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.

Goku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei served as a third installment in the Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei anthology. This was a 3-part OVA instead of a full-blown series, so really this had the potential to be better than the TV versions. Instead, this seemed more like a collection of stories not good enough to be aired rather than more controversial material. I thought the material was running out of steam at this point, but the 3rd TV series was good enough.

ChäoS;HEAd gets the decade’s award for biggest refusal to make a title easy to type. This was really just a cleverly disguised harem anime behind a facade of action and psychological thriller. The worst part of all of this was the potentially epic ending hinted at in the opening minutes of the first episode. Is it really so hard to avoid cheap happy endings?

To Aru Majutsu no Index was a rather peculiar series as I watched it. Lengthy exposition during fights, bad guys getting redeemed in the end and many other things made this seem like just another shounen series of all things. I also found it strange that as Index became a less influential character in the series, things improved dramatically. All I can really say is that it wasn’t necessarily very good, but I kind of liked it.

Kannagi was directed by the same guy who did the first few episodes of Lucky Star, so this comedy is based largely on visual gags as much as the writing. To be honest, I really found nothing in this that would be considered good underneath all of the pandering to sections of the target audience. The comedy is more miss than hit, though it got enough laughs out of me to make it mediocre.

Akane-iro Somaru Saka is an honest effort at harem anime, though it ultimately goes with an unexpected conclusion. There’s not a whole lot happening as protagonist Junichi goes through the story with introductions to each of the characters, which is typical. The parents are nearly always away from home, which is typical. His sister, who he ultimately ends up choosing in the end, is strongly implied is not his biological sister, which is typical. So really there’s just a bunch of checklist items that this series went through only they didn’t go for the vague, indecisive protagonist ending. In a way that actually makes this good harem anime.

Hyakko is a slice-of-life comedy that depends heavily on its characters more than the events of the series. The bits involving Torako’s siblings probably bothered me the most because it seemed like drama thrown in for the sake of it, but apart from that the characters are believable, yet enjoyable to watch. I think it’s better than Kannagi, though personally that might be setting the bar low.

In further OVAs, there’s one for Lucky Star. This one was a bit surreal at times; segments from the point of view of a dog, Kagami wanting to do indescribable things to Konata, references to other roles by the VAs. Let’s just say this was a bit different from the series proper, in a good way.

And finally, Quiz Magic Academy, which was easily the worst thing I saw during this season. I guess it does serve as promotional material for whatever it was adapted from, but there seemed to be a distinct absense of a coherent plot. Maybe I was only watching it because it was 20 minutes I could afford to waste, but I want those minutes back.

Highlights from Unseen or Unfinished Items

The 5th Kara no Kyoukai movie was out, and … I still haven’t seen any of them. Toradora! is a favorite of many people, and I didn’t see any episodes that aired in the year 2009. Casshern Sins has something that could be utilized in new adaptations of classic stories, though Casshern was always dark in nature anyway. Clannad ~After Story~ had an ending which I couldn’t really understand having read about it, I would have probably given that a 6 at most if I had watched it. Kuroshitsuji did a fairly good job of catering to demographics. Tentai Senshi Sunred is something I really have to get around to seeing. The second season of Gundam 00 completely passed me by, maybe I’ve just given up on giant robot shows sadly. Ga-Rei -Zero- might have been the best action series of 2008. Tytania was shockingly bad for something associated with Legend of the Galactic Heroes. What I saw of One Outs had me shocked at crazy defensive shifts in baseball. And there was another ef series as well. I probably forgot some more too.