[previous update]

So I just watched AnR 10 and I’m still unable to process how outstanding it was and I don’t know what to even do with myself anymore so I’ll just update this or something I guess because AHHHHHHHHH!

Full Series
1. Akuma no Riddle [▲0▼] – 10 eps, 9.5/10 – [IMPORTED] Okay, holy shit, unless Sharo and Rize just outright start making out on screen there is no way Akuma no Riddle is anything but #1 of Spring 2014. And at this point, the second best show of 2014. I’m in awe over episode 10. It’s over the top in such a masterfully controlled way. Gloriously, psychotically, shamelessly enjoyable. It’s certainly the best episode of 2014 that wasn’t in a show named Sakura Trick! Everything I could have wanted from a show like this was here, not least of which is [spoilers of course, as in any screenshots] finally this! Oh how long I have waited for something like that. We also get some of the requisite Nio being amazing. And like what the fuck LOOK AT THIS GIRL. I am so excited about where the story is going in the final stages.

And despite what most people probably assume it’s not even the yuri, which there’s really not that much of anyway. I actually don’t think of yuri that much when considering how great this show is. Obviously it helps when we get nice scenes like this, and the show clearly relies on Tokaku’s intense feelings for Haru, but it’s really not a central focus of the show. I think if I liked Tokaku more (she’s pretty decent, but far from my favorite character in the show) I’d be focusing on that angle a but harder, but I’m honestly not sure. At any rate it’s not front-and-center in the way it is for Sakura Trick or InuNeko. Or even to the degree of something like Gochiusa! Akuma no Riddle succeeds on many levels for me, even without having to tap into my yuri love. Even if you don’t like yuri, that’s no problem at all with this show.

Now if only more than like 10 people were buying it. =( At least it’s on track to conclude satisfactorily in the remaining episodes. Three episodes should be plenty.

2. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka? [▲0▼] – 9 eps, 9/10 – [IMPORTED] Last two episodes have finally made this the consistent top 100 (lately top 50) presence in the rankings I was hoping to see. And they’re really good episodes (if maybe not as good as ep 4) so I’m happy about that! From some very sweet material with Chino trying to protect her relationship with Cocoa to more of “Rose” to of course swimsuits (oh my madokami, Chiya!) and some surprisingly sweet material with Aoyama and Tippy (oh yeah and this). It’s week after week of cute, funny iyashikei with enough sweet emotional moments to hold it all together.

3. No Game No Life [▲ 1] – 9 eps, 9/10 – [IMPORTED] Ishizuka Atsuko, could you please refrain from making me even more impossibly hyped for Hanayamata? For those not aware, she’s the director behind Sakurasou (#2 in my 2013 yearly ranking) and this. And she’s being paired up with the best writer in anime, Yoshida Reiko. Combining that with Hanayamata just being right up my alley on principle, when you throw in how exceptional the past three episodes of NGNL have been (a show that has no right being this insanely well-executed!) I’m too excited.

But yes the last three episodes have been gorgeously executed. First you had the end of episode 7 and then one of the most cleverly integrated ED sequences in memory in episode 8 and then literally goddamn everything in episode 9 and I’m watching Ishizuka overseeing what sounds like it should be trash turning into gold. The latest episode should definitely have sold anyone who was still on the fence about how well written Sora and Shiro’s relationship is. They’re becoming one of my favorite brother/sister dynamics in anime. Hell ‘m even starting to think we’re out of the harem danger zone with Kurami because man they’re selling her and Fi pretty hard.

NGNL just insists on doing absolutely everything right lately and it’s won me over completely. Upped it to an import tonight and don’t regret it.

4. Hitsugi no Chaika [▼ 1] – 9 eps, 8/10 – [IMPORTED] Last two weeks have really slowed down, but knowing it’s two cour, I’m okay with that. How many two cour shows are rocketing towards a climax in ep 9? Of course, this is split cour so they do sort of need to end on a high note while we wait for the second half in Fall. I really liked this week’s episode though – new story mechanic introduced, some decent backstory on our protagonists, and nice world-building. I just all-around enjoyed it! Yeah yeah we’re getting the inevitable stirrings of romance between Tooru and Chaika lately (zzzzzzz) but it’s not obnoxious about it yet, even if it’s not ideal. My opinion of Tooru and Akari is increasing as well, if not as quickly as with the rest of the show.

