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Anime of the Year 2008-I Winter - Ookami to Koushinryou



Ookami to Koushinryou is the only bright spot in this short season.
1. Ookami to Koushinryou Spice and Wolf 狼と香辛料  [Imagin] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Adult Cast Adventure, Fantasy, Romance 
Holo is a powerful wolf deity who is revered in the small town of Pasloe for blessing the annual harvest. Yet as years go by and the villagers become more self-sufficient, Holo has been reduced to a mere folktale. When a traveling merchant named Kraft Lawrence stops at the settlement, Holo offers to become his business partner if he takes her to her northern home of Yoitsu. The savvy trader recognizes Holo's unusual ability to evaluate a person's character and accepts her proposition.
Now in the possession of both sharp bargaining skills and a charismatic negotiator, Lawrence inches closer to his goal of opening his own shop. However, as Lawrence travels the countryside with Holo in search of economic opportunities, he begins to realize that his aspirations are slowly morphing into something unexpected.
I really enjoyed it when I first watched it, but I don't want to watch it anew as it's just medieval low fantasy SOL romance without conceptual plot or normal ending, and thus lacks excitement.  
Overall Rating: 7/10
2. Rosario to Vampire Rosario + Vampire ロザリオとバンパイア [Gonzo] (Finished 2/13)
Tags: Shounen Harem, School, Vampire Comedy, Fantasy, Romance, Ecchi
Youkai Academy is a seemingly normal boarding school, except that its pupils are monsters learning to coexist with humans. All students attend in human form and take normal academic subjects, such as literature, gym, foreign language, and mathematics. However, there is one golden rule at Youkai Academy—all humans found on school grounds are to be executed immediately!
Tsukune Aono is an average teenager who is unable to get into any high school because of his bad grades. His parents inadvertently enroll him into Youkai Academy as a last-ditch effort to secure his education. As Tsukune unknowingly enters this new world, he has a run-in with the most attractive girl on campus, Moka Akashiya. Deciding to stay in the perilous realm in order to further his relationship with Moka, he does not realize that beneath her beauty lies a menacing monster—a vampire.
Rosario to Vampire is a supernatural school comedy that explores Tsukune's romantic exploits, experiences, and misadventures with a bevy of beautiful but dangerous creatures.
Don't like harems, vampires and ecchi, so without serious plot it was a lost case from the start.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
3. True Tears  [P.A. Works] (Finished 5/13)
Tags: Love Polygon, School Drama, Romance
Shinichirou Nakagami was living the life other boys from his grade could only dream of—staying under the same roof as prodigal student Hiromi Yuasa. However, the bright and cheerful Hiromi has been depressed and cold at home ever since her mother passed away. While he is the subject of the ignorant jealousy of his peers, rumors begin to spread when Shinichirou meets Noe Isurugi—a girl known for cursing classmates, curses which always end up becoming reality.
Noe curses Shinichirou as well, but two pits are created when you curse someone, and her curse on Shinichirou comes back to bite her in the form of a raccoon to her beloved chicken, Raigomaru. Despite this, she does not shed a single tear; Noe had had her tears stolen. For Noe to be able to cry again, she would need the tears of another, and Shinichirou knows a person whose tears he wants to take away.
An OK romance , but characters have strange personalities and do strange stuff which may seem fresh from the start, but looks more and more like disorders later on. And watching crazy people dating does not look fun at all.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
4. Mnemosyne: Mnemosyne no Musume-tachi Mnemosyne-ムネモシュネの娘たち- [Xebec] (Finished 2/6)
Tags: Gore Action, Girls Love, Horror, Sci-Fi, Supernatural
Immortality is something many people would wish for. But would it be such a coveted ability if people knew they would be subject to countless attacks because of it? Such is the case for Rin Asougi, an immortal private investigator, because there is no shortage of people who want her dead. Over the centuries, she has met many grisly ends, but each time, she returns to life as if nothing had happened.
In 1990, while looking for a lost cat, Rin runs into Kouki Maeno, a man who feels that his memories are wrong. Agreeing to help him, Rin discovers that Kouki is not what he seems, all the while drawing closer to her true enemy. This adversary knows Rin and her kind all too well, and if she dies by his hand, she may stay dead permanently.
This kind of gore is nauseating, so I just can't tolerate if for long. And since concept is all about constant dying and sadism, that's a skip.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
5. Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei 俗・さよなら絶望先生 [Shaft] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Shounen Gag Humor, Parody, School Comedy
More crazy antics abound as Nozomu Itoshiki (a.k.a Zetsubou-sensei), who is the worlds most negative person, tries to teach class 2-F about how life is filled with despair and darkness. A harder task than it first may seem, with his students being far from ordinary themselves, including the likes of the most positive girl he has ever met, his very own stalker, a foreign exchange student with split personalities and a perfectionist acting class president, due to the fact the real class president can't be seen by anyone, among others.
Overall Rating: 6/10
6. Aria the Origination  [Hal Film Maker] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Shounen Iyashikei Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Slice of Life
In the 24th century on the planet Aqua, three girls—Akari Mizunashi, Alice Carroll, and Aika S. Granzchesta—continue to work hard toward achieving their goal of becoming Prima Undines: professional tour guide gondoliers. Luckily, the girls have the guidance of the three best Prima Undines in Neo-Venezia—Alicia Florence, Athena Glory, and Akira E. Ferrari—who are known as the "Water Fairies" in honor of their skill. With their help, the young apprentices train hard and work to overcome any situations that they find themselves in.
Aria The Origination follows the hardships and daily lives of these three young girls, who are doing their best to improve as tour gondoliers in Neo-Venezia, a terraformed replica of Venice.
Overall Rating: 6/10
7. Kimi ga Aruji de Shitsuji ga Ore de They Are My Noble Masters 君が主で執事が俺で [A.C.G.T.] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Harem, Parody Comedy, Romance, Ecchi 
Due to family troubles, Ren Uesugi and his sister, Mihato, leave their home. They end up moving to the city but find themselves with a lack of money. Somehow they are able to find work in the form of the Kuonji family's mansion, being employed as servants to the three sisters of the Kuonji family: Shinra, Miyu, and Yume. Being a servant also associates Ren with the mansion's additional servants and the Kuonji sisters' friends.
I really wanted to watch this to the end, but it is just silly people behaving in silly ways, so it's a too big hit to my sanity to go on. It's nothing but nonsense parody, can't even call this humor - freak circus is more appropriate.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
