Tag Archives: gugure! kokkuri-san

Anifile’s Top 10 Anime of 2014


So the end of 2014 has come and all the anime are wrapping up for a Christmas break before another year of anime begins in 2015. I apologise immensely for not getting out my reviews for the Fall season…

[this video explains why in more detail]

In short, professional work took precedent and TeamFourStar content ate up the rest of the time. HOWEVER – I have been able to catch up on some of the anime and tabulate them into this list. Two make the cut! The Top Ten Anime of 2014 according to Anifile. Let’s waste any more time and get on with the show starting at number ten.

#10 – I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying

husbandissaying_0FULL REVIEW

Despite this anime being only four minutes in length per episode, it is a sweet story of two people who marry for convenience and their mutual feelings of futility which quickly becomes a genuine fondness for one another. It’s short, sharp and mostly funny despite the cultural divide between East and West. If this had been a full length show, maybe it would be higher up this list; or maybe not. Its brevity makes its potent. It’s four panel comic origins have been sustained and indeed improved upon. Definitely give this anime a watch, the whole series will barely take up an hour of your time. Especially if you love otaku gags!

#9 – Gugure! Kokkuri-san

One of two anime from this season that I didn’t get to review fully but I did keep an eye on it and I’m so glad that I did. It’s a hilariously dark comedy which is also a four-panel comic in origin; but it works in a full-fat episode. Cleverly pacing its comedic elements with endearing touches which have quickly become an internet smash and one that Sentai Filmworks shall spread further. There’s the whole gamut of comedy here – from slapstick to wordplay to one-liners to seriously macabre skits. If you’re looking for something different, then the tale of a hermit-like elementary school who summons a fox spirit after playing a game of Kokkuri and their journey together shall satisfy you a lot!

#8 – Majimoji Rurumo

majimoji_1FULL REVIEW

I think this year has seen anime which start to buck the trend of their respective genres and instead choose to satirise them or bring new life into them. Indeed, the fallen witch Rurumo is a prime candidate for this notion. You think that when she comes into Kato’s life, she’ll be the typical transfer student; nope! She works in the school cafeteria. Unexpected! There are lots of moments in this series which don’t follow the traditional route of harem anime [although it DOES come close at times] but it staves off convention enough to present something truly unique which can only be good! I recommend this to anyone wanting a light-hearted magical comedy that wants something new!

#7 – One Week Friends

oneweek_1FULL REVIEW

One Week Friends is one of those shows which makes me proud to be an anime fan. It’s an example of how the medium can tackle a serious issue like mental trauma and turn it into a tale which is laced with positivity and love. Brains Base has produced an animated gem along with Matcha Hazuki’s brilliant premise. It might not be as action-packed or filled with gut-busting comedy to satisfy most slice-of-life fans, but it’s a touching and pragmatic story. It marks what true friendship really is; stand by your friend and help them through their woes, be there for them in their darkest hour and in their moments of happiness. I was blown away with how well this whole package came together and this is definitely a candidate for my top five list for this season.

#6 – When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace

What an interesting concept. Instead of making people with superpowers a rarity, why not make them common and those without powers the figures of interest or derision. Jurai, our main guy, has to deal with something worse; a lame power. A pithy fire…blob. This series may be unpredictable, but perhaps that’s what we need in a show these days; something we don’t expect. One episode could be action-packed, the other quite relaxed. You don’t know for sure! There is a smattering of character development but this anime is clearly meant to poke fun at the likes of Haruhi Suzumiya, D-Frag and all other school club anime be they imbued with superpowers or not. I can dig it!

#5 – Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun

nozaki_1FULL REVIEW

Ah, yes. This had to be on this list. It’s such an adorable show with an amazing soundtrack; so peppy! An adventure into the world of manga with a team of quirky individuals who work together to produce an acclaimed creation free of any awkward suggestiveness or nuances of sex. It’s simply a joy to watch and will generate a smile and leave audience members pleased to have dedicated their time to it. I was so glad that I got to see this and by the huge amount of requests I got to review it. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Tsubaki’s four-panel work has easily generated a four-star anime. Perhaps five stars for some. A must-see; it’s easy to pick up and understand and requires little background knowledge to fully appreciate.

