Final Thoughts – Winter 2014 Anime

Here are my final thoughts for the shows I watched during the winter season! Better late than never.

Super Sonico The Animation

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While this is a bit funny at times (courtesy of Sonico’s manager more than anything else), it’s basically just a series for Super Sonico fanservice. Episode 7 is the clear highlight, with most others being merely “meh” and a few being a bit painful to sit through. What this anime does well is music – the OP is pretty good, there is a different ED for each episode, and the soundtrack and insert songs add a lot to the show.

While I’d like to say the greatest mystery about this anime is Sonico’s voice actress (“Super Sonico” is listed as her voice actress in the credits), they never explain the headphones, which never leave her head. I’ve lost sleep over this.

Final rating: 3/10

Recommendation: Unless you’re a fan of Sonico, you’d be better off skipping this.


pupa

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Pupa? More like Poop-a. Get it?

This is one of the worst things I have ever watched. Collectively, there is about 40 minutes of material in total, but it is one of the most painful things I have ever had the misfortune of watching – nonexistent story, pointless violence, a weird concept executed poorly, and the censoring. Dear lord, the censoring. They literally censored out a knife just to show it a few seconds later. Twice. And then they censored out a taser. But during the next episode, they didn’t censor out organs and stuff, but they were sure to white out a chainsaw. And what were they thinking with the last episode? This show was a complete disaster.

Final rating: A generous 1/10

Recommendation: Please skip for the sake of your own sanity.


Noragami 

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I’m planning on writing a review for this one. It has the advantage of a unique soundtrack, the best OP/ED combo I’ve heard in a while, good visuals, interesting characters (in particular, Yato), and interesting concepts. The faults are mainly with the story, which wasn’t very consistent – there are three main conflicts, and they are very loosely related, the first one not even being properly resolved before moving on. Despite all this, the show was definitely very enjoyable.

Final rating: 7/10

Recommendation: Watch it.


Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai Ren 

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As the sequel to an enjoyable show that focused on delusional high schoolers, this season somehow manages to be pretty boring. Besides the fact that the new character is merely annoying, most of the events are uninteresting and add nothing new to the series, and several episodes have corny back-and-forth stories that simply reinforce the status quo in pointless roundabout manners. This is probably the biggest disappointment of the season, but at least it isn’t awful.

And as expected, KyoAni included some trolling in the last episode. I hope their next releases are higher quality than what they’ve put out recently.

Final rating: 4/10

Recommendation: If you enjoyed the first season and are interested in seeing the story (sort of) continue, then watch it. Otherwise, you won’t be missing out on much.


Seitokai Yakuindomo *

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While this is basically the same deal as the first season, I prefer it a bit more, mostly as a result of more Hata and the new character, Uomii. Unfortunately, your enjoyment of the series will mostly hinge on the constant sex jokes – for me, most of them are complete misses 80% of the time. Overall, it is enjoyable enough to watch from beginning to end, but it does drag at some points because of several sequences of uninteresting jokes.

Final rating: 6/10

Recommendation: If you enjoyed the first season, watch it. Otherwise, don’t bother.


Sakura Trick

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So yeah, it’s cute and all, but there isn’t much of anything to it, so it can get pretty boring. Every episode is basically just the girls kissing and hugging and blushing. The first episode is probably the strongest, mostly thanks to the rewriting of the laws of physics.

Final rating: 4/10

Recommendation: If you like plotless SOL shows and/or yuri, check it out.


Nobunagun – indefinitely on hold

I’ll get back to it eventually. Probably.


Witch Craft Works

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While the anime starts out strong with its whacky comedy, the actual story is the clear weak point. While I don’t think I’ll ever forget Obama-kun’s Engrishy “The best is yet to come,” the story becomes an easily forgettable mess once it reaches the halfway point, as too many characters are introduced towards the end, a lot of the details are poorly explained, and it simply bounces around from event to event without much consistency. Despite all this, I’d say it is worth watching for the weird comedy.

