Early Reflecting on 2014’s Anime Selection

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So E. Minor put up a little survey and rather than answer on his own blog, I think I’ll devote a separate post to reflecting on 2014’s anime output (edit: and answering his questions). The year isn’t over yet and I’m still planning on doing some other year-end stuff as well like Twelve Days and top lists, so think of this as an early preview in regards to my final conclusions for the year.

1.) What was your overall favorite anime of the year?

Space Dandy. Animated anthology meets old-school space western? Yeah, baby.

2.) What was your favorite action anime of the year?

Tiger and Bunny: The Rising. It’s pure fanservice for Tiger and Bunny fans like myself, but I also appreciate how it dealt with the consequences regarding Tiger’s decision to not retire from superhero duty as well as giving some good focus to the other characters as well. Poor Rock Bison still doesn’t have much too him though.

3.) Comedy?

Sabagebu made me laugh the hardest out of any anime I watched this year (edit: although Amagi has specific moments where I bust a real gut).

4.) Drama?

Mushishi counts, right?

5.) Harem?

No.

6.) Mecha?

Knights of Sidonia is the only robot show that I finished in years (well, plan to finish since it’s not really done yet).

7.) Romance?

That I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying short is a pretty cute depiction of a married couple.

8.) Slice of life?

Amagi Brilliant Park? I add the question mark because whilst I enjoy the fact that it’s basically a modern-day Rumiko Takahashi sitcom, it’s only just now starting to get creatively funny in regards to its comedic vignettes, and there’s no guarantee said rise in laughs won’t take a downturn in the future. Not to mention, it has to get out of its “we want to be Fumoffu” mode by the final few episodes to wrap up the main plot, so if that doesn’t pan out well, I’ll have to pretend Sidonia counts or something.

9.) Sports?

Ping Pong is the only sports show I’ve ever liked period, barring the good arcs of Hikaru no Go.

10.) Supernatural/horror?

Mushishi is the only one I really watched this year, so that.

11.) What genre did we get too much of this year? What genre would you like to see more of?

The “too many LN adaptations about high schoolers” horse has been turned into crusty old glue at this point, so I’ll just say we’re getting too many shows that are too inward-looking regarding the industry as a whole to the point that it ruins the substance (and it’s not just light novel adaptations. Remember Zvezda? Bleh). As for a genre I’d like to see more of, I know Japan has a very different culture to the West, but some animated shows in the vein of Cartoon Network’s current output wouldn’t hurt (particularly Steven Universe).

12a.) Which anime was overrated?

I stopped caring about that sort of stuff recently, but I will say that I don’t understand what it is about Shirobako that attracts so many people to it. It’s like watching my Twitter feed turned into an anime, and as a wise man once said “why would you want to do that horrible horrible thing?”.

– Also, insert “fuck Bore-akamon” insult here.

12b.) Which anime was underrated?

Garo really slipped under people’s radar despite also being produced by Mappa, didn’t it? Which is a shame, because it’s pretty much what I wanted Jojo to be. Also, last week’s episode wasn’t that bad (in fact, I liked it).

13a.) Which anime surprised you the most?

Witchcraft Works and Sabagebu. Both belong to genres that I’m not fond of (magical girlfriend and “cute girls in club” shit). I ended up enjoying them because they turned out to be hilarious messes.

13b.) Which anime disappointed you the most?

Either Tokyo ESP or Stardust Crusaders. The former because it had everything I usually find entertaining in regards to superhero stuff, but the production team botched all the elements so badly to the point that even the manga fans hated it. The latter because it gave me too much Jojo to the point that I grew sick of it and never want to touch that franchise ever again.

– Oh, and let’s add the Sabagebu specials and Ai Tenchi Muyo. I enjoy the original iterations of both, and those shorts felt like they were made by people who only understood the bare minimum about either show. Except they’re made by the same people so…yeah don’t know how to rationalize that.

– Also, to anyone who says Terror in Resonance for this question: Sca-roo. You.

14.) Which anime should get a do-over?

Patema Inverted. Can we put the lush animation and those gravity scenes to a story that wouldn’t embarrass Disney, please?

15.) What was the most memorable scene of the year?

The scene when the atomic bomb exploded in Resonance’s finale and knocked out all the power in the vein of Escape from L.A. was beautiful.

16.) What show do you think we’ll still be talking about for years to come?

