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Summer 2014 Retrospective

Watched

Akame Ga Kill!

This one is pretty hyped already, so I’d say this will be the season favourite. From watching the PV I’m conflicted. The character designs are interesting, but the actual art doesn't seem overly refined.  I’ll probably watch it based on hype factor.

CrunchyRoll was streaming this, so it was quite easy to add this the shows I’d watch during the Summer season. After an interesting first episode displaying stark contrasts between both visual style and tone of the story – myself along with many others were convinced to watch the rest of the season.

The juxtapositions ended there though and the show mellowed back into its original art style and theme, thus falling back into being a mediocre title. Overall, the show over-emphasizes on some points, but gets other smack on – more so the latter. I’ll likely finish the rest of the anime as it continues to come out during autumn.

 

 4Good, but viewers expectations were set higher

Ao Haru Ride

Definite watch, quite a well-known manga among the shoujo crowd and the adaptation should reflect that success.

The problem I had with this show, was that I had already read some of the manga, and this adaptation wasn’t offering me anything new. Luckily by episode 4 the show had finally outpaced where I had read up to. Despite my initial enthusiasm, the show didn’t offer anything distinctly new, but I enjoyed it none-the-less.

 Same-y, but still enjoyable

Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal

This seems to be a remake? I think i’ll watch this as i probably will never watch the lower quality videos, and got bored of the manga pretty early on. The art seems slightly odd, but I think that’s because I’ve watched Jojo’s bizarre adventure with all its poses recently.

Not just a remake, this title was to adapt the manga more faithfully than its famous predecessor. Unfortunately, this was tough going. As an anime aimed at young kids, the show wasn’t very complex – In fact, I watched it without subtitles and I still understood fully what was going on. I very much felt that the Sailor Moon sentiment was very much based in nostalgia and not actual show merit. The CG in transformation scenes felt unnatural, and the art style never really went unnoticed, those unbelievably large eyes stuck out like a sore thumb.

Despite all this though, I kept watching, purely because of its shows historical significance, but I won’t be planning a rewatch any time soon.

  Does a good job of remaking the series, but I’m not the target audience

Glasslip

Glassblowing isnt the most common & is an interesting choice of profession for the anime to follow. Once I saw the concept, I assumed that it would be loaded with scenes alluding to blowing something else, but it doesn’t seem to be the case, so that’s good. I’ll definetly check it out for the concept anyway. The PV seems nice.

Throughout the show viewers repeatedly posted “I still don’t know what’s happening” on discussion threads. This wasn’t a particularly complicated series, it just was void of plotline. Several episodes hinted at possible areas that would become important, but nothing came to fruition – No fights because of the love triangle, no predicted worsening of Sachi’s condition, No further explanation of the future fragments, the black snow, the glass’s effect on her vision. Yet, many of us still watched it as it teased of story progression, when there was none. A fairly disappointing show, and glass blowing really had little to do with it

 Easily could have been better, but flounders around aimlessly

Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

The same company who does YuruYuri, but I don’t know much of their works, so I might check it out based on this alone, see if they are one to look out for in the future or not. This appears to be a mangakaXassistant anime, which tend to be perverse ["oh I need to draw boobs for this panel, but where oh where could I get a reference?"] – The very small snippet of animation that we see in the PV makes me think that it won’t be one of those, but that could just be me hoping. Seemingly Bakuman is a very good manga assistant manga, so there is hope yet.

This was probably my favourite show this season. The characters were energetic and loveable, the mix of shoujo/comedy was finely balanced and it was an easy watch. Looking back, it’s hard to imagine that I was sceptical of this show to begin with. I’m very glad I did decide to watch it

 Fantastic, Very Enjoyable

Hanamonogatari

I have waited for this for ages, love the monogatari series and my favourite character seems to be the focus of this set of episodes. There’s something weird happening with this show in terms of scheduling. I think the entire series is airing in one go. I didn’t watch the PV for this, gonna save it all for when I watch it

I’ll be honest and say that SHAFT could have released pretty much anything Monogatari-related and I would have eaten it up. I do think that this was one of the weaker stories in the series with a cliché ending which is unlike Monogatari. Still though, I did enjoy it, but I feel the series is deteriorating each season. There’s not that many left anyway I guess.

