Fall 2014 Anime

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Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 9 Sep 2014 - 21:20

With most summer shows crossing into the final run, it's time to start thinking about Fall's offerings, which frankly right now looks mostly dull and formulaic, though I guess it's the only way the industry can crank out three dozen shows a season. I'm not interested, much less excited, by anything I've read in the current fall listing, which sound more like a fail listing.

http://angryanimebitches.com/2014/09/fall-anime-2014-preview/

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by PolosElite23 on Tue 9 Sep 2014 - 21:30

...yeah...It looks like a flop.

I think I spotted one I'm defiantly watching (Log Horizon II Taer?) the rest....no thanks really? I may add one or two, but...nothing is very interesting.

I think I'll take this season to beat down on the list of older anime I've yet to watch...

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I am the captain of my soul.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Alfisti on Wed 10 Sep 2014 - 4:26

There are one or two things there I'll likely have a go at. Season 2 of Psycho Pass for sure... though it may be an "end of season binge watch".

I did take a look at the PV for Terra Formars as well and, well, the big mutated bugs... all I could think of was:


Also, the thing on the head of the front girl in Yuuki Yuuna is reminding me of President Aria.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by boomer_gonz on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 3:15

When the dull gets formulaic, the formulaic gets dull, and the chickens are crowing while the cows are turning in the pasture...it's always best to stereotype your seasons...like I do. sweat
Incoming!

When it comes to the Fall, it also happens to fall under my favorite holiday...American Halloween!!

So with that I'm on the the hunt for the scary, spooky, and just plain weird. Without further ado, I'm looking forward to...

Fate/Stay Night (2014)
-Considering that I have yet to indulge in any Fate/Stay media, I'll consider this my primer. Incoming!

Grisaia no Kaijutsu
-Seriously...this never goes as planned and I always love it. XD

Gugure! Kokuri-san
-A summoning anime with cup ramen as a supposed center...this could be interesting.

Kiseiju: Sei no Kakuritsu

-A school centered suspense-thriller...it's about damn time.

Mushishi Zoku Sho 2

-Just heard about this so I may need to marathon the series in RT if it makes the grade. sweat

Seven Deadly Sins
-I...don't know about this one, but the art looks nice, so I'll give it a shot.

Psycho Pass 2
-So far I hear teh gud feelz about this series, so I may marathon the first season if it makes the grade.

Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
-It's been a while since I've seen a supernatural harem piece so here's to hoping this one breaks the usual harem mold.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sun 14 Sep 2014 - 17:48

Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo

I'm a sucker for underdog stories (which is probably the only reason why I'm still watching Irregular at Magic High School ...now that it has turned into a total dog.) and mecha shows, so I'll at least give this one a few episodes.

Excitement: Medium

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Denki-Gai no Honya-San

This show doesn't thrill me so much as it as me wondering if female-mangaka-assistants is the next new genre...

Not planning to watch it, though.

Excitement: Zero

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Fate/Stay Night (2014)

I dunno.  Is there something about the first show that I'm missing (aside from a very top-heavy blond?)  It seemed rather basic and blah the first time around.  I may watch this, but, if so, it's only so I have something to talk about in chat and on the forum.

Not thrilled.

Excitement: Low

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Gundam: G no Reconguista

Sigh. It's Gundam, so I'll give it a try.

Moving on...

Excitement: Low

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Inou Battle Wa Nichijou-Kei no Naka De

The part about "they were expecting superheroic battles and didn't get any" has me curious. These days, over-the-top battles are so over-the-hill.

Excitement: Medium

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Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu

Psychological sci-fi horror?  Aliens among us?  Sounds like a winner to me

Excitement: Medium-High

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Log Horizon Season 2

Yes.  Nothing more needs to be said.

Excitement: Low Earth Orbit

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Psycho Pass Season 2

Yes, please.

Excitement: ICBM apogee (sub-orbital, but barely)

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Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

It's Studio Ghibli, so I'm on for this.

Excitement: High

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Selector Spread WIXOSS (Second Season, but they didn't say that in the title)

This was a pass for me until one of the reviewers here said that it was more of a mindjob than PM3.  Okay, it's worth a watch.

Oh, and I'm going to binge on Season One until either I finish, or it loses me.

Excitement: Medium-High

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Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Here's something you probably didn't know about me: I discovered recently I like musician anime after enjoying La Corda d'Oro.  I'm on for this one as well.

Excitement: Medium

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World Trigger

Looks like a possible Black-Bullet-ish "we're going to use the other-dimensional invaders' magic against them".  Worth an episode or three.

Excitement: Medium-High

===

It's going to be a brutal season...

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by MP5 on Tue 16 Sep 2014 - 21:54

Grisaia no Kaijutsu
-Seriously interested in seeing how well this follows the source material. I saw playthroughs of the VN, and it's not as serious as it actually sounds based on this description they gave.

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-I AM SUPER HYPED FOR THIS! FIGHT ON, SOHOKU!

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 28 Sep 2014 - 14:41

Crunchyroll is starting to pick up the new season. Terra Formers is first to air and while I have no interest in it, based on a review of the first episode it looks like it might be killing characters left and right so you may want to give it a shot, taerkitty. Wink

Also up is Karen Senki, which is a take-off of The Terminator with young Karen being the leader of a resistance group against the machines who have enslaved humanity. Unfortunately, it is uses craptastic CG to tell the story, so not going to bother.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sun 28 Sep 2014 - 22:14

I don't like rampant character death.  That was one of my complaints about Attack on Titan - the show killed characters as an exercise in gratuitous violence.  I suspect it is to appeal to those who want to show how 'hardcore' they are by being able to watch meaningless crap like that.

