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The Spring 2014 Anime Preview Guide


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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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Location: Anime News Network Technodrome
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 1:49 pm Reply with quote
gedata wrote:
So Knights of Sidonia was left behind? That's unfortunate :/


It'll be reviewed in the summer when it's legally available.
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AiddonValentine



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 1744
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:35 pm Reply with quote
Mushishi: If the second season is more of the same, that's fine by me.

Kindaichi: I do love a good mystery. Plus what I didn't realize until recently was that one of the writers of the manga is the same guy who wrote Getbackers, one of my favorite series. Definitely keeping an eye on this one. Also amazed at the STELLAR voice cast the show has (Taiki Matsuno, Akiko Nakagawa, Toshiyuki Morikawa, Keiichi Nanba, Jurota Kosugi, and Kenichi "The Sword That Freakin' Smites Evil" Ono)

Jojo: I actually prefer the OVAs tone and direction to the tv show at this point. Plus, oddly, the first episodes of each covered roughly the same material. Still, love Jojo so I'm going to frequent.

Captain Earth: Didn't really hold my attention. I've never really been big into Igarashi's works (except Ouran which was REALLY funny)

The World is Still Beautiful: Definitely like the female lead and premise. Thought dear Buddha, the king looks like a chibi Lelouch.

Irregular at Magic School: Eh, not bad but I can find better distractions.

No Game, No Life: I like the artwork, but the main characters already disgust me

Chaika: Scariest. Unicorn. EVER

Nanana: The premise seems interesting, but gonna need another episode to fully establish itself. Once that happens then I'll decide an opinion.
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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:35 pm Reply with quote
I skip more and more of this thread each year, too much pointless bickering, but without a "The Stream" or a season thread I don't have anywhere else to put my seasonal impressions.

Those early days made me think I was bound to a weak season, but then I found myself suffiently interested in watching a tleast a bit more of almost everything and it actually looks like a very busy schedule instead... although, once again, not a single show got me extremely excited.



Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
: Here's one I'm surprised got cut-off of the Preview guide. Looks to be a pretty good quality show. Nothing much really happened though. Still, nice character designs and likable characters.
Baby Steps: Nice to have a sports show with a clear heterosexual love interest in it. I don't begrudge the apparently "uninterested" guy characters in the sports shows lately, they serve their purposes for different parts of the fandom, but I also appreciate a guy who seems, in part, to be taking up a sport because of a pretty girl.
Black Bullet: Has a little promise, but also shows a hint of tiresomely EVIL bad guys.
Blade and Soul: Didn't bother. If I hear good things later, I may try it... but I doubt I'll hear good things.
Brynhildr in the Darkness: Elfin Lied creator, huh? Knowing that you can certainly see the signs in the two episodes that this will continue in that vein. dfark goings-on, imprisoned tragic girls who may also be very dangerous. ruthless "caretakers" who are willing to kill sympathetic characters. I'm not sure if I'll stick with it in the long run. Some of it seems more interested in shocking moments and tragic darkness than telling a human story.
Captain Earth: The Star Driver creator connections are keeping me watching this. that the second episode starts early with the ethically questionable characters early instead of slowly revealing those aspects is a little disappointing, but the pluckiness of our hero in the face of adversity was heartening. ANd hopefully we get more epic engrish like ""Combine robustness at maximum" to distract from the pointlessness of robot construction sequences.
Chaika -The Coffin Princess: Something about it reminded me of the feel of Scrapped Princess, like its from a person who mreally likes the fantasy setting, instead of someone who is using as a generic setting to place generic characters. Chaika's cutesy voice and immaturity should be lessened though.
The Comic Artist and Assistants: Fun bit of light entertainment. Good that it's only half length, but it might be even better in even shorter snippets. It does show its age quickly.
Daimidaler: Prince vs. Penguin Empire: Yeah, this passes over "perverted" and goes straight to sexist BS. I was hoping for fun and funny fan service. I got a nasty taste in my moth and a creepy feeling running up my arm... and that was just from the 10 minutes I could watch before tossing it.
Dai-Shogun: No interest
Date a Live II: In a busy season with seemingly superior harems I may end up dropping this in its sequel season. The first was defined by its mediocrity and this seems to be wallowing again.
Dragonar Academy: It's strong in tsundere's but weak in depth. If I get overwhelmed with too many shows, this is probably getting axed.
Fairy Tail Series 2: Not a franchise I'm fallowing.
The File of Young Kindaichi Returns: I've watched three arcs of the first series and the first two episodes of this one. Miyuki has been sent to the hospital with life-threatening injuries in three of these stories. It's a tendency I am not liking. IF she's justy there to be threatened and injured so Kindaichi has a reason to get motivated, I'd rather she not even be in it. But the mysteries are old fashioned fun.
Haikyuu!! Yet another frantically screaming pumped up underdog sports dork and another stone-faced jerky super-stud dork. This, Yawa Pedal, and Ace of Diamond, I don't think I can stand all three, PLUS Ping Pong and Baby Steps. Too much formulaic storts shows suddenly. I think I'm close to cutting Pedal though... but even that might not save this one for long. Not a sport I really care for much and the underdog sports dork's shouting is particularly annoying.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Is the Order a Rabbit?: I'm all for Cute girl ensembles. This doesn't seem like a great example, but it doesn't seem like a bad one either.
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders: IF you like this manly crap, more power too you. It's not my thing.
Kamigami no Asobi: Not interested.
Kanojo ga Flag o Oraretara: I got a good smile watching this silliness and some minor spoilers I found point this to having a deeper story than I would have expected. Bring on the girls!
Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior: From the second episode I was getting a 4-koma vibe from it that wasn't necessarily there in the first. It seems like it'd have the potential for a longer story arc, but these little SoL snippets are good too.
Keroro: If it were screened on Crunchyrool, I might bother with it, but not without.
La Corda d'Oro -Blue Sky: Not interested
Love Live! School Idol Project (2nd Season): I watched Idolmaster-- that seems to have filled my Idol anime quota- because I've never been able to get into another one I've tried... even with the knowledge that this is almost certainly much better, I just have no interest.
Majin Bone: This seems second rate in every way to Captain Earth, which I'm barely tolerating. Not interested.
Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers: Marvel makes good movies, DC makes good animated products. That seems to be a rule no matter who does the animating. Not interested.
Mekakucity Actors: Just because Shinbo uses many of the same tricks, it doesn't change the fact that they are still unlike anything anyone else does. He makes the mundane exciting to look at and action into areas others don't. If it weren't for his involvement, I doubt I'd continue with something with thus concept.
Mushi-shi (Sequel Series): I need to watch the first season.
Nanana's Buried Treasure: Yeah, lots of things that feel "done" but it seems to be redone well.
No Game, No Life: Glad to see the princess aparently joining the duo next episode. By themselves the siblings are pretty unsympathetic so far.
One Week Friends: Relaxed to the point of boring, but it's still a nice concept that I think I'll enjoy.
Ping Pong the Animation: I don't see what the unique attraction of this would be without the weird animation. If the widen the world of characters and back story I can see myself enjoying this.
Riddle Story of Devil: ...I actually completely forgot this one... oh yeah... assassin girls introducing themselves and cheesy boss man playing with his dice. Bleh. When it came out in the thinner period I figured I'd stick with it, but the second episode will have to really impress me, or it's gone.
Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutaro!!: Not interested
selector infected WIXOSS: Not interested
Soul Eater Not!: I bored with the original and only watched 3-4 episodes, so even though this looks like it could be a fun "school-setting" show with a twist, I haven't bothered watching it.
The World is Still Beautiful: Princess Nike is, by far, the best character of the season and she promises to make this an interesting and thoughtful series.
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zensunni



Joined: 05 Mar 2010
Posts: 1266
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:48 am Reply with quote
I enjoyed Mahouka more than I thought I would. The 2nd episode was a bit better than the first, IMO. I noticed a couple of the reviewers thought it was a bit too slow, but it has 26 episodes. I don't necessarily expect a 2-cour show to be rushing through the story.

No Game, No Life was fun, with some seriously good humor. ("The world is a crappy game." I love that line, even if it is reminiscent of other stories, like The World God Only Knows.)

Nanana's Buried Treasure also has potential to be fun. I really liked the character of Nanana. She seems to be an atypical ghost character. Meanwhile, our protagonist doesn't seem entirely bland and unlikable, just mostly so...

Baby Steps is okay, but it seems like it takes its name too seriously in terms of the pace of the story. But I felt like that in th early part of the manga too.

My favorites of the season are still Brynhildr in the Darkness, Love Live season 2, Kawai Complex, One Week Friends, and The World is Still Beautiful.
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Blood-



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:24 am Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow wrote:


Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
: Here's one I'm surprised got cut-off of the Preview guide.


