Seasonal Anime Reviews: Winter 2014

wpid-1397884387439.jpgSeasonal thoughts: After an extremely stressful start to the new year, especially considering it came from a rather crappy fall season, I was just about ready to welcome winter with open arms. Like hell I was!! This was the most frustrating winter of my life. I don’t know how Elsa from Frozen can say the cold never bothered her. She should hang around the Midwest region during the polar vortex! OK, Winter anime: Just like last winter, the stuff from last year overshadowed the new stuff. The new stuff had some hits and misses, though. Oh, and Sword Art Online still sucks donkeyshit, and there is no changing that. Get pissy at me all you’d like, fanboys. Oh, and Kill la Kill >>>>>>>> Attack on Titan.

NOTE: Once again, there are unfinished reviews here due to shows not yet finished. Please understand. Geez I’ve slacked off, have I?

See this. This represents Sword Art Online: Extra Edition in a nutshell. Boobs. Large, wet boobies. Jesus, A-1, how much of your budget went into those things?

See those? Those represent the entirety of Sword Art Online: Extra Edition in a nutshell. Boobs. Large, wet, cousin boobies. Jesus, A-1, how much of your budget went into those things? A sizable amount, I would assume.

Sword Art Online: Extra Edition
What’d you expect from the one thing that proves that even fanfic writers can spew shit outta their ass and put it on paper and people can somehow actually call it amazing? And it spewed out a 100-minute reminder of why this misogynistic abomination is nothing more than absolute trash designed to cater to the lowest of otaku. Because it makes a quick buck, I guess. Quantity over quality, right? As I’ve said so many times I’ve lost count: This scum represents everything that is wrong with modern anime; and I intend on proving that when the second season rears its ugly head this summer. Fuck you, Sword Art Online[Score: 0]


 

Don't you just hate it when your spaceships gets towed away? Where are the spaceship-reserved parking spots?

Don’t you just hate it when your spaceships gets towed away? Where are the spaceship-reserved parking spots?

Space Dandy
I gotta admit, for such a huge, groundbreaking project involving some of the industry’s finest veterans and even getting an English-dubbed broadcast on [adult swim] hours before the Japanese broadcast, I’m slightly, a bit, kinda sorta left a but wanting more outta it. That’s not to say it’s a disappointment, but maybe I expected something more than a complete oddball sci-fi comedy. It’s good, though. It’s completely wacky and it mindfucks me half the time, but I still think it can go places. Maybe it can prove me right in the second half this coming summer. [Score: 8]


 

Not sure if "Recently, my little sister is monstrous" or "There's no way my little sister can be this cannibalistic."

Not sure if “Recently, my little sister is monstrous” or “There’s no way my little sister can be this cannibalistic.”

pupa
I imagined this series would cause itself problems when I learned it was a 4-minute episode series. Why wasn’t this series full-length? Budget? Most likely, considering the opening and ending animations (for lack of a better word) is basically a slideshow. This show deserves points for creeping the hell out of me every episode, but it loses points for lack of coherence in the narrative. Seriously one thing happens one episode, then she’s chomping down on her own brother next episode! And that last episode may have been one of the most trollish episodes of the season. How could something with good potential get screwed over this badly? [Score: 2]


 

...Well, he's got a point. Although I wouldn't want anyone putting anything up my butthole.

…Well, he’s got a point. Although I wouldn’t want anyone putting anything up my butthole.

Silver Spoon (Gin no Saji)
Um… this is called Silver Spoon, right? Because Silver Suffering sounds more accurate, I think. Someone once told told me the manga which the 2nd Season adapts is alot better, and I’m willing to take his/her word for it. While this season had the same “you should feel guilty for eating meat” humor that works well, it pulled out a rather sudden, serious streak to it that was actually very effective in execution. I actually was wondering if I was still watching the same series. In the end, Silver Spoon was a good series while it went on. It’s such a shame that the A-1 rollercoaster of quality is going downward this July. [Score: 8]


 

I'm pretty sure Luigi never rode a train... or wore red overalls. Way to misrepresent Year of Luigi in its last days, Hozuki.

I’m pretty sure Luigi never rode a train… or wore red overalls. Way to misrepresent Year of Luigi in its last days, Hozuki.

