Looking back – Fall 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 its Fall 2018, that means it’s time to look at Fall 2014 and cringe (or not) at what I watching way back when.

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Hit the jump and let’s travel back in time to Fall 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.

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A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd / Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

I’m trying really, really hard to remember this show…  I do remember eagerly anticipating it each week, but not much about the details.  It was mostly a school club type series, with an odd background.   I do remember there were some great ideas with that odd background, but that it never explored them to any degree.

I’ve never re-watched it.

Final ranking: 3.0

Celestial Method / Sora no Method

Oh, I do remember Method…  But mostly I remember how freakin’ frustrated I was with it.  Every time it seemed that it was about to get good and start pulling its scattered fragments together, it would zig off in a different and unrelated direction.  Then they topped it off with a complete ass-pull of an ending.

Never re-watched, never even tempted.  Nowadays, I like to think that I’d drop it at the mid-season gut check.  Shows like this are why I invented the concept of the mid-season gut check in the first place.

Final Ranking: 2.0

Girl Friend BETA / Girlfriend (Kari)

I think this was my first CGDCT show, and even though it was mostly forgettable (like most CGDCT) it did do one thing for me…  A cameo by Miss Monochrome lead me to watch the Miss Monochrome series.  That was cool.

There’s one especially good episode (Ep 7) I rewatch every now-and-again, but I’ve never rewatched the series.

Final Ranking: 3.0

I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying / Danna ga Nani o Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken

When I checked my records, I found I’d never rewatched this…  So, after dinner, I sat down and marathoned it.  This isn’t as bad as it sounds, because it’s a short…

The forty-five minutes I invested was well worth it!  I’d forgotten how charming and funny a show it really was.  And I still stand by what I’ve said for years – in its short run time, Husband crams as much character development as some shows barely manage in two cour.

If you haven’t watched it, it’s available on Crunchy and well worth your time!

Final Ranking: 3.0

Shirobako

Shirobako - Aoi, Ema, Midori, Misa, and Shizuka

Has it really been four years since our anime (and donut) loving quintet graced our screens?  That seems hard to believe, I just rewatched it a couple of months ago, and it’s still darn good.  (And four years without a sequel or any OVAs?  Criminal!)  Back when it was airing, as much as I enjoyed it and as high as rated it…  I frequently complained about the “monster of the weak” format, but with time and subsequent rewatches, I’ve come to appreciate it more.

Also four years on, and I still want a 3rd Aerial Girls Squad anime!  Tell me you wouldn’t watch the heck out of that!

Final Ranking: 4.0

The Fruit of Grisaia / Grisaia no Kajitsu

The Fruit of Grisia.png
An adaptation of a harem VN…  wasn’t too sure about it until the gut punch at the end of the 4th ep…  and after that I was entranced.  It had its highs and lows, and the Angelic Howl arc remains one of the darkest and most chilling stories I’ve ever seen in an anime.

It’s telling that I could rewatch the gut punch to get a screenshot – but I wasn’t even tempted to check any part of Angelic Howl.  I don’t think I’ve ever rewatched the series itself.

Final Ranking: 3.0

Trinity Seven / Trinity Seven: 7-nin no Masho Tsukai

A mostly forgettable anime about a high school for magicians, a demon lord, and the fate of the universe.   Oh, and tons and tons of fanservice.  Practically every time the MC unleashes his powers, one or more of his harem has her clothes blown off.

I did try to rewatch it earlier this year, and I barely made it through ep 4 before giving up because I was bored to tears.

Final ranking: 2.5

When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace / Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de

Something of a troll title…  Because the show’s main conceit is that even though the MC’s have obtained superpowers – there’s nothing for them to do with them.  Three quarters of the way through the series, we learn there is a war going on but the MC’s are being actively  kept unaware of it for reasons that are never made clear.

The most memorable scene is this incredible performance by the talented Hayami Saori.  She nailed it on the first try – in a single take.

Final Ranking: 3.0

Wolf Girl and Black Prince / Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji

A forgettable high school romance drama…  In retrospect, it was pretty problematic in spots.  It did have some interesting side characters IIRC.

Never rewatched any of it.

