What you should be watching this season – Spring 2014 Anime Roundup

And into the 2014 Spring season we go, spring brings with it lots of sports shows and surprisingly few sequels. Probably an above average season, I’ll be following a fair few shows if they continue at the pace they are currently at.

Note: All opinions in this article formed after watching 2 or less episodes of a given show, aka. Don’t blame me if a show goes downhill rapidly, I ain’t no clairvoyant.

This is not a full list, there are a ton of other shows I didn’t bother checking out or didn’t want to check out (mostly anything with mechs, a few shoujos, another season of mushishi, something to do with love live, and a handful of shows which look to be aimed at children). Theres a full list of this season’s shows here

God Tier:

Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure – Stardust Crusaders

zplayer 2014-04-18 11-32-18-92

Hail to the king baby. Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is back, this time covering the most popular arc of the manga – part 3, Stardust Crusaders. Part 3 introduces the addition of ‘stands’, a physical representation of one’s life force, and shit basically gets real. Having already seen the original JJBA Part3 anime released about 20 years ago, viewers will definitely be in for a treat, this is a fast moving story, with important characters occasionally introduced and then promptly killed off in the same episode. If you have no exposure to the Jojo’s series, this is a great time to start.

Ping Pong the Animation

Pingponganimation

Ping pong boasts probably the ugliest visuals ever seen in a modern anime, and yet it’s exquisite style and content is more than enough to make you quickly forget and adapt yourself to its standards. The story follows Smile, an introvert naturally gifted at table tennis, I can’t really say much more than that because that’s about as far as the story has gotten in 2 episodes, but as i mentioned earlier, the style and direction of this one is really impressive.

Lookin good Tier:

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
(Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou)

kawaisou

Kind of the ‘Sakurasou’ of this season, a dorm comedy/slice of life with emphasis on the characters rather than what they actually get up to (which, as somewhat usual for a slice of life, is nothing at all). Kawaisou has some fun characters, and is off to a fairly good start.

Haikyuu!!

haikyuu

Yet another sports show for this season, this time volleyball. A short spiker meets a tall setter, naturally they don’t get along, but once they do, some shit is going to go down. Got some pretty cool animation at points too.

Isshuukan Friends.
(
One week friends)

isshukanfriends

Ever see that film ’50 first dates’ with Adam Sandler? the one where the girl loses her memory every day? That – but once a week.
It’s kind of a bittersweet story, yet one which is heartwarming to watch unfold.

No Game No Life

nogamenolife

A pair of no-life gamers get transported to an alternate world which is ruled by betting and games. Don’t like someone? why not play rock paper scissors and whoever loses has to kill themselves? This is that sort of world. It’s kind of Kaiji meets ecchi/moe, in a world where you can rule the world with the right bets and by playing the right games.
Oh, it also has this ridiculously bright and colourful colour palette, which is kind of nice.

Soul Eater Not!

souleaternot

Kind of like if K-on was set in Soul Eater’s Death City, with only 2 episodes so far, it’s hard to tell how much soul eater is actually going to be present in this slice of life spinoff series. The first episode had some battle and transformations, yet the second episode had the characters in maid outfits working a part time job. So… yeah. Might not be worth watching if you wanted more soul eater, but if you are okay with an adorable slice of life where the girls can turn into weapons, this might be your thing.
^POST SEASON EDIT: THIS SHOW SUCKS D. DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME.

Baby Steps

babysteps

Nerd attempts to learn how to play Tennis, might be a bit of romance later on down the line, but for now it’s a fairly typical zero to hero sports story, and I’m okay with that.

Sitting on the fence Tier:

Mekakucity Actors

Yet another highly stylized SHAFT production, as usual the art and direction is interesting, the story however seems odd. That said, still fairly interesting, and the AI partner the main character travels with is voiced by Asumi Kana, so there’s that at least. Will probably keep following to see if it gets any better.

The irregular at magic high school
(Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei)

Probably the best of this tier. In a magical school where students are classed as first and second class based on their magical ability, a guy in second class breaks status quo. it does seem to be a bit of a typical battle / school kind of show though.

Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin

A kind of fun easygoing story about modern day treasure hunting on an island, looking for Nanana’s artifacts, Nanana of course is an adorable ghost who lives with the main character and spends all her time playing PSO2 and eating pudding (im not joking.). I’ll probably follow it for a few episodes but am reluctant to give a recommendation just yet.

Akuma no Riddle

Bit of a Danganronpa vibe from this one, a classroom filled with 1 ‘ordinary’ girl and 12 assassins who have to kill her. They are of course, all female. It’s not awful so far, but it’s not particularly great either.

Brynhildr in the Darkness

Guy stumbles upon a clairvoyant cripple and a magician, they try to stop people from dying before it happens, final destination style. Oh, but if any of them get caught by ‘da bad guys™’ they all get murdered. Not looking great, but the intro video and unexplained background of the characters will likely have me watching another few episodes to see how things go.

Black Bullet

Not sure how I feel about this one, the first episode seemed like another monster invasion save the world kind of story, yet the second episode delved into more of the universe and had some interesting character development alongside some plot. It has, at the very least, earned itself another episode or two to prove itself.

Unimpressed Tier:

Selector Infected Wixoss

Card games, where the cards are adorable little girls, and the players are adorable little girls. They fight to become the magical girl or something, i dont fuckin’ know.

The World Is Still Beautiful

King of the sun kingdom wants to bring forth the rain, so he summons a woman from the rain kingdom, problem is, she can’t call the rain without being shown how beautiful the world is – which, if 2 episodes is anything to go by, means looking at some flowers.

Chaika the Coffin Princess

Fairly uninteresting battle show featuring a girl with a speech impediment who carries a coffin on her back. There are some neat magic scenes, but for the most part I found the two episodes really boring – even during the fight scenes.

Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara

Kind of an obnoxiously cliche harem show, complete with just about every character trope known (trap, big sister type, tsundere, etc). It may be something I put on in the background, but its not really convincing me any further than that.

Waste of bandwidthTier:

Sidonia no Kishi

I personally hated this one, a bland story about godknows what, and then all of the characters are animated by CGI, and it honestly looks awful. It felt like watching a 22 minute cutscene from some Japanese space opera RPG with character models devoid of emotions, we’re not talking a good RPG either (I might be fine with episodic cutscenes from Squeenix or Level-5). There are some mecha style space fighting scenes, and those were actually pretty good and complimented the CGI, maybe if you are into mecha shows you’ll find some joy here. (but man. those faces.)

Gochuumon wa Usagi Desuka?

Moeblob little girls working in a cafe.

The Comic Artist and His Assistants

Perverted Manga artist and his assistants, not a whole lot of story or personality here, just some light ecchi fantasizing.