Winter 2014 Season Standings

14winF2The winter season is steaming ahead and getting closer to spring. Is this winter still the sign of a good anime year?

Frankly speaking, I think yes. I wanted less CGI. Check. Noragami delivered. I wanted more engaging soundtracks. Check. Noragami also delivered on this part.

14win2Nisekoi remains one of my personal favorites this season. A colorful and humorous love story about two teenagers belonging to the a Yakuza clan. They are set to date each other to prevent an all out war between the clans.

The way Niskoi tells its story is in true SHAFT tradition. The visuals are partially abstract and the colors are as bright as a rainbow. Of course, SHAFT implements fan service content, but it isn’t bothersome. It feels like it just fits the style of the show.

The main characters are loveable, especially Chitoge. Her character is greatly portrayed and she makes the story approachable. She might be stereotypical, but her appearance delivers diversity in an otherwise clichéd story.

14win3The second installment of the Chuunibyou anime series in which we follow how the romance between Rikka and Yuta develops.

Chuunibyou season two is a great follow up to its predecessor as it stays true to the core. The look and feel is the same and the humor fits in the style of the show. The humor is innocent yet powerful and builds the characters. There aren’t really moving elements in the storytelling, it just steadily moves along the predictable path in true Chuunibyou annex KyoAni tradition.

14win1I think Noragami is the embodiment of what I wanted to see this year. I wanted less CGI and Noragmi delivers consistent animation. Next to that I wanted a more engaging soundtrack and Noragami knows when to start its techno dubstep music just at the right moment.

One element I don’t consider the series very strong, is the story development. While the theme seems serious and emotional, the way it is portrayed is very lighthearted, placing the overall theme in a lower priority. Our main character borders between life and death, but over the course of the series it feels trivialized.

On the flipside, Noragami delivers a great performance. The visuals are good, the soundtrack is good and the overall story development has its strong points.

14win4I don’t know what D-Frag! actually does. It’s like a slice of life high school over the top humor series with a lot screaming. I’ll be honest and admit that I’m mostly irritated by the main cast. The story is about a delinquent, but when he joins a club consisting of a group of girls, he meets girls who are even more bad ass.

The visuals aren’t that mighty impressive and the character designs don’t feel 2014 at all. The show feels like it consists out of multiple short events with no real relation to the main plot. I don’t know what to think about this show, apart from being annoyed about the execution.

14win5A girls life is turned upside down when her supposed fiancĂ© and sister move in at her place. Bewildered as she is, she learns to cope with the situation she’s in and grow towards her future husband.

Mikakunin de Shinkoukei has a nice visual style and plays around with familiar anime tropes during its story progression. The show isn’t groundbreaking and the slice of life theme can drag on at times. Not all jokes are a win and some can become dull over time. Despite this, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei
builds an entertaining setting with some weaker moments along the way.

14win9Sakura Trick follows the events of girls falling in love. In short stories the girls discover their feelings for each other and progress in their relationships.

Sakura Trick is a good next step for those who liked Yuru Yuri, but wanted a more serious take on love between girls. The color scheme is cute and feminine and the characters fit that setting. The story progresses steadily, creating a romantic vibe which reveals just enough to keep it spicy, yet innocent.

14win7It was destined to be, there had to be a piece of shit somewhere in my selection. And this time it was Mahou Sensou. I believe this is the train wreck effect. I’m just looking at the wreckage, amazed by the terrible disaster it has become.

The story centers around some magical conflict, unknown to men, but an apocalypse for magicians. In Mahou Sensou a group of innocent teenagers get caught up in this plot and have to fight their way through.

Alright, don’t get me wrong. I still believe the show is fitted for an audience that likes magical urban settings. Mahou Sensou perfectly fits in this category, yet for a broader audience it’s a step too far. And for a studio that delivered Death Note, the show isn’t really convincing. The character designs do not pay any tribute to the original creator, plus the animation is far below average.

14win8One day Asuta gets caught up in a greater plot he would’ve never anticipated. Guided by young girl Kate, a group of misfits is planning to take over the world in an interesting fashion.

I’ll start by saying that I like this show. I enjoy the humor in combination with the divers cast. Kate is, as I said in the first impressions post, an adorable loli character. Followed by her loyal minions they face many challenges, such as; ban smoking. The visual style of the show is refreshing and Sekai Seifuku deserves to be watched by more people.

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2 thoughts on “Winter 2014 Season Standings

  1. Overlord-G says:

    Glad to hear you’re still enjoying both Zvezda and Sakura Trick.

    I still need to pick up Engaged to the Unidentified and Nisekoi. Chuunibyou is still reserved for a marathon in the future.

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