Saturday, January 3, 2015

Top 10 Anime of 2014

So here we are in 2015. A new year has started which means new anime to watch. However, let us never forget the anime that came before. The anime that gave us joy this past year. The anime that deserve to be watched again at least several more times because they are just. That. Good. These are the anime that I feel were some of the best out there. The ones that made me laugh, made me cry, or just made me keep watching over and over again. So let's get started on this trip down memory lane... of one year ago, with the Top 10 Anime of 2014.

Number 10: No-Rin

No-Rin is an anime that didn't seem to get much publicity and I feel is under appreciated. It's the story about a famous pop idol who retires at the tender age of 16, shocking the nation and crushing her biggest fans dreams of meeting her. Fortunately for Kousaka Hata, a young man attending Tamo Agricultural school and Ringo Kinoshita's biggest fan, the young pop idol has decided to enroll at his school and learn agriculture.

This story isn't what I would call original, however, it does have two things that I loved. First: it's hilarious. I laughed pretty much nonstop when watching this. Second: it's intelligent. While this story has the same slapstick and stupid humor of most anime, it can also be witty and teaches you a lot about agriculture. It's one of those anime that are not only enjoyable, but surprisingly educational.

Number 9: Parasyte

I didn't originally plan on putting this one up here, but after consideration felt it deserved being here. Parayste is a horror/science fiction anime about creatures called Parasites, which worm their way into human bodies, destroy their brains and take over. One Parasite fails to take over the main character, one Shinichi Izumi, and the two find themselves working together in order to defeat other parasites.

While this one wasn't as entertaining as some of the other anime out there, I liked this because of how unusual it is. It's one of those bizarre, strange anime that take concepts you don't see often.

Number 8: Nisekoi

Nisekoi is another anime that isn't very original, but still very enjoyable. The story follows Raku Ichijo, the son of a leader in the Yakuza faction Shuei-Gumi, and Chitokage Kirisaki, the daughter of a boss in a rival gang known as Beehive. The basics of this story is that the two gangs have agreed to settle their differences by pairing up their gang leader's children with each other. Too bad Raku and Chitokage seem to hate each other. It doesn't help that their first time meeting was Chitokage's knees Raku in the face. Things get even more complicated because Raku's got a crush on a girl in his class, Chitokage has a female hitman for a bodyguard, and there's another girl who comes to town claiming she's Raku's fiance.

This story is incredibly cute and kind of silly. There's a lot about this anime that's enjoyable, especially if you're into the whole harem love comedy bit.

Number 7: Psycho Pass

This is another anime that took concepts you don't see in anime very often and stretched them out. It is also one of the few Dystopian anime I have ever seen, which makes it even more original.

The series is set in 2113. The Sibyl System is a system that actively measures the populaces mental states, personalities, and the probabilities that individuals will commit crimes, using the cymatic scan of the brain. This is known as the Psycho-Pass. When the probability of a person engaging in crime by the Crime Coefficient index exceeds a certain level, he or she is pursued, apprehended, and killed if necessary. For people who enjoy crime fiction and dystopian mixed with cyberpunk, this is definitely the anime for you.

Number 6: Maganka-san to Assistant

This is an anime whose stupid comedy made me laugh so hard. It's about a mangaka and his assistants. The mangaka is the talented but perverted Yuki Aito, and his assistants are a bunch of girls based on various archetypes. The story is basically just Yuki and the girls getting put into a bunch of awkward situations. If you enjoy comedy, a little ecchi, and some "Oh dear god, what the fuck just happened?!" moments, this is the anime for you.

Number 5: Tokyo Ghoul

Ghouls are human-like creatures who devour human flesh. After barely surviving an encounter with one, Ken Kaneki is sent to the hospital and undergoes surgery that turns him into a half-ghoul, who must also consume human flesh to survive. With nowhere else to turn, he is taken in by a group of ghouls who own a coffee shop called Anteiku, where he learns what it means to be a ghoul, the various conflicts between ghoul factions, and struggles to keep his identity as a human.

This is a very dark story filled with gore and violence and constantly forcing you to ask questions most people would be uncomfortable with. I enjoyed this anime despite it not being the type I watch very often. For people who enjoy dark and twisted fantasy stories, this anime is one that you just can't miss.

Number 4: Rage of Bahamut: Genesis

This is a swashbuckling fantasy that, at first glance, doesn't seem terribly interesting due to its un-intriguing plot, and then smacks you in the face with pure awesome upon watching the first scene. This is one of those anime that I actually couldn't wait for the next episode to come out and kept me hooked with its combination of action, comedy and fantasy elements. It was a thoroughly satisfying watch from start to finish.

Number 3: No Game No Life

No Game No Life is an anime that takes several different concepts, throws them all together, and somehow gets an amazing anime. This story had many of the aspects that I love in an anime. It combined an intriguing plot where two NEET students are sent to a different world where there is no war and disputes are settled with games, two main characters who are intelligent but also complete insane, massive amounts of comedy, and tasteful ecchi that doesn't detract from the story but enhances it.

I think what I liked about this anime the most, aside from Stephanie Dola being randomly stripped naked and put in humiliating situations, was how they took basic games like Chess, Go Fish and various word games and turned them into something epic. I was honestly impressed by the knowledge this show displayed on the various types of games, even obscure ones that most people don't know about.

Number 2: Noragami

Noragami was one of my all-time favorite anime of this year. It's a story about Yato, a down on his luck god who meets Hyrori Iki, a normal girl in high school. It had everything I loved in an anime: action, adventure, comedy, romance, and a deep storyline with intricate and relatable characters. I don't think there was a single thing about this anime that I did not like... aside from the fact that it doesn't have a second season.

One of the things I loved most about this anime was it's ability to make me feel a wide range of emotions. It's very rare for a single anime to make you feel an entire spectrum of different emotions, from happy to sad to angry and everything in between. Noragami accomplished what few anime could.

Number 1: Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works

I'll be honest here, when the first Fate/Stay Night series came out, I thought it sucked. I hated it so much that I was completely turned off to the point where I wouldn't even play the visual novel. Then Fate/Zero happened and I was like, "holy crap! This is awesome!"

Starting several years after Fate/Zero, this is the story of Shiro Emiya and his place in the Fifth Holy Grail War. I've given this anime the number one spot because it's story is not only unbelievably epic, but it also has some of the best animations I have ever seen. Each scene is flawless, the battles are incredible and the characters are well-thought out and developed. I absolutely loved the first season of this anime, and cannot wait for the second season to come in this year.

And there you have it, my top 10 anime of 2014. It was hard choosing just ten, but in the end, these are the ones I enjoyed the most. After reading this, if you find that these anime are not your top 10, be sure to put what you would have placed as the top 10 into the comments section below. I would love to hear your opinions.