Still I'm off to watch it.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sun 28 Sep 2014 - 22:19

Hm, the protag seems to Hulk out when he rages hard.  I loathe "I just need to rage harder!!!" type heroes.

And everyone seems to be playing games with the streams - one freezes at 11:42, another won't advance the video stream to that point even though the audio plays just fine.

Not going to bother unless it shows up someplace where i don't have to put up with this crap.

===

Yeah, I remember watching the PV for Karen Senki.  I decided to skip it, not because of the CG (which isn't anywhere near as good as RWBY, which I'm passing on because it has no freaking story), but because it looks to be pandering to the gun-otaku and the short-skirt otaku with very little plot.  Some of the dialog in the PV sound like they might have something interesting to say about killing your creator, but the rest of the PV makes it look like that philosophical angle is given very little time.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Sat 4 Oct 2014 - 20:24

One of my big things for this season is running a 10th Anniversary watch and discuss for Mai-HiME on Animesuki.  Mai-HiME is one of my all time favorite anime series as well as a show that I believe has influenced a lot of newer series (though it was also influenced by even earlier shows).

My Promotional Summary of Mai HiME
Spoiler:
Mai Tokiha and her sickly younger brother Takumi have received scholarships to attend a prestigious private academy on the Island of Fuka. While en route to the island, Mai helps revive a drowned girl clutching a large sword and witnesses a highly destructive battle between the girl she saved and a mysterious intruder, both of whom fight with strange powers. After arriving on Fuka Mai begins to learn the truth behind why she was brought to the island –she is a HiME, one of twelve girls who have been granted magical powers. Supposedly the HiME have been gathered on Fuka to fight monsters from another world called Orphans, but as one of the less trusting HiME opines, that probably isn't their real purpose. Unsure of whether to trust her benefactors but resolving to protect her brother and her new friends, Mai reluctantly takes up the fight. But does she really know what she’s getting herself into? And does she –or any of the other HiME- truly understand what it means when they’re told they must risk the one thing that’s most important to them?

If any of you are interested in joining in, discussion is still on the first episode.  (Discussion for episode two will start on October 7 -I'm starting discussion for each episode on the tenth anniversary of its original air date.)

Aside from various sequels and carry overs such as Argevellon, Chaika: Avenging Battle, Log Horizon 2, and Sword Art Online II, there are a few new series I'm interested in.  Here are a few of the top ones.

I'm very interested in Amagi Brilliant Park since the source novels were written by the same author as the novels Full Metal Panic was based off of.  I might have preferred it if the show was strictly a comedy about an amusement park rather than having fantasy elements (one of the characters is a blind princess from a magical kingdom that needs the park to draw visitors so they can use it as a power source) but I loved Full Metal Panic so I'm eager to give this series a shot.

Akatsuki no Yona may be a shoujo series, but it actually sounds like something I could like if its done well.  I'm not adverse to seeing a spoiled Princess take a level in badass (or at least a level in character development). Razz

I've heard good things about the source material for Madan no Ou to Vanadis.  So far I'm not outrageously impressed, but I'm not inclined to call it "hackneyed and cliched" like another recent fantasy anime with a strong harem element.  It's got some very "anime" elements but it's also got some more serious ones.  I like both leads -Ellen could stand to be a bit less of an "anime girl" but at least she's not an obnoxious tsundere. (Note: I said at least she's not an obnoxious tsundere.  While Ellen is not a tsundere at all I'd like to note that well written tsunderes are awesome.)

Oh, I also watched Gundam: Reconquista in G.  There are things I liked about it but there are aspects of the setting that I find very ridiculous.  Also, I realize she's supposed to be suffering from memory loss that Monday girl really needs to develop more of a vocabulary. sweat (Granted she seemed to be making some progress in that regard towards the end of the second episode.


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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sat 4 Oct 2014 - 20:38

I just watched In Search of the Lost Future and found it promising.  It's at once slice-of-life, at once teenagers being ridiculously OP, and has a potentially-interesting sci.fi aspect to it.  Right now, EP 1 has me very confused, but in a good way - I'll give it another episode or two to see what it does with itself.


Selector Spread WIXOSS seems to have restarted.  I'll have to give that a try.  Looks like it has a new OP, yet some of the characters from S1 that were supposedly written to their endgame still appear, so it might be interesting to see what happens.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Mon 6 Oct 2014 - 0:30

Okay, the ending to the first episode of Cross Ange was uncomfortably exploitative, which is a shame since despite being ridiculous and over the top at times the earlier parts of the episode had left a relatively positive impression.

Warning of What to Expect if You Watch
Spoiler:
Seriously, who thought that it would be a good idea to have a scene of the main heroine getting assaulted and anally raped by a sadistic lesbian dominatrix?

To be fair there are people who don't think the scene was being played for titillation, but I'm not one of them.  Uggh.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by PolosElite23 on Tue 7 Oct 2014 - 16:18

@Piero wrote:Okay, the ending to the first episode of Cross Ange was uncomfortably exploitative, which is a shame since despite being ridiculous and over the top at times the earlier parts of the episode had left a relatively positive impression.

Warning of What to Expect if You Watch
Spoiler:
Seriously, who thought that it would be a good idea to have a scene of the main heroine getting assaulted and anally raped by a sadistic lesbian dominatrix?

To be fair there are people who don't think the scene was being played for titillation, but I'm not one of them.  Uggh.
......