Final Ranking: 3.5

Your lie in April / Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso - Kaori's lie

Ahh…  KimiUso.  It stands large in my memory!  Over at Mage in a Barrel, iblessall reviewed it week by week, episode by episode and I took part in the comments.  This was a fantastic experience… For twenty two weeks we laughed, we cried, we howled as the show swung for the fences and missed (again!).

I’ve never been tempted to rewatch it…  not the least because it’s a large commitment as well as draggy and repetitive in parts.   But I’ve rewatched the final episode probably a dozen times since.  In my book, it’s one of the single best finale/epilogues I’ve ever seen.

Final Ranking: 3.5

Yuuki Yuuna is a Hero / Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

yuyuyu-1

How highly do I think of YuYuYu?  It was the subject of the first full post here at the Lounge.  As you can see from the pingbacks on that post, I’ve referred to it frequently.  When it popped up on Netflix, I recommended it to my non anime watching friends.  I think so highly of it that I continue to recommend it to people today.

I think this one of the few shows that really grabbed me in the first ep…  I added it to my queue when it popped up on Crunchy mostly because it was a magical girl show.  I watched the first ep, and when my wife got home from work I insisted she had to watch it too…  and I sat right beside her and rewatched it less than a couple of hours after watching it for the first time.

Oddly enough, when I look at my records, I’ve never rewatched it in its entirety…  I know I’ve rewatched individual episodes (particularly the finale) any number of times though.

Final Ranking: 4.5

Dropped:

Bonjour♪ Sweet Love Patisserie / Bonjour♪ Koiaji Patisserie (2 eps) • Denki-Gai / Denki-Gai no Honya-san (3 eps) • Gonna be the Twin-Tail!! / Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu (1 ep)  • Gugure! Kokkuri-san (3 eps) • Orenchi no Furo Jijou (1 ep) • Wake Up, Girls Zoo! (2 eps)

I know it may surprise some folks that I dropped a show with WUG-chan…  But it was just so freakin’ awful…

And six shows dropped out of seventeen?  I’m not keeping any records, but I’m pretty sure that’s about the highest ratio.

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The big change this season is that between commenting on Mage in a Barrel and the Crunchyroll forums, this was the first season where I really began participating in the community.

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Fall 2104 – full season chart

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

 

18 thoughts on “Looking back – Fall 2014”

  1. Ah, you know how I feel about Yuki Yuna, but at least I enjoyed the show when it didn’t annoy me. Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, though? I suffered through two seasons of this show: it was horrible about trauma; it set up a false dilemma about music; it was overdirected… And all of it gets worse with memory. I felt similarly about Grisaia; I liked some of the humour but the main character bothered me a lot, so I didn’t make it far (not to episode 4). I didn’t make it even through the first episode of Wolf Girl.

    I don’t remember even trying Trinity Seven or Girlfriend Beta – no idea what I’d think about them. Celestial Method… oh dear, yes I finished this trainwreck; most frustratingly, it had potential.

    I found Inou Battle fun, and also the twintails show (though it was far more uneven). Gugure Kokkuri san was among my favourites this season. Husband is a grat show, and was the major reason for me to look forward to Dragon Maid a few years later (same mangaka).

    I liked Shirobako, but most people liked it more than I did. I thought the second half was far better.

    The star of the season, for me, though was Akatsuki no Yona; loved the show, and am still hoping for a new season. I also quite liked Parasyte, and Rage of Bahamut, but not nearly as much.

    And I too remember very little about the Librarian show; I’m mixing it up with another show that ran that season, which I also remember very little about – they ran together even while watching for some reason: Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. re:Wolf Girl That’s probably another one I should have dropped, and like to think that nowadays it would go overboard no later than the Mid Season Gut Check.

      re:Inou Battle Yah, I should have been clearer, it was fun as hell even as it ran in circles.

      Like

  2. I remember 2014 fall: I was just starting grad school at the time. Shirobako and Sora no Method were on my watchlist, with Your Lie in April and YuYuYu joining me later. Shirobako, I enjoyed immensely (especially the second half), and despite its wacky setup in retrospect, I’m actually a little surprised I found Sora no Method favourable, too. I think the reason why Sora no Method worked for me was because I approached things from a very uncommon perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t appreciate Shirobako as much at the time as I grew to later… Especially after the mess that was Sakura Quest, where they tried to have lightning strike the same place a third time.

