Top Ten Anime Series of 2014

Another year came to an end, I’ve sampled nearly 60 shows, watched about half to completion, and it’s time to see which shows stood out (in a good way). If we’re frank, this year hasn’t been nearly as good as 2013. Had I used the cut-off criteria of 2013, only the top 7 shows would’ve made it in, compared to 12 that passed that bar in 2013 (and Aku no Hana that passed using different criteria). But even if the year as a whole was weak, the top shows were still worthy of your time. There’d be “Notable Absentees” and “Honourable Mentions” at the end of the post, so if you don’t see a show, keep reading!

Only full series had been considered, no OVAs or movies of any sort. The names link to the show’s description and information on My Anime List (MAL).

10. Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis (Rage of Bahamut: Genesis)

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis anime / Rage of Bahamut: Genesis anime

One of my favourite films is the first Pirates of the Carribean film, which I describe as a 10/10 performance by Johnny Depp, lifting a 5/10 film to the realm of 7/10. The show had a great sense of action and fun going for it early on, which in the second half all but abandoned it for slow and tepid non-action weighed down by a non-character taking center stage. The first half of the show and the finale though are more than worth the price of entry. Just like Pirates of the Carribean, loveable rascals with an extreme penchant for getting in trouble and over the top facial expressions while swashbuckling dominate the show. Zombies join on our crusade to bring down a CG dragon, as we cross against angels, demons, drunk gods, and inflatable ducks. How can you not love a show so in love with its own irreverence?

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 11 (Anime Power Ranking)

Hunter x Hunter, I’m caught up! Two series reach their conclusions (finally), and other shows amble about.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, Hunter x Hunter(2011),  JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Sword Art Online II, Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance).

Link in titles leads to full-episode write-ups. Write-ups ordered by how much I enjoyed or thought the episodes were good.

Barakamon episode 10:

Barakamon anime episode 10 overview - Handa Seishu is having fun

This episode continues the ideas expressed in most of the series, but especially in the 8th episode, where Sensei watched over the grave of Naru’s grandmothe. Handa is part of the crowd, happy to help with building an anti-typhoon wall at the behest of Naru’s grandfather, how he has a phone-call while taking care of the girls as if they were kittens, how he goes with them to their spot to watch the fireworks…

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 10 – Haiku Edition! (Anime Power Ranking)

Barakamon and Zankyou no Terror return! Anyway, writing these long posts about this season got tiring, and I like haikus, so this entry will have a haiku per episode! And a line or two more in play text. I hope you like it.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Sword Art Online II, Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance).

Link in titles leads to full-episode write-ups. Ordered by how much I enjoyed or thought the episodes were good.

Barakamon episode 9:

Barakamon anime episode 9 overview - Handa Seishu and Kido Hiroshi are children

Handa is a child,
playing with children as one;
Adulthood lurks by.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 8 (Anime Power Ranking)

This week was alright? Thematically more shows that are generally lower on the pole did well, but there was nothing that wowed me. The order is roughly by how good/how much I liked the episodes, but aside from Fate/Kaleid which was terrible, most of the shows are pretty interchangeable this week.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sword Art Online II,  Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) (Also, Avatar: The Legend of Korra, including finale!, and previous weeks’ Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-Kun and Sabagebu!).

Link in titles leads to full-episode write-ups for Aldnoah.Zero and Zankyou no Terror.

Barakamon episode 8:

Barakamon anime episode 8 overview - Kotoishi Naru loves Handa Sensei

Before I get to anything else, there was a noticeable dip in drawing quality in this episode. Faces and figures were not drawn to the usual standard, with a lot of off-model shots.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Weeks 6-7

Because last week I’ve covered the mid-season, this week the post will cover the last two weeks’ worth of episodes. The order will be arbitrary.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure , Sword Art Online II,  Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) (Also, Avatar: The Legend of Korra).

Barakamon Episodes 6-7:

Barakamon anime episodes 6-7 overview

Pretty great stuff. This dealt with the search for the top, and with how precocious people can be so annoying to deal with, especially when you used to be one yourself, and you see in them how annoying you used to be – eager to challenge and chase everyone.

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Summer 2014 Anime Midseason Overview

Mid-season of the anime season of Summer 2014 is upon us, so time to round up how I feel about the shows I’m current on, or decided to put on hold. A round-up telling you what I think is worthy of your time, or not, and where it’s at.

Tiers are in-order of enjoyment/evaluation. Within each tier the order is alphabetical.

Great:

Barakamon:

Barakamon Summer 2014 anime midseason overview

Barakamon is a light show. It makes me chuckle. It has good actors, and good chemistry between the actors and characters. There’s nothing “special” about it, except for Naru’s character, perhaps. A child, a bundle of energy, who is actually voiced by a young girl and brings to the series an infectious amount of energy.

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Summer 2014 Anime Season Week 5 (Anime Power Ranking)

This week wasn’t really hot. All episodes were serviceable, but there was very little that was just “good”, sadly enough. Moved these to earlier in Wednesday, so there’ll be no mention of Fate/Kaleid S2 this week. The list is slightly less-organized in terms of “like” this week, as it’s mostly one big mesh.

Weekly impressions for Akame ga Kill!, Aldnoah.Zero, Barakamon, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, , Sword Art Online II,  Tokyo Ghoul, and Zankyou no Terror (Terror in Resonance) (Also, Avatar: The Legend of Korra).

The list is organized by how much I’ve enjoyed each episode, and the link in the title is to a more thorough write-up on the episode. For first impressions it means mostly more about production and presentation, but also about themes.

Zankyou no Terror / Terror in Resonance episode 4:

Zankyou no Terror / Terror in Resonance anime episode 4 overview - Shibazaki Kouichirou wants to connect

I’ve figured it out! This show is House M.D. the anime! Well, what I mean by that is that just as House M.D. isn’t a mystery show, but the mysteries are only there to move things along in the drama, here the mysteries aren’t the real point either. Continue reading