Looking Forward: 2014 Anime

Yesterday I showed you what it was like for me in 2013 as an anime fan.  To put it kindly, it wasn't a pretty sight.  Fortunately, today we're looking at what 2014 has in store, and it's doing quite a bit better than last year already.    However, between Winter and Spring there's roughly 64 anime coming out between January and April, so we're just going to hit broadstrokes and talk about a lot of the heavy hitters.

Space Dandy

If you follow anime much at all--even if its just watching Toonami on the weekends--you've heard of this by now.  Essentially, this is a comedic version of Cowboy Bebop, brought to you by the people who made Cowboy Bebop.  Everyone from mastermind director Shinichiro Watanabe, to screenwriters Dai Sato and Keiko Nobumoto, to fan favorite animation studio BONES has teamed up together to create what pretty much everyone's hoping to be the next anime masterpiece.   In fact, Toonami had so much faith in this product that they secured the dub and airing rights before it'll even air in Japan.  (Only by a day, but still.)

Now, Watanabe-san is known for working on projects that perfectly blend character, story and music to create a detailed, immersive world that fans can lose themselves in.  I don't know much about masterpieces, but if I can get that?  I'll be happy.

Seitokai Yakuindomo*

So, that trailer is a complete WTF, I realize.   It tells you essentially nothing about the show itself, which is a high school-based series about a guy who's attending a school which recently became co-ed, and became a part of the student council.   I'll be honest and say I can't recall for the life of me why I watched this originally, but I do know it turned out to be one of the greatest surprises of that season.

SYN is a delightfully raunchy comedy that's everything you wouldn't expect when you hear the words "student council series".  There's no romance bullshit or any other idiocy--it's all about the comedy.   I'm glad to have it back.

Buddy Complex

The question here is, just how Sunrise is this series.  I never really get tired of Sunrise's mecha designs--they do some of the best work in the industry aside from Shouji Kawamori's Valkyries.  But their plots can fall flat, or worse; they fall victim to using cheap shlocky methods to keep the viewers invested.  It works (on some), but I'm about done with all that.   So I'm deeply hoping this is the Sunrise who developed Gundam 00, not the one who created Valvrape.

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders

In the fall of 2012, animation studio David Productions got a runaway hit on their hands when they lovingly brought to life Hirohiro Araki's classic shonen manga, Jojo no Kimyou na Bouken, or Jojo's Bizarre Adventures.  Adapting the adventures of the first and second Joestars to great success, this time David Production is back to show us the series that gave JJBA a lot of its popularity in the first place: Stardust Crusaders.

For me, JJBA was one of my favorite series of 2012, one that I'd managed to get all my friends involved in because it was so damned bad-ass.  The freaky powers and insanely creative fights were incredibly addicting, and from what I've heard it only gets better from here.  Especially now that you-know-who is back.

Fairy Tail

Nakama Tail returns, bitches!  I was heartbroken when I went through the trouble of catching up with the the story of Erza and the rest of Fairy Tail (...What do you mean she's not the main character?), only to have to hear that the series was going to come to an end a few short months later.  To see it make a return as, presumably, creator Hiro Mashima is drawing it's manga version to an end, have my hype levels at an all time high.  Plus, as I understand it the latest arcs have been some of the most interesting yet, as the team fights to prevent a dark future for all of humanity.  

Fairy Tail is back on the air this April.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V

 I can't adequately explain just how annoying it was to have ZEXAL on the air.  As someone who enjoys the anime as much as I enjoy the game, it was nearly infuriating to have the game grow ever more interesting (obvious idiocy aside) while the anime was low-tier garbage.

I'll admit, Yu-Gi-Oh! has never been high art by even the smallest qualitative measuring stick, but damn.  A duelist that's going out of his way to suck?   That shit's mind-numbingly stupid. 

So far, we know next to nothing about the series or our protagonist, other than his name is Yuuya Sakaki, and the first episode has him riding a...pink hippo, which I hear will be in in Japan this April, so at least he's fashionable?  I do know his monsters look cool as all heck, so here's to having a new series where the main character wins duels with extremely situational cards...but doesn't need someone's help to know what extremely situational card to use in exactly the right situations.

Sword Art Online II

One of the most popular (and polarizing) series of 2012, Sword Art Online comes back to tell it's next two story arcs, Phantom Bullet and Alicization.  Initially I was shocked by this reveal, but given the series probably got an immense boost in popularity after airing on Toonami, it made a lot more sense.  I can't wait to see Kirito mercilessly pwn everything in sight.  He better add at least two extra hoes to his harem too, or it's a no-sale.  (The key to loving SAO is to not take things so seriously.  Yes, it has its bad bits, but I promise you it could be so much worse.)

SAO II doesn't have a release date yet, but I'm betting on another summer premiere.  

Now there you have it.  While both the Winter and Spring seasons offer more than this--it's actually too much more to go into in a single article.  Particularly when there are still entries that will go in far more detail about these things.  Be patient.


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