For adding three shows to my favorites – and supplementing two series that were already there – it was a pretty good year.
#5: Shokugeki no Souma / Food Wars!
Pretty young anime girls.
Basically, this show appeals to my interests. As a self-proclaimed food addict (and someone who has repeatedly said that I watch anime for the pretty young anime girls), this show does things right. The story is comparable to many other shounen works, but the focus – food – and extreme over-the-top presentation of the recipes and tasting ramp things up to awesome levels. As soon as you’ve seen orgasmic reactions to food porn, it’s hard to turn away from this show.
Within the entirety of the Monogatari Series, Owarimonogatari is a bit unusual, mainly with its purpose. The first half, with its focus on Sodachi and Araragi’s past, matters less because of Sodachi herself, but because of Ougi and Hanekawa. While Ougi remains the shady character who seems to know too much, the Sodachi arcs offer Hanekawa’s first extended chance to show off after the events of Nekomonogatari Shiro (the first arc of the Second Season). And it’s just getting me more interested to see what happens with these two in the future.
As for the second half, it is something that I did not even remotely expect, but was very interesting to see, tying in a character who never seemed to have a hand in the events of the “present.” And now that I’ve watched that, I’d honestly recommend that most people watch the series in chronological order. I’m sure others will disagree, but now that I’ve re-watched everything that way, it’s far more enjoyable when you see things fall into place one after another, rather than with gaps that are only filled in later.
Also, I just finished re-reading Kizumonogatari today, and I’ll be seeing the movie next month. So I’m looking forward to that.
#3: Non Non Biyori Repeat
The first season of Non Non Biyori was great, providing nice laughs, charming characters, and a great relaxing atmosphere. This season was even better, pulling off more in each regard while improving the unpredictability, the calming effect, and the general interestingness (there’s a better word for this I’m sure) of the girls stuck out in the middle of nowhere. Since it’s a slice-of-life series without much of an overarching plot, I would love to see a third season. So someone get on that.
#2: Hibike! Euphonium / Sound! Euphonium
Music anime tend to go over well with me (besides Love Live), and Hibike! Euphonium is easily one of the best. With the potentially unintentional double entendres, great portrayal of poor performances revamped for the better, and decent approach to the dramatic events, it succeeds on many fronts. And then there’s the whole dynamic between Kumiko and Reina, which, even in a strictly platonic sense, is a huge pro of the show.
And let’s not forget the plethora of ponytail girls.
With the announcement of the second season, I am very much looking forward to seeing Kumiko and co. in their attempts to reach even higher.
Review coming soon.
Just like Rebellion last year, I’m sure you’re all sick of hearing this. It’s not like I praise the show because I think it’s the bible of animu – that would be ludicrous. I praise the show because it covers an interesting subject, it’s consistently funny, the cast is excellent (especially Aoi), and it not only improved with each episode, but also offered the most rewarding ending I have seen. Episode 23 is easily the best single episode of a show I have ever watched, and the finale carried that momentum into the perfect conclusion.
As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t get better than this.