Part 4 of this series moves us to a mere 2.5 years ago. While I haven’t actually checked, this season marked a high point in number of series produced, anecdotally at least. This season for me was defined by my earliest exposures to inexplicable hatred toward mediocre series, the inability for me to finish off other series and perhaps 2 of the best examples of social commentary I have seen in anime.
In one of the early season openers, and despite the fact it did not actually air on TV, Keitai Shoujo presented a small social experiment on a fan base (provided they could actually be bothered to vote). The premise was basically five stereotypical one-dimensional characters do stuff with their phones while doing absolutely nothing extraordinary. The fans in the end chose the girl who communicated as little as possible but I think there’s a good chance it was rigged anyway in retrospect.
Hayate the Combat Butler opened with one of my favorite single episodes in my years of watching this stuff. Pure class warfare jokes at their finest with Hayate refusing to describe bad people as they really were. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to keep that up 52 episodes in a row, so from there it became slowly about parodies, and more parodies. At least it’s better than the parody crap that comes out of Hollywood most of these days.
In a similar manner Oh! Edo Rocket also contributed heavily in breaking the 4th wall and in social commentary of its own. The series does a great job in making characters who do bad things sympathetic, while also keeping things fresh. While it is about as historically accurate as Strike Witches that’s not necessarily a bad thing for me here. However, it suffers from that great weakness of period shows in that almost no one would watch them or buy either.
Sola could probably be accused of trying far, far too hard. After watching this I thought it was a mediocre series but nothing worth writing home about. It tried to do something interesting with a male lead who didn’t actually exist and 2 female leads who really had no depth, and an ending that was terrible in saving the wrong character. However, I came across a few opinions which dared to call it the worst thing ever made. Do people really get so emotionally attached to something like this? Was this show so popular that it created a backlash? About a couple hours later I had moved on. So has everyone else I presume.
Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS is another example of a three part series where the quality varies. The first season is good, the second excellent, the third I would rather not recall from memory. They got a surprising amount of miles out of the series from the beginning I would say.
Finally I conclude this section with another comedy series that I think some people may have heard of in Lucky Star (note I can’t be bothered to put the star in the middle there). Speaking of backlash, I know this had plenty, to the point where the director was sacked inside a month of this starting. Yes, there are lots of problems in the strike rate of some of the jokes, but I think as a comedy this worked pretty well. I should also add I liked the long running joke in the first episode, which probably means my opinion at this point means nought.
Highlights from Shows Unseen (or Unfinished)
With a name of a series like Murder Princess, I don’t know how that gets such low ratings. I don’t even think I have to look at a plot synopsis for that since it seems to be in the title. Gurren Lagann was great from what I have seen. Maybe I should finally get around to watching that part after the time jump. Fears of a drop in quality are preventing me from continuing. Am I wrong?
Seto no Hanayome looks like something I would actually like as yet another slice-of-life comedy. I need to make the time surely. All I know about Claymore is that it has a rather surreal ending that made a bunch of people upset. Finally, Lovely Complex was a bunch of emotional fun, but maybe the high concept was lost on me eventually.