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Power Rank – November 22nd – December 12th 2014 December 25, 2014

Posted by navycherub in Anime, Power Rank.
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  • Welcome back to Power Ranks!
  • Power Rank FAQ
  • Just in time for Christmas! The final one for this season should be out not long after this is published.
  • We didn’t seem to agree on a lot, but it averaged out so that the ranks didn’t change a whole bunch.
  • Our reviewers again: blackpack kid, culley711, Hamdog92, and navycherub.
  • どうぞ!

Your Lie in April
Previous
1
High
1
blackpack kid All-out battle!  KimiUso continues to amaze me every week and these performances certainly didn’t fail to deliver.  What the show doesn’t need to do is be so forward because it only restates what the music showed us.  You can feel Takeshi chasing Kousei, hopelessly trying to gauge how strong Kousei is now compared to him.  The camera spinning around him throughout also really gives us the feel that he feels Kousei’s presence all around him and it only adds to how he really wants to give this his all.  Without even getting a chance to breathe, Emi’s performance put daggers through me.  The show delivers when it comes to the phrase “actions speak louder than words”  Each colorful touch, or even the clothing they wear feels important. And this is just the first of the three episodes.  The second gives it its all with explaining why Kousei feels so cursed in front of a piano and it was surprising to see the show take such dark steps, but nothing felt too extreme.  Just the right amount of humanization and reactions needed to give us ample background into how he blames himself for his mother’s demise, and why exactly he feels that she haunts him so.  It was one thing to see her always showing up but this really validates exactly why she shows up at times like these and I think it was done exceptionally well.  His transitioning performance had me awestruck.  He falls to pieces and just when it seems over, he decides who he wants to play for and watching him evolve felt like it took the pages right out of some shonen battle anime.  To see what a piece is and then how someone can make it their own, through Kousei going through all the motions with the performance only further pushes that this show has exactly what it takes to show us a beautiful scenery each time their fingers hit the keys.
culley711 Personally I’m getting tired of the traumatized childhood flashback but I can see how it makes a compelling story. I would prefer more open playing, letting me the viewer interpret how the characters are expressing themselves, instead of having an internal monologue talk over a piece. With those critiques out of the way, wow this show has been staying strong with great visuals and amazing sound from both the music and the voice acting. I may complain about specifics but overall, it’s top of the class.
hamdog92 Shigatsu’s cast continues to amaze me week by week. Every character is deeper than a surface level glance. Once again, I’m constantly reminded of Chihayafuru. There’s much else I can say about the king of anime that I haven’t already touched on, it’s very consistent in its quality
navycherub Wow, these episodes are really the strongest thus far, and that is saying something. Throw more characters into the mix, make them just as compelling (or even more so!) than who we know now, and keep the visuals at the same beat they have been the whole time – just like the performers in KimiUso, this show really knows how to keep an audience. Despite all of that, the strongest episode was actually the one where we revisited a character we already knew, Kousei, and see his feelings that have been explained and building finally rise to their peak and fall, only to be replaced by much happier, more uplifting ones. Will KimiUso ever get old? At this pace, probably not.
Previous
2
High
2
blackpack kid The little anime that could. I had to give Kiseijuu the top spot this time because it didn’t just earn it, it demanded it. The show has places so much focus on character development, the battles almost seem unneeded at times. While they are still aesthetically pleasing to watch as deformed monsters fly whirr and twist through the screen towards each other, it never makes this the main focal point of the show. This character analysis of Shinichi is what glues my eyes to the screen and how he reacted to the puppy when talking with Murano slashed right through what was the old Shinichi and who(or what) he’s turning into. His humanity slips through his fingers and we’re along for the train wreck. All the while he is forced into situations that only tether him to his humanity and with the added heart effect he has now it feels all too real. Also I don’t know if the musical compositions were this good in previous episodes but it was spot on these episodes. The building suspense as more and more instruments come into play really sold the scenes and kept me on the edge of my seat. The animation still looks as pristine as ever and the action is top-notch. The rock through the heart was a nice touch and altogether great scene. How the world reacts to all these changes and how Shinichi has to find new ways to work around them will only become more and more interesting as time goes on. While I don’t necessarily believe this is the best show this season, this series of episodes sure proved that it has what it takes to kick, bite, scream, and punch its way to the top.
culley711 I am so excited by this show! I don’t know where the show is going and the story is really playing up that mystery. The actions of the parasites are growing increasingly bold yet I can’t understand what the end goal may be. Every week leaves me happy with how much I’ve learned but excited even more for next week. With such a dramatic tone, I’m hoping there will be a satisfying ending.
