Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2017

@8. lisianpeia - I really like Ancient Magus Bride still, it's gorgeous. This list only includes shows that finished in 2017.

Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2017

@4. Jay - I am loving Ancient Magus Bride, but I believe it's getting 24 episodes, so it won't be ending this year! 

Winter 2017 Anime Preview: Jean the Cigarette Peddler

@ 2. Nepeta 919 – Maidragon is very watchable, in large part, I think, because of KyoAni’s usual production excellence. I can imagine the same material being lackluster in other hands.

@ 3. bewared – Demi-chan is quite a bit better than I expected, but I agree that it’s drifting into squickiness with all the girls having crushes on the teacher and his kind of invasive fascination with them.

I am very frustrated with the Netflix thing. It definitely killed Kuromukuro for the large majority of anime fans, and I’m worried it’s going to dampen a lot of enthusiasm for LWA. It’s also really dividing the fandom – people want to support the show, but I think they feel bad talking about it when they are watching fansubs/don’t want to spoil it for people waiting for the official distribution.

Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2016

@11. offstandard - I adore Natsume Yuujinchou, so glad you brought it up. I really loved this season, especially with the extended looks into the backstories of some of the characters like Natori and Natsume's adoptive parents. Glad that Shuka has taken over the reigns and will be giving us a sixth season as well!

@12. MichaeleJordan - I wanted to like Joker Game but I just got so very bored watching it. I love the concept and the character designs but it never managed to hook me. 

@13. Greg Gauvreau - I've heard good thing about Ajin, but I just can't stand any of Polygon's productions. Their full CG approach never works for me.

@15. Jay - Space Patrol Luluco was absurdly fun for a half-length show, and I enjoyed it SO much more than Trigger's concurrently-running Kiznaiver. I enjoyed Mononokean while it was on, but it never rose above a low-rent Natsume Yuujinchou for me...so when Natsume returned, well.

Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2016

@8. SPC - YES so glad to see someone mention Shonen Maid here! Along with Sakamoto and KonoSuba, that was definitely one of the ones vying for a top ten spot. I definitely remember thinking of it as "the pedo show that's not Super Lovers" when it stared airing--and could not have been more wrong. It's a lovely, warm show about dealing with grief and finding ways to understand family, and somehow it never gets dark or depressing. Was also pretty impressed with the really unexpected performance from Nobunaga Shimazaki as Madoka. Completely agree that it was an overlooked gem this year.

@9. Kate - Naho was undoubtedly the worst part of Orange - the whole time I kept thinking the show would have been vastly improved if Kakeru had dated Suwa instead, since he's the one who ended up coming to the rescue every time! March Comes Like a Lion wasn't eligible this year since it's only halfway through, but it's already looking like a strong contender for next year's list. 

Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2016

@1. WanderinDreamr - I still cannot believe that show happened.

@2. detectivetrap - Haikyuu!! was as good as ever- I wish I could have put that and Natsume Yuujinchou Go on this list as well.

@3. Cybersnark - Sakamoto was definitely one of the ones that was just shy of this list - they did a great job with it!

@4. ChocolateRob - Just couldn't see the appeal of Re:Zero past the first arc, though I do realize I'm in the minority there. Looking forward to KonoSuba's new season in a few days!

@5. Andrea J - Heart emojis are welcome here, no need to hold back <3

@6. bewared - Flip Flappers ended up never being more than a sakuga fireworks show for me. Visually creative and well animated for sure, but totally lacking in substance in terms of story and characters. I'd love to see the same team on something with a stronger story. Also really enjoying 3-gatsu no Lion; I know the reaction has been polarized because of Shaft's adaptation, but I actually think it's working well and am really looking forward to the second half this season. 

Fall 2016 Anime Preview: That Ice Skating Show

@ 2. bward - I am enjoying Flip Flappers as well, but it feels more like an animation showcase than an actual show right now. I wish it had a little more substance in the character and plot department, because the visuals are really neat--I especially love the ED. Kyousougiga is an interesting comparison - I've been thinking of it as more akin to Rolling Girls, which it shares of staff with.

Summer 2016 Anime Preview: Giving 110%

@shellywb - I think the largest problem for me is that I don't care much for the characters, who all still feel fairly stock and tropey (especially Ram and Rem; the kuudere twins bore me to death). The main thing that sets Re:Zero apart is how Subaru is allowed to fail spectacularly again and again - but in the end, he still manages to come out on top, or at least come out even, in every arc so far. The current arc is challenging that, sure, and I do appreciate that the writer is bold enough to make Subaru completely annoying and cringey for a time here, but I still don't feel like he's in serious jeopardy. I have been dipping into some of the threads on Reddit and /a/, and seeing a lot of conversation about the topics you've laid out here. I'll have to check in on those ANN posts too.

Summer 2016 Anime Preview: Giving 110%

@4. Cybersnark – I’m enjoying Amanchu, especially how one of the girls looks like a Muppet 55% of the time. I watched the first episode of New Game thinking it was going to be a Shirobako about video games, but it seemed like more of an office comedy in the vein of Servant x Service (except that the video game company apparently employs only women). Do they actually delve more into the process of making video games in later episodes?

