Posted by: Leek | September 13, 2015

Little Girl Anime Power Rankings – Season 1 Roundup

So I was kind of at a loss of what to do with the end of the Season and I finally came to a conclusion of where to go and what would be the most interesting. So you know what we’re gonna do? We’re gonna bring back the old title card.

The real question is, will Season 2 get one of these puppies?

I bet you were expecting that I made a new one or something already. Nope.

So an entire year’s worth of LGAPR and we’ve seen the end of a season of everything and the start of a new season for everything else. And the only real meaning of this post is to reflect on what we’ve seen so far this season (show wise). So rather than an episode by episode review, I’ll actually give my impression on what I’ve seen from every series (complete or not). The other and biggest thing is that we’re resetting the points. I was contemplating it for awhile, and if you read on a week by week basis you’ll probably notice I got tired of seeing no real change in the main rankings. In all honesty, I was PRETTY confident something would pass Aikatsu! up eventually, but it wasn’t happening anytime soon.

As for how awards work that have been given so far, they will not carry over to the next season. However, the year round up will take the previous season into account (in terms of calculating the end of the year bonus awards). I know it’s a little confusing but it doesn’t matter as much to you guys as it does to me to do all the weird calculating. Anyhow, let’s pull up the final rankings for Season 1.

Final Standings

1) Aikatsu! – 420 Points
2) Jewelpet Magical Change – 392 Points
3) Go! Princess Precure – 334 Points
4) PriPara – 244 Points

When I first started up these rankings, I probably wouldn’t have been able to guess this result. I was pretty sure that Aikatsu! and Precure would have a pretty close 1, 2 finish (not knowing what would be in first). The reason Aikatsu! really pulled out first was just consistency. It’s something I’ve praised the series for (up until maybe recently) and I’ll probably address it later talking about the two season that have showed up in the rankings. Precure has always been a really hit and miss show when you look at it from a week by week basis. And, even if Happiness Charge was a particularly strong series, it’s not hard to see that it was dragged down by it’s successor. The other two were simply series I couldn’t read, and I think both Jewelpet series just managed to pull out consistent result even when the competition was fierce. PriPara was really just unreadable. Only a few episodes had aired before I started the rankings, so I really had no idea where it would go and how it would develop.

And, just like last season, I’m gonna give PriPara another Starter Award for the last place finish. And, hopefully, it has a better time in second season rather than having to bring up the rear again.

A (Final) Word From the Big Man

In this next section I’m essentially going to talk a bit about each show and look at how many points each one raked in over the season. It won’t be super long, but it’ll give some more detailed thoughts than if you’ve wanted them. Just think of it as really hearing about what strengths and weaknesses each show really had.

PriPara S1
Total Points Raked In: 168 (83)

So if you’re wondering why there’s a second number in parenthesis, that actually refers to the amount of points the show earned without factoring in all those end of the year bonus points. And, as you can see, it makes a pretty big difference and really brings the numbers down. To be fair, both PriPara and Jewelpet aren’t split too evenly across the rankings so it’s hard to compare the series with one another. But it more or less shows that PriPara is pretty consistent since if you were to estimate, then it would be pretty near one another. Unfortunately, it’s not a good kind of consistent with that point count.

I feel I’ve said it a lot, but PriPara is this show that kind of hurts itself. It’s obvious that PriPara wants to be different. The problem is that it’s trying so hard to be different that it loses it’s own direction and ends up tripping up over itself. I feel PriPara’s first season was just in such a rush to introduce characters that it never developed any and resorted to a lot of dumb gags very quickly into the series. That wouldn’t have been a huge issue if it was the second season, but it was the first. The only time it did really pick up was during the end of the first major arc but that slowly dissolved into the Falulu arc. And, if I haven’t said it enough times, that was actually the worse thing to happen on this rankings. I don’t think PriPara is a horrible series, but it spreads itself really thin and ends up being lackluster in every category (where every other show specializes in at least one thing).

PriPara S2
Total Points Raked In: 76

I feel that the second season of PriPara might just be better than the first. It really helps when characters are settled in and, honestly, second season has done a massively better job of developing the main cast than the first season ever did. And a lot of it could be pinned on the Aromageddon arc since it managed to really highlight some of the more humorous and amusing weakness of the various characters (it was also just a good arc). I think it’s been settling into a somewhat weaker development as of recent, but I think I’ve enjoyed it a lot more than the latter half of the first season.

Happiness Charge Precure!
Total Points Raked In: 196 (116)

The most interesting thing about Precure is it’s the one series that’s almost a perfect 50/50 split across it’s two series over the course of this rankings. And the really funny thing about Happiness Charge is that if you take away the bonus points I awarded it at the end of the year, it actually only has 116 points earned via standard rankings. So, in reality, it actually has brought in more or less the same amount of points it’s successor has. Does that mean I consider Happiness Charge a worse series than Princess Precure? Not at all. I think the problem Happiness Charge faced on the rankings is that the quality of the shows it was up against were just overall better. Not to mention, the early half of Happiness Charge was much better than a lot of what it turned out in the very, very last sprint. So don’t worry your head that I consider Princess Precure a better show (as it stands right now).

