Posted on 30 May 2013 with categories: Spring 2013 Kaleidoscope

#1: Hunter X Hunter – 80: Once in a while Hunter X Hunter comes with an episode that just stands out. This was one of them. The first half just oozed style and really was a big change from the usual atmosphere and I found it really well done with how it was just in black and white, and how it didn’t show the guy’s face at all. The second half of the episode… let’s just say that it’s the first time in 80 whopping episodes that this series managed to shock me.

#2: Yahari Blahblah – 05: The end of this episode. That’s where I understood the appeal of this series and where it really became better than its contemporaries, rather than just a series with potential. The first parts of the episode were a bit iffy, but at the end it really became apparent that the creators spent time on it: the male lead’s loneliness is actually well.

#3: Yondemasuyu, Azazel-San – 07: This was actually quite hilarious. Yondemasuyo Azazel-san is at it’s greatest when it’s just banter. The characters have a really good chemistry together, and I especially love the creative use of facial expressions as this show tries to parody the murder mystery genre. Of course, they then proceed to ruin it in episode 8 while trying too hard on being weird and gross again. Enough with the jokes about people’s nether regions already!

WTF of the past Weeks:

Saint Seiya Omega – 56: So. We have this ninja, who has been raised in an incredibly conservative ninja village. This ninja then hears rock music, it changes his soul and now he suddenly is performing J-rock in a band of power-ranger impersonators. Okay.

Posted on 29 May 2013 with categories: Chihayafuru

And so the team tournaments finally ends, and seriously I am so impressed with all of the build-up that prepared just for this episode. Every single result for Chihaya, Taichi and Nishida in the previous matches was used in the big finale. It’s just amazing, and definitely worked as a climax.

Also, the individual tournaments. I didn’t realize this, but holy crap there is a complete busload of named and developed characters present at the tournament now. So much variety! I mean that recap was bad and all, but after that I really liked the build-up for the individual tournaments. Take all teams that made it to the semi finals: that’s already more than twenty different characters participating, with all of the bench people, Arata and the Queen and some other random characters. And all of them are great!

So yeah, Chihaya is not going to get far. This really wil be about the Queen and Arata. With the third year, Arata will be getting back to Tokyo, and I predict that that will really bring everything together for this series. If it will ever get made!
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 27 May 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

Aku no Hana, you have balls.

I’m probably going to get a lot of people making fun of my tastes again, but heck, it’s not like I suddenly started caring about that or anything. This episode was an amazing aftermath-episode. One of the best in recent years. I mean, it was just perfect for me, it hit all of the right notes.

Let’s start with by far the most controversial part of this episode: the start. Five minutes in which the characters just walked. Yeah, first of all I have not seen anything like that in anime ever. Yeah, I really admire the guts of the creators to actually do that. I loved it to bits, and not just because of its novelty value. What we saw there was an incredibly intimate moment. What we saw last episode was just all hell breaking loose. They completely wrecked the classroom. Instead of just cutting to the next morning and show the superficial reactions of Kasuga’s classmates for shock value, the creators showed the mood he and Nakamura were in on the journey back. Nothing was said, we just experienced it. I’ve never seen any other anime do this, even though it showed so many emotions nonverbally.

And then there was the rest of the episode. I mean, that was some fantastic build-up. Bit by bit, the creators moved closer to Kasuga’s fears of being found out. The responses by the students, the responses from Saeki, everything was just perfect. Seriously, no overacting whatsoever in htis episode! This was by far the episode with the most convincing acting I’ve seen the entire season.

At first I felt a bit let down by how Kasuga’s name was conveniently obscured everywhere, but Saeki more than made up for it by showing that she very well knew what was going on. I mean, that was one heck of a cliff-hanger, even for this series’ high standards.
Rating: 6,5/8 (Amazing)

Posted on with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan)

So yeah, the spring season is the worst spring season we’ve had in a decade when you look at the overall amount of series and the diversity. However, there IS definitely something interesting going on here, and that is how much praise I notice on Shingeki no Kyojin. I mean, it really stands head and shoulders above all other series that are even remotely action-oriented this season, and really: I believe that this series both gives a new spin to the action genre, and most importantly: it’s a great series to introduce people new to anime with. I feel that this is the type of series that really gives anime its good name, and shows what can be possible in this medium.

This was the episode that I had been waiting for since the start of the series. What happened in this episode really made me a fan of Shingeki no Kyojin in the manga, and I’m excited to see how right they got it! I mean blahblah, it was to be expected that Eren wasn’t dead and all, but that’s not the point. What was so amazing here is how this series developed its atmosphere. Up till the previous episode, the characters looked completely screwed. There was no hope. And then that giant started fighting back. This episode developed what that meant: if used properly, this would be the only chance for humanity to actually survive. The delivery would have been everything: the atmosphere needed to be tight, the action needed to be awesome. Otherwise these emotions would just come off as shallow, since Shingeki no Kyojin basically is about a bunch of characters, struggling for their lives against almost certain death.

The start of Shingeki no Kyojin indeed is a bit bland, mostly due to the characters only having one side when they start out. Here though, with every episode this show starts to push the boundaries of them (Jean in particular was hit hard in this episode). That’s another big part of what made this so addictive.

One detail also that stands out here: the giants don’t make any sounds, aside from that Eren-giant. It did not stand out at all in the manga, but obviously a very important detail in the anime. And really, I am glad that they didn’t try to give most of the giants a voice. It makes them all the more creepier.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 26 May 2013 with categories: Uchuu Kyoudai

Strong emotions. They are always difficult in anime, and it’s so easy to just overact these things. Yet it’s also crucial to nail them in the parts that need to be serious, otherwise you’re just going to end up looking cheesy. An added difficulty is that it’s usually just incredibly difficult to watch people lose control of their emotions.

Having said that, the creators did a pretty good job on Pico and Vince. Space Brothers is a master of subtle emotions, but here they needed to be big. Vince needed to be just completely shaken up by what happened. In this episode, you couldn’t just have pulled the usual “let’s not show our biggest emotions”, because even though he’s completely stoic, he was a child once. We needed to have seen his development.

I think that the backstory could have been done in one episode (especially with around three minutes of bloody recap for both episodes!). And don’t get me wrong, the slow pacing also had its set of big advantages. Because of that the creators could just dedicate so much time to two side-characters to make them really memorable. They especially used the silences really well to build up atmosphere. This episode may have had characters break down, it still was subtle: there were so many scenes in which nothing was said, but instead the creators just let the images do the talking.
Rating: 5.5/8 (Excellent)

Posted on 24 May 2013 with categories: Hataraku Maou-Sama

Last episode I was asked to not focus on cliches anymore, and I agree with that. Cliches on their own usually aren’t bad. If a show is goring, then it’s just boring, whether it has many cliches or not. So with that in mind, I set out to view this episode with an open mind. And then this episode played the pseudo-harem card. Well thank you for making things so easy here, Maou-sama…

But yeah, the pseudo-harem card. Rather than just having a male and a bunch of females in a cast, a show just has to have romantic hints between the male lead and every other hot female in the series. It might not outright state feelings… but the hints lack any sort of subtlety. This is a cliche, but I hate it not because it’s a cliche, but because it’s just a completely stupid and shallow plot twist on its own. The fact that so many different series use it doesn’t really help. It makes the series so much more shallow than what it needs to be. Have the females fall for some side character. Heck, show some actual romantic hints that can be taken seriously for a chance! This is Maou-sama. It’s not a shallow shounen-show that is meant to appeal to young pubescent boys. It has proven to be intelligent in the past! Why is it not that now!?

Thankfully there were points at which this episode was smart again. Small points okay, but they’re there. In particular: for once a disease is treated as annoying, rather than dramatic. Finally a character is just out cold for a few days, rather than randomly fainting followed by heavy breathing with everyone melodramatically worrying over things. Oh, and disguising the holy water as vitamin bottles. That was pretty clever too.

