Winter 2014 Anime Season Overview Week 1 – Thursday through Saturday (Anime Power Ranking)

(Shows Covered – Buddy Complex, Kill la Kill Episode 13, Nagi no Asukara, Samurai Flamenco Episode 12, Magical Warfare (Mahou Sensou), Gin no Saji 2nd season (Silver Spoon), Log Horizon Episode 15, Nisekoi, Sekai Seifuku  – Bouryaku no Zvezda (World Domination – Zvezda Plot), and Pupa)

Anime Power Ranking is no longer held, so here are the shows I’ve watched this past week and how I order them. Each link leads to my episodic write-up of the relevant show. You will notice half the shows do not have descriptions, these appear in this post, covering the Sunday-Wednesday shows, while this post describes the episodes that aired during the latter half.

Now, I have too many shows, so I’m going to be dropping shows each and every week until I’m fine with the amount of shows I have left, so keep reading for summaries of new shows, how the shows stack up against one another, and which shows had been eliminated!

1) Chuunibyou 2nd season Ren Episode 1 

2) Nobunagun Episode 1

3) Kill la Kill Episode 13

Kill la Kill Episode 13 anime Kiryuin Ragyo

This was a plot over action, a theme-heavy episode. For those who don’t know, while I truly love me some mindless action, nothing gets me going like theme-heavy lines.  This episode had “Clothes are original sin”, and I sort of went overboard and wrote 800 words about less than 2 minutes of airtime in the show :>

I actually feel that though she kept quite a poker-face, especially after Ruko’s defeat, we’ve grown to know Satsuki quite well at this point, and I think we’ve finally given Ruko a chance to learn where power comes from, and become a true-blue Shounen-hero, like Gamagoori and Sanageyama. I’m quite interested to see where we go from here, and how much the “plot” and “messages” actually matter, but for the most part, I expect a spectacle, and anything else is a bonus.

4) Nagi no Asukara Episode 14

Nagi no Asukara / NagiAsu episode 14 anime

Well, we’ve had a time-skip! A good way to force change, when one of the big themes of the show is change, and one character’s, which had quite some air time this week is about resisting change. It was a truly beautiful show, visuals-wise. They also kept the drama under control, and the couple of moments where characters shed tears, I shed tears as well. It was beautiful, and I don’t really know where we’re going from here, and what sort of social messages we’re going to see, but I’m definitely on-board.

5) Noragami Episode 1

6) Sekai Seifuku – Bouryaku no Zvezda / World Conquest – Zvezda’s Plot Episode 1

Sekai Seifuku ~bouryaku no zvezda~ / World Conquest - Zvezda's Plot Episode 1 anime

This show is intensely interesting. Even more than Nobunagun, it has so much promise. Now, it may yet turn out like Kill la Kill, where I sometimes don’t have what to say about it on a certain week, or Kyoukai no Kanata which stopped being fun, or Galilei Donna which just crashed and burned after week 1, but of all the new shows this season, this has the highest chance of being my next Kyousougiga or Gatchaman Crowds, meaning the show I get to write a bunch about.

The show has an eccentric cast of characters, and some of the ideas about conquest and people are already making my mental wheels turn. And the juxtaposition of cute and menacing in our loli leader is probably here to serve us, to remind us, that it’s not the shape, but the content, but if you still can’t take the main villain/hero seriously, just imagine her lines as if spoken by Lelouch Lamperouge from Code Geass, to see how grand they are.

This show is fun, and this show is thoughtful, the only reason it’s not higher is because it hadn’t earned it yet.

7) Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon 2nd season Episode 1

Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon second season episode 1 anime

Guess who’s back? The Holstein Club! Honestly, this show doesn’t feel like the second season, but as if someone had cut one series into two halves arbitrarily. So they gave us a couple of minutes which had us smiling at seeing everyone again, and then it was back to the fray. Mikage and Komaba are still our poster-children for seeing their dreams, and chasing their dreams, and how one balances one’s dreams with one’s family. Hachiken continues to be the guy everyone turns to, and you can see that as they “describe” him, they’re actually shaping him, for if you keep getting told you’re an easy-going dude, and straightforward, and you think of these things as compliments, then you’re quite like to adopt these traits.

It was a nice episode, and it’s good to have this show back, check my review of the first season, definitely worth catching up to, and aside from one “filler” episode, it’s thoroughly enjoyable. Good mix of comedy as well, and you actually learn stuff. This episode I’ve learnt cows has bras :O

8) Space Dandy Episode 1

9) The Pilot’s Love Song / Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Episode 1

10) Buddy Complex Episode 1

Buddy Complex episode 1 anime

You know, people say that this is the same old Sunrise show, just like all the other Sunrise shows – considering I enjoy popcorn, endless shounens, and RomComs, you can see I am more about execution than novelty, and I sometimes like meeting old friends in new guises, as if they’ve been re-incarnated.