You shouldn't be. ANN's policy of only Previewing shows that have a legitimate stream option in North America is quite well-known. Or should be to someone like yourself who has been posting for a while. Sadly, Escha & Logy is one of the few shows that doesn't have one (yet).
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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:00 am Reply with quote
It's you that has been around long enough to know that that's not (yet) a policy of theirs.
They have a policy not to review a fansub if an official source is scheduled (Knights of Sidonia) and when they reviewed available second episodes they had a policy not to review second episodes of an unlicensed show. The Stream had a policy of only reviewing legal streams, but that was only that.

If you read the intro to this article is says "Shows that are available streaming online will be indicated as such with links" not that only streamed shows will be reviewed.
The fact that every single reviewed show has a stream is more of a reflection of Japanese company's new willingness to let everything out there be streamed. The oddity is that Atelier Escha & Logy isn't being streamed (yet).
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:30 am Reply with quote
Atelier: Escha and Logy would have been done if it had shown up a day earlier. Fansubs didn't show up until late Saturday night, though, and Zac had already decided to shut the Guide down with Mekakucity Actors.

Oh, and I'm working my way through ep 2s right now and so far This World is Still Beautiful gets a big thumbs-up and Brynhildr in the Darkness gets a mild one. (There are some pretty disturbing elements in that one.) Both look like keepers for this season.
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Pokenatic



Joined: 24 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:32 am Reply with quote
Blood- wrote:
Spastic Minnow wrote:


Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky
: Here's one I'm surprised got cut-off of the Preview guide.


You shouldn't be. ANN's policy of only Previewing shows that have a legitimate stream option in North America is quite well-known. Or should be to someone like yourself who has been posting for a while. Sadly, Escha & Logy is one of the few shows that doesn't have one (yet).

They've previewed some shows that only had fansubs at their discretion. Although, it seems none of them have previewed a non-official-stream show since fall, before they changed to the by-the-show format.

EDIT: (ex.: Theron covered Tamayura ~more aggressive~ and Love Lab [more than a month and a half before it was up on Crunchyroll] from last summer)

EDIT 2: (ex.: Theron, Carl, and Rebecca all covered Yozakura Quartet 2 last fall [someone really ought to license this series!])
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BloodyPi



Joined: 07 Apr 2014
Posts: 6
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:57 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:
Atelier: Escha and Logy would have been done if it had shown up a day earlier. Fansubs didn't show up until late Saturday night, though, and Zac had already decided to shut the Guide down with Mekakucity Actors.


That's... upsetting. I was looking forward to seeing their previews. It was a pretty good start to the show, imo.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

A wise man once thought me that. I'll try to detail my thoughts on it soon.

I would've waited for Bamboo's The Stream to come out to see what she thinks of it, but she seems to be done with it. A shame, since that was the one thing that kept me coming back to ANN. But I understand the circumstances. If watching the first episode of every show in a season is taxing, imagine watching everything.
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Blood-



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:02 am Reply with quote
@ SM - yes, my mistake. Sorry about that. I guess the "won't preview a show based on a fansub if an official stream is scheduled" got conflated in my mind to "we don't preview fansubs, period."
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BloodyPi



Joined: 07 Apr 2014
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 11:33 am Reply with quote
Having played the games, I feel like I'm not qualified to review Atelier Escha & Logy. I'll just get anything relation to the games out of my system in one paragraph.

Damn, the character designs look strange. I'm way too used to Hidari's art. Especially Logy. He just looks so different it hurts. They even took away a few details on their clothes, not that I mind, since animating those would eat up the budget. Also, what's with those hints of romance between the leads? The games had none of that! It was the most beautiful bromance between a boy and a girl!

With that out of the way, let's begin the review. I'll just pretend I had no knowledge on the games beforehand.

Based on the promotional materials, I expected the show to be about cute girls prancing about doing moe moe kyun stuff. Well, I was wrong. The cast is pretty balanced in gender terms.

We're introduced to Escha, a young girl on her first job in her town's R&D Department. Apparently, she's been helping them out beforehand, but it's only when the show starts that she's officially working for them. There, she finds that a new coworker is joining at the same time, a young man named Logy.

Escha &(to) Logy. Eschatology. Reaaaal subtle.

The two are tasked to fix a windmill by the department as their first job. On their way, we see them chat about the various things about the world.

And here's the one thing I really liked about the show. It feeds you information naturally. My gripes with Mahouka was the technobabble revolving magic which turned nonsensical the more I want through. Black Bullet had the problem of... Well...

"You know this, but I'm going to tell you anyway."

That.

At no point did the conversation feel like either of those two, and it felt like something acquaintances who just met each other would blabber about. It's through these conversations that we find out more about the world. What's left of it anyway.

