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Old 2011-11-06, 20:10   Link #21
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Boku wa Tomodachi - I'm not a fan of harems or ecchi unless it's a subtle element of a series that relies one something a bit more tasteful to get it by, but I'm finding Boku wa Tomodachi genuinely funny and interesting - and I'm even enjoying the harem aspect for the first time in my life.

Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica - A magical girl series? Come on, Nanoha was great, but aren't most Magical Girl series meant for young girls?

Wait, what's happening? Wha-... MIND BLOWN!

Usagi Drop - Who would have thought someone in the anime industry could control themselves enough to portray a feel-good father-daughter esque relationship anime without any sexual overtones. Good job - have a cookie - you might just get out of rehab eventually, anime industry.

Nichijou - An Azumanga Diaoh clone by Kyoani? Do not want... Wait, this is actually funny! Who'd have thunk?
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Old 2011-11-06, 20:20   Link #22
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Steins;Gate: I thought it would be another Chaos;Head. It wasn't.
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Old 2011-11-06, 20:41   Link #23
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Age: 31
Kamisama Dolls, the Enma-Kun remake, and Tiger and Bunny are the only things that really surprised me, and in Tiger and Bunny's case I blame the preview chart writers. Kamisama Doll's chart preview also gave the wrong impression but I'll cut them some slack there since its not an easy show to describe. The charts might have also put me off Yumekui Merry and Astarotte's Toy but I had word of mouth from manga readers to let me know they would be better than the chart descriptions suggested.

I also slightly underestimated AnoHana and Kore wa Zombie, even though I expected to like them.
On the other hand, there's a few shows people have listed where I more or less got what I expected - Madoka Magica, Ikoku Meiro no Croisee and Usagi Drop being the most notable. Which isn't to say they were bad since I love the three shows, but I definitely expected them to be good.

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Old 2011-11-07, 04:19   Link #24
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Since most series are a surprise to me, I'll focus on a way that really broke the mold and exceeded any cynical thoughts I might have had about them beforehand.

Yuru Yuri. Four girls loafing around in their club-room with no plot whatsoever. Never seen that one before. Sounded like just another moe show, nothing special.

The beauty is in the details in this one. The show is surprisingly cute, even if you go in expecting pure moe. The characters have incredible chemistry on-screen, and would you believe it's actually gut-burstingly funny? This is as good as, if not better, than K-On, in my opinion. A truly excellent series.

Sengoku Otome.
Expectation: Inane ecchi series with lackluster humor.

This one did a complete 180 on me. The ecchi was subdued and not at all the focus on the show. The character designs were fantastic, and there was actually a story developing. More importantly, it was genuinely funny. The humor was well written, well executed and completely made the show. A joy to watch from beginning to end. More stuff like this, please!

Nekogami Yaoyorozu This little gem of a show blends hilarious characters and powerful emotional stories seamlessly. It also has some of the finest voice-work I have heard all year, which makes for one hell of a show.

Last edited by Echoes; 2011-11-07 at 06:41.
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Old 2011-11-07, 05:51   Link #25
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Would have gone with Tiger & Bunny if it was yesterday, for the obvious 'expecting some mediocre action, yet getting something dark, deep and really good', but the winner of this for this year has to be Blood-C for me.

I watched it after marathoning Blood: The Last Vampire and Blood+, both of which I found to be rather crap in all honesty, so I really wasn't expecting much from Blood-C. A bit of character development, maybe some action scenes that hopefully wouldn't be as utterly awful as the ones in Blood+, especially since it was only 12 episodes. Really had low expectations for it.

Yet I wound up liking the plot and characters of it quite a bit, but what sealed the deal was the animation and choreography of the action scenes. They completely blew me away, I'm normally extremely hesitant to watch action animes (compared to mangas) since I usually get really jarred by how they're handled, yet Blood-C handled them perfectly (it basically felt like it was tailor made for my preferences) and I couldn't find any faults in how they were handled, every single time, and I'm normally really critical of this kind of stuff, even with stuff I love. So it claims it for me for, if nothing else, having the best done action scenes of anything I've ever seen.
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Old 2011-11-07, 06:42   Link #26
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Join Date: Nov 2008
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I didn't expect much out of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, because I was busy looking at other shows at the time before and after the first episode. I knew it would have a dark element, but I expected it to have more of a focus on grisly and violent content and visceral shocks. The anime did turn out to be dark, but it was more of a thick, thematic darkness, and the violence was fairly subdued visually. Unusually, what sold me on Madoka Magica wasn't the third episode, but it was the fourth. From there on, everything just got better and better. The best part about this anime was the story. I should have expected more from the writer of Saya no Uta. The OST was a smash, too.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae wo Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai (aka Ano Hana) was also a surprise slam dunk. I expected something more like how Hanasaku Iroha turned out: a wacky comedy with a dew dramatic moments. I expected the sad elements to show up in the last 3rd of the anime or so. Boy, did the first episode beat my expectations. This ended up an excellent serious drama with a small flavor of comedy. Although the final episode hammered the drama in too much, it didn't ruin the series.

