Anime Blog
Neverending New Beginnings: 2012

14 Oct 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Autumn 2012 Anime: First impressions

Well, the reason for not covering this earlier is that I had to see what the anime was like and, based on past experience, I had wasted time writing on anime that I'm not even remotely interested and adding of time schedules and channels they aired on takes up a lot of my time that could be spent doing other things.

Excluding Sword Art Online (Summer 2012), there aren't any other anime I watched from earlier seasons that overlaps into this season, though I can see that at least 3 of the ones stated below would overlap into the following winter season. Too bad that there is no such luck for a second season of To Aru Kagaku no Railgun, or its main series, usually airs in Autumn.

There are no screenshots of anime mentioned here that I had dropped prior to writing this post.


This snapshot describes everything.
There is somewhat a love-hate thing with this one. Character design, animation, background details, music is nice, but the green-blue tint visible throughout the whole anime is too distracting for me. I'm not saying that the anime is bad, but it's just not my taste.

Other contributing factors that made me want to drop it:
  • Fighting scenes
  • Men with white/long hair
  • Girls in a Gothic lolita dress, and likely to be holding a doll and accompanied with an older man
  • Main character looks like a loser
  • The girl seen in this episode and the ending animation
  • Need to adjust the colour to black and white to not get the green-blue tint be distracting.
Status: Dropped at episode 2

Chuu Ni Byou Demo Koi Shitai! (中二病でも、恋したい!)
It's produced by Kyoto Animation. Nuff said.

Status: Watching

I heard that the world it is in is indirectly related to Steins;Gate (Spring 2011) that is set at a later time, so I'm kind of curious what this is like. Those numbers in the first scene (1.048596) tells us that it is the same divergence as at the beginning of the anime. Of course, I'm expecting nothing more than a minor reference in this anime.

Status: Watching

Shinsekai Yori (新世界より)
The first few minutes of the first episode attracted my attention, but it didn't take long afterwords that to realize that the rest of the episode, and the next, takes place in a different world where supernatural abilities are common that looked like pre-Meiji era japan.

Status: Dropped at episode 2

Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo (さくら荘のペットな彼女)
A high school boy stays at a school dorm known for having crazy people there. He's staying there only because he wants to keep cats, that his previous dorm. When a teacher tells him to pick someone up, things at the dormitory have gotten even more interesting.

Status: Watching only because I'm curious

Code Breaker
A girl saw a man fighting another group of men while in the bus. When she gets back to the scene, they disappeared without a trace that they were even there. She meets the man himself later on when she tries to save a dog from thugs who were attacking it which, in the process, she gets attacked.

Status: Watching to see what happens next, but visuals are... dated-looking from other anime I'm watching.

Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun (となりの怪物くん)
A girl who is obsessed with studying is sent to ask a classmate who sits next to her to say that his suspension has ended, but she feels empty inside when she finally came in first place. Out of the blue, he kisses her and she couldn't stop thinking of him since.

Status: Watching

Sukitteiinayo (好きっていいなよ。)
Traumatised of being blamed for causing the death of the class pet back in primary school, she prefers not to have friends that she only has two numbers on her phone: work, and home. However, she is forced to call a guy from school who has been trying to be friends with her when a stalker follows her and nobody at home answers it.

Status: Watching because it is, in some ways, similar to Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun mentioned above, but don't know much about it

Accel World (Spring 2012), Sword Art Online (Summer 2012), and now this. It's in an RPG-like world, except nobody remembers (at first) how they are suddenly at a remote island or have a green gem embedded in their left hand. It's unclear at this point if there are fixed main characters, or multiple different ones at this point.

Status: Watching - don't really know what's going on, but not enough to determine to drop it

Hayate no Gotoku: Can't take My Eyes Off You and To Love-ru: Darkness
I had watched previous seasons of these two before quite a while back, but I am unsure about watching these. It's hard to not watch or drop something I've watched the previous season of no matter how boring it may be.

For Hayate, I had watched the first season before (Spring 2007; 4-chors), but not the second season (Spring 2009; 2-chors). It's one of my first (non-children targeted) anime I had watched, but of course, anime back then weren't as interesting as this, but in the second season, the graphics seem to have went downhill from the previous season (which apparently is the same as in this third season). I mean, triangular-shaped mouths? Strong colours? I know the young rich girl is being targeted, but her attitude is so unbelievable. Also, around the same time the second season was being aired, anime like K-On was being aired at the same time. We all know how popular K-On turned out.