8. H2O: Footprints in the Sand  [Zexcs] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Harem, School Romance
Takuma Hirose is a blind young male high school student, though the cause for his blindness is undetermined. In order to heal his medical condition, he is sent to live in a village with his uncle. There, he meets several girls, three of which stand out more than any of the others. They are Hayami Kohinata, Hinata Kangura, and Otoha. Otoha temporarily heals his blindness and Hirose uses his sight to help others. He finds out that, for some reason, Hayami Kohinata is hated in the village, and he tries his best to help her out. Meanwhile, many sad secrets unfold in the village...
Resembles nakige as it's deliberately light for the most part and deliberately heavy by the end dealing in disability, abuse and different personal problems. Unfortunately I did not like any of the characters, and there are filler episodes.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
9. Shigofumi Shigofumi: Letters from the Departed シゴフミ [J.C.Staff] (Finished 1/12)
Tags: Psychological Drama, Fantasy, Suspense
There are some things that people are unable to say while they are alive; for these, there are "shigofumi," letters carried from the world of the dead to the world of the living. When a person with strong emotions dies, they are able to create a shigofumi, whether their feelings are of love, longing, or resentment. It is the quiet and mysterious Fumika's job to deliver these messages from the departed. Along with her talking magic staff Kanaka, she ensures that each shigofumi reaches its intended recipient, even if that person does not want to face its contents.
Fumika witnesses the tragedies of people, both dead and alive, and sees their deepest secrets revealed. What is unclear, however, are the details of Fumika's past. Who was she before she came to be a carrier of shigofumi?
Another anthology of different stories, not to my taste.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
10. Persona: Trinity Soul ペルソナ 〜トリニティ・ソウル〜 [A-1 Pictures] (Finished 6/26)
Tags: Super Power Action, Sci-Fi
The stage is Ayanagi City, a city near the Japan Sea. It is a futuristic city that was built to carry out the recovery from the calamity caused by the "Apathy Syndrome" ten years previous. High school student Shin Kanzato with his little brother Jun, meet with their elder brother Ryou, who is the chief of the Ayanagi City Police, again after ten years. At that time, a series of strange incidents happen in Ayanagi City such as the crew of a submarine that suddenly disappears while in their submarine, or a spiritless symptom which disturbs the world after ten years, or the case of the inside out corpse where a student took on a cruel appearance. Ryou tracks down the organization behind the string of incidents, and having become involved in the incidents, Shin awakens the "Persona."
So far I hated every single Persona game and anime that I encountered for primitiveness and artificial behavior...  
Overall Rating: 5/10
11. Minami-ke Okawari みなみけ~おかわり~ [asread.] (Finished 13/13)
Tags: Seinen CGDCT, School Comedy, Slice of Life
The second season of Minami-Ke. It picks up where the first season left off, and just like the first season, it's about the daily lives of the three Minami sisters, Haruka, Kana and Chiaki, and their school friends.
Overall Rating: 6/10
12. Major S4 メジャー (第4シリーズ)  [SynergySP] (Finished 1/26)
Tags: Shounen Team Sports
Having finished high school, Gorou Honda sets his sights on becoming a professional baseball player. His dreams are much more ambitious than becoming a Japanese Baseball League player, so he instead decides to move to the birthplace of his beloved sport, America, in order to play in the Major League.
However, Gorou finds that the Major League players are much faster, stronger, and more driven than he is. Nonetheless, he is eager to catch up with them. In order to do so, Gorou must first conquer the ranks of the Minor League, where numerous skilled players compete in the grueling rise to the Majors.
Gorou learns that he will have to adapt to the stark differences of American culture and push himself to new extremes as his race to join the Major League begins.
Overall Rating: 6/10
13. Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino ガンスリンガー ガール -IL TEATRINO- [Artland] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Military Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
When the Social Welfare Agency investigates the disappearance of an operative, their inquiry leads them right into the lair of their rival, the Five Republics. The assassin Triela infiltrates the hostile organization, but her search is cut short when she finds herself staring down the barrel of a gun...
The magic of the first season is gone here - no good soundtrack or tender revelations of girls. Story becomes retarded as super terrorists without any written motivation show up, and they are even stronger than cyborgs while staying human. It feels that story is forced in artificial manner.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
14. Hatenkou Yuugi Hatenkou Yugi 破天荒遊戯 [Studio Deen] (Finished 3/10)
Tags: Josei Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance
"See the world"
With these words, Rahzel, the daughter of a rich family, is kicked out of her house and sent on her journey. Along the way she meets up with Heat and Alzeid, two men with very different personalities but very similar journeys. Rahzel is a clever, stubborn, and confident girl, who, with the powers of her magic and mind helps the people she runs into on her journey to discover the world.
It's basically reverse harem, just with only two bishounens. And I started blocking that tag for a reason.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
15. Ayakashi アヤカシ [Tokyo Kids] (Finished 12/12)
Tags: Action, Fantasy, Horror, Sci-Fi 
As a child, Yuu Kusaka made a vow upon a shooting star that he would stand on the side of justice and defend the weak. However, the death of one of his friends robs him of the desire to live up to that vow, and he turns a blind eye to the misery of others, using the mysterious power he possesses as a means of making money instead of helping those in need. His days of living only for himself continue, until he's forced to fight for his life against another classmate with powers similar to his. He's saved by a mysterious girl named Eimu Yoake, who also has strange powers.
Eimu reveals that his powers stem from a creature known as an Ayakashi, a parasitic being that grants the user special abilities at the price of slowly draining the life of the host. She helps him fully awaken his own. Now aware of the ayakashi he possesses, Yuu must live up to his childhood vow, putting his ayakashi to use and fend off those who would use their own for evil, all while unraveling the mystery behind the death of his friend.
Good shounen with superpowers, but not exceptional. I think I compared anime with visual novel in game review.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
16. Bus Gamer  [Anpro] (Finished 3/3)
Tags: Action 
One day, Toki Mishiba receives a letter in the mail promising him a large sum of money if he participates in a game. Initially dismissing the message, Toki becomes intrigued and decides to sign up after noticing fine print that says players' safety will not be guaranteed. It is not long after that he meets Nobuto Nakajou and Kazuo Saitou—the teammates assigned to him in the "Business Game," also known as "Biz Game."
