Winter 2010 Anime

We have some interesting shows and some not so interesting shows this season.  And then there are some shows which are “Why the f*** did they make this show?!” reaction from most people.  All in all this has been the most fan-service laid-en season that I have completely sampled to the point I want to say I have seen enough tits and ass to qualify as watching one forty-five minute episode of hentai, and this is with the edited version of Seikon no Qwaser.  But this is not to say all the shows this season are complete trash as you’ll see

Baka to Test to Shokanjuu

Idiots, tests, and summoned beasts

Story revolves around Akihisa Yoshii at an academy that rigidy divides the classes according to test scores.  Students with top scores get into the A class, with reclining seats and computers, while those with the lowest scores , like Akihisa, are in F-class, with old tea tables and used tatami mats.  Wanting to improve their situation for Mizuki Himeji, a girl who was sick the day of the placement test and got pigeonholed into F-class who Akihisa secretly adores, Akihisa and the class president, Yuuji Sakamoto, band F-class together to challenge the high classes to Examination Summons Battle or ESB battles.   The problem, the ESBs use the students test grades as points and with the exception of Himeji, the rest of the class is as dumb as a brick and Akihisa is the lowest of the low.

  • Based on light novel by Kenji Inoue
  • At first I was like “what the, I don’t remember SHAFT animating three shows this season”
  • Moe, but pretty fun, much better than last seasons moe trap, Seitoko no Ichizon
  • fantasy romantic comedy
  • Director did work on Pani Poni Dash
  • 13 episodes listed
  • Director Shin Oonuma has worked on a few Shinbo shows as episode director, etc

My thoughts: This is the surprise show this season for me coming from no ware.  It is genuinely funny and entertaining comedy/ school drama show with not so over the top gags like SHAFT shows.  For me this is a keeper.


Nayu Hayama shocks everyone on first day of middle school by accident panty-flashing the other students at the entrance ceremony with black-laced panties.  Together with her classmates Yako Jinguuji and Haruka Shiraishi, Nayu tries to spread the word of choosing proper underwear for developing bodies by opining an underwear club at school.

  • Based on the manga by Yumi Nakata
  • “Middle school girls x underwear = slightly H girls comedy”
  • Animation and art are a little mediocre, expect for the underwear
  • Animation okay, story erh… informative?, it’s kind of more about gags
  • Panty shots about ever 10 shots, it is a show about underwear
  • The art and animation are a little mediocre, and character designs won’t appeal to everyone
  • On, new episodes Mondays at 8:00am
  • One important note is they are freshman in middle school in Japan, which equals 7th grade here
  • It’s a little hard getting past the whole middle school-ers trying on underwear theme and the first three episodes are more about gags and jokes rather than information
  • Listed as 13 episodes

My thoughts: Errr, not too bad but too many problems hinder this show on many levels, mainly the animation, art, and story.  Oh wait that’s most of the show isn’t it.  Anyway, I don’t find the art that appealing except for some instances were it pulls off a gag nicely, the animation is I’d say average, and the story relies on pantie gags too much too carry it.  It’s not the most horrendous show this season but it’s off of my viewing list.

Dance in the Vampire Bund

Mina Tepes, Queen of all vampires, pays off Japans gross national dept and forces them to allow the forming of vampire nation on a reclaimed island to fulfill the promise she made with Akira Regandorf when he first meet her.

  • Animation by SHAFT, Direction Akiyuki Shinbo
  • Based on the manga by Nozomu Tamaki
  • Manga published (same name) in the US by Seven Seas Ent.
  • Supernatural, action, romance
  • SHAFT does its usual camera stuff but minus most of the gags (falling wash pans, etc)
  • Oro, the OP is a cover of an 80’s song, Rebecca, Friends
  • Vol. 6 comes out 2/28
  • Seven volumes in Japan
  • Listed as 12 episodes
  • From what I’ve read the set up is a bit different then the manga, but everything after the second episode lines up
  • Vlad III , Tepes= Impaler, Dracula=son of Dracul or Dragon (his father)
  • Shinbo- Hidamari Sketch, Pani Poni Dash, Tsukiyomi, Maria Holic, Bakemonogatari, Sayonara Zetsubo Sensei, Natsu no Arashi, Negima!?, Petite Cossette