For To Love-ru, let's just say it's something you shouldn't watch with people around, and there's no real plot progress. Like what I said for Hayate, and with anime I wrote above that, my likelihood to continue watching these two is doubtful, and even more so since there are other better anime airing in this Autumn season.

Status: Watching, but unsure of continuing

(I know that the list on the right of this blog at time of writhing is outdated: Preparing images and updating them is a pain. Also, I'm editing the tags of earlier posts so that it would be easier to sort by year or season, rather than the name of the anime that are likely to not have a second season. Since I don't cover every single episode of each anime, that tag is somewhat wasted and taking up space in the tag cloud.)

27 Sept 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Tari Tari: How it's not possible for a 2nd season

Don't get me wrong, but Tari Tari is a 13-episode anime from the Summer 2012 season. It's so good that I would recommend you to watch it. What I'm writing here is pointing out hints how you would be disappointed that there won't be more of it.

  • Based on a group of third year of senior high school students
    • continue into college other than as a epilogue are uncommon
  • starts in the summer before summer holidays
    • In Japan, this means that it's around the 3rd or 4th month since the school year started
  • Creation of a club made up of only 3rd years
  • Late into the series, works to replace the school with a condominium began and stopped accepting new students for the following year
    • spinoff that takes place at the school later is unlikely
    • nobody make an anime at a place that has construction everywhere
  • The anime started with people who just met each other, with one (Wein) being an exchange student from Austria. At the end of it, everyone went off their separate ways.
    • This means that a new series based on this season as the prologue or epilogue is not possible

3 Jul 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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2012 Spring anime review

Before I become aware of it, the spring anime season has ended. None of the Winter 2012 anime that I watched were carried over, and only four spring anime listed here continued into the summer season. Of which, I'm only watching one of it.

As I mentioned before, I might not write about the new Summer anime season yet, as I have not yet decide what anime to watch yet.


Accel World (アクセル・ワールド)
I am already hating the main character's appearance (not shown), but things go downhill when they introduce his sister (also not shown) and battles that drag on forever. The decision to drop came when I heard that there would be a total of about 24 episodes.

Uchuu Kyodai (宇宙兄弟)
I felt that the pace was too slow. Unlike most of the other anime I had watched, this is primarily targeted for kids.

See link for details


Sankarea (さんかれあ)
 I wasn't expecting it to be only 12 episodes. The way the finale ended leaves me questioning on what would happen from there.

Acchi Kochi(あっちこっち)
Sadly, there isn't a thing I could remember about this anime. I actually considered dropping it, but there isn't a strong reason to do so.

Natsuiro Kiseki (夏色キセキ)
This has a storyline that I could actually follow and understand, though there's something peculiar about the character design. Too much green too.

As the title suggests, this takes place in one particular summer.

Haiyore! Nyaruko San (這いよれ!ニャル子さん)
I dropped this once before, and picked it up again later on. It's a slapstick comedy, but not really the kind I would enjoy watching. Characters can be somewhat irritating in my opinion.

Saki -Achiga-hen- episode of side A (咲-Saki-阿知賀編 episode of side-A)
Centered around Madoka's old friend of the earlier season, a group of girls formed a Majong club to be in the national championships.

The amount of mahjong matches shown varies a lot from very little in the beginning, to a lot at the later episodes. Character development-wise, I felt that not much was shown in there.

Continued into Summer season

This anime started a lot latter than the ones mentioned above. The stories are visibly divided into several arcs to solve mysteries where there are a lot of unknowns and have to analyze the situation to solve it. Almost like a detective case.

12 Jun 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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What I do with dropped anime

So, what has changed since I last updated this list? Here is to list a few:
  • Uchuu Kyoudai, Tsuritama, and AKB0048 dropped. (Unappealing to me)
  • Latest episode watched for the remaining titles range from 8 to 10.
  • Noticed some Summer anime titles being mentioned, with one of them being Cocoro Connect. Have yet to see trailers of them though.
  • I lost track of what the latest episode numbers I was watching.
Having dropped those anime, I do not have screenshots of the said anime in question unless it was taken before I dropped it.

Why did I even drop them in the first place? There are many reasons. Could be because of other anime airing at the same time that are better, or I just simply fell asleep watching it. However, for this year's spring anime, it's hard for me to decide because there are many good ones.

