Autumn 2014 Episode Rankings – Week 1

It’s Autumn! And it’s started to feel like it, temperature-wise and weather-wise. All the more reason to stay inside and watch anime, though with a lineup this good, I don’t really need any other reasons. 😛

I’ve picked up seventeen new series, with only the one (Akame ga Kill!) continuing from my Summer lineup. It’d develop into quite a long post if I covered them all, though, so I’ll focus on the all-new, non-sequel shows that left the most impression on me – good or bad. Be warned, below the list will be spoilers galore – maybe not so much of an issue this early on, but don’t say I didn’t warn you~

This may not even be the weirdest thing we'll see this season.

This may not even be the weirdest thing we’ll see this season.

1 – Parasyte -the maxim- ep 1

2 – Yowamushi Pedal: Grande Road ep 1

3 – Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis ep 1

4 – Psycho-Pass 2 ep 1

5 – Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works ep 0

6 – Gugure! Kokkuri-san ep 1

7 – Akame ga Kill! ep 14

8 – Hitsugi no Chaika – Avenging Battle ep 1

9 – Amagi Brilliant Park ep 1

10 – Akatsuki no Yona ep 1

11 – Grisaia no Kajitsu ep 1

12 – Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu ep 1

13 – Shirobako ep 1

14 – Nanatsu no Taizai ep 1

15 – Selector Spread WIXOSS ep 1

16 – Kaitou Joker ep 1

17 – Donten ni Warau ep 1

18 – Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo ep 1

My favourite new main character, at this early stage.

My favourite new main character, at this early stage.

Let’s start at the top, with Parasyte -the maxim-. A strange parasitic ‘snake’ tries to take over our main character Shinichi, but thanks to his earphones and phobia of creepy crawlies, it only gets as far as his right hand. Said right hand is now a morphing, talking, and highly intelligent organism, capable of acting without Shinichi’s consent… and there are more of its kind out there! Plenty of violent alien battles and body horror to be found here, which is fine with me. 😀 I’m also curious about the secondary effects that ‘Migi’ is having on Shinichi: he no longer seems afraid of bugs, and eats enough for two people – changes in personality that his parents immediately notice, but that he seems unaware of.

Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis really stood out, thanks to the amusing rivalry of characters Kaisar and Favaro, and some brilliantly animated sword and sorcery action scenes (including a fight atop a waterwheel rolling quickly downhill). Favaro in particular stands out amongst this season’s main characters – a heavy-drinking, tall tale-telling but surprisingly skilled bounty hunter, who now has a tail for some reason! He ends up agreeing to guide a mysterious lady-demon to a place called Helheim, after she hears him bragging that he knows a shortcut there. So nothing overly original plot-wise so far, but their adventures should be a lot of fun regardless. 🙂

Week 1 pouty-face!

Week 1 pouty-face!

Time for some more highly-rated comedy in the form of Gugure! Kokkuri-san. A girl who thinks she’s a doll summons a fox spirit… and promptly asks him to leave when he actually shows up! And that’s more or less how it continues for the majority of the episode – she pokes salt into his eyes, reports him to the police, and bullies him with unanswerable questions – all of which was far more hilarious than it probably sounds here! Despite all this, Kokkuri-san feels he has to protect this girl, who lives on her own with no friends or family. And so this love-hate relationship seems set to continue… I only hope they have enough gags to last a full season!

Next we have Amagi Brilliant Park. A deadpan, monotonous, dual-rifle-wielding girl forces narcissistic protagonist Kanie Seiya to accompany her to the most dilapidated, miserable theme park ever. The few attractions that are still functioning and staffed are boring, or too difficult for anyone but survival game clubs. 😛 But despite appearances, the park is genuinely home to people from a magical world known as Maple Land, and if they fail to attract 250,000 customers in three months, the park will close and they’ll lose their home. And for some reason, they’ve identified Kanie as the only person who can save them. An original premise, and I’m interested in seeing where they’ll go with it.

One of the park's busier areas...

