Looking back – Spring 2014

Just for fun, each season I’m going to look back four years to see what I was watching back then and talk about what I thought of it then and now.  Since it’s Spring 2018, that means it’s time to look at Spring 2014 and cringe (or not) at what I watching back in my larval days.

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Hit the jump and let’s travel back in time to Spring 2014!

Quick notes:

The shows that I watched are in bold, shows my wife and I watched together are in bold italics.

A reminder on my rankings… they’re on a five point scale to coincide with my rankings on Anime Planet. But one 2.5 can often be different from another 2.5, so where needed I supplement them here with verbal comments to clarify.  These rankings reflect what I thought at the time, and may or may not reflect how I’d rank them today.

I did some research, but this is written mostly from memory…  It wasn’t until Winter 2015 that I started regularly writing on a weekly basis, so I have no material to review.  My main interaction with the rest of fandom was the Crunchyroll forums.

I still don’t remember how I was finding new shows each season…  Hit or miss mostly from the descriptions on Crunchy’s and Funi’s Roku apps I think.

The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior
/ Bokura wa Minna Kawaisou

kawai complex

Of all the anime I’m looking back at, I found it that hardest to remember much of anything about Kawai Complex…  I suspect that’s because in the intervening years I’ve seen a ton of “a fish ends up out of water, meets wacky characters, hijinks ensue” anime.  If that’s not a genre unto itself, maybe it should be!

After doing some research and thinking , I find there isn’t all that much to be said beyond that.  Fun to watch in the moment, not very memorable.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, not every anime is one for the ages.  (Which is an impossibly high bar anyhow.)

I’ve never rewatched any of it…  I did read some of the manga a few years back, but got bored and dropped it a volume or two past the material covered in the anime.

Final Ranking: 3.0

Isshuukan Friends
/ One Week Friends

Isshuukan Friends

Setting aside the “amnesia doesn’t work like that” reaction, I truly enjoyed Isshuukan Friends…  It’s charming as heck to watch Hase work so hard to win Kaori over.  Equally I like how they portrayed her mix of shyness/unwillingness to be a burden and her happiness at no longer being alone.  I don’t know if they’d ever actually end up together, but they’ll certainly share something special for the rest of their lives.

I particularly remember how heartbreaking the episode was where she lost the notebook that she relies on for continuity of her memories.

I tried to re-watch this a few months back, but couldn’t get past the fourth or fifth episode.  I don’t recall if it was the show itself, or me getting distracted by something shiny and wandering off in another direction.

I do know that if you haven’t seen it, you probably should check out the first few episodes.

Final Ranking: 4.0

Love Live! School Idol Project 2

My second favorite μ’s song comes from this season…

Since I didn’t start watching seasonal anime until Winter 2014, how am I watching a sequel to a Winter 2013 show?  Thereby hangs a tale…  As Spring 2014 wore on, I kept seeing more and more buzz about Love Live and eventually I decided to check it out.  I marathoned the first season over a few days and loved it.  So, I dove in and marathoned the second season, catching up to real time about episode 9 or 10 or so.

After watching Wake Up, Girls the previous season, Love Live cemented my love for idol shows.  Ever since, I at least check out every new one that pops up.

I still occasionally re-watch an episode.  Episodes 1/6, 2/4, and the “trying new looks” scenes of 2/6 are particular favorites.

My favorite μ’s song, the original (Honoka/Umi/Kotori) version of START:DASH!! from the first season.

Final Ranking: 3.5

Mangaka-san to Assistant-san to

Panty jokes, lots and lots and lots of panty jokes.  Four years on, and that’s pretty much all I remember.

Final Ranking: 2.0

The Irregular at Magic High School
/ Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

mahouka

Yes, twincest and all, we watched the (in)famous Mahouka.  I’d like to think that today’s me would drop it…  But I’m not always so sure.  It wasn’t all bad.

The first part tried to say something about class and snobbery, but lacked the guts to go all in… and eventually that thread just petered out.  I think the part I liked best was the competition arcs.  The events they came up with were pretty creative and really did showcase the mastery of various forms of magic and their potential application in combat.  Fitting, as in the world of the story mages and magic have been weaponized.

