Previous update!

Officially done all 2014 anime that’s ending this year. I’ll do a year in review post a bit later.

As before, I do try to avoid BIG spoilers, or be vague about them, but if you’re more behind on a show than I am, maybe avoid the comments for that one.

Full Series
1. Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru [▲4] – 12 ep / complete, 9/10 – [Imported!] As much as I want to give the top spot to two shows that were so much more consistently good, the final three (to a lesser extent, five) episodes of Yuyuyu were unquestionably the most intense of any show this year. Episode 10 was a twist/reveal of masterful execution, episode 11 was exciting and heartbreaking in equal measure, and episode 12 was perfectly structured to focus on the important part of a story’s ending – not battles (though the first 10 minutes or so are utterly thrilling) but what comes after. It strikes that very satisfying Madoka-like balance of resolving the immediate issue while maintaining a situation that does not result in total victory and peace. In other words, it’s perfectly suited to a sequel that we better see announced ASAP!

T2. Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle [▼1] – 10 ep / complete, 9/10 – [Imported!] As rushed endings go, Chaika’s was about as solid as it gets. My problems with the pacing were somewhat offset by the actual events being perfectly fine. Like, it would have been a perfectly good ending with 2-3 episodes to play out, but the Kadokawa 10 episode curse strikes again. Nonetheless, nine exceptional episodes plus one good but rushed ending sums up to a damn good show.

T2. Sora no Method [▼1] – 13 ep / complete, 9/10 – [Imported!] Whereas Chaika’s ending had to go by at light speed, Sorameso “ended” with two episodes left and then had ample time to actually tell a story with what would, in other shows, be a 15 second post-ED epilogue. I really, truly loved what they did with these episodes, especially regarding the turnaround with Shione.

4. Amagi Brilliant Park [▼1] – 13 ep / complete, 8/10 – [Imported!] No qualms about importing this, because the last two story episodes were top notch. The scene with Latifa under the tree at the end was gorgeous. The strength of the show is still far and away its comedy, but 11-12 delivered on more dramatic material very well (unlike episode 10 which felt a little flat).

5. Log Horizon Season 2 [▼1] – 12 ep (ongoing), 8/10 – Rock solid conclusions to the Akatsuki and Shiroe character arcs. Looking forward to the second half in Winter 2015.

6. Girlfriend (Kari) [▲0▼] – 12 ep / complete, 7/10 – The Christmas episode revolving around Chloe and then the New Year finale were a really lovely way to wrap up the show. In the end, I would have to say my favorite of the girls is the broadcasting club’s Akane, followed by Chloe and her adorable Tange Sakura French.

 

Short Series
None this season!

 

Pre-Fall Series
Yama no Susume Second Season24 eps / complete, 10/10 – [Imported! x2!] 24 was very cute but 23 was the heart and soul of the ending, and it’s one of the most uplifting and beautiful experiences I’ve had with a work of art. Flawless, absolutely flawless episode from start to finish and I get choked up just typing about it. I have zero hesitation in giving this show the 10/10, only the third show in two years to earn one. And starting with Yuyushiki my intent is to buy two copies of everything that rates a 10 (unless the release is massively expensive I guess) so I’ve started doing that.

Fairy Tail30 eps, 7/10

 

Dropped Series
Shirobako5 ep
Gugure! Kokkuri-san2 ep

 

“But the ending needs to be incredibly spectacular to win me over”, I said. And it was, so congrats Yuyuyu, you get Log Horizon’s spot. LH2 is still great, but Yuyuyu will get more out of my purchase than LH2, which doesn’t really need it. That locks down my four imports for the season.

 

Current 2014 Top 10
Saving this for when I think it through for the year in review!

 

Winter 2015 Viewing Plans
These aren’t necessarily listed in order of how much I think I’ll like them, but in order of how likely I am to watch them. The discrepancy comes from external factors like streaming conditions.

