Posted on 16 November 2012 with categories: Seasonal Previews

I’ll be blunt: the upcoming winter season looks abysmal. I mean, I have seen bad seasons before, but this might go down as the worst season aside from Winter 2010. There are basically two series that I’m really looking forward to. And they are sequels. Beyond that… oh lord… there is a whole lot of mediocrity. It’s been a while since I raged so much at compiling a preview as today.

That alone doesn’t make this season so bad. There is a fair share of series coming out, so there might be surprises. No, what really gets to me is that this season seems specifically designed to piss me off. It may not have incest or Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but it does have just about everything else that gets on my nerves. I think that seven or eight of people from my top 10 of staff members that get on my nerves the most is doing something this season, it’s unbelievable.

Seriously, it’s a good thing that the current season is so awesome, because this is just… ugh…

As always, I cannot comment much on the original source material because I’m not familiar to it.

Puchimas

Summary: Based on the Idolm@ster Franchise. “The anime depicts the overly hyper daily life of the 765Pro idols of The Idolmaster and mysterious creatures named Puchidoll who somewhat resemble the idols.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Produced by: Gathering
Director: Mankyuu
Series Composition: Sao Tamado

The Positives: The most interesting part of this production seems to be that nearly every voice actress in this production will voice two or three characters. It might be fun to see them switch between their different ranges in one series.
The Negatives: Yes people. There you have it. More Idolm@ster, from the creators of 30-Sai no Hoken Taiku, otherwise known as that one show about the 30-year old virgin. The animation will be really bare-bones, and seeing as I have never even laughed at one single joke these creators made, this one seems destined for my drop-list.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

D.C.III ~Da Capo III~

Summary: Based on a visual novel
Director: Kenichi Ishikura
Series Composition: Kenichi Ishikura
Original creator: Circus
Music: Ryousuke Nakanishi
Character Designer: Kouhaku Nishio

The Positives: I have nothing.
The Negatives: Good lord, even more Da Capo? There have been four TV-shows already, totaling 78 episodes already, and now they want to make more of this dating sim? Really? What’s so good about this one to warrant it so many adaptations? The creators also seem like nothing special: the writer seems decent, but nothing really special. Same for the director: they have nice experience, but nothing outstanding whatsoever.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Senran Kagura

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by:
Director: Takashi Watanabe
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka
Original creator: Yukinori Kitajima
Character Designer: Takashi Torii

The Positives: Takashi Watanabe. What happened that caused you to make Starship Operators and Boogiepop Phantom? They were so good, and so completely different from all other series you usually do…
The Negatives: Oh for Christ’s sake.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

Summary: “The story centers on the characters Maou (Demon Queen) and Yūsha (Hero) who live in a world where humans and demons are at war. Yuusha confronts Maou about the destructive war that the demons have imposed on humans. However, Maou tells him that the war has created a reason for humans to work together and improved human society overall. She convinces him that humans would fall into a bloody civil war without their battles against the demons. To prevent such a conflict, Yūsha decides to join forces with Maou.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: ARMS
Director: Takeo Takahashi
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Music: Takeshi Hama
Character Designer/Animation Direction: Hiroaki Karasu

The Positives: The soundtrack from the same guy who did Kobato? Fair enough, sounds promising.
The Negatives: Oh lord. Here is one match-up that I really fear: the creators of Dakara Boku wa H ga Dekinai, Aki Sora, Yosuga no Sora, Love Love? and other really bad fanservice shows (and Spice and Wolf; I still have no idea how that happened), together with Arms, the single worst animation company out there. Who the hell found that a good idea?

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Ganbare! Lulu Lolo

Summary: “The anime centers around the daily life of two twin bear sisters: the orange-colored Lulu and the yellow-colored Lolo. The two take on new jobs and despite the occasional failure and tears, give their best efforts.” – (Taken from ANN)

The Positives: This is another one of the kiddie shows, apparently based on a best-selling children’s novel. Nothing is really known about who is going to make or produce it, but this seems nice enough for the smallest children.
The Negatives: It’s for really small kids, and there are no signs that it’ll be for anyone other than that.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT

Summary: ” Hasegawa Kodaka is a recent transfer student to St. Chronica’s Academy, a Catholic high school. As with every other school he has ever attended, he finds it difficult to make friends there because of his naturally-blond hair and fierce-looking eyes, which make him look like a dangerous “yankee” to his prejudiced schoolmates. One day, Kodaka accidentally comes across the equally solitary and very abrasive Yozora Mikazuki while she converses with her imaginary friend Tomo. Realizing that neither of them have any social lives, they decide that the best way to improve their situation is to form a club: the Neighbor’s Club precisely intended to make friends and learn social skills.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: AIC Build
Director: Toru Kitahata
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata, Yomi Hirasaka
Original creator: Yomi Hirasaka
Music: Tom-H@ck
Character Designer/Animation Director: Yoshihiro Watanabe

The Positives: The staff has changed. The writer of the original novels this is based on will join the anime staff, so this will be a pretty faithful production.
The Negatives: The director has also changed: the assistant director of the first season will take over, but unfortunately this was the director of Koi to Senkyo to Chocolate, which was incredibly boring for the few episodes that I watched it. Added to that, that the first season also just could not catch my attention: none of the characters were interesting and I just did not get the chemistry between them at all. Not going to follow this one.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Youkai Watch

Summary: “The story begins one hot summer days when a boy named Keita discovers an old capsule toy vending machine in the forest. Keita receives a mysterious watch and meets a ghost butler named Whisper. Whisper tells Keita that the watch allows him to see supernatural creatures — both good and evil — that he could not see before in everyday life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Original creator: Level 5

The Positives: It will be better than your average kiddie show.
The Negatives: I’m really getting pissed off by Level 5 right now. Setting their games aside, all of their anime basically all just look the same if you remove the topic that they’re about (football, mecha, youkai).

