The Five Anime Of Q3 2014 You Should Be Watching

The Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching

We are now six weeks into the Q3 anime season, and with 44 new anime on the air it can be more than a little difficult to know which ones to watch. Luckily, we at Kotaku East are here to help with our recommendations.

But before we get to the list, keep in mind as you read that these are simply the new anime that should not be missed this season. There are many more airing currently that are perfectly watchable. These, however, are the cream of the crop.


The Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching

Sabagebu! - Survival Game Club!

Currently at: Episode 6 (of 12)

Genre: Comedy

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: Shortly after transferring schools, Momoka finds herself tricked into joining the "Survival Game Club" -- a club full of gun-nut girls (and a cosplayer) who play war games with airsoft guns. But as soon as the club members face her in battle, they discover that Momoka, while new to firearms, is far from the innocent, wide-eyed girl she pretends to be.

Why You Should Watch It: Momoka is not a good person -- not at all. While on the outside she appears to be an innocent, normal-girl protagonist, on the inside she is more petty and vindictive than most anime villains. Because of this, she is the core of the anime's humour. Simply put, you expect a character filling the role of "innocent newcomer" to act in a certain way -- a way Momoka's ego and violent tendencies would never allow.

The other source of Sabagebu!'s humour is its repeated destruction of the fourth wall: Every time something happens that might lead the audience to suspend their disbelief, the narrator quickly appears with a rationalization -- or at least joins the audience in confusion about how the events taking place are even possible. This constant lampshade hanging is the perfect supplement to the anime and lets you enjoy the absurdity rather than being pulled out of the story by its very existence.

Watch It If You Like: Stella Women's Academy, High School Division Class C3, anything full of fourth-wall-breaking humour.

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll


The Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching

Sword Art Online II

Currently at: Episode 6 (of 24)

Genre: Action, Sci-fi, Mystery

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: After escaping the death game virtual reality MMORPG Sword Art Online, Kirito is trying to move on with a normal life. However, rumours arise that if the mysterious player "Death Gun" shoots you in VRFPS Gun Gale Online, you'll then die in real life. So Kirito is hired to enter GGO and discover if it's true or not by becoming a target himself.

Why You Should Watch It: Basically, Sword Art Online II is a cyberpunk murder mystery where Kirito must discover not only if there really are murders taking place from within the game, but also, if so, how? Moreover, everything is taking place in an unfamiliar virtual world where literally anyone could be "Death Gun" in disguise.

The other aspect that makes this anime worth watching is the new character, Shinon. She is a psychologically damaged young woman who is trying to deal with the complex trauma of having taken a human life. By the act of conquering the strongest players of Gun Gale Online, she hopes to take control of her life in the real world. She is an interesting and mufti-faceted character -- especially when paired with Kirito who has also killed people to protect those he loves.

Watch It If You Like: Sword Art Online, Accel World, Psycho Pass.

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll, Daisuki


The Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching

Aldnoah.Zero

Currently at: Episode 6 (of 24)

Genre: Mecha, Sci-fi

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: After the Apollo astronauts discovered a hyper-gate connecting the Moon to Mars, the red planet was colonised. In the years that followed, the two planets warred -- with the fighting ultimately ending in a stalemate and the moon shattered. But now, after a decade-long ceasefire, the assassination of the Martian princess brings the war back to Earth -- and with the superior mecha technology of Mars, it looks to be a war the Terrans have no chance of winning.

Why You Should Watch It: When it comes down to it, Aldnoah.Zero is Gundam where the main characters don't have a Gundam but are instead forced to fight against Gundams with horribly inferior mecha. Thus, this is an anime where intelligence and quick thinking trumps raw power in battle, and the heroes always seem at a near-fatal disadvantage.

And while there are many of the typical mecha anime clichés present in this series, they are always tweaked slightly or played with in some way to make them seem new or interesting -- something not so surprising considering the fact that the series creator is also the man who wrote Madoka Magica and Psycho Pass.

Watch It If You Like: Gundam, Madoka Magica, Psycho Pass, Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, Fate/Zero

Where You Can Watch It: Crunchyroll, Daisuki


The Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching

Barakamon

Currently at: Episode 6 (of 12)

Genre: Slice-of-Life, Comedy

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: After punching a gallery owner for criticising his art, calligrapher Handa goes into pseudo-exile on a small rural island off the coast of Japan. There he meets a six-year-old girl named Naru who slowly (and unintentionally) teaches him that there is more to life than suffering for your art.