My reaction:

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In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
----
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Tue 7 Oct 2014 - 16:26

Yeah, Cross Ange is not worth my time either.  Far too much fanservice, and utterly predictable first episode.  Everyone is utterly stock and stereotype.  The list of writerly sins goes on and on.

Log Horizon looks to jump to some other part of the LN series.  For those following the LN, the next arc deals with a killer that seems to permanently remove PCs.  Maybe they were worried it was too similar to SAO (which it's already being compared to) so they punted that plot arc.

The new one seems to jump right into the action, starting from when they're in the thick of battle, and we see a lot more of Kanami.  She's the girl in the modified Chinese cheongsam that shows up in S1 OP but only in brief flashbacks of the Debauchery Tea Party in S1 itself.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Tue 7 Oct 2014 - 22:30

If you like the idea of a fallen princess turned badass story but would prefer to pass on the violent sexual abuse, try Akatsuki no Yona.  The first episode didn't blow me away, but it was decent enough, and supposedly the first chapter is the weakest part of the source manga.

I'm not entirely sold on Amagi Brilliant Park after the first episode but I'm interested in seeing where it goes.

At this point I'd say those two are among the more promising shows this season.  Well I guess there's also the new Fate/Stay Night anime which seems to be off to a pretty solid start with its double length "Episode 00."

Well, if there aren't many good shows this season maybe I'll end up getting more people for my Mai-HiME 10th anniversary event. Razz

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Tue 7 Oct 2014 - 23:35

At risk of threadjacking this, I didn't really like Mai-HiME.  It was too trope-y, and the ending just plain didn't make any sense to me.   I appreciated that it actually killed off long-running characters, but I didn't see how/why it brought them back in the end.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Wed 8 Oct 2014 - 1:22

I think it's deliberately trope-y.  The writer seems to like to play around with anime cliches and conventions (and sometimes indulge them).

Its also surprisingly well constructed.  The dramatic twists generally aren't pulled straight out of the writer's ass.  Even that cop out ending was being set up several episodes in advance of when it actually happened.  Plus there are all sorts of little details scattered through the show that take on greater significance in light of later events.  I was able to pick up new things even after rewatching the series multiple times.

But ultimately I think the show's greatest strength is its characterization.  It does a fantastic job of bringing its characters to life and it pays a lot of attention to their motivations and what makes them tick.  The final third of the series essentially runs on characterization, much of which was established during the lighter early parts of the series.

Okay, that's probably enough fanboy gushing for the time being. sweat But basically, I have no trouble taking Mai-HiME seriously (its ridiculous elseworld pseudo-sequel/spirtual successor Mai-Otome is a whole different kettle of fish -that one I do have more trouble taking seriously).

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sat 11 Oct 2014 - 10:22

Been too busy with work and vacation to see anything from this season as of yet (beyond the second half of Yama no Susume Second Season), but based on ANN's Preview Guide and Fall Anime Podcast, I have loaded the following into Crunchyroll / torrent client to give a shot:

Celestial Method
Gugure! Kokkuri-san
Parasyte -the maxim-
Shingeki no Bahamut - Genesis
SHIROBAKO
Your Lie in April

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Sat 11 Oct 2014 - 13:18

Parasyte looked promising in the writeup, but the execution looks distracting. Too much superficial body horror, which leads me to fear too little plotting.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Mon 13 Oct 2014 - 18:50

I tried out Shirabako and Your Lie in April.  The focus on the group of cute girls at the beginning of Shirobako seemed kind of pointless, but the stuff dealing with anime production was kind of interesting. Not sure if the two are going to jive very well together if the whole series is a mix of both.  I was led to believe that Your Lie in April had serious drama chops which may explain some of my dissatisfaction with its first episode.  Lots of humor involving characters acting crazy and spazzing out.

At this point my top picks from among the new shows are Akatsuki no Yona, Amagi Brilliant Park, and Fate Stay/Night: Unlimited Blade Works.  They could got the way of a lot of shows I've ended up liking that have bombed out in the long run, but for now they seem promising.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 14 Oct 2014 - 10:36

Celestial Method | Sora no Method - Episodes 01 and 02



The story begins one winter day when the wish of a few girls was realized with a miracle, changing the landscape of a town. "In the skies above this town, a disc is always there.”

An original story by the main writer of the Key visual novel Kanon, I was 100% committed by the end of the first episode.

 

Gugure! Kokkuri-san - Episode 01



A little girl named Kohina ends up summoning a Kokkuri-san, a lower-ranking ghost in Japanese folklore. The Kokkuri-san she calls ends up being a white-haired handsome, young man. Although he had intended to merely haunt her at first, he becomes worried about her terrible eating habit of cup ramen for every meal, so he decides to haunt her in order to protect her.

Based on a 4-koma comic strip, each 24 minute episode is a string of comedic sketches that form a loose narrative. Essentially, each sketch is Kohina trolling Kokkuri and I admit to not finding the show very funny, so dropped.



Your Lie in April | Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - Episode 01



Kōsei Arima was a piano prodigy until his mother died when he was eleven years old. The shock of losing her made him lose any interest in piano, and his life has felt monotonous ever since. Then, when he's fourteen, his childhood friend Tsubaki introduces him to her classmate Kaori, a free-spirited violinist. Her enthusiasm reignites his interest in music and in life.

The romantic-comedy/drama trope this show will follow is a very well-worn one: boy has since-childhood girl friend who has developed feelings for him and is ready to take their friendship to a more mature and personal level, but boy meets new girl whom he falls for and love triangle ensues.

Because it is such a well-worn trope, and I find the character designs a bit horrific, I probably won’t stay with it. 

