Monday, December 31, 2007

Anime — 2007 in review

A little premature perhaps, since there are some titles that finish airing this quarter that haven't been completely subbed, or have been, but I've not watched yet (Sky Girls, Moyashimon, Blue Drop, but all of which seem aimed at the "Unexpectedly good" category), or carry over into Q1 next year (Ghost Hound); but this year is the first I've been deep enough into the scene for a round-up to be better than superficial. So, from the top…

The best: Dennou Coil, Mononoke, and Seirei no Moribito — each very different from the others, so no possible ranking

Unexpectedly good: Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Rocket Girls, Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight

Sequels that didn't quite live up to their predecessors: Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Kai, and Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS

In the category of "also watched" Claymore, the Marimite OVA series (more of the usual) and, leaking over from last year, Le Chevalier d'Eon. I would add Moonlight Mile, but nobody picked up the second season because it had been licensed for the US (unlike the complete subbing done for Gurren Lagann, Seirei no Moribito or Chevalier in similar circumstances).

Now the lemons, the series I dropped. Apart from the mess made of Bokurano, I also tried a few episodes and gave up on a number of titles:

  • El Cazador de la Bruja, after 3 or 4 episodes, another girls and guns from the creators of Noir, that just didn't seem to have the charm (or musical hook) of the first.
  • Saint October, for lack of subs after 3 episodes, but I might have given up this somewhat weak magical girl series anyway
  • Les Miserables, for lack of subs after 6 episodes, though it was shaping up to be rather slow paced
  • Lucky Star of which I watched 4 episodes, though I may come back to this harmless piece of fluff, it was just the anime equivalent of candy floss
  • Kaiji from the same mangaka as Akagi, but following a character completely opposite in temperament. Akagi grabbed me in the first few minutes; this was just boring. Watched 4, called it suspended, watched another recently, still no better.
  • Shugo Chara! a magical girl series for girls, didn't really grab after one episode

Non-starters: Hidamari Sketch, Potemayo and Sketchbook full color's, for which I couldn't manage a full episode (Kawaii! JeNny also fits here, but that would only ever have been for the lulz).

Worst of the year (of titles I watched) : Baccano! which gained raves about awesome and loveable characters, who turn out to be respectively psychopaths and morons, no-one likeable or sympathetic. I watched two and a bit episodes and stopped, because it was shaping up to just being a downright nasty splatterfest. It left a very nasty taste in my mouth.

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