Anifile’s Worst 5 Anime of Spring 2014

The Spring 2014 season has had it share of good anime as seen in my top five list, now let’s see what made its way onto the bottom five. This season, like the top five, was a hard one when it came to choosing a list of the five anime I liked the least. Most of the anime I saw were only mediocre or mildly annoying; of course there are some exceptions but the lower half of the list was harder for sure! Like I mentioned in my previous list, I didn’t get to see about ten anime from last season. I will therefore include a small list of the anime I wasn’t sure of when I mentioned them in my preview posts. With that acknowledged, let’s get to the list!

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#5 – Mischief of the Gods

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FULL REVIEW

I knew exactly what I was getting myself into with this one. A thinly veiled reverse harem anime which is framed like a dating sim filled with pretty boys who just so happen to be gods from different religions and time periods. Not only does it feel as flimsy as a soggy piece of paper but it is also laughably ridiculous! When you first meet the gods, flowers blossom before them and show how pretty they are and clearly states that brains are not required…for the most part. I will give kudos to the writers for doing a little research before creating these characters and retaining certain character traits from history but it doesn’t fully pardon this show from making the list. Its vapid nature is not for me. I know it’s aimed for women but that shouldn’t make a difference. Men and women alike want something with substance…you know substance that doesn’t feel like a wet dishrag.

#4 – Blade and Soul

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FULL REVIEW

An example of an unnecessary anime adaptation. Based on a Korean MMO, Blade and Soul tries to envoke the feelings of the game to a Japanese audience which came out not long after the anime started airing. It’s hard to adapt such a massive universe into a linear story; MMOs are meant to be totally non-linear and unique to the player. Instead we got a boring assassin named Alka who got on my nerves with how bland she was. I understand she may have seen some serious stuff growing up but there should still be some personality lingering around, surely! Paired with an unlikeable main cast, overly busty characters and flawed presentation – this show is not worth watching. Play the game. THAT looks cool.

#3 – Dragonar Academy

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FULL REVIEW

Oh boy, here’s when the list becomes easier to quantify. Dragonar Academy is this season’s Magical Warfare. How? IT’S UNORIGINAL AS HELL! It’s like any other magic school that we’ve seen before and doesn’t even tell THAT well. It feels so stock you could make a broth with it! Not only that but it takes the awesome might of a dragon and turns them into lumbering horse-like animals who look like they need to go on a diet. The main duo are also tired facsimilies of characters that we have long since grown tired of; the angry diminutive magical girl and the ‘hero’ guy. Yeah. I’ll stick to Record of Lodoss War or Slayers thank you very much! Remember, kids! Blandness kills.

#2 – Rowdy Sumo Wrestler Matsutarou!!

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FULL REVIEW

What could make this show end up so high on this list? A lot of things, but the biggest crime is that of being a crushing disappointment. I expected something akin to Wreck-It Ralph in that the angry hulk is a timid soul who simply wants recognition…instead we got a hulk who was mean, uncouth and lewd to everybody for the first few episodes; enough to put off even the most forgiving anime enthusiast. It made me feel so dirty after watching it. How could I find hope in such a thing? It didn’t help that Toei’s recent decline in animation quality for anything not Dragonball or Toriko or anything popular is rather distressing and made itself evident with this production. I was shocked with how such a studio could put out something so shoddy both in animation and writing. I understand that Matsutarou is set in the 1970s where things were less refined than today when it comes to gender equality and etiquette for a country bumpkin like our lead, but kindness is timeless. It feels like an anime adaptation that was twenty years too late. Pass.

#1 – Daimidaler: Prince vs Penguin Empire

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FULL REVIEW

Yes. This is the worst. I get that there are two ways you can look at Daimidaler. Firstly, you can look at it as a spoof of all mecha anime and how things can get pretty ridiculous; or there’s the feeling that it’s gone past parody and just become offensive and sickening. I fall in that category. The parody element flew past me and all I saw was something strange, sexist and mean-spirited not to mention be animated so poorly. I was flabbergasted with how poor it was. Studio TNK, the animators of the series, should be disappointed with their ‘work’. The whole notion that a woman’s place is in the cockpit serving the sexual requirements of the male pilot for the good of mankind is enough to drive me to despair. Sick.

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MISSING IN ACTION

As before, here are the shows which I didn’t think much of which I never got around to reviewing fully:

Hero Bank and Dai Shogun – Great Revolution

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Do you agree with my list? Have your own worst? Cast your vote!