Problem is, that these were mere details that could easily have been omitted without having much of an effect. My beef in particular lies with the holy water, which turned out to be just something to make a sword more powerful and completely pointless unless it goes over 9000. Beyond that… I miss the wit of the earlier episodes, and this show did not offer something else in return.
Rating: 3/8 (Disappointing)

Posted on 23 May 2013 with categories: Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet

So I understand… some of the intentions behind episode five and six. Really, the logic behind the big picture is more than apparent: we needed time to show Ledo getting accustomed to this new culture he ended up at. We needed a chance for the viewers to get a good view of the Gargantia without any drama in it, until that squid came and Ledo had to stir things up again. I like the outcome, but the way in which they got there was a bit weird.

The thing is, that these episodes just weren’t interesting to watch. The creators really could have spent their time better there, instead of going on and on about the random fanservice. They could have used that time to show some geniune and everyday interactions between the characters. Instead they went with a beach episode and silly dances. Sorry, but that just feels shallow. Especially in two consecutive episodes. The creators can write more interesting episodes.

Episode seven thankfully returned to the real business, and I really like what happened. It’s a great twist that the Hideazu have pretty much already settled down on earth, they just chose not to act for now, for whatever reason. Whether they chose to coexist and have something against fancy technology, or they’re just waiting for the right opportunity still remains a question. It’s because of this that Ledo’s actions aren’t inherently wrong; he just acted really rashly.

Convenient heart attack aside, this episode was full of people clashing with each other based on a lot of different values, whether cultural or practical. On one hand there are the Hideazu who have a status as gods, then there is Ledo’s duty, that girl’s personal preference for not wanting to see the guy in a battle, the captain’s concern for the whole population of the gargantia and then there are these economists willing to take a risk for a possible treasure that will benefit the entire Gargantia in the long run. All of them clash together. That really feels like Urobuchi Gen again.
Rating: 3,5/8 (Enjoyable for episodes 5 and 6), 5.5/8 (Excellent for episode 7)

Posted on 22 May 2013 with categories: Shingeki no Kyojin(Attack on Titan)

Yes! This would be the chapter for the anime where it had to boil down to whether the creators knew what they were doing or not. If they didn’t get this part right, then I had to question whether they knew what they were doing with this adaptation. But they nailed it! They actually made a smashing episode here.

This episode really meant to drive home that the characters are just completely screwed. Everyone gets slaughtered, the main character is death, the only way to escape only leads to even more giants. It’s hopeless. Even the ever-strong Mikasa gave up and just lead all of the survivors on a suicide mission. It all was meant to build up to that one giant who started to fight back.

The atmosphere was very different from the manga, but it worked! This entire episode just had me on the edge of my seat, and the characterization was great. That’s what lacked in the start of this series: it’s really good, but the characters are very one-sided. Here is where they lose all that and get multiple sides.

And the choices behind the music and animation: they really work. The style of the manga made it impossible to animate directly, but the movements here have their own styles and they were awesome! Especially near the end of this episode.
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 21 May 2013 with categories: Aku no Hana

I just realized some of the details that they put into the rotoscoping here. The shadows and reflections that people make are also added to the animation (Saeki’s television, the floor of the school). Or take that one scene with the helicopter. How did they do that? Was it just a random helicopter that happened to pass by as they were shooting? It doesn’t make sense if they just hired a helicopter for just that one tiny scene.

And about the events of this episode: what on earth did I just watch? I mean, Kasuga actually succumbed to his inner guilt, which is something I did not expect. I really thought that he would try to hide it as much as possible, but here he actually begged Nakamura to help him confess his sins. And that does suit his character much more now that I think about it: he’s obsessed with purity, and Nakamura is the only one he can be totally honest in, even though Nakamura also has a bit of a one-sided view of him.

And that all culminated into that glorious ending. They like… completely trashed that classroom, and I can only imagine how awkward next week is going to be to watch. I really did not expect them to go that far here. I don’t even know how they wanted to do this scene justice with conventional animation anymore…
Rating: 6/8 (Awesome)

Posted on 20 May 2013 with categories: Seasonal Previews

Movies and OVAs to watch out for:
Here is an upcoming list of the movies and OVAs coming out that I deem noteworthy (I basically left out the kiddie movies, or the ones based on franchises that I don’t care about). And really: there are some big names coming up! Lots of great stuff is about to arrive here.

Ark IX

Impressions: This is a single OVA that will come out, as the promotional material of a new light novel series. It’s set in this post apocalyptic world, and the main character is a detective, so I’m smelling a good mystery series here. The problem is obviously that they’re never going to fit all that into just one episode, so let’s hope that this will just be a successful pilot.

Mirai Nikki Redial

Impressions: Mirai Nikki will be getting a new OVA. The interesting thing seems to be that it’s going to be completely anime original, penned by the manga artist. It’s meant to take place after the events of the series, and probably will be some sort of epilogue. But considering how the series ended, I see potential here.

Yozakura Quartet – Tsuki no Naku

Impressions: Hell yeah! Yozakura will not only be getting new OVAs, but sometime in the future there will also be a TV-series, with Ryo-Chimo behind the direction. Prepare for some awesome animation and fantastic direction, combined with lots of fun and interesting characters!

The Garden of Words

Impressions: The Garden of Words is Makoto Shinkai, and based on its trailer, it definitely oozes his style, while at the same time showing how he’s trying to branch out as a director. With Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo this was more towards Ghibli, but this one seems totally different. The one thing that caught my attention was that the acting was much stronger and less subtle than his early works. Let’s see what effect that has on his style.

Hal

Impressions: The premise for this movie sounds AWESOME: it’s a science fiction premise about a girl whose boyfriend dies. A robot named HAL then takes his place for her in order to ease her grief. It’s made by Wit Studio (the guys who are currently also doing Shingeki no Kyojin), and both the director and scriptwriter are rather new. However, remember that one episode of Fractale, that looked absolutely amazing and was nothing like the rest of that series? Yes, the guy behind that will direct this movie. He also worked on some stunning episodes of Kaiba and Yojou-han among others.

Ghost in the Shell Arise

Impressions: Ghost in the Shell Arise is the third installment of Ghost in the Shell with completely different staff members. And the creators are really going to have to fill some of the biggest shoes imaginable: those of Mamoru Oshii and Kenji Kamiyama, pretty much the best two directors walking around in Production IG. Tow Ubukata writing it will help a lot, because this guy has a very good sense of creativity when it comes to science fiction. The chief director is a character-designer, which will probably make for some really good visuals, and the director for the first OVA will be the director of Gilgamesh and Shikabane Hime, which means a really solid atmosphere. The ingredients are definitely there to make something awesome!

Kara no Kyoukai – Mirai Fukuin

Impressions: Since Kara no Kyoukai was such a big success, I’m not surprised that the creators are trying to animate more of it. Normally I would call this milking out a cow, but the previous OVA that was made completely sold me due to how daring it was. It did not try to copy the movies, but instead had its own direction, based on a concept that many thought would make an incredibly boring animation, and I hope that this new OVA will also again go into its own direction.

Kaze Tachinu

Impressions: Hayao Miyazaki’s latest film. Seriously, how old is this guy already? And he’s still making movies? I really admire his dedication, even though he’s not as fast as he used to be. Again, he does the direction here, the script, and it’s based on an original story written by himself. At this point, Hayao really can do anything he wants, really; he can even hire Hideaki Anno to voice the main character (yeah).

Short Peace

Impressions: I love these types of movies: the ones that consist out of multiple shorter films, all made by different creators with their own styles. Katsuhiro Otomo (yeah, the Akira guy) is overseeing everything, and this time the stories are based on some of his works, but he grabbed himself a wide variety of different talents with widely different styles.

TV-Series
Well, we’ve got ourselves a first: for the first time in more than a decade, the summer season is actually bigger in terms of quantity than its preluding spring season. I actually have more series to look forward to than what I did with the past spring season. The big downside to this season: too many sequels. Now, whether there are series that have the potential to top Aku no Hana and Shingeki no Kyojin… the potential is there, but to be honest I don’t see it as likely.

Brothers Conflict

Summary: ” The original project centers around a girl who suddenly gets 11 brothers — from 32 years old down to 11 years old — when her father remarries. She joins the Asahina family under one roof at the Sunrise Residence complex.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Jun Matsumoto
Series Composition: Natsuko Takahashi
Original creator: Atsuko Kanase
Character Designer: Kumi Ishii

Impressions: This is the male version of Sister Princess!

