Anime watched: I wanted to watch more anime, but I was only able to watch some Fairy Tail, my Sentai BD copy of MAOYU, and I watched Maria the Virgin Witch with the English dub, and I continue to respect and like it.
1. Snow White with the Red Hair, episodes 10-12 (Very good) - About three months ago Snow White with the Red Hair was my most anticipated anime of Summer, and what do you now, this is my favorite anime series from this season. The first three or four episodes were not exactly what I expected, but throughout its run the show has been consistently well made. Its final three episodes have cemented my fondness and respect for this show. I hope to see more great stuff from it next year.
2. Durarara!!x2, episodes 22-24 (Good) - An improvement over the last cour. Some questions were answered, but other matters were further murkied, especially in the last episodes. The thing that I highlight the most about this cour is that several episodes matched the weird but satisfying narrative style of the first season. I hope that the third and final cour delivers something special.
3. GATE, episodes 10-12 (Decent) - I liked this anime since the first episode. The premise is not that original, but the show has a special energy that attracts me. The last few episodes, however, have started to make me wonder if this anime will eventually lead to a place I desire. After 12 episodes GATE is a decent series, but it has to do several things right in its second half to ultimately please me.
4. Classroom Crisis, episodes 10-13 (Decent) - Despite a couple of shaky episodes, things are more or less worked out in a positive manner. I wish there have been more closure, but this is not easy to do with a one cour series. In the final analysis Classroom Crisis is a strange anime that combines various genres and tropes, resulting in a mixed bag of good and bad, but I approve of this anime being made.
5. Non Non Biyori Repeat, episodes 10-12 (Good) - This season of Non Non Biyori had some problematic episodes in its first half, but it managed to tighten things up and end up being pretty much as enjoyable as the first season. The last three episodes ended the series in an open-ended way, but this works fine for shows with little story. I am satisfied with what this franchise has done.
6. Charlotte, episodes 10-13 (Decent) - In the end these last four episodes provided a convenient but mostly satisfying conclusion. Almost every time that Charlotte presented something new, it was turned over its head in the next episodes. It was a thrilling and emotional ride with several bumps on the road.
7. The Heroic Legend of Arslan, episodes 22-25 (Decent) - As expected the conclusion to this series left plenty of things unsolved, but the last episode was a very effective set up for perhaps more anime to come. There is still hope for this anime adaptation to improve and become good.
8. Prison School, episodes 9-12 (Decent) - There was a great and memorable moment in these last four episodes, but they were unable to keep up with the higher execution of the second third of the series. Ultimately I will remember this perverted comedy as surprisingly effective and smart.
9. My LOVE Story!!, episodes 22-24 (Good) - The last three episodes kept the positive momentum of the show. This is a well done series, but I am very glad it ended because shoujo romances with a lot of sweetness are definitely not my thing. I am going to stay away from shows like this for a while.
10. Baby Steps 2, episodes 23-25 (Good) - My opinion on this show has not changed much since my last report. Baby Steps was a solid show worth watching, but I have had my fill. Despite of having the main duo's relationship advance significantly in season two, I liked the first season a bit more.
This week I decided to catch up with two simulcasts that I had not been following. I first watched Rokka: Braves of the Six Flowers. I liked how it started, but I did not like what the series did after its first third. I then watched School-Live!, and it was worth watching. The idea of combining moe girls with zombie apocalypse seems odd, but I was kind of impressed with how the writers of School-Live! were able to build up and deliver a solid and compelling story.
Anime watched: A had a very relaxed week. I watched a few episodes of Fairy Tail, and I rewatched Only Yesterday.
Anime watched: I finally watched Space Dandy. It took me six or seven episodes to finally be able to get why this show has been getting a lot of praise from a lot of people. Story-wise Space Dandy is forgettable, but the experimentation in several episodes is very interesting and worth checking out. I also had time to sneak in Inari Kon Kon. It is an okay anime, but it is incomplete.
Anime watched: This week I watched all 24 episodes of Aldnoah.Zero. The first time I tried watching this show I was disappointed, but this time I went in without many expectations. And after watching all of it I can say that I had fun despite the shaky writing; the nice visuals also helped. I think people are too harsh toward A/Z because it is an okay show that has faults but also does some nice things. I also watched the Tatami Galaxy. I have heard nice things about this show for a while, and I saw that it is a very unique told and animated show that is ultimately a satisfying experience.
1. GATE, episodes 6-9 (Good) - I do not consider myself a fan of otaku self serving, fantasy anime, but I keep enjoying GATE. These last few episodes have shamelessly being pandering, but I liked them. I realize that this anime has just moved into its second third, but at the current peace it should have enough time to flesh out the story and round up the characters because there is potential. For the moment this is my most anticipated simulcast title every week.
2. Durarara!!x2, episodes 17-21 (Good) - The positive momentum continued in these episodes, as they have been strong. The second season of Durarara! is right now feeling and being like the first season.
