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Monthly Impressions – December 2014

Happy New Year readers! I hope you all had a great holiday season and to wrap up the amazing year of 2014, we start with the December Monthly Impressions. This also marks the end of our Fall 2014 season so feel free to discuss all the gems, the uglies and everything else in between. It’s been a busy month for me so excuse the tardiness of thise post. The Winter season starts next week and you can all bet that the AOTY post will be up… very soon. Thanks again for all the readers that continue to support us year after year! And if you’re new to RC, welcome and we hope you enjoy your stay!

This post could not be completed without the help of a few awesome individuals. The impressions below are brought to you by Divine, Samu, Stilts, and myself. Each of the shows include our impressions of the episodes that have aired this month (the episode count is indicated). Please note that this not representative of all the writers on RC but only those participating. This also means that each of us are not necessarily blogging each of the shows that we’re writing about below. The post is not comprehensive of what each of us are watching but highlights a good selection of shows that are currently airing. If you would like to hear our daily impressions of shows, we all update regularly on twitter:

  • Cherrie@RCCherrie
  • Samu@its_samu
  • Stilts@StiltsOutLoud
  • As always, this new concept is a work-in-progress and any suggestions are welcome. Please let me know what you’re liking, disliking, and hopefully I can make accommodations for it next month.

    Housekeeping Notes:

  • Please be considerate of others who may be interested in picking up a series after reading about it here by placing discussion of any major spoilers in <spoiler></spoiler> tags.
  • Just like the season previews, the list is ordered by the day of the week and time that the shows air.
  • For your convenience, the header for a series links to its post archive if it’s being covered. Simply mouseover the title to see if it’s clickable.
  • Refer to our season preview for a list of shows that may be covered in our upcoming Monthly Impressions and click on the Winter 2015 schedule for a list of all the shows that will were being blogged on RC next season, .
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    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    Ace of Diamond
    8:30 TX (10/6)
    Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS
    22:30 SUN (10/6)
    Trinity Seven
    25:40 TV (10/7)
    Gundam Build Fighters Try
    18:00 TX (10/8)
    Denki-gai no Honya-san
    22:30 MX (10/2)
    Selector Spread WIXOSS
    25:05 MX (10/3)
    Log Horizon 2
    17:30 NHK (10/4)
    Nanatsu no Taizai
    17:00 MBS (10/5)
    Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
    25:35 TX (10/6)
    Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
    25:05 MX (10/8)
    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    23:00 MX (7/3)
    Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
    25:35 TX (10/3)
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
    19:00 Niconico (7/5)
    Grisaia no Kajitsu
    20:30 AT-X (10/5)
    Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
    26:05 TX (10/6)
    Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
    25:29 NTV (10/8)
    Gundam Reconguista in G
    24:00 MBS (10/2)
    Madan no Ou to Vanadis
    20:00 AT-X (10/4)
    Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
    22:00 MX (10/5)
    PSYCHO-PASS 2
    24:50 CX (10/9)
    Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
    20:30 AT-X (10/4)
    Sora no Method
    22:30 MX (10/5)
    Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso
    25:20 CX (10/9)
    Sword Art Online II
    23:30 MX (7/5)
    Akame ga Kill
    24:00 MX (7/6)
    Amagi Brilliant Park
    26:03 TBS (10/2)
    Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
    24:00 MX (10/4)
    Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
    26:34 MBS (10/16)

     

    Ace of Diamond
    Episodes 59-63

    Samu: It’s been a weird journey for Ace of Diamond – it’s manages to deliver some great matches throughout the year, but then it’s also had some pretty harsh lows and has slipped down in my estimations as a result. For the past few months the series hadn’t been on point, that is until the the match against Inashiro finally heated up and Seido were within reach of victory. Sadly, I had spoiled myself on the results, but seeing Sawamura totally lose it near the end was both depressing and exciting to watch, as the team scrambled around and eventually let the win pass through their fingers. The past few episodes have been among the best in the series as a whole, so I’m glad that it has returned to form. As for what is to come, we shall see. I’m a massive fan of the aftermath recovery episodes in sports anime – where the team has to move on, change, become better, and relight their spark again. I’m looking forward to seeing what Ace of Diamond has to offer in that department, especially now that the 3rd years will have to move on, and the remaining members will have to pick up the pieces and rebuild team that can hopefully get to Koshien next year.

    Nanatsu no Taizai
    Episodes 10-12

    Stilts: In a series full of ridiculously powerful protagonists, I’m constantly surprised by how they keep the tension high. More so than ever before, these past three episodes featured a moment where I genuinely didn’t know how Meliodas and co were going to make it out alive. The Byzel Fight Festival has been great in general. As a connoisseur of tournament arcs—something I credit to my love of Negima—I was pumped going in, and it did not disappoint. Figuring out a way to get Diane involved was great, and not just because she got to glomp Meliodas. Four Sins + three Holy Knights + one random dude makes for some entertaining fights, of which Meliodas vs Ban reigns supreme. But it’s the attack by Gulia’s group that amped up the tension, and made me realize just how important Sacred Treasures are. Because right now? King might be the strongest. Add in some Holy Knights who are actually good people and another Sin who might get introduced soon, and there’s so much going on. All of it makes me want more Nanatsu no Taizai, preferably now.

    Grisaia no Kajitsu
    Episodes 09-13 (END)

    Cherrie: What a shocker for this month’s finale. I was not expecting anything like that out of Angelic Howl (Amane’s route) and I’m at a loss for words. Grisaia no Kajitsu clearly sped through all the other girls’ routes just to give Amane more time to elaborate on hers and yes, it was warranted but I’m not sure if this is the kind of horrific ending that I would’ve liked. Kiseijuu is like a stroll in the park compared to Amane’s past – but that would really depend on what scares you more. Let’s just say that parasites are no problem for me compared to the demise of humanity. Coming into Grisaia no Kajitsu, I was more curious to see each of the girls’ pasts than what was up with the MC. The beginning dragged out a bit but as soon as Michiru’s route started, it was like a rapid-fire approach to finishing everyone’s stories! I couldn’t truly get immersed in any of their stories, except Amane’s so I felt like there was wasted potential there. I’m iffy on whether or not a sequel would do more or less for the series but if it’s coming out anyway, I’ll probably be watching.

    Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Cherrie: It’s no secret that Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji was one of my favorite shows this season. Probably one of my favorite romcoms this year actually. It genuinely made me laugh, feel pain, feel loved and get all those lovey-dovey feelings you’re supposed to get. One of the reasons I love this series so much is because it focuses on the relationship post-confession and that’s what a romance series should be about. Getting up to the confession is only half the fun, but what a real relationship should be about are your trials while you’re together. I’ll admit, this month did seem a little lackluster to me, even though they tried to bridge Kyouya back to his mother and the destroyed snowman metaphor. To me, the last episode should’ve been Erika’s birthday episode instead but hey! No complaints here since it was a fun ride from start to end. Honestly, I haven’t been this excited for a romcom in ages and Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji has refreshed that genre for me. I enjoyed it that much.

    Sora no Method
    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Cherrie: For a first production by Studio 3Hz, Sora no Method was a fine attempt at a heartwarming story. I really wanted to like the series after it premiered – with its soft watercolors and cute girls with huge eyes. The premise wasn’t even that bad and it was a friendship story that I felt had a lot of potential to be a hit. The last month for Sora no Method didn’t end up the way I expected and while last month played out the melodrama way too much, this month felt very slow and out of sync for me. I don’t have a good grasp on any of the characters because they change their minds too frequently and it’s hard to say they’re “relatable” and “realistic”. I know anime doesn’t have to one or the other or both but it makes me that less emotionally attached and empathic when I can’t. In that sense, Sora no Method doesn’t hit the right cords with me but it’s still a decent shot at a first original anime. Given the chance, I think the studio can produce much more promising things in the future.

    Akame ga Kill
    Episodes 23-24 (END)

    Cherrie: Some people call it a train wreck, others were less apprehensive about the show – I was in the latter group. Akame ga Kill started off really well; as a direct adaptation of the manga, I think all (if not, most) of the viewers were satisfied with the outcome of this series. Since then, the past few months have heavily deviated away from its source material and into the ”anime-original” zone which can be good and bad. Most viewers saw it as a bad thing because it ruined a lot of potential development, and cut the story short. Personally I thought Akame ga Kill ended the best way that it could, given that the writers probably wanted it to end. Period. That being said, the final episodes don’t exactly leave the story in the best way possible and there’s this bittersweet feeling for the few survivors left. Definitely not the best outcome for a series that had so much going for it, but if I were to judge it for its entirety, I still think it’s worth the watch. If anything, it’s just for pure entertainment.

