1. The World is Still Beautiful, episodes 1-6 (Good) - I am enjoying this feel good, but at times painful, coming of age story. The setting and story are simple, but I like the main characters and want to root for them. I do not think this series could become much better than it is now, but I would like to be proven wrong.
2. One Week Friends, episodes 1-6 (Good) - This anime has another simple premise, but the emotional payoff at the end of pretty much every episode is really nice. This is my second favorite show, but it is very close to my number one anime for this season. I am content with I have seen so far, but I hope it gets a bit darker and more emotional.
3. Baby Steps, episodes 1-6 (Decent) - This has been a pleasant surprise. I am not a big fan of sports anime, but the two leads (especially the female one) charmed me with their freshness and positive demeanor. I want keep learning more about the characters, tennis and hope this show does not become tedious to watch, like many sports animes tend to do.
4. The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior, episodes 1-6 (Decent) - For a moment I thought that this anime could be special. The premise has potential to do some neat things, but the writers seem unsure about what to do with it. For the moment I am being entertained enough by this wacky comedy with some drama, but I hope it improves.
5. Ace of Diamond, episodes 26-31 (Decent) - I am actually enjoying the tournament arc this series is in right now. This anime is really good when baseball games are being played. I have no idea where this show is going, but I would love to see the romance that this series has hinted at before.
I decided to watch Log Horizon. I was not impressed by the first episode when I watched it back in October, and the idea of of another anime about players stuck in a MMORPG was not very appealing.
But I am glad I watched Log Horizon because it is a better thought out and more satisfying anime that the more glamorous but uneven Sword Art Online. I wanted to give Log Horizon a better grade (I gave it a Decent rating), but the story is still developing and some characters can be one-dimensional. Hopefully season 2 will solve my issues.
I also finished World Conquest Zvezda Plot. I was not pleased with how slow and boring this anime started, but the second half was better enough to give it a So-so rating. I am not really sure if I will be watching another series in its entirety next week, but I plan to post my mid-season report of Spring 2014. Until next week, happy anime viewing (I should change this phrase to happy anime watching).
This week has been busy. As planned, I watched two anime titles from my collection. On Monday and Tuesday I watched my English subtitled, Japanese BD sets of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet. And once again, I had a very good time watching this gorgeous-looking anime. I still think that the story could have been more ambitious, but at the end of the day my overall experience was very satisfying, and the conclusion to the series has enough closure.
Wednesday was supposed to be my day off, but I sneaked in 3 episodes of World Conquest Zvezda Plot. On Thursday and Friday I re-watched my Sentai BD's of Angel Beats! Part of my motivation to re-watch it was that I have heard that the English dub was well done. After re-watching this series with the dub, I agree that it is a good dub. My opinion of the anime remains unchanged because I still think that Angel Beats! is good but not great.
I am not sure what I am watching next week, but I will provide a report. Until the next time, happy anime viewing.
It has been a while since I last posted. But I am finally done watching Inuyasha. Overall, it was a time consuming but satisfying watch. I consider the original series a Very good anime, and I gave the Final Act a Good grade. I have enjoyed watching Inuyasha since I occasionally watched it on cable television. And I am very glad that I finally was able to watch the whole anime adaptation.
I was planning to take at least a one week breather before re-watching more anime from my collection, but I think I am ready to watch more. In fact, yesterday I watched my copy of Aniplex USA's release of Nekomonogatari Black. For next week Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (my favorite anime series of 2013) and Angel Beats! are strong candidates to re-watch. Until the next report, happy anime viewing.
In addition to Ace of Diamond I added four new Spring shows to my simulcast list. I wanted to add more new shows, but this season is shaping up to be weak. In fact, this is the weakest Spring season I have seen since I started following simulcasts two years ago. Okay, here is the list in the order I am most looking forward to watch each week.
1. One Week Friends - A romantic drama that seems both hopeful and painful.
2. The World is Still Beautiful - A somewhat strange European fantasy with an optimistic message.
3. The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior - An emotive and wacky comedic romance.
4. Baby Steps - A tennis anime with potential to have good characterization and a decent story.
5. Ace of Diamond - I have to finish it, but I will try to enjoy it.
The Spring season is underway, and I have a list of 7 animes I plan to follow each week. I am posting a list until I check the second episode of every anime in my list. I have checked 12 (and might check 3-5 more) new series, and the season seems weak for Spring. I hope that what I pick to follow is good enough to keep my interest every week.
As far as Inuyasha, I plan to start season 4 today. Hopefully, I will finish watching all of Inuyasha by the end of this month. Happy anime viewing.
I continued to watch a lot of simulcasts this Winter season. Most of the animes I followed in this season were second cours of series that began in Fall 2013. Interestingly, my top 2 animes for Winter 2014 actually debuted this year. I had a pretty good time watching Chuunibyou REN, Noragami, Kill la Kill, Nagi no Asukara and Strike the Blood, but the rest of my simulcasts often felt like a shore to follow each week. Here is my final ranking for the Winter 2014 anime season (with ANN ratings).
1. Chuunibyou Demo Koi ga Shitai! REN, episodes 7-12 (Good) - It rebounded nicely after a pretty uneventful first half. When this second season was announced I considered it unnecessary because the first season ended in a very high note and was very satisfactory. Thankfully, this second season was not a waste of time because it actually did some nice things. Chuunibyou REN is ultimately my favorite show from this season because of my love of the franchise, and the fact that Winter 2014 was not very strong.
