Seasonal Anime Reviews: Summer 2014

I don't understand why everyone is complaining about the changes done to the new Sailor Moon anime. I don't see anything wrong with it.

I don’t understand why everyone is complaining about the changes done to the new Sailor Moon anime. I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Seasonal Thoughts:  Season started out promising but went downhill fast once I started feeling the fatigue kicking in. And when it kicked it, you bet your ass it did. Swiftly. There were only one new shows this season that I actually cared to watch. If you can count said show as new since it was a split-cour show from last Winter, otherwise there was zero shows that I liked. Honestly, this was probably the worst season in awhile, worse than Fall 2013. On a brighter note, I finally finished Gundam Build Fighters. The fanart of Rinko certainly helped motivate me. Still, what a summer, eh? Studio Ghibli’s restructuring, Burger King bringing back chicken fries, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers’ untimely passing, FXX doing a marathon of all of The Simpsons, that Deadpool film finally announced; Yeah, it was pretty eventful.

Dealing with the two scums Sword Art Online and Mahouka back-to-back every Saturday wasn’t something I looked forward to, though. Fortunately, Mahouka being over means one less garbage to deal with.

It kinda doesn't speak well for Glasslip when a chicken is a better character than the rest of the cast.

It kinda doesn’t speak well for Glasslip when a chicken is a better character than the rest of the cast.

Glasslip
I have no idea on what kinda plot Glasslip is supposed to have. Is it about six friends enjoying their summer? I don’t know. Is it about some girl chasing chickens around? I don’t know. Is it about… four different romantic subplots between friends? I don’t know. Is it about a girl who can see the future? I don’t know, and neither does Glasslip apparently. Because it piles up all of these subplots haphazardly and turns into one big, pretty-looking mess that makes no sense. Nothing about Glasslip makes any sense at all. Turns out I wasn’t exactly far from the truth when I said “this show blows.” I was joking at the time, but I never actually thought it would be true! Honestly, I just watched it for the chickens. [Score: 3]

"Contrary to what you may have previously thought, Slaine, no, guns do not taste like chocolate."

“Contrary to what you may have previously thought, Slaine, no, guns do not taste like chocolate.”

Aldnoah.Zero
Seems the A-1 rollercoaster seemed to be on rock bottom this season. At the same time, they’re working on the infuriatingly terrible Sword Art Online II and the rather disappointing Aldnoah.Zero. And then there’s Persona 4 the Golden Animation, which, so I hear, wasn’t golden at all. This started out good for the first several episodes. Afterwards, the show becomes a mixed bag of ideas and execution that’s a hit-or-miss at times, and the misses are outweighing the hits at the moment. Pretty much the show after Urobuchi’s involvement mainly ran on shock value rather than actual plot development. And I think the biggest issue, besides Inaho who shows as much emotion as Kristen Stewart and Slaine who’s pretty much exists to be the show’s bitch, is that there’s too much going on that there isn’t enough to contain it all. Please prove me wrong next winter, Aldnoah.Zero, because you’re on very thin ice right now. Then again, when Aniplex claims this to be a “Gundam-killer” and doesn’t deliver to said promises, the fault’s on them. [Score: 5]

Friends with a short old man in a spacesuit who thinks he's a robot and a scary-sounding mechanical humanoid. Your life would suck just like Emo Dandy too.

Friends with a short old man in a spacesuit who thinks he’s a robot and a scary-sounding mechanical humanoid. Your life would suck just like Emo Dandy too.

Space Dandy
You know how everyone said that the second season of Space Dandy would be bigger and better than the first? Well, they certainly weren’t far from the truth. This is one of those rare cases where it doesn’t need a overall story to succeed, because every episode is basically its own story. And the comedy is actually funny for once, something a number of anime recently can’t seem to do right. My only main issue was that Status Quo rules over everything: For example, a one or two characters-of-the-week that would seem like they’d b really important characters to the narrative are just characters-of-the-week. I mean, yeah, there’s a reason for that, but still… Overall, I thought Space Dandy was probably one of the most ambitious projects ever; for Bones, Watanabe, [adult swim] and everyone else involved in the production, and I feel it paid off well. [Score: 8.5]

Too late for you, Masamune. The party's been over about three years ago.

Too late for you, Masamune. The party’s been over about three years ago.

Sengoku Basara: Judge End
There is a good reason I consider Sengoku Basara: Judge End as a separate entry from Production I.G’s Sengoku Basara and gave it its own tag. I’m not even sure if it was because it’s only been a few years since I last saw it and was out of touch with the show overall, but I found myself unable to enjoy Judge End. You shouldn’t be able to make Sengoku Basara suck as much as Telecom did. It should be impossible. Subpar animation, unimpressive fight scenes, and a weak score and an opening theme that qualifies as ear rape makes an entire season of lousy Sengoku Basara that felt like watching one of the later Bleach episodes, which is something that I cannot be bothered to watch. Yep, best safe to ignore this one. Just watch The Last Party instead. Much better than this. [Score: 4]

Hey, being a terrorist is hard work. This is why you need a terrorist girlfriend at your side.

