Rate the last anime you watched out of 10

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
I'd definitely happily watch more at that quality! I'm ambivalent in hoping that maybe we do get the subsequent novels animated given how Zoku was still quality after Owari's conclusion, but yet don't want anymore just in case quality deteriorates. I completely agree that in addition to the quality, it being in short-ish arcs with self-contained stories within the larger narrative definitely made it a breeze to watch despite that episode count.

I think it could end where it is and it would still be great, I heard that the current SHAFT is not quite the same SHAFT we had before due to staff changes, so I'd hope if they do adapt more they maintain the same great quality we had from them here.

It's funny because they make two shows I absolutely love, Monogatari and Madoka, but I actually don't really enjoy any other SHAFT productions all that much!
 

Geriatric hedgehog

Thousand Master
It's funny because they make two shows I absolutely love, Monogatari and Madoka, but I actually don't really
Heheh those two corkers are more than enough for them to forever be in my good books. But yeah, haven't gotten around to watching most of their comedies and other series yet, apart from March comes in like Lion. On paper I should have absolutely loved that but ended up liking it a fair bit but not loving, down to the somewhat crude character designs (likely all just down to the style of the manga) even if they fit the themes, nor the Shogi talk which got a bit dry for Mr dumdum here. I absolutely bloody loved episode 11 though, beautifully stunning emotional work there.
 

Lordhippos

Thousand Master
Funnily enough I was the same on March comes in like a Lion @Geriatric hedgehog :)

Personally I would add Negima!? Hidamari Sketch and Pani Poni Dash as top class Shaft shows. All very much at the comedy end of their spectrum but all excellent in my view.

I don't tend to mix well with strict comedy shows, so unsure how well I'd like them myself. As always only one way to find out I suppose!
 

Dai

Thousand Master
Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden (season 1)
One of the earlier entries in the super-powered maid genre, this action rom-com is still pretty entertaining. It sits right in the middle of that transitional era for Gainax circa 2000 where their work was starting to take on an increasingly goofy look and tone in what would eventually become Trigger's signature style. As an early digital anime it suffers common problems from that time, such as lazy backgrounds and an oversaturated colour palette, but plenty of that Gainax charm shines through. Action scenes are decent, though it's the comedy episodes that carry this first season. It relies a bit too heavily on characters who just have one joke that they repeat ad nauseum though.

There's a more serious side to the show. Mahoro is a combat android who now serves as a maid to the son of her former commander. This is her idea of penance for having been forced to kill him, and all the while the series reminds us that Mahoro is using up her final year before she stops functioning. Meanwhile she keeps being drawn back into battles with the aliens that her secret organisation has been fighting for years, though unleashing her full power would drastically reduce her remaining lifespan. This side of the series works fine, though it doesn't always mesh well with its comedy side. It feels like two different shows bolted together at times.

The first season hovers between a 6 and 7 for me, but the comedy episodes just about tip it to the higher mark.

7/10

Mahoromatic: Something More Beautiful (season 2)
After an entertaining first season, the show goes downhill in this follow-up. Apparently two secret organisations weren't enough because suddenly there's a third, along with a second combat maid. This season has all the hallmarks of a story that has prematurely run out of ideas, and just throws a pile of new characters in to paper over the cracks. Despite covering the remaining months before Mahoro is due to stop functioning, the story loses interest in her for almost the entire season, instead shifting the focus to this new cyborg maid Minawa (whose primary trait is that she falls over a lot) and her faltering romance with a character who manages to be even more devoid of personality than the protagonist. Those characters then vanish from the story altogether for most of the final few episodes, which hastily try to course correct the focus back to Mahoro as we find out what ultimately becomes of her. It's all too rushed and so its attempts to tug at the heartstrings fall flat. All this culminates in a thoroughly miserable final episode that tries to pivot to an uplifting ending at the last minute, but without having done anything to foreshadow its final twist it feels nonsensical. I'm still not entirely sure what the hell happened at the end.

Sadly the production values take a nosedive this season too, with only a scant handful of shots in the action scenes showing any of that trademark Gainax flair. There are a few decent comedy moments scattered through the season, but that side feels tired by this point too as it continues to repeat the same beats over and over. Even though this gives a definite ending to the story, season 2 is a tedious mess for the most part.

