but nothing really concrete so far. Since I don't really care about these characters, it's hard to stay interested in their adventures. I'll keep going for now, but I sure hope it gets better.
     Wow. Did this show ever improve! Starting just after episode 13, the plot kicked in and the cast expanded quite a bit. Ed and Al did eventually grow on me, but I found them to be the least interesting characters in the show. I'm glad I watched this now as it is a really excellent show and isn't your typical formulaic shounen. I found the anime original ending to be decent, but I'm really curious now to see FMA: Brotherhood and see it how it was meant to be.
(Completed watching February 2011)

Aria - The Natural (TV) Good I originally watched the first half of this show over a year ago, and recently picked it back up with the second set. I had no problems getting back into it, as Aria has no plot to follow whatsoever. The characters are memorable enough, even that annoying "cat thing" President Aria. I really really dislike cutesy mascot characters, and he is no exception. Other than that, the show is a nice gentle palette cleaner in between other anime. I can never stand to watch more than a couple episodes at a time as it really is about a trio of girls piloting their gondolas around "Pleasantville". There is no conflict here at all, so to keep myself from falling asleep I must limit myself. For what it is though, it is pretty to watch with nice music and character designs, the perfect show to veg out to.
(Completed watching January 2012)
Fighting Spirit (TV) Excellent I originally saw a trailer for this and didn't think anything of it. I'm not into boxing and was turned off by the retro art style. Thankfully, I decided to pick it up anyway. Likable, interesting characters make this one fun to watch, even though most of the time you know exactly what is going to happen beforehand. Even though it was a little predictable, I was never bored while watching it, and whipped thorugh the second half in a couple of days. I highly recommend this one to anyone.
Fushigi Yugi (OAV) Decent I much prefered the ending of the original TV series. This just felt tacked on.
Eureka Seven (TV) Excellent I loved this. Eureka Seven had an intriguing plot and a large and diverse cast of characters, all of whom managed to be interesting and noteworthy in some way. I really appreciate long shows that take the time to develop their plotlines and characters. The art and animation were beautiful too.
Princess Jellyfish (TV) Excellent I loved this show. A show about girl geeks is rare, but one with realistically portrayed girls geeks is like seeing a unicorn in the wild. Tsukimi lives in an apartment with a bunch of NEETs and is helped one day by a stylish and beautiful girl who happens to be a boy. He worms his way in to the group (still pretending to be a girl), and attempts to help Tsukimi overcome her fear of the "stylish" and also save her home, which is under threat of redevelopment. Unfortunately, the story does not end, as its based on an ongoing manga. I would really like to read it however, as anime about well written adult characters is rare. Despite the non-ending, I enjoyed the show immensely.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Kurenai (TV) Very good I loved this show up until the ending. The characters are nuanced and well written. The art is expressive and lifelike. However, the situation Murasaki is rescued from and the Kuroin family on the whole are deeply disturbing to me. The fact that it ends with a 7 year old vowing to "fight tradition" seriously grossed me out. Her creepy relatives are clearly not on her side, so what chance does she have? Ugh, I was so repulsed by it. Because I loved the characters so much, I wanted better for them. While the ending was a severe let down, the show on the whole was wonderful.
(Completed watching July 2014)
Ergo Proxy (TV) Masterpiece I loved the art in this one. All of it: The backgrounds, the characters themselves, etc. More importantly, this anime features a very intriguing story. I was sucked in from the very first episode. I really love Pino too. She kept the whole thing from becoming too serious. ***Having just rewatched this a year and a half later, my opinion hasn't changed. I actually thought it was even better this time around. I vastly prefer it in English as well.
Genshiken (TV) Excellent I loved it! Genshiken is one of those comedies that is so funny because it's true.
Paranoia Agent (TV) Decent I liked this, but I'm afraid that it has no rewatch value for me, especailly since I know the outcome of the mystery. That's what kept me compulsively glued to the screen in the first place.
Kurau: Phantom Memory (TV) Very good I liked this story very much. It had a nice balance of action with some more emotional moments. Both Kurau and Christmas were interesting, likable characters. I had no complaints with the voice acting, and I really liked the music as well. My only complaint is that is slowed down a bit in the latter half of the story, otherwise I would've rated it higher.
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG (TV) Excellent I liked this second season of Ghost in the Shell more than the first. The plot kicks in in episode one and pretty much all of the episodes contribute in some way towards it. They gave Motoko some pants in this season as well. She was still dressed in a sexy manner, but she looked normal and not like panderbait. I could take her seriously. Basically, this season fixed all of my problems with the first and I really liked the improvement.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Last Exile (TV) Excellent I liked it. The plot was great. It, along with the large and varied cast of characters really drew you in. The art and animation were beautiful as well. I watched a couple episodes of Burst Angel before picking this up (both by Gonzo) and the difference was like night and day. It's evident that some cash was spent on this show. Anyway, Last Exile is an "A" grade show and I recommend it as one of Gonzo's more quality shows (of which Burst angel isn't :/ ).
Solty Rei (TV) Excellent I liked it. This is definitely a character driven show though. Without these characters the plot is only ok at best. The characterization in this show was excellent. The music and voice acting were above average as well. So, I was entertained and I do think it's worthy of rewatching someday.
Flag (ONA) Good I liked Flag. The plot was interesting and I enjoyed the more realistic take on war. The style did take a little getting used to. It lent a sort of detached feel to the series. I really didn't feel much connection to the characters, which is why I didn't rate it higher.
Moonlight Mile (TV) Good I like space shows, so it's a no brainer that I would like this. The whole thing is a male wish-fulfilment fantasy, but it's still pretty entertaining. I only wish the second season was licensed so that I could see the end.
Blood-C (TV) Good I kept my expectations low for this series and I was pleasantly surprised. It looks beautiful and it's well animated. The soundtrack is great too, very atmospheric. It's a bit of a slow starter, as for the first half of the series Saya fights monsters by night and goes to school and hangs out with her friends by day. Slowly clues are dropped hinting that all is not as it seems. The end is a giant W. T. F. that I didn't see coming. I saw early on that a certain character was super shady, but the scope of the deception was a big ugly surprise. For that, this series certainly is memorable. Also, this series is extremely gory. I've seen many bloody shows, but this one stands out, as it takes great pleasure in showing it to a ridiculous degree that it was impossible to take seriously. Despite some serious flaws, I did mostly enjoy this series. It's schlocky but entertaining. It doesn't hold a candle to Blood+, but taken on it's own, it's passable.
(Completed watching January 2013)
House of Five Leaves (TV) Excellent I imagine the art style put a number of people off this show, but I loved it, especially the muted color palette, detailed backgrounds, and big expressive eyes. The show is about a ronin samurai named Masa who falls in with a band of thieves, the Five Leaves. This is not an action show, but more a slice of life as we slowly learn about the characters. The characters themselves are well written and fully fleshed out, as their motivations slowly become clear. This is the kind of show I love, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed it immensely. I only wish that I had been longer, but thankfully I have the manga to continue to read.
(Completed watching April 2012)
Tales of Vesperia: The First Strike (movie) Decent I have never played the game that this movie is based on, so maybe my enjoyment of it was not as high as a fan's might have been. It does stand alone though, as I had no trouble following the plot. But, there were obvious cameos that probably would have meant something to someone who had played the game, but were meaningless to me. Other than that, the art and animation were well rendered. The voices were well acted. The story was a fairly generic "brave warriors save town from mysterious evil power" fantasy romp, but I was at least entertained. As far as video game adaptations go, I've seen much worse.
(Completed watching July 2012).
Arjuna (TV) Decent I have mixed feelings about this show, because while there were some appealing elements, there were also a few things I didn't like about it. For one, I didn't care for the heavy handed enviromental preaching. I thought it was a bit over the top. I was annoyed at the crappy CG and the abundant reuse of scenes. On the other hand, the characters were appealing, as was the basic plot (except for the ending-kinda lame). I also thought the English voice acting was pretty good and fit the characters well. So overall, I thought the show was watchable with a few eye rolling moments.
(Completed watching October 2009)
(The) Gokusen (TV) Good I hated the talking dog. Other than that, the show was pretty good. The plot was fun without turning into a preachy after school special (GTO I'm looking at you). What I really want to read is the manga. Somebody bring this over please!
(Completed watching August 2010)
Mirage of Blaze: Rebels of the River Edge (OAV) Good I had to reach a bit to remember the details and plot of the Mirage of Blaze TV series, as this OVA does not stand alone at all. It assumes familiarity with the characters and story, so nothing is explained. I just watched the TV last month, so I wasn't completely lost, but I did forget some of the fine details. This three episode OVA covers a story arc featuring an enemy clan trying to use vengeful spirits to make a supernatural weapon of some sort. The character drama mostly revolves around Haruie this time as she runs into man who looks like her dead lover from centuries ago. There is still some angsty drama with the Naoe/Kagetora relationship, but that takes a backseat here. The plot of the OVA is wrapped up, but the characters still have alot of loose ends left. I expect the only way I'll ever know the end of this is to read the novels. Unfortunately, they're not available in English. Regardless, I did find this entertaining. It's not as good as the TV series, which took more time with the characters and whose plot made more sense, but I still enjoyed watching it.
