2014 is finally upon us and with it comes a new slate of anime to sink our teeth into. Like I’ve done in previous anime seasons I will be highlighting my top picks, this time for Winter 2014. I’ll be listing off the series that look most promising going into Winter 2014. At a glance this looks like it could very well be the best Winter season in quite some time. Usually Winter proves to be a weak season of anime, but for 2014 there looks to be some real heavy hitters. So without further adieu, these are the series that I will be watching this season of anime:
A mecha anime from Sunrise studio? Who would have guessed! To be honest, I can’t say that Buddy Complex looks good per say, but rather it looks so totally silly that it will likely be fun in the same way that Sunrise’s last mecha anime Valvrave the Liberator was.
Both stylistically and story-wise, Buddy Complex could quite easily be passed off as Valvrave the Liberator season 3. It looks to be very much a spiritual successor of that anime and I for one would be more than happy to get some more Valvrave-esque anime. Something crazy and fun, Buddy Complex looks to be all that and even a bit more. Heck if it actually turns out to be well and proper good than that’s just gravy isn’t it?
Hamatora: The Animation
This one looks like it could be the dark horse for the season. Not many are giving this one any real attention but I get the feeling it could be something special. With the creator of Blood Lad working on the series, it has an impressive pedigree no doubt. Having loved Blood Lad, this one naturally has my full attention.
The story revolves around some kids in Yokohama with powers fighting other people with powers for some reason. You know powers are pretty neat and with a simple concept like that, there is a lot of possibilities. I’m looking to be wowed by Hamatora and I think it will no doubt do just that.
As far as romantic comedies go Nisekoi is a very good one. The manga is a personal favourite of mine from the current Jump line-up. It features a likable cast a characters and some hilarious scenarios. While it may not exactly be the most original romantic comedy, it tackle all of the romcom tropes you’d expect and then hits them out of the ball park. It really does a great job at the classic romcom and even throws a twist here and there. I’m certainly looking forward to seeing this one animated. I’m not too sure about SHAFT animating it as they don’t have the best track record for quality in my opinion but hopefully the brilliant source material will shine through.
Undoubtedly the most anticipated anime of Winter 2014 is Space Dandy, the latest work from legendary anime director Shinichiro Watanabe. It looks like Watanabe took his classic series Cowboy Bebop and splashed it with a new coat of paint and spun it on a more comedic route.
I love Watanabe and his body of work. He has never once not impressed me with one of his anime series and I expect Space Dandy to be no different. While it does look like something very different from his previous works, I think it will still carry the spirit that all Watanabe anime do. Space Dandy looks simply out of this world. Bring on the dandy guy in the space.
I’m a sucker for Level-5, both for their games and their anime. I love the Inazuma Eleven series the most however. It is such a bizarre anime series, relentlessly optimistic and filled with bombast. While Yokai Watch features a completely different story to Inazuma Eleven, if Level-5 manage to recapture that unwavering positivity with Yokai Watch, I’ll be more than pleased.
Level-5 bring something fresh to the table with their anime and games. Something different from the standard kids anime and this one looks to be a lot of fun because of it. A young boy has a watch that lets him see Yokai. It is a simply concept but I get the feeling that Level-5 will find a way to make it crazy as they do. Working alongside OLM, the studio behind Pokemon, I can only see great things for Yokai Watch and I am dying to ‘watch’ it.
Honorable Mentions: Silver Spoon 2, Noragami, Witch Craft Works and Strange+.