2014 – the year in anime


Ashita no Joe 2, episode 24
Ashita no Joe 2, episode 24

Ashita no Joe 2 (1980-1981, 47 episodes)

So my favorite anime of all times, about the young boxer Joe, came to an end. I watched it for over 2 years, patiently waiting a month or two for each new subbed episode. Yes, it’s my favorite anime, but it’s also my favorite expression of art of any genre that I’ve experienced in the last years. People who dismiss anime for whatever childish reason don’t know what they’re missing.

Hunter x Hunter (2011-2014, 148 episodes)

The ultimate adventure anime, which I started watching after having bought the figure. It’s the longest series I’ve ever watched, and I must say it was brilliant from beginning to end, with some dips of course. Again, the deepness that emerges in seemingly superficial entertainment is amazing.

Yowamushi Pedal (2013-2014, 38 episodes)

The road bike manga, which I incidentally found in an Ueno bookshop in January 2013, turned into an anime in October 2013 – when I lived in Japan. But since I didn’t have a TV, I didn’t start watch it until I came home. It’s a very entertaining anime and the bike races are wonderfully rendered.

Ginga e Kickoff!! (2012-2013, 39 episodes)

During the Fifa World Cup I watched this upbeat anime about a gang of 11 and 12 year olds playing football (soccer) together. Very fun and uplifting.

Shinjuku station plastered with Free! billboards in December 2013.
Shinjuku station plastered with Free! billboards in December 2013.

Free! (2013, 12 episodes)

It’s one thing that sports anime featuring male actors become popular among girls who fantasize about what they do together – that’s the case with both Yowamushi Pedal and Kuroko no Basket. But swimming anime Free! made that funny bonus the main idea. I didn’t like, though the concept of women objectifying the hunks in the anime and putting words in their mouths that no guy would say is quite fun. Like the straight women’s version of the straight guys’ “lesbian porn”.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! (2013, 12 episodes)

It’s supposed to be a comedy about a girl who constantly fails at being popular in school, but I found the whole thing pretty depressing.

Also began watching Kuroko 2, Yowamushi Pedal 2 (which is still ongoing), Welcome to the NHK (very good so far, look forward to the other half of it), and Saint Seiya. Continued watching some Sailor Moon R and Ranma ½, rewatched Puni Puni Poemii. Dropped Code:Breaker and some others.


Tokyo Godfathers (2003)

A very sweet movie about three homeless people who find an infant in a pile of trash on the street, and set out to find its parents. A bit like Karl-Bertil Jonsson in style, but much better than that moral lecture of course.

Perfect Blue (1998)

By the same director as Tokyo Godfathers: Satoshi Kon. This one about an singing idol girl who switches career to acting and things go wrong. Very dreamlike, strange and at times extremely violent – one scene still sticks in my mind (unfortunately). Mr Kon apparently died in cancer in 2010, only aged 46.

Garden of Words (2013)

A slow-tuned love story, extremely beautifully made.

Akira (1988)

I watched this classic movie after having read the first volume of the manga. Impressive.


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