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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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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No Game, No Life Episode 12 (Finale!) Notes – Losing is Fun, Together!

(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.)

Here we are, at the season finale. Not the series finale, because obviously the two siblings will keep going until they rule the world and challenge Tet. What will happen then? Blank never loses, but the question is what they will ask for, what will be “victory”.

Here we are at a small juncture, where Blank must win to save humanity, but this victory is will displace the Werebeasts, what they feared done to them, they will do unto others? Leave them at a position where they can be decimated? That doesn’t sound to me like what will happen.

To me the real narrative question of interest at this point isn’t whether they’d win (because they will) or even howthey’d win, as this show is nice, but it’s not as clever as it thinks it is – but what they will do after they win. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’d ruffle Izuna’s hair and go “This was fun, wasn’t it?” – But the real issue is with the leader of the Werebeasts, still hiding in the shadows.

Let’s get to it.

Thoughts and Notes:

1) Having Fun With Friends:

No Game, No Life episode 12 (finale!) anime notes - Hatsuse Izuna goes full beast

1) The siblings apparently didn’t calculate for Izuna going all-out, though it is what they wished for! Must keep the tension going, to keep the appearances of the siblings always being on the verge of defeat and having to come up with “new” solutions, only to later show us it’s all been planned from the start. It’s a fine balance to maintain.

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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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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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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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Spring 2014 Week 7 Impressions – (Anime Power Ranking)

It’s a bit late, cause I’ve been tired, but here they are! Some lengthier write-ups for several shows! I should move to writing just these, honestly, for most shows. Welp, just checked, this post is quite long. Yeah, I could definitely move to just these, instead of episodic notes, and this is almost too long as well.

Shows listed in order of enjoyment. Links are to lengthier write-ups.

1) Ping Pong episode 6

Ping Pong the Animation episode 6 overview - Kazama Ryuichi speaks of reality and dreams

This episode wasn’t as big on “plot” in terms of events happening, as it was on explaining to us our cast, and being thematically heavy (rather than rich). We’ve dealt with heroes and monsters. With death and revival. Peco had an awesome “I am a Golden God!” moment, and Sakuma came out of nowhere to reinvigorate him.

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