The upcoming season is relatively small: 27 series, 13 of which seem interesting. Production IG will be a powerhouse with many different series, and there will be a lot of mechas and bishies. There are a lot of sequels, and relatively little crap. Oh, and one of the reasons there are a bit fewer series is because I left out the kiddie shows this time. It just takes up too much of my time for some info that’s just completely useless.
Movies and OVAs to watch out for:
In the past I also did a separate post for the upcoming movies and OVAs for each season, but here is the thing: writing up these posts really takes up nearly an entire day. I can manage to do this once, but two days after each other… I don’t have the time for that anymore. Still, I do want to highlight the upcoming movies and OVAs, because there’s often a lot of good stuff amongst them. This is no complete list, just the ones that caught my attention:
Impressions: Anime Mirai, otherwise known as the Young Animator Training Project. For the third year in a row, four studios have received a budget and made a short story based on it. Madhouse, Studio Trigger, Zexcs and Gonzo each have their own entry and a lot of freedom, so now let’s see what they have come up with this year. I really like this initiative.
Hana-Saku Iroha – Home Sweet Home
Impressions: Aah, finally the Hana-Saku Iroha movie will air, written by Mari Okada her first movie) and directed by Masahiro Ando, so it’s pretty much the staff of the TV-series making a movie, and there is enough inspiration left. Looking forward to it.
Precure All Stars New Stage 2: Kokoro no Tomodachi
Impressions: I’m not going to watch this. I just to say: the counter is currently on 32 Precures. This is starting to turn into pokemon.
Aura: Maryuuinkouga Saigo no Tatakai
Impressions: You don’t often see this: a movie adapted from a light novel. Normally these things get TV-series. It’s from the same writer as Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita, so it’s worth a look. The premise reminds me a bit of Chuuninbyou demo Koi ga Shitai: a girl arrives pretending to be from a different world, and the main character suffered from delusions like that in his past.
Steins;Gate Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu
Impressions: Steins;Gate will also have a movie, and just like Hana-Saku Iroha it will also be the staff of the anime to adapt it, meaning that we have a very solid team behind the movie. The question to ask is: the series ended very conclusively. What will the sequel be about?
Saint Young Men
Impressions: The movie that starts like a bad joke: Jesus and Buddha sharing an apartment. And they made an entire movie based on that. A-1 Pictures is behind it and the promo material does look gorgeous. A-1 Pictures will produce it and it will be directed by one of the staff members who worked on a lot of Kyoto Animation projects. There really are not many comedy movies, so I hope that this one will work.
Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai.
Impressions: Blagh! Incest! Still the worst premise of the season. Next.
Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Bride
Impressions: Well, here you have ARMS again with their boobs. They continue to churn out sequel after sequel, so it’s no wonder that Hyakka Ryouran would end up with one, and this one is even more shameless than before with a title like that… Just skip this one if it’s anything like the first series. Just a lot of bad boob jokes, fanservice and terrible voice acting…
Trailer Impressions: Yup, lots of fanservice, bad fight scenes… and maid outfits.
Pretty Rythm Rainbow Live
Impressions: Pretty Rythm’s previous seasons were just terrible. At least for the first episodes that I kept with, they were horrible cash-ins for the mahou shoujo idol genre with really annoying and paper-thin characters. The director for this season is completely the same as last time, so I really don’t expect anything from this series at this point.
Haiyore! Nyaruko-san W
Impressions: Why people just keep coming back to that godawful Haiyore concept is beyond me. We get it, she is the female personification of a monster from the Cthulu mythos. It’s good for a joke for one time. Not to drag this on for years now. The first series wasn’t even that good. It was just a string of bad moe jokes we’ve seen many times before. Why is there enough material for a second season for this?
Uta no Prince-sama – Maji Love 2000%
Impressions: So here it is, the inevitable second season of Uta Prince, which sold so incredibly well that it it mind-boggled me. I mean I could understand a good series with bishies selling well and all (like what happened with Hakuouki), but the first episode I watched of it was so ridiculously cheesy that I suspected it was some kind of practical joke or something.
Date A Live
Impressions: For this preview, Date A Live was the first series I looked at. And then you have a seires with such a ridiculously stupid premise… it did not give me the best first impressions for the rest of this season. Keitarou Motonaga has directed many different series, including a few good ones, but he only seems to try if he has an actually good premise, which is a very big problem here… Hideki Shirane’s works in the past years also don’t really seem that promising, with him having written Queen’s Blade Rebellion and Platonic Heart, both of which were horrible. And I also still haven’t forgiven him for what he did to Yumekui Merry’s second half… The nail in the coffin is that this is AIC, who haven’t exactly had the best track record with me.