Final Ranking: 3.0

Kamigami no Asobi

All I remember is that it was a reverse harem (our first such) and it sucked.

Dropped, 2 eps

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2014 Spring Season – full season chart

So, click on that season chart, then drop a comment and share what shows you watched during the Winter 2014 season – what do you remember?  How have they held up?

15 thoughts on “Looking back – Spring 2014”

  1. oh yeah, mahouka’s a masterpiece. a fcking master fcking piece f*cking.
    and Boku wa minna’s OP is often celebrated as one of the best OP ever. It’s really cool.
    I don’t get the appeal of idols at all, but I remember how much I hated Love Live S2, lol. But it’s my subjectively flawed taste, really. haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I prefer Mahouka’s OP to Kawaisou’s myself… :)

      As to idols, not every show is for everyone! I don’t get the appeal of shonen battlers where they spend six eps just powering up an attack!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Not going to lie – Anime Planet sure is annoying with the little hovering info cards. Made copy+pasting a lot harder than it should have been.

    At the time, I was dealing with abysmal college grades and a long-distance relationship that happened to be my first, so I guess I wasn’t that interested in following seasonal anime.

    Atelier Escha & Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky – Still trying to get through this one.

    Blade and Soul – Never watched this one, but was aware of the game since a lot of the people I were playing with in a different game jumped ship to this one. And then the anime adaptation started a few years after that.

    Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san – Found out about the manga in 2016 but haven’t watched the series.

    Isshuukan Friends. – Never watched, but the ED is a banger.

    Is the Order a Rabbit? – I marathoned this when S2 came out, but didn’t follow it week by week.

    JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders – I actually watched this one since I got into JoJo back when Phantom aired. Didn’t finish it until a few months afterwards, though.

    Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara – I think I watched one episode of this, tried writing a blog post on my first blog on this, and then abandoned the show and the blog.

    Riddle Story of Devil – Followed this one. Eh…

    No Game No Life – Followed this one. Hm.

    The Irregular at Magic High School – Followed this one…

    The Kawai Complex Guide to Manors and Hostel Behavior – Watched one episode.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a button at the top for switching from grid to list mode, makes cutting and pasting MUCH easier.

      Is the Order a Rabbit? I tried to watch it when S2 came out, and dropped after three eps. It just didn’t click.

      Kanojo ga Flag wo Oraretara I watched a couple of years later, I think I was sick and desperate for something to marathon. Finished it, but didn’t much care for it… Mostly, IIRC, because it had all kinds of ideas it never followed up and the result was something of a mess.

      Isshuukan Friends How can you have seen the ED for a show you’ve never watched? And you should watch it!

      Like

      1. Ohhh. Got it.

        Hmmm fair enough.

        Yeah I had figured aa much for that show.

        YouTube and a twin brother helps. I’ve seen and heard plenty of EDs for shows I’ve yet to watch. When I have time!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Aside from Toki wa Megaru: Tokyo Station, which was just a one-off short (though a good one), Love Live S2 is the only thing I’ve watched from the anime listed, and I didn’t pick that up until 2015. Obviously it’s since become a series I enjoy quite a bit. My favorite episodes from S2 are episodes 3, 4, and 9. Funnily enough, my top two favorite songs from Love Live are songs that never appeared in the anime at all, only on singles and in the LLSIF game. I do agree with you though that the original Start:Dash is my favorite of the anime-featured u’s songs.

    Shows I’m still interested in from this season but have never got around to watching are Selector Infected Wixoss, Nanana’s Buried Treasure, and The World Is Still Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do like the meeting between A-rise and μ’s in S2 ep 3… discovering their rivals are not monsters. As to Ep 4, that one would be up there (I have a sneaking admiration for Nico even if she isn’t Best Girl) if it weren’t for the sneaky spy stalker routine. That’s a trope that always bugs me. I don’t hate it, but it definitely takes away my enjoyment if that makes sense.