Note - i was kind of surprised that not one reviewer or blogger got the direct reference to Tenkū no Shiro Laputa when Kaori was playing “Hato to Shounen [Pigeons and a Boy]” on top of the kids playground. Then again, I would not be surprised if none of them were even born prior to 1986 when Studio Ghibli released the movie. sweat
 
 
 
When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace | Inō-Battle wa Nichijō-kei no Naka de - Episodes 01 and 02


Six months ago, the five-member literature club all awakened superpowers. Unfortunately this has not led to them having anything else interesting happen in their lives, like epic battles or saving the universe. They go about their ordinary lives, just happening to have superpowers, waiting for the call to battle to finally happen - assuming it ever comes at all.

Studio Trigger’s first non-original work (it’s an adaption of a light novel series by Kota Nozomi), it’s just as awesome as their own stuff. Plus it has a solid budget behind it. Definitely watching this one.


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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Tue 14 Oct 2014 - 10:42

Log Horizon S2 is off to its usual slow start.  This show has a lot of world-building (read that, ID?) and a lot of tell-don't-show.  As an amateur author it's actually quite cringeworthy how the narrator uses actual visuals (think PowerPoint slides) to tell us how a full raid works, etc.  It does re-introduce a character from S1 in a terrific way by E2.  Given the payload from last season's E20 (which might have been a great place to end the season, and not limp on for another 5 episodes of essentially slice-of-life), I'll be following this one to the end.

Fate/stay Night E0 is a double-length episode.  From it and the PVs, this looks to be a multi-perspective view on the story, which may be good if all sides are equally compelling.  If not, I will find myself crawling the walls waiting for them to get back to the better character perspective(s).  Oh, well.  It's a risk.  The first 20 minutes are pretty low-key.   They show the main character's everyday life, but do slide in a few bits to show that her life isn't 100% normal.  The "meet your Servant" sequence is very unexpected and novel, which has me favourably disposed toward this show.  The second half of the show is the obligatory battle, and it's done competently, though I found it boring - you can't kill off one of the Servants this early, so we know the ending will be inconclusive.  However, it's worth watching, if only for how it inconclusively concludes. Smile

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 14 Oct 2014 - 15:03

Parasyte -the maxim- - Episode 01



Shinichi Izumi is a normal high school boy whose right hand has become infected with an alien parasite that names itself "Migi" ("right"). Migi is the first parasite to develop a symbiotic relationship with its host, as he and Shinichi slowly develop a grudging friendship. Migi isn't the only Parasite on earth, however, and as cases of Parasites killing humans begin to emerge, humans seek to kill off Parasites. Shinichi and Migi find themselves caught in between these two sides of the struggle over planet earth.

Intriguingly disturbing. Added to the Watch List.
 
 
SHIROBAKO - Episode 01




A "shirobako" refers to the white box into which a finalized tape of a film is put, full of the effort of everyone who worked on it. Five girls have their eyes set on getting in a white box as they try to find success in the anime industry through writing, production, and voice acting.

P.A. Works burned me last season with GLASSLIP, but this looks like they’re back to their old - and good - form, so I intend to keep with it. 

And if nothing else, watching Misa Tōdō practice for her eventual Red Bull Global Rallycross debut will be entertaining. Smile


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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Tue 14 Oct 2014 - 20:36

Isn't Gugure! Kokkuri-san supposed to be a comedy?  The first episode is very flat and boring.

People's mileage may vary on Rage of Bahamut's art style, but its actually proving to be a pretty decent fantasy/action series.

I continue to have high hopes for Akatsuki no Yona after seeing its second episode.  It seems its a good season for fantasy titles.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 19 Oct 2014 - 12:02

So a nice easy season for me, as only three shows made the cut: Celestial Method, SHIROBAKO and When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace.
  
 
Parasyte -the maxim- is dropped because it looks like it is going to try and mix horror and comedy and that is not a mix I find appealing.
 
 
And Your Lie in April is dropped because I think it's going to be good - it even moved me to tears multiple times in it's second episode.

But it could have been epic. Right up there with Wandering Son as one of the greatest anime series ever presented.

Alas, the show dilutes those moments of sheer beauty with otaku comedic tropes that land like a diarrhetic turd in a soufflé. I like those moments in a silly comedy, but they just totally pull the rug out from the emotions the rest of the story builds. And that this show is part of Fuji TV's attempt to break anime out of it's current lock by young male otaku makes me weep almost as hard as the show's beautiful moments did at the wasted opportunity.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by 0utf0xZer0 on Tue 21 Oct 2014 - 2:13

I didn't expect much from Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru but the magical girl fights kind of feel like a Madoka Magica's magical girl fights with more budget and less LSD.  Personally it'll need to get a bit more creative in its fights to really impress me but it was a present surprise.

Ore Twintails ni Narimasu was a pleasant surprise too.  Seems like every season I find that one otaku comedy that's way, way better than the rest, and this season it's this one.  When aliens invade Earth with the intent of stealing girl's "attributes" (AKA moe points), a guy with a major twintails fetish obtains the power to turn into ass kicking twintailed loli Tail Red and defeats them in cheesy Power Rangers style fights.  Also, the girl he digs ends up forming a hero-worship crush on his loli alter ego.  It's a riot.
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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Alfisti on Tue 21 Oct 2014 - 7:29

@Kiskaloo wrote:And if nothing else, watching Misa Tōdō practice for her eventual Red Bull Global Rallycross debut will be entertaining. Smile

Whichever road-worker left the pavement in that condition overnight should have been shot... just saying.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by PolosElite23 on Tue 21 Oct 2014 - 21:41

@Alfisti wrote:
@Kiskaloo wrote:And if nothing else, watching Misa Tōdō practice for her eventual Red Bull Global Rallycross debut will be entertaining. Smile

Whichever road-worker left the pavement in that condition overnight should have been shot... just saying.
...that is like normal roads here in Ohio so...

