Seasonal Anime Reviews: Spring 2014

 

It's the JoJo effect. Once you start watching JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, you see it everywhere.

It’s the JoJo effect. Once you start watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, you see it everywhere.

Seasonal Thoughts: A stepdown compared to last season, and not everything turned out decent enough to pass. Only two shows I can say were good enough, and then there’s stuff best left forgotten, like Mahoukrap. In case you haven’t noticed, “Mahoukrap” is my derogatory nickname for Mahouka. Because it’s crap. Then again, it says some things about the quality of the anime of the first half of the year when garbage like Mahouka is popular.

Man, this anime year stinks…

Also, a message to the writer(s) of Black Bullet and No Game, No Life: Including lolis for the sake of having lolis does not a story better make. Stop it.

Remember: Always bring a bag of food for when camping out in a mobile suit for who knows how long.

Remember: Always bring a bag of food for when camping out in a mobile suit for who knows how long.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
A famous man once said “Good things come to those who wait.” Who said that? I don’t know, but this applies to all of Gundam Unicorn. Waiting patiently for 4 years for 7 episodes was damn well worth the wait for what could possibly be my most favorite Gundam OVA series to date. Overall, it had a very strong, dramatic story that did more than just add to the Universal Century story, but expanded more on it. It takes a around two or three episodes to get moving, but once it does, it goes places. Although I have to admit that some part of the final moments of the episode (I won’t say what happened exactly, but you’ll know it when you see it) was very weird, even for Universal Century-verse standards. I think the most accurate way to describe how it happened and what happened is “Minovsky particles did it.” Aside from that, Gundam Unicorn has pretty much officially left an empty hole in me, waiting to be filled by whatever the heck Sunrise intends to make happen in the 27 years between this and Mobile Suit Gundam F91. [Score: 8.5]


What Black Bullet didn't show you was Tina getting a massive rush from all those caffeine pills.

What Black Bullet didn’t show you was Tina getting a massive rush from all those caffeine pills.

Black Bullet
I’ve always suspected that mangas can pull off a story better than light novels (Really, there’s only been a handful that has been barely good in the past few years), and this mostly proves my suspicions. And that’s what Black Bullet is: Nothing more than an inferior shadow of Attack on Titan, only with a harem of lolis and unnecessary, boring comedy thrown into it. It was somewhat interesting for the first few episodes but quickly began to lose steam. It became less about fighting deadly mutants and more pandering to the lolicons. This is not the way to go, boys and girls. Black Bullet was a show with a decent promise ruined by the usual pitfalls of bad light novel writing. [Score: 3]


The only time when this show is good is when it's doing Ace Attorney references.

The only time when this show is good is when it’s doing Ace Attorney references.

No Game, No Life
From where some may see a “comedy with smart otaku and gamer humor,” I see just some “idiotic wish fulfillment borderline-misogynistic power fantasy for antisocial NEET otakus,” and that is No Good, No Fun. I don’t understand what anyone sees in this garbage. Do people like this only because “OMFG TEH MC PLAYS VIDYA GAEMZ TOO!” and fapping to lolis ignore the obviously strung together random plots and complete lack of real substance? That’s right. All style (A very ugly one) and no substance; a recurring issue I see in most overhyped anime. Log Horizon made me realize that the video game settings genre aren’t all that bad after all, and then there’s this crap that felt like I was being insulted as a gamer. Now that I think of it, this was way more overhyped than Mahouka, since Mahouka‘s “hype” died down after its first few episodes. Well, I hate to break it to you, but your hype train’s been derailed… again. Madhouse is really failing this year. [Score: 3]


Maybe that's why Liz and Patty are never seen working at Deathbucks in the main series. They can't get orders exactly right.

Maybe that’s why Liz and Patty are never seen working at Deathbucks in the main series. They can’t get orders exactly right.

Soul Eater NOT!
Watching Soul Eater NOT! meant that I had to deal with a different take on Soul Eater, so that mean I had to treat it as something completely different. So basically, I was watching a moe anime with the Soul Eater name. Pretty much I can say, unlike certain examples, this is moe done the right way, and at least it wasn’t all just cute girls doing cute stuff. It still kept some of the things that I still liked, like the creepiness factor and the cool action, which I admit was toned down in NOT! for obvious reasons. And it was good to watch a spinoff that was a standalone series without the characters from the main series pretty much taking over the show. In the end, I felt this was a worthy enough addition. [Score: 7]


Such great visual effects for a school play!!

Such great visual effects for a school play!!

Riddle Story of Devil (Akuma no Riddle)
At first glance, I’d thought Riddle Story would be something worth watching. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. As I expected, the plot became more complicated than just high school girls trying to kill each other. A little too complicated, because that ending made no sense to me whatsoever. However, much like Danganronpa, I didn’t really care for any of the characters save for a few, let alone even bother to remember their names. It doesn’t help that we only get any form of insight on their character on the very episode they’re introduced, and when they’re get killed off, often in the same episode they’re introduced, they’re mostly an afterthought. This was just an OK watch, but pretty much one of more forgettable shows this year. Sad thing is we never did get to know what the world was full of… [Score: 4.5]


Next time, Akira, read the disclaimer that says, "Excessive playing of card games may cause severe cases of massive suffering and despair, and self-inflicted facial scars."