      Sora no Method did have it’s good points. My problem with it was that it never pulled them all together.

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  3. Merry Christmas! Sorry I’ve hardly been around lately, I’ve just been swamped with holiday stuff. But at least for now, I’m back again.

    Ah, Fall 2014. This was my season. After I dipped my toe in the streaming water with Sailor Moon Crystal over the summer, fall was where I really started streaming in earnest. I’ve watched 11 shows from this season, albeit not all of them as they aired. With apologies to Lindsey Buckingham, I’m doing this list of shows Fleetwood Mac style.

    Been There One Time: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works, I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying, Kaitou Joker, Inou Battle, Your Lie in April

    UBW was actually why I originally bought a CR subscription, since as a Fate fan I wanted to be able to follow it as it came out. It’s kind of ironic that it turned out to be a letdown for me, although my issues were mostly with the second cour of the series (which started in the Spring of 2015); this first cour I enjoyed a lot.

    I have gone back and rewatched certain individual episodes of Inou Battle (and it also had my favorite ED of the season), but I haven’t watched the series in its entirety again. It’s nothing too special, but it is fun at least.

    Husband was a cute/funny short, albeit one I’ve never felt the desire to re-visit, or even given much thought to since it ended.

    With YLIA I remember binge-watching the fall cour in January, and then following the streaming weekly from around episode 13-14 on, so that I could join in with those Mage in a Barrel discussions you mentioned. It’s another one that I’ve never gotten an urge to watch again, but I did think it was a good series, though not the masterpiece its reputation suggests.

    Finally there’s Kaitou Joker (CR just calls it Joker), which as far as I’m concerned is the season’s “best show that nobody watched” award winner. Even now, four years later, its user count on MAL is about 8500, which is comically low. Yes it was primarily made for kids and the plot is pretty basic, but the animation is good, the characters are fun and likeable, and the story is executed well; to me, as long as it’s doing those three things right, who cares if it’s “for kids”? They eventually made four seasons of Joker through the end of 2016, and I enjoyed every single one of them. I’ve never done a full rewatch of season 1 only because I know I wouldn’t be able to stop at season 1, but I’ve gone back to watch many of S1’s episodes individually since then.

    Been There Two Times (or more): Yuki Yuna, Amagi Brilliant Park, A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd

    The day after I watched the last episode of Yuki Yuna on Crunchyroll, I went back and marathoned the entire series all over again from start to finish. I’ve never done that with any other series before or since, but I wanted to know if it’d still hold up and hit me just as hard the second time. Hint: it did. I bought it as soon as it came out, and I think I’ve watched the whole series start to finish four or five times at this point, plus however many times going back to individual episodes. It also had my favorite OP of the season, as well as by far my favorite soundtrack (I also bought the soundtrack CD and it didn’t leave my car for most of 2015).

    I didn’t watch Amagi when it aired, since it wasn’t initially available for legal streaming, but I came back to it later once it did get picked up, and just bought it a few months ago during one of RightStuf’s megasales – watching the discs after I bought it was actually my first rewatch, and I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Good Librarian I also rewatched earlier this year (without buying it), and my opinion hasn’t changed. I still liked the cast of characters, and still had the same major issues with the story. And I still want to play the VN someday, if the person who was working on the translation patch would ever finish it (or better yet, if some kind company were to license it for an English release).

    Never Going Back Again: Celestial Method, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

    These were the three shows I dropped. I mashed the eject button on CM after three episodes, and episode 8 of Kokkuri-san was my breaking point with that series. Bahamut I got to episode 10, and while I didn’t actively bail out like with the other two, I somehow just never found the time or motivation to finish it. Too caught up in rewatching Yuki Yuna and Joker episodes, I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And a belated Merry Christmas to you too! Not to worry, life happens.

      With apologies to Lindsey Buckingham, I’m doing this list of shows Fleetwood Mac style.

