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Post Reply Crunchyroll Newsletter's Summer 2014 Favorites!
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There were quite a few cool shows this past season on Crunchyroll, but as we head into the craziness of Fall 2014 (Fate/stay night! TERRAFORMARS! Wolf Girl and Black Prince! maybe more!), it's time to look back on our favorite shows of the summer season. Below, check out which CR shows the Newsletter's writers loved the most in Summer 2014!

iblessall:

It was a rough season, guys. I dropped way more shows than I usually do, after picking up fewer shows than I usually do. Due to the limitations of this particular list exercise, my top five shows reach much farther back into the weaker material than normal, but that's sort of been the way this season has gone. I can at least, though, say that I enjoyed all of the shows on this list.

#5. Glasslip (4/10)
Entertaining in its impressive obtuseness, Glasslip often felt like it was a work of abstract art I wasn't quite smart enough to understand. However, in this case, I think the fault lies with the show more than with me. A disappointing, if intriguing effort from P.A. Works (they can do so much better than this). Also, Yana best girl.

#4. Sailor Moon Crystal (5/10)
I actually ended up dropping Crystal recently, bailing for the original series, but it's to Crystal's credit that it preserved the spirit of the original material enough that I wanted a better version of the show. Production values notwithstanding, the writing was a little on the lackluster side, but Sailor Moon is still Sailor Moon.

#3. Argevollen (5/10)
I'm about to go marathon Captain Earth, but if you asked me right now I'd tell you that Argevollen was the best mecha show airing this season. That's a statement I've been making since about the third week of the season, and it's still true. Argevollen may not be what most people want out of a mecha show, but I found the show's sensitivity to the small details to be intriguing and comforting.

#2. Free! Eternal Summer (6/10)
Markedly better than the first season, Free! Eternal Summer took some serious steps towards being more than just an exhibit for wet male muscles. The writing was better pretty much throughout and Haru's arc at the end of the show was some of the best drama of the whole season. And through all this, Free! never lost the fun-loving spirit or beautiful visuals that drew me to the show in the first place.

#1. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun (8/10)
Easily my favorite show from the season, Nozaki-kun was a hilarious, lovable ball of fun, cuteness, and intelligence from the very first episode—traits it sustained throughout its entire run with remarkable consistency. The revolving character wheel that let each character have their turn as the crazy one or as the straight man was the show's biggest boon, and there were a ton of jokes and gags that landed well with me personally. I hugely recommend Nozaki-kun, without reservation.


CrayMeganeChan:

This turned out to be a pretty good season for me. Although I was expecting to be more for some Sailor Scouts, other shows seemed to have gotten my attention even more. There were many shows I got to experience during the summer but only a few I can say were favorites of mine. Crunchyroll really did a good job of getting these shows for our enjoyment and I'm looking forward to the Fall 2014 season

#5. Is There A Vet In The House?
Very family oriented. What starts out to be a problem with a pet is really just a reflection of something going on in the family itself. Something is learned from episode with humor thrown in there to balance out the drama of it. I could see this being watched by the whole family.

#4. Sailor Moon Crystal
Biggest anticipation and wasn't disappointed. There were a few animation hiccups here and there but nothing that decreased my view of the show. Still enjoyable and stayed true to the manga source with a few minor changes. Unlike the some other shows that started this summer, we still have more Sailor Moon to look forward too.

#3. Ao Haru Ride
It's amazing my interest in this show started from the Cruncyroll's tweet about it. Now it's a personal favorite of mine. This show wasn't long enough. I still want more. We were finally starting to see something between the two main characters. After each episode, a little more development was made. We get to the end with something and we just stop. Speaking of development, more from the other characters would have been nice. Maybe if a season two comes around we could get into them.

#2. GTO 2014
Onizuka is awesome! "GTO" isn't just a title, he really lived up to it. His back story really explained why he gives so much of himself to his students. It was encouraging to watch someone really try to understand and not give up when others have for those students. Onizuka did things others weren't willing to do and this made for great entertainment and inspiration.

#1. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun
This was my go to show this summer. I had no doubt when I watch an episode I would leave feeling so much better about my day. There was always something funny going on. Kudos to the writers for this. Who knew making a manga could be so funny. I think I can speak for everyone who has watch this that a season season is needed and wanted. I'm glad I decided to give this show a chance.



