As the Winter 2012 Japanese anime season draws to a close, it’s time to write concluding notes about some series which I have been following.
Nisemonogatari: This was good, with some sharp dialogue and interesting artwork. There are some scenes which are very sexy without actually showing anything indecent. But I liked the previous series, Bakemonogatari, better.
Rinne no Lagrange: The final episode wraps everything up with the aid of a lot of magical-looking effects. It even manages a plug for the Kamagura sponsors’ conference facilities 🙂 Not the greatest, but it had nice art, good opening theme music, a likeable heroine, was cheerful and didn’t take itself too seriously.
Chihayafuru: The later episodes were not as intense as the openers, but it retains strong characters who are mutually supportive, and the intriguing technicalities of the game of karuta. It ‘ended’ with another school year starting, and all the main questions still unresolved.
Last Exile – Fam, the Silver Wing: Throughout the series, the designs and characterisation have been very good, but the action plotting has been a mess. Fleets rush about and commanders bark orders, but the outcomes are not followed up, and there is no clear sense of scale, or range, or timing. Characters wander about without escort, and one or two get asassinated, but not the villain, who has Super Powers. Favoured characters perform actions with implausible ease. In the final episode, the child-Empress is rescued with dubious ease by the irritating Fam, and the huge Grand Exile, which looks like it had the potential to out-fly and out-shoot anything else in the sky, goes down in bits. This series has attracted large numbers of teenage fans, who won’t concede that any criticism of the anime is admissible and can justify the weaknesses of the script at great length. Perhaps the producers should have let the fans write the action scripts; they couldn’t have made things much worse.
Another: in the final episode there is a larger than usual death count, and we learn the identity of the dead-but-walking person who caused all the trouble. It wasn’t bad, but I doubt if I’d want to watch a re-run of the series.
Ano Natsu de Matteru: This amiable alien-girlfriend series ended with most of the ends tied up. It was amusing, and several of the characters were mildly interesting. It wasn’t bad but again I doubt if I’d bother re-watching it.