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Fri 24 Oct 2014 - 0:15

Largely copy and pasted from a discussion on another site since I'm a lazy bastard.

My impressions of several titles seems to have dropped with their third episodes.

Madan quo no to Vanadis suffered the most.  I know the series has limited time and budget but I wasn't big on how that battle was handled -too much zooming out and using narration and markers to show what was going on.  That being said I'm not sure how much I would have liked a really big extended battle either.  I might have preferred it if the battle had been shortened but done really well.  Also since a lot of the series' appeal is based on its two lead characters perhaps the show could have spent more time focusing on their interactions if it shortened the battle.

Unlimited Blade Works had an awful lot of talking an exposition this week.  It's probably necessary but still... it was a bunch of talking.

Akatsuki no Yona has been heavy on the flashbacks.  There's some good stuff in them that gives insight into some of the characters but having flashbacks this early is kind of awkward, and those flashbacks have also prevented the main plot from moving forward very much since the end of the first episode.  This is still a show I've very interested in but I'd like to see it get moving towards the developments that have been promised.

Chaika's third episode seemed somewhat weak early on but developments later in the episode drew me back in.

Bahamut's third episode was okay.  The show has great production values but it will be interesting to see how the writing holds up as it gets into the meat of its story.

The swimsuit marketing in Amagi Brilliant Park Episode 3 made me a bit uncomfortable, but in general I had a decent opinion of that show's third episode.

Shirobako also have a pretty decent third episode (my opinion of the show improved significantly with the second episode -it appears the moe high school girls who were making an anime at the beginning of the first episode are adults who have to some degree gone their seperate ways in the series proper).  I don't entirely follow what's going on in that show but I get that producing anime is pretty hectic. :p

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Wed 5 Nov 2014 - 10:01

Yona of the Dawn is proving itself strongly after a pretty predictable first episode.  Having just caught up to E5, I am surprised by how much I like Yona's character development.  Yes, we see the Mononoke-like warrior-princess in the OP and the good-for-nothing waif in the first episode so we know there will be some type of character development, but unlike the execrable Cross Ange, the development here is handled very smoothly.

This deserves some exploration in the On Writing thread, but I am amused by the inherent contradiction of "smooth character development" - the characters go through a lot of bumps and jostling as a matter of the development, so it's certainly not smooth from their perspective.  However, it's handled very skillfully which has me wondering if there is such a thing as character development that is both easy to read and easy on the character(s).  

Digression aside, E5 has a few scenes that moistened my eyes.  However, this show is yet another one that seems to feel obligated to suddenly cut to tired and threadbare comedic idioms - the spittake, the sudden two-dimension cardboard cutout caricature with jaw gaping, the booooing sound cue.   Your Lie in April and Log Horizon both do that, which can break the mood.

Still, after five episodes, this has probably moved to my second favourite show in the season.

===

First of course is Log Horizon, if only because S1E20 was so boss.  However, after five episodes, my excitement for it is more based on hope than execution.

To start with, they've sent Shiroe on an individual quest, breaking up the party (as in group, not booze.)  First rule of RPGs: don't break up the party.  All the character dynamics I've come to know and love that center around Shiroe are now absent.

Speaking of which, most of the other inter-PC character dynamics are absent either.  Akatsuki no longer censor-kicks Naotsugu (in large part because he's with Shiroe, and she's back in town.)

Yes, Shiroe is out-and-about without his I'll-lay-down-my-life-to-protect-you-my-lord pint-sizedball of fury.  Worse, Akatsuki is more mopey and self-doubting that the confident "I can kill you in one blow" assassin that I love.

Rudy and Isuzu are all-but-missing.  We haven't seen anything of Kanami, and we have to suffer through Tetra, an idiotic adventurer who seems to want to roleplay a magical girl.  She seems to be put there for the fanservice.

The list goes on.  Writing this was a reality check and it was damned depressing.  I think this dropped to fourth, after Yona, Sword Art Online II, and Your Lie in April.

===

Speaking of Your Lie in April (a.k.a. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso) after two episodes, it's still a medium-excitement show.  I like it a lot, in large part because I like the less pandering aspect of musical competition anime.  Yes, there was a bit of "Did you see my panties?!  You Pervert!" failed humour, but it was there for the humour, not the titillation.  At least, I hope so.  We'll see if the panty jokes numinstance.


I've only watched two episodes because I think it may be better to binge-watch this one.  La Cordo D'Oro Blue Sky (basically S3) was pretty good this way, and  what I've watched so far of La Cordo D'Oro Primo Passo (S1) works well.  The problem with musical competion anime is that the pacing is very slow, so not a lot happens per-episode.  A single round of the competition could span three or five episodes, each effectively ending with a cliffhanger: how will our MC do?  


To find out, you have to watch all the competitors, all of whom have pretty good backstories, in addition to the MC's performance.

===


Sword Art Online II... Ah, so many reasons not to watch the show. Yet I still do, if only to see what the freak they do next.  By S2E14, we've concluded the Gun Gale Online arc.  S2E14.5 is a waste of time. S2E15-E17 is effectively a mini-quest.   It appears the show signed on for 24 episodes and is just tossing random crap in to fulfill the obligation.  


Plus, it's already resolved the plot and conflict that made the first half of S1 so engrossing.  They're no longer stuck in the computer.  They can now join and quit at will.  


