The Best Anime of 2014

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Written by Fraser Overington and Nick Cooney

This year we’ve been treated to some fantastic shows, it’s been really hard to narrow them down and choose. These choices have been made by myself (Fraser) and Nick and are not the opinions of the entire JCuri team. To be considered the show had to have finished in 2014, therefore series such as Parasyte and Nanatsu no Taizai are missing from this list.

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Action

Fate/Stay Night Unlimited Blade Works
Whether you were on board the hype train or not, it cannot be denied that season one of UBW presented some of the most beautiful and compelling action sequences of the year. Whether it was Shirou & co facing the demonic Berserker, or being tricked by the gorgeous Caster, the series managed to pull off stunning fight scenes and most importantly made them memorable. It is undeniable that Takahiro Miura and his team at ufotable have done a great job at adapting the much loved Visual Novel.


Fantasy

No Game No Life

Who knew a story about two legendary gaming NEETs could be so entertaining? The series handled itself remarkably and contained some of the craziest games ever to be animated, like the unforgettable word game where anything said became reality. Each episode had the right amount of humor, plot progression and charm, which was supported by some really fantastic visuals. Now we just have to hope that it gets a sequel sometime soon.


Comedy

Amagi Brilliant Park
Amaburi was a show where magic and reality crossover seamlessly, bringing to life a huge cast of characters. Each episode gave viewers a visually stunning treat and guaranteed a lot of laughs. Kyoto Animation made a big change by adding sex appeal to their characters, instead of relying on cuteness, however, moe fans had nothing to fear as there was still enough cute to go round.


Sci-Fi

Knights of Sidonia

When Knights of Sidonia began airing many were initially put off by it’s CG animation, ourselves included. There was no need to worry though as the show was compelling, haunting, unforgiving and to put it bluntly, awesome. The series was filled with interesting ideas, which for the most part worked incredibly well. The many battles against the horrifying Guana, each character’s emotional and physical journeys were very well-realized in this anime adaptation.


Mystery

Zankyou no Terror

Although Zankyou no Terror didn’t quite live up to expectations, it was still a very strong series and is worthy of being recognized as one of the best shows of the year. It took on some big themes and managed to deliver a very satisfying story filled with tension, mystery and intrigue. This is another strong and beautiful show delivered by the incredible Watanabe Shinichiro.


Sports

Haikyuu!!

There were several great sports shows to choose from but ultimately we think Haikyuu!! was the best. Everything from the show’s opening videos to the animation was fantastic. The way the group improved their teamwork and got over their differences was touching and more often than not very funny. Bring on season 2!


Drama

Nagi no Asukara

Nagi no Asukara was truly something special, the way the series handled conflicting emotions and the challenges of growing up was incredible. The story built up slowly, giving you enough time to get to know each and every character, some you love from the start and others grow on you. This is a show that should not be missed, it’s a treat for the eyes and the ears as both the visuals and soundtrack are wonderfully handled. A very rewarding watch.


Romance

Golden Time

Golden Time was not your average love story, there was nothing average about it, this was a truly unique tale, one that didn’t just focus on two people’s growth or a relationship blossoming over time, it went much, much deeper. Instead of going the usual High School route, we followed University students who are facing new responsibilities, entering new social circles and taking the leap into adulthood. Just those aspects are interesting enough, but the show also tackles amnesia, resulting in some very emotional scenes.


Biggest Surprise

Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru

When Yuuki Yuuna was announced, it didn’t seem like much more than your typical slice of life with some fantastical elements, how wrong we were. We should’ve expected a few surprises from the writer of Akame ga Kill, but honestly the average cute girls in a club setting had us fooled. The series came up with and delivered some interesting ideas, but always gave you enough time to invest in the characters before the show’s big reveals. Well done Yuuki Yuuna, well done.

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Honourable Mentions

Shingeki no Bahamut

Love Live! School Idol Project 2nd Season

Nisekoi!

Hunter x Hunter

Ping Pong The Animation

Sword Art Online II

These were our favourites of the year, do you agree? disagree? Let us know yours!

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About Author

Fraser is the co-founder of Japan Curiosity alongside Nick, he currently works for Animatsu/Manga Entertainment bringing us some of the best anime titles and sometimes stops by J-Curi when he fancies.