    Shinegeki no Bahamut GENESIS
    Episodes 08-12 (END)

    Cherrie: It’s not every day that you get an epic story like Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS so I recommend that everyone who hasn’t watched it yet – what are you waiting for? Stop reading this post immediately and go watch it! If you’re into grand adventures, fantasy and action, this is a series for you. December has proved to me just how multidimensional this anime was with stories about friendships, romance, betrayal, and everything in between. Favaro proves to an outstanding MC with an equally competent cast behind him and it makes you excited to see where they’ll end up next. Each episode was carefully planned to reveal certain plot points and my standouts had to be episode 3 (when Rita was introduced) and episode 7 (the confrontation with Azazel). For a show that had little to no synopsis before it aired, I’m blown away by what MAPPA has created out of a simple card game. The artwork is also unique from typical anime that you’d see these days which is refreshing to see. I’m glad that I didn’t shy away from Shingeki no Bahamut GENESIS because it did not only deliver a great adventure, but it exceeded my expectations as a whole.

    Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road
    Episodes 09-12

    Samu: Things are always dramatic and over the top when it comes to Yowamushi Pedal, and these past few episodes have been no exception. As it turns out, this time there has been one standout character: Arakita Yasutomo. Until now, he came across as loud and obnoxious and didn’t really have a chance to showcase his full potential – but that has all changed now thanks to several episodes focusing on his character. Seeing him carry Onoda and Manami forward despite everything that stood in their way was very impressive. And as it turns out, the reality of his efforts hit hard as he became the first from Hakone to drop from the race. It was an emotional moment, made even better by how I was just now starting to really appreciate his character thanks to that much appreciated focus. Of course, now the race between Sohoku and Hakone is in full swing, with Midousuji and Ishigaki not far behind. The Inter-High arc may feel it has lasted a lifetime already, but it’s been a thrill ride if I’ve ever seen one, so I have no right to complain.

    Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: I still don’t know exactly what kind of show Inou Battle is, save that I enjoyed it. While it never felt like a harem series, the harem aspect was certainly more prominent in the last few episodes, as all the girls interested in Andou (two lolis, two perfectionists, and two friend-types … Andou, you dog you) were more or less on the attack. The thing is, it never feels like it’s about Andou—it’s more about the girls dealing with their feelings, not fetishizing how this one guy has all these girls. They just happen to have feelings for the same guy. The finale also featured the most shockingly horrifying event in Inou Battle so far, when (spoiler alert) they whip out a friggin’ guillotine to solve a problem. I did not see that coming. I don’t know what box to put this series in, but I enjoyed it all the way through. It defies conventions, but backed by the reliable animation and direction of Studio Trigger, it does it well. And it’s funny too. A winner in my book.

    Trinity Seven
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: Going into the season, I had relatively high expectations for Trinity Seven, or at least as high as your standard magical-fantasy-action-harem ecchi anime can get. And it did not match them. Which isn’t to say it’s bad—I still like all the members of the Trinity Seven, Levi and Liese most of all, and Arata is a good main character when he’s being flirty or determined, though I could live without him playing the bumbling idiot ever again. These past four episodes were average over all—at their best when they led us to the promised land of Eternally Blushing Mira, and at their worst when the final battle had zero tension whatsoever. I’ll say it again—if you’re going to do magical-fantasy-action, do it properly, otherwise don’t waste our time. I would have watched an entire anime of Arata + the Trinity Seven doing funny, ecchi, harem things, and probably would have enjoyed it more. For fans of the genre, it more or less did its job. Honestly, it was my mistake for having high expectations going in. It didn’t end in a position to challenges the greats, though.

    Gundam Build Fighters Try
    Episodes 09-12

    Samu: There’s a lot to like with Gundam Build Fighters Try, and I would put most of that down to its charm, as well as how enjoyable it is to watch. With the first tournament now wrapped up – and our main characters obviously being the victors – the past few episodes have been a mix of amusing downtime as well as an introduction to the second – and much more intimidating – tournament they have to compete in. When Try doesn’t take itself seriously, it’s plain fun and goofy. But when it does, the change in tone is palpable. Fumina and Sekai continue to be my favourite characters, both as individuals and as a couple (I really hope they get together by the end, and I really think they will, because everything seems to be pointing towards it, plus they don’t have anyone opposing them… yet!). Even though I enjoy everything that’s on offer here, the recent introductions of their new opponents didn’t excite me as much and I would have liked. One thing that seems more noticeable in Try when compared to the first season, is that that these main characters do not feel like the powerhouses that came before. It made sense that Sei and Reiji did as well as they did in their tournaments, but as of right now I’m not so sure a massive victory would make as much sense this time around.

    Hitsugi no Chaika: Avenging Battle
    Episodes 09-10 (END)

    Stilts: Hitsugi no Chaika ended in an all-out rush, and “rushed” is the best description for what happened. This was a Highlights Adaptation all the way through, but it was always able to burn through source material while somehow not making it feel rushed. That died late in the second season. The finale lacked any kind of punch, and didn’t properly capitalize on everything that went before it. Things just happened, and though you could see where emotion and depth should have been (Niva’s turn, Tooru’s transformation, Chaika’s sacrifice, etc.), they didn’t have enough time to show any of it. And Arthur Gaz, who was supposed to be such a badass? Died like a total bitch. It was an unsatisfying climax after all that had gone before … but to be honest, I still enjoyed the series. What came before still gave it a solid foundation, and seeing where Tooru, Akari, Chaika, and all the others ended up was good. We needed an ending, after all we’d been through with them. I would have liked it to be better, but at least their story has been told.

    Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu
    Episodes 10-12

    Cherrie: Kiseijuu has surprised me this month with a stronger focus on the romantic aspects of Shinichi’s life. Not that I’m complaining because there’s nothing like a little romance to spice up a series right? I’m not a fan of Satomi myself (like at all), but I can see why her character is so important to Shinichi as he comes to terms with being more and more like a parasite. I’m definitely a Kana fan and without any spoilers here, I simply think that she has much more to offer in terms of character complexity… but we’ll see where that ends up. This month has also shown that these parasites can be more organized and thoughtful than initially shown. They can accomplish tasks in groups and come together to do… whatever it is they plan to do. I’m curious to see what their goal is by becoming mayor and if Shinichi and Migi are right. The anime isn’t as scary or horrific as I would imagine a “horror series” to be, but the idea of alien parasites taking over the world can make people uneasy. Not to mention that they still devour humans.

    Denki-gai no Honya-san
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Stilts: Denki-gai is the rare comedy-with-romantic-components that didn’t peter out toward the end. Even ones I enjoyed a lot, like Sakura Trick and Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, were far stronger early than late, whereas Denki-gai was even throughout. I think part of that is because it gradually transferred from being more gag-focused to more romance antic-focused, to good effect. Kantoku x Hio-tan, Sommelier x Fu Girl, and Sensei-chan x Umi-kun all got some serious development late in, with a side of Kameko to boot. What most surprised me was the extended flashback of Erohon G-Men and Sommelier as kids, while a touching scene with Tsumorin at the beginning of the month pierced the heart. Denki-gai is a reliably funny show, but it has heart as well. This has been a year of great comedies, and while it doesn’t quite top the list, it holds its own. It’s worth a watch.

    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    Episodes 22-24 (END)

    Divine: If we look at only the first three episodes and last three episodes of Argevollen, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone anticipated what this series had in store. We started off with a reckless disobedient main character and wound up with him trying to knock some sense into his former superior. However, having watched XEBEC’s original series from start to finish, I have to say that the story progressed rather smoothly towards its finale. There were no jarring developments, as we moved from subplot to subplot until the one about Samonji and Reika was front and center. While the conclusion was somewhat underwhelming and I wish the series did a bit more to get me excited along the way, I commend XEBEC’s writers from avoiding a lot of the typical anime tropes that we see nowadays. They stuck with the military plot from start to finish and avoided any romantic pitfalls. As a result, I have some renewed faith in their future productions and look forward to their next original one.

