Final week of the season and overall, the end of the season was a little bit of a letdown compared to the last, but it was not without a few gems worthy of TLDR. Also the final WatchRanking is out for the season, which I’ll detail at the end of this post. MOVE ON.

Oh that cute crying Rico
It's like saying 'Yes, there WILL be a second season'

Dog Days ended pretty much as anyone could figure given the premise, Cinque returns home, but Rico finds out that if certain conditions are met, he can not only retain his memory of his trip and friends, but return within a number of days. So that pretty much sets us up for possibly more Dog Days down the road, which I will not argue one bit with. In typical Seven Arcs fashion, this series delivers the same fun that Nanoha delivered, although Nanoha was a lot grittier then this, the “outworld adventure” stayed the same and was very enjoyable. I’d love more Nanoha more, but if I can get more of this, I am okay with it.

Title: Dog Days
Sub Group I Watched: Ayako-Himatsubushi, Hiryuu-HiNA
Episodes: 13
Rating (1-10): 8

Favorite Character: Leonmitchelli Galette des Rois
Least Favorite Character: Vert Far Breton
Legendary Badass Status Told: Yukikaze Panettone
Favorite Weapon: Leo’s battle axes. Obviously.
DAWW DAYS: Millhiore wagging her tail when patted on the head, Leo when being pet on the bed, etc.

Likewise, I am looking for a diamond in the rough of this episode. I never found it.

I’m not sure what the intention of Denpa Otoko was to be honest, it’s like the series just ended without any clear resolution to its story. Are they planning a bonus episode on DVD/BD? OVA? Another series? It just seems like for the first half it was all about Erio, and then it was about Ryuuko and Maekawa, and then the short girl and baseball? Overall, love the characters, the jokes, dialogue, and interactions, but the story even for being loose like wizard’s sleeve, just didn’t go anywhere and left me a little tasteless at the end.

Title: Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko
Sub Group I Watched: Underwater-Commie
Episodes: 12
Rating (1-10): 7

Favorite Character: Maekawa
Least Favorite Character: Yashiro Hoshimiya
Yashiro Hoshimiya? I had to pick one, they introduced her late, and she was annoying.
Favorite Pair: Makoto/Maekawa
Maekawa or Ryuuko? While I enjoyed Ryuuko’s childish enthusiasm, being a guy in my late-twenties, I appreciate the more refined maturity of Maekawa’s character, even with the cosplay fetish.

Her hair changes from gold to silver! In Japan! You can't explain that!

Early on in GOSICK I made many assumptions that this series may be weak-kneed, relying heavily on “case of the week” to get through episodes. Even after the village it was foggy at best as to where they were going with this series. But then all of the sudden the second half exploded with righteous fury and we got an excellent series that was, albeit minor nuances, was one of the best series I’ve seen in recent years. The overall story, plot, and characters were excellent and even though at time I thought Kujo couldn’t get any more retarded at times, he came through at the end for Victorique, and I’m still not sure where the silver hair came from (to hide her identity on the trip maybe?) but it made her look like mini-Maya Natsume mode from Tengo Tenge. I doubt any more will come from this series, but if they do choose to continue their adventures in Japan, I won’t object to a little more Victorique, even with silver hair.

Sub Group I Watched: Horrible
Episodes: 24
Rating (1-10): 9

Favorite Character: Victorique de Bloris
Least Favorite Character: Grevil de Bloris
Poor Avril Bradley: Eh, while her and Kujo were interesting together, they didn’t really force her into really trying to get him away except for maybe one episode.
That fucking Albert: Seriously, what a dick. So glad he got what was coming to him.

No seriously.
Ship this.

Hoshizora isn’t YnS, and thank god, because I didn’t want any brother-on-brother incest like they tried to imply every fucking episode. No, this series plays out exactly like two old friends I had in high school way back in the day when we walked to school uphill both ways. The genders were reverse, but the “friend zone” principle remains, and in the end, to my knowledge, they still didn’t fuck. Beta as fuck, seriously. Anyway, our friend Kazuma here finally figures out he likes the food vaccum Ui, which is disappointing, because he had every better choice in girl, Sakai, Madoka, the little tsundere, hell, anyone. But I guess this is what you get for adapted from VN material, so it is what it is.

