An Oasis of Thoughts

2011 in Review Part 1: Quick Rundowns

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With 2011 ahead, i want to quickly give a run-down of the series i watched in 2011 with my impressions and verdicts. A total of 21 series this year, which is my all-time high. I’m trying to expand my viewing horizons and i can say for sure that 2012 will have a lot more offerings than this.

Here’s Part 1 of my 2011 in Review: a quick run-down of the 2011 series i watched.

AnoHana – 11 episodes, A-1 Pictures
Strengths: Great animation, great overall cast, definitely not a rushed series
Weaknesses: Menma may not be to your liking, very melodramatic towards the end
Overall Verdict: Give it a watch, the good outweighs the bad. 8/10
Ao no Exorcist – 25 episodes, A-1 Pictures
Strengths: Very likeable main lead, good soundtrack, one of the better shounen series
Weaknesses: Rushed due to running out of manga chapters to animate, some annoying minor characters, animation decreased sharply
Overall Verdict: If you want to watch a shounen series that’s short, Ao no Exorcist is the perfect solution. Otherwise, i wouldn’t waste my time on this one. 7/10
Baka to Test to Shoukanjuu Ni! – 13 episodes, Silver Link
Strengths: Creative animation, catchy OP/ED, Minami really shines this season
Weaknesses: Jokes are clearly unfunny, female-on-male violence gets old very fast, more Shouko (i’m probably the only one who doesn’t like her..)
Overall Verdict: Stay far away from this season. 6/10
Ben-To – 12 episodes, david production
Strengths: Amazing soundtrack, great well-rounded characters, over-the-top premise that really delivers
Weaknesses: Episodes 9 and 10, and Ume. Not enough Ben-to fights.
Overall Verdict: A really creative and wacky series for sure. I recommend. 8/10
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai – 13 episodes, AIC Build
Strengths: Well-timed jokes, a cast that really is fun to watch
Weaknesses: Sometimes jokes are reused, serious scenes that are a bit corny
Overall Verdict: Very pleased with this one. I actually liked some of the reused jokes. Anyways, it’s a good watch mainly for the characters. 8/10
C3 – 12 episodes, Silver Link
Strengths: Really creative visuals, addicting OPs
Weaknesses: Extremely rushed, lame one-dimensional villains, rushed character development, episode 1
Overall Verdict: The very definition of a generic series if you take away the creative visuals. 6/10
Dantalian no Shoka – 12 episodes, Gainax
Strengths: Amazing OP sequence, great animation and soundtrack, utilizes the episodic approach well
Weaknesses: Character development is a bit low, a bit rushed towards the end
Overall Verdict: Most under-rated series for sure. I really liked this show when everyone hated it. 8/10
Deadman Wonderland – 12 episodes, manglobe
Strengths: Great OP sequence, gore and violence is top-notch (eyeball removal for example), interesting premise
Weaknesses: Very rushed, Main character is annoying, Plot is completely botched
Overall Verdict: If you want violence, stay because Deadman Wonderland delivers. If you want plot, turn around now. 7/10
Dog Days – 12 episodes, Seven Arcs
Strengths: Over the top and fun, great OP sequence, A+ voice acting, most characters are likeable
Weaknesses: Animation has highs and very low lows, sudden shift from fun to serious, a bit rushed
Overall Verdict: I can’t say whether to recommend or not, the good and the bad are equal for the most part. This show is very divisive. 7/10
Fate/Zero – 25 episodes (part 2 in April), ufotable
Strengths: Well developed characters, amazing animation, not even rushed at all, A plot that really adds depth to the entire show
Weaknesses: Episode 1 is an hour full of men talking about boring stuff (but important),  annoying cliffhanger ending
Overall Verdict: You must watch this show, period. 9/10
Hanasaku Iroha – 26 episodes, P.A. Works
Strengths: Stunning background art, a really great conclusion, great animation
Weaknesses: Way too long and episodes are really stretched thin, Minko can get really annoying, romance aspect of the show is very weak