Dai_Loli:

Considering what was left of my queue at the end of the season, I would be tempted to say Summer 2014 wasn’t particularly great when it came to new series, but those that delivered made up for all that. Not to mention great continuations like Haikyu!, Baby Steps and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders helped round it up nicely.

#5. Locodol
Locodol isn’t the kind of show I like, it’s the kind of show I need. It’s the slice-of-life anime I watch at the end of the evening before going to bed; it’s relaxing, inoffensive, cute and sometimes even funny. Thank you, Locodol, for being that anime this season. <3

#4. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun
True story: I literally dropped this anime after the first episode, thinking it was going to be a sub-par shoujo. A friend slapped me back to reality by telling me it was actually a comedy. I came back to it, somewhat reluctantly, and never looked back. The synergy between the characters and “gathering ideas for my shoujo manga” approach led to a lot of great gags.

#3. Blue Spring Ride
It’s been a while since I so thoroughly enjoyed a shoujo title. They so often use clichés that instantly turn on that “this is to please fangirls” switch in me that I’ve become very wary of picking them up. Blue Spring Ride puts all these worries aside and delivers genuinely interesting characters with depth, emotions you can relate with and the brains to find sensible solutions to their problems. Also it made me cry ;-;

#2. Aldnoah Zero
Gen “The Butcher” Urobuchi is at it again, barging in with another original series where no character is safe from a swift, brutal death. Sure, the main character is a big pile of boring and there are some ho-hum moments, but the stream of satisfying action scenes, betrayals and unexpected turns more than make up for its shortcomings. And with that cliffhanger ending, I can’t wait to see where he’s taking us next!

#1. Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club!
An absolute jewel that totally took me by surprise, if only every season had a comedy like this. Gratuitous (imaginary) violence, a hilariously detestable main character, unexpected twists that spit in the face of typical problem resolutions and a memorable narrator to make everything that much more funny. 10/10 would watch again.



Eclipsed_Oblivion :

The summer anime season is always bursting with quality titles, and this season was no exception; there were even a few surprise hits! Despite this, a few series stuck out from the rest for being the most fun, engaging ones of the season.

#5. Blue Spring Ride
Although I usually cannot stand shojo anime, there was something about Blue Spring Ride that kept luring me back every week. Part of what makes the series so accessible is the development of bonds between family and friends, as well as how the characters work together rather than engaging in excessive drama. The series also keeps the romance fresh via the interaction between the main two characters: an ordinary girl and a boy who already knows too well the pain of living. Blue Spring Ride is not just a romance, but a story of healing that knows how to hit the heart in the right places.

#4. Akame ga Kill!
For a TV broadcast anime, Akame ga Kill! has a surprising amount of gore, but it never reaches distasteful levels, and there are many moments of comedy to balance it out. The main characters are also fully aware that they are murderers, but they don't try to justify it by saying they are doing it for the sake of humanity. The series even brutally kills off beloved characters when least expected, and it isn’t afraid to slice open boundaries.

#3. Persona4 the Golden ANIMATION
Based on new content from the game, Persona4 the Golden ANIMATION expands on everything that made the first series so entertaining. It further develops the characters we’ve grown to love, fully animating some of the funniest new scenes from the game, but also adds in some extra moments of hilarity for all audiences. The new content is also fantastic, the protagonist’s relationship with the antagonist particularly expanded on to become one of the most enthralling parts of the series.

#2. HaNaYaMaTa
It feels like many people overlook HaNaYaMaTa — so it goes for any anime with a cast of cute girls — but to me, it is the surprise of the season. Despite being a seinen anime, HaNaYaMaTa doesn't have those sexual overtones that would normally turn this series into a lolicon one, leaving it as a refreshing slice-of-life anime. The series also introduces aspects of traditional Japanese culture in an entertaining way that balances comedy with drama so as to never be melodramatic, but rather emotionally effective.

#1. Free! Eternal Summer
Without a doubt, Free! Eternal Summer has been the most fun-filled, yet heart-wrenching series of the summer. The visuals are absolutely gorgeous, but the best part of the series is by far the character development, particularly the main character’s; it is incredibly subtle, but has moments of drama in the right places to highlight this. It takes some work to decipher some of the more complex character development — the series doesn’t spoon-feed its audience — but the characters are so endearing that it is difficult to accept that the series is over.