Hozuki no Reitetsu
Hozuki no Reitetsu is a strange show. It has mixtures of slice-of-life, parody, and slapstick comedy elements into it. The art style is rather creative and nice to look at, despite the fact that the setting for the most part is basically Hell. Beside all that, I can’t tell whether I like it or not. I mean it has its humorous moments when it does, but most of it falls flat. Sometimes I laugh, even if it’s a light one. And sometimes I don’t because it usually flies by me without me guessing. I guess you could say that Hozuki‘s greatest strength and its greatest weakness is its sense of humor.  [Score: 6]


 

"Join the Alliance," they said. "It'll be great," they said

“Join the Alliance,” they said. “It’ll be great,” they said

Buddy Complex
This has got the be the most snooze-inducing mecha anime since Majestic Prince. And I’m surprised it came from Sunrise of all people, who usually makes some mecha anime that’s at least decent to watch. Not even some of the mecha fights and robot designs were all that interesting. You know you done wrong if I am not interested in your mecha battles. It’s just too slow for me and I end up losing interest rather quickly. I’ve had some enjoyment with some of Sunrise’s non-Gundam mecha anime, but this seems to be their weakest outing so far. Just another yawn-inducing show with a really questionable title. Better luck next time, Sunrise, and you’ll need it for whenever the next season hits. [Score: 6]


 

And that's how you end up sounding like a depraved perv.

And that’s how you end up sounding like a depraved perv.

Magical Warfare (Mahou Sensou)
Out of the three magic-themed anime this season, I just had to watch the shitty one… This show has the same reason why Infinite Stratos sucks: The bait-and-switch on the premise. You read the series synopsis thinking “Modern magical battles? This sounds interesting.” only to get slapped in the face when you get something else; something really stupid. “Wait, why are they going to school? What the hell is this CW teen angst drama crap?” This is an example of the “never judge a book by its cover” argument going the wrong way. This show was just filled with illogical moments that make absolutely no sense (Wooden sword withstanding a steel blade? What?!?!), lousy plot development, cliche and annoying characters (Kurumi being the worst one, worse than the one character I thought I would hate at first), and an last episode that’s up there with Sword Art Online episode 14 in the “They’ve obviously stopped caring” department. It was a sad excuse of an ending that resolves absolutely nothing! Up there with some of the worst anime endings. My problem is if you’re gonna put a premise on paper, at least stick to it to some extent and don’t just pull something else off without meaning or forewarning. Otherwise, it’ll feel like nothing more than a bunch of empty promises. [Score: 2]


 

Anybody who is familiar with playing the Wii can easily spot what Uka is doing right and what Touka is doing wrong...

Anybody who is familiar with playing the Wii can easily spot what Uka is doing right and what Touka is doing wrong…

Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha.
Anime nowadays is filled with bad harems where the “romance” is only paper-thin, and then you have shows that has a certain kind of charm that Inari, Konkon has and others seem to lack. It has a good sense of comedy which is actually funny and not overdone. And beyond that, there’s a moral of doing the right thing, even though doing the right thing isn’t always the right thing. Although this isn’t really anything special, but compared to most shows that share its genre, proves itself to be better than them easily. [Score: 7.5]


 

I've heard of the expression "Rooting for the underdog," but these guys take their dedication to another level

I’ve heard of the expression “Rooting for the underdog,” but these guys take their dedication to another level

Wake Up, Girls!Seven Idols (Shichinin no Idol)
OK, I was mostly sold on Wake Up, Girls! on the fact that it would be a more serious and realistic take on the idol genre.However, I didn’t get that feeling of that. I mean sure, I always dig the story of the underdog’s overcoming all obstacles and rise to greatness, kinda like Rocky. However, most of the characters, except for a few, has some very shaky development; I can only care to remember maybe three of their names off the top of my head. Plus, Tatsunoko, Ordet, whomever in the animation staff needs proper quality control. Some animations were nice in the beginning, but started getting worse later on. Really, you know your production is screwed if you have to post on Twitter that you’re hiring for animation staff. It wasn’t a bad show, but it just didn’t make use of its potential well. [Score: 7 (movie), 6.5 (series)]


 

Alien Flamenco knows his anime tropes well...

Alien Flamenco knows his anime tropes well…

Samurai Flamenco
OK, guys. We need to have a talk about Samurai Flamenco. Sit down. At first I was thinking that this show has no sense of direction that it doesn’t even know what it wants to be. It went from being Kick-Ass, to Power Rangers to Kick-Ass 2 to Metal Gear Rising to– Who cares? Somewhere along the line, the writers of Samurai Flamenco lost their map and just decided to wander around haphazardly. Or maybe haphazardness was part of their plan, who knows? As much as I didn’t like it, I couldn’t look away from its ridiculousness. It’s so absurd that I just cannot hate it. It took me awhile to figure out what was wrong, but Episode 18 opened my eyes and made me realize that maybe trying to make sense of Samurai Flamenco is how not to watch it. [Score: 7]


 

To any female cosplayer who is daring enough to cosplay as any one of these two at a convention: You have my sincere respect.

