前期期末試験 (zenki kimotsu shiken) is the phrasing for end of term examinations in Japanese. Since every show has finished a third of their episodes for this season (and I’m having many difficulties finishing my next post), I thought I’d share how I’d grade the shows thus far (like a first term final in Japan). Keep in mind that all scores are as they stand currently and grades may fluctuate. These are subjective scoring in the style of an exam, thus the scoring is different than MAL.
Suzumiya level – 90 or higher
No show meets this standard thus far.
Incredible – 80-89
Hanasaku Iroha – 87: While Iroha had one of the best first episodes that I’ve ever seen both visually and compositionally, it has not lived up to the promise in the first two episodes. I’m not bothered by the fanservice nor the comedic elements in the episodes since, but the show has lost some of the luster it once had. The sixth episode regained momentum and looks to improve barring the chance they go through the obvious love triangle. Visually the show still looks strong minus the fifth episode’s lower quality for unknown reasons. I’ve gotten used to the OP, but all other tracks have been amazing and are instant imports. Import status: Near definite status
Kaizou Sentai Gokaiger – 85: This isn’t an anime, but as it is the second show that I look forward to each week I’ve got to include it. I wasn’t sold on a pirate themed Super Sentai show from the description, but the designs have been amazing. The civilian clothing and the suits look amazing. I go into fangasm-mode every fight due to the callbacks in fighting styles and re-used suits. While Gekiranger‘s episode was weak, the returning members have all done well and I can’t wait to see who returns next. Finally, Captain Marvelous is one of the few people who truly lives up to their name and surpasses it. Amazing character.Import status: OP/ED imported, show is plausable.
The World God Only Knows II – 82: Proving that it is the pacing that controls this show, the second season of TWGOK has already surpassed the first in my view. Having Haqua finally arrive to show the anime viewers the second main devil character and mixing up the formula was a great addition. I’ve greatly enjoyed each episode thus far. The ending animation is subpar to the first, but the opening song is amazing and imported already. While I know they won’t be able to get to the best part of the manga, I’m disappointed at that. I just wonder what could’ve been if Kusunoki had ended the first season and we started with Haqua. The review was awesome though. Import status: Unlikely, but perhaps I might import the music
Decent level – 70-79
Moshidora – 78: The anime about a girl reading a business book was a great thrill ride. The story was fantastic after the first episode and kept me waiting on pins and needles each day to see the next episode. There wasn’t a character I didn’t like, which is always welcome in a show. The grade would be much higher (above Gokaiger) if the animation was standard for a show produced in 2010/2011. Import Status: PLEASE TRANSLATE THE BOOK!
Gosick – 77: After repeating this season, this show has picked up very well in the dramatic sense. The backstory of Victorique was determined to be the main point thus far and it’s done well. The mystery with Leviathan was much needed to alleviate mystery concerns about the stories being too simple. Much improved from the portion in the last season in every sense but the ED. While Unity is a good song with good visuals, Resurrected Hope was one of the reasons I watched each week. Import status: Kadokawa pricing for a show I’m ambient about: no. OP/ED already received.
Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi – 75: Average story thus far, but enjoyable. I can’t reliably remember any other name besides Ayumu or Ui, but the character designs are well done. Excluding the OP/EDs, it’s an average show, thus it gets an average grade for me. Import Status: No
Ano Hi …… (You know the name) – 74: The story seems very interesting and Anaru is a character I’m curious to see the backstory on over the past years. Memma reminds me too much of Index to like, but the other characters are tolerable when they’re not cosplaying as dead people. The opening and ending animations and songs are wonderfully done. Having said that, there’s just something stopping me from enjoying this show. It’s good and one I’d recommend from this season, but I’m not personally in love with it. Import status: ED ordered, OP maybe, show no.
I find this lacking – 60-69
Steins;Gate – 69: Muhoot’s going to kill me for this (Edit: Apparently not as he’s dropped it. I don’t blame him.), but I’m not too into the show. Kurisu is an amazing female lead and plays very well with Hourin. Mayuri is a great side character who is a joy to watch on screen. Hourin is tolerable at times, but is beginning to grate on me. Everyone else is decent to forgettable. OP is visually stunning with a great song while the ED is very forgettable. The show has time to improve, but the plot needs to advance past the lab soon. Import status: OP ordered, Show and ED needed much more Hourin-san to please me.
Nichijou – 64: Nichijou reminds me much of a variety show. The skits go by quickly, so if there’s one that isn’t enjoyable it can be skipped. The problem arises when there’s many in a row like in the 5th episode where it becomes a chore to sit through. Nano, Professor, and Sakemoto are a great bunch together but aren’t featured as much as Yukko, Mai, and Cubes much to my chagrin. I find myself watching mostly for the Janken segment each week and the ED. While the OP was great initially, it’s lost its luster very quickly for me both as a song and animation. It’s easy to see why this was voted the most disappointing show of the season by some fans in Japan. Having read some of the manga, I do have to blame Jukki Hanada for a subpar plan of the skits. Taking away Nano from the school hasn’t worked well thus far and robs the show of some scenes that may have improved it. There’s still time to work on the plot, but I don’t have high hopes. Import status: OP cancelled, ED ordered, show is Kadokawa pricing and thus no.
So there’s my views on the shows I’m watching thus far. It’s much more than I’m used to, but has been enjoyable nonetheless. Sundays with Iroha and Gokaiger are the best parts of the week for me and I look forward to every one now. So what’s your take on the first third of this season?