My only real worry is that they end up totally phoning in season two because it’s selling so poorly. I’ve been content with the production so far for season one because while it’s not been the most polished show, it’s been competently executed and featured really interesting action scenes. I’d hate to lose that in the latter half.

5. Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders [▲0▼] – 10 eps, 7/10 – Hey, good episode this week! It’s nice when the stuff that happens actually feels like it hold some significance. The sequence leading up to the major event of this episode was slickly executed, so that was cool.

Short Series
1. Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san9 eps, 8/10 – [PLANNED IMPORT] Only show I’m importing that doesn’t come out in June. It’s still adorably goofy.

2. Puchimas!!50 eps, 8/10 – It’s still Puchimas. I’ll miss it when it’s gone.

3. Mahou Shoujo Taisen9 eps, 7/10 – So that was a cliffhanger. I’m curious if this change in tone is actually going to stick.

Dropped Series
Nothing so far

3+ Cour Series
1. Fairy Tail – Much improved three-way fight among three insanely powerful women, followed by a solid episode this week. I also somehow didn’t see the cloaked person’s identity coming but in fairness I was not paying any attention to them at all lately and they were introduced, what, a year an a half ago for me? I just hate how poor the production values are this season. The first series wasn’t exactly a visual masterpiece but it wasn’t this consistently poorly animated. OH WELL, Fairy Tail is still pretty great despite looking like complete ass.

2. Hunter x Hunter – I don’t even know what to do with you anymore, HxH. I am however interested in seeing how the hell you resolve the current predicament, given how out of whack you’ve let the power levels get. Well I guess the outline of the answer is somewhat obvious and not terribly interesting, but also better than some alternatives maybe I guess…?

Current 2014 Top 5
I guess I’ll keep this updated or something!
1. Sakura Trick
2. Akuma no Riddle
3. Saki Zenkoku-hen
4. Gochuumon wa Usagi Desu ka?
5. No Game No Life

What from Summer has a chance to step in? Yama no Susume s2 for sure, that should be #3 or 4. Free will be awesome but not top 5 level. I’m unreasonably hyped for Hanayamata as I mentioned, but it’s just anticipatory hyped based on how I hope it’ll play out. It has no reason not to be amazing though!

Nothing announced so far from Fall is even on my top 5 radar. Log Horizon is super great but not top-of-year fav. AmaBuri is Takamoto/Gatou/KyoAni of all things but but it’s still a light novel adaptation with a male protagonist so there’s an inherent limit on how high I can set my expectations. Of course, Hyouka meets that definition as well and it’s one of the greatest things I’ve seen in my life, so… For whatever reason though I just have a hard time imagining a Hyouka popping out of AmaBuri. We’ll see!

28 Responses to “Spring 2014 viewing update #4”

  1. Avatar Siliziumleben says:

    I still have to decide if I import No Game No Life. I really like the series and the first volume cover looks great, but I fear that this won’t get a second season and I have no interest in the LN. But if I get enough taxes back, I will probably import it nevertheless.

    Chaika was a locked import as soon as they announced the second season.

    Other locked imports:
    Knights of Sidonia…. because it is a series from Nihei. Too bad it uses CGI for the characters.
    Ping Pong
    Break Blade TV Series Box
    Mekaku City Actors
    Mushishi
    Selector infected Wixoss

    Maybe imports:
    Brynhildr in the darkness

    • Avatar Siliziumleben says:

      Okay, I changed some of my import plans….

      Added:
      – No Game No Life
      I ordered all 6 Volumes at once, but amazon split my shipment and I will receive Vol. 1 next week.
      – Black Bullet
      some nice action scenes and cute little girls….it replaced Brynhildr in the darkness
      I ordered all 7 Volumes in the same order as NGNL, so if amazon does not further split my shipment I will receive that and the rest of NGNL in January… of course I hope for split shipments^^
      -Chaika
      Hopefully also split shipment or I will receive all 6 Volumes in November.

      Maybe:
      – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
      – Akuma no Riddle
      I have not seen the last episode of Akuma no Riddle, which will decide the fate of this import.

