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Dated 26 March 2009: I am watching Asu no Yoichi! because it is terrible

Yoichi and Ayame
Sees, gropes, whatever.

Really, I'm just watching to see if the First Girl He Sees Clause will hold true when the girl in question is clearly intended to only be a secondary love interest. This isn't to say that a harem comedy protagonist has never chose someone other than the obviously intended match, but it is rare.

Ibuki
Ibuki is tsundere, but her tsun side is driven by misunderstandings.

Ayame is great because she is a formulaic tsundere with essentially no other redeeming qualities. She's so textbook it's startling.

Ayame and Yoichi
Ayame, on the other hand, is Pure Tsundere. PURE.

Silly misunderstandings are lousy for the most part, but they are mildly amusing when the misunderstandings themselves are animated from the mistaken party's point of view. They make for nice diversions sort of as the Sayuri Legends segments in Tokimeki Memorial ~Only Love~ did.

Dated 29 March 2009: Okay, Asu no Yoichi! isn't terrible, but Lord, it's not good

Ayame
Ayame is the Best Girl in Asu no Yoichi!.

The second half of Asu no Yoichi! actually has some redeeming points. I'd say those episodes are at least better than the early Toradora! episodes.

Hinagata
Hinagata.

The real tragedy, however, is that Hinagata assembled her three-piece staff into a single stick, and we never saw the three-piece staff again. The three-piece staff is basically the coolest martial arts weapon of all time, just so you know.

Dated 21 April 2009: End of season review, Winter 2009

Makina
Gainax Kick detected.

The biggest surprise of the Winter 2009 season was the rise of Shikabane Hime: Kuro and the fall of Toradora! in the final rankings during the last weeks of the season. As expected, it was a rather weak season overall, but it had its moments.

Makina
Makina has a bad day.

I had fully expected to drop Shikabane Hime after four episodes during the Autumn 2008 season, but I was hooked by the characters (except for Ouri) and the mystery. It helped I was spared the loathsome shounen jive conventions I despise so much.

Goro and Kaoru
I hereby nominate Shimizu for Best Girl of the Year.

The second-best series from Winter 2009 was the first half of the fifth season of Major. Besides being a solid sports anime, it's also starting to delve into relationship drama, although with its own flair, and thankfully without the typical animeisms that plague relationship stories. Maybe it's because the characters in question are no longer in high school, so they aren't expected to act like twits. Whatever the reason, it's refreshing.

Nobue
Nobue calls these days "weekdays."

Taking the third spot is the first Ichigo Mashimaro Encore OVA. I should probably not include OVAs in these rankings for numerous reasons, but I'm making these rules up as I go along. As for the first Ichigo Mashimaro Encore OVA itself, it was another solid block of entertainment and charm that make the series so enjoyable. Pity the title unfairly carries with it all that baggage it can't seem to escape. You know what I'm talking about.

Suguru and Sachiko
This is the weirdest bathroom. Is it at the end of a hallway?

In fourth is the latest offering of Maria-sama ga Miteru. I didn't care for these episodes as much as the previous seasons, but that's probably because of their Touko-centric nature. On the other hand, these episodes also elevated Touko three positions in the Marimite rankings. Congratulations, Touko. I no longer like you least.

Ami and Minori
Ami is stunned to discover she's the Toradora! Best Girl after all.
And how odd. Minori is usually much more genki.

Everyone else's favorite, Toradora!, only managed to take the fifth spot, despite leading most of the season. As astute readers surely realize, this sudden drop is largely due to the dramatic turn towards the end of the season. Most people who really like Toradora! seem to really like the relationship drama aspects of the final episodes, but I felt they were ham-handed at best. Maybe it's because these are high school relationships in question, but I couldn't help thinking the principals were utter twits. As others have pointed out, this isn't really drama; it's melodrama. And it tastes like high school.

Shion
How odd. Shion is usually much more genki.

I'm not a huge fan of Tetsuwan Birdy Decode, but it is pretty good at what it does. Were these rankings based solely on my interest, it would probably place lower in the standings, although at no fault of its own. Then again, if these rankings were driven by my appreciation of Chiba Saeko, it would place higher. So let's just call it a wash, eh.

