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Ravenshire Reviews

Top Five Anime of 2014

We hope that you enjoy our list of our favorite anime from this year. While there are many great anime that have started and ended this year, this is just a top five list that has no ranking. This is mostly a list of anime that has gone under the radar of many. If you haven't had a chance to watch some of these I hope that you will give them a try, along with some of the other great shows from this past year. This year Ravenshire Hobby will work hard to bring you the best products and reviews in areas that we are all passionate about. Let's make this the best one yet!

 

Nisekoi

When the son of a Yakuza leader, who is the next in line to control the family, meets the half-American daughter of a Mafia boss, meet at a Japanese high school, the two create some interpersonal issues, which leads to the start of rocky relationship. This rough start occurs before they both know about each of their respective family businesses. They are soon introduced by the two leaders, in a surprise meeting, and have been contracted to date. The insanity soon ensues as two high school student, who have no interest in each other, are forced to date; resulting in the façade of a relationship between the two. During this time, various individuals within each respective group attempt to ensure the truthfulness of the opposing group’s future leader. This romantic comedy, with meddling and often absent minded gang members, deserves a spot for the interesting concept, and fantastic dialogue.

Parasyte –the maxim-

A bizarre horror anime that seems to have flown under the radar of many fans of anime makes it onto our Best of 2014 list, for a refreshing twist on the horror anime genre.

 

The twist comes from a race of alien parasites that have inhabited the bodies of citizens around the world. While most of these invasions are limited to the alien entering an individual’s skin, eventually working its way up to the brain for full control of the person, this series focuses on an alien that makes its way into the body of Shinichi Izumi, a paranoid high school student. Because of Shinichi’s actions during the attempted infestation, the alien cannot move from the protagonist’s right hand. The alien, like the rest of his species, are able to change the physiology of their host, but unlike the rest of his race, this particular alien, who calls himself Migi, can only transform the physiology of Shinichi’s right hand. For these parasites to survive they need to kill humans for sustenance, however because of Migi’s unique situation, he can survive on the nutrients consumed by Shinichi.

Migi assists Shinichi in his everyday life, allowing the story to be familiar to fans of American superhero comics where a quiet high school nerd gets some kind super power to give them a difference factor. The biggest difference is the dark tones this anime has, in part due to the gore filled fights and deaths of those that go against these aliens. Migi is also able to detect when other aliens are near, which helps Shinichi when these hungry alien infested creatures come near. For fans of grotesque horror with a bit of an otherworldly twist this well produced anime, in terms of animation, and story, is a must see. Additionally, I feel that I must also add that it does a pretty good job of using dubstep within the context of the animation.

Sword Art Online II

It is very difficult to follow up any series that people enjoyed, but Sword Art Online II is an instance where the new season does just that. After the end of Sword Art Online, Asuna and Kirito are attending a school to assist those who were caught in the SAO world with acclimating to society, after being gone for so long. The new series starts with Kirito accepting a job to hunt down a character calling himself Death Gun in Gun Gale Online, an MMO shooter. The mystery of finding the identy of Death Gun ensues, and reaches a personal point for Kirito when he finds that he is a former member of the player killer guild Laughing Coffin. While in this world Kirito meets Shino, known in GGO as Sinon, who is playing the gun-centric game for therapeutic reasons.

This mystery makes up the first half of the SAO II series, and is followed by several episodes that are self-contained stories until the final arc where Asuna meets Yuuki. The ensuing story is a touching one that, while taking place in a virtual world, is very human and emotional. It deals with a very real topic in a way that very few creators are willing to deal with, and the series should be commended for bringing this story to the public. The range that the SAO writers show in their stories continues to impress, entertain, and inspire many people. While the original series may have set up the world in which this series occurs, my personal opinion is that this anime has achieved more than the original.

Akame ga Kill

This violent anime, of a young swordsman coming to a large city has caught many accolades this year, and for a good reason. The, at times, over the top violence is often dulled somewhat by the comedy and character development, to make this an entertaining anime. However, don’t be mistaken, this is a anime that uses imagery of over the top violence in various battles. Even though this is not an anime for the young, or faint of heart, this anime makes it on to the top of 2014 list for the interesting set of characters, intriguing use of what many consider a trope of fantasy anime, fantastic animation depicting the battles, and touching moments between the assassins.

Samurai Jam - Bakumatsu Rock!

The power of rock will overcome all!This anime earns its spot on this list for its music and alternate history story. For what it may lack, at various points, in writing it redeems itself for in the concerts that the characters perform. Fans of Japanese rock music, and pop music, will not be disappointed by the aural battles that take place between Ryoma’s band and the Shinsengumi. While the overly dramatized moments of the anime may seem a bit much by themselves, it actually helps add to the overall affect the concerts are supposed to have in this interesting fictional retelling of the Bakumatsu period of Japanese history.

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