(Completed watching November 2011)
Steins;Gate (TV) Excellent I had no preconceptions about this show beyond a vague idea that it was about time travel and that it was supposedly pretty good. Wow, what a great show it turned out to be. It started out slowly with the feeling that it was building toward something big. By the halfway point I was practically on the edge of my seat and I could stop watching. Okabe is one of the most memorable leads in anime in a long time, and not a single frame of this show took place in a school. As far as science fiction goes, it's not a show that's meant to be taken too seriously (I mean really, a microwave time machine?), but it is a very fun ride.
(Completed watching March 2013)
Origin ~Spirits of the Past~ (movie) Decent I had low expectations going into this movie, so I was pleasantly entertained. It's set in a post apocalyptic wasteland world in which plants are hostile to humans. A boy finds a cryogenically frozen girl in the ruins. She has the key to some ancient tech that will reset plant life but will be destructive. The basic premise here is being one with nature=good and technology=bad. It's a bit dumb and simplistic. It wasn't great looking either, the CG was a bit jarring and the character designs were super generic. Because I had my expectations in check, I was entertained by this movie, but it was not a masterpiece by any means.
(Watched January 2014)
EUREKA SEVEN AO (TV) Good I had high hopes for this show but unfortunately it doesn't hold up to the original. Not that it's a bad show, but its just missing its predecessor's depth, both in cast and story. Even the music felt like a watered down version of the original soundtrack. In this end this show turned out to be yet another boy pilot fights mysterious monsters in his robot type of affair. It was entertaining sure, but it's not the sort of fare I will think about tomorrow. Verdict: Mediocre.
(Completed watching June 2014)
GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka (TV) Very good I had fun watching this even though I knew Onizuka would always win and always had a preachy moral to spout at the end of every episode. There's a term for this kind of character: a Mary Sue (or would that be Gary Stu?). Still, cheesy moments aside, I did laugh at the humor and I liked most of the characters. So, while I found GTO to be a tad predictable, it was still a worthwhile show.
Robotics;Notes (TV) Good I had a bit of a "meh" reaction to this show. The leads are couple of high school kids in a robot club. They round up some more members with the goal of building a giant robot to enter into a competition. There is also a mystery plot involving "Kimijima Reports", which is some sort of secret data predicting disaster. Honestly the Kimijima plot ended up being kinda dumb, as it all came down to the robot club coming together with all their allies and their big robot to save the day. The charactres themselves were not that interesting to me, as they seemed mostly made up of stock otaku types: The genki girl, the clumsy one, the loli, the shut in otaku girl (who is handily able to provide otaku references and in jokes). I even smelt the stink of a harem, that dating sim/visual novel flavor in which Kai finds himself with all of these girls and where it seems if he sets off the right flags, he'll be able to date one of them. Thankfully, the otaku elements do not overpower this show, but they are there, as if the produces feel show wouldn't sell without shoehorning these elements in? Either way, this sort of shallow one note excuse for characterization is a complete turn off. I wish this show were better written, as I moderately enjoyed it overall, but that's it.
(Completed watching February 2014)
(The) Familiar of Zero (TV) Not really good I found this to be just barely watchable. Plotwise, it was mindnumbingly stupid: A boy get sucked into another world when he's summoned by inept magic user Louise to be her familiar. The characters were pretty much one note archetypes and the designs were generic anime. The boy, Saito, in particular is interchangable with any other harem show lead. The sound track also annoyingly repetitive. Despite all that, the show isn't horrible, it's just very very mediocre. I finished this out because it was only 13 epsiodes long, but I'm not going to torture myself with watching any of the sequels.
(Completed watching December 2010)
Alien Nine (special) Decent I found this anime to be slightly disturbing, with its little kids fight aliens premise. There is a dark undertone to it, especially as one of the girls chosen to be an "alien hunter" is entirely unwilling. Nevertheless, she is forced to fight anyway, and spends most of the time whimpering and crying. This is the sort of thing I am glad to have watched once, but I'll never revisit, as I found it unpleasant and creepy.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Toward the Terra (movie) Decent I found the Terra movie to be dated but watchable. Having seen the TV series first probably spoiled me. While the basic plot was the same in both, it was super condensed in the movie, which didn't do it any favors. A lot of the characterization was lost, which caused a lot of scenes to have a whole lot less impact. The movie is a much shallower experience. The soundtrack, while excellent in the updated TV series, was pure 80's cheese in the movie. The art was definitely old school, but the actual animation looked pretty good for it's age. While overall I liked this movie, the TV series provided a much better take on Toward the Terra.
RIN - Daughters of Mnemosyne (TV) Good I found the plot/premise of RIN to be really interesting. It follows an immortal woman named Rin and the mystery around her that slowly unfolds as the series takes place over decades. It got rather violent at times, as Rin would die in horrible ways. There was also a lot of what felt like gratuitous lesbian sex. It rarely had anything to do with the plot, it was just sort of there. Occasionally, such scenes would pull me out of the story, like when a block of exposition was overlaid with a random lesbian orgy. I didn't know if I was supposed to be reading or watching. The ending was unfortunately a bit of a let down for me as well. It gets a bit mumbo-jumbo-y with its explanations and I'm not sure it entirely made sense. Regardless, I still did find the show mostly enjoyable. Because I watched K-ON! immediately before this, I was itching to watch something where stuff actually happens.
(Completed watching October 2012)
S-CRY-ed (TV) Good I found S-cry-ed to be a fairly enjoyable sci-fi/action show about individuals with special powers (along the lines of the X-men). There were more than a few cheesy moments, especially with the yelling out the names of the attacks and the "super villain". My biggest problem with the show was the ending. The plot just stopped in episode 25 and episode 26 is nothing more than a battle of one-upmanship between the two main leads. No really, episode 26 is about two dumbasses duking it out. It was utterly pointless and almost ruined my enjoyment of the show. Fortunately, the previous 25 episodes were fun and overall I liked the show.
Genshiken 2 (TV) Very good I found out that this sequel was made by an entirely different staff, which explains a lot, as this season is a bit different than the first and not for the better. It's a lot less subtle, for one. Where the first season occasionally touches on various fetishes and otaku's "adult" lives, this season just dives right in. The fan service quotient has been upped substantially as well, with the female characters subjected to multiple bathtime/changing room scenes and having impossible anime boob physics. It's really jarring because the first season was not fan service oriented, so seeing these wonderful characters reduced to this feels wrong. However, the characters are enough for me to maintain an interest in this show. They are, for the most part, realistic and well written. Despite the sometime blatant pandering, I did enjoy the show. It just goes to show what a big difference the staff makes in a production, as I vastly preferred the first season's tone.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Chihayafuru 2 (TV) Excellent I found myself anticipating watching this show every Friday when it aired, and cursing the week long wait for the next episode. I love the characters and after over 50 episodes have become invested in them. Even side characters, opponents and such, are given screen time and development, which makes the Karuta matches much more exciting when you care about who wins/loses. The ending is wide open for another season, which I dearly hope materializes. This is one of my favorite shows and I could happily watch more.
(Completed watching June 2013)
Blue Gender (TV) Good I found Blue Gender to be an enjoyable show. The sense of mystery created by the Blue and the future depictions of Earth were enough to overshadow some of the more irritating elements of the show, like dated music and animation and an annoying lead character.
Afro Samurai (TV) Decent I found Afro Samurai to be entertaining but shallow. The plot was a flimsy excuse to string a whole bunch of fight scenes together. Characterization and character development are practically nonexistant. Watching cool fight scenes is fun, but I like a little more depth in my anime. I thought it was decent, but I'd never watch it again.
Patlabor: The Movie Excellent I first watched this movie "cold" without having seen the OVA's or watched any Patlabor TV. I thought it was Good, but nothing special. Having now watched it again after seeing the OVA's and TV, I realize that missed out on a lot. Knowing the characters and a little about the world makes a big difference in my enjoyment of this movie. A lot of conversations that seemed meaningless the first time around are now understood. The plot is still perfectly good on its own, but being familiar with the personalities involved in it make it a lot more interesting. This second viewing caused me to change my rating to "Excellent". I also watched it in Japanese this time around, since that's what I watched the TV/OVAs in. Basically, I view this as an extra long Patlabor TV episode; complete in itself, but better understood if you've watched from the beginning.
Outlaw Star (TV) Good I first saw this many years ago when I first started watching anime and quite liked it. Sadly it has not held up on the rewatch. First, The visuals have aged badly. It is minimally animated with terrible dated character designs, and what looked fine on my 27" CRT back in the day looks like dogshit on my 55" LCD. Second, the story is average. Jim and Gene come into possession of a spaceship and an android girl and attempt to make money while deciphering the mystery of their origins. Honestly, this plot takes a backseat most of the time to silly antics and stale humor which left me cold. The resolution was not interesting at all: it seems a pirate wanted Melfina so he could gain the power to take over the world or some such. Gene saves her, pirates die, the end. Yawn. Now that I've seen this twice. I can honestly say I have no desire to ever rewatch it again.
