With week 12 here, the majority of the spring anime series have come to a close. I figured I’d give my final thoughts on the series that I’ve been keeping up with. I’ve already posted my thoughts on No Game No Life and Black Bullet (coming soon) in their own separate posts.
Akuma no Riddle
The final episode seemed like a slap in the face to the audience. The original setting of the story was introduced as a death game, where we have deadly killers trying to take Haru’s life. Over the course of the series, we see people fail and disappear from the school. In the end, there were no consequences since it seems that the girls go back to their normal lives as if nothing has happened. The good part of this conclusion, is that we get to see the girls turn a new page in their lives as a result of attending the black class.
Overall, the series felt too episodic. We’d be familiarized with one assassin each episode and then be expelled by the end of it. The same process kept repeating itself as well. Haru would be naive and think people were being nice to her, they’d take advantage of it and Tokaku would save the day.
Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou
My favourite aspect of Kawaisou was the characters. Each one had their own flaws and insecurities that made them easy to relate to. There wasn’t much plot within the series, but it was nice to see the characters grow individually. Everyone has their own little quirks and Kawaisou tries to send home the message to embrace who you are. Each resident of the Kawaisou inn have their extremes (Shiro’s pervertedness, Ritsu’s shyness, Usa’s friendliness) but they all accept each other for who they are. At the end of the day though, Ritsu and Usa’s relationship remains practically the same. They’ve hinted at romance but the two are still too young and naive to do anything about it. I don’t have any other thoughts on the series aside from the fact that I enjoyed it and I wished that there was more progression in the story.
Gokukoku no Brynhildr
I really don’t want to be one of those people, who compares everything to their source material, but MAN was this series rushed. The last 3 episodes skipped over a lot of crucial details that built up to a climactic and heartfelt ending. Instead, they took all the key events from approximately 50 chapters of the manga and found a way to briefly string everything together. The series in general seems to lack a lot of consequences. By this I mean when people “die” they usually have a way to cop out of it and bring them back. We also have the danger of pressing the third button on the harness which appears irrelevant. They mentioned how they’d likely experience something worse than death (and a low success rate) but in the end, everything always works out.
While Kotori’s death was a bit emotional for me in the anime, once again, I’d say the manga’s take on it was a lot more impactful. In the anime, Kotori accepts her fate and is happy for the experiences she was able to have. From the source, Murakami has to make a difficult decision on whether to not eject Kotori or to save humanity. While Kotori also accepts her fate in the manga, she also has a moment of regret. Regret that she’s unable to spend anymore time with her beloved friends. She’s always seen herself as useless and is the airhead of the group. However, she meant a lot to everyone in the observatory and is a crucial member of their club. Anyways, I HIGHLY suggest those who enjoyed Brynhildr to read the manga (especially Kotori’s death) since I felt the characters were more developed and events flowed more coherently. They skipped over, and changed quite a few crucial moments which makes me believe that a second season is unlikely at this point.
Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii
This series started off strong in my opinion. Princess Nike is a strong female lead which I found refreshing. Even though it’s a Shoujo series, I found Nike to be more independent than the typical ones I’ve encountered. As the series went on, a lot of cliche events and characters began to appear and made me lose interest in the show. While I appreciate the two being in a relationship early on in the series, there relationship hasn’t really grown since the beginning. Nike still acts as a sort of mother figure to Livius and he acts immature while being somewhat controlling. The constant use of the beautiful “tender rain” song didn’t help with my enjoyment of the series either. The song itself really moved me the first time I heard it. However, hearing it nearly every episode at the most random moments soon made it hard to take seriously.
Nobunaga the Fool
Technically it’s winter 2014 carry over. Regardless, I thought Nobunaga was actually pretty damn entertaining. While I didn’t really understand all of the historic and cultural references, the action certainly picked up in the second half. I still think the series would have been just as good (if not better) without the mechas. Either way, the characters really grew on me as the series progressed. Mitsuhide probably intrigued me the most. At times I could sympathize with his character since he had suffered so much, but at other times, I couldn’t help but laugh at all the things happening to him. I found his path to darkness and then eventually salvation interesting to watch. While I enjoyed the finale, I couldn’t help but feel that Arthur was eliminated so quickly. Here we have this guy who everyone obeys and fears yet he’s killed within seconds and never heard of again.
I also found myself having an emotional connection to Nobunaga’s character. His sacrifice in the end really hit me. For 23 episodes, he’s been the main focus of the show. While he may not be the most rational person, he’s always fought to protect others. His decisions could often be seen as crazy but he always fought with good intentions. He came to the realization that he wasn’t the savior king in the end. He tricked Mitsuhide into believing that he would destroy the world so that Mitsu could strike him down and become the savior himself. He always aimed for the top but in the end, he couldn’t reach it. Nobu wasn’t selfish enough to make everyone suffer as a result of his actions so he sacrificed himself for the world.
This series never failed to give me a warm fuzzy feeling on a weekly basis (nearly). I found everything about their interactions to be rather nostalgic. It reminded me about the innocence of childhood, where kids just approach each other and become friends instantly. While Kaori’s situation was a bit farfetched at times, the conflicts of the series tended to be realistic. Issues were usually resolved in a reasonable and quick manner. A lot of their conflicts stem from miscommunication or a lack of. As the series progresses, Hase, Kaori, Shougo, and Saki learn to be more considerate of each others’ feelings and communicating how they feel. I came into this series blind, but it quickly became one of my favourites of the spring season.
Seikoku no Dragonar
To be honest, I actually really liked the harem cast of this series (in particular, Silvia). I didn’t care too much about the action/plot due to the nature of the show. While I get that it’s an ecchi show, I feel like they overused “tentacles” in this series. These scenes were put in completely random times and were difficult to watch at times for me. Funimation managed to completely cut out these scenes and I don’t think it had an overall impact on the show at all.
I’m also a bit disappointed in the ending. Silvia and Ash had some development in their relationship. Heck, a good chunk of the series was devoted to her story as well. I was disappointed when they led towards Ecco in the final scene of the series. While she’s important to Ash, the entire series painted her to be like a kid rather than a romantic interest of Ash. I hope the rest of the series doesn’t steer towards that direction but I guess I’ll never find out (unless they somehow get a second season).
That covers up most of the Spring 2014 series that I’ve kept up with. I would have liked to have clearer opinions on Mekakucity, Daimidaler, Chaika, Haikyuu, or even Gochuumon, but I couldn’t follow along with their stories. I’ve also been dropping more series recently as opposed to forcing myself to complete things just for the sake of completing it. I think overall the Spring season was alright with No Game No Life and Isshuukan Friends being my top two favourites of the season. I was a bit disappointed with the rest of the season where most shows fell into the middle of the pack in which, while enjoyable, didn’t really make an impact on me.
Anyways, that sums up my thoughts on the season. Feel free to share what series impressed you and what you thought about the spring 2014 anime season!