TWWK: Maybe because Japanese anime seasons are like nature’s seasons, four per year, they seem to fly by, with current ones ending before we know it and new ones beginning almost too soon. It was the same with this spring season, which is quickly coming to a close. As with the winter anime, two of our writers are ruminating on the season that was and giving their thoughts on it. Today, Kaze and Japesland reflect back and review on series that only one or the other watched. In parts two and three of their spring 2014 anime review, our anime aficionados will discuss and debate the series that they both watched.
So without further to do…
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – [7/10]
JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken Stardust Crusaders
I marathoned the first season (parts 1+2) shortly before spring season began in anticipation for Stardust Crusaders. I was well aware of the series for years but never got into it as the length was intimidating. Having greatly enjoyed it so far, I was excited to see how part 3 would progress. While at the moment, it hasn’t been as exciting as previous parts as it has basically been “monster of the week” type progression, the fight scenes are still interesting as they are more tactical based than power based, and the animation has been superb. And since the season has been confirmed as 4 cours, there is still plenty of time for it to really get rolling.
Knights of Sidonia – [6/10]
Sidonia no Kishi
Knights of Sidonia ended up being one of the better shows this season. Its sci-fi, from photosynthesizing humans to the mysterious aliens Gauna, was quite brilliant, as one would expect from Nihei, the author of Biomega and Blame. The CG was annoying and difficult to get used to, however. Also, while I enjoyed the show, the series suffered from being 1 cour in length – it was too short for any major developments to happen and also avoided jumping ahead to any exciting or plot-driven points, leaving viewers feeling like nothing really happened. But it seems that complaint may be unfair as a second season is already in the works, and I suspect the show will improve with a more overarching plot.
Nanana’s Buried Treasure – [5/10]
Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin
Nanana is perhaps the show the I knew least about going in, so I’d like to believe I watched it with a fairly unbiased view. The show started out alright with some interesting characters but as soon as the “plot” began to develop, it took a nosedive toward mediocrity and worse. The “puzzles” were largely brute forced or solved in an instant by the self-proclaimed detective (fun fact: while one would expect her name Tensai to be written as 天才, meaning genius, it is written as 天災, meaning calamity or disaster). I later learned the anime cut out about 5 volumes worth of information, so without a doubt, the adaptation was a failure that leaves you with only vague references as to what is happening while throwing random excerpts from the novels at you. I would give this a lower score if it weren’t for Tensai and Nanana keeping me entertained.
No Game No Life – [4/10]
No Game No Life
As it is one of the most popular shows of the season, I may get a lot of flak for this, but I found No Game No Life to be fairly terrible. No, I get it’s supposed to be dumb fun, but there are other ways to go about that than pretending everything is just as planned when really it comes down to things just short of dues ex machina developments. There is dumb fun where authors throw entertaining things at you without cares and then there is this where the author pretends he and his characters are smart. Basically, I would like it more if it was actually dumb fun instead of dumb fun hiding behind a facade of intelligence. It doesn’t help that I only found one character interesting – Jibril, who also happened to be voiced by best voice actress Yukarin. Thank you, Yukarin, saving anime since Kill la Kill. Finally, uncounted bonus points for giving birth to No Radio No Life, which was one very entertaining radio program.
Captain Earth – [4/10]
I picked up Captain Earth almost halfway through the season at the behest of a good friend of mine whose tastes I trust more than any other. I am hardly a fan of mecha (eith the exception of Suisei no Gargantia and the Gunbuster series), so without that recommendation I likely would have never even considered starting it. Sadly, this is probably the one time I’ve felt this friend’s recommendation to be completely wrong (though, to be fair, he recommended it at episode two and would probably agree with me now). Though it’s not awful, it’s far from good. A convoluted story, poorly developed cast, and general lack of explanation or cohesion culminates in an icky mess of pretty pictures. GIANT ROBOTS AND MELODRAMATIC TEENS PILOTING THEM TO SAVE THE WORLD. Yup, that’s never happened in an anime before…
Kamigami no Asobi – [3/10]
Kamigami no Asobi
Blah. Just BLAH! Otome (dating sims geared toward girls) rarely make good anime, and this was no exception. The characters were all poorly-written male (bishounen) archetypes, with very little personality beyond the generic exterior. Seeing high school versions of different mythologies’ gods just isn’t my thing, I suppose. Do yourself a favor and skip this one. Oh, but the Celtic-inspired soundtrack is sometimes pretty nice!
Kiniro no Corda: Blue Sky – [4/10]
Kiniro no Corda: Blue Sky
Another otome adaptation I decided to pick up for no apparent reason at all. Seriously, I have no idea why I started this anime, much less finished it. Everything about it screams “generic” and “mediocre”. It’s main saving grace, and what keeps it from scoring as low as Kamigami no Asobi, is that much of the instrumental music featured in the anime as performances by the characters is actually quite good. This may be the only time I’ve ever watched an anime for the music alone, with all other aspects being quite obviously subpar.
Kaze: I clearly have superior choices in anime viewing.
Japesland: Sadly, I can’t deny that… Really. Why did I even finish these?
Kaze: The real question is why did you even pick them up?
Japesland: Well there’s a good answer for that! You see, well… umm… it’s just that… yeah- uhh… nope, can’t think of anything. And two otome adaptations to boot! Honestly, what was I thinking…
Kaze: I actually have no response to that. *shakes head*
Japesland: …On that note, look forward to part two of our reviews tomorrow! I might actually sort of like something!
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