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Power Rank – November 1st – 21st 2014 December 2, 2014

Posted by navycherub in Uncategorized.
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  • Welcome back to Power Ranks!
  • Power Rank FAQ
  • We’ve decided to change to a three-week schedule for more power rank goodness, meaning a total of four posts a season instead of three. My only regret is that post titles are a little more ugly now!
  • Two anime leave the top 10 and two enter, with a little moving around otherwise
  • Our reviewers again: blackpack kid, culley711, Hamdog92, and navycherub.
  • どうぞ!

Your Lie in April
Previous
1
High
1
blackpack kid What happens when you take out the amazing musical performances that really sold the show during its first three episodes and force it to prove itself on the substance alone? Quick Answer: nothing. Shigatsu gets a chance to show just how much of a powerhouse this show can be with each character facing losses in their own lives and how they learn to move on, or are still held back in a way that feels realistic. The visuals were stunning and showing how each character vividly perceived the performance from the first few episodes really gives the viewers a bigger picture of how the characters react, as opposed to just the characters stating it in a generic expositional fashion. The first two episodes this month in particular, showing how they handled a situation in their youth and following through to their older selves facing the same situations was a beautiful poetic addition to what were already amazingly written episodes. This truly deserves the top spot and I cannot wait to see the upcoming battles.
culley711 Shigatsu has soared above the pack this round up! I thought coming off the high of the disastrous performance would be a valley of interest and development in this anime but I was fortunately very wrong. The lull in physical action led to a lot of inter-character development and introspection, which I love. This show is truly about growing up. Aside from that, the big reveal of rivals which Arima failed to acknowledge as a child is bound to make future episodes more exciting in content and maturation of characters.
hamdog92 This anime has truly impressed me in these last few weeks. Part of me had convinced myself that the entire show would fall apart without musical set pieces to base itself around, but lord and behold the last few episodes have spent considerable amount of time from these set pieces. Its early focus on Tsubaki was also quite heart wrenching. I had not expected to sympathize with her but I nonetheless found myself feeling quite sorry for the tomboy. I often believe that improving oneself involves denying something that you would otherwise rely upon, I think art is at its best in the heart of that struggle. Less is more as they say.
navycherub Once again this show manages to prove a point – it is completely possible to have melodrama in your show without it falling apart or becoming too silly to take seriously. In fact, that might just be the point. These kids are not only in middle school, they are artists, and talented ones at that; they have their emotions on their sleeves, and KimiUso revels in playing with those emotions, lifting them up, tearing them down, and making it all seem beautiful and natural in the end.
Previous
2
High
2
blackpack kid Well I have to say that I am really surprised.  I was wondering where the show would go from the previous episodes,  and I am happily surprised with what I received.  As the main character acts out in an attempt to save his humanity, he becomes anything but human.  The show knows how to not over-exaggerate emotion in this show and can make suspenseful scenes.  The tension, mixed with the wub-filled soundtrack really complement each other.  The interactions with the new characters in these episodes felt developed with the ability for some very interesting stories to come.
culley711 Wow, this show is going full on Monster. Shinichi is going through some shit and becoming the strong MC he needs to become in order to survive with his affliction. In the past few episodes he goes from being a weak child who relies on Migi to get through enemy altercations to a strong independent host who don’t need no sidekick. When he ultimately faces the parasite controlling his mother’s body, Shinichi falters slightly but regains his mental fortitude. I don’t know where this story leads but I have faith that he will survive with his new superhuman powers and Migi’s guidance.
hamdog92 KimiUso’s direct competition was once again Parasyte and I have to say that I’ve been further and further impressed with this anime. Dead moms, superpowers, and a love obsessive inn owner’s daughter; that combination doesn’t really seem all that great, but Parasyte goes through it with the competence and grace that only Madhouse can consistently give. Ultimately I had to give #1 to KimiUso but Parasyte will be at the gates every week challenging me it for #1, and I think it just might seize it soon. We will see.
