I had to stretch to get a top 10 this year. I’m ready to admit that. Last year, it was easy – in fact, it was too easy, and I ended up expanding my list to twelve shows basically by necessity. But this year didn’t have quite the top shelf of 2013, and so concessions had to be made. There are certainly a couple notable absences here, with I’m guessing the biggest ones being Kill la Kill, Space Dandy, and maybe Nozaki-kun. The reason for those absences is simple – I didn’t like any of those shows very much. If you’re looking for a general “all the shows that enjoyed positive appraisal among the kinds of people who make a point of appraising shows,” I’m guessing all three of those would be included, but this is my list, and I’m gonna talk about what I wanna. (Incidentally, if you are looking for a list like that, my fellow critics at ANN all contributed their own top five lists to this recent retrospective – and that’s all shows that started in 2014, so even my list over there is pretty different). My list may be a little shorter this year, but it’s still got some real gems, and considering three of the year’s best shows aren’t included simply because they aren’t finished (Shirobako, KimiUso, and Parasyte), I’d say we made off okay. Let’s run it down!
Standard Winter 2014 week this time – Kill la Kill was entertaining, Sekai Seifuku was good, and Witch Craft Works did its job. Everybody else… I dunno, I guess ending a season is harder than it looks!
With the season nearing its end, we’re beginning to get the expected ramp-up from most relevant shows. Which I’m actually excited for – I’ve obviously had pretty negative feelings about this season overall, but it’s not like I want the shows I’m watching to disappoint. Samurai Flamenco, Nagi no Asukara, and Kill la Kill all had very good weeks, and pretty much everything had at least a respectable episode. Except… well…
Alright, this first one is a little ranty.
New podcast! I talk with Deadlight, Flawfinder, Landon, Psgels, and Sorrows Neptune all about our impressions of the current season, Studio White Fox, Masaaki Yuasa, and Gen Urobuchi, with a slight detour into how Type-Moon’s stories are the opposite of good storytelling. Fun for the whole family!
If you’d like timestamps, just click through to youtube for a breakdown of what we talk about when.
Kinda disjointed week in review this week, since I missed a bunch of stuff due to writing a “season to date” post last week and really just jammed these out whenever I had time. But anyway!
So, looks like we’ve reached the season’s halfway point-ish, meaning it’s time for me to once again go against all my misgivings about turning art into some kind of reductive hierarchy and make a big ol’ ranking of my current titles. Keep in mind, I’m doing this not because it’s actually meaningful, but because lists are fun – if you disagree with my evaluation, you’re probably right. Opinions! They’re crazy.
Anyway. Overall, this season has been a little better than I’d expected, meaning it’s a good deal worse than average. While I’ve had a consistent shelf of shows I’m enjoying, there’s been nothing that really wowed me on the level of a Kyousogiga, Monogatari, or Uchouten Kazoku, and even the next tier down of “generally great” shows has been pretty barren. So yeah, sorry, this one might be kind of a bummer! Fortunately, a lot of shows have actually been steadily improving, and honestly, my own apathy towards some of my picks might just be because I’m watching Too Many Damn Shows, and no season is really that full of gems. But that’s enough preamble – let’s run down my picks.
This week kinda restored my faith in this season. It’s still not great (mainly because its strength is in its comedies, and I’m not a comedy fan), but the three top new shows all had their best episodes yet, so I’m feeling optimistic. Running down the list…
Welp, I guess we’re well and truly into the season now, which means it’s high time to start getting jaded and pissy about shows not living up to expectations. Hurray for fandom!
This week was almost identical to the last couple quality-wise, which spells good things for the carryovers and less good things for the new pickups. Let’s run them down…