The Kidd’s Top 12 Anime of 2014
Here we are again at the beginning of a new year and now is the perfect to reminisce about the best anime experiences we had in 2014. Unlike 2013, this year actually had some really good and varied anime, it was a decent year for anime, well for me atleast especially in the final season of the year. Without further ado here are my favourite anime that aired in 2014.
Disclaimer: Only anime that aired this year got to make the cut, I also only added anime that I had seen atleast more than 6 episodes of.
12. Wake Up, Girls!
I honestly did not expect Wake Up, Girls to be as good as it turned out to be and neither did most of the anime fanbase im sure. Infamous Director Yutaka “Yamakan” Yamamoto was in charge of this series and dare I say he did a fine job, budget constraints and all. Speaking of budgets, the shoddy animation in some parts was the only real blemish on this otherwise fairly realistic take on idol culture in Japan.
Wake Up, Girls was a fun, insightful and entertaining show to watch and I hope more shows like it are made, also you have to give credit where it is due Yamakan still has it.
11. Sailor Moon Crystal
There was no way this show was going to meet my unrealistic expectations considering just how glorified it is by the older anime community who grew up on it. I ofcourse never did and wanted to find out what all the fuss was about. Its a pretty standard magical girl anime but it does have something a little bit special about it. The characters are all so very charming and memorable, I totally understood why the “Moon Prism Power” captivated so many young souls back when it first aired on their television screens.
The remake has some snazzy new animations and the pacing is a little bit faster than the original which I certainly see as a plus. Does this new Sailor Moon have the same impact on fresh younger viewers today? I highly doubt it but its certainly not terrible
10. Monthly Girls Nozaki Kun
Its been a while since I saw a good shoujo show, they are so rare to find. Nozaki Kun worked best as a comedy parodying the common tropes in shoujo manga and anime than being a serious romantic comedy shoujo manga itself. The 12 episode length of the show was just right for it as any more and the novelty would have worn thin.
Sakura was a very charming character and so were most of the supporting cast as well. I certainly didn’t like how the show ended but then you could argue that the ending was a jab at the standard tropes in shoujo manga so there’s that. Nozaki Kun was certainly the funniest show that aired last year and it had some stiff competition in that category.
9. Psycho Pass 2
Im yet to finish this season but the few episodes I have seen blew my mind! The action was even more intense and the addition of the mystery element has kept me intrigued. Akane Tsunemori is one of the best female leads anime has given us in a very long time and the supporting cast is just as good, thats including the new additions.
Pretty sure this would have ranked higher if id completed it. regardless Ive still given it, its due credit.
8. Nagi no Asukara
The first half of NagiAsu managed to just creep into my list last year and here it is sitting firmly at number 8 on my list this year. As usual A Mari Okada anime made my list no surprises there. The second cour of NagiAsu dived head first into the character relationships that it had been building in the first 12 episodes of its run. Love triangles. betrayal, unrequited love, extreme emotions all abound in the final act of this epic drama and it was all wonderful to behold.
The art held up, the music was just as good and the ending was satisfying for the most part. Nagi no Asukara can now join the ranks of Toradora!, AnoHana and Sakurasou in the hall of fame of Mari Okada works.
As usual a Monogatari always makes my list and this year its the Kanbaru arc, Kanbaru ofcourse being one of my favourite girls in the franchise. Akiyuki Shinbo held nothing back for this series of episodes, he really went all out with the basketball scenes and the fight sequences. This being a Monogatari about Kanbaru, ofcourse the teasing upped the ante as well (even though there wasn’t enough of it IMHO)
Ive grown really fond of these characters over the years and while I keep crying for Kizumonogatari each year deep down I really don’t know what I’ll do when its finally over.
This show came outta nowhere and took the entire anispshere by storm! A show about making anime from the perspective of a production assistant, who knew that would turn out to be insanely good. PA Works certainly did and kudos to them for making this happen, I said it last year and I’ll say it again PA Works have certainly surpassed Kyoto Animation in terms of being the most consistently good anime studio.
