Rounding Up The Fall 2014 Season

So this Fall season started off really strong. But did it end strong? Let’s look at the shows I managed to finish, ranked from worst to best, and find out, shall we?

11. Akame ga Kill

Do I really need to comment on this one?

10. Inou-Battle

Generic waste of space that never did anything interesting. Next!

9. Sword Art Online II

Far worse than the second first season, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Especially Bobduh. Oh, this show was trying to be “about” something? Newsflash dude: Every anime, is trying to be about something. Even anime I outright despise like Kaze no Stigma tried to be about something. But a large part of what makes the substance good is what it’s actually about, and SAO doesn’t give me anything meaty to chew on other than its awful action scenes, its terrible pacing, its poorly conceived characters, its shitty production values, and its shallowly explored ideas regarding reality vs. virtual. And if I hear one more person use that godawful “but it’s fun” excuse…

But of course, the show has a really large audience. Almost every single one of my RL friends is a part of that audience. So it’s natural that we’ll be seeing more in the future. Not sure if I’ll be watching it though. A-1 Pictures phoned it in so much this season to the point that I think watching this show might cause cancer.

8. Shirobako (Dropped)

I just can’t get into this.

7. Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Bladeworks (Sorta Dropped)

The problem with Fate/Stay Night (and Type-Moon stuff in general) is that despite all its big words and complicated rules, the core of the story is painfully dull. Shiro’s philosophy is pretty much every teenage boy way of thinking ever, and all of the contrasting viewpoints given by the other characters are nothing more than confirmations regarding his way of life, which is pretty damning because that’s the core focus of the show. This results in loads of screen-time wasted on trite comedy that never goes anywhere and overly-long inane conversations that could have been shortened considerably without losing a thing. Why were three of the episodes in this show an hour-long? Did they utilize that increased length in a way that benefitted the story? There wasn’t even a good fight scene in the last one.

And speaking of fight scenes, don’t believe the people who say the show is worth watching for them. If I wanted to see well-choreographed, but extremely one-sided flash with ludicrous shonen-esque power-ups…actually, there’s no circumstance where I’d want to see that.

6. His-Cool Seha Girls (Dropped)

It had some creativity I guess, but the humor just turned to full-on Sega referencing around the time Sonic showed up.

5. Mushishi Zoku Shou Part 2

Don’t get me wrong. Mushishi is still one of my favorite anime of all-time, and if you included the first part of Zoku Shou, it would be #1 or #2 on this list. With just the second half of its sequel though, I can’t rank it higher than I currently do. There were a few too many stories this go-around that felt like they were repeating themselves, and sometimes it felt like the symbolism that made Mushishi so special was missing. Thankfully, the episodes that did interest me were really captivating, and the upcoming movie seems to be the last we’ll see of this series, so hopefully it closes this chapter of my anime life on a high note.

Also, insert tired “I really miss the English dub” rant here.

4. I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

There’s a second season of this? Yay!

3. Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

If it wasn’t for a string of uninspired episodes around the show’s closing point, Bahamut wouldn’t have had to make do with the third place I ended up giving it. Not only was it one of the few times an anime has impressed me by sheer blockbuster appeal, it’s a freaking card game adaptation, and yet aside from the capture system, you wouldn’t be able to tell that’s the case because this anime has epic ambitions first and fan-pleasing parts second (relatively speaking). The characters are lively, the cinematography was epic, the set pieces tribute the Hollywood films it borrows from well, and it’s even pretty funny at parts. I understand that it was a tall task to keep up the blockbuster feel for twelve episodes, but that doesn’t change the fact that you did not build up to your grand finale very well, Bahamut (and on a side note, it’s hilarious to see the people on my Twitter TL now declaring “but I liked the second half”).

A decent show overall, but fairly below what I was hoping it would be.

2. Amagi Brilliant Park

Amagi Brilliant Park is a Rumiko Takahashi sitcom made in modern times. Given how Ranma, Urusei Yatsura, and Maison Ikkoku are amongst my favorite anime of all-time, that’s a pretty big compliment. The plot/drama wasn’t great and about as removed from reality as you can get, but who said it had to be? At the end of the day, it’s just an excuse for the employees to live their darkly comedic lives away from the public eye, and that’s where the true appeal of the show lies. It didn’t always work of course, but when it got the formula right, it cracked me up hard. And considering how I don’t laugh at anime humor these days, that’s saying something.