      Kicked Out:
      -Break Blade TV Series
      At the moment I just don’t care enough about it. Maybe I’ll get it later.
      -Brynhildr in the darkness
      The last two episodes were just bad and stupid and it never delivered the amount of gore I hoped for…..if amazon has someday a huge discount on it, then maybe I’ll get it.
      -Mekakucity Actors
      The art and animation just get cheaper with every episode….and the CGI opening was some of the worst I have seen in my live….I’ll wait and see if they improve some of the bad art and animations for BD. For now I canceled the pre-order.

  2. Avatar rederoin says:

    You’re not hyped for Fate/Kaleid S2? I’m surprised.
    http://i.imgur.com/Eytncus.png (manga spoiler)

    • something something says:

      I’ll decline on checking out the spoiler, but the very ugly CGI Berserker was downright embarrassing to suffer through compared to the gorgeously animated Saber fight. The real enthusiasm-killer, though, was the utterly unnecessary “dreaming of kissing Shirou” scene (which is further hurt by Illya and Miyu’s relationship vectoring towards some awkward yandere gag nonsense versus something it takes seriously). That went a long way towards undoing all my positive feelings towards the show. I nearly canceled my BDs right then, and I did cancel my manga order. I am willing to give Prisma Illya a chance to make up for that, and will at least start Zwei. But I’m looking at it with a very wary eye, viewing it as a show that needs to work hard to redeem itself in my eyes rather than a show I’m actually excited for.

  3. Avatar rederoin says:

    Full length Spring shows(As of episode 9-10),

    1. Akuma no Riddle(9/10)
    2. Gochuisa(8/10)
    3. No Game no Life(8/10)
    4. Selector Infected Wixoss
    5. JoJo P3
    6. Ping Pong
    7. Soredemo
    8. Haikyuu
    9. Mushishi S2
    10. Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
    ^ All of these are 7/10s or higher, so its a pretty good season together with the long runners.

    Shorts.

    1. InuNeko(8/10)
    2. Puchimass(6.5/10)

    Long Runners,
    1. Diamond No Ace(9/10), This is hand down the best sports anime i’ve ever seen(I’m not counting Saki as a sports anime), it gives me a similiar feeling that Saki gives me. I don’t think we’ll ever see anything better in a sports anime than Sawamura pitching against Raichi. Its hard to tell which of these 2 characters is more hotheaded. They even put most battle shounen MCs to shame with how hotheaded they can be.
    2. Fairy Tail(8/10)
    3. HxH(7/10), the last arc has been a disappointment since the first 3 big arcs.

    • Avatar rederoin says:

      Soredemo & Haikyuu switched and JoJo P3 and Ping Pong switched, but aside from that, this list stayed the same at the end of spring. Although I forgot to include Gakumon! in the shorts.

  4. Avatar shuffleair says:

    I love Sakurasou so I’m glad that you would rank it high up on your 2013 list. Did you ever post a 2013 anime rankings list on the Mania forums? I remember Mania forums died early in the year so I may or may not have seen it. :|

  5. Avatar hpulley says:

    Still definitely importing:

    1. LoveLive! 2nd Season
    2. Hitsugi no Chaika

    I am really enjoying Gokukoku no Brynhildr but a huge, questionable skip of chapters from the manga has me shaking my head and likely not ordering this. Already got the manga and the OST (OP, ED) CD.

    The gorgeous packaging of Gochiusa v1 has me wondering again why I’m not in love with the show. I might buy it anyway… the packaging is just so cute!

    Isshuukan Friends is also skipping though if they do it right… hmm, we’ll see. Still feels like a once’r for me. OP and ED CDs and manga are bought though.

    Akuma no Riddle I am enjoying more and more with later episodes. Episode 10 was just phenomenal. Could it be good enough to buy? Still not sold, Haru did some things I don’t think I want to watch again which is unfortunately a killer for me. Getting the OP and ED CDs however.

    So at this point it is looking like winter and spring will both just be 2 series buys for me only though a few series still have a slim chance.

    • something something says:

      Man you absolutely have to be joking about Haru, that was what this show needed so, so desperately. If that never happened, my opinion of the show would go down quite a lot.

      • Avatar hpulley says:

        No, not being a killer in episode 10. I thought that was an amazing scene and her figuring out how to win there was great.

