Previous update!

I should be going to bed now but I really wanted to update this, so here goes! Switched the import tags over to a rough % likelihood of importing.

Full Series
1. Sora no Method [▲0▼] – 6 ep, 9/10 – [95% import] Chaika is making a serious grab for #1 this season but Sorameso refuses to hand the crown over just yet. I really thought Yuzuki’s story ended well (and I loved this scene), but wow episode 6 may have made her my favorite character in the show. Endearing beyond words, and a truly heartwarming episode in general. Top tier stuff.

2. Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle [▲4] – 5 ep, 9/10 – [99% import] A spectacular run of episodes since I last watched at ep 1. This season is paced perfectly so far. The great action scenes continue, and I especially loved White and Red factions briefly joining forces in the latest episode. Best RPG party! But the highlight of the latest episode was, of course, this. The whole damn episodes I was totally losing it over how damn cool this show is.
Goddamnit I wish that Scrapped Princess BD box were out sooner, I need to rewatch it so badly.

3. Log Horizon Season 2 [▲3] – 6 ep, 8/10 – [80% import] This season started with four decent enough episodes, but 5-6 are where it all really gets back into the groove season one achieved when it was at its best. Avoiding spoilers, I’ll just say that this season has gotten intensely interesting, and I totally forgive the show for having made Akatsuki such a poorly-developed non-character for so long. These past two episodes have been critically important for her, and both in terms of just giving her something to do, but also allowing her to be more than just “that girl who pines for Shiroe all day”. Character development banzai!

4. Amagi Brilliant Park [▲0▼] – 6 ep, 8/10 – [75% import] I laughed very hard and very often this weekend watching episodes 5-6. Hands down the best comedy the show has delivered so far, and it’s improved its import chances markedly. Ye gods, KyoAni shows have such a spectacular knack for humor.

5. Girlfriend (Kari) [▲0▼] – 4 ep, 8/10 – [25% import] Timing didn’t allow me to get today’s new episode in, but episode 4 was really really good! Like, “one of the better episodes of anime of the whole season” good. The girls leading this episode had fantastic chemistry, Ao-chan’s character was adorable, Mizuhashi Kaori’s character totally needs more screentime, and overall it was relaxing, funny, just very very well put together.

6. Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru [▼3] – 3 ep – Haven’t watched more since last update. Will catch up at some point.

 

Short Series
None this season!

 

Pre-Fall Series
Yama no Susume Second Season17 eps, 9/10 – I’m floored week after week at the idea that such a beautiful show created by such talented people can exist. Right now I think I have to call this not just #1 of Summer, but #2 of the entire year. You absolutely have to watch it if you haven’t yet. It’s even all up on CR now (or HS rips if your region has been excluded)!

Fairy Tail25 eps, 7/10 – I’ll catch up eventually!

 

Dropped Series
Shirobako5 ep – Felt physically ill watching ep 5. I expected some annoyance given one of the girls is into CGI, but the pro-CGI preaching in this episode was much worse than anything I had been expecting from the show. It’s a shame because it’s such a good show otherwise, but I literally cannot keep watching this. The message was utterly toxic. I’m out.
Gugure! Kokkuri-san2 ep

 

Chaika and Sorameso are all but locked for import at this point. Log Horizon has performed exceptionally these past two weeks so it’s very much in the running, but with it being two cour I have plenty of time to make a decision. Shirobako taking itself out of the running improves Amaburi’s chances drastically, though Girlfriend (kari) isn’t going down without a fight. I’d just import them all but I’d like to keep to 4 this season. I mean there’s no real reason why I couldn’t get all 5, but I dunno, seeing if I can stick with 4.

Overall, Fall 2014 has gone much better than Fall 2013, even if there have still been disappointments (such as all but one of the shows I’m importing on track to sell atrociously, but what else is new?).

 

Current 2014 Top 10
1. Sakura Trick (Winter)
2. Yama no Susume Second Season (Summer)
3. Akuma no Riddle (Spring)
4. Saki Zenkoku-hen (Winter)
4. Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol Yatte Mita (Summer)
6. Hanayamata (Summer)
6. Hitsugi no Chaika (Spring / Fall)
6. Free! Eternal Summer (Summer)
6. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? (Spring)
10. No Game No Life (Spring)

Grouping both cour of Chaika together because its timing is convenient like that. Sorameso should end up here, but for the moment I’m leaving off any shows that only just started in Fall. Crazy to think we’re a month and a half away from doing 2014 year in review posts now.

