Another Monthly Impressions post brought to you by the RC staff! This one’s a little different though. Given that it’s the end of the summer season (Noo! Summer is over!), these impressions will be a wrap up of our thoughts for this season’s shows. For all the readers that have been asking for our impressions of how the season compared to our initial expectations, this is where you’re going to get that information. If you wanted to get more thorough insights, most of the series will have their own finale posts available on the site as well. With that said, most of the anime I’ve seen this summer have been delightful and I can’t wait to get on to fall in… a couple of days!

This post could not be completed without the help of a few awesome individuals. The impressions below are brought to you by Divine, Enzo, Stilts, Zephyr and myself. Despite all the vacations/family visits and sicknesses, you were all still able to pull this together. Love you guys! Each of the shows include our (final) 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
  • Guardian Enzo@GuardianEnzo
  • Stilts@StiltsOutLoud
  • Zephyr@ZephyrRC
  • 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.
  • For a schedule of all the shows that were being covered this season, click on the Summer 2014 schedule.
  • Keep an eye on our Fall 2014 schedule which will be updated as shows are being picked up by our writers. Here’s to another great season!

    Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
    17:00 MBS (4/6)
    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
    20:30 AT-X (7/14)
    Ao Haru Ride
    24:00 MX (7/7)
    Majimoji Rurumo
    21:00 AT-X (7/9)
    22:30 MX (7/3)
    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
    25:05 MX (7/11)
    Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon: Crystal
    19:00 Niconico (7/5)
    22:30 MX (7/6)
    25:35 TX (7/7)
    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    24:00 MX (7/2)
    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    23:00 MX (7/3)
    Tokyo ESP
    25:35 MX (7/11)
    Sword Art Online II
    23:30 MX (7/5)
    23:00 MX (7/6)
    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!
    25:35 MX (7/9)
    Tokyo Ghoul
    24:00 MX (7/3)
    24:00 MX (7/5)
    Akame ga Kill
    24:00 MX (7/6)
    Zankyou no Terror
    24:50 CX (7/10)
    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    24:30 MX (4/5)
    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    25:05 TX (7/6)
    26:20 ntv (7/5)


    Episodes 23-25 (END)

    Divine: The conclusion of Karasuno’s match against Aoba Jousai may not have been all that surprising (depending on who you ask), but it sure was one heck of a ride. The edge-of-your-seat excitement and back-and-forth intensity were absolutely thrilling to sit through. Looking back, the large cast of unique and relatable characters and their ability to draw viewers into a multifaceted story proved to be the highlight of the series. Next would be the series’ amicable way of introducing the finer aspects of volleyball to those who may be unfamiliar with it. While latter made it easy for viewers who aren’t familiar with volleyball garner a new appreciation for the sport, I can’t stress enough how great of a series Haikyuu is to those who aren’t into volleyball or sports anime altogether. With its knack for seamlessly weaving together subplots, perfect mix of comedy and seriousness, and high production values care of Production I.G, Haikyuu has all the makings of a great anime. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I strongly recommend doing so. You’ll likely marathon it and finish it in one or two sittings.

    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Stilts: Sabagebu! ended as began—with lots of laughs and Momoka being a terrible human being. Though it was edged out as my favorite comedy of the season by Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, it’s a solid pure comedy by any measure. It’s refreshing to see a main character as unabashedly horrible as Momoka, and since the other characters are all quirky without being assholes, it prevented the show from sliding into utter depravity, a problem I have with shows like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (though I think Momoka could easily fit into that cast in a few years). I feel like the skits in Sabagebu! were getting less memorable, but the crab one from episode eleven was particularly hilarious and wonderfully absurd. And the entire final episode—part semi-serious action anime, part unwanted-yuri-lover-finally-gets-what-she-wants. Perfect! Momoka showed something like feelings in the end, and naturally, she paid for it. That’s the Sabagebu! way.

    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Enzo: No question about it, the second season of Dandy was even better than the first. Watanabe Shinchirou’s sublime Episode 8 was a strong content for best anime episode of the season, but the show in general found a great stride, with the succession of guest directors and writers adding their own twists as the dangling cosmic strings of the plot were gradually tied together. Cartoon Network has officially stated that they’d like more Space Dandy (though suggesting it’s more likely to be an OVA or movie than another season) and I think it’s fair to say this series has proved it’s possible to be a success without selling a ton of discs or pimping for the source material. This is a BONES series but more than anything it calls to mind the unbridled creativity and fearlessness of vintage Gainax, something that’s all too rare in anime these days.

    Akame ga Kill
    Episodes 10-13

    Cherrie: This month has been, what I would call, the cool-down period for Akame ga Kill. It’s filled with more introductions of new characters than deaths (which you can imagine – raises more death flags) and brings in new light to Esdeath’s character. As a crowd favorite, you learn more about her and the other villains that give them more dimension and motivation than just “being evil”. Although this month has not be filled with all the explosions and action sequences, you can appreciate how the story takes a turn to focus more on team building than destruction. The new Night Raid members also have their own distinct personalities and I love that they’re given time to connect with the audience. No doubt, this is leading up to a new peak in excitement as we enter the second cour of Akame ga Kill. It’s been a while since I’ve blogged a 2-cour show but I couldn’t have picked a better one. This anime is full of excitement and unpredictability every corner.

    Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Cherrie: I could definitely argue that Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun has been my favorite comedy series this season. It’s been a blast to watch from beginning to end and as a one-cour show, it has just enough material to keep each episode fresh. On the surface, you would think that it’s a simple shoujo anime about a girl crushing on a guy, but continue just a few more minutes and you’ll see that it’s all about flipping the stereotypical archetypes expected in shoujo. All the characters behave differently than you’d expect, but that’s what makes the events that follow so hilarious and random. Our main characters, Chiyo and Nozaki continue to shine every week without becoming repetitive or boring and I think their relationship is one of a kind. This series is not what it appears to be and I recommend anyone looking for a lighthearted comedy to give it a chance to win you over too. From beginning to end, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a show that doesn’t take itself seriously and has been nothing short of entertaining.

    Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance
    Episodes 08-12 (END)

    Stilts: In the end, I enjoyed this magical-fantasy-action-harem show. It’s a fairly typical example of the genre, but it’s a competent one, and I enjoyed what it brought to the table. Off the top of the head: the action was respectable—I didn’t expect real strategies to be used against the fake demon lord and Velsaria, for example, but they were—the girls all held onto their own agendas, and the team getting together felt organic and appropriately gradual. I’ve heard that the story picks up once Team Scarlet gets to the titular Blade Dance, which is a shame because that’s where this season left off. Damn! But it was an enjoyable, if somewhat predictable and perhaps not especially memorable, ride. If you’re a fan of the genre, there are better series, but there are many more that are worse. I enjoyed the time I spent watching it, so that’s a win for me.

    Ao Haru Ride
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Cherrie: It’s been a long time since I’ve watched a pure romance anime and I thought Ao Haru Ride was going to change that. For those that were wondering the same thing, I can say with certainty that Ao Haru Ride is not it. However, that does not mean that there is no romance in it and that does not mean that the anime is bad. On the contrary, this is a great anime with character development, some clichés and centered around two individuals growing up together in their adolescent years. Everyone will go through different experiences, but I think Ao Haru Ride hits a lot of the ones close to home for me and that’s what makes it relatable. This is not an anime about confessing your love or resolving love triangles; this is an anime about building relationships, moving on and starting all over again. Futuba and Kou are both flawed characters, but they help lift each other up slowly and learn from their past experiences. This is where the romance kicks in, but unfortunately, not before the end of the anime. Hopefully, if a second season is ever announced, we’ll see more of that.

    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: Hanayamata is idealistic and heartwarming at its core, a tale of five girls forming and joining a club together, and changing because of it. Whether it was Machi reconciling with her sister, Tami pursuing a hobby for herself, Yaya finding a new passion, Hana realizing her dream, or Naru finally becoming as dazzling as the fairy tale heroines she always admired, each of the girls received development by the end. (And shipping Sally-chan-sensei and Sea Monk Aniki was fun too!) It’s not a unique series, but it’s very, very well done, and when their final performance during the last episode began, and Hana called out and leapt onto the stage to meet her friends … I got a chill up my spine and tears in my eyes, all at once. The friend-moving-away scare isn’t unique, but there’s a reason these tropes appear so often—when they’re done well, they work. Hanayamata is a wonderful little story that kept me smiling throughout. I recommend it.

    M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane
    Episodes 20-24 (END)

    Zephyr: Love her or hate her, you can’t deny that Okada Mari does great drama and out of all her works this year, this would probably be her best. Led by a slow but deliberate pacing, a dark and dreary atmosphere fitting of its premise, and a large cast of characters that epitomize the definition of suffering, the drama is seriously something in this series, and it was a notion that rung twice as true following the bombshell revelations of episode 16. The recent episodes haven’t been as spectacular as the episodes discussed in the previous monthly retrospective, but they’ve been generally solid (if not good to great at times), and I’d go as far as saying this is probably the most underappreciated show of the year. Is it a masterpiece? Far from it. But it’s nowhere near worth the flak it was given early on, and it’s a show that I feel extremely glad to have stuck with. I feel this is a series that more people will speak fondly of in hindsight given some time, and it’s sad how many people gave up on this show early on. That’s not to say this isn’t polarizing—it is very much so—or that everyone will like it, but people should at least give the series more of a chance than they did before, if not just to get to the bombshell episode—one highlighted by a kickass May’n insert theme and the beauty of a second ED from nano. Here’s looking to what should be a fabulous finale episode.

    Majimoji Rurumo
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Enzo: Majimoji Rurumo was a big win in every respect as far as I’m concerned. It was one of my top picks as a sleeper for Summer, and it’s always nice when those shows pan out. But it ended up being not just a sleeper but one of the very best shows of the season (even if the most underrated). The series was consistently funny week after week, and offered a couple of genuinely heartwarming and even heartbreaking episodes. The male lead was funny and likeable, the female lead adorable, the supporting cast excellent and the direction deceptively stylish and clever. No one much seemed to notice, but this was one of the best anime comedies of 2014 so far.

    Free! -Eternal Summer-
    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Cherrie: Must not cry! Must not cry! I refused to cry at the finale of Free! but my dear God, it was difficult. There were so many emotions portrayed during the final few episodes and almost every single one of them – I could relate to. I could almost empathize with everyone’s positions in this show – from not knowing what your future holds, to being left behind, to ultimately chasing what you want – that is what Free! is about in its final stretch. Yes, I know it’s a show about swimming, but it’s not just about the actual sport all the time (that was season 1); it’s about the teamwork and the struggle to improve yourself. It’s about a team of boys that came together because of a common interest and left as men determined to take that experience and build on it. Hands down, my favorite character just had to be Rin. He is the most developed character from season 1 and takes his knowledge to help everyone in season 2 be better swimmers and friends. He totally stole the show for me.

    Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!
    Episodes 09-10 (END)

    Stilts: Holy magical talking sticks Batman, Bazett is badass! For a light and funny magical girl anime where you’re pretty sure nobody is going to die, Prisma Illya has some powerful antagonists. But while the cards in season one were powerful in a mindless, monstrous sort of way, Bazett is all the more chilling for her intelligence, flexibility, speed, experience, and her implacable, unstoppable power. She fights every single protagonist, in a row and then all at once, and still the best they can do is a draw! Some viewers were put off by a final battle that can best be called inconclusive, but the fight against Bazett is the halfway mark of the original 2wei manga, and with another season already green lit, we’ll get the rest of the 2wei story at least. There were laughs, there was love, and there were magical battles that rival the best. I could watch another season of this series every summer for years to come.

