Looking back at the Summer 2012 anime season
Shows that I actively watched (and finished where applicable), in descending order:
- Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita: My favorite show of the summer, which
I've written a chunk about.
- Eureka Seven AO: My second most enjoyable show of the summer, only
a little bit behind Jinrui. I don't have an overall opinion on the
series yet since we're still waiting for the last two episodes.
(I wrote some stuff about it at the end of here.)
- Moyashimon Returns: I take back my grumpyness from my midway
update. The best way I can put it is that the final plotline
of Returns shows the series growing up and maturing, shifting from
a bunch of ultimately lightweight stuff to something more nuanced. I
liked this tone shift but I understand not everyone did. Also, I
enjoyed a seiyuu overlap.
(It's not just that Returns got serious, although it did in a way. It's that things became more complex and nuanced and felt more real as a result. There were no easy answers or one-dimensional characters.)
- Campione!: I'm sure people are going to laugh at me, but I quite
enjoyed this all through. Part of this I can attribute simply to
its execution, but I argue that it's less recycled and cliched
than it might look on the surface. I mentioned Erica Blandelli
in my midway update and another example (per a tweet) is that
victory in fights was about gaining knowledge and solving mysteries,
not more power. All of this made it fun to watch, for all that it
doesn't particularly aspire to be deep.
(This sort of calls for an entire entry that I'll probably never have the time and energy to write.)
- Sword Art Online: My views turned out not to fit
in a paragraph, so I put them in an entry of their own.
Short version: I don't think it can really be called good but it was
clearly watchable because I did and do. I attribute this more to good
production values than anything else.
- Kyoukai Senjou no Horizon II: I wound up watching this all the
way through, purely for the absurd spectacle. The advantage of Horizon
as compared to, say, Aquarion EVOL is that the non-spectacle bits
made so little sense and I cared so little about them that it was easy
to tune them out. Also, there weren't that many of them since Horizon
packed most of its exposition into the first season.
If I'm a smart person, I will not watch any future seasons this gets.
- Dog Days': as I expected, nothing really happened in this season; it
never went anywhere. The show wasn't boring exactly
and it was idly enjoyable throughout, but I did wind up kind of
feeling that watching it was wasted time. Light entertainment is not
quite what I want out of my limited time. In retrospect I stuck with
this mostly out of nostalgia for the first season (and the inability
to let that nostalgia go).
The thought of another season doesn't fill me with enthusiasm.
- Oda Nobuna no Yabou: In the end most of this was merely ordinarily
entertaining and the show's complete inability to let Nobuna do
anything got rather irritating. In retrospect I should have skipped
it, but I got captured by my initial enthusiasm and it was never quite
bad enough to push me to stop watching it.
(It's not that this was bad; it was acceptably entertaining. It's just that I'm trying to do better than merely 'acceptably entertaining' these days.)
- Joshiraku: my views haven't changed: it's entertaining and amusing but I don't find it funny enough to watch very fast.
Declared as misses:
- Hagure Yuusha no Estetica: I dropped this right after I wrote my midway update, as I mused about in the update. I have no regrets, especially since apparently its ending is basically 'continued in the light novels'.
Overall there were four shows that I unapologetically enjoyed, one show that I found compulsively watchable but seriously flawed (SAO), one show that a smarter person might not have bothered with, and two shows that I probably should have dropped. Oh, and in retrospect I stuck with Hagure much longer than I should have; I could have bailed out in the second episode when it made its taste for excessive fanservice clear.
(In general I was, as usual, far too optimistic and willing to stick with shows.)
This season makes me happy in one specific way, after last season: my favorite show wasn't an action show. On the flipside, most of the rest are (I count Dog Days' as an action show, despite how little real action it had; it was more of an adventure show, but that's close enough).
(I could be happy that my third most favorite show is also not an action show, but not really; there's a big gap between my feelings for AO and my feelings for Return. Return was nice, AO was very good to great.)
Written on 12 November 2012.