Hamutz Meseta --seems like a pretty badass chick, and the best part is she's a librarian. But her coolness isn't enough to carry a whole show, and nothing else is very interesting.
It's a shame, because I feel like there's a lot of potential here. The fantasy-ish world, in which humans become books when they die, is a cool concept. I feel like David Production should have spent a bit more time establishing the world and the characters within it, and then shifted the pacing of the story to be a bit more dynamic, and it might have worked out better. As it is though...meh.
It was, if you will excuse my adding to the overuse of this phrase, a "hot mess." By that I mean the characters are all hot, even the individual panels are pretty smexy, but by and large the rest is just a mess. The plot is confusing, the page layouts are cluttered and overdone as a whole, and the characters are introducted to you rapidfire and sometimes aren't distinctive enough to tell apart ("okay, I know the two witches, but which one has the dog and which has the cat? And which buff guy is which animal's human form? And how many gorgeous blonde girlie-men will there be in this manga?!")
That's the best pull quote I can give you, TOKYOPOP. Sorry!
But somehow...the magic was just gone. I don't know exactly what it was; the change in voice actors for most of the characters, the novelty having worn off, maybe issues with the pacing...but somehow, I just couldn't keep the show on my to-do list. I would be ashamed, but I fell off the wagon for the manga some time ago as well (for entirely different reasons)-- but that might also be a factor, since I didn't have the anticipation of seeing my favorite manga scenes animated that might spur some to continue.
Mahoro-Matic. Bow Ditama's manga and its anime counterpart managed to be bust-a-gut hilarious, with the cougar teacher harassing her student, the unlikely romantic heroine (an ecchi-hating flat-chested robot girl)...it was just a really fun romp.
But I was pretty unimpressed with Ditama's follow-up Juuden-chan, whose characters were flat-- and not just in terms of their busts --and uninteresting. Whatever shock value the much-discussed peeing bits had was definitely not enough to make me want to watch the rest of the series. Or even the rest of the first episode, honestly. I'm all about perversion, but it's only hot if the characters are attractive-- and the characters are only attractive to me if they're interesting.
5. Hero Tales
Still and all, this one doesn't outright "suck." It's just thoroughly disappointing if you were hoping for something as creative, endearing, and clever as FMA. I'm so sorry to have you on this list twice, Arakawa-san, but...
Miracle Train is one of these. The men are all completely standard archetypes with no interesting backgrounds or traits-- they're train stations already! --and the stories in which they assist young ladies, at least from the two episodes I forced myself through, are completely insipid. The "messages" behind them are sappy and trite. Even the animation and design is mediocre at best, and the color that dominates my image of the show is brown (due to the trains' interior).
It's a bit misleading to say I thought this show would "rock," but I was definitely hoping for better.
Instead I got the opposite. Giant gaping holes about the boys' upbringing and their modern lives-- like how the hell they get the money to buy leather gloves, much less pay their rent --along with conclusions that feel too quick for the first story arc in spite of it being a full volume long leave the manga completely unfulfilling. If you're a die-hard bishounen fan, I'd recommend the manga equivalent of "watching on mute": buy it in Japanese and just look at the pretty pictures.