(Disclaimer: The Summer 2011 Rankings Final is completely, and wholeheartedly, my opinion on the animes this summer season. Despite where I have things ranked, you may wholeheartedly enjoy any of the titles mentioned in this post, no matter if I bash it. Or praise it. Oh wait. Last part’s a good thing.)
As a reminder, the goal was the find the five best animes of the Summer Season–however, I felt that watching three episodes of all the new shows would help me discover the best from the worst. There were exceptions:
- The short series (Double J, Nyampire, Morita-San)
- The series that were new seasons of prior shows (Baka to Test, Natsume, Nura)
- And series that were licensed by companies (Ro-Kyu-Bu by Sentai, Blade by Marvel; exception made to Ikoku, Memochou, and The Idolm@ster due to time of licensing, and that I had reached their third episode before or after officially licensed)
The Worst to the Top Five Animes of the Summer Season:
You are instructed to write down, starting from 18, your Worst to Your Top Five Animes of the Summer Season. Section I consists of you writing down the first seven questions summarizing why you hated an anime, why it’s bad, and why no one should watch it. You may begin the test when your proctor says you may begin.
18. Anime You’re Definitely Not Watching This Summer: Something Awful
Summary of Why It’s So Low: …Because it’s Something Awful
18. Anime You’re Definitely Not Watching This Summer: Twin Angel: Twinkle Paradise
- Company: J.C Staff (Revolutionary Girl Utena, Excel Saga, Toradora, Nodame Cantabile)
- Director: Yoshiaki Iwasaki
Summary of Why It’s So Low: Everything. And I when I mean everything, I mean everything. Parody or something a human threw up, Twin Angel is one title that separates its badness and puts it on a whole ‘nother level of bad this summer. Now the first ep was bad. Really bad. Yet it was at least watchable and halfway predictable. The second episode was an abomination to animation. Rio: Rainbow Gate sucked, but it at least was unexpected, different, and ok to watch; Twin Angel was reprehensible, terribly written, visibly unpleasing, and horrible to listen to. It was also predictable–I figured out what was going to happen in the first five minutes of the show! That’s really difficult for me! I usually don’t regret things, but this was the one anime that made me regret the three episode rule. After the first two episodes, there was no way it’s third episode would make me think I’d ever continue watching this dreck, and no way I would recommend this to anyone unless they were looking to watch horrid entertainment. But protocol informs me that I watch three episodes so I watched, but not even the appearance of a new character (With cat ears!) and a hot spring scene couldn’t stop the train wreck.
So yeah, I was patting myself on the back, so glad that I was finally finished with this ridiculous anime that employs laziness, emptiness, and impatience with every single aspect of the show, when I watch the preview (YES, I watch the whole thing) and see this:
….THIS. THIS!!! I lost it right here. Now, I bet you’re wondering, “why’d you lose it?”
AHHHHHHH!!! CAPCOM!!! GET OUT!!! THE ONLY THING IN THERE IS GREED!!! NOOOOOOO!!!
17: Anime I’m Definitely Not Watching This Summer: The Idolm@ster
- Animation Company: A-1 Pictures (Fractale, Occult Academy, Togainu No Chi)
- Director: Atsushi Nishigori
Summary of Why It’s So Low: The Idolm@ster is a good example of a show that proves two things: good looking visuals does not produce a great anime, and having too many characters with only one distinctive trait also does not produce a great anime, especially when the plot’s not all that strong and there’s no main character. Now, there are those that like this show a lot, so go ahead and keep watching it, but can I get an explanation on how I can get into a show where the comedy is not hilarious, how I can’t feel any sort of sympathy for the sixteen main characters, and how am I supposed to be drawn to a work that has some boring objectives (So Ep 1 was a documentary; Ep 2 was the idols having their pictures taken because their studio can’t make them money, with some of them feeling a bit insecure; Ep 3 involved them going to an almost out of the way–so wait, you mean they did make money off those pictures? How did the producer do it?)? Do idols even have to do all this work? This is one title I can safely say is for the fans…and only they will understand the characters more.
16. Anime I am Definitely Not Watching This Summer: YuruYuri
- Animation Company: Dagakobo (A Bridge to the Starry Skies, Koihime Musou)
- Director: Masahiko Ohta
Summary of Why It’s So Low: Oh YuruYuri–I wondered how you’d entertain me, and well, did you not! Your first episode was quite pointless at many times yet I found one or two things funny. Your second episode was quite pointless at some of the time, but thanks to Chitose’s nosebleeding capabilities, Ayano’s hidden love for Kyouko, and the hint of romance between Himawari and Sakurako, you raised your stock a bit in my eyes. Then you show the third episode and tell me, “Nope, sorry, we have completely ordinary stock characters,” so combine the stock characters with absolutely no plot or decent script writing to give these stock characters life, actual jokes that would get me to laugh, and sound that might please some, but doesn’t please me, this is an anime that I probably would waste my time watching. Except maybe the episodes where Chitose’s in it. Is it a sin that I’m enamored with one character over seven others? Actually, that’s probably the problem in of itself.
15. Anime I’m Definitely Not Watching This Summer: Manyuu Hikenchou
- Animation Company: Hoods Entertainment (Aki Sora, Seikon No Qwaser)
- Director: Hiraku Kaneko
- The breasts do not actually get cut off, but rather they just disappear, so no actual slicing of the breasts.
