would be hard pressed to call 2014 a terrible year in anime and manga;
more mediocre than anything. Which isn’t bad by the way. It just means
that very little actually exploded on screen or on page, except for a
select few titles.
than dive into another top ten anime and manga series list, I though it
more practical to focus on those moments within anime and manga that
Well, a manga or anime doesn’t actually need to be great or even good to
dish out one or two surprising moments, which, hence, expands the pool
of anime and manga to choose from.
worth keeping in mind that this list attempts to present moments, events
or even chapters and episodes from anime I watched and manga that I
read in 2014. As such the list will be subjective (naturally) and
restricted to what I actually watched or read, which is only a small
portion of the manga and anime that came out in 2014.
But before we get to my list of greatest moments of anime and manga in 2014:
+YATO VS RABO (NORAGAMI ANIME)
+NATSU/GAJEEL/WENDY (FAIRY TAIL ANIME: DRAGONS
Dragons, dragons and more dragons.
+RAI/MUZAKA (NOBLESSE MANHWA): AWAKENING
looks great and might actually give Rai a run for his money. Several
months down the road though, not much has really happened, which is a
+KIRITO (SWORDART ONLINE ANIME SN II): KIRITO’S SWORDSMANSHIP
Kirito deflect a hail of bullets exploding out of a bush for close to
ten seconds dropped my jaw; it might have had something to do with the
animation, especially the fluidity with which Kirito’s acrobatic
abilities and reflexes manifested.
Or maybe it was the rotating angles from which the entire scene was presented. Either way. It was a pretty cool showing.
+NARUTO VS SASUKE (NARUTO MANGA): CHAPTER 698
you loved it or hated it, you simply cannot deny the simple fact that
Kishimoto really rushed those final chapters of the series. Yes we got
the Naruto/Sasuke fight we wanted, but it could have been handled
better, possibly after a few weeks break following the fall of the final
could have been its own mini arc; alas, there isn’t much that we can do
about it now. And the manga wasn’t without its bright spots.
four chapters that constituted the Naruto/Sasuke battle, chapter 698
really stood out; with the big attacks finally out of the way, watching
Naruto and Sasuke beat the holy hell out of one another, depending on
nothing other than their fists and wits was, well, thrilling.
of battle that makes ninja fights so interesting to watch; if only the
fight had run on for another chapter or two, it could have transformed
into something truly great.
TOP 15 ANIME&MANGA MOMENTS of 2014
criteria I utilized in generating this list was pretty simple and
straightforward: I was looking for scenes and events that were
particularly memorable from 2014. I am not talking about moments that
were simply ‘good’, but occurrences in anime and manga that blew your
mind to one extent or another, with my list ranked as such:
15. SLAINE (ALDNOAH ZERO ANIME): INOHA/SAAZBAUM/ASSEYLUM
Aldnoah Zero had a select few bright spots; not a bad show, but I thought it was simply too reminiscent of Code Geass.
far from terrible, I found the anime to be surprisingly average; which
is why the role Slaine eventually played in the events of the final
episodes of the first season of Aldnoah Zero where particularly
unexpected, especially the actions he took against Inoha and even going
so far as to get one over Saazbaum, finally finding his place in the
grand scheme of things.
14. HAIKYUU ANIME: EPISODE 16
Haikyuu is not my favorite sports anime; however it has some of the best characters I have ever encountered in a sports anime.
16 might not have been the most explosive of the season but it was
certainly the most poignant in the face of devastation from the team’s
13. RUKIA/ASNODT (BLEACH MANGA): ASNODT’S DEFEAT
the Bleach equivalent of Sakura. Yes, I know what I just said, and some
people probably just gasped in horror; but let’s consider this
Rukia’s count of noteworthy battles is considerably higher than Sakura’s
and she’s probably won more than her fair share of fights without
that I cannot recall a single one of her significant victories; and
that’s because Rukia is one of Bleach’s most underused and under
developed characters. Love her all you like, if Kubo had cut her out of
the manga all together, her absence wouldn’t have impacted Bleach in any
why it was so gratifying to watch her fight and defeat As Nodt, an
enemy that brought her brother, Byakuya, to his knees.
Everyone one has one these days; yet we all have to admit that Rukia
finally earning bankai was very deserved. It was a certainly more
convincing power-up than whatever happened to Sakura during the war arc.
late to hope for anything more from Rukia at this point, but at least
she can disappear from the series having garnered some noteworthy
achievements following years of running after Ichigo.
