Just one more of these introduction posts. Isn’t it annoying, when you meet someone on the Internet, whose taste in anime you find interesting, but when you check out their list of all watched shows, there are one or two random anomalies that you can’t explain? Then you can either hope that they will post a review about the show in the future, or directly ask them, that might make you sound like a rabid fanboy (“Hey, how is it possible that you didn’t like my favourite show? Explain yourself!”).
To avoid this, I will now list a very quick, 1-2 sentence opinion about everything that I ever watched. Fortunately, it isn’t all that long. It’s in alphabetic order, with sequels included in the first season’s description:
Angel Beats: I’m with Scamp on this one, it didn’t need more episodes, the ending was inherently flawed. And even other than that, I was sort of caught up in the hype while it was running, but in retrospect, it didn’t leave a lasting impression
Ano Hana: I liked it as it was, but I wish it would have focused more on the living characters, the whole Menma thing could have been just a starting arc, like Fuuko in Clannad.
Arakawa Under the Bridge: Randomness is not inherently funny. It’s nice enough for catching my attention, and making me sit through the episodes, but doesn’t actually make me laugh.
Aria: I didn’t find the scenery all that gorgeous. It was just water, and blue sky, and more water, and some stone buildings… Without that supposed adventage, it was just your average girl-group setting.
Asobi ni Iku yo!: I kinda appreciated the Star Trek/general classic sci-fi parody they were going for. Also, for some weird reason, I actually cared about the shipping. (Manami FTW)
Astrarotte no Omocha: I’m not all that squicked by the premise, or even by the much more moderate lolicon elements, that are actually present in the story, but that alone still doesn’t make it good. The drama/comedy part is still not working for me.
Azumanga Daioh: Other than being comedy gold, I also have precious personal memories about it that I will tell later.
B Gata H Kei: This is the only hardline ecchi that I also found really, really hilarious. I can still remember several specific gags after 2 years.
Baccano!: It’s thrillingly rushing pace can only be compared to Death Note, except that this one is also FUN!
Bakemonogatari: The anime was fine, but it’s the ED song that stole my heart. If that song, “Kimi no Shiranai Monogatari” would have a moe antrophomorphic personification, she would be my waifu.
Bakuman: Probably I should read the manga, because I like it a lot. It’s also the proof that I don’t inherently hate the shonen atmosphere itself as I thought, just when it comes with physical dueling.
Ben-To: Ok, the premise is a hilarious shonen parody… wait! Am I supposed to actually care about the fighting?
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Suganai: Generic harem comedy.
Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan: Some asshole recommended me this early in my fandom, after I requested something crazy like FLCL. Almost killed my interest in Anime.
C: Now, am I stupid for not getting it, or is the Anime stupid for not getting me?
C3: Generic harem comedy+fantasy. And no amount of artsy-fartsy visuals cover that fact, but at least they make it watchable.
Clannad: Yeah, it was the only anime that made me cry, I share the common opinion here. Except in the fact that I liked the first season as much as After Story, while many fans seem to pretend that the whole series was only about those few episodes around the end.
Code Geass: Like Death Note, but dumber, flashier, and hollywoodier. I liked Shirley, and had no particular opinion about Suzaku.
Darker than Black: I can’t care about the fate of emotionless badasses, and I don’t want to care about the cute ones, because they die. At least the second season was better in that latter, and the 2nd season OP is awesomely melancholic.
Deadman Wonderland: generic violent shonen
Death Note: It’s thrillingly rushing pace can only be compared to Baccano, except that this one is also the most intelligently executed story ever!
Dennou Coil: The premise is stupid.
Denpa Onna: The saner, slightly more generic little sister of Bakemonogatari.
Dog Days: At first I felt like I need to protect this from accusations of not being serious enough, because there is nothing wrong with a show being light-hearted. I still believe that I was wrong, but I no longer care to protect this show, because in the end, it was boring anyways.