Kill la Kill
I know I’m always saying “Anime is saved” when it comes to Kill la Kill, but damn, why the hell shouldn’t I? When you have the same team behind Gurren Lagann helming something, you’re bound to have something memorable. This show contains just about everything good about anime to the point that I can say that it does just about everything right. It even does fanservice right. How do you do fanservice right? I don’t know, but somehow, Kill la Kill does it almost perfectly. I hear some might’ve been put off by it; personally, I thought it actually does serve some importance rather than making the girls into nothing more than a pair of boobs. Granted, the story is a hit or miss, but the action, great cast of characters, and breakneck pacing pretty much has that covered. This is the only show I’ve watched that truly lives up to its hype. I’ve found the strongest contender for anime of the year; if something from this year manages to top this, I’d be really surprised. Kill la Kill has proven that Trigger won’t be losing their way anytime soon. [Score: 9]


Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle 3
I don’t care what anyone says. This show is still Yu-Gi-Oh! with puzzles. And that hasn’t changed in the third season of Phi Brain. [Score: 7]


 

Now, flip the crab on its back and attack its weak point for massive damage

Now, flip the crab on its back and attack its weak point for massive damage

Log Horizon
Take heed, Sword Art Online fanboys. THIS is how you do an anime in an MMORPG setting. It’s not the best way to do it, but I’ll take what I can get at the moment. You know what? Scratch that, because Sword Art Online doesn’t even deserve to be compared to Log Horizon. Why? Because there is none. It actually takes its time to establish and elaborate upon the world around the characters AND develop them. Not only that, but instead of following only the main character, Log Horizon is about the guild Log Horizon. It also does a different spin on the whole “trapped in an MMO” premise that had been done numerous times before, which is it’s best strength. As the opening theme said, they’re just living in the database (WHOA WHOA). Although I can’t seem to wrap my head around how the real world became virtual. I admit I was pretty dismissive about this, but after some time, I feel better I gave this show a fair chance and it paid off well enough, considering its genre was put in a very bad light. I’ll make sure to look forward to more Log Horizon later this Fall. [Score: 8]


 

"I sent that bitch a Gunpla. Bitches love Gunpla."

“I sent that bitch a Gunpla. Bitches love Gunpla.”

Gundam Build Fighters
Who would’ve thought that an anime about fighting with plastic model robots would be so fun and exciting? This series was chock full of Gundam references that I couldn’t not get excited over it. I mean yeah, it probably was one big Gunpla commercial, but it’s a damn good commercial. It’s basically one big love letter to a Gundam fan. Happy 35th anniversary, Gundam! [Score: 8]


 

Uh... Tina, they're cooking an entire island. I think that's plenty of reason to worry.

Uh… Tina, they’re cooking an entire island. I think that’s plenty of reason to worry.

Toriko
Surprise, surprise. After three years, Toei put an end to Toriko this season in place for Dragon Ball Z Kai: Majin Buu Saga (which I don’t care about and most likely won’t watch). Anyway, Toriko was the kind of show that I can just sit back and watch and have fun with it. The thing I mostly enjoyed was that it managed to stay good enough to watch without falling into some of the usual pitfalls that tend to plague most shonen anime series. *cough*Bleach and Naruto*. It had it’s ups and downs, but it was still an enjoyable ride from start to finish. [Score: 7.5]


 Best/Worst of the Season

          • Best TV Anime of this Season: Kill la Kill
          • Best TV Anime Runner-Ups: Silver Spoon, Log Horizon, Inari, Konkon
          • Best TV Anime So Far: Space Dandy
          • Least Favorite TV Anime: Hozuki no Reitetsu, Buddy Complex
          • Worst TV Anime of this Season: Magical Warfare
          • Worst TV Anime Runner-Up: pupa
          • Worst Non-TV Anime: Sword Art Online: Extra Edition

 

Favorite Opening/Ending/Insert Themes

          • “Before my body is dry” by Mika Kobayashi (Kill la Kill IN)
          • “Set Them Free” by Akira Jimbo (Tonari no Seki-kun ED)
          • “Born to be” by nano (Magical Warfare ED)
          • “Viva Namida” by Yasuyuki Okamura (Space Dandy OP)
        • “Ambiguous” by GARNiDELiA (Kill la Kill OP2)
        • “Database feat. TAKUMA (10 Feet)” by MAN WITH A MISSION (Log Horizon OP)
        • “Parallax View” by by Sadesper Record feat. Sumire Uesaka (Hozuki ED2)

Next Season Preview: Tonari no Seki-kun will continue next season alongside Pokemon XY, which has a special starting next season called The Strongest Mega Evolution, I’m planning to watch the 7th and final episode of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Soul Eater NOT!Riddle Story of Devil (Akuma no Riddle), Captain Earth, No Game, No LifePing Pong the AnimationThe Irregular at Magic High School (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei), Black BulletM3: That Black Steel (Sono Kuroki Hagane), and maybe Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers. Honestly, I have some pretty low expectations for this spring, especially for Mahouka, which I’ve heard very bad things about it. The fact that it looks and sounds uninspired doesn’t help matters either. Otherwise I’ll walk in not expecting much of anything from everything, as I usually do.

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