Anime Vice News

Winter 2014 Roundtable -- AV MOD MATERIAL

Read what the mods have to say about this past anime season.

What stood out in the winter 2014 guide?

BigHeart711: My picks were Wooser's Hand-to-Mouth Life: Awakening Arc, Pupa, and Magical Warfare. After checking out the promos for each of them, I thought Magical Warfare and Pupa would make a difference while Wooser would end up being as fun as it's first season.

Takashichea: For me, it was Silver Spoon and Nobunagun. In Silver Spoon's season 2, I was already deep in the show and loving Arakawa's work from the previous season. Nobunagun's art style is reminiscent of Mushibugyo.

Marshal_Victory: Witch Craft Works, Log Horizon, and Tokyo Ravens.

What are your first impressions of the shows you actually watched?

BigHeart711: From what I actually watched total, Space Dandy stuck to me because it ended up being nothing like everyone expected, Witch Craft Works due to an surprising turn of events when I thought it would be generic as heck and Wooser's Second Season because the short time lengths work unlike most of the other shorts out there at the time, plus it was a lot funnier than Season 1 after 3 to 4 episodes. I also found Sakura Trick to be quite sweet so far after about 4 episodes.

Takashichea: Like Marshal_Victory, we had watched too many shows on our end. Marshal, for sure, watched more shows than me this season. I'll do my first impressions on shows that are obscure and haven't been covered much by the front page: Noragami, D Frag, and Pilot's Love Song.

Noragami was an unexpected hidden gem because from the poster and synopsis, I thought it would be a regular show with some supernatural elements. It quickly became a fun show to watch with a great mix of charming, characters that I warm up fast within the few episodes. D Frag was also unexpected. It looked like an average show, but it made me laugh a lot. The only thing I didn't like was Katsuyuki Konishi's role as Kenji Kazama because it didn't match his Tsukkomi role. For Pilot's Love Song, I had high expectations for the show, but later on, the character deaths were predictable and the story felt shallow. It didn't give me enough sympathy for the characters.

Marshal_Victory: The three I mentioned became more than what they looked like at first. All three had flaws but over came them later on in the season. Witch Craft Works was stylish in illustration and animation but played reverse tropes with comedy that played well. Log Horizon suffers for me from illustration style that does not match the story, but the story made up for that. And finally Tokyo Ravens became more than it seemed. It almost had a big budget movie feel by the end. Though, it suffered from bad CGI at times and a bit of confusing story. I agree with Taka on Pilot's Love Song and its wasted potential from overused death flags.

Halberdierv2: I had a look at Nisekoi, Kill La Kill, and Golden Time among the shows I watched. I had known about Nisekoi and Golden Time beforehand and was interested. For Golden Time, it was written by the same mind as the classic ToraDora, and it immediately reeled in as well as the rarity of seeing adult main characters in a university setting. I did also look a bit at Kill La Kill at the start of the Fall season after it piqued my interest. To avoid spoilers, I wasn't a fan of the general direction it took in the last arc. Nisekoi also seems to be a long runner, and a welcome replacement for the Sket Dance void in me. I also had a momentary glance at Super Sonico which I'm considering continuing. I'm starting Witch Craft Works which I've heard good things about.

What are your bad shows from this season?

BigHeart711: Pupa was the first of the only bad shows I saw due to the time length it ended up getting. The short format doesn't work because Pupa's story also included development for the main characters, which only partly happened as an episode passes. It also felt quite rushed. The other show was Hozuki no Reitetsu after two episodes because they felt bland, which is unusual for me whenever I check out anything supernatural themed.

Takashichea: Well, BigHeart711 nabbed Pupa from me. I'll add this scene. The episode where she just eat her brother's meat and says Onii Chan for the whole time that was terrible. Yet at the same time, it was hilarious. It's a similar thing to My Sister is Unusual. It was really uncomfortable in the first 2 episodes with the masturbation and water works. You can't help but make fun of the series. That's where I got my enjoyment there. Lastly, Super Sonico. I finished this series. I wasn't much of a slice of life fan. I pretty much watch the show for the side characters. Sonico was a boring character. She just serves as window dressing, a poster girl. I don't find her cute, funny, or interesting. Pretty much, I watched it for the Manager Kitamura.

Marshal_Victory: Z/X Ignition and Strange+ were the last ones that I had dropped. Strange+ as a short was to confusing for its time allotment. I forgot Pupa too, but it just didn't live up to its hype. Z/X Ignition felt like to much of a mess, and Pilots Love Song just was to transparent with death flags etc. Kill la Kill and Space Dandy were hyped, and many folks seem to have some disappointment in them due to hype.They are not on my list of disappointing shows because I knew what they were going in. Back to the whole "Review what something is not what it could be thing."

What are the major themes in this season?

