Kane’s Spring 2014 Anime Picks

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Here we go again folks, another season is upon us and with that comes an influx of brand new series to enjoy. Whether seeking the thrill of good old fashioned anime combat or something a tad more titillating, this latest batch of shows is sure to deliver. That being said, there’s nothing that particularly stands out  too much for me. However, if anything, I am a curious person and as such I am interested in a bevy of these series from the brief glimpses I have received. Whether I decide to stick with them is yet to be seen, but let’s put aside the uncertainty and delve into my choices for Spring 2014. I promise I’ll try and make it a fun experience.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders


Stand strong against The World

Let’s start off with an old favourite shall we? That’s right, prepare once more to embark on yet another bizarre adventure as the third wielder of the JoJo moniker takes the main stage. Meet  Jotaro Kujo, an all around bancho badass who is known for getting into fights and antagonising his teachers. After winding up in prison, he reveals supernatural powers that have been haunting him and have led to the personal belief that he is cursed. Now for anyone who has seen the previous seasons of JoJo, this does not sound strange in the least. So let that be an indication of the overall feel that this franchise exudes. In all honesty it’s rather ridiculous…maybe that’s what makes it so awesome.

Definitely one of the key reasons for checking out this latest instalment in the anime movement that is JoJo, would be the introduction of Stands, a power now synonymous with the entire franchise. Replacing the Hamon power from Phantom Blood and Battle Tendency, these Stands introduce countless new powers and open the door for a number of quirky new designs that are sure to add even more flair to this ludicrous series. Seriously, the amount of tank tops worn last season was astronomical…and that was just the men. Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the Stands in action, not to mention the return of one Dio Brando, who is perhaps one of the hammiest villains of all time. Don’t believe me? Just watch and see if he succeeds in conquering “ZA WARUDO!!”

Captain Earth


‘Cause saving our planet is the thing to do

Captain Earth, he’s a hero, gonna take all extraterrestrial threats to the world down to zero. OK, so I might be mixing up my global Captains here, but I think you get the point. As the mysterious Kiltgang, a robotic race of aliens, emerge from Uranus (sorry) it is up to Manatsu, a second year high school student, to take control of a colossal mecha and save Earth. Awesome.

Now if the overall design of Captain Earth reminds you of anything, there’s a reason for that: Star Driver. With a great deal of the same crew behind both series, there is definitely a resemblance between the visual from both series. Crisp colours, intricate designs…some other third thing. You get the idea. Now personally I liked Star Driver, so I’m interested in seeing this new project brought to life. Plus who can ignore mechs? Those things are cool.

Hitsugi no Chaika


A mysterious girl with a morbid backpack

Now to be honest, I do’t know too much about this series, but from the few trailers I’ve seen it certainly looks interesting. When Toru Acura, an incredibly lazy man, is forced by his sister Akari to venture outside, they stumble upon a mysterious girl. Sounds rather inocuous doesn’t it? Apparently not, because soon after this meeting the anime decides to throw in a few monsters for good measure. With this mysterious girl clearly more important than first thought, the group must now survive as evil forces conspire against them.

Yet another series to be animated by Bones this season, the visuals for Hitsugi look rather compelling. Though only one monster was shown in the trailer, it presented an interesting foe. Some kind of weird undead unicorn with the ability to run through the sky. Inventive. I’m also curious to see how the fights will play out, based on the fact that one character glows (presumably with power) and another wields some sort of magical anti-tank rifle. Though it’s surprisingly not the first time I’ve seen such a weapon, there was also one in Darker Than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini. Now if that’s anything to go on, the weapon will certainly pack a punch and hopefully obliterate some demonic foes.

 Blade & Soul


Cool, calm and deadly

Yet another series that I know little about, though one that I’m interested in checking out. This could speak volumes for the anime, though trailers are supposed to focus on the coolest parts. The series will focus on Alka, an assassin from the Clan of the Sword, who is on a quest to avenge her fallen Master. Along the way, she meets three strange women who are each warriors themselves. This presumably explains the fight that occurs in the promotional videos. If she wasn’t one of these important warrior characters, there’s no way that the girl with the guns would’ve lasted 2 seconds against the protagonist. That’s just how anime works. Anyway, amidst the chaos and carnage, Alka must also struggle with the fact that her desire for revenge/justice directly contradicts her Master’s wish that she leave the assassin life behind. Though not exactly a revolutionary concept, if handled well it could add some depth to the series. At the very least, the series might cause a resurgence in players for the MMORPG from which it is based. So it’s got that going for it.

Break Blade


Rule of Cool in full effect

I guess this one technically counts as a new series, though there may be some contention regarding that definition. Set for a 12 episode run, the anime is actually an adaptation of 6 movies that were released from 2010-2011. But I never saw the films so it’s all new to me. Now without trying to ruin the entirety of the plot for myself, I know that it has something to do with mechas…and quartz. In a world where said mineral can be utilised for numerous purposes, there exists one person unable to manipulate the power: Ryugart Arrow, the un-sorcerer. Though the name sounds rather self-deprecating, it is this lack of skill that allows him to pilot a Golem of remarkable strength and defend his country against an invading army. Now the plot alone interests me so when combined with the cool visual elements, I definitely want to give this one a look. I’d also like to note that the tittle of the anime is not just there for the sake of sounding cool (which it does). In the promotional video alone, nearly every single mech had its blades broken during combat. At one point, two characters point the remains of their swords at each other in defiance. Now this either means that characters are tactically wise and seek to disarm their foes, or they just really don’t like sharp things. Either way, it looked cool.

Fans of the movies might also want to give Break Blade another look, as the series is said to contain a few brand new scenes. The inclusion of these additions also shows that a certain degree of effort is going into the transition form movie to series, rather than simply splitting them in half to meet the episode quota. It’s always good to know that a studio is working hard, boosts my confidence in a series. I hope it’s not misplaced with Break Blade.

Special mentions also go out to Black Bullet, Fuun Ishi Dai Shogun, Kenzen Robo Daimidaler. These series interest me enough to give them a go, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I end up watching too many series again this season…Also Soul Eater Not! is being released, so I might look into that one…and M3 Sono Kuroki Tetsu, a mecha series with barely any information revealed about it. Honestly, I think this’ll be another season where curiosity will get the better of me and take up excessive amounts of my time. But who am I kidding, I love it. Let Spring begin!


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