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Vividred Operations

Summary: “” – (Taken from )
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Kazuhiro Takamura
Series Composition: Hiroyuki Yoshino, Kazuhiro Takamura
Character Designer: Kazuhiro Takamura
Other Notable Staff: Tensai Okamura (Script)

The Positives: Tensai Okamura… is this really where you want to be after Wolf’s Rain and Darker than Black?
The Negatives: Oh lord, this sounds bad. Really bad. Vividred seems to be an anime original series… from the director of Strike Witches. And yes, the girls are running around in underwear again. That alone already was pretty bad, but in combination with Hiroyuki Yoshino this is going to turn into a trainwreck of enormous proportions. In terms of adaptations this guy is fine, currently doing a very good job on Magi. But his original scripts, oh god, these have issues. Seikon no Qwaser, Mai Otome, Guilty Crown and Code Geass’s storylines all come from this guy. Granted, he also wrote Sora no Oto which seems to be much more in the direction of what Vividred will be, but even that show had some major pacing issues.

First-Glance Potential: 25%

Love Live! School Idol Project

Summary: “The school idol project is set at a school between Tokyo’s Akihabara, Kanda, and Jinbouchou neighborhoods. The school faces the danger of being streamlined out of existence, so nine of its female students decide to become idols to protect their school and boost attendance.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Produced by: Sunrise

The Positives: Err… there have been plenty of good idol shows. Seriously, nothing is known about this yet so I can’t say much about the staff yet.
The Negatives: But for god’s sake people, haven’t you learned anything from AKB0048? You can have idol shows that are awesome, just put some imagination in your premises. Not have the umpth school show with idols in id. Agh!

First-Glance Potential: 30%

Mondai-Ji-tachi ga Isekai Kara Kuru Sou Desu yo?

Summary: “The story follows Izayoi Sakamaki, a boy bored with the entire world. One day, an envelope arrives for him. The moment Izayoi opens the envelope, he is transported to an alternate world. There, he discovers that two other “problem children” were transported by envelopes as well — a taciturn girl named You Kasukabe with a cat, and a beautiful yet haughty girl named Asuka Kudou. A girl named Kuro Usagi (Black Rabbit) summoned the three to the community “No Name” to overthrow the devil.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Diomedea
Chief Director: Keizou Kusakawa
Director: Yasutaka Yamamoto
Series Composition: Noboru Kimura
Original creator: Tarou Tatsunoko
Character Designer: Naomi Ide

The Positives: Uh, one of the directors has experience directing with Valkyria Chronicles, and Keizou Kusakawa directed a few good series (Nanoha A’s)… at least it’s something.
The Negatives: This again looks pretty bad. Most of the shows these guys worked on were downright mediocre, and on top of that they’ve got yet another badly sounding light novel with an impossibly long and quirky sounding title that was inspired by all those incest shows.

First-Glance Potential: 30%

GJ-bu

Summary: “Each of GJ-bu’s nine volumes contains 36 four-page short stories about the lives of high school students.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Director: Yoshiyuki Fujiwara
Series Composition: Hideaki Koyasu
Original creator: Shin Araki

The Positives: New blood: this will be the debut for the director on a full series. I wish him best of luck. A show about four high school girls is all about its chemistry, which you need to portray well otherwise my interest just gets lost completely.
The Negatives: So, chemistry. This is more than just adapting, it’s writing the characters in such a manner that they’re appealing and interesting to watch. So what kind of experience does Hideaki Koyasu have in this area? Akikan, Limeiro Senkitan, the Kurenai OVA, Yuruyuri… yeah. Don’t get me wrong: this guy is great when he has a crazy script to work with, but with four random high school girls this just doesn’t seem to be the case.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Mangirl!

Summary: “The story follows the daily life of naive Editor-in-Chief Hana and Japan’s cutest manga editors as they attempt to realize their dream of launching the #1 manga magazine — even though they have zero experience in actually editing manga.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Original creator: Kagari Tamaoka

The Positives: Aaaaaand the winner of the worst pun of the year is….. *drumroll*
The Negatives: The staff behind this series has not yet been announced yet beyond Dogakobo (who after Natsuyuki Rendezvous unfortunately seem quite content to go back to bad moe shows), but what can they ever hope to do with a premise as stupid as this? The only salvation I see for this show is if they take it over 9000, but can Dogakobo really do that?

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Hakkenden: Touhou Hakken Ibun

Summary: “Miyuki Abe’s manga inspiration for the anime reimagines the setting from the classic Hakkenden samurai novel as a female-oriented manga with supernatural elements.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Chief Director: Osamu Yamasaki
Director: Mitsue Yamazaki
Series Composition: Osamu Yamasaki, Mitsue Yamazaki
Original creator: Miyuki Abe
Character Designer: Hiromi Kato

The Positives: I still have no idea what made Toward the Terra so good, but I keep hoping. Osamu Yamasaki! Return to that brilliance! Mitsue Yamasaki is also quite good for the episode he’s worked on, and this will be his first work as an actual director for a whole series.
The Negatives: Agh, Studio Deen with its bishies again. No, not again! Miyuki Abe’s other works all seem to be generic yaoi and shounen ai. Try to do something different for a change!

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Amnesia

Summary: “The game begins on the morning of August 1, when the protagonist wakes up and discovers she has absolutely no memories of the past. A boy appears before her, and he introduces himself as a “spirit” named Orion. The protagonist struggles to regain her memories under the guidance of Orion. She then gets a phone call, but she does not recognize the name on her mobile phone screen. She meets her apparent “boyfriend,” despite not knowing his face.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Yoshimitsu Ohashi
Series Composition: Touko Machida
Music: Yoshiaki Dewa
Character Designer: Maho Yoshikawa

The Positives: If this show has anything, it’s experience: Touko Machida has written a lot. Some of those things were actually good (GA, Muteki Kanbanmusume), and Yoshimitsu Ohashi has also directed a lot, some of which was very good (Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto, Witchblade, episodes of Michiko e Hatchin, Witch Hunter Robin).
The Negatives: They were behind a lot of bad stuff, though. However, this remains a otome game adaptation. I have never seen one that actually worked. Still, could this be the first to actually do something right? I sure hope so.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Ai Mai Mi

Summary: ” The manga follows girls in a manga club — Ai, Mai, Mī, and Ponoka-sempai — who might be fighting evil invaders threatening Earth, facing off against rivals in tournaments, and dealing with other absurd situations when they are not drawing manga.” – (Taken from ANN)
Original creator: Choboraunyopomi (Just why!?)