    Gundam Reconguista in G
    Episodes 11-14

    Samu: Reconguista is an odd one. These past few episodes have certainly been heading somewhere exciting, but I’ve found myself lost in the madness on several occasions – to the point where I had to read a ‘World Guide’ on the series to learn what the anime has failed to properly convey. If I had one wish, it would be that Reconguista should just slow down. It feels like we’re just jumping from one thing to the next without any time to gather our thoughts and leave any impressions. Exposition is essential to any story, but it just so happens that it can be often overused. Reconguista has the opposite problem, in that it’s not properly explaining the setting and situations, and is only adding more and more characters when it’s already hard to keep up with who’s who and what side they’re all on. That being said, at the very least it never fails to be entertaining. It me be confusing, occasionally irritating, and very cluttered, but there’s something rewarding to it once you piece the jigsaw together and manage to decipher what’s actually happening. Let’s just hope their journey to the Moon is a much easier one to understand.

    PSYCHO-PASS 2
    Episodes 09-11 (END)

    Cherrie: What a crazy ride it’s been for PSYCHO-PASS 2 and not all of it was fun and games. I can’t say that this final month has been the series’ best moments but it did bring up some issues about Sybil that weren’t discussed in the prior season. PSYCHO-PASS 2 tried to take a different spin by bringing up new issues with the system and brought together a new cast of characters to back it up. I can’t say that all these additions are necessarily good, but it provides a different point of view of how broken Sybil is. Overall, I still felt that the ending was a little bit flat and unfortunately, underwhelming compared to my expectations. The setup was great and definitely had a lot of potential to expand on its characters and develop them further; however, some key characters like Tougane and Mika really didn’t hit home for me as either great starring roles nor villains. Akane continues to shine but that’s because she’s the MC. Overall I’d say that the entire season feels like a filler for the upcoming movie that will bring back everyone’s favorite character – Kougami. Now that is something worth being excited for.

    Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso
    Episodes 09-11

    Cherrie: I think I have a love/hate relationship with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. One month I’ll find it extremely heart-warming and touching… and the next, I just can’t relate. This month is a mixed bag because I like seeing the series explore the trauma that Kousei has suffered; I think the scene with his mother has been one of the more emotional outbursts this season. On the other hand, I think this last competition dragged on needlessly longer than necessary. I’m not a fan of the Kousei and Kaori pairing either which is odd because I generally love characters like Kaori whom play the strong female leads. However, I don’t think that diminishes the strength of their relationship which is the backbone of Kousei’s return to the piano thus far. I simply wish there was more to his development than this girl that doesn’t resonate with me. I’m still in this for the long haul though and seeing all the positive raves about this series, makes me hope that I’m not just a heartless witch that can’t relate to Kousei. I hope I’m not missing anything because I’m trying so hard to like this anime.

    Amagi Brilliant Park
    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Cherrie: Amagi Brilliant Park ended in such a predictable manner, yet it had me glued to my seat as I impatiently waited to see how it would all play out. The moment that the counter hit 500k, I was surprised how happy I was for 2D characters because I never imagined that I’d be so emotionally attached to them. Not only that, but the fate revolving Latifah’s curse was a scene I wasn’t expecting to bawl for. But I did… for a whole 2 minutes until I realized, there’s no way this can end so bittersweetly. And I’m glad I was right. What I loved about Amagi Brilliant Park was its ability to tell a great story from beginning to end; but in a fun and comedic way that breathes life into each of the characters. It’s not just funny for sh*ts and giggles, but everyone’s doing it with good intentions (like creating a PV or being Kanie for a day). It’s an incredibly amusing anime to watch and not one to miss this past season. The characters are memorable, the plot goes places and yes, there’s even fanservice. A little bit of everything for everyone.

    Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: After episodes eleven, I was calling this show a tragedy, in the classical sense. The five girls had become trapped in an untenable situation, a Catch-22, where every choice they made would lead to greater tragedy, and they had only arrived at that point through choices of their own (though the Taisha’s lying certainly helped). From Itsuki’s lost voice (and dreams) to the revelations about Tougou’s past, everything was compounding, despite the irrepressible feeling of hope that shone throughout the series. It’s a no-win scenario, one where you can only pick your tragedy, when Tougou broke. And then Karrin’s sacrifice! It was set up to be a classical tragedy like anime rarely sees … and then everything turned out okay. The more I think about it since I wrote the END post, the more I’m dissatisfied with the ending, because they blinked. Had they embraced the tragedy instead of remaining the hero show, it would have been great. Instead, it was … still great, to be honest. So many things were done well in this series, from pacing and art direction to the soundtrack and the general direction. They just blinked at the last second, perhaps worried that a tragedy wouldn’t sell like a happy ending would. I don’t regret watching it, and I quite enjoyed it. I’m not mad at the series we got, nor the ending. But when I think of how great could it have been, I can’t help but wonder.

    Selector Spread WIXOSS
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Cherrie: Despite not being the most popular show out there, Selector Spread WIXOSS has done an excellent job holding my attention from beginning to end. Since its first season, I knew this was going to be something different and I turned out to be right. After months of trying to guess who Mayu was – the answers are revealed. Who is the mysterious girl who created “Selectors”? And what does she want? Why does the world suffer with her in this vicious cycle? No spoilers from me here but let’s just say that the answers aren’t as farfetched or unpredictable as they seem. I’m not disappointed with the ending, because I’m glad that the girls got their happily ever after… but I wish there was more to it. There are a few characters that kind of dropped off the radar at the end of the show and they could’ve been given more screen time to correct their mistakes. In the end, for a two-cour series, I felt that WIXOSS made a fine attempt to tell a complete story from beginning to end. It’s not perfect, but it was different and gave me the heebie-jeebies so if you’re looking for a psychological thriller…

    Garo: Honoo no Kokuin
    Episodes 10-13

    Samu: With only three episodes this month there hasn’t been as much for Garo to offer, but that doesn’t mean that the content has been dry. In fact, if anything these have been the most action-packed and rewarding episodes to date. The episodic fights against the Horrors are over and the final conclusion to the first cour couldn’t have ended any better. There’s been genuine surprises, like Leon losing his powers and them being transferred over to Alfonso, who is getting more and more attention and may just take over as the main character at this rate. Herman and Emma always bring something special when they appear on screen, so I do hope to see even more of them in future. There’s also Mendoza, whose backstory was finally revealed, and it was every bit as creepy and impactful as I thought it would be – the whole sequence was so well directed and animated, like most of this series is. As of right now though, I’m not quite sure where the story is going to go. We’ve tied up several plotlines, like that of the Queen and everything Mendoza was up to, but there’s certainly potential with this switch in power from Leon to Alfonso and how that will affect both of them going forward.

    Log Horizon 2
    Episodes 10-13

    Stilts: The end of the Abyssal Shaft raid was pretty good. While the way Demikas sprinted Shiroe past the raid bosses was pretty odd, what Shiroe had to say once he got there was fascinating in that corkscrew-clever way Shiroe always is. As Intix says, he’s powerful interference, and you never know exactly what he has planned for the world. But the pure raiding bits were excellent too, especially William’s speech to rouse his guild in episode ten, which spoke to exactly why so many people do it. Who cares if it’s pointless, right? This is what we do! That, and the new agreement of sorts between Shiroe and Demikas, provided a solid climax for a good arc. It’s nice to see the Villain in Glasses admit he’s wrong once in a while, to remind us that he’s fallible too. Then it’s back to Akiba, which is full of fuwa-fuwa, especially with the valentines celebration. But the council in Minami—and Intix’s horrifying verbal abuse of Nureha—clearly show that the trials aren’t anywhere near over. Rather, with the bad adventurers beginning to exert more influence on the story, they’re only just beginning.

    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Episodes 11-12

    Cherrie: It took half a year to get here but Sailor Moon Crystal has almost-finally ended the Dark Kingdom arc… and well, it was alright. I expected a lot out of Sailor Moon Crystal when it first premiered in July, and this was followed by a series of disappointing episodes (not to mention badly animated episodes). The showpicked itself back up though and as soon as it deviated from the original anime, Sailor Moon Crystal improved a lot. In fact, they even re-animated the transformation sequences and I’m impressed by some of the later episodes that focus more on action than anything else. The plot itself is something that you’ll either love or hate because it sticks to the tried and true formula of “love conquering all” and has a strong magical girl theme. It’s not going to be genre-defying, nor will anything be plot-twisting and blow your mind, but I think it does a good job at what it’s designed for. Sailor Moon Crystal will never shine the way that its predecessor did, however it makes for a refreshing watch if you’d like to see what the mangaka originally had planned for the story of Sailor Moon.