(Rewatched January 2014)
(The) Place Promised in Our Early Days (movie) Very good I find that alot of movies fail to develop the story and characters well using such a short format. (Which is why I usually prefer longer TV series) However, this movie succeeds. The story was kept simple enough that the telling of it fit into the 90 minute timeframe. The characters were also well written. There was some beautiful art in Place Promised as well, particiularly the use of the sun and lighting effects. Overall, it was a very good movie that I recommend seeing.
AKB0048 (TV) Good I expected an AKB0048 anime to be a shiny overproduced vehicle designed to sell music singles, which it is, but it's actually a pretty good show too. I liked the futuristic setting and being introduced to the lead characters as young girls aspiring to join AKB0048. I found it much easier to form a connection with the characters this way as opposed to throwing them at you all at once Idolmaster style. The visuals were top notch, with a lot of intricate well animated dance numbers. The music was your typical cheesy pop stuff, but it served the show well. Overall, the show was not to be taken seriously and was a lot of fun to watch. While not my preferred genre at all, Idol shows seem to be very popular lately, as quite a few of them have been cropping up in recent seasons. If they are all as well made as AKB0048, I won't be unhappy.
(Completed watching April 2013)
Kizuna: Much Ado About Nothing (OAV 2) Good I enjoyed this second OVA of Kizuna just a little more than the first one. This one adapts part of the storyline of manga volume 2. It's newer than the first OVA, so it doesn't feel as dated art and music wise. Once again, I feel that it doesn't deserve the "adult" label, since it doesn't get more explicit than some kisses and implied sex scenes. Pretty much PG-13 material. That adult label kept me from watching this at first as I'm not interested in hentai in the slightest. Good thing that I took the chance, because otherwise I would have missed out on seeing this anime adaptation of one of my favorite yaoi mangas.
Shikabane Hime: Kuro (TV) Good I enjoyed the sequel a bit more than Aka. The characters were still as flat as cardboard, but the story was a bit better paced. Stuff started happening at a faster rate, so my need to know what happened next kept me watching. Unfortunately, this show ends inconclusively, with some huge dangling plot threads left undone. That left me with a feeling of disappointment, as I felt like the show was actually going somewhere in this second half. Still, it was not a complete trainweck and I somewhat enjoyed it for what it was, a mediocre monster fighting action show.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Patlabor The Mobile Police (OAV 1/1988) Very good I enjoyed the Patlabor OVA's more than I thought I would. I wish I had seen this before I attempted to watch the movies. The characters are introduced in this and I think I would have appreciated the films more had I watched this first. It's only 7 episodes long, so there's no real overarcing plot, it's mostly episodic. Plot is basically slice-of-life with robots. It's fun and I enjoyed it. Word of warning, the English dub is horrendously bad (and I usually like dubs).
(Completed watching May 2009)
AKB0048 next stage (TV) Good I enjoyed the first season of AKB0048, so I was looking forward to this sequel. It pretty much continues where the first left off with the trainees striving to improve and become successors themselves. About halfway in, it takes a more serious turn as Akibastar is attacked. I very much liked the mix of sci-fi action with the singing and dancing idol stuff. Instead of feeling like the show is trying to do too much, the elements compliment each other well. The ending was quite satisfying, delivering the payoff that I had been waiting 26 episodes for. I can't believe this show went from being something I had no interest in to one of my top 3 of the season (Winter 2013). I will definitely buy this when it comes out here.
(Completed watching April 2013)
Rozen Maiden (TV) Very good I enjoyed Rozen Maiden a lot more than I thought I would. I didn't expect to be so entertained by a story about dolls. The humor was truely funny and the dolls were all very cute. I felt the was a nice balance between the silly episodes and the more serious conflict based ones.
Descendants of Darkness (TV) Decent I don't have much to say about this show as it didn't leave much of an impression. It follows a couple of guys who work for a supernatural investigation bureau or something. They're dead and now shinigami. The show is broken up into four storyarcs each involving a different case. Most of the arcs are tied together by the same evil super-villian. Also, why are the villians in these BL type shows always super hot? The protagonists themselves were dull as dirt. It found a decent place to end at least, wrapping up a major arc, but leaving a few loose threads to be continued in the manga I guess. Honestly, the fanservice was the only thing getting me through this, as supernatural demon busting shows are a dime a dozen and this one was a pretty mediocre offering.
(Completed watching October 2011)
Black Jack The Movie Weak I don't find medical thrillers interesting in the slightest, so unsurprisingly watching this Black Jack movie was tedious for me. I also have read not a page of Tezuka's Black Jack manga, so maybe I'm missing some context somewhere that would make this a better viewing experience. As is though, it's your standard medical mystery to be solved by Black Jack, a super doctor with ridiculous skills. At some points, I found this to be over the top cheesy. Especially the villain and her prolonged death scene at the end, or the deus-ex-machina way Black Jack is saved. I didn't enjoy this movie and I almost felt like I wasted my time watching it.
(Watched September 2012)
El Hazard - The Magnificent World (OAV) Not really good I didn't really like El Hazard, but I forced myself to finish it anyway. While it wasn't awful, and I was somewhat entertained by it, I felt that it crossed the line on acceptable levels of cheese. I'm not against cheesiness in an anime, sometimes it can be fun, but El-Hazard just had me rolling my eyes.
Kanon (TV 2/2006) Good I didn't like Kanon as much as I thought I would. It's absolutely beautiful to look at, but the plot was pretty weak. I was also a little creeped out by how childlike and dependant the girls were. It wasn't just me either. My hub thought Yuichi was "a dick" and also was disturbed by the childwomen (though he did like Mai-the least childlike of the group). I did end up liking the show though, the plot picked up again after Shiori's arc and ended nicely. However, I have to say that I prefered Air. I felt Air had a much stronger story.
NieA_7 (TV) Very good I didn't have high expectations coming into this, but I was pleasantly surprised. I ended up really liking the characters and the humor clicked with me. I liked how the character's faces were animated. I found them to be very expressive. Niea was a very enjoyable little slice-of-life series and I'm glad I decided to give it a chance.
Chihayafuru (TV) Excellent I didn't expect to be so invested in a show about a card game I've never heard of and has no western equivalent. However, the show gives you just enough about the game to be interesting without bogging itself down in technical details. The real focus, like most sports anime, are the characters. Chihayafuru provides an interesting cast to root for and I was sad to see it end. My only gripe is the fact that it is based on an ongoing manga, so the ending is frustratingly open. I would love to see another season.
(Completed watching April 2012)
BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad (TV) Masterpiece I couldn't stop watching this one. It was definitely one of the best I've ever seen. The story and the characters drew me in and I had to finish the show before I could get anything else done (like yardwork and going to the gym). Stories like these are my favorite; realistic, adult and without the typical anime conventions.
Labyrinth of Flames (OAV) Not really good I could feel myself becoming dumber the more I watched this. Good thing it was only two episodes. It's essentially a panty show, but it wasn't sexy, it was just ridiculous. It was so bad that it became amusing after awhile. And what was up with the dad groping his daughter? I suppose it was meant to be funny, but I was just grossed out. This show was a waste of my time.
Melancholy of Haruhi-chan Suzumiya (ONA) Decent I consider this show watchable only for fans of the original show. This is a gag show consisting of short 5 minute episodes. It assumes familiarity with the characters and story. The jokes themselves are hit or miss. Especially those involving shrunken Asakura, who was painfully unfunny. But, every now and then an episode would elicit a giggle from me. I wouldn't recommend this one to newcomers at all though.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Boys Be... (TV) Decent I am on the fence about this show. I found it to be entertaining in a mediocre sort of way. I thought it was too sappy. I like romance shows, but even the floweriest shoujo could not touch this show in the emo department. Since this is based on a longer manga, the ending is inconclusive as well.
(Completed watching December 2009)
Ristorante Paradiso (TV) Very good I am always up for something different, and an anime set in Italy taking place in a restaurant certainly fits the bill. This show also features a cast of adult characters. The story is about 21 year old Nicoletta, who comes to Rome to confront the mother who abandoned her, but instead finds herself working in her mother's restaurant, where she has a crush on one of the (much older) waiters. It is a slow moving slice of life, with character relationships being the focus. I naturally enjoyed the show, as it seems I as an adult woman was the target audience (for once).
(Completed watching December 2012)
Mezzo Forte (OAV) Not really good I almost don't know how to rate this, as it seemed like two movies spliced together, as if the director wanted to make an action movie, but decided to splice in some superfluous sex scenes for some reason. The sex scenes were really detailed and porny, and also as far from sexy as one can get. Gross fat and old dudes having their way with Mikura is not a turn on. Actually, I wish I could unsee it. As for the rest of the movie, the story is your typical super violent action fare with impossible physics and really weak architecture. Shit seems to disintigrate very easily in the Mezzo world. The movie was well animated, I'll give it that. The icky sex pretty much cancels out any entertainment value this thing might have had though. I listed my copy for sale as soon as it ejected from my DVD player.
