Winter 2014 Anime Season Overview Week 2 – Thursday through Saturday (Anime Power Ranking)

(Shows Covered – Kill la Kill, Nagi no Asukara, Gin no Saji 2nd season (Silver Spoon), Log Horizon, Nisekoi, Sekai Seifuku  – Bouryaku no Zvezda (World Domination – Zvezda Plot), “Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha”,  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. The numbers in parentheses are where a show’s episode placed compared to its placement last week.

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) Nobunagun Episode 2 (+1)

2) Chuunibyou 2nd season Ren Episode 2 (-1)

3) Nagi no Asukara Episode 15 (+1)

Nagi no Asukara / NagiAsu episode 15 notes anime

This episode brings us back to what we’ve been talking about all along – change. Change is this show’s theme, and as a coming of age story, it’s not surprising. The characters, as teens on the verge of puberty had to tackle the issues of growth, change, and growing apart. Chisaki who hit her physical growth spurt first had been the voice of the theme all along. Well, the show forced the characters to change, and be faced with the fact they don’t all change at the same time. True, it’s happened literally, but it’s still a thematic exploration.

The characters feel fully human, the sad moments actually hit home, and the backgrounds are drop-dead gorgeous. This show is coming off quite strong after the mid-season break.

4) Kill la Kill Episode 14 (-1)

Kill la KIll Episode 14 notes anime

For those who love the spectacle of the show, this episode more than delivered, with Ryuuko making grand entrances and exists, and the Elite Four fighting their own pitched battles, each with their own style, each over-the-top in quite different ways. And yes, we also have Mako showing off some of her moves. To top it off, we finally have Nudist Beach showing real signs of throwing in with everyone else.

For me though, who loves themes more, this had been a great episode in a different way – we have Ryuuko finally journeying to become a shounen hero, and we have Satsuki’s theme of weaponizing ideology and items both exemplified by others, and turned against her. Osaka tries to make the fight one between conglomerates, a fight of money, and it’s up to Satsuki to reclaim the fight, and win it.

5) Sekai Seifuku – Bouryaku no Zvezda / World Conquest – Zvezda’s Plot Episode 2 (+1)

Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku no Zvezda / World Conquest Zvezda's Plot episode 2 anime

This is still the most promising new show of the season, but it also has quite a bit to prove yet. The humor was nice, but it actually hid a very profound fact about this show – there actually are no real “Anime-isms” – everything that happens literally happens, and stays happened. They leave a note saying where their secret base is? Someone needs to hide it, and people really will see it, unless something distracts them. Someone eats something so spicy and bad they explode? They really did explode, and must now recover, and people might come across them and think they’ve been hurt! It actually requires a paradigmatic shift.

On the other hand, there’s some real thematic depth here, both to the issues of obfuscation and symbolism, and to family. Family in particular ties to how people are or aren’t replaceable, which had also been discussed last week. This show could still stumble, but it might soar quite high. The ridiculous enemies and friends are just a spicing.

6) Log Horizon Episode 16 (+6)

Log Horizon episode 16 notes anime

This episode had covered several things, we have the leaders facing the issue of memory-loss, and also how hard it is to tell what memories you’ve lost, simply because you cannot recall, and then it deals with the concept of reaching decisions. Making decisions and not being afraid sure sound cool, but acting based on that alone can lead you into all sorts of trouble. The arguments in this episode ranged from moral to moralistic, but considering several of the characters making them are literally 12-14 years old, you can’t really fault them much, can you? Still, the episode was interesting, and we got to see the characters’ belief and natures propel them into action.

7) Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon 2nd season Episode 2 (+0)

Gin no Saji / Silver Spoon 2nd season episode 2 notes

This show continues to hit us with a mix of cute animals, and disgusting life as a farmer. This show is just so full of heart, it’s a slice of life show, with a pretty huge cast, but I just like all the characters, and they’re all so personable, that I’m having a chill time watching the show. It just makes for a pleasant evening.
On a more serious level, Hachiken’s journey which is what this whole show is about continues. Seems he’s realizing he’s been running away from things, and to get over that decided to focus on the present – but focusing too much on the present, and more than that – focusing so much on his friends is yet another way to avoid looking at his own life and desires. Being Hachiken isn’t easy, but that’s why we like his mixture of neurotic and easy-going behaviour so much.