navycherub OK, Kiseijuu isn’t the most thought provoking show this season, and it doesn’t have the best characters, or whatever. It probably isn’t strictly the best at anything it does individually, but when you put it all together you end up with the most competently made thriller anime I have seen in a long time. Every single episode is so satisfying emotionally that it is hard to not say, yeah, Kiseijuu is greater than the sum of its parts.
pryowapeda_03      granderoad_logo
Previous
5(+2)
High
3
blackpack kid Giant snakes, magicians, and redemption for the dethroned.  It’s been an intense 3 weeks.  What started off as a touching race between a downtrodden Midousuji and friendly Onoda, turned into a really down-to-earth talk between the two through Gundams.  It may not have been in your face with it, but a subtle connection between the two once the race is over was heartwarming to watch.  The third day starts and a new team appears.  The show immediately explains how they can still catch up which I thoroughly appreciated, and with the interesting visual metaphors of a giant snake devouring racers, I felt like I was watching Kaiji again.  I was on the edge of my seat as Onoda was eaten and subsequently left behind by the new team.  Yowapeda always knows how to make sure there is never a dull moment and I am always revved up for where it will go next.
culley711 This anime has regained its place in my kokoro! The exact thing I complained about has been addressed. I initially wasn’t happy about having a new villain team introduced but seeing that they rallied all the losers into an over whelming force of the peloton was so gratifying! I am really hopeful to see how everyone overcomes the new challenges from their opponents. The amount of cooperation on this 3rd day of the race is really pandering to fans, but I don’t mind because it’s way more realistic in terms of cycling tactics. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m a big fan of an initial peloton that everyone must escape from, rather than having people start with the same time gaps as they finished from the previous day. It’s unreasonable.
hamdog92 Green team OP!!!!! I really like their inclusion with the three other teams. With Midousuji’s redemption arc over, the green team can now fill the void left by the former antagonistic team. Their plan was really wonderful to see in action, in particular the animation of the snake swallowing bicyclist after bicyclist was glorious. The gay boys on bikes are really riding in confidence.
navycherub Yep, it’s Yowamushi Pedal as everyone knows and loves it. The new villain team’s strategy is really entertaining and I get Kaiji flashbacks from that giant snake eating all of the cyclists. I’m also enjoying the interactions between Sohoku and Hakone members that I really didn’t expect to ever get, which works out for pretty effective fanservice. I don’t like, however, that Onoda got eaten by the snake; we know that the end of the third day is a climb, which means he has to be there to finish the race, so we are probably going to be spending a lot of time with Onoda as he catches up to his teammates.
Previous
4
High
4
blackpack kid A visually stimulating mess to look at. That is how I’d describe these past 3 episodes. While every fight is amazing to watch and learning more about each Servant keeps me enthralled in the world F/SN continues to build, it was the Masters that just couldn’t keep up this time. Shirou is aggravating to a degree to watch at times. His scenes are glorified guilty shonen pleasures. And with the mysteries behind new Masters and unknown Masters slowly trickling into the show I am definitely ready to learn more about them instead of scratching my head at every turn. I’m definitely captivated enough to want to see the mysteries solved and how these fights turn out. The show still holds enough dialogue between characters that I feel is well-done and the content still puts it above the rest, but it will need to start to up its game if it hopes to perform to my expectations.
culley711 Great show! Action is consistent and I like seeing how Shirou is approaching the deadly challenges of the Grail War. The relationship building with Rin is wonderful and so is seeing him fighting against the ideals of those much stronger than him. Some may say it’s pandering to see such a weak character survive in this conflict, but I still like it all the same.
hamdog92 I started coming around to Fate with the encounter of Shirou and Rin in the high school. Some of new servants have piqued my interest but I really can’t say anything new other than that. Everything looks great.
navycherub Fate/Stay Night continues to be cool and flashy but not particularly engaging. It might be because this part of the story happens to revolve around the school, where all of the least interesting characters hang around. I would really appreciate if ufotable would deviate a bit more from the source material and show off the other characters, but I suppose we are stuck with Shirou until a bit further into the story.
