Spring 2014 Episode Rankings – Week 2

It’s only the second week of the season, but I’m already going to have to go back on what I said last week – it’s unheard of for me to stop watching an ongoing series I’ve picked up (before the usual swap & drop in the middle of the season, that is), but after the horrible second episode of No Game No Life, I really can’t bring myself to watch any more. Seems I’m in the minority there, as the series is currently the highest ranked non-sequel show of the season on A-P, and the 70th highest of all time (and rising)… but whatever is making this anime so popular is clearly lost on me.

To replace it, I’ll be picking up Break Blade TV, a series that I’d planned to watch from the start but that was slow to get subbed. It’s an edit of the six Break Blade movies from a few years back; I was shown the first two by a friend, and I really enjoyed them, and left with plans to watch the rest on my own… but my backlog of anime is never ending. 😛 Being drip-fed the story weekly should be more convenient than finding time for longer, movie-length eps, and I hear there’s going to be new footage as well. 😀

Things just get worse and worse for Nagate...

Things just get worse and worse for Nagate…

1 – Sidonia no Kishi ep 2 ( 1)

2 – Hitsugi no Chaika ep 2 (↓ 1)

3 – Hunter x Hunter ep 125 ( 1)

4 – Yowamushi Pedal ep 27 (↓ 1)

5 – JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders ep 2

6 – Haikyuu!! ep 2 ( 4)

7 – Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin ep 2 (↓ 1)

8 – Break Blade TV ep 2

9 – Gokukoku no Brynhildr ep 2 (↓ 2)

10 – Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii ep 2 ( 5)

11 – Akuma no Riddle ep 2 ( 1)

12 – Isshuukan Friends ep 2 (↓ 3)

13 – Mekaku City Actors ep 2 (↓ 5)

14 – Mushishi Zoku Shou ep 2

15 – Nobunaga the Fool ep 14 ( 1)

16 – Date a Live II ep 2 (↓ 5)

17 – Selector Infected WIXOSS ep 2 (↓ 4)

18 – Blade and Soul ep 2 (↓ 1)

A promising start to their relationship...

A promising start to their new relationship…

Moving up:

This week in Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, we actually got to see Nike and the Sun King meet and interact. We learned a fair bit about the young monarch in this episode: his mother was assassinated three years ago, so he has devoted all his time and effort to running the country ever since, making him an efficient ruler, but also quite a cold one. And a bored one. He sees Nike mostly as a source of entertainment, commanding her to make it rain simply because he’s grown tired of the sun. After initially refusing outright (and winding up in the dungeons briefly, before escaping), Nike tries to teach her husband-to-be about the beauty of the world, as apparently they must share the same feelings in order for the spell to work. Looks like it’ll be a while before they completely understand each other, but some progress was made. 🙂

I was unsure about Haikyuu!! when I first picked it up – I’m already following a fantastic sporting anime in Yowamushi Pedal, which has had a lot more time to develop its characters, so I expected it to place quite low due to the inevitable comparisons. However, Haikyuu’s second ep did a fantastic job of introducing new characters, as well as making me laugh a lot. Kageyama and Shouyou may have only played one volleyball match against each other prior to attending Karasuno High School, but it was clearly enough to make them fierce rivals… and now they’re being forced to work as a team, or else neither of them will be allowed to join the school’s club! Watching the two of them try to convince their upperclassmen that they could get along was hilarious, and I look forward to the upcoming game that will decide their fate. 😀

You could start by not knocking him out? :P

You could start by not knocking him out? 😛

Moving down:

At least the main characters of Isshuukan Friends are genuinely trying to get along, though Fujimiya’s peculiar, weekly, friend-only amnesia is of course making things difficult. This is a cute anime, and I want to like it… but it’s a bit boring, hence the drop in my rankings. I mean, highlights of this week’s episode included an in-depth analysis of the contents of Hase’s sandwich, and an afternoon of karaoke where (for better or for worse) we didn’t even get to hear them sing! All a bit too slow-paced and fluffy for me. I did like how the episode ended, however – even though the plan to write everything down in a diary to prompt Fujimiya’s memory ended in failure, Hase’s apology for being selfish, and Fujimiya’s immediate forgiveness were just adorable. 🙂

