Winter 2014 Overview

nagi no asukara ghost town

Winter is over and it is time for us to take a look back at what the season had to offer and recommend what we believe to be the best show to have ended this season. Kill la Kill might have been all the rage and taken everyone’s attention, but there were many fantastic anime that you might have missed. So we will make sure to make a proper Overview of this Winter 2014 Anime Season.

Winter has never been the greatest of seasons, it is usually the season where we get a slow start to the year and this year was no different. There were some pretty solid show that ended during this Season, but all of them began earlier in Fall 2013. Only a handful of shows which began this winter were even watchable, everything else was either generic or bad. In this review of Winter 2014 we will try to focus on the good and we will show what we believe to be the 5 best shows that finished airing during the season. Spoiler Alert, most of them began in the previous Fall season.

No.5 Noragami

Noragami Sekki

Yato, a minor god, dreams to become the most revered deity in the world with big shrine and all. However, being a penniless god that he is, he has a long way to go and his shinki leaving him doesn’t help matter. Later, when he does his job, a high school girl named Hiyori Iki pushes him out of the way of a speeding bus; unaware of his status as deity.

Things get complicated when this incident triggers abnormality in Hiyori’s soul, causing her to make an Astral Projection whenever she falls unconscious. To turn herself back to normal, Hiyori must help Yato becoming a better god who can fix the problem, along with Yato’s new shinki, Yukine.(MAL)

Noragami is the only show that began in the Winter season that manages to make it to our Top 5. Noragami manages to make it this far because of the wonderful balance it had between drama and comedy. The show was really simple and light at first glance but had a really rich and deep universe which made you think about interesting moral concepts. There was really no trickery in Noragami, the show was great because of the quality of the direction for the anime. Bones did a fantastic job on the show and it made it a nice and quick 12 episode of enjoyment.

 First Impression / Final Impression

No.4 Golden Time

Golden Time golden

Tada Banri, a newly admitted student at a private law school in Tokyo, found himself completely lost after the opening ceremony, trying to find his way to the freshman orientation. At that moment, he ran into another lost freshman from the same school, Yanagisawa Mitsuo, and they hit it off at once. Somehow arriving at their intended goal just on time, there appeared in front of the two a beautiful girl holding a bouquet of roses. The girl then whacked Mitsuo across the face with the bouquet and handed the flowers over to him. “Freshman, congratulations,” was all she said, and then left. The stylish, well dressed, perfect woman that had swung at Mitsuo was his childhood friend, Kaga Kouko. As children they had promised to marry each other one day, fulfilling their dreams. In order to escape from her, Mitsuo had gone out secretly and taken the examination for this well known private college, but now she showed up in the freshman orientation hall. She too had taken the law school entrance examination, catching up with him there. (MAL)

Whaaat?! A RomCom in the top 5?! Yes, although it only managed to hook up a first place this season, Golden Time was great enough to surprise me with its fresh feeling. A college romance is extremely rare to see in anime, and this one was done with much quality and innovation, keeping the audience entertained throughout. The plot carried along smoothly, giving Tada Banri a great character development, and Kaga Koko’s personality was definitely over the top, yet still somehow realistic, giving her a depth of character instead of a cliché type of personality. If I had to give Golden Time a flaw, all I would say is this: the show is good in every aspect, but not great. Hence, it got into the fourth place of our Top 5.

 First Impression

No.3 Kingdom 2

kingdom 2

In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Hyou is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Hyou manages to return to the village, barely alive. Shin then meets a boy who closely resembles Hyou, Ei Sei. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Shi Huangdi. (MAL)

Kingdom is one of those shows which are difficult to get into if you missed the first season. The first season of the show was rather rough looking and it took a while before the show took its pace. Now the quality of the animation increased significantly and the story is in full throttle, making Kingdom one of the great action-seinen currently on air.

The second season of Kingdom was not one bit disappointing, it was filled with action and act of heroism as one could hope for in this genre. The show is unfortunately censored quite a bit compared to the manga, but it remains interesting nonetheless.  A third season is on its way too, so there won’t lack any content in the foreseeable future.

No.2 Nagi no Asukara

nagi no asukara chisaki shine

Long ago, all humans lived in the ocean. But some who longed for the land abandoned the ocean, casting off the special raiments granted to them by the sea god to adapt them to life under the sea…
Though mankind was divided into sea dwellers and land dwellers, each with different ways of thinking, they were all still fellow humans, and they continued to maintain contact as time went on.
Sakishima Hikari, Mukaido Manaka, Hiradaira Chisaki, and Isaki Kaname live in an undersea village, while Kihara Tsumugu lives on land.
When these middle school second-year land and sea dwellers meet for the first time, their hearts begin to undulate like the tides.
The youthful fantasy tale of these young people’s lives unfolds in a strange and beautiful world.(MAL)

Oh my, what beautiful character development we have here! As a show that builds upon such things, Nagi no Asukara performed its job so wonderfully that it managed to get into the second to best position of this season. The art style and animation throughout the show was magnificently refreshing, and the few plot twists were well positioned in order to keep the show going for a good two seasons while keeping a pretty slow pacing. What makes Nagi no Asukara shine most of all, however, is the beautiful realism represented through its characters – although an anime, this part of the show was so incredibly well-done that it threw the show up high in this Top 5, giving it Position No. 2 of our Top 5 and well deserving it.

 First Impression Final Impression

No.1 Kill la Kill

Kill la Kill sister fighting

Ryuuko Matoi is a vagrant school girl traveling from place to place searching for clues to the truth behind her father’s death—the “woman with the scissor blade.” The journey has led Ryuuko to Honnouji Academy.
Honnouji Academy—where an elite group of students is granted superhuman power by their special uniforms called the “Goku uniform.” With the power of the uniform, the student body president, Satsuki Kiryuin rules the students with unquestioned power and fear.
Satsuki holds the secret to the “scissor blade” and Ryuuko confronts Satsuki to gain information but… Was their encounter a mere coincidence or fate? The clash between the two will soon consume the whole academy!(MAL)

I hope this anime really doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone. Kill la Kill has been in the lips of all for the past few month and has proven to be a really popular anime. Boys, Girls, young, old, everyone was able to appreciate how funny, fresh and epic Kill la Kill was. The show makes fun of every conventions and creates its own. It was a really fast paced adventure into pure chaos and over-exaggerated everything. Difficult to use the term “This escalated quickly” in better context than to describe the incredible pacing of Kill la Kill. Every episode is a whole adventure of its own and you won’t have time to catch your breath with everything going on.

 First Impression Final Impression

There were many other good show this season, 3 of them, Magi Season 2, Samurai Flamenco and Log Horizon were all in heated competition to make it into this top 5, but they didn’t make the cut.

This concludes our Winter 2013 Overview; if you have any questions or Top 5′s of your own, we invite you to post them in the comments below!

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