prshirobako_05 Logo_Shirobako (1)
Previous
6(+1)
High
5
blackpack kid These past few episodes seemed to be all over the place.  The problems faced by the more experienced staff members really strike a chord as they talk of past failures and their fears of dying artistic methods in their jobs.  The thrill of repetition is the name of the game with this show.  We are constantly shown a scene they work on and are treated with the final product sometimes.  The interactions between the director and the production desk were as endearing as the 3D and 2D animators interactions were touching.  You get a look into their ideals, dreams, and backgrounds, and how they decided to get into the business and that’s what Shirobako really brings to the table at the end of the day.  I’d like to forget episode 6 happened as I felt it was nothing but mindless drama drivel.  The characters and their dramas between ideas for the show and work to get it done on time is interesting.  Drama about taking criticism and having a breakdown because of it is not.  Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come.
culley711 Still as charming as episode one. Things are developing nicely and I like getting to know all the characters more in depth. I feel like as this anime progresses, we’ll see Aoi dealing with various delays and problems in specific areas of the production. I feel like this anime is very consistent and will be worth watching. I don’t know where this show will end up going but I’m glad it has 24 episodes to take it’s time on the journey.
hamdog92 The Ideon tribute episode of Shirobako is really what sets it apart from other anime this season. It easily juggles an ensemble cast into a museum hall in order to talk about the differences between 3D and 2D animation with good feeling conclusion. If this show wasn’t two cours long I doubt it could pull off everything its doing.
navycherub Yes, Shirobako continues to speak to me as both a person soon to enter the work force and a lover of anime in general. Just like the animators during the Ideon episode, I feel a revival of feelings when I watch Shirobako, as it reminds me how great the medium and the creators involved with the medium can be.
prbahamut_06 bahamut_logo
Previous
3(-3)
High
3
blackpack kid Alot happened in two episodes but for some reason I felt removed from everything. The animation is awe-inspiring in how grand and vast it can be at times, but the characters felt too flat for me to be caught up in the moment. Angels and Demons appear and disrupt the episodic nature of the previous episodes but the villains had me bored and wanting more scenes about Jeanne D’Arc. The flippy-floppiness of Favaro and the frustration with his and Kaisar’s misunderstanding just have me sitting by hoping we finally get a resolution soon because the schtick is old.
culley711 Bahamut is going places! I don’t know where but I guess it’ll be interesting. The beginning of this show was so intense that I’m feeling let down by the plot and pace. Often the first movie in a trilogy is my favorite and I’m seeing a similar preference here. The beginning of this show was all about the story behind the party building but now that I’m here with a party, waiting for the true campaign to start is testing my patience. I am hopeful for the future but this “round up” fell a bit flat for me.
hamdog92 Bahamut has been a real pleasure to view every week. The conflict between the demons, angels, and humans has been expertly woven together and I think it will only continue to be fantastic until the end. Every character fits in their set role and yet does more with it. I’m just been really impressed with it all.
navycherub It never stops being cool! Though there were only two episodes this time around, I was still satisfied by what I got – crazy demon action and simple but satisfying world building. I really wish this show were two cour – it has a beautiful world to explore and clearly plenty of ideas to play with, so it could totally justify that much content. For now, though, I will appreciate the time I get with our very endearing little cast of misfits.
pramaburi_07 amagi+logo
Previous
9(+2)
High
7
blackpack kid KyoAni what happened? The bad and flat jokes outweigh the passable, I don’t find the direction to be interesting or well-thought out, and many other reasons are why I feel Amagi has fallen from grace. Even when I find the setup to be interesting, such as the pirates or the hiring episode, It just gives off the feeling that the show isn’t sure where to go next in the episode. The episodes consistently leave me in the doldrums, bored and annoyed with what I’ve had to sit through. A severe lack of focus, and adding more characters to an already stuffed roster does not have me confident in AmaBuri‘s future. Is the show itself trying to gain more viewers by trying new and crazy ideas, much like the characters in it with their park? If so, I don’t plan on visiting again.
