[previous update]

Getting into the home stretch and I’m really close to just having four #1s…

Full Series
1. Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol Yattemita [▲0▼] – 8 eps, 9/10 – [PLANNED IMPORT] Mirai is a perfect addition to the cast! Both as a couple for Yui, and as a way to emphasize Nanako’s growth. We have seen Nanako go from completely lacking self confidence, to being confident enough not just to do her job well and be proud of it, but also to teach a kouhai of her own (sort of!). Oh and of course Mirai is cute as heck.

I’m very happy that the “national debut” stuff they teased didn’t actually do anything to change the intimate, small-scale, “local” feel of the show. Nagarekawa Girls are gaining popularity for sure (if nothing like Uogokoro-ku’s rising star!), but the show is still about the local community and the place in it, and it’s unbelievably charming. Even the “stalker” archetype manager Saori spends the vast majority of her time just being a caring, highly competent, and professional manager.

This show’s ED has become my song to obsessively loop. Too good.

And what’s too bad is the whole thing about the second season just being an infuriatingly badly worded tweet by the Ichijinsha account, as it seems to be referring to the second series of character song albums or whatever. Not that this is paced in such a way to NEED a second season, and I’d like for it to stay more “local” than “idol” because that’s the whole unique charm of the show vs the big mess of idol-themed anime out there, and presumably a sequel would be really tempted to expand the scope too much. But if they gave me more I would eat it up in a second. ::sigh:: Of course it was too good to be true.

I’m really gonna have to ask Uogokoro-kun to dish out some beatdowns.

2. Hanayamata [▲0▼] – 7 eps, 9/10 – [PLANNED IMPORT] Ahhhhhhhh, such brilliant closure to Yaya’s character arc. In episode 2, Yaya accepted the change in Naru. In episode 7, she accepted the change in herself. Both were necessary before she could truly move on and become a member of the yosakoi-bu, and in-between we got some grade-A tsuntsun while she sat on the outskirts of the club. I adore how the story broke through the drama with this bit, which led into the gorgeous emotional release and reconciliation scene. Brilliant stuff! You’re next, Machi, you stand no chance against this! And even less against this. And damn, episode 7 was drowning in great faces. And then on to the Hanairo Festival!

3. Free! Eternal Summer [▲1] – 8 eps, 9/10 – [PLANNED IMPORT] Really just a tie with Yama no Susume but 24 min eps gets an advantage over 15 min eps. Episode six was stupidly fantastic in every way, and I’ve really dug everything since then. Episode 8 was another character-focus episode like Nagisa’s and Rei’s. Those two were the weakest eps this season (though still good!) but I liked this one much better, no doubt because it was Makoto. It also paved the path for Makoto’s likely post-highschool career path, introduced the big Sousuke plot point, and fed MakoHaru shippers some subtle but delicious Haru jealousy. Preview for the next episode is playing up the drama biiiiiig time, so I hope they pull that off well, that could either totally cinch the series of drive it off a cliff. (P.S. Gou is still gorgeous in case you’re blind and didn’t know.)

4. Yama no Susume Season 2 [▼1] – 7 eps, 9/10 – [PLANNED IMPORTD] How can anything be this adorable? Part of me wishes they’d just gone with a cour of full-length episodes, because I feel like the difficulty of maintaining momentum in 15 minute episodes a week apart (and spreading the release across 7 volumes) is what’s hurting season two’s sales so much. But another part of me is just very very happy to know that I’ll have at least some Yama no Susume waiting for me every week for another four months…

Oh and the latest episode had swimsuits and they were cute and yep. Episode 5 was also a really exceptional example of a “two best friends fight over a minor issue” story. Totally by the books in how it progressed, something we’ve all seen many times, and nonetheless executed very well and therefore really enjoyable! Execution is really everything.

I’m so annoyed that CR and the license holders still haven’t worked out whatever the fuck the problem is with eps 2+. It’s just completely absurd at this point. I can very easily watch this show raw, like I just did for ep 7, but come on I really shouldn’t have to. Grrrrr.

5. Barakamon [▲0▼] – 8 eps, 8/10 – The arc with Seishuu’s friends visiting was really solid, if not exceptional. It did do a great job showing how Seishuu has matured as a person, even if he’s still got a long way to go in growing up. I just watched 7-8 together earlier today and it’s still a lot of fun. Ep 8 finally asked a question I’ve been wondering about, but just assumed the show mentioned early on and I subsequently forgot. But I guess it really hasn’t been addressed! And since it didn’t come up in this episode I’m really confused what the answer could be (surely if they were dead this would be the ep to reveal that? Hmmm.)