12 June 2012 16:32 edit: I forgot to mention that I have added "Haiyore! Nyaruko-san" to the list I am watching now.

18 May 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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[Review] Another

(Author's note: this review below is as it is on 27 March 2012 and not modified since. I did not notice this as unpublished until right after publishing the AKB0048 review on 17 May 2012.)

Apart from the artist who sung the opening theme and the full-sized eye in the OP animation, Another (アナザー) is one of those anime where I had no expectations, or know what is to come.

Being taking place in 1998, you have to keep in mind about the technology at that time. Cellphone signals are analog and aren't strong, so static being heard in the call means a weak signal and/or interference in the area. Since then technology has improved and/or problems fixed, so the "scary" element might not be posible today.

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[Review] AKB0048

The popular all-female music group AKB48 (and its sub-groups) has its own anime.

If had followed a manga called AKB49〜恋愛禁止条例〜 (Ren'ai kinshi jōrei), which is about the behind the scenes of the group (present-day) through the eye of a crossdresser who somehow made it past their auditions, prepare to be disappointed as it's completely different.

Even if you didn't read that, or not really a fan of AKB48 in general, you might find this anime to be different. Approach this anime different from what you would do with most other anime, and you would actually enjoy this.

To those who are curious about the voice cast and the music in it, they are voiced by inexperienced (read: new) seiyuus and actual members from AKB (and its sub-groups like SKE). Not much of the usual seiyuus are involved.

Note: This anime is still ongoing, and I have not dropped this anime yet. I'm saying this as I usually write reviews when either two situations has happened.

17 Apr 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Spring 2012 preview

Spring has came with a batch of new anime that, except for a new, are completely brand new. Due to my unfamiliarity with the titles and me being back from a long break since just before the last episode of the Winter season aired (2nd episode of Spring has been aired at time of writing), I have to be brief about it.

Due to massive backlog and not in the mood to write, I might not write anymore reviews of the Winter 2012 anime

Likely to watch

Accel World

I'm oddly starting to like this anime for some reason. The main character may look... strange... but at least he's more intelligent than Shuu of Guilty Crown (Autumn 2011). Well, these two are different, but you get the idea. The character designs of the other characters and interesting plot made up for it. I don't know how far into the future this is in as not much besides the inside of the school was shown, but phrases like "motorcycles of the past century" was mentioned.

 Natsuiro Kiseki (夏色キセキ)

A group of four girls who had known each other since childhood made a wish with a large stone that appears to have actually worked.

They had wished to be a popular girl band when they get older, but over time, stopped releasing new songs. The relationship between the girls are put to the test.

Sankarea (さんかれあ)

A guy's pet cat has been killed in an accident and was figuring out the unknown missing ingredient to bring it back from the dead at an abandoned place when he noticed a girl from a school near his, admired by his friends for her beauty.
Unknown to others, the girl's father "wants the perfect life for her", but it's apparent that he doesn't let her have friends and destroys any existing ones. The daughter in question, however, can't take it anymore.

Acchi Kocchi (あっちこっち)

Unlike other recent slice-of-life anime like Nichijou (Summer 2011) or Danshi Kokosei no Nichijo (Winter 2012), this one has both guys and girls in it instead of only being either one.

If you are looking for a plot, and slice-of-life is not your thing, I suggest you skip this and watch the other titles I mention here.

Tsuritama (つり球)

The way of living and fishing on the island of Enoshima and having strange encounters.

To those not familiar about where it is, it's an island in the prefecture of Kanagawa that is a short day trip from Tokyo by train. To be more specific, around the coordinates of 35.3001, 139.4803 on the map.

Space Brothers (宇宙兄弟)

Anime that airs around sunrise don't usually fall into my radar as those are targeted at kids, but this seems to be a rare exception to that.

Seen, but didn't like it

Well, as what the sub-title says. I have watched it before, but didn't like what I saw.

Upotte - "The girls are guns and the new homeroom teacher does not know how to handle them." Wait! How on earth are girls guns?! That wasn't explained, and these girls always seem to use another gun to shoot.... Argh. My head got fried.

Nazo no Kanojo X - This one is kind of weird: guy likes to lick the drool of a mysterious girl who falls asleep in class. Since the guy needs her drool daily, this was shown often, which itself is making me uneasy. Had to stop watching it before I puke. Also, the character design is very visibly dated.