culley711 This show has risen some since last PR. The characters have grown in this time and the jokes aren’t merely gags but built on strong story that is very relevant to plot. I have merely one reservation, the goal progress is going slow. As of now they have merely 1 month left to reach their end goal of guests, and it’s not some figure that could be attained in a few days in the finale. I hope the plot picks up to have Kanye-san reach the park attendance goal without sacrificing the comedy or character development. Amagi sugoi!
hamdog92 I had been really into Amagi but the costume replacement episode has really gotten the others to reconsider *cough* not Calvin! *cough*. The pirate takeover episode was also really enjoyable. Everything really clicks with me about this anime, and once again the actors are used to their fullest. It’s so wonderful.
navycherub Probably next to Bahamut, AmaBuri has one of the most lovable casts this season has to offer. They play off of each other really well, even when we are introduced to them for an episode’s gimmick, like the shark guy. Speaking of which, AmaBuri also stepped it up in terms of creativity this season, offering dungeon escapades, pirate takeovers, and even an episode where the main character sits out while everyone else plays his part (and fails). The show never fails to amuse.
prinoubattle_08 inobato
Previous
15(+7)
High
8
blackpack kid Color me surprised. I had been absolutely underwhelmed last time but these past three episodes were nothing short of amazing. What was a chance that Andou understands a bit more about chuunibyous, and the reality of the world around him, is now just clear fact by this point. The interactions are the clear strong point of this show as his talks about acceptance and his silly behavior facade to keep their spirits high come off as really powerful. He can relate and empathize and offer advice. I think Tomoyo really comes into her own and gives us a glance at someone who wants to go all-out but is worried by what others may think. The tinge of realism is very much palpable but it could not have prepared for what really sold me. Hatoko was the clear winner in the final episode with her stellar performance. Her biting critique tackles everything people want to ask chuunis but never do. It was painful watching her tremble and breakdown and I was awe-struck by the end of it. Her conversation afterwards goes right back to what I said in the beginning. The interactions show each of their viewpoints and it consistently blows me away each time. I hope Inou continues to stick with this formula. It was “Bloody” beautiful.
culley711 This show got better but not by much. I appreciate slice of life shows but I don’t know where this show sees itself by the end. Now that we’ve met everyone in depth, I can see the characters are designed well but I don’t know why they’re together in the literature club or what will happen with their powers. Obviously, I know this is a Trigger show and the quality sometimes has made my jaw drop, but I want more to my slice of life. My hope levels are diminishing for Inou-Battle.
hamdog92 Holy shit Hotako just go find new friends! Hotako’s verbal onslaught was utterly insane to witness. I’m really happy that Inou-Battle has made it into the top 10. Trigger has been handling the anime pretty well and I’ve been pretty happy watching the show thus far. Let’s hope that Inou-Battle continues to hold onto the top 10 next go around, I really want to rant about new developments.
navycherub Woah, where did any of this come from? Yes, the Hatoko episode was clearly the standout, but every episode in this roundup had great ideas and real emotions behind them. Inoubato is willing to tackle its subject matter with a serious mindset, while also managing to keep its lighthearted nature around too, without nearly as much emotional whiplash as a show like Grisaia no Kaijitsu. Looking forward to more for sure.
prpsycho_09 psycho-pass_title1
Previous
8(-1)
High
8
blackpack kid Everyone continues to be incompetent but the pacing keeps you strapped to your seat, wondering how they’ll mess up next time.  As the cop drama wears on there are just enough twists and turns while Kamui’s plan comes together, to leave me excited for what is next.  This time though the backgrounds really stood out for me and it’s interesting to see the placement of the characters around these gaudy and darkly-colored rooms and atmospheres.  The direction during the talks between the more in-house inspectors and doctor also advance the plot and our knowledge of surroundings through just discussion, which is not a bad thing when done correctly, and for it all to lead to the massive bombshell at the end of episode 7 is definitely a must-watch. 