The members of the trio quickly form a shaky alliance and call themselves "No Name." Bound by nothing but their shared desire for an obscene amount of money, the three step into the dangerous world of the Biz Game, where they must fight against other teams over a data disk containing vital corporate secrets in order to advance and survive.
It has the looks and some vibes of shounen ai, Survival game is half of the show, but it ends with pretty much nothing, which means that it all was about relations that constituted the second half.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
17. Hakaba Kitarou Graveyard Kitaro 墓場鬼太郎 [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/11)
Tags: Horror, Supernatural
Kitarou is a youkai boy born in a cemetery, and aside from his mostly-decayed father, the last living member of the Ghost tribe. He is missing his left eye, but his hair usually covers the empty socket. He fights for peace between humans and youkai, which generally involves protecting the former from the wiles of the latter.
This version of the Kitarou story is based on the original Hakaba Kitarou manga, the manga which inspired the popular Gegege no Kitarou series in the late 60's.
Overall Rating: 6/10
18. Yes! Precure 5 GoGo! Yes! プリキュア5 GoGo! [Toei Animation] (Finished 1/48)
Tags: Mahou Shoujo, School Action, Fantasy
Nozomi and friends are back, their role as Precure far from over. The girls are given new powers by the mysterious Flora, who awaits their arrival in a place called the Cure Rose Garden. But to reach that garden of legend, they have to use a magical relic known as the Rose Pact. Problem is, our heroes don't know how to use the thing. This leads them to seek help from the four monarchs of Palmier's neighboring countries.
Not to make things too easy, dark forces are afoot once again. An evil organization, Eternal, is keen on adding the Rose Pact to its ever-growing collection of treasures. To make matters worse, the director of this dastardly museum seems to have a vested interest in the Cure Rose Garden.
Fortunately, a new story brings with it new allies. Enter Syrup, the courier boy with a bad attitude. His desire to reach the Garden is pure, but who exactly is he? And for that matter, who's the new girl in town and why does she smell like roses?
Overall Rating: 6/10
19. Wellber no Monogatari: Sisters of Wellber Zwei Sisters of Wellber Zwei ウエルベールの物語 ~Sisters of Wellber~ 第二幕 [Trans Arts] (Finished 1/13)
Tags: Historical Adventure, Fantasy, Romance 
The loquacious sentient tank, Gyrano De Borgerac seems very busy being pampered by solicitous maids. The fairy Sherri, too, is enjoying the luxury of the court's life. And for Rita, time has come to face her duties as princess of Wellber. But Tina is resolute: she wants to continue her search for the Man with a tattoo of Bee the Death, the devil who exterminated her family. An unspeakable feeling of sadness fills the hearts of the two girls, who shared so much and are now about to say farewell to each other.
And then, on the day of Tina's departure...
A new journey that will take Tina walking through the still sore scars of the Great War that wiped out entire cities ten years before, until the unsuspected truth about her nemesis!
Overall Rating: 5/10
20. Yatterman ヤッターマン [Tatsunoko Production] (Finished 1/60)
Tags: Parody Adventure, Comedy
Remake of the Yatterman series.
Remake of borderline childish series.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
21. Porphy no Nagai Tabi The Orphans of Simitra ポルフィの長い旅 [Nippon Animation] (Finished 3/52)
Tags: Historical Drama
Porfy, his younger sister Mina, and their parents live a humble but happy life in the Grecian countryside. They've just started running a gas station, much to Porphy's joy, and it seems like only good things are in store for their future. However, a huge earthquake changes all that, leaving Porfy without a home or a family -- sans Mina, who seems to have disappeared in the commotion. Now, Porfy is determined to find his sister and be able to live together happily again.
World Masterpiece Theater... but at least something relatively modern. Still it does not mean I'll tolerate travel blog for 52 episodes in search of the sister with pace so slow that three episodes aren't even enough for premise separation scene.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
22. Noramimi のらみみ [TMS Entertainment] (Finished 1/12)
Tags: Childcare Comedy
The anime is based on Kazuo Hara's comedy manga in which mascot characters live and work among humans. Agencies have been set up to train mascots to babysit children and then to place the mascots within families. Noramimi is one such mascot at the Hello Kids branch office #59. Unfortunately, no family wants to adopt a mascot born from a demon (oni) family, so he is stuck living at the agency.
Crude nonsense comedy for kids.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
23. Petit Petit Muse 쁘띠쁘띠 뮤즈 [KBS] (Finished 1/26)
Tags: Mahou Shoujo Fantasy
Two twins, Ara and Ari, aspire into the world of fashion. Ara wants to become a fashion model, while her sister, Ari, wants to become a fashion designer. They meet a man named Yorang, who is the fashion designer in Heaven.
Not translated to English. But from what I see it's a typical Korean imitation of mahou shoujo series like Precure, put more primitive.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
24. Kite Liberator KITE LIBERATOR (カイト リベレイター) [Arms] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Gore Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the previous series "Kite," a killer—Sawa—suddenly disappears after she avenges her parents' death, and no one knows where she is.
Several years later, a figure dances airily on the dark side of a big city. She is an angel of death, killing her victim gracefully and disappearing.
Monaka is a normal high school student, though this quiet and modest life has a darker side. An angel of death is Monaka's other persona.
Original was marked as hentai, so could not include it although it was memorable. Never heard of this sequel movie, so rather intrigued. It's a high quality epilogue that shows where Kite works in everyday life and how she still occasionally takes part in operations, and parallel story starts afar, but develops into a really dangerous mission. So I just can't treat it as a real sequel and evaluate it highly.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
25. Yotsunoha よつのは [Hal Film Maker] (Finished 2/2)
Tags: School Romance
Based on the game by Haikuo-Soft.
A story about the reunion of 4 childhood friends, Yuzuki, Matsuri, Nono and Makoto, in their deserted old school campus, Mochitsuki Academy. 3 years ago, they buried a time capsule under a tree inside the school and made a promise. A promise to meet again after exactly 3 years from that day. And the day of promise has finally arrived.
Original was just a light cute sekkuhara comedy, and the gist has not changed in adaptation.  
Overall Rating: 6/10
26. Shinran-sama: Negai, Soshite Hikari 親鸞さま ねがい そして、ひかり。 [-] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Historical
The life story of Shinran, founder of Joudo Shinshuu.
Did not what Joudo Shinshuu is, so was a bit curious, but it's just competition between buddhist temples and pacifism miracles, nothing big.  
Overall Rating: 5/10

