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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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Anifile’s People Choice Award for Summer 2014


The summer anime train has almost reached its destination. Shows are wrapping up or have wrapped up as of writing. I’ve listed my TOP FIVE and WORST FIVE anime from this season and I have now turned it over to you guys for your thoughts. I included polls at the end of each list and after a week of voting and around two hundred votes, we have our people’s top five and worst five. Let’s not beat about the bush and get this list underway with the top five!

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#5 – Tokyo Ghoul

The top five was a close affair this season, only five votes spreading as many shows. First off we have Tokyo Ghoul. I remember really liking the offbeat idea of zombies [or zombie-like people] having some kind of community whilst eating people’s flesh. It had a quirky charm to it which I really liked. Why didn’t it make my top five then? It was tough but it was between this or Terror in Resonance and I felt the latter had more shock value.

#4 – Barakamon

I’m very relieved to this on here. Like me, you were all entranced by the simple story and the charming characters which had an original feel and personality about them. Such a laidback show which doesn’t require too much criticial thinking, instead just kick back and enjoy the sweet narrative and gorgeous scenery.

#3 – Aldnoah.Zero

The thinking man’s Gundam. I wasn’t sure about this show in the end all because the main character, Inaho, was a little too dry for my liking. That being said, it’s a very well put together story and supremely clever in its execution; I completely understand why it’s so popular. While it was airing, I regularly saw friends of mine huddled around their tablets catching up on the latest episode; it’s got the West hooked and Aniplex has intentions on bringing it stateside…for a price.

#2 – Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun

You agree with me that this show is brilliant! It’s so adorable and the characters are genuinely funny and engaging. The execution was flawless and the comedy worked for a non-Japanese audience which is not all that common with comedy anime that don’t resort to slapstick. Everything about this production is first-rate. Buy this on DVD when Sentai Filmworks releases it – their twitter account can’t get enough of it!

#1 – Akame ga Kill!

OK. I get why this is here; the characters are colourful and the premise is pretty accessible. I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this show from everyone I know but my misgivings with the sudden mood swings peppered about the story, it put me off enough to keep it off the top five list but it’s still up there. [If I had a top ten it would be in it.]

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Next up, is the worst five as chosen by you.

#5 – Tokyo Ghoul

This is odd. Tokyo Ghoul starts off both the best and the worst. This is probably because the idea of the show is polarising to some extent. The idea of zombies lusting over human flesh and the almost fetishistic attitude about it could put some people off the idea as would the copious amounts of blood. It’s not a light hearted romp all the time and I imagine that it didn’t sit well for those that voted here.

#4 – DRAMAtical Murder

A massive flop, good and proper. When a show fails to properly adapt its original source material and completely nullifies it, you’re gonna have a bad time. A game with strong yaoi content and pretty boys is stripped off what made it sell and left with something without a sense of direction and even when it gets close, it’s all tons of awkward.

#3 – Momo Kyun Sword

We now have a jump in votes for the top three and we start off with the story of a well-endowed ninja girl with superpowers which involve getting even more scantily-clad. It’s a shame because the idea itself, minus the fanservice, is pretty decent and could’ve worked quite nicely had the amount of female anatomy on show been dialled back A LOT. It looked kind of fun but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.

#2 – Rail Wars!

Another big leap to Rail Wars. Another shameless fanservice show framed around a very baffling premise concerning trains and what if the national rail network was never privatised. The Wars in Rail Wars refers to the rail cops in the show instead of giant train robots fighting; that would’ve been a lot better. Skip this one as it’s cheap, confusing and off-putting. Do not choo-choo-choose this.

#1 – Glasslip

THANK YOU! You, like me, think that this show is one of the least competently written anime in recent memory. Glasslip received almost DOUBLE the amount of votes that #2 got. That is a clear sign that the production was a dire affair full of pointless dialogue, awkward ‘romance’, squandered plot devices, aggravating main characters AND ATROCIOUS PACING. SERIOUSLY.

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So your winner is Akame ga Kill and your ‘winner’ is Glasslip. I guarantee that that will be the only time you’ll get those two anime together in the same sentence! The summer has now ended, sadly; but fear not! We have a new anime season coming up very shortly and I shall be making a preview post on the matter, stay tuned!

