This month flew by almost as fast as July, but being the middle month of the three-month Summer season, there was a slight shift downward in cumulative episode ratings. Unless all these series have horrible endings, September should be as strong or stronger than July, when they all began.
That’s not to say this was a subpar month; far from it. That downward shift was very slight (as in, something like a tenth of a point). Rather, this was a steady and consistent month. Fully familiarized with all the series and their casts and settings, we saw what those series ended up doing with them.
In Danganronpa’s case that meant killing a lot of them off. In Servant x Service, it meant bringing them closer together. In C3-bu it meant drawing them apart. In Uchoten Kazoku, it meant giving us more of an initially foggy picture of the past, and in Monogatari, it meant changing the past only to destory the present.
At any rate we’ve stuck with all fourteen series we began the month with, and with all fourteen we have little or no idea how they’ll end, and are looking forward to how those endings will unfold, what it will mean for their characters, and whether any of these series will continue into the Fall. On to our August rankings:
14. Danganronpa: The Animation – 8/13 (6.500) – This show brings up the rear, but it’s not awful. While we’re pretty sure Naegi will end up winning, we’re sticking with it to learn how: will he end up killing someone to avoid being killed, or will he and Kirigiri lead a revolution against that awful bear, allowing other students to survive?
13. Love Lab – 8/13 (6.500) – While obstensibly a comedy consisting of the comics loosing barrage after barrage of jokes at the straight men, we like how the characters are gradually getting more developed. Rika’s continues to perpetuate the lie about being a romantic expert, and even the antagonistic Sayori gets some depth
12. Servant x Service – 9/13 (6.889) – With almost all sevens, SxS is nothing if not steady, but has yet to produce an episode that truly stands above the rest (not surprising for a steady slice-of-life series). The love story between Hasebe and Yamagami is progressing at a very deliberate pace
11. Kimi no Iru Machi – 7/- (7.000) – This is a romantic drama full of big, dramatic gestures and plot twists. Haruto started out having to fight his dying friend for his ex-girlfriend, but now that that friend is dead. Sometimes we feel like the show has no intention of bringing him and Eba back together…which might be the point
10. Majestic Prince – 21/24 (7.000) – It’s been a steady month of sevens for Team Rabbits, as the final confrontation with the Wulgaru looms, Amane has risen almost as high as she can, Izuru must deal with the fact that he won’t be the hero, and Theoria will be fighting against her people and her family. It looks to be another awesome battle in a series full of them
9. Blood Lad – 8/12 (7.125) – The series has been shifting between Staz’s quest to resurrect Fuyumi, his reconnecting with his siblings, and Bell’s developing feelings for him, creating a triangle. We’re looking forward to meeting the whole Hydra family in their strange Laputa-like world
8. The World God Only Knows III (Goddesses Arc) – 8/13 (7.250) – With so many girls to conquer and so many different approaches and situatons required to do so, there’s never been a dull moment in this third season of TWGOK. One thing we’re hoping for is that it doesn’t end with another complete reset button, since at least one of the remaining girls has actual, genuine feelings for him despite not hosting a goddess
7. To Aru Kagaku no Railgun S – 19/24 (7.429) – There were just three episodes of Railgun this month, wrapping up things with the Sisters arc and starting things up with a new arc involving a tiny orphan girl and a shadowy group of student researchers targeting Level 5s. His role apparently complete, Touma utterly vanished this month; a shame considering the chemistry he has with Mikoto
6. Monogatari Series: Second Season – 8/- (7.429) – As is typical of -monogatari series, Neko (black) stepped up its game for the finale, as Hanekawa embraces herself and defeats the tiger oddity. The new Kabukimonogatari arc involves Koyomi and his sidekick Shinobu travelling back in time to save Mayoi, only to return to a ruined present. Can’t wait to see how they get out of this one
5. Stella Jogakuin Koutouka C3-bu – 4/13 (8.250) – The Suzumiya-style metaphysical can of worms was quickly closed after episode four, but replaced with a story about Yura continuing to improve and become more serious about airsoft, until she’s poised to leave the titular club altogether. This isn’t what we thought we were getting, and it’s a bit slow at times, but it’s not bad
4. Free! – 8/12 (7.750) – Free! has definitely been a breath of fresh air this season, fully committing to a predominantly male cast with the girls on the margins, exploring the guys’ relationships with emphasis on how the pool brought them together – and in the case of Haruka and Rin – could still help them reconcile
3. Tamayura: More Aggressive – 8/13 (7.750) – As consistent as Servant x Service, only a cut above in quality. From road trips to fireworks festivals to the opportunity to exhibit work in a real gallery, the adventures of Potte and her friends continue to provide some of the most touching and beautiful storytelling this season
2. Gatchaman Crowds – 7/12 (8.286) – Now the Big Bad, Berg-Katze is known to all and his mission is clear (destroy the world), and the Gatchamen have met the GALAX founder Rui. Rather than exchange insults, the plucky Hajime has a calm Q&A with the villain, trying to find a solution without letting him hurt anyone else
1. Uchouten Kazoku – 8/13 (8.500) – With every episode, another thread explaining how the Shimogamo family ended up how it did is woven into an increasingly rich and satisfying tapestry. Soichirou’s last night in the world is pieced together from multiple sources, showing that no one person was to blame for his death, and regardless of how much or little power the family retains, he’ll be happy as long as they simply stick together