    Madan no Ou to Vandis
    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Stilts: Had this series been longer (20+ episodes), it could have been really good. While Satelight’s animation is on the low end in today’s anime industry, the underlying story seems good, but we only got the cliffs notes version. This was another Highlights Adaptation, which touched on the major events from the first five(!!) light novels, without taking the time to give anime viewers the full story. The characters, battles, and world continued to lack the full depth and complexity of the source material, which kept them from connecting with the viewer. Take the battles: with their voiceover narration, they felt more like historical documentaries than thrilling, action-packed war dramas. They got us to the only natural stopping point, but it thoroughly remained an advertisement for the light novels, rather than trying to delight on its own. I did enjoy what I saw, and as an advertisement, it did its job. I just wish the anime hadn’t ended so mediocrely, when it so easily could have been more. Plus all the women’s stripperific armor is seriously not necessary, guys. Save that for the fanservice shows.

    Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Cherrie: I hate to admit it but Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete will be that one series this season that just completely missed the mark in terms of expectations. The animation was lacking, the plot was extremely slow in the first half and I just could not put myself in any of the characters’ shoes. This last month proved to be the best for this series, but it still couldn’t be saved with everything else leading up to it. For a story about time-travel and love, Steins;Gate did it right and Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete did not. The focus of the story though, isn’t so much on time-travel as it is on Sou and his obsession to save Kaori’s life. It makes me feel a little cold-hearted though because I neither care for Sou nor his cause. Yui got some of my sympathy points at the end but even so, she felt as flat as a board sometimes. The best of the cast was Airi in my opinion and there was as little focus on her and her unrequited love as there was on Kenny. Definitely a shame because it’s not the story that was bad, but rather the storytelling itself.

    Sword Art Online II
    Episodes 22-24 (END)

    Cherrie: This final stretch for Sword Art Online II proves once again why I genuinely like this series. The main reason is because the focus is on Asuna (still best girl in my opinion but Yuuki is a close second) although some Kirito here and there doesn’t hurt. I thought this last arc brought back a lot of same concerns that the first season had about life and death and valuing your own life. It really hit close to home when Yuuki’s condition was revealed and it goes to show just how real issues can be and not everything can be fixed (even in the world of anime). Even though it was a short arc, Mother’s Rosario revoked the most emotional attachment from me since SAO, to the point that I was crying along with the characters during the finale. The character development in just one month is astounding because the issues aren’t just game-centric anymore but they reach the characters’ lives outside the virtual world. I love how this arc doesn’t use the MC to “solve all issues” but rather takes the time to show what Yuuki and Asuna learn from it. Definitely a great finale; love the show even more.

    Fate/stay night Unlimited Blade Works
    Episodes 09-12

    Cherrie: Even though the series isn’t complete – you just know – Fate stay/night Unlimited Blade Works is going to be a heavy contender for 2015’s AOTY. And I only say contender and not winner because you never know. The hype around this series is real and it’s completed warranted with the amazing job that ufotable has done with this production. In just 13 episodes, ufotable has not only given us top notch animation each time, but three 40-minute episodes! Asides from the beautiful eye candy though, I think Fate S/N has done a great using this first half to set up the story. I’ll admit that there’s more slice-of-life with breaks in-between each battle but that’s one of the charms about Fate S/N . One of its major differences from Fate/Zero is that you don’t know who all the masters are and what they’re planning. A lot of the shock and awe comes from the moments that Noble Phantasms are revealed or who the masters and servants are. So be prepared everyone – Fate S/N is going to blow you out of the water in its second half. I’m expecting great things and with a one-season break, I know they’re going to deliver.

    January 2, 2015 at 10:37 pm
    97 comments »
    • January 3, 2015 at 12:05 amAizen

      I agree.

      • January 4, 2015 at 3:22 amYourMum

        Might as well say “First”, Jackass.

        • January 4, 2015 at 9:34 amAizen

          Now why would I say that?

        • January 4, 2015 at 7:23 pmRyuuzaki

          obey you mum, aizen

        • January 4, 2015 at 7:23 pmRyuuzaki

          obey your mum, aizen *shameless attempt to edit*

      • January 5, 2015 at 6:00 amsam453

        Aizen, your comment is awesome

    • January 3, 2015 at 12:31 amKirigiri

      I therefore conclude that YuYuYu is really the black horse of this season even though it kinda have an asspull ending. For me the contenders of the AOTY are the ff:

      Parasyte
      FSN
      A/Z
      NGNL
      Zankyou no Terror

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:41 pmVoyager

        Nope.
        NGNL and Zankyou no Terror are 2014 animes, but Parasyte will finish in 2015, and FSN and A/Z are split cour 2014/2015 so not sure in which AOTY list they’ll be included, anyway those animes don’t belong all to the same year. Sorry mate :)

      • January 3, 2015 at 6:10 pmKirigiri

        Well I know these animes I said above are included in 2015 but in my perspective these shows for me are the contenders for the AOTY if I can based these on the 1st cour itself. Well I think I’m gonna go for either NGNL, SAO2 or ZnT.

    • January 3, 2015 at 12:37 amBlood_X

      Gah! If only you could connect with Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Cherrie!
      I feel every episode in my heart strings, whether it be good or bad.
      Seeing Kousei grow as a performer, competitor, artist, and friend is just so enthralling to me.

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:54 amMarx

        I seriously love the animation and story of Shigatsu wa kimi No Uso. I happened to read the manga a season before the anime started and all I can say is that it’s gonna be a hell lot of an emotional train wreck.

      • January 3, 2015 at 6:18 pmlebleu

        just my opinion but i find the ‘heartfelt emotions’ to be nothing more than the worst kind of cheap melodrama. every tiny things is charged with apparent heart-wrenching emotional tension. i mean come on. cheapens the moments that are/should be emotionally-involving.

        good story, but the needless melodrama rather lessens the experience IMO. still watching it though.

      • January 4, 2015 at 4:17 pmMgMaster

        ^Pretty much, although it still does some things quite well and manages to be emotionally involving. It’s probably the anime that I have the biggest love/hate relationship this year. But such a show naturally warrants attention, no matter how it ends up :P

    • January 3, 2015 at 1:02 amewok40k

      quote:
      Take the battles: with their voiceover narration, they felt more like historical documentaries than thrilling, action-packed war dramas.

      Stilts, to someone who really enjoyed History Channel before it has gone awful, it is actually one of best compliments…
      Made me remeber Zhukov facing Manstein over map of Kursk!

    • January 3, 2015 at 1:12 amKiru seryu

      where is Cross Ange:Tenshi to ryuu no rondo?
      is there none any RC writers watches the show?
      what a shame

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:59 amflCer

        Cherrie: Even though the series isn’t complete – you just know – Fate stay/night Unlimited Blade Works is going to be a heavy contender for 2015’s AOTY

        I want to say the same for Cross Ange. Shame indeed!

        flCer: Even though Cross Ange still has 12 episodes to make it or break it – those that are watching just know – Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo is going to be a heavy hitter for 2015’s AOTY

        Ganbatte Ange! Sunrise will not disappoint!

        • January 3, 2015 at 7:47 amHitler-kun

          I was with you until you called Cross Ange AOTY. Sure it’s fun to watch but calling it Anime of the Year is a HUGE stretch.

        • January 3, 2015 at 9:23 amKiru seryu

          let hope the anime wont end trainwreck as other original launched sunrise series its been a long time i dont see a very decent sunrise original anime
          buddy complex was meh concept for me,the last was valrave but sunrise just messed up around
          kyoukai senjou no horizon is on different term since it from novel adaptation not original from sunrise

        • January 3, 2015 at 10:06 amflCer

          @Hitler

          Time will tell. I understand your doubts though. It’s treading on a thin line, and it won’t take much to top it over. Nothing’s written in stone yet since it’s a completely original adaptation, but after the first few episodes I got the vibes that the story has enough back story to become the next Code Geass. If it wasn’t sunrise on the job, I’d have a lot of reservations on calling it a strong contender for AOTY.

          Am I standing alone with this opinion? The struggle.

      • January 3, 2015 at 9:25 amKiru seryu

        ish waiting for any bloggers reply this

        • January 3, 2015 at 9:31 amPatty

          You need to learn how to take a hint. Their silence is their reply. Not everyone is as interested in Cross Ange as you are.

        • January 3, 2015 at 9:56 amKiru seryu

          does asking is wrong things?