Guaranteed
Koufuku Graffiti – This one I’m watching even if I need to watch raw. And I don’t imagine it’d be tough to take raw, minus some cooking terminology going over my head.
Dog Days” – CR should presumably get it again, and given the pure fantasy setting I allow a bit more leeway in the subtitles (presumably it’ll be the same as s2) so I’ll watch for sure.
Jojo Kimyou na Bouken S3 – Watched S2 on CR so I’ll watch S3 on CR.

Potential
Durarara!!x2 Shou – I’m not sure what’s going on with this one, stream-wise. Even if CR gets it again, I’m sure Aniplex will provide the subs, in which case I need to hope for a fansub. Except the fansubbing scene is a complete joke these days, so I dunno what to expect.
Yuri Kuma Arashi – Fuck Funimation. CR has it (on time compared to Funi’s delay!) but only for non-English territories, so the odds of English being included among the subtitle options like Barakamon is exceedingly slim. I don’t know what I’m going to do about this one.
Idolmaster Cinderella Girls – Same as above, but replace fuck Funimation with fuck Daisuki. Also very wary of whether they’ll be dabbling in CGI dancing again like in the film.

Long Shots
Rolling Girls – Fuck Funimation again. Winter is already shaping up to be a horrible season, stream-wise.

Nothing else even looks like a “maybe” right now, but I’ll keep an eye out for pick-ups, especially if the streaming/sub situation goes as badly as it’s looking right now. My excitement for Winter is severely diminished, thanks mostly to two incredibly shitty streaming services that insist on damaging the international streaming market. Funimation and Aniplex are the root of all things wrong with international anime distribution.

43 Responses to “Fall 2014 viewing update #5 (final), and Winter 2015 viewing plans”

  1. Avatar Anonymous says:

    >Fuck Funimation.
    You know that’s not a excuse to not watch a show: fansubs. No, they’re not terrible, CR subs are not top-notch either.

  2. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Shirobako is best anime of the season for me, going to import it.

    Btw is made a worst show of the year(Glasslip) then make a best show of the season(Shirobako) part of PA Works plan?feel like they trolling people.

  3. Avatar hpulley says:

    My final results for imports this fall are (too many, sigh):

    Yuuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru. I loved it from the first two episodes, then was successfully lulled into a false sense of a happy slice of life mahou shoujo series before the incredible final episodes. Probably my favorite mahou shoujo show above Madoka at this point (because of Rebellion, Madoka needs to redeem itself to me). V1 is here! Ordered all volumes.

    Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle. I loved it all the way through and have picked up the 11th novel to read what happened in a flash in the final episode. Terrible, sales, the novel not really getting a boost either, crying shame. V1 is here! Ordered all volumes.

    Ookami Shoujo to Kuroouji. I really enjoyed this from the start, characters, story, music were great and while the animation isn’t top notch the final episode made me love this, it is shoujo anime done right so I just had to reward it with an import. It will sell like dirt but I am going to buy it anyway. V1 is here with box! Ordered first 3 volumes, need to add remaining ones to my orders since this was a really late decision after seeing the final episode.

    Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. Another one I loved from the beginning, better than the manga. Amazing music and animation, love the characters. Ordered the first 5 volumes or so, long release schedule with a late start.

    Shorts

    Danna ga Nani o Itte Iru wakaranai ken: I loved this short and if CDJapan will list it then I’ll add it to my mid-January order. Wonderful stuff, so glad it is getting S2 already.

    Continuing orders from fall:

    The absolutely amazing Yama no Susume Second season. I just watched volume 4, an amazing set of 4 episodes up to #14, incredible, absolutely incredible. I loved the second season and the first season. Episode 24 gets to an important point but man, what a crying shame the rest likely will never be animated. Very sad for that but happy that S2 got as far as it did.

