Winter 2011 Anime Round-up

It’s been two weeks into the new anime season, and that means it’s time to head to the chopping board. I’m fairly certain that I’ve seen all of the major new anime airing this season and have now decided on which ones to keep watching and which ones to drop. Here are my thoughts based on the first or first two episodes of each series.


A naked baby that electrocutes everyone around him when he cries, and is raised by a high school delinquent sounds like a wild and crazy idea that would make a great anime. Unfortunately, Beelzebub just didn’t have what it takes to impress me. By the end of the first episode it seemed like the anime was trying to follow something along the lines of teen parenthood, but I just couldn’t take it seriously.

Status: dropped

Cardfight!! Vanguard

Yu-Gi-Oh/Duel Monsters knock-off, that’s all you need to know.

Status: dropped

Dragon Crisis

I was really excited when Dragon Crisis came out because Rie Kugimiya was voicing another tsundere DFC, and so far I’ve loved all of the anime in which she has played that character type (Toradora, Zero no Tsukaima, Shakugan no Shana, and Hayate no Gotoku). Unfortunately, the first episode was more than upsetting, it was plain annoying. Rie’s lines as the dragon Rose consisted of saying “Ryuji” every 10 seconds and the episode itself was just about a guy hesitantly getting dragged around the place by a girl. Thankfully, the second episode was much better, with some action and drama actually happening. As long as the series doesn’t go into too many pointless episodes like the first one, it could turn out decent.

Status: watching


After watching the first episode of Fractale, I still had no clue what was going on. From what they’ve introduced, it seems like the world is controlled by a network much like the internet, and no one actually interacts directly with each other anymore. As interesting as the series seems, the pacing doesn’t feel very fast so I’ll probably end up falling asleep though the episodes.

Status: dropped


This has got to be the worst anime of the season. At first it looked good with futuristic implants that act as clothing/weapons/armor, but then it got to the “action” scenes. With this type of anime, I was expecting blood and gore, and it provided plenty of that, but at the same time it provided copious amounts of fanservice. The scenes go something like this: boobies, slash, panty shot, panty shot, arm falls off, boobies, panty shot. I’m not talking about bouncing boobies either, I mean actual bare nipple action here. It would’ve been fine if the anime was just extreme violence or extreme nudity, but sticking both together at the same time just ruins the atmosphere.

Status: dropped


At first I was going to drop Gosick, the main character seemed uninteresting and the first murder mystery was a joke. Even before the detective finished describing the events that happened, I had already figured out who killed the fortune teller. For some reason though, I watched the second episode and now I’m glad I did. The second case is a lot harder than the first. I still can’t decide on whether it’s the woman in the red dress, the man in the white suit, or someone else (though I’m leaning towards the woman in the red dress). At least this crime isn’t as dumb as the one in the first episode, which makes this anime worth watching.

Status: watching

Haiyoru! Nyaruani

This is the second flash anime that I’ve seen, and while I’m not a big fan of the style, at least it’s watchable. The anime is moderately funny, and has a crazed otaku girl. Each episode is only 2 minutes, followed by a 2 minute ending so even if you don’t like it, at least it doesn’t take up too much time.

Status: watching

Hourou Musuko

I was SOOO confused in the first bit of this anime over who was what and why. Thinking about it, that was probably exactly what the writers/director wanted. With that said, this is brilliant. Very few anime are able to make you feel what the characters are feeling (although in this case it was a different kind of confusion), and hardly any deal with serious emotions. Hourou Musuko looks like it’s going to have a deep and developed story, but the subject matter has me avoiding this anime. I’m not very interested in seeing how some kids deal with gender identity confusion.

Status: dropped

Infinite Stratos

I smell a harem here. Really though, this is like every guy’s dream turned into an anime. It’s got loads and loads of girls wanting to hit on the main character, and he gets to fly around in a cool combat-suit thing. As nice as this anime sounds, I don’t think I’ll be watching it. I’ve seen plenty of harem anime in my time and they’re really not very different from each other.

