The Winter 2014-5 season is finally near it’s end and I would not be surprised if in the overall assessment it were to show itself to be one of the weaker seasons in the past 10 years or so. Even with that there were some good offerings, and I thought I might go into detail regarding some of the series that worked and that did not for me.
A rank: Akatsuki no Yona; Death Parade; Koufuku Graffiti. All three series are extremely enjoyable, and it would be hard to select three more different series. At the top would probably be Akatsuki no Yona – I just love this series to pieces and it is sooooo well done in so many different aspects! We need more series like this and definitely would love to see more seasons of this series as well. Please? Death Parade is the strongest new series of the season in my opinion – on the whole it is actually kinda … brilliant, fresh, creative and engaging. And extraordinarily thought provoking at times. Koufuku Graffiti was this season’s offering from Kirara manga source material and while I expected to enjoy it I did not expect that it would actually be as … well … serious as it is. A pity that it is so easy to miss under all the lovely animation, Shaft stylistics and “food eating eroticism” that it is so famous for. Then again, the theme of a person recovering from pain and trauma is something very close to my heart in terms of anime themes, so I may be a surefire sell for such material.
B rank: Log Horizon s2; Shirobako; Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls; Kamisama Hajimemashite s2. All four series continue to be solidly enjoyable, but I was especially happy with how Kamisama Hajimemashite s2 went – it felt like the story was better told and adapted this season, I think a large part is due to the source material, but credit should be given where credit is due regarding the adapting studio, I feel. A pity it has not gotten more attention – it deserves better. Cinderella Girls is getting a split cour, and will continue in the Summer 2015 season (which season, by the by, is looking surprisingly and steadily better and better – for me even better than the upcoming Spring season). While the Second Season of Log Horizon was a step down from the first season in terms of production values, the story and characters continued to be very strong, and the season ended in territory not yet published by the author, which was an unexpected treat. Shirobako, though, was a rousing success, and while for me it was not on the same level of Akatsuki no Yona or other A rank series, it was still excellent, solid material that is very, very worthwhile.
C rank: Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie; Dog Days Double Dash; Kantai Collection (aka KanColle); Go! Princess PreCure. These are all kinda “fua fua” series, and of them Dog Days Double Dash was probably the steadiest in terms of results for me. Bonjour Koiaji Pâtisserie was a shorts series that went from the Fall 2014 season to the present one, and even though it was a shorts series of classic reverse harem material I still enjoyed it (kinda have a weakness for cooking series). And though I am a large PreCure franchise fan (and of mahou shoujo in general), I must admit that Go! Princess PreCure has been better thus far than I expected it to be. It is also the only carryover series I will be following from Winter 2014-5 to the Spring 2015 season. I was looking forward to dipping my toe in the waters of the KanColle franchise; and on the whole it was okay, but unfortunately the series had a sloppy ending.
After this there are a few other categories. In the queue for steamrolling we have Parasyte and Sanzoku no Musume Ronia. Am looking forward to these – both look like they are get stronger and stronger as they get closer to their completion. There were also series I was disappointed by and hoped for more from, namely Yoru Yatterman and Rolling Girls. A pity about them both – I really wanted to like these series, but somehow both just kept misfiring for me, or else they felt like there was very little going on underneath the surface.
All in all I still feel as if the season was definitely weaker than other seasons (in particular the sleugh of Light Novel “same-story” adaptations that all came out at once this season was bizarre) but fortunately in the midst of the rocky soil there were still patches of fertile land where good plants were able to grow and flourish. And that is something to be thankful for, I believe.
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