 Okay, relying on its reputation a little to entertain fans

Tokyo Ghoul

"I’m a sucker for psychological anime, so there’s a high chance I’ll be following this. It seems like it could be a bit of a let down however, if it is too similar to other series"

The first episode of Tokyo Ghoul blew me away. I was very surprised at how entertaining it was and I thought I had one anime that I knew I would continue until the end. That is until, I watched the beginning of episode two – the censorship that Funimation had put on the blood and guts etc was over the top. Half the screen was blackened off for most of the opening scene. As such, I’m going to wait until this is available on DVD instead, but it’s a pain because I really wanted to just watch it as it aired.

 From what I did see, I really enjoyed it, but the censorship was too much

Zankyou no Terror
I liked the animation and characters, but the riddles in episode 3 were weak and points of action were taken without question and everything was badly and hurriedly explained. The show got better as time went on though (although there are many people who would argue the opposite), and although the ending seemed a bit rushed, it was definitely worth watching and one of the better series this season.
In particular, I thought that the soundtrack was really good – I’ll be keeping an eye out for when it’s released on CD.

  Trying too hard, but does some things right. Wonderful Music

Psycho pass new edit

I have the original on my to-watch anyway, so I may as well watch this one

Seemingly this doesn’t differ too much from the original series. I enjoyed it, but not as much as I had hoped. I think the hour-long episodes were hard to get through after a while. I’ll continue watching this as Pyscho;Pass 2 comes out, but I only have average expectations

 4Fairly Decent, Listened to too much hype

Sabagebu!

Initially I reckoned this was going to be below average, but its a shoujo so I don’t really know what to make of it as it seems, to me at least, very male targeted. Upon coming back to post this, I realised that this show is the animated version of a manga I tried to translate through a program I made (It didnt work) – That’s kind of exciting!

This was a fun anime, I’m not particularly convinced that it’s a shoujo anime though. It’s not a must watch, but you won’t regret it if you do. There was an occasional joke that was pushed a little too hard, but apart from that I enjoyed pretty much every minute of it. Action sequences were succinct and I never felt like I was waiting for one to end. For a fairly average setup, Sabagebu! does very well and is thoroughly entertaining

 Surprisingly Good for an average concept

Tokyo ESP

nice artwork and character design, This could be good, I’ll be watching the first few to assess how it progresses

I wouldn’t overly rave about this show. It’s done well and is very watchable, but it lacks something that makes it unique. I enjoyed this series, but I feel like it is easily forgettable.

 Average, Nothing Spectucular

Did Not Watch

This season I seem to have learned from my mistakes and only started one show that I did not continue. I’ve included some other airing titles that I reviewed earlier to fill this section out.

Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mi

generic slice of life, moe stuff. Seems very bland. These usually don’t get a watch from me unless they have significant enough fans, and even then it’s iffy. Insert generic link to one of many articles on “Why ‘moe’ is killing anime”

Moe is the cancer that is killing anime

Kantai Collection

Also have waited on this for a while. I’m always sceptical of game based shows, but the amount of artwork and such I’ve seen online of the main girl is staggering, so there must be something behind it

I’m not aware that this actually came out… I guess I’ll continue to wait

Mono kyun sword

the echii anime of Summer 14 – I’ve already seen some PVs for this and it is primarily boobs.

I was right.

Nobunga Concerto

I’m interested in this one from a historical PoV – Nobunga was pretty important in uniting Japan. I’ve heard good things about the manga too, so I’m looking forward to this. Couldnt find a PV for this :O

I watched the first episode of this, but the CG really didn’t sit well with me. I might have been able to stand it, but the story seemed to be going in a very typical ‘lives the life of Nobunga’ vein and it didn’t grip me enough to suffer with the CG any longer.

 Standard Fare for a historical show, plus iffy CG

Bonus

Dirty Pair

Started watching this fairly retro series when I got some slack time after dropping some shows. It holds up pretty well – it’s packed with action and is easy viewing. And it’s very, very 80s.

dirty_pair2

 

There are a fair few episodes of which I’ve only watched about 8. The show is quite episodic so I plan to use this as a show to dip into now and again when I have nothing currently to watch, but several series on simulcast.

This was quite popular when it was released in 1985, and I’ve noticed a couple of references to it in other shows, including the next show on this list.

 Entertaining, but linearity would have helped its score a lot

Zan Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei

I loved the first few seasons of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, but watching them one after the other because slightly repetitive. It had been about a year or two since I saw the last season, so I thought it was about time to finish off the show. I’m glad I waited as the comedy was quite similar to the previous two. Not that this was a bad thing, I really enjoyed it.

One of my favourite things about Zetsubou is the references to other shows, but this makes it also quite hard to recommend it to people. It’s very much an anime targeting purely Japan and the otaku sub-culture.

 Great show. Continues the previous shows successes

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Labels: Anime/Manga

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