12. WHITE HAIR KANEKI (TOKYO GHOUL ANIME): KANEKI VS YAMORI
not mince my words; I thought the finale of the first season of Tokyo
Ghoul was terrible. It was abrupt and almost felt unplanned, like the
studio had suddenly run out of money or something and decided to call it
quits for the moment.
its place as the season’s finale though, the last episode in the Tokyo
Ghoul anime adaptation had one gem in the form of Kaneki; driven to the
brink of despair, broken, bruised and mangled, Kaneki essentially dies.
rather the young boy that cowered in the face of his strength, looking
to Touka for protection finally faded away, to be replaced by a
murderous ghoul driven by his thirst to deliver to Yamori the sum total
of every modicum of pain he had endured at the large man’s hands.
that is how one would describe kaneki’s counter attack against Yamori,
delivering well deserved vengeance even while giving birth to a new
11. NIMAIYA (BLEACH MANGA)- VS THE QUINCY
is the best thing to come out of the Bleach manga in 2014; yes, yes,
Ichibei is awesome. But, think about this. Ten years from now, after
Bleach has long since ended. Which character will you be able to recall
with great detail? Ichibei or Nimaiya?
that’s right. Nimaiya. This particular shiningami made one of the most
impressive entrances we have seen in Bleach since…Ichigo?
way he casually strode onto the battlefield, so self assured,
zanpankutou in hand, before he singlehandedly decimated the small group
of irritatingly arrogant quincy.
I want more Nimaiya. But you know what? I don’t think we are gong to see him again. Shame on your, Kubo.
10. KIRITO/SHINON/DEATH GUN (SWORDART ONLINE ANIME SN II): FINAL FIGHT
hated SAO SN II before I even watched it. Then I actually mustered the
courage to give it a decent chance and, to my utter shock, ended up
is until the 13 episode mark, when the Gun Gale Online portion of the
season ended, and then it went from thrilling to mediocre to outright
boring the hell out of me. And I think I could make a pretty good
argument about how Asuke ruined the second portion of another SAO season
once again. Then again it would be more accurate to fault the
writer(s). I wish they would simply make their minds up about the kind
of story they wish to tell. This business of shifting back and forth
between shonen/action and drama/romance/shoujo, in a rather
uncoordinated manner just doesn’t work.
all its faults, Gun Gale Online ended with a bang; yes, Kirito was
never in any real danger. Yet that didn’t take the thrill and tension
out of his final battle with Death Gun in the desert. The entire scene
was beautifully animated, displaying the desperation of both combatants
to achieve victory in a fight where a single projectile would
permanently end the life of our hero.
It was great stuff, far more than what I expected out of SwordArt Online; fast paced, frenetic and explosive.
9. AOMINE/KOGAMI/KISE (KUROKO NO BASKET ANIME): THE ZONE
the record, I hate the zone, or at least I thought I did. I understand
the spirit of Kuroko no Basuke as a sports show that allows its
characters to utilize near superhuman capabilities to play basketball.
Yet, the zone feels like a step too far, essentially a power-up designed
to deliver victory through the skills of a single individual.
like I said, I thought I hated the Zone; but further thought revealed
that I simply despised the idea of Kogami using the skill to attain
victory that one time in earlier seasons.
it comes to Aomine though, that is a whole other matter; essentially
the most badass character of the anime, and possibly most skilled player
of the Generation of Miracles ( or rather he will be, with a little
more practice), Aomine might not have carried the first season of the
series, but he most definitely lit Kuroko no Basket up.
performance against Kogami pales in my opinion only because I do not
like Kogami; it was the match against Kise, though, that allowed us our
first glimpse of this monster of a basketball player.
against the only other player more naturally talented than him, even
while holding back, their match was a sight to behold, especially the
effort and ingenuity that Kise threw against the brick wall that was
Aomine, failing to overcome the obstacle but no less of a hero for his
have no clue about the contents of the manga; however my only hope is
that we get the opportunity to see Aomine in action once more.
8. MIGHT GAI (NARUTO MANGA): VS MADARA
Gai’s awesomeness doesn’t need words to describe. Sufficing to say he is a beast.
7. GON/PITOU (HUNTER X HUNTER): FINAL FIGHT
is the one character during the Chimera Ant arc that had a presence
possibly even greater than that of the Ant King, Meruem; emerging on the
screen in a rather explosive manner, proving the threat she posed by
putting Kite down rather casually, Pitou was the first sign that the
Hunter X Hunter series had reached new heights in the story, and that
Gon and Killua would have to strive for new levels of strength to engage
with a world that had taken a very dangerous turn.
with the threat of Meruem, it was only fitting for Gon to be the one to
face Pitou, that arc-long foe who had first struck fear in the young
hunter’s heart, revealing to him, in crisp detail, his own weakness.
their final fight didn’t disappoint, indeed exceeding expectations;
watching Gon’s rage compound over a series of several episodes, reducing
the young hunter’s typically cheerful demeanor to one of
uncontrollable fury was almost chilling.
that fury explode in one ridiculous burst, with Gon showing us a
glimpse of just what makes him special, was…well, enthralling. It was
the manifestation of all that is great about HXH (along with Meruem’s
death, of course).