You see, Escha & Logy's world is... kind of post-apocalyptic. It's made up of mostly barren lands that can barely sustain human life. In fact, if you take a gander, you'd notice that the town of Colseit barely has a plant growing around it. Even the crop harvests are going terribly.

Until we see the apple orchards which look smashing. But then the show feeds you with more information that makes it look bleak. A simple orchard took centuries for an entire town to cultivate to become what it is. You want to grow plants? WORK FOREVER!

So... With a setting like that, it baffles me how everyone looks gung-ho and happy. I'd expect more whining and DEATH and WAR everywheeeere! If this were some other anime, the evil empires and governments would be killing each other for resources!

Ah, interesting thing to note is Clone, who seems to maintain the apple orchard. She's lived for centuries, probably even longer. Logy notes that she's an automaton. And I briefly recall some mention of ancient technology later on. So, the general setting brings interest as the barren lands could be a result of the progress of said ancient technology. It'd be a shame if they didn't explore the matter.

At the very end, we're shown the ancient ruins, a floating place in the sky where no one has set foot for it is unapproachable due to extreme turbulence. Escha's dream is to go there, and I'd assume that the overall plot would be going there and seeing what's up with it.

Now, throughout the episode, the animation has been above average. My only gripe is Logy, who looks weird and then looks good and then weird and rinse and repeat. He's the one character who isn't very consistent, which is a shame because everyone looks fine. Long-distance shots beget some MEGUCA, but it isn't so bad since there aren't that many of them. The use of 3D graphics can be seen in the OP and in the windmill scene, and they actually look good. The animation staff take good caution to avoid putting 2D and 3D together to avoid jarring scenes, but the 3D itself actually blends nicely.

The soundtrack is the best part of the show. I don't really have much to say here since it really boils down to calm and soothing. The kind of music you listen to when you're lounging during a boring day. Very nice. FLUTES.

I refrained from talking about characters since we barely got that much characterization from anyone from the episode alone. They're nice and happy people living in a crappy world. Those ship-teases though. Man. I SO hope it would turn into WILL THEY OR WON'T THEY for thirteen episodes straight.

Overall, I grade the episode with a 3.5, a rather interesting look at the general setting and so-so character interactions make for an enjoyable time. I didn't feel bored in the episode, though I wasn't 100% interested in the going-ons. I hope that future episodes explore more on the setting, since that's probably the most interesting thing the show has going for it.
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Sven Viking



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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:03 pm Reply with quote
Some brief second episode impressions:

Brynhildr gets more interesting. Nothing amazing yet but I'm willing to keep going.

I was actually able to enjoy the 2nd episode of Matsutaro, but it does take a long time to get to his extremely mild comeuppance. Still, it's sadly realistic (I've known people like this).

World is Still Beautiful: Didn't like the second ep as much as the first but it's still very enjoyable with excellent direction.
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Mad_Scientist
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:28 pm Reply with quote
TheZeonicFront wrote:
Zac wrote:
grooven wrote:
Can't see any reviews either, running on firefox.




Hey Zac, when you aren't just taking news from 2chan and copy and pasting it, do you at least take a few minutes each day to realize what a huge pile of shit you are?


Pssh, Zac isn't even involved in the news portion of this site. If you're gonna insult the man, at least learn what his job here is first.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 7884
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:30 pm Reply with quote
Mad_Scientist wrote:
TheZeonicFront wrote:
Zac wrote:
grooven wrote:
Can't see any reviews either, running on firefox.




Hey Zac, when you aren't just taking news from 2chan and copy and pasting it, do you at least take a few minutes each day to realize what a huge pile of shit you are?


Pssh, Zac isn't even involved in the news portion of this site. If you're gonna insult the man, at least learn what his job here is first.


My job is being a huge pile of shit, so I take this as a pat on the back.
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Jamesleedx



Joined: 15 Oct 2003
Posts: 29
Location: Towaco, Nj
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:59 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
Mad_Scientist wrote:
TheZeonicFront wrote:
Zac wrote:
grooven wrote:
Can't see any reviews either, running on firefox.




Hey Zac, when you aren't just taking news from 2chan and copy and pasting it, do you at least take a few minutes each day to realize what a huge pile of shit you are?


Pssh, Zac isn't even involved in the news portion of this site. If you're gonna insult the man, at least learn what his job here is first.


My job is being a huge pile of shit, so I take this as a pat on the back.


I look at the pile of shit Zac is and I can only aspire to reach the heights he has achieved. I would be pretty happy if my children grow up to be as shitty as he is.
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