(Watched June 2011)
Bunny Drop (TV) Masterpiece I adored everything about this anime about a single guy raising a little girl. The characters were realistic and nuanced, and it had a great story. Anime is full of high school characters and settings, so a story featuring an adult with adult concerns was a really welcome change. I loved the pastel color palette and I thought it was well animated, with well done expressions. I can't think of a single thing wrong with the show, except I wanted it to keep going. I sure hope someone releases this on DVD here, as I will buy it in a heartbeat.
(The) Girl Who Leapt Through Time (movie) Excellent I actually like this movie better than the director's later work, Summer Wars. Maybe because I felt the giant family in Summer Wars was just a little too idealized, whereas the lead here, Makoto, was portrayed a bit more realisticly. She's a little self absorbed, as pretty much all teens are, and uses her newfound timetravelling abilities for her own gain with little care about the consequences. I found her actions and reactions believeable and thought she was a well written character. About the only complaint I have is with the end twist. The explanation is a vague one with a lot of hand waving. I wasn't really satisfied with it. The actual ending though, was fine. Overall, I felt the story was well written and entertaining. The English dub was well acted and sounded good. Makoto's voice in particular fit her perfectly. The animation was up to par as well, looking like a big budget movie should. This movie is like a gem buried in a pile of rocks; the rocks being all the anime I've been watched and dropped recently. It was like a breath of fresh air.
(Watched May 2011)
Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (TV) Very good I actually dropped this show the first time I tried it. The first few episodes are stand alone and do not really contribute to any sort of ongoing plot. After reading a little more about it, I tried it again and stuck with it. I'm glad I did as it turns out to be quite plot heavy. Intellegent stories such as this are sometimes hard to come by in anime. My only real issue, besides the disjointed beginning, is the Major's stripperiffic get-up. It really stood out, especially when all her teammates were dressed normally. It kinda brought down the quality of the show to have this kinda pandering inserted. Save it for the boob shows, Ghost in the Shell doesn't need it.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Eureka Seven - good night, sleep tight, young lovers (movie) Weak I absolutely loved the original TV series. I quite liked the manga. This movie however, was utter shit. Nothing that made the TV or the manga so entertaining carried over here. No characterization, nonsensical action, a cobbled together plot, and a LOL worthy script full of overwrought cheesiness prevails here. I want my two hours back.
(Watched June 2010)
3x3 Eyes (OAV) Not really good Honestly, the only reason I finished this was because it is so short. It's not bad, just painfully bland. The lead is your standard average high school boy. He has no personality. The demon, Pai, is your typical high pitched helpless cute girly type, except when her third eye opens, then her voice gets deeper and she gets more serious. Either way, her character is as bland as toast. The plot is basic. Pai wants to be human and Yakumo, as her guardian, is sworn to help her. None of this is elaborated on much, so it's difficult for me to really care. I didn't think much of this OVA and I'm thankful that it was at least short, or I would have definitely dropped it.
(Completed watching March 2011)
Uta no Prince-sama - Maji Love 1000% (TV) Not really good Here's yet another anime based on an otome game where a mousy girl with a whispery voice who says "ano" a lot finds herself surrounded by hot guys vying for her attention. It's blatant wish fulfillment material and I couldn't help but roll my eyes. The cheese is over the top in this show as well, and there are several WTF moments, such as the out of nowhere Aladdin appearance in episode 8, or any scene involving the principal. This is the kind of show that so bad it becomes entertaining. I'm not about to waste my time with season 2 though.
(Completed watching June 2013)
Makai Ōji: Devils and Realist (TV) Decent Here's a show that falls into the realm of "painfully mediocre". It's set in England, where William Twining is a top student and doesn't not believe in anything extraordinary, like ghosts, gods or demons. Unfortunately for him, he is the reincarnation of Solomon and has the power to elect the next king of hell. So, a bunch of demons and angels (all pretty boys) start showing up at his school in order to have a say in the outcome. Of course, William denies believing in any of this, which was a running "joke" that was never really funny in he first place. This is also a low budget anime, in which characters go off model and stills and reused footage are common. The ending was fairly inconclusive, an invitation to pick up the manga. As I was only mildly entertained by this show, I will be skipping it.
(Completed watching February 2014)
Shura no Toki: Age of Chaos (TV) Very good Here we have your basic fighting show, except this one is set in Japan's history. The show was a bit different in that there were 3 story arcs featuring three main protagonists, each one a son (or grandson) of the last. Because of that, the timeline went fairly quickly in this show, with the start set in Miyamoto Musashi's era and ending after the beginning of the Meiji period. My only complaint with this approach is that there was not enough done to separate the three Mutsu characters from each other. They all had the same personality and looked almost exactly the same. I also felt the first half of the show was stronger than the second half. The Shinsengumi element has been used and reused in countless anime, so perhaps that is why the first half felt fresher to me. Or, maybe after meeting the first two Mutsus, the third seemed redundant. Also, this was clearly a budget show. The CG is horrid. The animation consists of a lot of stills and speedlines. The art is cheap looking overall. Despite all that, I found the show very entertaining. I've seen quite a few martial arts/fighting anime by now, yet this one still caught my attention and felt fresh.
(Completed watching August 2010)
Fafner (TV) Decent Here we have a giant robot show in the same vein as Evangelion and Rahxephon. Unfortunately for Fafner, it pales in comparison to those two. In this one, an alien race known as Festum has destroyed much of human civilization. On a tiny island in the Pacific exists a sort of military/research center where the inhabitants are living a fake "peace" which is shattered one day as the Festum attack and the younger residents learn the truth. These high school kids are chosen to ride in giant robots known as Fafner and fight the Festum. Along with this is a lot of mumbo jumbo terminology and purposely obtuse plotting, which really wasn't all that interesting. The show's biggest flaw however is in the characterization. The cast felt oddly flat and I really couldn't connect with any of them. Because of this, scenes that were meant to be emotional carried no weight and the fate of the characters didn't have much impact on me. Overall, I found the show mildly interesting but since I couldn't connect with anyone in it, it's not something I ever care to see again; the very definition of disposable entertainment.
(Completed watching February 2012)
Fate/Zero (TV 2) Excellent Here in the second season, the action ramps up as the holy grail war is underway. The creators were certainly working with a budget for those action scenes, because they are beautiful. There are less long winded exposition scenes, although I must confess I found them interesting rather than tiresome. I liked how the show focused on all of the master/servant pairs, instead of just Saber. The ending is logical and satisfying, considering the existence of Fate/Stay Night. I enjoyed this show immensely.
(Completed watching October 2012)
Heat Guy J (TV) Good Heat Guy was a show that I wasn't really hooked on, yet kept watching anyway. It ended up being only fairly good. The premise and world were very interesting, and I was wondering in what directions they would take the plot. Unfortunately, the plot was rather shallow. The characters were only mildly interesting, but none of them really felt fully 3-D. It was mostly episodic, which I don't think really worked. Time could have been better spent developing a deeper plot and focusing on developing the characters. There were a lot of side characters that didn't really matter, they would maybe have one or two eps, and then pop in and out periodically. Overall, I think the show tried to hard to do too many things. On the superfical side, I liked the art and music for the show. In the end, I liked it, but it could've been better.
Flowers of Evil (TV) Good Having seen two episodes of this so far, I commend it for its realism, both in art style and the way it portrays it characters, and its foreboding atmosphere. However, I really despise the pansy ass creeper lead. All his problems would disappear like magic if he would just grow a pair (and then we would have no show). That the creepy girl chooses to torment him is not surprising at all. I guess I will continue just to see the outcome, but I am not enjoying this story so far.

There's just something compelling about this show, as I watched it as soon as it was available every week. I was never really able to connect with Kasuga, as he was just so twitchy and quiet. I think it was the trainwreck factor of his relationship with Nakamura and Saeki that kept me interested. The last episode was basically a clip show, and seemed to hint at another season. I don't know if I care enough to watch but I don't feel like I wasted my time here.
(Completed watching July 2013)

Arata The Legend (TV) Weak Having sampled the manga and generally being a fan of Yuu Watase, I had high hopes for this shounen fantasy. Unfortunately, watching it has been a chore. I only stuck with it week to week out of sheer obligation. The characters are shallower than a puddle and the situations are super contrived. Kadowaki's rivalry with Arata is the lamest example, but there's plenty more. Even the visuals are starting to look a little cheap in the later episodes. The finale with the last battle was a snooze fest. I wish I had not wasted my time with this show, as it is pretty bottom of the barrel.
(Completed watching July 2013)
Gurren Lagann (TV) Excellent Gurren Lagann is a parody of older pre-Eva robot shows. Because of that, everything is wonderfully over-the-top and fun. I mean, there are robots flinging galaxies at each other, literally. The characters are larger than life (so are Yoko's boobs). The English voice acting was really excellent too. I really enjoyed this show.