Finally, the S2E15-E17 mini-quest hinges on the characters not being able to fly, yet when we were first introduced to the world of Alfheim Online, the characters can fly.  What gives?


Still, the show has some decent characterization.  I came to the realization that it's halfway to becoming a harem show.  Aside from a sidekick comedy-relief character, all the rest of the protags constantly with Kirito are females, attractively drawn ones at that.  It's only halfway because there isn't any love subplot. 


The latter part of S1 had a brother-sister unrequited love theme that was yet one more reason to stop watching after E14, but S2 doesn't have any of that.  Then again, Asuna's relationship with Kirito seems to have changed yet again.  In the first part of S1, she was the kick-ass action girl / emotional wife.  In the second part, she was the damsel in distress / you're-my-reason-to-keep-living-even-when-I-should-be-dead Macguffin.  In first part of S2, she was effectively a cheering fan in the stands.  In the concluded mini-quest, she was just one more PC in the party.  No emotional content.  It's almost as if she and Kirito were married, and are now past the honeymoon stage; they're at the co-habitating more-than-friends, take-each-other-for-granted doldrums.

===

There are other shows I'm going to give a try when I have time: World Trigger, Celestial Method, etc.  However, these are the shows for which I have time so far.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Fri 7 Nov 2014 - 18:08

So apparently I wasn't the only one thinking it was about time for an update. Wink  We're heading on the halfway point of the season here.

I'd actually say this is a pretty strong season -perhaps one of the best I've seen in a while.  Here's my top four picks from among the new titles.

Akatsuki no Yona: A little slow, but solidly done, with likeable characters and surprisingly good action scenes for a shoujo adaptation.  I'll agree with Taerkitty than the sudden humorous moments can be a bit jarring.  I wonder if that's something that works better in manga form -this isn't the first manga adaptation I've seen were some of the humorous moments felt jarring.
Amagi Brilliant Park: Episode five may be the only episode of this one that knocked it out of the park for me, but it really knocked it out of the park.  Some of the other episodes have had their moments as well.  I particularly liked the scene in the second episode with the off duty mascots raging about what they'd like to do to the brats who were beating them up earlier. Laughing
Shingeki no Bahamut: This one has grown on me over the last few episodes.  To paraphrase one of the best descriptions I've seen of the show, it's kind of like a cross between Cowboy Bebop and Lupin the 3rd in a medieval fantasy setting.  Its got entertaining characters and exceptional production values.
Shirobako: It's an anime about making anime, and its proving to be both interesting and entertaining.  It's somewhat dramatized for entertainment purposes (I doubt there are too many studios that build a jail cell in a storage closet and lock the director in there when he gets too far behind on his deadline) but it still touches on real life issues like the 2d vs 3d debate.

Unlimited Blade Works has good action scenes but the exposition (and perhaps other factors like my not being a huge Type Moon fan) keep me from putting it on my top list for the time being.  On the other hand, there are still some shows I haven't tried yet or haven't gotten very far into that I may be inclined to add to the list as the season goes on.

There are also a few sequel/carry overs series that I've really been enjoying.

Coffin Princess Chaika (S2): The final arc of season one upped the ante, and season two seems determined to keep it upped.  Lots of action as well as some very entertaining funny moments.  I loved seeing the team up between white chaika and (tsundere) red chaika, as well as the gleefully psychotic expression on loli form Frederica's face as she brutally slaughters imitation Fayla.
Sword Art Online II: The first season may have had its issues, but unlike Taerkitty I think season two has been really good so far.  Granted, I skipped the recap episode and knew that the last three episodes were based on a side story instead of one of the main novels. sweat  BTW, the reason the characters couldn't fly in Jotunheimr is because its an (gigantic) underground area and their wings don't work in underground areas. 

Granted that may not seem like a very big list, but these are all shows I consider pretty solid as opposed to merely passable.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Fri 7 Nov 2014 - 22:18

Ah, Psycho Pass 2... Why didn't I wait until you were completed to binge watch you? Now I'm hooked and have to wait each week...


The Uro-Butcher is in top form with this one.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 10 Nov 2014 - 19:03

SHIROBAKO - I enjoy it because it’s interesting and it doesn’t pander.

Yama no Susume Second Climb - I enjoy it for the cast.

Celestial Method - I enjoy it for the story.

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace - I enjoy it for the cast and the story. I'm a bit surprised that it has become my favorite of the four (I expected Celestial Method to be), but Studio Trigger has really nailed this one. And for a light novel adaption, the story is quite strong, which is a pleasant change. Good

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Alfisti on Tue 11 Nov 2014 - 3:45

@taerKitty wrote:Ah, Psycho Pass 2... Why didn't I wait until you were completed to binge watch you? Now I'm hooked and have to wait each week...
I've been hoarding the episodes with the intent to binge at the end.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Sun 16 Nov 2014 - 12:28

New OP for the second half of Yama no Susume Second Climb:



Titled "Mainichi Koharubiyori:, it's not as awesome as "Natsuiro Presento", but it's still pretty good.

They also added a new ED:


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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Thu 27 Nov 2014 - 10:41

Yama no Susume Second Climb Episode 20: Adds Akebono Children's Forest Park to his places to visit next time he is in Japan.

Also have to add episode 19 was hilarious. Aoi in her uniform is so cute. On Cloud 9

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by PolosElite23 on Thu 27 Nov 2014 - 17:07

@Kiskaloo wrote:Yama no Susume Second Climb Episode 20: Adds Akebono Children's Forest Park to his places to visit next time he is in Japan.