    Episodes 10-13 (END)

    Cherrie: I had such high expectations of Glasslip at the beginning of the season… but unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the few shows that fell short. It turned out to be a show that I avoided completely because each episode was a chore to sit through; not to mention confusing! I think the biggest problem that I had with Glasslip was that it had no direction for the plot or characters. It starts with a very simple premise about a few friends and the writers knew that it had to have some romance and some “foreshadowing”, but that’s about it. Halfway through the series, it has a great soundtrack to go along with absolutely nothing but melodrama, and characters that can’t seem to make up their minds. Now don’t misunderstand because there are relationships that form between the characters (actual couples!), but it’s a matter of whether or not you’re on that ship. Near the end, you also hit a roadblock that leaves you scratching your head for answers, but I won’t spoil you in case anyone cares to watch. However, I think a much better alternative would be to read Takaii’s posts and save your time for something like Ao Haru Ride.

    Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
    Episodes 10-12

    Divine: Rather than running with the new development involving a group of capitalists pulling the strings in the background, Argevollen took an interesting turn and focused back on the conspiracy behind the death of Tokimune’s sister—Nanjou Reika. I was quite surprised to see the series address this so soon and so definitively, but it does give me something to look forward to with regards to Samonji. Having seen a different side of him and learning how much regret he’s harbouring, I’m quite curious to see if this will affect his command decisions down the road. Then there’s Tokimune himself, whom he only recently learned is Reika’s younger brother. The only question now is where the story is headed. The focus on the ongoing war between Arandas and Ingelmia seems to have dwindled in favour of conspiracies, which is great for viewers like me who like conspiracies, but takes away from the bigger issue at hand. However, oddly enough, seeing how the series juggles its time and what it focuses on in the second half is what’s drawing me in most about the show right now.

    Tokyo Ghoul
    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Cherrie: Tokyo Ghoul has been a fun ride for me every month… up until this month. This last month was not quite what I would have expected and especially the finale – I was left speechless. Let me start by saying that the world of Tokyo Ghoul is vast and unlimited and the story that revolves around Ken seems to have no boundaries or straight path. This final month seems to go into this abyss by introducing new characters, character history and backgrounds and then – it leaves you hanging. Yes, the finale is a cliffhanger and that’s not really a spoiler because season 2 has been announced! But, just judging the final episode as it is, I would say that it’s a great insight into the psyche of Ken. The ending is a shocker and before you know it, you’re asking more questions that don’t have answers (yet). I definitely enjoyed the anime as a concept and I think the story has a lot of potential to be an epic one. This stop in the anime just leaves too much to be desired and I’ll reserve judgment until I’ve seen a true end.

    Zankyou no Terror
    Episodes 08-11 (END)

    Cherrie: This last month has been full of ups and downs for Zankyou no Terror but without a doubt, I would say that it’s a worthwhile series. If you’re on the fence, you have nothing to lose by watching it. It has everything that I love about a good psychological thriller and even with a few bumps along the way, I like how it ended. With the introduction of Five, that makes for two female characters that I wasn’t fond of in the show, but that still wasn’t enough to ruin the entire experience for me (oh dear, I really didn’t like Lisa though). It was clear from the first episode what the series was about and the direction that it was going to take in regards to Nine and Twelve. It’s not an unpredictable story with twists, but that’s what makes the ending so bittersweet yet satisfying because, you just know that there’s no other way it could’ve ended. My favorite episodes were the flashbacks and I think it sends the message home of what Nine and Twelve’s motives were. Truly a great watch for the past season.

    Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!?
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Stilts: Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? is perhaps the best series Random Curiosity didn’t blog. (Or if that’s going too far, consider it my favorite.) It’s a harem comedy that doesn’t feel too harem-ish—it’s not a shallow affair of Koutarou going down each girl’s route; they’re all just going about their invader lives, and some of the girls happen to fall for him. Koutarou teases and is teased, and each of the main girls gets an arc that added depth and development. The change from everyone fighting to having an x-mas party together was stark, but it felt natural along the way. My personal favorite was Sakuraba-sempai, for her clear chemistry with Koutarou, but there are no losers. I’m not sure how I felt about Koutarou turning into a sword-swinging, magic-wielding, life-saving hero starting in the Theia arc, but … well, I’m not sure. That was odd, and it felt abrupt, but the character interactions are where it’s at, and those were natural and heartwarming. This is a friendship story as much as anything. I wish I had finished it in time to do a finale post, but life got in the way. I’m glad I watched it though. Marathoning it made for a very good day.

    Tokyo ESP
    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Cherrie: Hands down, the biggest miss of the season, has to be Tokyo ESP. It disappoints me on so many levels, especially after having read the manga and giving it such high expectations at the beginning of the season. If you’ve seen the first episode and decided to pass up on it, then I honestly don’t blame you. Now, the concept and the story isn’t bad, it’s just the execution of the anime and how rushed it was at the end that destroyed the series for me. There were a lot of missing explanations at the end, things happened ”just because” and unless you’ve actually read the manga, nothing ties together. I sound harsh on this series, but that’s because I know the potential it could have and even Rinka and Kyoutarou couldn’t save the show for me at the end. The actual finale wasn’t even that… happy. I could name so many things that they did wrong in that single episode and even though it eludes to a second season, I’d be skeptical to give it another chance. Final thought is – pass up on this if you haven’t already. A better action, sci-fi series to watch would be ALDNOAH.ZERO or even Sword Art Online II.

    Sailor Moon Crystal
    Episodes 05-06

    Cherrie: Surprisingly, Sailor Moon Crystal has exceeded my expectations this month. Episode 5 was all about Sailor Jupiter and I think I actually like her now more than I did ever before. She has a more solid background and history that actually involves this notion of ”love” and I appreciate that given – none of the other Sailor Soldiers have experienced it but fight for it. Best episode yet by far. Episode 6 was a miss for me, and the focus on Tuxedo Mask actually didn’t resonate with me too well. After a well animated episode 5, episode 6, once again, makes me question how much effort has gone into the animation. Tuxedo Mask is also a bag of mystery and he’s no longer the tall, dark and handsome savior-of-the-day that I envisioned him to be. All things said though, the actual plot for Sailor Moon Crystal has diverted completely away from the original series and if you’re looking for a time to jump in, now would be it. The plot isn’t slow and full of introductions anymore, but there are actual advancements by the villains and even an upgrade in Sailor Moon’s powers.

