Well, well, we’ve finally come to the end of all the premieres. It feels like it’s been a quite a while since the season kicked off, what with Amagi Brilliant Park and the Ghibli series getting orphaned and YuYuYu having a really late premiere. However, it’s all over now and the time of separating the wheat (keepers) from the chaff (drops) has come! All of the impression below are based on the first episodes only.
I know I’m late with this post, as the Spring 2014 season is already well underway, but I’m going to do it anyways, including everything I’ve watched to this point. My hiatus is over and I’ve got some big things in the works, but I have to get caught up on the current season first!
Pet Show of the Season: Hitsugi no Chaika
This was my pet show even before it started airing. The title, synopsis, character designs and overall feel were right up my alley and it was coming out of my favorite studio of all time, BONES. After making my way through the first two episodes, I’m totally charmed by everything about this show: the color palate, the magic systems, Chaika’s adorable-funny way of talking, her simple motivation of wanting to bury her father, the siblings (even though the imouto is a brocon, ugh…) and the overall feel of the show. I’m not expecting brilliance from Chaika, just a pleasant fantasy adventure with a good story.
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.
And so, I bid farewell to one of my beloved pet shows from the Winter 2014 season, Witchcraft Works, a show that gets better the less seriously you take it. Although Witchcraft Works wasn’t the best show of the season, it was probably the most fun. And I’m partial to fun. Fun things have good re-watch value. And they make me happy.
On the strength of the fun factor and the ridiculously lovely art from J.C. Staff, I am pleased to award Witchcraft Works with a rating of 7/10, to be found comparatively ranked over at the Ongoing Rankings Page.
I must say, I am quite grateful to Log Horizon for plowing through the break between seasons, as doing so meant that it got done before the majority of the other shows from this Winter 2014 season. Being able to knock out at least one review before the end of season rush, even just one, is a huge help. So, thanks to NHK for keeping Log Horizon going. You’ve made my job easier.
Log Horizon had the misfortune to be broadcast just a few seasons after the preeminent MMORPG-based show of the decade, Sword Art Online, (and that’s a fact, whether you like it or not). For me, they were different enough to not really bear any true comparisons, but I would say that Sword Art Online is the superior of the two, for all its flaws. Log Horizon gets a 6/10 from me, and its comparative ranking can be found at the Ongoing Rankings Page.
Hello, hello, I’m back again with another cheery anime review, the oddball middle school comedy Love Lab. Allow me to sum it up in a picture:
And that’s the crazy, clean fun that represents Love Lab. See see where it ended up in my rankings, click here. Love Lab gets a 7/10 from me, missing out on a higher rating because it is fairly shallow (although not in a bad way). However, the comedy is excellent and the themes are wholesome, ensuring that Love Lab deserves to be in the company of big hitters like Attack on Titan. Continue reading
Another new season of anime is kicking off, the Winter 2014 season, and so we get to sift through another batch of premieres to find what’s Quality, what’s just Entertainment and what’s dropped. The list will be updated until final decisions are made on all shows, and my current watchlist can be found here. Let’s get to it!
It contrast to my most recent review of Galilei Donna and Beyond the Boundary, which unfortunately had to focus on the the failings of those two shows, I would like to focus this review on what the two most relaxing anime I have ever seen did right. Those series are Gingitsune: Messenger Fox of the Gods and Non Non Biyori, and you can see their current rankings here. I am actually quite troubled by their current placement and am considering redoing my ranking system to better accommodate the differences between shows. (After all, how does one compare Non Non Biyori to Attack on Titan?)
Gingitsune: Messenger of the Fox Gods
When I first started Gingitsune, I didn’t really know what I was in for. I had seen shows with slice of life elements in them before, but had never really ventured into pure slice of life before. What I found was a relaxing, heartwarming show that gave me my favorite OP of the season, fhána’s “tiny lamp.” While we could have an entire discussion on what defines the slice of life genre, Gingitsune pretty much fits the genre no matter how you look at it. Continue reading
It’s generally against my philosophy on reviewing shows to do any sort of review after one episode (other than drops), but Kyousougiga‘s episode 00 is something I just couldn’t let go by without saying something. After Crunchyroll so graciously picked up the show a few episodes in, I gave it a shot out of boredom, knowing nothing about the plot, characters or anything else. I could try to describe the episode, but it’d be better for you to just watch it. Click the picture to take off on 25 minutes of excellence.
In case you need more convincing, allow me to highlight the strengths of this episode. Continue reading
A little late, but here were my votes for the Best of Summer 2013 in several different categories for the Crunchyroll voting.
1. Attack on Titan Most immersive and intense plot of the season. Say what you want about pacing, but the actual story itself is inventive and told in a way that keeps you wondering How? Why? That’s good enough for me.
2. The Eccentric Family Delicate, wonderful storytelling throughout, backed by a great POV & superb writing.
3. A Certain Scientific Railgun S Highlighted by the incredible Sisters Arc, Railgun was in the lead until it ended. Although Silent Party wasn’t bad, it just couldn’t keep up with the rest of the show.
1. Free! Spectacular animation from sexy hair to sexy toes. Everything in the water was beautiful.
2. Sunday Without God Loved, loved, loved the ethereal color pallete they chose.
3. Gatchaman Crowds Not as amazing all the way through, but it’s delightfully colorful and has moments of brilliance. Continue reading