I wrote a short preview guide for the spring season, but never bothered with the summer one as that season didn’t seem very interesting. Well, again I’m going to write a little bit about what I’ve watched just like what I did last time. I will not write about the shows we’re doing, and sequels of past series: ef – a tales of melodies, Gundam 00, Nodame Cantabile, Clannad, etc.

The ratings I use are based on the first episode and the first episode only. It’s meant to give you a small idea about the story, and also to tell you my impressions of the first episode as a whole.

These are the ratings I will use:
Excellent – the show truly impressed me.
Good – I liked it.
Fair – Neutral, didn’t hate it, didn’t love it.
Poor – Not for me, but maybe you might like it.

The following are the random shows that I’ve watched:

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Name: Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka
Genre: High School
Subs: Eclipse
Score: Fair

High school romance based on a visual novel between the wealthy transfer student Katagari Yuuhi and her fiance the Genokiller, Nagase Jun’ichi.

Akasaka kinda disappointed me a little as I had higher hopes for it. The cast of voice talents is incredible in this show, but the story feels very stereotypical and unoriginal. Even though nothing is original nowadays, a good storyteller can tell the same story over and over again a thousand times and you won’t get sick of it. It definitely doesn’t have the x-factor that would make it truly shine. Well, that’s only the first episode, so I hope it’ll get better.

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Name: Kyou no 5-2
Genre: Comedy, Slice of Life
Subs: Chihiro
Score: Excellent

Slice of life comedy about a bunch of naughty ten-year olds. Now, this one exceeded my expectations as I’ve never liked little kids much. The kids are very strangely drawn, but just ignore that. The comedy in it is very good. I guess you could compare this to Minami-ke, ‘cept this is more down to earth, and perhaps a bit funnier.

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Name: One Outs
Genre: Baseball, Gambling
Subs: none
Score: Excellent

Baseball + gambling anime. Superstar batsman, Kojima, who has failed to win any trophies despite his incredible skill, begins a final training camp at Okinawa. There, he meets pitcher, Tokuchi Toua,who specialises in a gambling form of baseball known as one outs.

This one is another which exceeded my expectations. If you enjoyed Akagi, the one with mahjong, you’d probably like this one too. Much of the cast and crew are the same(at least the main voice actor is the same). It focuses a lot on the mind games and how pitcher Toua outwits the batter using fear and such. Hopefully, some good group will pick this one up (instead of having 9 groups doing Tales of the Abyss).

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Name: Yozakura Quartet
Genre: Action
Subs: Sonzai
Score:

Will watch in full later. Doesn’t seem very interesting though.

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Name: Toradora
Genre: Romance (I think)
Subs: gg and others
Score: Good

High school romance about the tsundere palmtop tiger, Aisaka Taiga, and the snake eyed, Takasu Ryuuji.

This fell a bit below my expectations. I found the story to be a little confusing, as there were barely any introductions, and it felt like it jumped straight into the middle part of the story. Taiga’s behaviour was even more confusing. I guess she’s the ultimate tsun tsun girl? Very difficult to judge from the first episode.

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Name: Hyakko
Genre: Comedy
Subs: Ayako (sorta)
Score: Fair

About four girls who attend a super huge school. I guess it’s supposed to be a bit like Minami-ke or Azumanga Daioh? The girls are very nicely drawn and the voice talent line-up is also very impressive. Unfortunately, it’s just not very funny. Perhaps it’ll get better in the coming episodes. It’s hard to dismiss it after just one episode.

I’ve read the earlier chapters of the Hyakko manga beforehand. This may have had a negative impact on the rating.

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Name: Shikabane Hime
Genre: Action
Subs: Lunar-Anime
Score: Fair

Makina, the undead princess, specialises in asskicking other undead abominations. Witnessing her asskicking session is orphan, Kagami Ouri.

One thing that really stood out about this show is the rather bland voice acting. That’s little surprise, as this is Akiyama Nana’s debut role. She’s pretty hot in real life though, but that’s beside the point.

Either way, I’d give this a fair, as nothing really stood out in this show for me. The action was all right, but there were no intense moments like you’d get watching Hajime no Ippo or such. The enemy was easily dispatched, before he could even introduce himself, really. It might get better in episode two if they focused more on the day-to-day life of being an undead.

