Winter 2014 First Impressions

14winFWe start of the new anime year with the winter season. Will this season be the prelude to a great anime year?

Beforehand I want to mention that I don’t watch all airing shows in a particular season. My personal recommandations for the season will be given the Ninety’s Choice label.

14win2Nisekoi tells a story about two teenagers from rivaling clans who have to forcibly date each other, apparently to prevent an all out war between the clans.

And wow did the series deliver already. It’s been a long time since I was this pleasantly surprised by a series. Nisekoi combines its narrative with clever and colorful visuals. The look and feel is so refreshing the minutes seem to fly by and the ending song starts to roll before you know it.

While the story isn’t original, the way it is presented makes it feel like a complete package that uses every minute of its run to engage with the viewer on a whole different level I’ve rarely seen before. This is an absolute must watch.

14win3We tune in for the second season of the Chuunibyou anime series where we see the relationship between Rikka and Yuta flourish into youth romance.

In the first season we were introduced with our two main characters, Rikka who used the chuunibyou syndrome to protect herself from her painful past and Yuta who wanted to let go of his fantasy filled past.

The second season builds on the subtle romance between Yuta and Rikka within the familiar setting. The visuals are great and the storytelling is familiar. Those who loved the first season will appreciate the second installment. It seems this season won’t do anything extraordinary, making this series a steady ride.

14win1Bones’ entry for the winter season 2014, Noragami. The story centers around a girl named Hiyori who is trapped between the afterlife and the real world. Yato, a minor God, will help Hiyori become normal again.

Anime revolving around more spiritual themes are hard to describe. To know what it’s all about, it is best to watch it yourself. Yet Noragami sets a refreshing setting with a strong cast. The visuals are great and the ending song sets the tone perfectly for the series. So far a season must watch.

14win4A story about a delinquent named Kenji, who has to forcibly join the game creation club. A club hosted by a group of girls who seem to be even more deviant than Kenji thought he ever was.

Let’s throw it out there, I don’t like the character designs. The visual style is decent, but the character designs seem to have an early 2000s look to them. Admittedly they fit the narrative, but they don’t seem to really make an impact. The story needs development, like the characters it still isn’t gripping.

14win5Unaware sixteen year old Kobeni is betrothed to Hakuya, a boy she has never met before. Her adventure begins as he and his little sister move-in with Kobeni, preparing her for life as a married couple.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei has a refreshing look and the main cast movements appear fluent. The story in itself isn’t anything baffling, yet the characters all give their own input to diversify the storytelling.

14win6Yuri-lovers will get their treat in Sakura Trick, where girl couples secretly engage in romantic relationships.

Sakura Trick takes a more visual approach in displaying the romantic relationships. Where Yuru Yuri remained in a safe zone, Sakura Trick shows how the girls develop their relationship. From fantasizing to actual kissing, Sakura Trick makes the extra mile.

While the relationships are more visual, they still remain innocent. This makes Sakura Trick an entertaining show and a recommendation for lovers of the genre.

14win7We follow Takeshi Nanase as he one day has a faithful encounter with a magician called Mui. The life of Nanase and his friends is turned upside down as they gain magic powers and enter the hidden world of the magicians.

Long story short, it’s a story about magicians and some clash between different factions within the world of magic. The magic slang, like in many magic series, is tossed at the viewer in gibberish English. Entities and objects bare names that have to be named in relation to the English language and at first glance seem to have no relation whatsoever to the object at hand. But that’s just my opinion.

The overall design isn’t really anything special and the character design aren’t consistent, plus Mui seems to have her design inspired by a cockroach in the anime adaptation. The anime doesn’t do any justice to the excellent art and/or character designs of Luna Lia.

14win8An adorable loli(yes I know this sounds wrong) and her secret army are planning to take over the world. Innocent bystander Asuta is caught up in this magnificent plot.

What’s obvious right from the start is the colorful set of characters. The first episode needed some time to pick up the pace, but when Kate, the main loli, was introduced the show started to take flight. Her adorable and convincing attitude shape the show into something refreshing. Admittedly this show went under the radar in my selection, but so far I had some genuine smiles on my face from watching this show.


5 thoughts on “Winter 2014 First Impressions

  1. Overlord-G says:

    Dood. This is 2014. As an animeniac, you should stop apologizing for thinking lolis are cute. Sexy is another story though…

    Anyway, one of my picks here should be of no surprise to you. Others that brabbed my attention are:

    -Nisekoi, because my year long grudge against Shaft for making Nisemonogatari has ended. It’d be neat to see this show’s take on Romeo and Juliet-ish.

    -Zvezda Plot: It reminds me of the Disgaea series.

    -Chuunibyou’s something I’ll marathon later.

    -I guess I’ll put Noragami in the “maybe” section.

    • ninetybeats says:

      I’m not aroused by a loli haha, so yeah you’re right xd

      I’m also not a real SHAFT kind of person, but this one, you should totally pick it up.

      I can’t guarantee you will like Noragami, maybe you could give it a swing when you have time. Bones can deliver pretty good stuff.

  2. milesvibritannia says:

    The only one I’ve been watching this season is Chuunibyou Ren, which I’ve been enjoying a good deal. It’s been a fun season even from episode 1 and the latest episodes have been picking up so I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.

    I’ve heard a lot of good about Nisekoi and Noragami so one of these days I want to give both of these a try.

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