1. Chaika AVENGING BATTLE, episodes 1-4 (Good) - This second season/part of Chaika continues to be a simple but fun and entertaining anime. These first episodes of AVENGING BATTLE have more or less focused on solving some of the mysteries and set the table for the conclusion. I expect the remaining 6 episodes to be busy and eventful.
2. Parasyte, episodes 1-4 (Very good) - Parasyte has quickly become in my eyes the undisputed candidate for best anime series of 2014. I know that 4 episodes or a sixth of the series is too soon to judge how this anime will turn out in the end. But the first four episodes had an appealing premise, well paced narrative and well developed characters.
3. Psycho-Pass 2, episodes 1-3 (Good) - One of the few things that bothered me from the very well made first season of Psycho-Pass is that it took several episodes of build up before a really neat and thought provoking instance was reached. Psycho-Pass 2 is doing the same, and because of that, is kind of hard to judge it. I am still giving it a positive grade because the series' material has been strong.
4. Argevollen, episodes 13-16 (Good) - The series continues to be solid, but things are beginning to get more intense and dangerous. I had hopes that the new cast addition was going to have a bigger impact, but I can wait for it. I feel that Argevollen is at a crucial juncture where it could either turn into a very good series or remain at its current quality.
5. Yona of the Dawn, episodes 1-4 (Good) - Episode 4 felt so short. I guess this means I am enjoying the show. I know that the set up is very important for a good story, but I want to see brave Yona already. I continue to see Yona of the Dawn as my surprise of the season because they characters are compelling, and the story could be good despite feeling cliched.
6. Your Lie in April, episodes 1-4 (Decent) - I am honestly not sure how to feel about this show. On the one hand, the premise is something I can really dig, especially if it has romantic aspects. But the writing can be so naive and over simplistic. How can characters go from being depressed to excited and full of life from one instant to another. I want this series to prove this pessimism wrong and become great and truly special.
7. Fate/stay night, episodes 0-4 (Very good) - Having watched the original stay night, I am very familiar with the story. But I am still very impressed by the animation and pleased with the direction and general execution. My ranking is this low because the original stay night was kind of dull. But apparently this new version will have different things. Hopefully those changes are for the better.
I decided to do some changes to my anime seasons reports. In addition to the simulcast list posted, I am actually following 3 more shows. I might have trouble being on top of every one of those shows. And because of that I plan to do two monthly reports per season, focusing on chunks of 3 or 4 episodes. To make things more convenient for me, the monthly reports will only rank the 7 shows I am more excited about.
Of course, I will have a final ranking for all the shows I have watched at the end of the season. I should post the first monthly report in a few days. Happy anime watching.
The Fall anime season is in full swing, and I am having a great time watching new titles like Yona of the Dawn and Parasyte and series continuing or sequels like Argevollen and Chaika AVENGING BATTLE. I cannot recall any previous season where I was excited to watch the newest episode from each of my simulcasts. I hope my simulcasts continue to be as appealing as they have been thus far.
In some other pleasant occurrences, the RightStuf is planning to release Turn A Gundam and Gundam ZZ next year. I am particularly happy that the former is being released because I like it a lot. Also, a new Monogatari arc is being animated and airing this December. I hope the rest of final season of novels is animated and airs next year.
Wishing for these positive things to continue, happy anime watching.
This new season has several promising shows. I do not remember seeing another season as strong as this one before. I am sure this strong lineup is also due to the fact that several shows are sequels. I am very excited about the list of simulcasts I have compiled. Hopefully this excitement will remain strong throughout the season.
1. Psycho-Pass 2 - The first season is one of the top animes from 2012, and I have high expectations that this new season will keep providing great stuff.
2. Chaika: The Coffin Princess - AVENGING BATTLE - The first season was highly exciting and entertaining. I hope AVENGING BATTLE offers a strong conclusion to this franchise.
3. Your Lie in April - I also have high expectations for this Slice of Life anime that appears like a coming of age story of good quality.
4. Argevollen - I hope to continue to enjoy this pleasant surprise from last season.
5. Parasyte: The Maxim - This anime took me by surprise. The premise looks very strong, and I am in.
6. Yona of the Dawn (Akatsuki no Yona) - I expected to not be attracted to this anime, but I have a soft spot for emotional, character driven series.
7. Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works - Not a real big fan of the Fate franchise, but I want to know if this new stay night can complement the terrific Fate/Zero.
8. SHIROBAKO - This is a comedic show that appears to have potential to be a touchy, charming story.
9. Sword Art Online II - I will keep watching it.
10. Sora no Method - This started as a pleasant looking series with cute characters; I hope it is worth it.
This season had a varied selection of shows, but they were not very remarkable. There were nice ideas behind these animes, but underwhelming and/or incomplete resolutions were a theme. Nonetheless, Summer 2014 was a good and mostly enjoyable season, and I would not be surprised if it ends up being my favorite anime season for the whole year.
1. Terror in Resonance, episodes 7-11 (Good) - In the end this is a solid, but not memorable, show. The old school vibe continued to be enjoyable, but the resolution became a bit predictable and clichéd. I am glad risky animes like Terror in Resonance continue to be made, but I am a bit disappointed that the talented staff behind it was unable to produce a better work.
2. Glasslip, episodes 7-13 (Decent) - I am still not sure how much I really liked Glasslip. The second half appeared to be ready to tie the loose ends. And to a certain extent, the series did that. But the ending was disappointing because it was cryptic and pseudo-philosophical to the point of vagueness.
3. Captain Earth, episodes 20-25 (Good) - I must say that I am very impressed by how exciting and emotional the ending of this series was. I had few expectations about how good Captain Earth could be. But I am glad that I hung in there, and my patience was rewarded with a satisfying, entertaining and feel good experience.
4. Argevollen, episodes 7-12 (Good) - This series began with plenty of exposition on the armed conflict, but it lacked meaningful character development. But it has started working on the latter in the last few episodes. With its first half concluded Argevollen appears to have been set up to have a second half full of revelations and resolutions. I look forward to see if this show continues to be solid.
5. M3: The Dark Metal, episodes 17-24 (So-so) - The show returned to some of its bad habits, causing its positive momentum to slow down. The conclusion was fine, but I feel that this series could have been better if instead of 24 generally inconsistent episodes, it instead had 13 more focused episodes. The premise was decent enough.
6. Ace of Diamond, episodes 44-50 (Decent) - With one game to go in the regional tournament, Ace of Diamond went into an enjoyable set up and remembrance arc before the big final begins. I hope the additional 25 episodes are enjoyable to me.
7. Sword Art Online II, episodes 7-13 (So-so) - This season continued trying to impress audiences with its pretentious, but ultimately faulty premise. Things were going smoothly by SAO standards, but the last episode seems to be going to a place that might mess the consistency displayed by this second season so far.
8. Black Butler: Book of Circus, episodes 7-10 (So-so) - Along with some welcome character development, the intensity and revelations continued to intensify in these last episodes. Unfortunately, this series as a whole feels like disjointed episodes without a clear structure. I continue to be captivated by the Black Butler anime franchise, but Book of Circus has to be the weakest entry.
9. Baby Steps, episodes 20-25 (Decent) - This anime continued to have nice characters interaction that I truly appreciate. I also continue to like the premise, but I feel that 25 episodes have somewhat exhausted me. It is a good thing to me that this series has ended, but the best thing is that another season of Baby Steps is airing next year; I should be recharged by then.
10. The Irregular at Magic High School, episodes 20-26 (So-so) - What do you know, this piece of shit became a somewhat endearing anime to me. The last arc was engaging because the action went up, and revelations started to pop up. I am not saying that I like this series now, but I will actually look forward to a second season if one is made.
This has been another mostly slow week, but I was able to catch up with 4 Summer animes (Blue Spring Ride, Rail Wars!, Free!: Eternal Summer and Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun) that I decided not to follow weekly, but rather watch them once the season ended. I should be able to finish them next week.
My plan is to post my final rankings for the Summer 2014 series I followed weekly on October 2 or 3. I will probably not post anything until then. Happy anime watching.
