2009 Anime Review

(cross-posted from the anime blog)

This includes Autumn 2008 anime that has episodes aired in 2009. However, it does not include 2009 anime that are still airing currently. Anime with images are the ones I would wish to highlight the most. The rest are anime that were also aired and may have my comments on them. Some anime (mostly targeted at kids), OAV, and movies are not listed here.

Toradora (Autumn 2008, 25 episodes)
Though the chracter designs were somewhat erm different from anime I've watched prior to this, I really looked forward to this anime. From Yuuji's sacry face, to Aisaka reducing from fierce to rather shy.

To Aru Majutsu no Index (Autumn 2008, 24 episodes)
Well, it's great, but the long draggy scenes in the first few episodes made me drop this once. I mean, 75% of those episodes at the same spot talking about the same thing. Did picked it up later on and its spinoff (Railgun) though.
Related anime: To Aru Kagaku no Railgun (Autumn 2009)

Shugo Chara!! Doki— (Autumn 2008, 51 episodes)
Related anime: Shugo Chara! (Autumn 2007), Shugo Chara!!! Dokki Doki (Autumn 2009)

Skip Beat! (Autumn 2008, 25 episodes)
I did watch some of this. A girl who follow a guy she likes after graduating from middle school to be a star by heading to the capital, only to be dumped. She takes her revenge by climbing up the stairs to fame and blah blah blah... You get the rest.
Mobile Suit Gundam 00 Second Season (Autumn 2008, 25 episodes)
Despite being how popular this is, Gundam series are hard for me to follow.
Related anime: Mobile Suit Gundam (1979), Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (1985), Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ (1986), Mobile Suit Victory Gundam (1993), Mobile Fighter G Gundam (1994), Mobile Suit Gundam Wing (1995), After War Gundam X (1996), Mobile Suit Gundam Seed (2002), Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny (2004), Mobile Suit Gundam 00 (2007) 
One Outs (Autumn 2008, 25 episodes)
Michiko to Hatchin (Autumn 2008, 22 episodes)
The fact that it took place in South America attracted my attention. But the first episode airing a lot latter than most of the other anime, irregular timeslots, and reasons I can't really explain that made me drop this.
White Album (Winter 2009, 13 episodes)
White Album 2nd Season (Autumn 2009, 13 episodes)
The setting is in the early-mid 1980s. No mobile phones and no email. How do you contact someone who is on the move and be sure the person you want to contact is there or not someone else? That seemed to the the (over-)emphasis theme of this anime. As for the fashion of this era? Let's just say it's scary since I wasn't born in the decade (well, the last 5 months of 1989).
Minami-ke: Okaeri (Winter 2009)
The third season of this slice-of-life anime. I've watched the first two, but not sure why I did not watch this. Could be because of Toradora and some others that was airing at that time...
Related anime: Minami-ke (Autumn 2007), Minami-ke: Okawari (Winter 2008)
Asu no Yoichi! (Winter 2009)
Well, the first episode looked promising, but then it remain stagnant or went downhill. Since it was on TBS just before another anime I liked ("Clannad: After"?), I watched it with a grain of salt. The last episode was... let just say it's not what I liked and doesn't seem to have progressed since the first episode. I just don't like "the main hero is an idiot" type of anime. (This also applies to anime like Sora no Otoshimono, and Natsu no Arashi!)
Birdy the Mighty Decode:02 (Winter 2009)
I really enjoyed the first season, until I go WTF with the end of the last episode of that season. So I'm not watching this and I don't care what happens in it.
Related anime: Birdy the Mighty Decode (Summer 2008)
Shikabane Hime: Kuro (Winter 2009)
Related anime: Shikabane Hime: Aka (Autumn 2008)
Maria-sama ga Miteru 4th Season (Winter 2009)
Related anime: Maria-sama ga Miteru (Winter 2004), Maria-sama ga Miteru ~Haru~ (Summer 2004)
Zoku Natsume Yūjin-Chō (Winter 2009)
Related anime: Natsume Yūjin-Chō (Summer 2008)
Sora Kake Girl (Winter 2009)
Didn't watch this. My previous experiences with ALI PROJECT music as the opening music since I first heard it being used for Shigofumi was...horrifying. Maybe that was the reason I didn't watch it.
Viper's Creed (Winter 2009)
Hajime no Ippo: New Challenger (Winter 2009)
Related anime: Hajime no Ippo (Autumn 2000)
The Tower of Druaga: the Sword of Uruk (Winter 2009)
Liked the first season a lot and actually looked forward to this second season, but it was a big disappointment. On top of that, most of the episodes don't take place in the tower itself.
Related anime: The Tower of Druaga: the Aegis of Uruk (Spring 2008)
Chrome Shelled Regios (Winter 2009)
Kemono no Sou-ja Erin (Winter 2009)
Rideback (Winter 2009)
Slayers Evolution-R (Winter 2009)
Related anime: Slayers Try (Spring 1997), Slayers Revolution (Summer 2008)
Sora o Miageru Shōjo no Hitomi ni Utsuru Sekai (Winter 2009)
The pace is too quick for me to follow.