Saki of the Episode One (or something like that) - This is actually a spinoff instead of a continuation of the first season of Saki (Spring 2009) and focuses more of the characters than Mahjong (though there's some focus to some degree). I like the characters, but not the game, and I never fully watched the first season anyway.

As you can see here, all of the above titles takes place in High school, with the exception of Space Brothers (and Accel World, but that's in Middle school). It's like a fad in recent anime.

27 Mar 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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[Review] Guilty Crown

The arrangement of seats on this train looks strange.

Guilty Crown (ギルティクラウン) is somewhat like a mixed bag to me: artwork seems to be at par with anime like Hanasaku Iroha (Spring 2011) with attention to detail and fantastic OP, but, storyline-wise, it's as bad as anime like To Aru Majutsu no Index (Autumn 2008/2010) where I rage at how slow things progress, or how much of an idiot the protagonist is.

Well, at the beginning, this showed promise of how this would be, but it later unexpectedly took a turn in a direction different. I was expecting a more diplomatic and peaceful approach, not a mad scientist with his own government and spreading a virus. Having war with a group of students on top of that. (Speaking of which, where are the teachers of the school? They seem oddly missing the whole time.)

If you're just picking this up, I would recommend just starting from the special that comes after episode 11. You are likely to be glad that I mention it because it sums up the major plots of the earlier episodes, which has a lot of filters.
Pretty much sums up of Shuu's character throughout the anime.
Starting form the second half, the atmosphere has become completely different. It's as if it has gone in a different direction from the first half and has become irrelevant.

In the last few episodes, I somewhat gave up try to understand what is going on. It has become a big mess that is difficult to untangle. That's the problem with introducing too many characters: there's no room to have character development given the number of episodes.

Guilty Crown does have the factors to be a good anime like character design, detail to background, opening/ending songs and so on, but the major flaw is that the storyline is a mess.

Based on other anime that I watched, it's always those that have male protagonist (who is usually not knowledgeable, is perverted, and/or being ordered by others) that gets featured. Besides anime where the females are the only ones, or primarily focused on, girls/women seem to always to have a role that is no higher than being the main supporting character of the (male) protagonist: never as the main character.

P.S. Speaking of which, Shuu Oma's cowardly behavior would be more tolerable if he was a girl, with the personality unchanged.

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[Review] Black Rock Shooter review

An emotional one BRS (ブラック★ロックシューター) is, it's about the two worlds: one is about two girls in the normal world, and another in a completely different one where they fight each other with weapons. The fights in that world represents the hidden frustration and anger with their counterparts in the other ("real") world. I don't really understand the concept that forms the backbone of this anime. Visual-wise, it's what I had wanted Nisemonogatari to be like initially, but you know how that turned out.

From what I understand, having something to happen with that alternate world can cause an effect with the real world too, and forget who their friends are. Some people in the real world, they could see what's happening in the other world, but don't exactly have control over their other selves and helplessly stay in the background.

Unlike other anime, the first episode aired 4 weeks after all the other Winter 2012 anime (early-February) and has 8 episodes instead of the average of 11 or 12. However, it already has an OVA and it does not waste it with filter episodes and actually fills it up with actual story development. I don't see a way on how to improve on this anime than it already is.

BTW, have you noticed that there are absolutely no lines for any male characters in the entire anime, not even side characters? Also, they made episode 6 (I think) looked like the last episode with how it ended.

21 Mar 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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[Review] Nisemonogatari (偽物語)

Nisemonogatari was the second season of Bakemonogatari (化物語), with the latter being a 12-episode Summer 2009 anime. With two and a quarter years between the two (didn't know it was that long ago myself until I calculated), I expected something completely different in terms of visual style. Something like K-On.

But then, it's by Shaft... the same who did Bakemonogatari. Read my earlier posts and you would see about my disappointment with Shaft.

This actually appeared in the anime.
Unlike Bakemonogatari where there are 5 arches, Nisemonogatari seemed to only have 2 story arches. However, it focuses on Araragi's sisters (who were shown only briefly in Bakemonogatari) than to other characters. Senjougahara Hitagi had the opposite amount of airtime in Nisemonogatari. Shinobu had slightly more time and have a voice.

Still, there are moments that would give me a big question mark, like this scene:
I don't get this scene.
Overall, I like the storyline, but there is too much visual distraction. One example are the rapid flashes of images, or a wall of text that were displayed that is too quick to read without pausing. On top of that, text that is usually in hiragana is in katakana or some obscure kanji that is not used today. Also, the traditional version is used instead of simplified (eg. 體 instead of 体) and horizontal text is from right to left. It's fried my head trying to figure out what I was looking at.