Next time, Akira, read the disclaimer that says, “Excessive playing of card games may cause severe cases of massive suffering and despair, and self-inflicted facial scars.”

selector infected WIXOSS
Where WIXOSS appears to be succeeding at so far where that knockoff Day Break Illusion failed was that instead of trying (and failing) to be like one thing, WIXOSS does it differently. Sure, the “Card games are serious business” thing is on par for the course, but it had some good development as far as story and surprises goes. And it’s confusing yes kinda screwed-up when you think about it conclusion to this surprise of the spring season has pretty much left me looking forward to the next part of WIXOSS this fall. Told you things wouldn’t be easy. [Score: 7]


What did the fist say to the chocolate ping-pong racket? SPLAT!

What did the fist say to the chocolate ping-pong racket? SPLAT!

Ping Pong the Animation
Sports anime isn’t exactly a genre I would find myself watching often, mainly due to the small number of sports that I would like to see done in anime, like dodgeball. Seriously, I would so watch a dodgeball anime. To be honest, the only reason I watched Ping Pong was because Masaaki Yuasa was helming it. As the show went on, I realized that Yuasa later became the secondary reason why I watched. In a way, you can say I came for Yuasa and stayed for the interesting and unique art style, intense ping pong matches, and dynamic character relationships. Yes, this is one of the rare cases of having style and substance (Suck it, No Game, No Life). This show has balls. *rimshot* [Score: 8.5]


 

This is way more dramatic and suspenseful than anything you've watched. Ever

This is way more dramatic and suspenseful than anything you’ve watched. Ever

Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time
I would never have thought that watching a kid screw around in the middle of class for 7 minutes for 21 weeks would actually turn out to be one of the more enjoyable and funniest anime of the year so far. This has to be better than most short-episodic anime I’ve seen, and this is coming from someone who’s mostly pessimistic when it comes to shows like these. This show was just too good to last. I wish this was longer… [Score: 7.5]


If only Waterworld thought of filtering liquids, because I don't think drink your own piss sounds healthy.

If only Waterworld thought of filtering liquids, because I don’t think drink your own piss sounds healthy.

Knights of Sidonia (Sidonia no Kishi)
Like I mentioned before. mangas tend to do story better than light novels, and Knights of Sidonia certainly isn’t just some shoddy knockoff of Attack on Titan, like Black Bullet was. Yeah, the basic setup is similar, with monsters driving humanity to the brink of extinction and such, but Sidonia just plays it straight although still different from the norm. You can somewhat call it Attack on Titan if it was a real robot space opera. Also, I’d figure I should mention the use of CGI: It didn’t bother me too much except for some of the facial expressions looking too wide and stiff to me, but I’ve seen worse *cough*RWBY*. Since a second season is incoming in the next year, you can expect me to look forward to more of Sidonia’s adventures. [Score: 8]

 


Best/Worst of the Season

          • Best TV Anime of this Season: (tie) Ping Pong, Knights of Sidonia
          • Best TV Anime Runner-Ups: Tonari no Seki-kun
          • Best TV Anime So Far: JJBA: Stardust Crusaders, Captain Earth
          • Best Non-TV Anime: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn
          • Least Favorite TV Anime: Riddle Story of Devil
          • Least Favorite TV Anime So Far: M3
          • Worst TV Anime of this Season: No Game, No Life
          • Worst TV Anime So Far: Mahouka
          • Worst TV Anime Runner-Up: Black Bullet

Favorite Opening/Ending/Insert Themes

          • “Tada Hitori” by Bakudan Johnny (Ping Pong OP)
          • “Soushou Innocence” by Maaya Uchida (Riddle Story of Devil OP)
          • “Danran! Robot Kazoku” by Ichirou Mizuki (Tonari no Seki-kun IN)
          • “Walk Like a Egyptian” by The Bangles (JJBA: Stardust Crusaders ED)
          • “Re:REMEMBER” by May’n (M3 OP1)
          • “Sidonia” by angela (Knights of Sidonia OP)

Next Season Preview: JJBA: Stardust Crusaders, M3 (the show nobody watches, apparently), Captain Earth, and Mahouka (fuck this scum) will continue next season. Meanwhile, Sailor Moon Crystal is totally, really, absolutely, positively, seriously, finally coming for sure this time!!! Praise Lady Palutena!! Aside from that, there’s Aldnoah.Zero, Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror), Glasslip, Silver Will: Argevollen (Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen), Tokyo ESP, Akame ga Kill!, Sengoku Basara: Judge End, and the second season of Space Dandy, baby. I suppose that’s about it, right? …Nope, that’s it. That’s all the shows that’s guaranteed to at least not be a total disaster. Aside from Sword Art Online II, which I’ve already scratched that scum off as dead on arrival, I’m actually pretty excited for this season, which is a surprise considering I tend to cool off (No pun intended) when it comes to summer seasons

Wait… I have to watch both SAO and Mahouka back to back. Fuck my life.

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