10 Anime Openings from Foreign Lands


Support Anifile’s Patreon campaign to increase its reach and content: http://www.patreon.com/MasakoX

Anime may be Japanese, but some songs from overseas have found their way into some of your favourite shows. Come join Masako as he finds 10 songs from anime past and present which were made outside Japan.

ADDITIONAL INFO:

RULES
– Each song must be sung by a non-Japanese artist.
– Only one song from each show or franchise.
– Has to be from the original Japanese broadcast or DVD release.

SPECIAL THANKS TO MY PATREON BACKERS!
Phyllida, David D, Darren180233, Luis V, Brian E, James H, Dawn S, Alex W, Eric G, Vaati, Jack, Mahan, Brandon B, Griffin, Teitur, Eric W, Matthew D, Aeon, Charles G, Jayro Z, Tim M, Joshua R, Brandon W, Carson C, Benjamin M-D, Lightuke, Alesha F, Alex S, Michael S, Jack D, D’Metrius S, Henry H, Anthony C Poe, Veronica B, Malcolm T, Furst, Alexander and Sean!

The Anifile People’s Choice of Winter 2014


Written by MasakoX [@MasakoX]

So it’s been a few weeks since the anime of winter 2014 have mostly come to an end and their seasonal successors for the spring lineup have commenced their runs. These shows may have shuffled off to the annals of anime televisual archives, but that doesn’t mean we’re not quite done with them just yet. Earlier I listed my top five and worst five anime of the season and left polls in each post allowing you, the Anifile reader, to cast your votes for each category. After almost three weeks and over three hundred and fifty votes, we have managed to come up with a list for both the best and worst that the visitors of this website have chosen.

Some of the anime listed are expected, they made a positive or negative impact which caused a widespread consensus amongst anime fans as a whole but there were some surprises as I shall list right now for you. So let’s kick off with the top ten anime!

#10 – Sakura Trick

Sakura Trick surprised everyone with a formula which was refreshingly calm and not as yuri-heavy as it had been predicted. Reviews from other websites applauded the show for its restraint and tasteful delivery and you all have reflected that in your inclusion of it in the top ten.

#9 – Inari, Kon Kon

This touching tale of a girl’s devotion to her local shrine coupled with the adventures of the gods around her managed to warm its way into your hearts as well as mine.

#8 – Nobunaga The Fool

This wacky and yet beautiful looking at an alternative history is both justifiably cool and relevant given the recent fascination with the idea of multiverse theory which has penetrated the mainstream media. History is represented in an eccentric fashion and we’re left slack jawed in shock and awe.

#7 – World Conquest Zvezda Plot

This quirky tale of a little girl wanting to take over the world is pretty cute and has a rather unusual visual aesthetic which was able to interest those bored with the typical dystopian conquest which most tyrannical antagonists usually express.

#6 – Witch Craft Works

Witch Craft Works had this ability to be visually striking, interesting and engaging and was a close second to Wizard Barristers when it came to the best magical anime of the season. The characters may have been a little formulaic but it led to a fun adventure nonetheless.

#5 – D-Frag!

D-Frag! and its bizarre presentation was enough to engage with the audience at large and excite them with its clubhouse atmosphere with the air of gaming at its core. It was enough to remind me a little about The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya because of the rag-tag team present which is both unusual and cohesive. Good choice.

#4 – Nobunagun

Like me, Nobunagun’s different take on the female lead with a penchant for violence and artillery shot it straight into your conscious and leave it wanting more.

#3 – Nisekoi: Fake Love

This is a little higher than I expected but I’m glad to see it here. The story and presentation are commendable with the latter being particular enticing. Chitoge is this year’s Haruhi Suzumiya with the former’s inclusion in the latest smash hit fighter J-Stars Victory Vs. a clear sign that this character is meant for greatnes…at least in the realms of the marketers.

#2 – Space Dandy

It was clear that Space Dandy’s aggressive marketing push in the western audience coupled with its almost simulcast English dub led to the adventures of Dandy becoming engrained in the minds of nearly every active anime fan out there. Whether it was for good or for bad, this space comedy was out of this world!

#1 – Noragami

However, Dandy wasn’t able to seize the top spot in your minds; it wasn’t even close! With almost twice the number of votes, Noragami and its tale of a god left wanting for a new career captured the attention of the vast majority of anime fans. It may have far less marketing than some of the other anime on this list, but it didn’t need it. It had you at hello.

