The Top Anime of 2014

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!

Nisekoi

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Top Winter 2014 Anime: Final Ratings

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!

Kagari Ayaka

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Golden Time Response

NOTE: Having finished this review, I recognize that it is largely devoid of those prized reviewing things called “logic” and “good analysis.” I apologize. And yet, I think it might still be worth reading. It’s not really a review; it’s a response, because that’s all I can manage for this show and because maybe that’s what this show really needs.

I’m just going to start off here: this was the most difficult review piece I’ve written all season (although I haven’t yet seen Nagi no Asukara), and I apologize in advance (again) if this review is disjointed or just ends up making not a lick of sense. Golden Time hit me emotionally and connected at a very personal and visceral level, and yet, I see that there are inherent and obvious flaws in the show. At what point does a reviewer have to scrap their own feelings and aim to be objective? Is it even possible to be objectively review a show when there is so much emotion bound up in one’s impressions of said show?Golden Time Poster Continue reading

Top Anime Fall 2013 Season: Keepers and Drops

The fall season is roaring up on us, with a ton of anime premiering in the next couple days, so here’s your quick and easy guide to the best anime of Fall 2013! Shows are still being added as we speak, so the list should grow over time. If you need links to shows, head over to my current watchlist page.

Nagi no Asukara Poster

Keepers:

  • Golden Time
    • From the author of Toradora!Golden Time has Yuyuko Takemiya’s fingerprints all over it. Instantly likable, and notable for its setting at a university (not a high school!), the first episode set up played no tricks. It’s not a guessing game what this anime is going to be about, but the fun will be watching the story unfold. High expectations and recommended watchGolden Time Poster
  • Beyond the Boundary
    • The dark-fantasy anime from KyoAni had a strong first episode, setting up the main characters as likable and fun to watch. As expected, the animation quality is phenomenal and the plot interesting, at the very least. Beyond the Boundary is a recommended watch.
  • Kill la Kill
    • The novelty of this show alone is enough to keep me watching. Kill la Kill is like no anime I’ve seen recently and approaches FLCL levels of insanity. Fortunately, however, it seems be a little bit more lucid that FLCL, with a plot that can actually be followed. For now, it’s a recommended watch because you’ve probably never seen anything like it. Also, it reminds me of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, for some reason.
  • Nagi no Asukara
    • Was it a foregone conclusion that Nagi no Asukara would end up here? Well, not exactly, but pretty close to that. The animation is superb, maybe the best I’ve ever seen. It is just absolutely beautiful to watch. The story has already raised some interesting questions and character relations, and has the potential to go pretty much wherever it wants. Overall, the sheer beauty of it all is the overwhelming charm, but I expect great things from the story. Nagi no Asukara is a recommended watch.
  • White Album 2
    • No, you don’t need to have seen White Album to understand what’s going on, and that’s a good thing. I was hugely impressed by the first 3 minutes of the episode, and continued to enjoy it through the end. I’m always a sucker for good music as an important part of the story & I especially appreciated the portrayal of music bringing people together. Expecting at least one major cry fest by the end. White Album 2 is a recommended watch and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

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