Alright, time to rank these shows again according to my arbitrary standards! But as always, let’s first discuss last week’s poll results.
Week 8’s Poll Results
I don’t think anyone should be surprised to find Aldnoah.Zero at the top of last week’s poll. After a promising first episode, the anime has been… well, pretty mediocre. Some of you want to go even further and say that it’s shit. I’m not quite there yet, but there’s still time. But really, Aldnoah.Zero has let me down in every way except for its action. I can honestly get past the emotionless main character, because Inaho isn’t really annoying; he’s just boring. Rather, the primary problem with the show is its lack of nuance. Almost every single character has a simplistic, straightforward motive, especially the villains. Luckily, the villains have also been dying left and right.
Oddly enough, however, Saazbaum has recently come into his own. Yes, he started a war over a vendetta against the Vers royal family, but hey, he’s a villain. He’s supposed to be fucked up. What I like, however, is that there are multiple things at play here with Saazbaum. Yes, he wants revenge, but he also feels as though he has a duty to his vassals to conquer new land. He also feels bitterness over the fact that Earth has culture and the Vers Empire, which has only sprung up overnight, has nothing. So as you can see, there are multiple things at play here. In just a few minutes in the last episode, Saazbaum has gained some much needed depth. Now, if only the anime could do the same for the rest of the characters.
Akame ga Kill! came in second, but I never had any expectations for Akame ga Kill! The synopsis made it sound like a dumb shounen, and surprise, surprise… I got a dumb shounen. But with added rape! But yeah, it seems plenty of people enjoyed the manga for one reason or other — some claim its satirical, others say it’s a guilty pleasure — so as a result, Akame ga Kill! is our second most disappointing show of the summer season.
Captain Earth and Glasslip are both tied for third. I can understand why Captain Earth is disappointing, because Bones usually does a decent job. Plus, the show did start off… okay. I didn’t fall in love with the show right from the get-go, but I never thought we’d get what we got. It felt like other bloggers were really enamored with the show, though. If I recall correctly, they really wanted Captain Earth‘s sexual metaphors to pan out. I just never really saw it. Captain Earth felt aimless to me right from the very start, so I guess I’m not too surprised by how the rest of the show eventually turned out. Still, I can’t say the show didn’t disappoint me. For what it’s worth, the animation has been solid even at its worst. But that’s really all I can say about the show. The plot is dumb, the characters are flimsy, and the mecha action is practically nonexistent. What a pity.
Glasslip getting so many votes surprises me a bit. I know a lot of you guys have enjoyed P.A. Works last two offerings, but one look at Glasslip synopsis was enough to set my expectations at zero. I pretty much thought we’d get Tari Tari except with glass-blowing. Of course, that’s not we got. Instead, we got a convoluted mess of a narrative that still somehow manages to be slow and boring. The thing is, that’s not even the most surprising thing about Glasslip. The most surprising thing is that 90% of the characters are so eminently dislikable. More on what I mean later in the post. Anyway, I’m half-expecting Touko to ‘fest’ it up anytime now.
Tokyo ESP came in fifth. The first episode pretty much felt like a poor man’s X-Men so the show hasn’t disappointed me. It’s pretty much what I thought it would be. But maybe the people who voted for the show have read the manga, and expected the adaptation to be better or something, I don’t know. For me, Tokyo ESP‘s primary problem is that it’s just very safe. It doesn’t do anything special nor does it even look like it’s trying.
Terror in Resonance actually took sixth, but I can understand this somewhat. First, I think the allusions to Oedipus really rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. Now, I personally like that kind of thing, but I can see why others might find it pretentious. I think the bigger problem, however, was that giant chess match between Five and Nine. With each passing episode, the situation is getting more and more unbelievable, and while the chess match itself didn’t bother me as much as it had bothered some of my readers, it isn’t exactly smooth sailing from here on out for the anime. It still has the chance of slipping up and veering too far into these ridiculous scenarios. I like the show, but if the writers feel the need to one-up the chess match, we might be in for a disappointing finish.