hamdog92 Anime News Network users have recently voted Parasyte to be the number one anime of 2014. Despite my power ranking of the anime here, I didn’t actually vote for it. I only didn’t because the anime is still airing. None the less, this definitely shows that Parasyte means a lot to people, but I have to wonder what the results of the poll would be if the anime had swapped its airdate with No Game No LifeParasyte is so much fun to watch, but I’ll have to wait to its conclusion to see if it was the best of 2014.
navycherub It’s that time of the story where we stop, take a breather, and start going over necessary plot threads so that we can enter the second half of the plot. Luckily for Kiesijuu, it is well-executed as usual, so what would be doldrums in a less accomplished show turn out to be still fairly entertaining, even if they aren’t exactly the strongest episodes so far.
pryowapeda_03 granderoad_logo
Previous
3
High
3
blackpack kid The show has heart, I won’t deny it that. What makes this series work so well, is that there are seemingly no real villains. Once we get to brass tacks, no one is cheating or doing anything truly evil. It’s just kids with a real drive to win. There may be some underhanded tactics but characters only lose once they themselves have given up. This arc once again showed us how much work is put into each character. Arakita’s battle alone encompasses everything that is good about this show. Comradery, motivation, and all-out action. Despite the constant flashbacks and dialogue heavy scenes, I don’t feel bogged down by them, but instead more excited to see where all of this is leading to. The intensity is more than enough to make sure I don’t look away for a second. And not just in the battle, but in how they will make me like a character. I didn’t have much of an opinion of Arakita before this, but he clearly rises to the top once he gets the spotlight. They are even able to make you understand what drives Machimiya and why he wants to win. His desperation is certainly spectacular on a character level to watch. Yowapeda proves that it’s not about the race. It’s about the racers.
culley711 Woo bikes. They go fast. It’s the same show that’s been happening for a year now. I am a little bummed out the peloton tactics stopped and it went back to traditional 1 team vs another. The fact that 2 teams mixed to overcome green team was interesting and now there’s a reason for some emotional connections between them, but overall it’s just boys yelling at each other “no I’m gonna go faster!” and while really entertaining to watch, looking back on it just makes me sad that I got so excited for so little payout.
hamdog92 Just as the green team made a spectacular entrance; they were wiped off the fucking floor by Arakita. The green team was a great dynamic to introduce in final day but at the same time I felt that they were dealt with way too quickly. That said, Arakita is amazing during these episodes and is favorite member of Hakone if not the best character.
navycherub Oh. My. Goodness. Who knew I would find my favorite character 40 episodes into a show? Arakita’s backstory was essentially the focus of this set of episodes, and it was easily the most interesting, emotionally resonant one thus far. And the show knows it, because it didn’t spend the usual episode-or-so on Arakita and the characters currently around him – no, it spent pretty much all of its time on that, and to top it all off, I loved every second of it. To people who watch this show just to see people race, I’m sure these episodes must have been a slog, but honestly if you have gotten this far into Yowamushi Pedal and still expect some sort of fast paced action sports show, you deserve to be disappointed.
Previous
4
High
4
blackpack kid Upon repeat viewings of these episodes it may not be the 4 I rated it, but I still feel this show is strong when it calls for it. The clashes in ideals between Servants took up a lot of screen time these episodes and it really gives you a chance to get the fluid and well-choreographed fights I come to expect from Ufotable, but their discussions are often quite as gripping. The entire school battle is simply beautiful to watch and gives us a chance to see Shirou and Rin in action as well. Them being a bit more competent than last time is very much appreciated as well. It’s the fluidity as the camera seemingly swings around the confined hallways that really sells those fights and gives me a real sense of depth to the areas the characters inhabit. It looks like the show is finally starting to fall in place and really get started but I’m really hoping it picks up the pace. My ranking for it seems to drop each time and there’s only so much the visuals, action sequences, and sometimes good discussions do before other shows may pull ahead.
culley711 The plot is feeling a little stagnant. I know lovers of the VN will say that it’s just about to get really good or that the character interactions are great but I just haven’t felt it yet. Rin is the regular tsundere and Shirou is increasingly outclassed. I don’t see how we will reach a “good end” without Shirou just getting carried through the plot. Great visuals in this show. The CG is stunning while still appearing very 2D, which connects to its roots as a visual novel. I like the characters but the plot driving feels slow and I want a bit more cast variety personally.
