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Anime Roundup: Winter 2014

Hurrah! The new anime season is upon us so dive into more shows and increase our backlog even further!! Wait…

Actually, the winter season tends to be one of the weaker ones of the year as it’s following on from the biggest one. Not that this has prevented my watch list from ballooning, mostly due to the studios having grasped my weakness and thrown in a plethora of mecha shows. And I will always make room for a mecha show! But first, let’s take a look at what has come by from last season.

Best Show

Arpeggio of Blue Steel: Ars Nova

This one was a bit of a surprise. A slow starter, initially it seemed to thrust you too far into the deep end and then dragged you along kicking and screaming but once you got your bearings, it turned out to be a very well thought out, well paced show and one I looked forward to quite a bit. It diverged a fair bit from the source material but I’m not too worried for any potential sequels.

Honourable Mentions

Strike the Blood

Worst Show

Copellion

Yes, there were worse shows (far worse) but for sheer disappointment and boredom factor, this show wins, HANDS DOWN!! Blazblue and Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku ni naritai were really bad shows but you expected them to be awful, and that cushions them a fair bit (also SekaiIchi had a stupidly catchy ED theme…). Copellion was just boring as hell and a massive waste of an opportunity.

Biggest Disappointment

Infinite Stratos 2

WHAT. THE FUCK. HAPPENED? This show was almost bad!! I was worried when I heard that there was going to be a second season as it was announced only shortly after the novels started up again due to issues between the author and publisher. The worry was that there wasn’t enough material to make a full season. Well, the makers of IS2 managed to side-step that issue by making the series full of mostly original material. And it all SUCKED!!! There was so much which was just flat out removed from the novels and some embarrassingly bad original material shoehorned in (The birthday party for Ichika was a prime example, though it did give us Chifuyuu in a maid outfit). It should have been great but the staff proved to be inept and managed to kill it off with so much suckage. It’s like an entire season of filler with just some of the bare essential parts kept from the novels (the introduction of Phantom Pain, O-M and the introduction of the sisters into the Harem). That’s it. God, this has left a bad taste in my mouth…

Biggest Surprise

Gundam Build Fighters

I knew from the first couple of eps that I would enjoy this show to some degree but I didn’t think that I’d enjoy it as much as I have. There’s something about it that makes it quite endearing.

The Rest

  • Log Horizon was kinda like the best parts of SAO but not as good. But at least it didn’t have any of the really sucky parts!
  • I had a really hard time defining what type of show Outbreak Company was
  • Yup, Valvrave was a complete mess by the end…
  • Kill la Kill is a masterclass in “how to make people think that your action scenes are amazing when actually, they were just done really REALLY cheaply!
  • I actually knew what the twist in Little busters Refrain was so the impact was lost on me. Have to say that I enjoyed the first season more.
  • Unbreakable Machine Doll did a decent job of keeping me entertained even though I knew how things were going to unfold
  • I’m getting some serious ToraDora! vibes from Golden Time. That isn’t good. Incoming extreme melodrama!!
  • Galilei Donna Started off so strong but then hit some kind of glass ceiling. It was decent but nowhere near how good it could, and should, have been!
  • Walkure Romanze needed more Celia. way WAY more Celia. Akane had the idea!!
  • I felt that Kyoukai no Kanata was neither good, nor bad. Just Meh
  • I had to go back and read some of the manga to remind me what parts Freezing Vibration was going to cover. LIKE HELL THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO DO A GOOD JOB ON THOSE BITS!!
  • Blazblue did not disappoint in the slightest. It was awful as expected!!
  • Sekai de Ichiban Tsuyoku Naritai was so stupid, you couldn’t help but feel for it. The level of stupidity in the show could (and probably did ) melt brains but it had an effect like cat pictures on the internet. Many are retarded but you can’t help but go awww.

That’s it for last season, on to the new stuff!

MUST WATCH!

Seitokai Yakuindomo*

*Ahem* F**K YEAH!!! This show is going to be awesome and Laugh out Loud funny. There is no way they can screw this one up !!!

Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta

The premise and general setting kinda gives me an Allison and Lilia vibe, and that was one show I enjoyed quite a bit so this one definitely deserves a shot.

Gin no Saji 2

Sequel but we all know it’s going to be good!

Neppuu Kairiku Bushi Road

Mecha show. It’s likely going to suck but it’s a mecha show, so I’ll watch

Nobunaga the fool

Another mecha show…

Buddy Complex

Mech… ahh forget it.

Interesting but Meh

Nisekoi

I’ve been reading this manga since it started and it’s been a pretty entertaining ride. I’m curious to see how well it makes the jump into anime.

Wizard Barrister

It’s an original series, something we don’t get enough of. That and the premise of being a courtroom drama show piqued my interest. I bet everyones inner Phoenix Wright will be taking over when they watch this show!

Space Dandy

Basically, this is a show which one has to watch in order to generate an opinion of. Everyone is going gaga over it since it’s made by the creator of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. Except I don’t rate those shows all that highly. Bebop was great on first viewing but doesn’t hold up on repeat. Well, we’ll see how this goes.

Inari, konkon, koi iroha

Another manga I have been reading for a while now. I’d rate Inari higher than Nisekoi as far as the manga goes but I think it’ll have a harder time making the transition to anime.

Mahou Sensou

I have a soft spot for these migical action fantasy shows set in the real world. Strike the Blood is another example.

