My Experience with Anime in Spring 2014 Pt. I

Dear readers, my overall impression of the shows I watched is coming a little late, but I can say that I found this season fairly enjoyable.  Nothing blew me away, as you shall see from my ratings, but at the same time it was rather entertaining.  The greatest disappointment of the season happened to be Gokukoku no Brynhildr, but that might be laid to the fact that the studio wasn’t able to make a second season.  Perhaps the greatest surprise for me was how high Knights of Sidonia rose in my estimation.  After all, I hate the manga.  It’s far too bleak, miserable, and God-forsaken–like Stephen Crane’s “The Open Boat.”

Azusa Tadokoro, who also plays Fino Bloodstone in I Couldn't become a Hero, so I Reluctantly Decided to Get a job, does a splendid job as Kotori.

Azusa Tadokoro, who also plays Fino Bloodstone in I Couldn’t become a Hero, so I Reluctantly Decided to Get a job, does a splendid job as Kotori.

Anyway, without further ado, let me give a brief opinion on these shows, starting with my least favorite.

Funny nude joke

10.  Captain Earth – Unfinished

This show’s episodic villain of the week format worked against it.  Also, the fact that the villains could not die–at least, as of episode 10, they are still supposed to be immortal–made the fights seem less intense.  Also, of the characters, the hero, the “mahou shoujo,” and some of the new villains who popped up were the most compelling, but the scenarios in which they placed these characters were very ordinary for the mecha genre.  Not to say that some of the fights were not exciting, but, compared to everything else on my list, Captain Earth stood as the least interesting.

Watching the end of this might feel like homework, but with only three episodes to go, I’ll finish it.

Kuroneko

9. Gokukoku no Brynhildr – ★★½

After mentioning that Gokukoku no Brynhildr stood as my greatest disappointment this season, you should not be surprised to find it in last place.  (Captain Earth will either tie it or be half a star less depending on its ending.)  The beginning of the show was fun, but one cannot help be frustrated by poor execution of the anime’s plot.  Basically, the pacing should have been more rapid at the beginning to allow for a more time for a satisfying finale.  The show begs the question of why one should bother watching it when the manga is leaps and bounds better.  On the other hand, I found the characters about as compelling as in the manga with the exception of Valkyria–the abrupt finale hurt the development of her character the most.

Will anime ever do a Lynn Okamoto manga right?

Ene

8.  Mekaku City Actors – ★★★

Fortunately, the Overlord Bear encouraged me to watch this show.  Here’s an anime which explores themes of isolation and alienation in a deft manner and has likable characters; however, it suffered from an overcomplicated plot and too much talk.  The animation and verbosity of the show is reminiscent of Bakemonogatari, but Bakemonogatari did it so much better.  Despite that, the intriguing characters’ back stories and problems would have earned it another half-star if not for the ending.

Overall, I’d watch it again, and it was fun–but no Bakemonogatari or Welcome to the N.H.K. for that matter.

The anime's sort of humor in a nutshell.

The anime’s sort of humor in a nutshell.

7.  Mangaka-san to Assistant-san – ★★★

Each week, I began to look forward to this ridiculous anime about the strange misadventures of an otaku mangaka and his harem.  What really helps the show is that the mangaka, Aito, stands as a rather original character.  I can’t point to another character in anime like him.  Though a weird pervert who got into manga in order to draw women’s panties in a socially acceptable venue, he is very supportive of the people around him and is downright hilarious to watch.  Some of the humor was outrageously over the top (I shall never watch the cross-dressing episode again), but it does comedy very well.  And, as Aristotle tells us, comedy requires characters who are inferior to the general populace.  (Not to say that I didn’t love each and every character in the show!)

Basically, it does comedy well, but don’t watch it if you wouldn’t watch Aristophanes’ Lysistrata.

Nanana Pudding

6.  Nanana’s Buried Treasure – ★★★

This show was a lot of fun.  I might have given it another half-star if I knew that another season was in the works.  It suffers a great deal from feeling incomplete.  Otherwise, it boasts likable characters, exciting scenarios, and plenty of slapstick humor.  Juugo himself felt like an uninteresting main character, but his interactions with Nanana and Tensai Ikkyuu make his character come more to life.  To reverse a chauvanist Chinese proverb, Juugo is the broom while Nanana and Ikkyuu form the wall he needs to lean against.  Also, Mamiko Noto, one of my favorite voice actresses, performed well as Yukihime.

This is one of those fun shows I might not mind watching again in the near future, but it does feel rather forgettable.

Not something I would say to someone with no qualms about killing me.  But it was cool to see a pepperbox pistol, which, according to Mark Twain, worked best when all barrels discharged at once!

Not something I would say to someone with no qualms about killing me. But it was cool to see a pepperbox pistol, which, according to Mark Twain, worked best when all barrels discharged at once!

Stay tuned for my top five shows tomorrow!