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So we had the best as chosen by you, but what was the worst? Let’s get straight to them!

#10 – Nisekoi: Fake Love

As much as I liked this show, I can understand why others might not. Its professional quality and effort that was put into the production masked the fact that the show’s plot is nowhere as robust. It’s a straight romance tale which we’ve all seen before BUT its accessories such as the mafia motif was one welcome addition which brought Nisekoi to the fore…but for some that wasn’t quite enough.

#9 – Sakura Trick

I’m sad that this show is here but again I can understand the reasoning behind it. Sakura Trick is a more tasteful yuri anime, but it doesn’t quite eschew its girl-love tropes. There are people out there that may have found the show boring and somewhat slow-paced or may have disagreed with the story in general. In the show’s defense, this is a slice-of-life story which is meant to be more grounded in reality than some other shows. Having said that, it is a premise which is bound to cause discussion and it was able to both please and annoy.

#8 – Tonari no Seki-kun

Tonari no Seki-kun doesn’t have much going on. It’s a simple short story about two students who are bored in class; well, one bored girl and one bored boy genius who comes up with ingenious ways of killing time. The first few times you watch Seki-kun, you are mesmerised with his daring stunts and wonder how his teacher hasn’t spotted him. After that you kind of know where things are headed and are left feeling bored. This short shelf-life is enough to turn off viewers and earn it a spot on the worst ten list; it just had little staying power.

#7 – Nobunagun

This is a little weird in my opinion. This was my favourite pick of the season for its sheer insanity and awesome premise. However to others it could be considered grating or vapid in that the entire premise is a complete farce in the eyes of historians or those who question the use of historical figures as templates for warriors. Especially Gandhi. Perhaps it’s that that got this show into the worst ten.

#6 – Z/X Ignition

This show annoyed me. It was a very poorly executed ploy to sell a new type of card game with silly monsters, confusing plot points and an irritating main male character. Or female character. I didn’t know who was supposed to be the real character. I wasn’t ignitied by this show; it stalled at first sight.

#5 – Sonico: The Animation

Yeah, this show is pretty vain and pointless. It’s a tie-in to a company’s mascot and music. Take busty girls, gaming, a dash of K-ON! and there you go – a boring and fanservice-laden tale of a girl who doesn’t like her ears, I think? She never takes those headphones off. It occupied my time pondering that notion whilst watching this as I was so bored.

#4 – Space Dandy

This is the major surprise. Why is Space Dandy so high up on the worst list having scored so highly on the best chart? The answer is simple. Its episodic and hugely misogynistic premise is enough to grate on viewers if exposed to it long enough. The formula is repeated a lot of the time and it does get stuck in a rut after a while. For me I found the show to be funny overall despite the questionable attitude towards women but I get why others might have been turned off or tuned out of this show after a while – it gets repetitive.

#3 – Pupa

For such a short show, three minutes per episode, it’s a surprise that it climbed so high up the list. Then you look at the content and understand why. It’s graphically violent and traumatic. Most people tend to steer clear of ultraviolence and gore. This is meant to be a show that rocks the boat and cause controversy and debate. You all were repelled by the blood and guts on display but if you think about it, Pupa served its purpose and got into your head where other shows might drift out and be forgotten; you can’t fault it for that achievement!

#2 – Magical Warfare

Oooh, this show. This show. It was a poor showing and cheapened the idea of a magical academy by resorting to fanservice to attract attention in its first outing as well as looking shoddy. Not only that, but in the second episode, the deus ex machina weapon is not bestowed through some mythical incantation…it’s in a barrel in a supply room. WHAT?! How stupid is that? It clearly angered most of you and I totally get why. Also, I check the stats for the site and my review for the show is one of the most often visited pages on here! Especially when people search to check if the show got cancelled. I must say, I did chuckle a little.

#1 – Recently My Sister Is Unusual

Thank you. You, like me, found this show to be awful and it [like Noragami for the best anime] was the runaway winner [loser?] of this place on the chart. I’m not going to say anymore about this series, I’ve said enough. Check out the link above and find out why.

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There you have it. Noragami wins Anifile’s first People’s Choice Award. A deserving win as well as a convincing one. Which anime will win next season? Well, let’s find out in the coming weeks!