Saturday, January 1, 2011

Fall, 2010 TV Anime Recap

I hope that everyone is having a good New Year weekend. Mine's working out great. On New Year's Eve, we set out to visit a nearby local Buddhist temple that we'd discovered on an area map. According to the write up in the map, the temple was going to have some kind of event on the 31st and we wanted to know what it was. We arrived just before midnight, only to find that it was a closed Buddhist ceremony with about 10 people sitting inside on chairs in front of the main altar room. (We were expecting lines of people standing outside in front of the building waiting to pay their respects.) While we were standing around, dithering, someone spotted us and invited us in. I was then able to witness the ceremony, which was followed by a communal gathering in one of the back rooms, where everyone could sit around, chat, eat mikan (Japanese oranges) and drink sake. Turns out that the rest of the visitors were members of local merchant families that live within walking distance of my train station.

After getting to meet the others, we continued on to the local shinto shrine, where we waited in the near-freezing night air in a line of about 100 people. The shrine priests and miko had small bonfires set up in the yard leading up to the shrine. One of the buildings that are normally locked up was opened to reveal a stage of polished woodwork, where two of the miko performed a shinto dance. After about 20 minutes, we made it to the front of the line, paid our respects to Inari, and then bought fortunes for the coming year (100 yen each). If the fortune foretells bad luck, you can try to avoid it by tying the fortune paper to a tree branch on the shrine grounds. -- Mine predicts moderately ok luck. People assisting in the New Year's event served glasses of plain sake and amezake (sake with the fermented yeast still in the bottle; amezake means "sweet sake"). We got home at 2 AM, feeling pretty good. We topped the night off with yaki mochi (grilled rice cakes wrapped in seaweed and sprinkled with soy sauce) and more sake.

Most of the TV airing during the 3-4 days before and after the 1st tends to be really boring. Most of the regular shows are preempted by "specials" that aren't overly interesting. On top of this, many of the anime series running this Fall have ended. Leaves little worth getting excited about, right? Well, the Tokyo MX channel has been airing 6 episodes a night of Black Lagoon (including both the first and second seasons, for 24 episodes total). Plus, during the day, there's been Tekkon Kinkreet; another 12 episodes of "Shukufuku no Campanella" on Jan. 1st; the rerunning of Hakuoki on the 2nd; and 6 hours of Darker then Black. There's the Naruto movie Sunday morning, but I'm not a Naruto fan. Twelve hours of Black Lagoon. Followed by Darker than Black Lagoon. Make my day.


I wasn't able to get a good sampling of every show from the Fall, 2010, season, and a lot of these shows only run 12 episodes, so just about the time I've figured out which ones are which, I've got to start all over again with about half of them.

Anyway, of the shows I've been able to watch this Fall, the ones I like(d) were/are:

Shinryaku, Ika Musume (Shinryaku, Squid Girl) - Silly slapstick comedy. [Ended]
Hakuouki - Shojo retelling of the Shinsengumi tale, with demons. [Ended]
Only the World God Knows - Girl capturing guide. [Going to Season 2]
Soul Eater - The best of the bunch; ongoing reruns.
Shiki - Vampires move to a small town, which becomes plagued with undead. [Ended]
Sore demo Machi wa Mawatteiru - High school girls work at a maid cafe and solve mysteries. [Ended]
Toaru Majutsu Index II - Science and magic mix at academy, featuring "Railgun".
Katana Gatari - Samurai fights to recover 12 cursed weapons. [Ended]. Last episode was REALLY GOOD!
Night Raid - Japanese spies during WW II, mixed with ESP powers. [Ended]

I haven't decided if I liked the following shows or not:

Otome Yakai Zakuro - Shojo-like tale of the boundary between the Human and Yokai worlds. [Ended]
Shakugan no Shana - Alien girl pairs up with human boy to save Earth, forming love triangle.
Nurari Hyon no Mago - Grandson of the King of the Yokai tries to make peace with humans. [Seems to have ended]
Sora no Otoshimono - Angeloids fall to Earth, making a harem/drama adventure series. [Seems to have ended]
Milky Holmes - Magical girls attending a school for famous detectives. [Ended, seems to be going into reruns]
Tegami Bachi Reverse - Mail carriers fight to save a fantasy world. It's getting really stupid and I'm thinking of not watching it now.
Samurai Girls - Female samurai fight in alternate-world Japan. [Ended]
Densetsu no Yusha no Densetsu - Sword and sorcery fantasy adventure. [Ended]

Other shows that I find worth watching:

Pitagora Switch - Children's show that teaches science and mechanics.
Sakiyomi Jump Bang! - Shonen Jump's self-promotional show w/ voice actors and artists.
Meitantei Conan - I only watch this for the listening practice. I hate the storyline.


I checked the pages of the various TV stations in Tokyo, and so far there's maybe only 5 or 6 new shows being posted to start in January. Some of the webpages only mention a "January start" date, others give a specific date like Jan. 9. Most of the webpages don't identify the shows scheduled to end this month but still have another one or two episodes to go first, so I'll wait on updating the HTML TV listings for a little longer.


Bunny said...

Try this:

note, traditionally, its been April + October.
recently, its become Jan, Apr, summer, Oct. And most of the shows are basically plot free fan service that appears designed for the "thinks with genitals, if at all".

This January isn't exactly intellectual. The only show I have any hope for at all is "Level E", which you'll have to go back something like 15 years to find the comic.

TSOTE said...

Thanks for the link. This helps a lot. Interesting to see what's on the horizon 4-6 months out.

I'm trying to remain optimistic. On the other hand, I'm also supposed to be studying Japanese for my next shot at the JLPT N2 test in July, so I can't watch every single show that catches my eye. So I'm just hoping for one or two series that I like. I'm keeping an eye on:

Level E
Rio Rainbow Gate
Is this a Zombie?
Occult Academy
Dream Eater Merry