Heck, even the visuals have improved. The reason this show is at number two is because I know it too much to be surprised by what it is going to do next, but I can still be impressed by it.
3. Snow White with the Red Hair, episodes 5-9 (Very good) - Snow White with the Red Hair is becoming more and more like the anime I envisioned: a story that explored and developed its characters in a smart way and a show with pleasant and high quality aesthetics. And so far it has delivered, and I expect it to continue. These episodes did not have much of the romantic stuff typical in shoujo, but I do not mind it.
4. Classroom Crisis, episodes 6-9 (Good) - Right now I am at a strange place with this anime. Two weeks ago I was very satisfied, enjoying the nice character moments, and the story felt full of hope. But the last two episodes did not leave a very good taste in my mouth. I understood that this show had to solve the dirty business side of things, but I am nervous how the characters will survive the current crisis.
5. Non Non Biyori Repeat, episodes 5-9 (Good) - Non Non Biyori is not a show with heavy action and has little of an actual story, but it does not have to be dull. These last few episodes have been solid and have shown how special this anime franchise can be. Most of the energy and contemplative vibe from the first season has returned. At this point I am satisfied with this new season.
6. The Heroic Legend of Arslan, episodes 17-21 (Good) - It is good that the show has returned to the more interesting and full of potential main storyline, but the series as a whole has lost a lot of momentum. I suspect the last three episodes will be solid, but I doubt the story will actually conclude.
7. Prison School, episodes 5-8 (Good) - I do not consider myself a fan of this anime, but I continue to be amused and even thrilled by it. The producers have been very skilled at maintaining a comedic and entertaining vibe amidst all the weird sadistic stuff. I hope the last third continues to be this effective.
8. Charlotte, episodes 5-9 (Decent) - After a very strong episode nine this series appears to have hope. The last third needs to be strong for me to return to liking this anime.
9. My LOVE Story!!, episodes 18-21 (Good) - I can still be very apathetic toward this show, but some of the last episodes have been fresher.
10. Baby Steps 2, episodes 18-22 (Good) - This show continues to be solid, but I am ready for it to end; I have had my fill of Baby Steps.
Anime watched: This week I watched three one-cour anime series. Part of the reason to do that was the check out their respective English dubs. Kids on the Slope's dub was good in general. My only real issue is Sentaro's voice. I might or might not make the English dub my default when watching KotS. The dub for The Devil is a Part-Timer! is great and does justice to the fun of this show. Finally, the dub for Madoka Magica was solid, but the English performances lacked emotion in some parts. This was a busy but productive week.
1. Parasyte: Very good (S/P: 18; CD: 19; O/U: 19; PV: 19; C/L: 18 = 93) - Despite a shaky middle third I consider this to be the best anime series of 2014 because it has intriguing and thought provoking elements, well written characters (for the most part) and the production values are very solid.
2. Your Lie in April: Very good (S/P: 18; CD: 19; O/U: 18; PV: 19; C/L: 19 = 93) - A pretty looking, slice of life anime that struggles at its start but becomes a very emotionally powerful piece when its parts come together in the last third.
3. Shirobako: Very good (S/P: 17; CD: 19; O/U: 19; PV: 18; C/L: 19 = 92) - Last year's darling anime series about making anime. It is in the third sport mostly because the story lacks some content, and it tended to become dull. The rest of this anime is great.
4. Ping Pong: Very good (S/P: 18; CD: 19; O/U: 18; PV: 18; C/L: 19 = 92) - An anime with unusual visuals, but to me the thing I liked the most is its intense and very sincere characters.
5. Amagi Brilliant Park: Very good (S/P: 18; CD: 18; O/U: 18; PV: 19; C/L: 19 = 92) - Another visually pleasing anime comedy from Kyoto Animation, but this one also has dirty and somewhat dark elements.
6. Space Dandy: Very good (S/P: 17; CD: 18; O/U: 19; PV: 19; C/L: 19 = 92) - Its actual story is forgettable, but the more experimental episodes are great, and the overall experience is very satisfactory.
7. Chaika: The Coffin Princess: Good (S/P: 18; CD: 18; O/U: 18; PV: 19; C/L: 18 = 91) - Not the most original premise, but the characters manage to be charming and the story remains fun throughout its two seasons.
8. Noragami: Good (S/P: 18; CD: 18; O/U: 18; PV: 19; C/L: 18 = 91) - A little gem that very adeptly combines action, Japanese mythology, comedy and romance.
9. Barakamon: Good (S/P: 18; CD: 19; O/U: 18; PV: 19; C/L: 17 = 91) - A well conceived, comedic slice of life with very likable characters, but I need another season to really like it.
10. The World is Still Beautiful: Good (S/P: 18; CD: 19; O/U: 18; PV: 18; C/L: 18 = 91) - A nominal shoujo romance, but it has some political and dark elements that make it memorable.
Anime watched: Not much to report this week. Besides my usual simulcasts, I did not watch any other anime. I needed to take a rest from all that I watched the previous week.