Why You Should Watch It: Barakamon is a story of personal growth and discovery. It is about what happens when you focus on something so intently that you stifle it. Thus, by being in a place where he can't simply lock himself away from the community -- especially when being pestered by a precocious six-year-old -- Handa is little by little able to reconnect with his art and develop a style that features not only superb technique but passionate emotion as well.

However, by far the most enjoyable part of the anime is Naru herself. She is simply a walking bundle of joy -- hilarious in her innocence and profound in her childhood wisdom. Every moment with her on screen is a real treat and the way she plays off of Handa is truly heartwarming.

Watch It If You Like: Silver Spoon, Non Non Biyori

Where You Can Watch It: Funimation, Crunchyroll


The Five Anime of Summer 2014 You Should Be Watching

Tokyo Ghoul

Currently at: Episode 6 (of 12)

Genre: Dark Modern Fantasy, Horror, Ultraviolence

Non-Spoiler Plot Summary: A few weeks ago, everything seemed to be going well for bookish college student Ken: He was doing well in school, hanging out with his best friend, and even had a date with the cute girl who frequents his local coffee shop. But now, after awakening in a hospital following an accident at a construction site, Ken finds that he can no longer eat normal food; the only thing he finds appetizing is the smell of human flesh.

Why You Should Watch It: Tokyo Ghoul is a dark and twisted look at a world where human-eating, superpowered "ghouls" live among us -- feeding upon us. Through Ken we are able to learn more about their fascinating society -- the different groups with their clashing philosophies not only on ghoul existence but on humanity's role as well.

Then there is the other side of the story: the emotional one. Ken constantly puts himself in peril by treating this new society as though it were a human one. Thus at every step, Ken is confronted by violent, disturbing truths that wreak an emotional toll on him. But he is not the only one. Many of the other ghouls he encounters face their own emotional struggles when it comes to what they are and what that means for the humans they care about.

Watch It If You Like: Song of Saya, Blood-C, Another

Where You Can Watch It: Funimation


Now that you've read my recommendations for what anime you should be watching this summer season, you may wonder why your favourite series is absent. There are four potential reasons: (1) I think it is terrible (or at least not quite as good as the five above); (2) it is the second/third/fourth season of an anime and I haven't seen the first; (3) it is an anime continuing from last season; or (4) it simply didn't cross my radar.

Oh, and if you feel the need for even more anime to watch, be sure to check out the five anime of the Q2 season you should have watched and our picks for the top five anime of 2013.

WATCH MORE: Entertainment News


Comments

    I dropped Tokyo Ghoul after 4 episodes. It was boring even though it was a great concept in previews.

    A.Z was dropped after 1 episode. Just terrible.

    Everything else though, good choices for once.

      Then you missed the utter brilliance which was episode 11 and 12, it was magnificent.

    Tokyo Ghoul and Sabagebu, really? Ghoul doesn't really do what it sets out to do very well, and there are a lot of shows that do what Sabagebu does (in some cases exactly what it does) but do it better. The other three are reasonable but I wouldn't have picked either of those as top five material.

      Cool you have an opinion! i disagree i love tokyo ghoul if they focuses mainly on the action / bloodshed it would just be shitty but they have balanced it just right.

    my shows this season are:
    Aldnoah.Zero
    SAO 2
    Akame ga KIll
    Tokyo Ghoul
    Terror in Ressonance

    While Aldnoah.Zero is pretty great the fact that Terror in Resonance isn't in this list as opposed to say Sabagebu is ridiculous

    Aldanoah zero: must watch, because well its like well WAR OF THE WORLDS meets gundam, tokyo ghoul: I already see screwattack doing a deathbattle between ken & ichigo from bleach, sabagebu: oh sh#$, lucy/nyu is that you with a passion for guns, s.a.o 2: a return of 1 of thee stoic characters in 10's

    Barakamon, Terror in Resonance, and Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki-kun is what I'd recommend this season. Aldnoah Zero started of poorly IMO, but is getting interesting now (around ep5 onwards).

    Gekkan Shoujo is a 4 panel comedy made into an anime, you'll know the type of humor when you watch it.

    Terror in Resonance. Must watch.
    Also Space Dandy's second season is a doing better than the first.

    Last edited 13/08/14 6:56 pm

      Two Watanabe anime on in one season and neither are on this list. Must... not... turn... into... ranting fanboy :p

    Akame ga kill and SAO are my top two choices.