Clannad After Story (Autumn 2008, 25 episodes)
Continuation of the previous season, focusing on Tomoya's working life after high school, Nagisa's death, and Ushio's birth. I wonder what happened to that old man? Or, what Ushio looks like when grown up?
Related anime: Clannad (Autumn 2007)
Casshern Sins (Autumn 2008, 24 episodes)
The character design alone make me not want to watch this.
Related anime: Shinzo Ningen Casshan (Autumn 1973)
Genji Monogatari Sennenki (Winter 2009)
Hetalia - Axis Powers (Winter/Summer 2009)
Ristorante Paradiso (Spring 2009)
Sengoku Basara (Spring 2009)
Phantom ~Requiem for the Phantom~ (Spring 2009)
Basquash! (Spring 2009)
I never liked sports-themed anime. They all have the typical "do your best" theme too. I've also heard it was made to promote a well known international sports brand too.
Queen's Blade: Rurō no Senshi (Spring 2009)
Queen's Blade: Gyokuza no Tsugumono (Autumn 2009)
Seriously, what were they thinking?!

K-On! (Spring 2009)
Featuring the cutest characters I've ever seen in all of the anime I've ever watched. It also indirectly helped music stores to see an unexpected boost in sales, particularly those featured in the anime. Just as I thought the "Live Alive" episode of Haruhi was good enough, this was way better. There even was an announcement of a 2nd season.
Asura Cryin' (Spring 2009)
Asura Cryin' 2 (Autumn 2009)
Pandora Hearts (Spring 2009)
Since this replaced Asu no Yoichi and K-On! took over Clannad:After's timeslot on TBS, I've had to watch this before K-On!. Was not interesting though.
Slap Up Party: Arad Senki (Spring 2009)

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Spring 2009 renewal, 28 episodes)
Everyone has been waiting for a 2nd season since 2006.What did they give us? A chronological order of the 2006 episodes (plus minor extended scenes), "Bamboo Leaf Rhapsody", 8 different versions of "Endless Eight", and a 5-part "The Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya". Yes, 4/7 (more than half) of the new episodes are coincidentally called "Endless Eight". I was expecting more of the uncovered parts of the novel. The good news is that they are making a movie for the Disappearance arc that is 150 minutes (2hr 30min) long.
Related anime: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (Spring 2006, 14 episodes), The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010 movie)

Hayate the Combat Butler!! (Spring 2009, 25 episodes)
(Note the extra examination mark)
This was a big letdown. Sure it continues more of the storyline from where the last season left off, but the first OP was a headache. There also seem to be noticeable changes in the character design (since it was done by a different animation studio that ironically also did Nodame and Shana) that made it look as though it was even more worse. Sure it seems to have improved in the later episodes, but first impressions counts.
Related anime: Hayate no Gotoku! (Spring 2007, 52 episodes)
Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica crimson S (Spring 2009)
Related anime: Shinkyoku Sōkai Polyphonica (Spring 2007)
Gokujō!! Mecha Mote Iinchō (Spring 2009)
Valkyria Chronicles (Spring 2009)