— Tokyo Ghoul got a modest amount of votes. According to fans of the manga, the adaptation is a very, very abridged version of the actual story. Even so, I still quite enjoy the show, so personally, Tokyo Ghoul has exceeded my expectations.
— Not surprisingly, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun only got two votes. I think it has been the most surprising show of the season thus far. I mean, it’s nothing special, but I didn’t expect the anime to be such a decent time waster.
— Persona 4 – The Golden Animation also got a modest amount of votes. I admit it; the show got one of my three votes. The adaptation is just too niche. Unless you’ve played Persona 4 before, you have no hopes of understanding what you’re watching. But even as an actual Persona 4 fan, I just don’t give a shit about Marie. Her character sucks, and I’m quite amazed this adaptation was even made in the first place just to showcase her social link. I still think Persona 4 – The Golden Animation had potential, though. If the story had explored the idea of the main character reliving the events of the game but through the lens of the New Game+ mechanic, that might’ve been novel. As it is, however, the adaptation is a bore.
— Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen had as much votes as Tokyo Ghoul. I didn’t vote for it though, because the promotion video was less than inspiring.
— Rail Wars! got a decent chunk of votes. I don’t get it, really. Who the hell out there actually expected an anime about trains to be any good? If anything, the anime is exceeding expectations in how much of a harem it has turned out to be. Honestly, I think this is simply the case of people voting for what they perceive to be the worst show of the season rather than what had actually disappointed them.
— DRAMAtical Murder also garnered some votes. I think it’s more a matter of the anime being a poor adaptation more than anything else, though.
— Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei sits somewhere firmly in the middle of the pack, and I think that fits. Maybe some people thought it’d be a great show or something, but one look at Tatsuya and Miyuki in all of the promo material was enough to convince me that the anime would suck. Still, I played nice for a couple weeks just to give the show a chance. So much for that, huh?
— Free! Eternal Summer got some votes. I didn’t expect it to be anything but a boring slice-of-life anime, so people who actually voted for the show will have to explain why they did so.
Week 9’s Rankings
Dropped: Persona 4 – The Golden Animation
I just don’t care anymore.
Unranked: Terror in Resonance, M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane
Well, Terror in Resonance didn’t air in the past seven days, so I can’t exactly include it in this list. As for M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane, I just haven’t gotten around to watching the latest episode.
14. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
Here’s last week’s plot in a nutshell: Tatsuya farts in Lu Gonghu’s direction and beats him. The end. Naturally, the anime finds itself at the bottom of my rankings once again.
13. Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
At least this harem lead had to lift a finger to beat his enemy.
12. Akame ga Kill!
Every single action in this story is meaningless. If you take the bad guys out, more will just pop up in their place. Shit, the same applies to the good guys too. But worst of all, the super evil, super powerful Esdeath has fallen in love with the main character. Now the anime has really lost it. It’s bad enough that the main character is bland as fuck, but Akame ga Kill! just had to go and make him the object of women’s desires too. What a joke.
11. Captain Earth
Stalling, stalling, stalling…
10. Sword Art Online II
I’m already tired of this Death Gun fella. The mystery’s too obvious, the action is flashy but soulless, and Sinon has already turned into another boring tsundere character. Worst of all, the idea that SAO explores the possibilities of VRMMOs definitely feels like a distant memory now. With every passing episode, I’m just reminded more and more that the anime has such a poor grasp of online gaming and its communities. Good job, Kirito. You’ve ruined another MMO.
9. Rail Wars!
What can I say? It’s the best harem of the season.
