The Fall 2014 anime season has come to a close, so it’s time to take a look at what was the best, what great, what was good, what was enjoyable, and what was none of those. It’s particularly important in this season to note that these rankings only cover shows that ended this season—if ongoing shows were counted, this list would look radically different.
I’ve also made a few changes to the awards to accommodate the decreasing number of shows I’m watching each season. All the genre awards have been reduced to a winner and an honorable mention, OST has been added as a category, and ongoing shows are eligible for the OP/ED categories. With that in mind, I’m happy to present the top shows of Fall 2014. Well, happy might not be the best word for a season as rough as this, but here’s the list anyways.
And so we bid farewell to what has been the weakest season of anime I have watched since I began following shows weekly. The numbers show it. I finished only seven shows this season, not including my sad farewell to long runner Hunter x Hunter, with four ongoing shows remaining. Thank goodness fall is coming, because it looks a lot more promising to me.
Mikorin basking in the breeze of being the best.
It’s kind of crazy to think that I was still in England when this season started. Where I am now, both as an anime watcher and and blogger, seems quite far away from where I was then. It was a good season, though—one that saw my entry into Reddit, the start up of an ambitious Best Girl tournament on the Crunchyroll forums and my first steps into the aniblogger world. But about that anime…. I picked up a lot more shows than I wanted to actually watch, discovered a new show that I really like (Love Live!), was let down by numerous shows, dropped way more shows than I usually do, was charmed by Chaika and wowed by my first Masaaski Yuasa show. So, yeah. Spring 2014 wasn’t a bad season for me. I won’t say some shows didn’t become tedious at times, but overall it was a pretty good season, with Week 8 (headlined by Hunter x Hunter, of course) standing head and shoulders above all the rest. Here’s how things shook out.
The Winter 2014 season has come to a close, and so it’s time to assess the shows that I watched, rate them and rank them. What follows is are short reviews and rating on a scale of 1-10 of the shows that I watched during the winter 2014 season. Overall, the season was one of the least impressive I’ve seen, although it did has a few shows I genuinely enjoyed.
Here’s the format I’ll be following. I will be going through the list of shows I’ve been watching in ranked order. Each show will be given a rating out of 10, as well as a short review and any awards the show won (Best Animation, Best Comedy, etc.).
Tiered rankings will be found here, and full series reviews for the shows that need them can be found on the Reviewed Anime List, as well as on the front page of the blog as I post them.
Let’s get started!
1. Blast of Tempest (Fall 2012-Winter 2013)
Dramatic, well-plotted, well-written and overall just brilliantly executed, Blast of Tempest provided a compelling story held in place by its fascinating quartet of main characters. Perfectly self-contained and logical on its own terms, Blast of Tempest is an incredible example of how to use characters to tell a story while still maintaining a compelling plot.
2. A Certain Scientific Railgun: S (Spring 2013-Summer 2013)
Although the Silent Party arc was fairly pedestrian, albeit fun and still thought provoking, the Sisters Arc carries Misaka and company into the second place. Gripping, emotional and intense, Misaka’s quest to save her clones from being sacrificed raises serious questions relevant to our modern scientific world and about the nature of sacrifice.
3. The Eccentric Family (Summer 2013)
What started out as a meandering, relaxed story gradually built up into family conflict and drama, all concluding with a satisfying ending that reaffirms the value of family. Artistically and beautifully written.
1. Kyousougiga (Fall 2013)
I’ve gushed about Kyousougiga’s animation before and I’ll do it again here. The show looks like it was made to be an anime. The animation in incredibly artistic and beautifully matches the tone and mood of the show. It’s not often that an anime’s animation so fully embraces and enhances the show itself, but Kyousougiga’s does that and does it very well. Simply put, the unity between the animation and the rest of the show elevates everything about this anime.
2. Nagi no Asukara (Fall 2013)
I may have put this on hold to be able to marathon it, but I don’t need to have seen the whole show to tell you that Nagi no Asukara’s animation is beautiful. Like our third place winner, Nagi no Asukara takes full advantage of the fact that it is set around water. The coloring is gorgeous and the water effects both in and out of the water make this show visually stunning. It is worth watching on the merits of the animation alone. That’s just how good it is.
3. Free! (Summer 2013)
Another anime steeped in water and KyoAni milks it for all that it is worth. The water scenes are the obvious highlight, but the rest of the show is just as well done.
Due to the ending of the current fall anime season and the resulting influx of new anime into my Ongoing Anime Rankings, as well as a fascinating discussion about the 1-10 ranking scale over on the Crunchyroll forums, it came to my attention that my current ranking system, while good, needed some fine tuning. Below you will see the new system, but first, I want to share some of the philosophy and general standards that have been considered as I put together the new system. Continue reading