Oh the other hand, I like the ending song.

23 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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New winter 2012 anime

Spring and Autumn are usually the season where there are usually many new and interesting anime, with the Winter and Summer ones usually not much and just filling in the 12-episode anime that ended before in their TV time slot. Oddly, I noticed that not happening for Autumn 2011, so that means that it spilled over to the following season, which is Winter 2012. I'm not writing much here because I don't have much to say. More details of each individual would come at a later time if they survived being dropped at the end.

Screenshots are from episode 2 or 3, and may not feature the main character. This list does not include titles that I don't watch or as a spillover from the previous season.

For future reference, I'll be stating if I would continue watching or drop it too.

Aquelion Evo (アクエリオンEVOL)

I picked this up at the 3rd episode at the same time when I dropped Mirai Nikki (Autumn 2011), and just wanting to take a break from the high-school environment that seems so common these days. I haven't confirmed if I would continue watching it or, with Rinne no Laguranje having the same genre airing at the same time, drop one over the other.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Kill Me Baby (キルミーベイベー)
This is an odd one: a more simplified version of Nichijou (Summer 2011) or something. I feel like my IQ level has dropped from watching this.

Chance of dropping? No

Nisemonogatari (偽物語)

A sequel of the Bakemonogatari I watched in 2009. (Has it been that long already?) The only thing I remember are the opening and ending, and scenes like the above.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Rinne no Raguranje (輪廻のラグランジェ)

Comparing this with Aquelion EVOL mentioned earlier, I don't know which is better. In the first episode, it seemed that they just calmly introduced to the robots oblivious to the surroundings. I don't like the protagonist's hairstyle and outfit while inside these machines and the design of the other two pilots.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Another (アナザー)
This takes place in 1999. Electric operated things did seem scarier that that of today's. The time where there are computer-operated things, but things are somewhat still analog. This anime take advantage of technology of that time that are different (and less scary/noisy) today.

If you look at snapshots of this anime, you would notice that the majority of the scenes are dark. Character design is by the same person who did Haruhi (Itou Noichi), and the animation studio (PA Works) is the same as Angel Beats in Spring 2010.

Chance of dropping? Unknown

Inu x Boku Secret Service (妖狐×僕SS)
(What a confusing title  to enter: 妖狐 means mythical fox, and pronounced as "youko".)

An ultra-luxurious apartment of a town is used as a disguise for a group of creatures and people with supernatural abilities to gather together. I don't really get what's this anime is about though.

Chance of dropping? Yes

Daily Lives of High School Boys (男子高校生の日常)

Easily one of my favourites and overtaking Nichijou (Spring 2011) for a slice-of-life anime that has different skits in one episode. This is can't be compared with Kill Me Baby as it's a different... species.

Chance of dropping? No

Waiting For That Summer (あの夏で待ってる)

It's like the middleground of extremes of the other anime:
  • Highschool life, but with no comedy and has a degree of seriousness
  • Special abilities, but not showing it openly, and only to certain people
  • Worried for someone or an event, not for supernatural beings and such.
  • Stretching sci-fi without being futuristic or having spirits/deity/tradition or gundams-like machines
Chance of dropping? No 

Listen to Me, Girls. I Am Your Father! (パパの言うことを聞きなさい)
I don't know what kind of anime is this yet. You could say that it's like Usagi Drops (Summer 2011), but with more people, reduced age gap difference, plus a mix of different genres. What are these genres I speak of? Family, unexpected plot twist, fanservice to some degree. Unlike the 7 or 8 anime mentioned above, there isn't any high school-going main character in it.

Chance of dropping? Unknown

18 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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Mirai Nikki dropped

"I used to be able to predict the future like you, but then I took an arrow to the knee."
When the first episode of Mirai Nikki (未来日記) anime came out, I had already spoiled myself by reading the manga from the beginning to the end. The fun of watching it kind of got lost because of that.Actually, even as I read the manga, I never like how much of a coward the protagonist (Amano Yukiteru) is, or how much of a crazy girl Gassai Yuno is. In fact, I felt that the concept of Mirai Nikki itself could have been portrayed better.