Status: dropped

Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?

I was expecting good things out of this anime simply because it had zombies + mahou shoujo with chainsaw. I can’t say the first couple of episodes were bad, but I just didn’t think it reached the level of random humour that I was hoping for. What’s disappointing is that the main character isn’t really a zombie since he can think and act like a person and instead of rotting, his body actually heals itself. On the other hand, the mahou (or “masou”) shoujo offers a fresh and welcome take on the stereotype. Rather than an innocent little girl that fights to save people, she has no qualms about causing collateral damage in order to defeat her enemies, bringing a fresh new take on the mahout shoujo genre.

Status: watching

Level E

My first impression of Level E was “oh crap, this looks like yaoi,” but after watching two episodes, it looks like it might be a good anime. The alien’s nonchalant attitude is in stark contrast to the short-tempered baseball player, making for some comedic arguments between the two. The revelation that the alien is actually a prince on his way to some intergalactic conference in the second episode also brings in a serious tone to what initially looked like a comedy. I’m looking forward to seeing how things will play out between the characters.

Status: watching

Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!

The most perverted anime this season, Onii-chan (the other words) goes where Ore no Imouto was too afraid to go. I’m really not too keen on watching an incest/fetish anime, and the animation looks weird so I won’t be following this one.

Status: dropped

Puella Magi Madoka Magica

Before I started watching Madoka, I was expecting another mahou shoujo series  with little girls running around and “fighting” monsters in the name of justice and all that jazz. I was pleasantly surprised to find likeable characters that actually do something useful in a fight. The trippy animation, character designs, and music were also very impressive, having been done by Akiyuki Shinbou, Ume Aoki, and Yuki Kajiura. My favourite character so far is Mami Tomoe. Hitagi may be able to procure staplers from her skirt, but this girl can bring out two loaded flint-lock rifles, now someone tell me that isn’t awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of powers the other girls will have.

Status: watching

Rio Rainbow Gate

The premise for this anime sounded so dumb that I thought it had to be good, I was wrong. Not only does it not make sense (wouldn’t a casino get rid of someone that induces spontaneous winning?), it seems like the only purpose is to show off Rio’s sexy figure. Unless you think Rio’s really hot, I don’t think many people would enjoy this.

Status: dropped

Starry Sky

The first thing that struck me about this anime was that the character designs were weird and scary. Everyone seems to have sharp facial features that really bother me. Add to that the fact that there is only one female character surrounded by a school of guys and you can see why I would not be interested in this anime.

Status: dropped


When I heard of the Wolverine anime, I thought that they were going to turn him into some kind of dreamy bishounen that all the girls fall for. Luckily, the anime seems to stay true to Wolverine’s tough guy image, the only complaint I have is that his Japanese is better than his English. I was also happy to see that he was drinking a “Canadian” beer in the first episode in order to show that he is in fact from Canada (note: also where I’m from). With that said, the anime feels more like a cartoon than an anime. In most anime, you’ll either find violence so extreme that it’ll make you sick, characters so cute that you want to hug them, talk of justice and saving the world, or fanservice. Wolverine doesn’t seem to have any of that, just you typical marvel-based cartoon with the good guy(s) beating up the bad guys. If I wanted to watch that, I’d just turn on the tv, which is why I won’t be following this “anime”.

Status: dropped

Yumekui Merry

The cats in the first episode made this anime look a bit childish, but it’s actually better than what I was expecting. While the main guy seems useless, at least he doesn’t act like a wimp, and Merry is an awesome fighter. The animation is also very well-done. Yumekui Merry is what I would consider the typical anime, with a small group ready to go on an adventure, so I’m looking forward to it. As a side note, I love the petals blowing off Merry in the ending.