Fault the Chimera Ant arc all you want, it had some of the most explosive highlights in anime 2014.
6. DRESSROSSA ARC (ONE PIECE): SABO’S RETURN
am no One Piece fanatic; yet even I cannot deny the fact that, when it
gets good, it gets really good; most people speaking of the greatest
arcs, chapters, even episodes of One Piece often look to Marine Ford and
all the stories that surround it.
would be more inclined to highlight the arc that came after MarineFord,
during which we were introduced to a much younger Luffy, the story that
unfolded around his birth and the events that precipitated his growth
into the man he is today.
as Luffy was though, it was Sabo and Ace that stole that particular arc
for me; fun, lively and ultimately tragic, that, in my opinion, has to
be one of the best arcs (mini arc?) in One Piece.
the lynch pin of its greatness was always Sabo’s untimely and
shockingly unjust death; as such, watching him return to the fold of One
Piece, stronger than ever, determined to carry Ace’s legacy forward was
5. NARUTO UZUMAKI AND SASUKE UCHIHA (NARUTO MANGA): SAGE.
and Sasuke’s finest hour. Seriously, Just look at them. How is that not
the most awesome thing you have seen in Naruto in a long while?
4. INTER HIGH (YOWAMUSHI PEDAL ANIME): ONODA’S MIRACLE
pedal is such a thrilling anime that you would expect it to be that
much more difficult to select one single moment in a season filled with
greatness. But that isn’t quite true.
there is a near saturation of breathtaking races in most episodes of
Yowamushi Pedal. But most, if not all of them pale in comparison to the
second stage of Inter High, when Onoda dropped out of the top five, slid
all the way down to the last position and somehow managed to pass a
hundred men to make the leap back to the top.
am no sports fan; but if I had been in the crowd that day, watching
that race, it would have been Onada’s meteoric comeback that would have
forced me to my feet, cheering, possibly even singing along with “Hime,
3. MERUEM/KAMUGI (HUNTER X HUNTER (2011))- DEATH SCENE
was essentially a god in his universe; and if there is one problem that
often plagues god like villains in anime, it is the manner in which
they eventually go out.
as they were in life, the common presumption is that they should meet
their death in an equally epic manner; which is what made Meruem’s fall
such a shocking, yet moving experience.
Thinking on it, Meruem lived large and indeed, he died in just as grandiose a manner (alongside the equally epic chairman).
However, for all his strength and the imposing threat that seemed to
emanate from his being, it could be argued that no other facet of the
Ant King’s short lived life was ever more important than that initial
meeting with Kamugi, during which the powerful figure learned, for the
very first time, to appreciate life and the rationale of mercy, even as
he found his spirit slowly but steadily bound to the world of a young
was only fitting that Meruem and Kamugi would perish together in what
is arguably one of the saddest villain deaths in anime history. There is
little to fault in that final scene, which chose to manifest the
essence of Kamugi and Meruem’s relationship to the very end.
2. KAKASHI/OBITO (NARUTO ANIME): RAMPAGE
what you will about Obito and Kakashi’s roles; the simple fact is they
produced two of the most epic episodes of Naruto in 2014.
your opinion might be on his role as a villain, it is difficult to
watch the events surrounding Rin’s death without experiencing a sliver
of sympathy for Obito.
by madness at the passing of the target of his obsession, more
thrilling, though, was watching Obito lose control, obliterating his
enemies without remorse in a 15 minute festival of blood.
impact of Obito’s rampage was most likely elevated in the eyes of anime
only Naruto fans like me, for whom these events couldn’t have been more
even these events pale in comparison to the final showdown between
Obito and Kakashi; a clash barely 3 minutes long, which saw former
teammates meet in a life and death battle, haunted by the ghosts of
their pasts, their mistakes and the camaraderie responsible for turning
Kakashi into the man he is today.
As a Naruto fan, you cannot watch this fight without getting a shiver or two; the animation was fluid. The Music was haunting.
effects were explosive and the memories interspersed between each blow
heartwarming in reminiscing upon the bonds that once existed between
these two shinobi.
Naruto always exceeds expectations when it sticks to hand to hand combat.
1. PRISCILLA/THE GHOSTS (CLAYMORE MANGA): AWAKENING
you ask me what I think was the most shocking part of the Claymore
finale, I would have to mention the death count. The manga has shown
such a disregard for the lives of all characters that are not Clare that
I was envisioning a brutal slaughter to close the Claymore story, with a
number of our favorite characters dying in some memorable fashion.
That the number of deaths in the final battle would be so low is something to marvel at.
Oh, and Teresa is the best character in Claymore. Seeing her return AND THEN AWAKEN
made my year. Definitely the best moment I came across in manga in 2014 (at least as far as I can remember).