Kotori
How odd. Kotori is usually much more genki.

Da Capo If is another OVA ranked entirely on the strength of a single episode. Like with the Ichigo Mashimaro OVA, that's probably not fair, and I should probably exclude it entirely, but I waited a long time for a Kotori route, so I'm going to include it, God damn it. Also, Da Capo If reminds us Horie Yui can really act when she wants to.

Kyon
Kyon, you know this can't possibly end well.

The Melancholy of Haruhi-chan shorts are genuinely amusing. They pulled away from their Nyoron Churuya-san counterparts with that episode where Asahina Mikuru just starts crying from confusion and never looked back.

Torigaya? and Washizu
Washizu Vision?

Oh God. Asu no Yoichi!. Hey, some of the middle-laterish episodes are all right, and that running gag with Washizu's crony had a great payoff that came completely out of left field. The best part is everyone else dropped this show after episode two, so they have no idea what I'm talking about.

Love is all right for a rookie Cure
How odd. Love is usually much more genki.

Fresh Pretty Cure is fresh. Love is love. Tart is the least annoying Precure mascot thus far. Kaoru-chan probably wants to get into the girls' pants. Easy is the best Precure villain except for that that one movie where Cure White is tempted by the dark side and beats Hell out of Cure Black. Aside from Buki being a sort of useless religious fanatic, this show is all right.

Churuya
Quit while you're ahead, Tsuruya.

Nyoron Churuya-san needs more variety in its jokes, nyoron.

Marisa
I've decided Marisa is my favorite Touhou character. Entirely arbitrarily.

Rounding out the final spot among shows I watched during the Winter 2009 season is the unofficial Touhou doujin anime. Despite all the hype, it was merely adequate, which I guess is pretty good all things considered. I wanted to like it more, but I can't claim it's even as good as the classic Yakumo/Chen bit with the KCY and all.

Hokuto
How odd. Hokuto is usually much more...wait, no she's not.

I also dropped a bunch of shows, but there aren't any additions or changes from the earlier list

Dated 10 May 2010: I am watching Mayoi Neko Overrun! because it sucks

Fumino
Fumino may or may not want you to have cake.

Why would I watch something that's awful? I watch Mayoi Neko Overrun! because it is bad, but inoffensively bad. Maybe "mediocre" is more apropos than "awful." Mayoi Neko Overrun! does nothing especially well, but it is so by-the-numbers there is not necessarily anything particularly odious about it either. It's an unnecessary show in the sense that its absence from the anime landscape would not be missed, but it is a colorful bit of filler that fits well during hollow moments where one might care for background amusement. Watching Mayoi Neko Overrun! is the anime equivalent of eating a stalk of celery in the afternoon because there's nothing else in the fridge and it makes a nice crunching sound.

Fumino
Breaking from tradition, Female Protagonist does not have a thigh_gap.

But really, Mayoi Neko Overrun! does not have a lot going for it. I don't care about the characters. I don't care about the story or the plot, and I am not even impressed by the fan service. The only thing about Mayoi Neko Overrun! I can positively identify as being something I enjoy is the way Fumino talks. I don't mean I like the sound of her voice. I also don't mean I enjoy her seiyuu's acting ability. I mean I like the cadence of her speech.

Takumi and Fumino
At least he didn't wake her shoving his crotch in her face.

Now, I'm not counting when Fumino does her tsundere shtick (although her "harrumphes" are also nicely done). Haruka Tomatosauce did the by-the-book Kugimiya-type tsundere a lot better when she was voicing Ayame in Asu no Yoichi! It doesn't get any more precise than that. (Ayame was so textbook neo-classical tsundere in Asu no Yoichi! she was even better than Kugimiya Rie herself.) But when Fumino is talking in her normal voice saying normal-type things, there is a nice rhythm to her words, even if they're ultimately empty and meaningless and completely forgettable. Y'know, like beat poetry. It's just good enough to make Mayoi Neko Overrun! watchable when there is nothing else on, and I bet it's even better with some creamy peanut butter.