@5. shellywb – Cheer Boys is far more serious in tone than I expected – given the subject matter, I thought it was going to be a bit more goofy! My favorite sports show of the season so far is actually DAYS – it’s not particularly original, but so far it’s well done and I’m enjoying the characters.

I wish Fukigen na Mononokean had more put into it on the production side; it’s a pretty sweet Shinto fantasy outing but the adaptation is pretty lackluster. And I am watching literally every idol show this season too, including the Show By Rock short ;) I’ve been very impressed by the 3DCG performances in Tsukiuta – they look as good as the Love Live numbers!

Regarding Re:Zero, I’ve been seeing it hailed all over the internet as “groundbreaking,” and I’m watching it, but I guess I don’t really see it? I understand the appeal of Subaru as a sort of anti-Kirito, but I haven’t found any arc so far to be as compelling as the first one, nor do I see where Re:Zero is bringing anything totally fresh to the table. I’d love it if someone could explain the phenomenon!

Summer 2016 Anime Preview: Giving 110%

@1. bward - The art direction in Mob Psycho 100 is totally nuts, I love it. There's a great blog series being written on the animation in that show as well right now if you're interested in sakuga! 

Thunderbolt Fantasy is....strange? Really strange. I only watched one episode, but the combination of the totally expressionless puppets with the hammy voice acting and over the top Sawano BGM was really bizarre. It feels kind of like a low-budget Chinese martial arts movie...but with puppets. I would say it's pretty accessible; it's a vaguely Chinese historical fantasy about a lone wolf swordsman who gets involved with a damsel in distress and some kind of evil organization. A very weird experience that kept reminding me of Team America.

@2. WanderinDreamr - I'm watching it, I'm watching it! I'm on episode 11 :)

Interesting thing about 91 Days - I also thought there would be a stronger Baccano! connection because of Shuka, but when I actually compared the staff lists on ANN there isn't that much overlap, at least from what's been added so far. And of course Takahiro Omori's name is nowhere to be found in or around 91 Days. I'd be pretty interested to know how much of Baccano!'s staff is involved, and if there's any real bridge between the two! 

Spring 2016 Anime Preview: Plus Ultra!

@1. templarsteel - I'm having a lot of fun with Delta. Unfortunately it's not available anywhere legally since the Macross franchise is a licensing nightmare - this article on ANN goes into a lot of detail on why that is, if you're interested.

Winter 2016 Anime Preview: What the Heck Is “Rakugo”?

@5. dwcole - Grimgar is interesting for what it is, but I fear it had no chance of being even half as good as Haibane Renmei :) If you're looking for more artsy, thoughtful shows like Haibane, have you tried Kino's Journey? It has a similar tone from what I recall. Kaiba also comes to mind, though it has more of a science-fantasy angle. Casshern Sins might fit the bill too, depending on what you liked about Haibane

Winter 2016 Anime Preview: What the Heck Is “Rakugo”?

@2. dectivetrap - I'm actually really enjoying Prince of Stride! It's pretty fun and doesn't take itself too seriously. Definitely one of the better otome game adaptations we've had.

@3. Mark - I didn't really get into KonoSuba, though the premiere got a few laughs from me so I can see the appeal. It certainly makes an interesting contrast with Grimgar this season, for those watching both.

Fall 2015 Anime Preview: Summarize it in Twenty Words or Less

@Juan Sanmiguel - Thanks for mentioning Young Black Jack, it's definitely an interesting one. I'm still not sure about it myself - I wish it had the more semi-supernatural weirdness of Tezuka's original. Also strange coincidence that it's airing at the same time as Osomatsu-san; 'tis the season of 60s/70s revivals, apparently! The ED credits with the character design comparisons is actually my favorite part of the show so far, very cool idea.

@dwcole - It's not really that I focus on lesser known shows (One Punch Man is hardly unknown) so much as I focus on new ones over sequels/prequels/2nd seasons. 

Fall 2015 Anime Preview: Summarize it in Twenty Words or Less

@shellywb - Thanks as always for commenting! I agree that there’s not too much out there this season – usually I try to pick 5 or so new series for these reviews and I could really only come up with three I could wholeheartedly recommend!

In terms of what I look forward to most each week, it’s probably Haikyuu!!, Noragami, and One Punch Man this fall. I’m also watching Osomatsu-san, which I find very Gintama-ish (it’s being directed by a Gintama veteran, so no surprise there), and carrying on with Concrete Revolutio for the style, same as you, though it’s really such a hot mess. I’m gonna go ahead and admit here that I’m watching both Dance with Devils and Starmyu and have absolutely zero regrets. Agreed that Beautiful Bones is iffy – I’ve watched two episodes and while I like the mystery aspect, I’m not that into anime Temperance Brennan and her high school sidekick. It’ll probably be dropper for me unless the next episode is significantly more impressive. I didn’t bother with K or the Attack on Titan spinoff, so good to hear I’m missing nothing there. At least you have time to catch up on your backlog this season!

