We’re about 1/4 of the way through the fall season – which marks, obviously, the 1/4 mark of full season shows, the 1/2 mark of half season shows, and also the 3/4 mark of a left over summer show.
As opposed to the spring and summer seasons, it seems that none of the shows in the fall can be considered as bad. In any case, it’s time to briefly evaluate how the Fall 2007 shows are going so far. Episodes watched are in parenthesis.
1. Miname-ke (5)
The top position goes to what I would describe as my surprise for the fall season – Miname-ke. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable and hilarious series thus far. The humor in this show may be hit-or-miss for some, but it’s been pretty much all hit for me.
2. CLANNAD (6)
Kyoto Animation’s latest Key/Visual Arts anime adaptation hasn’t disappointed so far with a lot of story mixed in with a healthy amount of humor as well. I’m not sure any show this season has made me literally laugh out loud as much as this one, but CLANNAD also has it’s share of mystery and drama as well.
3. Blue Drop (6)
Thanks to a speed-subbing group picking this series up for the time being, I’ve been able to catch up watching it. And I’m glad as both the story and action seem to be ramping up in this series now. Blue Drop seems to have a very interesting mix of romance, sci-fi, with slice-of-life in a way, and I’ve liked how it’s come together so far.
4. ef – a tale of memories (6)
ef – a tale of memories rounds out the top of the class series of the fall season. All four top shows are really close, and like the other 3, ef is impressive so far. Unlike the other visual novel-turned anime series in this group, ef focuses more on the romance and drama than the comedy. ef still has some areas where i still needs to come together I think, but the story so far is good, and it looks like it’s going to get a lot better really soon.
5. Mokke (6)
Next, the first show in the 2nd-tier shows in the fall is Mokke. This has been a mysterious yet sweet (for lack of a better word) series, much as I expected it. It’s about as slice-of-life as slice-of-life can get, but with the twist of the sisters being able to see/easily get possessed by various spirits in the world, both good and bad. However, Mokke appears to be, above all, really a coming of age story.
6. Myself; Yourself (6)
This series ended up higher in the rankings than I was expecting it. The fact that the 10 year old girl likes hanging out with a bunch of high schoolers or whatever seems a little odd, and, almost halfway through the series, we haven’t even gotten into much romance for the main character, yet, but the story is still going on relatively well I think so far.
7. Genshiken 2 (5)
This may be the the first and last time Genshiken 2 is ranked since it has apparently been licensed by Media Blasters (no shock there) per a forum post by MB’s CEO, but it hasn’t really been “officially” announced. I’m still deciding what threshold my “no downloading licensed anime” policy kicks in – in comments made in forums or “official” announcements only. I’m leaning towards the latter since not even ANN has listed Genshiken 2 as being licensed in their database yet, despite their story.
In any case, Genshiken 2 seems to be much more Otaku-centric than the first series (and that’s saying something), but the slice-of-life part is still there too. I think this series could swing either good or bad, but it’s more good at this point.
8. Sketchbook ~full colors~ (5)
Sketchbook rounds out the 2nd-tier shows for this season. Watching sketchbook is kind of like watching jello coalesc, but I mean that in a good way. The entire show is basically one relaxing adventure of a group of art club members to this point. There isn’t much of a plot (or much of anything necessarily), but it still seems like a good show.
9. Shion no Ō (4)
Now it’s on to the third-tier of shows which are shows which have been disappointing, but can still redeem themselves. The first is Shion no Ō. I was kind of expecting more from this show. My impression was that Shion would use her shogi playing to somehow search for her parent’s murderer. Maybe she still will, eventually, but Shion still just seems like a person involved in the events around her rather than someone actually causing events.
While shogi may be an interesting game, I’m not sure it’s interesting enough to hold up a series on it’s own. Yes, there is still the mystery of who the murderer is, but that plot line seems to be spinning it’s wheels for the time being.
10. Sky Girls (18)
Sky Girls, a series which I had grand hopes for at one time, seems to fallen flat on it’s face. Interestingly enough, previously my main concern about this series would be whether it would revert to pandering to a loli fanbase, but that hasn’t happened – at least not to an extent which has bothered me.
Instead, it’s the action part of it which has faltered. Using the same method to destroy the W.O.R.M.s over and over gets rather boring after a while, and makes the Sky Girl’s work seems not really all that challenging in the end. Luckily, the latest episode looks like the series is about to take a turn for the better.
11. Shakugan no Shana II (6)
Finally, we have what has been the fall-solidly-flat-on-your-face series of the fall, which is the second season of Shakugan no Shana. The first two episodes started out well enough, but then we followed that up with 4 episodes of Shana and Yoshida being all stubburn and filled with teen romance angst. Through episodes 3 through 5, I can’t tell that a single plot line has progressed even an inch – which is rather a waste of 3 episode’s time.
Finally in the latest episode it looks like we may finally be headed towards a resolution of this story arc. Hopefully Shana II will soon head back to the story’s roots: Shana kicking Denizen ass. I just hope that this story arc hasn’t permanently damaged the series as a whole.
To round up, just to show how much better I’ve liked this season over the spring/summer season, just look at the tier breakdowns for the Spring/Summer:
1st Tier – 1 show (School Days)
2nd Tier – 1 show (Idolmaster Xenoglossia)
3rd Tier – 5 shows (Lucky Star, Nagasarete Airantou, Sky Girls, Doujin Work, Nanatsuiro Drops)
4th Tier – 2 shows (Umisho, Seto no Hanayome)
5th Tier – 1 show (Moetan – I felt compelled to create it’s own special super-low tier)
I’ve also watched Mushi-uta and Baccano from the summer, but haven’t finished them. That shouldn’t necessarily be a notice of my like or dislike of them. I just haven’t gotten around to finishing them yet.
Compare that to the Fall Season:
1st Tier – 4 shows (Miname-ke, CLANNAD, Blue Drop, ef)
2nd Tier – 4 shows (Mokke, Genshiken 2, Myself; Yourself, Sketchbook)
3rd Tier – 3 shows (Shion, Sky Girls, Shana II)
4th Teir – 0 shows
And all the current 3rd tier shows have shown signs of perhaps getting better soon. Oh, and as a reference if you haven’t figured out already, by definition for the tiers are roughly this:
1st tier – great shows
2nd tier – good shows
3rd tier – disappointing, but has potential [Fair]
4th tier – disappointing, and has little potential [Poor]