16 Responses to “Fall 2014 viewing update #3”

  1. fred says:

    Any reason why the drop on Kokkuri-san?

    • something something says:

      Explained it when I dropped in the previous update.
      “While I didn’t dislike episode two, I’ve assumed that it was setting a pretty clear formula for the rest of the series. I wanted to cut something given I picked up two new shows this week, and this was the easiest one to justify passing on. I will miss hearing a witty monotone Hirohashi Ryou though. =(”

      I could technically try picking it back up since I dropped another show, but I don’t really feel motivated. The “everyone fights over Kohina” formula was going to get stale for me. I think I’d just be watching it for Hirohash Ryou which, as much as I love and miss her, isn’t really reason enough by itself. I’m pretty content with the lineup I have now.

  2. something something says:

    I got a question on ask.fm that prompted a way too long reply, and I thought I’d link it here since I’ve gotten similar questions in the past. It’s about what shows I watch and why I choose to watch those shows specifically:

    http://ask.fm/somekindofthing/answer/121947272110
    http://ask.fm/somekindofthing/answer/121954469038

  3. hpulley says:

    Importing continuing series:

    Yama no Susume (17 eps): just wonderful, so glad it got a second season much longer than the first. Only sadness is that it looks like this is going to be all they animate but I will rewatch it often.

    Chaika (5 eps): I consider Avenging Battle to be just a continuation, S2V1 might as well be the first volume in the second box. Continues to be an amazing magic adventure series. So good on rewatch as well, such great music and amazing characters and story.

    Considering for import:

    Trinity Seven (5 eps): great music and characters, quite possibly the best harem MC ever and the Trinity Seven are all great too. I may have to order it just on principle as more harem MCs need to be like this and I should encourage it, even though it looks like the sales are going to be terrible and one more foreign sale isn’t going to convince anyone. What’s holding me back? Just that series like this often end up disappointing me in the end, but I need to decide soon as December 19 is not that far away.

    YuYuYu (5 eps): I love a magical girl show and this certainly is a magical girl show. Some great characters and seiyuu. And yet after 5 episodes it still feels like something is missing that is preventing me from pressing “Proceed to Checkout”. Maybe episode 6 will do it… Episodes 1 & 2 made me think of an instant buy but episodes 3-5 have left me wondering what this wants to be, where it will go.

    Girlfriend[Kari] (5 eps): This one came out of NOWHERE, from me watching it on a lark to see what they could possibly do with all those seiyuu/cards from the mobage dating sim and yet it has turned out to be a real favorite of the season. Since it doesn’t start shipping V1 until January I will get to watch the whole thing and decide if I want to import it, which is kind of nice.

    Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (5 eps): Wonderful, wonderful show. Not shipping until February so I have a good long time to decide but from episode 1 I was already thinking this was a sure import. As long as they don’t !@#$ this up, I think this will be an import. Music, animation, character designs, characters, just wonderful all around.

    Out of the running:

    Shirobako (5 eps): I did go back and manage to finish episode 5 but it just isn’t what I want to buy or watch again on so many levels. I really like the character designs and some of its humorous moments are really good but it lacks real characters and it’s interpretation of the anime industry is a little to really warped.

    Akatsuki no Yona (5 eps): I like the characters and the designs, the animation is good, great fights but the plot is so contrived that it is hard to watch and impossible to rewatch. Too bad really.

    Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Oji (6 eps): Very low quality rushed adaptation which is too bad as the music is really good, the seiyuu are doing a great job, I love the characters and story. But this just screams “shoujo manga ad” and is hard enough to watch the first time so I won’t be buying or rewatching this.

    Psycho Pass 2 (5 eps): Sadly this just says, “We said we’d make season 2 but we didn’t really know what to do with it… so we’ll do lots of gore and torture without adding anything good to the thought provoking socio-political questions which made season 1 what it was.”

    Oh… lots more isn’t in the running anymore. Dropped a few shows as well…

    Shorts:

    BonKoi (5 eps): really cute otome cooking short. Episode 5 was really good. Cute designs, nice animation and music but not meant for me.

    HI sCool SeHa Girls (5 eps): cute short but not a rewatcher at all.

    OrenChi (5 eps): Funny but not meant for me.

    2014 top shows:

    Winter:

    Sakura Trick
    WUG (including Seven Idols movie)

    Spring:

    Chaika
    LoveLive! Second Season

    Summer:

    Yama no Susume Second Season
    Locodol
    Sabagebu

    Fall:

    Chaika Avenging Battle

    • rederoin says:

      What happend to Danna Ga Nani?