Trailer Impressions: The soundtrack is pretty good for this series. The creators just have no idea how to use it. There are all these choirs, and the scenes include characters and mechas who try way too hard to look cool… and unnecessary panty-shots and harem hi-jinks…
Yahari Ore no Seishun Love Come wa Machigatteiru.
Impressions: … is this another Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai or something? At the very least, this series deserves no points whatsoever in the originality department. Thankfully the rest of the cast seems competent: Shoutarou Suga has written an awful lot of interesting series and episodes. But romantic comedies? Can he succeed to make this one not boring? Another interesting point is that this will be Ai Yoshimura’s first full series to direct. I’m always one to encourage fresh talents here, so good luck! Try to give this one some spark, how difficult it may seem.
The “Hentai” Prince and the Stony Cat.
Impressions: Another series with a pervert main character, but at the very least this premise does seem to hint at some good character chemistry with the main characters being polar opposites, rather than just being there for the fanservice. As for the people who are going to adapt this… I don’t trust Michiko Itou. Her track record with series as Twin Angel and Ro Kyu Bu, which were both mind-numbingly stupid, gives me enough reason to be wary of this. It is not really easy for me to like a romantic comedy and if I do watch one, I want one with substance.
Impressions: My first impressions for this one? Bad. I mean, I get the idea of a guy with a photo camera. It can be a very nice hobby. But if you do make a show about it… at least try to be a bit subtle, okay? Don’t just stuff a girl in bloomer with a box of valentine chocolate on the front cover. It leaves hardly anything to the imagination. In any case though, the director has me intrigued, looking at his track record. He is someone who whenever he is involved with something, is involved as a lot of different functions. He’s also both writing and directing this. Someone who likes to be in control and has a lot of different skills, and some of the episodes he worked on really were amazing and really well done. I wonder if it was his idea to go with that promo art…
Trailer Impressions: I am not a photographer or anything, but is it normal that you first take a picture of a girl’s crotch before you focus on her full pose?
Impressions: This… just… what? So, we have a voice actress for hentai-series. She then starts to direct and animate for a few series, and suddenly she’s directing a new series. Just… what the heck happened here? Beyond that this seems like an average “random girls doing random things”-series, in other words a genre that hardly ever manages to catch my attention. It probably will be solid for its genre, but not good enough to catch my interest.
Trailer Impressions: It’s a trailer that does its utter best to not show you anything that’s going on. All we got was a bit of random movement and some dull background song.
Impressions: This is one of those series for which little is known yet, other than its original material and the fact that Production IG will be behind it. The premise also is a bit too vague to really say anything about it. It could become good with t the right people behind it, as a fun little action series. Even though the guy on the promotional material has drunk way too much coffee…
Trailer Impressions: Never mind what I said! When the very first scene is about a girl nearly getting violated by a giant spider… yeah. My only compliment is that the art style is surprisingly good, but when you’ve got your mind in the gutter like that it doesn’t really help your case….
Impressions: The premise, in the right hands, can be comedic gold. But then it really as to be the right hands, otherwise it will end up horribly dull. So let’s take a look at the ones who are going to have to adapt this: Naoto Hosoda is the director of Mirai Nikki and the second season of Minami-Ke, which is regarded by many as the worst Minami-ke series… Masahiro Yokotani meanwhile wrote Busou Shinki. That does not bode well.
Trailer Impressions: Generic J-Pop, but misleadinglygood animation. No humour whatsoever…err…
Impressions: Very little is known about this series and about who will adapt it, but this is a 4-Koma adaptation about three girls doing nothing. A genre that I’m not really fond of. If the characters change, or if there is more than just their daily lives. Otherwise I just get the feeling that I’m watching paint dry. Sorry!
Impressions: Toshie Kawamura is something like Manglobe’s new in-house animation director and character-designer, because he is involved in a lot of their projects. It’s a shame that he is not very good though, although the promo art here does look like his best and most creative work. But we’re talking about Manglobe here: what happened to their ambition behind Ergo Proxy and Michiko e Hatchin? They used to recruit their staff all over the place, with all kinds of different backgrounds. Here, they just return to the director of Mashiro-Iro Symphony, which was an utterly crappy harem. The sole salvation here will be the original material, which granted does look promising with the right execution, but then we come to the one who will have to adapt this: Touko Machida is not good at that, and I really hope that she has learned ever since her adaptations of Okamikakushi and Allison to Lillia….