Dragon Crisis: Generic fantasy harem comedy. The female lead should have been a Shana-clone instead of a brain-damaged infant, then at least it would have been a bit entertaining.
Durarara!! I found it too cartoonish after Baccano.
ef- a tale of memories: I watched it after reading the VN. If you haven’t done either, please choose the VN. It’s the best VN ever, the art, and BGM are gloriously beautiful, and the pacing is good. It’s a normal, heartwarming romantic drama. Compared to that, the anime replaced it all with generic Shaft-style weirdness. It wasn’t bad either, but I can’t help hating it for that.
Elfen Lied: This anime’s only purpose is to prove newcomers how un-cartoonlike anime are. For everyone else, it’s rather shallow.
Eureka Seven: It would have been better without the main arc, with just surfing mechas and fighting the military. I don’t even remember the details of what the ending was, just that I liked the general atmosphere a lot more.
Fate/Zero: I don’t care about the fate of generic emotionless badasses. In the main story, at least the protagonists were the likeable characters. Still, my love for the main story is great enough that I’m still consistently enjoying this.
FLCL: My first anime, and eternal favorite. I will review it later. The Pillows are the best thing ever.
Fractale: If it would have fallen apart a bit later, I would still categorize along with the likes of Angel Beats and C, “good but with a disappointing ending”. It’s big problem isn’t that it “fell apart”, but that it wasn’t that good to begin with.
Full Metal Panic: Fumoffu should have been merged into the main plotline. It was a good show, but separating the different tones like this was weird.
Gakuen Utopia Manabi Straight: Just like Aria, a generic girl-group show with a setting that’s trying to be unique, and kinda succeeds, depending on how much you care for it’s style.
Gosick: Childishly bad mystery plots, but I did care about the main couple, and the ending route.
Gunslinger Girl: I don’t care about the fate of emotionless badasses, not even if they look like moe girls. Well, maybe I care a little more.
Hanasaku Iroha: The animation style alone made me enjoy this, and I kinda had a crush on Ohana, especially in the earlier episodes.
Hidan no Aria: Just as the other Aria is a basic girl-group series with a setting gimmick, this is a typical Shana-clone Light Novel-based fantasy harem, with a gimmick. (guns!). I normally don’t hate either generic genre formats, or gimmicky fresh breaths, but this time it was so transparent that it felt insulting.
Highschool of the Dead: Like a zombie movie, but worse. At least I was pretty entertained by the entire idea of generic harem anime stereotypes in a zombie setting. It should have been something’s spinoff, like “Onegai Zombies”, or “Amagami Zombies”, to milk that gimmick more. 😛
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: Favorite series overall, but the one thing that annoyed me was how the directing of the second season entirely changed the rules of the universe to make it appear more of an adventure story. I believe that the same ending could have been reached while keeping the first season’s thriller tension.
Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou: No idea why I enjoyed this piece of shit while I was watching it. Seriously.
Ichigo 100%: I like how it seems to more or less acknowledge what an indecisive jerk the Harem Hero is, but it doesn’t do anything with it.
Infinite Ryvius: If less of all anime would feature teenagers, this would have been a great anime with it’s “Lord of the Flies… in Space” theme, and the tragic situation of the kids. But since every anime is about teenagers, whether they are fighters, dictators, inventors, artists, etc., it’s hard to embrace that here, kids play the role of helpless kids, instead of just generic anime characters who act helplessly.
Infinite Stratos: Generic harem.
K-on: Sometimes, shows get inexplicably popular. This is not one of them. Compared to the average girl-group series, it really did something very right. Especially the second season, that seemed to be a lot less formulatic than it’s peers and it’s predecessor.
Kaichou-wa Maid-sama: My first shoujo to be watched, though it wasn’t all that different from any male-oriented series with similar themes, except that it had sparkles and rose-petal backgrounds.
Kamisama Dolls: Enjoyed it throughly, as a good “popcorn-anime” with some fighting and danger. Should get a second season but it won’t. Probably I’ll read the manga.