6. Sabagebu! [▲0▼] – 6 eps, 6/10 – Didn’t get to ep 7 last week, and am not hearing great things about the subject matter in ep 8 so I’m undecided if I’ll continue this show or not. It’s had some great gags, but I think it’s wearing a bit thin for me, maybe? I dunno. It’s not bad or anything, just not the kind of show I can get in the mood for easily.

Short Series
Other than the ongoing Mahou Shoujo Taisen from Spring, not watching any shorts this season. The arc that ended in ep 17 (last I saw) was pretty bad so I’m just going to watch complete arcs from here on, or maybe wait until it’s done and just do them in one go.

Dropped Series
Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!2.5 eps
Momokyun Sword1 ep

3+ Cour Series
Fairy Tail18 eps – More Ultear and Flare please. This arc is uneven, but manages to have good stuff here and there to keep me interested.

Hunter x Hunter143 eps – Not entirely sure what I think about how the pursuit part of the arc ended (expected a bit more fighting!) but so far this arc is among the best material in the whole series. Killua and Alluka are the most adorable siblings. I find myself wishing they’d lopped a good 10 episodes off to Chimera Ant and given them to this arc somehow, but alas, we’re down to just five episodes before the anime ends.

Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken: Stardust Crusaders21 eps – Being Polnareff sucks.

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

Extending to a top 10!

24 Responses to “Summer 2014 viewing update #3”

  1. rederoin says:

    I also updated(4th update for me) after todays Akame Ga Kill episode.

    Half/full length shows
    1. Sabagebu! (AotY materiaal)
    2. Yama no Susume: Second Season. (AotY materiaal)
    3. Futsuu no Joshikousei ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita.
    4. Barakamon
    5. Akame ga Kill! +2
    Episode 8 reminded me of episode 8 of a certain anime by Gainax.
    6. Hanyamata -1
    7. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun -1
    8. Majimoji Rurumo
    9. Kuroshitsuji: Book of Circus new
    10. Zankyou no Terror new

    1. Himegoto
    2. Strange+ S2
    3. Ai Mai Mi S2

    1. Diamond No ace
    The semi-finals where a lot shorter than expected, but its still entertaining to see a baseball anime from the PoV of the ‘elite’ baseball school instead of the underdogs.
    2. Fairy Tail
    3. Jojo P3
    4. HxH
    The chairman election arc has brought it back up again to its old quality.
    5. Haikyuu!!
    6. Space Dandy
    7. Baby steps

  2. hpulley says:

    My imports have already got volume 1 ordered: Sabagebu, Locodol and Yama no Susume, so 2 full length and one short series. (Plus the summer 2013 title, Hanamonogatari, both volumes ordered). These are in addition to the spring series which are still coming out that I am importing, LoveLive!2 and Hitsugi no Chaika.

    About the only other one I’m thinking of is of all things… Blade Dance… Barakamon or Nozaki-kun sound more likely but neither is rewatchable for me which is my main reason for buying.

    But I am still watching 24 full length and 28 shows overall for summer:

    1 Akame ga Kill!
    2 Aldnoah.Zero
    3 Ao Haru Ride
    4 Barakamon
    5 Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
    6 Fate/Kaleid liner Prisma Illya 2wei!
    7 Futsuu no Joshikousei ga Locodol Yatte Mita.
    8 Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    9 Glasslip
    10 Hanayamata
    11 Himegoto
    12 Jinsei
    13 Love Stage!!
    14 Majimoji Rurumo
    15 Momo Kyun Sword
    16 Rail Wars!
    17 Rokujouma no Shinrakusha!?
    18 Sabagebu!
    19 Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
    20 Shirogane no Ishi: Argevollen
    21 Sword Art Online II
    22 Tokyo ESP
    23 Tokyo Ghoul
    24 Zankyou no Terror

    Plus the shorts for which only Yama no Susume is really a must watch, the others I sometimes forget to watch weekly but haven’t dropped as they’re… short:
    25 Ai Mai Mi Mousou Catastrophe
    26 Shin Strange+
    27 Yama no Susume: Second Season
    28 Yami Shibai 2nd Season

    I’m still also watching the two cour series Haikyuu!!, Baby Steps, Mahouka, Captain Earth, Dia no Ace, M3… so I’m watching 34 in total.

