Anime Power Rankings: Spring 2014 Week 11
|Rank||Anime (First Place Votes)||Studio||Episode||Change|
|1||Ping Pong: The Animation (7)||Tatsunoko Productions||10||—|
|2||Mushishi Zoku Shou (4)||Artland||9||—|
|2||Isshuukan Friends (1)||Brains Base||10||1|
|4||No Game No Life (3)||Madhouse||10||1|
|5||Love Live: School Idol Project Season 2 (4)||Sunrise||10||2|
On the Cusp: Akuma no Riddle (1), Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders (1), Sidonia no Kishi (0), Haikyuu!! (1), Mekaku City Actors (2)
You guys had a lot to say about this week in anime so I’m going to say something quick and leave the rest to you. This week was a bit lackluster outside of a few good episodes. Mushishi was a bit weaker this week but still good because it’s Mushishi and you can go wrong with Mushishi. No Game No Life is still being the great show that I hoped it would be. It’s still funny and it’s still incredibly enjoyable to watch with it’s buildup to the game with the Eastern Federation. And last but not least, Ping Pong did what that show does best and make a game of table tennis incredibly captivating to watch. The match up of Peco and Kazama was one of the highlights of the season so far, but begs the question of how the foreshadowing from episode seven will play out in the finale. We will just have to wait and see, won’t we?
It has always had a unique eye for dynamic visual layouts and unmatched insight into the emotional journey of all variety of players in the heat of competition. But this week Ping Pong finally delivers a match of sheer animation spectacle to equal its narrative prowess. It gets a ballot all to itself.
kadian1364 (The Nihon Review)
I know, I know…what’s a respectable anime blogger like me doing putting Love Live! in my top 5? The thing is, I really like Love Live! It’s charming, refreshing and actually thinks all human beings are good people. You don’t get such an overwhelmingly positive view of humanity from many shows (*coughBlackBulletcough*), and I think that, for all its calculated pandering, Love Live! is a pretty hopeful show. I’d watch more like it.
iblessall (Life, and Anime)
This week’s Mushishi was the best anime episode this year not named Hunter X Hunter, and one of the top three in the entire Mushishi catalogue. Artland is having problems again, 11 and 12 are delayed and at this point, who knows if the second cour in the Fall will even happen? If you love Mushishi cherish it while you can, because you just never know when it’ll be gone for good.
Guardian Enzo (Lost in Anime)
This is the time of the anime season when one-cour series should kick into high gear in preparation for their final episodes, and two series do that splendidly. Soul Eater Not, already one of the most consistent offerings of the season, veers towards action and drama in a deliciously fluid fashion, a combination of the obvious and the unexpected. Akuma no Riddle, on the other hand, distinguishes itself among its kind of murder-elimination anime by tying things up with a simple but elegant explanation, and switching the focus from assassination hijinks to questions of faith and free will for a short breather before the final fights.
In contrast, some of the season’s top performers seemed to be having a rough week. Ping Pong for once had trouble justifying the flow of its match, mostly because it shied away from explaining the pros and cons of Peco’s more erratic and carefree playstyle. Top sports anime like Chihayafuru demonstrated that this is where a sports anime should thrive, rather than take a step back.
Wow. Just wow. After last week’s underwhelming (outside of the actual performance) episode Love Live came back with a vengeance and hit it out of the park is almost every way. To start, I really liked the way they revealed the results of the final Love Live prelims. Instead of letting it hang over us and building the suspense they revealed it naturally through the characters’ interactions. It impressed me the way they showed us that something was up via the way the girls from µ’s and A-RISE reacted to each other. The two groups had been established as friendly rivals so the sudden tension made it clear that something fundamental had changed in their relationship. Then, Tsubasa tells the girls to go win Love Live and it suddenly becomes clear what has happened. There was so much mileage gotten out of that scene even with very little being said. That wasn’t all this week, far from it actually. We were also treated to some poignant thoughts from the third years as they near their goal while also nearing their graduation. As they took the time to look back on everything that µ’s has been through but also what they have to look forward to I couldn’t help but get caught up in the emotion of it all. The way this episode evoked the comfort of close and familiar friends while also acknowledging the passage of time was superb.
But we still aren’t done. Arguably the very best part of this episode was the way Honoka and Tsubasa interacted as one leader speaking to another. In a show where a lot of the characters are fairly static, I’ve been impressed by the growth seen in Honoka as the show has gone along. Her interactions with Tsubasa created another opportunity for her to look back and consider what it was that makes µ’s special. It really feels like Honoka is no longer just the de facto leader of the group but really somebody who understands how to push everybody forward and what it needed to get things done. It’s a very impressive change for somebody who seemed so lost at the start of season one. I continue to really like the way A-RISE and specifically Tsubasa are being used. It would be easy to paint them as ruthless rivals that are determined to win at all costs and make them easy to hate. Instead, they are treated with great respect and are presented not as a group you want to lose but instead a group you can genuinely feel bad for even while you’re happy for µ’s. They work hard and they’re good people and when it doesn’t work out for them it’s tragic even if it’s an inevitable side effect of your favored idol group’s victory. This episode ran the gamut of emotion from celebratory to poignant to reflective, all accompanied by the general good vibes provided by a group of close friends working together and succeeding. It’s the kind of feelings I remember getting out of K-ON and precious few shows have been able to replicate that feeling since. By managing to rise to those lofty heights, Love Live has given us the best episode of any anime this season and is my easy number one pick.
Kelloggs (Pedantic Perspective)
Wanted to put Riddle Story up higher, but the sheer predictability of this weeks episode was a bit too much for me to be able to give it that praise. No Game No Life on the other hand never seem to stop surprising me with its twists and turns.
Tobiichi Karlsson (Just Another Anime Podcast)
Fantasy Forest was such a powerful episode for Mekaku City Actors highlighting such a good song along with a vibrant and really emotional backstory for our characters. Everything is coming together nicely.
((Also Daze is such an amazing song and instrumental))
Tristan (Population Go)
Thanks you everyone who sent in their ballots this week!