@dwcole - Glad to hear you found something that caught your interest! I think Gundam can definitely be hit or miss depending on what series you watch—there’s such huge variation between them. I will say that if you liked Aldnoah.Zero, Gundam IBO probably feels more similar to that than to any other Gundam series so far. 

I do really hope The Perfect Insider delivers! Noitamina has been an almost unbroken string of disappointments for the last few years; it’d be extra nice to have a win there. Honestly I’m not watching Owarimonogatari at the moment because I still need to watch Tsukimonogatari, but I haven’t heard anything negative about it—the main reason you don’t see it is that I try to restrict these reviews to new series that people might not know about yet. Are you watching the Deen Fate/stay night then? I’ll confess I never made it through that one myself, through I did watch the Ufotable adaptation earlier this year.

@Cybersnark - I hadn’t thought of the Firefly comparison before, but you are right about the similar feeling of general scrappiness and grunge. I wonder if when they get into space (and you know they will soon) it will start to feel more Gundamy. Then again, with this creative team, who knows what we’ll get in the end! I don’t know about Mika and Orga being similar to Mal and Zoe though—I see what you’re getting at, but…no spoilers here, but let’s say after the latest episode I have MANY questions about their relationship.

Fall 2015 Anime Preview: Summarize it in Twenty Words or Less

@ghostly1 - It does sound intriguing, although I haven't read the novel. Sadly I think it's a theatrical release, so it may be a while before it makes its way over here.

Summer 2015 Anime Preview: There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Princes

@3.dwcole - Sadly it's pretty rare for shoujo adaptations for get second seasons...but there's always room for hope! Shirayuki is a strong protagonist, but her strength is of a far more subdued kind than Yona's, and is more about self-determination and perseverance. I have also seen the title rendered in English as Red-haired Snow White, so yes, it's pretty literal. I wouldn't go in expecting a fairy tale though: the show has very little in common with Snow White besides the set up. 

@4.ZetaStriker - I watched a bit of GATE, and I thought the first episode especially was very polished, but I couldn't work up much enthusiasm for it. I'm still watching Rokka no Yuusha, the other semi-generic LN fantasy adaptation this season, though I couldn't exactly tell you why. I do like the sort of Mesoamerican setting, it's original at least.

Summer 2015 Anime Preview: There’s No Such Thing As Too Many Princes

@1.ZetaStriker - I get you about Jitsuwata. Actually, I am (har har) a pretty superficial anime fan myself, and have been known to drop things (or pick them up) for art or animation, so I see where you're coming from. Having the seen the manga around but never been particularly attracted to it for the above reasons, I was pretty skeptical myself going in, but the show's totally won me over in the first three episodes.

Now Shimoseka didn't quite work for me though, so I guess we are on opposite ends of the spectrum this season! I enjoyed the first episode more than I expected, but by the end of the second I felt like the joke was already a bit tired. On the other hand, I'm still watching Prison School, both because I've heard the manga is bonkers and because the director is Tsutomu Mizushima, who (besides directing the excellent Shirobako most recently) was the director of another dirty comedy I enjoyed immensely, Yondemasu yo, Azazel-san. So far I'm not that impressed, but I'll give it the old three-episode rule. Thanks for bringing up Shimoseka here, I know a lot of people are enjoying it this season!

 

Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@17. Remillard - You're welcome! The beginning of the season is always the fun part, because you never know what surprises are out there! Regarding P-P 2, I have to say yours may be one of the rare positive comments I've heard about it. I didn't care for it myself, but I'm looking forward to the movie eventually making it over here. @18. koldflame - Yamada-kun is a fun watch and an even better read, so I'd definitely recommend giving it a look if slapstick romcoms are up your alley. I've watched a bit of DanMachi, but as the umpteenth "Look we're in an MMORPG" show in the last few years it feels a bit tired to me - still, I have a friend who is a great fan of the LNs too, so maybe I'll need to give it another look eventually. To be honest, most of the conversation I've heard about the anime so far is Hestia, Hestia, Hestia ;) Another Gintama fan! I had no idea Tor.com was so blessed with them. I'm also really looking forward to Onepunch-Man; I've been following Murata's version for ages and am a big fan, so I can guarantee you'll see a write up here when it airs! @19. shellywb - Ah you are brave to be watching the new season then! Are you watching old and new simultaneously? Double Gintama doesn't sound too bad. The other problem with recommending Gintama is that it leans so heavily on reference humor and shounen tropes, but you might be right that it'd be at home amongst general sci-fi fans. Okay I'm glad it's not just me! Toradora is actually a pretty good comparison now that I think about it…though Oregairu is so much more cynical. I think you're spot on about about the main arc just plain being darker this season; I sense disaster around the corner here. @20. tenkuu - I actually haven't heard much conversation about the 90s OVAs, perhaps because many people haven't seen them (including myself), although I know the character designs are highly praised since they're based on the work of Yoshitaka Amano. I don't dislike Arakawa's designs, but Lord knows we're not getting the best out of them from Liden's production. I'd be interested to hear what someone who has seen the OVAs thinks of the differences. For now I'm holding off watching them myself because I'd rather not be spoiled on this adaptation, but perhaps after it's over I'll have to watch and compare!
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@15. shellywb - It's fabulous seeing so much Baccano! and Gintama love in these comments! Sometimes I feel like it's unfair to recommend Gintama to people because the barrier to entry is so high now with 250+ epsiodes, but it's so much fun. I totally agree about the voice actors in Yamada-kun--Ohsaka and Hayami are doing an excellent job with the switch-ups, not to mention the rest of the cast! I really enjoyed Maaya Uchida as Itou as Yamada this week. The show still feels like it's on fast-forward to me, but I think I'm just going to have to get used to that. I'm watching SNAFU 2 as well and while I'm enjoying it, I feel like this season's been a bit more of a downer than the last--maybe it's just me? I seem to remember the first season having a few more light-hearted moments, but then again I watched it a ways back so I could be misremembering.
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@12. wandering-dreamer - Right? Nothing else could do Yamajo justice. I agree that Femt is the most Trigun-ish thing so far, and I'm loving Ishida hamming it up in that role. At this point I'm totally strapped in for the BBB ride--honestly I'm not really even expecting the story to come together, so if it manages to do so it'll actually be a pleasant surprise. I'm pretty interested to see what Matsumoto does with her anime-original mischievous KugiRie character though...that cockeyed smile is already giving me Koto vibes.
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@9.ZetaStriker - Punchline hasn't been working for me so far, but I think I'll give it one more episode since it at least looks good. Full discloser on Shokugeki: I love the manga and have been looking forward to this adaptation for a while, so I'm actually pretty biased here. I love how it just goes full throttle with the food reactions and doesn't take itself seriously in the slightest, and as a bit of a foodie myself I appreciate that the cooking portions are actually on point (they have a chef consult on the manga). I'm glad you're seeing Baccano all over Kekkai Sensen too--it's a comparison I didn't expect going in, but I'm certainly not complaining, since it's one of my favorites as well! I'm loving the creative visuals too--you might be interested in this blog, which is doing a pretty neat job of breaking down some of the cinematic language of Matsumoto's direction so far.
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@7. tatere - Yes! I'm a huge fan and I'm super glad it's back too! Everytime they have a "final" episode part of me worries that it'll be gone forever...
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@5. Juan J. Sanmiguel - I tried the first episode of Rinne too since I felt like any Takahashi work should be given a fair shake, but to be honest it felt pretty bland and uninspired to me--somewhat like a combination of Bleach and Noragami, but without the cool factor of either of those. I'll be interested to hear if it improves. Re: Arslan, I think Arakawa's manga adaption has been going pretty slowly, but she's already designing characters for the anime that haven't appeared in the manga yet.
Spring 2015 Anime Preview: The Hellish Life of a Pizza Delivery Boy
@1. AlcairNovall - Honestly there were too many continuing shows/sequels to mention them all (personally I am pretty darn excited about the return of Gintama, which is the same as ever)...though I'll admit I never got into High School DxD (sorry!). So far I'm glad Kekkai Sensen and Arslan are living up to expectations, let's home they keep it up!
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@27. Iron Sun 254 - It's great to hear that you've been enjoying them! If you need some more recs, I'm always happy to help out here and on Twitter.
Winter 2015 Anime Preview: Season of Sequels
