Looking back to 2014, I realized a lot of crazy cool stuff had happened. I mean, a much beloved Hunter X Hunter (2011) series had ended and it ended well. Naruto manga is now officially wrapped up. Kuroko no Basuke manga too. Of course, I’ve read news about sequels and stuff, but hey, things aren’t going to be same. Characters lineup will probably be a little different, etc. So just have a moment and take it all in.
Anyway, as per tradition, I cannot NOT write this post. It’s like a quick post to remind myself and hopefully recommend others good anime series in 2014. The criteria is that the anime series must end in 2014, regardless of when it started airing. I mean, it wouldn’t be fair to rate a series that is still airing right?
So here’s goes. The annual Hoshiko’s Best Anime list has returned.
I really, really had a blast watching this series. While Handa’s trying to figure out what’s the best style for his calligraphy career, he met a bunch of other people in a remote village, being outside his comfort zone. This bunch of other people I mentioned happened to change his way of life. He became more adventurous and learn to see matters from a different perspective. Naru, particularly, indirectly challenged Handa to think in simple terms, but not necessarily meaningless. Rather than sulking or complicating things, just learn to have fun.
It’s the “learn to have fun” part that has made the series a standout this year. Let it go!
Ao Haru Ride
It really is just a typical shoujo series. But still, it’s captivating. The story of Futaba and Kou is something I love following. I mean, I’m even reading then manga right now just to know what’s happening to the two students. Constantly flirting with each other, they still have an invisible wall stand between them because of the baggage they carry from the past.
More importantly, I love the series because there’s a story for each character. It doesn’t have to be this huge character arc; just a few hints generally to show how a character is and with a little background does wonders. When all characters are slowly being properly fleshed out, as an audience, I feel I could understand and relate to whatever choices they make. And this is exactly what’s happening in Ao Haru Ride and I love it for that.
While the final episode left me wanting more and hope that they announced a second season right then and there, it didn’t happen. As of now, I have yet to check any confirmation of a second season. I’m sure it won’t be long before the second season airs. It’s a fan favorite, after all.
Overall the series had a lot of great moments in which we see the team members of Karasuno worked hard to achieve their goals. It’s true that the series tends to focus more on Hinata Shouyou and Kageyama Tobio, but other characters had their share of spotlight. We were given glimpse into their dreams, goals, inner thoughts, feelings and insecurities. It’s a good way to get to know the characters and see them united in face of challenges. Not to forget, the high energy of the series is what keeps me coming back for more.
Gekka Shoujo Nozaki-kun
A love confession gone wrong pretty much sets this series off to a very good start. Laughter comes easily with each episode of the series. The interactions between thick-headed Nozaki-kun and lovestruck Sakura-chan are the highlight of the series. They’re cute together, but not actually together. In fact, since Sakura attempted miserably to confess, they spent most of their time together, mostly working Nozaki-kun’s manga.
I suppose Gekka Shoujo Nozaki-kun is one of those anime that doesn’t stop churning out funny moments. How can it when it’s full of crazy funny characters? Its episodic nature also makes it easier to watch.
Hunter X Hunter (2011)
Hunter X Hunter started airing ages ago, but it ended this year. So technically, it fits the list. The series I believe is wonderfully executed. Perhaps the story from the manga is already this good, I wouldn’t know. But watching Hunter X Hunter (2011) as a standalone, without any prior knowledge to the story based on the original source, wouldn’t pose any problem. Audience will be carried from one story to another in a fluid manner and there will be a lot of actions to keep them at the edge of their seats.
Each arc itself showcases the vast fictional world there is in Hunter X Hunter. They truly paint a good picture on how things work, who are the powerful people and the system that governs the world. It really has been a great journey watching Hunter X Hunter for all its adventures, battles and character growth.
With Hunter X Hunter (2011) to finish up my top 5, that’s Hoshiko’s best anime list for the year 2014. Happy New Year =).