5/10
 

Neil.T

Idolm@ster
All this culminates in a thoroughly miserable final episode
That final episode is truly one of the most wretched things I've ever watched, and it'll likely remain that way. It'd be difficult to top; that's for sure.

A veritable series-sinking iceberg that somehow the captains of the good ship Gainax didn't manage to steer away from. Ye gods.
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Food Wars

I can't be bothered writing much, but it was very good and it looked really nice and it kept making me feel hungry and it was kinda funny seeing people get super horny about food - 8/10
 

João Gomes

Vampire Ninja
Aldnoah Zero

I liked this (a lot, most of the time) but not unconditionally. The protagonist is aggravating in his indifference and the fact the war effort depends almost entirely on this kid who wasn't even well set up to be a supposed strategy genius doesn't make it any better. To add insult to injury, most girls in the show want a piece of this guy because of reasons. It's annoying in the worst possible way. That the show will sometimes throw "babby's first Wikipedia article" your way in extremely unconvincing ways doesn't help its case.

With that out of the way, and knowing that Urobuchi's involvement was quite limited (to concept and the script for the first 3 episodes, if I understand correctly), it wouldn't surprise if he was the one who came up with the setup that dictates the way battles are fought.

It's kind of reminiscent of the setup he came up with for Fate Zero in which an assassin faces mages and servants with little to no help from his own and no true magic powers (time manipulation, which he uses twice in the series) and the protagonist in Thunderbolt Fantasy which has the equivalent of a nuclear-powered arsenal at his disposal but decides to fight demons and overwhelming forces with a literal stick.

It's that kind of, at first glance, handicapped situation where the protagonists should be disposed of fairly quickly but are actually the ones to control the flow of the battle. My point being that the concept, by itself, is infinitely interesting.

The first season is almost entirely great and flows well. I liked the ending even if the changes promised to the status quo never come to fruition. I'm not entirely sure on the time-line of events and how in so little time, so many people could form an empire on Mars from what was a scientific expedition but I'll look it up eventually.

The second season has some high points and the focus shifts more in the direction of Slaine which was a good thing because it's fascinating watching him go down a path he can't deviate from, for better or worse. It's got some great fights and moments, but it kind of loses itself in melodrama at points.

It's peppered throughout with some endearing mecha tropes and I spotted at least one mecha design that felt like a straight homage to Xenogears, specifically Weltall-Id.

Worth your time, if you can put up with the tropes I mentioned.

I don't know about scores, 8 for the 1st season and a light 7/enjoyable 6 for the second.

Children of the Sea

You are not ready for the OST on this thing. The Joe Hisaishi hype is extremely real. It is deeply affecting for the entire duration of the movie. That caught me off guard.

The movie itself feels very grand and conceptual with little in the way of traditional character development. I love the link established between Ocean and Cosmos and there are several shots that will stay with you.

I won't hide that there are some details that I didn't fully understand concerning a couple of characters and events, but it didn't stop me from enjoying it with what I did understand. I will re-watch this eventually, anyway.

One of the things I love about anime movies is marveling at the most mundane things that you know in real life are boring but to be depicted in animation needed an obsessive attention to detail, like staring at a can of Asahi and how lovingly it's depicted or how the light passing through a glass door reflects on a plastic bag; the textures and colors in a kitchen, the steam coming from freshly baked bread. This movie has that but also so much more; so many daring, stunning bits of animation.

If enjoy animation, watch this.

Light 8/strong 7.
 

Dai

Thousand Master
Gundam ZZ
I held off on buying this until the Christmas sale due to all the criticism I'd heard about its tone, but I think I would have been happy paying full price for it. Despite picking up right after the end of Zeta, the first 20-or-so episodes of ZZ feel like a very different show. The comedy is cartoony with a lot of slapstick humour and villains who come across as goofy weirdos. It's a jarring transition if you come to it straight from Zeta, but it kind of works internally because these early episodes have relatively low stakes and small-scale conflicts. The comedy feels like part of an odd attempt to strip Gundam of its (at the time) unique selling points of 'real' robots and politics, and retool it into something closer to a traditional super-robot show. This comes across strongest in the ZZ itself, which is formed by three aircraft transforming and doing a full-on combination sequence. It even gets a Gundam-sized jetbike to ride around on in the show's weirdest design decision. If you can adjust to the tone, these are all entertaining episodes in their own way, though it's nowhere near as refined as the positive tone that Tomino would later master in Turn-A. This part of ZZ has the air of trial and error of someone exploring something outside his normal wheelhouse.