While the first series was surprisingly fun, and I was really looking forward to this sequel, Date A Live II isn’t off to the best of starts. Putting aside the obvious drop in animation quality, it’s apparently only going to be 10 episodes long, and I can’t say I’ve immediately taken to the two characters introduced this week, whose arc will presumably take up a lot of those episodes. Originally both part of one spirit, Kaguya and Yuzuru split off into two separate people, and are now battling to decide whose conciousness will be retained once they become whole again – but after 99 games, battles and challenges, they remain tied. The only area they haven’t competed in is the art of seduction… And so these ‘twins’ are added to Shidou’s harem, where he’ll no doubt find some way or other for them both to remain alive.

Recent SHAFT productions, in a nutshell.

Recent SHAFT productions, in a nutshell.

Mekaku City Actors is a difficult one to judge – the characters we were introduced to last week, who I presumed would be our protagonists, were nowhere to be seen in this episode. Instead, it looks as though we’ll be jumping from character to character until the main cast is all introduced, at which point the show’s plot will hopefully become a bit clearer. So yeah, I’m intrigued, but at this early stage Mekaku City Actors has little to offer aside from the usual weird and wacky visuals we’ve come to expect from Simbo/SHAFT… and I’ll be honest, I grew tired of that a long time ago. The focus of this episode was on Kisaragi Momo – high school student, idol, and possessor of the ability/curse of being able to instantly attract people’s attention. Let’s just hope this series doesn’t lose mine too quickly.

General comments:

The first two episodes of  Break Blade TV were a much-needed recap, and it looks as though it won’t be until week 5 that we get into material that’s all new to me. Break Blade has an intriguing setting, a world where most humans have the power to manipulate quartz with their mind… a power they call ‘magic’. And when I say ‘manipulate quartz’, I obviously mean drive giant robots made out of the stuff. 😛 The series’ major characters – Hodr, king of Krishna; Sigyn, ‘mad scientist’ and wife of Hodr; and Zess, soldier in the Athens army – were all friends at school, but with the nations of Krishna and Athens now at war and with no peaceful resolution in sight, Hodr calls on the fourth member of their circle of friends – Rygart, the group’s peace keeper, and ‘un-sorcerer’ with no magic whatsoever. Rather than acting as a simple diplomat, however, Rygart also gets a mech of his own in the form of the titular ‘Break Blade’, an ancient, excavated machine from a time before people developed magic.

The robot, its gun, and its projectiles - all made of quartz crystal. That alone makes my head spin!

The robot, its gun, and its projectiles – all made of quartz crystal. That alone makes my head spin!

<< Spring 2014 Episode Rankings – Week 1


3 Responses to Spring 2014 Episode Rankings – Week 2

  1. […] << Spring 2014 Episode Rankings – Week 2 […]

  2. I haven’t seen No Game No Life yet and don’t have plans to at the moment. Most of its popularity likely has to do with the fact that this season is not particularly strong. True, it has a great many enjoyable shows, but few strike me as having the marks of a classic. We’ll see, though.

    Of course, I thought that the Break Blade OVAs were spectacular. But, I have no desire to see the TV series because I have already watched the OVAs, and I can’t imagine the animation being as high quality.

    • I found No Game No Life cringeworthy. And personally, I’m finding this to be one of the strongest anime seasons in a long time – Knights of Sidonia could make my Top 50, and Hitsugi no Chaika is a close runner up.

      The Break Blade TV series is literally the OVAs cut up into TV-sized episodes, so the animation quality is exactly the same. Though that doesn’t change the fact you’d gain nothing from watching it if you’ve already seen the OVAs. 😛

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