      • hpulley says:

        Shorts:

        Still enjoying Danna ga Nani… what happened was I got tired of typing… last night’s episode 7 was still good though a little more serious it still had good comedy as well. Not as amazing a short as it once was, I’d say at this point its buy chances are low.

        Speaking of shorts, I am really enjoying Wake Up Girls, ZOO! If they put it out on Bluray or DVD I will have to buy it. Probably the only short I buy this cour unless you count continuing Yama no Susume which is a no brainer.

        More drops:

        I almost dropped Psycho Pass 2 two weeks ago… and after last night’s episode 6 I have really, really dropped it. Just too stupid and contrived for me to watch. All the charm of the first season is gone for me.

        I tried to watch the start of ShiroBako even though I pretty much dropped it last week and it is even more dropped this week, dropped, Dropped, DROPPED.

        TV Shows:

        YuYuYu ep6 wasn’t great. Unfortunately for me this show seems to want to show one small thing for 20 minutes each week. For a single season show that’s halfway through it is just too slow. If it were a pure slice of life cute girls doing cute things show I wouldn’t have a problem with it but it seemed to have a story to tell as well and it isn’t doing a great job there. I’d say its import chances are now very low with that plonker of an episode.

        Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso continues to impress me but… I may be happy with the CDs and the manga, shall see. Still not a lock by any means though I am enjoying it.

        Inou Battle ep6 was alright, some good explanations of things but the show still lacks that buying feeling. I will likely watch it to the end however if I never knew how it ended I wouldn’t be kept awake at night.

        Daitoshokan ep6 is explaining things which is good but… still hasn’t really grabbed me completely either. Would lose no sleep over it if they stopped showing it.

        While Denkigai wa Honya san was WAY more entertaining last night, really funny. Of course onsen episode 7 is usually good and this one had some unique jokes, very well done. Still a cute little show, probably not something I’d buy but I look forward to it each week.

        Movies:

        Bodacious (Mouretsu) Space Pirates – Abyss of Hyperspace was SO MUCH FUN! So rewatchable! All the old characters, great lines, don’t want to spoil but lots of fun stuff, not serious so a good light popcorn movie. While it is sadly the last we’ll see of them animated, it was well done and fun if even more silly than the TV series.

        • Hikari says:

          Could you explain why you dropped Shirobako?

          • hpulley says:

            First, I mostly drop shows “organically” which is to say I find myself watching them and saying, “ug, I really don’t like this…” click, off it goes…

            In this case, it was the CGI vs. key animation stuff which first of all is really boring. The whole, “OMG, we can’t do the end of ep8 with CGI and the start of ep9 with key animation! They’re a continuation of the same scene!” bit is just really boring first of all. It is just like a bad reality TV show with bad drama to try and make a boring situation interesting. Two episodes now of this… which should have taken 5 minutes but I guess they have 24 episodes to fill.

            Next, the CGI vs. key animation arguments themselves are just… ugh.

            Finally, I like shows that are mostly character shows. They have characters that you get to know, and they show those characters interacting, having relationships and so on. There is very little of that for me in Shirobako. It is more of a docudrama, a bad reality TV show about making an anime… which is itself animated. And I hate reality TV shows, Deadliest Catch… oh no, we didn’t get our quota of crab… again! Oh no… the engine’s broken… again! Oh no… the key animation is late… again! Oh no… I said you were doing scenes 5, 7 and 9 but you thought you were doing scenes 2, 4 and 10 and Yamamotosan already did those scenes and he did them in CGI and we wanted them done in key animation, what are we going to do now? Zzzzzz… just boring.

            From the outset I thought the show was going to be about five girls who dreamed about being in the anime industry. Perhaps they’d live in a house together, talk about what they were doing, go out to dinner, karaoke, have some fun, have some tears about their failures, celebrate their successes. But there has been about 5 minutes of that so far in 6 episodes of the show. The rest is just… the daily grind of working for an anime studio and that just isn’t holding my interest.

            But really, I drop shows when they are no longer interesting to me. When I find myself asking myself, “why am I watching this again????” Two weeks in a row this happened with ShiroBako so I think it is dropped for good. It really has nothing in it that would make me watch it again. Do I care if they finish their episode? Or their show? If they do it in CGI or key animation? No, I don’t. I really don’t. Not enough there to get me attached to it.