Title: Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi
Sub Group I Watched: Horrible
Episodes: 12
Rating (1-10): 7

Favorite Character: Hina Sakai
Least Favorite Character: Koyori Toudou
Favorite SHIPPING: Kazuma/Hina
Best Loli: Ibuki Hinata
Best TITS: Madoka Koumoto

Girls keep everything in their tits
Oh Riko, you so clever

So at the beginning, I thought Hidan no Aria would be pretty interesting, at least in the KugiRie sense of obvious characters and plot, but hey, girls with guns, right? Well, sadly this series did not deliver, which is probably why they told us we’re getting Shana III soon. Overall it was passable, but the middle episodes were trite and useless. By the time we got to the end, “Big Bad” showed up and surprise he’s another real-world fictional character, Dracula. How quaint. They manage to defeat him and ride off into the sunsetmoonlight which begs the question, what exactly is Kinji Tooyama supposed to be, John Wayne? If we see anymore of this series (and we could) I do hope they plan on backstorying a little on everyone just because it’d be marginally more interesting then what we got.

Title: Hidan no Aria
Sub Group I Watched: UTW
Episodes: 12
Rating (1-10): 7

Favorite Character: Riko “Lupin the Fourth” Mine
Least Favorite Character: Kinji Tooyama
Favorite SHIPPING: Riko/Aria
Best Fictional Counterpart: Probably Jeanne d’Arc, though none of them really hit their respective characters.

That ends the Spring 2011 season, thanks to everyone that has been reading this season. Already have the first episodes to Ro-Kyu-Bu! and Memo-chou which I’ll be watching shortly along with Hanasaku Iroha 14 and Nichijou 14.

Now for the final WatchRanking breakdown:

  1. Hanasaku Iroha – Needs little explaination, from start to halfway this series delivers week after week of goodness that isn’t grounded in any one cliche and even manages to avoid falling into some common anime traps. Story, characters, setting, everything is awesome. (Current Review Score: 8 )
  2. Steins;Gate – Mad science meets time travel meets a somewhat normal group of kids, and from there the action spins off when espionage, murder, suspense, and all sorts of shit going down happens. It’s like Chaos;Head but way better, and we can hope the fan translation of the original VN will finish soon. (Current Review Score: 9)
  3. Dog Days – Seven Arcs knows how to Nanoha-style party, and Dog Days does not disappoint at all, it’s a wonderful series from first to last with awesome characters. (Final Review Score: 8 )
  4. GOSICK – It’s set in the 1920’s amongst a European-centric story involving mystery, war, and serious character development with a tsundere candy-loving girl and a dimwitted boy, and past everything that happens, ends on one of the best notes an anime can. Bones shows that once and awhile, they can make something awesome. (Final Review Score: 9)
  5. Moshidora – A baseball story that combines the story of hardworking kids and a girl who adapts business management tactics to lead them to victory, but what made this series that much better is the raw emotion at the end of the series. If you don’t cry manly tears, you’re doing it wrong. (Final Review Score: 9)
  6. Denpa Otoko – It’s random on purpose, it’s funny as hell in places, and the visuals are stunning in execution, but at the end of the run, the story was confusing and often out of place. Still, highly recommended watch. (Final Review Score: 7)
  7. AnoHana – Wonderful story, average characters. It fit the premises, but even halfway in I could not resonate with any of the characters besides the ghost Menma and maybe Anjou, who seemed to be the less fucked up of the crew in some ways. Still, an excellent watch from start to last, and certainly better than SKET Dance. (Final Review Score: 7)
  8. Hidan no Aria – Generic Shana Story IX, but a few good moments and characters to make it watchable, or more watchable than Dragon Crisis from last season. Your mileage may vary. (Final Review Score: 7)
  9. A Channel – Generic Lucky Star Story CCVII, but Tooru makes the show that much more fun to watch. If you like weeaboo music, this is your show, an insert song every episode. Me? Not so much. But again, Tooru. (Final Review Score: 7)
  10. Hoshizora – It’s a harem series that acts like a harem series. Good characters, funny moments, and some fanservice of awesome, but don’t expect great things from it. (Final Review Score: 7)
  11. Nichijou – Much like Pani Poni Dash except far more random on purpose. It’s funny a lot, but it has no real story value or anything that makes me mark it on the top of the chart. Still fun to watch though. (Current Review Score: 7)
  12. X-Men – I’m sorry Madhouse, I know you guys are just making Marvel adaptations for Japanese amusement, but it was like watching a painful version of First Class with ALL GLORIOUS NIPPON everywhere. The characters were fairly spot on, and the action was great, but weak copied story is weak and it just left a bitter taste in my mouth as an X-Men fan. (Final Review Score: 6)

First reviews of new series will be next weekend, as more new anime starts this week. Stay tuned!

Also, nomination rounds have started for Saimoe 2011. Unfortunately I am going to be under some serious shit at work the next few weeks and will not be able to do much with it, however random tweets from folks like @thefrustra have some details from time to time if you’re interested. I will probably begin full coverage of the main tournament over on TL;DR Saimoe.

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