My thoughts: Except for the nakedlolivampiregirl this is a pretty good show.  Has almost the same art and video direction as Bakemonogatari minus all the still frames, but with nakedlolivampiregirl.  From what I’ve read about the story it does diverge from the manga a bit but still is faithful to the original story, including nakedlolivampiregirl.  All in all I’m goign to keep watching as long as I don’t find anything too objectionable, but I’m still going to close my door when I do watch it.  Oh did I forget to mention nakedlolivampiregirl who fights in episode two in nothing but a tiny little pair of black underwear that covers half an ass-crack.


Mikado Ryuugamine has lived a very boring life and moves to Ikebukuro for a change of pace after being infited by his childhood friend, Masaomi Kida.  When Mikado meets up with Kida again in Ikebukuro Kida introduces Mikado to servia people around town, including Simon the Russian Sushi shop toat, and warns him to stay away from people like Shizuo Heiwajim and the various gangs including the infamous dollars gang.  Nervus with these warning Mikado also witnesses an urban legend the same day, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle that makes no sound.  As Mikado tries to settle into his new live the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Turbans push Ikebukuro to the boiling point

  • Animation by Brains Base (Baccano!)
  • Based on the light novels by Ryohgo Narita (Baccano!)
  • Action, romance, supernatual
  • Good animation and art
  • Original illustrator Suzuhito Yasuda (Yozakura Quartet)
  • Lots of interesting characters
  • Doesn’t flip around in time line like Baccano! did
  • On, Friday at 11:00am
  • Makes references to other light novels and Yozakura Quartet (Shakugan no Shana, Club to death Angel Dokoro-chan, and Spice and Wolf)
  • chaos in Ikebukuro (train station second only to Shinjuku)
  • Dullahan – Irish headless horseman, the bringer of death to a person, caries there head usually
  • 7 light novels, 1 manga

My thoughts: This is this seasons strongest show, and that’s pretty much end of story.  It does have a large cast and does flip between prospective a lot but I will tell everyone to keep with it, take notes if you have to, but watch this show.  This goes under I hit you over the head recommend category, at least for now, and hopefully it stays there.  Also, note to the animatiors of Yozakura Quartet, this is how you animate Suzuhito Yazuda’s character designs.

Hanamaru Kindergarten

Hanamaru Youshien

Anzu goes to kindergarten with her friends Hiiragi and Koume.  Together they try to get the attention of their teacher Tsuchida who is clearly more interested in the Yamamoto-sensei, the teacher next door.

  • Animation by studio GAINAX
  • Based on manga by Yuto
  • Comedy, slice of life
  • Very cute art, good animation
  • Different closing animation and song each episode
  • On, Sundays at 10:00am
  • Sickeningly cute
  • A really cute show as long as you can ignore Anzu’s mother, her encouragement is a little creepy when she’s married to her high school teacher
  • If I had to guess it’s GAINAX going ”okay so we’ve been doing some really hard-boiled stuff, let’s do something nice and cute”
  • Based on manga by Yuto
  • 12 episodes

My thoughts: Except for Anzu’s mom, this is a truly enjoyable show.  However it is creepy when she’s encouraging Anzu to marry Tsuchida when she’s married her high school art teacher.  But compared to the other shows it’s a lot safer and it’s too cute to pass up.

Hidamari Sketch × ☆☆☆ (Hoshimittsu)

Continuing stories of the girls of the Hidamari apartments who attend Yamabuki Art High School across the street.  A year has gone by for Yuno, Miyako, Sae, and Hiro and they welcome the two new tenets and freshmen, Nazuna and Nori.

