40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2009

Aoi Bungaku, best watched after taking large quantities of hallucinogens

Wrapping up this 40 season retrospective is the season that has just finished. I will probably have to revisit this season in the future to give a full opinion on it as a whole, but I am not too terribly optimistic. My trademark poor taste in shows to finish strikes yet again, though I would struggle to find anything outstanding this season that I’ve missed.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2002

In the casual racism episode of Rizelmine, they also decided to make MiGs into variable fighters. Because they could I guess.

The spring of 2002 was a rather unique season in that there were at least a couple good shows in the midst of a malaise era spring. Today, there’s 2 romance themed series of questionable taste, the story of a girl trapped in a coma and some girls doing stuff over the course of 3 years of high school amongst other things.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2008

Probably the one thing people remember from watching the Lucky Star OVA

Before I start the 38th post as this series is starting to come to an end, that I did do a fairly similar look at this season in my anniversary post here. One thing I think I can say is that the fall season throughout this decade became a lot better by year. It is therefore no surprise I consider this miles better than the 2000-03 fall seasons. So for the few readers out there who actually read this before I started this series, this all might sound a bit familiar.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2001

Apropos of nothing, I give you foreshadowing circa 1927.

As this retrospective appears to be coming to a car crash of an ending, eventually I had to come across something from the malaise era that witnessed so little that I would be embarrassed. So it came to pass that the summer 2001 post would be a bumper movie only edition, and just 2 at that. At least there’s that Academy Award winning film, and another one that I enjoyed a bit more than that.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2005

Finally, I get an excuse to use this image again.

Normally, it would be easy to say a season containing something with a MAL rating below 2.9 would by default be the worst season ever. That’s a bit unfair, though it probably makes bottom 5 because of it. There’s a lot of stuff here, a couple of which I didn’t feel like burning my clothing and take a long cold shower afterwards. Alright, that’s exaggerating just a bit.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2007

Taking vicious right crosses repeatedly isn't really an ideal way to spend a summer afternoon.

In a comparison of each half of this decade, I can probably safely say I have completed more in this half than in the malaise era first half. So it came as a bit of a surprise that in the middle of it I actually managed my lowest total of completions. In fact, only one of these two items was watched during the actual season. Plus, it was absolutely awful. Some good did come out of it all about a year later when I added the other one.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2007

Does the fact that the blood isn't red make this less disturbing? I think not.

The summer of 2007 was pretty much a typical summer for my standards. There were some good series scattered amidst a whole sea of crap. There was a bit of controversy thrown in for some measure too.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2006

Behind this facade hides a vicious personality...just kidding.

The spring of 2006 is one of my favorite seasons of the decade, or at the very least one of the most interesting. For the two years prior, the number of new series had been climbing slowly, until this one, which was the real start of an explosion in production numbers. There’s quite a few popular shows from this season, and I probably didn’t hit them all to be honest.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2000

I knew Love Hina could have used more blood and death.

That part I said yesterday about that being the only season where there were no TV series. Turns out I was just a bit off and that I had a whole six month block in this decade where I did not have a TV series covered. Just 2 items today to wrap up the year 2000, though that number is probably pushing it a little.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2001

I think they make these kinds of films in the San Fernando Valley. No wonder they ran out of money.

Back to the malaise era with it’s minimal series production and other gaps in quality for today’s retrospective. Winter and summer have historically been pretty poor periods for number of series produced. Also, for the first and probably only time in this series I do not have a TV series finished here. Just a movie, a special and an OVA today.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2006

Just something for the female and non-traditional male readers.

The fall of 2006 was an interesting season. Visual novel adaptations had never really worked out in practice, but yet this season they truly piled them up. There were a couple of shows which attracted massive numbers of fans. I would lean toward this being one of the better seasons of the decade even with the amount of crap I watched. Continue reading

40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2009

Oh no! I don't want to relive those episodes all over again!

With talk of global economic meltdowns and other complicated things that made life terrible in the year following the spring of 2008, the spring of 2009 was about cutting costs and maybe not making so many new series. While the latter was true, the former showed probably a bit too much, though one studio would forget that part. I wouldn’t say it was a spring for the ages, it was just a bit different in its own way.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2008

A different kind of magical series.

Spring is usually by far the biggest season of the year for sheer number of releases, usually of the highest quality as well. Unfortunately, I can’t really remember it as anything more than average at best. Maybe it was the general feeling that something had utterly lost its way and would never come back feeling of this season. I’m probably just imagining that though. It was probably a good season on reflection.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2004

I can't really describe the basic structure of Grenadier better than this.

The first half of this decade ends with the massive series dump that was the fall of 2004. Things were starting to pick up from a production standpoint. No longer was I limited to just a few fall series of which 1 or 2 would be good. There were now a bunch of options of which…a few would be good. The visual novel adaptations were also increasing in number, and that could only be good…right?

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2004

Reliving horrible malaise era OP animations is just part of what I endure for this retrospective.

