Top anime picks of 2014

Happy New Year! Hopefully, you’ve had your share of warm foods and recovery time from crying over the lack of Kogami in the Psycho-Pass S2 finale.

Anime News Network did a general poll of what were the top anime of 2014 where visitors could choose up to five shows that they enjoyed in the past year (spoilers: <em>Parasyte -the maxim-</em> takes top spot). Whether you agree with results as &ldquo;top anime,&rdquo; it&rsquo;s a pretty good test of what people have been watching this past year. Here are my three recommended picks of 2014.

1. <em>Ping Pong</em>

I hadn&rsquo;t really anticipated adding this show to the list, but since I caught up on it over the break, I&rsquo;ve been really happy with the direction that this show has taken. 2014 was definitely the year of sports anime &mdash; between <em>Yowamushi Pedal, Haikyu!!, Free! Eternal Summer,</em> and more <em>Ace of the Diamond </em>&mdash; but <em>Ping Pong</em> comes out on top for being the most different. The beautiful line quality of the show and the ways that different media can be used for animation were a welcome break from shows that aim to be more polished. The great thing about sports anime is that you don&rsquo;t even need to like or play the sport to enjoy it.

2. <em>Knights of Sidonia</em>

This is another show that didn&rsquo;t quite fit in the typical anime style as it was done entirely in CG. While at times the show did fall into harem-like qualities, it was a hard sci-fi show that didn&rsquo;t let up from start to finish. If you liked Production I.G.&rsquo;s <em>Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet</em>, that entire show is like the non-existent beach episode of <em>Knights of Sidonia</em>. The second season, <em>Battle for Planet Nine</em>, has been pushed to spring 2015, so it&rsquo;s going to be a bit of a wait.

3. <em>Monthly Girl&rsquo;s Nozaki-kun</em>

There are a great number of shows that could have occupied this third space, but this is the show I enjoyed the most, up until and past the most troll-ending of a shoujo-like series this year. The more you know about shoujo, the more you&rsquo;ll enjoy the show, and it did a great job switching up the tropes and gimmicks. When Sakura Chiyo fails in confessing her love to the guy she likes, she somehow ends up as his drawing assistant (he draws shoujo manga), where she encounters a hilarious cast of friends: Otaku Mikorin and his stereotypical heroine characteristics, &ldquo;prince&rdquo; Kashima, the hapless Wakamatsu...If there is one show you can catch up on right now, this is it.


<em>Giovanni&rsquo;s Island</em>: By Production I.G., it&rsquo;s a story of two brothers just after World War II. Beautifully animated, but a little sad.

<em>Tiger &amp; Bunny: The Rising</em>: This is a continuation of the TV series. It hits all the right notes, even if the villains are pretty forgettable.