    Sword Art Online II
    Episodes 10-13

    Cherrie: The first half of Sword Art Online II has finally ended and I am unfortunately, dissatisfied with how this one turned out. Sad to say, but I just felt like the entire arc was dragged out too long with a lot of talking and not a lot of action. For a gun game, there needs to be more shooting, come on! On top of that, I wasn’t a huge fan of Sinon (no, her bottom is not the reason I watch this show – don’t throw rocks at me!). Having another girl in Kirito’s harem just makes me want to shake him up and scream, “But you have a girlfriend!!” On top of that, she seems to attract all sorts of crazies and no one wants a creeper staring at you while you’re sleeping right? Anyway, Sword Art Online II in general hasn’t captivated me the way that the original series did and I hope the second cour has a better story to be told. I heard that Asuna (my favorite girl BTW), makes her grand reappearance so I can’t miss that.

    Episodes 10-12 (END)

    Zephyr: It would reason that hype and controversy go hand in hand, and the fact that the Urobutcher’s involved tends to make that happen more often than not. Out of all the 2014 to fit the hyped moniker, ALDNOAH.ZERO was arguably the most controversial of them all (so far), and perhaps the biggest surprise of all is when you realize it wasn’t because of UroGen. In actuality, it could be said that his lack of involvement led to the uneven development of characters and extremely polarizing finale—okay, so it does involve him in some way— and it’s s something that made ALDNOAH.ZERO a spectacular miss for some. Despite that, I found the series was more of a hit than a miss for me up until the end, and there are definitely positives about the show. It was entertaining as heck, the soundtrack was one of the year’s best, and I for one have a kind of macabre curiosity as to what the second cour will bring. That said, this clearly wasn’t a show for everyone, and while I likely favored the show a lot more than the average person, the fact remains that there were undeniable flaws with this show, and it didn’t quite meet the hype it generated. Still worth a watch, if not to see what the hoopla is all about though.

    Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
    Episodes 22-26 (END)

    Stilts: For the longest time I wasn’t willing to call Tatsuya a Gary Stu. He was powerful, but if faced with powerful enough foes, that kind of character can work. Well, with the exception of Masaki last month, he hasn’t had any of those, and he’s only been revealed as more and more powerful as the series goes on. It’s to the point where he has perfect offense, defense, and support—nothing can stop him, and anyone who tries will disappear utterly, without even a body for their grieving family to mourn. All tension is gone, all excitement dead—there’s nothing Tatsuya can’t do, and it’s boring to watch. I don’t know if it’s a failed adaptation of an overhyped, niche source material, but whatever the case, Mahouka became a slog to get through. It could have been good, it could have been a contender … but it was not. Thankfully, at least it is over.

    Episodes 09-12 (END)

    Cherrie: I save the best for last because I’ve been saying all summer long – Barakamon is my favorite series this season. There is not enough praise that I can give to this anime and if you haven’t seen it, what are you waiting for? Barakamon is the breath of fresh air in anime that I’ve been waiting for and amongst all the other action, drama-heavy, comedy shows out there, Barakamon stands out. It’s a great balance between slice-of-life, humor and a coming-of-age story about a young adult that gets influenced by all these children surrounding him. I know the synopsis is not everyone’s cup of tea, but trust me, you will love Naru. I’ve said it before, but this little girl will steal your heart and she is both hilarious and endearing. Not only that, but I think everyone can find something to relate to in this show. My favorite moments were in episode 8 because it’s a good depiction of the relationship between Naru and Handa. As an adult, I envy how Naru can be so carefree, yet loving and supportive to everyone around her. It lifts a burden off your shoulders when you receive unconditional love like that and I think this episode really delivers on those emotions. Bottom line is – watch it! You won’t regret it.


    1. I love these posts! It is a good way to gauge a series that I have not watched but now have a good idea what to expect and include it into my backlog. I hope that posts like these do not take too much out of the writers. Please guys, rest when you need it. Thanks for the post.

    2. Overall, I was more excited by summer season initially than I was at the end, the main culprit leading to my disappointment being Tokyo ESP(what else…) and while not nearly as much,Tokyo Ghoul due to the way it ended – but at least we know that get’ll get a 2nd season not to far off. Zankyo no Terror was also kind of disappointment for me seeing the rather high expectations I had when it started(although granted,they were still lower than most people I guess so I shouldn’t really complain here :P).

      I kind of regret dropping after the 1st episode Akagame ga Kill & Shirogane no Ishi Argevollenafter the 3rd as the former seems to be more entertaining than I gave it credit for(truth to be told,I barely even gave it a chance) while the later seems to be going in an direction for what I deemed to be an extremely generic & most importantly,boring mecha series. Maybe I’ll try to catch up on them after the selection of the yet–to-air fall shows is over.

      As always,good job on these monthly impression posts guys. These,along with the short individual reviews of shows that weren’t covered on RC are very much welcomed.

    3. Interesting read, thanks for upping these! I’m tempted to check out Majimoji Rurumo before the next season gets heavy, I should have some time while playing Civ for a nice lighthearted show. Also was glad that Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? got some love, it was definitely my favorite harem/comedy this season. Yurika best cosplayer!

