So, Zankyou no Terror didn’t make it into my First Impressions post due to a late start, but that’s okay because that was a premiere deserving of a full write-up. This is my first outing with Shinichiro Watanabe and I was, to be frank, hugely impressed with the episode from start to finish. I don’t have any experience with him regarding his style of direction, but if his other work is like this, I’m now much more interested.
Early Verdict: Premiere of the season, and it looks like Noitamina might be following up Ping Pong with another Anime of the Season candidate. Great aesthetics, great direction, great tension building, great everything. A must-watch in my book.
What can I even say about this shot? Just…man.
There are some shows that I consider “moments” shows. They’re shows you watch for the few seconds or few shots of brilliant beauty interspersed between a lot of reasonably good, but not great material. Ping Pong the Animation [Tatsunoko Productions, 2014] is what happens when you take a “moments” show and bring all the in between moments up to the level of the moments. It’s an unreservedly ambitious, glowingly creative and masterfully executed show worthy of the rating I’m about to give it. For all of the above, and everything I haven’t said yet, I’m giving Ping Pong the Animation a 9/10. (Ranking)
And so passes the best show (by far, I should add) of the Winter 2014 season, Silver Spoon, as Hiromu Arakawa adds to the legacy of her writing. This was a show that transcended both the genre and the medium as the sheer, unbridled (that was intentional) authenticity of Arakawa’s personal experience shines through at every moment. It wasn’t the flashiest; it was the funniest; it wasn’t even necessarily the most fun to watch. But it was honest and true to the human experience, and there is no replacement for that.
To be totally honest, I was pretty torn as to how I wanted to rate this show. My gut instinct was that Silver Spoon is a 9/10, the first one I’d seen in a quite a bit. But my current rankings didn’t really allow for that, which lead me to believe that my rankings, once again, needed something of an overhaul. So, that’s what I did. Silver Spoon gets a 9/10 from me, setting it at the very top of tier II. This is a show I would want to show to my kids when they are Hachiken’s age, because it hold that much meaning and that many valuable lessons.