Sachi is such a terrible, terrible person. She continues to use Hiro even though she knows the true extent of his feelings. She literally has the guy read a bunch of short stories (by Natsume Soseki, no less), just so he could eventually explain an idiom to Touka. This explanation then ends up being Sachi’s indirect confession to Touka. That has got to be the most convoluted love confession I’ve ever witness in all my years on this planet. Worst of all, Sachi continues to have no real regard for Hiro’s feelings. Yo, you don’t have to like the guy back just because likes you. But for the love of god, stop stringing the guy along. Is it so hard to be a decent person? Seriously, is it really that hard? Hell, they’re supposed to be a close-knit group of friends! What kind of friends are these?!
As for Kakeru and his stupid fragment nonsense, I’m just ignoring it for the time being since it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. But really, I’m ignoring everything but the subplot with Hiro, ’cause everyone else sucks. I don’t care at all what happens with the incest siblings.
7. Ao Haru Ride
I swear, these characters are just getting dumber and dumber by the episode. The problem is that no one’s likeable. There’s no one in Ao Haru Ride that would make me think, “Yeah, he or she seems like someone I would want to hang out with.” I just happen to think Glasslip has a more insufferable cast of characters.
6. Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
Not much to say about last week’s episode. Here’s a brief summary of Conrad’s contribution to the story:
Anyway, it didn’t feel like the story moved forward even the slightest bit, but I guess Richthofen now has a real reason to hate the Argevollen. It may seem like I’m not giving the show much of a chance, but it really, really does not grab me at all. I keep watching it in the hopes that a central thrush to the narrative would take shape. For a while, it seemed as though the mystery surrounding Tokimune’s sister’s death might do the trick. But then I get this episode. The two main characters were barely in it. Hell, Richthofen was barely in it too. As a result, I just didn’t really care all that much about what was happening.
5. Tokyo ESP
Too many flashbacks bogged down a show that was already lackluster to begin with.
4. Tokyo Ghoul
I know last week’s episode was trying to set the stage for the adaptation’s final arc, but what can I say? I gotta call a spade a spade, and last week’s episode was boring as hell.
Things are coming to a head as Doktor advocates the extermination of stray Minimum Holders. Meanwhile, Art becomes a cult figure as he rallies Minimum Holders to his cause. He wants to establish an area (Yokohama, to be exact) “where Minimum Holders can live freely without being under surveillance.” Gosh, this… this sounds kind of familiar to another anime I’m watching this season. I’m just amazed how similar the basic plot structure for these stories are turning out. Naturally, the devil’s in the detail.
First of all, Art has way more of a personality than Tokyo ESP‘s Professor. Second, the Professor lacks a foil; there’s no one like Doktor in Tokyo ESP. Still, is this actually a plus? Does Doktor’s existence make Re:_Hamatora slightly more interesting to watch? The problem with Doktor for me is that he lacks depth. He’s just a straightforward bigot. On the other hand, you’re not exactly sure what Art is after. At first, it seemed like he wanted to steal everyone’s Minimums so that everyone would just return to normal. But then here he is, delivering a speech you could basically steal straight from X-Men. Likely, it’s all just a front, but I can’t quite put my finger on what Art will do if he manages to accomplish his goals. But I digress. The point is that even though Doktor adds yet another source of conflict to the story, he’s a pretty flimsy character.
Anyway, I also prefer Nice and company over Rinka and company, but that doesn’t say much. You want to know what Hamatora‘s heroes are doing? They’re staging a play. Yes, a fucking play. I don’t care about Nice’s real feelings for Hajime.
2. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Could this be the first time this anime takes first place in the rankings?
No, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun won’t be taking first. I actually somewhat enjoyed our mostly Inaho-less episode of Aldnoah.Zero. Plus, it developed Saazbaum’s character, which didn’t hurt. Is this a good anime? Not really, but I’d still rather watch last week’s episode over anything else on this list.
Week 9’s Poll
People always ask me which upcoming fall shows I’m looking forward to the most. I will soon post my previews for the following season, but until then, let’s turn this around on you guys. Which of the upcoming fall shows are you guys looking forward to the most?
I left off shows that I didn’t feel was worth including.