culley711 “Don’t stop believing. Hold on to that feeling.” -Kamui. In the end what matters most to this show is learning more about the Sybil system. I feel like these altercations between Akane and Kamui will reveal the heart of the system as well as the deeper message of what it means to be human (in the eyes of the creator). Some of the methods used to drive plot are objectionable but the show has been entertaining without resorting to straight exposition and I feel like adequate time is being spent moving forward as looking back on the pasts of new characters in the department.
hamdog92 Three shots with the Decomposer? Come on! I’ve been really back in forth with this anime. I love cyberpunk, but I really hate conflicting logic within fictional universes, I dislike most of the new characters this season, yet I love Kamui. Speaking of revolutionary messiahs, Kamui’s arc really seems to parallel Kuse’s arc in GitS: SAC 2nd Gig. I accept that this show is made for women, which is why I like the idea that Psycho Pass is taking inspiration from GitS. Hopefully this anime wraps itself up well, because I’m likely going to have to rate this considerably lower than the first season.
navycherub Tow Ubakata is really testing my patience. His script doesn’t seem to reflect an understanding of Psycho-Pass, either its ideas or the world it contains. Little annoying things add up quickly, like the sudden Decomposer nerf and the characters’ insistence on not using their communicators when it would save their lives, to big things like Kamui period. I still kind of enjoy Psycho-Pass 2 – its world holds a little place in my uber-nerd heart where I absorbed every little bit of worldbuilding the first season gave – but I can’t say this is at all what I was hoping for when they announced a second season.
prgugukoku_10 logo_gugukoku
Previous
11(+1)
High
10
blackpack kid Oh man am I happy this popped up this time.  By this point we have a very funny cast, which caught me off-guard considering I was not that excited by the idea of such trope-heavy characters but they all play off of each other very well.  Kohina’s monotone reactions to their antics really sells a good portion of the show as their ideas spiral out of control and while her ideas may not be saner, they are presented in such a way that I can’t help but enjoy.  This time we also got a somewhat large development of the tanuki spirit.  Equal parts adorable and sad, he really wins me over that episode with his handling of Kohina’s new friend.  The show has some genuinely funny moments but what makes it good is how it handles a serious situation, and they hit the nail on the head. 
culley711 Mediocre? Yes! Self-aware? Yes! Funny? Yes! This show is aware of its mediocrity but still doesn’t aim too high. Stay the course. Mission accomplished. I don’t want to just say which jokes were my favorites but as long as I hear Kohina say “Kokkuri,” I can say it was a good episode. The interactions with the 3 bromigos is funny and the situations that evolve are becoming more complex. This is the best mediocre anime of the season. A parting comment that has come up between the team here is “what is this show’s demographic?” The only answer we could think of is “us.” 10/10 do recommend. Also the opening song is the best. If you aren’t singing along as able, you’re probably not fun at parties.
hamdog92 The Little Fucking Anime That Could. I’m really happy to welcome Gugure to the top 10 club this go around. It’s been an anime to defy typical anime expectations. It doesn’t want to be constrained into a single genre and does whatever the fuck it wants, whenever it wants. The two part episodes featuring the cat spirit and a gender bendered Kokuri have really pleased me. The anime hosts considerable voice acting talent and they’ve really given it their all. Overall, it’s a little spectacular anime that carries a lot of love. I hope it makes it back here next time.
navycherub This is probably the most relaxing show this season for me. Its comedy isn’t exceptional, but it is serviceable; its cast isn’t amazing, but it is fun enough for a half hour every week. Somehow the jokes it continues to repeat haven’t gotten old enough for me to complain yet. You’re doing fine, Gugure Kokkuri-san.
RANK SHOW PREVIOUS HIGH
Garo: Honoo no Kokuin 10(-1) 10 11 13 8 12
Log Horizon 7(-5) 7 9 7 14 14
Akatsuki no Yona 12(-1) 12 13 14 15 10
Terra Formars 14 14 12 16 12 13
Grisaia no Kaijitsu 13(-2) 13 15 11 13 15
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai 16 16 16 15 16 16
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1. (X '______') - Wideface - December 25, 2014

[…] Power Rank – November 1st – 21st 2014 […]


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