Status: watching

If you haven’t noticed, I barely included any names here. That was because there were so many characters that I just forgot them all. It’ll probably take me a few more weeks to remember what everyone is called. I didn’t include any sequels here because I’ve probably already written what I thought about the originals in the past. The only sequel that I will be watching from this season is Kimi ni Todoke since I loved the first season.

So what are you guys watching?

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  1. Eh, that’s disappointing to hear about Freezing, I actually liked the manga enough to read it every now and then.

    From this list I’m watching Masoka Magica and Dragon Crisis and I plan to watch Yumekui Merry and Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?
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  3. I’ve been completely swamped lately by personal stuff, so the only two new series I’m picking up this season are Gosick and Madoka. Both are fun so far, but I’ve only seen the first episodes. Good to hear Gosick’s mystery gets better though. The first one is a joke.
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  4. I’m really not feeling this anime season. I’m only going to follow 2 but I might pick some up later when I get more time. I think this season will be a “catch up on DVDs / last years anime” for me.

    I wanted to like Freezing but the first episode was such a let down. They managed to disappoint even with uncensored boobs on show ¬¬. I have absolutely no desire to watch the second episode but maybe over time I might change my mind. The male ‘lead’, why the hell is he even in this series!?

    I’m probably going to watch Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? but so far I’m not enjoying it. And Level E is the other I’ll be following weekly.

  5. @Yi:
    Good choices, I’m liking those two as well. I’m glad I didn’t drop Gosick after the first episode.

    Yeah, this season doesn’t look too great, but I have some free time now so I’m just loading up on series. I had high hopes for Freezing considering how good people were saying the manga was, it’s disappointing that it turned out the way it did. I think the male lead is supposed to help viewers visualize themselves in his position or something along those lines.

  6. @Arianna Sterling:
    I thought Rio was better simply because it actually knew what it was doing (providing fanservice). Freezing seems like a mashup of softcore hentai and a dark action series.

    I still can’t believe you’re following everything; so much dedication.

  7. drop it like its hot…drop it like its hot… ;D

    thx for sharing your first impressions of the new season
    I plan to watch 50% less than I watched in Fall season,
    it was just too exhausting to follow all these shows :(
    So far I started nothing new, but I want to watch
    Yumekui Merry, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Dragon Crisis
    and Gosick
    Maybe I will add Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? and Rio Rainbow gate
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  8. I am currently watching Gosick, Yumekui Merry, Infinite Stratos, Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka? and Puella Magi Madoka Magica. I must say, this winter season’s anime has been quite the surprise as I usually drop all but two in most previous seasons.

    I have Fractale on the side might be watching it as a batch later. I might have to take a look at Level E and Dragon Crisis as someone else I know mentioned it.
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  9. @Fabienne:
    I wouldn’t recommend Rio Rainbow Gate, but I hear a few people are watching it just for the laughs.

    I’m also watching a bit more than I usually do, but that’s more to do with me having more time this season and not because of quality. Fractale looks a bit slow, so watching it all at once may be better than weekly.

  10. I’m glad you gave Gosick another chance. From what I’ve read, it’s going to be a great series. As for me, I’m watching Gosick, Kimi ni Todoke and Infinite Stratos. I didn’t bother to check out the rest. First impressions from various blogs already told me what I needed to know.
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    • @hoshiko:
      Yeah, the series is turning out to be really good. I’m also watching Kimi ni Todoke, but Infinite Stratos didn’t interest me very much.

  11. I have been watching Fractale and Mahou shoujo Madoka Magica, and I must say both are great. I do hope you continue to enjoy Mahou shoujo Madokada Magica, but by this post I think I’m a bit further than you are.

  12. @John:
    I’m waiting to hear the final reviews for Fractale before I decide to pick it up again or not. I actually watch Madoka by the day after it comes out, so I’m not usually behind by much :)

  13. @Nopy. Then I am sorry about certain events in Episode 3 of Madoka, and I may join you in waiting for fractale. The episodes are always late.