Natsu no Arashi! (Spring 2009)
Natsu no Arashi! Akinai-chū
(Autumn 2009)
As mentioned above for Asu no Yoichi, I don't really like anime whose main character is an idiot. I've watched the entire first season and found that SHAFT (animation studio) seem to like to add a lot of references to other anime and "too quick to see" shots that was displayed in all the anime they made all the time. For Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is okay, but Bakemonogatari too??? Anyways, the only part I like is the part they time-traveled back to the second world war, but the rest is... a lot of filters. The last episode of the first season had the characters do the moves that we had always seen in the opening, which are redundant and pointless. I didn't watch the second season due to my dissatisfaction with the first.
Tayutama -Kiss on my Deity- (Spring 2009)

Shangri-La (Spring 2009)
A mixed bag. The animation was good and the opening theme was sung by May'n (featured in Marcross Frontier). But then there are these 2 transsexuals for no particular reason with the Tokyo as we know becoming an overgrown ruin submerged in water. Inhabitants around there live in a village-like settlement. "Carbon-offsets", "largest tropical city", and stuff that was not explained well. I wasn't the only one who didn't liked it. They even canceled its DVD Volume 7 and later.
Tears to Tiara (Spring 2009)

Saki (Spring 2009)
Mahjong-themed anime. Hard to follow something I'm not familiar with that you can say that what I do with sports-based anime might apply here. Oddly enough, side/secondary characters introduced some episodes later are more popular than the main characters themselves.
Guin Saga (Spring 2009)
07-Ghost (Spring 2009)
Sōten Kōro (Spring 2009)

Eden of The East (Spring 2009)
An anime original (I think) that seems to pay attention to minor details. My first impressions was that this would take place mostly in Washington DC, with the heroine's university in New York. Well, with the anime taking place mostly in Tokyo and Osaka, I was slightly disappointed. Still, it being in ways better than most of the anime I watch, I would rate this high (but I don't) and highly recommend it and its movie sequels.

Since it was on Fuji TV, it conflicted an another anime (don't remember what it was) I wanted to watch too. I didn't need to wait long (less than an hour) for an another popular anime to air on TV (K-On!, TBS).

Hatsukoi Limited (Spring 2009)
Since it aired shortly before my "drop any boring anime since I have insufficient time" frenzy, I didn't, but I would have if it aired later.
There wasn't really anything to talk about this anime, except that the opening and ending credits typeface (font) resembled a lot like Toradora! mentioned earlier and the voice talents are doing the main characters of the more popular anime too.
Umi Monogatari ~Anata ga Ite Kureta Koto~ (Spring 2009)
I stopped watching it at episode 2: couldn't stand it. I actually got confused the title with Bakemonogatari and Umineko no Naku Koro ni too.

Umineko no Naku Koro ni (Summer 2009)
Well, this would have looked a lot better if it were to be produced in HD instead of web-streaming quality. Anyways, this started off well and... went downhill from there. By Episode III-? (ep10+), I don't even know what is going on anymore. It's worse than Haruhi's Endless Eight episodes mentioned earlier. Character designs were inherited from the visual novel of the same name though. Ugh, let move on...
Related anime: Higurashi no Naku Koroni (Spring 2006), Higurashi no Naku Koroni Kai (Summer 2007)
Sweet Blue Flowers (Summer 2009)
I don't feel comfortable on the subject of yuri...
Taishō Yakyū Musume. (Summer 2009)
Replaced K-On!'s timeslot on TBS. Though I don't like sports-themed anime in general (or not-produced-for-HD quality), what I found interesting was that it took place 84 years ago, where women were restricted in a lot of things that aren't today and their struggles starting a girls' baseball club in a time where Japan was just starting to adopt western things.

Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009)
***k Anyplex for the removal of that thing and causing my opinion of this anime towards the negative side. I won't buy stuff from you with no thanks to that.
Though the overall anime is actually quite good, the characters looked somewhat flat from the non-anime-based official artwork. It was one of the better anime produced by SHAFT and the first I see by them produce in HD (1080p).
Related anime: Katanagatari (Winter 2010)
Yoku Wakaru Gendai Mahō (Summer 2009)
Zan Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (Summer 2009)
This is where all SHAFT's jokes and parodies fit in the most. Sad to say it wasn't produced in HD though. Had watched some of this and it's prior seasons, but as for reasons similar to Hatsukoi Limited mentioned earlier, it wasn't the must-watch anime I picked up.
Related anime: Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (Summer 2007), Zoku Sayonara Zetsubō Sensei (Winter 2008)
CANAAN (Summer 2009)
First episode was impressive, but I don't remember why I stopped watching it...
Princess Lover! (Summer 2009)
Kanamemo (Summer 2009)
GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class (Summer 2009)

Sora no Manimani (Summer 2009)
This anime is actually quite good, but since I'm living in a light-polluted area for quite a long time, I never get to see the stars in the sky for a long time. What I found odd was that they introduced a new character towards the end of the anime.
Spice and Wolf II (Summer 2009)
Related anime: Spice and Wolf (Winter 2008)

Tokyo Magnitude 8.0 (Summer 2009, 11 episodes)
Replacing Eden of the East comes a highly rated anime made by the same studio that produced Darker than Black and Fullmetal Alchemist is a Bones original production. It features Mirai and her brother in a situation based on the possibility of Tokyo being struck by a 8-magnitude earthquake and making it real. It starts of shortly before the quake happened when the siblings went to a robot exhibition. They had a toilet break when it happened. While Mirai was waiting, the earthquake happened. The mass evaluation and collapsing buildings made it harder to reunite, but not without the help of a woman they met earlier. Using the Tokyo Tower as a guide (which they could also see from home), they start their long way home as transport and telecommunications are out of service due to damaged infrastructure. Sadly, along the way, her brother was killed by a collapsing building, but did not realize it until she reunites with everyone when she realizes that it was a spirit when people said he wasn't there even though she is seeing him.
(That's a lot of text for an anime I dropped at episode 2)
Nyan Koi! (Autumn 2009)
It's quite obvious from episode 1 that it would be focused a lot on cats and would not get anywhere.

Kämpfer (Autumn 2009)
(When I first saw this, I thought someone copied my ideas since there are too many things similar to my 2nd blog story, from the idea of transformations, to the (unexplained) use of German words, to the publishing date of the first manga volume this anime is based on being 21 days after I published my first part of my 2nd story (23 September 2008), the idea of weird-looking-dolls being somewhat involved (1st story), and whatever I can't think of now. What it doesn't follow, though, is the direction I wanted the storyline to go. There's just too much similarities to not attract my attention.)
This follows Senou Natsuru who's just your average high school guy who was chosen to be a Kämpfer (German for fighter) to fight with other Kämpfer with weapons. The catch is that you can't choose, and would need the body of a girl to use the powers. Since Natsuru is a guy... you know what this means. Anyways, it wasn't obvious at first, but since the episode on preparing for the school festival, this anime went downhill with too much fan-service and dropped around when the white Kämpfers make an appearance.