(Completed watching June 2009)
Ghost Slayers Ayashi (TV) Very good Ghost Slayers Ayashi is basically a paranormal monster fighting show. I liked that it used a historical framework to tell the story. There are a bunch of historical figures running around and the show took time to insert a great number of historical references. On the other hand, stopping the show to recite a history lesson seriously messed with the pacing and sometimes those historical bits could get dry. Occasionally, a character would make a historical aside that clearly had no bearing on the story. Now I like history, so for me it was only a minor irritant, but for non history lovers I'm sure it was a major issue. Next, I liked that the characters were mostly adults and drawn realistically. These are only so many big eyed moe girls and plucky high school boys I can take, so an adult cast was refreshing. The monsters were sometimes a bit cheesy though, especially in design. The talking horse that turned into a golden flying saucer was the biggest eyesore. The masked "bad guys" at the end were incredibly campy too. Speaking of the end, this show doesn't have much of an overarcing plot. It's mostly broken down it smaller story arcs, so while the final episode of the show is the end of a major arc, it still feels rather open ended. I still have yet to watch the five episode OVA that takes place after the end of the show, so we'll see if that adds anything. Even though it was problematic, I liked the show. It's no masterpiece, but I found it solidly entertaining.
(Completed watching February 2011)
Gantz (TV) Very good Gantz is a character driven action show. People who have just died are transported to a mysterious room with a black sphere that orders them to kill aliens. After their task is completed, those who've survived can go back to their lives until they're summoned again. The first episode introduced us to Kei Kurono, who quite frankly is a worthless waste of space at this point. He's selfish, apathetic, and a creeper. However, as the show progresses, Kurono becomes less selfish, and more capable. I was surprised to find this sort of character development in this kind of show. Also, for an older show, the art and animation are quite good and hold up well. Unfortunately, the ending is inconclusive, as this is based on a still ongoing manga. I read one volume of the manga but dropped it mostly because I hated Kurono, but this anime has convinced me to give it another chance.
(Completed watching August 2012)
Lucky Star OVA Very good For those who have seen the Tv series, this is basically more of the same; an extra long episode of slice-of-life comedy peppered with otaku references. I really missed the lack of an English dub. Akira's Japanese actress has the most grating helium voice ever. The episode itself was fun though. I liked it.
Ghost Hound (TV) Very good For the first half, Ghost Hound is very atmospheric, creepy and mysterious paranormal show. The plot unfolds slowly . Unfortunately, it seemed to lose focus in the second half, spreading itself too thin and focusing on too many things at once. The DaiNippon Bio plant, the Ogami cult, and Taro's kidnapping are all competing plot elements that all could have been developed better on their own. As such, the ending that sort of ties them all together is rushed and disappointing. Overall, the show was very enjoyable, with an interesting and thought provoking premise, but I feel there was a lot of wasted potential there.
(Completed watching August 2010)
(The) Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (movie) Excellent For fans of Haruhi, as I am, this movie hits it out of the park. It looks great, sounds great, the dub is spot on, and it's exciting and fun to watch. I almost wanted to give it a masterpiece rating, but as much as I loved it, it's not perfect. I think it's too long, and it doesn't stand alone. To get anything out of this movie, you'd absolutely have to see the previous two TV series. And to sit through a lot of the exposition, you'd have to care a little bit about the characters. As I am already a fan, I loved it, pacing issues and all.
(Completed watching January 2012)
(The) World God Only Knows (TV) Not really good For a show that started out mildly interesting, this sure went nowhere fast. The lead is a galge otaku who is paired up with a demon girl in order to capture lost souls (gained by capturing girl's hearts). The premise is honestly kinda dumb, as the kid uses the exact same tricks learned from games to get the girls to fall for him and it works. The characters themselves are nothing more than one note tropes. Elsie is nothing more than the "ditsy sidekick". One whole episode for example is devoted to her attempts to learn to cook. I swear, if I never see the "girls who can't cook LOL" gag again, I will cry tears of joy. My near breaking point came during the Library girl arc, which I found to be deadly dull. Only by sheer stubborness at that point did I force myself to watch the last few episodes of the show. Needless to say, I won't be watching season two.
(Completed watching October 2011)
Figure 17 (TV) Good Figure 17 is about a young girl who obtains a power and must fight an alien life form that crashed on Earth. It is a little different in that the episodes are twice as long as a standard TV episode. This allows more time to fully flesh out Tsubasa and Hikaru and also the world they live in. On the other hand, so much of this really slows down the story. There's a large slice of life portion of the story, where the girls go to school, participate in activities, and play with their friends. Occasionally, the alien battling seemed like an afterthought. Also, there were brief appearances of a journalist character investigating strange phenomena caused by the aliens who really contributed nothing to the story. The series would have been just the same had he been omitted. The characterization of Hikaru and Tsubasa was the one shining light in this series. It's what kept me watching during the slow moments and sustained my interest through repetitive Maguar battles. Overall, this was a decent series and well worth seeing.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Eden of the East (TV) Excellent Every year, there are a small handful of excellent shows that are totally quality, meaning they're well written don't pull from the bag of overused otaku tropes and just phone it in. This show was one of the good ones from 2009. It opens with a mystery, a naked guy with a magic phone is going to save Japan. It explores Japans issues, the aging population, NEETS, etc. but not in a heavy handed way. There's nothing worse than being preached at via entertainment (I'm looking at you Arjuna). It also explores the possibilities when a single person is given immense power. Or, the power everyday people can wield when joined together in a group. It really is an interesting show and it's not often something like this comes around.
(Complete watching July 2012)
Bubblegum Crisis (OAV) Good Despite being over 20 years old, Bubblegum Crisis is still entertaining. The feeling I get watching it is similar to one of those 80's blockbuster action movies, where everyone seems to have a gun and is ready to use it and massive destruction is an everyday occurance. The music has aged badly and visually it's a product of it's time, but overall it's still highly watchable.
(Completed watching November 2010)
Hoop Days (TV) Good Dear Boys, or "Hoop Days" as Bandai titled it, is a very flawed but still watchable sports show. The series shines when the focus is on the characters and relationship building. I quite liked the characters in this series. My problems with the show however, were just about everything else. Lets start with the soundtrack. From the terrible "rap" opener and closer to the super generic dance beats playing during games, everything about it is facepalm-worthy. It really is hard to watch with such cheesy music. The animation itself was spotty too. Every now and then there'd be a short well animated sequence, but more often than not, it'd be slow pans over stills with speedlines. This show also makes overuse of sports cliches. Watching a ball bounce around the rim in slo-mo while everyone stands around with mouths open is not interesting. We all know it's going in. So much about this show was just over the top cheese played totally straight. Despite that, it was still entertaining and I watched all of it. It was the character drama that kept me watching in the end.
(Completed watching January 2012)
Magic User's Club (OAV) Very good Cute and whimsical, Magic User's Club was a surprise to me. I wasn't expecting to be as entertained as I was. The characters were really cute and I really liked the English dub. I thought the voices fit the characters so well. The story was short but fun. I really liked it. In contrast, my spouse thought it was "meh".
(Completed watching July 2009)
Azumanga Daioh (TV) Very good Cute and funny. It took a few eps for the characters to grow on me, but once they did, I was hooked. I especially liked the cats. Sekaki was my favorite character.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion (TV) Very good Code Geass has a faced paced plot with a lot of twists. It's entertaining. The characters were interesting if not particularly likeable. I keep rooting for whoever is against Lelouche. There were a few comedy elements that were just annoying instead of funny: the school hijinks, the pizza, that sort of thing. It's a bit cheesy at times, some of the fanservice shots especially, but it wasn't enough to detract from my enjoyment of the show. This first season ended on a great cliffhanger though. I immediately wanted to watch R2.
(Completed watching September 2010)
Claymore (TV) Excellent Claymore was a highly entertaining series, but it had it's problems. First, the animation was cheap as hell. The actual art was quite pretty, but fight scenes were very choppy and it was somewhat distracting for me. Also, while I liked the plot, every now and then I'd stumble across some plot holes. I tried to block those out. Finally, the ending was meh. It wasn't exactly a non-ending, but it was clear that there was more to the story. I guess I'll be picking up the manga to continue on. Despite my criticisms, I really did like the show. It's no masterpiece, but it was very enjoyable to watch.
(Completed watching July 2009)
CANAAN (TV) Excellent Canaan is a fast paced action series with the visuals to back it up. It's beautifully animated. Even if the story was a mess at parts, it hardly mattered since the show is just fun to watch. The characters, Canaan and Alphard, are memorable as well. This was my first time hearing one of Sentai's dubs and I must say it was pretty good. The voices all fit the characters and whoever played Alphard's crazy sister hit it out of the park. The ending was quite good and wrapped it up well while still leaving room open for a sequel. I wouldn't mind seeing more as I thoroughly enjoyed the show.