  4. Avatar invalidname says:

    With Yuki Yuna selling so well in JP, isn’t it strange that nobody has announced a physical release here? Maybe the surge in popularity drove up the price of the license? Or maybe it’s one of those “Crunchyroll get all the rights, even the ones they don’t want” deals?

    • Avatar Siliziumleben says:

      Isn’t it somehow licensed by Pony Canyon US? As far as I know there wasn’t a DVD/BD announcement, but Pony Canyon US wanted to distribute some of their own stuff on disc. Maybe we see an announcement in the near future.

      • Avatar hpulley says:

        The Ponycan US site still says very little and no updates recently there or on their twitter account (last tweet, December 21). YuYuYu and Denki-gai are listed as the the “two new series” but so far all it does is point you to Crunchyroll to stream them, it doesn’t list any plans for physical releases. Not sure if they are checking streaming numbers first before deciding on a physical release or what.

        • Avatar Siliziumleben says:

          Yeah, I know.
          But there is a slight chance that they will distribute them as they said they wanted to enter the NA market. Considering this and assuming they have the international rights I can’t see why they would let anyone else distribute their titles.
          Maybe the streaming numbers were really bad and they don’t think it will make a profit.

          I hope they will release them, because I just didn’t like them enough for a japanese import, but enough for a slightly cheaper AoA style release.

          • Avatar hpulley says:

            I doubt they will copy the packaging for a cheaper NA release and for me at least the packaging is half the fun! No chance of a localized PC game either…

            • Avatar Siliziumleben says:

              Of course not, but that is nothing I expect from a NA release.
              I thought AoA style release implied that I only expect a nice slipcase/chipboard box with standard BD cases, soundtrack, postcards at maybe half the price of the 6 japanese singles (let’s say 150 Dollar).
              Not as fancy as a japanese release, but when the audio and video is really good then I would be satisfied with this as a workaround for series I did not enjoy enough for a japanese import, but enough to support it a tiny little bit.

            • Avatar Jim says:

              Well let’s give them some time. The season ended less than two weeks ago, and I haven’t seen any NA release plans announced yet for any of the fall shows other than Fate/Stay Night. Even for that one, Aniplex only announced plans to make imported copies available once it’s released in March (no doubt they’ll announce a proper localized release later – that’s what they typically do). And since Pony Canyon is a brand new distributor, we have no idea what to expect from them yet – how efficient they’ll be about making those kind of announcements, or what their business and sales model is going to look like either.

              I do have a question, though, since you bought an imported copy of the show. Does the BD have an English subtitle track, or is it strictly raw?

    • Avatar Siliziumleben says:

      Press release concerning a deal between rightstuf and Pony Canyon;
      http://www.rightstuf.com/site/main/news/individual/FT0000007513.html

      April release of Yuki Yuna and Denki-Gai. Probably more details on packaging etc. once the pre-order goes up.

      • something something says:

        Must not be a complete set, Yuyuyu will only be on Vol 5 in Japan by April. Can’t imagine they’d shoot themselves in the foot by releasing the end of the show outside of Japan first.

  5. Avatar hpulley says:

    If it inspires you to watch it at all, something, the Sakura Trick mangaka was so shocked by the yuri in the OP and episode 1 of YuriKuma that he couldn’t hold his pen straight, said so on his twitter account…

    • something something says:

      Yeah I follow Tachi on twitter and her livetweeting was cute.

      My issue isn’t willingness to watch it but questions over how I would. CR streams in a little over an hour but the chances of one of the sub languages being English like with Barakamon is dreadfully slim, so the situation is still kinda shit. Maybe I’ll watch raw, maybe one of the handful of not-shit fansubbers will pick it up, I dunno. I’m refusing to get excited either way right now.

      (Btw, Tachi is a woman!)

      • Avatar hpulley says:

        Now that I didn’t know… very interesting… puts some things in a different light! Darned pen names… guess I’ll have to read the afterwards, see if I missed something, writing pattern or something.

