Glancing Upstream: Summer 2014 Retrospective and Review

This season defied all kinds of initial expectations, for better and for worse.

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Panning the Stream: Summer 2014 Midseason Review

If I had to pick a single word to describe this season, it would have to be “eclectic.”

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While this past Spring was dominated by very good sports series, and this past Winter was dominated by, uh… kami, I guess? (it was a pretty weak season), this Summer seems to have taken a cookie out of every genre jar. Action flicks, thrillers, rom-coms, satires, school dramas, period pieces, mysteries, Gothic horrors… you want it, this season has got it. And while none of them have been quite as jaw-droppingly perfect as Spring’s Ping Pong or Mushishi, on the whole I’d say there are a lot of solid, B-range shows on the schedule. It’s made it very hard to trim titles off my watchlist, that’s for sure.

And now that we’re six (or five, in Nobunaga Concerto’s case) episodes into the season, I figured I’d pop back in with some quickie reviews to talk about what’s still working, what reeeally isn’t, and everything in between.

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Rule of Three Review, Ladies’ Digest: Blue Spring Ride, HaNaYaMaTa – Episodes 2-3

Sometimes you don’t have to do anything new as long as you’re doing it well.

I don’t have a ton to say about either of these shows (although most of what I do have to say is positive), so it made sense to roll them into a digest. Hit the jump to spend some time with our lady-led Monday series.

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Panning the Stream: Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, HaNaYaMaTa, Blue Spring Ride

If you heeeeear any noise, it ain’t the boys – it’s ladies’ night! ♪

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This trio features three shows with female leads, and while I’m only giving one of them a Gold Nugget Alert, all three were good enough to convince me to come back for more. After several (several!) seasons of high-quality shows packed with male characters, could this be the season when well-written female protagonists make a comeback? In the name of the moon, I sure hope so.

Hit the jump for the full meet ‘n’ greet.

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