Summer 2014 Mid-Season Anime Report – Part 1: #23 to #14, The Stuff I Don’t Like

[Commie] Hanamonogatari [E055B3E8].mkv_snapshot_01.02.26_[2014.08.19_22.32.57]Before I start, I want to point out the new banner. I felt it was time to give the best anime currently airing some of the attention it deserves. If you’re not watching Hunter x Hunter then I don’t want to hear your complaints about the types of anime series that get made nowadays.

Moving on, we’ve now reached the halfway point of the summer season and it’s turned out to be a pretty good season for anime. If the spring continuing series had been a stronger group then this season might have placed somewhere near the top for best anime season. (This statement might be amended later if I can find the time to try Haikyuu!! and Baby Steps and like them.)

For this post, I’m not doing anything fancy; instead, I’m doing a straight countdown towards the best anime of the season starting with the worst of the worst …

In case you missed it, here are Part 2 and Part 3.

(23) – M3 – Sono Kuroki Hagane

Rating for episodes 1 to 18– 1/12 Epic Fail

[Chyuu] M3 - Sono Kuroki Hagane - 15 [720p][9A6A7D56].mkv_snapshot_01.31_[2014.07.30_21.24.38]It’s only through a perverse desire to finish this stinker that I’ve continued watching M3 into this season. It’s so very hard to create an anime this devoid of doing something right without falling into the so horrible it’s great category. I’m not going to rehash what I’ve already said about M3; if you’re curious use the site navigation above and check out Spring season Seasonal review part 4.

(22) – Sword Art Online 2

Rating for episodes 1 to 7– 2/12 F

Speaking of perverse desires, SAO is back with its terribly constructed stories and horrible characters with the added bonus of a smaller animation budget. Yeah! The world would have been better off if the sequel to Who is Imouto? was made – Who is Okaa-san? – where the main character must date and marry one of his busty, boozy perpetually single female high school teachers without picking his mother.

(21) – Hanayamata

Rating for episodes 1 to 6– 3/12 D (Dropped)

Did I miss a memo where it was decided that series involving cute girls doing cute things would redefine cute to mean annoying? I was so set to enjoy this series – Madhouse animation of a visually interesting topic combined with a fluffy, probably heart-warming story – because it couldn’t possibly miss. Except it did. Annoying characters and annoying vocal performances by a couple of the seiyuu started this anime in a serious tailspin that the lack of actual dancing just exacerbated. I tried to hold on, hence giving it six episodes, but it was a very painful six episodes.

(20) – Glasslip

Rating for episodes 1 to 7– 3/12 D

[Otaku] Glasslip - 04 (1280x720 10bit h264 AAC) [208AAF56].mkv_snapshot_05.07_[2014.08.01_00.57.09]Don’t think I haven’t noticed the corners you’re trying to cut with the animation of Glasslip, PA Works. That wasn’t a factor in Glasslip’s score, however, since I’m normally forgiving about it; Glasslip’s low score comes from being a pretty bad version of the standard PA Works anime series. People try to nail KyoAni for putting out the same series over and over again yet there is nary a peep over PA Works and their actual releasing of nearly the same series over and over again. I’m okay with it, provided PA Works puts out a good series, but Glasslip doesn’t measure up to what they did with Nagi no Asukara.

(19) – Majimoji Rurumo

Rating for episodes 1 to 6– 3/12 D (Dropped)

I already covered why I dropped this here.

(18) – Captain Earth

Rating for episodes 1 to 19– 4/12 C

[WhyNot] Captain Earth - 18 [3C99A4CB].mkv_snapshot_18.37_[2014.08.07_01.56.55]Since we last saw Captain Earth, at the Spring season Seasonal review, it has slid from being merely generic and mildly disappointing to being sub-par and disappointing. One of the problems Bones seems to often have when animating series is there is too much material to fit into the episode count. This hasn’t been a problem with Captain Earth because it feels like a one cour series that has been stretched to two. This anime is an example of how I don’t quite believe all the doom’n’gloom talk about the anime industry because there’s still enough money floating around to fund Captain Earth for a 2 cour run.

(17) – Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Rating for episodes 1 to 20– 4/12 C

[FBI] Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei - 01 [E76B0CF0].mkv_snapshot_03.08_[2014.05.18_02.45.42]My case of Stockholm Syndrome is growing; I’m finding myself sometimes actively enjoying this series. Thankfully, I still don’t think it’s a good series but there’s still half a season left to go to convince me. 🙂 I actually think there’s an outside chance that this anime will finish above Jojo.

(16) – Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal

Rating for episodes 1 to 3– 4/12 C

[Hatsuyuki]_Sailor_Moon_Crystal_-_02_[1280x720][10bit][0CA253B2].mkv_snapshot_13.14_[2014.08.01_00.19.50]Madhouse took a well-known, beloved, 90’s manga that was already animated once and proceeded to create one of the best anime of all-time with Hunter x Hunter (2011). Toei took a well-known, beloved, 90’s manga that was already animated once and proceeded to do everything in their power to turn it into a bad anime with Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Crystal. Having not seen the original anime or read the manga, I’m okay with a straight-up adaptation of the manga (though that also means I have no nostalgic buttons to push to keep me interested) but the animators have to do something to minimize the age of the source material – Sailor Moon has been copied, parodied, and remixed countless times since it originally aired. The easiest way would be to create a well-produced version – a clever screenplay, interesting scene constructions, confident direction, good animation, memorable transformation sequences. This version of Sailor Moon does none of that with the most egregious faults being the very poor animation and the boring/ugly 3D CG transformation sequences.

(15) – Tokyo ESP

Rating for episodes 1 to 5– 5/12 C+ (Dropped)

[FFF] Tokyo ESP - 01 [744FB00B].mkv_snapshot_00.40_[2014.08.23_03.56.33]I have to thank the animators of Tokyo ESP; the call-out to Ga-Rei: Zero in the first episode warmed my heart because it was nice to see a great anime like Ga-Rei: Zero hasn’t been completely forgotten. The problem with this callout, however, is that it reminded me of a very similar series (Ga-Rei: Zero) that was far superior to it and, with no chance for this series to match it’s accomplishments, I see no reason to continue watching Tokyo ESP. I realize this might be a little harsh on Tokyo ESP so I gave it an extended chance to make the case for me to continue watching it and it couldn’t. The best thing about this anime is the animation effect when the one character teleports but that is not a good enough reason to continue watching.

(14) – Tokyo Ghoul

Rating for episodes 1 to 7– 5/12 C+

[Chyuu] Tokyo Ghoul - 01 [720p][0FAB9BA9].mkv_snapshot_14.56_[2014.08.23_03.59.18]I continue to be interested in the possibilities that Tokyo Ghoul has to offer with its story; so far, though, it has not approached those possibilities. Instead it’s been muddling along. It hasn’t been a complete failure and that leaves me hopeful about the future chances of this series. (Running longer than a cour would be very helpful.) I also think recent series like Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei and No Game No Life – for all their faults – which feature main characters who possess great self-confidence in their abilities and possess the abilities that allow for great self-confidence has further tainted my perception and tolerance of loser male main characters like that seen in Tokyo Ghoul. I want to see Ken grow a backbone already.

That’s it for part 1. Next time, I’ll cover the middle-of-the-road series of the summer season. Did I get something terribly wrong or did I miss a terrible stinker, feel free to comment below.


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