The 5 Worst Anime of 2014

You know, I’m usually pretty positive on my blog, but I saw a lot of crap go down this year in anime and I’m feeling a bit cranky tonight, so I think it’s time to really let loose and talk about the worst anime I watched this year. I’m not big into hate-watching, nor have I ever felt compelled to finish a show I wasn’t enjoying, so I finished very few of the shows on this list. Thus, you may find yourself choking back, “But you didn’t get to the best part!”

Too bad. If it was unenjoyable enough for me to drop it before it “got good” and found its way onto this list, it deserves to be here. So, quit your whining and suck it up. Someday you’ll learn to like better bad stuff.

I don’t want to indulge my worser instincts too much, so you only get my top (bottom?) five worst anime of 2014 here. Just know that I mean most of this in good fun, even if I did think these shows were bad. I also find it important to note that this is not an exhaustive list of all the bad anime that aired in 2014, nor was I particularly judicious in picking (or ranking) the series for this list. I just went with whatever earned my ire this evening. Let us begin with the Worst Girl of 2014.

Nisekoi

A faceless image of a boring character.

#5. Strike the Blood

Strike the Blood

This line, however, was not crap.

From the studio about to bring your Kunihiko Ikuhara’s latest creative endeavor, it’s Strike the Blood! Now, I can’t be too critical of Strike the Blood, as I did end up watching the entire show (I even had a best girl—Aiba). Wait, that’s not right. I can be as critical as I want. A Fall 2013 leftover that ended in Spring 2014, Strike the Blood had no business being as entertaining as I found it, as it was formulaic, circuitous, and had a strange fascination with terrible (although, admittedly somewhat iconic) catchphrases—”NO SENPAI THIS IS OUR FIGHT.” But, as could be expected of a harem anime, its worst parts were derived from the way it treated the girls in the cast. Essentially, they were nothing more than 1) sex objects to arouse to protagonist and, subsequently, 2) mechanisms to unlock his superpowers. Being surrounded by sexy girls will make you strong is the core message of Strike the Blood and while that may be true, I don’t think it’s the best message to be sending to the impressionable youth of the world.

#4. Rail Wars!

Rail Wars!

Dangerous snacks were the status quo in Rail Wars!

Speaking of horrible treatment of female characters, Summer 2014’s Rail Wars! was perhaps the most egregious example (that I saw) of the camera leering at the anatomies of every female character who came on screen. Cross Ange was probably worse, but I actually made it through six episodes of Rail Wars! before I decided the parts about the show I liked were overbalanced (and often directly contradicted) by the sickening tendencies of the camera to take every opportunity possible to ogle Sakurai and the other characters whose names I no longer remember. For me, the final straw was that I liked Best Girl Sakurai and wanted to respect her character—but the show itself wouldn’t do it, and that irritated me enough that I decided I didn’t need to see anymore of Rail Wars! shaming her into infatuation with the show’s generic protagonist. I can only hope the next gun-toting redhead that comes along gets better, because Sakurai certainly deserved more than what Rail Wars! was willing to give her.

#3. Magical Warfare

Magical Warfare

Did I mention that Magical Warfare was well-written?

Sasuga Madhouse for managing to place a show high on both my top shows list (shouldn’t be hard to guess which) and my worst shows list. I had high hopes for Magical Warfare when it started airing in Winter 2014. These were my early days of anime blogging, before I became jaded and cynical and wearied at each successive “high schoolers in a magic high school” light novel adaptation. But, even back then, I knew Magical Warfare was a dud. To be fair, the final episodes of the show were hugely entertaining as an absolute failure of good storytelling and character work. Without being offensive, Magical Warfare was just so utterly incompetent on pretty much every level aside from the visuals that by the time I got to episode 9 I knew I could expect a solid 24 minutes of laughter each week when it aired because the characters would unfailingly act like total idiots for the entirety of the episode. Wow, this show was bad! Its one redeeming factor (and it’s a big enough one to keep it out of first place/last place on this list) was nano’s awesome ED tune, “Born to Be.”

#2. The Irregular at Magic High School

Mahouka

This was a BS show, that’s for sure.