Hey, being a terrorist is hard work. This is why you need a terrorist girlfriend at your side.

Terror in Resonance (Zankyou no Terror)
Terror in Resonance can basically be described as Death Note crossed over with Eden of the East. It basically has the same setup as Death Note in that it plays like a intellectual game of cat-and-mouse, and the Eden of the East part come from the fact that the very future of Japan rests on the outcome of said game. The story and narrative is strong with its heavy themes of terrorism and its always manages to hold up on the suspense while being legitimately thought-provoking at times, but it’s pretty lacking in the character department. Like, some of their motivations aren’t explained until the end. Also, the Engrish in this show has offically made Symphogear Season 1’s Engrish sound less broken in comparison. And these people are supposed to be of American origin. After halfway through, it becomes a disappointment, but I’m willing to forgive it, which is something I can’t say for most anime that came out of this year. [Score: 6.5]

If Cinema Sins were watching this, they'd say "That's racist."

If Cinema Sins were watching this, they’d say “That’s racist.”

Tokyo ESP
The more I watch Tokyo ESP, the more I’m convinced that the author either really loves X-Men, or at the least was influenced by it. It basically has the same premise, only replace mutants with espers: Espers protecting Japan from evil espers, but facing discrimination from the people they swore to protect. At times it’s interesting  and fun to watch, but during others, it doesn’t just grab me enough to really make me really invested. This is a show that I should’ve liked, but a good concept is only as good as how well it’s executed, and Tokyo ESP doesn’t just get it right unfortunately, and that frustrates me. [Score: 5.5]

Moco's right. Amara's got this smoking hot chick, standing right next to her in the nude, who clearly wants him to bang her and he ignores her. What a dick.

Moco’s right. Amara’s got this smoking hot chick, standing right next to her in the nude, who clearly wants him to bang her and he ignores her. What a dick.

Captain Earth
I feel as though Bones was trying to redo the charm of Eureka Seven, or better yet redeem themselves after the disastrous Astral Ocean (the less spoken about that, the better) through Captain Earth. In all fairness, it did have very good animation and robot designs, likable characters with two or three OTPs. However, the plot is mostly unclear. It’s there and it’s not a complete mess, but just a real confusing one. Even with 25 episodes, it feels like the plot wasn’t fleshed out enough. In fact, I was thinking that it’s gonna have a second season or some kind of continuation since the ending felt like it tried to wrap itself up too quickly. I think the plot was something about trying to stop the bad guys from stealing all the libidos or something. I don’t know. I’m sorry, but no amount of Belly Button Fortes can cover up a weak plot, even if I am a sucker for Akari’s midriff. [Score: 6.5]

Are we talking about Mahmu's story? Or are we talking about M3's story?

Are we talking about Mahmu’s story? Or are we talking about M3’s story?

M3: The Dark Metal (M3 ~Sono Kuroki Hagane~)
M3 is the anime nobody cares about of the year. It’s gotten very low TV ratings, single volume set releases canceled in favor for two 12-episode boxsets, streamed in English on a website no one equally cares about, it didn’t even have a page on TV Tropes until after it finished airing. And I think I know why: It has a good premise, but it doesn’t do enough to stand out in terms of execution. I can’t get invested in any but a few of the characters or the plot, even for a dark, depressing, cynical one. I feel like it’s trying too hard to be like Evangelion instead of its own thing. Even after doing the thing where I put off a show I don’t like for a few months and then it gets better when I put it back on, like I did with Log Horizon earlier this year, doesn’t work. I tried to like this show and I really wanted to like this show, but I just couldn’t… [Score: 6]

Mahouka's version of the IGN Reaction Guys shows that they're just as fed up with their own show.

Mahouka’s version of the IGN Reaction Guys shows that they’re just as fed up with their own show.

