Spring Anime Season 2014 – Review July 5, 2014Posted by coolmikeol in Anime.
Tags: 2014, Coolmikeol, Review, Spring Anime Season 2014
I’m going to be doing something slightly different for my anime reviews. Rather than always doing them singular post style, which takes more effort and is less enjoyable in my opinion to do, I’m going to do Anime Season Reviews, where I’ll be able to share my thoughts on all the animes I watched from that season. It makes more sense for me to do this for a couple of reasons: It allows me to review as much animes as I want to without the hassle of writing up much longer posts which I do for completionist sake (synopsis, background information, etc.) in order to just put down my thoughts on the anime itself. This doesn’t mean that I won’t be working on singular anime posts, It’ll just be reserved for my favorites animes of the bunch. Since these kinds of posts are new to me, they will be rough in the beginning, but I hope to make them as good as they can be as I write them.
To summarize what my Anime Season Reviews will be like, it will basically be a list of animes I watched during that particular anime season, not necessarily limited to animes that just started that season. With each anime on the list, I will express my thoughts about each one, without the background information, that’s where the link to the anime’s My Anime List page comes into play. Because of this, please beware of potential spoilers from my quick thoughts. You have been warned if you’re wary of spoilers like I am.
Now then, off to reviewing!
A definite theme I noticed for this 2014 Spring Anime Season was that of strong protagonists, specifically the male ones. When I say strong, not just in the sense of strength, but also in personality. Basically a lot of them weren’t wimps when it came to girls and are pretty much badass. It’s quite refreshing after watching the usual animes where that is usually not the case (IS2). Originally at the beginning of the Spring Anime Season, I had planned to only watch Date A Live II and Love Live! 2nd Season, but then I eventually checked out more of what was airing this season, thus why my list got pretty long this Spring. Anyways, here is what I watched this anime season:
Akuma no Riddle was one of those animes that I was a bit hesitant to watch. Not because of the yuri theme, but rather of the suggested blood and gore I thought it would have. Turns out that it wasn’t that bad in that regard. Each episode tended to focus on each character against Tokaku and Haru. By around the middle of the season I was thinking that Tokaku might be defending Haru for the sole purpose of killing her without everyone else around, me trying to predict a dark end to an anime that seemed to suggest it. At the last few episodes though, it did come down to it being a Tokaku vs. Haru thing, but not for the reason I was thinking it would of been before. The ending of the series I felt was alright, I was even surprised that all of the Black Class survived even though it was hinted at first that some of them died. I know some people wanted people to die, but an ending doesn’t always need a sacrifice for it to be good right?
What first got me interested in this anime was the opening theme of the show. As you may or may not know, I’m an avid music lover, especially when it comes to anisongs (Anime songs). The opening theme of Black Bullet is from fripSide, known for doing music from other series such as from the Toaru Kagaku no Railgun series. Anyways, the anime itself was good in my opinion; drama, action, some comedy with strong main characters. The main plotline of the series can be compared a bit to Attack on Titan where external forces are keeping humanity cooped up behind walls, in this case barriers that repel things called Gastrea.
After finishing the season, I feel that it ended as expected, but that it left some things either questionable or unchanged. What will happen to Kisara after she looks to be turned into “true evil”? What about Enju and Tina’s corrosion rates? Is it expected that while Rentaro wouldn’t want anything to happen to them, would he be able to do something to prevent them from eventually turning into Gastrea with his higher ranking? The ending didn’t really suggest that there will be another season, but only time will tell I guess.
Break Blade was another one of those animes I tried to watch without planning to. What got me interested in this anime was not necessarily the mechs or the characters or the main story, but rather the mystery behind the mech Delphine which doesn’t use magic as a power source but that of more conventional science, reactors and such. I wanted to see more of its whereabouts, as the characters call it an ancient weapon. It looks to be a mech from an era between our own and their own, an era where mechs were developed from science research, the Delphine being a Japanese model from the text that comes on screen that cannot be read by the present characters. Why the Delphine was created, I guess no one really knows as it being an ancient weapon is played off simply put as a powerful weapon that cannot be explained. I’d like there to be a prequel that shows the Delphine’s era, where is was probably created for a war of some sort, maybe one that eventually created the world of magic that the present story takes place in.