First-Glance Potential: 0%

High School DXD

Summary: “The story follows Issei Hyōdō, a dim-witted, lecherous second-year high school student who is killed by a girl on his first date ever. Issei is reincarnated as a devil, and from that day forward, he serves as an underling of Riasu, a high-level devil who is also the prettiest girl on Issei’s campus.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TNK
Director: Tetsuya Yanagisawa
Series Composition: Takao Yoshioka
Original creator: Ichiei Ishibumi
Character Designer: Junji Goto

Impressions: Yeah, blahblah boobs, blahblah. The first season was already just about boobs and bad humour, I see no improvement whatsoever here.
Trailer Impressions: This trailer can be summarized as follows: “Boob boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs boobs”. This show is about boobs, if I hadn’t made this clear yet.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Ro Kyu Bu SS

Summary: “Subaru Hasegawa is a high school freshman, he joins the basketball team but soon finds out the team is inactive because the captain is being suspected as a lolicon. He miraculously is entangled with the job of being the coach of an elementary school’s basketball team. With these girls and their love for basketball Subaru can only take them so far.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Sanzigen (?)
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: ?
Character Designer: ?

Impressions: I found Ro Kyu Bu to be really bad and misguided, therefore I’m not at all glad that it’s gotten a second season. I watched for long enough to see what point it tried to make: pushing little girls into this competitive game in order to keep their status quo, even though they just want to randomly goof off. The thing is, that it wasn’t handled well at all. Why did the elemantary schoolers have to dress up as maids. Why was there so much fanservice. And who was crazy enough to think of this set-up in the first place? This could have had potential, but the creators just turned it into otaku-bait, which makes it all the more weird because we’re talking about kids who are not even teenagers here.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Love Lab

Summary: “The comedy manga revolves around the girls at the elite Fujisaki Girls’ Middle School, which has tsundere (initially aloof and abrasive, but later kind-hearted), meganekko (eyeglasses-wearing girl), and other kinds of students.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Director: Masahiko Outa
Series Composition: Takashi Aoshima
Original creator: Ruri Miyahara
Character Designer: Chiaki Nakajima

Impressions: I really dislike how the premise introduces the characters in this series. It just labels them as stereotypes right from the start. It’s as if they’re not going to even bother with any kind of characterization or something. But then again, it’s a 4koma so I’m not sure how much we can expect from this. It does have the team of Mitsudomoe behind it, so let’s hope that they can add some humour to this. They have it, although Yuruyuri showed that they don’t always show this.
Trailer Impressions: Really, really generic.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Futari wa Milky Holmes

Summary: “A bunch of detective mahou shoujo along with their male guardian solve crimes.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: JC Staff
Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori
Series Composition: Hideki Shirane
Character Designer: Mariko Fujita

Impressions: No! No! No! No! Here is the thing with Milky Holmes: the first two seasons were awesome. Why? It was a parody. The creators realized what a hopeless premise they had and just tore it apart with a ton of random nonsense and craziness. It was glorious. However, afterwards, for some bizarre reason, the Alternative OVAs appeared, in which they actually played the concept straight. It was bad. Really bad. Very generic mahou shoujo fare. The first two series also completely removed the male main character, and these two ovas also showed why: this guy is completely generic and pointless! This is a classic example of a corporate milking taking over a good franchise.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Fate/Kaleid Liner Prisma Ilya

Summary: “This spinoff re-imagines the Fate/stay night character Illyasviel von Einzbern in an alternate universe as a magical girl” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Silver Link
Chief Director: Takashi Sakamoto
Director: Shin Oonuma
Series Composition: Keni Inoue
Original Creator: Type-Moon
Character Designer: Nozomi Ushijima

Impressions: This really feels like a blatant cash-in on the Fate/Stay Night fandom.Just stuff the girls there into mahou shoujo outfits and you have a series. I really have no faith in the creators here, because it’s typical Silver Link with really bad humour, and many of their staple people involved.
Trailer Impressions: So yeah… they go to school… and I’m still not impressed.

First-Glance Potential: 0%

Senki Zesshou Symphogear G

Summary: “Two years ago, a pair of idols, Tsubasa Kazanari and Kanade Amō, collectively known as ZweiWing, fought against an alien race known as Noise using armor known as Symphogear. To protect a girl named Hibiki Tachibana, who got severely wounded by the Noise, Kanade sacrificed herself. Two years later, as Tsubasa has fought the Noise alone, Hibiki ends up gaining the same power as Kanade.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Satelight
Director: Katsumi Ono
Series Composition: Akifumi Kaneko
Original creator: Noriyasu Agematsu, Akifumi Kaneko
Character Designer: Satoru Fujimoto

Impressions: How on earth did this thing get a second season? I have no clue what Satelight saw in the disaster that was the first Symphogear, but ah well. A big plus is that this series actually has a competent director. They switched in the director of Hataraki man and Yugioh 5D’s here. Let’s hope that it will be at least… bearable with this…
Trailer Impressions:

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Monogatari Second Season

Summary: “Although there are still traces of the brief period he became a vampire, third-year high school student Koyomi Araragi is human again. He happens upon others with their own supernatural problems and finds that he can empathize. Koyomi becomes involved in their lives, seeking to help them and occasionally asking for advice from Meme Oshino, the homeless man who helped him become human again.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Shaft
Director: Akiyuki Shinbou
Series Composition: Fuyashi Tou
Original creator: NisiOisin
Character Designer: Akio Watanabe

Impressions: The monogatari series has its moments. Unfortunately, I have gotten tired of it. I do not want to watch these moment if it means having to force myself sitting through hours of talking about nothing, or Shaft just repeating themselves yet again. Wake me up when they try to do something new again…
Trailer Impressions: The trailer is small and all, and there was no actual animation, but it did reinforce my opinion: with all the lines I could have sworn that I heard them before. This trailer said nothing about what would be new or different.

First-Glance Potential: 10%

Kitakubu Katsudou Kiroku

Summary: “”Kitakubu” (literally, “go-home club”) is Japanese slang for kids who go home instead of joining clubs, sports, or other afterschool activities. In one high school, there is a real “Kitakubu” of girls who do whatever they like. The president is a free spirit named Sakura, while Botan is the combative heir to a school of ancient martial arts. Claire happens to be the daughter of the head of the powerful Kokonoe conglomerate. Natsuki joins the club at the invitation of another freshman, Karin, but she is unprepared for the hijinks there.” – (Taken from SNN)
Produced by: Nomad
Director: Hikaru Sato
Series Composition: Go Zappa
Original creator: Kuroha
Character Designer: Takahiro Sasaki

Impressions: Oh goodies, another series about a club of high schoolers doing nothing. I can see that they really flexed their creative muscles for this one. Go Zappa is a bad writer to start with, so it’s going to depend on Nomad and Hikaru Sato and the original source material to make up for that. I mean, it’s definitely possible and all. But by these guys?

First-Glance Potential: 20%

The World God Only Knows: Goddesses Arc

Summary: “Dating sim master Keima Katsuragi wants nothing more than to immerse himself in the 2D world, chasing digital girlfriends. But when the so-called “Capturing God” answers a mysterious email from an unknown sender, Keima finds himself chasing down real-life ladies in an attempt to help the peppy demon Elsie de Lute Irma capture “lost souls” escaped from the depths of hell. Now, lest the explosive collar around his neck detonate, Keima must convince various girls to fall in love with him in order to scare out the souls hiding in their hearts.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Manglobe
Director: Shigehito Takayanagi
Series Composition: Hideyuki Kurata
Original creator: Tamiki Wakaki
Character Designer: Akio Watanabe

Impressions: I was hoping that in the meantime, the staff has changed or something, in order to give people with a better sense of pacing a shot at this series, But unfortunately not. This series definitely holds potential, but these guys just managed to suck all energy from it. All sense of good characterization was just lost with shallow romance and some really annoying main characters, and I don’t think that that can be fixed, even if the story gets better.