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Name: Skip Beat!
Genre: Shoujo
Subs: none
Score: Fair

Now, this is a rather famous manga (I think) about country girl, Kyouko, and two bishies, Tsuruga Ren and Fuwa Shoutaro (Sho). Ren is the most popular bishie (Ren is the actor from what I gather) in all of Japan and Sho (the singer) plans to take him down. Kyouko then joins the entertainment industry to have her revenge on Sho for breaking her heart.

The art in the Skip Beat! anime seems unusually old-school. Don’t know if it was intentional though, but I do remember Kyouko looking better in the manga. If you’re looking for another classic shoujo hit like Itazura na Kiss or Hana Yori Dango, I don’t think this one will deliver. I was rather looking forward to it too.

41 Comments

  1. Talentz
    12:29 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Nice opinions. I found two of those animes alittle better overall. But as you said, its the first episode. 😀

    I have to say I really like Kannagi’s OP. That was a win over me from the start. The anime its self isnt too bad.

    I like how every sub group keeps throwing out there versions on Tales of the Abyss. Quite funny I think ^_^

  2. MHZ
    12:30 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Thanks It’s nice to hear others opinions. This will give me a good idea what to watch this season.

  3. MHZ
    12:33 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Although my opinion is that ToraDora & Akane iro ni somaru saka were the highlights of this season . Just to bad there isn’t anyone known for subbing one outs. I’d like to see it.

  4. Storm-Shadow
    1:01 pm on October 8th, 2008

    I can agree for the most part.

    Toaru Majutsu no Index, Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens and Toradora! are my personal favorites for this season 😀

  5. Rurouni
    1:11 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Why are so many groups subbing Tales of the Abyss (I’m counting 9!)? Judging from the 1st and 2nd episode I’m a bit disappointed by the show.. the VA, especially for the main character, is a bit stiff and his character is a bit annoying. I hope it improve a lot since I like this kind of show.

    Now, where is that Hakushaku to Yousei sub??? :)

  6. Hmm i’ve never really sat down and read the Skip Beat! manga but i’ve heard of so many people who like it. I guess it’s a shame that it’s not all that interesting of a first episode. Well it could get better, maybe. Special A didn’t really impress me at first and I thought it got much better after the first couple of episodes. The “old school” look really does seem out of place for Skip Beat! it’s not an old manga or anything.

  7. .Kn
    1:23 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Kyou no Go no Ni? Excelent? omfg I dislike characters and graphic
    fail.

  8. Kai
    1:28 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Skip Beat’s animation leaves much to be desired but if they continue with the story without skipping too much this anime could get good enough to make me ignore the animation.

    AND I”M SO happy you rated One Out as excellent and PRAY AND PRAY AND PRAY someone picks it up!

  9. Axeia
    1:29 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Although with the last ‘review/preview’ our opinions were mostly the same, it’s quite the opposite now.

    Kyou no 5-2
    Big disappointment to me, really feels like they tried to stretch the ova into a full blown episode. Especially the part with the broom guitars was very repetitive..

    Toradora
    Laughed my ass off watching this, Taiga is a LOT like Louise (Zero no Tsukaima) though.. down to the dog insults :).. and similar to Shana (Shagugan no shana).
    (All 3 seems to have the same violent nature, small posture and voice actress in common)

    Hyakko
    Nearly spit out my cola laughing when the blonde (forgot her name.. shame on me) jumped out of the window.. and landed 😛

    I’ve yet to watch the other shows mentioned

  10. barris
    1:40 pm on October 8th, 2008

    well, i think kannagi was nice. Tales of the abyss was ok. Right now, for this season, I completely am in love with To Aru Majutsu no Index, though. And although, I got bored with Ga-rei Zero I think ill watch the next episode coz everyone got killed off there.

  11. Cloudsora
    1:57 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Yeah Yozakura Quartet is good its just… they build up the characters before it gets good. AND OMG the main char guy isnt useless… later…

  12. Richard
    2:02 pm on October 8th, 2008

    hmm, thanks for the review.

    i really hope yozakura quartet is good. i thought it would be good judging from the art, but i haven’t heard that many good things about it.

    now, i have liked akane iro, toradora, kannagi, and to aru very much. i am kinda waiting for subs for the other anime… but i hope they live up to my expectations.