  3. Right now my summer pecking order looks like this.

    1. Shonen Hollywood [Importing]
    2. Ao Haru Ride
    3. Nobunaga Concerto
    4. Jinsei
    5. Rokujouma no Shinryakusha
    6. Locodol
    7. P4GA
    8. Barakamon
    9. Free: ES
    10. Hanayamata
    11. Tokyo ESP
    12. Re: Hamatora
    13. Sabagebu

    Also still watching HxH, Jojo, Captain Earth, and Ace of the Diamond from prior seasons, and I picked up M3 (I was curious, and it was way easier to marathon than I thought it would be).

    • hpulley says:

      M3 is not something I will buy but I actually enjoy watching it and the story is interesting. Too bad it had poor marketing.

  4. rederoin says:

    I just wanted to say that you made the rigth choice in dropping Ilya, most of the latest episode was about Ilya and Ilya-2 fighting about that dense red-headed you-know-who.

    • something says:

      All things Type Moon are totally blacklisted for me now, the franchise is clearly a lost cause when even Illya is intolerable.

      • rederoin says:

        Not even a spin-off with Alexander the great/rider & waver?

        • something says:

          Nothing, the whole franchise is dead to me.

          • Progeusz says:

            You could, you know, try out the actually important part of franchise instead of butchered adaptations and spin-off you didn’t know enough about earlier before making such declarations. But well, it’s your own choice to be silly.

            • something says:

              Er, I’ve seen every Type Moon TV series that’s been released so far (though I don’t for the life of me know why!), even Tsukihime. “But the source material is good!” is really beside the point, whether it’s true or not. I’m only interested in anime. I was never interested in and was never going to read the visual/print novels, so they’re just honestly not relevant to my opinion of the franchise. “You should know what the show is like before watching!” is also not true. I actively avoid knowing such things because going in blind is always more fun for me, provided the show is any good. Sometimes it’s not, but knowing that beforehand wouldn’t have improved my opinion!

              If no Type Moon anime had ever been made it wouldn’t improve my opinion of the franchise, it’d just mean I wouldn’t have any opinion at all.

              • Progeusz says:

                There’s a reason why fans of TM go as far as to deny existence of its anime adaptations. Only KnK, CP and F/Z get a pass. And well, currently Ilya.

                >“You should know what the show is like before watching!” is also not true.
                It is. You would avoid your all disappointments related to Kaleid if you learned a bit about it before watching anime. I somewhat knew what I was getting into so I wasn’t too bothered by stuff which you and rederoin found inexcusable because I already knew how things are. Sure, 2wei isn’t Locodol/Hanayamata but I do enjoy it. Some parts only a bit but other parts a lot. After all it’s a spin-off to already existing series and light-hearted “compensation” of sort for what was missing from original game, written by someone else too, so the uneven quality isn’t surprising. The only thing which really bothers me is Illya sometimes behaving out of character which is mostly visible in her relationship with Kuro/Clo/Chloe.

                But as I said, it’s your choice to ignore the source material. I still think you’re missing out and doing yourself huge disservice though because F/SN is outstanding game. Not much can be done at this point unfortunately, I don’t think it’s possible to change your opinion now. It still hurts to see how you hate Shirou when I know that in reality he’s a great main character, but well, you can only see it in the VN. I won’t bother you about playing it though, don’t worry.

                • something says:

                  I honestly do not think that foreknowledge of the show being a collection of the most negatively exploitative cliches that damage yuri in anime would have improved my opinion. It just, at best, would have made me not watch it in the first place. And considering (most of) season one was the only Type Moon anime I’ve really liked, I’d still be left with an overall negative opinion. We’re simply coming from very different places on this.

                  But more fundamentally, I just don’t have an interest in most visual novels. I get you and a lot of other people like it, but I can guarantee you it’s not for me. Even if the mere sight of Shirou didn’t trigger a surge of revulsion in me, VNs are largely unappealing to me outside of cute yuri titles (which barely even exist outside of Sonohana, soooooooo~). Too much time investment for me these days.

                  • Progeusz says:

                    You would know that it istn’t really yuri anime but something with pretty big yuri elements. But yeah, it might make you not watch the show then. Actually, now that I think about it, in this case the love for Shirou is used as comical relief so aren’t the roles reversed here with yuri part being more serious? Similar to how Kuroko obsesses over Mikoto in Railgun while Touma x Mikoto is developed, girls obsess over Shirou (much less often to be fair) while relationships between Ilya, Miyu and Kuro develop.

                    They’re like books but with music, voices, illustrations, sense of interactivity, special effacts. The only real downsides are length and portability but personally I would take F/SN over most of anime seasons. Thankfully I can have both. A shame VNs don’t suit you.

