I've now wrapped up most of the shows I've been watching from the most recent season.  (Sailor Moon Crystal continues, and I have to catch up on Aldnoah.Zero, which is pretty intense so I tend not to watch it casually.)

Hanayamata matched my expectations pretty much exactly: cute, fluffy, entertaining.  Sugary almost to the point of irritating.  No particular need to watch it again, but a good counterbalance for more serious stuff.

Rail Wars tried hard to balance Dramatic Action with fan service.  Almost made it.  I definitely preferred the episodes that were more focused on action; the light-hearted episodes tended to slide toward the gratuitous.  I don't regret watching it, though — it was still much better than Momo-kyun Sword (which I abandoned 5 minutes into the first episode).

Sabagebu! was completely absurd and over-the-top, but dammit, it made me laugh, and that's really all you could hope for in a show like that.  Don't try this at home, kids.

I very much enjoyed Glasslip, which was something out of the ordinary.  Inasmuch as it was playing around with alternate realities, I couldn't definitively tell you how the story ended — but that's par for the course in Japanese storytelling, so I'm taking that in stride.

I've already started a few shows from the next season, so we'll see how they shape up.  Karen Senki is a computer-animated short-episode show aiming for the same balance as Rail Wars, I think.  Terraformars had a pretty brutal first episode; some people are complaining about it having been censored, but I don't mind if they dodge some graphic violence.  And Denki-Gai got off to an entertaining start, I hope it can keep it up.

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10/4 '14 9 Comments
Thanks for these Anime reviews. I've fallen out of the habit since the early 90s era of Bubblegum Crisis, UY, AD Police and so on. Netflix and Crunchy Roll have huge selections now, and aside from (still) slowly grinding our way through FMA recently, and Monster about five years ago, we haven't watched much.
Your reviews are quite helpful. Do you maintain a sort of "best of" list or other catalogue?
Sean M Puckett 10/5 '14
I feel I should add that Sturgeon's Law still applies and there are even more terrible shows out there. :)
Mark Bradford 10/5 '14
I'm hardly an anime fan at all, so for what it's worth, the new version of Sailor Moon (Crystal) is pretty good and fansubs exist basically immediately as new episodes come out. Caveat: I really liked the original (not the American dub, though, it changed way too much and was just annoying.)
I haven't been in the fansub game for years. It's being simulcast on Crunchyroll, which is where I watch it.
Mark Bradford 10/5 '14
No, I'm not at all systematic with my reviews -- I just sometimes have the hankering to put my impressions out there. :) My watching time ebbs and flows and there's just no way I can keep up, even with shows that are widely acknowledged to be good. I certainly have my own favorites, though.

If you're continuing to check out newer stuff, you've no doubt heard that Cowboy Bebop is excellent (it is), and I really liked Durarara and BECK: Mongolian Chop Squad. The amount of anime available now compared to the '80s and '90s is simply staggering, though, and there are plenty of other great shows out there.
Mark Bradford 10/5 '14
We did get to Bebop, in fact the soundtrack is on permanent rotation. Yoko Kanno is one of the most talented musicians of our generation. Also Evangelion (yay), and Afro Samurai (eh). Oh also FLCL, which was interesting. Oh, shit, and also Mnemosyne which could have been much better than it was. I guess we have been watching quite a bit. It just doesn't stick unless it's great.
We also get turned off by excess fan service. I don't mind attractive leads but if they're spending more of the effects budget on jiggle than anything else ima pass.
Sean M Puckett 10/5 '14
I liked Samurai Champloo, you might consider that. I never watched the second season of the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya but the first season was great. And Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet is a more recent show on Crunchyroll that I enjoyed. The Eccentric Family was also good, very Japanese.

Sometimes a show that looks dubious in the service department at first shapes up -- such as Kiddy Grade, for me at least. More often, though, you can quickly tell it's gonna be one of Those Shows.
Mark Bradford 10/5 '14
This has nothing to do with your anime, I fear, but: if you don't follow Sean Puckett, you might drop by his feed to look at his "The cure that kills" post and chime in -- you've been around a few days and I think your insight could be valuable to the discussion.
THREAD DERAIL er um I mean I'll drop by.
Mark Bradford 10/4 '14