Spring 2014 Anime Season Overview

The Spring 2014 anime season had come and gone, and it’s time to look at the wreckage, see what was worthwhile, and what wasn’t, as well as give some thoughts on each of the shows. Some of these might yet get editorials, depending on energy levels and interest on my part, but if not, I’ll always be able to point at this!

Shows organized by how much I liked them or thought they were good, order doesn’t correlate 100% to the scores given. So, let’s go from worst to best!

15) M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane / M3 The Dark Metal:

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Anime overview

Look at this gif, it’s so terrible it’s hypnotic, I call it “boobie-balls”. It’s the best worst part of this show. This Mari Okada show is a take on NGE, as the other is a take on Madoka. This isn’t to say they’re actively trying to mimic those other luminary shows, but the point is it feels tired, it feels trying too hard.

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Mekakucity Actors Episode 10 Notes – Monsters and Humans. A Story of Love Gone Wrong

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

So, we have a goal – rescuing people, and an enemy, the Queen of Snakes, and The Monster’s mystery, and Mary is her host, set to take over this world, and Ene’s body is still here, and Ayano’s father is controlled by the enemy! What’s going on?! Well, time to see where they go with this, now that we finally have both conflict and direction.

(Screenshot album for this episode.)

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Humans and Monsters – A Tale of Love and Fear:

Mekakucity Actors Anime Episode 10 notes - Humanity comes knocking

1) Hm. The Mother-monster, calling her love “that idiot”, and acting all tsundere with worry. Come on anime, we don’t have to do it like that! We do see some facial expressions showing care. Her daughter, the half-monster and half-human, truly reminded one of Mary, didn’t she? And the episode’s title is Mary’s song, where she ends up abandoned in a house in the forest, so could she literally be the monster’s daughter, not just containing her spirit? Or rather, she has the spirit of the Serpent now.

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Spring 2014 Week 10 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. Mushishi was here this week! But due to tests and such I had a bit less energy for this season, as it’s winding down, rather than winding up for exciting finales. Two episodes’ worth of Chaika, since I’ve missed it last week.

1) Ping Pong the Animation episode 9

Ping Pong the Animation anime Episode 9 overview

 

This episode is about the return of the past. Sakuma and Beach guy? Sure. But how about two friends who are going to fight for the top spot (assuming Peco beats Kazama), where one of them has knee-problems, and the other doesn’t want to harm his friend’s dream? Reminds you of Coach Koizumi and Kazama’s grandfather, eh? Smile had also been told that he’ll harm his opponent if he gives him the win, and Obaba had said Smile has no mercy, and is a monster.

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Mekakucity Actors Episode 9 Notes – Red Leader and The Sinister Serpent!

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

So, last episode ended with Shintaro discovering Ayano is related to the Mekaku-dan, with Mary standing over him, and finally a sense of direction in terms of goals – discover Hiyori and Kokonoe (*Haruka), and trying to find out if more loved ones can be saved from The Serpent.

A lot of screenshots this episode, so here is the screenshot album. I’ll include the most (visually) relevant ones in the piece itself.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Time with Family:

Mekakucity Actors Anime Episode 9 notes - Tateyama Ayano playing with Kano, Kido, and Seto

1) Ayano’s mother is telling her the story of the monster. Considering it’s Ayano’s voice narrating it at the end of every episode, it makes sense. Well, stories also supposedly shape our view of the world – Some humans are monsters, beware loneliness, be careful of what you wish for, and nothing beats time spent with family. Sounds about right.

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Spring 2014 Week 9 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. Another week without Mushishi leaves us orphaned. Drama had been fairly good this week, while popcorn was being its normal popcorny-stuff.

1) Ping Pong the Animation episode 8

Ping Pong the Animation Episode 8 overview

This show isn’t messing around. It doesn’t throw surprise punches at you, but sets up the characters logically, and then lets them act out their natures.

Kazama doesn’t believe in heroes, which means that not only does he not look up to others, but he also doesn’t see himself as a hero. He doesn’t seek to lead his team as a “leader”, but as a symbol of unflagging prowess. He cares not for the psychology of it, and it seems he doesn’t care for them either. No heroes, but there is money, and there are symbols, symbols such as the school. His is a cold world, one of powers, and not people.

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Mekakucity Actors Episode 8 Notes – These Borrowed Lives of Ours

(Note: Episodic notes are still mostly to be found on the Episodics Notes’ page, but up to a couple every week will have their write-up appear on the main page, when I think they warrant it. For those who don’t know, I take the notes as I watch the episode, and merely re-order them afterwards.)

The last two episodes have done quite a lot of work, first they made us care for some characters, after spending too long with talking heads. Then they showed us how the various threads of fate connect – Momo’s teacher, Takane and Haruka, Shintaro and the Mekaku-Dan. All know one another.

And then we saw the danger of wishes, tying us to the serpent at the center of it all. But the question is where do we go from now? How does this knowledge, or the outside world forces the characters to actually do something?

(I took 39 screenshots. Not going to insert them all, so here is the complete album.)

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Trying To Find Our Way in Escher’s World:

Mekakucity Actors Anime Episode 8 notes - Kido Tsubomi in the fire

1) “A new girl?!” is what I thought, but then we hear the name “Tsubomi”, which means it’s Kido of the green hair. She left behind her “sister”. This “sister” has red hair, like Ayano, who was also called “Sister” but Kido. And yet, I don’t think they’re the same person. But the fact fate repeats itself and replaces one older sister with red hair for another might not be accidental.

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Spring 2014 Week 8 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

As usual, shows listed by order of my enjoyment of said episode, links to longer write-ups. This was a pretty good week! While most popcorn shows had somewhat bored me or failed to do as well as they did in the past, everything else did really well!

1) Mushishi Second Season episode 7

Mushishi Second Season anime episode 8 overview

After a week without it, Mushishi is back, and boy does it come out swinging. I think it’s my favourite episode of the season, after the marvelous second episode. There’s not a lot that happened in this episode, there’s not much symbolism, or characters taking action, or anything you can point at and say “This! This is why this episode, and why Mushishi are so great!” – it was a story of human loss, of a human being swept away by the grand forces of Mushishi, emotions, and loss.

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