                    • something says:

                      No, there is nothing serious about the yuri in this series. It hints are being taken seriously here or there, but then falls back on harmful tropes such as the yandere stalker, sexual assault as fanservice, and the last-second “plausible deniability” kill switch all the time. I talked about it more in the update where I dropped the show. As far as yuri goes, this show is one of the worst series that could possibly represent it in anime. Just harmful messages and playing up the negative stereotypes all around.

                    • Progeusz says:

                      There is and you disliking it doesn’t change that. It has explicit, fully shown kiss between girls, lolis at that. Something most of so called yuri anime (YY lol) excluding H-OVAs are too afraid to even hint. Only Sakura Trick can compare. Well, it stands above Ilya overall but intensity of kiss scene was higher in Kaleid.
                      Ilya, Miyu and Kuro do care for each other. More than normal friends. Ilya x Miyu relationship happens to be on higher level (and I mean mentally here) than most of relationships in iyashikei anime we love, so there’s also that. Their crushes for Shirou can be easily explained as childish admiration for big brother figure. Your call. Fact is, they’re there to appeal to people who like imouto, not to develop romance. Kaleid Liner wants to appeal to a lot of different people. I just don’t trouble myself with thinking whether Ilya prefers Shirou or Miyu. Scenes with both can be interesting, in different ways. When she’s with Miyu, ithink about yuri. When she’s with Shirou, I think about incest (well, she’s never with him for more than few seconds). There’s no point in getting upset about little things when rest satisfies me. There’s no positive yuri (as in, not just undertones which will NEVER mean anything real) anime except for Sakura Trick. Prisma Ilya has elements and I’m very grateful for that.

                      >As far as yuri goes, this show is one of the worst series that could possibly represent it in anime.
                      That’s where you’re awfully wrong. You completely miss the point due to only caring about anime adaptations. Prisma Ilya never had any intention to represent yuri in anime. However it does have heavy yuri elements and uses them to cater to fans. That is, to fans who don’t get offended easily. Type Moon works have a lot of distance to themselves and the viewer/reader/player shouldn’t be any different.
                      Prisma Ilya is a fun, fanservice-y show full of parodies, focusing on character which for one reason or another didn’t get her route in original game.

                    • something says:

                      The kiss is literally sexual assault. It is filmed with Miyu struggling, violently, and all in extremely voyeuristic fashion. The more I think about it the more terrible it was. That you’d cite this as an example of its yuri cred completely misses the point.

                      I hate this idea that all yuri fans care about is girl on girl action no matter the context. That kiss wasn’t in any way good yuri development, it was raw sexual fanservice of a rather disturbing kind and was not meant to explore characters as “lesbians”. It was just like tit groping in a shower scene in a het romcom. Or since it was shot in such a messed up way, more like an old man groping a schoolgirl on a train, how romantic.

                      “There’s no positive yuri (as in, not just undertones which will NEVER mean anything real) anime except for Sakura Trick.”
                      Need to brush up on your yuri history and definition! They’re not numerous, but there’s not just one show, and in any case Illya is the exact opposite of what the genre wants to be.

                      I mean you keep saying “it’s not a yuri anime/it’s not trying to represent yuri” (unfortunately, that’s not how people view it) and then a paragraph later it’s basically the most yuri anime this side of Sakura Trick. Because of a forced kiss. Errrrrrrrr???

                    • Progeusz says:

                      >The kiss is literally sexual assault.
                      And? That’s what makes it awesome.

                      >It is filmed with Miyu struggling, violently, and all in extremely voyeuristic fashion.
                      Yes. That’s why it’s incredibly sexy and why I said it’s more intense than any kiss scene in Sakura Trick.

                      It seems you require proper yuri romantic relationship in the first place. To me it isn’t necessary. I enjoy yuri in many forms. One girl dominating another is great premise for me. They don’t have to be in love with each other. There’s plenty of cuddly relationships between girls so getting something wilder for once is nice too.

                      >I hate this idea that all yuri fans care about is girl on girl action no matter the context.
                      I’m shocked that you could spout such line. What you said here is very bigoted.
                      Just because I can enjoy it, unlike you, doesn’t mean it’s all I care about.

                      >it was raw sexual fanservice
                      If you’re saying there’s anything wrong with that, that’s just your own personal opinion. I like fanservice. A lot of people do. Prisma Ilya as whole was made with fanservice in mind. That’s the main point. Fanservice of various forms, be it sexual, reference or showing already known and liked characters in interesting situations.
                      Combination of not knowing anything about the character of show and narrow-mindedness is wrong for manga/anime like Prsima Illya which is primarily a spin-off. It can work as standalone series but you have to be open-minded about it. Declaring show is wrong, harmful to the genre and so on just because of some elements you dislike is opposite of that.