hamdog92 I’ve liked Fate more and more these last few weeks and everything seems to be coming together for a big finale. I’m looking forward to the mid-season cliffhanger.
navycheruPlot! Plot plot plot. More plot. Not nearly enough time being spent actually getting the viewer to like any of the characters all of this exposition is about. All of this will come to a head eventually, but unfortunately probably not in time for this cour’s run. The upside to all of this is that it still looks and sounds amazing and mostly isn’t boring – it just isn’t engaging!
bahamaz_5 bahamut_logo
Previous
6(+1)
High
3
blackpack kid I have to say that I really enjoyed the episodes this time. With the weakest part of the show gone, that being the Favaro and Kaisar misunderstanding, everything really falls into place. Each character is able to bring something unique to the show and everything feels like it is building towards the climaxes of each battle, which I might add are exciting to watch. While the villains feel like midbosses, its the tactics the characters use to defeat them that makes each fight worth watching. Throwing flour, blinding their sights from an impending blast from Jeanne, and full scale dragon battles are just a few. I look forward to where the show will be going from here and I think the way they’ve created suspense in the show warrants this excitement.
culley711 The fantasy plot is growing increasingly bleak, but the interaction between the main cast and the world is getting more interesting. I like this show a lot. The tone and style is rough but in a dark and appealing way. I hope to learn more about how such small people can have a great impact on the future of the world.
hamdog92 Bahamut seems to have dipped a bit in the ratings. If I had to guess it’s the calm before the storm of the last final episodes. I’m really excited to see how this all ends.
navycherub Another victim of the times, Bahamut spent its time mostly setting up its finale. This show could have really used another cour; all of this exposition and such would be more fun if we had a little more time to stop and breathe with the real strength of the show, the endearing cast. I’m still looking forward to the ending, though.
shirobako_6 Logo_Shirobako (1)
Previous
5(-1)
High
5
blackpack kid Equal parts disappointed and awestruck. These episodes weren’t necessarily bad. They just felt flat to me. I understand that personal issues are a large part of making an anime at times and that to an extent it is realistic, but when I don’t feel involved or intrigued by the troubles that pain them, I feel removed from the show. The stories do have the setup to be interesting. Learning new drawing styles, getting your mojo back, feeling like you will never get anywhere with your job and you’re just “tired”(sorry), or feeling stressed with finally completing a project and taking on new ones are all very interesting, but the execution was just not there sometimes. The bar scenes where they talk about their lives are entertaining, but I don’t want the show to take a backseat to those scenes. The Director ranting about the ending was certainly one of my favorite scenes of the series and I hope to see more scenes with that much heart. The introduction of the sound effects staff was also really interesting and I hope to see more of them. The show isn’t bad by any stretch, and I really do love it, especially episode 10, but parts of the episodes fell flat and I just hope for more consistently good episodes.
culley711 The characters are beginning to shine in new and amazing ways. The struggle to become a competent professional is always a rewarding story, and seeing a director overcome a writer’s block to create the ultimate ending makes me excited to see how his confidence will carry him forward. The quality I see in the production of the show and the stories they tell are why I love this show. The reality shown and the humanity in every character makes it worth watching and investing emotionally.
hamdog92 I unfortunately had to give Shirobako a lower rating than I really wanted this round. I still love it; I just think it’s been fairly low key to a lot of other shows recently. I once again thank almighty P.A. Works for actually making this 2 cour.
navycherub Shirobako grows on me more and more with every episode. The pains of these characters come across as entirely real, almost tangible, and I want to hug all of them so much. The show has as much heart as its still somewhat bright eyed protagonist, and just like KimiUso, I can understand the characters more through the experiences they go through and the art they want to create much more than a simpler show that would try to explain it all only with words. The surreal sequences are being used more sparingly now too, and to much stronger effect. Unlike the lives of its characters, Shirobako gets even better with time.
pramaburi_07 amagi+logo
Previous
7
High
7
blackpack kid I understand that it was all leading somewhere. I understand the 9 episodes prior were to train each of the cast members so that the park can be fully functional for this final lap. I just can’t find it in me to enjoy this show. The first episode of these four tried to flaunt its ridiculous comedy the show is known for by this point, but it just bored me and frustrated me more than anything. There’s a point where it just feels too stupid, which is weird because I often enjoy stupid humor, but there’s some point in execution that Amagi seems to gloss over. Parts of the episode with the idols was entertaining, but it has me thinking the same thing I think about most characters. Why should I care? I don’t enjoy them and they are so inept I wish the show had logically fired them in the beginning along with many other characters. But that’s not this show, and it does make sense after watching episode 10 and seeing the fruits of his labors. We get to the meat of the show as they all perform with everything they’ve got and honestly the soccer idea is interesting and made for an alright episode now that the characters are competent. I hope the final episode really focuses in on why I should care about the characters “now” like episode 10 and 11 have showed me. If they continue to feel down to earth like episode 10 and 11, I’d happily give this show a better ranking next time. Your park is on the line, Amagi.
