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. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. Free!: Eternal Summer: Good (S/P: 17; CD: 18; O/U: 18; PV: 19; C/L: 19 = 91) - This anime franchise continued to have amazing visuals and likable characters. I prefer this sequel over the original.
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.
I created a list of the 25 best anime series of the current decade. This is just a preview, but the full, more detailed list is under the new tab "LISTS". I also plan to add other kinds of lists under that tab.
3. Madoka Magica
4. Bunny Drop
5. Kill la Kill
7. Death Parade
8. Blood Blockade Battlefront
Anime watched: This week I was busy watching the two anime seasons of Nisekoi (False Love). The first season was alright as I was genuinely entertained, amused and even emotionally touched. Unfortunately the sequel was poorly constructed and had little interest in giving the first season a proper conclusion.
Still, I do not regret watching these series, but I will always wonder how people have the ability to make crappy entertainment.
Anime watched: This week I rewatched ef: a tale of memories and a tale of melodies. I mostly wanted to see if these animes continued to hold up for me. And after watching them I can say that they are fine series that do some attractive things, but I do not think I will need to rewatch them again.
I watched two anime series this week and had similar experiences with both of them. I first watched the much maligned Magical Warfare. It is not a good anime, but the premise had some potential. An additional cour could help it. I then watched a better received title: Sunday Without God. It has a decent start, and the premise also had potential. But in the end Sunday Without God lost its steam and ended up being a mediocre product.
1. Durarara!!x2, episodes 13-16 (Good) - The second part of season two of Durarara!! has had a strong start. I truly hope this means that the chaos and confusion from the first 12 episodes is over. Episodes 15 and 16 were particularly strong, as they well crafted and started to tie some loose ends that even go back to the first season. And the animation still sucks but is not too bad if everything else is clicking.
2. GATE, episodes 1-5 (Good) - This show has been a pleasant surprise for me. I am no longer a huge fan of action/adventure anime, but I have a sweet spot for fantasy shows with action/adventure elements if they are well done. So far GATE has been consistently solid. It first five episodes focused mostly in exposition with the narrative not moving much, but I can be patient in waiting for big excitement.
3. Classroom Crisis, episodes 1-5 (Good) - This is a weird anime. At first it looked like it was going to be a space/mecha show. Then it looked like it was going to be a clever, but perhaps dry, show about business management. After its first five episodes Classroom Crisis is indeed about business management, but it is also fun, engaging and driven by well built characters. I am liking this anime a lot.
4. Charlotte, episodes 1-4 (Decent) - Charlotte is definitely a close cousin of Angel Beats! The weird craziness, likable characters and emotive moments are present in both shows. For now I am liking how Charlotte is establishing its premise, but it might become stale if t does began to move its narrative soon. The reason for my rating after four episode is that even though this a fun show, the story is lacking.
5. The Heroic Legend of Arslan, episodes 14-16 (Good) - I am not sure how to feel about this series at this moment. On the one hand I still like the premise, characters and appreciate what the show is trying to do. But I want it do something that excites me again. Perhaps refocusing on Pars politics and inner workings could do the trick, but, fortunately, there are still enough episodes left for more exciting things to occur.
6. Snow White with the Red Hair, episodes 1-4 (Good) - I like this anime, but I am starting to think that it will slowly build up things and get really exciting (if it reaches that level) probably until its second cour. It is in sixth place at the moment, but I expect and want it to get better as it goes along.
7. Non Non Biyori Repeat, episodes 1-4 (Good) - I was about to get upset with this second season, but, thankfully, a strong episode four was able to balance things out in a positive direction. I feel that I can be comfortable with the "repeat" aspect as long as the episodes are solid and do not reek of cheap filler.
8. Prison School, episodes 1-4 (Decent) - I know that this is a figuratively and literal nasty show, but its approach, rudeness and mean comedy continues to work for me.
9. My LOVE Story!!, episodes 13-17 (Good) - I was very close to downgrading this show, but the last three episodes have been strong and given some fresh air to it.
10. Baby Steps 2, episodes 13-17 (Good) - Not much new things to report. This series continues to be solid and good enough for me to keep being interested in watching it.
Anime watched: I watched Ping Pong, and I liked an enjoyed its vibe and execution. I also watched Kyousougiga; it is a creative show, but it had a convoluted execution, and Toei's budget art and animation did not help either. Kyousougiga is a fine and fun show, but it is not a great anime. Finally, I watched Air, and it is a decent enough show that foreshadows some of the things that Kyoto Animation did with future Key titles.