27. Kara no Kyoukai Movie 3: Tsuukaku Zanryuu The Garden of Sinners Chapter 3: Remaining Sense of Pain 劇場版 空の境界 the Garden of sinners 第三章『痛覚残留』 [ufotable] (Finished 1/1)
Tags: Action, Drama, Mystery, Supernatural, Suspense 
On a solemn night in July 1998, teenager Fujino Asagami is mercilessly raped by a street gang in a dilapidated bar. No matter what physical or sexual abuse they deal, however, the girl regards her captors with the same apathetic expression. The next day, mangled bodies are discovered in that same building, so torn apart that investigators find it infeasible to even consider the culprit human.
Elsewhere, a client request reaches Touko Aozaki's detective agency, tasking Shiki Ryougi with either capturing or killing the perpetrator of last night's incident. But soon, word spreads that a single survivor escaped the slaughter, and now the murderer is plowing down everything in their path to locate and exterminate him. A brutal race against time begins, pitting Shiki against a dangerous foe imperceptible even to her legendary eyes.
Detective supernatural mystery is what I can understand well... but I dislike that.  
Overall Rating: 5/10
28. Sugai-kun to Kazoku Ishi The Movie 菅井君と家族石 THE MOVIE [DLE] (Finished 10/1)
Tags: Parody Comedy
The Japanese animation production company Animax announced that Kaeruotoko-Shokai's second theatrical Flash-animated film, Sguy and The Family Stone the Movie, will open in a limited engagement in Japan on February 16.
Not found.  
Overall Rating: 0/10