The Positives: Nothing is really known about this show aside from the premise and the incredibly quirky name of the original mangaka for this one. Ah well, if they make it quirky enough this might be worth watching.
The Negatives: I do however wonder where the mind of this series lies. Base on the promo art showing a girl holding a bag of tentacles, I suspect the gutter.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru

Summary: “A young boy called Eita enters high school aiming for the National University School of Medicine. Because of his parents’ divorce and his goal, he shuns anything to do with romance or love. One day Masuzu, the school beauty with the silver hair, who’s just returned to the country, enters his life in a most unexpected way. Chiwa, his childhood friend since elementary school, will not let this go without a fight.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Kanta Kamei
Series Composition: Tatsuhiko Urahata
Original creator: Yuuji Yuuji
Music: Masatomo Ota
Character Designer: Mai Otsuka

The Positives: A-1: Solid. Tatsuhiko Urahata: solid (we’re talking about a guy who adapted a ton of stuff already, including Hajime no Ippo, Gunslinger Girl, Master Keaton, Monster). Kanta Kamei, hell yeah solid (the director of Usagi Drop).
The Negatives: Which brings me to the actual premise: just simple romance with a childhood friend and a really long and quirky title. You really couldn’t try harder? The staff here isn’t so good that they can make boring premises like this worth watching, they’re more the types of creators who can really bring out the best of any source material.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Kotoura-San

Summary: ” The school fantasy story follows Haruka Kotoura, a girl who recently transfered to a new school. Kotoura happens to be able to read people’s minds, and she joins the school’s ESP club.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: AIC Classic
Director: Masahiko Outa
Series Composition: Takashi Aoshima
Original creator: Enokids
Character Designer: Takaharu Okuma

The Positives: A supernatural 4-koma adaptation from the director and series composition guy of Minami-Ke and the first season of Minami-Ke and Yuruyuri. It depends on the source material of course, but they can make this work.
The Negatives: Of course, I also thought this about Yuruyuri, which turned out to be a string of bad lesbian jokes, so I’m still withholding my enthusiasm until I see what kind of material they have to work with. There is very little to be found about the author of this thing, so anything can happen here. Although it also doesn’t help that this is AIC again. I don’t have the most confidence in these guys and that’s an understatement.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Minami-Ke Tadaima

Summary: “There are three of the Minami sisters: Haruka, Kana and Chiaki, who have an average life. The girls only have each other to depend on and help each other get through everything from love confessions to cooking.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Feel
Director: Keiichiro Kawaguchi
Series Composition: Takamitsu Kouno
Original creator: Cohaku Sakubara
Character Designer: Gou Suzuki

The Positives: More Minami-ke, slice of life about nothing that is actually quite enjoyable, albeit nothing special.
The Negatives: To be honest, this seems to be the weakest line-up so far to continue with this series. Feel is not the most solid studio out there, Keiichiro Kawaguchi can be solid when he wants to, but also has a habit of being really boring, and most of Takamitsu Kouno’s scripts and adaptations also aren’t much to write home about. I like how the producers continue to change creators to keep things fresh, but this might not have been the best choice.

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

Summary: “The story follows a hikikomori (shut-in) named Sasami who is unmotivated about even changing clothes or eating. Her brother Kamiomi takes care of her, even though she despises his slave-like nature. Sasami spends her days viewing the outside world via a “Brother Surveillance Tool” on her computer. In the outside world, the three beautiful Yagami sisters and Sasami’s brother are in the middle of relationships worthy of a romantic comedy.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Shaft
Director: Akiyuki Shinbo
Series Composition: Katsuhiko Takayama
Original creator: Akira
Character Designer: Hiroki Harada

The Positives: Shinbo: when he’s good he’s really good. Katsuhiko Takayama: when he’s good he’s really good.
The Negatives: This… will get annoying. This premise sounds a bit like Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojo, and with the right people working on it it can really become great. I just really fear Shaft’s long drawn-out discussions about nothing and fanservice here. Please: just do something about that horrible pacing of yours! I really want to like Shaft and all, but they annoy me way too much for that.

First-Glance Potential: 65%

Cuticle Detective Inaba

Summary: ” The series tells the story of Hiroshi Inaba, a part-man, part-wolf, former “secret doberman” who begins his own detective agency.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Zexcs
Director: Susumu Mitsunaka
Series Composition: Makoto Nakamura
Original creator: Mochi
Character Designer / Chief Animation Director: Satoshi Koike

The Positives: An exciting time for Susumu Mitsunaka: this will be his first full series to direct, so anything can happen. It’s a bit of a pity that he has such a silly premise to work with, but ah well. Makoto Nakamura is solid enough to back him up with the series composition. At least this doesn’t piss me off in any way, that’s also good in this season.
The Negatives: The thing with this show is that it has a really silly premise, yet it tries to look serious. Good perhaps for some deadpan humour or something, but will it actually work?