I feel like it has been forever since I posted something. I was waiting for Kabukimonogatari and the second part of From the New World to arrive. This week I finally re-watched From the New World with the English dub. I continue to like this series a lot. It has an appealing premise, good characters, and it makes me think. I am also glad that the English dub was well done.
Next week should be slow because I am not watching any series in its entirety; I am only watching my simulcasts. I should add another report before my wrap up post of Summer 2014. Happy anime watching.
I apologize for the slightly delayed post. I finished watching Cardcaptor Sakura. In general, I liked the last third of this series, but it dragged out things a bit too much. The ending was kind of sad, but it was good enough. I am still debating with myself on buying the recent DVD releases from NIS America.
And finally, here are the mid season rankings of the other two simulcasts I am following.
1. Terror in Resonance, episodes 1-6 (Good) - I was more excited about this anime after the first couple of episodes, but I am still liking the premise, especially its good, old school anime vibe. Terror in Resonance is a show that seems to significantly evolve with each episode. At the mid point it seems to be at an instance where the anime could end up being just a solid anime or become really memorable.
Needless to say, I am hoping for the latter.
8. Black Butler: Book of Circus, episodes 1-6 (So-so) - This new season continues the franchise's tradition of having attractive character designs, pretty visuals and being entertaining. The problem is that beyond those three characteristics, Book of Circus has been a largely uneventful anime with very little dept (including the new characters).
Until the next time, happy anime watching.
These past days I have been watching Cardcaptor Sakura for the first time. I am liking a lot the charming and lovable Sakura Kinomoto. The pace is leisure most of the time, but the story and characters can also be complex and intriguing. I will keep watching it, and I hope the last third of the series is as enjoyable as it has been thus far.
By the end of the week I plan to post reports of Terror in Resonance and Black Butler: Book of Circus. Until then, happy anime watching.
I have changed my mind, and I am ready to post my mid-season report. I am still liking more this season than the previous one. There are 3 shows that are kind of boring, 4 are okay and satisfying enough to keep watching weekly, but my top 3 appeal to me a lot to want to buy on home release. Here is my ranking.
1. Terror in Resonance - [I will give my report of it at a later date because I am 2 episodes behind]
2. Glasslip, episodes 1-6 (Good) - Like other original series from P.A. Works, Glasslip is a light drama with teenagers living in a idyllic, small town. I am enjoying this anime a lot. The characters are likable, there is enough drama and comedy and the visuals are very enjoyable to look at. The story is developing a bit slowly, but I trust that it will pick up in the second half and end in a good note.
3. Argevollen, episodes 1-6 (Good) - This anime is my surprise of this season. I was initially drawn to this show because it has very nice visuals, but I am starting to like the characters more. The premise is not that interesting yet, but it has potential to develop the characters nicely and have a strong story. I got more excited about Argevollen when I found out that it will be 24 episodes long.
4. M3: The Dark Metal, episodes 11-16 (So-so) - This anime continues to have a positive momentum that has resulted in an overall improvement. M3 has solved some mysteries from previous episodes, but it continues to introduce new, intriguing elements. I look forward to see how things get solved.
5. Captain Earth, episodes 14-19 (Decent) - Captain Earth has kept improving with each episode. I am happy that some issues among the characters were solved, and the show has given clarity to several questions. I am very excited about this anime, and it looks like the resolution will be explosive. I hope things end in a positive note.
6. Sword Art Online II, episodes 1-6 (Decent) - Much like the first season, Sword Art Online II is also an often mediocre written and pretentious show, but it is at least consistent. It is too early to make a judgement on this season. The series is appealing enough so far, and I will keep watching.
7. Baby Steps, episodes 14-19 (Decent) - I am still liking this show in general. It can be a bit of the drag when two or more episodes focus on a single tennis match, but the characters' interactions are still nice.
8. Black Butler: Book of Circus [I will give my report of it at a later date because I am 2 episodes behind]
9. Ace of Diamond, episodes 38-43 (Decent) - The tournament arc continues, but the last two episodes have been more exciting. I look forward to seeing this positive momentum continue.
10. The Irregular at Magic High School, episodes 14-19 (Not really good) - This anime is still boring, but the arc that just began seems less boring than the previous one. I plan to keep watching this stupid and, at times comically, pandering anime.