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Servant x Service

Summary: “The slice-of-life comedy manga centers on the employees of a government ward office in a city in Hokkaido. The story follows the daily lives of the health and welfare division members.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Yasutaka Yamamoto
Series Composition: Kento Shimoyama
Original creator: Karino Takatsu
Character Designer: Terumi Nishii

Impressions: The thing with this series is that from the outside, it looks very interesting. But that’s mostly due to Terumi Nishii, the character designer, being really good. The characters here look realistic and down to earth and overall very pleasant to watch (this is the guy who designed the characters for Penguin Drum, by the way). Because when I looked a bit closer, it looked like a series that totally was not my type: random jokes about people doing nothing. Both the director, original writer or series composition guy give me a lot of faith that this will be interesting to watch either, unfortunately.
Trailer Impressions: A bit of a taste of the humour that we’re going to get, and I found it to be so boring and dull!

First-Glance Potential: 20%

Kin-Iro Mosaic

Summary: “The story begins with Shinobu Oumiya, a 15-year-old, seemingly “pure Japanese” girl who actually did a homestay in Great Britain. Even after coming back to Japan, she still misses her time overseas. One day, an air mail letter arrives from Alice, the girl in Shinobu’s host family in Great Britain. The letter reads, “Shinobu, I’m coming to Japan!” The “Japanese/British girls’ mixed comedy” follows the lives of Shinobu, Alice, and other girls from both Japan and Great Britain.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Gokumi
Director: Tensho
Series Composition: Yuniko Ayana
Original creator: Yui Hara
Character Designer: Kazuyuki Ueda

Impressions: These girls are fifteen! Holy crap! Seriously though, when was the last time I watched a 4Koma that I actually liked? This seems to go back to Geijutsuka Art Design Class or something. The creators can still make something out of it if they use the clash in cultures right though, so it’s not entirely hopeless here.
Trailer Impressions: Why does the English girl have to be blond?

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Gen’ei o Kakeru Taiyou

Summary: “A story of girls who solve mysterious matters that occur in this world, using the mystical tarot cards that hold the power to read destinies.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: AIC
Director: Keizou Kusakawa
Series Composition: Michiko Itou
Original creator: Haruyasu Akagi, Hidenori Tanaka
Character Designer: Shinpei Tomooka

Impressions: Michiko Itou and Keizou Kusakawa have done quite a few series, but the last time they did something together was with Ro Kyu Bu, a series about a bunch of girls in a basketball team with a lot of fanservice. Genei looks the same only with better production values and fairies. And I mean, I see potential behind this series if the “mysterious matters” that these girls solve are actually interesting. But I don’t think that these people can do that and will focus more on shallow stories with fanservice instead.
Trailer Impressions: Shallow, but at least it will look very pretty.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Kingdom 2

Summary: ” In the Warring States Period of ancient China (475-221 BCE), Shin and Hyou are war-orphans in the kingdom of Qin. They dream of one day proving themselves on the battlefield. One day, however, Hyou is taken to the palace by a minister. Winding up on the losing side of a power-struggle, Hyou manages to return to the village, barely alive. Shin then meets a boy who closely resembles Hyou, Ei Sei. For now he is the king of Qin; later he will become the emperor Shi Huangdi.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Pierrot
Director: Akira Iwagana
Series Composition: Naruhisa Arakawa
Original creator: Yasuhisa Hara
Character Designer: Itsuko Takeda, Kumiko Tokunaga

Impressions: I remember the first Kingdom. It had the potential as a good warfare series, but all I could see was the really bad animation and the incredible overacting. Together, this just did no look right and any good story would have been way too annoying to follow with that. I have heard that it got better as it went along though, and at least a staff change seems to indicate that the second season will only get better.
Trailer Impressions: No CG, which surprised me. I mean, the animation still looks really cheap, but it’s not as bad anymore.

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Hyperdimension Neptunia

Summary: “This story anthropomorphizes the game console wars as female role-playing game characters.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: David Production
Director: Masahiro Mukai
Series Composition: Shogo Yasukawa
Original creator: Tsunako
Character Designer: Hitomi Takeuchi

Impressions: As much of a fan I am of David Production, this definitely is the worst promotional art they’ve ever done. Having said that though… they’re really going to animate a series about the console wars? I have no idea what I’m supposed to imagine by that to be honest, especially with David Production. They also put on two rookies on the helm: both the director and the series composition guy have never done a full series before. This can really go anywhere.
Trailer Impressions: Aagh, that was really generic! Also hire someone who can actually sing!

First-Glance Potential: 40%

Fantasista Doll

Summary: “In this science-fiction story, Uzume is an ordinary second-year middle school student who comes into possession of five “dolls” who fight and power up with special cards.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Hoods Entertainment
Director: Hisashi Saito
Original creator: Goro Taniguchi
Character Designer: Hiromi Kato

Impressions: I can only say “smörgåsbord” when I look at the different staff members here. We have the porn production company of Hoods, adapting a story from the director of Code Geass (and Planetes and Infinite Ryvius), with music from the composer of Heartcatch Precure, Jigoku Shoujo and Shiki, among many others, there is the director of Sora no Otoshimono and the character designer of Kobato and Needless. Usually I can say something about the direction of a series based on cast-members, but here this has me just baffled. The only thing I can say at this point is that the promo art looks really generic.
Trailer Impressions: Generic music and transformation sequences. The story had better be really good to make up for that…

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui!

Summary: ” Kuroki Tomoko is an lonely “ordinary girl” who has the dream of becoming popular. for her misfortunes she’s branded deranged and lonely and spends most of her time playing games and watching shows. She then enters high school and that triggers her interest in popularity, She tries to achieve her goals in any way she can, but it doesn’t always end the way it should.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: ?
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Nico Tanigawa
Character Designer: ?

Impressions: Watashi blahblah (seriously, I’m not going to even try and remember how to spell these names unless they prove themselves) will be another one of those high school adaptations, but at this point we hardly know anything about it. Who will adapt it? Who will direct it? That still has to be announced. Does it hold potential? That entirely depends on whether its jokes will work or not. It won’t have anything else besides that.

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Makai Ouji: Devils and Realist

Summary: ” After his uncle’s business fails, William Twining, an intelligent young noble, finds himself in a dire financial situation. With no funds for his school tuition, he searches his house until he comes upon the basement. There, he accidentally summons Dantalion, who recognizes William as a descendant of Solomon, and the Elector—the individual that will choose a substitute ruler for when the Emperor of Hell, Lucifer, rests. From that moment on, William’s life is irrevocably interwoven with the supernatural world as other demonic candidates for substitute king vie for his nomination and Heaven attempts to retrieve his soul.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Dogakobo
Director: Chiaki Kon
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Madoka Takadono
Character Designer: Kikuko Sadakata

Impressions: You know what the thing is about this series? It is probably going to be really good if the creators manage to avoid it boiling down to just shounen ai. Seriously, I like the creativity it has, it’s got the potential for lots of intrigue. But all I can see is a manga creator who also did the manga for Utaprince, Chiaki Kon who is still stuck in Junjo Romantica and Michiko Yokote who is doing way too many series this season. Prove me wrong here!

First-Glance Potential: 50%

Kimi no Iru Machi

Summary: “Kirishima Haruto is your average Hiroshima Prefecture countryside Japanese student that is about to start his 3 year High school life. But before that happens a girl from Tokyo, Eba Yuzuki, whose father is the friend of Haruto’s father, shows up at his house to live with him and his family so she can attend the same high school. Haruto isn’t happy of the situation; a stranger that happens to be a girl of his same age, not his relative, living in the same house like him will cause complications. Truth is Haruto has another girl in mind, Kanzaki Nanami, whom Haruto has hidden romantic feelings for since middle school. And so starts his complicated life.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gonzo
Director: Shigeyasu Yamauchi
Series Composition: Reiko Yoshida
Original creator: Kouji Seo
Character Designer: Terumi Niishi

Impressions: I found the OVA for Kimi no Iru Machi to be terrible. It was a really generic romance with zero personality, so when I realized that there was a TV-series coming out for it, i really was not looking forward to it. Then I found out that it would be produced by Gonzo. Then I found out that it was going to be directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi, and adapted by Reiko Yoshida. That duo has got a ton of experience, and they can actually really make a risk-taking studio like Gonzo shine again. The big question is whether they will also be able to do that with a source material that is as bad as Kimi no Iru Machi. I mean, of all the stories they could have picked. Why this one?!
Trailer Impressions: This does not look good…