  • Animation by SHAFT, Direction by Akiyuki Shinbo
  • Based on the 4-koma manga by Ume Aoki
  • Printed in the US under the title Sunshine Sketch by Yen Press
  • Four volumes out in the US and Japan (5th listed for 3/27 JP release)
  • First two seasons licensed by Sentai Filmworks
  • First season out now
  • Second season 4/6
  • Third season, (Hoshi=star, mitsu=three)
  • Comedy, slice of life
  • Animation about the same as the last season, art has improved
  • 12 episodes listed but expect specials/OAV episodes

My thoughts: A fun light show centering on art student adding two new characters to the cast.  It retains the same visual gimmicks of its privies seasons which some will be annoyed at it.  For me the visual gimmicks that SHAFT uses in the show add to it and make it entertaining and even more light heart-ed then the manga.

Ladies versus Butlers

Akiharu Hino transfers to the Hakureiryou high school, a boarding school for the rich and their servants.  But his delinquent looks scary most of the female students.  Unable to get along with any of the female students he runs into his childhood friend, the sweat looking but manipulative Tomomi Saikyo.

  • Based on light novel by Tsukasa Kouzuki
  • Animation by Xebic (Kanokon)
  • Comedy, Fan-service
  • Animation is good, same with art if you like the style
  • Director Atsushi Ootsuki and character designer Akio Takami worked on Kanokon
  • Maybe 24, but probably  12
  • Nice animation but light on story with lots of fan-service, there will be a lot of people all over it (mainly for the nudity)
  • All in all it is a show target at men using Maids and Ojo-sama arcitypes (primary)

My thoughts: Oh boy…. Tits, tits, tits, ass, ass, tits, ass, tits, tits, ass.  First and foremost, I am prejudice against fan-service only shows where the primary concern of the show is to titillate the audience.  Second I don’t like character designs showing nipples poking trough a reasonable amount of clothing (i.e. a descent bra and presumably heavier then a (wet) t-shirt top).  Ya this show has both.  To it’s credit it has decent (above average) animation but the story is just an excuse to get the main character surrounded by a bunch of wealthy chicks and maids.  Oh and there are only four male characters to a couple of dozen female characters.  But if you really want to see the kind of tits and ass of an hentai with out the sex, by all means go ahead and watch.

Nodame Cantabile – Finale

Third and Final season of Nodame.  Continues were Paris chapter left off with Nodame gaining more confidence with her music and Chiaki gaining increasing notice in the classical music industry.

  • Third and final Nodame seaso
  • Based on the manga by Tomokiya Ninomiya
  • Manga released in the US by Del Ray
  • Romance, comedy
  • About the same animation quality as Paris Chapter
  • Volume 17 out 1/26
  • Something like 23+ volumes in Japan
  • 11 episodes listed
  • It’s the third and final season of a popular show both in Japan and at club, you can’t really go wrong with it
  • The animation quality is about the same or better as Paris chapter which is to say a little below the first season but they have fixed the 3D a little in this season, but only marginally.

It’s the third season of a pretty good shoujo/josei series about love and music that every one likes, go watch it already.  It would be nice if they up-ed the animation but it’s serviceable.  Besides, Railgun probable makes more money for J.C. Staff anyway.

Omamori Himari

Protective charm Himari

On Yuuto Amakawa 16th birthday, the protective charm he got from his grandparents wears off and various demons try to take notice of Yuuto, the descendent of a long line of demon slayers, and plan to take revenge for a history of subjugation by his family.  Lucky for Yuuto, he has a guardian, namely a beautiful, sword wielding cat spirit named Himari.  Just one problem though, Yuuto is allergic to cats.