 

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9 comments on “My Experience with Anime in Spring 2014 Pt. I

  1. I appreciate knowing your opinion about MCA, medieval, even if it’s not that highly positive! How others set their expectations is beyond my control, alright! This also reminds me of Momo Kisaragi and her strange interests, which you can learn more in the first light novel (She likes dried mangoes, dried squid, and red bean cola, from what I remember. It’s an interesting but inspiring little detail for me, though!)! Eh, but I won’t be expecting you to continue riding the craziness that is the KagePro roller coaster, since it seems like its complexity level is beyond your limit!

    Oh, and one more thing that I’d like to say to you, who has finished riding a fraction of the whole KagePro roller coaster ride:

    Don’t let Wide-Eyed Snakes take control of your life! ^_^

    Like

    • I enjoyed MCA for certain. Three stars out of five is not a bad rating. However, I figure that a show needs to have a good plot in addition to complex themes. For example, Kara no Kyoukai finds the balance between an exciting plot and posing heavy metaphysical and moral questions–at least, after the second movie. Sky Crawlers, on the other hand, stands a great intellectual piece with its basis in T. S. Eliot’s The Wasteland; however, it fails as a movie because the plot is so boring. Actually, the word boring fails to convey how mind-numbingly uninspiring it is.

      MCA is not boring and has some great characters and ideas, but its plot becomes less interesting after the first half. The first part excited my interest in the characters’ fates, but the latter half lacked sufficient suspense and tension. If they had fixed that, the show would have deserved a much higher rating.

      Like

  2. dmdutcher says:

    Yeah, none of these five really interested me either. I dropped them pretty quick. Kind of a meh season over all, but Summer looks a bit better.

    Like

    • Nothing really stood out as having enough quality to be a classic this season, that’s for sure. The only thing I like about the Summer season is that I can pick out shows which have the ability to rate four and a half or even five stars, Psycho-Pass, Akame ga Kiru, and Zankyou no Terror for example.

      Of course, it all depends on how well they execute their ideas. Gokukoku no Brynhildr could have deserved a classic rating, but the anime studio attempted to make an action, sci-fi adventure into a slice of life, harem anime, which doesn’t work.

      Like

  3. Genki Jason says:

    Our tastes are totally different. I really like grim anime like Sidonia no Kishi and Attack on Titan and generally avoid the other titles in your list. It’s good to see that you think about them because I might take a look at Mekaku City Actors some point.

    Sidonia no Kishi, JoJo and Ping Pong: The Animation have provided me with excellent entertainment and I’m glad I watched them. The summer season has started and the quality is off the scale with Space Dandy, Barakamon and Tokyo Ghoul getting fantastic openers.

    Like

    • You know, the popularity of JoJo is going to make me take a look at that one day. Sidonia no Kishi stands within my top five for this season, which really surprised me. Mekaku City Actors has a strong start, but a weak ending; but, that’s a problem for most anime, and I still enjoyed it.

      I’m happy to hear that this season is starting out strong. I hate the very thought of cannibalism, but I remember the preview for Tokyo Ghoul being interesting, so I’ll have to take a look at it. And Barakamon is certainly on my list.

      But, I’ll need to examine what’s airing in order to form a comprehensive watch list.

      Like

  4. David A says:

    I haven’t finished Mekakucity and Isshuukan Friends yet.

    Someone mentioned JoJo – Stardust Crusaders, I’m watching it. It has some questionable things for example, episode 7 expanded the young girl fanservice present in the manga), but in general is fun. It has also gore scenes, but the TV broadcast is censored.

    I have read the first parts of the manga, and skipped part 7, for the blasphemous depiction of Christ. I dropped part 8 too, because it picked up that plot element from part 7.

    Like

    • Well, there’s a good reason not to read JoJo. Was the blasphemy obviously the viewpoint of the author or done by a despicable character?

      Like

      • David A says:

        SPOILERS

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        JoJo has many parts, spanning various generations of the Joestar family. The universe they belonged to, was ended in-story in Part 6, where the villain is a Catholic Priest that wants to reset the universe, in order to fulfill the dreams of a vampire (the main villain from parts 1, and 3), these dreams include erasing the Joestars from existence.

        He succeeds… partially. The universe is reseted two times aprox, but he is defeated by a boy that survived into the new universe. Said boy, finds the new universe version of the current protagonists.

        The current anime, has covered until the third part.

        Part 7 is more or less a horse race in the wild west to gather parts of a Body… guess what Body is.

        The character use the parts as power-ups. It seems to be based on Mormomism. Having Jesus going to North America after His resurrection and dying there.

        According to some, the person that was going to be used as that plot device, was Joseph of Arimathea.

        That part is in a new universe, it seems that is disconnected from the new universe at the end of part 6. From what I’ve read, originally was going to be a new series, and not a JoJo one.

        Part 8 (the ongoing one) shares the same universe of part 7, and the plot point I’m mentioning was picked up again last year. When I saw that, I stopped reading it.

        Like

Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

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