#4 – Nobunagun

Nobunagun_1FULL REVIEW

This anime is absolutely bonkers. Despite the alien threat, there are ridiculous heroes with absurd names and powers which creates an aura of epicness which is hard to emulate anywhere else; you can’t explain it, you have to see it to believe it. I may not be a gun aficionado, but I like some farcical action from time to time and the way that Shio [a gun fanatic] conducts herself both in and out of action means that I want to get behind her as she is not a whiny wimp or a callous prude; she’s a scared little girl who has felt out of place in the world and now she has found her calling. It’s wonderful to see her so happy, blasting aliens into itty bitty pieces. How sweet.

#3 – Sabagebu (Survival Game Club)

sagegabu_1FULL REVIEW

This comedy is amazing. It wrong-foots you every step of the way; what you think is going to happen doesn’t and instead you’re left with hilarity. Sabagebu is one of those shows that you simply have to see. I was sold after only a minute when I witnessed in admiration Momoka effectively giving the bird to tradition and carving her own path in the narrative. Girls packing heat! Not only that but it’s more accessible than most anime as most of its tropes and quirks are framed around Hollywood action movies and as such feels familiar to American audiences.

#2 – Kiseijuu (Parasyte)

Parasyte_0FULL REVIEW

Parasyte. THE standout anime of the second-half of 2014. A twisted and graphic romp which doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to detailing the sheerly horrifying idea of a parasite infecting humanity and turning them into terrifying abominations [If you watch episode one, then you might want to cover your eyes when a dog gets infected. Yeah].The package is mostly perfect; a right balance of horror, intelligent plot devices, emotional capacity and even a little bit of comedy here and there. Despite the iffy soundtrack in some places, the feeling of tension is spot-on. The buddy act of Shinichi and Migi quickly turns into a formidable team from what was a bumbling one-sided duo. It’s a manga from the late eighties which has now had its chance to shine and it shall now cements its place in the pantheon of manga and anime.

#1 – Knights of Sidonia

sidonia_1FULL REVIEW

Yes. Despite the constant takedowns of my reviews praising this show [Thanks, Molebeat.] I will stand by this fantastic series and celebrate the fact it’s spearheaded Netflix’s recent sojourn into anime on its streaming platform. A ‘Netflix Original’, the story of Tanikaze answering the call to protect humanity from the evil Gauna menace is an accomplished tale using cutting-edge technology to present a wholly 3D anime experience in a polished way. I’ve exhausted all I can say about this anime as I’ll be repeating myself; check out my main review for all of what I love about the show.

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So there we have it. Anifile’s top ten anime of the year. You might be wondering what were my worst anime of the year. Well…hold on and you’ll find out soon enough.

I once again apologise for the lack of reviews from this season but I’ll work on rectifying that in the new year, ready for our first anniversary! Stay tuned!

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Fall 2014: Preview Summary


The Fall 2014 season is just about to begin in earnest, with some shows beginning their runs in the past few days and others very shortly. This season has had a mixed bag and a surprising lack of NEW sports anime. Also I have merged the Game genre into the others to save confusion. One thing I’ve noticed is that there a lot of visual novel adaptations this season and not as many light novel adaptations.

If you missed any of the individual genre videos, click the following links to catch up!
Action / Fantasy & Magic / Comedy / Slice Of Life / Sci-fi & Mecha /

Now let’s take a look at my Review Priority Rating index [RPR] and how I rated the twenty nine anime eligible for review:

RPR #
High 4
Medium-High 11
Medium 11
Medium-Low 2
Low 1

You can rate the anime you’re most looking forward to in the poll below or CLICK HERE.

Remember, these ratings are based on first impressions and things can change as I begin watching them. Some can go up or down in estimation, you never know!

These shows have managed to catch my interest down to their innovative art styles, compelling plot and different spin on previously established archetypes. Reviews will be more forthcoming for these titles.

High Priority: Denki-gai no Honya-san, Kiseijuu, Magic Kaito 1412 and Sanzoku no Musume Ronja

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The medium-high list are the shows which are still very good but didn’t quite fill me with rapture at first sight or seemed to play it a little to safe for my liking. Reviews will be posted slightly later.