  13. micxz
    2:06 pm on October 8th, 2008

    I agree with you on Toradora! though my rating for it is “Excelent”. The way the story goes differs from the manga (I know its mostly like that in some animes) but I still liked it. Tsun tsun girl FTW! (i dunno, I just like tsundere’s)

    on Akasaka, I rate it Fair too. I’ll have to watch it and see the how the story goes. Few points that brought me to watch it is because it is subbed by Eclipse & because of the Seiyuu’s.

    on Skip Beat! I didn’t like the way it was animated. D: but I rate it Fair.

    On Yozakura Quartet, I rate it Good. Little Comedy, Action, Animation was good. (still need subs, my japanese understanding isn’t that good ~_~)

    On Hyakko, though I don’t find the “I got lost in my school, though I’ve been here since kindergarten” funny coz its stupidity =_=. I rate it fair.

    On One Outs, we find it the same, and I too rate it Excellent, but I still need subs. ~_~ (can you pick this up?) I know it genre is kinda different than your previous projects but its so good watch.

    Other anime’s like KUROZUKA, Linebarrels of Iron, GA-REI Zero, Vampire Knight Guilty, KANNAGI, & Kyou no 5-2 I rate it Good.

    The anime that makes me want for more (exceeds the excellent mark) after watching the pilot episode are Gundam OO S2 & To Aru Majutsu no Index.

    Looking forward on Chaos; Head and Earl & Fairy. ^^,

  14. xess
    2:17 pm on October 8th, 2008

    I wish we could pick up more shows too, but we’re already doing 5 this season, so we simply cannot manage any more. Earl and Fairy came out over a week earlier, that’s why we picked that up first. But One Outs was something I had in mind before though, but it’s too late now.

    Either way, I only rate the shows entirely on how much I enjoyed it. Perhaps it because I’ve already read a bit of the manga for Hyakko and Skip Beat!, so I knew exactly what was coming. That might have killed it for me.

    I haven’t watched the Kyou no 5-2 OVAs yet, so the jokes were still fresh and funny for me. I didn’t mind the incredibly cheap and low budget animation too much.

  15. Kashim
    2:24 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Shikabane Hime sux imo, i will not watch it, same goes for skip beat, didint saw yet Yozakura Quartet so cant say nothing bout this… Rest… ofc i will watch ;]

  16. micxz
    2:50 pm on October 8th, 2008

    too bad for One Outs.. D: hope some group get it, if not I’ll just have to improve my knowledge on Japanese language. ~_~

    I didn’t quite get some jokes on Kyou no Go no Ni and Hyakko. =S I find it “just” amusing as of the moment. xD

  17. TRU
    2:59 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Ureshii-Yoroshiku look to be the subbers for SKIP BEAT

  18. Eric
    3:34 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Glad to see I’m not the only one dumb founded by the amount of people subbing Abyss. Out of the shows I’ve seen so far this season Toaru Majutsu no Index and Kannagi are the most promising IMO. I still haven’t seen Kuroshitsuji and Ga-Rei Zero though. Not to mention Nodame which will surely be awesome.

  19. You haven’t seen nothin’ yet for Skip Beat!
    The excitement comes in the next episode! xDD -laughs-
    I can already imagine it right now. Oh dear! x’D

    Anyways..:’3
    The next episode comes out in four days.
    I’ll be sure to be on the watch for it.

    Now..I’ll be on teh watch for Nodame as well! >w<
    Tomorrow! RAWR~

  20. Mia
    5:43 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Skip Beat is many better in Story and so, that it looks on the beginnig.:D
    It is really an popular Manga.
    -Right it is little sad that the Style is not so good how in Manga..but this is mostly often so in Animes, same too Vampire Knight…, also think this could get better in next episodes…Kyoko-Style looks better with the orange hair:)-
    Sho is the Singer and Ren an actor. Also they will come many other interessing and funny persons with the time;)

  21. pseudonhym
    6:22 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Kyou no 5-2
    this show is really disappointing… i was expecting something more

    Macademia Wasshoi
    i saw this anime and i liked it cause its crazy..

