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.
#5. Strike the Blood
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!
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
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
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.
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.