(Completed watching December 2010)
Blassreiter (TV) Not really good Blassreiter was like a trainwreck, I couldn't look away. I still can't believe I managed to watch all of this show. The plot was riddled with plotholes and other shit that just didn't make much sense. The writing was terrible, with too many cheesy overly melodramatic scenes and a script full of corny lines. That two episode flashback with Joseph was the most painful example. The show looked ugly too, with lots of poorly integrated CG. The contrast between the CG and the drawn bits was quite jarring. About the only positive thing I can say about Blassreiter is that it was somewhat entertaining. That's the only explanation I can come up with for having sat through all of it.
(Completed watching June 2011)
(The) Animatrix (OAV) Good Before I even knew what anime was, I was a big fan of The Matrix.
Sword of the Stranger (movie) Excellent Beautifully animated and with a good story too, Sword of the Stranger was an excellent movie. The fight scenes were exceptionally well done. There's really not much else to say. I enjoyed it immensely and it definitely has rewatch value for me.
Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (TV) Good Based on the trailer, I didn't think this show would be anything I would want to watch, but I gave the first episode a shot on Anime Network and I really liked it. It's a wacky comedy that actually is funny. A couple of childhood friends, faced with real life burdens like growing up, instead find themselves stuck in an alternate dimension based on their imaginations. Each episode brings them to another strange world. I found the characters fun and the dub was well done and made me laugh. The show is great "brain candy", where I can sit and be entertained without thinking about it. My only real complaint is that the visuals varied wildly from episode to episode, with some looking high quality and others looking really cheap. It was not a consistent looking show. Overall, though I quite liked the show.
(Completed watching April 2012)
Gravitation (TV) Decent At first, I didn't like Gravitation. I watched a couple of episodes and gave up on it. I thought the music was bad and the gay relationship seemed really contrived. The humor was rather hit or miss as well (mostly miss). However, I recently picked up the manga which I ended up liking, so I decided to give Gravitation another chance. I had never seen a yaoi anime before, so everything made a bit more sense after reading the manga. The characters grew on me and I eventally got into the relationship. The music and humor was still pretty cheesy though. The characters saved this show and pulled it up from bad to decent.
Kimagure Orange Road: Summer's Beginning (movie) Very good At first I thought this movie would suffer in comparison to the last one and feel like an afterthought. Surprisingly, it was very good and didn't feel tacked on at all. All of the characters are several years older and it was fun seeing how Kyosuke and Madoka's relationship progressed through the years. The more modern character designs took a little getting used to, but since everyone was grown up, it was easier to accept them. The plot was "paranormal element plays havoc with Kyosuke" which was standard fare for the TV series. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised. This last movie was more entertaining than I thought it would be.
(Completed watching March 2009)
Recorder and Randsell (TV) So-so At first glance, this show seems like the sort of otaku-bait that I usually try to avoid. The premise, which centers around a manly looking grade school kid and his childish looking high school age sister, sounded creepy. Fortunately, it is a lot more innocent in execution. Atsush'si voice actor, while having a deep voice, delivers his lines in such a childish way that I can buy his age. The show has no real story, so the short length of the episodes (just three minutes) is just enough to set up a joke. Unfortunately, the humor is a one trick pony, centered mostly on Atsushi and people's reaction to him when they see him. He's been carted away by the cops one to many times for being a "pedophile" that it isn't funny at all anymore. Despite its repetitive nature, the show is occasionally amusing. I watched it as it aired, a few episodes at a time, which is perfect for this sort of show. Watching larger chunks in one sitting would really highlight its staleness.
(Completed watching June 2012)
Sound of the Sky (TV) Very good At first glance this appears to be yet another show featuring a cast of cute moe-styled girls doing nothing but being cute. What makes this one a bit more interesting than your typical school comedy is the setting and story, because there is a story here for once. It takes place in the far future, in the aftermath of a world ravaged by endless war. The characters are soldiers stationed at a quiet town during a cease fire. I found the post apocalyptic setting and the few hints about the world fascinating, much more so than the characters, which are typical moe archetypes. The show had a more serious tone throughout as well, with the occasional silly episode thrown in. Overall , I enjoyed the show more than I was expecting, as a show featuring "cute girls" is not a draw for me.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Zegapain (TV) Excellent At first glance this appears to be just another "boy pilot" mecha show. Thankfully, I gave it a chance, because it's so much more. With appealing characters and a fresh and unpredictable plot, this show managed to rise above my expectations. I enjoyed it very much.
(Completed watching October 2009)
Lagrange - The Flower of Rin-ne (TV) Decent At eight episodes in, this is so far your standard mecha show with a teen pilots. Madoka is an ordinary high school girl who is roped into piloting a mysterious robot against an unknown enemy. It's all very been there, done that. I like mecha shows, and found the characters likeable, so I decided to stick with it. It mostly takes itself seriously, until I get to episode eight, when the chairman of the military organization shows up, and its a little girl dressed in a frilly lolita outfit. A breast groping loli girl. W. T. F. So, so, dumb.

I finally finished the first season. It wraps up a story arc but it's clearly not the ending. I am enjoying this just enough to go on to season 2.
(Completed watching May 2013)

To (OAV) Not really good At 40 minuted each, these two OAVs are too short to tell a story with much depth. The character designs in this CG production fall into the uncanny valley, as they look like mannequins and are about as lifeless as one as well. However, the spacescapes and ships are beautiful. Overall though, this show isn't terrible, but it isn't very good either. It's only worth watching for free with a two week trial on Funimation's site.
(Completed watching May 2012)
Oreimo 2 (TV) Not really good As someone who mostly enjoyed the first season of OreImo, I found the second season to be a disappointment. Unlike the first season, which focused on Kyosuke repairing his relationship with his sister, the second season didn't seem to have much of a direction. Instead, it seemed to focus on tired harem elements and fan pandering. The show had it's moments, (Kuroneko pretty much stole any scene she was in) but overall I found it tedious and eye roll inducing. I will still check out the final few OVA eps just to see the ending. I kinda feel obligated at this point since I made it this far.
(Completed watching June 2013)
Peach Girl (TV) Very good As far as shoujo romantic dramas go, Peach Girl gets it right. The focus is on the characters, which are quite memorable. The villian, Sae, in particular is so wicked but at the same time one feels sorry for her. This is also one of the few well done love triangles I've encountered, as both boys were a good chioce for Momo and it wasn't obvious which way she would go. The show is minimally animated, and sometimes the characters are comically off model, but overall it's nice watching this story again with color and sound. The English dub for me was unlistenable, as both Momo and Sae had voiced that didn't sound like 15 year old girls. I quickly switched over to the Japanese, which sounded better to my ears as the girls had younger sounding voices that fit their characters better. Overall, even though I had read the manga first and knew which direction the show would go, I still enjoyed it quite a bit. The drama here is just so entertaining.
(Completed watching November 2011)
Genshiken Second Season (TV) Excellent As a Genshiken fan, enjoying this was not in question. As for how it stacks up, I enjoyed it almost as much as the original first season and more than the second season. This season, the second generation, sees a few new club members joining Genshiken, mostly girls. In fact its interesting how the dynamics of the club has changed now that its members are mostly female. The old cast makes cameo appearances, except Madarame, who has a large part in this show. I enjoyed seeing the new club and how old characters have changes and grown. This show is my favorite of Summer 2013 and I will be purchasing it for sure.
(Completed watching September 2013)
Gintama: The Movie Very good As a fan of the TV series, my enjoyment of this movie was assured. Even though I've seen the TV episodes that are complied in this movie, I was still just as entertained watching them a second time around. However, the movie does not stand on its own. While the basic plot is easy enough to follow, most of the enjoyment from this franchise comes from being familiar with the characters. The humor wouldn't be as funny, nor the drama have as much impact without that knowledge. As a fan though, this movie has everything one would want, familiar faces return, and there are cameos galore. I especially loved the ending, where they all argue over who gets to be the star of the next movie.
(Completed watching July 2012)
King of Thorn (movie) Not really good As a fan of the manga, I was really looking forward to this movie. What a disappointment. I was cool with it for the first third, but after that it jumps the tracks and goes off the rails in a big way. The plot is nearly incomprehensible, devolving into a pile of gibberish by the end. The CG too was a sticking point, as lots of segments relied heavily on it, and it was not integrated well. The characters would go off model and get sort of plastic looking during these parts and it was a bit jarring. I feel that this would have made a great 12 episode TV series with time to explain everything, but as a movie it is a fail.
(Watched October 2012)
Fate/Zero (TV) Excellent As a fan of the fate/Stay Night anime, I was looking forward to watching this show. It did not disappoint, and even surpasses it's predecessor. For one, it's absolutely beautiful, the animation is gorgeous and fluid. The tone is dark and serious, which is a plus for me. It explains the holy grail war from the beginning, so it definitely stand alone for someone who is unfamiliar. My only problem with it is that it can be quite exposition heavy at times, so lots of reading is required. This is not a show one can just veg out to. This first season ends on an exciting cliffhanger, I can wait to get started with season 2.
(Completed watching October 2012)
My Little Monster (TV) Very good Art first, this appears to be a standard shoujo romance between a loner girl and the strange boy she befriends. However, the characters are not typical, with interesting personalities that play off each other well. The lead character is not a damsel in distress that needs saved, rather a focused girl who slowly makes a self discovery regarding being alone. While the plot was still pretty standard boy-meets-girl, the well written characters elevate it above others like it. I quite enjoyed it. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of resolution with the character relationships and only hope that there will be a second season.