      Summer was good, but didn’t have any real standouts for me. I know lots of people loved Zankyou no Terror, but (and I’ll probably catch immense flak for this) for a show ostensibly about terrorism, Tokyo ESP did a much better job of handling the subject. Not saying that ESP was a better show, but the city actually felt terrorized, and the terrorists had concrete, though cliche, goals that were served by them demonstrating their power and taking the government hostage. And then there’s the sheer lunacy of the madmen who detonated an EMP above Japan being held up as heroes…

    4. I recently started to wait until series were complete so I could watch them without losing their atmosphere. Having said that I recently finished Ao Haru Ride, Barakamon and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and they all were a pleasure to watch; Barakamon was funny and endearing (also because the children were voiced by children which gave it extra authenticity), Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun was simply hilarious (Chiyo’s reactions and tsukkomi’s were just priceless) and Ao Haru Ride was a nice shoujo where I could somehow relate to Kou and why he acted the way he did.
      There are still several series to go (which have almost all ended by now) like Hanayamata, Majimoji Rurumo and Rokujouma no Shinryakusha so I won’t be bored for a while…

      1. Believe it or not, I used to marathon my anime all the time too =)
        I hate cliffhangers =X so I would always just wait it out until a show was completed before I sat around all day watching it. I also forget a lot less when things happen more quickly and I pick up on names and events better.
        That all changed when I started blogging =P but I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed those 3. Barakamon is love <3

    5. wow, Cherrie’s on fire recently. I know a lot of people hated the pacing of SAO II, but I really enjoyed the one episode of action and one episode character development format the second season has been following. I feel I can empathize and relate more to the 2 protagonists of this season, perhaps also the reason why a lot of people like Sinon more than the two heroines of the previous season.

    6. Thanks for all the hard work!

      I had started Ao Haru Ride at the beginning of the season and it fell by the way side. I only recently started watching it again and have seen 5 episodes out of 12 and the OVA. Still a ways to go yet.

      Barakamon and Nozaki-kun were tied for my AOTS with Space Dandy taking 3rd place. Overall this was a pretty good season, and this is coming from the fact that only one show interested me enough to follow in Spring. Hopefully Fall and Winter can bring some good stuff too.

    7. I dropped Rurumo on the third or fourth episode. I didn’t find the comedy that entertaining, Rurumo’s deadpan personality seemed a little too predictable, and the main character is both perverted and a little too self-serving. I’ll give it another shot though, since it seems to have impressed Enzo and a few of the commenters.

      Otherwise a pretty good season. I definitely appreciate Rokujouma getting its well-deserved praise, and a lot of the comedies (Barakamon, Gekkan Shoujo, Sabagebu!, etc.) were definitely memorable hits. But the time for laughs is over.. suffering is just around the corner and I’m pretty excited!

    8. Please, why are some of the writers so bad at genres? Do you guys really know that little about anime? Don’t you look things up? Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is NOT a shoujo.

      Also, please have someone who actually appreciates old school shoujo blogging Sailor Moon. It’s not a modern day romance and it never will be. As a Sailor Moon fan, I feel depressed reading the posts about it.

      1. It is pretty clear that everyone got their favorite style and that they lack knowledge about others but they still try to put up their view on them and may be it s not just writers but new generation view or so.
        Considering how old Sailor Moon is I always saw it more of like 7 year old girl show. (no offence)
        Anyways I was rather disappointed after Divine’s leave when new writers just did not enjoy action genres but they proved them selves at others.

      2. Wow, no need to be so offense now. =S
        In case you didn’t read my post, I never mentioned that Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is a shoujo – I said it’s a COMEDY and I also mentioned time and time again that they make fun of the shoujo genre. “Shoujo” is also not a genre that we use when we label shows in our previews o_O You can reference that here:

        I also happen to be the one blogging Sailor Moon and you’re depressed that I’m blogging it, but why? Because I don’t shower it with praise? Because I don’t see anime from the same lense that you do? I have never claimed Sailor Moon Crystal to be a “modern day romance” anime, although there is romance in it. And contrary to your belief, I was a huge fan of Sailor Moon. Please actually read my posts before judging me and stating that I can’t appreciate it. You can read my preview here:
        I loved the original series, but Sailor Moon Crystal is different. I can appreciate a “old school shoujo”, but I’m no longer a 12-year-old watching it. I will have different interpretations and impressions of the show now and I think I give the show a far review.

        1. I don’t get how someone would take your Sailor Moon Crystal review as something other than a thoughtful critique. Cherrie, I feel your blogging is honest, with opinions so fleshed out I often think I’m chatting with an old friend. Keep up the good work!

        2. Even if you don’t use them as genres, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Also, Sword Art Online II is not a sci-fi.

          And my point is, I have read all your posts, which is why I’m saying this. A problem I’ve encountered on this site the past few months is that some of the writers, including you, disregard things like shoujo, shounen, etc. But these are demographics. There is a thing called target audience. It is unfair to criticise certain aspects of a show just because you happen to be someone who is not its target audience. Sure, you can blog it from your perspective, but I think that RC, as one of the largest anime blogs out there, should consider genuine anime fans a bit more.

          To people who love Sailor Moon and see it from its target audience’s view, it’s depressing to see your posts. It’s not just you. It’s happening everywhere, even in the game industry. It’s sad because the people who the thing is aimed at end up being ignored. And I think you should consider their feelings. It doesn’t matter if you loved Sailor Moon back then. It’s not the same show but it has the same target audience.

          I don’t mean to be offensive as you think I am. But as a reader of this blog, and someone who likes Sailor Moon as it is, I think you nitpick at things that could be disregarded. And if you publish a post, you should expect to receive criticism without feeling offended.

          Stilts, as someone in business, you should know what a target audience is, so it surprises me a lot to see a comment like that from you. Not all things are aimed at everyone.

        3. @ ilikechips

          I do know what a target audience is, and I agree that everything is not, and should not, be made for everyone. That’s a recipe for mediocrity. That’s why I’m not watching Sailor Moon—I’m neither a magical girl fan nor a typical shoujo fan, so I didn’t bother. It wasn’t made for me, and that’s fine.

