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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12 Days of Anime #10 – Enjoying (Almost) Every Episode, Disliking The Show – Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai!, localized as “Chuunibyou, Love & Other Delusions” in the west, or known simply as Chu2Koi, was a show I watched in November 2013, and quite enjoyed. I’ve enjoyed it enough to give it an 8/10 score, when most RomComs hover around 7 if they’re good, and 6 if they’re not. It had some delicious drama, it had good acting (Fukuyama Jun is my favourite), it was beautiful, it was heartfelt, and it felt genuine, exactly because it dealt with the fantastical, in a manner not too dissimilar to The Fisher King.

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren anime - Nibutani Shinka giving her Togashi Yuuta impression

Oh, it shouldn’t have been, but that’s “drama” for you.

(Sorry about the lack of post yesterday, got engrossed in a book and stayed up all night to finish it. Today will have two posts, enjoy!)

So when season 2 was announced for January 2014, I was quite excited, my main problem with most romantic stories, which is even more prevalent in anime, is that once the couple “gets together” and overcomes the “real difficulty” of admitting to each other and to themselves how they feel, and get over whatever outside interference there is, the piece just stops, and we don’t get to see an actual couple having an actual relationship. Chuunibyou Ren (the title of the second season) seemed to promise it’d give us exactly that. But it didn’t. Oh boy, did it not.

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Winter 2014 Anime Mid-Season Impressions

So, another season of anime reached its half-point and it’s time to watch my mid-season impressions, where I talk a bit of the show and rate it. Shows will be listed in order of my enjoyment of them. I’d summarize my thoughts on this season as “Shows just good enough to not drop, and Fall 2013 carry-overs”. There’s a lot of half-assed plot-progression, a lot of tired shows this season. There’s action, and there’s comedy, and there’s next to nothing else. It’s as if everyone is keeping their energies for Spring. Fall 2013 shows carrying over had more or less been saving this season, honestly.

I’ve decided to only cover shows I’ve watched at least 5 episodes of (with two exceptions), as I’ve given a whirl to plenty of shows I then dropped. This is aimed at helping people pick up shows, so continuing shows from Fall 2013 aren’t included, but for the record? Kill la Kill, Nagi no Asukara, and Log Horizon are all making very strong showings, and I’m a few episodes behind on Samurai Flamenco.

Shows covered, in Alphabetical order: Buddy Complex, Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren, Gin no Saji S2, ‘Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha’, Nisekoi, Nobunagun, Noragami, Pilot’s Love Song, Pupa, Pupipo!, and Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku no Zvezda.

Got Me Hooked:

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren / Chuunibyou 2nd Season

Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren / Chuu2koi Ren anime mid-season overview

Rikka, afraid of being left behind.

First of all, this show had been somewhat disappointing. I’ve hoped we’ll get a couple already in a relationship, but 8 months later Rikka and Yuuta had their first kiss, on the cheek. Well, the show is still endearing, and I really like the cast. We’ve had a couple of filler episodes, but it’s indeed better to shove them early so they won’t get in the way of the actual plot later on. Romantic advances? Facing your own self? One can only hope. Nibutani does serve to showcase how Rikka is accepted by others, for being herself, whereas Nibutani’s attempt to not show her true nature only backfire.

Episodes Watched: 6/?

Current Grade: A. One of the fillers bored me, but the other had me laughing and smiling.

Write-up Status: Short notes, longer thoughts now and then, moving to just watching and enjoying it.

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