      I’m not sure what you mean by that…

      re: Your Lie in April, I think that’s where we first met… Some of those discussions on MiaB got pretty intense. I don’t know of anyone who thinks it’s an unalloyed masterpiece. I do think many of it’s flaws could possibly be corrected by distilling it down to a single cour.

      re: YuYuYu I dunno why I’ve never gone back and rewatched it end-to-end… esp when I’ve done it with so many other shows.

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      1. “Never Going Back Again” is my favorite song from the Rumours album, so I was having some fun with the lyrics. “Been there one time”/etc. Just me playing around.

        Yeah, I think you’re right. I can’t remember anymore if it was Bless’ post on Inou Battle ep 7 or Yuki Yuna ep 8 that first brought me to that site, but the conversations like the ones we had over YLIA were a big part of what kept me coming back.

        Funny how some shows are just like that, isn’t it? I have a few like that too, where I only watched it end-to-end once but would rewatch individual episodes constantly. For me those are usually longer shows like CCS or Saki, though, where it’s easier to just pick out a favorite episode or arc to watch again instead of making time to sit through the whole thing.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Rumours… Man, that takes me back. I don’t dislike Fleetwood Mac, but they’re not among my favorites either.

          What I have to watch out for is dipping in for a single ep/arc, and ending up re-watching the whole series… That’s happened recently with Shirobako and Yorimoi. (Also Laid Back Camp, but that’s relaxing mind candy, but in a good way.) It’s also why I’m wary of dipping into individual eps of 2199, lest I get sucked into rewatching the whole thing. (I’m almost up to double digits on that one I think.)

          I can’t remember – did you watch Yorimoi? If not, you should.

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  4. I am perpetually stuck in Fall 2014, lol. I’m saving Shirobako for last, because it just looks really good.
    And I love YuYuYu too. A perfect 10 in my book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shirobako takes a bit to gain traction, but it is good indeed. YuYuYu, I rated it at 4.5 because of the ending… But it should be 5.0 now, knowing now (thanks to sequel) what we didn’t know then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yuyuyu has a sequel? damn. what more can be told?
        also, i just know shirobako has hype and i’m trying to get influenced by it. they just keep saying its good xD

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Finally rolling around to getting to all the submissions. Thanks for sharing this one Derek, it was fun to read!

    I’m surprised you actually finished A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd. I gave that show one look and went, “nope” pretty fast. Not that I was watching anime seasonally then, but you get my point. There were a lot of excellent shows in this lineup, it is always surprising to see just how many!

    As for stuff I watched, though at a later date:

    Log Horizon S2 which was good but I need MORE!
    I Can’t Understand What my Husband is Saying which I’ve already detailed my thoughts in an ABC article.
    Psycho-Pass 2… I liked it but it was not even close to as good as the first season.
    Parasyte was fun. I really liked it but a lot didn’t.
    Shirobako is a 10/10, fantastic show. Probably the best of the season. I also liked Sakura Quest a ton too, but that was pretty poorly received. I see from the comments you did not like it at all.
    WIXOSS is always good!
    I’ve actually watched some Tribe Cool Crew and it is actually kind of good. It’s a kid’s show, but the plot gets really bizarre.
    Yuki Yuna, of course, you know I like :)
    Last up is Your Lie in April, which was a little to predictable, but still an excellent show that I really liked. I’m a sucker for this kind of story so long as it is done well, and this one delivered in spite of its flaws.

    That’s it for Fall 2014 for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When it comes to Good Librarian… I have this really, really bad habit of sticking with shows that have strong starts and good ideas. Even when they peter out or fail to capitalize on those strengths.

      Sakura Quest… I didn’t like it so much because it was a pretty blatant attempt to induce lightning to strike a third time. It might have worked had they capitalized on what worked so well in Shirobako, but they didn’t Totally-not-Aoi had very little growth and pretty much never learned from her experiences. and she just wasn’t a strong enough character to carry the show the way Aoi did. Didn’t help that her companion’s stories weren’t all the compelling either.

      As for YuYuYu, I find people fall into two categories: People who love it, and people whose taste in anime I question. :) :) Seriously, I wish I could get more people to watch it… Unfortunately it got tagged as a “wannabee dark Madoka ripoff” and that causes people to avoid it.

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