Hello everyone and welcome to the Spring 2014 Roundtable! With the end of the spring season, we are here to wrap our thoughts on last season by sharing what was the best, worse, and underrated anime shows. The questions are recycled from our last roundtable, Winter 2014 Roundtable. We have HalberdierV2 (Halv2), BigHeart711, Marshal Victory (Marshal), and Takashichea (Taka). Everyone except Marshal was in a chat room.
Hope you enjoy the roundtable. Let us know what shows you found great or not so great in the comments! Also, don't forget to check Tom and his Vice Pit videos on best Spring 2014 titles and worse shows.
What stood out in the spring 2014 guide?
Marshal: Good examples of the selection of odd anime would be World is Still Beautiful which I really was surprised to enjoy and Mekaku City Actors which I'm not sure I understood all the things that happened, but it was a odd interesting trip. The defective detective in Kindaichi Case Files Returns really did capture its older series flavor with an updated world.
Taka: For me, it was these three shows: Fairy Tail, Irregular at the Magical High School, and World is Still Beautiful. Irregular's poster attracted me while World is Still Beautiful had an age gap that was unique in Shoujo romance shows. Fairy Tail was a show that took a year break, so I was craving for my favorite Shonen series.
Halv2: I had a taste of a few shows last season, with Chaika the Coffin Princess, No Game, No Life, If Her Flag Breaks, andDate A Live II taking my interest. I wanted to watch No Game, No Life when I heard it was being animated. Chaika got me very interested as soon as I heard about saboteurs and Magitek.
BigHeart711: Two for me: Chaika - The Coffin Princess and No Game, No Life. While Chiaka ended up being quite fun for an action show, it managed to keep grabbing my attention later on. No Game, No Life grabbed said attention from the get-go and went with it since.
What are your first impressions of the shows you actually watched?
Halv2: Date A Live II focused on the story and dropped the fan service after establishing its main characters, and decided to pull a few heartstrings later on in the season, actually impressing me If Her Flag Breaks has very cute art, interesting setup for a harem with a guy that can see "flags" over people, but ultimately feels so rushed at the end that it makes little sense, and really let me down, especially after waiting so long for it
BigHeart711: I tried 5 pilots: The two I first mentioned (Chaika and NGNL), Mekaku City Actors, Is The Order a Rabbit?, and M3. Despite Mekaku City Actors being a bit confusing, it also got to me like Chaika and No Game, No Life did. The Rabbit series was just for brainless fun, and I fell off of M3 before long.
Taka: Out of the 12 shows I watched, I pick these three shows. For the World is Still Beautiful, it was a charming romance series between a young king and an older woman. I never seen that kind of age gap in romance genre. It was short but sweet. Like Chaika, Black Bullet was an action oriented show, but with bad pacing issues. I still enjoy its heavy drama and its fight choreography. Finally, Kamigami no Asobi was the best reverse harem adapted Otome game I seen. It was a surprising show I watched.
Halv2: Did you find Chaika to be rushed? I felt it was like a western animated show.
Taka: Chaika wasn't bad with its pacing like Black Bullet. Chaika was pretty fine. Being adapted into a light novel series, Chaika did well in balancing heavy details with fight scenes you see in light novel adaptations. For example, Irregular at the Magical High School had trouble with making things unnecessarily complicated while Black Bullet ended up rushing things without any explanations or giving enough time to develop characters.
BigHeart711: I agree. I didn't think anything was rushed with Chaika either.
What are your bad shows from this season?
Halv2: From what I've seen, If Her Flag Breaks is the worst out of the five I have watched, but it has a nice art style which would bring it closer to hit or miss than bad.
BigHeart711: Agreeing with Hal over here. I tried the first two episodes of If Her Flag Breaks, and it just didn't work. It looks cute, but the story was just basic. One other show that I wasn't quite fond of ended up being Soul Eater Not. It's shocking to say since I liked the original Soul Eater, but I found it a bit of a hassle to watch as the story progressed. The comedy was also hit-and-miss to me.
Taka: If Her Flag felt generic despite having 2 roles I haven't seen harem shows: Trap and Robot. I felt no attachment to the characters. The cast was too large to built any connections to.
Halv2: The weird thing with Flag was that half of the time, I wanted to see the trap actually look like a guy. He was desperately trying to do throughout the show until he gave up. It reminded me of Hideyoshi, but more passive.
Taka: Mekaku City Actors, Comic Artist and his Assistants, and Fairy Tail were my bad shows this season. As much I enjoyed Comic Artist, it's not a show for everyone. It made jokes out of sexual harassment which can unintentionally hurts its audiences. Fairy Tail had poor pacing issues. Despite being animated by Bridge, the old animated series did better in making characters look cute. Finally, Mekaku City Actors was done by Shaft. I admit I wasn't paying as much attention, but the story was all jumbled up due to spotlighting different characters giving unequal attention to some cast.
Halv2: Speaking of harassment, there was one big problem I had with No Game, No Life, constantly having Shiro’s panty shot scenes. She was way too young for that.