8) The Pilot’s Love Song / Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta Episode 2 (+1)

9) Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha Episode 1 (New)

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha Episode 1 anime

This is a simple show. It’s a RomCom, and like many of the slightly older RomComs, especially if you look at western movies, it means it’s a romantic story, with some moments that make you chuckle. It’s a small show full of small moments, rather than going for the NouCome/Yuushibu recent school of comedy, where everything must be over the top and non-stop, in case you miss that it’s a “comedy”. But as a result, the show is actually allowed to breathe.

The supernatural aspect of the show, aside from introducing more characters seems to be similar in nature to HenNeko’s in the sense that the supernatural powers aren’t a way to circumvent the characters’ issues and growth, but rather as a way to force them to admit their issues and see how they need to change on their own.

10) Noragami Episode 2 (-5)

11) Tokyo Ravens Episode 14 (+2)

12) Nisekoi Episode 2 (+3)

Nisekoi episode 2 notes anime

This had been a much better showing than the first episode – we had more RomCom, and we had less “Shaft”. Yes, we still had some pretty sights and Shaft’s style, but we mostly got to see your regular RomCom plot, characters, and interactions. If you like these things, then this is the show for you, but if you don’t, or are hoping for something to break the mold, then you may as well give this show a pass. It’s nothing but a story of mistaken identities, a couple who purport to not like one another, a childhood friendship, and lies that get us ever farther from true confessions.

13) Buddy Complex Episode 2 (-3)

14) Hamatora Episode 2 (+2)

Hamatora episode 2 notes anime

This episode had been so very cool, which is one of its issues. Let’s begin with action – this show is very colourful and pretty, but we don’t really get a lot of action sequences. This episode had none, putting aside some truly minor moments. So if it’s not an action show, what is it? It’s purportedly a mystery show, even the official information for the show says so, and in some ways the way we’ve been exposed to our villain quite reminds us of Psycho-Pass, except our villain is basically a joke, and not anyone we can take seriously.

So what we’re left with are guys who keep spewing “cool lines”, but which contradict one another, and even contradict themselves at any given term – they just spew the coolest line at any given occasion, which renders any meaning moot. It can be fun, but be advised you’re really going to have to turn your brain off, and there are just better shows for that purpose this season.

15) D-Frag Episode 2 (-2)

Missing: Due to being ultra busy last week, I still hadn’t watched Samurai Flamenco episode 13 and Space Dandy episode 2. I hope to catch up this week.

Summary: I’d say episodes 1-6 had been strong, 7-9 had been “ok”, and the rest had been average to weak, with some closer to average, and some closer to weak. Note two shows are missing this week, so some of the placements could’ve been even lower for certain shows.

Elimination Results: D-Frag! and Hamatora are biting it this week. I’ve never been a huge fan of GetBackers, which Hamatora reminds me of, and I’m having more fun with other shows. D-Frag! is actually solid, but I’m getting my comedy fix from other shows this season; I might end up still watching D-Frag when I have some time to kill, because it’s not horrible by any means, but it’s not good enough to compete with the other shows.

I might also put Space Dandy on hold – just because I think watching this show after it concludes its run might be more fulfilling to me, thoughts?

Past Casaulties – this is where we honour shows eliminated in past weeks: Mahou Sensou (Magical Warfare), Nobunaga the Fool, Witch Craft Works.

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

Pupipo! Episode 4

Tonari no Seki-kun Episode 2

Pupa Episode 2

Pupa Episode 2 notes anime

Ok, this show was just terrible. Terrible art, terrible acting, lines so bad that I couldn’t come up with worse even had I been trying to parody “Imouto shows” (little sister shows). And it’s made even worse by its 3-minute long format. But since it’s just 3 minutes long, I’m sticking with it. Man, is this some bad stuff.

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 :-/

12 comments on “Winter 2014 Anime Season Overview Week 2 – Thursday through Saturday (Anime Power Ranking)

  1. Aeternix says:

    While I cannot comment on the removal of D-Frag or Hamatora (I haven’t watched a single episode of them and I really haven’t heard of them) I have to somewhat agree on the idea of waiting on Space Dandy. If its tracking like I think it is (with the show hinting at the overarching plot every second it gets) I feel it will be a better show to marathon . However, it is a parody of serialized shows, so I feel like you will be losing some of the experience if you don’t ‘feel’ the serial aspects of it.