BigHeart711: I actually didn't think there was a main theme or trend to the season since many themes were in play. Of course, a few of these shows would've evoked more themes, but I haven't seen anything surface. Hopefully nothing overly-nasty like "My Little Sister is Unusual Recently" shows up in drones later on...

Takashichea: Well, I thought this was a good question, but it could be bad. Back to our topic, we had more micro series in this season than the previous seasons:

Marshal_Victory: Magic High School - that specific sub genre with school is pretty common. We're light on shonen this season.

What are the changes in your first and final impressions of the Fall 2013 leftover anime series?

BigHeart711: Kill La Kill was the only fall leftover series that I ended up seeing as it turned out. As the story and the action scenes got more intense, I ended up being amazed. I was also shocked about how some people even predicted on what would happen on a few events in the show, but it was just like watching a crazed-up game of roulette to me.

While BigHeart711 talked about Kill la Kill, Marshal and Taka had a conversation about Golden Time and Log Horizon.

Takashichea: For Golden Time, it had a slow start with the character build up with their relationships. It wasn't so serious.

Marshal_Victory: Show is set up with sucker punch surprises and drama. They mix the comedy in fair amounts, but it became very soap opera like at the end where as the start was not like that.

Takashichea: Log Horizon did pretty well towards the end. From heavy exposition and world building, the beginning focuses on Shiroe's gang while the later half focuses on Minori's group and their growth.

Marshal_Victory: Log horizon evolved much like a guild would in a MMORPGs. Just about right amount of drama too. Writers got a love for MMORPGs, and it's right there in the show.

What are your underrated shows you recommend?

BigHeart711: Robot Girls Z and HappinessCharge Pretty Cure since I haven't heard nothing for either series so far. I thought both were fun, especially considering that HappinessCharge already broke some patterns in the Pretty Cure franchise (the patterns are early spoilers, so I won't say).

Halberdierv2: I would say Super Sonico, if you can get past the fan service, isn't that bad of a show, and the characters are fairly interesting. Otherwise, if you're into romance, look at Nisekoi and Golden Time.

Takashichea: Check out Noragami, D Frag, and Witch Craft Works if you're into these genre.

Marshal_Victory: Generally, I add a series to my average and above list. I would recommend Log Horizon, Ghost in the Shell, and the ones we just covered.

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
Takashichea is an Asian American Studies student who is a big wiki and anime nerd. He's an Anime Vice mod who helps out at To Hollywood and Beyond Wikia occasionally. Follow him @Takashichea
Marshal_Victory is a long time anime fan of all genre.
Bigheart711on March 31, 2014 at 8:22 p.m.

Of course, I don't notice the trend at all, but now I feel ashamed of myself for not noticing them sooner. XD It was a blast to be included in this. :)

zaldaron March 31, 2014 at 8:33 p.m.

Wow....boy are my tastes really different than all of the people included here. Only shows I am currently following week to week from this season. Kill la kill (which rocks my socks - great action and thought provoking plot no matter what tom says), golden time (yes it is a soap opera but an interesting one which interesting things to say about life choices and starting over - and it is set in a university rather than a high school), nobunagun (somewhat of a guilty pleasure but the way shonen should be done), and nobunagun the fool (seems like it has interesting things to say about east west relations but time will tell).

As for theme of the season I would go with Japanese nationalism what with two shows about the historical figure that united Japan and smoothing over his bad parts - Japan like Russia is trying to make more of a name for itself in the world.

HubrisRangeron March 31, 2014 at 9 p.m.

Breaks my heart to see Hoozuki on the bad list. That was easily my favorite comedy this season, precisely because it was so different. What you call bland I would categorize as dry and sardonic, almost like Brit comedy. It had crazier moments later on, but for having some of the best characters in any show this season, I think it gets a pretty bum deal in this article.

Halberdierv2on March 31, 2014 at 10:23 p.m.

I've also seen an increase in strong female leads, which I hope is a trend for the future, with what happens in Witch Craft Works and Kill La Kill.

takashichea moderator on April 1, 2014 at 2:39 a.m.

@HubrisRanger:

It's actually one person who dislikes the show. It was pretty obscure show. I tried it once, but I didn't have to watch past episode 1 to see if I truly like it or not. For this discussion, we pick a wide spectrum of shows. Each of us have different preferences. Some of them overlap between bad and good. While I dislike Sonico, my friend Hal loved it.

was the only one who enjoys Hozuki no Reitetsu. You can chat with him here or at the Hozuki no Reitetsu Discussion!

@zaldar:

I wouldn't say your tastes are that different. You, Marshal, and I enjoy Golden Time, Wizard Barristers, Kill la Kill, Nobunagun, and Nobunaga the Fool. I omitted most of our conversation

@Tom:

The article's format got messed up. If you can post it as a forum thread, I can fix it.

@Halberdierv2:

Yeah, that would be a good trend.

Marshal Victoryon April 1, 2014 at 2:11 p.m.