One of the park’s busier areas…

Ranked 10th is Akatsuki no Yona. Plenty of pretty characters in the first episode, with a whole lot more to come judging by the OP. The titular Yona is the Princess of Kouka, who at the age of 16 is already thinking about marriage. She is in love with her cousin, the impossibly bishonen Soo-won, but her father the King is strongly against the idea. Turns out he was right to be worried, as Soo-won later kills him! Quite the dramatic shift from the shojo romance focus earlier in the episode, though there were plenty of warning signs (opening with a speech about how peaceful their country is was never going to end well). We’ll have to wait until next week to learn Soo-won’s motives and the fate of Yona, however.

Grisaia no Kajitsu is a harem show with a difference. A difference that, I’m hoping, will make up for the fact it’s a harem show. 😛 The male protagonist (Kazami Yuuji) has clearly had some sort of strange military upbringing, and now desires a ‘normal school life’. The principal of Mihama Academy assures him that he will be able to enjoy just that… despite being the only boy in a large boarding school building which caters for only five other pupils. None of which seem particularly ‘normal’, whether they’re openly attacking Yuuji with knives, picking the lock to his bedroom door, or secretly assembling explosive devices. Definitely intriguing enough to hold my interest.

I'm growing tired of tsundere characters... but a girl who deliberately tries to be tsundere and fails is new.

I’ve grown tired of tsundere characters… but a girl who deliberately tries to be tsundere and fails is new.

Ore, Twintails ni Narimasu likely wins the award for weirdest premise of the season. Protagonist Mitsuka Souji has a ‘slight’ obsession with the hairstyle, and it turns out he’s not the only one. There’s a whole magical, evil world out there that seeks to harness the power of twintails, stealing the ‘twintails attribute’ from the people of Earth! Fortunately, Souji is approached by a not-at-all-suspicious lady who forces a bracelet onto him – a bracelet that allows him to transform into the superhero ‘Tail Red’… who apart from having twintails, also has the body of a girl. This first episode was just about OTT enough to end up more good than bad, but the series could get repetitive if all the jokes revolve around a single hairstyle!

I’m taking a gamble on Shirobako, as I’m not even entirely sure what it was about the first episode that appealed to me. It was a bit of an information overload, throwing far too many characters and unfamiliar terms in my face… but, it’s an anime about making anime. If this ‘large cast’ is an indication of how many people it takes to produce a series, then it makes sense; no doubt there are countless others that we’ve yet to meet, or that are working behind the scenes. And the same goes for all the technical terms and different stages of animation production – I don’t know what they mean, but hopefully this series will teach me a little as it goes. Don’t have much of an opinion on the main character yet, but she can certainly drive!

The Elemerians: A serious threat to humanity.

Ultimaguil: A serious threat to humanity.

Despite the fact that Kaitou Joker feels like it’s aimed at a younger audience, especially compared with everything else I’ve picked up, I found it enjoyable enough. The target is an obnoxious rich guy, who has plenty of generic security systems in place (as well as guards who know how to have a good time when their employer isn’t watching 😛 ). Kaitou Joker himself uses various types of bubblegum to disguise himself or float away. And of course, there’s an incompetent police detective who is determined to catch him. It’s generic, but it knows it and plays it up as much as possible, which actually made it appeal to me more than Magic Kaito 1412, this season’s (relatively) more realistic take on ‘phantom thievery’.

And finally, we have Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo. ‘Cross’ feels like a bit of an understatement, I’d be furious if I was in her position! But wow, Sunrise. This is a new low even for you… and now you’re making me feel like a bad person for wanting to know what happens next! It starts off innocently enough, introducing Princess Angelise and showing how kind and how popular she is. Then we saw her condemning a toddler to imprisonment, because the baby is a ‘norma’ who rejects the light of mana, and their society doesn’t like normas. Later on, the world discovers that Angelise is a norma herself – and that’s when the series started making Kakumeiki Valvrave look like fun, family friendly viewing.

The prison transport airship even referred to her as 'waste material'.

The prison transport airship even referred to her as ‘waste material’…

So these are my choices for the Autumn season, after watching every first episode that’s aired up until now – there are one or two late-airing or unsubbed shows that are dropped by default, but I may come back to those mid-season. As always, feel free to let me know in the comments what you think of decisions, or my taste in anime in general. 🙂

<< Summer 2014 Episode Rankings – Week 12

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