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Old 01-07-2008, 03:59 AM
Grand High Arbiter of the HARUHIGASM
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Default Currently Watching (winter edition): 2007 Overview

Hmm what else to do at 1130pm when you've only been awake for an hour? A long post!
- My rules are largely the same as Reimu's. These shows ended in 2007 or only had an episode or so to watch in 2008.
- For the most part, they're finished, the exception being Sky Girls where I'm still waiting for the last episode, but with the way 25 ended, there's no way they can screw it up so I'm safe rating it now.
- I'll include a list of promising ongoing shows at the end.
- Doing a copypasta from ANN's list sorted by date so if I forget something, blame them.
- None of the Winter 2008 cour shows are listed, obviously. I've only been able to try 2 anyway.

Completed - Class of their own - Top 10 all time favorite entries

ef - a tale of memories - I don't really need to say much about the shows in this class anymore, do I? Anyway, ef is quite simply one of the greatest shows of any year. Mindfuckingly powerful, drop-dead gorgeous, and possessing voice acting above and beyond the call of duty. Before my very eyes, SHAFT unveiled something I never could have properly anticipated. I don't know how they did it, but I thank them for it. The girl is the only one in this world. That made her the god of this world.

Kanon ('06) - A 2006 holdover as the name implies that split evenly over '06 and '07, so for the purposes of this thread I'm counting it (and will likewise count Clannad as 2008). KyoAni took a good show and made it... something that transcends mere discussions of good or bad. Very close with ef overall, it may only rank a notch lower because ef is fresher in my mind, because they tell their stories in significantly different ways. I've also got Clannad currently running to steal a little of Kanon's KeyAni thunder, especially since Clannad is slightly better if you compare where the shows both were by episode 12. But none of that takes away Kanon's status as a masterpiece. Yet another triumph from Kyoto Animation. Uguu~

Lucky Star - And KyoAni didn't just hit with a drama, they've also created hands down the greatest comedy I've ever seen. A show that managed to out-comedy Azumanga? I didn't think it was possible, but there you have it. I laughed from episode 1 until the end, without stopping. I even cried once or twice, and not just from laughing too hard. Stellar fourth wall breaking as well with the Lucky Channel segments and ED sequences. Instant classic OP in Motteke! Serafuku. Needs a 1st years spinoff something fucking fierce.

Heroic Age - This is the most volatile entry in my top 10 and I openly recognize that squeezing it in at all rests in large part on the singularly gorgeous ending that had me crying tears of happiness. But even so, I'd say this is the most epic space-based show I've ever seen, in terms of the magnitude of battles in space and time and numbers. Nodoss fighting for hundreds of hours without stop? Thousands of spaceships wiped out in a single attack? The stakes were never anything less than galactic, and the cast was infinitely enjoyable to boot. My love for Deianeira is infinite. I don't anticipate it being quite in my top 10 come next year (or even in 6 months given that I need to revise it soon), but what an awesome show nonetheless.

Completed - 1st Class - Absolutely stellar shows I'll always remember

Touka Gettan - I considered swapping this and Heroic Age but that would require rethinking my top 10 too. Initially, almost nobody watched this, put off by confusing first episodes. It was revealed to be running backwards but it had fallen under everyone's radar by then. And how unfortunate that is, because this wound up being one of the most creative and certainly one of the sexiest shows I've ever seen, with a soundtrack to match, at least in the climactic scenes. I loved it when I watched it, but without much in the way of discussion in the GA thread, and literally nobody I knew outside AOD watching it, it was missing that something for me, the community aspect. Well, I've been relentless in pushing it where I could, and now there are a number of people watching it and commenting. One just finished and loved it, two are deep into it and seem to love it as well, and two more at least started it. And with this renewed interest, I went and watched it all over again. And then a few days later I opened ep 14 to confirm something for a reply I was writing, and before I knew it I had watched the whole second half of the show yet again. With that recent boost, it shot up a few spots to become one of my most beloved of the year. It's sexy, it's gorgeous, it's intelligent, it's mysterious, it's creative, and goddamnit far more people should watch it, especially if you liked Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, or hell, even if you haven't. And even if you didn't like YamiBou, you still need to watch this. The more I think about it, the more I consider slipping it somewhere in my top 10 all time favorites...

Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight! - Manabi Straight mastered the art of ending almost every episode on an emotional high point of such intensity that most series can't reach it even with their final episodes. I could only stare in wonder as Manabi Straight turned high school into something incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring, a time of intense bonds and dynamic creativity and hope for the future (if only high school were like that for me ). A triumph of a show. My deepest thanks to ufotable.