                      >and then a paragraph later it’s basically the most yuri anime this side of Sakura Trick
                      I never said it’s the most yuri anime. I only said it has a lot of yuri elements, some of which are heavy (like the explicit kiss which beats anything non-OVA as far as I know) or strong (like Ilya x Miyu relationship – only yuri anime with actual romance are above that. What we see in various cgdct* anime like KinMosa, NNB or GochiUsa isn’t at that level – I don’t declare them to be very yuri anime though [quite the contrary – see “YY lol“] so I don’t get how you could infer that I somehow think Ilya is most yuri just by beating them in this aspect). Yuri anime are very few though so even show which isn’t primarily yuri anime can be remarkable in one way or another. The fact many people (including me) call GochiUsa, which has just undertones which will never amount to anything, a yuri anime says a lot. You know, how I call it yuri anime but at the same time differentiate it from Sono no Hanabira or Sakura Trick which I often refer to as real yuri, actual yuri and so on.
                      *Sorry for using iyashikei in previous comment. It doesn’t fit that well all anime I meant there.

                    • something says:

                      “And? That’s what makes it awesome.”
                      Welp, sorry, stopped reading here, not touching this conversation with a mile long pole. Nothing constructive is coming of it anyway.

  5. stardf29 says:

    Import Tier:

    Yama no Susume S2

    Barakamon has become my personal favorite of the YamaHanaBara trio now for personal reasons, though again, all three are absolutely amazing. The three of them together are pretty much my favorite thing in anime this year.

    And I’ve decided to import Locodol as well, because that show is also ridiculously good.

    Excellent non-import shows:

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Free! Eternal Summer
    Baby Steps

    Nozaki-kun continues to be absolutely gut-busting hilarious. It honestly doesn’t have much aside from its laughs (and an adorable Chiyo), but when a show like this is just so darn funny all the time, I don’t really care. Easily the funniest show of the year, even if not necessarily the best show.

    The sports shows are knocking it out of the park this season (even though none of them are actually about baseball). All three of them have some fantastic character development, with some solid sports action to boot.

    Surprises of the season:

    Rokujyouma no Shinryakusha!?
    Space Dandy

    I mentioned this before but Rokujyouma is just full of heart and that is making me really like it. It’s a rather standard (albeit competently executed) harem rom-com otherwise but there are just so many sweet moments and it’s so easy to like the cast that I’m liking it far more than I had initially expected to. And Space Dandy has gone in all sorts of different artistic directions, and while my opinion of any given episode varies greatly, I find that I really appreciate the entire show as a whole more than the sum of its parts.

    Still watching, still liking:

    Zankyou no Terror
    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya

    Dropped for now:

    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance – Just can’t really get myself to care about this one anymore. This and Rokujyouma were initially going to be my brainless harem shows but with Rokujyouma improving so much I find it even harder to care about this show. Maybe I’ll return to it at the end of the season.

  6. Progeusz says:

    The day has come. Locodol became my #1 of Summer 2014.

    1) Locodol

    2) Hanayamata
    3) Sabagebu
    4) Barakamon
    5) Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

    6) Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya

    7) Jinsei
    8) Himegoto
    9) Sword Art Online II

    10) Majimoji Rurumo
    11) Aldnoah Zero

    • something says:

      A fine choice.

      I’m just very sad to think that it’s really likely 2 of my 4 imports this season (locodol, hanayamata) and not impossible that a third (yamasusu) will all sell less than Sakura Trick. Only Free is obviously safe, and that show’s success is coming from an entirely different demographic. This is becoming a common thing… 2 of my 4 Spring imports sold less than it too (akuma no riddle, chaika).

  7. mosaic says:

    “Would Import If I Had A Job To Pay For These Titles, Also, My Japanese Is Terrible” Tier:

    1) Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun – refreshing, loveable characters, huge re-watch value;
    2) Haikyuu!! (Spring) – my ookiku replacement, lacks sol/bonding scenes to give more depth to the characters;
    3) Barakamon – countryside, sol without little moe girls in the cast (thank god), believable characters;

    Other Stuff:

    4) Diamond No Ace (Fall, 2013)
    5) Zankyou No Terror
    6) Kuroshitsuji: Book Of Circus
    7) Space Dandy: Second Season
    8) Shirogane No Ishi: Argevollen
    9) Hanayamata
    10) Futsuu No Joshikousei Ga [Locodol] Yatte Mita.

    Also watching +20 anime.

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