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Senyuu

Summary: ” In the story, a gigantic hole suddenly opened up in the world one day, and demons appeared. The king thinks that this portends the return of the demon king Rukimedesu, who was sealed away by the hero Kureashion a millenium ago. The king decreed that the descendants of the hero must take on the threat, and 75 people showed up. Hero No. 45 (Aruba) and a sadistic palace warrior (Rosu) team up, and their adventure begins.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Ordet
Director: Yutaka Yamamoto
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Robinson Haruhara
Music: Daisuke Sakabe
Character Designer/Chief Animation Director: Ushio Tazawa
Other Notable Staff: Daisuke Okumura (Director of Photography), Takanori Tanaka

The Positives: Very solid staff members here: Daisuke Okumura has done the photography of many interesting-looking anime (Shikabane Hime, Gurren Lagann, Mine Fujiko to Iu Onna’s OP, Penguin Drum), Takanori Tanaka did some beatiful backgrounds (Dennou Coil, Ghost Hound, Seirei no Moribito), and Michiko Yokote has written and adapted many, many awesome series (Princess Tutu, Kobato, Strange Dawn, Bake Neko). The mangaka is a typical shounen mangaka, but he does seem to have his own unique style which actually seems retained in the promo art. I’d look forward to this, if it wasn’t for one thing…
The Negatives: Oh god, Yutaka Yamamoto. Not him. The problem with him is that he really wants to be there with the big guys, and he is ambitious, but he still needs to learn so much, and doesn’t seem to realize this. This lead to the disaster that was Fractale. And really: technically his series always look great and stuff, but they’re a mess when he starts to meddle with the story. This is an adaptation, but that still doesn’t convince me, considering how disappointingly out Kannagi (one of his other series) ended.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Yama no Susume

Summary: “Aoi and Hinata promised that they would again see the sunrise they had seen at the apex of a mountain as young children. As time passes by, somehow without any apparent reasons, Aoi becomes acrophobic, Will they ever see the sunrise together again. A piece that became popular in a fanzine is now out on manga.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: 8-Bit
Director: Yuusuke Yamamoto
Original creator: Shiro
Character Designer: Yuusuke Matsuou

The Positives: The character designer of Black Rock Shooter? Could have been far worse. Also, the director of NHK ni Youkoso, Aquarion Evol (under Shoji Kawamori) and B Gata H Kei seems very promising here. Finally! Something new that is actually looking promising!
The Negatives: I have become very cynical while writing this season preview. It sounds promising, however the overabundance of moe on the promo art still has me worried. Have some variety dangit!

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman

Summary: ” The story of the game this is based on follows Roman, a phantom thief who operates at night in the Genroku era (1688-1704). The anime Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman will shift the timeframe to Bakumatsu, the era that spelled the end of the shoguns’ rule over Japan.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TMS Entertainment
Director: Hirofumi Ogura
Series Composition: Tatsuto Higuchi
Original creator: Monkey Punch
Music: Hiroshi Takaki
Character Designer: Satoshi Hirayama

The Positives: I must say, I have no idea what happened to TMS Entertainment, but suddenly they have become much, much more ambitious and experimental than what they were before. Here they adapt another one of Monkey Punch’s works after Lupin, and again they plan to give it a different spin by adding a few centuries to the setting. That’s what I like: an adaptation that takes both the original source, and a bit of its own style and flavour. The director is quite versed with this, having previously done this with Kuroshitsuji’s second season, even though his work on the Knight in the Area was a bit mediocre. The soundtrack will also be awesome, if going by Hiroshi Takaki’s previous work on AKB0048 and Kyosogiga.
The Negatives: I am not confident whether Tatsuto Higuchi can write a good script for this. He’s not bad or anything, but he definitely lacks experience in this genre (he did storyboard a bunch of manga, which were about cute girls fighting in fanservice outfits…). I am confident that he’s able to write a fun script based on his experience, but I’m most worried about the overarching story. Yes, that’s very important for an episodic series.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

AKB0048 Next Stage

Summary: “In the beginning of the 21st century, a world war broke out amongst mankind. In the aftermath of the war started by humanity itself, the earth’s ecosystem was irrecoverably affected, and it had no choice but to escape the now devastated earth to live in space. A new era began with the Star Calendar 0000. Shortly afterwards entertainment was prohibited by law and the sacred place for otaku, Akihabara, became the public entertainment’s absolute area of defense and the only place to perform such activities. In Star Calendar 0048 once more a group was formed in the hope to resume the legacy of the legendary idol act AKB48, which continued to shine even during the earth’s downfall. With the law in place they were deemed as an illegal act and unable to hold official live events. This is when the group’s concept changed. Instead of the idols you can meet they became the idols who come to meet you. Branded as terrorists by authorities they didn’t give up and decided to take up arms to protect the stage they stand on, the fans who cheer for them and the citizens who are deprived of entertainment.” – (Taken from AniDB)
Produced by: Satelight
Original creator:

The Positives: The official staff list has not been announced yet, but I think that we can be pretty sure that the main staff will be the same as for the first season. This means Hell yeah! Mari Okada and Shoji Kawamori once more together on one project. I remember how pleasantly surprised I was with the first season: it won me over, even though I hate the idol business, and it was exactly because of how it tried to bite the hand that fed it that made up for so much.This really was one series that needed a second season, and I’m really glad that it got one.
The Negatives: I really hope that this team will again get the freedom that they got in the first season. Considering the collective ego of both Mari Okada and Shoji Kawamori, this should probably be fine, but the chance still remains for this to turn into a sell-out.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Chihayafuru 2

Summary: “Chihaya Ayase is a frank and ebullient girl who becomes fascinated by the obscure world of competitive karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry. Introduced to the aggressive style of the game by a quiet and thoughtful elementary school classmate named Arata Wataya, the two quickly become close friends. They start playing as a group with Taichi Mashima, Chihaya’s smart and athletic childhood friend, until they have to part ways during their middle school years due to several circumstances. As their high school life begins, they meet once again.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse
Original creator: Yui Suetsugu
Other Staff: Has not been announced yet, but will probably be the same as the first season.

