As today is the 1st Thursday of our 12 Days of Anime series I thought it be appropiate to cover the one thing that we all look forward on a Thursday. Yep, I’m talking about noitaminA.
Supposedly the slot reserved for the top rated anime of the season but has that held true for the year?
FAIR WARNING: This analysis/monologue includes a healthy dose of my opinion.
So Winter 2011 kicked off the year with Fractale a futuristic period piece and the show which gender-bending to new levels, Wandering Son. Wandering Son was actually pretty good boasting a clean colour palette and animation style as well as taking the ever controversial topic of trans-sexuality. Because of this its definately one of the better shows of the season, Fractale on the other hand struggled with its own identity crisis and thus never really became that serious type anime which it apparently set out to be, it did however make for some great fanart.
So the year started ok with one good show and one ‘alright’ showdepending on your tastes/tolerance.
Spring then brought with [C] The control of possible money and something, a show that to me seemed so hyped it came riding in on a wave of expectations so big that it was destined to crash on the rocks. But what it left behind was a real diamond in the rough – Ano Hana. On the surface it didn’t seem like anything special, to be honest when I first saw the previews I would never have pinned it as a noitaminA show. In hindsight it certainly followed in the mold of previous noitaminA hits such as Honey & Clover and Eden of the East.
Following directly on from Ano Hana, noitaminA gifted us with Usagi Drop. An anime so delightfully cute and real at the same time, I, a self proclaimed mecha fanboy would without blinking an eye put it down as my Anime of the Year. It was so good they could have aired dead air along side it and the summer noitaminA slot would still have been the best of the year. Speaking of dead air, they may as well have gone with that as No. 6, the closest thing to yaoi noitaminA will ever get was only marginally better than nothingness.
Finally we come to the fall which brought with it Guilty Crown, an actual mecha anime in noitaminA, I was beside myself with joy & optimisim. And the best part? It wasn’t bad. It had everything I liked; cool mecha, sparkly lights, sexy girls… I couldn’t fault it, I didn’t want to fault it, but it just wasn’t quite right. Still great but missing something. Un-Go on the other hand comparitively was sh!t but still better than Fractale & No. 6 which isn’t saying uch though. I actually heard plenty of good about it but it lost me early on, for me it was definately a No-Go.
So there we go, as with all anime season in, season out, the nitaminA slot fluctuates like Jaraiya walking through a porn shop. But it has hosted two of the years best anime and has consistently done so in previous years as well.
So what I’m saying is that noitaminA shows are safe bets if you have nothing in particular to look forward to in a season. I certainly wouldn’t dismiss a noitaminA show at first sight because at the very least you won’t a ecchi harem/school gagfest here. Now I’m just waiting for them to slot in an awesome sport show.