  • Based on manga by Milan Matra (MILAN AT missile manufactured by Matra now part of MBDA)
  • First non-ero manga by Milan Matra
  • Manga licensed by Yen Press (out on June 30th)
  • Action, comedy, romance
  • Animation, art, and writing are average
  • On, new episodes Thursdays at 9:00AM
  • Average harem/demon fighting show really though
  • The animation is so-so and the writing as well, and I’m ignoring the loli as well (she is a ayakashi, who knows how old she really is and she isn’t exposing herself like Bund or LvB
  • Each episode intro has a different scene where the Rinko (childhood friend) walks in to wake up Yuto finding one of the other girls in the bed with him (not in that kind of way)
  • Also each commercial card is different featuring one of the girls clothed and then partially unclothed (no nudity) when you get back to the show
  • 12 episodes listed
  • Exposition = “Why did you wake me up this morning?” “Because it’s a special day” “why is it special?” “It’s your birthday today” “Oh, my parents died the same day”… “Oh”, and intro to cat girl via protective charm expo.
  • I spoke too soon on the loli side, watch episode five to understand, or don’t.

My thoughts: This show is so mediocre I found it charming and decided to watch it as my guilty pleasure and thought it was relatively safe compared to the other shows this season until episode five…  Ya it’s on probation.  One more naked loli and it’s done.


(Wolf god spirits away)

Hiroshi Kuzumi and his family have just moved to Jogamachi, a small town nestled in the mountains with legends of wolfs.  When he enters his new high school he’s immediately the center of attain of his classmates and the affection of Isuzu Tsumuhana.  The only one who isn’t is the quiet class president Nemuru Kushinada, who’s only words for him are a warning never to go to the old part of town.

  • Based on PSP visual novel game by Ryukishi07 (Higurashi & Umineko) and Peach-Pit (DearS, Shugo Chara!, Zombie-Loan, and Rozen Maiden)
  • Animation by AIC
  • Horror, mystery
  • Animation and art are good, story is intriguing (doesn’t equate to being good but it’s all about perception)
  • CG used for cars and the little sister’s wheelchair, and occasionally for her as well.
  • Never have been a fan of peach pits character designs.  Didn’t think the lead male and other characters in his age group were high schoolers.  Makes me wonder how old the little sister is.
  • The camera work can be a little annoying and it’s pretty obvious when it does it’s thing.
  • The camera pans at odd camera angles are used to make the viewer uncomfortable.
  • OP by FictionJunction

My thoughts: Not too bad, but nothing stand out so far.  Story falls almost exactly in the same vein as Higurashi but with better animation.  The character designs by Peach-Pit aren’t really my thing though.  And that stupid camera panning makes me rage inside for them using such an trick of making the viewer uncomfortable.  I may keep up with it, but I may just drop it after I get bored with it.

Seikon no Qwaser

Qwaser of Stigmata

At St. Mihailov Academy, Mafuyu Oribe and Tomo Yamanobe run into a silver haired boy named Aleksander Nikolaevich Her.  Aleksander is a Qwaser, alchemist with the power over certain metals and, sent to protect a sacred icon at the academy, the Theotokos of Tsarytsin.

  • Based on manga by Hiroyuki Yoshino (Story) and Kenetsu Satou (Art)
  • Manga licensed by Tokyopop, August 2010 (that’s a bit of a surprise)
  • Action, supernatural, comedy
  • Good animation, story is average except for subject
  • So much editing done that half of the fight scenes are hard to follow
  • Pretty cool ending, ED is also nice.  OP/OP animation good.
  • The main fight is so heavily edited half of it is either extreme close ups (too hide the boobs) or just camera pans over still images with voices still going on
  • Hurray for lesbians (sarcasm)
  • Gun fact- SMG in episode is a Russian PP-91 (Kedr/Klin) (Mainly used by police forces)
  • 13 episodes but could go on for another season
  • Get that thing: Theotokos of Tsarytsin

My thoughts: This show makes me laugh really really hard, and not for the story.  It’s the editing.  It’s hilarious in how much they edit.  In one scene from episode four, which I’m using as the top  image, there is a black void where a character is standing in her underwear.  However it’s a black void.  You don’t write that kind of comedy.  In episode five I’ve counted 16 individual edits, and these are blatant edits that any newbie film or animation person would spot.  ANYWAYS, the story is your average shounen adventure/battle story with a crap load of fan-service topped on to make it sell, and sell it will.  Animation does start to get lazy in episode five but it does have decent art, with giant boobs and breast milk.  The only reason why I will continue to watch this series is to see how many edits I can find.  I might even make it a regular part of this blog (crap going to have to re-watch the first four episodes now).  One bonus is that it has a nice ED even if it is blatant fan-service, the art direction makes up for it.

