On first glance, nothing really stands out among the Winter 2014 line up. At least for me. It seems this season is dedicated to romantic comedies more than usual, leaving variety a little slim. Not that I don’t enjoy a good romcom from time to time.

But knowing the nature of anime there’s bound to be a few surprises waiting for us and the following shows have caught my eye more than others.


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Buddy Complex

Here we go everyone. Another high budget Sunrise project featuring robots, teenagers and no doubt something completely unpredictable. If their last effort, Valvrave the Liberator, is anything to go by then we can expect more thrills and spills. Interestingly, it seems like the studio is continuing the “bromance” trend between two lead males, something that was quite refreshing to see in Valvrave.

Unfortunately the mecha designs aren’t doing it for me at this stage, resembling something like the flying Knightmares from Code Geass only a little fatter and more generic. Here’s hoping this really takes off in the plot department.


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Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! Ren

Another season, another Kyoto Animation show only this time it’s a sequel to a certain popular romantic comedy. Now I’m far from a fan of KyoAni’s recent work over the last few years, but Chuunibyou was one their few shows that I watched all the way until the end so I’m obliged to see what happens next.

Yuuta and Rikka now live together (they were practically living together before anyway) and a new challenger appears, calling herself Sophia Ring Saturn the 7th. Satone Shichimiya is another sufferer of the dreaded 8th grade syndrome. Personally, I’m looking forward to more Dekomori.


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Nisekoi

Probably one of the more anticipated shows of this coming season, Nisekoi owes itself to its manga followers, an attractive art style and studio Shaft branding. It’s nice to see something other than Monogatari from Shaft every once in a while, such as Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko a couple of years back.

Raku Ichijo’s family heads a notorious yakuza gang, dragging him into a forced relationship with a member of a rival family, Chitoge Kirisaki. The two have to pretend during high school that they’re together, drawing parallels with a few other shows we’ve seen. It seems that Raku had a fruitful childhood. He carries a pendant from a childhood love that is locked, and Chitoge has the key. Suddenly, another two girls appear carrying keys.

Nisekoi is likely to be the premier romantic comedy of Winter 2014.


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Nobunaga the Fool

There aren’t many “epic” shows slated for this winter, so we need to take what we can get. Luckily, Nobunaga the Fool is looking absolutely tremendous in scale and action, featuring a war between two planets, a re-imagining of the ancient Japanese hero Oda Nobunaga and colossal robots with swords.

With the staple voice talent of Mamoru Miyano (which could be good or bad, depending on preference) and a beautiful theme song, all that’s left to wish for is a good story and compelling characters. Please be good!


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Noragami

From the studio that brought us Soul Eater and Darker Than Black comes Noragami, a show promising gods, spirits and a thumping good sound track. A middle school girl named Hiyori Iki suffers from bullying until she contacts a mysterious phone number proclaiming to “solve problems”.

The contact person calls himself a god but hardly cares for the troubles of others and thus receives no belief. But he can do one thing, and that’s to slice apart anyone who crosses between this world and the next. Why? Well we’ll have to find out, but it’s looking dark and very edgy with enough action to satisfy fans from either spectrum.


Honourable mentions: Hamatora The Animation, Inari Konkon Koi Iroha, Mikakunin de Shinkoukei, Wake Up, Girls!

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