Just in time for the Winter Season, here's some anime critiques about hair fetishes and mermen in bathtubs!
On the whole, the Fall Season of 2014 was pretty good. I wouldn't say it was phenomenal by any means, but it was a solid enough season that made me pretty happy on the whole. I didn't see anything genre defining or whatnot, but I still saw enough pretty pictures to make this a difficult choice for choosing a "best show" of the season. And now, in alphabetical order, here are the shows that I watched for the season and my thoughts about each of them!
|Akame ga Kill!|
However, the action in this show is still phenomenal, and I've discovered that the main reason to watch this show is because of it's incredible cast of villains. The second half of the show put much more of a focus on fighting long running antagonists that were legitimate threats to Night Raid, the assassination group our protagonists are from. Villains were strong, had cool weapons, distinguishable personalities, and are just well developed characters. Whether it's Seryu Ubiquitous and her ideals on pure justice, or Bols, the sensitive guilt ridden pryomaniac with a loving family, or even the main villain, General Esdeath, who is so interesting to comprehend that I wish we had more of her in the show.
Then you have the controversial ending that the anime takes. I'm not going to spoil it for anyone, but the anime has an original ending due to the fact that the manga is still ongoing. Some characters live, some die, but it's very clear that the ending of the anime will be vastly different from the manga, and people have sworn off the show ever since they made deviations from the source material. My thoughts? If the manga is still ongoing, no shit it's going to be an original ending. In fact, I prefer it that way! I was never going to read the manga to begin with, so the fact that it's different has no weight or merit to me. I can see if people are annoyed by that, but I instead take it as a chance to let two creative teams work on the same property and see which version has the better ending and the better story. I enjoyed the show for what it was, original ending or not.
|Gonna be the Twin-tail!|
Can I quit talking about this show now? Look, I've tried to endure this show, but this is the dumbest concept for a show that I've seen and it just runs with it. It's so ludicrous, so completely off the rails insane, that it might actually be a work of art. This show is so insane and lacks all logic, comprehension, and decency, that this show may actually be a brilliant piece of social commentary that no one is acknowledging.
...Or it could just be a show completely dedicated to fanservice that gets away with being a comedy by how illogical it is. Both are viable here. If you're interested, go watch it. A picture is worth a thousand words so...
|Orenchi no Furo Jijo|
Each episode is only four minutes long, and that's taking into account a surprisingly dark and serious opening that lasts for about forty five seconds. And I mean that that opening is dark! It's got great metal in it, everything's black and white, people are screaming and being incredibly emotional... and then you cute to a chibi merman in a bathtub. That just works for comedic material! I don't know how I can tell you this show is funny without actually showing you an episode. In fact...
There, that should sufficiently say whether or not you'll like this show. It's thirteen four minute episodes, so you can watch all of it in less than an hour. Give it a dive, and hop that you'll have a merman in your bathroom too!
|Parasyte the Maxim|
Parasyte is a phenomenal show that serves mostly as a character study of our main hero Shinichi. From the beginning, he's introduce as being a shy and awkward nerd with poor social skills. He still has friends and even has a potential girlfriend, but he's a pretty weak guy. However, over the course of the past twelve episodes, Shinichi has transformed and become a completely different person, sometimes for the better, but mostly for worse. At it's core, this show is a action horror anime, with a strong focus on the parasites themselves. These creatures eat humans, so ever episode usually shows one eating a human or transforming a human host into a horrible monstrosity for combat. The action is not that great though, usually only involving high speed blade fights with a bunch of people just standing out. It's never interesting watching a fight scene where all the combatants do is just stand there trading blows.
However, what makes this show standout is the progression our main character goes through and how characters lose their humanity throughout the show. In one scene, a character takes a dead dog and throws him in the trash can, thinking that the dog is just a waste of flesh that needs to be disposed of. Keep in mind though that that is a human talking, not an alien parasite. A human says that and is viewed as a monster. So that begs that question, what really is a monster? Is it the parasites that turn into physical monsters, or the humans that have no regard for life or other peoples emotions or well beings?
I've heard a bunch of people bemoan the series for having hackneyed origin stories (that'll make sense around episode 6), and poor treatment of female characters for male character developments (Women in Refrigerator Syndrome), but the show is going to be a two cour and run into next season. Until then, I'm looking forward to whatever else Parasyte the Maxim decides to throw our way.
