This may be the last installment of this feature for a few weeks. I’m not sure whether I should pursue a policy of continuing this in the spring as normal, or if I should do the typical thing done by aniblogs with a readership in 2 figures and write on each first episode. My most popular post (with 0 comments until I mentioned 18 months later) was from writing this way, and it also allowed me to briefly have the top Google search for a term. Damn you ABC News, damn you.
Currently Airing Top 5
Very rarely does the show in the genre often considered “slice-of-life” (this isn’t) hit the right balance of finality and sentimentalism in its final episode. GJ-bu got as close as any as I can remember in recent times. Each of the graduating characters got some time devoted to them to allow the relationships between the club to reach a post-club member stage. At the same time, it felt good to be spending the final moments with these characters. Mao, Shion and Kirara will remain eccentric characters in their own way, but none of them feel stuck in a permanent state. It felt as though they would be able to move on and that the remaining members; Megumi, Tamaki and Kyoro, would keep the same spirit alive. This was my surprise anime of the season as I had fairly low expectations going in and got everything I wanted out of it. (82.81/100)
Zetsuen no Tempest
This was a more typical final episode in that it finished the final battle early then wrapped itself around trying to resolve the loose ends with each of the characters. I thought the battle was really anti-climactic. Yoshino wasn’t that badly hurt, Megumu was able to conjure up this magical sword from almost nothing and that was that. In the epilogue, Megumu ends up back with his ex, Jun gets completely ignored by Evangeline, Yoshino and Mahiro play Aika’s message which tells them all to move on, Mahiro then has this girl he found early in the show that was never mentioned again and the show ends as Hakaze and Yoshino appear about to hook up. So they went with a cock-block contrivance ending then? I’d say this was the best series of the season, but not really threatening to crack that Top Anime List that gets ignored. (84.07/100)
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT (83.61/100)
Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru
This was the classic harem non-ending. While the first part of the episode seemed to conclude with Masuzu winning, his aunt inadvertently pushed everything together. She told him to make the other girls not like him any longer because it would lead to conflict. Instead he succeeds in making his back story more romantic to Himeka, signing off on Ai’s marriage certificate she keeps around and kissing Chiwa. While Masuzu may actually be the girlfriend for real now, everything will continue as it was. (74.27/100)
The show about ninja girls that I haven’t written enough about cracks the top five in its final episode. It sparked an interesting discussion when I was watching it with the usual group. Basically, is there something better about a show that is knowingly bad and has fun with it anyway or to be bad and still try to play it completely serious like Queen’s Blade Rebellion. I tend to side with the former personally even if it is sort of pandering post-modernism. Senran Kagura as a whole was pretty much a bog-standard coming-of-age story involving 2 sets of friends forced into conflict against each other. It did an adequate job of telling that story, so I can’t really hate on it. It won’t live long in the memory, but it knew it wasn’t ever going to be great. (67.2/100)
The Rest of the Week
Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo
It took 24 episodes and the entire winter season for Sakurasou to produce an episode that was more than mediocre. It was an average conclusion at best, and also very much of the characters not moving on variety. Misaki officially married Jin and moved next door, Sorata gets cockblocked by cats, Nanami still lives there and so on. If anything it was essentially a last episode that was a checklist. There was no room to disgrace itself by following the checklist. Nor was there any possibility of doing anything good either. I probably should have dropped this way back in the fall. (59.7/100)
The latest installment of Minami-ke signed off with about as typical an episode of the franchise as you will ever see. The only curious moment came when Makoto broke character right in front of Chiaki as Mako-chan and Kana called him out for it, but nothing happened. So it proved to be another time progressing season of family-friendly fun which recaptured some of what made the first season good. It was downhill since they introduced that sad boy who was written out of the show that one season, but the trend was reversed. I’m thinking there may be another season of this ahead as the fact that the entire cast has gone through 4 years in the same place is entirely unnoticed. (79.23/100)
That whole storyline about baseball begins to actually take shape for once this week. Kyousuke arranged a match against a team composed of the captains of other sports at the school and the former baseball club captain. He also suspiciously knows that they will soon have a ninth player. After that, it really turns dumb in the Jun Maeda-est way. Kengo happens to be the member; he talks to a girl who used to be in the archery club who lost an eye who then almost throws herself off the building only to fall accidentally. Kengo saves her at the cost of his arm. That’s followed by the stupidity of watching Kengo try to swing a bat with one arm and he finally does so successfully. It’s supposed to be touching, but it’s really dumb. Can they take that bus trip soon enough?