Dingofist:
Being a newcomer to the newsletter team and having never really paid attention to an entire season of new shows before, I came in to Summer 2014 with next to no expectations at all. Even so, I had a lot of fun watching all of the shows I was actually able to make time for, and I've been able to open my heart to different genres and styles that I never ever would have given a chance before. There were definitely a serious number of head shaking moments, but overall...fun summer!

5. Samurai Jam Bakumatsu Rock
Despite being the show I was probably most excited to watch before the season started (based on title alone), this was probably my biggest disappointment. Things took entirely too long to really get moving, and I would need two hands to count the number of times I feel asleep while sitting through early episodes. Thankfully everything came together for the second half of the series, and the ludicrous plot and catchy songs managed to keep me glued up through the finale. I'd like to see a second season if the writers could keep things as entertaining as the last few episodes were.

4. Sword Art Online II
OK, I'll do it, I'll play devil's advocate. Give me all your hate, but this show is like a runaway mad dog train ride from hell and I can't get off or turn away. I can't say the show is good, or that some of the plot hasn't been facepalm inducing, but the animation has stayed so pretty and the action scenes so sharp that I don't really care. It's got guilty pleasure written all over it, and I'm genuinely interested in where this silly story is going every single week.

3. Sailor Moon Crystal
I mentioned in my review that I'd never watched a single episode of the original Sailor Moon, and that's probably why this reboot hooked me so deep and proved such a pleasant surprise. The story is simple, the characters endearing, and the action flashy and exciting. Crystal is just such a pure, innocent super hero show that it's really difficult to NOT like it. It's also super entertaining to make a room full of dudes watch, because they all end up loving it.

2. Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories 2
My only gripe about Yamishibai is that there isn't enough of it. I want more scary stories all the time every day. Each episode has an uncanny knack for taking silly looking paper-puppet inspired art and sending an ice-cold chill down your spine. The sheer weirdness of the unknown makes every episode a thrilling three minute adventure where nobody gets out alive. I'm planning to marathon the entire series again during Halloween. Sadly the marathon will be all too short.

1. Free!- Eternal Summer
Forget the haters and forget the people crying manservice. This show is wonderful. Biggest surprise of the season for me (since I hadn't watched the original until a few months ago). It's such a "real" high school sports story with such believable characters that I found it difficult not to be drawn into the entire world and believe that swimming with friends really is just the MOST IMPORTANT THING. While a lot of (mostly shonen) sports stories use crazy exaggerated hot-blooded characters who LIVE for competition, Free! was such a welcome change with a protagonist and supporting cast who really just want to swim together and support one another...though winning turns out to be pretty fun, too. The drama each character faced throughout the season echoes the difficulties plenty of high school athletes face, and if you played any sport in school you're bound to relate. It also doesn't hurt that the animation is beautiful, the races exciting and intense, and the voice acting top-notch. I wish I could see you again next summer, Free!


Koda89:

Oh man this was a season of ups and downs. In terms of downs, this season had the fewest number of simulcasts I watched so far this year. On top of that, this season had both the largest amount of shows I dropped in a given season this year and the largest amount of shows I had wished I dropped. But all was not lost! The shows I expected to be good ended up being good to varying levels, and there were many legitimate surprises that weren't even remotely on my radar until I heard how good they were. In fact, all three of my Top 3 on this list were such surprises. Of course given the parameters of this list, this isn't my true five favorite simulcasts of the season, but nevertheless, I did enjoy myself will all of them!

5) Free! Eternal Summer

Last Summer, Free! was one of those series that truly surprised me. I was wary at first because I kept hearing how it was just for girls, but I was taken back by the action, the comedy, and the gorgeous animation. Free! Eternal Summer is more of that, with the added addition of the characters actually getting some significant character development! It is far from perfect, but regardless, it was a nice continuation and conclusion to the series that made me into a fan of sports anime. And seeing as that is now one of my favorite genres, Free! will always have a place in heart.

4) Sword Art Online II

While I wasn't all that impressed by the first arc and downright hated the second arc in the first season of Sword Art Online, I can say with great confidence that Sword Art Online II is actually petty good. It still has some flaws and rough edges, but the animation is beautiful, the action is intense, and the story has kept me invested so far. Sword Art Online II improves in virtually every area over Sword Art Online's first season.

3) Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club!

Great comedy that always caught me off guard, a nice use of pop culture references, arguably the best narrator in anime ever, and an entertaining cast are just some of the things that Sabagebu! brings to the table. Main heroine Momoka is far and away the biggest jerk to ever dare call themselves a protagonist, and it all just escalates from there. From a purely entertainment standpoint, there were few things this season that could top Sabagebu!.

2) HaNaYaMaTa

Easily the most surprising show to come from this season for me, HaNaYaMaTa sets the new standard for its genre in my eyes. Madhouse brought out the big guns for this show, giving it some stunning beautiful visuals. And unlike most shows of its ilk, HaNaYaMaTa actually has a full on story to get invested in. On top of that, it was a rather surprisingly emotional ride, as things did get a little misty for me from time to time while watching this. HaNaYaMaTa isn't just the best series of the season showing cute girls doing cute things, it is probably the best of the year as far as I am concerned.

1) Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun

I know, I know, "Another person picking this show as their #1?!". Well that's because it is genuinely a really good comedy. And Nozaki-kun manages to do it while executing a rather basic premise. It's a show about flipping the conventional gender roles of its genre on its head, and that surprisingly works out incredibly. Every episode left my absolutely breathless, and often at some of the most seemingly random things. There isn't a single person on this cast I hate outside of the two that were specifically designed to be hated, and even then only in a comedic way. One of the things I looked forward to each week this season was discussing the latest episode of Nozaki-kun with my friends, and laughing for who knows how long from simply reciting the things we had just seen. And it is for that reason that Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun is my favorite of Crunchyroll's Summer 2014 simulcasts.



And that's a wrap! What were your favorite shows from the Summer 2014 season? Let us know!
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/19/14
Nobunaga Concerto still criminally underrated.
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/20/14
Barakamon/Book of Circus/Zankyou no Terror were in the Summer right?
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/19/14
Nozaki for show of the year

I will say Aldnoah had the best ending of a series
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/18/14
I'll agree that Monthly Girls' Nozaki-Kun was my favorite anime this season.
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Posted 10/18/14

Doubletinthemorning wrote:

Barakamon/Book of Circus/Zankyou no Terror were in the Summer right?


Barakamon was only carried in other regions, so we sort of left it out of our picks, but I almost made a mention in my Top 5 that if Barakamon was available in your region, it easily lands a top 3 spot!

And I think Crunchy plain doesn't carry Book of Circus or Zankyou no Terror
Not that either would have made it in my personal Top 5, personally!
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/20/14
If Zankyou or Barakamon had been on CR, both would have made my list!
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Posted 10/18/14
My favorites were Aldnoah Zero (great story), Argevollen (underrated... not a lot of people like it...) and Akame Ga Kill (just awesome, favorite anime this year so far).
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/19/14
Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club! was very underrated and I'm glad it was on one of these lists.
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/19/14
Both Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun and Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club made the season for me.
Happy to see them here here for others.
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/18/14
I appreciate this list, I enjoyed reading up on everyone's opinions. And it gave me some shows to add to my queue!
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Posted 10/18/14 , edited 10/18/14
If there's an award for best comedy anime of the year, Nozaki-kun easily takes it.

@CrayMeganeChan:
Yes! We all want a second season. But I gotta tell you there's not enough material. I heard there's gonna be special episodes coming with the BDs, so yay! So probably no second season for about two years?
[There's a typo in your review of Nozaki-kun.]

@Dai_Loli:
You have an amazing friend!

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Posted 10/19/14
Hmmm
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Posted 10/19/14

OtakuGamer4 wrote:

Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club! was very underrated and I'm glad it was on one of these lists.




jjman5 wrote:

Both Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun and Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club made the season for me.
Happy to see them here here for others.


I agree 100%, both those serious along with a few others made this summer fun. I always looked forward to new episodes whether to cheer me up, have a good laugh, or just have fun.
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Great to see HaNaYaMaTa make a couple of the lists! It's such a great series that I'm sure a lot of people won't even try due to past issues with the genre. It really is a near perfect mix of fun, humour and heart string pulling all wrapped up in beautiful art. I\d easily put it as my favourite of the year so far and I don't see anything replacing it.
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