Kimi ni Todoke: I don’t have a waifu, but if I would have, it would be Sawako. 😛 The anime itself was sometimes dragged too long, like at the confession, but most of the time it still used it’s slow pacing very well.
Kimi to Boku: I enjoyed this as much as any of the better girl-group stories, so this proves that I’m not a pervert who is sexually attracted to the girls from K-on either, I just like that kind of setup. Either that, or I’m bisexual.
Kiss x Sis: What is this doing here? I’m not listing my hentai on MAL! … Ok, so I have an incest fetish, big deal. Ignoring that, as a work of fiction, this one is so weak it’s beyond criticism.
Kodomo no Jikan: (See also: Astarotte no Omocha.)
Kore wa Zombie Desu ka?: Randomness is not inherently funny.
Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Epic. Not in the same way as a burning shark jumping at a helicopter is epic, but as the Iliad or the Odyssey is epic. Also, it makes me feel smart for watching it, like if I just watched HIGH CULTURE!
Level E: If Men in Black would be an anime. A good one. Probably the fact that it’s animation looks strangely retro, boosted it’s rating with all the modern-anime haters.
Lovely Complex: Like Toradora, but with funny gags. Also, I love all the crazy faces they make in shoujo series.
Lucky Star: I don’t know if I watched it too early to appreciate all the otaku jokes, or too late to still find all the girl-group genre elements fresh.
Madoka Magica: I got caught up in the hype, but looking back, I regret nothing, it really was a great show.
Mai- HiME: Being the over-emotional, happy-ending demanding kid that I am, I was far too content with the ending to care about any problems with it.
Mawaru Penguindrum: The fact that it’s heavily symbolic should neither be a pro, or a con, it’s just a basic presentation format. You either like that idea, or you don’t. I personally did. Beyond that, I liked it for the humor, and because the overall message about Love somehow got me at christmastime.
MM!: Generic ecchi. Didn’t have any chance to be funny. Probably it was a boring season when I watched it. Oh, yeah, i remember, it was Fall 2010, and I had free time for either this, or Motto To LOVE-Ru. I regret nothing.
Monster: I came for an intelligent story, like Logh or Death Note, but I got a rather childishly moralizing theme, especially for the first few episodes, and for some of the later episodic themes. The epic last third saved it from the dishonor of me having to call it a bad anime.
Neon Genesis Evangelion:
Nichijou: Great sense of humor, that doesn’t just come from randomness, but a very elaborate running-gag building and constant subversion, that never gets old.
No. 6: Should have been about actually fighting the power. With a rebellion. Why is it that so many anime set up a revolutionary theme, and then drop it for esoteric personal drama and an abstract (read: meaningless) ending?
Noein: One of the few obscure anime that I watched. It was a fascinating sci-fi/fantasy story from the beginning to end.
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: The series that had a chance to be OreImo, if done well. Well, it wasn’t. It had nothing to do with otaku beyond the random phrase-dropping, Haruka just watches one random magical girl show! And the missed kissing chances are getting ridiculous, with so many chances, even I could have kissed the girl, and I’m a 22 year old who has never kissed before.
Onegai Twins: I probably can’t rate this fairly, givent that I watched this way too early in my fandom, when the “bathroom->towel->ECCHI!!->slap” scene still seemed refreshingly funny.
OniiKoto: Generic ecchi.
Ookami-san: shamefully proud of it’s genericness.
OreImo: The anime that Nogizaka Haruka had a chance to be. Perfect otaku-pandering humor, and the relationship between Kirino nd Kyousuke is just non-incestous enough to make it believable, that is a lot more appealing to my fetish than random hentai characters calling each other onii-chan and imouto-chan during sex.
Panty & Stocking: Puking! Sex! Farting! Cumming! Shitting! Sex! And then Stocking was a demon. Well, not really. Randomness is still not funny, but this one had other elements to make up for it. Good parodies, especially to several western franchises.