Although the anime is based on the manga, the character design seemed somewhat dated (Amano looked like a Pokemon trainer). That omake section at the end of the anime already tells me that there would be quite a number of filters. Having known what the end is like, you would wonder why they had wasted a lot of time with all of those filters. I only hung around to see what difference the anime is from the manga is, but seems like exactly the same thing. If you had read the previous post, I had talked about what my expectations are.

What pushed me to drop it is that I found myself not wanting to watch more episodes, and the massive amount of new winter anime coming in, which themselves seem quite good, I see no reason to keep watching it.

15 Jan 2012

Posted by

Haruka Takahashi

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What Is A Good Anime To Me?

(Cross-posted from my main blog)

K-On! (Spring 2009)

Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure (Spring 1999)
Excluding anime that seem to go on forever (eg. Bleach) or targeted at children (eg. Doraemon), I have watched new anime, since 2006. Of course, I had watched some older ones like Kahimashi, Cowboy Bebop, and Lain.

I never noticed it unless I looked back (for anime since 2006) or watched older ones, but character design and background details in general has improved. Or it could simply because more recent ones looked better in widescreen in HD over the older lower-definition letterbox standard.

The early 2000s was a transitioning period for animation studios for doing each frame using computers over a cell sheet. To the viewers, this means that higher detail could be inserted, and scenes with things moving would not have everything else on the scene to be "moving".

Character designs can sometimes be timeless or be specific to the general era, but you can generally tell. The differences between the original Kanon (Winter 2002) and the remake (Autumn 2006) is an example of a big improvement of design. Not just visually, but how the story is executed too.

Death Note (Autumn 2006)
The main thing that tells you about an anime is its opening and ending, and the segments surrounding it. While I do agree that Death Note is the odd one out with the use of (very) heavy metal music, the best ones to me are ones that do not have scenes from its episodes, something that you wouldn't dread looking at many times. Another one, which I don't mind if it's not used, are the way the text of the credits are displayed being anything other than the generic one. Speaking of generic, I noticed that the animation of the ending of some anime, like Hanasaku Iroha (Spring 2011) and Durarara!! (Winter 2010), seems to have very minimal animation. I'm also not a fan of having new ending song in every episode, though I don't mind those once-in-a-while things that reflect a sad atmosphere (eg. the death of a major character). As for those that use a song that has been used in several anime, it's a mixed bag. However, songs like Secret Base: Kimi ga Kureta Mono, is the most often, and the most emotional, one I know of by singers used in Kyou no Go no Ni (Autumn 2008) and Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (Spring 2011).

Kill Me Baby (Spring 2012)
Nowadays, anime having an opening some minutes after it started instead of the very beginning seems to be the norm. From my observations, those that don't, or always have a flashback, or have something that repeats every time like Yakitate!! Ja-pan (Autumn 2004), generally don't have a good storyline. On the opposite end, anime that do not have an opening (most commonly the first and last episode), replaced with credits in its place, or have the main episode overlapping with the ending in certain episodes are quite good.

It's hard for me to decide what is a good anime between a slice-of-life anime with simple design with playful schoolgirls in a school as main characters (eg. Nichijou), or lots of action with serious men and highly detail things (eg. Gundam series). Generally, it's easy to tell a bad one, and I seem to find a lot of anime with little content in the middle of the series falling into this group. It's also hard for me to watch one with a good story, but not-so-good in the character design part.

In the past, I used to be able to tell the kind of anime that would be produced just by looking at the name of the animation studio. Before Puella Magi Madoka Magica (Winter 2011), I used to think that animation studio Shaft would be only be producing slapstick-like anime like Sayonara Zetsubou-sensei (Winter 2008). Madoka was a big surprise as they suddenly have moe characters, and a plot that's a big departure from what they (or those with magical girls) normally have. Actually, not really sudden as they produced Bakemonogatari (Summer 2009) in between: still have elements typical of earlier Shaft anime, but a bit more to the serious side.

Angel Beats (Spring 2010)
Speaking of animation studio, I heard that Angel Beats could have been produced by Kyoto Animation instead of P.A. Works as most of the works written by Jun Maeda (Canon, Air, Clannad) are usually produced by former. The reason possibly being that KyoAni was already busy producing K-On! at production time.

What would the the most ideal anime for me?  Protagonist being a smart girl that should not be ugly or extremely sexy. She is a serious girl who could accurately tell if she's lied to, which you can't tell unless you paid attention to her tone of voice. These days, character design seems to be based on that of K-On!. Of course, that won't happen, would it?