Also, I’ve heard several people refer to this as a harem, which it quite obviously is not. I don’t understand what they were thinking.

Final rating: 5/10

Recommendation: If you enjoy shows that are a bit crazy without much rhyme or reason, check it out.


Nisekoi (still airing)

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I don’t really have anything to add since my last update in the middle of the season – I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far, but besides the fact that I’m not up-to-date, the show will still be airing until the end of the spring season, so I’ll have my full thoughts on it then.


Hoozuki no Reitetsu – indefinitely on hold

I’ve still only watched the first episode. So… yeah.


Golden Time

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While the show sets itself up as a good comedy, it turns into a dramatic mess, complete with annoying love polygons. If the last few episodes were handled differently, I would think more highly of this, but unfortunately those are the cause of most of my issues. Ponytail Linda is still best girl. And while I was originally indifferent to Kouko, she became… problematic.

Final rating: 4/10

Recommendation: Unless you really like drama shows, skip it.


Kill la Kill

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I wrote out a full review, but to summarize my thoughts – I really wish this show had been half the length. Too much of the show is spent beating around the bush, and while this would be fine if the plotless episodes added anything of value, they needlessly drag everything out. Regardless of this, the show succeeds at being insane, using an awesome visual style, and having one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard.

Final rating: 6/10

Recommendation: If you like crazy and over-the-top action shows, definitely check it out. Otherwise, flip a coin.


Kuroko no Basuke 2

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Supernatural Japanese basketball! After watching the first season on a whim, this was a highly anticipated show for the season – thankfully, it did not disappoint. While it’s mostly along the same lines as the first season, I’d say that this one is superior, mainly because of the increased tension surrounding the games and the always awesome payoff. The Engrish is cringeworthy though.

Final rating: 8/10

Recommendation: Even if you’re not into sports anime, I would highly recommend this series – just make sure you start with the first season.


And just for reference, the shows I dropped during the season were Space DandySaikin Imouto no Yousu ga Chotto Okashiinda ga (ImoCho)Nobunaga the Fool, and Mahou Sensou.

So as a whole, a decent season, although a few shows that started strong ended up being disappointments. I certainly didn’t expect the anime about basketball to be my favorite.

I’ve been a bit overwhelmed lately, so my next proper post won’t be for probably two weeks or so. Unless I can cap off one of the reviews I’m working on over this weekend.

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5 thoughts on “Final Thoughts – Winter 2014 Anime

  1. Of the shows I watched that you’ve reviewed I couldn’t agree more about Noragami. It was a treat visually and had such a brilliant OST. It was a bit inconsistent so I’d like to see a sequel come out dealing with the Bishamon arc that never got resolved.
    I’m with you about Super Sonico and Pupa, I dropped Sonico a few episodes in and followed Pupa till the end (I don’t know what possessed me). I enjoyed Golden Time despite its schizophrenic storytelling, and Kill la Kill…well – I let go of the handles early on and just decided it was going to be a crazy ride.
    I was wondering if you gave Space Dandy or Samurai Flamenco a try? While not being groundbreaking they were both a decent watch; Samurai Flamenco particularly was packed with surprises right up to the end. I think I’ll give Kuroko no Basuke a try, I’m not usually a sports anime fan either but I’ve caught glimpses of a few episodes and it looks promising. Great to get your thoughts on the winter season!

    • If Pupa wasn’t so short, I would have dropped it after the first episode.

      I actually dropped Space Dandy a few episodes in – for a comedy, I didn’t find it very funny, and I didn’t really expect it to improve either. If the second season is generally considered better, I might pick it back up though.

      I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about Samurai Flamenco, but I will probably get to it before too long.

      Kuroko no Basuke is actually the only sports anime I’ve watched. Once I got over the “the human body is not capable of moving that way in midair” and other nitpicking, I really enjoyed it for the intense and acceptably unrealistic basketball.

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