The Positives: Squeeeeee! By far the biggest flaw of Chihayafuru’s first season was that it was too short: the ending was inconclusive. I sure as hell did not expect a continuation, due to the bad sales, but I am SO glad that it got one. The first season was just so beautifully made, and the chemistry between the characters was fantastic. It left on such a huge cliff-hanger that it will be instantly awesome again.
The Negatives: You need to have seen the first season in order to really enjoy this.

First-Glance Potential: 100%

77 Responses

  1. Cytl says:

    Sorry but in this case I have to energetically say that you’re wrong in judging Maoyuu Maou Yuusha by the staff (to be frank I disagree with the little amount of credit you usually give to the original creator in how good/bad a show is; the scenario writer and director in adaptations are just that). While the team in charge may, at some point, exaggerate the little fanservice this series has, the latter itself is a well-tought, intelligent series (all IMO) that is closer to Spice and Wolf than to any other series. I believe your opinion will change after the first/first couple of episodes (and if it doesn’t it’s also respectable) but I do have to say I’m waiting with lots of hope this anime.

    • rubix says:

      As someone who hasn’t read the light novels, I’m actually a huge fan of the manga. It’s like watching the aftermath of beating an RPG. So far, the PVs seem to have a down-to-earth feel to them, so I’m hoping the same could be said for the show itself as the concepts it deals with are very much things you see in history textbooks. I’ve got my eye on this, and hopefully the ‘adaptation’ won’t ruin the original’s aesthetic.

    • Ransom says:

      Having read the manga, I cannot see how they can put fanservice in the anime, unless they actually are planning for original material… Which would totally ruin the story… Only thing I can say is that I’m slightly disapointed at the animation. The PVs look descent enough but the art is definitely not to my liking.

      Neverteless the story is great. More or less at the same level as spice and wolf, just hope the director manages to stay focused in the great interaction between all the characters and the way they affect the plot and not in minor details.

    • Daxis says:

      Oh gods, yes, the manga is absolutely amazing, it is intelligent and well thought out. It deals with every trope in RPGS, literally calling the characters ‘Hero’ and ‘Priest’, and deals with guilds, economics, war, while having romance and action and being smart about it. The source material, trust me, was amazing.
      That said, The World God Only Knows manga was great source material as well, and they butchered the anime quite badly, so we’ll see.

  2. Alec says:

    At first glance, the list looks terrible.

    But I’ll hold off my judgement

  3. Kim says:

    Did you actually watch the preview of Maoyuu Maou Yuusha? The series looks like the best new thing to come out this winter (not counting Chihayafuru which is a sequel).

    cast and great concept as well. And from what I heard the source material its based on is very good.

  4. Sabella says:

    Chihayafuru 2 is the only one I definitely want to see, but I may end up checking out Amnesia, Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, and Cuticle Detective Inaba. Still…it does seem like a very weak season up ahead. But that means we’ll be all the more open for surprises, I guess.

  5. rubix says:

    In my opinion, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha is probably the one show this season to watch out for. It’s source material is pretty good, but it also has the most to lose if adapted poorly. To say the least, it has a lot of potential.

  6. Qwerty1 says:

    Is this seriously all that’s airing next season or is this just everything there’s information on now?

    If this is it there isn’t going to be much to watch once you sift through the crap, this season has almost twice as many shows airing.

  7. wicked says:

    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha will probably surprises you with the economic knowledge it imparts upon you

    Ai Mai Mi is a 4koma that’s likely to be a 2 minute short

    Great season for comedies. Senyuu, Sasami-san, GJ-bu are all pretty funny.

    Sasami San is nothing like Pet kanojo, the real premise is that his brother has the supernatural ability of getting his desires granted by the gods, often times in way overboard fashinon, because he can elevate their status, she has surveillance of him and tries to prevent disaster while never leaving the house. It’s very off beat

  8. Ruka says:

    I prefer to wait. A lot of people said/says that this season is great, but i’m watching only 2 or 3 news animes (kinda meeh to me)…
    Of course i don’t have time to watch because of college, and next season is the same season of vacations, so…

  9. neowai says:

    Strange enough, nowadays they make anime out of all kind of crappy manga.
    They must be really desperate O.o

    • wicked says:

      crappy manga? I like all 3 shoujo manga adapts this season as well Bakuman, Magi and JOJO. not to mention just this year we got Natsuyuki, Mysterious Girlfriend X, Uta Koi, Moyashimon, High School Boy’s daily lifes, Kids on the Slope,Jormungand.

      That’s a crazy notion. If anything, they’ve been picking up better manga to adapt, and crappier lightnovels

  10. Kaiserin Emma says:

    I’m actually kind of looking forward to Hakkenden…and hope it has lots of shounen-ai hints in it.
    Amnesia might work because it won’t suffer from loldeen and i’ve pretty much loved everything brain base has produced.
    I can see myself laughing at the new boku no tomodachi and GJ .
    AKB 2 though I’m anticipating most along with hakkenden and chihayafuru.

    • Kaiserin Emma says:

      I actually have zero interest in Maou actually because of the political elements actually. Bakumatsu catches my attention even less.
      I might check out susume.

      • wicked says:

        Then I think you’ll miss one of the more interesting anime of the season

        • Kaiserin Emma says:

          @Wicked: We’ll see, it might need some kind of humour and action element to stop it from becoming dry, how the romance aspect plays out will also be important.

          • wicked says:

            eh, you were skeptical of Robotic;Note too. Never know until you try it

          • wicked says:

            for the weirdest reason, I’m super okay with the Yuusha’s harem in this book, it could be because you don’t get all these annoying interactions and in-action like the usual harem

          • Kaiserin Emma says:

            Ah, but that was because robotics, notes was done by the steins gate guys so it had alot to live up to. As it stands so far I actually have ended up enjoying it more than steins, gate.
            Then again I prefer kinda quieter shows.

          • wicked says:

            Hate to say it, but at some point Robotic;Note is going to take a turn from its current atmosphere and get more serious, but it’ll be a while

          • Kaiserin Emma says:

            @wicked:I’ll be clear, I’m not against darker shows, I do enjoy them and I’m sure I’ll still like robotics, notes when it goes that direction.