1. Psycho-Pass 2

Kind of feel guilty for putting the anime community’s chew toy of the season as my #1, but yes, I had the most fun watching Psycho-Pass 2 this Fall. I know it butchers everything the first season stood for. I don’t care because it did it in such a creatively dumb way that I couldn’t help but admire/laugh at the result. It’s pretty much the X/1999 movie turned into a series. But it has two things that keep it from surpassing that film as my favorite trainwreck anime of all-time: good animation and a lack of head-cradling. Beautiful hilarious head-cradling.

But yeah, just like Amagi, I really enjoyed the show because of the things that most people dislike it for. If you still think I’m kidding, listen to me and Landon rant about the show if you haven’t already, then prepare torches as you drive to Texas due to your newfound desire to burn us alive.

*****

Screen Shot 2014-12-19 at 2.41.35 PM

As for the stuff I’ll be continuing with in the Winter season ranked from worst to best…

3b. Your Lie In April

This anime is really breaking my balls.

2b. Parasyte

Not really sure how much I like this show, but it’s a nice watch nevertheless.

1b. Garo

This would be #1 on my rankings if it wasn’t continuing into the next season. Why? Think Jojo, except actually entertain–*gets popcorn thrown at me*

*****

In summary, I think this season was the strongest we’ve seen in a while. Sure, the only really new anime that’s clicked with me hasn’t even finished yet, but there was still a lot of cool stuff overall (I didn’t bother with the Gundam stuff though). Mappa managed to establish themselves as a reliable studio with their non-Teekyu/Watanabe output (at least, until they sell out and start making LN adaptations because they need money). Madhouse is starting to make a comeback with a good adaptation of a beloved 90s manga. KyoAni actually put out something decent for the first time in a while. And that otaku husband short was a pretty cute depiction of married couples as well as how otaku are also human.

Plus, whether or not you hated the new Psycho-Pass, you can’t deny that it trainwrecked in a way that got people talking. Oh those burning immigrants and dead dogs that don’t really add to anything in general.

Either way though, I’m ready to say goodbye to this season and move on to the next one, because I’d rather leave a season with happy memories intact rather than let it turn into The Simpsons, if you know what I mean. Can’t say I’m optimistic about the upcoming Winter season though. None of the sequels interest me in the least, and they take up almost half the output. I do like how Ikuhara’s new show is one of the first things to come out, so at least the season will start out strong (hopefully). Still, the only anime I have real hopes for is Death Parade, and even that is with caution because turning a one-shot OVA into a full series is no small feat. But I guess we’ll see.

And no, I’m not watching the new Jojo for reasons I’ve stated before, and I’m kinda leaning towards skipping Durarara as well. As for the new Monogatari, f*ck that series. Let it die already, Shaft (not that their new series looks all that appealing either)!

12 responses to “Rounding Up The Fall 2014 Season

  1. An stronger Fall season than last year’s. I still can’t believe I was actually dumb enough to fell for the F/SN hype though. And what do you like about the otaku husband anime? I did’t find it very funny.

    • I liked how it portrayed normal marriage issues despite the husband being an otaku and the wife being a worry-wart. It ain’t that funny and it ain’t that great, but I still thought it was a cute look at married couples, as well as how otaku are human beings too (even though Genshiken did that a lot better).

  2. I let my brother make me watch all of Inou Battle because he said he would watch Garo in exchange. I kind of wonder if Trigger was trying to acquaint themselves with some newer material by taking on a self-referential light novel since they’re all evidently huge nerds for the older stuff. Unfortunately, it’s still true that nothing interesting ever happened and by the end of the show the whole thing was a big mess.

  3. You chastise others for liking SAO for its sheer fun factor but go on after that to say that despite how bad PP 2 is, you like it because its dumb fun? Ugh. Hypocrisy at its finest.

    • No, I have a problem with people who say “SAO is fun” and then don’t follow it up with a good reason for why they think it’s fun.

      I like PP2 because it ramped up the stupidity immensely each week to the point of hilarity. You may disagree with that reason, but it’s a reason nevertheless. “Fun” is not.

      • Well fair enough. Though most people I’ve met at least try to justify why they think it’s fun, you might have had a different experience with SAO defenders. Strange bit of irony here but a lot of people like SAO for the very reasons you gave for enjoying PP. Guess it’s a matter of finding the type of stupidity that appeals to you.

      • Yeah, I’m referring to the people who say “it’s just so fun though”. That said, I wouldn’t be praising PP2 if it had SAO II’s pacing, because the latter was slow as shit in terms of getting to the stupidity in the first place.

  4. Wow, someone actually liked the first half of Mushishi 2 more than the second? Weird world we live in. But no matter how I feel there, I can’t get upset at anyone who also sees the charms in Danna enough to look forward to season two.

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