Hidamari Sketch - REC, Paniponi Dash, Popotan and Tsukuyomi put SHAFT on my radar, the early Zetsubou eps reminded me they were there, and Hidamari Sketch cemented them into place as a studio to pay attention to. ef then took them to a whole new level, but I credit Hidamari with being the milestone where SHAFT became one of my favorites. Hidamari is the kind of show I could watch a new episode of every day for the rest of my life and never get bored. And knowing it's getting a second season makes me incredibly happy, though I'd be happier if it took its title literally (Hidamari x 365). =P Artsy and clever, subtly non-linear, with four memorably adorable main characters, Hidamari is one of the highlights of the past few years.

Dennou Coil - World building, world building, world building. Few shows have presented and developed a vision of technology and the very near-future with the competence that Dennou Coil has. In 26 episodes it did what GitS has done over the past 12 years. I've often thought of Dennou Coil as my 2007 revision of Lain, adjusted to match all the ways that my tastes have changed in the 7-8 years I've been watching anime. Coil also scored high with delightfully twisted revelations and countless exciting cliffhangers. Extraordinary from beginning to end, it only got better as it went along. And best of all, everything came together and made perfect sense within the framework of the world they'd built. Fantastic.

Nodame Cantabile - I felt like all the best things about Honey and Cover were back again, except that I think this show was even better. Annoying use of the "slideshow credits" ending aside (other culprits are Beck and Umisho - seriously, stop that, Japan), the ending on the whole was perfect. But the music is where I was really impressed. It's not that I have any musical talent or consider myself able to tell good from bad, but when one episode spends something like 10 minutes on one musical piece without interruption, without dialog, the show really needs to make it work splendidly well to avoid complete failure. Nodame succeeded, beyond all expectations. Nodame and Chiaki are also, of course, a great lead pair, and I so hope the show gets a second season.

El Cazador de la Bruja - This could swap with Minami-ke as my whims change. The culmination of Bee Train's girls-with-guns trilogy, and while Madlax is still in my backlog I'm fairly certain this one is in the top slot. There are a multitude of reasons as to why I love this show, but I need only name the most important: Ellis and Nadie. One of the best main character pairs ever. Oh, I guess I should also mention that the ending is one of the best of the year. Yes Sir!

Minami-ke - You know those shows that try to stretch one or two jokes out for a whole episode and wind up failing? Minami-ke is not one of them. It gets every bit of funny out of a situation and animates it from every angle, and it always, always works. It also has the best trap-reverse trap duo ever. Doumu's take just finished, and the second half, with a new animation studio (asread), has just begun.

Maria-sama ga Miteru 3rd (OVA) - The only OVA in my list, it has nearly the runtime of a 12 episode series so length wasn't a worry, especially since I waited until it was complete before jumping in. As the 3rd installment of an ongoing series with at least one more entry left, it doesn't actually advance the story or relationships all that much, though it does introduce a major new character. Rather, the real value of Marimite 3rd, apart from the fact that it's just fun as hell to watch, rests in how it made me change my mind about two vitally important characters. I'd absolutely adored most of the Marimite cast from the beginning, particularly Shimako, Yumi, Sei and Yoshino, but there were two I just couldn't quite get into - Sachiko and Touko. With the OVA, that's no longer a problem. They both grew immensely, and I've come to love them almost as much as the ones just mentioned. Even if that were all the OVA offered (in reality it offers so much more), I'd still rate it a smashing success.

Completed - 2nd Class - Highly, highly recommended, a joy to watch

Sky Girls - Characters, characters, characters! Sky Girls takes my preference for characters over plot and maximizes the distinction in the most flattering ways. It's not that the premise and story aren't fun at times, but they are really damn silly overall. But hell, as I always say, for me the plot is the characters, how they interact and what they do with each other. I have yet to see the last episode (come on guys~) but I really have no doubt in my mind that they know what to do. With the way 25 ended it's not a big deal anyway, and I'm just looking forward to a fun epilogue to say goodbye to everyone in.

sola - For some reason I never really know what to say or think about this show other than to say that I really enjoyed it. And I really need to watch the 2nd DVD special episode. Maybe I'll do that after this post. What I *can* say without hesitation, however, is that Matsuri is hands down one of Noto Mamiko's best roles ever. sola was a surprisingly good show.