  11. mezzoguitar says:

    Oh god, the premise of “Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru” sounds horrible. I’m surprised you gave it such a high potential rating just for the staff despite that premise.

    • wicked says:

      It’s probably the least interesting of it’s type I have to say, but it is the first of its kind. Harem actually fighting for the main character’s affection. It will piss you off a lot

  12. Kaiserin Emma says:

    I am a bit skeptical though towards boku no tomodachi 2, lest we recall comedy sequels sometimes don’t live up to the originals.

    • Andmeuths says:

      It’s not anime original, and some LN authors have a trend of improving with every book they write. Hagani’s author is one of them, IMO, so I think,provided that the adaptation is done well, Hagani’s season 2 would be even better, and develop quite a good bit of character depth, depending on where they stop. The Relay Novel OVA is rather par for course for the Second Season material, so if you had fun with that, you’d have fun with the second season

  13. Troyen says:

    Not sure if the blank summary for Vividred Operations is a joke about the premise or a mistake.

    • Longhaul says:

      I doubt it was an accident, considering psgel thinks hotpants are underwear you can tell how much attention was actually given to this.

  14. Mi-Mi-Mikuru says:

    It’s absolutely superficial to judge Miyuki Abe Manga without ever having read some of her works!

    • Ee says:

      Absolutely agree with this. Miyuki Abe can be a strong writer when she wants to be. I can’t say much for Hakkenden because I’ve only read a few chapters of it and not enough to form a concrete opinion, but Komatta was pure gold, and so was Super Lovers (then it kind of turned into generic yaoi).

      Komatta had a lot of themes surrounding family, friendships, and home spread over 26 volumes (the meaning of home was especially focused upon). It’s labelled shounen-ai, but even a lot of readers have a hard time saying it falls in the genre. Super Lovers also had a similar surrounding theme around family in the very beginning which was rather nice before it turned into generic yaoi. But like I said, Miyuki Abe can be an awesome writer so it’s pretty bad to generalize.

  15. Anon says:

    Most of your reasons have to do with the staff choices. You’re losing your touch… or so I want to say, but the list is truly full of trash shows. But there are still some to look forward to.

    Maoyuu Maou Yuusha – sure the character designs look atrocious (nothing like the manga, either) but the source material is simply a cut above. This is the one show I’m looking forward to the most this season.

    Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai NEXT – I liked the original series so definitely am looking forward to this one.

    Vividred Operations – Strike Witches was actually a good anime, leaving aside the copious amounts of fanservice, and just for that reason I am willing to give this one a fighting chance.

    Ore no Kanojo to Osananajimi ga Shuraba Sugiru – the manga was kind of fun so I’d be willing to watch this. Should be above average.

    Chihayafuru 2 – I don’t need to mention why this will be awesome.

  16. Aegd says:

    Looks like I won’t be watching much anime this winter :P

  17. mistress_kisara says:

    -Amnesia
    -Hakkenden
    -Chihayafuru S2
    -Cuticle Tantei Inaba
    *might watch – Maoyuu Maou Yuusha

  18. Kiseki says:

    You forgot about the new Hetalia season, unless you’re grouping it with the ONA/OVA/movies, but it does keep a regular schedule so… :/

    I was expecting Maoyuu to be at the bottom of the list, not at the top. It’s almost like judging Magi for Yoshino Hiroyuki or something.

    Also could you tell me where Youkai Watch was announced for winter? I never heard about it. :0
    Yes, Inaele/chro and Dansen/W are both shounen made for merchandise with the same guy writing the story, but you can’t judge and say they’re the same thing without watching them, can you? :/ That’s almost like saying all shounen anime made for merchandise are the same thing…?
    Youkai Watch has a truck accident quota to fill though. Good old Hino Akihiro and his plot devices.

    Unfortunately, this season looks lackluster unless you have some sequels to look forward to. u_u

  19. Souther says:

    For the record:

    Hiroyuki Yoshino only wrote three (3) out of 50 episodes of Code Geass and his credit is “assistant/deputy writer” so he did not come up with the storyline. It’s not too hard to at least the details right.

    My own opinion about that old show is still more positive than yours, regardless, but that doesn’t mean you should inaccurately credit him.

    That’s a factual error and doesn’t really serve your arguments.

  20. Hogart says:

    Wow, not much to look at on paper this season, is there? Other than Chihaya, maybe I’ll have to finally try AKB0048.

    I keep hearing hype about Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, but it seems like a mixed bag to me.. like some sort of Spice and Wolf clone minus all the stuff that made Spice and Wolf special. Here’s hoping.

    Guess I’ll just have to let the rest of the season impress me as it airs.

    • wicked says:

      nope really no that much like spice and wolf, the interaction and the aspect of economic it gets into is very different. only similarity is the economic knowledge

      • james says:

        yeah, basically Maoyuu is about macroeconomics while Spice was about microeconomics, that alone makes the two series very different. Maoyuu has a much bigger scope and brings a bit of politics in as well, the only real similarity is the fact that there’s economics involved… and that they both have terrible-sounding premises.

  21. Add me to the list of people who thinks you might be surprised by MMY. If Spice and Wolf was micro economics then this series is all about the macro economics, plus IIRC a lot of it’s staff did work on Spice and Wolf so they might be weirdly enough the best people for this.

    Aside from that, Cuticle Detective Inaba might be interesting, Chihayafufur 2 is an instant watch, and, wow, that’s it for me. Then again I have five continuing shows (Space Bros, From the New World, Tempest, Psycho-Pass and R;N) so I’ll be kept busy even with just a few new shows.

  22. NDenizen says:

    …is that it?

    Is that SERIOUSLY all Winter has to offer? I was scrolling down past all the cookier cutter garbage to get to the mandatory crop of original and interesting premises, but it’s like somebody just cut out it. Every show bar Chihayafuru seems to be generic moe or bishi.

