Fall 2014 Watch List

I haven’t really kept up on posts of what I’ve been watching this season, so I wanted to put up a quick post just listing what I’m keeping up with thus far. Split the list into tiers based on how in love with/likely to finish the show I am.

Winners/Imports:

Shingeki no Bahamut

Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken

Rock Solid:

G-Reco

Yuki Yuna wa Yusha de Aru

Shirobako

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai

Unlimited Blade Works

Keepers:

Akatsuki no Yona

Psycho-Pass s2

Hitsugi no Chaika s2

Madan no Ou to Vanadis

Sora no Method

Possible Keepers:

Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso

Girlfriend (Kari)

Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Ore, Twintail ni Narimasu

Assorted Comments:

-I look forward to years of discussions as to where Satou Keiichi falls on the Eliteness scale. Dude’s got a sick-fine game. Bahamut’s cast was amazing enough when it was just Favaro pulling off a weak Lupin impersonation, but now it’s added zombie Miyuki Sawashiro to the long-term party. Aside from the weird thing with the bridge ropes at the end of episode 2, the fight sequences have been brilliant, as I would expect from someone who crafted the best introductory sequence I’ve ever seen. Absolutely the best show of the season through 5 weeks.

-Shirobako through 5 weeks feels like it really could have worked as a drama, mockumentary, or a novel. Especially the latter – it’s so, so script heavy. Meta-ness of it aside, I don’t really feel a strong need for it to be in this particular medium despite it being an original series. That’s really my only point of unease with it, though. Miyamori is eminently likable, Tarou is super-effective at the heel position, and it’s doing some fun gymnastics to avoid dropping names while referencing clearly real events.

-Triple-Yu is going to have 7 more episodes and is going to be working with a near-blank slate after that finale-of-Figure 17 midway climax. It could do all sorts of things, some better than others. I’m riding that buffalo because the first 5 episodes were all varying degrees of great, but there’s some caution mixed in with the optimism right now. Going for that sort of gear change is a gutsy call that can definitely add to a series, but it amounts to attempting to play and win the lottery twice in twelve weeks. Fingers crossed.

-Psycho-Pass 2 is a respectable sequel. The new characters aren’t just clones of what we saw in season 1, and the psych thriller/splatter content is still there at the right ratio.

-G-Reco’s been great. Conservative style is certainly not dead in anime, but it’s played a diminished role heading into modern era, so it’s really encouraging to see Tomino’s old card tricks paired up with solid budget and more modern animation tech. Screw the haters, take the money.

-Unlimited Blade Works represents a pretty close facsimile of the max you can get out of something by polishing it via large contributions of money and time. Fans ought to be happy; it’s the sort of chance most franchises never get. For me, it’s thus far been a story that’s a little bit silly and fair bit wordy getting sparky juice out of its action sequences.

-Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai is my second “I just like to watch the cast do things” pick for the season, behind Bahamut. It’s just as nice to watch these guys hand out in a room together making animal sound effects at each other as it is to watch them help each other through legitimate hard times. I’m so mad that episode 1 opened on an accidental-grabbing plot. Those sorts of things will forever continue to be dumb, and it just makes the series much less accessible.

-Chaika feels like it has one more arc on par with the finale of season 1 left in it, which I don’t think is going to be enough to get me to continue to import the series. It feels like it’s focusing on the mythology/secrets of Gaz angles way too much. That sort of mythology, or at least explicit explanations of it, rarely adds to my enjoyment of a show.

-Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso has a lot of neat dynamics in play, even considering the sick girl archetype went straight brass tacks this week. I kind of want to see a few more characters come out of the woodwork soon – I don’t feel like there’s enough tension with just the main four to support 15-ish more episodes.

-Akatsuki no Yona features a near-superhuman master warrior traveling with a child who had their innocence ripped away and may already be developing acute Shisho-gan. I’m never not going to be jumping on the bandwagon of anything with even a little bit of Kozure Okami smell.

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