Saturday, March 1, 2014

Anime… Worst of 2013

Just as every year of anime has its big hits and personal favorites, every year of anime also has its stinkers. This post is dedicated to those shows--the bottom of the barrel works that failed to leave a lasting impression on me--or worse, left a bad impression.

That said, I should mention that because I only rate shows I complete (with exceptions for long-runners), and I drop any shows that I really dislike, none of these shows are particularly bad. (Well, okay, some are, but I still found some good things in them.) The four shows in this part are simply the four shows I finished this season that I rated less than a 6.0/10.0--and as it turns out, none of them rated less than a 5.0/10.0. In other words, these are all 5/10 shows on MAL and ANN (2.5/5 stars on Anime-Planet), and are aptly described by ANN's descriptor of "So-so, it didn't really grab my attention".

All in all, this post will pretty much be a post of mediocrity. But I plan to cover every series I finished this season; no point in excluding these. And I do have things to say about all of them, so I think this is a post worth posting. There will probably be some disagreement on these (most likely with the first one), but well, this is my opinion, and you're welcome to voice yours (respectfully) in the comments.

With that said, let's take a look at the shows that I felt were the worst of 2013.

At the very least, none of these were as bad as the Oreimo ending episodes.

#52: Oreshura (Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru)
Rating: 5.9/10.0 - 4th worst show of 2013

Probably the one show of the four that most others will disagree with me on, Oreshura has its good aspects--mostly involving Chiwa, who is a great character that manages to step outside her role as the main character's childhood friend to become a positive force for the other girls. However, overall, the show ended up being a disappointment. The first reason for this is that this show, in my opinion, failed to strike a good balance between its comedy and its more serious aspects. Early episodes pushed the character drama too hard, making the later shift into almost pure harem hijinks too jarring. Connected to this is that I never could like Masuzu; her rather cruel actions in the early part of the show made me absolutely dislike her early on, and even when the reasons behind her personality got revealed, it still does not feel like she ever changed for the better.

My biggest problem with this show was just how much the whole "fake" aspect was focused on, and even glorified to an extent. Personally, as someone that values genuineness, this did not sit well with me, and overall made this show's final ending direction rub me the wrong way.

Again, it's not a bad show, and I can see why it has its fans, but I'll be fine never going back to it again.

#53. D.C. III ~Da Capo III~
Rating: 5.7/10.0 - 3rd worst show of 2013

I'm a fan of the Da Capo series, with the very first TV series being one of the very first anime I watched (outside various childhood stuff). That said, the franchise has definitely been uneven; the first season is still what I consider the best, while the second season was a solid follow-up. Da Capo II, which takes place many years after the first two seasons, had a rather… painful first season, but its second season was much better, ranking between the first two seasons.

So how does Da Capo III stand up to all of this? Well… it ended up being a disappointment, though it's not nearly as bad as the first season of Da Capo II was. Some of its big problems were having very weak character stories with no emotional punch (they probably just didn't cover as much as the original visual novel had for them), and not even attempting a proper romantic resolution. Its biggest problem was simply providing way more questions than answers, having a way-too-incomplete story that so desperately needs a sequel but probably won't get one due to the lack of sales. While pretty much all anime adaptations are advertisements for their source material, this one in particular felt like it was just there to get people to buy the game, with no effort made to really tell a reasonably complete story in the adaptation itself.

The show did have its good parts, though. Pretty much anything involving Sakura, who's been a constant in all three generations of Da Capo, was great, and in particular, the last few episodes was pretty much a nostalgia-fest for Da Capo fans, with tons of references to the past series, and leading to a good resolution, at the very least, for Sakura's story.

Still, for being an overall weak first season and desperately needing a sequel to explain everything, this show ended up being 3rd from the bottom.

#54. Brothers Conflict
Rating: 5.6/10.0 - 2nd worst show of 2013

Unlike other shows in this part, this is a show I was definitely expecting to be bad. In fact, the only reason it scores above a 5.0 at all is because I did actually enjoy it at times in a "so bad it's good" way. And the reason I watched it in the first place is because it was essentially a gender-flipped Sister Princess, a show that I have my reasons for liking a lot. But while Sister Princess was actually a good look at how family can be a force for good, the only "force" that seems to have come from the family of Brothers Conflict is giving a bunch of guys excuses to kiss their "sister" without her consent.

By far the worst offender is Futo, who very nearly sexually assaults the poor girl on a number of occasions. Not cool, bro. And it's not like he's treated as having a serious problem, either; he's treated as being as desirable as any of the other guys. Ugh. The rest of the show could be treated as "so bad it's good", but anything involving Futo was just plain bad. He definitely is my least favorite character of 2013… and quite possibly my most disliked character ever. Well, at least from anything I cared about enough to finish.

Otherwise, there's just overall too much focus on the pseudo-incest and not enough on the theme of family, which got to the point that it was outright laughable. The talking squirrel definitely just made the whole thing even more of a "so-bad-it's-good" ordeal. (It's rather unfortunate that they did almost nothing with Yuusuke, the one brother that was in love with her before she was adopted in--that had some real pseudo-incest story potential.) I probably should give it a lower score, but again, I did like it in a mocking way--it's a bad show, but one that I could enjoy for its badness.

Well, except for Futo.

#55. Photo Kano
Rating: 5.4/10.0 - Worst show of 2013

And here it is, the worst show of 2013. First of all, there are the first four episodes, which feature a photography club that outright specializes in objectifying girls through provocative photography (and without their consent), which makes me wish the male lead joined the other photography club, which was much more proper. (In the original dating sim, you could choose which one you joined.)

From there, the show goes the route of Amagami SS, giving each character an arc to go through. Of these, Haruka, the male lead's childhood friend, is the only one to get two episodes, and is by far the best part of the show. In and of itself, Haruka's arc was actually pretty good, with a reasonably-developed relationship for an overall good character. The remaining seven girls (including the little sister) gets one episode each, which suffer from being overall rushed and not really developing the relationships involved well. (Also, that little sister arc? Don't expect a nice little family story like in Amagami SS with Miya.)

This show avoids going below 5.0 thanks to my liking a number of the girls and Haruka's arc being particularly solid. Still, the overall exploitative photography that gets used and the general lack of good stories make this show the worst show of everything I finished in 2013.

Simply put, if you want to watch a show about photography, watch Tamayura.

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And that concludes my Worst of 2013. Next is when I will finally get started with the good stuff: a look at every other show I finished in 2013. I'll be covering a lot of shows next time, so get ready!

1 comment:

  1. I'd have no problem at all calling Oreshura my most disappointing anime experience of 2013. So much hope, but ultimately, so much bleh.

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