First-Glance Potential: 60%

Hakkenden: Eight Dogs of the East Second SEason

Summary: ” Five years ago, almost every villager of Ootsuka died due to a tragic plague. But mysteriously enough, three survivors: a girl and two boys, emerged. Now living in a church, the three live in isolation, hidden from those who may seek to find them. Shino, one of the survivors, has control over the power of Murasame, the blade of life. But when the imperial church seeks to take the Murasame for themselves, their peaceful life becomes a thing of the past…” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: ?
Series Composition: ?
Original creator: Miyuki Abe
Character Designer: Hiromi Kato

Impressions: If there is any series that I regret a bit in dropping the past year, it’s probably this one. I didn’t know that it would have a second season, and the only reason I dropped it was because I didn’t think it would get good enough after four episodes to further spend my time on. So yeah, it’s a series with a pretty good story and set of characters.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Genshinken Second Season

Summary: “College freshman and ACG lover Kanji Sasahara settled down his extracurricular activity in Genshiken (The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture) in order to become a true and thorough otaku. Meanwhile, Saki Kasukabe, the girlfriend of another freshman Genshiken member (also a bishōnen), Makoto Kohsaka, was dragged into Genshiken’s otaku-ish activities reluctantly, yet her resentful attitude towards otakus is changing without her notice.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Production IG
Director: Tsutomu Mizushima
Series Composition: Michiko Yokote
Original creator: Shimoku Kio
Character Designer:
unichiro Taniguchi

Impressions: The only thing I ever watched about Genshinken is the first half of its first episode (before starting this blog, actually, so that was loooong ago), but I did not like it. I didn’t really associate with the “otaku”-culture, and still don’t. But hey, it’s like eight years later, the staff has completely changed aside from Michiko Yokote and I like just about everyone involved in this production. So yeah, it’s definitely got potential.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C3

Summary: “Yura Yamato has just arrived at the high school division of Stella Girl’s Academy, and Sonora Kashima invites Yura to join a club called “C3.” Sonora is the third-year student who became the new head of this club for survival games. The other members include two second-year students (part-Japanese Karira Hatsuse and G36K-wielding Honoka Mutsu) and two other new students (Rento Kirishima whose family runs a Japanese sweets shop and the really short Yachiyo Hinata).” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gainax
Director: Masayoshi Kawajiri
Original creator: Ikoma
Character Designer: Manami Umeshita

Impressions: First of all, this show has awesome promo art. I like the use of colours and there definitely is emotion in it, as opposed to the really clean art you always see for these promotional images. The director is an entirely new guy, so let’s see what Gainax can do here to make up for Medaka Box which turned out to be rather generic. I mean, this has the potential to be really dull, but the way it’s presented hints at a very good chemistry between the characters.

First-Glance Potential: 70%

Teekyu 2

Summary: “Piyo’s original manga centers around a girls’ tennis team. (The title is a wordplay on a Japanese term for tennis, teikyū.) However, the four high school girls on the team hardly play any actual tennis.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Mappa
Director: Shin Itagaki
Series Composition: Shin Itagaki
Original creator: Roots
Character Designer: Shin Itagaki

Impressions: Mappa, as much as I like Teekyu’s randomness: your next serious project had better be something really awesome here.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Uchouten Kazoku

Summary: “The comedy drama of Uchouten Kazoku is set in Kyoto, where tanuki (shape-shifting raccoon-dogs), tengu (long-nosed goblins of Japanese folklore), and humans intermingle. The story follows the Shimogamo family of tanuki who live in the Tadasu no Mori forest of Shimogamo Shrine.” – (Taken from )
Produced by: P.A. Works
Director: Masayuki Yoshihara
Series Composition: Shoutarou Suga
Original creator: Tomohiko Morimi
Character Designer: Kousuke Kawazura

Impressions: Very nice promo material as well, and I’m looking forward to this comedy from PA Works, provided that they handled the comedy right. Shoutarou Suga and Masayuki Yoshihara perhaps aren’t the best for that, but I don’t know the source material for that to say for sure.
Trailer Impressions: This one said absolutely nothing.

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Free!

Summary: It’s about swimming
Produced by: Kyoani
Director: Hiroko Utsumi
Series Composition: Masahiro Yokotani
Original creator: Kouji Ouji (if this isn’t a pseudonym then I don’t know anymore…)
Character Designer: Futoshi Nishiya

Impressions: I love what a brilliant troll move this is. I have been begging Kyoani for doing something different beyond cute girls. So here Kyoani comes with a show about a bunch of guys who look like swtimming catalog models. Regardless of whether it will actually be fun, I approve of this move. The guy from Hataraku Maou-Sama is also doing the series composition here…
Trailer Impressions: What can I say really?

First-Glance Potential: 75%

Blood Lad

Summary: “Blood Lad follows Staz, a vampire that is obsessed with the human world, and Fuyumi, a human girl that was killed and turned into a ghost after wandering into the demon world. Staz promises to help Fuyumi regain her humanity by bringing her back to life, as it means that he would be able to visit the human world” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Brains Base
Director: Shigeyuki Miya
Series Composition: Takeshi Konuta
Original creator: Yuki Kodama
Character Designer: Kenji Fujisaki

Impressions: Hell yeah, another director of Aoi Bungaku is returning. It’s the guy who adapted Kokoro, and who later did half of Supernatural. This will be his next series, together with the guys at Brains Base. And he got himself quite an interesting premise. It’s the kind of premise that can be great with the right execution, and terrible with the wrong one. The big problem will be the series composition. This will probably be a long manga, and Takeshi Konuta has already screwed up once with that kind of problem with Library Wars.
Trailer Impressions: Sounds catchy, provided they don’t put the action above everything else.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Danganronpa The Animation

Summary: “The story follows a group of high school students, each with a different exceptional talent, who are locked inside a school and told that the only way to escape is to kill another student without getting caught. After a murder, the remaining students must hold a trial with their lives on the line to find out who the killer is.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Lerche
Director: Seiji Kishi
Series Composition: Makoto Uezu
Character Designer: Kazuaki Morita

Impressions: I like the concept, I like the promo art. This feels like Btooom that requires more thought and careful planning. This is the kind of action series that I’m looking out for, that don’t just revolve arond random action. The only problem is that Seiji Kishi is a bit of a double-edged sword: as a director he can be really good or really bad, depending on his mood.
Trailer Impressions: Good music, stylish, strange character-designs. This can work out pretty well.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou

Summary: “The absurd mystery comedy centers around Kazuhito Harumi, a high school boy who is obsessed with reading books. One day, he is killed in the middle of a robbery — and resurrected as a dachshund dog. Unable to read in his new form, the hapless Kazuhito now belongs to Kirihime Natsuno, a sadistic novelist who uses scissors on Kazuhito to abuse him.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Gonzo
Director: Yukio Takahashi
Series Composition: Toshizo Nemoto
Original creator: Shunsuke Sarai
Character Designer: Youko Satou

Impressions: Well, it’s taken a while, but for me, this is the first sign of Gonzo’s recovery ever since they went nearly bankrupt back in 2009 and got majorly reduced in size. With that, I mean that this is their first series since that point that doesn’t hope to cash in on previous successes (Last Exile), or just completely terrible (Leviathan). They are starting to train new directors to fill the old gap as well: this is Yukio Takahashi’s first full directing job, and this is a guy who has proven himself well as an episode director on series as Red Garden, Shangri-La and a unit director of Yukikaze and the second Macross Frontier Movie. Of course the humour can be completely terrible, but at least the premise here holds potential and it looks like they’re actually trying to be a bit creative again.
Trailer Impressions: Perhaps it has some acting issues, but it’s the only trailer this season that actually made me laugh. That’s a good sign.

