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.

The 2 late starters in February were the twin acts of The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan and Nyoro-n Churuya-san. Web shorts are fairly easy to blow through, especially when there are so few. The first one takes the characters from the franchise and turns them into joke material. It works alright in my opinion in that it has its moments, but for the most part really isn’t worth the time. The second series was a bit more surreal, despite the fact that the premise for each episode was the same. Churuya-san has something unfortunate happen and she says Nyoro-n. However, the events get ever more strange. I would struggle to really classify this as comedy, maybe just calling it surreal would be enough.

Now the two series that should really count here. First is Minami-ke Okaeri, which somehow managed the feat of having an even lower budget than the second season. While again I found some of the gender issues interesting, though focusing more on Touma’s interaction with Fujioka, I found myself caring less and less about the main characters. That shouldn’t be happening should it?

I wrap up with Asu no Yoichi!, which is yet another entry into the harem genre. There are genuine moments of good comedy here throughout, but more often than not, it falls into the perpetual trap of trying to appease fans than actually trying to make a good product. Sure, a great martial artist surrounded by girls with giant racks and villains with paper-thin motives aren’t the greatest starting points for a series, but way too much of this felt mailed in.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

I can’t mention horrible animation without mentioning Akikan! On that note, I’m going to mention that it is getting pretty annoying with all of the punctuation in titles lately. Moving on, I’ve said elsewhere that Maria†Holic would be awful if the role of Kanako were male. There were also 2nd seasons of Natsume Yuujinchou and Hajime no Ippo, though without seeing the first seasons of either I can’t go off anything other than average ratings. I conclude this week by mentioning Hetalia Axis Powers, which is another hit-or-miss web short comedy that is still airing at the moment. It’s pretty good when it wants to be incisive, but mostly it is simply episodic silliness.