As for the anime itself, I found it a good watch. While I kept anticipating new details to come out about the Delphine, I also found myself wondering about the main conflict of the story, the war. Why these nations were at war, I wasn’t too sure, even if they explained it to me. Was it about resources? Was it hatred of the people of the nations? Beats me. Guess that’s how much the war interested me. The conclusion may have stopped the immediate invasion of Krisna, but another could eventually take action again and win. After all, the main character Rygart is a rookie pilot who seems to win through the enemy’s unfamiliarity of his weapon, the Delphine. Once that factor is figured out, it’s only a matter of time for him to fail it seems.
This was one of the two I originally planned to watch this Spring Anime Season due to the fact that I watched the first season already. As expected it’s a continuation of Shido being surrounded by girls with the ability to pretty much destroy anything if they truly wanted to. This time however Shido uses some of his power of using the Spirits powers to fight to protect them (to some extent). He shows that he isn’t some immortal guy with words, he can fight too with his will to do what he can for the Spirits that he feels shouldn’t be fought against with the ability he possesses in play. The conclusion to Date A Live II was expected, with him saving Touka and sealing Miku. I’m still wondering what Kurumi wants, as she tends to be the most mysterious out of all the Spirits. My favorite part of the season was when Kurumi was helping Shido out in rescuing Touka. She helps him out, but she seems to want to kill him too, I don’t know. At least she’s not an airhead like the other Spirits.
I started watching this anime about halfway into it’s season, after hearing good things about it from here and there. If you didn’t already know, I’m a sucker for romantic animes, romantic comedy, etc. Pretty much anything that deals with cute relationships and stuff. While I know that in this anime’s case, romance isn’t directly involved, it’s still obviously present. I can break this anime into two parts, which split around the middle of the series: The first half is Hase establishing his relationship with Fujimiya despite her resetting memories, to the point that it seems that she’s able to remember him consistently to a certain point. Also the creation of the circle of main characters of Hase, Fujimiya, Kiryuu, and Yamagishi. The first half was a bit slow to watch, which is why it took me a while to get though those first several episodes. The second half starts when Hajime arrives on the scene, moving back to Tokyo after moving away a few years ago. I knew he was part of the reason why Fujimiya’s memories were affected the way they were, but after hearing the full story of what happened, I kind of felt bad for him. Because of Fujimiya’s friends getting jealous of her for being close to Hajime, they made her run away and get into that accident that, in combination with the mental stress from her friends, caused her to have memory relapses specifically of friends; her mind doing so to protect itself from future harm I’m assuming. When Hase realizes that he and Hajime are alike in the manner that they wanted to be close friends with Fujimiya, he started to distance himself from her, thinking that by doing so would prevent something drastic from happening again that would make her lose her memories again. The shock of seeing Hajime again after so long made her memories reset, so I can understand why Hase thought at first that it would be best to not do anything major with her anymore. However, it’s because of his persistence of wanting to be her friend that is helping her return to a more regular and enjoyable lifestyle. At first I thought this anime would be sort of like the movie 50 First Dates, but luckily enough it wasn’t exactly like it. The ending of the anime gave it a good warmhearted feel to it. Even though there was still issues with her memory, the cause was found, so with that she should be able to improve to the point she was at when she was at her best.
