As with almost every closing of the anime year, this past one was a real roller coaster of a ride. Humbly, I ask, that you join me for some reminiscing of some of 2014’s most memorable features. This is the third time I’d be doing this (skipped 2012 for some odd reason), but I think it should be expected of me to maintain some sort of pattern. So first off, a general ranking of the seasons, based on how much I enjoyed them:
Spring > Fall / Summer > Winter
Yeap. Spring 2014 was for me the most decisive victor. Amusingly enough, in the three years that I’ve done this, the Spring season has always come out on top. It actually goes against my long standing belief that Fall was actually the undisputed best season each year. Winter once again falls short for me this year, BUT I would like to go on record saying that Winter 2014 is actually not that bad. I might even go so far as to say that this Winter was actually pretty good. Notable favorites are D-Frag! and Noragami, which were shows that were in their own league really, in terms of production (being produced by Brains Base and Bones, respectively). So they’re what you’d consider fan-favorites to be the seasonal highlight. Shows that I loved based on my personal tastes would be the third installment of Saki (Zenkoku-hen), and Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta. Saki was just awesome all through out (Achiga-hen had the better matches though), and Toaru was what I picked as Winter’s dark horse, in terms of how good it turned out to be, despite being a spin-off of an already well-crafted story in Remembrances for a Certain Pilot (talking about the light novel). The real highlight for me however, was Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, simply because of how cute this series was (Kobeni~!!). I admit I was caught off guard when things went towards a more supernatural route, but this show was just so heart-warmingly adorable, I just couldn’t help but place it at the top. At first glance, the Spring 2014 lineup didn’t look so wonderful. A lot of new titles that seeming come from nowhere, along with Haikyuu!! and Mekaku City Actors arguably being the only popular adaptations. Don’t get me wrong. Haikyuu!! was amazing, and Mekaku.. well, Mekaku was decent. I just expected that I’d only be watching those two shows, and I’d leave Spring to the more adventurous viewers who wanted to try something new. Obviously I still ended up watching a reasonable handful of shows, and I glad I did. Even if it was the sadly forgettable Akuma no Riddle; the amusing mishmash that was Gokukoku no Brynhildr; the wincest that was Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei; the fallen star that was Black Bullet; the anime fan in me couldn’t resist watching through as much as I can while I had the time. So I picked up more shows, and evidently these were shows that I liked. No Game No Life comes to mind as this niche’ story finally saw the light of day in the welcoming arms of a lot of people. Captain Earth gives us some Bones mecha with a dash of romance (a formula I’m particularly fond of). Isshuukan Friends, the Spring showstealer for some brought to the table some ef – a tale of memories drama with a more slice of life feel (enter Amamiya Sora!). Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin was an unexpected entry for me because of its lively cast of characters and awesome-tier animation. Even Selector infected WIXOSS makes it to my “shows that I liked” list for being a not-so-bad show revolving around a card game. Despite all that (man that was nine shows, lol). The true star in my opinion was none other than Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou. I just love this series. Everything about it, from the style, to the music, to the simple yet elegant story well woven together by very memorable (and sometimes extremely comedic) interactions between the characters. The first seconds of the first episode was enough for me to decide, this one’s for keeps. Summer was a neat mix of anticipation for some, and unexpected delight for others. I for one looked forward to the adaptations of Akame ga Kill! and Tokyo Ghoul, being that I read the manga for both beforehand (needless to say, those fell off the wagon eventually). UroButcher fans, like me, would’ve also waited for Aldnoah.Zero, which was actually a pretty fun ride. One that we’re gonna continue riding relatively soon. Hanamonogatari snuck in mid-season for us Monogatari fans to keep us satisfied until the next Monogatari (also soon-ish). And yeah, a couple of sequels to some shows that I won’t be mentioning, ’cause I didn’t ’em. Zankyou Terror was the crowd pleaser this time around – appealing of course to a more mature audience, which is always nice to see. At the extreme end of that was Glasslip, which was a supreme letdown. Jinsei was decent (save for the actual content, which is very indecent). Rail Wars! was a slow train wreck. Ao Haru Ride avoided that wreckage and turned out alright as a shoujo feature. It’s a tie between Barakamon and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, as Summer 2014’s best shows. Both just came out of nowhere for me, and delivered a comedy fix I doubt any other season could’ve recreated. The former mixed it around by tying in a really nice soul-searching drama vibe to it, while the latter was something more akin to shoujo for men (if there is such a thing). Aaand now we’re at Fall. A pretty one-sided affair I should say. Readers of my blog before might have an idea as to why. I ended up dropping a lot of shows this season, which is very uncharacteristic for Fall, at least when I watch it. But I ended up leaving Denki-Gai no Honya-san, Sora no Method, and Trinity Seven. Something about those shows individually, felt like they were just mock shadows of an already existing show. That left me with Selector spread WIXOSS, which was a surprisingly decent ending(?) to a surprisingly decent series. Nanatsu no Taizai is a nice action-fix from action’s finest producers (Bones). Psycho-Pass 2, from the get-go, left a bad taste that I doubt I’ll ever remove, but it held it’s own and managed to scrape together an okay end to an otherwise okay sequel. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso is my kind of show to be honest (human drama + good music + nice scenery/animation), and if I didn’t have my biases, I’d have this as my favorite for the season (unless Tsukimonogatari is actually crazy good). But I’m only a mortal man, and as such, I have my own ideals to uphold. One of them is to be steadfast in my admiration for Type-MOON. So Fate/Stay Night – Unlimited Blade Works takes center stage for Fall. It’s hard not to love this half of UBW. It has everything my 14 year-old self would’ve loved to have seen roughly six years ago, and more! Waiting for this show’s arrival, I have no regrets.
There you have it. The Anime 2014 nostalgia ride is officially over. 😀
I sincerely hope it was as good for you as it was for me.What season was your favorite? Which shows stood out for the most?