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.
“If you did find a dream, what would you do?
If you had told me at the beginning of the summer season that I’d be sitting here thirteen weeks later about to write a review of Free! Eternal Summer, one I knew it would be impossible to write without talking about its themes…well, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I came into this season of Free! expecting nothing less and nothing more than a slickly produced, super-shiny fanservice show featuring a bunch of muscular high school boys swimming half-naked in pools. And you know what? I was fine with that. Free! Iwatobi Swim Club, the first season of the franchise, was more than enough fun for me to want to watch the second season. But Free! Eternal Summer felt, at times, like a completely different show. So, for a noticeable improvement, for being fun, and for looking decadently pretty, I’m giving Free! Eternal Summer a 6/10 (Ranking).
I’m not sure I can smile again. Goodbye, Hunter x Hunter.
Oh, were there other shows this week?
Kiyoko-san dodges like a boss.
What an absolute breath of fresh air Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun [Dogakobo, 2014] was for this season of anime. From beginning to end, from Sakura’s confession to the finale’s fireworks, from the groovy first notes of the OP to the final line of dialogue, Nozaki-kun has been nothing but warm, relaxing, and hilarious. Whether it was engaging in parody, using character-driven comedy, cracking jokes about writers, or just being pleasant to watch, Nozaki-kun stands as one of the top anime comedies I’ve seen. I’m happy to give it an 8/10 (Ranking) and I can confidently say that it was my favorite show of the season.
I suppose I have to be honest going into this review: I don’t like Aldnoah.Zero [A-1 Pictures + TROYCA, 2014] very much and, aside from a few episodes in the middle of the show, I never did. So, although the finale had me spitting venom and wanting to blackball the show, that’s merely an enhanced version of my overall opinion of the show. So, for annoyance, misery, good graphics and soundtrack, Inko’s cool name, and everything else, I’m giving Aldnoah.Zero a 4/10 (Ranking).
Nope. Not really.
It’s almost over, thank goodness. Oh, wait. End of the season means more work for me, because then it’s reviewing time. Here’s a quick look at the shows I’ll probably be doing reviews for. If something not on this list piques my interest or makes me angry in the next couple of weeks, you might find them added in, but for now, this is what I’m expecting to do:
- Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun review
- Hunter x Hunter tribute post
- Zankyou no Terror review (+ episodics archive)
- Aldnoah.Zero review (depending on how annoyed I am after the last episode/how bad I want blog views)
- Haikyuu!! (not sure, because Nozaki-kun ends on the same day)
Brace yourselves! The end of the season is coming!
Welcome to Week 10! The end of the season is in sight, and I’m pretty happy about that. This season has pretty much been a total letdown and I’m more than ready to move on. I’m not going to do a season preview because I don’t like those, but if you’re interested in knowing what I’m looking forward to, I did an ask.fm answer on the subject not long ago.
Trending Up: Sailor Moon Crystal, Haikyuu!!
Trending Down: Argevollen, Aldnoah.Zero, Fairy Tail
RWBY showed off some diversity in their art style this week, which looked good.
So, no Zankyou no Terror this week, which was a shame. Sailor Moon Crystal also was absent (but I’m not crying about that). Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of the week, as there were a couple episodes that actively upset me and a few others that were somewhat disappointing. But, Argevollen (arguably the most consistent show airing this season), Haikyuu!!, and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun are all standbys and none of them let me down. Thank goodness for that.
Pira used Seismic Toss!
Three quarters of the season are gone, which means I’ve been thinking about ratings and rankings for the season a bit lately—and I’m not sure what I’m going to do with this season. I’m not even sure if anything will score about a 7/10. Don’t get me wrong, I like Zankyou no Terror, but part of me fears what’s ahead for the show. It’s definitely not 9/10 level, which means 8/10 is going to be the high water mark for the season. I suppose that’s reasonable, but it still seems somewhat disappointing. That said, we’ve still got four weeks to go, which is plenty of time for some of the shows I’m watching to distinguish themselves.