    Genuinely, this is the worst season preview I think I have ever seen.

  23. Vicious says:

    Chihayafuru 2 saves my winter, I don’t care about the rest.

  24. Andmeuths says:

    It looks like a VERY weak season indeed. The only things I’ll probably definitely be watching is Chihayafuru (hopefully, in this weak season, it’d slaughter everyone in BD Sales and viewership), Boku Wa Tomodachi Next and Maoyuu Maou Yuusha based on the comments.

  25. Kurini says:

    That’s fine, I’m already busy enough with my schoolwork that I don’t have time to watch all the fall anime!
    I’m really happy with Chihayafuru though! If not, that’s all, I think, maybe Sasami-san@Ganbaranai

  26. Mormegil says:

    Can’t wait for the second seasons of Boku wa Tomodachi and Chihayafuru!

    And I’ll probably watch the Spice and Wolf clone for the girl with the big breasts. Yes, I’m shallow like that.

  27. wakka9ca says:

    With a few exceptions, the winter season looks very bland. I always get pleasantly surprised though.

  28. Linda says:

    Wow, I can’t see a single thing I want to watch besides from Chihayafuru. That’s just… sad.

  29. Nic says:

    Wow, it’s pretty hard to get excited about the upcoming season. Most of it looks like trash and anything that looks somewhat interesting look very hit/miss.

    I’m very glad that Chihayafuru’s getting a 2nd season though. As for the rest, AKB0048, never watched, ain’t into Idols stuff. Bakumatsu & Senyuu could be interesting (but that remains to be seen)… and that’s pretty much it for me.

    I’ll keep an eye on Maoyuu though, since the comments seem to indicate the original work is interesting… but even then, it’s easy to ruin a good work when a crap studio is adapting it.

  30. Alterego 9 says:

    Looking back through the past seasons’ previews, psgels predictions were always all over the place, due to this weird methodology of only focusing on staffs and studios, and occasionaly on format/target audience prejudices, instead of source material reputations and premise/PV interestingness.

  31. Firechick says:

    Wow! You’re right, Psgels! This season IS bad, save for AKB0048 second season! Maybe I can use this season to catch up on a lot of old anime and stuff I really need to finish, like Tari Tari or Humanity Has Declined.

  32. Oroboros says:

    This winter season, I’ll be watching Chihayafuru, and… um…

  33. Roldan says:

    This will defiantly be the season i catch up to every anime i missed this year.

  34. Entrav says:

    Really looks lackluster. Only a few for a saving grace.

  35. akb0048 NEXT STAGE is enough to compensate anything bad about this season. <3

  36. ender650 says:

    The season looks like it will probably be below average, but I’m really looking forward to Chihayafuru. There are also quite a few good shows that will be continuing from this season so its not quite as sparse as it may seem.

  37. sushiyassin55 says:

    This is shaping to be the worst season I’ve ever had to witness.Oh well, the current season is pretty awesome, so no regrets :)!

  38. ZoboCamel says:

    Well, this certainly does look like a slow season. More Chihayafuru can’t be a bad thing, and there’ll probably be a surprise hit or two, but apart from that I don’t see it being great.

    That said, many of the good series from the current season will be continuing over – to my knowledge, Sakurasou, Robotics;Notes, Zetsuen, Psycho-Pass, Magi, Little Busters, JoJo’s and Shin Sekai are all slated for two cours or more. There may not be many NEW good series, but including the current ones there should still be ample material to watch.

  39. Rachnid says:

    Maoyuu has at least 3 manga versions and (i think) a 4-koma version. I wonder if they’re gonna follow any of it or try their own approach. I only follow one version which places more emphasis on the economic aspects and has a portrayal of the romance between Maou and Yuusha that is more to my taste. From what you say, I probably shouldn’t have high hopes for it, but i’ll still give it a shot.

  40. jzar says:

    My God, why not just list the shows you are planning to watch? This was a lot of crap to shift. Get out the bucket please and the heavy duty waders. :)

    Seriously, a small list of all shows and then just a spotlight on the ones you feel are worth a look.

    Anyone notice how story ideas seem to be created on similar themes at the same time?

    It’s like the world gives out a class assignments and all the writers have to use that theme to write about. Well I see the connections anyway. :)

    MY TO WATCH LIST

    1. Chihayafuru 2 -centered around a card game, slice of life
    2. PSYCHO-PASS -psychological crime-drama
    3. From The New World, (Shinsekai Yori), – Telekinesis in a revival world.
    4. K -psychic powers in an alternate modern world
    5. Zetsuen No Tempest -Modern world Mage wars, murder mystery
    6. Kami-sama Hajimemashit -Homeless Schoolgirl becomes a deity, humor and love
    7. Naurto Shippuuden – Great ninja world, awesome story telling,
    8. Robotics, high school slice of life, robot club
    9. Sukitte Ii na yo -high school love, slice of life
    10. Space Brothers, Sci-Fi, slice of life

  41. Ramdon says:

    Oh my god, I’m so excited Chihayafuru got another season that I don’t don’t even care about the mediocrity of the rest.

  42. starry says:

    Well look at this way, if it’s a crappy season it means you won’t have an overload of stuff to blog from this season and two cour series carrying over, yes?

    As for me, I’m sticking to Chihayafuru 2 unless something from the rest surprises me. Awesome series and glad its getting renewed like it deserves.