First-Glance Potential: 80%

Tamayura – More Aggressive

Summary: ” For her first year of high school, Fu Sawatari moves to Takehara, a scenic old town near Hiroshima, on the Inland Sea. Her father, who has passed away, grew up in Takehara. She loves taking photographs with her father’s old film camera, a Rollei 35S. The story follows her and the friends who gather around her as she comes to love her new home.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: TYO Animations
Director: Sato Junichi
Series Composition: Sato Junichi
Original creator: Sato Junichi
Character Designer: Haruko Iizuka

Impressions: Tamayura is a strong contender for the award for the strangest title of the season. I have seen the Tamayura OVA and Hitotose. What on earth do the creators mean by “more agressive”? This is a slice of life series, not an action title…. Either way though: it’s Sato Junichi, who is just terrific at creating slice of life. The characters area already really charming. Now it’s a matter of building further upon that like what he did with Aria.

First-Glance Potential: 85%

Kamisama no Inai Nichiyoubi

Summary: “After God abandoned the world, people stopped dying, and people stobbed giving birth. One young gravekeeper, a girl named Ai, meets a boy who slaughters her whole village.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Madhouse
Director: Yuuji Kumazawa
Series Composition: Tomoko Konparu
Original creator: Kumihito Irie
Character Designer: Shinichi Miyamae

Impressions: I LOVE the premise behind the world of this series. Talk about potential here. Tomoko Konparu as the main writer and adapter will definitely be able to bring justice to it, like what she did with Ashita no Nadja, Uta Koi, Les Miserables, Nodame Cantabile and Nana. Yuuji Kumazawa’s only directing job may have been Oda Nobuna no Yabou, but I give him the benefit of the doubt for now. It’s not like he could have made anything good with a premise like that anyway.
Trailer Impressions: Good music, it looks very nice. The backgrounds are also very creative.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Gatchaman Crowds

Summary: “The story is set in Japan in the early summer of 2015. 180,000 people live in Tachikawa City, the “second metropolis” of the Tokyo area. Among them are “Gatchaman” — warriors who fight in special reinforced suits powered by “NOTE,” the manifestation of special spiritual powers in living beings. A council has scouted a group of individuals with latent powers to protect Earth from alien criminals. In recent years, the council has assigned Gatchaman warriors to deal with the mysterious entity known as “MESS.”” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Tatsunoko Productions
Director: Kenji Nakamura
Series Composition: Toshiya Ono
Character Designer: Yuuichi Takahashi

Impressions: Yes, Kenji Nakamura is back! The guy behind Mononoke, Ayakashi, Tsuritama and Kuchuu Buranko will next do a remake of a classic series. The fun thing about those kinds of series is that they always are really creative, and with Kenji Nakamura added to that, it’s bound to be lots of fun. Toshiya Ono who helped write Tsuratama will also be back.

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Silver Spoon

Summary: “Yugo Hachiken is an ace with studying, and wants to be away from his family,and believes he can do he could go to any school with no problems, so trading regular high school for Agriculture school, he begins a new journey. Upon arriving at the school and starting classes he is quickly proven wrong, and must uncover the truth about farming, and Agriculture, and how to keep up with his news friends, who are already used to the farming world.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: A-1 Pictures
Director: Tomihiko Ito
Series Composition: Taku Kishimoto
Original creator: Hiromu Arakawa
Character Designer: Jun Nakai

Impressions: It’s finally time for Silver Spoon, the next series from Full Metal Alchemists’s Hiromu Arakawa. And it also couldn’t be any more different in subject matter. Adapting it is a very good team at A-1 Pictures helmed by Tomohiko Ito (the guy behind Occult Academy) and Taku Kishimoto, who previously adapted Usagi Drop. Tehse guys know how to deal with characterization. Yeah!
Trailer Impressions: Ska? Awesome!

First-Glance Potential: 90%

Rozen Maiden New Series

Summary: “Due to a deep trauma at school Sakurada Jun has refused to return. He spends his time in his room, surfing the web and ordering anything that takes his fancy, only to return the items just before payment is due. One day, he finds a web site that tells him to put his order in a drawer of his desk. He does so thinking it to be a joke, only to find that the letter disappears and a strange package arrives soon afterwards. It contains an exquisite doll, that, when wound, comes to life. She treats him as a servant of little worth, but over time helps him come to grips with his fears and in the life-or-death fights that soon follow her arrival.” – (Taken from ANN)
Produced by: Studio Deen
Director: Mamoru Hatekayama
Series Composition: Tomomi Mochizuki
Original creator: Peach Pit
Character Designer: Kyuta Sakai

Impressions: The reason why Rozen Maiden is the series I’m looking forward to the most isn’t simply because I’m a big Rozen Maiden fan, even though that really helps: the concept is awesome, and especially the first season was just perfect. In particular there went a lot of thought into the characters. But no. The reason why this stands above the others is due to Tomomi Mochizuki doing the series composition (along with the script and the sound direction (!)). As a writer to adapt your stories, this guy is pretty much the best guy you can get, bar none. He’s a king of realism, and his sense of characterization is fantastic. But it’s not just that: his adaptations are awesome. It’s not like he aims to be perfectly faithful, but rather he knows what works best for each story, and he takes risks. Oh dear god, he takes risks. Touka Gettan airing backwards? That’s his influence. The awesome conclusions for Kimagure Orange Road and Fancy Lala? He wrote and adapted that. Add that to the character-designer of Steins;Gate and the music from Utena and Asatte no Houkou. Yeah. I’m looking forward to this.
Trailer Impressions: Both new and old material together.