Trailer Impressions: The voice acting is really bad, but in terms of visuals it looks nice and colourful. At least the trailer shows a lot of movements and action.
Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince
Impressions: Both Keitaro Motonaga and Reiko Yoshida are doing other series this season. Okay. Still, collectively there is a lot of talent between the writing and directing staff, so this could actually become something. Dogakobo have shown that with Natsuyuki Rendezvous, they can do something actually good. The problem however is the premise. I mean, it tries to dance around the obvious, but we do have another high school mecha series here. What can they do to stand out?
Trailer Impressions: It’s a silent trailer so I can’t comment much on the music and voice acting, but what I’ve seen… good background art, overdone facial expressions, and unfortunately nothing that makes it stand out at first sight…
Namiuchigiwa no Muromi-san
Impressions: That is the ugliest mermaid I have seen in a long, long while. It’s not really the hair… but those eyes…. they are kind of unnerving. Anyway, Kazuyuki Fudeyasu wrote Milky Holmes. He also adapted Ben-To. This guy has energy. And something tells me that he’s also going to put that energy in this series… I’m expecting something bizarre…
Impressions: Apparently the manga this was based on was nominated for a Tezuka Cultural Prize, back in 2007, alongside works as Hyouge Mono, Moyashimon and Death Note. My impressions seems that the manga manages to capture the life of being a kid. And seriously, only the director for this production is known, but he is a really good one: Ayumu Watanabe directed Nazo no Kanojo X and is still working on Space Brothers. He will be able to bring that out.
Trailer Impressions: Really bad animation with lots of CG. Unfortunately this seems to be a very cheap production, so the question remains whether it will be enough to show why the manga is so good.
To Aru Kagaku no Railgun
Impressions: 100 episodes of the To Aru franchise. Let that sink in for a while. I personally don’t think that it warrants so much. Collect the best parts in 26 episodes and you’d have one heck of a series, but this is just too long. In terms of the staff nothing much has changed though, and Tatsuyuki Nagai and Seishi Minakami? These guys are awesome! They worked on many awesome series including Anohana, Honey and Clover, Birdy the Mighty Decode, Shigurui and Asatte no Houkou.
Devil Survivor 2 The Animation
Impressions: Another series based on a series in the games of Shin Megami Tensei. And it’s by the director of Persona 4. Oh god, no. I still have not forgiven him for what he did there. Thankfully, the rest of the production looks a lot ore solid here. Bridge only did comedies so far, and this seems to be their first full series, and they are looking very ambitious. Makoto Uezu is someone who sometimes delivers really good, and sometimes really bad adaptations. And that’s the thing with this series: it’s got interesting source material, but it can both become great, or crash and burn horribly. And Mohiro Kitoh behind the mecha designs rocks.
Trailer Impressions: A solid trailer, it’s short but shows some nice animation, the soundtracks is good and it doesn’t loo overly lciched or silly. The problem will be the pacing again and whether that will be better this time…
Impressions: Oh god, they actually made one: a sequel to Yondemasuyo Azazel-san. This is a comedy that is not for everyone, and I have seen very few other comedies in which the humour was as black there. There is so much bile in it, and yet it had me in stitches for many times. There is always the matter of this series losing inspiration, but with this premise there is plenty of material left that can be explored, especially if the episodes are only 10 minutes long again.
Valvrave the Liberator
Impressions: Holy crap, what a combination between staff members. The writer of Code Geass, together with Matsuo Kou of Red Garden, Kurenai and Natsuyuki Rendezvous fame. I mean seriously, this will be either the trainwreck of the season, or a really epic and creative series. It all depends on how much freedom the creators have. Matsuou Kou is at his best with the more freedom that he has, while Ichiro Okouchi works better when he has less freedom (just look at Berserk, and Overman King Gainer also was awesome because that had the famous Yoshiyuki Tomino all over it, for example). In any case this will become interesting to follow…
Trailer Impressions: Reaaaaaly vague. We just saw a bunch of mechas and characters, although I do like the choice of music. Apart from that, it didn’t really show off anything…
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet
Impressions: Here is a series that put some effort in its promotional material. Just take a look at the official site, there’s a lot of neat artwork there. On top of that, we have Urobuchi Gen doing another original script of his. At this point he is in a very good position, where he has a lot of freedom. I really hope that he makes more and more use of this, while continuing to get better at writing. Kazuya Murata has not directed in a really long while. In fact, he seems to be returning after many years of not working on anything. I wonder what this can add to this series, because it definitely looks interesting here.