    Personally, I would say watch episode two and see if you wouldn’t mind waiting every week for it (I know I’m dying to see the next episode after the third one to see if my suspicions about the show are correct).

    If you are wondering about the ‘theory’ I’m raving about, I suggest watching the Japanese ending song (after watching the second episode of course). There’s an interesting person referenced that may have future implications.

    • Guy says:

      I’ve checked the Japanese OP/ED. I just need some more energy, end of semester and stuff had been getting me a tad down.

      I also don’t really care about feeling the “serial” aspect, and considering it’s relatively plot-less and that I couldn’t marathon Samurai Champloo either, I’ll probably watch 1-2 eps a day when I try to watch it, if I indeed put it off till after it ends.

      • Aeternix says:

        That makes sense, the more I think about it, the more I realize Space Dandy is more of a marathon show. I haven’t really found anything else that would cause me to start removing shows, so I guess I’ll continue to watch for the comedy aspects. I sympathize with you and your lack of energy. Exams are around the corner for me too and I barely have any time. Good luck though, from one student to another!

  2. Artemis says:

    I personally don’t mind watching Space Dandy week by week, but I can certainly see how it could be one of those shows that’s more fulfilling to watch in larger chunks – especially if a comfy couch and some alcohol happen to be involved.

    • Guy says:

      Then again, the lack of plot made me unable to marathon Samurai Champloo, and I watched it one episode a day. There’s just something about Space Dandy that doesn’t make me go “Oooh, a new episode, better watch it!”

      • Artemis says:

        I do get the “oooh, new episode, must watch it!” feeling from Space Dandy each week, but most of that comes from enjoying the humour. Humour itself is fairly subjective, but it’s also the main selling point of this series, so if people don’t love the type of humour presented in it then it stands to reason that they wouldn’t get excited (and that the lack of plot would bother them). I think it really does come down to personal taste, perhaps a lot more than for many other shows.

  3. Alex says:

    …I laughed when I watched this week’s Pupa.

    So much disappoint.

    Anyway, hope your week goes all right, and isn’t too stressful. I think it’s amazing how you can constantly write so much, but make sure you have enough time to relax :-)

    • Guy says:

      I too laughed at Pupa this week, it… it’s almost like a parody, a parody to end all parodies.

      Also, it’s funny how people keep commenting on how much work I put into it, when I constantly try to put less. I’d watch episodes without taking notes if my brain would allow it, and the reason I’m so adamant about dropping shows is because that’s the best way to get me to write less :D I might watch some of those shows, but without writing anything about them, heh.

  4. João Carlos says:

    I think you need give a second chance to Witch Craft Works. The level of crazyness is going up each episode. And need to give attention to the small details that appear at each episode, like the little sister stalking the MC at second episode.

    • Guy says:

      I did note in its elimination notes I might get back to it later. Thing is, my time is very limited, and I write a lot. I only picked up so many shows because I was planning on dropping them down to 12-10 within 3-4 weeks. If you look at my Winter Preview post you will see that Witch Craft Work is one of the two shows I was expecting the least, so if I only picked up as many shows as I planned to watch, I’d have never picked it up to begin with.

      I also dislike shows that think “Comedy” means “Ever crazier”, that school of comedy, exemplified recently by Yuushibu and NouCome is something I dislike strongly.

      • Joao Carlos says:

        Give a look at the second and third episodes from WCW, the 3 episodes rule. IMHO, the best animes of this season are WCW and Zvezda because they invert the normal story pattern: one the kid is the princess being protected, the otehr the villains are the main characters.

    • Guy says:

      I’m sorry, but no.

      First, that “3 episode rule” is to give shows a fair shake. I am under no obligation to “obey the law” (and personally I think 5-6 episodes is the real test, when shows fully get their legs under them). I have shows I enjoy more, I don’t have time for all shows, so this gets the cut, simple as that. You’re veering into the “pushy show fan” territory here, and I wish you wouldn’t. I get you like the show, but one comment explaining why I’m not picking it back up at this stage should be more than sufficient. I don’t even think the show’s bad, just that for the time being I have shows I enjoy more and would rather spend my time watching/discussing.

      Finally, that the boy is being protected by the girl is hardly unique, and hardly enough to merit a show. That you invert a single trope is nice, and can even get me to check your show, but it’s not a replacement for actual good writing/interesting plot. Not saying this show doesn’t have these necessarily, but others have it better.

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