All this changes quite abruptly around the show's halfway point. It drops the comedy almost completely, the characters get involved in the larger conflicts in earnest, and the traditional Tomino Massacre begins. The lighter tone of the first half oddly help to enhance the impact of the latter. In Zeta, people tended to die in any dangerous situation, so I ended up bracing for it. In ZZ, people sometimes survive such situations, which adds more tension.

The second half feels like a true continuation of Zeta in both plot and tone, and resolves many of the plot threads that the previous series left hanging. It becomes every bit as compelling as Zeta in both its ongoing and standalone stories. In particular, there's a two-parter called The Blue Corps that might be one of the best distillations of Tomino's entire attitude to war. The only thing that surprised me was that it does nothing to set up the events of Char's Counterattack. I always felt that I was missing some essential connective tissue to that movie by not having seen ZZ, but aside from resolving the Haman/Axis story it does nothing to establish the scenario that CCA begins in.

ZZ does suffer the same problem that plagues most of Tomino's work, in that the overall series structure can feel a bit messy. A lot of characters are thrown around, and the story doesn't always place its emphasis on the ones you would expect, or necessarily give a satisfying pay-off for the ones it spends the most time on. It also repeats a lot of plot elements from earlier Gundam shows, though that doesn't have too much of a negative impact. The non-stop face slaps also continue, which never cease to be entertaining.

Overall, ZZ feels like two shows fighting against each other, but fortunately all its better parts win out in the end. I'd give the first half 7/10 and the second half 8/10, but due to how internally conflicted the whole thing feels, I'll even that out to:

7/10
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Aggretsuko Season 4

Definitely my favourite season so far. The karaoke gimmick has almost completely faded away and the episodes gave more focus to characters other than Retsuko (mostly Ton and Haida).

The main storyline of corporate fraud is very different to the Jpop idol stuff of the last season and it's a nice change of pace. There are some very amusing scenes (and the Retsuko/Haida awkward romance is still hanging around), but I think it's probably the most serious season yet.

It was nice to see some secondary characters from previous seasons make appearances too.

It's absolutely not worth watching if you haven't seen/didn't like the earlier seasons, but I did - 9/10
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Monogatari Second Season

If you've seen any of the previous Monogatari stuff, you'll know what to expect here (and if you haven't, this will make absolutely no sense to you).

It's a lot of talking, weird camera angles and lingering shots of pillars and street signs and stuff. Loads of words flash on the screen really quickly and the whole thing just made me feel a bit uneasy.

I enjoyed it very much - 8/10
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Konosuba

I've not watched many isekais (off the top of my head, only SAO, Space Jam and Jumanji), so I don't really know how this matches up with others in the genre, but I really liked it. The others presumably haven't got Aqua (not the bald guy who sang about Barbie) in them, so they're probably not as good as Konosuba is.

It was easy to follow. It looks nice. The episodes were varied. The music is really cool. I like Aqua.

It's a fun series. Nothing too taxing or mindblowing, but there's still plenty going on so it never got boring. The main characters are all idiots, but they're all amusing in different ways.

I only paid £5 for it in the AL Christmas sale and it's easily one of the best fivers I've ever spent. 11 episodes (including the OVA) is a nice length for a series too - 8/10

(I just looked in my AL account and realised I still haven't watched stuff I got in their 2016 Christmas sale, so Konosuba really jumped the queue!)
 

awadama

Cardcaptor
Hanamonogatari

I don't know if this was the weakest part of Monogatari yet or if I'm just starting to get a bit tired of it all, but this was...eh.

It struggled to hold my interest. Even the OP and ED songs (which are almost always excellent in Monogatari) are boring.

The series isn't awful, but there's nothing especially positive worth mentioning. It looks as nice as usual, but story- and character-wise, there's nothing very exciting or amusing or intriguing or...anything here.

You'll probably have a better opinion of the show if you're a Kanbaru fan, but I don't really care about her or her arm and these five episodes did nothing to change my feelings - 6/10
 
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