        • January 3, 2015 at 11:29 amStilts

          For the record, while you’re of course welcome to ask, don’t always expect a reply. Not because we don’t want to give you an answer, but because we’ve usually answered most questions multiple times before (as we have with this one), and repeating ourselves takes time and effort. It’s not that we don’t care, we just care about writing new posts and other stuff.

          On Cross Ange, I believe Zephy is the only one watching it, though last I heard (a few days ago), he’s not caught up, and is planning to marathon the series when it ends or later. He’s still a bit swamped with his new job, so he’s short on time.

          Oh, and when you start out with “what a shame”, it sounds (even if it wasn’t meant to be!) somewhat judgmental, which isn’t the best way to get a reply. Just a heads up.

        • January 3, 2015 at 11:41 amKiru seryu

          thanks for answered
          sorry if that word offended i didnt mean that
          you should try to watch sometime Stilt it worth as Shingeki no Bahamut as long Sunrise is not planning to wreck it out with any silly idea
          but then i am not the one to suggest i also used to avoided not watched Cross Ange until i am slipped out to watched the series
          it same like how i dont bother to watch Twint-tail

        • January 4, 2015 at 1:18 amdamrod

          Twintails wasn’t so bad in the end, at least if you didn’t expect something outstanding or classy.
          The creators probably know how random and over the top it is and instead of trying to make it more than what it is, they just seem to go with a WTF approach.
          Anyways, just watch it with the same mindset as you would do with power rangers and you’re all set to go :P

      • January 4, 2015 at 4:14 amSolaris

        People were eaten for much less than just expressing interest in Cross Ange. I’m amazed how you’ve not being downvoted to death yet. I guess hawks are still sleeping.

    • January 3, 2015 at 2:15 amsilke13

      Fall 2014

      Contenders for Best Boy:
      a. Shinichi (Parasyte)
      b. Archer (Fate) <—-my choice
      c. Ban (Nantsu)
      d. Kazuki (Grisaia)
      e. Seiya (Amagi)

      Contenders for Best Girl:
      a. Esdeath (Akame)
      b. Rin (Fate)
      c. Sinon (SAO)
      d. Ange (Cross Ange) <—-my choice
      e. Sento (Amagi)

      SPECIAL AWARDS:
      Pimp of the Season: Kirito (SAO2)
      Oedipus Award: Tougane (Psycho-Pass)
      Tsundere Award: Kyoya (Ookami Shoujo)
      Most Useless Character: Mika (Psycho Pass)
      Dat Ass Award: Sinon (SAO2)
      Worst Name Award: Embryo-sama (Cross Ange)
      Most Disgusting Character: cockroaches (Terraformars)
      Best Ship: Shinichi X Migi —> With a morphing hand, who needs a gf?

      • January 3, 2015 at 3:35 amjagg

        My choices are
        Best girl: Sento
        Best boy: Ban

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:17 amYuri

        best girl: Esdeath
        best boy: Shinichi

        • January 3, 2015 at 5:36 amesdesu

          No one can beat Esdeath. Plot shielded Akame defeating Esdeath was unbelievable!

      • January 3, 2015 at 6:04 amflCer

        Best Boy: Favaroooooo (Bahamut)
        Best Girl: Sala (Ange) and/or Aida Surugan (Reconguista)

        Best Goofball: Bellri Zenam (Reconguista)

        • January 3, 2015 at 10:55 amKiru seryu

          is Belry really good
          i think he is annoying

        • January 3, 2015 at 1:06 pmflCer

          Well, I thought his goofiness is fun. I found it somewhat refreshing in lieu of all the serious/mature characters I’ve come across lately.

      • January 3, 2015 at 7:50 amHitler-kun

        Exactly what I thought. Who the hell names a villain Embryo?

        • January 4, 2015 at 12:55 pmpong

          Mitsuo Fukuda. Same guy who worked on Gundam Seed/Destiny.

      • January 3, 2015 at 9:43 amRyuuGP

        Best Girl: Sento Isuzu (for “PLOT”)

      • January 3, 2015 at 9:55 amCaspi

        Why did you pick Ange as your best girl? She’s a bitch from what I’ve heard…

        • January 3, 2015 at 10:33 amflCer

          You should watch it and judge it yourself!

        • January 3, 2015 at 12:19 pmsilke13

          Both Akatsuki no Yona and Cross Ange are about a dethroned princess who starts off as weak but learns to be strong to survive.

          One difference is Yona has a group of handsome warriors protecting her from the harshness of reality (murder, rape, etc) and giving her the chance to learn & grow at her own pace…. while Ange had no one to guide her and was therefore a victim of abuse.

          Faced w/no choice, Ange learns to adapt to her situation very quickly without help (by ep.4) and rises to be the best soldier. Of course she has flaws, but her reformation and development are the main reasons I’m watching the show.

          Common Complaints about Cross Ange:

          - Fanservice
          True, I won’t argue with that but I survived watching Highschool of the Dead, Kiss X Sis, High School DxD. The fanservice in CA is mild in comparison. I just roll my eyes & ignore them. ◔_◔

          - Sexual assault used as plot device
          CA takes a grittier approach & the 2 rapey scenes (not actual rape) are realistic. They’re all too common in prisons. It’s interesting how murder is an acceptable plot device but rape is not. Isn’t murder a lot worse?

          Just my $0.02 *flies away* ε(◕ヮ◕)з

        • January 4, 2015 at 8:31 amWarriorsHeart

          Cross Ange is the type of show I would avoid like the plague, but the story is quite intriguing even though Ange is still not the character that I could sympathize with, but she is tolerable. With regards to the controversial scenes, I felt they did not have to be portrayed as they were especially in the very first few episodes.

        • January 4, 2015 at 4:35 pmMgMaster

          It’s always important to realize the different situations for our two fallen princesses, Ange & Yona, in their respective shows and silke13‘s description is spot on. I greatly enjoy both of their respective shows but I often think of Cross Ange as a game that has pretty much no hand-holding and Lord Tatsuya-Stu knows that I adore those :P

      • January 3, 2015 at 10:10 amMormegil

        Sweet Ass Online, indeed.

      • January 4, 2015 at 1:55 amGoodwill Wright

        Best Boy: Mitsuka Souji
        Best Girl: Tailred

        One character getting two awards!? Preposterous! But I’d totally vote for it anyway.

        On another note, Cutest of 2014 I would say goes to Tailred. Although you have characters from No Game No Life and other anime that are arguably cuter, Tailred has to defeat the fact that the character is actually originally a boy. So to do that and still come off as cute/really cute/criminally cute I give props for and would have my vote.

    • January 3, 2015 at 2:38 amNico

      SwKnU best series ever.
      ^__^

    • January 3, 2015 at 3:01 amlegwkio

      Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de. AOTY.

    • January 3, 2015 at 3:09 amSweetCoconut

      I’m sad that no one wrote their impression about Yona.

      But still, Fall 2014 animes was good

    • January 3, 2015 at 3:32 amLibélula

      Madan no Ou – I really wanted to like that show, but I stopped after episode 3. It just felt like there was a huge chunk of story missing. I didnt get how some characters suddenly were “best buddies” and also – there were too many stereotypes. And I think thats also a problem with cutting too much of the more subtle “uneventful” stuff. The point I gave up was in episode 3, when I realized that a certain event was aiming for the “wow”-effect and had…no impact at all. Sometimes you just need TIME and let readers/viewers WAIT, for something to be meaningful.

      Garo – Im traumatized. Samu is saying it so nonchalantly. But the ending of the big fight was so…I still remember thinking “Ok, in this fight he will have problems with controlling his emotions, then he will get a grasp on his armor and thats the end…” Well, I was PARTLY right…But I also felt empty cause I thought the show had only 12 episodes -_- Glad that theres a chance to make up for this mess. But Ive come to dislike Alfonso now ;) Hope he wont be the next MC.

      Shingeki no Bahamut – a really really good show. Im glad I completely forgot it was based on a card-game. Maybe I would have been a bit more sceptical, which would have been completely unnecessary.

      SAO – I just wanne see the Alicization arc now..

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:13 amSamu

        I thought Garo was going to be one-cour originally as well (and it could have been) but since it’s 24 episodes + a second season that will probably be 24 episodes as well + a movie, there’s obviously a lot more story to tell, which I’m excited about! I’m quite liking Alfonso considering he’s the well-spoken somewhat spoiled prince type of character. Who knows what will change that though.

