2014 gave us some interesting anime titles. Lord Marksman and Vanadis came out and while it certainly won’t earn a spot as the best of the year, it had an interesting approach to narrating its battles which absolutely rubbed some viewers the wrong way but I found interesting. 2014 also gave us the amazing No Game No Life however as the story is still totally incomplete it just always misses out on making any kind of best of list. Without a conclusion, it is quirky and fun but just doesn’t quite measure up. So what did make the list? Let’s see and then I’d love to know what you would have picked from the year.
No. 1: No sequels of any kind.
No. 2: Only one anime from each season which gave me 4 picks from each year.
No. 3: Other than 2019 anime, no matter how brilliant an anime was if I hadn’t rewatched it since it aired then it didn’t make the list. If I don’t like it enough to watch it more than once then it doesn’t deserve to be on an anime of the decade list.
Incidentally these anime are not the technical best anime of their seasons but are the ones I would pick if I could only watch one anime from that season. They are anime I loved, for whatever reason, and felt deserved to be remembered.
Quite literally the only thing wrong with Noragami is that there is no third season. I loved this anime when I first saw it. It was so energetic and fun but had its darker moments. The characters are great and the cast gets better and better as the show progresses. Revolving around Yato, a poor and relatively unknown god who takes on wishes for 5 yen pieces, Noragami is a story that goes in some unexpected directions but builds up a world with a rich mythology, some great action sequences, and the music is awesome.
Forget best of the Winter, Noragami was the anime that dominated my 2014 with multiple rewatches. It’s still a go to anime for me when introducing some of my friends to anime. I absolutely love this anime and I would love to see a third season of it at some point.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Yes, I already know a lot of people didn’t like The Irregular at Magic High School and certainly the anime has some problems. That didn’t stop me from falling in love with this anime enough to watch it again with a friend and then help that friend make a costume to wear at a convention based on the girls school uniform. Honestly, while this anime isn’t the best story the basic concept of the fusion of magic and technology is actually very cool. There’s also some pretty interesting applications of magic within the story and the militarisation of magicians is actually fairly plausible within this setting.
With the story broken into distinct arcs it is easily digestible and I found it very fun spending time with the students as they learned new way to use their magical abilities in each situation. The Irregular at Magic High School isn’t for everyone but I thought it was a bit of fun.
Terror in Resonance
Terror in Resonance isn’t an easy story to watch given it focuses on two teenagers engaged in acts of terrorism in order to bring a government conspiracy around human experimentation to light. That said, the story doesn’t quite go far enough and the end result is one that teeters on the edge of providing social commentary around a lot of issues related to modern terrorism without actually making any kind of statement. It leaves the viewer with an uneasy feeling.
While this series starts strong and ends reasonably well as it wraps up its loose ends and gives characters closure, the mid-season is where the weaknesses of the story really become apparent. Despite that, it is still an anime worth watching as it takes on some fairly big issues and presents a slightly different perspective. All and all, this is an anime that remains relevant in the current political climate and even though it doesn’t quite nail what it might have been going for it at least makes the audience think a bit.
Your Lie In April
I am not the die hard fan of Your Lie in April that some viewers became however I certainly appreciated this anime for what it is. And what this anime presents is a beautifully packaged emotionally wringing story of a boy who is lost and the girl who helps him to find himself and a path before the tragedy unfolds. There’s nothing new in terms of the plot with so many stories having done a similar thing before, but with the presentation of this particular story they have done a spectacular job.
When you throw in the music and the performances with the wonderful visual metaphors that appear while they are playing it really becomes something quite unforgettable. Even the most jaded of viewers will probably be moved by either the characters or their music at some point while watching. For everyone else, bring lots of tissues because you are going to cry buckets when this one ends.
With that we bid farewell to 2014. I’d love to know your favourites from 2014 and on Monday we’ll continue looking at the anime of the decade starting at 2015.