          I have no idea what that has to do with Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun though. It is one of the rare series that straddles gender lines completely. If we’re going to break down demographics by age, marital status, income level, ethnicity, nationality, etc., we might be able to find its target demographic. It doesn’t appear to discriminate between male and female fans though. It has a ton of both.

          Just keep one thing in mind. We’re fans. You invoked the games industry—we’re not part of the anime industry, at least not to the point where we get paid. We have enough ads to keep the servers on, and that’s it. We’re not journalists and we’ve never claimed to be. We try to be fair, but we’re just a bunch of fans babbling on about what we like (or not, as the case may be).

          It’s not that you or anyone else are being ignored. We’re just giving our opinions and starting the conversation. Take it from there as you will. Or don’t. If you don’t like what one of us are saying about a series, take yourself out of that situation and don’t read those posts. Maybe those posts, like the series they’re about, just aren’t for you.

          I’m sure we’ll have posts on other series that you’ll love though. We blog a lot of stuff.

      3. Shounen and shoujo mean almost nothing, which is why we don’t use them as genres. This is especially true of Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun, which enjoys massive following among both men and women. While Nozaki-kun is technically shounen (because it’s published in a shounen magazine), it has a female protagonist, is about a shoujo mangaka, and it does indeed play with many shoujo tropes (you aren’t going to find a girl like Kashima in anything but this series and shoujo romances).

        While I can see why you thought Cherrie was calling it shoujo—I thought the same on the first read through, though since I have the benefit of knowing Cherr and knowing she knows what Nozaki-kun is about, I read it again and got what she meant—but chill yo! No need to get all angry. Chiyo would not approve.

    9. Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei
      just ended up as biggest disappointment I have had in few years build up was nice, characters were not that bad, magic thing was interesting and last episodes main just goes god mode and you are left with very bad after taste
      well that ending hit me hard I hope 2nd season can keep up with expectations and quality
      Sword Art Online II
      Bad phasing like it was in SAO continues in SAO II but it is still one of most enjoyable animes to watch
      Zankyou no Terror
      Started with blast but ended up very solid. Still got me that death note like feel at mid way and that was cool… even if it went totally different way afterwards
      Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen
      Slow progression but I do not mind as long as it dont end up rushed t end.

    10. I completely see SAO 2 differently from the staff I guess.

      If you really want anime for the action, I guess the dialog parts are a miss. But to me, the parts I enjoyed more replayed more where the dialog scenes. Every scene where they talked about having to kill someone was very poignant and emotional. There were times you could see the pain and exhaustion of living with that kind of burden in their faces and their animation.

      The talk they had after their duel, and in the cave when they admitted having MURDERED someone. That’s heavy stuff. And Kirito finally revealing he was in THAT game. Those were my favorite moments.


      The Pointman
    11. Villain Names, it is all about names… Names To Run away From (Trope!)
      Bazett Fraga McRemitz – because you can’t spell her full name without FRAG…
      Esdeath, because you can not spell her name without DEATH…
      Sterben , German for “To die”

    12. Rokujouma no Shinryakusha!? was the surprise of the season for me. I just happened to stumble upon it sometime during it’s 8th or 9th episode and I’m glad I did. I agree with the staff impressions that it was a Harem that was not. And while all the girls at one point or another get their “arc” played out, it doesn’t feel like the production team was forcing them to all “fall in love” with the MC.

      In fact, they all grew through all the arcs and each arc seemed to contribute to the bigger “umbrella arc” so to speak which in the end seems to be Sakuraba Senpai’s actual arc. Sadly the season ends right before her actual arc but the show clearly gives indications that it will continue on from there. Wherther we get an OAV or a Second season I’ll definitely pick it up.

      This show was definitely the surprise of the season. Came into it with absolutely no expectations, at most was that it would be a generic harem, and I came out with one of the best and most entertaining series of the Summer period. And with a Summer lined up with so many “big names” that is really saying a lot

    13. Great work on the roundup as always. It’s appreciated, because I can’t watch everything.

      @Stilts, I’m surprised you didn’t mention Locodol. It’s slice-of-Life with a dash of yuri, so I figured it would be right up your alley. Granted, it’s not earth-shattering or anything, but whenever I finished an ep, I usually had a big stupid grin on my face, and my blood pressure had gone down a few points.

      1. I didn’t watch it. It looked serviceable, but I’m trying to pare down my anime time a bit, so serviceable but otherwise un-outstanding shows are the first to go.

        Plus, I don’t really like the whole idol thing tbh. No umbrage to the show, I just didn’t even give it a shot.

    14. So no love for the poor Yurika from Rokujouma no Shinryakusha?
      She is the only one who doesn’t fall for the MC, but rather support Sakuraba sempai with hers.
      That alone wins for me, probably my favourite female main character.

        1. Like you guessed, there’s still a lot that hasn’t been covered by the anime yet. Really wish they can make it two-cour, or have a second season. The light novel, btw, is actually quite good. I was pleasantly surprised to find that.

    15. Hmm disagree a bit with you on Rokujiuma Stilts. For me I couldn’t get the Kore wa Zombie Desu ka? relation out of my mind, just seemed too much like a rehashing of those similar ideas. The show was funny and definitely wasn’t bad, but IMO it couldn’t really break away from the mold of “seen it all before”.

      Personally for the comedies I liked Sabagebu the most, probably because it’s not often something as ridiculously slapstick as that comes along (and because I haven’t seen Gekkan Shoujo yet :P). Definitely good for a weekly laugh, especially with the damn narrator. Majimoji Rurumo was an interesting mix which was roughly split between its good moments and bad. The show seemed to progressively turn into a tongue in cheek play of the ecchi genre as the MC’s relationship with Rurumo was built up. Not to mention it’s the show responsible for giving us the kitten feels episode, probably the most tear inducing moment of the entire damn season. It wasn’t a masterpiece, but I would say Majimoji was one of this season’s sleepers.

      1. Korezon? I could see an Ika Musume comparison from the whole invader thing, but Korezon never even crossed my mind.

        There’s no crossdressing male zombie magical girl. That’s a huge difference.