Trailer Impressions: Here I noticed a problem that I’ve often seen with Urobuchi Gen’s works: his characters are rather dull. The trailer was fairly long so we could see quite a bit about them, but there is nothing that makes them stand out. They’re just bland in every way.
Impressions: Yuu Watase is a big name in the shoujo genre: she was the one who wrote Fushigi Yuugi, which had a big influence. I watched the first episodes of it, and the one thing that struck me was how mind-numbingly stupid the female lead character was, to the point of making it really hard to watch. It definitely had potential though, and this premise again can lead to a great fantasy-epic that relates back to the current world. The director is a Satelight regular, being involved in many of their series (including NOEIN), and directing Croisée, while Mayori Sekijima is pretty experienced in adaptations to make it work if it has the potential. On top of that this seems to be a Korean co-production, showing yet again that the people at Satelight have a lot of international connections (first France, now Korea)
Uchuu Senkan Yamato 2199
Impressions: Yes, I also had to do a bit of a double-take when I suddenly saw Hideaki Anno (you know, the guy behind Evangelion…)’s name between the credits. And that really shows in what way this series stands out: it’s a remake, but it’s a really well produced one. There are a lot of great names who are responsible for some of the episodes here, and you can really see that this is made by fans, who want to make the original Yamato (which is incredibly outdated at this point) accessible to modern audiences. I have seen three episodes so far and was planning to catch the rest as it comes out on television, but the creators really managed to tell the original story, while also adding a lot of new stuff and details.
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge
Impressions: Aaand the biggest wtf-premise award goes to: Crime Edge. I mean, cutting people’s hair is already strange, but this show seems to go out of its way to make its premise as strange as possible. And you know, I don’t think I mind that. Just go a little crazy, it’s much better than having a normal premise. The director has experience with weird shows like that: he previously di Touka Gettan and Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito. Tatsuhiko Urahata meanwhile has experience with everything. He is an awesome adapter, with his works ranging from Horizon to Gunslinger Girl Il Teatrino and Hajime no Ippo and Master Keaton and Monster.
Trailer Impressions: This is how you do a trailer: really charming on one hand, and “wtf are those bloody scissors doing there?!” on the other.
RDG Red Data Girl
Impressions: I must say, I’m intrigued by the premise here. It sounds pretty solid and has a lot of potential to develop into something good. What makes this even better is that we’re talking about the director of the Book of Bantorra, which was a series that I absolutely loved (he also directed the first season of Kuroshitsuji). Michiko Yokote is a scriptwriter who I trust and she can really make the premise work. This is based on a story by the same author of Good Witch of the West, which I really liked. It’s great to see that this time, her story can be adapted by a bunch of people who know what they’re doing, instead of rushing through it.
Trailer Impressions: Very elegant, and it takes itself seriously. The backgrounds are really good, and the narration is good. The animation also looks very good, and the trailer really knows how to build its atmosphere. Good signs, good signs.
Aku no Hana
Impressions: Zexcs previously was a studio who made mostly unremarkable series, and sometimes got lucky and delivered a good one. They have been getting much better lately. And holy crap, the director of Mushishi is back! Finally, years after doing Detroit Metal City he’s ready for another one, and I must say: this sounds like an awesome drama. Finally there is a school drama that just immediately stands out from its peers with such a simple, yet deceptive premise.
Shingeki no Kyojin
Impressions: Back when I dabbled in manga (I really want to continue with that experiment… as soon as I have time again), one of the mangas that I checked out and really liked was Shingeki no Kyojin. Holy crap, that was intense, but it would also have been very difficult to animate properly. And here is the thing: if there is any director who can bring out the strength of the manga, it would be Tetsuro Araki, the director of Death Note and Kurozuka. He really can make this work! Yasuko Kobayashi also fits this show perfectly with his brilliant adaptations of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. Add that to Production IG’s expertise, and yes. I am really looking forward to see this in animated form.
Trailer Impressions: Fucking epic.