It seems that after the exciting 2013 anime season, there was something of a "hype withdrawal" in the anime community. With Attack on Titan having ended and many ongoing shows beginning to end, it seems we may be slipping into an anime dry spell this year. Looking at thread after thread listing all the upcoming anime for this year, I've noticed that almost all 2014's upcoming shows are either saccharine slice of life dramas or vapid harem shows with tons of fan-service.
Even with the recent slew of mediocre titles, there are still a few high quality series that stand out from the schlock.
Space Dandy is a Shinichiro Watanabe directed series produced by Masahiko Minami and animated by studio Bones. The series follows the adventures of Dandy or as the opening narration describes "Space Dandy! He's a dandy guy...in space. He combs the galaxy like his pompadour on the hunt for aliens. Planet after planet he searches, discovering new creatures both friendly and not.". Joining him on his misadventures is his auto-tuned robot partner QT and a perverted space cat named Meow. Like Cowboy Bebop, the show is a comedy homage series. It's specifically an homage of classic western and eastern Science fiction like Flash Gordon and Space Battleship Yamato. The series boasts impressive animation and a unique zany soundtrack to boot. The quality is unfortunately mixed due to each episode being written and directed by a Different people and has little to no continuity. But for every mediocre episode there are Three clever to inspired ones.
Psycho-Pass is a cyberpunk, crime thriller directed by Naoyoshi Shiotani, written by Gen Urobuchi, and premiered in Fall 2012 to Winter. It takes place in a futuristic Japan which governed by the Sibyl System. All of Japan's citizens have a device installed on their body called a Psycho-Pass That allows the Sibyl System to measure a person's mental state and the chance that a person will commit crimes. The series is a biting satire of Japanese politics, criminal psychology, and the nature of free will. The themes are engaging enough to be thought-provoking and subtle enough to not be pretentious. The characters have a lot of strong characterization and chemistry that grows and changes throughout the series. If you're a fan of sci-fi movies like Blade Runner or anime like Ghost in The Shell, then you will definitely enjoy this series.
It seems that the spring 2014 will bring us even more great Sci-Fi anime series to look forward to this year.