        You’re right in that the premise at least isn’t unique. That’s not something I have a problem with though. There’s nothing new under the sun—there are only ideas you missed when they were said the first hundred or so times. It’s all about mixing and matching old ideas, and execution. It had great execution, which is why it hit home for me.

        Sabagebu! was good, but you definitely need to see Nozaki-kun. Though of course, with comedies YMMV comes into play even more strongly than with other genres.

      2. I think for me the reason it entered my mind was not the characters as much as the setup, bunch of random girls completely different from one another end up living under the same roof as a guy who is “special” in some capacity. All of them then end up fighting against what could be called a monster of the week. Might just be differences in thought though as I cannot see Ika Musume as a good comparison for Rokujouma 😛

        1. In that case, there are plenty of stories like that, with some allowances made for whether the guy is special or not (it didn’t start out looking like Koutarou was, so he kind of straddles the line in a way). But like I said, I don’t worry about whether something has been done or not. Just whether it’s good (and not done to death).

      3. I don’t think there was anything necessarily ground breaking with the show but it just worked well. It was light and entertaining. The characters were likable and funny and unlike Kore wa Zombie this just seemed to flow better from 1 arc into the other.

        Also as I mentioned in my post, unlike just about every other Harem, perhaps Little Busters is the only exception, the Female Leads don’t “fall in love” with the MC and instead they form other bonds that work all the time though it feels like the various arcs contribute to something bigger that we haven’t actually seen yet.

    16. I dropped Akame ga Kill, Tokyo Esp and Tokyo Ghoul for being shitty adaptations.

      I dropped Glasslip because it wasn’t as interesting as it’s predecessors Nagi no Asakura and Hanasaku Iroha.

      I dropped Seirei Blade Dance because Claire was too damn annoying and ruined it for me.

      I dropped M3 because it was in my backlog and it wasn’t good enough for me to continue watching.

      I dropped Hanayamata because I never really cared to watch it so it filled my backlog for no reason.

      Loved watching Aldnoah, Rokujouma, Mahouka, and Terror in Tokyo.

      My backlog consists of Barakamon ( I feel bad), Haikyuu, Jinsei, Kill la Kill 25 Special, Space Dandy Season 2, Terra Formars, Captain Earth, Argevollen, and Buddy Complex Season 2.

      I’m surprised no one watched or mentioned Jinsei ;/. It’s pretty good. My plans to binge watch all of my backlog will be shattered tomorrow because Smash Bros 3DS comes out and my time will be dominated by that game.

      Gotta hurry before the new season of anime starts T-T

    17. This may be inappropriate for a comment but I couldn’t help myself. I have been a fan of Random for many years now. Actually since close to the beginning. Honestly, I don’t know how I found you guys.
      I just wanted to say all the writers and former writers are all AMAZING and this site is my go to when it comes to Anime! Keep up the Awesome-ness! I may not like all the anime but I love the writers especially all the current ones. You guys will forever ROCK in my book!!!!

    18. Nobody watched Jojo? Aww.

      The biggest hits for me this season were Nozaki-kun (the best comedy of the year) and Space Dandy S2, no question about it. Those are two shows that’ll likely end up in my ‘best-of-the-year’ top 5. Man, I miss them already.

      Watched plenty of other solid shows as well. Sabagebu!, Hanayamata, Prisma Illya, Barakamon, Aldnoah, you name it. Some amusing aside shows like Akame and Yama no Susume too. As far as summer seasons go, this wasn’t a bad one in the end. Last year’s was definitely better, but that was an exception to begin with.

      Though there were still dissapointments, of course. Neither Terror in Resonance nor Tokyo Ghoul lived up to expectations (though they still weren’t bad) and then there were Tokyo ESP and SAO II. The former was just a godawful mess that I regret watching (maybe should’ve watched Rurumo instead) and the second failed in not even having the hilariously bad quality I was expecting after Fairy Dance. It just went from funny bad to boring bad, where every mistake the previous season made was just repeated again. Really now? I can’t even properly hate it, it just kind of depresses me. And I’m also glad I ditched both Glasslip and Mahouka, reading the blog posts.

      Oh well, onwards to the next season! It’s going to be a busy one.

      1. I honestly forgot about Jojo. I was hyped for the Stardust Crusaders Arc because it was my favorite, but actually watching it just to wait for key moments…I dropped it. Having read all of Jojo’s manga till Diamond whatever it’s called, Jojo is slow as hell whether you reading the manga or watching the anime, which is why I dropped the anime and the manga.

        Ain’t nobody got time for that slow ass shit, the payoff is good, but the time invested to get to it is not worth it because it’s boring.

      1. Ahaha, no way! I just didn’t think it would have been as funny without the context of the rest of the post. Though the callback would have been pretty funny … ahh well, missed opportunity I suppose

      1. The anime was lackluster but I’m so happy they got a second season confirmed. Maybe they can mess up Natsu’s face less when that time comes. Gotta say though, I’m so hooked on the manga thanks to the anime. That last chapter was especially was great(≧∇≦)

    19. Shows that I need to marathon:
      -Ao Haru Ride
      -M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane
      Clearly I’ve missed out on a few nice series. Too bad the fall cour’s going to be a monster.

      Anyways, my TL;DR’d thoughts
      Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen – I was surprised on what the show’s focusing as well (instead of the war, we get the conspiracy with some business empire, Argevollen (the mech), and Tokimune and his sister; with Jamie being the observer). So how would Samonji (the hidden protagonist??) deal with all this “corruption”? (this opinion/guess has 25% accuracy rate 😛 )

      Sword Art Online II – *hands Cherrie a HKPD riot shield* …
      Too bad the potential for an awesome gunfight was ruined by the LN itself, not the animation. But YMMV for sure, since what they have already was bad@ss already.