        • January 3, 2015 at 8:11 amHochmeister

          I’m also very happy with the ending of Garo and that it’s getting more cours. If you think about it, the show’s been building up to Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 3, 2015 at 4:24 aminfo600

      My own one sentence summaries of what I’ve been watching this month (seriously, we can only pressure the writers so much to cover ALL the shows):

      World Trigger: The steam’s picking up with this hype train of a show (once more), as it heads into the more exciting sections of the adoptation.

      Trinity Seven: It was filled with cheese (especially the first half of the last episode), but I can’t really say anything bad about it when it’s fateful to its roots and still fun to watch (even after reading ahead).

      G Build Fighters Try: It actually got my adrenaline pumping watching it this month to the point that it’s better than getting caffeine in the mornings (it was that good to watch); Also:Flamenco intensified.

      Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen: *polish accent* Was a good ride, would recommend */polish accent* (especially ones who watched FMA:B), even if there was no (apparent) conclusion for the main love subplot.

      G Reconguista in Gundam (deal with it, they’re intentional): Lately, it became a bit more of a chore to watch, trying to put together the pieces being left behind as the series dashes forward without me.

      PSYCHO-PASS 2: Feels like the original PP yet (felt) stupidly compressed, making some support characters really one-dimension (it’s still a great show to watch).

      Selector Spread WIXOSS: It was great, and I actually thought the show actually left nothing unfinished.
      SPOILER ALERT FOR PLOT DISCUSSIONSShow Spoiler ▼

      Log Horizon 2Individually the episodes were great (dat episode-length speech was great), but put together it felt like something was missing…I can’t point at the problem at all.

      Madan no Ou to Vanadis: This show felt like it was made on a shoestring budget as well as on a limited schedule, but it still looks visually polished.

      Sword Art Online II: I was actually holding back tears during that scene (ie. time well invested).

      Fate/stay night Unlimited Budget Blade Works: Binge-watched the series, felt epic; tried to watch Fate/stay night (2006), felt the need for that unlimited budget a time machine…(after 3 episodes)

      Cross Ange: Did it just gotten weirder or what, having those crazy revelations and an actual ‘Villain in Glasses’ that we actually hate in more ways than one.

      ps. Samu-san! Which gundam show would you rate over the other as of now? (And you don’t have to explain why. We’ll speculate.)
      pps. I gotta prep this before hand…4 hours… x.x’

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:15 amSamu

        I much prefer Gundam Build Fighters Try over Reconguista. It’s a very easy choice, actually.

      • January 3, 2015 at 6:18 amflCer

        Reconguista in G:

        It’s funny to know this, but all the technical terms are never fully explained through any series. I definitely think they should spend some time explaining the technical jargon in a more comprehensive way. What they do is give small bits of explanation given a particular plot-line and expect viewers to pick up on it.

        For example, Minnovsky particles have been frequently referenced in the entire series and they never directly explained what it is. The most they did was make indirect references to it; In one episode, they mentioned that “Guided missiles work because minnovsky particles haven’t been spread yet” – suggesting that these particles interfere with missile guidance systems, and by extension, radar and communication systems.

        Enjoying Gundam series basically requires you to know the technical jargon… through research or through picking up the little details littered throughout the other 5 implied prequel/sequels. If you do know the history behind the conflicts and technology, the show’s a real treat.

        • January 3, 2015 at 7:19 amRockmanshii

          Minovsky particles cuts communications and stuff. That’s what they’ve implied since Klim’s attack on episode 3 at least. That’s the oldest example I can remember. Maybe it has more to it but in my opinion you don’t need to think anything else besides that about it. I think you’re overestimating the show, the lore and stuff isn’t all that important.

          Like I said in the last month impression post, around after episode 3 there wasn’t really anything confusing in the show for me.
          Having seen a lot of people on both sides (either sharing my opinion or believing things are too fast and/or confusing) I believe it’s just a matter that differs from person to person and I can understand why people feel that way.

          Though I gotta say, I don’t really enjoy the show because of “little details littered throughout the other 5 implied prequel/sequels”. Couldn’t care less about them. The gundam manual in one episode made me smile but that’s it.

      • January 3, 2015 at 3:21 pminfo600

        Just a quick train of thought: is shortening summaries into a single (sometimes run-on) sentence a bad idea? Cause it feels like I’m getting marginalized for it…

        • January 4, 2015 at 10:49 pmpong

          Your summary is incomplete. I don’t see Parasyte, one of the top anime this season…

    • January 3, 2015 at 5:00 ammokh

      why you drop cross ange ?

      • January 3, 2015 at 5:49 amflCer

        Other than the introduction episode, they never wrote anything on Cross Ange. It didn’t fit their schedule/interests.

        • January 3, 2015 at 7:46 amGeebun

          Which is a shame since I was really scared off by the first episode when it came out but I took the time to catch up last week and it’s a surprisingly good series that actually reminds me of a reverse Shin Sekai Yori in its themes and core story, only a little less well made and more perverted(which I understand can easily be something to stop you from watching).

        • January 3, 2015 at 10:31 amflCer

          @Geebun

          I tried comparing it to Shin Sekai Yori. While I can see that it addresses some similar themes regarding their societal structures, the tone of the story is very different. In my opinion, a better comparison is Ange vs. Code Geass. Both stories feature royalty turned commoner, and Ange (so far) tries to change the outlook of the whole world while learning the truth about their fate, as did Lelouch.

          I’m very optimistic about Ange because of that. Code Geass was done so well in my books that I consider it one of the best Anime I’ve ever watched ever since it came out. Ange has the potential to make it up there; It has everything set up for a in-depth universe. In my opinion, judging from the story so far:

          Show Spoiler ▼

        • January 3, 2015 at 12:07 pmGeebun

          I did mean the basic settings were like Shin sekai yori :

          Show Spoiler ▼

          but I can also see a lot of the Code Geass parts now that you talk about them.

          The point still stays. There are far worst shows then Shin Sekai Yori and Code Geass that you can “rip off” in your stories and even if it’s not done as well as it was in those two shows, you can still get a pretty good show out of it which some people will miss because the first two episodes can really be a big turn off.

        • January 3, 2015 at 12:57 pmflCer

          I see your point. I do see the correlation between the two, but the tone is way too different. SSY tries to dive deep into the psychological aspect of things, and motivates you to think philosophically in regards to societal constructs.

          Ange is more about the action-drama. SSY is the documentary on the philosophical interpretations of the human psyche. Again, I don’t deny that you are correct in pointing out the similarities.

        • January 3, 2015 at 3:46 pmGeebun

          Don’t get me wrong either, I would never dare to say the two shows are handled and presented in nearly the same way, just that the very basics of the story really are similar.

    • January 3, 2015 at 5:09 amDvalinn

      I kind of have the same opinion as Cherrie on Wixoss. The show’s far from perfect, but it kept my attention till the end. The final villain made sense (and was rather tragic) and the show got some sufficient closure out of it. A nice little psychological thriller. Still, though, it does annoy me that some plot points or characters were brought up, only to be promptly forgotten. Like Ryuuko’s so-called strange behaviour in the first season, that even caused her mom to abandon her. It just stopped being brought up, with no resolution there whatsoever. Did the writers forget or what?

      And I have the same opinion of Sora no Method too. It’s not the worst showing of a new studios ever, but it wás a lot of wasted potential. None of the building blocks it had at the start were used to any kind of satisfying degree (‘let’s ignore the giant freaking ufo in favor of our whiny characters’ seemed to be the idea) and it failed to really make me care about the plot at all. It was kind of a bore in the end, and easily my most dissapointing show this season. Though not the worst – that was Psycho:Pass 2, which was pretty dumb and the worst sequel I’ve seen this year.

      Best shows were easily Parasyte, Bahamut, Log Horizon, Mushishi and Fate. Especially Parasyte and LH had a strong run this month, they kept me glued to the screen.

      Also, Stilts is right, Nanatsu no Taizai really does give you ‘give me more!’ feeling. Pretty addicting little shonen. And I suppose it’s time to add Yuki Yuna to my backlog too.

      • January 4, 2015 at 12:20 pmCherrie

        I also don’t like how they just dropped off the story about Akira either. She was probably the craziest of them all and I wanted to see what became of her =S I also liked how they explored the Hanayo x Yuzuki x Kazuki relationship, but who knows who Kazuki ended up with in th end >_>

    • January 3, 2015 at 5:27 amesdesu

      Cherrie: The anime isn’t as scary or horrific as I would imagine a “horror series” to be, but the idea of alien parasites taking over the world can make people uneasy. Not to mention that they still devour humans.