I think I'm just bad at predicting how good an anime would be, seeing how these two ended up being my two biggest favorites of the year yet, although I still need to see some of the other highly-acclaimed anime, like Steins;Gate, Tiger & Bunny, and Mawaru Penguindrum.
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Old 2011-11-07, 14:04   Link #27
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Ano Hana: serious drama

Tiger & Bunny: Justice League meets the X-men and goes off for advertising.

Fate/Zero first part: if I can say something about it, it's Fate/Zero >= Carnival Phantasm >= Unlimited Blade Works > Fate/Stay Night Episode 14 > Fate/Stay Night (rest of it)

Puella Magi Nanoha Mami (and congratulations for winning) Madoka Magica: Nanoha meets Yuno and becomes a yandere

Dang it Avalon, you c(XD LOL)-block Shirou and Reinforce, but don't protect his mind in other ways? What is wrong, you woman?
Friendship, be made! Magical power, gather! Starlight Breaker.... this world!
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Old 2011-11-07, 14:09   Link #28
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Shall the flowers bloom atop the mountain?...
Prolly the two biggest surprises for me were:

The iDOLM@STER ... hands down. A great series.

Mashiro-iro Symphony. "Standard" themes for the genre, yet very effective ... thus far at least.
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Old 2011-11-07, 16:10   Link #29
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: The Netherlands
Age: 41
Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica; I expected a generic Mahou Shoujo series. What I got was something that just blew my mind and reshaped my image of what a good MS should be like.

Steins;Gate; I went in blind, expecting nothing. The actual show turned out to be more entertaining than I imagined and (to some extent) even scientifically accurate.

Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai.; I can't remember why I decided to watch this show, but I am very glad I did. One of few shows that really managed to get to me.

R-15; One of the few ecchi shows with an actual plot, what a concept!. This show proved that lots of fanservice and story can go together.

Possible contenders from current season: Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Chihayafuru and Phi Brain: Kami No Puzzle
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Old 2011-11-07, 16:16   Link #30
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: FL, USA
Age: 30
Mawaru Penguindrum
What I thought I'd get: Some shaft-esque comedy series, but with penguins
What I got instead: Very interesting series plot wise, with the penguins as generally hilarious side element.

Mayo Chiki!
What I thought I'd get: Generic harem with dull characters besides the reverse trap.
What I got instead: A hilarious harem with the majority of the cast being interesting(only didn't care for one of the girls really) and it's silly if not over the top plots/arcs at time were great.

Nekogami Yaoyorozu and Lotte no Omocha I definitely agree with the OP on .
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Old 2011-11-07, 18:18   Link #31
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Indiana
Age: 25

Originally Posted by Akito_Kinomoto View Post
I can definitely agree about Tiger & Bunny, but I also want to mention Gosick. Even though it was bordering on outrageous in the final stretch and the order of the story arcs brought in some inconsistencies, the character development on Kujo and Victorique was adequate and the mysteries themselves had good construction. It's not a hard detective plotline, nor is it a romance or adventure, but rather a combination of them that presents itself in a manner that makes it difficult to segregate anything. I won't call it anything more than good, but if anything I just mentioned sounds like your fancy, be sure to give this one a try.
i see you loved the clannad series i thought they was amazing if you know any like it plz hook me up :P
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Old 2011-11-07, 18:49   Link #32
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Trendy Backwater
Age: 32
Nichijou - It grew on me as the most random comedic anime. Hard to get it first but it became a guilty pleasure for me. You can just watch it without thinking too much. Non-existent fanservice is a good thing too.

Kamisama No Memochou - If I remember correct, it was by JC Staff mostly infamous for Shana and anime almost exclusively around high school and fanservice. I thought this anime would certainly be going to resort to that but it was better than I expected. True, it could have been more consistent and paced better but it didn't seem to be that ambitious. I thought it was totally worth my time and it had not too shabby casts. Everything was done great.
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Old 2011-11-07, 19:54   Link #33
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Kobe, Japan
As much as I love KamiDolls, Chihayafuru and Ikoku Meiro, I can't honestly call them pleasant surprises as I expected to like all of them.

R-15 is definitely my #1 pleasant surprise of the year. It's low-rent and not slick, but incredibly charming. Very funny, smart and shockingly sweet.

Level E was one that hit me completely out of nowhere. 15 year old "Jump" series adaptation? Really funny and quite unique.

Mirai Nikki a surprise, when I love the manga? I was really worried about this one, but Asread is nailing it. Enough said.

Nekogami Yaoyorazu. Came for the cast, stayed for the comedy and heart. About as under-the-radar as you can get, but this is a tough show not to love.

I'll add T & B as well, as I ended up liking it a lot more than I expected.
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Old 2011-11-07, 23:45   Link #34
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Join Date: Dec 2005
I've been pretty lucky at predicting the quality of the shows I've watched this year, so only a few shows have surprised me.