I've been watching this show for some time, and all that it's done is left me waiting until something interesting happens. The first arc was so phenomenally boring and underwhelming that even the action scenes weren't enough of a gratification for watching the show. Several scenes are dedicated to exposition and explaining how the world works, even though the world itself is not interesting. It's the near future and aliens from another dimension are invading. Only soldiers known as Triggers are able to stop them, but one boy named Kuga is apparently from the dimension that the aliens are from, yet he decides to save humanity and protect the world and blah blah blah blah.
This is an extremely generic plot if I've ever heard one, but execution is what matters, right? Even if the plot of your show isn't too riveting, as long as it looks nice and has some great animation to it, then people will tolerate it, right? Not so with World Trigger. The animation is sloppy, lazy, and barely has anything interesting happen at all. Even the action scenes, which should have a lot of energy and pizazz to them, are slow and boring. Everything about this show is just plain vanilla generic.
I know that people are saying that it took a while for the manga to get good, but I'm not holding out for it. This show is boring to watch, boring to pay attention to, and is just boring on ever level. Give this a definite pass.
|Yuki Yuna is a Hero|
And that's as far as I'm willing to talk about. I will say that this show is brilliant when it comes to establishing character relationships and flabbergasting the audience with its plot twists and huge reveals, but I feel like it's going to stay firmly in the shadows of its predecessor. Which predecessor? Well gee, take a wild guess when I'm talking about a show about a bunch of middle school girls helping out other people. I will say however that this show serves as a tonal counterpointing to its clear inspiration. While that show ended on a grim and tragic tone, Yuki Yuna is a Hero ends up being a much happier story, despite the hardships our protagonists go through. There are times when these girls physically destroy themselves for their cause, and it's devastating to watch. One scene literally has a character put her all into what she does, but the audience is yelling at her to stop or the repercussions will literally ruin her life.
It sucks that I can't talk about what show inspired Yuki Yuna, but my reasons are very obvious for this one. As soon as I make the comparison between this show and its inspiration, it will instantly be viewed in an inferior light. Hell, I thought that way myself when I saw this show for the first time. I thought that there was no way that it could be on the same level as its inspiration, and so I shouldn't watch it at all. However, what made it worth watching in the end was how much you grew to care about each of the characters and wanted them to be happy. They get put through so much hardship, but even then you can't help but like them. Plus the key elements of friendship are especially strong here and worth every second. It may be sappy to hear each of these characters talk about friendship and how much each of them mean towards each other, but it feels genuine here and not forced. It's friendship in its purest form.
In the end, I liked Yuki Yuna is a Hero. It may not overcome the shadow of its predecessor, but it's still a great watch that left me cheering, devastated, impacted, and glad that I saw this show.
Trying to pick a best show this season was actually pretty difficult. I liked almost every show that I watched this season, with the exception of two shows, so let's get them out of the way first.
In last place undeniably is Gonna Be the Twin-tail!, a show that showcases all of the worst aspects that anime has to offer. It's so insane that I might have given it a pass, but giving a positive rating tot this show doesn't sit right with me at all. Following up close behind it though is World Trigger, a show that is boring and embodies why I don't follow shonen manga or anime anymore (with the exception of One Piece).
So what about the other four? Coming in fourth is going to be Orenchi no Furo Jijo for being a simple, yet effective comedy. I couldn't give it any higher than that since the rest of the shows I feel are legitimately good. The last three though are very tough for me to decide between. All three of them are good, but I have to give the edge to shows that actually finished this season, so Parasyte the Maxim is out. That's not to discredit the show, since it's great, but I still want to wait until the very end of its run to fully weigh on how much I liked it. Besides, naming it the best show of the season feels wrong when it still has the potential to become bad. It probably won't happen, but fair is fair.
So that leaves Yuki Yuna is a Hero and Akame ga Kill!. Between the two, I'm going to give the slightest of edges to Akame ga Kill! due to how much fun I had watching each episode. There were some episodes of Yuki Yuna where I was checking my watch and hoping for something interesting to happen, but Akame ga Kill! always had something great and over the top happen on screen. It wasn't revolutionary or anything, but it was a simple action show that kept me hooked from beginning to end, and what a satisfying end it was. The best show of Fall 2014 was Akame ga Kill!