We’re a month into the fall season of 2010, so taking a cue from the forums at AnimeSuki I thought I’d post my grades so far. I don’t normally like to attach number grades to reviews, but for these kinds of summaries I think it’s helpful.
Bakuman (4 episodes watched): 8/10. Pedestrian animation, but I love the story of a boy and his dream – this story really gets it. I also love the “Manga 101” aspects.
Kuragehime (2): 9/10. Refreshingly unvarnished look at what it means to not fit in with society. Each episode has been a delight to watch, start to finish.
Ore no Imouto (4): 9/10. Very different from the ecchi incest comedy I was expecting. I’m struggling a bit with how repugnant Kirino’s behavior can be, though I know it’s essential to the story. That’s more than balanced by the smart writing, wonderful humor and willingness to confront serious issues.
Shinryaku Ika Musume (4): 9/10. I truly treasure any anime that can consistently make me laugh, and this one does. It’s very silly and somewhat demented, but still has a good-natured quality to it. Ika Musume is hilarious and I love all the supporting cast.
Sora no Otoshimo Forte (4): 7/10. It’s still lightweight and appears to be replaying the themes of S1, but I appreciate that SnO is unpretentious and unrelentingly ecchi. And the humor is creative, as opposed to…
Motto To Love Ru (4): 5/10. It really feels as if this show has stopped trying. Just random nudity and public humiliation for its own sake. I still like a few of the characters and it can draw a chuckle, but this is a shadow of the first half of S1.
Soredemo (3): 7.5/10. It’s good SHAFT and good Shinbo – the visual trickery serves the story and doesn’t smother it. I love Arashiyama as a lead – she’s insanely goofy and lovable and Chiaki Omigawa is hitting the performance out of the park. Like a lighter, more misogynistic Natsu no Arashi.
Tegami Bachi Reverse (4): 8/10. No speed bumps – it’s really a continuation of S1. So far, still the same openly sentimental story of a crybaby boy and his dingo. A truly gorgeous and faithful manga adaptation.
Index II (3): 7/10. See above – pretty much a straight continuation. I don’t think this is a great property but it’s solidly entertaining and I enjoy Touma as a lead, and Biri Biri works better as a supporting character IMO.
Yosuga no Sora (4): 8/10. I’m not crazy about the omnibus format but at least this series does an interesting twist on it. I’ve seen so many comparisons, but what this most recalls for me is Sola. It’s an odd mix – thoughtful and sentimental, almost hardcore at times, beautifully directed with great music.
Fortune Arterial (3): 6.5/10. This one hasn’t made much of an impression on me, though it’s getting more interesting. Not exciting but interesting enough to keep watching for now.
Star Driver (4): 6.5/10. My apologies to everybody who loves this one, but it just isn’t doing much for me. I find the plot to be a bit ponderous even for BONES, and while I appreciate the over-the-top theatricality of the show I just don’t find it especially interesting.
Panty/Stocking (4): 5/10. Some real talent seriously slumming. Easy targets – cum jokes, fat jokes, pedo jokes – while there’s the occasional clever meta-humor I don’t think there’s much creative or daring going on here.