@3. AlcairNovall & 4. birgit - I will admit that I didn't give Sengoku Musou much attention. Although I've been known to be a huge Sengoku Basara fan, I'm feeling pretty Sengoku'd out at the moment unless something can bring a really new twist on the same old names. @5. shellywb - So far I've been pretty impressed with how Death Parade has managed to continually NOT do what I think it's going to (it surprsied me again this week in the 3rd episode), so I'm still carrying high hopes for it. Unfortunately the art took a bit of a nosedive in Rolling Girls this week (ep 3), but hopefully it will recover because it's still pretty fun. I would hazard that if you didn't like Penguindrum then you will definitely want to skip Yurikuma. I loved Penguindrum but thought it got too convoluted and abstract in the last third - Yurikuma is basically all at the level of the last third. I am also enjoying Cute High Earth (Etc)! I'm a big fan of the director, Takamatsu, and I love the mahou shoujo parody; it's honestly hard to believe no one has done it before. That said, I'm consistently finding it "mildy amusing" rather than "screamingly funny," which is why I didn't include it here. Interested to hear that you're liking Assassination Classroom. For me it's just okay, but probably for personal reasons - I've never seen why the manga is so wildly popular, since I've always regarded it as pleasant but a bit boring, and I am finding that the anime adaptation is itself pretty bland and doesn't really add anything of value to the material. I also actively dislike the director, but that's a story for another time. Like you said, a pretty blah season. I'll certainly the second Mononoke and Golden Boy though! Thanks as usual for commenting!
Winter 2015 Anime Preview: Season of Sequels
@1. tatere - I was surprised too; it seems Funi snapped all these up this season. You can also watch them directly on their website but it still goes through Hulu and includes ads. I do highly recommend trying out Rolling Girls though if you get a chance, it's a really fun watch.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@23. RuthM - I wouldn't rule out more Hoozuki down the line; there's more material and it sold surprisingly well. The last season of Mushishi was wonderful, of course! The only reason it's not on the list is that sequels were disqualified - it hardly seemed fair. @24. Animefan546 - I actually really enjoyed NGNL; it probably would have been number 11 if this list were a bit longer. Really unexpectedly fun despite all its generic baggage. Personally I didn't care for Brynhildr, but different strokes, as they say.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@19. sarapen - Thanks for commenting! Argevollen lost me around episode 3, but I know there are still some people who are really enjoying it. After your rave review, I may have to take another look. @2o. RainbowWarrior - Correct: Aldnoah is split cour, so I counted it as one season that will finish in 2015. As for liking it, my feelings at this point are pretty mixed. I thought the show lost a lot of momentum in the second half, and then hit us with a shocking ending that it didn't really earn. I was interested to see if they were going to stick to their guns on that one, but the promo art for the second half suggests otherwise, which already feels like a bit of a cop out. I'll be watching the 2nd half, but warily.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@12. shellywb - It seems I've really got to get back to watching Hunter x Hunter! It feels like every day I hear again about how good it was. I enjoyed the second season of Free! as well, and I'd be surprised if there's not a movie announcement sometime soon. I was definitely one of the people that couldn't get into Mahouka because of the ridiculously overpowered MC, though I have a friend that loved it. And yes, looking forward to finishing out Stardust Crusaders in January! Re: KLK and TTGL, I've found that people either go in hard for Imaishi's stuff, or it just doesn't work for them at all. I enjoy his style a lot, but I can certainly see why it wouldn't be for some. Ah, Sailor Moon. So sad that it ended up such a hot mess after all that buildup. @13. wanderingdreamer - I hope you're still doing a biggest disappoitments list! @14. MamaBoadicea - Thanks for the heads up! @15. Feng Lengshun - Re: NGNL, you may be right that the publisher is happy with the boost already and will not fund another season. Since NGNL is an ongoing series though, and the anime was likely profitable on its own, they may choose to do more. We'll have to wait and see! I am actually loving Shirobako, but it's 2-cour so it will finish in 2015. Hopefully it will stay good enough to qualify for this list next year, because it's been a hugely pleasant surprise this season, and it's a great peek into the industry for those nerds (like me) who find anime production really interesting. Bahamut is ending this season, but it's sadly been losing it's charm for me in the last few weeks. I still really enjoy it, but I wish they'd get back to more swashbuckling and less politics. Had it stayed strong it probably would have been able to edge out some of the entries on this list for me, but we'll see what the finale brings! Thanks for commenting! @16. tethysdust - Yes, though I enjoy Kuroko's brand of magical basketball for it's own sake, I do tend to like more realistic sports shows like Haikyuu and Diamond no Ace. YowaPeda would have made this list as well, but it's still going, fortunately! ZanTero was a huge disappointment for me this year (probably that and Psycho-Pass 2 have been the biggest), because it started so strong and devolved into quite a mess, and I think I still feel a bit bitter about the whole thing. It definitely had a great visual style and some wonderful scenes though, so I'm glad you were able to enjoy it. Also re: the Barakamon voice actors, those little kids were so good! Having real child actors really added to the atmosphere and charm of that show.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@9. TumbleCoyote - Glad to see yet another Gundam BF fan! It's hard to sell people on this show but it's just so good. @10. peeyaj - Thanks for bringing up Hunter X Hunter. I'm still working through it myself, but I hear is gets amazing. I tried not to include shows that started before 2013 here since I wanted the list to be really representative of this year.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@6. Al-X - I really enjoyed No Game No Life, and it was definitely up there in my favorites this year, though it didn't make it onto this list. Like you said, a very pleasant surprise for what looked to be just one more NEET/games/imouto LN adaptation! Afraid Log Horizon didn't grab me at the start, though I've heard many good things about it since. Perhaps I'll have to go back and give it another shot. @7. ZetaStriker - I would actually be mildly surprised if we didn't see a second season of NGNL; from what I recall it boosted LN sales hugely and did fairly solid disc sales as well. I do feel like anything is possible with Mushishi and DRRR!! both getting sequels recently!
