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The Fandom Debate – Episode 6: The Biggest Anime Surprise of Summer 2014

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Fandom Debate Episode 6Anime fandom is full of lists.

The most popular, the hottest, the best dressed, the best food girl.

Reading those lists is good, but who decided who is on the shortlist? And surely there is always somebody who you thought deserved to be entered, but was ignored at the cost of a really popular character who doesn’t really fit.

How best to solve the problem than with a civilised argument. Or even a debate.

Before we get to this week’s subject here are the top five from last week’s poll. For the full results, see the voting thread.

Episode Five – The Most Pointless Mascot Character

1. Pen Pen (Neon Genesis Evangelion)

2. Haro (Mobile Suit Gundam)

3. Botan (CLANNAD), Grunty (.hack//SIGN), Kuroneko-sama (Trigun)

Episode Six – The Biggest Surprise of Summer 2014

Four times a year, the anime community goes through a sort of ritual. Everywhere starts talking about what the big new show will be, and what we all thought of the previous season. The debate is similar, but we don’t like to just talk about simple things like “what we liked”, but give a more wide ranging question with more potential for opinions.

Often one of the things that is mentioned at the end of a season is how some shows weren’t what was expected. Sometimes they are positive surprises, and sometimes they are negative, but the fact that there will be some unexpected shows is almost inevitable.

But why limit it to just shows? This week’s debate is asking what the biggest surprise of the Summer 2014 season was – be it about a show, or a character, or even a plotline. As long as it’s relating to an anime that was airing in Summer 2014 (even continuing shows) and it surprsied you, it’s valid.

Try to keep spoilers to a minimum, but when they’re unavoidable, be sure to tag them as spoilers.

Below are the eleven surprises that I’m seeding in to the debate this week, with a little comment for each. As ever, feel free to add your own, or disagree.

Remember, be civil. Disagreeing is fine, but try to include more than just that. Likewise, if someone disagrees, don’t be offended. Come back with a counter-argument!

Rokujyouma was surprisingly good
I don’t think anyone reading the premise of Invaders of the Rokujyouma guessed that rather than having a clusterfud of anime tropes we would have a heartwarming collection of deep characters.

How many shows of Summer 2014 were not actually trainwrecks
The above show included, but there were a lot of shows with stupid premises or that could have easily gone off the rails, but they remained quite good throughout.

How mediocre or worse that Glasslip turned out to be
Original stories by PA Works are usually much better than this – Glasslip was a story we didn’t really need to watch, with characters we’ve met before.

The full-frontal nudity in Rail Wars
I don’t think anyone went in to Rail Wars not expecting fanservice. It’s probably why a lot of us were so interested (something about big breasted girls in uniform?) but I don’t think anyone expected full-frontal (barbiedoll) nudity, especially right in the middle of a kidnapping, and not from the hostage!

How likeable Kuroe turned out to be
One of the most common things I heard in the early episodes of Prisma Illya 2wei was how Kuroe was forced, and quite unlikeable, but at the end she had totally reversed that opinion and was a fleshed out and likeable character.

The way Captain Earth ended
Captain earth ended with a plot twist that had been hinted at only very briefly, but when the turnaround happened in the last two episodes, it was still quite a surprise.

Comedy was the dominant genre in terms of good shows
Comedy is often an evergreen genre, but it can be overused and sometimes they fall to be mediocre. Likewise the amount of high quality romance, horror and drama a season usally balances nicely with the good comedy, but this season the best shows were all comedy.

How disjointed Persona 4 The Golden Animation felt
The premise of a new Persona 4 anime confused a lot of people as they’d already made one, and it was a question how they would add in the new elements from the PSVita port of the game, but the way they did it felt less like the united show we were expecting, but rather a series of twelve individual unrelated OVAs.

How likeable Umetarou Nozaki was
In the early episodes, we could tell that Nozaki was a deadpan neutral male lead, but despite this he turned out to be very likeable and with a lot of personality hidden behind his stoicism.

Theiamillis may be a tsundere loli, but she isn’t a “Shana-Type” tsunderloli.
When we first met Theia, she appeared to be an angry loli, and we already knew how she’d develop, but she surprisingly wasn’t that at all, and actually became a nice character.

What happened to Encouragement of Climb Season 2?
An unwanted surprise this season was the unexpected absence of Encouragement of Climb season 2.

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