Continuing from yesterday’s post, I have to highlight the shows that did better than I thought they would. That’s more than I can really expect since I put nearly everything down these days as a 7/10 show unless it lets me down immediately by taking me to a dumb Hooters clone. At least everything I watched this year after that particular episode was better so it’s a plus.
World Conquest was an interesting little show. I liked how it portrayed the dystopian world of West Edogawa without revealing everything until the end. There were also fun stand-alone portions of the series, like Kate’s war on smokers in episode 3 or Natalia’s back story. Best of all, it was mostly fun even as it got serious toward the end. It was definitely one of my highlights of the year even as it came early in the year.
The 6th episode of No Game No Life features an epic game of shiritori that was more fun to watch than I really anticipated going in. The whole show is just about a brother-sister combination that is completely overpowered in every sort of contest. It makes them perfect for a world where everything is decided in games. This episode just felt like the most fun thing to watch at the time. Explosions, weird alien creatures, Steph running around in the background as a distraction and mockery of the definition of lewd made this particular game fun. The rest of the series still held up as well even with the incest vibes coming from the relationship at the center of the series.
The 7th episode of Super Sonico is probably my favorite episode this year. Considering the show itself was the Champion of Non-Offensive Bullshit™ for 2014, I was pleasantly surprised by how gripping a trip to Niigata could be. The theme of the episode is perfectly captured in Sonico’s thoughts. “There may not be much out there, but we should venture out into it.” Along the way, she meets a number of people that only appear in this episode who give her a bit of their time to show her around one of the less popular areas of Japan. If you want something from 2014 that is the definition of “slice of life”, then I don’t think you can do any better than this single episode.
The series Orenchi no Furo Jijou almost never leaves a single room of the protagonist Tatsumi’s house. After finding the mermaid Wakasa in a riverbed, Tatsumi and his new friend develop a great platonic relationship. Wakasa’s strange friends invite themselves over into Tatsumi’s bath and they generally have a good time. The fact that it is digestible in five minute chunks makes it the perfect format for a show like this. I went in expecting it to amp up the shipping angle of this series, but I really like how they have developed the relationship between the two characters into a nice buddy act.
The 11th episode of the short romantic comedy I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying is among the most powerful episodes I watched this year. The series is largely about how Kaoru struggles to relate to her new husband Hajime who is an otaku with strange interests. The 11th episode is sort of a look at the life of Kaoru before she met Hajime. It’s a constant stream of her going through difficult times thinking that everything is okay as it is. All the time, anyone looking at her life can tell that it isn’t. Then the episode goes back to the present after she is living with the love of her life. Finally, it fittingly ends with the twist of fate that allowed her to meet Hajime for the first time. It’s episodes like this that justify my faith in continuing to watch anime after all.