Maoyuu Maou Yuusha
Just look at that above. That’s what the final images of Maoyuu are. It’s not about the world that was created, or the economics and politics of trade between humans and demons. Nope, they chose to go out with Hero having his head wedged between Female Knight and Demon King’s breasts. Everything prior to that point in the episode was fine, but that epilogue was just rubbish. I also wish that the mage would have had more attention. Ultimately, I think this turns out to be the disappointing adaptation of the season. (79.86/100)
This was one of three episodes that wasn’t final this week because Yamakan couldn’t even fit a plot in while he rushes off to direct that Lucky Star spinoff after this. All you need to know about the plot is that Januar got taken over by parts of that tentacle girl arm. Plus, that girl in the suit of armor is tsun. She inflicts punishment on anyone who suggests she has feelings for someone. Just 5 minutes of this to go.
An absolute filler episode if there ever was one. If you really think about it, in the week between the episodes airing, only a few hours passed in the timing of the show. They spent an entire episode just on Nitta’s younger brother opening some curtains and on watching rocks fall from the sky. I’m almost wishing the arc where they were stuck in the containers was back again, that at least had something of interest other than personal problems of someone not even there.
Ishida to Asakura
What the hell did I just watch? Something about a UFO invasion being stopped twice and more of the same jokes as before. It was very much a nonsensical ending. There will be worse shows this year, but don’t be surprised if this makes another appearance in end of year terribad. (52.48/100)
This should have ended last week, but they felt they had to tie up the loose end with Haruka’s mother. It ends up making little sense that in the space of a single pillow fight they are able to come to an understanding. Her mother turns from absolute monster of a human being to sympathetic weak person. At least that’s what they were going for, but they made the change so fast that it’s a comically bad conclusion to make. In the end, Kotoura-san could never decide what type of show it wanted to be, so it tried to be as many as it possibly could. That almost never works and proved to be the case here. (57.28/100)
I didn’t get a chance to talk about this last episode, but it felt as though they finally remembered what this show was supposed to be about far too late. Kimijima was a laughably bad villain worthy of bad-70s giant robot shows, and I think that’s the spirit this series was ultimately going for. The events going around in the show are merely a distraction for the flaws underneath. Think the main character is boring? Let’s introduce some references to Steins;Gate. Wondering how Misaki was actually brainwashed? No, instead look at all the robots. Anyone who thinks about this series beyond the most superficial level will find flaws everywhere. Instead of making the next Steins;Gate, they’ve gone and made Chaos;Head look decent now (it wasn’t). (63.6/100)
Final Winter Average Weekly Ranking
|Season Rank||Change||Series Average Rank||Change|
|Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT||1||↑1||1||↑1|
|Maoyuu Maou Yuusha||2||↓1||2||↓1|
|Zetsuen no Tempest||3||–||3||–|
|Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru||6||↑1||6||↑1|
|Ishida to Asakura||11||–||13||–|
|Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo||–||–||9||↓1|
Though Haganai appears the big winner for the season, it would have only finished 4th last year with an average of just under a 3rd-place vote each week. Tempest, though I thought it was the better show overall, took the hit from the middle of the series and early in the season that it did well to recover from to finish 3rd. Sakurasou went the entire winter without making my top 5. Finally, Little Busters and Senyuu won’t be counted in the spring table though they will have their final episodes counted toward the end of year ranking.