culley711 This show has found the perfect groove. Comedy and action and story are really falling into place. While comedic, the plot is being used really effectively in introducing new sides to characters or using better relationships to further the plot of the show. The future is still uncertain for Amagi Brilliant Park but the faeries that work there are unforgettable.
hamdog92 I’m a big KyoAni fan and every week Amagi always delivers. It’s going to be really sad to see this show start to wind down in the final episodes.
navycherub Amagi Brilliant Park chugs along at its own pace. The jokes are still good, the characters still fun – the faeries’ test episode in particular made this clear – and Kyoto Animation’s skill at comedic timing is still top notch. The drama, while framed and directed as beautifully as possible, seems unearned, though. The characters in this show are endearing, but not in a way that resonates with me emotionally, like it seems to want to in some of the newer episodes. We are leading up to a finale, and I hope it is as satisfying as it could possibly be.
loghorizon_7 log+horizon+logo
Previous
12(+4)
High
7
blackpack kid I will start out by saying, Akatsuki’s arc was hardly what one would call interesting. However, that being said, the finale to the arc was easily the best part and what we started off with for this PR. The battle really felt like something that should be in log horizon, and I didn’t have to be barraged by silly talks that I don’t think really add much to the story. Here we see everything come to fruition and it only gets better because we move on to Shiroe and their raid. Their loss brings them all closer together and gives us a great scene as we see IRL Shiroe walk around his own memories and feel doubt like his character has never shown before, which I think adds a lot to him in terms of depth. His backstory also gives us further insight into what kind of a person he used to be and who he is now. This all comes together for an amazing scene on the moon that flips everything upside down. We saw how Akatsuki perceived their “date” in a previous episode, but seeing it from Shiroe’s point of view gives us a completely different story and shows us how even during those scenes where he wore a smile, he was battling inner demons and not trying to worry his friends. The show hasn’t done scenes like this before so it felt unique and fresh for a show that has felt somewhat stale this season. To end it all, episode 10 blows almost any other episode of Log Horizon out of the water with a near 20 minute speech from William that really defines him as a leader and a lover of video games. It gives us a beautiful look into why these characters get back up and keep fighting. For a single character to take charge of the entire episode and just give one speech and have that be the episode was brave as hell. I was pretty moved just watching it and I have to say it really boosted Log Horizon back up on my list of shows to believe in again. Please keep this stride up.
culley711 I’m not too sure about this show. Akatsuki’s adventures ended in an interesting way but I am more interested in development of the world. With the switch the Shiroe’s point of view I was hoping for more but so far we’ve just seen how he ended up dying and a little Brave Heart speech from William about the pride of NEETs or something. I like seeing the raid tactics but since I don’t play MMOs, it’s mostly lost on me.
hamdog92 Despite an entire arc of boringness. Log Horizon came back with a bang this PR round. William Massachusetts really steals the show here; his monologue episode is really something else. So happy we’re back to the raid.
navycherub Log Horizon had a weird set of episodes this time around. First we had the conclusion to Akatsuki’s arc (finally), which did not stand out in any way at all and made me happy mostly because it meant that part of the story was over. Then we went back to the raid – which was great! – but only for half an episode, leading into a short reflection on Shiroe’s life. Just like Akatsuki’s, actually much better, this small aside of sorts was interesting enough but probably could have been longer or more detailed. The real travesty followed that, with an entirely repeated scene from when Akatsuki died. I’ve seen people try to justify this as being good or acceptable because now it’s from Shiroe’s point of view, but that is only true on a narrative front. Visually, there was nothing engaging that actually made use of the fact that we just went through Shiroe’s death process, so it came off as more of an unintended positive that the viewer could spend this wasted, repeated time of the episode considering the implications of seeing it all with Shiroe’s eyes. However, what really brought Log Horizon back was the final episode, William Massachusetts’ speech. It was beautiful and poignant; even if his mindset isn’t the healthiest, his expression of it was as honest as could possibly be, a real triumph.