2. Noragami, episodes 7-12 (Good) - This is the only series that premiered in Winter that I looked forward to a new episode each week. I like the premise because it is appealing with its aura of mystery and darkness. The characters were amusing but also had the potential of being more complex and deeper. I am content with what this season of Noragami offered, but I would like to see more anime of it in the near future.
3. Kill la Kill, episodes 19-24 (Very good) - The upward momentum continued, and Kill la Kill ended up being a very satisfying anime. I do not have much else to say other than that I had a blast watching this very entertaining work. Despite not being as strong in terms of story and characterization, I found myself feeling a lot of sympathy for the good guys and rooting for them.
4. Nagi no Asukara, episodes 20-26 (Very good) - The producers took a bit of a roundabout approach to conclude this anime, but I am pleased with how it turned out. This pretty-looking anime started in a very poignant fashion and maintained a very positive momentum all the way to the last third. I thought that Nagi no Asukara had the potential to be an excellent work, but I enjoyed most of it despite losing some momentum towards the end.
5. Strike the Blood, episodes 19-24 (So-so) - I continued to like my clear guilty pleasure of 2013; I dig the cliche set up and its cliche characters. Like I have said before, I never imagined how much I was going to like Strike the Blood. I am giving this series a low rating because it is unoriginal, misogynistic and silly, but it is very re-watchable. I hope it is licensed for a physical release in North America soon.
6. Wake Up, Girls!, episodes 7-12 (Decent) - My other surprise of the season continued to be a pleasant experience. I enjoyed a lot watching seven teen girls struggling to accomplish their dreams and becoming friends. I would not mind seeing another season of Wake Up, Girls!; hopefully the animation would be better. I know this anime is about singing idols, but I found plenty of honesty and freshness in it.
7. Magi, episodes 20-25 (Decent) - Once this series focused on a single arc for more than two episodes, and the action escalated, it improved a lot. Like the first season, Magi: The Kingdom of Magic is frustrating to watch. Frequent weak and uneven episodes continued to hurt what seems like an appealing anime franchise. Although, the last episodes of season two were very strong.
8. Silver Spoon, episodes 7-11 (Decent) - My disappointment of the season improved in the last episodes, but it rarely had the charm, story building and character development present in the first season.
Perhaps another season could fix the things that season two did wrong, but I doubt more Silver Spoon anime will be made.
9. Golden Time, episodes 19-24 (Decent) - This series finally ended, leaving me with the feeling that it could have been better. The premise of Golden Time was interesting from the beginning, but a third or so of series was plagued by unimaginative writing. It is definitely a nice drama and romantic comedy, but it did not leave a memorable impression. I will keep looking for a good romantic dramas/comedies in the world of anime.
10. Samurai Flamenco, episodes 18-22 (So-so) - The chaotic and nonsensical plot in this anime finally ended in this last quarter, and things returned to the relative normalcy of the first quarter of the series. The thing is that it was a little too late to make the inventive, initial premise appealing again. I will remember Samurai Flamenco as an anime series that had a chance to do something really cool, but the creators decided to go nuts and go in a very wrong direction.
11. Ace of Diamond, episodes 20-25 (So-so) - I continued to be dissatisfied with this series because the story and characterization have pretty much stopped developing. This should not be surprising because sports anime are monotonous by nature. I rather see Ace of Diamond end this season, but it is continuing into Spring. I suppose I will keep following this anime and hope that it can recapture some of the positive
qualities the first 12 episodes had.
I was hoping to post my final report for the Winter anime season today, but two of my simulcasts have not finished airing. I hope to post the report on Thursday or Friday. On the meantime I have been watching my Inuyasha DVD's; I am already in the middle of season two. I plan to take a break from it tomorrow and watch my Funimation BD's of Psycho-Pass. Until the next time, happy anime viewing.
I have been watching a lot of anime this past three days. I watched Tokyo Magnitude 8.0. I think it was well constructed and had several good moments. I liked it enough to give it a Good rating but not enough to want to buy a physical copy. I then watched Tamako Market. I was curious to find out why an anime done by Kyoto Animation and the people behind K-On! was not that well received. After watching it, I was charmed by the series and also gave it a Good rating; the presence of a very peculiar character did not bother me. I will consider buying a physical copy if Sentai releases it on BD.
I planned to watch online more anime series that Sentai has recently released, but I decided to finally buy Inuyasha, and my DVD's and BD's of it already arrived. 201 episodes and four movies is a lot of anime, and I plan to start watching tomorrow. I hope to end watching Inuyasha by mid-April because my copies of the third Madoka Magica movie and Nekomonogatari Black are arriving in the upcoming weeks, and I plan to re-watch them as soon as I am able. Hoping that I do not burn myself with so much Inuyasha to watch, happy anime viewing.
I finished watching Chihayafuru 2. The overall quality was pretty much in line with the first season. Although, season two had a better pace; I gave it a Good (ANN) rating. Both seasons of Chihayafuru were far from being the greatest story ever told, but I liked the experience for the most part. I wish more of the source material was made into anime because I want to know how the characters continue to develop. Also, I agree that it would be a good idea for a R1 company to license this anime for home video release.
For the rest of the week I will watch my simulcasts. Next week I plan to check out and watch online some titles that Sentai/Maiden Japan has recently licensed and released on home video. I also hope that my Psycho-Pass season one, premium set from Funimation finally ships. Until next time, happy anime viewing.