  43. James-kun says:

    OH. DEAR. GOD……..De-Crapo returns! Just when you thought it was safe to watch anime again…

  44. Sudachi says:

    Good thing there are so many shows carrying over from the fall! Maybe now I’ll get caught up with others I’m missing now. This list looks a little *light* compared to last year but I bet there are handful of potential sleepers in our midst. Haven’t been terribly blown away by Maoyuu honestly, based on what I’ve read of the manga. Seems like “farmville” meets Sword Art Online but I won’t judge yet ;)

    In the meantime, my picks:

    1. Chihayafuru 2 (hell yes!)
    2. Sasami-san@Ganbaranai (Haven’t seen a Shaft series for a while. It’s the director of Arakawa Under the Bridge which I liked so will probably give this a shot).
    3. Boku wa Tomodachi Sukunai NEXT (I got a fair amount of laughs from the first series so willing to continue. Then again Sakurasou is ongoing through winter so watching both these might kill a few too many brain cells…)
    4. Ore no Kanojo (There’s GOT to be more to this premise that meets the eye! Maybe this will pull a ‘Sankarea’ and just be super weird)
    5. Kotoura-San (I don’t think you can go wrong with this one…at least in the present company of other winter series. I’m looking forward to it)

    Thanks for putting the preview together and happy holidays!

  45. Zeruel says:

    Yeah… this season looks so horrible The only thing that looks even remotely good is Bakumatsu Gijinden Roman. I might try out Amnesia and Cuticle Detective Inaba. Aside from that Boku wa Tomodachi for my 1 guilty pleasure… I might give Maoyuu Maou Yuusha a try since people think its good. Can someone please explain why Chihiya is good though? I tried watching and got to episode 4 and then gave up. For three major reasons.
    1. They honestly couldn’t think of a better thing to revolve it around either than Karuta? My interest in this sport is zero.
    2. I really dislike shoujo char designs the lips looks odd and sometimes puffy, everyone looks anorexic and all the boys are bishies.
    3. School setting. The most unimaginative and most over-used setting in anime. I’m just sick to my stomach of this setting. Like seriously 80% of anime use this setting, I’ve seen every trope related to it hundreds of times.

    • Avalon says:

      1. Karuta is pretty darn original in anime and your complaining about that?
      2. At least the designs aren’t the generic garbage we are used to seeing. I thought the designs were fine.
      3. Yes it is, but that doesn’t mean the focus of the anime is the school setting.

      While it is entirely possible you just don’t like the anime, it sounds like you gave up too quickly. Granted 4 episodes is normally enough so I salute you for not being one of those who drop after 1 episode.

  46. jreding says:

    Agreed, there isn’t really much which looks exciting! For next season I don’t mind that much, though, as four of my favorite series will continue from current season (Psycho Pass; Robotics;Notes; Magi; Shin Sekai Yori).

    From the new series I’ll certainly give Chihayafuru II and Minami-ke III a try. Also I admit that Vividrel looks promising to me. I might also take a look at the Shaft and TMS series as I quite appreciate these studios.

    I dropped AKB0048 back when the first season aired but I continued following your reviews, psgels, and it looks as if I have missed a good series. So I think about catching up w/ season 1 and following season 2.

  47. leligh16 says:

    What do you think of Kyoani’s new anime airing in winter? (Tamako Market)

  48. marco says:

    Kind of curious about your impressions for the new PreCure season and what percentage it has (given that it wasn’t included though, I would guess that it’s low).

  49. clalala says:

    oh god, this season just looks mediocre. But THANK GOD Madhouse is going for a Chihayafuru sequel!!

  50. troy says:

    “and Spice and Wolf; I still have no idea how that happened” Sorry if somewhere above it was said already but as for Maoyuu Maou Yuusha the light novel series is considered and marketed as a spiritual sucessor of Spice and Wolf , so the main chracters having the same voice actors, as well as hiring as much of old production team as possible was exactly what they were going for.

  51. Kaiserin Emma says:

    My schedule this season is looking like:
    Monday:Continue Sakurasou, maaaybe pick up Amnesia (if Hakkenden fails or only goes 1 cour)
    Tuesday:Continue Robotics, notes
    Wednesday:Tamako
    Thursday:Continue Tempest
    Friday:Maaybe continue new world, pick up chihayafuru
    Saturday: Continue jojo, watch akb 2.

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  • Wicked
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 11:47 AM)
    Also to comment on, Gentic Engineering is the future. Genetic Engineering is the now actually, it just just doesn’t mean what you think it means. Modern Biology research is all genetic engineering, knocking in gene, knocking out genes, modifying proteins so you can purify them. Medicines, vaccines, food. GM is everywhere
  • Wicked
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 11:13 AM)
    Dolly’s telomere was short, but that doesn’t really mean it’s why she had a short life. She was the first successful clone, but that doesn’t mean the technique was flawless. Even if she was genetically flawed in some way, it could have been caused by million other things
  • Wicked
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 10:37 AM)
    A s far as telomeres go, it’s a contributor to aging, and it is used as a quantifiable estimator of age, but it doesn’t really cause aging per se, aging just shortens it
  • Wicked
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 10:23 AM)
    It’s still very weird for me to see clone refer to a full grown animals, when I spent most of my academic life calling little colonies on a dish clones, and cloning to mean mean inserting a piece of dna into a yeast genome or a plasmid
  • S&M
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 08:19 AM)
    @Asuka Tough shit, I had to replace my tires on the side of a highway.
  • Asuka111
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 08:04 AM)
    The rotation of the steering wheel-to-turn ratio was nearly 3-1 at some point, I believe.
  • Asuka111
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:59 AM)
    My old Toyota’s steering fluid needed refill in 2011, but back then I was too lazy to fill it up. So I literally spent near two weeks making the hardest turns on simple intersections, my arms got sore everytime I drove. I’m glad I didn’t get into an accident.
  • Vincent
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:48 AM)
    @ninja Yeah. I know how to fill brake fluid, steering fluid, replace tire suspensions, fix a radio, and repair a power window switch, but I don’t know how to fix a car engine off the top of my head. If I stare long enough, yeah I could, but I’d have to learn.
  • ninjarealist
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:42 AM)
    @Vincent Fixing cars is easy unless you have to do something hard.
  • Yuko
    (Friday, Jul 25. 2014 07:38 AM)
    @Enka Truth of the Internet.

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