Idolmaster: Xenoglossia - It's not going to seriously challenge Geass or HiME or Otome for most people, but it's still Sunrise doing what they do so well. It takes awhile to really hit the frantic climaxes the other shows get to, but once it does the wait turns out to be well worth it. It also helps that I loved the characters, and so the wait didn't bother me anyway. It needed an episode or half episode of epilogue to really let me say goodbye to everyone, but I still rate the ending a definite success. Oh, also needs a Yayoi spinoff.

Baccano! - And this one gets Fun, fun, fun! Like Night Wizard below it doesn't try to be anything more than it is, and that's crazy, gritty, hilarious, absurd fun. With countless twisting storylines taking place over at least three distinct time periods and something like 50 or 80 or whatever named characters with speaking roles, it's easy to get overwhelmed, but the sheer fun is always there to remind you why you're watching. While I'm not into gore and a few scenes made me cringe, the whole experience in general was so absurdly stylized that I didn't mind.

Doujin Work - If there was one show in 2007 that was TOO DAMN SHORT, it was Doujin Work. It's not just that it's only 12 episodes, but that those episodes were only half length! And what a shame, because this show is one of the funniest I've ever seen. I'm stunned that it got licensed, and can only hope a second season is in the works. Tsuyuri cemented my obsession with cute anime girls drawing naughty doujins <3

Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori - Started in '06. A very competent continuation of the first season, it further tweaks the formula, focuses more on Ai and her henchmen, and delivers a powerful ending. I'm really quite interested in seeing what exactly they plan to do with the announced third season.

Hitohira - It didn't turn into exactly what I wanted, but it consistently moved me nonetheless. It gave me a good feeling throughout, and Nono = so hot. There were a few really amazing scenes.

Mushi-Uta - The most recently completed '07 show for me, I watched the last episode just... yesterday? I guess, my sleep schedule is shot. Without repeating detailed comments, I'll just say that the way they ended it became one of the real surprises of '07 for me, and I really hope the rumored second season comes to pass. There's so much to work with. I admit that 2nd class for this is perhaps a little generous, but it's extremely fresh in my mind and hard to rate fairly.

Completed - 2.5th Class - Sigh

Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS - There's something seriously fucked up with a world where a Nanoha series is ranked anything less than the absolute best. Objectively speaking, whatever that is, I'd probably rank many sections of this show 1st class, and a number of others at least 2nd class, but where it counted it sometimes fell as far as 4th class. Argh, I don't know where to put this. I'm still incredibly conflicted over the show, and if the last two episodes weren't so damn good it would be 3rd class. Even if I remember all the good scenes (and there were many), what is really going to stick with me is how StrikerS may well be the first death throes of the Nanoha franchise for me, the point where it irreversibly went down a direction I did not want it to go, where it once and for all cast aside that which made the first season my 2nd favorite anime of all time. It didn't so much "continue evolving" (A's "evolved", and was incredible for it) but rather shifted into a place I didn't want the franchise to go. News that's come out since the series ended only serves to further alienate me. Depressing.

Completed - 3rd Class - Generally good stuff, perhaps with one or two major flaws, but recommended if you're into this kinda show (Note: Alphabetical order from here on down!)

Blue Drop - It's depressing, I wanted this to be 1st or 2nd class but this was one of the worst endings of the year. Possibly the worst. And what makes it even more frustrating is that it was a pretty good episode, but a godawful ending. ;_; The #2 biggest disappointment of the year, second only to StrikerS. Nothing like MEGA SPOILERfinally getting a canon yuri couple and then watching as one half dies. -_-

Claymore - That the manga is unfinished became evident at the end, but the developments bothered me far less than most. I liked this show a lot more than I thought I would. Good for the gritty action fix I haven't gotten much of. One of the better 3rd class shows.

Goshuushou-sama Ninomiya-kun - Fluffy, sexy fanservice with a dumb plot. I enjoyed it. Reika is oh so hot, fluctuating boobs and all.

Myself; Yourself - It surprised everyone with how serious it got and had a number of great twists, but is knocked down a level by a terribly rushed ending. Needs more episodes.

Nagasarete Airantou - An island full of cute ninja girls, and the lone male who washes up on it isn't all that bad, so I wound up enjoying it quite a lot. Needed more fanservice.

Night Wizard The Animation - Like Reimu said, all sorts of generic and cliche but that wound up being completely irrelevant to the degree to which I enjoyed it. Maybe the generic nature is what helped it? It's just so unassuming and doesn't try to be anything other than *fun*.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei - Marred by a really bad subbing schedule, this started in July and ended in September but I only finished it a few days ago. Began brilliant, sagged in the middle, and then won me back as I marathoned the much better last 4 episodes. 2nd season just started. Abiru~~ Also, needs much more Ai in Zoku.