            I started the season watching over 40 shows, over 40! And I’m still watching 33 of them, can you believe that? And one of the 7 drops is ShiroBako. Others are AmaBuri, Gundam G Reconguista, His-Cool Seha Girls, Twintails, Psycho Pass 2, Garo, plus Sailor Moon Crystal which isn’t a fall series. 33 shows left including OrenChi and BonKoi which are more fun and watchable than ShiroBako because they have characters and aren’t like watching someone go to work…

            Each of the 33 shows I am watching, I am still watching because I enjoy them. Simple as that, really. ShiroBako, wasn’t enjoying it so… dropped.

            • hpulley says:

              Oh, and Terraformars… I dropped that too for being, to me at least, boring, illogical, stupid, with ridiculous amounts of unnecessary “buy the blurays” censorship. I tried to watch episode 3 again today but … again it is just “ug… why am I wasting my time on this???”

              But these are just my opinions. If you like I show I dropped, that’s good! Enjoy it! Watch it! I’m not trying to tell anyone else what to watch. Just saying what I am currently watching or not watching. I watch what I enjoy and I hope you do the same… but I’m not telling you how to watch your anime. Just how I watch mine.

  4. Wade Wilson says:

    I don’t understand Japan. Some shows are really similar to each other story-wise and character-wise but one sells better than the others.. I don’t understand?

    • something something says:

      Superficial similarities can be obliterated by very small quirks of timing, tone, marketing, release model, and so on. Popularity is a strange and unpredictable thing.

    • Everything I’ve looked at suggests that people buy series based on specific characters, storylines, and scenes, which you can’t really replicate exactly short of out-and-outplagarism. Production committees try to aim for demographics that made series hits in the past, but the same story outline and set of character archetypes ends up looking very different under different production staff. We see this even with adaptations of the same series from time to time when they get a full reboot; compare the 2008 Yozakura Quartet series with the 2010 OVAs/2013 series, or the 1993/2000 Jojo OVAs to the 2014 Stardust Crusaders series. Those are examples of the exact same characters/stories being interpreted in two obviously different ways, with two very different sales totals. In both of those cases, the reboots both did better; the averages went like 4240 -> ~10000 (JJBA) and 968 -> 2089 (Yozakura). Most of the time, we only ever get one interpretation of a given story, but I’d be willing to wager most of the series in the Quick View tab would sell at least somewhat differently if someone handed the keys to the franchise to a new team and told them to reboot it.

      And even if you give the same staff a really similar project twice, it’s not like the creators themselves necessarily know who they’ll be popular with when they make things. Taniguchi Goro gave a neat interview a while back where he admitted he was personally very surprised that s-CRY-ed ended up with a majority female fanbase: http://wp.me/p3dDlR-TM

  5. something something says:

    Just as proof that I do like male characters when they aren’t awful, and because I ended up spending way too much time typing this up: http://ask.fm/somekindofthing/answer/122071759534

  6. something something says:

    Since I kept things so short here, I’ll link a reply I did regarding the Yama no Susume girls and why they’re so amazing: http://ask.fm/somekindofthing/answer/122113420718

  7. stardf29 says:

    I can see how the whole CGI vs. key animation thing could get on some people’s nerves, but I thought it was handled really well. More than the philosophies of “is CGI or key animation better”, I think the show is looking more at the reality of the situation in the industry from both sides, with 3DCG becoming more mainstream while key animators seek to maintain their jobs, and how to adapt to the situation. And all things considered, I think the show is ultimately pro-key animation–after all, spoiler: the explosion scene gets hand-drawn in the end–albeit it’s not trying to condemn CGI and is not above learning from its art.

    More than the whole 2D vs. 3D argument, the whole situation was reflective of a greater reality: the need to address current realities, without necessarily abandoning old traditions. That is a theme I can definitely relate to, and that plus the many other themes this show addresses, all under the framework of “the reality of achieving your dreams”, is why I’m enjoying it a lot. I suppose it’s not a theme that resonates with everyone, so I can see why some might be bored of this show, and I can definitely see why this show’s CGI topic might have rubbed some people the wrong way… so yeah, just consider this my own two cents on the show.

    • hpulley says:

      A screen cap of Jiggly Jiggly Heaven with Nico Nico Douga style comments on top from episode 7 made me watch episodes 6 and 7 while I was doing something else. Still not my favorite but I did get through it and maybe they will develop the characters after all. We’ll see…

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