@takashichea: @zaldar: Ya its not tastes are so much difrent I think. judging from past coversations actualy tastes run closer than you would think.

The three shows that stick out for me are not necisrly the best of the best the season.But they stood out among the season it self. Keep in mind I ended up watching at 1st all of the season but i think 5 showsn . Then as the season went on i droped maybe 5 more. So seen pretty much a good chunk of what the season had.

@HubrisRanger: If ya look at the discussion link takashichea posted im one of the few that talked about the show. Its a black comedy an thats a subgene with heavy asian helll mythos referances . It has a few laughs but its illllustration is rich an animation is good. It breaks each epsiode up into two mini episodes to so for some i can see why it would be hard to hook them on.

But me i liked it alot. Still got 2 more epsides to finish the season an its well on pace to make my list. Actualy think its got some head nods an pokes at modern pop culture to.

hitsusatsu11on April 2, 2014 at 12:16 a.m.

Ill rate all the on going series I followed /10:

Continued KLK -7.5: Good show as a whole, particularly most of the 2nd cour but I didnt rrly dig the ending. Possibly aots for fall 2013.

Continued Golden Time -4.5: Had some potential, boring in some parts, cringe worthy and convoluted in others.

Mikakunin -8: Really good, top seller of the season so far, didn't develop enough towards the end, candidate for aots for me.

Zvezda -8: The other aots candidate for me. Interesting fun show.

Sakura Trick -6.5: Quality show, again I felt it could have developed more towards the end.

Sonico -5: Completely average in every way but exceeded the excpectations I had based on the premise. A pleasant feel good surprise.

I dropped Nisekoi after watching half of the first episode, wasn't bad just not what I was looking for at the time. May pick it back up at some point.

takashichea moderator on April 2, 2014 at 11:12 a.m.

Fixed the formatting.

@hitsusatsu11:

Thanks for commenting. There were so much anime to comment, so we had to choose an anime that other one is not covering. I had to trim out parts. I was going to comment on Zvedva, but I didn't really finish it. Marshal and Bigz007 finished it for sure. I'm sure can share his thoughts with you on the series. Back in the World Conquest: Stratagem Star discussion, I watched halfway, but I think I lost track. I have to rewatch some parts. It was a good anime series.

For Sakura Trick, I try to watch it, but I didn't have time. Try to promote all discussion threads. I heard it's a sweet story. It was my yuri show after watching the first episode. Kind of surprise that the fan service is a bit tame which I don't mind. I heard the kissing was excessive. Have to pick up the series.

takashichea moderator on April 2, 2014 at 2:18 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11: @Bigheart711:

I added Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san and its spring 2014 trailer today, and I saw its genre has yuri, romance, and comedy. I think it's also a trend, the rise of Yuri themed shows. Not sure if Sakura Trick was the first yuri show, but it had good reception. This is the 2nd show in a row, well consecutive season to continue to genre.

Every season, you see anime series set in school or have a slice of life genre. I think harem is pretty common.

zaldaron April 2, 2014 at 2:57 p.m.

@takashichea: ah that's good, glad to see some others liked the shows I watched. Still the move seems to be shonen or shonen like shows while I go in more for the philosophical shows which were sadly lacking this season.

hitsusatsu11on April 3, 2014 at 12:16 a.m.

Surprisingly not a lot of recognition for Mikakunin (Engaged to the Unidentified) on here. I thought it was a really strong offering this season, and it seemed to be well received in Japan.

Marshal Victoryon April 3, 2014 at 2:37 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11: For me its one i did not watch. Genraly slice of life gene is not strong entertainemnt for my tastes. Not that every now an again one will sneek up on me an ill enjoy it.

AgentFakkuon April 3, 2014 at 2:44 p.m.
No manken ki?
takashichea moderator on April 3, 2014 at 7:57 p.m.

@hitsusatsu11:

Next time when we have a roundtable discussion, I'll invite you. We usually do it in Aleasha's Anime Vice Chat!!! room. Like @Marshal Victory: , I'm not good with slice of life shows especially ones that only have comedy. I find myself gearing towards the ones with drama. I try to invite as much folks I can and even tweeted the appointment since I can't PM everyone to bring a wide variety of taste and preferences. This is what the comment section is for. Expanding on things we haven't talked or couldn't really include in the final version.

Keep in mind, I did have to trim the majority of our discussions to make the final article with a set question. This was a chat room based conversation. Things were bouncing around and folks weren't able to keep their appointments.

Edit:

Like Ethan and the staff, we encourage more discussion. If you feel a show is underrated, write a blog or PM Tom with your article. Do it. The more voices in, the better the community will turn out.

Bigheart711on April 3, 2014 at 8:55 p.m.

@AgentFakku: None of us talked about either season of Maken-Ki at all, but on my end, I heard that it was bad news on both ends. You found a happy medium with it, which is perfectly understandable.

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