First, some stats:
The start of a brand new year, the Winter 2011-12 season usually ends up being a bit of a breather following the typically packed Fall Season. In terms of new series, the Winter usually gives a moderate number—averaging about 20-25 new shows each of the last four years (not including shows catered specifically to children). Some notable anime that made their debuts this season have include: Durarara!!, Nodame Cantabile Finale, Katanagatari, and Madoka Magica.
And now, a quick discussion/review:
If there was one thing about this season in general, it was lack of any exceptionally bad series. There was the wreck (in my opinion) known as Kill Me Baby, but aside from that, there were a real plethora of decent to great series including Rinne no Lagrange, Aquarion EVOL, Another, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou, Nisemonogatari, Amagami SS+.
Whether by coincidence or not, Sci-Fi fans really got their fill this past Winter, as both Lagrange and EVOL were not only of the science fiction variety, but also of the mecha variety. Lagrange's popularity led to its second season (currently airing) and Aquarion EVOL, known for its fairly ridiculous antics and great soundtrack, ended up being one of the most talked about series of the season. Ano Natsu de Matteru added some alien romantic comedy to the mix of series with Sci-Fi in it and was labeled one of the more notable series of the season and of the year. To top it off, there was the eagerly awaited continuation of acclaimed 2009 series Bakemonogatari via the adaptation of NisiOisin's Nisemonogatari, which gave fans everything they wanted, and then some (toothbrush fetish anyone?). And let's not forget the romance Amagami SS+, which arguably was better than its well received first season, despite the large presence of some original material.
Some other shows worth mentioning include Black Rock Shooter and Senki Zesshou Symphogear, which weren't nearly as well received as the above, and generally received with mixed reviews. Symphogear is notably rumored to be receiving a second season, but that remains unconfirmed at this time. Morestsu Pirates was also said to have been fairly decent, but was one of those series I have yet to catch up on. Notably, there were quite a few series continuing from the Fall as well, the notable ones of which include: Bakuman 2 (whose 3rd season is coming this Fall), Mirai Nikki, and Persona 4 The Animation. Guilty Crown's second half was also aired in the Winter, but as we all know by now, is more infamous than notable at this point, considering how it developed versus its potential.
All in all, compared to the other seasons so far, the Winter packed a pretty strong punch considering the season it followed. The content was slightly biased toward Sci-Fi and Romance, but there was enough to hold up other categories despite the lack of actual quantity for some of them. For instance, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou was pretty much the only comedy this season, but there was enough here for fans of the category to get their fill, despite there being a lack of other options. On a personal note, I have to say, I love the Sci-Fi genre in general, so I loved many of the series this season. For those of you who just aren't as interested in Sci-Fi or Romance though, may have found this season slightly lacking. In terms of season to season comparisons, I'd have to say that Winter pales in comparison to the Spring season, but is every bit as good as the currently airing Summer season. Notably though, it's not surprising it's not better than the Spring 2012 season, just because that was literally one of the best seasons in recent memory.
And with that, I'll leave you with this: Our Collaborative Winter 2012 Final Impressions article.
tl;dr (Out of the new Winter 2012 series):
*The Top 3: Aquarion EVOL, Another, Nisemonogatari
*Worth Watching: Rinne no Lagrange, Ano Natsu de Matteru, Amagami SS+, Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou
*If you got the time: Black Rock Shooter, Senki Zesshou Symphogear, Moretsu Pirates
*Not worth your time: Kill Me Baby!
*Others not mentioned due to the fact I haven't watched: New Prince of Tennis, Smile Precure!, Natsume Yuujinchou Shi, High School DxD, Thermae Romae, Recorder to Randoseru, BRAVE10, Tantei Opera Milky Holmes 2nd Act