Spring Anime 2014 – Debut Episode Rankings!

#1: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

Jojo is fucking back.

Well, besides a severe lack of Speedwagon, everything went right in this episode. As I don’t read the manga, JoJo’s “Stand” reveal was particularly dramatic and awesome. The character models are distinctly brilliant. Jotaru is 100% badass and will be an excellent protagonist.

jojo

I really liked Part 1 of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure (2012) because I found Dio a much more colourful villain compared to the Pillar Men of Part 2, so I’m pleased to see Dio making a return once more. The JoJo Vs Dio rivalry is just unmatched.

It was a shame that the OP and ED were skipped but this is not really a big deal. Awesome episode.

 #2: Selector Infected WIXOSS

Original anime about a card game bearing the ‘psychological’ tag, plus an OP & ED by Kanon? I guess I have nothing to lose.

The most notably excellent feature about this debut episode for me as actually the background art. Detailed urban landscape scenery can look so wicked when it’s draw creatively, and thanks to Studio Pablo the artwork behind this show is a visual feast. This is the same group that did Aku no Hana (The Flowers Of Evil) and the third Rebuild film. They are incredibly talented.

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On the other hand, I’m entirely prepared to drop this show on account of Mari Okada’s involvement because I find her work wildly inconsistent but as an introductory episode this one was a nice surprise.

 #3: Isshuukan Friends

Amidst the wash of highly stylised drawings and flashy, dramatic character models emerges a show based almost entirely on soft lines and watercolour. It’s incredibly refreshing.

ishuukan1

Isshuukan Friends made a modest debut and handled its exposition well enough. The memory reset trope has been done a million times before so it will be a challenge for this show to present it in new way. Rookie Director Tarou Iwasaki has a tough task on his hands, but fortunately the main pair are very likable and realistic.

I’ll be keen to see where this show goes.

 #4: Akuma no Riddle

I don’t have much to say about this show, but I can say that it was enjoyable. If you were to replace every kiss in last season’s Sakura Trick with a maniacal grin then you’d get this show. I already like it a lot better.

riddle

Although the school classroom and dormitories were depressingly bland, I like the attention given to the character models. Every girl has her own distinctive aura, despite the fact that they all appear to be bat-shit insane.

Impressive.

#5: Captian Earth

I’m not a big Mecha or Yuri guy so it’s a pleasant surprise to have both this show and Akuma no Riddle so high on my list. Hooray for trying new things.

So despite the relentlessly tired dead-father mystery set-up, Captain Earth was still pretty awesome. I’m not sure why I like Daichi as a main character. Usually main characters in this kind of scenario are precocious dipsticks, but he’s been totally bearable so far.

captainearth

Shows of a huge scale like this will often test snap my suspension of disbelief within minutes, but I was too distracted by the animation to be bothered this time around. It looks absolutely stunning. Let’s just hope they didn’t blow the whole budget on episode one to reel us in…

 #6: Kantoku Fuyuki Todoki

This was meta as fuck.

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#7: Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

This was… Pretty average.

I’m aware that this show has been hyped through the roof on account of the source material success, so I watched this to see what all the fuss was about. What I got was a precocious dipstick MC and his irritating sister who appears to be in love with him. It appears that this is how you make buckets of money in LN sales now.

mahouka

Ok, so there’s obviously going to be a lot more to this show but I can’t say I was impressed by its debut. I don’t like the characters at all yet, but futuristic setting seems cool enough. The bloom/weed system is kind of cheap and unrealistic though.

 #8: Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season

Maybe the sucess of Wake Up, Girls! over Summer has raised my expectations for idol shows now, but the return of Love live still felt a little underwhelming to me. It wasn’t bad. But it didn’t manage to pull me in the same way that the first season did.

raburaibu

For a start, Honoka getting student council president was just plain stupid. She might be charismatic, but she’s about as organised as a bag of cats. Derp. What is going on, Love Live?

I’m sure it will pick up though.

 #9: Soul Eater, Not!

I really liked Soul Eater. I really like SoL as well. So this spin-off should be perfect for me, right?

Wrong.

souleaternot!

To be honest I this episode was OK, but teasing the audience with cameos from the original series just made me think of what might have been. I think most Soul Eater fans will agree with me here – A Soul Eater sequel would have been 5000 times better than this.

 #10: Gokukoku no Brynhildr

Yes, the multiplication scene was hilarious. That was about it though, I’ll almost definitely skip this one.

Brynhildr

Why? Because I’m pretty confident that it will quickly descend into a cheesy shock-value trainwreck à la Elfen Lied (they share the same author) and I don’t want to make that mistake again. I’ll come back to Gokukoku no Brynhildr if I hear some really credible praise once it’s over but otherwise I’ll be happy to miss this one.

 #11: Black Bullet

This was easily the worst of the bunch. The pacing was awkward as hell and everything just felt wrong. Way too much got jammed into this episode – yet it still felt like nothing interesting actually happened.

Black bullet

I don’t know if the character introductions were bad or the characters themselves were just flat-out boring. Probably both. The plot might have some potential but even if it does turn out ok, this was one of the most underwhelming exposition episodes I’ve seen in a while.

Bad start, black bullet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

What was your favourite debut episode of Spring 2014?

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One Response to Spring Anime 2014 – Debut Episode Rankings!

  1. Artemis says:

    My favourite debut episode of the season was definitely Isshuukan Friends – and that came completely out of nowhere for me, since I hadn’t even planned on picking it up and mostly did so on a whim. (I don’t really remember why I wasn’t originally going to watch it, but possibly because the artwork reminded me a bit of Saikano, which I had some serious issues with.) In any case, super glad I gave it a try; after Mushishi, this might just become my favourite spring series. The opening episode struck me as adorable, but without being sickly-sweet or making me roll my eyes. I also think that Isshuukan Friends could have a couple of really interesting things to say about the nature of day-to-day social isolation and loneliness in general – a topic which, particularly for Japan, is an extremely relevant one.

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