Soukou no Strain - Started in '06. This really turned out a lot better than I was expecting. A fun space drama and surprisingly likable cast.

Umisho, Kenko Zenrakei Suieibu - Doesn't quite live up to its "All-Nude" name as much as it should given that fanservice is 90% of its appeal, but it was delightfully dumb and cute nonetheless. Surprisingly good ending.

Zero no Tsukaima: Futatsuki no Kishi - Hah, well, it *was* fun, in a dumb way. Hated what they did in the last few minutes of the last ep, and one subplot ran like 5 episodes too long (a problem when the show is only about 12...), but season three is coming and I'll eat that up too, like the guilty pleasure it is. I <3 Louise! Too bad it's probably never coming to R1.

Completed - 4th Class - Hmmm...

Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora - Ok, this is the only show on my list I might call "bad" but it was so goddamn cheesy I just can't bring myself to criticize it seriously. Hell, I'm even buying the show when ADV starts with the R1s, though I highly doubt I'll watch it again


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(All still alphabetical from here on down)

Got licensed, thus couldn't finish - Note: I'm buying all of these.
Buso Renkin - This isn't quite the same as the rest of this category since I wasn't actively watching it when it got licensed, but I *planned* to finish it eventually.
Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion - #1 in category
Darker than BLACK
Death Note
Emma - A Victorian Romance Second Act
Genshiken 2 - #3 in category
Moonlight Mile
Tengen Toppa Gurren-Lagann - #2 in category

Ongoing (still airing) - Note: These would be the shows I'll comment on in a true currently watching post. Alphabetical for now.
Bamboo Blade - #2 overall ongoing
Clannad - #1 overall ongoing
Hayate no Gotoku - #5 overall ongoing The longest ongoing show I'm currently watching, and one that really kicked back into high gear in recent weeks.
Kimikiss pure rouge
Mobile Suit Gundam 00
Shakugan no Shana Second
Shion no Oh - #4 overall ongoing
Shugo Chara!
Ongoing (Done airing, but getting slow subs, or I'm just behind)
D.C. II: Da Capo II
Kodomo no Jikan - #3 overall ongoing One of the most unfairly criticized and massively prejudged shows ever.
Nanatsuiro Drops - Questionable if I'll finish.
Potemayo
Sketchbook ~full color'S~
Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~ - Questionable if I'll finish.

Havent touched, may do so at some point
CODE-E
Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica
Seto no Hanayome - Okay so I saw one ep, but I do plan to watch more after initially dropping it.
Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
Mamoru-kun ni Megami no Shukufuku wo!

Dropped (watched at least one ep - this could mean bad, or simply didn't have time, note that italics means I only watched one episode either by accident or design): - Note: Wow, I dropped more than I thought, though many were only one ep.
Bokurano - Not sure why I stopped, to be honest.
Dragonaut - The Resonance - 3DCG at its show-destroying worst.
Gigantic Formula, Kishin Taisen - It just lost me somehow. Would buy in a cheap boxset and try again if licensed.
Kaiji
Kamichama Karin
Kaze no Stigma
Kono Aozora ni Yakusoku wo
Koutetsu Sangokushi
Lovely Complex - It just lost me somehow. Would buy in a cheap boxset and try again if licensed.
Moetan - How dare they make me dislike a show with Tamura Yukari in the lead?
Mokke - Of all the shows I was going to drop, this one I perhaps expected it from the least.
Oh! Edo Rocket
Prism Ark
Pumpkin Scissors
Red Garden
Rental Magica
Rocket Girls
Romeo × Juliet - It just lost me somehow. Would buy in a cheap boxset and try again if licensed.
School Days - Though I skimmed the last ep from morbid curiosity. Wow, censorship. Read episode summaries, what a depressing show.
Shining Tears X Wind
Sisters of Wellber
Skull Man, The
Sumomomo Momomo
Toward the Terra - probably would have given a second shot but for the license.
Venus Versus Virus

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So that makes for:
32 complete 2007 shows I would buy via singles, only 4 of which have been licensed (5 if Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori is confirmed),
8 complete 2007 shows licensed before I finished, all of which I will be buying via singles, and
3 complete 2007 shows, at minimum, that I dropped but would try again in cheap boxsets.

And that doesn't count any of the ongoing or upcoming shows. 2007 was a incredible year, no questions asked, no two ways about it. And it looks like R1 companies better get on the licensing. I've got anime to buy guys, make with the licenses. Of course there's even more from previous years still unlicensed...

Last edited by something : 10-06-2008 at 08:54 PM.
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