Disappointing Anime of 2012


While there have been many very good anime series this year there have also been a number of disappointing ones, series that had a lot of potential, but for one reason or another failed to live up to it. Such series aren’t necessarily terrible, but because they suffered from numerous problems ultimately never lived up to the potential that their stories or characters had. In fact there are a few of these series that I really enjoyed watching, or at least enjoyed parts, but their flaws were too much for me to really like them as a whole. I never really ‘hated’ these series, largely because hating an anime series seems to be an exercise in futility, although there are a couple of exceptions, series that were just terrible and what little enjoyment I got from them was short lived. This is a list, but not in any real order since it seems a little silly to try and order the disappointing anime in the same way as you would order your favourite anime (and I even find that pointless). Read more of this post

Natsuyuki Rendezvous – A tale of two halves

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a tale of two halves, it was an excellent series right up until episode six, at which point things started to go very wrong and it slid down into the pits of mediocrity. This is not to say that the series was not enjoyable, because it was, however, there were some distinct decisions made during this series life that ultimately slightly ruined the whole experience. There are precious few mature romance series, most anime are set in high school or junior high school, with the protagonists often having to deal with other issues such as family circumstances or teenage angst. A romance series that takes place during a work or university environment, or at least have a more mature feel can be incredibly fun to watch and help to provide an alternative view of romance without the teenage angst. Honey and Clover, Nodame Cantabile, Paradise Kiss, Ristorante Paradiso and Eikoku Koi Monogatari Emma are a few of the small number of such titles. What is so wonderful about these series is how they tell a story about romance, but without the angst, school references and other elements that pepper high school romance stories. There is still drama and elements of angst, but it is being used from a different perspective, and while there are still problems to overcome, they revolve around the needs of the everyday rather than problems with tests and the (apparent) innocence of youth. Read more of this post

Natsuyuki Rendezvous – It’s Complicated

Natsuyuki Rendezvous as the title may suggest is complicated, or rather the relationships between our main cast are complicated, strange and occasionally surreal. While the obvious culprit for the complicated nature of this series may at first appear to be Shimao, it is arguably a combination of him, Ryuusuke and Rokka that produce such a surreal but beautiful romance. Although having said that the major problems and misunderstandings that crop up in Natsuyuki Rendezvous are largely related to Shimao’s constant and consistent attempts to thwart Ryuusuke’s advances towards Rokka. As a series Natusyuki Rendezvous manages to maintain a wonderfully mature story about loss and acceptance, while also adding in elements of fantasy and fairy-tale. Read more of this post

Natsuyuki Rendezvous and voices from the past

There is a beautifully understated nature about Natsuyuki Rendezvous, with the romance and the characters interacting in a dramatic, yet also highly controlled way. Whereas in other anime we may have fights, yelling and people running away, the fights in this series have a tightly controlled feel to them. Nevertheless there is a deep well of emotions just beneath the surface that are constantly struggling to escape, but are constantly held back. The lives of our main characters are both immensely complex, but also very simple, with their own memories, emotions and feelings playing tricks on them and holding them back. What we are presented with is a simplistic plot, one about forgiveness and learning to move on without forgetting. the complexity comes from what these emotions and feelings add to their relationships, and how simple comments, or misunderstandings can create divisions and complicate matters more than they otherwise should. Read more of this post

Natsuyuki Rendezvous First Impressions

Natsuyuki Rendezvous is a curious twist on the idea of a love triangle; it has everything a normal romance anime might have, except for one small thing, the rival happens to be a ghost. The story focuses on Hazuki Ryuusuke, a fairly normal person who happens to have poor eyesight and a constant glaring expression. He falls in love with a flower shop owner called Rokka, but due to his inability to approach her normally appears to content himself with buying flowers and other plants from her shop on a regular basis. He does of course get a chance when Rokka hires him as part-time staff, only to discover that Rokka is in fact a widow and that her husband’s spirit still inhabits their apartment that is above the shop. Read more of this post