Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

16 October 2012: Summer 2012 season summary

Asuna triple-monitor desktop
This was a proof of concept that I will never use
again (because I bought a fourth monitor).

I get the sense I wasn't exposed to a large portion of the shows that aired this season—an obvious consequence of not watching all that much compared to past seasons. Nevertheless, I'm not convinced I actually missed anything, although I do admit a curious fascination with Sword Art Online (despite the profoundly negative reactions to its cour-ending climax). I haven't yet watched a single minute of it, but I have read the first four volumes of the light novels (which I'm expecting the first two cours to cover). Learning that Kajiura Yuki is providing the music has put the show over the top, and I'll probably marathon the summer 2012 segment to catch up with the autumn 2012 episodes. Naturally, this will change my summer 2012 anime summary rankings, but it is late enough already and I can always reflect the addition with an update, so here goes:

Not pictured: Sawa's ridiculously strong thighs.

My favorite show from summer 2012 was Tari Tari, as I've already explained. Most people seem to like Sawa best, but I think Wakana was my favorite character in spite of (or possibly because of) all her early drama. She's actually a sweet kid even though she "doesn't money."

A fairy with the female protagonist
Don't be fooled. Fairies are assholes.

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined) was a pleasant surprise, mostly on the strength of Nakahara Mai's unnamed character. Her droll casualness in the face of absurd surroundings and bizarre procedings was quite endearing. I sort of want to re-watch it except in chronological order to see if it changes my impressions of the show, but I've already got a rack of shows in my re-watching queue and a depressingly large collection of DVDs and Blu-ray discs I haven't even opened. I'm sure somehow it's the fairies' fault.

Ran and Conan
Ran also continues to bend over a lot.

I'm not officially including Detective Conan in this season summary because the subtitlers fell behind, which makes it ineligible for these quarterly wrapups. However, since Detective Conan tends to be as good as it ever was, it's pretty likely I would have ranked it about here.

[Update: Adding Sword Art Online here now that I've caught up with the show.]

Sagara and Mitsuhide
War is all Hell.

Oda Nobuna na Yabou was a lot better than it had any right to be, even though its titular character spent most of her spare time with one boob hanging out (as was the style at the time, I presume). I'm pleased Sagara was not another Potato-kun, but I'm perplexed why the show gave him a harem of shrimpy pre-pubescent girls ("lolis," in the base vernacular), seeing as how he showed no interest in any of them, even though his only other options were comely, shapely girls with their boobs hanging out in the middle of their bright, blessed days; girls who use vacuum-sealed breast plates as their daily wear; or girls with a burning willingness to share their warmth during dark, sacred nights. I did have a problem with the way the show marginalized Nobuna herself, though, making her almost a secondary character towards the end, and portraying her as really too soft to be a warlord. It's okay to let her kill some people, y'know. We'll still like her.

Chitanda, Mayaka, and Satoshi
Satoshi digging around in his purse is kinda Freudian.

Hyouka was good, but not something I expecially liked. Readers are much less aghast at my comparison of it to Tari Tari, supra, than I anticipated.

I also like Sakura because she's a cunt sometimes.

Binbogami ga! was uneven, but still enjoyable. Its repertoire of jokes certainly was limited, and I think I only gave the show a pass because I liked Sakura's round eyes. And maybe because I have a weak spot for poor little rich girls. And maybe because of her one-way, two-way, three-way, four-way running in the OP. There's not enough good running in anime. There also may or may not have been a Hanakana Distortion Field at play; I can't say. Binbogami ga! made decent use of Haruka DeTomaso Pantera as well, although I prefer it when she stays closer to her Zegapain or Cross Game chracters.

Reika, Nao, Miyuki, Akane, Yayoi, and Candy
Guess which one of these characters is the only one worth a damn.
Go on, guess.

Smile Precure! continutes to be otaku-friendly with the unfortunate result that I enjoy it less than previous generations. Actually, I have complaints about the current direction recent iterations of Precure have taken as a whole, really. For example, Precure mascots have been annoying since episode one (with the exception of Tarte from Fresh Pretty Cure and Obi-Wan Cologney from Heartcatch Precure!) but at least they weren't infants. (Okay, Lulun sort of was.) There's also been a diminished focus on fighting. So yeah, I've got at a "Pretty Cure was better in the old days" attitude. The franchise has been running a long time, so naturally it would have changed over the years. If there's a Pretty Cure series after Smile (and why would you kill something that prints money?) it will be the 10th year of Cures! But even if these changes are natural and gradual, I'm still going to lament the loss of Hope and Courage as the primary sources of the reluctant mahou shoujo's power. Speaking of hope, I hope the new standard identified by All Stars New Stage is not canon. Any girl can become a Cure if her feelings are strong enough? Seriously? Are you telling me magikal girls are powered by estrogen?! That can't be good. But if they are, how has Cure Passion not already wrecked Clovertown after a bad day of menstural cramps?

Female protagonist
I thought so little of AKB0048 I forgot to save an extra screenshot for the
season wrapup. So instead, I'll use this space to officially nominate the
Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita female protagonist for 2012 Girl of the Year.
OR: "A female protagonist by any other name would smell as Sweets."

It seems so long ago, but I consider the last few episodes of AKB0048 technically part of summer 2012. I never did start caring about any of its characters, though. I think that's why I'm so much less enthused with AKB0048 than its rare ardent fans. I have no issues with the concept or content as a matter of principle, though.

Ryousuke and Lisara
"I can see my house from here."

I shouldn't have bothered with Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai. I was led astray by Aya Endo's "HAAA?!" exclamations and the ribald concept of an often-nude shinigami powered by some horny dude's indefatigable boners. It also brought back "ANTA BAKA?" They couldn't leave it alone, though. They had to bring shounen jive into it. Typical. Way to overthink a fan service romp.

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