    My favs this season includes Tokyo Ghoul, Nobunaga Concerto, Sword Art Online II & Jojo's Bizarre Adventure Startdust Crusaders. I do also like Ace of Diamond, Baby Steps & Haikyuu but I generally enjoy any sport series (except swimming)

    Sabagebu, Akame ga Kill & Argevollen bounce between entertaining & really boring. Space Dandy 2 is watchable yet I crave for a consistent storyline

    No, no, no. I will not be falling for whatever trap SAO is setting now. See, the first SAO proved that it is actually a harem anime with the trappings of a fantasy epic with high stakes that eventually will be resolved with cliches and Deux Ex Machinae. But the cruellest bait it set was pretending to incorporate a touching and believable romance between the main characters, just to pull a troll face and go full harem, including the basest classics of the genre such as Megane Girl and Loli.

    I took a quick glance at SOA2 to see whether it intended to salvage that first and once-believed life's love and wasn't too surprised to learn that, instead, they added (at least) a new girl to his harem.

      I'm watching SAOII just because of gender bending.

        The gender bending is a lie though... They needed to do things right and turn SAO II into the great ecchi experience is should be.

        Last edited 13/08/14 10:25 pm

          Thanks for proving my point. SAO is but a mass-pandering of otaku tropes, with the latest gimmick being the (not really) gender bender. Normally I wouldn't go out of my way to disparage anime like this and just move on my merry way, but SAO actually pulled a bait-and-switch move by having a seemingly serious, intelligent and promising first half. I cannot forgive that.

    I'd suggest waiting for the uncensored version of Tokyo Ghoul to come out. As someone who loves the manga creepily, I can't imagine how frustrating that show is going to be with black bars appearing over the screen every few seconds in the future episodes.

    I'm watching SAOII, Persona 4 Golden Animation and Sailor Moon this season and will be picking up Hanamonogatari when it starts this week.

    The first episode of P4GA was great, but I thought the whole anime was going to be New Game+ shenanigans while going over the Golden content but after the first ep. its just 'Marie The Animation', why would I want to watch a show based on the worst girl :P
    It looks like this week is the Adachi route so that should be entertaining.

    Been watching Aldanoah Zero. Pretty great soundtrack but I have a hard time connecting with the main protagonist who shows about as much emotion as the robots he pilots.

    His face is permanently set to neutral. Darn neutrals.

    Last edited 13/08/14 8:51 pm

    I also think Terror in Resonance is the show to watch this season (animelab)

    Akame ga Kill is kinda cool. It has a nice conflicting tone to it. You think it's some cheesy light show but it will drop into these dark places and has some cool fight scenes (crunchy roll)

    Space Dandy is even more fun this season( animelab)

    I'm back on the SAO2 train, they always start so well with a cool concept (crunchy roll)

    Jojo's bizarre adventure is still goddam excellent (crunchyroll)

    and the series that continues to stay strong and get even greater is Hunter x Hunter (crunchy roll)

    I dunno how everyone else is watching these shows but I had to create an american psn account to get the crunchyroll app on my ps4 and the animelab website runs fantastically in the ps4 web browser. This has turned my ps4 into an anime media station

    Last edited 13/08/14 10:49 pm

    Came here to ask how Terror in Resonance wasn't on the list, was so glad to see it being called out so much in the comments. It's enthralling and my second favourite this season after Aldnoah and followed closely by SAO which I feel is having a very strong season.

    That motorcycle scene in Resonance an episode or two ago was just such a gorgeous piece of animation.

    Haha, at least get the character names right. Sinon, not Shinon.

    Barakamon is a clear stand out for me, enjoying the hell out of it. I'm a little behind on Sabagebu but it's just a generic comedy at the moment, although it is a bit of fun. As for Tokyo Ghoul, no one was more excited for this than I was. Personally I thought the first episode was the strongest of the season but the following episodes have just been rubbish. Adnoah.Zero is pretty good but it's overshadowed by the soundtrack a little. SOA II is all right, Sinon's childhood trauma is a little cliché though but what can you do.

    Every one of these series, with Barakamon perhaps being the only exception, pales in comparison to Haikyuu though. That show is absolutely beautiful.

    What about Rail Wars! Fan service and trains!

    Watched the first episode of Tokyo Ghoul. It seemed to just be vampire fiction where instead of drinking blood they're cannibals.

    Terror in Resonance
    A/Z
    Nozaki
    Akame
    Sabagebu

    The correct top 5, with Ghoul and Barakamon deserving a runner up mention

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