Marshal: M3: That Black Steel bored me early which I dropped it asap. Daimidaler the Sound Robot started like a parody like, and when that element was gone, there was not much left for me to like. Notari Matsutaro’s main character was a bully at best, and A-hole at worst. Dai - Shogun - Great Revolution had too much themes going on: virgin, ecchi, harem, historical mech, comedy, comic motion animation-like.
What are the major themes in this season?
Halv2: It had a lot of harem and romance.
Taka: For me, it was lolis, partners, and yuri themed. The 4 Loli shows were Black bullet, If Her Flag, Is the Order a Rabbit?, and No Game no Life. The 3 Yuri themed shows were Inugami, Soul Eater Not, and Riddle Story of Devil. For partners, Black Bullet, Riddle Story of Devil, and Soul Eater Not had that theme.
BigHeart711: I thought there the entire theme was just lolis (as Taka implied earlier into the season).
Halv2: I agree since Shiro and Chaika plus Souta's imouto in Flag fits the loli theme.
Taka: I want to chime in on Soul Eater Not? How was the yuri perceived, BigHeart711?
BigHeart711: As I remember, there were Yuri undertones about and a lot of them were gags. Rather self-explanatory gags.
Taka: I wasn't going to put it as a bad show, but it was a shadow of Soul Eater series because Soul Eater Not had some plot holes and horrible fight choreography and animation. It divided folks into who watched the show for the Soul Eater and fans who like the yuri-esque tones with fan service. I felt the relationship wasn’t real.
BigHeart711: They even felt forced.
Marshal: Felt like magic girl /girl with powers was used more. Overall, it had a fair amount of odd ball themes. There were 6 mech shows for a close second.
What are the changes in your first and final impressions of the Winter 2014 leftover anime series?
Halv2: Nothing really changed my impression of Nisekoi, it remained as comedic as it was when it started, and I’m hoping the next season gets announced soon. Nisekoi ended at an odd point with the character development relative to the manga, though the manga itself has suffered a bit from going in circles and leaving the key/locket plot behind at points.
Taka: Nisekoi was strong at the beginning, but it started to get boring at the end. I only cared for the side characters and shipped the two megane character. It didn't break out of its harem mold with anything unique. The most stand out harem show I watched from this Spring was Brynhildr which broke some traditions. I didn't finish Nobunaga the Fool, but I did agree with Dream that it started strong in the beginning and started crashing down towards the end.
BigHeart711: Didn't watched any leftovers from the Winter at all.
Marshal: Nobunaga the Fool has a lot of style and surprising substance, but I did not finish it. When the spring season started, it got pushed to the side for time. I will finish it.
What are your underrated shows you recommend?
Marshal: Shows I'm surprised and ended up liking are Nanana's Buried Treasure, No Game, No Life, and World is Still Beautiful. All three at first felt not for me, but they grew on me. I ended up with more shows that I postponed but I will finish them later. Knights of Sidonia never gained traction, and its cell shaded look took some out of watching. Broken Blade /Break Blade is worth watching for fans who watched the 2010 version.
Halv2: Chaika Chaika Chaika for good action, relatable characters, and that ending! DAL2 is also good, and much better compared to its first season, but its much more popular in Japan.
BigHeart711: Also, going for Chaika. I thought it would fill one of the popular slots, but it really was overshadowed despite nabbing a confirmed second season. It ended up being the most fun show for me.
Taka: Besides World is Still Beautiful for being a unique romance series, I would recommend Nanana's Buried Treasure and Knights of Sidonia. Nanana's Buried Treasure is about a group looking for legendary treasure while a young man promises Nanana, a ghost, to find her killer. It's a short, funny series with light comedy and decent fight scenes. Going on Marshal Victory's comment, Knights of Sidonia is a good series for those who loved mecha and horror together. Because it was picked up by HULU, FUNi, or Crunchyroll, it didn't get much hype and exposure.
Taka: Thank you everyone! Please enjoy the Summer 2014 Season!
BigHeart711: Hope the Summer Season treats you all better than this one did us.
Halv2: Spring was fun for me with some strong shows like Chaika, DAL 2 and NGNL, but i'll take it easy this summer, only 2 shows (Gun Gale Online and Sailor Moon) and a couple of shorts for me (Himegoto looks like a funny version of Hayate no Gotoku but with crossdressing shenanigans, and possibly Francesca and its undead Idols). can't wait for Chaika Season 2!~
About the Authors
|BigHeart711 is a proud anime fan of the Blue Roses and Magical Mages! Follow him @MasterMenos|
|Halberdierv2 is a student, video game and manga specialist. Follow him @HalberdierV2|
|Kerry Chhay (Takashichea) is an Asian American Studies student who is a big wiki and anime nerd. He serves as a wiki mod in Anime Vice and an Admin in To Hollywood and Beyond Wikia(a 2nd home for Screened users). Follow him @Takashichea|
|Marshal_Victory is a long time anime fan of all genre and an artist. Check out his work in Anime Vice's Artist Show-Off Thread.|