        I will watch it raw for sure and if HD is available first on Funimation then I will watch it there even though I hate hard coded subs. Too bad no Quebec this time, since I’m in Canada for some shows I can watch them on Crunchyroll if I set my language to French (and then turn the subs off as my Japanese is better than my grade 10 French) but no such luck on YuriKuma it seems.

        • something something says:

          Her pixiv profile says female. But I’m pretty sure it’s just a known thing in general. She’s also the one who requested some camera focus on thighs in the Sakura Trick anime. Kudos to her.

          • Avatar hpulley says:

            Back to YuriKuma… watched it. Interesting but not what I expected and so far at least, not a real favorite or even something I need to watch. Will try ep2. Artistically it is unique, charadesigns too. Funny but … hmm. Not looking like something I’d buy, certainly no Sakura Trick to me, more of a gag concept show.

  6. Avatar mangamuscle says:

    You could get a VPN service to bypass the funimation US blockade.

    • something something says:

      I live in the US. It’s not for region exclusivity that I hate Funimation (though that’s always shitty too).

      • Avatar mangamuscle says:

        I mention VPNs because yurikuma will be streamed in Europe by crunchyroll and there is a chance they would include an english subtitle (I read somewhere that about 70% of Belgium citizens are proficient in english).

        • something something says:

          CR is only doing Spanish, French, and German. The only time (that I know of anyway) they’ve done English subs for a non-US/UK license was Barakamon, unfortunately. I’ll be checking out asenshi’s release eventually, just haven’t had time yet.

  7. Avatar Anonymous says:

    >2010 + 5
    >Anyone caring about spoilers
    What bizarro world am I in right now?

    • something something says:

      I’m getting really tired of your “lol spoilers don’t matter nobody cares” attitude. It’s demonstrably false, many many people care about spoilers, and caring about spoilers is entirely logical given how many stories rely on deliberate control and gradual release of information as a storytelling and tension-building device.

      I don’t have any interest in whether spoilers matter to you personally. I really, really don’t. Any further comments about it will be deleted.

  8. Avatar hpulley says:

    Not looking like much to buy this season. Koufuku Graffiti for Shaft SOL, maybe Dog Days” or Drrr!2 but never bought S1 of thosr, outside shot for Absolute Duo perhaps but beyond that? Still early days but looking like a light season which is good since I overdid it a bit for fall.

    Outs

    • Avatar hpulley says:

      Outside shot maybe on Junketsu Maria but really nothing definite. Feels like I should buy Koufuku Graffiti but even that one hasn’t blown me away.

      • Avatar Siliziumleben says:

        I wanted to import Junketsu Maria, but I am a little bit underwhelmed by the BD packaging and the storage box is also an animate exclusive. I really liked the first episode, but I will wait and watch some more episodes and then decide if I have to grab the JP singles or just wait for the german singles.

        • Avatar hpulley says:

          Yeah, not even a digipak for Junketsu no Maria is pretty disappointing. Just seems to be a booklet and an illustration book for bonuses and an illustrated jacket at least. I have bought series in the past which were that sort of limited packaging but only on rare occasions. Cute show after one episode but may not be one to buy. OP ordered already.

    • something something says:

      Looking like Koufuku, Dog Days, Imas, and then a tossup for me. Drrr if it’s good enough to overcome how expensive it’ll be, or Yurikuma if it doesn’t fall prey to any of the ways it could go wrong. But those first three are pretty much locks barring some disaster of universal proportions.

      • Avatar hpulley says:

        Koufuku’s first episodes are really good, Dog Days” first 2 episodes as well. It seems the Dog Days and Dog Days’ singles are still available.

        DereMas, episode 2 was pretty underwhelming for me so I’m still on the fence with that one.

        Drrr2 Shou ep1-2 really good but since I didn’t buy season 1 I’d essentially be looking at buying 5 cour unless I just want to get x2…

  9. Avatar Anonymous says:

    Love Yoru no Yatterman first episode, maybe it will get Gatchaman crowds sales.

