Beelzebub (watched 1 episode):
The delinquent-takes-care-of-demon-baby show from Weekly Shounen Jump. Unlike Level E (which ran in Weekly Shounen Jump from 1995-1997), everything about Beelzebub (art, characters, music) screams Shounen Jump. It has some amusing moments, but I just don't feel like following it. The gag about Baby Beel electrocuting everyone near him when he cries already started getting old in this episode, but it's obvious that it's going to be a recurring gag throughout the series. Props to Sawashiro Miyuki for doing such a convincing job as a baby.
Dragon Crisis (watched 1 episode):
A teenage boy (kind of) saves a dragon girl who doesn't know how to say anything except his name and only wants to snuggle with him. (Incidentally, so does his busty, scantily-clad second cousin who just returned from studying abroad. The ED showcases several other girls who will probably want Ryuuji too.) Kugimiya Rie must have needed throat lozenges after repeatedly screaming "RYUUJI!!!!" in her character's dog-whistle high voice.
Fractale (watched 1 episode):
It was okay. Zac Bertschy nailed it when he called it a magical girlfriend show with notes of Miyazaki. I've heard that it gets better with episode 3, but I'm...just not really interested. (Maybe if it gets strong enough buzz after it finishes.)
Freezing (watched 1 episode, hated every minute):
The only decent thing about this misogynistic piece of garbage was hearing Noto Mamiko's sweet, velvety voice...until her character died with the camera pointing up her rear.
GoSick (watched through episode 3):
A mystery series set in the Victorian era with sharp-looking art. Too bad it still manages to wedge in a bland Gary Stu protagonist. (His sexism-disguised-as-chivalry scene in episode 2 certainly didn't help.) Victorique was likeable, though. The mystery wrapped up in these three episodes was decent, but not good enough to make me want to watch more.
Infinite Stratos (watched 1 episode):
So you have this fighting robot technology that only women can use, but it turns out that there's one boy who can use it. Thus begins his new life at the elite academy where girls learn to use that technology, and they all want him! (Aside from the class ojou-sama, but you know she'll come around.)
Kimi ni Todoke season 2 (watched through episode 3):
Sawako outclasses Ushio in how dense she can be when it comes to her love life (although her issues stem not from being shunned because of homophobia, but being shunned because...she reminds people of Sadako from The Ring), and she might be the most innocent high school girl in anime outside of the seinen genre, but she and Kazehaya are still adorable together. (Me during episode 1: "Awwww....GIVE HIM THE CHOCOLATES!! GIVE HIM THE CHOCOLATES, DAMN IT!!! Awwww.... JUST GIVE HIM THE CHOCOLATES.") Like the first season, this is a really sweet show, definitely recommended for folks who like romance. Also, yay for Noto Mamiko in a good show!! ^__^ Sawashiro Miyuki and Hirano Aya fans also get them back as Yano (yay!!) and Kurumi (boo) this season, along with Miyano Mamoru as Kazehaya's goofy new "rival" Kento.
Kore wa Zombie desu ka? (watched 1 episode): The protagonist is a zombie, but only in the sense that he died and came back to life. He lives with the quiet, moe necromancer who resurrected him and later takes in a sharp-tongued, moe magical girl. KoreZom cobbles together nearly every trite fan favorite element out there, and delivers it with a light coating of dark, tongue-in-cheek humor. The best parody by far in this episode is our male lead being subjected to a sleazy magical girl transformation, followed by the camera pointing at his crotch while he fights. (How's it feel to be on the receiving end of that, HUH?)
Level E (watched through episode 3):
A funny sci-fi show with charming chemistry between its ex-delinquent baseball player lead and his flaky alien roommate. Thumbs up.
Puella Magi Madoka Magica (watched through episode 4):This was a surprise hit for me, since I don't like most of Shinbo Akiyuki's work and the promo for it didn't do anything for me. MadoMagi is a dark, visually inventive take on the magical girl genre that throws a massive curveball at the audience at the end of episode 3. Episode 4 doesn't hit the same peak, but it's setting the stage for developments to come. I'm really looking forward to seeing how everything turns out. As a bonus, the Kajiura Yuki soundtrack rocks.
Rio -Rainbow Gate- (watched through episode 4):
This series is terrible, but in a bizarre way. I keep thinking that I should drop it, but then I think, "What the heck," and watch the next episode after it comes out on CR. The scriptwriters probably knew that they couldn't make a good show out of a series starring a cheesecake slot machine game character, so they threw in whatever weird crap they could think of. (Probably while drinking.) The "best" episode so far is the ghost episode. My least favorite thing about Rio by far is Rio's pervy, "funny" boss Howard, who deserves a punch in his smug, perpetually grinning face. The writers also threw in a brief scene of Rio waking up naked in bed with another woman (without any explanation of it) to get yuri fans talking about the show, which worked beautifully for them.
Update on 01/04/2011: Dropped. Finally dropped.
Update on 01/04/2011: Dropped. Finally dropped.
Starry Sky (watched through episode 2):
I just found out that this is an ONA series instead of a TV series, which explains why each episode is about 12 minutes long. When I found out that Starry Sky is based on an otome game in which the protagonist is the only girl attending an all-boys' school, I assumed that she would be the protagonist of the anime. Nope. It turns out that each arc will take place from the POV of one of the twelve boys who are interested in her. (Each boy is identified by a constellation.) The first two episodes, which cover the Capricorn arc, are about a guy named Yoh who has been in love since childhood with a girl he once met, who told him that he has pretty eyes. For some reason, he's convinced that she will be at Seigetsu Academy. His arc climaxes with him kissing her on the cheek and thinking more about his feelings. I don't see the appeal. Nobody in this series has a personality, and I can't understand why any of these characters would be attracted (however chastely) to each other. The animation is below the norm also- maybe to authentically recreate the experience of playing the original visual novel?
Wandering Son (watched through episode 3):
Still the best thing airing this season. Watch it, watch it, watch it!! ^___^