Disappointing Anime of 2012


shot0950

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

Sword Art Online – Interesting but flawed and disappointing


shot0080

Sword Art Online was not a very good series, in fact it was a rather disappointing and largely flawed series, but neither was it terrible, with numerous elements that were interesting and a fascinating set of worlds. As a set of stories Sword Art Online partly fails because of its inconsistencies and generally problematic nature of the entire setup and how it is portrayed within the series itself. Certain key elements to do with the worlds and how they work in a broader context for example are pushed to one side in order to concentrate on the central characters such as Kirito, Asuna and later on Sugu. This isn’t the end of the world of course since Sword Art Online is at its heart and action adventure, with the virtual world and characters allowing for excellent action sequences and some rather grand fights between players and boss monsters. The worlds are vast and colourful with an immense variety in terrain and monsters, thus producing vibrant and fascinating looking sets and landscapes. Unfortunately none of this is ever really used until the Alfheim Online, but even then these worlds, regardless of their vibrancy and apparently central nature are ignored and pushed to one side. It is therefore a series with lots of potential that never truly fulfils it, or does anything with the tools that are available. As a series it continually introduces new and actually rather interesting ideas and characters, but never really uses them to their fullest, often forgetting about them almost as soon as they are introduced. Read more of this post

The Illogicalzen Top Twelve Anime of 2012


Konachan.com - 107410 black_hair cube_(artist) game_cg japanese_clothes kakyouin_kotone kimi_to_boku_to_eden_no_ringo night

It appears to be that time of the year where many bloggers begin to list their favourite anime and make lists that may differ wildly from each other while containing a few common links. I didn’t do this last year, partly because I wasn’t really as involved with anime blogging as I am now, but this year shall be different! I have to admit that I don’t really believe in lists, finding them too restrictive and forcing you into picking your favourite, but for lack of a better format, and because I am taking part in Kidd’s Ani-Bloggers Choice Awards I shall have to come up with a list and an order for my favourite anime for the year. But, even thought they will be in order, these anime are essentially equal for me since I enjoyed them for different reasons and at different times, and in all cases there were points where they didn’t quite work as well. But, before I get into the list proper there are a few honourable mentions, all series that I enjoyed but weren’t quite good enough to make onto my Top Twelve List for a variety of reasons. Read more of this post

Eureka Seven AO and the Curse of the Sequel


shot0002

Sequels can be tricky things, and while the idea of a sequel may at first seem good; many of them inevitably turn out to be worse than the original. There are two distinct types of sequel, those that follow on from previous series and are a simple continuation of the story, and those that try to build upon what has happened in previous series and expand the themes and ideas. Of course, suggesting that there are only two types of sequel is a little flawed as there are numerous sub-divisions and subtleties with these series, although they inevitably fit into these two broader categories. Eureka Seven AO fits into the second category, with the series using existing themes from the original series but attempting to build on them and expand the universe. Considering how great the original series is this might sound great, unfortunately there is one problem with it, the series is rubbish and does absolutely nothing to the franchise other than rip apart everything that was good about the original.   Read more of this post

Tari Tari – Singing, Horse Riding and a Big Yellow Dolphin


Tari Tari was an enjoyable series taking a different approach to most high school anime by focussing on a group of students who are about toe graduate, rather than those who have just started. It did immediately draw comparisons with Hanasaku Iroha largely due to P.A. Works being at the helm of both series, along with the similar character design. However, in many respects Tari Tari is the inferior show, lacking in character and story progression at times, and often jumping between sections with out any real flow. However, it is by no means a bad series, with fascinating characters and a setting that demonstrates the importance of following your dreams or wishes. Read more of this post

Accel World – Two Worlds, One Problem


Accel World was a mixed bag, bringing together some brilliant fight sequences, along with exposition heavy episodes that often ended in tedium, and topped off with problematic characters that never quite managed to stay entertaining throughout. Although this is not strictly true, there were numerous characters that were great to watch, providing some interesting insight into a world that at first appears overly simplistic, but soon turns into something that may be too complicated for its own good. However, one of the central, if not the biggest flaw with Accel World is the lack of proper antagonists. As a series it lacked that all-important element, an antagonist that is both entertaining, while also being as evil and nasty as possible. This coupled with the protagonist often dissolving into angst and tears could make various episodes and sections painful to watch. Read more of this post

Kokoro Connect – Narration, Selflessness and Fond Memories


Kokoro Connect has been a fascinating series so far, providing a relatively light-hearted school romance while also looking in greater depth at the problems that each character has had to deal with in their past and present. What is particularly interesting about these events are their almost benign nature, they were not designed to hurt or destroy any in the group, rather, they are a neutral part of the story. Each character reacts to these incidents in a different way, with some affected more than others, however, it is a personal problem and while the events clearly had some impact upon our characters they remain neutral throughout. Similarly, Heartseed is not a malicious or bad character, their actions do not appear to be deliberately nasty, and the various situations that they continue to create are set up in such a way as to help rather than hind the central group of characters. Instead as the series has progressed the central characters of Iori, Yui, Inaba, Taichi and Aoki have begun to learn far more about each other than they once did. In essence Heartseed is showing them who they truly are and bringing them together in a close-knit group of friends who truly know and understand each other. Read more of this post