This might be the only title that really deserves to be on my list. My initial impression was that it was some stupid fanservice fighting anime that wasn't worth paying attention to. What I got was a well made stupid fanservice fighting anime that was also fun to watch. The show is actually funny and the characters work, and that's not bad all things considered.

Kimi to Boku
I thought this show had potential, but it's somewhat exceeded my expectations. The character interactions are amusing and the humor is fairly effective (after the first couple of episodes).

Mawaru Penguindrum
I had high expectations of Penguindrum because of Ikuhara and the publicity campaign, but I didn't quite expect a penguin-class show.

Hourou Musuko
Another excellent show that turned out better than I expected. It's only here because of how good it is.
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Old 2011-11-08, 01:21   Link #35
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Crimson Demon's Realm
Age: 34
Top Five Pleasant Anime Surprises (I call it underrated hidden gem didn't expect them to be that much get high praises, each gets a sub-forum) this 2011.
1. Puella Magi Madoka Magica (A new idea has been created and introduced us to new type of mahou shoujo. QB is the best villain ever.)
2. Boku Wa Tomodachi (ok nobody expects it to be that good except those followers of the said, but for some reason it even attracted other audience that don't really like this type of anime just for the extremeness.)
3. AnoHana (serious friendship drama at its best. Ai Kayano's voice acting as Menma is quite moe. Haruka Tomatsu's Anaru did get a break. This is the sole rated G "good for all ages." anime this year, Yumeiru Patissiere gets that credit two years ago.)
4. Mawaru Penguindrum (Most crazy anime this year. Now backgrounds have now huge importance since Shaft started it with Negima!? and somehow make it effective with Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei.)
5. Steins;Gate (It take almost 12 episodes before I started liking this anime along the way.)

Others CubexCursedxCurious (who would have thought this kind of anime have turned into something good and tolerable.), Nichijou (an anime that I don't know whether to watch it or not, but tends me to go sleeping.), Horizon (why did I have to wait almost four episodes just to witness a decent episode, too much hype I say.), Ben-to (Nobody realizes that David Production outdid themselves with this anime.)
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Old 2011-11-09, 00:18   Link #36
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Cali, Colombia
This years anime surprise was the news that Hayao Miyazaki's new proyectwhich is the sequel to his masterpiece "Kurenai no buta". Of course it only comes out next year, but I learn about it this year.

He has never before made a sequel, so I'm all exited about it, however since its his first sequel, I hope he doesn't tarnish what he did with Porco Rosso.
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Old 2011-11-09, 21:24   Link #37
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Earth...hopefully
Originally Posted by ATM View Post
This years anime surprise was the news that Hayao Miyazaki's new proyectwhich is the sequel to his masterpiece "Kurenai no buta". Of course it only comes out next year, but I learn about it this year.

He has never before made a sequel, so I'm all exited about it, however since its his first sequel, I hope he doesn't tarnish what he did with Porco Rosso.
I think that's supposed to be a manga project.

Anyways, mine is Boku Wa Tomodachi. I was surprised at how funny it was, along with the fact that the characters aren't that annoying. Plus, I like how they treat the idea of friendship semi-seriously.

Edit: I forgot about the early 2011 anime. One is Madoka Magica, as I don't get into magical girl shows, but that was pretty awesome. The other was Infinite Stratos. It wasn't good, but I got some enjoyment out of it, which is more than I can say for other harem anime of its type.

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Last edited by Flawfinder; 2011-11-10 at 01:01.
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Old 2011-11-09, 23:53   Link #38
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Join Date: Jul 2007
1. Madoka Magica - I typically ignore shows until they've had at least a couple of episodes aired, and see which ones had a positive buzz. This one had the buzz going for it, so I gave it a shot. What a ride it turned out to be. By the episode 7 fight scene, I was hooked.

2. Nichijou - I tend to not care much for Kyoani, but this series was very entertaining.

3. Stiens;gate - This show is hard to get into at first, but once I finally got into it, I found a very facinating show. Anime needs more good scifi.

4. Mawaru Penguindrum - Before watching this, I knew one thing about it: Kunihiko Ikuhara. I knew it would be good, but what exactly it would be eluded me. I'm still not entirely sure what it is, but I will say, it's has already defied every expectation I could possibly have.
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Old 2011-11-13, 14:53   Link #39
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai:
What i thought i'd get: Generic harem/ecchi with lame MC.
What i actually got: Hilarious characters, tolerable ecchi moments and an overall good watch.

C3 (Cube x Cursed x Curious):
What i thought i'd get: Generic harem/ecchi with lame MC.
What i actually got: Intense plot with a whole host of likeable characters.

What i thought i'd get: Another K-ON? No thanks.
What i actually got: Amazing diverse characters, fun songs, and a solid plot. Better than K-ON by a thousand miles.

What i thought i'd get: Boring science babble and weak main characters.
What i actually got: THIS. SHOW. IS. AMAZING.
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Old 2011-11-13, 15:51   Link #40
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: event horizon
Madoka Magica
  • expected, crap plot magical girl something
  • got, great plot, likable characters

  • expected boring nonsense and confusion
  • got really damn good plot and plot twists
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