And say what you say of Sunrise, but this show has solid acting, great graphics, and is beautifully drawn. It’s just your age-old mecha pilots who will begin as allies but will learn to be friends, of finding the power of friendship and the ability to sacrifice yourself for your friends, and it’s fun, and well-made, so I’m sticking to it.

11) Samurai Flamenco Episode 12

Samurai Flamenco / Samumenco episode 12 anime

And we’re back. The animation quality is deteriorating, but at least some of the heart and the old direction is back. The super-sentai tropes are still fully in force, don’t get me wrong, but we see Hazama’s quest of becoming a super-hero, we get some precious minutes with GotoBro (who is the best bro), and we get to see the other Flamengers as being akin to Mari and the journalist from before – they care about themselves, their fun, their status, over saving others.

But while the sentai stuff is fun, I do wish I’d see where they’re taking this. Still, much improved over episode 11 – great fun, but the first time the show’s heart didn’t shine through.

12) Log Horizon Episode 15

Log Horizon episode 15 anime

We’ve had some actual growth time for the kids, and they’re finally working together. Things are moving behind the scenes, and the demi-humans are showing initiative, while I’m sure we’re going to see the knowledge about death forced out of Shiroe somehow – the nobles will want them to fight the demi-humans, and why shouldn’t they, considering they cannot die? But they could do worse than die, they could lose their selves. An ok episode. Nothing special either way. The kids are definitely cute though, but some actual drama could be nice :3

13) D-Frag Episode 1

14) Tokyo Ravens Episode 13

15) Nisekoi Episode 1

Nisekoi episode 1 anime

It’s a RomCom, and it’s by Shaft. Don’t expect anything special Rom-Com wise, honestly, because you’re not going to get it. I quite like RomComs, for the most part, so I’m fine with that. The Shaft-influences probably help make each episode cover less material, so they wouldn’t run out too quickly, and it’s definitely stylized, but it often intrudes too much, and it feels as if the true main character of this show are the head-tilts, the visual motifs, the constant music, etc. You can definitely feel the director and the studio are involved in the show, but they almost seem to forget the show comes first – well, I guess it’s fine because you could write out how the story is going to progress since nothing here is at all revolutionary, plot-wise, but eh.

16) Hamatora Episode 1

17) Mahou Sensou / Magical Warfare Episode 1

Mahou Sensou / Magical Warfare episode 1 anime

This is our Index Light Novel-clone of the season, and it actually looks solid, animation-wise, which is quite a deal better than what could be said for last season’s offering – Strike the Blood. Honestly, I think I could have awesome write-ups if I keep discussing this show as what I feel it is – angsty teenagers suffering from chuunibyou, well, a metaphor for that – teenagers who feel they’re “special” and rail against the world they find themselves in, thrust into a different world, a dilapidated world, which adults can’t enter, and magic is akin to a contact-transmitted disease. But, turn on your fellow outcasts with magic, and you’ll be stripped of the ability to use it forever.

All of these things could work, but it just comes off as so bland, and angsty, and pretentious, and when someone receives the power of transformation, it manifests as their breasts growing larger. I might marathon it at some point, but it’s coming out on Thursday, and there are too many shows I enjoy a bunch more this season, so this is getting the boot.

18) Witch Craft Works Episode 1

19) Nobunaga the Fool Episode 1

Summary: I’d say episodes 1-7 had been strong, 8-12 had been “ok”, and the rest had been average to weak.

Elimination Results: Too bad for Witch craft Works and Nobunaga the Fool, but Sunday is just too strong a day, same for Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare). I might watch episodes 2-3 of Witch Craft Works after the third is released, will get people’s opinions about Nobunaga the Fool around week 5, and Mahou Sensou may yet be marathoned, at some point, but not this one. They all have some promise, but episode 1 had just been too weak – of course I’m not giving them a fair shake, just too many shows.

I actually wanted to remove another show from Sunday, but I enjoy them enough to give them another episode, at least. Hamatora / D-Frag! are kind of on the edge, while these are “Free days”, I have so many things in my life that all so-called “free time” can be put to good use. Maybe Nisekoi too.

Shorts, which aren’t part of this merciless death-game, but still in order:

Pupipo! Episode 3

Tonari no Seki-kun Episode 1

Pupa Episode 1

Pupa Episode 1 anime

If you’re wondering why it looks so crappy – it’s due to censoring.

Errr, we’ve all been eagerly expecting Pupa, right? Not because of the premise being our taste, or because we thought it’d be good, but because of all the talk about its premise (sister eats brother after turning into a monster), the chewing sounds in the preview, and it failing to find anyone to actually air it – but between the ridiculous censoring, the hilarious monster design, and the over-wrought music, it just feels bad. I’ll likely keep watching it because it’s only 3 minutes a week (sans OP/ED), but really wish they had just released it as a 30 minute special or something… I didn’t expect much, but I’m still disappointed.

Tune in next week, to see which other shows get the axe. Still a few too many for comfort! I’ll also stop writing notes or move to post-episode notes only for a few shows, which should regain some time. Anyway, this week is extra stressful for me at university/work, so we’ll see how I manage :-/

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