The 6th part of this retrospective takes me back to a time when I first decided to follow shows as they aired rather than just trying stuff out on a whim. I could have learned my lesson then and there, but I didn’t. There was also nowhere near the amount of shows airing then as there are at the off-peak time at present.
I’m going to start off with the second season of Ai Yori Aoshi here. The first season in a longer format had a harem feel to it though you always knew it would only end one way. The second season builds on that as the circle of friends comes apart and people move on with their lives. I wouldn’t see this getting made now in my opinion.
Godannar at the same time was trying to bring a 70s feel back to giant robot animation. It also made me think that maybe nostalgia can sometime make things seem better than they really were. It got a second season anyway, so what do I know?
Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito was one of my first experiences with yuri anime. I know there was a memorable scene in the first episode, which really had nothing to do with the plot, but looked nice. About that plot, I think it was about traveling to find a girl in a bunch of different worlds and there was the freaky looking giant hat too. Oh wait, I could have just gotten that from the title.
Meanwhile, delinquents terrorised the various high schools named after Western baseball players in Cromartie High School. While the best way to describe the comedy would be surreal. Most of the delinquents have another side beside the one the project to someone who would just look at them, though the massive difference in outside appearance versus personality is the main sources of most of the jokes.
The there was the case of Mermaid Forest, in which all of the interesting stuff in how the 2 characters became immortal is backstory. This just looked back at their past as they searched for mermaids so they could finally die. Immortality has normally been used as a way to say things on the other side may be worse than they appear at first, here there was none of that.
I also managed to endure the second season of UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie. Looking back over the years, I still don’t know how I managed to pull it off. The 4 seasons of this are probably considered god-awful for a lot of people out there, but I don’t have any ill feeling towards this. Yes, it is pretty much just blatant fan-service trying to appeal to multiple demographics simultaneously, but at least it never really got serious to begin with.
There was also Kimi ga Nozomu Eien, which introduces us to a male lead whose indecisiveness ruins lives, plus he also had a few performance issues in bed. They later redid the ending to this series where Takayuki ends up taking the Haruka route instead of Mitsuki, but I think in retrospect it merely ruined the original. Either way, it was an eroge adaptation that ended up not being completely horrible as many of them increasingly are.
I also thought at the time that Tsukihime was well worth watching. The flow of the series is one I remember as having an excellent first third before becoming somewhat boredom inducing in the middle. The ending, though, wasn’t quite at the level of shocking, but it might just be bad. On the plus side, it did give us branded products like towels of which certain ones costs 20 times those of other characters.
Maburaho was another fine addition to the pointless genre that is harems with oppressed male leads who save girls who can use magic who are far too good for him. That was a little long-winded, but I couldn’t be bothered with hyphens this time. I wish this series would have ended with the harem lead’s death at the halfway point after he used up all his magic, but alas, they had to make some sort of dramatic storyline at the end.
And I wrap of the season with the one-shot .hack//GIFT OVA. For the most part, it is just throwaway material which relies heavily on inside jokes from the game and series. The animation style shows just how serious this was taken as well. Since the plot was something about searching for an onsen that had been created, you get a paper-thin plot that disguises what the real point of this is.
Highlights from Shows Unseed or Unfinished
Fullmetal Alchemist began during this season, and the progression of the series was so fantastic that they felt like going back and redoing it from the beginning. Planetes (or whatever the title is in Greek) is probably a pretty good series. I’ve only read the manga of that, but I think my view of it generally diverges from popular opinion.