Nourin

Similar premise to Gin no Saji but untested. Worth giving a shot tho.

Nobunagun

One of those shows which seem so unbelievably stupid, you just have to check it out.

Tonari no Seki-kun

Another manga adaptation but unlike Nisekoi or Inari, I didn’t really get into this one so I’m using the anime to give it another chance. It wasn’t a bad manga, but it just didn’t grab me at the time. Maybe the anime will have better luck.

Why am I watching this?

Chuuninbyou 2

The reason why I’m watching this show is very simple. Despite the first season being lacklustre at best, I’m genuinely curious to see how they can extend the story, which was more or less complete by the end of the first season. It’s kinda like going back to the JRPG world after saving it from armageddon…

Saki Zenkoku hen

I really enjoyed Saki but Side-A was really poor for me. The reason? There wasn’t much actual Mah Jong going on, just special moves being thrown all over the place! Hopefully, a return to the original cast will set things right but I’m not too sure… In any case, I don’t think ppl would complain about playing mah jong with Ueda Kana.

Maken Ki 2

Seen the pic? Well, there you go! Gotta have a service show somewhere, even if it is doomed to suck before it even starts

Witch Craft Works

The show is pretty much the same as Tonari no Seki-kun, in that I started reading it but my interest fizzled. I’m giving the anime a chance sway me again but I think its chances are less than Seki-kun

Wake up Girls

Alarm bells are ringing on the premise alone but I did enjoy Idolm@ster way more than I was expecting so I’ll give this show a (slim) chance

Super Soniko – the animation

The only reason this show is anywhere near my list is that I am morbidly curious as to just how bad it’s going to be. That’s it.

That’s pretty much it for me. A lot of new shows to cram into my watching schedule and some which I’m pretty sure I’ll drop rather quickly but that’s enough from me, what is everyone else watching?

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  • http://www.zetzio.com Nemphtis

    Not much appealed to me lately. Kill la Kill is excellent, and Space Dandy is one of the more interesting shows but I’m preparing myself for disappointment with things like Buddy Complex and Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta. Funny enough I’m rewatching Cowboy Bebop again and it’s very much still watchable for me, but different strokes for different folks. As there’s not been much of interest for me recently I’ve used this window to check out old shows I never got around to watching, like Steins;Gate.

    • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net/ gundamjehutykai

      Don’t get me wrong. Cowboy Bebop is still perfectly watchable but one of the big pulls when I first saw it was the element of mystery and how various elements which seemed separate actually tied together. Knowing how things will unfold beforehand causes the story to lose its lustre so the show goes from being amazing to simply decent.
      Again, I found Kill la Kill to be overrated but that’s probably because the whole internet wouldn’t shut up about it when it first started. It was hyped up so much that it couldn’t possibly live up to our expectations, especially for someone like myself who’s rather sensitive to little details like the cheap quality of the animation or the fact that, for the most part, nothing actually happens in a monogatari episode!

      • http://www.zetzio.com Nemphtis

        I remember watching Bakemonogatari and thinking how mediocre it was aside from being pretty, it’s true nothing actually happens and to me it felt like a series designed to simply sell merchandise. Kill la Kill may not have amazing animation, but it’s very good at making everything feel over the top. It’s definitely getting hyped up by everyone though, but can’t really blame them.

        I don’t really have that issue with Cowboy Bebop but I can relate when it comes to Death Note. I remember really enjoying the manga, but the anime became unbearable because I already knew what was going to happen. Take away the plot twists and all you’re left with is some guy writing names down in a ridiculously over-the-top manor with dramatic music playing in the background. It was cringeworthy at times.

        • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net/ gundamjehutykai

          Yeah, death note is probably the most extreme example of what I feel when I watch Cowboy Bebop now but that was a show which relied on the twists. most other shows don’t go as far as that did.

          As for Bakemonogatari, I loved the first season because of the style and how different it was (that and Hanekawa). but after 3 series, the novelty of the minimalist animation really took its toll. It’s pretty much a one trick pony and that trick has long since expired.

          • http://www.zetzio.com Nemphtis

            I’ve only seen Bakemonogatari and I’m still on the fence about putting in the time to watch Nisemonogatari and the sequels. I hear there’s even more on the way as they adapt the rest of the light novels. As far as presentation goes Bakemonogatari really got my attention and I was actually enjoying it from start to finish, I own a few of GoodSmileCompany’s figures from the series and they are lovely. It’s only when I finished watching the show that I realised I took nothing away from the experience aside from the eye candy.

            It was like the days I used to spend playing Call of Duty multiplayer on the same map for hours on end; absolutely enjoyable and addictive in the moment, yet in retrospect lacking long term substance. It can be argued that both things are entertainment so there’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s plenty of anime or games out there which are equally fun and yet you feel like you’ve experienced something new by giving it your time. I’m usually in the style over substance camp, but without adequate substance even the coolest looking things are forgotten. Guilty Crown comes to mind.

          • http://lookingglass.kokidokom.net/ gundamjehutykai

            I’d have to disagree with Guilty Crown. Plenty of people I know and myself remember it very well, because it was so damn terrible!! but with regards to style over substance, you’d be surprised. Even shows will little substance stick with you in some way and all it takes is a little trigger to remember them, for better or worse… They may not be at the forefront of your mind, but they’re probably there somewhere.