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2014
@1. hihosilver28 - KLK was a pretty polarizing show, so it's definitely possible that it just didn't work for you. Imaishi's style is often something people really like or don't like at all. I really enjoyed it as a cartoony action comedy, but like ZetaStriker said just above, the drama aspects were definitely the weaker portions. And I do think that the female fanservice is a valid reason to feel uncomfortable with the show, but personally I didn't feel the show to be misogynistic (though that is another polarizing topic). If you liked the style of KLK but couldn't get into it, I'd try another of Imaishi's project, particularly Gurren Lagann. @3. Lancer - I did enjoy SAO 2 more than the first season, but I chose not to include sequels since they didn't feel representative of the year. @4. ZetaStriker - I quite enjoyed the first half of NagiAsu but for me it kind of lost its way in the second. I wasn't a fan of the timeskip, thought it took too long to get moving while waiting for Manaka, and felt that it didn't deliver on the relationships and backstories set up in the first half. I can be a bit of sucker for Okada's particular brand of teen melodrama, but here it just didn't work for me all the way through. As for Kuroshitsuji, I would definitely agree that the circus arc is some of the strongest material in the franchise. Personally I was hoping that A-1 would adapt it with a bit more flash, but I'm happy that we got it at all! And now that I think about it GBF was probably the biggest surprise of the year. I'm watching the second season now and somehow it's still super fun - truly one of the best things to come out of Gundam in years.
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
@24. demonedaway - I am actually enjoying Gugure but it is a strange, strange show, and the comedy is a little hit or miss for me. Thanks for mentioning it here!
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
@18. shellywb - I'm liking Shirobako too, especially all the detailed information about the anime industry. I thought it was going to be pretty fluff fluff from the promos and the cute girl designs, but they've already had an animator collapse from exhaustion and completely destroyed their production schedule. Good times. I confess I only made it though 2 episodes of Ookami Shoujo because, like you said, both characters are awful (and the production values are pretty abyssmal too). I do appreciate the "what you see is what you get" nature of school shoujo romance sometimes too though, so I can defintiely see the appeal from that perspective! AmaBri is also pretty fun, and I love Kouki Uchiyama as Kanie the uber-narcissist. @19. BulletBill - Agreed, GBF Try has lots to live up to, but so far I'm enjoying it immensely! @20. songwind - I adore YowaPeda, so glad it's back this season! I needed something to fill the Haikyuu void... @21. Remillard - I have liked the second season of Psycho-Pass more than I expected so far, considering I didn't really care for how they ended the first one. Seeing Akane and Gino again is nice, but like you I'm hoping to get more of a handle on all the new cast members in the next few episodes. The show has a new writer this season, Tow Ubukata, and I think he's doing a pretty good job so far of reconciling the events of season 1 while starting the new plotlines, but I hope we get a glimpse of Kogami soon!
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
@ 14. RainbowWarrior - I'm still hanging on with that one as well. It's pretty standard LN fare but it's got its fun moments, and I'm enjoying some of the more cartoony animation from Trigger (and a few KLK easter eggs).
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
@9. ZetaStriker - I hadn't heard about the SEED stock footage in Cross Ange, but that sounds disturbingly lazy. I'm also following AmaBri (though as you said, no official simulcast) and while I am enjoying it, I'm not enjoying it quite as much as I had hoped given that I am both a FMP fan (4th season never) and an unrepentant KyoAni fan. You are spot on about Kanie's ridiculous narcissitic asides - they are probably the highlight of the show for me at the moment! But I am kind of hoping that once the main plot gets rolling the show'll have a bit more energy and excitement. @10. skylion - Whoops! You're correct of course, didn't notice I'd written high school instead of middle school. @11. Highway - This show has actually hardly made a blip on my radar, so looks like you're right about it escaping people's notice. Thanks for pointing it out!
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
@6. RishaBree - If it reassures you, I am about as big a wimp as they come in regards to body horror and I haven't had too much trouble with Parasyte yet. Watch at your own risk, of course! @7. ShooneSprings - I tried to briefly mention Deen's 2010 movie version above, but of course if I tried to talk about every Type-Moon adaptation we'd be here all day! Hope you enjoy it!
Fall 2014 Anime Preview: Symbiotic Alien Hands Don’t Make Good Pets
@1. Alcair Novall - I admit I was turned off of Cross Ange in the first epsiode partially by the, as you said, "highly immodest outfits." Glad to hear it's got a decent plot behind it! @2. Cybersnark - I am also really enjoying Shirobako, but how much of that is because it's actually good and how much is because I'm fascinated by the animation/production side of the industry I can't yet say. I'm loving all the real-life references too! @3. edmayer - I'm also watching the second half of Chaika and Garo. I haven't really figured out what I think of Garo yet - on one hand it's really stylish with that cool opening animation and the interesting character designs (they kind of remind me of Umakoshi's work for Casshern Sins), as well as some nice action scenes. On the other, I don't find the story or the tokusatsu elements that riveting , and it also feels likes it's trying very hard to be ADULT with all the sex and violence. Will definitely keep watching for a while to see where it goes! @4. Juanito - Agreed! It's funny how so many fans of the manga seemed to be waiting for that particular scene before giving this adaptation their wholehearted approval.
