Summer 2014 Anime Impressions

I have a mountain of reviews to write up, but for now, here are my impressions of the Summer 2014 season.

Tokyo ESP – My favourite right now, it’s a supernatural action series by the creator of the Ga-Rei manga. The anime prequel of the manga (one of my favourite series ever) was leaps and bounds better than the manga itself, which had an incredibly different tone. Nevertheless the animation is solid and there are some nice action Esper scenes in downtown Tokyo.

Aldnoah Zero – Urobuchi Gen was involved so it’s an insta-watch. So far it’s fast-paced and contains character deaths; however the story appears very similar to what we’ve seen before, particularly Gundam. The animation is great though.

Sword Art Online II – It’s taking a while to get started, but it’s a solid well-animated series that has retained my interest. Kirito is investigating some mysterious deaths related to a third MMO. There’s a new character Sinon, who will no doubt have a tonne of figurines made of her.

Fate Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya 2wei – I’ll never be able to type all that out again. The second season of the Fate-based mahou shoujo parallel universe. The first season was a lot of well-animated action fun, and I like Ueda Kana and Itou Shizuka, so this should be enjoyable.

Persona 4 The Golden Animation – I never finished the original, so I’m going to watch it here. Apparently it’s based on the PS Vita port of the original game, and there’s a significant new character. The way the main character acts and the pace of the show seems like he’s playing the New Game Plus mode.

Hanayamata – This lushly animated series is about a timid girl who gets dragged into dancing Yosakoi by a fairy-like blonde with extremely strong legs. The story and setup looks conventional, but the art is beautiful and I know a Yosakoi dancer, so it’s still on my list.

Sailor Moon Crystal – Okay, I shouldn’t be watching this show, but it has such a central place in modern anime that I feel I’ve got to give it a few episodes. The character designs are very different to the original and their faces less expressive. Usagi’s voice is extremely whiny (that’s how it goes I suppose), and the CGI transformation sequences seem unnecessary given the animation is decent.

Tokyo Ghoul – The censorship has made a mess of the important scenes, and the storyline may slide into formulaic shounen fighting, but this series has my interest for now. With such a psychologically dark subject, it’s probably a manga adaptation.

Akame ga Kiru – This medieval action fantasy seems to be about a bunch of people who kill corrupt nobles. It’s light-hearted but there’s blood and death. Unfortunately the series is not quite compelling enough for me to follow.

Zankyou no Terror – I’m still not sure what this anime is about; the main characters are two fujoshi-bait teenage brothers (one wild and passionate, the other stern and cold) who seem to be masterminding terrorist attacks. Too much stuff on my list to keep up with.

Momo Kyuun Sword – Some kind of ecchi fantasy something or other. It’s forgettable, lacking anything compelling.

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