      The World Is Still Beautiful sometimes pops up on my radar… But looking back at the chart, I hadn’t realized there’s a Lovely Muuuuuuuco! prequel movie. We enjoyed the h*ll out of the anime (aired in 2015), so will have to track that down.

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  4. I remember Kawaisou mostly for the one arc where our hero misunderstands our heroine’s introversion for shyness and tries to get her to open up. To this day, this is one of the best protrayals of a common problem introverts face I’ve seen in anime. Other than that, the show was pretty forgettable.

    Isshukan Friends is excellent; I bout the DVDs (it came out in two volumes) and re-watched all of it. Yeah, amnesia doesn’t work like that, but I from episode one I watched it more like a magical realist show anyway: the issue as metaphor. Love it dearly.

    Mahouka to this day remains one of the most boring shows I’ve ever watched too much of. I think I didn’t drop it until episode 7, or so. It had some characters I somewhat liked, and a lot of elements that annoyed me.

    Kamigami ni Asobi did not suck!!! I thought it was good fun, had an above avarage protagonist (for otoge adaptions) and far too few transformation scenes. Show didn’t take itself one bit seriously, which makes this one a winner for me.

    Mangaka to Assistant… I barely remember it, but I never felt I was wasting my time (it was a short, I think?).

    At this point, I hadn’t even seen Love Live, and to this day I haven’t seen season 2. The franchise is entertaining, but it also sort of annoys me, so I doubt I’ll ever come back to it.

    Of the shows you didn’t mention I’d highlight Hitsugi no Chaika, Haikyuu!!, and above all the masterpiece that is Ping Pong the Animation.

    There were some other entertaining shows, but to this day I wonder how I finished Dragonar Academy. That’s one show I didn’t need to remember.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mahouka… Yah, I should have been clearer on that. It’s not the twincest (which is much less prominent than people make out) that I think would lead today’s me to drop it, it’s the awful pacing problems.

      One of these days I suppose I should check out Haikyuu!!, as it’s still generating a lot of buzz even four years on.

      I do remember seeing the description for Dragonar Academy and going “Nope, no way”.

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      1. Well, Haikyuu‘s had three seasons so far… It’s a fairly standard sports anime. In fact it’s so focussed that if it’s not about volleyball it’s not in the show. Personal flaws? In how far do they impact team work, or playing volleyball? But despite that laser-sharp focus, the characters are all really well individuated, and that goes mostly even for one-shot opponent teams. A really great sports show, but nothing beyond that.

        Also, I just noticed something: if I were to do a post like this, I’d have to be talking about spring 2011. What show aired in spring 2011? Steins;Gate. What show am I watching this season? Steins;Gate 0. I didn’t notice before that Steins;Gate was actually one of the first shows I was watching as they aired. (Earliest shows date to Fall 2010, but those were few – one, maybe two, maybe one more drop.)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Aaand… I was wrong. I was watching since Winter 2010. Working!! was spring 2010, and I definitely watched that as it aired. The feeling when you have an epiphany that’s based on completely wrong assumption. Heh.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Well, at least you caught yourself…. I’ve been working on an article for a few months now, and wrote several paragraphs on a scene that were meant to be the heart of the article. When I went to get screenies, I couldn’t find the scene. Turned out I’d created the whole thing in my head!

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  5. One week friends was decent. As for other shows, NGNL I liked a fair bit. S2 please…. WIXOSS! Obvious what my thoughts there are. Somehow, that’s all I watched from that time.

    Like

    1. I’ve seen a lot of people waiting.hoping for S2 of NGNL…

      One Week Friends seems to be one of those shows a lot of people watched and liked, but nobody talks about anymore.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. NGNL set up a really exciting world with clear goals and then only explored/accomplished a sliver of it. Even though some elements of the show weren’t great (looking at you mostly fanservice-kun), it is easily something I would watch a lot more of.

        As to One Week Friends, for me it was good but it kind of left me unfulfilled a bit at the end. I guess, I just wouldn’t have much to say about it? The show starts off with some decent intrigue but kind of becomes a comfortable average when it is done.

        Liked by 1 person

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