First-Glance Potential: 100%
CHANGE USERNAME
Vonter
I suppose we've had this talk. But; do women have a different type of power fantasies? Or you could essentially do the same thing as any other Isekai but with the genders flipped?
Vonter
@niello - Most power fantasies eventually lead to harems (like Hyrule Warriors). I did like the interactions of the two main characters in Shield Hero. And with Slime is sorta like watching a Let's Play as the main character visually gets more powerful along with his village, but like with Dr. House it seems it's a one man's show.
niello
Shield Hero is actually quite similar to Slime as after a while the MC basically settle down and make his own village to cultivate fighting force. The downside is that at that point it started to turn into a harem.
niello
It'd be nice if the new Franken Fran series could get it an anime, but that chance is probably near 0%...
niello
He does look young though
niello
Didn't Furuya ruined his voice with his smoking habit? It's coarser and deeper now. Judging from his Seiya voice a few years ago.
Vonter
Or are the 50s the new late 30s or early 40s?
Vonter
Are japanese people vampires? https://ultra.fandom.com/wiki/Toru_Furuya
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Vonter: If you look at the voice list, that Japanese voice actor for Mario in that anime movie is the same voice actor for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam.
Vonter
Also considering Baby Bowser was raised by Kamek. I suppose those beings could be made by magic.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - My head canon is that Bowser made them himself. Kinda Lord Zedd or Rita from Power Rangers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I still subscribe to the headcanon that Peach is the mother of Bowsers children.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I remember growing up with the relatively poor American cartoons, none of them featured Wario.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have committed videogame genocide apparently.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Everytime I broke or hit a brick in the Mario games I was probably murdering a toad.
Vonter
The ending it's "interesting" considering the relationship Mario and Peach have isn't something as close, as Link and Zelda.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - It's weird but at the same time it does use elements from the game. Like the music, and story bits from the manual from the original Super Mario Bros. (Where it mentioned Bowser uses magic to turn Toads into the bricks, clouds and other objects of the game).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I never did end up watching the Mario anime movie that came out in the 80s.
Vonter
Also someone is putting the effort of making a Bowsette adventure doujin. This is the type of stuff that could be it's own original thing since it strays far from what's Mario. Despite the occasional mild nudity it's quite fun so far, despite also how weird it is.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - At the very least it'll be interesting to see where it goes. It happens also every time something comes back. Times change and so the way we make stories. Also the original run had a curtain call chapter, so this is more a new story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Which is often what happens with episodic stuff for me.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I essentially read Fraken Fran until I got my fill of it.
AidanAK47
@Vonter, I feel that Franken Fran pretty much ran it's course though. Not sure what a new series could bring.
Vonter
Latest news: Franken Fran will get a new manga series. After it was cut short, it seems this little horror manga will get another chance: https://imgur.com/a/ypjtI4c
Vonter
I also read a bit ahead on Shield Hero. And I like it is character driven, but the cast isn't as big as other Isekai, like in Overlord where there are too many characters to easily keep track of what's happening (ever since it started Overlord feels like the most attached to its light novel origins).
Vonter
The monster town growing and expanding into it's own country reminded me of Digimon World. A game which you allied with Digimon to expand your town, add shops and other services. I've heard Xenoblade X was also like that.
Vonter
I watched during the weekend, the Slime Isekai. It's fine, though it lacked more conflict, the MC feels like its too powerful. Maybe this would have been great as a videogame since the concept of how this Slime evolves reminds me of the SNES game: E.V.O. The Search of Eden. It was about your character evolving through the ages and the player choosing how it adapts to it's environment.
Animosh
Also nice to see some love for LOGH in your personal lists (especially Aidan's). I guess it's too much of a niche series (a political epic in space) to score highly in the overall list, but I loved it. It retained much of what made the OVA so great while providing a much-needed update to its visuals and arguably better pacing.
Animosh
I also hadn't heard of the Kase-san OVA. Not sure whether enough can really happen in a one-hour OVA to make it worthwhile (it gives the impression of being promotional material more than a full-fledged adaptation), but I've been looking for another good yuri series after Bloom into You, so it can't hurt to give it a try.
Animosh
Nice to see Kaze ga made it on the list, even with just one cour out. I've seen most of the stuff that's won positive awards, but I've always avoided Pop Team Epic because of how silly it seemed to me. But given all the positive reviews (here and elsewhere) maybe I should give it a chance after all.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yu-no can go fuck itself.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There's also Yuasa's new thing.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Maybe the thriller shows will be worthwhile but I'm not really as interested.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Yeah spring looks packed for me, there's also that throwback ova to riding Bean and some creature horror ova.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I notice that Index gets an annoying amount of episodes/adaptations, one of those shows that keeps going away for a while then keeps coming back.
Kaiser-Eoghan
We might get dororohedero and Vinliand saga at years end. I would like for pluto to air this year.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Definately looking forward to the josei and shoujo stuff in Spring 2019, nothing of interest for me thats on the summer 2019 list yet.
Vonter
Like you wrote, seems like it's the start for new ways to stream anime. With Crunchyroll making simulcasts and Netflix putting some anime in the spotlight considering the audience it has (and it also helps it has better dubs, at least in spanish). Finally I felt last year the criticism of fanservice got more loud, also summed with how tumblr and facebook politics are putting restrain on sex conten
SuperWooper
@Anon, Netflix is getting Watanabe's new series, Carole & Tuesday, next season. It might not have the mass appeal of Crybaby (violence and sex) or Aggretsuko (cute animals), but it ought to do well for them if they slap "FROM THE DIRECTOR OF COWBOY BEBOP" all over the Internet.
Vonter
Last year I also didn't watched a lot of drama or slice of life, which is a shame since a lot of what's listed reads like it fits those genres.
Vonter
Kind of a lukewarm year 2018 was in terms of anime series. Although I admit I watched a lot of trash as well. Most of the good stuff I watched last year was on Netflix. In terms of bad I already an issue on the list because disappointing, bad and trash are different degrees of badness.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Sorry for being so long and overdramatic, I'd normally stay quiet but I had to get my feelings out.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I don't want to say anymore about this show anymore, I know those who did watch it generally emotionally connected with it or thought it was some kind of epic, if anything I felt it was an epic ruined by being chopped down. I hated it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Nothing seems settled on long enough and nothing registers.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As Hateable as Jomy is in the beginning, I would at least liked to have seen proper flow of plot structure allowing for some natural progression of character.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As an idea and I think if explored with more episodes/more it could be something, this also includes Keith.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The timeskip and general pacing annihilate anything that could be anything approaching reaching close to working with this series, resulting in an un-compelling cast I feel nothing for that ruins and undersells any drama which is far too overdone when it occurs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can't complete this, don't care if I've watched the first half.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I didn't like the couple of episodes of Terra e I watched a some years ago, unfortunately this second attempt, over halfway through the show only illustrates further just how much I utterly despise this show.
Kaiser-Eoghan
As I've said before, I do think re-watches are important, especially years later after watching a show you disliked, if only to see if you'll enjoy it on the second run, lately thats been mostly successful for me, however....
Anonymous3325300
Meanwhile, I do expect that this year will be much stronger in terms of quality. Of course, I had the same assumptions last year based on the winter shows, but I do feel like this could be a stronger year full of great shows, instead of a lot of merely "good" ones.
Anonymous3325300
I predict that Netflix this year probably won't have a Devilman/Aggretsuko-level hit in terms of new anime. Evangelion is probably all they need, even though it's an old series.
Lenlo
If anyone thought that wasn't getting on this list, they either didnt watch it or have really low standards
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: Its so catharctic that you listed steins;gate 0 I remember how we essentially lived and watched it together.
Lenlo
I think thats what the most pleasant surprise category is supposed to be. Didnt wanna double up on to many cats
Kaiser-Eoghan
No biggest surprise category?
Kaiser-Eoghan
I can understand including bunny-senpai as a runner up, I'd have trouble picking between it and sorayori.
Lenlo
Episode 7 is so damn good, I don't care that its American.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Aidan: How do you think I feel, I'm not far off 35.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Glad you actually made room for a movie category aswell.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Based Lenlo, cheating with American anime cartoon.
Lenlo
Im just happy I got Castlevania on this list at all
Kaiser-Eoghan
Dropped planet with, hinamatsuri and violent evergarden though, didn't see Hisone.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I probably would have replaced planet with with happy sugar life or banana fish though or yagate ga kimi.
Kaiser-Eoghan
In any case, I am glad my wife Kanna Hanazawa won an award on your list and that Devilman got featured more than once.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Ah, I though you would be splitting the voice actor category into voice actor and voice actress, though I suppose that's probably cheating a bit.
SuperWooper
You're not alone - of the four of us, I was the only one who watched it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I must have missed ASAGAO TO KASE-SAN. Hadn't heard of it until now, I should have paid more attention.
Anonymous3324478
Oh and the music was pretty good too I guess. Another episode is airing in March.
Anonymous3324478
Masa also recovered from his car accident from a few episodes ago. It was totally unneeded in my opinion.
Anonymous3324478
The last episode of Tsurune was a decent ending to an otherwise formulaic sports show with some great animation on par for the course with KyoAni. Minato overcame his target panic and won it for the team. Twins got owned big time.
Animosh
There's a new episode out of the Gridman voice drama: https://barnnn.blogspot.com/2019/01/ssssgridman-voice-drama-episode-6n.html. It's a pretty good one too.
Animosh
My only worry is if the series will be able to get to its logical stopping point (the end of the Claw arc) in 12 episodes. But I suppose I should trust Bones over my vague memories of how much content there is left to cover.