(Completed watching December 2012)
Aria the Animation (TV) Good Aria is all about atmosphere. The show is absolutely plotless. Instead it relies mostly on it's beautiful setting and music to keep it afloat (no pun intended ha ha). The characters are moderately interesting if somewhat forgettable. I liked the show, but it wasn't a masterpiece for me. Aria just didn't hit the right notes for me, probably because none of the characters really clicked. I found President Aria to be really irritating as well, and I like cats. That thing wasn't a cat. I'll continue on with the next season, because it really is pretty eye candy.
(La) storia della Arcana Famiglia (TV) Not really good Arcana Famiglia is a terrible show, but I did find it somewhat entertaining in a mindless way. It's shoddily written. For one, the premise introduced in the very first episode is not revisited until the final episode. In between is pure filler and character interaction. And the characters, while attractively designed, are about as deep as a puddle, with canned personalities. "Eats a lot" as a sole defining trait should not count for characterization. The female lead is your typical bland audience stand in, with no personality of her own. The ending was trite as hell, not delivering anything promised in the first episode. So why did I watch this? I did like the atmosphere/setting, the art and voices, and the first episode made Felicia look a bit more interesting than she ended up being. Too bad this show did not deliver at all.
(Completed watching September 2012)
Love Live! School idol project (TV) So-so Another season, another idol show. This one aired at the same time as the second season of AKB0048 and unfortunately pales in comparison. Here a group of cute but flimsily characterized girls starts an idol club in order to prevent the closing of their school. I found it trite and predictable, but not entirely bad. It's the kind of mediocre that is inoffensive and just watchable enough but doesn't really have much to say, and therefore I don't have much to say about it.
(Completed watching June 2013)
Amnesia (TV) Weak Anime based on otome games do not have a good track record with me, as most have been pretty terrible. Unfortunately, this show is no exception. Amnesia is broken up into arcs, where the heroine (she's not given a name) finds herself in an alternate world after an accident and she's dating a different boy each time. The leads is the worst passive, personality-less doormat I've ever run across in any shoujo anime, calmly accepting imprisonment and even death. She is literally too stupid to live. The boys she dates are the typical color coded anime tropes with one-dimensional personalities as well. The plot is a complete mystery at first, but once the details are revealed it comes across as really dumb as well. In fact the ending episode is a dialog heavy info-dump, which I found extremely tedious. I watched this as it broadcast on Crunchyroll, and I believe the only reason I finished it is by watching one episode at a time. Any more would be too much stupidity to handle.
Completed watching March 2013)
Honey and Clover (TV) Excellent All the praise that I heaped on the manga is true of the anime as well. This is exactly the same story, yet it's so well written that seeing it again doesn't feel redundant. The music is great, the acting is well done. The characters are so well rounded, with so much character growth over the course of the series and having all that great drama portrayed with voice actors really brought the show to life. To clarify, I watched this show in Japanese. I gave the English a quick listen, but it just wasn't as good. There aren't that many well done anime dramas for adults, making this show a rare treasure for me.
(Completed watching March 2011)
Kaleido Star (TV) Good All in all, I liked Kaleido Star. The characters for the most part were fun to watch, and the circus setting was unusual and interesting. However, there were a few things that annoyed me. Primarily the lame attemps at humor. Most of it fell flat for me; especially Mr. Policeman, the seal, Anna's dad (and Anna herself), and Ken's lameness. The show was excellent when the focus was on Sora and the Kaleido stage, but did a nosedive when the focus was on the sillyness, which is too bad because otherwise it's a really good show.
Air (movie) Good Air the movie is a retelling of the main story arc of the Air TV series. Thankfully, it had a significantly different feel so that it didn't feel like an extra long recap episode. Unfortunately, it doesn't compare to the Tv series, which was excellent.
Bakemonogatari (TV) Not really good After watching three episodes, I really don't understand the hype for this show. In fact, I'm finding it deadly dull. It's very dialog heavy, but the characters are cardboard cutouts at this point and they don't have anything interesting to say. Episode three consisted entirely of the two lead characters sitting around in a park conversing. No amount of cool visual effects can make that interesting. I'm going to keep watching in hopes that it gets better, but I'm not feeling it so far.

Now that I've seen the whole thing, I can honestly say that it wasn't very good. Its plot is flimsy and formulaic, in which a generic nice guy sort solves girls' paranormal related problems. This is set up just like a visual novel adaptation, broken up into arcs featuring each girl. The girls themselves are barely more than tired otaku "favorite types". The fanservice here skeeved me out a little, especially with the slow pan on the naked middle school girl. Why is she naked and blushing when she could have just pulled up a pant leg? I'll let you guess. In fact, I'll bet that this thing's popularity is based on how hard it pandered to a certain Japanese, DVD buying demographic. Even the dialog went in that direction, for example an excruciatingly boring 5 minute conversation about whether or not the sporty girl was wearing panties underneath her bike shorts. Also, once you discount all the otaku-centric content, there isn't much to this show. It tries very hard to be clever with its long winded banal conversations and weird visual effects, including a fascination with closeups of eyes, that in the end there's very little substance. It's interesting that I didn't liked this show, as I've like conversation heavy shows (Fate/Zero and Katanagatari) and Shaft shows (Madoka Magica/ Arakawa Under the Bridge), but this one left me absolutely cold.
(Completed watching December 2012)

Redline (movie) Excellent After watching a stream of movies and OVAs with shitty writing, Redline looks like a masterpiece. In reality, it's just another action movie, albeit with excellent visuals. However, this is an action movie done right, providing just enough back story on the characters and world for the story to make sense and for me to care, but not so much that it feels bogged down and needlessly confusing. Visually, this movie looks like nothing else. It's very fast paced and brightly colored, with frequently exaggerated proportions and tons of explosions. It's simply a lot of fun to watch.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Clannad After Story (TV) Masterpiece After Story managed to improve on an already excellent first season. It delves more deeply into the Nagisa/Tomoya romance and tells that story well past where most romances end. Because of that I found this especailly refreshing, although I thought the marriage between the two leads was oddly formal. The drama in my opinion was better written and more believable in this second season, but I began to feel a bit emotionally manipulated as the tragedy kept piling up. The ending was a bit of a disappointment for that reason as well. Fortunately, it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the show as one of the best if not the best anime drama I've watched thus far.
(Completed watching March 2010)
xxxHOLiC (TV) Excellent After seeing the xxxHOLiC movie, A Midsummer Night's Dream, I was really excited to see this series. It didn't dissapoint. The charaters were fun, and the paranormal mysteries were facinating. Some episodes were stronger than others, but the charcters were enough to carry the show through the less interesting stories. The episodic structure fit this show very well also. The elongated CLAMP art style was pretty cool, even though it did look very strange in a few frames. (Really small heads mostly, like Beetlejuice) I loved the show, and I really hope the next season comes over soon. I'd love to see it on DVD.
Glass Fleet (TV) Good After forcing myself through some very boring opening episodes, Glass Fleet manged to catch my attention. Once the story got going, the plot was rather interesting. The setting and art were gorgeous and I got a kick out of some of the completely ridiculous character designs (Raechel wins, the fat noble with the tripple chins is a close second). The acting was ok, but the dialog was not so well written. Some of the lines were unintentionally hilarious. Overall, I really enjoyed it, but it's not a masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination.
Emma: A Victorian Romance (TV) Excellent After all the giant robots, ninjas, samurai, panty flashing school girls and boys with special powers, Emma is like a breath of fresh air. First the setting, Victorian England, is so detailed and different from any anime I've seen before that it immediately caught my attention. The show moves at a leisurely pace and is so reserved in tone as is typical of the era, which was probably why it took a couple of episodes for me to care about the characters and their plight. But, by the end of the first 12 episodes, I was fully hooked.
(Completed watching April 2009)
Black Lagoon: The Second Barrage (TV) Excellent After a long wait between seasons, I finally got to see the rest of Black Lagoon. It was worth the wait. This is by far one of the best action shows out there. Everything works here; the art/animation, the voice acting, the interesting cast, and especially the action. I found this season to be a bit better than season one. It was less episodic and the longer story arcs allowed the creators to develop the plot and characters a bit more, which I appreciated. Overall, this show was an A+ for me. Now I can't wait for season 3!
Natsuyuki Rendezvous (TV) Very good Adult romance is not a genre I see animated pretty much ever, so this was refreshing for me. Hozuki has a crush on his boss, the owner of a flower shop. She is a widow and is being haunted by the ghost of her husband and neither can move on. I'd say the first half of this show is the strongest, after which it gets a little bogged down with fantastical elements. The characters were well written and believably flawed. The show ended competently as well. Altogether this show was a nice surprise.