- I was tempted to give this series an incomplete. Why? Because I watched the first two episodes in all of its holy light bars–then I watched the third episode that was the AT-X version (partially uncensored), and I was actually impressed, even though the video quality was off. In other words, since one huge obstacle that I said made it unwatchable when I viewed its first episode disappeared, but I’ve seen the first two episodes censored, it feels like I can’t properly rank this anime.
14. Anime I’m Definitely Not Watching This Summer: Sacred Seven
- Animation Company: Sunrise (Gundam, Cowboy Bebop, Code Geass, Inuyasha)
- Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Summary of why it’s so low: Every once in a while Sunrise might not create a hit title, and this just seems to be it. It’s third episode showcased a lot of the potential I cited when I first wrote about Sacred Seven–good, fluid action, solid animation, and pleasing to look at. However, I still don’t know why Alma has this power, why Dark Stones exist, and why people say this reminds them of Code Geass. No seriously, it’s not like they ripped off a character and pasted them in the work–
Anyways, Sacred Seven might appeal to some, but it doesn’t appeal to me. This whole show feels like it’s been done before, and with a haphazard story complementing a below average soundtrack, in addition to characters feeling rather underdeveloped, I think I find that this anime is not worth my time to watch. If there’s any solace, the third episode raised its stock up, meaning it could be a work that gets better with time. Or just remain very average.
13: Anime I am Definitely Not Watching This Summer: Ikoku Meiro No Croisée
- Animation Company: Satelight (Hellsing Ultimate, Shugo Chara, Guin Saga, Fairy Tail)
- Director: Kenji Yasuda
Summary of why it’s so low: Overall, this anime is asking for me to like it–the animation and visuals are nice, the preview at the end of episode 3 implies that things are really going to get serious, and the premise is one that’s makes for a strong plot. However, I feel the premise set it back. The first episode was ok, while somewhat boring, yet filled me with some info and was pleasing to look at. The next two episodes turned out the same way, only introducing the foil to the hero in the last episode, and she didn’t even appear that much. The moments of, “Why I like it,” were few and far between compared to the others on the list, and what really irked me was the characters and how monotonous they were. The sad part is I get the feeling that the anime is now getting serious, yet due to focus on one part (trying too hard to focus on the little things) and not on others, plus the not so great soundtrack, this is one anime I can’t watch this summer. I might watch it sometime down the road, but for now, this gets stuck with the rest of the bad stuff this summer.
12: Anime I’m Definitely Not Watching This Summer: Blood C
- Animation Company: Production I.G (Eden of the East, Blue Seed, Sengoku Basara)
- Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Summary of Why It’s So Low: Oh Blood C. Overall, you probably have to be classified as the most disappointing anime of the Summer Season. After all, with top tier animation company Production I.G and legendary mangakas CLAMP by your side, you should at least be in the Top Ten of my rankings–instead, you put yourself outside of it by repeating a tried and true formula: we see girl in the morning, see her interact with friends in the afternoon (and in the process getting info dumps), and then you have girl cut up monsters or in this case Elder Bairns at night. That process might have worked five years ago, but it’s not going to fly today when it’s literally the same song and dance each week, especially with very atypical characters and a barely recognizable plot. Sure, there are some dying questions I have with it–why is the town so quiet? What’s with that comment about Saya and how does she like school? Why does she sing on her way to school? But you know what? You had three episodes to explain yourself yet really decided not to! And since you also decided to follow a repetitive formula, you probably made it certain that I should expect that for the rest of the summer. Well, sorry, but I have other things to expect during the summer. *sigh* All those nice, animated fight scenes…gone to waste due to a very predictable and ordinary script. It’s likely Blood C will change this phase, but that’s ok–others will tell me if it did or not.
11. Anime I’m Definitely Not Watching This Summer: R-15
- Animation Company: AIC (Gall Force, Girls Bravo, Samurai Harem: Asu No Yoichi)
- Director: Munenori Nawa
Summary of Why It’s So Low: R-15, you’re the only show on this list that I’m going to give a hand to. After all, after you disappointed me with your first episode, I would have thought that you’d languish at the bottom (though nowhere near Twin Angel). However, you raised yourself to near the Top Ten by actually being funny and catching me off guard in episode 3. Hell, you nearly made the Top Ten–but then I had to think. Your first episode was pretty poor, featuring a trove of characters that took the place of the actual protagonist, did not have good sound, and the cutesy persona sucked. Your second ep was just decent–I had a bit of fun with Utae’s storyline, but the soundtrack didn’t get any better and some of the stuff wasn’t that funny. Your third ep still proved that your sound wouldn’t get any better, yet the ridiculous situation and the well timed jokes really kept me going. But two things ruined it: how it ended (the third episode ended in such a way that I could only gape, not in laughter, but just how stupid it was) and, ultimately, the light rays that obscure everything, including the non nudity parts. Exactly why they were censored is beyond me, but combine all of that with your sometimes bland characters, some ok visuals, and really no plot, and you kept yourself out of the Top Ten. Will I watch you in the future? I don’t know. All I can say is that you did surprise me.
Section II of the Summer Anime Final shall be up on Sunday. What will be in my Top Five? Guess you’ll have to figure it out yourself!