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3 thoughts on “Anifile’s Worst 5 Anime of Spring 2014”

  1. Wow! No Game, No Life is winning! (losing?) I never expected that! Come on, NGNL fans! Give some love for this one…Although I also voted on it…
    You are certainly a Harcore otaku! You watched some shows I have never heard about. Sumo anime? It sounds like an interesting and original premise. It’s a shame it sucks!
    I also think DAIMIDALER is sick! Just by seeing all those questionably-dressed henchmen made me go -_-‘
    Yay! Finally someone else who talks badly about Magical Warfare! At least, that one was a so-bad-it’s-good type. Dragonar, on the other hand, just got me pissed!
    Nice Top5! I was expecting something more polemic, but your choices make sense (for me, at least…)

    Like

  2. This kind of a poll can be difficult sometimes, as doubtless some of us voters, myself included, didn’t watch more than an episode or two of the really bad ones. While it would be easy to just name what was the worst first impression a bad anime gave me (btw, it’s Matsutarou), I’d rather name my personal “worst best anime” and the runner-ups. Basically which one of the series I stuck with long enough to form an opinion ticked me off the most.

    Irregular at Magic High is just plain… bad. Bland protagonist whose only characteristic seems to be his intelligence stat, and there he dwarfs absolutely everyone who ever lived. Combine that with his ability to make virtually every female character in the series fall for him if he really tried (and in some cases without even trying) and being effectively unbeatable in combat despite an informed disadvantage and you have a pretty quintessential Mary Sue. And then there’s the constant explanations on the magic system of the series. I wish someone had just told the author “it’s magic, you don’t have to explain it”. However, the art and animation aren’t bad and the ensemble cast is hinted at having personalities, even if we don’t really get to see them. The time dedicated to the discrimination aspect is painfully plentiful, yet at least it’s explored from slightly different angles over the ~8 episodes it takes to wrap it up.
    While I do hate Irregular, I don’t feel it’s worthy of being my worst best anime of the season, if only because I can’t imagine the source material being all that good either, making it a “good” adaptation of a bad light novel. You know, kind of like Twilight.

    No Game No Life… Oh, now we get to the fun one. NGNL is an anime I just didn’t even find it in me to finish. I hear it’s supposed to be parodying the moe genre, but frankly I feel that it’s doing so while sitting comfortably in the moe bandwagon itself.
    Other than that, it’s a series that revolves around unusual, high stakes games similar to Kaiji or Liar Game. Unlike these series, however, its gimmick is to choose an existing game and slap a new layer of paint on it to make it look shiny, as opposed to making an inherently simple game into something much more complex. From what I watched, the formula of the series was as follows: the two stereotypically otaku siblings play a game that will determine the fate of hum- Imanity and come up with a loophole or discern its true nature, allowing them to pull a flashy victory on their opponent after some comedic hijinks. The focus of the series is never truly on the games being played, but rather on the characters playing it and the brilliant turnabout they achieve over their opponents. It’s like a bad let’s play where the game is just background to the guy whose facecam covers a quarter of the screen. Plus, something about the color palette just didn’t sit right with me.
    All that said, the series is still rather intelligent, although the game rules can sometimes feel like they’re there more to enable the cool comeback for our heroes rather than to really contribute to the complexity of the game itself. I won’t blame anyone for liking it, but on a personal level I find it woefully inferior to other series with similar premises.

    Brynhildr in the Darkness. And finally here’s my vote. I’ll say it now, I liked Elfen Lied a lot despite acknowledging its weak points and …controversial themes. That said, I’ll try to focus solely on BitD and won’t draw comparisons to its spiritual predecessor when it comes to “imported” plot points or characters.
    This anime is a rushed mess where every scene is filled to the brim with exposition. Yes, the manga was pretty wordy in its own right, but this anime is trying to condense somewhere around 80 chapters of manga into a 13 episode series. There’s plenty of story to cover, and thus much of the dialogue had to be preserved. The problem with this is that there’s never a quiet moment to set a mood or feel real emotion for the characters before something has to be explained again. Characters have little to no personality aside from the one trait they’re usually given at introduction (like with Irregular, the protagonist’s main trait seems to be his IQ score), and are given little to no backstory to explain the relationships between one another. All we know is that they were all just held in the same facility of evil scientists for reasons left untold for most of the series, and not really given a proper explanation even once revealed. Also, the main villain is more or less a copy & paste Ikari Gendo. And somehow, despite their busy schedule to cram in as much story as possible, there’s a scene committed to fanservice every 2-3 episodes, because bewbs.
    On its own, Brynhildr is a bad adaptation. This alone is not, however, why it gets my vote. The reason it has the honor of being my worst best anime of the season is that when I do compare it to Elfen Lied, it feels like absolutely everything that made me like that series is lacking here. Bland characters, little emotional investment, no backstories to tie the characters together, and lackluster score and art. Elfen Lied, now an over a decade old anime, looks much more impressive and has memorably artistic opening credits accompanied by the haunting Lilium, sung in Latin no less. Brynhildr’s art, while not terrible, is very simple in comparison, and the first opening left me asking simply ‘where’s the J-pop?’ It looks just like your typical anime intro, and the wordless piece playing over it is not that impressive in its own right. The second intro (unusual for a 13 episode anime to even have one) is fast paced, unintelligible loud noises played over yet another generic sequence of animation and still images. Considering that both the animation studio and the author of the manga are the same as with Elfen Lied, it’s strange to see the anime that’s made to “appeal to the masses” more than its predecessor cut corners so, whether it be with style or substance.

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