Well, it has been a year, hasn’t it? 2014, as a whole, was a pretty disappointing year in anime. This has been the first year that I’ve actually watched simulcasted seasons for the entire year, so perhaps there’s some of Sturgeon’s Law in effect, but overall I felt that 2014 was far inferior to 2013 in terms of top level quality, mid-tier depth, and low-tier hilarity. To be completely fair to 2014, I did end up watching a lot of 2013 shows this year, but, by way of comparison, shows like Chihayafuru 2 and Monogatari Series: Second Season only served to further expose the weakness of this year.
But it’s more fun to talk about the good things that happened this year, so that’s what I’m going to do. Unlike last year, I’m not going to do caption awards. I’ve already done that with each season, so if you want to see which shows were notable in certain areas, check out those posts:
Winter 2014 | Spring 2014 | Summer 2014 | Fall 2014
So, without further distraction, I present my top anime of 2014! Here’s the Best Girl of 2014 to kick things off!
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.
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.
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.
We’ve tripped over the halfway point now with all currently airing shows (except RWBY and Sailor Moon Crystal), so here is the basic rundown of how I’m feeling on everything.
Excited to Watch Each Week: Zankyou no Terror, Argevollen, Haikyuu!!, Hunter x Hunter, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
Entertained: Aldnoah.Zero, Glasslip, Free! Eternal Summer
Just Watching: RWBY, Fairy Tail, Sailor Moon Crystal
New plan, guys: just become friends with the nasty dragons!
Oh, look. We’re at the halfway point of the season. Where does the time go?
I do really appreciate how many P.A. Work parents are good at being parents.
A couple drops this week (Tokyo ESP, Rail Wars!) mean my schedule is starting to free up for those inevitable midseason pick-ups. Barakamon is probably first on that list right now.
Trending Up: Nozaki-kun, Zankyou no Terror, Glasslip
Trending Down: Free! Eternal Summer, Sailor Moon Crystal
Someone at Rooster Teeth has been watching SHAFT anime.
This season feels like it’s going by really slowly. There’s only one show (Nozaki-kun) that I really love so far, but there are a few I’m definitely keeping an eye on. We’ll see. It might end up being a really backlog heavy season for me after all.
Note: There is now a Full Series Review available!
Note: This article was later published in the Crunchyroll Newsletter.
I know I already have a general First Impressions post up, but Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is good enough to merit a first impressions post of its own—if you aren’t already watching this show, you should be. It’s the best Dogakobo show since Summer 2013’s Love Lab, and that’s high praise. We’re three weeks in, and Nozaki-kun has shown itself to be a top-shelf comedy anime—one based around endearing, colorful, and funny characters with the production quality to back it all up.