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Old 2011-11-14, 21:16   Link #41
AP24
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Join Date: Feb 2011
I would say Madoka Magica was the biggest surprise of the year.
A lot of people expected a typical mahou shoujo series but then WHAT THE!!?
Didn't expect to win quite a number of awards this year too.

The second most one would be Ano Hana, since I didn't expect it to be that much popular.
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Old 2011-11-14, 21:27   Link #42
LC
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Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai- At face value, this appears to be a typical harem anime. To me, it's different because the female characters are more than caricatures fawning after the male lead. I especially point out Yozora, who is just as polarizing as Kirino of last year's OreImo. A character like her, with very few "redeeming" qualities, is not what one would expect of a harem female lead.

AnoHana- The character designs put me off at first. (Naruko's gravity defying pigtails, bless her) I wasn't expecting one of the most well-executed (besides the final episode) anime I had ever seen. It takes a lot to get me to watch every single episode of a show, and, in retrospect, this is the only anime in which I didn't skip one. I was literally chomping at the bit in anticipation of every. single. episode.
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Old 2011-11-14, 21:58   Link #43
mecharobot
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None so far.

Hyoge Mono is kind of interesting, but unfortunately impossible to watch at the rate it's coming out.
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Old 2011-11-15, 10:58   Link #44
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecharobot View Post
Hyoge Mono is kind of interesting, but unfortunately impossible to watch at the rate it's coming out.
Episode nine just appeared on the tracker this morning!
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Old 2011-11-19, 11:20   Link #45
KyriaL
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Madoka Magica. I originally decided to watch the first episode just to kill time after dropping it once before, but before i knew it, i marathon-ed the entire series in 6 hours, kind of made me regret not watching it when it was being aired. Now it sits at the top of my list as my favourite among all Anime watched. There is a something that makes it unique compared to other shows, and i can't seem to find the correct words for it.

Yuru Yuri. The first episode, if I recall correctly, nearly made me drop the show due to it being slightly dull and draggy. But luckily i decided otherwise and was rewarded with non-stop laughter and entertainment for the further episodes.
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Old 2011-11-20, 17:51   Link #46
creb
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The only pleasant surprise for me is Fate/Zero. My opinion of Fate/Stay Night could not be any lower, so I figured Fate/Zero would be more of the same until someone mentioned Gen had written it, instead of whoever this Nasu fellow is. What a difference that made.

Everything else has basically fallen within the realms of my expectations, or fallen far short of them.

So, to be clear, that doesn't mean Fate/Zero is the only show I enjoyed in 2011. It's just the only show that exceeded my, admittedly, very low expectations (for that particular show).
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Old 2011-11-20, 18:06   Link #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by creb View Post
The only pleasant surprise for me is Fate/Zero. My opinion of Fate/Stay Night could not be any lower, so I figured Fate/Zero would be more of the same until someone mentioned Gen had written it, instead of whoever this Nasu fellow is. What a difference that made.
From the Gen interview with ANN

Quote:
The process was that I drafted up a proposal for the new characters and the plot, and showed it to Nasu-san for his supervision. However, consequently, 90% of those proposals were accepted as they were already Nasu-san's ideas.
While I'm not an expert it seems quite a few people feel the anime version of fate stay night didn't do justice to Nasu's original story
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Old 2011-11-20, 19:10   Link #48
FireChick
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Madoka Magica
What I Expected: Kinda fan-servicey/Ecchi anime with Shinbo all over it.
What I Got: First episode, I was like...WHAT THE FREAK DID I JUST WATCH?!? Then it went on and...WHOA! Amazing characters, Godly OST, epic plot, and...ZOMG!

AnoHana
What I Expected: Kinda a sweet story with nice characters.
What I Got: Same as above...only AWESOME, TEAR-JERKING, HEARTWARMING, AND NOSTALGIA!!!