Laika’s The Boxtrolls Will Knock Your Box Off
@ 2. justjking - Although I did love that teaser when it came out, I can see why you felt that was a problem. I think they wanted to drive home the "every family is a valid family" message, but you're right that it would have been better if they had represented a greater diversity of families in the film. @ 3. hazmoid - The end credits were easily one of my favorite parts of the entire movie. Definitely left the theater laughing.
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
@12. AlcairNovall - I can definitely see where you're coming from on the Guilty Crown resemblance. Let's just hope Aldnoah.Zero doesn't end up rsembling GC in other ways...such as totally jumping the shark in the second half.
Summer 2014 Anime Preview: In the Name of the Moon!
@3. shellywb - I am also watching Love Stage and I'm loving how fun and fluffy it is! They're doing quite a good job with the adaptation there. I will say that I think I enjoy DAIGO's presence as trivia more than I like his actual performance - so far he sounds a little unpraticed compared to the rest of the cast. I am also not a fan of the SM transformation sequence. I'm certain they had their reasons for doing it that way, but I would have vastly preferred a 2D version. I'm looking forward to seeing more of the seiyuu in action, because I quite like a lot of the cast, but I've got my doubts about Mitsuishi returning as Usagi. I wasn't wowed by her in the first episode; it felt like she was really straining for that fourteen-year-old voice. I know it would have been controversial to recast Usagi, but I kind of wish they would have just bit the bullet since they recast everyone else. @4. wandering-dreamer - I already feel like watching AHR and Nozaki-kun together is going to be a disaster. Every time Kou says something super smooth and shoujo-ish all I can think of is this:
Spring 2014 Anime Preview: Now With More Robots
@6. ZetaStriker - I only watched the first episode of Akuma no Riddle; it's not really my cup of tea but it sounds like it's got quite a lot going for it based on what you've said. I'm actually really surprised by how much I'm enjoying No Game No Life - it's generic as all hell but it's got a really good sense of humor and is pretty well-produced as a whole. @7. shellywb - I think it was the whole "I'm a princess on a diplomatic mission in a foreign land with no cash and little common sense, let me just send my retinue away and wing it" intro that turned me off. And then I also have a bit of trouble buying Shimazaki as a kid. See now, KamiAso I expect to be silly, and it's delivering dumb otomege tropes and bad singing beautifully. I actually kind of admire UtaPri for how it just dispensed with any pretense of serious storytelling and decided to be as ridiculous as possible - the UtaPri writer is actually working on KamiAso, so I hope it goes the same route (pun intended). Yuasa's art often walks the line between "unique" and "ugly" for me. Here I think it comes down pretty squarely in "ugly" territory, but I agree with you that it works with the style of the show. I really like Yuasa's cool split screens and weird angles, and the OP and ED also feature some very neat animation. Ping Pong's definitely really visually interesting, if not what I'd consider a "pretty" show.
Spring 2014 Anime Preview: Now With More Robots
@2. shellywb - Mushishi is so lovely, isn't it? I still can't believe we've gotten a second season. I have to say I may be about the only person I've talked to who doesn't like The World Is Still Beautiful; I love fanatasy shows and shoujo romance, but somehow I just can't buy into the premise at all for this one. As for JJBA, I'm actually finishing up Battle Tendency right now, and I'm looking forward to jumping right into Stardust Crusaders! I really enjoy the level of camp and ridiculousness; it's incredibly fun. @3. yatsuhashi - I kind of like how straight they're playing all the mecha tropes in Captain Earth, even the absurd three-satellite-assembly henshin. But I also loved Star Driver, so there was basically no chance I was not going to be into this show.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@29-30. Iwatobi Free! - Thanks for commenting, and no worries about not seeing the comment above! I didn't make the video, but I think it does a great job of showing off the year. Anything you can't find in the TV series Wikipedia list I linked above will likely be on the movies or OVAs lists, since I saw a few of those in there. Also, as I said in my previous comment, if you note the time a particular show appears in the AMV I'll definitely try to identify it for you! I'm also happy to help with recommendations if I can, here or on Twitter, if you give me an idea of what you're looking for!
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@27. lingern - You can find most of them on Wikipedia's list of 2013 anime. If there's a specific one that caught your eye, you could note what time it appears and we'll try to identify it for you!
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@25.ASH90 - BTOOOM! actually aired in fall of 2012, so it didn't qualify for the 2013 list.
Winter Anime Preview: Dandy Guys in Space, Bureaucrats in Hell
@1.shellywb - Hozuki no Reitetsu is definitely not for everyone - it's a pretty weird show. I'm also watching Pilot's Love Song and am generally liking it, though I can't help but think of it as Last Exile Lite. I think if they end up getting into the politics instead of extended school shenanigans it could end up pretty decent, though that 1 cour run is pretty suspicious. I've been meaning to watch that movie (The Princess and the Pilot) set in the same universe. I'm finding myself in the same boat - looking forward much more to a lot of the continuing fall shows like YowaPeda, Gundam BF, and KLK than I am the winter ones week to week. This season is just so dull. @2.jim 162065 - I remember quite liking Eden of the East, but I never got around to the movies. The director, Kenji Kamiyama, is directing some odd little sponsored OVA series right now with the same character designs as EotE. I wish he were directing GitS: Arise instead. @3.ZetaStriker - Come back once you've watched everything and let us know what you think!