Ignoring 2013 stuff like Kill la Kill, sequels like Love Live, or continuing shows like Hunter x Hunter, I’d say Parasyte or Nisekoi. The latter will probably be more popular with the general crowd for a while whist the former will be popular with us bloggers for at least the same amount of time.

17.) What are you looking forward to most in 2015?

I liked the Death Billiards short, so I’m looking forward to the series. Kekkai Sensen looks promising given the team and premise, although I’m wary because it is Bones after all. Next season also has two shows by directors I generally enjoy as well (Yuri Kuma Arashi and Junketsu no Maria), although the premise for Ikuhara’s thing is a huge turnoff (I can’t stand yuri) and I’m wondering if Taniguchi still has it after his disastrous experience with Code Geass and the long break he took from anime after that show finished.

18.) And finally, what brings you back to anime season after season, year after year?

Because for all my complaints about the medium, I do love anime, I do love to write about it, and the majority of my Twitter timeline is filled with the thoughts of anime geeks for a reason.

9 responses to “Early Reflecting on 2014’s Anime Selection

  1. >Remember Zvezda?
    Yes. In fact I found it at least as funny as Sabagebu, and I still don’t understand your apparent revulsion to it compared to other shows you’ve given a pass.

    >Witchcraft Works: a surprise.
    Agree with you there. What a surprise that people keep calling this trash “good” just because it put some guys into girl’s skins and proceeded to sleepwalk through 12 episodes.

    >Stardust Crusaders: biggest disappointment.
    No fucking kidding. What a chore that was to finish that dragged-out turd. And it didn’t even have the decency to get to the good parts of that arc.

    >Slice of life?
    You might as well lump Mushishi here as well if Amaburi is the only other candidate.

    >fuck Bore-akamon
    I found it worse than boring for its glib attempt to pin everything on the MC, when it was made clear that he was just a product of the messed-up people who were STILL screwing with him.

    >I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying
    Wow, someone else watches this and finds it kind of cute? Were you one of the three other people who secretly watched Tonari no Seki-kun too?

    • I still don’t understand your apparent revulsion to it compared to other shows you’ve given a pass.

      I don’t “hate” Zvezda. I even kind of liked it when it was airing. The problem is, the more I thought about it, the worse it got. I ended up not liking how it tried to give serious stories to characters that are too cartoony to take seriously. I found the ending terrible. I thought the comedy mixed poorly with the serious stuff. I thought it tackled “certain issues” too simply. I get it was trying to subvert its commercialist surface, but it failed IMO.

      What a surprise that people keep calling this trash “good” just because it put some guys into girl’s skins and proceeded to sleepwalk through 12 episodes.

      You mean you didn’t enjoy the llama?

      Were you one of the three other people who secretly watched Tonari no Seki-kun too?

      I didn’t keep my watch of it secret, and I know plenty of people who watched it as well.

      • >but it failed IMO.

        Ah, fair enough. I still think it fared much better than Witch Craft Works.

        >You mean you didn’t enjoy the llama?

        Liking one small thing about an anime isn’t enough for me. At best it just frustrates me that the rest of the anime didn’t aspire to be that enjoyable.

        >I didn’t keep my watch of it secret, and I know plenty of people who watched it as well.

        Nice. I haven’t had as much time to read the aniblogs as I used to, so that fact slipped under my radar. Clearly I’ve got some catching up to do.

    • I didn’t want to put anime that started in 2013, even if it ended in 2014. I’m making an exception for movies that aired in theatres a certain year and only got released publicly this year, but that’s it.

  2. Not looking forward to Ninja Slayer? Just from skimming through a couple chapters of the manga it really harkens back to those trashy 90’s ova’s. Then you got the director of Inferno Cop doing it which is just icing on the cake.

  3. The latest work Taniguchi did was storyboard the Wacky Races/Redline episode of Space Dandy and also the Multi-Dandy S2 premiere, both of which I liked a lot, so he’s not too rusty in my opinion.

    That said, I foresee some people will be turned off by the very premise of Junketsu no Maria, without ever giving it a chance. I can say the part of the manga I read was pretty funny and not too heavy on the fanservice though.

    • I’m talking about directing. I know he’s done some other work since.

      I would have been turned off too if I hadn’t checked who was making the show. If it was a LN, it’d be like that Vanadis thing that’s airing right now.