      That’s bec Parasyte is tagged as Body Horror, not Horror.

    • January 3, 2015 at 6:24 amMerkius

      Did you mean evoke for the Mother’s Rosario entry, or revoke?

    • January 3, 2015 at 7:42 amCat

      I agree with you about Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso. I love the art, I love the competition scenes and the music. But Kousei/Kaori’s relationship just leaves me cold. I don’t like it at all. I think Kousei would have much more interesting relationship with his rival, Emi. (And Takeshi too, but I was talking romance).

      • January 3, 2015 at 8:46 amJustpassingby

        Fast forward a few episodes and you’ll be retracting those words my dear fellow. Let’s just say Kaori is needed for Kousei’s Show Spoiler ▼

        P.S. To those who’ve read the manga and the raws
        Show Spoiler ▼

        Show Spoiler ▼

        • January 3, 2015 at 10:52 amCat

          Oh well yeah I’m fine with that, in terms of her being Kousei’s development. It’s the thought of them having a romance that leaves me cold. But it’s not a deal breaker at all. I can still enjoy it regardless. I’ve still watched and liked plenty of anime where the romantic pairing annoyed me.

      • January 3, 2015 at 6:23 pmDave

        When it comes to Kousei/Kaori I don’ think you’re supposed to like the pairing outright; when it comes to getting invested in that the show’s Nureyev like dance around her health would be enough to keep anyone on edge on its own. It’s one of those couplings where we have to remember that we’re more in the loop than everyone else in the primary cast.

        What I still love about the show though is how it infuses little moments with tons of subtext; like the hug between Kousei and his mother’s friend in the last episode where the writers are able to effectively communicate her remorse for what she sees as pain she inflicted on Kousei by encouraging his mother to train him despite her original intent to keep him out of that line of work.

    • January 3, 2015 at 8:00 amHochmeister

      I’m really sad to see this season end. It’s leaving a big gaping hole in my heart.

    • January 3, 2015 at 9:29 amleatherhead333

      Sora no Method – To the shows credit it isn’t AS dumb as Glasslip like I originally thought it was going to be. Even so it sure as hell comes close. Not only does it sport the same shitty antsy teenage drama being dragged out for far to long but the entire fantasy portion of the show is pretty much ignored in favor having Shione bitch at people for 8 episodes or everyone constantly running away instead of oh………..I don’t know……….TALKING TO EACH OTHER!

      Seriously where are the scientists testing experiments the saucer? Where is the mystery on Noel’s origins? What is it like inside of the saucer? Does Noel have a family back home? Has Noel granted wishes for other people? etc.

      I mean seriously you have this neat concept for story with material practically LAID out in front of you yet it never gets used. It’s honestly a waste of world building/characterization possibilities.

      Even at the end of the show the only character I cared about was Noel because her adorable antics were funny to watch and wasn’t constantly dragged down by unnecessary drama all the time. Give the girl her own spinoff and get rid the other degenerates and I’d totally toon in :).

      Diamond no Ace- I’m really glad someone on the RC crew was watching this one as well. I really feel like the show is rather underrated since it isn’t talked about much. True I’d say it has a REALLY slow start but once the show hits it’s stride you’ll always be coming back each week to see what’s going to happen next. Every game is full energy and I seriously got goosebumps from each game. One thing I’d see as a valid complaint is the pacing. Yes games do take a rather long time to finish as 1 inning can be close to an entire episode sometimes. Even so Diamond no Ace manages to make you feel every moment of the game.

      The characters are constantly analyzing each other looking for weaknesses and ways to exploit their opponents. Heck the characters that act purely on emotion are even capable of keeping my eyes on them. It’s real easy to forget the shortcomings of the series when it’s so easy to get swept up in the flow of the game. I’d say Haikyuu is still the superior sports series as it has a much more manageable episode length with a bigger budget though.

      Nanatsu no Taizai -

      I’m actually behind on the show (at about episode 9 currently) but i remember having trouble ever feeling like the main characters were in danger given how OP they were. Every single time one of them were seemingly hurt or outmatched they just dropped the “I’m pretending to get beat” act and whooped ass. Boring…..

      Even in the instances the princess helped she pretty much only speed up their victory and was never really the deciding factor. I’ve never been a fan of there just being such a huge difference in power between the male and female leads. It’s really just no fun. In my ideal world Kirito x Asuna from the Aincradd arc are how every fantasy pair should be. Both very powerful in their own right but still need other in desperate situations. I’m sure we’ve all seen the Male x10 > Female formula far to many times already eh?

      • January 3, 2015 at 1:00 pmStilts

        Keep watching Nanatsu no Taizai. Like I said in the summary, there really is a moment where the tension skyrockets coming up.

        As for the male/female power disparity, when Diane is every bit as powerful as the other Sins, and all the Holy Knight ladies are no less (or more) powerful than their male brethren, Elizabeth’s comparative lack of power doesn’t bother me. It’s not that she’s a woman, it’s just that she isn’t a hyper powerful fighter like most of the cast.

        • January 4, 2015 at 9:08 amleatherhead333

          Don’t you think that the title of the show sort of spoils that everyone will be ok though? It is pretty much a rpg collection quest to gather all the sins and their weapons. I honestly don’t think we have to worry about our heroes until all of them are gathered up. Storytelling wise it just wouldn’t make much sense to me if they didn’t have all the sins gathered at some point. Even though they stated one of the sins was dead I seriously doubt that rumor to be true.

          I’ve watched the remaining episodes and while I agree that the tension is higher than usual they already kind of foreshadowed who’s going to save the day a couple episodes ago (though that’s just a guess on my part).

          I suppose the power difference is just my own preference. Yes most of the women are rather powerful but Elizabeth is just so far below everyone else in general it’s kind of worrying. At this point she’s more of a plot device in order to get the Seven Sins in more trouble much like how Lisa was in Terror no Resonance. Even 12 episodes in she has to constantly be rescued (this latest arc nearly excluded her presence completely during tournament). I’d just rather she have something to add to the team instead of being the obligatory love interest for Melodious as he goes on about “protecting her with his life” and such. Not much to root for in that kind of relationship in my opinion.

        • January 4, 2015 at 12:35 pmStilts

          In most series, the protagonists win and most of them are okay. Yes, in some of them they have to suffer (and perhaps die) for it more, but we can almost always rest assured that the bad guys will lose.

          But that aside, not all stories are built upon unpredictability. If that’s something you require, you may not like this show, because it is fairly predictable shounen. But it’s also enjoyable shounen, colorful and heartfelt and exciting, so I have no problem with being able to see the paces. Which is good, because I can do that with most stories, lol

    • January 3, 2015 at 10:07 amKiru seryu

      i am agree for Favaro the best MC this year
      if not him then Seiya
      for romance though my vote will go to Nagi no Asakura

    • January 3, 2015 at 10:24 amMurasaki

      The good: Per expectations, Log Horizon 2, UBW and Amagi were fantastic. (Is it weird that in the UBW’s 13th episode -the first 5 minutes or so anyway- all I thought about how cute a threesome Saber, Shirou and Rin would be? Because that adorable date gave me OT3 impressions. I cannot help myself. OT3 solves all unnecessary cliched love triangles!)

      The ehhhhhh: Psycho Pass 2: Mika. ’nuff said, though I give badass Akane a lot of points in my book. Madan no Ou had a good start, but tapered off into being mediocre because adaptations are difficult when you’re given only 13 episodes to cover FIVE LNs- I sigh when I think of the lost potential. Trinity Seven was a buttload of fun to watch if you ignored the flaws.

      Hitsugi no Chaika was so-so because of that deus-ex-machina ending, but I still adored the characters, loved the fact that Chaika/Toru and Vivi/Gil was a fledgling THING because at least my ships have sailed. It’s no walking off into sunset, but it’s something! SAO 2- have my qualms about GGO, but definitely enjoyed Mother Rosario.

      The bad: As for Shigatsu ga Kimi no Uso, I tried very, very hard to love it because it gave me Chihayafuru and Nodame Cantabile vibes, and those two hold a special place in my heart, but… nope. Nein. Nyet. And I don’t get it! The show has a combination of my favourite genres + childhood friends + classical music AND gorgeous animation. Four episodes in, my interest limped right out of the door despite initial high expectations. This makes me sad.

