Natsuyuki Rendezvous is, for me, the best show of the year. I’m fairly certain that I’m alone in this opinion, but I hope I’m not alone in thinking that the show was good. Natsuyuki explores the later stages of grieving by showing a woman, Rokka, through the eyes of both her departed husband and her new lover. It is a beautiful, well executed story. (more…)
Kids on the Slope, or Sakamichi no Apollon, was a very good show that missed its opportunity to be a truly great show. Muddling middle and odd ending aside, the show had some excellent moments. In particular, I was incredibly impressed with Kaoru’s confession in the third episode. For me, it stands out as the best of the year, even if – or perhaps, due to how – Ritsuko didn’t reciprocate. Here’s how I described it at the time:
Kaoru plays Someday My Prince Will Come by Bill Evans for Ritsuko. She thinks the song is for another girl, but he tells her it is for her; she is the one he likes. It’s immediately obvious that Ritsuko is unprepared for this and can’t return his feelings. The situation hangs between happiness and sadness. There is both unspoken grieving and relief on Kaoru’s part. The tension in the scene switches from intimacy to awkwardness. Then the scene ends.
So it was. This scene was handled deftly and with tact. Certainly one of the best moments of the year.
Nisemonogatari skirts the line between enjoyment and revulsion. The show was incredibly sexual considering the most common interactions are between siblings, and the rest are mostly between minors. Of course, the defining moment of the series comes in Episode 8. (more…)
Mysterious Girlfriend X was a very… interesting series. Sure, it was a little trashy. It had a great nostalgic feel to it, though. Some things it nailed, like the awkwardness of teenage romance. Other things were less successful, like the whole shtick about Urabe stripping naked at school only to have Tsubaki see her. The one thing the show constantly nailed was focusing on various fetishes as a means of fanservice. Episode 9 was about hair, and it was good.
Kanna, from Ano Natsu de Matteru was a strong and loving childhood friend. Unfortunately, the heart she thought was hers for the taking is swooped away when a buxom alien moves in with her crush, Kaito. The scene pictured is about as close as Kanna ever comes to achieving her goal of a romantic relationship with Kaito. (more…)
and the Unseen Horizon,
is the sacred mathematics of Chance.
The calculated risk
And the wind, whipping ya in the eyes,
and the sharp, metallic taste