garo_9 logo_2
Previous
11(+2)
High
9
blackpack kid Garo always catches me off-guard because I’m never sure if what’s coming up is episodic adventures or main storylining. Both are interesting so it really works for the series. The first episode is light-hearted dad adventures and it’s entertaining to get to watch as things unravel in more ways than one. The next two episodes were amazing in terms of battles and progression. Alfonso and Leon working to defeat the Horror on their own was great to experience and Al’s master sacrificing himself felt really impactful which a show should always strive for. The animation remains as crisp as ever, and the characters are all coming together for a hopefully exciting arc. The exploration into Mendoza felt really dark and I appreciate when a show really wants you to understand where everyone is coming from. All in all I can’t wait to see where it goes from here and happily await the upcoming battles.
culley711 The plot and battles are what make this show worthy of my top 10. I like how well they introduce me to characters but I am finding it difficult to enjoy the show as a whole. I can’t put my finger on anything specifically but the slower pace and the forced relationships between knights have kind of calmed my feelings about this show one way or the other. It’s a decent fantasy action and the production is great, but it’s missing something for me.
hamdog92 What seemed like build up to a finale is all just a lie. Garo getting a second cour is pretty damn surprising but not unwelcomed. The second cour should be very interesting
navycherub Garo pulls ahead of many shows this season by executing its simple premise and simple characters in just that way – simply. By not pretending to be something it is not, Garo actually gains momentum by not changing anything it does. Well, that is a bit of a lie – we are now entering more consequential, plot-heavy parts of the story, which lends more weight to what is happening. However, Garo made this change with as much grace as possible; it is hardly noticeable from the tone of the show that the episodic stuff is a thing of the past now, which is great. Finally, the show has been making much more liberal use of the Makai Knight suits and corresponding choreography recently, which only serves to make the show as a whole more exciting and engaging, since we do want to see Knight-on-Horror action.
inoubato_10 inobato
Previous
8(-2)
High
8
blackpack kid The series has really come into its own and is now letting viewers see more of what’s really going on in this world. Massive world-building at work and a new team that offers plenty of interesting characters. Their action packed episode certainly caught me off guard but I more than welcome episodes like that and hope for more in the future. The magical world doesn’t seem too out there and shocking since we have been dealing with chuunibyous and silly powers for some time so it really felt like we were eased into it which is an interesting mechanic in the show. The next episode balances giving us more information about the new team, the insecurities of the main characters and the upcoming troubles they will be facing with Hatoko surprisingly bringing back her problem from before. Instead of being solved by everyone telling her it will be alright she is still bothered by it and continues to go to the others for advice and to discuss what she should do. It’s always nice to see a character who has an issue that cannot be solved by some half-assed answer a main character generally gives, so I have high hopes for where it will go from here. Lastly the pool episode was just cute to watch and felt heartwarming. I expect much less with beach/pool episodes and was thoroughly pleased with what I was given. I cannot wait to see where the series will go from here now that each character has a trial they have to face and trouble looming ahead. Good luck, Inou-Batou.
culley711 So this session of PR we started with an episode revolving around new characters, basically changing out world view and saying “this isn’t the show you thought it was!” Then they proceed with the next two episodes like nothing has happened. General rom/com/harem stuff happens and nothing is impacting the characters daily lives! I thought that episode 8 would cause a permanent change but I was fooled. The show stays where it was for me. I like the character archetypes but there isn’t much substance. There’s a stronger harem force now but I don’t think it’s deserved and the whole show is really off kilter, being very serious and heartfelt then acting zany or ecchi.
hamdog92 I honestly felt that Terra Formars should have taken #10 but Inou-battle doesn’t offend me. The pool episode was both fun and very endearing.
navycherub OK, the fairy war episode was honestly really great. It made absolutely full use of InoBato‘s self-awareness and understanding of the tropes and archetypes it wants so bad to make fun of (and in the process celebrate). Other than that, though, everything was business-as-usual, with the obligatory pool episode to top it all off. Another victim of finale buildup? Perhaps, but I’m not holding my breath.
RANK SHOW PREVIOUS HIGH
Gugure! Kokkuri-san 10(-1) 10 9 9 12 13
Psycho-Pass 2 9(-3) 8 8 8 13 14
Akatsuki no Yona 13 12 11 14 14 7
Terra Formars 14 14 14 15 9 11
Grisaia no Kaijitsu 15 13 15 13 15 15
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai 16 16 16 16 16 16
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1. Power Rank – December 13th – 31st | (X '______') - Wideface - January 7, 2015

[…] Power Rank – November 22nd – December 12th 2014 […]


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