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The Best of Winter 2014

April 4, 2014

New season has started but I can’t even think of getting stuck in until I’ve got this post done and properly finished with Winter…..I am so OCD. Anyway, top 5 this time – easily had enough shows to do a top 10 but there were only 5 that actually stood out to any meaningful degree.

5. Tonari no Seki-kun: The Master of Killing Time

Short, clever and a lot of fun – this is how to do short format anime. Seki-kun was a lot of fun to watch each week as even though it is extremely simplistic and pretty cheaply put together, it was well written, acted and made the best of its small budget. Hopefully there will be more in the future.

More shorts like this please!

4. Sekai Seifuku Bouryaku no Zvezda

Sekai Seifuku was a fun show with a few extremely memorable episodes (that smoking one in particular). It was quite happy to potter along doing its own thing for the majority of the season, being very competent and having fun with its rather silly premise. There are a lot of great elements in Sekai Seifuku, pity the rather skeevy outfits the characters wear put a lot of people off. Probably won’t stick in anyone’s mind for too long, but definitely well worth a watch.

3. Space Dandy

Once you get what Space Dandy is doing it becomes genius. It did take me a few episodes to realise there wasn’t going to be any continuity, and that in fact we were observing parallel universes, but once I got that I started to really enjoy the series. Every episode is completely different, employing different direction and animation styles, looking at different themes and just generally messing about with the idea of episodic space fun. While there is a lack of continuity every episode gives us another nugget of information about the characters, building up their personalities and exploring the world they inhabit – it’s pretty damn good.

I know that a lot of people ended up disappointed that his wasn’t the second coming of Cowboy Bebop, but once you get over that fact and start to appreciate what Space Dandy is doing, there is a lot to enjoy about this anime. Looking forward to more in the Summer!

2. Silver Spoon S2

The second season of Silver Spoon reigned back on the educational hilarity of agricultural school shenanigans in favour of personal drama and character development, which was a good move. Hachiken is no longer a complete fish out of water, he’s adapted well to his new life and instead starts to take notice of the harsh realities of his classmate’s lives. Silver Spoon manages to strike a fantastic balance of wit and drama – nothing is sugar coated, there are no easy solutions to the issues characters and their families deal with, but it is all presented with maturity and a nice wedge of humour. Excellent series, hope there is more to come.

1. Noragami

While I wasn’t a massive fan of the final arc, and felt like some of the issues raised in the show weren’t dealt with all that well, I still really enjoyed Noragmi. I am well aware that I’m being hugely shallow, but the majority of my enjoyment stemmed from how amazingly pretty this show was to look at! Bones did a wonderful job on the design and art direction – there isn’t really a single episode that doesn’t look glorious. I mean the characters were also interesting and I liked the idea of the series, but really it was the animation that kept me so interested…..I’d love another season.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Honourable mentions to Hozuki no Reitetsu and Witch Craft Works. Spring first impressions to follow!

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2014 1:56 am

    I never ended up watching any of those first two titles there (or either of the honourable mentions), but it seems we have similar taste. If I was to make my own winter countdown list, then Space Dandy would be third, Noragami second, and season two of Gin no Saji first. 🙂

    • April 6, 2014 9:30 pm

      Objectively speaking Silver Spoon is the best show of the three, but going on how much I looked forward to each episode Noragami comes out on top.

  2. April 5, 2014 7:34 pm

    I was pretty impressed by Tonari no Seki-kun. I guess this is the way to make a short anime like this work. The concept was good because it was tightly focused on something that could be done in that amount of time. The main characters were both likable but flawed, so you could root for both sides of the battle.

    And, yeah, Noragami looked great.

    • April 6, 2014 9:31 pm

      Seki-kun is probably one of the best shorts out there – it completely owns the format and is a lot of fun with minimal fuss.

  3. April 6, 2014 3:08 am

    Woooooooooo! I love all these shows on your list ❤ Zvezda ftw I hope we get a second season with Kate vs the American Zvezda team xD

    • April 6, 2014 9:32 pm

      I would pay good money for a more of Zvezda – really solid show.

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