Sora no Woto (So Ra No Wo To)

Sound of the Sky

A long war that brought the decline of civilization has ended.  Kanata Sorami joined the army to learn to play the bugle and was assigned to the far off 1121 tank platoon, more of a squad of four other girls with a non-functioning tank, in the city of Seize.  Their orders are, 1st: maintain the fortress, 2nd: contribute to the traditions of the city where the local legends are that young maidens kept a demon under control, and 3rd: also to be prepared in case of a non probable attack.

  • Animation by A-1 pictures
  • Adventure
  • Moe-trap of the season
  • Good animation and art
  • On, Mondays at 10:00am
  • Premier show of the Anime no Chikara TV blockays at 10:00am
  • Anime no Chikara is joint project between TV Tokyo’s anime department and Aniplex to “showcase the power of anime”
  • How cute little moe girls playing military
  • Wondering how much the local legends will play a roll in the show
  • Cool Yu Kobayashi voices SSgt. Rio (Nagi Ichinose from Nyan Koi!)
  • Vagly German WWII uniforms and gear (-tank, that’s something else)
  • Culture, nationality, religion have kind of formed into one nation, although still based on region
  • I wonder how they pay for their stuff, being down on the POGs supply chain list
  • Pretty good show, excellent background art, a great world, but a story which is taking it’s time to unravel, and it’s sole selling point is it’s moe factor
  • OP is performed by Kalafina
    • ED I think is a pun of Boys Be ambitious, Ah it’s from William S. Clark, who established the Sapporo Agricultural Collage for the new Meiji government

My thoughts: My main thought while watching is “Oh, how cute, little moe girls playing war”.  This is nice cute, laid-back, moe-trap kind of show.  The art is pleasant and animation is pretty good.  And it sure beats watching giant backbreaking tits and naked lolis.  But I still, to this day, don’t understand why Japan likes WWII German military equipment and uniforms so much.  We may never know, but I do have to say they made some awesome weapons, and some funny ones too (flying tank).


Shichika Yasuri, the seventh head of Kyotou school of Japanese sword style, lives on the Fushou Island with his sister Nanami after his family was exiled twenty years ago.  With the orders of the shogunate strategists Togame, Shichika sets off with her to recovery twelve swords of master sword smith Shikizaki Kiki.

  • Based on light novels by Nishio Ishin
  • Animation production by White Fox
  • Action, adventure
  • Good animation, simplistic but stylized art
  • Dialog heavy
  • One episode every month
  • Reminds me of Muramasa: The Demon Blade for Wii
  • 12 light novels, for 12 episodes each month
  • Doesn’t use as many visual gags as Bakemonogatari, but that’s SHAFT and this is White Fox
  • Hay the director did School days too
  • Cheerio

My thoughts: Dialog heavy.  Just like Bakemonogatari, it is heavy in the dialog.  It also doesn’t share the same artist flare as Bakemongatari, but that’s SHAFT and this is White Fox.  But if you liked Bakemongatari, chances are you’ll like this show, and with it’s widely dispersed air dates it’s a shoe in for my schedule.

Written and presented by Thomas Billings, aka Yamagata002

Please fell free to ignore my opinions

One more thing
When I was watching Omamori Himari I came to epiphany that when I first got into anime all those years ago, pantie shots weren’t so blatant.  And as it so happens I remember and have access to the first show that I recognize as having a rather blatant pantie shot.

The show is Final Fantasy: Legend of The Crystals OVA (1994) and when I first saw it I did laugh and go “hehe panties” but I was like 14 then so it’s to be expected.  Now it’s just kind of “blah, give me the real thing”, but oh well, to each their own.  Go ahead and compare this picture and the top picture for Himari, it’s kind of funny.

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