Animosh
Yeah, I agree a split cour could be good. It would allow the series to maintain its high levels of animation, and given how stacked next season looks to be (anime aside, there's also American Gods and the Game of Thrones madness to keep up with), and with another ONE show airing, a break wouldn't be so bad.
SuperMario
Split cour of Mob Psycho would be awesome. I don't want to watch 2 ONE's adaptation in one season
Lenlo
Not for bloggin
Lenlo
While I love Mob, I am a bit happy its only 1 cour. I couldnt do 3 2 cour series
Animosh
Assuming we do get 12 episodes, a split cour would still make sense ... but I guess we'll just have to wait for the official confirmations
Animosh
As far as I can tell the only source is some guy in Twitter, so not sure how reliable it is
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Devilman Lady is what comes to mind on how to do this type of show better. That one had also a special agency for supernatural incidents, has a simple but compelling main character, uses it's time to build atmosphere and mood and even the action while a bit stilted had better monster design and the violence it's graphic but entertaining like Robocop.
Vonter
@Kaiser-Eoghan - Ok I will check. I'm also curious where it goes in terms of tone. Because it's all over the place.
Vonter
Ok. Last time I tried the login in feature didn't respond. This time it worked.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Keep me posted of magical girl spec ops in case it does turn into the kind of guilty pleasure shlock it should.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Is this vonter? If you register an account you can keep the name.
Anonymous3321080
But I think what gets me the most its how it beats the dead horse of the 80s action hero arc. Van Damme, Arnold and Stallone had more or less these type of lines. Its kind of funny this anime pretends these aren't tropes we don't use anymore because of how corny they come off. It'll definitely work better as an abridged series since it can be very boring when it tries to add the school life moment
Anonymous3321080
Also Mahou Spec Ops... Is interestingly bad. It tries to be exploitative and shocking but feels very sloppy, kinda like that meme of *slow heavy metal music plays* It also wants to play it like a dark shoujo anime, but the cute monsters are just distracting.
Anonymous3321080
Reading your conversations about idols, despite being mediocre Gokudolls and Ore Mahou Shoujo made jabs at that culture. At least painting some aspects that may be true of how exploitative it is. I suppose because those are subpar, over the top and cheap is what they can do that. Can't remember one aside from Perfect Blue which criticizes that industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But only if there was more anime noirs.
Amagi
Reminds me of that stalin vs hitler comic. Think it was russian. They're attacking each other with magical super powers there. And yeah, I love noir now that you mention it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: That'd make for a great noir story.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Imagine Stalin and Hitler trolling each other on twitter.
Amagi
It's easy to construct superiority when you never have to show your private face and never participate in mundane chat talks or so.
Amagi
I bet a lot of people who had some aura of authority back then due to only ever appearing in books or for very rare (scripted) speeches would probably laughing stocks now if we'd see them commenting on daily stuff and news on twitter or reddit.
Amagi
I personally have given up upon having heroes. I still find a lot of historical people interesting but let's be real the few of them that weren't blatanly bad in some way were different then we imagine them to be (even if they're good). Just look how different people feel now that you see them tweeting on twitter VS policians etc decades ago.
Amagi
I like the idea of a main character longing for a dead friend and role model he had and still idolizes. Then at some point he starts reconstructing his friend's past to cherish his memories about him even more but finds out that the friends wasn't the hero he believed him to be and maybe even the own memories of him were idealized a lot over the years after his death without him even noticing.
Amagi
Yeah we are always searching for some sort of über-ich or perfect being that symbolizes the goal of some personality growth we're trying to achieve.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or the reason why some people need to have so many things or idols they probably don't need.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think there is a genetic/mental inadequacy in humanity that makes us susceptible to following "higher people who we forget are actually human" because of our own desire for an avatar or general inadequacy as human beings.
Amagi
Yeah this. It's probably also why they defend them so eagerly. Because it's actually true that "their" version of that person would never do that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: And that probably creates a much stronger blow to them when the actor is found guilty of a crime.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Amagi: Very good response.
Amagi
It's kinda weird how almost everything we know about others is actually just interpretation to some degree.
Amagi
The weird thing is that I think that many fans of acrots/celebrities rather create their own versions of them they fall in love with rather than loving the actual person, whom they barely even know. It's fun because the concept of a waifu sounds extremely weird to normal people, but many normal people kinda do this too but with real persons (but imaginary personality).
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think thats where it starts getting obsessive or where it gets too close to the next level, such as what the anon mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also can't bring myself to get too attached to a celebrity or to a character. I do look at hentai doujins yes but, I've probably had thoughts about certain actors or what not, but I never actually want to sleep with them, again I think that's taking fantasy too far.
Amagi
I never know if these are serious celebrations or rather some fun memes they do to post, I always assumed the latter. Kinda.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think the fans celebrating the idol's birthday thing is taking it to far too, especially if its an anime character.
Amagi
Yeah I was never an idol fan either, and I don't just mean the idol genre in anime but anything similar to idol stuff in general, like being a fanboy/girl of some celebrity or something. Was never able to get into that.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Its all too superficial.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Don't like the ideas it gives teenage girls either .
Kaiser-Eoghan
Certain topics just set me off =<
Amagi
The third episode of Wake Up girls was pretty good in that regard. I think it was the third one.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But yes, thats a pretty bad story what happened to the woman you mentioned.
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: Might be a good idea to catch some documentaries on that topic .
Kaiser-Eoghan
But that was just a sentence from some guy on a podcast though.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Now though I didn't see it, I do recall someone saying some of that Wake up girls idol anime slightly brought up seedier parts of the industry if not much.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The hallow shallowness of the idol industry I mean.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I also dislike the shallowness of it.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I love how Perfect blue takes influences from those gialli/giallo style films from the 60s/70s to an extent, while also spitting on the industry.
Kaiser-Eoghan
But you know what sucks? A part of me, both in regards to those women (and probably some of the male idols) whether it be in reality or animation, I can't actually deny finding some of these men/women actually physically attractive.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Music industry has its seediness just about everywhere and of course victim blaming going to appear everywhere, not just Japan.
Kaiser-Eoghan
*commodification-consumerist
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Anon: I hate capitalism, I hate the idol communication-commercialist industry and the willing self-aware slaves and their masters who perpetuate it, the music is largely awful aswell. I don't watch most of the idol anime, I think the idea of 30 something men throwing cash it is awful.
Anonymous3319279
Wonder if there will be some modern equivalent of Perfect Blue? That was a scathing critique of the idol industry back in the late 90s. Although given how shows that are flat out glorifying the industry are the best-selling shows on BD every year, I doubt it.
Anonymous3319279
In short, she was assaulted by two men at her home who were then arrested. Then she was pressured by her managers into claiming that she was to blame for this, not the men and apologizing to an audience.
Anonymous3319279
Hearing about what happened to some idol named Mahohon seriously makes me wonder if idol culture in Japan seriously needs an overhaul and if media needs to stop glorifying the industry so much.
Anonymous3319260
Ok. No pressure, just asking.
AidanAK47
@Anon, we are working on it. It's nearing completion and should be posted soon.
Anonymous3318799
I don't know if I missed it. But have you put the overview of 2018? Of best show, best character, etc. Did 2018 had a good anime villain?
Masky
Anyhoo, surprisingly Lovecraft's books have some really faithful manga adaptions
Masky
A story set in world post "Cthulhu"(or whatever is setting equivalent) awakening and transcending humans into "savage" inhuman world that he is supposed to bring forth
Masky
Ya know, speaking of lovecraft here is what I really want to see:
Kaiser-Eoghan
Well I guess Die Farbe and whisperer in the darkness count and the cthulu one, the latter two were done by the Lovecraft society.
Kaiser-Eoghan
The closest we got with an actual adaptation was Dreams of the witchhouse , but they left out Nyarlathotep.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Those films were fun, but none of them dated well either.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I have to seperate my knowledge of the books from Stuart Gordon and Brian yuznas films that borrow elements and titles from Lovecrafts works, once I accept their takes on him are just body horror a black comedies I can kind of accept it more.
Lenlo
I think Junji Ito's manga works have come the closest to Lovecrafts brand of horror, and we all saw how that adaptation went.
Lenlo
Yeah, Lovecraft is a hard one. Even his own books are hit or miss, because it is a very fine line for his brand of psychological horror. Would make for an interesting and unique anime if done well though
Kaiser-Eoghan
A lovecraft themed world would find some difficulty in getting the atmosphere right as he has proved difficult to adapt.
Lenlo
Ah. Yeah, a non-traditional setting like that would be good. I think Isekai, to really change it up, should start going for non-traditional settings. Sci-Fi, Lovecraft, etc. I think this was mentioned before yeah?
Kaiser-Eoghan
@Lenlo: I believe the anon was saying it in relation to making a good setting for an isekai show.
Lenlo
Its why I standby Sakaki in this that, even if he was a dick about it, he is right to be angry at how it all placed out. Just not at Kurahara.

Also @Anon, I loved Bloodborne! No idea what the convo is about, but saw it mentioned
Lenlo
They should Kaiser, I agree. Just look at American college football right now. ITs coming out all over the place, and people wonder why teams dont speak out against it. Its because they are kids, they think "This is how its SUPPOSED to be. Only the best make it. Its not the coaches fault, he makes us win". etc etc.
Kaiser-Eoghan
There is a spinoff anthology for bloom into you's manga.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Or other big issues relating to sports such as performance enhancing drugs.
Kaiser-Eoghan
Lenlo, a thought popped into my head there, more sports shows should focus on abuse.
Kaiser-Eoghan
I think flipflappers is one of my favourites in years, but it was definately at its best when it wasn't really about wrapping up its story.
Amagi
Space Dandy and Kaiba had this to some degree too. Liked both series.
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