    Skip Beat
    I totally agree that kyoko was a lot prettier in the manga

  22. Richard
    6:54 pm on October 8th, 2008

    right… it seems like yozakura got subbed by someone… probably you can make a review out of them 😀

    i believe its Sonzai,… *goes watches*

  23. Japfreak
    10:33 pm on October 8th, 2008

    Yep, finally after it aired. Anyway, anyone knows if Static-Subs is still subbing Hyakko? They seems pretty “dormant” to me… I wanted to watch their subs xD

    Look forward to your subs for Earl and Fairy =D All the best!! ^^

  24. Kayze
    11:45 pm on October 8th, 2008

    To be clear – Kyou no 5-2 is a remake of the original, or a TV show version to the OVA’s and manga?

  25. Me
    3:09 am on October 9th, 2008

    Jozakura Quartet sucks. It’s really really boring, I wanted to fall asleep.

  26. ZiegZeon
    3:12 am on October 9th, 2008

    “To be clear – Kyou no 5-2 is a remake of the original, or a TV show version to the OVA’s and manga?”

    I think it is a complete remake and the TV version to the OVA. Too bad the ecchi stuffs are toned down compared to the OVA version. >__>

  27. Di27
    6:08 am on October 9th, 2008

    so will anyone be subbing skip beat i was always thinking about reading the manga just never had to.. hoping to watch anime than read manga usual routine XD

  28. ohtheirony
    10:16 am on October 9th, 2008

    Has anyone seen Casshern Sins, Ga-Rei -Zero-, Kannagi, & Kuroshitsuji? Any recommendations as to who’s the best fansub for them? Well, I already know Shinsen does Casshern & Kuroshitsuji so I’m OK with them. It seems that they’ve bit a lot more than they can chew with other series as well. Maybe they’re hoping to drop some of them when licensing starts;)

    For those who like romantic comedies, Toradora is a must (best 1st ep series this season IMO). Hope that Nodame comes soon as well. Gundam 00 for mech fans (though Tieria’s Gundam became ugly). Tales of the Abyss for RPG fans, though I would rate it as only fair. Still waiting on Menclave for ef, the only real drama in the anime category;(

  29. Kai
    11:32 am on October 9th, 2008

    Shinsen is the only one doing Casshern Sins at the moment since Aoshen dropped it. As for Kuroshituji, if Shinsen doesn’t come out with a better quality version, I’ll be looking elsewhere. Kannagi’s out only with Ayako at the moment so there really isn’t a choice, But with the groups listed to plan on taking it on, Ayako is the best bet imo. aaaand… I slept through ga-rei. Lol. It was boring. So I have no opinion on fansubbers there.

  30. Rurouni
    12:46 pm on October 9th, 2008

    He??? Ga-Rei boring??? it’s more intense than Casshern Sins. The big problem with Ga-Rei is now they have a huge task to make the 2nd episode as good as the 1st. What can they do with such an end on 1st episode?
    I only watch the smi version, and it’s good enough for me.

    What I’m wondering is what Tales of the Abyss sub should I get? does any of you actually review each group or you just go based on your favorite fansub group? currently I’m watching Osu for the 1st ep and Shinsen for the 2nd. Which one would be the most accurate, since they could potentially screw some names in the translation process.

  31. LeviathanX
    3:44 pm on October 9th, 2008

    > Kyou no 5-2
    I liked its predecessor a lot (and the OVA as well).. or is this a simple remake ? Couldn’t download it until now as I’m not at home due to my job… Anyways looking really forward to this (I’m still unclear although here are some words left about it..)
    > Toradora
    I think that show is quite fun. A mix of Shana, Midori no Hibi and Karen; win :)
    > Hyakko
    It looks quite fun. Hehe, call me simple minded, but I like such kind of anime… just pure refreshing nonesense…

  32. Anime Guru Guy
    6:07 pm on October 9th, 2008

    well guys i dont know why u put Kyou no 5-2 with a excellent score but to me it sucks, if i have seen the ova u know what i am talking about. compare to the ova, animation graphics where poorly made, ova >>tv graphics, and plus, the 1st episode, all of their content was already on the ova.on the other side, toradora is a excellent score for me, same as ToAru Majutsu no Index, but u dont have it in score here