I’ve given my overall opinion on Happiness Charge a lot over the course of talking about it, but I feel that it’s far from a bad series. Happiness Charge has a ton of character and some really interesting ideas overall. I think the real problem was it just loaded it’s latter half with a lot of action, and it kind of got to the point where it felt a little forced. I know it’s a little odd to complain about a show showering you with action, but I think it got to the point where they were just using it to fill up space because they kind of ran out of ideas for episodes. And when you run dry on character dialogue, it’s just easier to have them throw punches. The majority of Happiness Charge is really great though, and it did a really good job of building up to the late episodes. The folly of that was the finale really turned a lot of that buildup sour and (to me) the series really ended after the fall of Mirage. If the series just flat out ended at that time it would have been one of the best Precure series in my book.

Go! Princess Precure
Total Points Raked In: 138

I think my biggest issue with Princess Precure is just it’s originality. It just really didn’t establish a real plot outside of good versus evil (kind of like Smile). The problem is that Smile had a lot of character to make up for the fact it was essentially a really shallow sentai series. There’s really no depth to any of the villains and they’re really just baddies spawn out of, well, despair I guess. I feel like they could pull it into a development late in the game, but the villains are all pretty forgettable now that it won’t matter. The previous two series did a really good job of tying villains rather closely to a certain character (or just giving them more depth), that their characters had a lot more impact. Princess Precure has basically done none of that. Heck, the main characters haven’t really done anything more than relive the same developments over, and over, and over again. I don’t think Princess Precure is the worse thing I’ve ever watched, but with so many unique and interesting Precure series out there, it’s really hard to say that Princess Precure is really worth watching outside of a few action scenes.

Lady Jewelpet
Total Points Raked In: 271 (186)

Lady Jewelpet was a real dark horse on the rankings and might have managed one of the best (and incredibly consistent) week by week scores. In fact, it’s pretty much incomparable to much of it’s family to the point that a lot of Jewelpet fans can’t actually stand it. But, even with it’s stumbles, I’d probably pin it as one of the most worthwhile things to watch off of the rankings for the first season.

Jewelpet has been one of those series that is known for it’s really off the wall and unpredictable gags. And, even moreso, it’s been a series that really has a questionable audience when you really look at the writing. So what happens when a series like this decides to turn out an actual plot heavy, serious series? Something really, really unexpected. I just think Lady Jewelpet was a really well rounded series that managed some dumb gags, actual character development, some amusing plot twists, and a lot of absurd magic based mischief. Do I think the writing was flawless? Of course not. There’s plenty of times where I’m pretty sure they could have written out a few episodes here and there. But a few bad episodes is pretty forgivable given the length they were given. It might not be for everyone, but I think there is quite a number of people who grew up off of 90’s anime that could probably appreciate the writing and scenario of Lady Jewelpet.

Jewelpet Magical Change
Total Points Raked In: 121

Magical Change is the jump back to the Jewelpet that everyone knows and loves. Gags, gags, and even more gags, there’s little more to say about it. However, that doesn’t stop it from being an incredibly clever series that deserves a lot of credit. During the first season of PriPara, Lady Jewelpet really wasn’t really a gag driven series. So when PriPara shifted to second season and Magical Change started, the tide really turned against PriPara. I don’t think I ever found PriPara particularly clever during the first season, and once Magical Change started it really makes you realize how to work in clever gags (albeit Magical Change does have some really bad weeks). I just find little issue with Magical Change. It knows what it wants to do and, even if it parties a little too hard sometimes, it’s obviously the staff doing what they’re good at.

Aikatsu! S2
Total Points Raked In: 21

I understand it’s a little odd to write up a Aikatsu! season analysis when only the last three episodes showed up on the rankings. But chances are if you watch everything on this ranking that you probably watched the second season anyway.

I think I appreciate the second season of Aikatsu! because it managed to really close out the first generation as well as have the foresight to start preparing for the third season. I just think the real problem of the second season comes down to saturating the cast and ultimately having it come back to bite them later. But I won’t lie in saying that introducing a rival school that would later (and by that I mean almost immediately) turn ally to match up to the biggest rival in the entire idol sphere was amusing. I really feel like if all of Aikatsu! S2 had shown up on the rankings that it would have scored pretty all across the board (much like I think S3 has). It has some points where it struggles, but it also had the high point of introducing Akari and the big showdown for the finale. I don’t know if I could call it better than the first season, but I think that they’re both parts of a story that can’t exist without one another. The plot lines fit so nicely together that you really can’t fully enjoy Aikatsu! without having seen both.

Aikatsu! S3/Akari Generation
Total Points Raked In: 399 (334)

The third season of Aikatsu! had a big spot to fill and felt a lot of reverberations from both the second season and the movie (which had an effect for the early half of the season). The staff really tried to tie everything together, so it really kind of kept audiences in the shadow of Ichigo even if she was removed as the main character. So the real flaw of S3 is, even if they had worked in Akari, they had to slowly ween audiences off of Ichigo. I won’t say it really hurt the third season, but it really slowed it down until they could completely remove Ichigo from the formula. And by the time they had done that, I think it just became a problem of finding a real objective for the new generation to grasp at. Even if the staff hadn’t delayed, I can never be sure if they really could have come up with better arcs for the girls to go through. Regardless, it was still Aikatsu! and had all the charm that you could really want from the series (just with new faces). It’s just without real core arcs it just feels like a weaker S1, and I don’t think the finale can do much to turn that around.

Wrap Up
So the first season of LGAPR has come to a close, and it’s honestly been fun. It is generally hard to compare a lot of these shows, and I really try to value each based on their own strengths. But there’s still been a lot of merit and I honestly do a lot of evaluations and re-evaluations every time I write these posts. So even if I seem like I’m kind of throwing out posts, there was still a legitimate thought process involved in all of them. So hopefully you’ve enjoyed it and that you’ll stick around for Season 2.


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