I want to also mention some things about the characters Kiryuu and Yamagishi, first with Kiryuu. In the beginning he seems like a gloomy character that doesn’t care much about things around him. Also I felt as if Hase forced himself to be Kiryuu’s friend (or vice versa) because it didn’t look like they had other friends to begin with. Later on it’s apparent that, while Kiryuu acts the way he does, he still seems to care about the people around him, giving advice that isn’t emotionally charged, basically logical ones. His advice helps all the characters out in one way or another, which puts him as an important character to moving the story forward. Yamagishi on the other hand, while part of the main circle of characters, I felt she was like a side character as there wasn’t anything totally unique about her except her forgetfulness which got annoying at times. It was only towards the end that she started to stand out, when she was with Kiryuu anyways. Turns out that both of them were classmates back in elementary school, and he tried to help her out by leaving notes from class in her locker. While she didn’t know who tried to help her back then, since then, she has at least remembered that someone helped her, and finally it was revealed to her that it was in fact Kiryuu who helped her back then. It was quite sweet to see her asking him if he can rely on him in the future, with him reacting very subtly with a blush. I found their hinted relationship a little bit better than that of Fujimiya and Hase.
Overall, I found this anime to be one of those slow but sweet ones where you can understand the characters emotionally.
I watched the second season of Love Live! School Idol Project because I already watched the first. I pretty much almost always watch future seasons of animes I’ve watched before. Besides that, I don’t want to make it sound as if I’m only watching it for that reason, as I do enjoy Love Live! for what it is. The second season begins where the first ended, with it starting off with an announcement of another Love Live!, another chance for glory for the school idol group. This is their final chance at it as three member would be graduating at the end of the school year. Since they already saved the school from closure due to their popularity, μ’s aims to win through their determination and relationships between one another, to prove their friendship and themselves for the others around them that have helped them get this far.
This season was a bit dry at times, as at one point I stopped watching for a few weeks before catching up. Overall though I did enjoy watching μ’s develop to a unique idol group that seemed to make the best decision at the end to retire μ’s. When you compare μ’s to a real life idol group like AKB48, their reasoning for disbanding μ’s is convincing: The 9 of them is μ’s, any less and it’s lost it’s reasoning to exist. Just swapping people in and out of a named group, the focus would shift to the name and not the people within it. μ’s is not a brand, but a circle of nine that created something unique for their school that will be remembered for the future generations of students that will attend it because of their hard work.
I like the music from the series, and their music videos are always colorful, moving, and sometimes in 3D. It seems that there will be a movie in the future, as it was announced at the end of the season. No word about what’s it about and when it takes place. Hopefully it won’t just be a recap of both seasons. I guess it would be nice to see a future reunion of μ’s, but I’ll wait to see what it will actually be when details are released.
While Mahouka is still airing, I’ll still say that the first half of the full 26 episode season has been alright. In the beginning I found Tatsuya to be a cool character (which he still is now), but at the 13 episode point, I feel that someone has to rival him. I feel that, while strong main characters are good and all, it has gotten to a point where I feel that the main characters are getting full of themselves in a way. Always doubting themselves, yet steamrolling everyone else when push comes to shove. At the end of the 13 episode, that rival has appeared to Tatsuya, so I hope this brings some more struggle to the underestimated yet overpowered main characters of the series.
No Game, No Life was one of those unplanned animes to watch of mine, and I’m sure glad I did. While the synopsis of the series seemed kind of plain, the protagonists being thrown into a world where games determine everything, it’s actually more than that. Sora and Shiro, a sibling pair who is unrivaled in anything game related, but hates dealing with the real world, creates a name for themselves in a new world where Humanity is on the brink. Through their sheer intellect, gaming skills, and trust in one another Sora and Shiro, aka Blank, wins friends, allies, and territory for the ailing nation of Imanity with the intent to challenge the God of this new world.
What is awesome about this anime is that, while it has its usual comedy and fanservice moments, is the times where Blank gets serious in their game playing. They are always one step ahead of their opponent, whether it is obvious or not. Just when you think they are down and out, something unexpected happens, not usually out of a miracle but out of precise planning and trust. How far they’ll go, I think all the way to the end and beyond. While knowing how things will end isn’t all that fun, figuring out how they will do it is what makes this anime an excellent watch.
