I have blown through quite a few series in the past 6 months, and have dreadfully hit that wall where my favorites are either completed, or in limbo awaiting production of another season. Fortunately, the lingering dry spell is abating with the first few drops of four fresh spring releases, and the air has never smelled sweeter.
Kamigami no Asobi: Ludere Deorum
Yui, a teenaged human girl, is transported by a relic to another heavenly dimension; on a floating island, in an isolated garden with an academic campus of sorts, Yui is trapped there for one year alone with a hoard of ridiculously ripe, ripped young godlings, originating from Greek, Japanese, Norse, and Egyptian lore. The mere thought of this series make my face flush hot and my body shiver with girly giddiness! Being summoned to this “academy” against their will by none other than Zeus, Yui is responsible for equipping the young gods with a thorough understanding of the human heart, which is required in order to "graduate", or else they’ll all be trapped in this garden for eternity. Um, okay. If it were me, I’d sabotage the entire “curriculum” to spend the rest of eternity in my blooming youth with a harem of gods; however, Yui is a goodly young human with chaste intentions as she is determined to do her best for the sake of herself and her classmates [sighs with disappointment]. Although I am naturally a fan of the Reverse Harem genre, it is also an area of hit or miss; the last series to make me quiver with anticipation was Brothers Conflict, and although the collection of assertive male specimens receives a resounding 10 in my book, the lead female character is frustrating as ever with her nonsense about “family” and being a good, supportive step-sister–rubbish! Anyway, with only the first few episodes released, Kamigami no Asobi has a white-knuckled grip on my attention with its godly buffet of boyish delights, but only time will tell if it truly deserves a spot on my list of ultimate anime fantasies.
The Irregular at Magic High School
Futuristic technologies that utilize magic? OH YEAH! This high-tech, spell-wielding series revolves around siblings Tatsuya and Miyuki Shiba, who have just entered an elite magic academy. Although both are adept users of magic, Miyuki ends up being initiated into the lofty Course 1 honors class as a “bloom”, while her brother Tatsuya is redirected to Course 2 as a remedial a.k.a. “weed”; despite being labeled a weed (due to inadequate testing parameters) Tatsuya’s unique abilities unfold and catch the eye of the entire student body. What also unfolds is the Jaime-and-Cersei-Lannister-esque vibe between the two siblings a la Games of Thrones. What better way to capture an audience than to push the boundaries of romantic taboo between kin! With these factors at the helm, this series definitely has what it takes to be a 2014 top contender. Let the tech-triggering, magic-melee-ing, forbidden-fruit-picking ensue!
This Starship Trooper/Attack on Titan/Gunslinger-Girl mash-up has a load of stuff going on; I don’t even know where to begin. Okay, there’s the teetering extinction of the human race at the hands of the parasitic-bug virus Gastrea; there's the birth of all-female super-mutant children called “Cursed Children” being used as “Initiators” to battle Gastrea; let's not forget a maniacal masked-top-hat-tailored-tail-suit-wearing villain and his equally unstable daughter/initiator; last, but certainly not least, is the quirky, borderline statutory-rapish work relationship of teen protagonist and Promoter Satomi Rentaro, of whom his sexually-aware 10-year-old Initiator partner Enju Aihara is infatuated. A lot is happening for this series to be just beginning, but the mysterious virus, villain, and valiant, young protagonist all make for an intriguing, yet explosive jump-start to a series overflowing with potential. My fingers are crossed!
Brynhildr in the Darkness
This particular series SINGS to my dark side with its experiment-gone-wrong, freaky female line-up reminiscent of Elfen Lied. As it goes, Ryota Murakami is a high-achieving high-schooler with aspirations of working for NASA. He and his childhood sweetheart used to search the skies together, using their telescopes, looking for extraterrestrial life. Then, she died in a tragic accident that they were both involved in 10 years ago. Ryota believes his friend, whom he called Kuroneko, to be dead all these years until a transfer student by the name of Kuroha Neko eerily pops up in her very likeness. Although she claims to never have met him, Ryota is plagued by the feeling that it’s the very same girl. If that isn’t creepy enough, this pseudo-Kuroneko possesses some very peculiar abilities i.e. telekinetic powers, and with the help of her prophetic, paraplegic partner, they attempt to save those predicted to die, including Ryota, all while in hiding from the laboratory from which they and others escaped. Indebted to these fugitives for saving his life, Ryota endeavors to help them in any way he can while getting to the bottom of Kuroha’s true identity. That sounds as sweet as sugar, until I realized right from the start just how bloody, creepy, and pervy this series actually is. It’s sugar and spice, laced with gore, sexuality, and creepy, unearthly abilities–definitely what I like my anime to be made of. Oh! Did I mention how super cool the opening theme is? Watching this series one episode at a time is pure, delicious torture that I can only hope worth it when the series ends.
There you have it folks! I'm excited to have started some of the most highly anticipated releases of 2014. I look forward to the epic awesomeness these will bring as well as those I have yet to view. What other series are you guys excited for this year? Let me know! Also, stay tuned for follow-up reviews as these reach their completion in the upcoming weeks.