Medium-High Priority: Danna ga Nani wo Itteru ka Wakaranai Ken, Donten ni Warau, Garo: Honou no Kokuin, Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de, Nanatsu no Taizai, Ore Twintails no Narimasu, Orenchi no Furo Jijou, Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso, Shingeki no Bahamut Genesis, Shirobako and Terra Formars

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The medium list comprises those productions which have either been considered good or inconclusive based on little or no information. This third premise is for shows that have either had no trailer or minimal content surrounding it published. Instead of labelling it bad, medium is a temporary default for such titles.

Medium Priority: Akatsuki no Yona, Amagi Brilliant Park, Cross Ange: Tenshi to Ryuu no Rondo, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, Grisaia no Kajitsu, Gugure! Kokkuri-san, Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji, Sora no Method, Trinity Seven: 7-nin no Mahoutsukai, Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete and Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

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The medium-low priority list is populated with shows that seem to either be OK or slightly disappointing based on its promotional presentation. Some of these shows DO have sparks of potential and I’m hoping to see them shimmer and generate a better review score.

Medium-Low Priority: Madan no Ou to Vanadis and World Trigger

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The low priority list. The shows which seem to have no hope for being good or original. The shows whose existence is questionable, depressing or bemusing. Two of these titles are here because there’s no trailer or supporting content to go with it other than one poster and a small blurb surrounding its plot. Their outlooks aren’t good but you never know. What I do know is that these will be reviewed with less of a priority than the other shows listed.

Low Priority: Girlfriend (Kari)

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Based on the tally, the season is looking to be quite good! Most of the anime are in the average/above-average category and only three are less than average. Of course that can differ once the shows begin broadcasting but for now I have high hopes for the season ahead! These results should be used as a barometer about what to watch; these are what I think will be good or not so good. In the end, it’s up to you; we have anime to watch! Good hunting.

So what anime are you looking forward to? Now’s your chance to vote for as many shows as you like so we can get a gauge on what the Anifile audience is excited about. If the results for one show in particular are high enough but the show is further down the review list, I will respond by pushing it up a little bit.

CAST YOUR VOTE!

Fall 2014: Comedy


Our third preview post covers those anime which are primarily made to make you smile or ideally laugh out loud. Japanese comedies have trouble translating into English but these shows have the potential to break that trend and come up with the goods. We have seven series to go over today so let’s start!

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Amagi Brilliant Park

Animation Studio: Kyoto Animation
Origin:  Light Novel [Gatoh/Nakajima]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
It all starts with a young man [Seiya] being held at gunpoint to on a date with another girl [Isuzu]. It then involves them going on a date to a rundown theme park. The ‘princess’ of the park tasks Seiya with managing the theme park and attracting over one hundred thousand patrons in a fortnight. You think that’d be easy? No, Amagi Brilliant Park is a beat-up relic of the nineteenth century. Good luck, mate!

Initial Thoughts
Kyoto Animation has been in a bit of slump when compared to its stature in the mid-2000s. Here’s hoping that this collaboration with Full Metal Panic creator Shouji Gatoh can kickstart things again [even some of his characters from the other title make a cameo!] On paper, it looks pretty good as do most KyoAni productions, but can it translate that into results in terms of ratings.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Denkigai no Honya-san
(The Bookstore of Akihabara)

Animation Studio: Shin-Ei Animation
Origin:  Manga [Mizu]
Date of Premiere: October 2nd

Summary
Umi is a desperate boy whose life depends on his employment at a small bookstore located in the heart of Tokyo, Akihabara. The store sells literature of the adult kind and he and his colleagues have to make sure things are properly sealed and hidden away from kids. A mix of personalities all concentrated in a tiny space in a bustling city.

Initial Thoughts
My first reaction was this: I want to see this! Not because of the adult bookstore angle or potential fanservice but by the charming design. Everything about the previews looks so characterful and cute; you cannot accuse it of being bland or generic. You know what you’re watching; it even has a chance of being quite ‘meta’ in that it’s set in the heart of otakudom and will likely poke fun at everything to do with anime or hentai. I’m curious!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: High

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Gugure! Kokkuri-san

Animation Studio: TMS Entertainment
Origin:  Manga [Endo]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
A young girl [Kohina] is messing about with the paranormal when she practices the Japanese divining game Kokkuri. The result lands her with a new friend, Kokkuri-san, a white-haired fox dude. Instead of scaring her, the spirit actually feels sorry for Kohina’s meagre lifestyle and miserly attitude. It seems clear that she won’t stop at one spirit friend, more will come along to add to her existence.

