And Spring is complete! At least, the one cour shows are but that’s almost all of them.
1. Akuma no Riddle [▲0▼] – 12 eps / complete, 9.5/10 – [IMPORTED] It’s very hard to talk about this without spoiling, but I was exceptionally pleased by the ending, second only (by a slim margin) to Chaika’s brilliant first cour finale. There is one scene in which I sort of intuitively “get” what happened, but hell if I could explain it very well… it was just an awkwardly shot scene, and a lot less clear than it ought to have been. It’s a minor thing overall though.
Contrary to some people saying it was rushed, I thought that the pacing of the last episode was overall just fine. And the somewhat ridiculous way things were resolved? LOVED IT. Completely in keeping with the show’s two natures (deadly serious tone, but always refusing to get overly dark) which is one of the things I liked most about Akuma no Riddle. It’s why the ridiculous Suzu episode was one of the best of the series. It would be very easy to turn this show into either a pure parody or a ceaselessly moody drag, but it takes a middle road I’m very happy it ended the way it did. All in all the unquestioned #1 of the season for me.
2. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? [▲0▼] – 12 eps / complete, 9/10 – [IMPORTED] Behold, the power of imouto. That last episode, though. It’s not quite Kinmosa-level godly ending, but it was a very, very good episode for developing Cocoa and Chino’s relationship as de facto sisters. That ended up being easily one of the most endearing aspects of a show that is overflowing with endearing aspects. As a whole the show spent a lot of time developing friendships (Cocoa/Chino, Chiya/Sharo, Chimame, Rize and the whole gang) while only teasing at the more shippable material (Sharo/Rize, Cocoa/Chiya) so I do hope the second season gives us more of the latter. But even if it doesn’t, it’s done everything else so well that I could just watch this forever.
Also if you did not squeal out loud like a little girl at this then gtfo my site you emotionless lizard person.
3. No Game No Life [▲ 1] – 12 eps / complete, 9/10 – [IMPORTED] The last arc was exceptional. It’s so far beyond mattering at this point that the games are all implausible sequences of “I was one step ahead!” “Yeah? I was actually one step ahead of that!” “And I was one step ahead of your step ahead!” because they’re stupidly entertaining to watch. One aspect I keep coming back to is that the protagonist isn’t Sora or Shiro, it’s Kuuhaku. Sora without Shiro is nothing, Shiro without Sora is nothing. When they are forced apart, they only overcome the situation by trusting in their belief in the other. This dynamic converts scene after scene from potentially obnoxious to truly endearing. This image really encapsulates what makes Nogenora special. Two hands reach out, not one.
Oh this doesn’t hurt either. Are we really allowed to have an otaku light novel adaptation with girls that aren’t in love with the male lead? Where, like, one of the ladies can just respect the guy, and work with him as a partner, without wanting his dick inside her? Shougeki no jijitsu! Man KuraFi are far too adorable together. Seriously.
4. Hitsugi no Chaika [▼ 1] – 12 eps / complete, 8.5/10 – [IMPORTED] One of the best split cour season one finales I can remember, period! It was a great episode in its own right but as a way to leave a viewer excited for the continuation it was pure genius. Hell the show didn’t even bug me when it pulled the Chaika/Tooru scene. Partly because it was inevitable, partly because Tooru had just won major points with me in a hilarious scene shortly before, and partly because it was the rest of a really cool scene with Chaika being pretty badass and proactive and saving the day.
Now if only people were actually watching the show. Clearly they’re not considering those sales. Sigh… at least we’re getting the rest.
1. Puchimas!! – 74 eps / complete, 8/10 – IT CAN’T REALLY BE OVER, CAN IT? ;_; Puchimas!!! any day now, right? Meanwhile, Ritsuko rounds the world in one thousandth the time it’ll take the Jojo boys.
2. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san – 12 eps / complete, 8/10 – [IMPORTED] Really just importing because yuri, but it kept being adorable all the way through to the end. Just a shame it was animated by a three year old.
3. Mahou Shoujo Taisen – 9 eps, 7/10 – I’ve been stalling on this because it’s two cour and catching up will take mere minutes, so nothing new to report at the moment. Not dropped, though.
3+ Cour Series
1. Fairy Tail – 12 eps
2. Hunter x Hunter – 135 eps – Overall, Chimera Ant failed to live up to its potential, if you ask me. The production values were truly exceptional for a show of this length and I can’t fault the acting, but the pacing, one or two of the new characters, and that ridiculous development with Gon severely hurt everything it was trying to do. But despite all of that, the final episode was simply outstanding. Beautifully directed and doubtless the best ending the arc could have had . Hopefully the final arc is shorter and more tightly paced, because this is still a damn good show overall.
3. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders – 12 eps – This one has been confirmed as four cour so it looks like I’m in this for quite a while. Thankfully it’s been better lately, ever since the India arc started, though I’m two episodes behind as of today, I guess. I’ll catch up tomorrow probably. I still don’t like this season as much as the first, but the recent improvement is promising.
Current 2014 Top 5
1. Sakura Trick
2. Akuma no Riddle
3. Saki Zenkoku-hen
4. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
5. No Game No Life
Unchanged from last time, it’s pretty locked in for the moment.
Summer 2014 [almost-]Final Viewing Plans
I’d like to wait until CR was done all its announcements, but that won’t be for a while yet and I’m going to start the Summer season today.
1. Yama no Susume s2 – No-brainer. Not announced yet, but should be on Crunchyroll considering season one was. I’d even watch raw if I had to.
2. Free! Eternal Summer – No-brainer again, and already confirmed for Crunchyroll. I’ll be watching this as soon as I publish this post!
3. Hanayamata – If CR doesn’t stream this I fucking riot (or just watch raw, it should be easy enough to follow). High odds of being my #1 show of the season if it’s executed one tenth as well as it ought to be. Yama no Susume is pretty tough competition though.
4. Sabagebu! – No stream announced yet but I’m still hoping for good things from it, if anyone decent releases. Sounds like the production values will be pretty shit but ehhhh, as long as it’s funny/cute I guess.
5. Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya☆2wei! – Presumably CR will get it again. Now it just needs to fix its problems from the end of season one and win me back…
6. Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol Yattemita – CR has this, and I plan to give it a shot today or tomorrow. Expectations aren’t high because idols, but reactions so far from people with similar tastes have been at least decent.
7. Momokyun Sword – No stream announced yet, and certainly not interested enough to watch raw or hope for non-terrible fansubs, so it’s still up in the air. Will watch if on CR though.
Shows I originally considered watching but no longer will be watching:
X. Barakamon – Mere minutes ago this was in my watch list, if only because it’s by the Yuyushiki staff. But Crunchyroll just announced it without the US listed as a region, which always means Funimation English territory license. Funimation can go fuck themselves, so this is dropped from my plans. [Edit: So CR is actually doing an English translation, that’s unexpected. Go go Horriblesubs, then! I can roleplay as Brits and other people who get region locked out and have to grab the rips, I guess!)
X. Sailor Moon Crystal – CGI henshin fucking go home, dropped.
So that’s it! I’ll keep an eye out for the reactions of a couple people I trust in case another show I initially skipped (and that is getting an acceptable release) ends up being surprisingly good, like Chaika or Nogenora from Spring. I’m not really seeing anything that has much of a chance, but then I never would have thought Nogenora would be any good either (Chaika I was at least mildly interested in because of the author, even if I still planned to skip it). I suppose outside chance for Bakumatsu Rock if I keep hearing that it’s as insane as Utapri, but I’ll only even consider it if I drop 2-3 more shows.