No. 6
What I Expected: Nothing really. Didn't know of its existence until the trailer came out.
What I Got: One of the reasons why I love anime! Nezumi is <3 <3 <3

Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
What I Expected: Nothing
What I Got: ADORABLENESS!!!
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Old 2011-11-21, 11:40   Link #49
klare
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- Mawaru Penguindrum: was very impressed by its early eps that made me marathoned all Utena series
- Deadman Wonderland: had no expectation at all, it turned out to be a surprise
- Kamisama Dolls: did not expect the past stories to be so good, the characters are interesting too
- Level E: read and liked the manga but still did not expect the adaption to be done so well
- Madoka: altho now it is the hottest in 2011, but initially i was expecting magical school girls slice of life

Other potential ones: Mirai Nikki, Ben-to (enjoying both of them so far)
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Old 2011-11-21, 13:40   Link #50
TJR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totoum View Post
While I'm not an expert it seems quite a few people feel the anime version of fate stay night didn't do justice to Nasu's original story
While I have never read the original F/SN, criticism of Nasu extends well beyond the anime adaptation. People love his universes, characters, ideas, and story development, but detractors feel that he can't write half-decent prose to save his life. The forced, hammy dialogue in the Fate anime is almost certainly a reflection of what you might find in the original, unless the scriptwriters (which include some high profile names in the anime industry) redid everything from scratch.
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Old 2011-11-21, 13:53   Link #51
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireChick View Post
Ikoku Meiro no Croisee
What I Expected: Nothing
What I Got: ADORABLENESS!!!
Not to mention a lovely little story about social cleavages, both cultural and economic, that's never preachy. Some differences can be transcended (Yune and Claude), others not (Camille and Claude).

Definitely the biggest surprise of the year so far for me. I expected good things from Madoka and Usagi Drop; Croiseé was a bolt out of the blue.
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Old 2011-11-21, 14:35   Link #52
Flower
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
Not to mention a lovely little story about social cleavages, both cultural and economic, that's never preachy. Some differences can be transcended (Yune and Claude), others not (Camille and Claude).

Definitely the biggest surprise of the year so far for me. I expected good things from Madoka and Usagi Drop; Croiseé was a bolt out of the blue.
Wow ... must admit I am surprised by hearing how many were surprised by Ikoku Meiro. This is probably b/c I somehow assumed more people were reading the manga somehow - I was really looking forward to it before it aired and when it did was especially delighted because of how well it manifested/presented the manga storyline. Oh well! Long live Ikoku!
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Old 2011-11-21, 15:07   Link #53
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flower View Post
Wow ... must admit I am surprised by hearing how many were surprised by Ikoku Meiro. This is probably b/c I somehow assumed more people were reading the manga somehow - I was really looking forward to it before it aired and when it did was especially delighted because of how well it manifested/presented the manga storyline. Oh well! Long live Ikoku!
Personally I never read manga. I spend my reading time with the New York Times online, opinion magazines like Harper's, and books. I used to read comics when I was 8-14, but as an adult, reading to me means text.

I thought Madoka sounded interesting before I watched it because I have enjoyed some of Shinbo's past works; Usagi Drop appealed to me because I usually look to see what's on noitaminA each season, and because I was a single dad raising a daughter for sixteen years.
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Old 2011-11-21, 20:01   Link #54
0utf0xZer0
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As someone who rarely reads manga, I wasn't aware that Ikoku Meiro was going to cover social cleavages quite so well. I did expect it to be adorable and heartwarming in the best possible way just on the basis of the artwork and description though, so I was not surprised I ended up liking the show.
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Old 2011-11-21, 20:19   Link #55
Reckoner
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJR View Post
While I have never read the original F/SN, criticism of Nasu extends well beyond the anime adaptation. People love his universes, characters, ideas, and story development, but detractors feel that he can't write half-decent prose to save his life. The forced, hammy dialogue in the Fate anime is almost certainly a reflection of what you might find in the original, unless the scriptwriters (which include some high profile names in the anime industry) redid everything from scratch.
Well I'm not here to engage in a debate regarding whether or not Nasu can write good prose or not (You'd had to point out examples that are both in the anime and in the VN), the anime's largest criticisms were for things outside the control of Nasu and his VN.

