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The Best Anime of Winter 2014

By
Posted on April 22, 2014 AT 04:05pm

Anime’s back, and it has scores of new anime for you to watch! Most of these shows can be found on Crunchyroll, while the others can be seen on Hulu. Since it took me a while to watch all these damn shows, I’ve decided to only mention the best of the best anime, instead of reviewing each one. For some, I’ve continued watching the series, while there are others I have not watched past the pilot. Sometimes, a good show isn’t necessarily one I am still watching. As always, this does not include new seasons of existing shows, and will most likely not review shows that are offshoots of previous anime.

 

 

Honorable Mentions

 

 Noragami

Whoo! It didn’t take long for Noragami to impress me. In the first few minutes, it’s funny, the action is great, and the animation is fantastic. The humor hits the right spot as well. You’ve seen this plot before: It’s a bit of Yu Yu Hakusho mixed with Bleach. That’s a good mix, though, don’t you think? In the world of Noragami, we live on the “Near Shore” while all supernatural entities live on the “Far Shore.” When these two worlds meet, minor gods like Yato have to calm everything down. So Yato and his new pal, Hyori, are going to adventure through this weird reality together- and possibly get Hiyori’s body to stop shifting between shores.

Tonari no Seki-Kun: The Master of Killing Time

This short episode series has a very simple premise. Some kid named seki doesn’t care about what the teacher is saying. He’d rather goof off in any number of ways, using school utensils.  Her classmate, Rumi, is the only one who pays any attention to his crazy antics, and she has different reactions to each one. So that’s all, and it will only take you less than 4 minutes to gauge whether you want to watch any more of the series. It has a great ending theme, a little jazz number that’s sure to please.

Wizard Barristers

One of the most easily identifiable character designs in anime come via Yasuomi Umetsu, creator of Kite, and its spin-off, the Mezzo TV series. (He’s also the original creator of Kite Liberator, but let’s not discuss that. ) Umetsu’s takes on character design are not all he’s know for. He has a knack for building spectacular action scenes. Wizard Barristers is arguably the most well-animated anime of winter ’14, with a moe girl as its main character. Wizard Barristers gets an honorable mention because when it’s not wowing me, it’s bugging me with silly conversations, and characters meant to appeal to drooling fanboys. Regardless, I cannot stop watching.

 

My Best of Winter 2014

 

World Conquerer Zevezda Plot

If you look at the character designs from this show, you might think “What the hell is this loli bullshit?” It’s not loli bullshit, though. There is a very young girl at the center of the plot; but Zevezda’s focus is on comedy, not fan service. Kate Hoshimiya is a little girl with BIG plans: to conquer the world! A kid named Asuta (renamed Dva by Kate) finds himself mixed up in this villainous group of weirdos. This is one of the funniest shows of the season and, if you can get over the costumes, you’ll enjoy the hell out of it.

 

Hozuki’s Coolheadedness

This is one of the season’s shows that I knew nothing about. This is another comedy show, but it is less appealing to a foreign audience than the other Winter comedies. Case in point is the first episode, where Hozuki has to face  Momotaro. Do you recall the legend of Momotaro? Probably not! So you can expect more Japanese references to pop up in this show. Hozuki’s Coolheadedness isn’t completely incompatible with foreign sensibilities. Hozuki, a manager of Hell and its various sub-hells, has a very dry delivery, and the rest of the humor can range from broad to bizarre. I will not ruin any specific jokes, but hell has some strange plants.

 

Space Dandy

What was called the “savior of anime” or whatever has become a very divisive anthology series. Dandy is a perverted character, so there is often talk of boobies, and Boobies (the boobies-themed space restaurant). Space Dandy‘s got more to share, though. There is beauty and heart in Dandy. Yes, you are hearing that right! Some have felt that Space Dandy coming to America through Adult Swim have given a bad name- again- to anime, and they’re sending the wrong message to people who want to experience Japanese animation. Dandy objectifies women, indeed, but Space Dandy in its entirety should not be judged merely on a few minutes of cleavage and cheeks wrapped in tight shorts. It’s a Shinichiro Watanabe joint, for crissakes! Would he steer you wrong?

If you love keeping up on geek news, you've come to the right guy.

Twitter.com/VichusSmith


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