Fall 2008 Finale Reviews

Fall 2008 is at a close, and with it, many amazing series.  Indeed, this fall season was probably the best anime season of 2008.  Here is the collection of final reviews of the shows ending this season.

 

ef – a tale of melodies

Whether or not if you liked ef – a tale of melodies, is really dependent on what you expected from this series before hand.  If you expected another season w/ soaring emotional climaxes and portions that will take your breath away… prepare to be somewhat disappointed.  However, if you expect answers to a lot of the lingering questions from ef – memories, then you’re just in luck.

Of all the questions answered, the most critical one was “Who is Yuuko?”.  The answer was stunning, riveting, and very emotional.  Simply put, her story is one of a tragic life turned happy thanks to a loved one.  In spite of her tale cutting short, All the stories ofef revolve around her and Himura’s desire to share the happiness that they had felt.  Her willingness to help Mizuki and his determination to create a new Otowa were their first attempts at this goal.  The result is a finale that not only does the second season justice, but also the entire ef story.

Unfortunately the one story that COULD be compared to first season, didn’t live up to expectations.  Perhaps it was because it was being overshadowed by Yuuko’s story, but in the end Kuze/Mizuki’s path ended up being a disappointment, by ef standards.  Kuze spent a little too much time wallowing in self-pity without any noticeable improvements.  When he does improve it seems that it happened because it was convenient for the ending.  I never really saw the benefits of the Kuze/Mizuki relationship.

In my opinion, Mizuki ended up being a very likable female lead.  Throughout the first season and most of the second, she is shown to be rather optimistic and having a bubbly personality.  But when her past with Yuuko was revealed, it becomes evident that Mizuki is deeper then she looks.

Besides the story, nearly everything else remained the same.  A sharp concentration on implications through creative artistry, a wonderful soundtrack that emphasizes key scenes, two stories that are relatively independent of each other, and of course a wonderfully animated and sung opening.  So in those categories, ef – melodies gets a perfect 10 from me.  But in terms of story, I’ll say something similar to what I said for Code Geass R2.  For an anime, the story is wonderful, but for ef, it was a dissapointment… at least Kuze’s part.

After thinking rather hard, and managing to keep the fanboy in me out of the picture, I realize that ef – a tale of melodies just didn’t have the same magic as ef – a tale of memories.  While together I’ll give the franchise as VERY strong 10 out of 10… as an individual season…

FINAL RATING: 9/10

 

Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka

… wow…. this show really blew…  Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka was a show that I had high hopes for when I was writing the fall preview.  Let’s just say that this anime might’ve single handedly affected (for the worse) my outlook on future eroge/dating sim adaptations.  If I were to list out all the things that went wrong in this anime, this review would be 10 pages long.  So instead, I’ll just say what was good, and you can assume that anything that I didn’t mentioned, failed.

The only good things about Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka were the character designs and the voice acting.  Character designs are usually good in most VN adaptation. As for voice acting, the voice acting was the only thing that met my expectations.  

I will give credit though, on the whole this anime kept managing to fall under my ever lowering expectations as the  show progressed.  This was primarily due to the really random episodes between 3 and 10.  This part screamed anime original material.  Only episodes 10 and 11 gave the show signs of life w/ potentially good drama and romance (the one thing I was looking forward to in this series); but then episode 12 ruined it all w/ another random ass episode.

All in all, AkaSaka will probably rate as the worst visual novel adaptation that I’ve ever managed to complete.

FINAL RATING: 5/10

 

Kannagi


Melodrama?! in my Kannagi?!

Here is probably my 2nd finale review in which I’ll be diverging greatly from the general opinion of a show.  Kannagi was rather hit or miss for me.  After a lackluster first few episodes, I was ready to drop the series.  However, episode 3 ended up being one of the funniest episodes I had seen in a while.  It was enough for me to continue watching until the end.  In fact these first 3 episodes should’ve been more a warning as to how the series would progress.  Hilarious when trying to be funny, and fail when trying to be dramatic. 

Essentially, the drama was overdone.  Drama can work on comedies if used sparingly.  Kannagi went for pure melodrama, in its dramatic moments.  Making the series feel almost bipolar.

Episode 3 to 9 emphasized the comedy, and I thought this show hit its peak around that time.  Sadly, the last 3 episodes returned to the drama that just wasn’t working early in the series.  As such, the finale left me with a rather mixed feeling.

As such, my final rating reflects my mixed opinion, and it will probably be controversial for some of you.

FINAL RATING: 7/10

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