Also have to add episode 19 was hilarious. Aoi in her uniform is so cute. On Cloud 9
Yeah, the show is reaaalllllyyyyy good. I'm really enjoying it as well.

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I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by 0utf0xZer0 on Mon 1 Dec 2014 - 3:40

Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru second arc has been good enough that the show just might end up being my 2014 anime of the year.

Also, Itsuki is adorable.
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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Mon 1 Dec 2014 - 20:57

@0utf0xZer0 wrote:Yuki Yuna wa Yuusha de Aru second arc has been good enough that the show just might end up being my 2014 anime of the year.

ANN's weekly reviews of this show have been very favorable so I did a marathon of it today. Lots of influences, but overall I'd say it's Puella Magi Madoka Magica if PMMM had been a "cute girls being cute" slice of life show as opposed to a science-fiction drama.

That's not a criticism, by the way. The “twist” revealed in Episode 08 is right up there with the “twist” revealed in PMMM episode 09.

If you like PMMM, I think you’ll like this show.


@0utf0xZer0 wrote:Also, Itsuki is adorable.

Yūna Yūki for me.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Mon 1 Dec 2014 - 21:57

I hate you all.  Or rather my schedule hates you all...

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Tue 2 Dec 2014 - 10:22

So I've decided to pick up Your Lie in April / Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso again.

When it’s on song, this is not just probably the best anime I have seen this year, but the best anime I have seen in my four decades of watching anime. Between them, series creator Naoshi Arakawa and anime screenwriter Takao Yoshioka deliver a storyline and dialogue that would do the likes of Aaron Sorkin, Steven Moffett or Heidi Thomas proud. And the voice cast responds to the dialogue with brilliant performances. And the entire thing is masterfully directed under the steady hand of Kyōhei Ishiguro and ensconced in an incredible soundtrack by Masaru Yokohama.

Yes, the dichotomy between the serious and the silly continues to bug the hell out of me. Heck, even if they could just nail the transitions between the two streams it would be pretty much a perfect show, but the two streams tend to mix like oil and water - in other words, not very well.

But then perhaps that is somewhat intentional. I have to admit that I find it a bit hard that 14-year olds can express the emotional maturity and self-awareness that these characters do. Perhaps the show draws heavily from the well of anime cliches to remind us we’re not watching adults, but children.

And that is why I think this show would be stronger if the characters were in their late twenties like the Korean drama Winter Sonata. But perhaps their youth and innocence is what makes the show’s emotional impacts hit with the force of a nine-gun broadside from an Iowa class battleship.

Still, with 14 more episodes to go, I’m so invested in this show I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to. 


And to be honest, I really don’t want to.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Tue 2 Dec 2014 - 13:08

Sounds like I should re-prioritize it the top.  Then again, life has been so random lately, I've only been able to keep up with Log Horizon on the anime front, and Constantine on the US TV streams.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Wed 3 Dec 2014 - 22:23

I've heard good things about Yuuki Yuna, so I've been getting caught up on it.  So far I'm not all that impressed though.  I've watched six episodes, and while some of the girls' powers are cool I don't see a whole lot to get excited about.

Amagi Brilliant Park's last two episode have been a bit weak following the excellent run from episodes five to seven.  Otherwise my top picks are doing pretty well.  Akatsuki no Yona and Shingeki no Bahamut have been particularly impressive.  (Although finding out that the main heroine in Bahamut had her growth accelerated by demons and is actually only about five or six was a touch disturbing. sweat )

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by 0utf0xZer0 on Thu 4 Dec 2014 - 1:35

@Kiskaloo wrote:
That's not a criticism, by the way. The “twist” revealed in Episode 08 is right up there with the “twist” revealed in PMMM episode 09.

If you like PMMM, I think you’ll like this show.

Yeah, the PMMM influence is rather obvious but the show's very low key approach is different enough that it feels like so much more than just some copy cat.
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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Thu 4 Dec 2014 - 14:24

WIXOSS also is trying to do a PM3, but there are fewer modalities in the CCG genre than in the MG genre.  It tends to be a little 'loopy' - it ends up trying to re-engage older plot threads by breaking its own rules.

I still have it 'queued' (Funimation has a CRAP profile page compared to CrunchyRoll), but it's a "rainy day anime."

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by taerKitty on Thu 18 Dec 2014 - 11:37

In Search of Lost Futures is only eleven episodes long, and uses the last two very well.  It builds to a very good finish, one that is well worth watching.  The prerequisites for this climax are many and complex, requiring both that the audience understand the constraints the world and situation imposes, and that the audience become invested in the characters.

This is where it is only mediocre - they give some sense of slice of life, some mystery, some teen romantic drama, but there's no unifying theme aside from "here are the five main characters."

TL;DR: The first seven episodes are worth the slog.  The eighth is easily watchable, as it's where everything comes into focus.  Then, hang on to your hats and glasses for the last two!

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by A Kool Poptart on Sun 21 Dec 2014 - 12:01

The finale for Legend of Korra was pretty surprising! Props to Bryke and Nick for going the distance!

The ending for Selector was good, but I want more! DX

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Kiskaloo on Fri 26 Dec 2014 - 12:49

With the end of the year comes the end of the Fall Season. As noted earlier, I decided to only watch shows I really enjoyed, so everything gets an “A” grade.

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace (Inō-Battle wa Nichijō-kei no Naka de)

Very different from what I expected, but in a very good way - it is my #1 pick of the season. I found the cast of characters excellent (Hatoko Kushikawa - On Cloud 9) and Studio Trigger’s production was top-notch. The story was a bit inscrutable - the light novel it is based on is 9 volumes so with only 11 episodes… Still, I think it was better that they only just touched on the Faerie War and the various factions fighting it as it would have probably just complicated the narrative.