Madhouse strikes again with what was indeed to worst anime I watched in 2014, Spring 2014’s The Irregular at Magic High School, also unaffectionately known as Mahouka. Now, I was a little worried coming into Mahouka after my experience with Magical Warfare (on paper, the similarities were striking), but what I got in Mahouka was far beyond both my wildest expectations and darkest fears. Whether it was the constant chorus of “Onii-sama” (/coughs violently) or the constant chorus of “Tatsuya you are so great” (/vomits) or the constant chorus of “the velocity of the magic-inhibit photoreceptors generated centrifugal force approximately equal to the actuating conduits blah blah blah blah blah” (/dies), Mahouka was at first interesting, then funny, then just. really. boring. That is to say nothing about its politics, which I never really talked about because I don’t understand meritocracy and objectivism well and because other people were doing enough of that and because it was painfully obvious from the worldviews of Mahouka‘s characters that the show was pretty messed up in the head. Oh, and the music was awful. The end.

#1. Pupa

Pupa

I need to apologize to all the other shows on this list. Because of my own error, each of them were ranked one spot higher on this list than they deserved. Somehow, I had managed to so effectively purge the experience of Winter 2014’s Pupa from my mind that I never even thought of adding it to this list. I don’t usually revise posts a lot after they’ve been published, but Pupa was such a stinking pile awfulness that I could not stop myself from coming back and adding it. Other than the appropriately creepy OP and ED songs, there was pretty much nothing good about Pupa. Now that I’ve started writing, the memories of episode 6 are suddenly flooding back and onii-chan onii-chan CHOMP is all I can hear in my head. Overbearing censorship and incesty undertones (or were they overtones?) aside, Pupa was a mess of a story that also managed to flip a lot of my angry switches with its truncated runtime and unrestrained violence. That’s a lot of negativity bred by a show whose entire runtime totaled less than an hour, but there it is. That’s the true worst anime of 2014.

38 thoughts on “The 5 Worst Anime of 2014

  1. I usually don’t like harem/ecchi shows, but I liked Strike the Blood. I think it was mostly because harems are traditional for vampires (Brides of Dracula, after all). As well, drinking blood as a metaphor for sex is also very traditional for vampire stories, and StB did a good job with that. A better spin on or reason for ecchi shows than the random boob grab or walking in on people naked.

    Plus the setting was pretty neat. Strike the Blood wasn’t an amazing or even particularly good show, but I think there were a lot worse shows. Trinity Seven in particular annoyed me because it wasted a very intriguing setting to give us the standard ecchi fare.

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    • Strike the Blood did manage to feel oddly original despite the rehashed nature of a lot of…well, a lot of the show. I’m not sure how it managed to do that, but I wouldn’t have made it through all 24 episodes if it hadn’t had at least some sort of engaging factors.

      As I said at the top, I couldn’t fit it all the bad shows I saw this year! Strike the Blood definitely was not the worst. But it caught my eye as I was breezing through my list, so here it is!

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  2. “So, quit your whining and suck it up. Someday you’ll learn to like better bad stuff.”

    Iblessall, I gotta say. Your rage is really moe.

    All jokes aside, it seems you watched some really crap shows this year. I was kind of hoping you’d put Aldnoah Zero on your list so I could chuckle at your rage, but at least that show had its entertaining parts. The shows you listed here seem irredeemable in all aspects. The only one I watched, though, was Mahouka.

    ALSO YES, ONODERA WORST GIRL. THANK YOU! HAIL IBLESSALL!

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  3. Finally give in to the negative side eh? Didn’t think you actually put shows you dropped, but hey its your list.

    I’ve only watch six episodes of Rail Wars, and one and a half of Mahouka. Dropped the former because of the fanservice and the latter because of the agony to hear praise for our Onii-sama (cough blood), but I might going back on watching Mahouka again out of curiosity.

    Other than that, hopefully we get to see another red haired gun trotting tsundere heroine in the future ^ ^

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    • Well, with Cross Ange now off the list for Pupa, Rail Wars! is actually the only one I didn’t finish, and at least I saw half of it. I think that was enough to judge the show on.

      If you go back to Mahouka, just…bring your sense of dark humor with you and you might get out alive.

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      • I think my morbid curiosity will carry me through and I’m only going to watch when I’m feeling masochist 😉

        Btw funny story because just like you, I was fairly optimistic about anime premise regardless of source until I became somewhat cynical regarding “Magical Highschool” sub-genre of LN adaptation. Difference are, the anime which turn me that way was Summer 2014 Seirei Tsukai. Considering both Absolute Duo and World Break is on Winter 2015, not sure its going to change anytime soon…

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  4. Let us begin with the Worst Girl of 2014. A faceless image of a boring character.

    You the best, sir!

    Whew, I thought you were gonna include Nisekoi in this list, but seeing Chitoge in the background I was relieved.

    Its one redeeming factor (and it’s a big enough one to keep it out of first place/last place on this list) was nano’s awesome ED tune, “Born to Be.”