The Irregular at Magic High School (Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei)
You should probably use the restroom right now because I got alot to say about this one, because this one is just as low and it deserves to be thrown in the same category as Sword Art Online and Oreimo. Mahouka is absolute garbage; yet another tasteless, uninspired, male power fantasy with far too much obviously bad writing to just simply brush off, and the biggest issue is focusing on the main character who is so Gary Stu he makes Kirito look weaker in comparison. You take him out of the story, there is no Mahouka. That’s when you know your show is doomed when the protagonist is automatically given the win button on a constant basis. He and his stupid brotherfucker of a little sister are some of the absolute worst characters ever written on paper. She does absolutely nothing but kiss up to her “onii-sama.” No, I mean that literally. If her gross incest obsession isn’t enough to turn you off, I don’t know what will. The other characters have no trace of personality whatsoever because their character revolve around kissing up to Lord Jesus TatStuya, and it’s pretty obvious that the author caters to him and only created every other thing in the world just so it can bend to his will. I think this show is supposed to have some kind of decent premise such as the producing magic from technology (or is it the other way around, I don’t know) after World War III or something of the sort, but that’s pushed away immediately. Everything, right down to the most mundane action, is explained terribly through some meaningless jargon. Things only happens just because and you’re expected to just go with it or something; and then there’s the obvious lack of plot. It basically shoehorns stuff just for whatever. Like terrorists that constantly attack them. Yeah, I’ll willing to say this show is pretty racist in that these terrorists are always Chinese or American. And we’re supposed to believe these pro-equality guys are subhuman? Yeah, right. Way to make me root for the terrorists, by the way.  Compared to the protagonists, they seem more sympathetic. There is absolutely nothing good, nothing smart, and nothing to like about this. It’s this kind of half-assed, incompetent, effortless, worse than Sword Art Online‘s worst, insulting excuse of writing that makes this scum the worst anime to come out of this year. Truly, Madhouse has reached an all-time low crapping out some real garbage this year with Magical Warfare and No Game, No Life, but this dumpster fire most definitely takes it as the absolute worst to come from an animation company I respect alot. Fuck you, Mahouka! [Score: 0]

Always remember to strike a pose before heading off to Egypt.

Always remember to strike a pose before heading off to Egypt.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
I really need to thank JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy for giving me an interest in 70’s and 80’s music, because I never would’ve realized how much more awesome the music was back in the day compared to all this crap these teenagers nowadays call music. Same goes for anime, but JoJo has all the charm of an 80’s anime. It’s over-the-top action, fabulous poses, and perfectly timed comedy makes me wonder where this show has been all my life. Though I have to question whether or not Hirohiko Araki has an apparent hatred of dogs. Seriously, every time a dog shows up, it is killed in a gruesome manner. And since I’m on this topic, I might as well talk about the test dub episodes that premiered at Anime Expo earlier this year. It is one of the best dubs I’ve heard in years. Every voice was exactly on-point. Warner Japan would be foolish to not dub the rest of it and have it licensed for American distribution. Anyway, now I have to find a way to fill in the gap that JoJo temporarily left until next winter. [Score: 8.5]

Best/Worst of the Season

  • Best TV Anime of this Season: Space Dandy
  • Best TV Anime So Far: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders
  • Best Non-TV Anime So Far: Sailor Moon Crystal 
  • Least Favorite TV Anime: M3, Terror in Resonance
  • Least Favorite TV Anime Runner-Ups: Captain Earth, Tokyo ESP
  • Worst TV Anime of this Season: Mahouka
  • Worst TV Anime So Far: Sword Art Online II, Aldnoah.Zero, Akame ga Kill!
  • Worst TV Anime Runner-Ups: Glasslip, Sengoku Basara: Judge End

Favorite Theme Songs

  • “Dareka Umiwo” by Aimer (Terror in Resonance ED)
  • “Tough Intention” by KOTOKO (Argevollen OP1)
  • “Stand Proud” by Jin Hashimoto (JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders OP1)
  • “Moon Pride” by Momoiro Clover Z (Sailor Moon Crystal OP)
  • “Mystified Lonely Night” by Dropkix (Space Dandy Epidode 20 ED)
  • “aLIEz” by SawanoHiroyuki[nZk]:mizuki (Aldnoah.Zero ED2)
  • “SABLE” by nano (M3 ED2)

Next Season Preview: Mahouka is finally over and dead, thank God. Let us never speak of it, ever again. Sailor Moon Crystal, Argevollen, and Akame ga Kill! will continue next season, and Sword Art Online II is still absolute garbage. Meanwhile, there’s Parasyte, Gundam: Reconguista in G, Inou-Battle wa Nichijoukei no Naka de, Cross Ange: Rondo of Angel and Dragon, Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis, and Ore Twintail ni Narimasu to look forward too. Also, sequels in the form of Psycho-Pass 2, Gundam Build Fighters Try, Log Horizon 2, and selector spread WIXOSS. Seems as though the sequels are overshadowing the newer stuff in my opinion, which worries me a bit. We don’t want another Fall 2013 or this season on our hands, do we? Also, since I lost a self-bet, I now have to watch Infinite Stratos 2: World Purge OVA. *exasperated sigh* Hah! I won! Suck on it, bitch!! Screw you and your garbage waste of time season. …but maybe Kill la Kill: Goodbye, Again and the 2nd episode of the Pokemon XY: Mega Evolution special can make me feel better. Oh, and the Buddy Complex finale specials.

Man, Sword Art Online and Log Horizon airing at the same time? This ought to be fun.

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