This includes the injection of some random monstrous anime original arc towards the end, a very poor budget, the inability to execute anything in a flattering manner, and overall poor adapting abilities on part of DEEN. Sure people find some similar issues between the two, but many of the largest complaints of the anime by VN readers and anime viewers alike were all attributible to just how bad of a studio DEEN is.
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Old 2011-11-21, 20:54   Link #56
totoum
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckoner View Post
and overall poor adapting abilities on part of DEEN.
I don't really like DEEN but is it really their fault if the guy that went on to codirect steins gate for another studio did a poor job as a scriptwriter while working on a DEEN anime?
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Old 2012-01-03, 12:38   Link #57
Dextro
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This year gave me a few pleasant surprises: The iDOLM@STER and up to a certain point Kamisama no Memochou and Nichijou.

I went into The iDOLM@STER expecting a cheap game cash-in to drive up sales and ended up getting some pretty nice slice-of-life, comedy and even drama in the end. It was a show I started following just to see what it would be like to end up being one of my most expected shows in the season with me seriously craving each passing episode.

Then there was Kamisama no Memochou where I went in expecting yet another mediocre J.C.Staff adaptation and got instead a pretty decent above average one. It wasn't perfect, far from it, but it was pretty well made and the final arc in particular was pretty nicely executed.

In the end there was Nichijou, the show that started out as being one of the biggest disappointments of the season to end up being a pleasant surprise. I went in simply to see what KyoAni was up to next and ended up being disapointed by an original work that was quite a ways bellow the usual KyoAni standards but then the second half of the show happened and it picked up it's stride. It never reached epic levels as shown but it's sales and lack of popularity but overall it wasn't has bad some of the first episodes made it out to be. Also it was technically executed much better than many others shows as is typical of Kyoto Animation.

Just finishing up: I didn't add shows like Steins;Gate, Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica or even UN-GO to this list simply because they managed to drop square in the expectations I had for them. The first two were brilliant and UN-GO was pretty good with a slightly weaker first half which still leaves it pretty much within my admittedly already inflated expectations for it.

Overall this wasn't a very good year for the most part with only a couple of shows holding up right until the Autumn season where is looks like the studios went all out. Let's just see if this keeps up over 2012.
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Old 2012-01-03, 13:15   Link #58
SeijiSensei
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Most remarkable show of 2012 that almost no one watches: Hyouge Mono
(Yes, yes, slow subs; I know. I'd have thought a show that wasn't going to be streamed in R1 might have attracted more interest. Of course, HM looks nothing like what constitutes most anime productions these days. A show for adults about adults? No wonder it got no traction.)

Biggest surprise given I had no idea what to expect: Level E
Runners-up: Yondemasuyo yo, Azazel-san, Moshidora

Show that might have qualified if the subs hadn't ended with only 4/13 episodes complete: Showa Monogatari
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Old 2012-01-03, 13:33   Link #59
Stealther
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Level E and Mawaru Penguindrum were probably the biggest surprises for me. Both fell under my radar until first episode.

Hyouge Mono seemed funny the first 2-3 eps, but I won't resume watching it until it's completely subbed.
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Old 2012-01-03, 14:13   Link #60
MisaoFan
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Madoka Magica
At first, it was a lighthearted magical girl show, but after watching episode 3, it seems like it was a dark fantasy annihilating every conceptions of a usual magical girl series. This is the biggest surprise I've seen !

Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere
At first, it's going to be my first mecha show, but after watching a lot of trailers, it's going to be a space fantasy sets in the futuristic version of Warring States period. My biggest surprise of the fall season !

C3
At first (before the anime announcement), I thought it was a heavy ecchi title, but after reading the plot summary, I learned it's going to be an action fantasy and after the anime announcement, it seems like it have eroguro in it, based on the anonymous comments. After watching the anime, it has slight dose of ecchi and some guro added in this series.
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