End-of-Month Rundown – June 2014

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Sidonia no Kishi

Pros: Starkly striking, often lyrical visuals; sweats the hard sci-fi details; well-rendered mortal peril; the best Spring OP and ED
Cons: CG characters take getting used to; male lead is a bit of a doofus and a romantic dilettante

One Week Friends

Pros: Gorgeous pastel-y art style; nice A-couple chemistry throughout; a B-couple that’s even better in some ways
Cons: The memory reset lends itself a certain degree of repetition; girls are perhaps portrayed as too fragile

No Game No Life

Pros: Bright, vivid, gaudy world; fast-paced, manic comedy that often pops; satisfyingly complex games and strategies
Cons: Shiro can get a bit too insufferably loli; only occasionally successful/necessary ecchi elements; some logical issues with the games

Hitsugi no Chaika

Pros: Excellent world-building; a great sense of adventure; numerous similarities to a Final Fantasy storyline, only without the bad English dubbing; competent combat scenes
Cons: Akari’s aggressive brother complex distracting at times; the whole Gillette Corps side story felt like a time-sapping distraction; occasional lazy animating

Black Bullet

Pros: Characters with simple profiles but strong bonds that are easy to empathize with; several nice instances of enemies becoming friends; solid character design; nice soundtrack
Cons: Some dubious Gastrea-fighting tactics; the many-sided competition for Rentaro’s heart wasn’t all that interesting

Akuma no Riddle

Pros: Successful formula of giving each assassin her own backstory each week gave later, more serialized episodes more heft; diverse array of assassin types and motivations; sharp character design
Cons: One of the duller characters happens to be the lead; half-realized yuri elements; overly tidy ending with minimal consequences

Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin

Pros: Bright-eyed, bull-headed protagonist who’s more than he initially seems; entertaining games; cute romance between Juugo and Tensai
Cons: Thick, cloudy backstory; dull main antagonist shows up late; Hoshino Daruku

Mekakucity Actors

Pros: Nice looking settings; colorful characters with neat powers; non-linear storytelling; nice isolated character beats
Cons: Uninspiring serpent foe; underutilized storytelling potential; rushed ending

Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei

Pros: Stoic, confident, yet imperfect lead with lots of secrets; well thought-out, detailed, original magical milieu; well-executed action; Iwasaki Taku score; cool wardrobe design
Cons: Occasionally overly talky, boring outings; moderate to severe character bloat; underdeveloped world outside of the school

Gokukoku no Brynhildr

Pros: Well-rendered atmosphere of fear and peril; appropriately disturbing blood and gore; everything about Kazumi Schlierenzauer; often effective comedic moments
Cons: Milquetoast Ryouta+Neko romance; turn-your-brain-off practical issues and plot conveniences; early over-reliance on arbitrary fanservice; excessive censoring

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