        In some earlier episodes she acted really helpless, made some choices which put herself and Tokaku into peril perhaps on purpose though they haven’t explained enough about her for me to know… I feel an explanation is coming in these last few episodes… and if so and it explains why she did some of those earlier really dumb things, that could change my opinion of those earlier actions and could even turn me into a buyer.

        • something something says:

          Oh, things in earlier eps, not in ep 10. That makes more sense! Overall I think she’s still a well written character, but they sure did make up go through some questionable decisions in eps 4-9 before the payoff. I am pretty confident they’ll explain things well (and most of the pieces of the explanation are already in our hands, I’m guessing) so I’m pretty positive about where it’s going. I think there are good reasons for why she’s done most of what she’s done. Still doesn’t make some of her earlier passivity any less frustrating at the time, tho.

    • Avatar hpulley says:

      Well, after most series are pretty much wrapped up I haven’t changed my import plans much except to cross off a few maybes.

      LoveLive! Second Season v1 is here already. Chaika v1 should be here next week.

      Gokukoku Brynhildr is about the only real maybe left as both Akuma no Riddle and Seikoku no Dragonar failed to close the deal with their final episodes. SoreSekai I enjoyed and episode eleven had real development but watch again, not really. Soul Eater Not, still in the running and a good last episode… You never know.

  6. I’m actually really excited for where Chaika is going. Episode 9 seemed to be really passively setting up one of those Dai no Daibouken/Fullmetal Alchemist style arcs where everybody relevant is in the same city on a bunch of different missions and their paths cross in a bunch of ways. Love stuff like that, so I’m actually getting my hopes up pretty high for the next 3 episodes.

    So far, my personal ranks for the shows I’m still watching are:
    Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii – 9.5/10
    Ping Pong – 9.5/10
    Puchimas – 9/10
    Ace of the Diamond – 8/10
    Chaika – 8/10
    Stardust Crusaders – 8/10
    GochiUsa – 8/10
    HxH – 7.5/10
    NGNL – 7/10

    So yeah, lots of fun stuff. Almost definitely importing at least one of Ping Pong/Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii.

    • Avatar mk03 says:

      It’s too bad Chaika the light novel will end soon, but it’s good to know that the anime has been well received and is expected to sell well.

      • something something says:

        Chaika is selling terribly though, I never said it was doing well.

        And for me it’s a good thing the novels are ending because there’s no way we’d be getting a split cour series that can wrap everything up otherwise!

      • Avatar hpulley says:

        Well, the interesting thing is that you can already order the last novel, #12 and it comes with an OVA! That will wrap up both the novel and anime though I’ve read it will have somewhat parallel stories so you have to read and watch both for all the details and plotlines. I’m not doing my March 2015 orders for some time but I do have it bookmarked…

        • something something says:

          Guessing the OAD will be backstory or side story, or maybe an extended epilogue “where are they now” kind of thing, depending on how the anime ends? Those all make good OADs.

  7. Avatar rederoin says:

    I would also like to point that one week friends went downhill after that new male character got introduced.

    I didn’t think I could ever hate a character that much, seriously fuck that guy.

    • something something says:

      Every single thing I’ve read about Isshukan over the course of the season has convinced me that skipping it was the right idea for me.

      • Avatar hpulley says:

        Now they’re covering half the ongoing manga in the last 3 episodes as well… ugh. Too bad. They either should have skipped Hajime altogether or given this half the episodes.

      • Avatar rederoin says:

        I’m only watching it for Saki, but that new guy is making it rather hard to keep watching it.

  8. Avatar Nico says:

    don’tknowwhattoimportargh

  9. Avatar Nico says:

    I’ve already decided I’m gonna import Gochiusa, Hitsugi no Chaika and Ping Pong. Seeing as the latter is box only I have spot for 1, maaaybe 2 more shows. I imported Love Live S1 and JoJo S1 so they take priority but then there’s NGNL and Isshukan too. Arrrrr

  10. Avatar Nico says:

    Also Hitsugi vol. 1 shipped o/

  11. Avatar Nico says:

    Also JoJo is 4-cour so no chance of importing that! need edit button ;_;

  12. Avatar Nico says:

    So, err.. ended up with

    Love Live! 2nd Season
    Ping Pong the Animation
    No Game No Life
    Hitsugi no Chaika
    Knights of Sidonia

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