      ALDNOAH.ZERO – I personally think it is wise to pass final judgement now than at episode 3, when you can at least drop it without any regrets. Especially when the rumors of the second half was verified mid-cour.

      Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei – Another LN adoption that got lost in transition from LN to animation…I don’t know what else to say (since I read the (translated) LN).

    20. This season is quite balanced in my opinion. There are the good, the bad, the surprisingly good and the surprisingly bad.

      Akame ga Kill- I dont know what happened but I lost interest in this series…. weird… I think my impression of this was good, but it was on the bottom of my to-watch list.

      Seirei Tsukai no Blade Dance- this is one of those harems that had low budget yet performed surprisingly well. I think it’s mostly thanks to the MC who is not Ichika. IS2 has made me very critical in harem animes and Blade Dance’s Kamito proved that it could do everything that the brain dead Ichika couldnt

      Majimoji Rurumo- I watched this one out of pure whim and I was not disappointed. The comedy is light yet spot on, the characters are likable, the heroine is emotionless yet adorable and the MC is one of those perverts that we men can relate to.

      Fate/kaleid liner Prisma☆Illya 2wei!- Im a die hard fan of the Fate series so it goes without saying that watching Illya Zwei has been a joy to me. Loli Miyu Rider in particular has been burned into my brains hard drive.

      Shirogane no Ishi Argevollen- meh

      Tokyo Ghoul- One of the best and most frustrating series of the season. The censorship was particularly grating but it was a minor hiccup in Tokyo Ghoul’s overall performance. Season 2 is most welcome in my book.

      Rokujouma no Shinryakusha- I wondered why this one wasnt in RC. It was a bundle of laughs with the right pinch of seriousness here and there. I was happy from start to end of each episode.

      Barakamon- a gem that I nearly missed out on. A right balance of light hearted comedy and the occasional thought invoking seriousness made this series something to remember.

      ALDNOAH.ZERO- UROBUTCHER! You awesome twisted bastard! …. Aside from the minor hiccups at the last episode, this one has been a blast. Many of the animes in this season could really learn a lesson or 2 by watching Aldnoah. This show pulled off a Gary Stu MC and Mecha without making them detestable. Standing Ovation for the loli maid that drove the Humvee

      Sword Art Online II- I came to watch Sinon Ass Online and Sinon Ass Online was given to me. Since I watch this right after Mahouka, all of my Gary Stu complaints were blown away.

      Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei- I admit, i was taken in by the hype at the start of the series. Unfortunately, I watch anime in order to forget about school, not to have another 30 minutes extra lesson. To top it all off, the MC was so broken that he stopped being a Gary Stu and started being a WTF-is-the-writer-thinking-when-he-created-this-character?! For such an interesting world and likable cast to be destroyed by the MC’s boring existence is a first in my book

      All in all, it was good season

    21. This one of the best anime seasons for the past 4-5 years. I don’t watch anime much because I don’t have time but this season I watched EIGHT shows, EIGHT. Man, I’m so satisfied and even mroe pumped up for the upcoming PSYCHO PASS 2 and Mushishi.

      Zankyou no Terror and Barakamon are my absolute favourites, hands down.

      1. Both Glasslip and Tokyo ESP weren’t my favorites this season =S but you can’t win them all.

        The monthly impressions are a lot of work to put together and I do the bulk of the shows to relieve stress from the other writers (or I try to… =P). Hence why I’m supposed to “blog less shows on a weekly basis” – that didn’t last long… The writers choose to cover what they have time for. Since Zephyr and Enzo are already on hiatus, I don’t want to bombard them with more requests =X

    22. Honestly the one I was most surprised with this season was Haikyuu. I binged watched the whole season thinking I’d drop it if it goes full Kuroko no Basket, and I marathoned the season in 3 days.

      I came for my super optimistic and bright eyed protag, I stayed for the GUTS and TEAMWORK and the I BELIEVE IN YOU WHO BELIEVE IN ME, SO KEEP THE FRIGGING BALL IN THE AIR UNTIL WE SCORE.

      Not to mention the production quality was higher than your average sports anime.

      I’d say Divine picked a winner here.

    23. One of the shows that got me looking forward to the next episode, every week, was without a doubt Rokujouma no Shinryakusha. Mostly just innocent fun, and a quite interesting addition of beginning seiyuus as well.

    24. Some good comedy this season, no doubt. Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun and Barakamon were really fun and had the most adorable characters (Naru, Hina, Chiyo) I’ve seen in a while, without any moe-otaku pandering whatsoever too – they were just genuinely cute.

      Unless something truly surprises me coming fall, I think Space Dandy will probably take third spot in my yearly Top10, behind Mushishi and PingPong. First season was disco, second season was pure LSD.

    25. Haikyuu and aldonoah were my fav shows, they were the only ones to have that wanting more right after a eps ends. Barakamon and hanayamata where really good did not expect what I got from either show so my biggest surprises. Shirogane and akame ga are entertaining enough. Plus I really liked M3 too, such under appreciated show.

      Glasslip and tokyo esp were definitely the biggest waste of time for me. Tokyo Ghoul had 5 phenomenal eps and such a lacking ending, I can only hope the poor eps was due to shuffling of source material or filler because I can’t fathom how polarizing the eps are in quality. Atleast it’s getting a second season from my understanding so it gets a pass till then. As for terror in resonance I feel like half the show was wasted on such a terrible character (you know who). I loved it until that character appeared and the ending was good but did not make up for such a terrible character. Tokyo ghoul and Terror in resonance are both shows that shows amazing and top notch eps only to ruin them with subpar eps, such polarization in quality. I forgave ghoul a bit more due to having another season but that could be for better or worst.

    26. Just can’t seem to watch anime nowadays.

      This time out of this list I’ve only completed Nozaki, Prisma Illya 2 and A/Z.
      Watched a bit of Tokyo Ghoul, Zankyou, ESP and Sailor Moon.
      Wanted to watch M3, Argevollen, SAO2 but have yet to, perhaps won’t.


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