Soul Eater NOT! is one those animes that I discovered through music more than from its synopsis. It’s catchy opening theme made by kz Livetune got me to make a Basic Piano Melody video, so you can check it out here. Soul Eater NOT! takes place in the Soul Eater universe through the eyes of a new main character Tsugumi (weapon) with her friends Anya and Meme (meisters). As I have not watched the original series, this was my first look into the Soul Eater series. This was a good light anime to introduce the terminology of the series, as I might watch the original Soul Eater when I have time.
Soul Eater NOT! is a pretty typical anime about the main character learning to control her powers to protect the ones she cares about. I like the chemistry between Tsugumi and Anya and Meme; the two both having the ability already to fight armed and unarmed. Tsugumi is still a weapon in training, and also had to ultimately decide which one of them would become her partner or meister. In the end of the season, she choose both of them for now. In my opinion, I kind of feel that Anya is a better choice as meister for Tsugumi because she seems to have experience using staff and halberd type weapons. Meme seems to be more towards raw physical power, using kicks and punches, so a weapon that adds to that seems appropriate. I’m not saying that I don’t agree with Tsugumi choosing both of them, but if the time comes when she really needs to choose just one of them, Anya is my choice. It’s not like they can’t still be friends, but of course they won’t be as close either. Overall, I liked watching this anime as an introduction to the main Soul Eater series. If there is a continuation to the Soul Eater NOT! anime, I’ll watch it.
Recently I’ve found that mini series like this one are nice to digest when you don’t want to watch full 24 minute episodes. In this anime short, we see Aito, a Manga artist interact with his assistants in a daily life setting. Each of the characters have their own unique personality as expected: Aito’s the perverted, hard working, manga artist; Ashisu is the down-to-Earth, trying to debut main mangaka assistant; Mihari is the high school friend/strict editor of Aito’s manga; Rinna is the inexperienced cute and happy new assistant; and Sena is the call-in “super assistant” with a super tsundere attitude. All of them play off each other quite well to make this a good comedy slice of life show. If you didn’t know already, the guy who voices Aito is the same who voice’s Kirito (SAO) and Sora (No Game, No Life), and in this anime his voice goes all over the place in a good way. It shows that he is very talented as a seiyuu (voice actor) and that he can play different characters in very different circumstances.
As there isn’t much story wise, all I can really say is that I definitely enjoyed watching this anime. While Aito may be a perverted, pantsu loving mangaka, he also has his good points, like caring for all his assistants and friends. His ability to also work and finish his manga last minute multiple times is also something quite remarkable. While the main anime is over, there seems to be several specials airing from now until the end of the year.
Tonari no Seki-kun is a fun little anime where a girl named Yokoi always finds herself entangled with her classmates random schemes, whether she wants to be or not. Yokoi, who is voiced by Kana Hanazawa, speaks a lot (in her mind) in this anime as her imagination runs wild when getting herself involved with Seki’s antics. Seki himself doesn’t speak much, always concentrating on whatever he’s doing, whether it be playing with a family of robot figures, making elaborate buildings, or just trying to push the limits of not getting caught by the teacher. Every episode brings something new and sometimes unexpected as Seki does what he wants in class. What’s cool is that while usually Seki plays by himself, he sometimes gets input from Yokoi whether he knows or not, which pleases her if she doesn’t get caught by the teacher which she usually does. Overall, this anime was a joy to watch, with its also catchy ending theme where Seki is playing the drums on lunch containers in the classroom after class.
Watched this out of curiosity and enjoyed it, Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san is an mini anime series about the everyday life of main characters Inugami and Nekoyama. As their name implies, they are each like a dog and a cat in personality, but like the other in preference. Their friends around them also have their own unique personalities, some bearing resemblance to other animals as well. There is a slight yuri theme to this anime, but it doesn’t go too far to get a changed airtime (in show joke).
As this is a new format I’m using now, let me know if there’s anything else you’d like me to include or improve. If not, comments about the animes above is very much welcome. I’ll be doing this for every anime season, so expect another one of these posts in the fall when most of the summer animes are ending for the 2014 Summer Anime Season. Look forward to it!