      • January 4, 2015 at 12:00 pmCherrie

        I feel your pain with Shigatsu Kimi… I honestly really want to like this show and I’ll keep watching, but it hasn’t sparked with me yet T_T

    • January 3, 2015 at 11:19 amKaguya

      I enjoyed WIXOSS quite a lot, and the development of characters was really great and pleasing to watch..I only wished they gave at least some hint the way card battles were played -.-
      Chaika is the first VN that I watched in a long time since I don’t tend to like adaptations from VN ..Not sure why I gave it a chance but I am glade because even with that rushed ending it was really fun to watch (especially Akari, I would love to read that prologue of story that she wrote :D )

      I watched Garo series before so I was a little bit apprehensive how it would turn out in anime format but it appears I had nothing to fear :) Great as ever
      Also as sport and mecha fan I have no complaints (I have to catch up with Ange but it is entertaining and plot itself isn’t really bad).

      And the biggest surprise is that despite all odds and everyone I watched Terra Formars and I liked it!!

      I have a little question for Samu, if it is not a problem :)
      Are you Gundam fan or just generally mecha fan? I may be wrong but I never really got impression that someone of the bloggers here is mecha fan..
      (I personally will give any anime a chance to win me over if there is robot XD )

      • January 3, 2015 at 1:02 pmStilts

        FYI, Chaika was a light novel adaptation, not a visual novel. Not sure if that was just a typo, though.

        Also, while I’ll let Samu answer for himself, both Zephyr and Divine are big mecha fans as well.

        • January 3, 2015 at 5:43 pmKaguya

          My typo XD

          Haikyuu!! was the first time I read something Divine was blogging. Before that I only noticed his name mentioned here and there, as someone who for a long time blogged and obviously enjoyed a great deal of respect from other bloggers (and was hovering around and keeping eye on you all :D ). I was really glad when he (and Enzo at LiA) picked Argevollen because I thought that a lot of people were not patient enough to wait for the story (and characters) to unfold.Argevollen didn’t turn out to be what I expected but I was in no way disappointed

          I took a quick at Zephyr’s MAL and he pretty watched everything mecha related that I did or plan to watch. My apologies to fellow mecha bloggers/fans :)
          You are quiet a big and diverse bunch (which is wonderful) covering so many shows(wich is also wonderful) so it’s hard to keep track of you all :)

      • January 3, 2015 at 1:28 pmRockmanshii

        SeishunOtoko is a big mecha fan too, though he’s not writing for the site anymore.
        So yeah there’s quite a few.

      • January 3, 2015 at 3:57 pmSamu

        Funnily enough, I’m actually not a big mecha fan, though I do love sci-fi. I’ve never been much of a robot lover (whether it be mecha in anime or just robots in general), but there are a few exceptions from time to time. I’ve always been interested in the Gundam series and before Reconguista came out I went back and marathoned the original Mobile Suit Gundam and I thoroughly enjoyed it – will definitely have to get back into it and finish the rest of the UC timeline.

    • January 3, 2015 at 10:15 pmPyroShield

      Shigatsu no Kimi Uso should be renamed to Flashbacks: The Anime

    • January 4, 2015 at 1:44 amHaro

      ‘everyone’s favorite character Kogami’

      I like Kogami and am looking forward to his return, but come on. Akane is twice the character he is. She’s been at the center of both seasons, and frankly the show wouldn’t be half as good as it is without her.

    • January 4, 2015 at 3:05 amAki-Chan

      “it was different and gave me the heebie-jeebies” the best summary of the WIXOSS series :) :) :)

    • January 4, 2015 at 8:18 amWarriorsHeart

      Funnily enough, some of the shows I watch this season have a common trait, they start off monotonous before a so-called companion character is introduced. For example, Zanzoku no Musume no Ronja is plagued by a slow and rather uneventful start. However, after the introduction of Birk in the storyline, it becomes a lot more fun and interesting. Cross Ange is another one, with a huge cast that is predominantly female, it was quite refreshing when Tusk (who will fight alongside Ange?) appeared. He makes the show more bearable for me, maybe because I am a huge fan of Miyano Mamoru.

      On another note, I am a little sad that Samu is not writing weekly reviews of World Trigger since they were what got me hooked into the series, and it was fun discussing aspects about the anime. For me, it was the best thing I picked up this season. I will look forward to the monthly impressions with enthusiasm.

      • January 4, 2015 at 12:49 pmSamu

        I’ll definitely be doing monthly impressions on World Trigger until it ends (which isn’t until September), but I’m glad that you got a lot from my reviews. They were fun to do, but I just wish Toei gave us more. I’ll still do one more episode when it airs again next week.

    • January 4, 2015 at 8:39 amLem Enrile

      Daiya no Ace is one of favorite sports anime. However, I’m disappointed when they lost to Inashiro – but I have already predicted that. Last year, I was hooked watching sports anime series such as Haikyuu and Baby Steps – and all of the protagonists lost in their very important matches. The ending were all sad yet it leaves us a feeling of – “That’s alright. They’ll be better/win next time.” So, I expected Daiya no Ace to have the same ending during Seido’s fight with Inashiro. Anyways, I cried when Captain Yuki cried. He’s one of my favorite characters aside from Baka-mura.

    • January 4, 2015 at 12:41 pmzeroyuki92

      I was reading till the end of comments until I realized something :

      Does nobody noticing Shirobako here?

      It’s a great work-related slice of life, and while it’s indeed not for everyone, I think I’ll mention that here since it’s actually a polished and well written series, albeit probably too technical for some. As far as I know Enzo is still liking it, does anyone else on RC still on board?

      • January 4, 2015 at 12:46 pmStilts

        I enjoy it, though I’m a few episodes behind because I’ve been focusing on shows that have ended for the Best of 2014 post (coming out soon(tm)! When I stop procrastinating in the comments :X). I guess Cherrie wasn’t caught up in time for this post.

        December has been a tad busy for us all, alas.

      • January 4, 2015 at 12:56 pmSamu

        Shirobako is probably my favourite anime from the last season. I love pretty much everything it does and every week I’m really satisfied with the direction it’s going in. I don’t know if Cherrie didn’t manage to catch up or just dropped it instead – if so then I wouldn’t mind giving my impressions for January onwards. It’s not for everyone, but I’m loving it.

      • January 5, 2015 at 9:20 amCherrie

        I didn’t catch up.
        Although I find myself being rather repetitive about the show every month so we’ll see if there’s anything new I have to say in January.

    • January 4, 2015 at 3:06 pmFlayvorOfEvil

      IMO Cross Ange is one of my favorite shows this season not because it has great animations or deep plot, but because it’s one of the few shows that I actually look forward to watching each week. SAO, Fate and Parasyte are all great shows, but I already know what’s going to happen so the anticipation is a whole lot less.

    • January 5, 2015 at 4:39 pmOwa

      @Stilts: Great job on the YuYuYu endpost! I don’t know if you saw, but this link was posted in those comments (obvious spoilers):
      http://www.reddit.com/r/anime/comments/2qgskv/spoilers_yuuki_yuuna_wa_yuusha_de_aru_ending/

      Yes, a lot of it is speculation and I know you were going on about how some of the explanations should be onscreen and more explicit. But I’m in the camp that thinks the ending is more subtle and smarter than to be taken at face value:

      Show Spoiler ▼

      The facts that support this were (subtly) shown:
      1) After the final battle, Yuna’s faeries do not disappear into petals like the other 4
      2) Togo’s lines of reading the skit (“And before they knew it, the hero was all alone. No one knew that the hero was alone. Even though she was now alone, the hero continued fighting. Because as long as she didn’t give up, there would still be hope.”)
      3) Yuna’s suspicious fainting during the skit.

      Speculation: Right as she is about to faint, the music abruptly stops, and there is a strange ringing sound effect that gave me the same “vibe” as when time stops during a Vertex attack. That could very well be the “new” Vertex alarm that only Yuna can hear now.

      All in all, with an original series, I think they probably left it ambiguous to allow for speculation and debate, which can be fun (unless it’s Kingdom Hearts haha…)

    • January 5, 2015 at 8:37 pmWanderer

      Nanatsu no Taizi…

      But it’s the attack by Gulia’s group that amped up the tension, and made me realize just how important Sacred Treasures are. Because right now? King might be the strongest.

      Just wait until you see what Diane can do with hers.

    • January 8, 2015 at 5:35 amMike

      If Fate is contender for the best then Parasyte will be easily best of 2015 for me. But nothing like this will happen because next year starts with a BANG that is Stardust Crusaders final part.