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@18. DavidBankson - So glad you like it! The show didn't go quite in the direction I expected by the end, but I still loved the whole experience. I really hope we'll see more in the future from this particular director.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@16. Albatross - Actually we only included series that were new in 2013, so KuroBas didn't qualify...though I'm enjoying the second season very much!
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@12. shellywb - The sales numbers for Free! are good enough that I would consider a second season pretty well within the realm of possibility. From what I've heard the audio discs and character goods have been selling very well too (Suzuki Tatsuhisa, the VA for Makoto, even said at a panel that he tried to buy merch for his character and it was sold out everywhere!). I only wish that Gatchaman had been a little more cohesive. I love Nakamura Kenji as a director, and Kinako's characters designs were fabulous, and the twist on the hero tropes/gamification was really interesting - but it just seemed like the production was SO rushed and it didn't really come together as I'd hoped. I am also loving YowaPeda, and Daiya no Ace is also really picking up - with KuroBas still on and Haikyuu coming for spring, it's a great time for sports anime fans! Honestly I only watched the first episode of Flowers of Evil. I understand what they were going for with the rotoscoping, and I do admit that the effect was unnerving and dissociating and all the rest, but I found it completely unwatchable. From what I saw, the ending song was the crowning achievement of the series - I actually feel creeped out just remembering it.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@8. DavidBankson - I enjoyed KnK as well, especially the beautiful visuals - KyoAni really delivered in the animation department, as expected. On the other hand the plot a little too light-novely for my tastes, and the writing wasn't as focused as I would've liked. Favorite episodes were definitely 6 and 10 - and 10 especially was just beautifully directed. Hakuouki Reimeiroku actually aired in 2012 so it doesn't qualify :) @10. snowcrash - I watched the first GitS:Arise and thought it had some good ideas but didn't come close to SAC in execution. I'm looking forward to seeing the rest though. Gundam BF is a totally different beast than G Gundam - it's basically an extended toy commercial, really. The premise is that people build and compete with gunpla in a virtual reality/video game arena. Which sounds incredibly kiddy and dumb, but it's actually a ton of fun and has a lot of charming characters and great mecha animation, and the premise makes for some really creative battles. Essentially if you've ever wondered if Char's Zaku would beat the Strike or if Wing would destroy Gundam X, give BF a go.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@5. Cybersnark - Thanks for commenting! Personally I couldn't get into Majestic Prince; I just couldn't buy into the premise enough to find it engaging (although I will also be the first to admit that I'm shallow enough to have been turned off from the start by Hirai's designs). Gargantia and Gatchaman both had so many good features and some really strong episodes, but I thought that both fell short in the writing department. Gargantia started off so well, but then seemed to lose considerable steam plotwise and muddle through a lot of its themes while it wasted time on fanservice episodes. Gatcha's art and overall themes were wonderful, but the charater arcs got a little lost and the troubled production was really evident (half-episode recap at the finale? yeesh) - it felt like the whole script needed a second draft! Both really still very much worth the watch. I am also enjoying the crap out of Gundam BF - glad to hear someone else around here is watching it! It's terrific fun, and you just can't beat 2D robots. @6. dseqthbhsof - You are of course correct about Yamato 2199, the English subs are on the Japanese BD release. But since it was still a pretty inaccessible distribution channel for most people, I decided to leave it off here (plus I think we all know how most people got their hands on it). I've added a note in the post though since you're quite right.
Anime Year in Review: The Ten Best Shows of 2013
@2. wandering-dreamer - I feel like I'm the only person who hated Tempest; everyone else I know who watched it ended up enjoying it. I just thought it was so boring! All they did was walk around and yak at each other, and I just couldn't get to like any of the characters (except Samon, I loved that guy with his rock banging and his dramatic faces).
Frozen Breaks the Ice: The Decline, Fall, and Rebirth of the Disney Musical
Alan Menken did the music for Tangled, which I think qualifies it as a full-on Disney musical - he did, after all, win most of those Oscars from the 90s Disney Renaissance era!
Fall Anime Preview: Scissor Swords and Superheroes!
@ 5. Pabkins Happy watching! If you like the sound of Gingitsune and have a CR subscription, I might also recommend Natsume Yuujinchou/Natsume's Book of Friends - it has a similar premise and is an absolutely lovely show.
Fall Anime Preview: Scissor Swords and Superheroes!
@ 1. wandering-dreamer I love Kyousogiga too - so beautiful and what they are doing with the TV series so far is fantastic. Unfortunately that and Yozakura Quartet didn't make the preview because there are no legal streaming options at the moment.
Summer Anime Preview: The Best New Shows of the Summer Season
@ shellywb I'm glad you liked Crowds! I have a feeling that Hajime is either going to be really awesome or totally insufferable by the end of the show, but either way I'm happy to go along for the ride. And nothing can beat it so far in the visuals department - no one does color like Nakamura. Thanks for your comments!
Summer Anime Preview: The Best New Shows of the Summer Season
@ 2. Nix Attack on Titan didn't make it because I didn't include continuing series or sequels - or else Monogatari Season 2 would be on here as well! @ 3. ZetaStriker C3-bu is pretty enjoyable, but my personal "cute girls doing X things" pick of the season is probably Love Lab.

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