Recommended Comments

Kara no Kyoukai 3- Literally the only one of the first four movies to be in its proper order (it is third both in chronological and release order).  This one is focused on a gradual build-up to a conflict between Shiki and Asagami Fujino, and the fight scene at the end has become a classic.  That said, this is a Nasuverse story and if you aren't interested in the setting, you shouldn't be watching this in the first place.  I generally don't recommend using Kara no Kyoukai as a starting point for people who want to dive into the universe, as the movies assume a degree of pre-existing knowledge, though they dig deeper on a lot of concepts touched upon in both Tsukihime and FSN.  Kvan, if you aren't interested in the setting, then you shouldn't have watched the movies.  It's that simple.

Hatenkou Yuugi- Low-quality fantasy with a female protag.

Gunslinger Girls 2- More focus on violence than the first scene, much less in the way of touching or sorrowful background stories.

Spice and Wolf- SOL fantasy based during the inquisition.  Worth it for the wolf-girl.

Rosario to Vampire- Rom-com ecchi with a vampire main heroine and a hetare protagonist.

They are my Noble Masters- Minato Soft on TV.  Generally amusing to those familiar with Minato Soft's style but if you don't like the company, you'll hate the anime.

H20- Fairly crappy VN to anime conversion.

Mnemosyne- Brutal action, excessive sexuality (and SM, as Kvan mentions


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Gunslinger Girl 2 - It has good opening song, and that's all for what I can comment on it.

Spice and Wolf - It also has good opening song, and the anime has a lot of economy stuffs with the author would wrote World End Economica VN that Sekai has been localized. It also interesting to note that Koshimizu Ami role here is the goddess, and currently she also act as the goddess (Or rather an elf that people worship) in Otaku Elf with her role is the titular otaku elf.

YPC5GG - The second season of YPC5 trilogy, and the last time Toei made the sequel for the main series (Note that the adult sequel of YPC5 here didn't count) because the children apparently prefer to see different Precure series at each year. Compared to the prequel, YPC5GG has more focus on the ongoing story with YPC5 come into the conflict with the group that has the goal to collect the mystical item known as Rose Pact with YPC5 job is to protect said item. Oh yes, this is also the series that has the mascot turned into Precure, in which for this series we Milk become the Precure known as Milky Rose.

That's all for what I can write in regard of Winter 2008 anime here.

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