  33. Anime Guru Guy
    6:08 pm on October 9th, 2008

    ToAru Majutsu no Index OP is so shana alike

  34. Anime Guru Guy
    6:14 pm on October 9th, 2008

    also, if u have time and dont have nothing to do, watch Kemeko DX, i think it was funny as hell

  35. Celest Indigo
    8:59 pm on October 9th, 2008

    I watched the RAW Skip Beat myself. I have to say that using ‘Corn’ as a main focal point in the opening was a bit disconcerning. I mean that in the later chapters of the Manga, it becomes an important part of the storyline, but still kept minimal. I don’t remember Maria being shown in there either, and I believe her to be an importaint 2ndary character.

    I will agree that the animation was a little sub-par, but you can’t expect perfection. I just hope Episode 2 will be better as it shows her audition.

    On a side note, I hope like HELL that the Anime turns out like it did for Kodocha. Great manga, F’d over by the anime.

  36. Su_
    9:48 am on October 10th, 2008

    – Akane-Iro ni Somaru Saka
    for me this anime is good… though i was little shock for the assassination thing… maybe on succeeding eps will be interesting,,

    – Clannad ~After Story~
    excellent anime… i really lol’d on the 1st eps.. and its like wth… a baseball team with mix members…

    – EF ~A Tale of Melodies~
    fair anime… i like the 1st part of this anime but on the 2nd part… it seems to be boring..

    – Kannagi: Crazy Shrine Maidens
    excellent.. i dunno but … the 1st eps impressed me,

    – Kyou no Go no Ni
    excellent for me… i like comedy and seems the story is fine… i lol on the superball thing… hahaha

    – Macademi Wasshoi
    lol this anime is crazy… i rate is as best of best the blue haired vampire’s personality is very cool..

    – To Aru Majutsu no Index
    good anime… quite puzzling for me right now… but the story and graphiks are all good… and Index is pretty cute too…

    – ToraDora
    fair anime… didnt even laugh on this anime… but i like the story plot…

  37. greenie
    12:10 pm on October 10th, 2008

    kannagi, index, akane-iro are my favourites so far
    (of the new shows)

    5-2 was a bit of a let down imo, very repetitive at moments and it all just didn’t feel that funny to me

    I much rather , finally, get a subbed minami-ke okawari’s final episode instead :'(

  38. Webbmaster62
    1:12 pm on October 10th, 2008

    That’s what I’m saying. We have so many other shows out there that still need subbing besides tales of the abyss. Mouryou no Hako, Alive – Saishu Shinka teki Shonen, One Outs(like you said)Tentai Senshi Sunred, Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae, Michiko to Hatchin, Hokuto no Ken Raoh Gaiden: Ten no Haoh, Kurozuka, Tytania, Nodame Cantabile Pari-Hen, know Skip Beat is being done, but that’s pretty much overall the rest when I think about it.

  39. xess
    4:42 pm on October 10th, 2008

    That’s true. The distribution of fansub resources has always been very poor. m33w does actively try to avoid oversubbing, especially when we know renowned groups will be doing those shows. Every season there’s always a show which attracts subbers in droves. But alas, in the end only one or two groups will complete the series anyways.

  40. LeviathanX
    11:47 am on October 11th, 2008

    I quote myself about Today in Class 5-2

    >or is this a simple remake ?
    just a bad drawn remake … I’ll stick with the “original” it’s much better (@Triad-Tracker)

  41. zarth4
    8:10 am on October 12th, 2008

    Gai-rei zero, Gundam 00 2nd season, Kannagi, kurogane no linebarrel, Nodame Paris, Tales of the abyss, Toaru Majutsu no Index, and toradora were the ones I enjoyed.

    I liked tales of the abyss since I’ve played the game, guess it’s for rpg fans or other anime fans will enjoy it like me.

    Their are other animes I haven’t wacthed yet so I’d rather be the judge of what I watch instead of hearing/reading someone’s opinion, not trying to start anything.