New Year 2014 Live Show

On tonight’s live stream, the full Shonen Beam crew shared thoughts on what stood out in 2013 and what’s to come in this new year.

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  • Interesting to see everyone’s opinions at the end of the year. Here are my rather belated picks:
    * Best New Series: UQ Holder, because it’s the only one I read. Negima is one of my favorite series, so I am curious to see where this one goes, but thus far it hasn’t done a whole lot.
    * Best New Character: I’m going to cheat here and go with a character introduced in the last month of 2012, Megumi Tadokoro. She really grew on me over the course of the year and she was shown to have her own strength as a cook, rather than relying on Souma, and a lot of Shokugeki no Souma’s best parts focused on her.
    * Best Love Interest: Hayate and Ruka. Hayate and Ruka’s relationship really is multifaceted, they could be great together but have too many other obligations and needs to become a couple. It’s pretty heartbreaking to see and it’s been worth all of the build up. The end of this arc has been a long time coming (especially with the anime just flat out skipping past it), and it ended very well.
    * Best Ending: Soul Eater, since it’s the only manga I read that ended this year. I really wish I knew what SKET Dance’s ending was as it almost certainly would have taken this category (and possibly several other categories), but oh well. I’ve been waiting for Soul Eater to end for a while now, and it did, I guess. I’ve felt fairly neutral towards Soul Eater for a while now, which is a shame because I remember liking it more in the past.
    * Best Art: Shokugeki no Souma. Those food reactions really are fantastic, I’m always eager to see what the next one is going to be.
    * Best Fight: Oga vs Takamiya. I didn’t read a lot of fighting-based manga this year, and One Piece is in the off-season for fights, so this one takes it pretty handily. There was a lot of tension building up to this fight and it resolved pretty well.
    * Most Improved Series: A difficult choice, as most series I read that were good this year were good last year, and most of the major changes were in a downward direction. I guess I’ll go with One Piece. Although Punk Hazard was a good arc that I liked far better than Fishman Island, I think Dressrosa is even better, with a lot of great reveals and moments.
    * Worst Decline: Denpa Kyoushi. I used to really enjoy this series, and now I’m not sure why. The most recent arcs have just been slogs, the same plot repeated beat for beat, and it’s just not effective anymore, the charm has worn off.
    * Story Arc of the Year: The Memory Loss Arc from Yamada-san. Honestly I’m not sure how this isn’t the end of the series, it’s the perfect way to wrap up on the premise, and you really feel Yamada’s pain and desire to get Shiraishi back. Still, if Yamada-san can be anywhere near as entertaining this year as it was last year I can’t complain.
    * Chapter of the Year: Chapter 102 from Nisekoi, “Cheer.” When I think back to chapters that really stood out this one comes first to mind, perhaps because it’s recent or perhaps because it’s a standalone. Nisekoi’s been really stagnating this year, but I appreciated the chapter we got focusing on Ruri, it was nice to get into the head of a great side character.
    * Series of the Year: in 2013 a lot of series had good years, but I think I’d have to go with Shokugeki no Souma. It’s just so wonderful to consume, it does a great job building up tension and keeping you wanting more. I feel it really came into its own this year, and even now I’m dying to see what scores everyone’s dishes are going to get and what the reactions are going to be.

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