Overall Verdict: If you enjoy slice of life, check out HanaIro. If not, i don’t think you can handle 26 episodes of this. 8/10
Kamisama Dolls – 13 episodes, Brain’s Base
Strengths: Great character development, strong adherence to a consistent plot, outstanding OP and ED, great assortment of facial expressions
Weaknesses: Awkward bits of comedy in the most serious of scenes, giant cliffhanger
Overall Verdict: It’s a show that can appeal to most. But be wary of the awkward comedy moments. 7/10
Kimi to Boku – 13 episodes, J.C. Staff
Strengths: Very well rounded characters, heartwarming stories, good use of flashbacks
Weaknesses: Way too mellow for the first two episodes, stereotyped characters
Overall Verdict: If you can withstand the first two episodes, you’ll be rewarded for your efforts. 8/10
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica – 12 episodes, Shaft
Strengths: Creative animation and background art, a plot that really works for 12 episodes, episodes 3 and 10
Weaknesses: Not the best character development
Overall Verdict: A must watch, period. It’s a really creative and thrilling series. 10/10
Mawaru Penguindrum – 24 episodes, Brain’s Base
Strengths: Extremely creative, usage of symbolism, characters with detailed backgrounds
Weaknesses: Not for the casual anime fan, very confusing
Overall Verdict: I’m still watching this series but i can safely recommend this show to those wishing for a new experience in anime. 8/10 (may likely be a 9)
Natsume Yuujinchou San – 13 episodes, Brain’s Base
Strengths: Amazing animation, OST and OP/ED. Character development for Natsume is very well done. More lovable youkai stories.
Weaknesses: I didn’t like the Matoba arc.
Overall Verdict: The best season since season 1. Start watching this series already! 10/10
No.6 – 11 episodes, BONES
Strengths: Great main characters, a really cool and interesting setting and premise
Weaknesses: The most rushed episode of the year, it’s so bad i would stop at episode 10 and mark as completed. OP is kinda annoying.
Overall Verdict: There is a kiss between the two male characters, not a big deal (unless you’re a fujoshi). Watch 10 episodes and mark as completed.  7/10 (with episode 11) 8/10 (without)
Steins;Gate – 24 episodes, White Fox
Strengths: The best storytelling this year with many plot twist that make sense, amazing main characters
Weaknesses:  Slow start, Some animation issues (a lot of dark scenes), some minor characters aren’t well developed
Overall Verdict: This is the Code Geass of 2011: Over the top, great characters and a memorable ending. You must watch this show. 10/10
The iDOLM@STER – 25 episodes, A-1 Pictures
Strengths: Really diverse and likeable characters, music is good, memorable moments that i never saw coming
Weaknesses: Slow, some animation dips
Overall Verdict: It may look like another K-ON (which i hate), but this show really surprised me at how great it was. Give this one a chance for sure. 8/10
UN-GO – 11 episodes, BONES
Strengths: Great soundtrack, interesting lead characters, great OP/ED
Weaknesses: A bit of a weak start, the mysterious are solved in a Deus Ex Machina fashion
Overall Verdict: Very imaginative and surreal at times. I recommend not for the detective aspect, but the real true mysteries. 8/10
Usagi Drop – 11 episodes, Production I.G.
Strengths: The most realistic anime i’ve seen so far, great use of watercolors, very heartwarming, really interesting minor characters
Weaknesses: Sometimes it drags
Overall Verdict: It’s sweet, it’s slice of life, it’s a wonderful series. Highly recommend. 9/10

One thought on “2011 in Review Part 1: Quick Rundowns

  1. I mostly agree with your ratings to within a point or two, at least on the things I watched. I’m glad I picked up The iDOLM@STER after seeing your iDOLM@STER background and asking you about it a couple of weeks ago – I had last year dismissed it but I found I really enjoyed it.

    While I also really liked it, I think my son was really disappointed Dantalian no Shoka had a short run. He was like “No more?! Really?!”

    All in all I thought it was a good year.

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