Shirobako was incredibly educational for most fans who did not know how the industry works and it was a treat for those of us who did to see all the references to real life directors, producers and animators and even studios. The second season of Shirobako is in a precarious situation because now it has a legacy to live upto, Im pretty confident it will even be better than the first season because PA Works.
Barakamon was one of the few feel good anime that aired this year and some episodes even convinced me it was the best series of the year. Barakamon’s setting and characters helped set the mood for the audience and it has arguably the anime character of the year in Naru, she was just so adorable. Barakamon was primarily a slice of life comedy but it had its deep dramatic moments as well, a story about Paternal love and community was at the core of the series and it told it really well. Man just writing this is reminding of how just good it was maybe it actually is the best anime of the year.
You should definitely watch this you enjoyed anime like Usagi Drop or Non Non Biyori.
4. Fate Stay Night UBW
The much anticipated remake of the original Fate/Stay Night series finally dropped this year and expectations were incredibly high. Ufotable did not disappoint with two back to back double episodes packed with theatrical level animation and fight scenes, this was the Fate TV series the Type-Lunatics deserved.
Production values aside the narrative in this first half of UBW was actually really good and very intriguing for those of us that haven’t read the visual novel. The twists just keep on coming and the audience is kept on its toes. The characterisation is good too, I actually like Rin this time and guess what, Shirou is not annoying! He’s actually like a good lead character, how did they do it, what magic? (ufotable used their noble phantasm)
I cant wait for the second season to conclude the series, April cant come any quicker I tell ya.
3. Zankyou no Terror
The last original project that Shinichiro Watanabe worked on was a little known masterpiece called Kids on the Slope, arguably his best work to date. He teamed up with Studio Mappa and Yokko Kanno once more to produce what I believe is one of the most underrated shows in the past 4-5 years.
Zankyou no Terror tells the story of two teenage terrorists that are trying to change Japan and its ideals for the better, well from their perspective atleast. They go out of their way to not harm anyone if they can help it but are willing to do whatever it takes to get their message across. Its an amazing thriller with surprisingly high production values for relatively small studio in stature.
The show has one of the best endings to a thriller I have seen in a very long time, the problems are resolved in a very realistic manner and it just left me very satisfied. Zankyou is one of those few good anime that come out noitaminA and for that I am thankful.
2. One Week Friends
I remember reading the preview for this show and thinking “Hey I love Brains Base, they gave me Spice and Wolf, also this sounds like 50 First Dates which is a RomCom I thoroughly enjoyed, I wonder if this is gonna be just as good.” It was, better even.
One Week Friends is basically a romantic drama about a boy who tries to befriend a girl who forgets her friends and only her friends once every week. Its kinda tragic but charming to watch and very entertaining. The soft art style that Brains Base decided to go with really helped accent the tone of the show and so did the music. Even without the romantic aspect of the show it was a really good at highlighting the importance of friendship and loyalty in our daily lives.
A show created by screenwriter Gen “The Butcher” Urobuchi (Fate/Zero, Madoka Magica, Suisei no Gargantia) and Directed by Ei Aoki (Garden of Sinners, Fate/Zero, Wandering Son) from A-1 Pictures comes a new original sci-fi Mecha anime. A recipe for success if ive seen one and man oh man did the meal turn out good, real good. Aldnoah.Zero had some flaws sure it did but that didn’t detract from the fact that it was certainly the most entertaining and thrilling show of the year.
I loved how all the characters had motives of their own even the ones that said they didn’t found a reason to fight and lay down their lives. War is terrible and there are no winners and Aldnoah.Zero drives this fact home extremely well. It had one of the best endings of the year, only Zankyou could claim a better ending.
The production values were everything we could expect from a high profile A-1 Pictures anime, the mechs looked and sounded terrific, heck it even roped in a few anime fans that aren’t necessarily into mecha and thats a feat I tell you.
Aldnoah.Zero is 2014’s Anime of the Year, here is to hoping the second season is atleast half as good.