Paranoia Agent: I don’t care about random emotionless people, even if they are not badasses. Seriously, was there anyone in this story who I’m supposed to care about?
Rocket Girls: My other obscure series along with Noein. It has a whacky premise, but a seriously honest execution later. It reminds me of the childish feeling of wanting to be an astronaut.
School Days: I know that pretty much the entire Internet treated this one like a big joke, but for some reason, it seriously worked for me as a drama, the ending even made me physically sick. Or maybe I just got sick around the time I was watching it, but I still felt that it left a lasting impression.
Scrapped Princess: Whenever I think of this anime, I feel a sudden urge to climb a mountain in the dawn, and look at the scenery lighted by the rising sun as the spring wind blows by hair.
Seitokai Yakuindomo: Random sexual references are sometimes funny, sometimes not.
Serial Experiments Lain: (See also: Paranoia Agent) I could see where they were going with the theme, but the main character was so ridiculously bland, that I’m surprised that I managed to watch through this.
Shakugan no Shana: Generic shonen fantasy: I’m still struggling to watch the third season, just for the sake of completion.
Shinryaku! Ika Musume:
Sora No Otoshimono: Generic ecchi comedy. If it would only be about the “serious” parts I would like it, but there are way too many bad comedy parts to take anything seriously.
Sora no Woto: I wouldn’t call it a “generic girl-group show with gimmick”, there really was a buildup to the ending all along, it was just very slow. I think it is most similar to the currently running Bodacious Space Pirates.
Spice and Wolf: Maybe I should rewatch this now that I studied some economics. I remember that I couldn’t understand those parts. And the first ED is so cute that only japanese words can describe it.
Star Driver: I know that I’m supposed to be joking about FABULOUSNESS! and KIRABOSHI!, but really, at the ending, I was only raeging about the unreasolved love triangle. One of those shows that I took way too seriously.
Steins;Gate: When they first referenced John Titor, I was pleasantly surprised how well-researched it is. When they started to center the whole story around the Titor mythos, that blew my mind.
Suzumiya Haruhi: One of my eternal favourites, almost on par with FLCL. I’ve watched it before I realized that liking it or disliking it is almost like some sort of political statement in the Anime fandom. So probably just like everyone else, I should say that it’s “good enough, but not as good as everyone else claims that it is”, but no, it is really great.
To LOVE-Ru: Generic ecchi harem comedy.
Toaru Majutsu no Index: Generic Shonen fantasy. Seriously. What’s the deal with this? Why is it more gratifying to watch Touma punch big-breasted crazy ladies in the face, than that guy from C3 doing the same? Why is the setting considered more intersting than in Dragon Crisis? Why is that harem better than in Zero no Tsukaima? I don’t get it.
Toradora: Maybe it’s just me, but the fact that the title literally means Taigaryuuji, was enough to prepare me for the conclusion. It was a fun, slightly predictable ride, with some pleasant minor turns.
Usagi Drop: It could have been shorter. Or a movie. It was nice, but it was like a “techdemo”, showing that this theme can be adressed with anime, than a plot going somewhere. On the subject of the manga endingi’m not vehemently against it, though I categorically root for the childhood friend character in such situations.
Welcome to the NHK: Hit too close to home. Not sure if that’s good or bad.
Zero No Tsukaima: Guilty pleasure, I just can’t stop caring about it. Eagerly following the ending season now.
Wow, that was a great waste of time. One last note: The ones that I simply missed with “generic [genre name]” are not the outstandingly bad ones, just the ones that I could say the least meaningful criticism about. For example I kinda like girl-group shows, more so than equally generic harem shows, and I like even those more so than equally generic shonen fantasy shows. But that’s an entirely personal preference. As long as they don’t do anything on their own, they can’t be meaningfully rated as pieces of art, just accepted or hated as utilitarian tools, for spending our time with a certain theme or emotion.
It’s a bit like how a big-name architect couldn’t say anything about your home. It might be very comfortable, and well-made, but in the end, a piece of art it is not.