Initial Thoughts
This shows seems a little heavier than most four panel comics. There are themes concerning loneliness and personal neglect which leave the door open for some black comedy to be had here. So expect some darkness mixed with some laughs with this one. Kohina’s appearance is a little odd but at least it’s different!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Inou-Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de
(Inou-Battle Within Everyday Life)

Animation Studio: Trigger
Origin:  Light Novel [Nozomi/029]
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
Jurai is an average high school loser who has recently joined the literature club, but its members aren’t bookworms. The girls of the literature club actually possess magical powers that range from creating matter to bending time…problem is, they don’t know what to do with it. They’re waiting for the call to action but must first face the ultimate test – boredom!

Initial Thoughts
Ohhh, I see what they’re doing! I like it. The fact that these people get powers and then six months later have done nothing with them shows that not every power comes with an innate mission statement. If you’re bored of the usual action/comedy series with powered students and are looking for something new then you might be in luck here; it looks the business and should stand out over the average harem comedy.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Ookami Shoujo to Kuro Ouji
(The Wolf Girl and the Black Prince)

Animation Studio: TYO Animations
Origin:  Manga [Hatta]
Date of Premiere: October 5th

Summary
This story is all about keeping up appearances. Erika has bragged to her classmates about having a hot boyfriend and exudes self confidence. This ‘boyfriend’ turns out to be Kyouya, one of her classmates and the picture she parades about is not a loving keepsake but a covert snap. In order to keep her reputation stable, Erika has to keep Kyouya in her good books and get him to play along.

Initial Thoughts
Oh what a tangled web we weave. The classic moral story of how lying can get you into trouble. In order to score popularity, Erika has pulled a few fibs and the show is about to punish her to the extreme and we get to watch her squirm. This could be funny but also predictable in the long run but that makes it straightforward rather than convoluted and taxing on the old noggin! Light relief!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium

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Ore, Twintails no Narimasu
(I Will Become a Twintail)

Animation Studio: Production IMS
Origin: Light Novel [Mizusawa/Kasuga]
Date of Premiere: October 10th

Summary
Get ready to be weirded out! Souji Mitsuka is big on sexy hairstyles and is one day visited by a pan-dimensional being who uses his hair-driven passion who grants him the power…to turn into a superpowered girl with twin ponytails. He and his like-minded friends use these new skills to face the forces of evil! Right.

Initial Thoughts
Oh my days. I think that the writer of this show decided to flip the bird to convention and do what he wanted! No inhibitions here; if you’re a guy and wish to be a lolita girl with ponytails, then so be it! You can have it! Want to use this power to fight bad guys? Hells yeah, go for it! I would normally baulk at this due to the potential fanservice and I probably will be subjected to plenty of it; but screw it, this is weird enough for me to give it a chance.

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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Orenchi no Furo Jijou
(The Special Circumstances of my Bathtub)

orefuro

Animation Studio: Asahi Production
Origin:  Manga [Itokichi]
Date of Premiere: October 6th

Summary
This is the tale of human compassion when a young man [Tatsumi] discovers a washed-up merman on the beach [Wakasa] and takes him home so he doesn’t die. This sets the scene for a light-hearted comedy with a very nautical theme which has the chance to be pretty cute; it’s certainly different.

Initial Thoughts
This is another four panel comic adaptation and it feels like it; like it’s going to be a collection of short stories revolving around Tatsumi and Wakasa. I get a strong feeling that this could be pretty funny and something that will hit home with Western audiences, it’s certainly full of pretty men and wacky music and voices. Plenty of eccentricity to be had!

Review Priority Rating [RPR]: Medium-High

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So we got some good comedies coming up which can only be a good thing, but what about something a little more magical? Well, find out next time in our Fantasy/Magic showcase!