  10. Avatar Mr. Peter says:

    Man, Rolling Girls is such a visual treat especially if you love the latest Yozukura Quartet incarnation. God, I hope that sells well. It’s not going to look good for ANYONE for Wit Studio doing a cute girl show aimed for otaku and ends up failing unlike their other shows in which the female fans bought more into.

    Yuri Kuma Arashi I have a feeling is going to criticize against Class S, yuri fanboys who rely on delusions, and fake yuri fans who only think girl-on-girl action is yuri. Very fascinating show.

    Surprised on the other stuff like Maria, Death Parade, and Yatterman. Hell having FUNimation give a real competition towards Crunchyroll this season was the biggest surprise. Even the pricing plans is damn attractive.

    • Avatar hpulley says:

      Rolling Girls is at 3500 rank right now. It is going to sell like dirt sadly.

      Yuri Kuma my biggest complain is the amount of repetition. It is very artistically, stylistically done but episodes 1 and 2 were very similar to me. I hope it gets more interesting. Neat concept, could be fun but… it repeats scenes more than The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

      Yes, I know not everyone likes Funimation but their yearly membership, especially the new sub-only deal is quite good. They have really stepped up their game lately. For me at least their streaming works a lot better than Crunchyroll right now. Lately I have to restart shows a zillion times on Crunchyroll but never on Funimation.Hard coded subs are unfortunate and they sometimes overdo the contrast so the dark and light areas are messed up but honestly since I buy everything I like to watch on imported Bluray anyway, that isn’t too important to me. I subscribe to both and watch whatever is most convenient for me, live, nosub, Crunchy or Funimation.

      • Avatar Progeusz says:

        If video quality is youtube-from-five-years-ago-tier, it’s easier to maintain stable connection. Until they learn how to encode (Yurikuma is meh and Absolute Duo looks atrocious), use softsubs and about font styling, any sign of them gaining strength will be equal to dark clouds gathering over anime in my eyes.

        • Avatar hpulley says:

          My network is definitely not the issue. I just need streaming to work. Every site works except Crunchyroll and turning it down to 480 or SD doesn’t help. Their streaming just is the worst at the moment. Their tech support just wants to “test my connection” which is a joke since everything else works and my speed tests show it is fine. Their stuff used to stream properly but no longer and I’m not the only one who sees this.

          Streaming that’s smooth is the most important thing to me. Honestly as long as it doesn’t cut out, I don’t care as long as I can hear the audio cleanly. Visual is secondary. Funimation’s player buffers unlike Crunchyroll which likely helps.

          I guess we’ll find out if their average customer is as sensitive to it as you are, or happy to get it to stream smoothly like I am.

        • something something says:

          Funimation’s existence is pretty dire for streaming. They’re undoing so much of the progress made in streaming over the past few years. One can only hope they overbid this season and lose a lot of money and pull back in the future, or that CR just got really conservative for the moment because they’re moving office and such, but I mostly just imagine it’ll get worse.

      • Avatar Mr. Peter says:

        “Rolling Girls is at 3500 rank right now. It is going to sell like dirt sadly.”

        WHY, OTAKU?!!!

        Don’t tell me Kancolle and Idolmaster stole a lot of their attention. Too much like Kill la Kill or bad memories of Yozukura Quartet?

        • something something says:

          I don’t see why any of the 10 people who bothered to watch YZQ (Hana no Uta I assume you mean) would have bad memories of it. The problem with most shows that don’t sell is not “people hated it” but “people didn’t watch it”. If a show is known enough to be widely hated, it generally also got enough attention to have a fanbase.

        • Avatar hpulley says:

          Rolling Girls v1 comes with a nice character designer tanu drawn all volume artbox and slip case too. Really cute artwork. Too bad. Up to 1322 after the latest episode but will still sell like dirt.

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