Seitokai no Ichizon (Autumn 2009)
I don't know what to say about this, since I've dropped this twice. It's about a school's harem student council committee with most episodes taking place in the same room (reminds me of Genshiken). There were a lot of parodies and references to other anime (reminds me of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei and Natsu no Arashi!) that you might not understand if you have never watch the anime in question. They even said so themselves at the first episode that the anime would not be following the novel of the same title. There's inconsistency all over. The ending has, um... many different versions of the same song in each episode that has the same (boring) animation. The mysterious girlish-guy (well, that's how I would describe him) seen in most of their imaginations appears in the last episode. Heck, WHAT IS THIS???!!!
The Sacred Blacksmith (Autumn 2009)
Miracle Train ~Ōedo-sen e Yōkoso~ (Autumn 2009)
Sora no Otoshimono (Autumn 2009)
Another "the hero is an idiot" kind of anime plus things that makes me uncomfortable watching. The interesting thing is that the ending has different song and animation, depending on what the episode in question is about. (Episode 2 ending made me go ROFL)
Shin Koihime†Musō (Autumn 2009)
Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu: Purezza (Autumn 2009)
Another other-anime-reference/fanservice anime? Well, though I liked the first season, this is something I wasn't looking forward to, from the title, to other Autumn anime that are alot better.
Related anime: Nogizaka Haruka no Himitsu (Summer 2008)
Kimi ni Todoke (Autumn 2009)
I've heard from many people that this is actually quite good.
11eyes (Autumn 2009)

Sasameki Koto (Autumn 2009)
Besides Aoi Hana mentioned above, this is one of the few yuri-themed titles for this year. Well, this is more watchable though. What's even more unique from all the other yuri (or yaoi) series is that it takes place in a co-ed school instead of an all-girls school. Wait... why was I watching this, knowing that it's yuri-themed?

Darker Than Black: Ryūsei no Gemini (Autumn 2009, 12 episodes)
I was expecting this to be 24 episodes long, but it instead being 12 was a big shocker and unexpected. It's also one of the few anime (including Eden of the East) that I thought would take place mostly in a foreign country, but headed (back) to Japan in the first few episodes. Hei, Yin, and Mao (the main characters of the previous season) don't seem to be of any significance in this season. Makes me wonder if this is supposed to be an OAV-like anime to the unanswered questions raised in the first season. The fact that I mentioned it to unexpectedly end means that it's quite good. (Speaking of a good ending, the ending of Railgun ep12 and episodes leading up to it looks like it's a good place to end the series, but it's only halfway)
Related anime: Darker than BLACK: Kuro no Keiyakusha (Spring 2007, 26 episodes)
Kūchū Buranko (Autumn 2009)
(or Sky Swing or Trapeze or The Strange Methods of Dr. Irabu, whatever you want to call this)
Irabu Ichiro is a psychiatrist who lives in a colorful alternate version of Tokyo. Patients would visit him to have a counseling on their problems. However each of the patients feel perplex about Ichiro's behavior. Ichiro wears a bear head mask & is able to change change his appearance from an adult to a kid. Despite Ichiro's zealous attitude, he does succeed in helping out each of the patients who come to his office.
This is one weird anime to be in the noitaminA timeslot on Fuji TV, known to have anime like Nodame Cantabile and TokyoM8. Let's just say it's unique.

Well. that's it. That's a lot of anime I've listed. Since I've mentioned Autumn 2009 anime above, I won't be doing an autumn review. I plan to do the upcoming Winter 2010 lineup soon. Yes, I know it's late, but I'm busy, so it can't be helped.


Matteas said…
Nice summary.

I can understand why you dropped Umineko. Even though I watched it all through, it was probably the biggest let-down ever for me. 'It didn't make any sense at all' is what I would say after watching this anime. However, having read the original visual novel by 07th Expansion, I could know what's going on. But anime-only viewers has no chance of understanding it.
I'd had high expectations of it because the visual novel is amazing, but the anime adaptation was absolutely horrible. Awesome BGM from visual novel was usually missing or replaced, changing the atmosphere of the scenes completely, to worse of course.
Omitting so many important scenes, red truths, and so on, made it impossible to follow what's going on, let alone to try solving the riddle or finding the trick behind "magic".
What was probably the worst is that it lacked any emotions. Visual novel made me shiver, laugh, cry, rage; anime had no such effect on me.
If you ever feel like it, give the visual novel a shot. It's a great story, which combines fantasy, mystery and horror, and most people simply love it.

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