Yama no Susume Second Climb

This has become one of my favorite anime franchises thanks to the sheer happiness each episode brings. I love these kids and I love sharing their adventures.


Yūki Yūna is a Hero (Yūki Yūna wa Yūsha de Aru)

If you were a fan of PMMM, I think you will be a fan of this. The influence from PMMM is strong and yet this show charts its own independent path and, IMO, is the better of the two, especially from a character and character development path. So you’re not going to be experiencing a retread. You could think of it as an “inspired by” story, rather than a reboot of PMMM.

That being said, it does suffer from “Coming Second-itish” having followed PMMM. What I really liked about PMMM was how it “deconstructed” the Magical Girl genre / trope and Yūki Yūna’s ability to play that hand was, to me, unsuccessful. Not because they did a poor job, but because PMMM had already done it (and did it better, IMO).

Celestial Method (Sora no Method)

This is an original story by Naoki Hisaya, who was the author of the Key visual novel Kanon. While he had nothing to do with either anime adaption (I am a massive fan of the 2006 KyoAni version), he also wrote the screenplay to the anime Sola, which I also found very interesting so I knew I was inclined to like this show and indeed at the end of the first episode I was committed.

Hisaya follows his usual tropes, so memory loss plays a major theme, as does the supernatural (or extraterrestrial in this case). Unlike many early Key projects, however, the girls in this show are not childlike moe-blobs (Noel excepted), but actually have distinct and defined personalities (as they did in Sola).

Early Key works (Kanon, Air and Clannad) are all about the “feelz-bombs" and Hisaya sprinkles them throughout here, as well, though with a much lighter and, frankly, more adept hand. That being said, this show affected me far less on an emotional level that Kanon or, especially, Air. Part of that might very well be “feelz fatigue” from Your Lie in April, but I think it was more because the story and characters are, overall, stronger than those portrayed in those earlier works.


Two shows are continuing into the new year, so this is my review of their first halves:

Your Lie in April (Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso)

I have never been this emotionally involved in a television show before, be it animated or live-action or country of origin or story genre. I find the dramatic writing and acting exceptional and the emotional trauma these kids undergo transfers 100% to me and I often find myself weeping from the intensity of their pain and the fierceness in which they move forward despite it.


SHIROBAKO

While I am sure it took some situations to the extreme, knowing people in the anime industry, and their stories this shows probably played closer to the truth then one might guess at first blush. With the first half showing us the completion of an anime production, I expect the second half to show us how a new anime series launches production.


Last edited by Kiskaloo on Sun 28 Dec 2014 - 20:35; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Sun 28 Dec 2014 - 15:22

A few of my top picks for the season have wrapped, but not all of them.

Amagi Brilliant Park: It's probably best to consider the second to last episode the finale, since it felt like a finale and the actual last episode felt more like one of those lame filler OVAs that gets released after a series finishes airing (I theorized that the studio did it like that because the final episode aired on Christmas Day, but apparently Kyoto Animation has done this sort of thing before).  At its best, this show was very entertaining, at its worst, uninspired.  Overall it was entertaining enough and different enough to be worth noting, but it's too bad it wasn't firing on all cylinders more consistently.

Coffin Princess Chaika: Avenging Battle: In my view this was a really solid follow up to the first season (which I felt kicked things into high gear towards the end).  The ending could have been more satisfying but for the most part I thought it was really good.  Some people think the pacing was too fast, but I think the rapid pacing was one of the sequel's biggest strengths.  It hit the ground running and didn't let up.

Sword Art Online S2: One interesting thing about Sword Art Online is that the writer seems to have recognized the flaws in some of his early writing and made an effort to at least tone them down a bit.  This second season had some of the series' best source material, but I also have to give credit to the staff who did the adaptation.  The improvement in source material led me to expect an improvement over the dark nadir of the first season's second arc, but the quality of this adaptation surprised me.  Of course it should probably be noted that some viewers who had no familiarity with the source material were bothered by the tone shifts between the season's three different story arcs.

Akatsuki no Yona and Shirobako are ongoing, and both are very good.  Akatsuki no Yona has been really strong lately aside from one episode I didn't particularly like.  Shirobako could have used better focus at times, but its still a good drama about working in the anime industry, even if it can get a bit trippy on occasion when the main character's imagination gets away on her. sweat

Shingeki no Bahamut's finale is tomorrow.  I'm hoping it will be awesome.  This show seemed like a shoo-in for my top anime of the year, but the last few episodes haven't been as awesomely kick ass as some of the earlier episodes.  I'm really hoping the show can regain its crown with a strong finish.

Overall I still think this is the best anime season I've seen in quite a while.

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Re: Fall 2014 Anime

Post by Piero on Tue 30 Dec 2014 - 15:41

Because one of the guys I watch anime with is also really into the show, I saw the tenth and eleventh episodes of Shingeki no Bahamut a second time at one of our screenings before watching the finale on my own.  On second viewing, it appears I may have been a bit too harsh on those episodes -they have some issues, but they actually did a lot of things right.  The finale was much the same way -there were a few things I had issues with, but it was pretty good for the most part.  Furthermore, the finale's end card hints that one of my biggest issues with the series may be resolved in (and may even provide a plot for) a sequel.

Overall, Bahamut was not perfect.  I wish the last few episodes had been better than they were.  But it's still my pick for anime of the year, for reasons I will get into in the appropriate thread.  Bring on that sequel!

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