    The ED was, indeed, the only good part of the show but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to keep me hooked. At least, I still got to listen to the song in its entirety without ever completing the show.

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    • Wow it is refreshing to find other people who think Onodera was a boring stick in the mud. For me, it wasn’t just that she was a boring character, but that she automatically sucked all of the fun out of Nisekoi whenever she came on screen. Nisekoi definitely wouldn’t be on this list, though! I enjoyed it quite a lot, really. I expected Chitoge-chan to be the background of my blog for a long time to come!

      I was super stoked when “Born to Be” got released on US iTunes. It was one of the first songs to cross the 100 play barrier on my iTunes, actually.

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      • Japan must have bad taste for even considering Onodera the best character in the series. She always gets the top spot in character popularity polls in Shounen JUMP. -_- Whenever Onodera is the focus of a scene, I would always want to skip it. So Chitoge is also your best girl? I’m sorry for asking such a dumb question 🙂 I just want to hear it straight from you. Haha

        Really? Yay! I’m glad to hear that you really liked it. Have you listened to her other albums as well?

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        • I’m not ashamed to say it outright! In fact, I’m proud! Chitoge-chan is the Best Girl in Nisekoi! She just has so much more spirit than Onodera and is actually fun to watch.

          As for nano, I’ve listened to bits and pieces from her other albums, but I’ve never actually listened to a full album by her. I just have the singles of “Born to Be” and “Savior of Song.” I’ll get around to listening to one of her albums eventually. I love her voice; just need to make time to sit down and do it.

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  5. Just be glad you didn’t watch Pupa. I saw through every episode (they were short) thinking, “It can’t be this bad? Can it? Nothing can make Mahou Sensou look good in comparison, can it?”

    I think I watched only one episode of The Irregular at Magic High School. Maybe it’s because all of my bad feelings about Mahou Sensou was there, but I didn’t think I could handle another magic school anime.

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    • Fun fact about Pupa: On MAL, where average shows typically get a collective 7-ish rating and even bad shows rarely drop much below 6, Pupa’s score is 4.01. It’s one of only two actual TV series in the database (not OVAs or movies) with a rating below 5, and the other is some anime done in Flash back in 2006. You know a series is awful when even MAL users hate it that much.

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      • It deserves it. Some things would happen with no explanation to them. If you didn’t have knowledge of the manga, you wouldn’t understand who some of the characters were. The manga isn’t the greatest, but it’s didn’t deserve this kind of adaptation.

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  6. “A faceless image of a boring character.”
    Hey, isn’t that Kosaki Onodera ? Fair cop. 😉 KIDDING!….maybe….

    Well’ you’ve listed five shows I haven’t even sampled, although I have seen Cross Ange referred to as Crotch Ange, so I have a feeling you’re not alone there.

    If we apply Sturgeon’s law “Ninety percent of everything is crud” 2014 may have bucked the odds. 2014 may have, in fact, been an embarrassment of riches. Though I may not be jaded yet, I’ve only been watching anime (on and off) since Nausicaa came out. 🙂

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    • You can’t tell who she is without her helpless moe eyes? 😛

      Hey, if you haven’t sampled any of these, count yourself fortunate! I would have definitely been better off without watching some of these.

      As for getting jaded, I think concentrated doses of lot of anime (I finished 49 2014 series, not counting shows I dropped) can help you get there faster. I’m planning on scaling back next year, so hopefully that will restore my optimism a bit, heh.

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  7. Wh-wha… What is this?? Negativity? This isn’t the Mage in a Barrell I know!! whaaaaa! ;______;

    Nah I’m in agreement with Froggy here, angry iblessall is still kind of moe.

    Looks like I was pretty good about not wading into the truly filthy series of the year, my worst list would end up including things like Inou-Battle.

    Also Nano seems to have a knack for doing great OP’s for bad shows; behold Btooom!

    And also nano.ripe > Nano

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  8. Out of the five, i watched Wizard, Rail Wars and Mahouka, and I totally agree with EVERYTHING you said. Couldnt stand RW so I dropped it but painstakingly watched through the other two lol xD

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  9. The whole “no senpai, this is OUR fight.” line may have been a big part of why I couldn’t completely bring myself to hate Strike the Blood.

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  10. I didn’t bothered with watching some of these.

    From that list, I only watched almost all of the first episode of Rail Wars. I dropped it after that.

    Maybe with a longer list that awful recent Sunrise anime could be included. With only reading articles and reactions of people was enough to not checking it.

    I was surprised that it managed to be repulsive even to fans of ecchi and fanservice.

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