(Completed watching July 2014)
Silent Möbius (movie) Bad About halfway through this, I starred checking the time. It was dull. First, the lead character was shrill and whiny. None of the other charcters are developed either. Second, the plot was underdeveloped. It basically goes like this: shrill annoying girl discovers she possesses magic to defeat evil demon creatures in a futuristic world. There is very little explanation to all this, stuff just happens. It was easy enough to follow, but there was no depth! It was bad pretty much from its unexplained beginning, to it's abrupt and unexplained ending.
Dusk maiden of Amnesia (TV) Good A romance between a boy and a ghost huh? Well, it turned out surprisingly well. The first half of the show is more lighthearted, as we get to know Yuuko, Teiichi, and the other two members of the Paranormal Investigation Club. The second half of the show is much darker as they delve into Yuuko's past. In fact the ending is excellent and emotional, until it's cheapened by the very final minute of the show after the credits roll. It's a shame as it makes what has gone before somewhat meaningless. I wish the writers had had the balls to keep the tragic ending, instead of the "fake out", as it had much more impact. Still, the show was beautifully animated and artistically competent. I felt the romance was well done and believable. Even the fanservice had its place and wasn't overdone. Overall, this is a solid show.
(Completed watching July 2012)
Banner of the Stars II (TV) Very good (Completed watching February 2010)
Chrome Shelled Regios (TV) Decent      This is the anime equivalent of a summer popcorn flick; entertaining, but ultimately forgetable. The premise is interesting enough: the world is a desolate wasteland and the population lives in giant mobile cites. They are constantly being threatened by giant buglike monsters. My main problem is that the show introduced all these interesting elements, yet didn't really do anything with them. For example, each episode had a short glimpse at some sort of alternate dimention that we later learn is somehow connected to the world, yet nothing is ever explained. We learn that certain characters have extraordinary powers, yet it is never explained. And, where do those rolling cities get their food? I didn't see any farms. (I'm probably giving this show way too much thought).
     Also, The characters were your typical anime stock types. Layfon was your average harem lead, except with added fighting ability. He was surrounded by the childhood friend, the homemaker type, the quiet tsudere type, and Nina, the competitve type. Unlike other harem shows, this one has a sizable male cast too, albeit also one note stereotypes. I did like Felli though, her character type (tsundere) tends to be overdone, but here I felt she had more of a reason to show her frustration, because Layfon was so dumb. Why is it that harem leads have to be so wishywashy and clueless? Is it because if they were decisive and direct, half the plot would be resolved immediately? Anyway, it took me almost two months to watch this show. I popped it in when I had nothing else to watch and wanted some mindless entertainment, which pretty much sums up this show.
(Completed watching April 2011)
Samurai Girls (TV) So-so      Man, what a bait and switch the first episode proved to be. Awesome art, and interesting set up, and a harem lead that promised to have a personality. Unfortunately, while this thing has an interesting premise, it lacks a plot. Episode two starts with typical harem hijinks, like the boob to face gag, and cute girls moving in with the lead, who turns out to be the same bland pantywaist that stars in these types of shows. Episode four was mind numbingly stupid wish fulfillment material, with the girls fighting over kissing Muneakira. I'm going to give it a couple more episodes just on sheer stubbornness, as I bought this show based on that first episode.
      Continuing on, episode 5 sees Muneakira kissing another girl and making her a master samurai, while episode six is a beach episode, with the girls fighting over who Muneakira thinks looks best in their swimsuit. In episodes seven and eight, two more girls move in, bringing the total to seven. One of this show's many flaws is the attempts at humor are completely stale and fall flat. It should be a crime that a series that looks this good is so incredibly stupid.
     Now that I've finished the show, I will say that when it attempts to do something other than tired harem antics, it's not too bad. Not great, but not terrible. I think this show would have worked better ditching the whole harem aspect and going for a more action oriented affair. I wanted to like this show, but it was very disappointing in many ways. I won't bother checking out the sequel.
(Completed watching April 2013)
KenIchi the Mightiest Disciple (TV) Decent      KenIchi is a weak, cowardly runt who is constantly targeted by bullies and wishes to become stronger. He meets a girl and joins her family's dojo in order to learn the martial arts. KenIchi is a silly, silly show. At some times, I feel it crosses the line into outright stupidity. I watched the first 13 episodes (because I paid for them damn it!), but I don't think I can subject myself to more of this.
     I can't believe it, but I ended up purchasing the second set and this show grew on me A LOT. I was more into the characters and the comedy clicked with me this time around. Maybe I was in a bad mood or I just wasn't watching it with the right mindset. This is clearly a comedy, not an action show. After watching this set of episodes, I found it to be good silly fun.
     I just finished the third box and I can't really explain what it is about this show. It's completely ridiculous and very cheesy yet it still manages to be highly entertaining. For example, that fruity singing Ragnarok member, Kisara's stupid half jean/half cutoff costume, or the boobs! Boobs don't swing or bounce like that, even big ones. Sorry Guys. I also find it really hokey that all the Ragnarok members have names pulled from Norse mythology. Maybe it sounds better if your first languange is Japanese, but to me it's an eye roller. Despite all of the "laugh at it and not with it moments" I'm still finding this show very watchable.
      I watched a box of Gintama before watching the last box set of Kenichi, and I was struck by the difference in quality between the two shows. I revert to my original opinion. This show is ridiculously stupid. The script is very corny, the animation relies a lot on stills and speedlines, and the music is dull and forgettable. Yet, it's still watchable thanks to some memorable characters.
(Completed watching June 2010)
Darkside Blues (movie) So-so "Meh" pretty much sums up my reaction to this movie. I read the manga first, so I had no problems following along with the story. Unfortunately, the story isn't very good. The plot is basically a cobbled together mess of many different elements and none of them are given enough detail or depth to be interesting. The art is also much rougher looking than in the manga. The music was also not good. The main song was an awful bluesy number with Engrishy lyrics and the rest was forgettable 90's sounding fare. Overall, this was a step down from the manga, which was only barely passable to begin with.
(The) Legend of the Legendary Heroes (TV) Good "LOL Heroes" is a fairly generic fantasy show based off of a light novel. It had a lot of promise in the beginning, but suffered from a typical anime non-ending. Nothing was wrapped up. In fact, the show even introduces new plot threads in the very last episode. On the positive, the English voice acting for the lead characters was quite good, both in the silly and the serious parts. The characters themselves were likable and easy to root for. Unfortunately, the show's tone was rather schizophrenic, whip lashing between super silly and super dark. Sometimes it felt like two different shows. Despite its issues, I did manage to watch the entire show and was reasonably entertained by it. It's not a masterpiece by any means, but it is worth watching once.
(Completed watching June 2012)
Strawberry Marshmallow (TV) Excellent I almost didn't give this one a chance. I saw the cute art style and the sugary sweet name and thought "no way am I watching this kiddie crap!". Fortunately, I picked up the box set on a whim (it was super cheap), and I totally enjoyed the show. It was hilarious and cute at the same time. You can't help but laugh. Anyway, I really think everyone should see this.
5 Centimeters Per Second (movie)
Ah! My Goddess: The Movie Good
Akira (movie) Good
Appleseed (movie) Excellent
Armitage: Dual-Matrix (movie) Decent
Bamboo Blade (TV) Very good
Blade of the Phantom Master (movie) Not really good
Blood: The Last Vampire (movie)
Chibits (special) Good
Chobits (TV) Very good
Cowboy Bebop: The Movie Excellent
Deadman Wonderland (OAV) So-so
Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (US CG movie) Good
Fruits Basket (TV) Very good
Full Metal Panic! (TV) Excellent
Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid (OAV) Good
Ghost in the Shell (movie) Excellent
Gunslinger Girl (TV) Good
Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino (TV) Decent
Haibane Renmei (TV) Good
Hajime no Ippo - Champion Road (special) Excellent
Hellsing (TV) Very good
Hellsing Ultimate (OAV) Very good
Howl's Moving Castle (movie) Excellent
I Shall Never Return (OAV)
Karas (OAV) So-so
Level C (OAV) Awful
Neon Genesis Evangelion (TV) Excellent
Neon Genesis Evangelion: Death & Rebirth (movie) Excellent
Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion (movie) Excellent
Ninja Scroll (movie) Decent
Noein - to your other self (TV) Very good
Oh My Goddess! (OAV) Good
Onmyoji II (live-action movie) Weak
Princess Mononoke (movie) Decent
Princess Tutu (TV) Very good
Robotech (U.S. TV) Not really good
Rurouni Kenshin (TV) Very good
Rurouni Kenshin: Reflection (OAV) Very good
Rurouni Kenshin: The Motion Picture So-so
Rurouni Kenshin: Trust & Betrayal (OAV) Masterpiece
School Rumble: Extra Class (OAV) Very good
She and Her Cat (OAV) Good
Steamboy (movie) Decent
Tenjho Tenge: Ultimate Fight (OAV) Very good
Vampire Hunter D (OAV) Very good
Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (movie) Excellent
Vampire Knight Guilty (TV) Good
Vandread (TV) So-so
Vandread: The Second Stage (TV) So-so
Witch Hunter Robin (TV) Very good