After yesterday’s appalling season, I was hoping the random number generator would give me something better with what was left. To be fair, almost anything would look like a classic compared to yesterday. In the context of everything this decade, though, the winter of 2004 is practically a nothing season.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2003

You know a series is bad when this is the most memorable moment, and no one even remembers the buildup to this

Today I wrap up my look at the year 2003 in the 25th day of this retrospective. I also have to start by saying 2 of the 4 items examined today are candidates for personal worst anime of the decade. Perhaps this season was the absolute rock bottom of the malaise era. I certainly hope so.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2008

Now this is the kind of interior design I can do.

The summer of 2008 was a bit more interesting than the previous seasons I’ve been through recently. Namely in that I watched a decent number, alright maybe just 1 or 2 more. Pretty much a typical summer for me then, I sort of wish I watched more though.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2000

It was nice to remember that main characters didn't always have copious amounts of blood pouring from their noses in this scenario.

With this being the 23rd post of this retrospective, I’ve noticed a tendency to stay around the 4-6 series regardless of season. This summer season sets the bar even lower with two. The sample size isn’t even large enough for me to say it was a good or bad season with any conviction. Otherwise I would just say that it was devoted entirely to harem setups too heavily reliant on harem cliches.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2005

A fun scene in a fun episode of Iriya.

The winter of 2005 still remains hard for me to quantify. Perhaps it is more of a nothing season than a transition point. There were not a whole lot of original shows here, with remakes, spinoffs and sequels making up about half of what I watched. There was also plenty of depression involved in this too, but I doubt that was intended as well.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2001

A long time ago, this would have worked as high-level service material. Now, it's probably not worth noting.

The fall of 2001 was an eventful time for multiple reasons. With this being malaise era and all, there wasn’t all that much to watch. The number that follows pretty much falls in with other seasons.

I begin this week with Cowboy Bebop: Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, which had unfortunate timing when it came to its release. The opening credits are a sort of slice of life look at a city that is practically New York for all intents and purposes. The major plot line of the movie revolves around a terrorist plot with a chemical weapon. Oh and the release date was September 1st of that year. Though it took a while for me to see it here, a few weeks later via a fansubbed version of something that was shot using a camcorder, it still had a lot of impact. It’s a good movie, irregardless of the fact it never actually had to be made, it just was a little unfortunate.

Mahoromatic is a bit of a guilty pleasure for me if I’m completely honest. While nearly everything in my brain tells me that there are problems with the story and how such a seemingly inept organization could remain a secret from the public doesn’t even make sense. Yet, I keep coming back to it often enough to make it one of my favorites. Even the fanservice which makes up 80% of a lot of episodes doesn’t bother me.

Hellsing supposedly has an epic quality dub that I have never watched, though that might be because they hired a bunch of English people to do it. Anyway, this is a vampire story which does not follow the traditional vampire canon, but this was always more action-oriented. Much more Blade than Twilight obviously. There aren’t very many weak characters in this show, which I thought was a major plus, though Seras does step into that role when convenient. Ultimately, I wouldn’t call this anything more than a good action series with dated animation and copious amounts of blood.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

Millenium Actress seems like quite the interesting little story, at least as far as the story of a character’s life goes. X seemed a little strange to me before I dropped it, but it was right at the point where a certain event changes things. Captain Tsubasa: Road to 2002 probably doesn’t include the bit about getting dumped out by Turkey in the 2nd round. The Prince of Tennis ran for a long time, and has plenty of fans. I might have been more interested if my own experience of tennis wasn’t being mercilessly killed by private school kids in high school. Hikaru no Go never struck me as something that would be popular either.

40 Seasons in 40 Days: Summer 2002

I probably don't even have to explain what would be going on behind that door.

What better way to mark the halfway point in this decade retrospective than to take a look at a desolate wasteland of a season that pretty much sums up malaise era anime. I’m taking a look at four items today, and it’s bad to the point where I’m going to give a look in to something that is borderline hentai just to make up the numbers and that’s probably not even the worst part.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2003

If the whole series was devoted to out-of-context violence with baseball bats, it would be epic.

Before I get started with this season I probably need to make something clear about this season. While the series I did complete probably do not rank anywhere near the highest quality for the decade, this season was probably one of the better spring seasons in the decade. I’ve just never gotten around to watching most of it.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Spring 2001

Would this completely one-sided affair be of any interest without the scenery?

As I’ve said before, the early part of this decade really should be considered the malaise era. There’s not a whole lot going with new series, and not very much of it is good at all. This season would prove no exception.

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40 Seasons in 40 Days: Fall 2007

Not remembering how everything got to this makes last night a good night.

Unlike yesterday’s post, there’s a large number of things I did watch in this season. There’s a wide range consisting of things like cynical marketing ploys, a poor man’s School Days, several visual novel adaptations and yes, more Minami-ke. Continue reading

40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2009

I can't really make a joke about animation this poor.

It’s time to head back to the beginning of this year (and late last year to be honest) and take a look at the minuscule number of things I did watch out of the dozens I could have. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it was worst winter ever type material, but it wasn’t very good. In addition, I’ve kind of stretched the definition of winter starts just to have more than two. Continue reading